Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Hello 2000teens!


As we leave the first decade of the 2000's and enter into the second, its important to look back at the significant events of the last 10 years (no particular order). Feel free to continue the list for any items I missed. Happy New Year (and decade)! - HB

1. Y2k bug and the end of the world didn't happen.
2. Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter changing the way we communicate
3. Amazon changing the way we shop
4. MP3's and Napster changing the way we listen and share music
5. Google and Wikipedia changing the way we find and share information (not to mention helping lead to the death of the encyclopedia and phone book)
6. Blogs, blogs, and more blogs
7. GPS devices becoming commonplace and replacing maps
8. Cell phones becoming the norm (and landlines becoming old-fashioned)
9. iPhones revolutionizing cell phones
10. iPods/iTunes revolutionizing the way we listen, store, and purchase music
11. Wii revolutionizing gaming
12. 9/11 attacks and fall of the World Trade Center Towers
13. Lots of new airline rules including everything liquid in the little baggie rule
14. Hurricane Katrina and the flooding of New Orleans
15. Pluto downgraded, no longer a planet
16. Invention of hybrid cars
17. Discovery of water on Mars
18. Global warming
19. Saddam Hussein captured and executed
20. Celebrity deaths: Paul Newman, Charlton Heston, Steve Irwin, Christopher Reeve, Brittany Murphy, Heath Ledger, Bill Mays, John Ritter, Anna Nicole Smith, Ronald Regan, Michael Jackson
21. Martha Stewart arrested, convicted, and sent to prison for insider trading
22. Election of first African American president, Barack Obama

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Government inefficiencies...Brett brought it up



I just got a letter from the IRS, below are the contents:

1. Letter from the IRS telling me that I need to submit form 941X, which the letter says is enclosed. (its an addendum form to report additional income earned after you've filed taxes, its a long boring story and will probably involve me getting angry while retelling it so I'll spare you)

2. A pink notice that says "We're listening to you! You've told us that you don't need us to mail forms and publications to you because they are available from other sources and because it wastes tax dollars."

3. The same notice as above, but in Spanish.

4. A letter about disaster relief with a hotline number to call if you can't pay your taxes. The reverse side is in Spanish.

5. A blank voucher, just in case I want to mail in any money. None is owed, and nothing is mentioned in the letter about any outstanding taxes/interest, but you never know when you might want to mail in money to the IRS.

6. A return envelope (no postage of course).

7. See #1. That's right, a duplicate copy.

So obviously I have a few comments about this, which I will letter to avoid confusion.

a. This letter is coming 6 months after I have already paid some additional taxes, interest on those late taxes, and already talked back and forth with the IRS. I have a letter from the IRS that says everything is resolved, dated 6 months ago. Perhaps the 941X is a handled by a different department....

b. If they aren't putting the forms in with the letters then why does the letter still refer to an enclosed form and list the same form on the list of enclosures? Or is it a different department that is responsible for updating the generic letters about submitting forms and you know, they just don't have the funding right now to have someone go through and update their letters with the correct information. Confused yet? Imagine how people who work at the IRS must feel.

c. I'm glad the IRS is so eager to pat themselves on the back about listening to taxpayers, but I'm pretty sure that when taxpayers told the IRS "stop mailing me so much crap", they didn't just mean the IRS forms. I mean did they really get feedback from people who said "I really enjoy exchanging correspondence with you through the US Postal Service, but arggghhh, stop mailing me all these forms, I just want the letters, blank return envelope with no postage, and a couple of unrelated notices in multiple languages, please."

d. Which brings me to my next point, I really appreciate how the IRS has saved so much taxpayer money by not including the IRS forms with the letter. Luckily this was perfect timing, because in a different department the "multiple notices in multiple languages on pink paper about not sending forms with the letters" campaign is really ramping up and they need all of the tax dollars they can get their hands on to pay for this great informational campaign.

e. Why is the notice pink? And how much extra do you think that cost us?

f. Which brings me to my next point, why does the IRS even reference "saving taxpayer money?" Are you telling me that at the end of the year the IRS is going to come out with an announcement and say "Due to a huge savings by not including forms with out letters, we have saved 3.6 billion dollars, which we are going to refund to the taxpayers!!! Of course keep in mind that you will need to report this as additional income and pay taxes on it, but don't worry, we'll mail you a letter concerning it."

g. Needless to say, I may have a few other suggestions for how to "save taxpayer money."

Monday, December 21, 2009

Guest Post: 'Crazy People'


Guest Post by Sarah: "Crazy People"

I am so tired of hearing stories about crazy parents. For example, the mother who drown her children by pushing her car into a lake while the kids are strapped in the car seat, the parents who sold their 5 year girl to a prostitution ring, the mother that killed her baby and at its fingers and toes, and the latest, the parents that put 42 two inches nails into their 2 year olds body. Stories like these go on and on. Not only do I get upset with the parents for being bonkers, but I get really upset with our justice system.

All of these parents are arrested, put on trial, and usually plea insanity, drug abuse, or just guilty. Then they receive a sentence of life in prison or something, but rarely death. WHY?! Why do we waste our tax dollars and prison cells for these people?! They are a waste and I don’t understand why we feel we should be keeping then around. If they are indeed crazy, what good are they? Our country and planet is, or is becoming, over populated as it is. What is one less crazy in the world?

I understand that some people feel this is uncaring or inhumane to just say “get rid of them”/”. But I am sorry; there comes a point where enough is enough. They harmed a child that cannot defend themselves, and even worse they were their own children. I can even somewhat understand the post partum argument by the mother that drown three of her children and beat the other one to death with a rock to the head. I think post partum is a real issue and one that mothers and fathers need to be very aware of. But if a doctor sits you down and tells you and your husband that you have severe post partum after your third child and having a fourth child would be very dangerous maybe you shouldn’t have that fourth child.

For the record, I am not against crazy people or wish harm on them. I am just against crazy people that cause harm to children and/or people. For example, there is a homeless man that walks around downtown and talks to signs. I have no problem with him, and he seems to really enjoy his life. That is great! But if he tries to kill me or someone else over a sign or something I will have issues.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Scare Tactics


So Obama did an interview with Gibson on ABC and below is what he "guaranteed" would happen if Congress doesn't pass the health care bill:

- Your premiums will go up
- Your employers are going to load up more cost on you
- Potentially your employers are going to drop you from coverage because they can't afford a 25-30% increase in health care costs
- The federal government will go bankrupt if nothing is done to fix Medicare and Medicaid

Incredible. This is the same guy who has been accusing the Republicans of using scare tactics and fear mongering. Am I missing something? Has this guy listened to himself lately? The federal government will go bankrupt? Everyone is going to get dropped from their health care plans, costs are going to sky rocket, and everyone is going to die? Yeah, those aren't scare tactics, he is just trying to get the truth out there about his health care bill and if you disagree, I'm sure the White House truth commission will be happy to clear it up for you.

I think the President is confusing the results of what will happen if we do pass this health care bill. Why are costs and premiums going to skyrocket over night if we don't pass this? Why are all of these employers going to suddenly be unable to afford to cover their employees because we didn't pass this bill? If we don't pass this piece of garbage then nothing changes, everything stays as it is now. Which I give you, is not perfect, but it seems a lot better the way it is now than how they are proposing it.

