Sunday, July 18, 2010

Things that would make me happy

OK, I understand that this will come off as a whiny, unhinged, old man rant, but I can't help myself. People always say that it's the little things in life that make it all worth it. Well, these are some of the little things that, if improved, would make my life a lot better.

Proper merging onto freeways

Here's a quick quiz. Which of the following is true when you are merging onto the freeway:
a) You must use your blinker
b) You must be at freeway speeds when you merge onto the freeway
c) The freeway traffic has the right of way
d) All of the above

In case you are unsure, D is the correct answer. I addressed A in an earlier post, but it seems to be more of a problem in cases where it's needed most. The real issue here is a combination of B and C. The next time I have to slam on my brakes to avoid a person doing 45 at the end of the on-ramp I just might be tempted to NOT hit the brakes.

Just because NASCAR is popular, doesn't mean you have to draft off of me

If I had a dollar for every car that was mere inches off my bumper, I could sit on here and blog all day and still be able to support myself. Getting right on my bumper will not force me to go faster. In fact, I'm the kind of person who will slow down when tailgated. I had a situation earlier today that I was shocked that didn't end up in a bumping. I was being followed so closely by an Audi that was so close, I could not see the entire logo on the front grill! I knew he was too close as I was approaching my turn, so I turned my blinker on VERY early. Even so, when I went to brake to make my turn, he STILL had to swerve around me to avoid hitting me! People please...getting to your destination 45 seconds sooner is no reason to risk property and bodily damage!

My government giving me something I really need

The only thing that the current government loves better than taxing is spending. The thing is, a lot of the things that they are spending the money on are really not worth it...Trains, bridges, roads, education....Come on! If they really want my vote, all they have to do is introduce a bill that says, "Free Air Conditioning for All"! With the fact that we are only in July and the days of high temps and even higher humidity have been plentiful, this is a government spending program I can really get behind!

Trolls of all shapes and sizes need to disappear

This gets me the most when people who have, at best, a passing knowledge of the weather, but continue to bash the weather guys when things are not predicted perfectly. Despite all the technological advances we have, the weather still is going to do what it wants and we will not know ahead of time. It's just the way weather works. Unpredictability is the only constant in weather.

There's really only one person who knows what's best for me

That's me. I know what my body craves. Cravings are your body's way of telling you that it needs something. You crave a burger, you probably need more protein. If you just have to have some milk, you are probably needing calcium. You only live once folks. Enjoy the ride. Eat what you like, drink what you like (responsibly of course), and enjoy life. Telling me that eating that four pound burger will kill me will more than likely evoke a "So?" response from me. Life is a terminal disease...enjoy it while you can.

Monday, July 12, 2010

The racism of greed

I have no idea what's worse, the fact that these people might be hiding their racism behind the desire to maintain their property values, or the fact that they really are more concerned about the loss of value...

In case you haven't heard, the DuPage county zoning board met to discuss a request by the Islamic Center of Western Suburb to get a conditional use permit for a single family home. The permit would allow them to have services and add 30 parking spaces nearby. Many of the opponents of the permit do not want the property to be rezoned commercial because it would decrease property values.

Maybe I'm just not materialistic enough, but when did property value become so important? Is it a status symbol now? From where I'm sitting, all a high property value means is a high property tax bill. Personally, I feel that they are just using the property value to hide behind.

That's the rub. It would be easier to see the bigotry if they just came out and said that they didn't want the Muslims in their neighborhood. Not that I'm defending them by any stretch, but in this day and age, you can understand a bit why they would be nervous to have the center there. However, if these opponents want to keep their freedoms, they better be prepared to give them to others, even when the others are people that they don't agree with. That is the reason so many people have come to this country in the first place. The freedom to be who they want to be, wherever they want to be.

It's examples like these that make me wonder sometimes how we got on this path in this country. How did it become ok for one group of people's rights and freedoms to be suppressed because it infringes on another's? Why is it ok for me to try to stop you from enjoying your freedoms because they interfere with mine? We may never know the answers to those questions, but until we do, we will never be at peace with ourselves or others.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Jim Batzko for WI 99th

Normally I wouldn't do this due to the limited exposure that my blog has and the small area that this will affect, but I learned something yesterday that I had to comment on.

Jim Batzko, former Village of Sussex trustee, is deciding to run against fellow Republican Don Pridemore for Wisconsin's 99th Assembly District. While living in the 99th, I had no problems with Pridemore. He is a good conservative and serves the residents of the 99th well. However, as a former resident of Sussex, I was a regular attendee of the village board meetings and was able to see first hand Batzko's devotion to the residents of Sussex. That devotion and the desire to genuinely do what was best for the village will translate very well to the state assembly.

A family man and already a public servant as a local police officer, Batzko has the motivation to make the 99th a better place for every resident of the district. If you live in the 99th (Sussex, Lannon, Lisbon, Merton, Erin, and parts of Hartford and Richfield), I strongly encourage you to get out and vote for Jim in the primary and again in the general election!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Underground Conservative Part IV

I had a chance to return to my people today. I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the Waukesha County GOP rally this morning. It was an electrifying and invigorating event. Vicki McKenna did a wonderful job emceeing the event. Being able to meet, albeit very briefly, and hear from Ron Johnson, James Sensenbrenner, Paul Ryan, Scott Walker, and Reince Priebus was a great way to start the day and getting a chance to mingle with all the other members of the state senate, assembly, and other GOP candidates made me feel secure in the fact that I am among friends in the GOP.

