Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Liver and Onions - the Story of My Life

When I went away to college, the dining hall was run by a company known as Saga Foods. Palatable, but not special (except for my dining companions). Except on Saturday night. Saturday was steak* night. Saga Bill would stand outside all afternoon in the Northern Illinois cold grilling steaks over several charcoal grills. Several times I noticed a phenomenon. Just when I got to the point in the serving-line where one would normally be handed their steak on a plate, they ran out. Boom. That's it. I got the alternative choice which no one had taken - Liver and Onions. Now, I like onions well enough, but I never developed a taste for liver. As a matter of fact, I couldn't abide it at all. It was not that I hadn't tried. But the important thing was that the change-over came just when I got there.

Several years later, when I went into the Army it happened every time I turned around. I waited my turn and when it got to me to be my turn, the whole game changed. When I was inducted, the rest of the guys boarded an airplane to fly off to basic training. I was unceremoniously abandoned to fend for myself. In WOCS (Warrant Officer Candidate School) we were hazed constantly by upperclassmen. The practice stopped when my cohort became upperclassmen. When I got to Vietnam, all the others were assigned leaving me standing by myself.

Now, It is about to happen to me again. I have lived my life pretty much by the rules. Behaved myself. Gotten myself out of all debt. Stayed with my job for 25 years. And I am getting toward the portion of the line where they serve the steak - retirement. I never expected much. Just enough to get by on. That miscellaneous cut of meat that is tough, but tastes good enough. But I expected to have some rest (and escape from the ingrateful complaining people adults and children who make up most of our educational system). But as I approach that point in the line, I see the steaks dwindling. The Politicians, the media people, and their cronies have taken the biggest ones for themselves; and more important than that, they are throwing the rest in the trash. They are debasing our currency to buy themselves one more election cycle. They are going to loot our retirements directly by taxation and indirectly by debt so they can get votes and contributions (read bribes) from groups like the UAW and others. They are going to prolong the agony of that meltdown at the expense of my future.

It's not just the stock market, but that doesn't help. That was just a place where people and retirment systems could store their wealth. With everyone trying to escape from being stuck when Obama and the Democrats (in particular, but no exclusively) raise capital gains taxes, no one is buying, so the price goes down and wealth just evaporates.

It is the money itself. Whether the bailout comes from loans from the Chinese ( interest is the largest item in the Federal Budget) or from printing and circulating unbacked currency, our National Treasury is being depleted and our money is not worth as much, will not buy as much, will not support us as much or as long as we planned.
It will not repay our sacrifice in scrimping and saving to accumulate it. And we at retirement will never be able to rebuild our individual wealth.

Whatever I have saved, What ever I have put away, Whatever retirement I have accrued, is about to be liver-and-onions. Just so the politicians can have one election cycle. Just so the UAW can have its overpaid and under-worked jobs for another three months. Just so the executives at AIG can have one more banquet.

And, don't get me started on that line over there for Medical care. Good Medical care is about to run out too. Just wait until the Politicians fix that one.

*Steak in the sense that they were once beef from real cows. The cut of meat wasn't really a good one, and they were tough, but they had sat in the juices and tasted good enough.


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Archway Cookies - a Christmas Miracle

I just found out that Archway Cookies shut its doors about six weeks ago and that Lance Cookies has bought the remains and is going to reopen it. But more important, they sent a Christmas present to all the employees who had been dismissed - a $1500 prepaid debit card.

I cannot help but think that the fact that Lance is from Charlotte, North Carolina, has something to do with it. I could do one of my essays about the illogical and stingy things that are bringing us to this point, but I will do that in a separate essay, so as not to steal the thunder of Lance's good deed. Let me just say that as a transplanted Yankee who has lived in the South for many years, that these people, Southern United States citizens, so maligned by the media and the people of the Coast-wise Megalopolises as rubes and bigots are truly the salt of the earth.

For now, I am going to buy and share more Lance crackers and cookies.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

On Party Loyalty

It is always the politicians of our own party that become the biggest disappointment -- whichever party that is, particularly in a one party {state|county|city} where there is no competition to keep them honest. In Chicago it is the Democrats who abuse the system, because they can. In the suburbs it is the Republicans. A particularly vicious case are the ones who change party to match whichever party has been winning the most elections recently -- they can generally be counted on to be corrupt, for they stand for nothing really but themselves.
We need to keep them unsure of their tenure, so they stay on their best behavior. And when we treat parties with unquestioning loyalty we get what we deserve.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sea of Tranquility

Sea of Tranquility
Originally photographed by Christopher Ness
Yesterday was the full moon while the moon was at it perigee or closet point to the Earth by nearly 16,000 miles. It is also within ten days of its furthest track north on its annual migration, making for it appearing nearly 14% larger angularly.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Time Has Come

The nights are starting to be below freezing.
Christmas is coming.

Time for the TV News to start pouring out for display its shows of compassion.
It is time to collect toys for the children of crack ho's rather than taking custody of the children.

And it is time for the supreme show of compassion. It is time for the homeless shelter stories -- pictures of suburban white housewives volunteering, putting sheets and blankets on the beds at the shelter while the future beneficiary of that indoor bed stands impatiently waiting. A homeless person so pitiful that he can't even make his own bed.

As my friend Eddie once told me "the poor are different than you or me, they are poor." To which I responded, "at what income level do you wipe you face?"

Friday, December 12, 2008

Bailout the Big Three? Or the UAW?

Normally, when I give Ford or GM money, I get a car in return. The union guys go in and take the stockholders tools and materials and make me a car. I have always heard how lazy they are, how everything is "not my job" and "union rules won't allow that." I have also heard of them getting paid for make-work and getting 95% pay for lay-offs.
This seems to be the ultimate destination of the game. Now we just send them money and they do not have to do anything. They have to make no cars. They just get my money. That's it - the whole transaction is "Give me your money or else". I feel like I am being robbed at gunpoint, hands in the air.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Big Three Bailout

Congress is considering bailing out the "Big Three" automakers -- GM, Chrysler, and Ford. The amount is 35 Billion dollars. But no one, no newscaster, no politician, not even any talk radio hosts are bringing that down to what it really means. 35 billion dollars is $35,000,000,000 and would buy 1.75 million twenty-thousand dollar ($20,000) cars or nearly three million Saturns!

But that is only part of the story. "Would buy" means the gross amount, but that is not profit or even the net amount of profit and retained earnings that the companies would keep, which is the real equivalent. That is -- money which would go directly into the accounts of the automakers themselves. This amount is typically 8 to 10 percent of the cost to the dealers. But for simplicity, we will use 10% of gross which is far more than the actual amount and will make my estimate come out low. But using that 10% figure, this is the amount that is paid to the shareholders, the research and development expense, and management expense that would be banked selling 17.5 million $20,000 cars.

To give that some perspective, it has taken GM eleven years to sell three million "Certified Pre-Owned" cars"*. And in the first quarter of 2007, GM sold 2.26 million vehicles and reported net income of $62 million or only thirty dollars per vehicle.**

In any event, this is money removed from the pockets of the very people who would use this same money to buy cars from these companies. So we see what is in it for the "Big Three", what do we get for our money this way?


Sunday, November 30, 2008

A Little Harder Civics Test

Knowing how you and I like tests, I present this somewhat more challenging test.

I "answered 32 out of 33 correctly — 96.97 %

Average score for this quiz during November: 77.8%
Average score: 77.8%"

Now, this is where it gets interesting: the test was given to mere mortals like you and me, and to those who have run for and won public office. The results were fascinating. On a question be question basis, politicians know less than the rest of us.

Ok, everyone, your turn.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Saxby Chambliss - enough already!

For Gods Sake!!! Somebody kill that Saxby with his family ad. Every eight minutes or so, they play an ad where the ten or so grandkids shout in unison: "Please vote for mah big daddy".
I am still going to vote for him just to keep the Senate below 60 Democrats, but I can never look at him the same again. But don't we as Southerners have to face enough prejudice without sounding like a Tennessee Williams play?

Southern White Males, the only group it is politically correct to make fun of. And they caricaturize themselves to boot.


On the side of this Blog page is a cute little applet that shows and tracks the price of gold. I don't own any gold, mostly because while it is a great hedge against hyper-inflation, I do not do much in the way of $1000 transactions. Oh, a house, and a camera, and an occasional car, but other than that? For hyper-inflation, I stick to Silver, heavier per value, but its nice twenty dollar per troy ounce¹ increments far more liquid.
BUT, Gold is an excellent barometer of the health of wealth. And in the last 40 hours, I have noticed something. Gold has increased against the dollar by 20% - It went from $775 per troy ounce spot price to $925.10 per ounce. This is an increase of almost exactly 20%. Somebody somewhere with lots of Money² thinks the world just went to hell in a handcart

¹ Not spot - what you or I would actually pay to hold it in our hot little hands.
²First mis-type was Monet. Probably have lots of those too.

Good New from Mombai!