I have a better question. If Medicare and Medicaid suck so bad and are on the verge of collapse, then why are Congress and the White House proposing a massive expansion of these programs to the uninsured? Aren't they just magnifying the problem and making it worse? Or is throwing lots of new enrollees and money at the problem going to fix all of the MediScare problems?

Once again, I am forced to look like a jerk and say what most people are thinking. I like my health care. Sure, I think there are things that can be improved, but lets tackle them one by one and if they make sense to everyone then they will pass. I personally would like to see a single-payer system that isn't tied to where you work. They say generation Y people will change jobs at least 7 times during their career. Our generations doesn't work for the same company our whole life like our parents did so why does it make sense for our health insurance to be tied to our employer? I, like most people, would rather be paid more and then choose my own plan through whatever provider I want in the free market, but thats just the silly capitalist in me. Or how about doing something about all of the frivolous lawsuits that drive up doctors' malpractice insurance...oh that's right, most politicians are also lawyers so of course we can't do anything about that. Or what about doing something about the corruption and under-the-table deals in the pharmaceutical industry...oh that's right, they contribute a lot of dollars to politicians' fundraising war chests through their lobbying groups so I guess that one is off limits too. Ok, what if we enroll more people into a bankrupt, low quality of care system and then cut the reimbursement amount to doctors and then make it a crime for people to not have insurance and then tax the upper class 50% of their income...ok now I think we are getting somewhere.

Another thing I don't understand is, if most people (as in the majority) are reasonably satisfied with their health care then why are we revamping the whole system? I have some bad news for you bleeding heart idealists out there, many of the people out there who are uninsured, aren't victims of capitalism. How many people do you think are so-called "uninsured" can't afford coverage vs. choose not to buy coverage? My point being that people are stupid and as a result make stupid decisions in life. They choose to buy the latest cell phone, take on a fat new car payment, eat out every meal, but can't seem to make room in their budgets for health insurance - but of course not because they are irresponsible, but because the costs are too high, right? Wrong, these people don't buy it because they are banking on not getting sick, which they inevitably do. And then they walk into their neighborhood emergency room and get free treatment anyway, which of course is all funded by my property taxes (county taxes).

Insurance is not expensive, there I said it. And I know many people will disagree because of all the stuff you hear on the news, but go do the research yourself. Go look at sites like ehealthinsurance.com that compare multiple companies and you'll see...

You can get an 80/20 PPO low deductible plan with vision and dental for $230/month. That's less than most people's care payments and I would argue you get a lot more back from it than you do from your car. I chose to compare it to a car payment because people are ridiculous. How is it some people can afford a $500/month car payment, but can't afford $230/month in insurance?

For lower income people, you can get a high deductible plan for as little as $50/month. But then of course you would have to have a basic understanding of the original intention of insurance. Insurance is not to pay for you to go to the doctor every week. The point of insurance in all industries is to protect you against the catastrophic and unexpected events in your life. Its for when you get sick and you need major medical help, you will have a safety net to help you pay for it. So don't give me any of this crap about high deductible plans being worthless. If you get cancer, yes its going to suck to have to pay $5000 out of pocket (and yes, most hospitals and doctors offer payment plans), but its a lot better than getting saddled with a $100k bill. And at only $34/month, why does anyone out there (other than a small percentage of people that are actually poor and homeless) not have insurance?

Look, I'm not heartless. I think we as a society have a duty to take care of those that cannot do it for themeselves. I have no problems giving money to charities and even paying taxes for government programs aimed at that purpose, to help the poor, the hungry, the sick, homeless, disable, and mentally incompetent.

But there is a much larger issue at play here. We are becoming a nanny-state where people don't have to take care of themselves. Free-rides are handed out like candy and laziness is becoming a way of life.

In summary, I'm tired of the Democrats. I am physically exhausted with what they are doing. Its the same theme over and over again. Instead of doing things that encourage hard work they continue to promote a growing sense of entitlement and lack of personal responsibility.

The good news is, we are still a democracy and have the opportunity to vote these bafoons out of office (that is until the White House truth brigade decides that its in our best interest to vote on our behalf). So remember, in the upcoming 2010 elections, just don't vote for a Democrat.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Car Experiment


Cars are the biggest money pit and I'm sick of it. First you have to buy the car, which means either a lot of cash up front or monthly payments for 3-5 years plus interest. Then its regular oil changes, tire rotations, inspections, and registration renewals. Throw on top of that flat tires, engine problems/maintenance, dead batteries, gas, spark plugs, radiator this and that, o2 sensors, side view mirror replacements, windshield cracks, windshield replacements, tail light - lights, car washes, car details, more gas, replacement license plates, optional warranty extensions, frozen emergency break cables, even more gas, and last but not least, bumper stickers (1 political, 1 alumni, 1 funny, and 1 environmental). It all adds up fast and by the time you're done with the car you can easily spend more than what you initially paid for the heap. Not to mention all of the headaches and time spent dealing with the maintenance issues.

So I've decided instead of buying a new car I'm going to try a different approach.

My solution? Disposable cars {insert exciting flashing lights and dramatic sounds here}

Instead of $40k for a 10 year car (cost of a new car + upkeep over its life), I'm going to spend $2,000 every year and just buy a pieces of crap. I do not plan on doing any of the normal maintenance other than feeding it gas. And then when it breaks down on me (hopefully on the one year mark, exactly) then I will call a cab, go to the closest car lot, and buy next year's car.

Above is a picture of a good one to start with, below is the link. I really like this one because I think people will think I'm patriotic, I'll have plenty of room to drive around my friends, and I think its going to look great parked down by the river. The price tag is $1,995 but I'm pretty sure I can get them to throw in TT&L, cab fare, and a can of paint for racing stripes.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Illegal Immigration


I really like how the President keeps saying he is trying to be bi-partisan but the Republicans won't cooperate. What a joke. So basically his definition of bi-partisanship is abandoning what you believe in and agreeing with him? Bi-partisanship should be both sides compromising and meeting in the middle to make a bill pass for the good of the bigger picture. Not just one side giving in to the other. What a hypocrite.

If the President really wants to do something bi-partisan he should take up the illegal immigration issue and pursue amnesty. It seems like both sides could find common ground for the following reasons:

Liberal perspective:
- illegal immigrants should not be forced to work in horrible conditions for unfair wages
- illegal immigrants should make the minimum wage and have all of the same legal rights afforded them that normal citizens do
- illegal immigrants should have open access to health care, education, and other social services without worrying about the INS coming in the middle of the night to take their children away (Nancy Pelosi is a crazy liar)
(Liberals see this as a human rights issue. They don't see these people as criminals who have violated our laws. They won't even refer to these people as illegal aliens anymore, please dude, migrant workers is the preferred nomenclature)

Conservative perspective:
- illegal immigrants should pay into the system instead of just taking from it
- all of the money that illegal immigrants send back to their home countries in the form of under the table wages should be taxed
- stop wasting money on enforcing citizenship inside the US when obviously its not taken seriously by the government - spend the money instead on securing our borders to prevent unauthorized access in the first place
- securing the border is in the interest of national security, and is not just an immigration issue
(Conservatives see this as a national security threat as well as clear disregard for the laws that we all have agreed to live by in this country. If I tried to sneak into and live illegally in China, they would cut off both my feet and ship me home. But not here, no. Lets give every who sneaks in illegally free health care, an education, a driver's license, and hey lets not even make them pay taxes.)

