Monday, November 28, 2005

Gas Prices are low???

The other day I was thinking how "great" it is that the gas prices are so low. I can go down to the local gas station and get a gallon of unleaded gas for roughly 2 dollars!

The next thought thar ran through my head was:

"Hey, wait a minute.

That's not low!

I am happy about gas being 2 dollars a gallon, what in the world?????"

Doesn't it seem like just last week we could get gas for just over a dollar a gallon?

The oil industry is going to make Billions upon Billions of dollars in profit this year. Because of this a lot of people have come up with things that the oil companies could do with their money, like pay for new refineries, help the people who were misplaced from Katrina, research alternative power, etc.

All of these are good ideas, BUT...

I think the money would be better spent if they funded my future name change.

If Exxon Mobil gives me just 1/100th of their profits for the last quarter. I will change my name to:

George James Exxon Mobil Manty

In fact, I would even be willing to reduce my chances of getting elected and leave out the James. So my name would be:

George Exxon Mobil Manty

Boy does that have a nice ring to it (of course the 8.7 million dollars helps give it such a nice ring).

Who knows, if Exxon Mobil pays for my name change I might even start getting my gas from Exxon...

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Geico the Texas Gecko

Yesterday, the kids found a gecko in our house and they were very excited! They really wanted to keep it for a pet. Jill and I decided that would be fine.

Jill wound up catching it while I was at work. So when I got home from work Jill went to the pet store and got a cage, etc. The etc. in the previous sentence included it's food...

live crickets!

We warned the kids that the gecko would eat live crickets, but they were fine with that.

The kids decided to name the gecko "geico". They love the funny Geico commercials with the gecko in them. Ever since they saw the gecko do the robot they have been big Geico fans. Those Geico commercials are an example of Awesome Television Marketing. Because of those commercials we have a gecko named Geico living in our house.

Anyway, it's actually kind of cool having a gecko in the house. Albeit, neither Jill or I would ever have imagined that we would have 5 pets!

When we got married we had zero pets. Now we have a dog named ruff, a fish named fishy, two gerbils named pablo penguin and chewey uniqua, and a gecko named geico. It's like we have our own personal zoo. If we get any more pets we are going to have to start charging for admission.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Texas State Court Rules Property Tax Funding Public Schools is Unconstitutional

WOW, this is an amazing development. The Texas Supreme Court ruled today that Texas property taxes can not be used to fund Public Schools.
Click here to read about this news.

It doesn't really affect me, because I homeschool in Texas. It looks like all of Texas might be homeschooling if they don't work this out (which I assume they will).


Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Time for a Change

I read an interesting story about a Texas town just outside of Fort Worth that changed it's name to Dish (click here for the story).

The residents of the Town will get free satellite service for ten years! That's pretty cool.

What would be really cool is if Houston could change it's name to Volkswagen and then all Houstonians could get free Lamborghinis.

Hmmm... Maybe I should ask Volkswagen about changing my name. If I change my name from George to Volkswagen, could I get free Lamborghinis for life? If I ran for election I could be the first US President named Volkswagen.

On second thought, I think sticking with George gives me a better chance at being President. Maybe I could change my middle name to Volkswagen.

No, that won't work either because if you recall I need to change my middle name to James.

I know!

Maybe Volkswagen would give me a free Lamburghini if I added Volkswagen as a second middle name. Let's see, my name would go from:

George Brian Manty


George James Volkswagen Manty

That's not bad. It even sounds a little Presidential. I could have a free Lamburghini and be President. How cool would that be?

Our TV has been cranky lately, so what I really need is a new TV. Maybe I will have to change my name to George James Sony Volkswagen Manty.

Come to think of it, I might as well go all out with this name change thing. How about:

George James Sony Volkswagen Sears Geico Maytag UPS Hershey's Nabisco Exxon Yahoo SBC Dish Time Warner Baskin Robbins Helzberg Merill Lynch Starbucks Lego Walt Disney Kroger Toni and Guy Levi Strauss Manty

Now that really has a nice to ring to it!

