Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Caffeine Free Mountain Dew

Really? What's the point? Don't we drink the Dew FOR the caffeine? My wife has been trying to kick caffeine out of her life. Kudos to her. She buys caffeine free Coke, etc. I prefer the Diet variety of soft drinks. No sugar, no calories, no taste, lotsa caffeine. That's what I want. We can't keep soda in the house because we each have our own separate needs (read: wants). Caffeine free for the wife, Diet for me, and something the kid will drink. We have to buy like nine 2 liters every time we shop; that's 3 per person. Thank goodness for soda pop sales like 5 for $10.

The summarize: Caffeine Free Mountain Dew is a bigger oxymoron than Microsoft Works.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

B is for Busy

Monday - Friday.
Sweeps. Work keeps me uber-busy during November. Right after work, I drive home to change, maybe eat, and haul to rehersal.
Home for 11p. There's general cleaning to do. Where do you fit family in? Check emails. Wind down with video game. Stay up entirely too late because the damn game is too addicting.
Friday Night. First night off during the week. Enjoy family time by eating a meal together. Catch up on TV missed during the week.

Saturday. Sleep because I don't get to bed during the week until 1am usually. Also, good for cleaning that didn't get done during the week. Laundry. Make candles. Generally, a trip to the library with the kid. Maybe squeeze in the first (and last) home-cooked meal of the week (Note to mother: No, I'm not eating fast food every meal. Mostly prepackaged stuff).

Sunday. Best day of the week. Church. Football. Finish candlemaking. Reherse. Hope laundry got done.

Repeat until Jan 2nd.

So, when do I have time to post? I don't know. At the moment, apparently. Stay tuned. I'm kicking a new blog idea around. A chonicle of weight loss. It's just a thought at the moment...

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

F/911 and Oscar

Just a quick thought: Now that Bush has been re-elected, how more likely is it that Fahrenheit 9/11 will win an Oscar for Best Picture? Think about it for a second. Who votes for the Oscars? A left-leaning Hollywood... The Sean Penn's and Susan Surrandon's. Of course, Gov. Terminator gets a vote too, so who really knows if Hollywood's biggest prize could turn into one big protest vote? Just total speculation from me, but the theory is sound. Right now the field is said to be pretty wide open, with F/911 and Mel Gibson's "Passion" leading the field.

If you though Michael Moore's last Oscar acceptance speech left a bad taste, imagine his next one... especially if it was for Best Picture and not just Best Documentary.

Just a little morsel of thought to chew on.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Dear Mr. President

(Please forward this to anyone who will listen)

I am writing in the interest of unifying this country once again. You have just been through a bitter, angry, and dividing election campaign. While, I had my reasons for not voting for you, I congratulate you on your re-election. In your victory speech, you talked of how you wanted to reunite this country and extended your hand to Kerry supporters. Sir, that is what I am writing to you about.

While you may have been elected by a majority of voters, I hope you don't take for granted that it was only a slim majority. 3 million voters out of over 115 million is not really a whole lot of difference. That also means 55 million people disagreed with your previous policies. It is these people you have to reach out to now. You've already got the majority. Now, I encourage you to make the majority grow through compromise. Your goal should not be just to make 51% of the people happy but it should be your goal to make at least 65% of the people happy.

In the past, I have not agreed with your reasons for war in Iraq. And, I have not agreed with your position on the Federal Marriage Amendment. Such a piece of legislature is discriminatory, for one, and is a violation of this country's separation of church and state policy. In fact, all 11 of the bans on gay marriage passed in the recent election are unconstitutional for the same reason.

Marriage is a religious sacrament. And according to the Bill of Rights, we are allowed freedom of religion. That means if a person wants to follow a religion that allows gays the sacrament of marriage, that is that person's decision. Just as it is the decision of the people who choose the opposite. A religious sacrament SHOULD NOT under any circumstances be withheld from people by the Government. In this case, that is up to the followers of that particular religion. Let me add that I do understand your religion believes marriage is between a man and a woman. But, that does not give a leader the right to impose his religion on anyone.

This is what I am proposing. I'll be more supportive of the war in Iraq and the war on Terror. I'll reach out that way, if you'll reach out to the myself and the other 55 million. In return, I ask that you reach out by not pushing forward with the Federal Marriage Amendment and work towards ruling similar state legislature unconstitutional.

If you truly want to help heal this country, if you truly want to be known as a uniter, if you truly want a historical, successful second-term, you will see that both sides can compromise to get what we all want. And what we all want is for America to once again be known as the great superpower it once was. It's not about the Republican Agenda. It's not about the Democratic Agenda. It's about the American Agenda.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

The Next Four Years

Finally, we all know who will lead this country. The next four years offers this country an amazing opportunity. Realize this: the President in 2008 will be completely new. It will not be George W. Bush because of term limits. It probably won't even be VP Dick Cheney because of age. The Democrats will have someone new to offer. Heck, even a third party might make a splash in Campaign 2008.

