Saturday, February 28, 2009

Business Plan...

Being a small-business owner, I can genuinely relate to the following letter. In a culture that loves to pretend that successful people became successful by accident or luck, folks need a reminder that real success is the fruit of hard work, sacrifice, and vision. It is particularly insulting when I hear someone imply that because someone has more, that he or she owes some portion of it to the great collective. We saw this happen with the basketball coach at UConn this week. A reporter had the nerve to ask if Calhoun was going to give back some of his the people. Some have acted like his eruption to the reporter was overblown. Personally, I'd have strangled the reporter. The thrust of the question is that if someone thinks you are paid too much, then you should consider sacrificing some of it.

I believed enough in my own abilities to start up my own business. It's a young operation, so I don't yet have any employees. If today's work includes writing a letter or picking up a set of plans or working up an invoice or making contact with potential new clients, guess who does that job. Ten years from now, if I've survived that long and generated enough business that I can afford to hire a person to do some of that, how patient do you expect I'll be if I overhear one of my employees tell a client of mine, "...that's not my job..."?

That's what I was told yesterday, when I picked up a set of plans and asked the girl whether she checked the scale on them. "Hee, hee...I got my nails done, today..hee, hee...check the scale? No, I don't do that..."

A client is planning on submitting a bid for millions of dollars worth of work. That client wants to beat the other bids, so he hires me to tell him precisely how much work is there. I drive 45 minutes to the reprographic firm, someone I pay to do work for me, and the more-important fact of her life on this day is her friggin' nails. Because I can't afford to repeat this trip if the scale is off, and because my reputation and the future of my business depends on it, I got a scale and checked it then and there. Hee-hee-hee.

I hope this letter hits home.

To All My Valued Employees,

There have been some rumblings around the office about the future of this company, and more specifically, your job. As you know, the economy has changed for the worse and presents many challenges. However, the good news is this: The economy doesn't pose a threat to your job. What does threaten your job however, is the changing political landscape in this country.

However, let me tell you some little tidbits of fact which might help you decide what is in your best interests.

First, while it is easy to spew rhetoric that casts employers against employees, you have to understand that for every business owner there is a back story. This back story is often neglected and overshadowed by what you see and hear. Sure, you see me park my Mercedes outside. You've seen my big home at last years Christmas party. I'm sure, all these flashy icons of luxury conjure up some idealized thoughts about my life.

However, what you don't see is the back story.

I started this company 28 years ago. At that time, I lived in a 300 square foot studio apartment for 3 years. My entire living apartment was converted into an office so I could put forth 100% effort into building a company, which by the way, would eventually employ you.

My diet consisted of Ramen Pride noodles because every dollar I spent went back into this company. I drove a rusty Toyota Corolla with a defective transmission. I didn't have time to date. Often times, I stayed home on weekends, while my friends went out drinking and partying. In fact, I was married to my business -- hard work, discipline, and sacrifice.

Meanwhile, my friends got jobs. They worked 40 hours a week and made a modest $50K a year and spent every dime they earned. They drove flashy cars and lived in expensive homes and wore fancy designer clothes. Instead of hitting the Nordstrom's for the latest hot fashion item, I was trolling through the Goodwill store extracting any clothing item that didn't look like it was birthed in the 70's. My friends refinanced their mortgages and lived a life of luxury. I, however, did not. I put my time, my money, and my life into a business with a vision that eventually, some day, I too, will be able to afford these luxuries my friends supposedly had.

So, while you physically arrive at the office at 9am, mentally check in at about noon, and then leave at 5pm, I don't. There is no "off" button for me. When you leave the office, you are done and you have a weekend all to yourself. I unfortunately do not have the freedom. I eat, and breathe this company every minute of the day. There is no rest. There is no weekend. There is no happy hour. Every day this business is attached to my hip like a 1 year old special-needs child. You, of course, only see the fruits of that garden -- the nice house, the Mercedes, the vacations...

You never realize the back story and the sacrifices I've made.

Now, the economy is falling apart and I, the guy that made all the right decisions and saved his money, have to bail-out all the people who didn't. The people that overspent their paychecks suddenly feel entitled to the same luxuries that I earned and sacrificed a decade of my life for.

Yes, business ownership has is benefits but the price I've paid is steep and not without wounds.

Unfortunately, the cost of running this business, and employing you, is starting to eclipse the threshold of marginal benefit and let me tell you why:

I am being taxed to death and the government thinks I don't pay enough. I have state taxes. Federal taxes. Property taxes. Sales and use taxes. Payroll taxes. Workers compensation taxes. Unemployment taxes. Taxes on taxes. I have to hire a tax man to manage all these taxes and then guess what? I have to pay taxes for employing him.

Government mandates and regulations and all the accounting that goes with it, now occupy most of my time. On Oct 15th, I wrote a check to the US Treasury for $288,000 for quarterly taxes. You know what my "stimulus" check was? Zero. Nada. Zilch.

