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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Pay Up Westboro Baptist Church!

Did you ever think that for every bad action in the world there will come several opposing good actions to bring the scales of good and evil into balance. I believe that sometimes the scales of good need to be tipped just a little bit more in the world when it comes to our troops. Especially, in times when one of those soldiers is killed in the line of duty. At times like those, a family is devastated and lost in grief.

I hate to even write about the Westboro Baptist Church because I honestly believe that they are a group of radicals hiding behind the cloaks of their church with their message of hatred against homosexuals. Well, some nimrod in that organization had an epiphany that the only way to spread that hate message was to blame God first and point it out that God killed your son or daughter serving in our military for a reason. Showing up at military funerals and protesting that your spouse, your son, your daughter, or even a parent died while in service to America because God hates homosexuals was not a bright idea. Westboro Baptist Church disgusts me with their actions. How you can call yourself a Christian and think that selling hate at a funeral makes you a better person or more God like is beyond my mental comprehension. I’m not being anti Christian, I’m just pointing out how stupid and self centered these people are.

Tip the scales of right and wrong back to the right side and along comes the Patriot Guard Riders. This is a group of bikers and just regular folks that believe in supporting our troops and proudly show up by invitation of the family, to support a fallen son or daughter of America’s military. They don’t ask for any money, many of the Patriot Guard Riders will drive thousands of miles at their own expense to be there for the funeral to legally block the protestors from the families view. Big American flags and bikes lining both sides of the street is a sight to see that I am sure the parents or spouses of the fallen soldier appreciate more than anyone will ever know. Law enforcement officers tend to have a little more respect for people with a positive message than folks with a very negative message at a military funeral. Gee, that took a ton of brain activity to figure out.

Tipping the scales a little bit further for the good side and we have this court case by a parent against the Westboro Baptist Church by the Associated press in the Houston Chronicle…

Church that pickets military funerals ordered to pay $2.9 million

Associated Press

BALTIMORE — A grieving father won a $2.9 million verdict today against a fundamentalist Kansas church that pickets military funerals out of a belief that the war in Iraq is a punishment for the nation's tolerance of homosexuality.

Albert Snyder of York, Pa., sued the Westboro Baptist Church for unspecified damages after members staged a demonstration at the March 2006 funeral of his son, Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder, who was killed in Iraq.

Church members routinely picket funerals of military personnel killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, carrying signs such as "Thank God for dead soldiers" and "God hates fags."
A number of states have passed laws regarding funeral protests, and Congress has passed a law prohibiting such protests at federal cemeteries. But the Maryland lawsuit is believed to be the first filed by the family of a fallen serviceman.
- Houston Chronicle

Three words, IT’S ABOUT TIME! I can hear the Amen coming from all my proud to serve brother and sister Patriot Guard Riders over this decision. My own personal applause goes out to the father of Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder. Albert Snyder, you sir deserve this court decision and from my family to yours I offer my thanks for your sons service to our nation and of course my heart felt prayers over the loss of your son.

Thank you Mr. Albert Snyder.


Proud Member of the Patriot Guard Riders!
Cross posted at Bring IT ON!
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Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Picture courtesy of Wikipedia


On the surface, the answer is simple: I don't have a degree in economics. It's a fascinating subject, though, with many differing opinions influencing how we all live. And how healthy a republic we have, also.

Having been denied by fate the intellectual capacity to understand the myriad of details tossed about by economists, I can only rely upon the "big picture" to a certain degree. And the great thing about economics is that, like psychology, it is a profession of opinion. Despite many learned prognostications, economists are constantly stuck with explaining why the opinion expressed several years ago was found invalid by events.

There is that old saying, "The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing." Nathan Bedford Forrest understood that. No, not as an economist but as a soldier. Despite the fact that he never received any formal military training, and despite being looked down upon as a lucky rube by West Point-educated soldiers, it is HIS tactics used in the Civil War that are studied to this day.

Forrest was not an economist, of course. But he is illustrative of the fact that there are times when a lack of formal training does not detract from someone's ability to think, and think quite well. It might never occur (and would be refuted heatedly) that common folk might actually have a grasp on the essentials, particularly when they are self-evident.

One of the problems associated with reading is that one can quite inconveniently remember things. One example is during the 1960's....Lyndon Johnson was bemoaning the fact that he wanted low taxes, the Great Society, and the Vietnam War, all at once. LBJ always liked everything all at once. When an aide suggested approaching Wilbur Mills (then chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee) LBJ balked. He said that Mills would give him all the money he wanted for war, but the Great Society would be de-funded. So Johnson did what he was very good at: he lied.

The stagflationary pressures LBJ started were passed on to Nixon, Ford, and Carter. Economically they were interesting times.....for everyone, including the very wealthy.

We have another Texan in the White House, who also wants it all....and all at once. Unlike LBJ however, George W. Bush hasn't much regard for the powers of Congress, or the Constitution, or common sense for that matter.

A nation can no more live beyond its means than an individual can. Borrowing money to invest in an enterprise that will generate a profit makes sense. Anything else is asking for trouble. One weird thing about economics is, analigous to a pond, sometimes a tossed pebble can create a tsunami.

For years the practice of subprime mortages made a lot of money in a speculative manner. It's all right, though, said the experts. Other experts with similar degrees said otherwise. Events have borne out the naysayers. But with a house of cards collapsing, what is the remedy? Save the speculators, of course....our economy is held hostage by the notion that to let (otherwise) sacred "market forces" correct the stupidity of some would hurt us all. It goes back to that old saying that pigs get fed and hogs get slaughtered.

