Behind the lines …

Ronald Reagan, possibly in some folks minds, the absolute best president that the American people have ever had (endured), used to say, “Ask yourself.  Are you any better off now, than you were four years ago?” And the obvious answer would be … “No.”

The economy is in worse shape than the numbers show. When you look at the macro numbers, you fail to look at where all the positives have gone, which is the top 1 or 5 percent.  Between 2001 and and 2007 – this was before the recession – incomes went down $1,000 for the average family. But buying power went down $9,000, if you include college tuition for families with tuition.

So the average family was living at a level of $47,000 in 2001, and is living at a level of $38,000 in 2007. It’s worse now, obviously. So for the average middle-class person, it’s not just, “Oh, things aren’t great.”

Things are tough.

According to recent polls, most Americans point to the economy as the top issue they’re concerned about. Obama’s Grecian or Roman backdrop at the convention doesn’t appear on the list of concerns.  This is what he doesn’t get. He’s busy talking about I don’t know – the marble columns in Invesco [Field]. When people are feeling pretty good about things, they like that kind of stuff: “Oh that’s fun; Barack Obama’s an emperor.” When people are hurting, it doesn’t work. This dog and pony show doesn’t mean anything to those amongst us that are in dire straights.

Day #3 of Democratic convention drew more than 24 million viewers, Neilsen reports, “More than 24 million people watched the third night of the 2008 Democratic National Convention – a 7.5% decrease from 26 million viewers on day two of the convention. … In comparison to day three of the 2004 convention, which drew almost 18 million viewers, the audience for day three of the 2008 convention was still significantly larger (up by a third to 24 million viewers).”

I asked my neighbor, “You watch the Convention?” and he replied, “No.  I have seen those bastards lie to me before.” Or in other words, “I don’t know what apathy is, and I really don’t care.”

Things are going rather well on this train wreck we call the Bush Administration.  A new KBR lawsuit alleges “slavery.”  First it was outright lying, thieving on contracts (no bid contracts by the way), then allegations of rape, now we have kidnapping and slavery to add to the list.

A Washington law firm filed a lawsuit yesterday against Iraq contractor KBR, “alleging that the company and its Jordanian subcontractor engaged in the human trafficking of Nepali workers,” the Washington Post reported today. The suit states that 13 Nepali men were recruited for kitchen work in Jordan only to have their passports seized upon arrival and “told they were being sent to a military facility in Iraq.” TPM Muckraker notes that the complaint calls these actions “slavery“:

The suit alleges:  Defendants’ actions as set forth above constitute the torts of trafficking in persons, involuntary servitude, forced labor, and slavery. Trafficking in persons in a modern day form of slavery, and along with involuntary servitude and forced labor constitutes a tort in violation of the law of nations and/or in violation of treaties of the United States.

Something else for us to be proud of … And we wonder why the rest of the world hates us?

The Generals are speaking out.  When you are in the military you are told (warned) to not make a statement about anything concerning the government.  That you do NOT have an opinion as long as you are in service to your country.  Afterward, when you are retired then you can have an opinion.  As in the times of Rome, the Generals are starting to murmur and they speak in terms unflattering to the Emperor.  More …

John Hagee Ministries was contacted this week to see if erstwhile, big time John McCain endorser Rev. Hagee saw the Lord’s hand in reports that President Bush might not speak at the Republican National Convention on Monday because of Tropical Storm Gustav.

If you remember, back in 2006, Hagee declared that “Hurricane Katrina was, in fact, the judgment of God against the city of New Orleans.” Hagee said that “New Orleans had a level of sin that was offensive to God,” because “there was to be a homosexual parade there on the Monday that the Katrina came.”

So naturally someone thought of calling the good  Rev. Hagee’s ministry to inquire.

A spokesperson, Kara Silverman, was asked Gustav’s possible impact on the Republican National Convention might be seen as punishment against Republicans for their not having done enough to combat the “homosexual agenda,” or whether this storm could be attributed to some other target of divine wrath.

Ms. Silverman said Hagee had “no comment.”

Finally in all this mess, we find someone with a modicum of intelligence.

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“This material [cartoon] was published by the Center for American Progress” (online)

Two Down … One More To Go.

“Although there were signs that its fall was imminent, the empire managed to stave Gotterdammerung for another two-hundred years.”

The Olympics wrapped up and now all the Chinese have to figure out, is how to pay for it all.  All the pageantry and the splendor, isn’t cheap, most countries that host the games end up with a huge tab when it is over.  Olympic games tend to cost an exorbitant amount of money.

The Democrats have concluded the speechifying, glorifying, and pontificating of their chosen hero’s or whatever reasonable facsimile of one, they could dredge up from the gene pool.  The fodder-rall is over in Denver with some noted casualties in the fray.

