Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Call it something Different, It is still war

Obama has apparently come to the realization that terrorist must be stopped. Right now the focus has shifted from Iraq toward Pakistan (Pokistan as he says). He calls it something like a shift in resources, Bush just said it plainly...invasion. I do not think we will make a ground assault on Pakistan unless they ask for help. I cannot help but wonder about two countries that have been fighting for decades over a small piece of land called Kashmir. Maybe I spelled that right.

The very issues that won Obama the office now face him and like Mister Bush, he must confront those issues. He is good at calling an apple an orange but they are still fruit nevertheless.

He can lay blame whereeer he pleases and most people will accept it as fact but a review of the last 15 years will show where the blame lies.

I still believe that the inaction of Congress during the last year of Mister Bush's term caused the meltdown of the financial market. They stopped all he tried to do to make him look bad. Check it out.

So, even if one plays the name game and the blame game, the issues are the same and the reactions are the same in some form or another. Mister Obama has a hard job. Reality is his main course now.

America doesn't read anymore (much) but I think the history books (honest ones) will show Mister Bush in a different light than what is said now by many. I also think the blame will be (or should be) laid at the right door if there remains any integrity at all.


I saw a story today about a computer virus that may hit on April 1st. They say the seed for the virus has already been planted. I telling this in case you did not see the story elsewhere. The key to avoiding this is to make sure you have all the updates on your auto-update thing. The virus is said to be able to block the updates which are sent to stop the virus. Hope this note saves you a few dollars.

Computers. Link.

American Cars

I have always driven a Ford when I could find one I could afford. Mostly, I could find one. I have had four new Fords: A Torino, A Pinto, A Maverick, An Escort. I bought them for various reasons, you know, the financing available to me at the time, the fuel issues and because I wanted a car made in America. After buying the Escort, I found the sticker on the door and found out it was made in Mexico.

In all fairness, it has been a good car. I've been to California and states in between there and Georgia, to Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina and other states on the way to those places. The Escort never let me down on the road.

My reason for writing this short article is to discuss the possible reasons why people are not 'American Made' loyal. One reason is the Escort. It is an American company but the product is made in a foreign country. That makes it difficult to be faithful to the brand. Another reason is the sales tactics. When I bought my cars, I felt like there were hidden things that I should not ask about. The things the salesman told me were discreetly changed when it came time to sign the contract. "Oh, we had to do this or that." How can you back out after going that far? After buying the car, it must be serviced to keep the warranty going. I have not had good experiences in the garage of these dealerships. For me, getting none warranty work done is like a family emergency of unexpected expenses. Mechanics are trained to find all the problems they can. What started out to be a leaking hose may turn out to be a leaking radiator. The price tag is much different. And they got you. Who wants to take a chance on a leaking radiator. "Yea, go ahead and fix it. The kids can skip food for a month."

It may not always be that way. My point is I always feel like it is that way and I do not like that feeling so I avoid service departments of new car dealerships. I also avoid in-person salesmen. They are like poker players who do not have the money to gamble. They must sell a car to make money and to keep their job. Their anxiety sheds off on me and I have enough of my own.

Take most 'American' companies advertising. They think everyone is in to acid rock music and halter top girls. I've nothing against girls but these commercials are blasted into living rooms without regard for who is watching or what program is playing. It is like they are trying to force-feed the commercial. They should learn that everyone who has money to spend is not 30 years old and macho. That is but a segment of the population and for an auto company to make it, they need a cross-section of the population. Look at some of the so-called foreign car commercials. (Actually I think Toyota makes their cars in this country. All of it.) But look at the difference in the commercials. A pleasant background music, a nice view of the vehicle, a good description of its qualities. You feel like you have been for a spin around the block in a nice neighborhood. Then comes the 'American' commercial and you fly across hills and over rocks and through loud crowds with a beer in each hand and people hanging onto each other. It is the difference between being shown a product and being assaulted by it.

Firing executives will not fix the problem. The culture of the American car makers and local establishments must be changed to be customer friendly. I do not have to spend my money at a particular dealership. They should know that.

I am not in a position to tell anyone to change anything. I write on a blog that probably is seen mostly by me. This, however, is my view of the subject and I am down here where the money is spent that either keeps the company going or causes it to sink. Changing management may be necessary at times but making sells and having a steady flow of money coming in and controlling cost is the simple key to being profitable.

