Tuesday, June 7, 2011

WHO IS THIS MAN?

AND WHY IS HE TRYING TO SAVE MY COUNTRY?
Ron Paul is a Medical Doctor, practicing for over 30 years.
Ron Paul is a former United States Air Force officer, flight surgeon.
Ron Paul is a former United States Air National Guardsman.
Ron Paul has been married to the same woman for the past 54 years.
Ron Paul is a #1 New York Times best-selling author.
Ron Paul is a protector and defender of the Constitution & Liberty.
Ron Paul is a Congressman from Texas.
Ron Paul is running for President in 2012.

Dr. Ron Paul is America's leading voice for limited, constitutional government, low taxes, free markets, sound money, and a sensible pro-America foreign policy.  

Congressman Paul’s consistent voting record prompted one of his congressional colleagues to say, “Ron Paul personifies the Founding Fathers’ ideal of the citizen-statesman. He makes it clear that his principles will never be compromised, and they never are.” Another colleague observed, “There are few people in public life who, through thick and thin, rain or shine, stick to their principles. Ron Paul is one of those few.”

Brief Overview of Congressman Paul’s Record:
- He has never voted to raise taxes.
- He has never voted for an unbalanced budget.
- He has never voted for a federal restriction on gun ownership.
- He has never voted to raise congressional pay.
- He has never taken a government-paid junket.
- He has never voted to increase the power of the executive branch.
- He voted against the USA PATRIOT Act. He voted against regulating the Internet.
- He voted against the Iraq war.
- He does not participate in the lucrative congressional pension program.
- He returns a portion of his congressional office budget to the U.S. Treasury every year.

Dr. Paul's top issues are your top issues: the economy, healthcare, taxes, government ethics & corruption, social security, education, immigration, national security/war on terror, Afghanistan, and Iraq.  

If you are looking for a real leader, or are still looking for that "change" promised in Washington DC, look no further than Congressman Ron Paul.  He is the only Republican candidate that can beat President Obama in the 2012 election.  Help him succeed in that mission.  Stand with Liberty, Stand with Freedom, Stand with Dr. Paul.

"Ron Paul is one of the outstanding leaders fighting for a stronger national defense.  As a former Air Force officer, he knows well the needs of our armed forces, and he always puts them first.  We need to keep him fighting for our country." - Ronald Reagan

Dr. Paul cured my apathy, he can yours too.

Google Ron Paul!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Republicrat Budget Theater - Taking Your Eye Off The Prize

Unfortunately that "prize" is just the sad reality that we are in a HUGE mess thanks to the status quo.

2011 Budget for the United States Government is $3,830,000,000,000. That is such a ridiculous number it's hard to even fathom. Part of that 2011 budget is a deficit of $1,500,000,000,000. That is the amount of money we don't have but will spend anyway. Sounds lucrative!

You have politicians on both sides of the aisle, Republicans and Democrats (Republicrats) high-fiving themselves over a budget cut of $38,000,000,000. Sounds like a lot, right? Thirty eight billion dollars! Wow. Well, if you get out your handy-dandy calculator you will see that they cut a whopping 0.99% from the budget. Imagine if your budget at home is $3,830 per month and each month you are short by $1,500. Would reducing spending by ~$38 help anything? Would the bill collectors stop calling?

It's nothing more than theater by our elected "representatives" to distract you. Please please please don't be distracted. You should be OUTRAGED. If you think you are somehow benefiting from anything government does for you, trust me, you are not. One day, probably sooner rather than later, we will wake up wondering just how the heck we got into this awful situation. We will wonder why our money is worth nothing. We will wonder who we can blame for our problems. That's the American thing to do now, blame others for our own problems.

Being sheep for too long is how we got into this awful situation. Allowing Federal Government to usurp the Constitution they swore to uphold is how we got into this awful situation. Giving up Liberty to purchase a little temporary Safety is how we got into this awful situation. Allowing our currency to be backed by nothing more than the word of government and their Federal Reserve is how we got into this awful situation. The Founders of this country would be ashamed, outraged, and embarrassed by all of us.

Don't just take my word for it, even-though I do know best, look at the statistics below:

Apparently those crazy Austrian School guys aren't so crazy after-all.  With the breakdown of the Bretton Woods system and complete end of the gold standard on August 15, 1971 - How has our new fiat currency faired?
Look at the awesome national debt chart above.

This guy certainly hasn't helped - assumed office Feb 2006: Ben Bernanke

Most of today's debt accumulated over the past 6 years. When George W. Bush was inaugurated on January 20th, 2001 the national debt was $5.7 Trillion. In January 2005, when President Bush was starting his second term, the national debt stood at $7.6 Trillion. When President Barack Obama was inaugurated on January 20th, 2009 the national debt stood at $10.6 Trillion. Today it stands at roughly $14.3 Trillion.

Who controlled the House for the past 6 years?
109th United States Congress
110th United States Congress
111th United States Congress

- 2005-2007: We had a Republican President, Republican majority in Congress
- 2007-2009: We had a Republican President, Democrat majority in Congress
- 2009-2011: We had a Democrat President, Democrat majority in Congress

Under President Bush we racked up $612,500,000,000 in debt per year for 8 years ($4.9T)
Under President Obama we have racked up $1,645,000,000,000 in debt per year for 2.25 years ($3.7T)

You can keep claiming one side is more or less to blame than the other and keep the status quo going, they want you to do that. Or, you can actually start voting for people with sound beliefs, and values (especially on monetary policy). Do your homework and really try to avoid anyone with an 'R' or 'D' behind their name next time you get in the voting booth. Look for the candidate that puts your Liberty above anything else.

