Jan 29, 2010

How I would Improve the Twilight Saga!

Team Edward!  Team Jacob!  It is all I hear when visiting middle school students from my youth group at lunch.  I am going to submit my official opinion of the Twilight Saga here and now!  It needs help.

I could fix the entire series with one simple plot change.  First of all let me set the scene.  It all takes place in the second book entitled New Moon.  Edward deserts Bella, and Jacob becomes the new squeeze.    Bella gets asked to a movie by Mike, and Jacob is there in time to crash the date.  Jacob then bails as he experiences a werewolf's coming of age.  Jacob and Edward return and Bella chooses Edward.  Boo!  The story-line is too simple.  Bella and Edward are destined for each other and Jacob is not even a viable option when Edward is in the picture.  So, where is the plot?

I suggest that Jacob leaves earlier and Edward stays gone for a while longer.   Meanwhile Bella really starts to like Mike.  At the conclusion of New Moon she tells Jacob that he is not the guy for her.  After this, she starts to tell Mike that it is Edward she loves.  Then Mike replies in a high pitched voice, "I have failed my mission".  After that, Mike walks about ten steps and is beamed up into a spaceship.  Finally Bella exclaims, "Aliens, Werewolves, and Vampires?  What am I, a magnet for monsters?"  And the movie fades to credits.  Now that is a blockbuster.  Also I would end the entire series at this point.  That way it could pretend that it wasn't trying to be serious with a sparkling, undead, Luke Perry from 90210.

I actually did enjoy the movie, but I thought I would offer a suggestion for improvement if anyone would like to do an online fan fiction novel.  I may do a prequel myself of Edward as a kid.  I would call him Eddie and possibly put him in a family of monsters where he is actually the werewolf and his grandpa is the vampire.  Now if only I had a name for my book.  Monster family?  Monster Mash? Monstars? Munsters?  Yep, thats the one.  The Munsters!

Jan 27, 2010

President Obama Takes a Pot Shot at the Supreme Court!

I just finished watching our President give The State of the Union Address.  I must say first of all that he is a very gifted speaker.  It was also good to be reminded of our Congress' efforts to cut taxes this past year.  I do however have a single problem with the speech given tonight.

The State of The Union Address should not be a speech used to bully another branch of government.  Unlike Congress who cheers, claps or remains seated in partisan fashion, the Supreme Court respectfully declines from showing any partiality.  This should be commended, but it was not tonight.  President Obama purposely called them out on a ruling that he disagreed with and asked that Congress work to correct it.  Was their ruling good or bad?  It does not matter!  This was not the time or place to call into question an entire branch of government that helps to balance the separation of powers.

We were told tonight that the American people have a lack of trust when they see Congress vote along party lines.  Yet, we are willing to single out the only non-partisan branch of government.  They sat in the front, with their hands in their laps, as they took the bullying in stride.  That is except for one who reacted as if in shock.  Justice Alito quietly shook his head and mouthed "that's not true" as the rest of the Justices sat in silence.  I firmly respect our President, and I ask that he would extend respect to our other branches of government as well.  This is especially true in a speech like this.  One that should not be used for pot shots or political posturing.

The clip can be seen here:  President Obama vs. The Supreme Court

Jan 22, 2010

Leno Picked Over Conan? What is NBC Thinking?

Well, it's finally official:  Conan O'Brien is going to leave The Tonight Show.  I have been waiting for the final decision by NBC before blogging on this media frenzy.  The Tonight Show will once again become a show I avoid like the plague.

In my opinion, Jay Leno has never been very funny.  He reads lines from people that I would let go of if I were in his position.  What gets me is that he agreed in 2004 to step down, give the show to Conan, and retire in five years.  I can still remember clapping in an empty living room at the prospect of Conan moving up to a time slot where I could watch without being exhausted the following day.  If you think I'm exaggerating check out the original clip: Jay's Lie in 2004

Conan is not some shot in the dark person that had his chance and failed.  He was the heir to The Tonight Show that received almost no publicity so that NBC could promote the new Jay Leno Show at 10pm.  In a day that late night TV is declining they thought that maybe people would watch Leno as opposed to prime time dramas.  Yeah Right!  Conan has written for two of the longest running comedic enterprises on television--The Simpsons and Saturday Night Live.  He was hilarious in Late Night with Conan O'Brien as well as his brief stint as host of The Tonight Show.

