Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Trickle Down Taxes

In order to balance the State budget Albany has come up with a plan to spread the pain and tax burden around. On the surface that is commendable. But the fact is that no matter how you slice it the individual consumer will be receiving the brunt of every tax increase.

Businesses must make a profit or frankly why stay in business? So any increase in cost must be passed along at least in part to the consumer. For example the increased tax on utilities will immediately be reflected in our monthly bills. New taxes for HMOs and re instituting hospital assessments will not be absorbed either. In fact if you analyze each new or increased tax line by line you will be hard pressed to find one that will not be passed along to you and me.

Unfortunately there is no easy solution so why not call a spade a spade? Leave out the middle man and just raise the taxes of every person living on Long Island. And don’t worry about a mass exodus. With home prices in the dumps and the MTA raising their fares we can’t afford to leave the island anyway.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Ping Pong Commuting

New York State lawmakers are looking into the fare increases proposed by the Metropolitan Transit Authority. The State is expected to vote on easing the pain of the New York and Long Island commuter. Undoubtedly they will offer a compromise that will allow the MTA to lower but not cancel the increases.


But they are merely responding to the latest salvo by the MTA in what has become a regularly scheduled if not predictable “Ping Pong” game between the City and the State. The reasons for these disagreements change but always center around money. And the one constant is that we the commuters are the ping pong ball.


Remember when the motto was "MTA - Going your way?" There is also the phrase, "My way or the highway." Well the MTA has joined the two - "MTA - No matter which way you pay."


Come Tuesday or Wednesday the commuter will be given a reprieve from the so-called doomsday MTA budget but it will only be a partial one. Increases will be approved and we will be forced to pay higher fares for lesser service and be thankful that, for now the game has ended.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Headlines Are Funny

Since headlines must grab your attention there is no way for them to be totally specific. The best and most effective ones seem to be those with multiple meanings. That makes for some enjoyable misinterpretations.


We all know how one letter can change a word but sometimes the changes are funny. Unfortunately they involve speaking the words so say them out loud for the full effect.


Here are some Newsday headings and their possible spoken misinterpretations:


Pols hopeful of MTA deal:


1 People of Poland hope that the MTA will not raise fares too high

2 A Gallop poll found more people want a lower fare by 60 to 40

3 Politicians think they can iron out a deal to pocket money and still keep the fares down.


Crackdown on bus drivers:


1 Too many people are becoming bus drivers. Lawmakers are stopping them

2 Bus drivers are slowing their usage of Crack

3 Some bus drivers are not obeying the law or do not have licenses


Clinton pushes for China role:


1 Hillary Clinton tries out for part in a new play about China

2 A hungry Clinton seeks tasty egg roll

3 Clinton backs Esther Rolles’ Asian cousin (Okay a bit far fetched)

4 The Secretary of State wants China involved in policy making


Blast in Brazil:


1 Spring break in Rio

2 The 2001 Tony winning group performs south of the equator

3 Explosion rocks city in South America

E I - E I - Uh Oh!

Ever notice that all a company or entrepreneur has to do these days is add the letter “E” or “I” to the beginning of his product to make it a success?


The start of the phenomenon was most likely the incredible success of Apple’s I Pod and the subsequent I Phone but since then the bandwagon has admitted many passengers.


In America this is usually a good thing and any enterprise that produces sales and sales tax helps the economy. That is unless the new I or E product is just wrong.


Such is the case with the newest fad to help us kill ourselves in a legal way, the E-Cigarette.


This latest technological leap offers a way to continue smoking without the use of annoying tobacco. And it appears to be a loophole against the various public place non-smoking laws around the country. Rather than breathing in the harmful by-product of a burning tobacco leaf we are now given a battery operated stick from which we can suck in nicotine from a refillable canister. And we all know that nicotine will not harm us, right?


For those people who tried to quit smoking by use of the “patch” a nicotine laced gel in a film that you stick on your arm there are strict warnings about overuse. These warnings include nicotine poisoning from using just 2 patches at the same time. You must also dispose of the used patches by folding them on themselves and sealing them in wrappers so as to keep them from being eaten by and thus killing children or pets.


Until the authorities have tested this product and placed appropriate safety regulations upon them I would like to at the very least see their packaging contain warnings such as: “E-Cigarettes are addictive” or even “E-Cigarettes will cause E-Cancer.”

