Thursday, June 30, 2005

YIKES - new promise

Did you know:

"George Herbert Walker Bush was once a member of Lilly's board of directors. Our current President Bush appointed Lilly's chief executive officer, Sidney Taurel, as a member of the Homeland Security Council. Eighty-two percent of Lilly's $1.6 million in political contributions in 2000 went to Bush and the Republican Party."

check out the full article here

Also from that article:

"In the 2005-2006 school year, all parents will receive written notice of new policies from your children's schools. Many schools will ask you to sign permission slips, allowing school counselors or advocates to have conversations with your children. You will be told how your local schools are now involved in vision and dental screenings, learning disabilities and speech impediment screenings, and other acts of kindness, but watch for the small print or the extra little blurb, which states that your children will also be evaluated for emotional wellness. Watch for wording like happiness indicators or family participation.

The fact is that our president has mandated that every American child, age 3 through 18, is federally ordered to be evaluated for mental health issues and to receive enforced treatment. Welcome to President Bush's New Freedom Initiative and New Freedom Commission on Mental Health. Welcome to life-long profiling and drug addictions, New Freedom-style."

That doesn't exactly sound like the "Land of the Free" to me. I now have a new campaign Slogan:

"Just say NO to drugs" that are designed to drive up profits for drug companies and destroy children's natural creativity.

I promise that if I were President I would not make up silly laws like this one. Instead I would force all politicians that have voted in favor of laws like this to be evaluated for:

"Political Filthyrichitis" - a disease that causes many (not all) politicians to sacrifice the health and well being of future generations (including their own children) in order to become as filthy rich as possible.

If it was found that they suffered from this ailment they would be required to give all their money to charity.

That seems like a good campaign promise, but I think a lot of republicans and democrats might think that I am out to get their favorite leaders. So, I am not sure how well this promise will go over. I might have to nix this promise and stick with my original platform...

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Bummed Donald isn't doing the Apprentice

I just found out that Donald Trump is not doing the next Apprentice and I am little bummed.

Apparently, Martha Stewart is going to host it... read the story here.

I am sure Martha will do fine, but I am not likely to watch it anymore. I really enjoyed the sound business advice Donald gave on the show and it was fun to watch. I just can't imagine The Apprentice with no "You're fired!" anymore.

The good news it will give me more time to post on my blogs...

Monday, June 20, 2005

Speed Limits

While we were in Florida my wife Jill noticed something. The speed limits in Florida are higher than in Texas.

I am very aware of this fact, because when I moved to Houston one of my first thoughts was,
"Why are the speed limits so ridiculously low."

I would drive down a road going 45 mph and realize the speed limit was 35 mph. I would always think,
"That can't be right, the speed limit should be at LEAST 45 mph, maybe even 50 mph or 55 mph."

Well, while we were in Florida Jill had the exact opposite problem. She was always saying that the speed limits were too HIGH. She kept thinking people were driving way too fast.

Of course, there were other differences. In Florida, Yellow lights mean "speed up", and red lights aren't really red if they have only been red for less than 5 seconds. It's not until a red light has been red for more than 5 seconds that it is really red in Florida. In Houston, that's not the case.

One last difference she noticed was that you can make U-Turns everywhere in Florida, but it's not like that on Texas roads. In regards to this she commented,
"Now, I see why you are always trying to make U-Turns, because you CAN make U-Turns everywhere in Florida".

After living here eight years, I am still getting used to Houston driving. I do miss being able to make U-Turns everywhere and being able to get places faster, but I am probably more likely to get places in one piece here in Houston.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Hotter in Houston or Palm Beach

It's official. I have been back from my trip to Palm Beach Florida and I can tell you without a doubt that Houston is hotter than Palm Beach. There was a little disbelief when I told people at the wedding that I thought Houston was hotter, but when we got back you could immediately feel a difference in the heat. Don't get me wrong, in Palm Beach it does get very hot in the summers, but Houston is definitely hotter.

Another thing that is different is the thunderstorms. In Florida they just don't seem as bad. Everytime a really bad thunderstorm comes through Houston it reminds me of some of the hurricanes I went through in Florida. The constant and LOUD thunder, the Erie darkness, the hail, etc. Don't get me wrong the thunderstorms can be bad in Florida, they just seem worse in Houston.

Of course, hurricanes are much more likely to hit Florida and quite frankly I would rather not deal with hurricanes. Last year my friend whose wedding I just got back from, lost his power for TWO WEEKS. Not only that but his roof and window still haven't been completely repaired yet from the hurricane damage. I personally, think we should find a way to stop hurricanes. I sense a new campaign promise coming...

If you vote for me, no more hurricanes!

I will have to get my eleven year old son Matthew working on that one. He is really into Science and inventing things (he's also really bright), so he will need to come up with invention to stop hurricanes soon.

Sounds like a good idea to me.

