Thursday, January 31, 2008
So, I thought if I supported John McCain, it would ENSURE that there was a Democrat in the White House this time next year. Obviously, it won't be John Edwards and I don't know how I feel about Barack and Hillary, but either of them would be better than a republican.
Great, there I've outed myself and I really can't support McCain. I guess I better figure out who I am supporting then. Only 9 months until the general election. Can we last that long?
* In 2006 I did vote yes on the amendment that made it necessary for 60% to vote yes before an amendment passed. I must have not been paying attention too closely, because I thought it was 67% (like a U.S. Constitutional amendment). If it was 67%, amendment 1 would not have made it.
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
I left work at my appointed time and drove to the church where I vote. I actually stood in line for a few minutes. I have been voting in the same place since 2002 and this is the first time I have stood in line. Normally there are only a couple of people there when I am, but yesterday it was pretty packed. I was hoping it was busier than normal because there were more voters out. I was hoping there were more voters out to show Dubya (and Howard Dean) that the American public was NOT going to take it anymore! With so many extra voters and my son's first time voting, I was a little misty over the entire process and very proud to be an American!
My son said I was just dreaming. According to him, there were more people at the polls, because most are greedy bastards and were just interested in having their property taxes reduced. Sadly, he appears to be right. People flocked to the Florida polls yesterday to save themselves some money. Amendment 1 to the Florida Constitution passed with 64.4% of the votes.
So we (homeowners) will see a drop in our tax bills, and the Florida government will see a drop in its tax revenues and the world will be a happy place, right? WRONG. My property tax bill was not all that high to begin with. That has something to do with the fact that I bought a house that I can afford, with a 30 year mortgage, at a fixed interest rate. I didn't buy a house that was out of my price range, with an ARM, or an interest only loan that now I can't pay the bill on now. Plus, the state of Florida already had a $2,000,000,000.00 budget shortfall (yes, BILLION) before taxes dropped; I can't even imagine what it will be now.
Who is this going to help? Well, the rich, of course. Those who own many homes which are rented out. Those who can afford to own a vacation home, especially people from out of state. Now they won't have to pay such high taxes on the rental properties/vacation homes.
It will help some of the older citizens who want to move into a smaller home and it will, hopefully, help some small business owners who were being taxed out of business. I would have voted yes to help the small business owner had all the parts of this amendment been separate, but that is the only one I would have voted yes on.
Who will this hurt? Who does all the tax cuts eventually hurt? The poor, because they don't own their own homes anyway, and the programs are going to be cut. The elderly or disabled, because Medicare was already in freefall over the shortfall. Hopefully, the senior citizens save some of the money they will save when moving into a smaller house to pay their doctor bills. The children, because the schools will not be updated, the teachers will not get raises, the books will not be bought.
But this amendment will save me about $240 a year. Me, me, me, me, ME! Isn't that what it is all about?
Saturday, January 26, 2008
There is a brand new football league. The All American Football League is holding its first ever draft as I type this. It is not available on TV in our area, so I am watching/listening to it online (instead of doing my Business homework). New football. More football. Spring Football. The first game for the new league will be held 12 April and the Championship game will be held 4th of July weekend. How awesome is this?
I know what you are thinking, remembering the USFL, the XFL and the ridiculous Arena Football league (which has played22 seasons!). This is different, much different and hopefully, much better. This new league is not trying to compete with the NFL or NCAA football. But they are not trying to re-invent the game either. They are playing in the Spring, using NFL officials and a combination of NFL and NCAA rules, mainly NFL, but the OT rules will be those of NCAA except the line of scrimmage will be the 35 yard line instead of the 25. The league, the AAFL, is trying to compliment the systems that are already in place AND use the fan base of teams already in place.
So far there are just six teams. Team Florida, Team Alabama, Team Arkansas, Team Tennessee, Team Michigan and Team Texas. Each team is allowed to protect (pick up before the official draft) the players who played college ball in their state. Team Florida and Team Texas only get the players from their state, because those states have so many college teams. But Team Alabama gets the players from Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi and Team Michigan gets the players from Michigan, Indiana and Illinois (so we know which team Shel from Yah Sure, You Betcha will be cheering for!). Here is the kicker: All players must have received a college degree and exhausted their NCAA eligibility to qualify for the AAFL. This league is not trying to compete for the great college players, it wants them only after they have completed their college careers! And, let's face it, at an annual salary of $50,000, they are NOT going to compete with the NFL.
