Thursday, December 06, 2012

Hush the Harley

I've waited over 3 years to write this article because I figured it was a lost cause - but then I decided every cause is lost if it is never addressed - so here goes.

I rode a bicycle all the way across the United States of America in the summer of 2009 - and I didn't make much noise doing so.  But there were lots of other bikes on the road that were not so quiet - in fact they were extremely noisy - and they were everywhere quiet was expected.  I camped for most of the 3 months it took me to ride across the USA and I lost a lot of sleep due to these horrible loud machines.  They came roaring into the campground at all hours of the night and worse, they roared out early in the morning.  A bicyclist who has ridden 80 - 90 miles in a day sleeps pretty soundly and it takes some noise to wake them but a Harley motorcycle with modified pipes can do it from over 100 feet away.    Boo-hoo I didn't get to sleep much - big deal right? 

Now let's talk about our national treasures - the parks.  I rode through some amazingly beautiful State and National parks including the Badlands and Black Hills of South Dakota and Yellowstone.  The scenery was amazing but the sounds of nature were even more incredible from the seat of a bicycle.  I could hear birds, waterfalls, crickets distant thunder and even just the wind blowing through the trees and fields of corn.  It was amazing and just as I was entranced by all this natural wonder BRRRROOOOOMMMMMMMMM!!!!!!!!!  The sound of that one motorcycle was louder than any fully loaded 18 wheeler climbing a mountain - and I mean that seriously.  After it had passed - the sound trailing for several minutes in the distance - all I could hear was a ringing in my ears and the silence of the startled animals.  In the larger parks like Yellowstone, the noise never ends.  I could be in the middle of vast wilderness and yet the drone of Harleys was ever present in the distance.  One after another VROOM! VROOM! VROOM!

I kept joking to myself that if we only had some sort of technology to somehow muffle these machines we could ALL enjoy nature in a much more natural way.  But of course we do have such technology - it was invented shortly after the invention of the internal combustion engine a few years back.  So why can't we force these bikes to use this technology?  Well we can - and we do - or at least we try.  In researching for this article I learned that all motorcycles are manufactured under strict EPA noise regulations and that no Harley in the USA is built with those loud pipes.  Furthermore, we have laws in many states that forbid noise over a certain level.  This outrageous noise is actually a choice that people I will now call FOOLS illegally pay extra for because they think it's cool.  It's not cool - not even to other experienced bikers - which is another fact I learned while doing my research.  Isn't that interesting?!   Even other experienced bikers think these people are fools.  Yet they continue to get away with this violation because they have an intense political lobby (money) and the noise ordinances are difficult to enforce.

The only argument these FOOLS have for wanting to be this noisy is that it is a safety issue - as if they can only be seen by other drivers if they are heard first.  To that I would like to quote a line from the beginning of this article "I rode a bicycle all the way across the United States of America in the summer of 2009 - and I didn't make much noise doing so".  That's right folks - 4800 miles on a bicycle and I made it there alive.  I'm not the only one either - lots of people ride bicycles on the very same roads the Hogs ride every day - safely.  How is that possible without being heard???  Their argument is just stupid. 

I want to make a difference on this issue - more than just griping about it in my blog.  I think it's time for me to get involved politically and I found there are some good groups that are already working with current laws and EPA standards to hush the Harleys - one called Noise Off and another called Noise Free America.  Fools who think they are entitled to make extreme noise under the guise of the Constitution are a tough group to battle and it will take an army of people  I will now call "Real Patriots" to make them stop the foolishness.  I hope any reader who is annoyed by these fools will also became a Real Patriot and join a group to help fight for quiet.  

If we could be successful it would would make a huge difference and I'll tell another brief story from my bicycle trip as proof.  One day riding through the mountains in Washington State I was stopped early in the day due to a thunderstorm.  A local resident pointed out the county fairgrounds as a good place to camp for the night but mentioned there was a motorcycle club staying there that night.  Just wonderful I thought - no sleep for me again.  With little choice I set up my tent, crawled inside and read a book for a while until the storm which actually wasn't too intense finally let up.  I emerged from my tent only to realize that dozens of motorcyclists had arrived while I was reading and they were all setting up their tents and enjoying the day.  How did I not hear that many motorcycles arrive?  It turns out this was a BMW motorcycle club and they were all properly - legally - muffled machines.  I enjoyed hanging out with that group and we all chatting at a normal voice levels without yelling over the noise of illegal pipes.  I slept like a baby that night and in the morning I once again emerged from my tent to realize that many of the bikers had already left and I didn't even hear them leave.  That is a true story. Isn't that the way it should be?  It is called common courtesy - which isn't so common among the Harley riders.   Let's make a change.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

If You Can Read This - I Didn't Write It

My handwriting is terrible.  My signature is even worse!  I used to have fairly neat handwriting both cursive and regular and my signature was easily readable.  I may have spelled things incorrectly on occasion but the writing was beautiful.  I blame computers.  I simply do not write anything by hand anymore.  When I do I really have to think about it and concentrate to get it readable.  I'm a whiz at typing and the computer will even correct my spelling.  But it has made my handwriting lazy.

I wonder how the kids of today will be affected by this?  Most learn to type on a computer before they even learn to write by hand.  I'm certain they still teach writing in schools and probably even still teach cursive, but if the students never have a call to actually write things manually I wonder if it will even stick in their brains.  In my day (I can't believe I just wrote typed that!) we were asked in class to type reports - on a typewriter - just to ensure that we could actually use the typewriter.  If I were a teacher today I would insist that my students submit all reports in handwriting - just to be sure they could do it.  That's quite a reversal. 

Maybe I should hand write my blog.  Wait - that would never work.  But seriously, it might be time to do some manual letter writing just to get back in practice.  It probably would be wise for everyone to do some form of regular manual letter writing before we all forget how.  Imagine if a giant solar flare knocked out power on earth.  Only us old folks would know how to write!

By the way - I can't do math anymore either due to the computer.  I guess I should turn the computer off and do some fractions as well. 

Friday, November 09, 2012

Un-American Politics

It's been decided that corporations are people and that money equals free speech. But did they decide that those corporations are only American? In a system where unlimited donations can be made by anonymous sources to influence our elections, you must ask yourself who exactly is trying to control this country - and from where?

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Awesome Election!

The election is over (almost - Floriduh!) and it was a nail biter for sure!  I've been watching this past election very closely with both anticipation and entertainment for at least the last 2 years.  It was the best reality show on TV and the good news is that it had a happy ending.

