Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I've Seen Better Days

The dust never settles. If that's what anyone is waiting for then it will be a long wait. Might as well take a deep breath and go. Shit or get off the pot, as the old folks said. And Mae West once said, "He who hesitates is a fool." Sure, that goes against that other famous saying about fools rushing in where angels fear to go, but not all of us are angels. ;-) And for some of us, life has conditioned us to be "jumpy" (quick to act/react) with a constant stream of big events.

2008 has been an absolutely brutal year. I hate to sound like a whiny cry-baby, but objectively looking at it all it's pretty obvious that life has been hard. Not the average hard anyway. But I don't really want to revisit all of those details.

On the other hand, life's been good, and I really shouldn't complain too much. I guess it's a matter of finding some balance between feeling grateful for an interesting life and feeling beat up and permanently scarred from so much excitement. Well, it's just a fact of life. I've seen better days...




May we all have a peaceful and healthy 2009. Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Vicious Momma v. Knox County Schools, part 2

This is the follow-up to "Knox County School Violates Fourth Amendment."

Knox County Schools apparently decided that they have the authority to unreasonably seize personal property and to impound it 15 miles away from the school where it was seized. My son's cell phone fell out of his pocket at school the other day and a teacher saw him pick it up, so she seized it and sent it to the school office. Okay, fine. I understand that cell phones are not allowed to be used in class. But he wasn't using it. He was only picking it up and looking at it to make sure it wasn't damaged from falling. Anyway, I don't have a problem with them keeping it in the school office until I can pick it up, but I do have a problem with them sending it off the school grounds to some kind of "security" office, which is essentially the county's school police station.

I am probably overreacting to this situation that is ultimately pretty trivial, except that I just can't see it as trivial when our Constitutional rights are violated, even in regards to something like a cell phone. I understand that they have rules, and that they are necessary. But all of this unreasonable seizing personal "effects" and then imposing excessive and unusual punishments is just plain WRONG.

I can't see how anyone could really believe that requiring a parent to drive a 30 mile round trip to pick up a simple cell phone that was seized merely for its own existence is not excessive punishment. And "cruel and unusual" too since it was very rainy, windy and bad holiday traffic going to pick it up in the middle of one of Knoxville's worst public housing slums (where the SS security office is located). While this 30 mile round trip to pick up our illegally seized phone was not a hardship for us in the purely physical sense, there are many people for whom it would be excessively inconvenient and a hardship to do so. Some people don't have easy transportation for such things and some can't take time away from work.

It is obviously a violation of the Eighth Amendment prohibition of "excessive fines and cruel and unusual punishments" to make a parent go to this much trouble to reclaim a cell phone that was already practically stolen by the school. Imagine if you replace "cell phone" with a $100 bill. Clearly it is an illegal theft for the school personnel to seize that money, send it away, and require a parent to go out of their way to retrieve it. Any other personal property is no different from the money and no one would stand for their money to be extorted in this way. Even people who have their cars towed or otherwise taken away for some "offense" have to sign for it. The school basically stole our phone. The school personnel are guilty of extortion and coercion.

And while those issues are big enough for a serious complaint, there is even more to the story. When I called the security office to make sure the phone was there before driving all that way to get it, I also asked for directions since I'm not so familiar with that part of town. I simply asked "where exactly is the office located?" After some vague and useless information like "in northwest Knoxville" and "off Western Avenue" from the woman on the phone, who I am assuming was the secretary, Debra Dexter, I asked if she could give me directions. If her reply had not been so incompetent and lazy I might not have been quite as angry about having to go there. This woman is a "public servant" and is paid with my tax dollars so I don't think it is unreasonable to expect her to be somewhat helpful. But no, this is what she said, "Oh, it's just too hard to describe how to get here so look it up on one of those map things on your computer." Wow. My tax dollars at "work."

There are some other small, annoying, hypocritical details about her and the other "security" staff. At the front door of the office which had a big "No Smoking" sign, there was a group of men, some of them cops, standing there smoking! Right in front of the entrance with the no smoking sign. Typical! In the office I asked why they felt it was necessary to send phones to this location, but of course, they would not give me a good answer and only continued to coerce me to sign the form stating that I was picking up our phone. I couldn't contain my anger then and did tell them that the policies are stupid and violate our 4th and 8th Amendment rights and that this isn't Nazi Germany. And now they know our names and we'll be blacklisted forever.

And you know, how do we know that they didn't examine our phone, look at the personal information contained in it, copy the SIM card information, or any other invasion of our privacy? If they think nothing of illegally seizing it then what's to stop them from further violating our rights by copying private information and so on? All of this was done without "probable cause" and without any kind of warrants, and so why should I expect that they are respecting ANY of our rights if they are so unscrupulously violating the 4th and 8th Amendments?

The Superintendent and many others will be receiving letters of complaint from me. If they do not change their policy regarding seizure of personal property then perhaps some further action will be required. I really don't want to start some big thing because I am a private person and I don't want to be dissected like other citizens who have questioned authority (Joe the plumber, for instance). But I refuse to be intimidated, extorted, coerced, bullied, violated, and abused by the people who are paid with my tax dollars to serve me and everyone else. They do not have the authority to violate my rights, my kids' rights, or anyone else's rights. Period.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Knox County School Violates Fourth Amendment

Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.


Carter Middle School in Knox County, TN, has violated my and my son's Fourth Amendment guarantee against unreasonable seizure of personal property. His cell phone was confiscated by the School Gestapo and has been sent to the County's "central security office," whatever the hell that is. I understand that cell phones and so on are a distraction at school and that students are not supposed to use them during school hours. However, my son was not using his phone. It fell out of his jacket pocket, and because it had been unintentionally left on, a teacher confiscated it and sent it to the office. I went in this morning to pick it up, and that's when they told me it had been sent off because this was his "second offense." The first was when he had my video camera at school which was also confiscated and demanded that I delete any "unauthorized" photos/videos he might have taken at school. What country is this anyway? Seems like Nazi Germany or Totalitarian USSR. Outrageous!

I was furious but did not make a scene. I've found it is unnecessary to do that because I am capable of expressing my displeasure with my eyes only.

Now I have this dilemma. Do I just do as they expect and cower to their unreasonable policies? This is surely what they want everyone to do... they want us to be intimidated and comply with their oppressive methods. They don't want us to question this erosion of our fundamental rights and protections. That cell phone is our personal property which they have very unreasonably seized and impounded. Clearly and obviously, their actions are way beyond a reasonable response to the "offense."

I think that goes against the Eighth Amendment:

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.


Yeah, I really do think that requiring me to drive all the way down to some office near the old Rule High School, which is in the middle of one of the worst and most dangerous public housing projects in the city, to reclaim my wrongfully seized personal property is an excessive, cruel, and unusual punishment for my son's trivial mistake.

I need a Constitutional attorney. I swear. If people can sue McDonald's for hot coffee and so forth, then I should be able to sue the Knox County Schools for violating our Fourth and Eighth Amendment Constitutional rights. I think we need to take this all the way to the Supreme Court.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

F-theory Bottom-up Phenomenology

Sorry, this isn't really about theoretical physics. ;-)



(image borrowed from http://www.geocities.com/comicpostcards/BigButt.html)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Black Parade

I'm actually feeling a little better today, so maybe this is just an exercise of some word association game inside my head. Or an exorcizing of some darkness...

Welcome to the Black Parade



Paint It Black



Black



Black Hole Sun



Back to Black



Back in Black

Friday, December 12, 2008

SSDD


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(same shit, different day)

Nobody volunteered to help me with my coup d'etat. Pussies. (I guess now I'll have to get started on that clone army.) ;-)

I like using bad words now because the Odiogo podcast voice is so serious and proper. It makes me laugh.

