Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas morn

Predawn quietude
Glow of lights and winter snow
Calm serenity

Merry Christmas

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas eve

Christmas eve is here
The waiting is almost done
So joy to the world

Saturday, December 18, 2010


President Obama signed the hunger free child act this week setting standards for food quality and allocating money to increase the number of children getting free or reduced cost lunches. One would think there could be no disputing the benefits of such a bill. My question is how much government intervention do we need. When did it become such a burden to feed our own children?The school lunch programs aren't aimed solely at the poorest of the poor in 2009 31.3 million children received free or reduced cost lunches. This is a totally absured waste of tax payers money. When did it become my responsibility to feed someone else child and the governments job to decide what they eat. When I was a child I'm sure my family probably could have applied for the school lunch program and received it because there were so many of us nine all total. We didn't need it though prioritizing and economizing allowed my parents to feed their own children. Sure we ate a lot of peanut butter and jelly and baloney but we did O.K. I'm not for starving children but isn't there a better way than having Washington poke their noses into family finances and dynamics. Wouldn't a little observation and intervention on the local level be a better recourse.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Fundamental misunderstanding

This week everyone is weighing in on the compromise between President Obama and the Republicans. Sherrod Brown senator from Ohio was disappointed with the compromise feeling it gives to much to the rich. He said it was pretty bad when republicans had to be given tax cuts for the rich so that we could give unemployment to the middle class.

Fundamentally Dems and Reps look at government differently thats why this debate keeps coming up. Dems believe the government has money to give and Reps believe the government has to take money to have money. You see the tax cuts are not really cuts they are a vote against a massive tax increase. Unemployment compensation can not be given by the government it is money that must be taken from someone else and given to the unemployed.

The true nature of money is obscured by the notion that it comes from the government. I know the gold standard is no longer doable but people had a better understanding of what money is and where it comes from under that system.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Bad news

During October unemployment fell slightly to about 9.6% this was mostly due to retailers ramping up for Christmas. Novembers unemployment numbers are out and it rose to 9.8%. An article in the Cleveland Plain Dealer pointed out a major reason to be concerned long term. According to Alan Parkhill of Banner American products productivity is up and it's making companies realize that the integral employee that was laid off during the recession was dead weight all along. If this is true and even half of the people that were laid off were truly dead weight then the prospect of years of high unemployment are the new reality. Bad news indeed.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving day

It's Thanksgiving day
So grateful am I today
Let me not forget

Sunday, November 14, 2010


Yesterday my wife and I went to my daughters pinning ceremony this signifies her completion of the nursing program at college. Seventy or so people were pinned while proud friends and family watched. This group of successful students represent about 33% percent of the class that started out. Hard work and dedication pay off and were proud of our little girl.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


No I'm not going to write about the Tyson Holyfield fight. A lot is being made about the Republicans now that their in charge wanting to go back on the idea of eliminating earmarks. Many Republicans are citing the constitutionality of earmarks and the need for them in the appropriation process. While the press tends to paint Republicans as bit hypocritical for this change of position.

The problem isn't earmarks the problem is how they are used. Many times earmarks are put into bills that have nothing to do with spending or with totally unrelated spending. Go ahead and use earmarks but do it above board don't stick education spending in a defense bills solely because it couldn't pass on it's own. Accountability first if you aren't proud enough of what you are proposing to let the voters back home know about it don't propose it.

Sunday, October 31, 2010


For some unknown reason our community decided to have Trick or Treat on the 30th. So last night some friends of ours joined us in the front yard,we had a bonfire and passed out candy. A couple of things struck me as we sat by our fire. First off the number of kids was incredible we had more than 250 kids stop by the house. Secondly the predictions of many Avatar or political costumes was completely wrong in fact most reminded me my youth and the homemade get ups we wore. Thirdly the distances the kids came from was amazing we had kids from Brecksville to Avon Lake show up here in Columbia which is central to them each being 25-30 miles away. mostly though it was just good fun with friends and neighbors.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Somthing to think about

The other day on the news I saw Dennis Kucinich speaking on government and why he should be re-elected. Much of it was the usual political clap trap not really saying anything. There was one statement that got me thinking, He said the purpose of government is to do for people what they can't do for themselves. This immediately makes me think of roads or defense but it has come to mean much more than that in fact Kucinich's list included housing, health care, and food.

Now one of the beauties of our nation are found in the words of our founding fathers all men are created equal endowed by our creator with certain unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I think I can state that most people will agree whole heartedly with the above sentiment. Why then do people insist that things like Housing and food or even health care are the states responsibility. Being that all men are created equal and also agreeing that the state should take care of the things that people can't do on their own. Means that in the vast majority of cases people shouldn't be provided by the state with any of these things because we have example all across the nation of people providing for their selves in these areas. We are created equal and our opportunities should be equal this is the states responsibility. When the state decides to provide basics to people not only do they distort the budget they steal opportunities from people. People lose the opportunity to do for them selves stealing their chance to feel the satisfaction of achievement that is available to everyone who puts their mind to it.

Sunday, October 3, 2010


Much has been being made of the wealth disparity in America. There are 14 percent of the population living in poverty and 38 percent of the wealth is controlled by 1 percent of the population. While the poverty numbers are a bit disturbing I believe the wealth numbers are thrown out to drive a wedge between people especially rich and poor.

