Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Campaigner in Chief Will Say Anything…

February 6, 2012

Okay, so is there any limit to what a Democrat will say to convince you that his really bad idea is what the United States needs to be successful?  After last week, I can say that the answer to this question is, resoundingly, no. 

The President of the United States invoked the name of Jesus Christ when describing his plan to tax the rich.  He basically said that the rich are duty bound by the Bible to take care of the poor.  And because of this, the rich should pay more in taxes to take care of the poor. 

Wow.  Will this joker say anything. 

First of all, Jesus said that you should render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s, and render unto God that which is God’s.  That means to pay what you owe.  Not to pay what some beareaucrat sitting in Washington DC thinks you should pay.  The law is the law.  You owe what you owe.  Pay what you owe. 

But, since about five months ago, the president and his campaign advisers have been hammering away at the rich.  How many times have we heard “millionaires and billionaires,”  “private jet owners,” and “yacht owners” from the community organizer in chief?  This clown has basically said “The rich have money.  They should give it to the poor.   And if they won’t, we’ll find a way to get them to give the money to the poor.  With or without congress.  Whether or not it’s good for America.  I’m gonna steal this money from those who earned it, and give it to those who did not earn it.”

Now, I’m no biblical scholar, but I’m pretty sure that the bible frowns upon laziness.  I’m pretty sure that it says you should give the poor as much as you can afford to, and that you should not be a borrower nor a lender.  If the bible doesn’t want you to borrow, I’m pretty sure it doesn’t want you to steal from somebody else, especially since the commandments say you shouldn’t desire that which belongs to your neighbor.  Basically, the campaigner in cheif is trying to guilt you into propagating the ridiculous lie that is the liberal idea that taxing the rich is what Jesus wants.  First they said if you didn’t want higher taxes on the rich, you weren’t patriotic.  Now you’re a sinner. 

Hey, Mr. President, give me one good reason that higher taxes on rich shoud be enforced.  I’ll buy it.  But saying that God wants it is a lie.  Saying that it’s not patriotic is a lie.  Tell me it will help the American people.  Tell me that it will help the economy.  Tell me that the survival of our republic depends on it. 

You can’t tell me those things, though, can you?  You know that taxing the rich will hurt the economy, and that we will continue to have high unemployment.  But you have to lie.  You have to tell me that God will punish me if I don’t support taxing the rich guy that hired me.  Why don’t you tell me that I’m going to hell if I don’t vote all Democrat  in the next election?  After all, Democrats have always supported the causes of freedom.  Unless you count that Civil Rights thing.  And the slavery thing.  In fact, Democrats have stood in the way of progress for minorities for years.  Democrats continue to.  But, hey, let’s appeal to the emotions of people and not bother with facts. 

No, Mr. President.  You are a liar.  God wants us to take care of the poor with our money, not yours.  It’s our responsibilty to be charitable.  Unlike you and the rest of your Democrat buddies.  It’s not our responsibilty to give over our hard-earned money to you so you can promote whatever unGodly stuff you want to promote. 

But, hey, it’s an election year.  Anything goes, right?

Gloria Allred: Worst Kind of Ambulance Chaser

November 9, 2011

We’ve all heard about ambulance-chasing lawyers.  And we sneer at them.  They are opportunists of the worst kind.  They creep along listening for sirens and getting to the site of some life-altering accident for someone who needs to focus on getting treatment and healing their body and mind.  These people are vultures, making their living off of the misfortune of others, and, in the process, often leaving the victim of the accident with a laughable settlement, while they take most of the money they recover.  It’s not illegal.  It’s just wrong.  At least to me it is.  I don’t have a lot of love for lawyers anyway, but these people really make my blood boil. 

What’s worse than that?  How about a lawyer who has a reputation for going after someone for a violation that is difficult to prove, and often results in the accused simply paying the accuser off to go away and avoid negative publicity?  These cases rarely have any proof other than testimony of friends and family of the accuser.  Most of these cases turn into a “he said she said” situation, and the attorney makes a lot of noise to embarrass the accused into paying her to go away.  That’s Gloria Allred.  She descends on a victim who is vulnerable and embarrassed and gets her to say the key words and tricky phrases to get the public to take her side.  Who would lie about that?  Unfortunately, lots of people would.  Including Allred. 

When a person is sexually assaulted or sexually harrassed, the perpetraitor is a low life who is used to getting his or her way.  This is a person who doesn’t like to hear the word “no.”  Money and power can buy anything, right?  Including the right to abuse others who have a lower station in life than you.  Right?  WRONG!  Anybody who uses their position of authority or power to score sexual favors is a creep who needs to have something removed.  Violently.  I mean, if you can afford the expensive hookers, why would you feel up the cleaning lady?  The smell of Pine Sol really turns you on that much?  Come on, Man!

