Sunday, November 30, 2008

What is That Sound

Its quiet. Strange quiet. I don't mean that there is silence. I am not referring to sounds of silence, hello darkness my old friend ... silence. Its just quiet.

There is the sound of the dog slubbering. There is sound of the dishwasher churning cleaning the weekend dishes. The washing machine is cleansing the mountain of towels used these last four days. The TV is going and yet there is quiet.

How can that be?

There is no one home except of course the person being me writing these words.

So, how can it be ... that the quiet is strange.

It should be quiet. I have been home alone before and it was not strange.

Why this time?

One wife, four sons, one daughter-in-law ... and one grandson. They were here and now there gone. Not gone like no longer no this planet. They are still of this plane of existence, just not physically here.

There was a time, when the rumor was that I cherished these moments. A certain individual used to comment that I was happiest at these moments. It might have seemed like that to an outsider, to someone that was projecting what it might have appeared from a different angle. It was not true.

But this time, it is clear ... the silence is different this time.

From Wednesday night to Sunday morning there were sounds ... voices, discussion, arguing, baby crying, baby laughing, camera flashing ... refigerator door opening, closing, opening, chewing and more chewing ... lots of food being take from packages to plates to mouth. And now, now of that ... quiet.

They are gone and it is quiet and I do not like it.

It should be loud and clear ... I want them here and I want them back. I do not like or want the quiet.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Science and More Rubbish

Life is funny. Not always in the ha ha that was a knee slapper funny. Just, you know, the kind of funny that when you hear it or read it you go ... that's weird in a funny way. So much there and it just keeps on coming.

Funniest stuff is still science, of course now that we have five minutes between elections. I mean what could be funnier than a bunch of people making stuff up based upon tests that they devise to prove what they want so they can get the scientists at the FDA to say ... yeah, that sounds good ... go make another billion and we will call our friends over at Medicare to help pay for it because it just sounds so good what with that test and all. Was that a sentence?

Well, Time Magazine's recent issue ... is Time too liberal for you? ... had Medicine and Health Care as its central theme. I capitalize Medicine and Health Care because people realize that they are a mystery. There is a myth, well I believe it is a myth, that if you take proper care of yourself, eat right, exercise regularly ... you will live longer. Seems to sound reasonable. We know it must be true because 2/3 or for you statisticians ... 66 2/3% of the U.S. population are either obese or just plain fat or otherwise overweight. Combine that with are desire to be pompous and self righteous, topped off with our vast overspending on medical care and Americans do not live as long as the Japanese, Swiss, the Australians, Canadians, French, Italians, Germans, Norwegians and the Brits. Why we barely live longer than the Panamanians. Now it is clear that must certainly take better care of ourselves than the French and Italians and the Brits ... well we outspend them so why shouldn't we live longer.

But that is not the point, except that how are the 1/3 who are not overweight and all those anorexic teens going to feel? Remember your grade point. Yes, way back when life was simple and you knew where you stood because at the end of sixteen weeks someone gave you a grade so you knew exactly how much you had not studied. Remember all those living room lectures about pulling your grade point up? Well, think about it. If you fool around for three of the four years you are in high school or college, what must your grade point be in your senior year to give you a nice 3.5 for graduation? So, how must those 1/3 feel? Look at the effort they must undertake to bring the average up to a respectable 10th place. How can 10th place be respectable unless you really need to build your self esteem. Do they only get to live as long as the other 2/3? So, why should you starve yourself if you have the same end as the obese ... have an extra scoop of ice cream. Finally on this point, those obnoxious people drinking diet soda which is only dirty water, eating their no calories artificially flavored soy ... they are so rude, pompous and so full of themselves that it would not be fair if they lived longer.

Is there a point here? Yes, I think so.

Scientists have decided that there are no more big issues to solve so they been studying whether or not your DNA fixes your destiny. Are you predisposed based upon the genes that your parents dumped on you to be say obnoxious or shy or rude or to say silly things at dinner parties ... is it your grandparents fault that you interrupt other peoples conversations to point out the silly position they are taking on important issues? Well after exhaustive tests ... scientists who received large government grants to figure this out have created tests running over several years and meetings in exotic places like Omaha and Boise ... yes your DNA forces you to be who you will be.

Except. I was going to say "but" because that is the normal featured word here but we will use "except". Seems there is another group who got money more large amounts from the government, yes the same government that is currently $11 Trillion in debt. These science types after many tests and blind studies and their own exotic meeting in Des Moines and Buffalo, that you can overcome your DNA by hard work and determination and depending upon who you hang out with at the water cooler or the bowling alley. There is hope that you can overcome the legacy your parents stuck you with if you are determined.

So who is right in this DNA or environment argument? Your right and your right.

If you want to know the answer ... have children. As they are growing up, your spouse will point out where your DNA is screwing up your children because they are taking after all your dumb habits. If they are now brilliant, hard working then of course her environmental efforts to provide them with a positive role model and the correct ecosystem have saved the day. As you child does things that unfortunately remind you of your bad habits ... go out and find them hard working industrious friends.

The big question ... since this question was answered clearly maybe three four thousand years ago. Yaakov became a hard working industrious leader of a nation while his twin brother Esau went out and became a bum with a dozen sons heading many nations. One book smart, one a hunter ... same parents ... different kids.

Why are we wasting money when there are real problems to solve and besides what will you do with the information once you learn that it is both DNA and environment?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Knock ... Knock

Sitting there ... reading a book ... it is quiet. The only sound in the background is the fan going around and around. A clicking sound every few times around. It is not really annoying, background almost non sound. You hardly notice it. The only reason to mention it is to remind yourself how quiet it is.

Sitting on a very comfortable chair, it would be hard to get up ... if there was reason. Not much reason, the chair is a perfect reading chair, allows your feet to be up, can lean back but not so far that you would fall asleep, although you have been known to doze for an extended period on this particular chair. The book is better than good. You have read this author before and his previous books were hard to put it down. This one is starting out just as good. He writes a real pager turner. Why would you have to get off the chair when right there within a easy reach is a glass of scotch, your favorite. Who could ask for more.

All this is nice except for one small ever so small draw back. You know that you are the last man on Earth. Now this is not like your the last sane man or the last comic standing or the last Democrat or the last Republican or the last Jew. No you are the last man on Earth. You have done the research and its true.

Knock ... knock ... there is a knock at the door.

Can't be ... you are the last man on earth, must be the wind or your imagination.

Knock ... knock.

It was a knock. You heard it. It was a knock. You know what a knock sounds like. You are not so old or long alone that you can not remember what a knock sounds like. It was a knock.

So, you get up ... slow at first and then a little faster ... but with caution. You are certainly nervous being as you are the last man on earth.

Your hand goes to the door handle. Turning the knob, the door is opened ... mmm ... no one is there. Stepping outside ... maybe the knocker walked away just going from house to house knocking ... looking. So, you walk out of the yard ... go through the gate. Looking up and down the road. No one. No sign of life in either direction. Walk to the corner, its only two houses away, down the side streets ... no movement, no knocker. You stand there for a moment ... two moments ... five moments. No one.

You head back for that comfortable chair and the scotch and the book. It was your imagination. Forget it, you are the last man on earth.

Wait, there is a note taped to your door. It was not there before. You didn't leave it there to remind yourself to take out the garbage. Reaching for the note there is nervousness, your throat goes a little dry, your hand shakes ever so as it reaches the note.

Open it fool ... it could be life changing.

You open it and read ... being the last man on Earth.

The note is written clearly, large print, hand written ... you know the hand writing.


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Mom and Dad Are Going To Take a Nap

This just in ... (you can't make this stuff up)


Associated Press ... Wednesday, November 12, 2008

DALLAS — The pastor of a megachurch says he will challenge married congregants during his sermon Sunday to have sex for seven straight days — and he plans to practice what he preaches. “We’re going to give it a try,” said the Rev. Ed Young, who has four children with his wife of 26 years.

Young, 47, said he believes society promotes promiscuity and he wants to reclaim sex for married couples. Sex should be a nurturing, spiritual act that strengthens marriages, he said. “God says sex should be between a married man and a woman,” Young said. “I think it’s one of the greatest things you can do for your kids because so goes the marriage, so goes the family.”

Young said he will deliver his seven-day sex challenge while sitting on a bed in front of his Dallas-area church campus.

He is founder of the nondenominational Fellowship Church, which draws about 20,000 people each Sunday and also has campuses in Fort Worth, Plano and Miami.


Carrying extra fat around your middle dramatically increases your risk of early death, even if your overall weight is normal, say researchers.

