Sunday, April 29, 2007

National Sales Tax - A Real Possibility/Solution For America?

From time to time politicians have recommended the replacement of the current federal income tax system in favor of a national sales tax. While on the surface this idea sounds like a good one, after a quick look at how the current tax system is setup it isn't hard to understand why millions of voters and politicians would never implement such a plan. A national sales tax would work in the same way as state sales taxes work now around the country. A 2-3% national sales tax would be all that would be required to fund the U.S. federal government and no one would pay taxes unless they purchased goods and/or services in stores around the country.

The reason why such a simple tax would not fly with political leaders in the U.S. is because the current income tax system is set up in a way where millions of Americans not only don't pay income tax at all, but many of them get back 3 to 4 times more money as they pay into the system because of special tax credits for children. I was shock to learn several years ago that some folks with many children living under the same roof were getting tax refunds of $3,000-$4,000 per year even though many of these same people had paid in less than $1,000 in federal income tax through withholding. There isn't a chance in hell that people that are getting paid to not pay taxes are going to support a new tax that would not benefit them.

To say the current US income tax system is unfair would be a big understatement. While it is true that the richest Americans pay most of the federal income taxes, the real truth is that they also benefit more because of other legal perks that are geared toward the rich. For one thing, the United States legal system has always offered greater protection to those that are most able to pay. Add to that benefit a system of government that is totally based around capitalism and it is difficult to feel sorry for the tax burden of people that make over one million dollars per year in income. Set aside the rich v. poor argument that most politicians like to call attention to during election years, I still believe the United States would be better served with some kind of consumption tax instead of a federal income tax.

The biggest reason I would like to see the United States go to a national sales tax program is because of its simplicity. Like millions of other Americans I dread April, 15 every year because IRS tax forms seem to get more complicated each year. With dozens of lines of potential deductions and hundreds of gray areas when it comes to taking those deductions, there are bond to be millions of mistake made by US taxpayers on forms each and every year. A national sales tax would eliminate the need for the IRS when it comes to individual Americans and would put that agencies vast resources to work on making sure that the collection of national sales tax revenue was paid into the government by retailers around the country as that revenue is collected.

Make no mistake about it, a national sales tax is not in the cards in the foreseeable future because of the effect it would have on low income Americans. However, that doesn't mean that a national consumption tax would not be good for most Americans in the long run and good for the U.S. economy as well.

Read more about Tax Policy:

For The Children
Hate Tax Increases
Tobacco Tax Increase
Tax Revolt Coming
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Gas Prices Jump To Almost $3.00 Per Gallon This Week

The past couple of weeks the price of gasoline has jumped, here in Central Texas, almost 20 cents per gallon. Today, when I drove by a local convenience store where I usually buy gasoline, the price was up to $2.87 cents per gallon for regular unleaded. I remember about one month ago hearing several experts talking about why gas prices were going up so fast and each one of these experts said that the recent increases were just part of a seasonal pattern because U.S. oil refineries were switching over from a winter blend of gas to one that is better suited for summer. These experts claimed that the price a gas would be going down once summer arrived.

I certainly hope these gas experts are correct and gas starts a move to the downside in the upcoming weeks because for those of us that depend on our car to help us earn a living, the past couple of months have been very financially draining. In my work, I drive about 140 miles per day and the daily cost of gasoline has increase from $10 per day in January of 2007 to almost $17.00 per day last week. When you think about the number of other people, like myself, that need to drive to earn a living, that extra $7 per day really adds up and while folks like me are pouring extra money into our gas tanks, we are also spending less money on other retail items that help out the U.S. economy.

I have thought for a long time now that the oil business is less a supply and demand one than a racket that is control by a few huge oil producing countries around the world. So called U.S. allies in the Middle East seem to be getting even richer than they already were on the backs of the U.S. consumer and they will eventually damage our economy, as well. Right now several Democratic presidential candidates are proposing some kind of "windfall profits tax" on large U.S. oil companies like Jimmy Carter did back in the 1970's. While this idea might make some Americans feel better, it will not stop the problem of increasing gas prices because the real problem does not reside in the offices of U.S. oil companies, but in Middle Eastern countries that control the supply and demand of oil that reaches the world market.

There is a positive side to higher gas prices and that positive effect is that more and better forms of energy will be invented and reach the marketplace. When gas prices were under $1.00 per gallon very little research was conducted into finding different forms of enery like "wind power" and created fuel from crops like corn. In the past few months there has been much talk about petroleum alternatives like "Ethanol" and "BioDiesel". Also the sale of "Hybrid Automobiles" are on the rise, as well. Over time, if "OPEC" does not control the price of their oil products better, the free market will do it for them by creating new sources of energy that don't have to be pumped out of the ground by fair weather friends like some U.S. allies in the Middle East.

Fat Research Studies Prove Crazy Science Still Alive

As my waistline has grown over the years, health experts have been negative on certain types of fat in foods and then sometimes within months these same experts have changed their opinions and said fat is not that bad after all. I am sure millions of Americans have become frustrated at research scientist and other medical health professionals as their, so called, study results conflict each other. As a young kid growing up in the 1970's, I was taught that fat in the body was caused by eating too much fat in meals. Then as a young man I was taught that it was not the fat in meals that made people gain weight, but carbohydrates and sugars were the main culprit to weight gain. It is hard to know why scientist have become so unstable in their research studies, but I have a sneaky suspicion that there study results are being affected by major corporations that are underwriting their research studies.

As the years have gone by, I have decided to live the rest of my life using a moderate form of dieting. No more will I follow strict diets that restrict certain types of food and/or cut them out entirely. There is a certain emotional aspect to maintaining good health through healthy eating patterns and I believe when a diet tries to control the urges of mother nature, that diet is most certainly going to fail in the long run. In recent years, the big push in the diet industry has been to limit or eliminate carbohydrates from the daily diet. While at first glance the idea of eating as much protein as you want seems like a plan for success, however in the long run it does not work because everyone's body needs sugar to survive. The only real way to lose weight and keep it off is to burn more calories than you take in each day.

What most major diet programs neglect to address in a strong way is the aspect of emotional eating. To me, emotional eating revolves around many aspects of life from excitement to boredom to depression. Long before antidepressant drugs were all the rage, most people found ways to raise their mood by consuming certain types of foods. For me, chocolate was a favorite mood elevator and it worked fast to lift my spirits, if only for a short period of time. I don't see how any diet for weight loss can be effective unless it deals with the emotional aspects to why people eat more calories than they need to maintain an ideal body weight.

