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Archive for February, 2009

As I watched the Presidents speech to congress tonight there is one thing he said that I have to give a big Amen to. We need to become a great innovator and producer of those innovation.  I don’t remember the exact context but basically he said we invented the Solar Cell, but now the leaders of this technology are all overseas. Our Hybrid and Electric Cars will be using technology that we buy or license from Toyota with batteries from South Korea.  We invent so many of the hi tech inovations here in the United States, and then we let other countries, mostly in Asia lay claim to them and make all of the money of them.  The VCR and the Laser Disk, predecessor to the CD and DVD were invented at the RCA corporation in Lancaster, PA.  Both technologies were then improved upon and perfected by Toshiba, Sony, Phillips, etc and then imported by the millions back into the United States.  While they made billions on these, the RCA company shut down the huge plant in Lancaster. A  facility that was once a large employer with good paying jobs. They employed many engineers, technicians, and skilled workers who made TV’s, closed circuit television camera, and the Laserdisk players.  Locally now close to where Spiney lives is one of the largest producers of lead acid batteries, the Exide corporation. They should be making the batteries for the Hybrids, and all electric vehicles. They have the technology and many hard working employees who are willing and ready to get the job done.  We need to become a country that produces hard goods again. We can’t all be paper pushers, or work in retail. 20 years ago our future was to be a service economy and an information economy. Now most of that is outsourced to places who will work for 1/3 or less than the wages of a US employee. Most have gone to India. All you need to do is call customer service to find that out.  I hope that the presidents vision of a new Green Technology industry comes to be. It could be our 2nd chance at an industrial revolution.  Hopefully if we get this chance, we will keep the jobs here.  Spiney

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In one stroke of a pen President Obama double the deficit of the United States. Then about 1 week later he promises to cut the deficit in 1/2 by the end of his first term through cuts in spending and raising some taxes.  Does anyone else see the bipolarness of this?  It’s like going out on a bender and then calling a family meeting to announce your quiting drinking. Both the President and Congress should have looked closer at their big spending bill the previous week if they wanted a good head start at cutting spending . Do we really need an 8 billion dollar hi-speed rail system between Disneyland and Las Vegas.  I’m all for Hi-speed rail.  We lag behind the world in Hi-speed rail but put it somewhere it can really help like between two major business centers like Washington DC and NYC.  Either way I digress away from my initial statement.  When announcing  that we need to cut the deficit did he really think we forgot that just 7-9 days earlier he doubled our deficit with the stimulus program and was proud of doing it. You can’t make this stuff up. One last thing. I’m tired of President Obama saying he inherited this horrible economy. President Bush is not solely responsible for the economic mess we are in. Congress had a large hand in it also. It takes congress and a president to create and sign off on a budget. Also while he may now have this economy on his plate he campaigned very hard to get this job. He knew what he was getting into. Quit acting like you found some big surprise behind door # 2. Hopefully someday we will all look back at these times and laugh about it, but I doubt it.  Thanks for listening… Spiney

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I’m posting this from a new found blog I found over at the Humble Libertarian.com.  I found his blog about a week ago and I find I agree many times with his thoughts on our current situation. Please take the time to read and absorb this.  I really do think it’s time to look outside the big 2 parties.  We are one of the only democratic countries in the world who have been limited, mainly by big money to listening and electing only pan “D” or Plan “R”.  Spiney

The Humble Libertarian's Timeline of Change

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The President announced yet another bail out package. This one is to help people who are in danger of losing their homes.  Many, and I will agree not all, are in this position because they bought a home that was way more expensive than the could afford. Many Americans who have done the right thing, bought houses they could afford, didn’t lie on their applications, or are renters are very mad that they will be paying to bailout people who tried to live beyond their means.

Many people did this with buying too big homes, leasing or buying cars they couldn’t afford, and buying many items: large screen TV’s, computers etc with credit cards. Now the cars have been repossessed, their behind on the credit card payments, and the houses are in foreclosure. I’m sorry but I don’t feel sorry for these people. I feel sorry for their children, but not them  I’ll tell you why. I owned a house once.  When I bought it in 1985 I bought the cheapest home I could find. It was a real fixer upper at $37,500. I got an old fashion mortgage at 30 years and 13.8% interest.  I made a 10% down payment and had to give blood to get the mortgage. At the time they would not give you a mortgage for more than 25% of your income. And you had to give blood, your right arm, and first born to get that mortgage. And they really made you sweat it. You applied and maybe 2-3 weeks later you found out if you were approved.

Now the people who are in these houses bought houses way over their head. Many times homes in the $150-200,000 price tag or more. They got in with mortgages with anywhere from 5% down to No money down.  In many cases they didn’t have to prove their income, debts, or credit score.  It was reported that in many cases all they had to do was have a pulse.  also many got in over their head by getting new fangled mortgages.  Many were adjustable mortgages. Mortgages that started at a very low affordable monthly bill, based on a low interest rate of say 3.5%.  But after a year or two, they ramped up to the current interest rates, or even higher. It was then that the real cost of that house hit home and they couldn’t afford it.  This was the real l payments for a $150K home.  Payments went from $395 a month to $995 a month overnight.  Other mortgages were interest only for the first few years, and other creative financing types to sell a home to anyone who wanted one.  That is how these huge developments grew up on our farmlands overnight. Now these people want the government to bail them out and let them keep their houses. But they are way over their heads, and no matter what the government does, they can’t afford these homes.

