Sunday, 31 May 2009

Time Marches On

The big guys of Time, a loser of a weekly magazine...came out toward the end of last week and said that they were studying the prospect of charging folks to view their magazine on the internet. They are losing money on a monthly basis and the ad rates for Time are fairly dismal. The chief even said that it wasn't right that folks could log on and freely read articles that they were charging money for the magazine.

I read over this and pondered it a while. Frankly, I'm of the mind that newspapers ought to band together....maybe in groups of ten...magazines could do the same...and charge $5.99 for a year's privilege to read their articles online. It's a fair price...and maybe it helps a group of newspapers or magazines survive.

There are two negatives to this scheme. First, you just might find out that no one really cares and no one will read the magazine digitally...and no one will quote their comments. If this happened, your morale would disappear rather quickly.

Second, if you came to decide that $12 or $15 was more appropriate for the cost of reading online....then you might price yourself beyond reality and find no one interested anyway.

For myself? I wouldn't pay a nickle...to review Time online. I think in five years of blogging...I've actually quoted them once. My guess is that they will end up charging folks $10 per year, then discover less than 2,500 folks signed up. Eventually, they will rig up some deal where if you get three Jiffy Lube oil changes in one year...you get a free year of Time on-line. That'll end up being the only way to get or give away these stupid opportunities with Time.

Saturday, 30 May 2009

Cap and Trade at the State Level

According to statistics....Alabama has a carbon footprint of 11.

The same statistical page.....give California a carbon footprint of 46.

This is all based on per capita numbers....which is kinda important to realize.

So I started searching for other countries to compare this fantastic statistic against. I finally found a Wiki site, which laid out international sites.

Germany? Just under 10.

Norway? 11.

Czech? 11.5.

France? 6.2. Please remember....they run lots of nuclear power plants....not coal plants like the rest of Europe.

The mighty UK? Just under 9.79.

So I started to look closely at the charts covering each of the fifty states....lots of states were higher than Bama. In fact...near the top...was Vermont with a carbon score of 50.

So I'm beginning to wonder on this "cap and trade" game.....if you had thirty states who were just as good as Germany or Belgium or Netherlands.....with similar populations.....then why would you punish those thirty US states (to include Bama)?

Yes, notice I said the word "punish".

When you create a tax game like 'cap and trade'....you end up taxing everyone to share in your pain. To be kinda honest....folks in Bama have done precisely what the folks in Germany have done....and live within the carbon numbers. Remember....I used the carbon expert's own statistics in this research project.

So rather than group us all into some basket, and punish all of us for the actions of twenty dimwit states with high carbon....which probably doesn't matter anyway.....lets be fair....punish the bigboys before you punish us.

As the Sun Sets

Its a neat list of folks of importance in San Fransisco...working for the city or county....and what they make. Note....over fifty folks...making over $200k each. The highest one? Some gal who is a special nurse....hugging $350k a year.

Now, just a moment to pause over this group of people....including fifteen who work in law enforcement. Each will come to retire. Each will collect at least $120k per year. Each might live to be 80....so figure twenty years of $120k each. Then figure that each needs a replacement in the office....and the replacement will make the $250k salary as well....with yearly 2 to 4 percent raises. In 2015? I'm betting on the top fifty folks making a salary of $300k minimum.

Who pays? The California taxpayer. How can the state survive? It won't. California is dying and will not recover. No one can afford this kind of government structure. You can't cut these people....you can't trim their salaries.....you can't even bring in outsiders to replace them at 60 percent the current salary (the corruption factor won't allow it). So this is the end phase of California's survival.

Thursday, 28 May 2009

All The Kings Men.....

Once upon a time, in a faraway land, the king and his subjects determined that the kingdom’s budget was simply not working right. So the subjects came to suggest that the richest in the kingdom….ought to pay more. The king came to agree with this logic….even saying that the rich would be “willing and able to pay their fair share”.

So the kingdom created a new millionaire bracket, raising top marginal income-tax to 6.25 percent. Somewhere in the midst of this….with various other local taxes included….this was going up to 9.45 percent.

So a year would pass…and the king’s revenue men quietly came up to the king and kind of announced that things weren’t exactly working out well.

The king was disturbed….what could possibly be wrong?

Well….normally, there three thousand millionaires in a kingdom that would submit that revenue paperwork. But now….it was barely two thousand.

The king was kinda miffed. What say you? A thousand millionaires have gone from my kingdom?

So in the scheme of things, the revenue men of the king came to collect 6.25 percent of nothing. For those in Red Bay….that’s zero, and it can never be more than zero.
So the King is missing almost $106 million. Since the king hasn’t cut his budget and can’t possibly approach his royal subjects to cut his budget….he’ll have to pass this $106 million back onto the regular non-millionaires of the kingdom. For those of you from Red Bay….wondering who exactly are non-millionaires…..well….it’s you buddy.

The sad thing to this story is that the king can’t readily recruit new millionaires to move into his kingdom. It’s a tough sale….come to be taxed more by the king and be happy over this royal privilege.

So, here’s the thing. The story is true. The state is Maryland. And the king is Gov. Martin O'Malley.

And you wonder “people willing and able to pay their fair share”….where exactly do people find brilliant moments of wisdom and utter these phrases to the media? But in a royal world….anything is possible.

Don’t worry….this won’t be on CNN, MSNBC, ABC or such. Real journalists would have gone out to find the missing 1,000 and then get a personalized interview with five of them….explaining how they saved their portion of the $106 by moving to Delaware. The funny thing….after watching this….from the remaining 2,000 millionaires….five hundred will make the judgment to pack and move. That’s how the media helps to fix things.

An "Offensive" Flag


This is a rather odd story, with twists and turns….a bit of a smell to it.

There is this employee who is a section supervisor of a hospital unit in Texas. She has a husband who spent 24 years in the Army…..one son is an ex-Marine, a second son is a Army veteran….and a daughter is a combat medic serving in Iraq. To put it mildly….the supervisor is patriotic (about as much as an American can be). At some point, in her office which shares with three other supervisors….she decided to mount a 3-ft by 5-ft American flag on the wall of the office that she shares.

On the Friday before Memorial Day….she arrives at the hospital to find the flag had been taken down because one of her associate supervisors had complained that the flag was “offensive”.

For the sake of this story…..based on facts in the press….the associate supervisor with the flag "offense" issue…is an African woman who arrived in America around 14 years ago.

At some point in this story….based on comments by the hospital….which they simply told this woman that patients and patient’s families had also complained over the hung American flag.

Over the weekend….this story began to run on its own….with thousands of people plainly upset over this unusual episode. The stories also suggest that the flag was laid upon the floor….which is a ‘forbidden’ place for a flag to lie.

The mother-company of this hospital is based out of Kentucky. So by Monday, they had received more than just a couple of phone calls. No one appears to have sided with the taking down of the flag.

Naturally…at first, they had no comment. By Tuesday, they finally decided that the flag would be allowed back to the office….although something would have to be worked out….perhaps the size of the flag or the location where the flag would hang. The mother-company simply doesn’t want any stigma attached to them over this issue.

Meanwhile, back in Texas….folks are furious and a bit upset.

I read this story…and several things bother me. First, the words spoken about patients upset or their patient’s families upset….I don’t buy. Whoever uttered this….is boldly lying. I’ll say it to their face. I don’t think a single patient uttered a single negative word about the flag.

Then I come to the woman who is complaining about the flag. Whatever management skills she pretends to have or qualifications to manage anyone….I would question. She is unable to confront people or grasp the problems that she can create on her own. The attitude about the flag? Fine….I believe I’d start looking for employment back in Africa where she might find people who stand in her share of beliefs. If she’s unhappy in America…I’m sure she can find the conditions she desires….in the majority of African countries.

The only thing worse than this whole bizarre episode? If this had been a Texas flag….on Texas soil….it would be an ounce holier than the American flag. And some Texans would have laid into this complaint and stood their ground. Texans tend to be boldly patriot about being American….but they are twice over on being proud of being Texan.

Working on military installations all my life….I’ve kinda had to grasp this dedication to the flag business. On a typical base….there are likely 250 flags. In fact….other than the gym and bowling alley….those are probably the only buildings on a typical base where you won’t find a flag. Heck, we have two locations on Ramstein where every single state flag is kept out on display.

So this is an odd story. If this had happened in California….reaction might be different and someone would have an anti-flag rule to enforce the issue anyway. But sadly, this was Texas….and this is about the last place to slander or slap the flag around.

How Would You Destroy Chrysler?

Well....its a rather tough question. Under 99 different scenarios....you could hurt them...but never destroy them. Even with the government running Chrysler....they could probably survive on....with less profit....but still survive.

The 100th scenario?

Suppose you whipped up the dealer list....and said half have to go....for the company to survive. Then you decided that being part of the best party....the Democratic party....meant that those dealers who were more pro-democrat....would survive, and the remainder would be invited to leave.

Suppose you were stupid enough to do something like that?

Then someone sat down and put the entire closed dealer list up on a Excel spreadsheet....and discovered that 90 percent of the closed dealerships had one common factor.....a dealership that strongly supported republican dealerships. Then suppose instead of the media....which were incompetent anyway....you actually had the ability to transmit this story out to 3 million Americans in an hour.....and to 100 million Americans within twenty-four hours?

