Almost Spring

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Spring has sprung … The grass is riz … Hey, I wonder where all the flowers is?  The above is our new header for March, a field of flowers, pretty snazzy eh?


Where is this year going?  Last day of the month, and I can truthfully say, it kind of snuck up on me.  Life seems too fast paced any more …  You see it that way?

It seems like everything is rushing into oblivion and at times just a blur on the place mat of time.  I on the other hand, seem to be slowing down a little, and I suppose that is good.  I posted 48 articles in January and in February that dropped to about half, 21.  I suspect this month will be the same, as I have adapted to this slower relaxed pace and seem comfortable with it.

This year, the total is 772 posts, some of them good and some of them not so good.  Just depends on your attitude at the time and your current outlook on life I guess.  None of them by their very nature, guaranteed to amuse, please, fulfill a need or entertain.

March.  The windy month … Still, the prospect of a new month always excites me.  Last month was not so great for me, I lost another friend and it took a toll on my psyche.  Death is the only thing that never seems to take a holiday, did you ever notice that?  I find myself attending more funerals than weddings and that is a sad commentary on life, but never the less, and all too familiar routine at this time.

Trouble as usual, searched me out, and called me by name.

February presented its fair share of turmoil and strife.  I had my share of battles fought and won, and yes, some lost, but I suited up for the game every day.  One very important aspect of life emerged for me, my personal epiphany you might say.  All this political crap has jaded my outlook on life, and at times, soured me to the joy of living.  So I have made a conscious commitment this month to cut back on it, for the most part I understand, that I can not be effective in any kind of change anyway.

So, for me, this month, it is all about getting back to basics.

First thing I am going to do is see if I can figure out a way to “reward myself more” and stop assuming the problems of the country and this world.  People who schedule “guilt free playtime or squander a little peace for themselves in life” seem to be happier.  Not to mention more efficient and well adjusted.

Having said all that, here is the nugget, the one simple truth.  One of the absolute best things about life is the fact that it is never, ever, too late to start over.

See You In The Funny Papers.

OOO

Don’t get ugly

Here lately I have just got cranky, might be the wind blowing, it might be I am sick of winter, it might be old age.  I dunno.  Yesterday I allowed myself to get involved in some mindless debate from some critic and I hate that.  The fact that I am so easy sucked into these pointless debates, and the fact that I am not “Politically Correct” or at best, even in the ballpark.

Today however, I wanted to begin by summarizing, but then I got to thinking, shoot, we aint even had no spring yet!

So, this morning I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, it is possible to do these things, the economy may be bad, but they still have enough left over, to keep the lights on …. For now anyway.  And I tell myself “one more time” to … Focus, you just have to hang in there.

The man who sticks to his plan will become what he used to want to be. As I have said before, perhaps I am like Icarus, simply a man who dared to dream, a man who flew too close to the sun. Or like Daedalus, a man who equipped his son with unsafe wings made of easily melted beeswax? I would say the answer to this question is all and neither.

Dream little or dream small …. In the final tally … it doesn’t matter at all.

Most people think life sucks, and then you die. Not me. I beg to differ.  Most of the news sucks … I will give you that.  The national media coverage on the economy continues to be “dismal at best.” The outright lying and perfidy seems to have escalated this week. I swear, if I get one more Email on Obama or racist joke promoting ignorance and watermelons.  I am going to pull my hair out (and I certainly do not have a lot of it pull at this juncture in time.  Matter of fact, I have more in my ears than I have on my head).

I would rather see reporting on the malfeasance’s of the rich and powerful, and some indefatigable media coverage that turns up evidence of same. That would satisfy my fury of being milked too death, and starved out of life as we know it. I don’t need debates on misspelled state names, or other trivial BS tasteless mind numbing drivel concerning our new black president.

I need some relief from the very American’s that live here, the rich and the powerful, the politically connected amongst us.

