We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Tuesday, May 5. 2009
The Nazis wanted to bring back wild Aurochs to Europe
As Pete Seeger would sing, "Which side are you on, boys?" Hmmm. NYT vs. the unions.
Colleges discriminate against Asians. Not a PC minority, I guess. As a friend said to me, "People assume that because I'm Chinese I'm smarter than everybody else. But I'm not."
Wise, careful and prudent financial planning - and now broke.
Favorite things at the Smithsonian - like Lewis and Clark's compass. One would hope they brought more than one.
Solipcism and the Apocalypse. Pick your favorite apocalypse. I want it to be a life-erasing storm of juicy red raspberries from the Berry Galaxy. I will die happy.
A President who hates his country?
We always knew it was a joke. Amusing from Roger S re Swine Flu:
What the heck does idealism have to do with working for the government? Claremont: ...and we're here to help you.
Bad news for the US: China decides to back off on buying our debt. I guess that means that they do not want to own us.
New charges against ACORN
Not socially appropriate to criticize the O. Since when? In my (small) circles, half the folks think he's a royal jerk and half think he's going to bring us to the Promised Land of money and goodies and no work.
Related: The things you don't read about the O's first 100 days
VDH, via Blue Crab:
So, then, how often is a new deal needed?
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I'm in the camp that the swine flu is all about distraction and hype. I hope it stays that way. I fear cars and trucks more than the flu. We average about 41,000 deaths a year in auto accidents. When this new flu starts reaching those numbers, or rivals the numbers of the Spanish Flu , I'll get more concerned.
I am quite concerned about our inability to sell our T- Bills to no one other than ourselves ( The Fed). Huge problems coming down the road, and their all not economic.
Pakistan could fall.
Iran gets the bomb.
Commercial real estate blows up.
With a ass hole in the White House who hates his country, I have no confidence that he'll look out for our interests.
Marianne, I'm still looking for that China man friend of yours. The one who said "may you live in interesting times" I want to choke the little chin. I think he has a brother who said " man who has hands in pockets feel cocky all day"
Pocket pool is my favorite past time. Ciao bella!!
I bought four bags of rubber mulch yesterday at Lowe's. I'm going back for more. I'm going to check to see if they have rubber trees because I have to hire rednecks to cut back my trees. I don't like to hire people for anything.
I know that was off-topic but I'm on a reality strike. I feel tricked by stupid people, and it's making me crazy. I might need a rubber room.
Meta dear ... we're all being tricked by "stupid people" who nevertheless are smart enough [just] to trick us. I just got a letter from a business called Equisearch which assures me that they know of a monetary amount "in excess of $2500", which was left to me by my mother, that is lying around somewhere in a bank. My mother died back in 1981, and her estate was settled by a real live lawyer who was pretty good at what he does/did. I think it is doubtful that he sloppily left an "amount in excess of $2500" lying around anywhere and just forgot to include it, but what do I know. I'm not a lawyer. I hesitate to contact these people and get caught up in a scam [if it is one] from which I'll have to extricate myself without losing the farm, so to speak.
Have any of you folks heard of this in your parts of the country?
Marianne, see if your state has a lost property page on their .gov website. There are businesses that search these pages and contact possible owners or heirs and offer to retrieve the property for a fee. With a bit of effort you can do this for yourself.
Maryland has such a page and it surprises me how much money people have left unclaimed.
Is it possible that China will be the means of imposing a little fiscal discipline on the feds?
Re who owns our debt...
When I was a younger man just starting out in the workforce, my employer would put tremendous pressure on us to buy Series EE bonds. Being young, I saw no practical purpose for doing so (and in spite of numerous market crashes, I'm still convinced I was right). The pressure my boss put on me to buy the damn things (I was one of only two hold outs in my department) was beyond silly. Later employers also used to push them so some degree but that finally stopped about 10 or 15 years ago IIRC. Given the current situation, I might be inclined to buy them. Not real interested but I could be convinced. Yet it today it seems there is virtually zero effort being put into selling them to Americans. Not that I would want to see the idiotic strong-arm tactics of the past put into place but at least make some effort. Unless of course the grand scam is to default on them and leave some other country with a 1+ million man army of sexually frustrated young men left holding the bag.