I wasn't joking about my blood pressure being very high. It really was, and the other day I thought I might be about to die so I went to the doctor. The medicine he gave me has dropped it back to its normal level, but the huge change has caused some weird things too. It's a bit of a physical mystery because all my other tests and things are fine and normal so far. Of course, like most Americans I need to lose some weight, but it is actually lower than a year ago so it doesn't seem like the culprit. Can I please go through 6 months without some big illness or other trouble? That's not too much to ask, is it?

I worry that my husband is going to trade me in for a younger, healthier model. He seems to be annoyed and inconvenienced by all my problems. Well, I can't say I blame him. I'm pretty annoyed too. Sorry, all these things just happen. It's not like I have any control over people dying and all these other things. It's exhausting for all of us. But the last thing I need right now is to feel resented and defective...

Okay, is that pitiful enough? ;-)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

My Business Plan For GM

Despite my evil ranting sometimes, I really can be pretty generous with nice things too. ;-)

Here's my free advice to GM, if only they would listen.

1. Do away with Buick. Seriously. Anything that sounds like vomiting is a bad idea. If the old people want "luxury" let them buy a Cadillac.

2. Do away with GMC. All of those cars are just the same as Chevys with different skin. Wasteful repetition.

3. Do away with Hummer. They were just a fad, a passing fancy, mostly for guys who were trying to compensate for lacking something.

4. Do away with Saab. Boring. Nothing special.

5. Do away with Pontiac. This is a little painful for me since I grew up in Pontiacs, and I still have my first car, a 1978 Firebird. But Pontiac has pretty much become more redundancy and nothing very exciting.

6. Keep Cadillac. There will always be some market for luxury, even in a bad economy. Hey, I'd buy an Escalade if I wanted to take on making car payments again, but my car is paid for and that's too good to change right now.

7. Keep Corvette. This is a no-brainer, but they really need to improve their marketing for it. These are consistently highly rated and good performers. But they are also pretty good with fuel mileage. GM should emphasize this fact. Advertise that getting good mileage will never look or feel better, or something like that. Mine can get 30 mpg on long trips and between 22-24 in the 'city', depending on how I drive. ;-)

8. Keep Saturn. Give it a chance. I'm not too familiar with them except the Sky, which is stunningly cute. The other Saturns I've seen on the road don't look so bad.

9. And of course, keep Chevrolet, at least most of them. Maybe eliminate the duds that just haven't moved. And keep the planned 2010 Camaro reintroduction. There is a nostalgia market for that.

Eliminating so many lines will of course result in lots of lay-offs, but that's just the way it will have to be. There is no market for so many cars and it just can't be sustainable for all those people to keep getting paid to make what isn't wanted or needed. As I suggested previously, if the UAW thinks it is so indispensable then let them buy out some of the lines that GM needs to shed.

Obviously, I don't like these bailouts in the guise of "loans" to companies that haven't operated profitably for a long time because of their own bad decisions and poor planning. I do feel a little sorry for the actual factory workers who will lose their jobs, but then again, how bad can you feel for people who have pretty much been babied and coddled in a world that isn't realistic? I've toured the Corvette assembly plant, and some of those people are paid $30+ an hour plus excessive benefits for steering a machine that tightens some nuts and bolts and that's about it.

Maybe the workers should file some class action lawsuits against their stupid bosses? That would be better than demanding money from the government.

Times are tough for all of us. But it can get better if everyone gets their heads out of their asses and accepts that they will have to adapt and adjust instead of expecting everything to always stay the same.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Declaration of Independence Today

When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bonds which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.

But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism,

it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.


I'm just about insane enough now to actually do something about the abject condition of our current government. I shouldn't admit this publicly, but I'm not a coward and I am ready abolish this system which has ignored the governed and disregarded our consent and protests and has reduced us to absolute despotism. We have suffered enough and it is our right and duty to throw off this government.

Ours are not "light and transient causes" and if one needs to list "a long train of abuses and usurpations" all it takes is to read the headlines of the last few months.

I'm serious. And I'm asking for help from anyone who is brave enough to stand up for our rights.

And if they come to arrest me for conspiracy and sedition, well, that's fine too because my blood pressure is about 180/110 these days and it would be okay to get some "free" medical treatment. My own personal bailout, if you will. ;-) But that is highly unlikely anyway since the likes of William Ayers can become a media star from being an actual unrepentant terrorist. I'm only talking about it.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Wake Me Up When December Ends

Sorry that I seem to have lost my sense of humor lately. It's been such a tough year and everything is worn out from it. While the holiday season is supposed to be joyful and fun, the pressure to be joyful and fun can kill what little joy and fun that tries to emerge. This morning I woke up with a horrible, splitting headache as well as an irritable bladder, which means pain though usually not from a UTI. Often it is stress induced.

One good thing today was that the Titans won again, beating the Cleveland Browns.

It has been unusually cold here for a while, and today the temperature never got above freezing at our house. Manmade global warming/climate change my ass. We have roughly 30 year cycles of warming and cooling.

It sounds like they are going to give the auto companies billions more dollars. Well, I was thinking yesterday about all these economic "theories" that the "experts" are trying to make work in reality. Sorry, but it just doesn't look like any of them are working so well. Why is it that some people are so attached to theory and their own expectations and demands of how reality should work? Theories are fine and great sometimes, but too many people can't accept when reality does not agree with their own ideas. This is true in economics and "climate science." Neither one is really accurately predicting and describing reality. Enough with it already. And stop trying to make reality fit the theory. Change the fucking theories instead. Again, this year's Economics Nobelist comes to mind. He apparently won for his ideas about the US auto industry. Isn't it ironic that this very industry is collapsing this year too? Well, it just doesn't look so good for the Nobel people when they give awards to stupid people whose theories are failing in real time.

We were watching some shows on the science channel last night and one did make me laugh. They don't have the video up on their website yet. Too bad. Anyway, this guy has made a roach driven robot, yes, seriously it is driven by a roach bug. Actually, it is pretty cool, but somehow it just cracks me up that someone's life has been devoted to such a project. Imagine how it would sound to a girl who meets him and asks what kind of work he does. Or imagine how a girl might tell her friends what her boyfriend/husband's work is. It would be a funny thing on The Big Bang Theory, I think. There are many women in the world who would never be able to appreciate a man whose life work is building bug-driven robots. Likewise, there are also many women in the world who could never appriate a man who lives only in the theoretical. I'm not placing judgment on these things, just noting that they usually aren't as important to the functioning world as the guys who are doing them think they are (or should be). It's just a fact of life that most people don't care about theories so much. They only care about what actually works. And the cold, harsh truth is that real life and reality are much, much more difficult, challenging, and unstable that some "elegant" and comfortable theory in someone's head.

I didn't really mean to go off on that tangent, but whatever. I'm just trying to make it through the day and the rest of this month and year. If I could go to bed and sleep through it I would.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Healthcare: The Next Bursting Bubble

I am certain that the US economy is already in the beginning of a depression and not just a recession. Not that I'm saying we will see the same horrible life as in the Great Depression, but relatively speaking what is going on now is quite serious and is not going to improve for quite some time. As all the "experts" are saying, it will likely get worse before it gets better. That is about the only thing they're saying that I do agree with. (forgive my laziness about ending sentences with "with")

The intelligence of our "leaders" seems to have declined considerably in the last few decades. Maybe it is because of the birth control pill? Messing with Nature usually doesn't end well, but maybe no one ever reads Frankenstein anymore? Anyway, the whole lot of them* are total idiots, regardless of whatever degrees and so-called education they've had. Well, look at it this way. How intelligent is it to continue doing the things that consistently fail? That's exactly what they do.

