Friday, October 31, 2008
Given the uproar about the simple question asked you by Joe the plumber, and the persecution that has been heaped on him because he dared to question you, I find myself motivated to say a few things to you myself. While Joe aspires to start a business someday, I already have started not one, but 4 businesses. But first, let me introduce myself. You can call me "Cory the well driller". I am a 54 year old high school graduate. I didn't go to college like you, I was too ready to go "conquer the world" when I finished high school. 25 years ago at age 29, I started my own water well drilling business at a time when the economy here in East Texas was in a tailspin from the crash of the early 80's oil boom. I didn't get any help from the government, nor did I look for any. I borrowed what I could from my sister, my uncle, and even the pawn shop and managed to scrape together a homemade drill rig and a few tools to do my first job. My businesses did not start not a result of privilege. It is the result of my personal drive, personal ambition, self discipline, self reliance, and a determination to treat my customers fairly. From the very start my business provided one other (than myself) East Texan a full time job. I couldn't afford a backhoe the first few years (something every well drilling business had), so I and my helper had to dig the mud pits that are necessary for each and every job with hand shovels. I had to use my 10 year old, 1/2 ton pickup truck for my water tank truck (normally a job for at least a 2 ton truck).
A year and a half after I started the business, I scraped together a 20% down payment to get a modest bank loan and bought a (28 year) old, worn out, slightly bigger drilling rig to allow me to drill the deeper water wells in my area. I spent the next few years drilling wells with the rig while simultaneously rebuilding it between jobs. Through these years I never knew from one month to the next if I would have any work or be able to pay the bills. I got behind on my income taxes one year, and spent the next two years paying that back (with penalty and interest) while keeping up with ongoing taxes. I got behind on my water well supply bill 2 different years (way behind the second time... $80,000.00), and spent over a year paying it back (each time) while continuing to pay for ongoing supplies C.O.D.. Of course, the personal stress endured through these experiences and years is hard to measure. I do have a stent in my heart now to memorialize it all.
I spent the next 10 years developing the reputation for being the most competent and most honest water well driller in East Texas . 2 years along the way, I hired another full time employee for the drilling business so that we could provide full time water well pump service as well as the well drilling. Also, 3 years along the path, I bought a water well screen service machine from a friend, starting business # 2. 5 years later I made a business loan for $100,000.00 to build a new, higher production, computer controlled screen service machine. I had designed the machine myself, and it didn't work out for 3 years so I had to make the loan payments without the benefit of any added income from the new machine. No government program was there to help me with the payments, or to help me sleep at night as I lay awake wondering how I would solve my machine problems or pay my bills. Finally, after 3 years, I got the screen machine working properly, and that provided another full time job for an East Texan in the screen service business.
2 years after that, I made another business loan, this time for $250,000.00, to buy another used drilling rig and all the support equipment needed to run another, larger, drill rig. This provided another 2 full time jobs for East Texans. Again, I spent a couple of years not knowing if I had made a smart move, or a move that would bankrupt me. For the third time in 13 years, I had placed everything I owned on the line, risking everything, in order to build a business.
A couple of years into this, I came up with a bright idea for a new kind of mud pump, a fundamentally necessary pump used on water well drill rigs. I spent my entire life savings to date (just $30,000.00), building a prototype of the pump and took it to the national water well convention to show it off. Customers immediately started coming out of the woodworks to buy the pumps, but there was a problem. I had depleted my assets making the prototype, and nobody would make me a business loan to start production of the new pumps. With several deposits for pump orders in hand, and nowhere to go, I finally started applying for as many credit card as I could find and took cash withdrawals on these cards to the tune of over $150,000.00 (including modest loans from my dear sister and brother), to get this 3rd business going.
Yes, once again, I had everything hanging over the line in an effort to start another business. I had never manufactured anything, and I had to design and bring into production a complex hydraulic machine from an untested prototype to a reliable production model (in six months). How many nights I lay awake wondering if I had just made the paramount mistake of my life I cannot tell you, but there were plenty. I managed to get the pumps into production, which immediately created another 2 full time jobs in East Texas . Some of the models in the first year suffered from quality issues due to the poor workmanship of one of my key suppliers, so I and an employee (another East Texan employed) had to drive across the country to repair customers' pumps, practically from coast to coast. I stood behind the product, and made payments to all the credit cards that had financed me (and my brother and sister). I spent the next 5 years improving and refining the product, building a reputation for the pump and the company, working to get the pump into drill rig manufacturers' product lines, and paying back credit cards. During all this time I continued to manage a growing water well business that was now operating 3 drill rig crews, and 2 well service crews. Also, the screen service business continued to grow. No government programs were there to help me, Mr. Obama, but that's ok, I didn't expect any, nor did I want any. I was too busy fighting to make success happen to sit around waiting for the government to help me.
