Please visit my other blog http://www.livingwithasnowman.blogspot.com/ and my NEW discussion blog at http://www.thehorseyouroadinon.blogspot.com





Saturday, December 15, 2012

Reaction to tragedy

This is something I have had in my head for quite a while. The horrible killings in Connecticut yesterday prompted me to go ahead and do it. Blessings on the families that were affected by this tragedy.

One of the things I am already seeing (in fact it started yesterday before I even knew the details of what had happened) is "experts" and pundits calling for gun control. Since I already addressed this earlier and I am ultimately lazy - here is a link to that post:

  http://justsomeposts.blogspot.com/2012/07/cold-dead-fingers.html

Bottom line - gun control laws will do nothing to help stop insanity. There are plenty of gun laws on the books. They are not always enforced as they should be. That may help some. Unfortunately, bad stuff happens. That does not mean we need to be defeatist. Common sense, vigilance, preparedness, and training can prevent some of this. Although I am not supporting or making excuses for the shooter, we also need to find a way to get help for these individuals that obviously (after the fact at least) have serious mental issues. I do not have the answers as to how we do that, I just want to point it out.

Again, I hope those families in Connecticut (and wherever extended family may be) can find peace in the coming days.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A REAL Inconvenient Truth

OK - you all need to pay close attention, especially if you have bought into the man-made global warming panic.

THE EARTH IS NOT WARMING!!

Some facts - from the 1940s through the late 1970s global temperatures cooled. (psst - with an increase in CO2 - I'm just sayin'...) From the late 1970s - early 1980s - through the late 1990s (1997 or 1998) temperatures rose. This was the period that the alarmists used to build their argument that our use of fossil fuels and rising CO2 emissions was causing a warming of the earth's temperature to catastrophic levels. BUT....

From 1997 through last year the global temperatures DECLINED!! Yes, DECLINED!! (psst - with that pesky increase in anthropomorphic CO2 - I'm just sayin'...)

This SHOULD put an end to the idiotic arguments that the goody-goody global warming/climate change disciples have been making.

FYI, anyone that looked at the evidence vs listening to the rhetoric saw that there was no correlation between global/climatic temperatures and atmospheric CO2 anyway. (I have a lot of posts on here where I go into the facts, I am not going to repeat them here. Look for them, or do your own research)

The problem - just today in a speech that should have been about our looming budget problems, the Americans killed in Libya (Benghazi) and other serious problems facing our country; our newly re-elected president stated that he was going to have to force the Republicans to accept some sort of carbon credit deal (paraphrasing). The UN is adamant about setting up a carbon offset/credit deal that would affect the entire world. You can't watch a TV show without someone talking about a carbon footprint, or some other code word for global warming.

The cost of these programs will do NOTHING for the climate or the environment. They will just make a select group of insiders rich. This whole movement is about money and control. Your "carbon footprint" can be used to control almost any and every aspect of your daily life. It can also be used to separate you from your money.

We need sane, logical people to get the word out. THERE IS NO GLOBAL WARMING. Any change there has been in the global climate/temperatures is NOT man-made. The earth has been a LOT warmer than it is today, as well as a LOT cooler. It will continue to do so. Please spread the word or we will all regret it.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Aftermath

Those of you that know me (or at least know this blog and the posts) probably expected a post about the election. Here is it - or at least this is the one prompted by the election results.

But first a word from our sponsors -
First, There is NO GOVERNMENT MONEY!! Repeat this, share it with others. If you hear or read of any of the following - government grant, federal funds, state funds, etc - just think TAX DOLLARS!

Second, Corporations DON'T PAY TAXES!! People do. The only money corporations have comes from their customers or shareholders - PEOPLE! If you raise taxes on a corporation, they just raise prices or take wealth from their shareholders. We/you end up paying the taxes. (a side note - I do feel corporations and businesses should pay some taxes on earnings. It is an efficient way to gather taxes from the public. However, the U.S. has the second highest tax rates in the world. Then we have ridiculous loopholes which allow too many companies with good accountants and lawyers to pay little to nothing. This needs to be repaired and made more equal for all businesses.)

Now, on to the show.

I am very disappointed with the election results. It is not that I am/was a real strong supporter of Romney (or for that matter the Republican party!); it is just that I feel Obama and the democrats are taking the country in the wrong direction. I am much more of a libertarian and constitutionalist in actuality. I don't feel the republicans have the answers either. However, they are closer in my estimation than the democrats.

In actions the republicans of today are not much different than the democrats. They talk a bit differently about some issues, but if you look at the actions/votes they cast - not so much. Both are vested in the massive government and bureaucracy (and budgets they require). I marginally support the republicans because they are a bit less into it.

