Monday, March 23, 2009


Of Scorpions and Frogs

First we had the AIG bonuses. Now, we have JPMorgan Chase using TARP money to buy luxury jets.
Embattled bank JPMorgan Chase, the recipient of $25 billion in TARP funds, is going ahead with a $138 million plan to buy two new luxury corporate jets and build "the premier corporate aircraft hangar on the eastern seaboard" to house them, ABC News has learned.
Joseph Evangelisti, a spokesman for JPMorgan Chase, said no TARP money would be used to make any payments for new jets or jet hangar improvements.
JPMorgan Chase currently has four jets at Westchester Airport,...
The claim that no TARP money will be used, while maybe technically correct, is baloney. It's an accounting trick similar to one I've seen many times. At a non-profit agency where I once worked, we received grant money specified for particular programs. Some of those programs were tremendously profitable. On the books, the grant money went to the programs but then the profits from the programs went to other programs. A circular path of sorts. The TARP money will go where the money for jets would have gone.

All this reminded me of some of my favorite reading as a child, Aesop's Fables. In particular the story of The Scorpion and The Frog.
The Scorpion and the Frog

A scorpion and a frog meet on the bank of a stream and the
scorpion asks the frog to carry him across on its back. The
frog asks, "How do I know you won't sting me?" The scorpion
says, "Because if I do, I will die too."

The frog is satisfied, and they set out, but in midstream,
the scorpion stings the frog. The frog feels the onset of
paralysis and starts to sink, knowing they both will drown,
but has just enough time to gasp "Why?"

Replies the scorpion: "Its my nature..."
As we've seen the people at AIG and JPMorgan Chase are scorpions. Like the frog, Congress and Obama were and are foolish to think these people will act against their own nature.

Congress and Obama also play the role of the scorpion to the American public. They make many seductive promises but act according to their political nature which is to increase government power over individuals, spend money recklessly, and increase taxes rather than practice fiscal responsibility. They follow their nature, even when the path is self-destructive.

Robert Fulghum's book All I Really Need To Know I Learned in Kindergarten proposes that the simple truths you learned in your youngest years are what you really need to know to get through life successfully. Reading Aesop's Fables as a child, not every story made sense to me. But, as I get older, I increasingly realize the simple truths held in the fables apply well to life. Maybe we all need to go back and read the fables again, carefully.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


Is It Time to Repeal Godwin's Law?

Today ACORN affiliated group Connecticut Working Families Party is providing bus tours past the houses of AIG executives.
The Connecticut Working Families Party this weekend has organized a bus store that will make stops at Wilton, Connecticut, AIG office as well as the security-patrolled homes of AIG execs who are fearing for their lives.

"We're going to be peaceful and lawful in everything we do," said Jon Green, the director of Connecticut Working Families. "I know there's a lot of anger and a lot of rage about what's happened. We're not looking to foment that unnecessarily, but what we want to do is give folks in Bridgeport and Hartford and other parts of Connecticut who are struggling and losing their homes and their jobs and their health insurance an opportunity to see what kinds of lifestyle billions of dollars in credit-default swaps can buy."
A thinly veiled attempt at intimidation by CWF/ACORN. I wouldn't be surprised that is some don't hope for eventual violence that can't be directly linked to CWF/ACORN.

""I know there's a lot of anger and a lot of rage about what's happened. We're not looking to foment that unnecessarily,..." Unnecessarily? Nice little catch word. Does he think fomenting rage is necessary now? He doesn't really say.

Maybe we'll see an re-enactment of of the bombing of New York Supreme Court Justice Murtagh's house with his family inside by the Weathermen group led by Obama's good friends, Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn.

For decades Democrats and leftists have preached hate against the rich. Richness in itself was evil. Rich people were automatically declared guilty of greed and multiple other sins. All this despite the fact that many of the Democrats and leftists were rich themselves. But many in the middle and lower classes fell this this myth out of envy and greed of their own.

And now we may be looking at a time similar to the Wiemar Republic seventy five years ago when times were hard and people wanted someone to blame.

