Thank You America

My fellow Americans:

As your future President I want to thank my supporters, for your mindless support of me, despite my complete lack of any legislative achievement, my pastor’s relations with Louis Farrakhan and Libyan dictator Moamar Quadafi, or my blatantly leftist voting record while I present myself as some sort of bi-partisan agent of change.

I also like how my supporters claim my youthful drug use and criminal behavior somehow qualifies me for the Presidency after 8 years of claiming Bush’s youthful drinking disqualifies him. Your hypocrisy is a beacon of hope shining over a sea of political posing.

I would also like to thank the Kennedy’s for coming out in support of me. There’s a lot of glamour behind the Kennedy name, even though JFK started the Vietnam War, his brother Robert illegally wiretapped Martin Luther King, Jr. and Teddy killed a female employee with whom he was having an extra marital affair and who was pregnant with his child.

And I’m not going anywhere near the cousins, both literally and figuratively. And I’d like to thank Oprah Winfrey for her support. Her love of meaningless empty platitudes will be the force that
propels me to the White House.

Americans should vote for me,not because of my lack of experience or achievement , but because I make people feel good. Voting for me causes some white folk to feel relieved of their imagined, racist guilt.I say things that sound meaningful, but don’t really mean anything because Americans are tired of things having meaning.  If things have meaning, then that means you have to think about them.


Americans are tired of thinking.  It’s time to shut down the brain, and open up the heart.  So when you go to vote, remember don’t think,
just do.  And do it for me.

Thank You.

Barack
Hussein Obama, Jr.


Suiting Up For The Game

Coffee is good this morning, I was supposed to cut back on it, but dog-gone it, “there has to be something left for me in life.” I gave up smoking, McDonalds French Fries, drinking, carousing; cheating at cards, lusting after another Monkey’s Monkey, there has to be something left for me.

This past weekend, I am surfing around the net as is my early morning practice (my habit of choice) and one of my favorite haunts has a “five top blogs award” so I start down thru the list, have to be honest, I am looking for MY NAME in there somewhere or the name of my page.

But alas poor Yoric, I knew him well, I am not to be found. My blog missed the cut. It was disappointing at best, but at the same time, educational, a good lesson on “what not to do” if you are busy writing one of these things.

Why?

(Glad you asked.)

Because you are going to inadvertently “miss someone” not everyone can receive the prestigious award or whatever and that person that is left out, even tho’ they are doing a fine job, a crackerjack presentation each and every day, and that person is going to feel a little bit let down.

So I am not going to run a serious attempt at listing all of my favorite blog sites, ten top of the best, and I am not going to list them in a competitive order, because they are “all special and unique” and because I am a caring and sensitive type guy.  Bottom line … I don’t want to run the risk of offending anyone.

As my friend in PA., Brother John, would say, that would be the PC thing to do.

Funny how the mind works, it was kind of a throw back to grammar school, when each and every February the teacher handed you a list of students in the class, and you were told to give each and every child on the list, a Valentine’s Card.

Your Mom took you to the store, and together, you picked out a package of suitable cards, and then dutifully addressed each and every one. On the appointed day, you took each card and put it inside the folder, on the desk of your classmates. Unfortunately someone always got left out, someone did not get the prescribed number of cards, and they were sad and they were hurt.

Traumatized and scarred at an early age, most likely why I became a “Yellow Dawg Democrat” later in life. Ah, what the hey?  You didn’t make the cut, not the end of the world right?  So like the old expression says … “We are just gonna keep on choppin’ and watch where the chips fly.”

It isn’t whether or not you hit the home run every time, but rather, “it is suiting up for the game that matters.”  We didn’t win the award today, we didn’t even get an honorable mention, an invitation to dance.  But that is okay too.

My Dad gave me a watch when I was a kid, a cheap old Timex, very much used, but to me it was the world.

On the way home in the car, I asked him, “Why am I getting this watch?  I didn’t win the race Dad.”

