Thursday, September 24, 2009

Just too Damn Funny: ACORN Sues Hidden-camera Filmmakers

Just when it could not get any funnier, the group somewhat known creating their own bit of distress is actually suing for emotional distress imposed on them? Even the IRS has severed ties with Acorn. I do not know if this is baffling, stunning, or the height of self importance. However, it would be fun to be the rational judge and hear this case. To say the words: Now let me get this straight. Followed up by orders to make them pay court costs. Interesting how if your bias is certain way, it is public service and free speech, regardless of the fact it is disruptive or personal in nature. This is not even playing by your rule book Acorn. The apparent distress here is you were caught on tape and lost a tactic.

BALTIMORE (AP) - Community activist group ACORN is suing the makers of a hidden-camera video that showed employees of its Baltimore office giving tax advice to a man posing as a pimp and a woman posing as a prostitute. The liberal group contends that the audio portion of the video was obtained illegally because Maryland requires two-party consent to create sound recordings. The two employees seen in the video were fired after it was posted online. The lawsuit says the employees, Tonja Thompson and Shera Williams, suffered "extreme emotional distress." The multimillion-dollar lawsuit seeks damages from James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles, who played the pimp and prostitute in the videos, and from conservative columnist Andrew Breitbart, who posted the videos on his Web site.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Texas Bored of Edukation - Houston Problem? Duh?

These religious nut cases are at it again. Apparently not ever satisfied until everyone subscribes to their ideas of what makes a good society are once again blurring the lines with confusion over whom should be in a 5th grade social studies book regarding the topic of science and scientists. Yes, these are the same mindful people who wanted to be the deciders on what should be in a science book and tackled [once] again the issue of evolution vs. creationism. Never really paying attention to one was science and the other one, well was a belief system and not a science. So now, they want to remove Neil Armstrong from mention because he technically was not a scientist. Well, by that measure neither was Thomas Edison, depending how you define scientist. Are these people to be taken serious? How can we tolerate that our elected officials allow Texas to be the source of ridicule to the rest of the nation and the world? It is just embarrassing. Below is an excerpt from SciGuy Eric Berger.

As part of the process a Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills review team composed of parents and teachers has suggested removing Neil Armstrong from a "science strand" in a 5th grade social studies book. Effectively this would remove the mention of Armstrong has a figure of historical significance from 5th grade textbooks. I asked board spokeswoman Debbie Ratcliffe why this change was made and she explained: The team said they made this proposal because he was not a scientist. The State Board of Education has not voted for or against that proposal yet. It won't vote on the social studies proposal until January.

I did write a letter to to Gail Lowe. Whom I have spoken to many times. I requested them to stop this nonsense. I suggested they really need to read [or re-read] 1984 and Fahrenheit 451. I also enquired if these two books are still available or if they have banned them? Perhaps, too few members of the board are smarter than a fifth grader? For those of you in Rio Linda, in the book 1984, the government strives to reduce the amount of words available to be used in an effort to force everyone to be politically correct. We would not want these fresh young minds to get dangerous ideas at tender young ages, would we? Freedom is Slavery after all. Plus, just as in 1984, our Board of Education is acting as the Winston Smith character who's job was defined to rewrite actual events to fit the [interpreted] historical narrative to serve the party.

I really laugh at these so-called family values social conservatives. The only difference between them and [social] conservatives in the middle east seems to be attire and geography. The ideology is strikingly similar. Both would be perfectly happy doing a reset of the clock by about 5000 years.

By the way, George Washington said, In no way is the is the United States founded upon the Christian doctrine. Besides, I do not recall Christianity ever proposing or endorsing willful ignorance. That is an invention of foolish men with less than selfless agendas. Get over it.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Today's NEA: LBJ Would Be Proud!