I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around [the banks] will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs. -Thomas Jefferson

-M

Friday, March 25, 2011

Crony Capitalism Defined - Why You Should Care

What is Capitalism? Think about it for a minute...and then in your head, or aloud, say what you think it means in America, today. Perhaps surprising to you, what we have today in America is NOT capitalism. Thanks to Government's cushy relationship with big business, we have been blessed with something called "Crony Capitalism" over the past decades.

What is Crony Capitalism?

Wikipedia defines Crony Capitalism as, "an allegedly capitalist economy in which success in business depends on close relationships between business people and government officials. It may be exhibited by favoritism in the distribution of legal permits, government grants, special tax breaks, and so forth.  Crony capitalism is believed to arise when political cronyism spills over into the business world; self-serving friendships and family ties between businessmen and the government influence the economy and society to the extent that it corrupts public-serving economic and political ideals."

Why You Should Care

Crony Capitalism is not new. Politicians and big business have been benefitting equally from Crony Capitalism since the creation of the Federal Reserve System in 1913. The Federal Reserve System was created after major banks colluded to create a Central Bank in the United States of America. The Federal Reserve System is the third Central Bank in our history. The Federal Reserve System controls our monetary policy, creation of the dollar, interest rate price fixing, and is supposed to keep inflation in check. Since the Federal Reserve's creation, the dollar of 1913 is worth about 2 cents today. Granted, wages ARE higher but inflation has run rampant under our fiat currency, as it always has throughout the history of fiat currencies. This is just one such example of Crony Capitalism and is an entirely other issue in itself.

There is no major political party (republican/democrat) that will help fix any problem you have with big business, corporations, or Crony Capitalism. Both major parties have far too much to gain by continuing the status quo. It's not a coincidence that Congressional approval ratings are at an all-time low but the same worthless politicians keep getting elected year after year. Too much government creates the "problems" and then when a bubble is created and eventually bursts (as they always do), Government then claims they can solve the problems they created with MORE SPENDING and MORE GOVERNMENT. It's insanity.

Look at our current debt levels. In the past, how many times have you heard republicans and democrats bicker over - military/defense spending, social security, medicare, and medicaid? They usually pit one against the other...not anymore. They realize that continuing the status quo keeps them both in power, and prevents any other political party from rising up in opposition.  Sure, the majority may shift from time to time but nothing actually changes. Why do you think there are NO proposed cuts to any of those programs in the budget even though we are broke as a joke? Somehow NPR makes headlines though!

I don't believe the huge corporations we have today would even exist in a Libertarian society because there would be no lobbyists, fat cats, or PACs to bribe government officials for tax breaks, special permits, and subsidies allowing for the creation of them (big corporations) in the first place… Thus, Crony Capitalism wouldn't exist. You wouldn't have General Electric paying $0 in taxes on a $5 Billion profit and its CEO, Jeffrey Immelt, as the head President Obama's "Council on Jobs and Competitiveness."  STEP 1: DON'T PAY TAXES!

Those big corporations, like GE, only exist today due to their cushy relationship with Government (corporatism and corporatist politicians FTL). Government, even the business itself for that matter, doesn't care if the business makes their customers happy or even run a good business. They don't even care if they are so reckless in their actions that it might put them OUT of business (they will just be bailed out to allow the status quo to continue). Government DOES care that the big corporations have high dollar lobbyists and donate largely to their campaigns. Again, in a Libertarian society - not possible.

I will admit, some businesses are just plain evil and don't care about you or I and only care about the bottom line. This is clear if you look at some of the major corporations on the New York Stock Exchange. But, not all corporations are big and not all corporations are bad. There are some good ones out there, people with morals like you and I, but they don't benefit from a cushy government relationship and are often run out of business…they have to actually pay taxes!

Capitalism in a true sense, meaning NO government handouts, works. It rewards the little guy and those who aren't just in it for the money and greed. In a truly capitalist society, or FREE society if you will, you the consumer have the ultimate power. You don't have to do business with those you don't want to, those nasty - greedy - evil companies. With Crony Capitalism it seems that only those "bad" businesses are left to choose from, so you don't even have the option to vote with your dollars anymore.

You have to make customers happy, and run a decent business.  A business that actually succeeds on its own merits, not because of government intervention and handouts. If you do run a bad business, it should fail…like every Wall Street Bank that got a bailout, and the Auto Industry (Unions are just as guilty as corporations for Crony Capitalism, perhaps worse, as Unions are exempt from Federal Antitrust and Price Fixing Laws). Do you know why certain companies got bailouts and others didn't? Crony Capitalism.

CAPITALISM is fine, CRONY CAPITALISM is evil and what we have in the United States.

With a Republican OR Democrat in office we will always have reckless spending, corporations in bed with government, freedoms eroded, sovereign immunity for the government - allowing them to do whatever they want without fear of prosecution, and you and I left holding the bag.

