Saturday, July 31, 2010

BloggeRhythms 7/31/2010

Same old boring same old in the news, but in discussing the Rangel issue, Ann Kirkpatrick, Democrat Representative of Arizona said: "Too many politicians, both Democrats and Republicans, have fallen victim to the idea that they are 'different' than regular folks and nothing could be further from the truth."

I noted her comment because I think she's 180 degrees wrong. I believe most politicians are very different than "regular folks" in almost every way imaginable.

For starters, I believe most regular people are honest, hard working, family-oriented, caring folks who spend their lives trying to do the best they can for and with those they deal with in all aspects of their personal and professional lives, and naturally, for themselves as well. Conversely, however, I believe that politicians of every stripe are low-life, thieving, weasels interested in only themselves and totally untrustworthy in every aspect of life. As the old saying goes, you can tell when politicians are lying whenever their lips move.

Our problem is that politics is such a foul and dirty way to spend one's life that most competent, trustworthy people wouldn't agree to what needs to be done to first get elected and then stay in office. And, if one should be unlucky enough to actually wind up being elected they then have to deal with all the other slime-buckets that populate or feed off all political positions. Then, if you don't join them in their self-serving, larcenous games you're ostracized into oblivion.

So, considering the way our system works, I believe the reason we wind up with all the stooges, dunces, and thieves that we do is because they're the dregs of our society and the only one's willing to stoop to that low an occupational level in the first place. I think you can easily see the proof of what kind of quasi-literate flea brains hold political office by spending a few minutes watching the daily broadcasts from the House and Senate. The level of incompetence, absence of intellect and abject ignorance among these people is scary.

I guess in the last analysis though, politics is a pretty good thing. Because we all know about the employment problem in the "private" sector. So, if these flea-brains were not in office they'd have to look for real jobs and aren't likely qualified for almost any worthy occupation. Even 75% of the toll booths have automated baskets for collection which is one of the few things I think the average politician might qualify for. Consequently, with all these brain-dead boobs getting turned down for real jobs, the unemployment level would skyrocket out of sight.

Then again, if you had a guy like Chuck Schumer in a toll booth, it might take forty-five minutes of listening to worthless wind just to get your change back.

That's it for today folks.


Friday, July 30, 2010

BloggeRhythms 7/30/2010

If no news is good news, everything must be okay, cause there ain't no news worth keystrokes.

Last I saw, the house committee investigating Rangel seems to be leaning toward a reprimand, the mildest of penalties, which is the same as doing absolutely nothing. I remember "reprimanding" my puppies when they had accidents in the house during training. And now that I've typed this last sentence, that's just what Rangel is -an accident in the House. Looks, smells and acts exactly the same too.

Nevertheless, I don't think congress can just sweep this under the rug because they've buried so much there already, I doubt there's any more room. No wonder political favorability ratings are averaging about thirty percent. And it's likely the thirty favorable percent is made up mostly of illegal aliens.

So, now back to important matters. I wrote here yesterday that my humongous DP reorganization was finished and the result was a faster, smoother, simplified process for handling just about any task we could think of computerwise. Data management, customer bases, financial management, banking, print and web based advertising, communication systems, email programming for individual and bulk transmission, automated updating of programming and on and on and on.

I was extremely happy when my task was finished having put in five twenty hour days, but that's how I work. If anything's unfinished there's no point in my getting in bed, because I can't and won't sleep, so I may as well just keep going at my desk. So, that's what I did.

Now, I was sitting back at four o'clock this morning, reviewing the whole reprogramming job I'd just finished, and as a last step I tried a simple process within one of our more sophisticated programs. The task worked, but I thought it was too cumbersome and slow and then a light went on in my cranium. Gee, this is an older program, I said to myself -I wonder if there are updates on-line, because although our programs update automatically, sometimes there's something worthwhile that might have been missed.

Well, lo and behold, there's this 17 megabyte update available that's never been sent to us. So, in a pretty simple couple of keystrokes, zap, the download arrived in my machine. Nothing left to do now but let it run and install. I sat back and watched as my machine sucked the data in and it took almost no time at all, less than two minutes all told. My machines not the greatest but its pretty fast.

The program in question is a database manager and its huge. There's twenty years of combined customer information in it covering several different businesses, so there are thousands upon thousands of accumulated records. Well, after I installed the update, and went back to check the results, I found the desktop icon no longer worked and the program wouldn't open. I searched my machine every way I know how, and that's a lot, but there was no new or replacement icon to be found, and no other way into the program. When I realized what had happened, that I'd actually lost twenty years of accumulated customer, vendor, personal and whatever else information I did the only thing I could think of. I went totally ballistic.

After I calmed down and took a patient approach to the matter, through a combination of original program re-entry and a number of different back-ups I'd thankfully done, just in case, five hours later I'd corrected the problems and now am right back at square one. Oddly enough though, after my scary ordeal and reprogramming efforts, the slowness I was trying to fix in the first place somehow got solved. Not only is every KB and pixel of our data back, but the program itself is running at warp speed, without the kiss of death update that I'll never go near again.

I guess one could look back at this tale and say, now there's a careful and thoughtful guy, insuring that he could recover whatever need be in the event of disaster. But, that's not the case here at all. It's just that I've done this to myself so many times in the past that I've programmed my machines to insure that they take care of what needs to be done by themselves, regardless of how badly I screw things up.

That's it for today folks.


Thursday, July 29, 2010

BloggeRhythms 7/29/2010

Finally finished inter-computer data transfers, program updates, file merges, re-routing from on-line partners, reconfiguring email destinations, downloads of latest program data, selection of program versions, removal of duplicated files and about a hundred other miscellaneous steps and procedures involved in streamlining, securing and managing files. I still can't believe how many gigs of stuff there is, even after removing everything obviously unnecessary.

The good news is, every program and file is up to date, backed-up two ways and the system hums. I don't know why, but my system now contains twice as much stuff yet runs faster than before. And it wasn't slow to begin with. Maybe I'll call Balmer and suggest that now that Bill's gone, perhaps they need a new head DP weenie. I got a lot done that their support folks couldn't figure out -and those guys are pretty good, they've been helping me out here and there for years.

On to good old politics. As far as Arizona's concerned, the governor said the Fed's haven't helped the state an iota in border control so she's going to appeal yesterday's court decision regarding four sections of the new immigration law and go all the way to the Supreme Court if she has to. So, I guess the Dem strategist was a bit premature in suggesting a parade be held to celebrate D.C.'s "huge" win yesterday in court.

Aside from that, there's Charley Rangel who they say evaded taxes, misrepresented financial information and faces about fourteen violations of the law. He was chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, but stepped down "temporarily" while the court cases are going on.

Allegations include, that he broke House gift-ban rules by taking corporate-sponsored Caribbean junkets in 2007 and 2008, not paying taxes on rental income from a villa in the Dominican Republic and not disclosing more than $500,000 in assets on financial disclosure forms. Additionally, he was involved in an alleged sweetheart deal in which he leased four rent-stabilized Lenox Terrace apartments in Harlem and used his congressional office to raise money for the City College center named after him.

Now, this is one of those cases that drive me nuts. Because, I don't care a whit about Charley Rangel one way or the other, but evidently he's another example of our so-called "leadership" that's corrupt up to their eyeballs. And, I don't even care about his being corrupt. This guy can steal from anybody dumb enough to let that happen, and that's okay with me. But at the same time, don't do it when you're supposed to be a representative of the "people," parading yourself around as their representative in congress, and a man of the law. They ought to blow him out of congress, lock him up, and forget about him.

That reminds me of Mel Brooks' description of Robin Hood. Brooks said Robin didn't steal from the rich and give to the poor -he stole from everybody and kept it.

That's it for today folks.


BloggeRhythms 7/28/2010

Got down to the last few steps of data transferal yesterday, and like always, the glitches are simple software procedures that blow up if you miss a keystroke. None of the fixes are difficult, they just consume humongous, repetitive time. Consequently, for the first time I missed my blog entry deadline.

Anyway, I did see an item in the news that I wanted to address, so I'll note it now.

Flipping news channels I saw some guy being interviewed and a blurb go by that seemed favorable to the administration in the court ruling on Arizona's immigration law. The message went on to highlight some key words that I thought were confusing. Because, as I understand it, what the judge said was that four issues were to be pended until the various open cases are adjudicated in court. The interviewee, however, evidently was stating that the judge's decision was a flat-out, exciting and critically important win for the administration.

So I was about to turn the sound on when another blurb goes by saying the interviewee is a democrat consultant who served in the Clinton administration. So, then it all made sense. Here's this biased flack going on and on about a victory when all that was won was the right for both the administration and Arizona, and whoever else has filed a suit, to make their cases in court. And true, until then four sections of Arizona's new immigration law have been put on hold, but they haven't been completely overruled. And that's not for this judge to even decide, each case and potential later appeals will take place in specific other venues.

