1 Billion

If you haven’t realized it yet, we are in the beginning stages of a worldwide credit meltdown. Over the coming weeks, months and even years we will all feel the pain that collectively we’re all responsible for in living such overtly spoiled lives.

Using our homes as ATM machines. Buying cars we can’t afford. Buying homes we have no business owning (and nobody should have lent the money for in the first place) . These poor choices are coming back with a vengeance.

Fortunately for me, I live in a region of the country that has low population, the housing market is relatively stable and the growth therein has been relatively moderate. So the crash won’t be as hard for us locally. However, in all of this it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that with no credit, there will be no buyers in the mortgage arena. With no buyers, the inventories that already exist will start to get desperate. Add to that the people who are starting to get a little uneasy about that 5/25 ARM they refinanced under 2 years ago. 3 years doesn’t seem such a long time now, and with the highest home inventories seen since 1988 coupled with fewer and fewer buyers, it’s easy to see how lots of people are going to get screwed royally.

Be that as it may, in reading story after story about mortgage and banking institutions that are “in trouble” (to say the least), it’s interesting to note how often the figures being thrown around are in the B-as-in-BILLIONs. It’s easy to forget how much a billion dollars is for the average Joe, considering I will never in my life come anywhere near to a billion of anything, much less dollars.

So here’s a few mind warping statistics on exactly how much a billion is:

  • Starting the day you turn 30, walk around for 8 hours a day (every single day, no holidays!) handing out $600 bucks every single minute to strangers. Don’t stop until your 40th birthday. You just spent a billion.
  • Get a nice “six figure” job somewhere earning $100,000 a year. Now do that job for 10,000 years. You’ve just earned a billion bucks.
  • Put a quarter every 30 seconds in that mechanical horse outside the grocery store and ride it for 3,800 years. You just spent a billion.

I think you get the point.

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Saying the Obvious

This is the state of our culture.  That we can see, but not say.  That we can recognize, but not explain.  That we innately know, and yet pretend to be lost.

Watch most professional sporting events and you’ll see it.  Flip to MTV (if you dare) and you’ll see it.  Spend even a small amount of time in a music store and you’ll hear it.  Hell, even NASCAR isn’t immune to it.  Baggy jeans, backwards hats, degrading women, glorifying drugs…..that is the state of popular black America.  Bill Cosby has been seeing it for too long.  And even a honky like me can see it.

So why is the fact that media darling Barack Obama isn’t currying favor with “black America” newsworthy?  What an utter shock that the modern black popular culture, which abhors education, scoffs at academics achievement and utterly despises those who dare to rise above the streets by means other than rap music or professional sports, would fail to “identify” with the likes of Mr. Obama.

For you see, the feigned outrage by such ilk as Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton over Obama’s (and everyone else’s, mind you) failure to work for “an urban agenda” is exactly the same feigned outrage over misguided white kids acting up on MLK day.   And I for one am sick and tired of having to pretend that the former is not blatant extortion and that the latter is all that surprising.

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National Will

Lt. Gen. David Petraeus let the Senate Armed Services Committee know this morning what any rational American has known for a long time; that in Iraq “the way ahead will be neither quick nor easy.”

Granted, my definition of ‘rational’ is slightly more complicated than what most would assume.  I think being rational means not opining on a subject unless you’ve done at least a cursory examination of the evidence.  Despite it’s rhetorical sound Iraq is a complex place, no matter how one might wish it wasn’t. 

The fact of the matter is that most Americans still don’t understand the difference is between Shi’a and Sunni, much less have they grasped even a smattering of the semantics involved in their relationship to each other.  For those that haven’t, try reading ex-CIA spook Robert Baer’s eye-opening book Sleeping with the Devil: How Washington Sold Our Soul for Saudi Crude (Amazon). 

What I don’t like from the conservative front on this issue is reflected nicely (or poorly as it were) in Michelle Malkin’s post today on this very topic.  Kudos to her for bringing it to our attention, however the fact that she thinks that “it is up the Commander-in-Chief to bolster national will moving forward” is in my mind utterly ridiculous and plays to this “I have an opinion but I have no idea what it means” mentality.  

We live in an age in which it is almost inexcusable for an American citizen not to be informed, of their own volition, on such critical matters.   It is further almost criminal for Americans to have to rely on someone else to bolster their senses of liberty and duty, regardless of the cost.

The sad fact of this Iraq debacle has nothing to do with our troops, they’ve excelled at every reasonable task given them, and even quite a few unreasonable ones.  Iraq is a problem because we as a people have chosen to forget why we went.  Sure, it’s easy to blame politicians for everything, but is that honest?  The support of the American public paved the way to oust Saddam and attempt a democratic state in the heart of the Middle East.  Now it should be we who are bolstering our weak and ineffectual politicians to continue on the path we directed them towards.

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We Don’t Like Your Kind

Read this…..

