Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Welcome to 1999

I just saw a story on the evening news on the hot new tiny little cars that are just now available here in the USA. But they are not new. I was in Amsterdam, Holland in 1999 and those cars were already in service. Why did it take so long for them to get to the USA? Because we want BIG BIG BIG cars. The Hummer was our choice. Americans prefer status symbols to environmental sensability. And now we all pay with higher gas prices and possibly irriversable environmental damage.

When will Americans learn?

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

State Of The Union

I can't tell you how happy I am to know we have heard the last State Of the Union address from President Bush. This time he smiled while he twisted the truth.

In better news - it is looking more and more like a Hillary (possibly Obama) / McCain presidential race in 2008. I'm can live with that.

The Ominous Cloud Has Moved Away Again

Prayers answered. A miracle perhaps?

I just wish the cloud would go away for ever.

Thursday, January 24, 2008


So here is how it works.

  • Give taxpayer money back to the people to "stimulate the economy"
  • The people will spend this "free money" on outrageous gas prices - maybe on a trip they might have had to cancel before (that's nice).
  • The taxpayers "extra" money now ends up on the balance sheets of the oil companies
  • Ta-da! The economy looks much better - at least when viewed from the Bush Admin point of view.

I'm not really surprised that everyone is jumping on board with the wonderful idea - even though it didn't fix the economy the first time - and I dare say it made it much worse. After all, who would vote against "free money" during an election year? Even if it might be a terrible idea.

I feel that bad "money things" are about to happen. I wish it wasn't so.

The Ominous Cloud is Way Too Close

I wish I could run for shelter but there is nothing I can do.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Short Sighted Economics

Economics was not my best class - but I did pass the course in College. As President Bush plans to give more tax money back to individuals and business to jump start the economy, I can't help but think this is the wrong approach - again. True, it may help in the short term - like it did the last time - but it will make the long term situation worse. In fact we are in this situation again because it didn't work the first time. Let me use an analogy to help explain how I see it.

If I carry a large credit card balance then I am subject to monthly fees for interest on the money I owe. Sometimes, usually during the holidays, my credit card company might offer to let me skip a payment. Woo-hoo! Now I have more money to spend. But the trick is that the interest doesn't stop for that month and now I owe more because I spent more and I still have to pay the interest for another extra month.

Part of the reason the USA is having economic difficulties is because we have a HUGE trade deficit. This means that we owe other countries WAY more than they owe us and we pay interest on those loans. The money we use to pay those debts comes mostly from the taxpayers - especially if we are not generating interest on our own loans because we have a deficit. If we give money back to the people, we make our debt worse. True we might spend that money quickly and make it appear the economy is doing better but after a very short time we will realize we now owe MORE money and we still have to pay interest on all of that. And so we slip ever further into economic demise. I do understand that trade deficits may not be directly related to tax revenues - but all of it is connected.

No one likes taxes but that is the primary source of money our Government generates. If we keep cutting taxes, or giving money back, how will we ever pay our bills? It helps to win elections to say "no new taxes!" but unfortunately people don't realize what that means in the long term. What they should be saying is "Less taxes for the poor and more for the wealthy!" In fact, I believe if the Bush Admin. were to increase a large business tax or a personal wealthy tax, they would make real progress for long term economic growth - as long as those business and wealthy individuals didn't pass those costs on to the poor as they usually do.

The economy of a country is not something you can quickly jolt around. So, even though I could seriously use an extra $800.00 right now, I'd rather have a long term solution that would provide a break on gas prices, lower cost of food, and energy costs. Those types of savings would add up very quickly to more than $800.00 and would be enjoyed by all.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Corruption At It's Worst

The Bush Administration remains Innocent of any wrong doing by the simple task of destroying evidence. Are they not the ones that created the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 to prevent just such crimes from being covered up? Yet in 2003 e-mail tapes were "accidentally" recycled (overwritten) during the time of the Valarie Plame investigation. And years later the video tapes that would have proven that illegal torture had actually occurred were somehow destroyed - even though an investigating body required they not be destroyed.

Destroying evidence does not make you Innocent. In fact it makes your crimes even more heinous. This Administration has no morrals what-so ever.


Tuesday, January 15, 2008

I'm Starving

We now live in a world where genetically engineered food, cloned animals, farmed seafood, overcrowded chicken farms and the like have become a fact of our everyday lives. Why is this all necessary? One word explains it all – Overpopulation.

I don’t think most people, at least in this country, really think about that much. Why should we when there still seems to be vast amounts of open space in the middle of the USA? In fact from an airplane it seems we have a tremendous amount of space yet to be filled by humans. And so we go on with uncontrolled population growth – with some religions even preaching that it is God’s will that we do so.