Conan will get 32 million from NBC to step down and will be free to join a new network as early as September.  Fox has already approached him.  That alone should tell NBC that they made a mistake since Fox is the powerhouse that they once were.  I believe that we will see Conan overtake both Leno and Letterman from a network that knows how to properly promote a show.  You may or may not agree (or watch late night TV at all), but if you do, there are over 600,000 fans of the I'm with COCO group on Facebook where you can add yourself and show your support to the funniest man on late night television.  Stephen Colbert (The Colbert Report) is the second in case you are wondering.  If I sound a little perturbed it is because I am.  Conan has been a part of my late night viewing since I was 13 (and I am now 30).  Well, Conan, it was fun (and funny) while it lasted.

Jan 9, 2010

The Plan B Bill - A Continuation of Trampling on Parental Rights

Have you seen the Plan B Emergency Contraception commercials yet?  If not, you are in for one big misleading load of hooey.  The Plan B (or morning after pill) commercials are showing young teen girls that have had unprotected sex and letting them know that it is not too late. I want to address three problems that I have with this pill and our government's handling of it.  The first two are freebees but the third is a call to action.  Please read this with an open mind regardless of your stance on contraception and/or abortion.

First of all, let's talk about the message they are sending: unprotected sex does not lead to pregnancy.  This is only encouraging sexually active teens not to worry about whether or not they have any protection available if they are in the heat of the moment.  What does this mean?  We will see a rise in teens who are contracting STDs.  Pregnancy is the far greater scare since teens see peers that are pregnant or have babies.  The adolescent has a feeling of indestructibility (that live forever attitude), that causes STDs to not be a factor until a friend or they themselves contract one.

The second is the commercial's claim that the Plan B pill is not an abortion pill.  They back this notion up by saying that it cannot terminate a pregnancy if it has already begun.  They also claim that it will work for the first 72 hours after sex.  So when does a pregnancy begin?  Well, a pregnancy is charted by doctors as being the first day of a woman's last menstrual cycle.  They use this day since many women do not know the time they ovulate.  Scientists say that pregnancy (and viable life) begin at implantation.  Let's look at the facts though.  An egg can be fertilized in the first 24 hours after sex.  The DNA is now present in this first cell to make the baby into a unique individual.  All of the chromosomes necessary for human life.

You would guess from what scientists say, that the egg probably waits until implantation to begin dividing since it is not life yet.  This is not the case.  It begins to divide and grow shortly after conception and may remain in the fallopian tubes for several days before making its way to the uterus for implantation.  There are even ectopic (tubal) pregnancies that take place in the fallopian tubes.  This ends in death for the baby and happens to one in sixty pregnancies.  So if life and pregnancy can begin prior to the uterus, then what is the purpose of implantation?  It is for nourishment.  The baby will form an attachment in the form of an umbilical chord and will receive food necessary for growth until the time of birth.  Plan B does not always prevent life from occurring.  It does however, prevent life the food it needs to survive.

My third problem with Plan B is the government agenda driving its use.  The FDA had already moved it from a prescription drug to an over the counter drug for those over eighteen.  Now it is available to 17 year old girls or guys for their sexual partner.  U.S. District Judge Edward Korman, strong-armed the FDA into lowering the required age to 17 without parental consent.  The argument is now being made that any girl capable of becoming pregnant should be able to buy the pill without consent.  Let me get this straight.  Parents are legally responsible for raising their children and making decisions pertaining to their well being until eighteen except in this area?  A 17 year old who cannot even vote is being infused with rights that make it seem as if the age for being a minor  has changed.  

Parents should not stand for this continual trampling of parental rights by federal judges.  At the moment, parental rights are not in the constitution and are supposed to be left to the states.  We need a constitutional amendment guaranteeing parental rights while there is still time--before our multiple treaties and international law dictate to us how to raise our children.  You may say this is not possible .  Well, let me direct you to Article Six of our constitution:  This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.  

Please share this blog with everyone you can.  We need to do something while we still have rights as parents.  Write, email, or call your congressional representatives and ask them to propose an amendment to the constitution guaranteeing rights to parents pertaining to raising children.  Do not let this blog become an "I told you so" for years to come.  

Jan 6, 2010

Is The Smoking Ban Really a Good Idea?