Friday, March 27, 2009

Buddy Can You Spare Some Kibble?

The trickle down economy (key word down) is hurting all.
But some are incapable of helping themselves.


It's nice to see a new 'start-up' franchise such as this one emerge from the ashes.


You could say that Bush's 'Fuzzy Math' has become today's "Furry Economics."


Thanks to Adrienne P for the photo find.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Subtracting By Ad-ding

Will someone please send the following message to Madison Avenue? With DVRs and TIVOs and several hundreds of alternate channels available to the television viewing public annoying commercials will not be tolerated let alone viewed. With remote in hand I stand at the ready to surf the tsunami of stupidity in search of sane commercial free shows.

There is an old adage in the ad agencies that any publicity is good publicity. This is a shame because the thinking is mired in the past. A sponsor is sold a story that says no matter if the public loves or hates an ad they will at least remember it and it will produce sales at a later date.

On radio they use the tactic of repetition. When a phone number is part of an ad it is not said once or even twice but at least three times and is sometimes sung! I heard an ad for some product that is now on my 'avoid list' in which their phone number was repeated SEVEN TIMES! I wrote the name of the product down in seven places to make sure I never make the purchase.

It is this same brain-dead thinking that has given us the likes of that incredibly ugly annoying; idiotic; moronic female blight on the entire universe who touts the Progressive Insurance Company. I cannot figure out if the female in the commercial really dresses and looks like that in real life because if she does Sally Struthers should make a comeback and hold a telethon for her.

Now I know it sounds harsh and many 'Mad Men' will say that the ad worked because I remembered the product but they are missing one very important point. As a result of the ads they have perpetrated on the American public in general and my television in particular I will in fact remember Progressive. That's because I would sooner be dead than ever buy a product made or offered by them!

Another advertisement that makes no sense to me and has turned me off the product in question is the one involving a young boy's annoying voice saying 'Zoom zoom' in an idiotic attempt to get me to buy his car! Do the ad people think that saying a word supposedly linked to speed is going to get people to fork over their hard earned money for their product? Well I hate to disappoint them, no correct that, I am happy to disappoint them. I shall never buy that car!

Another annoying piece of turd is some shirt-sleeved moron who calls himself a professor and wishes to sell his line of programs for the computer aimed at people with IQs in the 20 to 30 range. He starts his ad with "I'm the guy who..."
I didn't cut it off there to stop from saying his product but rather to emphasize the fact to the stations that air the commercial that I never hear the rest because I have turned the program I was watching off!
In fact it is probable that I will not come back to the station for a while because I may have gotten interested in a different program that is not sponsored by, "The guy who..."


And this brings me to the single most annoying jackass to ever make me pull a muscle running for the remote, Billy Mays. I do not give a rats ass what product this moron is touting I will never, NEVER buy it and if I see someone else buying it in a store I will go out of my way to deter them from their act. I want the sponsors of whatever this jerk is yelling about to know that neither I nor my family nor anyone within the sound of my voice will ever, EVER purchase a product offered by him.

In the spirit of Maria Von Trapp these are a few of my least favorite things. Whatever happened to funny commercials?

You might say "There's the beef!" And while I have only listed some I assure you there are many many more. Please feel free to add some of your favorite jaw-dropping PIA ads. But I must leave now; just writing about the ones above has given me indigestion and I am in need of some "plop plop fizz fizz, oh what a relief it is."

R&D - or Are We Happy Yet?

These days Research & Development has been replaced by Recession and Depression. The recession is a plural thing but the depression is most definitely on an individual basis and I am one of those individuals.


R&B may also be renamed Recession and Blues rather than its “rhythm” counterpart.


With unemployment at levels not seen for quite some time many people are pounding the streets during the day and pounding their heads at night. You could say that there’s a whole lot of pounding going on and it is likely to keep our National headache around a bit longer.


On the bright side the government is trying a different tactic. They say Replace the Doom with feelings of hope. One could say their face is much like the “What Me Worry” face of Alfred E Newman but with the stock market moving in the right direction (if you’re a ‘bull’) I would be Mad to argue?


Politicians, including the President are telling us that we are all in the same boat. That’s nice. I keep looking around my boat but I don’t see any of them!


