Wednesday, July 29, 2009
With the country pitted against each other on the healthcare issue we find that the gap between Republicans and Democrats widens with each news report. The whole Democrat vs. Republican issue is a thorn in Lady Liberty's side. One one side we have the Democrats who believe that everyone is entitled to healthcare even if they cannot afford it. On the other side we have the Republicans feel that government healthcare is another move towards socialism. Smack dab in the middle you have the Libertarians/Constitutionalists/Federalist who have an altogether different opinion.
I don't think anyone will argue that a sick person does not deserve healthcare just because they do not have insurance. I do not believe that is the argument. I believe the argument is whether or not the Government has the right to provide it. According to the Constitution that is an emphatic NO. In fact several state governments, including Texas, are preparing for a showdown over the legality of Government healthcare and will invoke the 10th Amendment or State's Rights.
So does this mean that we get rid of trying to help sick people? Of course not but instead of trying to scrap the system we have lets reform it by getting rid of government regulation. You know the government regulation that ties the hands of Doctors and makes them do everything in triplicate. There also needs to be reform with the legal system and Civil law suits that force doctors to perform unnecessary procedures because they fear getting sued. We also must not punish doctors who are innovative when providing service.
Recently a doctor in New York offered his patients unlimited healthcare for $79 a month and a copay of $10 for every visit. This would provide healthcare for all of his patients for around $1000 a year. Sounds reasonable huh. The State of New York stepped in and claimed the doctor was operating as an insurer and needed to cease and desist immediately or face his license being denied renewal.
So what is the solution? Is it the doctor's way or is it President Obama's way. For those of you who have not read the actual bill let me list of some of the overreaching items in the bill and the pages where you can find them:
Pg 22 of the HC Bill MANDATES the Govt will audit books of ALL EMPLOYERS that self insure.
PG 24 Sec 116 of HC bill Govt effectively sets prices for ALL private health plans.
Pg 29 lines 4-16 in the HC bill – YOUR HEALTHCARE IS RATIONED.
Pg 42 of HC Bill – The Health Choices Commissioner will choose UR HC Benefits 4 you. you have no choice.
PG 50 Section 152 in HC bill – HC will be provided to ALL non-US citizens, illegal or otherwise.
Pg 58HC Bill – Govt will have real-time access 2 individuals finances and a National ID Healthcard will be issued.
These are just a few overreaching government power grabs in Obama's bill. This bill is violating the Constitution on so many levels it is laughable that anyone would vote for it. Read more here: http://blog.flecksoflife.com/2009/07/19/the-hc-monstrosity/
Have you seen the commercials that are pushing Americans to support this bill? Isn't it strange that the these ads are paid for by the pharmaceutical companies? Why would the pharmaceutical companies care? Because if Obama's bill passes they now have 100% of the people in the United States who can now afford their prescription drugs. Also people are more likely to buy prescription drugs if they get the drugs discounted or paid for altogether. Pharmaceutical companies are in business for profit. So if they have access to 100% of the country then that is a major victory for the modern day, legal drug dealer.
Obama himself, in his speech the other night, mentioned the blue pill and the red pill. He knows what is at stake here. Again the argument is not whether or not a person deserves healthcare because they do. The argument is whether or not the Federal Government in accordance with the Constitution of the United States of America has the authority or power to grab this much power form the States. We must all stand up and shout NO!
To wrap this up I personally believe the solution lies in the past. There was a time when there was no health insurance and people saved money on their own to go to the doctor. There was a time when the unfortunate people would go to their Church/Synagogue/Mosque and ask for help. In the generation before our parents healthcare was affordable. If we think back to the past and learn from our previous generations then affordable healthcare is there we just have to tell the bureaucrats that we are sick and tired of their version of affordable healthcare.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Four months ago that all changed. My life became more real, somewhat meaningful. Don't get me wrong being married to a great woman makes life worth living but having a child with her makes life truly meaningful. I am a proud father of a healthy baby girl and she has changed my whole perspective on life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness that our forefathers promised us.
Life hasn't always been easy for me and that is the way I like it. Being challenged means that you are uncomfortable and uncomfortable allows you to transform yourself into something you previously thought impossible. As a child I endured pain and hardships that no person should ever have to endure but I always said, "It could be worse." Divorce, drugs, abuse and hate were normal activities as a child. A child should have love, stability, nurturing and education when growing up, which brings me to my epiphany,Get busy living or get busy dying.
Yes, yes I know that is from the Shawshank Redemption but I think it is appropriate. Life is about the number of toys you have, pieces of property or what your current position in Microsoft is. Life is waking up at 5:30 am to change a dirty diaper. Living is about the moments that take your breath away. Being in love is being content with sitting in silence reading a book with your spouse. I always said that the reason I attended university wasn't to get a job but rather to obtain knowledge that can never be stripped from me. Well life is the same way, living is not about what comes at the end but rather the times that make you smile, the moments that make you cry and the people who make life worth living or in other words life is about the experiences that will never be forgotten.
Monday, December 22, 2008
Is it just me or does anyone else feel a little skeptical about Scottrade after watching the commercial with i suppose is the CEO riding around in a helicopter. I mean aren't we in a deep recession? Aren't we trying to be more conscientious as a country with the unnecessary fuel that we use? And this jackass is taking a joy ride around San Francisco. Well shit, makes me think that if you can buy a 1.4m US helicopter and take it for joy rides on a whim then couldn't you just lower the price of your trades to $3.50 or how about $6? Oh why would you do that? I mean you guys are probably raking it in I mean with all of the people jumping in and out of stocks in fear that they will lose their entire investment. Well I give you a big fat FAIL for having a dumb, condescending, pompous and most of all pretentious commercial.
Now I am pretty sure someone is going to tell me it was all green screened but I could give two fucks because the message you are sending to people is one that hey my trades a $7 keep spending and you can be just like me. Go F yourself douche.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Last weekend I went back to my Alma Mater, Texas State University, to support the Fighting Bobcats and to tailgate. Things have changed a lot from when I left six years ago. It seems as though people actually care about the football team, well some people care.
One of the changes made in San Marcos is the University's support of tailgating events. If fact all of the fraternities had booths set up and coolers and barbecue pits set up. There was a free concert outside the stadium with Cory Morrow. The fact that this was homecoming also meant that there were a lot of alumni present well except around the tent I was hanging out in. There were about 5 other alumni hanging around the Sig Tau tent. A poor alumni turnout even for our standards.
Maybe I am a little unfair in my determination but it seems as though there were a lot more people tailgating that actually didn't go into the game. It isn't as if the game was sold out. I mean we are a Championship Subdivision team, there is always a seat. It is also a little unfair that I have been to several Texas Longhorn tailgating events and I live in Austin and see how proud they are of their school and football teams. That being said I was the only alumni in my tent who went in to watch the Cats.