Then suppose the media was now stuck....they actually have to report this because people were asking way too many questions. Then they started to question the US government and their involvement in the whole game.

Then lets imagine that six of every ten republicans sent a letter to the surviving Chrysler dealer in their region....and just said they won't buy their product....nor will their son....or daughter. Then they turned around and told the car rental companies that they won't rent a Chrysler product. Suppose a month later, the remaining four republicans, and then fifty percent of the independent minded folks did the same thing.

After about six months....the remaining dealers would ask what they did wrong. Ford would be standing there and smiling.

People would write songs of sorrow and woes over the pitiful demise of Chrysler and how they just couldn't sell in the new age....but never explain in the song why people just drove on by the dealerships.

Yes, suppose such a thing were to happen.

Strange thing....seeing a car company dumped into a pit....because they got deep into the political game. Maybe GM is going to dump dealers too? Maybe they've got a list already? Maybe they have some promised deal too?

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

My Passion for Ireland


A man is fortunate enough in life, if he chances upon Ireland once in his life. A thousand other men will never walk upon the green....sip Irish ale....or understand the woes or sorrows of a Irish man.

About once a month, it'll cross my mind....a moment from my one and only trip to Ireland. I'll pause there in the car.....thinking long and hard over some grassy hill or old building or some moment in a Irish pub.

We need a place like Ireland...to wish upon or just soothe a tired mind. We need green hills to remind us of the imagery of green. We need pains, woes and sorrows to remind us that life isn't perfect. We need friendly people to remind us that its possible to be a stranger and still accepted by people.

So somewhere in my mind, there is this green island that I drag up on occasion....to feel refreshed.

The Administration's Bank Plan

What you won't hear on ABC, CBS, or CNN this upcoming week....is this quiet discussion going on within European banking channels. Based on the Administration's efforts to take on American investors who keep their money overseas....the banks there are starting to question the wisdom and the cost involved. Frankly, they are quietly thinking over the idea of not managing American citizen's accounts.

Kinda drastic? Yes.

So far, the ideas put out on the table are part of the president's master plan to shut down American tax evaders overseas. Banks have studied the requirements...and feel a bit of pain taking this task on. Basically, they will have to monitor American citizens....something that they haven't had to do. And there just might be a legal liability here...on their back.

Adding to this mess...is the idea that British banks have grasped the fact that they might have to disinvest "in US shares on behalf of their clients".

Big banks? They might storm on and just weather out this situation....smaller banks? I'm guessing that they will add up the cost and just start telling Americans to dump their accounts.

The road map here? I'm going to make a guess that Russian banks are going to line up and sign up Americans left and right. They will probably go straight to the Lichtenstein officials and learn every trick in the book. Then they will toss in a couple dozen Russian mafia guys to base out of the US and find the right people to threaten (mostly political figures and IRS folks).

The lesson here...is that if you create a vacuum....someone usually comes to fill it. And they usually have a very different gameplan from what you might be used to.

There may be a serious problem with people hiding money...but it's not new and you could create several small acts to slowly bring things into a better prospective. This current plan? Quick and drastic...with lightning reactions by rich Americans, bankers, and all the middlemen. It'll be curious how this ends.

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

The White Roof Dude

It was a fascinating day. Our chief of energy, for the Obama administration...the grand Nobel prize-winning physicist.....Profesor Steve Chu...spoke up today and said white roofs ought to be mandataed.

I sat there for three minutes...contemplating this mandate. Quiet a remarkable thing....making everyone go to a white roof.

His logic? This would reflect more of the Sun’s light...thus decreasing global warming.

The professor went as far as suggesting that building regulations could force all roofs to be painted white. As the professor suggested: “I think with flat-type roofs you can’t even see, yes, I think you should regulate quite frankly I would be in favor of that.”

I have a hard time envisioning how you'd force people into this white roof scheme. Obviously, there would be a tax incentive of some type...a credit for white paint, over red paint. You could line various federal guidelines to force folks into this white roof mentality.

The curious thing about this mess...is this magical area around Atlanta where science people have started describing as a heat magnet. They can show various statistical displays how Atlanta is hotter than it was thirty years ago. The curious difference in thirty years? Massive asphalt pavement construction and the removal of millions of trees as homes and business areas were developed.

Talking people into planting more trees and shrubs would be alot easier sell than forcing folks into some game involving white roofs. I'm guessing a couple of senators are going to have fun with the professor when he shows up next time and his ideas of a mandated white roof.

Monday, 25 May 2009

Rush, Cheney, Powell, and NASCAR

Sometimes, you can take real news....and change just one or two words....and get still-real news out of it....sorta. Anyway....I'd like to thank those folks over at Fox who lent me their story, and of course, I'd like to thank those kindly folks at NASCAR....for being NASCAR. Anyway....here is the real news from this week:

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell took on Dick Cheney and Rush Limbaugh Sunday, shooting down their accusations that he had abandoned NASCAR while continuing to dish out advice to the pro-NASCAR circuit.

Powell, speaking on CBS' "Face the Nation," touted his NASCAR credentials and urged his team to be more moderate and inclusive. He was answering back after Limbaugh called on him to join the anti-NASCAR crowd and Cheney said he thought Powell had already left the pro-NASCAR folks.

"Rush will not get his wish and Mr. Cheney was misinformed. I am still pro-NASCAR," Powell said, noting that he "driven solidly for NASCAR" for 20 years, spent 10 years of his life serving in pro-NASCAR team and spoke at two NASCAR drinking engagements.

"You know, neither (Cheney) nor Rush Limbaugh are members of the membership committee of NASCAR. I get to make my decision on that," Powell said. "And so I will continue to work in a way that I think is helpful to the country and helpful to the pro-NASCAR team."

He said the reason he endorsed anti-NASCAR circuit last fall -- a decision that prompted a wave of southern discontent with Powell -- was he believed NASCAR was "fu*ked-up" and going nowhere.

And Powell dismissed Limbaugh's claim that the only reason Powell, who is black, backed NASCAR was because of his race.

"I don't want to exchange insults with him. But I thought it was unfortunate," Powell said. "I laid out a very specific set of reasons as to why I was anti-NASCAR. Mr. Limbaugh saw fit to dismiss all those reasons and put it into a racial context."

Powell, meanwhile, encouraged more criticism within the NASCAR circuit of Limbaugh -- he said NASCAR field commander Michael Steele had to "lay prostrate on the floor apologizing" for his criticism of Limbaugh, but that the talk show host "shouldn't have a veto over what someone thinks."

And he urged the circuit to look beyond the most driving elements of its base.

"I believe we need a strong NASCAR circuit that is not just anchored in the base but has built on the base to include more individuals," Powell said. "If we don't reach out more, the circuit going to be sitting on a very, very narrow base. You can only do two things with a base. You can sit on it and watch the world go by, or you can build on the base."

God bless America, and NASCAR.

Sunday, 24 May 2009

How Many Rhode Islands Would Fit into Bama?


Its a political scenario....what if we broke Alabama up into the same size units as Rhode Island? How many more states would we create? Answer? 33.9.

I sat and paused over this number today. There are around nine states of half the size of Alabama. This entire game we see played out each week in DC....with one hundred senators....kinda resembles baseball of the 1960s. We've reached a point where we recognize all the players and they've all maxed out on positions and committee positions.

I'm thinking....lets go and do what baseball did....expand out.....more states. Yes, I'm advocating an impossible scenario.

I started off on Saturday with the concept of three states created out of Bama. North, Central and Frenchy-land (for those of you in Mobile). Realizing the mighty power of two lousy senators from Rhode Island....I've decided that three states out of Bama.....simply isn't enough. I'm thinking sixteen states now. There isn't reason not to think big.....the Rhode Island folks think big....and get away with it.

So these are my sixteen new Bama states:

1. Frenchy-land: the area around Mobile. The capital would be Mobile of course.
2. Birmingham: draw a 40-mile circle around the town and just toss the whole thing into one state. I realize that it'll be the highest murder-statistic state in the US....but frankly, I don't care.
3. Huntsville-Athens: it'll be referred to as "Rocket-State".
4. Auburn: it'll be referred to as "Tigger" and their sole source income will be NCAA football. The football coach will be appointed as governor as well, and provided a SUV as part of his governor's job.
5. Florence-Tuscumbia-Muscle Shoals-Sheffield: referred to as "Shoals" from this point on. Half of the state will be declared a alcohol-free state and the other half a alcohol-banned state. The governor will naturally live across the river in Sheffield....the land of milk, honey, and corruption.
6. Scottsboro will have the entire northeast part of the state under their domain. Their chief source of income will be Monday trade-day operations and fishing licenses.
7. University of Alabama will be a state unto itself, with a population of about 120,000....to include the student population as well.
8. Montgomery would get a 50-mile circle and have the highest concentration of progressive-minded folks, and have the first liberatarian governor.
9. Fort Payne to Cullman would be this snake-shaped state with a high concentration of Baptists.
10. Jasper to Red Bay to Russellville. This section would be a huge area, with a bitter fight over which metropolitian area (Jasper or Red Bay) should be the state capital.
11. Talladega-Selma. A fairly wooded state, with a significant black population. They would naturally be pro-environmental and very Democrat.
12. Dothan-Troy. The bottom corner of the state.
13. Opp. Everything west of the Dothan state. Pretty neat name for a state anyway....Opp. We'd probably have to bring in some expert political figures because this whole state thing would be way too much for the locals to handle.
14. Bay Minette to Linden. The capital would have to be in Bay Manette, which would be overwhelmed from the start with this status of a capital city....and then likely bring in a Hooters to ensure legitimate status as a real capital city.
15. Gordo, would get the entire western section left of Bama.
16. Whatever is left is tossed into one state.