There is nothing nefarious about the increase in the concentration of wealth. in fact I would say that this is entirely natural and should have been expected. I say this because we are entering in to the time that we have been hearing for years would wreak havoc with social security. Yes the dreaded coming retirement of the Baby Boomers. Something we've all been overlooking is the natural progression that happens with time. In our twenties we all are poor just starting out we have many expenditures because we basically have nothing and need many basic necessities. It's also a time when student loans and new families bog down are budgets. However as time goes on into are thirties and forties we start to pay off loans and accumulate possessions. By the time we're in our fifties we don't have mass quantities of things to buy and money starts to be less of a worry. This massive section of the population the Baby Boomers is now exiting the work force after many years of prime earning of course this huge section of the population has pushed the ranks of the wealthy to new heights.

Instead of being distraught over this concentration of wealth we should be glad for those who have achieved the American dream of success. Seeing this as a sign that people still can reach these heights through hard work and perseverance.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Pending legislation

I was sent an email today by my brother telling me to watch out for HR4646. HR4646 is a resolution implementing a 1% transaction fee when ever money changes hands. In effect it amounts to 1% percent minimum, direct deposit 1 percent, ATM 1 percent, buy something 1 percent. Of course the resolution does promise to end the income tax in 2017, of course I wouldn't put a whole lot of faith in a politicians promises. This is known as the debt free America act, I know it sounds kind of benign but beware.

The real way to be debt free is to stop spending money.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Congress in an effort to get the housing market moving has convened a panel to study the issue. One of the proposals that was made is to make first time home buyers buy a mandatory insurance. Not regular homeowners insurance but insurance against damage and repairs that might be considered maintenance.The idea being that an unexpected repair could put undue strain on their budgets. So at a time when homes are extremely hard to sell and new construction is almost at a standstill they want to put another impediment in the path of first time buyers. Most people who have bought a house remember how tight money was coming up with down payments and closing costs. The added expense of an insurance that is bound to be expensive or useless is libel to be the tipping point that keeps people from buying.


For the past two years we've heard how mean spirited Republicans are being towards Pres. Obama. This mean spirited behaviour is generally aimed at policies that Rep. find disagreeable. I submit that there is a time and a place for spirited disagreement and political functions are fair game. Contrast this to last nights episode of Dancing with the Stars. Sarah Palin was in the audience to watch her daughter compete. Between dances ABC decided to interview Sarah about what she thought of the competition so far. She was booed loud enough so that it could be heard back stage.

A time and a place for everything, so I ask you who is really mean spirited.

Update: What appeared to be the audience booing Sarah Palin is being denied by ABC and new video evidence seems to confirm this.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Bloated Government

For years our government has been taking in a bigger percentage of the population. Both parties say the government is too big and we keep hoping one party or the other will act to reduce the the size of our government. Obviously the Obama-Pelosi-Reid administration is working in the other direction growing our government through new health care and environmental panels and commissions. I won't argue the merits of either set of programs here.

Talking with the boss the other day he advocated just loping out 50% of the government employees. Great this will reduce the government in one fell swoop the only problem is what do we do with millions of more people that would be unemployed. I prefer a more judicious approach and I believe the baby boom generation can hand us this reduction. We all dread the burden the mass retirement of the baby boomers and what this means to social security and our economy. Why not look at this as an opportunity mandating no new hires letting the retirement of baby boomers reduce the government in a slow methodical way. Combine this with a review of existing programs eliminating antiquated and ineffective programs. This stream lining may even allow us to reallocate funds to cover our s.s. obligations without crippling new taxes.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Green Jobs

As Obama Runs around the country pushing his economic plans to help the economy and put people back to work he often cites Green technology. Yep windmills and electric cars the government wants them and this new technology will add jobs. Even the lowly incandescent bulb has fallen to the greener cfl compact fluorescent so that we can save electricity and add jobs. Of course there is a price these bulbs are much more expensive and produce an inferior light. It turns out though that were really lightening our wallets and ruining our eyes only to actually lose jobs. You see as they quit making the old bulbs they close the plants putting more people out of work and import the new bulbs from China.

Good thing the government is pushing this green technology, that will put us back to work Not.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Green Government

A while back I wrote about installing a rain barrel. The greenness of the rain barrels can be debated but mine work because they were cheep enough to make me try them.
Another example of green living is recycling. A year ago the company we contract with to pick-up our trash changed the way they function. They issued us two garbage cans that can be automatically grabbed by the truck and dumped. While I didn't like it at the time it forced me to recycle. You see they only gave me 2 cans and one was for recycling. Sometimes one can isn't enough so I began recycling or at least expanded. You see I always sorted out aluminum and cashed it in myself. The trash company also offered a rewards program for those who chose to recycle, after a year the points add up to almost a ten dollar gift card.

Now when the government goes green things work differently 1st there was the cfl mistake. This was the plan to give away the inferior bulbs and raise every ones electric bill to pay for the free bulbs and to compensate the electric company for the reduced electrical work. This was not entirely the electric companies plan they must work with a utility commission to set rates.