The question I have is this: Who is stimulating the economy? Me, the guy who has provided 14 people good paying jobs and serves over 2,200,000 people per year with a flourishing business? Or, the single mother sitting at home pregnant with her fourth child waiting for her next welfare check? Obviously, government feels the latter is the economic stimulus of this country.

The fact is, if I deducted (Read: Stole) 50% of your paycheck you'd quit and you wouldn't work here. I mean, why should you? That's nuts. Who wants to get rewarded only 50% of their hard work? Well, I agree which is why your job is in jeopardy.

Here is what many of you don't understand ... to stimulate the economy you need to stimulate what runs the economy. Had suddenly government mandated to me that I didn't need to pay taxes, guess what? Instead of depositing that $288,000 into the Washington black-hole, I would have spent it, hired more employees, and generated substantial economic growth. My employees would have enjoyed the wealth of that tax cut in the form of promotions and better salaries. But you can forget it now.

When you have a comatose man on the verge of death, you don't defibrillate and shock his thumb thinking that will bring him back to life, do you? Or, do you defibrillate his heart? Business is at the heart of America and always has been. To restart it, you must stimulate it, not kill it. Suddenly, the power brokers in Washington believe the poor of America are the essential drivers of the American economic engine. Nothing could be further from the truth and this is the type of change you can keep.

So where am I going with all this? It's quite simple.

If any new taxes are levied on me, or my company, my reaction will be swift and simple. I fire you. I fire your co-workers. You can then plead with the government to pay for your mortgage, your SUV, and your child's future. Frankly, it isn't my problem any more.

Then, I will close this company down, move to another country, and retire. You see, I'm done. I'm done with a country that penalizes the productive and gives to the unproductive. My motivation to work and to provide jobs will be destroyed, and with it, will be my citizenship.

If you lose your job, it won't be at the hands of the economy; it will be at the hands of a political hurricane that swept through this country, steamrolled the constitution, and will have changed its landscape forever. If that happens, you can find me sitting on a beach, retired, and with no employees to worry about....


Your boss

Aside from what I put on a credit card, I didn't borrow big to start up. Recently, there were 2 months where zero business came in, and things were looking bleak. I do not have, nor will I supplicate myself for, a parachute from the government. If I become successful, it will be due to the strength in my own hands, the quality of my work. I don't want to owe you or the state for what I've built. If you read this ten years from now, and you're my employee thinking that I owe you your job, ask yourself how comparatively you've risked and sacrificed.

But I, too, see the writing on the wall for business in America. I'm not convinced that there will be such a thing as independent, for-profit, business anymore. Very soon, if we continue as we're currently headed, the only work shall be what is government funded, controlled, and mandated. Once you've removed the reward from the equation, wherein shall I justify the risk?

Like the author of the letter, like Ayn Rand's character John Galt, I will have thrown my hands up and walked away. Those deadbeats among you aren't worthy of leeching off of us.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Barkarama & Lincoln: more alike than you thought

Back when I was gettin' my undergraduate edu-mo-cation at the University of Cullowhee, Left of Asheville, aside from getting learnt up on taking trophy browns from the Tuckaseegee, one instructor made a lasting impression on me. Her name: Constance Head.

She was the Dean of the History department, and informed us that she was a reincarnated Egyptian princess. But, the thing she taught us was the value of questioning the things we were taught. Questioning the source...questioning the logic, the motivation, the value or impact...the why behind the what. Listening critically, is what she meant.

I read somewhere that the devotees of The One would have you believe that he is much like the 16th President, Abraham Lincoln. I suppose the parallels might be a perceived unifying aura, the gift of oratorical eloquence, and that they were both sprung on us from Illinois (perhaps the most politically corrupt part of America).

Then, there's the accepted versions of their citizenry...oops. Okay, this is where I get on board regarding their similarities...

Go pick up a copy of this month's Our State magazine, and read up on another version, a very plausible one I might add, regarding the early years of "Honest" Abe.

Quick disclaimer: As I am a Southerner, I do not share the reverence of Abe-baby that some of our Northern brethren might. I think his actions enslaved more people than he freed. So, for those reasons, I don't mind lumping him and the Obamination in the same discussion. But back to our program...

This month, in Our State (the monthly magazine about and for North Carolina) is a story entitled "The Museum Doubt Built." In the article, Charles Blackburn, Jr says: "history books teach us that Nancy Hanks was born in Virginia and moved to Kentucky. There she married Tom Lincoln and gave birth in 1809 to a son they named Abraham." Those same history books neglect to tell us, according to the article, that young Nancy actually moved with her family to present-day Gaston County (NC), and that when the family got itself in a financial pickle, gave away (sold!) young Nancy as a bound servant to the Abraham Enloe family. Nancy remained in the service to the Enloes until getting herself impregnated by, get this, Abraham Enloe! Once she was with child, she was sent away (then) to Kentucky, where she met Tom Lincoln. The article even goes on to report that "Jesse Head, the Methodist deacon who married Tom and Nancy, reported that they had a little black-haired boy in tow at the wedding."

And, it gets better: Not only Abraham Enloe, but also Richard Martin and John C. Calhoun could claim, according to the article, to have perhaps sired that little bastard.