Here is how I did it.  I did own a home for a short stint, only 5 years. Due to a divorce we sold it to settle up.  From that point on I rented.  My first rental was a room, yes just one room a woman was renting out in her house. I think I paid $175 a month for that room and shared bathroom privileges.  Then I rented apartments. The highest I ever paid was $550 a month for a 2 bedroom apartment. I lived within my means.  I bought and drove used cars, and I drove them until the wheels fell off.  My current wife and I had a business for 15 years. during those times we rented studio space. We were tempted by nice big spaces, but we knew we couldn’t afford them, so we passed on them and again, we Stayed within our means.  At one point due to my health, 3 back and 1 neck surgeries, we had to file bankruptcy. We were offered a loan, that would have kept us out of bankruptcy. We got as far as sitting with the loan officer. At that point my Wife and I looked at each other, realized it was only a band-aid, and we couldn’t pay it back. So we walked away without getting the loan. We did the responsible thing.

To this day we rent. In fact we share a home with my wife’s mom. This helps her because she is a widow, and helps us. Even though my wife now has a well paying career we rent  and both drive used cars. Mine a 1991 pickup I inherited from my Dad, and my wife a 98 Volvo wagon, the nicest car we ever owned.  We have no debt, we pay cash for everything, no credit cards.  And we go on vacations, have computers and a laptop, and yes even a big screen TV. We saved and paid cash for all of them. It can be done it you save for it, and don’t have to have it NOW!

So I don’t think that we and other Americans who did it the right way, pay their mortgages on time etc should have to pay to bail out those who lied about their income and lied to themselves in order to have their dream home. I’m not being mean, I don’t want to see them fail. But They need to be in housing they can afford. A smaller home or an apartment. I never felt ashamed to be a renter. I was damn glad to have a roof over my head. And I was able to sleep at night knowing I could afford the monthly rent payments.  And I did whatever it took to keep that roof over our heads. My Wife and I had the studio, but I also worked driving all night as a courier, washed cars at a car rental agency, you name it. Did I like washing cars? no I was 39 and the other people were mostly high school drop outs. But I could look my landlord in the eye every month and hand him the rent. I did the right thing.

So how about you. Do you think we should spend billions to bail out people, maybe your neighbors so they can stay in their dream house? All courtesy of your and mine taxes, from our hard work. Please comment and let me know.  Thanks, Spiney Dave

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People we are having this $792 billion dollar Stimulus Program force fed down our throats. They say that one of the things that got us into this mess was the default of the sub prime loans. And people defaulting on homes they can’t afford because they didn’t understand or bother to read the mortgage paperwork. Now the members of the House of Representatives, and Congress have rushed to sign a 1100 page spending bill, the largest in the history of our former Capitalistic Democracy without reading it, because there is just no time. “The whole country could collapse tomorrow if we don’t get this signed today.” To be fair GW and former Treasury Secretary Paulson pulled the same trick last fall with the $750 billion TARP fund. That was only 3 pages, and needed to be signed withing 48 hours. So both the Republicans and the Democrats are using this “Crises” to spend more money than ever thought fathomable.

People can spin facts however they want, but I’ve heard from both Fox and CNN, and CNBC reporters that this is more money than was previously spent on the Revolutionary War, The War of 1812, The Louisiana Purchase, The Civil War, The Purchase of Alaska, WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, the Space Program and Desert Storm 1 it still doesn’t add up to this almost a trillion with interest. Just take a moment to really take that in.  Plus how are they financing it?  They are selling Treasury bonds to our Friends the Chinese. We already are way upside down with them on imports. Now what if they call the loan? Or say you know stay out of Taiwan and Hong Kong because hey, we own you! It also lowers our credit rating in the world. They are selling us out long term for short term repayment to their donors. I can’t believe it.

You, Me, our kids, and grand kids will be paying for this. Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reed,  Arlen Specter, they will all be dead before we start paying on just the interest on this sucker. Many Republicans, several Democrats have said no. They voted their conscious, and they don’t want it on their record come the next election cycle. But they wore over-ridden by the herd mentality of  “It Has to be done today or the country will fold”. No time to read it or debate it. This administration has spent more in 3 weeks, than all the previous before. There is so much pork in here it ought to be a hog farm. I’ve never been so pissed off in all my life.

Anyway, I believe the answer is to flood the switchboards, the email accounts, and the Washington Mall with something other than a love fest.  We should have at least one million Tax Payers on the Washington Mall to protest the President signing the Stimulus Package on Monday, Presidents Day. Let the nightly news show we will not go lightly into this deep chasm of debt.  I already wrote to My representatives, the leaders, and the President with my feelings. Can you take 10 minutes to make your feelings known?