A student of mine in class last night expressed the following:
"yeah, but Obama's gonna make those corporations pay!"
"people shouldn't have more than a million dollars."
"but it's the rich people who need to pay their fair share."
"at least Obama's gonna do something, the corporations have been running things for like 10-20 years or something"
This is a class in manufacturing technologies. I couldn't bring myself to inform the student that sod houses and patchouli are not designed on $7k CAD workstations.
I have been brewing on this for 12 hours now. I guess what concerns me most is the idea that "reality" might mean anything to 51% of the population (or what ever percentage that makes a tipping point of no return).
Illiterate, uneducated, simplistic children have a habit of changing the world. From usefull idiots to useless eaters in one 5 year plan.
I really hope the adults can sort this out before people like my student multiply. BTW this is community college- his age is probably 27, and still with a mind in Kindergarten.
I deal with stupid people all the time. Their called The Public, which is why I never traded that big blue rubber ball to you. I play with it in my padded/rubber cell all the time.
Just wear your stilettos when you show the rednecks the job. They'll probably do the job for nothing. Hope you are well,and safe. You big frustrated Crayola coloring book salesperson. Ciao bella!!
No, MM. Haven't heard of that particular scenario/operation. At first it sounded fishy, like that photo below. But after a Google search... well, there may be some legitimacy there. Here is a link with other links for more information.
Once again, the vagaries of the spam preventer works its wonders. It is odd that it is an intermittent problem. As sometimes a link can be at the bottom and other times not without the addition of text beneath the link.
Sounds similar to the pressure forced on Federal Civil Servants and automatic deductions for United Way charities. One was considered a short step up from the Devil himself for insisting on being able to donate to ones owns choices instead... and not helping to meet the 100% goal/quota. Supervisors were actually held to account for shortfalls in full participation.
I bet that student would change his tune in a hurry if he his the Lotto for a big jackpot.
A depressing comment, Phil. And yes, reality can mean anything to a large majority of the population. See Meta's 'stupid people' comment above along with Jappy's rejoinder.
Your anecdote gives new meaning to the 'Brave New World' of the future, there is a distinct possibility of it being extremely bleak.
Next time a discussion like that comes up, try this in a very casual manner. Hand the 'kid' five twenty-dollar bills and congratulate him on doing brilliant work for the company. Smile and make him feel great for a job well done. He'll play along for the sake of the others in the class. Then turn to him and ask for three twenties back. Take them and put them in your pocket and thank him for supporting those who don't make as much as he does.
It sounds really simple, but it is wicked painful with the actual money and 'good will' attitude you will show.
Ah, United Way. Yes both actually. It might have been the United Way donations that I got the most extreme pressure for. I'm proud to say that they have never received a dime from me. It was a government contract job so the same rules probably applied.
Thanks much, Luther and retread, for the advice about EquiSearch, especially Luther's link to '$2500.' This would seem to be a pretty strong indication that the thing is a con. I Googled Equisearch and Texas and found that there had been a company called that in Huntsville, but that it was closed down.
I think I will file this letter with the email I got telling me that the warranty on my car was about to run out. My car is 18 years old and the warranty ran out before the turn of the century. It still runs very well, by the way, maybe because it is a 1991 Volvo, the last year that Volvo made passenger cars, before they sold the passenger car division to Ford, which I think has by now reduced the Volvo to approximately the same level of performance as the other Ford products.
Be careful about the Ford trucks.
I phave noticed the F-150 is prized on this site.
I am really partial to Ford Trucks. Been real good as business vehicles for myself and my Father, back to '56.
edwestslope ... I wouldn't dare criticize Ford trucks. I do live in Texas, you know, where Ford trucks are revered almost as much as football. I was thinking more of Ford passenger cars in my comparison. But if Volvo made a pickup truck, it would be as good as the American made ones. Or maybe better.