Countdown

28 November, 2006

The current trend.

There seems to be a growing trend spreading.. It is all over the talk shows. Quite frankly, as an American, it kind of bothers me.

The trend I'm referring to is the defamation of Wal*Mart.

It seems that it's becoming popular to say that the largest retail chain is destroying the fabric of the US economy.

It seems to me that it is sour grapes. They are upset that Sam Walton was smarter than they are.

Isn't it just that Wal*Mart has embraced the idea of capitalism and does a better job than most.

Refresh my memory.. what is capitalism? Is it you do your best, unless your best is better than someone else's best?

Perhaps it's let the government put restrictions on one entity who earns more than another?

Oh yea, it's the idea that the goal is to do your best, and if someone does something better, than you find a better way to do it.

The nay-sayers blame Wal*Mart for putting small businesses out of business. But is that really the case? They say that their business practice is unfair, but is selling something for less than someone else really unfair?

Whether or not you agree with the business practices of Wal*Mart, you can't disparage them from doing anything they can (within the law) to make as large of a profit as they can. Doing anything less would be unfair to the shareholders and employees. Disparaging Wal*Mart is un-American, and stinks of communism.

It's obvious that Americans approve of Wal*Mart, or at least we tolerate them, otherwise, we wouldn't be flocking to give them our money. It must not be that important that they are 'running mom and pop shops out of business', or perhaps, they aren't. Didn't we go through this when grocery stores, butcher shops and bakeries started going away in favor of a larger supermarket?

I say good for them. I'm going to do much of my Christmas shopping to support one of America's icons. A company that openly opposes unions, a company that choses not to settle law suits to discourage frivolous suits.

All this, and the best prices and best selection. Oh yea, they re-incorporated the 'C' word in their advertising.. they actually said 'Merry Christmas' in a commercial. Keep up the good work Wal*Mart!

26 November, 2006

The dust is starting to settle on 'Decision 2006'.

Who is going to turn out to be the big winners and losers? It's still too early to tell, but the newly crowned democrats are tripping over themselves to raise minimum wage. That will only serve to slow down the strongest economy in the history of the world.

When I was in high school, I was all about the raise in minimum wage, but that was a long time ago.. and it was a very selfish view point.

First off, how many people do you know that are older than 20 that still earn minimum wage? If it's anyone you know, tell them to go back to school, get a real skill, and get a real job.

Working for minimum wage is good when you are in high school, or maybe even college, but if you are still making that amount, you need to look within yourself, not to the government, to better your financial standing.

Learn a skill, work in a factory, basically, make yourself more marketable.

People get paid what they are worth.

A lot of people complain that athletes and celebrities make too much, but I say, if someone is willing to pay it, they are worth it.

To those who say athletes are paid too much, and that teachers should get more (I agree that teachers are grossly underpaid) I say this: 'As soon as 50,000+ people show up and pay $50+ to watch you work, then you can complain that you aren't getting paid enough.'

Well, I kind of got off on a tangent, but what it comes down to, is that less than 2% of the population make minimum wage (according to the department of Labor estimates that 2 million Americans earn minimum wage, and we all heard the reports of the 300 millionth American a few weeks ago). Raising minimum wage will only increase the operating expenses, which will result in one of 2 things happening.. small businesses will go out of business because they can't afford to pay the high school help more than $5.15/hour, or they will pass the higher costs on to their customers, causing all of us to pay more for our goods and services.

It's just another example on why a vast majority of the unions in this country are just dead weight in the economy. Take a look at the industries that are dominated by union labor.. how are they doing? (I'll give you a hint.. the automotive and airline industries)

I'm not one to say 'Write to your Congressperson', but if you are so inclined, it won't be a bad idea.


As always, I encourage your thoughts and comments on this or any other topics.

23 November, 2006

Happy Turkeyday!

On this day of thanx, most of us have much to be thankful for, but sadly most of us (myself included) take what we have for granted.

On a lighter note, a thanksgivig tradition that has stood for several years gets better today.. for some..

For as long as I can remember, the Cowboys and Lions each host a game each Thanksgiving day, this year, the League did us one better, they added a 3rd game.

This is a good thing, right? It is, unless you are not able to get the NFL network..

That's right, you can only see the 3rd game if you are one of the 14 subscribers of the league owned network.

Ok, it's not that low, but most cable companies don't carry it, including Time Warner (my cable provider).

Both companies (Time Warner and NFL network) have links on their website to contact eachother to petition viewers and potential viewers to express an interest in the channel.. a virtual game of chicken. who will buckle first? only time will tell.

But this is all a moot point, I'm not going to get to watch much football today.. I'm taking my grandma to the casino today, it's going to be fun!

Have a great turkey day, don't eat too much (just kidding.. go nuts!), but keep the spirit of the holiday in mind.

19 November, 2006

I wasn't one of those freaks who spent days camped out in front of a a store to be the first to get a Playstation 3. I probably won't ever even get one..

I wasn't even one of those guys who got up early to stand in front of a store to get the new Nintendo Wii. I wanted to get one, I just didn't get up at an ungodly hour to get one.

And I'm not going to be the guy who spends $5-600 on a system that retails for half of that.

I'll be getting one in a few days, when they are back on the shelves.

If you see one for sale at the list price, drop me a line!

07 November, 2006

As I pulled the curtain closed behind me in the voting booth this morning, I couldn't help but wonder why we need to spend millions of tax dollars to replace voting machines that seem to work fine.

And to replace them with what? Computers that have not been proven to be 100% reliable.

The way I see it, the old fashioned machines are reliable, and completely non-biased.

There were never any 'hanging chads' in NY. Why? well, partly because most New Yorkers are smart enough to figure out the basics of voting, they have a severe case of picking the wrong candidates, but we can figure out the ballots.

How many of the candidates that I voted for will win? With the poles closed for not quite an hour now, it is difficult to say.. it's likely that 3 for sure, (Clinton, Spitzer and Cuomo ), and possibly a third, (that alleged felon Hevesi), but the rest we'll have to wait for the results.

What will come of the future? Only time will tell, but to quote a line from Robin Williams latest movie (which I haven't seen, the line was used in the commercials) "Politicians are like diapers, they both need to be changed often, and for the same reasons."