Now, we are told by experts that there are good and bad fats in the diet and all Americans should try and eliminate the bad fats and replace them with good ones. One of the good fats is called "Omega 3" and can be found in fish and some nut products like Walnuts. A few months ago I started eating a handful or two of Walnuts each day and while I have not had blood test yet to see if Walnuts have improved my cholesterol numbers, I am sleeping better at night and handling stressful situations better than I did before I started eating Walnuts. One of the really bad fats are "trans fats" and most food manufactures and major restaurant chains have removed these harmful fats from there food products.

It would not surprise me at all if at some future date the research scientist that are praising the benefits of "Omega 3" fatty acid today, make a 180 degree turn about the health benefits of these fatty acids. This is why I choose to take anything said by food researchers with a "grain of salt" because they have proven themselves untrustworthy with research studies when that research goes against the very companies that are providing the funding.

Read more about Health Research:

Omega 3 Walnuts
Doctor Approved Vitamins
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Media Abandons McCain - 2000 Campaign Long Gone

Back during the 2000 campaign for the GOP nomination for President of the United States, John McCain was the favored candidate of the US media to defeat George W. Bush. McCain received the unofficial support of most members of the media because he not only was nice to them, but he gave them daily access to his campaign and was available to answer their questions on his campaign bus named "The Straight Talk Express". In contrast to the 2000 campaign, McCain is now being treated like any other candidate for President of the United States and in recent days he has begun to get angry with the very same news media he loved so much back during the 2000 race. There are many things that have changed since John McCain ran for President back in 2000 and the biggest change is with McCain himself.

During the 2000 race for the GOP nomination, John McCain ran as a "maverick" politician that was more interested in what was in the best interest of the United States more so than trying to appeal to far right conservative voters. The truth is that far right conservative voters are not the type of people most members of the major news media like and most members of the major Washington and New York news media believe that far right conservatives are nothing more than religious nuts. Contrast the McCain 2000 race for President with his current campaign and it is the difference between day and night in how McCain is acting toward far right religious conservatives. The political calculation of McCain to fight for support of religious right conservatives in 2008 is part of the reason why the mainstream media has stopped treating McCain as their candidate of choice.

Another reason McCain has lost his luster with the major news media is that he is a big supporter of President Bush's troop surge in Iraq. Most liberal members of the national news media have followed the Democrats and a majority of the American people in opposing the War in Iraq. Rather than supporting a troop reduction and/or the removal of troops from Iraq, McCain believes that the only way to win that war is to send more troops to that embattled country. For liberal members of the US news media, McCain's support of the Bush troop surge into Iraq was the final straw and many members of the media stopped looking at McCain as a "maverick" candidate for President. McCain has many problems not only with the national news media, but with regular voters like myself.

Personally I thought his "maverick" campaign for President of the United States back in 2000 was a good one. Yes, he lost the Republican nomination for President to George W. Bush, but he won the support of millions of people and millions more would have followed in 2008, if he did not "flip flop" on his ideas. The world changed dramatically on 911 and old political alliances started changing quickly in the world. Senator John McCain decided to throw his lot in with President Bush after 911 and he never looked back. After early public support for President Bush's handling of the 911 crisis, that public support faded quickly as the War in Iraq took on the appearance of a "civil war" and President Bush took on the appearance of a President that was out of touch with the American people.

A lot of things can and will happen between now and election day, but in my heart I can not see John McCain as the Republican nominee for President and that is a good thing. I don't like politicians that take strong stands on the issues and then "flip flop" those positions for purely political gain. McCain should have stayed the same moderate politician he was back in 2000 and most likely he would have been sailing to victory in 2008. He made a big mistake in judgment when he decided to go far right and he is about to pay for that mistake by losing, once again, the nomination for President of the United States.

President George W. Bush On Immigration Reform

President Bush said yesterday that he is winning the battle for immigration reform. Personally, I think President Bush is living in a place where few other Americans reside if he believes that his ideas on immigration reform are going to take root with the American people. President Bush believes that the best course of action for immigration reform in the United States is to give amnesty to over 10 million Mexican's that crossed the US/Mexico border illegally to find work in the United States of America. However, he has less convection when it comes to securing the US/Mexico border to prevent future illegal activity. I am at a loss when I hear President Bush present his ideas on immigration reform because his whole approach is more based on not offending the government of Mexico while at the same time ignoring American voters that believe something more hard-line should be done.

There are certainly racist that want the border of Mexico sealed. However, not all people or even a majority of folks that want the US southern border better patrolled are doing so for racist reasons. To me, a better patrolled border with Mexico and even Canada, for that matter, is a prudent approach to a post 911 world. No one has talked more about "Homeland Security", in recent years, than President Bush, but when it comes to securing the Homeland against possible foreign threats from Mexico his voice suddenly falls silent. Both Republicans and Democrats understand the potential dangers to the United States when there is little control on our southern border. However, President Bush seems to be more concerned with foreign threats against the United States than the potential of terrorist easily crossing the US/Mexico border in California, Arizona or Texas.

In my lifetime I have never seen a President of the United States lose touch with the American people faster than President George W. Bush. While President Bush's actions in the first few months after 911 were brave and right on target; in the days after his decision to invade Iraq his judgment and reasoning have become suspect to most Americans. Immigration reform is going to be a big issue in the race for President of the United States in 2008 and while most candidates will follow a less hard-line style when it comes to sealing the US/Mexico border. The very fact that the United States government is not taking a responsible approach in guarding the US/Mexico border will eventually come back to haunt all of us at some future date.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Listening To Oldies On KBGO 'Oldies 95' In Waco Texas

Do you enjoy listening to old songs on the radio? I do and I find myself listening to a local Waco, Tx radio station most days that play pop and rock songs from the 1970's. The call letters of that radio station are KBGO or as the DJ's call it "Oldies 95". I am almost 50 years old, so the music that is played on "Oldies 95" are mainly from my high school years and I still love those old tunes which bring back many good memories. In my early adult years I worked as a radio announcer at radio stations both in Amarillo, Tx and here in Waco.

The radio business has change a great deal since I put on headphones and tried to entertain people in Central Texas and the Texas panhandle. When I started my first job in radio, DJ's still spun old 45's and as people 30 years old or older know, those old vial records did have a tendency to get scratched and sound terrible when played on the radio. Over the years the radio business changed and DJ's started paying music on special tape devices called a "cart". Commercials were always played on "carts", but for years most radio stations did not want to spend the extra money on this music format. Now days, almost all radio stations store their music on computer hard drives and music quality is always constantly good.