Obama, Democrats in Congress and the rest of their gang want us to be outraged at AIG execs and forget about the outrageous earmarks in the stimulus bill including many by Obama's inner circle.

Yes, we're supposed to be outraged by $165 million while Congress and Obama blow trillions and put the country in hock for decades to come. Remember Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer's words?

Yeah, we really don't care but we're supposed to be outraged about the relatively minuscule amount AIG execs received in bonuses. And now CWF/ACORN is undertaking actions that could predictably lead to an attack on an AIG employee or family member, and, perhaps, murder.

Godwin's Law states: "As a Usenet discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches. ...the person who first makes an unwarranted reference to Nazi Germany or Hitler in an argument loses that argument automatically.. Another catch word, "unwarranted."

Maybe a reference to Nazi Germany and Hitler is warranted here. Maybe, instead of calling CWF/ACORN commies, calling them Nazis is an appropriate response.

Maybe people need to realize the path this country is being led is dark and dangerous with a sign above the entrance gate, "Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here."

Friday, March 20, 2009


Curious Non-Rape Case

False rape accusations stand as one of the biggest bones of contention between feminists and men's rights advocates. Why, and if, a woman would lie about being raped brings heated discussion. The most recent highly publicized case involved the Duke University lacrosse team who were tried and convicted in the media with swift severity. Unfortunately for the alleged perpetrators, and self-appointed judges and juries, the crime didn't happen.

In Oxford Township, OH, a woman claimed she had been raped.
The woman said she was walking along Route 27 near College Corner sometime before 4 a.m. when a man in a dark-colored vehicle pulled up beside her and ordered her into the car at gunpoint.

The woman said the man drove her to a field where he raped her several times. She said he then took her money and drove her back to the area where he picked her up.
After some investigation, the woman admitted no rape had occurred. She had made up the story.

Certainly, this particular woman must be emotionally disturbed. Luckily, there was no particular man accused who had to face the false claims.

But, it's always good to remember that people lie about lots of stuff, many times even when it makes no sense. I can't really imagine why. Lest we forget, men lie about rape too, hoping to avoid prison.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Democrats Eating Their Own

UPDATE Now it appears Dodd is more involved than I was led to believe in the original post. The Democrats are having a regular festival of finger pointing. As a friend told me earlier today, the Dems invented the Circular Firing Squad.

An amazing display of ineptitude.
Driving home tonight and listening to Simply Money on WKRC in Cincinnati, the hosts mentioned that Christopher Dodd had inserted a clause into the bailout package that enabled AIG to give out the large bonuses that are not the talk of the town. I could hardly wait to get home and skewer Dodd.

Others had the same thought.

But wait, something fishy is underfoot. It appears the truth is quite the opposite.
The Wall St. Journal article identified above reported explicitly that it was Geithner and Summers who were rejecting Dodd's limits on executive compensation as too broad and demanding that already-vested payments be exempted: exactly the exemption that protected the AIG bonuses and which they're now trying to blame on Dodd:

The administration is concerned the rules will prompt a wave of banks to return the government's money and forgo future assistance, undermining the aid program's effectiveness. Both Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Lawrence Summers, who heads the National Economic Council, had called Sen. Dodd and asked him to reconsider, these people said.
More interesting reading at the link above.

Dodd has been under fire recently for his sweetheart mortgage from Countrywide and his Irish cottage which is larger than most of our houses, plus all sorts of other stuff. Dodd's poll numbers are lagging. Maybe the White House has decided Dodd is expendable, that he can and will be sacrificed for the overall good of the Democratic Party.

Or, maybe, it's just more proof of Obama's incompetence.


CNN - Ted Strickland Republican

Watching Lou Dobbs while exercising on the elliptical machine at the YMCA tonight, I saw Lou interview Ohio governor Ted Strickland. Strickland is Democrat, one of the better ones. But, you wouldn't know it by CNN.

The video is here.

Maybe at some point CNN will correct the errant little "R". But, it's such obvious errors that make me wonder just how much attention the MSM pays to details and facts, i.e. the things that really matter.