Perhaps today is a good day to go to the Mall (before it closes from lack of business) and find a good book for the weekend.  Books are so dog-gone expensive anymore, I don’t know how anyone can afford to buy and read two or three a month. A cheap read is about $15 and that doesn’t guarantee it will be a “good read” by any stretch of the imagination.

I have been spending a lot of time at the keyboard, and I miss my reading time. I am anxiously anticipating spring, some time on the porch with a good book, a glass of sweet tea.  Sure hope I can afford one of the two.

Have A Great Weekend … We will see you on Monday.

OOO

Are We Having Fun Yet

balloon-economyGreetings!  Welcome to the first class on how to make two small hats out of a Brassiere, paid for and subsidized by the U.S. Government. Man, first it was the mayor of New Orleans and now it is Bobby the Gov. from Lousy-anna.  Gov. Bobby Jindal’s task the other night, to rebut President Obama’s first address to a joint session of Congress, was a thankless one.

But it still constituted an opportunity for the Louisiana Republican to show that he could handle the national spotlight, present himself as a fresh face of the Republican Party, and stand up to the current president in a proper controlled oratorical manner.

On each of these three hurdles, he came up short. Both Democrats and Republicans alike panned Jindal’s rebuttal in terms that were decidedly harsh: “amateurish,” “laughable” and, most commonly, “a missed opportunity.”  Pretty bad, and what made it worse, I stayed up past my bedtime to make sure I watched it all.  “After watching Jindal,” one Democratic strategist emailed, “I’d pay a lot of money to be back watching a Palin speech.”

Repeat to yourself, “life isn’t an emergency, life isn’t an emergency, life isn’t … oh well, you get the picture, don’tcha?”

Been mostly a slow week here in the last vast bastion of good community living … No one is commenting, and this thing is drier than a cold water spring in Furnace Creek, Death Valley California here lately.

I don’t know where everyone has got off too.  So as it is slow, I have been musing it over in my mind what my options are here of late.  Y’know, scrubbing my Federal Window of opportunity to see if the view has changed for me personally.

I haven’t made up my mind if I am willing to take some of this bailout money that the other states do not want, you know that great big ol piece of the American Pie everyone seems fixated on here lately.

Meanwhile I pick up the paper and no rainbow there.  Things are so bad, that the Treasury Department issued a press release that they are considering a new five dollar bill and Lincoln will be wearing a T-Shirt.  And of course there is this barn burner of a news item that I cannot for the life of me figure out.

THE NEW STATE QUARTER WAS UNVEILED TO THE DELIGHT OF QUARTER HOARDERS EVERYWHERE … WASHINGTON DC … ONLY ONE SNAG EVERYONE OVERLOOKED … WASHINGTON DC IS NOT A STATE!

I also hear the lottery isn’t doing well now, will it never end?  The first number is twenty-seven, second number is thirty-three, here’s another one that you do not have …. Trenton New Jersey lottery officials are moaning the blues – The state Lottery said fewer people appeared to be buying tickets. Lottery ticket revenue for the first six months of the current fiscal year is down, and the state Treasury Department said New Jersey received nearly $4 million, or about 1%, less than anticipated.

Also in New Jersey, Newark – A former employee in the city’s health department was sentenced to eight years in prison for a $1 million scam. Charles Brown said his drug addiction led him to print bogus vouchers for the Women, Infants and Children program and sell them to a store, which sold them to other stores and pocketed the proceeds.  Now let’s do our math, shall we?  Eight years in the slamma, that figures out to about $125,000 per year, 3 hots and a cot, and six figures.

Hmmmmmm? (Well, it doesn’t mention anything about him having to make retribution for the stolen funds does it?)

Yesterday I was over browsing in my favorite business supply store.  Saw something neat.  Staples has that “That Was Easy” expression on a button for your desk, $4.98 drop by and pick up one today.  I like it.  I think of this banking fiasco and how easy it was for them to just drop in and pick up their collective bag of money and then run.  It was so easy that American Xpress changed itself (seemingly overnight) into a bank instead of a credit card company, and so easy, they are now offering people $300 to close out their credit card accounts.  What a concept, wonder who thought of that, especially after I CLOSED MY ACCOUNT in a responsible manner and moved on.

