Countdown

18 December, 2009

Japan got it less wrong.


As you are no doubt aware, this summer, in a misguided attempt to kick-start the economy and bolster auto sales, congress gave a bunch of your money to people looking to buy a new car.

That’s all well and good, but when more than half of the new cars purchased were foreign name plates. That doesn’t do much to buoy the big three in Detroit.

Before anyone started talking about the whole ‘Cash for Clunkers’ program, I said if you want to give a Federally funded boost to GM, Ford and Chrysler, don’t give them a bail-out, give Americans a rebate for buying a new car. I am opposed to corporate welfare, which, cards on the table, that is what a bailout is.. but if you are going to give one out, a rebate for the purchase of a new American made car would be the way to go.

Instead, they did both, and failed miserably.

A large percentage of new vehicles purchased were at or below the mileage of the one being turned in, and more than half of them went overseas.

Now, before you say that most Toyotas, Hondas, Kias and Hyundais sold in the US are manufactured in the US, and many GM, Ford and Chrysler vehicles are manufactured elsewhere, that is a flawed argument, or at least not a complete one.
You have to follow the $$. Where does the money go when you buy a Honda? Sure, some money goes to the local dealer, some goes to the domestic plant, but the lion’s share of the profit goes to Tokyo. And the same goes for the Big 3, except 2 of the 3 stay in the US (dealer, and HQ)

Well, as they say, when the US economy is down, the world economy is down. And Japan, in an attempt to bolster its economy, has put together a ‘Cash for Clunkers’ clone. With one crucial caveat. In order to qualify for the credit, they must purchase a new domestic car.

In other words, GM, Ford, Chrysler, Kia, etc.. are out of luck. But what interest does the Japanese government in stimulating foreign companies, at the expense of domestic ones?

07 October, 2009

Going a bit too far..


For over 75 years, out in the middle of the desert of southern California stands a monument to fallen Veterans. That is until now..

You see, there are 2 problems with it.. First of all, it sits in a National Reserve, 2nd, it is a cross. Not a huge cross like the one along the interstate somewhere in the middle of Oklahoma. It stands a reported 5-8 feet tall.

It now is being threatened by the ACLU, and the 9th circuit of appeals has ordered that it be covered up (as it has been for a few years since the original ruling). The fate of the cross is now in the hands of the US Supreme Court. To his credit, the Obama administration has supported the cross being there (despite him saying that we are not a Christian nation, even with more than 3 of 4 people claim some form of Christianity). The ACLU says that since it sits on public land, it violates the Constitutionally guarantied separation of Church and State. The only problem with that is that the Constitution doesn’t say that. This is what the First Amendment says:
  1. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

It says that there will be no State run church like the Church of England of Colonial times. It really bothers me that it has been twisted by the courts and by the ACLU to say that there can be no religious symbols on any public property anywhere. It is freedom of religion, not freedom from religion. It means that the government can’t force the population to join a church, and the government can’t start a church. It also means that the government can’t make any laws restricting your religion.

In this PC world we have come to live in, people take offense at things that were never meant to be offensive. I’m sorry to the 3.9% of the population that are religious, but not Christian. We aren’t meaning to offend you; we are only practicing our religion. We are in no way infringing on your rights to practice your religion. We are in no way trying to force our religion on you.

28 September, 2009

Help me Decide...

I like to think that I have an open mind on most things. I know that in reality, it probably isn’t as open as I would like to think that it is.. so when something comes up, I try to take to take a step back and see if I agree with it or not on the merits of the situation.

One such event in the news recently caused just such a step back..

It is about the President going to Denmark to campaign for the 2016 Olympics.

My initial reaction is that it is not a good use of the President’s time and our nation’s resources. But I wanted to reevaluate my stand on that to see if it was just the easy way out of disagreeing with 99% of what he has said and done since he came into the National spotlight.

He is the first US President to personally campaign for the Olympics, so there is no precedent for it. That isn’t to say that there shouldn’t be, just that there hasn’t been.