I would love a true libertarian alternative that could actually win elections. We cannot sustain the huge government budgets and deficits that we have been running for the last twenty years or so. As I have posted before - http://justsomeposts.blogspot.com/2011/07/im-back-and-were-all-broke.html - we are growing our debt at a ridiculous rate! Libertarians want government out of almost every aspect of life. To return to what the constitution specifies as the job of the government. The nanny state we are building now is NOT it. This is one of the first posts I did and it talks about the powers specified by the constitution to the federal government - http://justsomeposts.blogspot.com/2007/11/our-guvment.html.

The problem we have now goes back to my first lesson - there is NO GOVERNMENT MONEY. Too many people think the government can fund anything and everything. (and it is trying as some of those people are employed in Washington) We have had over 46 million people on food stamps every month this year. That is very bad for a number of reasons. First, it is sad that one of the richest countries in the world has millions that need assistance to buy food. Second, that there are millions of people that are taking assistance from the government to buy food.

The USA has a weird population of "poor" people. Our "poor" are wealthy compared to most of the world's truly poor. We have a program that gives cell phones and free minutes to poor. (basically, if you qualify for food stamps, you can get a phone with 250 minutes of talk time each month) The government spent $1.6 billion on these phones in 2011 (and a LOT more in 2012 probably). There were over 12 million people on the program in 2011 and it has grown this year. Now, giving someone assistance to buy food is one thing. A free phone - that is NOT a necessity. If the government was not running multi-trillion dollar deficits it might not be so bad, but it is! Forty cents of every dollar spent is borrowed! Programs like this are NOT the governments responsibility.

I fear for the future of our country. When half the population takes more from the government than they pay in, that is a problem. That is where we are now. I don't mind helping someone when they are down. I do mind supporting someone when they are not willing to help themselves. The government, led by democrats, are building a society where this is the norm. And, the republicans are complicit by not doing what they can to stop it. Almost all the politicians in office are just worried about staying there. They are afraid to make the choices and decisions needed because they will be unpopular, and that will mean they have to go back home and get a real job. Term limits are the only answer there. When the framers of the constitution laid out the balance of power, the House of Representatives was to be the "people's chamber". They envisioned a group of "gentlemen legislators" that would come to Washington, do their duty for two years, and go home. This would ensure a fresh set of ideas and feedback from the people and would not create a "ruling class". HAH. There are people in the House now that have been there for decades upon decades. (two at over 50 years and three over 40!) The longest serving was sworn in under a US flag with 48 stars! Term limits would keep the deadwood out and keep the permanent campaigning away.

I am rambling a bit. I will shut it down now. As you can tell by the links, I have said this or similar before anyway.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Unintended consequences

Before I start the "real" post, first let me remind you all of the primary lesson - THERE IS NO GOVERNMENT MONEY! If you have a question on that statement, I have many posts where I expound upon it. Now for today's post:

I have never considered myself an alarmist. I do not think we need to immediately do or not do something as a people. (one exception I can think of however is cut government spending - NOW!)
I do have a subject that I have been doing a bit of study on which is alarming me a bit; genetically modified crops and animals. Now there are people that are up in arms about this subject for many reasons. My reasons are not religious, ethical, or moral in nature. I will admit that one can make a good argument from an ethical standpoint; and religion and morality can be used (or misused) to argue almost any point. My argument is stated in the title of this post - unintended consequences. Let me give you some background and expound a bit.

Genetic manipulation has been practiced by mankind for millennia. WHAAAT? you exclaim. We only discovered the gene and how to identify them in very recent history. That is true, but that is what animal husbandry (selective breeding) and cross-pollination and such has been about. A lot, if not most of our modern versions of plants and animals are genetically modified versions of their ancestors. We would find an animal or plant with a trait that made it attractive to us and use it to produce more of offspring with that trait. Animals were bred to have more meat, be more docile, grow larger, be faster, etc.(think racehorse breeding); the same with plants. So, genetic manipulation is an old practice. However, in the definition department, a selectively bred animal or cross-pollinated plant is not considered the same as a genetically modified organism - of which this post is about.

Genetically engineered virus DNA molecules were produced in 1972, genetically modified bacteria in 1973, and mice in 1974. So, even what I am referring to is not a brand new practice. In 1982 insulin produced from genetically altered bacteria was approved for human use. The first plants approved for cultivation were in the mid-to-late 80s - a herbicide resistant tobacco (note and remember this one). In the mid-90s potatoes, tobacco, and tomatoes that had been genetically altered were approved for sale and human consumption in Europe, China, and/or the USA. A large percentage of the tomatoes sold today in the USA. are genetically altered. The primary genetic trait added is one that allows the fruit to be picked pre-ripened and allows the tomato to ripen off the vine. This is one reason we have tomatoes available year-round. Bottom-line - as of 2009, 11 genetically modified plants were approved and being grown commercially in 25 different countries. As an interesting side-note - in 2010 a genomic research institute in Maryland developed a totally synthetic DNA and injected it into a cell without DNA to produce the first synthetic / man made bacteria.