As always, I welcome your comments.

30 October, 2006

You need to watch this 3 minute video, and share it with everyone who thinks we are not making a difference in Iraq.

http://www.glennbeck.com/realstory/iraq-video.shtml

29 October, 2006

Election day is just over a week away, and the campaigns are coming down to the wire. I'm not entirely sure who I am going to vote for.. I know a few I will vote against, (but they will still win..)

Here's how I will vote:

Against former president Hillary Clinton for senator, and against Eliot Spitzer for governor and against comptroller Alan Hevesi (he should be in jail, but that's a different story)..

I plan on voting for Tom Reynolds, not so much for him, but there is something about Jack Davis that doesn't sit well with me.. can't say for sure what it is.. (his 'Danville' crack sure didn't win him any votes..)

If you have a candidate that you support, and want a chance to convince me to vote for your person, leave a comment and state your case.

25 October, 2006

You may have seen or heard the political advertizements featuring Michael J. Fox supporting candidates that support expansions in stem cell research.

Talk show host Rush Limbaugh put his foot in his mouth this week by calling him out, saying that he was either off his meds or faking it.

At first thought, it seems pretty insensitive, (many would say you shouldn't expect less from Rush, but I digress.. ) but he (Fox) does have a history of doing just that for his own political gain. When he testified to congress a few years ago to campaign for funding for research, he, by his own admission, did not take his medication in order to visably worsen his condition to emphasise his point.

Where do I come out on this matter? I've always been a fan of Michael J Fox, when I was younger, I wanted to grow up to be Alex P. Keaton, and I loved the Back to the Future movies, but they are both right.

Could Rush have done a better job of calling a spade a spade? probably.. did Fox do something to exagerate his condition? Does it really matter? He is campagining for something that is very importaint to him.

Bottom line, this time of the year, the airwaves are flooded with political comercials. It seems that each candidate is busy telling you why the other guy would do a worse job than him, rather than why he will do a better job than the opponent.

23 October, 2006

Week 7 is all but in the books (Giants/Cowboys tonight) and the 76 Buccaneers can rest easy.. the Oakland Faders have left the ranks of the win less. There are now no win less teams in the league.

The 72 Dolphins may have something to worry about.. both the Bears and Colts are still unbeaten. The Colts looked good yesterday, and Peyton had a pretty good game (25/35, 342yds, 4TD). In doing so, they opened the season 6-0 for the 2nd year in a row.

On to baseball. Game 2 of the World Series was last night, and the talk is about Kenny Rogers. Was he cheating? He says 'no', Cards manager Tony La Russa apparently didn't think so either.. so who am I to say otherwise?

It's a long unspoken rule in baseball that if you aren't cheating, you aren't trying, and it's only cheating if you get caught. Having said that, I would have to say he wasn't cheating, since he didn't get caught.

Was it risky to allegedly have pine tar on his hand? Yes, he risked being suspended for the remainder of the series. But he got away with whatever he had on his hand in the first inning. We'll see what happens next in game 6 (if it's needed).

20 October, 2006

I went to the pre-season game the other night that pitted the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Toronto Raptors.

It was billed as a chance to see the league's hottest star, LeBron James.

About a week before the game, it broke that he might not be playing, and the complaints started. Shortly before the game, the Cavs held a press confrence to confirm that since LeBron played over 30 minutes the night before in a game against a team from Isreal. Long story short, he didn't play.

The next morning, it was all over the news. On the local sports call-in show, virtually every call was someone complaining on what a punk King James was for not playing.

Would I have liked to see the phenom play? Absolutely. Am I upset that he didn't? No. After all, it was a pre season game. In the pre season, the stars don't always play.

What bugged me about the reaction is how many people who said things like 'who do they think we are?' and 'they must think we are a bunch of hicks'. With each successive call along this theme, it proved we are.

Now, could it have gone down differently? Better? Yes. I have been to a few NBA games, (in Arco Arena, Sacremento and the Delta Center, Salt Lake). This was not an NBA game.

-Sure there were NBA players, out of the 12 best players from both teams, only 6 got into the game.
-There were no cheerleaders
-It was the quietest 9400+ crowd I've been part of.

Should LeBron have played? Yes. Don't get me wrong, every time you take the floor in a basketball game, you risk serious injury, (speaking from experience, I blew out my knew playing ball about 10 years ago, and it's still not the same..), but let's be serious, how likely would it have been?

Would it have made more sense for him to sit out of the previous night? Well, with Comissioner Stern's goal to globalize the league, they wanted to show off the next super star. The game was broadcast back in Tel Aviv.

They probably made a few NBA fans in Isreal, but they sure made a lot of Cavs haters in Rochester. Especially when he acted like he was going to get in the game, as chants of 'We want LeBron' echoed in the rafters of the War Memorial, only to turn around a few steps away from the bench and head back to laugh at all of us.

I'm not asking for him to play the whole game, or even a half, but would a few minutes have posed a grave threat? Probably not.

Bottom line, he should have gotten into the game. Was it as big of a dis on Rochester as Bob Matthews, Bob Lonsberry (who I sat right behind, thanx again to WHAM for the tickets!) and John DiTulio made it out to be? No. Will the league be back in town any time soon? Probably not.

Go Kings!

09 October, 2006

With the first round of the playoffs complete, lets check in and see how I did..

I went 2 for 4. Picking both NL series, and missing both AL series.. (at least the winners..)

At this point, it looks like it is going to be tough to pick against the Tigers, although, who outside of the east bay saw the A's ripping through the Twins like they did? I'll pick the Tigers in 6 and the Mets in 5.

Should I pile on the Yankees like everyone else? Why beat a dead horse? Because it's fun! All the Yankee lovers out there who proclaimed the class of baseball could do no wrong. Well, I guess $213 million isn't the best way to win another championship.

Rumors are circling like vultures as to the fate of converted short stop Alex Rodriguez and manager Joe Torre, what should happen? I'm not Brian Cashman (ha! that's funny, like he has made a personnel decision in the past 5 years!). It would make sense to trade A-Rod, but who will take him, and his inflated contract? What will Torre do? Dare I say it? Will he end up in Beantown? Wouldn't that be the ultimate slap in the face to Yankee fans!