Here’s the problem.  All that has to happen for Gloria to score a big payday is to find someone willing to accuse someone of sexual harrassment.  If the accused is innocent, the damage done to their reputation cannot be undone.  If a disgruntled teenage girl, who are always a picture of stability, decides she deserved an A on a science project and wants to hurt the teacher, all she has to do is accuse the guy of saying something or doing something sexual in nature, and the teacher is automatically ruined.  Even if the charges are ultimately discovered to be false, he can’t teach.  Anywhere.  He’s done.  Because some spoiled child who turned in substandard school work decided she would get even with the teacher.  And she walks away with a stern talking to, if that.  No charges of making a false accusation, nothing.  No repercussions for an ILLEGAL act. 

You are currently seeing the same thing in the Herman Cain case.  Mr. Cain has met thousands of people in his life, and, if the odds are what I think they are, about half of them were women.  Here come four women, fifteen years after the fact, accusing him of sexual harrassment, and in one case, sexual assault.  All at a time when he is gaining traction in the polls as he runs for the Republican Presidential nomination.  Curious. 

I’m not going to mislead you here.  I’m a fan of Herman Cain.  I think he can solve a lot of the problems caused by the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and his predecessor.  I believe he will surround himself with the right people to help get the country back on the right track.  And I don’t know if Herman did this stuff or not.  I’ve listened him a lot on the radio, and I don’t believe he is the right personality to do this stuff.  People with his background typically don’t treat women the way he has been accused of.  He’s not a narcissist.  He’s a down to earth guy raised in a two parent (one man, one woman) home.  He’s been married for a long time without even a sniff of scandal in his marriage.  He doesn’t seem the type.  I know there are closet abusers everywhere, but I just don’t think he did this.  And, since one of the women has a pattern of accusing co-workers of inappropriate behavior and making off with a payday, the credibility of the charges against Herman is diminished in my mind. 

Why Herman?  Why now?  Because the other GOP candidates are terrified of him.  Barak Obama is terrified of him too.  That’s why his goon squad has been on TV and radio calling Herman everything but a human being.  (The goon squad is MSNBC, and the rest of the American left.)  The only way to deal with him is to get him out of the race.  He’s a threat to Romney, who is Obama light, in more ways than one, and to Obama.  Obama would love to run against Romney.  Healthcare is off the table as a campaign issue. 

We will probably never know who told Politico to run this story.  All I know is the reputation of a good man is being smashed.  I will be shocked if any of these allegations prove to be true.  And I will be disappointed because I may have to move to New Zealand. 

I don’t think America can weather four more years of Obama’s “hope and change.”

One Group Missing from Obama’s Shared Sacrifice

August 23, 2011

It’s been pretty popular to smack the president around about rubbing elbows with the old money on Martha’s Vineyard.  The state run media is all too quick to point out that President Bush took more vacation days at this point in his presidency that President Obama has.  Of course the big difference is 9/11, and President Bush went to Crawford to cut down trees on his ranch.  Obama is kissing up to the old guard in Kennedy country.   But forget all that.  I’m fine with the president taking a vacation.  He’s never not the president, after all, and it is a stress-filled job.  He has a lot of stuff kind of piling up on him.  The economy isn’t completely destroyed, Americans still can’t find work, and he hasn’t kissed the ring of EVERY third-world dicator just yet.  Got a lot left to do.  He needs to rest up. 

It irks a lot of Americans, that’s true, that he is in hoity toity land playing the smartest guy in the room.  But why?  Maybe because a lot of American families have had to cancel or postpone a vacation this year due to economic problems.  The president has, after all, acknowledged on several occasions that many families are “sitting at the dinner table figuring out how they will pay their bills.”  He is obviously in touch with what Americans are suffering through, right?  He has called for “shared sacrifice” in this troubled time. 

But he has left one group out of the sharing.  Government. 

Every time the government spends more money, it gets bigger.  It gets more bloated.  It gets less efficient.  And this president has spent a lot of money.  What has this spending gained us as a nation?  Well, if our spending continues on this current track, it will reach about twenty percent of GLOBAL GDP in less than ten years.  That means that to continue to spend, we will have to sell treasury bonds, ie borrow more money.  And the rest of the world will have to pay for us to do this.  Sounds like a good deal for us.  Not so much for the rest of the nations around the world. 

Has the spending resulted in more jobs?  Only if you want to work in government or the “green” industry.  President Obama is all the time talking about the two million jobs he has “created or saved.”  Of course, the part he leaves out is the net jobs loss of over 5 million jobs. Every month we hear of between 200,000 and 500,000 new people on the unemployment rolls.  Two to five months is a million.   If you create have job creation of two million, but losses of seven million, well, you don’t have to be Einstein to figure out that that math just doesn’t work.  We still have unemployment over nine percent, and in some areas over ten percent, like my home state of Georgia.  But hey, at least unemployment in the DC area is low.  And home values aren’t in the tank there.  Maybe we should all move to DC. 