So who are we going to see playing in the new league? Great players who, for some reason or another, just didn't make the cut in the NFL. Team Florida has the 2006 BCS MVP, QB Chris Leak. Chris was not drafted in the 2007 draft and was cut from Chicago before pre-season. He loves the game and is a great QB, but he is, well, short, for the NFL. So, he has signed on to Team Florida, where he will put back on the Orange and Blue and play again in the Swamp! Does life get any better than this?
Yes, many of the teams will be playing in the state's college stadiums. Team Florida will play 10 games, with 5 home games. Three home games will be played at the University of Florida's Ben Hill Griffin stadium, one will be played at the Jacksonville Municipal Stadium and one at the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. (Is that where the Buccaneers play?) Let's hear it for spreading the love around state. Tickets are fairly cheap at $53 for 50 yard line seats and only $93 for skybox tickets (already sold out for Team Florida).
The only glitch in my overwhelming happiness is that DSD is not interested in sitting in the hot sun in Gainesville in June and wants a skybox. But you have to buy a minimum of four tickets to buy the skybox tickets and that is going to get expensive, plus we only need two tickets. (He is currently napping in front of the TV since the weather here is so crappy there is not a lot else to do and does not know that the skybox tickets are sold out!) This is football. If I want to sit in an air conditioned room with strangers to watch the game on TV, I will go to a bar down the street, it is MUCH cheaper!)
Wow, this post is long. Watch this space for more about this exciting new football league (mainly Team Florida).
Kick off is only 2 1/2 months away!
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
"In short, the Bush administration led the nation to war on the basis of
erroneous information that it methodically propagated and that culminated in
military action against Iraq on March 19, 2003," reads an overview of the
examination, conducted by the Center for Public Integrity and its affiliated
group, the Fund for Independence in Journalism.
According to the study, Bush and seven top officials -- including Vice
President Dick Cheney, former Secretary of State Colin Powell and then-National
Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice -- made 935 false statements about Iraq during
those two years.
I wish I felt better about being right. I wish I felt that being right would change something, but there are still too many dead, Americans and Iraqis, to count. There are too many wounded. Too many people will never be the same and it can all be hurled at the door of this administration.
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
I have had one pregnancy and one live birth in my lifetime. I have never been forced to make a decision that included abortion as an option. I can only imagine the stress, horror and heartbreak that must go into a decision like that, no matter what is the decision is in the end.* I have no idea how a woman would feel if that were her only option. I have no idea how a woman would feel if that option were not available.
So, I raise my glass (figuratively) to the brave ones. The lawyers who fought for Roe, the Supreme Court Justices who voted for it, Ms Roe herself (although she has since recanted and wished she had never gone through with the case), the women who felt they had no choice but to have abortions, the women who were brave enough to have their babies and give them up for adoption and the Moms. We have each made our choice. It is a wonderful thing to have that freedom.
* I can acknowledge that there are some who use abortion as birth control and be disgusted by that and still appreciate the freedom that allows them to make that choice.
Friday, January 18, 2008
"Down South" means Key West
"Panhandling" means going to Pensacola.
You think no-one over 70 should be allowed to drive.
Flip-flops are everyday wear.
Shoes are for business meetings and church.
No, wait, flip flops are good for church too
Socks are only for bowling
Orange juice from concentrate makes you vomit
Tap water makes you vomit
Sweet tea can be served at any meal.
An alligator once walked through your neighborhood.
You smirk when a game show's "Grand Prize" is a trip to Florida.
You measure distance in minutes.
You have a drawer full of bathing suits, and one sweatshirt.
You get annoyed at the tourists who feed seagulls.
You never use an umbrella because you know the rain will be over in five minutes. (This WAS true)
All the local festivals are named after a fruit. (Actually of the ones in NW Florida are named for some sort of seafood. The Seafood Festival, Oyster Festival, Mullet Festival)
A mountain is any hill 100 feet above sea level.
A good parking place has nothing to do with distance from the store, but everything to do with shade.
Your winter coat is made of denim
You can tell the difference between fire ant bites and mosquito bites. (Can't everyone?)
You're younger than thirty but some of your friends are over 65
You know the four seasons really are: almost summer, summer,not summer but really hot, and Christmas.
It's not "pop." It's "soda" or "coke."
