Friday, December 28, 2007
Of course the left can't actually call it socialized medicine because, well, that would sound like, socialism. Much better to call it single payer.
In one move, we get rid of HMOs, insurance companies, uninsured and under-insured people.
The government gets 3 million (a guess) new employees all ready to join a UNION and beholden to government largess for pay raises and benefits.
What, you don't believe I want this? Really? Right.
Also, where is the left on Venezuela as it moves closer and closer to dictatorship?
I am more and more pining for imperialism....
Thursday, December 27, 2007
Our friend had said that the way to cure over-population (and therefore decrease the stress on global resources) was to educate women. Educated women have fewer children. I called her a misanthrope (I actually had to ask what the right word was.) She took some offense to the name-calling, however, I had a different fish to fry in this conversation.
Her next point was that we had advanced too fast as a society, technologically, and that we needed to slow down the advancement of technology so as to allow civilization time to catch up. I find this position to be very dangerous and so I responded:
On this hand we have 5 people that think we need to save the planet; one the other hand we have 100 people that just want what the 5 have. Assuming that the 5 have abdicated what is in their own economic interest for the benefit of all humanity, all that prevents the 100 from taking from the 5 is technology.
The conversation looped over itself several times, so bear with me.
I further argued that if educated women had fewer children, then we needed to force them to have more children because the 100 uneducated women were going to have LOTS more children furthering the creation of uneducated masses. We would soon have only 4 on one hand to prevent 120 on the other; then 3 to prevent 150; and then 2 to prevent 200 and finally, when on one remained, the 250 would overwhelm even the one technologically advanced denier of economic self interest.
Her attempted rebound was to argue that the earth could not support both the 5 and the 100 growing by leaps and bounds and that technology was doing more harm. My first response was the 5 could not be forced to abandon their economic interests unless it was…by force. Taxation, legislation or even fear of global consequences could force people to abandon their economic interests, but pitting the 5 against the 100 without technology to support them was cultural suicide.
My second response was that technology was all that was saving us now! If advanced agricultural techniques had not been found, millions, maybe hundreds of millions would have died of starvation. Medical advancements have saved millions more. Abandoning technological advancement means the death of millions AND because the haves are seriously outnumbered by the havenots, only the threat of technical superiority prevents the 5 from being overrun.
My problem is of course only 1 of the 5 really wants to stifle technology and abandon economic self-interest ‘for the benefit of all humankind’. But that 1 is doing everything it can to force the other 4 to agree or at least comply with it’s goals. Meanwhile, the 100 are doing everything they can to multiply and steal technology to use against the 5. The 100 are not contributing ANYTHING to ‘the benefit of humankind’. They are reproducing and calling the 5 racist, selfish, and imperialist. If the 4 allow the 1 to guilt them into abandoning economic self interest, there will be nothing to stop the 100, or 150 or 250 from overrunning them.
Economic self-interest is not a bad thing people. If you don’t know where you will sleep tonight, or where the next meal is coming from, global warming is the LEAST of your problems. And if you happen to see a One proclaiming concern for you and offering you a handout from her doorstep, you are more likely to see a slap at the hand and rushing of the door.
As long as the 5 insist on having fewer children and stifling economic growth, the 100 will continue to grow in numbers and demands, eventually overrunning the 5. We are reaching a point where we will have to choose.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Today, I heard, for what is probably the 1,000th time, how our government is corrupt and as soon as we impeach, depose or otherwise get Bush out of office, we will have an 'honest' government for the good people once again.
Hey idiots....when the next President takes office, 99.8% of the government in place RIGHT NOW, will continue to work in 2009, 2010 and so forth. Barring wholesale slaughter, only the politicians will change, the bureaucracy will continue to subvert the will of the people as it did in every Administration since Kennedy (maybe even before that).
All you need to see is the State Department, the CIA, FBI and a dozen other agencies ignore the proclamations from the 'ruling class'. For the last 7 years the liberals in the bureaucracy have done everything they can to subvert this President. If the Democrats win the White House in 2008, you can bet the conservatives in the bureaucracy will return the favor.
It is a lesson I learned 30 years ago, better to be the lead peon than the boss....at least WE know how to run things right...
Iraq is a country, MADE UP OF PEOPLE. We may have done a bad thing at the level of country: thou shall not interfere with another country. But for the PEOPLE....we have done a wonderful thing - even if it has caused much angst. Folks, didn't we 'invade' Indonesia? Sent lots of troops and the Navy? Granted we were not shooting people there, but then, they weren't shooting at us either.
Can something be good for the people of a country, but bad for the 'country'? (which means, bad for it's ruling class?)
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
One of the items used to sell the previous bankruptcy reform in 2005 was the savings everyone would benefit from, $400 was thrown around, by the change in the law. There has been no reduction in interest rates, just a continuing flow of profits to credit lenders.
Now, after billions in fees and interest from mortgage lending over the last several years, mortgage lenders are suffering. Poor baby. Suck it up. It is called RISK and you have many ways of calculating it. Your failure is not our problem.
The current bill, H.R. 3609 does much good for people facing foreclosure with little overall impact on mortgage lenders except the perception that they only sell cash cows to their investors.
For once, I support THIS bankruptcy reform!
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
18 minute presentations by some of the most interesting people on some of the most interesting topics (and some interesting presentations by interesting people on some boring topics!)
Do it on the weekend, because just 4 or 5 of those things will just ruin an afternoon of planned work...
Not a single change to the tax code is being proposed that will have ANY impact on Buffet's day to day existence. If his taxes were to double, he would still wear the stupid suits and ties and look like a grumpy old man and he would still be able to buy any politician out of petty cash.
Hell, if it would guarantee that our adversaries will use waterboarding on our military, I say we announce it to the world that we will waterboard. I think most of our serving soldiers would prefer waterboarding to the current shoot them, cut them up, burn them and hang them torture they are currently facing...
Sec 2:Mortgage lenders are great for adding fees to mortgages in foreclosure, many servicers add fees to the mortgage account without listing them on statements during the bankruptcy. The result of this little slight of hand is debtors coming out of bankruptcy thinking everything has been solved only to find hundreds, sometimes thousands in fees had been accruing during the bankruptcy. Makes debtors awful pissed off at their attorneys.
'While a case is pending, no fee, costs, or charges may be added to a debt that is provided for in a chapter 13 plan and is secured by the debtor's principal residence unless the holder of the secured claim gives timely notice of such fee, costs, or charge to the debtor and to the trustee.'.
SEC. 3.This section makes mortgages on principal residences subject to the same rules as every other debt.
Section 1322(b)(2) of title 11, United States Code, is amended by striking `, other than a claim secured only by a security interest in real property that is the debtor's principal residence,'.
SEC. 5This is huge for people facing foreclosure and needing to file, NOW to prevent the loss of the home.
Section 109(h) of title 11, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:
`(5) The requirements of paragraph (1) shall not apply with respect to a debtor in a case under chapter 13 who submits to the court a certification that the holder of a claim secured by the debtor's principal residence has initiated a judicial or non-judicial foreclosure on the debtor's principal residence.'.
Generally speaking, I like this.
I am a fiscal conservative. I am a social liberal. I think many, most, Americans would fit that general description.
So, to our Republican candidates for President:
Governor Mitt Romney. Sir, your experience as a business person, a cat herder (Olympics) and as a governor gives you a strong leg up on the competition. Unfortunately, I think you might be a candidate for poster child of the Peter Principle. President will elevate you to the highest position you are incapable of. Political life requires an ability to compromise and you have shown that ability as Governor. Unfortunately, we have problems that compromise will only make worse. The GWOT requires a strong position that is not swayed by opinion, either public or private. I do not trust you understand this. Illegal immigration is a problem you can not turn your back on or leave it up to others to police. I respect your faith, but your religion is a problem for me. I know something of the doctrine of Mormonism and frankly, I am not impressed. Understand, for many DIFFERENT reasons, I would be opposed to a Moslem running for President, but a belief in Mormonism calls into question your ability to reasonably judge and analyze facts.
