Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Throw O'Malley From the Train A Kiss

Larry the Cable Guy once said, "How the hell do you get hit by a train? It's not like you don't know where it might be going!"

Unfortunately for the people of Maryland, we're getting ready to get hit by a train, but this time we don't have an idea of where it's going. And to make matters worse, we're tied to the tracks.

The smoke signals coming out of Annapolis are indicating that there is dissension in the ranks in the General Assembly and O'Malley is throwing a tantrum. There's even a rumor that if we don't start playing by his rules, he's going to take his ball and go home. This is setting up to be one of the best comedies of the year.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Moving Forward By Going In Reverse

After the first day of the Special Session called by Prince O'Malley, it is becoming clear to our glorious leader that his "consensus" is not all in agreement. Now that he may not get his ways, he's threatening to not give the 85% of the hard working middle class that cut in property taxes that he was using as a sales-pitch. "How dare you not agree with me! I'll take away your property tax cuts!!!"

To make matters worse, he's also threatening to close our police stations and parks. Now our children will have to play with illegal guns on busy interstates.

Additionally, the property-tax cut is now going to be tied to the slots bill. First the Teflon Leprechaun didn't want slots in our state because Governor Ehrlich wanted them. Now O'Malley wants them in Ocean City at Ocean Downs, the ocean-side family-oriented destination for millions of people.

Now, I'm not against slots, but I do believe that they bring in a seedier side of society. Look at Las Vegas and Atlantic City. They make TV crime shows about those places, because that's where the crime is. They don't make crime shows about Charlotte and Denver for that very same reason.

If slots is potentially going to bring in more criminals, let's put them where there is already a concentration of criminals - Baltimore City!!! And there's plenty of facilities in Baltimore City that aren't being used that could be converted into casinos - Dunbar High School, Walbrook High School, Patterson High School, etc...

Fortunately for the educated class, we can see right through his foggy rhetoric. Unfortunately for those living in Baltimore, none of this makes any sense, but they're in favor of it anyway. Per O'Malley's regressive tax plan, Maryland will not start moving forward again until his tax plans start moving us in reverse.

Maryland Special Session II

The Maryland Coalition for Honesty in Radio Ads had their annual awards ceremony last night and there was a clear-cut winner. Sweeping nearly every category in a stunning upset, the Alliance for Tax Fairness, an uber ultra-left-wing liberal organization, took home a handful of awards.

If you're not familiar with the group, they are the ones running the radio ads on WBAL radio 1090. If you listen for 10 minutes, you'll hear it. These ads claim that Governor Bob Ehrlich destroyed the financial health of the state and unless we do something this week, our children will suffer the consequences. We'll all become uneducated, sick, and die. Fortunately for all of us, Governor Martin O'Malley has a magic wand and he'll make this all better.

O'Malley, the selfless governor who, instead of wishing to make himself even prettier, has waved his magic wand and will use it to punish corporations and wealthy families that make over $100,000. These heartless people will suffer the wrath of the working class and pay big time to help make our state move forward again. The Alliance for Tax Fairness praises their leader with flowery accolades.

The awards that this organization won last night include:

  • Most Deceptive Political Ad
  • Radio Ad With Most Inaccurate Information
  • Most Condescending Radio Ad of 21st Century
  • Most Unfair Tax Commercial
  • Best Male Voice in Fraudulent Radio Ad
  • Best Female Voice in a Fraudulent Radio Ad
  • Best Radio Ad Produced By A Left-Wing Liberal Group
  • Best Radio Ad Produced By A Group That Misuses Naive Contributors Money
Republicans continue to lag in communicating the most lies to the public and because of this, they will never win any of these coveted awards. Instead, they seem to focus on the truth and pointing out the flaws of the super-majority's objectives.

For example, O'Malley wants to put the slots bill up for a referendum. For those of you who attended schools in Anne Arundel County of Baltimore City, this means that the legislators are afraid to vote on something because you might not reelect them next time. Instead, they want you to vote on them in the next election.