I hear that Bill Clinton got the loudest applause and roar from the crowd when he said the words “In Conclusion” at the end of his speech the other night.  Bill and Joe Biden seem to be running neck and neck on the verbosity issue, Clinton in the lead, and Biden speaking not in sentences, but rather paragraphs.

I don’t understand why Bill gets all this attention by the media and the Democrats, he has had his day in the sun.

Obammer was talking “Capital Gains Tax” again this week, which is nice, kind of like oatmeal for the masses, but let’s face it, this strategy doesn’t produce one gallon of gasoline, one barrel of oil.  This will do nothing but anger the beast.  You can try and teach a pig to sing, but it will not work, and all it does is irritate the pig.

Another energy genie was there.

Albert Gore has a plan, but his plan takes some ten years to get going, which isn’t going to provide any kind of immediate relief for our dilemma.  And don’t forget the other mover and shaker, T. Boone Pickens, working the room and glad handing those in charge of the federal purse strings.

He finally let the cat out of the bag on what he is really up to.  He says that we need to build a totally new power-grid in this country, and where do you suppose would be the first place that it would hook up?  And who do you suppose he wants to pay for it?

Is it just me or have you noticed, that no one seems to bring up the subject of our refining deficit, why is it no one wants to build a refinery or at best, even talk about it?

The people of the United States deserve a coherent energy policy, a policy that will offer them a future free from dangerous dependence on foreign oil.  We are now sucking down roughly 12 million barrels a day, to put it in the proper prospective.  Saudi Arabia pumps about 9 million barrels per day.  No one, can sustain levels like these.

Man, got my electric bill yesterday, all this hot weather, my tendency to sleep in a cool house at night, really adds up at the end of the month.  Across the nation electric rate hikes are on the move, at least seven states this week announced rate hikes of 20% or better.  The TVA (Tennessee Valley Authority) said the hike will raise about $2 billion and is expected to be passed on to about 8.8 million rate consumers.  They are blaming the high cost of fuel, and a three year drought that has lowered hydroelectric water levels.

Wonder what it is going to be like when everyone starts plugging in their electric cars?

Yesterday I commented on a poop shooter in Ohio that got fed a hand grenade for lunch.  Today it is a poop shooter seat auction in Lucas, Kansas.  An art gallery is hosting a show and benefit auction of toilet seats to raise funds for a new public restroom.  The Great Toilet Seat Art Show at the “Flyin’ Pig Studio and Gallery” will be held Saturday during the town’s annual Apple Festival.

Sounds like a fun place to take a date.  B.Y.O.P (Bring Your Own Paper)  Don’t forget your digital camera so we can post the photographs later on in the week.  I wonder if they will have “Sunday On The Pot With George” a painting in pointillist style (made up of dots) depicting a heavy man wearing only his underpants, sitting on a toilet.

One reviewer called the work “the single most memorable artistic experience in my life …   a bit like my recent  bout with shingles.”

Ralph Stephens in Virginia Beach is a happy camper this day.  He has won the $100,000 Jackpot in Virginia’s Lottery Cash 5 game three times.  He won on August 3rd of this year, in 1997, and repeated in 2007.  Last night we only had two numbers, not exactly collateral for a new house or a trip to Barbados.  But I believe I know why it is that we are not winning.

You see, they just don’t give you enough time “to wish upon the numbers” they are rolling them too fast.

You want paper or plastic?  Consumers seem to be slippin’ back into their old habits.  Plastic is being used more than cash (paper).  Some customers are using credit cards more often.  What their cards are buying:  Gas 70%, food groceries 67%, clothing 51%, Leisure activities 50% and health care 24%.

One more convention to suffer through and we will be done with it for awhile.

Then we can go back to the “good old days.”  Sit back and take it easy, until November and then finally put it to rest.  Ah … The Good Ol’ Days … When can we go back to wasteful consumerism fueled by reckless borrowing against our children’s’ uncertain future.

Is this a great country or what?

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“The above material [cartoon] was published by the Center for American Progress” (online)

Kiss Me I Am Thirsty

Learning all kinds of new words this year, playcation, staycation, Obamma Amerikuh, and now this.  Poly-Amorous (Bi-Sexual) leave it to a shrink to come up with something as ludicrous as this.

Here I have one for you:  Dopeler effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly. (Also known as the O’Reilly effect)

And now we have Poly-Amorous, give me a break.

Listen to this summer’s monster hit song, “I Kissed a Girl” by Katy Perry. It’s an international phenomenon — topping the charts all summer in America, Canada, Australia and Great Britain. I kissed a girl and I liked it, The taste of her cherry chapstick, I kissed a girl just to try it, I hope my boyfriend don’t mind it. It felt so wrong, it felt so right. Now imagine that you hear that your 18-year-old daughter was kissing another girl at a party last weekend. What races through your mind?