Except in some cases the hogs just keep getting fatter. The Federal Reserve lowered interest rates in order to shore up the mortgage protect the stupid. This resulted in a lower dollar, which encouraged a lot of money to flow into the oil commodities market, which is resulting in higher oil/gas/heating oil prices.

It's fair to say that when we now fill up our cars or heating oil tanks we are in essence paying a tax. Or more accurately, a penalty for others' screw-ups. Many bemoan the fact that such things hurt the middle class. Well, you have to wonder sometimes what the middle class is. I've known people who are millionaires who wear scuffed shoes and torn jeans and claim they are middle class. That doesn't jibe with the fact that such people have the OPTION of donning far more expensive clothing. Many others do not.

So if one starts contemplating the wisdom of reining in the excesses of the hogs, the first cry of "class warfare" is heard. It sounds good; we don't want any of that envy or Bolshevik stuff in our country. No, in America we're all in this together, right? With grim humor I listen to statistics being poured forth about how the top 1% pays more than the bottom 50% in taxes; how the so-called "rich" (no one in America is rich, you know, just middle class) are being burdened with the greater cost of ensuring our government works.

Okay, the government works, but for whom? And is it rude to ask what percentage of the top 1% of income earners in the U.S. are represented in Afghanistan or Iraq? An economist can explain, in cold economic terms, that those less well-off who perish in military ventures are quickly replaced by a constantly expanding population. Not so with the rich; they are of a magic world where sacrifice is only financial and isn't money all that matters in the end?

That's why I wouldn't make a good economist: financial matters affect everyone, but not equally. I'd have to make a living justifying the ever-increasing appetites of the hogs. The institutions that require cold justification for their existence depend upon constantly concurring opinions.

In any complex interaction between humans, there is always a keystone; that one thing that holds everything else in place. From time to time that keystone is nudged, and sometimes it's knocked out completely. It's happened before and will happen again because in the blind and self-justified pursuit of wealth accumulation the whole damned thing collapses.

There is not one economist alive today who could truly understand the old French saying, "The castle is safe as long as the cottage is happy." Right now the cottages have cable, they have baubles to distract from the boring yet critical decisions being made without their knowledge or consent.

There is an economic Bedford Forrest out there, unrecognized by the elite. Whatever form that phenomenon takes, it will perform the same function of that brilliant soldier. "Keep the skeer on 'em" was one of his tactics. Once the "skeer" starts it is amazing how a group of financiers convert themselves into a herd of panicked cattle.

No economist will stop the stampede; they can only explain it (again). It will require a political personage, one able to command the attention and respect of everyone.

We haven't had anyone like that in a long time, and we certainly don't have anyone like that right now.


Cross-posted at Michael Linn

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Monday, October 29, 2007

Oil Speculation

Picture courtesy of NYC Insider

In the middle and lower class homes of many families is the up and coming battle of the winter heating budget. Raise your hands if you live in the north of the nation and still have not set the heat permanently on your single setting thermostat at 68 degrees? Raise your hands if the thickness of blankets on your bed is greater than the measurement of your waste line? Is your favorite phrase’s “We do not turn the heat on till after Thanks Giving” or “Put another sweater on“ ringing any bells?

Well bust my buttons if the cost of the lower class to heat the four walls is not the latest joke for those with funds to live high off the hog to enjoy. When people laugh at the suffering of their fellow man and yet gain from their sorrows from investments then they are over speculating in the market for the sake of dollars and in doing so have lost their own humanity. Stuffing a five dollar bill into the Salvation Army kettle does not absolve you from sin.

Granted that market speculation is needed in a free market but is the market actually free or running away without control. I tend to believe that the market is over speculating futures and that in turn is driving the price up without support. The bubble will only burst when the support for a continued struggle in the middle east involving American Military and Government support end. Till that time comes or a total regime change in Washington happens you had better put on yet another sweater and buckle down for a very expensive cold winter. Billions more can be squeezed out of the cold and poor economy of America, Bush is counting on it for his mega mansion Presidential Library. In Iraq they used to call them Presidential palaces but I digress to this piece in the New York Times…

Oil Price Up Again Ahead of Fed Meeting

Published: October 29, 2007

Oil prices rose 1.8 percent today, adding to the 3.7 percent increase last week and raising the specter of inflation one day before the Federal Reserve governors meet to consider whether to adjust interest rates.

Crude oil futures rose above the $93 mark in overnight trading and were up to $93.53 a barrel at the close of exchange trading today, up $1.67 from Friday.

The price is a record in actual dollar terms and some analysts said the commodity is on a steady march toward toppling the inflation-adjusted high of $101.70 it set in April 1980.
“It’s an incredible run,” said Antoine Halff, head of energy research at Fimat in New York. “At this stage you’re kind of grappling for the signal that would start a reversal and it’s just not out there in the market.”
- New York Times

A very good friend recently reminded me that all President’s take an oath on attaining the office to defend the Constitution. I’m wondering if the power brokers that be had had a higher goal to pledge allegiance too? Oil is not what our nation was built on. Far greater men have served in the office of President, I wonder if the next occupant will have the guts to chuck the bird at Wall Street and fight for the American people first over personal gain down the road. Yes I said PERSONAL GAIN! Check out Mr. Cheney’s net worth before being Vice President and now. No bid contracts have served him very well and he will not be worrying about the temperature setting in his house in Wyoming. Home is now a summer home for him and the Cheney family as long as the stock prices hold up.

