Call It What It Is

pigVentured out yesterday for some stamps at the Post Office, did not see anyone wearing a mask over their face, so I assume the swine flu pandemic scare is officially over.

Which is a good thing, especially for me, because I love BLT’s (bacon, lettuce, and tomato) sandwiches.  I would absolutely hate to see anything conflict with that part of my life.  No more trips to the Cracker Barrel for me, and that would create a hole in my world you could drive a bus through.

So today, this morning, let us develop a healthy curiosity in the world of pigs, swine creatures of media fame here of late.

Drive through the Oklahoma Panhandle and you will see it dotted with shiny tin roofs, new hog barns, there is a huge profit in the raising and caring for of hogs.  But there are also drawbacks.  Hogs are nasty, they produce about 8 times the waste of a human each day, they take an ocean of water to clean them up and all hog farms have huge water retention ponds to collect their waste.  Potential breeding grounds for all the little ugly things that attack us and make us sick.

Eventually all this nasty bio-waste makes it thru the food chain to you.

Here’s the connection: if a commercial flight is a prime breeding ground for airborne infectious disease, consider the digs of modern hogs. Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs), also known as factory farms, bring together tens of thousands of animals in quarters that make a sold-out 747 look spacious. Keeping a cap on disease in such conditions has risen to a sort of macabre art form involving the use of antibiotics (including the “non-therapeutic” use, which means that they feed the animals antibiotics as a preventative measure) to ward off the infectious diseases you might expect to thrive in such a place.

This practice has been linked to the spread of drug-resistant MRSA bacteria, but is not likely the cause of the influenza outbreak. Manure lagoons, the gigantic receptors for the millions of gallons of excrement expelled by the thousands of animals, may be the more likely culprit.

All of this beside being an obvious health nightmare presents a public relations nightmare for the hog farmer.  I suppose hog farmers and pork producers would prefer we call it something else, other than swine flu.  Perhaps it would be better to use the scientific name, A(H1N1) 2009 but that just seems so benign, no ring in that, where is the snap, where is the crackle and pop?

We seem to gravitate towards the outrageous, the completely insane in this country when it comes to descriptive metaphors.  Calling this Swine Flu just doesn’t seem appropriate.

Look at the auto companies and the banks for instance.  We use terms such as financial meltdown, bailout, huge losses, bankruptcy and other insidious terms that reek of socialism, “nationalism” comes readily to mind here.  All of them basically negative in nature.

So we change it up, we refresh the negative and we call it something else.  We say “unexpected profit inversion” or “asset augmentation” or “new and unique profit-partner partnerships between the private sector and the government.”

Like our now long gone moose gooser from Alaska would say … “We continue to put lipstick on the pig” and call it everything other than what it really might be.  There is an old expression that goes something like this:  “You can try and teach a pig to sing, but it will not work, and all you do is irritate the pig.”  Call it what it is, and stop renaming all of this stuff.

We are good at this, we have after all, have been transferring blame and changing the language for years.  Adultery … An affair.  Abortion … Lifestyle choice.  Genocide … Ethnic Cleansing.  We do it all the time; a housewife is no longer a housewife, she is a domestic engineer.  Used Car Salesman … Finance Specialist and the list goes on and on infinitum.  A four door hoopie from Ford or General Motors is now a “sports sedan” … Television evolved to wireless cable …. which is pretty stupid really and then there is … Mercy Killing.

That one I do not understand at all.  But I am usually a little slow on the uptake anyway.

Sadly one rule of life is …. “What you practice the most, is what you will become.”  As long as we continue “to shade the truth” and not face it, we will have problems in this country.

The worst of it all, was not here nor was it in Israel, where they steadfast refused to call it swine flu for religious reasons, but in Afghanistan where they moved the only pig in the Kabul Zoo into a locked room out of fear of swine flu.  Now that was some progressive thinking there, that saved a lot of lives no doubt.

Have to go now, I am off to check out this latest email rumor I received yesterday.  It concerns a woman who left her two-year old son at a day care center yesterday morning in Seattle, and when she returned to pick him up in the afternoon he was completely grown!

Day care officials are crediting the Obama hot lunch program.

Me?  I am not buying it.

OOO

Clear Blue Sky

blue-sky

Early in the morning, it is cool, not cold mind you, but cool.  That is nice, spring is in the air, it cannot be long now, but there is the distinct odor of burnt grass in the air, and another wildfire is taking its toll somewhere.  Very dry here, I cannot remember for the life of me, when it was that we received a good soaking rain, been awhile.

Another thing that I find somewhat disturbing is the color of the sky, there doesn’t seem to be any blue sky left anywhere, just this dingy Grey color, void of clouds and seemingly full of the pollution of man.

