Monday, January 31, 2005
Condi and Bush via IMAO
In My World: Madame Secretary
"Powell, you look different," Bush said, "More determined, fiercer, much scarier... and you're wearing a skirt. I like it."
"It's me, Condoleezza Rice," Condi stated, "I've replaced Colin Powell as Secretary of State, remember?"
"No, not all. And, since I forget what that is, I don't care. So do you have some department to run or something? This is my pencil sharpening day and I don't like to be bothered."
"I run the State Department and handle diplomacy!" Condi shouted indignantly.
"Diplomacy," Bush chuckled as he sharpened a pencil, "Well, have fun talking and writing memos and stuff, goober."
"I'm going to take things in another direction," Condi declared.
"Shh! Can't hear the sharpening!"
Condi left the Oval Office and saw Donald Rumsfeld outside. "Now I'm a cabinet member like you," she said cheerily.
"Bah!" Rumsfeld grumbled, "You're Secretary of State. You have to talk to people and forge relations - women's work! Why don't you get to that and knitting while I plot the destruction of nations' infrastructures."
Condi growled and stomped off.
* * * *
"Great," Condi grumbled to herself, "My memo on the State Department's new direction got blocked because our e-mail filter's out vulgarity. I guess I'll just have to set the new tone by burning something prominent and then announce our new mission statement: 'Death to our enemies!'"
The phone rang at her desk. "What?" Condi demanded.
"It's your auto mechanic, Dr. Rice. It's going to take longer to get out those dents than I thought. What exactly did you hit?"
"A California Senator. What of it?"
"Well, there's dents in the front and back..."
"And there is a little thing called the reverse gear. Now get it done!"
* * * *
"This is your first diplomatic meeting," Condi said to herself, "Now don't get nervous." She then walked into the office.
Jacques Chirac approached her with his hand extended. "I would like to say..."
A sharp punch sent Chirac to the floor gripping his bloody nose. "You have nothing to say that interests me," Condi spat at him.
"You warmongering fool!" Chirac shouted as he got to his feet, "What are you doing?"
"Just getting off on the right foot!" Condi said as she kicked Chirac in the crotch.
"Aieee!" Chirac screeched, "You kicked me so hard, my testicles have swollen to the size of grapes!"
"Don't bore me with your hyperbole," Condi stated. "So, am I going to have problems with you?"
“Here; I surrender!" Chirac tossed some keys and a disk to Condi. "Here are the keys to our buildings and all our codes!"
Condi tossed them back at him. "You country is useless to me. Now stay out of the U.S.'s way."
Chirac curled into a fetal position. "Yes, ma'am."
"Off to a great start," Condi smiled as she walked off.
* * * *
"So, now I think you can understand how the Iraqi elections are a new turning point for the Middle East," Condi said. She then turned to the Germans behind her. "Do you think he can hear me through the drywall?"
"Maybe you could remove his head from it?" suggested one German.
"I'll take his head out of the wall when I want his head out of the wall!" Condi shouted.
* * * *
"Condi!" Bush yelled, stopping her in the hallway, "While I was emptying out my pencil shavings, I heard that you've been beating up foreign diplomats and a news report that you're the first Secretary of State to use a sock full of nickels in negotiations."
"I'm making my own style," Condi declared.
"I read it all in a book somewhere," Condi assured.
"Well, as long as it's from a book," Bush said dubiously. "Still, how you put Abbas in the hospital for a week is going to slow down negotiations in Israel. On the other hand, I really wanted to spend that weekend playing videogames anyway, so good work."
"Thanks." Condi walked off.
Alberto Gonzales ran to Bush. "When do I get to be Attorney General?" Alberto demanded, "I want to torture terrorists!"
"I know; we all do," Bush answered sympathetically, "but you have to wait until after your confirmation hearing during which the Democrats will all yell at you."
"I'll lock them up and torture them too!" Alberto swore.
"All in good time, my Mexican friend. All in good time."
Posted by Frank J. at 08:39 AM In My World Comments (18) TrackBack (1)
Sunday, January 30, 2005
News footage of joyous and proud Iraqis in their own country and from around the globe emerged from the polling places holding their ink-stained fingers high was a beautiful sight.