So, I guess my point is that you have be very careful when people are throwing their version of spin at you, and be sure to learn the real truth before you swallow their stories. Because if you don't, you'll start believing all the hype and noise that gets broadcast whether its true or not. In fact, you might even be led to believe that Donald Trump is worth more than a quarter.

That's it for yesterday folks.


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

BloggeRhythms 7/27/2010

It's a good thing there's no news, because I'm just about key-stroked out from transferring data, setting up new accounts and dealing with a zillion system odds and ends. And, so far, just about everything necessary has been done on-line.

It makes me think back to olden times when you actually had to deal with people to get things done. So everything took five times as long and there were always lines of others waiting in front of you. Today, you just click on a website, do what you need to and click off. And fortunately, most of our programming is updated to current versions, so with only one exception, most everything else got done in a flash. So, the problems I've had aren't due to software glitches or DP black holes, it's just that there's so many programs in our systems it takes time to update, redirect and interface them all.

The funny thing is that over the past twenty years almost everything in my life has been converted to some kind of program or other. My calenders, my schedules, appointments, record-keeping, business data, finance, checking and everything else I can think of has been automated, and so have my wife's. I automated her business twenty years ago, and my daughter developed her web site shortly later.

As for me, I only pay one bill by check a month because everything else takes care of itself and this one particular payee has a stone-age mentality. But, maybe they'll eventually learn how to get funds in quicker and earn more on the float, who knows. It's not my fault they missed the effective-money-management boat.

I also haven't actually dialed a phone in years because every number is programmed in one or more ways, and dials itself. And, if some number isn't there I'm stuck. Fortunately, nobody out there cares whether I call them or not, so my system works fine for me.

In the meanwhile, my hands going to numb in about two minutes from typing all day. So I'm going to sign off now before I become totally useless. And I don't want to be totally useless because then I'd have to change my name to Trump.

That's it for today folks.


Monday, July 26, 2010

BloggeRhythms 7/26/2010

Another day of non-newsworthy news. And that's good because I have very little time for blogging. But, I'm almost through with merging data-bases, program refinements and organizing more gigabytes of stored stuff than I ever would have dreamed we could accumulate. Yet, at this point, we need every file and bit in the system.

Actually, I was going to leave today's' entry at what's above, but after a quick scan of news sites to double-check that there was nothing blog-worthy I'd missed, I saw an ad I couldn't believe and have to give it some keystrokes.

It seems, if I read the ad right, that Donald Trump is promoting a seminar to teach folks about succeeding in business. And , if that's really true, where's he going to find out what to say? To my knowledge every enterprise he ever touched, blew up financially, filed bankruptcy or otherwise hit the so-called silk.

He reminds me of an old joke about a guy who meets a friend in the street and tells him just got back from Las Vegas and is on his way to the bank to deposit forty thousand dollars. The friend replies that returning from there with that kind of money is pretty good and asks the guy how he came back with that much. The Vegas guy replies, I started with two hundred fifty thousand dollars.

And that's Trump's story. If memory serves he began with about forty million dollars of real estate from his very successful father and began building and promoting upscale real estate, the "Tower" and all those other palaces. In time, that business tanked. He also bought the Eastern Airlines shuttle, upgraded all the planes and financially torched that business too. Then he bankrupted his casinos in Atlantic City, NJ. The list goes on and on -you can look it up for yourself.

Now, the question is why do I care? I care because I spent too much of my life working for and with too many really solid citizens who were the best at their vocations. None of them were frauds or phonies to my knowledge, and they didn't seek lime light or try to hustle folks out of their jockey shorts. And none were high-rolling, back-slapping phony two dollar bills. So, I guess I resent the hype, smoke and natural gas emanating from a photogenic empty business suit.

I'd jot some more down, but it would only be more of the same and I'm pressed for time. I'm on my way to a bridge game where I plan to bid every hand absolutely No-Trump.

That's it for today folks.


Sunday, July 25, 2010

BloggeRhythms 7/25/2010

Nother long day of reorganization, getting ready for my wife's next business life. It's all busy work, but it has to be done and takes huge amounts of time.

Merging data networks can be a real pain, especially in our case, because although we both have our own systems there's significant redundancy and overlap because we've been using computers for over twenty years.

When we were in separate business locations, each of us having the same programming made sense because then all we needed to do was transmit data back and forth. But now a great deal of that data is replicated for no reason, yet we still have to figure out what to save and what to toss. And, I'm sure everyone out there knows that the one file you're absolutely sure is safe to delete turns out to be the key to the whole system. And once that file's gone you're cooked.

Anyway, even if there is news out there somewhere, I didn't see it today and probably won't have any time again tomorrow. But, there's light at the end of this tunnel, and I don't think it's another train. However, if there's no blog tomorrow, we'll all know I was wrong.

That's it for today folks.


Saturday, July 24, 2010

BloggeRhythms 7/24/2010

As mentioned Thursday, my wife's closed her store. And although that's been done, that doesn't mean things stop, because they certainly don't.

As far as I'm concerned, I spent little to no time regarding the day to day operation of her enterprise. My involvement was limited to areas where my professional expertise could be of additional help, most often regarding things like advertising, promotion, finance, banking and general business matters. As far as retailing itself went or dealing with shoppers themselves, I had no clue and still don't. I never spent any time at all in the sales area of the store, as large as it was, confining myself to my wife's desk, computer system and office equipment.

Now, all that's in a state of change, because there are plenty of things to do regarding new business opportunities, but for now at least, they're all going on in my house.

I've spent three full days so far hauling boxes of stuff ranging from office supplies to DP equipment to sales and marketing materials to shelving, racks and stands into our home. Beyond that there's re-routing email and web-based information and data and moving files between computer systems. There's nothing really difficult about it, it just consumes enormous amounts of time.

As far as time itself goes, I've had a particular problem most of my life, especially when it comes to business issues. I can't stand leaving anything undone that's within my control. So, whether things that I'm doing now really have to be finished quickly or not, I can't let them just sit there. And, if it takes fifteen or twenty hours a day, that's all right too.

Because my goal is to get whatever needs doing out of the way, and then moving on to something else. And that's another thing none of my employers or co-workers ever had to worry about in my case, everything always got done when or before it was due, and not because of my work ethic, I'm simply fanatical about not having any undone things hanging over my head. Thus, my hang-up benefitted us all.

In the meantime, all the busywork doesn't leave much blog-time, so I'm going to split now. Besides, the download I was waiting for just finished, so I'm completely out of time for typing.

That's it for today folks.


Friday, July 23, 2010

BloggeRhythms 7/23/2010

Mixed emotional day yesterday. My wife and her partner closed their business after 32 successful years of operation. A retail store selling jewelry and giftware, it was not typical for its specialty. Though having only one location, its clientele came not only from its “neighborhood” so to speak, but many traveled significant distances because of its wide variety in inventory, price-range and especially -reputation.

In today’s day and age, the place set itself apart in many ways. First and foremost of which was knowledge. Not only of the merchandise sold –but of its creation, manufacture, value and optimal use, continuing on to its care, cleaning and information on how to insure its longest useful life. Management and staff, all well-trained and knowledgeable about everything sold, happily passed that information on to customers.

There were many aspects of the operation that made it unique. Such as application of customer information gathered over considerable time. And secrets learned that set the business head and shoulders above its homogenized, mass-market-focused, hit-and-run, competition. There was also a very large physical space, housing a wide, wide range of inventory, appreciated by customers in all budget categories and ranges.

Nonetheless, trends by competition toward offering little to no customer assistance or product knowledge -yet the lowest possible prices for aged merchandise- gave cause for reconsideration. Because while quality, knowledge, customer support and reputation all have considerable valuable, if others simply move merchandise out the doors with little to no investment in customer assistance, there comes a time where professionally incompetent competitors are still able to capture significant market-share solely on price.

And that’s when a skilled, successful business owner has to sit back and consider: Can one survive in what this market’s become? In my wife’s case, the answer to that one is unequivocally –yes. The next question is: Is it worth the effort? That one gets a “probably not.” So the decision becomes, leave the game while your still on top and move on to something else.

And that’s why there are many, many truly sad people today, walking around with their heads down and a tear or two in their eye; because they’re all customers that yesterday lost the best place they’ve ever known to shop.

That’s it for today folks.


Thursday, July 22, 2010

BloggeRhythms 7/22/2010

As the summer progresses the news gets duller and duller. And in my own case, I had lots to do somewhere else, leaving very little blog-writing time.

I wanted to continue the thoughts of the past two days, regarding employee attitudes, but don't have enough time left today. So, the coming attraction is: More about the workplace tomorrow.

And, believe it or not;

That's it for today folks.


