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Saturday, November 12, 2011

Making A Case for American Apathy

Just make it past the introductory paragraph. Keep your apathy at bay for just 10 lines and we'll get to the good shit.

I just listened to a 30 minute interview with David Rosenberg, the great economic predictor of Gluskin Scheff. Rosie, as he is affectionately called, makes no bones about labeling the current state of the American economy what it is. In a depression. No happy media spin for the clown prince in chief. Rosie states simply that recessions are contractions followed by rebounds. There is no rebound here and none in sight. We have not added one job in ten years. The stock market is no higher than it was 12 years ago. Recent GDP was a little better than expected but included one time aberrations that will not be repeated in the newer quarter.

What does this mean for the typical on the ground working stiff in America? Not a damn thing.

The current state of the economy will not put bread on the table, it will not help your attitude, and talking about something you have no control over- is a waste of time. Non productive.

Some people simply hate to read. Others hate the subject matter. Others hate politics. Trust me when I tell you- that many folks see the economy and politics as subjects joined at the hip.  They avoid any talk of either at all costs.

I will tell you quite flatly, that my ex-wife did not give two shits about politics or the economy. This made her a happier human being. That in turn made me a happier human being just as long as I had the good sense to keep quiet about politics and the economy. My ex went to work each day, came home, relaxed a little, then did it all over again. Day after day, week after week, year after year. Like a hamster running on a wheel that never stops. The hamster never questions why it runs on the wheel. Asking why involves risk. The hamster just runs. It is safer that way.

If you have read this far, you are probably not a hamster. 

That I believe is your garden variety and average American. Desperately working hard to acquire things (money) so that they can perform in whatever play or function that their subconscious ego demands. For some it will be raising children. For others it will be fame or personal accolades. For some it will be acquiring money to buy "things" and prove their self worth. For some it is traveling the globe. And yet for others, it will be to prove to the world that we are vastly intelligent and of the non hamster variety. But for most Americans, talking about politics and the economy will not do a damn thing to change their immediate needs. It will not make them healthier, wealthier, or put them in a better mood. Concisely and briefly, they see no upside to discussing the economy or politics.

They are the majority. They are winning. They are proving that there is nothing wrong with apathy. In fact, having apathy makes good sense to them. It's hard to argue. I hear that from the hamsters all the time. Here's the shortened version. It's "shut the fuck up" about the economy and politics. You cannot change any of that and we don't want to hear about it. There are more useful things to do. Like running on this wheel.

My goal as a listener or reader and then perhaps as a writer, is to be a facilitator. My beliefs were acquired as a result of investigating the unknown and arriving at the most likely conclusion. But in order to do that, I had to care. Caring is the opposite of not caring, apathy. You simply cannot change or facilitate a change in the beliefs of an individual who is convinced that apathy is the best defense. Collectively, as long as the apathetic remain the majority, they win. There will be no change in the status quo leadership therefore there will be no trickle down effect or improvement for the rest of us, economically or politically.

Not one great leader or person of note EVER was apathetic about their current state of affairs. Had they been, history would never have known even one of them. Think about that.

In a democracy, the majority speaks. They win. The hamsters have become the facilitators. Now shut up with all that talk about stuff you can't change. Be like us. Get on that wheel and run.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Great Stuff From Big Hairy News

I guess Big Hairy isn't buying the 14 year old sexual harassment allegations either. Funny stuff here.

The Christmas Tree Tax?

When I read about Obama's Christmas tree tax yesterday, I truly thought he had completely lost his mind. This morning I still do. Fifteen cents a tree to establish a board to sell trees. Here's a great read on that tax and many more- brought to you by the Washington D.C. central planners, courtesy of ZeroHedge.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Sexual Harrassment, Sharon Bialek Wants a Mulligan

I'm not sure whether or not Sharon Bialek plays golf.