Now for the "meat" of the post - as I started this with, I do not consider myself an alarmist. In general I do not have a problem with genetic manipulation for the benefit of mankind. The problem is the law of unintended consequences. One of the primary genetic manipulations of soybeans, cotton, and corn (yes - a LOT - as much as 70+% of the corn now is genetically altered) grown here in the U.S.A. is resistance to Roundup herbicide (glyphosate - weed/vegetation killer). Most of the soybeans (90+%), a large percentage of cotton, and a growing percentage of corn grown has this resistance "built-in". Why?, you might ask. This allows farmers to spray entire fields with Roundup to kill the weeds without harming the crop. No more worrying about where the Roundup is being sprayed. No more going down rows of crops weeding or spraying selectively. Spray the field - weeds die - crops grow - harvest a LOT more crops - make more money. Monsanto (makers of Roundup AND the genetically altered seed stock) is happy and richer as well. Now for the kicker - unintended consequences - weeds are now adapting (genetic engineering by Mother Nature) to become Roundup-resistant "superweeds". The answer - make the crops resistant to more types of herbicides and higher concentrations. Guess where that is leading? Even more "superweeds"! Entire fields are being plowed under because the "superweeds" cannot be killed.

One other popular type of genetic manipulation that is being done, and one that I am more concerned with from a consumption standpoint, is built-in pesticide. Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) is a soil dwelling bacterium that is used as a biological pesticide. The toxin it produces can be used as a pesticide as well. Corn (as well as cotton and potatoes (not commercially viable yet)) have the Bt producing gene added to allow the plant "natural" pesticide production to kill certain insects. So, we are consuming a pesticide in our corn. Now, in the "not an alarmist" vein let me say that there is no proof that any harm is being done by this naturally occurring toxin. However, I wonder about a child raised on these products and what may be done over time. To cover a problem that IS occurring now - how about Bt resistant bugs? That's right, insects are becoming resistant to the Bt toxin and becoming "superbugs" that consume even more crops or require more pesticides or procedures to control them.

This has already gotten long, I know from experience that I have lost a lot of you. I will sum this up. Genetics and genetically altering food sources may be a good thing. We are producing rice with "built-in" vitamins for the third world where nutrition is critical. We are producing insulin and other hormones to save lives and/or improve the quality of life. However, the unintended consequences of releasing a man-made bacterium into the wild is unknown. The result to our genetic makeup after three or four generations of consuming Bt toxin producing plants or other genetic mutations is unknown. The effects of having "superbugs" and "superweeds" that we cannot control is possibly a danger to our food production and can take us back to the 1800s in terms of food production and yields. I do not think we need to stop these efforts. I do think we need to control them more and make more people aware of the consequences. More study is needed. More discussion is needed. Common sense is required.

If you are interested the internet is a great place to do further research. If you are looking at totally negative or totally positive pages, posts, and/or articles - take it with a grain of salt. There is a LOT of hyperbole from both sides of this subject.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

A Gallimaufry

This is going to be a hodgepodge of thoughts (as you should have known from the title). But before I get into it I wanted to do some political stuff. But as I showed here - http://justsomeposts.blogspot.com/2012/01/reprise.html (this is a link to a post I did at the first of the year with links to some other political posts.) There, political posts done, except for some of the thoughts below.

I guess I am turning more and more into the crotchety old curmudgeon that will be running people off of the grass soon. I find myself getting so angry and perplexed at the "stuff" that is passed off as fact now in news, entertainment, and casual conversation. Now, I am not naive enough to think that everyone should think like me or even that these subjects are conclusively the way I see them. But, they are not conclusively the way they are presented. As I have stated here in many posts, (variations ) have been attributed to Goebbels, Hitler, Stalin, and various Chinese leaders) it is said if you repeat a lie often enough it becomes accepted a truth. This is what is happening on a lot of important issues today.

