November 30, 2012

Livin' the high life

So, last night I needed to head over to the mall and pick up a Christmas present I had purchased for my wife. She suggested we just grab a bite to eat while in the Big City. I told that was fine, but we could not go anywhere nice, like Red Lobster. After all, I did not win the big lottery..

Friday Holiday Music

Oh for goodness sake, take a couple of minutes and listen.  I know you will dig it.

November 29, 2012

Reason # 619 you wish you were me.

I flew home from the Carolinas last night.  Long gone are the days of vacant seats and half-empty flights. The airlines have disposed of much of the fleet of winged aluminum tubes. Less capacity equals full planes equals more revenue. I don't like it on a personal basis, but I understand the business side.

I boarded when my zone was called and perched in my aisle seat waiting on my seatmate to arrive and occupy the window seat next to me.  I played the game every frequent flier plays -- "Please not next to me".

I lost.

A big woman/girl waddled down the aisle.  I avoided her eyes in the hope fate was not looking for a willing victim.  No such luck, she she pointed at seat 20 E.  All estimated 400 pounds of her.

She had to put up the armrest to fit into her seat, and her thighs and fat rolls spread onto my tiny space. This chick did not sport a muffin top, it was a whole bakery. Her girth was such the tray table could not be lowered. I kid you not.  I am not a small man, but her thighs each would make two of mine. To her credit she snuggled up to the window as much as possible, but her fat rolls still extended onto my seat by a good four inches.*

Here is the rub, I hate to be touched. I tolerate it from friends and family, but strangers rubbing against me gives me the sqeemies. I endured the entire flight -- 1-1/2 hours-- with this young lady's body snuggled next to me.  Her thighs were against mine, her hips against mine.  I scooted as far to the aisle as possible but her fat oozed onto my seat like unmolded jello. It took every bit of self-control not to jump into the aisle and scream "Get off of me!". Even relating the tale sends shivers of revulsion through me.

The next time you think I have a fun job, traveling around, staying in hotels often and flying the friendly skies; you should reflect on this story.

* Sadly, for once I am not exaggerating or using hyperbole to spice up a tale.  This was a big girl.  She seemed self-conscious and a little regretful to be usurping my limited space. She just had nowhere to put her mass.

Sticks and stones, b*tch

Susan Rice may or may not be qualified to be Secretary of State or even secretary of the local school board. As far as I know the job is not open.

By all accounts John Mitchell was qualified to be Attorney General under Nixon. His qualifications did not make a difference when he lied and helped cover up a minor burglary. He went to jail.

No one died in the Watergate break-in.

We cannot lose sight that four Americans died in Libya, while the White House watched in real time and sent no aid. Susan Rice was the face and mouthpiece of the Administration who spread a false story to the American people. Maybe she knew the truth, maybe not. She still had a role in the cover-up, and it is not unreasonable to expect answers as to that role.

If you think this is much ado about nothing, how would you react if this mess had occurred during the hated GW Bush administration?  Try opening your mind, it is a valuable exercise.

November 28, 2012

" You don't understand! I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I could've been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am."

Rob Deer played in the Major Leagues for 11 years.and 1,155 games. In that span he accumulated a lifetime .220 batting average. Deer had a journeyman's career, but we will not see him in Cooperstown anytime soon, unless he is there to view the bust of some old playing buddies. In his time in the Majors, Deer amassed 853 hits and a whopping 1,409 strikeouts. He led the league four times in strikeouts.

Is anyone surprised Deer has been named as an assistant hitting coach for the Chicago Cubs?

I wish to hell this post was a joke, something uttered in a Leno monologue or a poorly written SNL sketch.. Alas, the truth is sadder funnier than fiction.

It is no wonder the Cubs have failed to capture a World Series since 1908.

November 27, 2012

Dear Democrats and lazy reporters

So, the very self-same white, angry racist Republican Senators who voted to confirm Condoleeza Rice as the first back woman to be Secretary of State, and who voted to confirm Colin Powell as the first black Secretary of State are now suddenly closet members of the KKK (similar to the late Democrat Robert Byrd) and inveterate racists, unreformed Confederates longing for the plantation days of yore in their opposition to Susan Rice as a potential Secretary of State nominee? Are those very same Senators who voted to confirm Hilary Clinton as Secretary of State now mere anti-feminists, charter members of the legendary He-Man Woman Haters Club?

If you claim the opposition to Susan Rice is rooted in a hatred of blacks and women you are a mere partisan hack, you are delusional, you are ignorant or simply a fucking liar. There are no other options.

Behold what passes for intellectual thought!

This is what is being taught in the universities and colleges of America. This is why Obama was elected despite one of the worst economic records of any president in history.

We know now why the Soviets built the Berlin Wall -- to keep the damn West Germans and capitalists out of the worker's paradise! 

November 26, 2012

"The stuff that dreams are made of."

I assembled the big Christmas tree and decorated it Saturday.  I put up the wife's smaller tree in the dining room. She will decorate it. The boy and I got the balance of lights put up outside along with the other Christmas decorations.

To quote the old song...well how about we just queue up the real thing?

The only thing missing is some snow, but I bet that is in the near future too.  This time of year always stirs up memories. It was always around Thanksgiving when the big toy catalogs arrived.  Yeah, it had clothes and stuff too, but it was the pages of toys that my drew my brother and I.

The Montgomery Ward and J.C. Penney catalogs (for some reason we hardly ever got the Sears catalog) always had the best toys.  The Matchbox cars and Tonka trucks were displayed among rugged hills and rushing rivers.  G.I. Joe battled evil Commies and Nazis from behind perfect ferns and rocks and jungle. The orange Hot Wheels track never was as exciting when you set it up on the kitchen floor at home as it looked on page 267 of the Ward's Christmas Book.

