Are you part of the latest craze - streaming Internet content (mainly TV series and movies and/or music) to your HDTV? If so, which streaming content provider do you subscribe to: Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Pandora or some other provider? Do you subscribe to more than one provider?
How do you stream your content - via a laptop/PC connected to your TV, a streaming media box or perhaps a dedicated unit like Google TV or Logitech Revue? Perhaps it's built-in to your blu-ray player or HDTV itself?
I'm interested in what other services and streaming options there are. I'm currently subscribed to Netflix streaming (only, no DVD service for now) via my blu-ray player. I have purchased a dedicated streaming unit (by RCA), but haven't installed it yet.
Are you a streaming "hold out" and still rent DVDs? If so, how do you do that - Redbox, Blockbuster, Netflix or some other outlet?
Libtards, such as those "occupying" Wall Street, rail against Corporations as though Corporations are the cause of all that's wrong in America.
On the other hand, the right wing, mostly Libertarian, crowd attacks Government as the root of all evil in this world.
Which side is correct? I really think it's an easy call, but for the Libtards among us, let's spell it out.
G-O-V-E-R-N-M-E-N-T is evil. It's that simple. Why you might ask?
Well, let's see...only Government can:
1) Force you to buy health insurance
2) Tax you on your hard earned wages (multiple times!)
3) Force you to contribute to a Ponzi Scheme retirement system (Social Security)
4) Take away your private property (eminent domain), even if it's to turn it over to an evil Corporation (ie, not for creating a public use such as a highway).
5) Make the laws, then interpet them (ie, though separate branches, the legislative and judicial branches are still connected to the Government tree)
6) Force you to wear a seatbelt in your own privately owned automobile
7) Force companies to comply to needless regulations
And the list goes on....
Now let's see what Corporations can force you to do:
That's right - nothing. Sure, if you buy a product, use their service or otherwise interact with a Corporation, you can be "forced" into doing something you might not want to do, but it's still a choice. And how do you kill a Corporation? You STOP giving it money - you vote with your wallet. There are thousands of businesses that have gone under on that simple premise. Other businesses have gone under in these tight economic times.
But regardless of the economic environment or the harsh consequences of its illogical activities, Government doesn't go under. It continues to supress us.
YET - the Occupy Libtards want MORE government.
I'm screaming in my mind - I can't understand these people. They're on a far different wavelength than I'm on.
What are your thoughts? Take a stand - defend Government or skewer Corporations - just jot down your comments below!
Today, November 6, 2011 is exactly one year to the day that we elect (re-elect?) a new President to guide us for the following 4 years.
There have been several Republican debates (another one will be this Wed, Nov 9 on CNBC). The candidates are getting bruised by the liberal media. There are the OWS protests. The Tea Party has been rather silent (protest wise at least).
Where do you stand in all this? Are you ready to cast your ballot? Do you want change or should we stick with what we got and hope for better candidates in 2016?
From here on in, it will be a bruising battle from all sides - liberals, media and conservatives. Take a stand and share your thoughts by leaving a comment. I'd like to hear my readers' thoughts as we head into a very contentious election season.
This is one of those periods in my life where I have so many racing thoughts in my head, I can't really sit and write anything coherent, so I thought I'd let you, the blog reader, voice your opinion on the current "Occupy" movement. What started out as Occupy Wall Street has morphed into Occupy [insert city name here].
According to a recent ABC News poll, 39% of Americans support the Occupy movement. Are you one of the 39%? I still don't know what these people want. Nor do I understand what we'll do with all the tax money that pours in to the coffers once they get tax hikes on "the rich" enacted? Do the 99% get a check in the mail to get our "fair share" of this largess that the rich are hoarding from us? If so, how long (and how much?) will these handouts last?
I didn't want to give the OWS much coverage, but the constant coverage by the mainstream media (after handily ignoring it all for about 3 weeks) has gotten to be too much. And now that violence has escalated at these tent cities, even more coverage will be forthcoming.
Please post your thoughts on this. Whether or not you favor the movement, what the movement is about (please someone explain it to me) or any thoughts on where this is all headed are some of the ideas to chat about.
Post a comment below and let the discussion begin!
Today, October 15th, 2011, marks the 60th anniversary of the debut of the I Love Lucy show. The I Love Lucy show holds a special place in my heart. Those four characters are like old friends to me. I laughed at them and cried with them. They taught me a lot about being a friend and having a friend.
I have collected the entire series on DVD but of course haven't sat down to watch it all. The DVDs are chock full of extras - I can unequivocally recommend them if you are a fan (of course, if you are a fan, then you already have the series).
I've wanted to attend a Lucy Convention in Jamestown, NY but haven't had the chance yet. Of course, this year would have been ideal as it was also Lucy's 100th birthday year.
Do you love Lucy? If you do - please share your thoughts with us on this special day! Have you attended a Lucy gathering in Jamestown? If so, please share your experience with us! I do hope to get there one day soon.
Thanks for all the memories Lucy - you surely are one of the best.
There's lots going on out in the political world and the real world. What are you thinking about most these days? The protest on Wall Street by ultra-leftists? Racist slurs and Rick Perry? Gay soldier being booed at Republican debate with no comment by debaters?
How about the Star Wars Blu-Ray discs with yet more changes to the original films by Lucas? Or the stunning implosion by the Red Sox in September?
Surely there's something on your mind - share it with us to spark some solid discussion! Leave your thoughts below in the Comment box.
Till next time, thanks for reading Tony Island Blog!
Welcome to Tony Island Blog!
As much as I carped about the President's jobs speech last night, I really think the Republican-controlled House should pass the bill intact. As is, no changes. Rubber stamp it and send it to the Senate. The Senate should rubber stamp it and send it to the President. Sign it and be done with it.
The same would hold true for his "deficit reduction" plan he's going to propose sometime in the next month. Rubber stamp that baby and pass it into law. Lickety-split, time's a-wasting.