Anyway, World Series pick? (again, I reserve the right to re-pick after the LCS are complete) Mets over the Tigers, in 6, despite losing Floyd the other night.

03 October, 2006

It’s that time of year.. Baseball playoffs start tomorrow (well, at least as far as I’m concerned..). Game one of the Mets/Dodgers series is 4pm eastern, on ESPN. If you care, you already know what happened in today’s 3 games.

My picks for the first round are: Twins (over the A’s) in 4, Yankees (over the Tigers, as much as it pains me to say) in 4 in the American League. In the National League I pick, Cards (over the Padres) in 3, and Mets in 4 over the Dodgers.

The LCS series are a bit tougher to pick. As a Mets fan, I want to pick the Mets, and against the Yankees. Also as a Rochester Red Wings fan, I want to pick the Twins, since most of the team played in Frontier Field over the pas couple of years (Justin Morneau for MVP, but the Yankee bias will probably give it to Jeter).

I am hesitant to make picks after just 3 games, but I think it will probably be another subway series, hopefully with different results from 2000. Only time will tell.

27 September, 2006

Well, it’s been a while since I posted anything new here.. I have no real excuses other than I’ve been lazy.

I think for today, I’m just going to write about the little things that stick out every now and then..

The other day, I went to the Buffalo Bills game. The company I work for is a large sponsor of the team, and as such, we (as a company) get a bunch of tickets.. including several to opening day, which was this past Sunday. This year, the festivities included a visit from the NY Jets.

For those who know me, I am slightly less a Bills fan than a Yankee fan. I’m not particularly a Jets fan, but I have nothing against them, so that is who I rooted for. A friend of mine wore a Curtis Martin jersey and drew several jeers as we walked to our seats. It was amusing to see how ignorant and just plain stupid some Bills fans can be. They kept saying things like “they don’t even play in NY, how can they be the NY Jets, they should be the Jersey Jets!” which always struck me as odd, (since I am a Giants fan, who lend out their stadium in East Rutherford, NJ to the Jets). You see.. the NY in the Giants and Jets does not refer to the state they play in, it is the metropolitan area that they play in. It is the NYC Giants/Jets, not the NY State Giants/Jets.

Oh, and last I checked, when I was at the game, I wasn’t in Buffalo.. I was in Orchard Park. Thanx for disproving your own argument for me.. but I guess if you were smart enough to figure it out, you probably wouldn’t use that argument..

BTW.. the jeers were less vocal after the game.. (Jets 28, Bills 20, Thanx for playing).


Staying on the sports theme, the hockey pre-season has started. The past couple of years, it has been difficult to be as much of a hockey fan as I would like.. Part of it stems from a lingering bitterness about the NHL being the only major sport to have an entire season canceled because billionaires and millionaires couldn’t figure out how to divide several hundreds of millions of dollars.. another part is that I lived in Sacramento for a few years. Sacramento is kind of a weird town, as far as sports go, it is pretty much the Kings and nothing else. There was less NHL coverage in Sacramento than NBA coverage in Rochester.

Will I be able to be close to the game this year? Only time will tell. A friend of mine convinced me to play in his fantasy hockey league this year.. that might force me into it.


As the summer comes to a close, another golf season is quickly closing. I have had a chance to play a couple of nice courses of late. I took part in a tournament at the Links at Ivy Ridge, and a regular round at the Batavia Country Club and Ravenwood Golf course. I recommend each course, and would rank them in this order: Ravenwood, Ivy Ridge and BCC. I would like to get down to Reservoir Creek, in Naples before the season ends, especially as the leaves are turning. If you want to get down there, and need someone to fill out your group, drop me a line.


I know I’ve not been as diligent with this page as I would like to be, but part is a lack of inspiration. If you have a topic you want my take on, feel free to drop me a line, and I’ll write something up. Your feedback on anything that I have written or anything you would like me to comment on will spark me to write more.

13 August, 2006

I read an article on-line the other day that made me think... It was about that whack-job Cindy Sheehan who has taken a personal crusade against the president. Everyone knows who this anti-American is, she is the one that bought a parcel of land near President Bush’s Crawford, TX ranch to hold continual protests about this war.

But that’s not what this is about... Just a bit of background that got me thinking...

She was in the news because she had just been released from the hospital from a self-inflected ailment. This article, by the way was on the Clinton News Network’s website (you know, CNN.com).

The poster child for ignorance was treated and released after suffering from exhaustion and dehydration stemming from not having eaten any solid food for reportedly 37 days and hanging out in the 100+ degree Texas sun. She was on a hunger strike called the “Troops Home Fast”.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not a warmonger, but if we are going to do something, we should go large, or go home. Didn’t we learn anything from Vietnam or Korea? We should either go all in, or let the Middle East deal with their own problems. But again, I’m getting off topic..

The thing that sparked my interest as I read about this ignorant communist was the entire concept of the hunger strike. What do you hope to accomplish by not eating? Do you think that by you not eating, that I am going to change my way of doing things?

What is the incentive for me to change because you are stupid enough to not eat for over a month?

Can these hunger strikes be effective? Somehow I doubt it.. yet they keep being used. So as long as these hippy-freaks are wasting their time and energy on such effective methods of protest as hunger strikes and picketing, we will continue to run the country, after lunch, that is.

19 July, 2006

A nickel for your thoughts?

No, your thoughts haven’t gone up in value.. it’s just that if Representative Kolbe (R. Arizona) gets his way, I won’t have a penny to give you. He has introduced a bill called the Currency Overhaul for an Industrious Nation Act. (cleverly acronymed to C.O.I.N.).

Among other things, the primary target of this act would be to eliminate the antiquated penny and round all cash transactions to the nearest nickel. Cash transactions ending in a 1, 2, 6, 7 would round down, while those ending in 3, 4, 8, 9 round up.