It seems like both parties could please their base constituents and resolve a long-debated issue even if both parties are doing it for different reasons. I just don't think its realistic at this point to think we are going to deport 12-15 million people and have to break up families. So lets get them on the books and get them paying taxes. Enough with companies taking advantage of this cheap labor with under the table cash payments (restaurants, landscapers, construction industry, etc...). And enough with people entering this country without permission, enjoying most of our social services (education, hospital, etc...) and not giving anything back into the system.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Guest Post: 'Global What?'



Guest Post by Adam: 'Global What?'

Global What?




You have to admit that the tag has changed. at first it was about global warming. and now that that's no longer convenient or accurate, because things like the above links keep happening, the tag-line has changed to "climate change" or the more youth-friendly "global weirding".

its very convenient to say that everything, hot and cold, is attributable to CO2 emissions, because then you really don't need science to back anything at all. its the infallible argument to say that everything that happens to the earth is the fault of the Republicans...so long as you are not a Republican.

i don't consider myself a Republican, so i'm not really trying to make this political. but, the issue truly is political, so I think its unavoidable. the term "climate change denier" is a very clever title indeed. similar to the pro-life/pro-choice titles. i'm impressed by the spin-doctors’ ability to create quips that force the other side to define themselves as evil or just dumb.

the climate change issue truly did start off as "global warming". and all of the liberals were up in arms that CO2 emissions were melting the planet. they cried "wolf" and told us that the sky was falling. then, it got cold...it snowed during global warming conventions, we had the coldest winters in years, and ski resorts started opening up earlier. so, clearly, there was no global warming. so, the term was shifted. now, CO2 emissions are still the devil, but for different reasons. now they are effectuating climate change, not global warming.

if the scientists had got their ducks in a row the first time around, and instead of claiming that CO2 was causing global warming, they actually claimed what they now believe is happening, we'd give them a lot more credibility. as it stands, they debunked themselves, by being a bunch of Chicken Littles and Boys Who Cried "Wolves".

Nobody is going to listen to you if you are always screaming and trying to justify your position through fear or sensationalist claims. and the "climate change deniers", are not really denying climate change, they are simply disclaiming these scientists' methods of informing us that what we're doing is wrong. we can all see thermometers and the numbers on them. whats up for debate is not whether the temperatures (aka climate) is changing. what is up for debate is why it is doing so. and the "scientists" shot themselves in the foot by speaking too soon. they told us that what we were doing was causing global warming. then, they did an about face when the data wasn't on their side. that's not how science works. unless its a theory, science is absolute. and these guys started firing their guns way too early. now, their out there getting eaten by wolves and finding pieces of the sky in their soup.

I don't doubt that pollution is bad. I don't like it and want to preserve nature. But i can't get on board with "scientists" who are always making extreme claims just to get people scared enough to get on their side. because as soon as it snows, i'm there to laugh at those "scientists" for telling me that my hairspray was melting the earth. and that's why i send those links out. so that we can all have a good laugh at the "Scientists Who Cried Warm".

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

More Troops???


Big mistake....why would we send another 30k troops to that part of the world? We are fighting a loosing battle and this situation is quickly becoming similar to Vietnam. Obama is my man, but he is trying way too hard to appease both sides. Send more troops, pull some out, stay another 30 days, stay another 30 years, it doesn't matter. We cannot win this war. You can't fight people who hide in caves and who blend in with civilians. One day they are selling fruit in the market and the next they are blowing up your Humvee. We need to pull out all of the troops as soon as possible and leave that part of the world. There is nothing more that we can hope to accomplish in those two countries except the loss of more American lives.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Lunch Break: Part 3


Sorry for the delay.

16. I get to the county tax office, walk into the building, and it is complete and total mayhem. If you saw last week's episode of Parks and Recreation, its just like the 4th floor of their building. People waiting in line to pay traffic tickets, coming in and out of the court room, screaming babies, prostitutes everywhere, people selling "clean" urine, vending machines, vct floors that always look dirty no matter how many times they've been cleaned, and lots of tattoos and facial/body hair everywhere on everyone. Is it a federal law that in all government building restrooms: urinals have to hang off the wall with a slow trickle of water coming from the pipes (not enough to merit being fixed of course, just enough to cover the floor of the bathroom in a thin layer of plumbing water and 2-ply), the bathrooms have to be scented with human filth, the stall doors have not be non-existent or hanging half-off the hinges, soap and towel dispensers are always empty, and the sink countertops always have unidentifiable stains on them? No, I'm not describing the Velvet Melvin, its your local government office. But don't worry, I'm sure when government takes over health care those offices and clinics will be run much better than all of the other government offices.

17. So I find the department I need and of course there is a line. If there is one thing you can always count on at a government office, its a line. So I take my place in the long line of despair and hopelessness that is the change of title and registration line. As a side note, every other country calls this a que and they have them everywhere for everything. Call it a que, call it a line, but standing in front of and behind a bunch of other smelly people in a maze of velvet ropes is inhuman and horrible. So once again, in true government office style, let me describe the awesome system they have at this office:

a. 20 check out counters, only 10 are manned (or womaned). All of them are behind glass windows probably to protect them from people like me who they know are going to snap one day. (perhaps they should have saved the money from building 10 extra empty counters/windows and put some more money into their restroom rennovations)

b. 1 person is standing in the lobby directing traffic (even though there is only 1 maze, I mean line, I mean que.). If you remember, the post office use to have a traffic direction person in their lobbies, that was until they got to the point of bankrupty due to....oh what was it, what was the reason the post office sucks, oh yeah now I remember, because they are government run and inefficient. Don't worry, health care will be better.

c. I soon realize why this person is directing traffic. Apparently this department handles registration renewals and title changes. And they have arbitrarily allotted 6 of the windows to registration and 4 to title changes, but keep in mind that the work area, people, and computers are all continuous, there is no separation and each of the employees can do either service. So every 5 minutes or so, this lady undoes the maze/line/que rope and tells whoever is there for registration renewal to go to one of the 6 windows - kind of like a 10 items or less express lane. Whereas they are making the rest of us saps wait in this other line with less employees.

d. You might be thinking, well that doesn't sound like such a bad idea. It works out pretty well at the grocery store. Well here is the kicker. When all of the people in line that were there for registration are done checking out, they don't open up the other 6 windows to the change of title customers, they just sit there with empty windows and blank stares. And at one point, someone else in line had the nerve to ask the traffic direction lady if he could use that window and she says "Do you need to renew your registration?" and he says "no, I have a title change" and she replies with "sir....ahrgedudfydsabvg (sighs loudly)....I'm trying to keep this side clear for registration customers" At this point the 20 or so people in line all look around at each other and at the empty room, a little confused because we are the only customers in the room and there are no other registration customers. About that time, I look up and notice that all 4 sides of this room are covered with their latest ad campaign "Save time, renew online!" So someone please explain to me why they dedicate an express lane to people who haven't figured out how to renew their registration online? I was renewing my vehicle registration online before the internet was even invented! How do they expect to encourage people to do that if they give them express service by coming in person? Not to mention, I did not have the option of a title change online, I had to come in person so shouldn't they give people like me priority?

18. Another side note, have you ever noticed that people who work at government offices always have a huge giaganticmongo thermos of water on their desk? Government office work must be one of the top 5 most dehydrating jobs in the world.