Ted Kennedy, Barbara Boxer, Joe Biden, Harry Reid, John Kerry, Howard Dean and the rest of the can't-do / hypocrites of the Democratic party, take these millions of fingers high in the air as a direct insult to you for your obstructionism, pacifism, ankle-biting and near treasonous behavior during these past four years. Despite your worst intentions, the world is rapidly and confidently moving forward. You've been flipped off by millions of people of whom you've had no confidence or sympathy.
Good work Iraq! Good work U.S. Armed Forces and the coalition! Good work George W. Bush! God bless you all!
Now get back to work. And keep those fingers high!
Go here for a first hand account from the guys at Iraq The Model: http://iraqthemodel.blogspot.com/-Wb
Saturday, January 29, 2005
Auschwitz And The Lad
During a commercial break in the kitchen, the Lad came out and sat with me on the couch with hopes of reaching a consensus to watch something we both could tolerate, like sharks attacking people, weather gone wild or a hot rod being built. "What are you watching?", he asked.
Usually when I don't answer a question while I'm watching something on TV it's because I'm a male and as such I'm genetically disposed to not hear or respond to family members' inquiries or comments. But I did hear this question and I couldn't tailor an honest answer for a nine year old. After he repeated the question with an elbow in my gut I told him it was a history show about WWII. He knew what that meant, lots of blah-blah, so he quickly re-assumed his position on the hard chair in the kitchen.
I don't know when my awareness of the holocaust began to take root. Perhaps it was my grandmother, Sis, who was always quick to jump on our pre-teen off-color comments by saying something along the lines of, "World wars are started with bad words and beliefs like that!". We'd giggle and carry on anyway, but the message she conveyed never left me and I've since used her line myself on the Lad when he wanders into off-color dialog. He of course can't know the breadth and scope of Sis' admonition passed down to him, but he will someday.
Someday he'll be watching a program about Islamic fascist terror, Hitler or Saddam, while his kid watches TV on a hard chair elsewhere, and he'll tie things together. -Wb
Thursday, January 27, 2005
A Stark Contrast: Condi and Bill
On the ride home Hugh Hewitt subjected his audience to an endless and painful list of clips of Bill Clinton answering questions tee'd up by Charlie Rose at Davos , Switzerland. As Der Schlickmeister talked on and on I could imagine Charlie sitting across from him in a dazed rapture, face cradled in both his hands, eyes wide open and an ear to ear mouth open grin. As if Grampa was telling the adventurous story again about the time he caught a big whale with his bare hands and dragged it up the mountain saving all the women and children from a fiery death. None of it made any sense, but Charlie and the Swells in the Davos audience didn't care. Grampa's a great story teller! "Tell us again, Grampa! Tell us again!"
I'm looking for the transcripts of Slick's Davos schtick. Hewitt's producer, Generallisimo, pulled it off the C-SPAN broadcast. I look forward to the powerhouse blogs, talk radio and center right op/ed scribes getting their teeth into it. Once again Slick's comments will get sliced, diced, chopped and pureed into a pile of poop. It won't much matter to the hard left in the old MSM, but it will scoop another handful of the voting population into the GOP's ballot box. Every little bit helps.
So the contrast was stark from my morning commute high with Condi to the long slog home with Bill Clinton. I called in to the Hugh Hewitt Show from the quagmire of the 405 at Sherman Way. (Having been subjected to Clinton for the prior 45 minutes I couldn't remember any of the trip up to that point.... Wilshire, Sunset, Mulholland... none of it.) I told Hugh, "Liberal hollow blather is to talk radio and the web as a fat, stupid cow is to a river full of pirahna".
Enjoy the frenzy as you surf around tonight. And if anyone can send me a link to Slick's Davos schtick I'd appreciate it.-Wb
Monday, January 24, 2005
Mr. Martin takes on Christy Todd Whitman and her pouty little screed, "It's My Party, Too". As has become fun sport for any conservative with a key board under his fingers, plucking feathers off Ms. Whitman's back side, Mr. Martin does a fine job. I also enjoyed poking around the Vanguard PAC web site.... Hey!, another place to send funds (ammo) to combat the mental disorder known commonly as liberalism. Go here, http://www.thevanguard.org/, and scroll down to the Whitman stuff. And then wander around the Vanguard site. Great stuff.