Why the sudden change of heart? It's mere politics - let's stop the silly posturing - the Republican controlled House can't make changes that the Democrat Senate won't allow. So, why waste politcal capital? The people don't understand the nuances of freedom. They're addicted to the Federal tit.
Show the people that "we" can work together - any tax increases can be overturned in the next Congress - a mere 16 months away. In the meantime, the Republicans' can hang this albatross around the President's neck. If it works, the worst thing is that the President is re-elected and perhaps the Congress is more solidly Republican. If it doesn't work (and it won't), then perhaps the people will finally realize that the President was never serious about creating jobs - only preserving union member jobs at the expense of the rest of us.
Tinkering with this plan will be political suicide - pass it. Let it fail and then heap the blame on Obama - where it rightly belongs.
Pass the bill - unaltered - now.
What are your thoughts? Send in a comment or two and let the world know!
Did you watch the President's "jobs speech" tonight? If you didn't, it's no big deal as he said the same thing he's said before: spend more money now to put people to work tomorrow.
If you listen carefully to his coded speech, you'll see that the President wants to funnel jobs to union members: construction crews to fix bridges, roads, etc. Money to "first responders" which translates to unionized police and fire fighters. Money to teachers to educate our children - ie, unionized government workers.
This bill won't cost anything because it will be paid for by raising Warren Buffet's tax rate (he pays a lower rate than his secretary - the outrage!! But don't lower his secretary's rate, just raise his...well, Warren did ask for it, the President tells us) We'll eliminate corporate loopholes so we can lower the corporate tax rate (but not to zero - God forbid)...isn't it outrageous how oil companies have tax loopholes? They're so evil those oil companies. Let's punish them for making a profit and employing thousands!
The President will roll back hundreds (he's already identified 500!) of regulations that stunt the growth of business - but by God he won't rollback anything that will endanger the health and safety of Americans! I wonder then what's left to rollback?
And don't think you can use the "excuse" of this economic crisis to rollback programs that have protected Americans all these years. Let's not be so bold and actually change anything. Let's use this crisis instead to fund the same old tired Democrat programs, re-couched into a jobs program.
Yeesh. Same old, same old.
What did you think of the President's speech? Drop us a line below!
Did you catch tonight's Republican Presidential debate on MSNBC? If not, here's the first of 4 parts:
You see the rest by following the suggested links at the end of the video.
I thought it was a solid debate by all the candidates. There were some great lines ("If 10% is good enough for God, then 9% should be good enough for the Federal govt.", Herman Cain on his 9/9/9 tax plan).
I'm not sure I could pick a winner - I thought they were all about even, though I don't see Jon Huntsman gaining any traction. I think the race will tighten up in the next few weeks. There's another debate scheduled for Monday, Sept. 12, 2011.
What are your thoughts on tonight's debate? Did it change your mind on your candidate? Are you closer to choosing a candidate if you are undecided?
Please share your thoughts with us by leaving a comment below.
Today, we're going to examine the 500lb gorilla in the room - gay marriage; but, we're not going to discuss the moral issues surrounding this highly touchy subject, simply (ha!) the political dynamics surrounding this issue.
For many Republican presidential hopefuls, "states' rights" is a key issue this campaign season: devolve Federal power back to the states and let the states decide their own fates. All is well and good until the issue of gay marriage comes up. Here, the hopefuls make a 180 and decide that the Federal government must be involved and it must be a Federal law or Constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.
A typical explanation from the hopefuls is Mitt Romney's. Romney is fearful that one state won't recognize another state's legal gay marriage (ie, if a gay married couple move from New York to Utah, they'd be in legal limbo) and thus a Federal gay marriage ban needs to be in place.
So which is it - is this issue a states' right issue or a Federal issue? If the people of New York, properly assembled in a legislative body, have voted to allow gays to marry with all rights and privileges of straight couples, why is the Federal government involved? If the people of Massachusetts have allowed a judicial body to determine that gays should be allowed to marry, why is the Federal government involved? Are these issues covered by the 14th Amendment that compels the Federal government to be involved? Are states sovereign bodies or merely political extensions of the Federal government?
Let's not get hung up on the moral issue of gay marriage. While that issue is deep enough, there is a far more important issue at stake here - when do the people of individual sovereign states have the right to determine the fate of the citizens within their jurisdiction? Which issues does the Federal government belong in - voting rights? Gay marriage? Equal Rights for Women?
Where does it end? And what power should the Federal government have over these issues? We saw what happened in the 1950s-'70s when the Federal government intervened in state school systems on behalf of minority representation in schools. How much damage did that do to our public school systems? Was it all worth it?
So the issue today is not the morality of gay marriage, but the more important issue of state vs federal jurisdiction. Do we hand over more of our sovereignty to the Federal government? Or do we take a stand on states' rights?
What are your thoughts? Please share your thoughts on the political, not moral, issue surrounding gay marriage. Who has jurisdiction and why?
I've been thinking about something lately - let's pretend that we elect a "Tea Party" Congress in 2012. Both houses are firmly in the hands of spending cutters - they take a large axe to much (if not all) of the Federal budget and manage not only to balance it, but to have a surplus that goes toward the debt.
Then what happens after that? How many more Congresses will the people elect that will continue to cut and not spend? Stop wars and not start them? Stop "investing" and start saving?
And my answer to that is...probably very few. It's hard to imagine sending a politician to Washington and have him/her do NOTHING! Think about it - if you sent your rep or Senator to Washington and he reported back to you that he did absolutely nothing - would you re-elect him? Would you seriously re-elect that person?
And I think the answer is: NO! "We sent you there and paid you, now do something for us - send us some Federal tax money for new roads or a new school. Create "green" jobs. "Invest" in infrastructure."
Admit it - you would be the first one to demand that your rep (or Senator) do something while in Congress. And what does she do? Spend, spend, spend.
Most people think the solution to cure Congress' ills is Term Limits, like we have with the President. I am against Presidential Term Limits (but luckily they are there so there will be an end to Obama at some point) as more times than not a President's second term has created all sorts of mischief over the past 60 years or so. Creating a "lame duck" congressman does much of the same thing - if you're not up for re-election there's a large danger you will just vote to spend and spend and spend.
