Saturday, January 31, 2009
It is estimated that there is one television set for every man, woman, and child in the United States.
They will all become obsolete on February 17th.
Oh, sure, if you are on cable or satellite your set will still be usable. But the die is cast. And where will they all go? They are not welcome in your trash. They are considered hazardous waste. No one will accept them for recycling. What are you going to do with yours? What are the rest of the people you see every day going to do with theirs? You know, the people don't obey any rule or law -- what are they going to do. There will be TVs abandoned anywhere and everywhere.
There is a hole in their planning and no one has even thought about it.
You have now been warned.
Monday, January 26, 2009
Truth: "Woman was jailed for not showing up for court; being arrested for failure to appear whichis contempt of court and changes release rules, and then not having money to pay fine".
The media fought for the high-occupancy lanes to be installed. Now they are shocked that the law is enforced! But it still was not what she was jailed for.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
It makes one wonder what the motivation of the ACLU for protesting really is. It is not protecting the innocent.
Today I would like to add a new one: Thomas Sowell's Applied Economics: Thinking Beyond Stage One. Dr. Sowell takes our President's and Congress' decisions to their logical conclusions one step at a time. This is something that Presidents and Congress of either party fail to do. They think ahead only of how it effects their short-term political status.* Obviously if you break the problem down into small enough steps, you can break any problem down into a series of either/or answers. This is even true for the actions of others. So, the caveat: The problem is that cumulative options come rapidly. Exponentially actually. But Dr. Sowell's scenarios do point out the difference between Economics from the point-of-view of political laws, and from the Economics from the point-of-view of economic laws.
*This could be selfishness, but it could also be because it is easier to predict. Either way, we are out-of-luck.
"Q. What is an Economic Stimulus Payment?
"A. It is money that the federal government will send to taxpayers.
"Q. Where will the government get this money?
"A. From taxpayers.
"Q. So the government is giving me back my own money?
"A. No, they are borrowing it from China . Your children are expected to repay the Chinese.
"Q. What is the purpose of this payment?
"A. The plan is that you will use the money to purchase a high-definition TV set, thus stimulating the economy.
"Q. But isn't that stimulating the economy of China ?
"A. Shut up."
Below is some helpful advice on how to best help the US economy by spending your stimulus check wisely:
If you spend that money at Wal-Mart, all the money will go to China .
If you spend it on gasoline it will go to Hugo Chavez, the Arabs and Al Queda
If you purchase a computer it will go to Taiwan .
If you purchase fruit and vegetables it will go to Mexico , Honduras , and Guatemala (unless you buy organic).
If you buy a car it will go to Japan and Korea .
If you purchase prescription drugs it will go to India
If you purchase heroin it will go to the Taliban in Afghanistan.
If you give it to a charitable cause, it will go to Nigeria .
None of it will help the American economy.
We need to keep that money here in America . You can keep the money in America by spending it at yard sales, going to a baseball game, or spend it on prostitutes, beer (domestic ONLY), or tattoos, since those are the only businesses still in the US.
Not original, it is one of those "viral e-mails " flooding the inboxes of people around the country and probably the world. But the truth in it got me to pondering ... Why are the people so much smarter than their politicians? Why are we, the great unwashed masses, so much better able to predict what is going to happen, the results, than those people in Washington? Are they so sequestered from us mere mortals and isolated by their staffs that their knowledge is inbred? They only hear from people as isolated as themselves.
Surely there are many more humorous messages floating around than make it to my mailbox. As people add new ones the quantity in cyberspace should be nearing the number of Viagra ads. But there is another mechanism at work. The unfunny ones, and the funny ones without a logical under-pinning don't propagate as much. Is this "the Market"? A cumulative intelligence? What is called in the computer world distributed processing?
If so, why is this not circulating in the halls of Congress? Has the NSA shut off their Blackberrys too?
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
This year that was changed.
According to Huffington Post, the first family was to attend these inaugural celebrations:
Later that day, the Presidential Inaugural Committee will host 10 official inaugural balls:
... Neighborhood Inaugural Ball at the Washington Convention Center.
... Obama Home States (Illinois and Hawaii) Inaugural Ball at the Washington Convention Center.
... Biden Home States (Pennsylvania and Delaware) Inaugural Ball at the Washington Convention Center.
... Midwest Inaugural Ball at the Washington Convention Center.
... Mid-Atlantic Inaugural Ball at the Washington Convention Center.
... Western Inaugural Ball at the Washington Convention Center.
... Commander in Chief’s Ball at the National Building Museum.