Mo betta bankin’ news …. SunTrust board of directors in their infinite wisdom have given their CEO a nice little raise.  Even tho’ the profits of the bank tanked under his leadership, down some 50% which is a pretty lousy indicator of good leadership.  The stock price was cut in half but the company’s board of directors saw fit to give or approve a 75% increase in the 2008 total compensation of the head man.  He is now making just under $8.1 million according to their most recent proxy statement filed this week.

Now That Was Easy

Here comes the next wave, are you ready for this Sparky?  I have been right more than I have been wrong, so here it is.  According to the Federal Reserve, the total outstanding credit card debt carried by Americans reached a record $951 billion in 2008 — a number that will only climb higher as more people reach for the plastic to make ends meet.

Yet the same banks that have been bailed out with billions of taxpayer dollars, have been turning around and gouging their most vulnerable customers, ratcheting up interest rates to as much as 32 percent and charging an ever-widening array of late fees, cash-advance fees, and over-the-limit fees.

mastercard

Open up the Federal Checkbook … Now it is time to feed another pig at the trough.

Priceless.

Click here to read more.

(If you are not already thoroughly convinced that the end is truly near, that is)

Anybody want to buy a used lottery ticket, I have some I will sell “dirt cheap.”


OOO

“Some of this material [article] was published by the Center for American Progress” and cartoons are from the same.”

Hump Day Dithyramb

doom-gloom

Still dealing with a bad case of the blue funk, but I am hoping for a ray of sunshine soon, I saw a robin on the front lawn yesterday.  I suppose I could write about the President and his speech last night, but every blogger in the universe will be talking about that this morning anyway.  We could start out with some type of joke or humorous point, but I have noticed that here of late, people during hard times do not tell jokes, nothing it seems appears to be remotely funny.

This morning for instance, I am reading where some poor slob is losing his cave.  Now that is bad, when times are so rotten that you are being evicted from a cave!  If you want to read about it here is the link.

The number of illegal immigrants in the USA fell for the first time in at least four years, as the nation’s tough economy keeping fewer people from trying to sneak into the U.S. reports Homeland Security.  They might have posted some signs (in Spanish of course) at the border that reflected the economic numbers of our country and that might be what is turning them around.

Opened up the mailbox and the usual assortment was there, including one ditty that was 2200 words long, and as you all know, emails are extremely difficult to either copy or read, and 2200 words, well just forget it, I am not working my way thru some poorly written diatribe even if it is less than 5,000 words.

And there was the usual collection of Anti-Obama tripe to contend with.  In a way I truly feel sorry for the guy, a lot of this is inherent evil from the previous bunch of thugs, and he is getting a great deal of the blame early in the game, and if it fails, well, we all know what the verdict will be on that, don’t we?

Now there was one thing I found amusing this week.  It was this headline I came across the other day.  “RADICAL RIGHT — UTAH STATE SENATOR SAYS GAY PEOPLE ARE ‘THE GREATEST THREAT TO AMERICA.”

In January, according to a recent leak, state Sen. Chris Buttars (R) gave an interviewcompared gays to alcoholics and Muslim terrorists, and warned that gay people are “probably the greatest threat to America.” with a local ABC affiliate in which he rants: “To me, homosexuality will always be a sexual perversion,” Buttars said, adding, “They say, I’m born that way. There’s some truth to that, in that some people are born with an attraction to alcohol.” Buttars later called gays “the meanest buggers I ever seen.” Gays are “probably the greatest threat to America going down I know of,” he said.

Might change that to:  “Dumb A** Senators from Utah are probably the greatest threat to America” and that would be more appropriate.

While we are on the subject of dummies, here is another one.

Attorney General Eric Holder stepped into a deep mud hole when he recently referred to Americans as being a bunch of “cowards” about race. Cowards about race?  Nothing could be farther from the truth.  Americans of every color have jumped over the racial divide for the past forty years.  We just elected a person with minimum experience to the highest office in the land, a person who during the election process stated that we had 57 states, who assumed the worst economy in the world as his first elected responsibility.

