Friday, February 22, 2008

It's 10 degrees outside.

It seems a lifetime ago since it was above freezing for any consistent amount of time. Seriously, if global warming is real, it seems to have skipped Chicago all together.

For the last 4 weeks, there has been a continuous amount of ice on the sidewalks, streets and driveways and the weather folks are saying nothings gonna change for a while. This stinks.

To make matters worse, yesterday - while getting one of my boys to school - I slipped on a patch of ice that was conveniently covered by yet another overnight snowfall. While my butt got battered (fortunately, I landed on my wallet, unfortunately my wallet has pretty much been empty for the last decade or so), I was able to get back up and still drive him to school. However, as the day progressed, my lower back and leg started to throb. But duty called and I still went to work.

But of course, if I ended my story here, it wouldn't be as depressing, now would it?

Of course not. I then went to a meeting that took about an hour and when I got home, I parked in my frozen driveway. Now remember class, I'm already walking gingerly from my fall earlier in the day. So, I open my car door and slowly step out and....BAM!!! I slipped again and this time banged the side of my head against the car door and once again, landed on my butt.

I didn't get up so quickly this time. Nope, I took the full 10-second count and took in the view of the stars circling my head. Or were they birds? All I know is that it must have taken me 20 minutes to get up, open my front door and crawl to my bed - which is were I keep my much-appreciated bottle of Vicodin.

So children, what did we learn?

We learned that winter sucks and I'm sick and tired of it.


I've been poking a little fun at Barack Obama's campaign lately. So now I think it's time for me to get a little serious. Let's start with why I will not vote for him:

1. His lack of Senate accomplishments (has he even one?)
2. Extreme far-Left platform that really just borders on socialism/communism
3. The religious fervor of his committed supporters
4. His lack of experience in dealing with World affairs
5. The fact that he has grossly neglected his promise to the State of Illinois by spending his entire political career as a candidate for the U.S. Presidency.

Even Hillary Clinton spent a few years representing her state before jumping into the ring. I am deeply concerned about the influences Obama will have should he win it all. The same goes for Mrs. Clinton. Once again, as we saw in 2004, the Democrats seem to be putting their own interests above those of the country.

For example, how does one run on "change?" Change at times can be good, but not always. In listening to both candidates last night, I noticed certain themes that kept recurring. First of all, the economy and how both of these two incredibly wealthy candidates are going to fix what's wrong with it.

This would be not only "bad" change, but in fact could be "disastrous" change. Bill Clinton was famous for his platform of "it's the economy, stupid." But in reality, it isn't. We live in a free-market system that calls for less government involvement, not more. Both Clinton and Obama want to rescind the Bush tax-cuts, both want to put the squeeze on "big oil" and the drug companies, whatever that is, and both want the government to be in charge of health-care through socialized medicine.

These are three very foolish ideas. Firstly, it should be noted that the "middle-class", whom the Democrats seem so concerned about, are enjoying more wealth than at any time in world history. But lets discuss the Bush tax cuts. Rescinding it means that each taxpayer who received tax break will now have to pay the government back. That means each and everyone of us who spent the money buying goods that helped the economy will have less buying power and will in turn, by less goods. Exactly how does that fix the economy? How is this "change" good?

What about the drug companies? Sure these companies make a lot of money on drugs like Lipitor and Viagra. But the markups on these drugs allow the drug companies to be able to absorb the massive costs of drugs that aren't as popular, but in some cases are a matter of like and death. For instance, Maybe only 15,000 people take cyclosporine - the drug I need to keep my heart from rejecting In comparison, Viagra is used by anywhere from 3 million people to a much higher amount, depending on the source. Not only do the manufacturers not make any money on such a small fraction of the population, they often times lose money.

By putting the screws to the drug companies - either through greater taxation, or greater regulation, both Clinton and Obama would destroy any incentive a drug company has to develop less sexy, but no less vital drugs.

The same goes for "big oil" and any other economic "fix" the Democrats want to tinker with.

Then you have the matter of national security. Obama has said many times that he wants to bring the troops back from Iraq right away. Clearly, he doesn't remember what happened the last time the U.S. government cut and ran. For a number of years, the House and Senate majorities (both Democrat) hounded President Nixon to end the U.S. involvement in Vietnam. However, it was only after he became embroiled in Watergate did he become forced to action. What happened then was that American forces gave up and evacuated Saigon, leaving what was then a pro-American democracy in the hands of the communists. What followed was perhaps the largest genocide in world history.

Should America abandon Iraq at this point - especially in light of the remarkably positive news (something you will never read about in the New York Times) regarding the successful surge, we will do to our Iraqi and other coalition partners what we did to the Vietnamese and the Cambodians. This time, they will be at the mercy of the Jihadists, who I'm sure will be no friendlier than the communists.

Is this the kind of change we need?

When it comes down to it, Obama and Clinton are saying the same thing. They are preaching a "change" in the presidency. Obama talks about "taking back the White House."From who? From the majority of Americans who voted for Bush? No, he means taking back the White House for the Democrats. When it comes down to it, that's the "change" they are preaching.

Hasn't it occurred to them that no matter who you vote for, George Bush will not be in the White House after January 2008?

This is not an endorsement of John McCain, or anyone else for that matter. It's simply a warning to those who have been swayed - either by their obsessive desire to throw Bush out of office, or their obsession by all things Obama - by the empty rhetoric of the Democrats. Sometimes, "change" for the sake of change is the worst thing you can do.


Now on to a more important topic.

Of course I watched all 5 hours of American Idol broadcasting this week. While I agree that this is certainly a talented group of individuals, I'm not convinced it's the most talented group so far. But for arguments sake, I will give you my top 20, broken up into different groups:

The Best of the Best - (those who should be in the final 5)
Michael Johns
David Cook
Syesha Mercado
Asia'h Epperson

The Best of the Rest - (will make the final 12, but not all the way)
David Archuleta
Jason Castro
Brook White
Carly Smithson
Ramiele Malubay

On the Bubble - (could make the top 12)
Alexandrea Lushington
Amanda Overmeyer
Alaina Whitaker
David Hernandez
Robbie Carrico

Good as Gone - (out this week or next)
Chikezie Eze
Danny Noriega
Jason Yeager
Kady Malloy
Kristy Lee Cook
Luke Menard

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