A study of almost 360,000 people from nine European countries found waist size a "powerful indicator" of risk. Each extra 2ins (5cm) raised the chance of early death by between 13% and 17%.

The New England Journal of Medicine study stressed GPs should regularly measure patients' waists as a cheap and easy way to assess health. It costs virtually nothing to measure your hip and waist size

Professor Elio Riboli of the Imperial College London said ... The link between waist fat and health problems has been established for some time, but the sheer size of the study gives scientists a far more accurate picture.

The researchers, including some from Imperial College London, followed the volunteers, who were an average of 51 years old at the start of the study, for the next 10 years, during which time 14,723 of them died.

The standard measure of obesity, body mass index (BMI) remained a reasonable predictor of health problems, with those with a high reading more likely to die from cardiovascular disease or cancer.

However, the 'hip/waist ratio', a number produced by dividing the waist size by the hip measurement, and just the waist measurement on its own, were both good ways of sorting out those at highest risk.


So the bottom line ... if your married and only if you are married ... and well you know what I mean .... read my lips ... you should have as much sex as they had on Sex In The City and they do on Californication in fact it is well documented in my mind that married sex can cure most ailments ... but when your making love ... remember not get a handle ... no handles on your love ... because that could reduce the time you have for making love ... make love not handles ...

Imagine ... the above reporters could have been writing about Sarah Palin at the Governors conference looking forward to 2012 ... sex yes ... 2012 no.

And The Beat Goes On

I begged ...I prayed ... I wrote on and on ... I spoke with any number of people ... some would even actually listen and many who would have rather that I shut up but it did not change the situation. My prayers were not heard. The pain has not stopped. Each morning I wake up ... I look at the online news ... and its still there ... it will not go away ... what is the matter with people? Does America have such limited imagination? You would think we would be embarrassed when we, America, is at the world parties and we can not change the subject. Can they think of nothing else to do?

There is some imagination out there ... maybe not great writing ... no Aaron Sorkin but some imagination nonetheless. We now have a TV program to replace X-Files and Buffy the Vampire Slayer if only something to replace Stargate and Star Trek and Twilight Zone and Outer Limits .... so we have Fringe and True Blood. A program about the science beyond science ... imagine that you science is the Lord folks there is science beyond your peanut imaginations ... even had an episode about communicating with the recently dead, seems you can actually talk to a dead person up to six hours after they are dead. Dead is not dead anymore, but its a program for me. Then there is True Blood, synthetic blood for sale at your local liquor store ... who said single malt was the top of the heap ... so vampires can come out of the closet and demand equal rights. Now of course you flaming liberals ... and you know who you are, so proud now that you are in power ... please don't blow it and give money to GM, Ford and Chrysler so they can build more pick-up trucks .... some would say this program is just a cover story for gays coming out ... I will tell you that comparing gays and vampires not only stretches the mind farther than play dough or a slinky could ever go but some would say its an insult to one of those groups ... it is doing well. So, there are some people with imagination. (this has been a paid advertisement .. well I would like it be paid ... to the producers of these enlightened shows ... I am waiting for your check).

So what is the problem with the rest of you?

Ten days ago we had the culminating party for twenty four months of non stop presidential campaigning. Too many primaries and caucuses, too many debates, too many television commercials, too many news programs dedicated to the color of tie or who can text faster or who even knew what texting was or the dress being worn ... just too much. The baseball season which goes on forever is not even this long. Alas, I thought for a brief moment ... a nano micro second ... a blink of the eye ... that the campaign story was over for a little while. I mean let the president elect become the president before someone begins campaigning for the job. I mean the next presidential election is not for four ... count them ... four ... say it out loud ... four ... look at your fingers and put the number up in the air .... four ... repeat it that number of times ... four ... write it on a sheet of paper in big print ... four ... type it on your computer in 48 point font ... four .... correct it will be four years until the next election.

It would be nice to allow the new president some time to actually govern before he has to begin running again. It is said that it that it takes a new administration almost a year to appoint and have approved all of the political appointees to run the government. So, take away one year ... the last year is devoted to getting re-elected ... take away another year. You are left with at most two years of governing.

Sarah Palin ... like her or not has already begun running for the 2012 presidential nomination. During eights weeks of being the Republican nominee for vice-president she had one debate and five press conferences or direct meetings with a journalist. Yes, Katie Couric is a journalist even if she can not write. Since the fateful Tuesday where she and her running mate got their butt handed to them, she has given 96 interviews with reporters. Count them ... 96 in 9 days. At this rate by November 2012 she will have given 14,000 interviews. She will be searching out bloggers like me with a readership of 6 to give an interview.

As an aside because that might have caught your attention in the midst of numbers, yes I think I might have 6 readers. Seems I got a "nice job" from a second non family member and this one may even be a real person. Who would have thought that I could get to 6? Who knows might even get to double digits in the next two years! Sarah, I will be ready for your interview soon.

Is Sarah worried that she could go the way of John Edwards, Lloyd Bensten, Thomas Eagleton or Sargent Shriver? Go look them up ... history is crucial or did you forget so quickly. Sarah should particularly remember Senator Eagleton ... there may be some real common points. Does she think that Tina Fey will forget her?

It is the fault of the press of course. It is always the press' fault you say. The press corp has the attention span of a mosquito ... no offense to the mosquitoes out there ... because the public has a shorter attention span. We need to keep looking past the here and now to the next exciting thought or the hope that despite this current morbid thought the next one will be better, more exciting, more fascinating ... but alas ... we settle for the lowest common denominator for our leaders and television shows ... potential leaders ... men who sell their soles and principles for nominations ... a man who could not have invented the Internet because he did not even know it was there ... parties who nominate a man with -0- experience who campaign of the concept of change alone as if change is automatically a good thing unless of course you are running after eight years of W and then I guess any change would appear to be a good thing but change to what? A man whose campaign was so far to the left Ralph Nadar did not have room to move ... and whose campaign is now being characterized as in the "center". Attention span issues.

So, I am begging for a moratorium of 24 to 30 months before the press can write a "2012" story. Write to your newspaper and beg them for articles on something else ... please I am begging you!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

History Teachs Us What?

History is the branch of knowledge that records and analyzes past event. The past events relating to a particular thing. The aggregate of past events or human affairs.
This is sad ... not really funny ... if you have an answer how to solve the problem ... please educate a friend ...

How much history do you know? Can you remember what you ate for breakfast yesterday? How about three weeks ago Tuesday? Where were you on September 10, 2001? Correct ... not the tragic 9/11/01 but the day before ... where were you? Who was the opponent candidate against John F. Kennedy? Who ran against Truman? What war came before World War I? What was the first series where Clint Eastwood appeared on a regular basis?

Simple questions ... not hard if you know some history.

I am not talking about knowing the lines of every Simpson episode or every Kevin Smith movie. This task can be accomplish by people with the ability to count cards or look at a pile of paper clips and tell you the exact number.

While recently discussing the recent election, with a person of some considerable knowledge. We spoke about religion and candidates of a particular religion running for presidency. He could not remember where he was when Kennedy was shot, nor could he remember where is was when Neil Armstrong landed on the moon ... he was not even a idea for his parents.

We spoke about blacks in political office ... a very current topic. He was not aware that with Obama winning the election ... you remember that election ... well depending upon the Illinois Governor ... there will be -0- black senators. Yes, with all the jubilation about breaking glass ceilings ... the Senate is substantially a white male club with a few women thrown in just to make the place smell better. Yes, Barbara Boxer and Diane Feinstein are window dressing.

We spoke about how this is Christian country except if your Catholic. Seems a Catholic running for president is a problem for some people. So skipping over that John Kerry character, we talked about JFK and how he faced the abortion issue. I could not remember if it was even an issue but then I was in sixth grade. I mentioned that JFK was not the first Catholic to run for the high office of president. I said there was Al Smith.

Who is Al Smith?

He was the Democratic presidential candidate in 1928 and lost to Herbert Hoover, tried for the nomination in 1932 but lost that to his protégé FDR, as a Democrat mad at FDR he went on to support Republican Alf Landon in 1936 and Wendell Wilkie in1940. Al was a devout Catholic and could not get elected because in part he was Catholic.

How can you not know who Al Smith was?

History is important ... why not take some time out of watching YouTube videos and read some history.

Friday, November 7, 2008

I Apologize

I just looked at my posts ... they are all long and rambling. I apologize ... when I start with all intentions of being short and direct and with distraction ... just get to the point already ... well it keeps moving away from me and there are other things or more things to add.

So sorry but I am what I am.

Oh, I do not really apologize because that would presume I did not really intend to write so long.

Did You Say - Sports?

