August 31, 2009


The wife called me to the bedroom Sunday afternoon. I knew she had no sudden and unexpected sexual need to be fulfilled since it was mid-afternoon and the boy was home and she apparently has none of those urges. I went anyway.

She pointed out the seldom use patio doors at a steady stream of flying insects shooting from the lower right corner of the sliding door. I ventured out for a look and discovered a small hole, around the size of a fifty-cent piece was at the base of the wood trim. Flying in and out in a steady stream was a virtual herd of yellow jackets. I know, I said the same thing. Sanctified turds, indeed.

I grabbed my giant-sized bug spray from the garage and set it on fine stream. I sprayed the hell out of the hole and everyone of the buzzing mofos I could get. I sprayed into the hole, around the hole, everywhere. The yellow jackets did not think too much of that, I promise you. They were dying by the dozens, yet more arrived in a steady stream of flight. I swear it was like the afternoon rush hour at Atlanta Hartsfield or O'Hare, they were staged up from the fence down to the hole where they died an agonizing death. And still they came.

I looked out this morning as I was preparing for my day, and sure enough, they were buzzing in and out like nothing happened. They were ignoring the corpses of their fellows. I sprayed again, using the last of my bug killer. Again, they died by the dozens. The flow out stopped, but they kept coming from little yellow jacket destinations.

I checked a few minutes ago and the two flow is back to mid-Sunday afternoon form. I am not sure what to do. I have a can of industrial foam I can spray in the hole, provided I can get close enough without being stung. I am afraid I will have to call an exterminator.

What he said

Go read James Old Guy click this link.

If a candidate for any office, including the Presidency, would just regurgitate this post repeatedly, he would be elected in a landslide. Too bad the National GOP is intent on pushing us to be Democrats-light.

A word of caution

Chocolate milk and chili cheese Fritos are not a good breakfast combination.

A tiny slice of life

The wife felt an overwhelming need to go to Kohls Saturday evening. We took the back roads since every highway in the county is under major road construction. The macadam road was straight and flat and narrow. The corn was planted right up to the edge of the road an it looked like a green wall, tipped with golden spikes. The corn was broken by occasional breaks for farm houses and soy bean fields. The beans were waist high and a deep dark green. The setting sun left orange and purple highlights in the sky.

The first planets started popping out followed by a few stars I could see through the orange sodium lights in the parking lot. I rolled down the windows and turned on my iPod through the radio while the wife went in the store to do her thing. After an hour or so she came back out. She bought the boy some shorts for $8.00. We drove back home a different way, yet another series of narrow farm roads.

After we got home, I surfed the channels to find there was nothing on worth watching and went to bed. The wife settled down to watch home decorating shows. I was asleep when she came to bed.

A boring post to mirror a boring weekend.

August 30, 2009

Weekend Funny

How to tell if you are in a gay bar

August 28, 2009

Finally Friday

Good morning faithful followers. I have been busy this week attending a conference. I heard from many economists about the state of things and some even gazed into their crystal balls and offered a view of the future. I may share some of what I learned in coming posts.

Then again I might not.

Seriously, is this the last of the Kennedys? Enough already. I heard a Representative say it was imperative we pass a health bill now, for Kennedy's sake. This guy sis supposed to be in Congress to represent his constituents. Instead, his attitude is pass anything, no matter how poor the legislation is written, ignore economic consequences, the Hell with any objection, this is for the Hero of Chappaquiddick! JFC! I hope Carter doesn't kick off anytime soon, the Democrats will propose building everyone a free house in his name.

It is Friday. Maybe this will smooth your jangled political nerves:

August 26, 2009

An Oldsmobile is slowly sinking in Hell's waters today

Ted "Swimmer" Kennedy is dead.

I am shedding about the same amount of tears I wyuld for any other piece of shit that murders a young woman.

Boo Hoo.

I hope his punishment is to slowly suffocate in the burning waters of Hell for eternity, sucking for air in the back window of an Oldsmobile.

Boo Hoo.

Dodd, you and Frank allowed this to happen

What caused the housing and economy to tank. Derivative markets. Fannie and Freddie were among the worst offenders of this practice. Here is a succinct description of what happened provided in an email from my brother -- Otter:


Manny is the proprietor of a bar in Pittsburgh . He realizes that virtually all of his customers are unemployed alcoholics and, as such, can no longer afford to patronize his bar. To solve this problem, he comes up with new marketing plan that allows his customers to drink now, but pay later.

He keeps track of the drinks consumed on a ledger thereby granting the customer’s loans.

Word gets around about Manny's "drink now, pay later" marketing strategy and, as a result, increasing numbers of customers flood into Manny's bar. Soon he has the largest sales volume for any bar in the Burgh.

By providing his customers' freedom from immediate payment demands, Manny gets no resistance when, at regular intervals, he substantially increases his prices for wine and beer, the most consumed beverages. Consequently, Manny's gross sales volume increases massively.

A young and dynamic vice-president at the local bank recognizes that these customer debts constitute valuable future assets and increases Manny's borrowing limit. He sees no reason for any undue concern, since he has the debts of the unemployed alcoholics as collateral.