He has shown in the past that he is a big sports fan. He has spoken out against the BCS, and his Final Four brackets were all over the news. I have no problem with him being a sports fan, George W. Bush is a former owner of the Texas Rangers, and Presidents have been throwing out first pitches for Orioles games for years.

What causes me to pause is whether or not the office of the President should be used to influence an independent sporting body. I’ve written in the past about Obama speaking out against the BCS, and he has every right to have thoughts about it as a sports fan, but he has no right as the Leader of the Free World to meddle in the inner workings of the NCAA and the BCS.

However, the Olympics are a different thing all together. The Olympic Games represent much more than the games themselves. If you have any questions about that, take a look at any of the games during the Cold War. From the US boycott of the 1980 Moscow games to the subsequent Soviet boycott of the 84 games in Los Angeles. The Olympics have always been about more than the games themselves.

They are a chance for the host country to showcase itself. Look at the pageantry of the 2008 opening ceremonies in Beijing.

I think that if the people of the Chicago area want to welcome the world, than why not send the President, especially a president that was formerly a Senator from Illinois, especially when the First Lady calls Chicago home.

I haven’t been a fan of the Olympics for quite a while. I have nothing against them; it’s just hard to follow a ‘sport’ that 95% of the world only sees every 4 years. I do get into a few of them but I don’t like all of the special interest stories that NBC insists on showing. If you are going to cover the games, than do that.. cover the games. But my thoughts on the Olympics are not relevant to this column.

Hosting the Olympics will bring the world to us. It will create infrastructure jobs in and around Chicago (I was in Salt Lake City before the 2000 games, much of the city was under construction as they prepared for the world to be their guests.) the hospitality industry will thrive and millions in foreign currency will be spent. As long as we don’t over spend like they did in Montreal in 1976 (they ran a $1Billion deficit), which, let’s be honest, will probably happen (meaning we will overspend).

13 August, 2009

Help Me Understand...

Unless you have been living under a rock, or in a cave over the last 6 months or so, you are no doubt aware of the story of former Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick and his legal problems.

Well, he was in the news again today after he signed a 2 year contract with the Philadelphia Eagles.  A contract worth a reported $6.6m.

Now he won't be able to play right away, he will miss the first 2 pre-season games, and as many as 6 regular season games (the final determination to be made by the Commissioner by week 6).

What bothers me is why so many people had such an adverse reaction to him signing with anyone, let alone with their team. Sports talk shows were filled with callers saying he should never be allowed to play again.

Not to discount the depravity of running a dog fighting ring, but it was just that, a DOG fighting ring. No people were hurt. He served his time in Federal Prison and house arrest, and missed 2 years of his career at what has to be the near prime of his career. Why the venom?

Take on the other hand, Cleveland Browns receiver Dante Stallworth. He killed a person, and he got 30 days in jail (of which, he served 24 days). He will serve a full year suspension from the league.

Why is there little to no outrage that he never play again? Is it because he killed a person with his Bentley when he blew a .12? What if he had shot him? Would he draw more ire from the public?

Even Plaxico Burress is getting more of the pariah treatment than Stallworth, and he shot himself with a licensed hand gun. The only problem is it was licensed in Florida, not in NY, where it happened to be when it was discharged. You know, in Manhattan, where only 9 of the Bill of Rights actually applies to citizens (but that is a different topic for a different day).

This is the land of overreaction and forgiveness. At first, the public overreacts, then they forgive. It happened for Don Imus.

Next on the overreaction chopping block is Louisville Basketball coach Rick Pitino...


31 July, 2009

Who didn’t see this coming?


You’ve probably seen the ads on TV or heard them on the radio, they are pretty hard to miss. The ones that say you can turn in your old gas guzzeling car and get $4500 towards the purchase of a new, more fuel efficient car.

On the surface, it sounds pretty good. You get a huge discount towards the cost of a new car.

But where does the money come from? It is another example of the re-distrabution of weath this Administratoin is hell-bent on ramming down our throats.

And, it’s not even related to the huge stimlus plan that we didn’t have any say on..

The ‘Car Allowance Rebate System’ or CARS program is nicknamed “Cash for Clunkers” went into effect last week, and has been very popular. People have been pouring into showrooms to take advantage of the free money from other people’s taxes.