Shortly after the election in 2010 I wrote about the Political Tsunami I felt was building behind the Tea Party quake of that year. I just read through that article and I was pretty much right on track.  The political tsunami indeed did happen - but it was not totally what I had imagined.  I expected a landslide win for Obama and it was - but much closer than I thought.  The big surprise for me was the other historical liberal "firsts" that happened this year including:
  • Gay marriage approved in 2 states by popular vote
  • Marijuana legalized in 2 states by popular vote - and not just for medicinal purposes
  • The first openly gay person voted into the Senate
  • And many more as reported by this Washington Post article
These are all seismic changes in the political spectrum and they can't be ignored.  It is also clear in this election that the minority vote - especially when combined with gay and women's issues are a force against conservatism in this country.

Needless to say I am thrilled with the results of 2012 - but it will likely be short lived.  It is a fact that there are far more registered Democratic voters than Republican voters and we should be able to win most elections.  But the sad truth is that many Democrats do not vote in mid-term elections like the one in 2010 and the GOP takes full advantage if that complacency.  Hopefully we can keep the momentum of this year going into 2014 and get more Democrats out to vote.  We didn't take control of the House this year - and in a way I'm glad because at this point I believe we need that balance.  We are already seeing - the House sticking by their same old "no compromise" attitude.  That should also help in possibly getting the House control back in 2014.  A new prediction?  Perhaps.  :) 

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

God Is An Engineer - Not a Magician

I grew up Catholic and I believed all the stories. Adam and Eve, Noah's Ark, the Earth created in 6 days, God needing rest on the 7th day, immaculate conception, Jesus born in a manger, 7 wise men and even Sodom and Gomorrah.  As I got older, educated and started thinking independently , I realized the stores I've been told were not very logical.  Yet I still believe in God and even in the power of prayer.  The Earth and the Universe are just too perfect to be an accident in my opinion.  But I just can't put much faith in the bible stories anymore.

I do believe the Earth and the cosmos are perfect and amazing but not unexplainable.  In fact there are clues to our existence everywhere.  Science has revealed many clues and even a few answers.  Every answer seems to bring up a new question which in turn - through research brings more answers.  It seems a never ending cycle but that is just because there is so much to learn.  The universe is larger than we can even imagine - and it might not even be the only one.  Wow!

If God were merely a magician who can bring things out of nothing and end it just as quickly, I think a lot of it wouldn't make sense - the clues wouldn't match and the logic wouldn't work.  Yet we have discovered how stars work, how planets and moons form, and perhaps even how life may have evolved out of the chaos.  We've also discovered how tiny things work - like how viruses spread disease and what makes up objects on a molecular scale.  If studied logically - it all makes sense.  We have so much more to learn but there are not many magical surprises once we open our minds to learn.

Therefore, while we still can't completely explain how or why we are here, I've concluded that God is (at least for me) an engineer - a scientist - a logical force.  Those that don't have logically thinking minds may disagree.  An artist's concept of God may be less logical and more mystical.  They may believe the bible's stories of creation more than the science- and may have even written them.  I certainly believe that God is an artist - what beautiful wonders we have to behold!  But an artist isn't a magician either.

Of course it is not up to me to determine who is correct - the artist or the scientist.  I suspect in God's realm they both are.  But in my mind, God is an engineer and things make sense that way. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Wait For It................

The Presidential Election is only weeks away and most polls (except those on Fox News of course) are showing President Obama strengthening his lead.  But it is still a bit too early as things change quickly in the political world.  Add to that the extremely short attention span of most Americans and the race is still totally up in the air. 

I have a feeling that somewhere about 2 weeks from the actual election date, we will see some big damaging "thing" launched against President Obama by the GOP.  I would have no idea what that might be but I suspect they have something up their sleeve.  It is, if you recall, their number one goal and since they haven't done anything regarding the number 2 goal (the economy) they must be too busy working on #1.

I guess we will wait and see.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


I had a hard time getting through today.  I felt like I never really woke up totally - even now at 11:30pm.  In fact I put off a painting side job this morning and went home and slept for an hour.  It didn't really help much. 

Animals sleep way more than people do.  So do infants and children who don't have a pressing schedule.  I think it is entirely possible that people believe we need way less sleep than we actually do.  It could also be a reason for many health issues - including ADD.  I wonder if coffee shops would be doing such great business if we were all totally rested.  Perhaps we would even use more of our brain power as sleeping seems to enhance our thought process. Forgive me for rambling - I'm tired.

Someone somewhere somehow decided we need 8 hours of sleep.  I think they may have underestimated. 

Friday, August 24, 2012

War On Religion

Some claim there is a war on religion happening right now - and they might be right. But what they might not understand is that it is not a war between those who believe against those who do not believe. The war on religion is being fought between the believers themselves. That's because faith and religion - two different things - are both very personal and different for everyone. Faith alone is very benign and belongs only to one's self. A lack of faith is much the same in that it is personal and belongs only to one's self. Those with faith (but not religion) and those with no spiritual beliefs do not feel the need force their beliefs or disbelief on others. However both of these groups may fight for constitutional rights based on the constitution alone and not on their faith or lack of faith.

Religion is quite different. Faith becomes religion when it is felt you must share your beliefs with others so that they may believe as you do. Most religions also feel that if you do not believe as they do, then you are surely going to Hell and therefore you must be "saved". While many different religions exist around the world, all believe that their particular religion is the correct version blessed by God and that all other religions are false. Further, they believe their particular religion - being the correct one - should be the basis of morality our country is governed by. Unfortunately, even though our nation's constitution was based on one of these religions, the constitution itself does not hold up well to many religious beliefs - especially those of other religions. The Founding Fathers knew this and fashioned our constitution with a separation from religion. That was brilliant forethought in my opinion. The religions however do not agree.

Armed with the "knowledge" that their religion is in fact the will of God, these religions cling to their belief that all morality should be based on whatever article of faith they believe is the actual word of God. Problem is there isn't just one article of faith or one "word of God". Some cling to the Bible - some to only certain parts of the Bible, some to the book of Mormon, some to the Koran, some to the teaching of Budah etc. etc. Not even their particular Holy Days occur on the same day causing friction and disagreements between the various religions. In this age of technology these arguments and disagreements are more evident than ever. A Facebook post or a Tweet can cause an instant firestorm of controversy. The war has begun.