At the bank's corporate headquarters, expert traders transform these customer loans into DRINKBONDS, ALKIBONDS, and PUKEBONDS. These securities are then bundled and traded on international security markets. Naive investors don't really understand that the securities being sold to them as AAA secured bonds are really the debts of unemployed alcoholics.

Nevertheless, the bond prices continuously climb and the securities soon become the hottest-selling items for some of the nation's leading brokerage houses.

One day, even though the bond prices are still climbing, a risk manager at the original local bank decides that the time has come to demand payment on the debts incurred by the drinkers at Manny's bar. He so informs Manny.

Manny then demands payment from his alcoholic patrons, but being unemployed alcoholics they cannot pay back their drinking debts. Since Manny cannot fulfill his loan obligations he is forced into bankruptcy. The bar closes and the eleven employees lose their jobs. Overnight, DRINKBONDS, ALKIBONDS, and PUKEBONDS drop in price by 90%. The collapsed bond asset value destroys the banks liquidity and prevents it from issuing new loans, thus freezing credit and economic activity in the community.

The suppliers of Manny's bar had granted him generous payment extensions and had invested their firms' pension funds in the various B ND securities. They find they are now faced with having to write off his bad debt and with losing over 90% of the presumed value of the bonds. His wine supplier also claims bankruptcy, closing the doors on a family business that had endured for three generations, his beer supplier is taken over by a competitor, who immediately closes the local plant and lays off 150 workers.

Fortunately though, the bank, the brokerage houses and their respective executives are saved and bailed out by a multi-billion dollar no-strings attached cash infusion from the Government. The funds required for this bailout are obtained by new taxes levied on employed, middle-class, non-drinkers.

Now, do you understand?

August 25, 2009

Insert sound of spitting here

One of the aspects of our Government that separates us from much of the rest of the world is the peaceful transition to a new administration every four (sometimes eight) years. Unlike Communist countries and the multitudes of "Banana Republics" that change with a violent junta or acrimonious political changeover, we have moved on to a new President and Congress with a marked civility. Even when the political differences are huge.

Until now, it has never been the policy of a new administration to go after the previous administration for policies they disagreed. Now the Obama thugs, losing the support of the right and center and facing the wrath of the far leftists over the failure to pass cap and tax and healthcare are trying to appease the fringe supporters by going after the CIA and Military who followed the lawful orders of the Bush Administration.

Somehow an administration that cannot find a way to prosecute armed Black Panther thugs who intimidated voters and poll workers deems it necessary to go after those with whom they disagree politically. Eric Holder and Barack Obama you make me sick. You are pathetic.

Be careful what you sow, you may not like what your reap.

If you are old I would just skip this post

At the risk of pissing off a number of my readers I submit the following:

So your Social Security is not going to go up. Too fucking bad. You should not get a cost a living increase when the cost of living has not changed. For the record, it is not a Social Security "cut" when your payments stay the same. I know, the cost of Medicare prescription drug coverage is going up. The trial lawyers have made the cost of medical insurance go up for all of us in the last couple of decades. Don't you read the papers?

I get so sick of hearing our Senior Citizens complaining that they live on a fixed income. I have news for you old people, so do the rest of us. Unless you work on a commission, your income is fixed. You get a certain wage per pay period, or per hour. Most of us, unless you work for the local, State, or Federal Government have not seen a raise in a while. Social Security passed out a raise this year, I did not get one. You Senior Citizen insurance costs are going up, so did mine -- $40.00 per month. Instead of whining about it, why don't you write your Senator and Representative and ask them why they are taking a raise this year?

Since the Democrats took over Congress most of us have seen our investments tank. Our houses are valued significantly less, and millions have lost their jobs. Another uncounted millions have had their pay and benefits cut. You voted for the current morons in charge -- now reap the whirlwind. And I hope you choke on your damn AARP membership -- those sonovabitches are selling us all out on healthcare.

Look old people, there is a bright spot on the horizon. Since SS benefits are tied to cost of living indexes you are set to see some serious raises in a couple of years. The Obama policies are going to usher in 1970's-type inflation. Double digit inflation will equal big raises.

One other bright spot for you -- in 20 years SS will be broke. The odds are many of you who are now earning Social Security will be dead. You will not have to worry about it.

Too harsh?

Fixed income my ass.

August 24, 2009

How I spent my Sunday

I mowed the yard yesterday. The boy came out and helped me trim the bushes. I let him use the electric trimmers and I picked up the debris. He had fun. The bushes are not so even, but what the heck, I am not much of a landscaper either.

We then dragged out the power washer to get some smashed eggs off the siding. He loves to use the power washer. He found an empty water bottle I had consumed after mowing and proceeded to shoot it around with the power washer like a modern day Annie Oakley. I accommodated him by tossing the bottle into the air for him to shoot. He laughed his ass off. He finally started putting the bottle over the nozzle of the washer and shooting the bottle into the air. I gave it a try too. We used to hang out all the time, the boy and I. Since he has become a teenager, nearly 16, not so much. It was nice spending time with him, screwing around like guys do.

