Saturday, February 28, 2009


Paul Harvey - Good Day

Driving home this evening I heard on the radio that Paul Harvey had died at the age of 90. When I was a child my parents always listened to Harvey. My mother particularly liked him. Partly because the hailed from Tulsa, OK where my mom spent that second half of her childhood.

I enjoyed Harvey's style. His delivery made him instantly recognizable. Besides his news and commentary, he also had a "Rest of the Story" human interest bit he did. Most recently I would listen to it on WLW radio or WKRC radio in Cincinnati. I considered "The Rest of the Story" to be little pearls of history and sometimes wisdom.

I will miss Harvey more than any other newscaster that graced radio or TV.

Harvey's signature sign of was, "Paul Harvey (long hesitation) Good Day."

Now, from me, it's "Paul Harvey, Good night, and may God bless you for eternity."

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Sound Familar? - Woman Shoots and Kills Sleeping Husband; Claims Abuse

In 2007, Cheryl McCafferty shot her sleeping husband in the head, killing him instantly. Now, on trial for murder, McCafferty is claiming she was abused despite no evidence of abuse. The prosecution says money was the motive.
The prosecution painted a picture of money issues it says led to McCafferty killing her husband in 2007.

Cheryl McCafferty had racked up $80,000 in credit card debt, was forging her husband’s name on checks for up to $2,000 at a time and was regularly arguing with him, said Assistant Campbell Commonwealth’s Attorney Vanita Fleckinger.

“One shot to the head,” said Fleckinger. “A shot to kill.”
Cheryl McCafferty’s lawyers have indicated their client may testify on her own behalf. Defense lawyers have asked Ward to allow Cheryl McCafferty to speak about alleged acts of abuse.

Commonwealth Attorney Michelle Snodgrass has indicated that she wants to call the McCaffertys’ teenage children – Patrick and Molly – to testify. They were 12 and 15, respectively, at the time of the killing.
I'm particularly interested in how the children will testify. Cheryl McCafferty has had well over a year to brainwash the kids into saying anything she wants. She could easily frighten them with stories of them growing up as parentless orphans as well as distort past events in their minds to support her claims. Meanwhile, Bob McCafferty lies dead in his grave with a bullet hole in his head.

Live blogging created an interesting side note to this trial.
[Judge Julie] Ward had initially rejected a request by the media to allow blogging inside the courtroom. The attorneys filed an appeal of that decision, and Ward responded by ordering all television cameras turned off inside the courtroom and that the camera equipment be removed. She later stayed the order to remove the equipment, saying she would rule on the matter Tuesday morning.

Crews spent three days setting up equipment inside the designated media room and would likely take more than one day to clear it, if it needs to be removed at all.

Reporters had been allowed inside the courtroom Monday morning, but all laptop computers and recording devices were ordered turned off. Photographers were also barred from taking pictures inside the courtroom.
Apparently, this was all a result of bloggers live blogging in the courtroom which the judge does not like. I would like to see bloggers given the same credence as other journalists. Hopefully, they will be in this case.

Saturday, February 21, 2009


Why There Are Mortage Problems

A little over four years ago I bought my house with zero percent down. I bought a modest three bedroom, two bath fixer upper that still needs some fixing up. This includes a large detached metal garage, an acre+ of land and a creek at the back of the property.

Primarily, I bought this real estate for my kids to have a better place to stay while with me. There's a basketball goal in the driveway with plenty of room to shoot and play. The backyard has a large flat area for running, throwing baseball and footballs, practicing archery and whatever. And, of course, the creek to fish in.

Although I had no down payment, I made sure to purchase a house I felt confident I could pay for comfortably.

Looking at the housing bailout plan, the first thing of substance I notice is that qualifying mortgages' payments will be reduced to monthly repayments of 31 percent of gross income of the borrower. I did some checking on my mortgage payments.