Now, this isn’t a new idea. It gets tossed about every few years. Rep. Kolbe also introduced it in 2001. He thinks it has a better chance of getting through this time around, mainly because the cost of zinc (today’s pennies are about 97% zinc, and are only copper coated) has sky-rocketed. It now costs about 1.4 cents for the Mint to stamp out a single penny (that’s the kind of efficiency that makes our government so powerful).

Should the penny go the way of the $2 bill? (Which, incidentally would be re-introduced in this act.) Most Americans are opposed to eliminating the penny, I personally would not be.

Sure, we would end up spending extra money on cash purchases... but let’s all be honest, how often do we actually still use cash? How much more often do we pull out the debit or credit card for our purchases? I use plastic considerably more than cash.

I also have containers full of pennies that I will never use at both home and in the office. They tend to get in the way more than they are beneficial.

I want to get your opinions on this. Let’s all kick in our 5 cents on this topic, leave your comments below.

12 July, 2006

When I started this blog, I said I was going to include movie reviews. I haven’t yet done one, partly because I am lazy, partly be cause I will go for months without going the theater. (Hollywood has been in a funk, and hasn’t had many good movies lately.. but that’s a different story, for a different day..). Please post whether or not you agree with my takes on these movies, I’m interested in seeing other’s takes as well.

I have seen 3 movies recently that I wanted to give my two cents worth. Let me start with the most recent, Superman Returns.

Before I get into the review, a friend of mine takes credit for the timeframe of this movie. About a year and a half ago, he said “I hope Christopher Reeve would just die”. His logic behind this statement is that they aren’t going to make or release the new Superman movie with him still alive. Sure enough, a couple of weeks later, he passed, and now we have the Superman 5, thanx Joe.

It took me a while to decide my true feeling of the movie, and after careful consideration, I will have to say that it was a good movie, and worth seeing. I think Brandon Routh did about as good of a job as could be done portraying the Man of Steel. He had many of the mannerisms of the late Reeve. He had a good look. I don’t think that Kate Bosworth was a good pick to play Lois Lane. She was too young. I base this on a couple of things, first off, if this movie follows the original 4, she would be older. Add to the fact that she now has a 5 year old, and it throws it all off. Supposedly she was the top reporter for the Daily Planet when Superman left, and 5 years later, she looks to be 25, it just didn’t seem to make sense to me. The best job of casting without a doubt goes to Kevin Spacey as Lex. He (Spacey) was phenomenal, but what was the last movie he was in that he didn’t do a good job? (he has been in bad movies, but they weren’t bad because of him..)

The movie was very athletically pleasing. The physics of the movie were pretty good. (when he caught the plane, it didn’t just stop, it collapsed. BTW, what stadium was that in? I tried to get a look, but there weren’t many good shots of the stadium..). there were few plot holes, Luthor had his typical ‘less than intelligent crew’ with the one-liners you can expect for a comic movie.

I am not going to get too much into the plot and a curious path that the movie takes, which I am not sure I like it (and am leaning towards not liking it). It isn’t expected, but you are not surprised when it is revealed.

Overall, I would have to say if you are a fan of the original movies or the character himself, go see the movie.

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My next review is for another one of the early summer’s big draws, The Da Vinci Code. I’m going to start out by saying I didn’t read the book, had little desire to read the book, and would have rather have gone to see Superman that night, but my family wanted to see it (they had all read the book).

It is still a mystery how Forrest Gump was able to solve the code, (but then again, I’m still wondering why they were surprised when they had problems with the Apollo 13).

My biggest beef with this movie is, if I wanted to read the book, I would have. I don’t like reading movies. I get it, you’re speaking French.. a bad accent gets the same point across (see Steve Martin’s Pink Panther). It’s fine to have the first few lines spoken in the foreign language, to establish that it is not English, then switch to the language of the audience.

The movie had a ‘National Treasure’ feel to it, and Nicholas Cage did a better job then our favorite Bosom Buddy, and to me, it was more interesting watching American history rather than a made-up treasure hunt based on the Bible.

I won’t say avoid the movie, especially if you read and enjoyed the book, or if you like the ‘keep you guessing’ type of movie, but I would recommend ‘National Treasure’ first.

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The last movie I am going to review here is a movie I rented, ’16 Blocks’. In a nutshell, Bruce Willis is a burnt out cop (I know, it’s a stretch..) who is tasked with getting a witness to a court appearance 16 blocks away (hence the title..). Sounds easy enough… until he finds out that the two-bit criminal witness will be testifying against a handful of dirty cops who want him dead.

The premise is pretty believable, but some of the things that happen are a bit far fetched, but that is part of the fun.

The DVD offers an alternate ending, which, according to the director, is the original ending. You have the option of watching the theatrical version, or the alternate ending as you watch the movie. You can also watch the other ending separately. I think I prefer the theater ending, but they are both good.

This movie didn’t seem to do as well as the other two, because it made it to Blockbuster pretty quick, but I did like the movie. It is worth checking out.

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So, wrapping it up:
Superman Returns: 7.5/10 a ‘go see’.
The DaVinci Code: 6/10 a ‘see if you want’.
16 Blocks: 8/10 a ‘go rent’.

Happy viewing!

30 May, 2006

An open letter to active service men and women of the US Armed Forces. This was meant to be online for Memorial Day, but like many other Americans, I let other things distract me from the reason Monday was a holiday.

Dear Sir or Madam.

I want to join in with countless Americans and say “thank you”. Despite what you may hear on the CBS evening news, many Americans support you. You do the job that the rest of don’t have the stones to do.

I, for one respect you. You are grossly under-compensated. You put your life on the line every day for people that you will never meet.

You had your day on Monday. But one day is not enough. A parade is not enough. Another excuse for a picnic is not enough. It’s a good start, but not enough.

I am not going to pretend to know what you have gone through. I am grateful for the horrors you have seen. For all of those days you have marched in the burning desert sun, sweltering jungle heat, or frozen tundra.

My condolences to all the members of your squadron who will never come home, there are too many of them. You have not lost them in vein.

May God continue to watch over you.

Sincerely,

A concerned citizen.

P.S. please pass this on to your friends and relatives of the Armed Forces both active, reserves, and retired, I want to get this out to as many soldiers as possible.