Instead, I would propose session limits. A Congressional session would run from May 30th to Sept 1 (essentially Memorial Day to Labor Day , ie "the summer"). By being in Washington, DC for the hottest part of the year and for a limited time, Congress would be straight jacketed in what it could do. Filibusters lasting a few days could possibly knock legislation to the backburner as time would run out. There would be limited opportunity to create mischief with pork barrel bills, etc.
Of course, there's always the danger that more and more bills would be passed without being read or debated thoroughly - but that happens now, too. Perhaps there would be fewer bills overall with a smaller legislative window.
It's worth some discussion. (Apparently, Nevada has a limited session legislature and things seem to work out there.)
What are your thoughts? Would session limits work better than term limits? Tell us what you think by leaving a comment!
I wanted to present you with two quick, but complementary, video reviews that will help you understand the fiscal conservative view.
First up is I Want Your Money - this is a neat film that basically summarizes the conservative fiscal viewpoint. It cleverly uses animated Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama sketches to explain various concepts. It also interviews some mainstream conservatives, which was nice to put a face to the books I've been reading by these same conservatives. I recommend the video to get a grounding in current conservative economics and thought. It seems the Blu-Ray version is a Director's Cut with "never before seen footage" - I didn't see this version, but I'm sure the added footage makes it even better than the standard version I saw.
Next up is I.O.U.S.A. The film is slightly outdated as it was filmed at the end of the Bush presidency (and thus tends to skewer Bush a bit, though deservedly so) but it still presents the debt problem in an easy to understand way. It uses graphics, interviews, etc to make its point. I found it informative - it mentions the history of the Concord Coalition (an early Tea Party type group) and Concerned Youth of America (which seems to be dormant, at least on the Internet) which was informative as I had all but forgotten about the Concord Coalition and hadn't heard of CYA. It breaks the debt issue into 4 segments, tackling each segment individually making the whole easier to understand.
These two videos are a great way to get up and running on some current issues that are coming to a head right now, especially the debt issue. Watch them, get a good grounding on the issues and then come back to Tony Island blog and discuss your thoughts.
Have you seen either or both of these documentaries before? Then please leave your thoughts below so others can learn from you.
Take a moment to read this news article (complete with pictures!) about China's first aircraft carrier. While we bicker how about much more in debt we need to go (which is essentially what raising the debt ceiling is all about), China is developing its military muscle
I don't want to sound like a "tin-foiled" alarmist, but I really found that article ominous. I don't think China's going to start a world war or anything, but I do think they will eventually combine their increased economic power with their increasing military power to throw their weight around the world - much like the US did for the latter half of the 20th century (and into the 21st). There won't be anyone to stop their increasing ambitions as the US will be straight jacked with our ever deepening debt problem.
We're going to lose the global supremacy war and who knows how a global China will be to live under? Again, I don't think she'll invade the US, but she will certainly use her economic lever to hem us in with a resulting deterioration in our standard of living (which already is artificially propped up with inflated currency).
We really, really need to solve our debt crisis (even the Chinese have said so!) if not for our economic health but our security as well. We can't afford not to.
What are your thoughts on China's increasing military might? Embrace it or be scared by it? Leave your thoughts below.
Have you seen any good (or bad) summer blockbusters? I haven't. I'll probably end up watching them on DVD/Blu-ray/Streaming at some point. I keep forgetting to hit the cinema to see some of the movies that really should be seen on a big screen - usually those with lots of special effects (or 3D - though I can't always make out 3D and will not pay extra for it! :).
I did see some current movies on DVD and streaming...quick reviews:
Green Hornet - sucked. It didn't know if it was a comedy, drama, super hero flick or ... something else. It was too uneven. It's too bad, too. The producers may have had a budding franchise on their hands. I recorded the original 1960s series on my DVR but have yet to see it. It's better than this schlock though (I did see the series one time years and years ago). Check it out only if you have a need to see all the superhero flicks that come out!
The Fighter - I was totally confused when I first started watching this movie, but I stuck with it and was well rewarded. It's a high quality film about two brothers from Lowell, MA that are boxers. One brother is on his way down while the other is on his way up. Their relationship, their relationship with their parents and siblings both together and individually are brought to life by Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale. I saw this on streaming so I don't know what special features the DVD/Blu-Ray may have, but the credits of the movie showed a clip of the brothers today. Powerful film - check it out.
As for what I'd like to see:
Cowboys & Aliens - I'm not that keen on the whole premise, but I've heard it's good.
Captain America - I've heard good things about this (and bad things about Green Lantern, which I'll probably see on DVD anyway!).
X-Men: First Class - similar to Thor on the emotion meter. Again, more than likely will catch it some time.
There are probably some other good films out there that I want to see but can't remember off the top of my head (here's one - Harry Potter's final film - not sure I saw the first half, so I'll have to check it out beforehand!) - if it's a drama or comedy, it can easily wait for DVD. I should check out the big action movies before it's too late.
OK - now it's your turn. Where should I spend my hard earned dollars? Recommend the movie and location (theater or home). I appreciate your input!
Radical Leftists claim that the Bush tax cuts all but created the current debt crisis. Sane rational people maintain that tax cuts alone don't cause deficits - it's the combination of tax cuts and continued (or increased) spending that causes deficits. Actually, it's always spending that causes a deficit - correction - it's always over-spending incoming revenue that causes a deficit. It's impossible to have a deficit without spending.That's the definition of a deficit - over spending incoming revenue.
But, surely, you say, tax cuts must some how contribute to deficit spending, no? Well, actually, no. They only contribute to deficit spending when you don't account for the lower revenue they produce and continue to spend at the same rate you spent before you cut taxes. To prove this, let's take a quick trip to Fantasy-Land - a land where everything is milk and honey and the streets are paved with gold.
In Fantasy-Land, the following holds true:
1) the government collects taxes but does not spend them - that is, annual outlays are zero. All government functions are carried out by non-unionized citizen-volunteers.