Ron Paul 2012

-M

Monday, March 21, 2011

NEW Porsche Supercar Coming Late 2013

That is of-course if the world doesn't end first, as the internet thinks it will, on December 21st, 2012.  Apocalyptic doom and gloom aside, if this Porsche sees the light of day I think it might just be the best Porsche ever produced.  And if it isn't, well...it's certainly the most expensive!
A hybrid?  Are you kidding me?  Don't worry, this isn't moms Prius.  Hard to believe I know, especially coming from Porsche but Germans being German, leave it to them to come up with something so ingenius.  Porsche engineers have combined a high-revving V-8 engine with two electric motors and mated it all to seven-speed Porsche-Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (PDK) dual clutch transmission. So what's it called?  The Porsche 918 Spyder.  Top Gear reports that this new Porsche 918 will go around the Nürburgring 2 seconds faster than the Carrera GT.

Get your call into Porsche ASAP because they will only be making 918 of these gems and the price-tag is staggering.  MSRP, are you ready for this?  MSRP is close to $850,000 + taxes!  You might want to set aside a cool million or so just to be safe.  On the plus side, with rising fuel prices, this thing will save you money in the longrun thanks to its 70-90mpg fuel rating.  Running solely on batteries won't get you very far very fast.  Top speed of only 90 or so and a range of only 16 miles.  A recharge will take 3-6 hours.  This new Porsche really shines by combining both power-plants and utilizing its full hybrid capabilities.

Now, for the important stuff:
- 4.0 Liter, V-8 engine producing 500hp
- Two electric motors, one front and one rear producing 218hp
- TOTAL combined horsepower is 718!
- 7-Speed, dual clutch transmission
- 0-62 mph, 3.2 seconds
- Top Speed, 200+ MPH

Just to reminisce over the past 20 years of Porsche Supercardom, this new 918 will most likely be added to the collections of those that include: Porsche Carrera GT, Porsche 911GT1, and the timeless Porsche 959.  I really need to find my billion dollar idea, I have expensive taste!

-M

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Technology - or lack thereof...

With the recent happenings in Japan and other natural disasters we've witnessed in our lifetimes it's important to always be prepared. Now, I am not saying anything bad is going to happen to you and I wish nothing does...but it would be foolish to pretend that nothing COULD happen to you or your family so you should definitely be prepared.

I have a saying I use a lot: better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.

That couldn't be more true in regards to preparedness for a natural disaster or other calamity that leaves you to depend only on yourself, not the government or anyone else.

Ironically, the very government that we've all come to depend and heavily rely on has this list of items to keep in your "kit" or as I call it, your bug out bag:

1- Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
2- Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
3- Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
4- Flashlight and extra batteries
5- First aid kit
6- Whistle to signal for help
7- Dust mask, to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
8- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
9- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
10- Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)
11- Local maps
12- Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger

Additional items that you might want to consider:
1- Prescription medications and glasses
2- Infant formula and diapers
3- Pet food and extra water for your pet
4- Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container
5- Cash or traveler's checks and change
6- Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container. You can use the Emergency Financial First Aid Kit (EFFAK) -  developed by Operation Hope, FEMA and Citizen Corps to help you organize your information.
7- Emergency reference material such as a first aid book or information from Ready.gov.
8- Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person. Consider additional bedding if you live in a cold-weather climate
9- Complete change of clothing including a long sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes. Consider additional clothing if you live in a cold-weather climate
10- Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper – When diluted nine parts water to one part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant. Or in an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners
11- Fire Extinguisher
12- Matches in a waterproof container
13- Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
14- Mess kits, paper cups, plates and plastic utensils, paper towels
15- Paper and pencil
16- Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children

"You may need to survive on your own after an emergency. This means having your own food, water, and other supplies in sufficient quantity to last for at least three days. Local officials and relief workers will be on the scene after a disaster, but they cannot reach everyone immediately. You could get help in hours, or it might take days. In addition, basic services such as electricity, gas, water, sewage treatment, and telephones may be cut off for days, or even a week or longer." - Ready.Gov/FEMA

One glaring omission on their list is a firearm or two, and plenty of ammunition.  You didn't see any looting in Japan but I can guarantee you there would be in most parts of the United States.  There is no better way to protect yourself, your family, and your property from criminals than by exercising your 2nd amendment right to bear arms.  You know that shit has hit the fan (SHTF) when you dial 911 and no one picks-up. Stay safe and good luck!

-M

Friday, March 18, 2011

Non-Interventionism...LOOK IT UP!

Oh wonderful. The US declared an Act of War on another country. So far we have Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and now Libya. Did I miss any? I know technically we are still at war in Korea too.

Libya is not a tricky issue - it's none of our business or concern.

The propaganda machine that we've enjoyed for the past 100 years has done a wonderful job at eroding our freedom, not following our Constitution or the founding fathers advice, and steering the United States down the wrong path.

There is no moral authority to justify our actions. Avoid Entangling Alliances - it's that simple!

"Peace, Commerce, and Honest Friendship with All Nations - Entangling Alliances With None." -Thomas Jefferson, first inaugural address

I've got a good word to sum up our interventionist foreign policy (which is the exact OPPOSITE of what the founders of this country believed): blowback - the unintended consequences of military intervention.