As my loyal readership knows fairly well, I do not often write about sports. Sidebar, when I used the words "loyal" I meant that loosely and without an assumption that if you had not received half your DNA from this source that you might still be loyal. I guess it is not because I do not feel qualified which for the most part I am not. I follow sports casually.

I am not one of those sports fanatics that takes fifteen minutes every half hour to check what is new on ESPN. Only recently have I begun to understand the fascination with fantasy sports.

Fantasy sports are there for the individuals who have (1) a need for a regular infusion of sports information, (2) dream of what might be if they were only in charge, (3) can not understand that what they are watching is "team sports" ... your receiver gets points for catching a a pass without regard to the quarterback throwing the ball or the other receivers taking defenders off your back or the running back without honor to the line front opening the holes to make him look good, you do choose an entire defense so I guess fantasy people are not total fools. Now baseball fantasy is a little better as far as giving credit for hitting but that is about it. Basketball fantasy only enhances the problem with basketball in that it has become a one-on-one sport and moved away from the "team concept" except of course if you want to win championships ... sorry Kobe and LeBron ... you need help.

Well, what was the issue?

Oh yeah, in yesterday's Florida Sun Sentinel sports section, the banner headline was "Dolphin Analysis - MidSeason Report". Now for those of you who can not remember last year, I understand your attention span and memory capacity is ... well it is but of course you do remember every sports statistic for the past two seasons ... the Dolphins went 1-15. Nothing to say, they sucked the onion. Well, what makes sports so wonderful is that after the Super Bowl that was ancient history except for sports writers and people who spend their entire life living in the past. Every article about the Dolphins begins with "as compared to last year".

Now a sidebar ... this year's team has a new coaching staff, new quarterback and of the 45 men on the active roster ... around 35 of them were not here last year. So, what does your analysis tell you about that? Simple, this is not last year's team and any comparison is ... well worthless, meaningless and a waste of time and yet ... it is in every article.

So, yesterday's story. It works best if I quote the opening to show that I am not making it up.

"The Dolphins' renovation project is right on track, according to General Manager Jeff Ireland. "This whole staff, this regime, we're used to winning, and we really don't accept anything less than that", Ireland said. "It's what we want to live by." The Dolphins are on the upswing after two straight victories, though the overall performance has been inconsistent. Still, there are plenty of signs that the Dolphins are headed in the right direction. "

I am concerned about the Dolphins following the AZ rules of proper fan conduct. You can only be a fan of the team in your home town. So, yes I still root and cry for Green Bay, I still get excited about the Celtics (I adopted them as my basketball team back in the stone age of high school because Chicago did not have a team) and I still hate the Bears (but as I have said Hashem got his revenge on that issue).

Fact: The Dolphins are 4-4 so far. One of their wins can be directly attributed to using college offensive tactics which confused the NFL tacticians and players because they thought that was against the rules. I mean who would think that after playing college for four years that any of it would be relevant when you turned pro. But, now its not a surprise any more so it is a non factor.

What is my point? Yes, what was my point?

How do you tell that a renovation project is on track? I guess it depends on how much track you need to lay before you can tell you are going in the right direction. Eight games? I guess if compared to last year you are now three wins ahead ... progress - check.

"We're used to winning"
? You lost your two opening games, won two in a row, lost two in a row and now have won the last two. How are you used to winning any more than you are used to loosing ... you are 4-4 and seem to be capable of strings of 2 in either direction.

"we really don't accept anything less than that" ... I guess if your being paid millions of dollars to play that there might not be any other option than winning if you want to continue to collect your millions. If you really believed that winning was the only result acceptable you would pay your players on a contingency basis. Base salary, $200,000 ... winning season ... $1,000,000, play-off berth ... $2,500,000 ... Super Bowl ... $4,000,000. Team sport ... live or die by the team. Okay, we will throw in some individual performance bonuses but they will be more than "did you show up on time for the game".

"there are plenty of signs that the Dolphins are headed in the right direction." ... yes we changed out 80% of the team ... that allowed for a change of direction ... they have a quarterback with limited ability who can throw the ball to a receiver who has the potential to catch the ball, the coaching staff can think out of the box at least once, they have increased their wins by 300% ...

I guess the bottom line is that when you actually read the sports section, sports writers do have an advantage over political writers ... each week the sports guys give their team a written grade. Rarely does the political pages give their targets a written grade and when they do it based more on opinion than fact. You are supposed to be reporting the facts on politics but sports you are supposed to give opinion.

I was thinking of creating a new fantasy sport ... POLITICS THE FANTASY ... draft your legislators (you can not draft the President).

You will get points for
  • committee appointments, more points for chairing a meeting less but some for attending, bonus points for staying awake, more points if it is a full committee, less if it is a subcommittee, points depending upon the prestige of the witness called,
  • bills sponsored, extra points if it actually becomes a law bonus points if it gets vetoed and extra points if you can get the veto overridden
  • appearances on the weekly news channels, more points for national less for local, points for where in the newspaper or magazine your name appears, more points if you are quoted than if you are only mentioned,
  • points for op-ed pieces again more points for national less for local,
  • points for writing another autobiography depending upon where it ends up on the best seller list,
  • points for appearances on the Daily Show or the Colbert Report,
  • bonus points for writing a non fiction book,
  • points for appearing on a normal TV show more if it is a top ten series, more if it is 24 or Heroes but the most points for Prison Break (especially if it is your prison break that is the subject of the episode) or Lost.
The season would run the calendar year. Less points for things happening when Congress is not in session which is about four months of the year.

The Draft will take place soon.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

And The Day Has Arrived

Yes, you can now say with glee ... President-Elect Barack Obama. Are you happy? Is the world suddenly sunnier?

Well, many people think so ... just look what people were saying on the radio this morning, Obama will be the president, how will things change?

Girl: I will be able to afford to go to college because it will now be less expense ... my tuition will go down and books will be free.

Middle Age Man: my heath care costs will go down ... I will be able to go to any doctor and get service and the doctor will pay me for coming in ... and smile.

Man: I will be able to make a living and keep more of my money because the tax cuts will not only reduce my taxes, maybe even eliminate them but I will get money back.

Woman: the wars will be over soon and the troops be home to help hunt for the Easter eggs ... there will be world peace and harmony ... the lion shall lie down with the lamb and the meal will not be lamb chops.

Gay Fellow ( he said so, it was not his speech pattern ) ... gays will be allowed to marry, inherit, visit in the hospital, get social security benefits and more ... except of course in California or Florida and all the other states that ban gay marriage and gay rights but that's okay I live in Massachusetts.

Young Man: life will be better, change is here.

Young Girl: the sun is gonna come out tomorrow.

Now I do not want to be a naysayer but lets throw some cold water on the euphoria.

On election day, in anticipation of the Obama win ... the Dow went up around 270, the day after the wonderful, historic event ... the market went down 280 points on Wednesday and last night was down almost 500 points in Wednesday night in overnight trading. I guess the markets are done celebrating this historic win and are now moving on the reality part of our show.

Yesterday, South Korea's stock market closed down 7.6%, Japan closed down 5.6% and other Asian markets out there were running for the hills. So much for the warm thoughts the world has for the new president.

Obama has begun to name, or leak, his new potential official advisors and maybe cabinet people. The candidate of CHANGE ... lets see

Rahm Emanuel formerly of the Clinton administration where he was affectionately known as "the Hammer" because he was effective at ramming his ideas down the throats of both his friends and enemies. Did I use the word "enemies" when talking about the future administration of CHANGE and HOPE and GOODWILL. Well Rahm said in an interview, "its my way or the highway and winning is the only thing, so vote my way or get out of my way".

Treasury, a place which certainly needs new ideas and real leadership. How about Robert Rubin formerly of the Clinton Administration or maybe Lawrence Summers formerly of the Clinton Administration. Good to have new faces. The plan to solve our current economic crisis? Well, an idea being floated is that the technology sector is about to take off and go through the roof. Amazon is said to be going from $20 a share to $450 a share, Intel is set to go through the ceiling on the potential of a new chip they have not begun working on, twenty new companies are expected to make initial public offerings with no product, no business plan but they are technology companies so don't worry. Yes, the plan will be to replace the housing bubble with a new and improved technology bubble ... it worked to make the Clinton team look like geniuses so why shouldn't it work for Obama.

Defense: Obama could not stand the surge, could not say publicly that it worked ( oh it worked, so he will able to draw down the troops ) so he will keep the man who planned the surge, Robert Gates ... Secretary Gates you keep your job.