As I was traveling Central Texas highways last week I remember hearing a bunch of songs from the late 1970's which took me back to a place and time when life was a simple place. My mind brought back memories of old friends I use to hang out with after school and many weekend nights of driving around my small home town and listen to music on powerful AM radio stations like KOMA in Oklahoma City and WLS out of Chicago. In the late 1970's most people still listened to rock and roll on AM radio stations because FM was still something relatively new. Little did I know during those late nights of hanging out in the 1970's that I would be building a music liberary in my head that would bring enjoyment 30 years later during middle life.

Maybe it is just the way things work in life that all of us reach a point where new things like "rap music" and other new music genre are no longer as exciting as they are for younger folks. My generation has been referred to by some in the news media as the last stage of the big "baby boom" generation that was born in the U.S. after World War II. For most men and women my age, the music we grew up with in the 1970's is a very important part of our lives both then and now. Maybe it was because of the Vietnam War that music became such a big part of the lives of people over the age of 45 or maybe it is because of other events that took place in the 1960's and 1970's. Whatever the reason why 1970's rock and roll music is still important to my generation is totally unimportant to me. I just like oldies from "Grand Funk Railroad", "Elton John" and "Bad Company" and I probably always will.

Read more about Media:

Don Imus Fired
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ABC Fights DVR
Shameless Hype
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Green Thumb Weather After 12 Inches Of Rain

Spring is in full swing here in Central Texas and unlike past years when too little rain has fallen on the area, this year there has been an over abundance of rain. About one month ago, the Waco, Tx area received approximately 12 inches of rain during a 48 hour period. That one large rainfall filled up "Lake Waco" and has made the spring of 2007 one of the most beautiful and green springs in years.

A popular hobby that millions of Americans love to participate in is the growing of plants both inside the home and outside. The first sure sign that spring will be coming soon are the dozens of television commercials advertising plant and grass fertilizers and weed killers. Also in my area there are television commercials now running that are advertising all types of lawn and garden tractors for sale at local retailers.

In previous years I have enjoyed growing house plants and if I do say so myself I had a "green thumb" when it came to taking care of those plants. I remember I once had an ivy plant that stretched across an entire wall of our house and we used the long threads of this ivy plant to decorate other pictures on the wall. Over the years I have loss interest in growing house plants and I am not sure why I lost interest because when I did enjoy this hobby very much.

My guess is that as I grew older and increased my weekly hours at work, my plant hobby took a backseat to other interest and financial demands in my life. Like so many other things in life, it is the small things that bring most of us pleasure, but many times those small things get replaced as other family demands take priority in our lives. I have been thinking this Saturday afternoon about taking back up my hobby of growing house plants because I still remember the enjoyment I received from this simple hobby.

James Doohan's Final Trek Into Space

As a young boy, I would rush home from school to watch reruns of "Star Trek" on afternoon television. One of my favorite characters on that show was the chief engineer of the Star Ship Enterprise with the nickname "Scotty", played by actor James Doohan. James Doohan died a few months ago and one of his final wishes was to have his ashes flown into space. Today, Mr. Doohan finally was awarded with his wish as his ashes were delivered to space. In a world filled with problems, "Star Trek" brought hope to a country that was divided by war and political up evil in the 1960's. "Star Trek" broke many barriers during it's short run on national television which include the first interracial kiss to ever be seen on American television.

James "Scotty" Doohan was one of my favorite actors on "Star Trek" because he came across as an everyday person living in some kind of future fantasy. I remember so vividly how "Scotty" enjoyed his bottle of scotch at the end of the day and that wonderful Scottish accent of his was very interesting to listen to during his tirades aimed at "Captain Kirk" played by William Shatner. Like Doohan, I think the idea of having a final resting place in space is a very interesting way to look not only at death but life itself. The whole idea of space and space travel is something millions of people have dream about their entire life. It only makes sense that as the Earth becomes smaller due to modern technology, many people with big imaginations would naturely look towards the vast endlessness of space for inspiration.

Even today, "Star Trek" is one of my favorite TV shows because it had such a big influence on me as a young man. As I grew older, I began watching "Star Trek, The Next Generation" and in one of the new "Star Trek" episodes, James Doohan starred as "Scotty" once again. I remember the episode quite well because after being stuck in a transporter pattern for over 70 years, "Scotty" was rematerialized only to find himself in a place and time where he didn't fit in. As I have aged, I have also found myself, from time to time, being placed into social situations with younger folks where I too did not fit in. Farewell and fond and best wishes to James "Scotty" Doohan and to a man that made me laugh and cry with his tremendous acting abilities in a future world of space exploration.

Read more about Space Exploration:

Pluto Not Planet
Star Trek Fan
Near Earth Collision
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NFL Draft Underway - Cowboys' Rebuilding Year

I just read a headline that stated the NFL draft is now underway. Discussions of drafting new players is the first sign that it won't be long until the NFL preseason and then once again a new regular season of Sunday afternoon football will be a weekly pattern for millions of people around the United States. In my opinion, "The National Football League" is the most exciting and most watched sport in the country today. One of the main reason that the NFL is loved by millions of Americans is because of the fair drafting system that is used by the league to insure that teams from every city, both large and small, are represented equally.

I have written often about my favorite NFL team, "The Dallas Cowboys" and my second favorite NFL team, "The Indianapolis Colts" here in this blog. Last year, my second favorite team made it to the "Superbowl" and won the big game. I was so happy to see the "Colts" win the "Superbowl" and I was equally happy to see coach Tony Dungy win and I was totally inspired by coach Dungy's victory speech at the end of the game. As most people know, coach Dungy lost his son to suicide only 14 months before he lead his team to a Superbowl victory in 2007.

The Dallas Cowboys are once again in a rebuilding mode and most experts don't believe that the Cowboys have much of a chance at winning many games this season. I tend to agree with those experts because Cowboys' owner Jerry Jones has once again decided to hire an unproven coach for small money to run the team. Jerry Jones has proven himself to be a selfish owner of the Dallas Cowboys' ever since he fired coach Jimmy Johnson after Johnson lead the team to two Superbowl victories. Jerry Jones honestly believes in his heart that he is the best person to coach the Dallas Cowboys and he is going to do just that, even if he is forced to do it through a proxy coach named Wade Phillips.

In the years to come, it could be highly possible that I will move the "Colts" to my most favorite NFL team and move the "Cowboys" to second place. When I was growing up in the panhandle of Texas in the 1970's, "The Dallas Cowboys" were referred to as "America's Team" by most sports writers. However, in the years to come, coach Dungy of the "Colts" might just turn that whole story around and cause many people to view the "Indianapolis Colts" as the new "America's Team" in the NFL. Consider the similarities of coach Dungy to the late coach Tom Landry of the Dallas Cowboys and this transfer of "America's Team" ownership might not be that far off in the future.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Barack Obama Terri Schiavo Comments In Debate

Barack Obama said something in last night's presidential debate that made me take notice. When asked what was one of the biggest political mistakes he has made while serving in elected office he said that he should not have gone along with the crowd and supported the Terri Schiavo Law during his first days as a new United States Senator. As long time readers of this blog know, I believe the "Terri Schiavo Law" was a terrible mistake that was pushed through the US Congress by former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay to take attention away from his mounting legal troubles. With the exception of the far right extremist, in the Republican Party, most party members are against the federal government sticking it's nose into the private lives of citizens.

