Archive for the 'Life' Category

The Recession needs to happen

This post will not be overly long, nor be very insightful in talking about the recession and the current economic problems we are in.  The point of this blog post is to get the word out about somebody that I am rapidly becoming a huge fan of.  That person, Peter Schiff, President of Euro Pacific Capital.

Peter was one of the few people who decided it was better to think with common sense and tell the truth a few years ago.  In this post there are going to be several links to videos discussing his predictions in 2006 and discussions with other experts who just about laughed him off the screen.  Along with a link to an article where he discusses why, no matter how painful, the recession needs to happen.

 

 

 

Finally for your reading pleasure a Wall Street Journal article written by Peter Schiff –

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123033898448336541.html

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“I remember that!”

Once upon a time MTV actually played music. No really.

They have a new site that proves it. You should check it out for some “I remember that!” moments. Here are some I found. Enjoy.

Real Solution to the Economic Crisis!

The concept is simple: Manage the federal budget much the same way we manage our own personal finances and everything will be fine. In fact, I believe, if sound financial principals are used, the federal government and, consequently, our economy will prosper beyond anything we have seen before in the United States.

Most of us have a set level of income. We make all types of decisions based on that income….what can we buy? How much can we save? What will have left over? What should we do in the future? Sometimes we come up a little short at the end of the month and sometimes we come out ahead. The bottom line is that the amount of money we make and have on hand directs how we conduct our financial affairs in the future. So why can’t the government show similar restraint? The simple answer: THEY CAN!!

In fact, we, the American people, should DEMAND that our government stop assuming that the money we pay them is rightfully theirs. We should insist that they treasure the money that our hard labor produced, show some restraint and make wise decisions. Any of us could be unemployed at any time, so we work hard to make sure we have a job and an income. We try to show the source of our income (our employer) that we are worth of the money they give us. That the money they give us produces an equal return of services on their behalf. That’s how our government should view the money we give them.

With that rather lengthy introduction in mind, I want to now share with you my solution for our current economic crisis…..which will, hopefully, prevent any future problems. First, I will briefly list the main points, then I will discuss them further:

1. Implement the Fair Tax
2. Create responsible borrowing guidelines for our government
3. Establish a transparent record of all government transactions

Disclaimer – My plan does not necessarily address reforming government spending. That is a whole different blog debate. However, if implemented, my solution will certainly bring the governments spending under greater scrutiny and, therefore, excercise a certain amount of control and influence over future expenditures.

1. Implement the Fair Tax – This step accomplishes 2 things: Provides the federal government with the same level of income they get now from all forms of taxes and puts money back in the hands of you, the taxpayer. Briefly, the Fair Tax replaces income, capital gains, corporate, death, FICA and Medicare taxes with a national consumption tax on all new goods. This is revenue-neutral for the government but will allow every American to take home his entire paycheck.

With the governments income back in the control of the people, we have instantly made the government accountable. Plus, the economy would see a tremendous boost from the additional spending by the citizens. Companies will come back to our shores, jobs will be created and the entire economy will be back on the road to unprecedented prosperity.

2. Create responsible borrowing guidelines for our government – This step will set forth restrictions and dollar limits on how much our government can borrow and for what purposes. We are all limited by our credit score and ability to repay and our government should be likewise limited.

First, the American people have a SURPLUS of almost $52 TRILLION in assets. I propose that we make our government borrow from it’s citizens and pay us all those dollars in interest payments ($239 billion in 2008) instead of paying it to foreign countries. The government should have to propose a CLEAN bill (no earmarks) to the Congress for an up-or-down vote. If the program passes Congress and is within credit limit guidelines, our government then is authorized to ask the American people for the money through loan guarantees at VERY competitive interest rates.

In case you were wondering, our national debt is just over $10 trillion…..I think we can cover that with our $52 trillion, don’t you? And I would certainly be willing to loan my government some money for a 5-7% return (today) and a promise to pay it back within a specified time period. How about you? But if they can’t get enough from the American people, we can allow them to seek other funding sources…again, within pre-set guidelines and limits. For example, no more than 10% from foreign sources. Afterall, we have access to credit for unexpected or extraordinary expenses, so I don’t see why the government shouldn’t have the same benefit…as long as we approve the spending.