Incidentally, and this is just my own insecurity and need for validation, whether it comes extrinsically or intrinsically, I have evidence that I really am smarter than about 95% of my peers. It's not an "IQ" score, but there are some other standardized test results that consistently place me in about the 95th percentile. If you don't believe me I can scan and post them, godddammit. So all the dumbfucks who try to call me stupid are only being dumbfucks. Okay? Thank you. I just had to get that out of my system. *sigh* :-)

Now back to the economy. And healthcare specifically. While everyone is hand-wringing over the mortgage meltdown that is the result of lots of people being really stupid and making really bad decisions, there is another bubble that will burst soon enough. Too many people are expecting the government to pay for their healthcare. But what they don't realize is that it is completely unrealistic and will be disastrous when/if that happens. Some people seem to think that free healthcare is a basic human right, but you know, nothing is really free, although recently it looks like 95% of the people have forgotten that, if they ever knew it in the first place.

Sure, access to healthcare is a "right" but how can anyone really think that any vital service can be free of cost? Someone has to pay for it, and until recently it wasn't common practice for the government to just make up billions of dollars to pay for every little thing that people asked for.

There are some ways to make the healthcare system more "fair" and accessible to everyone, but they require some big, serious changes to the way that business has been done for the last few decades. Just like the auto industry. Nothing will improve until they drastically adjust their way of doing business. Sometimes successful evolution takes really big steps.

Well, let me ask some questions. Who is really making the most money from the healthcare system today without actually doing much? The doctors? Not really, though most do make plenty enough, they do work for it usually. The drug companies? Meh, they make a lot but they also contribute a lot with their research and development, as well as advertising that helps pay for our entertainment. The hospitals? Some make money and some lose money but they are vital to the system. What does that leave? Ah, yeah, the insurance companies. What do they really do anyway? They are just an extra, very costly and very profitable, step in the process of delivering healthcare. They are not really vital. Basically they are middlemen who get paid to negotiate between the medical services and the patients. Why can't the patients deal directly with the medical services themselves? Cut out the fat, the wastefulness, the unnecessary.

Anyone who promotes a "universal healthcare" that trusts those same insurance companies to administer it efficiently is a total idiot, or at least seriously deluded. Although the government isn't exactly good at efficient administration of services it would be preferable to make the medical service providers actual government employees instead of keeping a wasteful third party in the system. Make it more like the military if necessary, where the doctors are enlisted and trained by the government and rise through the ranks according to ability and accomplishment. Yeah, maybe this is a radical idea, but it has got to be better than what all the other dummies are suggesting. I'm just saying let's look at this thing from a new perspective instead of always trying to fit square pegs into round holes.

No, there are no perfect plans or ideas for solving the big, serious issues that our country is facing now. But come on, let's stop it with thinking that throwing money at ill-designed and poorly functioning things is actually going to change anything for the better. It won't. It never has. And it never will. Why is it so hard for people to understand this simple fact? I really don't believe it is so difficult that one has to be in the 95th percentile to get it.


*correction: My own Tennessee Senator Bob Corker was just giving hell to the stupid auto bosses, thank God. I guess he's one in the top 5%. ;-)

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

I Know My Candybars

Name That Candy Bar

The only one I missed was a Mars bar because it has been many, many years since I've eaten one of those.

Took Seven Minutes

I named 50 US states in 10 minutes How many US states can you name in 10 minutes?



I'm a little slow.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Stuck in the Middle (Age)

I guess it's to be expected to see a bunch of old people shopping at JCPenny's on a Tuesday mid-morning. And maybe that's why I was there too. ;-) Well, I figured it was safer to go with the old people than later in the day since there have been at least three shootings at the mall in the last year, most in the afternoon or evening. Anyway, old people, bless their hearts I hope I live long enough to be as old, are so slow when they are paying for things. I shouldn't complain. What's my rush? Maybe they are just as lost in this world of expanding technology as I am finding myself.

It's like I'm stuck in the middle between these old people who barely get around and hardly know how to use a debit card and the younger people who are constantly texting friends on their high-tech phones while negotiating all sorts of other gadgets and whatnot that are intimidating to me. While my cell phone can receive text messages, and all I get are spams, my service does not include allowing me to send text messages. I could add that option, but not that it really matters because it seems like texting is mostly for people who need to sneak around about their communications. Okay, not really, but isn't it easier just to call?

One of my reasons for shopping was looking for a cute phone for my daughter to put in her room so she could answer her own calls. Not a cell phone, but a nice old-fashioned land-line phone. There were none to be found. Anywhere. Not cute ones anyway. Man, I'm getting old and behind the times. See, where we live cell phone service is still kind of iffy sometimes, so I don't think it's a good idea to eliminate the land-line like many urban/suburban people are doing. Besides, in some circumstances a land-line is more reliable and possibly more secure (though I don't really know about that for sure.) I ended up buying a plain phone and will just "bling" it up with some rhinestone stickers.

Then I went to Hot Topic because my kids are at the age of liking that kind of stuff. The music was too loud and there was way too much stuff. Sensory overload for a middle-aged momma, so I had to ask the nice young guy working there to help me find things. Pathetic.

Just in the last couple of weeks I've been fretting over getting older and all the things that go with it. It sucks! I'll never be the cute little 20 year old or even 30 year old I used to be. And what really sucks is that I didn't even really know I was cute then and therefore didn't actually enjoy it as much as I now know I should have. Yeah, it's a mid-life crisis thing. We get to an age when we regret our stupidity and wasted youth. If only we knew then what we know now. These cliches are hard and real. I can't even look at myself in the mirror sometimes. Who is that fat old lady I see?

I have to admit that I offered God a deal after my mom died nearly 12 years ago. I told him that I would accept whatever aging brought me as long as I got to live much longer than she did. And then after my dad died earlier this year I realized that I've certainly been paying on my deal already and wondered how much more I owed. Mom died shortly after her 54th birthday. Daddy died a few months before his 71st birthday. Both died about 10 years after their appendices blew. Averaging their ages at death is 62.5. Adding ten years to my approximate age when my appendix blew is 50. Those numbers probably don't mean anything, but when you're feeling old already they don't look so good.

Sorry if this is a downer. Maybe next time I go shopping I'll be adventurous and go at night. ;-)

Monday, December 01, 2008

Snow Today









This heavy snow shower is already gone now, but we will probably have more later. It's so pretty and watching it snow always makes me hum "Winter Wonderland."

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Medicare Bailout

Watch this video and look carefully at the featured woman, "Carolyn," who complains about Medicare putting some limits on how much they pay for her medical treatments for an "immune system deficiency."




Perhaps it is only my astute eye that can see that she has had her face injected with lots of Botox. If you will notice, there is no movement in her forehead, upper lip, or around her eyes. If you've been living under a rock for many years and don't know what Botox is, you should look it up. While it does have some valid medical applications, it is mostly used to prop up the vanity of aging people who cannot accept that their skin naturally develops wrinkles from repetitive movements of the underlying muscles.

Sure, this is a free country and people have the "right" to subject themselves to any sort of poisonous treatments for whatever they think ails them. But I should not have to help them pay for it. If they want their faces paralyzed to smooth their wrinkles then they should pay for it themselves. But they should pay for more serious and essential needs first.