Why? My first reaction was one of anger. I asked a fellow alumni why he didn't want to go and he said because nobody ever goes to the games. He was right! When I graduated in 2002 I went to a total of 3 games in 4 and 1/2 years and never stayed past halftime. My buzz was usually wearing off and I needed to recharge. But this was a different time things had changed, why didn't he share the same passion that I did? So I broke off into a very argumentative mode and made a lot of valid points to why it was important to support the events and why he should go into the games. His only response, "I am going to my house to watch UT play Missouri and barbecue!"
I was incensed with a feeling of betrayal. I felt like they were giving money to a school they didn't even attend, even though I knew I would be watching later too. One alum was wearing a longhorn baseball cap? I said man that game doesn't come on until 7:00pm this game will be over by 6:00pm. He said he didn't want to go because the games weren't any fun. I was passionately arguing now. I explained to him that the free concert with Cory Morrow that you just listened to was here because of football and that Texas State will soon be moving to the Bowl Subdivision and we need as many people at the games as possible. He ignored my plights and was determined to leave as soon as kickoff happened.
So how does that translate to the students that actually attend Texas State. Well of the active fraternity members that were present for the tailgate, about 30, five members made it into the game and all but one left at halftime. Which means when they become alumni they too will forgo the Bobcat experience to support a school that doesn't support them. It was a great game the Cats lost a close one to the 14th ranked Central Arkansas Bears. In fact it was almost as if we jinxed the kicker because we were playfully heckling him and he missed two field goals.
So what is my point? Why have I just spilled my guts about my passion for a college football team? The answer is that hopefully I can convince one alumni that things are not the same. That it is fun to return to the college and support your team as they make the transition to the Bowl Subdivision. That going San Marcos for more than just a party is okay. If I can convince one person to buy season tickets and then actually use them then it would be worth my time.
So far this season the Bobcats are 4-3 with a big win over conference rival McNeese State. They are 1-1 in Conference after dropping the heartbreaking game to Central Arkansas 31-24. Texas State has a great opportunity to win the conference this year and make it back to the playoffs. This weeks game is against the SFA Lumberjacks in Nachadoges, TX. SFA is 2-0 in conference and tied for first place with Central Arkansas. The next home game is November 1, 2008 against Northwestern State.
Friday, October 17, 2008
So I limit myself to ten Stumble's while I am at work. Of course I only do it while I am on break or lunch (just in case you are wondering boss). This is not a ranking or anything just a short review of what it was and my opinion. Just in case you are wondering or have never heard of it Stumble Upon is a great add on for most web browsers that allows you to pick your favorite topics and find new and interesting websites. Find out more at www.stumbleupon.com.
1. http://www.webmoneysuccess.com/2008/10/free-blog-home-income-tricks.html - This is a blog that talks about Home Businesses and gives advice on generating leads, and making money online. This particular article talks about driving traffic to your blog. All in all the article gets to point and is short and sweet. Networking is the key.
2. http://www.amigamccc.org/journal/0711fact.htm - The MCCC has been in existence since 1983 supporting Commodore computers in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. We have supported the Amiga since the Amiga was introduced. This is a list of useless facts but interesting. Pretty basic website about a group of people who support obsolete technology.
3. http://mwcnews.net/content/view/25966/26/ - This is an alternative news website. Their catch phrase is news with a conscience. This article is from Greg Palast the author of Armed Madhouse. He is making the claim that the GOP has been purging one in every six votes. Ten times more than any other state. This is obviously biased propaganda meant to perpetuate a certain agenda. Blah on party loyalty. Vote for the candidate already.
4. http://www.jrsbible.info/bible.htm - The Bible at your fingertips................ Click on any chapter........ This is a pretty groovy application of the Bible. It separates all of the chapters of each book and puts in on one page. At the bottom it gives you a neat reference point.
5. http://www.stockgumshoe.com/ - Frustrated or intrigued by email teasers from investment newsletters and advisers? We solve them and track their performance here … so stick around, participate and subscribe (it’s free)! This is a site giving umm free financial advice. It looks as though he played someones stock guessing game and reported the results. I stopped reading shortly into it.
6. http://www.fun2fun.info/beautiful-bridges-photos.html - This is a website that post list of pictures of certain items. This particular post is about bridges. Some nice pictures but other then that not much to it. Good post.
7. http://zentofitness.com/tabata-training-short-and-effective-workouts/ - The simple, no-nonsense guide to staying fit while living life. The particular article talks about Tabata Training - Short and Effective Workouts. I am always looking for new fitness routines to keep my workouts interesting. This article is pretty cool because it actual shows you fitness regiment that you should try.
8. http://elections.foxnews.com/2008/10/17/mccain-biden-earn-different-treatment-late-night-appearances/ - This is Fox News' attempt at reporting. It seems as though they were saying that the GOP are being asked more relevant questions from late night variety show host then the Democrats. You know tough hard hitting journalistic reporting questions. At this point who cares. All hail the King, Long live the Queen.
9. http://www.blahblahtech.com/2008/10/rocket-racing-league-to-leave-environmentalists-fuming.html - This is a technology blog that has been around for three years. This post talks about the possibility of a rocket racing league, a manned Rocket racing league that is. The post makes claims that these rockets will be met with major criticism from environmentalist because of the pollutants it releases. No opinion on this one.
10. http://worthworkingfor.com/ - Inspiring the Inspirers by Featuring Workspaces That Make Working Worth the Work. This website shows interesting work spaces that are set up to to inspire those using it. I found that some of the workspaces seemed a bit ridiculous but I wouldn't turn them down.
Well there goes another day of Stumbling. All in all nothing too exciting but then again with my topics what did I expect?
Friday, October 10, 2008
First we have to look at the Greed of Americans, yes that is right you and me. Our greediness caused us to look past the obvious slow down and ask is what I am doing moral? No we didn't and why? To pay the mortgage, all three of them. You see the banks were handing out loans left and right to people who did not qualify under traditional lending measures. Which means people who couldn't afford to buy a home were getting loans. We can thank the Community Reinvestment Act for that. I won't get into the specifics because it again is playing the blame game but we must learn and then not make the mistake again.
We have seen a paradigm shift in these United States. People are no longer savers and have started building up large wads of debt. They are falling prey to the advertising they see on television, internet and in print. People would rather have it now instead of saving up and paying cash for merchandise. I can remember when I was 16 my dad taught me a valuable lesson, that at times I have chosen to ignore. He encouraged me to save my money up and buy my first car with cash. My first car was $1000 and it took me six months to save that much money. It was 1993 and I bought a 1985 Ford Escort.
