Saturday, December 31, 2011

Book review

I just finished Sarah Palin's America by Heart. I found it to be much more informative than Going Rouge. Where her first book told us about her the second tells us what she believes. She talks about family, faith, and flag and how they intertwine to make America great.

In the past I have said Palin should not run for president because of her lack of electability. This book had me wishing she had given it a go.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas eve

Christmas eve is here
Our waiting time has passed
Celebrate His birth

Thursday, November 24, 2011


My blessings counted
Family, friends, and good health
Happy Thanksgiving

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Something for nothing

This past week the OWS in Cleveland moved some of their people out of downtown. They moved to the yard of a foreclosed house where the women was to be evicted. They got her another month living in a home that she isn't paying on any longer. There are sympathies to various degrees with OWS movement and the idea that the regs are skewed right now towards the investment bankers and Wall street. However the protesters always seem to come back to the idea of something for nothing, Forgive our student loans, living in housing we don't pay for, etc. Even the idea of taxing the rich more is just wanting someone else to pick-up the tab.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Joe Biden

Joe Biden visited Cleveland this week. He was looking to capitalize on the voting down of SB5 a bill aimed at public employee unions. The bill would have given communities more leverage in dealing with the unions by only allowing collective bargaining over wages. Biden called this a victory not for unions but the middle class. My question is what about all the middle class people who aren't in the public unions. Did they win by getting to fund much more lucrative pensions and benefit packages that are not sustainable at the current tax levels.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Tea Party vs. OWS

A recent pew poll showed 39% favorable reaction to OWS and a 32% favorable reaction to the Tea party. In addition the Tea party was veiwed negatively at a greater percentage 44% as opposed to 35% for the OWS protesters.

I wonder why people generally are viewing the OWS protesters more favorably even if only slightly. Could it be that at least right now the OWS group is suggesting little and mostly playing to a vague sense of inequality. Where as the Tea party is equally disappointed with the government but they have made real world demands for change. Where OWS points at the 1% and the need for shared sacrifice the Tea party and it's demands for spending cuts is the true advocate for shared sacrifice.

Shared sacrifice sounds good but nobody really wants to sacrifice.

Sunday, October 9, 2011


My son runs a McDonalds and they are in the process, nearly complete of tearing down and rebuilding the restaurant. So when we were out yesterday we stopped by to check out the progress. Charlie was there so we got the in side the store preview tour. There have been many headaches but they are scheduled to reopen on Thursday only a month late. It sure doesn't look at this point like they will make it without very long days by construction and clean up crews.

So where am I going with all this? While walking around the store and hearing about all the little hang ups something he said really set me off. McDonalds has templates for interior and exterior design, you get a design catalog and pick features you like. Turns out the mayor in Middleburg Hts. decided that he should pick all the design elements for the outside of the building. I'm not just talking zoning requirements like distances to the street and adjoining properties. This mayor feels he should decide brick colors and styles,and detailing on the overhangs, and what style lights should run across the front of the property. Now this is a 2.5 million dollar project and if I was spending the money I would be royally pissed to have somebody come in and dictate in such a heavy handed way how to spend my money. The mayor's lighting demand alone is adding around 50 grand.

This is power at it's worst. I told my wife on the way home it makes me want to move to Middleburg hts. so I could run for mayor. People that are that heavy handed in wielding power need to be deposed.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Public sector unions

Reading the paper this week I saw a picture in the business section accompanying a story on the Greek financial crisis. The picture showed a group of angry protester protesting austerity measures being taken to try to save the Greek's economy.

So what does the Greek situation have to do with public sector unions? They both seem to think money can be produced like magic from thin air. For years promises have been made to the Greeks and public sector unions that are impossible to keep.

It may be too late for the Greeks with the low birth rate that is common in Europe there is not enough people to come close to meeting the promises. You see these promises of early retirements and socialized medicine were fine with a rising tide of workers to pay for them but the tide quit rising.

