Thursday, February 22, 2007

Jury Duty -- Here I come!

As strange as this is going to sound, I am thrilled about being called for Jury Duty. Since I was a kid, I wanted to sit on a jury. I wanted to weigh in the facts and decide whether the person was guilty or innocent. I wanted to see a trial from start to finish.

You can't imagine how thrilled I am that I've finally received my letter from the Clerk of Circuit Court. This is so cool.

Everyone else around me thinks that I'm nuts (except my sister-in-law, Robyn), but I couldn't be more thrilled.

I hope I get picked.

God Bless

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Guest Blog Post: Patriotism Requires Economic Nationalism

If you consider yourself a patriot are not concerned about the ballooning trade deficit, the huge national debt and the loss of 3 million manufacturing jobs since the current Bush first occupied the White House, you are lying to yourself. If you are a political figure, you are likely lying to the American public, as well.

Economic globalization is certainly not inevitable. The inevitability of uncontrolled globalization is deliberate disinformation promoted by the largest international corporations and their academic, media and political lackeys. Economic globalization is the result of deliberate public policy changes by our government and other governments. The policy changes have been pushed by large international corporations seeking to maximize their profits regardless of the cost to the American economy or the American people.

Our very way of life is being undermined by government policies that fail to rein in the unchecked greed of large international corporations. Every American patriot must demand a reversal of American government policies and attitudes toward a people-oriented, economic nationalism instead of government-sponsored international corporatism.

International trade is often a very good thing. However, it should be a managed process that is regulated by the citizens of the nations involved in the form of their governments. Defense and foreign policy considerations should be given significant weight in the establishment of international trade policies. Trade was very helpful during the Cold War with our former international rival, the late Soviet Union.

Trade should not be organized by trade agreements that damage our manufacturing base because our military strength depends on manufacturing. International trade should not lower the living standards of American workers. Our worker safety regulations, wage levels, environmental regulations and product safety requirements should all be enhanced instead of undetermined by our trade agreements. Trade should not create more government debt for our nation. International trade should produce large amounts of government revenue in the form of much higher tariffs. We need more economic nationalism.

It is the patriotic duty of every citizen to demand government policies that serve our citizens and nation instead of the large international corporations. As we move into the 2008 elections, Americans should only support candidates who vote in the economic interests of America.

Citizens should support universal national healthcare because American companies cannot afford to supply healthcare to their workers and compete with foreign businesses. All other major trading nations have governments who provide healthcare to their workers instead of saddling their businesses with this additional costs. American businesses are at a severe disadvantage.

Americans should demand repeal or renegotiation of all current, falsely-named, “free trade” agreements. Presidential “fast-tracking” of these agreements should be ended immediately.

The salaries of top corporate executives should be limited by federal law. It should be illegal to increase executive compensation in corporations that are moving jobs outside our borders. Corporate executives should not be awarded for being bad citizens.

Corporations who move good jobs abroad to cut the pay of workers or to avoid environmental laws should be punished by finding their access to the American market severely restricted. They should pay much larger taxes. Their ability to send money abroad should be restricted.

Our federal government should mandate that colleges and universities teach mandatory courses in Economic Patriotism to all students in business or economics programs. Courses should be offered in all high schools. We need to educate our citizenry on these issues because of their importance to America’s future.

We should strengthen our labor unions to check the political power of large corporations. We should pass the Employee Free Choice Act. We should repeal the restraints on unions passed during the Truman Administration by a Republican Congress over the veto of President Truman.

We need much strong campaign finance laws that will more effectively stop corporations from buying the loyalties of our political leaders. We should only approved federal judges who will protect our economy. If we need Constitutional Amendments to limit corporate power, we should pass them.

America cannot afford 800 billion dollar annual trade deficits if we are remain a real world power. We should not be borrowing from Communist China and Japan to fund our government debt. Our domestic economy remains strong thanks to our small businesses while the large international corporations are working against our national interests.