Now, we have been manufacturing the mud pumps for 7 years, my combined businesses employ 32 full time employees, and distribute $5,000,000.00 annually through the local economy. Now, just 4 months ago I borrowed $1,254,000.00, purchasing computer controlled machining equipment to start my 4th business, a production machine shop. The machine shop will serve the mud pump company so that we can better manufacture our pumps that are being shipped worldwide. Of course, the machine shop will also do work for outside companies as well. This has already produced 2 more full time jobs, and 2 more should develop out of it in the next few months. This should work out, but if it doesn't it will be because you, and the other professional politicians like yourself, will have destroyed our countrys' (and the world) economy with your meddling with mortgage loan programs through your liberal manipulation and intimidation of loaning institutions to make sure that unqualified borrowers could get mortgages. You see, at the very time when I couldn't get a business loan to get my mud pumps into production, you were working with Acorn and the Community Reinvestment Act programs to make sure that unqualified borrowers could buy homes with no down payment, and even no credit or worse yet, bad credit. Even the infamous, liberal, Ninja loans (No Income, No Job or Assets). While these unqualified borrowers were enjoying unrealistically low interest rates, I was paying 22% to 24% interest on the credit cards that I had used to provide me the funds for the mud pump business that has created jobs for more East Texans. It's funny, because after 25 years of turning almost every dime of extra money back into my businesses to grow them, it has been only in the last two years that I have finally made enough money to be able to put a little away for retirement, and now the value of that has dropped 40% because of the policies you and your ilk have perpetrated on our country.
You see, Mr. Obama, I'm the guy you intend to raise taxes on. I'm the guy who has spent 25 years toiling and sweating, fretting and fighting, stressing and risking, to build a business and get ahead. I'm the guy who has been on the very edge of bankruptcy more than a dozen times over the last 25 years, and all the while creating more and more jobs for East Texans who didn't want to take a risk, and wouldn't demand from themselves what I have demanded from myself. I'm the guy you characterize as "the Americans who can afford it the most" that you believe should be taxed more to provide income redistribution "to spread the wealth" to those who have never toiled, sweated, fretted, fought, stressed, or risked anything. You want to characterize me as someone who has enjoyed a life of privilege and who needs to pay a higher percentage of my income than those who have bought into your entitlement culture. I resent you, Mr. Obama, as I resent all who want to use class warfare as a tool to advance their political career. What's worse, each year more Americans buy into your liberal entitlement culture, and turn to the government for their hope of a better life instead of themselves. Liberals are succeeding through more than 40 years of collaborative effort between the predominant liberal media, and liberal indoctrination programs in the public school systems across our land.
What is so terribly sad about this is this. America was made great by people who embraced the one-time American culture of self reliance, self motivation, self determination, self discipline, personal betterment, hard work, risk taking. A culture built around the concept that success was in reach on every able bodied American who would strive for it. Each year that less Americans embrace that culture, we all descend together. We descend down the socialist path that has brought country after country ultimately to bitter and unremarkable states. If you and your liberal comrades in the media and school systems would spend half as much effort cultivating a culture of can-do across America as you do cultivating your entitlement culture, we could see Americans at large embracing the conviction that they can elevate themselves through personal betterment, personal achievement, and self reliance. You see, when people embrace such ideals, they act on them. When people act on such ideals, they succeed. All of America could find herself elevating instead of deteriorating. But that would eliminate the need for liberal politicians, wouldn't it, Mr. Obama? The country would not need you if the country was convinced that problem solving was best left with individuals instead of the government. You and all your liberal comrades have got a vested interested in creating a dependent class in our country. It is the very business of liberals to create an ever expanding dependence on government. What's remarkable is that you, who have never produced a job in your life, are going to tax me to take more of my money and give it to people who wouldn't need my money if they would get off their entitlement mentality asses and apply themselves at work, demand more from themselves, and quit looking to liberal politicians to raise their station in life.
You see, I know because I've had them work for me before. Hundreds of them over these 25 years. People who simply will not show up to work on time. People who just will not work 5 days in a week, much less, 6 days. People always looking for a way to put less effort out. People who actually tell me that they would do more if I just would first pay them more. People who take off work to sit in government offices to apply to get free government handouts (gee, I wonder how things would have turned out for them if they had spent that time earning money and pleasing their employer?). You see, all of this comes from your entitlement mentality culture.