My monthly payments are already less than 31% of my gross income. My monthly payments are only 19% of my gross income. In fact, my monthly payments are only 26% of my net take home pay. This is not because I have lots of money. I live very modestly. My annual income is only a few thousand dollars per year than the national average per household.

How irresponsible are many of these people that lowering their monthly payments to 31% of their gross monthly income is going to help them? Did they really think the could make house payments of greater than 31% of their gross monthly income comfortably? Why is our money being used to bail out these irresponsible people and irresponsible lending companies?

This is the malignant caring that I was talking about in a previous post. The under-performers are rewarded and the performers penalized. The lesson taught is that poor judgment and poor performance pays. Let the houses be foreclosed upon and help the under-performers find a decent place to rent and let them start over. Hopefully a little smarter and a little wiser this time.

BTW - That will help the depressed rental property market.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


How Long Till Obama's Popularity Plummets?

Obama's approval ratings are still good but falling. Reading the comments to this post by Katie Allison Granju, I wonder how long it will take before Obama is in George W. Bush land.

I didn't see a single comment supportive of Obama and his economic policy. Granju is a liberal blogger at a major newspaper. You'd think some sympathetic liberal would have said something. But, nothing yet. Not a good sign for Barack.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Recycling That Worries Me

In Montgomery, Ohio, a bedroom community of Cincinnati, homeowners recycling quantities is being tracked using a chip in the recycling containers.
Homeowners participating in the program use a container that has an ID chip that the truck records, along with the weight of the materials being recycled.

The system records the weight, converts it to points, and credits that amount directly to the homeowner's account.
Currently, this is a voluntary program to promote recycling and participants receive points based on the amount recycled. The points can be used to purchase goods and services from local and national merchants. The program has been an overwhelming success at this point.

Aside from the fact that households that recycle the most may also be the households that are the most wasteful and careless with the amount of goods they purchase and use, I wonder how long until some "well meaning" politician will decide everyone should be forced to have a recycling tub with a chip in it. Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Idaho and the federal government are considering putting a GPS chip on every car to track its mileage in order to tax it. Oregon already has such a program.

I support recycling and take my recyclables to a truck size container a couple of miles away as recycling is not picked up at residences in my neck of the woods. But, we don't need big brother tracking our recycling efforts, or our cars for that matter. There seems to be no limit to how far politicians will infringe on our rights, privacy and freedoms if we allow them.


Another Good Reason to Home School

Or, More Stupidity in Education.
A 14-year-old Wisconsin girl who refused to stop texting during a high school math class was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct, according to police.

Discipline - yes. Arrest - no!

HT to SayUncle.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


More Males Are The Problem

I took this picture of a poster on the side of a bus stop several months ago in Cincinnati.

What caught my interest was the "I stand up to my buddies when they disrespect girls" checkpoint. This poster was put up by the YWCA of Cincinnati. You'd think the YWCA would put up posters directed at females. But, no, they put up posters telling boys how to act including the subtle message that boys are the problem. Nag, nag, nag.

I walk 1.5 to 2 miles around downtown 3-4 times a week. I go by the YWCA frequently. I've never seen a poster or sign instructing girls to not disrespect or mistreat boys. In fact, I don't think in my 57 years on this planet that I've ever seen a sign, poster or public service message telling any female group to treat men with respect.

Rather lopsided and harmful to males.

Saturday, February 14, 2009


Woman Exercises Husband to Death

Following a lengthy investigation a 40 year old Ohio woman, Chris Mason, has been charged with reckless homicide after exercising her 73 year old husband to death.
On June 2, Middlefield Police responded to the Middlefield Village Apartments, 16119 E. High St., for a report of an unresponsive male in a swimming pool. When officers arrived, they discovered 73-year-old James Mason, lifeless in the pool. Chris Mason was also in the pool, holding him, according to reports.

Police had knowledge of prior alleged abuse from Chris toward James, which led to the opening of the investigation into James’ death. Police reviewed a surveillance video from the apartment complex which led to a criminal investigation, according to reports.