Those without faith and those with faith but no religion appear as if they are involved in the war because they are forced to defend their constitutional rights against those who wish to deny them equality based on their particular religion. But the truth is that the non-religions faithful and those without faith are not fighting religion - they are fighting only for their constitutional rights. This is a very important distinction because the constitution is necessarily separated from religion. So how can those who are fighting for constitutional equality be waging a war on religion? The simple answer is they are not. The war on religion has been started by and is being fought exclusively by the various religions. In the past, slaves fought for freedom based on the constitution even though some religions condoned it. Likewise women fought for the right to vote even though some religions state that women are not equal to men. In the end the constitution of our country eventually solved these disputes and continues to do so today.

There is only one way to end this war and that is for all the religions to co-exist. Further, the various religions must remove themselves from politics. The constitution of the United States can be defended and supported based solely on itself. It was written with that intention and has endured the test of time - with a few modifications - because that is the only way our magnificent country can be strong and united. I am not here to tell you religion is bad or that a person should have faith or not. I am perfectly comfortable with you enjoying your beliefs or lack of beliefs and sharing that with like minded individuals. All I ask is that you do the same. Live your life and let others live theirs. It is the only way we can truly be the United States of America.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Twisted Truths and Outright Lies

Only months from the election and the presidential candidates are neck in neck with Romney pulling slightly ahead of Obama - in the lie department. Source as of today 8-23-12

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Mashed Friends

I totally love summertime - except for one thing. All my favorite shows are in reruns. I've written about this before - one summer I spent watching "How do they do it?" type shows and great science exploration shows like "Through the Wormhole" - canceled. Last year I had just purchased my new 3D TV and enjoyed a variety of 3D programming on DirecTV - which they have since stopped updating. So this year I'm watching a couple of old shows along with a couple of new somewhat entertaining original sitcoms on TV Land. My favorite 2 older shows I'm watching right now are M.A.S.H. and Friends. M.A.S.H. is just as relevant today as it was way back then and Friends is just as irrelevant now as when it first aired - but still entertaining. I want to briefly focus on M.A.S.H.

I find myself going to bed each night thinking about how destructive war is with very few if any real benefits. M.A.S.H. is set in the Korean war - one of many we should never have been involved in. The writing for the show is brilliant - somehow making light of a terrible situation. It makes you chuckle and yet leaves you thinking about the sad reality of war and the people who are killed and wounded - along with the families and loved ones they leave behind. The show eloquently points out how we as foreigners or even invaders of another country act as superiors with disregard of the local customs and the needs of the poor who never get a say in what happens to their country. Wars are never fought for the poor but almost always by the poor. Bombs don't discriminate between army camps or orphanages - they just blow up everything.

The TV show M.A.S.H ended in 1983 - the same year I graduated high school - but the wars didn't stop then. In fact America has been involved in our longest wars ever in Afghanistan and the recently ended war in Iraq. Over 10 years we have been wrecking peoples lives "over there" and what has it gotten us over here? Nothing. Not cheaper gas prices and not more freedoms - in fact we now have fewer of them. A few people profited handsomely from these wars - but not most Americans.

Nobody said it better than Bruce Springsteen (The Boss) "War - what is it good for - absolutely nothing"

UPDATE: I just wanted to add one thing here. Lots of comparisons have been made between President Obama and President Bush. I think the more important comparison is between President Obama and Senator McCain who would have been President instead. President Obama has ended one war and is hopefully winding down the war in Afghanistan (faster please!). Meanwhile Senator McCain has been on CNN at least once a week saying we should be involved in this war or that one. Thank GOD McCain did not get elected or we would be in many more unfunded and tragic conflicts. We need to keep our noses out of everyone else's business. We have our own problems right here in the USA.

UPDATE #2: As I watched an episode of Friends last night, something very relevant to this article kept popping up - the Twin Towers in the New York City skyline. Is that a good enough excuse for war?? Does it justify over 10 years of conflicts and more lives lost than were lost that day? Did those wars solve anything? The answer for me is no - but I'm sure anyone who lost a loved one that day would feel differently.

Friday, August 03, 2012

If You "Like" That - You Don't Like Me

Since I'm on a bit of a sabbatical this busy political season, I'd like to post a guest commentary from a friend, former co-worker, and blog buddy on this site. I won't mention his name and I will slightly edit the names mentioned in his letter as a matter of privacy - but please know this is a real letter sent to his family with regard to the Chick-fill-a controversy unfolding this week. He may claim ownership of it in the comment section if he chooses to. He writes:

I'll preface this by saying, I normally refrain from forwarding religious or political material because i realize that not everyone shares my spiritual or social beliefs. I'd never deny you the ability to practice whatever faith works for you, nor would I have the audacity to assume my faith is any more valid than yours. I also, for the most part, keep my identity as a gay man to myself; mainly 'cause I know it makes people (Aunt A, Uncle D, Aunt R, Uncle G...etc) uncomfortable, even though they don't think twice about condemning gays, gay marriage or HIV right in front of me. Mom tolerates it, but I know it's a struggle. I can empathize. It's taken most of my life to get past the shame and guilt; the stigma and fear. It's draining to live amongst people that think I'm going to hell, am an abomination, and am somehow less of a person because I don't subscribe to their religion or politics. Please, keep this in mind as you read on...

This whole Chic-fil-A issue isn't news to me. I've known about their ties to "Family" organizations - The Marriage and Family Foundation, The Family Research Council and Exodus International - for over a year now. Like I said, I usually keep my thoughts on these issues to myself. Then I saw you "liked" a post on facebook linking Chic-fil-A with President Obama and the tagline, "LIKE if you're fed up with liberal attacks on Chick-fil-A". Honestly, it hurt me. Then I thought, maybe you don't know the whole story. This isn't about First Amendment rights; The CEO's statements on marriage and "God's judgment" are covered under the same amendment that allows protesting, so nobody's freedoms are at stake...or are they?

Here's a statement from Peter Sprigg, the VP of The Family Research Council, one of the organizations Chic-fil-A helps fund... "I think that the Supreme Court decision in Lawrence v. Texas, which overturned the sodomy laws in this country, was wrongly decided. I think there would be a place for criminal sanctions against homosexual behavior."

and another one...

“I would much prefer to export homosexual from the United States than to import them into the United States, because we believe that homosexuality is destructive to society.”

So, if it were up to The Family Research Council, they would either have me exported out of the US or have me put me in jail. Really. These quotes are on video and not taken out of context. Both this group and The Marriage and Family Foundation have also done “missionary” work abroad that served to strengthen and promote criminalization of same-sex relations. Consider the fact that 29 states in the US can fire me, just because i'm gay. No questions asked. There are 75 countries in the world where it's illegal to be gay. In 9 countries, being gay is punishable by death. Death.

