Archive for the ‘Current Events’ Category

Just Write A Check

Wednesday, October 8th, 2008

When I was a kid my family didn’t have a lot of money.  My sister and I were raised by a single mother.  Our father was spotty with child support payments.  There wasn’t money for things other than necessities.  Of course, kids have no concept of money.  It was frustrating to hear mom say we couldn’t afford something when my sister and I both knew fully well she had a check book ready and waiting.  “Just write a check” we’d tell our mom.  Wow, wouldn’t it be great if life worked that way.  If you could buy things you didn’t have the money for by simply writing a check!  Now we know you can’t write a check for something unless the money is there to back it up.  We owe are mom a big thank you for our understanding of that concept.  I wish Uncle Sam’s mom had taken time to explain like our mom did!

The Hypocrisy

Tuesday, October 7th, 2008

It makes me twitch a bit to listen to media personalities pontificate to the candidates about how their negative rhetoric is turning off the American people.  I don’t disagree.  I do find it hypocritical the masters of negativity have saddled up their high horse, however.  How about the candidates and the media both do what they can to be respectful and treat the American people as if we have brains.  Perhaps if they do the American people will then remember to use those brains.

Economy May Not Be So Bad

Wednesday, October 1st, 2008

I took my daughter to the mall this evening to pick up a book.  I was amazed to see people were still buying ugly things.  Guess the economy isn’t as bad as I thought.

Paying With Cash

Wednesday, October 1st, 2008

It is convenient to pay with my credit card when shopping.  Carrying cash is not something I’m used to doing anymore.  That is about to change, however.  I intend to cut way back on using plastic money.  Not because I’m worried about overspending.  We are in good shape and fortunately do not carry balances on our cards.  As difficult as times are for businesses right now, I refuse to saddle them with the credit card fees.  Credit card companies have been making money hand over fist and will continue to do so.  They are in the advantageous spot of being able to charge card users and retailers at the same time.  Well, I am doing what I can to shop at small businesses these days and when I do, I’m leaving the plastic at home.  It feels pretty patriotic, actually.

Say What?

Monday, September 29th, 2008

I’m watching the news coverage of the $700B bailout Bill’s defeat in the House.  This is a big deal.  I’m still on the fence as to whether or not I support the idea of a bailout.  It’s a hard pill to swallow.  One news commentator said it best when he suggested one might need to plug their nose to actually get it down.

Even though I’m not sure how I feel about the Bill, the impression I had from coverage earlier in the day was that the language of the Bill was satisfactory to both parties and would likely pass.  Now that it has failed, party leaders are stepping up to the microphone to accuse the other of partisan like speeches and name calling.  They are claiming the reason the Bill failed did not involve its language, but the way the Bill was being discussed in the House.  Are you kidding me?  Vote on the language of the Bill and what it means to the American people and the crisis we are navigating.  To cast your vote based on your reaction to he said – she said garbage is juvenile.

Add to the mix, McCain’s camp is now saying this failed because Obama did not suspend his campaign and do more to promote the idea of a bailout to his Democratic collegues.  The reasoning is that supposedly McCain’s involvement upped the Republican support of a bailout from 4% to 35%.  Well la-de-dah.  I don’t think the fact only 60% of Democrats voted in favor of this Bill had anything to do with Obama.  This is a big issue and the passing of a bailout is going to have a lot of different consequences.  No party is going to stick their neck out to be the sole deer with a bullseye on its head.  The Republicans were clearly trying to keep their support of the Bill high enough to get it passed and low enough so there was room to put the weight of the consequences from the bailout squarely on the Democrat’s shoulders.  This is insane.  I seriously want to throttle everyone involved.  Pass it, defeat it…part of me doesn’t care.  But make sure whatever happens is not about ego or hurt feelings.  It needs to be about protecting our economy!

Not Being Sarcastic

Thursday, September 25th, 2008

I genuinely feel bad for Sarah Palin today.  Her interview on CBS last night with Katie Couric was a disaster.  I’m crushed for her.  It was ridiculously obvious she was doing her level best to stick to canned statements others have likely been drilling down her throat.  Her performance in the interview wasn’t unlike how I golf after getting too many pointers.  I go from hitting the ball less than perfectly to totally missing the bloody thing.  It’s impossible to think straight with so many voices in your head reminding you what to do.