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

BloggeRhythms 7/21/2010

Since the oil plug seems to be working, maybe they can develop one for holder's of public office. Because those thieves leak more money in a day than BP will produce in its lifetime.

Still can't find anything blog-worthy in the news, so I'll continue yesterday's thoughts. And, after re-reading my previous posting, I think I need to clarify a few points. While I wrote that from early on I always worked for myself in fact, even though in someone's employ, I didn't mean to imply that my employers and I had different goals. It was actually the opposite -we always had exactly the same objective. To win.

So, I guess what I should have said was, I always sought employers who I thought were winners themselves, or else I simply wouldn't have shown up at all. And in that regard I was either very lucky or better at finding what I sought than most, because those with whom I stayed longest were the absolute best at their trades, bar none. They also seemed to be excellent judges of human nature because for the most part, once they learned to trust me, they left me alone to produce. And what did they get in return? Better than hoped for results.

I think a good comparison would be to major league sports. In fact I wrote a book Selling Equipment Leasing in which I included a chapter titled The Attitude of Winning. In it I describe how top performers in almost any endeavor can compare their occupational efforts to sports. And in that regard, let's look at where athletic comparisons start.

I believe the most important thing employers provide is the "stadium" where the games are played. And as a general rule the best employers put their "players" in the optimum environments conducive to their efforts. Then they surround them with the best equipment available to ply their trades, supported by staffs equally adept at delivering whatever back-up is needed. Consequently, if everything that needs to be taken care environmentally is seen to by owners, all the top performers have to do is go out and do what they do best, whatever their specialty is.

For the most part though, even if all the right pieces seem to be in place, an over-riding element needs to be there as well. And this one isn't tangible, it's sensed. I believe very strongly that folks who want to win seek out others with the same desire. And therefore, even if every possible element of the physical workplace is the best there is, winners aren't necessarily going to go all-out to help employers they feel are losers, or otherwise unworthy, to succeed.

And the fact that winners feel that way is the best insurance of wins for first-rate employers. Because they don't have to police, double-check or worry about top-performers efforts. Top-performers simply won't allow their own names to be associated with less than the best results -not because of who they work for, but because of themselves. Since they're the ones who do whatever needs to be done to win and their own names rest on the results, they're the ones who won't tolerate loss or poor performance under any circumstances.

Although the comparisons highlighted thus far sound like they might apply to only those who are at some lofty levels or occupations, I don’t think that’s the case at all. I think workers need to set performance standards and goals for themselves no matter their occupational rank. Because -except for very rare exceptions- there are always ways to improve one’s status or grade through superior performance. And, if there aren’t, it’s time to change one's employer not one's goals.

That’s it for today folks.


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

BloggeRhythms 7/20/2010

The oil cap and the Arizona border are still porous; though it seems like the oil flow might actually stop soon. Other than that, it seems like business as usual.

Yesterday I mentioned that a friend recently raised a subject I thought interesting, so some ideas follow. We were discussing employment, and the current record numbers out of work. The question came up of how and where most people look for jobs, and general attitudes toward employers. And when we were in mid-discussion he told me he thought my attitude was alien to most, but worth blogging about.

What I told him was that after the age of eighteen or so I’d always worked for myself. Now, that didn’t mean I started businesses or worked alone. What I meant was, wherever I happened to land in a job, the first thing I did was to assess the working environment. If I liked the place, and especially the people I stayed. If not I quit. Sometimes I told the employer about my resignation, sometimes I didn’t –it depended on whether I liked them or not.

If I decided to stay with an employer the next step was to secure insurance. I don’t mean health or life insurance which I didn’t care about at all back then because I wasn’t planning on getting sick or kicking the bucket for years and years to come. The kind of insurance I’m talking about related to guaranteeing my continued employment and it’s something you don’t buy from a provider, it’s something you get for yourself.

The way my own job insurance plan worked was, I learned my job inside out. Most often, especially in the early years that wasn’t too hard to do. So, after I mastered my work, I learned as much as I could about everybody elses endeavors, and especially watched their attitudes. I could spot the losers and slackers at higher levels from miles away, and if I wanted promotion and was patient, I’d simply wait for them to blow out. And, since I’d already done all my homework regarding stepping up, my promotion was a shoo-in.

So, the harder I worked and the more I learned the farther and faster I went. And, then there came a point where my work ethic and skills had so much value, I was almost bullet-proof regarding termination. Employers couldn’t afford to let me go because I was one of a continually decreasing number in the work-force that actually “worked.” I also knew and understood their businesses inside out. Thus, in that regard, all the effort I put in was for myself, because it guaranteed my getting what I wanted. And if workplace “A” didn’t provide it, I simply moved on to workplace “B.” It might have been inconvenient to re-start, but it was generally worth it overall.

Eventually though, I moved into sales and that was the epitome of self-employment regardless of who signed the checks. Because if I knew my product the employer didn’t matter at all…except for the deadbeats, high-rollers, fast-talkers, frauds and crooks, so I avoided working for them. But, if a provider was reputable and could deliver as promised it really didn’t matter to me who they were. Especially since I called on customers at their places of business not ours, so I’m the only “employee” most of them ever saw or met.

And I guess this is where my friend feels that I think differently than most other folks, because they’re usually so concerned about the security of their jobs and their vulnerability to an employer’s fancies or whims. But although I can understand some degree of concern, invaluable employees are invaluable no matter, and most successful employers aren’t flat-out stupid regardless of how dumb they look. Therefore, most will retain everyone of real value.

The only real wrinkle in a solid, dedicated work ethic and its value today is the trend toward business acquisition and merger. Because you have organizations buying or joining others that they not only can’t manage, they don’t really understand an iota about. So, in those situations employees in the acquired entitys have little to no value at all, except in very rare cases, because the acquirer doesn’t often know or care. Then again, it doesn’t really matter much because those deals tend to blow up really quick and everyone on both sides is soon out of a job.

I guess then, what it all boils down to in most cases is, who does what for who. And if folks pull their weight and prove necessary they’ll generally survive no matter what. On the other hand, if they’re readily replaceable, dead weight or don’t really add value they’re likely vulnerable. So then, who should be afraid of what, an employee never reaching a level where the employer was concerned about losing them, or an employer fearing that a top-performer might walk out? As for myself, my money’s always been on the performer.

That’s it for today folks.


Monday, July 19, 2010

BloggeRhythms 7/19/2010

I haven't kept exact count, but it seems that this is the fourth or fifth day without much going on that's noteworthy. Aside from that, I was talking to a friend the other day and, for some reason or other, the subject of employee's job attitude came up. Now, that's an area I have lots of thoughts about, but too time consuming for today's entry. So, let's call this a coming attraction or a warning -because I think I'll start addressing that tomorrow.

In the meantime, I saw some depressing information while flipping channels yesterday during the commercials from the British Open. If I read the crawlers right, early Republican possibilities for the presidential slot next time around include the likes of Newt Gingrich, Whatever his name is Huckabee, and Sandra Palin.

Now, while I really do think the Republican's have a genuine chance to win the White House back almost no matter who they run as a candidate, there's no guarantee of election if they recycle these droning bags of wind I mentioned. In fact, as displeased with the administration as I am because of the horrible job they've done, I'd not vote for Gingrich no matter. And not voting will be the same as pulling a Democrat lever.

It's hard to believe that a party that is so good for economic, homeland security and military issues as a rule can only come up with third-rate clowns as candidates. And, in the cases of Gingrich and Palin, one's a misguided historian who doesn't understand what he's read and the other's an empty dress. I've trained puppies that are smarter than she is.

So it seems they've been handed a golden opportunity to reverse and rebuild the horrors of the last two years, plus whatever else gets destroyed in the next twenty-four months, but don't have the horses to pull it off. It's shame, but at this point, if I were a betting man I wouldn't write the Dem's off.

That's it for today folks.


Sunday, July 18, 2010

BloggeRhythms 7/18/2010

The same guy who's held the lead in the Open from the 7th hole of the second round, Louis Oosthuizen from South Africa, won the event this afternoon. Though the nasty weather that plagued the course for half the tournament ceased, the wind remained, adding to most of the scores.

I didn't hear the comment myself but my wife said that John Daly complained that the grass around the cups wasn't mowed flat, leaving a raised edge on the holes which apparently was why he couldn't putt well enough to shoot low scores. Now that I've heard his comment I'm going to back and double-check, but I'm still pretty sure that everyone who scored lower than Daly putted to the same holes as he did. Then again, considering his favorite pastime, maybe he saw two holes.

As far as the rest of the news goes, there isn't any. So this is going to be my shortest blog so far. (Actually, we have an appointment, so we're out'a here in a few minutes.)

That's it for today folks.