Think about this for a second. Think about all the pain and self-loathing I've been through. Think about how tough it's been to grow up in this family and realize I'm gay. Mom's support came in the form of a telephone number to some group that said they could "cure" me. Dad's support came in the form of "You're not gay!" Now, Do you think I've done anything to be thrown in jail for? Am I not fit to live in the US? Am I destructive to society? Chic-fil-A does considering they've donated $5 million to this organization and others like it. Think about this the next time you hear a debate on gay rights, sign a petition that wants to exclude me or give money to any cause that would keep me from having as fulfilling a life as you have.

Is it wrong to stand up to organizations that would want to put me in jail, remove me from society, fire me for being gay, prevent me from having the same benefits with my spouse that you have? This isn't a liberal or conservative stance as far as I'm concerned. I'm not a liberal if I choose to boycott an organization that would put me in jail if they had their way. I'm not a conservative because I think everyone has the right to be happy in a consensual, loving relationship. I'm not an independent because I'm able to accept our differences and allow you all the freedoms I have.

I love you and I know you love me. I just wanted to shed some light on this issue and provide some context.

Friday, July 06, 2012

"Feels Like" Time

It's been really hot across most of the USA this week and the weather reporters are having a lot of fun telling us what the "feels like" temperature is. That's the way the air feels on our skin when we factor in the humidity - so if the air temperature is 87 degrees - they might say it feels like 92.

They ought to come up with some sort of a similar calculation for "Feels Like" time. Logically time ticks by at a very steady consistent pace - but it sure doesn't feel like it. I'm a pretty busy dude and usually live my life about 3 days into the future. That means I wake up with a list of things to accomplish today so that I can get to tomorrow's list which will take me into day 3. Theoretically by day 3 I should be all caught up - but somehow on day 2 I'm still living 3 days into the future - the list just keeps expanding. Plus, time feels like it is going by faster and faster every day. I'm told by some elderly friends that this just keeps getting worse as you age. It's really kind of weird.

Then - on a rare occasion as it did yesterday - time feels like it is running at normal speed. I look at the clock and think it must be 1:00pm - but it's really only noon. On the rare days when this happens - it seems to occur throughout the entire day. I still have lots of stuff to do - but I just seem to get it done - with time to spare. I like those days.

I think I've mentioned it before - I believe this "time moving fast" thing is actually a real and measurable phenomenon (da-due-da-do-do) but we just haven't determined how to measure it yet. If we somehow could then I guess we could calculate a "feels like" time and they could talk about it on the evening news. Time - after all - is a human invention. All Earth's creatures live their days by the rising and setting of the Sun (or in some cases the Moon) - but humans are the only creatures who try to "manage" time. We have to keep adjusting our time - sometimes by an hour, sometimes by a day and sometimes by only milliseconds just to make sure we are still on track. On track with what? We think we are pretty smart by tracking the movement of the Sun and Earth - but who is to say time is associated with our solar system? I think there is something larger guiding our time and that's why it does not seem consistent.

One thing is for sure, if they ever can calculate a "feels like" time, you can bet I will be on the beach on the days when the time feels slower and at work when time feels faster. It would be a very helpful index!

Tuesday, July 03, 2012


You may have noticed I haven't been posting much lately. It certainly isn't because I haven't got anything to say - I have plenty! But, there is so much bla, bla, bla coverage of the election and politics it seems like I wouldn't be able to come up with anything original. But I'm not being totally silent - there is too much at stake in this coming election. So for the moment I've decided to take my virtual voice over to USA Today and other online publications to help counter the obvious effort by the Super PACs to use the comment sections as their political podium. There you will find hundreds and thousands of anti-Obama negative commentary from folks with fake Facebook accounts who claim they can't stand to read that particular "rag". Their rhetoric is predictable and scripted as if they all attend the same meeting to learn how to turn a story about kittens into an attack on Obama's policies. So, on a few carefully chosen articles I like to put in some reasonable, common sense responses to counter the constant barrage of negativity. This seems to piss them off as I've been called an idiot a lot. I must be doing something right!

Also, I try not to use my own Facebook account for political discussion - but I do comment on other people who post obviously false or misleading items. Most of them have shared a link without ever doing the research to see if it is actually true. I don't know if any of this will make a difference since the country seems so clearly divided. But I must do my part to at least make a voter go "hmmmmm." This election is critically important as I've said before. This time we choose between corporations and people. I will do whatever little part I can to make sure America stays in the hands of people.

I wonder how many of those fake Facebook accounts belong to Andre who seems to have gone missing too? LOL

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Corporations or People

The general election is well underway and the stakes couldn't be higher. There will be lots of "issues" discussed over the next several months in campaign ads, talk shows, and debates. But in this election - there really is only one big decision to be made.

This year we vote for corporations or we vote for people. That is the only choice.

There is no better corporate pawn than Mitt Romney. That is why, even though his own party was not thrilled with him - it was imperative that he was chosen as the nominee. Corporations have a huge stake in this election and ordinary Americans have a tremendous lot to lose should he become president. The Citizens United decision by the Supreme Court has paved the way for this critical moment in time. Let me say that again - critical moment in time. Corporations now have the power to purchase an election - and they very well could this time. They have already purchased their candidate.

I still predict that President Obama will win this election - but I fear for America if he does not. Corporations do not care about America - they only care about profits. Once the corporations have taken control there will be no turning back. Every election after that point will be bought and paid for by corporations and the candidates purchased and placed in office will be nothing more than game pieces on a giant Monopoly game board.

If you really are one of those undecided voters - or if you are voting Republican because you support an issue like guns, abortion, gay rights or some other personal issue - you need to know that none of that matters in this election. There is only one question to be answered: Corporations or People?

If we choose people over corporations - by re-electing President Obama - we may have a chance at overturning Citizens United. Only then will the power remain with the people. Otherwise we will likely never get that opportunity again. Choose wisely.

UPDATE: 6/5/12 Corporations just purchased another election - the recall elections in Wisconsin. It would be nice to imagine that Gov. Walker really is the people's choice but the imbalance in spending is hard to ignore. The Democratic opponent supporters spent 17.9 million - Gov walker supporters spent $63 million! More important is that the bulk of that $63 million came from OUTSIDE the state of Wisconsin. That is quite terrifying!