Sorry, but I have no sympathy for this Carolyn who complains about not being able to pay for "life saving" treatments for some undefined "immune disorder" while she has obviously had the money to pay for lots of cosmetic Botox treatments (as well as hair colors and who knows what other vanity expenses). And I suspect that this "immune system deficiency" is probably related to having one of the most deadly poisons in the world injected into her face (and maybe also related to having silicone balloons implanted in her chest). Duh! It looks like obvious common sense that the immune system would respond, sometimes violently, to the introduction of toxic foreign substances. I mean, really, how dumb can people, doctors included, be??

I hate being expected to always bail out all of these stupid, selfish idiots who should be allowed to suffer the consequences of their bad choices. It's not just this super-vain, selfish Carolyn, but also all the big banks and auto makers and other irresponsible slugs who are useless parasites on the working parts of society.

As for Medicare and if old people are happy with it, it would be better and more fair to ask some of those really pitiful people who are stuck in hospital beds or depending on walkers to get around. I bet they aren't complaining about Medicare. And I bet they didn't waste all their money on Botox and other cosmetic treatments.

When I first saw this story on Brit Hume's show I was shocked and disappointed that the producers would be so dumb as to pick that Carolyn as an example of Medicare "unfairness." Jesus, who approved it? He or she should be fired or at least strongly reprimanded. And if it was Hume himself, man, I would have expected much better.

My own personal experience with the Medicare system has been fine. When my dad was sick and in and out of the hospital and having all kinds of tests and treatments his Medicare and Medicare supplemental insurance covered practically everything. Most older people do buy Medicare supplemental insurance to cover what Medicare doesn't. I have no reason to believe that my dad's situation was any different from most. There were no Medicare refusals or disputes of coverage for his many tests, treatments, and hospitalizations. Maybe that was because his illness was real and not some dubious, narcissistic "immune" problem.

Well, maybe I sound harsh and mean. Too bad. As far as "Carolyn" is concerned I think the only "immoral" thing going on is that she is expecting everyone else to a pay for her own idiocy.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving

Sorry to say, but this year Thanksgiving isn't really so happy. Although I've tried very hard to focus on all the good things and blessings in our lives, all the losses and struggles of the last year are so much in the foreground that there is no ignoring or avoiding them. This is my first Thanksgiving with no living parent. No more going to Dad's house for the family gathering. It is a big change.

I am thankful for not being so poor (yet) that we have to kill and eat squirrels to survive. I am thankful that my children are healthy and normal. I am thankful that we have made smart choices that have insulated us to some degree from the "financial crisis" that seems to be fueled by never-ending stupidity. (Hey, why can't someone create a new "biofuel" from that never-ending supply of stupidity?)

I am thankful that my own health is much better than one year ago, despite having to deal with so much drama and stress.

Well, there is a lot of cooking and preparing to do today. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims of the India terrorist attacks. And my hopes and wishes are for all of us to take a moment to be thankful, even if not exactly happy, for our lives, families, friends, and other goodness in our lives.

Monday, November 24, 2008

First Grade Report Card

(click to enlarge)





I like the little stick figure drawings that show the "deportment" progress. It's funny that I did not do so well at working quietly and finishing my work because those are the exact same problems that my sons have had in their beginning grades. My daughter has not had those same problems. And the reading grades are the lowest, probably because I had some unidentified "learning disability" or other condition that is nowadays labeled and widely accepted as a reason for slower reading progress.

It's funny that the height and weight are included. Such things are now considered politically incorrect and damaging to children's self esteem. ;-)

Also on the front and back are some interesting notes about development and the purpose of school.

"A child should be encouraged to face reality."

"A sense of humor is necessary for a good personality."

"We believe that schools should prepare a child to live in a democracy."

I certainly don't see these things spelled out on my kids' modern report cards, and it is unfortunate that such practical and common sense has been abandoned by the educators, who are too worried about hurting self-esteem and other sociopolitical correctnesses, to really understand about healthy development and to instruct children how to grow into good citizens.

Typealyzer Blog Personality

via Backreaction

Typealyzer says it can guess the personality of a text, or communication style, but does note that "writing style on a blog may have little or nothing to do with a person´s self-percieved personality." According to their calculations I'm a Hoe (as well as all of my other blogs - public and private) is this:

ISTP - The Mechanics

The independent and problem-solving type. They are especially attuned to the demands of the moment are masters of responding to challenges that arise spontaneously. They generally prefer to think things out for themselves and often avoid inter-personal conflicts.



The Mechanics enjoy working together with other independent and highly skilled people and often like [to] seek fun and action both in their work and personal life. They enjoy adventure and risk such as in driving race cars or working as policemen and firefighters.

Analysis

This show what parts of the brain that were dominant during writing.



Add to that the gender analysis of this blog from GenderAnalyzer that says:

We think http://viciousmomma.blogspot.com is written by a man (87%).


And it appears that by some kind of "statistical analyses" I should be a male, but I am most definitely a woman, at least my body that produced three children is female. :-)

I suppose that despite being a "vicious momma" my being a "hoe" which is a type of tool does fit the mechanic theme. And since most mechanics are males that use tools then these results make some kind of sense.

Being labeled as a Mechanic might also be related to my fixing things. And the description about liking adventure and fast cars fits well too. Though I've never had any desire to be a cop or fireman I do sometimes fantasize about being a super-hero vigilante. ;-) That goes along with the problem solving combined with the liking action and adventure, don't you think?

But in other personality tests I've been INFJ or "Counselor" type. Maybe in my writing I am much more analytical while in my in-person relations I am much more empathetic and "fuzzy". ;-) However, I can see some congruity of these different personality results. Probably the same active problem-solving tendency occurs whether I'm dealing with things or people.

Titans Lose One

Yesterday, the TN Titans were defeated by Brett Favre and the NY Jets with a score of 34-13. Well, as many people were saying for the last few weeks, it was inevitable and probably necessary. Of course, we can't will them all, and sometimes we have to lose in order to regain our competitive spirit. I hope that the Titans will take this loss as a motivation to come back stronger for the last games of the season.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Titans Still Undefeated

Despite all the nay-sayers and others who are so reluctant to give respect and credit where it is due, the Tennessee Titans remain undefeated with 10 consecutive wins this season. They are the only currently undefeated team in the NFL. At the beginning of the season when Kerry Collins replaced the injured starting quarterback Vince Young, I heard some announcers describing Collins as "an old throw-back from the 90s." Ha! I guess he's showing them!

On the flip-side, the Detroit team, much like their city's auto industry, has a perfect losing record for the season: 0 wins, 10 losses. ;-)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Slave Masters

One of the answers to the question ending the previous post - a question that no one could answer (whether they read it or not) ;-) - is of course, the labor unions, specifically UAW.

I urge anyone who wants to be truly informed about how the unions actually work, please do look at the UAW website, specifically their "auto contracts". One can see just by the "wages" of GM auto workers that the total pay and benefits for each employee is far above the national average, even though they "work" for a company that cannot really afford to pay them so much.

But the union does not seem to care that they are "bargaining" their employer to death. They don't seem to mind that they have expensed GM into bankruptcy. The union believes that GM exists solely for their own benefit. They don't understand that GM's existence and purpose is actually to produce and sell automobiles - not to employ a bunch of greedy, lazy people.