When is the last time you saw someone pay cash for a car? I would estimate that 90% of all new cars sold are financed. I would also estimate that people flip flop from car to car these days every three years. That reminds me of our family car growing up, that is right one car. My dad and stepmother bought a 1989 Mercury Topaz and they kept it for ten years. In my driving life I have had 8 different cars. I have financed all but two of those and I have paid off 2 of the 6 that I have financed. Yes I know what you are saying, do what I say not what I do but I recently was awakened to this.
There was a time when people paid cash for homes. There was also a time when home equity loans were illegal. That is another problem people are using their homes like ATM machines. Instead of saving up cash to pay for a renovation they are instead appraising their home and cashing in on the equity.
So what happens when home prices sky rocket in a matter of 5 years to unprecedented levels and then drop all of a sudden. Well people are paying for an asset that is worth more then what they paid for it and now they cannot refinance because a bank will not give them enough money for the house. People are walking away from their homes and then buying them at auction for a thousands of dollars less then what the original loan was for. This is dishonest and I refuse to do business with anyone who does this. In fact I had a business owner in New Jersey who applied for a lease for some equipment for a dry cleaning business he was starting. He said he wasn't going to pay for his home again until the government fixed the housing crisis and the bank wasn't going to foreclose because they could not sell the home. I was disgusted. I told the man that not only is that dishonest but I doubt anyone will lend you money again. The sad thing is that someone probably will.
So what is my point? My point in this rant is that we do not control what Bush does, we do not control what CONgress does nor do we control what banks do, at least not directly. We do control how we buy. We would not be in this financial mess if our greed did not get in the way. American's wake up! Stop buying things on credit. Live within your means. Stop buying CRAP. Save your money and pay cash for things. If you cannot pay cash then you don't need it.
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
I will tell you why, because something stinks and it smells like a big ball of socialist BS. Essentially what is going to happen is the government is going to be the owner of 80% of the nations mortgages. Which in turn is the first step to a government controlled socialist economy.
Not only that America does not have the money to bail out the irresponsible companies. We will then need to borrow more money from the Federal Reserve with interest which will inflate our currency even further. (Gold and Silver people). Then again maybe that is the point. Inflate our dollar to equal that of the Mexican peso and the Canadian dollar. Then we can just combine our currencies and call it the Amero similar to the Euro.
Okay seriously we could take Ron Paul's advice and move our currency back to something tangible like gold and silver. Then we could abolish the Federal Reserve system, balance our budget, reduce government and lower taxes. Sounds like the perfect plan to me.
It seems to me that if we let the companies fail on Wall Street that made the bad investments then the 700 billion could be lent to investors willing to do business correctly and start new companies. We are a country of spenders and we should be a country of savers. Look at China they have now stopped lending us money. What happens when they call out loans? how are we going to pay them back. Who is going to let us borrow more money if we don't have any saved up?
The moral of this rant is to let your Senators and Congressmen know that we say NAY to any type of Wall Street bailout. Including the AIG, Freddie and Fannies bailouts.
Friday, September 26, 2008
Lately I have noticed several traffic lights being installed in the Austin area where I live. The lights are being installed with a surveillance camera to provide a deterrent against motorist running red lights. As much as politicians want to argue for the safety of the children, red light cameras do not deter people from running red lights. The truth is that red light cameras increase accidents.
Five independent studies have all concluded that traffic signal cameras actually cause more accidents than they help prevent. That’s right red light camera’s are ineffective in deterring motorist from running the signal when red. I have included a link to the National Motorist Associations website that explains the studies.
If the elected officials really want to deter accidents there are five ways that are MUCH safer than cameras and less expensive.
1. Increase yellow light times – proven to work in California and Virginia.
2. Add an all red clearance interval – this is a brief period where all lights are red. This is being used in Detroit.
3. Make all traffic lights more visible by making them larger – Michigan made some of their lights 50% larger and has seen great results.
4. Improve intersections – repaint markings, improve signage, add more traffic lights, build new turn lanes, add advanced warning lights at high speed intersections.
5. Re time Traffic signals
Local officials are assuming more power these days then ever before. They are violating our privacy and using surveillance cameras to generate revenue instead of actually making our roads safer. The Chief of Police in Austin, TX recently made a statement saying that he was going to push for his officers to be able to draw blood from suspected DWI/DUI offenders. Without search warrants and involuntarily. He said it would save tax payers money. Do not be fooled with this or red light camera's. The Constitution is not here to protect you but rather you are here to protect the Constitution.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
What would you do if this happen to you? How would you react?
Now lets apply this to school. Lets say you studied 24-7 and worked hard to get a 4.0 average and you had a job and extracurricular activities on your college transcript. You have sacrificed a social life, love life and even family has yet to see you this year. Now lets say you had a roommate who partied all the time, never studied, went home on a regular basis and didn't even have a job and she was barely passing with a 2.0. Well would it be fair if the Dean stripped you of your 4.0 and then gave both you and your roommate a 3.0.
Would you consider this fair? Shouldn't helping those who are less fortunate then you apply to all situations? What are your thoughts?
Thursday, June 5, 2008
June 5, 2008
Thank you for contacting my office regarding the legalization of marijuana and other controlled substances. I appreciate your input on these issues.
The Federal Controlled Substance Act outlaws the cultivation, distribution, or possession of marijuana. This law requires that all local, state and federal authorities prosecute violations regarding the use of marijuana. California recently passed a medical necessity exception to their prohibition of marijuana. In 2001, the United States Supreme Court addressed this issue in the case of U.S. v Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative. The Supreme Court ruled against the California law, stating that no exception to the prohibition against the federal prosecution of cultivation or distributing marijuana exists. Those who are found guilty under the Federal Controlled Substance Act are sentenced according to the United States Sentencing Commission.
In June 2005, Congressman Hinchey introduced an amendment to the Science, State, Justice, and Commerce Appropriations Act of 2006 which would have prohibited any funds provided under this act from being used to prevent individual states from implementing state laws authorizing the use of medical marijuana. I did not support this amendment, which failed the House of Representatives by a vote of 161-264.
While I appreciate your input, I do not support the legalization of marijuana in any circumstances. Again, thank you for contacting me. If I can be of any further assistance to you in the future, please do not hesitate to contact my office.
Member of Congress
...and this is my response. I probably will not hear back from him but we shall see.
I appreciate your feedback. We could argue about the use of marijuana and the effects or non-effects it has on the individual and scientifically and comparatively I would win the argument but I did not ask you to vote for this law because of marijuana’s effects. I could care less about the effects of marijuana. I do not partake in self medicating myself with marijuana nor any other mind altering substance oh except the legal one, alcohol. Although with the harmful effects of alcohol compared to marijuana, it seems as though everyone should just get high instead. Oh by the way I never asked you to legalize any other controlled substance, so try to step out of the courtroom for a second.