“That video revealed some pretty disturbing footage for about an hour and 40 minutes leading up to his death,” said Middlefield Police Chief Joseph Stehlik. “We knew we were going to be investigating an assault or a homicide.”

On June 3, James died and the homicide investigation began in conjunction with the Geauga County Coroner’s Office, Cuyahoga County Coroner’s Office and the Geauga County Prosecutor.

The official cause of death was ruled as a heart attack by forced exercise in the swimming pool, Stehlik said. Police did not receive the homicide ruling from the coroner’s office until last month, which was pertinent to make an arrest, he said.

The surveillance video showed Chris blocking James’ exit out of the pool 43 times in the hour and 40 minutes, Stehlik said. James was, however, able to get out of the pool a few times, but ultimately was forced back in.
An interesting twist is that Mason was born a male and had gender reassignment surgery in 1993. I wonder if judge and jury will give her the usual sympathy given women.


Malignant Caring

One of the great frustrations of my childhood was my father's attempts of motivating an under-performing child. Early in my life that involved a lot of screaming and yelling on his part. But, that bothered me less than his later methods.

If you performed below expectations or ability, he would set up bribes such as promising to take you out to eat at the best restaurant in town if you improved your performance. He did this once with a brother and sister with the criteria being shaving a second off of their time in a swimming event.

He also would buy under-performers more or better equipment for sports hoping having the good stuff would somehow motivate that child to try harder or do more. I remember my middle brother having a closet full of basketball, football and baseball shoes although he never excelled at any.

Indeed, that was the clincher in all these attempts - none of them worked. What they did was set up conflict between siblings. When a child did excel, the performance was mostly ignored. I was never offered a "prize" for improving my performance. If I had shaved a second off my 50 meter breaststroke time, I would have been in the running for a state championship. I wonder to this day if my father even knew I was MVP of my high school basketball team.

Instead, I was left resenting some of my siblings for getting nicer shoes and meals at fancy restaurants. My two youngest siblings were young enough that my father had largely given up on any attempts to motivate his kids performance. Thus, they were spared the conflict.

Of course, my father could have saved a lot of time, money, effort and conflict if he had just realized that some us like certain activities and others different activities.

My father's approaches at motivation were one of several reasons I vowed to be a better father to my own children. Yes, I take my kids out to a nice restaurant after they played a good game or got a good report card. But, I do it on a "spur of the moment basis." There is no agreement or carrot before hand. And, I do it for all my kids. I will take all the kids out to eat to share the celebration of one kid's performance. Thus, the kids don't resent each other but cheer each other on.

What brought all this to mind was the bailout and "stimulus" packages Obama and the Democrats in Congress have seen fit to burden us with. Poor performance in being rewarded while good performance is being ignored or punished. Punished because the performers are the ones who will end up paying for all this.

The Great Society programs and consequent welfare programs followed the same lines. Non-performance was rewarded with a place to live, free food, etc. While some of this was needed and necessary, the overall impact was to create a permanent underclass expecting endless entitlements while living in government designed and constructed ghettos.

Yet these people live in the anger and frustration that they don't have and probably never will have the comforts and quality of living of the average suburbanite. They are taught that their lives are on of hopelessness because they are being held down by others. That life is against them and there is nothing they, individually, can do about it.

The average suburbanite lives with the anger and frustration of being forced to support people who don't visibly seem to trying to make it on their own.

But, they're frustration is an easier burden to bear because they have a nice house, well groomed lawn, two cars and a neighborhood in which it is safe to take late evening strolls. Life is generally pleasant.

Thus the social welfare programs of government have largely failed over the past 50 years because the programs don't take into account human motivation and the program's' effects on others in society.

The next time you hear someone say we need more money of programs say "No, we don't." We need programs that work and programs that work are programs that reward successful work, not trying to work but successfully working. Then, eventually, successful work will bring its own rewards.

But, right now, we have a system of caring that hurts as much as it helps, maybe more.