... Southern Inaugural Ball at the National Guard Armory.
... Eastern Inaugural Ball at Union Station.
... Youth Inaugural Ball at the Washington Hilton.
Unofficial balls were to include:
...Congressional Black Caucus Inaugural Ball at the Capitol Hilton.
... Creative Coalition Inaugural Ball at the Harman Center for the Arts.
... Recording Industry Association of America’s ball for Feeding America.
... BET’s Inaugural Ball at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.
... Africa on the Potomac inaugural celebration at Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Va.
... American Music Inaugural Ball at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel.
... Inaugural Purple Ball at the Fairmont Hotel.
... Human Rights Campaign’s Equality Ball at the Renaissance Mayflower Hotel.
... Inaugural Peace Ball at the Smithsonian National Postal Museum.
... Impact Film Fund ball.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Today's good word comes to us from the Reverend Joseph Lowery of Atlanta, Georgia at the close of the inauguration of 'post-racial America'. The good word is:
when black will not be asked to give back¹,
when brown can stick around,
when yellow will be mellow,
when the red man can get ahead, man,
and when white will embrace what is right?”
¹I heard it as "get in back", but most everyone else heard it as "give back".
Chris Matthews Hardball MSNBC 5:02PM 1/20/2009
Your presumption is that we haven't been the 'good guys' in Iraq and Afghanistan.
You are in error when you say "our fellow Democracies" because we are not now nor have we ever been a Democracy;
Because there aren't even any democracies for us to get along with. In fact in the Mid-East there is only one representative government at all, and that is the one you wish for us to abandon - Israel.
Monday, January 19, 2009
Those founding fathers that we used to revere also intended that we NEVER have a royalty, and never again become a servant class in out own country. But somehow or other, you can always count on at least 51% of our population to not get it. Our schools teach American history beginning with Martin Luther King and no longer the founding fathers. So we have managed to hide our story from an ever-expanding segment of our population. Coincidentally, this is the same section of our population that gets its news from Access Hollywood and TMZ.
The cost of running for a statewide office is prohibitive. Even running for a Congressional District has become expensive, but a Senator serves an entire state. And name recognition is what gets people elected. Especially now.
As the system was originally constituted, the Legislature or Governor of the State chose a person who would be a known quantity. Known to them to serve the interests of each individual state.
Now it has become a popularity contest — who is best known, not who serves, for example, the interests of New York. Apparently there are no more experienced people in New York than Caroline Kennedy. But at least she is a resident of New York and has been one. Last time they has to search all the way to Arkansas to find someone to fill the position.
This brings us people who are hereditary politicians like Caroline Kennedy. People with no experience working for a paycheck like the rest of us. Or if they have, it was a Hollywood paycheck. But they have a family name, Bush, Clinton, Kennedy, Bayh, Dailey, Rockefeller. The job was their parent's, their spouses, their relatives. Hereditary titles were something that Washington and Adams especially eschewed, but our people crave someone to rule over them so they do not have to think.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Friday, January 16, 2009
The second part of my journey across Illinois from Chicago to Savanna offered real competition -- I had my choice of the the Chicago Burlington and Pacific, the Northern Pacific, the Milwaukee Road, or the Union Pacific. They each tried to outdo themselves. The food was cooked on the train and legendary. And they were not terribly expensive
Now contrast Amtrak. Surly take-it-or-leave-it service. Overpriced commissary made plastic wrapped sandwiches. As little as it possible to give you, without any concern for your comfort or happiness.
Do you think it will be any different when the Government takes over your medical care?
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Many of us who know Rand's work have noticed that with each passing week, and with each successive bailout plan and economic-stimulus scheme out of Washington, our current politicians are committing the very acts of economic lunacy that "Atlas Shrugged" parodied in 1957, when this 1,000-page novel was first published and became an instant hit.
1400 pages, but who's counting? I am sorry every time I get to the end of the book. Just a few more pages ... another chapter or two. The chapter where they put it all back together after the Looter's Socialist Government actually does reach the point of collapse.
For the uninitiated, the moral of the story is simply this: Politicians invariably respond to crises -- that in most cases they themselves created -- by spawning new government programs, laws and regulations. These, in turn, generate more havoc and poverty, which inspires the politicians to create more programs . . . and the downward spiral repeats itself until the productive sectors of the economy collapse under the collective weight of taxes and other burdens imposed in the name of fairness, equality and do-goodism.
