Sunday, June 24, 2012

Information Overload

    Hi all, I hope your getting into that summer mode. It’s been Hot Hot Hot and a bit dry here in Southern Indiana (Love’n It).  Last week my oldest daughter and her husband (the infamous Aaron) came home from D.C., we had a nice little visit.  The evening before they left Aaron took my phone and sat me down at the computer to set up a new account, he put me on twitter.   Sure I’ve heard of it and my wife uses face book but I never thought of really using either.  Both are a bit too instant for me, I prefer to write out my thoughts, think them over and research anything I have questions about before sending something out.

    Anyway I had spent the next several days going about daily life like everyone else but I noticed I would pull my phone out a little more often each day sliding the screen over to twitter catching the latest headlines.  What would the Supreme Court decide on Obama Care?  Would the Attorney General be held in contempt of Congress?  Markets ups and downs.  The elections in Egypt. Would Greece leave the EU?  By the time I got off work Friday morning I was suffering information overload, it was time for a break.  I decided to not turn on the news when I got up Friday afternoon.  I spent Saturday and Sunday cleaning out the woodshop with music on the radio no news.  I had my phone with me, I never checked twitter but I did answer the one phone call I got.  Guess what, it looks like the world went along without me.  Now it’s very early Monday morning and I don’t have a clue what’s going on, but I’ve been clueless before and it’s kind of nice.  I’ve got the next four days to catch up with the world then I think I’ll shut it off again next weekend.

Albert Einstein developed many formulas in theoretical physics that explained space, time and the physical world around us. Most everyone has at least heard of E=MC2 but I think I’ve devised a formula that may explain men. 

I call it the AB theory, it goes:


Smart Phone + Average Guy = Angry Birds

Yes Angry Birds was the first download onto my Atrix… and still playing it. 

See ya next week

The Tomcat                  

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Screaming The Loudest

    Why is it that it seems the people who scream the loudest about inequality, injustice, personal liberty and rights are the same people that eagerly trample on these same principles once they are placed in a position to address the real or perceived injustice?

Looking back over the past days, months and years I’ve come up with some interesting instances.

    Many states have been working on voter ID initiative.  This sounds logical to me; I’m 50 years old (and look it).  I’ve been carded for beer, smokes, and movies. I was carded this week when I went onto Fort Knox Army Base and carded at the doctor’s office.  I just don’t see a problem with pulling my ID out one more time every 2 or so years when I vote.  But the Obama administration and Department of Justice claims that requiring identification during voting disenfranchises minorities and is meant to intimidate.  At Eric Holders’ direction the DoJ failed to raise even an eyebrow when thugs from the New Black Panther Party stood outside Philadelphia polling stations with clubs and talking trash as voters attempted to enter.  The administrations silence and lack of action sends a clear signal to groups considering the same tactics.  Could it be the American Nazi Party or Klan members standing out front next time?  I hope not… but is there a legal precedence in place now?    
    This week President Obama made a statement that “the private sector of the economy is doing just fine but the public sector is where jobs are being lost.”   Just looking at the raw numbers since he took office the number of private sector jobs have gone from 228,028,000 to 226,737,000 a loss of -1,291,000 jobs under his watch while the ranks of government employees have been raised from 22,250,000 to 22,390,000 a gain of +140,000.  If nurses, policemen and firemen are being laid off, who is the government hiring?  And why?    (Source   I used their numbers).

    As the Arab spring spread through the Middle East Mr. Obama chose to involve the United States armed forces overtly and covertly within regional conflicts, primarily Libya.  His justification was that we had a “responsibility to protect” and to not act would be a “stain on the conscience of the world”.  I agree with both of these principles.  Like it or not the U.S. is the cop on the beat for the world.  Yet the same situation is occurring in Syria with a staggering loss of life and Mr. Obama fails to act saying “there is no coalition to resolve the conflict”.  Without U.S. leadership there will never be a coalition capable of defending the defenseless.  Without U.S. leadership there will never be a coalition capable of bringing aid to the helpless.      