This just in: (CNN News (true))
President Elect Obama has been briefed on the conflict in Mombai the city in India formerly known as Bombay. President Elect has put his transition team to work on the situation.
Unfortunately, he is prevented from accomplishing his goals due to an obscure rule preventing his control of the military until January.
This also noted: Bush is aware of the events.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Protest March -- November 2008

Protest March -- November 22
Originally uploaded by luxomni
In solidarity with the protest, I will not be cooking a turkey this Thanksgiving.

(Disclaimer - nothing in this post is any indication that I will not eat one should one that is already dead and cooked pass in front of me. Please pass the ... )

Monday, November 24, 2008

On the Credit Crunch or Words Mean Something

"Credit is the provision of resources (such as granting a loan) by one party to another party where that second party does not reimburse the first party immediately, thereby generating a debt, and instead arranges either to repay or return those resources (or material(s) of equal value) at a later date. The first party is called a creditor, also known as a lender, while the second party is called a debtor, also known as a borrower."
....................................Wikipedia <- credit of source, so you can believe ...

From third person singular from the Latin credo or "I believe", credit is the root of all societies from the origin of time. Credit is the belief that at some point in the future you will be repaid plus something for the use of your money/property/labors/credit.
The Wikipedia definition of credit is merely one use of the word, and it has bullied its way to the forefront; but the root meaning of belief is still valid as the cause of the crunch. Belief.
The problem is: What do we as a people believe in? God? Our Country? It's Constitution? Our money? Our Future? Our humanity? Our selves?

For the last century we have been crawling then walking, then striding toward a belief in nothing. Not just Atheism, but anarchy. Driven by a media, Politicians, and an educational system some with good intentions, some not, but with a commonality that they attribute no importance to the individual other than as being owned by society. Then there should be no surprise that the population holds no credit in our future. They instinctively credit these bailouts and the president-elect's promises are written to be paid for with an every increasing draft on our future labor. And that belief means less of our future for ourselves and our families. That you can believe.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Dis-establishing Another Holiday

The Liberal politically Correct faction of our society is disassembling our culture one holiday at a time. First they killed off Columbus Day and most recently they killed off any public expression of Christmas, even secular.

This morning (11/23/08) I was listening to PBS on XM radio. This is not something I normally do, but while learning the new XM channels, I had tuned past and stayed on Prairie Home Companion. So when I drove to the store this morning PBS was on. I am not familiar enough to name person and show, but the point of the interview was plain enough -- Pilgrims. African Americans in the South and Hispanics in California can not identify with Pilgrims. Even Russian immigrants in New York City can not identify with Thanksgiving. So it is a Holiday that has lived past its prime. No mention of assimilating to an existing tradition. No mention of establishing commonalities. Simply stated, there weren't any minority Pilgrims, so it has to go.

I think I'll just go cry somewhere. But I am Thankful we had it for most of my life.

p.s. Yesterday was November 22nd. It passed for me without hearing without any mention of 1963. Every newscast contained Jan 20th 2009 though.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Water, water, everywhere ...

And the Albatgore begins to be avenged.

Water, water, every where,
And all the boards did shrink ;
Water, water, every where,
Nor any drop to drink.
....................Samuel Taylor Coleridge
....................The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

Yesterday was International Toilet Day. There is an advocacy group (what else) who want to stamp out flush toilets as destroying water. If there was ever an advocacy group that displayed its true ignorance to a greater extent, I am not aware of it.*
Water is not destroyed -- except in an occasional high school chemistry class -- by man or nature. Water may carry unpalatable things with it, even pollutants. But it is never irretrievable. Whether in its gaseous, liquid or solid state, it is still water.
The problem is distribution. Three quarters to seven eighths of the earth's surface is water, generally saline. If we need more, we only have to desalinate it. While that requires energy, that is a job best done by solar energy.
If you ever fly into San Francisco, at the south end of San Francisco Bay you will notice large square patterns in the water. These are evaporative salt ponds. They are filled with bay water which is allowed to evaporate to harvest salt. The water is allowed to escape and fall to earth as rain somewhere else. One possibility it to allow ocean water to flow by gravity to areas like the Salton Sea, Death Valley, or the eastern end of the Sahara Desert, or the Gobi and allow open evaporation to increase the rainfall in the downwind area. I can hear the Earth Firsters already -- "You are destroying nature". But the truth is we would not be. For nature has already been there and done that. The problem was that the source of water got blocked and the process ceased. We would merely be setting the earth's clock back and repriming its pump.
To a lessor scale, the evaporative process could be done in a closed loop system of contained evaporative ponds. This would be suitable for places like Dubai, and it would not surprise me to find these passive energy desalinators in use there already. After all, they have an enclosed ski mountain. To them this investment would be child's play. The byproduct salts would be added income.
And finally, there is the Gwinnett water system answer. Little spoken of because of human sensibilities or the lack thereof; but safe nonetheless. Thee sewage effluent is treated and released back into Lake Lanier where it it drawn tempered by fresh water, treated again and sent back to your home.

*With the possible exception of the environmental services person at the school system where I work who fell for my MSDS sheet warning of the dangers of Hydrogen Hydroxide (or as Neal Boortz calls it Di-Hydrogen Monoxide).

Monday, November 17, 2008

Atlanta's underfunded arts

Letter to the Editor after an article in the local counterculture paper.
Mara quoted Karen Tauches:
"It's a double standard," she says. "You're supposed
to make art at this international, expensive level;
like it's no good unless it's manufactured and
clean, it's in a crisp, white space, and it gets
pressed in Art in America or something."

It always seems to come down to the same thing, doesn't it? You as an artist want somebody else to pay for your art whether they want to or not. Then, yes, we should get to choose what we think is good enough to pay for, not you; after all it is our money you want to be given.
Think of someone actually paying for your art as the ultimate critical review of your work. The only artistic review I can think of that was better was the one given by to another government funded artist by the cleaning crew of the about to be opened Richard Russell Federal Building when they carried it out to the dumpster with the rest of the trash.

You want money for art? Do something that someone else will want to keep seeing. You want to be paid whether they like it or not -- and you really don't care whether you do please them or not. In fact you revel in the superiority of your taste over that of the ordinary people you want to fund your work. You are in it for your own enjoyment. There is a term for doing something solely for your own enjoyment without trying to please another person. That term is masturbation.

(BTW, Karen, you look really dumb in that badly tied tie)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Think as I think

Stormy Weather
Originally uploaded by luxomni
"Think as I think," said a man,
"Or you are abominably wicked;
You are a toad."
And after I had thought of it,
I said, "I will, then, be a toad."

......... Stephen Crane

Friday, November 14, 2008

Fifty Million Americans | Organizing

I found an interesting site. One of the inherent problems is that Libertarians and to a lesser extent Republicans are parties of individuals, individual sovereignty, and individual rights; unlike the Democrat party which is an alliance of self-interested groups that intend to enrich and empower themselves at the expense of others.
Despite the humor of Will Rogers many decades ago: "I don't belong to an organized political party - I'm a Democrat." The truth is that the organization of the Democrat party is dogmatic and strictly enforced. It is the Republicans who can never agree on a direction to plow. And libertarians, by their very nature are loners.

I have never been much of a joiner. I didn't even do well with the Boy Scouts (could never memorize those pesky laws - even if I did follow most of them) Did one meeting with the VFW and gave up after all the pomp-and-circumstance -- "Sergeant-at-Arms bar the doors and make sure no non-members are present" and calling each other "Comrade" had a ring of self-important silliness. My three shots at employment with labor unions was enough to convince me that men and lemmings shared a lot of the same genes and that left to a group men would shoot themselves in the foot every time. (And that every union's "international"* officers exist to enrich themselves at the expense of the membership)

So if we as individuals are ever to be able to withstand the onslaught of communitarianism that is washing over the United states, we will have to band together as something. As individuals, we will never withstand the drive to stamp out individualism. I do not know yet if this group is the one, but I am going to learn more and consider it.

Fifty Million Americans | Organizing

* Singing the Internationale the whole time.

On Stolen Elections

My first wife and were only married about four years. In all that time we never had an argument where she admitted she was wrong. The law of averages says that at least once-in-a-while I had to be right. I mention this because I noticed something interesting about found and corrected ballots. It was true also in the famous 2000 Florida recounts. It seems that all the "found" ballots are from voters who voted for the person who needs the votes, in this case, Al Franken. For the moment, I will refrain from saying voter fraud. I know that the person who "found" the ballots in her car was a Democrat worker as are almost all workers in Government offices. But there seems to be a lot of stupidity running around. Perhaps this is a characteristic of Democrats? Why were the ballots in her car? Why didn't she know she even know they were there? Why did she only have ballots from people who voted for Al Franken? Questions that will never be asked, much less honestly answered.
Apparently, only Democrat voters foul up ballots. Only Democrat voters have to change their votes. Only Democrat voters have to have their ballots studied to divine their real intentions. Just as before, only Democrat voters could not figure out how to push a chad out of a tabulating card. If not stupidity on the part of the voters, it can only be attributed to dishonesty on the part of the counters.