In the book, these relentless wealth redistributionists and their programs are disparaged as "the looters and their laws." Every new act of government futility and stupidity carries with it a benevolent-sounding title. These include the "Anti-Greed Act" to redistribute income (sounds like Charlie Rangel's promises soak-the-rich tax bill) and the "Equalization of Opportunity Act" to prevent people from starting more than one business (to give other people a chance). My personal favorite, the "Anti Dog-Eat-Dog Act," aims to restrict cut-throat competition between firms and thus slow the wave of business bankruptcies. Why didn't Hank Paulson think of that?
Some things are so predictable. There must be a school somewhere where politicians and bureaucrats learn this stuff. Maybe Charlie Rangel and the others read Atlas Shrugged and misidentified who were the good guys and who were the bad?
Yet, as "Atlas" grimly foretold, we now treat the incompetent who wreck their companies as victims, while those resourceful business owners who manage to make a profit are portrayed as recipients of illegitimate "windfalls."
Then why are we bailing out the big three auto companies and not the other American made car companies that even though they cost more people actually want to buy -- BMW and Mercedes?
One memorable moment in "Atlas" occurs near the very end, when the economy has been rendered comatose by all the great economic minds in Washington. Finally, and out of desperation, the politicians come to the heroic businessman John Galt (who has resisted their assault on capitalism) and beg him to help them get the economy back on track. The discussion sounds much like what would happen today:
Galt: "You want me to be Economic Dictator?"
Mr. Thompson: "Yes!"
"And you'll obey any order I give?"
"Then start by abolishing all income taxes."
"Oh no!" screamed Mr. Thompson, leaping to his feet. "We couldn't do that . . . How would we pay government employees?"
"Fire your government employees."
Abolishing the income tax. Now that really would be a genuine economic stimulus. But Mr. Obama and the Democrats in Washington want to do the opposite: to raise the income tax "for purposes of fairness" as Barack Obama puts it.*
What Mr. Moore does not mention is that that exchange takes place with John Galt strapped to the the Government Institute of Science's second proudest invention, the ultimate torture machine, under duress with a gun to his head. They, the looters, are demanding that he fix the economy without doing what is necessary to actually fix it. They believe they can coerce him into being able to violate the laws of economics, the laws of human nature and the laws of physics.
Stephen Moore concludes the article by writing:
David Kelley, the president of the Atlas Society, which is dedicated to promoting Rand's ideas, explains that "the older the book gets, the more timely its message." He tells me that there are plans to make "Atlas Shrugged" into a major motion picture -- it is the only classic novel of recent decades that was never made into a movie. "We don't need to make a movie out of the book," Mr. Kelley jokes. "We are living it right now."
Or as I have long said "No need to see the movie, I am seeing it live."
*Yes, Barack Obama really did say the purpose of income taxes was not to raise money, but to equalize outcome.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
I tried to get a doctor's appointment ... Three PM ... tomorrow. So I drink lots of water. Pee as often as possible. Maybe I can flush it out. Four hours later I barf every bit of the water up while driving to the hospital. Didn't I absorb any?
Five hours later I'm sitting in the first circle of hell, the ER waiting room. And then the second and third levels -- waiting in the inner room in the backless nightgown. The first thing that you learn is you always must wait. No visit to the hospital is complete without a bracelet or two and an IV line. Finally something to stop the pain. Have I "had a CT before?". Maybe 15. Five or six PETs, and an MRI. So what is one more? I'll take the 8x10 glossy, two 5x7 mattes, and the wallet-sized.
Brain still OK, no busted heart vessels.
Next day the BP is down to 117/60. Go figure. I don't know that they gave me any-thing for the BP.
So what was it? Something I ate? The Chinese lestaulant boasts 'No MSG'. Were they rying? No more stress at work than normal.
So they had me fill about a gas can with pee at home for the lab. I'm not allowed to have anyone else help me. OK, just the lawnmower sized gas can. More tests. We'll see what it means later.
Saturday, January 10, 2009
Sunday, January 4, 2009
My bête noire is graffiti.
Maybe it is because I live in an area of America that is dominated by two cultures that tolerate, if not embrace graffiti -- the African-American and the Hispanic.
Now, there are two types of graffiti: the art type and the tagging type.
The art type may be on places that accept or allow it, or on abandoned places. It is rarely inflicted on unwilling and caring places - there is too much work and cost only to have it Kilz-ed in the morning.
No, my bête noire is the gang type. The little squiggles or even wall sized murals that say this area belongs to this gang or group to the exclusion of all others including the owners of the building.
