Thursday, March 29, 2012

New RElease on Life

Day 1 of post IBM career. First off, thanks to for all the nice FB and other congratulations. It was a Gold Wing day after I walked out of the plant yesterday.

Did this loop:

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In year 1 ('78) at IBM I lived in an old place in the space that is now the Government Center. Sheila and Dick Kiscaden (she to become a State Senator, he to have a long marketing type career with IBM), were the "slum lords". Another story.

'79-spring of '83 I was out in a little farm house by Pleasant Grove.

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In April of '83, I moved here.

View Home / Local in a larger map

In those days I had a CX 500 Honda and hung out people from Spring Valley and Chatfield, so the Wing was a great way to get the mental Way Back Machine into gear.

Biggest thought of the day was that single days, hours, even minutes and seconds really define our lives for the purposes of our brains and emotions. Christmas, early pets, learning to ride a bike, first kiss, HS graduation, starting college, graduating college, job(s), marriage, kids --- retirement. It would be great if all of those were positive, but they never are -- death, accident, illness... those all fit in there.

The orders and the specifics vary,  but we all recognize them. The emotions of the "milestone" wire the memory into our brains along with the feelings. Walking out of IBM was one of those. I'm thankful I didn't "die at my desk" -- whatever comes, that event of walking out after nearly 34 years "hits the list".

For me it was "all good" to be leaving. No "bittersweet". But then, for me, so was graduating HS, so was graduating college -- I was always more interested in what was ahead than behind, and while I've started to re-establish a few connections from those old days on FB, mostly, it has just been "ever onward" relative to old connections.

Hopefully it is a good time in life to change that. Maybe even to re-establish some of those from time gone by. I could probably even consider making a class reunion in a decade or so after I get my "to do list" honed down just a bit. I didn't say that dumping the old relationships was "good",  I just said "that was me" ... for reasons that I don't really have a clue about.

I'm afraid it was due to WAY too much focus on "getting out and making money", but I've promised myself that I will work on my verbosity, so that topic is not for today!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Trevon Martin, Zimmerman, Civilization

Geraldo's Point - Thomas Sowell - Townhall Conservative Columnists - Page 1

First off, the death of ANY 17 year old for any reason is a TRAGEDY -- guilty, innocent, unlucky, self-inflicted, illness, etc.

Second, unless Obama is White, Zimmerman is Hispanic. He looks Hispanic. One of his parents being White doesn't make him "White" any more than Obama's mom being White has the same effect on him.

Jesse and Al are the US chiefs of the Dept of Race Shakedown. They make their living shaking down people, industries, etc for kickbacks because of their alleged umbrage -- and make a tidy living doing so.

Other than those minor points and maybe being a little too subdued, Sowell says it all and very well. We have law enforcement, prosecutors and courts to deal with incidents like this. Being 17 and unarmed doesn't mean you can't be a threat -- people are physically beaten to death or knifed by youths 17 and less with way too much frequency in this country and others.

Was that the properly perceived threat here? I have no idea -- apparently Zimmerman has a broken nose and a head injury, and it sounds like at least one witness saw "the hoodie person" on top of "the other person" wailing on him and went in to call the cops. If true, and if you were Zimmerman, perhaps you would have defended yourself as well? Independent of the sense or non-sense of how you managed to get in the predicament?

Even the lifetime smoker often fights when they get cancer -- and most humans have an innate understanding of why.

What does that mean? It means that the officers, prosecutors and maybe the courts need to be involved. OJ was declared innocent and the officers involved in the Rodney King incident were found not guilty.  What I think about those verdicts ought to be as immaterial as what anyone else thinks about them. There really isn't much point in having a legal system if we don't make use of it.

W was wrong about WMD, BO was wrong about $800B keeping unemployment below 8%, and I was wrong about selling Apple at $140. Humans are fallible and our wrong decisions are often expensive in suffering, treasure and even loss of life. Just look at the highway death stats.

Common sense, reason, proportion, etc. Those are the most expensive casualties of our time.

Monday, March 19, 2012

I Wish Thomas Sowell Would Run!!

The 'Inevitability' Vote - Thomas Sowell - Townhall Conservative Columnists - Page 1

As he always does, Sowell makes some excellent points in an excellent way. I'm just sick of Newt's bomb throwing and "take no prisoners" approach, and Santorum losing a race as an incumbent Senator in PA as his last race really gives me pause.

Would I have been an HW Bush guy vs Reagan if I was watching politics more back in '80?? I hope not, but reading this makes me wonder if our only hope isn't someone that shocks the country awake to see the anti-colonialist that we have sitting in our WH!

Infrastructure to Believe In??

BBC News - 'Metal moles' begin work below London

100 m = 328 feet, 5,280 feet per mile, 3K miles across the US.

One mile every 16 days. 16x3000 = 48K days / 365 = 131.5 years ... so get 131 of the things and do it in a year -- I'd think the economy of scale on this would be pretty darned good.