There may still be time in the U.S. we are one of the few developed countries without a drastic fall off in births. This is why I saw similarities between the Greeks and the public sector unions they both seem to think that they are entitled to money that just isn't there.

The reality train has been rolling for the last few years let's hope we can make the right decisions to make the drastic and painful changes that are necessary for our country. I don't mean to pick solely on the unions but the government and it's workers the unions are collectively us the people of the U.S. and therefor the place to start cutting. We need to do this through across the board reduction in budgets, attrition, and revamping the budgets of our future expenses(government retirement packages).

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Big Lie

With all this talk of class warfare I wonder about the logic of the people who advocate taxing the rich. In some ways I understand it economically things aren't going well right now and people don't know where to turn. So the simple solution is to find fault with the other, the evil rich for of course all rich people got that way trampling on the rights of the average guy. I won't pretend I can defend all rich people but percentage wise there probably aren't any more evil rich people than there evil middle class or poor people.

There other reasons for arguing against taxing the rich when the economy is struggling. The first has to do with incentives everything has an incentive we eat foods because of the way they taste, date a girl because she's pretty or smart, work hard to earn more pay. There are also disincentives don't touch the stove it's hot, how hard do you work after a pay cut. How hard is anyone going to work if the government is going to take a bigger share. The second argument against increasing taxes is selfish who do you think pays this tax on the rich. No I'm not rich but I'll be paying for any tax increase, much of any tax increase will be passed along through higher prices. Thirdly effectiveness of any tax increase is dubious most of the Bush tax cut's went to the poor and middle class raising taxes solely on the rich would have little impact on the deficit.Plus if G.E can pay n0 federal taxes now they could pay zero with an increase as well. We need only to close loopholes as a minimum but hopefully move away from an income tax all together.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Safety nets

I was reading an article this morning talking about what positive effects the left has had on America. One of the said accomplishments was the social safety net Social Security, food stamps,Medicare/medicaid, and so on. It's hard to argue that safety nets are bad my question is are they safety nets or are they crutches.What I mean by this are we using these programs to prevent a fall or to hold people up all the time. I would contend that the way they are currently administrated they are an incentive to stay on these programs. We need to find a way to make personal responsibility the first choice and safety nets the emergency plan.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

I grew my supper

At least once a year I like to have dinner strictly composed of only things I have grown. Last night I had a salad comprised of chopped cucumbers and tomatoes with some chopped onion and fresh basil and rosemary. It was good but the rosemary was a little strong, outside of salt and pepper it all came from my backyard. It makes me feel self sufficient all though I would have trouble living off my land full time.

Sunday, August 14, 2011


Sitting reading the Sunday paper The business section has a piece on bank fees. This one caught my attention Ohio Savings Bank has instituted a .50 cent fee on deposits of rolled change over 10 rolls. That's 50cents per roll so if your depositing pennies you are giving them to the bank. Makes you wonder how they keep their customers.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

It's complicated

Everyone has been bemoaning the catastrophe that is the baby boomers retiring. How do we provide benefits for this huge group of people. Last week during the Tom Sullivan show on the radio I heard a different approach and fear. The caller made the point that the boomers are also the biggest consumer group. What's the problem with the boomers buying the most? I've found as I get older there is less and less stuff I need to buy. If I need something for a project odds are I have it in my garage and don't need to go spend money. Now this isn't just me , so we have this largest section of the population without the need to buy. In a consumer driven economy how do we lower unemployment while buying less.

It seems like a valid point but someone also has to fill all these jobs the boomers are vacating.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Book review

One of my favorite places to go is Half Priced Books. Recently while browsing a rack of older paperbacks I came across a copy of The Cross and the Switchblade by David Wilkerson. It was a book I remember being assigned to read for CCD Catholic education for kids who go to public school. I picked it up and looked at it but put it back but couldn't leave it alone so I spent the buck and brought it home.