Government has to spend some money to keep necessary services going.  It’s how we define “necessary” that needs some tweaking.  Is it necessary to give grants to universities to study shrimp on treadmills?  How does this create a single job, except for the shrimp?  They already have work to do.  In a cocktail.  Can our economy do without a cowboy poetry festival?  According to Harry Reid, we can’t. 

This idea that somebody has to sacrifice something, but not me, has got to be smashed against the rocks of common sense.  Taxing the rich and leaving the rest of us alone will not, by itself, solve our problems.  Cutting spending alone may not, although who knows, since Democrats will cut military spending and border security, but the cowboys will still have a place to recite their original poems.  Without doing something about the ponzi schemes in Washington, Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, we can never get out of this mess.  What should we do?  I don’t know, maybe we should allow these behemoth government entities to be managed by someone in the private sector, you know, someone who actually has a clue about solvency in a business.  Raising the eligibility ages is always tossed around, but if you raise the age high enough, you won’t need the entitlements any more.  Maybe the people of the country should be allowed to “opt out” of these schemes, telling the government to keep what you already have taken from me, I’ve got it from here, thank you very much. 

But government cannot relinquish this power.  It makes sense to allow us, the American people, the option to stay in or get out.  But if that happens, government cannot continue to grow and become more hungry for our money. 

My family and I could not afford a vacation this year, to Martha’s Vineyard or Martha’s Country Cooking.  We didn’t go anyway.  We can’t afford to go out on Fridays to a nice dinner, mainly because I’m working at my part time job on Fridays.  We don’t go anyway.  Other families have made this same sacrifice.  Many other families. 

When will it be government’s turn?

It’s Been a Long Time

June 22, 2011

It has indeed been a while since I wrote on my blog.  A lot has happened since then.  Here’s a recap.

Casey Anthony may be able to wiggle off the hook.  Her attorneys have done a good job of introducing doubt as to the prosecution’s evidence.  I’m not so sure if it’s reasonable.  As a parent, if I had a child missing, I wouldn’t be going out and partying with my friends.  Her lie about the nanny was dispicable, and if the child did indeed die in an accident, why lie about it?  Accidents happen, and there are douchebag parents everywhere.  I think she killed the girl.  She needs to fry.

The Braves got roughed up by the Mets and the Rangers, then swept Toronto.  They have managed to maintain a .500 record in this home stand, and Brian McCann and Dan Uggla have started hitting long balls again.  The second half of the season will be interesting.

Jeff Gordon won a race a Pocono two weeks ago and ran okay at Michigan this last weekend.  I’m encouraged by the good runs.  Here’s hoping he can keep it up.

The Campaigner in Chief has thumbed his nose at Congress over the War Powers Act.  He has pleged to pull out of Afghanistan.  He has claimed to create millions of private sector jobs, which got him a laugh at a speech. 

The media is fawning over Michelle Bachman.  I like her, but to say she won the CNN debate is just nuts.  Every answer was how she raised six hundred kids.  Foreign Policy?  Six hundred kids.  Economy?  Six hundred kids.  Jobs?  Six hundred kids.  Look, the media chose our candidate last time and we got the Campaigner in Chief.  Let’s not let the media choose for us again. 

About that CNN debate, it looked to me like CNN wanted to get the Republican candidates to go after each other, and to make abortion and gay marriage the issues upon which voters choose their next president.  Having CNN host a Republican debate, since they are in the bag for the Campaigner in Chief, reminded me of a courtroom drama.  John King was the defense attorney, Obama the defendent, and the Repulicans were the prosecution witnesses.  If the defense attorney can discredit the prosecution witnesses, his client can go free.  Except that an attorney wouldn’t interrupt the witnesses fifteen seconds into a response.  Herman Cain is still the man. 

Newt Gingrich has had almost his entire team jump ship.  Gotta wonder why.  I’d love to see Gingrich tear into Obama in a debate.  It would be like Stephen Hawking debating a short bus special ed student. 

Athiests are trying to get the mention of heaven removed from a street sign in New York, citing separation of church and state.  They are OFFENDED.  Get over it.  The Constitution does not say anything about separation of church and state, nor does it say you have a right to never be offended. 

Lebron still doesn’t have a ring.  Yay.

So that’s about it for now.  I’m sure there will be more to talk about soon.

Adrian Peterson Ten Million Dollar Slave

March 16, 2011

NFL players have been pretty silent so far on the labor negotiations with the owners. 

Until yesterday. 

Adrian Peterson, fumble-prone running back for the Minnesota Vikings, likened the relationship between players and owners to that of masters and slaves.  Mr. Peterson seems to think that he has no choice but to play NFL football for ten million bucks a year.  He’s wrong of course.  He can walk away any time he wants, and no posse will be sent out to pick him up.  No torture if he is captured.  No being forced to pick weeds in a cotton field in Alabama in July.  He can quit. 

Except that he can’t. 