And speaking of fatherless little bastards...

Do you really think it's trivial that Barkorama can't produce a legitimate birth certificate?

I have heard that Alan Keyes has sued Obama to force him to publicly render his faked birth certificate. I have also heard that there is a petition circulating in the US Armed Services insisting on the same before servicemen and women acknowledge him as their Commander In Chief. Can't say as I know about that. But, I do want to thank Ms. Pam Geller (Atlas Shrugs) for posting this youtube video of Mr. Keyes. I have new regard for Alan Keyes, and I'm glad to hear him say that he refuses to recognize Obama as president.

Efforts to embed videos are still frustratingly fruitless, so hit this link. It's good, I promise:

If his questionable citizenry, corrupt nurturing environment (Ayers, Wright, ACORN) in Chicago, economically hair-brained notions for recovery, open-door policy regarding terror-sponsor Ahminijad, idiotic big-government aspirations, plans for a "250,000-member armed civilian force that rivals the US military in strength" and that answers directly to him doesn't yet give you the sense that the fox is guarding the henhouse...


Then, may God help us.

Wanna do something? As far as the Lincoln business is concerned, certainly you should consider dropping by the website of The Bostic Center, and perhaps signing their petition insisting on DNA research into those aforementioned roots of ol' "Honest" Abe.

But, on the Obama matter? Questioning the sources and motivation of those involved, would be a logical start. Let's not leave this question unanswered for our ancestors to fight over 150 years from now.

And now, for something completely similar.

Some brief Monday morning tidbits...

I'm still wishing for a point & shoot digital camera, something I can A) carry everywhere, unlike my Canon EOS Rebel not-digital SLR, and B) take and use one solitary photo, without having to wait for processing an entire roll. So, if anybody out there wants to barter a 10+MP digital for free ad space, let's talk!

If I had a Point & Shoot digital, I'd have included in yesterday's pic-fest a dropped-trou shot of this blogger showing off something pretty spectacular.

No, not that.

I'm referring to an a black-and-purple bruise on the inside of the thigh area, that was incurred when kNockahoma tried laying down without warning his rider. Not just once...twice! The bruise is about this long (blogger holding hands this far apart) and this wide. Must've been from the saddle. And it's worth noting that it takes an awful force to bruise me. I got the right foot out of the stirrup both times, but could only curl the left out from what would be under the horse as he rolled toward his left side, so it wasn't him landing on me as much as my (unintended) trick-riding. Seriously, the bruise (today...8 days after the fact) is about 8" long by 3" wide.

I relate this account, in part, as a display of my willingness to poke fun at myself, because I do that almost as well as I ridicule others.

I freely admit that I'm carrying a couple extra pounds (tons), but Ted says kNockahoma was laying down because he's lazy and hadn't been ridden in 2 years. I'll take Ted's word for it...he's the only horse-rider I know that's about 40 lbs heavier than me. And for what it's worth, we have an exercise regimen that currently consists of talking about playing tennis when the weather starts cooperating. More on this as developments warrant.

As Paul Harvey would say, "And!"

I swung on by the Upland Journal this morning, hoping to stumble on a topic discussing quail fields/coverts in North Carolina, which might actually hold birds (read: needle in haystacks). The ass-end of the season is this coming Saturday, and I'd consider a drive to the flatlands if it meant getting some bird-scent under poor Maggie's nose. Of course, I didn't find any of that, but I did see the new-ish thread about the owner/moderator's (Brad's) willingness to zap political content and posters. That thread is now 26 pages (wait, PAGES!) long. I read for about 90 minutes, and only had gotten through about page ten.

I used to be a member, but due to the fact that I was physically chasing work around the country, I lost my log-in information and quit actively posting. I have, however, remained a loyal lurker, and enjoy reading those guys' wit, sarcasm, and usual genius regarding dogs and guns and cooking and liquor and weather and wives and photography. Truly, I find myself living vicariously through some of their photo-essays. Very good stuff...check it out. I double-dog dare you.

But, the point I felt like making is that, especially now, everything worth talking about leads to a discussion of politics. And if I had a voice on that Board (I'm talking about the Upland Talk Bulletin Board, the overwhelming bulk of UJ conent)...if I had input on the solution posed by the thread regarding the culling-out of things (and posters) political, I'd vote for a separate compartment , maybe even semi-buried between "UJ Events/Shoots/Banquets" and "Upland Recipes". The issue, as I see it, is where & when debate turns into shit-slinging and name-calling. If there was that other compartment, when mud or feathers started flying...*poof*... it didn't go away...but it went...over there. "Over there" being the place to rant. The political compartment.

That said, though, I wouldn't want Brad's moderator responsibilities, and doubt seriously if anyone else could build something so fantastic. Any of y'all know them guys, tell 'em the Sweet Tea & Livermush guy says "keep up the good work."

Great jumpin' Jiminy Cricket...tidbits my fat hairy butt...

This is turning into an all-day-blog-a-rama event. At the top, it says "morning". I tell myself that I write slow to accomodate the fact that you don't read so fast.

