About ME

My photo
Mansfield, Texas, United States
Mr. E is a Christian, Husband, Father of 2, former Army Officer and Texas Rangers Baseball fan.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Who Makes the Laws Around Here Anyway?

The Last time I read the U.S. Constitution, it was the Legislative Branch of Government's job to make laws or the people themselves by changing the Constitution through the Amendment Process. It is becoming increasingly clear; however, that the Judicial Branch of the United States is abusing its power to determine if a law is being enforced fairly or giving interpretation of the law as listed in the Constitution.

A prime example of this abuse of power is currently going on in California. The California Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case seeking to overturn the passing of a banning of same-sex marriages by the voters of California. By what authority does the Supreme Court have to even hear that case? The Supreme Courts of the U.S. are supposed to rule based on the current writings of their various State Constitutions. They cannot change the wording of such Constitutions, only rule based on what they say.

The people of California voted to change their Constitution to ban any further same-sex marriages in their state. The California Supreme Court may not like it but they must help enforce and rule in favor of the will of the people of California. (I do believe that any same-sex marriages that took place before the Amendment went into effect must be respected as being legal, thanks to the Ex Post Facto clause in the U.S. Constitution.) If the California Supreme Court rules that this Amendment is against the civil liberties of the people of their state, and they throw out the Amendment, they are setting a dangerous precedent. They are in effect going beyond their Constitutional powers as set aside in the U.S. Constitution. If the court systems of the United States can change the wording of the Constitutions of the U.S. and the 50 states at will, then they are making themselves the lawmakers of our government. That is not legal!

Even though I am a Christian and know that same-sex marriages are wrong in the eyes of God, I still believe that is a right to be determined by the individual state governments or the individuals of that state. The majority of the people in California, decided on that issue, and the Supreme Court of that state should and legally respect that decision until the voters repeal that amendment. They do not have the legal authority to overturn the will of the people.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A Letter From and To General Motors

Yesterday I got this very sincere e-mail from the General Motors Corporation.

Dear Mark English,

You made the right choice when you put your confidence in General Motors, and we appreciate your past support. I want to assure you that we are making our best vehicles ever, and we have exciting plans for the future. But we need your help now. Simply put, we need you to join us to let Congress know that a bridge loan to help U.S. automakers also helps strengthen the U.S. economy and preserve millions of American jobs.

Despite what you may be hearing, we are not asking Congress for a bailout but rather a loan that will be repaid.

The U.S. economy is at a crossroads due to the worldwide credit crisis, and all Americans are feeling the effects of the worst economic downturn in 75 years. Despite our successful efforts to restructure, reduce costs and enhance liquidity, U.S. auto sales rely on access to credit, which is all but frozen through traditional channels.

The consequences of the domestic auto industry collapsing would far exceed the $25 billion loan needed to bridge the current crisis. According to a recent study by the Center for Automotive Research:
• One in 10 American jobs depends on U.S. automakers • Nearly 3 million jobs are at immediate risk • U.S. personal income could be reduced by $150 billion • The tax revenue lost over 3 years would be more than $156 billion

Discussions are now underway in Washington, D.C., concerning loans to support U.S. carmakers. I am asking for your support in this vital effort by contacting your state representatives.

Please take a few minutes to go to http://email.generalmotors.bfi0.com/W0RH007CA036CE6AEDAFC290A0D6E0, where we have made it easy for you to contact your U.S. senators and representatives. Just click on the "I'm a Concerned American" link under the "Mobilize Now" section, and enter your name and ZIP code to send a personalized e-mail stating your support for the U.S. automotive industry.

Let me assure you that General Motors has made dramatic improvements over the last 10 years. In fact, we are leading the industry with award-winning vehicles like the Chevrolet Malibu, Cadillac CTS, Buick Enclave, Pontiac G8, GMC Acadia, Chevy Tahoe Hybrid, Saturn AURA and more. We offer 18 models with an EPA estimated 30 MPG highway or better — more than Toyota or Honda. GM has 6 hybrids in market and 3 more by mid-2009. GM has closed the quality gap with the imports, and today we are putting our best quality vehicles on the road.

Please share this information with friends and family using the link on the site.

Thank you for helping keep our economy viable.


Troy Clarke
Group Vice-President
President, GM North America

My response: Mr. Clarke,

I have always supported American made products over those produced by foreign companies, except when the quality and durability of the product far exceeds those of American products.

I do not; however, support the mismanagement of corporate dollars or the loaning of millions of my tax dollars to bail you out of debt, when I am working very hard to keep my own family out of debt. I did not support the bail out of the banking/credit system of the United States and I do not support loaning you money either. It is because of excessive misuse of credit by your company and authorized dealers that has led to this "crisis" in our economy in the first place.

If you really want to help our economy, lower the prices of your vehicles so that average Americans can buy them without having to sacrifice a kidney to get one. You could also help by making cars that are more fuel efficient, family safe and durable. Don't tell me you have been working on this for years. You and the other auto companies have had the capability to do this for years, you just haven't made it available to the American public yet.

I believe that in order for you to create a better GM, you must learn from your mistakes just like everyone else. I believe if you truly "suffer" in the short-run, you will learn and bounce back even stronger.

I regret that many Americans will loose their jobs because of the current crisis. I too have suffered during this time. I will pray for you and your company, but if I contact my Legislators, it will be to remind them, that I do not want any of my tax dollars going to help any business that is in financial trouble. If we help the large industries that are in trouble, then we need to help every other smaller industry that is competing with you in the same manner.

Thank you for contacting me regarding this matter. I hope you understand my position as well.