At $16 million each, 100 of them would only be $1.6 B, so basically chump-change the way the US or even some of our businesses spend money. Apple has $100B in cash for instance.

Put MagLev trains in, take out the air so you can go fast, superconducting power lines for power transport (both for the trains, and for general distribution) and maybe coast to coast non-stop in less than an hour.  For a little more detail

Certainly a project like this would get into the 100s of Billions, but if we could start thinking in terms of building "things" rather than just throwing it all down the entitlement hole, one could imagine rather different life potentials with the nation crisscrossed by a REAL "set of tubes" that moved physical movement speeds into some of the same spheres as internet time. Perhaps such a project could ignite more actual productivity and growth than even going to the moon?

Will there be a time when Americans start thinking like Americans rather than European Pensioners again??

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Thursday is 'Poolmageddon' for trial lawyers | Washington Examiner

Thursday is 'Poolmageddon' for trial lawyers | Washington Examiner

Read it and weep. I know people with disabilities and applaud SOME of the regulations that have been created to make their lives more productive and enjoyable. However, the danger of government is always operative -- going TOO FAR is always the mark of a bureaucracy, and even more so when advocacy groups and lawyers are involved.

This case is completely amok -- a DEDICATED, PERMANENT wheel chair lift in ALL pools in the country. By a ridiculous date, "or else", the lawyers will descend like a plague of locusts, seeking whom they can devour.


Syria, Afghanistan and 2004

45 women, children killed in Homs massacre, Syrian opposition says -

Just the facts! Which is just fine with me ... neither CNN nor I have a lot of inside information on the potential for "targeted air strikes", "special forces ops", etc that may or may not help save civilian lives in Syria. Just reporting the facts and not telling us what to think about is likely the correct way to deal with the problem.

HOWEVER. If one gives about 10 seconds of thought to "What Would They Say For W" or essentially ANY "Republican President" (RP)  the media message in the US would look a lot different right now.

For an RP, the past couple months would have been a DISASTER.

Let's turn on our "way back" machine and think back to '04 and apply the template of the press treatment of W on conditions today -- if Obama was an RP:

  • Should the Sec of State resign? How could our foreign policy be so incompetent that we could not see something like Syria on the horizon and deal with it. Did the administration "take their eye off the ball" and focus too much on domestic issues? Afghanistan? Trying to get out of Iraq too fast for political purposes? Playing politics and trying to get elected? or is it just gross incompetence -- clearly one of the above choices, pick any or all. 
  • How could the RP have lost so much stature in the world that China and Russia directly rebuff our attempts to get UN intervention? Is this due to Gitmo still being open? Is it due to our weakened status because of our need to borrow for massive deficits from the Chinese? Perhaps the obvious cronyism and incompetence of shady deals like Solyndra and Gun Walker have so weakened the RP that he is no longer effective? Again, is he corrupt?; incompetent?; not involved?; focused only on politics and his own re-election?; ... certainly it must be one or a combination of those. 
  • The drumbeat in the press would be "Administration still uncertain of Syria response". "Still no action on Syria". "When will we act?" Each day of "inaction" would be presented as costing the lives of innocent women and children ... with nice bloody pictures to remind us of their deaths. 
  • JOURNALISTS have been killed!! No doubt their grieving wives and children would be heavily covered with appropriate tearful interviews of "how could RP let this happen". 
  • Any old pictures of anyone in the RP administration ever talking with Bashar would be drug out to indicate "Maybe the RP administration is too cozy with the killers" ... but at the same time, there would be questions on "Who are we meeting with in the Syrian administration", "Why are we not meeting more?", "Are there secret meetings going on with these killers?" 
At the same time, on Afghanistan, we would be hearing:

  • "The fish rots from the head". Certainly the whole Quran burning, the response, the massacre of women and children, the response to that, etc are all clear evidence that the RPs "surge" in Afghanistan has failed miserably. The standard list of "helpful reasons" would be called out: "Should the Secretary of Defense resign immediately?", "Has this administration created a lax attitude on respect for the Quran and the very lives of non-combatants that could be considered "war crimes?" How far up the command chain does this incompetence, malfeasance, racial / religious insensitivity, etc go??
  • Would the President agree to have members of his Administration and military personnel prosecuted in an International Court? If not, why not? What is he hiding? Does he think the US is beyond international law?
  • Why was a "surge" decided on? It has clearly failed. Whose decision was it? The President's? If so, should he apologize? If not, why not? -- is he being manipulated and misled by those closest to him? Is he just blindly following the momentum of his failed policies at this point and causing the loss of lives of brave US soldiers? Can we get some interviews with the mothers of recently killed soliders to see how they feel about it? 
  • Can we afford to keep troops in Afghanistan with the horrible state of the US economy. Are we investing enough in our children at home? 

