Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

I can't believe it's been 10 years since I sat in my bunker with plenty of provisions and waited for Y2K to erupt.

Not a bad decade all in all. Here's my top 20 memorable moments in no particular order:

1. I got engaged.
2. I got married.
3. I got laid off 3 times.
4. I started a blog.
5. I bought a house.
6. I bought two cars.
7. I had probably about two dozen kidney stones.
8. I gained weight.
9. I lost weight.
10. I built a large retaining wall.
11. I have a son who I not only love, but like as well.
12. I wrote a book.
13. I rewrote a book.
14. I had my mom live in my living room for eight weeks.
15. Had a good cat...who died earlier this year.
16. I have an awesome wife (who I purposely don't mention on this blog).
17. I got to be part of a podcast that is rapidly growing in popularity.
18. I went to Yellowstone National Park.
19. Got to visit NYC before 9/11.
20. Went to Washington DC and saw everything possible.

So c'mon 2010...let's see what you got.

See you next year everybody!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Meet Gary Johnson

This post sort of reminds me of one I made several years ago about Ron Paul.  I ran into Congressman Paul in the Commons House Office building in DC while visiting my congressman (Jay Inslee) and told Mr. Paul that if he ran for president, I would support him.  He laughed and then punched me in the face while DC Police tazed me repeatedly (I made up that part) but I only meant it as a compliment because I liked him so much but I knew he was not really electable.

Even among his relative popularity (New York Times best seller list, on Jay Leno, huge rallies) it was more about educating people about the role of liberty in their lives and exciting people about things that make this country true tolerance, personal freedom and responsibility, and uh...junk like that.  But Ron is a congressman.  He has never governed.  While idealistic and provocative, some of his ideas don't always translate easily into action.  People want action, which makes non-intervention a challenge when so much of the action needs to be rolling back the harm that has been done over the years.

Allow me to introduce to you Gary Johnson.  Gary Johnson was governor of New Mexico for 8 years.  He ran as a Republican in a state that is largely Democrat dominated.  He governed in a border state and promoted immigration.  He lowered taxes.  He left the state government with fewer employees than when he started without firing a single one.  He reduced the priority of enforcing silly and expensive drug laws.  He's a normal guy that has to force himself to sound like a politician.  He angered his own party and was called “America’s most dangerous politician”. He is a libertarian. For me personally I agree with Gary Johnson more than I do Ron Paul on a number of key issues.

Gary Johnson is interested in running for president.  He has written a book and started a public advocacy committee which is customary when you're trying to raise your name recognition while pretending you’re not running for president.  Sadly, with all the early primaries you have to prepare for the next election before President Obama and his family celebrates their first Christmas in the White House.  So it has begun.

I plan to support Governor Gary Johnson for president if he decides to run and I don't care if he is able to win or not.  Lots of people run, but only one wins.  It’s been shown over and over again that many of those who lose, can make a larger impact than those who win. 

I've already stated that I believe President Obama will be re-elected no matter what happens in 2010. For me, the important thing is to put someone on the national stage who can give America confidence in freedom again.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Federal Mandates

Where in the laws of our republic is the Federal Government granted the power to mandate an individual to purchase anything? Just wondering.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

I'm not sure what passes for weird anymore

Ben Bernanke is man of the year.

Obama wins the Nobel Peace Prize.

Palin rises to the national stage and quits the job that got her there.

The country will go bankrupt if it doesn't take over the healthcare industry.

Hillary Clinton has all but disappeared.

We use stealth drones over a country that has no radar...but people can see them.

Maybe it's just me.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Hey Mr. President

I'm still anti-war. Remember when it was cool to be against the war...ya know...until YOUR guy became in charge of it?

Where is the anti-war left these days? Turns out they've found that war can be useful, hell...maybe even fun when you're wing of the political spectrum is leading the charge.

What I heard tonight was a guy who thinks the world is a better place when we use force of arms to spread democracy. I heard that our country is safer when we impose our military might on over a hundred countries on the planet. I heard Woodrow Wilson, Harry Truman and yes...George W. Bush.

Hey Mr. President! Your aims in Afghanistan are a fool's errand. It may not be fashionable anymore to tell people that our country is less safe when we over extend our military presence in the world but I'm going to keep doing it. It may not be popular to tell people that we can't force democracy and freedom on people...that liberty must be fought for by the people who seek it...but I haven't changed my mind.

I will tell every fool that voted for you (and I know plenty of them) that you all can send YOUR children to fight in Afghanistan, but you will not send mine. Many an empire has come to end fighting in that land for no good reason. I love my country too much to see American lives and treasure going to waste there.

Hey Mr. President, bring our soldiers home.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Friday, November 13, 2009

You can take it to the bank huh?

Happy Birthday Mom

Today is my mom's 85th birthday. She's had a tough year regaining strength from a partial hip replacement, spending 8 weeks in a rehab facility, another 8 weeks at my house relearning how to walk...countless sessions of physical therapy and battling the memory problems that occur from having anesthetic at that age. She's back to reasonably good health now and deserves a good day.

Happy 85th mom!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veteran's Day

Thanks to this November 11th holiday being renamed to Veteran's Day, the American people lose sight of the history of this day.

To all of you that look at Iraq and Afghanistan as the most horrific foreign policy debacle in our country's history, you'd probably be surprised to know that 2 million of your untrained great grandfathers were sent to Europe to fight in a war that was almost already over. In about a year, over 116,000 U.S. soldiers were killed in Europe primarily so Woodrow Wilson could have a seat at the bargaining table as the war was ending.

As the war ended the United States helped hold Germany responsible for the war. The treaty ended with Germany being responsible for paying large sums of money to other European countries. Germany was never able to pay back this money and ended up borrowing it from the United States. When they weren't able to borrow anymore they inflated their currency and caused a complete economic breakdown that ushered in the need for nationalistic leadership and eventually a second world war.

The War ended on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. All other participant countries in this war call today Remembrance Day or Armistice Day.

Remember a Vet today and thank them for their service but also remember the pain and suffering caused when our leaders needlessly seek adventure abroad with our uniformed sons and daughters.

Monday, November 09, 2009

30 Minutes

If you have it and care to can listen to Episode #88b of The Dangly Bits Show. Just stream it from the post. The The Dave and Steve Show is sort of my non-politics hobby on the interwebs. New shows every Tuesday and Friday.

No politics. PG-13. Have fun.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Who won last night

The swing was to the right. NY 23 aside it was pretty obvious that where it could swing, it did swing. With this I have to say it's pretty obvious who won:

President Obama

His approval ratings are still at 50% and there's a chance that the 2010 off election could be a measured disaster for his party...and having seen this before I can tell you exactly what that means.

It means the country still likes Obama and they like his optimism for America. If the country has misgivings about everything he stands for they will keep him in office and protect themselves with a bit more gridlock. I still believe that the great unwashed of independent voters in this country are satisfied with gridlock. Hell, I'd settle for it too.

If the Dems lose in large numbers in 2010 it means that Obama will be reelected easily. And given what the alternative may be, it may not be such a bad thing. He's been widely blamed for being radical though he has allowed congress (or congressional lobbyists more correctly) to write the healthcare bill(s). He has not been heavy handed with big egos in either party. He has backed off from any real changes in foreign policy and still pursues much of the aims of the Bush administration, although more intelligently. So what's the big deal about a full eight years of President Obama? Is it really so different that we can't survive?

Monday, November 02, 2009

So, I voted.

...and general it was a waste of time.

Oh I know...I fulfilled my civic duty...casting a vote for the two flavors of intervention that have been sanctioned as choices for me. I suppose I should be proud.

I'm not an interventionist though. I don't believe only those on the left or only those on the right have a monopoly on intervention. Whether it be over my behavior in my own home or in my wallet, both interventionist parties claim they know how much freedom I should have and how I should behave with what freedom they leave me.