Monday, March 16, 2009


Li'l Kim Preparing for Cabinet Position

Word behind the scenes in DC is that Li'l Kim is being prepped for a cabinet position. Among her greatest qualifications: delinquent taxes.
  • The state of New York filed a $12,599 tax warrant on April 26, 2008, in the New York County Clerk's office.

  • The IRS filed a $50,464 lien on Sept. 5, 2007, in the Bergen (N.J.) County Clerk's office.

  • The IRS filed a $67,509 lien on May 14, 2007, in Bergen County.

  • The state of California filed a $4,089 lien on Sept. 16, 2005, in Sacramento County Court.

  • The IRS filed a $232,348 lien on Aug. 16, 2005, in New Jersey.

  • The state of New Jersey filed a $51,471 lien on Aug. 11, 2005, in New Jersey State Superior Court.

  • The state of New Jersey filed a $77,939 lien on Dec. 9, 2004, in New Jersey Superior Court.

  • The IRS filed a $482,671 lien on Feb. 19, 2004, in New Jersey.
Li'l Kim reportedly believes she is as well or more qualified than several current cabinet members.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


Tea Party - Cincinnati Style

My son and I went to the Cincinnati Tea Party on Fountain Square today. It was encouraging to see some many people, thousands. On the way home, my son spontaneously thanked me for taking him. It was an enjoyable lesson in civics for him if nothing else.

Some pictures:

Below is, perhaps, the most mean spirited sign I saw.

A lot of these t-shirts were being worn.

Cute kids.

Blogging is great but sometimes you have to do a little extra.

More pictures HERE.

Welcome Instapundit readers.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Sexual Predators

Two recent cases involving sexual predators caught my, and a lot of others, attention recently. Sex related crimes make up some of the most difficult for me to understand. Obviously, I hope for all of us, sex is a pleasurable, enjoyable experience best shared with an equally willing, consenting adult.

But, as we're told, sex related crimes are about power and use of force rather than the actual sex. Truly a perversion of one of God's greatest gifts to mankind.

Ten days ago, a former Maysville, KY resident was arrested in Ft. Myers, FL for "allegedly taking inappropriate photographs of a teen girl at a Fort Myers beach."
"She was with about nine of her friends at a birthday party at the beach," said the father in a phone interview Monday, "He (Pipal) was next to the light pole taking photos of her back side and at one point, he reached around and took a photo of her... from the front."

"Witnesses said he was about six inches away from her body with the camera.," he said, "Her friends saw him do it and yelled to warn her."
The police charged Pipal with disturbing peace/breach of peace, a misdemeanor. This was the third sexually related charge for Pipal. The last was last year.
In 2008, Pipal, served 30 days of a 90-day sentence in Brown County, Ohio after complaints were filed regarding his behavior at an athletic event in Ripley in October 2007. The charges stemmed from an incident involving a girls' soccer game at Ripley Union Lewis Huntington High School. Pipal had driven the St. Patrick School girls' soccer team to the event and had allegedly "pleasured himself" in view of others while attending the game.
Being slightly acquainted with Pipal because we were members of the same church and his son went to the same school as my oldest, I find his actions tragic and nearly impossible to understand.

Mr. Pipal held a high level job at the local branch of a national (maybe international) company. I'm not sure which one. Judging from his house, he easily earned a 6 figure income. He and his son once made a beautiful wood strip canoe which they donated to the school for raffling off.

This is a man that had everything going for him and threw it away due to a sexual compulsion of some sort. I know psychologists can explain many of the mechanisms and processes involved but, even with all that, I still don't feel like I understand the motivations of this.

The second case consists of much more tragic circumstances. A convicted sex offender with outstanding warrants attacked and killed a 13 year-old girl,Esme Kenney. Esme was a talented 7th grader who attended The School for Creative and Performing Arts in Cincinnati. Last Saturday afternoon, she went out for a jog in a park close to her home and never returned. While searching for her the police came upon her attacker and immediately thought the worst. They were right.