For the record and those who wander here... I am an uber conservative Libertarian. That means I am not even sure I like Herman Cain yet. I probably don't. But what I dislike even more, are the professional victims and whiners in this country who come forward when it is politically expedient to do so. Or they have some ax to grind. Or some lawsuit to file. Or some notoriety to gain. Some rub with greatness. What I really hate is their timing. You see, it is the timing that raises my inner cop instincts.

Comes now the plaintiff, one Sharon Bialek. Ms. Bialek has come forward with an allegation that Herman Cain "groped" her.

The alleged incident occurred fourteen years ago in 1997. Does that mean it's not true? Nope. Please read this writer's opinion as to what should be done. Fascinating.

A few people in this country have a very active victim mentality that is always on hyper vigilant mode. If someone does something which they consider inappropriate, they launch an attack. This is evident in many areas of our lives- well beyond the scope of sexual harassment. In fact, it is the very cornerstone  of politically correct speech as defined by some self anointed appointed experts but I digress. Ultimately, society is left to sift through the she said-he said back and forth. So what are we going to do every time someone decides to bring up a similar allegation gathering dust for a decade and a half?

Several years ago in my policing life, two kids had sex and created a baby. The mother was 15, the father was 18. The young female had the baby. Three years later, the young mother and her mother came to the police station to file charges. They wanted to file rape charges on the young father. In Idaho, what had happened back then fulfilled the elements of rape. We were still within the statute of limitations. So I had to ask the question. Why had it taken three years to come forward with the rape allegation? They told me that the father was in college and refusing to pay child support. They of course, had no custody agreement or support agreement. A rape charge they assured me, would cure all of that. It reminds one of extortion.

There was that timing thing again. 

Let me state this for the record. I believe that millions of us have been sexually harassed or are the victims of sexual abuse (as children and adults) and that millions of us have never reported those incidents. Each of us, in our own way, decides how best to proceed. Once we make those decisions, we live with them. What I am saying is this. Sharon Bialek was a grown woman  in 1997. If in fact she was the victim of a battery or sexual battery, then the law is clear and she has recourse. You file the charge and it gets investigated promptly when the best evidence is still available. This occurs at a moment when perhaps there are still witnesses to interview or evidence which can be gathered. We do this to protect the rights of the victims as well as the rights of the accused. There's that timing thing again.

So here we are, 14 years later with no police reports, no evidence. We are left with some unsolved allegation/mystery with absolutely no way to resolve it. Not because it didn't happen but because Sharon Bialek made a decision not to report it. Clearly Ms. Bialek chose to live with whatever happened that night and she should have. Since Ms. Bialek somehow cannot live with her decision and is now demanding a mulligan, please allow the following helpful suggestions.

Anytime someone decides to play a mulligan, they must do so while they are still at the golf course on the first tee. You cannot leave the golf course, come back 14 years later, drop a new ball on the 1st tee box and hit an iron instead of a wood. That goes for the rest of the people in your foursome. Those are the established rules and that's how most of us play. Once you leave the tee box, it's just bad etiquette to go back.

Now Even McCain, Great RINO, Predicts Rise of a Third Party

What the hell is taking so long? I've been ready for years.

RINO=Republican In Name Only. McCain=Only slightly better than Obama with less color.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Five Days In North Dakota

As a kid in Montana, and then Idaho, I grew up hunting, fishing, and trapping. I am talking daily. There were about eight of us- all equally obsessed and good friends- who hunted and fished all the way through high school. As a result of all of this outdoor activity, two of my best friends became professional hunting and fishing guides. Some of us became alcoholic. This is all traceable to our high school days.

Two things derailed my hunting career. An absolute avalanche of anti-hunting Californians and like minded folks moved to Montana and Idaho over the past two decades. Californians are universally hated by most locals. These people nearly always posted their property once they bought it. I got sick of having to ask for permission and getting turned away. I have always believed landowners have embellished stories of damaged property as an excuse for denying hunters property access. Rather, I think they want just want to isolate themselves. In my mind, even after 30 years, they will always be outsiders. The other thing that derailed my hunting career was my ex-wife. This was a woman who saved every creature. Even magpies in heavy rush hour traffic. Out of respect for her, I quit hunting for 18 years. I became a free agent in 2007.