1) to me the biggest lie is the man-made global warming hoax. Now I know some of you just gasped (if you have not read many other of my posts - I have many on this subject - with links to proof of the hoax), that is how prevalent this idiocy has been ingrained into our national and global psyche. This is a perfect example of a lie told often and loudly until it is accepted. I am not going to cover all the ground I have in earlier posts (here is one - http://justsomeposts.blogspot.com/2011/10/on-soapbox-again.html ) , but here are a few facts.

     a) not all scientists believw the man-made global warming scam. It is presented as a universally accepted scientific fact, but that is far from the truth. There are famous, Nobel prize winning scientists that have publicly denounced this myth along with over 30,000 scientists that have signed a petition (check it out here - http://www.petitionproject.org/ ) against the presentation of anthropogenic global warming as a globally accepted fact.

     b) the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere does NOT track with any warming of the atmosphere. There have been MANY periods of time that the average global temperatures were much warmer than this as well as much cooler. Carbon dioxide does not track with this. The level of carbon dioxide has been increasing steadily and temperatures have not - even over the past decades.

     c) anthropogenic sources of carbon dioxide amount to about 3% of the output of the gas globally. I cannot believe the earth is so fragile that an additional 3% will shut down life as we know it. (FYI, I have seen figures as low as 2% for this and as high as 4% that is why I picked 3% - obviously it is a hard number to establish exactly)

     d) lastly on this one - why is it that our "carbon footprint" is so important, yet to resolve it all we have to do is pay money to buy "carbon credits" from someone. The amazing, wonderful Al Gore is involved with one such organization. As he and those like him fly around in their jets being met by their SUVs, all that we need to do to save the earth is pay them to "offset" our carbon dioxide output. This is such a crock that if you don't see it, I am not even going to try to explain it!

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2) one other "accepted" fact is that we are running out of crude oil and other natural hydrocarbons. Now, I realize that someday we may "run out" of oil. But, that day is far and away in the future. The proven known reserves in the ground today are TEN TIMES what they were in 1950 and DOUBLE what they were in 1970! That is PROVEN reserves - oil we know of with at least 90% certainty and can get with existing technology. If you add in the oil we now know in other forms, it is a LOT higher.  As for some predictions:

Before the first U.S. oil well was drilled in Pennsylvania in 1859, petroleum supplies were limited to crude oil that oozed to the surface. In 1855, an advertisement for Kier’ Rock Oil advised

consumers to “hurry, before this wonderful product is depleted from Nature’ laboratory.”

In 1874, the state geologist of Pennsylvania, the nation’s leading oil producing state, estimated that only enough U.S. oil remained to keep the nation’s kerosene lamps burning for four years



The 1973 Arab oil embargo gave rise to renewed claims that the world’s oil supply would be exhausted shortly. “The Oil Crisis: This Time the Wolf Is Here,” warned an article in the influential journal Foreign Affairs  geologists had cried wolf many times, acknowledged the authors of a respected and widely used textbook on economic geology in 1981; "finally, however the wolves are with us." The authors predicted that the U.S. was entering an incipient 125-year-long “energy gap,” projected to be at its worst shortly after the year 2000.

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3) how about the one where salt is bad for you? Did you know you would die without an intake of sodium (one of the two components of table salt)? Did you know that there are many seniors in controlled living environments that are possibly suffering from mental problems like dementia due to a sodium deficiency? Now, the average American gets WAY too much salt in their diets to ever worry about this. But, salt is not necessarily evil. Salt CAN contribute to high blood pressure. If you remember your science classes, you should have learned about osmosis and equilibrium. If you take in a lot of sodium your body will retain water to equalize the sodium content of the blood and bodily fluids. This can cause an increase in blood volume as well as  pressure on capillaries which can raise blood pressure. However, the degree to which this occurs varies greatly by individual. I was diagnosed with high blood pressure when I was 16. I have been on many medications, and done many diets. I can tell you that I am not overly reactive to sodium as far as my blood pressure goes. I have been on an very low sodium diet with no change to my blood pressure. I have "pigged out" on sodium laden foods with no spike in blood pressure. Too much salt is bad, but so is too little.

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4) I know from statistics I get that these long posts do not get read as much. But I have one more.
Cholesterol. Almost as big an evil as our carbon footprint. Did you know you would die without cholesterol? Did you know that cholesterol was so important to bodily functions that you have a system to produce it? ( as we do Vitamin D - amazing we are finding out it is important). Your brain is made up of a lot of lipids (fat). A large portion of that is cholesterol. Why do we spend so much time and effort in trying to reduce this in our body? I did a whole post on this with a lot of background - if you still care check it out here - http://justsomeposts.blogspot.com/2010/05/take-two-and-call-ambulance-in-morning.html

Hey even I am getting bored with this. Until next time - same bat time - same bat station!!





Saturday, August 4, 2012

39 states

I have soooooo much I want to comment on. (in fact, as I have said before - my lack of posts is usually not because I have nothing to say, but that I have too much to say) I am going to try to do a few posts to address these issues over the next week or so. I have decided to first comment on another timely issue, the Chick-Fil-A, gay marriage/rights issue.

I can sum up my thoughts in a few words - acceptance and tolerance are not the same as approval and support. Neither are disapproval and lack of support the same as hate and condemnation.

Although I said I could sum things up in those few words, you know there is more...