The neat thing about my plan is that we get 30 new senators from the region, plus 15 new state governors, state attorney generals, and various posts. Plus we could toss in over 8,000 folks who'd have to be hired to serve as state employees. Construction of fifteen new capital buildings and governor's residences would help the construction folks in the region. Plus each one of these states would eventually demand to have a NCAA college program, with real football. So we'd start to develop a more intense rivilary with each other.

Just like baseball in the 1960s....expansion will help Bama in the end. We'll have the potential of getting five or six senators on Larry King's show each month. Bama-land will start to gain power and take on the sole state of California.

Saturday, 23 May 2009

China and Mr Lai

There is a wonderful story of compassion, wisdom, and old-fashioned common sense today...within Fox News. I realize that some of you far-left liberal types who read my blog....don't go near Fox...therefore, I will tell the wonderful story...here and now.

Once upon a time....in a faraway land...was a man by the name Chen (we will excuse the last name....for it really doesn't matter). Chen was a man of vision, capitalism, and rash judgments....I can say this, he can't.

Chen had built up a construction deal...which ultimately failed...to the tune of $290k. It was a serious error in judgment. He was now in serious debt...which in China...means no real relief.

So Chen walked up to a bridge in southern China, and for hours contemplated suicide. The cops came. The emergency folks came. Minute by minute...the episode went on. Nothing really was happening. Several hours pass.

Then...a 66-year old guy by the name of Lai....kinda walked up...eyeballed the situation...then proceeded onto Chen...standing there at the edge.

Lai was a man of vision, common sense, and practical life experience. Lai walked up and shook hands with Chen.

Then, Lai...extended his palms quickly and pushed Chen off the bridge.

To be honest, Chen only fell 26 feet...and then into a partially inflated emergency air cushion that the cops laid out. He's injured to some degree...mostly because the air cushion was fully inflated.

There stood Lai on top of the bridge and those standing nearby were witnesses to his comments afterwards. Lai was fed up with Chen's "selfish activity" (the comment that China's newspaper Xinhua wrote).

To be honest...traffic had been tied up for several hours and everyone was just standing there and waiting. Straight from Xinhua:

"I pushed him off because jumpers like Chen are very selfish. Their action violates a lot of public interest," Lai was quoted as saying by Xinhua. "They do not really dare to kill themselves. Instead, they just want to raise the relevant government authorities' attention to their appeals."

After the entire event....the cops decided that Lai was a slight problem and took him off to the local police station for questioning. I'm guessing that they aren't happy over his push and want to make sure he doesn't go around pushing more of these guys off bridges.

I sat there...pondering Lai and his wisdom. Most folks who want to committ suicide....quietly go and just do it. This week, we had the wonderfully talented and young British actress......Lucy Gordon, who committed suicide in Paris. She had problems over a close friend who committed suicide recently, and just quietly did it one night. Over in South Korea, the former President there committed suicide quietly on a walking trail yesterday.

Typically, people who want to commit suicide....don't do it as a show. They don't stage 4-hour traffic halts on major streets in China or Paris or Bombay. Lai is kinda right....a show episode becomes a selfish act.

So somewhere out there in China....there is a 66-year old guy who is a major threat to every single selfish suicide player. Lai actually intends to make you play out your game....as quickly as possible, without any real delay. Lai's compassion has come and gone. He's living on reality.

When No One Cares

I work for the US government via a contract...the company involved doesn't need to be mentioned. Every five years, they put the contract up and have bid's on the cost. When I went through this bid process as a player in 1999 and 2004...there was lots of anticipation by the employees and high-level interest. After 2004's deal, the big-name company got dumped and we were all offered jobs with a slightly lesser company. Naturally, lesser pay and benefits fall into play here. Most left....some stayed....and of course, I stayed.

Since 2004, my company has become the "monkey-boy". The original company got bought out. Then the big-name company we fell under....shoved us under some minor-league group run by a bunch of former Army-commanders.

I could write an entire book on the dismal management and games they've played. No one who works for them....takes them serious. Since the dumping of the federal holidays and giving us five extra leave days back in January.....the management folks don't come around much. We have no respect for them and typically just take the entire game as a joke now. Needless to say.....it's hurting the government in several ways. No one is loyal....thus everyone has resumes out and walks out whenever they find another job. Turn-over....is significant....compared to most companies.

The competition has been going on for six months, and next week....it will finally come to an end with the winner of the next five years being announced.

Frankly, compared to the past two competitions....NO ONE CARES.

I sat there this week....looking around. There is no care whatsoever over this competition. If our company wins or loses....it doesn't matter. Its the total opposite of the last episode.

Almost every single individual that I work with....has resumes out....and are actively seeking employment elsewhere. The negativity is joked about daily. The government has gotten to the point of thinking about moving contractor positions over to GS positions...just to get out of this morale slump.

So come next week....when they finally announce the winner. I'll likely pull out some miniature bottles of booze and celebrate in some fashion....and then keep putting resumes out. The winner? They will be the loser in the end. By the time, they cut pay or benefits......you end up with a loser of a deal.

Death by 35.5

A moment of pondering.

So the new government standard for gas mileage will end up being 35.5. How exactly do you reach that point, if you are Ford, GM or Chrysler?

Typically, you start with the frame, and you start to carve three to five percent of the steel frame out of the car. You try to pump up the engine but customers hate under-powered cars, so you try to stay within the norm of 2.5 or better for real cars.

By the end....you've removed enough weight and made 35.5.

The problem is....you are now less safe than you were yesterday. In fact, there just might be a market for those 1974 Ford LTD's now.

So on your headstone....as you lay there wondering how you got whacked and put six feet under....you might think about this "death by 35.5", and then wonder why steel matters more than oil.

The Sun Will Finally Set

Once, there was a mighty hurricane. It came and passed. In fact....four long years have now passed.

This week...some folks in New Orleans....who consider themselves in a temporary situation and living in temporary housing, under temporary government funding....were kinda told that the "temporaryness" of this situation is just about finished.

FEMA spoke on Friday and says that the government is finished being temporary custodian of these folks. They will start evicting Katrina survivors in July. The guy was kinda nice about it.....admitting that it might take a while, which means weeks and probably months before they can get court papers done to individually kick out each single resident in a case like this.

This was a $5.6 billion housing assistance program. Either you got a trailer or a hotel room. The program was supposed to end two years ago, but a bunch of Democrats got involved in the process and pumped more funding into the project.

I was kinda surprised about the numbers. At one point...which was the pinnacle of this entire episode....143,000 households were in existence with the temporary situation.

The curious thing is that both parties now agree that they just can't keep pumping money into this deal. I have written probably a dozen blogs on Katrina and all the things that happen before and after.

In real life....after a huge episode like this....people move on. Folks in Mobile and South Carolina have done this several times. Folks in Florida have the act memorized. New Orleans is the only place where hell just keeps going on....week after week...month after month....year after year...eternally.

Its funny in a way. Prior to the 1990s, other than the quick emergency response and some infrastructure funding afterwards...we didn't pump any extra money into a community. If you go back to the 1800s, nothing happened unless you saved yourself. The billions involved in New Orleans? All of your tax money. Don't worry...if they didn't spend there then they would have spent it on study butterflys or developing analysis over Thai bar gals. Just another day in America.

Liberty and the Democrats

There is an amusing story out from yesterday...concerning Liberty University...the private and highly Christian university up in Lynchburg which the Rev Jerry Falwell created. Like most colleges, they allow clubs on the "installation" (pardon my military jargon). This week, they decided that allowing the College Democrats club to exist...was a bad thing. They even came out and suggested that the club's primary function stood up against the Christian school's moral principles.

This club has barely existed eight months...and really only popped up during the Obama campaign. They admit they only have about thirty people and the club says its in the "growing" stage right now.

Right now, they can't meet on campus or use the Liberty name in anything they do. I'm guessing that some local Democrat will arrange for a meeting place and the club will continue on.

I realize it may be shocking in this case...but I'm taking the side of the Democrat club. There are Democrats who are active members in the Baptist church, the Methodist church, and various denominations. To stand here and deny the club existence on campus means very little. They will continue to exist and likely grow in the future.

To be kinda honest....if we killed off every Democrat in America tomorrow...then what? You'd merely have half of the Republican party split off as liberal Republicans and the other half as conservative Republicans. We would eventually recreate the entire Democrat party within a decade. You need a two-sided argument to some degree...to exist as a republic, otherwise...it starts to turn into something that we really don't need.