Oh, I know you will say I am uncompassionate. Sorry, Mr. Obama, wrong again. You see, I've seen what the average percentage of your income has been given to charities over the years of 2000 to 2004 (ignoring the years you started running for office - can you pronounce "politically motivated"), you averaged of less than 1% annually. And your running mate, Joe Biden, averaged less than ¼% of his annual income in charitable contributions over the last 10 years. Like so many liberals, the two of you want to give to the needy, just as long as it is someone else's money you are giving to them. I won't say what I have given to charities over the last 25 years, but the percentage is several times more than you or Joe Biden (don't you just hate Google?). Tell me again how you feel my pain.
In short, Mr. Obama, your political philosophies represent everything that is wrong with our country. You represent the culture of government dependence instead of self reliance; Entitlement mentality instead of personal achievement; Penalization of the successful to reward the unmotivated; Political correctness instead of open mindedness and open debate. If you are successful, you may preside over the final transformation of America from being the greatest and most self-reliant culture on earth, to just another country of whiners and wimps, who sit around looking to the government to solve their problems. Like all of western Europe. All countries on the decline. All countries that, because of liberal socialistic mentalities, have a little less to offer mankind every year.
God help us...
Just a ordinary, extraordinary American, the way a lot of Americans used to be.
P.S. Yes, Mr. Obama, I am a real American... www.cmillerdrilling.com
Thursday, October 30, 2008
“When you are skinning your customers, you should leave some skin on to heal, so that you can skin them again.” Nikita Krushchev
“This is the moment when we must build on the wealth that open markets have created, and share its benefits more equitably. Trade has been a cornerstone of our growth and global development. But we will not be able to sustain this growth if it favors the few, and not the many.” Barack Obama
“I think that there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalitions of power through which you bring about redistributive change” Barack Obama
I’ve included a short talk by former Secretary of Agriculture Ezra Taft Benson, also former President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Listen to the last part of this talk, pay attention to the warning by Ezra Taft Benson as he explains how America will be taken down a piece at a time by the snares of socialism.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
“It’s not that I want to punish your success,” Obama responded. “I just want to make sure that everybody who is behind you, that they’ve got a chance for success too ... I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.”
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Talking with a friend over the telephone the other day yielded an interesting conversation, something about “raising the dead”; except what he’d actually said was, he was building raised planter boxes. We had a good laugh regarding my bad hearing. I’ve heard it said that some pain pills may be responsible for a loss of hearing, “What’s that you say?”
I was reminded this past week about how unstable my back is as a group of muscles started giving me grief. The first time my back ever gave me a problem happened while we were living in our first house on Curtin Street. The phone rang and, as I turned to answer it from where I lay in bed, twisting and reaching over to the night stand, every muscle in my back rejected my choice of movement. When I tried to get out of bed to collect myself, instead of standing upright, I found myself on the floor looking at the ceiling.
Lucy came in wondering what was going on and our dog, a huge Black Lab was curious as well, lying on the tile floor of the bathroom directly across from where I was. The best I could do was pull my knees up to take some of the pain away, still trying to get upright.
I should explain one of the rules regarding Oscar, our Black Lab; “rough housing” was only permitted if I instigated it due to his size. Lucy wasn’t a “dog person” and tearing up the house, wrestling and cavorting in general was on the wrong side of her list of things to do inside the house; outside was marginally acceptable, inside was unacceptable.
While on the floor and struggling to get up I figured out how to get to my knees, only a little more effort and I’d be standing up. Oscar had been watching the whole time and when I got to my knees, grunts and groans from the pain in my back must have been interpreted as, “Now I get it, he wants to play!” Oscar’s confused look changed into a “dog smile”, an exuberating willingness to participate; the short distance from the bathroom to where I crouched over being only a split second.
Oscar’s head pushed in under my chest and as he continued the head on tackle, flipped me over onto my back. I’m not sure how long it took, half a second or so; but the pain was intense, Oscar licking my face for having scored a direct hit was ready for another round.
Lucy came running and got the dog by the collar; poor Oscar had no idea why he was being hauled off to the back yard. “Hey, he wanted to play and all I did was jump in.”
That’s when the x-ray’s found I had a sixth Lumbar vertebrae; you’re only supposed to have five. The nerves going in between get pinched easier and so every now and again the back muscles get a reminder. “Take two of these and try not to operate any heavy machinery.”
Speaking of getting pinched, has anyone been able to figure out the price of gasoline? Yesterday I paid $2.14 a gallon for regular at the local Murphy’s station where I fill up. Not too long ago I was paying $4.14 for that same gallon of gas.
