Thursday, October 23, 2008

Left Lane Drivers

My family drove to Florida last week for a holiday. What ever happened to the rule where you drive in the right lane until you come to a slower car, use the left lane to pass, and then get back over? There are more people than ever before that like to stay in the left lane of a 2 lane highway. I don't get it. It's like people merge onto the freeway, and scoot all the way over to the left lane regardless of the traffic. Rush hour? they scoot over to the left lane. No traffic on the road for miles? They scoot over. When we got to our destination, I mentioned how this phenomenon bother me to my father-in-law. He snickered and asked me to mention it to his wife. They had also made the 800 mile journey and I guess (I'll call her K to keep her anonymous), I guess K is "one of those" that loves the left lane. I used this opportunity to find out what makes her tick. I first asked her "Why?". Her response was that if she is in the left lane then she doesnt have to worry about all the cars getting on and off the freeway like she would have to in the right lane. She said there is too much jostling around in the right lane. Yeah, I know! I told her that maybe because she is blocking the left lane that is why people have to "jostle" in the right lane. I asked her if she knew that cars that travel faster than her have to slow down and pass her in the right lane, which can be dangerous. She said that she does it to slow faster cars down... she felt like she was doing her fair share to make the roads safer. What! Sure, people have to slow down because you are blocking traffic... I dont get how this is safer. She loved the fact that it bothered me. I think that is another reason that she failed to mention. I think she likes making other drivers go around her. I think it is a power thing for K. She also told me that it isn't illegal so she isn't breaking the law, but speeders ARE breaking the law. I finally told her that she was right it isn't illegal (in most states), but is wasn't a driving issue, it was a common courtesy issue. I told her that I thought it was disrepectful to other drivers, and although it quite possibly was NOT illegal, it shows her arrogance.So that is a little insight into a left lane driver's head. Are you a left lane driver? To find out, count how many vehicles pass you on the right. If it is more than 1 per mile, YOU are a left lane driver. We took different interstates home.

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Friday, October 03, 2008

The Election

I make no secret that I am for McCain/Palin. I hold traditional conservative ideals, and I believe this ticket best represents my beliefs. However, I won't be too upset if Obama wins the election. Don't get me wrong, I will be upset. But the way I think of it is that if Obama wins, it will be easier for a republican to win in 2012. Another thing happens if Obama wins in '08; Hillary will not run against Obama in 2012. At least I don't think she will. I have been wrong before. I mean when Bill Clinton won in 1992 and 1996, I was very very upset about it. I wont feel that way if Obama wins in 2008. Speaking of Hillary, I wonder what she thinks of Governor Palin. I bet she secretly cannot stand the sight of her.

Another thing about Sarah Palin. I personally enjoy the "you betcha"'s and "darn right"'s and "gosh darn"s. But I must admit I can certainly understand why these phrases get her in trouble. I also must say that Tina Fey's portrayal of Palin on SNL was right on. I mean at one point Fey used Palin's words verbatum... and it was funny. I hope Palin is our next V.P., but if she isn't, watch out for this lady. Is she ready to be V.P.? Darn right she is ready.

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Television Judges

It's the beginning of the new television season and just when I thought there wasn't enough room for another half hour TV court show, it seems there are even more on TV this season.

Current Courtroom shows:

Judge Judy
Judge Joe Brown
Judge Greg Mathis
Divorce Court (Judge Lynn Toler)
Judge David Young
Judge Alex
The Peoples Court (Judge Marilyn Milian)
Eye for an Eye (Judge "extreme" Akim)

I think the following have been cancelled:

Texas Justice (Judge Larry Joe Doherty)
Judge Maria Lopez
Judge Hatchett
Judge Mills Lane

That's a bunch of court shows!

Some other judge TV tidbits:

Judge Judy makes $30 million per year. More than Katie Couric ($15 mil.), Bob Barker ($10 mil. his last season), and Ellen DeGeneres ($5 mil.) combined!

Judge Wapner was the best and started it all on The Peoples Court in 1981.

Here's another thing, it seems to me that all the baliffs in these shows are the opposite gender of the judge, and of a different race too. hmmm weird.

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Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Mortgage Crisis and how George Bush tried to fix it 5 years ago

My take on the mortgage crisis is simple. People were allowed to get into homes they simply could not afford. When T and I bought our first home, there were many, many different types of loans we were offered. 30 year fixed, 3 yr ARM, 5 year ARM, Interest only loan, even a loan where you could pay whatever you felt like. I'm serious. We were actually told about a loan where you could decide what your monthly payment would be. T and I decided that some of these loans were gimmicks to get people into a mortgage that was beyond their means. We opted for the 30 year fixed, got a great rate and have been happy since. My point is, back then (in 2003), these gimmick loans made home owners out of EVERYONE. Anyone could buy a house. Now, these people (that maybe should not be given a loan in the first place) got into a mortgage that they could afford in 2003 suddenly cannot afford it, and boom! Mortgage crisis! I hear and read news reports about how we are going to fix this problem. Well, I have always believed that in a free market economy, things will work themselves out by themselves. I told T that unfortunately, some of those people that got in over their heads with those gimmick loans might have to sell their homes (at loss probably) and move back into an apartment, or with family. After all, for the most part, people should take ownership of their decisions. As for these companies that offered these crazy loans to people, they too should be held responsible for their business decisions.