Governor Mike Huckabee. Sir, many of my comments to Governor Rommney apply to you. Compromise is a necessary political skill. But as your faith should inform, giving up on your principles does more harm than good. I think giving people a second chance, or even a first chance is admirable, but you need to understand that evil exists and it often takes to form of an angel of light. Criminals and illegal immigrants come from the same cloth - a willingness to violate the law for their own benefit. Our adversaries in the GWOT do not even ascribe to the same set of morals, let alone laws, we do. Giving them the benefits of those morals is handing a gun to a murder and turning your back on him.
Senator John McCain. Sir, I hold you in the deepest regard. Your service to your country in the military and in the Senate are worthy of the respect of every American. But, your positions with regard to illegal immigration and campaign finance are damaging to all of us. I am also very uncomfortable with your apparent willingness to subvert our judicial appointment process with your gang of 14. I believe you are the strongest candidate with regard to the GWOT. However, your position with regard to illegal immigration damages that perception. I might be willing to support you for President if you were paired with someone like Tom Tancredo as VP.
Former Senator Fred Thompson. Sir, I support your positions on many issues. However, civil unions are fundamental issue with me and we disagree. Leave the states to make the rules in this regard, keep the Federal Government out of it. Your lack of overall experience is a problem. You benefit from the fact that your experience level is comparable to the experience level of the most likely Democratic opponent. Given a choice between relative inexperience, I will take your positions and fundamental beliefs over theirs (democrats).
Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Sir, I once was an air traffic controller. I performed very well when we were busy, less so when we were slow. Under pressure we often see the best of people and on 9/11, we saw the best of you. But, the President must deal with the day to day issues that face us when the only pressure is which group favors a particular outcome. In this way, you fail. Your behavior with regard to your former wife was reprehensible. And it was very public. Further, the problems with political compromise are showcased with you. The Presidency is not the prize for a popularity contest - or it shouldn't be - and based on what I have seen, it is the only reason you are considered a viable candidate, and it should not be.
Others: No one else in the field appears ready for prime time. I am very willing to consider other potential candidates and THAT is a problem for the current field. They are benefiting from the comparison to the Democratic field which is as poor, if not worse, than the Republican field.
In considering every candidate, both parties, I can say that the entire field leaves A LOT to be desired. If this is the best our 'political' class can field for President of the United States, the fall of Western civilization is further along than many might be willing to admit.
Thursday, December 06, 2007
Just a short note. The NIE is a steaming pile of crap.
Either the authors are a bunch of idiots or they think the readers of their report are. In either case, they need to be given all the respect their work deserves.....
UPDATE: Sunday, 10:26pm
After skipping all news for the last 36 hours, I spent the last one catching up on posts. I need to indicate that I am totally disgusted. After reading more commentary on the NIE and the Annapolis Conference, it is clear to me that a significant portion of our State Department, the CIA, the Congress, journalists and our fellow Americans are either hopelessly naive or dangerously stupid.
Given the serious disconnect those on the left apparently have with the reality I see daily, I have no choice but to wonder if it is drugs or some brainwashing indoctrination system that I safely avoided driving the opposition to the GWOT and peace for Israel.
Every time I think it might actually be ME that is disconnected with reality that the left sees clearly, something happens to confirm that it is I that view reality correctly. Today on Fox News Sunday, Juan Williams, responding to the Rommey speech on Thursday, said that he couldn't understand how anyone could say that religion was being forced out of public life and that it was clear Rommey was calling for a Christian government. HUH? How many communities have Holiday trees and ban Nativity scenes? Dozens, hundreds? Maybe the count is 10,000 with Christmas and 200 without....but those are 10,000 Bedford Falls and 200 Metropolis'.
I have said before that there is a serious breach in the reality the left and right share...unfortunately, that breach will not prevent a disaster from reaching all of us....
Now, as an agnostic, I can be pretty clear in saying that the caller was an atheist. Not believing in God is pretty much the qualifier. Her belief in the Easter Bunny or in cow reincarnation does not make her an agnostic.
Now all of this leads up to this: am I being a purist? If she wants to call herself an agnostic, for whatever reason, even a wrong one...who am I to question her? Well, I'm an agnostic and I should be able to say that someone that does not believe in God (and those definitions can be pretty broad) is not an agnostic. I believe the Universe was created, that act was done by something, most people call that something God and as such, I can agree with them. Any further discussion about the nature or character of that something is beyond human understanding - and may forever be so. Back to the question, am I being a purist. Am I imposing a politically correct response to her claim? Is that what politically correct is, an attempt at some sense of purity?
Maybe political correctness is about offensiveness. How can we not offend someone yet still get across our meaning? The caller seemed to be offended that someone would call her an atheist. "I have beliefs." was pretty strongly stated. But isn't free speech specifically about offensive speech? We do not need someone to call our speech into question when we are being nice...it is when we are being offensive that we need protection.
I am sure many wonderful writers have made this point before so excuse my 4th grade verbiage but political correctness is an affront to free speech.
Many people have complained that American's are sloppy speakers, or the language is sloppy. Walking down the street smiling at people and saying Ho Ho Ho is likely to get you slapped by someone.
More than a few of my posts have probably offended someone, yet no one has complained to me. Still, is my response to the caller a symptom that I too seek some sense of political correctness in others? I hope not, but I will still correct someone that is obviously wrong, even if it is just an opinion.....and the caller, she was an atheist....
Monday, December 03, 2007
So, I gave it some thought. Here is my idea.
If you are here illegally you must report to the police station closest to where you live. You must provide positive identification - not false US IDs - and you must provide your address and where you work. If you are not wanted for any other illegal activity, you will be given a fine, a probation, and documentation to register as a resident alien. You will never be granted citizenship unless you leave the country and apply for citizenship from the country you were born in. As a resident alien, you may hold a job, pay taxes and enjoy life. You can not vote, nor receive welfare benefits. Every year, you must report to the police your address and work. Failure to do so is a violation of the probation and makes you subject to deportation. Yes, this is for the rest of your life in this country. If you commit another crime, you get deported. Failure to register results in deportation if you are arrested. No path to citizenship.
Your children born here become citizens, but you may not become on based on their advantage. As a resident alien, you can not sponsor another person into this country.
To the naysayers, yes, many, many people will not register. When and if they are arrested for other reasons, they can be deported. We don't have to round up people, the biggest problem people will make themselves available by being stupid sooner or later. Those that stay way under the radar will be marginalized. Employers can hire all the resident aliens they want, fine them heavy if found with illegals...and deport the employees and their families - minus any citizen children.
Saturday, December 01, 2007
in a one bedroom house made of plaster and stone.
I had come down the chimney with presents to give,
and to see just who in this home did live.
I looked all about, a strange sight I did see,
no tinsel, no presents, not even a tree.
No stocking by mantle, just boots filled with sand,
on the wall hung pictures of far distant lands.
With medals and badges, awards of all kinds,
a sober thought came through my mind.
For this house was different, it was dark and dreary,
I found the home of a soldier, once I could see clearly.
The soldier lay sleeping, silent, alone,
curled up on the floor in this one bedroom home.
The face was so gentle, the room in such disorder,
not how I pictured a United States soldier.
Was this the hero of whom I'd just read?
Curled up on a poncho, the floor for a bed?
I realized the families that I saw this night,
owed their lives to these soldiers who were willing to fight.
Soon round the world, the children would play,
and grownups would celebrate a bright Christmas day.
They all enjoyed freedom each month of the year,
because of the soldiers, like the one lying here.
I couldn't help wonder how many lay alone,
on a cold Christmas Eve in a land far from home.
The very thought brought a tear to my eye,
I dropped to my knees and started to cry.
The soldier awakened and I heard a rough voice,
"Santa don't cry, this life is my choice;
I fight for freedom, I don't ask for more,
my life is my God, my Country, my Corps."
The soldier rolled over and drifted to sleep,
I couldn't control it, I continued to weep.
I kept watch for hours, so silent and still
and we both shivered from the cold night's chill.
I didn't want to leave on that cold, dark, night,
this guardian of honor so willing to fight.
Then the soldier rolled over, with a voice soft and pure,
whispered, "Carry on Santa, it's Christmas day, all is secure."
One look at my watch, and I knew he was right.
"Merry Christmas my friend, and to all a good night."
Friday, November 23, 2007
My Father specifically stated that he will be voting for Clinton with the hope that she will bring the same people and policies of the previous Clinton Administration back.
One would hope that the vast majority of people voting will have the same concern/hope in mind.
Monday, November 19, 2007
At least when we kill our own because of friendly fire, it is almost always, accidental...
