Friday, July 25, 2008

A sad day... Dr. Randy Pausch has passed away

It is truly a sad day today and the world is a lesser place with the loss of a great man. Dr. Randy Pausch who gave his 'Last Lecture' at Carnegie Mellon University has passed away. The article announcing his passing can be found here.
If you have not seen the last lecture please take a look at it. It has changed my life in ways that are hard to describe. I hope he has the same affect on you.

I never had the honor of meeting Dr. Pausch but pray for him and his family. Thank you for making a difference in so many lives.

-End of Ramble

Thursday, July 24, 2008

I am more important than you are

Be warned... this is more of a rant than anything else...

Driving. It seems that several villages have lost their idiots and when I am driving I seem to be a magnet for them. Turn left onto an entrance ramp for a major highway. Two left hand turn lanes. Stop light. I wait my turn. Why do people feel that they are so much more important than I am that they cannot wait in line but instead must come up along side the two turn lanes and when the light turns green speed through it turning left in front of all other traffic?

Why do people forget that they should REMAIN in the right lane on any road unless they are passing?

Why do people in these HUGE pickup trucks go flying down the road at 85+ MPH throwing things up off the road and out of their truck beds that come down and damage those of us who were unfortunate enough to be in the RIGHT (see above) lane?

More examples of the self centered nature of people.

Other recent observations...

I just got an iPhone. I now notice that I walk around with my head down buried into whatever is interesting me on that little toy. I actually thought I need to stop doing this because I am ignoring people around me. Then I started watching others with CrackBerry's and iPhones... we all do it. Don't get me wrong... the iPhone is by far the absolute coolest and handy device that I have EVER had... but I also feel that I need to interact with my fellow humans, not just the electronic world. So, a new vow...

"I pledge to take my head out of my electronic device and pay attention to those humans that are around me"

Let's all take that pledge.

-End of Ramble

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Criminal Mayor Gavin Newsom

San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom should be in federal prison. Since when do we as a nation allow a mayor to thumb his nose at the federal government and immigration law and make his own rules that endanger the entire country? Even people in California are wondering what the heck is going on. Just read from the LA Times itself,
"I was unaware that the city had its own foreign policy and immigration laws that superseded federal law," San Bernardino County Supervisor Gary Ovitt said, referring to San Francisco. "No one should have to suffer from a poorly thought-out policy such as this."

I just simply do not understand why enforcement of our immigration law is such a difficult concept. We are a sovereign nation with rules that must be enforced or we cease to exist. Any Senator or Congressman that is not standing up and screaming for upholding the law is a traitor to our country and to the oath they voluntarily took to uphold the Constitution of the United States. It really is that simple. If anyone does not like the current law of the land there are mechanisms in place to modify or strike down those laws. However, until the law is changes, it is not up to individual interpretation or selective enforcement.

As Michele Malkin said, "We are not a boarding house for the world. We are a sovereign nation. It's time we started acting like one".

We need to start defending our nation from this invasion before there is nothing left to defend.

##That's my opinion##

Monday, July 21, 2008

Latest Imprimis

A must read on Immigration from Edward J. Erler Professor of Political Science California State University, San Bernardino ...

Find the article here

In this article he talks about "Birthright Citizenship" and how it was actually explicitly denied by the founding fathers, and the institution of the 14th amendment, and by a supreme court ruling... yet we continue to allow it to be a draw to anyone who comes here illegally. A great article and worth your time.

-End of Ramble

Another SEP example

Here is a classic example of SEP's at work:

These two brothers decide to steal their OWN bike in NYC during rush hour. Does anyone try to stop them? No... that is SOMEBODY ELSE'S PROBLEM

-End of Ramble

A new Declaration of Independence

Beth suggested in the comments to this post on Taxation without Representation that perhaps what we need is an new Declaration of Independence. To get that thought process started here is a copy of the original as found on this website:

When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bonds which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. --Such has been the patient sufferance of these colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his assent to laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his governors to pass laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of representation in the legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved representative houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the legislative powers, incapable of annihilation, have returned to the people at large for their exercise; the state remaining in the meantime exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavored to prevent the population of these states; for that purpose obstructing the laws for naturalization of foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migration hither, and raising the conditions of new appropriations of lands.

He has obstructed the administration of justice, by refusing his assent to laws for establishing judiciary powers.

He has made judges dependent on his will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, standing armies without the consent of our legislature.

He has affected to render the military independent of and superior to civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his assent to their acts of pretended legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by mock trial, from punishment for any murders which they should commit on the inhabitants of these states:

For cutting off our trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing taxes on us without our consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of trial by jury:

For transporting us beyond seas to be tried for pretended offenses:

For abolishing the free system of English laws in a neighboring province, establishing therein an arbitrary government, and enlarging its boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule in these colonies:

For taking away our charters, abolishing our most valuable laws, and altering fundamentally the forms of our governments:

For suspending our own legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated government here, by declaring us out of his protection and waging war against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burned our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow citizens taken captive on the high seas to bear arms against their country, to become the executioners of their friends and brethren, or to fall themselves by their hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare, is undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these oppressions we have petitioned for redress in the most humble terms: our repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have we been wanting in attention to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, enemies in war, in peace friends.