A coward doesn’t do that … A champion however, takes it on.

If Mr. Holder wants to be the Chief Law Enforcement Officer of this great nation, then he needs to leave his blacks are behind the whites mentality back in the dark ages and move on with the rest of the country.  Incidentally, if you are not aware of this fact, let me point it out to you.  Mr. Holder is a black man, I would say he is a credit to his race, but the jury seems to still be out on that one.

Let us move on shall we?  How about some High Tech scumbags.  Buffalo – Ronald Blair, a member of the Kingsmen motorcycle club, faces a federal felony charge for threatening via text message the friend of a man Blair had argued with at a bar. The man’s brother is the member of the Chosen Few, a rival motorcycle club.

Authorities said they believe Blair, 39, is the first local biker accused of using text messages to deliver threats in feuds.  Remember the old days, when a bunch of thugs dressed up like MaDonna just showed up at the watering hole and punched you out.  Nowadays, “reach out and touch someone” has a whole different meaning.

Try to find something to smile about today.  I am off to Mickey D’s for a Rubber McMuffin and some coffee, Starbucks is no longer an option in my world.  Hang in there, here comes the weekend, you almost have it made.

OOO


Pony Up Some More

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Tonight’s news concerns the Economy … Click … Tonight we start off with the economy …. Click … Our big story tonight out of Washington DC is the economy … Click … Tonight’s report comes on the heels of the Department of Redundancy Department announcement out of Washington today … click, click, click …. I suppose it will be all right until the lights go out Obama.

Dig a little deeper in the well, dig a little deeper in the well.  If you want to stay ahead of the game, just up the ante.  The U.S. Postal Service this week announced a 2 cent increased in the price of a first class postage stamp.  This will boost postage to 44 cents per letter.

This time their excuse was, you are going to love this, it was:  “due to the rising costs which are affecting homes and businesses.” Try and figure that one out boys and girls.  Forever Stamps will not be affected and you can continue to buy them for 42 cents each until May 11th.  I noticed they had a new commemorative stamp over there, “celebrating the 75th anniversary of the pap smear” but I am not licking anything like that!

Give me the Disney book please.

(yeah I know, don’t send me any letters)

Wind is howling across the plains this morning. I get grumpy and out of sorts during the windy months and I try my best to stay inside, thus sparing the community at large, my misplaced anger and often misguided and directed wrath brought upon me by the forces of nature.  I am chuckling this morning, not a whole lot out there that is amusing anymore, but every now and then, you find a nugget.

Some guy in Britain, a doctorial student, was heartbroken when janitors at Leeds University threw away a 77 pound bag of lizard dung he’d collected over a period of seven years.  “to some people it might have been just a bag of lizard poop, but its loss altered the course of my life forever.”

That was his statement, and now here is mine, get a life.

Norton Securities is hounding me about a “subscription renewal” and declaring that I am at the mercy of the Gods and unprotected.  Like a dummy I thought I bought a “program to protect my computer” I now discover that I bought a subscription.  Well you know what they can do with their $50 SUBSCRIPTION don’t ya?  Norton is a dog of a program, don’t buy Norton.

Yesterday at the beanery some poor misguided lost Republican girl tried to convince me that “I was the problem” with the housing mess.  I guess that is the official line, “we all have a responsibility in this” idea that is floating around.

Which is fine, if you buy into that particular brand of non-sense.

The problems remain the same as they always have, I don’t care what anyone has to say about “so-called change.”  I think it was Charlie Reese in the Orland Sentinel who said:  Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them.  Have you ever wondered if both the Democrats and the Republicans are against deficits, why do we have deficits?

Have you ever wondered if all the politicians are against inflation and high taxes, why do we have inflation and high taxes?  You and I don’t propose a federal budget. The president does.  You and I don’t have the Constitutional authority to vote on appropriations.  The House of Representatives does.  You and I don’t write the tax code, Congress does.  You and I don’t set fiscal policy, Congress does.  You and I don’t control monetary policy, the Federal Reserve Bank does.