We need to put real teeth in anti-monopoly laws. Media concentration should be stopped and reversed. Our citizens should not be feed only information controlled by the largest international corporations. We need to break-up the media monopolies, return to the Fairness Doctrine and Equal Time Protection in broadcasting and encourage local media ownership.

Patriotism includes an economic element. The leadership of Wall Street needs to demonstrate in both word and action they are patriotic. The Supreme Court in the 19th Century gave corporations many citizenship rights. These corporations should be required that they are loyal citizens instead of traitors to America’s future.

~~Written by Stephen Crockett

The opinions expressed in this guest blog are not necessarily the opinions of the main author of Top of My Head.

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Saturday, February 10, 2007

Bush's Energy Plan...

George W. Bush wants Congress to back his energy plan. He wants to cut "gasoline consumption by up to 20 percent over 10 years."* That's a nice start, but how is that going to happen when he opposes setting higher fuel-economy standards?

What he does what to do is require the use of ethanol to the tune of 35 billion gallons a year by 2017. This might not be as the politicians proclaim it to be.

First, while "ethanol industry profited handsomely last year, it continued to benefit from billions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies."** So, basically, we're going to subsidize an industry that's already making money on its own. Is that like the tax breaks we give the oil companies?

Second, ethanol -- as of now -- is made from corn. Have you noticed our rising corn prices? If we rely on ethanol, will it get worse?

Finally, ethanol doesn't make it any cleaner for the environment. Are we not going to lower emissions?

Another reason I'm against Bush's energy plan is that he wants Congress to give his administration the power to set the standards. Is he for real? Hasn't Congress given him way too much power in this nation as it is?

We need to come up with a solution to our current energy crisis, but I don't think Bush's plan is the answer.

God Bless






* -- http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/02/10/Bush.radio.ap/index.html
**-- http://www.usnews.com/usnews/news/articles/070204/12ethanol.htm

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Thursday, February 08, 2007

Save NPR and PBS...

From MoveOn.org:

President Bush just proposed drastic cuts to NPR and PBS. We've stopped similar cuts in the past, but enough is enough: With the new Congress, we can make sure this never happens again.

We need Congress to save NPR and PBS once and for all.

Can you help out by signing this petition to Congress? It's really easy-just click the link below:

http://civic.moveon.org/publicbroadcasting/?referring_id=-1574355-rmyNnMSsZNC3qRZTwXFx.g

Thanks!

I support NPR and PBS.  We need them.  Add in the fact that this country wastes billions of dollars a year on tax breaks for the rich and oil companies.  We can certainly come up with enough money to support Big Bird and friends!

God Bless

Microsoft Vista

I don't have Vista, but my dad just purchased a pc with it. He's having issues, so I went to Amazon and looked up what Vista books are available. Here are a few of them.




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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Protecting of Citizens Goes Too Far...

The last time I checked, I lived in the United States of America.  THE country on the planet that stands for individual freedoms.  THE country that stands for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Right? 

So, why is New York considering a ban on street crossing while talking on a cell phone or listening to an ipod.  (See CNN article)  Are they serious?

Look, what happened to survival of the fittest?  Now, it should be survival of the smartest.  If you can't cross the street in a safe manner while listening to music or yakking on a cell phone -- who cares if you get run down by a car.  Hey, that's just too damn bad.  And, controlling that with a $100.00 fine is ridiculous.

We're horrible in this country when it comes to stupid laws to protect the dumb ones.  If you're too dumb to put on your seatbelt, we have a law telling you to do so.  When will it end?

Maybe, if some of these not able to multitaskers get run down, we could eliminate some really stupid bloodlines!

What a waste of taxpayer dollars!  I'm glad MY tax money doesn't go to New York to be wasted like that.  We do enough wasting here!

God Bless

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Harry Potter Link didn't work...

Breakdown...

So on Friday, I'm driving home from work, singing to my radio and I hear a pop -- like the opening of a soda can, but louder. Then, the engine just stops. Boom, done, just like that!

