Saturday, January 5, 2008

1-5-08: Boats; Debate

I went to the New York National Boat Show today at the Javits Convention Center in Manhattan. It was quite an experience. My dad's thinking about getting a boat for when my parents retire to North Carolina in several years, and wanted to do some preliminary searching.

My biggest surprise was how welcoming boating people are, at least the sales people. Granted, they're sales people, and I'd imagine all sales people are looking for suckers. Fortunately for us, we weren't planning on buying anything, though I was taking a good look at the Stingray 230LX, so we didn't have to worry about getting a bum deal. The funny part was that the first boat my parents looked at was the one they came back to at the end and called their favorite: a Sea Pro 180CC. They even liked it over a Boston Whaler, which is the default buy for New Englanders.

The yachts were something else, though. We didn't go into one, since the lines were ridiculously long, but we got some good looks from the outside. I'd love to buy one some day, maybe live on a boat for a while. That'd be neat. Maybe for 6 months or a year. I don't know if I'd want to live there much longer, though. You can only eat so much fish.

The other thing is all the shit you can buy to put on your boat. It's unbelievable. I saw special beds, all sorts of fancy boat equipment (including a Garmin GPS weather mapping device), and a whole bunch of stuff that just doesn't seem like it's close to necessary on a boat. It's just funny sometimes.

Overall, it was a pretty interesting experience. It was a pretty nice day out, which was nice. I don't know when or if I'll buy a boat, but it's not out of the picture.

On another note, I'm watching the Republican Presidential Debate in Manchester, NH on ABC as I'm writing this. I haven't watched many of the previous ones, but this one is pretty good. The Youtube debate was a joke, but this one seems to be pretty interesting.

Right now they're talking about health care. It's pretty neat to see all the different views on it. To be honest, I'm not sure if Mitt Romney's plan is a good one. I don't like how he wants to basically make it mandatory to buy insurance, but he does believe in the market. Giuliani's big on savings accounts, which is fine. I like McCain's incentive-based home care plans and his addressing the pharmaceutical companies. Thompson let me down a bit in his plan. Just doesn't seem to be much to it. Ron Paul seems pretty fair in his non-interference plan. But the one I like the best is Mike Huckabee, who goes right to the heart of the issue: preliminary care. I did a project in a hospital in Thailand a couple years ago, and the doctors there all spoke out on how expensive secondary and tertiary treatment is. If people took better care of themselves, through good diet and exercise, they'd stay healthy more often. That's pretty simple and practical to me! I'd give the edge to Huckabee on that one, in my opinion.

The big thing for me is that I'll only vote for a candidate who has similar views with me on issues I actually care about. If Giuliani is pro-choice or not is not my problem. If Romney is a Mormon, that's fine. I don't care. My big issues are (in order from most important): economic policy, social security, health care, immigration, terrorism (though it was among my top issues in 2004), and government spending. If some one is in agreement with me on those issues, that's all I essentially care about. Experience, race, age, gender, sexual orientation, and religion are not a problem (outside of Atheism, which is the only exception; I have my right to oppose an Atheist President). Why? Because a person who firmly believes there is no God likely lacks the sense of humility that is required to not only lead America, but to relate to Americans in a general sense.

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