19 April, 2006

Something caught my attention today. I heard a commercial on the radio today that was a thinly veiled direct attack on the governor of the Empire State. Now, I’m no expert with the NY budget, but these commercials seemed illogical.

The one that I heard multiple times today and really stood out was a drama of a mother speaking to the ER doctor that just operated on her son. She was very happy because he (the doctor) saved her son’s life. He said it was all in a days work, but it might not be so next time, since George Pataki cut so much spending out of the budget for hospitals and doctors.

I’d be upset too, if my gravy train came to an end.

This goes back to the since of entitlement that is plaguing the state and society in general. Too many of the left wingers and the R.I.N.O.s (Republican In Name Only, you know, like Senator McCain of Arizona) are addicted to state and federal aid.

What happened to doing a better job than the competition? Did I miss the memo that we are no longer in a capitalist economy anymore?

If you want socialized medicine, go to Canada.. we can see how well it is working for our neighbors to the north.

Now I understand that the cost of health care isn’t cheap, but whose fault is that? It’s the same reason that a college education costs upwards of $100,000, Federal and State aid for those who “can’t afford” it.

Is this something that can be done? Probably not. Once you are addicted to heroin, the only alternative is methadone. Kicking the habit is virtually impossible. It is unlikely that there will be less government subsidies for things such as education and health care.

My question to the producers of the commercials is this: Where would you have the money come from? Would you rather have a cut in the highway department? Police departments? Fire Departments? To be fiscally responsible, you don’t spend more money than you have. I know it is a foreign concept.. but it actually makes sense.. if you can’t afford it, don’t buy it.. I know.. it is a crazy idea, but it’s so crazy it just might work..

12 April, 2006

Well, you had to know it was only a matter of time before I wrote something about the debates going on in our nation’s capitol.

The issue is causing thousands, perhaps millions to take to the streets in protest.

The issue is illegal immigration. Particularly Mexicans, but several nations are represented in these rallies.

Those who know me probably know where I come out on this.. but I’ll break it down.

First of all, there is a reason why they are called ‘Illegal Aliens’ and ‘Illegal Immigrants’.

I understand that our nation was built into the greatest nation in the world by immigrants, but there is a difference between the Mayflower and the coyotes that smuggle Mexicans into California and Arizona.

There are those who say that our economy depends on undocumented, underpaid farm laborers. I can’t find fault in the argument that there is little chance we would be able to get a head of lettuce for less than a dollar if farm owners had to pay minimum wage, plus payroll tax and social security for each of their pickers.

An argument to the contrary would be the drain on social programs that illegals and their children cause. Do enough of our tax dollars go to fund social programs to off-set the savings in food costs? There is no way to know for sure, but most Americans have an opinion.

After several years, someone has decided to do something about it, and now Congress has joined the bandwagon. One piece of proposed legislation would make it a felony to be in the country without documentation, another would all but give a free pass to those already here (but what would stop others from coming in?)

This is one of the issues that you will never satisfy everyone. The politicians can either serve those who elected them, or they can pander to those who can’t even vote for them.

I’m not a fan of talk show host Michael Savage, but his mantra rings true, “language, borders, culture.” By protecting these three things, America can remain strong. By abandoning them, we will be no better than the rest of the world.

And before all you who are dissatisfied with the way things are around here, and are mislead by the media saying how much the rest of the world hates the US, why are so many people giving all they have to come here? Maybe our Founding Fathers were on to something after all.

06 April, 2006

Let me start out by apologizing for the time between postings.. I am not going to bore you with the lame excuses.. I’m just going to start writing.. Before I go off on my latest rant, an update on my picks from the NCAA, after picking 6 of the Elite Eight, I got stung and only had 1 of the Final Four (Florida). I was in an online pool through Buffalo Wild Wing's web site. Out of over 4500 partcipants nation wide, I finished 334th. (I spent a bit in the top 10 for a while before the wheels came off). Overall, I cant be disapointed in my results..

And now, on with my rant..

The other day I watched a show that I wasn’t sure what to expect. In hind sight, I probably should have known.. but I watched it anyway… it was a show called “American Inventor”. It was a lame show with more fluff than anything else. The basic premise is anyone who fancies themselves as an inventor can bring their creation to this panel of experts who will judge it and if they vote to see if it is the next best product. It probably won’t surprise you to find out it was produced by Simon Cowell.

Seems pretty harmless. It was a 2 hour premier and there was probably about 35 minutes of actual ‘inventions’ (if you could call them that..) there was a lot of hype about the show, the obligatory bio for each of the 4 judges, but mostly it was sound bites of the alleged inventors.

The inventions ranged from the interesting to the insane to the down right stupid.. one guy ‘invented’ a walking stick (he called it a ‘wand’), another brought a device to add smoke flavor (via real smoke) to food, still another brought in an overcoat complete with a piss bag. You read that that right.. this guy added a plastic bag to the inside of a cloak that would allow you to answer the call of nature wherever you are. None of these 3 got passed on.

What really got me about this show wasn’t the bad acting, the weird ‘inventions’ or the shameful self-promotion of the show. What really bugged me about this show was the sense of entitlement that the ‘contestants’ had.

The people that didn’t make it on (you need 3 of the 4 judges to say ‘yes’ to move on) seemed to have a bug up their butt about not being chosen as the next ‘American Inventor’. They seemed to have this unnatural sense of entitlement. They appeared to be genuinely upset that they were passed on.

Now I don’t claim to be an expert on the next great invention, but the so-called inventions that were passed on, for the most part, were some of the worst ideas I’ve seen for new products in a while. I understand the frustration, I mean, many of these people have spent several thousand dollars developing their prototypes. Maybe they were just upset that they wasted their money. Although each of them had one thing in common.. they all said “you’ll see, my product will be everywhere, and you’ll wish things went different today” or something to that effect..

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about American entrepreneurship.. but let’s call a spade a spade. Some things weren’t meant to be invented. The trick is to know when your idea is a bad one, and let it go.

19 March, 2006

With the original 64 pared down to the Sweet 16, what does your bracket look like? Mine isn’t looking too bad.. I’m 34 and 14 through the first two rounds. I should be doing better.. going against my better judgment, I picked Big East Champs, Syracuse.. I should have known better.. Guess I got caught up in the way they played in the meaningless conference tournament..