Our involvement in Iraq was propagated under the very same premiss as Libya. Our continual interventionist foreign policy overseas has only expanded hatred of the United States, decreased overall security in whatever region we are in, decreased national security at home, and increased a debt that will surely be our downfall. Remember, the same people that were once our "allies" usually turn into our "enemies" - Saddam Hussein, Taliban, Iran...to name a few. Why? Blowback, interventionism, and meddling in affairs that we shouldn't have in the first place.

"Between 1995 and 2004, the al Qaeda years, two-thirds of all attackers came from countries where the United States had troops stationed. While al Qaeda are twice as likely to hail from a country with a strong Wahhabist (radical Islamic) presence, they are ten times as likely to come from a country in which U.S. troops are stationed. Until the U.S. invasion in 2003, Iraq had never had a suicide terrorist attack in its entire history…Predictably enough, al Qaeda recruitment has exploded after the invasion of Iraq." - Congressman Ron Paul, The Revolution: A Manifesto (p. 20-21)

Congressman Dr. Ron Paul yesterday on the House Floor:



Congressman Paul Libya Reaction:


Follow Dr. Paul On: Twitter - Facebook - YouTube

-M

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Formula 1 Is BACK In Less Than One Week!

F-I-N-A-L-L-Y
Thanks Bahrain for making the past month feel like an eternity.  But in all seriousness, power to the people!

We have T-Minus 6 days 23 hours until Formula 1 2011 debuts in Melbourne, Australia.  The official title of the now inaugural race is the Qantas Australian Grand Prix.  On a semi-related note, Qantas Airlines is amazing.  They are one of the best airlines I've ever had a chance to fly with and I highly recommend them to all travelers.  The free Champagne in first class is Dom Pérignon.

For those not familiar with Formula 1 racing, here is the format for the week:
Friday - Practice 1 from 12:30 - 2:00pm.  Practice 2 from 4:30 - 6:00pm.
Saturday - Practice 3 from 2:00 - 3:00pm.  Qualifying at 5:00pm.
Sunday = RACE DAY, starting at 5:00pm (all times listed are local time).

Drivers with a good shot at victory include current World Champion Sebastian Vettel and teammate Mark Weber who race for Red Bull.  In early testing F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone noted that they have a great car again this year and might be hard to beat.  Also past Australian Grand Prix winners in the field include Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso, and Michael Schumacher who are also past World Drivers Champions as well.

Should be an interesting and exciting first race to the 2011 season!

I do find it surprising that more Australians are not into Formula 1 racing given they have a top driver in Mark Weber and an awesome racetrack in their modern European-feeling city of Melbourne.  If you've never watched a race before, definitely try to tune in.  In the states you can catch all the action on Speed Channel, in the UK and Europe you will find the action on BBC - check your local listings.

Go Vettel!

-M

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Not So Communist Anymore!

Who knew Communism wouldn't work?
Prague Castle in the distance
Prague, or Praha if you are in Europe, is the Czech Republic's capital and largest city with history dating back to 885.  It really is amazing what the freedom of the past 20 years has done for Prague and the Czech Republic in general.  Whether you go in Summer or Winter, Prague is a very lively and fun city to visit.  No other place in Europe has become so popular so quickly.  The people are friendly and fun, the nightlife is great with many bars and restaurants to choose from.  There is a great sense of energy and pride radiating within Prague.

History buffs take note - Prague survived the bombing raids of the past World Wars so all of the architecture has been well preserved.  Prague almost has a fake feel to it, like a giant Disney World, because everything you see is so beautiful and unbelievable.  Aside from the cars, Prague has a very historic atmosphere with its cobblestone streets and sidewalks, and large historic squares where people gather for food and drink.

Prague is a very easy city to navigate by foot and I recommend seeing it this way to get a better feel and to experience its energy.  There are also other alternatives to get around such as driving, which isn't too overwhelming compared to other European cities.  Taxis are also readily available, and public transportation includes an underground subway and the worlds largest network of above ground trams.  There is a major airport and train station not too terribly far from the city center.

Although part of the European Union, Prague is not on the Euro so costs are very cheap compared to other major European cities.  As of today $1 will get you approximately 17.60 Czech Koruna's (Kč), but everyone just calls them Crowns.  To put that into better perspective let's talk beer.  A half liter beer in Prague will cost you anywhere from 25-50 Crowns, or $1.40 - 2.80.  In Munich that same half liter will run you about $5.00 - 7.00.  Both Prague and Munich claim to be Europe's beer capital.

Now, what to see?  Let's go with half of a Dave Letterman...

Top 5 Things To See In Prague:

5. Although well advertised, kind of hard to find is Prague's Museum of Communism.  It's a great collection of anything communist and documents communism's rise and fall in the Czech Republic.  It's a sobering experience that left me with goosebumps and a thankful feeling that I never had to live any of it myself.

4. The Prague Jewish Quarter dates back to the 10th and 11th Century.  Having been slowly demolished over the years there are still several well preserved pieces of history to see such as the Old Jewish Cemetery from the 15th - 18th century and the Old New Synagogue which is a Gothic synagogue from the 13th century.

3. Just as the name implies, the Old Town Square is old, dating to the 11th century and it is the most popular square in Prague.  You will find the Tyn Church here with its late gothic style which dates back to the 14th century, the baroque St. Nicholas Church completed in 1735, and the Prague Astronomical Clock dating to 1410 is mounted on the south wall of the Old Town City Hall which dates back to 1338.