I made a big pan of lasagna for dinner. I am no Italian, but I do make a good pan of lasagna. The boy ate like a man three times his weight. I bet he ate at least 1/3 of the pan! I had some for lunch today.

Needless to say, I was beat last night. I dozed just enough in the chair to keep me up late. Another weekend went by and i am another day older.

I am still alive though. There is always that.

Maybe I am Forrest Gump

I am a strong advocate of learning. I try to learn something new every day. I need some help from you, dear Reader. I have wracked my brain to find one single instance where reducing competition results in lower prices or better service. I can find hundreds of the opposite -- cable TV, utility companies, etc., but none comes to mind where the public is better off. In fact, isn't TR's face carved on a granite mountain out West for busting up the monopolies? I am pretty sure everyone's costs went down when Ma Bell was busted into the Baby Bells. Anyway, help me out here, please give some examples.

Why you are at it can you explain just why we need the government to add "competition" to the health insurance industry? It seems I see advertisements for these companies, and ask any HR person how many calls they get a week from insurance companies seeking their business. There must be multiple businesses out there offering health insurance. If any one or two had the market secured why would they spend money and effort to attract business they already have?

August 23, 2009

Sunday Sunday Sunday

Yesterday the temperature never climbed from the 60s. We are talking August, usually the hottest month in these parts. The wife put on jeans. I flat out refused. There is no way in hell I am wearing long pants in August (except for work). I don't care if it snows. It is a matter of principle. Seriously, is there anyone out there who still believes the global warming stuff?

We met some friends for a fine dinner of barbecue. You cannot go wrong eating smoked pork, even on a cool August evening. You cannot go wrong eating smoked pork, by gosh (I am trying hard to forgo swearing)you could chisel those words of wisdom on my tombstone. Think about it, bacon, ribs, smoked sausage, some of the tastiest foods ever invented. I have nothing against the Joos, but I tell you people, you are missing out. Mmmmmm, bacon....

It rained on and off yesterday, so I did not get to the yard work. I did not get a nap either! Maybe today. Maybe not. The yard needs mowed as well. The bushes may have to wait until next week.

I think it is about time to drop my fat ass in the chair and see if any good movies are on the tube. If not, I have a couple of books to read. Enjoy your day -- tomorrow is Monday! Does that get you all wee-weed up?

I am still not sure what that even means.

Weekend Funny

.....especially for you school teacher friends of mine.....

How would you pronounce this child's name?


Leah?? NO
Lee - A?? NOPE
Lay - a?? NO
Lei?? - UH-UH
Guess Again.

This child attends a school in Detroit, MI . Her mother is
irate because everyone is getting her name wrong.
You Ready for this?

It's pronounced "Ledasha"
When the Mother was asked about the pronunciation of the
name, she said, "de dash don't be silent."

SO, if you should happen to see something as ridiculous as
this come across your desk, please remember to pronounce the
“If dey axes you why, just tell dem dat de dash don't be silent."
(And they wonder why the whole country is falling apart...)

Racist -- maybe. Funny -- yes. Get over it.

August 22, 2009

Smooth Jazz Saturday

I woke this morning inexplicably at ten minutes after five. In the am. I will admit I am a bit pissed by the whole thing. Now I will fall asleep in the chair this afternoon and the wife will give me hell. Not really, but she will tease me about getting old and needing a nap. Maybe her snoring has something to do with my early rising?

She told me yesterday that I need to finish trimming the bushes this weekend "less the neighbors complain". Complain? To whom? About what? It is not like I have let the property go to weeds. The bushes just need cut back. We do not live in one of those subdivisions with a crazy controlling homeowners association with a President that gets his jollies enforcing the strictest codes. We have no covenants.

I went with my daughter to help her buy her first car last night. I did my best to negotiate the best deal possible. She bought a brand new VW Jetta SE right from the showroom floor. It is black with lots of extras and leather seats and I am jealous. It is a beautiful car and she is rightfully proud. Her old Civic with its 90K miles will be my youngest son's car next month when he gets his licence.

Maybe the wife is right. I am an old fart.

Weekend Funny

Man goes into a cocktail lounge and approaches Maxine sitting by herself.

Man: "May I buy you a cocktail?"

Maxine: "No thank you, alcohol is bad for my legs."

Man: "Sorry to hear that. Do they swell?"

Maxine: "No, they spread."

h/t Otter

Why not?

If you are just screwing around on the internet, why don't you skip over and wish Ed a belated happy Birthday?

click here

August 21, 2009

Liberal response -- lies, lies, lies

One more time-wasting effort to open the eyes of an increasing minority.

Scratching my head here, boss.

I read an article in the USA Today earlier this week (look it up yourself you lazy bastids) that deadly evil mercury is in fish of all stripes in every lake and stream. The point of the article is this is very bad. Who am I to argue?

The Government has decreed we all have to use those squiggly light bulbs. They are full of mercury.