But the thing is, I'm kinda getting this stuff outta the way. Clearing the runway, so to speak. 'Cause, kids, this blogger's drafting again...What is the blogger drafting on? Well, let's just say that it includes Barkorama and Abraham Lincoln...

Paul Harvey: "And!"

One day this past week, after Googling "quail hunting" in the search nearby field, and coming up with a reference to a very nearby exotic big-game (wild boar, bighorn sheep, antelope, Angora goats, etc.) lodge, I went to visit that lodge, because as I said it's very nearby and I'd never been and maybe, if I have to go to a put & take pen-raised birds place, I might as well save on gas...

I met the proprietor and we chatted for a while. He confessed that he's never been able to get the birds to stick, and that the predators keep 'em thoroughly eaten...and speaking of predators... He has lots of bobcats and coyotes, and he even has evidence of panthers (!) roaming this county (this county, as in the one Maggie and I live in, and "evidence" as in trail-camera photos). Yikes-a-hootie. Oh, and if that ain't enough, "Did you hear about the recent sightings of The Creature?" he asks.

Apparently some neighbors have spotted a Sasquatch roundabouts. Seems we have everything but quail.


Sunday, February 22, 2009

"How big a feller are you? Well then, I'll pack a lunch!"

As promised (threatened?), here are some photos of last weekend's BRHA trail ride. The Sunday ride was, in part, a benefit function to raise money for the family of a feller who has pancreatic cancer. My buddy Ted, owner of kNockahoma won the half-n-half lottery (total collected was $300) and donated back his winning half to the cause. Ted's a helluva guy, and I'll whup any man's ass says different. Some of the pix below are mine and some are Ted's. This is a shot of our destination, Moore's Mountain, a favorite take-off point for hang-gliders in warmer weather.
This isn't the shot I thought I uploaded, but does show most of the riders, about 1/3 of the way up the climb. There were between 20-30 riders on this trip. Nuther pic of Ted's. This is a view from the top of Moore Mountain. The rider in the photo is at the descending trail, which wasn't much of a trail. The ride up was relatively comfortable. The ride down, was very much like that scene from The Man From Snowy River, where all the riders stop at the top, except for the hero, who rides off the cliff. That's what we the cliff and straight down. This is one of my photos.
This is a shot of mine of kNockahoma (on right) and Sonny (Ted's horse), when we stopped near the top. If you could read kNockahoma's mind, you'd hear: "Please don't climb your fat ass back on top of me..."
Another of mine from the top. Moore Mt. is in northern Alexander County, near the southern line of Wilkes County. This view is toward the southeast.
Picture from Ted of the Livermush Guy aboard kNockahoma. The horse is thinking, "This guy never missed a meal in his life." It truly does take a mountain-sized man to make a horse this big look soooooo small. The ride turned into a walk after the Snowy River episode, though. The entire trail was approximately 8 miles, and we walked the last three or so. Poor horse.
Below, is a photo taken on Saturday (2/14), the day before the trail ride. Maggie refused to show her face with me in the same picture. On top of my hat you can see the number of birds I shot (zero), which is exactly equal to the number of birds flushed and the number of birds pointed. Maggie is justifiably disgusted at her owner for taking her to hunt in places that haven't seen quail in a coon's age.

25-30 years ago, this part of the world was full of wild coveys, but no more. The habitat has gone the way of the family farms, and the predators (thanks to the NC Wildlife folks for introducing coyotes and fostering the preponderance of turkeys and bobcats) keep the quail population thinned to near nothing. Next weekend is the last chance for this season. Maybe we'll make one more try for grouse, if it's cold enough that hunting that hard (grouse hunting in NC is hard, hard work) won't beat us up too bad.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I've got several items cooking on the old blog-stove, and usually that means that I'll serve some of them half-raw, and the others burnt beyond chewable. Among them is a long-overdue update (with photos) of a recent trail-ride aboard the famous kNockahoma. But first...

Long before I started blogging, I had wished for a way to get the straight poop from soldiers on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan. It was after launching this space, in an effort to improve the quality of reporting that I received, that I found sites like the John Locke Foundation, The Wild West, and Sister Toldjah, who in turn, led me to Ken's and these guys: BLACKFIVE. What I have so far read, seems to echo my long-held belief that no short-term fixit plan solves the problem of religious zealotry-based terrorism, and that we're far better off finishing the job, than pretending it's finished.

The following is excerpted from Retired Special Ops Master Sergeant "Uncle Jimbo" James Hanson on the BLACKFIVE blog. Internal links are his. If anybody knows of a better blog by soldiers, let me know of it...

Posted By Uncle Jimbo

President Obama has now taken ownership of the war in Afghanistan and stepped fully into his role as Commander in Chief.

In his first such action as president, Obama ordered an additional 17,000 combat troops to Afghanistan.