Let me explain why population control is not only needed but is already becoming an emergency. If you look at a field where cows are grazing, you might think to yourself that there is room for a lot more cows in that field. But the reality is that each cow needs a lot of grass to live. You can only put a few cows in an open field or they would die of starvation. Most of the people in the United States live in large cities along the coastlines and other bodies of water. But the middle part is where we all get our food. And apparently that food is getting scarce which has prompted us to use technology to make more food from fewer resources.

In other parts of the world population control has been required for a long time. China is a good example. Once you get to a point where a place is overpopulated, there isn’t much you can do about it. I’m here to tell you that I think we are getting near that point right here in the USA. I hate to think what it will take before people realize this is a real concern. By that time, prices for food will skyrocket, shelves will be empty and people will be fighting for food. I dare say that it might already be too late. Remember, our population increases exponentially, and we have no natural predators. We must control our own population or we will pay the consequences.

PS Lets not forget about fresh water. Of all the water on the Earth, only 3% is fresh water. As our population explodes, our fresh water usage also increases exponentially. It is a very limited resource.

How can every radio station be #1?

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Criminals Walk Free

I just want to SCREAM!!!!

The scandals, embarrassment and violations of the law have been unbelievable in the Bush Administration but the worst part is that NO ONE HAS BEEN CONVICTED, PUNISHED OR FIRED - NO ONE!!!!!

I just read an article in USA Today that said the Army has tossed out the conviction of Lt. Col. Steven L. Jordan and he was cleared this week of any criminal wrongdoing in the Abu Ghraib case. The USA Today article states:

"Barring any startling new information, the decision means no officers or civilian leaders will be held criminally responsible for the prisoner abuse that embarrassed the U.S. military and inflamed the Muslim world."

The Bush Admin policy seems to be to just wait until the situation calms down and then just let people resign (with benefits), toss out their convictions or just let them keep their jobs. They did it with Hurricane Katrina, the Valarie Plame Scandal, Abu Ghraib, scandal after scandal too numerous to list. It is just sickening.

How are they getting away with this??!!!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Plain Fair

I suppose it is OK to have different classes of service on an airplane, but I really believe that everyone in the same section of the plane should pay the same amount. You know, like buses, trains, ships and other modes of transport. Why do we have to be expert shoppers to get a good deal? Why do we have to wait (or act now!) to book our flight?

Next time you get on a plane, tell the folks around you how much you paid for your seat and ask what they paid for theirs. The answers will astound you and them. If everyone did that the airlines wouldn't be able to continue this type of unfair pricing. And booking a flight would be so much easier.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Don't Find Me - I'll Find You

Happy 2008!

Even though I had a lot of time to write lately, there are just so many things that are annoying me right now (gas prices, the war, the election, having to work through the Holidays etc.) that I was having a hard time picking one to write about – so I just didn’t write at all.

But today I had this discussion with my sister via e-mail that I thought I might share. She is in the marketing business and I am very anti-marketing as I have written before. I always vent my frustrations with my sister and hopefully she learns what things irritate people like me and can share that with her marketing peeps. This is important because what most marketing people don’t realize is that if you annoy us – we won’t buy from you.

I don’t know if I’m using correct industry terms here but I see two types of marketing - Passive Marketing where I seek information and Aggressive Marketing where they seek me. The Yellow Pages are a good example of passive marketing. All those ads are just sitting there waiting until I need to find something and then ta-da, there they are. A good example of aggressive marketing is an experience my sister had on a recent trip where they were harassed by timeshare sales people. They were on vacation – not even in the market for a time share. But, I can guarantee that if they were suddenly in the market for a timeshare, they would have known exactly where to find information – even in a foreign country.

Unfortunately, marketers only seem to use the aggressive style. I’m spending an unbelievable amount of time trying to opt-out of marketing programs. And I’m spending a lot of money trying to get content on my TV and computer without all the ads. In my opinion aggressive marketing is unproductive, expensive and frustrating for them and us.

The marketers might point out that their sales figures prove that their techniques work. I would challenge that notion. I would bet that if they didn’t present us with all those annoying ads they would still sell their products. We would find what we are looking for. But even if I need your item, I won’t click on that flashing ad in the middle of my news story. Sorry, you have annoyed me and I won’t support your business – next!

Imagine how peaceful a world without ads would be.
Imagine how nice the Holiday Season would be.
Imagine the reduced bandwidth on the Internet.
Imagine the paper saved.
Imagine the restored scenic views and reduced light pollution when the billboards are removed.
Imagine the phone ringing and it’s a friend.
Imagine no spam in your e-mail box.
Just imagine.