So here's the deal, if you run any of these companies please contact me about my future name change. Giving me free stuff for life could really pay off for your company. If you can't afford to name a Town or Football stadium after your company, how about a future President?

It's a win-win proposition.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

French Riots Justified

My wife Jill just sent me an article on the French Riots. While I would prefer that there be no riots, the article certainly makes a good case for the rioters. There always is another side to the story. You can read the article about the French Riots by clicking here.

One other note, we have been remodeling our kitchen the last several weeks and it looks pretty good. I might post some pictures when it is finished.

Lastly, the whole topic of the French government reminds me of something kind of funny. If you are partial to the French Government then just ignore the rest of this post.

Try this. Go to, type in "french military victories" then click on the first result. Alternatively, click here for the results, or just click here to see the website that comes up.

It's pretty funny...

Friday, November 11, 2005

Finally... my 100th Post

I can hardly believe it...

I have written 100 posts on this blog.


Here's to 100 more!

99th post

If I run for President in 2008 I hope people will overlook what appears to be a lack of patience (see previous post) on my part.

I just realized

This is my 98th post! I just realized that I have almost written 100 posts on this blog. That is pretty amazing to me.

It will be pretty cool when I get to my 100th post. When I first started this blog I had no idea I would keep it going this long.

Hmmmm.... I've got an idea.

I'll be back in just second...

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Medical Statistics - Pre-K Math at Best

The other day I posted my thoughts on the Avian Flu Scare.

So while the topic of the medical industry was still fresh in my head, I wanted to give you my thoughts on the statistics the medical industry uses to approve drugs, vaccines, etc.

Say I wanted to prove that it is safe for people to cross the road without looking. Let's see if I can prove this theory by using the standard statistical methods that the medical industry uses.

First, I get 100 people to volunteer for my study. I have them all come over to my house around 2:00am in the morning. The clinical trial begins...

We all walk down to the end of my block to what is normally a fairly busy divided two lane street.

I go down the sidewalk and tap the first person on the shoulder. His/her job is to run across the street without looking, then run back without looking. When he or she gets back I tap the next person on the shoulder and they do the same thing as the first person. I repeat this process until all 100 people have attempted to cross the street and come back without looking.

Since, it is 2:00am there is not much traffic on the street and only 1 person gets hit by a car.

Most drug companies/doctors/medical studies would take the above data and declare that running across the road without looking is perfectly safe, possibly even beneficial. In fact, even if up to fifteen people got hit by cars they would probably consider it safe to cross a road without looking (especially if most of the people in the study were only injured by the car).

Do you see anything wrong with that picture?

What if none of the people got hit? Does that mean that it is absolutely safe to cross the road without looking (ie. no side effects)?

Going back to the example above, let's say that car companies were providing doctors with nice cars, and gas money. Now, five people in the above experiment get hit and go to the doctor. Let's listen in on one of their conversations with the doctor:

Patient: "Doctor my foot really hurts, because that car ran over it a couple of hours ago. Can you tell me what's wrong with it?"

Doctor: "According to the X-Rays you have three broken toes and some torn ligaments. But I don't believe it was the car's fault. I think you must have hurt it some other way."

Patient: "But doctor the CAR RAN OVER MY FOOT, and right after that my foot was throbbing in pain."

Doctor: "Yes, but statistically speaking cars don't cause foot injuries. I am pretty sure your foot hurts because someone stepped on it or maybe you stepped on an uneven surface after the car ran over your foot."

Patient: "It's got to be the car, nobody stepped on my foot! A CAR RAN OVER IT!"

Doctor: "There's just no way that a car running over your foot could have caused those broken toes. I have never seen that happen before. I am sure it must have been something else. You probably stepped on your own foot without realizing it."

Patient: "Arghhh!"


That's pretty much what happens to 90% of the people I know whose children have had a reaction to a vaccine. In fact, someone I know has a friend whose 18 month old child died one week after getting a vaccine and the doctors would not say it was from the vaccine, they said it was SIDS.