Earlier in the year, when gas was surpassing $3 a gallon, we waited for the flow of bankruptcies to start. Nothing. Fully absorbed. Practically without a twitch.
Now gas is going back over $3 a gallon, and it's timing is bad. Holiday shopping. No, I don't think $3 gas is going to stop or even slow holiday shopping. Matter of fact, I think we might actually have a good holiday season. My problem is that people are looking at their house, the mortgage, the possible payment increase, the big truck or SUV with a payment of $400 or $500 a month and another $300 a month in gas, and thinking, next year, things are going to be bad. May as well have a good holiday.
Credit card balances are going up. They will continue to go up. Did you know that from the time people start having financial difficulties to the time they file bankruptcy is often 3 years? People will rob Peter to pay Paul for a long time, and if they have decent credit, that can be a couple of years - as long as nothing bad happens like illness, divorce or job loss.
Many people that argue the economy is fine are complaining that those of that point out problems are 'talking the economy down'. To an extent, that is true. Perception is important.
As long as the average person believes THEY will survive this 'crisis', the crisis is non-existent. The economy is going to be dealing with several bad things at one time, and it will have an impact on many people. What will cause the biggest problem is the average person believing THEY are going to be harmed. Such a mindset will do more damage to our economy than any CDO or SIV. Oh, and $3 a gallon gas...is pretty personal.
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Thanksgiving with my parents has been a tradition only interrupted by my living in California for 9 years and Montana for less than one. Victoria and CJ look forward to it as much as I do. My mother cooks: turkey, beef, ham, corn, green beans, mashed potatoes, stuffing, yams, cranberry sauce, biscuits (usually burned as is our family tradition - unintentionally I might add), and minced meat pie for dessert...with Cool Whip. It usually takes two plates of food to actually sample everything.
But it is not just a time to break bread with my parents. We visit several times a year, Easter, the 4th, Thanksgiving and we try at least one other time. It is a holiday. A rekindling of something that existed when I was a kid and we sat as a family. It is seldom that we are joined by anyone else, but both my sister and brother often stop by sometime during the day or evening. Dinner is early 4ish or so as it always has been. Leftovers and dessert are usually saved for later in the evening. Despite her best effort, Mom usually has more than enough leftovers for the several days of our visit.
I am often reminded of the fact that my parents are still here, and that my relationship with them, strained as it has been on occasion, is as good as any I know between parents and their adult children. Both my parents are in the mid 70's and generally, in good health. My father has had a heart condition that has always been dangerous and it will eventually take him. Still, Thanksgiving is precious time with them and I try not to waste it.
Every visit has an evening or two of discussion of the family and our history. My parents, my Dad especially, often hear things they did not know, or claim to know. Last year we talked about how we as kids knew we had the best parents in the neighborhood, it was obvious and most of the kids in the neighborhood agreed. I have told my father on a couple of occasions that my love of science fiction is directly the result of his taking me to see two movies when I was 10. My love of country is a directly result of the second movie of that double feature. The movies were 2001 and The Green Berets. My love for golf came about because he introduced me to the game and played with me well beyond the point that I could beat him.
My mother loves to read, and she made sure she encouraged my reading growing up. I received dozens of books for Christmas every year. Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys were staples. We also spent a lot of time cooking, and I still love the kitchen, especially with her in it with me.
We each take after one parent more than another. I take after my mother, but there are things that are unique about me that are no doubt from my father. Both of my parents have a wanderlust and a willingness to explore new things. It should be no surprise then to learn I am a first generation American. My parents, both born in Ireland, left their birthplace to raise a family here. They raised American children, not Irish-American children. I do not miss an Irish heritage, I have an American one, one that I am proud of and hope to pass on to our daughter.
My father is an only child. He and my mother attempted to visit Ireland once several years ago by my father's health did not allow it. My mother did get a chance to visit England a while back and saw her sisters for the first time in decades. My father's birthday is November 11th. My youngest sibling, Elizabeth, shares the same birthday. My dad served in the United States Army, part of his process towards becoming a citizen. I served in the Air Force, part of my process towards becoming a citizen. Yes, I was born here, but becoming a citizen is not about birthright, it is about a conscious decision to accept both the rights, and the responsibilities that are part of that title.
On Thanksgiving I am thankful for my parents. For their travel to this country, for raising us American. I am thankful for each time I get to spend with them, and for the time our daughter, their youngest grandchild, gets to spend with them. I am thankful for the example they set: willing to take risks, willing to work hard, willing to dream for their children an impossible dream.
None of their children grew up to be Senators, or CEOs. Only I have completed college, although several others have some college. My brother spent 24 years in the Air Force; his only son serves in Iraq today, his second tour there. We are middle America.
I have immense wealth, opportunities and access to resources incomprehensible to over 5 billion other people on the planet. I have a wonderful partner, an incredible child and the best parents I have ever met.
I may not think about it every day, but on Thanksgiving, I am reminded why we celebrate by sitting down with the two people that made it possible and important, for me, to be thankful.
Friday, November 16, 2007
Whether Bush was right or wrong to go into Iraq is now beside the point, we have troops there and we need to stay til it is done. If every person outside the military and their families disagreed with Bush, it would be right to stay the course; polls don't matter.
Marriage has two components. There is the religious ritual and the legal union of two people. Religions can limit their blessing to only those acceptable to the religion - two Jews, two Muslims, a man and a woman... But the state controls the legal union and that should not be limited by a religious point of view. The state does not have the right to discriminate. State sanctioned unions are not marriages and marriages are not state sanctioned unions. While there may be considerable overlap, there is no reason to believe one MUST beget the other.
If Elliott Spitzer wants civil unions in NY to be gay-friendly, I think he is right. Claiming the polls oppose such unions does not make the opposition to them right.
Conservatives should stand for what is right, not popular. It is a lesson that conservatives wanted to teach Congress and Bush on immigration, it should be a lesson conservatives learn for themselves on civil unions and marriage.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
I think every Republican and conservative should strongly state that we support impeachment hearings. Victoria doesn't like me calling for impeachment because she says that I don't believe the VP (nor the President) has done anything wrong. I demand that if the left wants impeachment they should have to put on a set of hearings to PROVE their claims.
Republicans and conservatives should not be afraid of such a set of hearings. As a matter of fact, I can't think of a single thing Congress should spend its time on that is more important. And if it takes all of next year to get through those hearings, well, time well spent.
Pass it around. Time for impeachment hearings.
A more certain method of insuring Republican control of Congress and the Presidency in 2009 and beyond I can't think of....
UPDATE: Welcome Daily Pundit readers and thanks for the comment Bill...
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
Is the economy in trouble? Oil is almost $100 a barrel. Foreclosures are sky high. What is the truth? Here is my opinion:
Go to Starbucks and buy a latte. Pay $3 for 16 oz. That is $24 a gallon for coffee.
Go to the convenience store, buy a bottle of water. Pay $1.49 for a liter. That is $5.60 a gallon.
I drive about 35 miles a day on average, my car gets 26mpg. That is about $4.02 (@2.99/gal) for gas a day. And I don't drink bottled water or lattes.
There are over 118 million households. 68% own their own homes, so 80 million homes. Foreclosure filings do not always result in the loss of a home (50% in this area), figure this is a bad season and 68% lose their homes, 4 mill foreclosures * 68% = 2,720,000 homes lost, or about 3.4%. But those people are not going to be homeless, they will drive up demand for rentals, especially in harder hit areas.
This is not to suggest that high gas prices and foreclosures are not problems. They will create issues in the economy. Higher gas prices will cause fewer miles to be driven and reduce some discretionary spending, but not tons. Foreclosures will cause lower home prices, which will make moving happen less....If my home didn't appreciate in value, I might stay longer in it and add the features I wanted in a new home to my existing home.
Chaos theory in economic systems suggest that while the larger economy continues to chug along, certain segments will occasionally feel pain.
Only a significant act (and 9/11 barely touched the economy) will have an economy wide impact....short of a disaster of BIBLICAL proportions, there is nothing even close....
UPDATE 9am 11/07:
I want to make clear that the implications of chaotic behavior on economic systems does not say that pain will be minor, it can be quite bad, but that in a 7 or 8 TRILLION dollar economy, we need a multiple hundreds of billions of dollars event to even get noticed. In regions, you can have a very bad time without the national economy even noticing. Case in point, I came across this little item this morning: suburbs in Phoenix are getting hammered with foreclosures/forced sales.