So we are all in this together? So how come they still have jobs and pensions and free health care for themselves and their families for life and lobbyists throwing money at them and obscenely paid speaking tours waiting for them when they retire?


If you ask your congressman the hard questions he or she will almost certainly Redirect and Deflect.


So if you wish to keep your colored glasses Rosy rather than Dark do not check out your retirement statements just yet or R&D may become R&W as in Read ‘em and Weep.


As it stands now many 401K statements are signaling another R&D; Retirement is Done.


But remember that when it comes to the health of our economy R&D no matter which one you choose beats DNR any day.



Up next, M&A – Why Mergers and Acquisitions beat Moping and Angry – The generic difference between Main Street and the Pharmaceutical world.

Conservative Crock

A seemingly hateful statement may in fact be meant as constructive criticism. The fine line between the two is intent. Unfortunately one of the hardest things to prove in an open society is intent. Without real hard evidence if an alleged criminal keeps his or her mouth shut they will never be brought to justice.


That is why we have laws with rules and regulations that allow freedom of speech. This freedom also extends to the third estate and to filmmaking. But we also have laws against using that freedom to incite riots and hate.


We attempt to keep our election process free of this type of veiled and incite full hatred. Often we fail to do so as was evident when a well funded hateful group of 'low-lifes' hijacked and successfully altered a recent election with their false claims. This tactic has become known as “Swift Boating.”


The courts are now wrangling with another debate that concerns freedom of speech and the campaign laws for fair elections.


A politically conservative group calling themselves ‘Citizens United’ put together a 90 minute hate film against Hillary Clinton and planned to use it in a campaign against the former First Lady during the 2008 Presidential election. Obviously their plans were ruined as Mr. Obama won the nomination but the movie still exists and is now offered on 'Pay Per View' stations. It is at the core of this ongoing debate.


America is a wonderful country that allows movies to be made and viewed even if they are awful; stupid; moronic; one-sided pieces of trash such as this. Our free enterprise system should then give its verdict with box office receipts and the producers either reap the benefit or lick their wounds.


It is a sad fact that this movie preaches to the choir and the people who already believe the filth and views therein to be true will spend their time and money watching this crap. It may even end up as a special on Fox News; possibly hosted by one of that network’s sad buffoonish commentators they laughingly call ‘fair and balanced.’


One can only hope that the era of hatred and divisiveness caused by the previous administration and its ilk of law breaking war mongers is nearing an end and that films such as these are put in their rightful place, Rush Limbaugh’s basement.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Hidden Gems

I came across the following stories while reading International news today. Some of these stories can and should boggle the minds of normal humans but for some reason they are reported almost on a daily basis.

Unfortunately the items find themselves tucked away in some middle page with a slightly smaller font and no printed fanfare so most people may not even notice them. These were from Newsday and for brevity sake I will paraphrase them. If interested you may find them on-line or inyour printed paper.

In Saudi Arabia a woman was dragged down the stairs and out of a building she was hiding in by the Saudi police. Her terrible crime - She was in a car with a man she is not related to! You remember the Saudis, don't you? They are the ones we used to see skipping through the White House rose garden with their best friend 'W.' They are also the proud winners of the "Who had the most terrorists involved on 911" award.

To promote next year's Soccer World Cup host country South Africa is holding a peace conference. But rather than offend their trading partner, China they banned the incredibly dangerous Dalai Lama! As a result Nobelist Archbishop Desmond Tutu and former Pres. de Klerk are boycotting the peace conference. It is sure to be peaceful as long as you make sure only one side of a possible argument shows up. Anyone think South Africa has arrived yet?

But on the other side of the South Africa coin is Pope Benedict XVI who was understandably upset during his pilgrimage there at all the homeless and poor people of Angola. But hypocrasy watch notes that the land from which the poor were evicted and are therefore homeless is owned by the Catholic Church! Hmmmm. Perhaps a better advanced secretary is needed for the Pontiff?

One other note that is missed by most people because we in America don't like it to be known is the fact that Tata Motors of India has introduced their new car, the Nano. Priced at $2,200 - Not a typo - $2,200 the little car gets just under 50 mpg and boasts a 65 mph top speed. (You don't want to go faster anyway, right? And especially not in a car this small.)