Most people who know LBJ, know he was successful [at getting his way] because he managed through intimation. We often hear about a new era of FDR and JFK. I believe there is the shadow of LBJ, not JFK nor FDR taking shape here. However, I wonder how LBJ would have liked the idea of using his NEA as a tool? The NEA? Always, a curious observation, many of us in this county kick and scream when we see tyranny and abuse of power. An old cliche comes to mind: The ends justify the means. Too often, the problem is people only consider the opposing side tyrannical. They cannot fathom the idea that their own action may itself be an abuse of power. When President George W. Bush reduced the liberties afforded by the Constitution, which is the law, there was outcry by some. There was indifference by others. Some people would trade security for liberty. Ben Franklin suggested that if you gave up the first, you deserved neither. However, these safety minded soccer moms could sleep knowing Big Brother was protecting them from evil doers. Whether or not this was actually true or not, or whether one could actually determine this, or if one could even ask was beside the point. One simply felt better and that was all that mattered. Today, in our current administration, we are building and establishing of state owned enterprises, state sponsorships, and even state owned student loans. Irritate the government and risk your entitlement and future. It's a damn slippery slope. We have the current administration with two standards. One for their own outreach of information and one that will investigate those that will oppose it. Equal and fair enforcement of the law is not occurring. Ironic. However, under the previous administration in 2003, congress did make changes to Medicare for prescription drugs, which are unfunded to the tune of something in the neighborhood $725 billion for 10 years, depending on who's numbers are to believed. Ten Years. How will we cut costs and increase benefits simultaneously? Yet this administration is investigating Humana for scaring seniors? Perhaps more than seniors should be outraged rather than scared for not being leveled with in the first place? At least the insurance companies, such as Humana are compelled by law to set aside cash reserves to pay for their obligations. Does the treasury do this for Medicare? Who will pay for these programs and how? But on to the truth police and the dispensing of information and how best to do it. There was this conference call and some things were said.

Consider Buffy Wicks — former Obama campaign activist, now White House staffer:

We won and that’s exciting and now we have to take all that energy and make it really meaningful. I’m in the White House now and what I’ve learned is that change doesn't come easy, but now that I’m actually in the White House and working towards furthering this agenda, this very aggressive agenda, I’m really realizing that… we’re going to need your help, and we’re going to come at you with some specific asks here.

We wanted folks to connect with local nonprofit organizations in their community. We wanted them to connect with local city council members or local elected officials. We wanted them to connect with federal agencies, with labor unions, progressive groups, face groups, women’s groups, you name it.

Then we have Yosi Sergant, the NEA offical who is perfectly in sync with our President's pledge of no lobbyists. If this is not illegal, it is at least sleazy. But he was apparently the sacrificed lamb so to speak, and as a result of this call? Well, he got re-assigned. You can read this link. All that effective work doing community outreach with MoveOn, RockTheVote - gone. Apparently over a conference call. Makes you wonder who is not corrupt. Those means are being justified.

We fought for a chance to be at the table and not only at the table but we’re setting the table. And now [we're setting] the official rule of the National Endowment for the Arts, as director of communication and say, we here at the NEA are extremely proud to participate in the president’s United We Serve initiative.

This is a chance to partner with the White House. … This is just the beginning. … We are just now leaning how to really bring this community together to speak with the government. What this looks like legally, we’re still trying to figure out the laws...

Whether it is an Evangelical christian visiting the White House for prayer or an artist receiving funding and being shaken down, there has to be limits. There is right from wrong after all? Where have our standards gone?

You can read the transcript here.

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Return of Jimmy Carter

It did not work out for the Chinese Navy Long ago. They built a nice modern Navy. They sent it out to sea and burned it only to escape into a self imposed world of protectionism and isolationism. Jimmy Carter tried it too. He did it a little more figuratively. He tried price controls and punitive budgets. He tried windfall profits taxes and budgets that punished a generation. He tried lousy taxation policy which led to double digit inflation. He is a smart man. He meant well. He was an educated man. Yet, he had no basic concept of economics. He had insufficient understanding of supply and demand and equilibrium. Surprising for someone who had a clear understanding of Nuclear physics and peanut farming. The basic concept is if you force the price lower than the market demands, supplies dwindle. Just as if there excess supplies, prices drop. The item, whatever it is, is yesterday's news. It's human nature. Get over it. But it was beyond his grasp. It seems we are at the the there we go again, phase to paraphrase a certain B movie actor, who seemed to grasp certain concepts better than others.