One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one president, and nine Supreme Court justices 545 human beings out of the 300 million are directly, legally, morally, and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country.”

Not some poor Okie, who is just sitting here in the middle of Dust Bowl America trying to drink his lousy cup of coffee and munch on a do-nut in peace.

Let’s run this one up the old flagpole and see if anyone will salute it?  (Always remember this:  The human mind treats a new idea the same way the body treats a strange protein:  It usually rejects it.) Nationalize these banks and get it over with, move on. Let the stockholders take their collective loss, they are the one’s that bought into all of it to begin with, thus, causing even more severe losses than should have been. Why should we have to support them in their misguided endeavors.

Let the loser’s go the way of other things and prop up the one’s that have survivability and move on.

The second U.S. Peanut plant closed this week.  The Peanut Corporation of America closed its Plainview Texas plant where they blanch and roast peanuts daily.  The reason for the closing was that lab tests indicated salmonella was present in its products.  I sure am missing my peanut butter crackers and cookies.  We seem to be ingesting a lot of poison in our food here lately.

A south Korean woman has just failed the written portion of her driving test for the 77-1st time in four years.  The 68 year old woman has been taking the test on nearly a daily basis since April 2005.  She has scored as high as 50% but needs a min. of 60% in order to pass.  You would think that she has the test “memorized” by this time.

Now I suppose you are all wondering how I knew the girl in the restaurant was a “Republican” well she just had that Tina Fey/Sarah Palin look to her, that is all.  You know, “I am on the move, on the way up, you are beneath me” kind of stare.  Sort of like that look my wife gives me when I try eating my pancakes without the benefit of silverware or something like that?

Just a note.  Palin has been informed by the IRS that she owes $5,000 on living expenses and money she was paid while living outside her home on the campaign trail.  That is the bad news.  Now here is the good news, “now that she has tax problems, this automatically qualifies her for a cabinet seat in the Obama Administration.”

Anywho, back to the Republican girl, she had that hungry look to her.  Most likely just coming off her third marriage and headed down the aisle for #4.  She had the look of a woman, married three times, who walked into a bridal shop one day and tells the sales clerk that she was looking for a wedding gown for her fourth wedding.

“Of course, madam,” replied the sales clerk, “exactly what type and color are you looking for?”

The bride to be said: “A long frilly white dress with a veil.”

The sales clerk hesitated a bit, then said, “Please don’t take this the wrong way, but gowns of that nature are considered more appropriate for brides who are being married the first time – for those who are a bit more innocent, if you know what I mean? Perhaps ivory or sky blue would be nice?”

“Well,” replied the customer, a little peeved at the clerk’s directness, “I can assure you that a white gown would be quite appropriate.  Believe it or not, despite all my marriages, I remain as innocent as a first time bride.

You see, my first husband was so excited about our wedding, he died as we were checking into our hotel. My second husband and I got into such a terrible fight in the limo on our way to our honeymoon that we had that wedding annulled immediately and never spoke to each other again.”

“What about your third husband?” asked the sales clerk.

“That one was a Democrat,” said the woman, “and every night for four years, he just sat on the edge of the bed and told me how good it was going to be, but nothing ever happened.”

OOO

“The cartoon courtesy of Center for American Progress” (online)

Monday Morning Blues

Last week of February, maybe the wind will let down a little today, and it will be a nice day?  February is a good month, one of the few I like.  March just around the corner, and I can do without March.  Perhaps there will be some “good news today” I need a little touch of that.  Perhaps some footage of a big hole in Florida swallowing someone’s car, not good news for them, but I like that kind of stuff.

Mr. Obama has officially hit his first thirty days in office and so far, the most irritating thing he has done for me personally is apologized to the Muslim community worldwide.  That was uncalled for and it should have not been done.  The Washington Post summed it up better than I could, when they said:  “Every new president flatters himself that he, kinder and gentler, is beginning the world anew. Yet, when Barack Obama in his inaugural address reached out to Muslims by saying “to the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect,” his formulation was needlessly defensive and apologetic.