“O my gosh, she’s exploring same-sex attractions.

She must be a lesbian.”

You remember the “Love Generation?”  We were that generation, the Baby Boomers who like to believe that we established and formed the definitions on the sexual revolution.  I always found that amusing, sexual revolution, I mean at the time, “I wasn’t fighting anyone on it.”

Now days we have the media and other groups telling us that being gay is pre-programmed from birth.  But girls kissing girls isn’t necessary a lesbian attitude.  Salon.com recently ran a survey on it and most of the girls said that “they just kissed each other to get a free beer at a party or on a dare from the guys.”

Taking it one step further, I suppose it is a way to signal to males that they are “sexually open and adventurous. It was like, look, I’m the center of attention!” recalled one 16-year-old.

When I was sixteen the only advice my parents gave me was to “never go drinking with a guy named Chug-A-Lug” I would not have been prepared for this at all.

Stoopid crooks:  During an escape attempt, an inmate at the county jail in St. Charles, Missouri, ran into the prison’s parking garage and headed for an open door marked “fire exit.”  Sensing that freedom was about to be his, he turned around and gave the approaching deputies a one-finger salute, and dashed thru the door … running smack into the brick wall behind it.  Deputies took the unconscious man to a nearby hospital.

Home-made Exxon … Brew your own  … Impress your neighbors!

Fumes from chemicals used to make bio-diesel fuel reacted with cleaning fluid, caused an explosion early Sunday morning at an Arizona home. The homeowner told investigators he was making the alternative fuel in his garage as a way to save money, an up-and-coming trend that may lead to future catastrophes if not done correctly.

The most likely cause for the fire was spontaneous combustion that had resulted after heat was exchanged between a used rag and a cleaning solvent inside a plastic bucket.  That was aggravated when vapors from a drum of ethanol met with the rag, causing an explosion.  And of course, the brewing of chemicals by some guy who never had his science project done on time. We have basically the same problem here in Oklahoma every winter, when Okies try and lite up their gas heaters with kitchen matches.

One more and then I am outta here.  It has to be true … I mean … “I read it on the Internet!”

If you are the person who flushed a grenade down the ol’ poop-shooter in Xenia, Ohio, the people that work at the sewage plant and I suppose, the local cops, want to talk to you.  Workers found what they believe was a vintage WWII grenade there recently.

A disposal unit from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base came to the plant to examine the grenade.  “They came over and looked at it, X-rayed it. It was probably World War II vintage,” City spokesperson, Leaming said.  He said the X-ray revealed what looked like dirt inside, but they couldn’t be sure there was no black powder left, so the crew detonated it on site, using explosives they had brought.

Xenia City Manager Jim Percival said the grenade came out of a machine used to vacuum the sewers.  “You get a little bit of everything there,” Percival said. “Nothing that comes through the sewers would surprise me.”  Read the entire Grenade Article by Staff Writer Jeremy P Kelly here.

Now when I was in the tenth grade we flushed some cherry bombs down the commode at the local high school, but this takes it to a whole new level. “If you are in the Dayton, Xenia area of Ohio, I would check the stool before I sit down.”

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Early Morning Musings From A Red State.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:  “Anybody who wants the presidency so much that he’ll spend two years organizing and campaigning for it is not to be trusted with the office.”

So Obammer chooses Joe Biden, where is the change in that?  A career politician, 36 years and still going, who gives long winded speeches, using his or other people’s thoughts and words?

The new “Obamma America.”

This week I received an email from Ireland to the brethren in the States…a point to ponder despite your political affiliation:  ‘We, in Ireland, can’t figure out why people are even bothering to hold an election in the United States this year.

On one side, you have a pants wearing woman lawyer, married to a lawyer who can’t keep his pants on, who just lost a long and heated primary that they still  haven’t paid for yet, against a lawyer who states he is ‘black’ when it is  documented that he is only 12% ‘black’, who goes to the wrong church, who has  stated that he wants his countrymen to learn to speak Spanish rather than English, who refuses to put his hand over his heart and say the pledge of allegiance or wear the flag of the country he wants to run, who can’t remember if there are 50 or 57 states in his own country, who is married to yet another lawyer who doesn’t even like the country her husband wants to run.

Now…On the other side, you have a nice old war hero whose name starts with the appropriate ‘Mc’ terminology married to a good looking younger woman who owns a beer distributorship.  What in Lord’s name are ye lads thinking over there?

Unfortunately, it is not that easy nor is it all that cut and dried … Politics is not the art of the possible.  It consists in choosing between the disastrous and the unpalatable.  Put these two in charge of the Sahara Desert it will eventually run out of sand.