I was born on the Montana/North Dakota border. I have family here. This year, I am helping move my elderly father back to Idaho. We decided to hunt a little bit while we are here. This is how it has been. 

On opening day, we bagged a large four point buck. That was a fairly warm day and we practically drove one of the trucks to the buck and loaded him. I was sweating and peeling off clothes. The weather turned cold and windy the next day. Now I run 5k every day back home on a treadmill. I am not in the worst shape. I think we walked 10 miles on Day 2. The hills are not all that steep, but by the end of the day I was ready to cry. Climbing side hills continually rotates my ancient ankles and by the end of the day, they both looked sprained. Every year, several days of this in a row works it's evil magic on me. Never, ever, scrimp on boots. I have Irish Setters and I love them. However, even those fine boots cannot perform miracles. (In Canada, they sell over the counter acetaminophen with codeine in it- I've been told this works quite well for various aches and pains.)

Day 3 turned out to be the coup de grace. The weather turned nasty and it snowed. Sideways. Wind was about 20 out of the northwest. It was fucking cold. I had this crazy idea we that we could pick up a big deer track in the snow. It's funny when things start to go bad, they just tend to do it all at once.

After walking only about two miles, I was ready to cry. My ankles were hurting bad. You cannot behave like a wuss even when common sense says you need to behave like a wuss. I had a small reservoir worth of snow plastered to my face and head when we turned back. One of the trucks was missing when we got there. As it turns out, one of the dogs had peeled off on my fathers hand and ripped the back of it. He had gone to the hospital for stitches. We shifted to pheasant hunting with the dogs while we waited for his return. During that hunt, one of the dogs ripped her shoulder pretty bad on a barbed wire fence. We managed to shoot a few pheasants. A little later in the day, I was in the bed of the pickup, nearly frozen, and tried to step down on an iced bumper over the tail gate. I was holding my gun. When my foot slipped, I saved the gun and took all of the damage. Like a man. An old man. I fell out forward while rotating backwards, put a nice gouge on my shin, and wrenched my ass and back pretty good when it impacted the road. Ah yes, the joys of hunting.

It was too damn cold to hunt the next day and the truth is- we are all crippled. The dog got stitches, we took the deer to the processors, and I took several of these acetaminophen tablets with French labels on the bottles which I cannot read. Today we did a nice easy road hunt because we still can't walk. The land here is not posted because Californians do not like it here. Tonight we worked on the truck in the shop. Tomorrow we get the trailer and the moving officially begins. More fun in North Dakota.
In Boise, the weather is warm. Fifty five degrees! I've been eyeing it every day on the MSN homepage. After five days here, I'd be a liar if I said I wasn't looking forward to getting back to Boise. There is always next year.

Sarkozy Calls Netanyahu a Liar, Obama Concurs...Ain't That Rich?

In a room with these three men, you will only find one set of balls. Two brainiacs talk shit with an open mike.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

We Won't Need To Extinguish The Government- They Will Do It Themselves

Imagine that a member of the mafia has decided to provide "protection" for your family business. The mafia will take 40% of your profits. You have no appeal. The mob even manages to pass a law that states that you must pay the bill or go to jail. You keep paying the bill for years. The mafia steals what little you have. You receive little or nothing in return. In the meantime, you try everything. You try talking to the cops and your politicians. They don't care. You get a lawyer and petition the legislature. You try everything you can think of. Nothing works. You are a hostage. You are truly a victim. You have done nothing wrong yet the law no longer protects the innocent. It protects the corrupt.