And Rich Galen, link to your left at Mullings.com, as a thoughtful and informative entry today about controlling, managing and keeping the ever expanding heard of cats that constitute the Republican party. The Democrats would lie , cheat and steal to have the problems facing the GOP as GWB begins his second term. They did, in fact, lie, cheat and steal....again to no avail, thankfully! -Wb
Thursday, January 20, 2005
An Address For Future Generations
First, Kerry's inaugural address would have been derived from whatever doom and gloom headlines graced the top of the fold of the New York Times in the past three days. It would be an extensive laundry list of we- musts. We must work together, feed the poor, give everyone healthcare, preserve Social Security as it is, listen to our allies, give everyone a job, clean our water, contribute more to the federal coffers, stop outsourcing, reign in big business, wear our shoes on the right feet, go to sleep at night, breath, eat and be nice. Hollow, predictable liberal blather du'jour.
My prediction as to what President Bush's address would be was one unconstrained of today's ongoing scrimmages and political battles. It would be an address that any President, with the proper perspective of God, Country, Family, could give at any time in our country's history or future. The 2002 State of The Union speech was of this caliber. Timeless, yet perfect for the moment.
So, I read the speech today when I got home. Having heard many of the medias "highlights" of the speech on the way home I was somewhat prepared to absorb the written dialog with the President's tone in mind. To read it, though, is to really understand why it is a great address not just from George W. Bush, but it's an American address to the world and to to future generations. -Wb
Enough of my blather.... take ten or so minutes to read it. And pass it on to your e-mail buddies.
click here; http://www.realclearpolitics.com/Commentary/Bush_2nd_Inaugural.html.
Wednesday, January 19, 2005
To: Senator Boxer
Please keep up the good work. You're on the right track and you're taking the right people with you on your journey into the wilderness. Your time in front of the cameras and microphones will be talked about over the airwaves and internet for at least a week among tens of millions of people. The vast majority of whom will find you repugnant, ignorant and embarrassing.
In the past 15 years most Americans have become amazingly savvy and informed about political, world and social issues through cable news, talk radio, and the internet as supplements or replacements to traditional MSM. In 1985 your sophomoric grandstanding would have garnered you favorable coverage from the Main stream media of ABCNBCCBSNYTNEWSWEEKTIME. Not anymore. Americans are now able to see the hard-left skitso dead-enders of the Democratic party, such as yourself, who are now the dominant faces of the party for what you are. Opposing viewpoints are now being heard and those viewpoints are attracting voters as fast as you repel them.
You, Pelosi, Reid, Schumer, Rangle, Dean, Harkin, Durbin.... all far left repellent characters, have become the fife and drum corps for a motley collection of pacifists, gays, race-baiters, homeless advocates, lawyers, activist judges, anti-capitalists, environmental nuts, atheists, union thugs, socialists, and bureaucratic web-weavers in education, transportation, food & drug, agriculture, commerce and intelligence.
Thankfully, most of voting America has not joined this band of hand-wringing sour pusses crawling behind the Democratic party banner who celebrate Americas wounds and grieve over her successes and seek out doom and gloom from the smallest of discomforts.
Your performance this week during the confirmation hearings of Dr. Rice will satisfy the far left fringe of the American left slithering behind you into the wilderness. Thank you, enjoy the hike, and we'll see you repugnant trolls in about 25 years when the Democratic party begins to drift back in from the deep woods.
Monday, January 17, 2005
"The Chinese Make Everything" Good For Us!
Since late December, when my father sent me the following article, I've had some higher caliber ammo to back up my unsophisticated response to such statements. That unsophisticated response goes something like this; "Look. We have this dress shirt made in China because it costs us pennies to do so. It's designed here. It's marketed here. It's shipped here. It's trucked here. It's warehoused here. It's advertised here. It's displayed here. It's refolded and repacked here. It's bought here along with a tie made in Taiwan. By the time Mr. Gringo shows up at work in his snappy new dress shirt those pennies that we dribbled to China for that one little dress shirt have sprouted into dollars on our shores. This process goes on 24/7 billions and billions of times per day. From marbles to boats."
Please read the article here for a more rounded and sophisticated explanation. I keep copies of it in the truck for educational purposes.
The link following the article requires a subscription to the Wall Street Journal Online.... which you ought to have anyway, being the knowledge hungry type that you are.-Wb
December 23, 2004
We Think, They Sweat
By ANDY KESSLER
You want a scapegoat for the dollar's almost daily decline -- the Chinese water torture on the U.S. economy? I blame Steve Jobs. Apple is the worst offender in the decline of U.S. manufacturing. Their engineers sit around in air-conditioned offices on streets with cutesy names like Infinite Loop in Cupertino, Calif., and have others make stuff for them. They imported two million iPods assembled by thousands of Chinese workers just last quarter -- an almost $1.5 billion annualized trade deficit in iPods alone.