2. The Charles Bridge.  Construction started in 1357 under King Charles IV and the cleverly named Charles Bridge was completed in the early 15th century.  It's an impressive structure to look at from afar and even more impressive to walk across.  There are no cars allowed, only foot traffic, and it is always packed with tourists.  You can get some great pictures very early in the morning or late at night.  The least amount of people I ever saw on the bridge was during a snow storm last November.

1. Prague Castle.  Too much to write about in a short paragraph, just know that you can literally spend days here exploring all that is offered within the castle walls which date back to the 9th century.  Definite must-sees include the Lobkowicz Palace and Museum, the Castle Square, St. Vitus Cathedral, the Old Royal Palace, Basilica of St. George, and the Golden Lane.  Great photo opportunities of Prague are available thanks to the Castles high vantage point.  One tip - you can hike up the stairs in front or take a tram to the side entrance to avoid the climb and make your life easier.

I hope you get a chance to visit Prague, I think it will be one of your favorite cities.

-M

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Top 3 BMW's of all time...for now

The history of Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW) dates back to 1916 starting with the manufacture of airplane engines.  The "wonderful" Treaty of Versailles forced BMW to cease production of airplane engines so they shifted their focus to motorcycles and later, automobiles.

BMW has been an industry leader and innovator in all areas of their business and cars are no exception.  They have, over the years, created some fascinating automobiles for both road-going and auto-racing.  They have consistently pushed the envelope, always looking for a better way to do something - typical German.

I have complied what I believe to be the Top 3 BMW's ever produced:

# 3, BMW 507 (1956-1959)
1956 BMW 507 on display at the BMW Museum
Imagine having this car in the late 1950's.  It still looks great today, they probably didn't know what to think of this beauty back then!  With grand plans to import thousands per year BMW ended up only producing a total of 252 - production costs were too high.  It uses a v8 engine with a 4-speed manual gearbox and has a top speed of 122mph.  Elvis Presley owned one - the man clearly had good taste.  If you want one of your own, there are slightly over 200 remaining in the world and expect to spend over a million dollars.

#2, BMW 3.0 CSL (1972-1975)
BMW 3.0CSL on display at the BMW Museum
The E9 (BMW speak for the New Six CS Coupe) was first introduced in 1968.  It wasn't until May of 1972 that BMW developed the 3.0 CSL.  The "L" stands for light and they introduced the car in order to race in the European Touring Car Championship.  BMW did a great job because they won in 1973, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, and 1979.  Only 765 were ever produced so if you find one in good shape - BUY IT!  The race car version looks menacing and there are several "art car" variations as well, definitely worth a look!

#1, BMW E30 M3 (1986-1992)
1989 BMW E30 M3 on display at the BMW Museum
For me, it's a no brainer...What's your favorite BMW?  If asked, the answer is always the same - E30 BMW M3.  BMW took all of their racing knowledge to date and built one awesome machine.  The M3 used a 2.3 liter inline 4-cylinder engine that had individual throttle bodies and a cylinder head design based off of the "super car" M1.  It used a 5 speed manual gearbox and power ranged from 195 to 235 horsepower depending on the year/trim level.  BMW struck gold again with 12 Championship Titles and 15 race victories.  You can still find E30 M3's in good shape for $20,000 - 30,000.  Keep them in factory condition and the value is certain to increase over the years.

What say YOU?

-M

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Ron Paul FREEDOM PRINCIPLES

Did you "vote for change" last time?  How is that working out?  If you're looking for some real substantive change in Washington, his name is Ron Paul.

The Ron Paul FREEDOM PRINCIPLES
-Rights belong to individuals, not groups.
-Property should be owned by people, not government.
-All voluntary associations should be permissible - economic and social.
-The government's monetary role is to maintain the integrity of the monetary unit, not participate in fraud.
-Government exists to protect liberty, not to redistribute wealth or to grant special privileges.
-The lives and actions of people are their own responsibility, not the government's.

Educate yourself because the media, current political parties, corporate interests, and the status quo in Washington don't want him.  'We The People' should want him, and 'We The People' definitely need him.

He's a Congressman with a message and a mission - Ron Paul 2012.
Follow Dr. Paul On: Twitter - Facebook - YouTube

-M

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Two Continents - One City

Istanbul Turkey
Travelers of the world take note of this historic and beautiful city. Istanbul is the 5th largest city in the world and is THE only city that is situated on two continents (Europe and Asia). Dating back to 300 BC and serving as capital to the Roman, Byzantine, Latin, and Ottoman Empires there is a vast amount of history and wonderful sights to see here.

Now I was a little hesitant to travel to Turkey, mostly due to my own ignorance. When I would tell people that I was going to Turkey the typical response was: "why, isn't it dangerous?" Just looking at it on the map it is located near places that don't have a very high opinion of America or Americans in general. I can tell you after traveling to Turkey and experiencing the city firsthand that I feel foolish for even worrying in the first place.  I at no time felt unsafe or less safe than in any other major city I've ever visited.

The people are very friendly and welcoming. Turkish values you will find probably align with your own. I had, on several occasions, strangers come up to me just to shake my hand and welcome me to Turkey. I had pleasant experiences with rug dealers who invited me into their store and offered me tea - even-though they knew I wasn't going to buy anything. There is a great sense of pride in the country.