Luckily this car will not be available in America as it is not allowed here. Just as they killed the electric car big business can not afford to have the public use vehicles that don't line the pockets of the 'right' people.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

PC & The Presidency

After carelessly comparing his skills as a bowler to those of a handicapped participant in the Special Olympics the President was bombarded with much outrage. But this was only the beginning of his problems as he was reportedly seen stepping on several cracks in the pavement as he left "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno."

Moe Rahn of the 'International Directory of Insidious & Ominous Terrestrial Superstitions' was quoted as saying, "This kind of wanton act shows a pattern of behavior and a classic disregard for the well being of others."

The head of IDIOTS went on to say, "The President must realize that he is a role model for millions of children the world over who wish to follow in his footsteps, literally! Think of the danger mothers face when their children seek out and
deliberately step on all those cracks."

The President could not be reached for comment but a White
House spokesperson attempted to defuse the situation by promising to keep a watchful eye for any cracks in the President's path in the future. While not wishing to lend any credence to the century old rhyme concerning cracks and backs the spokesperson did did try to allay the fears of the Moe Rahn's and the IDIOTS everywhere.

The White House continued their statement, "We must be clear that the President wishes no harm to any law abiding citizen or groups of citizens including IDIOTS."

And as for the claim of intent on the President's part "the action was totally unintentional. The President does not wish to hurt those mothers!"

Thursday, March 19, 2009

A Pleasant Shock & Awe

This week there were several funny and incredible videos made and or posted on line. These became so popular that people told their friends and they told etc. until they became what's known as viral!
But unlike the virus that caused the original Shock & Awe these are enjoyable!

SO CLICK HERE AND ENJOY!


That's an order.

And make sure after watching the first Shocking one about birthing babies you click the second one. That is the truly Awe inspiring video. And for you romantics out there scroll down and click on the one entitled, "Signs." It's 12 minutes but well done and worthwhile.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Medic!

When one is lucky enough to have an infected appendix removed before it kills you what happens to the offending former part?

Well if that infected diseased pulsating mass of putrid matter is known as DICK Cheney it seems to remain!


This country just cannot seem to rid itself of the disgusting former and illegally appointed Vice President even though he has outlived his usefulness and tenure.

In his latest interviews he is taking credit for winning the Iraq war and turning that country Democratic. He is explaining away the economic disaster as entirely the fault of the Democrats. He and W were innocent bystanders while all the bad stuff happened! Will someone please call the HAZMAT people and get him out of here?

But since he refuses to slink away like so much garbage why don't we use him as we would that aforementioned appendix? Let's dissect him and see if we can figure out how to stop the disease from returning to infect future generations.

No need to scratch your head, Dick.
This is a no-brainer!
Posterity will thank us.

Early Bird State Strikes Again

From those wonderful people who gave you Bush and all the commensurate baggage comes the latest in the ongoing "Screw You America" campaign.

Today Ruth Madoff announced that her NINE AND A HALF MILLI
ON DOLLAR HOME in Florida is now to be considered her primary residence. For those of you unaware of the statewide law sub-titled "Screw everyone else and hide your taxes in plain view" Florida considers your home to be a sacred place and is exempt from any attempts to seize it.

In other words Ruth Madoff, who is naturally innocent 'wink wink say no more' until proven guilty will be able to keep the ridiculously extravagant home she was able to buy with her savings as a clerk!

Ruth would be laughing all the way to the bank except because of her, her husband and her family the bank is bankrupt.

If anyone believes as I do that this law should be overturned start writing to your congressman and representative. For those of you who feel this is a just law can I have a piece of whatever illegal activity you are into?

Monday, March 16, 2009

The New BUT Heads

After butting heads with Rush Limbaugh the Republicans learned their lesson. Their new party line became, "We want the President to succeed, BUT..." "None of us want him to fail, BUT..."


This complete U-turn goes against Limbaugh's much repeated statement to the contrary. At first elected officials of the GOP complained that Rush's words were being taken out of context but they were proven wrong by 'going to the videotape' (with homage to Warner Wolf.) There for all the world to see and hear the self-serving entertainer and spiritual leader of the party speaks the damning words himself. And still any party member who went against him was rebuked and forced to recant and apologize. There is no word on whether kissing his ring was sufficient.


But has their position changed?

Not Really!