Is it “new” to acknowledge Muslim interests and show respect to the Muslim world? Obama doesn’t just think so, he said so again to millions in his al-Arabiya interview, insisting on the need to “restore” the “same respect and partnership that America had with the Muslim world as recently as 20 or 30 years ago.”

Astonishing. In these most recent 20 years — the alleged winter of our disrespect of the Islamic world — America did not just respect Muslims, it bled for them. It engaged in five military campaigns, every one of which involved — and resulted in — the liberation of a Muslim people: Bosnia, Kosovo, Kuwait, Afghanistan and Iraq.

The two Balkan interventions — as well as the failed 1992-93 Somalia intervention to feed starving African Muslims (43 Americans were killed) — were humanitarian exercises of the highest order, there being no significant U.S. strategic interest at stake. In these 20 years, this nation has done more for suffering and oppressed Muslims than any nation, Muslim or non-Muslim, anywhere on Earth. Why are we apologizing?”

Mr. Obama is outta line on this one for sure.

I was reading Dustbury.com this morning and he said:  “In the on-going discussions about the Obama mortgage rescue package (rescue package, comin’ to the rescue!), I keep hearing that opposing it would pose political risk for Republicans because, “Everybody personally knows somebody who’s struggling to avoid foreclosure and save their home.”

Really? I don’t.

Maybe I just run with a more responsible crowd, but as far as I know I can’t think of a friend, relative, co-worker, or neighbor who faces the imminent loss of their home. Is this unusual? From what I’ve been hearing on a purely anecdotal basis, I don’t think so.

I’d hate to think I run with a crowd, responsible or otherwise, but I can’t think of anyone who’s about to be turned out into the street; I’ve noted before that I’m closer to Tap City than I’d like to be, but the lowering of the boom is still fairly unlikely, inasmuch as I’m not actually late on anything and I still have, so far as I can tell, a positive net worth. […]”

And it got me to thinking, I am like that too.  Where are all these down and out people?  I don’t know anyone who fits the bill of destitute in my neck of the woods.

Stimulus Bill  ExplanationShortly after class, an economics student approaches his economics professor and says, “I don’t understand this stimulus bill. Can you explain it to me?” The professor replied, “I don’t have any time to explain it at my office, but if you  come over to my house on Saturday and help me with my weekend  project, I’ll be glad to explain it to you.”

The student agreed. At the agreed-upon time, the student showed up at the professor’s house.  The professor stated that the weekend project involved his backyard pool. They both went out back to the pool, and the professor handed the student a bucket.  Demonstrating with his own bucket, the professor said, “First, go over to the deep end, and fill your bucket with as much water as you can.”

The student did as he was instructed.

The professor then continued, “Follow me over to the shallow end, and then dump all  the water from your bucket into it.” The student was naturally confused, but did as he was told. The professor then explained they were going to do this many more times, and began walking back to the deep end of the pool. The confused student asked, “Excuse me, but why are we doing this?

The professor matter-of-factly stated that he was trying to make the shallow end much  deeper.

The student didn’t think the economics professor was serious, but figured that he  would find out the real story soon enough. However, after the 6th trip between the shallow end and the deep end, the student  began to become worried that his economics professor  had gone mad.

The student finally replied, “All we’re doing is wasting valuable time and effort on unproductive pursuits.  Even worse, when this process is all over, everything will be at the same level it was before, so all  you’ll really have accomplished is the destruction of what could have  been truly productive action!” The professor put down his bucket and replied with a smile, “Congratulations.  You now understand the stimulus bill.”

You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it. The government cannot give anything that it does not first take from someone. You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. For what one person receives without working, another person must work without receiving.

When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going  to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no  good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for  …. that my dear friend, is about the end of a nation.

You can enjoy, and even want nice things, and still enjoy a simpler life.

You just cannot do it on credit.

OOO