The "Terri Schiavo Law" was a huge mistake and a miscalculation of almost all Republicans and Democrats. I remember writing letters to my Congressman, Senator and President Bush begging them not to pass this law. In the end, Members of Congress and President Bush already had their minds made up about the Terri Schiavo case and went against the will of the American people and passed this law which threatened the very fabric of the US Constitution because of separation of powers issues. Now, Barack Obama has brought this issue back up in a presidential debate and that one comment, by him, has caused me to listen up and take notice of this young Senator from Illinois. In my view, if Obama feels the same way about the Terri Schiavo Law as I do, there might be other common ground to be found as well.

Late last night I was finally able to watch most of the Democratic Presidential Debate repeated on MSNBC. For the most part, all of the candidates sounded like Democratic Party hacks rather than real people. However, Barack Obama was the exception to that rule and after his comments about the Terri Schiavo case I started listening closer to what he was saying and I will continue to do so in the upcoming months of this presidential campaign. Most Americans are not pleased with the choices being offer up by either major political party in 2008, so many people will either warm up to new candidates like Barack Obama in the next few months or they will just get frustrated and drop out of presidential politics again. I will most certainly start listening closer to what Barack Obama has to say in his campaign for President of the United States after his bombshell comments about Terri Schiavo last night during the first Democratic Presidential Debate.

Read more about Barack Obama:

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Barack Obama The Money Raising Machine
Obama Bores Voters
Obama Receives Protection
Hillary Then Obama
Barack Obama Hype

Daily Archives: | 02, 04, 07, 10, 13, 16, 19, 22, 25, 28

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Democrats Debate 2008 - Want To Change Iraq Policy

I was working tonight so I did not have a chance to watch the first Democratic Presidential Debate. However, I did catch some media sound bites that were released on the radio news. From what I heard it seems like all the Democratic Presidential candidates are dead set against the War in Iraq and want to see our troops returning home as soon as possible. I too am disgusted with the lack of progress in Iraq and the leadership of the war effort by President Bush, but I am also against a "cut and run" strategy these Democratic candidates for President of the United States are proposing.

Nothing good will come out of a loss in Iraq because of a failed US policy. The right move is to come up with a better and different plan for success and yes that plan must have a withdrawal date so the new Iraq government will have an incentive to step up and do the right thing. No good plan or goal is ever accomplished without a date certain for either success or failure. President Bush would like to have an open ended war that is over when he decides that victory has been achieved. That is a recipe for failure that most Americans will not follow behind. However, the Democrats idea of "cut and run" and immediately leaving Iraq in disgrace is even a worse plan and no right thinking American desires to see the US lose this war.

Once again, partisanship in Washington DC is winning out over moderation when it comes to the War in Iraq. Both major political party's are so obsessed with winning the White House in 2008, that any moderate plan for success is quickly shot down by extremist both on the conservative and liberal side of this debate. A few days ago, Rudy Giulani proposed that the United States stay on offense when facing terrorist threats around the world. I agree with his assessment of what the United States should do. However, most Americans feel like they were tricked into supporting the War In Iraq and now a majority of Americans want to fix that mistake by making a quick withdrawal from that country.

The bad news is that we have made our bed in Iraq and now were are forced to sleep in it until ultimate victory is achieved. Most likely the leadership skills or lack there of, of President Bush will not win victory before his term in office is concluded in early 2009. However, after President Bush leaves office, the next President will have a clean slate and hopefully will find a way to win in Iraq that is not based solely on an "all or nothing" war plan.

Rosie O'Donnell V. Donald Trump On Television

It is so comical to watch multimillionaires act like a couple of kids in a sandbox. That is how I look at the Rosie versus Trump battle being played out in the national news media. Often times as money and fame grow, so do the egos inside of human beings. Everyone that has access to a television, newspaper or computer has been unable to miss the almost daily back and forth insults being tossed between Trump and Rosie. I personally don't care for either of these folks, but for different reasons. Rosie is just vulgar, in my booked and she is without a doubt the most negative and depressed person on national TV today.

Trump, on the other hand, is just a plain old ordinary jerk that uses his money to promote himself into a nationwide celebrity figure. If the egos of these two people could be put into bottles, we could fill up a huge warehouse full of these bottles before we were finished. I some times think that the world is becoming so complex that regular folks are just checking out on the regular news of the day, in favor of celebrity news surrounding people like Rosie and Trump. Let's face it, is it more fun to listen to these two people fight or to understand what is going right and what is going wrong in the War in Iraq?

One thing will never change and that is there will always be a steady stream of people coming out of Hollywood and the "Big Apple" for the rest of us in the heartland to laugh at. Since many celebrities don't have religious convictions, their moral compass will be messed up and some of them will constantly drift into places and situations that will trip them up. I believe that an ego left unchecked will cause problems for anyone that allows them self to get too high on themselves. There is no doubt that Trump and Rosie both have mountain sized egos and if the laws of nature follow their regular course, a big fall will not be too far off in the future for both of these hardheaded people.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Vice President Dick Cheney's Health Problems

Vice-President Dick Cheney visited his doctor again today for a check up. In recent month, Mr. Cheney has been suffering pain in his legs because of possible blood clotting problems. In some ways, my uncle has similar health conditions to Vice-President Cheney in the fact that my uncle has suffered with cardiovascular disease for most of his adult life. I believe some of these problems are genetic because my uncle's father also suffered from heart problems, but during his youth little was known about cardiovascular disease and even less about genetics. Political pundits love to pick on VP Cheney as does the endless stream of late night comics. However, I believe some pundits and comics have crossed the line in their mean spirited treatment of Vice-President Cheney in the last few years.

If I had to guess what was at the root of the hatred of VP Cheney from Democrats and pundits it would be that Dick Cheney is a good businessman that has made a bunch of money over his lifetime. Also, Cheney is a strong leader that understands government and how to get things done in a very partisan Washington environment. Politics have gotten so dirty in the past few presidential election cycles because extremist lead both major political party's in the United States while moderates have virtually no voice in either party. Vice-President Dick Cheney is a certified conservative politician and when he decides to do something, he has the intellegence necessary to get things done in Washington DC. This fact drives liberals crazy because the one thing they hate more than a conservative is a conservative politician that understands how to get things done.