In fact, it’s been so popular, that the alocated funds are dangerously close to running out. It had been slated to last until November (or until the money ran out). No one anticipated it would run out in a week.

This presents a number of concerns. There is currently a backlog of requests from dealerships requesting the money for the cars they have already sold. Many dealers are concerned that they will not get the full rebate for all of the ‘clunkers’ that they have taken in as trades. Another is should this program be continued, where would the money come from? It has been suggested that we tap into the yet unspent Stimulus money (the question that raises for me, if it was so imparative that it pass as quickly as it did, why is it still unspent all of these months later?)
*** This just in... The House has approved an additional $2b of your tax dollars for the 'Cash for Clunkers' program ***

17 April, 2009

What is this Euroenvy our government seems to have?

Over the past several years, there seems to be a growing sense of Euroenvy in our country. Many people look at the way things are going in Europe, and wish it would happen here.

Most recently, the Dictator in Chief announced plans to establish a high speed rail system in this country. He claims that it will help to link the people of this country together. No doubt, this is based on the rail system in Europe.

Here is why it won't work. First of all, all of the tree huggers won't let it. But assuming they do start building it, there is no way it will ever cover the costs of operation.

Part of the reason that it works in Europe, is that the entire continent of Europe is more than double the population density of the US. Europe has a population density of 70 people per square Km, while the US comes in as the 177th most densely populated nation in the world at 31 people per square Km. Several European nations register in the high triple digits, and host the world's most densely populated nation, Monaco, which tips the scales at a staggering 16,905 people per sqkm (just under 32k people live in its just under 2 mile borders). All in, 24 European nations register densities of over 100, including 3 (Monaco, Vatican City (2045) and Malta (1258)) over 1000.

If people live close together, it makes it more efficient to take the train.

As part of the announced plans, they intend the UPNY corridor between Buffalo and Albany. That's all well and good, except that a report came out today, that Thru-Way usage is down. That would suggest that there is less demand for transit between these cities.

Another problem that we are going to run into is the complete lack of experienced rail workers. The high speed trains would require a different type of track than standard trains, so it's not going to create any new jobs, since all of the workers would have to come from Europe or Asia, where they use the high speed trains already. Didn't we learn the lesson from Springfield with the Monorail?

I've taken a train ride. It was fun, but I'm not sure I would do it again. When I was living in Sacramento, I needed to get to Salt Lake City, UT. The train tickets were only about $50 less than it would have been to fly. It took 11 hours to take the train (it takes about 9 to drive), and when we got there, we still didn't have a car.

When it comes down to it, mass transit works in densely populated cities, not in the spread out expanses.

And, correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't we fight a war to not be a European nation? Wasn't this country founded by people not wanting to live in Europe, for whatever reason?


16 April, 2009

Another step down the Red path to comunisim.

Recently, Time Warner Cable announced plans to restructure the way they bill for their RoadRunner internet service. To sum it up, it would be more of an a la carte type of thing where they would be billing based on usage rather than having blanket unlimited price plans.

As part of this price restructuring, they established a few markets as test markets to see how it would work. They then moved it to the next step by testing other markets. One of the markets slated to be in the next round of testing was to have been Rochester, NY.

There was a groundswell of dissatisfied customers when this came through. Facebook groups started, websites were created all to express dissatisfaction with the proposed rate changes.

All this despite assertions from Time Warner, that a majority of customers would end up saving money, because the caps set would be higher than the typical internet user uses on a monthly basis.

In a measure of full disclosure, I am torn with this issue. As a consumer, I am not excited at the prospect of services that I use having higher rates, I cannot find fault in Time Warner for looking for ways to increase revenue and increase shareholder value. After all, that is what they are in business for. And if this change was made, I most likely would have exercised my right as a consumer to switch to a competitor with no such usage caps.

Enter our knights in shining armor, Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Rep Eric Massa (D-NY). They came in to our rescue in a sweeping comunistic measure. They (mostly Schumer) bullied a privatly held corporation into suspending the use of Rochester as one of their test markets.