The latest from Cleveland is that they want to put electronic chips in the garbage cans to monitor garbage and the amount of recycling. They have already run a pilot program on 15,000 residence, Wednesday they voted to issue 25,000 new cans a year at a cost of 2.5 million dollars each year. They plan to monitor who is using their recycle can and who isn't, anyone who doesn't will get a call from the garbage police. Garbage police is my term actually the service department will come and go through the non recyclers garbage and if more than 10% is recyclable they will receive a $100 dollar fine.

Is it just me or does so much of the governments greenness seem an awful lot like big brother is watching.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Who should decide

With the recent appointment of Kagin to the Supreme Court the abortion debate has been raised again. Reading the paper this morning one of the letters to the editor abdicates any right to comment on abortion and claims I should too. His reasoning is that being male eliminates you from having a say on the legality and morality of abortion. Well I refuse to give up my voice on any issue.

Many people voice the idea that being able to get pregnant is the sole criteria for having a say on abortion because it can only effect a woman who has gotten pregnant. However people seem to forget that the woman isn't the only one effected by the abortion. Not only is a man necessary for her to get pregnant there is also the life that is snuffed out.

We all have the right to speak up for those who can't defend themselves. No I'm wrong we have the responsibility to speak up not only for the defenseless but against all injustices.

Saturday, August 7, 2010


A few random thoughts occurred to me yesterday.
Everybody talks about these great government jobs in Cuyahoga county we found out exactly how great. Recently the county board of property tax revisions joined the rest of the county government in being investigated. One piece of information we learned is the salary for the three appointed administrators is 64,000 a year. A good wage but not great but wait there's more they also work less than 30 hours a week and sometimes hold second jobs. Sixty four thousand a year guaranteed extra income pretty good.

A second thought came to me when I read our fearless leader Pres. Obama"s remarks to UAW members in Chicago. Obama was stressing how his bailouts to G.M. and Chrysler saved the U.S. auto industry. I don't agree but I can see how he might make that point. The oddity comes in when you realise he was speaking to Ford workers, Ford being the company that was run intelligently enough to not need government financing to stay above water. Obama can spin these bailouts any way he likes but to say giving money to someones competitors is good for them is ludicrous.

Last but not least I think we are finally moving away from recession a little based on two signs. One at work I'm starting the second month of 12 hour days, and this month it may even be hard to make deliveries with just expanded hours. Hiring can't be too far behind if extra hours isn't cutting it. Secondly the money supply is starting to flow again. This is based on a pocket change analysis I'm finally seeing some change dated 2009 this is extremely odd in that the norm would have been to see change dated 2009 in Feb-March 2009. If people aren't spending then there is no need for change and the banks don't need to order more coins from the Fed.

Okay I'll admit it my economic analysis is mostly wishful thinking but the experts aren't much better.

Saturday, July 24, 2010


People have been talking about the November elections and who should be worried. a recent U.S. chamber of commerce poll sheds some light on the direction people will turn. The poll asked what the greatest obstacle to job creation is over the next 2 years. The results were 24% high budget deficits, 24% expansion of government's role in the economy, 22% higher taxes, 13% trade barriers or tariffs,17% other.

Now if I was a Republican I might worry about those 17% other respondents, but a Democrat has to worry about the other 83% of the voters. Seriously don't the first 4 categories look like the Democratic platform

Saturday, July 17, 2010

What is old

With the passing Sen. Robert Byrd much has been made of his longevity in office. In fact it raises a debate among some as to how old is too old to do a competent job in congress. There are more than ten 80 plus years old members of congress or the senate. These older legislatures agree on at least one thing they are doing the best work of their careers now. The seniority that comes with age gives them an advantage when it comes to committee chairs and the allocation of funds.

So is it any wonder that they want to raise the age for full S.S. benefits to 70 or maybe older. Some of the reasoning for raising the retirement age makes sense. When S.S. was started the average person didn't spend 30 years in retirement more like 5-10 years. This disparity is one of the elements dragging the fund to bankruptcy.

So maybe it is time to raise the age of retirement. The right age is the question some jobs football player mid 30's is the right age, where for a librarian maybe 75-80 is the right age. Maybe what we need is a floating scale where 65 remains the retirement age for some jobs and for other jobs it rises. Some jobs it just doesn't make sense to raise the age of retirement, after all do you want an 70 year old fireman trying to rescue you from a fire. Some jobs physically prevent a worker from doing a good or safe job after a certain age.

If we are going to adjust retirement ages or benefits let's do it wisely

Saturday, July 10, 2010

What's important

For weeks we've been inundated here in Cleveland with the saga of Lebron James. Well it's over and he's gone and I don't really care.

During all the hoopla about 2 weeks ago we picked our first cucumber. This week we've been overwhelmed picking everyday sometimes as many as ten cucumbers plus the beans have started coming in.