Those in D.C. who can do something about this -- former railroaders and breakfast cereal moguls, are so worried about trade deficits that they refuse to defend the greenback, even begging China to unpeg the yuan from the dollar so we can decline against it as well. We're in a place called Vertigo. Economists weep that foreigners will no longer fund our spending and that America surely has peaked. The dollar is destined to the depths of despair until it drops so low that we get those manufacturing jobs back. Gee, thanks Steve Jobs.
I checked my wallet and realized that I own dollars, including my bank account, house and stocks. Lowering them in value hurts every American. I was in such a funk thinking about all this that I played my own infinite loop of Muddy Waters on my appropriately blue iPod mini. I happened to turn it over and read the fine print. Sure enough -- "Assembled in China." But it also says "Designed by Apple in California." In the middle of the song "Trouble No More," it all started making sense.
Over the last year, two things have happened. First, Apple has increased sales by over a third, almost all from iPods -- those two million of them at $265 each last quarter and 100 million songs sold via their iTunes service. An iPod is just the combination of some Apple software, cheap disk drives and a $12 chip from a Silicon Valley company named PortalPlayer. I calculated that Apple pays $200 per iPod to Chinese assembler Inventec to slap it all together. Even with cheap labor, Inventec has almost no profits, I'd bet under $10, probably more like $4. PortalPlayer, by the way, e-mails its design to Taiwan to be fabricated, with profits of $5 per chip.
The second change is that Apple's stock has gone from $21 to $64. Pretty cool, capitalism at its best. Why? Because Apple keeps $65 per iPod -- money chases profits! If you assume the stock-price increase is all due to the iPod (it is), then that business is worth some $15 billion. Add in PortalPlayer's market value of $1 billion and you get a feel for how the world works. A $1.5 billion trade deficit increases wealth in the U.S. by $16 billion. I'll take that trade any day. So will all the holders of the retirement accounts who own Apple's stock. So, why am I caring about deficits again? Trade deficits are an economic construct, and lowering the dollar won't solve a thing. We are moving low-margin, low-pay jobs overseas, but fortunately, are left with high-margin, high-pay intellectual-property jobs. Would you rather own Apple making a margin of $65 or Invetec with $4, on the same product? Me too. We may have trade deficits of $550 billion this year, but we enjoy a huge margin surplus.
The very illogical way (so no one believes it) to get this all back in balance is for the dollar to rise. A lower dollar means foreigners get a needless discount on our productive stuff -- Pentiums and iPods, Windows XP and Oracle databases, and Cisco routers. They have to buy them anyway to run their economies (well, maybe not iPods) so why discount? Add non-productive but life-enhancing intellectual property to complete the sweep -- drugs, Hollywood movies, U2. A weak dollar won't bring back manufacturing jobs -- with $20/hour here vs. $2 in China, the dollar would have to drop 90%. And why should we encourage low-paying jobs in this country?
Foreigners buy Treasury bonds -- they own 43% of them -- so we don't have to. Who wants 3% returns? We should own stocks of the high-margin companies that benefit from this design vs. manufacturing divide. As we move to an intellectual-property economy, our wealth will come from exporting profitable designs and importing more finished goods. Higher salaries and our stock market balance this all out as those dollars flow back in. Of course, bean counters can't find the money that flows into the stock market, it is just bean dip. The $4-trillion-plus in trade deficits since 1976 has been matched by an $11 trillion increase in value of our stock market. That's about all you have to know. Plus, as Jack Nicholson might say, they can't handle our dollars. Too many dollars in foreign central banks leads to overlending to wasteful domestic companies. Japan is just emerging 15 years later from a nonperforming-loan hangover. China is face-first in the punch bowl with half its bank loans uncollectible: If their currency spikes, it might go to 100%.
Rather than debase our wallets, Japan and China have to buy dollar assets to keep their currencies from rising too much if they want to continue to sell us their industrial output, while of course, we get rich selling them the tools to do it productively. I'd suggest thanking Bono, er, Steve Jobs, for the iPod economy.
Mr. Kessler is author of "Running Money" (HarperBusiness, 2004).
