Saturday, 9 February 2013

That Update from Vegas

It won't be in your newspaper or in the national news....but around ten days ago....a case out in Las Vegas got settled on voter fraud.

You probably remember the episode from early November.  This red-headed fifty-year-old gal....being escorted away by the cops....made it into the national news via all the networks.  She voted in one district, and then went later in the same day to another polling station and tried to vote a second time. Her intent....as she claimed....was to show how easy it was. She was wrong....the cops came to take her to the station and ask stupid questions.  Charges erupted over this.

The final deal?  Well...she has to pay roughly $2,500, do around 100 hours of community work, go to a impulse-control class (this ought to be interesting), and then just stay out of trouble, period.

Now, before you get all excited and start discussing her actions as a Democrat....I want to make this clear....she is a registered Republican.  So, like the Judge kinda hinted....she's a bit on the naive side, and probably takes to impulses more than a regular person.

How many other folks did the Vegas folks arrest over voting twice in this election?  None.  It appears that she was the only one that they could clearly show dual voting.  Course, I will point this out.  Nothing would have popped up on this gal....if she'd done a absentee voting document with California, and voted in person in Vegas.  So the system....even as the Vegas prosecutor bragged as being top-notch....does have some severe limitations.

And no, the Vegas folks haven't indicated how many dead folks voted in the November election.  It's best not to bring up that topic.

My Global Warming "Brothers"

I tend to have little patience or belief in global warming folks.  They tend to almost be a religion of sorts. So I pondered over them and wrote this cynical piece.

Go ye into the Church of Holy Eternal Warming, and be among brothers and sisters of the beloved Earth.  

First, among your notions of life....is the notion of sin....(pollution, if you have any doubts of our intention here).

Second....you must further the concept of indulgences....as not to accept any Martin Luther-character who would deny the mass movement its wealth (indulgences are carbon offset credits....but that's not our general term to use).

Third, among our prophets (mostly global warming researchers) and high-priests (mostly celebrities)......you cannot question the wisdom or the insight of the most holy figures.

Fourth, accept indoctrination at a young age and question not the elders.

Fifth, it will be considered blasphemy to go against the “wisdom” of the elders or prophets or high-priests.

Sixth, accept all evidence in light of their unquestionable “truths” . Never accept any challenge to the unquestionable "truths".

Seventh, those who challenge the unquestionable "truths"....are working with the devil himself and should be considered unclean and unacceptable. Also, never invite these who are in league with the devil, to Bali or any future conference.

Eighth, follow not the immoral beings who stand not in the shadow of global warming. Those who cannot follow the guidelines.....live immoral lives and are condemned for eternity (or at least until they can be mind-melted into our understanding).

Ninth, those who stand against our church....are of devilish works (corporations)

Tenth, accept all violence necessary from our members (from ELF and ALF to Earth First and various socialist groups). They will work to heal the earth and the non-believers.

Eleventh, disbelieve the naysayers, for they will say we are unwise or possibly doomed for damnation. 

Twelfth and final, fear not.....the rough days ahead with the pains of hurricanes, drought, floods, disease, unbearable heat, and suffering by all in the third world....will come...but those of us who contribute to carbon credits, use 6-watt bulbs, travel to the wild and exotic conferences held at Bali, and recycle....we will inherent the earth and all its rich fruit. Those who stand against us.....will be left to the winds or to New Jersey. Blessed be Holy Eternal Warming.

What Does Austerity Really Mean?

You see the word austerity thrown around a lot.  Germans like to use the term....to describe their lifestyle in general and everyone else in Europe (especially the Greeks) ought to be living austere lives.  Occasionally on the Business Channel (CNBC), they will throw some professor up who will talk for eight minutes on the necessity of being dedicated to austerity.

The odd thing is....no one really says what you, your neighbor, your cousin, or anyone ought to be doing to get into austerity lifestyle.  So I'm going to offer you some advice, and then the fed guys some advice.

For you:

1.  You take that decision of buying a new car, and stretch it out until you've got fifty percent of the down-payment.  Then you buy a car that has a low maintenance image (Honda, Nissan, or Kia).  You make that car last eight to ten years.