     One of the first calls Mr. Obama put out during the 2008 presidential campaign was for an energy independent nation within five years.  He has continually cried out for investing in the future of America and shovel ready jobs.  He has been handed at least two opportunities to make these a reality.  First was the opportunity for the Canadian oil sands and the Keystone XL pipeline. Next was the opportunity to initiate recovery options for the upgraded Green River Formation oil production potential (a 200+ year supply potential).  Each time he has chosen to obstruct or ignore the possibilities.  Along with the oil industry he has waged a covert war against the U.S. coal industry through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  As the nation’s coal fired electrical plants come up for re-licensing, new regulations are being placed upon them until they are unable to meet the requirements, this gives no choice but to shutdown operations.  Yes, many of the electrical plants dating from the late 1940’s to the late 60’s should be replaced but economically they must be phased out and replaced in a thoughtful manner.  The nation gets 45% of its electricity from coal and to shutdown 1/3 of these plants at once would be devastating.  For all of Mr. Obama’s’ banter on the economic pains of the U.S., Europe and the world, he fails to comprehend the potential of cheap energy to drive a substantial recovery.  With the U.S. effectively out of the world oil market, Europe could see energy cost at our levels vs. us creeping up to their levels.           
     Now I’m going into an area that no matter how I look at it I just can’t see any justification.  (Two views to the same instance).  


    While campaigning and early on in his first days in office President Obama along with his Attorney General Eric Holder screamed about the treatment of high profile detainees at Navy Gitmo.  They lamented on how the detainees’ human rights were being violated and they weren’t receiving due process in the legal proceedings.  Ok I can see where water boarding and such stuff may seem scary.  I’ve been held under water and I had a few things done to me in the POW portion of Air Crew Survival Training but when it was over I stood up and walked away none the worse for it (maybe a bit stronger knowing my limits and how much I could withstand).  Some how I don’t see walking away from a drone strike.  I don’t see how being the misfortunate recipient of a missile protected human rights or due process.


    Arizona attempted to protect its citizens from the dangers that accompany the influx of drug smugglers and illegal immigration along the states southern border.  Again President Obama along with his Attorney General Eric Holder screamed that this was nothing more than racial profiling. Lets move back to the Middle East, I’d like to introduce you to little Johnny Ackmed.  He’s walking home from the corner market with an iced tea and a bag of skittles for his little sister.  As he passes a building, KA-BOOM, the building explodes another predator drone strike. Debris flies in all directions and Johnny Ackmed is hit in the head with a brick. He lies in the street bleeding and moments later he dies.  A misfortunate accident?  A horror of war?  Not according to President Obama.  Little Johnny turned 18 a couple of days ago, he’s male and he’s Muslim this makes him a legitimate target.  Johnny never was a threat to us but he fit Mr. Obamas' profile and when he was killed he was counted as an enemy combatant.  Given the choice I’d rather be profiled by an Arizona State Trooper.  If they make a mistake what’s the worst that could happen?  I get a ride to the local Immigration and Customs Enforcement office.

I wonder, under each of the past four Presidents not counting jet on jet, tank on tank or infantry on infantry battles.  Which one of them presided over the highest Muslim body count?  Do you think the Nobel Peace prize committee has buyer’s remorse yet?

Until Next Time
The Tomcat                     

Monday, June 11, 2012

All About the Benjamin’s???

    I’m sitting here looking at last week’s pay stub, primarily the deductions.  All and all about 25% of my pay was taken before I even had a chance to see it. It seems everyone had their hand in it taking their fair share. The federal government, the state, the county, union dues (extortion… pay or don’t work).  They all made sure they got paid first.  It would be nice to point at something of value and say I helped pay for that with the 25 % of my pay that’s being taken out each week but I just don’t see it.  Then later on when I stop off at the gas station they’ll have their hands out again, when I go to the store to pick-up the odd and ends of everyday life once more someone’s going to have their hand out.  What percent of the week’s paycheck is gone now?  Then the property taxes and motor vehicle taxes, it just keeps adding up.  I’ll be honest with you, as far as I can tell someone’s just tossing the cash into a fireplace somewhere.  What do they care, they didn’t work for it and they’ll just take more next week.  Remember the GSA Party Folks? Guess I could point at that and say I helped pay for that... I'm just not real happy about it.

    On the other hand, I try to give at least 10% to my church.  I see the value; I see the improvements every week.  Sometimes I’m not able to give as much cash as I’d like but I found out it’s not all about the “Benjamin’s”.  I’m able to make an impact with skills I have.  A few months back I was told by my wife the Sunday school class was looking into getting a dry wipe board but they were kind of expensive. She asked if I could do anything.  I told her I could get something together but it would take a bit of time, thinking to myself “This is one of the things I do best, Scrounge!”

