I Have a Gripe

April 29, 2010

When is the Federal Government too Big to Fail?

So this week we’ve seen the Congress pull Goldman Sachs in for a public spanking. A Californian government body is trying to outlaw the toy in the McDonald’s Happy Meal in an effort to avoid childhood obesity. Last year the federal government “purchased” controlling interests in GM and Chrysler. Last month, they passed sweeping “healthcare reform.” It seems that the federal government has figured out to involve themselves into every corner of our personal lives. However, I ask you this…when is the federal government “too big to fail?”

The more the government attempts to control our lives in an effort to “help” us, the more they do is limit our options and opportunities to only what the government feels we should have. When do we as American citizens have the right to say to the government “enough?”

I would like to know what has happened to personal responsibility? You want to eat McDonald’s everyday and turn into a heart attack waiting to happen? Fine. However, don’t expect me to feel sorry for you and cover your healthcare expenses and have the government attempt to legislate to protect people from themselves.

Did Goldman Sachs do incredibly horrible things? Absolutely. However, who, in my opinion, is really to blame? The federal government. What was the SEC doing while they were supposed to be “protecting us?” Watching porn online! And what about the House Financial Services Committee? The House Financial Services Committee contingency lead by Barney Frank forced Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to lend to those who certainly couldn’t afford their own homes. However, how is it every time a company is spanked by the government under the guise of “protecting” us, Fannie and Freddie are nowhere to be found?

I say we should work to take back our nation and live by personal responsibility. A simple solution to many complex problems facing our country.

April 27, 2010

It isn’t an Immigrant Issue…It is an Illegal Immigrant Issue

So in the last few days, the Governor of Arizona signed a new law allowing the police to check on an individual’s immigration status based on suspicious behavior. This has sparked an uproar on both sides of the issue. Well, to steal a line from the President, “let me be perfectly clear” and say I completely agree with this law one hundred percent.

What people fail to realize is that this is not an immigration issue. This is an illegal immigration issue. It is the responsibility of the states and the nation to protect its legal citizens; first and foremost.  The fact that people such as illegals, the ACLU and others feel that we owe the same rights to these illegals as legal, taxpaying citizens I find completely unacceptable. I say absolutely not. Like many others, my family were made up of immigrants at one point and do you know what they did? They assimilated! They learned English, went to work, followed the laws of the land, became legal and worked to be a contributing part of the American society.

Some say this is racial profiling. Well, let’s think about this rationally. There are major issues with drugs, kidnappings, murders and so on coming over the border from Mexico into the United States. Well, I don’t see any Ukrainians coming through the Mexican border with pot strapped to their legs or killing ranchers coming over the border illegally. Who are they? Mexicans! That isn’t a profile, that’s a fact. Others say that because I am white I don’t understand what it is to be pulled over and questioned by police. Well, wrong again. I have been pulled over and questioned in the past for absolutely no reason. One time as recently as a few weeks ago. So, that holds no water with me either.

Still others ask about violating the civil rights of these illegals. I ask back what about my civil rights as an American citizen?

The fact that we are providing these individuals with medical care, jobs, education and so-on is highly offensive to me. I am a legal, law abiding tax payer and should not have to support these people on my dime. Especially considering the current fiscal state of this nation.

This issue has been going on for decades. I didn’t agree with President Reagan when he gave amnesty during his tenure as President, I didn’t agree with the lack of action during Presidents Clinton and Bush and I am certainly concerned with what our current President may do regarding this issue. He’s stayed out of it up until this point, do the country a favor and continue to stay out of it. Respect state’s rights for once and stay out of it President Obama.

I give kudos to Jan Brewer for having the guts to put this bill into law and take into the state’s hands an issue of national security the United States government has failed to handle.

April 24, 2010

Parking Spaces and Protected Classes

Filed under: General Annoyances — alvb1227 @ 9:48 pm
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So today isn’t about huge issues facing the nation, New Jersey or even Morris County. This is a stupid little pet peeve that has bugged me for years. There was a discussion going on about it on Facebook today, so I felt the need to explain my opinion further.

More and more stores have “special” parking spaces. Not the legally mandatory handicap parking spaces that ever lot should contain. I am talking about parking spaces designated for the elderly, moms with children, pregnant women and so on. I know it is something small, but this drives me nuts.

For years I have worked with women who use their children as excuses for coming in late, leaving early, or my personal favorite, bringing their children in to work that are too sick to go to school. If they are too sick to go to school, then why are they well enough to bring the little petri dish to work and expose everyone to your kid’s germs? When I had a sick grandmother or a husband who just had surgery, I didn’t wheel them into the office to avoid taking off the day. No, I sucked it up and took the day off.  At a previous employer, there were several women who brought in their children and oftentimes they had zero control over them. This includes running relay races around the office, destroying the ladies room and generally having loud fits. Unfortunately, there was little that could be done because the women in HR were some of the worst offenders. I had repeatedly asked for a formal policy, but each time I did, some mom would come and give me a sob story as to why they needed to bring in their child. After awhile it got old and I would tell them while I felt for their specific issue, I shouldn’t have to tolerate their child’s poor behavior.

