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Posts tagged: opinion

It all depends…

Good morning, Netizens…

Let us approach the issue of Boeing opening its newest plant in South Carolina with delicacy, shall we? That isn’t to say that cartoonist David Horsey has done so with today’s cartoon, not hardly at all.

A poet once observed that a little competition is good for everyone, and perhaps this could be made to apply to Boeing in Seattle. I believe the Unions in Seattle have become complacent and so set in their ways over the years, which the unions have profited handsomely, that they strike back against anyone wishing to take a little piece of their pie.

On the other hand, in these somewhat desperate times, it doesn’t make sense to be exporting jobs from Washington State to South Carolina, does it? Of course, if you live in South Carolina, there probably people out dancing in the streets upon hearing that so many new jobs are arriving soon.

Of course, this all could be David Horsey playing to the choir, couldn’t it?

I guess it all depends upon your position.


I’ve been remiss…

Good morning, Netizens…

For the better part of the last three days I have been engaged in what some of my peers might call the eternal trial by fire, as a server hard drive over which I am responsible failed after 3 years, six months and change. What this implies is that for the last 72 hours I have been largely working 16-18 hours per day refitting a new hard drive and performing a restoration process which, fortunately, worked as planned.

There are a lot of people who are attempting to sell backup solutions for computer users, and over the years, I have always stuck with the free solution that has worked so well for everything I do, the Unix “tar” program. As always, the backups it creates worked just fine, and thus for the future, my reputation is secure. (huge sigh of relief) In some cases, it can take days to write a decent tar backup script, but once you have it down pat, you can sleep nights.

Unfortunately, that has left me somewhat distracted from the business of tending the Community Comment, but as of last night I was able to sleep beneath the bar in the Virtual Ballroom, my mind secure and my heart once more beating its normal rhythm. There is nothing like watching a hard disk shred itself to setting your poor heart to pitter-patting like a sparrow wearing tennis shoes on steroids.

Unfortunately, the beautiful warm weather that I occasionally admired out the window while thus engaged in my real day job is going, going gone! Instead we will be seeing possible showers, perhaps even a thunderstorm, and much, much cooler.

I guess I’ll put away the Sea-N-Ski lotion for another few weeks.


Wild Card Sunday April 19, 2009

Good afternoon, everyone…

Since we are in the process of a “ramble” to Ione and beyond, I regret I will have little to say this afternoon except here is your Wild Card for today. Use it with care…


The chicken or the egg?

Good evening, Netizens…

Todays’ David Horsey cartoon opens a frequently-visited portal of discussion, that being Rush Limbaugh. Is he, as the cartoon suggests, an entertainer, or is he such a major part of the Republican Party that he surpasses entertainment?

As David Horsey suggests, isn’t it how deeply Rush gets into his roles?


Who is the GOP?

Good morning, Netizens…

When I first glanced at David Horsey’s cartoon this morning, I merely snorted to myself somewhat in derision. Do you remember the Rev. Jeremiah Wright in Chicago, President Obama’s former minister? If you modify the cartoon slightly, doing away with the trunk and big ears, but keep the comment. Is the GOP going to be the socialist party of the future? Good question.


Who cares?

Good morning, Netizens…

Who cares?

Bob Kirkpatrick raises the ogre of life upwards toward our collective eyes, from the perspective of a Veteran and then asks quietly, “Who cares?” Perhaps a trip to the Deludia Annex is mandated. You are rounding a curve in the road, and up ahead there is a road sign that says, “You are entering the Deludia Annex”, and in a most-introspective moments you realize you have lost track of a generation of warriors and heroes, all of whom have fallen on very hard times indeed courtesy of the Veteran’s Administration. They are laying collectively in the roadside debris and excrement of life, gasping and pleading that the promises once made to them by our own benevolent Uncle Sam be kept. A quick reality trip to will not give you warm-fuzzy feelings. However, it raises one man’s question, one that mandates an answer.

Who cares if one more soldier burns alive with Agent Orange disease while the VA bureaucracy is fiddling?

Do you?


