Friday, February 24, 2006

Wishing for Simpler Times

Brent Bozell has an excellent column today titled, "Sex, Culture, and the College Student."

Lately I'm mindful and aware of how sex is portrayed in the media and our culture. Everything revolves around sex. There is Jessica Simpson selling Pizza Hut pizzas by seducing a teenage boy in front of his parents. Commercials for Viagra and Cialis during the Superbowl. Celebrities hooking up, getting married and divorced like they are buying new cars. Next time you're watching a sitcom in prime time with your kids, count how many sexual jokes you hear. The total will amaze you. And don't think it goes over your kid's head. Their minds soak it in and process it and the message they get is sex is cool, and if you want to be cool, you better have lots of sex. As a Christian male, I find it hard to keep my mind and thoughts pure when I'm being constantly bombarded with sex. Lately I have started asking my wife to change the channel when something raunchy comes on the television. I can't deal with it anymore.

As with most problems in our society, I blame the baby boomers. Their "sexual revolution" started this whole thing, and they have twisted society to conform to their sinful sexual desires ever since. They legalized abortion so sex could be carefree. They made sex jokes "cool." Sex has even been injected into our politics. Presidents are sleeping with the interns. Every Supreme Court and federal judge nominee has to answer questions about abortion and gay marriage. Baby boomers are creating new ways to stay young, look young, and hold their erections longer so they can keep having sex until they are in their 90's. Does this disturb anyone else? I mean, fine if you want to do all that, but do I have to see the comercials for it all the time?

I don't know how I'm supposed to raise my son in all of this. How is he going to listen to me when I tell him about the sinfulness and pitfalls of pre-marital sex while MTV shows teenagers sleeping around and changing partners more often than they change underwear? I am afraid my voice of reason will be drowned out by what is "cool."

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Conspicuously Silent

You may have noticed I haven't had anything to say on the deal to sell six American seaports to Dubai Ports World, a shipping company owned by the United Arabs Emirates. I've been trying to find out the facts on this deal before commenting, but I just can't get around all of the anti-arab rhetoric. I'll try to make some sense out of this based on what little I know.

On the face of it, this looks like a horrible breach of U.S. security. At least one of the 9-11 hijackers originated from the UAE. The UAE is one of only three nations that recognized the Taliban as Afghanistans legal government. And as Michael Smerconish pointed out in his radio show this morning, the 9-11 Commission reported that in 1999 the U.S. wanted to target Osama Bin Laden while he was on a hunting trip in Afghanistan. A member of the royal family of the UAE was on that hunting trip with Bin Laden, so the U.S. alerted the UAE. Within hours, the hunting camp was disbanded and Bin Laden got away. So clearly, the UAE is in bed with the terrorists which is much need for concern.

But we must be careful where this is going to lead. We cannot allow ourselves to go down the path where anything Arab is evil. Otherwise where will this end? What if an Arab company buys a German company that manufactures toxic chemicals in the U.S.? Should we stop that deal? Or what if an Arab company buys a U.S. energy company that owns nuclear power plants? And what about the British who are trying to sell their ports? Think we're making friends by killing their end of the deal and forcing them to take a lesser offer? Limiting ourselves to only doing business with only our close allies may prove harmful to our economy and way of life. Ronald Reagan said of the Soviets, "Trust, but always verify." There is something to be said for keeping your friends close, but your enemies closer.

Where do I stand on this topic? Truthfully, I don't care. I'm not letting myself get swept up in the rhetoric of the conspiracy du jour anymore. I'm tired of it. Whatever happens happens. I trust my government will do what they think is in the best interest of the country. But my prediction is the political tide will force a kill on this deal. Either way Bush is a loser in this. If he allows the deal, all his talk about standing tough in the face of terror goes down the tubes. Even if he kills the deal, he has waited too long. Now he claims he didn't know about it setting up the platform for him to kill it. But in his three day silence he has given the impression of being out of touch with what is going on in the nation. In addition, Hillary and Schumer have already flanked his right side on this. Bush cannot win. His only hope is to have Cheney shoot someone else to deflect attention away.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

I'm Pro-Choice

Yesterday I heard about a new program that is going to allow parents to pre-pay for their kids' school lunch and pick the foods their kids eat. Gone are the days when a high school lunch consisted of cup cakes, potato chips, and a coke. And no more buying a milk and stuffing the rest of your lunch money in your pocket for cigarettes. Now parents will have total control to make sure little Jimmy and Sally are eating their fruits and vegetables, or at least carrying them from the lunch counter to their table where they can promptly trade it or pitch it in the trash.