The first thing I want to do is call BS on my headline. It was wrong when the anti folks on the left talked about W's war, Iraq and Afghanistan are both America's wars and have been from the start. It was disgraceful for them to act that way and I will fight any attempt to do that to President Obama. Unlike many of the Born Again Ass Clowns Americans who have just discovered they can love and respect their country for the first time in their adult lives, or at least for the last 8 years, I owned a flag and flew it when Clinton was President. I applaud the plethora of new flags I see around, but I think it represents a sad aspect of the patriotism of folks who only feel proud when their team is in power.

But let's get back to Afghanistan. First I will repeat my admonition to Obama to make sure he is not simply trying to cover his political ass and campaign promises by sending more troops to that hell hole without the commitment to work toward victory. What victory means is something we can discuss, but it is more than simply adding a couple of combat brigades to be pulled back when pressure from his left wing spins up. Afghanistan is the longest of long wars and if the effort is not going to reflect this, then don't make it. Use the troops you are sending to squash the bad guys where they have weaseled into, and then let's bomb their bases flat and trust that time-honored dictum "Rubble doesn't make trouble".

I have been in a journalism fellowship for the past days for military reporters and we have met with a number of experts on A-stan and questioned them intensively. The overall consensus I see is that there is no history of, and little likelihood of building, a modern nation state there. Additionally without some answer to the free reign and safe havens in the tribal areas of Pakistan, it will be extremely difficult to create security. This requires a strategy that is not too ambitious but more importantly that is not simply political cover attempting to prove that Obama is not the "cut & runner" all his calls on Iraq would suggest. Any legitimate effort would certainly require an effort comprising all of his four years in office, and likely beyond. That will take a will to face up to calls of "quagmire" and "bring the troops home". I hope President Obama can learn from the fact that he was dead wrong on Iraq, and will listen to Gen. Petraeus and the folks who gave us the winning strategy there as he and his team look for answers in Afghanistan.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A real hero

I like reading about good people and heroic acts. For that reason, I am happy to repost the story of Ken Leonard.

I am a regular reader of Sister Toldjah's blog. You will have seen her listed in my blogroll. Another blogger, whose name I'd seen on her comments (and blogroll) is that of NC Cop. From the little I'd read of his blog, I knew I liked the guy. And he is now being listed on my blogroll, as well.

In short, Ken's story is one of profound sacrifice. He was a policeman in High Point, NC. He went to Iraq to help train the Iraqi police forces. He got his feet blown off by an IED. He came home, got fitted with prosthetic lower legs, and has re-qualified for the High Point police squad, where he serves today. For the entire story, go hear the Sister...

Ken has been nominated as an America's Most Wanted first-responder All-Star. Go read up on a real hero from the Old North State, bookmark this site, and return to vote (as often as once each day). The winner (hopefully Ken) gets $10,000 and All-Star recognition at the NASCAR Sprint Cup allstar weekend. You can also vote via Nextel text-message.

Friday, February 13, 2009

TheDailyShow: whodathunkit?

Just when I had gotten to the point of despair regarding the perfect storm of: liberal President + liberal Congress + liberal Senate + ultra-liberal media...

Jon Stewart came along this morning. Yep, I never would've guessed it. This made me downright giddy as a school-girl.

For those of you who prefer blind, sheep-like obsession to objective critical thought, do not watch this video. This is my first attempt at embedding a video...keep your fingers crossed that it works right...

Thanks again to Boortz. I almost didn't come by Nealz Nuze, today.

Holy crapomania, Batman!

The video embedment plan did not work. So here is a link to The Daily Show:

Please, if anybody wants to volunteer a how-to workshop on the ins and outs of blog video embedding, please, please comment.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Stuff and other stuff

More valuable insight (depends on how you look at it, I know)...

Last night's Tar Heels victory is extra sweet given that it's the 5th straight in Cameron Indoor sweatboxatorium. One thing I've referenced before, is how us Carolina fans enjoy our ability to watch our team compete and win without us having to feel we're part of the competitive equation. That is, we're cheering for our five guys to beat your five guys (or sometimes, our five guys versus your five players and 2 or 3 of the refs). We are absolutely tickled with the fact that you Duke fans were helping your team...and...

We. Still. Whipped. Your. Punkass.

Hahahahahaha. I love it.

On to other stuff...

I meant to mention this earlier. Actually, I did mention it, but didn't elaborate. Here come da E-laboration: Sunday, neighbor-friend Ted takes me along on the horse-ride, remember? I was riding Nockahoma, and there were 17 of us riders. I was not prepared for there to be that many folks, as I thought it was going to just be a few of us, but it was a coordinated ride with the local horsemen's association. The ride was over 8 miles long. This was my first time riding Nockahoma.

Nockahoma's nature is that he hates being amongst a bunch of horses; he likes to be out in space. When he's behind another, he likes crowding up on them and his gait is choppy. When out by himself, he's very easy (not to mention, comfortable) to ride. But, when he gets out in front, he behaves very unsure of his direction.

Once, this was happening in front of Ted and several other riders. We were talking about it, about 4 of us, I think. I said, "I know what it is."

They were all curious, of course. "Do tell," says Ted.

"He's a democrat" says I.

"Why do you say that," someone asked (I believe they thought it a good thing that anybody or anything is a Democrat).