You see it isn't what we watch that matters it's what we do that counts.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

The Road

I read the Road about 6 months ago and was moved by the story. When looking for a video to watch last night I picked up the movie version. The movie was ok but lost some of the desolation and hopelessness of the book. The casting however was masterful Viggo Mortenson as the father was perfect. The rest of the players worked around his central figure very well making the story come to life.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Did I hear that

Driving home from work this evening a news item came on the radio that made me say What. The Cuyahoga County Health and Human services department has been under fire for not being careful enough when returning children to homes they have been removed from. In response to this they decided to do background checks on every person living in a home where children are to be returned. This is a policy that won't exclude blood relatives or parents. This common sense policy is coming under fire from family activists who state that this is an uncalled for invasion of privacy. Now this isn't the statement that caught my attention they also stated that criminal history has no bearing on how good a parent someone will be.

Sometimes I have to wonder if people think at all before they speak.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Golden Rule

The Rabbi Richard A. Block had an article in Saturday's paper extolling the virtues of the Golden Rule. The golden rule says to love your neighbor as yourself or do unto others as you would have them do unto you. In his article he went on to stress that politicians especially when they are campaigning should follow this rule. No doubt he like many of us is dreading the upcoming election season.

His article was all well and good until he started with examples of the failures of the last election season. His examples included the idea that the right is particularly adept at slamming their opponents through grotesque character assassinations. He also pointed to some of the accusations thrown at Barack Obama in 08, being a Muslim, and not being an American. No where does he use an example of the Left's misdeeds. His one sided treatment of the issue made me think his Golden Rule was do unto others before they do unto you.

If your going to call for more civil discourse you better be ready to talk the talk.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Lillian Greene

Who is Lillian Greene, she is the Cuyahoga County Recorder and she's what's wrong with today's politicians. I wrote about Miss Greene in the past when The Plain Dealer published an article on double dipping. Not in the chip dip but at the public trough. She got elected to a county job the paid less than her previous government job 74,000. So she retired so that she could collect pension as well as salary. Miss Greene said this isn't double dipping because I need the money to live the life I've become accustom to.

Well Lillian Greene just keeps on giving yesterday's paper brings word the Miss Greene has filed suit to keep her job. You see the voters in Cuyahoga county voted to change their charter to change the way the county government is administrated and staffed. Part of this change eliminates her job and like most politicians she feels she's entitled to lifetime employment.

Maybe she needs to hear it from Donald Trump, Your Fired

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Going green

During the spring the Lorain county metro parks runs a hiking stick program. The parks have a list of events, you participate in 6 hikes at 4 different parks county wide and receive a hiking stick. Lynne and I decided to ask some friends of ours if they would like to do this together

We completed the mission but in doing so we came across a program that looked interesting. This was a program on how to make your own rain barrel. So we now know how to make a rain barrel in fact I've made 2 barrels already.

One of the local service departments (Avon Lake) Has 55 gallon drums made of plastic that they get from food service usage, they give them away. You cut a hole in the top to hold a strainer to keep debris out of your water, we used a square basket with some screening. Secondly you cut hole for over flow to be diverted back to the storm sewer. thirdly you drill a 1inch hole for the faucet You screw in a 3/4 inch faucet.Next you disconnect your down spout and place the barrel so that you can run the down spout into the strainer and the over flow into the storm sewer. There are flexible down spouts to make this easier. I placed my barrels on 4 cinder blocks stacked 2 high in 2 piles. Total cost was about 16. dollars according to the program 4times using the rain from the barrels defrays the cost.

After installing the barrels I was curious how long it would take to fill them, one rainy morning filled them to the top.

Green is good when it is cost effective this seemed like a good way to save money and keep from overburdening the storm sewers. This may not be for everyone but we have a large garden and watering can be expensive. Not to mention the fact that our sewer bill is based on water used so we pay a sewer charge for watering the garden even though that water doesn't go through the sewers.

Saturday, June 12, 2010


I've posted recently about gutting my kitchen, Walls and ceiling down to the studs. I'm glad to say we are done it took total about 6 weeks. I do all the work myself or with the help of my wife or children. Sometimes there are inconveniences that go along with the work, dust and dirt, tools all over the place, Heck we had our refrigerator in the dining room for the whole project. So far I've done similar projects in 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, living room, dining room,laundry room,and family room, so I know the level of disruption that can ensue during a project.

Yesterday I read an article about a local women's homeless shelter. I was irritated when reading the article by the comments of a homeless advocate. You see while they are renovating the normal shelter they have temporary accommodations that include only one shower. This advocate said this was unacceptable and demanded more showers be installed immediately or to move the residents to a place with more showers.

While I don't favor willfully mistreating anyone this is ridiculous. After all they are staying for free they should be grateful for the efforts of the shelter providers. Cutting expenses sometimes most overrule hardships especially when there is an end in sight, the new accommodations are to be re-opened in the fall.

In fairness the article did say some of the residents weren't happy but realized they just had to tough it out. We would all be better off if we lived this way realizing everything doesn't have to be perfect right now. That we can grow and improve and work towards our goals and ambitions and some times even our needs.

Thursday, June 3, 2010


The Obama administration has flirted with nationalizing several industries. With the bailout and majority interest in G.M. and dictating who can be ceo the auto industry has moved towards nationalization. With the giant health care reform bill they have hit two birds with one stone. Coming close to nationalizing both the health care industry and the insurance industry.