Secretary of State: a leading candidate is the smooth talking John F. Kerry because he demonstrated to the American public that he has a total grasp of the issues facing America

National Security Advisor: Dennis Ross, former Jimmy Carter staffer. Yes, Dennis was very good at giving solid advice after he was out of office. In fact, after Jimmy Carter wrote his made up history memoir of life as he wished it would have been, Dennis was kind enough to write the rebuttal presenting his memories as he wished they had been ... with him objecting during the process instead of afterwards.

So, CHANGE will be brought to you by former Clinton and Carter staffers ... imagine you objected to Hillary!

But don't worry ... CHANGE will come because Congress is now oh so more Democratic and they are the party of forgiveness and openness and the umbrella party. NOT, the Democratic leaders have been running around, waving bottles of champagne telling anyone that will listen ... we are going to have it our way ... damn the Red States ... damn the Republicans.

The Republican Party is the party of, or is supposed to be, the party of less government when it comes to finance, business, less regulation, strong defense particularly against countries that pose no direct threat, make friends with dictators and screw the global ... but I will watch closely what you are doing in your bedroom.

The Democrats, on the other hand, definitely want to stay out of your bedroom, you should be able to screw whoever you want ... because then we can stifle growth, innovation, we can regulate to our hearts content, to mandate public behaviour so the people will behave properly, we will promote policies that will ensure that public education will continue its downward spiral, business will continue to move jobs out of America to avoid the amazing mass of regulations to save the spotted tig, you know there are only 4 of them left and since we do not know where they are we need to save all the potential sights they might inhabit and of course we need to eliminate coal and oil as fuel sources ... coal because it supplies more than 50% of the electricity in America and oil .,, well who needs to drive a car. But don't worry the unproven, tens of years away alternative energy sources should be funded with billions and billions of dollars of subsidies because no good idea ever came about without billions and billions of dollars of Federal subsidies. And I could go on and on.

So, President-Elect Obama ... we wish you well as you staff your CHANGE team with former Clinton and Carter people and attempt to work with the Democratic Congress that took the agenda of moderate Clinton and outsider Carter to a pulp. You on other hand have never objected to what the Democratic leadership proposed and certainly in your campaign you never pointed out how your policies would differ from Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, or Henry Waxman ... so of course your life will be simple ... all you have to turn your vague trust me statements into actual productive policies. Well, you got two months to get ready.

Reported comments by President-Elect Obama right before his historic speech Tuesday night, after he was informed that Senator McCain had conceded ...

Oh, my God, I am going to be the next President of the United States of America ... Oh, shit, I am going to be the next President of the United States of America!

Understanding The CPA Client Relationship

I did not write the following, although I believe I could and might have if I had a web site and thought that if I put this publicly out there I would still get a client. But alas, I did not write this but its sentiments are not that far from the realm of my thought process to the extent I have a thought process. As some of my readers, well all of my five readers - wow my readership has increased ... the advertising is working out, can attest to I routinely engage mouth before engaging brain. The brain ages and needs more rest ... while the mouth is more in need of physical exercise. This is not an feeble attempt at being self deprecating rather an old man's acknowledgment that I speak when not spoken to, speak to people who do not care what I am saying, say things that really no one wants to hear and while others are speaking. This seems to be a problem for other people and the reason eludes me. In fact, well ... who really cares ...

Here then is how one CPA believes the client / Accountant relationship should work:


Your tax advisor has chosen an extremely stressful and depressing profession filled with constant phone interruptions, changing tax rules, impossible dead lines and unending information requests from the IRS. He or she simply cannot cope with the prospect of your being depressed as well.


Your tax advisor consumes life-threatening quantities of caffeine on a daily basis to meet the various due dates of federal and state taxing authorities. Sudden movements may lead to sensory overload and cardiac arrest. If you desire to reward your tax advisor for sacrificing his health in order to complete your tax return at 3AM on a Sunday, gifts of coffee (or in my case Mountain Dew) may be accepted in lieu of actual cash payment.


Your tax advisor's ethical code of conduct requires him to be objective and independent. Clients often mistake this devout professionalism as the heartless inability to connect with fellow human beings at any level beyond their base financial desire to collect fees. This is simply an urban legend. Tax advisors have been known to acquire mates and in at least three cases on the west coast have even procreated.


You must appreciate that tax regulations are mind-bendingly complex and an occasional unpleasant result is only to be expected. Clients do not think rationally during a time of financial loss. Now is not the time to assign blame for your financial calamity but rather to engage your tax advisor for additional tax and financial planning.


Unfortunately, the inherent complexity involved in tax regulations cannot be translated into any comprehensible form using the English language. Any attempt to force your tax advisor to explain his actions may lead to cardiac arrest (Please refer to item number 2 above – sensory overload). Endeavor to
develop a deep, abiding respect in your advisor’s abilities, confident in the knowledge that if his actions could be explained, you would agree whole heatedly.


Though the fees incurred may be substantial; enthusiastically accept all tax and financial planning services offered by your advisor. Aggressive Tax deferral and avoidance schemes are constantly coursing through your tax advisor’s caffeine enhanced brain.


Consider it an honor and a privilege to contribute, however modestly, to the financial well-being of such a learned tax professional.


Potential client referral sources may include parents, grand parents, children, brothers, sisters, cousins, nephews, nieces, aunts, uncles, former spouses, coworkers, neighbors, friends and anyone you may come in contact with in the normal course of your day. It is a common client misconception that adding to your already stressed tax advisors work load should be avoided. Tax advisors derive professional and personal validation through the additional fee collections.


This will only cause your tax advisor unnecessary, non-fee generating publicity.

It is my heart felt desire that the above suggestions will assist you in developing a deeper understanding of the CPA client relationship. If you have any questions or would like to discuss any of these points in greater detail, please feel free to contact me.

Its a tough life.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Well Its Over and We've Only Just Begun

Just like everyone else has noted particularly on the ten trillion other blogs done by people who think their every regurgitated thought actually matters ... the election process stage of our democratic process may have been completed last night. I say "may have" because when I went to sleep some super geek analyst buried in the basement of CNN / NBC / ABC / CBS declared that certain states were in the Red Column and when I woke up they had turned Blue with cold. This may be due to the phenomena that occurs in some school and Congressional elections ... also referred to as the "do over", once it is apparent who the winner is going to be ... those with no backbone of their convictions go back and "adjust" their vote and suddenly wallah they have also voted for the winner. Or it may have been that the wonderful confusing formula used to declare the winner with .005% of the votes in turned out to be wrong. Oh well, it did not change much except, when will they actually count all 105% of the votes cast?

Now I do not want to sound like a bitter old rambling man ... of course I am not bitter. To be bitter would be to jump to the conclusion that man of my choice which yes I am willing to admit that I was not part of the 'NEW WORLD DAWNING ... THERE WILL BE HOPE FOR SOMETHING ... WE CAN ALL BE FRIENDS" era that has begun. You still got to be impressed how uncritical the press was last night. It was like they were all trying to get in there praises so they will be invited to the right inauguration party or something.

"It’s fantastic news; great for the U.S., great for the world – just an absolute milestone in history," 41-year-old Londoner Jamie Davies said as he sipped a coffee from Starbucks before heading to work. ... yes a guy drinking $4 cup of coffee is happy about Obama ... surprise ... surprise.

Lets understand this ... happy is the day it will be when George W. Bush and Dick Cheney can add the words FORMER to their titles. The world will be a better place regardless of whoever would have moved into the White House, that is clear.

We now await the reality part of our show as opposed to the foggy, "trust me" part of the show.

You know the "trust me" part that 349 electoral votes swallowed like a fine single malt scotch ... I, a black non black man from somewhere, will bring you hope and good cheer and world peace and a better, cleaner, safer, less taxing except for the rich people, smarter, nicer place ... yes those delicious words and sweet sentiments which brought us to this stage. They were tasty words considering the last eight years of gruel for words. Don't forget that the incoming man certainly understands the internet and new technology and how to con, I mean encourage, a lot of people to give $87 and be part of the wave. I mean how can a person govern if they can not surf the net ... hogwash.

Now comes that hard part ... turning all those vague promises into legislature. Unfortunately for the new president, he will have to work with a Democratic party that dominates Congress. The extreme liberal wing of which he is a proud member started salivating last night around 11:00 EST. The Congress is there standing clearly in front of and planning to put forth its own agenda because the intelligent agenda be dammed we will have excessive liberalness for breakfast, lunch and dinner and you will like it because this is their day.