It sort of reminds me of the famous Chicago election where the machine candidate wasn't content to win, he had to give himself 100% of the vote. A few people protested and the fraud was found out. That and it reminds me of my ex who could not afford to lose even one argument.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

snow blown

snow blown
Originally uploaded by luxomni
Winter is icumen in,
Lhude sing Goddamn,
Raineth drop and staineth slop,
And how the wind doth ram!
Sing: Goddamn.
Skiddeth bus and sloppeth us,
An ague hath my ham.
Freezeth river, turneth liver,
Damn you, sing: Goddamn.
Goddamn, Goddamn, 'tis why I am, Goddamn,

So 'gainst the winter's balm.
Damn you Sing goddamn, damn, Damn you sing Goddamn,
Sing goddamn, sing goddamn.

...............................................Ezra Pound

Sunday, November 9, 2008

In Memoriam -- Rockmart Seaboard Station

Rockmart Seaboard Station
Originally uploaded by luxomni
It would have made a nice rest stop and snackbar on the Silver Comet Trail. It sat in the middle of a wye where the tracks in front of it and behind it in this view have not been used in years. And the one behind me is seldom used. It would have kept the railroad motif of the trail where once the luxury train from Washington through the South ran.

I say "would have" because, alas, it is no more. Our governments tax the property of the railroad whether or not it is in use with no mercy. Instead of trying to conserve the past or encourage the future, we tax and tax again to sqeeze every last penny into our government coffers to buy votes with, or to enrich out public office holders. The environmentalists wring their hands at our energy use, but do not encourage our Government to provide incentive to re-establish private mass transit . Only inefficient, inconvenient and unserving government transit is to be encouraged.

So another quaint old station succumbs to the bulldozer, and we are that much more impoverished by it.

Irony is invisible to the truly ironic

I spoke to two small businessmen in the latter half of this week -- a Pakistani gas station owner, and an Indian small restaurant owner. They are the opposite of the custodians I wrote of yesterday. They came here for the wealth, not the freedom. Each is dead center in the crosshairs of the coming rape of the wealthy, but neither sees it.
The gas station owner said "Oh, no, I am not going to be taxed. I do not make $250,000 a year, but my cousin does. He is rich, let him pay it." I guess he does not know that the Bush tax cuts sunset in 2010.
The small restaurant owner frowned when I asked him how he felt about the election. Obama will raise his taxes. "Good, I thought someone who gets it". Until the subject of medical care came up. I mentioned that I had not thought McCain to be much better on that subject. Ali became quite animated. He needed medical care. It was too expensive. The government must provide it. "How?" I asked. The cost is the wages of the doctors, nurses and companies who work in the health care field. Should they work for free? "But they must" he said, for "we all need medical and I cannot afford it". He has a disconnect between them and himself. We all must eat. Even more universal than the need for medicine. Must he feed me? And not profit from it?
Yeah, that might work. For how long? We could enslave the doctors and nurses to be government employees paid by their own taxes. Drawing the same reward whether they worked hard or goofed off.
But when this generation is gone why would they spend those hard years in college for a fixed reward? And the companies? What medicine has any government ever developed? Not even euthanyl is a government drug, although it would be the type that they would develop. Without profit as a motive, why bother? Develop a better Wii game instead or become the all-American profit machine -- become a lawyer and tort your way to wealth.

Time to Reread Atlas Shrugged

It always amazes me how prescient she was. She saw all this coming fifty years ago and more. As you may or may not know, I spend my Saturdays touring the vanishing small towns taking pictures of what is left of the industry that made the United States great. Yesterday, the Saturday after the election of he who will provide prosperity by government spending,

I walked through the ruins of an old factory in a one factory town. There is not much left, but people. After the factory left, the company that bought the factory couldn't restore the glory and tore it down for scrap only to quit half way through. The businesses of the town shuttered. The people stayed on. Some owned, some rented, some squatted. Some commute to the next town to ride its factory down, and the rest just wait for their relief check. I could see myself walking with Dagny and Hank Rearden looking through the rubble to find the secret of the motor to run the universe in this, the wreckage of our prosperity surrounded by the people who thought that the jobs that the factory provided were theirs by virtue of their need. I have seen so many of these now but I cannot seem to become inured to them.

This election is proof that more than half of our country think that the can get more out of the equation that they put in. Providing something of value -- your own labor -- is unnecessary to derive benefit, whether that be food, shelter, or even medicine.

We can tax corporations to provide our needs -- why is the price going up? It must be their greed.
We can tax the rich to provide our needs -- the sum total of the wealth of the Fortune five hundred won't drive the country but a day. Two at the most. And then they are gone, greedy bastards, deserting us. They must work for our needs. We nee...no, no, we don't -- They need us. Of course they do. From each according to his ability to each according to his need. And the rich need us, the poor. What for?

Saturday, November 8, 2008

First impressions

My "real" job is to keep the electricity and electrical systems running in a large public school system. I have noticed a few things this week after the election of Barak Obama.
My first shock was the behavior of the teachers - or at least the black ones. The celebration, the dancing, high-fiving and cries of "We won", while not surprising, were inappropriate in the setting of the schools. Had the results been opposite, similar actions by white teachers could be considered criminal.
Two, the expressed presumption that I was a McCain supporter (I voted for him, but I was anything but a supporter) by a black teacher is prejudice. period. Plus, she overlooks that more white persons voted for Obama than black persons did. That's right. Blacks make up about 12% of the population and Obama got more than 55% of the vote. Without the white vote, he would have had 11% of the vote. Total. So four times as many whites and asians voted for Obama as blacks did.
One more. The custodians in my schools. Once a job for uneducated blacks, our custodians more and more are from second and third world countries. Daily I encounter Romanians, Bosnians, Serbs, Russians, Moldavians, Cambodians, Vietnamese, lots of Cubans and a Herzogovnian. Most are working below their educational level and their occupations in their old countries. They are all refugees from Communist countries and all that I have talked to so far are unhappy with this election -- and scared. Many are better informed than I. My earlier post on killings being an integral part of every Communist revolution from the French Revolution until Venezuela came from a particularly outspoken Cuban custodian. A Vietnamese yesterday cautioned me about re-education camps. "They tell you bring ten days food. Stay twenty years."
We have spoken much about "media bias" during this election --CBS, CNBC, CNN, New York Times. And we have had our "new media" Fox, Worldnetnet Daily, Little Green Footballs, Rush, Hannity, Boortz and Glen Beck. But there is another "new media" out there. The ethnic presses of the various immigrant communities. And they recognize what is happening even if our children don't. They have seen it before. The road to hell on earth paved with good intentions. And they are scared of reliving the past.
I am not thrilled about the election, but I do not harbor that kind of fear -- yet. I am more afraid of social upheaval; a disruption of the food chain similar to the one that disrupted the gasoline supplies last month. Combine that with confiscation of the registered guns (you can not really believe that that thieves and owners of unregistered and stolen guns are going to turn theirs in -- do you?) and that redistribution of wealth is obvious and simple. Your food - their mouths. And I do believe that neither Obama the man nor Obama the phenomenum can or desire to protect us.

Monday, October 27, 2008

will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States

How can you defend and preserve it if you think it is fundamentally flawed?

Today the talk shows are all talking about his redistribution of wealth views. They miss something more basic. Obama thinks the Constitution is flawed because it is all "negative rights." It wastes too much time on nots. "The states shall not ..." "The Government shall make no ..." Silly trivial stuff like that that get in the way of the Government's real purpose. This takes too much away from what Mr. Obama believes the Government's real purpose is -- taking from those who receive too much benefit from their efforts and giving it to those who only do the minimum necessary.

The Freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution should have been Roosevelt's "Freedom from Want". "Freedom of Speech". Freedom of Religion." and "Freedom from Fear". Well, at least the first one. The other three? Well, Freedom of speech interferes with our plan. Only superstitious bigots still cling to their bibles (and guns). And freedom from fear? You have nothing to fear as long as you do what we tell you.

No, Mr. Obama you are supposed to swear to preserve, protect, and defend this Constitution, not the one you wish it was, Even if you don't understand why the founding fathers designed it this way.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Are They Nuts?

Or just very confident? The Democrat Leadership has a plan to take away the tax advantage on 401-K plans and replace it with a mandatory 5% contribution to a new government plan. It would then pay $600 per year back at retirement, according to Workforce Management, a non-political trade publication. For the mathematically impaired, six hundred dollars is five per cent of twelve thousand dollars. So you will get out less than you pay in if you earn more than $12,001. A fifty thousand dollar income will be required to pay $2500 per year into the fund - to get $600 back at retirement.

To add insult to injury, You pay in over approximately a forty-five year working life and take it back out over whatever is left of your life. Forty-five working years times $600 is $27,000! Sounds good to someone earning $12,000 per year. But of course, he will actually be losing money. From 65, forty-five years is 110. You would have to collect until age 110 just to break even on the $12,000 income.