Note the single word quietly added after their new statement about Presidential failure. The word is BUT.


When do we use that word?

We generally use it to contradict our own statement as in "I love that outfit you're wearing, BUT is it really right for you?"

The end result is as obvious as if we had said, "Why would you wear that???"


So has the Republican position changed? Not really - No BUTs about it.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Boo Yah Bruce

Care to watch a short video of my appearance on Mad Money? Jim Cramer took my call on March 12th. You will have to sit through a 15 second commercial and then my voice comes in at the 8 minute mark of the following video. (You can move the time-line cursor to get there fast.)

After this high point for Jim he had to visit with Jon Stewart on the Daily Show where he was verbally spanked.

I was much nicer to him!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Bargain Basement Justice


Bernard Madoff is about to plead guilty to committing the largest fraud in history and costing thousands of people a total of $50 Billion.

It's a start.

It is believed that he will receive a life sentence of up to 150 years for his crime and he will be moved from his $7 million penthouse suite to a slightly smaller abode as a guest of the Federal Justice system.

And those who watched their fortunes fall can only hope that Bernie's soap falls many times in the prison shower room. But no amount of a-hole buddies or new significant others will suffice as punishment for this evil doer.

As a new tenant of the place affectionately known as "The Big House" Mr. Madoff will be given a brand new wardrobe consisting of less than famous designer clothing. He will go from his conservative French and Italian look to a more practical striped wardrobe. And his next job will most likely include a different type of laundering than he is used to.

But the fact is that every day he spends in the penal system costs the American taxpayer more money. And no matter how small that amount may be it is still too much to waste on him.


Therefore I believe we should dress Mr. M for success in jail. Not his success but ours.

Keep the stripes and instead give Bernie a white sheet and a pillow case.


The
n introduce him into the general population of the penal system.

Justice served at a bargain price!

New Math?

Wow am I thrilled today! Many of my stocks gained 30%!
Unfortunately statistics lie and the above statement is KAKA!

You see those stocks lost over 50% in the recent downturn and today's rise, while nice is quite a small amount.

How can I say that?
Well, on the surface it appears that I am only down 20% - 50% down and 30% up.

But plug in dollars to see the fallacy.

Down 50% means if you started with $100 you now have only $50.
Then 30% jump adds back only $15. (That's 30% of the new $50 starting point.)
Your new total cash on hand is $65 - A loss of $35 which is 35% in this example!

In other words when it comes to statistics and more precisely percentages minus 50 plus 30 is actually minus 35!

And that's the real new math!


By the way I lied also - Only a few of my stocks gained 30% today but it sounded nice, didn't it?

Can We Count on the Census?

I just got back from the 'Hempstead Works' office. This wonderful place is a center for unemployment and employment. The people who work there have the mission of finding people jobs while ensuring their insurance (unemployment that is) continues.

They set up meetings between employers and hopeful employees as well as promote job fairs and work with companies during their 'downsizing' procedures.

One of the all-day events they promoted was as on-site meeting with the U S Census Bureau. The Bureau needed many workers and set up March 10th as the date for all to come and apply for any openings.

Unfortunately the Bureau must have counted poorly because all of the available jobs seem to have been filled.
When were they filled you might ask.
They were filled over a month ago!

I guess they need a few more workers for the recount.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Shareholders' Revolt

I have been listening to both, no all the sides on the current economic adventure and one thing is becoming clear. Our government, to use a Charles Dickens term is a ass!

For example I have been hearing all the leaders and pundits say that the banks should be allowed to go under and take the shareholders with them. They claim that when someone buys a stock they must realize that they are taking a big risk and they could lose money. This is of course true but they are leaving one thing out of their ostrich-like argument. Most of the people who lost money in the stock market cannot afford to lose money. And to make matters worse with over 8% unemployment many of them have been laid off recently and no longer have worthwhile incomes they could use to make up the losses.

And to say that they should have known better is not only unfair but untrue. Now you may argue that an investor should check out the company whose stock he wishes to buy before actually plunking down his money for some shares but we are leaving one important thing out of the argument, the SEC.

That government agency is supposed to regulate public companies and make sure they are doing things legally. In other words they are supposed to find the Madoffs of the world and shut them down BEFORE they do their immense damage. They are supposed to figure out that mortgages are being given to total deadbeats or unfortunate people on welfare who cannot afford a house and then those mortgages are being sold and sold and sold until no one knows who owns what but all the intermediaries have made fake fortunes.