Now, in an effort to pander to steel workers, a 35% wholesale tariff (a tax) is being imposed on tires being imported from China. This supposed to give US tire companies an advantage by encouraging the purchasing of US made steel, produced by US steel workers. Who does this help? Who does this hurt? China will retaliate with their own tariffs on items we wish to sell them, such as food. Plus, we need their products and their money. Generally, poor to middle class people are purchasing Chinese made tires, so it clearly hurts them. Not to mention, by punishing China does anyone actually believe this makes US Steel more competitive than any other place in the global workplace? Global or US based tire companies will simply source from India or other countries with lower labor rates, so the tarriff will not restore or create any jobs on idled plants, perhaps at best - shift them from China. The only option would be reduce the labor rate and the operational costs of doing business within this country. That would be taxes, labor cost, and insurance. Tariffs, protectionism, and isolationism can only lead to bad things. More. The short term advantage of courting union support for election purposes is short sighted and bad for this country. It took China 500 years to recover from such mistakes and they are just now rebuilding that burned down Navy.

Ironically - though President Obama seems to have no issue subsidizing GM, which does direct business with China in terms of manufacturing and parts sourcing. Yet - I keep coming back to NASA and Constellation. He cannot afford that and the American jobs and American contractors associated with the program - or the tires.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

ISP Diagnosis: The Cisco Phone Burned Out the Router

Working for an Internet Service Provider has to be easiest job on the face of the Earth. It seems you need not actually do any work. You simply must lay blame elsewhere, come up with excuses, and clear your board of tickets. There once was the day the excuse had to be at least plausible. Now, it is just plain silliness. This is a prime example of the dangers protectionism and a little too much job security. Here, in the comfy confines of ISPville there is apparent little concern of the consequences of losing a customer due to the monopoly power of the workforce and the monopoly power of the provider. The threat of "Gee, if do not do a good job, someone else may do it better" does not necessarily occur to members in the Communication Workers of Amerika union. Is it any wonder those of us who still want to keep a job, have to fight the outsource urge of management?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Obama's "Hope" For NASA? More Russian Rockets

I am skeptical of expert panels. Ever since I heard of the Warren Commission and the theory of a magical bullet. I do not understand why we go through the pretense of objectivity when the outcome seems to be a foregone conclusion. If these people are experts, why are they not actually directly involved in the effort they are called upon to examine? Maybe they were once were and are simply longing for their glory days? A more cynical view might consider they are just fulfilling a pre-determined need and playing an already cast role.

Consider this tidbit of news from a year ago which I found on a UK source. Our own nation's media does not seem to consider the importance of such programs or their status as newsworthy. Our own media does not grasp that such programs are actually job bills. Consider what was said.

Mr Obama's transition team is demanding spending cuts to the Constellation Project, the successor to the Space Shuttle, which is supposed to create to a permanent manned base on the Moon by 2020 before a mission to Mars.

The president-elect's team is developing plans to scrap the new Ares rocket, designed to blast a new generation of astronauts into space, NASA advisers said.

This decision seems to have been made a year ago, yet announced just last week!

The article goes on to say:

On the campaign trail, Mr Obama first called for cuts and delays to the Constellation programme to fund his education policies but then later pledged to increase NASA's $17-billion budget by $2 billion, a move apparently calculated to win votes in the Florida and Texas primary elections, where NASA has its two main bases.

But that was before the economic meltdown.

An aerospace contractor who advises NASA told The Sunday Telegraph: "Constellation ought to be the kind of thing that would appeal to Obama in restoring American pride but he's been blowing hot and cold.

Before the meltdown? It's not like we did not know this already, as we saw that train coming. This is government spending with tangible benefits. Why is this on the target for a cut, when we can spending literally budget and spend for the stimulus program for unspecified programs which cannot be demonstrated to create or preserve one job? This is shovel ready after all. Do these people believe the only people believed are those at NASA? Is it possible, or even likely this more about control rather than money? So they need more money. So what. It is money with at least a probable return.

How about we hold each and every program to the same standard?