19. So I get closer to the front of the line and overhear part of the conversation between check out lady 3 and customer 18.
C18: "I need registration/title on 3 vehicles, here is the first one"
CO3: "sir, this is for a motorcycle, but you don't have a motorcycle license"
C18: "oh ok, right, well I'm not planning on riding it"
CO3: "sorry sir, I can't give it to you without a motorcycle license"
C18: "oh ok, right, well ok here you go, here is the second one"
CO3: "sir, this is also for a motorcycle"
C18: "you can't do this one either? ok fine, here is the third one"
CO3: "sir, I cannot do it for any motorcycles until you have a license, go get your license and then you can come back"

You can see why this maze was taking me so long.

20. I get even closer and this is what I hear
CO2: "Ok sir, that will be $87.54"
C19: "Here you go"
CO2: "No sir, we don't take credit card, cash or checks only"
C19: "Oh man, I don't have cash or check"
CO2: "Sir, there is an ATM in the lobby, I'll wait" (just to the left of the guy selling urine)

At this point I'm thinking, what an idiot! There are signs up everywhere that say cash or check only and while I think its stupid and they should accept credit card, there are clearly posted signs on every check out window. And now this guy is holding up the entire maze while he runs to the ATM, what a jerk. He finally comes back, pays, and is gone. Finally!!! my turn!!!

21. I'm ready, I have my insurance, my DL, the title, the application for new title, the title transfer form, and the $10 cash gift tax fee. I get to the window, hand her my stuff, and think to myself "I can't believe how long this took, I'm going to be out of here in no time and show all the rest of these people how ridiculous and slow they are!"
CO1: "Ok, sir, that will be $53.92."
Me: "Uhhhh.....but the form says $10??" (at this point, I sighed, but it may or may not have sounded like a wimper)
Co1: "taxes, fees, service charge, urine tax, etc....."
Me: And of course, what are the next words that come out of my mouth? "Do you accept credit card?" hahahaha - I'm such a idiot
CO1: "Sir, there is an ATM in the lobby, I'll wait" (just to the left of the guy selling urine)

22. Moral(s) of the story:

a. I'm too judgemental, I'm no better than anyone else.
b. Even though every government office that I have ever been to is completely disgusting, inefficient, and frustrating, government-run healthcare is going to iron out all of those wrinkles and be really awesome. This way to the express line for all customers needing blood work or your blood pressure checked, we have 250 doctors/nurses ready to help you. This way to the normal line for anyone with cancer, diabetes, or any other serious disease, we have 1 person ready to assist you, assuming you ever make it to the front of the line. By the way, cash or check only.
c. Its fun to call lines, mazes. But stupid to call them ques.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Lunch Break: Part 2


So I'm on the way to the county tax office to get my car title transferred...

7. I'm about a block away from the tax office when I remember that I never got the form notarized. So I call my personal on-call public notary Keith, but no answer.

8. I do a Uey and pull into a Bank of something or other. I go inside and ask the first bank employee I see "Excuse me, is there is a public notary here?" She laughs out loud in my face and says " Honey there are notaries all over this place!!! haha, giggle, giggle" but with a tone of voice that says, "I love to laugh, hahahaha, loud and long and clear, I love to laugh, hahahaha, its getting worse every year!" So I then ask her if she is a notary and she gets very serious and says "No, maybe one of them over there is" and points to the desks on the other side of the bank. I confusedly walk to the other side, inquire about my form, and am abruptly and snobbishly informed that "the bank only notarizes documents for our banking customers". I briefly consider asking to open an account, but decide against it.
9. I leave the bank and drive to the nearest Randalls, which has a Wells Fargo, of which I am a proud card-carrying member. I know for sure that they will take care of me. I go inside and the teller informs me that I may have to wait 5 minutes for the manager to get back. See then comes back out and says that he is not coming back and just stares at me. So I say "so you can't notarize this for me?" and she says, "hes not coming back". She then says, as if I am stupid "you can go to any bank and get it notarized." I look up at their sign above her head and back at her and say "I've been to like 30 (yes, I'm a liar) places and they all tell me that they'll only notarize things for their customers so I came to my bank and you guys can't do it either." She then says "well we notarize for anyone that walks in" but "hes not coming back". I am too exhausted (its getting close to my bewitching hour 4pm) to wonder who "he" is or why he isn't coming back or why only managers in banks are the public notaries as if stamping and signing something requires a professional degree. So I hang my head in defeat and walk outside. I then look up and realize that this parking lot has been put here my God. In the same parking lot there is also a freestanding Amegy (or maybe Chase) and Wamu (or maybe a Wachovia, whats the difference).

10. I walk to the Chase first and some lady almost tackles me "welcome to Chase, we are so glad you are here, what can we do to make sure you have an excellent experience today, please tell me, by the way my name is Susan, and I'll be your personal banking gui...." I interrupt, "I just need this form notarized." She dejectedly replies "Oh, ok. Well let me find out." She then asks a guy behind the counter who looks the manager and he stares at me across the room as if I have somehow offended the banking establishment by asking for a public notary. I hear him say "Well, that would either be Raul (he points at a guy behind a desk or his helping some disgruntled lady) or, myself , " (he sneers this last part out with this quality of complete and total snobby smugness as if a public notary is in line behind speaker of the house in the chain of command) "but I am busy." He goes on glaring at me while explaining the merits of 0's with slashes to avoid confusion with o's to his tellers. I don't know if that is really what he was saying, but it was probably some stupid banking stuff like that. So I take a seat in the lobby and wait.
11. And wait.

12. Finally crazy disgruntled lady gets done complaining to banker notary man about the delay of her check getting cashed and leaves. I then notice that there has been an older man (not feel sorry for him old man, old man like in the prime of his creepiness probably has a record old man) wondering around the lobby and who is apparently in line in front of me!!!!!!! Dammit, where is Susan my personal banking guide when I need her! So this guy sits down and I can overhear the whole thing. First order of business is ordering checks. I would like to point out that this can be done by phone, mail, or over the internet but this guy has opted for the walk into a branch and waste people's time option. I put this on par with someone writing a check at the grocery store instead of using their debit card. This takes a while. They finally get the details straight and I'm getting excited. The guy stretches, stands up, and the bank rep. says "well is there anything else I can help you with today sir?" NO, NO, NO. And the guy says "well yes, actually there is. Do you know how to set up my account to be used over the computer on the internet." I want to rip what hair I have left our of my skull. There is no way this guy 1. uses a computer and 2. knows how to get past AOL's homepage. So they (we) painfully go through the online account access setup, which I might add, can be done online. I think there should be 1 prereq. to having online access to your bank account, if you can set it up online then you can use it online. If you can't figure out how to set it up then why the hell do you think you are going to need to access it? But this was nothing compared to my breaking point... The bank rep turns the keyboard towards the man and says "ok sir, I just need you to type in an 8 digit password made of numbers and letters." The man stretches again and says "oh man, whewhhh, oh man. think, just think. you're going to have to give me a second to think about." I want to scream "ahole334, lets just get on with it!" They then enter into their own starring match and the bank notary guy says "you can always change it later" and the guy says "would I have to come back here to do that?" "No sir, you can do it once you access your account." and old man replies "well if I don't know the password how can I get access to change it later".....it went back and forth like this for a while. At one point, I may or may not have laughed out loud in utter frustration. When old man asked bank rep notary man what he thought a good password would be, I finally just got up and left. That's right, and I didn't even tell my personal banking guide Susan goodbye.