Taxis are everywhere and very cheap compared to other major cities. The drivers are pretty wild so I wouldn't recommend driving yourself unless you are familiar with racing and city driving combined! The hotel I stayed at was the Renaissance Polat Istanbul Hotel which is located near the airport. They have a free shuttle to and from the airport and also into the city center daily. The staff were very friendly and the hotel was just lovely with many nice amenities.

I would recommend 5 or 6 nights to see what Istanbul has to offer...must-sees include:

Always keep an open-mind, there is a big world out there to see and you only live once!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Tiger Woods WILL win next week in Florida!


Am I the only one who thinks so?
We all like to think we know Tiger Woods.  After-all, he has been in the spotlight of tabloid news for the past year and a half.  In my opinion he should never have gotten married in the first place.  We are all human and make mistakes, the important thing is that we learn from our mistakes.  In America we tend to root for the downfall of others, perhaps it makes us feel better about ourselves?

To me, it's all water under the bridge.  I have been following the career of Tiger Woods for the past 16 years not because of his personal life - but because of his phenomenal ability to play a game that is so tough, for so many.  He makes the impossible and improbable look easy.  We might be able to match his skills but only while playing his video game!

There have been naysayers along the way, those who constantly root against him or try to diminish his accomplishments.  Johnny Miller over the years has always been one to criticize Tiger Woods.  But you know what Johnny...Tiger has 97 wins to your 32, Tiger has 71 PGA Tour wins to your 25, and Tiger has 14 Major Championship's to your 2.  Just stick to announcing Johnny and let's try to keep your personal hatred for Tiger to a minimum.  There are only two people in the HISTORY of the PGA Tour that have more professional victories than Tiger Woods: Jack Nicklaus with 73 and Sam Snead with 82.

Next week brings Tiger to Miami Florida, home of the TPC-Blue Monster at Doral, for the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship.  Tiger is a six-time winner here with victories in 1999, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, and 2007.  It would be fitting and make-sense that this would be the location for his first victory of 2011.  The winner gets a cool $1.4 Million payday but for Tiger...it's all about the W.

Positive thoughts Tiger - show everyone what you can do!

-M

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Apple fanboys (and girls) rejoice!

OMG OMG OMG!!!
iPad 2
To quote Apple, "Thinner. Lighter. Faster. FaceTime. Smart Covers. 10-hour battery."

When the first generation iPad came out last year I was a little skeptical as to what the benefits might be.  But after playing with one I could see countless ways to use the device to better improve my daily computing experience.  Think about what most people do when they get online...check email, browse the web, check their facebook or twitter, and perhaps watch some YouTube videos.  The iPad does all of those flawlessly and is very portable which makes it much more practical to bring with you instead of lugging around a notebook.  The first generation iPad is still a nice device and is on clearance on Apple's website - they knocked $100 off each model.

Just like any new product that Apple releases they've made improvements in almost all categories.  iPad 2 has a new A5 processor which is a 1GHz dual-core chip.  Apple claims it is twice as fast as iPad with up to nine times faster graphics processing.  iPad 2 now has cameras built in, one front and one rear, just like iPhone 4.  The front facing camera is just okay while the rear facing camera can shoot 720p HD video.  You can use the built-in cameras to take advantage of FaceTime which is fun if you haven't had a chance to use it...very "Jetsons" feeling!  iPad 2 is thinner, 33% to be exact when compared to the original iPad, and it is also 15% lighter.

iPad 2 comes out March 11th and prices start at $499 with the "top of the line" model reaching $829 for 64GB of storage and built-in 3G capability.  Some accessories to think about would be the new iPad Smart Cover and Apple Digital AV Adapter for HDMI out.

-M

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

New Lambo - only $375,000 or so...

DO WANT!

Live from Geneva Switzerland the new Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 is announced.
Autoblog.com
If you are like me you were probably wondering how Lamborghini could top the Murcielago?  Well don't worry because Lamborghini never disappoints!  The new Aventador is smaller, lighter, more powerful, and most importantly faster than the Murcielago.

Now, for the important stuff:
- 6.5 liter, V-12 engine
- 700 horsepower
- 509 lb-ft of torque
- 3,472 lb, curb weight
- 0-62 mph - 2.9 seconds
- Top Speed - 217 miles per hour

The interior looks just as impressive as the outside.  Fine leathers, top notch electronics including a 13" LCD screen to name a couple of features.

So who wants to loan me $375,000?

-M

5 Reasons You Should Know The Name Ron Paul

Who is Ron Paul?

That's the typical response I get after asking people if they've heard anything about the only honest guy in Washington DC.  A brief history lesson of Congressman Ron Paul would tell you that he is a medical doctor, former Air Force officer and flight surgeon, author, advocate of the Austrian School of economics, and truly a Great American.  Dr. Paul has never supported any tax increase, unbalanced budget, or wasteful government spending which has earned him the title of "The Taxpayer's Best Friend."

Dr. Paul entered the political arena in the mid 1970's after the breakdown of the Bretton Woods system of monetary management.  August 15th, 1971 is the day that the United States unilaterally terminated convertibility of the US Dollar into gold.  When the Bretton Woods system ended…the US Dollar became a fully fiat currency, backed only by the promise of the federal government.  This infuriated Dr. Paul because as he continually points out, as per the United States Constitution, only gold and silver are to be used as legal tender - not paper money that is backed by nothing.