2) All citizens pay a flat 50% income tax
3) The tax base is $1billion thus the government collects $500 million per year in (unused) taxes.
All is well, until the citizens of Fantasy-Land elect far right conservative Jorge Push. President Push decides that the tax rate should be lowered to 25%. The far left radicals decry such a position as a threat to the nation's economic well being. Surely the sky will fall and the deficit (of zero) will rise immeasurably, if taxes are lowered! Push gets his 50% tax cut. The government revenue stream drops to $250 million per year (see, say the leftist radicals, income does drop when you cut taxes!!) and YET the deficit remains at ZERO!
So, therefore, lowering taxes in of themselves does NOT produce a deficit. Why is the radical Left so opposed to cutting taxes? Only they can tell you that - I haven't got a clue on that one. But one thing is sure - simply cutting taxes does not produce a deficit. Overspending incoming revenue produces a deficit - and over spending incoming revenue happens with high tax rates or low tax rates. So stop the pandering to your base and "man up". Leave taxes alone and CUT SPENDING!
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Please study the graphic below carefully before reading the analysis that follows:
Before I begin my analysis of this graphic, I'd like to mention that it came from a New York Times editorial. Enough said.
OK, where do I begin? I must say two things about this graphic off the bat:
1) it's absolutely brilliant! It takes a confusing subject (deficit, debt, budgeting) and confuses it even further. It places Vaseline over the lens of the budget debate to "soften the image" and thus make Obama look better.
2) it does show how fiscally irresponsible President Bush was. Liberal Loons run around calling Bush conservative - this graphic should show them he was anything but. Perhaps he was a social conservative, but he didn't seem to be a fiscal conservative.
Now onto some of the gritty details.
At first glance, you can easily fall into the Liberal trap that has been set - namely, that Bush's policies all but created the current increase in the deficit and Obama's policies have only been a drop in the bucket. But that would be wrong. Why do I say that? Well, look at how the graphic is structured. It covers only policy changes spending, not actual or projected spending.
That is why there's no Iraq, Afghanistan wars section on Obama's side of the ledger. He's merely continuing a policy from the previous administration. Never mind that Obama ran on a peace platform AND won a Nobel Peace prize! We're still at war, YET not one cent of the continuing drain on the Treasury (which adds to the deficit) is reflected in the graphic for Obama. Surprisingly, there's a net SAVINGS on defense - where this comes from is any body's guess. I'm assuming it's the President's projected savings from winding down the war efforts some time in 2012. Not sure, as no details are provided for what each segment means, outside the given label itself.
Next we get the Liberal bugaboo on tax cuts. $1.8 trillion of the deficit is attributed to Bush's tax cuts. Had Bush and the Congress (both parties had control during parts of Bush's presidency) CUT $1.8 trillion in spending, there would be no net effect on the deficit from the tax cuts. Liberals don't want to see this. They continually rail against tax cuts as adding to the deficit. They don't if you cut the same amount of spending. Again, let's make it clear that Bush didn't cut spending enough to offset any loss in revenue from his tax cuts, so it's legitimate to include the "Bush" tax cuts here. BUT, here's the rub - even though Obama continued the tax cuts, they don't seem to show up on his side of the ledger. And if they do, they're not called "Obama's tax cuts" or even "Bush's tax cuts continued". I have a suspicion that the Bush Tax Cuts section is both the original tax cut and the extended tax cut that Obama signed into law last fall. But who knows? Also, what's behind the stimulus tax cuts on Obama's side? Is that the payroll tax cut and Social Security tax cut and/or the extended Bush tax cuts? I dunno.
The other obfuscation in this graphic is a really remarkable one. I have to be misinterpreting this graphic somehow because not to be misinterpreting the graphic means that the creator of the graphic really really wanted to make this a truly biased graphic. Look at the date ranges, for each President, covered by this graphic. In Bush's case, the date range is in the past and "fixed" - you can't put any more fiscal damage on him than you already have. But look at Obama's date range. His covers the future.
Are you trying to tell me or anyone else looking at this graphic that President Obama intends NOT to have any policy changes in the next 6 years that will increase deficit spending?? Are you kidding me? He's not going to propose an infrastructure bank (as he did in his State of the Union)? Or perhaps "green job initiatives"? Nothing that will add to the deficit? He's going to create new spending programs out of whole cloth using ONLY the revenues that are currently coming into the Treasury? Again, I don't think so.
And there you have it - the one element that exposes the complete bias of this graphic. Of course, since Obama hasn't proposed any new policy change spending BEFORE this graphic was created, it doesn't get included in this graphic. And if he proposes something massive tomorrow? Don't bet on the graphic being updated any time soon.
The graphic may be "accurate", but it's so biased to show what it wants to show that it's a useless but highly misleading analysis tool.
Thanks Liberals for trying to spin a better picture for Obama - it's working on your side of the aisle, not ours.
Please leave your thoughts on this graphic. Correct or enahnce my analysis. Leave a comment below.
Gee, I guess the rich do pay their taxes and basically ours. Go down to the middle class and approximately 97.1% of taxes paid are paid by these two groups. It's high time we re-balance this tax paying act and spread the tax base.
And before you all post comments suggesting that I'm "rich" ... please don't bother. I'm in the yellow box all the way through.
Your thoughts? Raise taxes on the rich? How high should it go - till they contribute 75% of revenues?
Share your thoughts below! And click a rating button to let us know how you rate this post!
As you may have heard by now, Netflix, the DVD rental-by-mail company, has decided to restructure its pricing plans to separate the DVD rentals from the streaming option. Previously, for as low as $9.99/month, you were able to have unlimited DVD rental (though only one home at a time) and unlimited streaming.
Now, starting in September, 2011 for current members (immediately for new members), the unlimited 1 DVD plan is $7.99/month and the unlimited streaming is $7.99/month. Together, it will be $15.98. This is a rather large jump to say the least. The increase caused thousands of subscribers to flood the Netflix blog with feedback - much of it against the pricing changes along with threats to cancel memberships.