13. I walk straight to the next bank, Wamuchovia of America stick my head in the lobby and say "is there a public notary here? " young, long haired, hippie in a suit teller says "oh yes sir". So I walk into the lobby and he then informs me "but shes on the phone and isn't going to be off for a really long time." I say "how long?". He says "really long." I leave.

14. As I am walking back to my car I look up and see the UPS' gang's store across the street and it hits men, they probably have a damn notary there. I drive across the street, go inside, and turns out the old lady is a notary. She gets her book and stamp out and is writing down my information. As she works I think to myself "maybe I was too hard on this place, they mailed my packages, and now they are helping me out with this notary thi...." "that will be $6.00". $6.00!!!! $6.00 to stamp my paper saying that my name matches my ID!!!? I'm definitely going to replace Keith for this one, what an a-clown. I swear that the guy is laughing at me as he is ringing me up....man do I hate this gang and this place.

15. So its finally off to the county tax office...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Lunch Break: Part 1


I needed to run some errands today...it wasn't easy, this is how it began...

1. I left work on my lunch break to go mail some packages and take care of transferring the title on my 4Runner. (Yes, I understand that my whole day is like a lunch break because I work for myself. And yes, I also know that 2pm is a little late for a lunch break. And yes, I also think its funny that I don't roll into work until 10 and then break for lunch at 2, and then check out at 4 because I'm exhausted.

2. So I go to this UPS store near my work so I can ship a few packages. I walk in and there is a 70 year old women (but not the nice kind of old woman, the know-it-all rude kind of old woman) sorting mail and making all kinds of grunting noises while there are 3 younger guy employees just sitting there talking and staring at me as I walk in. I stand there awkwardly for a second before asking if they can mail some stuff for me. They all sigh in unison and then one guy who obviously hates his life and chosen line of work trudges over to me and tries to help me.

3. He asks if I want to send it UPS or USPS, I ask which is cheaper, he says he has no idea, and we stare at each other for a while, and then he gives in and goes to check. Then another guy asks me if what I'm sending in the first package has any value. I say no, they're just drawings and he says "ok...", but with the tone of voice that says he doesn't believe me that they don't have any value and that I should rethink my answer.

While I'm second guessing on whether or not these things that I can easily reprint and have no value, have value, the old lady, who apparently only overhears part of the conversation tells me "you can't insure paper, " and we then to proceed to have a stare down. I then say "ok..." but with the tone of voice that says "I don't care, because I already said that I didn't need to insure them and it was your a-clown employee that suggested otherwise with his question and condescending follow-up response" (and yes I know its age-discriminatory to assume that the younger guys in the story work for the old lady, especially since they were the ones sitting around while she was working). So I say "I already told him that they don't have any value", but right after I say it I start feeling really bad, not because I'm talking back to some old lady who can't hear good no more, but because I just said that these drawings that I've spent months on have no value. She then says "ok, well, umphfg, bbbrrrhhhu..." but with the tone of voice that says "you don't have to be so rude sonny - back in my day, had a youngin' spoken to an elder like that, they would have gotten a cane across their backside and been taught a lesson"

4. The guy then comes back with the pricing difference and it turns out UPS is more expensive, but only by a little so I do it anyway. Just my little way of sticking it to the Post Office, aka wasteful government program. Go free market capitalism! But the guy looks pissed because he is thinking, then "why the hell did you ask which was cheaper if you were going to go with UPS either way?"

I hand the guy my list of names and addresses for where to send the packages to, and he tells me that I have to use their UPS form so I have to rewrite every single name and address. Once I give it to him, he enters it into the computer (only after conducting a thorough interrogation with me about each and every letter and number on the form) and then throws the form away, I was pissed. I guess my original list wasn't good enough for him (I use words like "list" as if I showed up with a detailed spreadsheet of these items - I really handed him 1 yelllow sticky note, 1 half-folded small note pad sheet (the kind with lines on it) which may or may not have had gum folded and wrapped in the third bottom quarter, and was going to read the third address off a card I had to mail - so maybe the UPS form was a good idea after all).

5. He then prints out the adhesive mailing tags and I notice the address is wrong on one of them (he should have used my original list). While he is reprinting a new tag, one of the other guys (who may have been staring at me this whole time, not sure) asks what is in the other two packages. Not knowing whether he is asking so they can maintain compliance with their no hazardous blah blah blah or because he is going to follow me home later and make me his lady, I fall back to my stare down plan. The truth is that I blanked on what was in them, Cindy had already pre-wrapped both of them, so I thought staring him down would buy me time until I remembered the contents. The others must have noticed this delay because they stopped what they were doing (sorting mail, reprinting new form (should have used my list), and nothing) and stared at me with looks like they might be on the brink of discovering a terrorist plot. I then reach inside the packages and feel them, and remember one, "oh its a GPS" and the lady says "is it in a box?" and I stammer a response "uhhh, yeah. Oh yeah, definitely, of course, haha, hehe, hmm." And then one of the others says "Well how much is it worth?" but in a tone that said, "we don't believe you so we are going to continue asking you questions until you trip up on one of them" or maybe his tone said "sweet, a GPS, I'm going to steal that out of his package later and then use it to find his house and make him my lady". I was scared, somehow they had turned the tables and had gotten the upper hand. I was quickly realizing that I was no match for this UPS gang. I should have been asking questions like "What the hell, what if it wasn't in a box? Are you not allowed to buy insurance on paper or GPS' not in boxes? And you over there, why do you keep grunting? And why are there so many of you here? Who are you people!" Then one of the others said "Well what about the other one?" and the other guy said "Yeah, what about that one!". I reached inside, felt the softness through the package and said "Its a shirt!" (Oh god I hope its a shirt, what if they check and discover I'm a liar and am trying to ship unauthorized socks or underwear??!!)

6. I finished my business and got the hell out of that place as fast as I could. I then headed for the county tax office to get the title transferred on my car...

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Best Scary/Horror Movie List


In no particular order:

1. Rocky Horror Picture Show
2. Scream
3. Psycho
4. Invasion of the Body Snatchers
5. The Birds
6. The Exorcist
7. The Shining
8. Misery
9. Children of the Corn
10. The Ring
11. Blair Witch Project

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Dobama-standard?


Guest Posting by Casey

An excerpt from a Politico article:

"What if Bush had done that?

- A four-hour stop in New Orleans, on his way to a $3 million fundraiser.
- Snubbing the Dalai Lama.
- Signing off on a secret deal with drug makers.
- Freezing out a TV network.
- Doing more fundraisers than the last president. More golf, too.

President Barack Obama has done all of those things — and more. What’s remarkable is what hasn’t happened. These episodes haven’t become metaphors for Obama’s personal and political character — or consuming controversies that sidetracked the rest of his agenda. It’s a sign that the media’s echo chamber can be a funny thing, prone to the vagaries of news judgment, and an illustration that, in politics, context is everything. Conservatives look on with a mix of indignation and amazement and ask: Imagine the fuss if George W. Bush had done these things?
And quickly add, with a hint of jealousy: How does Obama get away with it?
“We have a joke about it. We’re going to start a website: IfBushHadDoneThat.com,” former Bush counselor Ed Gillespie said. “The watchdogs are curled up around his feet, sleeping soundly. ... There are countless examples: some silly, some serious.”

