Monday, April 28, 2008

Today...

Today, I could write about how I wish Pennsylvania had voted for Obama and not Hillary so that Hillary would drop out of the race, but I won't.

Today, I could write about how I hated filling up this morning at $3.69 and how I think the stations that are charging $3.75 and $3.79 are just being greedy, but I won't.

Today, I could write about how we're in a recession and wouldn't it be nice if the government could figure that out, but I won't.

Well, why not?  I hear all of you asking...

Well, I'll tell you...

Today is my wedding anniversary.  We've now been married seven years.  And, for at least today, I just want to forget about the country's issues and enjoy the day...

Happy Anniversary, Baby.  Here's to seven more!

God Bless

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Florida's New Plate...

Florida is considering a Christian License plate.  The plate has a cross in front of a stain glass window and the words I Believe.  The plate looks colorful enough.  Now, would I get one of these plates if it were available in Wisconsin -- no way. The extra $25.00 to have one goes to Faith in Teaching Inc. which supports faith-based schools activities.  I don't have anything against faith-based school activities per se.  I attended Bible study at my grade school on Thursday afternoons from 2nd or 3rd grade (I don't remember which) all the way until 6th grade.  However; back when I was a kid, this consisted mostly of teaching about Jesus and how He loves us, etc.  It wasn't the right-wing stuff like the faith-based learning is now.

Anyway, my only problem with this plate is because of this (and I'm quoting directly from the CNN article):

Simon, of the ACLU, said approval of the plate could prompt many other groups to seek their own designs, and they could claim discrimination if their plans were rejected. That could even allow the Ku Klux Klan to get a plate, Simon said.

Bullard, the plate's sponsor, isn't sure all groups should be able to express their preference. If atheists came up with an "I Don't Believe" plate, for example, he would probably oppose it.



Now, that would be wrong.

If you want to prove that the state isn't supporting one religion, then I would say you have to let the atheists have their plate.

Now, I should say right here that I don't believe in any of these plates.  I don't have a Packer plate or the wild animal fund one or any of those plates.  First, I have bumper stickers to show what I believe and second, I don't announce to whom I give money.  (Remember, Jesus said to give to charity secretedly and I'm sure he meant don't put it on your license plate!)  However; everyone has the right to their own opinions and if people like these plates, they should get them.

But, if you offer a Christian plate, you really need to offer the alternative.  If you offer an anti-abortion plate, you need to offer a planned parenthood one.  If you offer one supporting straight people, you need to offer one for gay people.  It's all about fairness.

At least it is in my book.

God Bless

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Military Waivers

According to CNN , the Army and Marines have both given out more waivers to people convicted of felonies in 2007 than either military branch gave in 2006. According to the article, "The Army defended its use of waivers as a response to a changing American society, arguing that only three in 10 Americans of military age "meet all our stringent medical, moral, aptitude or administrative requirements." Some of the waivers have been granted for offenses such as burglary, assault and drug possession, according to the article. Also according to the article, "Army never issues waivers for some types of offenses, including sexual violence, alcoholism and drug trafficking."

I remember being in a social studies class in junior high. We were discussing the draft. I remember asking my teacher why we didn't take guys from prison and send them out to the battlefield. After all, they weren't doing anything besides sitting in a jail cell, so why not put them to use. I remember my teacher saying to me that the men in prisons couldn't follow the rules and that's why they were in prison and we couldn't expect them to follow the rules if they were in the military.

Of course, that was more than 25 years ago when we thought as a society that men in prison couldn't be rehabilitated and were hopeless. Times have changed.

Now I'd like to mention that the Army issued 511 waivers and the Marines issued 350 (according to the article). With the thousands of soldiers recruited each year, that doesn't sound like a lot, does it? In the case of the Army, it is less than 1% of the 80,000 troops they wish to recruit each year.

Let me repeat that -- less than 1%.

So, you're thinking to yourself, then why bring it up? What's the big deal?

The big deal is that
Rep. Henry Waxman of California (Democrat) is giving both the Army and the Marines one month to explain themselves.

And, while these two divisions of our armed forces are preparing a report regarding less than 1% of their troops, how much of our tax dollars will they be spending? Why would anyone want to waste even more tax dollars when our deficit is higher than it has ever been?

Now, here's what I would like you, my glorious reader to do.

If you live in California and in Rep Waxman's district (It is the 30th District), please contact his office by going to his website (link will open in a new window) or calling his office:
(202) 225-3976 (Washington #) or (323) 651-1040 / (818) 878-7400 / (310) 652-3095 (California #s).


If you do not live in California, please do not contact Rep Waxman -- it does no good, really, they just toss your opinions away. All offices do that, not just his. They're designed to only help constituents.

So, what to do if you're not in his district?

Contact your representative.

Or, contact the committee yourself by clicking here (link will open in a new window). This is what I did and, if I receive a response, I'll post it here.

We really don't need to waste taxpayers money by looking for a needle in a haystack, do we?

