Tuesday, May 31, 2005

EU crisis=US opportunity? 

Ok. As we know France has signaled a lack of interest in supporting the EU constitution in its current "Anglo-Saxon" form. In part there was a feeling of threat to the continuing bread and circuses of the current socialist government. Today Chirac has signaled further movement away from true reform by appointing Villepin as his PM. Some of the comments concerning the U.S. attributed to Villepin are quite colorful.

For the last month running up to this referendum in France and considering the growing discontent in the U.K., Turkey and Eastern Europe, it would seem that France has created an economic window of opportunity for the United States, if Mr. Bush is willing to step into the breach. France and to a lesser extent Germany fear the necessary economic reforms to turn their economies around, while Poland, the Ukraine, and Eastern Europe are looking for alliances and embracing capitalism.

John O’Sullivan puts into words, what I have been telling my wife for the last month until she is sick of it. We should create free trade zones with the growing economies of Eastern Europe and the U.K. This would increase U.S. influence in that part of the world and only help our own economy by creating new markets without trade barriers. Let the dream of a socialist EU die on the vine. After Chirac’s comments concerning the need for a strong EU to counterbalance the US, efforts of the EU to sell advanced military weapons to China, constant appeasement to the Arab Street, mixed with continual anti-Americanism, one begins to wonder who your friends are. Personally I prefer the capitalist who is willing to work, to the socialist who is unwilling to accept responsibility for his plight, but instead blames everyone else.


Saturday, May 28, 2005


testing comments again

I can see comments under the permanent link for a post, but not on the initial page. If anyone knows what bit of the template needs tweaking, drop me a note.


Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Filibuster Deal 

Well, you have all probably heard of the deal made today that averted a call to change the senate rules on judicial filibusters. Since both sides are upset, maybe this is a good thing, but I would prefer a true non partisan examination of the rule on its merits. I also would like to force those who wish to filibuster to actually have to be on the floor and speak to convince their opponents instead of the present rule of not having to do so. The image of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington is powerful and persuasive, but is not needed to filibuster in todays Senate.
In my opinion I think the Democrats made out quite well with this deal. I think the Republicans gave them breathing space when they had their backs to the wall. I also think maybe this isn't a bad result for the American people in general. Is it a curtailing of executive power by forcing a sitting President to consult with representatives from both parties before sending appointments to an up or down vote? maybe, but I'm not sure that is a bad thing.

Personal Note:
Had to take off a couple days from working out over the weekend. Back on it today. Will finish this 90 days out. Really felt the need to get back into it. Hoping this will see me through to the end. Weight training tomorrow. FYI: I find working out the same time everyday helpful if you are thinking of starting.

Kids are wrapping up school this week. Need to plan someway to occupy them this summer. Wish I had a pool! :)


Friday, May 20, 2005


I've watched C-Span the last few days before starting work and saw Arlen Spector's introduction followed by Patrick Leahy's rebuttal. Spector was quite convincing when pointing out the Owen nomination would have breezed through the process if not for the present stiff partisanship. Leahy was also quite evocative when describing some of his objections to removing the option of filibuster for judicial appointments. The most telling arguements so far though that I saw were from a senator from Texas (Cornyn) who I am not very familiar with, but took Leahy to task. Apparently Leahy was against the judicial filibuster with Ted Kennedy in 1998. This self evident hypocracy defuses many of Leahy's arguements. Was he lying in 98 when he stated his objections to the filibuster or is he lying now when he opposes changing the rules. Who would win if Leahy debated himself.

Interesting material at Cornyn's website listing a number of quite frankly embarrasing contradictions on the democrats stance against Owen. This is a bad choice for the Democratic party to choose as their waterloo.