Gone are the days where the government didn't have the right to step in and dictate how businesses operate and how they deturmine how they bill their customers.

Maybe next, Schumer can go after those evil restaurantures that charge so much for their meals. It's unfair that they are allowed to charge as much as they like for the food they serve. Not everyone can afford to spend $30 for a steak, let alone as much as $100 or more for a meal if you want an appatizer and desert. We should have the government do something about it. When they have fixed that, they should go after luxury car makers. After all, most working Americans can't afford to pay $70,000 or more for a car. They have already gone after those who had the audacity to forclose on mortgages taken out by those who couldn't afford $500k houses.



16 February, 2009

Do they think we are stupid? Or just selfish?

In a recent line of advertisements paid for by the Teachers' Union, they say we need to fix the way the Peoples Republic of New York taxes it's citizens.

In a way, they are right.

But the way they want to go about doing it, is all wrong.

They say that in order to save our schools, libraries and hospitals, we need to tax the rich at a 'more fair' higher rate. To take a line from the commercial, "Donald Trump's chauffeur pays the same higher rate as Trump does."

This is absolutely the wrong way to go. But as blue as this state is, it is likely what is going to happen.

And as a result, more jobs and people are going to leave and move back to the United States.

It seems that there is a 3 way race to see who can be the most socialistic and hardest on its most successful citizens between NY, California and Washington DC.

The fairest way to go is for everyone to pay the same rate. I'm no math major, but it seems to me that if there is a flat rate tax, the person that makes a million dollars will pay more in taxes than someone who works for minimum wage.

But socialists don't think that way. They think in percentages, not in actual dollars. It makes for a better sound-bite. It makes it seem like those evil conservatives are being unfair to the less fortunate.

It's time to call a spade a spade.

It's compare dollars to dollars.

It's time to share the burden equally.

Throwing money at the problem won't fix it. Take a look at the 2008 Yankees. They had by far, the highest payroll in baseball, and didn't make the playoffs. By comparison, take a look at the Tampa Bay Rays. The entire payroll of the team is less than the Yankee's 3rd baseman, and yet, the lowly Rays were the American League's representative in the World Series. It takes smart money, not more money.

Historically, when tax rates were lowered, the municipalities actually took in more money.

The answer is less government, not more. Ronald Regan said the 8 scariest words you could here are "I'm from the government, I'm here to help."


04 February, 2009

So close, yet so far away.


Today, Comrade Obama declared that executives of companies that receive bailout money from the government should have their salaries capped at $500,000. He wants to take the air out of the so-called 'golden parachute'.

I appreciate wanting to make sure the money is going to companies that want to return to profitability, but this isn't the way to do it.

In fact, I think this is the sort of move that will make matters worse.

Would you take a job that you knew that your salary was capped, and would not go higher? I wouldn't. I'd be more likely to take a job at a company that doesn't have such restrictions.

This will scare away the talented, innovative people from the job. The people that can make a difference are going to take jobs at other firms that don't limit compensation. Perhaps, they will even go overseas.

And when they run out of qualified candidates, they go for what's left.

Don't get me wrong. I don't want to give bloated pay checks to people who won't fix the problem, or to the ones that caused the problem in the first place, but there has to be a better way to do it.

How about having more of a floating pay grade. A sort of pay for performance system. I'm no lawyer, but I'm sure the smart people that decide those sorts of things can figure something out.

That way, the most qualified people will be motivated to take a job at a 'bailed out' company because they will work their butts off to make them better because when the company succeeds, they will be adequately compensated for it.

The answer lays with less government restriction, not more.

29 January, 2009

This is how it should be done.


You may or may not be aware that federal law requires the Post Office to deliver mail to all US addresses 6 days a week. It makes sense, but I just never really thought about it.

Well, as the world goes digital and as private couriers improve service, the volume of mail delivered by the USPS has declined. In 2008, the USPS saw a decline of 4.5% in the volume of mail it delivered compared to the previous year. That's over 9 billion fewer pieces of mail.