Indeed, Bush got grief for secret meetings with the oil industry, politicizing the White House and spending too much time on his beloved bike. But it’s not just Republicans who notice. Media observers note that the president often gets kid-glove treatment from the press, fellow Democrats and, particularly, interest groups on the left — Bush’s loudest critics, Obama’s biggest backers.

But others say there’s a larger phenomenon at work — in the story line the media wrote about Obama’s presidency. For Bush, the theme was that of a Big Business Republican who rode the family name to the White House, so stories about secret energy meetings and a certain laziness, intellectual and otherwise, fit neatly into the theme, to be replayed over and over again.
Obama’s story line was more positive from the start: historic newcomer coming to shake up Washington. So the negatives that sprung up around Obama — like a sense that he was more flash than substance — track what negative coverage he’s received, captured in a recent “Saturday Night Live” skit that made fun of his lack of accomplishments in office.
“There may well be almost an unconscious effort on the part of the media to give Obama a bit more slack because he is more likable, because he is the first African-American president. That plays into it,” said Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, a political analyst at the University of Southern California.

Democrats find the complaints of Obama “getting a pass” hard to stomach in light of the way the press treated Bush — particularly on the single biggest mistake of his presidency, relying on the faulty intelligence leading up to the war in Iraq. Now, Obama’s aides say, the positive coverage simply reflects the fact that their efforts are succeeding."

Monday, October 26, 2009

Happy, but Fair Halloween


Hambone, Cole, Gorgayga, and all you other liberals out there, this is for you from me and Eric. I hope you have a happy, but fair Halloween.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Riddle Time

You don't have to answer them all to submit an answer, just pick one and go for it.

1. In cubic feet, how much dirt is in a hole 3 feet long, 3 feet deep, and 3 feet wide?

2. A dead man is found in a locked room, hanging from the ceiling 4 ft. above the floor. The room is completely empty, except for a puddle of water below him. How did he die?

3. Two brothers were talking. One said, "I am fed up with living in Birmingham because I have to drive all the time. Why don't we move to London?" His brother replied, "But that would mean that I would have to drive all the time."

4. There is a clothing store in Bartlesville. The owner has devised his own method of pricing items. A vest costs $20, socks cost $25, a tie costs $15 and a blouse costs $30. Using the method, how much would a pair of underwear cost?

5. Dave and Brad, two popular politicians, met at a club to discuss the overthrow of their party leader. They each ordered a vodka on the rocks. Brad downed his and ordered another. He then drank his second in a gulp and decided to wait before he ordered a third. Meanwhile, Dave, who was sipping his drink, suddenly fell forward dead. Both men were setup for an assassination. Why did Dave die and Brad live?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Freedom of Speech has to be Fair


"Gibbs weighed in on the controversy after several top White House advisers have gone on other channels to criticize Fox News' coverage of the administration, dismiss the network as the mouthpiece of the Republican Party and urge other news organizations not to treat Fox News as a legitimate news station. " Gibbs is the WH press secretary.

Fox News is the only media outlet that has conservative shows that openly criticize the Obama administration and their actions. They are obviously only concerned with blocking progress and trying to keep everything the way it has always been.

Right-wingers say that MSNBC, ABC, and some of the other networks are "in love with Obama" or always support him and never criticize him. Well thats because he hasn't done anything justifying criticism. People on Fox only criticize him because either A) he is black, B) he is liberal, or C) he wants to help poor and destitute people which is in direct contradiction with the goals and objectives of the Republican party. While there might be some conservatives with a heart out there, the majority of Republicans only care about one thing, money.

Its time for the government to take a stand. Our government cannot allow organizations like Fox News and Rush Limbaugh to get on air and openly lie about what is going on. They have to be censured in some way so that people don't interpret what they are saying as the facts. Things like the Fairness Doctrine will ensure that both liberal and conservative voices get the exact same air time on the radio and people not in compliance will be punished. This can also oave the way for more fairness on the internet and TV. The only way to have true fairness is for the government to enforce it through controlling who is saying what in the media and on the air.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Jon, Kate, 8, and the people that write about them


I was going to write a blog about Jon and Kate + 8 but while doing some research on Wikipedia I came across the following conversation by a few of the people posting information on Wikipedia, which I found to be more entertaining. I can't believe how obsessed people are over a reality show. Wait, I can't belive how obsessed people are over the wording of a Wikipedia definition about something that happened to the people from a reality show. What is this world coming to?

Also, I think every topic on Wikipedia has the same type of discussion and debate over what should be included. Who are these people and how do they have the time to sit online all day and write definitions and explanations to things. Search for anything on that site, and then click on the dicsussion tab and you will see, oh you will see.

"[edit] Proposed wording for information on Jon's affair
I would like to delete this line: "The couple has denied these allegations, saying the woman Jon left with was a long-time friend.[8][9] " I can't recall Kate ever claiming the woman was a friend of the family. Though I'm sure Jon may have said it. But the line should be removed because both links do not talk about it. One is down and the other has nothing to do with the couple claiming she is a friend. I'll delete unless there is an argument about it. 76.112.196.104 (talk) 14:04, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
Do NOT remove that line. The link that is no longer working is the one that said this. We don't remove information just because the source is defunct (which happens often on internet articles). Instead, we try to find another source that says the same thing. Since it is very clear you have not tried to do so, I will just assume you are trying to put a slant to the section (and, it is clear, the entire article given the other messages you've left). In the meantime, I will begin looking for a new source for that statement. --132 17:14, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
Perhaps you need a refresher on assuming good faith? Just a suggestion. I didn't know it was "very clear" I hadn't attempted. Didn't know you were sitting behind me while I was on the computer today. And from what I can remember, (my memory is terrible btw) the only few comments I made was that having a picture of Jon with a woman is not proof of an affair. And just so we are clear, I despise Kate and think she is exploiting the children. I feel so much better explaining myself to you now. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 76.112.196.104 (talk) 18:23, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
I see why you are so upset now. My comments about not needing a PHd to determine if hitting someone is abuse/assault. I apologize. My wording was overly harsh.
I am no wiki expert, but would assume that if the link is bad (one is bad and the other does not talk about the "couple" admitting she is a friend) and we have no other links to verify it, it should be removed. By all means, add it back when you do find the source. That's what wiki is all about and why it changes every split second to reflect the most accurate information. 76.112.196.104 (talk) 18:34, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
Sorry if I was a little blunt or assuming in my message. It has nothing to do with not assuming good faith and everything to do with the fact that this page gets spammed like nobody's business by dozens of anon editors trying to put their particular slant on things. When you came in, noted a defunct link within a stale topic, didn't bother to find a replacement, suggested full-scale removal instead of rewording or finding a new source, and brought up irrelevant issues in other stale topics, it's pretty much the only logical conclusion to come to.
No, if you find a statement that is sourced, but may be iffy due to the source being defunct or what-have-you, you should add a {{fact}} tag and/or try to find a replacement source. If you add the tag and, after a few days, a new source isn't found, then you remove it, noting in the edit summary that a new source hadn't been found. Since you can't edit the article due to its protection and did neither, but brought it up here and caught my attention, I went to find a replacement. It took me, quite literally, five seconds to find a replacement source. --132 00:20, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
Maybe it's just me, but I still do not see in either of those sources where Kate claims it was a family friend. I see Jon says that (of course) but not Kate. And certainly not as a "couple" denouncing it. 76.112.196.104 (talk) 16:07, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
Hello? Is this thing on? Your sources DO NOT state the affair was denounced as a couple. 76.112.196.104 (talk) 14:07, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
Because I believe there is now a general consensus, with wikiwikid, KASchmidt, myself, VegaDark, Honeymane, and several other editors moving for inclusion, having stated their grounds, in accordance with the common interpretation of the rules, and having listed a number of reliable sources, and with only SCjessey still being flatly against inclusion of the information, with 13 seeming to have objected mainly to wording and citation issues and WP:Crystal, it should come in."