Friday, May 18, 2012


Let the games begin! It looks like Mitt Romney is the presumed GOP nominee and the general election ads are well underway. This is NOT going to be nice or fun. I wish we could just skip this part and vote now. The attack ads from the Super PACs will dominate our airwaves - even if the candidates don't agree with their message. Facts will be far and few and the gullible will be easily duped. This is a dark era in American politics and it worries me a lot.

If my little blog has any impact at all in this very important election, I want to make one point very clear. These attack ads against Obama will focus on what the President has not accomplished - even though his accomplishments are impressive. What we really need to be concerned about is what Mitt Romney WILL accomplish if he becomes President. The GOP has a very specific agenda and that is to get your money. They need this election to finish what they started.

I just got my retirement account balance back after over half of it was stolen in 2008. We can't let that happen again. Protect your money - vote Democratic!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


The Tea Party - lead by our newly purchased Governor Rick Scott - marched into Tallahassee with a hatchet pointed at education funding and began swinging. While corrupt corporations started moving into the state - qualified teachers started moving out. Classroom budgets were slashed and classroom sizes began to grow. Now we are starting to see the results of Governor Scott's "leadership". FCAT scores over 4 across the state were only 27% - down from 81% the year prior. That is according to this Miami Herald article.

Having read through the article and some of the associated commentary, I learned that there were several important reasons why the scores dropped so dramatically. The test rules were changed drastically and frequently as well as the way it was graded. Teachers were not given time to prepare for the new rules and communication was lacking across the board. But all of these reasons can be attributed to lack of proper funding in the education system. You get what you pay for.

We have a very important election only months away with two decidedly different directions this country can go in. Let's use Florida as an example of where we shouldn't be going. We need to get these Tea Party extremists out of our government - and fast! Educating our children properly should be a number one priority. The GOP's priority is continued cuts to education. We must say NO! with our vote in November. Not only with the Presidential election but also with all the politicians. Vote Democratic - it's really important!

Monday, May 14, 2012


I sure wish this picture was in color! LOL

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

President Obam Is Fully Evolved

I just got an email from President Obama after his historic announcement supporting marriage equality.  Of course the GOP is saying this announcement is a political stunt - but it should be noted that most gay voters were already in support of our President prior to this announcement.  I'm very Proud of President Obama (finally) making a firm statement on marriage equality - and I'm proud to be an American under his leadership.  Here is the message I received:

Friend --

Today, I was asked a direct question and gave a direct answer:

I believe that same-sex couples should be allowed to marry.

I hope you'll take a moment to watch the conversation, consider it, and weigh in yourself on behalf of marriage equality:

I've always believed that gay and lesbian Americans should be treated fairly and equally. I was reluctant to use the term marriage because of the very powerful traditions it evokes. And I thought civil union laws that conferred legal rights upon gay and lesbian couples were a solution.

But over the course of several years I've talked to friends and family about this. I've thought about members of my staff in long-term, committed, same-sex relationships who are raising kids together. Through our efforts to end the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, I've gotten to know some of the gay and lesbian troops who are serving our country with honor and distinction.

What I've come to realize is that for loving, same-sex couples, the denial of marriage equality means that, in their eyes and the eyes of their children, they are still considered less than full citizens.

Even at my own dinner table, when I look at Sasha and Malia, who have friends whose parents are same-sex couples, I know it wouldn't dawn on them that their friends' parents should be treated differently.

So I decided it was time to affirm my personal belief that same-sex couples should be allowed to marry.

I respect the beliefs of others, and the right of religious institutions to act in accordance with their own doctrines. But I believe that in the eyes of the law, all Americans should be treated equally. And where states enact same-sex marriage, no federal act should invalidate them.

If you agree, you can stand up with me here.

Thank you,


Tuesday, May 08, 2012

The American Way

Bill Maher had a guest on "Real Time" a couple weeks ago who said something that really stuck with me.  I believe the gentleman's name was Charles Murray and unfortunately Bill didn't let him speak long enough because he wasn't going in the direction of Bill's point - but at least I got the message.  Charles said Americans are so focused on the "American Dream" that we have totally forgotten the "American Way".  Historically the American way was a culture of helping others.  If you saw someone with a flat tire - you would stop to help.  We mowed our elderly neighbors yards - for free.  We watched over each others homes and fed their pets on their vacation.  Business consisted of quality products and services at a modest profit.  Honesty and integrity were values cherished by most - including politicians.  Parents were respected and children behaved.  food was real.  A comfortable house and an automobile were affordable - the American Dream was a real possibility with a little hard work.

Then it changed.

Suddenly Americans were focused on wealth.  We want giant houses, huge cars, designer jeans, 5 televisions, the best - the most expensive, and we will do anything to get it.  We don't have time to feed the neighbors pet, and besides we might get sued if something happens.  Grandma can take a taxi to church - I've got things to do.  Mom needs to work to pay for all this "stuff" and the kids grow up unattended and undisciplined - many turning to lives of crime for entertainment.  Animals are abused to maximize profit and jobs are sent overseas where humans are abused for the same reason.  Americans have lost their WAY. 

Because Americans have lost their way - we have also lost the dream.  America needs to change drastically to get them both back.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Four Out Of Five

Four out of five news sources agree that President Obama is leading the country in the right direction.

It reminds me of "four out of five Dentists recommend sugarless gum for their patients that chew gum".  Really??  One of those Dentists actually recommend their patients chew regular gum??!  I wouldn't think that Dentist is very credible.

I don't believe that one news source is very credible either.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Everything New Is Old Again

I'm a camera buff. It started way back in Junior High School when my Dad gave me his old Kodak 35mm camera - I can't remember the model but it was pretty neat even if it was old. I snapped lots of pictures and spent a lot of money getting the film developed. I took a basic photography class in High School, bought a new Nikon EM camera and spent time in the dark room developing my own pictures.

 That's me with the Nikon EM!

 It was always fun to see the images appear right in front of my eyes. Me and a group of girl friends would stay after school some days and develop pictures of each other and we had a lot of fun making copies for each other.
 This B&W picture was much better in reality - it was the scanning technology that cause the effects here.

 I took another basic photography class in college but it was a bit more formal with required themes but still a lot of fun.

 As a tech geek I was delighted when digital photography arrived and I was on the bleeding edge of technology when I bought my first Casio digital camera. Now I could snap pictures like crazy without having to spend time in the dark room or spending a fortune having them  developed. But the quality was very poor and the pictures were grainy, small in size with various other quality issues.