I'll take a different viewpoint though (don't I always?) - I think it makes a lot of business sense to do this. By separating the income streams for DVDs and unlimited streaming, Netflix will have the cash flow needed to better meet the demands of each group. This should allow them to invest in a deeper DVD library (though it's fairly deep as it is), but, more importantly, to snag more deals for streaming content. This extra $7.99/month should give them a nice cash wad to use for long term streaming deals and to remain competitive with sites such as Hulu.com as they ramp up their streaming offerings. Netflix is bringing Mad Men to streaming next week and has added all the Star Trek series to stream, too.If they can keep consistently adding quality content then it should work out very nicely for their bottom line.
No, I don't like to pay more for any item, especially one that was so cheap as the Netflix DVD/streaming combo plan, but I must see the positive in this and go along with the increase.
What are your thoughts? Feel free to share them with us. Vent a little - it helps!
And, don't forget to click a rating box to let me know how you liked this post.
Have you caught Fran Drescher's new show Happily Divorced, playing on TV Land (Weds, 10:30p ET)? I started watching it a few weeks back - it has its moments. It's not quite as funny (yet) as The Nanny, but I'll give it time. The first season of The Nanny was a tad uneven, too. It takes a bit for the writers to "find" the characters and their story lines. Once they do, I feel the series will be almost as funny as The Nanny was. The reason I say "almost as funny" is that there isn't the bevy of characters that The Nanny had. All of them were funny and could hold their own scenes.
While I like the casting of Fran's parents (though nothing can be beat her mother and grandmother from her previous series), I'm a bit turned off by her husband. He just doesn't quite gel for me. I know it would have been thought of as "The Nanny II" if they brought back all the old characters, but at least we would know them and be able to get right back into the swing of things (sort of like Lucille Ball did with all her series post I Love Lucy). I hope they, at least, bring back The Nanny cast for guest roles throughout the series - that would be fun to see how they all look today.
Well, just thought I'd change things up a bit and review a sitcom. Have you seen Happily Divorced? What are your thoughts? Let us know by leaving a comment!
BTW, don't forget to rate this post by using the buttons below. It helps guide me on what to post about.
President Obama held a news conference this morning in which he spouted more hot air that sounded good, but, when examined closely, is the same ole, same ole. Basically, the (evil) Republicans are holding him back from making a grand cut in the deficit (upwards of $4 trillion over the next so many years). He's willing to cut the budget and reform entitlements "if only" the (evil) Republicans would allow him to raise taxes, mostly by letting the Bush tax cuts expire in the "outlying years". By making all these reforms, the President, with absolutely no evil plans to expand goverment, would be able to continue making investments in America such as job re-training, "infrastructure bank" and student loans, among many other Progressive initiatives. Of course, all of these intiatives are outlined in the Constitution, thus justifying the President's spending of taxpayers money on them.
The President was pummeled by reporters from CBS News, HuffingtonPost.com, Congress Daily, McClatchy Newspapers and American Urban Radio (has anyone heard of these besides the first two??) about why the Republicans are holding him back. Surprisingly (not), no reporter from Fox News was allowed to ask a question. Told by one reporter that a CBS News poll showed only 24% of the American people believe the debt crisis is important, the President responded that the American people aren't properly paying attention to the nuances of the debt and debt reduction. That professional politicians such as himself were hired to deal with these issues. Basically, the American people are stupid and those smart politicians in DCwill solve the debt problem, your help not needed, thank you very much. Next Question?
The President was willing to personally take a "small" tax hike as others in his and higher tax brackets should. (Though there was no mention that the President's salary is actually tax money and as such it doesn't make a difference how much is nicked by taxes - he never earned it in the first place). He did admit that, without reforms, entitlements would be in danger as no amount of tax increases would be able to save them. Odd though that he continues to push for a "small" tax high on the oil executives, jet owners and other "rich" taxpayers to pay down the debt.
Seriously, I could go on and on - I wanted to throw rocks at my TV...he talks the game, but then goes around and doesn't play the game. We'll see how things pan out.
While you would think that a right-leaning blog such as Tony Island Blog would whole-heartedly support a "balanced budget amendment", in this case, you would be wrong.
I am currently reading a book (review forthcoming) that, among many issues, outlines and supports a balanced budget amendment ("BBA"). There are eleven sections (when the book was published) to this proposed amendment, some of which contain definitions of various terms used in the amendment. While the idea of a balanced budget amendment gives my heart the "warm fuzzies", my logical head tells me it's not the way to go.
So, without further ado:
Here are my 5 reasons against any constitutional balanced budget amendment:
1) The Constitution should not be filled with economic amendments - Our Constitution elegantly outlines our (limited) form of government. It doesn't contain economic theories or definitions and neither should any proposed amendment. Just like the Prohibition amendment was an embarassment to the Constitution (morality should NOT be part of the Constitution), so would a balanced budget amendment.
2) Constitutional Amendments should not contain "escape" clauses - The proposed BBA, like similar efforts, has an escape clause to allow deficit spending in case of declared war (other BBAs allow deficit spending during recessions). What does this tell us about the amendment itself and our political leaders if we need an "escape" clause? Imagine if our Founding Fathers put an escape clause in the First Amendment? Or how about in the succession of the President? Or any other part of the Constitution? So why would we pass any amendment that contains an escape clause?
3) Constitutional Amendments should not contain man-made measurements - The proposed BBA contains a provision to cap total government spending to 18% of GDP. The problem with this is who determines GDP? Perhaps one of the sections defines GDP, but it's all too easy to expand (or contract) GDP to suit the political needs of either the Congress or President in power. Constitutional amendments should have wording that is enduring, not based on some sort of man-made measurement.