Now, they did do something that has never been done in the Big East, no team who didn’t have the first round bye has won the tournament. But they had to win at least 2 games to make it to the Big Dance, the only team that actually would have benefited from beating the Orange was possibly Georgetown, but they made the tournament anyway.. they may have slipped a seed or two, but they are doing fine as a seven seed.

Every year, between selection Sunday, and the first tip just after noon on Thursday, everyone talks about who got the shaft, and who got lucky, and which conferences were snubbed, and which ones got to many teams in. A lot of the talking heads were saying the Big East was over estimated by getting a record 8 teams into the dance, including two number one seeds.. This talk increased when they were 0-3 after the first day. Things got better after a 5-0 second day.

All in all, the first 4 days of the tournament has had some fantastic games, and one can only hope the remaining rounds are as entertaining.

06 March, 2006

I’m not sure what bugs me more.. the fact that the lead story this morning was the Oscars, or that it was above the fold on the front page.

Listening to the news talk station this morning, the lead story for each ½ hour news update was results from the Academy Awards last night. Now I understand that this year was the first time that a Rochester area person has won the ‘Best Actor’ award. I understand that the glory hungry residents of this area need to look to be in the national media where ever they can find it.. let’s face it, It’s been a long time since Arthur Shawcross or the Brinks Heist was in the news. Before Capote was nominated, did the rest of the country know who Phillip Seymor Hoffman (he’s the guy that sharted in that Ben Stiller debacle Along Came Polly) is or that he is from Rochester?

I guess it goes to the voyeuristic nature of the American culture. As for me, I found better things to do than watch rich, stuck-up people having fun and congratulating each other about movies that I have little to no interest in.

If I really cared about the awards, I would get into the fact that the ‘artists’ who brought us “It’s tough out there for a Pimp” now have more Academy Awards (1) than Martin Scorsese (0). But why should I care about meaningless awards for which I will never be in contention to win, or even be nominated for.

The thing that bugs me is that other stories are being pushed back; Stories that have more bearing on day-to-day life in the area. Stories such as the RPD officer that was forced to use his gun to defend his life and the life of the husband of the allegedly high wife who came at Officer Jeffery Lafave with a knife got pushed below the fold.

Let me paint the picture from what I have pieced together from news reports. Two of Rochester’s finest responded to a domestic disturbance call, to an address that RPD officers have responded to on several occasions. The officer felt either his life, or the lives of other civilians was in danger, so he did what he was trained to do. One shot, center-mass.

And now her family is suing the department.

More and more, the good guys are being painted as the bad guys. It’s getting tougher and tougher for good cops to keep the streets safe. Their hands are being tied in a number of ways, and when the get close to the line, the ACLU whack-jobs cry foul. How can we expect to be kept safe, if those charged to do so are not able to do their jobs?

Now, David Patterson is doing what he can to hand-cuff the men and women in blue of this state even further. Dave is a state senator from Harlem, who is likely to join Spitzer in Albany. He is proposing a bill that would change the way Police Academies train. He is proposing a new charge that could be levied to police officers that are forced to use deadly force in the line of duty. Instead of shooting to stop or kill, they will have to aim for the arm or leg or another non-fatal target on the perp. If a cop is involved in a fatal shooting, under this proposed law, the officer would be charged with second degree manslaughter.

Yep, that’s right. The cop would go to jail for doing their job of protecting the innocent.

When will it stop? Who knows, but it is clear that the government seems to think that we are not smart enough to run our own lives.

19 February, 2006

Do you recognize that sound you’re not hearing? It’s the collective sound of Americans not watching the Olympics. Who’s to blame? Is NBC’s coverage the problem? Or is it the 6-9 hour time difference between Italy and the US? Perhaps… Maybe it’s the fact that nobody cares. As the games go more X-Games, it becomes less interesting to Americans. As far as I’m concerned the only real sport in the Olympics is hockey. Honorable mention goes to curling.

When snowboarding takes center stage, we have gone too far. And what was going through the first skeleton rider’s mind? (is that what they are called?)

Being honest, the only Olympic coverage I have seen was part of the Canada/Russia women’s hockey game, most of the US/Germany women’s hockey. I listened to part of the US men play the Slovaks Saturday, so I really have no idea what kind of “special stories” are going on in this version of the games. I’ve heard the stories, Michelle Kwan’s injury, the snowboarder who blew her chance at a gold when she show-boated and fell.. and the Bode Miller saga, reminiscent of the challenge between Dan and what’s-his-name, the decathletes from the '92 games, both failed to medal. Lot’s of pre-games hype, with disappointment as the pay-off.

What could make the Olympics better? Many have suggested tape delaying are the downfall of the coverage, perhaps. But if NBC showed the games live, the coverage would be at 9am, who would see them besides housewives and retirees? Would you take work off to watch the biathlon? Not likely. Others have suggested consolidating events into one night. For example all figure-skating would be featured on Thursday. That works if you want to catch one event, but most people would then only tune in for the event’s that interested them.

I think that the games have run their course. There is little doubt that Americans are not interested in most of the ‘games’ of the winter Olympics. All the proof I need to confirm this is the fact that glorified karaoke is pulling better ratings then the games. I doubt many of us would miss the games if they went away and simply never came back. Maybe then, there wouldn’t be a 3 week hiatus of new Law and Order episodes.

08 February, 2006

A grave disservice was done.

It was a sad day when Dr. King’s widow passed last week. She received an honor that not even her late husband received, being laid in state in the Georgia Capitol building. In fact, no African-American let alone a woman African-American. But that’s not what this is about.

At her funeral, many dignitaries were present, and several spoke. Some used the occasion to spew biased left wing propaganda anti George W.

Former President Jimmy Carter (according to Homer Simpson, we elected the wrong Carter with a reference to Billy Beer) took pot-shots at the current Commander and Chief for a lack of rapid response in the wake of the devastating storm Katrina. His comments were inappropriate to say the least. Not that he doesn’t have the right have a different, (albeit misguided) opinion than the current President. This was hardly the place to voice such an opinion.