Well, I've decided that the absolute best solution for GM and UAW is to allow GM to file Chapter 11 bankruptcy and then let the UAW buy it out. If they want to keep their jobs then let them buy the company and see how well they can ru(i)n it themselves. :-)

But most definitely they should not expect any government bailouts if they continue to run GM into the ground. If they think that the GM bosses have done so badly and wrongly at operating the company, then they should be happy to take over and prove that they can do it better. Hey, if the "evil capitalists" are doing it all wrong, then maybe the "communist/unionist workers" can fix it all for themselves? But without government money! (But if there is a auto bailout at some point, I want share in the company in exchange for my tax dollars. Or at least new car. ;-) What's fair is fair.)

With my brilliant ;-) solution, GM doesn't disappear, making the country's economy collapse in its wake as all the doomsayers are predicting. GM would go on, and all those people would keep their jobs. Being the ones under pressure to assure that the company does not fail should be a strong incentive for the union workers/company owners to do it right for their own benefit.

Well, honestly, I do think I'm giving people too much benefit and credit for being responsible for themselves. But it's a good, even if overly idealistic, solution to the problem of GM's continued existence. But just like all my other great ideas, no one is really listening. ;-)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Refried Stimulus

You know, it's just getting so ridiculous now that it's hard to see straight anymore. I tried to watch Paulson's news conference today, but man, he is a terrible communicator. And honestly, I don't think he's really any better at economics. Today he confirmed what I already knew - that the TARP is a total ruse and hoax. Sorry, Henry, but the "facts" haven't changed. Only the lies you all have told us have changed.

I understand that everyone who's "important" thinks that the US auto industry is vital and indispensable so that we cannot allow it to crumble. Fine. But isn't there a better way of helping it than to give even more money to a bunch of guys who have proven that they don't know how to manage it? I mean, good Lord, that's like telling a child with a mouth full of rotten teeth to just keep on eating all that candy they want. It just makes a vicious momma feel, well, really super-vicious. ;-)

I really wish that Obama or someone would hire me as an advisor and I could really straighten their asses out about some things. Or at least, I could dispense some long-overdue spankings to all those executives that haven't been properly disciplined. Yeah, appoint me to the Cabinet. Create a new position called Spanking Czar or Tsar or whatever it is. Or Secretary of Discipline. Oh, nevermind, that won't ever happen.

Anyway, we got our letter yesterday about the "Economic Stimulus" - it came this late because we had filed for an extension and just filed our income tax return in October. Well, I figure it's like a small refund of some of the thousands of dollars we've already paid in the last few years. I guess we'll use it for Christmas and do our part to "stimulate" the economy. Maybe everything will be real cheap since all the retailers are in trouble. We'll see.

Perhaps this taking advantage of desperately low prices sounds somewhat predatory or scavenger-like. Well, just look at nature and you'll find that it's a common adaptation to pick out the weakest to consume and to scavenge those that have fallen. I guess I'm a cruel socioeconomic darwinist to look at things this way. Fine. Whatever. But it seems to me that all those guys like Paulson and the other "experts" and "executives" have completely forgotten the laws of nature and the fact that oftentimes it's best to let the weak and non-adaptive things be consumed and/or scavenged by the stronger and healthier.

Okay, what about compassion and humanity? Have I none? Of course I do. And I frankly do think that it is more compassionate and responsible to assure the future well-being of our society by allowing the failures to fail. How will we ever learn to improve if we don't ever let ourselves fail? It's just not natural to prevent failure and death of things that are incapable of living. To quote Mammy from Gone With the Wind, "It ain't fittin'... it ain't fittin'. It jes' ain't fittin'... It ain't fittin'!" Believe it or not, Mammy has always been a kind of vicious momma role model for me:



I couldn't find a video of the "it ain't fittin'" scene, but the one above shows some of the aftermath of the Civil War. The streets of Atlanta were full of predators and scavengers (some called "carpetbaggers") who rightly (and sometimes wrongly) rebuilt the city from its ruins - all without big government bailouts for the formerly rich slave-owners or any kind of "economic parity" programs for the poor whites who didn't even own slaves but still had to suffer through the War and its consequences. Of course, all of that ingenuity and resourcefulness truly is gone with the wind, and now all we are offered is some refried stimulus borrowed from our grandchildren.

You know, the pre-Civil War cotton industry was considered vital and indispensable too, just like the auto industry today. Well, history has a way of repeating itself, especially when the same mistakes are made over again. Who do you think really is holding us as slaves to their ways today? (one hint to one answer: their names are akin to the ones who won the Civil War)

Thursday, November 06, 2008

The People Spoke

And that is the American Way. Congratulations and good luck to Obama and his team. They certainly do have a big job ahead of them. I do realize the historical significance of these days and I appreciate being witness to them. Despite whatever angry things I've said during the campaign I am reserving judgment about an Obama Presidency until we see what exactly he does. He does have some pretty powerful mojo.

Incidentally, I think that Michelle Obama should hire Korto, the runner-up in Project Runway 5, to design her Inauguration gown. I always liked Korto's designs and thought that she should have won. I was impressed with her creativity and skilled construction.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Teenage Wasteland

"Baba O'Riley" by The Who



Out here in the fields
I fight for my meals
I get my back into my living
I don't need to fight
To prove I'm right
I don't need to be forgiven

Don't cry
Don't raise your eye
It's only teenage wasteland

Sally, take my hand
We'll travel south cross-land
Put out the fire
And don't look past my shoulder
The exodus is here
The happy ones are near
Let's get together
Before we get much older

Teenage wasteland
Teenage wasteland
Teenage wasteland
It's only teenage wasteland
Teenage wasteland
It's only teenage wasteland
Teenage wasteland
It's only teenage wasteland

They're all wasted!


Of course, this song was written by a Brit, but music is universal and everyone is allowed, at least still at this moment, to interpret music and art as it makes sense to them. While some might read these lyrics as some kind of communist manifesto, I prefer to read them as a declaration of Freedom from the oppression of communistic "groupthink" and loss of individuality. After all, it is usually younger and more immature people who have never actually put their backs into their work to build a life and security of their own. They generally prefer that everything is given to them without having to actually earn it and be responsible for themselves. (If you know any teenagers you know what I mean.)

Well, America is in its Teenage Wasteland. They're all wasted! The People are wasting all the hard work and sacrifice of the Founding Fathers and others who have fought so hard for our unique Independence and Freedom and the Responsibilities that go with them. It breaks my heart and hurts my soul and stomach to witness the "Change" led by someone who believes and preaches that his people are "owed" something and that the very foundations of our Nation are "flawed."

May God or the Laws of Nature intervene to save us from our own destruction.

I don't need to fight
To prove I'm right
I don't need to be forgiven



Bonus:

Thursday, October 30, 2008

No Sympathy From Me

In a stunning display of wrongly placed tribute and sympathy, the Huffington Post pays memorial to one of their writers, the suicide murderer, Carol Anne Burger.

Burger apparently stabbed her ex-lover 222 times with a Phillips-head screwdriver, stuffed the body in a car trunk, abandoned the car, and then shot herself before police could question her. Yeah, such a great person really deserves a sympathetic tribute. If it had been a conservative writer you know that the media would be all over it with their twisted acrimony and spiteful conviction of "conservative values."

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Golden Fiddle

(this has nothing to do with the website of the same name)

Welcome to the readers of goldenfiddle.tumblr.com! Please allow me to explain that this posting is somewhat snarky and tongue-in-cheek.

"The Devil Went Down to Georgia" originally by Charlie Daniels Band:



Of course, Johnny earned his golden fiddle by accepting the Devil's challenge and out-fiddling the Devil, but what the story doesn't say is that anything you get from the Devil, whether you've earned it or not, isn't really free and isn't really yours to keep forever. You can't take it with you when you die.