Peterson’s problem is pretty much like that of a lot of NFL players.  If they can’t play football for a living, they are screwed.  These are the same guys who make thirty million dollars in three years and mismanage their money so badly that if they have the misfortune of a career-ending injury, they can’t survive.  They have no money to live on.   Since most of these guys can’t do anything else, football is it. 

Let me let you in on a little secret, Adrian.  If I made ten million dollars this year, I wouldn’t have to work any more.  Ever.  I have a posse.  It’s called my family.  We could all live off of that money for the next fifty years.  And, not have to work at a regular job again.  Ever.  Why can’t you? 

Comparing the plight of overpaid prima donnas to that of men and women in forced servitude is ludicrous.  It is a privilege to play in the NFL, one that many men, myself included, would gladly accept for a hell of a lot less money than players are currenlty being paid.  The games might suck more, but we’d play.  And we’d never blame the owner of the team for our money mismanagement. 

Mr. Peterson seems to think that the NFL wouldn’t exist if weren’t for players like him.  He’s wrong.  Without owners, the players would have to go to Canada to play pro football.  Without guys willing to put up with fifty whiners for nine months, willing to pay more than they take in in revenue in salaries for losing teams, willing to fight everybody to get a new stadium built, there would be no NFL teams.  If there are no teams, the players wouldn’t be needed at all.

Look, the NFL takes in $9 billion a year.  There are thirty two teams, fifty three players each.  That’s 1,696 players in total.  If the owners paid the players all of this money, that’s over five million dollars for every player.  Every second string D tackle, every washed up safety hanging on too long, every start quarterback.  The owners cannot simply pay the players all that money.  They have to run a business.  And with revenue sharing between large market and small market teams, the remaining money gets even smaller.  Maybe if clowns like Peterson didn’t demand more than twice the money paid out if all players were paid the same, the owners could share more revenue with the players.  Maybe if players’ agents didn’t line up at the trough of what the players leave behind, there’d be more money to share.  The players wanting the owners to open their books is pretty unreasonable.  No business will open its books to an employee.  Most places I’ve worked, knowing how much money your counterparts make just feeds feelings of dislike and disgruntledness.  And knowing how much the company is making versus how much they are paying you will really feed that fire. 

I want the NFL this year.  I don’t buy merchandise and I don’t go to games, mainly because I can’t justify the cost of either.  But I do watch.  And I like it better than college football. 

But maybe, this year, I’ll pass on the NFL.  After all, a lot of college players are just smaller, dumber NFLers.  I mean, they are playing and not getting paid.  Not above the table, anyway.

Japanese Nuclear Power Not the Same as US Nuclear Power

March 14, 2011

We all know that Japan suffered a huge earthquake and tsunami last week.  We’ve all heard the breathless talking heads screeching about a huge event in California, “the biggest event of your lifetime,” as one reporter put it.  This, of course, wasn’t the case.  Now, we’re hearing panic stricken reports of “exposed fuel rods” in Japan’s Fukijima and Daichi power plants.  There is evidence that the nuclear cores have been exposed to the air, since radioactive isotopes of Cesium (Cs) have been detected in the air.  This is bad, but bad mostly for people in Japan and the surrounding countries, not so much for us. 

I am a veteran of the US Navy’s nuclear power program and therefore know something about nuclear power.  I did a little digging, and according to the Japanese Nuclear power website, the two reactors mentioned above are old, commissioned in the late seventies, and are of a type that we don’t use in the US.  This type of reactor is inherently less safe than the types we use in the US.  Let me ‘splain. 

The Japanese reactors are boiling water reactors (BWR).  These reactors use carbon as a moderator (a material used to slow down neutrons created by fission that gives these neutrons a better a chance to interact with the fuel in the core and create other fissions, thus getting a more powerful nuclear chain reaction.) They also draw a steam bubble in the core, which increases the pressure in the plant and prevents boiling of the water elsewhere in the plant, like at the intake of coolant pumps.  Water is the coolant.  This water has been chemically treated to reduce corrosion of the parts in the plant, and to prevent the formation of scale on the the areas of the plant where a temperature difference occurs.  If you’ve ever had to change out a hot water heater, you know about scale.  It’s crusty crap that fouls the channels in the reactor where heat exchange takes place, and is a poor conductor of heat, therefore reducing the efficiency of heat transfer between the primary coolant and the secondary water (water in the plant that actually turns into steam to turn steam turbines and make electricity.)  The primary plant and secondary plants are isolated from each other. 