Saturday, July 17, 2010

BloggeRhythms 7/17/2010

Still no noteworthy news. But the nasty weather in Scotland has abated, leaving sunshine over St. Andrews. The winds are still there though, gusting to as much as 25 mph.

Yesterday's Open leader is hanging on to his lead at 13 under par, but Paul Casey, a solid, experienced player is right on his heels, trailing by two strokes. The potential phenom I remarked on Thursday, Rory McIlroy, shot an eight over par 80 Friday in the typhoon they slashed and sloshed through. That's a seventeen stroke swing from Thursday's score of 63 -incredibly almost a full stroke a hole. He came back a bit today, however, and is now six under par for the tourney.

Aside from the Open I did see one item worth noting. It seems that a side-effect of the financial debacle of the last few years has businesses rethinking money management issues. And as a result of watching billions being spent like drunken sailors by Congress and the White House without rhyme or reason, these businesses are now prudently accumulating cash. And apparently it's amounting to billions.

Now, the government's jumping up and down screaming that that's not right. The money's needed in the economy to recirculate they say, to grow more and preserve and create jobs. Yet, these businessmen know that at the first sign of more dollars flowing through the system, those bucks are going to be taxed or stolen some other way as soon as a new governmental thievery system can be put in place to grab those funds.

So, maybe, as I've written here before, the rules of the game are changing among the successful. Because I have no doubt that the businesses making money understand that the pump has to be continually primed to keep flowing and that money truly does tend to grow when properly put to work. But, at the same time they realize that once money's stolen it's gone for good. And, unfortunately for this administration they've demonstrated loud and clear that they haven't a clue when it comes to money matters.

So, I think, this time around, that all the administration's yelling and screaming's going to go to no avail, because when things are going well it's one thing to pitch in and help. But when you're pitching that money down a well with no bottom in sight, it's time for successful business folks to stop and reconsider.

That's it for today folks.


Friday, July 16, 2010

BloggeRhythms 7/16/2010

I don't know if, as they say, no news is good news, all I do know is, that good or bad, there isn't any real news at all.

So, it's back to the British Open.

The last I looked this afternoon, the guy I thought might be a surprise winner, Rory McIlroy's game is going down the chute. But, so is everyone else's except one, the leader. I don't remember his name, but if you care, you can look it up.

It seems that the high winds and drizzle have arrived in Scotland and are making scoring very difficult for all. Which I think is fine for the Scots themselves, because they believe the game is an ultimate test and the real players are those that can score under the most foul weather conditions imaginable. And, even on the sunniest days, with no wind at all, their golf courses are nothing like ours.

The fairways are peppered with small "pot" bunkers that have high walls, making some of them difficult to get of with a single shot. But, naturally, the most highly skilled players on the planet can easily avoid them...unless swirling winds from over the sea come up. That brings a whole new element into play -plain old dumb luck.

Add dampness and drizzle and it's a totally different game for American pro's who play on fairways manicured to perfection versus a culture that thinks the land is the Lord's to begin with, so leave what's there alone. And if mowing is really needed, we'll send in the sheep this evening, after the rounds are over.

And that leads to a whole 'nother question about sports in general. What's a truer test to determine the best, a football game played in a domed stadium or on a perfect, windless day outdoors, or one played on a snow-covered field with winds whipping sideways at thirty miles an hour, were nobody can see or hold the ball?

Who's the best horse, one that can break every dry-track speed record set at Churchill Downs in the sunlight or a "mudder" plug that can slog through three-foot deep mush in a typhoon to win?

How about a boxer who has no skills whatsoever, but has incredible stamina and a head that can absorb a blow from a mortar? If that guy outlasts a first-rate, light on his feet champ with a jab that can sting like a bee, is the clod a a better fighter because he won on endurance?

I know that these kinds of questions go on in bars for hours, and never, ever, get resolved, but today's gruelling (and by the way boring for me) test of golf made me think of them. Then again , tomorrow's another day and if Mother Nature smiles on St. Andrews in Scotland, maybe they'll get a chance to play some real and exciting golf.

That's it for today folks


Thursday, July 15, 2010

BloggeRhythms 7/15/2010

Nothing much in the news again, though I really didn't spend too much time looking. Because the British Open started today, one of my favorite events. And, aside from it being a wonderful tournament, it's played in Scotland this year, so TV time starts here at four in the morning.

Now, when I watch televised golf, I use my own system, so I'm not always on top of the action. First of all, I don't turn the sound on at all, and haven't for years. So unless they post a scoreboard, I generally haven't a clue to who's doing what.

Aside from that, I keep a secondary channel in my remote, so when any commercials or players I have no interest in appear, I simply push the button and watch something else. Today, it's been CNBC business news, I think, because I don't turn that sound on either. But I do watch the market updates, headline crawlers, and prices of oil.

Now, I've also never been the type to really care about statistics in sports. In fact, even with players and teams that I love, I don't remember scores, important games, or practically any details at all, whether I watched events or not. First of all, I make no effort to mentally store the information, and beyond that, have never had an important reason for recollection. Aside from that, I spent most of my own time playing sports, not focusing on what somebody else did.

Nonetheless, sometimes things make an impression. And that happened this morning. Because, the leader of the Open today is a 21 year old kid named Rory McIlroy from Northern Ireland, who shot nine under par tying a first round Open record. But, those kinds of things happen in major tournaments all the time.

Some unknown, or perhaps a resurgent has-been, goes out and shoots a record score in round one. Then the press goes ballistic, and announcers and experts talk about it on the air for hours. Predictions of looming or returning greatness are made, the players life story is plastered all over the sports shows and reporters camp out on the lawn at the player's parent's home seeking inside scoops, biographical oddities and personal vital statistics. And, that's another reason I keep the sound off. I only care about how these guys play their sport, not when and where they brush their teeth or how often they change their socks.

All that hype and noise aside though, and the reason for this entry, is that this kid could be the real deal. I knew nothing about him til' this afternoon when I went and looked him up. You can find the same stuff I did in Wikipedia, so I'm not going to repeat it here. But, it seems, he's been tested as both a top-rated amateur and as a pro, winning tournaments here and in Europe. He's likely comfortable in the surroundings and his day one score shows that he has the capability to shoot low rounds.

So, this isn't a prediction, golf's too mercurial for that, but it's just to go on record that McIlroy certainly has a real shot (no pun intended) at winning this thing. Yet, at the same time I'm going to keep on pulling for Steve Stricker. He didn't have a great first round, but he ain't dead yet, and that's what counts.

That's it for today folks.


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

BloggeRhythms 7/14/2010

They say that no news is good news, and I guess that’s really true unless you’re trying to write a blog entry and staring at blank pages. But, in fact, there really isn’t anything happening that’s worth typing-time at the moment. Just more of the same old, same old.

The news aside though, I got a compliment from a reader yesterday that really pleased me more than most. A young lady who liked my first book, Hot Cole, just finished the second, Cole Calling. She’s spoken to me about her progress as she read along and told me for some time now that she‘d liked the first book, and felt the second even better, really enjoying them both. When I spoke to her last week, she had only four pages left to read.

Now that she’s finished the story, she told me the ending really surprised her. Reading those last four pages had her wondering what was going to happen to Bobby Cole, the hero. When she found out, she said she was shocked.

From my perspective, as an author, her reaction was the best I could hope for. A reader who really cares about the story and characters and is glad to have read the book. It doesn’t get better than that.

It’s said that most who read novels decide in the first few words whether to keep reading or not. And if the beginning doesn’t "hook” them, they’ll simply move on to something else. As a reader myself, although I agree with that premise in general, for authors I like, I’ll try a few more pages before I finally decide.

The endings though are something else entirely, as far as I’m concerned. My biggest complaint about popular novelists is when they either run out of ideas or become so creative that really good stories end with some kind of ridiculous happening. And in those cases I feel, as a reader, I’ve been taken in up front only to be disappointed at the end, having invested my time to later find out that something impossible, improbable or inane takes place…letting me down with a thud.

In fact, that’s how I became a fiction author. When I complained to a friend who teaches creative writing about how disappointed some convoluted, unreal endings made me feel, she challenged me to do better or keep quiet. More or less -put up or shut up. So, that’s what I did, and now I’m a novelist.

But, the best part is, that what made me accept the challenge of writing novels in the first place, creating believable, satisfying endings has been met. The bad news is, now I’ve got go out and do it again in my new book, It’s Cole Outside, because it isn’t easy.

The funny thing though is that, apparently, endings have been an important part of my whole business life. Because, while writing this entry it occurred to that I spent forty years in the commercial financing field and even wrote a book about the subject, Selling Equipment Leasing. But now that I’m no longer active, it seems the whole industry’s gone down the proverbial chute worldwide. And that’ leads me to believe that if I’d stayed around longer, perhaps we might not have seen that business end the disastrous way it did.