The Cross and the Switchblade is the story of one man who is drawn by God to work with troubled teens in N.Y. city. This man a country preacher (David Wilkerson) from Pennsylvania finds his way to N.Y.'s ghettos and with the help of the Holy Spirit learns how to reach out and help drug addicted, violent teens. His efforts help to establish an organization of caring people to work with the severely disadvantaged.

It's funny when it was assigned I never read more than a couple pages before I blew it off and stopped reading. As an adult I read it fairly quickly and really enjoyed it I guess you have to be ready to read a book.

Another odd note being intrigued by the Rev. Wilkerson I looked him up and he died just this past April.

Friday, July 22, 2011


The last seven days have been spent on my son's roof. A simple tear off and re-roof was complicated by 90-98 deg temps and the need to replace most of the wood. Some of the wood was outright rotted away and some was borderline but being 3/8 plywood on 24" centers necessitated the wood replacement.

There is something satisfying about looking at a completed project and saying I did that with my own hands. Although it is not the ideal way to spend a vacation.

As a recommendation I would recommend buying a framing hammer if your going to be doing any amount of heavy hammering. The air nailer was also a big help it was the first time I had used one.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Wedding day

A little girl no more.
Down the aisle to empty nest.
Love nest of their own.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Independence day

Celebrating the birth of our great nation, almost everyone does. The question is are we celebrating independence from England and it's king and the liberty that followed or just the annual deluge of firecrackers and bottle rockets.

In arguing the budgetary problems maybe people should remember this fight for liberty and independence. Because every dollar we take from people in taxes infringes on their liberty. This is not the only infringement that happens the other infringement is the stealing of independence when we don't let people do for themselves. This is probably more insidious in that it creeps up on you over time. A family takes government assistance thinking it will only be temporary and then finds they can't do without the assistance. Stolen independence isn't limited to our personal lives. A story last weak in the Cleveland Plain Dealer highlighted a company who was subsidized in making parts for wind turbines. They were complaining about increased competition and the danger it posed to their business. The next day an article said they had declared bankruptcy. You see they had become to dependant on the government subsidy and not self reliant enough to fight off competition.

So remember freedom, independence, and liberty are more than words to describe our country they are the path to successful living.

Saturday, June 25, 2011


H.L.Mencken said of the new deal, It's dividing the country into those who work for a living and those who vote for a living.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Child abuse

Often in today's society it seems people are quick to claim child abuse. A slap on the rear or a harsh word can bring the threat of children's services being called.

Saturday's Cleveland Plain Dealer has a story from Lafayette township of true child abuse. Unlike some stories this story is ruling out charges being filed even before investigations are finished. The story tells of a young girl who lost her life not through an overt act but through a lack of proper supervision or perhaps overly permissive parents. The young girl died because she was allowed to ride a motorcycle before she was ready. This young girl was 4 years old and riding solo with training wheels when she crashed.

It's sad when we can't let children grow up at a normal pace, sometimes no has to be the answer.

Sunday, April 24, 2011


Forty days of Lent
Are climaxed here today
Our risen Lord lives

Sunday, April 10, 2011


I've been awful busy lately or at least the days seem to have too few hours. Besides working 12 hour days and six days a week we got a new puppy after the disastrous Tillie affair. His name is Henry and he is a mini Dachshund. It's been a long time since we had a puppy and it's easy to forget how much more work puppies are compared to dogs. On top of the puppy the in-laws moved in a week ago for an indefinite stay. I'm glad we can help them out when they need a place to stay but it puts a strain on our privacy and routines.

So what does the above have to do with motivation. Well Henry and the in-laws were motivated by love but what of work. I like to think my motivation is solely dedication but I'm sure there is an element of wanting to acquire wealth. Now some might call this greed but I think greed is a desire to put accumulation of money ahead of all other concerns. Greed also has an element of envy and excessiveness involved.