I can't even vote for non-interventionists since my state has locked them out of the ballot. Non-interventionists don't believe in participating in publicly funded primaries and therefore don't appear on the primary ballot. Since they don't appear on the primary ballot they also don't appear on the general election ballot. Nice huh?

I don't even have the right to vote for someone who I'm told over and over has no chance to win...and even if I'm "wasting my vote" I'm not allowed to anymore. I can only cast a vote for someone who wants to intervene in my life.

So aside from the voter Initiative and Referendum that was on my ballot I cast a vote for write-in and left the line blank...since they won't count my write-in either.

Seriously...unless you actually file as a write-in candidate, any vote cast for someone who is not a registered write-in candidate will not be counted.

This must be all the freedom soldiers are dying for these days.

Instead I vote for a blank write-in so that my ballot isn't taken and filled in for me fraudulently since it would be under-voted for almost all of the races. So it turns out the only thing I have power over is to protect my ballot from fraud.

So yeah, I voted. Big deal. I tip my hat to those of you who didn't bother.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Politics has been boring lately

It's been great! Congress can't get anything done and they seem stuck on deciding on which failed policy to support...Republicans are offering nothing substantive and are only promising to vote "NO" on everything.

If the Democrats do indeed lose ground in the 2010 Congressional election we'll see the kind of gridlock that could make the dollar and economy recover.

My political wishlist would look like this:

1. No Federal public option for health insurance.
2. No more troops to Afghanistan.
3. No more contractors to Iraq to replace soldiers redeployed to Afghanistan.
4. Reduce spending and allow the dollar to take a breath.
5. Raise interest rates...please.


I want President Obama to start focusing on the college basketball season.

Obama is thinking over Afghan Strategy

Since he's taking his time on this I'm really interested in what his final decision is going to be. My prediction:

We're sending more troops, but with a new style of uniform.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

New Navy Slogan

This really gave me the creeps from the first time I saw it.

You can tell in this recruiting propaganda poster that our days of world intervention are far from over. I wonder how long our government believes this "force" for good will stay that way when they won't be able to pay them.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Buying Peace Futures

I don't have a problem with the President winning the Nobel Peace Prize. I think most people look at it like a bad call in a football game that favors your realize it's lame but you still have to take advantage of it to be meaningful.

I think this is a nice way to demonstrate that the greatest potential for peace comes through President Obama. Does he deserve it? No, but he can potentially earn it.

Maybe he can reduce troops in Iraq significantly and stop replacing the soldiers with government contractors with guns.

Maybe he can stop the occupation of Afghanistan --The graveyard of empires.

Maybe he can stop war with Iran and even resist the temptation of levying worthless sanctions against them that only hurts the most vulnerable people there.

Maybe he'll want to earn this award and not consider it a free-ride to use the military to satisfy some strange sense of foreign adventurism like our previous president.

Maybe the Nobel Peace Prize will mean something once again. Yeah, I doubt it too.

Sunday, September 27, 2009


There has never been a clearer reason to get out of Afghanistan since the Soviets faced the same problem thirty years ago. If President Obama was wise, he'd stop the coming bloodshed in that country before it ever gets a chance to start.

Among some of the most important reasons is that unlike Iraq, the people of Afghanistan have no stomach for a national Army. Even their own government doesn't want an army greater than 60,000 troops. This is a force roughly the size of Canada's with a population of 30 million.

As the lack of direction continues our country now plans to send more troops to this country. Like every time we send more troops anywhere it won't be long before the existing population will see this as an occupying force. Once this sentiment has been established we will find ten new enemies for every one soldier we send there.

A young woman in my church just lost her husband of four months to an IED in Afghanistan. More families will become devestated with hurt and loss as we continue to be mired in fighting in the hills against an invisible enemy.

The United States no longer has the means to slay dragons all over the world. Hopefully some day we'll learn that our over-aggressiveness in foreign policy makes us less safe, not more.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Harry Reid explains how taxes are voluntary...sorta

I have to hand it to him though.  He did give it a try.

Jan over the years has asked politicians to think philosophically about the different aspects of government force. Some of his interviews have been traps but I think two people in particular were able to sit down with him and engage in thought experiments with good cheer. One being Harry Reid and the other being Joe Biden.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Happy Birthday Constitution

Sorry I didn't get you anything. I almost forgot about your birthday to be quite honest. Seems like we don't see you around much anymore. I don't want this to sound mean really so please try to understand the spirit of what I'm saying. We've kind of moved on.

Now sure, I know you're the law of the land and all that but aren't you really more symbolic than real these days? I mean you go on and on about enumerated powers and the protection of the individual at the expense of the collective but isn't that a little 19th Century?

We have really smart politicians who can fix things and they've promised not to abuse their power. I don't want to be a bummer on your birthday, because I really do like you. I'm just sayin' maybe you're not really that big of a deal anymore.

Happy Birthday anyway.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Defending ACORN

I can't defend the people that worked in these two ACORN offices in Baltimore and Brooklyn. It's pretty much indefensible. I also can't defend ANY tax money going to this organization.

I will defend the other works that ACORN has done in the inner-city to educate citizens about their rights. They've stopped the abuse of police power by telling citizens in many cities that they do not have to consent to unwarranted searches and be bullied into letting police into their houses.

They have worked side-by-side many libertarians educating citizens on their natural rights which government should be protecting, not infringing.

Like I said, I can't defend the indefensible. I will defend what I know of ACORN and much of what they do this country needs.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Veronica? Really?

I blame Archie's friends really. Reggie and Jughead have never become a trusted source of encouragement for Archie. He spends his life dragging these two bozos around and when he could really use some advice...where are they?

I'm not saying this can't last, but I'm worried where Archie will turn when it doesn't. Betty will likely pair up with someone else by the time it does...I could see it being Moose just to match the first awful pairing.

I predict a short engagement that gets broken off at the last minute and he can go back to just being friends with both.

I'd like to also add that President Obama probably was lying and if's a good thing. You cannot have a public option to pay for people without including illegal immigrants. Hospitals will DEMAND to get paid for services and will be enrolling people in the public option to ensure payment...whether or not they're citizens.

I'm not more against this than I am the public option in particular. If you're going to offer benefits to people who live here, it will just happen. They're using public schools and they'll use public health insurance as well. Nobody, including the President should have to pretend it won't or shouldn't happen.

Sorry I fooled you into thinking about healthcare again. Congrats Archie.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Bathroom Scrawlings

Maybe the only thing redeeming about using a public restroom is that it is sure to have interesting writing on the wall.  I hesitate to call it graffiti because I see it as more than simply defacing a surface, but more like an open forum.  Like a toilet blog.

Some interesting tidbits I’ve found:

I’ve come to believe that Anarchists communicate with each other through public restrooms similar to how hobos used to leave signs for each other.   From two anarchists I found these two messages:

  • Be free.  Live Free.
  • Where there is no discord, there can only be order.

Another popular scrawling is the drawn (or in one case carved) penis with a set of testicles.  I’m not sure who these people are that see it as important to contribute to the public forum this way but I think the movie Superbad (don’t click on this if you don’t want hear swearing or crude language) gave us a clue.

Lastly I enjoy all types of religious discussions in the public restroom.  In Billings I found an ongoing discussion about the deity of Christ.

  • Jesus is Alive!
  • Jesus is Alive! Dead!
  • Jesus is Alive! Dead! He’s alive moron.
  • I wish you were both dead! (complete with arrows pointing to previous points)

I didn’t add to this conversation as I believe they’re both right in that order.  Think about it.

Maybe this blog and others can replace the low-tech bathroom alternative to public forums.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Missoula, Montana

Missoula is my favorite city in Montana without a doubt.

First of all it’s a college town.  Secondly it’s a football town.  Maybe most importantly, it’s a train town.  Missoula actually has a railroad turntable!  If you’re a train nerd like I am then you’re impressed.  If you’re not then I’ll say that is has a lot of college-aged women.