That’s it for today folks.


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

BloggeRhythms 7/13/2010

I came across this headline this morning and think it’s worth a comment. “NAACP Considers Condemning Tea Party for 'Racism.'”

It seems to me it’s been a very long time now that these kinds of accusations crop up and, I believe, fairly often have no merit at all. Yet, the words are seen by countless numbers who never read beyond the headline, nor search out the facts. And that, I guess, is why organizations work so hard to have a specific sound-bite or statement in huge font type reach the media outlets.

So, in effect, what we really have are news or issue related “catch 22’s,” where words or statements are either taken out of context or highlighted to prove a completely different point.

If, for example, when groups such as the Tea Party take stands against voter fraud and cite particular venues where it occurs, if those venues happen to have large minority populations, activist groups don’t address the real problem of actual fraud. Instead, they turn the issue around and say that the party is against permitting minorities to vote in those particular places, thereby turning an unbiased truth about something else into a racially-charged statement.

So, how do you these kinds of issues get addressed, or serious situations brought to light if they can’t be mentioned without the source being accused of having an ulterior, hostile agenda? The answer is, you probably can’t because the general media won’t let you get your real point across. And what that leads to is incredible, mind-bending frustration, racial tension and real issues painted over because they’re not permitted to come to light.

And that reminds me of a situation I was in while still in my late teens. I was running a factory's shipping department. All boiled down, that basically required that cartons of manufactured items be stacked for storage and eventual shipment, and that outbound freight was picked from stock, addressed and loaded on to outbound trucks.

Summers were our busiest times, because most retailers, such as F.W. Woolworth, W. T. Grant and the like, down to the smallest outlets, did their stocking for the holidays then. Ordinarily during that season I’d have six or seven folks in my department, almost all of them of one minority or another such as black, Puerto Rican and Cuban. It really didn’t matter to us though, because we worked side by side together over very long days, and as a result, some times even beyond the workplace, became friends.

Now, I was in fact the ”manager,” and every employee knew it, but when it came to something like loading a truck when everyone else was working double speed at something else, I didn’t stop to think “I’m the boss here,” I handled the freight myself. In fact, we all worked that way, bailing each other out whenever needed and at the end of the week, we all received compensation for jobs that were well done. And, we were all proud in our own ways of that accomplishment.

Then one day a newcomer joined our department, during our busiest time of the season. Now, we weren’t doing rocket-science, but there were tasks to be learned along with procedures. And, during the learning-curve, questions or requests for information were available from myself, as well as any other experienced employee. Thus, ordinarily, together we brought new folks up to speed rather quickly.

Somewhere during the first few days of this newcomer’s arrival, I noticed he worked at a slower pace than the rest of us. But I wrote that off to unfamiliarity, nervousness and fear of making errors. And yet it seemed in time his activity level never seemed to increase. So I spoke to him about it, receiving assurances he knew he had to do better and would certainly try. But, that never happened.

Mentioning later what now seemed like outright dawdling again, I told the newcomer that if he didn’t put some effort into his work, I’d be calling personnel, seeking his replacement. And that’s when he smiled, and said something like, ‘Oh no. You can’t do that. You’ve got to keep me on this job.”

When I asked him why I couldn’t seek replacement for a slacker, he told me that he was an American Indian, and even back then, had job rights protecting against termination, even for cause.

Not really knowing what to do, I simply reacted. I pushed him to the loading dock door and threw him off the raised shipping platform. After dusting himself off, he said, “You can’t do that to me!” I replied, “I just did. And , if you try to get back in here, I’ll throw you off again.” In fact, he did try, but soon tired of it because he found out I wasn’t kidding. I didn’t want him in my department. And, not because of his heritage, that didn’t matter to me at all. I had a job that needed doing, and it called for someone willing to work.

Now, I doubt that my solution would get very far today because of what the workplace’s become in general, giving slackers places to hide under protection of the law. But what if we all got together just once, any workday would be fine, and simply throw all the bums out together. Surely, they’d have all kinds of complaints, issues, condemnations and lawsuits –but, we’d be left with a working environment that was actually productive. And, if that’s the case, the condemnation and a few days in court would certainly be worth it.

That's it for today folks.


Monday, July 12, 2010

BloggeRhythms 7/12/2010

I'm glad I don't work for a newspaper or other media outlet, because I think you lose your job if you turn in blank pages. But, other than the same old, same old that's been boring most folks to despair, there's nothing worth blogging about. Except, Steve Stricker.

He's a golfer that won the John Deere Classic in Silvis, Illinois yesterday. 43 years of age, from Edgarton, Wisconsin, he graduated University of Illinois, turning pro in 1990. He has 9 professional wins all told, and currently ranked number four in the world.

He and Justin Rose are among the favorites in the upcoming British Open this weekend at the old course at St. Andrews in Scotland, a legendary site dating back to the beginning of golf as we know it today.

But why bring him up at all? Are there really that many blog readers who know who Steve Stricker is, or care if he wins or not. He's not really a "name" at all. And, that's why I'm writing about him. I've been a fan of his for several years now and watched as his career went up, then down, then up again, but without many headlines. And, I suspect that he got so little notice because, above all, he's a class act.

I know that as folks get headlines today, the media sleazes and dumpster divers search for whatever morsel they can find to smear anyone in the news, especially professional athletes. But so far in Steve's case that hasn't happened.

Maybe it's because like Arnie and Jack, all he wants to do is play golf and doesn't care if it's a Sunday afternoon putting to win a major event or playing a round with friends on Monday. He just likes to have fun in the sun, and if things go right -maybe a win. So, he's not out looking for trouble anywhere else, and there aren't a lot of distractions on the golf course. Except for maybe the Crosby tournament in the spring that's been overtaken by uncoordinated dysfunctional show-business clowns.

Now, surely professional golf isn't pristine, it's had a number of huge disappointments and frauds. But, I think, a whole lot less than most other pastimes. No doubt John Daly is a world class loser, and though he seems to be struggling to save what's left of his game, will likely stay one. And Woods of course, who is hopefully unique. I don't really know nor care what people think regarding his future in golf, but as for me, my TV has an "off" switch so I'll never find out. There were others too, like Greg Norman, who I guess may not be a bad guy, it's just that his game never quite measured up to his mouth.

I think you have to really love the game to sit and watch it as a fan, and can't figure out why anyone would watch who doesn't play, because it's more boring than watching a Volkswagen rust. Yet, within the game itself, there are huge super-stars who've never made a controversial blip because they conduct themselves like winners, on and off the course. Like Raymond Floyd, Curtis Strange, Hale Irwin, Lee Trevino, Doug Sanders, Billy Casper, Sam Snead, Gary Player, Ben Hogan and of course -Freddy Couples who like Palmer is in a class by himself.

So, maybe the game will continue to set itself apart due to folks at the top who truly conduct themselves like winners all the time. And, if we're lucky, perhaps the difficulty of the game itself along with the embarrassment of appearing as the fools the hangers-on really are will chase them out. Except for the comedians whose whole lives and golf games are pathetic jokes -the odds are they'll likely never figure either one out.

Thats it for today folks.


Sunday, July 11, 2010

BloggeRhythms 7/11/2010

Although my friend, Lannie Rose, might think the following is a politically slanted commentary, it's not. It's just another item where politicians, period, insert their ideas into policy-making regardless of the situation, costs, after-effects or ultimate ramifications. In this case, they're attempting to weaken an aspect of the banking system that is far too critical to this nation presently, and likely to remain that way, because it always has. The Federal Reserve banking system.

The financial overhaul bill is about to become law. In it, House Democrats have included a largely overlooked provision that would create diversity czars to promote racial and gender hiring in federal agencies -sparking concerns about racial quotas, government waste and charges that Democrats are attempting to politicize the Federal Reserve.

Diana Furchtgott-Roth, an adjunct fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, said the bill should be sent back to conference without this provision, citing concerns about racial quotas and costs.

"The chief concern is that you're moving from a situation where discrimination is prohibited, which is well and good and that is established law, to a situation where there are quotas in the workplace," She contends the law would then extend to contractors and subcontractors, eventually leading to quotas in the private sector. "And those are two very, very different things."

She said the law would create at least 20 new offices and up to 29 if every Treasury agency is required to create a minority office. "It would probably cost a million or over" to operate on an annual basis for each office, also noting that the Cabinet-level departments all have similar offices in place and questioned why more are needed.

She added that, "This is a very serious concern, we have a deficit of over a trillion dollars ($13,192,234,850,314.21 at 11:42AM this morning.) Every American knows that we need to cut the deficit and not only is this a waste of money but it implies that the existing offices we have are a waste of money (too)."

So, how does this happen? Why is it that politicians insist on fixing things that aren't broken and in order to push their own agendas take everyone else down with them in the process? Somehow, somewhere, these people have to be made to understand that they've already bled the system dry, and there's nothing left to sop up.