These same people want to be in charge of your health care? Draw your own conclusions.

Dear President Obama

You are NOT God. It is not bearing false witness when we disagree with you.

Your Friend,


ps. Maybe this joke will help you get things in perspective:

The Postal Services created a stamp with a picture of President Obama on it. The Postal Service noticed that the stamp was not sticking to envelopes. This enraged the President, who demanded a full investigation. After a month of testing and $1.73 million in Congressional spending, a special Presidential commission presented the following findings:

1.The stamp is in perfect order.
2. There is nothing wrong with the glue.
3.People are spitting on the wrong side.

August 20, 2009

I cannot help myself

Hey you Liberal hypocrites -- you who were so concerned about Cheney and Haliburton.

What say you to this?

I bet I know your response: chirp, chirp, chirp

A Public Service Announcement

I have had my doubts for a long time about the ability of most journalists to tell the truth. It now looks like journalists took the same math-for-humanities-majors class I did, since they cannot count. They must have skipped that poli-sci or high school civics class as well. I will do your job for you Mr./Ms/Mrs. Journalist:

The Democrats control both houses of Congress.

The Republicans do not have the votes to stop health care. The Republicans cannot be held responsible if it fails. The Democrats do not need "bipartisan" support.

Feel free to cut and paste if the concept is too difficult.

quick aside why is bi-partisanship only when the Republicans give in to the Democrats?

The Democrats and the President can get any crap bills they want passed. The Republicans are not needed to row this sinking ship.

Is that clear or do I need to type more slowly?

And one more thing, if I worked for a large Insurance Company and got a copy of the "letter" demanding names of employees and private company expenditures I would mail a copy of my annual report. Period. The rest is none of Congress' business. What my or any other employer chooses to pay me is not the business of the Government beyond making sure I pay my fair taxes. EOS. Every American should be very afraid today. Journalists of all stripes are supposed to be the watchdogs of society -- where is the outrage?

August 19, 2009

There I go again

I know I am wasting time, but I cannot help myself.

Liberals are emphatic that the Government has no right to be in the bedrooms of Americans. Thus sodomy laws are Unconstitutional.

Liberals are emphatic the Government has no right to tell them what to do with their bodies thus we have Roe v. Wade.

Based on these positions, how can a liberal believe the Government has a right to force me to buy insurance or be part of a Government plan to provide insurance? The current bill in the House forces us to be part of a plan.

Now some of my progressive friends will make the argument that it is in the best interest of the nation as a whole to make us all part of an insurance plan. Shouldn't we then insist that homosexuality be a crime since the vast majority of AIDS cases in the US are contained to the homosexual community? note: I am not advocating such laws, only making an argument on a bigger issue.

Should we mandate that we all have to walk two miles a day and banish Whoppers and Big Macs and cigarettes?

Some will say that unless I have the ability to pay for a catastrophic health crisis I will harm the community by having to file bankruptcy adding costs to the rest of us. Will we then mandate I have life insurance? What if I buy a car I cannot afford and lose my job? Will that be against the law? The same for a house? Where does Government mandate end?

Does the Government have a right to tell you what to do or not? Is Government intrusion into your personal choices limited to your agenda?

August 18, 2009

A tale of two cities.

Liberals and the news media were outraged when Vice President Cheney met in secret with lobbyists and the heads of the energy and oil companies to discuss strategy and policies affecting US energy. Many had deep concerns about possible under-the-table deals.

Liberals and the news media were outraged silent when Vice President Cheney Obama met in secret with lobbyists and the heads of the energy and oil Drug and Pharmaceutical companies to discuss strategy and policies affecting US energy Health Care. Many Seemingly, no one had deep concerns about possible under-the-table deals.

August 17, 2009

Monday Meanderings

Yesterday was one of my favorite television watching days of the year. It was Elvis' deathday (opposite of birthday), and that meant Elvis movie marathon! I woke early with a severe case of the shits stomach flu and right there on the big screen was heaven for a day. You can imagine my surprise and joy! With brief intervals to relieve myself, trim the bushes (not a euphemism for anything -- just what it means: yardwork), eating and a quick trip to WalMart, I watched a day of Elvis doing what he does best -- being Elvis. He was Elvis in race cars, Elvis in Hawaii, Elvis in the Army, Elvis on water skis, Elvis at the World's Fair, Elvis cliff diving. He sang, he swayed his hips, he fought, he got the girl. I enjoyed every bit of it. Except those times when I was napping. The King was only 42 or 43 when he died. At the time I thought he was an Old Guy. Now I think he died pretty young. The always turning pages of the calendar gives one a little perspective, I guess.

I drank some beer, ate some pizza, smoked a cigar and played some cards with some good friends Saturday. We spent some time in their pool. While enjoying a fine Oliva cigar the ash dropped onto my leg. I brushed it away but told my buddy I got burnt. He laughed at me and called me a vulgar term usually associated with female genitalia and the common house cat. I have a blister on my knee. Second degree burns from an ash? I know.

Here we are on Monday, work beckons. I have customer meetings this week. I guess I should get prepared.

