Monday, October 18, 2004

Reducing the Deficit

It seems that in election years we hear about how bad the incumbent is at balancing the budget. I think it would be very difficult to balance any budget that has to go through several committees to get approved. Then there are always people who think that some spending on a project needs to be done. The deficit isn't entirely the fault of the President, it also lays at the feet of the congress and senate. There always seems to be groups from both sides of the house that want to add to the spending side of the budget.

Our government was set up so that the people could tell the leaders what we wanted done, not what the leaders thought we needed. Shouldn't these suggestions by the senate and congress be put to vote by those that it effects the most, namely us? When has any of us been able to go to an employer and say "You are going to give me a raise, and by the way I do not want to contribute to Social Security or Medicare, I have another Retirement plan that I think is better."? Yet that is what congress and the senate does every year, they vote to give themselves a raise, and they don't contribute to social security or Medicare. If these programs aren't good enough for them why can't we choose what program they use? Shouldn't we, who have effectively employed them by voting for them, be the ones to tell them what their salary is? If we did that maybe there wouldn't be a deficit. Shouldn't we as intelligent, working individuals be able to choose whether or not we want to contribute part of our social security into private financing? Or do we let the goverment keep treating us as if we are to stupid to make our own minds up?

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Medical Insurance

There has been a lot of talk this week by both candidates on medical insurance. I don't agree with haveing the federal government having a hand in my health care. Each state has there own version of indegent healthcare that does very well at making sure the children have medical care. Some states do better at covering those that can't get insurance than other states.

If the fovernment does anything they should make it difficult for those that don't like the outcome of their medical care to sue the doctors and hospitals. No one wants the doctors to play god yet get upset when they can't cure a disease. Now I understand that the insurance companies might loose money if they were to insure those that have had cancer within five years of trying to renew or change insurance. It is in those five years that a person needs to see the doctors to make sure that the cancer is gone. We don't need socialized medicine, we need the doctors to care for their patients not the insurance companies telling the doctors who they can care for.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Sand Castles

The U.N., the United States, and others had been negotiating with Saddam Hussein for years to get him to quite making weapons of all kinds, to get him to take care of the people he was supposed to be leading, feeding and sheltering. The U.N. had a program of oil for food and he managed to divert the funds to his own personal use. Seems he had a passion for going underground, literally, he built palaces under his and his sons palaces. When Saddam was found, he was found in a little hole in the ground. His son had a torture complex under the stadium that had been used for the Olympics. The wind shifted and the tip of a plane was visible from under the sand. So we have yet to find any weapons of mass destruction.

Just what is a weapon of mass destruction? A rocket, a missile, something that can kill 5, 10 or thousands at one time? Isn't an army a weapon? We all know that Saddam had a rather large army. It seems to me that we have found and are destroying at least one of the weapons of mass destruction. The others are either in the sand or out of the country. He had a lot of places to hide things. I wouldn't be surprised if a sand storm uncovered stashes of rockets, missiles and the launchers.

Saturday, October 02, 2004


The variety and types of games can seem very overwhelming when you first start looking to buy them and the systems the games are played on. Who would have thought that computer technology would be compressed into something small enough to hold, and that you can play games on? There are ten different categories that all games fall into; sometimes a game will be in more than one category. The categories are role-playing games, strategy, adventure, arcade, fighting, platform, puzzle, racing, shooter, and sports. Of all the categories I am only really familiar with four of five of them, either because I have played them or my two teenage boys play them. These categories are for all games whether it is a handheld like a gameboy, a console like gamecube and playstation, or the home computer. I will be focusing on the three categories I know best, role-playing games, strategy, and adventure.

With the three types of games that I have chosen there are similarities with them. There is a goal that needs to be met in order to win the game. Role-playing games, commonly called RPG’s, and strategy games also have intermediary goals to attain that fall within the story line. With RPG’s and strategy games there is a head bad guy to beat, with different henchmen to beat at the different levels. Adventure games also have several smaller goals that can be done in any order, as there is no story line to follow.
RPG’s rely heavily on a strong story line that must be followed with few deviations from the main plot. You usually get to choose from one of three or more different characters. You have to complete several quests, puzzles, defeat enemies to collect money, gems, weapons, and experience to gain levels. Some examples of RPG’s are Breath of Fire, Skies of Arcadia, and Dark Cloud.

With strategy games the story line is followed, just not as heavily relied upon as in RPG’s. You don’t always get to pick your character, and with some games you will actually change characters for different battles. With each battle you collect different items, gems, money or keys. The characters in these games don’t level up like they do in RPG’s. War craft, Advance Wars, and Total Annihilation: Kingdoms are a few titles of strategy games.

The easiest type of game to play is the adventure games. There is not a story line that has to be followed. There are several different goals that have to be met on several different levels, gems to be collected, as well as points, keys, and other items. You also get to collect lives, sometimes by opening a box, or reaching a goal, or collecting enough apples or rings. When everything has been collected on each level the game is over. Some titles of adventure games are Spyro, Crash Bandicoot, and Odd World.

I have given some titles of games that are out there; most of these are geared towards teenage boys. Computer games seem to be geared more toward girls than games for the other game systems. As with other games that we are used to seeing, video games also have a rating guideline to follow. The ratings are "E" for everyone, "T" for teen, and "M" for mature. The "E" rating has no violence to mild violence, the "T" rating has a little more violence, and the "M" rating has a lot of violence and gore. When buying a game for a child, we have to be aware of the age, interests, and what the parents want the child to be exposed to. The best thing to do is to read the boxes of the games that look interesting to find out if that game is right for you. This only scratches the surface of all the different types of video games that are available.