Sounds like a great deal to me ... NOT. I can't believe they telegraphed their intentions before the elections. I guess they have confidence that Democrat voters can't do math.

Citoyen Égalité

Those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat it. An empty homily? It seems that every Communist takeover begins with mass killing. Somehow the visage of Che Guevara became the hero of college students everywhere, despite having been the killing arm of Castro's revolution, killing tens of thousands of the college educated and professional classes in the Havana Soccer Stadium in the months after Castro's takeover. Then there were the Killing Fields of Cambodia where the children killed the adults by the hundreds of thousands. But this is about the Duc d'Orleans, and the French Revolution.

Our students do not learn the fate of Citizen Equality in schools They don't even learn American history, much less French. We must remember the fate of Louis Philippe II, Duke of Orléans. The Duke fancied himself a revolutionary too. He allowed the Commitee to use his chateau to plan the Revolution. He wined and dined them and supported the cause. He wrote, printed, and distributed their revolutionary pamphlets. One might even suppose that then as now, a rally was a good place to pick women of questionable virtue. He truly believed he was one of them. He was the epitome of the eighteenth Century version of "Cool".
He was indeed their best friend in the French Court. At the time he was even called the Father of the Revolution. If he had been in America now, he would vote for Obama.
When I first read of him in the Smithsonian magazine about thirty years ago, he seemed so familiar that I wondered if a coach had ever driven off the drawbridge into his moat drowning a young courtesan.
But despite all that, once the blood lust of the Terror had begun, all that was forgotten. He was after all, a Bourbon, a member of the rich elite and had to go. On 6 November 1793, he had his date with Madame Guillotine.

But we all know it can't happen here.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Thank an Obama Supporter

If you are approaching retirement, like me, thank an Obama supporter for what they are about to provide you. Seriously, walk right up to one - especially one who is more "fortunate" than most and say "Thank you for the extra taxes you are about to pay. I promise to spend it wisely". Who knows, they just may figure it out.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Enlightened Self Interest

Last time, I wrote of my surprise at a Jewish person's pro-Obama bumper sticker in Hebrew. I didn't understand how someone could vote against themselves. I since read that the Jewish people were very enthusiastic supporters of Mr. Hitler's national socialism before the rabid antisemitism came out.

Now I have been noticing a phenomenom. I noticed it before, but didn't pay attention. Big fancy houses and cars with Obama signs and bumper stickers. Now the cars I can be a little more lenient with. You can have an $80 thousand dollar car without a $250 thousand dollar income. Truly, most of the extremely wealthy people I ever know drove more modest cars that I. (Perhaps how the got wealthy?)So maybe that new shiny convertible with the Obama sticker was financed to the hilt and behind a payment. Who knows? This is but one story:
There is a house up the mountain road about five miles, five twisty turny climbing miles, behind Boulder. The house can only be described as a mansion. 150 yards or more off the road in a relatively flat meadow, it was a new very large and expensive place. His fancy car is too big to be hybrid. An income of two hundred and fifty thousand a year would not begin to pay for this house and cars. But there it was - the big red O with Biden too.
Now Boulder is not a Conservative place so it was no surprise that all the fancy homes in town had the O signs. This one was different. He will not be able to keep his pretty house on the hill. (wasn't all that pretty truthfully - looked garishly immodest and out-of-place like Chateau Elan) The owner of this home is actively campaigning to make himself have more taxes and less gasoline. But I had to wonder why it is that people with the target on their back would support someone who put it there? How does he think he can escape the consequences of his actions?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Le-shanah ha-ba-a b'Yerushalayim' (Next year in Jerusalem)

(Forgive this Goyish boy any mistakes in my Hebrew.)

This morning I saw the strangest thing. I saw a Barak Obama bumper sticker written entirely in Hebrew. How very strange. If the Jewish people are as much for Obama as the polls make it seem, why?

Over my lifetime, at the behest of the American Jewish Community, the American Government has sent billions of dollars in military and civilian aid to Israel. Many people have died in the support of the mere existence of American support for Israel. Now they are going to yank the carpet out from under Israel and realign our entire position in the Middle East. No, it is not because of Obama's middle name or anything silly like that. It is simply the Democrat position on our involvement in Mid-Eastern affairs.

So the Christians support the Zionists, but the Jews do not. What a strange world.

So you know those parting words from the Passover Seder "Le-shanah ha-ba-a b'Yerushalayim"? They left off some words: Next year in Jerusalem, there will be only Muslims.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Liars, Damn Liars, and Statisticians

Chicago Board of Trade
Originally uploaded by luxomni
For the last couple of weeks, I have been losing about $1700 a day from my savings. I don't know where the bottom is, but I am still betting that it will come back ... some day.

Early this year, in February, I went to visit my broker. I had the idea to put an order to liquidate my holdings should Obama win. His response was "You're too late". People are already doing that. Then he said "Watch. As we get closer to the election and the more it looks like Obama will win, the lower the market will go. Buy then."

His change includes increasing taxation on capital gains. Get those nasty filty rich people. Oh, wait,that's me (and anyone else that actually gets up in the morning and goes to work. $250,000? Yeah right). So people are trying to get out of their holdings now - ahead of the rush. Talk about a self-fulfilling prophecy.

I may live to regret this, but I am digging in. I am still dollar cost averaging and this is where that is supposed to be good. More shares for the same money.

My biggest position is a couple hundred shares each of Altria and Phillip Morris International. I know that the Democrats and their lawyers will try to cut open the goose that lays those golden eggs. But I am hoping that our lawyers can beat their lawyers. Or at least that the Democrat Congressmen are as easily bribable when they are in power as they have been previously.

Just know that you will never hear this on CNN or even CNBC. But your broker knows. I know, anecdotal evidence - But, which do you actually get to see? The anecdotal or the statistical?

Fairness - Fair To Whom?

In an earlier incarnation of my life, I worked for a PBS television station¹. Politically it was somewhat left of center. I guess I was too, just not as much.

At that time there was this quirky little law called the Fairness Doctrine. The idea was that since there was only so much electromagnetic spectrum and it was the assignment of a public asset that it should not favor any one point of view - on anything. Should you have a panel where one doctor favors hysterectomies for uterine prolapse, equal time must me made for anyone with an opposing idea from the rational (ligature) to the irrational (you don't want to know). It was not merely political. And it was enforced by a barrage of litigation or threats of litigation. The lawyers loved it like sharks love seals.

The effect was obvious and intuitive. Nothing controversial would be broadcast. The stations protected themselves. It made for the most boring TV and radio ever.

The criteria that rationally causes the dominance of talk radio being Conservative are content, entertainment, and interest. Air America and the other Liberal talk radio outlets never understood that. That's why it died. Obviously, the first consideration is that people want to have their own ideas reinforced. But if the population is within a few points of being equally balanced, why aren't their equal numbers of talk shows being listened to by equal numbers of people? Hint - it is not because the media corporations restrict thought or the TV programs would be conservative too. Many times I tried to listen to Air America. I wanted to know what they think and I wanted to get perspective. But in every single case, I had to give up. The hosts were not just uninteresting, they were venomous. The hostility they projected was so strong that there was no hope of any of them ever convincing anyone of anything other than that they did not like {Bush|Capitalism|Christianity|Rush Limbaugh}², not even why they didn't like it. Such anger does not make good listening. Rush on the other hand says his point with disarming charm and a smile. He is a joy to listen to even when I disagree with him. That is typical of the Libertarian and Conservative hosts. Had the Liberals adopted that stance the fairness doctrine would not be necessary. All I can gather from it is that apparently Liberalism is so hostile at its core that they can not deliver it in a friendly way.

Get ready, the Fairness Doctrine coming back. Nancy Pelosi says it will be. It will not be a matching of ideas. It will be the absence of critical thought. If a radio station plays something from The Dead Kennedys, will it have to play Anthem by Rush?

¹ CPB they called it then. Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
² A computer convention meaning one of a set of choices.

Paranoia - The Thinking Man's Mental Illness

Yesterday I went for a drive by myself and searched the Saturday afternoon radio for some intelligent conversation. I am not into college football. Whole sections of XM radio were off the air for "reprogramming". And local FM playlists bore me. Finally I fell upon Mike McConnel. In general I like his voice and style. He did his job he got me thinking. Spectrum-wise, I would say he is slightly right of center - like me - a logical libertarian. He strikes me as a talk-show host who I would agree with and listen to.
But he had a position that bothered me. He feels that we anti-Obama* voters have hijacked the Republican Party - not for good end. HE referred to us as "hillbillies, not necessarily from the hills". His position is that we already know all we need to or are going to about Obama. And that we should let it drop, and concentrate on Democrat vs. Republican policy.

But where is it written that it is an either or thing?