The fellow on the news said there was a 4-5% drop off in gasoline use since a year ago this same time. I never was that good at math; but how does 4-5% figure in with a 50% change in price? My guess would be along the line of, “Sucker”! They will bleed us again later; for now they want us to forget while we go to the voting stalls. “There is no energy issue, there is no energy issue, there is no energy issue…” The price of gasoline is an annoyance; not near as important as national security as long as we keep having to buy our energy from the Middle East; drill here, drill now and get on with it!
Next week we get to find out who the next president, the next batch of crooks in the Senate and Congress, the next local robbers and thieves; is my attitude adjustment knob set on “sour”? I’m not so sure any of these folks would pass the security screening it takes to become a police officer; and here we are turning the whole country over to them.
I read an Obama interview from several years ago, Obama explaining how the Constitution was a flawed document, how the judiciary never has addressed the need for redistribution of wealth; this is the fellow who, if elected president, will place his hand on the Bible (Koran) and swear to uphold that very same Constitution; go figure.
I wonder if there’s a pain pill we can buy at the local pharmacy, one that will make the next four years bearable regardless of who gets to sit in the Oval Office, regardless of which crooks occupy the Senate, the Congress or which thieves float to the surface locally. Remember, Hillary is still out there; Happy Halloween!
Friday, October 24, 2008
I have to wonder, is Fareed Zakaria just another “neighbor”, a casual acquaintance of Barack Hussein Obama. The Post American World, by Fareed Zakaria, is a book of wishful thinking by the Muslim world. Yea, I really want this guy leading America; and if you believe that I have some ocean front property in West Texas up for sale.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
A young woman was about to finish her first year of college. Like so many others her age, she considered herself to be a very liberal Democrat, and among other liberal ideals, was very much in favor of higher taxes to support more government programs, in other words redistribution of wealth. She was deeply ashamed that her father was a rather staunch Republican, a feeling she openly expressed. Based on the lectures that she had participated in, and the occasional chat with a professor, she felt that her father had for years harbored an evil, selfish desire to keep what he thought should be his. One day she was challenging her father on his opposition to higher taxes on the rich and the need for more government programs. The self- professed objectivity proclaimed by her professors had to be the truth and she indicated so to her father.
He responded by asking how she was doing in school. Taken aback, she answered rather haughtily that she had a 4.0 GPA, and let him know that it was tough to maintain, insisting that she was taking a very difficult course load and was constantly studying, which left her no time to go out and party like other people she knew. She didn't even have time for a boyfriend, and didn't really have many college friends because she spent all her time studying. Her father listened and then asked, “How is your friend Audrey doing?”
She replied, “Audrey is barely getting by. All she takes are easy classes, she never studies, and she barely has a 2.0 GPA. She is so popular on campus; college for her is a blast. She's always invited to all the parties and lots of times she doesn't even show up for classes because she's too hung over.”
Her wise father asked his daughter, “Why don't you go to the Dean's office and ask him to deduct 1.0 off your GPA and give it to your friend who only has a 2.0. That way you will both have a 3.0 GPA and certainly that would be a fair and equal distribution of GPA.”
The daughter, visibly shocked by her father's suggestion, angrily fired back, “That's a crazy idea, and how would that be fair! I've worked really hard for my grades! I've invested a lot of time, and a lot of hard work! Audrey has done next to nothing toward her degree. She played while I worked my tail off!”
The father slowly smiled, winked and said gently, “Welcome to the Republican party.”If anyone has a better explanation of the difference between Republican and Democrat I'm all ears.
Over here in Ireland we can't figure out why you people are fretting about who to elect for your president there in the United States.
For a while you had a pants wearing female lawyer who was married to another lawyer who can't keep his pants on, but she lost a long, heated and very expensive primary against a lawyer who is married to yet another lawyer who doesn't like the country she thinks her husband ought to run and who goes to anti-American church and hates your military.
Now on the other side you have a war hero whose last name starts with 'Mc' and who is married to a good looking, rich younger woman who owns a beer distributorship.
What in God's name is the matter we' ye lads over there in the colonies?
Monday, October 20, 2008
I don’t care how you slice it, the election is about race with the Democrats holding a trump card knowing, or expecting as if duty bound, that most Black people will vote for Obama regardless of any of the important issues which have been swept under the rug. I feel sorry for the whole damn country if this is how the next President is determined; but it would seem to be true.
