Sunday, August 05, 2012

It's been awhile...

It's been awhile since I've posted to this blog other than copy/pastes.
I thought I'd just drop a line and toss around some thoughts I have regarding life in general.

I'm still out there plugging along in the "puzzle solving" industry but there's definitely a different tone in the immediate workplace. I'm not complaining, just saying...what good would it do to complain anyways. Besides, I look at complaints as a distraction when working. I'll post to the blog or chat about things "after the fact" if I feel compelled to do so but I'm not keen to criticizing and complaining while working.

So, with that in mind I still get out and about quite a bit these days. Not as much as used to but hey, I still have some interesting times out there.

(About the pic... East of Yakima, WA. A homestead that saw better days.)

I'm a bit concerned about the way things are going around here, in this county, in this state, in this country, this world as we see it. We have definitely seen better days and I'm not seeing any real end in sight when it comes to even getting close to seeing them again.

Maybe it's just me but I can't help myself. As I write this the U-6 unemployment rate is at a solid 15%... up from 14.9% last month. The U-6 doesn't take into account those persons who've simply given up looking for work, have fallen off of the unemployment rosters or otherwise can't afford to go out and look for a job.

We have a very sour, very hostile, volatile political climate out "there"... the ugliest I've seen in my lifetime and I don't see it getting any better before November. All I can say is I hope and pray the right choices are made by the majority of the "registered, legal" living, voting citizens of this mighty fine nation.

I didn't want to get political on the blog here but I did. See there, want in one hand and crap in the other... I know which one will fill up first.

RE: Life. We're still living the dream day by day out here in the grand Pacific Northwest. We moved into our new home a year ago (July). We lost our 15+yrs. old Chihuahua (Rookie) to blindness, congestive heart failure and arthritis in June of 2011. Our other buddy, Chief... the miniature Schnauzer somehow got the animal version of AIDS and went from healthy to dead in a scant four months in December, 2011.

After over four years of constant, incessant, increasingly difficult life altering, near intolerable pain I got my back operated on in December, 2011 (Thank you! Dr. Chong Lee!!!) I now feel like a whole new man. We're far more health conscious around here and though we have our "fall off" moments we're reasonably maintaining our weight, combining other activities that keep us active and trying to enjoy life like we used to.

I mean, we're only human.

Okay, I just thought I'd drop a line and let you know we're still out here... just being a bit pre-occupied with life so the posts are few (very few) and far between.

Hopefully I'll find more time in the future to post more upbeat stuff.

Stay safe and take care!


Saturday, March 03, 2012

Charlie Reese's 545 people column

Charlie Reese’s Last Column in the Orlando Sentinel!

He has been a journalist for 49 years.
He is retiring and this is HIS LAST COLUMN.

Be sure to read the poem and the Tax List at the end.

This is about as clear and easy to understand as it can be. The article below is completely neutral, neither anti-republican or democrat. Charlie Reese, a retired reporter for the Orlando Sentinel, has hit the nail directly on the head, defining clearly who it is that in the final analysis must assume responsibility for the judgments made that impact each one of us every day. It's a short but good read. Worth the time. Worth remembering!

545 vs. 300,000,000 People
-By Charlie Reese

Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them.

Have you ever wondered, if both the Democrats and the Republicans are against deficits, WHY do we have deficits?

Have you ever wondered, if all the politicians are against inflation and high taxes, WHY do we have inflation and high taxes?

You and I don't propose a federal budget. The President does.

You and I don't have the Constitutional authority to vote on appropriations. The House of Representatives does.

You and I don't write the tax code, Congress does.

You and I don't set fiscal policy, Congress does.

You and I don't control monetary policy, the Federal Reserve Bank does.

One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one President, and nine Supreme Court justices equates to 545 human beings out of the 300 million are directly, legally, morally, and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country.

I excluded the members of the Federal Reserve Board because that problem was created by the Congress. In 1913, Congress delegated its Constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally chartered, but private, central bank.

I excluded all the special interests and lobbyists for a sound reason. They have no legal authority. They have no ability to coerce a senator, a congressman, or a President to do one cotton-picking thing. I don't care if they offer a politician $1 million dollars in cash. The politician has the power to accept or reject it. No matter what the lobbyist promises, it is the legislator's responsibility to determine how he votes.

Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what they did is not their fault. They cooperate in this common con regardless of party.