The search for the real Obama is not really a search. It is a proclamation. Things are not what they seem. When even John McCain tells us an obvious untruth "I have to tell you he is a decent person and a person that you do not have to be scared of as president of the United States", we are confused. We are certain of nothing because the things we see and hear do not add up.

We are being called paranoid, but even a stopped clock is right twice a day. We do have something to worry about. Is he the Manchurian candidate?

I have seen nothing that makes me believe that Obama's associations were bad judgment. I believe they were and are conscious decisions not made in a vacuum. They are who he is. His call for unspecified change is still unenumerated after all this time. And I do not believe Obama's lack of candor even in things as trivial as his birth is coincidental. He is withholding what he does not want us to see. McConnel says "two biographies and you say you do not know him?" I reply YES! I have only seen what he wants me to see and no more.

And now McCain's comments at his own rally make me wonder if he is part of the conspiracy too. He is the most liberal of Republican Senators. Does he really want to win to keep this a country of sovereign individuals or just to win (since both he and Obama would see this as a country where the people are assets of the government)? Does he (McCain)have the same goal of changing this to a Socialist Country? Would they both have their fingers crossed when they swear to uphold the Constitution?

We are about to send to Washington the most Liberal President ever. We are going to equip him with a veto-proof House of Representatives, not that that matters in his case; a filibuster-proof Senate and at least one Justice of the Supreme Court. Isn't is right that we should be concerned about who he is as much as what he says he is?

*As opposed to pro-McCain voters.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

At least he is better than Obama

"Most of us did not want McCain in the primaries, but after all that factionalism and an unhealthy amount of cross party voting, that is what we were left with -- the most Liberal/Socialist Republican possible."*

The only thing left to say is "At least he is better than Obama."

Maybe after Obama's damage to our country, the Republicans might get together an nominate someone of principle. Sarah Palin, maybe?

I feel sorry for my children - they do not realize that this election of Obama is going to place a tremendous burden on them. Not so much on me, I'm old and soon to throw down the yoke of slavery to the Government and the people it represents. My children will work to pay the tab.

*From previous entry on here and Flickr.

The German Analogy

I am entirely too political and too worried about the future. It permeates everything now.

It was just a comment of Flickr, a photo blog. Someone had posted a parody of an Obama poster. A pleasant and well meaning young man in Germany expressed his feelings:

"It will be indeed a very interesting election. Here in Germany Senator Obama is very popular. In my opinion Senator McCain is too old to become the next President of the United States. But I respect other opinions ! "

My response belonged more over here than over there, so I thought I would share it with you:

Straight forward - We have lived all our lives over here in the equivalent of West Germany . This election is the choice between that old guy or becoming East Germany. That old guy is all that stands between us and Communism. It is that bad.
Most of us did not want McCain in the primaries, but after all that factionalism and an unhealthy amount of cross party voting, that is what we got -- the most Liberal/Socialist Republican possible.
Obama has the press and media solidly behind him, so the news varies from slanted to dishonest. So his Marxist connections are buried by all but talk radio which WILL be outlawed (fairness doctrine) after the election and the internet. What will that become afterwards? Like the Chinese?
We are accused of being "racist" is we do not wish to embrace his "Change". But I am just not ready to live in East Germany.

My Daughter Learns of Moochers

My younger daughter appeared at my desk last evening wanting to "borrow" twenty dollars from me to give to one of our "poor" neighbors. For starters, that is a very extended family - recently widowed 45ish 300 pound mother with a 28 year old 300 pound daughter and her inter-racial boyfriend, a 27 year old son and his girlfriend and two little children, an eighteen-year-old son, and a 13 and a twelve. Oh yes, and (now down to) five medium-large (think boxer) dogs. All in a two bedroom house. Not an employed person in the entire bunch.

"Does she smoke?"
"Does she drink?"
"Does she do drugs?"

But my daughter is a touch. Her heart bleeds for people in need. Dad, it's for the children. Now you and I know better, but her heart is still filled with the exuberance and optimism of youth.
I suggested that if the situation is that dire, perhaps we should call DFACS to rescue the children. So she got mad at her mean old dad and stormed off.

She came back later tail between her legs muttering something about why did Dad always have to be right.

What she does not realize is that what will benefit the children is not enabling the parent's bad behavior, but making them confront it and improve the entire situation and that her well-meaning interference will in the long run make things worse.

This apochraphyl incident is as well an analogy to out entire country and its situation.

The first thing that you learn is you always must wait

There was a song by the Velvet Underground and Nico in the seventies, a real Lou Reed sub-culture description piece called I'm Waiting For My Man in which he describes a junkie's life. The line the hooked my memory was "The first thing that you learn is you always must wait." Trying to remember how I got to this ear worm, I know I was thinking about what changes we really will have after next month as we enter into the epoch of Obama. And I thought of every contact I have ever had with any branch of Government and at any level of Government. The first thing that you learn is you always must wait. There is no competition so there is no customer service. Post Office? Unemployment Office? VA Hospital? (Or County owned for that matter) Driver's License Office?
So as 51% of our population of deliberately dumbed down Americans deliberately aduterated with only the lowest class of illegal immigrants hands everything in our lives over to the Government to run for us(?), contemplate the Government's efficiency and remember.

So what has America become? A land of Government hand-out junkies; so,

The first thing that you learn is you always must wait.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Barak Hussein Obama

By titling this blog with that full name, I understand that I have violated some sort of secret law and will be investigated by the FBI. Apparently there is some sort of exception to freedom of speech involving the middle name of this presidential candidate.

Previous Presidents and presidential candidates have been:
Richard Milhouse Nixon,
Lyndon Baines Johnson,
Dwight David Eisenhower,
William Jefferson Clinton,
Hillary Rodham Clinton,
Frankin Delano Roosevelt,
John Fitzgerald Kennedy,
Ronald Wilson Reagan, and
George Herbert Walker Bush.

I did not have to look up any of these names. You probably didn't have to either. These are their names. Barry Obama's name is Barak Hussein Obama. That is the name his parents gave him, and that is his legal name, whether or not those people trying to force his election on us like it or not.

But even if they choose not to use it, there is an inconvenient little amendment to the United States Constitution that says they may not tell me what I may call him and what I may not. So save your violating the Constitution until after he is sworn in.


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Undecided Voters or Just Plain Liars?

Last night at the "Town Hall Debate" in Nashville there was an audience of 300 "undecided" voters. I don't believe it. I doubt if there are three hundred people in the US who have not decided one way or the other. If there is someone who has not made their decision after this the longest election campaign in history with two more clearly delineated candidates, so polar opposite on so many issues, that person should not be allowed to vote. For clearly they will choose at the last minute by throwing a dart or flipping a coin and there is no room in the voting booth for either of those activities.

Monday, October 6, 2008

More Tax, Less income

Mr. Obama, I saw your tax change proposal and found that my wife and I are in the top 10% group and are one of those groups whose taxes will increase. First of all, who would have thought a school teacher and an electrician would be in the top 10%? Must be a lot of people not doing much.

My father always told me "Don't worry if you income makes your taxes go up, your income goes up more."

But, I am a baby boomer. I am one of those thinking "when do I retire?" And my income isn't going up, just my taxes. And I think my life belongs to me, not you. So stand by, Mr. Obama. When you raise my taxes and my paycheck shrinks, be prepared to have to raise them again as I and all those in my cohort shrug. You are right of course that I will have less money, but I will have my time back. It will be all mine - free and clear. So you will have to raise taxes again to make up for our missing revenue, and that will push more of us over the edge to retirement ed infinitum.

And those super rich people that you and your Liberal Democrats want so much to punish (odd because so many Lawyers and Left Coast Hollywood stars are the super rich) will become expatriots, and take their wealth with them to a tax friendlier environment.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Mad and No One To Fuss At.

There is a problem with having a Representative who almost always votes the way you want. Nobody to pressure, and no one to bitch at. When everyone else was blitzing their Representative with e-mails, phone calls, and faxes, I had to sit on my hands or write other people's reps.

John Linder is my Representative in the House of Representatives in Washington. He voted against the Bail-out both times. He is the author and major proponent of, Heck, he wrote the book on, the Fair Tax.

So, John, Thank you for all you do; and yes, I am flossing*.

* Note: The Honorable John Linder 7th Congressional District of Georgia is not a lawyer, he is a dentist by profession.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


In an article in the Chicago Sun Times, Deborah Douglas says "Blame deep-seated racism if Obama loses"

But is it true? On the conservative Republican side, color wouldn't matter anyway. Condoleeza Rice, Colin Powell, or Thomas Sowell could have walked away with the election over John McCain if they had been there. But the lily whitest Liberal Democrat could not move them in opposition. It is about principle.

But on the Democrat side? Might Ms. Douglas be right? To what measure is she correct? The Democrats were the ones with the history of bigotry and prejudice. It was Democrats who stood in the schoolhouse doors. It was a Democrat who stood on the Edmund Pettis Bridge. It was even the Democrats who stood opposite their freedom from Lincoln up to Eisenhower. So if a Democrat doesn't vote for Obama, what else could it be? The man, his associates, his inexperience? The one thing it can't be is principle.