  1. Net Jobs created
  2. Net college applicants created
  3. Net GNP contribution

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Obama Administration No Friend of NASA

I just read to confirm after hearing from a friend on that on the 8th, just days ago, a panel of so-called experts decided to recommend to kill Ares I for the Obama Administration. The rocket ship Ares I was to be the part of the Constellation Program to get humankind back into space more safely and less costly than the shuttle it intended to replace. It is the smaller launch component of the program intended to be the safer human rated rocket with the greater safety systems intended only to reach orbit, the moon, but not other places. But without any cargo or luggage. It's larger variant, the Ares V will carry cargo, telescopes, large rovers, other big things, not people. It will be a heavy lift vehicle and although near the size of Saturn V, it would be capable of ferrying much greater payloads. Many of the components are recycled technology from both the shuttle era such as solid rocket technology, which already have established factories and evolved Saturn era engines such as the original Saturn era J2 engine is being redesigned. The new design of the J-2X pumps and other engine components will provide the additional performance. The J-2X engine is being designed to produce 294,000 pounds of thrust. Whereas, the original J-2 produced 230,000 pounds of thrust. Some components are semi-reusable, some are one time use. It is the best of both worlds and is well thought out. These allegedly so-called experts are recommending we use just the Ares V. So, history appears to repeat itself. We'll end up with another shuttle compromise which does too little for too much, built by committee resulting in delay and cost overruns at best. The point is missed. We do not need a human rated rocket to carry heavy cargo, it simply needs to be reliable and not as complicated. This brings the price per pound to launch down considerably. Combining heavy lift requirements and the requirements for human life support makes such a system overly complex and excessively expensive.
Where the hell is Dr. Wernher von Braun? Good ideas come from motivated teams with effective leadership. The Apollo program was 40 years ago and the world, not just the United States is still reaping economic benefits. This would be the stimulus package worth pursuing beyond the obvious technology. If you were to go ask anyone in 1965 what technology would be like between 1967-2010 and what were the drivers of that technology, no one would have suspected it was a little old space race. Perhaps if just he diverted just 1 month of the cost of the maintaining Operation Enduring Occupation, we would not need such expert panels consisting of has beens and never weres.
Just consider what we have learned from the Hubble? Imagine a better Hubble that did not have to fit to constraints of the compromise shuttle? I thought Mr. Obama was about change and vision. Yet another disappointment. We may as well elected Palin*McCain who at least was openly anti-progressive. Mr. McCain belittled the idea of an planetarium projector as a slide projector in one of the presidential debates. He considered that wasteful. At least, that is honest about keeping us in the dark and not evoking any vision for the future.

Friday, September 11, 2009

AntiVirus 2010 - Beware!

There is a nasty AV virus named AntiVirus 2010 running amok. It appears like a legitimate anti virus alert component of a Microsoft update. I was attempting to download software from what I believed was a legitimate site and suddenly my PC shut down and claims to have been updated, due to a found infection. I was thinking, Wow, I did not know Microsoft had such a product. But, hey - I have not been a desktop weenie for more than a decade. It is not from Microsoft, but I did know this or did not know if it was a partner. It just appears as part of the overall Microsoft Security Suite. My current anti virus product had just expired and although still running, it had not been updated. So, I followed the link via the system tray pop-up. When I attempted to purchase, I received an error on my credit card. Odd, I thought. A few moment later I received a call from credit card company about fraud. While on the phone I notice a slight misspelling in the warning pop up message. There were many such pop-ups. Apparently I have been invaded by trojans, viruses, and key-logging programs. My key board action was slow now. Seems like every other key stroke was requiring a double stroke. I was concerned. When I was able to run a true scan, the only breach, was the AntiVirus 2010 components. Bravo.

What was really clever about this technique was that when I went to go renew my current anti virus product, Webroot I was redirected to a page that warned of 'unsafe' content when I attempted to enter the shopping cart to pay. I was given two choices. Protect my machine or continue to the site was attempting to visit, which of course was not recommended. By selecting the second choice, nothing would happen. In addition, I could not launch SpyBot or any other tools to remove. I eventually got out of the muck. But, again guys - Bravo.