I never thought of myself as a racist; but putting someone with Obama’s qualifications into the White House, just because he’s Black; folks you’ve shown that ignorance is bliss and that a well trained Parrot could become President if there are enough birds voting. “Polly wants to share all those crackers you earned with those who are less fortunate”
Sunday, October 19, 2008
There’s a hay field on my way to church that sits within ear shot of Interstate 45. The field is on the east side of Hafer Road just before it changes its name to Moonglow, where the subdivision starts; my church is on the west side of the road on the other side. Several of the photographs I’ve taken catch a glimpse of a freeway light standard in the background ( top left corner just above the tree line); often unrecognizable mixed in with other elements.
This morning I’d hoped to catch ground fog in the low grasses in the meadows at a different location, the tops of the natural uncut grass are the stuff purple mountains majesty are made of, unobtrusive and yet breath taking when observed. It wasn’t meant to be; the sun light’s angle wasn’t right and I’d picked the wrong meadow as it had recently been mowed around the edges so it looked more like a front yard than a meadow.
When working night shift I would appreciate the fall change each morning on my way home. Most folks were hustling off to work while I simple wanted to catch a few hours sleep as we passed on the roadway. The undeveloped land parcels offered vistas of natural growth; tall grasses, brambles and low bushes where birds found refuge. The autumn mornings made these meadows come alive with soft colors and helped me enjoy the short distance home.
I wonder if the fellow who did all the work, preparing the meadow and then gathering the hay into the huge balls that will later be lifted onto a trailer; I wonder if he appreciates the natural beauty of his efforts as much as I do. I bet he does.
Friday, October 17, 2008
There was one scene in particular which got to me, not that the whole movie wasn’t well done; but the place in the movie where the young boy first sat behind the great organ and let loose with his talents caused shivers to run down my spine. I remember hearing Zig Ziglar speak; it might have been a different motivational speaker, but I think it was Zig, as he told of a young Johann Sebastian Bach walking into a cathedral and sitting in the master organist’s chair.
The sheer impudence of the young man to sit there and play at that honored position; but when the master organist heard the music which sprang from the keyboards he fell silent, having recognized the genius which was present. What if he’d stepped in without first hearing Bach’s music; that’s the magic which August Rush brought to me in that moment while watching the other night.
Lucy had a Ham radio meeting tonight so I broke out a favorite of mine, Ton Koopman playing, “J. S. Bach: Orgelwerke”. When I say I broke out, that should read, cranked up in full surround sound. The first cut is the Toccata und Fuge d-moll, familiar to most folks with a classical background; but the next two cuts show off the heart and soul of the human race as the organ soars with each passing moment; the word “glorious” was put in the dictionary after this music was played for the first time.
Lucy’s on the other side of town wondering why the windows of her building are shaking; my fault, the music made me do it. Maybe there’s a reason I need to wear hearing aids; perhaps it had something to do with cranking up the volume all these years. No time to cry about spilt milk, Bach should be played very loud; can’t be enjoyed unless the flooring nails pop up or the wall panels don’t bend.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
There was a banner where he was to put his last name and below that a shield with four separate areas to fill in with important information. He was to draw or paste a picture of his family, show where his family came from, put two words describing his family and something the family does for fun.
JJ and I looked through the digital images on my computer and found a group picture taken after Thanksgiving from a year ago. I showed him how to import that to a blank
Word document and size it down so it would fit within the borders on the coat of arms.
JJ was worried about how to show where all his family came from until I explained all he needed was a big map of the US and another of Mexico. The internet took us to several maps which we then shrunk down to size and printed so he could paste them in yet a different block. The smile returned to JJ’s face as the light at the end of the tunnel of success appeared.
What does your family do for fun? “We play video games on the Wii.” JJ was off to the races with his marking pen making the best letters he knew how. The temptation was to print out the information on the computer and let him paste it like he’d done with the other information; but that wouldn’t have helped JJ practice making beautiful easy to read letters. Being a grandparent has its responsibilities; a tough life but somebody has to do it.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
“Get control of the schools. Use them as transmission belts for socialism and current Communist propaganda. Soften the curriculum. Get control of teachers' associations. Put the party line in textbooks.”
This morning John Ray, Stop the ACLU, had a piece which falls into the category of pure propaganda for the Communist movement, all about an 8th grade English text book up in Racine Wisconsin which has 15 pages dedicated to the Great One, Obama. No, I’m not making this up, 15 pages complete with a full color photograph of Obama standing in front of a jubilant convention crowd.
There are so many issues, red flags (pardon the bad pun); I hardly know where to begin. My first thought was to wonder, “did this book include Washington’s First Inaugural Address, Washington’s Farewell Address, Patrick Henry’s Liberty or Death ( complete rather than shortened version ) ; my bet would be, no this book would only push a certain socialist agenda.” I left that as a comment to John’s article. I keep forgetting; this was an English text book intended to teach proper composition, not political or social engineering.