Remember, winning an election is not the real challenge. Jimmy Carter and George W. Bush proved that. It is governing that matters. Last night was historic but history is a funny thing. Six months from now the first black historic president will actually have to steer the ship. Please Lord help him and protect us from Congress.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

And You Thought You Had Worries

Today of all days ... well yesterday in fact or really started yesterday with a NPR spot and research this morning ... I heard and read the scariest thing ... here are some of the facts, facts being what I find on the internet regardless of its validity or correctness because if it on the internet it must be true and then I will comment

ScienceDaily (Oct. 20, 2008)
— Simply installing toilets where needed throughout the world and ensuring safe water supplies would do more to end crippling poverty and improve world health than any other possible measure, according to an analysis released by the United Nations University. ( imagine if you will that there is a United Nations University ... who goes there?)

The analysis says better water and sanitation reduces poverty in three ways.

  • New service business opportunities are created for local entrepreneurs;
  • Significant savings are achieved in the public health sector; and
  • Individual productivity is greater in contributing to local and national economies.
Group wants clean, accessible public toilets
Oct 22, 2008 04:30 AM
Staff Reporter

Toronto may well be poised for a toilet revolution. And Ari Grief, a Toronto filmmaker, activist and founder of the Canadian Toilet Organization, wants to lead the charge (its probably not a surprise to some of you that Canada has a Toilet Organization ... what is a surprise is that you don't have one in your home town).

"Unfortunately, as a society we've become used to using poor public toilet facilities," says Grief, "... so if there is anybody interested in a toilet revolution in Toronto, (no toilet without representation ... free the toilet 7) contact us."

Yesterday marked a significant step in bringing the battle for clean and accessible public toilets closer to home, with the official launch of the CTO. The launch took place at the United Nations University's International Network on Water, Environment and Health site at McMaster University in Hamilton.

This year is the International Year of Sanitation and UNU is hosting talks from top sanitation experts from around the world.

But Toronto's toilets aren't being left out (where are they being left out ... is Toronto now putting there toilets on main street or in public parks out in the open?) . Today and tomorrow Grief will be taking Jack Sim, founder of the World Toilet Organization, around the GTA to check out our latest toilet technology. Sim was recently honoured as a Time Magazine Hero of the Environment.

Their first stop will be Toronto design company Cooler Solutions, a leader in sustainable design toilets. Their toilet can hold seven to 10 days of waste. When full, part of it can be removed and pushed into the ground, to mix the waste with soil and bury it for decomposition.

"Without a proper system, people will defecate anywhere and that contaminates water," said Jonathan Loudon, co-founder and managing partner of Cooler Solutions, who says there has been a lot of interest in the design for their toilet, but the company still needs a manufacturer. The meeting with Grief and Sim is to try to find ways to move the project forward, said Loudon.

Grief will also be taking Sim to Veritec Consulting Inc. in Mississauga to chat with William Gauley, a toilet efficiency expert. And tomorrow they will head to Guelph Civic Museum to see an exhibit called "Sitting Pretty: The History of the Toilet." The McMaster Museum of Art also has an exhibit running over the next two weeks called "Sanitation is Dignity."

The lack of public toilets in Toronto has become a regular news item. Councillor Howard Moscoe has been fighting to force large stores to offer customers access to a washroom.

"In Toronto we have an aging population and when a Shoppers Drug Mart says `You can't use our washroom because it's against our policy,' it's pretty infuriating," said Moscoe.

Toronto plans to install self-cleaning public toilets as well (what is a self cleaning toilet? Does it come with an automatic wiper? Is it gentle or firm? Is that an option? Does it use Charmin or a generic one ply?). The first one is scheduled to be installed next year, then two will be installed each year after that for a total of 20. (20 self cleaning toilets for all of Torontoin the next ten years ... what a city of progress!) The exact location of the toilets has not been determined.

"The fact that after use it closes (and) fully sanitizes itself is really appealing (but before it closes and fully santizes itself it ... it is kinda crappy)," said Kyp Perikleous, manager of the street furniture unit for the City of Toronto.

His goal is to push for more efficient commodes designed with sustainability in mind. "It's absurd that with worldwide water shortages that we flush drinking water down the toilet."

"We want to get people thinking about it, talking about it and realizing it's kind of unacceptable for women to have to squat in a public toilet."

This is a crisis on so many levels it boggles the mind and of course a boggled mind is not a pretty thing especially at my age. The fact that our news outlets have let this election thing get in the way of reporting on this major international crisis that may swamp our world is insane. Do you realize that solving this problem would could cure world poverty and all we have to do is provide proper flush toilets to the world? Do you realize that Canada is making women squat in public? Do you realize that flush toilets are the prime root of our global water shortage problem? It is scary.

I propose a number of solutions.

One: boycott Canada and especially Toronto. If they can not provide nice toilets and protect women from squatting in public ... well then they are not a civilized nation and should be treated as such.

Two: We need to elevate international awareness of this flush toilet deficiency. I propose that the incoming president, whomever they are, to create a cabinet level post of Secretary of The Toilet. This new position could then work on promoting a uniform guide to flushing and if time permits a standard for the amount of toilet paper one should use when cleaning up. The Democratic Congress, in all its liberalness, could establish mandatory minimums for number of sheets, amount of time for hand washing, how many hand towels allowable or whether hand towels should be outlawed and only blow dryers would be authorized.

Third: To demonstrate our concern, I propose a "do not flush day", yes for one twenty four hour period no one flushes their toilet and then at the same moment ... everyone across the country ... flush. The impact will send a clear message ... (write your own thoughts).

Reminder: This is The International Year of Sanitation, there is a World Toilet Organization, someone in the basement of Time Magazine established a Hero of the Environment, of course we all want a toilet that can hold 7 to 10 days of waste and Canada has a Canadian Toilet Organization. And as one of those guys said above ... consider this when you are flushing next time that you are flushing your drinking water down the toilet. He said "It's absurd that with worldwide water shortages that we flush drinking water down the toilet."... instead have your plumber come and reroute your toilet water to your kitchen sink so you can drink your toilet water ... and conserve ... you are a liberal, recycler, conservationist, Democrat aren't you.

Stop worrying about those things you thought were a crisis like: AIDS in Africa, droughts around the world, global warming, the financial meltdown, the fact that you either can not afford a home or if you have one to pay your mortgage, a Democratic Congress, this is the last season of ER and other things you thought were a disaster and start concentrating on the real issue ... the lack of flush toilets. Send a flush toilet to Africa, send a toilet to South America, send a toilet to the poor rural America, send a toilet to Detroit to help with unemployment and the crappy cars they design ... ha ha ... thats a pun I think.

Open your window and shout it out ... I mad as hell and I am going to flush till I am heard.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Ever Had A Thought

From time to time, while walking by myself or driving some distance or maybe sitting around with certain older female family members but mostly by myself with not much to think about because I have thought of all the important things and now have a few moments to think about those strange thoughts that seem to creep in and take over ... like run on sentences and things you should never say aloud but some how seem to sneak out at the most incorrect moment so that that woman I live with it to tell me later ... how many times have I told you not to open your mouth in public. Imagine that was one sentence.

Well, this a mental game that some of you may also have have engaged in. Imagine if you will ... you win the lottery and it some real money multi multi millions maybe $100 million, a billion, five billion or maybe even more. How would you handle it? I go through the gifts to charity, gifts to family, endowments, what to buy, how to transition to living off the investments. Who gets how much, and how would you space the gifts out. How do you deal with the people who don't get any money ... so many problems, so many decisions.

This is a game I have played for some time. The level of money has changed over time. At one time, it was $10 million, then $100 million, now maybe a $1 Billion and maybe more. Inflation ... its a bitch.

I mean how would you spend or deal with unlimited money? Take some time, maybe since your new at this write it down. Its a lot of money so discuss it with a spouse, spouse to be, girl friend or just the other guy at the bar. Are you selfish? Are you concerned about family? Are you interested in a special cause?

So, I buy lottery tickets when the level is high enough because only winning a million or three ... well it does not allow for the accomplishment of that long imagined list of goals.

But now I have come up with a new scheme, I am considering selling my soul. How much should a soul go for? Does it depend upon how many years left till it is redeemable? Does an extended warranty come with the deal? Can you request other options like to live to 120 or longer? Can you ask for good health as a addendum?

Where do you go to offer your soul for sale? Wal-Mart sells everything ... do they have a soul department that they need to buy new stock? I mean everyone knows Wal-Mart is the devil. Does this writing present a valid offer? Should I add all of the conditions of the sale? Could I ask for some or all of the super powers demonstrated on Heroes plus money? Of if I can pick only certain powers which ones or the only one ... which should it be?