I asked you to defend the fundamental principles of the Constitution. I also asked you to spend less of MY money on a war on drugs that is failing. Your constituents elected you to defend our liberty’s and the Constitution, not strip us of our money and freedom. I suppose your argument will be, “Don’t you care about the kids?” Yes I do I care about them, I care about them enough to know that it is much easier for a child to get marijuana illegally then it is to get alcohol illegally. John, if I may call you John, the problem is that the black market forces higher prices and higher margins so people are willing to take the risk and sell this cash crop to whomever without fear. Do you remember the prohibition on alcohol? Have you studied that? See how well that worked? If I remember correctly isn’t that how the Kennedy family made their billions, through bootlegging?
So the only way to resolve this is to legalize it, tax it and ID our children for the purchase of it. Then the money we save from not having to expand our prisons we use to, now pay attention here, EDUCATE our children. Hey and guess what the money would then go to American farmers instead of drug cartels and tax payers could see relief from high property, income and capital gains taxes.
John I agree with the all but one of the controlled substances listed in the Federal Controlled Substance Act, marijuana. I do not agree that this law supersedes any states law because of the 10th Amendment.
John if you will not do the right thing and vote for the right and moral thing then I must in all good faith and conscience make it my motivation to convince as many fellow republican voters, that you do not respect the Constitution and are wastefully spending our tax money. Hopefully we can get someone in office who will see through the propaganda and actually read a scientific study.
Eventually your generation will be weeded out(no pun intended) and marijuana will be legalized. Twelve states have made it law and recent elections have shown progress in many other states. John you may want to catch up with your constituents if you plan to stay in office long. Again thank you for your response.
One last thing, you say at the end of your e-mail that you do not support the legalization of marijuana or the de-criminalization, well why? Share with me some of your own experiences with the drug.
Member of the Greatest Nation in the World.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Now at this point I bet you are saying get to the point and what does this have to do with tolls and the Seventh Amendment. Well my girlfriend had taken my clothes back to the hotel and I had no pants to wear so Sven another groomsman from Switzerland drove my pants back to the tuxedo rental shop to exchange them. He noticed I had a toll tag from Dallas so he thought it was from Houston. He took the toll roads three times. I did not realize this until a month later I got a letter saying that I owed the Harris County Toll Road Authority $80.
I called them and said it was preposterous that I had not violated any tolls. The rep had informed me that I indeed did violate the toll because they had my picture. I informed them that the violations were committed by another person from a foreign country. They claimed that according to Texas law that I am responsible for whomever is driving my car. I explained I would pay the $3.50 that was the original toll violation and that is it. I explained the situation and they said that I was responsible for the full amount.
A couple of years passed with no word and then I get a letter from a lawyer stating that they demanded payment for the full amount or they would prevent me from registering my vehicle in Texas. I informed them again that I would only be willing to pay $3.50 for the original toll amount. They said that that was not enough and that I would need to pay the full amount. I informed them that I would like a court hearing a I would like a jury trial. The lady said ok you want to go to court then it just cost you another $50 and then hung up on me.
I then received a letter from Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson with a court date. I faxed the law firm a letter stating once again to drop the charges or afford me my Constitutionally guaranteed right which is stated in the Seventh Amendment, in Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.
The case proceeded without dismissal. I did not attend. I then received a default judgment essentially turning a $3.50 toll charge into a $300 toll charge. If I do not pay that within 30 days then I will be charged an additional $75 dollars and if I do not pay that within 30 days my vehicle will no longer be able to be registered in the State of Texas.
Here is how I intend to beat this. I have contacted Ron Paul and other and filed an appeal in the Harris County Court of Appeals. I have also contacted the former Secretary of State for Texas and he has suggested that I counter sue for my time and the undue stress caused by violating my rights. Stay tuned for updates as I continue to fight for all of our Constitutionally guaranteed rights.
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
Recently a new design change was proposed and the residents of Texas will get the chance to input their choice via online voting. Texas residents point you browser to this link to vote on the following plates.
The Lone Star Texas Plate
The Natural Texas Plate
The My Texas Plate
The New Texas Plate
The Traditional Texas Plate
Which license plate is your favorite? Leave a comment or vote in my poll!
Sunday, February 3, 2008
Eli Manning wins the MVP and Tom Brady spent all day on the turf. Here take a look.
Eli played good but he never played great, David Tyree saved the game for the Giants on a poor throw from Eli. Over all the game was good and if you liked defense then this was the game for you.
But Eli's post game interview said it all, winners want to have the ball in their hands at the end of the game and Eli certainly did his part to put his team in position to win and then throw the game winning TD to Plaxico Buress.
Oh yeah my favorite commercial the Doritos one with the big mouse. FUNNY!
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
San Marcos is a small town with a population of 47,000. It is essentially the gateway to the Texas Hill Country. It also sits on an inactive fault line, The Balcones Fault.
Texas State University at San Marcos is a doctoral degree granting university and is one of the top 75 largest schools in the United States. The University boast a student enrollment of more than 28,000 and continues to grow every year.
The school was founded almost 110 years ago in 1899 and was originally Southwest Texas Normal School. The recent name change was the fifth name change in the University's storied history.
Here is the campus' storied main building that was constructed in 1903:
Texas State has had some very notable alumni grace the halls of its hallowed buildings. The following is a list of our most notable:
- U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson
- Country singer George Strait
- Country singer Randy Rogers
- Film director Thomas Carter
- Actor/filmmaker Richard Jones
- Actor G.W. Bailey
- Actor Powers Boothe
- Actress Tracy Scoggins
- Columnist Heloise
- NBA basketball player Jeff Foster
- Former NBA basketball player Torgeir Bryn
- Writer Tomás Rivera
- Professional wrestlers Shawn Michaels, Paul London, and Lance Hoyt
- NFL football player Frederick Evans and Ricky Sanders
- Former NFL football player Jeff Novak
- Charles Austin Gold Medalist High Jump 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia. 1991 world champion. The 190 cm Austin cleared 2.39m (7 ft 10) on his final jump (an Olympic record at the time).
Texas State continues to honor its founding as a teachers' college by certifying more teachers than any other school in Texas. The Association of Teacher Educators has recognized Texas State as one of the top three teacher education programs in the country and is headquarters for the National Center for School Improvement, the Texas School Safety Center and other education initiatives to meet the challenges of public education today.
The Princeton Review named Texas State a 2008 “Best Western College” and a 2007 “America’s Best Value College.” Only three other premier Texas universities received the distinction.
The Geography department has been ranked as the largest and the best nationally for many years by the Association of American Geographers.