This is ironic coming from the crowd that says "kids will be kids" when it comes to sex. They're going to have sex anyway, the thinking goes, so we might as well give them a few hundred hours of sex education and hand out free condoms at the football games. But when it comes to Billy having a cookie at lunch time? We'll have none of that!

I would be more in favor of taking away the a la carte menus entirely. This parental monitoring system is almost comical in that we give the kids choices so the parents can take them away. If a parent is that concerned, can't they just pack the kid a lunch? Why institute a Big Brother System?

The problem with the lunch monitoring program is the fundamental liberal mentality that people are incapable of making intelligent choices so they need a higher authority to make their choices for them. Rather than educating and encouraging kids to make intelligent decisions, it's easier to just take their power of choice away. We are going to raise a generation of kids who don't know how to think for themselves. And what are they going to think when they see dad finishing off a bag of potato chips and a sixpack of beer watching the game and mom eats a box of ding dongs while watching her soap operas? When they get into the real world where they are the ones who decide what they are going to eat, they will naturally try and become addicted to unhealthy foods. Ask yourself this, what happens to a kid the first time they try alcohol? Answer: they get bombed because they have been told their whole lives they can't have it and now that they can they enjoy the high. Usually it takes a few years of binge drinking before a person realizes it isn't fun and it isn't good for you. Some people never come to that realization.

Schools have the responsibility to provide healthy options of foods for kids to eat. Parents have the responsibility to teach their kids nutrition and lead good examples. But taking away choice is not the answer.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Impromptu Thoughts

I would love to talk about politics right now, but I just can't. I'm bored with it. In fact I'm so bored with it, I'm almost thinking about closing up this blog entirely. The news is all about Dick Cheney shooting lawyers in the woods, or Jihad cartoons, or the NSA "domestic spying program", or the bungling of the Katrina aftermath by FEMA. I'm tired of it. Nobody wants to discuss how we can make America safer or better anymore. Nobody wants to talk about taxes, education, social security, or anything. It's all made up scandals that nobody cares about.

So let's do something fun. Did anyone watch the Daytona 500 yesterday? What an entertaining race. My boy, Jimmie Johnson, drove the Number 48 Lowe's Chevy to victory lane capping off a great finish to an otherwise horrible week where he saw his crew chief suspended for cheating and having to start at the back of the field in the qualifying race. Great win, Jimmie!

I love NASCAR. I know I'm going to take some grief for saying that, but I don't care. It used to bore me until I found the secret. You have to have a favorite driver. When you have a driver you follow and cheer on, the whole sport takes on a different meaning. Suddenly there is more than just 43 guys driving in a counter-clockwise circle. There are teamates, allies, enemies, and villians. An extra second in the pits can lose you five spots of track position. 500 mile races become 500 page stories. It's a great way to fill up the Sunday afternoons until football starts up again.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Liberal Journalists

Who'da thunk the Peoria airport would have wireless internet? Should make my 3 hour delay go a little easier.

I love Tony Blankley's column this week. The prestigious White House Press Corp is deeply offended that Vice President Cheney had the audacity to give the scoop on his hunting accident to the Corpus Christi local newspaper. So they started hounding the administration to put Cheney in front of a camera to explain what happened. So after three days of badgering, Cheney finally sat down for an interview. Now CNN is upset because he chose to do the interview with Brit Hume on FoxNews. I love it.

Since when does the White House Press corp have exclusive rights to receive and filter all information that comes out of the White House? Since when is it written in the Constitution that the White House Press Corp has a right to know everything? Since when is the Executive Branch under obligation to tell them everything they deem to be important?

The White House Press Corp has become a fraternity of liberal journalists. Their bias is so evident it is disgusting. Look at how they will not publish the cartoons of Mohammed, but new pictures of Abu Ghraib? Put them on the front page.

I don't blame the White House for treating them like the insignificant partisans they are. They deserve to be put in their place starting first with Helen Thomas. The First Amendment gives the press freedom to report whatever they want, but it does not grant them garaunteed access to every detail of the Vice President's hunting adventures.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

This is News?

Greetings from Peoria, IL. Sorry I haven't been blogging much. Like I said, there is much travel in my schedule to come.