So Liberty had their moment of glory...and in the weeks to come...they probably will notice that the club still exists and now has stronger membership because of the disapproval they stuck upon them. I'm thinking Liberty needs to do something drastic now...like create a NCAA football team or something...to get the topic of discussion going in another direction.

Friday, 22 May 2009

Gitmo Woes and Fixes

I sat there in a daze....thinking I'd sipped some 90 proof stuff. Here was the suggestion from a Fox News article...that some folks think we should just rename Gitmo....to help fix the Gitmo problem:

What if you gave it a name like "Shining Sands" or "Ocean Breeze" instead of ... Gitmo?

The prison center at Guantanamo Bay is destined to be closed down in January because "the name itself is a condemnation" of U.S. anti-terrorism strategy, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Friday.

But while it has become a "taint" on America's reputation, according to Gates, the prison facility in Cuba is at the same time "probably one of the finest prisons in the world today," he said Friday on NBC's "Today" show.

I paused over this entire concept for a while....then I started come up with my ten suggested name changes for Gitmo, which I'd like to share with you:

1. Camp Jesus. I realize it won't work, period....but still, I'd like to suggest it. It'll win Baptist votes.

2. Camp Ozzie Ozborne. We'd pipe in Ozzie music....which would like be deemed illegal and a violation of human rights.

3. Bin Laden Sands. Just a crazy idea.

4. Camp Skippy. It'd drive the Marines crazy when you handed them orders there. That would be a pleasure to watch.

5. El Castro. Cubans in Miami might have a laugh, but thats about it.

6. Liberation. One-word, simple, to the point.

7. Naval Air Station Bush. GW wouldn't mind.

8. TOTFNBRPC (The Obama Temporary For Now But Really Permanent Camp)

9 Stimulus City, it'd make perfect sense to give them money or funding.

10. Gitmo-Paradise. Sometimes, you just need to add one single word to make things feel all better again.

Thursday, 21 May 2009

A Salt Lake City Argument

For a Bama resident, this is an interesting story.

Two gentlemen came up in Salt Lake City (Tuesday afternoon)...and got into a pretty heavy discussion over whether Jesus was a Catholic or a Mormon.

At some point...they started fighting over the episode. The guy left standing....was the guy who got arrested by the city cops.

The man standing....apparently was conscious and intoxicated, so he will be charged with suspicion of assault and public intoxication.

Naturally, I sat and pondered over this story a while. Had there been a third man on the spot....he would have been a Baptist....I have no doubt. Unlike his two associates...he would not have been intoxicated...because as we all know...Baptists never drink. Then our Baptist associate would have whomped the fire out of the two other guys....since all Baptists know mortal combat (in case they up against the devil himself).

I'm thinking folks in Salt Lake City don't have much to argue about (NCAA football, politics, Barry Bonds, relative problems or taxes). If they are sitting around arguing Jesus like this....something is pretty weird there.

Joe's Fantasy World?

This week, we learned that Vice President Joe Biden did not leak classified information. Apparently....whatever he was describing to dinner guests in terms of a "top secret hideaway" that his old buddy Dick Cheney, used in the days following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks....was merely a guest room in the VP house.

Elizabeth Alexander wants to set the record straight on this: “There was no disclosure of classified information”.

Everyone is now in disagreement over the entire issue.

So I want to set the record straight for the entire crowd.

Actually what Joe was talking about at the party....was actually his closet area in the new house....where he accidentally got lost and bumped into a old 286 computer that he dragged over from his old senate office. Then in a state of aggravated consciousness...he felt himself in another world, another dimension, another time.

Over these brief moments, Joe imagined himself in a land....far....far...far away. He dreamed of himself in a secret vaulted area, surrounded by computers, printers, and racks. He felt secure in this secret vault, hidden from public view. It was his own world. So naturally, he discussed this at length, and had nothing to do with a real secret vault, which might actually be hidden under the VP’s residence.

Meanwhile….former VP Cheney is likely sitting there….thinking long and hard over this episode, and wondering….does Joe mean the wine cellar where Cheney and the SS boys played cards? Or was there really a secret vault that even Cheney didn’t even know about….from WW II?

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

The Obama Car Game

35.5 miles per gallon? Is the dude kidding us?

So sit back for a moment and analyze this game. First, the Saudis and the Russians are in serious trouble if he carries this through. We are talking about a 30 percent on imports over the long-run. Oil producers and oil companies will sitting there and wondering how profits came and went.

Then we have this little problem of people not wanting a 2.1 or a 1.6 size engine. The after-market crowd will start to become specialized....as super-sized engines are readily built and later sold in America. Customizing will become a big deal.

Then we come to a curious thing. I sat and watched this announcement from the White House. Here was California's Governor....the Arnold....who was shown arriving....with his entourage...at least three big SUVS. I started to think about the various Obama administration players....who today drive SUVs here and there.

You can't build a super deluxe SUV which will get 35.5 miles per gallon. Either you remove the steel frame or you go for a 2.0-sized engine....which is grossly under-powered. Who will be building the super sized vehicles? I have doubts that anyone will make such a vehicle in the US and all of these special government vehicles will be customized by someone out there.

The pure truth here...is that they have the ability to build an engine like this with enough torque to probably do the job. 35.5 is not that much to ask for.

Farm trucks with such a size? It won't happen, and this is the curious thing....will they be exempted?

The big loser in this game will end up being oil producers. The US can produce enough....with the help of Alaska.....if we stick to this 35.5 game. By the time you count in the corn-fuel and Alaskan oil.....there isn't a big issue on oil import.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Stat's Aren't Always as True as You Think

I had an interesting conversation today with a senior Air Force NCO. She related.....at one point in her career, she managed some airman who just made it out of technical school.

For those of less knowledge....when you join the Air Force....you go through basic, and then you go to tech school to get your apprenticeship. Typically, in my field.....its around six months. At the end of that, you get assigned to your first base. Then they enter you into a eight to twelve month program to upgrade yourself to a "specialist" level. They give you a series of books....you read them....then you study for a test.....and then you pass. When you can't pass this series of tests.....typically, they toss you out. Out of 200 kids.....maybe one falls into this category.

So my "Sarge" related this story of her airman.....who she labeled a problem-child from day one. He wasn't dumb, but he was lazy and simply refused to put effort into anything. So after a year, he had failed the test on the first try, and then came to prepare for a second attempt. He basically gave up at that point.

The Air Force probably would have just written a waiver of some type and kept the kid in the Air Force for his four years.....doing some oddball work....but the kid didn't want to do that. So the kid found this great site on the internet which gave you the method to get out. It was a downloaded word document, which you admit you have gay tendencies (not out-and-out gayness, but just the tendency).

So the kid writes this letter and submits it....and within just a couple of weeks....they discharge him with a regular discharge. Since he didn't admit gayness....just the tendency.....it wasn't a bad discharge.....plus the kid didn't get kicked out for his failure to finish the specialist course.

So I asked "Sarge".....so the kid wasn't gay? She laughed....NO.....the kid wasn't gay.

You can't speculate on how many folks do this per year.....using this simply formatted letter.....but I'd likely make a bet here.....ten percent of the folks that CNN likes to talk about in this gay-discharge group.....probably aren't gay. Heck, it might even be twenty percent.

When I often refer to statistics always having some problem in being true.....this is simply another example.

Monday, 18 May 2009

The Open Minds Speech

I read through the Obama commencement speech at Notra Dame. About eight lines of it went straight into the campaign mode but then he settled back into being presidential.

The amusing part of this speech….came with the “demonizing” jab. Talking to a heavily Catholic crowd, he wanted them to see the wisdom that we are taking issues to the ninth degree and then anyone who voices a difference of opinion then gets into the demonizing mindset.

I sat and pondered over demonizing. Its not one of the 2,132 phrases or English words that I tend to use.

The basic definition of demonizing is that after you take a position….I take another position but I heavily labor on the fact that you aren’t just wrong….but that there can only be one accepted version of this topic and I 'own' that version.

We do this to global warming.

We do this to gay marriage.

We do this for the way we want the census to work.

We do this for the way we want the Supreme Court arranged.

We do this for the way that we want stem cell research done.

We do this for the way that talk radio managed.

The truth is that we demonize almost everything today. The neat thing about President Obama's words is that he even tossed them out against the Catholic background....but not the media who richly deserves the words.

Who helps us become demonized? Fox News. CNN. Wall Street Journal. The New York Times. The major papers of Chicago. AP and UPI. Our buddy Rush and the 100 other talk show hosts of America. Wolfe Blitzer.

The curious thing is that the President didn't want to aim this demonization concept at the cause and trigger. He attempted to toss it out there and just hope that a fair number of folks would just find it in their heart to come half-way.....maybe even three-quarters of the way.....over to the other side.

The president even has people on his staff....whose sole purpose in life....is to demonize news and the agenda. Imagine yourself getting paid.....just to demonize the other side.....wouldn't that be great?

So here we are, with the open minds speech.....wondering.....pondering....and finally grasping that you'd have to actually open your mind first.....before you could start to think on your own. And we really haven't done that yet.

Your Health Deal?

So the national health care plan is in full swing. There are ten assumptions that we can now see on the table and we might be interested in this deal.

First, an absolute deadline has been created out of thin air without reasoning. There is barely sixty days of discussion that can go into this. When the final 1,000 page bill comes up...I’ll bet that no senator has read the document and less than five representatives have read it.