Draw your own conclusion

Many experts say reducing malpractice awards and tort reform is the single largest potential cost savings for health care. Obama has said such reform is off the table. Why?

Maybe THIS will clear things up a bit

August 14, 2009

Happy Days are here again...sing along with me...

!!The economy is on the recovery!!

So says the Feds.

Other than that pesky increasing unemployment.

Oh, and that loss of retail sales last month.

And more people working for reduced pay and taking furloughs.

But other than that the economy is great!

There are real signs things are improving globally. You know, in those countries who tried to tell Obama you cannot spend your way out of a recession.

August 13, 2009

What he said

I know most of you never click links, but this is one you really should read.

This is what I would say if I actually had the skill to articulate what I believe. I cannot find fault with a single statement in this essay.

Read it now

Feel free to argue in the comments.

h/t to my man Sam

Kids say the darndest things...

We were at the supper table eating grilled chicken sandwiches last night. The boy was discussing his schedule and mentioned he liked his world history teacher. I said that world history would be his most interesting class. He said "No, world history is gay. American history is where it is at. America is awesome".

I raised a smart kid.

August 12, 2009

Put your hands on your ankles and smile

I have a damn headache this morning.

James is right over in the comments. The Obama and his cronies do not really care what you think about their plans for health care or the economy. Obama (and the Democratic Party) has made healthcare reform a goal for decades. They made a big push under the Clinton's and it failed. They thought they would try it again in the second Clinton term, but the pesky Republicans came to power and it has taken a decade to get another chance. The Democrats will not be so foolish this time. They are going to shove it down our throats whether we like it or not. History and facts are preparing them to lose control in the midterm elections and they will not miss an opportunity again.

There is no way Obama will let the measure fail when it is the cornerstone of his administration. No helathcare will equal failure, and he cannot allow that to be his legacy.

We are going to get universal healthcare. We might as well suck it up.

One final question. How is the Government going to provide health insurance to those who cannot afford private insurance or are under insured without it being subsidized by the taxpayers? The government can only get money by taxing the people. Maybe Obama is planning on using the profits from GM and Chrysler?

August 11, 2009

School's out in for the summer fall

School starts tomorrow. The boy is less than pleased. I cannot say I blame him. August 12 is way too early to start school. He was supposed to read a certain book over the summer for honors English (I think that is crap too -- it is supposed to be summer break). In spite of my warnings, he just started the book Sunday night. Now he has to spend his last days before school reading and doing "homework". It sucks to be him.

As the wife and kid head back to work/school I can get back to my routine. On those days I am home I can eat when I want take a coffee break when I want. The new office has helped, but I work best alone. I never did play nice with others. Even as a kid I spent a lot of time in the house reading books. It is strange I have such a social job, when in truth I really do not like people much.

Except for you.

August 10, 2009

Another reason we do not want the Government determining health care

There have been some interesting discussions on health care here. Let me pose another scenario. Let us say you work for a company that provides adequate medical insurance for you and your family. This is a benefit for working at that company. The company bears a portion of the cost of this insurance and so do you through payroll deductions. The management decides smoking is a long-term health cost that drives up premiums for the plan they provide. They decree any smoker will not be covered under this plan. Is this a fair decision?

Now let us say the owners/managers of the company decide that meat is evil and unethical and now unless you adopt a vegan lifestyle you can no longer be covered. Now what do you say?

If you work in either of these situations you have the choice to opt of of the company plan and buy your own policy.

If the Government is the provider of insurance and makes similar decisions regarding your health care and coverage, now what do you do? What if they outlaw eating Twinkies or fried foods altogether? After all poor dietary choices will then affect the cost of the plan driving up the taxes of those who pay the Government's bills.

Is this scenario far-fetched? Do you think the Feds will never tell us how to live and what to eat? After all, the President said we should have controls on how we set our thermostats...

Hope, change and bringing us together

Wasn't this the candidate that was going to work with both sides of the aisle to get change? I guess what he wants to change is that pesky First Amendment.

That sentiment seems to be the primary focus of many Democrats. There is just no questioning these guys. They know best so we had best shut up and take it:

Just a thought

All the fighting and discussing about health care has made the average American forget about the shitty economy.

The man does have a plan.

August 9, 2009

Why I was not in Cleveland Yesterday

I was supposed to take the boy to Clevelandistan yesterday to visit the Rock and Roll HOF. Since I still can barely hobble my sorry ass, we had to pass until another day. Oh, how I wish we had free government health care, I bet my ailment would have been cured before it happened. I guess I will have to use my private insurance and go to a doctor on the morrow. Anyway back to the HOF -- with school starting Wednesday, I don't know when we will get to it. I am not that cracked up about going. The whole thing reeks of high school prom queen voting. As I understand by looking at the list of the enshrined ones, only the cool acts loved by the critics get in. Blues based -- yes. Punk -- yes, too bad most could only play two cords. Rap -- yes, although rap artists hate all rock and roll. I guess you do not have to play an instrument or even sing to be in the HOF as an artist. Progressive rock -- shut out. Even one band I loathe, Kiss, is not worthy. How the fuck can Kiss not be in the HOF? They defined (and still do) pubescent boy metal. And they have sold a lot of records.