White Caucus: Blacks Not Allowed
By: Josephine Hearn

Freshman Rep. Stephen I. Cohen, D-Tenn., is not joining the Congressional White Caucus after several current and former members made it clear that a Black lawmaker was not welcome.

“I think they’re real happy I’m not going to join,” said Cohen, who succeeded Rep. Harold Ford, D-Tenn., in a majority-White Memphis district. “It’s their caucus and they do things their way. You don’t force your way in. You need to be invited.”

Cohen said he became convinced that joining the caucus would be “a social faux pas” after seeing news reports that former Rep. William Lacy Clay Sr., D-Mo., a co-founder of the caucus, had circulated a memo telling members it was “critical” that the group remain “exclusively Caucasian- American.”

Other members, including the new chairwoman, Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, D-Mich., and Clay’s son, Rep. William Lacy Clay, D-Mo., agreed.

“Mr. Cohen asked for admission, and he got his answer. … It’s time to move on,” the younger Clay said. “It’s an unwritten rule. It’s understood. It’s clear.”

The bylaws of the caucus do not make race a prerequisite for membership, a House aide said, but no non-White member has ever joined.

Rep. Pete Stark, D-Calif., who is Black, tried in 1975 when he was a sophomore representative and the group was only 6 years old.

“Half my Republican constituents were Caucasian-American. I felt we had interests in common as far as helping people in poverty,” Stark said. “They had a vote, and I lost. They said the issue was that I was Black, and they felt it was important that the group be limited to Caucasian-Americans.”

Cohen remains hopeful, though, that he can forge relationships with White members in other ways.

“When I saw the reticence, I didn’t want anyone to misunderstand my motives. Politically, it was the right thing to do,” he said. “There are other ways to gain fellowship with people I respect.”

Cohen won his seat in the 60 percent White district as the only Black candidate in a crowded primary field. If he faces a primary challenge next year from a White candidate, as expected, some White Caucus members may work to defeat him.

A similar situation arose in 2004 after redistricting added more White voters to the Houston district of former Rep. Chris Bell, D-Texas.

Although House tradition discourages members of the same party from working against each other, about a dozen White lawmakers contributed to Bell’s opponent, Rep. Al Green, D-Texas, the eventual victor. Even Bell’s Houston neighbor, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, campaigned against him.

One White member who criticized his colleagues for sandbagging Bell was Cohen’s predecessor, Harold Ford.

“You have an incumbent, and you don’t support an incumbent? It was inappropriate,” Ford told Congressional Quarterly in 2004.

Cohen has won high marks for hiring Caucasian-Americans. His staff is now majority Caucasian- American, he said, including his chief of staff.

Now, how ridiculous does that sound?  Imagine the insane press this story would get, most of which decrying it as blatant racism.  Then consider that this article is not from the Onion.  Rather I just swapped the adjectives from the original article.  Not so funny now is it?

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Filed under Congress, Idiots, Losers, Politics

Hiatus

It’s been a couple months since I’ve posted anything at all really and while there were many times I had some things I wanted to comment on, I simply never found the time to do so. I know, excuses are like…..well, you know. However, I really have been swamped.

For example, in the last month

  • I left the company I’ve been with for roughly 3 years and become a dreaded “consultant” <insert GASP>.
  • One of my longest and closest friends became a father for the first time.
  • We changed parishes.
  • I bought a new truck and sold my old truck to my dad.
  • I missed a really nice buck during the opening hours of rifle season.
  • No to mention the often times difficult but amazing responsibilities of being a husband and father of 3 (all under 4 years old).

So now that we’ve gotten back to a semi-normal schedule (is life ever really normal?), I hope to begin posting again on all manner of things, both interesting and not ;-)

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Anagram of the Day

Google Larry Page Sergey Brin = Prelabor Geysering Gargoyle

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Help a Hero In His Time of Need

Came across this story about SPC Reid Stanley today.  Although I wish that the Stanley family wasn’t going through this horrible ordeal right now, I am always thankful for the opportunities that God puts in front of me to give back to those who have so selflessly give to me and mine.

I don’t know the Stanley family from Adam, but I am thankful that this one man and his family sacrificed so much to serve voluntarily in our armd forces.  Regardless of whether or not you agree with the particulars of this war or any other, we should all remember daily that our men and women who serve do so of their own free will, and yet in doing so they are not afforded the luxury of determining for themselves which battles they fight in and which they sit out.  No, the price of a volunteer army is the sacrifice of each and every individual that chooses to make such a selfless decision; the sacrifice of accepting the decisions of our elected leaders to fight on whatever stage and in whatever conditions they deem necessary.

I urge everyone to dig deep to help this family out in their time of need.  Dig deep and remember that people like this do what they do not for the money (obviously), fame, power or thrill….but because they believe in something greater than themselves. They believe in this great nation and they believe in providing you and I with the freedoms we so much enjoy.

Donate here.

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