God Bless

Labels: , , , ,

Monday, April 21, 2008

Slacker Radio

I started listening to Slacker while at work. The concept is easy -- you pick 15 (or more) of you favorite artists and Slacker keeps the music coming. No playlist to fiddle with or choices to make. Still, you can make your own playlists or listen to the pre-set ones. Since my tastes are pretty out there, I can hear Johnny Cash's "Walk the Line" right behind Van Halen's "Hot for Teacher".

The best part is that it is all free -- yes, free! Sure, you can sign up for Slacker Premium (which I have), but you don't have to do so. There are benefits to having a premium account, like saving favorite songs to play out of your library and unlimiting skipping.

Now, I'm hoping to get a Slacker Portable sometime this year, so support my sponsors -- order books/games from Amazon using my links and buy my t-shirts -- in order to help me earn the cash needed. Or, do it the free way by clicking the below button and trying out Slacker. It'll earn me an entry into a drawing for a free Slacker Portable and you get to listen to great music, so it's a win-win situation!


Slacker

Also, I'm trying something new by posting to two of my blogs at once, so...
God Bless and Happy Reading!>< FONT>

Labels: , , ,

Harry Potter Reference Book

I'm sure we've all heard by now that J.K. Rowlings is suing a fan who has written a lexicon of Harry Potter. She wants the publication of Steven Vander Ark's "Harry Potter Lexicon" to be stopped. Mr. Vander Ark has been running a Harry Potter Lexicon website of which Mrs. Rowlings approves. However; she feels that publishing a book is a "wholesale theft of 17 years of my hard work."

Now, since I haven't read Mr. Vander Ark's book, nor have I visited his website, I have no way of knowing if he has indeed plagiarized the Harry Potter books. However; I do know that Mrs. Rowlings plans on completing a Harry Potter encyclopedia in a couple of years and if a lexicon is all ready out there, it could hurt the sales of her encyclopedia.

I'm glad I'm not sitting on that jury.

On one hand, Mrs. Rowlings has made a lot of money from Harry Potter and she has created an industry of Harry Potter related books, toys, etc. It's not going to hurt anyone to have someone make a couple of bucks. (As a Harry Potter fan, I do have to say that I wouldn't buy the lexicon, nor will I buy her encyclopedia either.) Since she's planning her own encyclopedia it does sound like she's only worried about her business future.


On the other hand, if all Mr. Vander Ark has done is rearrange her words, then that is stealing.

I'm really, really glad I don't have to sit on that jury.
God Bless

Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,

Thursday, April 17, 2008

A Little Economic Sense

According to an article in US News & World Report, we're heading back into an era of Big Government. Our economic woes are such that the government will have to get more involved. If done right, it isn't necessarily a bad thing. But, we all know that it won't be done right.

Here's a few of my off the top of my head ideas.

1. The government needs to be proactively involved in producing a complete electric car. Tax breaks should be given to the car companies to offset some of their research costs. We know this car has existed -- one that can drive highway speeds and travel up to 300 miles on a single charge -- it just hasn't been cost effective. The second part of this is the government needs to give tax breaks to anyone who purchases said car. I can't afford a $30,000 car -- even if it will drop my gas to nearly nothing, but if the government subsidizes the manufacturing and the purchasing, I'm sure I could swing $20,000 for the car.

2. All this talk about Social Security being overdrawn in 2017 is beginning to piss me off. First, Social Security used to have a surplus until the government started borrowing against it. The time for that to completely stop is now. Also, let's put some of that borrowed money back and then let's see if we're still behind. Finally, we need a national retirement plan. The truth is that we need older workers to get out of the way for younger workers. If everyone works until they drop dead, what are young people going to do for jobs? That being said to keep this funded let's eliminate the cap on the tax. No matter how much you earn, pay both Social Security and Medicare taxes on it. So, no more cut off at $92,000.

3. We need to take a good long look at what the government subsidizes. (Yeah, I know I said electric cars, but hear me out.) Nearly everybody gets something from the government. For example, farm subsidies. Huge company farms are subsidized and that's not what the plan was for. This should be changed to only help the little farmer compete. There are other things we subsidize and we need to take a good long look at them to see if they're really needed.

God Bless

Labels: , , , , , ,

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Death Sentence for Rape?

Under most circumstances I am against the death penalty. I don't think the state taking someone's life really does anyone any good. The costs for keeping a death row inmate are much higher than a non-death row inmate. If an innocent person is convicted and is put to death, you can't go back and fix that.

All of that said, I do support the state of Louisana in executing Patrick Kennedy for the rape of his 8 year old step-daughter.

Here's my reasons.

First, child molestors can never be rehabilitated. NEVER. They don't get out of prison and lead normal lives. They go on to rape and molest children again.

Second, in a sad way, a murder victim's pain is over right away. No one can ever hurt them again. But, children who are harmed by a sexual predator never forget. Also, studies show that children who have been sexually abused are more likely to be abused in the future. Killing their attacker might make the child feel safer, knowing that the boogey man can never hurt them again.

