Saturday, April 26, 2008

Banning Credit Card Solicitation on College Campuses

Last week the Tennessee State Senate Education Committee unanimously passed legislation out of their committee that would ban credit card solicitations on State college campuses. The bill grew out of concern about students graduating with large credit card debt.

As a housing counselor a lot of what I do actually has little to do with housing directly. A lot of my job is counseling people on credit repair, budgeting and money management skills. I know first-hand how inept many people are at managing their finances. I have often encountered college dropouts or recent college graduates with very large credit card debt in addition to their student loans. I know that credit cards are heavily marketed to students who do not even have incomes. Credit card companies offer inducement such as free backpacks or other give- aways to students to get them to accept a free credit card. Apparently most lenders make money off of making the credit cards available to students or they would no longer do it.

I share the concern of the State legislators. Many 18-year-olds, away from home for the first time may not have the maturity to turn down an offered credit card. However, the days of colleges being in loco parentis are long gone. The application of that principle has largely disappeared from higher education. In the modern college dorm no one is keeping the boys and girls separated. If your teen-age daughter gets pregnant you cannot sue the university. Universities are required to treat 18 year olds as adults.

Like it or not, at age 18 a person is an adult. An 18 year old may vote, may choose to get an abortion, may shake up with a member of the opposite sex, may get married, may purchase a car, may enter into contracts, may change religions, may drop out of college, may move across the country, and may join the military. About the only thing they cannot do that other adults can do is legally purchase alcohol. I am not so sure that the state should protect 18 year olds from credit card solicitors.

If parents have not trained their children to make wise decision before they turn 18 then I think by the age of 18 it is too late. With Tennessee second in the nation for personal bankruptcy, apparently a lot of children are not learning money management skills at home. If parents are not teaching their children well, then the state my have a roll to play, but that should be while the child is still in high school. Currently Tennessee offers an elective to high school students in personal finances. I would support making it mandatory.

In colleges however, I think we need to recognize that college students are adults. Along with the rights of being an adult, comes the responsibilities and paying the consequences for making poor decisions. We can only go so far in protecting adults from their own foolish behavior. An 18 year old should be free to make stupid decisions.

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Friday, April 25, 2008

Carter should stay home and teach Sunday School

Former President Carter should stay home and stick to teaching Sunday School and building houses. No doubt Jimmy Carter is a good man, but one can't be good at everything. He wasn't very good at foreign policy as President and should not try to practice it now.

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Condensed version of History for those who slept through World History 101

This was sent to me by my brother; not the liberal brother, my other brother.

Here is a condensed version.

Humans originally existed as members of small bands of nomadic hunters/gatherers. They lived on deer in the mountains during the summer and would go to the coast and live on fish and lobster in the winter.

The two most important events in all of history were:
1. The invention of beer, and
2. The invention of the wheel.

The wheel was invented to get man to the beer, and the beer to the man. These facts formed the foundation of modern civilization and together were the catalyst for the splitting of humanity into two distinct subgroups:
1. Liberals
2. Conservatives.

Once beer was discovered, it required grain and that was the beginning of agriculture. Neither the glass bottle nor aluminum can were invented yet, so while our early humans were sitting around waiting for them to be invented, they just stayed close to the brewery. That's how villages were formed. Some men spent their days tracking and killing animals to BB Q at night while they were drinking beer. This was the beginning of what is known as the Conservative movement.

Other men who were weaker and less skilled at hunting learned to live off the conservatives by showing up for the nightly BBQ's and doing the sewing, fetching, and hair dressing. This was the beginning of the Liberal movement.

Some of these liberal men eventually evolved into women. The rest became known as girlie-men. Some noteworthy liberal achievements include the domestication of cats, the invention of group therapy and group hugs, the evolution oft he Hollywood actor, and the concept of Democratic voting to decide how to divide all the meat and beer that conservatives provided.

Over the years, Conservatives came to be symbolized by the largest, most powerful land animal on earth, the elephant. Liberals are symbolized by the jackass.

Modern liberals like imported beer (with lime added), but most prefer white wine or imported bottled water. They eat raw fish but like their beef well done. Sushi, tofu, and French food are standard liberal fare. Another interesting evolutionary side note: most liberal women have higher testosterone levels than their men. Most social workers, personal injury attorneys, journalists, dreamers in Hollywood and group therapists are liberals. Liberals invented the designated hitter rule because it wasn't fair to make the pitcher also bat.

Conservatives drink domestic beer. They eat red meat and still provide for their women. Conservatives are big-game hunters, rodeo cowboys, lumberjacks, construction workers, firemen, medical doctors, police officers, corporate executives, athletes, Marines, and generally anyone who works productively. Conservatives who own companies hire other conservatives who want to work for a living.

Liberals produce little or nothing. They like to govern the producers and decide what to do with the production. Liberals believe Europeans are more enlightened than Americans. That is why most of the liberals remained in Europe when conservatives were coming to America! . They crept in after the Wild West was tamed and created a business of trying to get more for nothing.

Here ends today's lesson in world history.