4) Constitutional Amendments should not contain binding or easily overridden provisions - One of the provisions of the proposed BBA is a three-fifths vote requirement to raise the debt ceiling. While this sounds like a "tough" hurdle to overcome (and it may well be, which is its intent), it could also be a tightly binding provision that could bite us in the ass during a "real" emergency. What if the US Congress were attacked while it was in session and 50% of the Congress were injured or dead. How then do you increase the debt limit? Do the living (but injured) Congressmen now constitute "Congress"? Do the dead Congressmen negate the ability to have a three-fifths vote to raise the debt? What's to prevent Congress, minutes before the final vote which would make the BBA law, from passing a one-time $560 trillion(or any other outrageously high number) debt limit thus effectively eliminating the need to vote to increase the limit under the new Amendment's debt increase provision? What if the Congress were to eliminate the "debt ceiling" all together?
5) Constitutional Amendments should not be unenforceable - My biggest problem with a BBA is the inability to enforce it. How do you jail 535 Congressmen if they don't follow the letter of the law? There are absolutely no provisions in this or any BBA to have enforcing legislation. I don't know what kind of self-enforcing could be built-in (perhaps the President could dismiss the Congress and call for new elections? That would open a can of unimaginable worms), but without it, the BBA becomes a toothless tiger. We already have trampled the Constitution. Why then would we add a BBA that was laughably unenforceable? That would only further erode our system of government and society. We're doing enough damage without the need for a BBA to hasten such damage.
Well, there you have it - my 5 reasons against any BBA. Do you agree? Disagree? I love a good debate - open my mind by posting a comment below.
As you might surmise from the URL, it's a right of center web site hosted by...wait for it...a black man! And...grab onto your socks...he hails from Massachusetts! Wow - has the world ended yet?
He's got some great stuff. I always find it fascinating to find off-beat conservatives out there- that is, ones other than "white racists" that the media loves to portray all conservatives as being. Of course, I'm sure Bob Parks, the owner of http://www.black-and-right.com/ , gets his fair share of hate mail from liberal black Democrats.
Check out his site for a refreshing take on conservatism.
Have you checked out Bob Parks' blog or a similar "non-traditional conservative" blog lately? If so, share the link with us by posting a comment! Worthy "non-traditional" Web sites/blogs will get a shout out.
The President is holding a Twitter Town Hall as I post this blog - of course, I expected hard hitting questions and honest answers and as sure as the sun sets in the West, I got neither.
On a question about why Obama isn't pushing more tech jobs instead of manufacturing jobs, Obama drones on about manufacturing jobs having higher pay, etc. Sure, for lower educated Americans, manufacturing is a great way to lift yourself out of poverty, but there aren't enough of them to employ everyone who needs a job. Of course, the real reason Obama pushes manufacturing jobs is the Unions. Not too many union members in Silicon Valley. We still haven't learned that Unions destroyed GM and Chrysler.
He continues to defend the role of government in creating jobs which we know can't happen - government can't create jobs, only destroy them. But he won't acknowledge that.
He's a smooth talker. Too bad he's smoothly talking us to Third World status (or worse - European-style Socialism).
Are you following the Twitter Town Hall? Please share your thoughts by leaving a comment!
I saw this Web article as I was surfing the Web today. I thought it was enlightening. They rank the 10 states that are the least restrictive and the 10 most restrictive on personal freedoms. I knew my state would make the most restrictive list..but I won't tell you which one it is!
then come back here and let us know your thoughts. If you live in one of the 20 states highlighted in the article, do you agree or disagree with your rank and listing? Have you taken any action to increase (or decrease) personal freedom in your state regardless of the list it's on (if either)? Are we headed to a future filled with nanny-states?
There were 3 seasons comprised of 6 episodes per season. Each episode took a willing participant and immersed him/her into an alien environment to explore a culture/lifestyle that was the opposite of what he/she knows to see if how it would affect him/her. Basically, it took the old saying "To walk in someone else's shoes" to the test.
I've only been through the first season, but I've found the series interesting and enlightening - more so by watching the participants reactions to their new environments than by my own reaction to the events depicted. The topics covered in the first season were living on minimum wage, a Christian living among Muslims, anti-aging, straight man in a gay world, off the grid and binge drinking Mom.
Two of the episodes that popped out at me were "Off the Grid" in which two New Yorkers were sent to a commune that is totally self reliant and uses no power sources from the outside world (they use biodiesel for cars, grow their own food, etc). The woman seemed to embrace the lifestyle while the man was a little more hesitant. In the end though they decided to try to be more mindful of their resource use and would try to change for the better when they got home.
The other one was Binge drinking Mom. The 43 year old mother had a 19 year old college student daughter who was a binge drinker so the episode had the mother become a binge drinker for 30 days. It was rather painful to watch the Mom become a binge drinker - the changes in her body, attitude and routines. In the end, she didn't quite change her daughter's mind about binge drinking but seemed to have an impact on her 9 year old son who decided that drinking wasn't for him.
Overall, I can recommend checking out the series. It's an interesting concept and may enlighten you!
I'll try to update my reactions when I finish the series, but for now, let me know if you've seen 30 Days and what you think about it. Haven't seen the series? Do you think you might check it out? Let us know - leave a comment below!
You may remember this post I made a while back about Facebook. In re-reading that post, I can see the beginnings of the obsession I find myself in now. It's really not so much Facebook itself (I still don't care that my friends think "It's a beach day!") but the social games - specifically Farmville and Cafe World.
I am totally hooked - and while I feel I can walk away any day, I don't! And I don't want to! I dunno what it is about those two games (I've tried at least a dozen Facebook games off and on) that keeps me coming back. Well, they do tend to update them, continually adding more depth which sucks me in even further. A few years ago, I swore to myself I would never "pay to play" yet since then I've sunk in at least $20 of my own money (I know, it's not a lot of dough but considering I have nothing to show for it except a few fake trees on a fake farm, it's a lot!!) and $20 of gift money...UGH!
And the time I've wasted - hours and hours...it's insane. I have piles of books to read, movies / T.V. shows to watch, etc that I don't get to because I'm constantly playing Farmville and Cafe World! Luckily, I don't skip work to play! Whew!