Anthony Kirkland, the man accused of Esme's murder, holds a long record of violence and sexually related crimes.
Prisons records show Kirkland was sentenced in 1987 to spend seven to 25 years in prison on charges of voluntary manslaughter and aggravated arson.
...he was accused of breaking into a woman’s home and raping her. He was acquitted of that charge.
Most recently, he was on parole for soliciting a 13-year-old girl for sex in 2007, ...
Police believe Kirkland committed 4 other murders and hope to link him to those crimes.

Truly a disgusting person. And, tragically, a person whom the system failed to track adequately.

I have no sympathy for Kirkland. I don't understand why someone becomes such a monster. If I did understand, I'm doubt it would make any difference in how I feel. Having a daughter in the 7th grade, like Esme, I worry about such monsters frequently, every time she goes somewhere where I'm not sure their is anyone there to protect her. I won't describe what I would do to someone who did to my daughter what Kirkland did to Esme lest you think I'm the monster.

I have little sympathy for Pipal either. Here's a man who had what most only wish for. Yet, he threw it all away to commit perverted acts in the presence of young girls.

I wonder sometimes that sexual offender registries are unfair to people who made a one time mistake. But, how do you tell. And, for violent offenders a registry isn't enough. Maybe, this is the answer, plus lots of time in jail. Or, in Mr. Kirkland's case, should he be guilty, the chair.

Saturday, March 07, 2009


Obama and the Teleprompter

Apparently, Obama, the great orator, needs a teleprompter to speak in public. (And maybe not on public but, by definition, any time we see him speak.)
Obama’s reliance on the teleprompter is unusual — not only because he is famous for his oratory, but because no other president has used one so consistently and at so many events, large and small.
The president’s teleprompter also elicited some uncomfortable laughter after he announced Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius as his choice for Health and Human Services secretary.
Although considered by the left to be mental migdet, George W could speak off the cuff.

Will this be the eventual outcome?

Real life Obama and teleprompter problems. (via Iowahawk

Friday, March 06, 2009


Obama, the Stock Market and Foriegn Policy

During the campaign one of the themes that came up was that Democratic presidents were better for the stock market than Republican presidents.
The Grand Old Party (GOP) is known for supporting big business. So it pays to elect Republicans to the White House, right? If you analyze the stock market performance under Republican and Democratic presidents, the answer is a resounding NO. Democratic presidents generate average stock market returns in excess of the risk-free rate of 10.69% -- roughly six times the 1.69% earned under Republican administrations.
It appears Obama is going to buck this trend.
From Election Day 2000 to Election Day 2008, the S&P 500 fell 29.8%. From Election Day 2008 til this afternoon, it’s down 33.3%.
I wonder what part of Obama has more impact - his policies reflected in the "stimulus" bill and proposed budget or his ineptitude reflected in his comments.
"The stock market is sort of like a tracking poll in politics," said the president,...
While not directly related to economics, Obama further demonstrated his cluelessness by giving visiting British Prime Minister Gordon Brown a DVD set of 25 classic American films.
Brown, the first European leader to visit Obama since his Jan. 20 inauguration, was presented with a "special collector's box" of DVDs during his two-day visit to Washington.

Downing Street, which reportedly tried to keep the present a secret, declined to say what movies were included in the set.

"One reason for the secrecy might be that the gift seems markedly less generous and thoughtful than the presents taken to Washington by the Prime Minister," London's Evening Standard newspaper reported.
Brown, who is not known to be a movie buff, gave the president and his children several uniquely historical gifts.

The first of which is a pen holder fashioned from the oak timber of HMS Gannet, a Navy vessel that served on anti-slavery missions off Africa.

Another treasure given to Obama is a framed commissioning paper for HMS Resolute, a Royal Navy ship that came to symbolize British-American goodwill when it was rescued by the U.S. from icebergs and given to Queen Victoria. It is the sister ship of the HMS Gannet.

Finally, Brown gave Obama a first edition of Martin Gilbert's seven-volume biography of Winston Churchill, whose World War II partnership with President Franklin Roosevelt symbolized the U.S.-Anglo alliance.