2.  When the washer breaks....you go and find the local handy man and ask for an opinion.  If the repair is less than $150....use the repair.  If this repair is $250 or more, forget about it and just buy a new washer.

3.  You go on a vacation....only when you have enough cash in your pocket to actually pay for the whole trip.  You don't ever charge anything for a vacation on the credit card.

4.  You learn how to drink tap water, and not pay $32 a month on bottled water like you've been doing since 1992. Same way for booze....skip the $30 a bottle stuff, and start looking for the $18 bottles.  Beer?  Well...you might have to accept the discount stuff down at the Jiffy Mart.

5.  You tell the kid to spend the first two years at some community college in the local area, and live at home during that period.  If he does well....then consider going onto the four-year college.  If he screws up and barely graduates community, don't waste anymore money on the school.

6.  If your salary is such....that you should only be shopping for a $240k house, don't be stupid and buy a $400k house instead.

7.  Got a chance to get a job in Texas?  Go for it.  Avoid state taxes for the next thirty years of your life.

8.  Subscribe to the local newspaper, but use it primarily for coupons listed.  If you aren't getting twenty bucks worth of coupons per week....there's something wrong.

9.  Want a fancy fishing boat, a $6k ATV, or $50k camping trailer?  As long as you got the cash to pay for it, and actually use it....fine.  If you have to borrow the money from the bank....forget about it for the next couple of years.  If you aren't using the camping trailer for more than three weekends a year....don't even bother wasting your money.

10.  Doing anything in terms of improving the house?  You ought to be doing most of the landscaping yourself.  For repairs....find the local illegal alien who fixes things.  And for the septic tank replacement....go find your cousin and offer up a case of beer for helping you dig the thing up.

For the Federal government:

1.  Take your troops out of Japan, South Korea, all of the Middle East, and Europe.  Bring the boys home....to US installations.  Let everyone know that you've done what you could for sixty-odd years....but you just don't have the cash to protect 900 million folks....worldwide.

2.  Yank the forestry guys over to a big meeting.  Tell them....that they have four years to parcel out half of all federal forest property over to state forestry commissions.  The deal is simple....they get the property, the management side of this, and run fees for locals to enter as they want.  You dismiss forty percent of all your forestry employees at the end of this.

3.  Tell every Senator and Representative that they get a personal staff of ten people.  That's it.  The Speaker of the House gets three additional folks, and the head of the Senate....the same deal.

4.  Travel costs for Congressmen and Senators?  $5k a year, period.  They need to report their costs on a monthly basis to the state they represent.

5.  Dictate a ten-year pay freeze for all federal employees.

6.  For each two federal employees who retire....you get to hire one replacement, and terminate one slot.

7.  Conferences?  Fine, start by putting them in out-of-the-way towns on Interstate 70 outside of Saint Louis, and make everyone drive (not fly).  Watch for conference interest to drop quickly.

8.  Give the President a travel budget....and mandate that he stay within the budget.

9.  Limit building construction for the next decade for federal requirements.

10.  Limit copier rentals for federal requirements to one per one thousand employees.

Dirty Harry Speaks

Clint Eastwood showed up at the Business Channel this past week.  Appearing on Squawk Box, he did an interview that didn't really have anything much to do with his movies, Dirty Harry, or cowboy westerns.  It was mostly about politics and where America is going (in his mind).  

Near the end of the piece....he said something insightful.

"One thing about getting into the senior status of life, like I am, you don't really care.  You just say what you say and then you get away with it."

He's probably right.  After a while, no matter how you planned things....you end up getting wiser somewhere after the age of forty.  You've observed enough things, witnessed enough stupidity, and just come to grasp ten thousand things that just simply make sense.

The beef of this interview though....was this straight forward comment on politics in America....jabbing at the President, the Senate, and the House.

"It's almost like they don't give a damn.  If they don't give a damn, why did they expect anybody else to?"

Thirty years ago....no one much would have listened to Clint Eastwood make observations like this.  Today?  I'd bet on forty percent of Americans readily listening to his words and in full agreement.  A quarter of them....might even be working-class Democrats.