In other words the a-holes of the SEC are supposed to do the jobs for which we pay them so handsomely. BUT THEY DID NOT!

And since we the little investors, the backbone of the entire stock market system did not realize that our government was so inept we can not be held accountable for allowing our 401Ks and retirement funds to implode. We were kept in the dark!

BUT WHEN THE SELF SAME BASTARDS WHO RAN THE ECONOMY INTO THE GROUND NOW GET BAILED OUT AND THE LITTLE INVESTOR IS TOLD HE SHOULD HAVE KNOWN BETTER WE ARE GETTING CLOSE TO A REVOLUTION!

If this were a different country there would be dismembered heads rolling in the streets. If the guillotine were still in use we would not be wondering if $800 billion dollars were enough to assuage the Ken Lewis' and Vikram Pandits of the world but rather into what size coffin should their headless bodies be placed.

But we are all lucky that this IS America and that those disgusting filthy pieces of greedy shit are allowed to live but do not blame the individual investors around the country who, believing in their government tried to do the right thing by investing in America!!!

Think twice before you allow any company that was brought down by immoral, greedy, and totally corrupt CEOs and board members to go bankrupt in this environment and hurt the little Main Streeters any further. Instead save the companies and the shareholders but place the true culprits behind bars.

Just like a murderer is not allowed to benefit in a book deal when writing about his crime the heads of those companies must not be allowed to take ONE PENNY away from the failed company let alone obscene bonuses in the millions.
And we should be allowed to go back two or three years in order to get enough money back from them in order to pay for the damages they caused.

I am not suggesting revolution. I am suggesting JUSTICE!

Sweepstakes Announcement

Colons R Us

Now that I have your attention the link above will take you to the CBS cares web site where you may enter a contest to win, wait for it, an all expense paid trip to NYC for a free, I SAID FREE - COLONOSCOPY!!! YAYYYY!

Okay so it's not a trip to Disney but think of it this way you can enter someone you really don't like and hope they win!

Now I love "60 Minutes" and my wife and I have watched it for years when convenient so I believe I can say without fear of successful contradiction that this is the first time they have ever offered a free colonoscopy on the show. I mean when they announced the contest frankly I was only half listening. I was actually waiting for the commercial to end and the next show to begin. And for completeness sake let me say that the actual procedure will not take place on the show, thank goodness.
Of course many critics might feel that the commentators on the show have, from time to time had their heads up their own butts. These critics would probably like to see Andy Rooney win the thing but it will be a lucky viewer nevertheless.


It is actually a wonderful thing and CBS should be commended for bringing awareness to a potentially life threatening disease and offering to pay for the screening of one lucky sweepstakes winner. I imagine they also throw in the necessary supplies one needs to prepare for the procedure and a quiet room in which to, uh get ready as it were.

Unfortunately the sweepstakes would not be so wonderful for me as I live so close to NYC. The flight would therefore not be necessary unless of course I took a US Air flight 1549 from La Guardia to the Hudson. Of course if I did take that flight I would not need that much preparation. Perhaps CBS could find a doctor in, say Hawaii who would be willing to perform the procedure? Then I would certainly enter!

BUTT the BOTTOM line (I couldn't resist) is anyone outside of the area should take part in the sweepstakes and if you are not lucky enough (?) to be the winner then schedule a colonoscopy on your own and when convenient. It's one or two days of discomfort that could save your life. And to paraphrase Smokey the Bear, "Only you can prevent Colon Cancer."

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Curious Case of a Suburban Dog Pauper

Inspired by the Oscars I thought about life here on Long Island:


I never really thought I would be incredibly wealthy but I had always hoped to end up at least comfortable.

I came from Queens (the county) and grew up in an apartment building complex. For the most part I did what I was told when I was young. I drank my milk and cleaned the table after meals. I did well in school following the rules and receiving many perfect attendance commendations. I graduated college in a reasonable amount of time and went looking for my reward in the time of Nixon’s Presidency.