Now Rosie O'Donnell is calling for the nationalization of the oil industry. My first thought when hearing this was if you're going to call for an industry to be nationalized you ought to be willing to have the industry your involved with nationalized as well. in Rosie's case that would mean nationalizing the entertainment industry.

But then I realized it's hard enough as it is to get good entertainment without letting Washington foul it up.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


Now here's a union to support. In China the Honda workers are on strike. They are asking for a raise. You might say that's crazy the economy sucks right now they aught to be happy just to have a job.

The Chinese workers want to make 280 dollars a month, the greedy buggers. This is why the global economy is so hard to deal with. It's also why China's economy continues to grow at a pace that out strips the rest of the world. When your starting so low there is only one direction to go.

Saturday, May 29, 2010


As the whole immigration flap has unfolded one thing has truly puzzled me, California's politicians repeated disdain for the Az. bill. One would expect opposition to a bill from some quarters it's almost obligatory. California struck me because they should understand Arizona's plight. California probably has an even bigger illegal immigrant problem.

Now this is just speculation but isn't it possible that California's objection is because they fear the Arizona bill will work. If it works in Arizona it's libel to increase California's problem. After all why cross where you might be hassled when you can cross into a less vigilant state.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Whose money is it

Here in Ohio there is a program similar to the cash for clunkers program the feds ran. This program gives rebates for buying energy star products and proving you scraped your old appliance. Of course this is run with the usual government efficiency. Thousands of people are waiting on their rebates. The state gives a variety of reasons for this,forms not filled in correctly,model numbers not matching( the state has an incomplete listing in it's computer ), or not having the original receipt. The spokesman explained that after all this is tax payer money we have to be careful.

My question is if their so concerned about their fiduciary duties why do the program at all. Taking money from one citizen and giving it to another can never be justified.

Saturday, May 22, 2010


I heard a woman on the radio yesterday I believe her name is Lenore Skanzy. She is the author of a book called Free Range Children. Recently she has been promoting today Saturday May 22 as the first annual national take your kids to the park and leave them there day. She was talking about children as young as 7-8 years old and leaving them alone for time commensurate with their ages.

People today are utterly terrified of what can happen to there children. When I told my wife about the radio show she asked if this was just a ploy to lure in all the perverts. My thought is that I'm not sure if a national ditch your kids day is good, but I know living in fear is bad.

I wonder if the increase in both parents working hasn't helped exasperate these fears. Years ago when I was young most of the moms didn't work and kids were everywhere. We can't go back and I don't know that it would fix anything, but we do need to find a way to not live in fear. The fear we have we share with our kids so be smart and let them grow strong and fearless.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


It's kind of early to have reached much if any opinion about Elena Kagan's Supreme Court qualifications. The Cleveland Plain Dealer asked readers to comment on Kagan's nomination. Many of the letters focused on whether having been a judge should be a prerequisite. Most said they didn't believe time on the bench should be necessary. One letter stood out in it's reasoning. They reasoned that Kagan may be better than most because she spent time in the real world and wasn't secluded in the world of the law and judiciary. Now I might be wrong but I don't recall hearing any positions held by Kagan outside of academia.

So the question is what's a more sheltered existence the law or academia. I believe by far academics are sheltered from the real world to a greater degree. Living ones life on campus shields them from the economic pressures that the working man must face. Raises without profitability and tenure that guarantees employment for life are just some of sheltering effects.

Kagan may well be qualified for the scotus but to claim a more worldly position than many others is ludicrous.

Saturday, May 8, 2010


I generally try to remain respectful of others when in dialog in person or on the computer. I told my wife Lynne yesterday how refreshing it was to have an honest disagreement with jockeystreet and still remain respectful and actually listen to the other person.

Zogby did a poll for Allegheny College one of the questions was who or what has caused politics to be less civil. Some of the responses were Political parties70%, talk radio61%blogs42%television news61% while all had a part I don't think they mentioned the main cause. When thinking of divisive and polarizing issues most people realize the Roe v Wade heads the list. We can't even discuss Supreme court nominees anymore without this issue affecting opinion. It's not that this is the only issue that raises disagreement but it is the disagreement that stirs the pot and separates the parties.

Personally I don't really think either parties hierarchy wants the abortion debate resolved it works too well at keeping people in their respective camps.

Saturday, May 1, 2010


There is a list for practically everything on the web. I like lists there is a certain orderliness to them. I also like to compare my likes and dislikes with other peoples. I like scifi and I've seen lists of scifi authors,and series of books ,future histories, and alternate histories and others. Here's a short list of Dystopian books.

1. 1984 by Orwell
2. Brave New World by Huxley
3. Lord of the Flies by Golding

Feel free to add your own in the comments.

I read an article recently asking whether we are now or are we heading into a Dystopia. They called it the salt Dystopia based on a proposed law restricting added salt in restaurants. I believe all politicians think they are moving our society to a more perfect place. The question is are they right in this assumption.

Lincoln undoubtedly moved our society forward when he helped to push us away from slavery ending in it's abolition. LBJ even spelled it out as his goal during the civil rights era of the 60's. He called it the Great Society the idea was to end poverty and put everyone on an equal footing. Many people now see Johnson's policies as a failure, because many of the the people are now poorer and less educated.