This is a huge distraction to others in the office. Moms are less productive when their children are in and then those of us without children are expected to pick up the pieces. Then when raises or promotions come around, those same women will complain when they are passed over or don’t receive as much as others who put in more time and energy. If you are going to have children and work, be prepared for all worst case scenarios.

Just because I don’t have children doesn’t mean my time and my life is less worthy. I made a choice to not have children. If you made the choice to have children, then you accept everything that comes with it. That includes controlling your children when in a store, staying home with them when they are sick and yes, dear friends, walking the same distance as everyone else to get to and from a store from a parking space. I actually tend to not go to the stores that have these “special” spaces for just that reason. If they do have them and I need to shop at that store, I park in those spaces, period. I’m not going to get a ticket. They aren’t legally required, so in my opinion, they are fair game.

Everyone wants to be a protected class today. Well, guess what, not everyone is. Maybe this is a little stupid thing and I am sure you can tell by me tone it bugs the crap out of me. You may wonder why is this such a big deal? To me, it speaks to a bigger issue with parents today. “Not my child; not my little angel. He’s special.” Well, they aren’t.

For decades women have wanted equality in all areas of life. Why should you be allowed to bring your children to work? Why should you have special parking spaces? Again, I’m probably making a bigger deal over this, but to me, it all rolls together. Have kids? Prepare for every inconceivable situation and have a plan. Most of all, don’t constantly tell people “you don’t have kids; you don’t understand.” You’re right, I don’t have kids, but I don’t have to understand. It is your life and everyone else shouldn’t have to figure it out for you and deal with your issue. It doesn’t take a village. It takes an organized household.

April 23, 2010

Another Example…It Isn’t the Teachers

Filed under: Education,New Jersey — alvb1227 @ 3:51 pm
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Just reported on NorthJersey.com, the executive director of the B J Wilkerson Memorial Child Development Center received a salary of more than $300,000. Most of the funds for the center are from the government.

Ron Williams first began the center in 1991 and claims he received no salary the first three years of the center’s existence. Even so, with all the proposed cuts in New Jersey education, is this a realistic salary? In comparison, City Schools Superintendent Donnie W. Evans makes just over $200,000 a year to run an entire school district.

According to research by NorthJersey.com, the most recent tax filing for the B.J. Wilkerson Memorial Child Development Center show that more than $4.2 million of the organization’s $4.3 million in revenues in 2008 came from government funds. The center raised the remainder through school tuition and donations.

Now, many complain about high salaries for educators, but I believe the majority of the money is sucked up by administration and NOT school teachers. I certainly do not begrudge anyone for making a competitive, or even lucrative, salary, however, when there is such animosity right now against teachers, I think people often lump teachers and educators together and that is completely wrong.

April 4, 2010

Short-Sided Thinking in New York State

Filed under: Finances,New York,Outdoors — alvb1227 @ 10:20 pm
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In case I never mentioned it before, I love fly fishing. It one of those passions in my life that is hard to explain to those who don’t enjoy the outdoors, especially fishing.

Well, this past weekend was opening day in New York State, so Glenn and I headed up to one of our favorite places to enjoy some fishing…Roscoe, NY. This is a great little town where people stop and say hello to strangers and everyone talks about the big stonefly hatch. Like the Jersey shore towns in the summer, Roscoe survives on the fishing season.

This is why I was so shocked when an annual non-resident fishing license has increased by $30 to a whopping $70 a year! That means just to fish, my husband I spent $140 on licenses. To put this in perspective, we stayed in a great resort that had an opening day special for $120 per night. So our licenses cost more than one night’s stay.

Now, you may think I am just complaining about license fees, but I’m not. As usual, like most state governments, and our federal government, the New York State government has decided to raise fees on hunting and fishing licenses instead of belt tightening like many families are doing right now. I was chatting with the woman who was issuing the licenses told me multiple times she has had to cancel out the license and each time she would, she would make a note “canceled due to price increase.” She wants the state to see how many licenses are not purchased due to the new cost.

In my opinion, this is short-sided thinking. Ultimately, fewer people will purchase hunting and fishing licenses and ultimately, fewer people will visit towns like Roscoe. It is those towns this will hurt more than anyone. Fewer people will go to the Roscoe Diner for french toast, fewer people will visit the Catskill Fly Fishing Museum and Center, shop on the main street of Roscoe and stay at the small individually-owned hotels in the area. Like I said, it is the outdoors that keeps this town going. That’s why it is known as “Trout Town, USA.”

So, I say shame on New York State’s short-sided thinking. Not only will less license fees be collected, fewer taxes on hotel rooms, meals and impulse purchases will also be a result of this ridiculous increase.

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