While I didn’t vote for him, I like President Obama as a Man and I think he is highly intelligent. He himself spoke out about the unbridled spending of the Bush administration. But this, his first big action, pandering to congress takes tax and spend to heights never before even thought of. I think they are taking advantage of a panic situation to take this country in a whole new direction and it’s not capitalism, and yes I fully concur that GW Bush took us there first. R’s and D’s are both equal opportunity money spenders.

Hell what’s a couple of trillion among friends, especially when it’s not your money. We should have listened more to Ron Paul. Spiney Dave

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The media is and has been biased for years always depicting men as the snorers and woman as those who suffer listening to their man snore.  Well I came home tonight after everyone else had gone to bed.  My Wife is snoring, like she does every-night. My Mother-in-law in the next room, just on the other-side of the wall is snoring.  And the cat, a male is snoring.  Now if pushed for an honest answer my wife will tell you on average I don’t snore.  It also be because I rarely sleep.  She would also tell you that I love her very much, but I do say “She snores like a water buffalo”.  I often nudge her asking her to roll over, use nose drops you name it something to make it stop.  Think of all of the commercials and magazine adds for snoring treatment, that mouth-guard you have to wear, the Breath-right strips, and the sprays. They all show men, usually overweight dopey looking men with hot disgusted looking wives with pillows over their ears.  Well this is all biased prejudice. I have it on good authority having been raised by a mom, married more than once, raised a daughter, having dated several women of all stripes, and now living with my wife and mother-in-law. Women snore, burp, fart even if they’re SBD’s, make foul noises in the bathroom, hiccup, and curse just like men. We are not the only practitioners of the foul arts.  Spiney

If you have been wrongfully accused of snoring, or put down for making other body noises by your significant other, spiney wants to hear from you.

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Dear President Obama and the Congress of the United States,

Mr. Obama you ran on a platform of change. The American people and the world have great hope in you, that you will govern in a new way, and take us in a new direction.  The Stimulus package now in congress will set the tone for your administration and a large debt for us and more importantly our children and grandchildren. Please do not let it be a business as usual pork fest for special interest and friends of the elected.

I know you have great vision for this country. You can use this package to steer our country into a new shining direction, just like President Kennedy did with the space program.  There are so many long term projects that can not only create real jobs, but change the future of the United States into a real renaissance path.
For years I’ve heard about our crumbling infrastructure and how old and in need of repair and upgrading it was. But the money was always too much. Well it seems to me a trillion dollars should be a darn good start.  We have crumbling roads and highways, bridges that fall down or are in danger of falling, a woefully inadequate FAA Air Traffic Control System, Dams ready to burst. We have areas that are way too dry, and those that flood much too often. We have an overtaxed electrical grid that fails every summer. Our broadband access and Hi-Speed Cellular system is behind much of the world. We have urban areas blighted with burned out factories and tenements. These could be cleaned up and turned into new Clean Industrial Zones, Educational Campuses, Affordable Housing, or Green Areas and parks.  With this much money and private investment we can get out from under the thumb of OPEC, build the infrastructure for LPG, Hydrogen, or Electrical cars. build the Hi-Speed railways that the Europeans and the Japanese have enjoyed for decades. Build the technology to safely use the vast reserves of coal America is blessed with. R&D for truly safe nuclear power.  With a portion of that money University R&D labs could come up with affordable Solar to put it on the roof of all American homes.  Find a cure for Alzheimer’s which will bankrupt Medicare.  Put aside the money to care for and make whole our wounder warriors who have served, suffered, and saved our country. Make the changes needed to make America an exporter instead of the world’s greatest importer of goods.  Not all of these projects require government money. They could be shared with private money, and a volunteer or paid Peace Corps to invest in their future and that of their country. There are so many projects that can change our future for the good and make your presidency the greatest agent of change ever. Or you can go down as an also ran, who in reality gave us the same old, same old while making us more indebted to those who would love to see us fail and take our place as the World leader, China, Russia, and the OPEC nations.

So please President Obama hold true to your visions, the ones I feel deep in my heart that you have.  Create a better future for your girls. And Congress would you like to get out of your status of having a lower approval rating than President Bush? Then do the right thing, hold President Obama to his promises, and do what is right for all of Americas future. Not what is the right thing to do right now to pay off your backers, friends, and to get re-elected.  If you do the right thing we will head in a great new direction and get out of this temporary slump we are in now. But if you blow a trillion dollars for the same old back scratchers, then may God, whoever you believe in save your soul.

And finally Americans. This bill is before congress right now. Call or write your representative and the White House. Tell them to do the right thing. And as Americans don’t stand there with your hat in hand looking for your piece of this pork sandwich. This isn’t pennies from heaven here. We are talking the greatest deficit of all time. This money is being loaned to us by the Chinese ultimately and will have to be paid back by us, our children, and our grandchildren. This is huge and you better wake up and be aware and concerned. Do not let this one be slipped by us without your input. Be responsible, be mad, and be active NOW for everyone’s future.   Dave

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