Mark English

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Do You Know Your Spouse? A Quiz for You

I found this quiz from Scott's blog, Honey I Fed the Kids! I thought I would give it a try. Jamie, let me know how I did?

1. She's sitting in front of the TV, what is on the screen? She would be watching ICarly with the kids, a Lifetime Movie, The 70's show or The Office!

2. You're out to eat; what kind of dressing does she get on her salad? None, she likes her salad naked! Hubba-Hubba.

3. What's one food she doesn't like? Sauerkraut (I cheated on this one, I just had lunch with her and I sort of brought it up in conversation.)

4. You go out to the bar. What does she order? A Margarita

5. Where did she go to high school? Howe High School in Howe, Texas (Go Bulldogs!)

6. What size shoe does she wear? I think a women's 8. I know I wear an 8 in men's and her foot is about my size.

7. If she was to collect anything, what would it be? She used to collect Coca-Cola stuff, and then she collected cows. Now she collects anything Beth Moore or hugs from our cat Scout.

8. What is her favorite type of sandwich? She is not much of a sandwich eater, but she does like a roasted-chicken breast sandwich at Subway!

9. What would she eat every day if he could? Chocolate, especially M&M's

10. What is her favorite cereal? Fiber-One or something else healthy. She used to love Fruity Pebbles in college.

11. What would she never wear? A "sexy" Halloween costume or any outfit that makes her look like a ... well you know!

12. What is her favorite sports team? She doesn't keep up with sports much, but she does like watching the Texas Rangers with me!

13. Who will she vote for? She would have voted for John Edwards or Hillary Clinton in the last election, but alas they did not get their party's nomination.

14. Who is her best friend? Other than Jesus or myself, I don't know if she has "ONE" best friend. Her best friend in high school was Sandra and in college it was Heather or Lisa.

15. What is something you do that she wishes you wouldn't do? Eat unhealthy things. She is worried I might not live to see our grand kids if I don't start eating better and working to improve my health. Another thing is to stop being so negative about things. It has a way of showing in the way I deal with my kids and my attitude towards work and life in general.

16. How many states has she lived in? Only in Texas (but in 14 different locations in Texas). She did get stuck in Arizona for a week when she was younger.

17. What is her heritage? Judging from her pale skin, I would say a lot of German. According to her family tree, she is a mix of English, French and German.

18. You bake her a cake for her birthday; what would it be? Anything Chocolate.

19. Did she play sports in high school? Only when forced by the P.E. teacher! Marching Band counts as a P.E. credit, does it count as a sport?

20. What could she spend hours doing? Sitting on the couch with me touching her feet and legs and cuddling with the cat. She could also spend time reading if she had a lot of extra time.

21. What's something cool about her? She loves me despite my flaws. She has a way of seeing the positive in all the things I see the negative in. She loves our kids and especially our cat Scout.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Things I Struggle With

Sometimes it is so easy to brag about yourself on a blog. I hope that I don't do that very often, especially to seek attention. I don't have enough loyal readers to get that much attention anyway.

Sometimes a fellow just needs to bring some things to the table and have his fellow men pray for him.

Guys (and my few lady readers), I am struggling.

I struggle with making time to spend with my God. I used to get up early every morning to do that, now I find myself "busy" doing other things in the mornings and not starting my day with God.

I find my self wanting things I don't need, especially when I don't have the money to buy it anyway. For example: I can't wait for The Dark Knight to come out on DVD. I really don't need any more movies to take up space at the house, but yet I want it anyway.

I am especially struggling with eating. I am not a heavy man by all means. 176 lbs currently. Still that puts me about 12 pounds over my healthy weight for a guy my age and height. Considering I am suffering from High Blood Pressure and Cholesterol, this may have something to do with it.
I have started to do cardio exercise at least three days a week. I hope this helps.

More than just adding a few pounds, I am becoming near obsessed with eating. I will finish my kids plates, I sneak in extra meals when I am out on the road. I think about how long it has been since I had a certain food and I make an extra effort to go and eat it. I need some help. I am currently reading a book, very similar to a 12 Step Book, that I think is starting to change my attitude about food. I will let you know how I do.

This is all I have time to confess about today, but I keep you posted on things as they pop up!
Pray for me guys, I need it.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Jury Duty

Tomorrow I am reporting to our local District Court for Jury Duty. I have been called to Jury Duty a total of six times, including this appearance. The last time I was called, I was actually chosen. It was in municipal court and a fellow was trying to fight a speeding ticket. The rest of the jury and I found him guilty and made him pay about half of the maximum fine allowed.

I realize not many people like to be called to serve on a jury. It never seems to fall at an convenient time, it's often boring, it can be confusing, you are away from your family (especially if you are a single parent or you are sequestered) and you have to miss work (which may be a good thing sometimes.) Most of the people I am called to report with are thinking of ways to get out of serving. This is a sad thing in my opinion.

Our forefathers had the insight to include in our Bill of Rights, the right to trial by jury, to protect us from a government who, at the time, could jail you or execute you without a trial at all. I think it is probably the most important civic duty a citizen of the United States could do, except vote!

Yes, it may be boring or inconvenient, but what if it were you on trial? Would you want a jury full of cranky people who hate YOU, the probably guilty person, for taking time out of their "busy" schedule or would you rather have a jury full of people who understand their sacred civic duty and believe it is the prosecution's job to prove you guilty? I hope that if I ever need a jury, those who serve on it can look past the time they have to spend there and that they truly seek to do what it right.

I am honored to serve my fellow citizens! I hope those who read this are as well.

Update: 11-17-2008: The jury panel I was selected to be on was dismissed after the fellow (who was charged with murder) struck a bargain with the D.A. for a lighter sentence.