A lot of people in the last couple of decades have "earned" their golden fiddles, too. But now that they are trying to cash them in they are learning that they are truly worthless. They built entire empires upon the wealth (and talent, or luck, or whatever) they thought their golden fiddles represented. However, not even modern high-tech people can really outwit or win any bet with the Devil, despite all of their humanistic, postmodern, intellectual, and other philosophical hubris. Mankind has not really evolved so much in the last few thousands of years.

2 Timothy 3

Godlessness in the Last Days

1 Remember that there will be difficult times in the last days. 2 People will be selfish, greedy, boastful, and conceited; they will be insulting, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, and irreligious; 3 they will be unkind, merciless, slanderers, violent, and fierce; they will hate the good; 4 they will be treacherous, reckless, and swollen with pride; they will love pleasure rather than God; 5 they will hold to the outward form of our religion, but reject its real power. Keep away from such people. 6 Some of them go into people's houses and gain control over weak women who are burdened by the guilt of their sins and driven by all kinds of desires, 7 women who are always trying to learn but who can never come to know the truth. 8 As Jannes and Jambres were opposed to Moses, so also these people are opposed to the truth—people whose minds do not function and who are failures in the faith. 9 But they will not get very far, because everyone will see how stupid they are. That is just what happened to Jannes and Jambres.


Sounds pretty familiar, doesn't it? Well, we can't really expect those who reject religion and faith and proclaim that it is evil and irrational to actually read the scriptures and learn that it is full of such sociological and historical wisdom. That particular passage from the Bible pretty accurately describes all the behaviors that have caused the fall of every great empire. It's kind of funny that so many so-called intellectuals have ignored such a valuable resource and have remained ignorant of these causes-and-effects that recur every so often. They are not so smart, and their minds don't function all that great after all. In their delusions of grandeur they have fallen into the exact same traps as so many before them.

And the Devil always gets the last laugh. And he always gets his golden fiddles back somehow. But this time the Devil is coming to all of America to reclaim all those golden fiddles so he can redistribute them. Unfortunately, he is also taking much more than some ill-gotten golden fiddles. He wants to take all the other fiddles too, including those humble homemade heirlooms that were never touched by the Devil at all.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Nesting

Over the last week I've been taking a 'mental health media holiday' because all the doom and gloom on TV was really ruining my mood and well-being. Instead of the news I've watched only fun and frivolous shows like Project Runway 5 and some of the other shows on Bravo. And most of my time and energy has been spent on home-making, or nesting. There have been many little projects and seasonal cleaning tasks that have gotten finished, as well as some rearranging and redecorating. Sometimes it's just time to do those things and to concentrate on refreshing the living spaces.

I can't do anything to make the rest of the world better, but I can make my own little world better. The stock market is going to be very volatile for a while, so there's no point in watching its every swing. There will be a pretty serious global recession whether or not the government becomes fully socialist and no matter who is elected President. These are things that I have no control over even though my family always tells me that I should run for President to straighten out everyone and everything. ;-) I just tell them that I'd rather be Queen of the World for a week. :-)

I've done my fair share of analyzing and thinking about all the world's problems and I've written them here and there. That's about all I can do and if no one pays attention then that's just how it goes. I can't fret about it too much any more. We are prepared for the worst but are hoping for better. That's the only thing we can do now.

This nesting thing is a very old biological instinct and somehow I find it comforting to follow that basic drive and to fulfill that purpose of my life. After all my chosen career is being a home-maker. Oh, and tomorrow is our big Halloween party so getting things ready for that has been a motive too.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Here I Go Again

... spouting off about things I probably don't understand...

The law of diminishing returns and fractional-reserve banking

I've been trying to figure out how exactly our world has come to this global financial crisis. A lot of people are blaming Capitalism. A lot of people are blaming Greed. A lot of people are blaming Bush. And a lot of other people are blaming a lot of other things. I've done a bit of blaming too. ;-)

While it's pretty clear that greed, corruption, and irresponsibility are very big parts of this problem, I have to wonder why it was so easy for those things to take control. A lot of people blame "deregulation" and the "free market." Well, I guess you can try to regulate away some of the bad motives and poor choices of people, but after all these thousands of years of civilization it's apparent that man-made regulations and rules don't always work.

And in a truly free market the bad things would fail anyway because the benefits of the cheating, etc., always follow the law of diminishing returns, and also because people would eventually figure out who are the corrupt people and would not give them their business. Of course, we have to have some way of keeping all the bad guys from getting together and creating mafias and such, but in reality it probably could be argued that even mafias are better managed than many government entities. ;-)

Anyway, it is wrong to say that greed and corruption are inherent qualities of Capitalism. I think looking at history will show us that greed and corruption occur in all kinds of systems, probably in close-to-equal proportions. Greed is not the same thing as desiring a fair profit from hard work. On the other hand, greed could be defined as not wanting someone else to have a fair profit from his hard work, as is a motivation of communistic systems because all people expect the same profit regardless of how hard they work themselves. Greed and jealousy are often the motives for desiring everyone to have "economic parity" because some people just can't accept that others will have more than they.

Well, all of that isn't really the point I want to make. I want to discover the source of all the bad decisions that led to the collapse of the global banking system. What it all boils down to is that all of these banks were lending more money than they actually had. The official name of that is "fractional-reserve banking." (Please click the link above so I don't have to spend time explaining it.) As a principle this "fractional-reserve" is not really a bad thing. It has many benefits. However, as with any other principle it has to be properly applied.

Let me go off on a tangent here about the law of diminishing returns. This is a perfectly natural law that is consistent with the reality and the Laws of Nature that shape reality. All systems have some entropy. Economies are not so special that they can break this law. Some "intellectual" economists apparently think it's okay and fine to drop the assumption of diminishing returns, and one of them has even been awarded a Nobel Prize.

I guess I'm not "intellectual" enough to see how that is worthy of any prizes. It seems pretty dumb to me because it looks about the same as some physicists deciding to drop the second law of thermodynamics in order to make their calculations add up. Incidentally, there actually are some physicists who try to do this and even try to say that we can reverse the arrow of time. Will this be the next big idea in Economics?*

Okay, back to the fractional-reserve. Somehow someone decided that it was a good idea for banks to lend out 10 times as much as their capital. I suspect that they are using similar methods and calculations as the previously mentioned Nobelist, and honestly, I just don't think it takes a genius to see that extending an order of magnitude of credit will result is some serious, exponential problems down the line. It would be much more realistic and less problematic to select a much lower amount than "times 10."

I mean, Lord have mercy, what kind of retarded idiot is going to believe that the Universe is going to magically unfold so that he suffers no losses from being completely unrealistic? Who was the dumbass who said that it was a good idea for banks to lend so much more than they have? I really want to know. He needs to be spanked very hard and possibly even imprisoned for being so stupid and causing this global meltdown. It does not take a genius to figure out that if you lend $10 for every $1 you actually possess it won't take long for it all to catch up with you, even if you're charging interest. (Unless you are in a mafia which breaks the legs of people who don't pay back their loans.) ;-)

Again, I want to say that the problem is not with banks and capitalism, per se. It is with the bad ideas and bad policies and bad practices that they've operated under. Somebody decided that these things would make the economies grow and make everyone rich and happy, or at least themselves rich and happy. But you know what? It was all an illusion and alchemy based on some dummies deciding that they have the power to overcome the very Laws of Nature.

Surely it must be apparent enough to everyone in the world who is witnessing our global banking failures to see and agree that ignoring the law of diminishing returns is just begging for disaster. Come on. It just doesn't take a genius to see how that works out.


