Friday, May 30, 2008

Another Obama Priest Association

Does this priest think he is black? Look at the way he speaks and the races of those in the congregation and what he says. Obama has known this priest for 20 years too. Isn't America seeing a pattern yet? Obama can speak out and say he disagrees with what these people say, but actions and associations speak louder than words! It is obvious that the people Obama associates with think today's white people must pay for what their great great great grandfathers did with slaves. That second video is a -must watch-. America must pay? What about those Americans whose grandparents were born outside of the United States (like mine)?

It's really cute that politically correct white people are about to elect an "afro-centric" cult member to the presidency. Oh yeah, and why hasn't it really been brought to attention that 90% of the black community votes for a black candidate just because he has the same skin color as them. Isn't that kind of racist? If 90% of white people were voting for the white candidate, we'd be hearing about it.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

100 Years In Iraq

Of course in politics, words are often taken out of context. Back in January, McCain was lampooned by Democrats for saying that America could be in Iraq for 100 years. Watch the video. He is not referring to a continued insurgent conflict, but to a military presence or base. He clearly states, "As long as Americans are not being harmed, it would be fine with me." He references the fact that we have been in places like Korea for 50 years and Japan for 60 years. The point, people, is that war hasn't been waging the entire time in those countries and the Democrats are trying to imply 100 years of waging war is what McCain says is fine with him. Something to think about: has our sustained presence maintained stability in those regions?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

OMG! It's The End Of The World!

My son saw some human flesh!! Ay dios mio, what the hell am I gonna do?!?

Big deal lady, get over it. Maybe America should move beyond its Puritan roots and quit shaming the human form. I'm so sick of the hypocritical behavior in this country where sex is (quasi) taboo, and everyone does it.

And remind me again why children have to be completely shielded from a natural human behavior that resulted in them coming into existence?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

What A Sycophant!

Gee, you think Edwards is looking to be #2 on the presidential ticket? A little late pal - your actions are transparent. I bet you would have endorsed Clinton if the delegate count were reversed.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Student Loan Debt

Student loans are not as cheap as they used to be. These days Federal Stafford Loans are set at a fixed 6.8% interest rate and if you need more money than the $20,500 a year limit, Graduate PLUS loans are available at 8.5%. Seven and 8.5%... are you kidding me? This is so ridiculous - they used to be 3%! Student loans should be 3% since they cannot be discharged in the event of a bankruptcy and lenders have the option to garnish your wages. Where's their risk? Seven percent is a great return for a lender, almost on par with the stock market!

The government has firmly declared that education is not a priority in this country. In 2006, Dubya signed a bill into law that cut $12.7 billion out of education funding, which caused the federal student loan interest rates to soar. There was chatter that the Democrats were going to fix the student loan problem when they took control, and there have been some House votes, but today the status quo remains. Hillary Clinton has pledged to make some changes as President, but now it looks like she won't win the nomination.

The leaders in our government must want our country to lose its edge in innovation because bright people will either put off going to school (maybe forever) or will go somewhere else. Technical majors have been declining for years, so the government has been trying to boost math, science and engineering majors. We are still importing our scientists and technical minds. The government's plan is to throw money at organizations, like the National Science Foundation. Uhh Duhhh, if college tuition and student loans keep getting more expensive then there are going to be less graduates overall. And those that do bend over and take it for these ridiculous interest rates will have more incentive to pursue higher paying careers, instead of teaching positions like the government wants.

This hits very close to home for me because I need to borrow $75,000 for graduate school (only the cost of tuition - I've decided to deplete savings for housing and food). You know how much and how long it takes to pay off loans set at 7%? I'm actively trying to make a decision on whether or not I should go because I recognize this as the great burden that it is. Could you imagine 18% student loans?

To put things in perspective, a $75,000 loan @ 7% (which might be higher due to annual loan limits), taken over 3 semesters and deferred for 1.5 years means that by graduation the loan balance will be $80,311. A 10 year re-payment schedule comes out to $932.48 a month, or $111,897 total ($36,898 in interest).

Raise that interest rate to 8% for the same loan terms, and the payments become $983.72, or $118,047 total with $43,047 in interest.

Lower the interest rate to 5% with the same loan terms and the balance at graduation is $78,781, and the payments become $835.60, or $100,272 total with $25,272 in interest.

Surely you'd hope someone about to take out a loan of this magnitude would be getting a high paying career, right? But you have to remember that a lot of these high paying careers are concentrated in large metropolitan areas with high costs of living and high taxes, like California and New York.

Lets see what $932 a month would be before taxes accounting for a 25% average federal tax rate, 7.5% payroll tax and California income tax of 9.3%. It comes out to be $1,482 a month or $17,784 a year. So your $80,000 salary just got lopped to $62,216 before taxes. And that's for ten years folks. Or put another way, after taxes in California, an $80,000 yields $4,182 a month (Yeah, I know, it is pathetic) so your effective take home drops to $3,250 a month. Then lop off $2,000 a month for a 1 bedroom apartment, and wallah!, you're back to being a poor student again!

One last comment:
Student Loan Origination fees. What a crock. Just another way to screw the consumer.

Monday, May 12, 2008

DNA and Fingerprints

Another article emerged about DNA collections during arrests. This time on the state level. One comment exemplifies the problem with taking DNA from people who haven't actually been convicted of any crimes.

I find it very naive the comment made "Those who are innocent have nothing to fear."

I had fraudulent criminal charges laid against me which were eventually thrown out. At the time of charging they took fingerprints. Here's what happened even though the charges were thrown out. The fingerprints were kept on file. As a result my name kept popping up during routine employment inquiries as having a police record. Needless to say that destroyed my career. Secondly there was a break in at a home during which my finger prints were found and I was identified as a suspect. The police took there time in making additional inquiries with the person who reported the crime i.e. my best friend. I was with him when the break in occurred and of course my finger prints were in his house. We regularly visited each other. I have no doubt that if a store was broken into near where I live they would have found my finger prints there since I regularly shop there. The danger is that keeping these kinds of records may prevent a proper police investigation being done into all the circumstances and context in which the so called evidence was found. I am totally opposed to the state having a sample of DNA kept on file for people who have been charged but not convicted. I have gone through years of hell trying to have the police record of my being charged including finger prints being destroyed. We used to have this legal principle innocent until proven the onus seems to be that once charged and even if the charges are thrown out, on any subsequent incident you will automatically be deemed guilty until you can prove yourself innocent.

I understand the pain that Ms Neuman wet through. But we start down a slippery slope once we allow governments to keep these kind of records. The danger at the very least is that the police will see such evidence as being a substitute for a proper investigation.