Link to Computers.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Computers, Internet and the Future

I remember Star Trek and Wargames and other shows where computers were the tip of a wave of fantastic times where computers would be used for amazing feats of mankind. Computers would do the information gathering and calculations at lightening speed leaving humans more time to consider the moral issues of the final actions to be taken. Alas! It has almost turned into a time of people serving the machine. I will never forget the early days when, what ever went wrong, the person would say 'my computer is down' or 'the computer has not given us the information yet' as if the machine sat there making decisions and the person just stood at the end of a long table waiting for the answer so they could pass it on. Computers became another excuse for inefficiency and delay. Now we use words like 'glitch' or 'harddrive crash' or what ever the current terms are. The truth is, if the machine does not perform, it is human error because we make them in the first place. We must take the responsibility or we become the servants instead of the masters.

The Internet had such great possibilities. People around the world could communicate with each other and get to know the different cultures. Information could be freely posted for all to benefit from. Business could prosper because of swifter communication. Unfortunately, the great possibilities have been diluted to the point of unreliability by those who would make a buck at all cost and without regard for others. An angry person with programming abilities can wreck whole systems or a single computer. A scam can spread at lightning speed and cause financial diaster to a trusting person. Privacy is invaded as a simple way of doing business. Morals and intregity are out-the-window as if it could all be blamed on the virtual world. Truth and lie are so intermingled that separating the two becomes a trying and time consuming task. In short, the Internet is becoming more and more useless. The search engines, where good information once ruled are now mostly advertising machines where the highest bidder gets the best spot.

The future seems to be bleak, at least, sofar as my early excitment over a new age of communication is concerned. Commercialization now reigns online. Computers are being used in amazing ways in bionics and medicine and space but those sysstems must be isolated from the world system to prevent contamination. Like drugs in our physical society, misuse and misinformation in our virtual society have rendered the system unreliable and unpredictable. We can learn one lesson from this. Should we ever invent a true AI, it could not be left with complete freedom to evolve. It would consume all information out there and would operate under many false assumptions.

I would like to see a computer system where one could walk into a room and ask a question and get a correct answer based on current knowledge of proven facts. I would even like to see a computer system that could reason so that you could present a scenario and it would search and compare until it gave out a best answer based on the information it had. Maybe one exist, unfortunately, the question must be asked: Could the public be trusted with such a tool or would it be corrupted if it were made available?

Link to 'I Wonder'

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I Wonder

Upon thinking about the current economic downturn and the recent election (which seems years ago), I was wondering if the people with goobs of money saw the current party coming to power and pulled their money out. A major exit of cash from the stock market would burst the bubble that was building because of all the ponzi stuff. It is a thought. It is sort of like seeing someone coming down the road you do not trust and so you hide your valuables.

Link to Pigs can be Mean

Monday, March 23, 2009

Pigs can Be Mean

Back on the farm, for some reason, our pigs multiplied. We would separate the little ones after they were old enough and the neighbors would buy them to raise for family nutrition, so to speak. I could out run a pig and found myself in the pen catching up the one the neighbor wanted to buy. The mama pig was against the whole idea. She wanted to keep her family together. I can understand that, but Dad gave the orders around our house.

Mama pigs (sows) can get pretty mean, as I said. They usually just eat and lay around in the mud but given the right circumstances they can launch into a pretty good run and those jaws can break a bone.

I got on her bad side when I grabbed a pig and carried it squealing to the fence for the neighbor. She spotted me when I went after another pig and I got in her sights and she zeroed in on me. I became the centerpiece of her anger. We had a foot race to the fence but the fence with its two strands of bobbed-wire at the top was too tall for me to jump. She was close on my heels so there was no time to climb. I did the only thing I could do. Looking back at the big pig, hog, sow, mad mama, I got as close to the fence as I could and held up both arms. She was coming and had her mouth open wide ready to take vengeance on me for her losses. Just in time I went flying through the air and over the fence out of the reach of those teeth and jaws. Dad had seen my trouble and snatched me out of the hog pen and over the fence to safety.

I've thought of that often. Life is full of trouble and there is not always time for an eloquent prayer. Sometimes we just have to raise our hands for help and trust that the Lord will be there for us.

Comments on the News

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Comments on the News

Judging from the latest media bits, it seems the Fed is running the country keeping information from the president, treasury and Congress. I don't know if that is the best thing or not but it certainly is not in keeping with the constitution and an open government of the people. Where do they get off spending all that money without some oversight from elected officials?