November 25, 2012

Variations on a theme

I have toured most of these United States. I have been lucky enough to travel to Germany, Austria, Great Britain, France, The Netherlands, Italy, Canada and Mexico.

But wrong is a state where I have but rarely found myself.

November 24, 2012

It is good to be me

I hope you are aware, after all of these years, that I hardly ever write anything at this old blog not laced with humor, sarcasm, or at least with a smirk and smile on my face.

But when I do write something serious, it is insightful, and filled with righteousness and good sense. "Wrong" is a state of being I rarely experience.

November 23, 2012

"I'll have what she's having."


 I hope you survived your Thanksgiving. I participated in two glorious feasts, first at my Mom's, then at my  wife's niece's. For once I did not overindulge at either place, although I ate more than usual. At the niece's, I carved the turkey as I do every year both at Christmas and Thanksgiving dinner.  I guess no one else has the expertise or ability (or more likely a desire) to dismember a fowl.

The crowd at my mom's was rather subdued, only my mom, dad, brother, my wife and youngest son in attendance.  The rest of our small family was attending family commitments elsewhere. Still, even if all if the family was present and we brought in the cousins and their kids, we could fit around a table or two. It is a sad yet wonderful thing when you can have a family reunion on the patio.

In opposite contrast is the wild free-for-all at my wife's side of the family. One niece has five kids of her own and the other cousins and sisters and brothers and husbands and wives and offspring means a bunch of wild swirling, running and yelling; a cacophony of sound and chaos that frankly leaves me with a headache.  This was true long before I got old and cranky. But in the end it is fun and family and food and that is what the Holiday is all about, after all.

I am not even going to rant about the ridiculousness of the Black Friday craze.

Well, maybe a little.  I am sorry, but tires? Who is going to a men's store to pick up a suit at 1:00 in the am? Since we have moved the sales to Thursday evening I suspect we are only about a year away from The big Wednesday Morning pre-Black Friday sales. Heck, in no time we will start Black Friday sales back on a Friday again, only it will be the Friday after Halloween   Your grandkids will do the Black Friday sale the Friday after Christmas.

* in your best Ed McMahon.   I don't know why, just go with it.

Friday Holiday Music

I dig this version.  I find it delightful and strangely sexy. 

In my high school band geek days I was occasionally seconded to the school orchestra to ply my trombone trade. One of the highlights each year was a tour of the local elementary schools to perform a Christmas Program. This song was always a crowd favorite. Mine too, for the brass was an integral part of the melody, not filler to pump up the damn strings. 

November 22, 2012

Because you need multiple posts from me on Thanksgiving

Here is a tune from the Greatest Holiday Movie ever. There is no discussion on FACT.

And indeed, I have plenty to be thankful for...

Once upon a time I was actually amusing.    No? Oh, well...

And lest I forget, Thank You for your patronage of this often poorly conceived and badly executed outlet for my  daily outpourings and brain dumps. The idea that anyone takes a few seconds or minutes from their day to read what I have to say is humbling to the core.

Go stuff yourself

November 21, 2012

"Mrs. Robinson, you're trying to seduce me. Aren't you?"

I picked up my mower.  The mechanic said it is in bad shape.  He showed me the drained oil and it was as black as a liberal's heart. I changed it less than a month ago. He said there is serious wear and bad stuff (technical term) inside, probably beyond repair for my little push mower. I may get another three hours or three years from it. It sounds bad when it runs, despite new plugs and a "tune up".

I will deal with it in the spring,  I guess.  I just need it to run long enough to finish my half-cut lawn today.  I thought about pricing snow blowers while I was at the shop. I figure if I invest in a snow blower that is a firm guarantee we will have another virtual snowless winter! Do you think the wife will want a snow blower for Christmas?

update like anyone really cares, but the mower lasted about 15 minutes.  It started to spew oil and seized. There was about $100 wasted.  The mechanic said if he could have started it before he replaced the magneto he would have said "don't bother". Damn it all, the yard still is half mowed, but I did finish the front first, so I guess it will have to due until spring.

"You're gonna need a bigger boat"

Things have been pretty serious around here. In spite of the political storms swirling about I have been in a great mood.  You cannot tell by the musings and ranting on exhibit here.  You may believe otherwise, but I have a whole life outside of these pages. The real me likes sports, music, movies and occasionally cuts forth with a sarcastic wit. Oh, I guess that is the bloggery version of me too. But mostly I avoid politics outside of here.

There is a distinct advantage in hoarding vacation days. Since my company has a firm "use-'em-or-lose-'em" policy, I enter December in fine shape.  December 13 will be my last day of work for the year, except for a work day scheduled December 28 to send in my final yearly expenses and monthly report.  Yay me!  Since it appears I am the only person in the company actually "working" today, this day before Thanksgiving is almost like a bonus day of vacation. I sincerely hope we can avoid the customer crises today that have cropped up so far in this short week.

I tried to get one last cutting of the lawn last week, but the mower finally crapped out.  I took it to the repair shop where a new magneto was installed. Apparently a magneto is more than a character in an X-Men movie. I will pick up the mower today and finish the half-mowed yard.  I want to get to the grocery early to pick up the stuff I need for my contribution to the family feasts Thursday. And now that the boy is home, I can finish putting up the holiday decorations with his help.  The decorations may have to wait until Friday. His college student sleeping schedule and my desired working hours do not exactly coincide. That is OK, I was young once.

Did you see where some college player at a small school in Iowa knocked down 138 points in a 179-104 defensive struggle? That is NBA/ABA-type scoring from the1970's. He lofted in excess of 100 shots. I bet he will need help zipping his pants today.