Now, in the US, we use pressurized water reactors (PWR).  In these reactors, water is used as the moderator, and a steam bubble is drawn in a pressurizer instead of in the core.  This keeps the core covered with water and increases the pressure in the plant.  The steam bubble pushes on the water in the pressurizer, and using Pascal’s principle, makes the plant pressure in the plant increase in proportion.  According to Pascal’s principle, pressure in one part of the plant is equal to all other points, and the steam bubble is used to control pressure.  Also, water is a much more efficient moderator than carbon because the molecules of water are much smaller and almost the same size as a neutron, so the collisions between the water molecules and neutrons slow them down much more than collisions between the carbon atoms will.  Imagine this:  you roll a pool ball at another pool ball.  If they collide, the energy from the first pool ball is almost all transferred to the second ball.  If you roll a pool ball at a bowling ball, the energy transfer from the pool ball to the bowling ball is much less.  Most of the energy from the collision remains in the pool ball.  This is the same type of energy transfer as occurs in a nuclear power reaction, if you imaging the first pool ball to be the neutron, and the second ball to be the moderator. 

Chernobyl was a BWR with a carbon moderator.  It’s design was nohwere near as safe as our designs are.  In contrast to US plants, the Chernobyl reactor had 65 miles of piping.  US plants typically have less than one mile.  I don’t know how many miles of piping Japan’s plant has. 

Keeping the core covered with water is the most important thing in a nuclear plant.  Since the Japanese plant has a steam bubble in the core, the potential for the core losing cooling is greater than in a PWR.  According to news reports, the Japanese plants scrammed (rapidly shut down) when they lost power to their cooling pumps.  The pumps not pumping water and the decay heat from the nuclear plant caused the steam bubble to expand, which therefore can expose the fuel rods to the steam bubble.  The fuel rods would overheat and begin to melt the materials used to make the fuel rods.  As long as the reactor vessel is contained in a containment building, the nuclear materials are kept in one place and therefore not released to the air.  The explosions we saw on the news was probably a steam explosion.  The nuclear materials in the steam are much less concentrated and less easily spread than if the core caught fire like it did in Russia.  The fire caused the nuclear materials to go high into the atmosphere and resettle all over Europe and the globe.  No fire in Japan.  Yet. 

Now, why would I tell you all of this?  Because the Democrat nuts in our country will certainly be pointing to the Japanese disaster to squelch nuclear plant development and construction of nuclear plants in the US.  It’s apples and oranges, people.  New US plants use natural circulation to cool the core.  Pumps would be a backup if the natural circulation failed, not the primary source of water flow.  This makes the plants less susceptible to problems caused by loss of coolant flow.  The Democrats, who want to install windmills everywhere, except in their own back yard, and depend on the sun to power the homes of Americans, except for their homes, will scream to shut down development and construction of all nuclear plants in the US.  That’s nuts.  We have enough nuclear material to power our country for thousands of years.  Windmills are great, when the wind is blowing, except that they are VERY noisy.  Solar panels are great, except that it takes a football field full of them to power the Energizer Bunny. 

Understand that nuclear power is the safest and cleanest form of power in the world right now, giving you the most bang for your buck.  One nuclear plant can power thousands of homes, creating no CO2, and creating one cubic yard of waste.  Coal plants create thousands of tons of waste and CO2 every day. 

So, don’t panic on this nuclear thing.  Not yet.  We don’t know what the Japanese are doing to cool their plants.  We don’t know what exploded on the news.  We hope that the Japanese did a better job building containment systems than they did operating their backup power systems.  It doesn’t make me feel too good knowing that the phone I have in my pocket had more R&D done on its components than the nuclear power industry did in Japan. 

This disaster should be about the people in Japan.  The loss of life is already ridiculous, and people have no food, water, or shelter.  This should be our focus. 

Pray for the people in Japan.  Send money.  Do whatever you can do to help.  They’ll need it.

Update

March 7, 2011

Okay, so I’ve been slacking.  I haven’t written a new post in a while and there’s a lot going on.  Let me hit some high points. 

Gas is approaching $3.50 a gallon in Georgia, and is already near $4.00 a gallon elsewhere in the US.  And the Obama regime still has an unconstitutional moratorium on drilling.  I guess batteries, solar power, windmills, and high speed rail will get you to work over the summer.  Oh, wait.  That’s right.  None of those thing compose even five percent of our current energy production and won’t for a decade or more to come.  Where’s the media outrage?  Where are the investigations into price gouging?  I guess having a black Democrat in the White House makes expensive gas okay.

According to another Democrat boob, Al Jezeera is the only real news out there.  Hillary Clinton said last week that Al Jezeera reports real news.  Yeah.  Real news laced with Israel hate, America hate, and all other kinds of hate.  I guess Fox News doesn’t report real news.  The same way CNN isn’t biased, according to a hardcore leftist I used to work with.  Gotta love Democrats.

The budget battle is heating up.  With an extension, it doesn’t look good for resolving the issue by the new deadline.  Republicans are overreporting their cuts, Democrats are overreporting their cuts.  The truth is that without reforming entitlements, any cuts will be small.  It’s like taking a cup of water out of a swimming pool because someone is drowning in the deep end, then claiming that you did all you could do to save the victim.  Only we’re the victims.  The American people.  And our heads are barely above water.