The eyes have it…

Good morning, Netizens…

In this morning’s picture of the day, Sayed Abdul Karim, 80, sits with his grandaughter, Camina, 9, left, in an internally displaced camp three hours from their village in Galochi district, bombed in a U.S. military raid on Sunday in Laghman, Afghanistan. The operation drove hundreds of families out of their villages after 270 homes were destroyed and 16 civilians killed. (February 08, 2009) Getty Images

This is a fine picture.

Having a granddaughter who is approaching that most-magical age of her life, I have felt my granddaughter’s eyes gazing upon me with the same reverence and trust as in this picture, and in my reverie this morning, I pondered how I would feel were I in this man’s place. With her implicit trust glistening in her eyes, yet sitting in the squalor of a displaced persons camp, what could I possibly say to her except, “everything is going to be all right”, all the time hoping that it would be all right.

This raises the issue of when is it all right to sit there, filled with trepidations and fears about the future, and telling the lie to your beloved granddaughter that everything is all right, everything will get better? When do you tell a beloved and innocent child the truth, that you fear things may worsen?

How can I possibly explain or justify to my granddaughter that my generation has handed her a nine trillion-plus-dollar debt? How realistic is that perhaps some day, if things continue unabated, you or I will be in this picture? The memorable words from our generation of poets and songwriters, Crosby, Stills and Nash once prophetically wrote:

And you, of tender years,
Can’t know the fears that your elders grew by.
And so please help them with your youth,
They seek the truth before they can die.
Teach your parents well,
Their children’s hell will slowly go by.
And feed them on your dreams,
The one they picks, the one you’ll know by.

Don’t you ever ask them why, if they told you, you will cry,
So just look at them and sigh and know they love you…….

There is nothing in this world or beyond comparable to the love of grandchildren, and thus I sigh at the beginning of this, yet another new week, and know love. 


Aliens responsible for Global Warming?

Good morning, Netizens…

This morning, David Horsey takes an unexpurgated view of the cause of Global Warming. Since no one, either Republican nor Democrat, seems to be responsible for allowing it to happen, and until recently, no one from either party wanted to dedicate resources to combatting Global Warming, it stands to reason that Aliens must be responsible for it, right?

Oh. That’s cool. The Aliens are admitting they are responsible and what is the government doing about it? Do you care?


…and now from the Right…

Good morning Netizens…

I nearly always chafe myself when people, not knowing my true mindset, accuse me of being one-sided in how I approach politics. I listen to a lot of diverse views on the body politic, and more often than not I do hold an opinion, based upon my perceptions. What I am going to do this morning is just one of those “touchy issues” as I freely admit I have never been a true-blue believer in most of what the Fox News Network broadcasts as their version of the news. Despite having said that, I will also admit freely that what views they hold of President Barack Obama should always be defended, as it is part of the American discourse we call freedom of speech.

In this Fox news/opinion broadcast, courtesy of Youtube, we have Glenn Beck, who holds the position of being the Fourth most-popular talk show host in America and a Mormon, attempting to sell the concept that our country is most-certainly on the road to Socialism, if not Communism, and although I believe he does a better job of it than perhaps Rush Limbaugh, I question some of his postulates and theories. Watch this:

However, I do submit that some of what Beck is saying is painfully true. Isn’t some of what our government is considering to do about our bank fiasco some form of socialism? After all, the government is planning to buy out the assets of certain financial institutions, aren’t they? However, on the flip side of this coin, we have a quote attributed to Beck in which he says, “I am a conservative who happens to not be a Republican.” Elsewhere, he identifies himself as “Libertarian-leaning.”

Suggesting that a sitting President of the United States has communist tendencies is not necessarily forbidden fruit, simply because he has the right to express such an opinion, however inflammatory it might be. However, that does not mean I have to necessarily believe everything he says.

After all, Beck asserts he is a “self-educated man” who “spent more time in the parking lot than in class.” Admittedly as a former alcoholic and pothead, as far as I have been able to discern, Beck has no formal college education, but has a gift for biting humor that normally would anger people from such Liberal institutions of higher education as Berkeley. He doesn’t make me necessarily angry. Sometimes he scares the bejesus out of me for like Rush Limbaugh, he has a huge groundswell of public support. Other times, such as today, he makes me think, and I believe that is as important as almost anything the government has to say.