While I don't agree with many of Vice-President Cheney's ideas in government, I do respect the fact that he is a good businessman and I also admire his ability to cut through red tape and get things done in Washington DC. Every time I have heard Vice-President Cheney interviewed either on regular broadcast television or on the "Rush Limbaugh Show" he has come across to me as a very intelligent man with strong political convictions. The partisan divide in the United States seems to be increasing by the day, so an effective politician is going to be criticized by the opposing side almost a daily basis when they are successful. A good man can be judged by the people that call him a friend. Vice-President Dick Cheney has many lifelong friends that know and understand that he is a good and honest man that can be trusted in both good and bad times.

Daily Archives: | 02, 04, 07, 10, 13, 16, 19, 22, 25, 28

Monday, April 23, 2007

Are The American People Suffering Bush Clinton Fatigue?

The population of the United States is over 300 million people, but it is highly possible that in the next presidential election the American people will elect someone from one of two huge political families as President of the United States. For young adults under the age of 18, they have not seen the United States of America lead by anyone without the last name of Clinton or Bush. Personally I would like to see someone else be elected President of the United States instead of turning the leadership of our country over to two families. Of course, the major news media love the idea of a Clinton and Bush duel when it comes to national leadership, but their motivations are more based on what is in the best interest of their ratings rather than what is in the best interest of the country.


As the title of this post states, I am suffering Bush/Clinton Fatigue and hope someone with a different last name is elected President of the United States in 2008. To me, looking at the President of the United States on television day after day is pretty much the same as watching a weekly television show. At first, there is excitement at the new storyline of the show and/or the political leader. However, over time fatigue will set in and most folks want to see something new. Last week Hillary Clinton said her husband, former President Bill Clinton, will serve as "ambassador to the world" if she is elected. To be honest, the idea of being forced to watch Bill Clinton on television everyday flying around the world and hogging television news time is a little bit to much for me to enjoy.

The world has changed so much since terrorist attacked the United States on September 11, 2001 and for many people the idea of who serves as President has taken on a new meaning since that day. It might be difficult for new people with different last names to break through the fear of Americans that are still concerned about where and when the next terrorist attack will come from. One bright light in the 2008 presidential race is Rudy Giuliani and at this point in time he is the definite front runner not only for the Republican nomination, but in the general election as well. The biggest advantage Rudy has is that he proved on 911 that he can lead during a time of crisis. To date, Hillary Clinton has not been faced with such a test so the American people might be concerned because they don't know how she will react when placed under tremendous pressure like a new terrorist attack on the US homeland.

I am old enough to remember when the last name of a President of the United States was not Clinton or Bush and I am ready to go back to those days once again in 2008. A few months ago the U.S. paid tribute to President Ford after his death. Young folks will never fully understand what the United States was going through when Gerald Ford became President after the resignation of Richard Nixon, but I do. At that time, this nation was torn apart by an unpopular war in Vietnam and a President that would stop at nothing to stay in power. What the United States needs right now is another personality like Ronald Reagan to lift the spirits of Americans and once against remind all of us how blessed we are to live in the United States of America.

Extremist On The Far Right/Left Still Rule Washington

Ever since Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid have taken over control of the US Congress there has been a non-stop drum beat from these leaders to stop President Bush's policies at all costs. Their first big step was changing Bush administration policies in Iraq and so far they are failing miserably because, I believe, they have misread the real intentions of the American people after last November's election. Many Democrats took their party's victory as a sign that the American people what the United States to pull out of Iraq as soon as possible. However, when I voted democratic for the first time in my life, last November, all I wanted was a Congress that was not Republican for awhile to offer the nation a check and balance system that had been missing under GOP leadership.


While Nancy Pelosi might be a good person down deep inside, her leadership potential has diminished in my eyes during the first four months of Democratic control of the US House of Representatives. From my limited research of daily news from Washington DC, it appears that Ms. Pelosi and Mr. Reid are not succeeding at getting their agenda passed in the Congress, so they have set their sights on one goal, which is getting the United States out of Iraq before the next presidential election. This short sighted idea is a disaster for the United States because it makes us look weak around the world and it causes many people, like myself, to once again mistrust the true intentions of Democratic Party leaders when they are given the privileged to leading the US Congress.

I have written dozens of times here that the biggest issue facing the United States right now is political extremism. To me, extremism either from the far right or far left is tearing the nation apart, piece by piece, and has resulted in a nation that only goes from one extreme to another between election cycles. Most people in the United States are moderates and expect elected officials to act like grown-ups when they are elected to public service. This means that most Americans would like to see the Congress and President work together for the best interest of the United States, instead of fighting all the time over extremist positions.

When I voted democratic last November, all I wanted to see was better oversight of the Bush administration by the US Congress. However, what I have received is just more of the same, except this time the Congress is pushing a far left agenda, instead of one from the far right.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

China Pet Food Scandal Killing Family Dogs

When news first started leaking out a few weeks ago that "rat poison" had been found in dog and cat food and then when I heard that several animals around the country had died from that tainted food, I started worrying about my own dog. Then today when I heard that even more brands of dog food are now being recalled because of additional contaminations, my concern has now turned to anger at several companies that imported many of the main ingredients in these products from China. For many people their dog or cat is just as much a part of the family as any human member and we care about what we feed our animals and don't want to unknowingly endanger their lives.

As planet Earth moves forward fast toward globalization, I am afraid that more of these kinds of problems are going to be seen in the future. While globalization does allow American consumers to save money on many food and retail products, the downside is that proper testing of these products will not be conducted in some nations around the world in order to remain price competitive in a growingly price conscience market. While the big news right now is focused on the death of animals, what is to stop these same companies from either unknowingly or on purpose contaminating the human food supply in the United States?

In this fast changing world there is no doubt that many people and nations wish to do harm to the United States of America and how better to hurt us than to poison our food supply from abroad? It goes without saying that the US federal government should be doing a better job at testing food ingredients that are imported into the United States and those test should be conducted on food products for both humans and animals. There is no doubt that some people that wish to do the American people harm are watching this whole pet food scandal and getting ideas on how to kill Americans by poisoning our food supply. While the idea of terrorist flying planes into buildings was a horrible site that none of us will forget, the nightmare of thousands or millions of Americans dying from eating tainted food is even more frighting.

I can only hope that the US federal government will start doing a better job at checking food products that are shipped to the United States from nations all over the world. This whole pet food scandal is a definite wakeup call to US authorities and I hope they are getting up to speed for future possibilities that might face the American people in years to come.