Well, I just thought if I let the world know of my obsession, that would be a start on the road to recovery.
Is there any hope for me? Have you been sucked into social games - Facebook or otherwise? Were you able to control your obsession? Share your experiences by leaving a comment!
Just a short post to congratulate the Boston Bruins hockey team on a job well done! They won their sixth Stanley Cup (the last one was in 1972!) by defeating the Vancouver Canucks, 4-0 in Game 7, on the road in Vancouver, on June 15th, 2011!
The Bruins accomplished at least one first - they were the first hockey team to win 3 Game 7s in the same playoff season.
Boston became the first city to have all four of its major sports teams win a championship in a 7 year period.
Sadly, some idiots started rioting over the loss. But, there's no need for Canadians to apologize - the world knows that the houligans that started the rioting would have done the same thing had the Canucks won it all. It was basically an excuse for them to go on a rampage and pillage, loot the city.
Canuck fans be proud of your team for all it accomplished this season - don't let the loss or the rioting tarnish an otherwise great season and proud hockey nation.
William Voegeli's Never Enough: America's Limitless Welfare State takes a look at the welfare state that was basically created during the New Deal era. On the one hand, you have the Liberal Loons (my term, not Voegeli's) who insist that the welfare state must grow larger to help those in need. On the other hand, you have the fiscal conservatives who equally adamantly insist that the Federal government must get smaller, thus lowering taxes and enabling the private sector to expand and create more jobs.
This see-saw from large to small and back is examined by Voegeli. He lays some ground work in the first half of the book, comparing the US to other countries in various ways. In the second part of the book, he takes a look at the liberal and conservative viewpoint of how things should be.
He basically comes to the conclusion that conservatives have to admit that the welfare state will never go away so it's best to deal with it and manage it as is while liberals must admit that society will never cross a certain threshold of taxation to allow a complete security blanket of government programs supported by high taxes.
The conclusion is fairly depressing for a small government advocate such as myself - of course, my mind agrees with him, but my heart fights on for a smaller Federal government. While a little dry in parts, with a sobering conclusion, I would recommend reading Never Enough: America's Limitless Welfare State
Share your thoughts below - are we doomed to supporting a massive welfare state forever? Is liberty truly lost?
It's not often I tell readers to STOP reading my blog and to read something else. In this case, I urge you to grab a copy of Liberty Defined, turn off the PC and read it. It's absolutely fascinating. Ron Paul takes 50 issues, in alphabetical order, and gives his reasoned views on them. He touches on a wide variety of issues such as abortion, defense and terrorism. This stuff isn't for the faint of heart. It's hard core libertarianism - traditional conservatives will recoil at some of his views, especially on drugs and defense.
But, if you have an open mind, a libertarian attitude and/or the ability to read other viewpoints on current issues, then this is the book for you. I really recommend adding it to your personal library. Top quality stuff. It was a real eye-opener for me. While I knew I'd agree with many of the issues presented, I was surprised to be in total agreement on his views on defense after reading that chapter. I'm a sucker for high priced gizmos and flying machines...but he put a realistic stamp on that viewpoint and I've changed my mind (though my heart still loves a good air combat fighter!).
Read it, think about it, then comment on it below. You'll be glad you did!
I finally got around to watching Super Size Me, the semi-controversial look at McDonald's food and its effect on your health. I rather enjoyed this documentary. I know there are some issues out there surrounding the movie, but overall I thought it was very good. Apparently, it had such an impact that McDonald's eliminated the Super Size!
It was rather disturbing to see Morgan, the producer and subject of the documentary, not only eat all that McDonald's food, but also the changes that it wrought on his body. At the end of the documentary, they state that he was back to normal in about 8 weeks of healthy eating.
I recommend catching this movie along with Food Nation that was previously reviewed here.
Have you seen Super Size Me? If so, leave your thoughts below!
Do you have a favorite expose-type documentary you can recommend? Leave a comment below - if it sounds interesting, I'll check into it!
I haven't been following this very closely, but apparently the voters of San Francisco, this November, will vote on whether to ban circumcision, religious or not, within city limits. To add fuel to the fire, anti-Semitic comic books are being created by the anti-circumcision forces.
This is all very frightening. This is PC run amuck. What will be next? I can't imagine, but I'm sure it will be another frightening step toward a future I'd rather not be a part. Where in the world do activists get the notion that they can ban a religious practice that dates back 1000s of years? All for some twisted beliefs about foreskins and circumcision?
Let's hope this is soundly defeated by the voters of San Francisco.
Please add your thoughts to this issue by leaving a comment below.
If you are interested in liberty, then you have to read Woods and Gutzman's Who Killed the Constitution? Taking 12 pivotal points in American history, the authors dissect the decisions and actions taken by Presidents, Supreme Court justices and Congresses to completely kill and gut the Constitution. I won't get into the 12 scenarios dissected so you can read them freshly for yourself, but I will say it was both an enlightening and depressing read.
In the final chapter, the authors posit the question - "Can a written Constitution survive?" - any Constitution, not just ours, but of course ours is the one in discussion. It's an interesting question to pose considering ours has already been killed.
At 202 pages, the book is a quick read - there's also the complete text of the Constitution as an appendix. This book is a real eye-opener and will have you thinking as you read each page.
I strongly recommend you grab yourself a copy, set aside an hour or so and see what those who have sworn to uphold the Constitution have actually done to it.
When you're done, come back here and leave a comment below. And then, TAKE ACTION! Take our country back!
I am currently reading a book about the "neverending" expansion of the social welfare net here in the United States. That got me to peruse some books about the Constitution (and Declaration of Independence) on Amazon.com. And that got me to thinking...how the hell can Liberal-Progressivess support the ever expanding Federal government?
If you read the history of the American Revolution, read the Declaration of Independence and Constitution, you can't help but be moved by it all. And see the very scary and ominous parallels between the British government of the 1770s and the US government of the late 20th/early 21st century. They are both tyrants, yet the Liberal-Progressives insist on making the Federal government bigger, more powerful, more tyrannical (mandated health insurance, anyone?).