Finally, do we really want these people around? The average molestor has ten victims before he ever gets caught. That's ten children who never get justice.

Let's hope the US Supreme Court upholds Lousiana's decision to put this rapist to death and doesn't decide to put the brakes on a good idea.

God Bless

Labels: , , , ,

Monday, April 14, 2008

Want a More Stable Financial System -- higher more women!

I'm reading the headline on RoadRunner's news site and I come across this one:  "Male Sex Hormone May Affect Stock Trades."  I read the article and a study was just completed in England that measured the testosterone levels in men and determined that while high levels help over say a day of training, repeated days of high levels make men more risky and cause more "irrational risk-taking". 

So, basically what we're supposed to gather from this article is that men make lousy financial advisors and hiring more women would equate to "a much more stable financial system."

I can hear my late grandmother's answer to that:  "OH, COME ON!"

Isn't this the same kind of argument that was used against women when they wanted to enter into male dominant fields?  Women shouldn't fight in combat or be police officers because their monthly cycle makes them hormonal and therefore, they would make lousy soldiers and police officers.  Using the same type of hormone argument against men isn't very fair, now, is it?

Well, I better end this.  My financial advisor for my IRA is a guy and I need to change him to someone else.

God Bless




Quote from AP Article on RoadRunner:

"WASHINGTON(AP) The hormone that drives male aggression and sexual interest also seems able to boost short term success at finance. But what seems to start out well can turn bad, with elevated testosterone levels over several days possibly leading to irrational risk-taking, according to researchers at the University of Cambridge in England.

"If people want to get practical, it would be good for both banks and the financial system as a whole if we had more women and older men in the markets," said John M. Coates, lead author of a study appearing in this week's issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Such a change would produce a much more stable financial system, said Coates, a research fellow in the university's department of physiology, development and neuroscience."

Sunday, April 06, 2008

You Don't Have Mail UPDATE...

So, still no email from Wal-Greens today after waiting for two days. Well, I decided to call Wal-Greens' tech support and find out what's going on.

Apparently, Road Runner blocks emails from Wal-Green's, so they can't get through to my email box. Isn't that wonderful?!? I can get ED emails in my inbox, but not the email I wanted!

Crazy!

God Bless

Labels: , , ,

Friday, April 04, 2008

You Don't Have Mail

Remember those days when you'd rush home from work, log into AOL and hear "You've Got Mail"? This was way back when the Internet was still so vast and exciting. Do you remember the disappointment when the man's voice didn't come on? It was a horrible feeling to not even find one message in your AOL account. Remember?

Well, the times sure are a changing. I can't think of one person who is still using AOL for one thing. My Inbox is now filled more with spam than with emails from friends. 90% of the messages I receive falls into one of these categories:

  • Enlarge Your Penis or solve your ED problem. Messages mentioning my non-existent penis are quite common.
  • Save this fill in the blank.This could be anything from the spotted owl to a snake in the Amazon rainforest.
  • Pass this on to your friends. This one is usually a letter begging for prayers that usually turns out to be a hoax. (This excludes real prayer requests from people you know)
  • I've come into a lot of money, but I need your help in getting it. My personal favorite.
  • But, complaining about Spam is not really what I wanted to write about. Unwanted email messages aren't my problem today -- I'm waiting for an email and it hasn't showed yet! That's what's really bugging me.

    This morning, I wanted to go on Wal-Green's site to have a couple of prints made. Well, I have an account, but I can't remember my password. It isn't one of my usual ones, so I click the button to have my password reset and sent to me, but has it showed?!?

    No, it's been 5 hours and nothing. Now, I did have an email problem a while back where things were being forwarded and I didn't know it, but my son-in-law sent me an email this am and when he responded to my reply, I received that email. A couple of friends have sent emails with no problems, so what's Wal-Greens' problem?

    What in the world could be taking so long? It's a password reset for pete's sake!

    Yeah, I know what you're thinking, starving kids in foreign lands, people suffering all over the world and I'm complaining about a password reset.

    Life's pretty good for me and I thank God everyday for that.

    God Bless

    Labels: , ,

    Thursday, April 03, 2008

    Funny News...

    It's been a rough week and the last thing I've been able to do is update my blog. But, we're now back home (why would ANYONE want to live in Park Falls, WI is totally beyond me) and I saw a news article I just want to pass on...

    Toddlers Can No Longer Marry In Ark.

    I cannot tell you what a relief that is! To know that you now have to be "17 as the minimum age to marry for boys and 16 for girls" in Arkansas is going to make my sleepless nights just go away! But, I'm sure there's two very disappointed seven year olds just cursing the Arkansas Legislature!

    I, also, saw an article about a woman who bit a dog that was attacking her dog. As funny as that sounds, this woman was really fearing for her dog's life, so I'll bet it was scary.

    It's truly a strange world we live in, isn't it?

    God Bless

    Labels: ,