Missoula is not a big city but has decent big entertainment distractions.  Montana Griz football, excellent college basketball and minor league baseball.  They’re all fully supported by Missoula and the surrounding areas.

My family wandered around Missoula and was happy to see parts of its historic district, a great old train depot and steam engine, and a whole lot of stores to buy junk in.

Montana is a huge state and if you stick to the Interstate you’re missing an unimaginable amount of small side attractions.  That said its major cities are split apart perfectly for day trips ensuring you’ll always have a decent choice of a hotel while you look around.

Wallace, Idaho

Traveling west on Interstate 90 the family and I were still quite a few miles east of Spokane and a town we remembered days earlier on our Eastbound journey was on our minds as we went home.

Wallace, Idaho sits just off of Interstate 90 and is a fantastic historic town.  Plenty of old brick buildings and turn-of-the-last-century charm makes this a great place to stop and pee…or look at antiques.

One of the stops was an antique store that had a sort of creepy feel from the beginning.  I was immediately met by the store’s owner who sat in an old barber chair just inside the door.  He looked like he was in his 60’s and his silvery pony-tail indicated that his age and his decade of choice were the same.  There were lots of antiques that reflected the swinging, partying aspects of life from earlier decades. Some were cool and some just had a seedy vibe.

I talked to the owner briefly before leaving and he shared that he was from the same area where I live.  He said he used to run whorehouses and gambling houses in the area back in the 60’s.  If I'd had another 30 minutes I would’ve liked to have learned about his journey from…uh…the 60’s all the way to Wallace.  Next time.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

I'm back

This week:

Fascinating vacation stories.

I will ridicule the Ad Council (again).

Also some pictures taken by my 3 year old son.

Stay Tuned!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Vacation again

Likely won't blog while traveling several Western states. You can follow me on Twitter if you're so inclined. I can bore you with fascinating, small tidbits about what I'm doing at any given point. If you use Twitter and want to follow me you can do so at:

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Garage Sales - the last remaining free market?

There was a garage sale at my house last weekend. I can't stand them honestly but I did make some observations about how they might be the last truly free market in this country.

One thing that I noticed was that a good percentage of the people who came to my garage sale were immigrants. I have no doubts that many of them were not citizens and I couldn't care less. Even with the language barrier and my absolutely horrible Spanish we managed to complete transactions using my laptop and a language translator...which was probably worse than my own Spanish.

Immigrants are able to look for things at very low cost, pay in cash and avoid taxes. They accomplish this while living in their completely undocumented world.

While those who care about "illegal" immigration usually want to just "send them back" I would suggest that we all take a look at how they're able to live here in such a beautifully unsanctioned way.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A sign of progress

Apparently even Seattle has a limit to how stupid it allows itself to be. Voters rejected a proposal that would levy a 20 cent plastic bag fee at grocery stores.

I'm glad they found a tax that they would reject, but I will still say that for such a "green" and "progressive" city, its freeways are lined with trash. If Seattleites were as ecologically sound as they pretend to be, it'd be the cleanest city in America.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Freepers, deathers, birthers, thinkers...which are you?

The party of Hope and Change has now decided that instead of using the Bush administrations ploy of calling all dissenters unAmerican, they'll just now dismiss you as crazy and then maybe wink and imply you're dangerous.

Thinker: But wait, certainly we can have an honest discussion with the Obama administration that perhaps the role of a good federal government is not to intervene in vast like healthcare problem because of well...affordability?

Hey wait a minute buddy. Do you deny the fact that our president was born in Hawaii? Do you deny that he's an American citizen?
Thinker: I just think that Keynsian economics doesn't work and there is no way to pay for a system like this with our current monetary system.

JUST WHAT I THOUGHT! We got a birther here. Go put on your tinfoil hat nutbag. We know your kind. You just don't like having a black president. We're keeping our eye on you.
Thinker: The president has said that the only reason medicare is going broke as a healthcare system is because it takes care of only old and sick people without being balanced out by healthy people paying in. Doesn't this indicate that they'd need an end to private insurance eventually? After all isn't the only problem with any failing government program is that it is underfunded?

Look Freeper, go back to your tea party and say no to everything while us grownups try to have an adult conversation. If you can't bring something to the table and solve this crisis our country faces then get out of the way.
Thinker: Like private insurance companies, decisions are made about what expensive procedure is actually covered or not. But at least in many cases families have the ability to raise money seperately and pay a doctor on their own for services. How could a community step up and make sure a sick person got the medicine they needed if they were on the public option?

We got a Deather here. Yeah, we're just lining up death panels trying to kill grandma you weirdo. Is this all you have? Can't we just have an intellectual debate here?
Thinker: President Obama himself said that Fedex and UPS were doing fine and it was the post office that was always in trouble. (it's also illegal to charge less than the post office) There is at least a provision in the constitution for delivering the mail, what constitutional authority does the federal government have to force states to pay into a federal public option that allegedly is not designed to cover everyone?

Look, unless you want to solve this problem then I'm afraid I can't even talk to you. It's overdue that this country has the real reform that the American people deserve. It's just too bad we can't have a serious debate about it and come together as a country.

Disclaimer: Republicans are idiots too. As usual I believe there is no political solution to this problem and the only thing universal about what will come out of it will cost too much and under deliver.

It's a false choice really. I refuse to take sides choosing between a centrally managed and regulated industry that doesn't allow me to pay my doctor directly and a centrally managed and regulated public program that doesn't allow me to pay my doctor directly. I don't want either system.

Maybe Mr. Hope and Change can begin dreaming of paying for this scheme if he wasn't already in the middle of domestic bailouts in addition to expanding wars overseas (oh yeah...remember the wars?...that big deal you pretended to care about when you elected him?), keeping U.S. troops based in hundreds of countries. One trillion dollars last year alone maintaining an empire overseas. But what do I know? I'm just a thinker.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

RIP - Les Paul

RIP Les Paul. I own an LP. It's not my favorite guitar but mostly because I'm not good enough to make it sound nice. Instead, I sound like Ace Frehley...which I admit when I'm in the house still good enough for me.

One of my mom's favorite songs was Walkin' and Whistlin' Blues with both Les Paul and Mary Ford. Enjoy!

Thanks Les for your musical contributions to this world.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Openly Carrying in the Live Free or Die State

I love how these New York big city reporters being so shocked that a citizen is openly carrying a gun in New Hampshire.  They go on to say that lawyers somewhere should file an emergency injunction.

What idiots. The man is a peaceful man (who is also a libertarian) and does not believe in the initiation of force against others. Whether these TV talking heads like it or not the citizens of New Hampshire allow for open carry and many citizens do carry side arms out in the open. It is not a shock to citizens of New Hampshire to see someone carrying a side arm in public. I'm sure to all of the people who were brought in from Boston to cheer on Obamacare...they tinkled in their undies a bit.

I’d also like to add that the man was NEVER swept from the area and at no time was President Obama ever in danger from anyone openly carrying a firearm.

Wow, the shock and dismay.  If only we could live in a country where people did exactly what they were told from idiot news readers.

Friday, August 07, 2009


Okay, let's do it. You all want me to since I've had about seven email in the last two weeks asking me why I haven't talked about it.

It's about time really. I know there are people who read/participate on this blog who have paid for several thousand dollars in medical bills this last year. (including myself)

I'll start off since it's my nyah nyah.

I have the same level of enthusiasm for using public healthcare than I do using a public bathroom. I'm against any public management of health insurance. Period.

Your turn. Go.

Thursday, August 06, 2009


I was on vacation last week and the couple of times I had updates to post Blogger was also on vacation. We'll get this sorted out today. Thanks for coming back.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Lost a friend today

Roy Ulrich was a family friend who lost his battle with cancer this morning.

Roy has known me most of my life and knew me when I had particularly long hair (longer than lately) and he admitted to me more than once that he hated it.

His wife Delores called me very early this morning and told me that Roy had passed away just a little bit earlier. I told her I was sorry to hear that and laid down in my bed thinking about my last conversation I had with Roy just a few days ago.