Currently, the public holds a little over half ($5.8 trillion) of our national debt, but the rates are crap. Up the rates to a competitive level and they would probably get more takers.

I know that was long, but thanks for sticking with me! 🙂

3. Establish a transparent record of all government transactions – Finally, we, the American people, need to know what’s going on AT ALL TIMES. There should be a website specifically set up to chronicle, archive, track and debate any and all extra speding the government wants to initiate.

This website should post the full bill (which will be very short because we will require it to be CLEAN) and the full voting results. This website should also handle the loan request, which will have a descriptive name so citizens can pick and choose which programs they want their money to support. For example, let’s say the government proposes and Congress passes a bill to fund a new Consumer Protection bill. You got to the site, browse the list of government loan requests and select “Consumer Protection Department Funding Bill 2008”. You read the description, decide you like that idea because you got screwed on a bad washing machine and you loan your government $1000 dollars to help get it started.

How will the government pay you back? How about the extra tax revenues generated by the new national consumption tax and a country full of citizens with their full paychecks in their pockets? Or new tax revenues from the black-market sales that will now be taxed? Or the new tax revenues from tourists that come over here and purchase goods and services?

In conclusion, it’s a simple concept whose time has come: Let the people keep their money to bolster the economy and make our government accountable to those same people for their spending. Once again, a government for the people and by the people.

Please visit – http://www.fairtax.org

9/11/2001 – Where Were You?

The reason I blog is because through the “magic” of the Internet when you put something on-line it becomes a part of our permanent human history.  Through projects like Archive.org what you write is permanently saved.  So when any of us write an article or blog on-line it can be captured and reviewed later by us or much later by our posterity.  Want to see what the New York Times website looked like on September 17, 2001?  Here it is.

Writing a blog, like journals of the past, allow people to share their experiences with the future.  So on the eve of this historic day I want to ask every reader to share with us Where Were You on 9/11/01?  What do you remember about that day?  Please tell us where you were (City and State) so we can document your experience.

AND BTW anyone who puts up 9/11 Conspiracy Comments will have their comments deleted and your email forwarded to the Black Helicopter Squadron for immediate eradication.

My Story:  Vienna, VA

I had just come out of a meeting at work, a large financial institution, when the Manager of another department came up to us and said the World Trade Center has been bombed again.  Thinking it was a repeat of ’93, we went to our computers to see online how bad it was.  We could not get anywhere.  Every website we tried to go to was completely clogged with traffic and the site was showing internal error messages.  But eventually CNN came through with a picture of a burning tower. 

He we had CNN on in the break room  . . . we could just go there and see it.  As we walked in people were gather around the television as the reporters explained how a plane had crashed into the building.  My God how could that have happened?  Did it wonder off course?  It didn;t look like bad weather.  Then we saw the second plane slam into the building and the entire room gasped.  You could hear crying saying “my God”  “Oh no not another one.”  But it became clear in that moment that it was intenional.

As we watched we began to have people coming into the break room saying the Pentagon has been bombed, as CNN was reporting smoke from the area of the pentagon.  

My wife called to ask if I had heard that the Capital had been evacuated.  Her company had offices on the Hill and she was getting infomation from her network of branches.  We then started to hear people call out that State (the State Department) has been bombed and there is another plane inbound.

I’ll never forget my boss a retired Marine Major calling us together and saying that what we were experiencing was the fog of war and that information was likely to be inaccurate and incomplete.  But there was one piece of news that wasn;t wrong.  One of our employees had put her son on a plane that morning to go to a spelling bee with his teacher.  His plane hit the Pentagon.  When she heard the flight number, she collapsed on the spot.

Despite all of the other businesses in DC releasing their employees early, we did not.  We thought members might have a need to get money so we kept our doors open.  Besides the roads were so clogged with traffic that if would be hours getting home anyway.

Our building was situated between two CIA buildings and by the late morning the entire complex was surrounded by men with automatic weapons.

