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Alec Baldwin…one man’s crusade against : the media, journalists, photographers, politicians who disagree with him and American Airlines. June 28, 2013

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Ah, Alec Baldwin is back to his shenanigans apparently.   We should be use to his antics by now, yeah?   At what point do we just admit that he’s not fit to participate in normal social engagements?

http://theweek.com/article/index/229546/alec-baldwins-many-many-tirades-a-timeline

I have no idea what demons lurk in Mr. Baldwin’s closet.  But it’s safe to assume that they are numerous and very animated.  According to a CNN news report, Alec was quoted as saying:

The star of the award-winning comedy “30 Rock” threatened to find the writer of the story and “f****…you…up,” referring to Stark as a “toxic little queen.”

Now that’s the tolerant, understanding Alec we’ve come to know and… well, we’ve come to know.

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Journalism/2013/06/28/Alec-Baldwin-Launches-Homophobic-rant-against-reporter

Tragedy, Heaped Upon Tragedy… August 3, 2010

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It isn’t bad enough that a gunman allegedly opened fire at his place of employment (former?).  It isn’t enough that the pain and confusion heaped upon these families and the community will remain with them for the remainder of their days.  Now, we have to introduce RACISM into the equation.  Of course.

Never mind that Omar Thornton had apparently been caught, on camera, in the act of A) partaking of alcoholic beverages while on duty as a driver and B) stealing from his employer.  When confronted with the video evidence, he was allowed to keep his dignity and simply walk away.  No one would have been hurt except for the ONE person who should have… the person allegedly carrying out the offenses.  But no.  Evidently admitting wrongdoing and simply accepting responsibility was too much for Omar Thornton to take.

This is no more about racism than it is about illegal immigration or health care reform… or any other nonsensical diversion from the true story of needless suffering due to one man’s inability to cope with his demons.

April 21, 2010

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April 21, 2010

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Tea Party movement and recent comments by former Pres. Clinton April 19, 2010

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I’ve been asked to comment on former President Clinton’s warning that the Tea Party movement might somehow incite violence.

"By all means keep fighting, by all means, keep arguing," he said. "But remember, words have consequences as much as actions do, and what we advocate, commensurate with our position and responsibility, we have to take responsibility for. We owe that to Oklahoma City."

I actually don’t have a problem with his warning.  He’s right I suppose.  It could.   I don’t think that statement applies to just the Tea Party movement either.  I think the level of frustration is such that there could indeed be violence in extreme cases.  That’s not something new.  I do believe he is wrong to associate such actions with Tea Party members exclusively.  From everything I have seen/heard so far, they represent an increasing number of people who are simply tired of the status quo in Washington.  That alone is sure to make folks inside the beltway a little nervous… and I say it’s about time.

I’ve also heard about how “racist elements” within the Tea Party movement are rampant.  Granted, I haven’t been to a rally yet… but again, from everything I’ve seen and heard racism isn’t a bigger issue than anywhere else in society.  Does racism exist in the Tea Party movement?  Absolutely.  As a subsystem of our American society as a whole it is going to reflect that society in many ways.  But rampant racism?   I suspect those making that assertion are the ones injecting race into the issue and nothing more.

I am I… April 19, 2010

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John Stossel recently wrote an article addressing the issue of labels that we tend to place on ourselves and others when it comes to political views.  I had always found conflicting information with respect to definitions on such relatively simple concepts as “conservative” or “liberal” and, hence, conflicting points of view with regard to how I felt on any given topic.

I am for the legalization of drugs and prostitution, and I’m pro choice (I don’t care for abortion, I just believe it is not for anyone else save the pregnant woman to determine what she does or does not do with respect to her body) and pro same-sex marriage.  I must therefore be a liberal.

I am also anti gun control; I support free markets and a capitalist economy and strongly believe in personal accountability with respect to one’s actions.  I believe in a strong national defense (but not in using that defensive power to influence or “police” other nations unless our national security is threatened).  I must therefore be a conservative.

In truth I don’t believe in labels.  People are not defined by the names we assign to them.  Our actions and our beliefs define who we are.

Above all, I believe in the freedoms envisioned by our nation’s Founding Fathers.  I firmly believe in the concept of limited government and I believe each of us should be afforded the freedom to succeed or fail based on our abilities and/or work ethic.  I must therefore be an American… and that’s one label I continue to embrace proudly.