Most People Are Too Blind To Recognize This

Do not expect an equivalent to this from ABC, CBS, NBC, or CNN. They are too busy trying to fool you into believing the opposite.

Let Barney Frank bail the companies out. He made this mess.

How very great to be a Democrat to have your cake and eat it too; then to blame it on the Republicans and have the mainstream media lie to support you.

Those who do not remember history are condemmed to repeat it

In December 1968, in response to a fiscal crisis, the City of Philadelphia imposed a $0.05-per-share stock transfer tax for all transactions on the PHLX. In response, on January 2, 1969, the PHLX moved its trading floor to an office building—then known as the Decker Building—just outside the city on City Avenue in Bala Cynwyd to avoid the tax. In February, a court ruled that the tax was illegal, and the PHLX moved its trading floor back to its headquarters in the city.
Wikipedia on Philadelphia Stock Exchange

According to Neal Boortz, Nancy Pelosi (D - San Francisco) has proposed a tax on Stock Transactions to be added to the bailout plan. It will be very effective and enriching - effective in moving stock out of the United States and enriching the economy of some other country - Singapore maybe? Or Dubai? It is a lot further to there than it is to Bala Cynwyd.

Are we deliberately trying to sink the economy, Nancy?

Saturday, September 27, 2008

I'm Glad I'm An Electrician

Joe Biden's disclosure forms say that although he is four years older than me and gives less to charity than I do and he has held his job ten years longer than me, he is worth less than I am.
He must be in the wrong line of work. I always though being a Senator would make you rich. He didn't even get a fine Washington home like the others. Maybe it's his Amtrak bill?

Hair Of the Dog

Big Puppy Wants You

Why is it that every politician's prescription for forking the world up is more of the same? The economy is not currently screwed up enough? No, politicians (in particular, but not exclusively Democrat) want to add credit card, auto and college loans to the bailout.

Every politician's prescription is step five "Punishment of the innocent". Make the good citizens bail out the bad ones and the politicians and the bankers once again.

Part of me says the bankers were just doing what the politicians demanded. But they didn't use their power to stand up for right against Washington, ACORN, and LaRaza. They took the profit from this while it was available and built their mansions in the Hamptons and Palm Beach. There is blood on their hands too. They are complicit.

It does make me wonder how bad things have to be before they will let us just heal. Or is there even such a point?

The Orange Faction - Sierra

I didn't do it. I didn't ask for it. I don't even want it.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Fractional Reserve

Our old money was honest. It said what it was, and what it meant. Gold and Silver certificates were like a receipt for a certain amount of "money" on deposit. Even the Government knew which of the look-alike bills seen in As Constant As the Dollar were which.

This one was from our "National Currency", our first Federal Reserve Notes. The banks would honor them for most purposes -- buying a loaf of bread, paying a salary, ordinary trade. What they were not good for was paying taxes or debts to the Government. In that case, only real money "lawful money" would do.

Both types of money circulated, but unlike the fiat currency of today, this fiat currency was kept at a strict ratio with the hard currencies of the time. It provided the liquidity necessary for commerce without diluting the value of the dollar.

Today's currency on the other hand is entirely fiat and is issued by the Governor and researchers of the Federal Reserve Bank based upon the perceived need for liquidity of the current economy. This is a tap-dance on a high-wire. Where anything can trip it up.

Now the currency is backed by our debt, by our willingness to pay in the future for the dollar of today. The baby-boomers are seeing retirement close in on them and are following the (correct) advice of Dave Ramsey and reducing their personal debt. With the intricacies of fractional currency, this reduces the debt backing and hence the dollars in circulation. This is compounded by the increase in loans to members of our society who do not have the ability nor intention to repay or ever carry their own weight. A crash not only was inevitable, it still is, for we aren't even there yet.

Issue an extra 800 billion and see what happens.

Don't Just Do Something. Stand There.

There is an expression "rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic". That does not describe this situation. "Opening up the portholes on the Titanic" is a better analogy. We will sink faster.

But the best analogy is one I thought of first regarding the New Orleans levees, but it is just as true about financial consequences:

If you dam a stream with a small dam and it impounds a small pool, when the dam breaks, the water will rush out, flood the downstream momentarily, and move some pebbles and small stones.

If you build that dam a little larger and it impounds a small lake, when that dam breaks, the water will rush out, flood the downstream area to a greater extent and for a longer time, move larger stones and even rocks, and erode the earth near the dam.

If you throw together something to reinforce that dam that will make it even larger and make it impound an even larger lake, when the dam finally breaks, more water will rush out and with even more force and for an even longer time, move even very large rocks and erode all around.

If we bail out the economy now by rescuing the great financial houses leaving them in control and not correcting the underlying problems. We are only putting off the disaster and making the ultimate reckoning worse and longer.

Yes, not doing anything will be painful. Doing the wrong thing will be worse and last longer.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

National Health Care Fear

In a couple of hours, I will take my eighty-seven soon to be eighty-eight year old mother in to the hospital to have her pacemaker replaced. When I get to be eighty-seven, will this still be done? Or will it be considered wasteful surgery? Will we, like England, ration out health care? After all, there is only so much government money to go around, and I will have lived my life; and be considered to be taking valuable space and money that would better serve a teenage gansta gunshot victim who is young and thus has his whole life (?) ahead of him and who might have to give up his spinner wheels to afford health insurance.

It has been the story of my life that I was the one at the cafeteria line up there at Shimer College when the steak ran out on steak night and they put up the liver and onions instead.

Follow up: The operation was a success. Everything is fine.

Monday, September 22, 2008

This Just In, Democrats Behind Financial Crisis

How the Democrats caused the financial crisis

Not a word on the news the dumb masses get to see; but the financial industry trades don't have the luxury of hiding the truth to help Obama.

The mess wasn't created to create bad times in order to blame it on the Republicans, that was just an added benefit aided by the mainstream media.

Obama was the second largest recipient of Fannie and Freddie's thanks for keeping the regulations off their back. And McCain was one of three sponsors of the bill S.190 in 2005 that would have prevented all the pain and expense we will experience for the rest of our lives.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Larry Waldo Paramoure

October 24, 1936 - September 12th, 2008

{Background Music - Church by Stephen Stills}

I buried one of my closest friends, one of the people I most admired, and ex-father-in-law Saturday. Larry was a salesman by trade and by temperment. He was naturally comfortable with everyone from the top of society to the common working man. He died six weeks after his wife of 44 years, Betty; perhaps of a broken heart. Larry was a man of strong opinions who could be just as happy playing devil's advocate.
I owe much to the man, having developed my debating skills at his dining room table.

He never failed to find some interesting tidbit of information with future consequences for the world. And he was generally right. Larry predicted the Hurricane Katrina disaster scenario to me in 1973 or 4. And he was right. But I remember most the rest of his story -- there was no height that those levees could be built to that was out of God's reach. And that all that trying would do was make the magnitude of the breach that much more massive.

Just a few weeks ago we spoke of banking, money, and gold. He predicted the imminent collapse of the big mortgage banks and of the coming gold crisis in South Africa as it follows the path of wealthy Rhodesia's change to impoverished Zimbabwe.

I will miss him immensely as I miss Betty's charm and gumbo.

How are Bill Gates, a Bum, & I the same?

Everyone one of us is born with twenty-four hour days. And three hundred sixty five of them a year.

You. Me. Bill Gates. The welfare mother. Donald Trump*. Barak Obama. And the bum under the bridge. There is one way we are all the same. The units of time. The difference is what we do with them.

If every one of us is truly equal under the law, we must pay an equal share. Obviously, if the currency is money, the seven above cannot all pay the same. But ...

If the currency is the worth of our time, we can. And indeed should. If we all must give one eight hour day a week or its cash equivalent, we are each and all giving 20% of our (working) life. Not some riding for free and some giving 38% or more.

Money or labor should be your choice. If Bill Gates would rather show up and the King County service report point to sweep streets or empty bedpans rather than give up whatever that day would have earned him or if Donald Trump were to prefer to buy his time out in cash, so be it. No one would ride for free and no one would be the sacrificial cash cow. And that bum sleeping under the bridge? For one day a week he would have to rejoin society like every one else and perform some public good like everyone else -- which just might remind him that he is a part of this society too.

There is one last added side effect. Under this system there is less need for a professional politician class buying their comfortable station in life by redistributing other people's wealth though his hands for his own enrichment and power. That alone would bring the cost of our government down and reduce the need.

* Hair preparation time comes out of your own time, not the public's time.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

How Much is a Trillion?

1,000,000,000,000. A one with twelve zeros behind it. Ten to the twelfth power.
10 times 10 times 10 times 10 times 10 times 10 times 10 times 10 times 10 times 10 times 10 times 10.