The mafia's fraud and waste begins to mount. They have been reckless and careless. As they begin to realize they are on the verge of bankruptcy they start increasing the amounts they forcibly take from you. As the amount they steal approaches 50, 60, and then 70%- you begin to realize that not only will they never stop taking from you but that you are now a hostage and a slave. Your life deteriorates. You finally do the only thing you can do- short of murder. You simply quit paying the people who are extorting from you. You shut the business and kill their revenue stream. You take your chances.

Think this is far fetched? In America, there is no rule of law left. The law protects the corrupt. Law abiding people have no voice- we are simply sheep to be fleeced.  Congress refuses to engage in meaningful campaign reform, bank reform, or tax reform. They refuse to term limit themselves, they even refuse to quit insider trading. They have become a lawless thugocracy. Listen to Nancy Pelosi's gibberish and lies when she gets questioned and caught regarding her inside investing activities.


I used to pay taxes because I thought it was necessary for government to operate. I actually thought of "tax paying" as my duty. That is no longer true.

I have spent a career in law enforcement. I used to believe in government. I can no longer say that. I can no longer support a thugocracy that simply steals from it's law abiding citizens and protects the criminals. There have been no criminal prosecutions and there are no meaningful reforms. We are quickly approaching that point where common sense minded individuals will begin to realize that not only can they no longer pay taxes but even if they could- they can no longer afford to.

In fact, that's why I personally believe we have a nation of tax "cheats." We have tax "cheats" because the more our government is willing to steal- the more it's citizens are willing to "cheat" the thieves. The higher tax rates go- the more people will quit paying. That's simply a fact of life.

The government caused this. They cannot resolve the problem by locking up millions. They cannot escape. They have a debt they cannot pay- and a people that cannot pay it. The U.S. government killed it's golden goose.

I have to tell you that as the "super committee" tries to come up with 1.2 trillion dollars in cuts- that even if they can identify places to cut- the cuts are meaningless. That paltry amount will only cover 8 months worth of this years deficit on a new tax shortfall of 1.8 trillion. A shortfall that was recently revised upward by 300 billion. Go figure. Tax receipts are lower than the government projected. Who could have seen that coming? Check this out. Very recent.

* As of November 1, 2011, the official debt of the United States government is $15.0 trillion ($14,971,831,021,178).[1] This amounts to:

• $48,445 for every person living in the U.S.[2]
• $127,379 for every household in the U.S.[3]
• $318,447 for every U.S. household that pays more in federal taxes than they receive in benefits from the federal government[4]

What you are witnessing now is a government that ultimately will self extinguish. I used to think that we had to intervene and stop that from happening. I now see government suicide as a promising and necessary event. Like letting too big to fail banks fail. We need this economic failure to bring about a level of pain that will instantly cause this apathetic nation to get off it's collective ass and reform. Don't show the process any quarter or mercy. It will be painful and there will be a lot of rhetoric, blame, and lies. There will be escalating taxes, demonstrations, pissed off people. Like a dying fire, all that remains to be seen is that precise moment when the last ember finally grows cold. For 50 years, people like Nancy Pelosi and this government- fueled the fire. The fire is just about out. I feel pretty confident about that and absent a miracle- I am just as confident that sometime soon we are all going to have to clean up the ashes of this fire and build a new one. I can hardly wait.

This One's For You Bad Santa!

Bank Protest Day, Please Close Your Too Big To Fail Bank Accounts

I am simply amazed at the number of people who still do business with the TBTF or Too Big To Fail Banks. The biggest four or five banks have 80% of our wealth. That is not just wrong- that is downright scary.

Bank protest day.

I closed out a Wells Fargo account three years ago. I opened two accounts. One at a credit union, one at a small town bank. One gives me a free safety deposit box, the other waives atm transactions anywhere- which in my estimation is the only advantage Wells Fargo had with a bazillion branches everywhere.

If you bank at Citi, WF, Bank of America, any of these...

...please consider moving your accounts somewhere else. The TBTF banks would not be TBTF if the citizens of this country would start taking action and lose some of the apathy and laziness that these banks have been counting on.