Our nation was built on the principal that you could be anything they want to be. Pray and raise your children free from oppression. We raise our children to look for what is best in America and in many cases as a parent we walk them to the airplane or bus that will take them off to serve in our military. God bless them for serving but we need to look back at home once in a while instead of who bloodied who’s nose ten thousand miles from home.

Back to reality, my five girls are bunked down with blankets and comforters and whatever magical stuffed animals that helps them sleep. My thermostat is set at 65 because it is only October. Gas heat is following oil speculation, millions are being made off of that speculation in the markets and Hugo Chavez is waving his flag of cheap oil for northern states. Camelot is dead and it has been replaced by none other than a Wall Street broker calling out for higher prices while the child he passes on the street spent the night in a bed with the air temperature at just above freezing. This is only October.

What ever happened to being an American first over a capitalist? Watching the latest and greatest news does not bide well for the lower classes of America. Then again, heat is a relative thought if you have a home in the warmer climates and come back for the summers in the north. Isn’t that ironic.


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Sunday, October 28, 2007



Is that all there is?
Is that all there is?
If that's all there is my friend,
then let's keep dancing...
Let's break out the booze
And have a ball..
If that's all....there is

So goes the refrain from Peggy Lee's song from the 60's. The 60's were my formative years, with a lot going on to raise the political awareness of anyone. In those days there really was a distinct difference between Republicans and Democrats on many issues.

Not any more. I once wrote that as far as the so-called "two party system" is concerned, it is for voters much like buying a meal at a fast-food restaurant. You can go inside and order, or use the drive-through. It doesn't really THINK you're getting something different by choosing the way in which you make your purchase. But the fact is, it's the same restaurant with the same nutritionless food.

I had hopes that the Democratic Party would start to swing back towards some of its basics. That is, liberal on economic and social issues yet libertarian enough to acknowledge that people had the right to be people. If there was one hallmark of the Democrats, dating back to Franklin Roosevelt, was its concern for the "working man" (and woman).

Lincoln once said that God must love common-looking people since He made so many of them. That got a little twist over the years to become "God must love common people since He made so many of them." Using the term in the latter sense, the common people, while without money and power, were afforded consideration by the Democrats.

This has has been the case for a long time. Everyone has the right to interpret things as they wish. For me, that means looking at the "initiatives" of the Democrats as generally applying the power of government in an authoritarian manner. It's for the common good as they say, yet is the end result any different than what Republicans offer? Eat in or Take Out; it's all up to you.

There comes that time when one is faced with the proverbial cherry on top; the straw on the camel's back that leads one to say "enough." There are two recent events that illustrate how far the Democratic Party has gone downhill.

Recently, the GUN TOTING LIBERAL had a piece about the SCHIP veto by President Bush, with a subtitle RIGHT MOVE, WRONG REASON. He makes a good point; one that I wish to expand upon. In the manner of pointing out hypocrisy any debate about tobacco is a red herring. What must be acknowledged is that the funding for the SCHIP will be through a $6.10 additional tax on cigarettes. Any demographer will tell you that those paying said tax are not exactly in the wealthiest quintile.

What the Democrats are saying is: we want money for something and are targeting those who are the less well off. Then, wrapping themselves in self-righteousness they proclaim it's "for the children." That is not the point. The point is, DEMOCRATS ARE PROVING THEY COULD CARE LESS ABOUT THOSE AT THE BOTTOM OF THE LADDER.

Then, this "DREAM ACT." Comprehensive Invasion Reform was rejected several months ago. But, like the proverbial bad penny, legislation keeps showing up to achieve piecemeal what could not be acquired as a whole. What the Democratic Party is saying with this is that while obeying the law is fine, garnering votes to perpetuate the party's power is a lot more important.

Doug Thompson of CAPITOL HILL BLUE wrote a column recently, A COMPLETE DEMOCRATIC FAILURE.

Americans enter the excesses of a Presidential election year with no real choices among the frontrunners of either party. Any chance for change remains mired in the muck of the second and third tier of candidates and they have no chance of breaking out.

Yes, Nancy Pelosi is a failure. The Democratic Party is a failure. But the real failure is a political system that has allowed Democrats and Republicans to become the only choices. In the end, a victory by either party is a failure of the system and the real losers are the American people and a once-great nation called the United States.

Couldn't have said it better myself. For a little triangulation I refer to Robert Reich's recent post at SALON.COM, WHY DEMOCRATS ARE AFRAID TO RAISE TAXES ON THE RICH.

Oct. 25, 2007 New data from the Internal Revenue Service show that income inequality continues to widen. The wealthiest 1 percent of Americans earn more than 21 percent of all income. That's a postwar record. The bottom 50 percent of all Americans, when all their wages are combined, earn just 12.8 percent of the nation's income.


If the rich and super-rich don't pay their fair share, the middle class will get socked with the bill. But the middle class can't possibly pay it. America's middle class is under intense financial pressure. Median wages and benefits, adjusted for inflation, have been going nowhere for 30 years; health costs are soaring (employers are quickly shifting co-payments, deductibles and premiums to their employees), fuel costs are out of sight, the prices of the houses occupied by the middle class are in the doldrums.