Daily Archives: | 02, 04, 07, 10, 13, 16, 19, 22, 25, 28

Bad News Week - Don Imus/Virginia Tech Stories

In so many ways this past week was a bad one for people in the United States. The week started out with the firing of national radio talk show host, “Don Imus” and finished with a memorial service honoring over 50 innocent students at “Virginia Tech” that were killed by a fellow crazy student. It’s difficult to know why some weeks turn out worse than others, but they do and usually pain and death are somehow always in the mix of issues that cause a week to be really bad. In so many ways, the “Don Imus” story was blown completely out of proportion this week when this retirement age guy cross the line one too many times on his radio/TV talk show.

Imus is a throw back to the 1970’s when his “shock jock” radio style played well in New York City. However, times have changed since the 1970’s and unfortunately for Don Imus, he was unable to change with the times and now finds himself out of a job. In reality, Imus has been saying similar things on his radio talk show for decades, but this time his comments were picked up by and pounced on by civil rights leaders Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson. Add to that mix a willing major news media that loves stories about racism and it was inevitable that eventually CBS radio and MSNBC would fire Imus from his morning nationwide talk show.

The other major story of the week involved a crazy student at “Virginia Tech” going from classroom to classroom and killing his fellow students. These kinds of killing sprees happen from time to time and when they do everyone in the major news media try to find out the cause and create public pressure to enact a solution to the problem. The sad truth is that nothing can be done about a lone crazy person that plans and eventually decides to commit murder on a mass scale. Right now, the gun control folks are using this tragedy to enact more gun control, but in my opinion guns are not the problem and never have been.

The people that are really to blame for this week’s massacre at “Virginia Tech”, besides the shooter, are the politicians that passed laws that tie the hands of police and mental health professionals when dealing with truly mentally ill patients. The other major group of people to blame are judges that will not keep crazy people committed to mental health facilities until they are truly well. Dozens of people knew this young man was mentally ill for years and he was even put in mental health treatment centers before, but quickly let out because of bad state and federal laws and judges that are quick to turn crazy people back out on the streets.

I certainly hope next week will be a better one.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Gun Control Debate - NRA Supports Second Amendment

Every single time there is a mass shooting in the United States the “gun control lobby” tries to use that tragedy to force additional gun control measures on the American people. This weeks “Virginia Tech” massacre is no exception to that rule as now dozens of groups and far left politicians are using the deaths of these innocent people to push a political agenda to ban guns. There is a fine line between legitimate political debate and rushing to use the death of innocent people to further a political objective. In my opinion the, far left, gun control crowd has crossed that line and will pay a price with the American people.

The debate over the “second amendment” has been loud and often times confusing over the years as one side of this debate declares that amendment, to the US Constitution, as absolute while the other side believes it only applies to militia groups. Major lobbying organizations like the NRA believe the second amendment to be absolute and the NRA has fought against any type of government controls over an Americans’ right to own any kind of gun. Like all other major political issues in the United States, “gun control” has become an all or nothing proposition to both the far right and far left of the political spectrum.

Most Americans in the middle of this debate can see a need for some type of gun control, but in no way does that mean that all guns should be banned from personal ownership in the United States. What most of us get from the major new media are only the loud voices on the extreme right and left of the political spectrum on the nightly network news programs and non stop cable news programming. Sometimes I get angry when reasonable Americans, in the middle of this debate, are completely ignored by NBC, CBS and ABC in favor of “foaming at the mouth” extremist from both sides shouting each other down in an argument rather than a real debate over gun issues.

Attitudes are different on the issue of “gun control” depending on what part of the United States you live in and whether you reside in a rural or urban area. Most people that live in big cities believe in more gun control while folks who live in rural places strongly believe they have a right to own a gun. I do not believe there is a “one size fits all” in this debate and gun control issues should be left to local and state governments to be decided. Of course, having the second amendment to the US Constitution will make this local choice impossible, but in my opinion “gun control” issues should be made on a city by city basis because no two cities are just alike in the United States.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

US Automobile Business Faces Tough Choices

For the most part, the major news media in the United States has ignored the problems and pain being suffered by thousands of workers at Ford, GM and Chrysler. Only a few short months ago banner headlines and lead stories on the big three television network news programs were talking about all the financial problems facing Ford, GM and Chrysler in the years ahead. In a nutshell, American automobile buyers do not trust the quality of American made cars anymore and they are turning to Japanese manufactures when the time comes to invest in a new car.

Under funded pension funds, out of control increases in health insurance costs and a growing reluctance of American buyers to invest in domestic automobiles are all to blame for the growing problems facing the big three US auto makers. For a long time now I have felt like the only long-term solution to this growing problem is for Ford, GM or Chrysler to be forced into bankruptcy and then reorganized in a way that would allow these companies to continue to make a profit. Now however, I believe there might be another possibility for success without seeking protection from a US Bankruptcy Court.

There has been talk of foreign auto makers desiring to either merge with US auto companies, but to date none of these interested party's has made a successful move at a merger or take over. Probably the biggest issues holding back a better managed foreign automobile company from purchasing or merging with US automobile companies are problems involving long term pension promises made to workers and the tremendous amount of debt that has been accumulated by these companies over the years. In the current political environment I don’t see the US Congress stepping in and changing insurance and pension legislation to make these new mergers possible, either.

So what UAW and white collar workers are faced with is a lose/lose situation when it comes to job security and a hope for a long and financial independent retirement. I can not see how Ford and GM will be able to make the type of changes, in the long run, which will be required to return to profitability. Right now, all any of these companies are doing is treading water and trying to put off the inevitable as long as is humanly possible. In some ways the major US automobile companies remind me of the US Federal Government. At some future day there will be a “day of reckoning” and the only thing either the federal government or the big three auto companies can do is kick the can down the road a little while longer and leave these problems, unfixed, to future generations.

Read more about the Big Three:

Chrysler Pink Slips
Toyota Leads GM
Ford Motor Troubles
Tattered Image Issue
Pain At Ford

Daily Archives: | 02, 04, 07, 10, 13, 16, 19, 22, 25, 28

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Racism Run Amuck - Don Imus Under Fire From Boss

This past week it has been hard to escape the daily news about the despicable comments made by Don Imus on his radio/cable television talk show about the female African-American players on the Rutgers University girls basketball team. Don Imus has been crossing the line with racist, sexist and bigoted comments for decades now and I guess it probably was inevitable that eventual he would cross one too many lines and get fired. While MSNBC and CBS radio have severed their contract with Don Imus, my guess is that his telephone was ringing off the wall yesterday with new and possibly higher paying offers from other radio and television stations.

