Tuesday, September 30, 2008

What is going to happen now!?

Due to extremely bad choices by many of our nations largest financial institutions, we are stuck in a very uncomfortable economic situation. There is no doubt that the major cause of this problem was institutions lending money to people or businesses that could not pay it back. But now the cause is not the major issue, but what to do about the problem. Do we do nothing or something. The bailout seemed like the only logical step to take. I did not like it but doing nothing seem to be a worse option. So our government got together, worked out a compromise and then promptly voted it down and began the blame game.

At a time when we need true leadership and bipartisan cooperation, we only have partisan games being played. As soon as the bailout failed to pass, Nancy Pelosi ran to the press and promptly blamed everything on the GOP. Even though her party holds the majority in the house and if she had all the democrats vote for it, it would have passed. But 90 democrats did not vote for it. I wonder who Nancy will blame next year when she has control of congress and a new president? According to the news, she gave a very partisan speech just before the vote, that swayed many GOP to not vote for it.

The GOP are not off the hook either. If they say we should not provide the bailout, then what should we do? I would love to find any option that does not require tax payers to spend 700 billion. But if no other option is provided, then why vote against the bailout? However they may be right. What if they do not pass the bailout and we turn out to be OK economically? If a bank fails, doesn't a different bank come in and buy up that bank and keep it in business. Like what happened with Washington Mutual bank? So we may not need the bailout. But if that is true, where is the leadership that is calming our fears and leading us on a safe path?

I really am scared about the next 4 years. At least I can sell my blood for income.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Presidential Debates- How to say something without saying anything

First off, check out my wife's blog for a report on a family outing we had this week to the circus. It was very enjoyable for all of us and I'm very glad the circus only comes once a year. (Very tiring taking the family to an event like this.)

Last night I watched the first debate between McCain & Obama. I did not hear anything that has caused me to change my vote. But I did appreciate hearing what both candidates would do so I can know what to expect from the next president, regardless of who it will be.

I had to laugh at Obama when he said that he listens to and believes the words of the military commanders in Afghanistan. But he refuses to listen to the commanders in Iraq and insists on following his own agenda, oops, I mean plans, concerning Iraq. I wonder why he will listen to one and not the others?

I also liked the comment that McCain said about Obama. "You cannot reach across the isle when you are that far left." That is the same problem I have with Janice Fisher, who is my house representative in the Utah legislature. She is the 5th most liberal member of the house and so is ineffective in working with anyone on the other side of the isle. Which in Utah is the conservatives who hold a 2/3 majority in the house. So she cannot work with anyone and cannot get anything done. I surly don't what that in a president. But if Obama is elected, we will certainly have someone who only works with people on the left and never the moderates or people on the right.

The Moderator correctly pointed out that the bail out that is being worked on, will prevent many planned programs from being funded by the next president and ask both of them what they would give up for the bailout. But neither of them would say what they would give up and only what they would pay for. That is a major problem with all politicians. None of them are willing to stop spending money, even if it is the only option. McCain does say that we need to cut spending, but I don't think either of them will do it enough to make a difference.

I don't think either McCain or Obama won the debate or gave the other a knock out punch. I would be surprised if any voter changed their vote based on this debate. At least we can watch Saturday Night Live to laugh at their interpretation of the debate. Plus we have 2 more presidential & 1 VP debate to watch. Maybe we will see a difference from those.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Time for the Election

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Monday, September 22, 2008

Mountain Con 4-the search for big name stars

It had been a long summer and Jen & I did not have much alone time since our spring time vacation. So we found an excuse this weekend to pawn our kids off on my parents and head out of town. But we did not go far (nor could we at today's gas prices.) We went to Layton to attend the local science fiction convention called Mountain Con. This was the fourth mountain con and we had the pleasure of attending all of them. We got a room at the adjoining hotel and enjoyed the quality time together.