A trillion dollars would buy 222.2 Nimitz class aircraft carriers at 4.5 billion dollars each.
A trillion dollars would buy 1000 World Trade Centers at one billion dollars each.
A trillion dollars is more that 1664 times the gross of the Movie Titanic.†
A trillion dollars would be three thousand three hundred thirty three dollars for every man woman and child in the United States.
A trillion dollars would be $541,726.68 for each of the 1,845,950 families¹ ² who make up the top 2% of taxpayers in addition to all of the other taxes we on the bottom 98% have heaped on them. Since that is all of those who earn $250,000 or above³, it won't include your family doctor, but it will include your cosmetic surgeon, your local Superintendent of Schools, all of your Congressmen, Your Union leaders, all of those whiny Hollywood stars, and the NBA (only the true stars of the NFL though).

My salary stops half way to the forth times ten. The parachuting CEOs are only escaping with a little over 300 times that. And we are still a long way from a trillion dollars.

I have always thought of my self as a free market Laissez Faire type of person, a real Ayn Rander. But there is something else. There is an implied honesty, integrity, and nobility required that seems to be missing from these bankers. They are not Midas Mulligan who paid off every depositor to the penny. They are from the "Fuck you, I got mine" group instead.


A I, A I, G - With an oink oink here and a oink oink there

Eighty Billion, but who's counting.

The only thing Robert Willumstad was counting was his Golden Parachutes; and counting on the US Taxpayers largess.

Lest I pin it all at the top, I have watched these Insurance sales people from AIG Valic prey on my co-workers for years now. Selling them variable annuities. Collecting massive commissions and fees for selling them those variable annuities. Shearing them like so many sheep lines up to enter the trough. Commission for selling that was no more than filling out the forms.

Variable annuities are an insurance product, not an equity product. They would not have survived a collapse of AIG. Do you suppose any of them know how close they came? I haven't met any.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

"... Failed Economic Policies ..."

"Do we need four more years of Bush's failed economic policies? Try mine instead." Does that mean try his failed policies?

It doesn't matter which candidate you choose. None of them are bright enough or modest enough to do the right thing. That is, nothing at all. What? Yep. Mixing Government and free enterprise bought us this mess. More Government will not make it better. Our masters in Washington have distorted cause and effect.

Let the companies collapse. Let other insurance companies take over the vacancy and write policies according to sound feduciary guidelines. Let other mortgage companies buy the loans and administer them according to traditional banking standards. The existing policies and loans are assets of the corporation and should be sold to pay the creditors and what's left to the stockholders. Clip the shrouds on the golden parachutes and/or persue criminal charges.

The CEO's of the giant corporations have long forgotten that they work for the stockholders. The interlocking Boards of Directors have taken care of each other to the exclusion of ordinary stockholders for so long that we have come to think that the compensations are actually justified by their value to the system. Yet Every CEO of a failing company thinks his worth is similar to a successful one.

You may wonder how this all ties together, but risk and reward are inherent to the system. Reward without risk may have success, but only by blind luck. There is nothing to force the CEO to do right. A company that is bailed out broadcasts the news that it does not matter if the CEO is responsible or not. So does a Golden Parachute. The $14,000,000 that the CEO of Lehman Brothers is leaving with is just one more thing he is stealing from the stockholders. Only this time he has added the $35,000,000,000 he has stolen from the US taxpayers to the loss of the recent market value of the stock in the company that is now worthless.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Look at All the Dominoes Fall!

I have kvetched about mortgages before. I probably will again. Since we do not seem to learn. I have also bitched about political correctness. This is where the two of them meet.

Mortgages were issued based on politically correct considerations rather than on credit worthiness. Issued mortgages were based on need or race rather than ability to pay. What other end could there be? When you lend money the only consideration should be can (will?) they pay it back? Any other criteria means you will not only lose your profit (interest) but your principle also.

So Fannie Mae, Freddy Mac, Lehman Freres, Merrill Lynch (whatever happened to Pierce, Fenner and Smith?), Good Bye. You brought it on yourselves by being irresponsible with other people's money. You abused your fuduciary responsibilities. I am only sorry that you had golden parachutes; maybe the courts can recover that theft.

Our Liberal politicians have used fiscal irresponsibility to buy votes for decades. This is only the first to go. At some point or other the fate of these giant financial houses will be the fate of our government also. Since countries don't actually go bankrupt. It will manifest itself in a different form -- most likely a collapse of our currency will be the first step. From there? Anarchy? Or totalitarianism? Or Anarchy then totalitarianism? It will not be good.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Supply and Demand - Not Just a Good Idea, It's the Law

Every time something like a hurricane comes up, we hear a word that we hear at no other time -- Profiteering. Today Hurricane Ike is coming ashore in Houston. The offshore Drilling platforms have been shut down. The petroleum refineries have been shut down and secured. The pipeline pumps have been turned down and ultimately shut off. There is no more coming for a few days or even weeks.

The price of gasoline shot up. One station in my immediate area, which is normally known as a cheap station in an especially cheap area for gasoline, had unleaded for a while at $5.25 a gallon. The television is stridently complaining of price gouging. The Governor (a Republican) has declared a state of emergency which punishes profiteering.

What was lost in that Paragraph? Capitalism. Supply and demand. Private Property. Note first that it is his gasoline. Mr. Patel bought that 5000 gallons of that gasoline yesterday at the risen price. It is his not the Governor's gasoline, nor yours, nor mine. When the price goes back down next week because the supply has been restored, he will not get a refund to the then price. His base price will be yesterday's spot price. He does not have to sell it at all, which may well be his decision. But he will have gasoline to sell you when the others have all sold out; and what will it be worth to you then?

Government controlled rationing will always cause shortages -- not worth it to buy to sell, hoarding, diversion to politically expedient markets.

Price rationing, voting with your feet (wheels?), creates not just a more even flow; but it causes conservation as it makes us, the end user, decide how much a particular trip is worth to us. But raising the price has another effect -- it makes it attractive for someone to step up and take the risk to fill the void.

We have seen this in other things, too -- plywood, ice and even water. Several years ago there was a man here in Atlanta who bought a truck load of plywood at Home Depot and drove it to South Florida to sell after he heard on the television that the stores down there ran out. He was arrested for profiteering and his plywood taken away from him. The same thing has been done over bottled water and I have even heard of it happening over generators. What do you bet that those people have learned their lesson? This time that plywood is still sitting on the shelf at Home Depot here in Atlanta.

To each according to need, from each according to ability
, it's the Democrat way.

p.s. Just wait till the government rations healthcare.

Friday, September 12, 2008

I Feel a Little Nauseous Tonight

[For those who don't know I work in the schools. I am all but invisible. I work on the electrical things in the rooms, and they barely notice me come in or go out. And my religion would be best described as agnostic. I am neither fanatically attached to nor hostile to people having religious convictions; But I abhor double standards.]

This afternoon, I slid into a classroom to check the quality of the television reception, since an area of a middle school was having problems. When I arrived, they were watching a documentary on Islam. To me it seemed a very flattering presentation on the pillars of Islam. They were at the part that goes "There is but one God and his name is Allah". As I walked out I thought "you know that is the same as in the Ten Commandments really." And then I remember that even though the Ten Commandments is in two of world's five great religions, it has been banished from the public schools.

Once more there is a double standard in our government that no one dare acknowledge.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Lest We Forget

Hudson River
Originally photographed by luxomni
Today is September Eleventh, 9-11. It was on an early fall morning, with skies like the ones in the picture, about the same time in the morning as the photograph that the world changed.
Despite the protests of the Liberals and Democrats, it was not Bush's fault. He had not even been in office eight and a half months. He was still fighting at that time to get his staff approved. I wouldn't even say it was Clinton's fault despite his not persuing Bin Ladin. According to Osama Bin Ladin, it was our fault, Yours, and mine, for living, for going about our business, for our way of life, and for tolerating the Jewish people and Isreal.

Whatever it was, it brought us together for one brief time. We were one United States of America.

And then it was back to trying to the normal business of trying to make political advantage out of the misfortunes of others.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Biden on Palin

The morning after the Sarah Palin's speech and Joe Biden is complaining that he did hear a word about what she is going to do to get us National Health Care. The answer Joe is nothing. As it should be.

Sorry if it means you have to spend your own money on your own health.
You may have to forgo some toys. Sorry Joe, but we can do it without you.

Why Obama? Why Won't People Answer?

I'd heard of it, but I hadn't tried it. I ran into an Assistant Principal who was an open Obama supporter. I asked her why.

"Because of his experience" she proudly said.
"Such as?"
No answer.
"And the things he's going to do" she went on.
"Such as?"
Blank stare.
"He's for the kids".
"Anything in particular?"
"And he has surrounded himself with talented people".
I thought of Jerimiah Wright and Bill Ayers, but bit my tongue.

Now this is not only a college educated woman, but one with advanced degrees. She is not stupid, but I am wondering if she is honest. Her answers are throwaways. There is no depth to them. Nothing. And I think she knows it. Then what is the truth?