So did the politicians know anything about the bonuses? There are a couple of ways to know stuff: one is through the official channels which are a matter of public record and then there is the other way where they get told something but with the disclaimer 'you didn't hear it from me'.

I think when the government gets their act together, the country will get its act together. Right now its like a bunch of kids in a candy store. Look at all this candy! or billions in the case of the bailout money!

In other news we had a transformer blow last week which left us without power for a while. The repair crew got right on it. We already had supper cooked and they got it done before the coffee got cold. It did mess up the phone for a while but who wants that thing to ring.

A dog killed a cat too. Someone tried to stop the murder but was unsuccessful. Dog abuse, you know. I mean, you can talk to a dog for hours about not killing cats but they just don't get it unless you show 'em what it feels like. I think humans are setting a bad example for pets with all the wars and street violence. I can't explain it. Dogs just don't like cats and some people just don't like people.

Where is Hillary? Has anyone heard anything? She went to Europe and the Mideast and now nothing but silence. Of well, after 16 years of talking she could use some quiet time.

Al Gore has been quiet about global warming all winter, you'd think the country being frozen over would have given him cause for another book or something.

The Republican Party seems to be in trouble. They still don't get it. Me neither. I just know that a one party system is not democracy, it is something else but I can't come up with a name. Stupid doesn't seem to work. I find it bad that people can buy a public office or tell lies then say whoops after they win. Guess it all comes down to what kind of society the people want. I still think we should just fence in Washington DC and let them play with monopoly money while a more responsive group runs the country. Not a revolution and ignoration. Just kidding, I know I triggered some scanners in some basement somewhere. Maybe it will get me some hits. :)

Look at the title of this blog if you thing I'm fixin' to go nuts!

In more news, I was thinking about the violence in the streets of Iraq and listening to the comments of the people. They are afraid to walk some streets, so am I here at home. They have people shooting people for no reason, we do too. They are having trouble with their markets, ain't we got 'em beat there.

Okay I'm rambling, and now for a song........

Chasing a rooster.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Chasing a Rooster

Back in the day when chickens ran freely in the yard, sometimes Mama would tell me to go catch a chicken so she could cook it for supper. We didn't have big fat chickens you could hem up easily. They ran free and were in marathon shape for running. I was the fasting child in the family so it was up to me to catch supper.

I knew not to catch a hen because we needed the eggs. Now, eggs were another story. We would be sitting around in the house and hear a hen cackle. Mama would tell us to go get that egg. If we were fast enough, we could see which direction the hen came from and back track her to the nest. Anyway, back to the rooster. They were used to us running around the yard so they just walked off when we did and looked for something to peck at.

I angled toward a particular rooster and he picked up on my movements and took off. He was fast. I chased him to the woods where he flew up in a tree. I couldn't fly so I started to climb. He just move up to another limb when I got close. Finally, he had no place to go and flew out of the tree. I couldn't fly so I climbed back down and continued the chase. He ran out of the woods and went under the house. I followed. At first, he was on the high side of the house so i got pretty close to him. Then he started to crawl further back. It was getting hard to squeeze under the big boards holding up the floor. The old rooster did finally go as far as he could go but I could not get under the last board. He just hunkered down to wait me out. I spotted him in a corner where the boards met the ground and reached. He was just out of reach. I bellied down in the dirt, turned by head sideways and stretched. I felt a leg with my finger tips. Somehow, with a second effort, sweating and dirty, I got my fingers around one of his legs and felt the spurs. Ignoring the pain, I pulled that big rooster out in triumph. He went flopping to his death and we had a tasty supper that night.

Maybe it is a worthless story in our modern age but back in school I got an A+ for telling about the chase.

The record builds.

The Record Builds

Presidents get a few months to do pretty much what they want to do before the Washington honeymoon is over. I see signs that Obama's is about over. When it gets hot in Washington, he travels. In a time of economic trouble, he sure likes to launch Air Force One, a million here, a million there. It is a good distraction and it keeps him in the news. Any time the president travels the media covers it.

