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Wading Through The Mire
Let Words Empower And Not Hold Power Over You
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6th-Apr-2009 04:12 pm - A Change of Location [misc.]
Until further notice, my site has moved to to the following new location.

Wading Through The Mire

Please join me there as we continue this journey together.
6th-Apr-2009 08:48 am - Play Ball! [sports]
Nothing better than opening day. I look forward to this day and in the Spring and when Football season begins in the fall. Optimism reigns supreme and we all are contenders today.

Go A's!
3rd-Apr-2009 12:55 pm - Swirling mist

Swirling mist, originally uploaded by jerry_lake.

Enjoy your Friday and upcoming weekend!

Where is the outrage for this?

While Congress has been flaying companies for giving out bonuses while on the government dole, lawmakers have a longstanding tradition of rewarding their own employees with extra cash -- also courtesy of taxpayers.

Capitol Hill bonuses in 2008 were among the highest in years, according to LegiStorm, an organization that tracks payroll data. The average House aide earned 17% more in the fourth quarter of the year, when the bonuses were paid, than in previous quarters, according to the data. That was the highest jump in the eight years LegiStorm has compiled payroll information.

Last year alone, more than 200 House lawmakers, both Republicans and Democrats, awarded bonuses totaling $9.1 million to more than 2,000 staff members, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of office-disbursement forms. The money comes out of taxpayer-funded office budgets, and is surplus cash that would otherwise be forfeited if not spent.

Payments ranged from a few hundred dollars to $14,000. Lawmakers, at their own discretion, gave the money to chiefs of staff, assistants, computer technicians, and more than 100 aides who earned salaries of more than $100,000 a year.

Now, let it be known that I do not have a problem with paying a bonus to a deserving employee. But Congress, who wastes more money daily that most Americans can make in many years of hard work and whose approval ratings were at an all time low, should not have been paying any bonus money out during this fiscal crisis. I am sure one of the reasons is that without the bonus, many employees would not stay at their positions, but is that not the same reasoning that AIG and other financial institutions gave?

Our Government would like to have things both ways. Punish those in the private sector and reward those who work for them. It is time to end this double standard.
It does not get much worse than this folks.

Do you really want the government setting salaries for private companies? If I am a CEO for any company that is struggling right now and the offer of government money came my way to help my company, I would say no and not have any problem resorting to bankruptcy rather than take this poison pill.

The government does not even know how to spend the money it has let alone dictate how much someone else should make. They think they are smarter than the rest of us and know better. Let me be quite clear on this;



They knew about the AIG bonus issue and only claimed outrage after many of you became outraged yourselves. They protected Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and even AIG until they saw the ships were sinking. Then they decided that "reform" needed to happen. What they do not disclose is that their re-election war chests are loaded with money from these companies, including the President himself.

Fight this government intervention into the private sector as much as you can. It can only come to no good.
First, we have to answer, how we got in this mess in the first place. There are many theories about this, but the bottom line is that many people saw a way to make money and tried to take advantage of it. It does not matter the vehicle that got us there, it was the all too human emotion of greed that eventually took over. All the regulation in the world cannot stop greed and no matter how many policies and laws the government puts in place, people will always look for ways to make easy money. Remember that the exact same folks that are now claiming to be outraged about corporate bonus's took campaign money from these same companies and just a short while ago were doing all they could to keep things going as they were. How do you think they will now have the foresight to "correct" things so this never happens again? I will predict now that no matter what the government does, this country will experience an economic down turn again that is similar to what we are seeing now and we saw back in the great depression. Politicians all know this and also know that it will probably not happen again on their watch because these types of cycles take time to manifest, so they will take credit now for helping get us out of this mess (eventually) and not shoulder any blame for getting us into this quagmire in the first place. That is the nature of a politician.

Can government fix our economic mess? The simple answer is no, but they can make it much worse by over regulating the very companies that we need to help us get going again.
So says a banker in regards to the AIG bonus tax.

“Finance is one of America’s great industries, and they’re destroying it,” said one banker at a firm that has accepted public money. “This happened out of haste and anger over AIG, but we’re not like AIG.”

"It’s like a McCarthy witch-hunt . . . This is the most profoundly anti-American thing I’ve ever seen.”

Senior executives on both sides of the Atlantic on Friday warned of an exodus of talent from some of the biggest names in US finance, saying the “anti-American” measures smacked of “a McCarthy witch-hunt” that would send the country “back to the stone age”.

You think things cannot get worse, well the Democrats are doing their hardest to make it worse. You cannot convince me that it was not known that these bonus's were to be paid. To now tax them away, is very un-American. So now, if Congress does not like how much money you are making, they can single you out too and tax away your earnings. Where do you think the best bankers and financiers will go? They surely will leave this country so as to not be subject to taxation like this.

The other dirty little secret folks. many of those who received the AIG bonus's, were from a London office. This stupid and ill advised tax that Congress has spent so much time and effort on, and in the long run, more of our money, will never be collected because the recipients live abroad.

Now, it is time for a change.
In all due respect Mr. President, ignorance is not an excuse.

It is as much below your office and position as appearing on a late night comedy show.

Don't let them dumb you down folks.
18th-Mar-2009 11:15 am - A Paragon Rising above the Madness [sports]
As March Madness descends upon this, please read this story of a great man, John Wooden.

On Tuesday the best man I know will do what he always does on the 21st of the month. He'll sit down and pen a love letter to his best girl. He'll say how much he misses her and loves her and can't wait to see her again. Then he'll fold it once, slide it in a little envelope and walk into his bedroom. He'll go to the stack of love letters sitting there on her pillow, untie the yellow ribbon, place the new one on top and tie the ribbon again.

The stack will be 180 letters high then, because Tuesday is 15 years to the day since Nellie, his beloved wife of 53 years, died. In her memory, he sleeps only on his half of the bed, only on his pillow, only on top of the sheets, never between, with just the old bedspread they shared to keep him warm.

There's never been a finer man in American sports than John Wooden, or a finer coach. He won 10 NCAA basketball championships at UCLA, the last in 1975. Nobody has ever come within six of him. He won 88 straight games between Jan. 30, 1971, and Jan. 17, 1974. Nobody has come within 42 since.

So, sometimes, when the Madness of March gets to be too much -- too many players trying to make SportsCenter, too few players trying to make assists, too many coaches trying to be homeys, too few coaches willing to be mentors, too many freshmen with out-of-wedlock kids, too few freshmen who will stay in school long enough to become men -- I like to go see Coach Wooden. I visit him in his little condo in Encino, 20 minutes northwest of L.A., and hear him say things like "Gracious sakes alive!" and tell stories about teaching "Lewis" the hook shot. Lewis Alcindor, that is. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

There has never been another coach like Wooden, quiet as an April snow and square as a game of checkers; loyal to one woman, one school, one way; walking around campus in his sensible shoes and Jimmy Stewart morals. He'd spend a half hour the first day of practice teaching his men how to put on a sock. "Wrinkles can lead to blisters," he'd warn. These huge players would sneak looks at one another and roll their eyes. Eventually, they'd do it right. "Good," he'd say. "And now for the other foot."

Of the 180 players who played for him, Wooden knows the whereabouts of 172. Of course, it's not hard when most of them call, checking on his health, secretly hoping to hear some of his simple life lessons so that they can write them on the lunch bags of their kids, who will roll their eyes. "Discipline yourself, and others won't need to," Coach would say. "Never lie, never cheat, never steal," Coach would say. "Earn the right to be proud and confident."

You played for him, you played by his rules: Never score without acknowledging a teammate. One word of profanity, and you're done for the day. Treat your opponent with respect.

He believed in hopelessly out-of-date stuff that never did anything but win championships. No dribbling behind the back or through the legs. "There's no need," he'd say. No UCLA basketball number was retired under his watch. "What about the fellows who wore that number before? Didn't they contribute to the team?" he'd say. No long hair, no facial hair. "They take too long to dry, and you could catch cold leaving the gym," he'd say.

That one drove his players bonkers. One day, All-America center Bill Walton showed up with a full beard. "It's my right," he insisted. Wooden asked if he believed that strongly. Walton said he did. "That's good, Bill," Coach said. "I admire people who have strong beliefs and stick by them, I really do. We're going to miss you." Walton shaved it right then and there. Now Walton calls once a week to tell Coach he loves him.

It's always too soon when you have to leave the condo and go back out into the real world, where the rules are so much grayer and the teams so much worse. As Wooden shows you to the door, you take one last look around. The framed report cards of the great-grandkids. The boxes of jelly beans peeking out from under the favorite wooden chair. The dozens of pictures of Nellie.

He's almost 90 now, you think. A little more hunched over than last time. Steps a little smaller. You hope it's not the last time you see him. He smiles. "I'm not afraid to die," he says. "Death is my only chance to be with her again."

Problem is, we still need him here.
This is an outrage.

I do not care what our economic situation is. We can never turn our backs on those who have served or else our country will eventually lose our freedoms that have made us great. Who would ever want to serve a country that will not take care of you if you are injured? Every American should let the President know that even considering this is an insult to any who have served and that he is an embarrassment as our leader for trying to forward this proposal.
17th-Mar-2009 07:54 am - DSC_0037_8_9 [pictures]

DSC_0037_8_9, originally uploaded by jacklail.

A nice shot to start your day.

Premier Wen Jiabao's message is unlikely to be misunderstood at the White House. It is counting on Beijing to help pay for its stimulus package by buying U.S. bonds. China already is Washington's biggest foreign creditor, with an estimated $1 trillion in U.S. government debt. A weaker dollar would erode the value of those assets.

Why, as a country, have we allowed ourselves to be in this position? Are we so desperate that we cannot function without money from a country that many consider our enemy? How can we still consider ourselves the greatest nation on the planet when we our our souls to another? The Chinese must believe in us to invest so much, but do we understand all of their motives for investing so much of the capital in the United States.

This does not look or feel right and I hope will not come back to bite us in the you know what.
9th-Mar-2009 04:35 pm(no subject)

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Jim doesn't get why he is getting so much more attention criticizing our current President than the last.

He thinks President Bush ignored him and President Obama has a thin skin. That may be partially right Jim, but there is more to this. You were only a voice among many in the liberal media that opposed President Bush. It was seen as your duty to criticize him. Now, when you do the same against President Obama, the liberal media asks, how dare you?

The game has changed and Jim Cramer can't understand why his friends do no like him anymore and those who he politically opposes are backing him up. You may understand investing Jim, but you certainly do not understand politics and the media.
6th-Mar-2009 05:55 am - Sunset Friday [pictures]

A sunset to start your day.

This was a quote today from ABC News.

What would be another word for mischaracterization?

Let's check the facts.

“The cost of health care now causes a bankruptcy in America every thirty seconds," Obama said at the opening of his White House forum on health care reform. The problem: That claim, based on a 2001 survey, is simply unsupportable.

The figure comes from a 2005 Harvard University study saying that 54 percent of bankruptcies in 2001 were caused by health expenses. We reviewed it internally and knocked it down at the time; an academic reviewer did the same in 2006. Recalculating Harvard’s own data, he came up with a far lower figure – 17 percent.

A more recent study by another group, approaching it another way, indicates that in 2007 about eight-tenths of one percent of Americans lived in families that filed for bankruptcy as a result of medical costs. That rings a little less loudly than “one every 30 seconds.”

Let's speak plainly, the President is lying to further his agenda. It has only taken a few months, but the pattern has already emerged and is likely to continue. We have elected the most liberal President in a generation and for most who were not paying attention during the election, it is quite a surprise.
"I'm not entirely sure what he's pointing to to make some of the statements," said (White House Press Secretary Robert) Gibbs.

Hey Robert, have you taken a look at the Stock Market recently? I know it started to go down as the Bush Administration first introduced the bail out idea, but it has free fallen since Mr. Obama has taken the oath of office.

What's next? Will the White House tell us property values are rising in hopes that by saying it that it will come true?
3rd-Mar-2009 07:59 am - river carron woods [pictures]

river carron woods, originally uploaded by big drumma.

Looks like a great place for a walk.

Meanwhile, the rest of us are struggling.

A true leader leads by example. Our President seems to feel he is different than the rest of us.

Super Bowl parties, Governor Dinners, turning up the thermostat, a Stevie Wonder concert. The timing is wrong for this and the wrong example for our country during this difficult time.
I had already heard about these calls that Rahm Emanuel has with the press each day, but thanks to Newsbusters for bringing this point home with a relevant recent example.

When the White House Chief of Staff has this much influence over the media, it is time to take notice and ask why, especially when these same media figures come out with the same talking points. Is it not the media's job to be non-partisan and report the news, not make it.

They think they know better than us folks and have sold their souls to "help" us. They do not think we are smart enough to know better. It is time to pay attention, before all of our liberties are stripped away.
26th-Feb-2009 01:28 pm - The Truth About Taxes [politics]
The top 1% of all wage earners pay over 25% of all taxes. The top 5% pay over 42% of all taxes You can find the raw IRS stats here.

What does that mean when the President says he will increase taxes on the rich? The first question you have to ask is who creates jobs, the private sector or the government? For most of us, jobs are created by the private sector, which is unfortunately, those that the President is calling rich. What will they do when their taxes go up? Of course they will find ways to shelter their income from these excessive taxes. Wouldn't you? What that means to you and me is that they will have less capital to invest in their business and will not be able to hire those who now so desperately need jobs. The new taxes the President is asking for will mean less jobs will be created, the government will collect less taxes because business will be making less and finding legal and creative ways to shelter what they have so they can keep it. History has taught us that when taxes are lowered, that the government ends up collecting more as business then invests more in itself and is profitable.

I fear we are in for a very long recession as this President is more concerned with blaming and punishing those who have been successful. Much like Franklin Roosevelt, who did not pull us out of the depression until a world war broke out, they use class warfare to secure their agenda.

Don't buy this folks, as class warfare is just another word for discrimination, and is much like racism.
Big Government is NOT the answer!

They will make a mess of this and waste money faster than any CEO could ever think of. Our money belongs in our pockets as we know how to best spend our money better than any government program can. This is more about securing votes in the future by creating a dependent class who needs the government hand outs. This is no surprise that this is what the President wants and anyone who was paying any attention during the last election would not be surprised either. This was all wrapped up in a false message of hope and change. This recession will last longer and be harder felt by many more due to fiscal irresponsibility like this budget from our President.
Thanks to Newsbusters for the facts.

You would never know this as the media gushes over their new President.
20th-Feb-2009 12:37 pm - Kauai [pictures]

Kauai, originally uploaded by ski_free.

A contrast to the last photo. I have been lucky enough to have visited the island of Kauai.

Hope you are enjoying your Friday.

20th-Feb-2009 12:36 pm - Snow Lake [pictures]

Snow Lake, originally uploaded by R a S h I d.

Barren and cold, but beautiful all the same.

In watching the news yesterday, a spokesman for the Governor was talking about the need for leadership and tough choices.

To you and me, that means they want to raise out taxes. There is talk about a ballot measure to have the people decide if they want a two year or five year hike in taxes to pay for the mess our lawmakers have gotten us into. They simply do not have the guts to do anything themselves for fear of it hurting their election chances.

