Sunday, June 29, 2008

New Design - Eve Was Framed

Hot off the presses -- and cooly done -- My new Eve Was Framed designed. This hot seller needed an redesign and here it is!

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Saturday, June 28, 2008

Another Video

Buy American

I realize that not all of us can afford to buy American. The call to buy American products has long passed us by. I can remember commericials where Barbara Mandrell sang about buying American and look for the American label back Wal-Mart products actually were American. However; I drive a foreign car. Cheryl drives a foreign car. We went looking at American cars this year and we couldn't find one in our limited budget.

However; I was just reading somewhere that the flags flown over our federal buildings aren't made in America. They're made somewhere else. How can that be? Shouldn't our national symbol only be made here?!? Okay, for the average American, make them somewhere else, but the feds should NEVER buy a flag made in a different country.

Furthermore, nothing our federal government purchases should be made outside of this country -- NOTHING! If our own government doesn't support our economy, we have a serious, serious issue in this country. One reason for government purchases is to stimulate the economy, so nothing made for the feds or purchased by them should have foreign parts.

NOTHING! End of story.

God Bless

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Friday, June 27, 2008

Charlie Wilson's War

If you have not seen Charlie Wilson's War, stop reading. I don't want to have someone find out the ending when they didn't want to.

I just now finished watching Charlie Wilson's War. It was an entertaining movie and told a story I didn't know a lot about. I knew the Soviet's invaded Afghanistan and I knew we helped throw them out, but I didn't know how it was done. I liked the movie, but I felt that the ads for it played up much more humor than what was present.

The thing that kept running through my mind was once we kicked out the Soviets, we left room for the Taliban, which led to the terrorists that flew planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. This thought bothered me, because I was thinking should we really be idolizing Charlie Wilson and his CIA pal, the late Gust L. Avrakotos, knowing what we do now?

And then the movie came to the end and you see Charlie struggling -- and failing -- to obtain funding to rebuild the Afghan schools. We helped kick the Soviets out, but we didn't follow through and help the Afghan put their nation back together again. We did nothing. It wasn't on the radar, it wasn't important.

Which leads me to my next thought: What are we going to do in Iraq? Are we really just going to pull out our troops and leave the country devastated? Are we going to finish what we start and rebuild the nation? While we're all fighting over here about the war in Iraq, there are people in Iraq who don't have clean water. And, the reason they don't have clean water is because we wanted to get Saddam Hussein.
So, what are we going to do? Pull out prematurely? Or, fix up the country and perhaps stop the next generation of terrorists?

Something to think about.

God Bless

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Hypocrisy - If it harms you, who cares? If it harms me, the government should fix this.

The other day I was talking to someone I know -- we'll call her Anne* -- who is a hardcore Republican.  She firmly believes that the Republican party still stands for individual rights and responsibilities.  Anne believes that laws protecting consumers are not needed because companies will do the right thing and people should be able to think for themselves.  In other words, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is and you shouldn't be taken in.  She believes that there shouldn't be laws to protect people from scams because it is just your own damn fault you got into the mess in the first place. 

However; on this particular day, Anne was telling me about her son -- Mitchell*, who purchased a home that was overpriced a few years ago with a three year ARM.  Mitchell is like millions of Americans who have recently purchased overpriced homes using a low interest rate ARM.  He needs to refinance, except here's the catch.  Mitchell refinanced not very long ago and was convinced that using the equity in his home to pay off some bills would be a smart thing to do.  Plus, the interest rate went even lower, so he borrowed another $20,000* on his $200,000* home.

Guess what?  Mitchell's home has now been valued at $175,000 and he owes -- on a three year ARM -- $195,000.  He can't refinance to get out from underneath the ARM because no reputable bank will loan you $195,000 on a home worth $175,000.  The ARM is coming up soon and his interest rate -- from what I've been told -- is going to skyrocket, making his monthly payment jump too high for him to pay.

So, I say "Gee, that's too bad.  I guess he should've thought about the situation he was in and made a better decision.  He certainly shouldn't have taken out a second ARM when he refinanced."  I mean, we're a country where individuals need to take responsibility for their lives.  I didn't buy a home that was overpriced.  I didn't take out an ARM -- and when I refinanced, I didn't borrow more than I thought my home was worth -- EVEN THOUGH the mortgage lender kept saying my home was worth X and didn't I want to borrow more money. 