My brother Carl has been a major participant in past mountain cons, but took a smaller role in this year's event. The new managers of the con tried very hard to bring great guests and enjoyable panels. But they got some bad luck when their main headline star, Kevin Sorbo, had to back out. Leaving very little time to find a suitable replacement. So we did not have any spectacular stars attending the con this year. But we still had fun. Check out Jen's blog for the pictures we took at the event.

They offer a chance to eat a very nice dinner with the stars. We normally do not participate in that as I find the cost to be unrealistic, just like the prices they charge to give autographs. But they were unable to sell all the tickets they had for the dinner and since they had already bought all the food that was going to be served. They asked Carl and his entourage if they wanted to attend for free. So the weekend started off with some wonderful food and some good time spend with good people. My 8 year old niece was instant on sitting next to me during the dinner. It is nice to be liked by my brother's daughter. She is fun and cute.

I got to hear a presentation about what we know about Mars from someone from the Clark Planetarium. That was very cool, as was playing a role playing game with my wife, watching a fan made star trek film and taking a starfleet course about romulans and Capt. Kirk's first 5 year mission. They had a panel about Stephanie Meyer's Twlight series and I made the mistake of joking calling the books a romance novel. All the girls in the room gave me the evil eye and one began to blame me for every mis-characterized author in the entire known universe. I learned not to joke about Stephanie Meyer.

It was very nice to have some time with just me and my wife. I relaxed, slept in, ate out at restaurants and enjoyed spending some one on one time with the woman I fell in love with and had a great weekend. Hearing that both the Utes and Cougars won their games completed the perfect weekend.

Quick book review: I am currently reading the book "Paul of Dune" which continues the Dune series. I am a third of the way through and so far I am enjoying it greatly. I enjoy the works of Kevin Anderson and Brain Herbert very much. I think I enjoy their books more than Frank Herbert's works. I will give a full review when I am done with the book but can already recommend it to anyone who wants to see what happens to Paul before and after the first Dune book.

Monday, September 15, 2008

John Adams & New Carpet

It has been a full week since I have been able to post a blog. The reasons are football, carpet & John Adams. As many of you know, I am an avid fan of history. So when the HBO mini series on John Adams came out on DVD, I placed a hold on it at the library and waited. My waiting finally paid off this last week and I had 7 days to watch all 7 episodes and extra content. That was difficult as we were having new carpet installed this week at the same time. More on that later.

John Adams lived in one of the most changing times of the world, and he was right in the middle of all the change. He was the loudest voice for Independence, was sent to European nations to solicit support for the revolution, was the first American to stand before the King of England after the war and request a resumption of relations, served as our first vice-president and the second president before falling victim to party politics.

His story is truly amazing to hear. While president, he was faced of resisting the popular opinion of his people and his party to go to war with France, a war he knew would destroy their young country. He fought for and obtained peace with France, even through it cost him re-election. If there is ever an example of a politician who did not follow traditional party politics, John Adams is the one. But we will never see another John Adams, because if there was. Someone like Thomas Jefferson & Alexander Hamilton would be right there to play party politics and seize power from Adams.

I enjoyed the show and loved the close friendship that John & Abigail Adams shared. When Abigail died and John was left alone, I found myself very sad and very thankful for my wonderful wife and friend. I had to share with her my love and that if any of us had to die before the other, I would want it to be her so that she would not have to be the one left behind and all alone. That got me brownie points with my wife. :)

We had been looking for new carpet and finally found it on Monday. Tuesday-Thursday was spent moving every piece of furniture we have while we received the new carpet. It was hard work, but certainly worth it. It feels like we have a whole new house and we feel more comfortable with staying in our home if we are unable to sell this year.

Because of all the work moving furniture in our house during the week, I looked forward to a relaxing weekend. I almost got it. I took our kids to the zoo and then ended up helping a neighbor move. I greatly enjoyed watching the Utes defeat the Aggies, as well as seeing all but 1 MWC team win their games this weekend. Things are looking great for the MWC and the Utah BYU game this year could be the biggest ever.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Third party canidates have no chance of winning

I started a reply to a blog my brother Carl posted. But I got so long winded that I decided to add it to my blog. Many people are looking at the presidential candidates and finding it too easy to find faults with both of the major candidates. So some are complaining about the lack of good candidates and are looking to third party candidates. Here is my opinion on that:

Warning: Another political rant by a Stark.