When I did drive home that evening, I remember just how empty the roads were and how silent the everything was.  No one was driving, all planes had been grounded so there was this awful emptiness left behind.  That night after watching all to wall coverage all evening I headed to bed . . . I knelt in my pitch black living room and prayed for the souls of New York’s Fireman and Police Officers.

End of the World Party

Where will you be on September 10, 2008?

On that day in Geneva, Switzerland something will happen.

Something big.

REALLY big! <dramatic music>

So big it may cause THE END OF THE WORLD!!

Or not. But it is a really cool thingamajig.

That’s the technical term for it of course. Laymen refer to it as the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) Large Hadron Collider (LHC).

“Who care’s?” you say?

Well some people do:

“Critics of the LHC say the high-energy experiment might create a mini black hole that could expand to dangerous, Earth-eating proportions.”

8 Donkeys: Come again? A black hole in Switzerland? This isn’t some bad Tom Cruise movie is it?

CERN: No.

8 Donkeys: Um. Wait…wait…start over. This thingamajig could cause the end of the world?

CERN: Not really.

8 Donkeys: You sure?

CERN: Well in science we can’t be 100% sure – but…

8 Donkeys: Hold it! So the world really COULD end on September 10th?

CERN: Well…

8 Donkeys: WAIT! Thats in Switzerland – when will it be day there? Like the middle of the night here in the U.S.?

CERN: The time difference is…

8 Donkeys: YOU’RE TELLING ME THE WORLD COULD END WHILE I’M ASLEEP?!!?!

CERN: Really we’re not concerned.

8 Donkeys: That’s because you guys spend all your time in a lab playing with your quarks! We would miss football season!!

CERN: Even if a blackhole did appear – it would disappear almost instantly.

8 Donkeys: “Almost”?! Since when did world-ending science become a game of horse shoes!?

CERN: Now really there is no cause for concern…

8 Donkeys: (runs screaming from the room to find the nearest brewery)

Enjoy this weekend people
– it could be your last.

*Disclaimer: The world really is not going to end on the 10th – as far as we know. All CERN participants were impersonated. Obviously.

Rookies, NFL and Man Law

The 2008 NFL Regular Season is upon us.  It’s been an interesting offseason in the NFL.  Brett Favre retires, then says just kidding I still want to play.  Is this finally going to be Brett Favre’s last season?  There’s an exciting new crop of NFL rookies led by Darren McFadden and Jonathan Stewart, vying for rookie of the year.  The NFL reinstated the oft-troubled Adam “I’m no longer Pacman” Jones.  The Redskins shock everybody in picking Jim Zorn to replace Joe Gibbs, then suprisingly do little in pursuing offseason acquisitions (Jason Taylor doesn’t count, he was an emergency pickup).  Not to mention the NFL installed a few new rules and removed a few:

  • 3 & out – no more 5 yard incidental facemask
  • 3 & out – no more force-out rule (two feet down inbounds or it’s not a catch)
  • 1st & goal – teams can now defer the coin toss decision to the 2nd half
  • 1st & goal – the defense will now be allowed to have a microphone helmet
  • 1st & goal – for those times when the two officials on the filed who’s sole responsiblilty is ensuring a field goal is good can’t agree…. INSTANT REPLAY on kicks!

However, what hasn’t changed is Man Law.  Man Law is constantly evolving, with new ones added as necessary.  8 Donkeys felt it necessary to provide a refresher on Man Law and has taken the time to assemble the laws you should familiarize yourself with for the 2008 NFL season.   This is by no means an exhaustive list, rather one that should cover most situations men could find themselves in this upcoming NFL season.

Man Law #8: No one should ever steal a man’s alcohol from that man’s cooler…this is the only law that suffers the penalty of death —  if you are invited over to another mans home to watch football, bring beer unless the host advises you he has enough beer.  If the host does not advise you and you don’t ask, assume you need to bring beer (better safe than sorry).  Nobody will ever complain and say “Wow, we have too much beer!”  If you don’t arrive with beer prepare to be ridiculed and told to watch the game from the bathroom.  If you are offered beer by the host of the football gathering, please see Man Law #49 below for further guidance.