Let’s, for the moment, suppose that George Washington’s or Patrick Henry’s great speeches were included somewhere in the book; not having a copy of the book for closer examination makes it speculative at best. Who would have the audacity to include Obama’s work at this time; a transparent propaganda stunt at best, a more sinister agenda for those paying attention.
Gumption, or as the Yiddish would more accurately describe, chutzpah! Maybe that should have been in capital letters with bold typeface, CHUTZPAH! These folks at McDougal Littell Literature, where the 8th grade English book was published have taken a virtual empty suit, Obama, and gone far beyond recognition of a first term U. S. Senator and presidential candidate; something which would more appropriately have appeared in a text book for government, civics or social engineering and elevated his value far beyond anything he has actually accomplished.
While I’m thinking about it, there’s some hint that someone other than the Great One actually wrote the books credited to Obama. I read where some credit the unrepentant terrorist Ayers as Obama’s ghost writer after a careful comparison to writing style and syntax. If this is in deed true it would make perfect sense; William Ayers being associated closely with the radical transformation of structured teaching environments, the Chicago Annenberg Challenge connection and the make up of its board of directors all fit the possibility of such a collaborative effort.
Dick Morris wrote on the Obama-Ayers connection:
“After Walter Annenberg’s foundation offered several hundred million dollars to American public schools in the mid-’90s, William Ayers applied for $50 million for Chicago. The purpose of his application was to secure funds to “raise political consciousness” in Chicago’s public schools. After he won the grant, Ayers’s group chose Barack Obama to distribute the money. Between 1995 and 1999, Obama distributed the $50 million and raised another $60 million from other civic groups to augment it. In doing so, he was following Ayers’s admonition to grant the funds to “external” organizations, like American Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) to pair with schools and conduct programs to radicalize the students and politicize them.”
What’s the old saying about trees, “An apple doesn't fall far from the tree”, an indicator of similarities between the student and the teacher; which Obama managed to alter, “An Acorn Doesn’t Fall Far From the Tree.” You have to wonder was there some kind of subliminal slip of the tongue on that one.
I suppose we need to discount all the teachers in Obama’s life, the associations Obama has made and which he feels comfortable with. There’s his pastor, Jeremiah Wright, who has gone so far as to damn America, William Ayers, a Weatherman Underground terrorist who has stated publicly that not enough was done as he had his picture taken stomping on the American Flag, convicted felon Tony Rezko who sold Obama a piece of prime land far below market value. None of these associations matter unless you believe that, “the acorn doesn’t fall far from the tree”.
Friday, October 10, 2008
During any given week I already know if the amount coming in matches up to the average known expenses; I call it minimum budget. The old saying, “Some days chicken, some days feathers”, fits our roller coaster of recorded sales; however, these figures tend to average out in the long run.
I try not to waste much money eating out for lunch; but, when business is good I’ll have extra spending money for things like a roast beef sandwich at Lenny’s. Lucy and I know how much money is available for our Saturday night date; are we having steak or hamburger? We live within our means and consider ourselves blessed for having enough and then some.
We set money aside for a special extended weekend; usually looking at the calendar to coincide with locksmith convention where we can see new products for a few minutes and spend the rest of the time relaxing under the umbrella of “business expense”. Knowing how much money we have available makes all this possible.
I read where the folks at AIG spent a considerable chunk of change, around $440,000 ( nearly half a million dollars ), rewarding some of their top producers at a fancy retreat. They didn’t stay at the Holiday Inn or Motel 6; no, they required one of the best and most expensive, the St. Regis Monarch beach resort in Dana Point, California.
AIG issued a statement saying that “This type of gathering is standard practice in the industry and was planned a year advance of the Federal Reserve's loan to AIG. We recognize, however, that even activities that have long been considered standard practice may be perceived negatively. As a result, we are reevaluating various aspects of our operations in light of the new times in which we operate.”
I recognize how different businesses operate and how closing a deal on the golf course makes perfect sense, or making sure the client gets a nice juicy steak and a couple of extra Margaritas might grease the wheels on the way to productivity; however, none of this goes down too easily now that I’m the one picking up the tab; remember me, I’m John Q. Taxpayer; remember the bail out? I’m glad they’re reevaluating aspects of their operations in light of the new times; a fancy way of saying we had a great time, thanks for the ride.
If this was a telegram, “To: Step Children, We’ll try to be more discreet (stop) It runs against our up bringing (stop) Don’t expect too much too soon (stop) Send more money (never stop).”