He asked me for a special favor for which I'm truly honored to do. He then said to me, "I don't know why I ever cared about your hair...after's just hair."

This morning I had my hair cut off. Alot of it. Shaved my beard too...well mostly.

Roy gave me two gifts. A complete set of classical music CD's and a recording of the old radio show Have Gun Will Travel.

I asked Roy how he wanted to be remembered. This is what he told me:

I want to be remembered for being a simple man who worked hard, loved his family and loved God. I want to be a person who never acted more important than I really was.

Good bye Roy. You were a good friend to me and my family.

Friday, July 24, 2009

An Argument for NOT Auditing the Fed

The Federal Reserve relies on a great deal of misinformation, overstating and smoke and mirrors to obtain assets to put up against Treasury Bills. If the entire world were to know how full of sh*t they are...getting loans in the future would be downright impossible...and would make holding an annual public debt very difficult.

...oh wait...I accidently argued for it again. Dang. Nevermind.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

More Federal Reserve Lunacy

Before you watch this video I'd like to explain why I'm showing it. This Democrat congressman is pursuing a more popular theme running through congress these days. What legal right does the Federal Reserve have to send dollars overseas in the form of credit? Does it require any Congressional scrutiny at all?

Bernanke is correct in his answer though. He's offsetting volatility in dollar markets globally. Why? Because congress insists on spending more than what it has. The treasury is broke so the Federal Reserve is in the business of procuring wealth, credit, and assets so that we can insanely finance wars and payoffs. The Federal Reserve doesn't make our insane policy, it reacts to our insane policy. Congress should look inward before it points at the bank for needing to take extreme measures to keep our monetary policy alive.

I'm not a fan of the central bank at all, but they're only part of the problem.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Hot here

Not like Midwest hot or Southwest Northwest hot. Not all that hot but we don't have many warm weather clothes. At least we're not wearing socks with our sandals.

Cool updates coming soon.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Seattle’s love for boondoggles

Welcome to Seattle. 

Seattle is a city that will vote repeatedly for a mass transit solution they want and never get it…while its leaders put together another system that was in debt 1 billion dollars before a single foot of track had been laid. 

Below is video from the Seattle Times that shows an invitation only Sounder Light rail ride for area reporters.  The video shows the mayor of Seattle beaming over the accomplishment of 2.3 billion dollars being spent on 14 miles of rail line that doesn’t YET go anywhere useful.

Even though it’s a waste of money, I hope to ride on it some day for fun.  As soon as it goes some place different than Tukwila.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Dangly Bits Show

I'm co-hosting a half hour podcast every Thursday night called The Dangly Bits show which is a spill-over of the The Dave and Steve Show. We do on occasion talk about politics and current events. You can find the show every Friday posted on The Dave and Steve Show website.

Dave (of the show) has really given me the forum to shape a midweek show out of the loosely FM talkradio style format. It's light so don't expect some of the heaviness of this blog or my two attempts at podcasts from last year. Please give it a can stream to it from the website or look it up in the iTunes store.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009


Seven soldiers died in Afghanistan this week.

The longer we are in that country, the easier it will be for the Taliban and different militias to resent our presence and mobilize forces against us. Sadly, I'm afraid more will die there for no good reason.

If this bugs you then just close your eyes and repeat the following to yourself until you begin to feel better:

They hate us because of our freedoms.
They hate us because of our freedoms.
They hate us because of our freedoms.
They hate us because of our freedoms.
They hate us because of our freedoms.

All you Obama supporters that emailed me and told me he was the peace candidate have some splainin' to do.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Independence Day

I haven’t shared my artwork on this blog since my own attempt at making the world’s most offensive cartoon (from an earlier post) but I’ll give it another shot.  Below is a sidewalk chalk representation of Old Glory.

Some key differences I took artistic liberty with:

  • 10 Stripes instead of 13.  If forced to justify this I’ll just consolidate the Carolinas and merge New York and New Jersey…oh and boot Georgia completely.
  • There are pink stripes.  No this isn’t a gay rights protest nor is it promoting breast cancer awareness…I just didn’t have red chalk. 
  • Only 25 Stars.  Again…if the secession movement takes off this may not be a big issue.

Hope you all enjoyed Independence Day.  Mine was pretty good like always.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Hooray Canada!

Happy Canada Day!

I asked someone recently if they knew what Canada Day was celebrating. They replied, "I think it's Canada's Independence day." Don't we take being independent so much for granted that we assume everyone has fought for it?

Not Canada though. They pretend to be free but as we saw this last year, the Queen can shut down their government if she so chooses. That's not all bad though as I wish she could shut ours down for a few months.

It's not unusual to see Canadian flags fly beneath or along side the US Flag in the Seattle area. It's been like that all my life. The cultural differences between the state of Washington and the province of British Columbia are negligible. We probably have less in common with Oregon frankly.

Have a great day Canadians! Enjoy whatever it is you're celebrating today but remember that the banks and liquor stores are closed.

Viva la Canada!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Check this out

The Bureau of Labor and Statistics has an indexing program where you can look at how many dollars you’d need now to equal a dollar from years ago.  The oldest year you can look up is 1913…the creation of the Federal Reserve. 

Go ahead…select different years from the drop-down list.  You’ll get a good picture of how well the Federal Reserve and Congress has taken care of the value of our dollar.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Shoes – update

I got a lot of feedback on this post.  Emails, comments, Facebook thingies, you name it.  Nearly everyone had advice and I would say there was not much of a consensus (except maybe that I'm a jerk) which I think really just shows how much of a conflict there is when confronted with this sort of thing.

None of you changed my opinion but I'll share insight that I did not share within the original post.   After all, this was a bit of a thought experiment.

  1. The man mostly had legitimate food in his basket and paid for it with cash.  He was not using any governmental assistance to purchase this.  I suspect it's true for the coffee too.
  2. I absolutely did not judge him to be a panhandler/bum.  He fit the profile of someone who was simply poor.
  3. He is not unlike about dozen other people at this same store, at this same time, just about everyday.
  4. I'm not a bleeding heart.  I don't help people with a gesture to make myself feel good.  I help where I see help will actually help.
  5. He seemed genuinely happy and greeted people around him.
  6. I never, at any point, felt like I was enabling him to have a certain lifestyle by buying him shoes.  He needed shoes.  I don't consider poverty to be a crime or a virtue.  The poor will always be among us.
  7. I called myself judgmental and this was a problem for three of you.  Being both judgmental and discriminate are good things.  We practice judgment and discrimination every day in the choices we make.  They are good things when done with the right motivations. 
  8. My first instinct on this was to buy him shoes.  This was MY first instinct...I totally understand if it wouldn't be yours.  I don't compel people to apply my own convictions of mercy and charity to their own lives.  Any thinking person could raise credible arguments for letting him continue in those shoes…many of you did.
  9. I’m also wearing worn shoes and with my longer hair and beard I could’ve been a candidate in someone’s eyes for help also.  That makes me laugh kind of.
  10. Based on all that I've told you...I still decided not to get him shoes.  I judge that as a this case.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Walk a mile in a man’s shoes

Today I went to a local store near where I work.  It's in a poor neighborhood.  I've written before about this store in another post.

I got my two items and suddenly ran into the CEO of the company I work for.  He looked at me and I looked at him.  He may have known my name but I doubt it.  We’ve talked before and have been in the same meetings but honestly I try to be a person that people forget easily.  If a time comes in the future where I’ll be required to live a life of crime, it’ll work to my advantage.

I made my way to the self-checkout line which was a bit long and a man with a backpack and a basket full of food was in front of me.  I’d like to think I’m not a judgmental person but my life is full of cultural bias.  He had long hair and dressed like he hadn’t had new clothes in awhile.  (the hair doesn’t bother me as long hair is not an unusual thing in my own life)

Then I noticed his shoes.  They were open-toed shoes.  Not by design mind you but rather from wear and tear.  I could see his socks through the front of very worn out tennis shoes.  This man needed new shoes.