He smiled and he said, “the watch aint for winning … You got the watch for trying Don.”

Thanks for droppin by.

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Do We Have A Deal For You.

Credit cards are on the move again, they stalled out for awhile.  I guess they were sitting back and waiting on the dust to settle?

In today’s mail, another offer of a matchless pristine greatly reduced, no interest, you don’t have to pay until all the Icebergs melt, offer of a credit card.  Which promptly became dumpster chow, and out of the house.

As our credit standing in the community is aces, we receive a lot of these offers.  Nine times out of ten, they are rejected and thrown away.  We no longer think of our sixteen digit identification number as our own personal limit … When MasterCard or Visa raises our personal limit … We do not rush out to meet the challenge.

Back in the old days, I would fill them with other peoples trash and mail them back, when you have to pay $2.50 in postage for an envelope full of cigarette butts or last weeks’ TV Schedule, you remove the name from the list quicky pronto.

So if you are in good “credit shape” they might be sending you a notice too.

It appears in as an effort to drum up business, they are once again lowering the rates on Credit Cards.  Which is kind of surprising to me, as credit in the U.S. has come to be in short supply here lately, unless you are applying to the government, they have ocean’s of credit and money too.

When ever they come up short a couple of billion, they just print up some more, must be nice eh?

“Two years ago, if you could fog a mirror, you could get a mortgage, now, what you’re going to need to do is go through your credit and make sure it’s as clean as it possibly can be.”  The average rate for a variable-rate credit card was 11.3% last week, down from 14% a year ago, according to Bankrate.com.

Again, though, only borrowers with excellent credit will enjoy those rates. Like other lenders, card issuers have tightened their standards.  A year ago, a 700 FICO score would have qualified you for the lowest rates. Now, many lenders want a score of 720 or higher.

Still, if you can meet that bar, this is a good time to shop around. Some credit card issuers are offering fixed rates as low as 7.5% to borrowers with outstanding credit, he says. “If your credit score is in that 720 range, and you’re paying over 8.5% or 9%, you’re paying too much.”

Might be advisable to remember one thing.  All these checks that Bush and the Boys are writing, all this worthless paperfloating around, checks their a** cannot cash, it is going to come due some day.  If you don’t believe me, then read the GAO Reports yourself.

The GAO Reports: The federal government’s long-term financial obligations grew by $2.5 trillion last year, a reflection of the mushrooming cost of Medicare and Social Security benefits as more baby boomers reach retirement.  That’s double the red ink of a year earlier.

Taxpayers are on the hook for:

A record $57.3 trillion in federal liabilities to cover the lifetime benefits of everyone eligible for Medicare, Social Security and other government programs, a recent USA TODAY analysis found. That’s nearly $500,000 per household.

When obligations of state and local governments are added, the total rises to $61.7 trillion, or $531,472 per household. That is more than four times what Americans owe in personal debt such as mortgages.

The $2.5 trillion in federal liabilities dwarfs the $162 billion the government officially announced as last year’s deficit, down from $248 billion a year earlier.

Now isn’t that “Priceless?”

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Related: And it only gets better.

Ephemeral change

A friend of mine asked me yesterday why I don’t do a piece on the current buy-outs of the investment bankers and the general condition of the U.S. Economy. I just told him that it depresses me too much when I think about it.

I remember a time in my life when I was upside down in all of my credit cards and the wife, well, she was too. No one bailed us out. We had to leverage some stuff (as they like to explain it) and then using a quaint term “we grabbed ourselves by the boot-straps and pulled ourselves out of it.”

No one came around offering us incentives in the form of free money. If this country has one true addiction, it is to money, and not oil.

We are constantly throwing money at a problem, hoping that if we pass enough of it around, the problem will magically disappear. We never seem to figure out that this type of destructive behavior doesn’t seem to get it done at the end of the day.