Though I still think the drumbeats getting louder, foretelling that all of them will be replaced soon, regardless of political affiliation, the way things look now if the financial bleeding doesn't cease, we may have to sell the drum to buy food.

That's it for today folks.


Saturday, July 10, 2010

BloggeRhythms 7/10/2010

Lannie Rose posted the following comment to the blog on July 7th, but I didn't see it until today.

"Lannie Rose said...
LOL! You're hysterical, Mike! So it's the rich and powerful who are sorely abused, and they must rise up against the unwashed masses. Thanks for the good laugh!"

I went back and responded to Lannie's comment directly, but I doubt folks will go back and look it up, so basically here's what I said.

"Sorry Lannie, I didn't see this until today. But, either I'm not a very good writer or I didn't come close to making my point.

But I don't think there's going to be an uprising against the masses by the rich and powerful here at all. It's just that the successful one's keep getting increasingly drained financially by government and have less and less to show for their efforts. So, sooner or later they'll have to find ways to keep more of their earnings, or they'll be broke too, like everyone else. Because, it seems, the middle class is being legislated and taxed out of existence.

Therefore, I simply think those who earn will try to find better ways to protect whatever assets they have left. And, when that happens, whoever's draining the system now will have to do it somewhere else because this cash spigot's going to be empty.

So, when that happens the simple question becomes, how will the hangers-on survive? I think they'll have to search out other financial targets than here, because they'll have exhausted this one. Thus, they'll either have to leave here or go out and do some work. And, by the way, a huge segment of the top non-contributing types and takers happen to be politicians and government workers of both political parties.

So, as I said to start, my comments have nothing to do with political affiliation or the rich vs the poor. All I'm trying to ask is where will anyone get anything from after the politicians steal it all?

That's it for today folks.


Friday, July 9, 2010

BloggeRhythms 7/9/2010

Late entry today. Busy with several big chores. But, wanted to mention a continual theme. The beating of the political drums of unrest.

Carly Fiorina is challenging Barbara Boxer for her United States Senate seat in California. Fiorina was chief executive officer of Hewlett-Packard from 1999 to 2005 and previously an executive vice president at AT&T, coordinating the spinoff and initial public offering of Lucent.

In 2008, Fiorina served as a top economic advisor to Republican presidential candidate John McCain and currently serves on the boards of several major business organizations. When Fioina first entered the race she trailed Boxer by more than 35% in polls. But, now it seems she's caught up, with four months to go til' November.

At the same time, Rory Reid, Democratic candidate for governor of Nevada, until recently completely avoided using his last name in ads. His aim was to downplay his political lineage as the son of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. The father's been facing incredibly low approval ratings among Nevada voters, so his son avoided touting the family name.

What these trends illustrate to me is, especially after the surprising Democrat losses in New Jersey, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, that no matter how much noise the White House tries to make to the contrary, people are fed up with having their health care system destroyed, taxes out of control, immigration unbridled, vacillation on protection for middle-east nations and billions of dollars wasted on so-called education that's a joke. So, no matter the party represented, incumbents are on their way out.

The most remarkable thing about all this, however, is that the administration doesn't seem to care a whit about what they're doing to the population. One has to believe that they know its over for them, but they keep going straight ahead with their plans, no matter. That leads me to wonder exactly what it is that Soros is doing for them. I doubt he paid them in advance, he's much too smart for that.

So, what could the payoff be that's worth career and political suicide? I'm not sure I really want to know the answer, because it's got to be pretty scary and surely something that's not going to be too good for you or me.

That's it for today folks.


Thursday, July 8, 2010

BloggeRhythms 7/8/2010

In an interview with Politico Monday, talking about Iraq, Joe Biden said we “will be able to point to it and say, ‘We told you what we’re going to do, and we did it.” He was also in Iraq over the Fourth of July weekend, saying the American people will be able to see Obama’s Iraq policy as successful. Then adding “I sound corny, but I think America gets credit here in the region. And I think everybody gets credit, from George Bush to [President Obama].”

The small compliment was a shift from Biden’s assaults on Bush war policies, and his claim earlier this year that Iraq would actually be one of the Obama administration’s greatest achievements. Because Iraq was something both Biden and President Obama in the past said was absolutely unnecessary throughout their campaign strategy in 2008.

Former Bush Press Secretary, Dana Perino responded to Biden’s comments and trip to the region, saying “The truth is, the strategy was laid out by President Bush and it was carried out by our brave troops, led by a superb general, with cooperation from the Iraqis. Sometimes all we do is pick on the Iraqis when they deserve a lot of credit for the turnaround. However, Vice President Biden was right to prod them on forming a government -he absolutely was right to do that and I hope it helps.”

Fundraising in Dallas earlier in March, Biden had taken a more negative tone about the former administration and Iraq in front of a friendly Democratic crowd, "We inherited a cynical republic." Biden said. "And I can't blame them. Eight years of collapse, eight years of being misled about wars."

Having said all that and smearing Bush wherever it can, the White House has now picked General David Petraeus to take over the war in Afghanistan again -the same one Bush tapped to turn Iraq around. They also seem to be setting the stage for the White House to give Bush more credit on Iraq and Afgahnistan.

Once again, I'm mentioning this not because of the war policies, because our intervention in the Middle East has always been in our best interests. But, what's despicable is the fraud of the politics. These same Dem politicians ranted and raved all through a campaign about issues they knew absolutely nothing about. They fired up people, screamed and yelled and were perfectly willing to withdraw from a region no matter the potential danger to the U.S. And, now, since they're in office, the military thrusts are suddenly brilliant, well-managed and necessary to boot.

I'm sure the change of heart and plan came from the realization that the potential dangers of an unbridled Middle East would eventually lead to horrors here, but that's been obvious for quite a long time. That's why both Bush's tried to help fix it. But, so has the potential dangers of our porous borders been a smoldering fire about to rage, which the Dem's don't care about either, all they want is the illegal votes.

Yet, there's a drumbeat in the background now, and it seems to be getting louder. More and more folks who matter know what the real stories are in Iraq, Afghanistan and Arizona. So, Joe Biden can blow all the smoke he wants about who's responsible for what, because when November comes around, there'll be plenty more, coming from his compatriots tailpipes as they head back home un-reelected.

That's it for today folks.


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

BloggeRhythms 7/7/2010

Yesterday I mentioned reviewing my entries, to prevent repeating myself or beating an issue to boring death. But, some things, I think, need to be kept in focus or they’ll just get swept up in the tide and forgotten.

That brings me to illegal immigration one more time. As previously mentioned, the state of Arizona has enacted its own law to try stemming the flow of Mexicans into the state illegally. Officials say that the risks and costs of illegals to the public and government are huge, brought on by violence, vandalism, tax evasion, medical care, hospitalization, childbirth, as well as the expense of policing, trials, imprisonment and the like.

Now, the federal government has stepped in. The Department of Justice has filed suit in federal court to overturn Arizona’s law, because, according to the DOJ, border protection is a federal matter and tied into several other functions having to do with major crimes and illegal drug sale prevention, among other issues.

On the surface, this seems to be simply a matter of jurisdiction and which laws, state or federal, should apply. However, I don’t think that’s really the case at all. Because, if you go back to the beginning and peruse the facts you find that Arizona’s law enactment came about because it’s pleas for federal help were ignored for a significant amount of time.

Beyond that, the federal government claims that immigration laws have to be consistent for all border states, therefore it’s the federal government’s job to enact them, yet it’s done nothing in that regard while the border deterrents have more holes than Swiss cheese.

Then, along came the president who said that his worry is that more border states will try to enact their own laws if this one stays in place, and there will be inconsistency in border patrol and safety, incursions to individual’s rights and potential havoc. That being the case, he insists that a federal law be enacted regarding all these issues, and oh, by the way, there’ll probably be something in there giving the 12 million illegals already here some kind of citizenship and, of course, voting rights.

As a practical matter, I really can’t blame the president regarding his goals. I think any politician would do whatever possible to try to help himself. But, I don’t think this is so much about what’s being attempted; I think it’s the how. Because it seems Arizona’s been painted into a corner.

They have a huge problem caused by illegals jamming their streets, hospitals and courts, caused by federal failure to protect the border. Yet, when they try to help themselves, the same federals tell them they can’t do that, it’s the federal’s job. Naturally, one could look at these circumstances and say, isn’t a shame how things like this happen. It’s just another example of government ignoring problems until they get out of hand, and then trying to cover the issue up before it embarrasses them completely. But, I don’t think that’s the case here at all.

I believe this situation and its ramifications have been manipulated from the beginning. Because there’s practically no chance that if those here illegally gain the right to vote, they’ll vote any other way than Democrat. That’s a significant number for any other opposing party to deal with.