AIG, along with some other huge corporate entities ( some loan sharking firms, Fannie and Freddie comes to mind ) can’t seem to manage the amount of money coming in with the amount of money going out. The top executives all require the best in clothing, the fanciest restaurants, exclusive golf courses and the list is endless when it comes to “the best life has to offer”. They live in houses which are featured in the Life Styles of the Rich and Shameless, have country vacation houses and get away condos and never stand in line to board since they all get to use the corporate jet. Is this class envy or just a complaint from Joe Lunchbox who now gets to pick up the tab?
Maybe I’m suffering from fuzzy thinking, maybe not; but how come some among us, those on shaky ground for quite some time, unable to determine whether or not their company makes a profit due to inept or flat out dishonest bookkeeping practices, how come these folks are living like kings while the rest of us are happy to have an extra ten bucks to splurge at Lenny’s Sandwich Shop every now and again? Why is that?
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
Saturday, October 04, 2008
Why are all the wrong people hoping Obama wins? The tyrants of the Middle East want Obama to win, the socialists in Europe want Obama to win, that lunatic, Kim Jong-il, who runs North Korea wants Obama to win; again I ask, why are all the wrong people hoping Obama wins?
While suturing a cut on the hand of a 75 year old rancher, whose hand was caught in the gate while working cattle, the doctor struck up a conversation with the old man. Eventually the topic got around to Obama and his bid to be our president.
The old rancher said, "Well, ya know, Obama is a 'Post Turtle''.
Not being familiar with the term, the doctor asked him what a 'post turtle' was.
The old rancher said, 'When your driving down a country road on you come across a fence post with a turtle balanced on top, that's a 'post turtle'.
The old rancher saw the puzzled look on the doctor's face so he continued to explain… 'You know he didn't get up there by himself, he doesn't belongup there, and he doesn't know what to do while he's up there, and you just wonder what kind of dumb persons put him up there to begin with'.
Friday, October 03, 2008
This country is in trouble because of Congress playing with the free market, not because of the free market. Stop screwing things up and we may survive. I found this picture on Michelle Malkin’s website; says everything I needed to say.
We, as Americans, have the right to pursue happiness; however we are not entitled, through act of Congress, to guaranteed home ownership, free medical services or any other structured socialisms intended to even the playing field of life. Everything below is a direct “snatch off” from Rush’s website.
“COBURN: We have a patient with cancer, and they have secondary pneumonia because of the cancer and we're going to treat the pneumonia. But we're not going to fix the cancer. We're gonna ignore the cancer. Let me tell you what the cancer is. The cancer is Congresses for years upon years have totally ignored the Constitution of the United States and taken to us areas where we have no business being. There is no way you can justify in the US Constitution that the country ought to be the source of mortgages for homeowners in this country, and yet Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac control 70% of the mortgages in this country.
RUSH: He then continued.
COBURN: If anybody in America is mad about this situation, there's only one place they need to direct their anger, and it's right in the Congress of the United States. What we're going to do is we're going to continue to treat the symptoms rather than directly go after the cause that has created the greatest financial risk and peril this country has ever seen. We're not going after the cause. The cause is get back within the bounds of the Constitution that very specifically says where we have business working and where we don't. We decided that we would ignore the wisdom of our founders and create systems that are outside the enumerated powers that were given to us because we know better, we know better. We don't know better, it is obvious.
RUSH: This is Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn. He finally said this.
COBURN: This body continues to spend more, authorize more, and create bigger and more intrusive government, limiting the power of the great American experiment to in fact supply an increased standard of living. We're in tough times, but they're going to get tougher until the American people hold this body accountable to live within the rules set out in a very wise, a very providential way that served this country well. We ignore this book, this Constitution at our peril, we are reaping exactly what we have sown."
Thursday, October 02, 2008
While there are still plenty of things to repair, fix or replace; Houston has seen much progress towards getting back on its feet after Hurricane Ike. This past week we saw the “big claw” trucks in our neighborhood picking up the mountains of tree limbs stacked at the curb line.
Lucy and I watched as a one man crew arrived at our house. The driver had a huge open top truck with a coupled open top pull along just like it. He climbed onto a control arm apparatus, sitting in the suspended seat at the controls of the big claw which could off load into either of the open top collection areas. He set out riggers that stabilized the truck and swung the claw out and over a pile of debris in my yard.
What had taken me days to haul out to the curb was snatched up in a few moments. I suppose I could have complained that he didn’t replace his divots, leaving a couple of gouge marks in my lawn; but that would show a lack of gratitude for the overall improvement which was derived. Lucy and I thanked him and waved as he moved off to the next house and a chance to see the neighborhood return to normal.
