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Saturday, May 17, 2014

"They're Just After My Money" and Other Enlightening Moments- The Sunday Collage

Many years ago, I used to play poker in Northern Nevada with a cantankerous old millionaire who played a lot of cards. He was frequently very lucky and he'd do stupid things like count the cards in the middle of the table with his index finger, including the two he was holding in his hand, and then announce he had a straight. Of course, he would then bet. Newcomers would always think that nobody would say that out loud and mostly they would just call his bet- a few of the aggressive ones would raise just prior to being introduced to a re-raise.

One time, after a very lucky session, my friend looked over at me and announced he was leaving. He was a big winner. He looked at me and said, "These assholes are just after my money." I replied, "No shit Sheldon- it's a poker game."

In just the last three months, my property taxes have gone up 200 a year, my homeowners and car insurance went up 200 a year, and my cable bill went up 150 a year. I am going to pay a 450 dollar Obamacare penalty. Those 4 things are going to cost me 1000 more dollars next year aside from rising food and energy costs.

Is there anyone out there- anywhere- who believes the Bureau of Labor Statistics 2.5% annual inflation bullshit?

And if you don't- please explain to me how the masters of the universe have stopped the precious metals from soaring which they have a tendency to do whenever inflation hell is breaking out.

I am in absolute awe at what I am seeing. Consumers are being absolutely stripped of what little wealth they have left, while being introduced to lower, crappier wages as the stock market band on the economic Titanic just plays along.

If I didn't know any better, I'd just say that everybody was after my money.

I'll tell you the nuttiest part. I actually bought precious metals thinking that this precise scenario was about to take place years ago but alas, somehow, someone, has reversed  the economic laws of nature which have governed the 53 years that I have been on this rock- forcing gold and silver to trade near three year lows.

I cancelled my Direct TV account last week. I am kind of sick of them arbitrarily raising my monthly charge every year or so which is their trade tactic for getting you to sign a new contract. Each time a contract expires, they gouge me just a little bit more. Six years of this nonsense. This time, I said "no mas." I am gonna save about 900 a year. I very gleefully will box up their receiver, the card, and pay my last payment to these pirates.

I am going to use that money to pay my taxes, insurance, and my Obamacare penalty. 

Now granted, I'm going to be missing out on CNBC telling me how wonderful banks and Wall St. are every weekday morning. I won't be able to see the digger clowns from Montana finding "nectar" in the hole. Or Jeremy Whatshisname catching river monsters. Somehow I am going to just have to make due without all of that "entertainment."

Or not. I bought a Roku from Amazon that actually gives me most of what I watch for 99 bucks, one time. I'm still playing with it but I think it might be a viable alternative to corporate capture. I streamed the Preakness today over Pimlico's site and watched the only thing worth seeing. California Chrome might just break the 40 year triple crown drought. I will finally be able to die in peace.

I've been watching commodity prices rising dramatically over the past two months- well everything except gold and silver- that is. Gas is almost back to 4 bucks a gallon in Boise with two weeks until Memorial Day. Prices on everything from meat to coffee are soaring. They even raised my water bill.

I don't know about you, but I get this sneaking suspicion that our economy is heading for a cliff. Like something very big is about to happen and nobody is talking about it or sees it coming.

This morning, I am thinking about going to Jackpot, Nevada and playing in a poker tournament. Everyone will be trying to get my money while I in fact- will be trying to get theirs. That's kind of the agreed upon premise. At least it's all above board and everyone plays on the same, level, playing field. Nobody can simply extort your chips from you without winning them- fair and square- nor do you have to sign contracts or listen to corporate drones try and entice you into giving them more money. 

I used to see Sheldon, my friend, every Sunday in that tournament. He won his fair share of them. I haven't played in it since he passed away a couple of years ago. Maybe, I will get a straight and count the cards out in the middle out loud (of course) and my two hole cards and say, "I gotta straight" and then bet.

I bet they'll call me. Some things, thank gawd, never change.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The Free Speech Nazis and Some Tuesday Humor

Today I noted that a professional football player was fined for tweeting some free speech regarding an openly gay football player selected in the draft who kissed his boyfriend on national tv.

You see it's ok to kiss your boyfriend on national television- that speech is protected. But if you object to men kissing other men on the lips and tweet about it...well that speech is not protected.

You cannot make this shit up. There is a part of me that is very grateful I am in my 50's and that I don't have to put up with another 50 years of this bullshit from the free speech nazis.

The speech nazis of course, are free to pick and choose who gets free speech and who does not. If you are black you can  say "nigger or nigga" but if you are white- that is off limits. The first amendment they will say, only protects free speech where the government is concerned. Therefore any consequences you suffer- as they humiliate you, banish you from NBA team ownership, or fine you- is perfectly acceptable. There are consequences they say- consequences which they arbitrarily assign as they DECIDE who is entitled to their brand of free speech and who is not.

Free speech you see- is available only to the nazis. They will determine what you can say and what you cannot say.

That is mob rule in action.That is also precisely what the founding fathers sought to avoid when creating a Republic which protects the rights of the minority.