So, once again, this entry isn’t so much about what politicians do, but about the way that they do it, readily sacrificing the safety, welfare and perhaps lives of citizenry to garner better chances of re-election. And, that, above all else, is their primary (no pun intended) goal. But, as I wrote yesterday, I think the clock really is ticking this time around, and the folks carrying the burden of politician’s purely self-centered arrogance have had enough. And, perhaps, those same politicians will cross the same border the other way, looking for somewhere to hide when they’re all thrown out.

That’s it for today folks.


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

BloggeRhythms 7/6/2010

Like all writers, I guess, I go back and re-read my entries. To see if I’m getting repetitious or tending toward boring. Doing that this morning, I told myself “look at what your own stuff is illustrating clearly.”

To begin with, we all read, see or hear the same news in a general sense, regardless of the source or slant, and, sooner or later discover the truths. But, at the same time, we do it in increments, a day or so at a time. And, perhaps, the information accumulates in our heads -or maybe not- depending on our level of interest. Then most of us move on to something else. That’s why even my own notations hit me with a jolt now and then…because I wonder why so much of what disturbs us in the world, we actually caused ourselves.

This came quite clear to me in the last few days, thinking and writing about July 4th. And how a band of disgruntled folks went out and began building the greatest nation on the planet. While they accomplished much more than I think even they truly expected, their primary goals were independence and freedom. Especially in regard to benefitting directly from the fruits of their labors and avoidance of paying taxes without representation to those who did absolutely nothing to earn them except, by birth, theft or extortion functioned as the ruling class.

Now its two hundred thirty-four years later, and most hard-working, succesful Americans are in almost precisely the same boat as our founding fathers…except, there’s a major difference in how we got on board this time.

Because, its always been clear that there are those who rise to the top of every endeavor, be it business, social, intellectual, athletic, or otherwise -simply because they possess natural ability and talent, enhanced by the will to succeed. And, as a rule, the remainder are either middling or fall to the bottom, due to ineptitude, laziness or disinterest, it really doesn’t matter which. And, that’s not a supposition or biased opinion; it’s simply how it works.

So, what that result illustrates is that in most walks of life the fewest are those who are the best. Thus, those whom have the most to give are the least in number and most often wind up carrying the rest on their backs. And, when times are good, those hauling all that weight simply grin and bear it, because with so much gained from their efforts, why worry about the scraps?

Yet, sooner or later there must come a time when that bubble has to burst, because the tonnage piles up to where even the best of the best can’t carry that much. And, in a political structure, that leads to revolt.

What form the next uprising will take is yet to be seen, but I believe there’s little doubt its inevibility exists, and that the clock is ticking.

Except this time around, I don’t think the cream of the crop will relocate somewhere else to start over. They’ve work too hard to attain whatever they’ve still got left. So, regardless of how huge the number of takers and thieves has grown to, it looks like they’re the ones that will have to start packing up pretty soon. And, worse than that, if they want to survive, they may eventually even have to -pardon the expression- do some work.

That’s it for today folks.


Monday, July 5, 2010

BloggeRhythms 7/5/2010

I'm not the best predictor in the world. If I was, I'd have a much better showing for the days I spent at the trotters. But, sometimes my guesses are right on the nose. And yesterday proved that point.

We've spent many Fourth of July's at the home of one of our closest friends, and traveled there yesterday once more. My premonition was that the day would be perfect, and it was. And, if things can be better than perfect our day met that measure too.

Aside from the fact that my pal's home is a great place by itself, large rooms, huge kitchen, expansive windows everywhere, two decks, one large, one smaller -there's the location. This place is on a strip of land on the north shore of Long Island in a community having only 254 homes all told. The total population consists of 184 families and 625 people. Of that small group of homes about 40 of them are on Long Island Sound. My friend's place is right in the middle of that row of residences, and his back yard is a sandy beach leading right down to the water.

Since the weather was magnificent, warm but with no humidity and light breezes off the sound, after our arrival, I never left the beach til' dusk. And, I must say there's something very pleasant about lolling next to the water for hours and only having to wave toward the house when you need another cold one.

The house itself was filled with people, many of whom brought food and drink, so whatever your pleasure it was likely there. From the traditional raw clams and steamers, to six foot hero's, seafood and green salads, dips, chips, salsas, pasta dishes, stir-fries, burgers and dogs, and even grilled racks of ribs, then countless desserts. Nobody went home hungry.

Toward the end of the afternoon a tugboat pushed a barge along the water, three hundred yards or so out from the beach, stopping midway of the row of beachfront houses. Around dusk, bonfires were lit up and down the shore. Then at twenty past nine in the evening the skies erupted. Because the barge was full of fireworks, putting on an incredible show. Likely, the event was also seen by folks in Darien, Norwalk, and Westport Connecticut, directly across Long Island Sound.

All in all, as I indicated from the start, I've been to these celebrations often, so I anticipated a marvelous day, and that's exactly what I got. But, there's another side to this story.

Obviously -I think- my friend lives where he does because he's earned the right through significant business success. And, the same goes for his neighbors. In fact, for many of them their beach houses are second homes, used only for summer weekends and perhaps, vacations. Though, likely they travel other places to really get away. Nonetheless, the fourth has always been a festive day up and down the beach.

Most all of the residents use the fourth to kick off their summer. Huge gatherings of invitees normally fill the homes and, naturally, the beach itself. Softball games, football tosses, Frisbees, kites, even horse-shoe pitching. All kinds of toys in the water, floats, catamarans, kayaks, jet skis, goggles, masks and snorkels, you name it. Later in the day, two nearby neighbors brought in music -one a disco group, the other a six piece live band. So, music, songs and laughter filled the air.

But not this year.

The house to my friends left had, by my guess, perhaps twenty percent of the usual guests. There were no throngs up and down the wide beach as there have been in the past. All told, the scene was relatively quiet, especially since there was no music at all from either of the homes usually providing it. They, it seems, decided this year was time to thin the crowds that were "getting out of hand."

And, if that's true, crowd-thinning was the goal, they both did an excellent job, because there surely weren't any crowds to speak of. As for my friend's relatively new immediate neighbors to the right, they didn't even show up themselves, so for the first time to my recollection, that house was completely dark.

So, what does all this paring down really mean? Unfortunately, I think the answer can be found by flipping a few pages of the Wall Street Journal, or tuning in Fox business news. Because, in prior years I never got the sense anyone having a party in a home on that beach cared for a second how many folks showed up. There was always room for more. But today, it's a little different. Because aside from all those fireworks blowing up, so are their investments -and those huge beach parties are very, very expensive.

That's it for today folks.


Sunday, July 4, 2010

BloggeRhythms 7/4/2010

July 4th, the day we celebrate our independence from the imperious Brits, who taxed and penalized our founders so unmercifully they finally forced them to revolt.

The country those brave, industrious freedom seekers began grew to become the most powerful nation on Earth. Not only outpacing all others, but reaching a point where the British themselves often ask their recalcitrant offspring for help.

Looking back at what was achieved over our relatively short history is almost beyond belief. Starting with nothing but their bodies, minds and a fervent desire to succeed, a nation was built that wanted for nothing. Between our shores and borders everything man could ever want could be found and reaped.

And, then…something changed. Doers, movers, and shakers were somehow replaced by hordes of takers, hangers-on and frauds. Hands that were once used to work now reach into other folks pockets, stealing whatever they can find there. And, leaders not only no longer lead, they don’t follow either, instead caring only about what they can do for themselves.

So, what has become of this once all powerful, self resourceful nation? Well, the resources are still there as plentiful as ever, maybe more-so. I doubt anyone will find out soon what the truth is though, because group after group will complain and bicker about what harm’s being caused by our trying to help ourselves.

And since we must keep our air pristine, our waters clear and our forests overfull with trees we’ll keep making Arab oil Sultan’s richer, import our cars from Japan and Korea, bring our food in from Mexico and overseas and our lumber from Canada. Our clothes come from nations whose names can’t be pronounced and our business calls are answered in India. At times it seems the only thing we really make here is noise.

But, I’m still going to go out this afternoon and celebrate my independence. I’ll sit on the beach at my friend’s house, sip some beer and at dusk I’ll watch a barge-full of fireworks go off. And the fireworks are really good ones, they’re made in China.

That’s it for today folks.


Saturday, July 3, 2010

BloggeRhythms 7/3/2010

I wanted to mention the following story yesterday, only for the simple purpose of giving myself credit for seeing through the sham bill the house Democrats used to get funding for escalating our efforts in Afghanistan, while those same politicians ran on platforms promising to bring all our troops home. But, if I did stick it in, the blog would have been four pages long.