In other news:

-the Congress and the media are finally getting it about AIG. They ripped off the people then the government before they got caught. I can picture executives sitting on some beach in a foreign country laughing their...LOL.
-the rush is on to hunt for cures in little baby embryos after Obama signed a bill or executive order to let it happen
-Obama plans to join the UN in lifting the criminalization of homosexuality worldwide
-their was a car wreck someplace on the nations highways yesterday, it is not known if anyone was injured
-my blogs never get even random hits from Russia or China. Or they still closed to the Internet
-Obama received over 100,000 dollars from AIG as did other people in high places
-trees are considering a 'stand in' to protest all the money being printed at their expense
-spring is knocking, flowers are blooming and we got rain recently, that's a nice turn
-homelessness has increased, somewhere children are sleeping where ever they can find a place to lay down, while their parents weep
-newspapers are closing down. It makes one wonder what people will do while they drink their coffee.

If I had money I did not need, I'd invest some in the stock market, (even though I do not like it) and cash in in five years if I live until then. I'd pick companies that the government have not bought in to. That's not advice, it is just that the prices are right and the investment would be much less. Also, it might help some company stay afloat and help someone have a job.

My little Ford Escort.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

My Little Ford Escort LX

We parked our 1996 Escort LX to give it some rest and much needed repairs. The weather is finally clearing up some so I can get out there and tinker. We were able to get a battery the other day and I turned the motor over, it fired right up. Today I put some struts on the hatchback. I got the wrong part at first at the local auto store but found the correct ones online at Rock something. They give good service and the part worked fine, just four bolts to take out and put back then a ring on each end to pop out partway. The end where the ring is just pops back on. Pretty nice. It is better to have someone hold the lid up like the instructions say but I used a stick. Sorry about that. I was careful not to get my fingers where they would get smashed if it fail. I just stuck the wrench in to reach the blots and kept my fingers clear. Next I will give the front brake pads a try. I have a book on the car so I think I can manage that, if the parts are right. I've got a problem with the heat hand not working but it will move when the key is turned on.. it just don't register the temp. I'm guessing it is a sensor or something like that. To get it like I want it, I got to replace the shocks/struts to get the ride back it used to have. Don't know if I can do that job or not. The value cover leaks a little so I will replace that gasket, just a couple of bolts there. Anyway, probably no one cares that I am doing all this but at least now I have a record of when I started and how far I've come on the project. Our other car is not running smooth, so we may have to put the Escort back on the road sooner than expected. Until next time, be safe and no wobbly jacks.

Coupon talk.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Coupons, Sales, Extra Bucks

It is almost irresistable, you go to the drug store and they give you extra bucks at the bottom of the register receipt, the grocery store prints them on the back, the website lets you print coupons right to the printer ('course some are trying to ruin that by cheating-but so far it works). It actually does save some money. Not as much as resisting those impluse items though. Anyway if you can't resist, the savings can offset the impluse. I've only recently got on this kick again. Sometimes you can go directly to a company website and find a coupon book or a special offer. They want us to do it. It helps sell their products.

Okay, it is a little aggravating, I'll admit that. People stare sometimes when you are going through the coupons. "Do I want that? I don't know. Let me see if I have a coupon or is it on sale or do you get one free?" Well, they will have to stare. If I can save some money, I can use it for something else. Might even share the savings with someone else. Example, four coupons doubled will get me a quart of oil for the car I can't afford to trade. I buy one, get one free means next week I won't have to buy that item and can look for another bargain. Eventually, the stock builds up and so do savings, i.e. money saved on the items, not necessarily money in the bank. (I wish.)

The other day I noticed that the grocery store was putting coupons for $5 off at the hardware store. Maybe that's a bag of dirt for the rose bush.

I wouldn't go buy coupons on ebay. Anybody can print coupons and ruin the whole thing. I hope that don't happen.

compassion talk.