    I had picked up a stack of oak boards that had been tossed out for being warped, chipped or split. I cut the bad sections out then glued them together for the sizes I needed.  I got lucky on the dry wipe board.  I found one that was larger than I needed, it had been dropped and the corner was broken off. I told the guy what I needed it for so he gave it to me. After cutting it down to size it looked good as new.  I had plenty of hardware screws handles and such but one thing was missing, hinges.  I got those at Home Depot for $15 (ya can’t scrounge everything).  It took me a little while to get it all put together, not that I didn’t have the time but woodworking is kind of an art thing to me I have to be in the right frame of mind or I’ll rush and mess it up.  A couple of weeks ago I delivered the new dry wipe board to the church, they seemed to be happy with it.  Not bad for $15 out of pocket…

    Yes the Fed and State may be taking their deductions out of my paycheck.  The union may be grabbing a bit of cash (for the time being)…  I’ll tell you a secret, they aren’t getting the best I have to offer, my best is going to my community.  My time, my skills.  Because it’s not all about the Benjamin’sJ

Sorry no pictures... I've been trying to upload them for a couple of days but then I get an error msg. and the post will not print.

It’s your turn…  Get out there and make something better.


Sunday, June 3, 2012

Looking through the Window (of the sausage factory)

Sausage is good
Sausage is great
The smoky aroma
The zesty peppery flavor
The moist chewiness as I pop it into my mouth
There will always be a place for sausage on my plate

One day as I ventured through the town
I came upon a building
Emanating through an open window I caught a whiff
A smoky aroma
A zesty peppery sent
This must be the glistening palace of sausage goodness

Although the window was high
I just needed to have a peek one little peek inside
A peek at the choice beef and pork used for the succulent sausage
I just knew there would be prime rib, choice shanks and tender loins
Bags of the freshest spices imported from far off lands
Although the window was high I stacked the crates and scaled the wall

Peering through the window I anxiously looked but
No prime rib, instead mounds of fat
No choice shanks, just men scraping bits of flesh from picked over carcasses
No loins, just oozing piles of remnants
No spices, just boxes with the word additives
All being shoveled into the massive grinder

The longer and deeper I looked through the window
The pungent odor overcame me
The repugnant taste filled my mouth
The greasy feel covered my skin
I felt repulsed and disgusted
There will never be a place for sausage on my plate

     I just finished a book called The Amateur by Edward Klein.  This was the first politically orientated book I’ve ever read, what an eye opener.  As far as the book itself, it was an easy read and enjoyable.  I felt as if I were a fly on the wall listening as Mr. Klein conducted the interviews.   The people he interviewed seemed to be open and very willing to tell their stories.  The one thing that caught my attention was the consistency from one person to the next on President Obama’s lack of integrity, the absence of any form of work ethic (outside of campaigning) and his reserve of loyalty for a very select few (very, very few).  Alright if you hear comments from one person it could be a one-off thing, they could have an axe to grind.  But to hear the same remarks over and over from several sources (friends and scorn) as related to several different situations the evidence may be circumstantial but none the less overwhelming and damning.

    If you’ve visited my blog before I’m sure you realize I am not an Obama fan.  I consider him to be a naive ideologue with very little real life experience and absolutely no leadership abilities.  His presidency was a result of some sort of a national guilt trip or feel good fantasy.  To me, just a mess to deal with for four years that will have to be cleaned up over the following eight, a Jimmy Carter thing.  But after reading The Amateur I feel I’ve gotten a look behind the mainstream medias glossed over walls of the Obama administration and like the sausage factory, it’s not pretty. 

    The most telling part of the book for me was Professor Steven Rogers account of meeting Mr. Obama prior to his run for the senate.  Prof. Rogers helped Obama clear up several thousand dollars of personal debt and also contributed several thousands more to the senatorial campaign funds.  Prof. Rogers had one request for his contributions, he wanted Mr. Obama to return to speak to his students after the election, Mr. Obama agreed.  The students tried to contact Sen. Obama after the election but he refused to return their calls.  Prof. Rogers finally got a hold of the senator and asked about the promise.  Sen. Obama had a very simple and direct reply.

“Come on, man, you should know better when politicians make promises”

    Professor Rogers summed it up, “What you have with Barack Obama is a lack of character.”  (Chapter 4, pages 32-33) 

The longer and deeper I looked through the window
The pungent odor overcame me
The repugnant taste filled my mouth
The greasy feel covered my skin
I felt repulsed and disgusted
(Go ahead, take a peek for yourself.  I recommend reading THE AMATEUR)