Can someone explain to me why this is front page news? Why is Dick Cheney's hunting accident leading the headlines three days after the incident? You would think he was a regular Aaron Burr the way the media has been covering this. Of course Aaron Burr never went to prison for shooting Alexander Hamilton. If the liberals get their way, Cheney won't get off so lucky. They're so desperate to make a story out of this they have already started the cover up game. This is getting so old.

There are several reasons why this story is so sexy for the media. One, it's Dick Cheney, who liberals are convinced must be the anti-Christ. Two, Cheney was hunting. Three, it makes Cheney look like a regular mistake prone human. Four, Dick Cheney hurt someone. Five, there was a gun involved. Ask yourself this. If Dick Cheney were driving a car and had an accident and his friend was slightly injured, would we be talking about it like this three days later? I think not.

But I predict this story is not going away. It is going to take one of two turns. If Whittingham dies, there will be calls to charge Cheney with manslaughter. If he lives and recovers, the story will take another twist. The democrats will, if they are not already, start digging through Whittingham's life to look for dirt. Who does he represent as a lawyer? Where does he donate his money? How much money have his clients donated to Cheney's campaigns? The libs will dig and dig. And they will find something. He's a wealthy lawyer involved in politics. And when they find that dirt, they will try to smear it all over Cheney and try to hurt him by guilt through association. And of course then they will ask if Bush knew about it. When it happens, remember you read it here first.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The Lynching of George W. Bush

You know why liberals are like school on a Sunday? No class.

Yesterday at the funeral of Coretta Scott King, instead of paying tribute and celebrating the life of a strong woman who stood beside her husband during his struggle for civil rights and later carried his torch after his death, Jimmy Carter and Rev. Dr. Joseph Lowry chose to take political cheap shots at George W. Bush. Then Bill Clinton got up and managed to get a round of applause for his wife by suggesting she will be the next president. Shameful.

I was raised to know there is a time and a place for everything. You don't crack jokes at funerals. You don't speak poorly of the deceased. You pay respect to the person that died. You pay respect to the family. You celebrate their life. You certainly don't use the pulpit and your eulogy to play politics. That is poor taste. I'm surprised somebody didn't turn around to Bush and say "You don't belong here". Seems that was all that was missing.

Their liberal supporters and George W. Bush haters are eating this up. Just read some of the comments in the link above. For liberals, it is justifiable to be rude and disrespectful as long as you make George W. Bush look bad. They view this as carrying on the Kings' message. This kind of stuff may play well with the Moveon.org and Michael Moore crowd. It will get lots of hoorays on DailyKos and The Huffington Post. But with the average reasonable American, who the MSM likes to call "undecided" or "swingvote", this is going to come off very bad. Combine this with the Dems lynching of Sam Alito in the Senate Judiciary Committee driving his wife to leave the room in tears, and their image is becoming one of fear, anger, and hate. We'll see how well that plays out in future elections.

To his credit, Bush and his father gave very eloquent speeches. And as speaker after speaker got up and turned the service into a political rally, they sat their with smiles on their faces and let it go. Because that is what people with class do.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

A Letter from Senator Santorum

About a year ago, I read in the Philadelphia Inquirer that Pennsylvania was the only state that did not deduct 401k contributions from earned income. Outraged by this, I wrote to my state and federal legislators, including U.S. Senator Rick Santorum, asking them to introduce legislation to put Pennsylvania in line with the rest of the nation in allowing 401(k) contributions to be made with pre-tax dollars. My state representative sent me an email from one of his staffers saying that since I was not registered to vote in his district (I had just moved to the area and had not yet registered) Mr. Big-shot-congressman would not be responding to my letter.

This was the letter that Mr. Santorum sent me in response (emphasis mine).

Dear Mr. Hubbell,

Thank you for contacting me regarding contribution limits for tax-preferred savings plans. I appreciate hearing from you and having the benefit of your views.

As you know, 401(k) plans and Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) are tax-preferred investment plans that are designed to encourage greater individual retirement savings. Though the specifics of individual 401(k) plans and traditional IRAs vary, these plans allow individuals to invest pre-tax income into different types of investment options, such as stocks or money market funds, to suit the needs of individual investors. These funds are exempt from federal (and most state and local) income taxes until the time those funds are withdrawn, meaning investors have a larger pool of assets with which to generate interest than if they had invested post-tax earnings. Also, plans offered by most employers include some form of company contribution, often through a dollar-for-dollar company match. Since these plans are intended to serve as a retirement savings vehicle, and not to promote general savings, restrictions are placed on how and when this money can be withdrawn.