If I fail to post later today, I wish all of you a safe and happy Thanksgiving.

November 20, 2012

A Public Service Announcement

I had over 200 spam comments yesterday.  More than half were not caught by the spam filter. I really do not get the point of dropping a drug ad on a post three years old on a blog very few read. Can some of you computer/internet types explain the whole spam rationale?  What is the point?

Most of these ads were for sources of cheap anti-depressant drugs... Is someone trying to tell me something? 

Anyway,  I refuse to go to the evil squiggly scrunched up comment word verification. Instead, I have opted to implement a blog owner approval requirement for comments on any post older than 30 days. I hate that. I have always been an advocate for free and open commenting around here.  This is a First Amendment blog. We will try this and see if it helps reduce the spam-o-rama.

How Much You Wanna Bet

...the roll-over Republicans fall yet again for the Democrat Whimpy Budget Plan?  You know how Whimpy used to try and cajole a burger out of Popeye with the old " I will gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today"? That is play number one in the Democrat budget negotiation playbook: promise to cut future spending in return for tax increases now. Of course future spending is never cut. We hand over the money today and Whimpy buys everyone in the diner a hamburger. Come Tuesday, we are told we should just pony up the funds for a few more burgers. The Stupid Party reaches for their our wallet...rinse and repeat.

tune in to the 2:40 mark

November 19, 2012

I'll take my ball and go home

People always go into hysterics and panic after they lose, be it an election or a big ball game. The Republican Party is no exception. The power brokers are again up to their elbows in pointing fingers. Yes, I know that is a nonsensical mixed metaphor, but it seems strangely apt to me.

Once again the Republican hierarchy is blaming the conservative wing for the failure to win an election. This action is purely in the face of reality.  Americans, and Republicans in particular, are conservative. This Guy has it completely right. I am sick of the Republican Party bringing out Democrat Lite candidates, or old guys merely because they have "paid their dues". I said it in 2008 and I mean it now.  Why would anyone vote for a slightly-less-liberal when you can vote for the real thing? Especially when the Republican candidate is less than likable? If you cannot carry the uninformed through your good looks, or charisma, and your policy position is "I will spend almost-as-much-as-the-other-guy", how do you expect to win?

Back in high school there was always that kid who showed up at the cool-kid parties even though he was not welcome.  The cheerleaders made fun of him behind his back and the football players dumped beer on his nerdy head, but the cool kids let the dork come to the party because he let them copy his math homework. That is how the Republican Party treats the conservatives. They like our votes, but hate our ideas. I'm tired of the wedgies.

You see, here is the secret of Washington politics. It is all about the power. ObamaCare was never going to be repealed. It will be tweaked and modified, but there is too much money to be made for the lobbyists, and too much power to wield for the politicians for the program to wither and die. The National Republicans are only about the power. They are content to rule the House, and a Senate majority would be OK, but then the Republican Bosses would have to be responsible for policy. This way it is convenient to just blame the Democrats when nothing gets done.

Here is where I am today. I opined late last year it may be time for a legitimate third party for 2016 if the Republicans fail to get their shit in a sock. I am sick of voting for "not as bad as the other guy". If the Republican party thinks conservatism is the problem, maybe it is time the conservatives looked for a new home. I predict it will take but two election cycles for the Republican Party to become a mere whisper of their former selves.  After all, the Whigs held on for a few Congressional seats in 1860. Good luck winning elections as the Moderate Party. I would venture that path has not been too successful so far.

How long are you willing to be a mere political booty call for the Republican establishment? They want our votes, but just screw us.   At least a hooker can expect a fifty on the dresser. Conservatives are only the butt of the joke at the old boy's club.

A Monday Movie Review

I watched Diner over the weekend. I did not like it anymore than I did in 1982. I give it three "O"s -- overblown, over hyped, and over rated.

How about some hippie music?

Forget the crap from The Wall. this is some serious music. I have actually memorized all of the lyrics to this song.

November 18, 2012

Meandering Musings

I dreamed (dreamt?) I got a tattoo. It was a Chicago Cubs one on my left shoulder. It was only a dream.

I will spend this week in the office, no travels for me. That is good, the past few months have included a bunch of airport, windshield, and hotel time. Usually the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas are slow, but  I will be doing my Wilie Nelson thing (On the Road Again) a bunch this year.

I am not sure if you noticed, unemployment has surged since the election. Business orders have dropped and things are starting to look ugly out there. The reality of Obamnomics (including the ObamaCare) is about to smack the economy across the face with a nail-studded two by four.  Thanks to ignorant Obama voters and the stupid GOPhers for putting up yet again a tepid candidate.

The millionaires are back on TV begging to be taxed at a higher rate. They pay a lower rate because they have only capital gains income. You pay a lower capital gains tax rate than you do on your income. If those guys feel so strongly they are not putting in their fair share, they are free to overpay their taxes.  They can write a check to the IRS at any time. Typical Democrats, it is all about words and intentions, never action. They are always quick to spend someone else's money.

I had no intention of going down the political rant rabbit hole today. I have my Sinatra Station on Pandora playing gently in the background.  I splurged and instead of my usual pot of Maxwell House I dropped a K-cup of the good stuff into the Keurig. I did my best to set the stage for a mellow Sunday of movies and football. Then the home screen shows me the damn Democrats in action and my blood pressure spirals upward. Do some homework people.  Ask yourself if what is going on in the Libya cover-up is acceptable. This is not about a general diddling some groupie slut. Americans died and your President lied.