A lot can be said about the need for compassion. I heard a preacher talking about it over the weekend. People don't talk much about the little things they do to help others. Many go out of their way to quietly help someone without wanting or expecting any praise or earthly reward. It is as simple as seeing the need and sharing. It is heart warming to know that my fellow citizens are such giving people. We are not bound by border crossings or political inclinations. A child is a child where ever you find them. Hunger is painful where ever it exist. People do not have to take away from their family or move mountains. A small deed or gift on a consistent basis can make a tremendous difference in some one's life. Child sponsorship is a good way to help someone grow up to be a better person. It takes away some of the child's pain if they live in a very poor area. I feel that going to an elderly person's house and cooking them an occasional meal is a good way to show that one cares. It doesn't cost much and the elderly persons or person can just sit and talk and then enjoy a good wholesome meal. A package of some household item that people on a fixed income might run out of toward the end of the month is another way to show compassion and to make a good friend. Just call and ask are you out of anything, I know it is getting close to the end of the month and your check does not come for another week or two. I do not like throwing money out there to large organizations and paying a bunch of salaries. There are cases where it takes a large organization to cross borders and deal with officials and I support that. But there are things one can do close to home that really only takes a little money and time. Perhaps giving is the way to pull us out of this time of trouble. Anyway I just wanted to kick the subject around. Maybe pennies could be better used in helping another person than sitting in a jar. It cost between $25 and $32 to sponsor a child. It cost about $10 to prepare a healthy meal. A package of tissue cost around $6 or $7 dollars. See. That ain't too hard.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Medical Bills

Most people experience the trip to the doctor, then to the hospital or specialist, sooner or later. Getting old brings on this burden along with many others. Even with insurance, the bills can eat you alive. 20% does not seem like much at the beginning but go to a few specialist in a row and pretty soon that 20% becomes a mounting debt. So after spending the next few years paying for what the insurance companies decided was not their responsibility, one could reach the decision to just let the ol' body rot away rather than give up everything just to pay medical bills. It is not that people do not want to pay their bills. It is the prices. Those gold plated cotton swabs can really set you back. I don't know what will happen with health care. In one of my courses on criminology the health care field was discussed under white collar crime because of the way their coding system worked. For example, if some service was performed, the service would be split into several codes so that they could be billed separately and cumulatively, charge more than they could as one service. I know of one time when a shot was give without insurance, when insurance was presented the cost of the shot doubled. They do that because they know insurance will not pay the full amount, so by doubling it, they get the original amount even if the patient does not pay the left over part. There is a backlash to all this. The health care industry is suppose to be in the business of making people better but with all the clutter of bills, past dues and threats from collectors, the end result is a more stressful life than if the patient had never gone in the first place. The doctors, nurses and hospitals do not see this followup harrassment. They let others do that dirty work. They really should consider it into the health care and handle it differently. After all, how can a person on retirement pay a person who makes goobs of money for their time. The math just does not work out. Well, 'cuse me, I may need to go take a pill.

Link to Alambama note

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


God bless the people in southern Alabama during this time of great sadness.

We are living in troubled times in America. It may be time for a day of prayer and fasting.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Teen Suicide

Teen suicide is so very sad. It is the wrong way to make a statement.

I remember what it was like to be bullied though. It can really make one feel bad. The hurt goes on much longer than the words or deeds done. Some people are blessed with strong bodies and it is shameful that they use them to take advantage of those who are weaker. We need people of all talents to get along in this world.

I think parents need to reevaluate their expectations for their children. I've been to ball games where children were playing, I said playing, and the parents were yelling at each other and getting very angry when their child did not beat all the other children. It takes all the fun out of it. Parents ought to just let the children have their childhood. Cheering is good. Getting mad is bad. Let the kids play. They can get along if we let them.

Anyway, children, suicide is not the best answer. You have one life to live on this earth. You will get feedback from many sources. Ultimately though, you make the decisions for your life. Take the good advice. Ignore all the remarks that would thread you down. You'll make it. Time will pass, maybe the bullies will grow up, but time will pass and things will be different. Hang in there.



Can you ever believe a commercial on television? I think some are honest, others are just confusing.

When it comes to the digital change I went through some unnecessary stuff trying to at least get the stations we usually watch. I ran an extra hookup to my computer into the living room (through the wall) so I could get some programs a week late. I hate watching stuff that other people have already seen. Then I found some instructions on how to make a digital antenna. I worked on that for several weeks, gathering up some clothes hangers, a piece of wood and a transformer. It got me the PBS stations. Of course, I had already ordered my free converter box.

Finally, in disgust, I hooked the converter box and the booster to my old rabbit ear antenna and wow, I got stations. The reception is not great but I get a couple of more channels than I did on analog. Reception is good on those that I do get well.

It was a good exercise in TV survival but it turns out that most of my efforts were unnecessary.

Leaders and Followers

Some people are just cut out to be leaders and some are not. I heard a story one time about some men who were digging a ditch. Another man stood over those digging the ditch while they worked. One man looked up and asked. "Why are you up there watching and I am down here digging." The man watching said, "Because I am smarter than you are."