My first thoughts were to buy him new shoes.  Seriously.  I’ve done this before and I’m absolutely not against helping anyone with an immediate need at my own cost of money and time.  I’m not patting myself on the back either, I like to help people when my help can really…well…help.  Just one of those “unto the least of these” kind of things.

Then something happened.  I looked in his hand.  Starbucks.  I looked in his basket.  Zingers.  I thought to myself that if he was willing to buy unhealthy desserts and designer coffee and was still willing to walk around in crappy shoes then why should I buy him shoes?

I got to my car and it hit me.  I knew nothing about him.  I knew nothing about what he was buying, or if what he was buying was even for himself.   Maybe someone bought him the coffee and he was grateful for having something to drink.  I realized that I only knew one thing about him:  This man needed new shoes. 

Forgive me, but I am a judgmental jerk sometimes.  If I see him again he’s getting new shoes.

Top 10 US Debt Holders

1. China 767.90 (Billion)
2. Japan 686.70
3. Caribbean Banking Centers 213.60
4. Oil Exporters 192.00
5. Russia 138.40
6. United Kingdom 128.20
7. Brazil 126.60
8. Luxembourg 106.10
9. Hong Kong 78.90
10. Taiwan 74.80

Interestingly number four doesn't make sense without some research behind it.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Collecting Stuff

I collect a few things. Nothing I collect is worth much really.

Events today put me in position to waste time at a car collector show. Lots of restored cars. I wasn't impressed.

I walked around watching these people sit in lawn chairs next to their cars that were in various phases of restoration and you could tell their very lives were wrapped up in these projects. On what seemed like a nice day they had nothing better to do except hang around with other people who have dedicated their lives to restore their own bucket of bolts. I felt sorry for them really.

Then the weather turned. It really turned.

The first day of summer rolled in and along with it came an awesome hail storm. Panic erupted as every collector imagined the specter of their beloved old cars having as many dimples as a golf ball. They ran around...some started their cars and headed where...who can say? Where would they escape the hail storm? Others ran for cover as the lightning showed up shortly after the hail. What fun. I laughed inside and laughed a great deal.

They should all get a new hobby or at least move their weird gathings indoors...where moth and rust do not quickly.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

David Letterman and the Palins

I've always liked Letterman and have preferred his show to both Leno and Carson over the years. His joke about A-Rod knocking up the Governor's daughter was just another joke in a long line against the Palin family. One of the jokes was going to go too far...unfortunately it was Letterman's.

During the election, Obama simply stated to the press that his family was off-limits and the press honored it. Hell, they honored everything he did to the point of worship. Palin's family was the subject of a great media focus...most of the time unfairly.

Letterman apologizes and now finally Sarah Palin's family is off-limits because one joke could be taken to mean something that was beyond the taste of the average American.

I hope the Palin's enjoy their time of being left alone and I hope this joke doesn't become a Don Imus moment for Letterman.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Silliness from The Federal Reserve

I enjoy this video montage of Ben Bernanke. You could bring up video from the past on anyone and demonstrate how their opinions were short-sighted or just plain wrong. I guess what makes Ben's video more fun to watch is his ABSOLUTE ARROGANCE in his faith in central economic planning. He should stick to more general predictions like a horoscope.

Dear Capricorn, you are feeling a little thin in the wallet but don't despair! Inflation on a small level means economic growth and more opportunities for love. Whatever was draining your wallet will soon be gone and you'll be back in the driver's seat with joy and romance as your co-pilot. Take out another credit card and spend some of the capital that will be coming your way.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Satan Hates You Trailer

Friend of the blog, television carpenter, and former pilgrim Don Wood stars in Satan Hates You.  Enjoy.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Duckies rescued by cop!

I’m always assured by people that there are good cops out there.  This must be that good cop to whom you were referring.

I'm sure I'll be updating this post later once it's reported she tazered the ducks for not respecting her authority. This one is for you Mr. Anonymous.

72 Year Old Woman Tazered

The cop had to use violent force against the elderly woman because she was committing the terrible crime of initially refusing to sign a traffic ticket. If only this brave police officer had called for back-up so that he and other officers could take turns beating her with clubs while screaming "CALM DOWN!" in her face.

Peter Schiff on the Daily Show

I know many of you saw this already, but worth a repeat.
The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Peter Schiff
Daily Show

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

No one is looking for me. Trust me.

Facebook has many interesting ads, but this one really made me laugh.  I present you the ad aimed at horndog males thinking a hot woman they don’t know is probably looking for them:

I take it back…there might be some people looking for me.  People I forgot I owe money to…or maybe even the Jehovah Witnesses that came to my door last Saturday.  So fat chance…I’m not fooled by your ad.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Friday, June 05, 2009

GM - the new Amtrak

Richard Nixon forced the merger of two railroads and then subsequently moved to subsidize them and force them to nationalization. The promise was, back in the 70's, that the need to rescue the railroads would be temporary and that once the government got them back on their feet and profitable, the assets would be sold off.

How did that work? Well 40 years later Amtrak still exists and operating at a loss...and you pay for it whether you ride the train or not. Because of lobbyists (who now are paid by federal money) legislation has made it illegal to compete with Amtrak...ensuring no profitable passenger train company will ever exist in this nation.

Like Amtrak, GM now has their employees paid with federal dollars...including their lobbyists. You are going to begin paying for lobbyists with your tax dollars to go to Washington and make sure that GM gets more of your dollars. They will never have to be profitable again...and with constant lobbying pressure it could become illegal some day to sell a car for less than a GM car.

I'm skeptical that GM will ever be turned back over to the private marketplace once it exists under protective umbrella of government force and coercion.

Have a good weekend!

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Nice timing

I got home...the phone rang...I answered...

It was the police union asking people to donate to programs to help families of cops who have been hurt or suffered from the inherent dangers associated with their jobs.

I told them I'm looking to give as much money as I'm able to give to victims of police to pay for their medical bills and fund their legal costs to sue police departments and take legal action against individual cops who break the law by traumatizing citizens.

This guy chose to point out to me that I should appreciate it that the police make sacrifices to keep me and my family safe and would I consider even making a $15 donation.

I told him because he asked again I would double my donation and fundraising effort to help the family of Christopher Harris, who still remains in a coma.

On a side note: Courts have ruled several times over the years that it is not a police officer's job to keep individuals safe but to restore general order. Police talk about protecting and serving when they want our accolades but they'll readily hide behind "restoring order" when they've hurt or killed an innocent citizen.

Monday, June 01, 2009

I own GM!

Now that I own GM I’m going to bring back Pontiac and get rid of Saturn.  I’m going to make cool cars like the Trans Am from those old 70’s movies. 

As for Suzuki…bye bye…no more GM/Daewoo vehicles…I have nothing against Korean cars (I own two) but no one should buy a Daewoo at GM prices. 

I’m going to be so busy with my new car company that I know my summer is going to be booked. 

Drop off your suggestions in the comments about how we should steer our new car company.

Beating a Dead Horse

This video involves a high speed chase where the suspect is likely guilty…The suspect leaves his vehicle and fails to scale a fence to get away…realizing he is trapped he gives himself up to police (in a fashion that leaves me thinking he’s done this before) and then the brave police officer approaches the man who has given himself up and kicks him in the head while another officer comes along and beats him with a PR-24 baton. (Watch from 6:00 mark on for the money shot) This is for you Mr. Anonymous.

Is the piece of crap suspect deserving of arrest and the full force of the law against him if he’s found guilty? You bet! Is anything that these two officers did after he gave himself up peacefully lawful? I doubt it. They should see some jail time as well.

Don’t worry, I’m not turning this blog into an anti-statist, hate police blog…there are already those out there and they do a better job than I could. I just wanted Mr. Anonymous from the last post to realize that I could (if I wanted to) backup my claim that I could post a different video or news story of police brutality about everyday.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

I didn't want to do it, but...