For Sasha and Malia, Sarah Brown, the Prime Minister's wife, gave each an outfit from Topshop, a British chain of clothing stores, and selected six children's books by British authors which have yet to be published in the U.S.

In return, First Lady Michelle Obama presented the prime minister's two boys with toy helicopters modeled after Marine One.
Obama doesn't seem to know the difference between a child's birthday party and meeting with the leader of our greatest ally.

And more recently, when Hillary Clinton met with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov she gave him an "easy button" that was supposed to say "reset" in Russian. But, the button actually said "overcharge". Besides the stupidity of imitating an office supply store gimmick in international politics, they couldn't even get one word translated correctly.

God help us all.

Thursday, March 05, 2009


While Obama Steals From Our Children Remember This

We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors,
we borrow it from our children.

Haida Indian Saying

We enjoyed the benefits of living in the most free and prosperous nation in history. Obama and the Democrats want to take away our freedom and end prosperity. How great an evil it is to steal your children's freedom and prosperity.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009


OK, I'm Excited

Exciting news today on the home front. During the past few year, I've blogged occasionally about my son's football and his team. Since his toddler days, he sported a football player's body. Now he's not quite 16 years old, 6' 3" and 270 lbs, strong, quick, fast and agile for his size. He's lean enough that most guess his weight to be 30-40 lbs lighter than he is.

Today he received an unexpected letter inviting him to a football camp. The first line of the return address says it all.

University of Notre Dame Football

When my son was in the 8th grade on of his coaches quipped, "Will you get me some tickets when he's playing in the NFL?" I chuckled and said, "Sure." Maybe his coach knew something.

We'll see how things go from here. There's still a long way to go.


Not A Surprise to Me

AutoZone's profits up

Back in the 1970s my then wife worked at auto parts stores for several years. They flourished during the recession because people were keeping their cars longer and, thus, more maintenance, up keep and repairs were being done.

Another prediction, companies that sell quality goods will do well. During the recession of the 1970s-1980s, Honda cars, Maytag and Anderson windows maintained good profit margins. I remember this from a Time magazine article years ago. Maytag is now owned by someone else, so who knows how they'll do now.

It seems that when money is harder to come by, people want to be sure they get the most for their dollar even if it means spending a few more dollars. That's why I just bought a Toyota Tundra rather than another brand.


A Look at Past Bad Taxes on the "Rich"

Obama's tax plans already have the "rich" looking at ways to avoid higher taxes. The solution? Lowering their income.
"I've put thought into how to get under $250,000," said Poczatek. "It would mean working fewer days which means having fewer employees, seeing fewer patients and taking time off."

"Generally it means being less productive," she said.

"The motivation for a lot of people like me – dentists, entrepreneurs, lawyers – is that the more you work the more money you make," said Poczatek. "But if I'm going to be working just to give it back to the government -- it's de-motivating and demoralizing."
Of course, there will be the accompanying loss of service to patients and the loss of jobs to medical office personnel. A health care crisis could ensue as the motivation and reward for working long hard hours, plus the years of extra schooling and training to get there, are removed. The same will happen in many other professional and business areas.

One of the advantages of being older is remembering things younger persons never heard of. In 1990, a federal luxury tax on yachts was imposed. The result?
about 100 builders of luxury boats -- recreational craft costing more than $100,000 -- cut their operations severely and laid off thousands of workers. Some builders filed for protection from creditors under Chapter 11 of the Federal Bankruptcy Code.
Overall employment in the industry, including the makers of smaller, less-expensive boats, has dropped to 400,000, from 600,000 in 1988.
If it hadn't been for foreign sales the result would have been worse.

Currently, in Bali a luxury tax on imported food and drink is wreaking economic havoc.
There is little doubt, according to the PHRI executive that the high cost of liquor is costing Indonesia tourism traffic.
Poor tax policy and unintended consequences, not a good combination.

The Fair Tax would avoid these pitfalls. But the bottom line is government needs to become fiscally responsible. The taxpayers are not shmoos.