It could be race? Like a team sport. "One of ours". Except she was white. White guilt?

Wealth envy? Tax the dirty rich? An Assistant Principal is in the top twenty percent of income earners.

Straight out Socialism?

Never before a campaign with so much mystery of where he really wants to go or why people want to follow him.

Whatever it is, she either can't or won't say it. Neither will any of the other Obamaniacs.

I'm In Love!

She's beautiful. She's witty. She's smart. She has a beautiful voice. She can mush a dogsled, and can shin a moose. Unfortunately, she's married and has five kids. Sarah Palin.
The CNN pundits are on now (6am Eastern) whining about how sarcastic she is, so I guess that will be today's talking point. I thought she was merely expressing the frustration that we middle Americans feel about the dismissive non-humerous sarcasm that the Megalopolis elites use in referring to us.

I found an interesting comment on Ann Coulter's blog. I'll just borrow it:

McCain/Palin 2008!!!

Palin/Jindal 2016!!!

To which I say:

Palin/Jindal 2012!!!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

I'm Still Angry - Just Repost Yesterday's

I'm Still Angry - Just Repost Yesterday's Blog

I am supposed to give you something new, but I can't break away from thinking how disappointed I am at the double standards, the meanness and the inhuman crudity and cruelty of what we can news.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

I Have Never Been So Disgusted In My Life

Somewhere tonight is a seventeen-year-old girl crying in her pillow. She already had a heartbreaking problem. But people from the political party of love and compassion have been holding her trouble up for political gain.

Many times we say "it cannot get any lower than this", and somehow it does. I believe this time we have reached the absolute bottom of human depravity. I believe that the only step down for these sanctimonious @ssh07es will be checking the candidate's Maxi-pads to check on the Candidate's reproductive condition. Film at 11:00.

Many times over many years I have wished that these newspeople were held to the same moral standard to which they hold Republicans. Hang out their dirty laundry for humiliation by the rest of us. I know it exists.

For a tiny example, In the late seventies, I knew some of the local Atlanta newspeople. I even went to Christmas parties several times with about 20 people, some of whom still read the news on radio and television. Any of you Atlanta newscasters remember sitting on the waterbed to watch a little of Saturday Night Live only to have a 15 inch vibrator spring out from between the mattress and the frame? She still reads on AM radio. Anyone remember the styrofoam Christmas tree circled with rows and rows of joints like so many candles? I love your anti-drug news reports. Since they hold so much power and sway over our lives, it is time to start vetting our reporters and anchor new people to have such perfect lives as they demand of others.

I want you news people thinking back over your own lives before you pile on a seventeen-year-old girl who has done nothing you haven't done -- she just didn't do it as well.

Remember, good girls get pregnant. Bad girls know what to do.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Gustav - a disappoinment to the Networks?

About the middle of last week, both my daughter and my ex who live in the New Orleans area have called up in tears. I guess the networks got their wish, even if they didn't get the disaster that would wash the ratings up into their Nielsen book. ABC, NBC CBS and CNN managed once again to create panic even if they couldn't cement us to the TV and create anger at Bush at the same time. They at least paniced the natives. I hope they read the story of the little boy who cried wolf. Next time they'll over-react the other way.
My daughter rode it out again, staying in the city through it all. She lives in a high ground area, but stayed with her boss and friends. To me, that sounds more like a party. My ex and her husband went to Mobile to stay with his family. From the weather images, it looks like she might even have had more rain from the outer bands than NOLA.

Not talking much on the tube about politicians this time. No space for good news. I suspect the praise goes to the new Governor, Piyush "Bobby" Jindal. Last time the blame was heaped on the Federal Government in a fit of Bush Derangement Syndrome. But this time, things seemed to have worked the way they are supposed to. I personally believe the credit here should go to where the blame should have gone last time - the City, Parrish and State governments of Louisiana.

And re: the postponing and truncating of the Republican National Convention by storm coverage.
This is probably some well needed editing. Remember, this law of nature: meetings expand to fit the time available for them. However it does help the networks by having their electioneering bias covered by "The storm was important news".


I have been asked about an inconsistency in my essay abort abortion.

I favored moving this issue from Federal to State or local. Then I wrote of:
"Bad in that it was one more nail into the supremacy of the U. S. Constitution."

I do not see that as a contradiction.

I have a saying at work that "if everything is the highest priority, then nothing is". The same holds true here. There was a hierarchy of our legal system. Each level moderated the level below it. Differences between people should first be resolved at the local level. Differences between people in different communities were to be handled at the state level, and laws effecting differences between states at the Federal level. Now, every issue is a Federal issue. Always in the name of safety or the children, but the truth is that the states could and should handle most of these issues with a better relation to the needs of its people. Education is a great example but I will cover that in another missive.

Since the last presidency of one of the founding fathers, there has constantly been a desire to consolidate power away from the people. In the last hundred years starting with Woodrow Wilson, the push to subjugate the entire country has been ever excelerating, especially through FDR, and LBJ.

With all issues at the Federal level, the only hierarchy of importance is in the hands of bureaucrats, not the law.

If we have to surrender a war, end the War on Drugs

Since I have pissed all my Liberal and conservative readers off with the last post, I might as well stay on a roll.

Most readers' minds snap shut at the mere mention of this idea. That is a shame, for legalization just might work. It cannot do worse than what we have now.

First, we have to have one basic agreement. The goal is too reduce and end drug dependence. Sometimes I wonder if the current war on drugs even has that goal, or whether its goal is to generate revenue for the legal system, and support the price of drugs.

The goal should be to save lives, both mortality, and quality of life. As it stands the goal seems to be punishment for thinking differently, for choosing a path that the mainstream of thought sees as self-destructive and not conducive to being a good servant of the state.

If the goal is to save health, it is only right that the problem belong to the medical system. The legal system has no concern for the health and safety of the drug users, in fact, the opposite is true.

The argument for illegality is that it keeps people from using drugs and the laws didn't exist there would be a great increase in the use of drugs. The implication is that the fact that drugs are illegal keeps the use of drugs down. But is that true? Are there people out there who say to themselves "I would become a crack addict, but it is illegal"? The people who make self-destructive choices know, and they make that choice in the face of Draconian punishment. Risking the punishment is just one more self-destructive choice, and a lesser one at that. In fact, in the case of marijuana, the illegality gives it a bit of cache. It becomes an us versus them, youth versus old age, counter-culture versus the establishment game. A game that leads them into a disbelief of the danger of the harder drugs. After all, "if they lied to us about the danger of pot, they have lied about everything else."

I am not saying there will not be casualties in ending this war. But over the long run it will improve. With the black market gone, the profit from drugs fall to nothing, the illegal import will disappear. With that disappearing, the violence and theft that currently follow the money trail will greatly reduce. So will the corruption of law enforcement officers and public officials.

And finally, the drug users themselves will feel freer to seek help and treatment to stop taking drugs, since there would be no fear of self-incrimination. Which is what we wanted in the first place. Thirty years of War haven't worked -- try a different tactic.

The only loss to this plan is the loss of the ability to feel smug and morally superior.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Privacy and Democrat Platform

I read this morning that the Democrat Platform included an attack on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" in our military services. Huh?

What is the opposite? "Please ask, I'll tell"?

From any side, don't ask, don't tell should be implicit. I'm a breeder, straight, hetero, whatever. But under Justice's veil, we all should look the same. Don't ask me about my sex life either, (unless you are a lady and looking, then call me at 678-571-598_). The Army had no need to know. It is not part of equality under the law.

Whoever expected consistency from the Democrats.

Abortion, there I've said it.

I promise to piss everyone off with my opinion. Left and right. If I don't piss you off, there is something wrong with you, not me.

First let me state emphatically that not only have I never had one, I never will.

Having made that clear, let me further state that the Federal Government has no business in the discussion at all. This should have been an Article IX or and Article X issue. Not every issue is a National issue. If the good people of Berkeley wish to abort every pregnancy in the area, we might be better off. If the people of Utah want to proscribe the procedure from their State, more power to them. If you do not like either of those, Vote with your feet.

As it stands now, this issue has assumed far too much prominence in our governmental selection process. And in the process has distorted the parties from the Democrat which originally meant rule by plurality of public desires and whim, and Republican which meant rule by constant equally-enforced law. As Neal Boortz says a nation of men or a nation of laws. Instead, the law has unintended consequences -- What law does not? Our parties have metamorphed and polarized into the pro-abortion Socialists, and the anti-abortion socialists, as people put aside all other convictions and issues for this one issue.

Does no one understand that this decisive issue will never meet in agreement? And if this country is to survive and endure, we must stress those things on which we agree? This disagreement must be kept civil.

Roe v Wade was both good and bad law. Good in that it established reproductive privacy as a right. Then keep it private. Keep it to yourself. Bad in that it was one more nail into the supremacy of the U. S. Constitution. It was one more chip out of the Ninth and Tenth Amendments which were so thoughtfully established with our constitution to keep power with the States and the People.