The Post Office is exploring ways to streamline its operations. One such option is to eliminate one day of delivery each week.

I want to applaud the Post Office for looking for ways to reduce cost, rather than by just raising taxes (i.e. stamp prices). This is the example that the rest of the government should follow.

Instead of raising taxes, look for ways to be more efficient. If, for example, a private entity can do a job, let them (the biggest example I can think of for this is municipal WiFi). Some things that the government does should be left to the private sector.

Instead of making people who don't use the services pay for them, how about re-examining the services in general, to see if they are something that the government should be doing in the first place.

I know that it's not uncommon for me to get nothing besides junk mail. There are several companies that I do business with that do not send me paper bills. I also, pay all of my bills online. I don't remember the last time I wrote a check to pay a bill. I couldn't even tell you what a stamp costs these days.

One more thing that the Post Office should do is to reconsider how they spend their advertising dollars. Does the USPS really need to sponsor a professional cycling team? That's not to say they shouldn't advertise, and that they shouldn't advertise on sports, but does it make sense to advertise on a sport that virtually no Americans follow except for 2 weeks in July?

24 January, 2009

Let's not send the wrong message.


It's not often that a girls high school basketball game makes national attention. In fact, it's rare that many outside of the players and coaches and their families and friends even know how girls teams are doing.

But a recent match up between the Covenant School and Dallas Academy has been all over the news of late.

These two private schools in Texas played a game, a game that probably should not have been scheduled. The results of the game were a 100-0 score in favor of the Covenant School.

Now, there is pressure from all over for the Covenant School to forfeit the game. That's going too far.

The point of sports is to do your best. Win or lose, you give it your all. This same story comes up every time a college football powerhouse plays a smaller school with much less in the way of resources to recruit and train their players.

"Call off the dogs" is the cry. I say, if you don't want to get beat by 100, play some defense. Players will tell you that when you stop playing your hardest, that is when you are more likely to get hurt.

If I were from the Dallas Academy, I think I would be more offended at the forfeit than the 100 point beat-down. And any true competitor would feel the same way.

OK, I just rolled over and got my butt handed to me, but in the stat column, I win, and you lose? How is that right?

For the Covenant School to forfeit, is on the same page as not keeping score at little league games. It sends the wrong message.

20 January, 2009

A new chapter for America


Today marks the next chapter in American History. Barack Hussein Obama will be inaugurated as the 44th President of the United States of America.

There will be much ado going on in Washington DC as well as the rest of the country.

National TV coverage will be on all of the major networks.

Why such a commotion? Partly because it is the end of an era that the media and Hollywood celebrities portrayed as one of the darkest hours of American History.

One article I read reports that the outgoing president is "one of the nation's most unpopular and divisive presidents". It goes on to list several negative things that happened in the past 8 years.

One thing that was omitted from the article was the good that has happened during that time.

Things like the fact that the country has not been attacked on home soil since 9/11 (Al Qaeda has claimed responsibility for attacks in London and Madrid since).

Or that despite being down now, the DOW has seen its highest levels during the Bush Presidency, but compare it to the level it was at when he took office, it isn't as bad as some would make it out to be.

Or that another country was liberated from a tyrannical dictator and had free and open elections.

Many will point to the number of dead American soldiers in Iraq (4229) and Afghanistan (641), but compare that to the dead on D-day (10,000 dead or missing) alone, never mind the 14 million ally soldiers dead during the entire WWII. What about the 36,516 American soldiers killed in Korea (not counting the 8276 MIA or 7245 POW). Or the 58,159 American Servicemen who never came back from Vietnam.

Sure this president did things that I disagreed with (the biggest being the bloated bailouts), but let's not discount the good that has come from it.

I will not agree with a majority of his policies, but I will respect the office. I will not be like the far left who crucified George W. Bush from day one. That is not to say that I won't stand up against policies that I disagree with. But my criticism will be policy based, not personal.

Thomas Jefferson said "That government is best which governs the least". It has also been said that "a government that is big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take everything that you have".

09 January, 2009

Does he really have nothing better to do?