Unfortunately my timing was off. You see I went to school to become an electrical engineer but so did thousands before me. And as I entered my senior year I found there was a frosty outlook for jobs in the field. It was a dark night as I wrestled with alternatives but I finally dropped my major opting instead for a regular BS degree. That stands for Bachelor of Science and not any other more obvious name.

With no apparent direction my parents directed me into textiles. Since my dad was in the field I figured I must have learned something about it through osmosis. Actually all I knew about the subject was it had something to do with fabrics. And at this point it was a job I wanted.

I immediately started to learn and realized that there were a number of beautiful young ladies in the field. I even dated one who worked at Cotton Incorporated for a short period of time. The world of fashion did have its perks!

While my career was now in textiles I was a voracious reader and what I really longed to be was to be a writer or even a stand-up comic. But my pressing desire and love of the written word was subjugated by an even more pressing desire and love, that of eating regular meals! So I stayed in the world of schmata or as we in the fashion end of the business like to call it Shma-Tey!

And after many years of hard work using unique skills only a handful of millions other than me possess I rose up to the post of President of the Home Fashion Products Association, a leading industry group. I held the position for nearly five years.

Those were good times but unfortunately they were the high points of the story as our economy has slipped and the once great dreams of many are now current nightmares.

We were one or two questions away from the grand prize when the buzzer rang and game ended. It was a nice ride but I just missed that brass ring. I wish to be young again and start over but I doubt that will happen.

I guess this suburban dog is still hoping for a crack at a Hollywood ending.

The Anti-Obamas

After the terrible and cowardly acts of 9-11 the country gathered behind the President and partisanship disappeared. Well it didn’t disappear as much as sublimate itself.

The main problem as it turned out was that the President and his close group of friends and co-conspirators ended up using that terrible disaster as a springboard for personal financial security. They turned around the country’s determination and desire for justice into the almost totalitarian leadership of the Bush Cheney team. And like na├»ve sheep we went along because no Presidential administration had ever been so self serving before and we as a nation could not believe this one would break that string or the law for that matter.

We were wrong.

The end result of those seven years is the economic meltdown that has America facing its worst financial calamity since the great depression. The effects of the failed policies of the Bush and Republican agenda are being felt by the millions of innocent Americans who wait each week for their unemployment checks to arrive. These people wonder how they will survive into their supposed golden years now that their retirement funds are all but gone.

A new President is now in charge and with him is a Democratic Congress committed to the cause. Together they are attempting to turn the economy around and change the direction this country is headed. They are seeking a brighter future for all. The programs they proposed and should soon implement may not be perfect but they are certainly better than what we have lived through so far. And they are better than doing nothing.

However the leaders of the Republican Party continue to push for their proven failed agenda and obstruct any real healing that could come from true bi-partisan cooperation. This was most evident by the rebuttal of the President’s speech to Congress by Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal. In a time of crisis such as this just the thought of a rebuttal to a speech about healing and hope should be anathema. But the Republicans feel they are on the defensive and must therefore attack. It shows the fractured pig-headedness of the GOP as they continue to change that acronym into a new name the Grand Obstructionist Party.

This country is suffering from its second attack of the decade. The major difference this time is that the perpetrators personally walked away with millions in salaries and bonuses and received rewards for their attacks in the form of “Bailouts.” But make no mistake the failure of the banking system and the resultant recession are as damaging to this nation as any terrorist attack we have endured to date.

So where is the bi-partisan rally behind this President?

Where is the joining of hands to heal our nation?

Instead we see the brain trust of the Republican Party planning for their next assault on Congress and the White House. Rather than work to fix our problems they are positioning themselves with meetings such as CPAC (the Conservative Political Action Conference) to hone their message and find their next candidates in an effort to oust the Democrats from office.

The cover of the March 1st issue of the New York Times Magazine shows Newt Gingrich in a wonderfully devilish pose nearly chomping at the bit and proud of his title as “The Anti-Obama.” He along with Mr. Jindal and Republican Minority Whip Eric Cantor look to their spiritual leader Rush Limbaugh and are thinking only of themselves and how to get back into power.

Mr. Limbaugh is now famous for his utterance of his desire to see President Obama fail. Isn’t that the same thing Osama Bin Laden wishes for? Perhaps the two should get together.