If the Democrats stand for anything, it's a fair allocation of the responsibility for paying the costs of maintaining this nation. So far, neither the Democratic candidates for president nor the Senate Democrats have shown much eagerness to advocate this fundamental principle. It seems the rich have bought them out.

It appears reasonably safe to assume that the Democrats are going to do very well next year. In the past someone like myself might find that synonymous with the country doing well also. My opinion has evolved to echo what Mr. Thompson said: a victory for either party is a loss for the nation.

Sure, it's easy to campaign against George W. Bush. ANYBODY could do that. What a voter must do, however, is look beyond the obvious (that President Bush has served poorly) and take a careful and considerate look at what the Democrats are going to do starting in 2009.

Mainly, they will be congratulating each other at exclusive parties about how well the party is doing, to the exclusion of the vast number of people in this country.

I stand corrected in advance if I am inaccurate in this quote from Mark 8:34:

For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?

The Democrats might start asking themselves the same question.

In the meantime....if that's all there is.....then I'll break out the diabetic booze and just keep dancing. And pray, as only a dyed-in-the-wool sinner like me can, that God does indeed save this republic.

I think about those who, in "service" to this republic swear upon a Holy Book that they will preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of The United help me God. For one to say those words yet ignore the oath is a clear indication that God does not exist to them.

But I am a simpleton. I take such things seriously and find the price of my soul is too high to be purchased by a lobbyist or hedge fund manager.....or a quest for political power.
This post kindly featured at MemeOrandum

Cross-posted at & The Gun Toting Liberal

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Friday, October 26, 2007

Presidential Race

Picture courtesy of Mount

Back in the day, running for President of the United States of America was not defined by the character of your bank roll but by the character of the person running for the office. If I lived in Iowa or New Hampshire I would no doubt see the evidence of what a bank roll campaign is all about on my television every other commercial. Air time is not cheap and money talks non stop into your living room but it isn’t the real deal when you think about it.

My impression from the MSM is that the candidates for the most part are reacting to what people want to hear and not offering much when it comes to what they need to hear. Running campaigns on popularity polls rather than personal convictions is convenient and easy if you have a campaign war chest that can fend off the latest double speak of your opposing candidates.

I was reminded by a close friend that in the past you had to have a history of real leadership. Kennedy was not only the son of a millionaire but he was also a man that served his nation in a time of war that did not work out for the best but he lead his crew to safety. Wrong or right, he lead. Eisenhower lead our troops through the most difficult possible war in our modern history and with that leadership came the loss of many lives, some if not all he felt personally responsible for. Wrong or right decisions he lead our nation as a General out of WWII.

You tell me what sacrifices in life that any of the candidates other than Senator McCain have made to be worthy of speaking on the stump to be President of the United States? This is not an endorsement for McCain, I thank him for his service in the military and in the Senate but his style of leadership does nothing for me. I’m by no means saying that you have to have served in our military to be our nations President but you have to have the ability to show leadership other than a damn sound bite on the television in the form of an advertisement. I’ll go one better, all the rehearsed answers during the debates do not sound genuine given the time limitations of the debate process.

I’m of the firm opinion that if you want to be my President then you had better know what you stand for on all of the issues. Flip flopping like Mitt Romney has for decades, dodging questions on Social Security like Hillary Clinton or giving lip service to our nations security by many of the other candidates does not fly with me. Our next American President needs to have a very well rounded background to heal our nations wounds and bring the country back from self destruction. Not just at home but around the world as well. This President will not only have to command respect around the world but also have the astute knowledge that humility is also an American virtue.

Tell the voters what you will do and let the chips land where they will. I’m looking at the stack of well polished, well groomed and highly educated people running on both sides of the equation and to me there seems to be just one true star amongst them all. When you look at all of the campaigns from the perspective of what really matters to you and your family then you come away with a very different perspective of the so called front runners. It almost seems as if most of them went down to the college store and picked up the cliff notes copy on how to be the next President. We do not need the best jingle, the best photo op or the best speech to let us know who a real leader is, we see it in their actions. We need someone with plans, the ability to work both sides of the political spectrum, and of course the ability to communicate the needs of all of the people so that it makes sense to all of the people.

Our nation is at war, our soldiers are coming home in not just coffins but in broken bodies and the solutions needed to help the ones that lived is more important than any of the candidates think. When our nation cares for its warriors wounded in battle then it is caring for itself as well. Contact your possible choices for President and ask them about fully restoring wounded Veterans medical coverage for life and follow your heart with your vote.


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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Bush Rewrites Global Warming Disease Possibilities

Do you trust the Associated Press? Would the Associated Press make up a lefty driven bashing claim when it comes to the White House censoring scientific reports? I’m thinking that they might face a real credibility issue and loose the newspapers and main stream media that depends on them for the truth in reporting.

Bush and his crew have done it again. Due to national security reasons, all sharp objects have been removed from the White House and the Capitol. Taking a pair of dull kindergarten scissors to the latest and greatest scientific report the administration deleted six pages from Dr. Julie Gerberding’s report for the Congress from the CDC. I’m thinking those six pages of information might have been kind of important but then again who the hell am I? Over at the Houston Chronicle they have this latest snip and tuck procedure by the President...

Oct. 24, 2007, 5:49PM
Official: White House 'eviscerated' climate report
Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The White House significantly edited testimony prepared for a Senate hearing on the impact of climate change on health, deleting key portions citing diseases that could flourish in a warmer climate, documents obtained by The Associated Press showed today.