In 2008, for the third consecutive year, Texas State was ranked in the top tier of master's universities in the 15-state Western Region of the U.S. News ranking system.
Places to visit while in San Marcos attending Texas State University:
1. Herbert's Taco Hut -
2. Aquarena Springs -
3. Wonder World -
4. Sewell Park in Summer -
5. San Marcos River Pub -
6. San Marcos Outlets -
7. The Tavern -
8. The Square -
9. Don's Fish Camp/5 Mile -
10. PARTY -
What is your favorite thing about TEXAS STATE UNIVERSITY or San MArvelous. Leave me a comment.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Whether or not Ledger's death is blamed on prescription drugs or of natural causes a talented individual has been lost. He was nominated for an Oscar for his role in Brokeback Mountain. He also starred in such films as The Dark Knight, The Brothers Grimm, Monsters Ball and The Patriot.
With the implosion of young actors under the immense pressure the American media puts on actors it is no wonder that more actors have yet to face the same fate. Repulsive media outlets now have a death watch on Britney Spears and Lindsey Lohan because of their destructive behavior.
Don't get me wrong this type of behavioral pattern is not a first. I am not suggesting that People should feel sorry for these young millionaires on the contrary people should loathe the fact that they feel like they can walk around as if invincible.
Although I do feel sorrow and remorse for the Ledger family as well as the bastard child he has left behind I do not feel sorrow for someone who had many experiences and gifts he could be happy about. What are your thoughts? Leave me a comment.
Monday, January 21, 2008
So what is going to happen is you will likely receive a check for 500 to 800 dollars. The government is hoping that by interjecting billions of dollars into consumers pockets is that they will spend it. So that of course brings up the question; What to do with this money? Well in the tradition of the internet and blogs here are a few suggestions in the form of a top ten list except the order will be provided by you the reader and the ranking will change as you vote! So here goes:
1. Pay off credit card debt - YAWN, boring whats next....
2. Buy that PS3 you have been waiting to buy so you can get the best system - A sure hit with gamers.
3. Take a vacation - You know actually get some sun on your pale posterior!
4. Put 800 on the Giants to win the Superbowl - I am in no way advocating gambling...err wait a second yes I am.
5. Upgrade your 20 year old CRT tube, analog TV to this jewel for a little more than $800
6. Get a new wardrobe - This will be popular with women I am sure but some of you guys out there should consider this option also because your Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles t-shirt is starting to smell.
7. Invest for your future - Well if you think you are going to make it to retirement then go ahead and hedge your bets by investing this money. Now on what is up to you, no free investing advice sorry.
8. Lend your money - The innovative people at prosper.com and other P2P lending sights have created a way for you to become an instant loan shark. Make anywhere from 7% all the way to 28% and no Guidos needed they do all the collecting.
9. Give it to charity - no not the Charity down at the local Bada Bing club, the charity of your choice. If you are in a place right now where you do not need the money then give it to your church or your favorite save the rain forest organization.
10. Contribute to your lack of brain cells - Go out and have a good time on Bush or with or whatever. Buy some America's #1 cash crop or import your good time from Mexico. Or if you just want to partake in the norm and go out and get sloshed. Organize a get trashed on Bush bar hopping event.
Trust me I am sure I will get comments about how I should have included this or that on the list so if you have a good one then please comment. Oh yeah it you want to contribute your $800 bucks to a lowly blogger then that is ok too.
Sunday, January 20, 2008
Enough said. But if you really want to know why the Patriots will win check this out.
If that doesn't convince you then check this out;
Tom Brady Highlights
Add to My Profile | More Videos
But if neither of those covince you then maybe this video will, it convinced me;
Thursday, January 17, 2008
NFL Playoffs are at the halfway point and it has been a great playoff season so far. The Cowboys lost to an inferior Giants team. San Diego went into Indianapolis and beat a far superior team with injured superstars. Green Bay spotted Seattle 14 points to go on to win in a snowy blowout and of course the undefeated Patriots beat the Jacksonville Jags at home.
So who wins this week and why?
Chargers vs. Patriots
First lets look at the Patriots vs the Chargers. This is a rematch of week two game where New England absolutely crushed the Chargers 38 to 14. Tom Brady threw for 3 touchdowns and the Pats defense only gave Tomlinson 43 yards on 18 carries.
The AFC championship game will be no different than the first meeting of these two teams. The three main offensive weapons for San Diego; Gates, Tomlinson and Rivers, are less than 100% and will not be able to run the ball effectively to keep the ball out of Brady's hands. The Chargers defense will be unable to do the things necessary to shut down the most prolific offense in NFL history. With that said my prediction is New England winning this game 28 - 10 with the majority of the scoring coming in the first half for New England.
Giants vs. Packers
With less than six hours to go before this game starts it is, I think, the most intriguing game of the 2007/2008 NFL playoffs and maybe the season. An aging Hall of Fame quarterback facing a young unproven talent. These two teams also faced each other in week two and the results were identical with Green Bay winning 35 - 14. Although the outcome was similar the reason was not. The Giants were missing some key elements in their defense and offense. Brett Farve was also going for the all time wins for an NFL QB.
All this being said Brett Farve has "it". What is "it"? "It" is the intangible characteristic that Vince Young had against USC. "It" is the reason why Joe Montana could lead teams back from insurmountable deficits to win. Brett Farve will impose his will at Lambeau field with temperatures reaching 5 degrees for a high with a wind chill of -9. The Giants defensive line will give Brett fits but Ryan Grant and the running game will put put things right. Eli Manning will have a poor day passing but with some big plays the Giants will hang around. In the end the Packers will pull ahead and win this game 31 to 21.
I know I know I am not going out on much of a limb by picking the two favorites but wait until next week when you see my Superbowl pick. Leave a comment and remember be as nasty as you want to be, it will get posted.
Tire of being broke? Feel inadequate because you are not a millionaire? Wish you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth? Well stop these feelings today! With my simple 942 step program I will guide you step by step on how to make me a million dollars and also send you to the poor house! Oh wait did I really say that out loud?
How many times a day do we hear this same type of advertisement on the radio/tv/internet? These self proclaimed profiteers claim that they have the next successful program that will provide you with financial security and they claim to do it faster than anyone else. I am not saying I know more than these people or that I have more financial wealth or assets, but I do have my opinions. Here is a short list of how you should view your money and financial security.
1. Make every dollar your employee - This easier said than done especially if those advertisers out there have anything to do with it. This really means putting your money to work for you. For example, if you make $50,000 a year after taxes and you spend half of that on essential living expenses the other $25,000 should be making money for you. How is the answer you need to come with on your own. Some people invest. Some people start their own loan portfolio. Some buy real estate. You need to find what works for you.