Second, hardly a word has come up about limits on doctor or hospital billing. This obviously will not be discussed.

Third, no comment or discussion will occur over military healthcare provided to retirees. People are already bracing for what will be a cost-program for retirees who were more or less promised free health care.

Fourth, whatever program is passed....will not affect the members of congress or the Senate. There will be an exception for them.

Fifth, no one will likely discuss the problem with foreign nationals within the US
and how they will fit into such a program.

Sixth, no matter how they rig this....some Americans will still have 5-star health care and some will have 3-star health care.

Seventh, the curious question will be if a 60-year old guy who has smoked all his life and continues to smoke two packs a day...can demand various health procedures that have limited or no impact on his length of life.

Eighth, will a guy in Red Bay, Bama have access to the same health care as a guy in Chicago? It’s a simple yes or no question. But you know the answer already.

Ninth, if employers have to contribute into this pot as well....will this mean a 3 percent cut on employees across America? If you had a small operation of twelve people and you had to absorb this cost of contribution, then the answer is to dump one employee. Fair or unfair? Does any congressman or Senator really care if 400,000 people get laid off because of this deal?

Tenth, if the actual real cost is 40 percent more than what the experts claim....where do you get the money? That’s the curious question that we might want to think about.

Buy Whatever

Buy Black is a new campaign effort that is developing. The concept? Convince a significant black community to buy only from Black-owned businesses. It has positives and negatives…and could have an impact.

You could convince a town of 5,000 population, with 1,500 blacks….to go with this concept. You could have a couple of black businesses that were struggling or just marginal….suddenly go and make big positive gains….but then dragging another non-minority business down by playing this game. A month or two later….someone else says “lets play ‘buy white’” and then you start to look at a community very divided. Then someone could even start the ‘buy Latino’, to really toss something into this whole game.

Some guys might start businesses out of thin air now….to take advantage of this community effort….hoping to be the only black dry cleaner and thus claim this effort when they go do the big talk around town. Whether a business out of thin air is smart or not….might be a totally different subject. And you might see someone selling items for three percent over the norm…just to take advantage of this whole concept.

Down the line? Buy Latino. Buy Baptist. Buy Latter-Day-Saints. Buy Catholic. Buy women-owned. Buy from the Koreans. Buy from the disabled. Buy from the Lepers? At some point, we might start asking stupid questions….but don’t worry….we are ten years from that point.

Sunday, 17 May 2009

The Real Question Matters

Sometimes, we tend to put an argument into a legal sense, and want loose ends to tie easily. But when you examine the situation and realize the bigger question of what matters....then the original question dissolves.

So read the little print first, and then look at the big question.

Matthew, Mark, Luke and PBS

Without alot of fanfare, and I doubt that your local paper even mentioned it....but last week...PBS suddenly woke and decided that there was just too much religion on PBS stations.

I kinda sat there for ten minutes...trying to remember the last time I ever saw some kinda religious programming on PBS. I could remember the kid's shows, the far-left liberal shows, and the British comedies...but nothing religious.

With new management in the government...PBS is now discussing broadcast of religious programming. Right now, its just a discussion. The boys would meet next month and actually vote on the recommendation to strip the affiliation of any station that carries "religious" content.

What happens in this case? You don't get Sesame Street, Frontline or NOVA.

I looked around....and its interesting. Most major towns have their own PBS station locally, and the majority offer an hour or two each week of local religious programming. In fact, the PBS out of Provo is run by BYU (the Mormon University), which airs around two hours a week of religious programming.

I'm guessing that the stations will all cooperate...otherwise, they lose access to all their programming. I'm guessing they will all dump the religious programming.

The curious thing...these stations would have two hours of open time. My idea would be to fill that two hours with far left-wing ideals. You never get enough liberal news on PBS...so this would be neat. You could fill it with Hitler speeches. You could fill it with drunk college babes from Arizona State doing imitations of famous people. Heck, we could have Septic Tanks Made Easy, a one-hour show each week where we help some fella from Red Bay dig up his tank and fix the problem.

Obviously, this religious programming has confused some people and upset some folks. The minute you hint of Jesus or Moses....folks start getting nervous....like you might be brain-washing them. Obviously, if you were some CNN dude tossing global warming quotes....that would be different because that's not brain-washing.

It would seem like that PBS management should have more things to worry about. But obviously, if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.

Don't ask me where I heard that phrase, but I think it's pretty good management ideals for the PBS management team.

Pure Corn

So we start this blog with a nifty study...accomplished by the kindly and really smart folks up at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (and the Carnegie Institution helped too). The boys sat around and finally figured out that climate change (note: NOT global warming) since 1981....has triggered lessening amongst corn producers world-wide of about 1.2 billion tons a year.

I liked this article. The whole topic got dragged out by those nice folks at Wisconsin public radio. In fact, the title on their site says it all...."Perilous Picture for Corn". At some point in the article, there is this comment "We need action", and I just sat there. I was pondering long and hard on this situation.

But then I turned around and there was this guy who just wouldn't accept this report. Doc Matt Roberts is an associate professor in the department of Agricultural, Environmental and Developmental Economics at Ohio State University.

Doc Roberts says that there's one serious problem with this perilous situation on corn....the entire study ignores the factor of supply and demand. Farmers grow what sells and they dump what doesn't make a profit. This factor....never came into the eyes of National Lab folks.

Doc Roberts even says that there is a total disconnect by the weather folks on how crops expand and contract. Amazingly enough....if you only need X amount of corn for corn flakes....you won't grow more than that amount. And if you can buy it cheaper from Mexico than Wisconsin....then you will do that.

Naturally, the National Lab guys didn't say much after this. They probably huddled in the back room....trying to figure out the next crop to discuss....perhaps onions?

Move Review: Crimson Rivers

Most Americans have never watched a French movie ever. Me? I've probably watched around a hundred of them. Mostly in German....some with English sub-titles. There are few that are four-star. There's only one that's a five-star in my book....The Crimson Rivers.

Jean Reno carries this movie and probably makes every scene worth watching.

This was made back in 2000. I've probably watched it three or four times now.

Its a murder movie...but has tons of implications throughout the movie....from Nazis to cloning.

If you get the movie, there are two great scenes.....the first being where the junior detective has entered the boxing gym to get an answer to a question. Naturally, things go wrong. The second scene is a car chase down a mountain road, with Jean Reno and his junior partner being chased.

So its unlikely that you might find it in the local video shop, and you might have to rent from afar....but do it. This is an excellent French movie worth watching.

Saturday, 16 May 2009

What is an American?

It's a great piece of writing....by Pete Ferrara who was an associate professor of law at George Mason University School of Law back on 25 September 2001. I read it twice and finally thought that I better keep this piece of wisdom.

You probably missed it in the rush of news last week, but there was actually a report that someone in Pakistan had published in a newspaper there an offer of a reward to anyone who killed an American, any American.

So I just thought I would write to let them know what an American is, so they would know when they found one.

An American is English…or French, or Italian, Irish, German, Spanish, Polish, Russian or Greek. An American may also be African, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Australian, Iranian, Asian, or Arab, or Pakistani, or Afghan.

An American is Christian, or he could be Jewish, or Buddhist, or Muslim. In fact, there are more Muslims in America than in Afghanistan. The only difference is that in America they are free to worship as each of them choose.

An American is also free to believe in no religion. For that he will answer only to God, not to the government, or to armed thugs claiming to speak for the government and for God.

An American is from the most prosperous land in the history of the world. The root of that prosperity can be found in the Declaration of Independence, which recognizes the God-given right of each man and woman to the pursuit of happiness.

An American is generous. Americans have helped out just about every other nation in the world in their time of need. When Afghanistan was overrun by the Soviet army 20 years ago, Americans came with arms and supplies to enable the people to win back their country. As of the morning of September 11, Americans had given more than any other nation to the poor in Afghanistan.

An American does not have to obey the mad ravings of ignorant, ungodly cruel, old men. American men will not be fooled into giving up their lives to kill innocent people, so that these foolish old men may hold on to power. American women are free to show their beautiful faces to the world, as each of them choose.

An American is free to criticize his government's officials when they are wrong, in his or her own opinion. Then he is free to replace them, by majority vote.

Americans welcome people from all lands, all cultures, all religions, because they are not afraid. They are not afraid that their history, their religion, their beliefs, will be overrun, or forgotten. That is because they know they are free to hold to their religion, their beliefs, their history, as each of them choose.

And just as Americans welcome all, they enjoy the best that everyone has to bring, from all over the world. The best science, the best technology, the best products, the best books, the best music, the best food, the best athletes.

Americans welcome the best, but they also welcome the least. The nation symbol of America welcomes your tired and your poor, the wretched refuse of your teeming shores, the homeless, tempest tossed.

These in fact are the people who built America. Many of them were working in the twin towers on the morning of September 11, earning a better life for their families.

So you can try to kill an American if you must. Hitler did. So did General Tojo and Stalin and Mao Tse-Tung, and every bloodthirsty tyrant in the history of the world.

But in doing so you would just be killing yourself. Because Americans are not a particular people from a particular place. They are the embodiment of the human spirit of freedom. Everyone who holds to that spirit, everywhere, is an American.