The White House today denied that it had "watered down" the congressional testimony that Dr. Julie Gerberding, director of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, had given the day before to the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

But a draft of the testimony submitted for White House review shows that six pages of details about specific disease and other health problems that might flourish if the Earth warms were not delivered at the hearing.
- Houston Chronicle

With an inside exclusive I have a full list of all of the diseases that the President deleted. With a rise in temperature -----censored------ will become dominant in the northern regions of America. The following diseases will spread more in the southwest due to elevated temperatures, -----censored-----, -----censored------, -----censored-----, and of course the very deadly -----censored-----. People in the western parts of the nation are prone to the following diseases from the effects of global warming; -----censored-----, -----censored-----, and never seen in North America -----censored-----. People in the deep South should be aware that -----censored----- can infect and kill nine one out of ten and you should move as far north as possible.

I can only hope that everyone in the nation will pay close attention and take precautions to be aware of all the diseases that our government has presented. I know I feel better having circumvented the President with this much needed information for the American people.

Cross Posted at Bring IT ON!

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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Housing Bubble Burst!

With the never ending boom in housing foreclosures comes the reality of what the biggest players in the bust did wrong or were victim of. Owning a home is the biggest goal of every up and coming generation and the market that served that dream ripped many of those same people off. While the President gave the green light to lenders to have a “Free Market” he also enabled them to run wild without care as to whom would get burned down the road.

Buying a home knows no political philosophy when the lender tells you can afford the mortgage. Provided you do not plan to eat in five or so years. Small print, really small print.

The mortgage industry has become a process the application production line and the ones that have to face the music are the people that were just passed on through the process. Raise your hand if you know five or more people that you for one know should never have qualified for a home loan?

With the enticement of home ownership, the lenders sold the people a bag of goods with a self destruct button on it several years later. Over at MSNBC they have this piece on the victims great loan options for capturing the American dream…

The plain old adjustable-rate mortgage spells trouble enough. But three high-risk loans are causing most of the trouble:

Teaser ARM. This loan features an alluring initial period of very low interest, around 1% to 2%, which later resets to market rates. About 1.4 million borrowers will be jolted back to reality in the next two to three years as their introductory periods expire. Payments on a $200,000 loan at 2% are about $725 a month; at 7%, they're $1,340.

Subprime ARM. Nearly half of loans due to reset are aimed at low-income people, minorities and people with bad credit -- folks who can't or just assume they can't get a bank loan at a reasonable rate. Many are in a shaky financial position to begin with and so are in greater danger of defaulting. Subprime (also called nonprime) ARMs start high -- 7% or more -- and go higher. And higher. They often feature a fixed, lower-rate introductory period. But when that ends, it's "just the old-fashioned squeezarooni," Cagan says.

Option ARM. This is the real killer. It gives homeowners the choice each month of paying the principal and interest, just the interest or an even-smaller minimum amount. Every month you pay the minimum, you're deeper and deeper in the red. And up to 80% of option-ARM buyers pay only the minimum, according to Fitch Ratings. Because the minimum payment doesn't cover the monthly interest, the deferred interest is added to the loan balance. After the loan balance grows to a certain point, the lender will demand that you start paying the full principal and interest -- on your now-bigger loan. - MSNBC

This is not a case of predatory lending by any sense of the word. This is a case of corporate gluttony. Make the quickest amount of cash as fast and furious as you can and let the people holding the loans worry about it later. Well, it seems as if the people holding the bag later is us. How does an economy survive when the fundamental basis of the economy is housing and that goes bust?

You can not by any means blame the borrowers of all of the snake oil options that the lending industry presented to them. Our government looked the other way. Our leaders looked the other way because a dollar was to be made by friends of friends and the checks cleared over at campaign headquarters. Tom Delay and Nancy Pelosi are just as guilty in this crisis because nobody said boo! Neither of them will here your screams for help when you loose your house to the jacked up call of your loans terms.

I’m sure that you have heard or seen the radio commercials where President Bush has authorized the refinancing of your loan if it met certain terms. Think again, if you could not afford the house to begin with, could you afford it now with a refinance?

Isn’t politics wonderful. They cut your throat and make you look forward to cleaning up the blood.


Cross posted at Bring IT ON!

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Lobbyist Working around The, Them, He…

Picture courtesy of University of California Davis

It was only a matter of time for lobbyist reform and the ability for big money to get back to our nations capitol politicians . More like the time it took for the light switch to be flipped up and the light bulb actually illuminates. One would have to be very gullible to think that lawmakers would ever separate themselves from the almighty dollars that ultimately gets them re-elected every couple of years.

I would tend to think that many lobbying firms on K Street in the District had advanced copies of the legislation and their lawyers had red penned all of the wording that led to open season on the “Waskily Wabbit’s” of Capitol Hill. Over at the Washington Post they have a great piece that the Lobbyist on K Street are working on to get around the rules…

Seeing the Ethics Rules, and Raising an Exception
By Jeffrey H. BirnbaumTuesday, October 23, 2007

Shhhh! Don't tell anyone, but lobby groups are plotting all sorts of ways to get around the new ethics rules.