I didn’t want to post another video of cop stupidity. I don’t want to be overly cynical of police authority in this country. That said I could probably post a different video like this everyday.

In this video Oklahoma State Troopers pulled over an ambulance taking a woman to the hospital. What developed was caught on video. Maurice White Jr. (the man who received a choke hold from a brave police officer) got out of the ambulance when the patrol car pulled them over because he saw a woman in the front seat of the patrol car and he thought she was in need of medical attention…I mean why else would you pull over an ambulance?

If you know some police officers or have some in your family…show them this video and let them know that the public is growing tired of this.

Midweek Dangly Bits

Tonight I'll be with Dave from the Dave and Steve Show We'll discuss ever so briefly how corporations overthink advertising and I'll be using Pepsi as an example. I'm sure there are about two of you that care but I'll try not to bore you too terribly.

Thanks for all the emails pointing out the angrier tone of my last few posts...all of them were positive...don't understand why you all want me angry all the time...but I'll do my best.

More to come.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Pepsi Throwback

I didn’t expect much honestly.

Up until the last 10 years or so I preferred Pepsi over any other cola.  It was no contest really.  I took the Pepsi challenge back when I was in elementary school and it became very obvious that there was a huge difference between the two major colas. 

The “other” cola was all over the place too.  I found their advertising to be pompous and the quality of their fizzy syrup to be average at best.  Obviously many other people did since “they” tried to change their formula for no known reason…only to come up with a worse flavor.

But I noticed that the quality of the Pepsi product in the 90’s went down the toilet.  Especially here in the Pacific Northwest.  About six years ago I did have some Pepsis that I bought in Denver, Colorado that were in with some I brought with me from Seattle.  The taste between the cans was noticeable and confirmed what I suspected all along.  The Seattle area bottler (which at time was Alpac Corporation…may still be..dunno) was using bathwater to make their Pepsi.  It sucked.  So, I stopped drinking it.

So does Pepsi Throwback remind me of the taste I loved as a kid?  Totally!  Smoother, better, and no bathwater aftertaste.  I like it.

Verdict:  It doesn’t suck

Predictably, Pepsi continues their stupidity by making this quality product available for a few months…then gone for good…and back I will go to drinking beer.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

A good year for my Congressman

I wrote a few years ago about my experience with Congressman Jay Inslee and his staff. I had nothing bad to say about him except what should be obvious to anyone. Congress supports special interest, and not the individual unless you're good for a photo op.

That said my congressman has had a pretty good year in my view. He has voted against bailouts at every opportunity and recently co-sponsored a bill to change a law to enable the Federal Reserve to be audited.

Bravo Jay Inslee! I may not write-in my cat against you in 2010. No disrepect however to Chairman Meow.

Cops are awesome aren't they?

YouTube is now providing video proof of stories we’ve been hearing from people throughout the years.  Police using force for no reason, breaking people’s right, temporarily detaining people for no legal reason. 

Last month an El Paso news reporter was arrested for covering an accident scene where off-duty military personnel rescued a man from a tipped over semi-truck.  Even after agreeing to leave the scene the cop still had to lose control of the situation. 

A couple of weeks ago a pastor driving through New Mexico was tazered, dragged from his car and beaten up simply because he would not consent to have his car searched on the freeway.  Border Patrol and Highway Police perform these searches of vehicles to catch illegal aliens and drug trafficking.  Their justification for their actions was that the pastor was considered suspicious because he wouldn’t let them search him without a warrant.

Now a man in a Seattle theater was mistaken for a suspect in a stabbing incident that happened in a nearby convenience store.  The policeman came after the man who tried to get away from him and the cop body checked him against a wall head first.  The innocent victim in the case is in a coma.

King County Police did a preliminary investigation and their findings are that the policeman used force within their policies and did not commit any crime.  Their report questions why the man was trying to get away from the policeman in the first place…

…I don’t know…maybe because the cop could use life threatening force against an innocent person without any fear of going to jail or even losing his career…maybe that had something to do with it.

The clown who put the man in the hospital while he clings to life is on paid administrative duty where he gets to do his important law enforcement from a desk.

I know some will argue that there are good police out there but I’m going to have to ask the question that begs to be asked:

Where are they when this stuff happens?  Why aren’t they speaking out against rogue cops.  For every 100 videos out there of police doing stupid things like this a good cop could get killed because the public becomes more fearful of these clowns with a badge on their state-approved costume.

Enjoy the video below of what the King County Police calls a “Tragic accident”.  Don’t feel bad for the victim though…after all…no law was broken.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Libertarian Purity Tests

It's amazing that a group so small and so ineffective in politics in our country would still be so aggressive about checking the purity of those of us who use the "L" word.

Senator Lindsey Graham from South Carolina knows what a libertarian he proudly proclaims to his dwindling number of GOP supporters that he is not one.

I'd rather build coalitions. Try to achieve a bi-partisan libertarian reality. Allow both sides of the aisle downgrade their own particular brand of intervention.

Democrats give up a department
Republicans give up a defense contract
Democrats give up foreign aid to Palestine
Republicans give up foreign aid to Israel

Wouldn't it be nice to see a balanced, bi-partisan approach to collectively pulling this country's head out of its ass?

Yeah, I know. I can dream can't I?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Hiatus is over!

Sorry about the delay in posts. I've had a bunch of stuff to say and very little time to say it in. Was working 7 days a week for the last two weeks...but I'm back let's get started.

Rant #1 - Hey look you dumbass Paleo-Conservative/libertarian nutjobs who believe in every big conspiracy brewing out can I talk to people about anything freedom-related if all they know about is you? To get someone's ear on something I have to first explain that I don't believe in your dumb conspiracies, that I'm not a gun nut ready to move to my fortress compound in Montana and that I believe that 9/11 was pretty much just a small group of guys with box cutters who had a lot of patience and planning. Maybe you could all just shut up for awhile and let the grown-ups talk for a bit?

Rant #2 - Pepsi Throwback? In plastic bottles? Are you kidding me? I'm going to try it still and I promise to bore you with the details.

Rant #3 - Hey guess what? I don't consent to be searched. You want to see what I'm carrying then go convince a judge you jerk-wads. The 4th Amendment is the most ignored right and the least protected.

Rant #4 - Secession. I do believe it is the inherant right of any free state to break off and do what it wants...if its citizens choose to do so. It would be nice if these states would start by cutting off the flow of federal money to their states to really drive home their points. It's one thing to want to be indpendent, but can they try it without going after my money first?

Rant #5 - I listen to the news talk about our debt and they're concerned about the amount of money we're borrowing to pay for the spending of the Obama administration. They still don't get it. They should be worrying about the spending on the money we CAN'T borrow. This latest spending spree has the fewest amount of treasury bills supporting it than any other spending package in US history. This is a much larger danger to our country and our money.

Rant #6 - You anti-war people who voted for Obama were used...and I told you so. The war in Iraq continues...and if it escalates we will delay our plans to dwindle down troop presence there. Afghanistan continues and will be escalated under the leadership of your savior. Congratulations voting for a man that throws good money after bad while sending your sons and daughters off to war. Morons.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Atlas Shrugged Revisited

I’ll throw a bone to my Objectivist fans:

US Labor Department reported 539,000 jobs lost.

Government employment increased during this same period by 66,000 jobs.

If you’re scoring at home:

There are fewer producers.

There are more takers.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Good Parenting Update

I wrote last year about my buddy Warren who took his son to South Africa for two weeks and I promised to follow up on this.

They had a great time and from what I can tell it was a life-changing experience for his son.  I’m happy to report that among all the normal troubles that a boy his age would have, he is engaged in school and still getting terrific grades.

I’m also happy to report that they were not eaten by lions, which as I wrote earlier, would’ve put a bit of a downer on what should’ve been a more uplifting story. 