What they did was to not only wrap the additional war costs in a convoluted bill covering all sorts of other things congressfolks wanted, they buried the war costs so far down they didn’t even have to mention them when voting.

In effect, when the House debated a “supplemental spending bill” to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, they never cast a single, direct vote on those issues. Most of the debate focused on funds for teachers, Pell Grants, summer jobs and three different ways to extract U.S. forces from Afghanistan. And that’s what happens when so-called leadership is reluctant to vote on something in a contested election year. Their way out is to “vote” on something else.

Since September 11th, Congress approved a series of “emergency supplemental spending bills” paying for military operations overseas, starting in Afghanistan and then Iraq. They know they can’t vote against these packages because they’d be portrayed as “Anti-American” or “voting against the troops.

War bills were easier shortly after 9-11, when Republicans ran the White House and both houses of Congress. But, Democrats control all three today and are primarily anti-war to start with. And though a troop drawdown is underway in Iraq, President Obama did, it seems, promise to focus more attention on Afghanistan. The U.S. and NATO added 40,000 troops there just last year.

But many liberal Democrats want the U.S. to devote its resources instead to education, jobs and other “pressing” social programs as usual. Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) said, “Every dollar we spend, every life we waste is a waste. It does not enhance the security of the United States.”

So Nancy Pelosi faced headaches as the Pentagon demanded the money and liberals prepared to say no. “There is unease in our caucus about Afghanistan,” she said last week. Even one of her top lieutenants, Rules Committee Chairwoman Louise Slaughter (D-NY) said, “A lot of us very much want to vote no on spending the money and staying there. If we were to win, how can you tell?”

So Democratic leaders had to craft a way to pass the bill, yet not vote directly on the legislation. Pelosi typically dodged when reporters pressed her on what this package could look like, saying, “When the Rules Committee completes its work, we will see what form it will be in. But suffice to say, whatever form it is in, whatever actions we take, our men and women in uniform on the ground will not be lacking in what they need.”

The bill’s “form” was unique, parliamentary in nature, confounding aides, journalists and members trying to decipher exactly what the House was doing. The Senate had already approved the war money in May, so it dispatched the bill to the House. And since the war money was in that package, the House now had a great head start.

The bill title didn’t even mention Afghanistan, Iraq, the military, the Pentagon or the troops, but instead was called “Making emergency supplemental appropriations for disaster relief and summer jobs for fiscal year ending September 30, 2010, and for other purposes.”

Then, the war issue never went to a definitive, up or down vote for passage, nor was there an individual vote on it. Instead, there was a specific vote to add funds for teachers, Pell Grants, summertime jobs and covering natural disasters.

Pelosi later had to appease those opposing the war. Rep. Barbara Lee’s (D-CA) amendment required a withdrawal from Afghanistan. Another would have stricken money for the operation. And others proposed asking the president to create a withdrawal timetable. In short, Congress approved a bill to continue the war while also voting on three proposals to end it.

I guess what it’s come down to is that politicians are so used to lying to constituents and screwing them without compunction; it’s a quite natural occurrence to turn around and screw their political allies and friends as well.

That’s it for today folks.


Friday, July 2, 2010

BloggeRhythms 7/2/2010

I read the following on Fox news website. I copied in the first two paragraphs, to be certain I got it right and ascertain that I hadn’t made the stuff up. But, according to Fox:

“Mexico gets a say in one of the lawsuits challenging Arizona's immigration enforcement law. A U.S. federal judge on Thursday granted Mexico's request to be allowed to file a legal brief supporting the challenge. That means the judge will consider the brief Mexico submitted previously.

Mexico says it wants to defend its citizens' rights and that the law would lead to racial profiling and hinder trade and tourism. It also says the law would hinder work against drug trafficking and related violence.”

This all has to do with Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, signing the law on April 23 and changes on April 30. Lawyers are defending the law in court. But, last week, Brewer stated she was "very disappointed" to learn of Mexico's filing, reiterating that "Arizona's immigration enforcement laws are both reasonable and constitutional."

Meanwhile, until 2008 Mexican law made illegal immigration a criminal offense. Anyone arrested for violation could be fined, imprisoned for up to two years and deported. That was changed in 2008 to make illegal immigration a civil violation like it is in the United States, but the law still reads an awful lot like Arizona's.

Arizona's policy, which Mexican President Felipe Calderon derided during a recent U.S. trip as "discriminatory," states police can't randomly stop people and demand papers, and the law prohibits racial profiling. Yet, Mexican law, “demands foreigners prove their legal presence in the country before attending to any issues."

Meanwhile, Amnesty International recently issued a report claiming illegal immigrants in Mexico -typically from Central America- face abuse, rape and kidnappings, and that Mexican police do little to stop it. When illegal immigration was a criminal offense in Mexico, officials were known to seek bribes from suspects to keep them out of jail. But Mexico said it has a legitimate interest in defending its citizens' rights and that Arizona's law would lead to racial profiling, hinder trade and tourism, and strain the countries' work on combating drug trafficking and related violence.

So, as I understand all this, if you illegally migrate into Mexico, you get all kinds of grief, including fines and stays in prison. But If Mexicans do the same in the USA, Mexico thinks that’s alright and illegals should be left alone. That leads me to believe that perhaps the Mexicans are just paving the way so that Central Americans can walk right through Mexico and cross an unmanned border into the United States, funneling their problems to us.

The saddest thing about it is that Nancy Pelosi and the president either don’t understand what’s going, or perhaps, think it’s alright.

What a country.

As a footnote, the House of Representatives OK'd a $60B bill Thursday to pay for wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and fund a variety of other programs like education, Pell Grants, natural disaster relief and relief efforts following the earthquake in Haiti.

Though many Democrats opposed the bill, concerned about the length of the conflict in Afghanistan, President Obama threatened to veto the package if House liberals tried to tie his hands with an amendment to withdraw troops from Afghanistan. A senior presidential advisor said, “If the final bill presented to the president contains provisions that would undermine his ability as commander in chief to conduct military operations in Afghanistan, the president’s senior advisers would recommend a veto.”

I threw this in simply as a reminder because the president was the guy who said the wars were purely driven by greed and a quest for oil by fat cat Republicans and their friends. He campaign promised to have the troops on their way home the day after his inauguration. But now that he's in office he's demanding the right to keep troops in Afghanistan for as long as he likes, with no restrictions at all. So, how come the press never mentions that?

That’s it for today folks.


Thursday, July 1, 2010

BloggeRhythms 7/1/2010

As I understand the story, this nation was founded by folks who wanted freedom so much they were willing to travel to an unknown place, thousands of miles away and start from scratch. All they began with was their brains and brawn and willingness to work. In time, their founding effort grew to become the greatest country on Earth.

From the beginning, and in view of their own efforts and sacrifice, they kept the entry doors open to all others who wished to come here too. Provided that those others went through the process of immigration, and once accepted, agreed to play by the rules. For the most part, the mixes and blends of arrivals into the system proved beneficial to all.

Jumping ahead to today, while the process of legal immigration remains in place, there’s another wrinkle. A continual flow of people tries to circumvent the system by entering illegally, mostly from Mexico, to date amounting to upwards of 12 million people.

If those were just folks showing up, melting into the pot and paying their way, as done by the others before them, there likely would be no problem. But, it seems, there’s been a slight change in perspective. These people don’t want to meld into our system at all. Their goal is earning income however that might be done, legally or not, no contribution to any kind of taxes and the grabbing of public and social services with both hands, especially from our medical system.

In order to try to cope with the overwhelming costs and dangers caused by illegal immigration, the state of Arizona recently passed a new law, requiring those suspected of an infraction to prove who they are. All this law really says in effect is, if you’re a citizen of the U.S. or are here legally otherwise, prove it. For most, that’s a thirty second chore.

But now the ABA and ACLU have jumped into the fray, by objecting to Arizona’s new law. They say, “if the law is implemented, it will promote racial profiling, lead to unlawful and unreasonable detentions and cause increased burdens and new obligations for the state's indigent defense system, courts and prosecutors.”

So what are we supposed to do? Walk away, stick our heads in the sand and pay the costs of illegals because profiling is a “no-no.” That’s ridiculous. But so are the ABA and ACLU on most occasions.

So, how about this. Why don’t both organizations back down a bit, give the new law a chance and see what happens before they shoot off their mouths full of what-ifs? Because, let’s suppose for a moment that the combination of law and beefed up border patrols really does reduce illegal immigration. Maybe the word will go out that the USA isn’t so easy to breach anymore, and maybe some illegals in jail will scare many others off. Then there won’t be this overwhelming number of folks to arrest or clog up the courts.

And I know this next one is a tough one for the ABA and ACLU to consider, but for once maybe they could both do something for their fellow citizens by keeping quiet instead of representing every downtrodden cheat and illegal crook they can find.

That’s it for today folks.