Thursday, February 25, 2010

Party of No


Looks like the "Party of No" is at it again. The President makes this huge effort to bring both parties together to solve the problems with the health care bill and the Republicans instantly reject any and all attempts.

Do the Republicans really think saying no to compromises and rejecting everything the Democrats propose is really going to make our country better? Do they really think the American people want that?

Health care, the budget and deficit, social security, etc... all of it is out of control and President Obama is trying his damnedest to do something to help solve these problems. All the Republicans care about it creating roadblocks and blocking progress. Our country has to continue to evolve and change to remain the great place that it is. The bills proposed by the President and the Democrats are trying to help the people that need it most. And yes, big surprise, some of those bills, plans, and programs cost a little money, but they are things that we as a country have an moral responsibility to done, even if it takes our country a little longer to pay it off. But even the latest health care proposal includes a plan to reduce the deficit so how can Republicans still not be on board with it? Someone should explain to these guys that compromise doesn't translate to getting your way on everything. Not to mention, they should remember that they are the minority party because Americans were fed up with Bush-olitics and kicked them all out.

And then there is all this talk about Republican comeback in 2012, what a bunch of crap. The only way the Republicans are making a comeback in 2012 is if the Teaparty nuts storm Washington with their antique colonial rifles and take Congress and the White House back by force. Why would Americans put Republicans back in control? What have they done other than vote "no" to every single thing that our President and Congress have tried to do? We already know they can't do any better because none of these problems were fixed the last time they were in control, if anything, their failed policies is what got us here in the first place.

Americans sent President Obama to Washington to get things done and make our country a better place. If the Republicans don't have anything constructive to contribute then they need to get the hell out of the way.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Right Vs.. Left


Below is an excerpt from the following site: http://pac.org/blog

"A two-foot blanket of snow fell over Washington last weekend, silencing for a moment the shouting and bickering that have come to represent American politics.

This is good for the nation's capital. The stress level here has been high for a long time, but particularly since mid-2008, when the economy heaved and sunk during the last stages of the presidential campaign. In recent years, the most partisan advocates have dominated the political media. Arguments over health care, job creation, the deficit and other issues have reached the point where most politicians - their eyes on the midterm elections this fall - are more worried about winning than making good public policy.

What's missing are moderate voices looking to collaborate in ways that benefit the public. Has the U.S. really become so polarized that there is no middle ground?

It also turns out, says Fiorina, that people who do state an ideological preference aren't very consistent. For example, while 35-40% of Americans call themselves "conservative," studies show only one in five conservatives hold an opinion that is right-of-center on both economic welfare and social-cultural issues. And one-third of so-called conservatives espouse conservative views on neither economic nor social issues!

In fact, most people are not ideological; they form opinions about issues on a case-by-case basis. "Depending on what problems the country faces and the perceived success of existing policies on solving them," Fiorina says, "the large pragmatic public opts for more government on some issues and less on others."

In other words, despite the conventional wisdom that elections and public affairs campaigns are about "motivating the base," it might be a good time for liberals and conservatives to build bridges with those who are moderate or politically inactive. These centrists may be hard to categorize and their behavior may be difficult to predict. Activists may have to become less strident to win them over. "
_________________________________________________________________________________

OK a few comments about this article...

1. I whole-heartily agree with the often-misused "conservative" label. I'm guilty of labeling myself as that, when in reality, I'm a fiscal conservative and a social liberal/moderate. So I guess technically overall I'm a moderate. Labels can be misleading and dangerous.

2. Another reason the typical labels don't work:
- True conservatives are labeled as wanting smaller government, but not really. They only want smaller government in terms of taxes, regulations, health care and business. On national security, immigration, abortion, and gay marriage they want more government intervention.
- True liberals are labeled as wanting more government, but not really. They only want more government in terms of unions, jobs, taxes, health care, environmental protection, and most other economic issues. On immigration they don't want the government to enforce the law. On abortion, religion, and gay marriage they don't want government interference and want maximized individual rights.