Monday, November 05, 2007
The University of Delaware has made a similar proclamation, that all us White People are racists.
Frankly, I am sick of the demented, pathetic, self-loathing liberals that hoist that crap. I demand that if you are going to point to me and yell racist, that you back up that SLANDER with some evidence.
Can't? Didn't think so. Assholes.
Friday, October 26, 2007
Rep. Pete Stark jumped the entire shark pond by suggesting last week that soldiers getting their heads blown off in Iraq was for the amusement of the President. He apologized this week.
O'Reilly of the Fox News Channel called Stark a patriot for apologizing. And he has gotten a lot of shit for it.
Michael Yon has posted a story about Beauchamp you need to read - if you don't already read Michael regularly, you should. His reporting from Iraq is the best balanced reporting available.
Forgive and never forget...something I tend to practice. All that is required is an apology. Stark apologized. I wouldn't call him a patriot for doing what is right. Beauchamp has apparently apologized to his comrades if I might infer from what Michael reported.
Beauchamp can write stories from Iraq if he wants, no one should believe a word he writes. Stark can talk all he wants about Iraq, but not a word should be paid the least bit of attention to. But neither deserve our further attention. Like all small people with a stage, both have proved their inability to justify the attention. It is a wasted effort, as is all revenge.
Friends are trying to sell their house, two doors up, one street over. The house next to them, same style, size, one year newer, but without landscaping, sold for 315k last summer. Our friends had their home on the market for 3 months at 280k...no buyers, two lookers. They put it with a realtor, bumped the price up, had an open house, no one came. Two months with the broker, one showing. That house is only in the stats since going with the realtor, and the price they're asking represents a profit (not a big one) but it will not sell there, apparently.
A single example? Too close to the forest....maybe? But we do see people every week in trouble. Client bought house in 03. Lost job in late 06. Purchase: 157k On market for 165k, no buyers or lookers. Bankruptcy filing, trustee took house on condition (approved by court and mortgage lender that he would list it for NO MORE than 144k - he listed it for 147k). Owed 121k to lender. One offer, 120k, trustee countered at 135k, no deal. House is back in lenders hands.
Prices reported are for homes sold. The backlog represents a dangerous truth. Prices are going to continue down, alot, for a long time. And it is not because the market has been talked down, credit has dried up for the majority of people. Clients that recently lost their house had a $2500 a month mortgage payment, their GROSS income was 32k a year, and has been for at least 3 years? How did they get such a loan?
If your credit score is above 670, have a good payment history and at least 10, but preferrable 20% down, loans are available and rates are great. If your score is under 640, forget a loan unless you are putting down 30% or more. That is from a local broker. For the moment, subprime is dead, and that means a lot of people will not be able to buy, or refinance.
Something read: only a first time home buyer takes a home off the market. Otherwise, every buyer of a home, is selling a home.
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Just because those banks invested in our private individuals mortgages, does not mean our banking system needs to bail them out.....right??
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Oh, and why do Real Estate Agents NOT recommend an attorney for every single one of their clients buying and selling a home??
Monday, October 15, 2007
I have also clearly stated that I consider myself an independent, that I no longer considered myself Republican.
That said, it would be a mistake for anyone to believe that I think not voting in 2008 was a good idea, or that voting for a democrat was also a good idea.
The next President will nominate one or more supreme court justices. Time for Republicans to understand that with the exception of the GWOT, no other issue is as important for conservatives than the nomination of supreme court justices like Roberts and Alito.
I will be voting Republican in 2008 and so should every conservative.
However, it is becoming increasingly difficult to understand the stupidity of the far left. It is clear they either refuse to acknowledge information/facts that undercut their position, or they believe any information/facts that undercut their position are false regardless of the source.
Commentary and discussion about General Sanchez's speech to a room full of reporters where he absolutely blasted the media. Headlines however only note his relatively short blast at Bush.
ht: My Pet Jawa
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
One of the things noted was online polls of Republican debates are heavily influenced by Ron Paul supporters. Frankly, those polls reminded me of something...
Do you think Ron Paul and Sanjai are related?
The debate motion: We should not be reluctant to assert the superiority of Western values.
When : 6:45pm at Royal Geographical Society, London.
Ok, no one here would have been able to make it, but what makes this interesting is that it is even a matter of debate! No, I mean, it is great that someone doesn't automatically dismiss the idea that Western values ARE SUPERIOR!
What was great was that voting after the debate indicated over 60% voted for the motion!
ht: Little Green Footballs
Thursday, October 04, 2007
Second, if I want a gun, I want to be able to have a gun.
To make sure that I can shoot anyone who thinks I should not have a gun...especially if they are "from the government and are here to help..."
Well, the Bankruptcy Reform Act (BARF for those of us in the biz) passed in 2005 with a fair amount of publicity over the resulting wave of bankruptcy filings...some 2 million filed that year, a 33% increase over the year before. Many people predicted what would happen after the law passed and in large part, they were right. Let's look at a few.
Credit counseling was mandated but considered a waste of time, a burden on consumers and a boon for the credit counseling industry - an industry supported by their parasitic relationship with lenders. Reports have shown that the credit counseling has been of no particular use. 97% of consumers taking the counseling had no means to repay any of their debt (study from earlier in 2006) yet almost 40% actually filed chapter 13...meaning they tried anyway. Some have noted that as many as 10% that have taken the counseling did not file, meaning that the counseling helped them in some other way. There is no evidence that those that did not file entered into alternative debt management programs. It is equally possible - I might suggest considerably more likely - that they simply could not AFFORD to file bankruptcy due to the increased costs. The credit counseling industry did benefit by getting many, many new clients, but they are overburdened by the flood of people paying a small fee (small in relationship to their claimed costs).
Means test: This has been a disaster. This was supposed to be a bright line test to determine the potential for a debtor to repay debts. More than 85% of filers pass the means test - they have insufficient income to repay debts, BUT, almost 40% of debtors are filing chapter 13s!
Early last year, less than 6 months after passage of a 'perfect' bill requiring no amendments, Congress amended the law to allow charitable contributions into the means test...leading the way was Senator Hatch....consigliere of the original bill. Further, there have been complaints that the test lets debtors with high secured debts off the hook. It is true, the more secured debt you have, the less you will end up paying to unsecured creditors (the main supporters of the reform). The means test has led to many interesting outcomes, including a ruling that a family with over $2500 a month in disposable income needed only to pay $1500 a month as specified by the means test.
Filings would go down: Duh. For the three months after the law went into effect, filings were minimal compared to previous years. Many that would have filed anyway in 06, filed before the law changed. But filings have steadily increased. Even with increased costs, document burdens and longer preparation times, filings have already reached levels seen in 2000/2001 with no indication that they are leveling off. The current rate of increase, if maintained, will find filings near pre-BARF levels by the end of next year. There is still a strong perception that bankruptcy is no longer available...as that perception wears off, filings will grow faster.
Those that need bankruptcy will still be able to file: Many attorneys that filed bankruptcies before, have stopped. Fees have double in almost all areas (higher in some) and the filing fees and counseling fees have added to the burden of those least able to afford it. Too broke to go broke. Fewer attorneys, higher fees, higher costs, heavier burdens. This has fallen dis proportionally on those least able to afford it. It appears that 90% of bankruptcy filers are BELOW their states median income. The drop off in filings are right in this group.
Lenders would reduce interest rates: HA, HAHAHA, have you seen any reduction? Proponents said that easy bankruptcy added $400 to the cost of everyone. Apparently, only the lenders have benefited from the 'reduction' in this cost as across the board, profits have never been higher...except....
now. Foreclosures, defaults on mortgages, are creaming lenders. Bankruptcy might help debtors keep their homes and default on less mortgages, but bankruptcy is less available and those lenders involved in mortgages also are getting hammered. Many will file bankruptcy, because you see...the Reform Act of 2005, all but ignored Chapter 11 changes...
Welcome to the bankruptcy court lenders....attorney fees are paid first....
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
THIS is speaking truth to power.
Friday, September 28, 2007
Charlie's website is here . I have known Charlie for a number of years as his law practice and Victoria's have considerable overlap. I have also occasionally done administrative work for him. I have found him to be considerate and dedicated to his family, clients, staff and community.