Taxes, aka “income redistribution” – part deux April 16, 2010

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I won’t dwell on the tax issue beyond yesterday’s post… but I found an article that so eloquently addressed our current tax code that I wanted to draw attention to it.

This is a fantastic article!

Taxes, aka "income redistribution" – part deux April 16, 2010

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I won’t dwell on the tax issue beyond yesterday’s post… but I found an article that so eloquently addressed our current tax code that I wanted to draw attention to it.

This is a fantastic article!

The American Dream is on life support… and fading fast April 16, 2010

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I grew up believing that with hard work and dedication, anyone could find success in our society.  Education, I was told, was the key to that success.  It was the natural progression of things.  You went to school, you studied hard, you graduated, you got the great job, you settled down to raise a family in your four bedroom house with a two car garage and life was good.  End of story.  Everyone lives happily ever after, right?  Not so fast…

Just as with the mortgage/housing bubble that so crippled this economy over the past 14 months or so, we face a crisis with our student loan system that has even greater long term repercussions.  Make no mistake, just as with the mortgage/housing crisis I believe responsibility must be shared by those who TOOK the loans as much as those who approved them.  Look, we have to take responsibility for our actions.  If you sign a loan for X amount of dollars at Y percent interest rate and a total repayment of Z, then you are liable for that decision to accept that loan.  I have no problem with that.  When I read some of the testimonials from people who write in regarding their mortgage or student loan situation so many claim “I didn’t know”… and THAT is where I have a problem.  They should know.  Sign a mortgage with an adjustable APR on a house that you really can barely afford the payments on?  Then realize that if that APR goes up your payments go up accordingly.  Stop trying to buy that $220,000 home and settle for that $150,000 one or the $120,000 one.  It really and truly is that simple.

I feel the same way when it comes to education loans.  We signed the agreements; we are obligated to pay the loan back.  Again, it’s that simple.  Where I do have a problem with the system in place is that short of being able to pay for college through savings… or through a trust fund… or some other means where a loan is not necessary, we essentially need education loans to advance in our respective careers.  Or at least that’s the sales pitch.  Up until recently, I would agree with the premise that an education loan was a way to “invest in yourself” (how many of us have heard THAT little gem?).  Interest rates and college costs were low enough that it actually made sense to take on the risk associated with the loan.  Today, however, an education loan too often provides very poor ROI.  From a business standpoint, it’s a risk that outweighs the potential reward.  It simply does not make economic sense for too many of us to take on a student loan at this point.  A recent graduate, making $45,000 a year that owes $50,000 in student loans is likely to be paying $500-600 a month toward that loan… over the next 10 years!  If he/she runs into trouble with repaying that amount, even for a very brief amount of time, that monthly total can climb dramatically as can the length of the repayment.

In short, it’s becoming much harder to justify taking on a loan to pay for our education.  Going forward, our children are likely to be saddled with even greater problems as fewer of us have any kind of nest egg to help with the costs.  So the problem balloons geometrically.  Our children take on a greater portion of their education costs in the form of loans… they feel the crushing burden of these loans and can no longer afford to purchase their own house or, in some cases, a car or other items (food?…health insurance?).

Maybe the trick is to find something that we enjoy doing and worry less about what makes money.  Assuming that at least a portion of an education will need to be financed through a loan, at least make that investment something you care about and can see yourself doing for a long time.  Going to school just to get a degree is simply flooding the market with unhappy, albeit educated, workers.

Unfortunately, I don’t have any solutions short of a government takeover of the student loan industry.  This is one case where, because the funds being used to finance the system comes straight from the taxpayer anyway, I might have to concur that it’s the best solution.

http://studentloanjustice.org/problem.htm

http://studentloanjustice.org/victims.htm

http://www.mysanantonio.com/business/MYSA092307_01R_burns_27b7010_html.html?showFullArticle=y

http://www.mcall.com/news/specials/all-a1_5loansmay22,0,5551147.story?page=5&coll=all-newsspecials-hed

http://www.isthmus.com/isthmus/article.php?article=20252

CBO figures April 16, 2010

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Wonderful and timely article about “the numbers” found in the health care reform bill.

John Stossel’s article

CBO numbers reflect what information they are provided. As this article, and others, so accurately point out it’s not a true representation of actual dollars. Especially dollars 10 years down the road.  The tax increases that are to pay for a substantial portion of the $900+ Billion, for example, will need to be voted upon by a House/Senate that isn’t even in office yet.  How much faith do you have in their ability to pass a tax increase that they had no part in?

Addendum:  Explanation of the “Doc Fix”