And I said, "because he wants to lead, but he doesn't know how."

And even more stuff:

I was gnashing my teeth this morning, in spite of my otherwise pleasant disposition regarding the Carolina game, over having a person (in my presence, no less) utter the following ignorance in regards to the (choke, choke, hack) "stimulus plan": I'm just glad they're working together...

Can somebody please just shoot me?

Boortz made me feel a little better. He has a way separating the wheat from the chaff:
Yesterday we were supposed to get the grand financial plan from Obama's tax-cheating whiz-kid Tim Geithner. And what we got was a bunch of grandstanding, but not a lot of details. Here's one good line: "We're will have to try things we've never tried before." Wait! Isn't that what brung us to this hideous dance with all these ugly partners in the first place?
Let's see ... we'll start out by making millions of home loans to people who have no credit, no steady job history, and certainly not enough income to pay the loan back. We'll make these loans to people who should be renters. We've never tried that before on such a large scale .. let's see how that works out for us.
Here's something else we haven't tried before. Let's pass a law - we'll call it the Community Reinvestment Act. This will be a really nifty way for the government to interfere in the free marketplace. We'll set up some urban gangs who can make sure local banks make bad loans to favored minority groups .. or they'll get spanked by the federal government. Let's see how THAT one works out for us.
Once we have those two programs we haven't tried before in place, we'll keep interest rates artificially and illogically low for far too long. Yeah, let's follow this monetary policy that virtually every sane economist not working for the government thinks is a grave mistake because voters like low interest rates. That ought to work out really well.
So now our tax-cheat Treasury secretary wants to try some more things we haven't tried before? Well, you may think that this message brings great hope, but it would seem that the stock market didn't like that one bit.
If you want to see just how this gang of leftist statists want to change this country some new details can be found here.
The reason we don't have more details has to be because they really don't know how the hell they're going to pull this off. It's just going to be stuff we haven't tried before. No chance for letting people work, thrive and then spend their own money.

"Does not play well with others"

That's what the report cards said.

But here comes proof otherwise, kids. I'd like to introduce my buddy, Rusty Straightrazor. He has a blog, and it's right over there. I like it so much that I am going to work up a gadget that shows his frequent contributions, linkwise, and occupying a place of prominence on this publication. His contributions will consist almost entirely of publicly smacking those deemed worthy.

What socially unworthy scumsucking scallywags are smack-worthy in Rusty's opinion? Well, ultimately, you'll have to ask him. But I'm sure the folks who keep raping the US Constitution will be among them, as will a totally different band of the smacking spectrum: Duke basketball players (see today's post). Likewise, I'd expect to see Delayed-Harvest-trout-stream poachers, pop-media talking heads, RINOs, PETAs, terrorist sympathizers, and cat-lovers. He mentioned to me that he may even include a way to submit your own candidates! How cooler-than-shit is that?

His blog is aptly named, drumroll please...The Daily Flush-O-Gram. I hope you like it. I hope you like it enough to send me money, which I will make sure he gets.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

New career path

Confucius said (really, look it up), "Find something that you love to do, and you will never work a day in your life."

Now I know what I want to be when I grow up.

I want to be the body painting artist for the SI swimsuit chicks. Seriously, not even considering how much fun the actual job would be, consider the mileage you'd get out of it with your friends: "Yeah, I was painting a nekkid supermodel in a tropical paradise again today..."

I think I'll start training for this job. I plan to go with the "self-taught" method, and I'm not, as they say, real tight with the local supermodel community. So, if anybody out there knows any supermodels (or maybe even some not-so-super supermodels, or maybe even still some not nearly super supermodels) that wouldn't mind so much me drawing "The Pirate" or "Skippy" on their skin, then send 'em on over. I have an account over at Sipe's Lumber and Hardware.

...In other news: Tomorrow, I plan to launch a new feature called, The Daily Flush-O-Gram. It should be fun.

Tonight though? Basketball, kids! Turn on ESPN, turn down that royal dipshit Vitale (Oh Baby, it's a p-t-p-er, it's a dipsy-doo dunkaroo...) and get Woody cranked up loud.

Get 'em Tyler!

Go 'Heels!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Some good stuff

Since I'm busier today than a one-armed paper-hanger with the crabs, I haven't been able to peruse much news. Boortz' site is one I try to drop in on daily, though, as he usually has the finest of material.

I do not always agree with him, but most of the time I do. Truly, one of the best things about streaming media? You can get 5 hours of Boortz every weekday. And, you can get Herman Cain, too.

Here is an excerpt from today's Nealz Nuze just to give you a sample:


Copying the text didn't work too well, so better to just link it: Have you figured this out, yet?

Here is a link to his Nealz Nuze index.

And here is a link to Herman Cain's weekly articles, and his Intelligent Thinkers' Movement. I can't find any fault with Herman, so I joined the HITM.

...more later...


Monday, February 9, 2009

How the Dems ran me off, for good.

I asked my 12-year-old nephew on Saturday whether he was a Democrat or Republican.

We had set out Saturday morning, my brother, his youngest son , and I, to go shotgun shopping. The nephew had some birthday dollars screaming to get spent.