Anne's response is that the mortgage lender should be put in jail and there should be laws against this sort of thing.  The government should step in and help Mitchell save his home.

Isn't that hypocrisy?  If I had called Anne and told her the above sob story about someone she didn't know, she'd be saying, well, that's too bad, but Mitchell's an idiot and should lose his home.  Might teach him a lesson.

But, since Mitchell's Anne's son, the government needs to step in and save him from his own stupidity.

Now, I don't really know what to think about the current housing market crash.  I think something needs to be done because if everyone defaults on their loans, we're going to have a much larger issue than Mitchell losing his home.  There's a lot of Mitchell's out there.  I, also, think why don't we teach this stuff in school?  When we're teaching Algebra, why aren't we teaching kids how to read loan papers?  Would it be too hard to teach kids real world applications for their thought processes?  Something theyr'e really going to use in life?  Because I don't know about you, but I still haven't used Algebra.  I could've used some help when making decisions about my refi.

Getting back to the original issue, I know it is really too much to ask and it happens on both sides of the political spectrum, but I just wish we didn't have so many hypocrites in our nation. 

God Bless

* - I'm using assumed names and changing information that would allow people to know who these people are for their privacy.  The numbers aren't exact either, but you get the general idea.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Supreme Court Rulings

This is totally off the top of my head, but what the HE double hockey sticks is the Supreme Court thinking? Executing a child rapist is cruel and unusual, but allowing handguns is constitutionally sound? I expected the second decision to go down that way, but I thought with a conservative court executing despicable torturers would be their thing!

Something to wonder about, isn't it?

God Bless

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Don't Mess With Tim McGraw

During his Auburn, Washington concert on Tuesday, June 24th, Tim McGraw saw a "fan" attack a woman in the audience. Apparently, Tim doesn't need any security, he reached down and grabbed the unruly concert goer. When security came, they lifted a guy who makes me look small on to the stage and ejected him. The man made a move to charge at Tim and he answered the move with a closed fist. There's video at CNN.

Oh and the song Tim was singing at the time? Indian Outlaw. He started right back up at the "I ain't looking for trouble..."

I've always liked Tim McGraw and now, I like him a little more.

God Bless

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So-called Family Groups

I went back and reviewed one of my old posts regarding the American Girl stores and a group called Girls, Inc. In the post, I mentioned that the American Family Association was boycotting them. (Read the original post here) Anyway, I noticed that the American Family Association only had 2.2million members as of the posting (Oct. 2005). It got me to thinking, just how many people are actually a part of all these "family" groups that supposedly support the American Family as they see fit. Because in a country of 365 million people, 2.2 million is .6% of the population.

I wonder how many members of the American Family Association belong to Focus on the Family and how many Focus on the Family members belong to any other right wing group. In other words, how many extreme right wing conservatives do we really have in this country? Probably not many.

On the flip side, Move On has 3.2 million members and the ACLU has 550,000 members, so the extreme left isn't very large either. Between these two groups, we're talking 1% of the population.

My point is that the extremes in this country are the ones who get all the air time. Their opinions make headline news. (Case in point, Dobson's remarks against Barak Obama made the front page of CNN all yesterday afternoon.) We really need to shut the extremes up and tune them out. There are compromises that will need to be made no matter whom is made President in November.

While Focus on the Family is worried about the homosexuals in this country and furthering their own agenda, we're not noticing anything else. What about the economy? What about the environment? What about our children's future?

What about making America the country we've been before? The respected world leader? What about securing our future to continue being a beacon of light in a world gone wrong?

Oh, well, what do I know?

God Bless

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

James Dobson Needs to Read Both the Bible AND the Constitution

As you can imagine, I don't particularly care for James Dobson. I've never heard the man make one statement with which I agree and I think he has a very limited view on God and Jesus that belongs back in the stone age. Further, I believe that Dobson, his Focus on the Family and other right-wing Christian groups have such a limited knowledge of that which is good for the country that they miss the big picture, which is why they supported George W. Bush.