It seems that today if one does not take a position that totally and unequivocally supports a position of alternative lifestyle, you are a "hater", an uneducated dolt, or worse. You are subject to disdain and ridicule by those that have the position (typically a minority position/opinion) and in a majority of cases, by the established media. Our society is being taught that all manner of aberrant behavior is not only to be tolerated but embraced and approved. As I said above, I can accept and tolerate your beheading of chickens in the name of your religion. That does not mean I should have to approve and support it - or accept it as a normal activity. (I am not equating gay/lesbian activities with chicken decapitation, I am making a point using the ridiculous)

I have the point of view that if you want to have a sexual partner of the same sex, or set up a household with someone of the same sex; that is your business. But, as I (and most other heterosexuals) do not make a public display of my lifestyle and bedroom activities, neither should you. (parental warning - somewhat graphic phrasing coming up) If you want to go home at night and grease yourself and your mate up with Crisco and plug bratwurst in various orifices while fondling the genitals of gerbils - hey, keep it behind closed doors. (and watch out for the animal rights people). Also, unless I ask you specifically about your Crisco and gerbil usage - keep it to yourself.

I, as a majority of people have shown in every vote ever taken on the subject, do not support gay/lesbian marriage. I have no problem with gays/lesbians living together and having whatever sexual liaisons they desire (among consenting adults - and gerbils); but not marriage. Thirty-nine states have laws and/or a constitutional definition of marriage as between one man and one woman. The Defense of Marriage Act at the federal level has done the same. Gay/lesbian activists would have you believe that the majority of people support marriages, but like I said - EVERY time it has come to a popular vote (even in that haven of "progressive" thought - California) it has been voted down. As much as a lot of people don't like to admit it, marriage (at least historically) is a religious ceremony. I know it can be performed in a totally civil setting now, but it is a religious based ceremony just the same. Marriage and the definition of same is based on one man and one woman. The rights and privileges applicable to those that enter into marriage should not be diminished by allowing them to be granted to anyone that uses the term marriage. There are financial and societal costs involved with widening the definition of marriage that I do not think people have thought through.

That brings us to freedom of speech. I have been appalled at the deterioration of this right over the past decade. This was one of the freedoms that the founders and writers of the Constitution believed was worth defining in no uncertain terms. As Americans, we have the constitutional right to say what we believe, even if it is hurtful, damning, bigoted, politically incorrect, or whatever. The only limits legally are that they be true (no slander or libel) and not endangering public welfare or safety (like yelling "fire" in a crowded theater we hear about) However, it has become the norm today to persecute and condemn anyone that makes a stupid or offensive statement. If the statement is made with conviction and belief, I believe it is their right to do so under the Constitution. Condemnation and/or punishment should be meted out by their peers and social group - not public opinion. Hurtful, bigoted, offensive statements are covered by the right of free speech as is politically correct speech.

Now to the specifics of the Chick-Fil-A statement. There was nothing hurtful in the statement by Mr. Cathy when he calmly and politely stated he supported the traditional definition of marriage. He said nothing derogatory about gays/lesbians except he did not support their right to marriage. That statement was turned into an example of "hate speech". It was condemned and vilified by all the "gay rights" activists and most media alike. It was presented as tantamount to a declaration of war on the gay/lesbian community. There was nothing in the statement that threatened the existence or even the lifestyle of that community. It was just a statement from an individual (with the authority of a large corporation that he and his family control, granted) that he did not support something that is illegal in thirty-nine states and by federal law anyway!

Tolerance and acceptance is something that needs to be studied and practiced by the gay/lesbian community and their supporters as well. I acknowledge your right to live your life the way you want as I want you to do for me. You should acknowledge my right to speak my mind on what I believe as I do for you. Tolerance cuts both ways.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

...cold, dead fingers...

I am writing this in the aftermath of the horrible, senseless shooting at the Aurora, Colorado premier of the new Batman movie. As the news media does, it has covered every aspect of this tragedy. One of the things that always pops up after a shooting like this is the calls for gun control and gun laws.

I am always amazed that there are actually sane and rational people out there that think more gun laws and/or bans will solve things like this. We cannot "put the genie back in the bottle", as it were. Unless there was a way to eliminate all the guns on the planet (and wouldn't the armies of the world look cute with their shiny spears) and the knowledge on how to build them, gun violence will never go away*. I think even the most adamant gun control nut would agree that is not possible. For those of you still with doubts, here are some examples - after billions of dollars and millions of arrests, is marijuana still available? How about cocaine, heroin, etc? Has prostitution been done away with? How about something simple like speeding? Know anyone that goes over the speed limit? How did Prohibition work out in eliminating alcohol consumption?