So look around you. You may find more Americans in your land than you thought were there. One day they will rise up and overthrow the old, ignorant, tired tyrants that trouble too many lands. Then those lands too will join the community of free and prosperous nations.

And America will welcome them.

Salary and Pilots

For years....I thought Pilots made good salaries. I always believed that. Even the local airline folks....I always felt that they pulled in at least $50k a year.

This week, I was kinda shocked. The co-pilot for the Continental Flight 3407 flight which crashed in Buffalo recently.....made a $16,200 at regional carrier Colgan Air. They even admitted at one point....she was working at a coffee shop part-time...to augment her indecent salary.

When I read over the entire report...the experience level and the salary...I sat there wondering....so who makes all this profit? I could actually haul logs for some guy in Bama, working fifty hours a week....and probably make $20k a year. I could haul hogs for butchers....across three state lines....up to sixty hours a week...and make $38k a year. I could change oil at a Jiffy Lube for 45 hours a week and make $24k a year.

Something here doesn't make sense. Me traveling on a 3rd rate airline now? Fat chance.

My Commencement Speech

This is the season of commencement speeches. I will admit...though with three associate degrees and two bachelor degrees....I've never been to a graduation ceremony except high school. Being in the military and getting credits after I left a base....kinda left me in left field. So I never got to hear a real speech. I have sat and watched a couple of speeches via the internet that Bush, Clinton and now Obama have given. I've come to the conclusion that I could probably write a pretty damn good commencement speech...short naturally....which might be appreciated. So I sat and wrote 'my' speech....which I would give....although likely never to happen.

Today, one world ends and one world begins. Whatever you learned....probably has little to less value than you'd like to think. This is the sad story of college and what people think.

There should be wisdom dished out you. There should have been great moments of brilliance that captivated your mind and made you think for a few brief moments. Its kinda like practicing for something but not knowing what that something really is.

You should have learned selflessness....but it's doubtful you caught that little moment.

You should have learned honesty and value....but it's doubtful that the university got around to that lesson.

You should have learned courage....but that wasn't exactly a class that you could get graded in.

You should have learned respect....but the professor keyed in on disrespect and you got graded for what you wrote on that topic.

You should have learned teamwork...but there isn't a single class to teach that unless you counted that volleyball class that you pretended to attend but never did.

You should have learned eye-to-eye contact...but there's not a single professor in the joint who wants to teach something like that.

You should have learned compassion but the one hour that they did offer on the topic...you were mostly wasted from a good evening of partying.

You should have learned forgiveness....but that was during homecoming week and you were mostly hanging out with the drunks in your dorm.

You should have learned tolerance and calmness...but the leadership class mostly dealt with intolerance and reactionary skills.

You should have learned a purpose in life....but the professor was a crazy guy who kept referring to all the bad things that occur to you in life.

So frankly, you are standing here with a polished scorecard and the university folks kindly thank you and your folks for the $38,000 that you helped to dump into the school and the other $44,000 that you pumped into the local economy around the school, and the $8,000 that you gave to the beer and alcohol companies of the local area. Oh, and lets not forget the $5,000 that you gave for sales taxes, gas taxes and alcohol taxes over the past four years.

So in this vast wasteland of knowledge...let me give one single bit of knowledge that you might find of value one day. Its a quote from Shakespeare.

There is a tide in the affairs of men, which, taken at the flood, leads onto fortune; Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shadows, and in miseries.
As you stand there waiting on something to happen...and it happens...don't just stand there and let the opportunity go. If you seize the moment...ever how difficult and unfair the chance might be....it will lead onto other opportunities. If you continue to sit there....in the shadows....you will simply count up your miseries in years to come and lust for a dream that will never come.

The Season Ends

There are only three shows on TV that matter to me anymore. This week....the season came to a conclusion with two of them....MD House and Lost.

I came to enjoy the House ending but it took a while for the end to sink in. The key feature of this great writing....is that imagination can run wild and make you think alot of things. It was five-star writing, at its best.

In the case of Lost....they really tossed you down the pit and answered a huge question or two....but then tossed another dozen questions on top of the fire. Lost has the ability to keep you addicted and going back to an episode three years ago....to consider the implications of what was done then and how it compares now.

The amusing thing is that twenty years ago.....you had nice tidy show that kept you interested for an hour, then wrapped up, and a week later....you forgot the entire concept of the script. From the Fall Guy, I can recall three characters from the show, but can't remember a single episode. Same deal with Falcon Crest and Simon & Simon. Would I buy any of the DVD's today from these shows? No.

There are huge expectations now with successful shows. They have to keep people tied into them.....buying the DVDs and asking question after question about the characters.

So I'm stuck now....for least four months.....waiting for the next season.....and waiting for the DVD arrival of Dexter, Season Three.

A Green, Wet, and Damaged House

So for those of you from Red Bay....who aren't familiar with this concept....if you live in a house up north...way up...where Yankees usually hang out...it's damn cold in the winter.

Typically....folks up that far in the semi-Arctic circle region...are fairly smart. But in a special case which came out this week in Michigan....some folks aren't that smart.

Some folks had come up with this demo house idea.....a completely independent solar-powered house. It would have no gas or electrical hookups. Common sense might say you ought to have something hooked up....just in case...but the boys wanted to be proud of their agenda.

So back in the fall....folks gathered for a ribbon-cutting ceremony. They spent almost $900k to build a 'green-house' in Troy, MI.

This was supposed to be a model and a education tool.

What folks didn't grasp during the planning phase....was there were pipes in the place and this was a fairly cold region. So naturally....winter came to Michigan.

Frozen pipes occurred. Damages? $16,000 in damage to floors.

These were fine wood floors...not that concrete stuff. So all of it has to be ripped out, and they have to find someone who will pretend the price is $16k but will pay someone's cousin $2k of that for the cooperation fee....I'm just guessing, if this is a normal Detroit operation.

Right now, they don't have the $16k. The building is locked up. And the community organizer folks are kinda upset. I'm guessing some planner and designer is moving quickly out of the area...having not considered what you need for a real house.

The Modern Day Beverly Hillbillies

I sat and pondered over modern times and the old Beverly Hillbillies. It would be a great script to write.

Jed has come to realize that the hedge funds and Wall Street crowd....abused Mr Drysdale's trust...and stole 99 percent of the Clampett fortune. Jed stands there for about 30 seconds....pausing....twisting his head ever so slightly. Then he says....well doggy....ain't that something?

At that point, Jethro would ask "you reckon we ought to go up and kick the fire out of those folks for Mr Drysdale?"

Note, this was not intended for discretion's taken against the Clampetts but against their friend.

Jed would sit there and think for a second....then say "Boy, we don't need to aggrevate a bad situation....just go and whoomp them for half an hour....that'll be enough".

The next day, Jed would take the belongings they brought to Beverly Hills and load them onto the truck. Ellie May would take up the various animals and put them up on the high seat. Granny would load up enough moonshine to make it from LA to Tennessee. And Jethro would say adios to his friends in the seventh grade....who'd he'd known for twelve years....all in the seventh grade.

Mr. Drysdale would pack up....because he was all broke now too and fired by the Obama Administration. His lovely secretary....Miss Hathaway would pack up because she'd lost her fortune and was being kicked out of her condo. And Dash Riprock simply said adios to those leaving....he was staying and moving in with Brittney Spears.

So Jed moved all the way back to Tennessee and got settled back into the cabin. A year goes by. Everyone has kinda gotten use to regular life. Moonshine flows daily with Grannie's still.

Then, someone calls and asks Mr. Drysdale about those hidden funds he had in Bolovia. He stands there and remembers having three or four million dollars secretly stashed there in a natural gas venture. It was the only international investment that he had with Jed's money. The guy on the phone says that the whole thing has taken off, and now is worth $500 million.

Tears flow down Mr Drysdale's face. He weeps openly.

He runs down the dirt trail and proudly stands at Jed's cabin. Jed's reaction to all of this.....well doggy. The family packs up and goes back to Beverly Hills....and moves back into the old masion which sat vacant anyway.

As Jed might say....you roll with the punches and then roll a bit more....sooner or later, you end up back where you started.

Adios, Dealers

When I was a kid in Bama...within a twenty-five mile radius of my house....there were a total of seven Ford dealers. Don't ask about GM or Chrysler....because my dad in those days was a Ford-guy.

My dad typically bought a new car every two years. He would drive the car into the ground on the mail route and then find enough reason to buy another Ford. This enormous mission would then occur. He'd pick the type and then proceed to all seven Ford dealers.

Color really didn't matter too much....although you could forget white or red. So he'd waste an hour talking to the sales guy and finally get the rock bottom price. Then we'd proceed onto the next guy. Same model, same type. From the seven involved, there was never more than $350 difference from top to bottom. We probably burned $60 of gas in this adventure....remember....gas was between 45 and 80 cents in this era.

By age sixteen, my dad had now expanded the circle to 100 miles, and I discovered that there were around eighteen of these dealers now. That was pretty much where I saw no benefit to this entire game. I lost interest fast. The price difference....never more than $350 on that model.