I have been getting slammed with spam the past few weeks. It is no problem to delete them en masse from the spam filter, but this week about 50 or 60 a day have been getting through. That is a pain, to delete them one at a time. I HATE HATE HATE the comment verification squiggly letter thing.  Not that I am much of a commenter anyway, but the scrunched up verification means I have to really want to put in my two cents before I bother. I don't want to put it in here. I guess I will act like a Democrat does on federal spending and the economy and just hope things will magically get better.

I am off to read your blog. 

November 17, 2012

F-ing Damn Unions Anyway

So long old pals.

I will miss you guys. I know we have not spent much time together the past few years. It was me, not you. Blame it on my health.

And you,

I think I'll miss you most of all.

 I will NEVER understand a mind that would rather have NO JOB than one with a pay cut. 

True Confession

I have not provided a fresh post since election day. They have all been canned for a least a few hours, in some cases days and weeks.

That statement is just as true today.

November 16, 2012

Living in the Past

Sometime during my third grade year at Samuel P. Kyger Elementary school my life was changed.. Until then I was an indifferent student. I did not think much of school one way or another. I went because I had to.  There was nothing to like nor hate about it.  School just was. But a couple of things happened there in Mrs. Walters' class. We were introduced to the SRA system. We had to read a book and take a test on it. These were real books, not the picture books of the earlier years.  We read real stories with plot and characters. I did the minimum.

Then one day the teacher wheeled in the projector. This in itself was not unusual. She threaded the 16 mm film through the pathways, the lights were shut off and the blinds were closed. The familiar click click of the projector and the countdown sequence started. It was a Disney film.  It was called Johnny Tremain and it was the most awesome thing I had ever seen. I sat enthralled.  Paul Revere and Redcoats and history just became real to my little brain.

Imagine my surprise to find out Johnny Tremain was a book! I read it as fast as I could. I took the SRA test and scored a perfect score. I read the book again. Mrs. Walters directed me to similar books of historical bent. I discovered biographies. My teacher took to listing everyone's reading scores next to the SRA box.. We all knew who read the most books. It was going to be me. It was me. Reading opened a magical world. I could go anywhere. I could learn anything!

Over the subsequent years I read every biography and history book in the elementary school.library. I also became a regular at the public library.  Mom bought me books. I read and read, especially if it had to do with history. I am sure know I bored my family silly talking about this battle and that person. Soon I repeatedly heard the the same phrase in my ears -- "Put down the book, Joe, go outside and play". I took my book outside and sat on the step, the curb,  or the picnic table on the patio and read. Eventually I would join the other kids in baseball, or "army", or neighborhood mayhem, but if no one was around it was my books and me whiling away the afternoons.

I still love reading. I still love history. How wonderful my two favorite hobbies match so perfectly. So it was with great joy a week or two ago when I spotted the Newberry Award winning Johnny Tremain as the Kindle Daily Deal. For just $1.99 I scored the book that started it all.  I know it is a kid's book.  I am certain it will not bring the same wonder it did more than forty years ago. But a couple of bucks and an hour or two is a cheap price to relive a seminal moment from my youth, one that has formed my very being today.

Friday Holiday Music

We are going to take a break from hippie music to kick off the Holiday Season in style. Why not, Walmart has had the Christmas displays out since early October and the mall has been piping in Christmas tunes since Halloween.

I dig Christmas music and who better sets the mood than Dino? Besides, it is cold outside.

November 15, 2012

Smoke gets in my eyes

Last Friday evening we went to visit some friends. We ordered in a couple of pizzas. The women headed uptown to visit some shops and such. My buddy and I went out to his deck/patio to enjoy the unusually warm November weather. Temperatures were hovering in the low 60's and upper 50's as he built a fire in the fire pit. I cracked open a couple of ice cold beers and lit up a fine stogie. Mine was a Royal Jamaican Gold, his, a CAO, I think.
This was a fine cigar
Wood smoke  from the oak logs twisted with the blue haze from the fine tobaccos, sending a fragrant scent into the night sky. We solved the world's problems, laughed and had had a complete boys night out right at home.  The faint pink sky of the evening drifted into a deep blue sky filled with stars as we sat in the dark, illuminated by the flames. The fire was just right to keep off the deepening chill. The beer flowed. My cigar burned down to a nub, leaving my fingers singed. I pulled out a spare and lit an H. Upmann Vintage Cameroon, a more mild ending to the night. Eventually the antique stores, craft shops, and art galleries closed. The ladies returned and the evening came to an end. 

My jacket stunk like Satan's tennis shoes Saturday morning.

November 14, 2012

Corporate Wars of 2012 or example 1,513 of why on line complaint forms suck

So, I had to go all Mr. Asshole  on US Air today.

Perhaps you read this post.  I filled out the f-ing on line complaint form.  I got an email response from Customer Relations advising me my complaint was important and they would respond within two business days.  Chirpity fucking chirp and a week has passed.  Unacceptable.

We did the representative/supervisor thing.  A few calls were made while I fumed on hold and presto chango, I have a full refund on the way. Initially I would have been satisfied  if the airline just waived the rebooking fees. Then they screwed with me. Nothing less than a full refund could soothe my pissed-off ego at this point.  It was a matter of principle.

Of course, I am certain I will be flagged for extra security screenings going forward and I will be permanently assigned middle seats with no recourse. But I won a small battle for the little guy.

Go me.

Second City Blues

I was awake at 4:30 this morning. Not on purpose, it just happened.  I don't know why, do you? The stars were bright in the early morning sky when I limp-shuffled out to get the paper.  I made some coffee and ate an apple danish while I read the morning news.