Dr. Paul served in Congress from April 3rd, 1976 until January 3rd, 1985 after not seeking re-election in the house and losing a primary bid for US Senate.  He returned full time to his medical practice until 1996 when he was re-elected and sworn in on January 3rd, 1997.  He has been representing Texas' 14th district since.  Dr. Paul currently serves on the Committee on Financial Services, and is Chairman of the subcommittee on Domestic Monetary Policy and Technology.

Top 5 Reasons Why YOU Should Know The Name RON PAUL:

#5, The War On Drugs
Dr. Paul is in favor of ending the Federal Government's "War on Drugs."  It has cost taxpayers over $1,000,000,000,000 and thousands of lives while doing nothing to combat the problem.  That seems to be the status quo in Washington: spend money we don't have to expand the Federal Government, creating more bureaucracy, all while eroding liberty and freedom of the average American.  

Dr. Paul is quoted on this subject as saying, "I think we should look at the federal drug war and I would say the federal drug war has failed, so we should reject it. When I talk about changing the law, I want to go back to the constitutional approach to a problem like this, and that is through the states. Up until 1937 there wasn’t even a law against marijuana and at that time they just passed a law to tax it. So we’ve had an experience in this country where we didn’t have all these laws, but it was regulated by the states. Alcohol is legalized by the federal government but it is regulated by state laws. So I’m thinking more of an approach like that."

#4, Your Healthcare
Dr. Paul has been a medical doctor since 1961, after graduating from Duke University School of Medicine.   He worked as a flight surgeon in the U.S. Air Force and later as a obstetrician/gynecologist delivering over 4,000 babies.  Having a career in medicine coupled with a great economic mind allows Dr. Paul to make an educated case against Government-run healthcare instead of allowing emotions and non-experience dictate policy, as is the case now in Washington.

Here are some of Dr. Paul's thoughts on our "new" healthcare law that the federal government was so kind to give us: "As reliance on third-party health insurance grew, patients became detached from the true costs of their doctor visits. In the 1970s the Nixon administration, along with the late Senator Edward Kennedy, championed the cause of health maintenance organizations (HMOs). Congress accepted the faulty premise that HMOs would reduce costs through centralized management of patients, when in fact the opposite was true: more bureaucracy would only lead to higher costs, less accountability, and worse patient care.  In recent years Congress has only intensified the problem with more laws and more regulations, especially with the disastrous Medicare prescription drug benefit. The drug benefit was another example of naked patronage to a politically-connected industry, and it exponentially worsened the federal government’s balance sheet. Obamacare will be the last nail in the coffin of our bankrupt entitlement system. We need a system in America where patients pay cash for basic services, and carry insurance only for serious illnesses and accidents. “Health maintenance” is the responsibility of each of us individually. We cannot continue to collectivize the costs of healthcare and expect things to get better.  Authoritarianism is bad for your health. Congress should end the Obamacare mandate and allow market-based medicine to flourish."

#3, Your Right to Carry/2nd Amendment
I hope you've all read and understand our Constitution and Bill of Rights.  The founders of this country were very wise and had good reason to place gun-rights as the 2nd amendment to our Constitution.  The true reason for our having the 2nd amendment is to be able to protect ourselves from an oppressive government.  Look at the current situation in Libya or Iran, protestors are being gunned downed just for voicing their opinion.  The 2nd amendment also allows for Americans to protect their life and their property from criminals.  Dr. Paul has an 'A' rating from the National Rifle Association (NRA).  Larry Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America (GOA), is quoted as saying "Ron Paul has introduced bills to wipe out most federal gun-control laws. It is pretty hard to get more pro-gun than Ron Paul."

Dr. Paul has been quoted on the 2nd amendment saying, "As a United States Congressman, I take my oath to uphold all of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights very seriously. Unfortunately, too many in Washington DC believe they can pick-and-choose which provisions of the constitution they can uphold. For example, many politicians, judges, and bureaucrats believe they have the power to disregard our right to own guns, even though the second amendment explicitly guarantees the people's right to "keep and bear arms."  Like the Founding Fathers, I believe that the right to keep and bear arms is fundamental to a free society.  Where law-abiding citizens are most freely allowed to defend themselves, communities are safer, while crime rises when law-abiding people's access to firearms is restricted. Gun laws only disarm those who respect the law. Those with criminal tendencies do not turn in their weapons and reform their ways because government bureaucrats enact statutes that tell them to. Gun control laws turn peaceful citizens into sitting ducks for criminals to prey upon. Ironically, one of the most draconian gun laws in the nation is in the nation's capital. Banning guns did not make DC safer.  In fact crime in DC rose after the gun ban went into place! "

#2, The USA PATRIOT Act
Everyones favorite piece of legislation that wipes its butt with our Bill of Rights is the Patriot Act.  You probably remember President Obama on the campaign trail talking about abolishing the Patriot Act but last month he signed it's extension into law!?  We need a President who will actually DO what he says, not just say something to get people to vote for him.  Ron Paul has a long standing opposition to the Patriot Act because of its clear Constitutional violations.  The Patriot Act can be summed up best by a quote from Ben Franklin, "Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