It appears that all of our nation's problems have been solved. How do I know that? Well, Our soon to be fearless leader Emperor Obama has spoken out against the BCS again.

Don't get me wrong, I am in favor of a college football playoff of some sort. Or at least a 'Plus one' system where they play one more game to decide the championship. This year would feature either USC or Utah vs Florida.

Now, I am not discounting Obama's right to have an opinion about the BCS, nor his right to speak out about it. But he should be doing so as a fan, not as the Supreme Leader of the Galaxy. How the college football conferences operate is between them and their schools. If they choose to run the system in a way that generates more revenue than a clear cut champion, that is their decision. They are free to operate how they see fit.

Our government needs to occupy itself with more pressing matters than sports. We don't need to see Rafael Palmeiro insisting that he has never taken a banned substance in front of a congressional panel, only to test positive a few weeks later.

We also don't need to see Congressman Cliff Stearns (R, FL) asking Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D, CA) to reschedule votes scheduled for last night and this morning so that he could attend the game. The request was denied (one wonders if USC had been in the championship game, would her response have been different?) But should there be votes scheduled for a Thursday night? He could have done what Obama did, and just not be there for the votes.

What about Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff threatening to sue the BCS. He contends that the BCS unfairly favors schools from the larger conferences (i.e. the Pac 10, SEC, Big East, etc..) over schools from lesser conferences (like the Mountain West, home of the University of Utah Utes).

There is no shortage of talking heads on ESPN, Fox Sports, etc... who will debate on the air of different ways to decide the champion for the future, or who is the true champion this year. Let's leave the debate to them, leave the politicians out of it.

Memo to USC, U of U and UT: The Florida Gators are the National Champions of college football for the 2008 season. Until there is a different system, the BCS will decide it. (Oh and by the way, all of the conferences in the division of college football that play in the bowls agreed to the current system.)

On the other hand, if His Eminence and his colleagues occupy their time debating the details of a new college football playoff system, they will be to busy to drag us into full blow Marxist socialism.

06 January, 2009

Where do I sign up for one of these?


A settlement was reached between an airline passenger and Jet Blue airlines and agents of the NTSB. The settlement results in a payment of nearly a quarter million dollars.

How was this man wronged? He was asked to change his t-shirt at the airport. Call the ACLU! Well, someone did.

It turns out that Raed Jarrar was wearing a t-shirt that had, written in Arabic, "We will not be silent". When other customers voiced concern, he was asked by officials to change his shirt, and even provided a shirt to wear over his potentially offensive shirt.

I think that there are wrongs on many levels in this matter.

First of all, what have we learned about Islamic Extremist terrorists? They are trying to blend in. Many of them break the rules of Islam to blend in by shaving, cutting hair, even eating pork and drinking alcohol. Do you really think that if he was going to blow up the plane, that he would draw attention to himself before he gets on the plane? I doubt it.

The ACLU argues that it would be the same as someone "wearing a t-shirt at a bank stating, I am a robber". I beg to differ. Something written in Arabic at an airport is less of a threat than a robbery note written on a t-shirt at a bank.

Was it the best wardrobe decision that Jarrar could have made that day? Probably not. Maybe he was tired of the stereotyping that has been going on since 9/11. Is it fair that all Muslims and all Arabs are guilty until proven innocent in the court of public opinion at airports? Absolutely not. But given the current social climate, some people need to understand how things are. That's not to say that they should hide behind their heritage or beliefs, but they should choose their battles. While in the Lima, Peru airport in November, I saw a guy wearing a t-shirt that could have been considered more offensive than the one that Jerrar wore, it stated "100% Terrorist" and had a picture of an AK-47.

On the other hand, is a $240,000 payout justified? No. He wasn't refused the flight, he was given a t-shirt to cover the one he was wearing. I think that if anything, it could have been settled with a comped flight. But getting what equates to 5 years salary for many Americans for being asked to change his shirt? That is going too far. I think that the family that was denied service on an Airtran flight has more of a beef than Jarrer.


05 January, 2009

Have we really come this far?

It's a good thing the smart people all get jobs with the government.

Otherwise, how would we all still be alive?