SIDS! What in the world?

No way does an eighteen month old child die of SIDS. That's just crazy. It was the vaccine. I wonder how many children die from "SIDS" that have recieved a vaccine within 2 weeks of their death? That would be an interesting statistic to see.

The above is an example of yet another way medical statistics are altered. If doctors don't report reactions to vaccines and/or other medicines then statistically speaking there won't be any reactions.

Anyway, if I were President the medical industry would be in for some BIG changes...

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

France is burning

The situation in France is pretty crazy. I don't quite understand why it took them 12 days to declare a national emergency.

I wonder what would have happened to FEMA if they had taken 12 days to respond to Hurricane Rita? Worse yet what would have happened if the Govenor of Lousiana had taken 12 days to declare parts of Louisiana a national disaster area and then FEMA took another 12 days to respond... Yikes, a lot of lives would have been lost and we wouldn't hear the end of it in the news.

Here are some of the latest news stories related to the situation in France:

What's wrong with Europe?
France invokes Emergency Law
French Riots undermine confidence in Euro

While I am not fond of French politics, I do hope they get control of the riots. I just read this article about how the extra security is not preventing the rioting. Quite frankly when I read this statement:

"Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin, tacitly acknowledging that France has failed to live up to its egalitarian ideals, reached out to the heavily immigrant suburbs where the rioting began. He said France must make a priority of working against the discrimination that feeds the frustration of youths made to feel that they do not belong in France."

The first thought to run through my head was,
"That's all nice and good, but... Oh my goodness, France is going to completely burn to the ground."

If I were in the French government I would have sent the military over there immediately and declared marshall law to get some control over things. It is ashamed that so many innocent lives in France are being hurt by these riots. I REALLY hope the French government gets control of things.


Friday, November 04, 2005

Avian Flu Vaccine Nonsense

The other day I turned on the news and they were busy spouting all this fear about the Avian Flu. President Bush has proposed that we spend 7.2 billion dollars to pay for stocking up on the Avian Flu Vaccine. Avian flu seems like a really big deal, right?

Do you know how much money vaccine companies make?

Do you know how effective vaccines really are?

Do you know the horrible complications/side effects related to vaccine use?

If not you might want to take a look. A good starting point is an organization called PROVE.

Back to my story.

After seeing all these stories on the news I was thinking,

"Gee, maybe I should be scared of the avian flu. I mean the media convinced me to be paranoid about getting anthrax sent to me in the mail, about getting AIDS from mosquitoes, about West Nile Virus (at least until I researched it), etc. I think I should also get scared about the avian flu."

So the first thing I did was cry out in fear,

* "Oh no, we are all doomed, doomed I say. The avian flu is going to end the world! Woe to those who eat chicken..."

After getting a grip, I decided to do a little research.

I found out that so far 62 people have died in Asia from the Avian Flu. Not exactly the scary number I was expecting.

Then I decided to look up how many people a year die from the flu on average. In the United States alone about 20,000 deaths occur each year from the flu or its complications. Well, that's a lot more than 62.

Next, I decided to look at all the facts about Avian Flu and why the media is in such a frenzy about it.

So here are the facts about Avian flu:

Since the end of 2003 avian flu has killed 62 people in Asia and infected 122 people. Avian flu is very hard for people to catch. In fact, it is spread almost exclusively through human contact with birds.

So what is all the fuss over avian flu about?

Probably the best answer is that it gives the news media a big story to talk about. The news media is great at feeding off people's fears to keep them glued to the set.

Another reason it is all over the news is pure scientific speculation. Some scientist believe that avian flu might mutate and then become easy to spread from human to human. The fact of the matter is that avain flu doesn't currently pose a big threat. MAYBE one day it MIGHT be a huge threat, but not now. I do believe in preparing for these things, but REALLY we don't need to make such a big deal about it.

Another possible reason it is all over the news is MONEY. The drug companies make TONS of money from vaccines and guess who pays for a lot of the politicians campaigns?