That's me and my Ex with the first Casio camera visible

Here is a family Christmas pic of me and the Ex with the first Casio digital.

Click to see the full size and notice the quality - or lack of quality. Still cool.

A few years later I bought another Casio 4mp
camera and the quality was MUCH improved. It is still my primary camera even though the display is so dim I can't see it in sunlight. I'll be using it for a while longer as I just can't afford to buy a new one yet. Click the sunflower pic to see the noticeable quality improvement.

Thankfully my cell phone has a great 6mp camera and now I use it for most of my digital picture moments. The quality is amazing for a cell phone and the pictures can be blown up very large if needed without ever noticing it is a digital picture.

 Here is a picture taken of the lobby at my office taken with the cell phone.

Finally we have quality digital photography that even beats 35mm pictures in some cases. Almost everyone has a camera phone these days with the same capabilities to take amazing clear beautiful pictures.

With the computer came photo editing software which allowed me to actually improve a lot of those old photos I took with the Kodak 35mm camera and the first digital cameras. Suddenly all my old pictures were starting to look much better. But apparently progress doesn't always mean moving forward.

The currently technology trend is to take great digital pictures and make them look ............ well...... worse. Photo editing websites like and cell phone apps like Instagram have tools and filters that make your high quality digital picture look old, grainy, weathered and time worn. This is progress?! I have to admit that I think a lot of the pictures I've seen are pretty cool and I'm even experimenting with it myself - in fact I really love the site. But this retro fad is also getting on my nerves. It seems nobody can post a picture that looks like it was taken in 2012.

 This is an Instagram picture taken with my cell phone only moments ago with a filter appropriately named for this article called "1977".  That's nearly the same time frame as the first picture of this article.

 I waited a long time to get quality digital photography - now the technology is being wasted. But all is not lost. In most cases the original picture still exists - the old looking one is usually just a copy. However those pictures people post on their Facebook timeline and other on-line sites will remain as the alleged originals for as long as the websites are available.

It seems somewhat bizarre that in the future we will be looking back at our old pictures of the last decade and can marvel at how much better they look than the instagram picture I took just now.

4/27/12 - Update

So here is a fun update.  I usually use Google Picasa to edit photos - especially the old ones to correct the faults.  So I took the Instragram photo above and applied the "I'm Feeling Lucky" filter like I normally would to "fix" the picture.  Here are the results.  Original (below left), Instagram (above), and Picasa "fixed" (below right)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Ten Dollars a Gallon?!

I'm not talking about gasoline folks - although I'm sure that's not far off. I'm more concerned with the price of laundry detergent. Why is it so expensive and rising all the time?! I'm not sure what the stuff is made of and probably don't want to know (protein gets out protein) but I'm fairly certain they make an obscene profit on it - even with the bargain brands.

Sun Screen is even worse! It is up to $10 for a few ounces - and rising quickly. What magic ingredient is so rare that it could cost that much to manufacture? Even the No-Ad and store brands are expensive.

Don't even get me started on ink cartridges for my printer! Now were talking $10 for a few drops! Who can afford it?! Not me - my printer has been out of ink for months and there is no hope in the immediate future of getting more.

I guess that's why I see so many luxury boats, cars, RV's and mansions down here in S. Florida. I have no problem with people making a modest profit on their goods and services but I think we are all paying way to much for basic necessities these days. When talking basic necessities we are talking millions of units sold daily. Can we please try to bring prices down to a reasonable level again? Thank you in advance.

Monday, April 16, 2012

I-95 Tolls = Double Taxation

They are about to begin installing express lanes on Interstate 95 through Broward County Florida where I live. While I am normally in favor of express lanes, these come at a price through fluctuating tolls. We have already paid for I-95 through taxes and any improvements should also be taxpayer funded with all citizens benefiting equally. Adding tolls to taxpayer funded roadways or bridges is double taxation. Not only that but the flexible tolls results in nothing less than class warfare. Why should the Executive who can afford a $7 toll during rush hour get to their meeting while an unemployed person will be late for their job interview because they don't have $7 for a toll?! That is grossly unfair.

The argument for the tolls states that everyone benefits because those that can afford the tolls ease traffic for everyone by getting them out of the non-toll lanes. Well that is true - but the same argument holds true even if there are no tolls. Drivers who will utilize the express lanes will still ease traffic for those in the non-express lanes. There really is no good justification for added tolls on a publicly funded roadway. It is a clear case of double taxation.

Somehow this got approved and already installed in Dade County (Miami). I commented on the news articles with my objections at the time the tolls were announced in Dade County but since I don't commute to Miami I felt it was a decision better left to those affected most. Now it's gotten personal. I use I-95 daily and expect to be able to use all lanes at any time without additional cost. So I am revolting against these tolls! I am doing research on how best to protest this but so far I'm not having much luck. If any readers have suggestions I would appreciate it.

Be warned - this will soon be happening throughout the USA. It has already been implemented in other states. We can't sit idly by in a traffic jam while the wealthy get to work on time.

Express Lanes - Yes!
Express Lane Tolls - NO!!!


All that Chaz

Chaz Bono is Egypts Presidential front runner?! Who knew!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Funny Technology

Last night I had to reboot my washing machine. I was doing laundry when a big storm came up and lightning struck very close to the house and the power went out for just a second. Later I noticed the machine seemed to be stuck just turning. I tried all different button pushes and I finally got it to stop but it wouldn't unlock the door. Finally I had to unplug it for a bit and plug it back in and I was good to go.

Last night I had to reboot my washing machine. I never thought I'd ever say that.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Prophets, Divine Inspiration and the Son of God

I'll admit this probably isn't the best article to write during the Catholic Holy Week, but I've been thinking about this for quite some time. I do not intend to be disrespectful or blasphemous but rather thought provoking. It has taken me a while to write this because I doubt I'll be able to put into words properly what has been long debated in my head - but I'll do my best.

Prophets - The Bible and many other holy books speak of Prophets who foretold of future world events and how those events were eventually fulfilled. The Prophets are revered as divinely inspired and ultimately wise. We have Prophets in our current times too but we think of them differently. We call them Fortune Tellers. When is the last time you saw someone reading a tarot card and thought of them as wise or divinely inspired? If you see someone with a crystal ball you probably think more of magic than miracles. As a child raised in the Catholic faith, I was always told that magic and fortune tellers were the work of the devil - to be avoided at all costs. Why does the Church revere the fortune tellers of the past and condemn those in our own time?