Unfortunately for the super left-wing liberals that run our state, only ambiguous issues in the Maryland Constitution can be brought up for a referendum. And the last time I checked, the Maryland Constitution wasn't unclear about whether is should allow slots. In fact, I don't think the Maryland Constitution mentions it at all. To me, that's not ambiguous. It's just stupid.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Special Session

Today is the first day of the Maryland Special Session, called on by our handsome, yet deceiving and condescending Governor, Martin O'Malley. Is this true? Yes, Martin O'Malley is handsome.

O'Malley has a bad habit and he has chosen to deal with his habit. He wants to be honest with the public. Yes - he has a problem. He loves to spend our money. In fact, he wants to spend so much of our money, that he's run out of money to spend. Now, O'Malley has a plan to deal with this problem. O'Malley has proposed an estimated 4,183 new taxes do deal with his bad habit.

Fortunately, 80% of Marylanders will pay less taxes under his new plan. Unfortunately, the other 95% will pay more.

For example, under his new plan, which is the largest tax increase in the history of the state of Maryland, only people that spend money will suffer from the 20% increase in sales tax. Additionally, only people that buy cars will fork over the 14% increase in vehicle registration taxes. This is on top of the 70% increase in electricity that he planned on stopping. That was, of course, until he planned on not stopping that 70% increase.

Many voters are outraged at these increases. Analysts show that these taxes will proportionally hit the lower and middle class the hardest. In fact, these taxes are so unpopular that O'Malley's approval rating has actually plunged. Fortunately for him, his mirror told him that he's still the fairest one in the land.

However, his growing unpopularity has caused him to strike back. He is soaking us with condescending commercials of an average middle class couple who know that O'Malley's huge appetite for spending lots of money is our previous governor's fault. And since the new tax package will affect businesses and the wealthy the most, then it must be okie-dokie!

And these commercials come with threats. "If you don't approve my threats, I'm going to punch you below the belt!" he appears to be saying. O'Malley says that if we don't start nodding happily at his massive tax increases, he will remove the police from our streets, fire our teachers, and have to stop giving medical attention to our elderly. Though for Baltimore City residents, the first 2 threats seem okay.

And everyone hates businesses. They're all greedy. That's why they hired us and pay us money so that we can buy SUV's and go out drinking every night - those bastards! And most of us don't work for wealthy people - we work for the poor, the uneducated, and the homeless, right? Oh, wait - that's liberal propaganda spewed in reverse. (We'll just ignore their flawed logic here.)

I have been searching for the time when the public can weigh in on this financially hurtful package. The public should have a say on such consequential legislation, right? After all, this will help determine if we buy new shoes and medication and feed our children or live in the dark and walk to work. However, no. There will be no public input. If you fear for your well-being - contact your state legislatures immediately. Tell them to tell O'Malley - "No, thanks!".

To find out who your elected officials are (because I know most of you don't vote and don't have a clue as to who determines your fate), go to this site:

Your elected representatives will appear on the left. You can then go to this page and contact your state legislator:

Good luck!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Kudos to the Susan G. Kolman foundation for their efforts to raise money for cancer research and make people more aware of breast cancer. Their efforts lead the most organized attack on a disease in the world.

October is breast cancer awareness month. Everywhere you look you see pink. Campbell's soup has pink soup cans. Thomas English muffins have pink. Several race cars will be sporting pink that this weekend's race in Charlotte.

On October 14th, Hunt Valley, Maryland will host the 15th annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. This foundation has raised millions of dollars for breast cancer research, awareness, screening, treatment, and education.

A former co-worker of mine died this year of breast cancer leaving her 3 young children behind. Her oldest daughter organized a Breast Cancer 5K in Eldersburg at her middle school and there was a great turnout.

Companies are allowing their employees to wear pink to work provided they donate money to their breast cancer fund raisers. I salute their efforts and hope that they have a lot of success.

However, I do want to point out, as I have to coworkers many times, that breast cancer, though a horrible disease, is not the leading cause of death, nor is it even the leading cause of death among cancers.

Heart disease remains the number one killer in the United States. Yes, most of these deaths could have been prevented with proper diet and exercise. The second leading cause of death is lung cancer. I lost my grandmother to lung cancer. Lung cancer, like heart disease, can be argued to be a preventable disease. My grandfather smoked his entire life. My grandmother smoked for about 7 years, but gave it up because she said she didn't like it. Nonetheless, after discovering her lung cancer in October 1995, she died only 3 months later.