URL for this Article http://interactive.wsj.com/archive/retrieve.cgi?id=SB110376349870907921.djm
Saturday, January 15, 2005
Where's Your Money?
Lose $100,000 a year on Social SecurityIncome should go up, not down, upon retirement
Friday January 14, 2005
When a person retires, should his income go up or should it go down? I am not asking what will happen, but rather what should occur.
The answer is that after socking away $1 of every $10 they earn for nearly 40 years, Americans should reap big rewards. They should have huge nest eggs after all those years.
A conservative investment of half corporate stocks and half government bonds would yield returns of over 6 percent. At that rate, people should expect to receive pensions bigger than their final paychecks.
Instead, Americans can expect a rate of return from Social Security of less than 3 percent.
The difference between those two rates of return may seem slight, but it is the difference between Boardwalk and Mediterranean Avenue.
The Heritage Foundation, a conservative group, posted a calculator online that allows people to calculate how badly they will be beaten by Social Security -- http://www.heritage.org/research/features/socialsecurity/.
Social Security will shortchange the average 51-year-old woman by more than $3,000 a month.
Instead of pulling down $52,000 a year when she retires -- nearly double the average woman's income at 51 today -- she will have to scrape by on $15,000, about half that average income.
Men do even worse. The average 51-year-old male will be shortchanged by $5,354 a month.
The investment in Social Security will cost the average wife and husband, ages 51, more than $100,000 a year when they retire.
That couple's 21-year-old son will fare even worse than we will. His rate of return will be a negative 0.85 percent. That means for every $100 he puts in today, he will draw down $99.15 some 46 years from now.
Adjusted for inflation, he'd better learn how to cook catsup soup.
Multiply that a few million times and one can see that the politicians have cost American workers trillions of dollars.
Social Security is a broken relic of the Roosevelt administration that should have been modernized years ago.
Instead of fixing it in the 1960s, Lyndon Johnson made things worse by lowering the retirement age. Ronald Reagan shuffled the problem off to the future simply by raising the tax.
Under Social Security, a worker now gives the government 10.6 percent of his income (that includes the employer match). The government uses the money to pay today's retirees instead of socking it away.
President Bush wants to change that by allowing American workers to invest some of their Social Security taxes if they want.
Led by the AARP, the reactionary left is going bonkers. Lefties want to keep the status quo.
They mock Bush. They mock his plan. They trot out tired scare tactics designed to chase off those whose only knowledge of the stock market is that it crashed in 1929.
Baby boomers know better. My 401(k) should pay me more than Social Security. I pay in less than I pay Social Security and I have been in it only since 1986. I survived Black Friday in 1987 and the dot.com bust.
There are millions of people like me. We have seen what conservative investments can do. We want personal investment accounts.
We want to retire on what we have earned, not what the government parcels out.
That means retiring on more, not less.
Don Surber can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Saturday, January 08, 2005
Were it not for the millions of little bloggers out there pushing this stuff to the surface, would you ever find it? -Wb
A True American Meets Leftist Academia
Here's a note I passed on to Ahmad. You can send him one, too. His address is in the link above. (So, too, is the link to the Foothill College Board of Trustees.) -Wb
I'm very impressed with you! Thank you for standing up and speaking out. But more importantly, thank you for being a great American.
Angry and small minded men like Prof. Woolcock wouldn't survive in the real world where their views and actions would have to survive the brutal and efficient rules of the market place. Only in leftist academia can a tenured pimple like that be allowed to fester and infect a captive audience of young numbskulls full of mush! Thankfully, most of the young numbskulls get kicked in the ass by the reality of life upon leaving the campus and soon realize the Prof. Woolcocks of the world have had it all so wrong. So very, very wrong.
Fortunately, as you have so eloquently demonstrated, in this country, when somebody gives you a bowl full of dirt you don't have to eat it. You're the kind of man who has made this country great throughout our small 229 year history.
There are hundreds of millions of people here enjoying and practicing Gods gift of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Your life experiences and how you learn and live by them have made you a great American. And a very articulate and persuasive one, too!
-M.K.S. Northridge, Ca
Monday, January 03, 2005
Something else caught my eye in the picture. Hugh's dress shirt was without wrinkles around the waistline. How he's going to haul that baggage through a half-marathon in Irvine, (www.schalfmarathon.com/raceinfo.html) and keep the ice in his highball glass is beyond me. Good luck, buddy. -Wb