In our case, we (the wife and I) were eventually successful and we made it, albeit on our own. To put it another way, “we assumed responsibility for our actions and it did not cost you one thin dime.” Now I am reading that General Motors is the latest hog to come to the federal through and they are trying to wrangle some $25 billion in federal loans to build even more vanilla wafer cars that are lousy on fuel. Who’s next? The Airlines, MasterCard, Visa …the list goes on and on.

Nothing will change.

Wall Street will continue it’s fast ride, technology bringing in the riches for a few and absolutely no gain for bottom rung families in America. And if it doesn’t, then they will be back for more. There is after all, “no sweat equity in tax payer funds” so therefore, it is worthless lucre.

One candidate and a great number of other supporters have been rambling on and on about change in this country and some things are apparently changing. I note now that people who buy gasoline are patient, reserved. In the old days, if you walked in to pay for your purchase and did not move your car, they got hostile about it and quite vocal. Now days, like sheep to the slaughter, they wait on you to go in and pay, then come back.

Six or eight months ago, when I dropped a twenty-dollar bill on the counter, the clerk would fish out a pen to check the authenticity of the thing when I made my purchase. These days they gladly take it and have not marked a single purchase with a twenty in a couple of months, they are just glad to get it.

Even the Michelin Tire character has a menacing and mean look about him now. Has anyone noticed?

Some things are going to stay the same, no matter how fresh the landscape we paint. About forty-five million working poor in this country are still going to lack medical insurance for their families and themselves. Our working congressional leaders, and I use that word (working) loosely, are going to debate the issues until they eventually fade away. Mainly because they are as usual, miles apart on any viable solution to our national malaise.

Their main thrust seem to be “payday’s” not solutions.

This country still has unlicensed guns, lurking in the shadows of the inner city and the suburbs, that will kill American’s at a rate that vastly outshines the other industrialized countries of the world.  Hard to believe, but we are now, leading the world in people locked down in our prisons, some 2 million. In Texas, they not only execute the mentally ill, it appears, they also elect them to the highest office of government.

The majority of these people are locked down on archaic drug laws.  AIDS continues to take victims and remains after an eon of time, a scourge on the face of humanity in countries such as Africa, Asia.Millions are doomed to brief lives, lives that never really had a chance to live, and agonizing death. It is especially crippling in the black segment of our population, on the rise, and just as lethal. $700 billion would have gone a long way to help rid this nation of a scourge upon its citizens such as this.

In the time you spend reading this post, 15 to 20 acres of virgin rain forest will disappear, never to reappear on this planet again. We are now reaching a point in time, where we will actually be able to witness the decline or disappearance of whole species of animals and/or plants. Something that was before this, totally fictional, but now very real.

Bigotry and hate groups will still abound in this newly changed America, inflicting their rancid moral code on the country, inflicting pain and in some cases, even murder on defenseless minorities. Just today, someone sent me an email of Mexican/American students, who ran the Mexican flag up the flagpole, put the U.S. Flag under it, upside down, and then sneered for the cameras. It just made me heartsick, I saw a lot of my buddies come home wrapped up in that flag.

You don’t like it here? You figure you are getting a raw deal? Then take your sorry ass back to the country of origin that you came from, legally or not, I am personally tired of all of it.

National leaders and prominent politicians are going to offer up viable solutions, dreaming of curing the ills of the country using the latest, the best, and whatever happens to be on the agenda for the day. But in the end, we all know that they are going to fail miserably.

We all know that the problems are going to remain, they could not find the solutions in the 19th and 20th centuries and they will be just as lost in the 21st. Our problems cannot and will not be solved by politicians, our problems are moral and spiritual and until we stop to recognize this fact, we will be as lost as a goose.

Our single largest problem? We have too much government and too many do nothing politicians!

Now I am known as a “Baby Boomer.” We were supposed to be “the” generation that was going to fix all of this. “We sadly missed the mark, Jeeze, I would venture so far as to say, we didn’t even get close.” I am the first born of my generation, theoretically to have never gone to war, worked for a solid, good company, every year of my life. And then to reap the benefits of free society and collect my fair share of the bountiful harvest that America has to offer at the end of the day.