Rhetoric in the Bully Pulpit and Owed Apologies

After hearing the President speak and the outrage for the unprecedented 'speak out' of the words You Lie! by Rep. Wilson, I have to think, how many times has someone stood there at the podium and abused the English language, twisting words from their common meaning to something sinister?

The President did worse than lie. He misled. He was supposed to be above this type of behavior. Yes, Rep. Wilson was impolite. He was politically incorrect. Maybe he was fed up? But what about the merits of the argument? We cannot build that wall and lock out illegals. We want, we need these workers. No 'citizen' is going to take these jobs, that is supply and demand. So when these people get sick today, where do these people go today and who actually pays? If they wait until it's critical, what is that cost to society? So, at best, it was dishonest. But, we are not going to solve that problem, so why pretend? Why even bring it up? It's a distraction we do not have time for. I personally do not want this country to be in the position where we envy the jobs people are crossing the border in the dark of night which they covet as their best hope for a life. We once coveted such work because of little other opportunities and the only resolution was to join up into a war machine known as World War II. Do we want that again? Besides, I was offended by other insults to my intelligence, which is not respectful of the dignity of the office he has the privilege of serving.

Consider your money. Consider how the government today views taxes. We hear terms like how will we pay for tax cuts? Tax cuts are not paid for per se. Meaning, the government does not distribute income to you, we the people return money back to it. That is simple pandering to class warfare and he should be above that. Most of us, at least for today, work for the private sector and are taxed on productivity to society, subsiding those are less productive to a far larger proportion of the overall budget than any other component. Government spending is paid for through taxes and borrowing. That is it. These twists on words are Orwellian doublespeak. The fact that this does not bother the general population should be alarming. But, to use an old phrase, Politicians and Dictators prefer unarmed peasants. By peasants, I mean under educated on the facts and a democracy cannot exist without an educated population. Presidents and any other politicians should be challenged each and every time they spew such nonsensical rhetoric, whatever forum they abuse. Unarmed, in our case is stripped of our financial security. To steal from the Bard, do not play the [American people] like a violin.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Which Barney is Which?

I do not think Barney makes enough news. No, not this fictional overly dramatic Barney, the other one. It is time for a good example of how the network news is generally just a cheer leader for either side of the extreme, but not necessarily the facts. Pick your network. But the point here is, government drives policy. It's not all private sector. Where is the CEO of Freddie Mac and why is he not serving time? Why is Barney not held accountable? Why do so few people get to influence so many? Why do not these folks get the same public 'frog walk' in hand cuffs the Enron guys received? Why are they deserved of immunity?

Here is Barney claiming in 2005 he is pushing for more housing ownership and there will not be the bubble.

Here is he is July 2009 claiming, Hey, I was in the Minority! I had no say!

Before that, here he is in September 2008!

C'mon I know Nothing!

Do they know I'm in Charge Here?

Who is least fictional? The Frank pictures are from a year ago, September 2008. You decide who is more sleazy. He seems pretty involved to me. The difference between the Barneys? With the Neil Patrick Harris fictional version, he is direct on his intentions.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

From Abundance to Dependance

As we as a nation continue to wrestle with concepts of self reliance against entitlement. We expect ever increasing demands of protection; however one wishes to distort this word, consider this often used, or misused phrase. Two centuries ago, a somewhat obscure Scotsman named Tytler made this profound observation:

A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury. After that, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits with the result the democracy collapses because of the loose fiscal policy ensuing, always to be followed by a dictatorship, then a monarchy." - Elmer T. Peterson