But these gigantic banks (that have trillions of dollars of loans out there) going bankrupt isn't good either, so I believe our federal governement should have tighter reigns on them. George Bush believed that too. In fact, in 2003 he recommended an overhaul of the housing finance industry. Read the story here. According to the story, the Bush Administrations plan included a new agency that would supervise Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. Their supervision is currently the job of the U.S. Congress. Democrats in Congress killed this proposal.

Here is a quote from Barney Frank (D - Massachusettes) ”These two entities — Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — are not facing any kind of financial crisis,” said Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts, the ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee. ”The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing.”

All they were concerned about is making housing affordable. Well, I for one, don't like the fact that I, Joe Taxpayer have to pay for bad decisions by other people or businesses.

And, another thing, I know George Bush isn't perfect, but I don't think he deserves all the blame he gets. This story proves that.

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Friday, September 12, 2008

Sarah Palin - My thoughts

"John McCain has chosen Alaska Governor Sarah Palin to be his V.P." When I first heard that, I said out loud, "Who?" I thought, "What was he thinking?" And, for a candidate that has been saying that "experience matters" to choose a person that really nobody in the lower 48 states had ever heard of. I thought "that is odd". I didn't like the pick for that very reason. I mean how can he (McCain) claim that experience matters when she really has very little? If he wanted a woman, surely he could have chosen one with more credentials, and that shares his ideas. Some questions that I have wondered since Governor Palin was introduced to the rest of the country...

1. I have heard several people question her dedication as a mother because she decided to run with McCain instead of stay home with her family. For example: "How can she leave her special needs baby and her pregnant teenage daughter at home when they need their Mom the most?" or "She is selfish to think of herself at times like this." There is no way that anyone would say that if she was a man. That is offensive to me, and I am a man.

2. Why have people brought up the fact that she didn't write her acceptance speech? No politician running for a major office in a major party has written their own speeches for years... and now it is an issue? And, I think it was obvious that she DID have a hand in writing it.

3. Where are all the womens rights groups that claim to fight for all womens rights? If they really were interested in advancing their idea that women should be treated equally to men, they should back a woman as V.P. right? Maybe they just want to advance liberal womans rights?

What I like about her is that she could be my neighbor. She is my generation. She has kids (ok, just one) younger than my kids. I love that she has taken the media attention away from Obama, and everyone wants to know more about her. I also like when people mention that she has more executive experience than Obama (actually more that Obama and Biden combined).

I asked my wife, "If McCain/Palin win, and a year from now we wake up and hear on the news, that President McCain was killed/died overnight, how would she feel about Sarah Palin stepping up to the podium to address the nation? She said "not so good". I agreed. I then asked myself how I'd feel if a year from now Obama/Biden were in the white house, and I thought to myself... "President Palin has a nice ring actually".

Oh yeah.. this was priceless...

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Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Deal or No Deal

I, like millions of others, have gotten caught watching Deal or No Deal. Just because I want to see what the final outcome is, I force myself to wait through all the commercials and dramatic parts where NOTHING happens. I always told myself that the show could last about 2 minutes if they just showed the good parts. Well, thanks to my DVR, I just watched the "hour" show where the contestant wins the million. From start to finish I was done in 30 minutes, and that was just deleting the commercials. Imagine if I would have deleted all the dramatic parts! IF you didnt see it.... heres what happens.... spoiler alert! The lady gets down to 2 cases: $200,000 and $1,000,000. The banker offers her around $550,000. At this point I ask my wife... "What would you do?" We both agreed we'd settle for the $550,000 instead of risk getting the $200,000. But in all fairness, I probably would have settled for the $108,000 offer 3 rounds before this. Anyway, obviously the lady says "NO DEAL!" and when they open the case, there is the million... confetti, and cheering and roll credits.

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Monday, September 01, 2008

Hurricanes and New Orleans

I have a serious question. Why would anyone live in a city that averages 2 feet below sea level and as much as 16 feet below sea level AND is in a hurricane area? Does this make sense? I obviously have empathy for anyone that lost loved ones or even property in Katrina. But Hurricane Katrina should have been your warning. Get out of New Orleans NOW! Especially if you do not have the means to evacuate in the event of another hurricane. I am hearing all these reports about how hurricane Gustav may be as bad a Katrina, and wonder why it is even an issue. People who rebuilt there I ask "why?". I understand that many people in New Orleans are poor and may not be able to "move". I'd rather donate to a fund that helped people move to higher land, than one that rebuilt houses 16 feet below sea level. I just don't get it. How many hurricanes does it take before people just stop going back? Also, New Orleans is built on a marsh, and is sinking.

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