3. The media, pop-culture, and politicians have created this artificial world of the right vs the left when in reality most people are in the middle. They agree on some issues and disagree on others. What can you do about this? Don't fall into the trap of classifying yourself into a category. Judge each issue as it comes as a free and independent thinker. Be independent, make up your own mind. And let your elected representative know how you feel about each and every issue - they should be more concerned about representing the views of their constituents rather than always voting along party lines.

4. I really like the image above. I think its a pretty good representation of the different stereo-typical viewpoints. But per my point above, I don't completely fit into either side and I doubt most Americans do either. If we demanded that more of our elected politicians focused on the issues instead of on the labels I think we could get a lot more done as a society.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Best Break-Up Lines


I'm sure at one point or another most people have either been broken up with or have done the breaking. For some reason, people are never straightforward and honest about their reasons and always default to the same lines....especially women.

Below are a few examples of what people say with the translation of what they actually mean next to it....

1. It's not you, its me = You looked way more attractive when I was drunk

2. I just need some time to figure things out = You've really let yourself go

3. I think we just need a break = I'm already dating your friend

4. I really like you more as a friend = I can't stand you but still need a ride to work

5. I don't feel like our relationship is going anywhere = You work at a dead-end job and don't make enough money to take me the places I want to go and buy me the things I want

6. I just need some time to find myself = You are way too emotional and clingy, grow a pair

7. I just need to be alone for a little while = This commitment is smothering me and I want to go back to sleeping around

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Life Changing Hair Products


Has your life ever been changed by the description on a hair product container?

I read these descriptions on my shampoo and conditioner bottles this morning and I'll be honest, its kind of making me re-evaluate some things in my life.

Shampoo:
Shampoo should clean hair. Really good shampoo should make you tingle from head to toe. With Tea Tree Triple Treat Shampoo, invigorating ingredients wash in rejuvenation while washing away the previous day. You’re left with something rich, something clean. Something incredibly stimulating... for hair and mind. Think about it.

Conditioner:
Silk. It has the most incredible feel, the most incredible texture. It makes you feel sexy. Desirable. Smooth As Silk Deeper Moisture Conditioner makes your hair feel so smooth, so silky, so amazingly detangled. It works only where needed to create a silky-smooth palette that's repaired, renewed and ready for your own unique kind of style. Smooth As Silk provides smooth moves indeed.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Hope for Haiti: Part Deux



So I've decided that I'm going to host my own charity event for Haiti as a sequel to what the stars did. The only difference is that I'm going to have normal people on TV singing, dancing, etc... and we will be targeting Hollywood stars. The stars were able to raise 58 million for the relief efforts by hitting up average Americans for cash, so now its only right that we return the favor.

The strategy for my charity event will be simple, I'll just go down the list of all movie, music, and other celebrities one at a time. And on the screen I'll list their net worth, the price of their latest home, the price of their latest car, and the amount they made from their last movie, concert tour, and/or album sales. And one by one I'll guilt trip these dirty Hollywood dogs into giving more money.

In all seriousness, there were over 100 stars that took part in the event....58 million was the best they could do? And most of that came from call-in donations from normal people. They did a great job of getting people around America and the world to donate to the cause but where are their donations? Even if each of the stars only donated $1 mil, they would have raised over $100 mil. Some of the stars stepped up with donations, but I would argue that their donations were chump change compared to the difference they could have made.