I motored my way to Chicago Monday morning.  I drove half the distance through hard snow flurries. I guess it is about that time of year. The Windy City lived up to its nickname as the winds whipped down LaSalle Street as I made my way to visit a customer.I followed up by driving to the far west suburbs to spend the night. I did not even scratch the surface of the Naperville night life. I grabbed a burger and went back to the hotel. I got back home yesterday evening after bringing the business equivalent of sunshine and lollipops to yet another customer's dismal existence merely by showing my shining countenance. I will be off to another exciting location later in the week. The kind of place the late Dale Evans would have called her favorite village. I will be in B-town Friday afternoon to pick up the kid from school for Thanksgiving break.

A nearby town had half a subdivision go all explody Saturday evening. We were about a mile away when it happened, watching the new James Bond flick.  It is likely the home explosion coincided with the big explosions near the end of the movie. (oh, spoiler alert -- there are explosions on the James Bond movie, who woulda thunk?).  We took the southern way out of town (pure coincidence) instead of the northern, which would have put us right in the middle of the emergency response. Weird. I do feel for the people of the Richmond Hills subdivision on Indy's south side. Everything gone in an instant. Not to lessen any tragedy, but with a hurricane you at least get a few days warning. A tornado or explosion is a right now disaster. If you are so inclined  I am sure the folks could use a prayer or two -- both in thanks and for strength. If you can afford it, the Red Cross and Salvation Army are always good places to send a ten spot, for Hurricane relief, or just local emergencies.

November 12, 2012

The average Greek is better off economically

In the course of his first term, Obama increased the federal debt by just shy of $6 trillion and in return grew the economy by $905 billion. So, as Lance Roberts at Street Talk Live pointed out, in order to generate every dollar of economic growth the United States had to borrow about five dollars and 60 cents. Mark Steyn

This, my Obama voting friends, is what you just rewarded with four more years.  You voted for the economic model of spending $100 at the casino to come home with $7, and claiming you "won".

You were fear mongered into a triple mortgage on the United States for the price of an abortion.

November 11, 2012

November 10, 2012

I believe

A day or two has passed. I have to take a hard look at my personal philosophy. I am, I suppose, an anachronism. You see, when I see a Norman Rockwell painting I do not sneer, I think it represents a good vision of America. I know that vision is not, and has never been reality, but I think it an admirable goal.

I don't go to church, but I respect those who do. I think a foundation of morality is essential to the success of a people. Some things are just wrong. Occasionally life's rules are black and white. There is no such things as "moral relevance". Such an argument is merely a construct to excuse immoral behavior.

I believe that the key to success is hard work. I believe the government that governs least, governs best. I think society and individuals  should offer a hand up, not a hand out.

I think the key to happy, healthy children is loving parents. I believe education of children is a combination of parents and schools.  How can you send your child to kindergarten without the ability to name red, green, or blue or count to ten? When we suborn the raising of our children to the State, we are lost.

I think that what you do in your bedroom is your own business, and you need neither my sanction nor approval -- providing it is between consenting adults.

I see nothing wrong in Mitt Romney's or Bill Gate's  wealth. I would not mind a little of it myself.  Yet I do not believe it is the role of society or the government to determine "how much is enough". I believe in equal opportunity. I understand there can never be equal results. We all buy tickets in life's lottery. Sometimes we scratch off winners.  Most often it just does not work out. Some people are smarter. Some are faster. Some are stronger. Penalizing the smarter, faster, or stronger does not make life more fair.

I would never break into my kid's or my unborn grandkid's piggy bank and hand the funds to my neighbor. I believe borrowing money to pay for an ever-expanding government is just as wrong. I believe very few Americans would run up credit card debt to donate to the guy standing off the interstate exit holding a sign that reads "will work for food". Yet some people have no issue with a collective "We the Taxpayers" borrowing money we do not have to give to that very same guy.

I believe The United States of America is the greatest nation on the face of the Earth.  I have no issues with our superpower status. I believe our system of government is seriously flawed, yet remains the best system in history. 

I am not interested in the pigment of a person's skin.  Genetics determines eye color, hair color and skin color. So what? Therefore preferences based on skin color are wrong. I do agree to pay reparations to any live American who was a slave in 1865. Outside of those persons, opportunity is what you make of it. Skin color is no excuse for failure. There are plenty of real life examples of individuals refusing to accept the circumstances of life.  Education is a life-long process.  Take advantage. 

I believe my natural rights and freedoms devolve from God/Nature/the Universe -- not Government. I believe I have the right to posses arms to defend myself from predators: be it man, beast or  government.

I believe government is a necessary construct. It is contract among people to join together in common purpose to bring order and safety to society. I do not see "fairness" in taking the property of one citizen and giving it to another.

I believe every position I have espoused is reasonable and right.  More than 50% of Americans disagree with many of my positions.

I believe that fact leaves me dumbfounded.

November 9, 2012

Friday Five

Sunday is Veteran's Day, so what better theme for the Friday Five post than a listing of the greatest war movies.

Given the history of Man is a history of war, the number of war movies is astounding. The cinematic treatments of WWII alone is beyond count. You could make a list of ten magnificent "POW" movies from WWII.

That said, I will list of ten of my favorite war movies, because after all it is my blog. I know I will be scorched in the comments for leaving of many classics.

In no particular order:

Battle of the Bulge
Full Metal Jacket
Pork Chop Hill
Waterloo (the Sergei Bondarchuk version with Rod Steiger as Napoleon)
In Harm's Way
The Fighting 69th
The Desert Rats
Bridge on the River Kwai
Saving Private Ryan

I am sure you have favorites. Let me know what I missed in the comments

Friday Hippie Music -- post election version

Not really hippie music, but the sentiment holds true.

You will survive too.

November 8, 2012

Red State Blue State 2012 edition

It is increasingly clear we are not a Red State / Blue State electorate any more. It has turned primarily into an Urban vs.Suburban/Rural battle. Obviously this is not completely true, there are large swaths of rural areas that tally up blue in places like the upper Midwest and Rocky Mountain areas of Colorado and New Mexico. But the trend is obvious.