I want to invite you to read his blog entries and see his incredible photography from their trip to South Africa.  I’m glad that there are parents like Warren in the world.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Reaction to the Georgia College Slayings

What?  You hadn't heard that a group of college kids in Georgia were killed by two gunman that burst into an apartment where they were gathered?  Of course you didn't...because it never happened.  Here's why.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Jack Kemp - RIP

UPDATE - Now with more vowels!
Sorry to hear Jack Kemp passed away over the weekend. I liked him...sometimes.

When listening to Kemp talk I was always agreeing and disagreeing with him, often while he was in the same sentence. Every time Kemp spoke about financial matters and taxation policies it was if he was putting Mustard and Raspberry Jam on a hot dog. You can imagine liking all three, just not together. Here are examples of Kemp's great internal conflicts:

Supply-side economics - Kemp long discussed the need to lower tax marginal rates to raise receipts. He understood like a few politicians that there are certain taxes, that when lowered,can actually raise revenue. I've not understood though why an advocate for less government intervention would want more revenue fueling it.

Flat tax - Kemp felt a flat tax on wages and earnings was more fair. He said it should be somewhere between 17-25%. I've never understood why someone who advocated for personal liberty would concede that one-fourth of my productive energy should belong to someone else.

When he defended Reagan, he was really defending himself. Reagan expanded the role of government in our's a sad truth. The most shameful elements of Reagan's time in office were orchestrated by the likes of Kemp and a few others.

Kemp as head of HUD recommended that it be closed. Bravo.

Kemp was not afraid to speak in front of minorities, in particular African-Americans. I wish he would have been a little less smug while doing it though.

Kemp also played for the San Diego Chargers. I've never liked the Chargers much.

He had local ties to my area and I had on one occasion back in the early 90's shook hands with Jack Kemp. I'm sure he talked about shaking my hand quite a bit in his private life.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Count your pennies

I've been working on some major projects and haven't blogged this week. Sorry. Come back next week...I'll blog your face off.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

From the Mouths of Babes

Our country somehow expects a great deal from our beauty queens. We want them beautiful, elegant, poised, and able to solve the world's problems with a few sentences when pressed for answers.

Miss California recently was asked by Perez Hilton if she thinks that more states should follow Vermont's lead and legalize same-sex marriage.

Her answer is as follows:

Well, I think it’s great that Americans are able to choose one or the other. We live in a land where you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite marriage...and you know what, in my country, in my family I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman.

No offense to anybody out there, but that’s how I was raised and that’s how I think it should be - between a man and a woman. Thank you very much.

Later Hilton called Miss California a "dumb bitch" on his blog.

I guess what I'm wondering is: Why ask the question if there is only one right answer?

You don't have to like her answer but she was at least respectful to people who disagree with her and she gave her reason (albeit a weak one) why she can't agree with same-sex marriage.

Who cares what Miss California has to say on the subject anyway? Who cares about Perez Hilton? What I do care about is that we can disagree with each other without name calling.

After all, we're talking about the important position of Miss USA here. If we cannot protect the integrity of this important can we ever hope to solve the problems of marriage?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Anvil! The Story of Anvil

I love documentaries.  I even like documentaries that are trying to convince me of some stupid worldview.  No matter if it’s one I largely don’t agree with (Bowling for Columbine) or one I really agree with (From Freedom to Fascism) I take them with a grain of salt because a documentary is designed to take a subject and fill your head with reasons to agree or disagree with it.  Generally a documentary is not all that objective.

Last night I saw Anvil! The Story of Anvil. I loved it.

Here is the trailer:

When I first saw the trailer I thought it was another Spinal Tap rip-off but one thing stood out to me…I actually remembered Anvil. I saw this movie last Saturday night in Seattle’s University District and really enjoyed it.  You don’t have to be into Heavy Metal music to love this movie.  This is just an interesting way of telling the story of underdogs who refuse to give up…against all odds.

I’ll be giving a more complete review of this movie with Dave on the Dave and Steve Show this week.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

A Special Message to Barack Obama

I asked my son if he could talk to the president...what would he say? Below is a message to the president from Rory.

Mr. President, I'm going to poop on the potty so I can have some chocolate and get my Thomas train back.

There you are Mr. President. The future generations have spoken.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Daniel Hannan - Member of European Parliament

I heard this speech the day after he gave it and was impressed.  Its popularity since has given me more reason to share it. 

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Giving Back

I hate this expression and I hear it all the time.

I heard on the radio a guy who owned a couple of businesses talk about his sponsoring of Boys and Girls clubs and that he liked the chance to “give back to the community.”

So I wonder exactly what this guy exactly “takes” from the community that he is obligated to “give back.”  From the news report I could gather this:

  • He employs 36 people in the community where they enjoy reliable employment with benefits.
  • He provides a service in the community that I have used myself.
  • He seems to perform the service well enough that people return as customers.

Is this productive energy that he uses that directly impacts those who are connected with him as employees or customers a clever form of stealing from the community?

How come I never hear politicians discuss tax rebates or tax rate reduction as “giving back” to the community?  That WOULD be accurate as their goal is always to take from the productive efforts of people and give it to the unproductive elements of our society.

The expression pisses me off and I beg you…if you hear someone use this expression…stop them.  Grab them by their fat heads and knock some sense into them.  If you do, you will have given society the greatest gift of all.  Trust me.

Oh, and hope you had a Happy Easter.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Keep the Change

“Some may notice that the neo-conservatives who masterminded the policy of global interventions are not complaining about the level of military and foreign spending. This is because rather than drawing down our costly interventions, Obama is largely staying the course on these issues. In fact, this week a group of leading neoconservatives met to discuss how best to support the President on foreign policy! I am disappointed and concerned that, in spite of a change in leadership, we will remain the policeman of the world, placing ourselves at grave danger in many ways.” – Ron Paul

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Pepsi Natural - Naturally you've missed it.

I'm a cola nerd.  I don't drink much of it anymore because I'm old enough where I can actually feel how bad it is for me.  As long as I can remember I've collected soft drink advertising going back several decades.  The reason soft drink advertising intrigues me so much because it seems to encapsulate marketing lies...and it's comforting to know they lied to my grandparents every bit as much as they did me.

People have been up-in-arms about what serves for sweetener in these modern soft drinks and while I don't think I have anything in particular against High Fructose Corn Syrup, I can say that it seems to have ruined the taste that I remember as a kid. 

So out comes Pepsi Natural.  The label very plainly describes its main ingredients:

Sparkling water, sugar, kola nut extract

I looked for it in stores and I missed it several times.  Pepsi seems to have labeled the product as if to hide it on the shelves.  If you're not deliberately looking for it you're likely to pass it over.  And if you're me you might still anyway.

So what does it taste like?  Does it taste like the Pepsi I loved so much as a child?  In a word, no.  But I'm willing to bet it tastes like the Pepsi my grandparents enjoyed.  The kola nut extract provides a hint of a bitter, almost medicinal taste that is strangely likeable.  This flavor combination is pretty close to the drug store fountain cola of days gone by.  Sadly, you'll have to add your own cocaine to get the more authentic experience.

I prefer to drink out of glass or metal.  I have never liked drinking out of plastic, so the glass bottle is a nice touch.

I bought a 4-pack and it was more expensive than regular old Pepsi which I'm sure is attributed to the smaller supply they produce in manufacturing.  So here is what I'm able to add up from the Pepsi Natural experience:
  • It costs more
  • It contains real sugar
  • It comes in a glass bottle
  • It is backed by a passive marketing strategy (especially by Pepsi standards)
  • It does not have an instantly desirable taste

And to summarize:

Pepsi Natural probably won't be around much longer.  Naturally.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

TSA Thuggery Background

Some have asked me what the big deal is here.  Why wouldn't the guy just tell the TSA what the money was for and what he had intended to do with it even though he was perfectly within his legal right to possess money and bring it on an airplane.