Daily, sole practitioner attorneys often provide the type of legal assistance to the public that larger firms tout as their pro bono work. Unlike attorneys in large firms that 'specialize' in particular fields, sole practitioners have to be experienced in the broad range of issues facing individuals, families and small businesses today. A sole practitioner might have a father seeking custody, a wife seeking a divorce, someone seeking help dealing with a DUI, long time clients getting estate planning, couples buying or selling a home and a parent accused of neglect. Experience dealing with the many facets of the legal world is exactly the type of experience we need in judges.
Charlie's opponent was appointed to the position and has created a mess with opinions based not in law but in outcome. And, after the debacle of the last election (our most recent addition to the Supreme Court is facing serious ethics charges - raised during the run-up to the election but apparently ignored - that may cost her the seat she spent over a million dollars trying to win), we need someone that is not beholden to either the trial lawyers nor the corporations that donated millions to the election of a judge.
Please consider him as we move towards election day.
Most of you know that I am a conservative, especially in matters financial. Also, as many of you know, I am agnostic and in a long term lesbian relationship (14 years this Thanksgiving). This means that in some matters, I diverge from 'traditional' republican views. One of those is gay marriage. I am opposed to government getting involved in marriage. If the government is going to license the union of two adults, then discrimination is inappropriate. Marriage, as most view it, is a religious rite. I think churches and religions can make whatever rules they want about marriage and unions and the state should keep it's nose out of it. So, I have stood for civil unions, as long as everyone has a civil union and that 'contract' is the basis for government actions (property, custody, taxes....etc). We are not getting there.
The Mayor of San Diego made an announcement recently. After running against gay marriage, he was handed a resolution supporting it. Here was his press conference concerning his decision . I agree with him....please consider your own positions.
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
1- Why did the US media put you under so much pressure to prevent Mr. Ahmadinejad from delivering his speech at Columbia University? And why have American TV networks been broadcasting hours of news reports insulting our president while refusing to allow him the opportunity to respond? Is this not against the principle of freedom of speech?
First, because Mr. Ahmadinejad has insulted the United States repeatedly in the past. First as a ringleader in the unlawful kidnapping of Americans and holding them hostage in 1979-1980. Then, as a leader of a country that is actively supplying material assistance to terrorists in Iraq. Such a platform as a University is well above the respect that should be granted such a despicable person. Mr. Ahmadinejad had an opportunity to speak after Mr. Bollinger, that is all that was offered. No media outlet is required to carry opposing viewpoints or be forced to grant Mr. Ahmadinejad additional broadcast time because he wants it. He can purchase the time if he so chooses. THAT is free speech....you get what you pay for.
2- Why, in 1953, did the US administration overthrow the Iran's national government under Dr Mohammad Mosaddegh and go on to support the Shah's dictatorship?
As I was quick to bring up the past, let me offer an opinion here also. In 1952 and 53, Dr. Mosaddegh was rapidly approaching the communist principles supported by and encouraged by the Soviet Union. Such principles were a direct threat to the United States and given the geographic location of Iran, a security threat to oil supplies. Such a turn towards communism was simply not allowable. The choice was not made easily, nor accomplished well, but the result speaks for itself. Communism was/is a dangerous political/economic system both for the world in general and for the people suffering under it specifically. I am not suggesting the Iranian people were better off under the Shah, but they were better off than under a communist rule, even if they stupidly choose such a rule.
3- Why did the US support the blood-thirsty dictator Saddam Hussein during the 1980-88 Iraqi-imposed war on Iran, considering his reckless use of chemical weapons against Iranian soldiers defending their land and even against his own people?
First, Iran had openly declared war on the US, so of course we were going to support your enemies. Iran had shown no particular desire to adhere to international law, no reason for us to withhold support of someone fighting you. Dictators is what we did, because the alternative was communists. Easier to control one bonehead than an entire populace of boneheads. We admit it was not a good choice, but the alternative was empire building and multiple wars...Europe tried that for 300 years with no success...we have tried a different path with more success. And as for Hussein, we have now rectified that error...why are you not happy about that?
4- Why is the US putting pressure on the government elected by the majority of Palestinians in Gaza instead of officially recognizing it? And why does it oppose Iran 's proposal to resolve the 60-year-old Palestinian issue through a general referendum?
a) the people of Gaza continue to lob missiles into Israel. The 'elected' terrorists of Gaza seek to destroy Israel. Just because an election - even a completely fair, open and honest one - is held doesn't mean we accept the consequences of such an election. Gaza decided that they want to kill Jews and destroy Israel. They held an election to prove it. So WHAT? Mob rule isn't just or fair. As long as stupid people vote for stupid things, stupid elections will be ignored by more intelligent people. b) see a.
5- Why has the US military failed to find Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden even with all its advanced equipment? How do you justify the old friendship between the Bush and Bin Laden families and their cooperation on oil deals? How can you justify the Bush administration's efforts to disrupt investigations concerning the September 11 attacks?
a). Frankly, we could find and kill OBL if we acted like ...well, Muslims...indiscriminately killing anything that moves. We try to be more selective in our killing fields. That is why OBL and other muslim mufsid hid as women, hid with women and children. They have no honor, they engage in hirabah. b) We try to hold the people actually responsible for terrorism accountable, rather than their whole family. the Bin Laden family is quite large, no need to tar and feather all of them. Further, we do believe engagement is better than war when possible. When people have a stake in commerce, they are less likely to blow it up. c) I am uncertain what efforts you speak of....maybe it is the same type of investigations into the holocaust you are so fond of?
6- Why does the US administration support the Mujahedin Khalq Organization (MKO) despite the fact that the group has officially and openly accepted the responsibility for numerous deadly bombings and massacres in Iran and Iraq? Why does the US refuse to allow Iran 's current government to act against the MKO's main base in Iraq?
Freedom fighters are always in the eyes of the beholders eh? Your support of terrorists in Iraq is ok, but our support of terrorists in Iran is not. Awww...too bad. Also, given the reporting quality of Iranian media, I would be remiss if I didn't question "massacres"?
7- Was the US invasion of Iraq based on international consensus and did international institutions support it? What was the real purpose behind the invasion which has claimed hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives? Where are the weapons of mass destruction that the US claimed were being stockpiled in Iraq?
a) yes. UN support, multiple country support....I know you are not a big fan of research that actually deals with facts...but this one is pretty obvious. b) the real purpose was to provide the US military with sufficient bases and in place assets to attack you. We don't have the 'balls' to do it yet, but you are a people that keep giving! c) 177 tonnes of chemical weapons have been found. There are reports of massive movement of materials to Syria prior to our entrance into Iraq.
8- Why do America's closest allies in the Middle East come from extremely undemocratic governments with absolutist monarchical regimes?
Because the alternatives are extremely undemocratic governments with absolutist religious regimes hostile to non-muslim countries? Of course, ISRAEL is not a monarchy....nor is Turkey...or India...
9- Why did the US oppose the plan for a Middle East free of unconventional weapons in the recent session of the International Atomic Energy Agency Board of Governors despite the fact the move won the support of all members other than Israel?
When you outlaw the guns, only the outlaws will have guns. Right now, only Israel has unconventional weapons, though there are some states trying to get them. So the impact is not to prevent the weapons, but to disarm Israel. I know you THINK we are stupid, but...
10- Why is the US displeased with Iran's agreement with the IAEA and why does it openly oppose any progress in talks between Iran and the agency to resolve the nuclear issue under international law?
Because such agreements have worked out so well in the past! A lie is not deception if the person being lied to is deceptive, right? If your country actually lived up to the agreements it makes, we might be more open, however, your country has proved repeatedly that such agreements are worth exactly the paper they are written on.
Finally, we would like to express our readiness to invite you and other scientific delegations to our country. A trip to Iran would allow you and your colleagues to speak directly with Iranians from all walks of life including intellectuals and university scholars. You could then assess the realities of Iranian society without media censorship before making judgments about the Iranian nation and government.
Yes, but could we talk to your women and homosexuals?
Monday, September 24, 2007
Ok, maybe that is too hard. But someone from the Kos thinks she is actually turned on by the President of Iran DESPITE the fact that if she actually lived in Iran she would be killed out of hand for being lesbian...hello?