"How do you know you are smarter than I am?" The man in the ditch asked.
"Come up here and I will prove it." The watcher said. The man climbed out of the ditch and together they walked over to a big old oak tree. The watcher held his hand in front of the tree trunk and told the digger. "Hit my hand." The digger took a big swing. The watcher moved his hand and the fist of the digger crashed into the tree trunk causing him extreme pain. He walked back to the ditch, jumped in and went back to work.

A friend asked him. "Well, did you find out why you are digging and he is watching." The digger said "Yes." and held up his hand in front of his own face. "Here." He said. "Hit my hand." .

Stem cell research.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Stem Cell Research

I am against it.

To allow scientist to use embryos to do research is in fact killing the embryo which if allowed to live would develop into a normal human being. What would it have been? A father, a mother, a great statesman, an astronaut.

I understand that people with disease want to be healed. Depriving one person of life to prolong another person's life is wrong.

There are many avenues of research that could be pursued without stooping to this level.

Power of a pin stroke.

Working on the Car

First thing, get your whole tool box, if you just bring a couple of tools to the job, they will be the wrong ones. If you walk back to the shed and swap those two they will be the wrong ones. Most likely, when you figure out what you need, you will remember that someone borrowed it and did not return it. Or it was left around the house near where it was used last.

Second, get a book on you make car and prop up in the recliner with something like coffee or tea to drink and read what they tell you about the part. Try the index, the the table of contents, then just read the whole thing and you may finally find your project. The owners manual may have some helpful information. Next call a friend or family member and get their version. Tell them No, you don't think it is the timing.

Third, now you are ready to open the hood or look in the general area of where the problem is located. Look at the new part and any paperwork it might have. By looking at the part you can see what it looks like. Logical. Then you can inspect the car from one end to the other until you find a part like the new one you bought. Drive to town or ask the neighbor for a tool to take the old one off and put the new one on.

Fourth, get greasy and bang your hands and elbows. Don't forget to bang your head on the hood. Now, try to get into the house to get something to wipe your hands without getting the door and sink dirty. You are ready to start removing the old part.

Fifth, have another vehicle near by so you can send someone to the parts place to swap the new part because they gave you the wrong one. Wait in the yard and try to keep your dirty hands off everything until they get back. Answer the phone, somehow, for they will call with a question. What kind of tires does the car have? What color is it? What is your social security number? Did you serve in the war?

Sixth, get a stick to scratch that itch where the insect bit you, sweat, wait. The new part gets there. 'Oh, it was two dollars more than the other one.' Try again to get the old part off with vise grips because no one had the tool you needed. Strip the bolt (round it off). Give up, clean up and explain to everyone why your efforts did not work. Do not take the blame. Deflect to manufacturer, engineers, etc.

Seventh, pay a mechanic to do the job. Pay ten times what it would have cost if you did it yourself. Be advised they will find other problems which must be repaired. Pay the bill. Forget what ever it was you intended to use the money for. Watch TV.

Chasing a Cow.

AIG Citi, Bank of America

AIG keeps being in the news. I cannot help but wonder why the government continues to give them money when the same people are running the company. My suspicion is rising that there are those who have personal interest in seeing AIG survive as a company. Or is it that the government is so involved financial with AIG that they are somehow forced to dump money into their laps. The commercial says "if you find yourself in a hole, stop digging". Maybe this Charlie is the smartest guy around.

As for Citi, they are the ones who flood America's mailboxes with those so-called pre-approved credit card offers then charge outrageous interest to people who should not have had a credit card in the first place. They dug the hole. It is time for us to throw the dirt over them.

We survived major wars, licked our wounds and went about our business. Freedom survived. We will survive letting these companies go the way bad companies ought to go. Let nature take its course and be done with it, would be my advice.

