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.