*Okay, so here's my Nobel-worthy Economics idea. ;-) Let's just say "hocus-pocus" and turn back the arrow of time and erase all debt. Then we can just start all over again. But next time let's not drop the assumption of diminishing returns and let's not lend (or borrow) 10 times more than what we can afford. :-)

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Hot, Close, and Real

Mood swings, market swings.

Okay, here are my simple solutions.

1. The US automakers really should switch from making so many cars to making parts for new power plants. If we really want to get serious about "energy independence" then we can't really afford to pussy-foot around about it. Do it now. Like right now, not next month or next year. Duh!

2. Forget about "redistributing wealth". There isn't any wealth left to redistribute. Essentially, all the wealth was illusion anyway that has vanished now.

3. Stop lowering the interest rates. How many times do they have to fail to figure out that something isn't working? All those times that Greenspan lowered the rates over the last few years only increased the problems instead of helping anything. You know, in 1990 when I bought my first car the interest rate was 12.9%. As it should have been for someone just getting out of school and just beginning a new job and not having earned better rates with an established credit history. And guess what? I survived. Higher interest rates are a "natural" control over too much credit being extended.

4. Stop pushing people to keep borrowing. Didn't anyone ever listen to their grandparents' advice? Sure, credit is necessary for big purchases like cars and homes, but come on people, stop freaking living on credit! Make do. It's possible and it's necessary.

more to come...

Crazy Train



All aboard!
HA HA HA HA HA HA!
I I I I I I I I
Crazy, but that's how it goes
Millions of people living as foes
Maybe, it's not too late
To learn how to love
And forget how to hate

Mental wounds not healing
Life's a bitter shame
I'm going off the rails on a crazy train
I'm going off the rails on a crazy train

I've listened to preachers
I've listened to fools
I've watched all the dropouts
Who make their own rules
One person conditioned to rule and control
The media sells it and you live the role

Mental wounds still screaming
Driving me insane
I’m going off the rails on a crazy train
I'm going off the rails on a crazy train

I know that things are going wrong for me
You gotta listen to my words
Yeah yeah yeah

Heirs of the Cold War, that's what we've become
Inherited troubles, I'm mentally numb!
Crazy, I just cannot bear
I'm living with something that just isn't fair!

Mental wounds not healing
Who and what’s to blame
I’m going off the rails on a crazy train
I'm going off the rails on a crazy train

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA


All these 28 years since it was released this song still says so much.

Well, if it hasn't been apparent enough over the last several days, those of us who tend towards some mental fragility are being stressed to points of breaking due to the financial meltdown. Okay, so maybe the mental health pork added to the big bailout will actually be helpful. ;-)

I just don't get it. What is wrong with all these people who are panicking and creating an even worse mess than it has to be?

I'm worried too. But I'm not as worried about the stock market as I am about the movement towards so much government power over the economy. Now we hear that the US Treasury is wanting to buy shares in some big banks, but they are calling it "capital injection". Well, I might like an injection too. :-) But I don't see it happening any time soon, if ever.

And what really concerns me is that our next President will inherit this increased power. At this point neither candidate looks capable of handling it properly. McCain lost me during the last debate when he pandered to the "buy our troubled mortgages at taxpayer expense" crowd. Well, it looks like he's already lost the election anyway, but if we could put Sarah Palin in the top spot instead it would be an improvement. She might not be an "intellectual" but honestly how well are all the intellectuals handling these things? I don't see any Nobel Economics winners coming forward with brilliant solutions to anything. And sorry, Neil Cavuto, but the economics "nerds" don't really look too smart right now either. Sure, they might be in demand for commentary, but where are the real goods? ;-)

All Aboard! The Crazy Train is leaving the station.

Too Hot, Too Close, Too Real

This is the mantra that I use to fight off the thoughts I should not entertain. Not that it always works, but the more I do it the easier it gets. Whether or not it actually solves anything isn't really the point, I guess. But maybe the lesson here is that sometimes it's better to pretend things don't really exist or matter, or at least to tell yourself that those things are too intense and overwhelming to approach, even in your mind. I guess it's kind of like when all the elitist "experts" tell the average people not to talk or offer ideas about things they can't possibly understand enough to have a valid opinion. So, the next time I'm tempted to offer any kind of commentary or solutions to all the big problems in the world, I'll just say "too hot, too close, too real" and leave it at that. ;-)

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Is He Shaved?

(I said "shaved" not "saved") ;-)

A Happy Day-late Birthday to Vladimir Putin:



Well, I have to say he just doesn't look too manly without any chest hair. Does he shave it off? Ick.

Carry Each Other

It would be pleasing if Bono was included in this year's Nobel Peace Prize.




Is it getting better?
Or do you feel the same?
Will it make it easier on you now?
You got someone to blame
You say
One love
One life
When it's one need
In the night
One love
We get to share it
Leaves you baby if you
Don't care for it

Did I disappoint you?
Or leave a bad taste in your mouth?
You act like you never had love
And you want me to go without
Well it's

Too late
Tonight
To drag the past out into the light
We're one, but we're not the same
We get to
Carry each other
Carry each other
One

Have you come here for forgiveness?
Have you come to raise the dead?
Have you come here to play Jesus?
To the lepers in your head

Did I ask too much?
More than a lot?
You gave me nothing,
Now it's all I got
We're one
But we're not the same
See we
Hurt each other
Then we do it again
You say
Love is a temple
Love a higher law
Love is a temple
Love is a higher law
You ask me to enter
But then you make me crawl
And I can't keep holding on
To what you got
When all you've got is hurt

One love
One blood
One life
You got to do what you should
One life
With each other
Sisters
Brothers
One life
But we're not the same
We get to
Carry each other
Carry each other

One...
One...

extended version

Can You hear us coming Lord
Can You hear us call
Feel us knocking
We're knocking at Your door

Haha, Lutheran Guilt

I grew up Lutheran, and of course, it did influence me quite a bit.

I just want to needlessly apologize for my last post and for any hurt feelings my rant might have caused the weak at heart. (Though, I did warn them to proceed at their own peril.) However, I don't think it is necessary to delete it because then this post wouldn't make any sense. ;-)

I'm sorry for being an imperfect person, please forgive me.

Emotional Bailout

Warning: Personal Pity Party and Raw, Unedited, and Indelicate Statements. Proceed at your own peril.

It's the terror of knowing
What this world is about

"Under Pressure" by Queen and David Bowie




I need some kind of hundred billion dollar emotional bailout. All the big things that have happened in the last couple of years have completely overwhelmed and overextended my emotional credit. Last night I got really sad missing my dad, but then I thought it was probably better that he wasn't having to see this financial meltdown that would have wiped out all of his retirement funds that had already seen so many declines in the last few years. At least I paid off his house the day before he died.

We won't have the money to pay a large tax bill because of all the outstanding accounts receivable that people just can't pay because they don't have the money either. Well, I'll just put a note on our tax return that we just don't have it and so they'll just have to deal with it and if they have any concern about all the "Joe Sixpacks" then forgive us for not having the money just like they've forgiven all the crooks on Wall Street. Don't take our house either. Jesus Fucking Christ, they want to pay for all those other houses of people who didn't do things right, but then they'll threaten to put a lien or something on ours? That just makes me so sick that I want to do bad things.