Unemployment dropped to 8.9% last week.  Whoopee.  According to the left, this is a sign that all Obama has done is working.  Tell that to my buddy and ten other people who are not working any longer because they got laid off last week.  I don’t know whose numbers to believe any more on this unemployment thing.  If the Department of Labor can tell us how many people are new claimants to unemployment, why can’t they tell us how many people are still on unemployment?  Or how many people aren’t looking for jobs any more?  Or how many jobs are being worked by illegal immigrants?  Or how many jobs are being shipped overseas or to Mexico because of NAFTA?  They could.  Theydon’t because they don’t want you to have any of this info.  Otherwise, many Americans would show up at the Capitol with pitchforks. 

The NBA, well, who cares about the NBA.  I don’t .

In the last real man’s sport, Danica Patrick had a top five finish this weekend at Las Vegas in the Nationwide (or Busch) series. Oh, yeah, and Kyle Busch won the race.  Carl Edwards won the Sprint Cup race, even though Tony Stewart had the best car.  A late race miscue in the pits put Stewart near the back, but he rallied to finish second.  He was disappointed and in his post race interview said the team gave one away.  I agree.  That seems to be the only way Ford can beat Chevy this year; if the Chevy teams stop and wait on them.    Oh, and Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne crashed.  I guess it’s different when most of the good cars are still on the track. 

March Madness starts soon.  Whoopee. 

Alan Colmes still blames George Bush for every problem the country has in every panel he sits on.  How long is the statute of limitations on Presidential blame?  I guess I still blame FDR and LBJ for a lot of the problems we have.  Of course, the difference is that they actually ARE at fault for creating a society in which hard work is punished, laziness is subsidized, and nobody is ever at fault for their own poor choices. 

The labor unions appear to be trying drive a final nail into the coffin of America.  Wisconsin teachers say they have made concessions and that the governor should sit down and talk to them about this problem they are having.  The news media neglects to mention that negotiations have taken place in the past and that the unions wouldn’t give up on anything they wanted.  I say that the governor is right to stick to his guns and not deal with these people.  After all, these are the same people who have protesters saying things like “What makes you think you are entitled to your money?”  With logic like that in play, negotiating would be a waste of time.

And, if you think unions are so great, take a look at the NFL.  The players want more money from the owners than the 60% of revenue they already get.  The owners want an 18 game season.  Pro sports is the only industry I know of where you only get to make money as an owner if you sell the team.  The owners are crazy to want an 18 game season, and the players are crazy to want more of the owner’s money.  That’s right,  I said it.  The owner’s money.  It’s true that without players, there’s no football.  It is equally true, however, that without the owners building stadiums and managing teams there is no football.  Both sides need to get over themselves.  I say we play 14 game seasons, but we play at high school stadiums around the country.  That will teach both sides a lesson they need to remember:  fans make the game what it is.  It is a financial juggernaut, and there is more than enough money to go around.  Maybe the owners should make a salary cap of, say, $250,000 for all players and put the rest of the money into after retirement healthcare and pensions.  And if one kid who grew up in with nothing says they can’t live on $250K a year, fire them.  They can go play in Canada.  The winters are real nice up there. 

I’ve seen unions destroy a lot of businesses, and football is no different.  Public sector unions were an idea even uberleftist FDR was against.  Major League Baseball took a decade to get back on top after their last strike.  And when I was a kid, Firestone shut down their plant in Memphis as a result of labor disputes.  A lot of people lost their jobs.  I guess that’s better than working for a piddly fully paid pension and free healthcare, as well as an inflated salary that makes American companies uncompetitive with foreign ones. 

I guess that’s about it.  I’ll try to be more conscientious.  I hope I spelled that right.

Bowling Alley Etiquette

February 14, 2011

I’ve never really thought about it before, but you can tell alot about a person by how they behave in a bowling center.  They often have alcohol available to them, they often meet up with friends for some frames and fun.  But in this lies a lot of information about a person. 

I recently quit my job of six years to rediscover who I am and do artistic things like write music and draw and paint.  I’ve taken a job working in a bowling center as a mechanic to help pay the bills.  I enjoy the work, although it is more physical than the last job I had.  It’s the difference between making your living with your back and making your living with your brain.  I made a much better living with my brain, but I was seldom sore after a work day.  I’m almost always sore now.  Anyway, since starting this job, I have discovered some things about the general public that I’d like to share with you.

Let me preface all this by saying I’ve grown up bowling.  I started when I was six or seven bowling in a AJBC league in Millington, TN.  There used to be a bowling center on the Naval Training Center base there.  It has since been torn down, its equipment moved to another center in the Memphis area.  Anyway, this center had no automatic scorers until much into my adult years.  The lanes approaches were elevated from the pit area where the bowlers sit and wait their turn to bowl.  You had to keep your own score, as I mentioned before.  And there was a beer machine in the center.  There was a pool room upstairs, and a snack bar.  It had a small pro shop where  you could get a ball, bag, towel and shoes, as well has having your ball drilled while you waited. 