So what has been driving advocates in Washington and states like Wisconsin and Ohio over the past couple of weeks. In Ohio and Wisconsin opponents of austerity measures have been calling out the Governors as being vengeful. They cite their rollbacks of public sector unions bargaining powers as payback for past political involvement. In Washington we hear much the same as Democrats decry attempts to cut certain funding as political payback. I won't deny that payback may have some roll but I think priorities are an equal partner in the cut backs. Many of the programs targeted have never been a priority for the Republicans but could be overlooked when the economy was humming along.

Saturday, March 19, 2011


Life doesn't always imitate art. In the old 50s-60s Japanese Godzilla movies the creature comes up out of the sea to reek terror on the people of Japan. In the movies the people run screaming and shouting, pushing each other what ever it took to reach safety.

Compare this with their reaction to to the earthquake and tsunami. While there was fear the people tended to act in an orderly manner. No stories of people looting or committing acts of violence on each other.

Maybe this is what made the Godzilla movies that we laughed at scary to the Japanese, the loss of control of emotions and decorum. The Japanese have had their Godzilla experience and reacted admirably.

Monday, March 7, 2011


Well that didn't last long. The person we got Tillie from didn't have permission to give the dogs away an called yesterday demanding the dog be given back. We wrestled with this through the afternoon and concluded that the right thing to do was to relinquish Tillie to her first owner. Who would have thought that after a week it could hurt so much.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


A new addition to our house
Not a baby or a mouse
It may sound silly
It's a dog named Tillie

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Career builder

Career builder did a survey of how often people are late to work. They found over the last couple of years tardiness has dropped to 15% from 20% in 2008.

So what does this tell us it could be 2 things as I see it the article implied that people are wising up because of the recession. My thinking is that the perpetually late got laid off in far higher numbers and are not back in the work force yet.

One of the keys to keeping the boss happy is dependability. Most employers may act as though they care about their employees personally but for the most part what they care about is profitability.

This to me is the reason that employers whether public or private are at odds with unions.Unions don't tend to be about promoting the business they are about the workers and what they want.

It doesn't mean that employers and employees can't coexist it means that as an employee your worth to the company is based on how you can make it more profitable. An employee that can help the company run efficiently will generally be rewarded or the company will fail for lack of competent workers.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Tough questions

I wonder do we really know what it is that we want in life. After the economy collapsed in 2008 I had my hours cut at work and money was tight. I hoped for a new and vigorous economy and a renewal of overtime. While times were slow working sometimes 4 days a week and only 8 hours a day something I had never done before at least not for more than a week at a time I found new interests. Maybe new interests isn't quite right what I really found was the time to do the things I wanted. I exercised more, read more, found time to go hiking with my wife, found more time for family it was good. Now we are back to normal at work six days a week 10-12 hours a day. I got what wished for but I don't think I really knew what I wanted.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Estate taxes

There has been a lot of talk lately on the federal level and here in Ohio about estate taxes. Those on the right propose eliminating or drastically reducing them, those on the left prefer the status quo.Two arguments arguing against the elimination got me thinking,one called it the fairest tax and the other worried about governmental budgets. Supposedly it is the fairest tax because it only affects the richest among us.

Fair is an interesting concept is it fair if the reward for hard work is getting to pay for everything while the person who didn't achieve pays nothing. Some will say that the inheritor didn't work for this money therefore this money is fair game. This doesn't really address the motivation of the estate builder who is working to take care of his or her family. Many times the wealth of a person is not held in liquid assets but in the buildings and tools of wealth building. When a person inherits a large family farm or business it often entails selling the business or taking on debt to pay the tax man.

Governmental budgets that can't be met are another issue all together. Budgets grow during good times and then we hear during the hard times how we can't do with out this program or entitlement. In the real world we don't just get to say I need a raise I've got to many bills.

When people start to tell you something is fair ask your self is it truly fair to everyone or just the person saying it's fair.