Testaments - The Bible and many other holy books are full of eye witness testaments that are said to be undeniable proof of events of the times. However, I've learned recently that many of those so called eye witness testimonies were written decades after the fact. Not only that but these testaments have been re-written and interpreted over and over again throughout their existence. I'm reminded of the childhood game we used to play where all the kids sat in a circle and the first kid would whisper a sentence to the next kid and so on until the last kid would tell what they heard. In almost every case the sentence was completely inaccurate after only 5 or 6 interpretations of one basic sentence. Imagine what can happen after 10 to 50 years have passed. Revisionist history is rarely accurate and totally subjected to the bias and opinions of those who speak it. I can recall many examples of revisionist history in our own recent past. It happens now and it certainly happened back in biblical times.

Divinely Inspired - I'll admit I've had some of my most "ah-ha!" moments after a couple glasses of wine - I call them "Merlot Moments". Others have made even more profound mental discoveries after a toke or two of wacky-tabacky. Both of these mind altering drugs - along with many others are completely natural and have been readily available throughout the history of man. Wine is even mentioned in the Bible. We cannot assume those who claimed to be divinely inspired were perfectly sober. But if they had a pen in their hand at that particular moment - it became the written word. I've written a few of these words myself thinking they would make a fantastic blog article to be published the next day. I've enjoyed a good chuckle reading those words the next morning. Thankfully I hadn't already mailed my letter from John to the Ephesians that couldn't be deleted or retracted.

Son of God - Lots of folks have claimed to be the Son of God. They didn't believe Jesus until after they killed him first. These days you will find those who claim to be the Son of God nicely medicated and perhaps enjoying an extended stay in a Nut Hut. Who is to say (besides the Bible) that God only had one son - if any? And why no daughters? I admit that there were extraordinary events surrounding the life of Jesus - but they were written decades later as I previously mentioned. They thought Jesus was crazy and blasphemous at the time just as we think the folks in modern times are crazy when they claim to be the Son of God. We just don't kill them now most of the time. We just make them medically behave.

I think my point about all of this is that we really need to think about the ancient documents we use to rule (not guide) our lives. We need to carefully evaluate not only holy books but also constitutions and laws of the land. Do they still apply? Are they completely accurate? Should they be amended to accommodate modern times? Do they apply to all people in all cultures and all religions? Should they be used to prosecute and condemn or teach and enlighten?

Few things are certain - but there is one absolute truth - God wrote nothing down. All words that have been recorded were done so by human hands and are a product of human bias, that person's mental state, and the times in which they were recorded. We must always remember that.

Shaving Shame

I've never understood why men would choose to shave at the gym - yet I see it every time I go there. Plus I see guys shaving their entire head too! Mind you, if there were mirrors that made it possible to see the back of your head I would totally understand the benefit - but that isn't the case. These guys actually have to pack up all their shaving gear, drag it to the gym, unpack it all, shave in what I would consider an unsanitary environment, pack it all back up again, drag it home and unpack it once more (unless they have a 2nd kit just for the gym). Doesn't sound very convenient to me.

Possible explanations:
They enjoy public nudity. Fine - so why are they not nude?

They grow a beard quickly and need to shave several times a day. Perhaps - but these are no grizzly bears I'm seeing.

Well - those are the only reasons I can think of. It just seems weird to me.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

No Romney Please!

I am no fan of Rick Santorum - he is way, way WAY too conservative extremist for me and America. But I have to say - when comparing him to Romney - I'd have to choose Rick. At least Rick has the guts to speak his mind and can speak of his (horrible) vision of America. He owns his hatred and bigotry. Meanwhile, I'm listening to Romney right now give a victory speech in the Primaries and all I hear from him is lies and more lies about President Obama. His supporters are cheering wildly. It's very sad that a person can run for President on a platform of lies and misconceptions. And it's very worrisome that so many people can support that person without question. The Republican party itself is not that thrilled with Mitt either - but all agree "anyone but Obama". It's horrifying to think this man could be our President. I can't believe we would "settle" for this man.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


Almost any clinic you go to you will find the staff dressed in uniform scrubs. They look neat and clean and give the impression that everything is sanitary and professional. I've always had the mental image that all these folks went through a "George Jetson" type decontamination process each morning that ended with those tidy scrubs being applied without them even being touched by human hands. So you can imagine my frustration when I see scrubs in the grocery store, tables full of scrubs in the restaurant at noon, scrubs at the gym and even folks in scrubs walking the dog picking up a bag of poop in a tidy little bag. The magic of the scrubs has been lost. And now I tend to look closely at those scrubs that are in the clinic. I notice little stains, the occasional loose hair, the smell of cologne or even ground in dirt that didn't come out in the last home wash. Then I look around at the floor and I'm guessing that wasn't automatically steam cleaned just before I arrived either. Ignorance is bliss they say. I am by no means a germaphobe, but I think I was happier when I imagined scrubs where only worn once and destroyed by incineration.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Variety - a Suggestion Not a Rule

I am not a picky eater and have always believed that variety is the spice of life. Several years ago I started eating yoghourt for desert instead of ice cream thinking it was possibly a healthier choice. I'd go to the store and pick 2 blueberry ones, 2 strawberry ones, maybe a vanilla or I'd try some other fun flavors. But when I went to enjoy one I always got a little disappointed when I realized the blueberry ones were gone. Or I'd see the blueberry one but figure I should try one of the others instead. Oh I enjoyed the other flavors too but just not as much. I did this for quite a while before I finally said to myself "Denny (I call myself Denny sometimes) - why don't you just by the blueberry ones?". I've never been happier.

Another One Way Contract

I'm one year into a 2 year contract with my satellite TV service and suddenly my bill just increased $8 a month. How is it that they can raise the price but I can't go somewhere else without paying an early termination fee?! These service contracts are totally unfair and in no way reflect a free market system.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

I Will Always Love you

This TV Character is one of the main reasons I knew for certain I was gay. I was head-over-heals in love with Mike Seaver on Growing Pains when I was a teen. Now I find out the real life person behind the character has a big problem with homosexuality. Sorry Kirk - that doesn't make me any less gay and I still think you are just as handsome as an adult. I can't change you - you can't change me.