Many people fail to realize the slippery slope this suggests. Government is like a narcotic, a credit card out of control, or any other vice. It's best kept in administered in moderation. I really enjoyed the movie An Inconvienent Truth. Especially the point Mr. Gore made about placing a frog in a pot of boiling water as opposed to a placing it in a slowly warming pot. That frog will allow itself to get cooked, slowly. Folks, tyanny is like that. You can slowly let your government take a bit of control here and there. Pretty soon, there will be a camera in your home and your hope for employement or a paycheck will not be from a well paying job to live well, but to survive. The state will depend on you to serve it, rather that it serving you. The argument will be the intrusion into your privacy will be for your own protection. if you are doing nothing wrong, you should have nothing to worry about. A certain Mr. George Orwell warned us about that long ago just as he did about today's friend is tomorrow's enemy. Iran and Iraq ring a bell under Bush I? Maybe instead of Health Care reform we need education reform as people tend to forget? Who polices the police? Consider your money. Consider how the government today views taxes. We hear terms like 'how will we pay for tax cuts'. Tax cuts are not paid for. Government spending is paid for through taxes. These twists on words are also Orwellian doublespeak. The fact that this does not bother the general population should be alarming. Presidents and any other politicians should be called on this fact each and every time they spew such nonsensical rhetoric.

For further information and how variations, actual attributions of these words visit and you may be surprised. However, the message is still one which rings true and has been disproved. We are headed for bondage, dependance is here. After all, the point was to form a more perfect union to prevent the errors, learned of and from the past.

Obama in Schools

I must just must say WOW! Mr. Beck and Mr. Limbaugh. Your apparent insincerity is astounding. How easily you forget that President Reagan, Mrs. Reagan, President George HW Bush, all addressed public schools. Where was your outcry and concern stirring up dissent? Are you serious? Just say No to being a dumb ass and mediocrity was the message of George HW Bush. Perhaps that message should have stayed in his own home, for a certain academically and commercially underachieving son? Just say no to drugs was Nancy's message. Mr. Reagan's message was lesson on virtues of being a patriot and a little history lesson. Sounds like indoctrination to me.

When I was a child, I had to take the Presidential Fitness program in my public school. It had a message from the POTUS. Again, were we being indoctrinated or are you jokers simply so dishonest and lack any dignity you actually believe most people are ignorant? This speaks a lot of about the memory issues of your viewers and their own intellectual dishonesty issues if they can feign outrage. What exactly was the specific outrage after all? Sadly, this is about making big money by selling commercial time targeted to people who never paid attention in school in the first place and really do not understand the concept of critical analysis. As Rush would put it, for those of you in Rio Linda, that is considering the merits of the argument against known facts and offering a valid counter argument.

So, at the end of the day, Beck and Limbaugh out of apparent paranoia and inconsistent logic manage to get school districts in my home state to prevent students from hearing a positive message from the President. The young minds full of mush as Rush would put it once again, in Arlington, TX get the privilege of being taken out of school, bussed to the new Cowboy's stadium and hear the previous President speak.

I wonder what he'll talk about?

  1. Spending untold trillions without knowing your history?
  2. Wasting tax payer money?
  3. Appointing incompetent staffers?
  4. How to kill a political party?
  5. Letting religious 'leaders' in the Oval office? (worse than an intern for national security BTW, at least she was direct about it)
  6. How to skirt by life and still get a job for a few years with a great retirement package because your family name?

Where will Beck be on these views? Will he be silent? Who knows? Maybe W. will come clean and tell these kids it is up to them to fix the mess he created and it will take about 15-20 years to do so, possibly requiring a major war, and it will be a lowering your expectations speech ending with a sorry about that.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

What Drives Health Cares Costs?

The cost of health care is high. Is it too high? Who should pay? Those who play by the rules or those who do not? These are a great questions. Among the debate are questions of chronic visitors to their favorite health care provider vs. the relatively young who seldom seek health care and see it as it is - insurance the individual may or may not elect to acquire. However, health care is different than car insurance. If I keep crashing my vehicle and taking it to the body shop for repairs, I will and should expect my costs and insurance premiums to increase. If I dislike the repair or paint job performed, there are remedies, but limited. By limited, I mean I cannot take my vehicle from repair facility to facility hoping to get something repaired if it cannot be identified as broken or repairable expecting someone else to pay for it. If I abuse the driving privilege, I lose it if society deems me an unacceptable risk.