It gets worse.

The Reverend Joseph Lowery swung much lower. His comments included “We know there were no weapons of mass destruction, but we knew there were weapons of misdirection right here.”

It was a time to pay tribute to a civil rights crusader. To the memory of civil rights leaders of times past. A mark that was missed on multiple occasions, and an opportunity to do much good was tainted by misguided left wing whack jobs. It was hardly the time or place for such slander.
Another Superbowl has come and gone. With my apologies to the Steeler and Seahawk fans, but let’s be real, it wasn’t that exciting.

The game wasn’t that good either. A very uninspiring performance by just about all involved, separated by a few moderately entertaining commercials. The consensus for best commercial was Bud Light’s ‘Magic Fridge’, I can’t dispute it was a good commercial, (my mom almost choked on her snacks when she saw it. I would give honorable mention to the ‘Sheep Streaker’ (also a Bud Light offering), The Fed-Ex prehistoric saga, and the Sprint-Nextel locker room comparing phone capabilities.

As part of the pre-game, the NFL paraded out the MVP’s of the past 39 Superbowls, with 3 exceptions. There were 3 no-shows representing 6 games (San Francisco’s Joe Montana, XXIV, XIX, and XVI, Pittsburgh’s Terry Bradshaw: XIV and XIII and Miami’s Jake Scott VI) according to a San Francisco paper, Scott was in Australia vacationing with his family and the other two were holding out for more money. The League reportedly covered travel expenses for those in attendance along with tickets to the game and $1000 cash for incidentals. Joe Montana was reportedly holding out for quite a bit more than that, saying he wouldn’t come for less than $100,000. He also told ESPN 2’s Cold Pizza that he would be attending his kid’s basketball game the day of the big game.

Should they have been there? Probably, will it tarnish their legacy? Probably not. What kind of obligations does the mantle of MVP of the Superbowl bring? Officially, I am not sure (having not been a Superbowl MVP myself) publicly, I think they should have made an effort to be there. Could Scott’s family have vacationed next week or last week? Probably, but who are we to say he should have? Bottom line, it would have been nice to see all of the past MVP’s, but it didn’t make that much of a difference to me. It didn’t effect the game at all. To be honest, I had to look up the dates of the 6 Superbowls that were not represented, the most recent one was 16 years ago, and as long as I can remember, Bradshaw was the obnoxious bald announcer. In the end, I guess it comes down to, how much of a difference does it make to us that these 3 former athletes found better things than go to the Superbowl? Not much. If they want to spend time with their families, and they have the means to do so, more power to them.

20 January, 2006

Radio talk show host and columnist Bob Lonsberry wrote this, I liked it alot, so I figured I would pass it on. He can be heard weekdays on 1180 WHAM in Rochester, or streeming from the station's web site (wham1180.com). His daily column can be read at http://lonsberry.com. This was today's, amen Bob!

==========================

Dear Osama,

I saw your videotape.

And I was struck by how much you look like one of the shepherds in the Christmas play.

But then I remembered you don’t celebrate Christmas. Which probably explains why you’re such a jerk.

I also wondered, listening to the audio, if you’d had your ‘nads shot off. I mean, there’s a certain high pitch to your voice which you typically only hear coming out of the Vienna boys choir. And I figured what with all that running and hiding you do, maybe you’d run afoul of some shrapnel or something.

Anyway, to the specifics of your tape.

You said that you wanted a truce.

Which is exactly what we want. We really, really want peace. And we’re glad you are willing to discuss terms.

Here are ours: You and everybody like you has to die, preferably in a ghastly fashion. Then we’ll lay down our arms.

Until then, please rest assured that nearly 300 million Americans fall asleep every night imagining a set of crosshairs lining up on your forehead.

Seriously, of all the jackals who deserve a sniper round through the brain pan, you’re at the top of the list. Every day Americans pray that your health is good so we’re not denied the pleasure of killing your sorry camel-riding backside. Right now, if you keeled over from a heart attack, we’d consider it that we got ripped off.

Speaking of untimely death, sorry to hear about your pals the other day in Pakistan. Seems like three of your big buddies were getting together to screw a sheep or something and all of a sudden some guy back at Langley pushed a button and the camels got a fireworks show.

Apparently your big bomb expert and your Pakistan boss and some other boss from someplace people who use inside toilets have never heard of turned into a big pink cloud in the blink of an eye.

Ka-freaking-boom.

Here’s the bad news for you: We’re not out of missiles yet. And flying those Predators around is a lot of fun. And we’ve got a whole generation of videogame experts coming up who’d love to Xbox your brains out.

Hey, I had a question: How’s the cave?

Does it get a little old being on the run constantly, hiding like a frightened dog, cowering off in some hole in the ground? Sure, everybody loves camping, but I’m not sure shivering in the mountains in the winter can be that much fun.

Also, some friends of mine wanted me to pass you a message. Essentially, everybody in the United States Army sends their best. Ditto for their friends in the Marine Corps, Air Force and Navy. And they really like this game of reverse hide-and-seek you’ve got going. You hide and they look for you. And eventually they’ll find you.

At which point there will be a lot of noise and some bright lights and then you’ll meet an angel who will give you the bad news about the 72 virgins.

Before I go, there was one other thing I wanted to bring up. In your tape, you said that you were planning more attacks in American.

In fact, you said that you could have attacked already if you’d wanted to and that our homeland security efforts were meaningless to you but that you were working on something and as soon as you got it lined up you were going to pull the trigger.

Well, you’re welcome to try.

But you’ve got to understand, all you do is make us laugh. Honestly, Osama, you are full of so much crap. You couldn’t pull off a convenience store robbery right now.

The reason you’ve done nothing over the past four and a half years is because you’ve not been able to. We’ve broken up cells, we’ve broken up your money supply, we’ve killed your allies in the field. Heck, George W. Bush even listens in on your friends’ phone calls.

In short, we’ve made you our, uh, female dog.

And we’re about to put you to sleep.

So, go ahead, send your tapes and make your boasts. They’re good for a chuckle.