Why? What exactly is their answer to "How big is too big?" when it comes to the power and breadth of the US government. When and where will it all end? When will the Liberal-Progressives be happy - and our Founding Fathers pemanently spinning in their graves?
I'm too scared to contemplate the answer - but the question is what drives me to stop them in their tracks.
If you're a Liberal-Progressive, feel free to comment below - I'd love to hear your lunancy. Not an L-P? Comment below any way!
You may have gotten the impression from the various political posts here that I didn't vote for President Obama...and, you'd be wrong.
I wanted to let you into my thought process when I went to vote in November, 2008. But, to do that, we first have to travel back slightly further to 2004. President Bush was running for re-election. While I was never a huge fan of Bush, as a "loyal" Republican, I voted for him anyway. I actually wanted him to win so that the 2008 Presidential field, on both sides of the aisle, would be wide open. We'd have a large group of candidates from which to choose. And, so, as fate would have it, Bush won a second term and 2008 brought us a large field of Presidential candidates.
As the election season wore on, the American system of primaries, caucuses and other oddities winnowed down the large field to two men: McCain and Obama. I wasn't really that happy with either choice. I didn't follow the election rhetoric much - so I didn't know where either man stood on many issues. But, for whatever reason, I wasn't convinced that McCain had what it took to be President. He seemed to have won by default - that is, he ran so many times before he was bound to finally win the nomination (see "Bob Dole" for a similar storyline).
Thus I turned to Obama. In Obama, I saw several things - an historic vote for the first black President (I had only wished that Colin Powell had run years earlier), a baby boomer of my generation (ie, he was on the tail end of the baby boom as I am) and a young man who had the energy and zest to be President (McCain always seemed dead to me).
I also thought Obama would be a great National Healer - for black Americans, he would be a role model, someone to look up to and aspire to. It was heartwarming to hear so many black children say "Now I can be President too when I grow up" I also thought it would help heal the racial divide in this country - that is, if blacks and whites voted for a black man we could show the nation and the world that we had put much (if not all) of our racial hatred behind us.
Of course, it was only AFTER the election did I realize what we actually got - a far Left progressive that's hell bent on spending us into oblivion - and then bankrupting us into socialism.
That's the last time I let me heart into the voting booth with me!
His citizenship status, and thus his eligibility for the Presidency, has been swirling around him ever since his 2008 campaign. Is he a citizen or not? Is he a "natural born" citizen, thus fulfilling the Constitutional requirement to be President? Even the liberal New York Times weighed in with several articles, including this one. Yet, my doubts remain - was Senator McCain ever eligible (constitutionally) to be President?
Oh, wait. You thought I was talking about President Obama's eligibility? Doesn't that make you a bit of a racist? I mean, surely, we can't discuss the "birther" issue without being racist? Or can we? Have we become so PC that any discussion that involves a person of color invokes the race card?
It's quite funny with all the nonsense surrounding Obama's birth status that we can't discuss the issue rationally. Black Americans are up in arms calling anyone who mentions the issue a "racist". But yet Black activists have railed against white Presidents for years without whites invoking the race card. Odd that.
We've never had a President who's had a Kenyan father and has (possibly) been adopted by a stepfather in a foreign country. These are important issues to discuss. They can be dealt with civilly - there's no need for rancor on either side.
Back in 2008, the Leftist Liberal Loons questioned McCain's citizenship just as the Right is questioning Obama's citizenship now. Since Obama is a sitting President, this makes the "birther" question a Constituional issue, not a racist issue. Over the years, we've found a few "holes" in our Constitution and have passed amendments to correct them. This may or may not be such a time, but we won't be able to tell unless everyone comes clean - including the President. I'm not saying he's not a citizen, I'm just saying there may be a few issues surrounding his status.
What are your thoughts? Leave your comments below!
A few weeks ago, a furor erupted in the liberal media over GE's non-payment of income taxes. There were various reasons for this, but the main issue pounded on by the media was the non-payment of taxes.
Now, does it really matter if GE or any other corporation pays income taxes? Back in the '80s, Ronald Reagan said it best - corporations don't pay taxes, people do. And there's the rub. As we scramble about looking for tax money to cut the deficit (and, of course, increase spending...err, I mean investing!), the easiest targets are the large corporations. But the problem is that corporations don't pay taxes - people do. Oh sure, corporations fill out tax forms and fork over a good chunk of change to the government (on all levels) but do they really pay taxes? Of course not - those costs are later borne by the employees (in the form of lower wages and benefits), the customers (via higher prices or stable prices with less output - think a smaller bag of potato chips for the same price as last week's larger bag) and the government through shell games that hide money to avoid taxation. All this wasted energy could be eliminated if we stopped taxing corporations! Let them release the soldiers of accountants that they must hire or retain and put those salaries to better corporate use. We can still tax corporations on their real estate holdings, energy use, etc. Just stop the income taxation. It's meaningless.
What are your thoughts on income taxes and corporations? Is it high time to stop this shell game and eliminate the income tax for corporations? Let us know by leaving a comment or two below!
Tired of all the current political discourse? Tired of hoping for change? Then you need to VOTE for change on Novemeber 6, 2012! And, why not remind your fellow Americans to do the same with this short-sleeve T-shirt? It's just in time for warm weather and hot politics! Get it before Obama's birth certificate disappears!
I was quickly checking my "stats" page for Tony Island Blog readership. It appears there's a smattering of readers from, literally, around the world! From China to Russia, Denmark to Portugal! Very interesting.
I haven't delved deeply into the stats, but it's great to see such a spread of visitors to this blog.
Please, tell us where you're from, what brought you here and what you like/don't like about Tony Island Blog in the comment box below!
Well, Mr Obama has announced his 2012 Presidential re-election bid. NOW is the time to spread the word to stop him! We here at Tony Island Blog intend to get the word out. And to do that, we'll be highlighting various bumper stickers, t-shirts, etc that you can use to spread the word around.