Personl Note:
ok...ok...yes...I'm still doing the P90 workouts...in part because I said I would online here. Into my third week. Off from work today. Four 10-12 huor shifts will do that. Had an interesting fiasco this morning as it is wacky hair day at the elementary school. My son the artist decorated my six year old daughter's hair with colored hair paint (RED). Only problem is he didn't do it the way she wanted, but according to him he compromised. It didn't look bad, but he did huge red stripes in her blonde hair and apparently she was thinking a couple of red spots was all she wanted. Is it just me or can all teenagers put on Oscar performances. I suspect my daughter is taking lessons. Needless to say she was a tad bit late with an extra shower. Ok....off enough delaying..off to P90. Weight training today.


Monday, May 16, 2005

Firefighter's Doctor put faith in medications and God 

Really cool article over here from Newsday. I don't consider myself very religious, but I was happy to see the many references in the interview from the Muslim doctor about not giving up hope and putting faith in God.
"God will not help you unless you try something," said Ahmed, a Muslim. "If you try something and if you believe, God may help you."

I wish more individuals recognized that Christians, Jews and Muslims all worship the God of Abraham. It isn't a panacea to world events. There is more going on in the struggles in the middle east then a conflict over religions, but clearly examining the last weeks events leading to the death of sixteen people over an implied descretion to a holy book shows people are passionate about protecting what they believe is sacred. The irony is we now know the story of the Koran being flushed is in fact false, but the damage is already done. Afghanistan has very little US presense and yet the riots were quick to break out from people that were singing our praises two weeks ago. For the latest news on the Newsweek fiasco check out LaShawn Barber.

In my opinion the press has gone to great lengths to minimize good news in Iraq and Afghanistan and exaggerate any bad news. To what purpose? It would seem to appear most major media has a preponderence of individuals who feel vindicated in their belief system when the US military and present administration make a mistake. The tendency to want to justify ones own belief system is present in all of us. What is frustrating is ignoring facts and consequences in order to pat oneself on the back and state, "See, I knew Bush would screw up. I was right."

The fiasco at Newsweek will only get deeper as the allegations of poor fact checking and the rush to finger point has started with Newsweek attempting to blame the Pentagon for not denying the allegations prior to print. Nope...not going there...this is Newsweeks dead cat around their neck and they need to DO something to lift their reputation out of the toilet....(Ed: I can't believe you typed that. Sorry couldn't resist-hattip Roger Simon :)

On much lighter note and personal front:

Ok...Enough delay...Off to do my P90 workout....Starting third week. So far so good. Moved to Cardio 3-4 and Weights 3-4...Ouch....200 Ab excersises.....did I say ouch? Ok..Ok...I'm going....really....right now...

Did I mention I finished my accounting mid-term last nightat 1AM?
No pain, no gain...I know..I know...


Thursday, May 12, 2005

Congress called down to principle's office by Neil Cavuto for some "Common Sense" 

Neil Cavuto tells members of Congress to grow up after hearing many complaints regarding yesterday's forced impromptu evacuation. I would say Neil gave them a right proper spanking. Some of the complaints from congressmen were that they were forced to evacute mixed with the rest of the populace leaving the potential target area. the impression I am getting is the congressmen expected more special treatment for their august personages. Our representatives have REALLY big heads. Time for them to change a diaper or two....at 4am. Get real.

I know all congressmen almost certainly were smart enough not to voice their complaints out loud or hopefully recognized the efforts of law enforcement and the military to keep them safe. Perhaps more senior members of congress can take the whiners aside for a little pep talk...Give'em hell Zell. :)


Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Still doing the P90 workout. So far so good. Dropped about 5lbs in two weeks. Eating less mostly because when I work out I hate to feel like I wasted all the hard work I just did. Eating an orange for breakfast and a small bowl of cereal for lunch. Might have to spice things up a bit soon :) Dinner is our normal dinner. I eat whatever we're already making for the family. I have heard that by using a smaller plate you unconscientiously eat less because you don't go back for seconds. Haven't tried that yet. My weight when I started was about 220. Would really like to stick with the program. May move to the harder cardio level by the end of this week.