Man Law #12: If another man’s fly is down, you didn’t see anything and may not make a comment about it — Commenting of any kind whether direct or indirect on the status of another man’s fly is completely unacceptable. No further comments needed.

Man Law #17: When toasting with beers you clank with the bottom — in order to reinforce this one, 8 Donkeys has included an instructional and informative video provided by the Men of the Square table.

Man Law #18: You poke it you own it — This one is particular to bar gatherings.  8 Donkeys again turn to the Men of the Square table for an instructional video…No fingering the beer!

Man Law #31: Every man should watch sports center at least once a day, though multiple viewings are recommended so that one can hold his own in any debate on sports that may arise that day — This one is critical when you are the new guy to the group.  Never show up to an event without knowing at least 2 major sports updates or current events.  It would be sad that your first visit could also possibly be your last for a long time.


Man Law #39: No more crushing of empty beer cans on your forehead. Modern, thinner cans make the feat less impressive than with cans of years past — 8 Donkeys again will defer to the Men of the Square Table, Are you going to argue with Triple H?

Man Law #49: No man shall ever turn down free beer because “it’s not their brand.” — Turning down free beer is like turning down sex from your wife or girlfriend because you are tired and have a headache – STUPID

Man Law #53: If you spill a man’s beer, you buy the next round/refill the cup — The beer spilled must be replaced with a beer of similar quality or better.  Failure to do so could result in a severe fine or banishment from future football gatherings for a period to be determined by the rest of the men in the group.  This also covers the wasting of beer in the name of humor, as outlined again by the Men of the Square Table.  One may be immediately forgiven if you agree to eat a cracker spread with Potted Meat product.

Man Law #57: A man does not have to like another man to drink his beer. Beer is beer — This one is tough and one that you need to proceed with caution on.  Be careful when abiding by this man law that it doesn’t obligate you into inviting that person over to your place to watch football.  Be on the lookout for a “mooch”.  A mooch is one who will on a rare occasion offer up a free beer right before the start of football on Sunday.  The Mooch is hoping to get the invite into the man cave to watch your new 65 inch HD 1080p plasma television with the NFL Sunday TicketUpon entering he will then proceed to consume all your beer, chips and other game-day prepared food.all this for just a single beer.

Man Law #60: No man may ever sell a beer to a friend. It’s understood that said friend will repay beer with beer later. Under no circumstance may the replacement beer be of a lesser quality. — This man law is meant for football / poker buddies.  If you receive a beer through a transaction covered in Man Law #57 involving a Mooch, you may break this man law.

Man Law #63: Body paint is only acceptable on a man if it’s on game day and to support his team — 8 Donkeys needs to again provide a little clarity here.  If you are heading over to a buddies house to watch football or to a bar, this rule does not apply – YOU JUST LOOK STUPID.  However, if you are in the stadium watching your favorite NFL team, then paint away.

Man Law #64: No man shall bring a woman to guy’s night out. This is punishable by verbal abuse for life — A law usually broken by those newly married or in a new relationship.  This is among the most severe of all man law’s to break.  The only time this law can be broken would be if the said man brings any of the following to guys night out: Michelle Monaghan, Jessica Biel, Jessica Simpson, or Giselle Bundchen.  The ladies on Buddy Lee’s Top 10 Actresses in their 30’s list would also be allowed at guys night!

Man Law #72: Keeping beer from other’s by hiding it in the fridge is not permissible. Besides, sharing is caring — 8 Donkey’s sees another opportunity to allow the Men of the Square table to lead the way…Sharing is caring fellas!

Man Law #73: Wives and girlfriends may not store items other than beer in the garage fridge. It is for beer only — You are responsible for enforcing this rule.  Do not let another man go into your fridge and discover your girlfriend or wife has stored their Smirnoff  Watermellon Ice beverages in the fridge.  Devoute followers of this law, when visiting other followers of Man Law #73 expect there to be beer and only beer in the fridge.  Men will likely never look when grabbing what they expect to be beer from the fridge.   Should they grab a wine cooler they could go into shock upon taking a drink, resulting a trip to the emergency room and ruining football Sunday.