George Clooney: $1 million dollars and organized the effort
(made about $25 mil last year, averages about $15 mil per movie, net worth is about $86 mil)

Leonardo DiCaprio: $1 million dollars
(net worth $43 mil)

Sandra Bullock: $1 million dollars
(net worth is about $85 mil)

Oprah Winfrey: $1 million dollars
(net worth is about $2.7 billion)

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt: $1million dollars
(Angelina's net worth is $35 mil and Brad's is $150 mil)

I think all of these donations are embarrassing. All of these stars could have easily given double if not quadruple the amounts listed above without even flinching. And had they not gone on national television and made such a pleading desperate case for this cause I wouldn't have said anything about it, but my thing is this: If they care so much about the crisis in Haiti and are so hurt and upset and inspired to help then why don't they give more money since they can obviously easily afford it? But you might be saying, "Jake, you bald handsome devil you, why are you picking on the stars who gave, why not pick on the ones who didn't donate or donated even less than the above amounts" - ok you're right, here it goes...

- Puff Daddy donated $10,000 to the cause. This comes right after buying his 16 year old son a $360,000 new car. His net worth is about $346 mil.

- Jennifer Anniston donated $500,000. In both Seasons 9 and 10, every memeber of the entire cast of Friends made $1 mil per episode. Congratulations Jennifer, you donated half of an episode to "a cause you really believe in." Jen's net worth is about $110 mil.

- Madonna donated $250,000 dollars. In 2009, she was the highest earning musician in the world, making $110 mil. Her net worth is about $900 mil.

- Sean Penn as far as I know has not given anything. But don't worry, he is actually in Haiti helping out. Seriously, he is there. I'm sure all of his academy awards are really coming in useful in the relief efforts.

Please don't be thick and interpret my criticism of these chachy stars as a criticism against donating to Haiti. Haiti was a third world country before the earthquakes, and any progress they have made over the last decade has just been completely wiped off the map. They are people just like you and I and we have a responsibility as human beings to help each other out. It doesn't matter what country we are from, we all live on the same planet. We should do our best to give what we can just like we did for the tsunami in Thailand, the 9/11 attacks, Katrina, etc...

I just wish these a-hole stars would take some of their own advice and pony-up more substantial amounts to a cause they claim to believe in.


*I pulled the net worth figures from various websites and can't confirm any of them.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Guest Post: 'Laser Eyes'


Guest Post by Kevin: "Laser Eyes"

I would like to pass the message along through Jakes blog that I will be joining the Donaldson club with getting my Eagle Eye Vision on Feb. 26th….wish me luck. Unlike Jake and the Wife, I will be getting lens implants behind my cornea; I am too far gone to do standard Lasik. They will be cutting a slit in my eye with some laser and then inserting a lens that will let me see the world clearly. After a few weeks, depending on how well my vision is with the lens will determine if I get touch up lasik. If you want to see some gross videos I am sure Jake can find some old 90’s lens implant videos, at lest today its more modern. See the poll for my upgrade option that I should go for.

-Kevin

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Guest Post: 'Speaking of Annoying'


Guest Post by Brett: "Speaking of Annoying"

I am about address what I think to be one of the most annoying things that the average American has to deal with on a daily basis. I’m not sure where it started…maybe it was when department stores started enticing their customers with added discounts for getting a credit account with their store. Maybe it was when grocery stores started requiring a “membership” to receive the full value they offer with their products. No matter what started it, it is just getting out of hand. Everywhere I go I am constantly asked to sign up for some membership.

“All you have to do is take this card home with you, submit your application on line, and we will give you special discounts.”

LEAVE ME ALONE. All I want is to shop and eat in peace. If I accepted every membership I have been offered in the last month, I would have to carry a wallet in each pocket….seriously. The worst part is when you tell them you are not interested, and then they act like you must not understand the deal they are offering.

“There is no additional expense. All you have to do is sign up and every time you make a purchase with us you receive additional savings!”

My new response when I realize these people aren’t going to take no for an answer, is I simply explain to them that I don’t like free things. It’s actually pretty effective, and for the record, I have already done it twice today.
Peace, love, happiness, and hope for a brighter tomorrow - Brett

Monday, January 18, 2010

Dear stupid celebrities....


Allegations came out recently that Wyclef Jean's charity "Yele Haiti" has been misappropriating funds. The accusations are that donations are being used to pay for rent on a sound studio, video and audio production costs, and air time. Wyclef, of course denied that he had in anyway personally benefited from the money and said that these are normal expenses from an organization like his to have.