Back in the day, I would lie down in the grass and peer up into the summer sky, rich and blue, filled with white wispy clouds and I would imagine they were different animals or shapes.   I see a cow, and Indian, there is a ducky …… that kind of deal.

Now I look up and I see the remnants of yesterdays’ commute in Dallas, a cold dead gray sky, and no rain.

Getting Casual.

Another sign that spring is coming, the Idaho House waived its decorum rule for the rest of the season.  Members can take off their jackets and eat or drink on the floor of the House, they are just not allowed to smoke or spit, we can still do that here in Oklahoma, but it is evidently illegal in other parts of the country.

Not long ago I took a vow to lay off politics’ and religion on this site, and so far, I have managed to stay fairly close to the goal and within the self-imposed perimeters of good taste.  It is so hard to come in here each day and write something that is NOT political and I have adjusted to that.  It is as a matter of fact, a lot harder than I imagined it to be a few weeks back.

Mr. Obamma is going to be on the Tonight Show this evening, if you are so inclined, you can tune in there and get the straight poop from the head nin-com-poop!  Perhaps he will explain on how “giving A.I.G. billions which they in turn gave to the banks of England, Germany and France will help the AMERICAN economy” I cannot for the life of me, figure that one out.

bush-sticker

U.S. Credit Card defaults rose in February to their highest level in 20 years, with losses particularly severe at American Express and Citigroup.  AMEX came in with 8.7% and Citibank at 8.3% what I cannot figure out is why is this so bad?  Even at those rates that means at least 91% of their accounts are paid up or paying on time, seems like a rock steady business figure to me.

All around me I hear the sound of money, but I don’t have a dog-gone nickel to my name, I see a light at the end of the tunnel …. Man, I sure hope it’s not some dog-gone train!  If counted out in $1,000 bills, a million dollars would be a stack of bills approximately 4″ high.  To reach a billion dollars, that same stack of $1,000 dollar bills would have to be 358 feet tall.  To reach a trillion dollars (and remember we are up in the 12/15 trillion range now) the stack would stand 67.9 miles high!

change

This could be the reason Americans are only getting an average of 6.7 hours of sleep on weekdays, down from seven hours in 2001.  Anyone see the news piece on the janitorial position offered in Massillon, Ohio?  The job paid about $15 per hour and 700 people showed up to apply for it.  Maine is forcing people to buy one of three license’s in order to increase revenue, latest to hit the list is canoeists or kayaking.  They want $3.50 for “boat lic.fees.”  Oklahoma increases the fee for electricity by some $8 per month, cable TV switched over to this new crap, and as usual, it cost us something, about $3 a month.

Point being, “You get a $26 increase in your income this month, I sure didn’t.”

This could be the primary reason Oklahoma and Utah now lead the nation in people hanging up landlines (regular telephone service) and switching over to cell phone usage (which we have been on for about five years, once again, ahead of the curve).  At least 26% of all households in these two states have got rid of regular phone service.  As times continue to get rough, medicine and groceries will fall beside the way, as the population searches for a way to cope.

But all hope is not lost.

Washington state this week passed a new same sex marriage proposal.  It would extend domestic partners all the rights and benefits that the state offers married couples under a measure passed by both houses.  Currently only married couples are mentioned including employment pensions, and public employee benefits.  Washington State is clearly stepping out into uncharted waters when compared to the rest of the country.

gay-girls

Another good news item is the James River in Richmond Virginia is now clean enough to swim in.  Now there is a novel idea, a river you can actually swim in.  Water tests showed that fecal bacteria had dropped to acceptable levels the Department of Environmental Quality said.  Which brings me to the obvious question:  “What is an acceptable level of poo-poo kaw-kaw nothing is acceptable to me, absolutely nothing is the level I want. anyway?” I mean, gee whiz, give me a break.  That is not acceptable in any way, shape, form or manner.

And finally.

If all this fails, you can move to California, where they are proposing to tax “pot sales.”  Now if you think about it, the nation’s pot heads have been paying a really high tax for years on this product, but it was to the Mafia or Organized Crime. 

Why not pay a tax to the local government instead, put the money in the hands of all those folks who KNOW how to spend it for your public GOOD.

Which gives us about $1 billion per year in added taxes revenue for all these tax strapped states that just cannot live on billions and billions per year in collected tax revenue.

Taxing Pot Heads … I Believe I have heard it all now.  A totally new meaning to the word “Reefer Madness.”

It is now time for me to close this off, head out to the front porch and maybe see if I can borrow some “medical marijuana” from my next door neighbor with the five dogs (the people who live two doors down on public assistance) . Mailman says every time he walks by there, they are out in the garage shooting pool on their cheap table with the crooked sticks, pumping out the rap on the boom-boxes and he says …. “I smell it, no doubt about it.”