This is only part of it (yes there is more), the whole conversation is posted here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Jon_&_Kate_Plus_8

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Poll

sorry, forgot to add the poll

Peace Prize



I don't think its right how people have been criticizing Obama for winning the Peace Prize. Contrary to what the Obama-haters say, Obama wining the Nobel Peace Prize is a good thing.

Positive
1. It brings positive attention to our country after many years of failed foreign diplomacy during the Bush years.
2. It rewards the kinds of peaceful thoughts and intentions that Obama has started and encourages our country to continue moving forward with the same types of actions.
3. It also gives our country more leverage when we try and negotiate with the Iranians and N. Koreans over their nuclear weapons. If the world assumes we are doing this to help encourage a nuclear-free world instead of just trying to maintain our status as the only super-power then they are more likely to support our efforts.

Negative
1. I do agree it was a little early. And perhaps next year would have been more appropriate. But Obama did a good job of being humble when accepting it.
2. The people who give the awards have their own political motives for giving it to Obama but what do we care?
3. We look kind of hypocritical getting a peace award while we are fighting wars in 2 different countries. And on the brink of war with a few more.


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is this hting on?

Blog

Since I flaked out and don't have time to satisfy the masses, someone has stepped forward and volunteered to do posts on a regular basis. Their only requirement is that they remain anonymous.

I can still post your guest posts that you send me and will even try and post a few of my own. Don't bother asking me who this person is, they don't want you to know.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

And so it continues...



Funny cartoon...

Alright, let's get something straight. I am not deaf. I hear, listen, and process what Obama and all of these Dems at the town hall meetings are saying about health care and their plans. Once again, it is not what they are saying, but the eventualities I think will come from their actions that disturbs me. And I am not alone on this.

For example, Obama has said numerous times that he will not take away private insurance and if you have coverage and you like it, then you can keep it. Well that's great, exactly what we all want to hear, right? Wrong. I'm not disagreeing with his statement. I'm disagreeing with what I and lots of other people perceive to be the start of a chain of events that will lead to the destruction of private insurance. How can private insurance compete with a government plan who can control costs? Better yet, why would a company opt to pay for health insurance for its employees when they could cut everyone loose and let them use the government plan that will be coming out of their taxes anyway? In my opinion, there is no incentive for companies to keep their current group plans that cost them millions of dollars each year when they could dump those and let their employees fend for themselves. So, I like the promise Obama is making, but I don't think he can keep it.

Secondly, there is all of this talk about the death panels. Obama and the Dems say that the medical advisory boards would be there only to evaluate and weigh cost vs. results ratios and their role isn't to prevent Grandma from getting the treatment she needs later in life. While I appreciate the analogy and the concern for my Grandmother (which is the example they continue to use I guess because it plays well in soundbites), I don't see how the result of a panel like that is going to do anything but result in denying elderly people from getting the care they need. I understand they are saying that is not their intention, but I think inevitably the plan is headed that direction regardless of their intentions. The reality is that it is not cost effective to give cancer treatment to an 80 year old person because they are nearing the end of their life anyway. I think most people would agree that when it comes to medical care for your friends and family, cost is not really what you're most concerned about. So regardless of their intentions, if you put into place a national medical advisory board, you have then built into place the infrastructure and the possibility for denial of care to anyone deemed not worthy of living. The insurance companies already do this to a certain degree, but this plan is talking about doing it on a much larger scale.

Thirdly, apparently Obama and the Dems have uncovered "huge" wasteful practices in Medicare that could save us 1.8 billion dollars. That's great. So why don't be go ahead and pass the Medicare reform bill on its own if everyone agrees that its going to save us money and not change any of the care given? Why do those savings have to be packaged with a larger more controversial plan as a carrot? It's a rhetorical question, you don't have to answer. The answer is politics. If Congress were really dedicated fully to our best interests and saving all of this wasted money then they would have separated this from the rest of the package and already passed it by now. Also, I love how in Obama's latest speeches he talks about all the things that could be done with a whopping 1.8 billion dollars over the next 10 years. This is all happening right after we just passed a second stimulus bill for 787 billion dollars. These numbers are making my head spin and unfortuntately I'm having a hard time taking him serious when he talks about how much money 1.8 billion is.

In summary, I like what they say, but I don't see how they can back it up. The proof is in the pudding. I stand by the opinion that government-run anything is inefficient, wasteful, and too beaurecratic to succeed. The proof lies in social security and Medicare. Our generation continues to pay into the system, but by the latest estimates, social security will run out by 2040 and Medicare will be bust by 2018. We absolutely cannot continue to spend money we do not have. We are financially killing our country. What health care needs is reform, not a completely new system.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Big Brother is Watching



Excerpt from a John Cornyn letter to the President:



"Yesterday, in an official White House release entitled "Facts are Stubborn Things," the White House Director of New Media, Macon Phillips, asserted that there was "a lot of disinformation out there," and encouraged citizens to report "fishy" speech opposing your health care policies to the White House. Phillips specifically targeted private, unpublished, even casual speech, writing that "rumors often travel just below the surface via chain emails or through casual conversation." Phillips wrote "If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to flag@whitehouse.gov."
I am not aware of any precedent for a President asking American citizens to report their fellow citizens to the White House for pure political speech that is deemed "fishy" or otherwise inimical to the White House's political interests.
By requesting that citizens send "fishy" emails to the White House, it is inevitable that the names, email addresses, IP addresses, and private speech of U.S. citizens will be reported to the White House. You should not be surprised that these actions taken by your White House staff raise the specter of a data collection program. As Congress debates health care reform and other critical policy matters, citizen engagement must not be chilled by fear of government monitoring the exercise of free speech rights...."


What the hell??? Is this for real? The white house is asking people to become "informants" on other Americans if they express disagreement with the current proposed health care policies? You're right Brett, this is nothing like Socialism. We've skipped right past socialism and thrown ourselves into the bottomless pit of communism.