The Columbia faculty wants to hear from the President of Iran, but they don't want to actually LISTEN to him....because, you know....the President of Iran is for the genocide of Jews, the destruction of Israel, the murder (sorry the cleansing) of homosexuals and the destruction of the US....but he may just be 'posturing'.
The entire left wing of the American populace is like that kid in the insurance commercial when his dad, cleaning up the cornpuffs, asks his child (with the orange all over his face, hands and shirt) if he was responsible for the mess? No, is the response.
I am beginning to agree with the left. We brought the 9/11 hijackers down on ourselves. We invited them into this country and gave them our freedoms...none of the attendant responsibilities however and it appears we are going to continue to do so in the future. Columbia University said it would have invited Adolf Hitler had it the opportunity before Germany attacked Poland. You have to wonder how they would answer the question: if you could go back in time to just before WWII and kill Hitler, would you? It appears that many would say nope, they would join him in a lively conversation about how Jews were ruining the world and how French wine would taste with the veal.
Friday, September 14, 2007
THIS is what is driving the ARMS....and the FED has NO control over it....
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Monday, September 10, 2007
"Scientists studying global warming have been reluctant to specify any particular area as contributing more to global warming. Although quick to specify general classes of emitters of greenhouse gases such as factories and vehicles, no specific location has ever been identified. In a leaked report from the U.N., this reporter has learned of three specific hot spots that apparently are causing as much as 15% of all the global warming greenhouse gases. The report suggests that a strong effort be made to limit gases from these three areas. Further reductions for the rest of the world would be minimal. They are: an area just north of Los Angeles, mid-town Manhattan and Washington DC. A fourth, minor area in Belgium, appears to be contained but a significant contributor."
Link is not working but I would suggest holding their breaths until everyone else gets on board with greenhouse gas reductions...
Friday, September 07, 2007
Also, who else needs 72 virgins for sex but men so unschooled in sex that each new partner needs to be equally unschooled?
I recall someone once commenting that terrorists are less than 10% of the Muslim population. Seems to be a coincidence but I think it bears out my theory..
Muslim jihadists are gay.
1. It costs more to produce than gasoline
2. It takes more ethanol than gasoline for a car to travel each mile
3. It takes 1.5 gallons of gasoline to make 1 gallon of ethanol
4. It uses more water than gasoline to produce
5. It uses food resources to produce - increasing the cost of foodstuffs
6. It relies heavily on corn - corn is more water intensive and requires more fertilizers (made from petroleum products)
7. It is only cost viable with government subsidies - subsidies on the production side not capital side so an increase in volume equals and increase in subsidy costs
8. Less corn food production means higher prices for just about everything sweet
Ethanol means higher gas prices, lower fuel economies, higher food costs and higher government spending.
We have built more ethanol refineries in the last 5 years than oil refineries in the last 30.
We could replace ALL middle east oil if we opened all restricted American fields (Alaska, California and Florida coastlines)
Thursday, September 06, 2007
When a person files bankruptcy, contracts can be modified or eliminated EXCEPT for the mortgage of the debtor's primary residence. If this portion of the law were changed to allow the interest rate to be frozen during the bankruptcy proceedings, three things could happen:
1. Only those people that need the help would get the help - means tested provisions of bankruptcy;
2. Only those people that are facing the loss of their primary residence would get help (investors would be out of luck);
3. Debtors would get assistance getting the rest of their debt situation straightened out so that when they came out of bankruptcy and the mortgage would resume it's normal rate of interest, they would be in better financial shape to handle it.
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
Finally, did you know that almost without exception, ARMs will reset to rate OVER 10%, in many cases as high as 12 or 13%
Inflation is 2-3%......not a bad spread on a secured loan.
We booked the vacation on Thursday and spent most of Friday trying to tie up loose ends. We drove to my parents in Chicago on Friday evening, arriving around 8. My mother was nice enough to get up at 5am to drive us to the airport (10 minutes away). We checked in and worked our way through security. CJ said that the TSA people were nice but treated us like cattle! I thought they were efficient, professional and polite and I thanked them for their work. After putting on our sandals again(!), we headed for the gate. The plane boarded and took off on time. The flight was enjoyable and CJ took some great pictures.
We arrived in Southern California at 9am local and picked up our car (2006 Dodge Charger - big car, 24-26mpg). Instead of heading for the hotel (in Calabasas), we headed to Palm Springs. Lunch was pizza and cost almost $40! A drive over the mountains and Riverside County was enjoyable - especially the short rain, the only rain we would encounter the entire time there.
We headed for the hotel and arrived just after check in time. We stayed at the Good Nite Inn at the Malibu Canyon exit of the 101. We had found this hotel several years ago and found it both nice and convenient. A little more wandering and we stopped at a grocery store to pick up some supplies. One item: orange juice. Victoria's diabetes responds well to OJ if she gets a little low on sugar and we always keep some on hand. It only cost $10 for 1/2 gallon - we didn't notice until after we returned to the room.
Sunday we went to Santa Barbara. Victoria wants to consider this town as a possible retirement spot. We decided to stop in at an open house to get a feel for prices and the types of homes available. We found one in a nice, average neighborhood, far from the beach and hills. 1100 sq feet, 3 bedrooms, 1 1/2 baths. 6k sq ft lot. Nice backyard, nothing special, small patio, local plants. $1,295,000.
Yep. $1.3 million dollars. We found an older home, less "upgrades", corner lot about the same size also 3 bedrooms, 2 baths for $880,000. Realtor said the children of the owner who had just moved to a nursing home had lowered the price for a 'quick sale'.
The last house we saw was near the high school Victoria had found that had excellent student results and test scores. CJ loved the house. Nice upgrades (cabinets, floors, counters) but still only about 1200 sq feet, 6k lot and 3 bedrooms, 2 baths. $875,000.
We knew that California prices for real estate were going to be higher but...
On Saturday, we stopped in Rancho California for ice cream. I picked up the local paper and looked in the Real Estate section. I lived just 10 minutes north of there 25 years ago when Rancho California had just over 5k people, one little strip center, Winchester still had wood side walks and Temecula was a couple of thousand people, mostly ranches and Callaway Vineyards. Today there are over 180,000 people in the area. Of the 3 pages of real estate, one had a half page ad listing 20 homes. Every single home was for more than $500,000 and every single home was bank owned.
The realtor in Santa Barbara had been talking to others at the open house complaining that the media was blowing the foreclosure issue way out of proportion. We don't think so...
Monday we spent the day (mostly) at the beach in Malibu!! The water was COLD! But we had a good time. Tuesday we traveled around, including stopping at UCLA for a t-shirt for Victoria. Wednesday we did a little beach time and some more wandering in Santa Barbara. First stop was UCSB for a t-shirt and we then stopped by every home listed for sale in the Sunday home guide in Goleta (a suburb! of Santa Barbara and home to the high school). Nothing was less than $600,000.
Thursday was another beach day. We spent most of it in Laguna Nigel in south Orange County. If it were possible, the water was colder! Later, we headed south and found a great beach at Torrey Pines State Park just north of San Diego. The water was warmer, the beach was great sand and the waves were great. Too bad we didn't get there til 6:30pm. CJ got a great sunset picture.
Friday was a free day. I suggested a quick trip to the mountains and Victoria suggested a return trip to Torrey Pines. We headed for Mount Wilson and a great view of the valley. Unfortunately, on the way back down I hit a rock from a small rock slide. I didn't know it then, but it either damaged the oil filter or punched a small hole in the oil pan. We found it later in Palmdale when I stopped for gas and the oil just flowed from under the car. We found a Barnes and Noble nearby, called the rental car (Dollar) roadside service and they said they would get a replacement to us in a couple of hours. It was 1pm. 2pm. 3pm. 4pm. 5pm - hey, where is the replacement car? 20 more minutes was the reply.... 5:30pm, 6pm...finally. Dodge Magnum. Too late to finish the mountain trip, too late for the beach...we went back to the hotel disappointed. We did our laundry and packed up.