Oh yea, the humor part. You'll like this.

Mel Brooks recently stated that his best film in his opinion, “Blazing Saddles” could not even be made today because of the political correctness craze which has grown exponentially during recent years. The NFL draft which was held this past weekend reminded me of a joke which I’m sure will put the biggest bullies in America, “the political correctness police” into a frenzy. It goes like this.

The Washington Redskins are changing their name because of all the negativity, shame, humiliation, dissent, polarity, adversity, defiance, hatred, animosity, contempt, discrimination, division, violence, counter-productivity, ill-spirit, un-Godliness, and hostility associated with their name. From now on they will be known simply as the Redskins.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Six Years at Bernie's- The Sunday Collage

During the week, I had the chance to see an oddball movie called "Weekend at Bernie's." It is the story about an embezzler (Bernie) who invites two co-workers (who discovered the theft) to his vacation home to have them killed and gets killed himself. The two co-workers, fearing they'll get blamed for Bernie's death, pretend he's still alive and although there is a party at Bernie's house over the weekend- nobody notices that Bernie is dead.

I don't want to ruin the movie- in case you want to see it. It came out on blue ray last Tuesday.

There is a metaphor in here somewhere.

All during the week, more and more internet chatter took place about Benghazi after the disclosure of an administration email that essentially proves that this administration willfully lied to the American people regarding the nature of the attack on Benghazi. Blaming it on some poor islamaphobe/videographer/felon schmuck in California (eventually having him arrested) and calling that a "talking point." What a sham.

To call the actions of President Obama deplorable and reprehensible is obvious. They were willfully negligent.  That the American people have allowed Obama to essentially ignore this event has become a hallmark feature- not only of this presidency but of an American populace who apparently support this man and who are morally just as bankrupt as he is.

So I'm not here to state the obvious- that Obama is a self centered liar who placed his re-election concerns over the lives of American citizens, allowed others to lie about it on his behalf, and has never offered even an explanation for what he was doing that night.

Instead, I want to talk about an American citizenry that allows this type of reprehensible conduct and labels it "politics."

Watergate was a third rate burglary. Back then, the media led by Woodward and Bernstein, were fed a non stop stream of information from the deputy director of the FBI who was code named "deep throat." The journalistic investigation ended Nixon's presidency. When it became obvious that Nixon was on the verge of being impeached or perhaps even criminally charged- he resigned and was later pardoned by President Ford.

A lot of people, particularly liberals, wanted Nixon in jail back then. We have never jailed an American president. I think we should have. It would have sent the message in this country that nobody is above the law. As it turns out- the Nixon affair was precedent setting.

So if we call Nixon a criminal for the scandal that was Watergate- how does the Benghazi affair measure up? What are we going to put on Obama's report card?

I don't think Obama directly ordered the siege and killings. That he did nothing that night was inexcusable. This was an American diplomat that had begged for help and protection- almost endlessly- and had received nothing from Hillary Clinton.That Benghazi was probably a CIA sponsored gun smuggling operation does not alter my view that only the President- the Commander in Chief- can order the military to protect our citizens anywhere. Think Jimmy Carter.

It was three weeks prior to the 2012 election and we all damn well know what happened to Jimmy Carter right before his re-election bid. The failed Iranian hostage rescue was seen as one more bungled attempt of an ineffective President. 

I remember it well. So would Obama. We are both about the same age.

You see, I am not surprised that Obama is yet another self centered political sociopath who sees his material needs as far more important than the lives of some hoi polloi in a Libyan outpost.

I am far more concerned with an enabling populace who will conjure up every excuse imaginable to allow Obama to escape responsibility. The last excuse, the deus ex machina that supporters always seem to default to... is that there is nothing to see here- it's all just politics. That's always the position the left takes whenever they've run out of excuses for this guy.

Only Obama could have sent the military to help our staff in Benghazi. He did not. Could there be some mitigating circumstance? Unfortunately for now, there is no explanation except that he is a callous, self centered human being that simply did not care about the lives of his countrymen. He had an election to win or lose.

If you would like to keep your sanity- ignore and accept what is happening today in America. Your countrymen are cowards. They distort issues and try to make facts look like opinions. They create every excuse imaginable to help their ilk escape accountability and responsibility.

Contrary to popular beliefs- we do not always get the politicians we deserve. Sometimes we get far worse. 

As a retired police chief, I am trying to imagine a situation where an employee failed to respond to a 911 call for help, let some family get massacred, and then ignored the whole incident with indifference. Never wrote a report or offered any explanation to a grieving family. Can you imagine that? Could he keep his job? Could I keep mine?

That would be a strange world indeed.

Getting back to that metaphor and a message of hope for the non criminally sane. Pretending that everything is fine does not make everything fine. To keep your sanity right now, keep your expectations low. Don't compromise your principles and don't let a majority of American cowards tell you what is right and wrong and remember this- just because you are right does not mean you will prevail. Right now, the cowards are winning.

We have two more years at Bernie's.