Now, I am not equating speeding with gun violence. I am just pointing out that no matter what the laws say, people will break them. And, they are more likely to be broken by people with little regard to legality or even societal norms. The old adage about banning guns and only lawbreakers will have guns is unfortunately true. It is also surprising to me that there are people, even in government, that think banning individual ownership of guns is a great idea. Yet these same people, in some instances, think elimination of the illegal aliens in the country is a bad idea. Only one of these things is guaranteed as a right in the Constitution. The other is specifically spelled out as a responsibility of the federal government to handle in that same document. Guess which is which!?! The founders felt strongly enough about securing our national borders as a responsibility of the federal government that is is mentioned (among a short list) of requirements of the government in the Constitution. The right to "keep and bear arms" was felt to be important enough that is is also specifically spelled out as a right of individuals in the Bill of Rights.

There are no laws or protections available against insanity. If a sufficiently motivated individual is crazy enough to want to do harm to a person or a group of people, and does not care for his or her own well-being; there is very little to be done to stop it. Luckily, events such as this are relatively rare. Even when motivated by religion or beliefs, such as jihadists or anti-government types, we are lucky that these events are still rare here in our country. I hope they stay this way. I am just commenting that more or stricter gun laws will not stop them. In fact, there are studies that show when concealed carry laws go into effect in an area, gun violence goes down. Conversely, there are studies that show when strict gun laws go into effect, crimes committed with guns go up. Now, that is not the subject of this post - but I urge you to do some research on your own if so motivated.

*As a student of psychology and sociology, I truly feel if we could ever somehow get rid of guns, we would have crazy people attacking with slingshots and/or spears. In lieu of spears, we would use clubs and/or sticks. Unfortunately, man is a violent creature.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Tax those suckers good!

I have put off posting for so long I thought I would do one this evening. As I have mentioned before, I have not had a lack of ideas, but too many. I was going to do politics (and some will consider this politics, but I am talking "pure" politics - this is political, but not politics), but I have done so much of it in the past that it would be redundant. I ask you to go read some of the from 2008 and 2010 if you wish to know more. They all still apply.

This post is about the idiotic notion that is out there about taxing the rich, and how they are not "paying their fair share". I have done posts about this subject in the past as well, but I think this is a bit of a different take on the subject.

Why "idiotic"? Here are some facts - as you should know (and again, I have posts on this prior to this) the top 5% of people based on income pay over 50% of federal income taxes. The top 1% pay over 35%. Now, they have a large percentage of the income, so maybe that is fair - maybe not. That is not the point. I just want to have the stats out there that the people with the most income DO pay a large share of the taxes. Now, how about the "ultra-wealthy". Forbes magazine and other organizations estimate the US has between 400 - 450 billionaires ("B"). How about we tax those evil S.O.B.s? In fact, how about we just TAKE ALL THEIR MONEY!! A 100% tax on ALL their assets. We take their house (or houses), cars, boats, stocks, companies, bonds, cash, and income. Everything is fine then, right? We can cut taxes on all of us. Better yet, we can pay off the debt, give free government services to all, whatever we want. Au contraire, mon ami/amie. Read on...

The TOTAL assets (remember, we are talking about cleaning them out! Taking it ALL) of the 400+ billionaires in the U.S. is a bit over $1.3 trillion. Now, that's a lot of money. But, if we apply it against the U.S. federal budget (drum roll...) it would pay for a little less than FIVE MONTHS!! That's right, if we confiscate ALL the money from all the billionaires in the U.S. it would not run the government for half a year! So, we could apply it to the deficit. Problem is, that is over $15 billion. We are adding well over $1 Trillion to the deficit every year now, so all that does it take the deficit down to 2010 levels. Plus now we have no billionaires employing people in companies they own or control. (ah, we liquidated the companies to come up with the money) We have no income tax or money from them the next year. (we wiped them out remember)

The problem is SPENDING!! The federal government is spending WAY too much money. It is not sustainable. We are spending well over $3.5 trillion (with a "T") every year. We MUST cut. The problem is every cut brought up is wailed about and cried over. We MUST cut. I would cut everything by 10% to start. I am talking about a real cut. Did you realize a cut in Washington is not a cut at all. It is a cut against increases. If you doubt me, do your research. One of the reasons the politicians get away with this is baseline budgeting. This basically builds in increases every year when the budgets are proposed. Some increases are required by law, another reason that it is almost impossible for a real cut to occur. When you hear about "cuts" that congress is making (or proposing) most of the time they are cuts against increases. It is like a person that thinks they could gain 100 lbs over the year and only gains 75. That is a 25 lb "loss" (or cut).