Anything under 70 is chilly.
You've hosted a hurricane party.
You go to a theme park for an afternoon, and know when to get on the best rides.
You pass on the right and honk at the elderly.
You understand the futility of exterminating cockroaches.
You can pronounce Okeechobee, Kissimmee, Withlacoochee, Okahumpka and Loxahatchee.
You understand why it's better to have a friend with a boat than have a boat yourself.
You've driven through Yeehaw Junction.
Bumper stickers on the pickup in front of you include various fish, the NRA and a confederate flag.
You were 8 before you realized they made houses without pools.
You were 12 when you first met someone who couldn't swim.
You've worn shorts and used the A/C on Christmas.
You know what the "stingray shuffle" is and why it's important!
You could swim before you could read
You have to drive north to get to The South
You know that no other grocery store can compare to Publix.
Every other house had blue roofs in 2004-2005
Youʼve gotten out of school early on Halloween to trick or treat before it got dark
You know that anything under a Category 3 just isn't worth waking up for.
You dread lovebug season.
You are on a first name basis with the Hurricane list. They aren't Hurricane Charley, Hurricane Frances...but Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne.
You know what a snowbird is and you hate them.
You know why flamingos are pink.
You think a six-foot alligator is actually pretty average.
You were twelve before you ever saw snow or you still haven't. (My son will be 19 soon and has never seen snow)
Childhood daily chores included cleaning the trash the raccoons went through, picking up rotted fallen fruit from the trees in your yard, "skimming" the pool and checking pool chemicals.
You have to choose a Florida college football team in order to take part in any real conversations. Go Gators!
Thursday, January 17, 2008
“I got a raise!” (Although probably not with your co-workers, in case they didn’t get one.)
“Look, we’re engaged.”
“It’s a boy!” “It’s a girl!”
“I’ve just invented a cure for cancer.”
“I got an A on my last test.”
You get the picture.
Other things should only be shared with those very close to you, your spouse, life partner or significant other, your best friend, your doctor, your parent. (I say parent, because there are things that I would NEVER tell my dad that I tell my mom. Others are just the opposite.)
“Last night my poop was….” (Yes, I say poop)
“There seems to be a strange discharge…”
“I have this weird spot…”******
Then there are things that are private. They are called private, because they should be kept private.
Private (according to dictionary.com) is
1. belonging to some particular person: private property.
2. pertaining to or affecting a particular person or a small group of persons;
individual; personal: for your private satisfaction.
3. confined to or intended only for the persons immediately concerned; confidential: a private meeting.
4. personal and not publicly expressed: one's private feelings.
5. not holding public office or employment: private citizens.
6. not of an official or public character: private life.
7. removed from or out of public view or knowledge; secret: private papers.
8. not open or accessible to the general public: a private beach.
9. undertaken individually or personally: private research.
10. without the presence of others; alone.
11. solitary; secluded.
12. preferring privacy; retiring: a very private person.
13. intimate; most personal: private behavior.
14. of, having, or receiving special hospital facilities, privileges, and services, esp. a room of one's own and liberal visiting hours: a private room; a private patient.
15. of lowest military rank.
16. of, pertaining to, or coming from nongovernmental sources: private funding.
17. a soldier of one of the three lowest enlisted ranks.
18. privates. private parts. —Idiom
19. in private, not publicly; secretly: The hearing will be conducted in private
The only example I can give of things private (because they are private) is sex. Sex should be between 2 consenting adults and it should be private, personal, and confidential. Between ONLY those two people. If you like to take a little risk now and then and have sex in a public place where you may be caught, that is your business. But take your punishment like an adult if you get caught. So, I was profoundly shocked when I saw this article on MSNBC.
In a legal effort to help a U.S. senator, the American Civil Liberties Union is
arguing that people who have sex in public bathrooms have an expectation of
privacy. The ACLU filed a brief Tuesday supporting Craig. It cited a Minnesota
Supreme Court ruling 38 years ago that found that people who have sex in closed
stalls in public restrooms "have a reasonable expectation of privacy." Even if
Craig was inviting the officer to have sex, the ACLU argued, his actions would
not be illegal.
I do not know how you can “have a reasonable expectation of privacy” in a PUBLIC place. Plus, if Craig had NOT been inviting the officer to have sex, WHY did he plead guilty. Why didn’t he immediately take his story of “persecution” to the media? I would have and I am not a member of Congress.