Fast forward to 2011.  The center I work in has a snack bar.  It also has a real bar.  It serves beer, wine and mixed drinks.  Not surprisingly, the bar usually does half of the business on a weekend evening.  It has automatic scorers, bumpers that rise and fall automatically, if a bowler wants them, when the bowlers turn comes up.  It has approaches that are flush to the floor, so that handicapped people can bowl.  It also has several ramps for use by people in wheelchairs to roll the ball down so that they can enjoy bowling like the rest of the people who aren’t handicapped. 

But there is something the new place doesn’t have that the place I grew up in did have.  An expectation that its customers would behave like humans.  I remember going with my parents when they bowled and seeing all the drunks bowling.  These people were funny in a way, and sad in other ways.  But the worst thing I ever saw one of them do was kick a ball return.  (That happened a lot, actually, and up until a few years ago, I myself partook in that activity out of frustration.)  I never saw one of these people walk down the center of the lane to get a pin out of the channel, or to retreive a ball.  I never saw them throw three balls down the lane at one time and giggle about it.  I never saw them punch the wall when they made a bad shot.  The reason for most of these is that the operator of the center would make them pay for the damages.  That doesn’t happen now.  People come into a bowling center and feel like they can destroy anything they come in contact with.  I saw three college kids throw balls down the same lane at the same time.  This can damage the equipment.  They probably know this, and don’t care.  They throw balls when the rake is down sweeping deadwood from the pin deck.  Sometimes they throw them hard.  And the management or owner doesn’t even try to hold them responsible for damages to the center.  We repair holes in walls suspiciously sized to fit a human fist. 

Another thing that doesn’t happen in the new center is that people don’t pick up after themselves.  They leave trash and glasses, shoes, and bowling balls all over the house.  I see little bits of paper and popcorn all over the floor.  Spilled drinks tracked all over the approaches. 

I know.  You’re thinking “Who cares? I paid my five bucks a game.  I should be allowed to do anything I want.” 

I’m talking to you.

It’s apparent that people these days have no respect for the property of businesses.  The bowling center is a microcosm for this.  The equipment is insanely expensive.  It costs a lot of money to pay someone to fix stuff customers have broken.  And people wonder why it costs five bucks a game.  This stuff doesn’t belong to you.  The balls, shoes and the building and equipment doesn’t belong to you.  There was actually a time when this meant something.  If you rented a car, you tried to return it in as good a shape as when you rented it.  Now, rental cars are abused.  I must admit that I am guilty of this.  The only thing that stops me from going a hundred and twenty miles an hour is the mechanical limitations of the engine.  And the cops.  But I do clean the car up before I return it, if I can. 

I see parents in the new bowling center allowing their kids to run wild.  They don’t hold them to any standards of behavior.  It’s a public place.  And people are watching.  People like me. 

I can judge people pretty well.  I have a gift of a gut that tells me when someone is a good person, and when someone is a dirtbag.  It’s kind of liberating, but it’s also kind of a curse. 

My son bowls in a youth league on Saturdays.  Here is where I figure out why the grown ups (twentysomethings usually) that come in on Saturday night act like they do.  Many of the kids in this league are pretty good kids.  They act like they are in a public place.  They stick around and are ready when it’s their turn.  This is considerate of other people.  But there are a lot of kids whose parents demand NOTHING from them.  If they want to leave the pit area and go to the game room, fine.  If they want to toss popcorn in the air and screw up the footing of other kids, okay with the parents.  If they want to act like asses and kick ball returns, cool.  Parents demand nothing in the way of behavior from these kids.  It’s only a bowling alley, after all. 

If we as parents don’t demand anything from our kids, we will get just that.  Nothing.  And people see how they behave, and make judgements, not only about the kids, but about us as parents. 

So, the next time you are at a friend’s bowling birthday party (and I recommend these.  They make the center a ton of money), try to behave like you are a customer in a zoo, not an actual exhibit.  Because people are watching.

And they are determining something about you.  And your parents.  Even if you don’t care what others think of you, you should care what people think about your parents.  I fall into this category.  People can say anything they want about me,  but my parents both sacrificed twenty years of their lives to raise me.  I owe it to them to behave like I have some upbringing. 

We call it “home training” in Memphis.

Don’t Just Eat, Give Thanks

November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving has come to mean a lot of things to Americans.  It’s the day before “Black Friday.”  It’s a day to travel hundreds of miles to be with family and friends.  It’s a day to load up on turkey and dressing, then fall asleep on the couch with the top button of your pants undone. 

All of these activities, and more, are perfectly fine to partake of on Thanksgiving.  But this year, don’t just eat a ton of food.  Actually give thanks. 