Perhaps in the spirit of the day, they will share with me?

Twist one up and then I will sit there in the spring time warmth, and ask myself whether I want to hold the bowl of love or go out there in the Universe, in search of the meaning of life.  To do this with another person or do it alone, to feel that shield of love and glow that is incredible.  Again the nagging questions of life, to enter into another drug induced deep value introspective view of shallow relationships or just go back inside and watch The View.

Another wacky Thursday in a long line of run together crazy insane days.  When you give up religion and politics’ this is what is left ……. Not much.  Kind of like this bailout routine, this financial black hole we seem to find ourselves being sucked in to.  Think about it.

socilaism

OOO

Pumping It To Me

Nothing like biting the hand that feeds you is what I say.  After a dismal showing at the Detroit Auto Show the automotive companies announced that they would like to see a “higher gasoline tax as an incentive to buy their fuel-efficient cars.”

Personally, I don’t know about you, but I am getting a little tired of their act at this point in the game.  Here is a novel idea, build something worth a —- and the American public will rush to buy it, this business ethic or economic model has been proven over and over.

The automotive industry is espousing this idea of higher taxes on gasoline to force buyers to keep considering fuel-efficient and small cars.  They have shifted over production dramatically to reflect this trend, no longer having the bread and butter truck sales they have enjoyed in the past.  They saw how fast consumers with the lemming mentality or herd characteristic rushed out to buy small cars during the last round of fuel pricing in this country.

Now they are saying without this tax and higher prices on fuel, consumers will turn back to larger vehicles, crossovers and trucks, which they are producing fewer numbers of.  That they “need” this to stay competitive in today’s market.  Bull.

We help them out, and now they want to push prices on motor fuel upwards into the $6 per gallon range and force us to buy their products.  Correct me if I am wrong, but doesn’t this come under the heading of extortion?

Here is where the extra gas money goes, when the prices are down, the American consumer has more money to spend in other areas of life, such as:

  • Groceries 48%
  • Savings 42%
  • Credit Card debt 30%
  • Entertainment 10%
  • Home Improvement 9%

(survey of 3,013 consumers margin of error = +/-2%)

So now we are being told it is time for — Cash for clunkers — This one is really rich boys n girls, you are going to love this.  Sixty percent of the 21 million barrels of oil we consume daily in the United States is used by the nation’s 250,000,000 cars and light trucks. Our continued reliance on oil to drive the transportation sector is deepening our economic crisis, hurting consumers at the pump, and sending more than $500 billion in U.S. capital out of the country to oil-rich regimes.

The culprit?  Your old “paid for” car or truck.  Nothing is being said about the legions of trucks running up and down the Interstates of America, half loaded, sucking down diesel fuel to the tune of 4mpg.  It is YOU and your OLD CAR this is where the problem lies.  In the end, when it comes to government, it is always going to be “you.”

Cars which are 13 years or older account for only 25 percent of the miles driven, but they produce 75 percent of all pollution from automobiles. As the economies around the world improve, so will the demand for crude, and thus the cycle begins anew, prices will climb steadily upwards again.  What we have now is just a temporary fix to a bad problem.

This new Cash for Clunkers program would target Americans who own older, inefficient vehicles, often those of more limited means who would benefit most from upgrading to a more economical model. It is also touted as being streamlined for the consumer.  Cash for Clunkers could be up and running quickly and immediately and it would generate simulative benefits for the economy without requiring a major new government bureaucracy.

Yeah?  I will believe that one when I see it.

The vehicles would be sold to salvage yards, with the proceeds of reclaimed steel and used auto parts being returned to the U.S. Treasury. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which already administers rebate programs focused on domestic appliances, is well positioned to oversee such a program.

With an average premium per car of $2,500, including handling fees for dealers, the program would require an annual outlay of approximately $5 billion dollars to scrap 2 million gas guzzlers each year. The total cost of the program would be offset substantially by the high salvage value of steel and auto parts, which is on the rise.

Wait a minute:  This is bogus information, scrap metal, aluminum, brass all of it is actually on the decline, not on the rise.  Don’t believe everything you read.

Cash for Clunkers would provide much-needed infusion of market demand to the troubled automobile industry, which has seen sales plummet amidst the faltering economy. The program has the potential to take millions of the oldest, most inefficient vehicles off the road and shift the entire market toward newer, more economical models, increasing demand and creating jobs.

Then when they (the automakers) get in a better position, and with an infusion of new free money, find themselves fit and healthy, they come around and bite you in the rear or stab you in the back, which ever works out the best for them.  One more government parasite to suck the lifeblood out of you.