I have already said that if I were running for President I would not take campaign donations. That way you won't see me pay off drug companies, lawyers, etc. with our tax money. I would save the country a lot of money if I were President (I have to remember to add this fact to my list of campaign promises).

I also wouldn't cause big stirs like this in the media. We don't need to be a nation scared of things that may at some future point in time be a problem. We need to be a nation that focuses on real issues, like poverty, feeding the hugry...

That's it for now, see ya...

* I didn't really do this, but I thought it lightened up the story.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Noah 2005

Someone sent me this email today and I thought it was so funny I decided to post it here. The author is unknown and the story tells us what might happen if Noah was commanded by God to build an ark in 2005.

Here goes:

Noah in 2005

It is the year 2005 and Noah lives in the United States.

The Lord speaks to Noah and says: “In one year I´m going to make it rain and cover the whole earth with water until every living thing is destroyed.

“I want you to save the righteous people and two of every kind of living thing on the earth. Therefore, I´m commanding you to build an Ark.”

In a flash of lightning, God delivered the specifications for the Ark.

Fearful and trembling, Noah accepted the plans and agreed to build the Ark.

“Remember,” said the Lord, “You must complete the Ark and bring everything aboard in one year.”

Exactly one year later, a fierce storm cloud covered the earth and all the seas of the earth went into a tumult.

The Lord saw Noah sitting in his front yard weeping. “Noah.” He shouted, “Where is the Ark?”

“Oh Lord, please forgive me!” cried Noah. “I did my best but there were big problems. Really big problems.

“First, I had to get a permit for construction and your plans did not comply with the local codes. I had to hire an engineering firm and have them redraw the plans.

“Then I got into a fight with OSHA over whether or not the Ark needed a fire sprinkler system and flotation devices.

“Then my neighbor objected, claiming I was violating zoning ordinances by building the Ark in my front yard, so I had to get a variance from the city planning commission.

“I had problems getting enough wood for the Ark, because there was a ban on cutting trees to protect the Spotted Owl. I finally convinced the U.S. Forest Service that I needed the wood to save the owls.

“However, the Fish and Wildlife Service won't let me catch any owls. So . . . no owls.

“That´s not all. The carpenters formed a union and went out on strike. I had to negotiate a settlement with the National Labor Union.

“Now I have 16 carpenters on the Ark, but still no owls.

“When I started rounding up the other animals, I got sued by an animal rights group. They objected to me only taking two of each kind aboard.

“Just when I got the suit dismissed, the EPA notified me that I could not complete the Ark without filing an environmental impact statement on your proposed flood.

“They didn´t take very kindly to the idea that they had no jurisdiction over the conduct of the Creator of the Universe.

“Then the Army Corps of Engineers demanded a map of the proposed new flood plain. I sent them a globe.

“Right now, I´m trying to resolve a complaint filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that I am practicing discrimination by not taking godless, unbelieving people aboard the Ark!

“The IRS has seized all my assets, claiming that I´m building the Ark in preparation to flee the country to avoid paying taxes.

“I just got a notice from the state that I owe some kind of user tax and failed to register the Ark as a recreational water craft.´

“Finally the ACLU got the courts to issue an injunction against further construction of the Ark, saying that since God is flooding the earth, it is a religious event and therefore unconstitutional.

“What can I do, Lord? I really don´t think I can finish the Ark for another five or six years!” Noah wailed.

The sky began to clear, the sun began to shine and the seas began to calm. A rainbow arched across the sky. Noah looked up hopefully.

“Does this mean you´re not going to destroy the earth, Lord?”

“No,” said the Lord sadly. “The government already has.”

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Hurricane Wilma

I just got an email from my friend John in the West Palm Beach area. Here's what he had to say about Hurricane Wilma:
"Hurricane Wilma dismantled fences and trees at my new house. Power finally restored yesterday. Schools still cancelled..."

It is really amazing how much damage a hurricane can cause. I am kind of glad I don't live in South Florida anymore. Although I still do miss the beach.

Hopefully, there won't be any more hurricanes this season.