The Obama administration also thinks they are moving us towards that utopian society. With health care for all and wealth more fairly distributed. How is this happening with health care that that is largely unfunded and with government poking it's nose into day to day operations of businesses, G.M., Chrysler, and the insurance companies. Obama himself gives a picture of the kind of world he sees through a statement he made in a speech last week in Quincy Illinois. Paraphrasing he said I think at a certain point people have just made enough money. Money isn't the only issue though it's an over all intrusiveness into our daily lives.

So beware the utopia we know not where it leads.

Saturday, April 24, 2010


The Cuyahoga County Commissioners Have decided to erect a wind turbine at the fairgrounds. Not only is this to be a display of green energy but also a cost savings of 50 thousand dollars a year is to be had.

This all sounds great until you hear the cost of the turbine 1 million dollars. So if my math is right in only 20 years they can pay for this turbine.

Most businesses when buying new equipment like to recoup costs in 5-7 years. This is why government agencies invariable spend to much money. If private industry chose to carry expenses for twenty years there would be no profit and no business.

We need elected officials who can live within their means and spend the publics money like it is their own. Sadly we wouldn't trust most of them with our wallets if they had padlocks on them.

Saturday, April 10, 2010


Not much time to post lately. I've been renovating our kitchen, tore the walls and ceiling down to studs and I'm putting up new drywall. It's moving along the walls are up but a long way still to go.

Recently I finished reading Sarah Palin's Going Rogue. It's slow in some sections but readable. I don't think she is going to change many minds with her book. Love her or hate her people aren't going to shift their positions greatly. One insight I gained is the difficulty of being in the second position on a ballot during an election. Not only do you have to subordinate some of your own will to the lead candidate but also to the campaign staff. It seems like a lot of control to give up when your fate and reputation are on the line.

Saturday, March 27, 2010


You may not be familiar with the title phrase. The first time I read it was in a scifi story by Robert Heinlein. It means there ain't no such thing as a free lunch.

Some people attribute the Tea Party movement and the anger in general over the policies of the Obama Administration to racism. More likely it's directed at people that don't realize the truth of tanstaafl. Whether it's Health care ,Mortgage relief, or Economic stimulus packages it come down to the same thing people wanting something for nothing. People talk about the free health care that the Canadians and Europeans have like it is truly free not realizing the tremendous tax burden they pay.

Today's Plain Dealer details the provisions of the new Mortgage relief plan. While not something for nothing it does reduce actual balances to make mortgage payments much lower. This really sets my blood to boiling you see I like a bargain as well as the next guy but I don't expect my neighbor to finance my bargain.

Even the Stimulus follows this idea of wanting something for nothing. big banks and insurance companies took the rewards and want me to cover the risks. The unions and G.M. and Chrysler negotiated unsustainable contracts for decades living high on the hog (us). Now we own at least part of these auto makers to bad they are no longer worth anything.

You see this is the cause for anger serious problems don't call for living in fantasy land.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Generally when I choose to workout on the elliptical machine at home instead of running outside I listen to music. I find hard driving music helps to give me a better pace. Using cds it also gives me rest periods when a slower song will come on. Some of my favorites to workout to are the Beatles, Squeeze,ELO, and basically any 70's to early 80's rock.

However I never listen to music when I run out doors. This decision was confirmed by a story out of Hilton Head S.C. A jogger running on the beach listening to his IPod was killed when he was hit by a plane making an emergency landing.

Haiku #19 St. Patrick's day

Putting on my green
Heritage remembered
Drink a pint or two

Monday, March 15, 2010

President Obama comes to Strongsville

Luckily I still have a job and I am working steadily. However work precluded me from going to Obama's healthcare rally and hearing what he had to say. There were 1200 tickets available for the rally. It was set up so you just went to the event site on Sunday and asked for a ticket and you could attend. It turns out it didn't really matter that I had to work odds were against me or anyone getting a ticket. You see there were really according to local radio host Mike Trivisono only 200 tickets available the rest were given to local Democrats to give to party loyalists.

This is why politicians are so distrusted they can't even tell the truth about event planning. If this health care reform is so good it should be able to stand up to the scrutiny of the people. Sadly it obviously has flaws that our leaders see fit to try to hide from their constituency, Us.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


This is why everything the government does is expensive. Yesterday I received an envelope from the census bureau. When I opened it there was a letter telling me that in a couple of days they would send me another mailing with the actual census forms. So our government decided to send two mailings to each address.

This doesn't seem very smart to me. Of course the post office is hurting maybe this is another stimulus package.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Picking winners

You might think I'm writing about horse races or basketball games you'd be wrong. In Ohio we have a commission PUCO that oversees utility rates. Approximately 100,000 families have complained to PUCO the Governor and anyone else that would listen about their increased electric bills. The electric company had removed a long standing discount given to all electric homes this was initially approved by PUCO. Well three cheers PUCO says the electric company has to reinstate the discount.

So what is the Electric companies solution. Their going to try for a rate increase on the rest of us. Personally I object to buying someone elses electricity.

Government's job is to set certain standards and laws so that we might function with as little friction as possible. Their job is NOT to pick winners and losers. When regulations are put in place that allows one customer to pay one price and another customer a second price we are letting them pick the winners.