It seems that if we didn't have the government to tell us what we can and can't do, and what is and isn't safe, we would be doomed to do something destined to kill us.

This latest example comes to us from the UK, but it is only a matter of time before a municipality in the States (Or in the colonies as they say in the UK).

It seems that the government there isn't convinced that the people who run children's paddling (wadding) pools are smart enough to run their own businesses.

A new regulation requires all pools 18 inches deep be patrolled by trained life guards. Traditionally, the staff is trained in life saving skills, but aren't licensed lifeguards. Those who don't meet the requirement, face the risk of being shut down.

I guess that they should be glad that this new regulation exists.

Sure, it's going to raise operating costs, since licensed lifeguards would need to be paid more than regular staff who merely has life saving training.

But look at it from another perspective.. since it is going to lower the risk of someone actually drowning in the glorified puddles. It prevents a potential wrongful death suit. I'm not sure if the Britts are as litigious as we are, but I imagine it's close.

Before you say “that will never happen here”, remember, our leaders think that we aren't smart enough to decide whether or not its safe to talk on the phone when we drive, or that we need to be protected from those evil restaurateurs who serve that poison 'trans-fat', or that it is wrong to sell wine gift bags at liquor stores, or that a bar or restaurant owner cannot allow patrons to use a legal product in their establishment.

Whatever happened to personal accountability? They are legislating social Darwinism out of society. It used to be that stupid people did stupid things, and didn't last long enough to reproduce. But I guess it comes down to the fact that politicians need stupid people to keep them in office.

What's next? What personal liberty is on death row? Talk radio seems to be on life support, thanks to the impending rebirth of the 'Fairness Doctrine'.

03 January, 2009

It's that time of year again.


If it's New Years Day, then it can mean just one thing.. We are smack dab in the middle of college football bowl season. At least the ones that matter.

Let's face it, if you play in a bowl game before Christmas, it is pretty insignificant in the grand scheme of things.

Remember when going to a bowl meant you had a good season? Well, that's not the case any more. Not in the days of the Meineke Car Care Bowl, the Chick-Fil-A Bowl, the Insight.com Bowl, the GMAC Bowl, the PapaJohns.com Bowl, and the Eaglebank Bowl. Don't get me wrong.. I have nothing against a corporate sponsor for the bowls, (I'm looking for sponsors for my charity golf tournament), but when they don't even bother to name the bowls anymore, that's a sure sign that there are too many of them. They even had to go to Canada to find a site to play.

And getting back to the whole idea of earning a spot in a bowl being a sign of a good season, when you have teams like Notre Dame, who needed a win over Hawaii in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl to finish above .500, it raises the question, what's the difference between the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame and Corn Flakes? Give up? Corn Flakes belong in a bowl! Let's be serious, winning 1/2 of your games is no accomplishment, and is not deserving of a reward, (unless you are the San Diego Chargers, and win the pathetic AFC West with a stellar 8-8 record).

Let's do some math. There are 119 teams in the NCAA D-I Bowl Subdivision. There are 34 Bowl games being contested in association with the 2008 season.

Assuming there are 2 teams in each bowl, (follow me here..) that means that 68 teams are playing in a bowl game this year. 68 is just under 60% of 119.

That means that 6 of 10 college football teams are ending their season at a bowl game. If more people do something than don't, it makes it less unique. If 6 of your 10 cars on the street was a Bentley, all of the sudden, a Bentley is just another car.

If the NFL decided its champion like the NCAA does, than last year's Superbowl would have been the Patriots against the Cowboys, and the Giants would have had to settle with the equivalent of the Cotton Bowl.

This is probably the only time I am going to say this, but Obama is right. There needs to be a play-off system for college football. D-I football is the only college sport that doesn't have an NCAA sanctioned national champion. In fact, the bowl games aren't even NCAA events.

People who work for colleges are supposed to be smart people.. That's why they work at colleges, right? (the old 'those who can, do, those who can't, teach' adage, can't be true, can it?) Let's let them get together and hash something out.