Lobbyists and their lawyers don't want to talk publicly about these "workarounds," a.k.a. clever cheating. But privately I've collected a few of the likely ways that lobbyists will continue to stay close to lawmakers while not outright breaking the law.
- Washington Post

I can actually envision a group of lobbyist from any given firm sitting around the corporate conference table with a Thesaurus, a Dictionary, and of course the Latin Dictionary. With the English language derived from so many other languages I’m betting that a few linguistics experts were called in to sit in on the meeting that would define the word “It” in every sentence and any possible alternative to the meaning. I won’t even mention the definition of “Is” because that could start a language race war in America. Librarian’s would be going after English teachers and Theologians would be launching midnight battles against Theorists. All that number two pencil lead would fly and the cloud of eraser dust would probably send the world over the edge of global warming.

We can look at this as just another way of lawyers and lobbyist getting back their form of good government or we can look at this as lobbyist showing we the people how corruption will survive in the District long after the cockroaches have left town. I tend to admire the cockroach over the politician for their ability to know when the gig is up.


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Sunday, October 21, 2007

Red Sox Win The ALCS

I love my Red Sox and congratulations on winning the ALCS Title and moving on to the World Series!

Red Sox in the World Series! Here we go agaain!

I'm loving it...


Picture courtesy of Yahoo

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Sick Kids and Cold Medications

Over the counter drugs for the common cold only mask the symptoms of the cold. I think we all know that. As an adult you are okay to take them but apparently there is a problem giving those same over the counter drugs to your children. We have become a society that trusts the medications at CVS or Walgreen’s over handing the kid an orange or apple every day to eat that naturally combat every day illness that hits our kids. We have become the parents that do not have time for sick kids. Over at the local pharmacy they have the solution in a bottle or pill that will allow junior to go to school because mom or dad can’t afford a day off from work. Literally and monetarily mom and dad can not afford a day off to care for a sick child at home anymore.

Buckle up your seat belts, the government is pulling all of the remedies to eventually get you to work out from under you. Over at MSNBC they have this to say about over the counter medications for your kids…

By Jane Weaver and Melissa Dahl
MSNBC Updated: 7:28 p.m. ET Oct 19, 2007

Julie Eshelman always believed that the decongestant liquid she gave her young daughter for a cold was helpful.

The girl, now 7, used to come home from day care with the sniffles. “She'd wake up in the middle of the night and we’d mix the medicine with some juice,” says Eshelman, 41, of Bloomfield, N.J. “She would then go back to sleep. We thought it worked, but now I’m not so sure.”

Federal health advisors Friday said over-the-counter cold and cough medicines don't work in children and shouldn't be used for those under 6. Although parents have doled out the liquids and pills for decades, the drugs have never been tested in children. The Food and Drug Administration's panel of experts concluded more studies needed to be done.

Now they tell us! Never tested on children but every single medication in my home says what the dosage should be used for children and they even give the weight just in case you have a tiny child by age or a child with big bones so to speak.

Here is a clue, the government never looked at the medications and whom would actually use them the most. I’m guilty of giving my children cold or flu medicine when the symptoms were at there worst. I followed the dosage by the child’s weight and age like a good parent. What parent wants to see their child suffer? Duh… other than Brit-a-ninny Spears …. None!

My mind wanders to why they are coming out with this retraction of FDA regulated drugs that are safe to sell over the counter last week but not this week? We the people will probably never know that answer because it is best that we do not know for fear of panic by the masses. God forbid that a parent should know that they were harming their children that was sanctioned by the FDA for years. Do you think that the cold and flu product benefactor industry would warn parents that their products were not tested on children or even young mice? What else hasn’t been tested on our nations children that we as parents give to them based on the product label?

Top of the grocery list goes oranges, apples, pears, and a bunch of other fruits and vegetables that our parents insisted that we eat to live a healthy life. I’m going to miss the hours of sleep I had when one of the girls was sick and a teaspoon of instant over the counter cure let them rest. But then again if they eat the stuff their bodies really need then maybe they won’t be that sick after all?

Back in the day, long before dirt was invented, mom used to stock up on fruits and vegetables when one of us came down with any bug. Having seven children she knew how to run interference when the latest and greatest health issue hit her family. She didn’t open up a can of chicken soup from Campbell’s, she made it from scratch. Tons of fresh vegetables, one or two whole chickens and lots of potatoes and salt. Whatever else she put in it kept the rest of us healthy.

Stashing the parental must have cold and flu medications is on my list of things to do. Not trusting the FDA when it comes to my kids and any medication even if administered by a highly educated physician is at the top of my list of things to watch out for.

Has the FDA been sold out to the highest bidder? It would not surprise me given the fact that everything else under this current administration is up for sale. What kind of government do we have anymore? Can we trust any of the medications anymore? Should our nations doctors trust them anymore? Lot’s of what ifs here and I’m not trusting any of the bastards. I love my kids to much to have any faith in what medication is okay for my kids to take and what is not. I’m questioning all of the over the counter products now and so should you.

Before you give your child a Tylenol or an Asprin or whatever an adult takes for any illness, read the product label and dosage carefully.


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Saturday, October 20, 2007

School Bus Races - Marne Michigan

Speaking of NASCAR... For all of our friends that just happen to also be school bus drivers.

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NASCAR of Solar Power Racing

Picture courtesy of Panasonic World Solar Challenge - Team University of Michigan

Pushing the envelope of solar power teams from around the world will begin competition in the Australian outback today. This isn’t your fathers Buick or Chevy competition but this is the amazing possibilities for solar power advancement in our global community.