Hmmmm... I wonder if he can do something about the heat in Houston, that would be REALLY COOL! (pun intended)

Monday, June 13, 2005

Back from my hometown in South Florida

I just got back from attending my friend of 16 years wedding in Florida. It was really nice. I was one of the groomsmen and also an usher. It was a very Italian wedding, with both bride and groom being Italian. While I am not Italian, after the wedding I started saying things like "butta bing, butta boom" and the like. I probably will be blogging about my trip to Florida for the next month. While Jill and I are not Italian, we fit in by bringing our 11 week old baby named "John Victor", who has a very Italian sounding name and whose middle name is Italian after my Italian Uncle, Victor Sebastini.

Now, I just have to tell you this interesting story my Uncle Vic told us after his trip to Italy. My uncle Vic (may he rest in peace), took a trip with his wife to Italy when he turned 80. So he and his wife Thelma are out shopping and they walk up to the counter to pay for some things. The person at the counter says,
"Mr Sebastiani, you don't owe us anything. Your money is no good here, take what you want."

My uncle is thinking,
"How did she know my name?"

So then he insists he has to pay. The person at the counter insists they won't take his money. So after a while he moves on to the next store. Same story. In fact, everywhere they went people would call him Mr. Sebastiani and act really nice to him. Nobody would let him pay for meals, etc.

He figured that he must have looked like one of "the Sebastianis" who own the famous vineyards and wine company.

Anyway, back to the wedding. It was very nice and I really believe that John and Andrea will be happy together. John is truely a good man and his new bride Andrea seems like a very nice woman, who is very much in love with him.

More on the trip later, either on this or my thankful blog.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

US Education System

From the book "Underground History American Education", by John Gotto:

"The cost in New York State for building a well-schooled child in the year 2000 is $200,000 per body when lost interest is calculated. That capital sum invested in the child's name over the past twelve years would have delivered a million dollars to each kid as a nest egg to compensate for having no school." p. xxiv

Based on that excerpt here is my wife Jill's idea:

"Now there's an idea. Just take the money that would have been invested in a child's education and give it to them when they turn 18-- but do away with all social services related to unemployment and poverty :) A million dollars would average out to $20,000/year for 50 work years-- and that doesn't take into account that if only 20,000/year were taken out, the rest would still be earning interest. $20,000 is more than someone earning minimum wage working at Burger King will make. It's above the poverty level. And if a couple was married, that would be $40,000/year. Now, if a chunk of that money was used after the age 18 for college or starting a business, it could obviously translate into a lot more than $20,000/year. So, what if children were totally the parents' responsibility for the first 18 years? And then they got their million dollars? It's an interesting thought."

If I were President I would close all the schools, and implement my wife's plan to give each child 20,000 a year when they turned 18. I am going to take it a step further. If each child was getting 20,000 a year from our current taxes set aside from school, then we wouldn't need the welfare system. I am not sure how much more that would add to the kitty, but let's say it's maybe $2000 a year. So now each person over the age of 18 in this country would receive $22,000 yr to live on from our taxes.

Now, I know many of you are thinking,
"but kids need to be in school, kids can't learn on their own, if a kid drops out of school he/she will get nowhere. If they don't have school and they already have an income they won't want to do anything but be lazy and live off other people."

At a bare minimum everyone in the US would have a guaranteed income above the poverty level. Sure some people are going to waste that money on drugs and alcohol, BUT THAT ALREADY HAPPENS. Yes, some people will be lazy and not contribute to society, BUT THAT ALREADY HAPPENS. As for dropping out of school, there is a never ending list of amazingly successful people who have dropped out of either high school or college. However, because the list would take me forever to compile I decided to list just a small sampling of some modern day dropouts in one industry (the computer industry):

Bill Gates (co founder and CEO Microsoft)
Paul Allen (co founder Microsoft)
Steven Jobs (CEO Apple)
Steve Wozniak (co-founder of Apple)
Michael Dell (Founder of Dell)
Larry Ellison (CEO of Oracle)

I could go on and on about this, but school doesn't appear to be a defining factor in the "success" of people in this country.

Imagination is the key.

One of the best things the government could do for children's education is to teach parents to let their children be imaginative.

Imagination combined with persistence can go a long way towards accomplishing amazing things. To quote Albert Einstein:

"Imagination is more important than knowledge."

We are teaching children to be sheep, instead of shepherds. We give them knowledge and teach them to take tests, but stifle their imagination. Get rid of the sheep farms (schools) and let our kids to learn to be shepherds (leaders) at home.

This probably won't help me get elected, but it is what I would push for if I were President. I will have to rely on my other campaign promises to get elected, they are pretty much fool-proof...

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Deep Throat Revealed

I know it's all over the news. I thought this story in the Washington post was most interesting.

If I ever became President I hope that there would never be a need for an FBI agent like Mark Felt to turn me in.

Albeit, I don't think I will ever run for President.

Well, I might consider it if a lot of people let me know they want me to run...