Since I could not walk around, we had some friends over to play cards. In anticipation I visited the newly remodeled/opened liqueur store in town. As my friend said when we entered "This is the Disneyland of booze." Spacious, well lit the intoxicants of choice were sure to be found. The walk-in beer cooler alone was as big as the store this new Taj Mahal to drinking replaced. I bet every microbrew in the country was represented. I fell to my knees in joy as there were not three, or even five, but six different weiss biers from Germany on the shelf. Picture Homer Simpson slobbering a pitiful "mmmm beer". That was me. There were at least three differnt Shiners from deep in the heart of Texas waiting to be drunk. Mexican beers, 'Merican beers, German beers, hops and grains from every part of the globe were cold and ready for my lips.

At 8:30 in the am it is already 91% humidity. I may head out to the deck soon for a cool beer and relaxing cigar. It is five o'clock somewhere...

Weekend Funny

August 8, 2009

Economics for liberals -- insurance

I am always amazed how few people understand how a business works. As a person who is intimately involved in profit and cost discussions every day, I sometime assume those issues are important to everyone's jobs. I know that is not true. Sometimes the best place to get information for me is from the engineers. They are concerned with getting the product to work, or to manufacture better/easier/faster if I can help with that goal they will give me information that helps me make a sell. Engineers are not often part of the profit/cost discussions so they forget the real reason a business exists -- to make money.

I think one of the real shames is that Congress has moved from the Founders intent, a collection of men who want to contribute to the Nation's Governance and then move back to their private lives. The idea of a permanent governing class was not their intent at all. Today the Congress is not made of farmers, businessmen and academics, but primarily lawyers who rarely have had a job outside of politics at some level. As such many do not understand business.

There is much debate around the country about the insurance industry. Most of us have it, most of us hate it and think the premiums are too high. Insurance is a dirty business. They are gambling you will not die, get sick, or wreck your car. The insurance companies pay statisticians enormous sums of money to determine the odds you will cash in or make a claim. They make money by not having to pay out in claims the premiums you pay. The role of the insurance business is to make money for the owners and stockholders of the company, not to pay your medical bills or life insurance. They do not want you to die, get sick, or wreck your car.

Some of the very people who are complaining about the the high cost of insurance are the very ones driving up the cost. If you and I owned an insurance company and a person wanted to buy a policy had a history of heart trouble. The odds that person will make many expensive claims for further heart trouble is increased. You would charge much higher premiums or refuse to cover that particular ailment. That is what you would do if you ran the insurance company. One hospital visit with a week in intensive care would eat the premiums of hundreds of insured just to pay this one person's medical costs. It is a bad risk. I do not like it, you do not like it, but it is business. And yes, if that happened to me I would be the first to complain, but part of me would understand it is just business.

Let us look at it a different way. You drive your cars for years and never have an accident. You go 10, 15 or 20 years never filing a claim. You neighbor has a teenager who does not understand the rules of the road. He has two or three fender-benders over the course of four or five years. Would you expect your premiums to be the same as his? Would you want him to continue to get coverage if it increased your premium? What do you pay in car insurance a year -- $300, $500, $1,000 or $2,000? If you have one wreck you will eat all of that premium and more. If your car is destroyed in hail storm or even totaled in a wreck, did you pay enough in premiums to replace that $20,000 vehicle? By the same token will you ever pay enough in medical premiums to cover your cancer treatments? To to answer one commenter's assertion, of course the insurance companies do not want to pay your claim. That does not make them evil Big Insurance, it makes them business people.

What makes you that are in favor of the Government control of insurance think things will be different? At some level decisions are still going to be made if this treatment or that cost is justified. Currently if your insurance company were to tell an aging policy-holder tough, just die there would be an outcry among the public and the stock price would suffer. If your friendly BMV-type says the same there is no recourse.

You do not have a right to insurance. Many employers offer it as an incentive to get good employees. Some offer vacation with pay, holidays, company picnics, bonuses etc. Companies do not do this because they are nice guys. They offer benefits and certain levels of pay to get the best employees to make the best products and decisions that enables the company to make the most money over time. The business does not exist to provide jobs or insurance. It is there to make money. No company should be forced to provide insurance.

A quick aside, if you want to reduce the number of jobs moving offshore then reduce to costs of doing business. If you cannot make the connection between forcing employers to provide expansive and expensive medical insurance see previous entries in this series.

If you think it is wrong your employer does not cover your pre-existing medical problems, then you have an option. No one is forced to have employer provided insurance. Take out your own policy. Pay the premiums and you will be covered no matter how many times you change jobs, if you are unemployed or a student. There are options. You may not like the costs, but tens of thousands of self-employed get there insurance coverage in this manner.