You know, the loss they are talking about is the stock market value where people invested money hoping to gain from it. True it is sad that people loose their money but they all knew it could happen or they should not have been playing the stock market. Guess some will just have to bite the bullet.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Chasing a Cow

We worked on a farm when I was young. It was common practice to rotate the cows from one pasture to the other. It was for their own good. Better food and taking care of the grass. The owner had purchased one young heifer that had been raised and petted by a 4-H-er. She did not take to just being part of the herd. If you drove them one way, she would go the other. If you wanted them to cross a creek, she would not. If you wanted them to not cross a creek, she insisted on doing so. We were moving the herd across a small dirt road to another pasture. It was routine and all the animals followed the drill. Well, except the one. She refused to follow the herd. Dad tried to wave her on but she rebelled and ended up knocking him down. I was a little bigger than a flea but that made me mad. The cow took off running and I ran after her. No cow could outrun me in those days and I caught her as she jumped the creek. I was in the air behind her. While I was still in the air, she turned to meet me and her head stopped my pursuit. I had her right where I wanted her but did not know what to do with her. So I jumped back across the creek and left that stubborn cow to her own devices. She got lonesome after a while though and now that it was her decision, she joined the rest of the herd. I learned that just the chasing and catching was not enough. Next time, I needed a plan as to what to do with a 700 lbs cow once I caught her.

Never punch a cow.

Are Angels on Ships?

I think so. It was a stormy night, a young Marine was on a Navy ship somewhere in the Pacific. Seasickness set in. A Marine could not just go tell the CO: I'm sick. He decided to go for a walk on deck, hoping the fresh air would clear his head. There was a ladder that went up to a short corridor which led to a door. Outside the door was a walk that went around the outside. It had a waist high rail. Beyond that rail was the ocean. You know the ocean is not blue under those conditions. It is pitch black. Once the door was cracked, the strong wind from outside caught the door and flung it back on its hinges. The young Marine still gripped the door knob and was carried along with the force of the wind. In an instant, he was balanced on top of the rail. His head hanging over the ocean, his feet parallel with the deck. All his body was beyond the rail from his finger tips to his head. As he was blown over, he caught by his finger tips, not his palms but the tips of his fingers. There was no occasion to move to get a better grip. The ship rocked and the wind blew. It seemed like forever. The balance was against the law of gravity. Most of his weight was over the side. Then a strange thing happened. For no reason his feet started descending toward the deck very slowly. He did not move his finger tip grip. Finally he felt the floor and achieved a firm grip with his feet. There seemed no other explanation that that God had sent an angel to push his feet back down.

Never punch a cow when you are milking.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Mess We're In

Sometimes you have to stretch the memory to get to the root of things. Way back before Bill Clinton left office, he lifted the regulations on Wall Street. It was in his last days so the change took place in the Bush administration. That was about the deal of insuring those risky Wall Street bets on the risky loans for people who could not afford the houses they bought. They bundled the loans and sold them to investors who posted them on Wall Street and got more people to invest. If you understand that, you are probably hiding your money in a mattress, if you have any money.

Next, the Democrats took over Congress about the time Bush was reelected. With Pelosi in charge, they blocked every piece of legislation the president sent to them that would help the country. Government was almost at a standstill for several years. Why would a Democratically controlled congress block even good legislation? The answer is to make the Republican president look bad and pave the way for a Democratic candidate to get elected president. Maybe some think no political party would put the country at risk to gain power in Washington DC. Maybe pigs fly too.

The housing problem is little different than the Savings and Loan disaster of a few decades ago. The associations stretched the bands of the market and it snapped leaving many in financial distress. That also cost a bundle. It was not caused by a failure of the system but was a result of greed.

Here is the danger we face. The government is putting up the money (which they don't have) to prop up companies that played the stock market (with money they did not have) and lost. Who did have the money? The citizens of our country had the money and trusted it to Wall Street. That's like giving a monkey a banana and telling it to not eat it. The danger is that instead of a free enterprise system, we are slipping into a socialist system where everyone depends on the government for everything. In the free enterprise system, you take your chances and if you loose, you start over. In the socialist system, you take your changes, and if you loose the government gives you back the money you lost and takes part in the company. We all know how good the government is at making a budget balance.

The problem is if you give a teenager all the money they need, they will never go to work and become responsible citizens. If the government gives the companies all the money they need, they will never take responsibility for their actions. Since when do we reward crooks who run crooked companies, well, since just a few months ago. Probably a lot of the people giving away taxpayer money also lost money in this mess and are trying to recoup it by building the companies back up.

Our country prospers only when the government minds their own business.

Whose to say that we can't do without the stock market anyway? Everything doesn't have to be national or international. If banks did their job, businesses would have the expansion capitol they need. The stock market is a trumped up casino where people bet their few thousand that they can make a million off it.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Kansas Governor to Cabinet

Obama is showing how he really feels about abortion (the killing of unborn babies) by nominating a supporter of abortion rights for his cabinet. The governor of Kansas has a record of supporting abortion. So much so, that her church has reprimanded her as they did the Speaker of the House.