On January 2nd, smoking became illegal in public buildings in North Carolina where anyone under the age of eighteen is allowed.  This does not include bars or clubs for those over eighteen.   We are the 35th state to pass such a law.  Frankly, I am surprised that this law passed in North Carolina.  Our state has a rich tobacco history including giving starting funds to build Wake Forest and Duke.  North Carolina is the highest producing tobacco state in the country.  In 2008 the North Carolina tobacco crop brought in $686 million dollars, which is 80% more than the next highest state.  Nearly half of all tobacco grown in the U.S. comes from North Carolina.

I myself am not a fan of smoking--I find it a disgusting habit for one to have.  I do not however, believe that the answer is to pass laws making a legal activity illegal on privately owned property just because it is open to the public.  This is a private property issue.  It does not only affect restaurants.  If someone owns a repair shop and smokes, then they can not do so inside even though they own the building.

Some people may say that they do not want to be subjected to second hand smoke.  The answer to this is already built in to a capitalistic free enterprise society.  You are free to choose where you eat and shop.  There is a reason why there is no smoking in CiCi's or McDonalds--they know that some customers would not frequent their establishment.  Since four out of five adults in North Carolina do not smoke, this is a wise business decision.  People help stores and restaurants determine how they will conduct business by their patronage as well as comments and criticism.

Rather than a ban, it would have been better if a warning were placed on the front of each business.  This warning would read:  This business contains second hand smoke which can cause lung cancer and emphysema.  All we are doing by making such laws is perpetuating stupidity.  We all know it is bad for us but decide on frequenting establishments that are filled with smoke.  It is our fault if we continue to go to these businesses.

What is sad is that these same restaurants will serve someone alcohol who drove to the restaurant and is there by themselves.  This guarantees that they will drive under the influence.  Convenience stores continue to sell cold alcohol, sometimes even on ice.  But wait! Since they put it in a brown bag that will keep them from drinking it in the vehicle.  Uh, right?  When I was a teen I worked in construction with grown men who would drink on the way back to our shop.  They would not have if the beers were room temperature.  My first experience with drunk driving was when a close friend of mine was killed in second grade.  I have never seen smoking have this same mind altering effect on anyone.  I find it odd and a little hypocritical that tobacco is attacked while drinking is protected.

With the smoking ban in effect I am glad as a parent that more businesses are now suitable for me to take my children into.  But I believe that it would have happened eventually anyway.  I do however, wish that we could preserve the property rights of small business owners in the process.  One poll showed that two thirds of North Carolinians were for the ban.  I guess "majority rules" is reason enough to justify change at the expense of rights.  Capitalism will not work if we do not let it.  Our constitutionally limited republic is quickly becoming a democracy where majority (mob) rules.  One day the majority will unite on the wrong side, but by then it will be too late.   But don't worry; all is not lost.  At least the air will be breathable.

If you liked this post you may also enjoy:
$300 Million Dollars Awarded to a Florida Smoker!
My Take on Illegal Immigration

Jan 4, 2010

Golden Retriever Saves Boy From Cougar!

An eighteen month old Golden Retriever named Angel saved her 11 year old owner from being mauled by a cougar.  Austin Forman was collecting firewood with Angel nearby when a cougar leaped from the shadows toward the boy.  Before Austin could react his dog stepped between him and the cougar.  The dog had been following his owner around for a while before the attack.  It was almost as if he knew he would be needed as an "angel" for Austin.

An officer arrived within a minute of dialing 911 and was in time to save Angel's life.  He fired three shots into the cougar who had his mouth on Angel's neck.  The cougar's jaws had to be pried off of the dog.  It is a good thing the officer was nearby or the dog would have died.  This is why I feel it is important that families in the middle of nowhere should own a gun and know how to use it properly (and every family for that matter).

Now, I personally have never owned a dog (although I am quite fond of my turtle, Donatello), but this story almost makes me reconsider.  If my family and I ever move to an area with natural predators (other than raccoons), you can be sure that we will be getting a retriever.  This is going to make a great Disney film if they are ever looking for a modern adaption of Old Yeller (where the dog actually survives).  One thing is for sure, the statement "a dog is a man's best friend" has never been more true.

On an unrelated note, I would like to let everyone know that there is a  new Randumblog Facebook Group.  Those who join will be sent a message each time a blog is published.  Please feel free to invite others to this group.  The link is below:
Randumblog Facebook Group