If you really want to reform the medical cost/insurance issues in this country there are ways. Just as certain people of liberal views want to blame the oil companies for the cost of imported oil, they want to blame insurance companies for the cost of insurance. Do we want to lower gas prices and decrease our dependence on OPEC? Drill our own reserves. Want to lower insurance premiums -- open the industry.

One of the biggest drivers of medical costs is the ridiculous law suits faced by doctors every day. Some are legitimate, some are not. I was born in a Cesarean birth. I sport a scar on my left shoulder blade from the doctors scalpel. My parents did not sue. I am not disfigured, it was not gross negligence on the doctor's part. Today a good attorney would get my parent s several hundred grand for that little scar. Tort reform will lower the cost of insurance and medical bills, yet the President has decreed tort reform will not be part of his health reform. Why not?

Allowing business to pool their purchase and by across state lines will lower costs. What if you could only buy products from your state? If you lived in Philly you could not go to Delaware to buy clothing? What if you lived in East Moline and could not go to Bettendorf to get a new washer or dryer? Would you think that was nuts? Yet that is how the insurance industry is regulated today.

People/groups/businesses should be allowed to purchase only the coverage they want. As an employer if I want just basic catastrophic coverage for my employees I should be allowed to offer that. If I think the world is faced with a population crisis I should not have to offer maternity coverage. As an employee you can think that is bullshit. Your choices are to buy your own policy or work elsewhere. Some states force insurance coverage to make some coverage universal. IN New Jersey an insurance policy must cover hair transplants. What should we pay for that if we do not want to?

Is the current system all that could be desired? Heck no. There are some issues that need reformed and tweaked. The actual number of people who are not illegals, people who choose not to have insurance for various reasons, and do not qualify for medicare, Medicaid, schips, whatever is small in comparison to those of us who are satisfied with our insurance. Those who cannot get coverage for pre-existing etc. need help. I have no issue creating a plan for these 3-4 million individuals. I do have a problem letting the Government destroy what I have to cover those few. BTW, nearly half of the estimated "uninsured" are illegal immigrants.

Remember, we do not have a health care problem in this country. People from all over the world come here for medical care. People of Canada, England, and France are coming here for treatment. When is the last time you heard anyone wishing he could go to Cuba for medical care (besides Micheal Moore)? Getting us long lines and rationing is not the cure for insurance reform.

August 7, 2009

Is this what we have come to?

It is a sad day when we have to send out union thugs (and no Sammy that is not a secret code word for persons of color) to make sure our representatives are not asked disruptive and mean questions like "Why didn't you read the bill?" or "Why won't Congress be covered under the same plan you are proposing for Americans?" or "Why the hurry to pass a bill of this scope, when it took the President six months to decide on what breed of dog he should get his children?". Asking if abortion or illegals are covered in the health plan is plain unAmerican and that kind of speech must be stopped.

Those types of questions are way, way out of line...

I am a big puss

My daughter is on her own now and my oldest boy has taken up permanent residence in his college town. As such, it is finally time for me to set up a home office. as you may have guessed, I work from home. Until now that means a desk in the master bedroom and my laptop on the table or wherever I could find room. A three bedroom house and three kids does not make for good working conditions. But I managed. Anyway we finally moved my desk and stuff into the smaller bedroom. I think the fax going off two feet from the wife's ear every Thursday morning had something to do with the change! We are going to get a futon for the oldest boy to sleep on when he makes his rare home-appearances. There on the left are the new digs, taken as this post is being written. I still need to get my Sinatra photo and diploma hung on the wall (actuall sheepskin).

I was moving my desk chair in from the garage yesterday and did something to my right big toe. I go barefoot all of the time. I do not know if I bruised it or pinched a nerve, but the bottom of my toe hurts like the devil. I cannot even touch it with out pain shooting up my leg. Can you bruise a nerve? maybe I pinched it. It is not a pain like an injury, but a nerve thing. Limping around trying to favor the toe has put a strain on my knee, and now it hurts. Getting old sucks.

But I do have a place to work! Now I just need motivation to get after it.

August 6, 2009

Help me Rhonda

I need some advice from you photography experts out there. We were digging around in our rented storage place last week and we ran across about a dozen rolls of 35mm film. I have no idea what is on these rolls or when we took them. I do know they have been inside a pie safe in storage for at least three years, subject to the extremes of Indiana heat in the summer and deep freeze of winter. I expect these pictures are anywhere from seven to ten years old, maybe older.

I am sure whatever is on this film is lost to memory. I am a realist, you cannot lose what you never knew you had. If this film cannot be developed, there will be no tears shed here. Just in case this film contains pictures of my kids at play or at birthday(probably), some holiday footage of long-dead relatives (possibly) or even totally verifiable proof of the existence of Bigfoot and UFOs I would like to get it developed. What I do not want is to spend hard earned money to get 300 double print glossies of nothing. Can this film be salvaged? Most are inside the black plastic containers still. Who knows, I may even have a picture of the shooter on the knoll...

If you are interested, I have a couple rolls of 400 speed 35mm film that is unused for sale that I found in the same place.