While we're at it, why stop at people who disagree with health care reform? I can think of a lot of reasons to report people (yes, including friends and family - sorry, it's for the good of the country and it's Obama-law) :

- bad drivers because they cause wrecks
- people with bad breath because its gross
- architects who wear bow ties because they look stupid
- anyone who says anything negative about Democrats, liberals, or Obama - because they must be radical conservative extremists and should be silenced
- people who save money because they hurt our economy
- people who are anti-debt because they hurt our economy and because not having debt is just plain stupid
- legal citizens because they make illegal aliens feel bad about themselves
- white people because they are the root of all evil
- Republicans because they are not Democrats
- Conservatives because they are not liberal
- anyone who buys something not organic or all-natural because they hate the planet
- anyone who drives a car because they are personally and single-handedly causing global warming and killing Mother Nature and her entire family
- anyone who ever makes the slightest implication that our country should try to balance the budget and stop spending so much damn money
- people who don't smoke because they make the fifteen 15 minute smoke break a day smokers look unproductive
- Brett because he keeps putting so much pressure on me to write additional blogs when he knows I'm still on vacation

Sometimes I feel like I'm making really good points about things and then I get completely side tracked, take my points to the extreme, and lose the entire audience reading it. So in summary, here is my problem:

- liberals protest anything and everything including the war, ban on stem cell research, ban on abortion, ban on gay marriage - and all of that is ok - it's just Americans expressing their opinions, man

- conservatives protest health care reform and they are characterized as angry extremist rich heartless SOB's that should be shot on sight...or at a minimum reported to the federal government so that surveillance trucks can be deployed...wait a second, what's the strange van doing parked outside my office? "Hey, who are you peop...................

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Friday, July 24, 2009

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Ohhhhhbama!!!!!


The big man has been getting some grief for his speech last night regarding health care. The critics say that he is just saying a bunch of stuff without really saying anything at all. And that he didn't say anything new about the health care plan or go into detail about any of the specifics. It was more of a speech about why we need to revamp health care in this country.

A few things...

1. I'm ok with our President talking about the big picture on issues like this and then pushing Congress to do something about it. I think it's Congress' job (our representatives) to get their act together and create new legislation. I don't like when the executive branch tries to put together new bills and laws and then wheel and deal to get them passed through Congress. I think Obama has done a good job of staying in big picture leader role on this one.

2. This new health care plan, much like the last stimulus bill is over 1,000 pages long. And just like before, it has not been made public and no one has read it. Just like before, the bill will be finished at some ungodly hour of the morning and then immediately voted on the next day before anyone has time to read it. This is not acceptable to me. New bills and laws should be made public and should be read by every single person voting on it. Oh that's right, if people read it they might actually understand what the hell is going on and see what these politicians are trying to do and we can't have that. The plan must remain secret...so much for transparency.

3. I'm sorry - I still don't agree that we need this new health care system at all. Of course our system isn't perfect, but the majority of people in this country have health care and are happy with it. So why are we completely redoing the entire system for the minority? Why can't we reform, regulate, adjust, and/or tweak the existing system to be more inclusive of those that cannot afford it?

Why does our government need to be in the health care business when we have an entire industry already doing it? Is nobody else worried what is going to happen to all of these health care companies (that provide millions of jobs) when they try and compete against the US government which can fix the market? A better question, if my taxes pay for me to get health care through the government, then why would I continue to pay BCBS, United, or Aetna additional money for additional insurance? Sure some people who want better care will, but that's a small percentage. This will drive those companies out of business. But at least all of these unemployed health care people will have free health care while they are job hunting.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Three Coins


Three coins in a fountain,
Each one seeking happiness,
Thrown by three hopeful lovers...
Which one will the fountain bless?
Three hearts by fountain,
Each heart longing for its home;
There they lie in the fountain,
Somewhere in the heart of Rome.

Which one will the fountain bless?
Which one will the fountain bless?
Three coins in a fountain...
Through the ripples how they shine.
Just one wish will be granted;
One heart will wear a Valentine.

Make it mine, make it mine, make it mine.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Sotomayor


Sotomayor is probably going to be approved as the Supreme Court Justice, which continues to show the extent of power that the President and Democrat-controlled Congress currently have to advance their agenda.

In 2001, Sotomayor said that she thinks "a wise Latina woman could reach a better conclusion than a white man."

As Newt Gingrich pointed out, had he or any other white man said the reverse of that he would have been labeled as a racist and probably asked to resign. This is the society we live in, but I'm sick of it. Our society has taken political-correctness so far off the deep end that it is now publicly acceptable to bash the so-called "white majority" because they are evil and have it so easy in life. Affirmative action, MBWE's, and school quotas are racism and discrimination at their finest, but of course that is only if you view them as principles.

Please someone explain to me how the following things are not racist and discriminatory:
- admitting a minority over a white person to a school in order to fill a quota
- awarding 25-30% extra points to a woman or minority owned business competing on a government contract

Oh that's right, it's because white people don't get equal opportunity - equal opportunity doesn't really mean equal for everyone, it means that white people have had too much opportunity for too long, and now they must be punished so that other races can have a chance. !!!!News flash!!!!! - white people only have similar colored skin, but have all kinds of varied heritage. When a kid with white skin is born from a white and an Asian parent, does he get lumped into the white discriminated-against majority? My heritage is Native American, Scottish, English, and a whole host of other things - why does that make me white? If a person from Whales, Norway, Germany, Italy, and South Africa all immigrate to the US, are we all thrown into the same evil white category because our skin has the same light color to it? Should we lump Hawaii-born Obama with mixed parents in with a black American and someone from Zimbabwe because they all have the same skin color - "African Americans"?

My point is simple, defining people by skin color is useless, inaccurate, discriminatory, and racist. I wish the government and everyone else would stop doing it. America is a melting pot - the sooner we see each other as Americans instead of the arbitrary skin color categories they put on standardized testing reports, the better off we will all be.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Obama's Speech to the NAACP



If you haven't already please go watch the clips from Obama's speech to the NAACP. It is ridiculous. For some reason he felt the need to change his voice, cadence, and accent to sound more like a stereotypical black preacher. Some of his words he intentionally cut off at the end to make it sound like he was abbrevatin' and other stuff he just said incorrectly because apparently that is the cool thing to do. It's absurd.

He did this a few times during the campaign including a rally where Oprah was on stage and they were speaking to a large group of black people. During his speech he dropped in a couple of slang words including some double negatives. Give me a break, this guy grew up in Hawaii and went to Columbia and Harvard.

I just think it's fake, deceptive, and lame for the President of The United States to lower himself to the level of using poor grammar because he thinks it will go over better with a large group of black people. Not to mention it's insulting to the educated black people who choose to learn and use proper English.

Bill Cosby talks about personal responsibility at the NAACP and he gets booed off the stage. Obama talks about personal responsibility at the NAACP and he is a hero. The difference? Cosby's idea of personal responsibility is to tell groups of poor, uneducated black people to get an education, get a job, stop abandoning their families, and work hard to lift themselves out of their situation. Obama's brand of personal responsibility:

"What Dr. King and Roy Wilkins understood is that it doesn't matter if you have the right to sit at the front of the bus if you can't afford the bus fare," he said. "It doesn't matter if you have the right to sit at the lunch counter if you can't afford the lunch."

"What they understood is that so long as Americans are denied the decent wages and good benefits and fair treatment that they deserve, the dream for which so many gave so much will remain out of reach; that to live up to our founding promise of equality for all, we have to make sure that opportunity is open to all."

If I weren't so disgusted by it, I might be able to actually admire his strategy. Obama is now using the guise of racial inequality to mask his systematic class warfare against the rich. Why you might ask? Because like so many other things in our ultra-sensitive, ultra-PC society, race has become one of those untouchable topics. So by hiding higher taxes beneath the cloak of racial equality, no politician in their right mind will speak out against it. Well of course, unless they want to be classified as a racist.