No question this is a "biased view". However, if you HONESTLY put your own biases behind you and think back to '04 with Abu Ghraib, Iraq / Afghanistan, etc. can you not hear echoes? Certainly, if you are a liberal, what you will mostly feel is "well, all those statements were VALID for W, but they are NOT valid for Obama".

That MIGHT be true -- but it is also directly in line with your biases, so it is CERTAINLY going to FEEL true ... but feeling true isn't the same as being true, and things are especially rocky when your position is in line with "the dominant social / media culture". When 90% of the news reporters, teachers, college professors, etc agree with your world view, it can be very comfortable.

Comfort is also not truth.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Little Contrast to Rush

Bozell Column: 'GCB,' or Good Christians Bashed |

Expect no outcry on this one ... Christians are being bashed, not 30 year old Democrat operative set up as a political booby trap -- which sadly worked well.

"Good Christian Bitches" ... how lovely.

Friday, March 09, 2012

How Freedom Loses Via "Fluke"

Final Thoughts On Rush and the 30 Year Old Professional Activist | Power Line

The conservative ability to operate in the media world has grown exponentially since the last time we had an "end of  America President" (Carter) and I was starting vs ending my career with IBM. Then there was Buckley and NRO, plus ??? oh, I guess the WSJ Op Ed page. Now we have some talk radio and Fox at least.

As the Fluke story showed however, our operatives aren't as sophisticated as the left, and our coordination sucks. THE STORY was government intrusion on religions freedom via forcing funding for abortion and contraception. By judicious use of a Democrat Operative and Rush going for the bait, the Democrats and the MSM converted the story into "The Republicans War on Women".

Hats off for brilliance, but crocodile tears for religious and other freedom. A win for the Democrats, another loss for freedom.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

The PR House of Mirrors "Fluke"

Who is Sandra Fluke? | Nealz Nuze |

While Rome burns, we don't even get to listen to a real fiddle ... only an imaginary Democrat /MSM Kabuki fiddle.

Fluke is a Fake, a construction, an actress ... Ho Hum. The Republicans, Rush, etc walked into a fun-house and thought the mirror reflections they saw were real people, so they get pulled into a PR disaster. An entirely Democrat / Media created imaginary Republican "War on Women" with poor Sandra, the damsel in distress being pummeled by the evil right.

"Slut"? Use of that term against Palin, Bachman, Palin's girls, Ann Coulter, Laura Ingram, Michelle Malkin, etc it isn't newsworthy in the least. In fact, I was wondering if maybe the modern definition of "Slut" is "conservative woman"?

Monday, March 05, 2012

A Right to Federally Funded BBQ?

What if government treated eating the way it treats sex? « Hot Air

I love the kind of thought in this column. What if the government ... or even better, the left, treated eating like sex?? There certainly are similarities, both are natural drives, both involve pleasure and consequences that can be positive or negative.

If is pretty clear that they are treated exactly the opposite -- sex is supposed to be free, unfettered by consequences and federally funded if at all possible. Eating is to be as controlled as possible -- "fun foods" ought to be banned, but strangely, unlike sex, where nobody can be expected to show even minimal self control, the obese are to bear the burden of their failings to ignore the temptations of high calorie food, and there is even the hint of "immorality" about being obese -- "immorality" being borderline "hate speech" if there is an attempt to apply it to sex.

Why the opposite treatment? My take is because Democrat / Liberal positions are about POWER rather than any sort of benefit real or imagined. Their actions on sex are intended to increase dependency and to reduce the influence of family, religion, culture. By making sex a purely "personal matter" ... but one to be supported immensely by the state, the need for "free" condoms, birth control, childcare, welfare, aid to dependent children, etc is maximized.

Food on the other hand is better controlled by fiat, as in banned, fined, taxed, regulated, etc. The greatest power in food is acting as a brake ... in sex it is acting as an accelerator. If you simply forget cost/benefit types of analysis and think in terms of raw POWER, "liberalism" is much easier to understand.

As they say in the bottom line of the article, if we were a limited government nation with both sex and dining be matters of personal, family, church, community interest, but ZERO federal interest, then there would need to be no national discussion at all -- about abortion, contraceptives, big macs, twinkies, or any of it. Local communities and states could pass the laws that fit them and life would roll on.

However, we have opted for UNlimited government -- which isn't American at all. So now our bedrooms, kitchens, fast food choices, religious views, dietary habits, etc are supposedly the interest of the FEDERAL Government.

Please look at the Federal Budget and consider the intelligence of ceding the privacy of your bedroom or your kitchen table to the Federal Leviathan!!

Learn, Or Work Until You are 80

Baby Boomers' Investment Returns Will Be Constrained, This Researcher Warns -

Some sobering analysis of the obvious ... many more people are retiring than are entering the workforce, so as you try unload assets to those people, the values will drop.

BUT, the emerging markets provide some real hope ... and while he doesn't cover it here, reducing your retirement income requirements is a good plan as well.