That said, Dobson came out today and made comments about a speech Barack Obama made in
You read that right. In order to find a statement that he can jump on and use as a reason good Christian people shouldn't vote for Obama, Dobson had to reach back into 2006.

Here's what Obama said:

"Which passages of scripture should guide our public policy? Should we go with Leviticus, which suggests slavery is OK and that eating shellfish is an abomination? Or we could go with Deuteronomy, which suggests stoning your child if he strays from the faith? Or should we just stick to the Sermon on the Mount?

"So before we get carried away, let's read our Bible now. Folks haven't been reading their Bible." -- quoted from CNN.

He said this in a speech in front of the Christian group Call to Renewal. Nothing he said was wrong or even unreasonable. If we take the Bible literally, as evangelical Christians wish us to do, then we have to take the WHOLE Bible and not just the parts we want.

However; James Dobson said (and I'm quoting from the
CNN news article) "Obama should not be referencing antiquated dietary codes and passages from the Old Testament that are no longer relevant to the teachings of the New Testament." I find that humorous since Focus on the Family is against gay marriage based on Old Testament beliefs (before you write, I don't believe St. Paul mentioned gays. The passage was about men loving boys, which is sick.).

In closing, I'd like to just say that this just shows that the right wing Christians are running scared. Someone who doesn't pander to them just might be elected President and their outdated views of the Bible and a just society might die with this election. The tide is turning against them and they now just have to ruffle feathers so we don't forget that they're there.

God Bless

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Testing Amazon Video

This seemed like a way to easily post a video of Alex with an ad. So, I'm testing out Amazon's video widgets. Tell me what you think.

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Music, Music, Music

Amazon now has MP3 music widgets -- so I'm testing this out here. Here's a list of some of my favorite songs.

If you enjoy any of them, please consider buying them via Amazon. It helps me pay the bills.

Thanks for stopping by today!

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Monday, June 23, 2008

George Carlin

On my way into work this morning, I heard the news that George Carlin passed away yesterday from a heart attack.  I can't tell you how bummed I am.  I love George Carlin and quote him often -- even when I didn't realize it was him I was quoting!  (Case in point:  Everyone who drives slower than me is a moron and everyone who drives faster is a manaic.  I always thought I came up with that, but it was Carlin.)

I remember listening to Class Clown when I was around 15 or 16.  The album changed my life and made me a Carlin fan.  I loved watching him in anything he chose to do -- stand up, movies or TV. 

He will be truly missed.

God Bless

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Sunday, June 22, 2008

Law & Order

I know that there are a lot more things to think about in the world than a Dick Wolf TV show, but sometimes your mind just wants to deal with fluff.

Why is it that on the other two L&O's, the person in charge (PID) holds the rank of Captain, but on the original show the PID is only a Lieutenant -- the only show that has a woman as the PID I might add? Is this an oversite? Isn't it time to promote Lieutenant Van Buren to Captian?

Just a thought.

God bless

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

E-Bay and Elvis' Former Home

I know I haven't been around much in the last couple of months, but we've been dealing with some family issues -- illness, death and another illness -- then da boys' birthday and, finally, I was out of town (in Pittsburgh) on business.  So, I know that my first post back should be about something more important than Elvis Presley's old house, but it isn't.

The story in a nutshell is that the owners of Elvis' first Memphis home auctioned it on E-Bay.  The winning bid was under a million dollars and they reneged on the deal.  The winning bidder sued them and lost.  (See full story here)  "On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Jon McCalla ruled that the eBay auction was more of an advertising vehicle than a binding sale."  Really?

I've purchased things on E-Bay, not a lot -- just stuff here and there -- and I seem to recall that warning that my bid is legally binding.  I would assume on the flipside that the seller's bid is also legally binding.  Hasn't Judge McCalla just taken the legally binding out of all of E-Bay's auctions?  Doesn't this mean that I as the buyer can say, "Oh, I just thought it was advertising" ?  And, the seller can do the same?

I don't understand how it can be thought that if you put a home up for sale on E-Bay, that it is any different than selling it in the paper.

Of course, if this was my home or yours, no one would give a rat's butt about the case, but it is Elvis' former home and that makes all the difference, I guess.

God Bless. 

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