The youngster rightly hesitated, and I told him that I really didn't want an answer, and it wasn't necessarily any of my business, but wanted to make a point about how Republicans and Democrats, for the most part, viewed his right to own a firearm. And, I wanted to prepare him for the possibility that he maybe wouldn't be carrying his new shooting-iron home this day.

But the element of dialog most important to this blog entry is the coaching that brother contributed. He said, "You are probably, mostly, what your parents are."

To which I replied, "Excellent point! But, if that were purely so, I, having Democrats for parents, would be thoroughly screwed." They both got a chuckle out of that. But it is a salient point. Given no other influence, I would likely be a Democrat. I'll do some research, and find out how far back this allegiance goes. But, what I want to focus on here, is what factors contributed to me pulling my head out of the sand (read: my ass).

Now let me mention...I, like most people, never fashioned my beliefs down the line of party-rhetoric or theme. I've always held conservative views on some subjects and more-liberal leanings on others. However, nowadays I have come to the conclusion that unless you're a pothead or homosexual, I don't see what the Democrats have for you. Oh, wait, I have to add "entitlement addicts" to that group. But after that, what? Okay, wealth-envy-cloaked-in-global-warming crowd, I know where you go, too.

Thing is, though, you folks suck. The only thing roughly "American" about your existence is that we Americans tolerate your presence. Where you are is America. But is there really anything else that makes you remotely American? You use those freedoms to your own end, do you not? You pervert things like marriage and concern for the environment into your own agenda. I see why the party of limitless tolerance is your ticket.

What was that last straw for me, though?

When I saw how the Democrats fell into lock-step wishing for our failure in Afghanistan and Iraq.

How gleefully they reported about the mysterious non-existence of WMD's.

How readily they abandoned the President and distanced themselves from Valor.

How easily they bedded down with the peace-mongering media.

How they took advantage of the combination of a natural disaster and a community of persons too sorry to do for themselves and laid blame on the administration in the process.

How that vile piece of shit, Hillary, rolled her eyes every chance she got while the President was speaking.

And how her husband claimed he wished the 9/11 attacks had been on his watch (Dear Slick Willie: I remember the Cole...and what your defintion of is is).

How they continually shame, pervert, and dishonor the Constitution, as if it is no longer relevant.

I ask myself, Which of that gang would Sam Adams, George Washington, Teddy Roosevelt, Ben Franklin, or Thomas Jefferson give the time of day to?

Which of these bums would survive a patriot-litmus-test administered by the aforementioned?
  • Pelosi?
  • Reid?
  • Obama?
  • Clintons?
  • Kennedy?
  • Kerry?
  • Frank?
  • Dodd?
Those people (all leading Democrats) are bad, and by association, anyone aligned with them are also bad. I didn't say misguided. I said "bad". Dispicably bad.
My attitude is, I can love the environment, being an outdoorsman, without marching along to the "sky is falling" drumbeat. I can yearn for equality and prosperity for everyone, without the need to prop up the degenerate and worthless.
I read where Rush Limbaugh was quoted as saying that he wished for the current regime to fail, and I understand his feelings. But, I also believe that wishing them to fail is no better than them wishing failure on our previous administration in their push to gain power. And I'd like to think we're better than that. I am an unashamed fan of Rush, but I can't agree with him here.
What I hope for is that everyone opens their eyes to what we've gotten ourselves into.
I recently read another blog that was all weepy (he said it, not me) over an '04 speech given by the abomination that was all Kennedy-like and lovey-sweety, and how he had wished and wished that abominable would someday run for Prez and allllllllll his little wishes would come true, and then he did and he's so happy. But I didn't read (and I ain't gonna link it, 'cause I ain't into embarrassing folks)...I didn't read anywhere that he said that beginning in '04, after said speech, that the flowery rhetoric made him look deeper into the qualities of the speaker. He did not say that "upon closer scrutiny, I saw all the mighty deeds this man has accomplished." Of course not. Why is that? That's because flowery rhetoric qualifies as substance for some dingbats. How can you publicly praise the packaging without having given the slightest scrutiny to the contents? I don't get that. And then compound the mistake of even tolerating this guy as a voice of your party at your convention by running him out there in '08 as your presidential candidate?
You wanted power, democrats. And now you've got it. I hope that you don't succeed in making bigger government, and more dependents (though I know you'll try). I hope you don't try to criminalize my nephew's new shotgun, or even set yourselves up as any kind of authority over his ownership of it. I hope you quit enslaving minorities to welfare and entitlements. I hope you quit the deification of a man who has still accomplished exactly zero. And mostly, I hope people get over getting their way, rub the sleep-boogers out of their eyes, and start paying attention.
In a world where folks are actually looking, listening, and thinking with a critical eye, I don't see how you can keep pulling this charade. But, if continuing to weaken America or turn it into a Socialist state is your goal, then like Mr. Limbaugh, I hope you fail miserably.
p.s. The nephew did get, and is now the proud owner of, a new shotgun. And, there are days afield in his future. Also, yesterday I got to go along on a trail ride (about 8-9 miles) on Nockohoma! I neglected to take my camera, but photos will be forthcoming, someday. And I was contacted (finally) for the first new actual work projects for 2009 (whew!). What a weekend.
p.p.s. I really appreciate comments. The words don't have to agree with mine, and I suspect topics like this one might be rather inflammatory, but I encourage your input/feedback, nonetheless (it's good to hear something other than the crickets). The thoughts above have been looming in my mind, especially since the most-disappointing recent election, and I just had to get them out...I won't say that I'm necessarily done with that topic, but at least I can pull my face out of the toilet bowl for a couple of days, and rinse the chunks outta my beard. Next up, we'll ridicule those pansyfied Dookies!