Amtrak train bound for San Diego ran out of fuel over the weekend.  It was the little engine that couldn’t. A quick train trip down the coast turned into a long haul for dozens of stranded Amtrak passengers when their train from Los Angeles to San Diego ran out of fuel over the weekend.  The train sat for about two hours in the Sorrento Valley neighborhood in northern San Diego before another engine came along to push it to its final destination.

It arrived early Monday morning. The Local Trainmaster said a train running out of fuel is “an unusual occurrence” and Amtrak officials will be looking into how it happened later Monday.  AMTRAK is a “government run entity” in case you didn’t know.

I used to work on a railroad and often my duties were to ride or work the Santa Fe Chief Passenger train that ran from Chicago to Dallas.  On one particular day a brakeman got into a bit of predicament with a lady passenger and her baby.  During the course of the conversation he had mentioned that “her baby was the ugliest baby that he had ever seen” aboard a train.

Which of course did not sit well with the passenger and she went to the conductor of the train and in no uncertain terms, told him what she thought of this thoughtless and uncaring employee of the railroad.

The conductor understanding her concern and trying his level best to make do of a bad situation told the woman that he would have a long talk with the brakeman and he would get him straightened out.

He also told her that “it was not the policy of the railroad to hurt, injure or inflame the passengers that rode their trains, that he would as a way of correcting this obvious situation offer the lady a free meal in the diner car located towards the rear of the train.”

He said to the upset patron, “Please go towards the rear of the train, to the dining car, and tell the people there, that I am issuing you a free meal” and they are to bill me personally for it.

The woman smiled a big smile and replied, “Thank you so very much.”

To which the conductor added, “No thanks necessary, it is the least I could do.  And while you are there, make sure they give you a banana for your monkey.”

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Cherish and Obey …

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:  “Love is never having to say you’re sorry …. If you know what is good for you.”

Guess I will devote some serious effort today after this, to locating something suitable for our anniversary, which has snuck up on me and caught me off guard but once again.  It is hard to believe but it is that time of year, and that special wonderful day is just around the corner.

Casually I mentioned this anniversary thing to my neighbor yesterday and he said, “How long have you two been married?” and I shook my head and replied, “Every day … Every day, man. And each and every day with her is special and a wonderful day, and another wonderful day is right around the corner.”

He just smiled. He knows … He is married too.

August 25th, it is time to acknowledge my profound devotion and love with some kind of visual tangible something if I know what is good for me … Which of course is …. Men talk.  I believe that I am still in the dog house over last years gift.  I asked her what she wanted, she told me “something white, with chrome, and it goes from zero to 125 in 3 seconds” which was easy, I bought her a bathroom scale, but that dog didn’t hunt at all.

Another year I told her, “My gift to you is me!” which too, did not fly, not for a New York minute.

We got married in the summer and now it is the time for the annual appreciation moment. Time has caught up with me again, like smoke thru a key hole, it is now that time but once again.  I haven’t got a inkling as to what to get her, maybe I will get a plasma TV and claim “it’s for us.” Might try that one this year. Yeah, that would be an ephemeral moment for sure.

As it is with most men, I am clueless, I don’t have a snowball’s chance, might do better to just wrap a rubber band around a HUGE wad of MONEY and just give it to her.

It is after all … her favorite color …. Green.

Gift giving can be stressful and dangerous. Which reminds me of the time I decided that an appropriate anniversary gift for Cup Cake would be the “George Foreman Grill” which she gave back to me in a sort of forceful upward motion as I remember it.

Are you listening men? There is going to be a test later, count on it, you had best be ready!

Neglect this holiday and you can bet on parting before death. You can wrestle with it all you want, move back and forth, look down at the floor and mutter pitifully … “Uh Honey, I just forgot. I really did.” But that will not work, you can put up the best front you can muster in the real world, spin it any way you can, but it is to no avail.

Your wife is in tune with the universe, she will see thru that faster than Superman sees through Lois Lane‘s pantsuits.

The unwritten rule is … If you forget … There is no ultimate reprieve. When you neglect to acknowledge the person who vowed to love you for better or worse, in sickness and in health, for as long as you both shall live?

Big mistake.  Anniversaries are a time to recognize the strength of your marriage, not test the weaknesses. I remember I asked her one time, “Hon, don’t ever let me get so senile and crazy you have to put me in a nursing home, okay?” She looked at me with that lil crooked smile and said, “Don’t worry … I will shoot you long before that!”

As I didn’t do too well on Mothers Day, I now have a chance to attune for my past sins, and exercise a new fresh approach to Matrimonial Harmony.

I now have, once again, a shot at it.  Now that I have sufficiently raised my total word count for the month of August, I am outta here, I have some shoppin’ to do ……

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