Tom Daschle withdraws…

Good morning, Netizens…

In the ongoing saga of high-flying members of both houses and both political parties who have been caught cheating on, or at least improperly filing their taxes, Tom Daschle ( has been caught as certainly as a fly in amber in the cross-hairs of public censure. Almost a certain shoe-in for the position of the Secretary of Health and Human Services in the Obama cabinet, he withdrew his name once it was discovered he had problems relating to unpaid taxes. He was not the only one caught in the web.

In this morning’s David Horsey cartoon, we revisit the ostensible scene just before Daschle withdrew his name from consideration, but it does raise the question of who vetted Daschle as a candidate for Obama’s cabinet, doesn’t it? It strikes me as utterly odd how many people were considered for cabinet posts who had tax problems, and I wonder why no one caught them before their name(s) became fodder for public outcry.

On the more-positive side of things, at least we found out about it before he was appointed to a cabinet position and served a few months, or perhaps even years in office.Now that would have really created a stink in the Obama Presidency, wouldn’t it?


Alas, poor Bill…

Good morning, Netizens…

The “official” cut line for this picture reads approximately, “Former President Bill Clinton, center, and daughter Chelsea Clinton, right, look on during a ceremonial swearing-in for Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Monday, at the State Department in Washington. (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari)
(February 02, 2009)”

However, given Bill’s slightly-reddened face, which may or may not be a normal course of consequences, and that Chelsea cannot see Bill’s other hand from where she is standing, perhaps a better quote from Hillary, who is about to take the oath of office, might be, “Bill, get your filthy hand off my backside, you lecher!”

I want to know, how does she stay married to Bill, after his ostensible affair with Monica Lewinsky? Well, according to this video, they all have gotten on with their lives. Hillary is now sworn in as Secretary of State and Bill? There are still rumors circulating about what he is going to do now.

In 2006 Ms. Lewinsky Lewinsky graduated with a masters degree in Social Psychology from the London School of Economics. (

What do you think former President Bill Clinton will do now that Hillary is Secretary of State?


Where does it all end?

Good morning, Netizens…

All the doctors of the world have gathered together and using the most-modern technology available have examined the patient, the world’s economic health, drawing nearly the same conclusions. The patient is dreadfully sick, and it all began here, with the United States of America banking industry. It is a particularly ugly, dangerous cancer, and now it has spread throughout the entire world, affecting the world economy.

Today the Seattle Post-Intelligencer’s David Horsey introduces us to a portion of the banking industry where the cancer began, and one hopes, ultimately ends. When banks were failing, when they first approached the federal government asking for bail outs, ostensibly too broke to continue business without additional revenue, the high-flying CEO’s of these same banks were paying themselves huge bonuses and salaries despite the wretched fiscal conditions their banks were facing.

When our government magnanimously handed out what is essentially free money, over which there were few restrictions and no visible schema by which these “loans” would ever be paid back to the American taxpayers, they were hiring foreign workers while they laid off American employees.

While it is perhaps easy to paint these bankers, as David Horsey aptly has done in this cartoon, as uncaring, greedy and self-serving individuals, the ultimate question still remains—how do we cure the patient? The real backbone of the American economy has always and perhaps will always be the middle-class and small business owners of American society, who pay a disproportionate share of the taxes, provide the bulk of jobs to American wage-earners and give our economy long-term stability.

I submit that the first real test of President Barack Obama’s first term of office, nay even his first 100 days, will be how and when he excises the cancer that is threatening the global economy and has reduced the net worth of our entire nation. Without pointing the finger of retribution or blame, he must heal the patient. Fail at that, the only persons who seem certain to survive the economic chaos are those who got rich while the rest of us watched our savings and investments dissipate, while Rome is burning Nero is playing.

I feel trepidations. Do you?


Banks used bailout money to hire foreign workers?