As I have said here before, we all will have to sacrifice. This is not a Democrat or Republican problem. It is OUR problem. We are BROKE! WE HAVE NO MONEY! Programs that do benefit people will need to be cut. Hopefully, ALL the programs that waste money will be cut or eliminated. Almost impossible, but I can dream. Remember, there is NO GOVERNMENT MONEY! It all comes from us. We must cut government spending. We must fire government employees. We must cut budgets. We must cut expenditures. There is no alternative.


Monday, May 28, 2012

Habits - or "I can sit where I want"

All human beings are creatures of habit. Some of us are more a slave to their habits than others, but we all base a lot of what we do on habit. Now I have expressed this thought to people over the years, and I get an argument out of some of them - "I am not a slave to my habits" or similar is exclaimed. I ask if they shave, most say yes to at least some part of their body. I then ask do you have a starting point and a pattern you follow? Some then looked shocked as they realize they do. I can also ask about brushing their teeth (dentures, I am not so sure- not there yet). Most start in the same place and go approximately the same way through their mouth. There are many, many other examples that we all have, but these two usually get people.

Now I know, having ritualistic movements and behaviors are one of the way we get through the mundane parts of our lives. I actually don't know anyone over the age of two or three that enjoys brushing their teeth. We do it because it is necessary. We do it habitually (or ritualistically) to make it bearable and to hopefully assure some quality in our actions.

The problem with habits and habitual/ritualistic movements and procedures is they can be inefficient, incorrect, or just unnecessary. Sometimes something we are doing now was started when it meant something, but we keep doing it "because we always have". I try to regularly examine what I am doing, as well as the why and how. For example, years ago I noticed I shaved the exact same way every time. For the past five or six years I have forced myself to shave differently. I try to start in a different place and go in a different, even random, order around my face. I will say that when I started there would be days that I would be ready to wipe the residue of shaving cream off my face and notice I had missed a cheek or the labret (look it up, I love the word) It actually makes me think about what I am doing. (then again, I admit I am strange)

OK, here is what brought this post about. I live mostly alone. I have a 21 year old daughter that uses this as her legal address, but she is rarely here for anything other than to shower, change, and sleep. Therefore, if I eat here, I eat alone. I still have the same dinette table here that we used when all the kids were here. I have one leaf down and only three chairs around it, but it is still the same table. I noticed tonight when I sat down to eat, I was sitting at the same space I sat at when I had my wife and some of the kids eating with me. I eat there if one of my children and/or grandkids come to eat now. I realized I was sitting where I have sat for years and years for no other reason than that is
where I sat for years and years. When I realized what I was doing I made myself sit on the other side of the table.

It was amazing. The A/C hits me better, so it is cooler (my old seat was in the corner). I can see out the back to the bird feeders and the back yard (old view was through blinds to the side of my neighbors house). I read at dinner a lot and the light is actually not as good, but the view outside was worth it. Plus, I fought off another habit. It was invigorating (but I don't have much of a life).

Try working contrary to one of your habits. Let me know how it goes.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

To all mothers everywhere, espcially my mother Edna Lou Poole, my mother-in-law Marlen Condon, and the mother of my children Carol Poole. May you always have someone to hold your hand when you have trouble walking and to pick you up if you fall; to celebrate your successes and help accept your defeats, and to salve your wounds and hold you close whenever needed. Happy Mother's Day! We all literally would not be here without you.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Air Supply

This might be considered a quite random post, but since I haven't posted in so long no one may notice. Anyway, this is how my mind works.

I was just watching a movie. The way the main character, an assassin, got around a lot of the buildings (including a prison) undetected and outside of the security systems, was in the air ducts. Now, this was a woman, and a rather small one at that; but I have always been amazed at the ability of people in movies to travel through air ducts! One of the longer air ducts scenes in this movie was in a prison! Note- prison designers - DO NOT BUILD AIR DUCTS THAT CONNECT SECURED AND UNSECURED PARTS OF YOUR PRISONS. DO NOT EVEN BUILD AIR DUCTS THAT WILL SUPPORT THE WEIGHT OR DIMENSIONS OF A HUMAN! All of these buildings also had grates that could be opened by hand - even in the prison! The shaft she used to get out of the building had a metal ladder built into it leading to the roof! Good job by the designers.

I would like to be in the planning meeting where the blueprints for the new prison are being approved: "So, anyone have any comments or suggestions?" (from the back) "Uh, do you think the 30" solid metal air ducts running throughout the building, with removable grates in every room and corridor are a problem? Plus, does anyone have any idea how much money we could save if we did not LIGHT the ductwork?"