What this nation needs right now is for our leaders to stop their silly finger pointing and petty bickering. We need them to get back to basics. And for guidance they must not look back to the last administration or even the one before but rather all the way back to the beginnings of our country. As President Lincoln did when he gave his monumentally moving Gettysburg Address noting that our fathers brought forth this nation conceived in Liberty. He beseeched all involved to make sure this nation would be reborn and he reminded all that the government was of, by, and for the people.

The founding fathers’ words were beautiful but may need just a tiny tweak today. To wit:

We the people of the United States, in order to keep our almost perfectly formed Union, continue to seek and establish Justice, insure and ensure our domestic Tranquility, provide for the common Defense both here and abroad where and only when necessary, promote the general Welfare of all our citizens especially those in need, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, must continue to use and be guided by the ordained and established Constitution for the United States of America.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Use the Farce

The union of the Internet and PhotoShop is definitely a match made in heaven. Or should I say a universe far far away and long ago?

Some people say my rants are too long so this one is going to be short and sweet. And since a picture can be worth a thousand words I give you the spiritual leader of the Republican Party and his most recent subject.

Limba the Hutt:



PS - Check out how hot Michael Steele looks!
Thanks to Larry F for the photo

Monday, March 2, 2009

What Do You Call...

It is a fact that you can insult someone but do it in a way as to have it sound funny and then if you laugh about it actually get away with the insult!
It's called comedy.
Don Rickles was a master doing it in a larger than life way and always laughing with you afterward.

You can also insult someone while you are making a comment about them as long as you make it sound like constructive criticism or even complement them after the insult.
It's called irony. Southern Belles are masters of this as they end their statement with a smiling, "Bless your heart" finish.

But lately cartoonist have become vicious imitators of themselves with hateful cartoons disguised as political commentary.
This is called low-life stupidity.

I will not give any more play to the current rash of examples in this category except to say the "Chimp" issue should be over and the "Watermelon" one should join it. I would further like to suggest that the two cartoonists and their publishers seek help. They have a rage that can only be assuaged by attempting to bring others down with them.

Freedom of speech is a wonderful right in America but even we have standards. For example you may set up a 'soap box' and preach your beliefs anywhere you like although most public venues require a permit. What you cannot do with your speech is preach hate.
This is called "Inciting to Riot."

The cartoons are doing just that and they are even more inane because they fail to realize that the President is not a man, it is an office! When elected to this highest office in the land he is called Mr. President for a reason. (The jury is still out on the female version for now but...)

This is the same mistake being made by the loyal opposition, aka the Republicans. They are so angry at having lost power that they are going after Mr. Reid and Ms. Pelosi and in many respects Mr. Obama although with his current high poll ratings they don't have a chance of winning that one.
That's unfortunately called politics as usual.

They have lost sight of their only job, getting this country back on its feet. And if that means working with the President and his party and sublimating their ambitions for a while then sobeit!
That's called governing and it is high time they understood this!
We as a nation have been insulted long enough. We are not living within a cartoon and that's called "no joke!"

NOW EAR THIS!

No it is not a typo but it is something you should hear nevertheless. Despite what you have been told earmarks are not necessarily a bad thing.


First of all what the heck are they? Well for one thing they have nothing to do with piercings that have closed. Earmarks are additions to a congressional bill placed by individual congressmen that attempt to direct money from that bill to a pet project of theirs.


For example if a senator has always wanted to build a coyote refuge in his state but cannot get the money to do so he could find a massive congressional bill that is very likely to pass into law and add or attach his relatively small request for funding.


Naturally Senators from other states will complain and go on television for a sound-bite or two about ‘pork’ and waste but the fact is they are ‘pots talking about kettles’ and are likely placing their own earmarks into other bills.


However many if not most of the earmarks will actually create jobs. The above noted fictitious coyote refuge would need people to man and run the place. The land to be used would have to be bought and that would send money into the private sector. And finally the refuge itself could become a destination for the ecologically conscious and eventually a turn into a revenue stream that would fund further projects.


This is not to say that some earmarks are not totally absurd. The infamous ‘bridge to nowhere’ comes to mind and it is up to our government and the media to keep projects such as that from slipping through unnoticed. President Obama promised to make his administration more transparent and that should aid all parties involved in the search for unsound earmarks.


So while one man's meat may be another man's potato don't forget that they are both nevertheless edible. And the next time your congressman cries 'pork' remind him that some consider it the other white meat.