August 5, 2009

My Ark is coming along nicely

We had a gully-washer of a rainstorm yesterday. I was not home, I was trying to drive in it. Work, work, work. I bet you wish you were me. Anyway, the storm flooded the cul-de-sac where I live.

The water got thigh-high at one point. Here are some pictures the neighbor gave me:

That is my abode across the street, on the right. If you embiggen the photo you can see the rain is up to the funky tree. For reference, that tree is about 10-12 feet from the curb.

Here you can see the flood and the tree a little more clearly.

This white water river is the cause of the flooding. Wait, that is no swollen creek, that is my side/back yard! No water in the house. That part of the yard floods everytime there is a heavy dew.

Obamacare is bad for the country

All despots have a common characteristic -- the fear the people will raise up. One of the most effective methods to control dissent is to know who is out there creating trouble. From the earliest times despots have used snitches and informants to control those who may oppose an administration. The children of the Hitler Youth were encouraged to report their parents if they were not with the program. The stories of friends and neighbors reporting to the Communist Governments of China nad the old USSR any suspicious act are legion.

That is why I find this statement from the White House so ominous:

There is a lot of disinformation about health insurance reform out there, spanning from control of personal finances to end of life care. These rumors often travel just below the surface via chain emails or through casual conversation. Since we can’t keep track of all of them here at the White House, we’re asking for your help. If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to


I am not calling the current administration a Nazi, or a Communist or a despot. But this when coupled with The Obamas call for a civilian force equal in size to the Military sends cold shivers up my back. It is not a leap from snitching to the concentration camps proposed by Alinsky to a modern gestapo. I am not a black helicopter -there is a conspiracy in every action- federal wiretaps on my communications-snitches under the bed-kind of guy, but this makes me a little nervous. First the Government demands you give access to your computer if you visit the cash for clunkers website, the Health care bill in the House allows the Feds access to your bank accounts and now we are encouraged to report anyone who disagrees with the goal of nationalizing health care? Call me paranoid!

Can you imagine the sound and fury from the media if this had happened under the previous administration?

Turn me in. I am a willing guinea pig.

August 4, 2009

My wife is a smart woman

My wife is a smart woman, after all she married me. That may not be the best recommendation after all...take it on faith she is smart. She does not have much interest in politics beyond voting. She, like many Americans, believes the politicians are going to do what they want and we will just have to live with it.

We were watching the news last night and there was a story on how junkyard dealers are upset by the cash for clunkers program. My wife was stunned. She could not believe anyone could be so short sighted.

"What is Obama thinking", she said. "Where will we get cheap used cars if we destroy them all?" She went on to point out that the very people this should help will be hurt. Poor people cannot afford new cars, and if we destroy all of the used cars then prices for used cars will go up and there will not be parts to fix the junkers they have, she pointed out.

She ended with the wisest thought of the evening: "Stupid Democrats".

As I said, my wife is a smart woman.

A serious question

Here is a little challenge for you, esteemed readers. Other than the core foundations outlined in the Constitution (for example, provide for common defense), is there a single thing the Government does better than the private sector?

August 3, 2009

Somebody's watching me

All of you who freaked out when the GW Bush administration admitted to wiretapping foreign nationals conversations with suspected terrorists should watch this video:

Is this even more frightening, or is it OK since it is The Obama watching you?

h/t mts

My favorite words in the world -- you were right HB

Two of President Barack Obama's economic heavyweights said middle-class taxes might have to go up to pare budget deficits or to pay for the proposed overhaul of the nation's health care system.


Remember The Obama promising all but the wealthy of us that not only would our taxes NOT increase, but we would see a middle class tax cut? When I claimed otherwise old liberal commenter Sammy went into hysterics telling us repeatedly that Obama was not ever going to raise taxes?

During his presidential campaign, Obama repeatedly pledged "you will not see any of your taxes increase one single dime."

I bet the liberal bloggers will be in a chorus of condemnation as the the true liberal savior goes back on his promise.

Geithner said the White House was not ready to rule out a tax hike to reduce the federal deficit; Summers said Obama's proposed health care overhaul needs funding from somewhere.

"There is a lot that can happen over time," Summers said, adding that the administration believes "it is never a good idea to absolutely rule things out, no matter what."

When the Democrats passed the single largest spending bill in history -- the pork laden failure of a "stimulus bill" earlier this year many of us saw tax increases in our future.

"If we want an economy that's going to grow in the future, people have to understand we have to bring those deficits down. And it's going to be difficult, hard for us to do. And the path to that is through health care reform," Geithner said.

Let me understand that last quote, Geithner must be channelling Joe Biden. The only way we can reduce government spending is too add new Government spending? By the same logic I can reduce my credit card bill by purchasing some new Nike's. Anyone who buys into this idiocy is a moron. The Obamamessiah is an empty suit looking for direction. You Obama voters are lost. Thanks for fucking up our country.

August 2, 2009

Learn Sumptin' Sunday

Think we need health care reform? Do you like the single payer option?

Read this

Most of us will agree. Liberals are economics-challenged and won't get it.
Consider everything here that is of original content copyrighted as of March 2005
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