Saturday. This was check out day, but our plane was not due to leave til 12:25am on Sunday. Victoria suggested Torrey Pines, I wanted to hit Ojai (our target for Friday). I got lost and it took us 2 hours to get there instead of 1. It took us an extra 45 minutes to get out of there because I started back the wrong way! Three hours later we were in a traffic jam just in San Diego county. I got off the freeway 5 miles north of Torrey Pines and wasted 45 minutes getting there using the ocean highway....we arrived at Torrey Pines at 6:45. I got a little time in the surf, CJ got another picture of the sunset and Victoria didn't get any time in the water. It was a complete BUST. My fault. I should have just ignored the Ojai jaunt and headed for the beach.... We traveled up to the airport, dropping off the car at 10:30.
At Midway Airport in Chicago, there was free wireless internet...no such thing at Ontario in California. We boarded the plane on time, there were extra open seats to do a little stretching out on, but the plane was 30 minutes late leaving - maintenance paperwork...
We arrived in Chicago at 6am and caught a cab to my parents. We all crashed...quietly.
We put almost 1800 miles on the rental, we averaged 25 mpg and paid an average of 2.75/gal.
The airfare cost us just over $200 each, roundtrip, with all the extra fees. The hotel was about $85 a night. Not an expensive week all things considered. We relaxed. The average daytime temperature at the hotel was over 100 the entire week. The beaches were considerably cooler. Bad storms hit on Friday but missed us.
CJ took almost 150 pictures on our new 7 mega pixel camera and both of us got some nice tanning (Victoria uses lots of sunscreen and avoids a lot of exposure!)
How was your summer?
Sunday, August 19, 2007
When is someone in Washington going to learn/listen/realize that the loss of the Republicans in 2006 came about because of three factors, two minor, one major: one|minor: corruption. Every conservative expects democrats to be corrupt, we just hope it will be of the minor, personal kind. We don't expect the conservatives to be corrupt - except for the hypocrisy of sexual misdeeds. Cunningham was just so over the top... two|minor: pork. Every thinking person knows a politician is going to bring home some pork for his/her district. New highway, big contract - lots of jobs...good pork. No one wants 5 million for someones back yard museum that no one is going to visit...you know, a million here, a billion there...soon it is real money and the "conservatives" seemed interested in only real money pork. And then there was
three|major: immigration. How in the hell ANYONE can think that immigration reform as proposed was a good idea I'll never know. And it only got worse. John McCain has lost any chance of being president with his support of the reform this spring. Of all the stupid, dangerous and corrupt ideas to come out of Washington....
THE IRAQ WAR DID NOT COST THE REPUBLICANS THE CONGRESS: The republican congress cost the republicans the Congress. When a current presidential candidate realizes this and actually begins to say it in his campaign, THEN we have a candidate, and not a day sooner.
Monday, August 13, 2007
For their population, blacks have too much influence. Liberals have allowed blacks to play the victim card for so long that blacks believe they have a right, and the rest of us have an obligation to compensate them for every perceived ill falling on them.
1/2 of all murders caused by black men. Despite the fact that the majority of those murders are in fact against other blacks is IRRELEVANT. What kind of crap is that? 5% of the population is causing 1/2 the murders? I read recently that 70% of all births to black women are to unwed women. The men are either cowards, or boys with dicks too large for the minuscule balls attached to them.
NASA has issued revised numbers for climate temperatures. The revision effectively eliminates global temperatures as an argument for global warming. However, even though there might be something to it, I want an answer the following questions: 1) how many weather stations are there in a: the Sahara desert; the Gobi desert, the Siberian tundra, the Amazon; b) the United States, China, India, Russia, Mexico; c) the Canary Islands, the Hawaiian Islands, the Philippines; the Falklands; Madagascar. 2) how many weather stations are within 1000 yds of a parking lot, an air conditioned building, paved roads, manicured lawns; 3) how many weather stations have been operating for more than 10 years, 20 years, 50 years.
Don't give me shit about core samples unless you can tell me how much precipitation has fallen annually for each year the core sample represents and how much that differed from average.
Finally, assuming for just a second that you can prove even the slightest increase in temperatures, tell me what temperature is the CORRECT temperature for Earth...so that we know if we are cooler or warmer than that number....please make sure you have as much "scientific evidence" for your assertion of the "CORRECT" temperature as you do for the "fact" that we are currently --warming--.
Right now, today, only one person has a chance of getting the Democratic nomination for president....Mrs. William Jefferson Clinton. As many, if not most Democrats think that Willy was the second coming....it appears most democrats have decided that they are ok with the first husband getting regular bjs....from just about anything walking over the age of 18 ....because at least it won't happen in the Oval Office anymore.
Right now, today, only two people have a chance of getting the Republican nomination for President, and one of the two stands as much chance as someone getting a snowball off at Tiger Woods this past weekend. Giuliani is the most likely, but in order to do it, the far right of the republican base will have to prove they can be just as pathetic as the democrats. A 50 something man takes advantage of a 20-something intern and the democrats practically fall over themselves to claim such an event as consent between two adults thereby erasing 30 years of getting people to see such an event as at least sexual harassment Republicans will be falling all over themselves making excuses for someone that 1) has been married three times and 2) moved his mistress into his home prior to the last divorce.....yea, family values all over that one.
If the democrats are suffering from BDS, it can equally be said that republicans are suffering from CDS.
Frankly, I doubt the country would be in worse shape if we just ignored everyone currently running (or thinking of running: Gore, Thompson, Gingrich) and picked someone out of a phone book.
I think the Fed (and the central bank of Germany, France, Japan and the UK) should just let the stupids that loaned money to the stupids that agreed to take them each suffer their fates. We recently had clients that make 30k a year NET come in to try and save their home....the mortgage payment of which was 26k a year. They had the same income when they got the loan several years ago. Can ANYONE justify such blatant stupidity? I can't get a credit card but some moron thinks a $1200 a month mortgage is ok for someone making 8.75 an hour?
In the early 80's in California, people were getting 2nd, 3rd and 4th mortgages (all with 1 or 2 year balloons) because property values were rising at 5 and 6% A WEEK. DUH. If you think anything is different in Florida, Nevada, California or Arizona over the last 5 years, you'd be wrong, it's worse.
Wait till people start realizing the IRS treats a foreclosure AS INCOME to the poor saps that lost their home...can you say tax burden?
Mainstream Press couldn't tell a story from a fable if it hit them square in the face. Did you know that Obama's #1 best buddy, mentor and supporter is under indictment? NO? Really...
Did you know that the average corporal in Iraq is a bigger asshole than the majority of major league sports figures? Really, apparently war does that to you....but I don't remember Bonds or Vick serving....
Can you name me ONE national media person who you DON'T know which party they support?
Does anyone believe that rap should have a first amendment right to call for the killing or raping of anyone? Really? what do you think I THINK?
Lastly: how many of you with internet access at work have viewed at least ONE youtube video in the last 4 weeks at work?
You're part of the problem too....
Addendum: Consensus among scientists
I don't give a shite if every single scientist on the planet THINKS global warming is real; I don't give a shite if every single scientist on the planet BELIEVES global warming is real; I don't even give a shite if every single scientist on the planet AGREES global warming is real; because until 2 different scientists, using proven objective data, and verifiable scientific methods PROVES that the Earth is warming, every thought, belief and agreement is exactly what you would expect coming from assholes, shite.
Friday, June 15, 2007
Frankly, absent a political job, most of the candidates couldn't get hired at Burger King. Mitt might be the exception to the rule.
Let us look at two issues: immigration and global warming. First, immigration. If ANY of the supporters of the current immigration bill would spend one day talking to people that actually, legally, immigrated to the United States in the 50s or 60's - like my parents - they would know that those people are overwhelmingly PISSED at the current bill. I have supported immigration since I was old enough to understand it. My parents benefited, as I have, from their presence here. However, they spent years working on getting citizenship. All they/we see now is a large group of people that think they deserve citizenship and their enablers.
If someone broke into a health club and said they just wanted to get fit, does anyone think the club owners would just say "Well of course, here is a membership, on us!"
Bally's reported today that 47 people caught breaking into their facilities would receive free memberships. Police applauded the move as a reasonable accommodation for people that had no where else to turn. Representative Dufus from the local district released a statement calling for police to stop weighing anyone accused of a crime. Bally's stated the memberships were warranted as no one else would sign up for them anymore.....Global warming: Mars has warmed up about as much as the Earth over the last 20 years. I keep hearing that said in debates about global warming but it seems the only ones listening to it, are those saying it.