Never Punch a Cow when you are Milking

Milking a cow was quite aggravating. It was a chore that had to be done early in the morning and about dark in the evenings. Stop milking the cow and pretty soon you get no milk.

We always put the cow up for the night after the evening milking and turned her out after the morning milking. In the winter, it was so cold you could barely feel your fingers when you were finished. Well, it was my fingers and you were not there but anyway. The cow was not very happy about the operation either.

In the summer, it's those flies that always start the trouble. They land on the cow, she takes a swat at it, hits you instead. I never learned the trick of tying the cows tail to her back leg until long after I left the farm.

One morning, I was milking the cow. She attacked one of those flies and about knocked me out. I reacted by giving her a swift punch in the side (yes, I still feel guilty). She then proceeds to step in the milk bucket to let me know my punch hurt. The fly got away and the milk bucket was not full when I got to the house. I guess sometimes you just got to take your licks.

Old fireplace.

Drug lords Winning in Two Ways

We live in troubling times. What used to be a nuisance (drugs) has now engulfed our nation and changed our society and legal system. Drug lords are winning in two ways:

First they still get drugs into the country or make them here and manage to recruit users from elementary school level (not just in schools) and by the time they are teenagers they are proficient in the language and process of procurement of drugs, should they desire them. If a pusher can get them to take that first free hit, they are usually hooked by the drug and the false pleasure it brings. The habit continues and escalates as they go into adulthood without maturing into adults. We end up with a society of grown bodies but immature minds. They are like people with split personalities. The user will function as an adult in some ways, i.e. working and living on their own (for a time) but when it comes to proper judgment calls, they are still stuck in their adolescence. So, the pushers have a ready market. As the older users become wrecked physically and cannot hold down a job to support their habit, they become a burden of the legal system where they will either go into the prison system or support the legal system in fines.

Second, the drug lords have succeeded by changing the legal system and the attitudes of law enforcement. It seems everything is centered around drugs. Those other crimes are simply incidental to the job of law enforcement. Every stop by law enforcement becomes a combat situation while the officer expects every stop to be a confrontation with strung-out drug users. Gone is the courteous officer, who speaks politely to a citizen of a democratic society. They have stopped the enemy and the enemy must be jerked around and slammed onto car hoods. Anyone associated with the 'criminal' must be treated as a co-conspirator. So, the legal system is clogged up with user-victims of the pusher, while the pusher goes about his business of getting new recruits. Every resource is used to catch the drug addict. The pusher has already paid his way and in many cases the legal system has been corrupted. It appears that the problem is being addressed with all the arrest but the real problem is seldom addressed: the big time pushers.

I am not one who believes that all cops are crooked. I do believe that people live in fear of retaliation in this country. Obviously, the user will not report their supplier for two reasons. One is fear. The other is turning in their source for future drugs. A good cop would be putting his job and life in jeopardy if he reported corruption, especially if it was dominate in the force. We will never know because allegations will never be investigated. It should be obvious that someone is on the take when government officials live so much above citizens financially.

My solution, if there is one, would be to treat all drug addicts like victims and provide them with treatment instead of tossing them in jail and collecting money from them which parents must often come up with to try to help their children. Drug addicts are causalities of a war that law enforcement is loosing in a big way. If the drug addict were taken out of the arrest tally, results against this plague would be shameful.

I am convinced that even good elected law enforcement people should be replaced periodically to discourage the infiltration of drug money and the corruption of officials. Entrenched, appointed officials should also be replaced but that would be difficult because they are in-fact entrenched with the people who are the movers and shakers in a given county.

Conclusion. The old argument of supply and demand is just that an old argument. They say stop using and drug lords will stop making the stuff. My answer is: When they train our children to use drugs how exactly are we going to convince their drug stained mind to stop using when their judgment is already ruined. If their teeth are rotten, we take away their sweets, so why tell them to stop using drugs and we will stop the bad people from making them. No. We should be taking away the 'sweets' and treating the damage it has done. Not punishing the victim. From a legal standpoint (if I was qualified to argue the point), a person who has once used could be said to be mentally incapable of knowing what they were doing at the time of the second offense. Their mind has been altered, has it not?