If you were thinking that these solar powered cars are puttering around twenty to thirty miles per hour then you need to think again. The winner of the 2005 race, Team Holland’s NUNA III, had an average speed over the 1,863 mile course of 64 MPH. That’s the AVERAGE speed not top speed!

By Dave Mosher
Updated: 8:40 p.m. ET Oct 19, 2007

Tech-savvy teams from across the globe are throttling their sun-fueled engines for the toughest Panasonic World Solar Challenge yet.

The event marks the 20th anniversary of the biannual solar-powered race, and a record number of teams will hurry through 1,863 miles (3,000 kilometers) of the Australian outback this year, organizers said.

The course from Darwin to Adelaide will be the same as in three previous races, but 23 teams this year will compete in a new "Challenge" category. These cars will have 25 percent less solar panel area than the previous 86 square feet (8 square meters) standard.

Granted you won’t see these cars hitting 200 MPH like you would in the average NASCAR race but you will see the possible future of automobile’s. Before you start to think that this is a bunch of corporations tossing millions into one vehicle that could never be built by the average citizen, I’d like to point out to you car number 05 from Leeming Senior High School.

You can see the latest and greatest of the race by visiting Panasonic world solar Challenge.
Or you can follow the University of Michigan Solar Team by clicking on this link.
Participating teams: University of Michigan, Nuon Solar Team, Helios, Leeming Senior High School, Solar Fox, Umicore Solar Team, Heliox Solar Team, FH Bochum Solar Car Team, Apollo, Kormilda College, Adventure, Willeton, Stanford, Houston Solar Car Race Team, HelioDet, Solar Team Twente, University of Waterloo, Aurora Vehicle Association, Solar Fern, Gwawr, Phoenix Solar Car Team , UNSW Solar Racing Team, Esteban, TAFE SA, University of Calgary, Blue Sky Solar Racing, Sunspeed, Ashiya University, Japan Team Sinag, Uni Technology Malaysia, Swisspirit, Techno Energie, University of Malaya , Sunstang, Salesian Polytechnic, Hachinohe Institute of Tech, Aviva Southern Aurora, Queens University, Aurora Vehicle Association , USB Solar, Oregon State University, Uchile-Conecta


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Friday, October 19, 2007

War on Halloween From Colbert

Some light hearted fun on the upcoming Halloween holiday for you to enjoy. This report from Comedy Central had me laughing out loud...

Round up the kids and on the last day of October it is time to raid the neighbors of all of their candy. One of the most important and selfless parts of being a parent is making sure that the kids candy is safe and gone through. Musketeers bars can be dangerous because they have real life Musketeers and the swords they carry in them. As the Dad I must save my children from sharp pointy objects. I'll have to confiscate all of the Three Musketeers and keep them safely in the back of the freezer under the frozen peas.

Reese’s Pieces, obviously a reference to guns and we all know guns and kids do not mix. I'll have to put all of them behind the frozen beef stew. Charleston Chew, that's a tobacco reference on that stuff that causes gum cancer. Those will have to go in the freezer too. Snickers, we don’t allow brow beating of anyone in this household so those will have to go in the freezer behind the turkey. Looks like we might have to have turkey for dinner tomorrow. Beef stew we can have for lunch. Those frozen peas have an expiration date from a year ago so maybe I should toss them out? Five kids trick or treating is a ton of candy bars that I have to protect them from intellectually speaking of course. It's not easy being a strict parent on Halloween but I do what I have to do to protect my kids from society and all of its hidden meanings.

Note to self, go to Home Depot or Sears and buy a freezer…


Feel free to add your candy bars and the hidden meaning behind them to protect your children.

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Thursday, October 18, 2007

Obama Lands Governor Patrick Endorsement

Picture courtesy of Boston Herald

Barack Obama landed the golden trophy of the new up and coming political star governor of Massachusetts, Deval Patrick. Tears I’m sure could be seen over at the Clinton campaign where they so much would have loved to put this endorsement in their “Must Have” endorsement folder. I’m sure that this decision to go with Obama over Clinton was a tough one for Governor Patrick.

As rock stars go in politics, Obama is to national politics what Governor Patrick is to Bay State politics. With the backing of Governor Patrick comes a plethora of uniting forces in both the Democrat’s and the middle of the road Republican’s. Governor Patrick has a way about him that unites people on issues rather than separating them and our nation needs more political leaders like him. If he puts his name behind Senator Barack Obama then it sends a loud voice of confidence on uniting our people once more.

Patrick gets behind Obama
Reveals plans for rally in Hub

By Casey Ross and Dave Wedge
Thursday, October 18, 2007

Rallying behind Barack Obama, Gov. Deval Patrick yesterday announced a major event in Boston next week to cement his endorsement of the Illinois senator’s presidential campaign.

The endorsement by Patrick, the nation’s only black governor, will help solidify Obama’s support from the African-American community and help boost his fundraising advantage among liberal Bay State campaign donors.

In an e-mail to political supporters yesterday, Patrick announced plans for a rally in the HubTuesday, and aides said he will stump for Obama in Iowa and New Hampshire following the end of legislative sessions in November.

“I believe we need unifying, visionary leadership,” Patrick wrote. “I believe we need a president who will level with the American people. I believe we need Barack Obama.”
The endorsement comes after months of quiet deliberation by Patrick, who has been torn between Obama and New York Sen. Hillary Clinton.