Many Government services are more important to the urban dweller.  Public transportation is a good example. In addition, the number of people employed directly or indirectly by the Government of all levels is increased in the big cities. State capitols and government offices are not located in places like Mulberry, Indiana or New Bremen, Ohio. No one votes to eliminate their own job.

The question going forward is how can the GOP limited government types convince the people in the urban areas the money is not unlimited. How do we make them understand the vast areas of red have no use for publicly funded bike paths, light rail and neighborhood art centers?

Please proceed to the nearest on line complaint form

Last Monday  I was slated to fly to Charlotte, NC returning on Tuesday night. You  might remember there was some bad weather pounding the East Coast at the time.

I watched the weather and flight status through Monday morning and finally started for the airport to make my afternoon flight. It looked like the weather was passing way north of my destination.

As I was almost to the airport, my cell phone rang.  It was US Air, calling to cancel my return flight.  Not the one I was about to get on,  the flight scheduled for Tuesday evening. The recording did not mention the outbound flight. I pulled over and called the airline. After more than 30 minutes on hold, I proceeded to the airport anyway. The phone call to US Air reservations remained on hold throughout the trip.  I gathered my stuff and headed to the ticket counter. After a 20 minute wait I made it to a representative.

I explained my situation to the representative.  I could get to Charlotte, but my return was cancelled.  She checked the system and agreed.  She said there was no other flights on Tuesday or Wednesday available to get me home. I told her I wasn't going if I could not get home.  She recommended I cancel the outbound flight and put in for a refund. She pushed a few buttons. She typed a few words. Done.. I cancelled my rental car and hotel.  I called the customer and canceled the meetings for Tuesday. No problem, a few hours of my time wasted, some gas burned. This stuff is part of the traveling life. Weather happens.

Fast forward to this Tuesday night. I get an Email from US Air telling me they have rejected my refund. I can rebook in the future with a $150 change fee.

Oh, oh, Houston we have a problem.

I spent 35 minutes on hold yesterday with US Air Reservations. The Representative checked my info, talked with a supervisor and then proceeded to really piss me off. He acknowledged all I claimed. He said the problem was the return flight went as scheduled after all, even though they called me to cancel. That was why my refund was denied. He said I had to contact Customer Relations to resolve the issue. No, he could not transfer me. US Air Customer relations does not have a phone number. You have to fill out an online complaint form. No, I can not just answer the refund rejection Email the airline sent me, it goes to a dead file. I have to fill out the customer complaint form on line. No, he can not help me, I have to fill out the customer complaint form on line.  No he cannot transfer me to a supervisor, I have to fill out a customer complaint form on line.  No they can not help me at the airport ticket counter, I have fill out a customer complaint form on line. Yes, he agrees it is silly,  I can voice my irritation by filing out a customer complaint form on line.  I can complain about the lack of a phone number to Customer Relations by filling out a customer complaint form on line. I can complain about the hour plus I have already spent trying to resolve the issue by filling out a customer complaint form on line. I could probably wrap the phone cord around his neck and choke the life out of him as long as I first fill out a customer complaint form on line.

I fly US Air almost exclusively. I have for more than a decade. At various times I have been a silver, gold, and Chairman's Preferred member of their frequent flyer program.  I flew their airline 32 times last year and 24 so far this year. There are people who fly a lot more, but I bet I have been aboard US Air planes in excess of 500 flights. The situation would be ridiculous even if it was my very first flight.

US Air informed me via Email, after filling out the customer complaint form on line, they will read and respond to my customer complaint form I filled in on line in 2 to 3 business days.

Until yesterday afternoon,  I was OK with no refund.  I just did not want to pay the $150 rebooking fee when I rescheduled the flight. Now, I want it all back. It is the principle of the matter.

November 7, 2012

Hows and whys of elections

You know, I think the election result that leaves me the most disappointed and disheartened is the vote to retain Justice Steven David in Indiana.  I cannot believe any informed citizen would agree with his Castle Doctrine ruling. Retaining David is a sign of how uninformed most voters are. Even worse, it is a possible sign of how little the modern American regards his basic Constitutional Rights.

It is no wonder we are giving away or freedoms for the illusion of security.

Votin' for The Obama

Remember the odious GW Bush, the liberals bogeyman first class? The cause of our misery and object of our scorn and hatred? He was the one who inspired the call for Hope and Change, because presumably for your average Democrat we were without hope and everything "The Shrub" did was wrong. Remember him?

So when you lefty-types cast your votes for Obama yesterday which policy of his did you like? After all, Obama must have repudiated the actions of George Bush in every way, right?  Right? Just what changes has the man with a plan wrought in four years?

Bush got us involved in Iraq and Afghanistan. Obama got us involved in Libya, we are still fighting in Afghanistan and still have troops in Iraq. Drone strikes have increased dramatically and targeting of specific individuals within the borders of sovereign nations have occured.

Bush deposed Hussein. Obama deposed Qaddafi.

Bush brought us the hated Patriot act.  Obama perpetuated the Act and strengthened it. Obama has allowed drone flights over the US.

Bush had wiretaps in the US.  Obama has even more.

Bush ran up debt and deficits.  Obama has more debt and a larger deficit than all of the previous Presidents combined.

Bush spent like a drunken sailor. Obama has spent like a drunken sailor who won the lottery.

Bush bailed out the car companies and gave us TARP.  Obama continued those policies and increased the bailouts. In addition, he has squandered billions of tax dollars on bankrupt green energy companies.

Bush proposed a favorable immigration policy.  Obama advocated for exactly the same measures.