I have recently rediscovered faith to mean more than words.  A lot of people practice their faith by saying that everyone who doesn’t agree with their point of view (this would be Baptists and Muslims.  Strange grouping, I know…) is wrong, or by looking down on others who don’t believe like they do (I know quite  few people of varying denominations that practice this one).  But faith is personal.  It’s between you and God, and no one else.   Your beliefs are what they are.  You should try to gain knowledge of God, try to understand what He wants you to do.  At the end of the day, God loves us and is forgiving, if we have faith and follow him, in our own way, or in the way our church says to, or in the way whatever holy book you prescribe to says to.  But, we should always be thankful, and on this day, a day set aside just to acknowledge God’s blessings and give Him thanks, we should be especially thankful.

Even athiests practice the feast part on Thanksgiving, and can be thankful, if not to God, to their families.  To the wife who busted her butt wrestling a twenty pound turkey into an undersized oven at six in the morning.  To the parents who sacrificed and gave up part of their lives to make sure their kids were taken care of and had the love and attention they needed.  To the friend who bailed them out of jail when they drank too much.  Give thanks.  Give thanks to the people who deserve it.  And for the faithful, give thanks to God who definitely deserves it.

Thanksgiving originally started out as a day that people went to church and stayed there all day, praying and giving God the glory for their lives.  It became a day of fasting, which is ironic since it is now a day of gluttony.  This fasting wasn’t planned, it just worked out that way.  Can you cook a meal for your family if you are in church?  And in those days, a meal was a big deal.  No electricity, no microwaves, no convenient foods, no supermarkets, etc. 

It morphed into a fall celebration and harvest party.  Everybody knows the story of the indians and pilgrims, who had a party that lasted a week, and celebrated their blessings and cooperation in a harsh land, even though their religions were very different.  We can learn from this.  A party that lasts a week sounds good to me.  But, as Americans, we can appreciate our differences, live and let live, and still celebrate our blessings, if they come from God, Allah, Buddah or whomever. 

On this day, enjoy your back yard football games.  Eat more than you should.  Enjoy visiting with uncle Dave, whom no one has mentioned since last Thanksgiving. 

But, above all else, give thanks.  Someone deserves it. 

To everyone who reads this, Happy Thanksgiving.  I hope your travels are safe, your visits are good, and your meals are worth the wait.

Orlando Airport Fires TSA

November 23, 2010

Last week, an airport in the Orlando area fired the TSA.  This airport has about 2 million passengers a year, a good number of them charter flights. 

The TSA’s response?  You still have to meet TSA standards.  Which, apparently, are to sexually assault people who are no threat to the airplane, but to not “profile” people who could be a threat to be politically correct. 

This TSA thing has taken on a life of its own.  There are leftist commentators who are saying this outrage over the feeling up of three year olds is a distraction technique designed to get people’s attention off of banks doing business as usual after the bailout (that happened over a year ago).  Wow.  The left is really reaching.  It couldn’t possibly be that Americans have simply decided that government overreaching has found its limit.  And the line is drawn.  At the waistband of our underpants. 

Most American’s don’t fly much, so this doesn’t affect them at all.  Of the ones that do fly, most of them don’t fly often.  Only about 8 percent of flyers are frequent flyers.  So, this outrage only applies to a small part of our population. 

That doesn’t make what the TSA is doing right. 

The TSA director is a new guy.  He has to do something to justify his employment.  Since most airports don’t have full body scanners, and the ones that do don’t always have people there to operate them, the sexual assault is the only way to screen passengers.  Of course, if someone REALLY wants to get an explosive on an airplane, he can always jam it somewhere that the sexual assault or full body scanner won’t detect it. 

The real problem here, of course is the techniques employed by the TSA to detect behavior that might be indicative of a person who may want to kill a bunch of strangers.  All the times I’ve been throught TSA security, and they are many, trust me, the TSA person who looked at my boarding pass and ID never looked at ME.  They don’t look at passengers closely.  A person who is about to kill himself will have behaviors that indicate stress and discomfort.  A screener that has been properly trained to look for this type of behavior will be able to detect such a person.  It’s true a person can possibly fake normal behavior, but how many of the 9/11 hijackers would have been stopped at the screening point if the ticketing agent noticed sweating and nervous behavior?  What if the men had to go through a metal detector in the doors of the airport?  What if the person working at the bar had noticed some “tell” in their behavior that would have allowed them to at least get a little extra talking to?  The problem, as I’ve said before, is we are looking for weapons, not terrorists.  The Israelis do all of the things I’ve layed out here.  Would it be possible to get someone on the inside to help a terrorist?  Sure.  No system can be 100 percent foolproof.  But our approach is exaclty wrong.  We need to look for people who want to hurt us, not just the weaponsl they want to use. 

The Orlando airport has done what more airports should do.  And the airports should not get future screeners from the pool of the same idiots that are doing the screenings now.  Lastly, TSA employees should not be unionized.  That’s coming. 

Here’s hoping that the US comes to its senses before jihadists’ goal of crushing our economy by a million paper cuts.