What this means is for about three years (until the next election cycle), we don't have a national election to polarize the population and further divide us. We now have a great opportunity to break down the barriers of Red and Blue.

Now is the time to extend a hand to the other side and say, "Let's make this country great again." It's not about the Republican Agenda. It's not about the Democrat Agenda. It's about the American Agenda.

No matter who won, over 110 million Americans voted. Just under half of those people felt the need for change. That's 55 million people in this country who disagree with they way the country is run. That's what the "winners" need to realize. A LOT of people are feeling disenfranchised from their country. A LOT of people are feeling like their country doesn't care for them.

It’s a problem that's inherent to the two-party system we have. The two parties have the “if you are not with us, you’re against us” mentality. And instead of reaching out to more people on the other side in order to make it all work for more people, they divide the people further working only to make their people happy. That’s not what it’s all about.

We have a responsibility to compromise and create solutions that appeal to more people. Yes, 51-48% is a majority and majority rules in a Democracy. But, shouldn't we be striving for at least 65-35%? Isn't that a better indication that we're doing it right?

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

The Most Important Day EVER

OK, probably not ever! I did my civic duty this morning and voted. This will be an interesting day.

With all the polls showing a dead heat for President, it's hard to pick a winner. But, I'll give you my predictions. There will be a high voter turnout today. And alot of that turnout will be younger voters casting a ballot for the first time. A very important segment of the population. Why? Well, most polls don't track where these voters are leaning. Most polls talk to "likely voters" and first-time voters aren't really considered "likely to vote" because they haven't voted before. So, while the polls show a dead heat, that's only counting those likely to vote. Add to that the first-time voter and things change quite a bit.

The first-time voter is generally unhappy with the direction of the country. Or at least, something has to piss them off enough to get them to vote for the first time. Now, not all first-time voters are pissed at Bush. Some are quite happy with his *ahem* leadership. But, I think there will be more first-time voters leaning towards Kerry to swing a few battleground states his way. In fact, I think there will be just enough for Kerry win.

That being said, who the hell knows. The thing I really care about most is what happens tomorrow. The way I see it, this election has so divided the country that no matter who wins, nearly half of us will think that the next four years are lost. Honestly, I'm not looking forward to the gloating from either party, though I think the Republicans will rub it in more than the Dems. I don't plan on gloating because I realize that about half of Americans will believe we'll be going in the wrong direction. Rather than gloating that "my guy won," I think its more important to reach out to the half that isn't happy and work out our differences. Gloating about it will just make us more divided. And that is the saddest thing of all.

Monday, November 01, 2004

A Few Words on Taxes

I'm probably the only person in the world who would say this but... I don't mind raising taxes. Or, better yet, I wasn't for lowering taxes a few years ago. Yeah, Bush's tax cuts were nice. But, honestly, I didn't need it. I'm sure numerous others were quite happy to have their taxes lowered. But, I would have preferred balancing the budget and paying down the deficit.

The simple truth is you can't cut taxes AND cut spending, which is what I think alot of people don't get. Sure, we all want lower taxes. That's a great thought, but if we lower taxes, then we lower funding. If we lower funding, then we can't afford more police on the street, better training for firemen, better equipment for our armed forces. Or higher pay for our teachers, better education programs for our children. What we as a whole need to realize is that if we want lower taxes, then we have to be will to live without some programs that are funded by our taxes.

Now, the current administration has cut taxes, but raised spending and, surprise, surprise, the deficit has hit record levels. I don't understand how our leaders can get away with so much red ink in our country's books. It's as simple as this: We don't have the money, so we can't have it. I go through that at least once a week with my 11 year old. He understands we have to do without, say cable, because we can't afford it. It's the same with the federal budget. We can't afford Program X, so we have to do without. Or, we have to figure out how to pay for it without adding to our debt.

That's why I'm not opposed to raising taxes to generate revenue. I'd rather have more cops patrolling my neighborhood. I'd rather know my kid has options to pay for post high school eduacation. I could do this ad nauseum. If you want lower taxes, that's cool. Just be prepared for funding cuts, etc.

Maybe this raises the question of what should be taxed? Well, I'm down with luxury-type taxes. Like, cigarettes, alcohol, cable TV, etc. Things that we all think we "need" that we could easily live without. If you want certain luxuries, more of a tax on them will make you think twice about whether you can afford them. Then, maybe we'd be able to lower the taxes on... gasoline, for example. That would help us all especially right now when the price at the pump is killer.

Bear in mind, I'm not an expert on about this at all. I'm just trying to think outloud a little and maybe spark a little discussion. Yeah, it'd be great if we could lower all the taxes and still be able to afford billion jets, trillion dollar defense systems, and a bajillion dollar war on terrorism, but I don't think that's possible. At least, not if we want a balanced budget, too. And, if 5 billion American families have to balance their budgets, why can't our government do the same?