Which puts me in a bit of a dilemma. I got all sorts of great signs and bumper stickers at the rally today. Do I place them proudly on my car and in the windows, or do I continue to try to keep my low profile? I want to do everything I can to help support the GOP candidates here in one of the bluest areas of Wisconsin, but I'm afraid of the potential consequences. I do not put it past people in this city to break windows and slash tires just because there's a Scott Walker or Paul Ryan sticker on it.

I knew coming in that my current living situation would be temporary. As I'm now discovering, I may have to keep my current job a little longer which will limit my living options. That means staying in Milwaukee County a bit longer. I haven't had the time to explore the city as much as I would have liked when I started this series, so the idea of placing the stickers and signs on my car might be a bad idea.

Still, where more than Milwaukee County do the conservative candidates need all the support that they can get? One car full of stickers by itself may not be enough to sway someone's vote, but one car in a constant stream of cars full of stickers just might. What a decision to make....

Defending Arizona

Well, well, well....I can't imagine the ultra liberal media expected this. As of the afternoon on July 9th, $500k donated to the state of Arizona to help defend itself against the federal lawsuit. Donations from all 50 states, D.C., and even Puerto Rico in amounts of $2,000 or less.

Immigration laws have always been a hot button topic among those of us into politics, but now it appears that by bringing it to the forefront, the Obama administration has involved a majority of the population. The bad news for the president is that it appears that he seems to be on the wrong side of this particular debate. One of the phrases that the liberals loved to use when talking about the TEA party movement is that it wasn't truly grass roots. There's no way that they can ignore this grass roots movement.

The funny part is how the media is portraying the Arizona law and how that it appears that a lot of people are seeing through that portrayal. All that the Arizona law does is empowers Arizona law officials to enforce federal law. It does NOT empower Arizona cops to round up any Hispanic looking people and arrest them for no reason, as it seems to be thought among the left. In it's own way, this is no different than local authorities enforcing federal drug laws.

It will be an interesting fight. One that I believe the federal government will lose. One more in the line of failed attempts by President Obama to be the first World Leader.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Independence thoughts....

As we approach our independence day here in the US, you have to think back and marvel at the courage of those men. It took a lot of guts to do what they did. Think about it. The English empire was one of the most dominant nations on the planet at the time. Every single one of those men that signed the Declaration of Independence knew that if they were unsuccessful, that they would die. The crown did not take kindly to traitors.

Granted, the fact that they had no say in their government but were expected to pay like every other subject of the crown made things frustrating, but the east coast of North America was a fairly serene area. The Native Americans did cause the occasional tiff and the French in Canada continued the institutional hatred on this continent, but all in all it was a pretty decent life for the time. Freedom, however was a word that held little meaning for most.

Looking at it from over 200 years in the future, it's hard to envision that era...not knowing what it was like with the restrictions they lived under. I can only imagine what it was like to not be able to say what I want (within reason) when I want. Yes, I know there are places on the planet now where the freedoms I enjoy are not available to the public, but not having lived or even visited them, I still don't truly know the feeling. What must it be like not being able to share your thoughts for fear that the government might not agree and, at best, toss you in jail?

To make things worse, many of these guys were pretty young by today's standards. Jefferson was 33, James Madison was 25, Robert Livingston was 30, John Jay was 31. I'm 33 now...I can't imagine putting my life on the line for any ideal, much less one that was far from certain when they put pen to paper and, essentially, signed their own death warrants. Thank God for the French. No empire in that era wanted the Colonies to succeed lest it inspire revolutions in their own realms, but the hatred that the French had towards the English was stronger than the fear of revolution in their own borders.

As with many of our holidays, the real meaning of it has been lost over the years. It's too bad that when most people hoist their favorite beverage tomorrow, they don't truly understand what a group of fairly young men put on the line so that we can sit around with our friends and family and speak freely about the state of the government. I admit that I haven't given the holidays the respect they deserve lately. I tend to treat holidays as just another day. That makes their devotion to their cause that much greater. They risked all so I have the freedom to mark the day in any way I feel, even if it's no special way. Thank you Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, John Jay, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and all the rest who made all of this possible.

You gotta laugh....

There's been a lot of things in my life that, when observed, I just have to laugh at. A few of the more recent examples are below.

A Harley rider wearing earplugs

What takes this from a chuckle to an outright belly laugh is the fact that most of the current Harley riders came from the generation that claimed that if it's too loud, your too old!

Two drivers, trying to get in each other's lane, slow down at the same rate waiting for the other car to pass

Sad part about this is that I was one of the drivers. The other car was in a position that didn't allow me to see her blinker at all. Once we figured out what we wanted to do, I but out laughing in the middle of rush hour traffic!

A domestic disturbance, in a car stopped in the middle of a busy road

You would think that you would at least pull over first! When I first saw it, I thought that the car had stalled and they couldn't get it restarted. I offered to help push them out of the way. They said that they were ok and needed an officer. I thought that was odd, so I moved on. A few seconds later, I talked to another witness who told me that they did the exact same thing a block or so away!