Our schools get hit with this a lot, particularly the illegal alien gangs 'La Raza', 18th Street, MS-13; although Crips and Folks are represented too. That little 'Star of David' means 'Folks' not a Jewish gang.
Now I am pretty certain that what we have is gang wanna-be teenage kids. But the gangs start with teenagers, so who can be sure? It has reached the point that a good percentage of the work of the school system's maintenance workers and custodians is painting over and erasing gang markers. This is especially true after weekends, holidays, and vacations.
Friday we returned after a particularly long Christmas break. The graffiti painters had not taken a Christmas break. Bobby, our painter and a prime fighter of graffiti, became all excited when I questioned him about how rough it was that day.
"At Meadowcreek (high school) it was a girl grafitti painter this time."
"How could you tell?"
"Because she painted 'Kill Whitney' a gun and a marijauna leaf ."
"Uh, Bobby, I think that is 'Kill Whitey' and that's you."
I guess gangs really are the bête noire in our society. Gangs are like a second Government running in the background. There are many people who have more loyalty to their gang than to our common government. If we don't do something fairly soon; we, traditional Americans, will be reduced to the status of just another gang.
We do no more than is necessary. In anything. Profit has become an obscene word, it's true, but more than that, so is any kind of frill. Once our buildings were things of aesthetic beauty, not just the minimum to get by. We cared. We cared how we were regarded, what people thought of us and our works. We had pride. Even in the midst of the Depression, we built great buildings like the Empire State building in New York, and 30th Street Station in Philadelphia. Now even when times are good, we give and get just the minimum. Now, to cut expenses, even great works are Butler buildings. No Parthenon. No Acropolis. Not even a Roman Coliseum. The 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games will ultimately leave no lasting mark -- they were just glorified Butler buildings
There is not even a recognition that not all value, not all worth, can be measured in dollars. The bottom line is now the only thing that counts. The result is that there is no margin for error. There is no fall back position. No survival room. And now it comes back to bite us. Companies "too big to fail" fail.
There has long been no place for also-rans. That the second place company can not survive always seemed strange to me. After all, didn't Avis "Try harder"? Now even the first place companies do not necessarily survive. Your local mall is surrounded by all the carcasses of dead and dying big-box stores -- Circuit City, Linens-and-Things, Comp-USA, K-Mart, Handy City, A&P. There are even remains of dead McDonalds and Walmarts.
I am not saying we are wrong for taking advantage of any bargain that is offered to us. I am saying - Do not always go for the cheapest thing available to you. Go for the best value. Value is the point where the line for price crosses the line for quality. It will be more economical in the long run. The hundred dollars shoes cost more than the twenty dollar ones - for a reason. The are better made and with better materials, and are better for your feet. No, they aren't the three hundred dollar pair; and yes, those have even more quality (and in this case, maybe even more value ... or, they may just be more expensive). But the twenty dollar pair at Walmart have a side effect -- they drive down the price to a point where an American Company like Florshiem or Johnston and Murphy must hold their prices below what they really must make to stay alive. And to do that, they must outsource too. That costs American workers their jobs. My favorite talk show host admonishes us that "this is a global economy and we do not need or want to be protectionist". I differ with him. Someone in this country must make something. We can not survive on being middlemen. We can not consume our way to wealth any more than we can tax out way to it. Someone must manufacture wealth. The Government can not do it. All they can do is take yours -- through taxation if you are rich (i.e. go to work in the morning) or through competition for resources if you are not.
But it will take more than just manufacturing things here to bring things around. It will require the American worker to return to the meme of working hard, and with pride, and doing more than just the minimum to get by -- By putting pride in his product and increasing the value of his work.
For us to do that, we will have to start at home. we will need to turn out culture back to the point of taking care of our own home and family being normal. It will need the worker of course, but it will also take our CEOs and planners putting as much effort into the survival of their companies as they do in their "golden parachutes". And it will take our politicians putting as much effort into the survival of our country as they do into getting re-elected. That is being cheap too.
Saturday, January 3, 2009
Received from my friend CLZuhde:
> Due to the recent housing crisis, credit crisis, the collapse of oil
> prices, the economic crisis in general, the stock market crash, budget
> cuts, rising unemployment, unstable world conditions, outsourcing of
> business, the cost of insurance and electricity, as well as taxes of all
> kinds, and other considerations, we regret to advise you that the Light
> at the End of the Tunnel has been turned off.
>We apologize for the inconvenience but wish you a Happy New Year.
The light at the end of the tunnel is a train racing at you.