It should be noted that a liberal may have a momentary urge to angrily respond to the above before forwarding it. A conservative will simply laugh and be so convinced of the absolute truth of this history that it will be forwarded immediately to other true believers, and to more liberals...just to irritate them. Have a great day.

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

I Love Eath Day

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Briley Berates Rep. Stacey Camfield over Child Support Paternity Bill

I think men should be forced to pay child support for children they produce. The state should aggressively pursue child support collection. However, it is an outrage that a man must pay child support for children that are not his own, unless he has adopted the children. That often occurs. Representative Stacey Campfield introduced a bill in the state legislature that would correct this injustice in Tennessee. Unfortunately, the House Judiciary Committee last week referred the bill for "summer study" which essentially kills the bill.

In this YouTube video Rep. Rob Briley lashes out against Campfiled, asking his views on infidelity, pre-marital sex and child support. This video was the subject of an article in this morning's Tennessean.

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Monday, April 21, 2008

Rolling, Rolling, Rolling, Blogrolling

I spend a lot of time surfing the net and I often come across sites that I really like. I have added Blogroll to my blog so I can more easily list these sites and share them with visitors to this blog. Previously I had my own list of links called “Links to the Good Side” and “Good Links to the Other Side”. I have deleted those categories and am throwing everything into Blogroll.

Listed in my Blogroll will not only be blogs but also publications and the link to the web sites of organizations. Not all of the sites I have listed are sites that I agree with politically. To be informed, I think one needs to read information from a wide variety of sources. I think one of the downsides to the Internet information age is that too many people tend to get a lot of information from sources that simply reinforce what they already believe. I make a conscious effort to read from a variety of points of view. If there is a link to a left wing or liberal site in this list it is because it is a site that I think is thought provoking, informative, or entertaining and a site I want to return to myself; it is not an endorsement of the political viewpoint of that site. For that matter, many of the Conservative sites are too neocon or religious right or global-warming-denying for my taste but I still think the sites have value anyway. Not all of the sites are of a political nature. I have interest other than politics, so I am basically linking to anything that I like and would like to share.

In using blogroll, if you hover your mouse over the link, you will get a short description of the site. I have not included that feature for all of the links however. Also, if the site has had an update in the last 24 hours, the words “new post” will appear next to the site title. Sites will open in a new window so you may return to my blog after you visit a site. My blogroll is in no particular order except that the newest additions are at the bottom of the list. So, if you return and want to see what new sites I have been added, look at the last entries.

At any one time only 30 sites will be featured but more sites may be achieved. From time to time, I will be deleting sites when I become bored with them or they may get replaced with similar sites that I think are better. Those sites that are linking to my blog will tend to stay on the list.

Here are just a few of the sites that I would like to call your attentions to:
Truth Serum This is the site of Don Williams. Don is an award-wining Journalist, a talented writer and he is my brother. Unfortunately he is very liberal.
Republicans for Environmental Protection Some Republicans do believe in global warming and sensible environmental policy.
Don and Earl Homepage Family and those who know me may be interested in this site. Don Williams of Don and Earl was my father.
The Charlie Daniels Band Charlie Daniels of CDB is quite the social conservative.
Cato Institute Cato is a libertarian think tank and offers analysis of the issues of the day from a classical liberal viewpoint without being so far out as to be irrelevant.
Hillbilly Savants Being from East Tennessee myself and having lived in upper East Tennessee, I enjoy this sites for its reporting on the true Appalachia instead of the Appalachia of movie stereotypes.
The Carbon Tax Center This site advocates for a carbon tax, an issue I feel strongly about.
Debt Free As a housing counselor teaching economic literacy and money management skills, I find this site a good source of practical information.
Tennessee Parks and Greenways Foundations My sister Kathleen Williams is Executive Director of this worthwhile organization.

Please visit often to see what new sites I have discovered. If you have a site you think I might be interested in and would like to recommend for my blogroll, either let me know in this comment section or email me. I will take a look

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Sunday, April 20, 2008

EU set to scrap biofuels target amid fears of food crisis

By Ian Traynor in Brussels
The Guardian, Saturday April 19 2008

The European commission is backing away from its insistence onimposing a compulsory 10% quota of biofuels in all petrol and dieselby 2020, a central plank of its programme to lead the world incombating climate change.

Amid a worsening global food crisis exacerbated, say experts andcritics, by the race to divert food or feed crops into biomass for the manufacture of vehicle fuel, and inundated by a flood of expert advice criticising the shift to renewable fuel, the commission appears to be getting cold feet about its biofuels target. Under the proposals, to be turned into law within a year, biofuels are to supply a tenth of all road vehicle fuel by 2020 as part of the drive to slash greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by the same deadline. (link)

Comment: The EU is backing away from its biofuel policy, the UK is “reviewing” its policy and Germany recently announced a retreat from its biofuel policies. Is there an American leader willing to offend the feel-good environmentalist and mid-west corn growers and propose a repeal of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007? Will an American leader stand up for common sense and true environmental interest or will we continue down the ethanol-fueled road of environmental degradation, government mandated increases in global warming, and higher food prices for the hungry of the world ?

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