Former President Bill Clinton appointed Patrick to a top civil rights post in his administration in the 1990s. The Clintons also campaigned for Patrick during the gubernatorial election.

Both presidential campaigns made a bid for his support, and Patrick called Clinton and Obama yesterday to inform them of his decision, according to aides.
- Boston Herald

I’m taking up a collection for all the political wounds the Governors endorsement is causing not only the Clinton camp but also many of the other contenders in this presidential race. Injuries of this magnitude can hurt the front runner but in the same sense give a much needed boost to the Illinois Senator. Being a compassionate political blogger I’m looking at the destruction and loss of political blood and we are going to need a ton of bandages, sutures and some boo boo kisses big time. Send your donations to the American Red Cross. We are an emergency network for political campaigns rapid response unit.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Pregnancy and College Choices

Picture Courtesy of Holy Cross College

When a young woman becomes pregnant and is in college it raises many a question for the expectant mother. College is hard enough for her as it is and having a pregnancy to deal with adds to the emotional battle that is college life. On campuses across our nation the right to life and the right to choice, AKA the Big Bad word known as Abortion, rages on with the passion that it deserves from both sides of the argument. To suggest a woman’s right to choose is not an argument is to think that the issue is paper or plastic at the supermarket and it is not.

Potentially, this is the first time for the child that is now in college that is faced with a realistic life or death question. This isn’t a pizza or taco’s question. This is the big time decisions that Mom or Pop made for her all of her life. Being pregnant, being in college, facing your parents if you want to keep the baby, facing your friends if you want to keep the baby or making the opposing decision, Big Bad Word again, Abortion should always be up to the woman that is pregnant.

This issue happens every single day and what actually happens to the woman that choose life or the other big bad word is wrong. Keeping the baby should not ostracize the student. Support or the lack there of is interesting and the Worcester Telegram has this to say about The College of the Holy Cross…

Complex issue requires support

Feminists For Life say colleges should help pregnant students


WORCESTER— Abortion opponents and abortion rights advocates on college campuses can join forces to keep pregnant students in school, a member of an anti-abortion group said at the College of the Holy Cross last night.

“It’s amazing to see those two groups who constantly fight each other working together to see that their fellow student continues her education,” Angelica Rosales of Feminists For Life told about 30 students at Kimball Theater

Snip with an Ut OHHHH

The abortion issue recently flared at Holy Cross over the scheduled appearance at a conference on campus next week of Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice, groups with views on abortion divergent from the those of the Catholic Church.

The two organizations are part of an Oct. 24 conference in the college’s Hogan Center sponsored by the Massachusetts Alliance on Teen Pregnancy. Holy Cross is not affiliated with the conference, but is renting space to the alliance.

Bishop Robert J. McManus said the sanctity of life teaching of the church “is beyond modification or compromise” and any association with Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice “can create the situation of offering scandal.” He warned college officials it was his duty as bishop of the Worcester diocese “to determine what institutions can properly call themselves Catholic.”

The Rev. Michael C. McFarland, Holy Cross president, declined to cancel the rental contract and said the college upholds the church’s teachings on abortion, but is “dedicated to the open exchange of ideas” and “committed to its mission of engaging with the larger culture on even the most problematic and divisive of moral and spiritual issues.”
- Worcester Telegram

In my opinion, I agree with the College of the Holy Cross president. If we want our children to be responsible then we have to present both sides of the Abortion (Big Bad Word again) on the table for the woman students to decide for themselves. Mom and Pop have done their best to provide hopefully a well rounded child with a lifetime of values of their parents. What the child took away from that upbringing is who that child is as a young adult. Twenty years later they will be looking back fondly on what Mom and Pop taught them but they have a lifetime of decisions to make on their own.

If the point of the article is true and that our nations colleges are shunning pregnant students like this was the 1950’s then I say shame on them. Woman today are not the same as the woman that their mothers or grandmothers were. So much of society today places pregnancy as a bad thing and it is not. For many young adults it can be. Decisions by the woman have to be hers to make and either way the pendulum swings is her right. Hypocrisy is a double edged sword when it comes to choosing life from some college administrations.

Why do we not place the scarlet letter on the fathers for all of these children of single mothers? For the most part the mothers take the responsibility for the new life while the college student fathers walk away and that is wrong.

While we as a people feel the need to be free in everything we do when it comes to sex, the ultimate responsibility comes down to the pregnant woman. Why? Should the brilliant minds of our young woman face reality in America where you are the best and brightest until you get knocked up by the cute football or basketball player? Then it is adios, thanks for playing. Bring on the freshman class woman! Boys will be boys ya know… Girls will be girls and face the reality of keeping a child or thinking about the Big Bad Word.

I believe that if a young woman wants to keep her baby then every college should encourage her to continue her studies as long as she can. Even remotely suggesting that she take a semester off is telling the entire campus that the school does not want you there setting a bad example. And that is Pro-Life how?

As a Catholic I follow my faith and I would rather lay down with the lepers than sit in the same room as this Bishop if he discredits Holy Cross as a Catholic college.

For the record: I am Pro Life but I believe that a woman has a right to the decisions concerning her body. Jesus never threw a single stone at anyone that society and man thought was a sinner. When was the last time a Priest gave birth?

Heavenly father forgive me for I have sinned and I am absolved.

Cross posted at Bring IT ON!

Feel free to steal this post…
For that matter link to it on what you think...

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