I've decided to try something a little different this year.
I've decided to try something a little different this year.
Here's the situation:
A buddy of mine is having a hard time paying his bills, I want to be sure that he can stay in his house and get him self back on the right track, so I give him $70 to get him in a better situation.
Now, I have another buddy of mine who is also in a bad way and is just as important to me. He doesn't need as much, probably only $1.40, should I give him the money?
Of Course! If I was willing to give my first friend 70 bucks why would a dollar-forty be a big deal when my other friend needs some help?!
Congress approved giving the big financial companies 700 billion dollars a few months ago, that's a lot of cash. But now they are arguing over giving the big 3 auto companies 14 billion. *Still a lot of dough, but when compared to 700 billion it is very small.
Why are there so many idiots that make these decisions?!
The only difference I can see is that one decision occurred right around an election and the other is not...
MSNBC has a "breaking news" article on their website today about a new record that 1 out of every 10 homeowners is at least one month behind on their mortgage payment.
I am not an economist, but I feel like if 90% of us are doing this right, then we are in pretty good shape.
Some other numbers that are closer to being considered a crises in my opinion:
25% of males have a felony on their record.
14.2% of 8th graders have smoked marijuana.
66% of adults are overweight.
17.5% of 6-11 year olds are overweight.
It is only the 3rd day of December and I already feel like we all need a bit of a reminder in Christmas Light Etiquette. Here a few ground rules you should abide by, if you need further instruction or clarification then just don't put up whatever you aren't sure about.
The state of California has passed a law that forbids schools from having bake sales for fundraisers. No longer can little Billy or Sarah bring their mommy's cupcakes and snicker doodles to school and sell them for 25 cents so that the math club can afford graphing paper.
When I saw the headline for this story online I tried to think of a reasonable cause for this new law...
Maybe a kid got sick from some undercooked pastry item?
Some teenagers slipped in some "special" brownies as a prank?
Maybe this law is aimed at small businesses not operating with the proper licenses for selling food?
No. None of those are the reason. They passed a law that prevents school children from having bake sales to prevent childhood obesity.
First, I have a huge problem with parents that let their 10 year old tip the scales at 100 pounds. I don't care if it is in their genetics to be obese. Get them outside, skip the trip to McDonald's, and feed them a more balanced meal with fruit and those hated veggies.
Unacceptable. I applaud the California lawmakers for stepping up and realizing that this is an issue, but is outlawing school bake sales really the answer? I'll answer that, it's not. That is idiotic.
Better things to change:
- kid's meals that aren't healthy
- kids not participating in PE (if running makes you out of breath, that's more reason to keep running!)
- video games that will not automatically shut-off after one hour
I am very pleased to report that my polling location at McMillen Junior High (Go Marauders!) in Wylie ran very smoothly and efficiently. I was in and out in roughly 20 minutes and they had the "I Voted" stickers. (I was bummed in 2004 that my polling location didn't have the stickers...)
- Foreign Policy - I am not an expert on all the different cultural forces at work in the world, but I do know that there is no such thing as "acceptable civilian casualties". And that is not exclusive to American civilians. I believe that every life on the planet is one that was made in the image of God and should be treated as such. Military force should be utilized as a last resort in dealings with other nations/groups/religious extremists, etc.
- Poverty - I have found some stats recently that are somewhat alarming to me. You may have heard similar numbers in the past: The top 1% of American wage earners are sharing over 30% of the nation's wealth. The bottom 40% of American wage earners are sharing 1% of the nation's wealth. I have always been a proponent of letting John Q Public decide how he wants to give his money for charity, but the problem of poverty (in the richest country in the world) is reaching epic proportions. If we aren't of good enough moral fiber to take care of it as public citizens through charitable giving, the government needs to step in.