What separates a politician from a normal human being is an excessive amount of gall. No normal human being would have the gall of a Speaker, who stood up and criticized the President for creating deficits. The President can only propose a budget. He cannot force the Congress to accept it.

The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives sole responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating and approving appropriations and taxes. Who is the speaker of the House now? He is the leader of the majority party. He and fellow House members, not the President, can approve any budget they want. If the President vetoes it, they can pass it over his veto if they agree to.

It seems inconceivable to me that a nation of 300 million cannot replace 545 people who stand convicted -- by present facts -- of incompetence and irresponsibility. I can't think of a single domestic problem that is not traceable directly to those 545 people. When you fully grasp the plain truth that 545 people exercise the power of the federal government, then it must follow that what exists is what they want to exist.

If the tax code is unfair, it's because they want it unfair.

If the budget is in the red, it's because they want it in the red.

If the Army & Marines are in Iraq and Afghanistan it's because they want them in Iraq and Afghanistan ...

If they do not receive social security but are on an elite retirement plan not available to the people, it's because they want it that way.

There are no insoluble government problems.

Do not let these 545 people shift the blame to bureaucrats, whom they hire and whose jobs they can abolish; to lobbyists, whose gifts and advice they can reject; to regulators, to whom they give the power to regulate and from whom they can take this power. Above all, do not let them con you into the belief that there exists disembodied mystical forces like "the economy," "inflation," or "politics" that prevent them from doing what they take an oath to do.

Those 545 people, and they alone, are responsible.

They, and they alone, have the power.

They, and they alone, should be held accountable by the people who are their bosses. Provided the voters have the gumption to manage their own employees...

We should vote all of them out of office and clean up their mess!
What you do with this article now that you have read it... is up to you.
This might be funny if it weren't so true.
Be sure to read all the way to the end:

Tax his land,
Tax his bed,
Tax the table,
At which he's fed.

Tax his tractor,
Tax his mule,
Teach him taxes
Are the rule.

Tax his work,
Tax his pay,
He works for
peanuts anyway!

Tax his cow,
Tax his goat,
Tax his pants,
Tax his coat.

Tax his ties,
Tax his shirt,
Tax his work,
Tax his dirt.

Tax his tobacco,
Tax his drink,
Tax him if he
Tries to think.

Tax his cigars,
Tax his beers,
If he cries
Tax his tears.

Tax his car,
Tax his gas,
Find other ways
To tax his ass.

Tax all he has
Then let him know
That you won't be done
Till he has no dough.

When he screams and hollers;
Then tax him some more,
Tax him till
He's good and sore.

Then tax his coffin,
Tax his grave,
Tax the sod in
Which he's laid...

Put these words
Upon his tomb,
'Taxes drove me
to my doom...'

When he's gone,
Do not relax,
Its time to apply
The inheritance tax.

Accounts Receivable Tax
Building Permit Tax
CDL license Tax
Cigarette Tax
Corporate Income Tax
Dog License Tax
Excise Taxes
Federal Income Tax
Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA)
Fishing License Tax
Food License Tax
Fuel Permit Tax
Gasoline Tax (currently 44..75 cents per gallon)
Gross Receipts Tax
Hunting License Tax
Inheritance Tax
Inventory Tax
IRS Interest Charges IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax)
Liquor Tax
Luxury Taxes
Marriage License Tax
Medicare Tax
Personal Property Tax
Property Tax
Real Estate Tax
Service Charge Tax
Social Security Tax
Road Usage Tax
Recreational Vehicle Tax
Sales Tax
School Tax
State Income Tax
State Unemployment Tax (SUTA)
Telephone Federal Excise Tax
Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Tax
Telephone Federal, State and Local Surcharge Taxes
Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax
Telephone Recurring and Nonrecurring Charges Tax
Telephone State and Local Tax
Telephone Usage Charge Tax
Utility Taxes
Vehicle License Registration Tax
Vehicle Sales Tax
Watercraft Registration Tax
Well Permit Tax
Workers Compensation Tax

Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago, & our nation was the most prosperous in the world.
We had absolutely no national debt, had the largest middle class in the world, and Mom, if agreed, stayed home to raise the kids.

What in the heck happened? Can you spell 'politicians?'

I hope this goes around THE USA at least 545 times!!! YOU can help it get there!!!