Monday, March 02, 2009


Murder in the City

Nearly every day I take a lunch time walk around downtown Cincinnati. Normally, I cover 1.5 to 2 miles. Occasionally, I pass a small, scruffy convenience store, Linda's Mini-Mart, which is only a couple of blocks from my office. Today when I walked past Linda's my only concern was protecting my face from the bitterly cold wind. It even mad the bridge of my nose hurt.

About an hour and a half after my walk, someone stabbed the owner of the store, Wade Nassar, to death. As I never went in the store I had never met Mr. Nassar but I have had thoughts of admiration for whomever was running the little store and making a living at it. I simply felt it must take hard work and dedication to establish a small business downtown and make a living at it.

Realizing that someone was senselessly and brutally killed saddens my heart. During the 10 years I've worked in downtown Cincinnati this is the second time I've been this physically close to a murder. Statistically that may not be much but it's the only two times in my life it's happened.

I just find it hard to fathom how someone can take another's life for no real reason except, maybe, to steal a few bucks or a little food.

Ironically, during my earlier walk, I felt better than usual. For the first time I gave a beggar on the street a dollar. It was about 20 degrees and windy. I was feeling happy and I figured he must really need the money to be out in weather like today's.

Hopefully, the perpetrator will be caught but that won't help Mr. Nassar. As you can see reading the comments to the linked news story, Mr. Nassar was a father and a grandfather who is already sorely missed.

Sunday, March 01, 2009


Obama Budget Threatens Charities

Among the myriad of disastrous proposals in Howdy Doodie's Obama's budget is a decrease in the deduction for charitable giving.
the charitable giving deduction reduction, which would limit deductions for couples making $250,000 or individuals making $200,000, provoked the most heat Thursday. Mr. Obama is counting on that provision to raise $179.8 billion over 10 years.
Will people give as much to charity if deductions are less? If they don't, what will happen to charities? Does Obama want private charities to fail so the government can step end and further the march of socialism?

Lowering deductions for charitable giving was probably no big deal for Obama because, as we know, liberals don't give as much to charities anyway. But it could be a real big deal for the rest of us, especially the lower you go on the socio-economic ladder. The Salvation Army, Red Cross, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, YMCA, YWCA, Catholic Social Services, Volunteers of America and numerous other charities provide cheap or free services more effectively and more efficiently that government ever has or ever will.

Many zoos, libraries and museums depend heavily on charitable contributions. Ever stay at a Ronald McDonald House while an ailing child was in the hospital? I have. Many charitable organizations even help out federal agencies. Friends of the Smokies raises funds and promotes responsible care of the Smokey Mountains National Park.

During a typical day, it is difficult for almost anyone not to have some contact with a charitable organization. Don't forget all the religious groups and churches that provided relief for Hurricane Katrina victims.

Will lowered deductions hurt charities? No one can tell for sure but it's a given lowered deductions won't help! Any threat to these agencies is unacceptable and unwise.

Of course, there are still the other possibilities. Maybe Obama wants to create as many failures in the private sector in general so the government can step in and take over and spread socialism. Or, he might simply be grossly naive and have such a poor grasp of basic economics that he has no clue how economics work. I'll go with all of the above.


BDS Gone Wild

When someone dies to you respectfully mourn them? Do you at least at least bite your tongue and refrain from speaking ill of the dead of you didn't like them? Or do you use it as an opportunity to criticize George W. Bush?

If you're the left wing, hate filled blogger, Southern Beale you use it as an opportunity to make hate filled comments about George W. Bush.

Bush made a three sentence statement mourning the death of Paul Harvey. Apparently, any public acknowledgment of George Bush's existence if more than Southern Beale bear and she responds to a respectful post by another left winger with
I noticed on the Paul Harvey website there is a statement on his passing from George W. Bush. Cripes, dude, you're not president anymore. Go off into the sunset already.
I wonder if she has the same sentiments regarding Bill Clinton. Nary a mention of remorse for Paul Harvey and his family whose death the post was about. (Bush is mentioned no where in the post.)

Truly pathetic.

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