- Abortion - I believe abortion is murder, it is a sin, and it should be stopped. Will making abortions illegal help stop abortions? Yes, and that should be done. But, I think a bigger step towards reducing abortions in America is dealing with the cause. Most abortions are a result of the mother being concerned about her future with a baby. Will she be able to afford food and health care? Will she still be able to work at all? The government needs to address these issues. But even still, why is she pregnant? Schools need to go further than teaching abstinence only. Students need to be made aware of proper and safe methods of contraception. That is a controversial opinion among most conservatives, but I feel like kids are gonna have sex. The option is uneducated, unprotected sex or safe sex. That's a no-brainer to me.
I think you can see why I am torn. The are other issues that I feel strongly about including immigration, health care, the federal budget, etc. But I don't think those are non-negotiable the same way that the three above are.
Good luck on Tuesday making your decisions and remember, the sun will rise again on November 5. (and if it doesn't, none of this will be a big deal at that point)
It is very possible that this post will cause some differing opinions, but here goes:
The reason, according to the Division of Parole and Probation, is "because Halloween is a holiday in which large numbers of children interact with strangers, the concern among parents and other community members about sexual offenders in their neighborhoods is naturally intensified during this time of year."
Fair enough. I understand that parents are concerned about their children interacting with strangers. That is justified. My problem is this:
The Division of Parole and Probation goes on to say, "Our goal is public safety, and in keeping with that we need to make sure that the individuals under our supervision are provided with the enhanced supervision that we're committed to."
If these sex offenders are deemed to still be a risk to children, then why aren't they still in prison? Why are they on parole/probation if they are possibly going to harm another child?
I know that you can never know 100% whether a person will commit a crime again when they are released from prison. But why don't we make car thieves put a sign in front of their home that says, "Don't Park Here, I Might Steal Your Chevy!"; or make people convicted of driving drunk wear a shirt whenever they go somewhere with alcohol that reads, "I Might Drink Too Much And Then Drive Home The Wrong Way On The Highway!"; or should we make a shoplifter walk into a store and tell the stock boy, "Keep An Eye On Me, I Might Steal Some DoubleMint!"? Does anyone else see the double-standard?
What's the difference?
To be totally clear, I don't think kids should trick-or-treat at someone's house if that house is occupied by a child predator. The difference I have with this legislation, is that the child predator shouldn't be out in public to begin with!
The story on foxnews.com is here: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,438725,00.html
Sorry, no cartoons in this post.
I got this email forward from my Mother and haven't really fact checked any of it. But, it's probably pretty close to accurate:If you had purchased $1,000 of shares in Delta Airlines one year ago, you will have $49.00 today.
If you had purchased $1,000 of shares in AIG one year ago, you will have $33.00 today.
If you had purchased $1,000 of shares in Lehman Brothers one year ago, you will have $0.00 today.
But, if you had purchased $1,000 worth of beer one year ago, drank all the beer, then turned in the aluminum cans for recycling refund, you will have received $214.00.
Based on the above, the best current investment plan is to drink heavily & recycle. It is called the 401-Keg.
A recent study found that the average American walks about 900 miles a year. Another study found that Americans drink, on average, 22 gallons of alcohol a year. That means that, on average, Americans get about 41 miles to the gallon!
1. Finding Nemo $339,714,978 (my wife's favorite)
2. The Lion King $328,541,776
3. Monster's Inc. $255,873,250
9. Gone With the Wind $198,676,459 (highest G-rated non-animated film)
1. Star Wars $460,998,007 (the 1977 original)
2. Shrek 2 $441,226,247
3. E.T. $441,226,247 (really?! ET?)
1. Titanic $600,788,188
2. The Dark Knight $521,890,027 (the only 2008 film on the list)
3. Pirate's of the Carribean: Dead Man's Chest $423,315,812
1. The Passion of the Christ $370,782,930 (3 very different movies in the R category)
2. The Matrix Reloaded $281,576,461
3. Beverly Hills Cop $234,760,478
I really don't understand why the government can get away with spending so much more than they earn every year. It seems like a simple concept. If you don't have the money, you can't spend it. This seems like a logical break down of the country's budget:
For this little expirement we will use last year's revenue:
$2,568,000,000,000 (2.5 trillion dollars)
The government's spending can be broken down into 3 categories:
Mandatory (53% in 2007)
Discretionary (38% in 2007)
Interest (9% in 2007)
Mandatory Spending includes items that, by law, must be paid to individuals who meet certain requirements. (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, etc.)