A few commenters on news sites today have celebrated the fact Sarah Palin has been ‘exposed’ or that she will likely go from star to ruined.  I’m not celebrating.  I don’t have the confidence to lend my vote to McCain with her 2nd in line, but that doesn’t mean I want to see this mother and public figure skewered for making the decision to take on something she wasn’t ready for.  It seems McCain has been trying to protect her, perhaps from this very thing, by limiting her media exposure.  I can’t help but wonder if that hasn’t made her more vulnerable.  It definitely puts more weight on the conversations she is having with those who have been granted the opportunity to interview her.  They know it so they press harder and she knows it so she’s more nervous.  I think it’s a formula for disaster.

Positions

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008

I’m combing the news for any sign McCain and Obama have taken a firm and clear position on the current economic crisis and what should be done.  Considering they are both interviewing for the top position in our country, surely they have a position on the correct path to take.  So far they seem to be positioning themselves to avoid stating a position until others have made their positions clear.  Though I wouldn’t want to be in their position, it is a position they sought.  Because of this, they need to quit with the political mumbo-jumbo and lead.  In the meantime, citizens like me are processing the news and data while curled in the fetal position (insert “I want my mommy” here, please) and hoping we don’t find ourselves in the missionary position tomorrow.  Odds are good we are about to get screwed.

I See Him!

Sunday, September 21st, 2008

Jesus has been spotted again.  He is now believed to be part of a water mark on the ceiling of a weight loss clinic.  Such a little joker.  Wasn’t he a potato chip the last time he made an appearance?  I suppose it is a logical progression.  Considering the water mark was likely the result of a leaky roof, it’s good he’s there.  Who says you can’t find a good carpenter when you need one?

Although I think it is great to look for Jesus, it seems more useful to me to tune our eyes to those around us and the good things they do versus over-analyzing oil spills, plaster cracks and dirt smears on windows.  If Jesus decides to show himself to us, my gut tells me it won’t be on something that can be chiseled out and sold on eBay.

I Need A Rolaid!

Friday, September 19th, 2008

I need a Rolaid.  Our government is planning a massive bailout to help manage the current financial crisis.  The American tax payers as a whole are essentially going to buy worthless mortgage backed securities for hundreds of billions of dollars to rescue the collapsing firms and curb the domino effect.  Part of me gets why this needs to happen.  We did something similar during the Savings & Loan crisis.  I can’t help but wonder if the fact the government was there with a giant safety net of George Washingtons opened the door for a repeat performance.  What’s the harm in taking insane risks when you don’t have to suffer the losses?

Nancy Pelosi indicates the House will support this plan if consideration is also given to main street during this crisis.  She wants additional funds allocated for food stamps, health care assistance, mortgage relief, etc.  In her mind Wall Street shouldn’t be the only one rescued.  Though I agree there is great need in both areas I am struggling with the fact our government is still in a heavy spend mode (bailouts, Iraq War, border fence, etc.) while spiraling into even greater debt and no real plan for increasing revenue or cutting expenses.  It’s great for government to bail out its corporations and citizens.  Who is to bail out our government?  With no real plans to raise taxes, it seems likely to me we will have to continue to sell bits and pieces of ourselves to foreign countries and increase our reliance on their willingness to extend credit.  This is nuts!  The United States isn’t supposed to need credit from other countries.  We are supposed to be the ones with the deep pockets.  Of course, we could continue to borrow from Social Security instead and watch with great horror and exaggerated shock as that system collapses.  Funny how it is illegal for companies to touch the money that is to be garnished from employee paychecks and sent on to Social Security.  The government knows how risky touching that money can be, and yet…

Listening to the president this morning made it clear to me what the true problem is.  Our government only wants to ‘regulate’ when there is no choice otherwise to do so.  Because involvement only comes in crisis, what is necessary to fix the problem is extreme.  Regulation along the way is the best way to flush out problems before they become terribly expensive.  The contractor working on my house put it best this morning.  It is human nature to be corrupt and set on taking as much as possible.  We all need to be regulated to an extent.  Put an open cookie jar in front of an unattended child and just see how good they are at only taking one.  Ain’t gonna happen.  A person who criticizes government’s involvement in our daily lives and yet feels the need to watch their child at the cookie jar isn’t being consistent in their understanding of human behavior.

Punching The Wall

Monday, September 15th, 2008

I’m disgusted this morning.  Waking up every day to more bad news about our economy is tough.  Doing so and seeing the presidential campaign is still focused on lipstick, churches, pregnant children, Muslim names and the like makes me want to punch the wall.  What magic pill is everyone else taking that allows them to shrug their shoulders at the big issues and absorb all this nonsense?  Are the real issues just too big and scary to give attention?  Perhaps ignoring the elephant in the room is some form of defense mechanism.  Does denial help our mental state?  It must.  I’m not in denial and I definitely feel my sanity slipping.