Saturday, February 27, 2010


In the letters to the editor in the Cleveland Plain Dealer A writer is advocating eliminating sex ed all together. Her thinking is that morality plays a part in sex ed and parents should be allowed to advance their moral position.

I think this shows the need to allow individual districts to set policies that fit the community. Many if not all major metropolitan areas have poor academic achievement scores. I don't think the blame falls with the schools or teachers. Invariably these districts have higher than normal single parent families. Being a single parent is a hard job and somethings are are not going to get full attention. Unfortunately it seems often to be education that gets left behind.

This is why some districts have more conflict over Abstinence only programs. Over burdened single parents a lot of the time have little time for educating their children whether spelling or sex ed. No fingers being pointed here I'm sure I make mistakes as a parent we all do. I think the more localized the decision making on education policy the better off our children will be.

Generally I like the idea of teaching abstinence first and progressing to a clinical explanation of what's going on in a young persons body.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Common sense

I recently read Glenn Beck's Common Sense. Beck speaks of a need to return to the principles of the founders of our nation.

At the end he talks about the 9.12 project, 9 principles and 12 values.

The values are honesty,reverence,hope,thrift,humility,charity,sincerity,moderation, hard work,courage,personal responsibility,and gratitude.

A few of the principles are 1. America is good, 6. I have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, but there is no guarantee of equal results 9.The government works for me. I do not answer to them, they answer to me.

The rest of the principles can be found at

I enjoyed the book which points out where government has been failing at the principles and values. As a bonus it included Thomas Paine's Common Sense.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Who has the best health care

Here are some statistics to help you decide who has the best health care in the world.

As recently published by Investor Business Daily, a survey by the U.N. International Health Organization has reported:

Percentage of men and women who survived a cancer five years after diagnosis: U.S. 65 percent, Eng-land 46 percent, Canada 42 percent.

Percentage of patients diagnosed with diabetes who received treatment within six months: U.S. 93 percent, England 15 percent, Canada 43 percent.

Percentage of seniors needing hip replacement who received it within six months: U.S. 90 percent, England 15 percent, Canada 43 percent.

Percentage referred to a medical specialist who see one within one month: U.S. 77 percent, England 40 percent, Canada 43 percent.

Number of MRI scanners (a prime diagnostic tool) per million people: U.S. 71, England 14, Canada 18.

Percentage of seniors (65 and older) with low income who say they are in “excellent health”: U.S. 12 percent, England 2 percent, Canada 6 percent.

The other question about U.S. health care that always arises is cost. Our health care is definitely expensive but how much quality are you willing to give up to reduce costs.

I learned a long time ago that you get what you pay for.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Valenines day

From the AP a rather interesting way to say I love you. A farmer from Albert Lea Minnesota formed a half mile wide heart for his wife using manure. His wife said you might as well be creative with what you have.

J Giels had it right love stinks.

Monday, February 8, 2010

When to quit

People have been talking about how the Dems should give up on Obama care in it's present form since Brown's win in Massachusetts. People also talk frequently about athletes who past there prime stumble on collecting undeserved paychecks. We now have had a vivid example of when to quit during the Super bowl.

The Who showed us you should quit when you can no longer do the job.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Ponzi scheme

Reading the letters to the editor this morning. The one letter is railing at a letter from earlier in the week calling social security a ponzi scheme. He argues that he has paid in and is entitled to his benefits. He also argues that S.S. has worked well and is solvent besides being basically the only pension plan out there any more. He does acknowledge the need for adjustments to benefits and taxes as we go forward.

The letter writer is right on at least one statement SS is not a ponzi scheme. Social security is a pyramid scheme and we're working towards inversion. When ss started there were multiple workers for each retired person. This is important to remember because we are not paying our own way. Our social security tax (fica) is not meant to provide us with any benefit it is there to provide benefit for those already retired. In the 1940's there were 42 workers for every retiree we are nor at 3 workers for every retiree. This is a a pyramid that could easily flip if unemployment stays at it's current high level.

This is one point that Bush was definitely right we need to find a way to allow people to invest their money for their own retirement. Even if it radically changes benefits and promises made to current recipient of SS. I believe this has to be the starting point to any deficit reduction plan. Without adjustments that will no doubt be painful Social Security will bankrupt our country.

Thursday, February 4, 2010


A question was posed in Sunday school last week. How important is money to having a good quality of life? I argued that money would effect the quality of life greatly. One of the women argued that money is of no consequence. That if she could have lived her life in better personal relationship with her daughters she wouldn't have cared how much or little money she had.

Now I'm thinking I was wrong the quality of life is not effected. However the quality of living is effected immeasurably. What I mean by this is that your life is your life money or not. Money only allows you to do different things within your life. Life is the people you relate to at home or work, isolation is the true detriment to a good quality of life.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Public knowledge

A pew research quiz was done before the Mass. special election to find what people know about the U.S.. You can take the quiz at the pew research center the national average was 6 correct answers I got all twelve right. The thing that struck my interest was in reading about the quiz the results showed that Republicans were better informed than Democrats. The margin was slim and other factors go into the results age and gender, older and male tend to be better informed.