Discretionary Spending includes all other items on which the federal government spends money. (Military, Congress, Highways, Education, etc.)
Interest is simply money paid on the national debt.
So what should it be in 2009?
Assuming the taxes stay the same and the government has about 2.5 trillion dollars to work with...
Social Security 24% $600 billion
Medicare 16% $400 billion
Medicaid 8% $200 billion
Other Mandatory Programs (disability, veteran's, unemployment) 12% $300 billion
Education 4% $100 billion
Transportation 1% $25 billion
Defense 10% $250 billion
Government Salaries .5% $12.5 billion
National Debt 24.5% $612.5 billion
Maybe that is an oversimplification, but I think we generally overcomplicate things.
- Josh needs to know that at his level of celebrity, you just can't act like an idiot. In the past 4 months Josh has repeatedly voiced his "right" to smoke pot; participated in street-racing on public streets during his youth basketball camp; disregarded his bosses orders to not throw a party during a playoff series; and now this comment during the National Anthem.
- If Josh was trying to be funny, he needs to know that comedians have a few unwritten rules they must live by. 1) They must be funny. 2) Some people can tell certain jokes that others can't i.e. Chris Rock can tell jokes that Jay Leno can't. Right or Wrong, that's just the way it is. 3) Some topics are just off-limits. i.e. 9/11, abortion, etc.
- Josh seems to be playing the dis-enfranchised black man card. I have no doubt in my mind that there are people in this country that have suffered because of their skin color. Racism does exist. I don't know if Josh has personally encountered this, but for him to not respect the one song that is meant to represent the freedoms that have allowed him to provide for his family seems a little misplaced. Josh Howard has used his gift of basketball skills and hard work to earn a 4 year college education from Wake Forest and a professional career that will pay him over $100 million dollars when it's all said and done. I'm not saying that rich people don't have problems, but it is obvious to me that the freedoms this country has, have given him the opportunity to provide for his children, grand children, their children and grandchildren, and their grandchildren. And also, allow him to street-race on publicly funded roads, avoid prosecution for smoking illegal drugs, and not be fired for disregarding a boss' direct orders.
I won't voice my opinion on what the Mavericks should do with Josh as far as a trade goes right now. But, they definitely need to sit him down and discuss a few simple steps he can take to not be an idiot. I'll do it if they want me to.
This is the first installment of Monday's Political Cartoons. I'll search the entire interweb and find what I think are the funniest/most relevant political cartoons and then post a few here. Enjoy!
That one's a little tricky to read, but it's a gift basket from Osama Bin Laden to W Bush, as opposed to the threatening video he normally sends around this time of the year...
A jab at Obama and his main campaign message that would like to make you think that McCain is politically aligned with W Bush.
More lipstick on a pig here, additionally this cartoonist wants to be sure that everyone is aware of the tactics McCain is using in his campaign.
The news coverage for a much of the last week to ten days has revolved around Hurricanes and the destruction they create. Both Hurricane Gustav in Louisiana and Hurricane Ike here in Texas have resulted in mandatory evacuations for citizens in the path of these storms. Most people listen to this order and get the heck out of dodge. But, of course, there are those that refuse to respect the authority of the government and the authority of the storm heading their way.
Then, emergency response crews have to head in to the area before it is safe and try to rescue these idiots that thought they were invincible. By refusing to evacuate they have put themselves in danger, the rescuers in danger, and force the government to waste resources that could be used getting the gulf coast back to normal quicker.
Just to be sure, I looked it up:
Mandatory = permitting no option; not to be disregarded or modified
When the next hurricane comes and it is a mandatory evacuation, don't be an idiot.
Leah and I have a blog together at wideawakewilliams.blogspot.com but she won't let me get all political there, so here is my own blog. I try to approach things from a common sense perspective and consider all parties involved when I make decisions. I don't get everything right and am usually open to other's thoughts and advise.
"Common sense is genius dressed in its working clothes."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson