Monday, September 29, 2008



The Paulson Plan as modified by the idiots in Congress was defeated! I've been watching the fearmongers go into full scale panic mode on CNN, MSNBC, etc. while I drink beer and laugh at the buffoons.

I not under any illusion that we're not going to get the shaft eventually, but it is nice to see that some representatives at least listened to their constituents and thought better of trying to ram this through before the election.

But for now, the bill is dead, the beer is cold and I'm happy.

Update: 11/30 - Watched a couple of the morning shows this morning. I've never seen so many people trying to blow smoke up the public's asses. It'd be funny if it wasn't so serious - no, wait! It's just funny.

I did actually see a couple of analysts - I didn't catch any names - admit that the bailout was a short term feel-good bandaid and that the real pain was still to come. Didn't catch names, but kudos to them!


Friday, September 26, 2008


Strings and beer and Push-ups.

I was in an Osco in Chicago the other night picking up - or at least trying to - a remedy for the sinus infection that has plagued me for the past 2 weeks, when I happened to notice that some genius of marketing placed the alcohol selection next to the feminine hygiene products.

I've been buying feminine hygiene products for over 30 years now. I'm largely incapable of embarrassment anyway, and picking out some hapless clerk - the younger the better - and trying to get her to explain the benefits and features of various flow absorbers used to be one of my favorite pastimes, so I never really mind the inevitable monthly trip to the drug store. You'd think that after the first couple of years of periodic visits from Aunt Flo women would get the hint that it might be a good idea to stock up on feminine hygiene products at least a couple of days in advance of the blessed event.

Alas, such is not the case.

Feminine hygiene products have changed a lot in the past 30-odd years. For one thing, there used to be one basic pad - roughly the size of a travel pillow - and tampons with either plastic or cardboard insertion devices, which reminded me a little of Push-Ups.

Push-Ups were usually some sort of sherbet in a cardboard tube with a plastic piston on a stick used to push the sherbet up the tube. My favorite flavor was orange - but I digress.

Tampons have strings for ease of removal (much less self examination required to get the damned thing back out) and this of course has inspired men to make crudes jokes involving flossing, pediculosis pubis and bungee jumping.

Push-Ups don't have strings.

Now, feminine hygiene products come in a bewildering array of sizes and shapes, making it even less likely that the poor guy who has to buy one of these products is actually going to get the correct product home to a stressed-out mass of raging hormones with a disposition somewhat analogous to a pissed-off badgerette and already fired-up because guys DON'T HAVE PERIODS (Thanks, God!) and who also believes against all reason that the guy should know that she ALWAYS buys Always Super Ultra-maxis with Wings and Ailerons.

As if. I've had to make the return trip more than a few times. Oddly, I've never encountered the same sales clerk twice.

Naturally the poor shlub who has to go through this process knowing he isn't likely to get laid for a week or so and who also has the privilege of putting up with a creature that, if, say, it was a house pet would be taken to an animal shelter - or shot - is understandably under a lot of stress.

Beer in moderation is a good stress reliever, though it doesn't do much for the badgerette's stress level. So while putting beer next to the feminine hygiene products was a GREAT IDEA - I'd bet it was a guy who thought it up - the marketing guru who puts boxed chocolates and fishing tackle next to the beer will get my vote for president.


Thursday, September 25, 2008


Just got back from "Da Region."

One of my least favorite places on Earth.

Even worse, I'm off soon to SE Michigan, which I like even less.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Just say, "NYET!"

It's no secret I'm not a fan of government or corporations, much less government by corporation. You would probably guess that I am a little exercised about the current financial mess and the Paulson Plan that our elected(?) thieves are planning to shove down our throats.

The following is from an e-mail received from the Ron Paul '08 campaign. I didn't edit much

"The bailout package that is about to be rammed down Congress' throat is not just economically foolish. It is downright sinister. It makes a mockery of our constitution, which our leaders should never again bother pretending is still in effect. It promises the American people a never-ending nightmare of ever-greater debt liabilities they will have to shoulder. Two weeks ago, financial analyst Jim Rogers said the bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac made America more communist than China! "This is welfare for the rich," he said. "This is socialism for the rich. It's bailing out the financiers, the banks, the Wall Streeters."

That describes the current bailout package to a "T." And we're being told it's unavoidable.

The claim that the market caused all this is so staggeringly foolish that only politicians and the media could pretend to believe it. But that has become the conventional wisdom, with the desired result that those responsible for the credit bubble and its predictable consequences - predictable, that is, to those who understand sound, Austrian (Trust me, you don't have to talk like Ahnold to figure this one out -HT) economics - are being let off the hook. The Federal Reserve System is actually positioning itself as the savior, rather than the culprit, in this mess!

• The Treasury Secretary is authorized to purchase up to $700 billion in mortgage-related assets at any one time. That means $700 billion is only the very beginning of what will hit us.

• Financial institutions are "designated as financial agents of the Government." This is the New Deal to end all New Deals.

• Then there's this: "Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency." Translation: the Secretary can buy up whatever junk debt he wants to, burden the American people with it, and be subject to no one in the process.

Even some so-called free-market economists are calling all this "sadly necessary." Sad, yes. Necessary?

Our one-party system is complicit in yet another crime against the American people. The two major party candidates for president themselves initially indicated their strong support for bailouts of this kind - another example of the big choice we're supposedly presented with this November: yes or yes. Now, with a backlash brewing, they're not quite sure what their views are. A sad display, really.

Although the present bailout package is almost certainly not the end of the political atrocities we'll witness in connection with the crisis, time is short.

The issue boils down to this: do we care about freedom? Do we care about responsibility and accountability? Do we care that our government and media have been bought and paid for? Do we care that average Americans are about to be looted in order to subsidize the fattest of cats on Wall Street and in government?"

No doubt Paul can be a little myopic about his economics message (even if he is right) but this warning is spot on. I've already fired off e-mails to Senators Bayh and Lugar and will be doing the same to Dan Burton and all of Indiana's House contingent.

The Paulson Plan is a naked power grab and a huge boondoggle for the taxpayers, who stand to be the ultimate losers in this game. The pigs are already lining up at the trough. Think Warren Buffet's investment of $5,000,000,000 in Goldman is "a vote of confidence in the crisis-stricken banking system?" (WSJ) Yeah, me neither.

No business is too big to fail. The world would have gone on without the Chrysler Corporation, and will survive the demise of the fat cats on Wall Street.

My opinion can be summed up in two words:

Screw 'em.


Sunday, September 14, 2008



The hits just keep a-comin'!

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Welcome Katelyn - #6!

Haven't been well this past week, so I haven't been able to hold her yet...

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Saturday, September 06, 2008


Bubble beard...

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Tuesday, September 02, 2008




Monday, September 01, 2008


Whitefish chowder...

and smoked salmon for the road.






The waterfront. The harbor...

Green space downtown...

Train station, conerted to museum...



Crossing the Strait


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