2. Stop paying interest on a depreciating assets - What this means is stop buying boats, cars and TVs on credit. This is easier said than done because of the emotions that go into buying products like a car or a boat. Also there is a sense of pride, I am too good to drive/captain/pilot that. The truth is that on a $20,000 loan at 10% APR over five years you pay back and extra $5,500 or 28% of the original loan value. This doesn't include any late payment interest or penalties. Pay cash or don't buy it.
3. Create a budget and stick to it - Why are multinational businesses successful? They budget. You should too. If you budget yourself to $200 bucks a month in entertainment expenses then stick to it. Budget for the unexpected and for vacations. NEVER take a vacation on credit.
4. Treat your financial security as a marathon not a sprint - This means don't try to get rich quick and expect to stay rich. A professor in college told me once that the he would retire a millionaire in two years. This was in 2000. He has retired from teaching but still operates his financial advising firm. His point was day traders can lose all of their money quickly and then like gambling they will borrow more to try and make up the difference. But it is the long haul investors such as myself that will retire rich, as long as they invest wisely, which brings me to my next point.
5. Invest with confidence - What I mean by invest with confidence is learn all you can about what you are investing in BEFORE a single dollar changes hands. If you are buying a strip mall and you want to attract businesses, if you don't know the history of the property it will be very hard for you to negotiate a fair lease price for both parties. If you are investing in a stock then know the history, know what they do and read the company's annual report. Warren Buffett is arguably the greatest investor of all time. He only invest in industries that he understands.
6. Learn how to effectively negotiate - Americans hate to negotiate. Compared to other cultures Americans are virtual infants. Being that America has only been around for 300 or 400 years our culture has developed a take it or leave it attitude in negotiations. In countries like Japan before negotiations even begin they will get to know you for a couple of days and then leave one day to negotiate the terms. Russians tend to leave lots of room for negotiating. For instance if you list your house for $300,000 their negotiations would start at $150,000. Americans would be insulted. Russians realize that by leaving more room to negotiate you tend to leave less money on the table.
7. Surround yourself with capable and reliable people - Some people are bargain shoppers. They are always trying to cut cost and they only worry about the bottom line. Many times they are doing more to hurt themselves then help. Automotive repair is an industry that it pays to develop a relationship with your mechanic. Over time the mechanic will get used to your car's quirks and be able to resolve a problem faster and with less effort and probably less money. Your accountant is another example. Having a capable tax accountant who knows your financial picture from year to year will fight to get you every penny possible, where a tax shack is only interested in herding the masses. Developing relationships with people is crucial from your lawyer all the way to your landscaper.
8. Go local - This goes along with the previous statement but in a different aspect. Go local means go with local banks and try to avoid the multinational companies. The local banks may charge you higher fees and rates but after years of seeing your deposits they will compete for your business and offer you better rates on loans and investments. They will also have a vested interest in making you more money. Offer you not only a good investment opportunities but offer you helpful advice. Consider this when you shop also.
9. Buy real estate - I know the mortgage industry is crashing down around our feet and people are being foreclosed upon left and right. Why in the world would you EVER want to buy real estate right now? Because buying the properties at a discounted price and then renting the house out to the very people that are being foreclosed on creates a line of revenue for you. Then when the market rebounds you sell it for a profit or continue to rent the property.
10. Create lines of revenue - You have probably heard this many times but has anyone told you what it means? Well this is how it works. You buy a business and you hire someone to run it and monthly the business pays you a salary. At the end of the year you reinvest the profit back into the business. So lets say you own a 10 unit apartment complex and the monthly payment on that is $10,000 dollars for your mortgage and the other expenses including your salary are $5,000 well you would need to find 10 lessees to rent the apartments at and average of $1,500 bucks or more a month. After you acquire more and more lines of revenue you can eventually quit your job and live of the salaries that each company pays you.
By doing these 10 things I guarantee you..... nothing, but I will say that it works for the wealthy and with a good game plan you can do it too. Motivating yourself is the hard part. If you want to add something please feel free to comment.
Monday, January 14, 2008
Another year and another playoff loss! But you shouldn't be surprised because the Dallas Cowboys have not won a playoff game in since 1996. If you are a fan you may be asking yourself why and if you are an outsider it is probably clear why the Cowboys don't win when it counts. The owner.
Jerry Jones is a 65 year old native of Los Angeles, California. He was transplanted in Arkansas shortly after his birth. Jones was your typical high school football player who earned honors and became a scholarship to the University of Arkansas where played with both Jimmy Johnson and Barry Switzer. He was also in a fraternity.
After college Jones had many business opportunities that failed until he started oil exploration in Oklahoma. This company led to his millions today and in 1989 at 47 he purchased the Cowboys.
Jones went on to win three Superbowls with the Cowboys, two with Jimmy Johnson and one with Barry Switzer. Jones has stated to reporters that it didn't matter who he had coaching that they would have won those Superbowls because of the talent he recruited and drafted.
Jones is arrogant and lacks benevolence towards others. He instills in his players cockiness and degrades his coaches as merely figureheads willing to do his bidding. He does not grow his organization he simply recruits the best talent. Talent does not win Superbowls, playing as a team does.
On top of the obvious character flaws that Jones has he also allows his players to develop into players who hold their own needs higher than that of the team's. Tom Brady love him or hate him, he is a classy player who realizes that he is but one man and that without his teammates he would be nothing. He took a pay cut just to free up salary cap room. Cowboy's players are too busy counting the 25 million reasons not to commit suicide and taking young teenage strippers to motel rooms to do coke with.
I know what you are saying, how does that translate into playoff losses? Winning during the season is tough enough with injuries and distractions but in the playoffs your team has to have the mental focus and the ability to put TEAM above your own needs. Not taking vacations to Cabo during your week off.
Jerry Jones is to blame. It is his team and his decisions. He will point the finger somewhere else because he only likes to claim his successes but ultimately the blame is his. His greedy attitude and lack of benevolence leads him to worry about one thing, the bottom line. I mean look at the deal with the NFL network and cable television, nothing but greed there.
America's team is dead!
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
America, the land of the brave and the home of the free! What makes us free? Our freedom hinges on our right to change our government every 4 years through voting. Our very lives are affected by the way we vote. Simple things such as the price of milk can be affected by who we vote into office.
I know, I know you don't know who is running and it is hard for you to keep up with them because it doesn't interest you right? Well let me ask you something, who was the latest winner of American Idol? More Americans vote for American Idol then in a Presidential election and the numbers are staggering. More than 500 million votes were cast for American Idol in 2005 and a mere 122 million votes were cast in the 2004 election.
For a right that affects people on so many levels there seems to be a serious lack of interest especially in the elections that matter most, local elections.