So today, when these guys sit and talk of terminating 1,000 dealers within GM or Ford or Chrysler....it really doesn't bother me....at least from a sales point. In fact, within twenty-five miles of my dad's place...there ought to be a max of three dealers. I might even go down to two.

The real issue comes after that point, with maintenance. If I have a bad situation and need a repair....then show up at some guy's lot with my broke car.....I don't want to have to wait five days to get a one-day warranty repair job done. I don't see service coming out as a plus in this down-size deal.

Another curious thing is that car dealers were typically the money-bags for local political figures. If you slept with them....you got support and introduced to the right people. So we are taking out a 1,000 GM dealers....who would have helped some local political figure make it to the big-time. This might be a plus in some ways.

Now, if I were a Honda dealer....watching this unfold.....I'd put out an ad and let folks know that my business is up and running....with a 5-star maintenance staff still in place. Nothing changed. I might just be able to steal business from GM and Chrysler.

Its a new day in car buying, and we might just regret it.

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Quantity versus Quality

Pretty neat day for banking folks who used to manage their own companies. The White House starting seriously now about how it can change pay and compensation practices across the banking and financial-services industry. The interesting thing....this includes folks who did not receive a penny of federal bailout money.

What they are talking about....is administration and regulatory officials looking at the Federal Reserve's supervisory powers, the power of the Securities and Exchange Commission and moral suasion. They are even hinting that they could do this via legislative efforts....as we kinda already know....the banks and Wall Street will pay off the right folks to ensure nothing stupid happens at that level.

The chief concept of this whole mess? They want loan officers paid on the quality of work they do....and not the volume.

I kinda sat there for a while looking at this idea....quality versus quantity.

I pondered a while and then thought....if this is such a damn good idea...why not make the White House, Senate and House pay situation work the same way. If some idiot barely votes 75 percent of the time and is generally absent from House business....then he ought to be on a separate wage and making less than his buddy down the hallway.

If some Secretary of Commerce screws up big-time....toss in a 10-percent pay loss. If some General does something really stupid....take $3k off his yearly pay.

I think in this case, the White House really has a great idea...but they need to carry it to the next level. The problem is....once you lay this across various levels....I’m thinking a bunch of White House folks, senators and congressmen....will just say “no”, and move on.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Notching Life up a Notch

Just when you thought this stupid Miss America/gayness/say-the-right-thing episode was almost ended, especially after the Donald spoke today....then we Perez Hilton making another comment.

If you remember Perez....he kinda started the whole thing.

After Prejean's comment.....Perez got all upset and then called Prejean a "stupid bitch."

Apparently, he had a chance to say he was sorry....but then kinda froze and avoided the whole comment. Then in the midst of this MSNBC interview today....he said:
"I called her the 'b' word, and hey, I was thinking the 'c' word."

I sat there for a while and thought....you know...this Perez guy is a "D" word, a "E" word, a "F" word, a "T" word, and probably even a "Y" word.

Course, now you have to start taking guesses over these words of mine, and remember....I only have a vocabulary of 2,132 words.

An Odd Day for News

First, the CEO for GM said that he was all up for the idea of moving the company headquarters out of Detroit.....which meant he was threatening to move a 4-star loser of a company into your neck of the woods or worse. Every mayor in America has to be worried now that they might be the chosen "lamb" for the GM folks. Naturally, this means coughing up money, property, and some kind of corrupt deal to get some big-loser who is basically bankrupt moved to your town. My choice? Birmingham, Bama. This way....the GM bigwigs who move....will still feel at home and haul their weapons with them to work each day.

This kid....Shane Fitzgerald....who became a 5-minute legend on Yahoo News, CNN and MSNBC...for posting a fake quote on Wikipedia...over some dead French poet who shall remain nameless (at least in my book). Apparently, news groups and newspapers were stupid enough to copy the quote and use it for the dead French guy. The bogus quote? "One could say my life itself has been one long soundtrack. Music was my life, music brought me to life, and music is how I will be remembered long after I leave this life. When I die there will be a final waltz playing in my head that only I can hear." The media is getting all weepy over how someone could possibly write something fake and have it appear on Wiki. I paused over the smell of this and kinda wondering if me and the media were living on the same planet. Fake and bogus stuff isn't supposed to appear on Wiki? Oh my.

Some nitwit is talking about a soda tax....to help pay for healthcare. I kinda sat there for a while...thinking....pausing....then wondering why not have a gum tax...a chip tax....a catfish tax....a ribs tax...a apple tax....a catfood tax....heck, why not even a condem tax? Then everyone could have free healthcare, a new free Dodge truck, a 30-foot bass boat, and a free trip to Disneyland each year. Sounds pretty neat and we'd all sign up for this tax deal.

Some Army guy went nuts in Iraq....so they took away his weapon and ordered him over to the stress clinic. There, he got into a aggravated state....shot and killed a couple of GI's with another weapon that he acquired somewhere. Third tour in the warzone. Naturally, the Army now says that they will charge him with murder. I paused over this for 15 seconds....wondering if you were ordered to some stress clinic and were kinda nuts before getting there...the odds of any court declaring you able to face murder charges are zero.

Some Indian guy (from India naturally)....has apparently not washed for 35 years. He was told years ago that this would increase the chances of him having a son (he has seven daughters). This dude....Kailash "Kalau" Singh....does a fire "bath" each evening....standing next to some bonfire...smoking a joint (marry-j-u-wanna) and says his prayers. He claims the fire kills germs and infection in the body. I paused over this for while....after about six months....it probably doesn't matter...you can't get no dirtier than what you are....so 34.5 years don't figure into this much. The wife must be smoking a joint too because I just can't figure how she allows him to do this and get away with it. Meanwhile...it would seem like them Dove soap folks would want to hire him up and fly him to Tupelo for a fancy four-star bath commercial.

The Donald spoke out and says Miss California can keep her crown. Apparently, this is kinda like the Pope speaking, so all this gay upset feelings kinda shrink up and dry away now....at least in Don's vision. I'm guessing Miss California will rush out tonight and say as much as possible to keep this pumped up and the gay folks will need to run out and find some MSNBC host to weep over the tragic end to their issue. Meanwhile, some proud Bama millionaire is likely trying to hook with Miss California and get married by July.

Since "Cap and Trade" has become a pretty evil thing to say in global warming circles...the president today has hired up someone to think long and hard, and come up with a new phrase. The key feature though at the end of the day....after the companies have all been handed their bill for "Cap and Trade", is that they simply will pass the expense back to you. So no matter how you swing this game....you still get taxed for something thats imaginary in the end.

It would appear that at least six people in Milwaukee are shocked that their former Roman Catholic archbishop, Rembert Weakland, admitted today that he is gay. The other 620,000-odd folks were still trying to remember the 2002 episode where he resigned over some sex and financial scandal involving a man. Adding to the torment of folks in Milwaukee....Rembert has now written a book over the whole thing...but this is kinda trying to remember or care about the twelve women who did President Bill Clinton...and to be honest....maybe six of us care about that episode today as well.

All in all...a fascinating day.

Just An Odd Question

Everyone is chatting about this wonderful event with the $2 trillion to be saved on healthcare over ten years and how this makes government mandated care now possible.

My odd question.....if this is so great and saves all this money.....wouldn't this just make it easier for regular people to get regular healthcare insurance now.....without government mandated healthcare? I mean.....my dad used to say that $2 million was a heck of alot of money. So $2 billion is a tremendous amount of money. And $2 trillion? Surely that would pay for everyone's healthcare and we could just skip this whole mandated thing.....right?

Or is this some kind of funny math that just doesn't add up but makes sense?

Green Job Ad (Parody)

Green Jobs for America, Incorporated, wishes to announce, in accordance with the White House agenda for providing five million green jobs for America....that we are about to put our newest and "greenish" vessel out to the high seas.

The USS Gore is set to sail on 1 July on regular monthly runs between New York City and London. We will be able to handle up to 22 tons of cargo and sixteen passengers. Powered by 64 Oarsmen and two sails...we hope to make the voyage in twelve weeks.

Presently we are recruiting the following positions:

1 x Vessel Commander with a Natural Sciences degree, experience with disheartened oarsmen, and a squint in your left eye.

2 x disciplined oarsmen chiefs, with degrees in Earth Science.

32 x senior oarsmen technicians, preferably former members of a NCAA football team. Must have prior experience at oaring.

32 x junior oarsmen technician.

4 x cooks with either Denny's, Catfish Cabin or Sonic experience.

Join the revolution for green jobs and be a part of the White House agenda. Within five years, we will over 163,000 vessels on the high seas and will be employing over one million Americans in a up and coming revolution.

Monday, 11 May 2009

Doc Jim's Logic

Veterans are a unique breed of human. They volunteer to die for their country....with orders given by either a couragous president or a fool-of-a-president. They get paid a meager salary. And they basically do it for reasons that don't make sense to most Americans.

Over the past couple of months....we've had former patients at the VA facilities...former veterans....who tested positive for HIV or hepatitis. There is a strong indicator that they were infected by tainted equipment at U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals.

Our good friend....Doc Jim Bagian, the VA's top patient safety officer, spoke out about this recent news. He indicates that patients won't be able to prove they were even exposed to endoscopic equipment that wasn't properly sterilized. Course, it was already noted in December that equipment used for colonoscopies and ear, nose and throat procedures.....was either not properly cleaned or set up. Doc's own people admitted this.