Fine, conceded, we are warmer now than 20 years ago. SO WHAT? It doesn't mean anything. Certainly not global catastrophe. I don't care what ANYONE says about climate change UNLESS they can tell me exactly what the impact on PLANT life will be in a warmer world. Because, frankly, we are at the top of the food chain and if warming HELPS the bottom of the food chain, we are going to be much better off.
And, will the people in the developed nations please get a life. Any more egocentric and I am going to start a mirror factory. The carbon footprint of the majority of the people of the world looks like a footprint in the dirt BECAUSE IT IS A FOOTPRINT IN THE DIRT. We can reduce carbon dioxide emissions dramatically if we just eliminated...oh.....4 billion people? You know...the increase in the population over the last 100 years?
We have been having really great weather here the last week or so. I have been able to spend evenings on the deck looking up at the stars. There appear to be about 12 people on the planet like me....do they all think like I do that given the UNIVERSE, we are acting like a bunch of ants?
Thursday, May 03, 2007
A long time ago, living in another state, I had the audacity to send a letter to my Senator. Adlai Stevenson was his name. In it, I voiced my opinion on a topic that I disagreed with the Senator on. I received a nice reply, first acknowledging our disagreement, then stating the reasons for his position. He further appreciated that I understood that he represented all of the people of Illinois, not just me or those that disagreed with me. It was a great personal letter, from a great Senator, to a young constituent.
Recently, I sent a similar email to you. We had met in person on Palm Sunday and had a nice, simple conversation. I wanted to let you know that although there were a large number of people in Wisconsin that agreed with many of your positions, particularly on Iraq, that there were constituents that did not agree.
What I received in return about 2 weeks later was a canned response, reproduced and commented on below. A four sentence personal response from you would have taken 1 minute of your precious time. I realize you represent several million people and that you probably receive thousands of emails/letters. Your response to me reminds me of the movie character Scrooged played by Bill Murray and I hope at some time you might have a similar awakening.
Really? Did you even see my email? Did it rise to the top of your staff's list of things to discuss with you during your busy schedule? I doubt it.
Dear Ms. Coyle,
Thank you for contacting me regarding the war in Iraq. I
appreciate hearing from you about one of the most important issues
facing our country today.
I strongly support our troops who have courageously answered the
call to service, but I remain deeply concerned that the President's
policies in Iraq are undermining our top national security priority:
fighting al Qaeda and its affiliates that attacked our country on
September 11, 2001. In October 2002, I voted against the
resolution authorizing the President to use force in Iraq because I
questioned the shifting justifications for this mission and feared
that it would weaken our capacity to combat terrorism.
Sir, your support of our troops is nothing more than lip-service. You fail to understand the nature of their mission. You question their very effort. You ignore the proclamations of the very terrorists you claim to be against. Iraq is the front line on the war on terror. Is there any doubt that terrorists are involved when the vast majority of deaths occurring in Iraq are civilian, caused by car bombs and suicide bombers? By your own words, you have been actively opposed to military involvement in Iraq since 2002. What sir is an appropriate use of our military? For almost 10 years Iraq was shooting at our aircraft patrolling the No-Fly zones with little fear of reprisal. For over 20 years, Iraq murdered it's own citizens. For over 10 years, Iraq manipulated UN sanctions. For over 10 years, Iraq maintained its ability to resume chemical, biological and nuclear programs, waiting for the day sanctions ended. A day that was fast approaching. Finally, Iraq openly supported terrorists in other parts of the world - specifically sending money to the families of suicide bombers in Israel. Iraq had attacked two neighbors in 10 years. A threat sir?
Since the war began, I have repeatedly pressed the AdministrationWhat you have demanded was a program for retreat. There is no "clear strategy for success". Such a childish notion about something as impossible to predict as WAR is beneath your apparent ability or it suggests a level of dis ingeniousness unbecoming a United States Senator. Your characterization that the military mission is "misguided" suggests that you think Iraq would have been better off left alone. What a pleasant prospect for millions of Iraqis.
to provide a clear strategy for success in Iraq and a strategy for
defeating the global terrorist networks that threaten the United
States. Unfortunately, the Administration continues to pursue a
misguided and open-ended military mission in Iraq that has
diverted resources and attention from other places around the
world where terrorist networks that threaten the U.S. are operating.
I am deeply concerned by the President's decision in January to
increase troop levels in Iraq, which ignores the wishes of the
American people and members of both parties.
What other places around the world would you send our troops to Senator? Darfur? Malasyia? Afghanistan? Great Britain? Spain? How about Venezuela? WHERE Senator are terrorist networks threatening the US other than where they stand toe to toe with our soldiers?
Since when should a war be fought using polls? What constitutional section gives the populace operational control over the deployment of the troops? What constitutional section gives the CONGRESS operational control over the deployment of the troops? When do you think it is supporting the troops to demand their retreat, not because they are failing on the battlefield, but because it has become unpopular at home?
NO ONE LIKES WAR. Everyone would like it to end. It ends however not when we leave, but when the enemy surrenders or dies. Taking our troops from Iraq will not end the bloodshed in Iraq, it will only increase it. Taking our troops from Iraq will not placate terrorists, only embolden them. Taking our troops from Iraq and sending them....where? will not strengthen our forces, only demoralize them.
I am working to bring an end to our involvement in this war. ISir, unless you have some ability to negotiate on the behalf of the United States with the terrorists, your efforts to bring an end to our involvement in this war is nothing more than politics, and may be something much more dangerous. Where did you, when did you, introduce legislation calling on the terrorists to stop blowing up children? When were you on the Senate floor calling for Muslims to rise up against fanatics in their religion?
recently introduced legislation with Senate Majority Leader Harry
Reid (D-NV) and eight other Senators to safely redeploy United
States troops from Iraq. Our bill would require the President to
begin redeploying troops within 120 days and would require
redeployment to be completed by March 31, 2008, with three
Senator, what is the purpose of our military? Do you even understand their role? Our troops are not supposed to be safe on bases far from battle. They are supposed to be killing those that kill others. They are supposed to be on the front line. And Senator, can you please point out where in the Constitution you and your fellow Senators have any role dictating to the President operational control of troops on the battlefield?
You may also be interested to know that on
April 26, 2007, I voted for H.R. 1591, the fiscal year 2007
emergency supplemental bill. I was pleased that this bill included
binding language that will effectively end the current misguided
military mission in Iraq and require the President to begin
redeploying U.S. troops from Iraq in 120 days. I encourage you to
visit my website for a more detailed account of my work on Iraq at
The "misguided military mission". How does this position support the troops? What you apparently mean by support is to protect the little boys and girls from getting hurt by the bad mens killing civilians in Iraq. I am sure the troops are flattered by your compassion. Your efforts on behalf of the civilians in Iraq is equally appreciated by them, I'm sure.
Your continued support is doing more damage to our troops than your ignorance of them, so if you don't mind, please stop supporting the troops. With support like yours, terrorists will soon have an open field in which to ply their trade.
I am also working hard to help ensure effective oversight and
accountability for reconstruction efforts in Iraq. The economic
costs of this war have been staggering, and I am dismayed that we
are running up debts to pay for this war that the next generation of
Americans will be called upon to pay. I continue to push for
accountability and transparency in the use of taxpayer money in
Iraq. I led efforts to create and then extend the life of the Special
Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR), whose office is
charged with making sure that U.S. reconstruction dollars in Iraq
are not subject to waste, fraud or abuse.
Why not spend your time working on effective oversight and accountability for reconstruction efforts in NEW ORLEANS? At least there, we have some control over the land...as you know...it actually belongs to us. How about pushing for accountability and transparency in congressional spending bills?
As a member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, the
Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and the Senate
Committee on the Budget, I will continue to work to end our
involvement in this war. Thanks again for contacting me about
this extremely important issue. I look forward to hearing from you
in the future.
As a member of those two important committees, I am concerned that your stated positions are doing more to undermine our country than help it. I am sure you believe you are acting responsibly and in a manner you think is consistent with the best interests of this country. But if your response to my email is any indication, you are as impotent as the rest of the political class. Frankly, I would appreciate your actions be more consistent with the senior Senator of Wisconsin: you know, more seen, less heard Kohl.
Oh, I am sure you will not be looking forward to any more missives from me.
Not so sincerely this time,