Lover the hater - hate the hate.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Election Gas (part 2)

Republicans believe they are the party of business yet they seem to have a big problem understanding the concept of supply and demand. I'm listening to another round of pompous acceptance speeches where they all think they won the primary and there is one theme they all agree on. That common theme is that Obama has caused this price hike by not allowing drilling in the gulf after the oil spill and requiring a proper environmental study for the pipeline. Their supporters are eating it up and cheering away! But there is a big problem with that lie. It's a lie. There is no shortage of oil right now (yet) and according to several articles I read the projections for demand are being downgraded slightly. That means that there is plenty of supply and not as much demand. Any economist would agree that should mean dropping prices. I'll cover the real reason for the high prices in a bit but my question is how can these candidates for President of the United States of America get away with telling lies like that?! And sadly, it is not the only lie they are telling. Their entire campaigns are based on lies and misinformation that is twisted to please their cheering fans. And it is all supported by gigantic Super PAC funds. Is this how we want our country run?! No thank-you.

So why are gas prices so high? The real answer is speculation (which I think should be illegal) and politics. There is no doubt that high gas prices will reflect badly on President Obama because typical Americans believe the President has control over those prices. The truth is that presidents don't have that kind of control over gas prices. However, political parties do. It is a common fact that most American oil companies are owned by Republicans and those oil companies are members of OPEC and OPEC does have control over the price of oil. OPEC has the power to override the rules of supply and demand - at least temporarily - and you better believe they will use that power to affect a very crucial election. If you don't believe me - take a look at gas prices over the course of the Bush administration. The prices raised considerably (for no apparent reason) during the middle parts of political terms and then dropped suddenly at critical election times. Then rose again after the election and dropped again for the next one. It was amazingly obvious for those of us paying attention ( Well I'm still paying attention and this current rise is completely political in my opinion.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Religious Freedom

Since when did the definition of religious freedom become "You must agree with my religion"?

In this world of global communication it has become painfully obvious that the world is filled with different cultures and beliefs. None can be proved right - or proved wrong.

We MUST peacefully co-exist. It is our only option.

Friday, March 02, 2012

Economy saved by Super PACs

I find it sweetly ironic that the huge amount of money flowing through the political Super PACs is very likely affecting the overall economic picture in a positive way. They are spending all that money to try to illustrate that President Obama has failed the economy - meanwhile, all that money is actually helping improve the overall economic picture making the President look even more successful.

It is the ONLY good thing I have to say about Super PACs - but it is kinda fun isn't it?!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Nationalized Health Care Applies to Only You

Over the last several weeks the Catholic Church has been concerned that the new health care mandates will force them to pay for things for which they are morally opposed. It has become a hot topic amongst presidential candidates including President Obama. The administration has revised the mandate to try to accommodate the concerns of the Church but they refuse to be satisfied with any compromise. I believe their objections - along with many of their claims on what the mandate covers - are false and I'll explain why.

For any insurance policy to work, it needs to cover a large group of people to balance the risk. Not everyone will get sick but they still pay in to cover the unfortunate that do have health issues. However, just because all the money goes into the big pot doesn't mean that you agree with - or are associated with - where the money is spent. I pay my part - and my part covers me. You pay your part and your part covers you. Therefore, if the Catholic Church - and it's associated employees - pay into the system - it covers them. If the Church is successful in it's teaching of abstinence before marriage (or whatever their moral teachings are) then their own congregants will not be paying for contraception, sterilization or any other procedures they are morally against. They are only paying for their own part.

Meanwhile the person who takes advantage of the provided contraception has paid for their own coverage of that benefit. If they do not belong to the Catholic Church - then the Church did not pay for that benefit. However, if they are an active member of the Church and the Church fails in it's teachings of reproductive behavior, then the Church may in fact be paying for this contraception. In that case it is a failure of Church teachings that is the cause of the payment and not the mandate itself.

In order for the health care plan to work properly - the mandates need to be left in place. If the Catholic Church has a problem with their congregation not following their teachings, then they need to deal with that internally. The Catholic Church is only the first to object, but mark my words - more will try. Allowing exemptions to the mandates weakens the entire system. Perhaps that is the real goal of their objection.

Another point. The Catholic Church is a world wide organization and many other countries already have nationalized health care that likely includes mandates covering things the Church is opposed to. America is not the first to propose such mandates and the Church has been involved for many years already. Their objection now seems more political than simple moral accountability.

13,000 not really good news.

Today the stock market briefly went over 13,000. While I am very thankful that the economy seems to be - ever so slowly - recovering from the massive crash of 2008, I think this level of stock activity is unrealistic and sign that the economy is still very much broken. Especially when your Basic Average Dude is still struggling to get my finances in the black. I also think the stock market will be poised for another crash if this fake level continues. I first wrote about it here in 2009:

"Ever so slowly" is actually a better sign of real recovery in my opinion.

Monday, February 06, 2012

Alien Newt

I was watching the original Men In Black (MIB) this weekend. I had to chuckle when they showed the aliens most closely monitored. And this was way back in 1997!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Ones and Zeros

I do not understand why my printer is having difficulty installing under Windows 7 when it worked so perfectly under XP. It's all ones and zero's folks - this isn't rocket science!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Big Lie (One Of Many)

I saw this today in the parking lot of the Firestone station that was fixing my tire. Someone has been duped - big time. This idea that companies are moving their operations overseas because of excessive taxes is a big lie. And apparently it is working (on those that don't think for themselves). The truth is that American companies are moving their operations overseas because they can get cheap labor there - very cheap. Corporations can pay people in these 3rd world nations a few dollars a day to work 12 hour days - 6 days a week and maybe even more. These countries have few labor laws and extreme poverty and American corporations are taking advantage of this desperation in the name of higher profits. It has nothing to do with taxes. Even if these corporations had zero taxes - they would still be operating in these countries and simply add their tax savings on to their profit margin.

Now - about those taxes. American corporations use a lot of government services. It is their big trucks that are tearing up our roads. They use our ports, airports, and many other government run transportation for delivery of their goods. They also enlist the services of the fire department, police and other government agencies. I dare any corporation - even if they are operating overseas - to run their business without using any government resources. They can't! Therefore they must pay taxes to support this infrastructure. It cannot be the sole responsibility of the working poor to pay for our countries shared services. Those who profit from this infrastructure should be the first ones to help pay.

Corporations won't bring their operations back to the USA until American workers agree to work for the same wages as those overseas. No thank you! I'm strongly against turning America into a 3rd world country. In my opinion, corporations that move their operations overseas to take advantage of cheap labor or lower taxes are un-American. Not only should they be taxed - they should be fined!

Sunday, January 08, 2012

I'd like to be known for who I am and what I do rather than what I have or some tattoo.