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
My oldest daughter recently had to be forcibly removed from my house in the middle of one of her hissy fits. She has a different accounting of what happened, leaving out anything which would paint her as anything other than a perfect daughter. The briefest of explanations are that my daughter, while living under our roof at no expense in order to facilitate her education and desires to become an engineer, fell into the “entitlement mentality” and no longer regarded our assistance as beneficial along with a decidedly marked drop off in minimal respect for her parent’s rightful position in their own home.
The simple duties of helping set the table or carrying in groceries were no longer on her list of items of obligation as a member of the family. When asked to help she either ignored the requests, claimed to be busy with her studies or flatly turned and called me an asshole because I was just being mean. Lucy and I talked about the fact that Bonnie would be out of the house in a few months, either off to Texas A&M, the University of Texas or Rice; either way we decided to bite our tongues and put up with her insolence for a little longer. We were rewarded with continual insults, often intentionally sprung on us in front of guests, intended to humiliate and demean or position as parents. Her favorite harping point had to do with the fact that our upstairs living area is warmer than the downstairs living areas. Here’s a news flash; if I had money enough and then some, I wouldn’t have spent a penny fixing the insulation, replacing duct work or even putting in a new air conditioning unit to satisfy the demands of a selfish and ungrateful child.
During the time following Hurricane Ike while the power to our house was being supplied via a small generator in my work truck for limited periods in order to keep the refrigerator and freezer cold, we were also able to have a small fan, one light fixture and the computer running. Once the internet connectivity was restored we were able to have short amounts of time spent catching up with the outside world through email and blogs.
I’d posted a blog and was in the middle of editing, my normal means of checking for posting errors, when a lady from church came by to borrow our chain saw. Lucy and I went out to the garage, gave a brief explanation on how to use it and I returned to finish my editing. My oldest daughter had closed off what I was working on, without considering to ask if I was done, and was checking her email. I explained, in harsh terms, that she needed to let me finish what I was working on. I was told. “No! I’m on the computer now.”
I’m not accustomed to being told off in such a manner, much less by my daughter in my own house. There was a short exchange of unpleasant remarks ending with my daughter sitting defiantly in my chair holding the keyboard and glaring at me as if she had a perfect right to anything and everything which I own. I told her to get out and physically took her by the wrist, her dead weight in opposition, as I removed her with as little force as necessary. This is the “assault” which my daughter claims and any marks left on her arm would be a result of her defiance and resistance to get out of the chair.
The verbal assault continued and I told her to leave my house; about the same time she did a round house kick which I was able to block. I then ducked as she threw a shoe at me, one which I had at the front door drying. It flew past the computer and missed both of us. I then escorted her out of the house and told her she was no longer welcome here; again, any marks left on her were not from striking her, rather in containing her rage.
Lucy was outside, still talking with the dear lady from church and putting the chain saw along with an extra container of gasoline mix into her car when the front door slammed. Bonnie, at the top of her lungs yelled, “I hope you f***ing die!” I’m sure that made a lasting impression on the lady from church as she drove off; as well as my neighbors across the street who were cleaning up the mess from a tree having gone through their house. I’m not sure which does more damage, a tree falling through your house or a daughter intent on destroying her father through pure hate.
Bonnie wasn’t finished, picking up a large tree limb from the stack collected and taken to the curb, as she ran screaming unintelligibly toward my work truck. She then struck the hood of my truck leaving a huge dent. I have since been told it will cost nearly $600.00 to repair, and that’s only because it would be done at a friend’s body shop at a significantly lower than normal rate.
Bonnie returned the next day, I was asked to stay away to avoid further confrontations. During the few minutes in our house she took aim at the framed photographs which hang on the wall of the stairs. Any pictures which had my image were smashed. I came home to find pieces of glass scattered up and down the stairs, in the den on the wood flooring and into our bedroom. It took quite a while to pick up the mess; but the damage done to the photographs may be irreparable.
I have to wonder what kind of child we raised, one who saw and recorded only the worst in me over these thirty years. I have to wonder what kind of person ignores all the many blessings poured out on her through her parents in favor of; you know, I’m not even sure if there is a purpose for her being out there on her own. Perhaps it was time for Bonnie to grow up, face the challenges of the world and stand on her own, pay all those bills that up to now magically were taken care of. There are no free rides; somebody has to pay the bills and the entitlement mentality can only get you so far. Bonnie, I still wish for you to succeed; just stay away until the wounds heal.