Folks, the Democrats have been running the show in California for quite some time now. Since 1959, the Republicans have never controlled the State Senate and only in 1969-70 and 1995-96 have they had a majority in the State Assembly. When people talk about how California has a lot of problems, from a political stand point, there is only one party to blame. Yes, there have been Republican Governors, but we all know laws and budgets are written and passed in the legislative halls. Governors can submit budgets and ideas, but it is the law makers who need to pass it with the Governor's final signature. The Democrats have made a mess of this Sate and should be held accountable. Unfortunately, the large cities, Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego and all in the Democrats back pocket, so the rest of the State has to suffer.

When will people wake up to what the liberals have done!

Stats from Wikipedia
Thanks to TV Squad for pointing out this rip off report.

Folks, I am sure there are many other Obama rip offs out there capitalizing on his popularity, but none has Montel Williams as a spokes person. They have taken ordinary coins, put stickers on them and sold them as collectibles.

Montel should be ashamed. Please let others know so they do not get ripped off by this scam.
In case you were wondering if real change was going to take place in Washington, it hasn't.

As Pete Townsend so aptly said in "Won't get Fooled Again"

"Meet the new boss, same as the old boss".

The games continue and we all have to pay for it.
This, my friends, is the pot calling the kettle black.

Bu Selig turned a blind eye while Major League Baseball raked in the cash with the steroid players hitting home runs like it was nothing. Now that some have been caught, he says they shamed the game. To me, the bigger shame is the commissioner himself, who should be booted out as quickly as possible as it was under his watch that this travesty happened to the greatest game around.
11th-Feb-2009 12:40 pm - Rainbow sky [pictures]

Rainbow sky, originally uploaded by P Rubens.

Great Shot- Very Peaceful.

In case you have never seen it before, this is called pandering.

Frankly, I find it quite offensive. Especially coming from the President.
There are two things I would like to point out from this story.

How does a Democrat define bipartisanship?
When you do what they want.

Take a look at this line from the article.
Pelosi — speaking to reporters on the second day of her retreat with House Democrats at a swank Williamsburg, Va., golf resort — was clearly annoyed with Senate attempts to slash up to $100 billion in spending from the $819 billion package the House passed last week.

Swank golf course??? Is this not what they have been complaining about with those who have taken TARP money? Whose money is being spent to pay for this retreat? My guess is that it is yours and mine.

What a bunch of buffoons.
6th-Feb-2009 02:13 pm - Whats it like to stand alone? ~ [pictures]

What a great shot to end the week.

I hope you enjoy your weekend.

We seem to have a trend going here.

How many more tax cheats are the Democrats hiding because they have not been nominated for a position in the new administration?

I thought these folks were supposed to be vetted before we got to this point. If the new administration cannot get this right, then I shudder for what may come.
3rd-Feb-2009 07:49 am - Frankfort Light Ice Locked [pictures]

Frankfort Light Ice Locked, originally uploaded by lomeranger.

I hope you enjoy your day.

42 people have been reported dead and up to a million have no power to heat them in the intense cold.

Meanwhile, our President is hosting a Super Bowl party at the White House.

Anyone else get a bad feeling about the irony here?

God Bless all those so severely effected by this ice storm. Hopefully your friends will tape the game for you.
Sounds an awful like a certain policy in China.

And they are communist, right?

No comparison, I'm just saying.
So tell me, which part of that sentence did you focus on more, the beginning or the end? What we have here is some very basic economics, as the rich get richer, they pay more taxes. They less they make (or the more you tax them) the less they pay. We have seen this time and time again throughout history. Remember this as the new class warfare administration takes aim at those who achieve, They define success by bringing down those on top instead of trying to bring up those from the bottom. Tha is how they build their base.

Thanks to Blogging Stocks and Bloomberg for this data.

I can say for sure that the nightly news will portray this in a much different light.
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