Local elections matter most because policies and taxes levied are more greatly influenced by local politicians such as city council member, mayors and district judges. City council members and mayors can increase property taxes, create fines and issue tax bonds. Along with taxing the local politicians can create laws that directly affect your property of business. Zoning laws and restrictions.
Local judges interpret local laws and based on their interpretations they can severely affect your life or your neighbors. In Vermont a local judge sentenced a man who raped a child off with a 60 day sentence. Judges like that are elected of appointed by politicians that you elect.
Most of all people don't vote because they say their vote doesn't make a difference. In the case of the president it does make a difference somewhat. The electoral college is bound to vote along party lines for each state which means if more people vote for a republican then then the republican garners all the electoral college votes for that state. The population of each state determines the number of electoral college votes. California has the most and is a very important state because of it.
If you really think your vote is worthless then why vote for the American Idol where your vote is even more worthless? Furthermore, local elections have come down to a matter of 1% where the difference is a mere 20 or 30 votes. Every vote counts! To find out more about your local elections visit your County's website or the Secretary of State for the State you are registered to vote in.
This year marks another presidential election year and being that we are a nation at war, it is very important to make yourself aware of who is running locally and nationally. Politicians will not only affect your wallet but they will affect your lives. Stay abreast of who is running and what their stance is on the issues you care about most. For me that is taxes, immigration and the war in Iraq. Locally I am more concerned about taxes, obscene land grabs and local business support.
Voting is not easy and it shouldn't be. You should have to make tough decisions and vote for those who best represent your point of view. Don't let your neighbor make all the decisions for you! I mean seriously have you seen his yard lately?
Leave a comment.
Friday, December 28, 2007
This is too true to be very funny
The next time you hear a politician use the
word "billion" in a casual manner, think about
whether you want the "politicians" spending
YOUR tax money.
A billion is a difficult number to comprehend,
but one advertising agency did a good job of
putting that figure into some perspective in
one of its releases.
A. A billion seconds ago it was 1959.
B. A billion minutes ago Jesus was alive.
C. A billion hours ago our ancestors were
living in the Stone Age.
D. A billion days ago no-one walked on the earth on two feet.
E. A billion dollars ago was only 8 hours and
20 minutes, at the rate our government is spending it.
While this thought is still fresh in our brain, let's take a look at New Orleans It's amazing what you can learn with some simple division . .
Louisiana Senator, Mary Landrieu (D), is presently asking the Congress for $250 BILLION to rebuild
A. Well, if you are one of 484,674 residents of
each get $516,528.
B. Or, if you have one of the 188,251 homes in
C. Or, if you are a family of four, your family
Tax his land,
Tax his wage,
Tax his bed in which he lays.
Tax his tractor,
Tax his mule,
Teach him taxes are the rule.
Tax his cow,
Tax his goat,
Tax his pants,
Tax his coat.
Tax his ties,
Tax his shirts,
Tax his work,
Tax his dirt.
Tax his tobacco,
Tax his drink,
Tax him if he tries to think.
Tax his booze,
Tax his beers,
If he cries,
Tax his tears.
Tax his bills,
Tax his gas,
Tax his notes,
Tax his cash.
Tax him good and let him know
That after taxes, he has no dough.
If he hollers,
Tax him more,
Tax him until he's good and sore.
Tax his coffin,
Tax his grave,
Tax the sod in which he lays.
Put these words upon his tomb,
"Taxes drove me to my doom!"
And when he's gone,
We won't relax,
We'll still be after the inheritance TAX!!
Accounts Receivable Tax
Building Permit Tax
CDL License Tax<>Cigarette Tax
Corporate Income Tax
Dog License Tax
Federal Income Tax
Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA)
Fishing License Tax
Food License Tax
Fuel Perm it Tax
Hunting License Tax
IRS Interest Charges (tax on top of tax),
IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax),
Marriage License Tax,
Real Estate Tax,
Service charge taxes,
Social Security Tax,
Road Usage Tax (Truckers),
Recreational Vehicle Tax,
State Income Tax,
State Unemployment Tax (SUTA),
Telephone Federal Excise Tax,
Telephone Federal Universal Service Fe e Tax,
Telephone Fede ral, State and Local Surcharge Tax,
Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax,
Telephone Recurring and Non-recurring Charges Tax,
Telephone State and Local Tax,
Telephone Usage Charge Tax,
Vehicle License Registration Tax,
Vehicle Sales Tax,
Watercraft Registration Tax,
Well Permit Tax,
Workers Compensation Tax.
STILL THINK THIS IS FUNNY?
Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago,
and our nation was the most prosperous in the world.
We had absolutely no national debt, had the largest middle class in the world, and Mom stayed home to raise the kids.
What happened? Can you spell 'politicians!'
And I still have to press
1 for English.
I hope this goes around THE
USA at least 100 times
What the heck happened?????
Thursday, December 20, 2007
"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
This is what immigrants would see when they entered the United States through Ellis Island in New York. For the most part this is true to this day. Many different people from many different nationalities apply to come to America for a better life. Sadly a lot of those people are denied an opportunity to come live the American dream because of bureaucratic red tape.
Immigration is necessary for America to continue to thrive and be the land of opportunity. But illegal immigration is threatening this once great tradition of America. It threatens this tradition because of the economic burden it places on natural resources, municipal services and welfare.
In 1970 there were 203 million people in the United States. In 1973 the American people moved into below replacement level fertility, which means that we have fewer than 2.1 children per woman. This means that the American population will eventually begin to stabilize. But what we saw is that population after this point still continued to grow. Scientist began to do some calculations and figured with the "baby boomer" generation and "baby boomer echo" that the American population would reach 247 million by 2030.
We all know that those numbers are not true numbers because we currently have more than 350 million people living within our borders. What the census bureau said was that because of immigration our country has doubled its growth. This means that as a country we have had to double all of the infrastructure spending in this country. We have had to build twice as many schools, twice as many streets, twice as many sewage plants as well as any other municipal services including garbage and electricity.
In California the State Department of Education claims that everyday of the year they have to build a brand new elementary school to keep up with the population growth as long as the current immigration policy continues.
The census bureau has stated that if Congress does not lower the immigration standards currently in place then by the middle of the next century our children and grandchildren will see a population growth that will suffocate the current citizens leaving them overtaxed and undereducated.
The real question is, Is immigration an effective tool? America currently takes in about one million immigrants a year. 25% of the immigrants in 1980 came from Mexico. The average Mexican makes about one tenth annual salary that the average American makes which we would consider poor. How many other cultures in the world though are more deserving then Mexicans? That number is 4.6 billion people. Lets extrapolate this number that is 4.6 with 8 zeros behind it. That is roughly 76% of the world that are more deserving then the average Mexican. So if immigration is a policy to help the impoverished third world countries around the world then that means that we as a country are missing out on helping more than 80% of people that are worse off than us.