I looked in the phone book under attorneys and there was not one advertising "want to sell your soul ... let us help you write the contract, make the offer and close the deal". I mean if an attorney does not know how to deal with the devil who would?

Does anyone out there have any insight or contacts?

Saturday, November 1, 2008

And The Date Is?

Yesterday was Halloween ... today is the Day of the Dead and Tuesday is the National Day of Election ... similarities ... maybe?

Wikepedia says ... Day of the Dead
(Día de los Muertos in Spanish) is a holiday celebrated mainly in Mexico and by people of Mexican heritage (and others) living in the United States and Canada. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and relatives who have died. The celebration occurs on the 1st and 2nd of November, in connection with the Catholic holy days of All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day which take place on those days. Traditions include building private altars honoring the deceased, using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed, and visiting graves with these as gifts.

The normal election process brings out the best of Halloween ... before Halloween or running for a major upgrade of position are one person ... normally. Come Halloween ... on comes the costume ... post Election Day ... off comes the costume ... maybe ... in between the Day of the Dead.

I know your going ... there he goes right over the edge. He has left the known solar system and is on his way to Never Never Land.

Well, consider ... one candidate at a time. Before Halloween,

John McCain ... before ... he is against everything the current administration stands for. He voted against the major tax cuts because they were disproportionate to the wealthy, he voted against drilling in ANWAR, he promoted a bill to deal positively with the immigration problem, he has worked effectively with members of the Democratic party to produce Campaign Finance reform. He was attacked by the Right Wing as a false hero of Viet Nam. He speaks well in small groups. A disciple of Alan Greenspan moving for financial deregulation, a common belief of true Republicans. An angry argumentative man whose victims stand up for him as a man of Honor whose only goal is what is best for America.

Along comes Halloween, McCain forgets that his military career also included crashing seven planes, wild partying, being 894 out of 898 at West Point where he graduates only by the grace of daddy and granddaddy, hires the people who Swift Boated him, swears by tax cuts he voted against, sings the "drill baby drill" mantra, picks a Vice President whose primary contribution is to prove the far Right, the same people who do not like him, that he is really an okay Right Wing. All of sudden he can not speak coherently.

Post Election Day ... if elected which John McCain will we get?

Barack Obama ... before ... he was a man looking for the correct place to be to further his political campaign ... join the right church and either not hear or ignore the Reverend Wright's message, take campaign contributions from a disreputable individual but the money brings more money and an ability to push his campaign ... thank you Tony Rezko, toasts a known supporter of Arab terrorists, associates for 20 years a man who promotes the bringing down of the government, produces no meaningful legislation while a Illinois representative, has zero meetings of his Senatorial sub committee, routinely votes "present" to avoid taking a position for or against an issue.

Wikepedia: Antoin "Tony" Rezko (born 1955) is an American political fundraiser, restaurateur, and real estate developer in Chicago, Illinois, convicted on several counts of fraudbribery in 2008. Rezko has been involved in fundraising for local Illinois Democratic and Republican politicians since the 1980s. After becoming a major contributor to Rod Blagojevich's successful gubernatorial election, Rezko assisted Blagojevich in setting up the state's first Democratic administration in twenty years. Rezko was able to have business associates appointed onto several state boards. Rezko and several others were indicted on federal charges in October 2006, for using their connections to the state boards to demand kickbacks from businesses that wanted to do business with the state. While the others pleaded guilty to the charges, Rezko pleaded not guilty and was found guilty of 16 of the 24 charges filed against him.

Now comes the campaign - Halloween ... he will bring change, he will bring hope, believe in me and I will take us to a place where all life will be good. He speaks well. Tells us he can deliver and we believe it.

Day of the Dead (remember all those little things they want to go away ) ... McCain picks Palin, stops his campaign to save to save the financial crisis only nobody wants him at the party, and among other things forgets how to deliver the message. Obama has his birth certificate and first year college records sealed, tells a private group that middle America finds solace in guns and religion, Reverend Wright ... in 20 years never heard him say or anyone else say he was negative on America, Tony ... just a nice guy I meant a couple of times. Look at the all the nice laws other Senate committees produced, aren't I wonderful
. He tells us he is above that nasty political scene where special interests dwell and yet takes hundreds of thousands of from special interest groups. Seems to forget his background. Big promises, although they do change quietly ... delivery ... just believe.

So here comes Election Day ... who do we get ... the guy who has America's interest a heart or whats to be loved by Right Wing. Or do we get the guy who promises hope and change or his double with the ability to get nothing done and just stay way out there on the left trying to forget his past.

Remember we will mostly likely have an overwhelming Democratic Congress which will bring us between 10 and 20 small self interested sub groups but no coherent plan. The same Congress that forgets that they pushed Freddie and Fannie to give loans to unqualified people to promote goodwill and home ownership but when it went south ... forgets their part in the plan.

Either presidential candidate might be okay if the right man shows up but Congress will still be there.

Consider voting for gridlock.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

And I Approve This Message

Let's see ...

Weekend update ... the Sunnis have have decided not to speak with the U.S. military until they explain the death of one of their senior leaders during an arrest operation ... a large Shite group protested U.S. military operations in a another part of the country. A wise man once said "you can fool some of the people some of the time ... and that is enough to make a living". If no one likes us maybe its time to pack our bags and let them settle their own problems. Of course if that becomes the criteria would could bring our troops home from Germany, Korea and Japan.

Democrats woke up this morning realizing they may be able to take a commanding lead of Congress. Oh my Lord, they will have no excuses for the failure to deliver on its grandiose plans to rewrite America's approach to life. Recent Newsweek and Time magazine articles pointing out the the U.S. is a center right country with potentially left left left leadership. Well, don't worry my very left readership, the Democrats are already putting out quiet statements that they may be unable to deliver on the wonderful plans it has been bragging about to bring CHANGE.

Sports ... yes, I have am aware of sports ... seems the basketball season has been completed or even started. Lakers having to get by the other aging wana-bees staying away from the young upstarts. While back east the now aging wonder boys of Boston will work hard to stay ahead of the remainder of the mediocre East. One more year that the season will be a door mat to the play-offs ... why can't we just skip the mundane to get to the meat.

Finances ... Congress gave the Feds $700 Billion to theoretically buy up bad mortgages for a value but maybe the Feds have changed their mind. Where to spend $700 Billion? Seems that the plan the Feds sold to Congress now may give way to the European plan the Feds said would not work may be the plan that could work except that it the provide the banks money to buy other banks. PNC received $7.7 Billion from the Fed and will buying National Bank for $5.8 Billion with the remainder covering lunch, bonuses and other essential employee perks. What a great plan! What will the remainder bring us?

My life ... watched eight first seasons episodes of West Wing to realize that a very liberal ideologue gets very little done as it worries about the "enemies" it makes spreading liberalness like manure over the country. Turning income tax and social security into welfare as we spread money from those who have earned it to those who have not.

Could life get any better?

The Pain Is Almost Over

This presidential election season is almost over ... only 9 more gruesome days ... please make the bad people shut up ... not just the news commentators but the candidates and their surrogates too.

Just take a position that your vote should be for the candidate that tells the fewest lies or more politically correct fewer half truths or maybe what they say ... incomplete statements of fact.

Does it matter if during child birth, one of the candidates cried when the other did not? Does it matter that one of the mothers during that same child birth screamed "I will kill everyone with a penis"? Of course it matters that one candidate was a bully during elementary school while the other was a blatant nerd sitting in the corner.

Of course there are all those friends questions ... candidate A knew people who did stuff while candidate B did not know anyone. Candidate A's friends ranged from manic depressive soon to be school teachers or future mortgage brokers giving mortgages to unworthy clients in order to sell those mortgages to greedy bankers who believed they were investing in securities that could bring them a 35% return. Who could question a 35% return without any risk? Why that smart person getting the 35% return should get a substantial bonus along with stock options. Of course candidate A should not be harshly because he chose poorly picking his friends. Candidate B has no friends except the bartenders and party animals.

Other Background Issues: Candidate A miraculously was able to go to school well beyond his financial means, travel the world despite being poor, at a young age begin writing his autobiography for millions of dollars in side income, beat a sure thing guy for the U.S. Senate despite having almost no experience when it was learned that his rival had extreme sexual fantasies and had to drop out of the race because no one wants a Senator from having active sexual fantasies or being invited to be a key speaker at the previous Democratic conventions which now appears to be his primary experience for being the President.

Or choose Candidate B who comes from a family of stature and position, who got through school based upon the family position and stature, who got every job because of his family's position and stature, whose second marriage is to a woman with a net worth of $100 million dollars, whose primary skills before the war was being a high quality drunk and womanizer and whose primary qualification to serve as the President of the U.S. was having been a P.O.W.