Is John Boehner Having It Both Ways?

John Boehner on the stimulus bill.

John Boehner on the financial bailout September 29, 2008.

Was he right once and wrong once, if so when, right both times, wrong both times?

This is why I don't believe Washington really cares about everyday Americans. We're just suckers who get to pay for their follies and pork while they don't even pay taxes.

Friday, February 13, 2009


"Not a lot of money .."

Michael Kaplan's (whom ever he is) take on the stimulus bill.

Divided by the number of taxpayers (138 million) it comes to $5,797 per taxpayer.

Divided by the population of the US (305 million) it comes to $2,623 per person.

Not a lot of money ..
$5,797 would make a heck of a down payment on the vehicle I need to buy.
$5,797 would put a nice metal roof on my house.
$5,797 would pay for every extra-curricular activity my kids will do by the time they graduate from high school.
$5,797 would pay for remodeling my bathroom and bedroom which are in bad shape.
$5,797 is far more than any liberal member of my family ever lent me in my times of greatest need.

$5,797 will be wasted by the U.S. government on some dead end pork barrel project or bailing out some rich dude.

With dead brain thinking like this, no wonder we're in such a mess. No wonder charlatans like Obama get elected. Why is it OK for the government to put every taxpayer $5,797 in debt at a whim?

At least a follow-up commenter makes some sense and points out Kaplan overlooks the TARP funds which make the whole deal even worse.
Chump change but the $800 billion does not include the TARP fund which has increased to 2 trillion. Wasn't it fiscal irresponsibility that got us into this mess and do we really think more of the same will get us out; regardless of which side of the political isle you are on?
Still chump change?

How long will it take before the liberals realize that Obama's the most financially irresponsible president? Will the country be able to avoid bankruptcy?

Maybe we need to have an Americathon.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Too Big to Fail?

Cousin Pat from Georgia (he's not really my cousin but he'd be a keeper if he was) at Hurricane Radio asks two questions.
How big is "too big to fail?"

So, should we carry Roosevelt's big stick and start busting up some of these trusts?
My answers:

If you're too big to be allowed to fail, you're too big.


Read the whole thing.


Putting Our Children and Grandchildren in Debt

These are my three youngest children.

Obama and the Democrats in Congress want to saddle them with debt.

Of course, Obama is all for making sure they're not "burdened with a baby."

BTW - I keep looking at this picture and realize that I'm one of the luckiest guys in the world. Not a burden but a blessing.

Saturday, February 07, 2009


Keeping Your Kids Involved

This past Sunday, I looked at my son's past three weekends and realized he was a busy kid. Three weekends ago, he camped with the Boy Scouts for two nights in zero degree weather. The next weekend, he went on a skiing/snowboarding trip to West Virginia with the high school ski & board club. Most recently he went with the Scouts to an indoor rock climbing place, Rockquest. He had lots of fun and earned his climbing merit badge.

Here he is near the top of a 40 foot wall.

Keeping you kids involved in activities has always been considered a key element of helping them develop into mentally and physically adults. My experience tells me that kids will happily participate in lots of activities as long as the activity has some appeal for them. I have also learned that pushing a child too hard to excel destroys much of the value of the activity.

Every activity in which my son as participated in on a long term basis is one he chose. When he was younger, we had him play soccer, basketball, and soccer. I would always toss ball or play games with him at home when he wanted. As he got older he skateboarded, got involved in music, began playing football and did some BMX bicycling.

I supported him monetarily only to the extent it was "reasonable." Skateboards, bicycles and guitars can get expensive. We started with the cheaper models that you can get at dealers, not major retail stores, and went from their. As he got bigger, now 6' 3" & 255 lbs of football player, he realized skateboarding and BMX cycling weren't for big guys. He's earned three guitars and a drum set for his musical efforts though.

I reward my son for his performance. He doesn't have to be the best but he does have to be good. He now understands this completely. He knows I will do everything I can for him as long as he putting forth a good effort. I'm not talking about "trying," I'm talking about working at whatever it is.