Craig is not a private citizen (see #5 above) and he was not in a private place (#8). And I am, frankly, sick of this story, but I couldn’t stop this post.
Can anyone explain to me WHY the ACLU has gotten involved in this? I can not see how Craig’s civil liberties were taken, injured or even threatened. Shouldn’t they be on the side of the cop? Or just people in public restrooms? This is not about homosexuals and it is not going to help them.
This is just another embarrassing mess.
******NOT that I have ever had any of the above-mentioned issues, I think I read about them in a medical journal.
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
The economoy was good under Clinton, even with the balanced budget, and, while I don't believe that the President has complete control over whether the economy stays strong or not, I believe that he (so far) can do many things to hurt it. Clinton didn't.
Clinton instituted "don't ask/don't tell" and while it is now time for that policy to be removed so that homosexuals can finally serve this country proudly and openly, it was a HUGE step in the right direction. The direction of acceptance and tolerance.
Clinton repealed a law that Daddy Bush had put in place that limited the amount that Congress could raise the pay of active duty military members to 1.9%. He then gave one of the biggest raises in my memory. I don't remember exactly how much it was, but I remember being quite impressed with it in Jan 2000. There was another in Jul 2000 that was focused on the "middle management" portion of the military. The E4s, E5s and E6s who had received a military education and were jumping ship to make more money in the civilian world. I was one of them.
I want Bill Clinton to be elected President again in 2008. I want what we had with him as President. I don't really care if he receives a BJ every single day by a different woman, as long as he has enough sense to pick those who aren't skanks and who do their laundry regularly.
I do, however, understand the Constitution and its amendments and it is un-Constitutional for Bill to run. So what, says I. Look at all the unConstitutional things that have happened in the last 7 years! At least re-electing Bill might do some good for this country. Sadly it will not happen.
I want to believe that electing Hillary will bring back the Clinton Era. I want to believe that she will do the things that this country needs to bring back hope and prosperity. I want to believe that she not as right-leaning as she has seemed lately. But I am not sure I believe any of it. She is a brilliant, strong woman and I respect that. I respect her and the things she has accomplished in her life, but I am not sure she has IT. I can not even figure out exactly what IT is that her husband had that she does not. Charisma? Charm? Does that matter next to strong and brilliant? Sadly, it does. But then, how charismatic was Margaret Thatcher? (I honestly don't know the answer to that question).
I know no President is going to be able to fix the mess we are in without help from Congress. Will Hillary get that help? Or will her entire time in Office be fighting a smear campaign?
I know she can do the job as President! I think she would do a fine job. Will she be allowed to do the job by Congress, by the press, by the public?
I wish I knew
*This post started off as a commentary on the primaries and caucauses, but turned into a love fest for Bill Clinton. Oh, well. I just went with it. I am still planning to vote for Edwards in the Florida Primary that is now 12 days away, but if Edwards does not get the nomination, I want Hillary to have it.
Saturday, January 12, 2008
Sure, USC got screwed in 2003, but Auburn got screwed in 2004. That is the nature of the beast we call the Bowl Championship Series. Get over it.
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
So, OSU played better than they did last year, but they didn't look any better. Were they outplayed? Was LSU just a superior ball team? Why would you ask me? I obviously am clueless when it comes to college football.
It was a sad time in the Left household last night. At least last year (when OSU was whipped by Florida) ONE of us was happy at the end of the evening. Last night we both sat there in scarlet and grey and got quieter and quieter and quieter. We didn't even see the last TD; we went to bed with just under 2 minutes left to play. We are pathetic.
And yet there really is a tiny portion of me that was thrilled that the SEC had such a great showing. Not just in last night's game, but throughout the bowl season. Nine of twelve teams played in a bowl game, 2 in a BCS game and 7 of those WON (enter smartass comment about Florida's loss here)! And it is nice that the SEC brought that crystal football back to the conference. This is the 4th SEC Championship since the dawn of the horror that we call the BCS. This is the third this decade. There is always a lot of discussion about the "best" or the "toughest" conference and the SEC has a lot going for it to answer those challenges.
But, can we play another conference for next year's Championship? Or, at least, another team? The Left household sure would be a lot happier!