“Be ye not the first to try the latest, or the last to cast the old aside.”

It is time, as my daddy used to say, “To fish or cut bait” boys.  Either get with the program, build a better mousetrap or go under.  But stop sticking it to me, I am tired of it.

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Big Biz

bush-legacy

War is good business, invest your kid.

The United States sold $32 billion in weapons on the world market last year, making it the number one producer of arms in the world.  Here is another thing that is interesting.  More than twenty five customers of U.S. Arms sales are NOT democratic developing countries and are known to be “human rights abusers.” Kind of blows a hole in the “We are going around the world supporting democracy and fighting terrorism wherever we find it” theory from the boys in DC doesn’t it?

Trickle Down Economy Outside Waco, Texas — How does it feel?

This week, George W. Bush spent what are expected to be his final days at his ranch in Crawford, Texas as president. Bush is on his 77th trip to the ranch, and according to one CBS reporter, he has spent nearly 500 days in Crawford during his presidency. Bush’s presence there over the last eight years had boosted the small Texas town’s tourism industry. But as one of the most unpopular presidents in modern history leaves office, the local souvenir shops “are starting to deeply discount” their Bush-related products:

Already a couple of souvenir shops in Crawford have closed as the Bush boom started to peter out over the past year and as the nation turned its attention on the new race for the White House. For the two remaining shops, things have slowed to a trickle.

There’s up to 30 per cent off prices at the Yellow Rose, a cavernous place on the corner of the main intersection in town. Mugs, T-shirts and beer coolers badged with a presidential seal and the words “western White House” are flanked by life-sized cardboard cutouts of the President.  Bush and his wife Laura will be moving to Dallas after he leaves office. There goes the neighborhood!

Cyber Sex

Men looking for romance now must contend with a new rival.  The Internet and Technology.  A new survey just out this week, reports that 46% of women say they would rather go without sex for two weeks than go that long without Internet Access.  Only 30% of the men would make the same trade-off.  Gives a totally new meaning to the word “Hard Drive” doesn’t it?  (Yeah, I know, pretty bad)

Buy Yo personal Obama’s, they is going fast!

Did any of you find a Mr. Obama under the tree Christmas Day?  Sales of Obama items are off the charts in the Washington DC area including T-shirts, action figures, dolls, coffee mugs, and a jack-in-the-box that springs out with a big Obama Smile.  And you people rag me about how classless “Baracks House” parody is.  Now I guess it would be safe to assume that you are emailing all of these tasteless toy and memorabilia item producers and giving them a hard time, right?  I-dont-think-so-dot.com

Passive Aggressive

A Florida family said their toddler’s talking Elmo doll had an abrupt personality change and started threatening to kill him.  The mother said that the cuddly Sesame Street Character used to sing songs and talked about colors, to the delight of her two year old child James.

After its batteries died and were replaced, however, the doll would only say “Kill James” in a sinister cadence.  Which is definitely something that you would never think would come out of a toy said the mother.  It must be the Market Share Elmo — The Wall Street Version.

And Finally … Check Please — Bank bailout is faltering.

The billions of federal dollars funneled to the nations’ banks aren’t trickling down to the business and consumers as promised.  There is little evidence of what effect these billions of dollars are having on us.  This week I did have a new wrinkle in my banking experience, because of a rash in bank robberies, they apparently want male patrons to not cover their heads while inside the bank.

Tuesday, I walked into the main lobby of my bank wearing a ball cap and a security guard told me to remove it (key word here is “told me to” he did not politely ask me to) and I said, “What for?”  Then he tells me why (their opinion of who, what, where and why) and I refused.

Then he insisted and I of course, resisted, and offered him the option of “arresting me or going away” so much for Barney, The Bank Guard and my day at Overdraft Central. (It was almost as intense as being ejected from the Public Library last April over the issue of cellphone use in a public place.  Might be a story in there somewhere, I dunno?)

Banking people are not a long ways up the food chain in my world any more.

I should have stayed home, picked up my cellphone that has a ring-tone that sounds like a frog on crack, and called the “customer representative of my bank” who is named Abraham Lincoln, who lives in Bombay, India to find out about the new checks.

Back in the olden times, I used to do this at my local branch, but it was transferred to the other end of the state and then I understand that it merged with a sock manufacturer in Peru, after receiving the free bailout money from the Bush Administration.  It is not easy banking in Ameri-kuh anymore George, thanks.

As Dr. Phil is fond of saying …. What was I thinking?

000

“The cartoon courtesy of Center for American Progress” (online), Bush material gleaned from Think Progress.com