But you’re history, slick. You’re a dead man walking. Your fate is sealed. The what is known, it’s the when that’s still up in the air.

Hopefully, it won’t be too quick. Hopefully, it’ll take long enough for you to suffer and fret an awful lot.

But if it’s quick, that’s fine too. Just as long as you’re dead. Because that’s what you really are. You’re dead. Your cause, your organization, yourself. Just so much bloated, stinking death.

We’re just competing to see who has the honor to do it.

And, on that videotape. All of us back here in America were thinking you could take it and shove it up your backside.

- by Bob Lonsberry © 2006

09 January, 2006

A while back, before blogs infested the internet, I wrote editorial columns and emailed them to anyone who was interested. I ran across one of my favorites the other day. Here it is. It was written around Thanksgiving time, but the theme is universal. Hope you enjoy! :) (the sub refrenced here was the inspiration.for the movie U-571)

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In this season of Thanksgiving, we have much as Americans to be thankful for. There is, for many people the obvious, a hot turkey dinner with all the fixings, friends, family and a roof over our heads.

Giving Thanks to Those Who Deserve Our Thanks. There is, however, much more to be thankful for.

I had the opportunity this weekend to visit Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco. While there, I took the tour of the USS Pampanito. It is a WWII Balao class fleet submarine. While on the boat it made me think. And as I thought about what I was looking at, what I was walking through, I gained a much greater appreciation for the sacrifice that the men and women in uniform make on a daily basis for us.

Don’t get me wrong, I have always respected the military, and admired those who give for the greatest nation on the planet. But until now, that has always been a passive respect.

On the tour, we went in the sub and with the aid of a hand-held player, we hear the voices of the actual sailors who served on that small craft. I say small, but the craft of just over 300 feet was home to 80 men for months at a time.

I make no claim that I can understand what it is like to be stationed on the sub, I have spent 30 minutes aboard a decommissioned sub, docked at the bay, however one of the things that often goes un-anticipated is how small it is, how cramped the quarters are, and how dangerous everyday life aboard a sub is. The rooms were cramped with the 6 people that were at the same point of the tour as us. It was hard to imagine 80 people being there. On one of the tours, it was even worse, they picked up more than 70 British and Australian P.O.W.s drifting in the South China Sea, real life survivors.

The duties and responsibilities of the submariner is great. Think about it, if a ship has problems. It stops. Or worse, it starts to sink. You still have life rafts, and with luck you will get rescued. However, as witnessed by the recent Russian sub still at the bottom of the ocean. A mis-hap, more often than not, yields no survivors--especially at a depth of 400 feet or more.

The tour was very moving to say the least. We learned of more than 50 other American subs that never returned from a tour of duty. Their final resting place is forever unknown to the families of those brave sailors. The more than three thousand men who gave their lives for the fight for freedom. To protect the rights that our fore-fathers bleed for.

I thought of the election, and the media circus that it has become. I thought of the hundreds of over-seas absentee ballots that may not get counted because the party in power doesn’t like who they might be voting for.

Too many times the military gets the raw deal.


This isn’t right. Why is it that the professions that mean the most to this nation, are the ones that get the least respect, both in pay and in society. Why is it that the jobs least important to society pay millions to those who can throw a ball, or sing or act? How is that right?

It is time that the men and women who serve in the military get the respect that they should have coming to them. Too many soldiers and sailors are on food stamps. These are the ones who will protect us, so that we can continue to enjoy the freedoms listed in the Constitution.

If you ever have the chance to go to San Francisco, take the opportunity to tour the USS Pampanito. If nothing else, you will learn a bit of history that no textbook can teach.

As you read this, take the time to reflect on the freedoms that we enjoy. Take the time to thank those in the military who you know, both those who are still with us, and those who have gone before us. And most importantly, remember that while we are free to enjoy the many freedoms that we as Americans enjoy, democracy only works if we do. Get involved, if it is nothing more than going to a PTA or a local city council meeting.

Please forward this to those who you know in the Armed Services, I would like as many of them as possible to know that there are people who support them, and respect what they do.

07 January, 2006

A friend of mine sent me this.. it makes you think.. it should be passed on to all your ingnorant liberal friends. (I didn't change the formatting at all.)



Things that make you think a little:

There were 39 combat related killings in Iraq in January.
In the fair city of Detroit there were 35 murders in the
month of January.That's just one American city,
about as deadly as the entire war-torn country of Iraq.

When some claim that President Bush shouldn't
have started this war, state the following:

a. FDR led us into World War II.

b. Germany never attacked us; Japan did.
From 1941-1945, 450,000 lives were lost ..
an average of 112,500 per year.

c. Truman finished that war and started one in Korea.
North Korea never attacked us.
From 1950-1953, 55,000 lives were lost ...
an average of 18,334 per year.

d. John F. Kennedy started the Vietnam conflict in 1962.
Vietnam never attacked us.

e. Johnson turned Vietnam into a quagmire.
From 1965-1975, 58,000 lives were lost ..
an average of 5,800 per year.

f. Clinton went to war in Bosnia without UN or French consent.Bosnia
never attacked us.
He was offered Osama bin Laden's head on a platter three
times by Sudan and did nothing. Osama has attacked us on
multiple occasions.

g. In the years since terrorists attacked us, President Bush
has liberated two countries, crushed the Taliban, crippled
al-Qaida, put nuclear inspectors in Libya, Iran , and North
Korea without firing a shot, and captured a terrorist who
slaughtered 300,000 of his own people.

The Democrats are complaining
about how long the war is taking.
But,
It took less time to take Iraq than it took Janet Reno
to take the Branch Davidian compound.
That was a 51-day operation.

We've been looking for evidence for chemical weapons
in Iraq for less time than it took Hillary Clinton to find
the Rose Law Firm billing records.

It took less time for the 3rd Infantry Division and the
Marines to destroy the Medina Republican Guard
than it took Ted Kennedy to call the police after his
Oldsmobile sank at Chappaquiddick

It took less time to take Iraq than it took
to count the votes in Florida!!!!
Our Commander-In-Chief is doing a GREAT JOB!
The Military morale is high!
The biased media hopes we are too ignorant
to realize the facts
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