Sunday, August 28, 2011

Have you been impacted by Hurricane Irene?

Welcome to Tony Island Blog!

Are you in Hurricane/Tropical storm Irene's path? If so, how have you been impacted? Feel free to share what's going on with you by leaving a comment below!

We'll be back to our regular postings soon. Take care and be safe!

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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Not TERM limits, but SESSION limits

Welcome to Tony Island Blog!

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!

Thanks for reading Tony Island Blog!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I Want Your Money / I.O.U.S.A. (video reviews)

Welcome to Tony Island Blog!

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.

Thanks for reading Tony Island blog!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

China's First Aircraft Carrier Begins Sea Trials

Welcome to Tony Island Blog!

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.

Thanks for reading Tony Island Blog!

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Cool Presidential Approval Tracker

Welcome to Tony Island Blog!

I found this cool Presidential Approval Tracker (based on Gallup polling) on

You can compare Presidents' approval ratings or isolate one President. It's fun - try it out and leave your thoughts below!

Thanks for reading Tony Island Blog!

Friday, August 05, 2011

Ron Paul: Debt Deal is a 'Fraud'

Welcome to Tony Island Blog!

Well, Ron Paul is telling it like it is - the debt bill just passed is basically a "fraud". The cuts aren't cuts in spending but cuts in spending increases. Check the video out for yourself:

What are your thoughts? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

Did you enjoy this post? Want more like it? Less like it? Rate this post to let us know!

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Wednesday, August 03, 2011

See any good Summer Blockbusters?

Welcome to Tony Island Blog!

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!).

Thor - mixed emotions - but probably catch it.

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!

Thanks for reading Tony Island Blog!