Dr. Paul on the USA PATRIOT Act, "I was opposed to the PATRIOT Act in 2001, and do not believe now that it’s a good idea to extend it. The 4th Amendment is rather clear, it says that we should be secure in our papers, our persons, our homes, and our effects. And that if warrants are to be issued, we have to do it with probable cause and describe in particular the places, the people and the things that we’re going to look at. And I think what has happened over the years has been that we have diluted the 4th Amendment. It was greatly diluted in 2001, but it started a lot earlier than that when the FISA law was originally written in 1978. That really introduced the notion that the 4th Amendment was relative and not absolute. And later on, it was further weakened in 1998 and then of course in 2001.  I think our reaction to the horrors of 9/11 – we can understand the concern and the fear that was developed – but I think the reaction took us in the wrong direction because the assumption was made, of course, that we weren’t spending enough money on surveillance. And even though then our intelligences agencies received $40 billion, they didn’t give us the right information. So now we’re spending $80 billion.  But it also looks like the conclusion was that the American people had too much privacy, and if we undermine the American people’s privacy, somehow or the another, we’re going to be safer. I think another thing that has come up lately has been that the purpose of government is to make us perfectly safe. Now it is good to be safe, but governments can’t make us safe. I question whether or not we have been made safer by the PATRIOT Act."

#1, The National Debt
If you read my previous blog, The Fourteen Trillion Dollar Elephant In The Room, you would know that our current national debt now stands at approximately $14,194,100,000,000.  It would take you around 450,000 years to count to that number going at a rate of 1 per second.  The current debt levels can be attributed to the Federal Reserve system which has allowed crony-capitalism, welfare entitlements, unlimited warfare spending, and corporatism to takeover America.  The Federal Reserve has also allowed the Federal Government to print money out of thin air.  This should be everyones top concern because ultimately it is us, the taxpayers, that has to pick up the tab.

Dr. Paul has strong opinions regarding the Federal Reserve and our debt levels, saying: "The Constitution says: no emitting bills of credit, no paper money, only gold and silver can be legal tender. And today we allow big government to grow. Whether it’s on the conservative side or the liberal side, if they want something, they usually have compromise--spend it on both. Then they resort to printing money, and that is where our trouble is coming from, and that’s the crisis we’re facing. All great nations and great empires end for fiscal, financial reasons. That’s how the Soviet system was defeated. We didn’t have to invade them; we didn’t have to fight them. Their system collapsed. And that is what’s happening today, the middle class is getting wiped out, the middle class is getting poor, endlessly, because they can’t keep up with the cost of living. And the solution isn’t printing more money, and spending more money, and allowing the Federal Reserve to pretend they can solve the problem. The answer is found in fiscal conservatism: live within our means, is what we have to do.  I will always vote what I have promised, and always vote the Constitution, as well as I will not vote for one single penny that isn't paid for, because debt is the monster, debt is what's going to eat us up and that is why our economy is on the brink."

Ron Paul will need all the support he can get if he is to run for President in 2012.  It is up to all of us to stay well informed, do our own research and draw our own conclusions.  I think that you will like what you find when researching Congressman Ron Paul.

-M

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Last Space Mission For Discovery


Today will mark the 39th and final time that the Space Shuttle Discovery will launch into orbit.  Fueling began this morning in preparation for the scheduled 4:50pm launch.  If you are working today, fear not because NASA TV will be broadcasting all day.

Photo: REUTERS
If you are curious as to what the astronauts activity will be over the next days, take a look at this schedule.

Here is the schedule for today: 
10:15am: Docking coverage begins
11:00am: Pre-launch press conference
11:30am: Full launch coverage begins
4:50pm: Launch
5:45pm: Post-launch news conference

After Discovery, NASA has two more shuttle launches scheduled before retiring the fleet.  Space Shuttle Endeavor is scheduled for April 19th and Astronaut Mark Kelly, husband of recovering Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, will be onboard.  The final flight, Space Shuttle Atlantis, is scheduled for June 28th.

Always fun to watch!

-M

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Why Should A Solar Storm Concern Me?

NASA
If a strong enough solar storm hits Earth you will not be able to read this blog because your internet will not be working.  Your cell phone and GPS won't be working either.  Your electricity will not be working because the power grid will also be shut down.  

For how long?  No one really knows.  Days, months, years?  However long it takes to repair & replace it.  Some estimate between 4-10 years and at a cost of $1-2 Trillion.  Although, in a catastrophe such as this...why would anyone care about worthless paper money more than just helping rebuild society for the greater good?

That giant fireball in the sky is 93,000,000 miles away and is very very large.  To get a better perspective on the size of the sun, let's compare it to Earth.  If you had a beach-ball and a grain of sand, Earth would be the grain of sand whereas the sun would be the beach-ball.  A solar storm consists of eruptions of charged particles and blobs of plasma from the sun which are hurled towards Earth at 530 miles per second.

The sun has a cycle where roughly every 11 years it goes from a period of low solar activity to a period of maximum solar activity.  Our star is starting to wake up and solar activity is ramping up with maximum activity predicted sometime around 2013.  A recent solar flare happened this past Tuesday reaching Earth on Thursday causing communications disruptions in Asia.

Do you have your bug-out-bag prepared?

-M