By the way, I find that term "Joe Sixpack" extremely offensive and racist. If all the media people can said that with impunity, and all the Sarah Palin haters can call her terrible things and throw around the term "white trash" with impunity, then I can say some things with impunity too. I'm sick of having to look at Obama's nappy head. Why doesn't he just grow an afro or dreadlocks or something? And I'm tired of looking at his blue lips telling lies and avoiding real answers. Okay, so I say these things that might offend someone, but no one seems to mind if I'm offended. Freedom of Speech goes both ways, people.

See, my emotional accounts are bankrupt, and I don't see any kind of bailout coming, so what to do? If people want to beat me up for saying some offensive things about Obama, go ahead and kick me when I'm down. You know, it was less than a year ago that I was laid up in the hospital for 5 days after my appendix blew. We're still paying for that too. Our insurance covered some of it, but all this year we've been paying $320 a month on the remaining balance and have another five months to pay on it. We will probably have to reduce that monthly payment now, and the hospital will not like it. Too bad for them. Just two months after that my dad got sick, and two months after that he died. Now I've got at least another $1000 to pay for my skin cancer treatments. Where is that money going to come from? The stress of all these things is more than I can stand, and all the world seems to care about is how they can beat me up even more for being a white American.

If you find this post ugly and unbearable, well, too fucking bad for you. Welcome to my life, and my struggles, and my desperation. I need a bailout too, an emotional one at least. But let's be completely honest, my skin color, lifestyle, and heritage are being held against me in insidious and blatant ways, and to say the least it is exhausting and bleeding me dry.

I hope everyone else is happy with that because I just don't care anymore.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Under Pressure



Mm ba ba de
Um bum ba de
Um bu bu bum da de
Pressure pushing down on me
Pressing down on you no man ask for
Under pressure - that tears a building down
Splits a family in two
Puts people on streets
Um ba ba be
Um ba ba be
De day da
Ee day da - that's o.k.
It's the terror of knowing
What this world is about
Watching some good friends
Screaming 'Let me out'
Pray tomorrow - gets me higher
Pressure on people - people on streets
Day day de mm hm
Da da da ba ba
O.k.
Chippin' around - kick my brains around the floor
These are the days it never rains but it pours
Ee do ba be
Ee da ba ba ba
Um bo bo
Be lap
People on streets - ee da de da de
People on streets - ee da de da de da de da
It's the terror of knowing
What this world is about
Watching some good friends
Screaming 'Let me out'
Pray tomorrow - gets me higher high high
Pressure on people - people on streets
Turned away from it all like a blind man
Sat on a fence but it don't work
Keep coming up with love
but it's so slashed and torn
Why - why - why ?
Love love love love love
Insanity laughs under pressure we're cracking
Can't we give ourselves one more chance
Why can't we give love that one more chance
Why can't we give love give love give love give love
give love give love give love give love give love
'Cause love's such an old fashioned word
And love dares you to care for
The people on the edge of the night
And loves dares you to change our way of
Caring about ourselves
This is our last dance
This is our last dance
This is ourselves
Under pressure
Under pressure
Pressure

Monday, October 06, 2008

California Should Rescue Itself

Most populous state in country, 11th in median income with $54,385, and the largest state economy in the USA, and The Arnold is asking the US Treasury for a $7,000,000,000 loan.

As of 2007, the gross state product (GSP) is about $1.812 trillion, the largest in the United States. California is responsible for 13 percent of the United States gross domestic product (GDP). As of 2006, California's GDP is larger than all but eight countries in the world (all but eleven countries by Purchasing Power Parity). California is facing a $16 billion budget deficit for the 2008-09 budget year.


Hollywood should have more of its $28,500 per plate fundraisers like the last one that raised $11,000,000 for Obama's campaign. Deomcrats have so far donated $87,684,794 to the campaigns. How about all those big shot, ultra-liberal stars put their money where their mouths are and start being more "patriotic" (as their second in command has suggested) by donating more taxes to rescue their own state? Oh, I guess they only believe in socialism when they don't have to pay for it.

All the loudmouth, hateful Hollywood liberals who are bashing Sarah Palin should really put their time, energy, and resources into actually doing some good for their own 'homeland'.

If they'd actually allow some oil drilling off their coast, they could be as rich and well-funded as Palin's Alaska. Do we need much more evidence that Hollywood has completely lost all credibility and influence? Yeah, and TV and film producers got some pork out of that big bailout too. I'm not ever going to pay to watch any of their stupid movies again. And if Matt Damon is such a sissy that Palin scares him, then his nuts would just shrivel up and fall off if he ever met me. ;-)

Dear Treasury Secretary Paulson,

I am writing from Main Street, so to speak, to let you know that our small business is in need of your assistance. While you've been so exceptionally generous in helping save the asses profits of the big guys, and I guess we will have to see how well that works out, we little guys are suffering too.

Instead of adding to the modest debt we have been working so hard to eliminate (and avoid), I am requesting that you send us a bailout grant of $50,000 $100,000 to recover the costs of all our outstanding accounts receivable. This amount comes from all the people who have not paid us for our products and services rendered, and frankly, I'm using the accounting tricks of the big guys to inflate that amount. What's fair is fair.

Without this expected income we are not able to pay our own bills from the suppliers and possibly won't be able to cover our payroll. It is very concerning that we might have to lay off our employee due to this problem, and that will hurt all of us.

As a small sole proprietorship, if we cannot pay our bills then those we owe can actually try to sue us for our home or other real assets. You surely realize these are much more serious consequence for us than any of the consequences for the CEOs of the failing financial services companies that you've already agreed to help. As far as I can tell, none of them will have their personal assets seized to cover their inability to keep their companies solvent, even if it is their own fault. Clearly, that is very unjust, don't you agree?

The amount we are requesting is such a tiny percentage of your previous "rescue" packages, and as such we believe that this very modest allocation will actually be very immediately effective in relieving our local economy.

However, out of our own benevolence and altruism, we are open to some negotiation. It might be acceptable to us to be absolved from all federal taxes for some period of time, measured in years not months. Please do consider this option. Although it is not really the most helpful for us, it is better than nothing.

I expect to hear from you or your representatives regarding our request as soon as possible.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Rae Ann
Office Manager/Bookkeeper
[edited for privacy] Heating and Air Conditioning
Knoxville, TN

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Viruses of the Soul

Title comes from a previous post, Broken-Hearted Savior.

Dawkins calls religion "viruses of the mind." The viruses of the soul are hubris, greed, and other purely human traits that separate us from God/Love. The war on religion and God that so many militant atheists are trying to fight is nothing less than an attack on the Freedom of Thought which is the root of our First Amendment right of Freedom of Speech and Religion. It's terribly unfortunate that 'distinguished' scholars can't or won't see that, ignoring it like a (spiritual) mole that is destined to become a malignant melanoma (of the soul).


As we've seen so dramatically in recent days and weeks, all these viruses of the soul have overwhelmed humanity and is seriously threatening its health overall.

Hubris, greed, intolerance, condescension, bigotry, hatred, maliciousness, treachery, and on and on and on. There are too many viruses that have overtaken most of the souls in the world.

I feel sick to my stomach knowing that there are so many evil, rotten people in the world and that they are somehow controlling us all. My heart is broken to see all the providential principles upon which our country was formed being throw in the trash. It breaks my heart to hear supposed allies betraying and belittling those of us who cling to our righteousness. Well, all you hateful and heartless atheists, see where you are taking things now? Are you happy to see all the good things die? Does the world really look like it's that much better without God, or faith in something other than your human hubris? I don't see it.

I don't want to stay in a world so full of pestilent souls. If there is such a thing as the Rapture, I want it now. The humanity is very, very sick and I want away from it.