On the radio yesterday I heard one announcer comment about a “Washington Post” reader poll where respondents believed, by a 3 to 1 margin, that Don Imus should be given another chance after his apology to the women on the Rutgers female basketball team. It is true that the Don Imus comments were over the line about these women, but Mr. Imus has made these same types of comments before and no one said anything about them. So what made this mistake, by Imus, stand out in the public consciences more than previous comments made by this 65-year-old announcer? Two words are the reason why Don Imus is unemployed today and those two words are Sharpton and Jackson.

I am sure that thousands, if not millions of people follow the lead of Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson in their civil rights struggle. However, it is not the small number of people that follow these two men that really made the difference in this Don Imus scandal, instead these two men were anointed by the major news media to speak for all African-Americans. In many ways, the major news media in the United States has become lazy. Rather than finding out if most African-Americans believe in and trust Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson’s comments in this whole Don Imus controversy, most networks and major news papers just take everything said by these two men at face value.

While Don Imus was the center of the discussion this past week because of his comments about the Rutgers Women’s Basketball Team, the next big story that should come out of this controversy should be why the major national news media is not doing it’s job in discovering what average African-Americans are really thinking about race relations in the United States. There will always be problems when major news organizations appoint certain leaders to speak for an entire community. In my view, those problem become even larger when these appointed African-American leaders also have different agendas than the vast majority of the folks they are supposedly leading. In many ways, this whole Don Imus mess has set back race relations in the United States instead of helping to improve them and that one fact is why this whole Don Imus controversy has caused this to be a bad week for African-Americans in the United States.

Read more: Racism On Survivor, Crash The Movie, MLK Birthday Celebration, Children of Hate

Racism Run Amuck

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Don Imus Fired From CBS Radio/MSNBC Cable

I have never heard anything good about radio talk show host Don Imus, but I have found myself listening to him on MSNBC television from time to time when I am up that early in the morning. Imus is an acquired taste and it is hard to find anyone who has a neutral attitude about his radio program. Tonight, MSNBC announced that they are canceling the Don Imus early morning simulcast of the “Imus in the Morning” radio program and that is both good and bad news for regular people like me. When I was growing up in the 1970’s I was a radio announcer that had dreams of someday making it to the big time market of New York City. Even in the 1970’s, Don Imus was a known commodity to eager young people like me that had dreams of making it big in the radio business.

It troubles my heart that a long time successful talent like Don Imus could have a decades long career wiped out because of some stupid commits made by him on the radio that were no more than a sentence long. Yes, what he said was disgusting and wrong, but ask yourself were his comments of a few days ago any worse that he has spouted out of his mouth many times over the years? I think not. What has happened to Don Imus is that he got stuck in the old days of radio when anything could be said by a shock jock on the radio. Back then, even if people were hurt by obscene comments, a radio announcer like Imus was protected by his employer because negative news many times lead to bigger ratings and higher revenue for the radio station. Those days are long gone and in that respect it is Don Imus that has not been able to change with the times and that inability to change will eventually cost him his job on CBS radio as well.

The negative part of this Don Imus scandal is that a few minority leaders were able to grab the national news media spotlight and cast a wide net across someone like Don Imus that no human being could survive. Yes, Imus screwed up big time, but did his mistake justify his dismissal from MSNBC? Probably not and that it is part of this story that should concern everyone. There are people in this world that desire to build public careers by tearing down other people that have achieved a certain level of success. These types of actions have taken place over the years in the civil rights movement and in my opinion they do a disservice to most minorities that definitely know the difference between right and wrong.

When all the dust settles and Don Imus finally retires with his wife and young child in New Mexico, all the uproar of the past few days will fade and someone new will be destroyed in the same way as Don Imus. I believe the biggest problem in the world today is that people do not think for themselves, so they line up either with extremist on the far right or far left that have agendas that have nothing to do with the person they are attacking. If all Americans were using their brains, to keep up with current events, instead of reading tabloid magazines and listening to celebrities like Rosie and Oprah. They would be able to figure out for themselves what the truth is and not be forced to depend on the likes of Jesse Jackson and Rush Limbaugh to guide them through their daily lives.

Read more: Imus Morning Show, Mountain Size Egos, Bradley Got Heart, CMA Angry Hill, Racism Run Amuck

Don Imus Fired

Friday, April 06, 2007

New Taxes Proclaim They Are - 'For The Children'

Here in Texas and most likely also in other states as well, elected leaders have found a new way to raise taxes on citizens. The newest and most disgusting of these techniques revolve around including the words, “for the children”. Whether the new taxes are on alcohol, cigarettes, gambling or even adult night clubs, elected state leaders always preach the value of these new taxes on, so called, “sin behavior” as helping out public schools and the children of our state. Taken individually this new technique might have some value for Texas public schools, but when combined together they start sounding strange and make no sense at all.

The other day I was listening to a radio talk show out of Dallas when one of the announcers was making a joke about this new government technique for raising taxes. I started laughing so hard after listening to this radio guy that I almost wrecked my car. He said that the State of Texas is now encouraging its citizens to, “smoke for the children”, “drink for the children”, “gamble for the children” and now even get a “lap dance for the children”. While this radio guy was just making a joke, the success of real humor is only possible when there is an element of truth in what the person is saying.

Elected leaders have found that citizens do not want their taxes increased, so they have come up with new ways to raise revenue without raising taxes the old fashion way by increasing income and property taxes. In recent years, all new taxation that I am familiar with here in Texas, in one way or another, have been designed to raise revenue for school children and public schools. However, the truth is that many times this new revenue is simply deposited into the general fund of the state and education programs always receive a certain percentage of dollars from that general fund.

Rather than making the hard choices necessary to cause government to run more efficiently by the cutting of wasteful spending, government leaders have once again found a new way to raise revenue and just continue their current out of control spending. In 2007 I am sure that state leaders will find new ways to raise revenue through new taxes and I also believe that most of these new tax programs will revolve around helping the children of our state. Look for this new tax raising technique to come to your state, soon. It is very effective and proves that politicians will stop at nothing to find new and improved ways to raise tax revenue even when citizens are already over taxed.

Read more about Taxes: Sin Tax Explosion, Hate Tax Increases, Big Brother Controls, Smokers Over Taxed

For The Children

Daily Archives: | 02, 04, 07, 10, 13, 16, 19, 22, 25, 28

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Texas Spring Flooding - Over One Foot Of Rain Fell

In less than one week some parts of Central Texas have received over one foot of rainfall. While our area has suffered from drought conditions now for several years, this rain was welcome but not all at one time. Here in Waco, Texas we received almost 12 inches of rainfall in a 48-hour period of time, which caused flooding in many areas. After the skies cleared last week, I drove over some of our hard hit country roads and there was a great deal of damage indeed that county work crews will most definitely be working to repair for several weeks.