Bush lowered the standing of the US in the world, especially in the Mideast.  Obama has lowered our standing with our allies and the Mideast hates us even more. Iran is even closer to building nuke bombs. Much of North Africa has been taken over by radical Islamist factions who hate us.

Bush "outed" Valerie Plame. Obama got an Ambassador and other Americans killed in Libya.

Bush had high gas prices.  Prices have doubled under Obama. Ditto utility prices. Personal income is down. Food prices are up.

Bush gave us tax cuts to spur the economy.  Obama gave us the very same tax cuts to spur the economy.

Unemployment was high under Bush.  It is significantly higher and staying there under Obama. Foodstamp usage and welfare are at historic highs.

Under Bush the housing bubble burst. Under Obama housing starts and prices dropped further and have seen little improvement. Lending is still very tight.

Bush flubbed the Hurricane Katrina response.  After a week FEMA had not brought relief to the people of New Orleans. Hurricane Sandy finds millions still without food, water, shelter in New York and New Jersey.  FEMA says it will be weeks before housing and shelter can arrive. Bush was crucified in the press.  Obama is not to blame, however.

Bush housed WOT prisoners in Gitmo. Obama houses WOT prisoners in Gitmo.

Obama allowed guns to cross the border to Mexican criminals who then used those weapons to kill hundreds of Mexicans and even Americans.

Bush inaugurated odious security measures at the nations airports.  Obama has strengthened and increased those measures.

So, except for ObamaCare and a support for gay marriage, all of you Democrats just voted in the fourth term of George Bush.

I guess it is really far more about party loyalty than actual philosophy.

It is Done

I said months ago nominating the guy who lost to the guy who was trounced by Obama was a mistake. When neither the Presidential candidate nor the VP candidate can carry their home state it is going to be a long, long night.

The Republican party should have learned the lesson of Bob Dole, John Kerry and John McCain. People need something to vote for. Anger over the current occupant is not enough. But the stupid party continues on its "Democrat Lite" way and those of us who are small government-types are left with two choices election after election -- bad and worse.

So it goes. Life will continue in these United States. The takers are outnumbering the producers at an increasing rate. The very culture of the media makes it impossible to get fair reporting.  It is not a conspiracy. They do not think they are biased, but companies and organizations tend to hire like-minded people and and over time the employees develop a similar mind-set.

The People have voted. It is done. We will live with the results. The bright spot is a divided Congress. the House will temper the progressive agenda --if the Speaker has any balls at all. That is a big IF.

November 6, 2012

Racist America

The real racist motherfuckers are the New Black Panthers intimidating voters in Philly. Is there any difference in their actions and the KKK standing outside of polling places in rural Mississippi or Alabama 50 or 60 years ago?

Too bad the President and Attorney General look the other way.

Justice is supposed to be blind, and that includes color blind.

Vote today

Now is not the time to be a bystander.  Vote. It is your duty as a citizen.

update  I just got back from the polls. The place was nearly empty.  That is what I expected at 9:00 in the morning. The poll worker said it was very busy from six to eight.

We shall se what happens. There is no doubt my city/county will go overwhelmingly Republican.

I made sure to vote to send Justice Steven David packing. You should too.

November 5, 2012

Voting early and often -- the Chicago way

Politicians like to tell us (and maybe even themselves) they run for public office because they have a need to serve their fellow man. You and I know that is pure unfiltered bullshit. If a prospective politician really wanted to serve his fellow man he would be spending his days helping out at homeless shelters, the Peace Corp, or the ministry.  Perhaps he would be a doctor, or offer legal counsel to the poor.

It is about the power. The men and women who want to represent you are in it for the money, the post-office perks and prestige. They are the same type of people who fancied themselves the lords and barons of regal societies. They imagine they know better than you. Most believe themselves better than you.

Why does Government grow and grow? No politician is going to give up the power. Oh, Democrats may fight with Republicans over policy nuances. Republicans may try to stymie Democratic Party goals.  Really it is about who gets the spoils. For the everyman who trudges to the polls to cast a ballot in hopes of a favorable result, we should temper our enthusiasm. It really is about who is going to screw you over the lessor amount.

Do you really think any politician will vote to rid the nation of the odious ObamaCare? There will be a token vote and various politicals will cast a vote aye or nay, but the result is preordained, worked out in backroom deals as sure as the antebellum debates over slavery. There may be a little less smoke in the air, but the public remains suckered. You see, a Big Government Program like ObamaCare offers a wealth (pun intended) of opportunities for politicians and their lobbyist friends. There will be payment offices to build back in the hometowns; administration offices and bureaucrats in every state. This is the  pork that gets incumbents  elected year after year. Nationally there will be boards and administrative positions to toss to the donors and their kin.

So We the People, who did not want it, will be burdened with the monstrosity forever. There will be a tweak here, and change there, but the ACA/ObamaCare weed will be planted firmly in our garden, stretching its tentacle-like roots under the flowers, the corn, the green beans; never to be uprooted. Then,  a decade or two later, the small government candidates will shout the big government candidates are trying to destroy Social Security Medicare ObamaCare. Really the candidate just wants to be able to change it to make his or her party more powerful. "To the victor goes the spoils" is true in politics as in war.

Cynical?  You bet. The problem is I am a willful child grown into an adult. I really, really do not like to be told what to do. I eschewed an opportunity to join the military when I graduated college for that very reason. In retrospect the discipline would have been good for me. In fact, my friends often tease me into doing something by saying "I forbid you to..." They know me. I am just contrary enough to do the opposite.Every law, every regulation chaffs me to no end. I do not want to be told what kind of car to buy. If I want a gas guzzler Hummer and am willing to pay for the gas, whose business is it? I want to decide the temperature of my house, what or whether to recycle, and what not to burn on my property. I want my McDonald's french fries fried in beef fat. I want to buy a quart sized Coke in New York. I want to sit on my deck and enjoy a fine cigar on a summer evening.