Luckily, I have roadside rescue on my Sprint phone and I call for a tow truck. It's cold, very, very cold. Gonna be an hour wait, no big deal. I bundle up, take out my DS and start playing to keep my mind off the cold.

Pretty soon, maybe 10 minutes later, here comes a Milwaukee Sheriff. You okay? he asks. Yeah, fine, got a tow truck coming. Not a problem. He suggests I put it in neutral and he'll push me closer to the side of the road. I do this, he pushes. Then, he checks again. You sure you're okay? Yep, I'm fine. I'm toasty and it's all good. He tells me he'll check on me later to make sure I'm still okay.

Well, a forty-five minutes later, I'm now freezing. I can't get a hold of anyone on the phone -- Cheryl's not answering, our friends aren't answering -- and still no tow truck. Here comes another couple of Sheriff deputies. You okay? No, I'm freezing. Come wait in the squad, which I do. Very nice police officers -- all three of them.

Naturally, the tow truck shows up ten minutes later. Thanks for keeping me warm. I greet the driver. Driver takes me and Susie (my car) to shop, which is closed until Monday and we drop off Susie. I slip the key into the shops mail slot and driver takes me home.

Still no Cheryl.

Anyway, Cheryl comes home about an hour after I get there. Sorry, I'm late and where's your car?

Here's the moral of the story: You have a cell phone for emergencies, check it once in a while. :-)

Anyway, now, shop's called, Susie needs a new engine. And, it's going to cost around $2300 and we don't have it. So, if you're planning on ordering any books from Amazon, please do me a favor and order from here. This puts a couple of pennies in my pocket and maybe, I can earn enough to pay for the engine.

If you're planning on pre-ordering the new Harry Potter, please do that here as well. I get a couple of bucks and you were pre-ordering anyway.


Man, I've got to find a job closer to home than the north side of Milwaukee!

God Bless!

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Thursday, February 01, 2007

Some people have no sense of humor...

Please read this story on CNN for more information.

Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah.  We're all in a heighten state of awareness and security since 9/11.  I get that.  I understand that seeing strange objects in strange places puts people on edge.

But, in the words of John Stossel -- Give me a Break!

Here's the skinny:

Two guys put up little electronic boards that flipped you the bird to advertise "ate-night Adult Swim cartoon 'Aqua Teen Hunger Force.'" (quote from CNN)  There's nothing threatening looking about these things, although I can see how people would be upset.  Also, nothing makes these things look like a bomb.  Trust me, if the terrorist are going to blow up underpasses, you probably wouldn't see the bomb first.

Anyway, some people "panicked" and now the men who put the signs up all over Boston (not NY, where I could understand them going a little overboard with the panic) are in trouble for causing a panic.

Even the judge said you have to have the intent to cause a panic to be charged with starting one.

Come on, let's lighten up.  I'm tired of having to be scared all the time.

We've had two foreign attacks in fifty years.  I think that makes us a pretty safe nation.]

Take a deep breath and chill a little.

God Bless

Cops and the morning commute...

We have a lot of nice police officers in this state.  Believe me when I say, I wouldn't want to be out in the cold directing traffic at an accident scene or having to risk my life to break up a domestic dispute.

But this morning, a nice state trooper pulls on the highway from the side of the road.  I'm sure he had been stopped to write a ticket or something, but he had no lights on and there was no reason for any of the rest of us drivers to think he (or she, as I didn't see the officer's face) was gunning to pull someone else over.  We were in a 65MPH zone.

So, someone please explain to me why oh why we have to slow down to 55 MPH in a 65 zone because a cop is on the highway?  Not only does it slow all of us down and cause backups, but it just peeves me to no end.

The police officer is NOT going to pull you over because you did 66MPH, so quit hitting the brakes when you see one and just drive the damn car.  Or, pull over and get out of my way, because I want to do the speed limit.

I'm so glad this officer decided to get off the highway a few miles later.  It meant I could do the speed limit again!

God Bless