Man Law #79: It should be understood that while, yes, cheerleading is not a sport, it is perfectly acceptable to watch — and watch we will.  J-E-T-S, Jets Jets Jets…watch and you will soon see why Brett Favre returned for another season and certainly won’t mind his new home in New York.

Man Law #99: Bitching about the brand of free beer in your buddy’s refrigerator is forbidden. But gripe at will if the temperature is not suitable — This would be the only acceptable time you can complain when given free beer.  If you are providing the beer it needs to be cold…period!

Man Law #102: Women who claim they “love to watch sports” must be treated as spies until they demonstrate knowledge of the game and the ability to pick a Buffalo wing clean — Again use judgement here.  If that woman happens to be one of the following: the ladies referenced in Man Law #64, Amanda Beard, Maria Kirilenko, Haley Cope or Alisson Stokke then the rule may be relaxed.

Man Law #105: When stumbling upon other guys watching a sporting event, you may always ask the score of the game in progress, but you may never ask whose playing. You should know such things — If you have to ask whose playing you either #1: sit down with a plate of food and a beer, continually stuffing your face until you can catch-up.  While stuffing your face with food, you will not be able to talk and likely won’t be asked anything other than food related questions easily answered with some form of a head nod,  #2: keep walking not saying a word or #3: quietly get up and LEAVE.  If you have to take option #3 and brought beer, the punishment in-lieu of ridicule is to leave the beer.

8 Donkeys certainly hopes you find this information useful.  Knowing the above man laws could help avert disaster during the upcoming NFL season.  Good Luck and may your NFL team do well this upcoming season unless they happen to be the New England Patriots.  And if for some reason Bill Belichick happens upon this blog: GET A NEW SWEATSHIRT!

Burning Books and Witches

I’m in Borders today on my lunch break.  I freaking love that store you can get anything.  You can get a cup of coffee, a sandwich, a cd, a movie, a box of candy and oh yeah a book.  Awesome.

But I’m beginning to second guess my devotion to this store.  First of all I’m looking for Kid Rock’s New Album Rock and Roll Jesus.  Why?  Why in this day of iTunes would I be looking to buy a CD?  Well you may not know that Kid Rock Songs are not on iTunes.  And I f’ng love this song:

All Summer Long – Kid Rock

This is the only version available on iTunes.  Awful!

So I check the Pop/Rock section in the music department and they have every kid rock album execpt this one.  So I go and check the self service computer directory because maybe they have another display somewhere else.  When I typed in the name of the album the computer said it was “probably” in the store.

Probably?  Either it is or it isn’t.  There is no probably about it.  How is Probably even a status in this system?  Can you imagine probably giving them the right amount of money?  Or probably getting your paycheck if you were an employee?  Probably . . .I didn’t care if it was out of stock, but Probably!!!  I know I could Probably find it someplace else.

As my friend likes to say “we got some computers laying around here maybe we could use them”.

But none the less I begin searching the store.  As I am wondering the store checking every shelf and display I come across something that stopped me in my tracks.  Over near the religion section. I see a whole section labeled:  Magical Studies

Ok let me see if I get this right.  I cannot find what is the number two selling album in the country but I can find a whole section devoted to Magical Studies?   At this point I’m thnking “you’ve got to be kidding me”.  This is a special Harry Potter set up right?  Wrong!  This is the study of Magic tricks right?  Wrong! 

This is full of books for Witches and they even have different sub sections of these books (General Metaphysics, etc.).  People are already out of touch with reality enough and now we are going to help feed their delusions!  These are books for the study of something that doesn’t exist!

Now I don’t blame the store (exactly).  They are a business, if it wasn’t selling then they wouldn’t carry it.  But that means SOMEONE IS BUYING ENOUGH OF THIS CRAP FOR A STORE TO STOCK THEIR SHELVES WITH IT, which is an even scarier thought.  Who are these people and where can we lock them up.  Not for witchcraft per se, but just because they are stupid!

I came in looking for Rock and Roll Jesus and came out thinking I must be surrounded by witches and just not know it.  That’s right I had a old -time revival at Borders.