Now neither of these guys have had the courtesy to tell us how they will pay for any of their grandiose plans. Unlimited college education for any one who might think of going there to enjoy the drinking and sex. Reduced taxes for the 40% of the population that currently does not pay any taxes. Support for every conceivable form of non oil energy including ones that do not currently exist like "clean coal", nuclear fusion, or possibly tapping the hot air generated by pompous politicians. Continued and increased tax cuts for everyone along with increase government spending.

McCain is at fault for following the lead of Alan Greenspan moving for less regulation depending upon the intelligence of the market place. This would be the same Alan Greenspan that Bill Clinton said that during his presidency would prop him up and pretend he was still alive should he pass away while still in office. Obama is at fault for following the financial lead of people who promote more government, more taxes and turning the income tax and social security systems into welfare systems with different names.

Obama would increase regulations over the financial market place following the lead of his running mate Joe Biden who help write the Delaware regulations that allow corporations to protect themselves from legal attack by crazy citizens.

Obama wants to spread the wealth. Take money from the ones that have it and give it to the ones that don't have it. There was a early episode on West Wing where Donna asks her boss Josh what the government was going to do with the $32 Billion in surplus. Josh says ... the Republicans want to give it back to the people that paid the money while the Democrats wanted to spend the money on new programs. Donna asks why she can't have her money back and decide herself how she will spend the money. Josh says that since they were Democrats ... they knew better than the people on how the money should be spent. Funny, Obama must have watched that same episode.

All things being said ... I am undecided.

Neither of these men can answer a direct question, neither man has spelled out how they would deal with the $500 annual deficit they will begin with day one, neither man is honest about what government programs would be cut to pay for their programs, neither man will tell us clearly how they will compromise with Congress to get what they want passed without having it watered down to meaningless words, which earmarks will be okay and which are deal breakers, which fools will be tolerated and which will be pointed out for the fools they are ...

Please remember ... McCain has been in Congress for 26 years so all of its faults are on his shoulders except that Joe Biden has been there 32 years .... Obama has chaired a Senate sub committee for four years that has never met ... Palin bucked her own party to become the governor of the largest state in the Union with a budget bigger than Clinton supervised in Arkansas while going onto a becoming a her own tyrant firing people who displeased her ... kind of a like Hillary. As Bill Clinton said ... no one is qualified for the job.

I endorse gridlock ... it protects us from the politicians. So if you believe there will be a Democratic Congress please put a road block in there way.

I also strongly believe that all incumbents should be voted out of office ... everyone. Please give us a new Congress. How bad could that be?

Vote looking at the big picture.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Moving Forward

We have made through the maze of days off, excess amount of food, and a chance to distance ourselves from the rest of the world ... at least for a brief period of time. But we are back.

These last couple of days have left me with some important thoughts which I figured I would at least jot down for posterity.

First major thought: A couple of weeks I began floating an idea to see what kind of support I could get for a significant financial move. I still believe that it could have been very successful but alas I could not raise the needed capital ... there is a credit crunch. I was considering buying Iceland. Yes, Iceland. It is experiencing the worst financial crisis what with the bank debt amounting to several hundred times the national GDP. A higher debt per citizen than any country in the world. I figured that with $5 Billion I could pull it off. My efforts to raise this sum fell a little short. How short? Well, I only missed it by eight or nine zeros. Maybe next time.

Second major thought: Now this one could have some legs if I can find the right technical people. If you are aware of any potential candidates to help me turn this into a reality, please forward me their names.

You know those moments just before you are fully awake? Your thoughts are brilliant. The ideas for financial, romantic, and or personal success will make your life beyond belief. You see so clearly. Then what happens? The alarm clock goes off and those insights are gone like so much smoke after a blowing out the candle.

The meeting you are forced to sit through. No paper to take notes because it is one of those ..."please listen and concentrate on the message ... hand-outs will be provided later" type presentations. The ideas percolate in your head because of course you can not concentrate on the speaker. Why the speaker might even be a renowned Rabbi giving over the meaning of life but you still must fight to stay awake. There is that awake, half a sleep stage where you mind is free of its normal shackles and you are a genius. If you were to focus you could probably pick the winning lottery numbers, solve the economic crisis or design the next stage computer chip made out of jello but ten thousand times more powerful than the current technology. Speech over ... thoughts float up towards the ceiling.

Well, I have the answer. Your camera has a slot for the memory chip to contain all those pictures for future downloading. You look at something, click a button and it remembers for you. Or the thumb drive, you stick it in the slot in the back and it sucks up all the information you want to pull from someone else's computer.

So, what I would like is a slot in the side of my head for a memory stick. Put the stick in your head before you go to sleep and it records your thoughts and dreams throughout the night. In the morning, you pull the stick, plug it into your computer and speed through those parts that are not interesting checking for any worthwhile thoughts or really good sexual fantasies. The later could be turned into a good movie or just saved for further entertainment. The good ideas could be then worked on and turned into the next iPod, Nextel phone or tella-transporter (that is what Scotty did for Kirk ... he tella-transported him up from the planet ...why he didn't just leave him there, I do not know but that is a another story.)

This memory stick process could be used over Shabbat when you can not write, or in the off chance that you wanted to remember the Rabbi's sermon you missed because you were sleeping. The brain is very powerful and the ears still hear while you sleep. How do we know this? Ever sleep with someone who snores? Funny how you can hear that annoying snore while your sleeping. So, later you pull the memory stick replay the Rabbi's sermon, even print it out, mark your comments and send it back to him so he can improve himself.

Very practical. All I need is someone to figure out how to connect that memory stick to the right parts of the brain, someone to figure out how to put that hole in a person's head and then a programmer to translate those random thoughts to words that will either end up in a Word or iTunes file.

And lastly some group of financial backers.

How hard can it be?

Monday, October 6, 2008

A Golden Opportunity

This morning, listening to all the economic problems around the world, I heard an interesting tidbit which got me to thinking ... which is always dangerous.

The credit crunch / recession / housing bubble burster currently ravaging America is also hurting Europe. Seems that the European bankers were have been upset over the last number of years that American bankers and investment houses were making such wonderful money buying up sub prime mortgages. So the European houses also bought up those sub primes. See in Europe "sub prime" translates into "great deal". What the Europeans didn't understand was the there was more to the translation. The complete translation is "good deal for the seller".

Well, Europe's banks and some governments too are in deep dew dew. They went out on a limb and the Housing Bubble Bursting has caused that limb to break.

The "Golden Opportunity"? Well, the news today was that a couple of the smaller countries are on the brink of disaster. Specifically, Belgium and Iceland. Yes, Iceland is part of Europe, just check your Risk Board.

So, I have a call into Warren Buffet to see if he will invest in my new company that is going to buy up Iceland and maybe Belgium too. If he turns me down or just doesn't take my phone call, i will call Secretary Paulson to see if I can participate in the $700 Billion Bail-Out Rescue Plan. I will give the U.S. a minority position in one or both countries. It could be the beginning of a whole new trend in the country take over business. I may even take them public.

The possibilities are endless.

Israel will not have to bomb Iran ... merely initiate a hostile financial take over. Upset with France ... buy them up and then kick them out.

So, as the new owner of Belgium, I am looking for people who are interested in purchasing naming rights or other exclusives. Are you interested in this "Golden Opportunity?"

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Happy New Year ... But ...

Well the Holiday season is upon us. Of course I do not mean the shopping holiday season which starts with Halloween and goes through Xmas followed by return season and I should have waited for the sale season but the month long marathon Jewish holiday season.

What do Jews do for their holidays?

As my readers know ... we were bad, we were punished, we beg forgiveness, we were forgiven ... now let's eat. We go to Shul (Synagogue (Temple) (House of Worship))) ... sit, pray, listen, talk to our neighbors and then its home or to a friends for a large meal, followed by the traditional beaching of the whale or as I like to call it ... nap time. Get up, go back to Shul, and then its off for another large meal because its been maybe 5 hours since we last ate. Back to sleep in anticipation of the opportunity to do it all over tomorrow.

But that is old news, you all know it like the back of your hand. Do you really know the back of your hand? When was the last time you spent examining the back of your hand?

Well, these first two days were continuing proof that I am aging and not so gracefully.

I can not claim to be such a religious person with deep concentration on my prayers but there seems to be somethings which are bothering me more this year.

1. When the Rabbi says during this next section of the service there should be no talking ... could the two guys behind me wait until he sits down before you start talking?

2. There are silent prayers that your supposed to say only loud enough for yourself to hear. Could someone tell the guy three people over from me that "loud enough for him to hear" does not mean loud enough for everyone to hear.