We, therefore, the representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name, and by the authority of the good people of these colonies, solemnly publish and declare, that these united colonies are, and of right ought to be free and independent states; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the state of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as free and independent states, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent states may of right do. And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.

New Hampshire: Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton

Massachusetts: John Hancock, Samual Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry

Rhode Island: Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery

Connecticut: Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott

New York: William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris

New Jersey: Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark

Pennsylvania: Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross

Delaware: Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean

Maryland: Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton

Virginia: George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton

North Carolina: William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn

South Carolina: Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton

Georgia: Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton

Source: The Pennsylvania Packet, July 8, 1776
Key in the second paragraph:

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.
Let's all get up to speed on what the Founding Fathers thought when they declared their independence from the King of England. Now we need to declare our independence from the government bureaucrats. Read though this now. More to come...

-End of Ramble (for now)

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Mowing the lawn thoughts

While doing something that requires very little brain power the mind tends to wander towards bigger and better things... for me that is the issues facing our country. Go figure.

It has occurred to me recently that the challenge facing our country is NOT our elected leaders, it is our own self centered attitudes towards all things. We have become a people that tend to believe that everything is 'somebody elses problem". In the writings of Douglas Adams he referred to this as the SEP. It scares me how much satire can predict real life.

Lets take a very simple problem (remember, this came to me while cutting my grass) of people who don't clean up their grass and just blow it into the street. So then the rain comes and carries it down the gutter into the storm drain. Out of site, out of mind. Now what happens? It decomposes, very, very slowly... meanwhile the people continue to do the same old thing, not understanding the ramifications of such a minor issue, until the HOA has to spend $10,000 to clean out the drain. Then their dues go up and they complain. Such a simple problem to solve and save money for everyone, yet it is an SEP to those who blow their grass into the road.

This is a simple example of so many things that have gone by the wayside. The other day I was leaving Panera Bread with coffee for my wife (yeap! going to be a good husband and suprise her with coffee and a scone!) and a young 'lady' is leaving right in front of me. I think either a) she will hold the door for me or b) I can at least scoot out the door with my hands full. Neither occurs and I end up with spilled coffee on me, the floor, my shoes. The young 'lady'... does not even look back but moves even faster away from the scene of my minor carnage. Panera gave me a new cup of coffee, but none of this would have occured had that young 'lady' taken 15 seconds to just hold the door open. This was an SEP for her.

Give me your examples of SEP's. I'm sure there are many. These are just two that have occured in the past week to me. Perhaps if we start to bring attention to them people will begin to wake up out of their zombie like state and start to think and take responsibility for what happens around them, and what the effects of what they do can have on others.

-End of Ramble

Thursday, July 17, 2008

MSM is fair and balanced...

Or not... Check out this article.

ABC, CBS, NBC... Fair and balanced? How can that be possible when the difference is so evident between the coverage of McCain and Obama.

Theory (not much for conspiracy theories, but hear me out on this one)

MSM works to make sure McCain gets the nomination. Why? Because whoever wins the Democratic nomination, Hillary or Obama, has a better chance against McCain.

Now the MSM big wigs are all following Obama to the middle east.

Things that make you go HMMMMM....

-End of Ramble

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Taxation without representation

"Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury" so begins the statement from a lawyer. Let me use the same thing to begin this discussion.

Today, in 2008, in the United States of America, we have Taxation without representation. Roughly 232 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence we have and 235 years after the original Boston Tea Party we are back in the same place. The only difference is that the powers that are taxing us without representation are now located on our own shores, in Washington, D.C. and in state capitals around the country.

We Americans protested in 1773 against the fact that a heavy tax was laden on the purchase of tea when the colonies had no representation in Parliament. Well we have elected our representatives to our current government but do they look out for the welfare of the American people, or for their own welfare and pocketbooks? I suppose that there are a couple of people in government somewhere who are actually looking out for their constituents, however I do argue that there are many who are more interested in their own interests.

I take, as an example, the recent property tax cuts in Florida. Many municipalities are now 'scrambling' to get buy with the lower revenue. All of them are claiming that they have to cut Fire, Police, and medical services. Yet they continue to sink money in boondoggles and their own pet projects. The largest example of this is a 400 foot ferris wheel in Orange County, Florida. How about getting rid of some of the many other 'services' that all of the governments in Florida perform. They are far to many to list in a blog post but start navigating around the labyrinth and you will see the absurdity of government. It's big. It's bloated. it's out of control.

Are we a Democracy? NO. We are a republic. A government FOR THE PEOPLE, BY THE PEOPLE. We are responsible for this mess. Mitt Romney was right when he stated that Washington is broken. We the people need to stand up for what needs to be done to fix this place. We are guaranteed the right to bear arms so that the government can be overthrown if it becomes uncontrollable. I am not recommending that we all get our guns and storm Washington D.C, what I am saying is that you get involved. Contact your Senators and Congressmen. Tell them that you are not going to stand for the pork barrel spending. That you want to stop shipping your money over to the middle east to pay for oil so we can finance the people we are fighting there. That you want to keep your pay and not give it all up to the government. That they need to start optimizing and do things better and cheaper.

Most importantly that local government should become more involved and the federal government should become less involved. We need less at the federal government and more in the local so we can be more involved.

And for God's sake people... take responsibility for your actions! The next time you feel you need to complain about the government... look in the mirror. See that person looking back at you? They are responsible for this mess.

-End of Ramble