On the education front, had to do a fast rewrite in about 90 minutes for a team assignment on Monday. We divied up the work, but the data back from one of my team mates didn't answer the question she was given and she was bushed so I kind of crunched it out. I think it will do well. We all agreed to be more proactive on getting team assignments in earlier for review to avoid last minute scrambling. It's funny, when I was a kid in college I recall telling job interviewers that I loved working under pressure and worked very well that way. At 38 I can honestly say I no longer love it...although I still probably procrastinate too much :)

Fifteen year old is starting band season again. Hopefully he will really get hooked on it. Would like to see him commit to something more then games...I think I sound like my Mom...There is a lesson there, but my head is hurting so I will procrastinate and examine that thought more closely another day.

Read news of a Dad who killed his daughter and her friend today . Not for the faint of heart or pretty much anyone else for that matter. Some acts are so beyond the pale I just really find them incomprehensible. Phoenix cop died yesterday after being shot at a routine traffic stop also. Twenty-three year veteran with a son on the force who is a five year veteran. Not going to try to comprehend it anymore. Just pray for the families and friends.

Time to go play with my six year old.


Monday, May 09, 2005

comments test.
update: still not functioning quite right...added in tags to template.

Might try a different template or...maybe I can cheat and view html on a blog that has a working comments section.
Time for some schoolwork will have to get back to this later.

I like accounting...I like accounting...I like accounting...repeat as needed..

Not sure why, but I can't seem to get comments to display. Have the radio button setting set to show and archive enabled. If anyone knows what I am forgetting, please drop me an email. (shakespeare_101@yahoo.com) Template displays blog comments enabled, but I don't see a hyperlink for readers....hmmm probably something simple I am missing.

Back from LA. Learning some more Accounting for Managerial Decision Making thru the University of Phoenix. Check it out. It is a pretty good program.
Kids are all off to school. Restarted the Power90 workout( www.beachbody.com). Tried it last year with my wife for about 45 days. Did see good results, but stopped the program for one reason or another. Mostly finding a time to do the workout together. Found too many excuses. Will stick with it this time. One week down so far. Doing it by myself before starting work since I am now moving to second shift. After a week I am less sore, but have a little more energy also. Feeling a bit tired right now though in my arms. Today was weights and arms feel like lead. No pain no gain :)


Monday, May 02, 2005

Going to give this another go around. Inspired by Mudville Gazette's post here: http://www.mudvillegazette.com/archives/002684.html
Will treat as a journal initially of things that I find interesting. Off work today in an attempt to get some MBA homework done that is due by midnight. As you can see trying to find reasons not to get started. Started my fifth course. Still pulling straight A's with one A- from a Business Law course. In the immortal words of Maxwell Smart, " Missed it by THAT much."
Latest course is Accounting for Management Decision Makers. Taking all my courses through the University of Phoenix. I am very happy with the pace and material so far. Have enjoyed myself and learned a great deal. I am also meeting a broad range of professionals with very interesting backgrounds for team assignments. All work is via Web.
One downside is it is kinda pricey, but my work is picking up 2/3rd's of the price tag so I probably shouldn't complain....too much.
One thing that it has made me do is stretch my mind a bit. Between taking the MBA courses and reading blogs all day I am finding an increasing thirst for learning.
My pleasure reading is usually limited to what I call beer and pretzels science fiction, but for the first time I ordered a book on economics from Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/006073132X/qid=1115054663/sr=8-1/ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i1_xgl14/104-6253370-4503936?v=glance&s=books&n=507846 called Freakonomics. Basically taking societies conventional wisdom and applying economic principles to number crunch unusual data and often turn conventional wisdom on its head. I highly recommend it. It does NOT read like a stiff text book. I read it in a day.
Ok...Off to do some homework....really...I gave my latest Sid Meier's Pirates game to my wife to hold until I had this done. My 15 year old son will probably be looking for it when he gets home, but that's another story. As they say in England...Cheers!


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