At this time, no legislation has been introduced specific to percentage limits on contributions. However, should legislation specific or similar to your comments be introduced, I will be sure to keep your views in mind as I serve as your United States Senator.

Please be assured that promoting Americans' retirement security is one of my highest legislative priorities. As Congress continues to debate proposals to strengthen retirement savings, I will be sure to keep your comments in mind. If I can be of further assistance with this or any other matter, please feel free to call on me again.

Sincerely,
Rick Santorum
United States Senate

Now I'm not stupid. I know this was a form letter, but it would have been nice if it at least addressed my concerns. I didn't need an explanation of how 401(k) plans work. I already knew that. I don't care about contribution limits since I already give as much as I feel I can. I care about my contributions being made with post-tax dollars when Pennsylvania is the only state that does so. I adore Rick Santorum and I plan on voting for his re-election, but his response to my letter disappointed me. Clearly this is an issue that Pennsylvania lawmakers are aware of but choose not to address. I would encourage any fellow PA residents to make some noise on this.

What am I Waiting for?

The rumors of my death are greatly exaggerated. I was out of town last week on business and couldn't find time to post even though I had a plethora of ideas in my head. Actually posting is going to be spotty the next few weeks as I have much travel ahead.

Unbeknownst to most Deep Freeze readers, last Thursday was a big event. I'm not talking about Punxsutawney Phil, who by the way saw his shadow condemning us to six more weeks of winter. Curse you, groundhog, you wretched rodent! Why must you torment me so? No, last Thursday, like every Groundhog day for the past 32 years, was my birthday.

Birthdays are a time of reflection for me. Looking back over the past year not much in my life changed. I live in the same house with the same job. Everything today is pretty much exactly as it was a year ago. I don't like that. I'm getting stale. I need the mix things up. I would one of my proudest accomplishments this past year would be starting to exercise on a regular basis. I also feel like I have grown in my walk with the Lord. I am definitely more aware of my spiritual walk than I was a year ago.

I am now 32 years old. Over one third of my life is most likely over. I look back at what I have accomplished and I think it is good. I got a college education. I have a wonderful wife and a handsome son. I am actively saving for retirement and the kid's college education. I have travelled to some wonderful places. I have seen the Vatican, the Eiffel Tower, the Mona Lisa, Michelagelo's David, and the Notre Dame Cathedral. I have walked the battlefields of Concord and Lexington as well as Manassas, VA. I have strolled in the footsteps of George Washington at Valley Forge National Park. I have been to New York City, Washington D.C., Houston, Baltimore, Las Vegas, Philadelphia, Richmond, Boston, Pittsburgh, Orlando, St. Louis, Vancover, Calgary, Bermuda, the Bahamas, and Cancun. I have also to been to some pretty secluded areas, like St. Marys Pennsylvania, Peoria Illinois, the Little Mississippi River outside of Perth Ontario, Jasper National Park and Banf in the Candian Rockies, Norfolk Nebraska, Darlington South Carolina, and Ghent Kentucky. Like the commercial says, I've been everywhere, man. And most all of this I have seen in the past ten years. It may not seem that impressive to some of you readers, but for a kid who grew up in the mountains of Pennsylvania where the past five generations of his family lived and died, it's not too bad. I feel like I got out. By all accounts I should be pretty proud of what I have accomplished so far. So why do I feel so incomplete?

I feel like there is much more I want to do. I want to learn to play the guitar. I want to start my own business. I want to be more involved in government. I want to make a difference. I want to stroll on the beaches of Australia with my wife. I want to kiss her on the Eiffel tower. I want to stand next to my son as we stare in awe of the Egyptian Pyramids. I want to buy a motorcycle and ride it to California and back. I want to feel fear as a pack of lions circle my vehicle on an African safari. I want to attend a Penn State football away game and bowl game. I want to make more guy friends I can hang out with, play some golf or watch the game. I want to ride as many roller coasters as I possibly can. I want to see Alaska. I want to see Yellowstone National Park and the Grand Canyon. I want to see a grizzly bear in the wild. And the fact that I did not get closer to any of these goals in the past year bothers me. Our lives are slipping away one day at a time. What we do with them is our choice. Like Tim Robbins' character said in Shawshank Redeption, "A man has to either get busy living, or get busy dying." God willing, I will have many more years to work on this list because I'm not yet ready to get busy dying.