That is another thing about TV and Movie air ducts - they are always well lit. Why? They are also extremely clean. No dust bunnies there! I also love the fact that every duct has at least one large slow moving fan that has to be gone through by the star to get wherever they are going. The fans are always very ominously backlit with a bright glowing light. The blades are spinning slowly casting shadows from the glow. The movie I just watched had this fan. The heroine had stopped the blades with a short circuit (arranged with a plastic cup, some water, and a spoon - but that is another topic). She was working through the fan as the guard was heading for the circuit breaker to start the fan back up again. We (the audience) was to be in suspense as to whether she would make it before those blades started to spin. Just another note - I have never seen a fan that could not be prevented from starting by a body part. Now, I am not talking about stopping a moving fan, that can hurt. But the way most electric motors function, they have very little torque at startup and the blade can be easily made to stay stationary while one slips through (into another uber clean chamber of ductwork).

I wonder how many poor souls have gone to prison, or tried to work up a plan to break into an office, or similar that have been very disappointed that they could not find human sized, clean, and well-lit ductwork in their building? Maybe they (and I) watch too much TV and too many movies?!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Please Help!

As most of you know, my wife passed away last May from a rare neurological disease called MSA. One of my goals in life is to offer support to those patients, caregivers, and families affected by this rare, fatal illness. The American Academy of Neurology has a film contest each year where they pick a short film made by individuals about support for brain disease research. Entries are submitted to You Tube and a winner is selected by popular vote. The film is then shown at the American Academy of Neurology annual meeting. This would really be important to help with MSA as it is very rare and still unknown to a lot of doctors and other medical personnel. I know this from personal experience. There is a film featuring a MSA patient that is entered in the contest this year. I would ask that you register, watch, and vote for the film. Even if you do not want to vote, please go watch the film. It will show you what MSA patients like my wife, go through with this illness.




Please help make Multiple System Atrophy film #1 at the Neuro Film Festival



A film on Multiple System Atrophy has been entered in the Neuro Film Festival.

We need your help to get enough votes to make it the "Fan Favorite", this will

mean increased publicity for Multiple System Atrophy which is so desperately needed.

This is an achievable goal if we all work together.



As of February 11th the film is in first place in the voting but the second place film is

very close behind, every single vote counts.

Ask your friends to vote, post on your facebook wall and twitter accounts, get

your teenage relatives involved so all their friends will vote too. We can do

this!!!



PLEASE TAKE ACTION NOW! GO TO THIS WEBSITE AND ENTER YOUR

VOTE BEFORE MARCH 8TH.

Please follow these instructions exactly to ensure your vote is counted



Step 1: Go to Neuro Film Festival Website

http://patients.aan.com/go/about/neurofilmfestival



Step 2: click on the VOTE NOW! tab.



Step 3: Click on Register Now and enter your details



Step 4: Check you email inbox for a verification email - click on the link to

verify your registration



Step 5: Go Vote -- Go back to Neuro Film Festival Website

http://patients.aan.com/go/about/neurofilmfestival and click VOTE NOW



Step 6: Find the “Multiple System Atrophy MSA” film in the list and click on the word VOTE



Note: If you have more than one email address you may register that email and vote again.

One vote per registered email address.



Please do this and pass it on to everyone you can.



Scott

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Reprise

One good thing about having done this now for over four years (!!) is that I have written about most everything common to our lives. With an election cycle in full swing I was going to write some election "stuff". However, I did a lot of it in 2007/8 and again in 2009/10 for the last two elections. So, to take advantage of that "work" I am just going to reference those posts. Some are attempts at humor and some are deadly serious. Here we go:

My first "election" post. An attempt at humor about elections and the parties:
http://justsomeposts.blogspot.com/2007/12/party-party-party.html

Then a follow up to the same blog:
http://justsomeposts.blogspot.com/2008/04/more-partying-and-such.html

This one gets into specifics, some about the 2008 races:
http://justsomeposts.blogspot.com/2008/10/this-one-gets-political-even-if-you-get.html

This is the next post after the one above. Clarification and details:
http://justsomeposts.blogspot.com/2008/10/follow-up.html

Here is a general comment on politics and the political system:
http://justsomeposts.blogspot.com/2009/01/birth-of-politicsgovernment.html

This in a post about one of the big political issues that will be discussed by the candidates: (and a follow up)
http://justsomeposts.blogspot.com/2010/04/need-dictionary.html
http://justsomeposts.blogspot.com/2010/05/dictionary-for-our-times.html

One on political "attack" ads:
http://justsomeposts.blogspot.com/2010/10/but-you-dont-want-to-vote-for-them.html

And lastly, a post of quotes from my favorite politician - Thomas Jefferson:
http://justsomeposts.blogspot.com/2011/02/where-are-all-wise-politicians.html

Please pay attention to what is going on, being said, and being done during this election period. VOTE! Get your friends to vote. Just vote from an informed point of view. Not party, not buzz words, not sound bite. Also, remember it is CONGRESS that makes laws, spends money, and othewise runs our lives - NOT THE PRESIDENT! It is important who is president, but it is congress that taxes and spends.