Monday, January 7, 2008
While I did learn a lot from sitting on the sidelines, whether it was watching my brother's team or cheering on the Pee Wee squad, or dancing to the fight song as part of the band (I twirled a flag, I am not musically inclined) I know there are things I just don't understand about the sport. Part of that includes the different types of offenses and defenses and the actual plays themselves. There are even some positions that I can't remember if they are on offense or defense. It obviously doesn't matter to me or I would learn more and it does not impair my enjoyment of the game. It does, however, make some of my analysis pure B.S.
Having admitted my shortcomings, I want to publicly declare that I am tentatively taking The Ohio State University in tonight's BCS National Championship Game. I am hoping for a good game, a fairly close game and I want tOSU to win it all. Not possible? Am I crazy? Maybe, but maybe not.
Exluding 2004, the underdog has won the Championship each year since 2000. Five out of six times. Both teams have incredible defenses and both teams have solid offenses, so what does that leave as the deciding factor? Drive, stamina, desire and coaching. A lot of the players for the Buckeyes were on last year's team and were humiliated in the desert by an undeserving Gator ball club (Go Gators!). They remember, they want revenge. They want to prove they deserve to be playing in this game. They want to erase the memories of last year's debacle. They want to show the world they are champions. LSU? They were anointed in August and, while they have known adversary, they have already been crowned King of 2007. The Bucks don't stand a chance (if you listen to the press).
The main factor here, in my humble opinion, is coaching. Les Miles has never coached in a game this big. This is Jim Tressel's 3rd National Championship game in Div 1A and he coached Youngstown State to 4 titles in D1AA. He has the battle scars. He has been in the trenches. And he, too, was humiliated in the desert last year. He wasn't prepared for Florida's speed, for their power or for their desire to prove themselves. So, his team wasn't prepared. Jim Tressel (my opinion here) is a man who learns from his mistakes and he will not make the same ones again. OSU is 0-8 against SEC teams, but Jim Tressel is 0-1. I think he ties that up tonight!
Plus, I am now officially a Buckeye by marriage. DSD was raised close enough to the OSU campus to watch football practice after school. When tOSU changed from grass to turf in the 70's his dad sodded their entire front yard with endzone sod. DSD saw Archie Griffen play in the Rose Bowl in Pasadena one of the years Archie won the Heisman. Things were tense at our house during last year's Championship game. They will be tense again tonight, but it is nice that we are on the same side in this one!
(Gators for a 2008 Championship!)
Thursday, January 3, 2008
Me: "There is more to life than having money, son. And, while there is nothing wrong with having money, remember that there are those less fortunate than you. There are those whose parents can't send them to college, those who are sick, who are dying, who are hungry, who won't have Christmas any year, who...."
Son: "Mom, I care. I'm compassionate. I'm the one who wants to help people. Help my friends now; help people in the future. This is who I am. What makes you think I will change if I have money? What kind of person do you think I will turn in to?"
Me (shaking head sadly): "A republican."
Sadly, my New Year didn't start out as wonderful as I had hoped. My son has been looking for a job since 1 Nov when the company he was working for declared bankruptcy and shut down. He was promised a job before Christmas, but we told it wasn't going to happen on New Year's Eve. He was bummed and grouchy.
DSD and I had a fight at lunch on New Year's Eve. We had had dinner plans (and reservations) for New Year's Eve with another couple who backed out at the last minute and he thought it would be boring for just the 2 of us. Yes, he said that and my feelings were hurt, so I got mad. We kissed and made up (according to him that wasn't what he meant, but it was what he SAID, so how was I supposed to take it?), but I wasn't going out to dinner with him then.
Then, of course, on New Year's Day my beloved Gators forgot to play defense against Michigan and Coach Meyer kept trying to get Tim to play pitch and catch with Percy Harvin, forgetting that there were other players on the field. A sad, sickening loss.
So, I moped. I whined. I sulked. And, yes, I cursed.
Then I realized I was acting ridiculously. It was a game. Sure it was sad that we lost, but the schools still get paid by Capital One, the kids got to be on TV, heck, Michigan players, fans, and band got to spend New Year's in Orlando! And, we, as a nation, are at war. People are freezing to death and starving to death in this country. Children are abused. And I was obssessing over a football game?
So, I pulled my head out of my ass and got over it. I love Gator football, but a loss is not the end of the world; it doesn't even really have world wide conseqences.
I just hope I can remember that next season......
Which starts in 7 months, 3 weeks and 6 days!
But who's counting?