So far....five patients have tested positive for HIV and 33 have tested positive for hepatitis. The VA has notified 11,000 people treated at three VA medical centers to get follow-up blood checks. The locations involved? Miami, Murfreesboro, Tenn., and Augusta, Ga.

Doc Jim says: "At this point I don't think we'll ever know" how the patients were infected".

I'm kinda agreeing with Doc Jim.

In fact....I'd like to arrange a closed meeting with Doc Jim and about 100 Vets....at some hotel. At the end of the meeting...if there are gunshots inside the room and we open up the door and Doc Jim is mortally wounded...I'd say that Doc Jim's same logic works....you can't be sure that any of the 100 Vets ever shot him, and we may never know....you know what I mean?

The VA is stuck caring for these guys...as long as they live. And with HIV or hepatitis...it might not be that long. The sad thing is that you get the impression that health care via the VA...is a joke. You'd be better off going to some local clinic in your hometown....and get just as good of care.

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Crown or No Crown

According to the news....tomorrow...Miss USA contest owner Donald Trump...will meet and discuss the biggest episode ever for beauty contests....if he should take Miss California's crown away because of her anti-gay stance.

As Fox News puts it:
Trump said there are "things to look at," but, "hopefully it will be a positive decision.
So the fate of Miss California Carrie Prejean rests with Donald Trump.

This whole episode has turned into a soap opera. You have gays arguing with gays....Christians arguing with Christians.....Fox News arguing with just about anyone who argue with it.....and some dimwits pretenders who are uppity ups in the Miss USA contest who are absolutely desperate that you see them and recognize their importance in this entire mess.

The logic?

Either this is a beauty contest or its some kind of 'be-like-us' contest. Either its a beauty thing with only stupid concepts about looks....or its some kind of intelligence contest where you need to know the right answers to the right questions.

If she's told to dump the crown....then you might as well just give up the contest concept and have a bunch of hot looking babes show up and just get drunk with the judges. Nothing matters much after that point. Why did the gays launch on beauty contests? That would a curious question to ask. Frankly, it probably doesn't matter. You could have some cartoon character say something negative, and they would have taken matters out against the cartoon character.

Feeling Miserable

There's a book I saw yesterday at the book store....Things to Make You Miserable. I spent a minute looking over it....and then put it down. There like two hundred pages of single entry items....to make you miserable.

I hadn't ever contemplated this concept of people looking for miserable things....then after pondering over it....we aren't looking for miserable things as much as miserable things are looking for us.

A miserable fact....women with breast implants are three times more likely to commit suicide, do hard drugs, or be an alcoholic. Your kindly USA Today folks let you know that. We end up making ourselves miserable for odd reasons....some logical and some illogical.

Some idiot showed up in municipal court in New Orleans....he was wearing a black pinstriped skirt (instead of pants). The cops threatened to arrest him, and got pretty serious about this. The dude is suing the cops....asking for $1 in damages and wants a ruling that his rights were messed up. The guy felt miserable wearing pants and decided that the skirt was ok but made the cops miserable. No one wins in this miserable match.

Up in Eau Claire, Wis....some Radio Shack guy felt miserable when a customer tried to return an item. The Radio Shack dude argued and argued....and finally when the customer asked for the manager....the Radio Shack dude felt real miserable and then punched the guy. Someone in the mall apparently saw the fight and called the cops. Court case in the works. Miserability scale? Maxing at 9, I'm thinking.

When your momma calls and says to bail out cousin Fred over in the next county for a bar fight.....you really feel miserable about doing it.

When the Baptist Church minister comes up to you and starts talking about the problems with alcohol consumption....you really start feeling miserable.

When the wife says you smells just a whiff of septic in the backyard, and she thinks the the tank is overflowing.....you got miserability creeping into your life.

When your best friend calls and says he needs to admit that he's been seeing imaginary people at the Post Office....you start to feel miserable.

When the relatives call and announce they've got a month free and want to come and visit you....miserability is starting to make you weep.

Things are awful complicated in life today. And if you are lucky....you might make it an entire day without any miserable events. But don't worry....there's always tomorrow....a fresh day....to restart the miserability situation.

Ban the Savage!

This week, we learned that the Brits made Micheal Savage...the progressive radio show host....(a bit radical to the right)....unwelcome. Actually...he can't enter the UK. They were sure nice about this....there were around twenty odd folks...including the idiot minister in Kansas whose group shows up at funerals of dead GI's.

The wording was that Savage was undesirable.

Savage has said that he'll take this to court, and that he wants a personal apology from the UK cabinet secretary who signed off on this deal.

The amusing here...is that they didn't me down on the list.

I think I'm just as dangerous or maybe even more so....in terms of progressive thinking, pondering, boldly comprehending, wisely envisioning, presuming, and foreseeing the future. You would think that the Brits would me on the list. I feel insulted and would like to sue them in some fashion, thus forcing them to add me to the Micheal Savage list.

I realize that I'm just asking for trouble. There is no financial gain in this deal. But the nifty thing is that I'd at least be mentioned in the London Times....making me a legendary individual.

The curious thing about this entire mess....is that Savage made it and Rush didn't. For Rush, this has to be a major let down. For Savage....he probably hasn't ever been to the UK, and this really didn't matter too much. I'm pretty sure he is weeping over the situation.

Would the US retaliate over this? No. Would Texas? Hmmm....those guys from Texas in recent weeks have been talking alot about state's rights. I'm curious if they might be crazy enough to ban a few Brits just to show how powerful they are.

The Way Not to Fix Healthcare

The Obama administration will propose $60 billion in new tax increases over 10 years on wealthy estates, businesses and others to make up for shortfalls in its fund to pay for an expensive overhaul of the health-care system.

The measures go beyond plans the White House has announced in the past few weeks. Officials said that upon further analysis they realized that they had overestimated savings and tax increases proposed in February to help pay the bill.

Pretty nifty news today....the White House has these proposals on paper....to be released on Monday....on the fantastic way of getting the billions to pay for individual healthcare. Unlike Germany or any of the European countries who mandated a limit on pricing by doctors and hospitals....unlike Germany or any of the European countries who mandated certain procedures and limits....unlike Germany or any of the European countries who required each individual to contribute to the cost (including the poor working class)....this deal will go after the rich of America. Yep....only by taking from the rich, can mandated healthcare work. Well...actually, this whole scheme only brings in $60 billion...which is probably ten percent of what you'd need to run the intended program for one year. Only one problem...its a 10-year program to get to the intended $60 billion per year.

As our boys brilliantly put it.....eliminate "tax loopholes to make this work.

Phase one....grab around $24 billion over 10 years by tightening estate-tax rules. You get less flexibility to minimize liability on inherited items by claiming a different value on the same item for different transactions.

Phase two....$10 billion over 10 years requires businesses who make payments to corporations to report such payments to the Internal Revenue Service. Currently, only individuals do this....NOT corporations.

So far, every step of the way....the boys have avoided discussing doctor and hospital limits....drug cost limits....and even sick leave.

Now, if you were fairly rich and about to fall into this pit....wouldn't you run to your nearest senator or congressman....pay $50k into their re-election effort, and get a tax credit on your property? Wouldn't you arrange some estate-relief credit to defeat every measure by the White House? Yep.

So in the end...IRS should be collecting $60 billion more a year (around year ten)...when they likely are getting less than $5 billion more. So the bucket of money which is mostly empty...will have to be resolved by taxing regular people more. Makes sense in the end.

Saturday, 9 May 2009

Pure Absolute Hate

I can't make this stuff up:

Maryland granted a new safeguard to its most downtrodden residents Thursday, becoming the first state in the nation to extend hate-crimes protection to homeless people.
This came from the LA Times. I believe its a first....homeless dudes....being this special.

Any day now....hunters, crazy people from Red Bay, trailer trash women from Arkansas, school bus drivers, septic tank repair folks, doped up punks from Dallas, SUV drivers, pig farmers, and maybe even folks with bad hair cuts....will all be classed into the hate-crimes group and protected.

Eventually, we'll agree that crime in general....is a hate crime to start with.

Supercops

Yesterday....the White House had a meeting with the "big" industry players. Apparently, the White House is thinking about this great idea....recommending that the Federal Reserve become the supercop for "too big to fail" companies. The idea is that the supercop would make sure that a terrible, terrible financial meltdown never occurred again.

I sat there for about thirty seconds....wondering...what the hell does the SEC do, and why a supercop would do a better job than the SEC.

The answer? The supercop would be an administration guy...paid by various 'gifts'....and eventually become a wimpcop....thus accomplishing the same feat as the SEC today.

I like this White House. They spend hours and days....holed up in the mansion...discussing incredible ideas....and then toss out to the media. Thank God, we've got a bunch of dimwits working for CNN and CNBC...and they can't possibly figure the whole scheme out.

Incidentally, if you missed the 1996 Supercop movie...starring Jackie Chan....it was a 4-star Jackie movie. I'm thinking the Obama team were sitting around, drinking some Rum and Coke....and came up with the idea after watching Jackie Chan's movie.