Makes me wonder if the knowledge we process has a bigger impact on the policies we support than labels. The other premise would have you believe that Reps. care more and thus become better informed.

I don't think either party cares more than the other. I do think this lays more credibility to the complaints of media bias. Media is one of the keys to an informed electorate if people are only fifty percent informed on average this points to a short coming.

Then again maybe the people just don't care to be informed.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Supreme Court

After the State of the Union address much hype has been going around. The hype is centered on President Obama's criticism of the recent Supreme Court decision and Judge Alito's reaction. Obama states the supreme court has opened the door for unlimited campaign spending including foreign owned companies. Alito reacted by mouthing the word liar during the speech.

Both parties are wrong to some degree. Alito is wrong because there probably will be a certain amount of increase in campaign spending. Obama is wrong for criticizing the court for doing their job.

The court's job is not to set policy and determine what might happen because of their rulings. They are merely to read the law and determine how it fits with our constitution. In essence the court is there to make sure we play by the rules.

We may not like the rules all the time but the rules keep society working in an orderly fashion.

Sunday, January 24, 2010


Today is the 75th anniversary of the beer can. So sit back pop the top and enjoy a beer,maybe two.

Friday, January 22, 2010


Last year I took up the hundred push-up challenge. Two times I attempted the challenge to no avail my joints,shoulders, elbows and wrists didn't cooperate.

Two weeks ago I bought the extreme gym chin-up bar. This is a devise you hook over the door frame to do various exercises. The first day I did five sets of four chin-ups for a total of twenty. Yesterday I did five sets working to exhaustion each time and did a total of 37 chin-ups. I alternate on days between the chin-ups and the next day pull-ups to work different muscle groups. The pull-ups have increased even better than the chin-ups going from 5 to 16.

This device comes from several companies I opted for a generic version and am really happy with it, I bought it at Aldi's for twelve bucks. Real improvement with no pain can't beat that.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


I don't live in Massachusetts but it still feels like I won. Politics is sometimes like sports even though we're not on the team we'll say we won. When in fact we are not on the team.

Brown won great now what happens. Will my life change for better or worse who knows.

The one truly big plus to come out of Brown's election is the message it sends. This is a state that is owned by the Democrats, Browns victory is a huge upset. Hopefully politicians are waking up this morning and thinking maybe we should listen to the people and realizing who they work for.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Haiku #18

Devastated Isle
So many people hurting
God hears His people

No where to turn to
So many injured and dead
God hears his people

God calling to me
Urging me,answer prayers
God helps his people

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Exploding head

Did you ever read an article or book that didn't sit right. Sometimes a sentence will cause instant pain to your brain. Usually for me it's a bald faced lie or obvious misstatement.

In Thursday's Plain Dealer there was two stories having to do with a new program started at the beginning of the year. This program is aimed at getting people in better shape. The Cleveland Clinic,Curves and other sponsors worked out a deal where every resident in Cuyahoga county gets a free 3 month gym membership. It's called GoFit and all you have to do is ask for a membership at the YMCA or Curves. So far fifteen thousand people have registered on line and forty five hundred have shown up for an initial assessment.

The second article starts with the sentence,( Going to a company sponsored gym or smoking cessation workshop makes for a healthy society, as every member of Congress seems to agree.) Some health care advocates have a problem with the current health care reform as it relates to these programs. Their problem is that people could be penalized for either refusing to participate or not achieving results.

Now here's the good part, If people attend but keep smoking or don't lower their B.M.I. they are afraid they will be penalized, fine. But they follow with this sentence. This could undo a key objective of health care reform: to keep people from paying more for insurance based on health factors they may be unable to control.

Unable to control, smoking and eating too much are controllable cancer and hereditary diseases are not. This is why costs are going to grow uncontrollably when the government takes over. Insurance companies use actuaries to assess a price for a policy. Not the government they want to charge everybody the same. People seem to understand this with life insurance. A twenty year old doesn't pay thee same for life insurance as an eighty year old. Why should a healthy person pay the same as a smoker or obese person.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

2 polls

I saw 2 polls this morning one stated that only 32% of people surveyed believe that congressman represent their best interests. The second poll stated that 67% of people know someone who has cheated on their spouse.

I believe both numbers are significantly off the mark. Not for the good mind you, but with congresses approval rating flirting with single digits and the amount of infidelity I would say one should be closer to zero and the other closer to 100%.

Saturday, January 2, 2010


In this morning's Plain Dealer there is a letter to the editor. In the letter the writer is complaining about calling Sherrod Brown an incompetent idiot. This was from a previous letter to the editor. He goes on to cite names used against Obama and the Democrats at Tea party rallies, some of which he describes as racist, these are his examples monkey,Hitler, Nazi,fascist,communist.

I think we can agree that monkey and Hitler are out of bounds, even though these were commonly used against Bush. In fact the most derogatory of these monkey and Hitler were used far more often against Bush than Obama. Communist , Nazi ,fascist , or incompetent should never be ruled out these are words that can be used to describe the positions that politicians take. We can argue whether or not they fall into these categories but the debate should be allowed to be raised.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Haiku #17

A new years dawning
Make the most of what God gives
Hope must lead the way

Happy New Year everyone