What was mentioned briefly in the video was this report which identifies supporters of Ron Paul and the Campaign for Liberty as potential domestic terrorists involved in the modern-day militia movement.  Ironically, the Campaign for Liberty held their regional conference in St. Louis, Missouri (the state from where the report came) which had over 1000 in attendance with many high profile speakers including Judge Andrew Napolitano. (former federal judge)

More TSA Thuggery

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Got a late start on the taxes

I'm working on the taxes tonight and going over the numbers and I got to thinking about all the challenges we face as a country right now.  As I think about the type of money required for this country  to lead and press forward with its role in the world, I began looking at the comparatively small numbers I was dealing with and came to this conclusion:

I'm getting along pretty well in my life and I'm getting a lot of bang for small chunk of change I owe back to our great society.  I'm really feeling pretty upbeat this tax season.

Hope you're all doing as well as I am.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Meet the Dumb Cats

My flu medicine is sort of keeping me awake at night so I may as well bore you with stuff. 

I mentioned before that I have my mom staying with me.  I've been working with several therapists to get her up and running (uh...well walking at least) so that she can return home. 

She was already separated from her cat for 6 weeks while in the rehab center so I agreed to have her cat stay with me.  He was already buddies with the other cat I took from her shortly before Chesty died.

Mr. Cat II (left) and Chairman Meow (right)

If I could just get them to behave at night I'd be happy with this arrangement.  As I type this at 1:30am they are both looking at me as if I'm supposed to be a form of entertainment.  Fat chance.

I'm going to bed now.

The Hated Flu

I've been enjoying the cool, refreshing feeling of Influenza A.

Only threw up once!

I'll be back Monday.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Hated Earmark

As we spend trillions and fling our collective arms in disgust over a few million being paid to faceless executives we should remember something:

If the stimulus package was completely earmarked, we'd know where the money was being spent and it would be against the law to spend it any other way.

Just sayin'

If we're going to blow the money, we may as well know where it went so historians will have an easier time writing about this debacle years from now.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

President Obama – fill out that bracket!

Recently Duke Men’s Basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski commented on President Obama’s attention to his NCAA Final Four bracket.

"Somebody said that we're not in President Obama's Final Four, and as much as I respect what he's doing, really, the economy is something that he should focus on, probably more than the brackets,"

I’m going to have to disagree with coach Krzyzewski on this one.  I would go as far as encourage the president to fill out several brackets and organize a friendly pool with the White House staff. 

I can’t put enough emphasis on this.  Please Mr. President…invest time in the bracket and give careful consideration to all of your picks.  The economy will be there for you when you get back to your program of senseless intervention.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Mal-investment 101

Gas prices have dropped heavily over the last few months.  If you’re driving a hybrid car right now…how do you feel about the expensive little car you bought?  Well, you’re saving the planet so you must have a bit of a smug look on your face…at least on the days you’re not making your car payment.

Hyundai and Volkswagen have newer model diesel powered cars that get 50+mpg.  Even though manufacturers are resolving emission problems related to diesel, still most manufacturers won’t bring their diesel autos to the United States due to punitive excise taxes on diesel fuel.

In many states you can drive your hybrid automobile in the carpool lane even if you’re alone in the car.  Driving a diesel?…well…stay in line and wait your turn.

The US Government wants you to buy a hybrid…and it looks like you’re using other factors to decide to be uncooperative…and you’re doing this collectively as a country without being coerced.  That alone is amazing since all I’ve heard lately is that we’re unable to do anything collectively without proper incentives from an intervening (but caring) government. 

Friday, March 13, 2009

March Madness and Offensive College Mascots Revisited

Each March more college mascots are revealed to the general public as the average Joe fills out a bracket in an office pool and watches Blue Demons, Demon Deacons, Sun Devils, and the Retrievers battle against each other.

I did this post on Offensive College Mascots a few years ago and it remains a constantly searched post.  Most of the visits are from .edu domains and by the emails I get I can tell that college and high school kids are out there writing reports on this oh so important subject. (your sarcasm detector should have gone off about here)  Hopefully I’ve influenced the youth and college-aged men and women of America to finally assert that to be offended over mascots is simply stupid. 

Most who contact me agree with me though I get a half-dozen emails from those who plead with me to understand their plight as persecuted minority.  (a persecuted minority attending East Coast private schools…we should all be so persecuted)  I try to be understanding…after all…they’re smart college students so their sensibilities must be protected. (replace the batteries in your detector after you’ve finished reading this)

On the local front this year Seattle University returned to Division I basketball after being a powerhouse throughout the 1950’s and 60’s.  Once they were known as the Chieftans, but are now the Red Hawks.  Whatever.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Information overload

Reason Magazine sent me an issue a few years ago with a familiar cover.  The cover was a custom cover that was a satellite rendering of my home.  Every subscriber got a different cover with their own home/neighborhood on the cover.  The theme of the issue was the use of public information and how they used it to make a custom cover for their subscribers.  The cover was made simply by cross-referencing different databases with the information I voluntarily gave them (home address).  Genius!

The funny thing now is that we live in an age where privacy is a huge issue but also where many people engage in voluntary self-surveillance.  Through Internet communities like Twitter and Facebook people let their family, friends, and co-workers know what they're thinking, doing or planning at any moment.  I can imagine that a lazy private investigator only needs to become "friends" with the person they're watching and just wait for the information to come rolling in.

This evening some of my friends are doing these kind of things:

  • ...just survived a car accident...
  • ...drowning kittens.
  • ...heading out to pick up some stuff...
  • child a bath
  • ...walking to the grocery store
  • ...watching a movie On Demand!

Perhaps the issue of privacy is best handled with information overload in the information age.  So much voluntary information that what you're really doing is lost in all of the white noise.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

The Politics of Cola

I've often thought of the world of cola and its parallel relationship to the major political parties. Why do I often think about stuff like this? Aside from being a dork I have no other explanation.
You can't start a conversation about cola of any kind without first talking about the cola that's in charge of this country. Yes, I'm talking about Coca-Cola.
Coca-Cola is the old standby. Like the Democrat party of today it is a shadow of its former self. When the party was founded it was led by the likes of Thomas Jefferson who would today be a libertarian. The cola when it was founded was promoted as healthful and invigorating and in many cases did contain cocaine. The company denies this is true much like the Democrats today deny that there's any value in the small government envisioned by Jefferson.
Whenever you're done talking about Coke, you can then move on to Pepsi. There are people who love Pepsi and people who hate it, but you'll never find many that think it's just okay. It is a polarizing, yet very popular cola.
Pepsi is always reinventing itself. Every decade it has to tell you that it is the soft drink of a new generation. They change the logo and trot out some new angle on why you should like it. They know that if you're simply not paying attention, you'll just ignore them all together. Pepsi has been the number one soft drink at one time in history only. This was when "New Coke" came out. I like to think of the New Coke era. Pepsi became number one because of a monumental screw up by Coke. This explains Ronald Reagan in many ways and even more accurately does it describe Jimmy Carter. You have to look at foreign countries that use real cane sugar to find Pepsi in a form that anyone over 40 would remember.
Once you're done talking about the big two colas, you then get down to the minor colas. You know who they are...or at least you try to remember because they're not around much anymore. It's as if the big two have conspired to keep the little colas down. Moxie, Jones, and Shasta remain active in only small pockets of popularity. But everyone remembers...
Royal Crown Cola (aka RC) is the big cola of the 3rd Party colas. Everyone has tried it once or thinks they have at one time or another. They remember it tasted okay but can't really remember what it tasted like. They remember it fondly but admit they can't find it at any store where they currently shop. RC is the Libertarian Party of Colas.
For fun I've tried looking for RC in grocery stores I frequent and have yet to find it. It looks like it is crossed off my shopping list in the same manner my party has been eliminated from my state's ballot.
My preference in cola has gone the way of party preferences. I just want someone to come out with a cola that uses real sugar, is fizzy and not too sweet, and reminds me of why I used to love it so much as a kid. This time though...I'll drink responsibly.