Friday, February 6, 2009

The plain meaning...

"How strangely will the Tools of a Tyrant pervert the plain Meaning of Words!"- Samuel Adams

If you feel like there's anything economically "stimulating" about Frisbee Golf parks, family planning, or raking leaves in the forest, then tuck your head back under your wing. I have learned that one of my Senators is on the fence. Thus, I'll be making a few calls this morning.

Enjoy this video courtesy of ReasonTV.

And thanks to the blog from the JLF.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

"Dyin' ain't much of a livin', boy..."

If my blog template had a subtitle box, it'd go here and look like this!

I was visiting Jenny's, and she had this post that suggested that she has blog-ideas that when fresh, have a brilliance that later don't seem so brilliant. But, that her ideas have a sort of cooling off period in what she calls a "draft" folder. What a concept!

Here I was thinking that the whole purpose of blogging was supposed to be vomicking out all your unwashed creativity on the back-porch of the blogosphere, and later judging its worth by which reader-cats came along and licked it up.

Important side note: The preceding paragraph is an illustration of my own blogging ignorance, and definitely not a reflection of her blog. I have nothing but reverence for Jenny. Jenny rocks.

Point I was getting at, though, is that I've been fighting the need to blog out something along the lines of Why I'm Not A Democrat, Anymore, because...

See, there it is. I get running just a little bit on it, and it bogs down fast. But back to the point: I'm thinking on it, and it'll be good when it's finished, but if I throw some notions into it (over there in draft-land) and come back later, without letting it rip my guts out all at once, I may actually get to some other things, which might come easier.

But, on the other hand, it could be like jokus-buildupicus. That term's my invention, by the way. It refers to when someone says, "Oh, I've got this great joke..." Then, before it gets told, it gets interrupted, again and again, until it becomes a joke that is no longer funny. So, forget I said anything about the "great" Not A Democrat thing. Don't forget I mentioned it, just forget I said anything about it having any value...just so you're not disappointed. But, if you wonder, "Now why hasn't he been bloggin'?" you'll have that little thing in the back of your brain that says, "...maybe he's drafting..."

So, while I'm drafting over there, today's blog will be a movie review...

Having recently stumbled across some discussion about the new Clint Eastwood movie, Gran Torino, and having also recently seen the film, I thought I'd volunteer my assessment. The "discussion" in question was on the bulletin board over at the Upland Journal, which is great, by the way, and chock-full of mighty fine people. I found it odd, reading the opinions posted there, that almost all of them liked the film. Someone even compared it to John Wayne's The Shootist, as if it similarly puts a punctuation mark on Clint's career like Shootist did for The Duke.

Now, understand one thing. I am an enormous Clint Eastwood fan.

That said, this film fails in a couple of ways, and doesn't rank as nearly his best effort. I think Eastwood should have either gotten someone else cast in the lead role, or had a different director. All the performances were way over the top. Clint's Kowalski is more bitter and bigoted than he has to be. Kowalski's sons and their families are more superficial, banal, and coarse than they should be (or would be allowed to be, if Kowalski's character is anywhere near as hard as he is depicted). The priest-guy? Too sappy, or something. Kowalski's transition from tough and aloof to open and disarmed, as a product of the priest's counsel? Unconvincing. Ditto with his (Kowalski's) catharsis of character regarding the Hmong neighbors. Not sayin' it couldn't happen, just sayin' that going from point A to point B should have been more than an exercise in button-pushing. Some honest character-development would've been nice. A measure of subtlety could have done wonders.

Looks to me like the story had potential, but someone decided to short-cut the actual work in favor of spoon-feeding the audience. I think it could've been so much better. On a scale of 1 to 10? I say 7.

Compare it to The Shootist? No way, Jack. Not even close.

My list of the best Clint Eastwood movies:
  1. The Outlaw Josey Wales
  2. Paint Your Wagon
  3. Dirty Harry
  4. The Unforgiven
  5. Million Dollar Baby
  6. The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly
  7. The Eiger Sanction (I recreated a scene from this, in an actual fist-fight in high school)
  8. A Fistful Of Dollars
  9. Two Mules For Sister Sarah
  10. (Tie)The Beguiled, The Bridges of Madison County

It had been since 04's Million Dollar Baby that we got some new Eastwood. Let's hope that we don't have to wait that long again, or that if we do, it turns out a little better.