The catch here is that Wyclef is personally a controlling partner in all of the companies that were paid for these services. It may or may not be legal, but it is most certainly a misrepresentation and misleading to those that donate money. Additionally, the charity only puts 69% of the money towards actual programs. The rest is spent on "administrative" costs. So people are donating money to this Haitian charity fund, but only 69% of it is actually being spent on anything worthwhile, the rest is going to feed Wyclef's business. What's up with that?

Of course, most charities do have overhead just like any business because it takes admin cost to fund raise. But the reputable ones have closer to a 15/85 split, not 30/70. The legitimate ones also post this information on their website so that they aren't hiding or misrepresenting anything.

Bottom line, why don't all of these stupid celebrities write a blank check instead of trying to squeeze pennies out of middle America ? I mean, seriously? Wyclef Jean can write million dollar checks and not even flinch. I don't have problems with celebrities hosting concerts or fundraisers as long as the celebrities themselves are writing fat checks for the cause. Not just donating their "services" (as if singing or playing a guitar is a service) and then skimming off the top and putting a guilt trip on everyone else to donate money. The only thing worse than people hosting benefit concerts are celebrities like Sean Penn who actually try and go "do good" in person (Katrina). Who needs Sean Penn in a canoe trying to rescue people on his own and how in the hell is that helping the situation? To me, it just seems like one more person that has to be rescued when he gets stuck under a bridge or something. If he really wanted to do good during Katrina, he would have rented/bought 20 helicopters and pilots and given them all of the financial resources they need to help people. I think the problem is the celebrities actually start to believe they are the characters they play. I know Kung Fu!?

They would all do well to take a chapter from Sandra Bullock's book. Every time a tragedy like this happens, she writes a check. That's it. She doesn't host a stupid event trying to get other people to do what she can do better (give money) and she certainly doesn't try to fly to the disaster site and gum up the works by trying to personally help people, she leaves it to the experts and gives what they need most to fix the situation, money.

So the second bottom line, give what you can, but give it to reputable organizations that have a history of helping people and are qualified to get the job done. Why would you give money to Wyclef Jean when you could give to the Red Cross? And to the celebrities that read this blog (you know who you are), stop being stupid, dish out the cash, and then go away.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Guest Post: 'Crazy Woman'


Guest Post by Kevin: "Crazy Woman"

Ford today showed off the future of how we will shift gears in our cars.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

hahaha...



1. And this is why I don't do gymnastics...because you make stupid faces when flipping.

2. And because I'm not very flexible or very good at flipping.

3. She better tuck that left arm in tighter or she is going to lose some points.

4. Is this a flip gone wrong or does she always make the face when in mid-flip? Or does she just always make this face?

5. Eric?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

what the...?


new type of blog...lets make funny comments about pictures I find online.
1. I think this person is trying to make fun of the sign. Had they any understanding of comedy they would know that this picture would be 10x as funny if they were standing next to the sign wearing one of the actual pink or orange outfits shown on the sign.
2. Is this a guy or a girl? Glasses and hair-doo suggest dude, but the purse, skinny jeans, and multi-colored socks say otherwise.
3. Wait, this picture is in Italy....Vanessa?
4. Why did the sign-makers choose to translate everything on the sign except for "Yes" and "No entry" - Did they feel that the pictures and symbols were enough for the Italians but the stupid Americans needed that extra little bit of explanation with actual words like Yes and No.
5. Wouldn't you love to go here with a group of people and all be wearing the "no entry" outfits, but just in all other colors but orange and pink. I mean how could they turn you away, it wasn't on the sign. And if it was on the sign, it wasn't written....come on, I'm an American dude, I can't understand all of these complex symbols like a blue arrow and red minus sign. (wouldn't a green arrow have made more sense? ok maybe I do need the words)

Monday, January 11, 2010