The third leading cause of death is colorectal cancer. This cancer affects both men and women and has a high mortality. Colorectal cancer receives very little research and support dollars.

Finally, prostate cancer is rising and like colorectal cancer, gets very little attention. Fortunately for men, statistics show that though prostate cancer is more prevalent than breast cancer in women, the survivor rate is higher.

Now, I don't want to sound like I'm attacking breast cancer. I just want people to be aware that there are other diseases that are just as horrible and receive much less attention. In some cases, unacceptably low attention.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Good Customer Service

Good customer service is hard to come by. When you do get good customer service, you need to tell people. We always tell people when a company sucks. Let's tell people when they don't suck. And I am telling my story.

In early September, I got a letter in the mail from Citibank accompanying 2 new credit cards. "This is odd", I thought. The cards don't expire for another year. I read the letter and it explained that they had loaned my account information to some computer hackers in China and then later determined that they might try to compromise my account to purchase classified military specs during the upcoming Clinton Administration.

"Okay", I thought. Not that big of a deal, I guess. A couple of weeks later I realized that it's been a while since I got any email notifications from Citibank. You see I set up my account to let me know when the new statements were ready and also to let me know when payments were due. What a great arrangement!

Unfortunately, as I logged onto my account, a message informed me that it was directing me to my new account. The next screen revealed that my payment was due a couple of days earlier. I immediately called Citibank and explained my story. They said the account options do not transfer when a new account is open. Therefore it was necessary to reset the email notifications that I wanted. The CRS (customer service representative) took a check-by-phone and I paid my balance-in-full as I always do. I asked if there was going to be a late fee and she said probably not.

Probably so. The next statement came (by email notification!) and ta-da! A $30 late fee. Ugh!!! I called up Citibank. After 20 minutes of navigating through their fun-filled "speak menus", I finally caught up with Drew. I quickly gave him the background and requested leniency. You see, not only did I miss this payment, but because I also have my Exxon Speed Pass and my Cingular autopay tied to my credit card, I missed those payments, too. In 2.1 seconds he responded, "Done, I've removed the fee from your account."

Hooray!!! That was quick and awesome. As you may remember from an older post titled, "Companies That Suck", I didn't have quite the same experience with Advanta.

And a quick More Companies That Suck, let's add Hop's restaurant. There is one in Owings Mills, MD. If you go there for lunch, give yourself an hour and a half. If you go with 4 people, don't expect to return to work on the same day. If you're thirsty, bring your own beverages. They'll give you the first one, but there's only one blind work-release waitress on duty and she ain't got time for you! "He can't tell me what to do!" is a common expression heard.

I have been there about 3 times in the past few months, each organized by someone else and attended by me under protest. The last time we gave ourselves an hour and a half. At the end of that time, we informed the manager (for the 4th time) that we were leaving. He kept insisting that it would be out shortly. I could have walked to Red Robin and cooked it myself, eaten it, and walked back in this amount of time. This is the worst restaurant in Owings Mills and possibly in all surrounding zip codes.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Wabbit Season! Duck Season!

No, it actually looks like deer season. And the road is seasoned with deer carcasses. I passed 3 of them on the way to work this morning. What a way to die. You are running at full speed across a road and you have no idea why.

Ever see something chasing that deer? It's not like there are packs of wolves roaming the suburbs of Baltimore striking fear into the meandering foragers. There are no deer-eating rabbits spooking them into the streets. Why are deer so stupid?
And it's not like they just get hit by the car and die. They lose limbs in the process. You know the deer I'm talking about. The one without one of his hind-quarters. I guess when you have legs like pixie-sticks, they tend to get ripped off when 45 pounds of fuzzy stupidity meet the 4500 lbs of velocity of a Toyota Highlander.

And why are their tongues always hanging out? Have you ever seen a deer while it's alive with its tongue hanging out like a horny panting dog? No. But every dead deer is licking the road with it's purplish grey tongue. Perhaps it becomes unhinged on impact.

And always remember - deer travel in packs. If one stupid deer runs in front of your car, beware, there are usually one or two more right behind it - chasing it for reasons they don't know.
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