Only one month ago, cities all over the State of Texas were preparing to institute water rationing plans because of severe drought conditions. However, in less than a week most Central Texas lakes are now full and some are even overflowing. Mother Nature is a strange beast that I learned a long time ago cannot be controlled. While surveying some of the damage last weekend, my wife and I traveled to downtown Waco to see how much water runoff was coming down the Brazos River. Downtown Waco has an old suspension bridge where citizens can walk across the Brazos River. The water was running bank to bank when we were there and it was easy to see rip currents throughout the fast flowing water.

I was listening to a radio station out of Dallas Texas yesterday and they were reporting that people in the DFW Metroplex would most likely still see water rationing this summer even though their lakes filled up after this latest rainfall, as well. When I heard this news it sort of made me angry at the way some city governments work. If there is no need to ration water why now are they still going to do it anyway? My guess is that the City of Dallas spent a great deal of time and money coming up with a water rationing plan and now that it is not needed they hate to see all that hard work and money go down the drain. If that is the case then city leaders need to rethink their thinking about this issue.

One thing is for sure and that is the bluebonnets are now coming out big time around this part of Texas and they are beautiful indeed. The tremendous rainfall last week assured a nice bluebonnet season in Central Texas and that will make for a spectacular Easter Sunday this weekend. My father worked in agriculture most of his life and I learned early on that weather is a very important part of life. The problem of no rain and then too much rain was a daily concern when there were crops in the field. Now that I no longer live in a home fixated on weather, my thoughts still go back to farmers from time to time and how they must always keep a watchful eye on the latest weather forecast because their very livelihood depends on it.

Read more about Weather: Weird Weather Changes, Deadly Spring Storms, Ready For Spring, What Hurricane Season?

Texas Spring Flooding

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Finding Good Investments - Hard But Not Impossible

In the old days it was pretty easy to find good investments that would withstand the test of time. However, in recent years purchasing “blue chip” stocks has become more of a gamble and the real estate market is starting to look more like the “penny stock” market of the 1990’s. These changes in investments started back during the 1980’s when a few really smart guys on Wall Street found out how to manipulate the US investment system using borrowed money to buy old and well managed companies and then break them up into smaller pieces for a quick profit.

Right now from the smallest investor to giant mutual fund companies, everyone is demanding large returns on investment dollars in a very short period of time. This impatient investment style is causing the stock market and real estate investment to take on a new look that could be a disaster for the long term good of most Americans. For the real investor, it is becoming more difficult to find and hold on to great companies and/or real estate because of this “get rich quick” attitude. No where will this new investment environment hurt the US economy more than in the real estate market.

For hundreds of years the biggest financial asset most Americans had was the equity in their home. However, in recent years that equity has been dried up via second and sometimes even third mortgages. With smooth talking pitchmen leading the way, television advertisements encourage the benefits of taking out a second mortgage to pay off credit card debt and to finance exotic vacations around the world. It would not surprise me if millions of Americans have no equity in their homes right now, even after paying decades of mortgage payments on the property.

The United States is a great country and we will survive this temporary fixation on earning double-digit returns on stock market and real estate investments. However, our lesson will not be learned without pain and that is exactly the way it should be. In recent days, news reports have disclosed that some mortgage leaders are in financial trouble because they ignored old rules of leading in the real estate market. These companies will be the first to suffer the pain of an over excited real estate market, but they will not be the last ones to suffer. Millions of Americans will find it impossible to sell their homes, for a profit, in upcoming years and this will lead to some people having to vacate that home through foreclosure.

The US economy has always run through cycles of “boom and bust”, but it seems like these cycles are coming more often now and lasting longer than in the past. I still have fresh memories of the pain suffered by millions of people when the Internet Bubble burst in the late 1990’s and many people who were totally invested in those high flying stocks lost all their money. Now only a decade later, millions of other people are going to lose all their money because they got caught up in the recent real estate frenzy caused by record low interest rates and leaders that would offer mortgages to almost anyone.

Read more about Investments: Stock Market Declines, Follow The Money, Bipolar Stock Market, Boom And Bust

Finding Good Investments

Monday, April 02, 2007

Finding Healthy Meal Choices While On The Run

I love to stay busy and when a person follows a busy lifestyle the first thing that usually suffers are the right food choices. As I scurry around all day I have found that it is easier to eat fast food than to take the time and think about what I am putting into my body at each meal. With these thoughts in mind I am going to try and add one meal per day to my diet that is totally built around healthy food and see if this choice will help me feel better during the day and sleep better at night. Yesterday, my wife and I went to eat at a local restaurant that only served good high quality foods. We chose this restaurant because they mailed out a coupon for a discounted price on their soup and salad buffet.

A few hours after eating a full plate of salad covered in fresh fruits and vegetables I noticed a big difference in the way I felt and I also noticed my posture improving along with my mood. I kept asking myself could just one meal full of natural vegetables, soup and fruit be responsible for improving so many things in my day? I still don’t know the answer to that question, but I am intrigued with the possibility that changing only one meal per day might help me look and feel better during my busy days. One thing I did yesterday when I ate at this salad bar restaurant was to pile as many different toppings as possible on my salad. These toppings included some of my all time favorites like bell pepper and onions, but I also included some other stuff like black olives and radishes.

I have heard for years that mood and a deep feeling a wellness could be found in the foods we choose to put into our bodies. However, I ignore most medical research because of the contradictory nature of this research. Too many times research studies claim huge benefits of consuming a certain foods only to do a 180-degree turn around sometime later with another research study. One thing is for certain and that is that yesterday I was feeling tired and a tad bit depressed before eating that salad bar meal and within a couple of hours I felt 100% better. What I will attempt to learn this week is whether yesterday was an anomaly or a new way to fell better every day of my life.

Even fast food restaurants have jumped on the bandwagon when it comes to offering healthier choices to their menus. One of the best I have found is “Wendy’s” where several different salads are offered as part of their regular meal. At our local Wendy’s Restaurant they also allow salad substitutions to their value meals which will make it much easier for me to order a salad with dinner instead of French Fries. A few months ago I wrote here about another diet choice I made and that was adding Walnuts to my daily diet routine and that one choice has been a good one for me as well. I am an old Meat and Potatoes type of guy and major changes are never long lived in my life. However, smaller changes are something I can make and stick with over a long period of time, so adding one healthy meal per day is something I will try for awhile and I will report back my results at some future date.

Read more about Healthy Meals: Right Food Choices, Omega 3 Walnuts, Friday Night Food, Diet Reflects Attitude

Healthy Meal Choices