I guess it's just more fair if everyone wins. We wouldn't want to hurt the feelings of the team that lost half of their games, would we?


Oh yea, Happy New Year!

02 January, 2009

The latest sign of the Apocalypse


Just when you thought you'd heard it all, a government official goes and does something that makes you just shake your head and wonder..

Dateline Spokane Valley, WA. The Pacific Northwest community has gotten record snow fall this year, and the municipal snow removal crews are having difficulty keeping up with the shear mass of snow.

They are initially focusing on the main thoroughfares and highways. That's all well and good, but people don't live on the main thoroughfares and highways, they live in residential areas.

That's where Troy Garcia comes into play. Troy is a real American. He saw a problem, and a way to fix it. That is until the government stepped in to put a stop to anything that doesn't cost tax dollars, or employ minorities.

You see, Tony saw his 4 wheeler that happened to be fitted with a plow and set to work plowing his driveway, his neighbors' driveways and the streets that had yet to be plowed by the city.

One neighbor, who happens to be a county roads supervisor (how much do you want to bet that he is union?) called the police.

Garcia was cited for several 'crimes' for disorderly conduct.

What happens if one of there was a fire and the FD couldn't get there in time because the streets weren't plowed? What about an elderly resident who may not have been able to get out to go to the pharmacy? The list of 'what ifs' limitless.

We can't allow this sort of anarchy! We can't be left to our own devices, that's what the government is for! Everyone's favorite words to hear "We're from the government, and we're here to help".

Maybe we are further down the road to complete socialism than I had feared. It has spread out of the Peoples Republic of New York and the Peoples Republic of California.

01 January, 2009

It's that time of year again.


If it's New Years Day, then it can mean just one thing.. We are smack dab in the middle of college football bowl season. At least the ones that matter.

Let's face it; if you play in a bowl game before Christmas, it is pretty insignificant in the grand scheme of things.

Remember when going to a bowl meant you had a good season? Well, that's not the case any more. Not in the days of the Meineke Car Care Bowl, the Chick-Fil-A Bowl, the Insight.com Bowl, the GMAC Bowl, the PapaJohns.com Bowl, and the Eaglebank Bowl. Don't get me wrong.. I have nothing against a corporate sponsor for the bowls, (I'm looking for sponsors for my charity golf tournament), but when they don't even bother to name the bowls anymore, that's a sure sign that there are too many of them. They even had to go to Canada to find a site to play.

And getting back to the whole idea of earning a spot in a bowl being a sign of a good season, when you have teams like Notre Dame, who needed a win over Hawaii in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl to finish above .500, it raises the question, what's the difference between the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame and Corn Flakes? Give up? Corn Flakes belong in a bowl! Let's be serious, winning 1/2 of your games is no accomplishment, and is not deserving of a reward, (unless you are the San Diego Chargers, and win the pathetic AFC West with a stellar 8-8 record).

Let's do some math. There are 119 teams in the NCAA D-I Bowl Subdivision. There are 34 Bowl games being contested in association with the 2008 season.

Assuming there are 2 teams in each bowl, (stay with me..) that means that 68 teams are playing in a bowl game this year. For those of you bad at math, 68 is just under 60% of 119.

That means that 6 of 10 college football teams are ending their season at a bowl game. If more people do something than don't, it makes it less unique. If 6 of 10 cars on the street was a Bentley, all of the sudden, a Bentley is just another car.

If the NFL decided its champion like the NCAA does, than last year's Superbowl would have been the Patriots against the Cowboys, and the Giants would have had to settle with the equivalent of the Cotton Bowl.

This is probably the only time I am going to say this, but Obama is right. There needs to be a play-off system for college football. D-I football is the only college sport that doesn't have an NCAA sanctioned national champion. In fact, the bowl games aren't even NCAA events.

People who work for colleges are supposed to be smart people.. That's why they work at colleges, right? (the old 'those who can, do, those who can't, teach' adage, can't be true, can it?) Let's let them get together and hash something out.

I guess it's just more fair if everyone wins. We wouldn't want to hurt the feelings of the team that lost half of their games, would we?


Oh yea, Happy New Year!

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