So off to the polls I will go tomorrow. I know my vote will be for the candidate less inclined to take from my my wealth and my freedom. I long for the candidate who says he will not vote for a single new law. That true man or woman of the People who will go to Washington or Indianapolis or even City Hall with the intention of repealing laws, not adding to the miles of laws already in the books. The money men and power brokers will never allow that to happen.

You see, there is one basic truth the Founders of our Nation knew full well. Government does not ensure freedom, it takes it. Every tax dollar is taken from me and you by force. Pay or go to jail. Every law is a piece of freedom.

Humans are but two legged sheep. Those who want to rule us sometimes use fear as a means to power. They threaten to take away our liberty or our very lives. Thwart the king and die. Sometimes they rule by providing us with our very sustenance. How many votes are bought with welfare checks?

Under a myriad of guises the would-be powers eat away at our freedom. In the end, The Who had it right:
Meet the new boss, same as the old boss
But we cannot give up the fight. You must battle for every sliver of freedom. We get the government we deserve. You have to vote in the vain hope your candidate is the one who will slow the tide of statism. The only other option is to roll over and let yourself be sheared.

In the end, I will wake up tomorrow. I will have a wonderful family. I will survive an Obama or a Romney.

So will you.

Get Ready

Here is the narrative. If President Hopey-Changey loses tomorrow, it will not be because he is inept. It will not be a repudiation of his big-government programs. He will not lose for his terrible decisions in promoting loser green energy companies, nor his war on coal. It will not be because of the massive spending, or the devaluation of the dollar.  Obama will not lose based on the drone strikes or the continuous high unemployment nor high gas prices.  He will not lose over leaving Americans to die in Libya, or his "lead from behind" policies.. Obama will not lose the election because he has ruined relations with every ally from Britain to Israel and let Muslim extremists take over Egypt and Libya or running guns to Mexican drug cartels. It will not be for forcing the Government takeover of 1/6 of the economy through ObamaCare. It will not be the 100 rounds of golf or the expensive vacations paid for by the taxpayers. No, 2010 did not happen. If Obama loses, it will be because he had a black father and anyone who votes against him will be bigots and racists.

Obama will lose because he is black.

or here

or here  -- and by the way, if you can wade through that twaddle, couldn't you just substitute "black" for "white" and "Obama" for "Romney" and have the very same article? Is this what passes for journalism? Oh -- and women outnumber men in these United States, so how can they be a minority?  Gotdamn facts anyway...

It took a whole bunch of white folks to elect Obama in 2008. Simple math will prove this true. Those white people did not wake up cracker last month. Just about every Democrat that lost his seat in 2010 was white.  Perhaps it really is just about policies?

You see, for the progressive type, it can never be about rejecting the message. If we disagree on the liberal agenda we must be intellectually vacant, racist, or participants in an evil and nefarious scheme. To them, Jimmy Carter was not a failure, perhaps the worst President ever; we just could not see his genius.  Reagan "cheated" with the Iranians, and the American people did not give him enough time.

The Race Card has been played so much it is wearing thin. Some of us can see right through it.

November 4, 2012

Time Change!

Did you change your clocks?

Now don't forget to change the President on Tuesday!

edit:  I like Ed's version better.  Maybe I otta read the interwebz before I post stuff.

November 3, 2012

Watch this before you vote

Here, in a couple of minutes, is articulated my entire political philosophy.

This election is not about Democrats or Republicans, but rather the future course of the nation.  Can we stem the tide of statism?

I will gladly accept arguments on any point that is wrong in the comments.

November 2, 2012

What is wrong with New Jersey?

Seriously. The People of New Jersey need to stand up and demand better.

NJ says take your non-union help and shove it  The Union thinks citizens of the Garden State would rather be cold and hungry than have non-union help getting the power back on.

I bet the freezing people of West Virginia will take the help and be thankful.

h/t Tam

Friday Hippie Music

Stuff that cracks me up

Universal Truth Number 3: farts are funny.

November 1, 2012

Dear President Obama

We will consider taxing at Bill Clinton-era levels as soon as federal spending and regulation returns to Bill Clinton-era levels.


How do you say "I don't know" in moron?

Dear Customer X,

As I have told you repeatedly, World Headquarters for my company are just outside of New York City. They are sans power. That means no email. There are no phones. No computers. No shipping. No receiving. Things are akin to Gilligan's Island (no phones, no lights, no motor cars, its as primitive as can be).  To quote the classic 1980's commercial, "We are closed now!"

I have no way to communicate with the folks at corporate. One of the customer service reps calls me on his cell every morning to give me an update. There is no electricity. The-lights-will-not-work.

It does not matter, dear customer, how many times you call me, I can not tell you when the power will be back on. I have no control over ConEd (or whatever power company is in charge there). I am in Indiana.  I cannot tell you anything about the conditions beyond, the plant is fine -- no damage. The people are fine.  There is no fucking power. Nothing can be done. I do not know what to tell you to reassure you.

Yes, transportation -- trucks etc. -- could be a problem. I do not know. We have not tried to call in any trucks because we have no electricity. We cannot ship anything. We have not scheduled your truck for pickup because we do not know when electricity will be restored.

Calling me every hour is not going to get you answers. I have told you "I do not know" in every conceivable combination of words. Every customer is important. I will sell about $35,000,000 in widgets this year. Your $45,000 is just not worth the aggravation in the big scheme. I am this close to telling you so, you twit.

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