3. Maybe that guy referred to in #2 is trying to hear himself over the guy in the front section, twenty rows up from us who does not understand that when your so hard of hearing that everyone in the room can hear you talk to yourself that maybe just maybe its hearing aid time.

4. I understand that this particular problem will be different when grandson comes to services with me but until then, it is a problem. Why is it that parents feel that their precious six month old will benefit from the Rabbi's sermon? I mean a third of the men's section take as sanctioned nap time ... maybe that is what is intended for the six month old but when precious starts to cry how hard would it be to take precious out of the room? Or do you feel it would be disrespectful to walk out on the Rabbi carrying a crying baby? Of course, my grandson would never cry during the Rabbi's sermon ... napping when the Rabbi talks is in his genetic make-up ... his grandfather, his father and each of his three uncles on his father's side ... Rabbi up - head down. But Mr. / Mrs. your baby's crying louder than the Rabbi is speaking ... get up and out.

5. What must the discussion be at certain homes? Honey, I have been with the kids plenty this year and I need some "me time". So, you take the three kids (all under the age of 6) to Shul with you, so I can have peace and quiet in the house for a couple of hours. Never mind that these children are going to sit down all around daddy, play games, make fighting with each other, running in and out while daddy concentrates on his prayers never caring that his kids are distracting four rows of men who left their kids home to annoy their wives.

6. If you have a bad bladder, stay home or don't get a middle of the row seat. Mr. Excuse me one more time must have thought the candy counter would be open soon with his in and out and in and out.

7. Temperature! Services are run regularly in this building. Large crowds are routinely in this building. A new air conditioning unit was just purchased to avoid the old one breaking down in the middle of the holidays. So, please explain to me why there are only two setting on the system. Too warm and too cold. How is that that the temperature is always too much in one direction or the other?

8. Candy men should be banned from the facilities. There are in many Synagogues gentlemen who feel that giving sugar to other people's children is a positive thing. The tallis bag for most men is for carrying their tallis and then putting it aside until it is time to go home. For several men it is a bag for carrying five pounds of sweets to fire up kids. Yes, lets give the kids enough sugar so they can run in and out of the services being loud, annoying and less than respectful of what is going on. Why do these men feel it is important to be seen as an enabler of childhood obesity and teaching kids to beg for food? At the very least they should get large signs that read "candy man here" so these poor kids who do not have the secret candy map will not have to bother the rest of the men ... "do you have candy sir?" Candy men should have to pay an extra fee to allow them to hand out candy ... its for the extra cleaning staff to go around and pick up all those wrappers left on the floor everywhere.

9. For those people that think I am such an nonreligious person that I have my TV on at home or am listening to a radio during Shul, please understand that even if I did which I don't I will not tell you what the score in game is or how the stock market is doing today. Get your own radio with discreet headphones.

10. Rabbi, it is the High Holidays. Could you please do a little more homework on your sermon (d'var Torah). I mean I know I am going to nap. You know I am going to nap. Everyone around me knows I am going to nap but maybe I will try to stay up. What about everyone else? Smell the roses, do more mitzvahs and be a better person ... if that is what your going to say, please don't take twenty minutes to say it ... we get it. If my family says "you could have given a better one (since you have a history of giving d'var Torahs on Shabbat morning back in the day back up north) then Rabbi you have a problem because you have time to prepare ... so please either prepare or shorten your words.

11. Can someone get the volunteer Chazzan to try for some consistency. The words outloud ... he says very slowly using a tune that almost no one knows really performing for himself. Then for the words you have to say for yourself ... he flys super sonic speed through them so fast that there is no way you can read them with any kind of thought other than "I got to get to the finish line". I mean there would seem to be a balance. I understand that I have chosen to go to the minyan ( one out of six to choose from ) that has a goal of being the first to get to the lunch table but what would ten more minutes mean?

12. Lastly, this is Synagogue and the High Holidays. I know I do not wear a suit coat or a sport coat. Could some parent tell their sons to tuck their shirts in? When did wearing your shirt out become a sign of proper attire, a dress code that shows respect? I understand that the boys want to show they are wearing tzitziots but every man wearing them has them tucked in. At school they are required to tuck their shirts in ... please explain why their parents can not make them understand that tucking your shirt is the way you dress when your going somewhere important.

Okay, I am getting old and picky but ... well tough, just make it better and let's raise the bar rather than lower it.

Have a healthy and prosperous New Year.

Monday, September 29, 2008

What Will It Take?

What will it take to get the bill passed?

Today, is an historic day, a day that will go down in history as of course all days due. This will be a day that they will write about long after it seems to pass into an old man's memory bank. Of course, by a long time, I mean it will it be remembered a long time only applies until the next crisis and then this will be an obscure minor blip on the long path of America's downward spiral.

Today, what was it? Oh, yeah, the Congressional House voted "NO" to the proposed Bail-Out. A another major insult to the man who no insult could be big enough to balance against his "I Am Trying Hard to Be The Worst President Ever" approach to governance. Not only did the Gang of 228 no voters spit in the face of Mr. Bush but they also insulted Ms. Nancy Pelosi, the grandmother who is the first woman Speaker of the House ... how could you do it to her?

Yes, the Gang of 228 say no thank you to the golden opportunity to bail-out the gamblers of Wall Street and save them from doing what Congress ordered them to do ... yes, Congress encouraged and smiled while Wall Street gave all those sub prime mortgages, yes, Congress cheered them on as they created new ways to leverage themselves to give even more questionable mortgages. Oh, did I mention Congress had no trouble taking the campaign contributions from the Wall Streeters doing Congress' bidding?

Well, I have an suggestion in how to get the Gang of 288 to change their votes. First, tell them that they can just stay in Washington D.C. until they get the job done. Correct, no going home to campaign for re-election, no taking a month off for Thanksgiving followed by a month off for Christmas and then a long week for the inauguration. That's right, Congress will have to keep working, earning their paycheck, they tell us is too small until they actually do some work.

This is not a new idea. Did you ever notice how many bills finally get passed in the days before vacation? Count them up. Its like back in the day when winter break was coming, you had tests to take and papers to submit because for the previous weeks you were doing what? Not much. Yes, you can say quite clearly that Congress waits until the last minute to do its work.

Look at the papers they write in the final days of any session. Secretary Paulson submitted a three page plan to bail-out Wall Street. Three pages double spaced, 16 point font wide margins. In less than a week, which in Congress time is an hour (they take a week to get done what most people get done in an hour ... does that explain it), they expanded the report to a 110 page single spaced 10 point font with narrow margins with footnotes. Oh, it is missing some major points and glossed over most of the details but that is for next semester when there will be a few weeks before the two week St. Valentine's vacation which must be taken before the two week St. Patrick's Day retreat.

You want Congress to actually do some work? Cut out their vacations.

If that does not work, reduce their allowance.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Bail Me Out Please

I am curious where I can apply for a government bail out? Is there an application that I can get?

I understand the qualifications.

I must have a really big company run by oh so smart people who made multi-million dollar compensation packages because they were so smart. These same "oh so smart" people have made very bad decisions. But don't worry we will reward them with substantial bonuses. These geniuses gave hundreds billions of dollars in mortgages to people who did not could not normally qualify, then borrowed more money to give more sub prime mortgages, and by sub prime we mean less than qualified mortgages, then sell that questionable paper to other very highly paid people.

This brilliant banking team then bought insurance from a company that had no idea what they were insuring (AIG) who borrowed money to provide more insurance, then the brilliant banking team borrowed more money to give more sub prime loans (read: unqualifed borrowers). It was okay they kept their quality rating because they were rating was being rated by companies the government gave a monopoly to rate the banks with no understanding that they were going where no man had gone before.

Or maybe I could run an automotive manufacturing company producing cars that no one wanted. I could do this for twenty plus years as my foreign competition produced better quality cars that were more fuel efficient. Then, when it became a "crisis" that I could not produce the fuel efficient, quality car that people wanted, I could ask Congress for a $50 Billion loan so I could do it right ... maybe.

One definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result. When you makes a mistake you try to change the circumstances so you don't do it again.

When we bail out these companies, which of course we will do because they are "too big to fail" what will be different? Will we require new management instead of leaving in place the same people who made the decisions which got them into this position? Will we require the executives to limit their total compensation to only 100 times more than the lowest paid employee instead of the 250 they currently do? Will we require them to actually not take risks with our money? Will require the regulators to actually do their job? Will we require our elected officials, read Congress, to actually do their job?

What will be different when we give them $700 Billion or $50 Billion?