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Five Things That Grind My Gears

October 28, 2008 - John Whittaker

If there are Family Guy fans in the proverbial house, you'll love today's post -- a collection of things that really grind my gears:
1. Stupid politicians. House Oversight Committee Chairman Henry Waxman said Thursday that he believed that the Federal Reserve, which regulates banks, the SEC and the Treasury had all played a role in contributing to the mistakes. I'll tell you what, Henry Waxhead, maybe you'd have had more time to oversee the Federal Reserve, SEC and Treasury Department if you had spent less time interrogating Brian McNamee and Roger Clemens last summer. How you can haul those officials up onto Capitol Hill now, Mr. Hypocritimus, is beyond me. Imagine having this debate last summer, before the economic system ground to a halt, or even last year. Maybe, it could have done some good. Now, it's just more partisan bullcrap by two parties who spend more time making each other look bad than helping people save enough money to retire, pull themselves up when the economy and job flight to Asia/India/Mexico costs them their jobs or even little things like having an understandable tax code. Hope you're proud. You put steroids, performance enhancing drugs and the status of Debbie Clemens' HGH-enhanced body ahead of the legitimate concerns of millions of hard-working Americans who don't have a $20 million a year baseball contract. We all say thanks a lot.
2. The traffic light by Fletcher Elementary School on Cole Avenue. When I have to park going down South Main Street at night, I drive past the school at about 11:15 p.m. School is not in session, to my knowledge, at that hour. There are rarely, if ever, cars turning from the side road onto Cole Avenue at that time of night. Why, then, does it happen at least twice a week that I'm sitting, stopped, waiting for an eternally long light to change, when all I really want to do is drive the last three blocks to my house and go to bed. I'm the only car on the road. I might hit a gnat crossing the road. Is it too much to ask for a motion-activated light there? I can understand having the light there when kids are going to and from school - safety is safety. That makes sense. Why is that light ever red after 5 p.m., though? It's stupid, and it messes up my cabbage patch. 
3.  Talking Heads: It wasn't until this presidential election cycle that I began to truly appreciate PBS and C-SPAN. Seriously, I can't watch CNN, Fox News or MSNBC anymore. They're dead to me. When they come to visit our mother, I want to know ahead of time so I'm not there. If I had a choice over which cable channels were in my cable package, they'd all be as gone as the latest wedding cake samples given to the News Gal and I (and yes, the cake samples were outstanding). Here's an idea - the electorate would be better informed if news sources would spend more time on the actual pros and cons of a candidate's proposals than having a talking head source from each candidate's camp glossing over talking points and lobbing public relations grenades at the other candidate. Among things I don't care about in this campaign, in no particular order: Bill Ayers, ACORN, the Keating Five, Vicki Iseman, Sarah Palin's daughter and this alleged secessionist movement tie with her husband, polls, fund-raising or Sarah Palin's wardrobe. Enough. Talk about the issues and the proposals and leave it at that. C-SPAN will cover campaign events without the 6 hours of blithering idiot commentary afterward, and PBS gives you a lot of context in its reporting of proposals and issues - and it's not as left-leaning as one would think.
4. People Who Should Know Better: A couple of months ago, Matthew O'Sullivan, a Girls Gone Wild employee, was arrested after a 20-year-old girl said O'Sullivan groped her on a Girls Gone Wild bus. First, should Matthew O'Sullivan have been shocked that he got sued, given who he works for? Are there actually people who go to work for that company who don't expect some sort of lawsuit/paternity suit at some point during their career? Taking out insurance for just such an occasion is something I'd have done my first day on the job. What an idiot. And, if you're a 20-year-old girl, should you really be surprised that something bad happened to you on a Girls Gone Wild bus? What did you think they'd be doing on a bus with pictures of naked girls ON THE OUTSIDE OF IT? Serve milk and cookies? Host a presidential debate? Play Gloria Steinem's greatest hits? Here's a news flash for both of you - the sun will come up tomorrow, in case you forgot. Look both ways before you cross the street, because I don't want you getting hit by a bus. Obviously, you're too dumb to remember this on your own. 
5. Stupid Government Spending. So, New York state has a $47 billion budget deficit. California is one more debt collection phone call away from bankruptcy. Yet, governments spend money on the dumbest things. New York is shelling out money for new stadiums for the Yankees and Mets, two of the biggest moneymaking teams in sports, and two teams that don't need help building stadiums. Earmark spending will never be touched. In an age of job losses and budget deficits, government needs to refocus its efforts on helping people, and not building sports stadiums. Were there really that many problems with Yankees Stadium that New York state needed to kick in money to build a new stadium? Is life that terrible at Shea Stadium? Do we really need to include bonuses to big-money CEOs in tax bills? It was necessary to talk about building a bridge in Alaska when nobody knew where the bloody thing would end up? Our server doesn't have enough space for me to list all the stupid projects the government has spent money on over the years, but enough deficits. Enough, enough, enough. Spend money to help the people who elected you. Stop giving money to people who have enough without your help.


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