Good evening, Netizens…

In this Sept. 26, 2007, file photo Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, talks to reporters in his Capitol Hill office in Washington. U.S. banks that are collecting billions of dollars in taxpayer loans to stay afloat sought government permission to import thousands of foreign workers for high-paying jobs in the United States, an Associated Press investigation has found. The job losses anger lawmakers like Sen. Charles Grassley, who is pushing legislation to make employers recruit American workers first, along with other reforms to the visa program. Photo Credit: (AP Photo/Lawrence Jackson, File)

Had I not read this live off the Associated Press Wires, and then confirmed it several other ways, I would have not believed it possible. Major U.S. banks sought government permission to bring thousands of foreign workers into the country for high-paying jobs even as the system was melting down last year and Americans were getting laid off. The dozen or so banks now receiving taxpayer bailouts totaling more than $150 billion, requesting visas for more than 21,800 foreign workers over the past six years. These were not, by any means, entry-level positions, but senior vice presidents, corporate lawyers, junior investment analysts and human resources specialists according to the AP article.

The article then went on to state as factual that “as the economic collapse worsened last year — with huge numbers of bank employees laid off — the numbers of visas sought by the dozen banks in AP’s analysis increased by nearly one-third, from 3,258 in the 2007 budget year to 4,163 in fiscal 2008.”

It appears unknown how many foreign employees were actually hired, nor how many of the recently-hired foreign workers were laid off once the big layoffs in banking began.

Additional investigation by the Associated Press discovered that none of the banks that have received federal bailouts would comment publicly on their foreign hiring policies, nor would they state for the record how many foreign workers they still employed. There were several instances cited by the Associated Press where Americans were laid off, only to be replaced by the foreign workers under the US Department of Labor’s H-1B program which allows foreign workers to obtain visas.

Although several people, including the Senior Republican on the House Finance Committee were angered, the old adage about closing the barn door after the cattle have all fled seems apt. Suddenly, upon reviewing several sources of information, the previous comments made about “oversight” on how the bailout money is spent seem vacuous, empty and devoid of any purpose other than for appearance’s sake.

The banks were using our taxpayer money to hire foreign workers while Americans were laid off. Will this be allowed to continue under President Barack Obama’s first 100 days? That remains to be seen.


A Special Quote of the Day Super Bowl Sunday…

Good afternoon, Netizens…

Normally long before now an automaton bot would have selected the quote of the day automatically and put it in my outbound queue to be posted in Community Comment. However, today, for various reasons, I decided to find a quote which best summarizes my opinions about Super Bowl Sunday. It is:

You can tell the ideals of a nation by its advertisements.

Norman Douglas, South Wind, (1917-1952) British writer-in-exile for part of his life, South Wind was one of his most-popular books.

If you were an utter stranger to this land, and were seeing America for the first time, what impressions would form in your mind while watching the incredibly-expensive (205 million dollars worth) advertisements during the Super Bowl? How would those first impressions compare to what you see today?


Bipartisan government in action…

Good morning, Netizens…

David Horsey takes a long, hard look at bipartisanship this morning, and drew what I believe is a accurate sketch of what has already begun taking place in Washington. It seems that everyone on both sides of the political aisle want to wrap themselves in the robes of being bipartisan, but the proof is in the pudding. The 244 to 188 vote in favor of the economic stimulus package, strictly along Democrat party lines, certainly made Pelosi angry.

According to the New York Times, Pelosi is quoted as saying, “I didn’t come here to be partisan. I didn’t come here to be bipartisan. I came here, as did my colleagues, to be nonpartisan, to work for the American people, to do what is in their interest.”

That doesn’t take the sting out of the vote, where not one Republican voted in favor of the economic stimulus plan put forth by President Barack Obama. It doesn’t take the bite out of Conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh’s comments only days before the vote was taken. It doesn’t bring any of the House or Senate Republicans into the list of those favoring the economic stimulus plan, despite Obama’s attempts to reach out to them.


Al Gore to Testify…

Good morning, Netizens…

Whether you ever liked Al Gore or not, whether you believe his message that Global Warming exists or is/is not a threat, you have to admit he does has a certain degree of perseverence. In this morning’s David Horsey cartoon, however, we are allowed to sense yet another advantage most of us might not have noticed.