I don't think that 3rd parties are the answer. Instead if people actually participated in the primary elections, then they would have a choice on who the major candidates will be in the general election. Instead, most people just wait until the general election, after the major candidates have been decided by the primary election. Then when they don't like the choices in the general election, they whine and complain and start looking to third party candidates. But if the third party candidates has no real possibility of winning. (Which has been true since 1912) Then any vote for them is actually a vote for the major candidate that you certainly would not vote for. When was the last time a 3rd party candidate even took 2nd place in the general presidential election? Answer: 1912 when Theodore Roosevelt ran on a third party ticket.

So if you want to make a difference and want good candidates available to choose from in the general election. Get involved in the early primary and caucuses. Join a party and run for the delegate positions. Then you can attend conventions and vote on candidates who 9 times out of 10 are chosen there before they even get to the ballot. Don't just wait until the general election, when the choice on who the candidates are has been made for you.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Raising McCain

The conventions ended last night with John McCain speaking at the GOP convention. This is a first for me. I had watched more of the democratic convention than the GOP convention. But I did catch it Wednesday and last night and I liked McCain's speech. He spoke of his military service and why he loves his country, took a few jabs at Obama but not as much as Obama did to him. He stated what he wanted to do and gave some details on how he will do it.
I really agree with him on the differences he has with Obama. McCain wants a smaller government, Obama wants a bigger one. McCain wants to keep taxes low, Obama wants to raise them. McCain wants to bring the troops home in victory, Obama wants them home with or without a victory. McCain wants to use all available options to fix our energy problems, Obama wants us to inflate our tires.

I really liked how McCain did not turn a blind eye to the failures of either party. He acknowledged that both parties failed to address our energy crisis. He blamed both republicans and democrats. I agree that both parties failed us in this area. McCain talked about working to get things done rather than focusing on taking credit for our country's success. Again, this is what I want from all of my elected officials. One who does not fight against a good plan just because his party did not think of it first. McCain has shown throughout his entire political career that he is not a traditional politician who only works for his party. But a politician who works for what is right and fights what is wrong, regardless of which party the opposition is part of.

McCain has proved to me that he deserves my vote and that we probably should have voted for him back in 2000 rather than who we did elect. Unless some extreme change occurs between now and the election, then I will be casting my ballot for John McCain.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Those Gremilns are at it again.

If your like me, and I know I am. Then you really enjoyed the Gremlins movies of the 80s. Well a fan created his own Gremlins made movie where the Gremlins jump into other movies on your DVR. I loved it and so wanted to share it. I recommend that no one under 13 watch the first movie they jump into as it is the exorcist. Click the below URL to see the show.


Take my house please!

So I am feeling a little gloomy about our efforts to find our next home. We have seen the writing on the wall and so lowered the price on our home to stay competitive. But the prices of the homes we want to live in have not seemed to come down, leaving me depressed about the whole situation. It seems like every time we find a house that we like, we either cannot buy it because we have not sold our house yet, or it is still out of our price range. This is a reminder of how much I hate the home buying/selling process.

After looking at a few homes last night we ended up a lowes to check out new carpet. Most people who look through our home complain about the carpet and I don't blame them. So we are going to replace it to increase our homes appeal and because if we stay, we will replace the carpet anyway. But how many different names can you give the color brown? They have english toffee, or hazel nut or oak bark for colors. But they all look brown to me. Good thing my wife has an eye for these different colors because I surely don't see the difference.

Many have asked for my opinion on Sarah Palin being the VP for John McCain. Like most Americans I was caught by surprise and did not know much about her. But from what I have learned and heard so far, I like her. She has fought corruption, regardless of it being from a democrat or a republican and she has fought against raising taxes. I certainly agree with those policies and so feel good about her.

Go Utes!!!