So what do we do? Shut down our borders? Forget about third world nations? Continue with our current policy? No because we can continue to let in one million immigrants a year or we can help them develop their own nations. Since the 1950's the thought that America should take the overpopulation of the third world Latin American countries but can that really work? No, because last year we took roughly one million people and Latin American countries produced an additional 80 million people births over deaths. This year we will take a million people and this year Latin America will produce more than 80 million people. This trend will continue and there is no way that America can ever get ahead of this except by helping the third world Latin American countries create a better life for its citizens.
The truth of it is that America could take millions of people a year and ruin the social fabric and social services and it still wouldn't impact the explosive population growth and the standard of living would decrease significantly.
This may be the most important part of this. At our current population more than 40% of our rivers and streams are not fishable or swimable. What are we going to do when our population doubles in ten years due to current immigration standards. Over 70% of our ground water in America is being utilized what happens when our population increases by another 40% in 10 years? Will we be out of water? What happens when we cannot produce enough electricity to keep up with demand? Wait a second that is already happening. Rolling blackouts in California. Record droughts in the Southeast. Lakes are drying up left and right. How much more can America withstand? How do we change this?
We need to tell congress to change the immigration levels to the levels of 1965. We need to reward the businesses that hire legal immigrants and punish those recruit illegal immigrants. We need to tighten border security and bring over immigrants from all over the impoverished Earth instead of just one region. Leave a comment.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Monday, December 10, 2007
Working in an open office you overhear many phone conversations some you want to hear and others you would rather not. In the case of Leslie Brown I try to ignore her telephone conversations but being that we share office space it is very difficult. Today I overheard a conversation and it made feel sympathy and anger. She was talking to a hospital's billing department about paying on her daughter's bill. She was trying to make payment arrangements with them to pay in monthly installments and they would not accept her payment only telling her it was not enough and there was nothing they could do.
Leslie's story is one of courage and has been told, as she puts it, a million times. She is a single mother of two children, Micha and Bailey. She receives no child support and no government aid. She is very educated, though has only an associates to this point. Her education comes more from life experiences. Her daughter Bailey was born with a heart condition and every year she must undergo test that are very costly. Our employer does not provide group medical insurance stating that the cost is too much to shoulder. Instead, at the beginning of 2008, the employer will provide $200 for medical insurance reimbursement. This does not help Leslie because if she obtains her own insurance Bailey will not be covered due to her condition being preexisting. Only group coverage will cover preexisting conditions. Leslie worked hard in obtaining coverage for her daughter through the Texas Risk Pool but alas coverage is far too expensive even through them. Her total payments would be $600 plus the cost of deductibles and co-payments.
So what does she need? Help and a solution to this annual problem. She wants a cure for her daughter. She wants a way to go to work and not feel the burden of undue stress knowing her daughter is taken care of. She wants what all of us want, a better life for her children. Political conjecture and health care reform are great topics of conversation but what Ms. Brown needs is an answer now. If any of you can help in anyway then please contact me via e-mail with any words of advice or suggestions or just leave a comment. Thank you and God Bless!
Monday, December 3, 2007
December 25th -
The idea to celebrate Christmas on December 25 originated in the 4th century. The Catholic Church wanted to eclipse the festivities of a rival pagan religion that threatened Christianity's existence. The Romans celebrated the birthday of their sun god, Mithras during this time of year. Although it was not popular, or even proper, to celebrate people's birthdays in those times, church leaders decided that in order to compete with the pagan celebration they would themselves order a festival in celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. Although the actual season of Jesus' birth is thought to be in the spring, the date of December 25 was chosen as the official birthday celebration as Christ's Mass so that it would compete head on with the rival pagan celebration. Christmas was slow to catch on in
Two hundred years before the birth of Christ, druids used mistletoe to celebrate the coming of winter. They would decorate their home due to the believed healing powers. Scandinavians also used Mistletoe in their homes and it was used to honor their goddess of love, Frigga. This may be why today we still kiss under the mistletoe. Mistletoe was banned for sometime by the Christian churches and was replaced with holly. Today we generally see the use of both of at least plastic replicas.
Poinsettias are native Mexican plants and the plants were named after the U.S. first ambassador to Mexico Joel Poinsett. The Mexicans used this plant to symbolize the Star of Bethlehem. The plants were not used for Christmas decor until the 1830's.
Christmas Trees -
The Christmas tree made its origins in Germany in the 16th century. Roses, apples, and colored paper first decorated fir trees inside as well as outside the homes. Many legends hold that Martin Luther the protestant reformer was the first to light candles placed on the branches of the trees. The idea of the Christmas tree didn't take hold in Britain until the early 19th century but was brought to America by German settlers in the early 1800's.
Xmas is consider by many Christians as a sign of disrespect, because it replaces Christ with X therefore taking Christ out of Christmas. The actual origins come from the 16th century. Xristos is Greek for Christ and many Europeans used X in place of Xristos and called the holiday Xmas, we assume it is because Xristosmas is a little hard to pronounce or because it is a totally different word altogether.
The Candy Cane -
Candy canes have been around for many centuries, but not until around 1903 that they were decorated with stripes and bent into the shape of a cane. They handed out during church services to keep the children quiet. One story that is often told about the origin of the candy cane is as follows: That candy makers wanted a candy that would exemplify the meaning of Christmas. What better way then to have a piece of candy made in the shape of a "J". Also the colors represent purity(white) and three red stripes to represent the Holy Trinity and the pain inflicted upon Jesus.
Santa Clause -
The original Santa Claus, St. Nicholas, was born in
Gift Giving -
Several months after Jesus Christ was born, wise men came and presented gifts to Him. “After Jesus was born in
Gift Giving actually goes back before the birth of Christ during Roman times. Romans would celebrate the New Year by giving each other gifts. But the gift giving tradition that we know today dates back to Victorian England. and asked, ‘Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.’ On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh"
The Victorians, who brought a renewed warmth and spirit to Christmas after it had experienced a long period of decline, made the idea of family part of the celebration. Friendliness and charity filled many hearts during their Christmas season, so giving gifts was natural. The ultimate reason for giving a gift was as an expression of kindness, a sentiment that went nicely with the historical tradition of the holiday.
The Victorians surrounded the act of gift giving with a great deal of ingenuity and merriment: simply tearing into a cache of wrapped boxes would have been to miss the point. Far more thought and preparation than that were in order during the holiday season. They had cobweb parties, which was a lot of messy fun. Each family member was assigned a color, then shown to a room crisscrossed with yarn of various colors. Each person was to follow an assigned color through the web of yarn until he or she reached the present tied to the end.