With Al Gore heading for Capital Hill to testify on Global Warming, thus making all kinds of dire predictions possible, at least for awhile the news media will be ignoring the collapsing national economy. Who said Al Gore didn’t have a purpose anymore?


Where did the money go?

Good morning, Netizens…

I think perhaps this is one of the David Horsey cartoons upon which we will all agree, when he asks the unspoken question, “Just where the dickens did all that money the government gave the banks go?”

It seems each time I consider the bail out, and the potential for additional money thrown after the bad, I get more irate, little good that it will do me. Here, presented without additional fanfare, are some pretty straightforward rules that I feel should be obeyed before any more funds are dispersed to bail out ailing banks and/or other American institutions:

No more “golden parachutes”. Let the insufferable pricks that run these failing banks do without their bonuses or other special recompense. In fact, let them live on the same economic platform where most Americans are attempting to survive: no bonuses, no health insurance or no other benefits. Let their retirement funds and 401k’s apply to the debts they caused. Can we say minimum wage?

How about full accountability? I was extremely furious the other day watching several bankers testify before the house subcommittee, when they denied any responsibility for their failing banks. If they aren’t responsible, who is?

Cancel the orders for the new Lear jet, if you please. For that matter, not only cancel the Lear, but no more limousine rides, rental cars or other high-end transportation. Let them ride in whatever junkyard cars that seem most fitting, given the amount of bail out money they are requesting.

Of course, if any of these rules were to be applied, it would stand to reason that nobody in their right minds would ever want to be bank Presidents, now would they? Would that be an improvement? I wonder if by trading one greedy corporate type for another, we haven’t simply created a multi-generational problem that still will not be cured. After all, if you’ve seen one corporate-type, you’ve seen them all, no?

What is the solution?


It’s Off to Aghanistan we go!

Good morning, Netizens…

In today’s David Horsey cartoon, he takes a long look at Richard Holbrooke, President Obama’s special representative to Aghanistan and Pakistan. Holbrooke, is a top-ranking diplomat, magazine editor, author, professor, Peace Corps official, and investment banker to name a few of the posts Holbrooke has held.

However, the agenda of the Afghani and Pakistani tribal members, is not entirely clear to most Americans. Hence it may be possible that we are marching into a hornet’s nest, as Horsey’s cartoon suggests.

Are we substituting an unwinnable war in Iraq for one in Afghanistan? One never knows for a certainty about such things, do we?


Circle the wagons!

Good morning Netizens…

After a wealth of politics and opinion regarding our new President, while I was cruising the used car lot of news in the paper online this morning, a story rose up and bit me where I live.

Say it isn’t so!

Eighty-one year old actor Peter Falk, according to the news, has Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, and although he isn’t even in the grave, his family are already circling the wagons trying to fight for the right to be conservators of his personal affairs. His adopted daughter, a private investigator, Catherine Falk, applied last month to be named conservator over her father’s affairs. Falk’s wife of 32 years, Shera Falk, is having none of the the deal, and is opposing any such arrangement in court.

Aren’t most of us fortunate in that, if we were to acquire Alzheimer’s, none of our post-recession estates would have enough for our kids to fight over?

Although most readers will recall Peter Falk as the moth-eaten deliberately-bumbling detective on the TV Columbo series, a visit to will list many of his other credits and awards, not to mention Falk possesses a Masters Degree in Public Administration from Syracuse University and is a Certified Public Accountant, f’gosh sakes.


In the scope of Time…

Good morning, Netizens…

Perhaps this quote, from Obama’s Inaugural Speech yesterday, spoke the loudest to me personally, and obviously this morning, it also spoke to David Horsey.

For we are a young nation, and as such, we have a great deal to learn about governance, and dedication to our own beliefs. Without raining on the parade of his predecessor, Barack Obama’s speech served many purposes, including those of the world who consider themselves to be our enemies. At his finest moment, however, he sought and I believe has captured the essence of who we are as a nation, and thus brought us back to where we began.

Nobody ever said he wasn’t eloquent, or a great speech writer. Did Obama’s speech speak to you, and if so, how and where?


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