Naturally, as an incentive to keep my costs down, I [often] avoid getting speeding tickets and I [generally] avoid side swiping the vehicle next to me. I may drive above the posted speed limit, but I am at least am aware of cause and effect. For example, a nice empty highway vs. a busy city street. For those who cannot quick grasp that lesson, they get to pay for the mandatory insurance state required insurance. In reality, younger drives pay more for the privilege to drive, simply because they cost more. On the other hand, with health care - there is little consequence to unchecked behavior. At the moment, there is little consequence to my wallet directly when I seek to go from doctor to doctor, as long as I can find a willing insurance company to pick up the tab, or the state. That is a difference, and until the individual is motivated to treat their physical well being at least as well as their vehicle, health care costs will continue to rise. This all speaks to a message that our President spoke of during the campaign and today. Taking some Personal responsibility. Ben Franklin, with all his foresight, envisioned a system where you paid in periodically so it was there when you needed it, money would be there to cover expenses. In my opinion, if you demand more of any product - you should pay more for it. Of course, the obvious exception is person who hits my car, burns my house down, or causes me to get sick. Well, they need to pay more as they did not keep their end of the civil bargain. Their insurance rate should rise and they should pay a premium. That is only logical.

Who knows, maybe our President will speak up and say he let congress try to figure this out and it did not quite work out as expected. He will advocate something like car insurance SR-22, direct cash for insurance, and exercise incentives. One thing is certain, for all but appearances - you are pretty much stuck with the body you were born with. There will be no cash for clunkers programs.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Hertz Hurtz

Hertz Rental car is the worst rental car company in the world. They have the worst customer service. The worst attitude. They need to be brought down a notch or two. I would write more, but I will save those choice words for my corporate travel department. However, in this space - I will share the image which I believe they should revive as their spokesperson. Even, OJ would run from the counter, though I doubt he'd be smiling. Yes, it is that bad. Although, he would probably be an excellent customer service manager for Hertz and quite frankly, that is my underlying suspicion - he may already be one! To be sure, there are so many other care rental companies that are so much better. So much more customer focused. I spoke with Hertz management and reminded them of them of these facts. I gave them opportunity to make amends. They chose not too. I hope Avis and everyone else teaches them a little lesson in natural selection. For those of you in Kansas, that means I hope they get their collective butts kicked by their competition and become extinct. A distant memory and a lesson for those who survive to live another day. Super Star? Hertz - you make Alamo look like a Super Nova.

See what others say...including employees.

Too Much Power in the Hands of Too Few

Seeing the news today is like watching an alternate reality TV what if show that warned of government excess of control in your daily life. These were largely the response of Nixon era attitudes and belief that absolute power corrupts - absolutely. Well, actually concepts and experiences from way before Nixon, way before, TV, and way before the United States existed. It's an old concept we tend to forget the principle. We citizens typically prefer to have our government set up in a certain manner that limits its authority. It's prime duty is to provide a common defense after all. It's power should be limited. It's existence is at our pleasure, isn't it? Let's consider just the CIA and FBI for a moment. The CIA was responsible for gathering intelligence and protecting the country from agents outside our borders which may cause harm. The CIA folks are the eyes and ears. Whereas, the FBI's role is enforcement of law within the boundaries of the country on a federal level. Never before have we confused the roles of the two organizations until now. Today, the Executive branch continues the tradition set forth by W. of abusing power by over extension. We really do not yet another liberty eroded at this time. The FBI should remain involved with investigations of crimes. The CIA should remain the centralized intelligence gathering agency focused on providing essential an invaluable asset - information. The previous administration demonstrated that our collective civil rights could could be relegated to mere conveniences which could be discarded as worthless when perceived to do so by the state as necessary without any substantial requirements for evidence not seen since WWII Japanese internment camps or the Tuskegee Syphilis experiments on black men beginning in 1932.

When I was in high school during the mid 1980s, I never imagined George Orwell's pessimistic futuristic view of 1984 of unchecked tyranny, where the population looks to the government for answers as the sole benefactor without appreciating the the cost would appeal to the voting class of the USA. There is no free lunch folks and if you ask for your government to take care of you and you were afraid of the power W. and Cheney had, you have not seen anything yet.