Interestingly, he excels at almost everything he does, even the stuff he does just for fun. Maybe, he is an unusually talented and motivated boy. I know he is too a point. He has a "something to prove" attitude that I like. But, he does it with a smile.

But, I think some parents take the wrong approach when they try to get their kids interested in activities they, the parents, like, not necessarily the kids. Then they push the kids too hard to excel. I come from a basketball family. My father and mother played basketball in high school back in the Thirties. Myself and all my siblings played at some point.

Until the third grade youngest daughter claimed she never wanted to play basketball. I always said OK, I just want you to do something. In the third grade one of her friends convinced her to play basketball on one of the intramural developmental league teams at school. When I picked her up after her first practice she looked up at me and said, "Daddy, I love basketball." Now, she's a seventh grader who managed to make the high school freshman team. And, she's done it all herself. I buy her shoes, watch her games and cheer her on, but she's in an activity she loves.

Some parents make the mistake of introducing their kids to a continual string of activities without the expectation of the child sticking to anyone of them and becoming proficient at it. This teaches kids not to persevere plus they never learn the rewards that can be found with long term effort.

Keeping your kids involved is a good thing but it's a little more complicated than that. It takes a lot of work and awareness of each child's needs, abilities, and interests on the parents' part.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009


School Superintendent Wins State Award

Several times during the life of this blog I've mentioned the high quality of the Mason County Schools system in Kentucky where my two youngest attend. Now, Tim Moore, Superintendent of Mason County Schools, has been named Kentucky Superintendent of the Year.

First, I must say that Mr. Moore earned this through personal effort and by building a great staff at all levels. I've mentioned before how Associate Superintendents Kelly Middleton and Elizabeth Petitt have wrote a book detailing their approach to improve their schools.

Not only have the academics at Mason County Schools improved but extra-curricular activities have flourished as well. Students now have a myriad of activities from which to choose. The basketball team has won two state championships under two different coaches during Mr. Moore's tenure. The football team has won several district championships.

The school has made tremendous progress. In my book, they could be more open to unsolicited input from parents. Like most educators, they take too much of a "we know best" attitude. There's too much of "we want parental involvement but only how we say." I suspect this is a problem in virtually school.

But overall, these schools are light years ahead of where they were when Mr. Moore took over.

Moore took over the reins in Mason County in 1997 and a year later had to lead the district back from a $500,000 court judgment that left it with a negative general fund balance. In her nomination of Moore, school board Chairman Ann Porter wrote that he asked district personnel to create opportunities from obstacles. The plan was effective and by 2008, the general fund balance was just over $4 million.
Porter cited Moore's changes in hiring practices as one of the reasons the district's academic index has seen steady growth and has met all No Child Left Behind goals. Moore has also fostered better relationships with students and faculty and staff, asking for their input to identify areas of concern and for ways to solve problems, officials said.
Mason County volunteer hours have increased dramatically, with 52,000 hours documented in 2007.
Not bad.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009


Culture of Corruption - The Real Pros

One of the favorite phrases the left used to refer to Bush and other Republicans was "Culture of Corruption." With Tom Daschle, Timothy Geithner, Al Franken, Chris Dodd, Charley Rangel, and others. Plus, now the first performance czar nominee, Nancy Killefer, failing for a year and a half to pay employment taxes on household help.

Comparing the Republicans "Culture of Corruption" to the Democrat's is like comparing PeeWee football to the NFL. The Dems are real pros.

HT - Instapundit

Sunday, February 01, 2009


Why the Federal Response to the Snow Disaster Is So Slow

Obama told FEMA to go to the Arkansas - Kentucky border and spread out from there.


Welcome to the Leona Helmsley Administration

Charles Rangel

Tim Geithner

Tom Daschle

We don’t pay taxes. Only the little people pay taxes. - Leona Helmsley

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