It might be worth mentioning that this is not my first rodeo. I have been “promised” change before. And the forgone conclusion is simple. It Didn’t Happen. Nothing has really changed, other than the date on the calendar page, the time and place. Now I am being told, in the twilight of my years, that a new beginning is upon us that things are going to change and they are going to change for the better. So once again, I am cynical and do not believe one word of it and I guess I am like many, part of the problem and not the solution.

In order to change, we should all work harder for reforms, to affect some kind of valid change in this great country we live in. If we cannot find time for that, then perhaps it is time to lower our heads, put our hands together, and just silently pray for a better world.

Sunday afternoon my 4 year old granddaughter climbed up in my lap, and looked at me with those big brown eyes, eyes a guy could literally get lost in, and she said, “Grandpa, I love you.” Man, that is a special thing for a 62 year old angry tax-paying white guy. It just breaks my heart to sit here in this chair and think about her share of the national debt, which the last time I checked was roughly $530,000.00.

That makes me sick … We ought to change that.

It is also one of the main reason’s I hate to write about the economy.

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Off The Shelf

So what are the effects of over-consumption for many years? The more you have the more you want, which of course leads to unhappiness and insecurity often initiated in the quest for wealth. I recently read a study on this. It mainly dealt with kids, in these three studies with adolescents, they showed that those with aspirations for wealth and fame were more depressed and had lower self-esteem than peers whose aspirations centered on self-acceptance, family and friends, and community feeling.

“The wealth seekers also had a higher incidence of headaches, stomach-aches and runny noses, people with extrinsic goals sharpen their egos to conquer the “outer space’ around them, but they don’t have a clue how to navigate inner space.”

Too Much Stuff evidently will kill you.

We lose control of our own lives when we surrender long-term wealth (like the natural systems that support us and literally ground us) in exchange for short-term bargains (like cheap socks and burgers). Certainly, it can’t be denied that as a percentage of income, we have the cheapest (and fastest) food in the world. But we also have the most expensive health care.

What’s the connection?

The painful truth is it’s very expensive to treat a feverish lifestyle that tears up the environment, creates chronic stress, and invents strange new forms of food! Many MD’s, psychologists, sociologists, ecologists and writers believe we’re battling a burgeoning epidemic of too much stuff, which can be defined as “a painful, contagious, virally transmitted condition of overload, debt, anxiety, and waste resulting from the dogged pursuit of more.”

Because of our culture’s frantic, conveyor-belt consumption, we spend more for garbage bags than 90 of the world’s countries spend for everything! (it’s normal for us to buy a wastebasket and carry it home in a plastic bag, then take the basket out of the bag, and put the bag in the basket.) Seventy percent of Americans visit malls each week, more than attend houses of worship.

Each year more than a million Americans file for personal bankruptcy – more than graduate from college. We spend more on shoes, jewelry, and watches ($80 billion) than on higher education ($65 billion). We can do so much better, if we redistribute our wealth!

Many people think our battle against too much stuff will require us to “give up” the good life, but others assert that we’re already giving up the good life by sacrificing personal health and sanity, family closeness, and ecological stability in exchange for electronic gadgets, fantasy vacations, cheap gasoline and Victoria‘s secret underwear. What we need to let go of is the “goods” life.

Here’s the dilemma: We’ve programmed our economy for surplus rather than sufficiency. We produce more than we need. One of the greatest underlying stresses we’re feeling is “How can we possibly consume all this stuff?” But every time that thought crosses our minds, a mental game-show buzzer sounds and the program takes over, instructing us to “keep eating.”

The truth is, maybe we just can’t eat anymore.

Well, I would like to stay and chat some but like I said, “I need to get to my lawnmower that is tucked wayyyyyyyyyyyy back in a corner of the garage, buried under all our stuff.”

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