Category Archives: Federal

Is the World Coming To An End?

Is it?  The Dow dropped over 600 points just today, after S&P dropped the rating of not only the United States but also Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.  We have a dysfunctional Congress and Senate.  We have a President who seems more concerned with fundraising and traveling than with leading the country.  We have federal departments with duplicate or outdated duties, not to mention the seemingly senseless programs.  Run, shrimp, run!!!  It seems like every politician is blaming someone else for our national problems, but it seems to me that they are ALL to blame.

Ok, those are our national problems.  What about the rest of the world?  Well, it’s not going so well either.  There were riots and burning in London today … apparently just for the fun of looting.  Other European nations have financial problems, being bailed out by other countries who have their own financial issues.  There is still a problem in the Middle East with rioting and ousting various dictators and regimes.  We are still losing our brave military men and women overseas.  There is still an issue with killing in Mexico, right on our own border.  With our own national problems going on, we haven’t heard much about the rest of the world the past few weeks but it’s still out there, bubbling under the surface.

When the media gets tired of reporting on our economy, when they get used to the “new norm,” we’ll start hearing more about other stories but what is going on worldwide that we aren’t hearing about right now?  We are stuck with tv news channels that dictate what they tell us, with reporters that tend to tell the news shaded by their own liberal or conservative ideology.  What ever happened to the reporters who just stated who, what, when, where, and how, and left the interpretation to us?  Why do we have to watch 2 or 3 different channels to get information that we have to sift through to get an unbiased reporting?

Is it too trite to say, as my parents used to say, “What’s happening to the world!”

What do you think about all of this?  How do you feel?  Do you feel safe?  Do you feel financially secure?  Do you worry about the future?  Do you see another Great Depression coming on?    Do you trust anyone, political or media?  Do you see any solution to what’s happening?  Do you see a light at the end of a tunnel?

I think our world, as we know it today, is ending, but I’m not sure what will take its place.

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$400 Million?

Ok, that’s it.  I’m upset.  Who decided that we could afford $400 million on Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” program?  She was lamenting that poor families often have to take 3 city buses or pay some expensive taxi to go to another community to buy healthy foods; that often, all they have available locally is a mini-market or a corner gas station to get food for their kids.  Hockey puck!!!  The majority of people live closer to a supermarket than I do!!!

She said that low-income families should have “fresh food retailers right in their communities, places that sell healthy food at reasonable prices so that they can feed their families in the way that they see fit.”  Really???  Who’s gonna run those places?  Is she going to force those mini-markets to sell fruit and vegetables?  Is she going to force a discount superstore in every community across the nation?

And if those retailers don’t agree with the concept, are they really going to keep fresh food in their establishments, after they take the government money?    What if the fresh food is not bought?  How much food will be wasted, rotting on the shelves, because people prefer buying peanut butter and jelly because they last longer in the pantry?  Fresh food is too expensive to waste these days.

And give me a break!  She has a program to stop serving French fries and soda in school cafeteria’s because she doesn’t trust the parents to make sure their kids are eating healthy.  So, does she trust the parents making decisions “in the way that they see fit” or not?

I’m sorry, but when the government is $14 trillion in debt and they are trying to find ways to cut spending, couldn’t that $400 million be used toward helping to pay our government’s current debts rather than starting yet another program that our free market system should be handling?

Whoever made this decision in this economy should be fired!  Grrrrr.

 

Shrimp, Rap, and Farmville?

  • Jell-O wrestling and nude parties at a science research station in the Antarctic 
  • A treadmill for shrimp, costing $500k
  • A year of pornography and chat rooms during work hours
  • Forty-seven romantic trips, costing around $144k
  • A study about why the same friggin’ teams dominate March Madness every year, costing $80k 
  • A study on how playing Farmville on Facebook helps adults develop and maintain relationships, costing $315k
  • A study analyzing how quickly parents respond to trendy baby names, costing $1m
  • The development of a laundry-folding robot, costing $1.5m
  • A study that shows that people who post pictures on the internet from the same location at about the same time are usually friends, costing over $2m
  • A bunch of amateur video clips about science, costing $50k.

It was reported today that all of the above activities was funded by the National Science Foundation using our tax dollars.  What???  Ok, this looks really bad but most bureaucracies have some waste and lax managers.  So get rid of the bad apples and lazy bums.  Hire some motivated people, people who have the expertise for the job and who NEED the job. 

I can understand the wrestling and polar bear party in the Antarctic.  Seriously, what else would you do with your free time there?  And if this were just a single person organizing some much-needed relief and fun, then discipline the organizers, determine WHY the employees need distractions, and help them deal with life in the Antarctic!  You definitely have a morale issue in that research center!

Yet it seems to me that building a treadmill for shrimp was a well thought-out project which couldn’t be a spur-of-the-moment idea, especially not for $500,000.  They needed to measure the impact of sickness on shrimp why???  Measure the impact of ridiculous ideas on our federal budget instead!!!

Does it really take a YouTube rap video called Money 4 Drugz and a song called “Biogas is a Gas, Gas, Gas” to get our kids interested in science?  What ever happened to teaching kids in the classroom, making it fun to learn, peaking their interest with your enthusiasm?  And I could’ve told you that if two people post the same picture from the same location at about the same time, they are probably friends and it wouldn’t cost us $2 million dollars.  But the real question here is why someone would want to know something like that so badly that they would actually plan a project to get some actual numbers to report to someone who cares!

What is it with the federal government and crazy spending?  Everyone is watching the budget and the bank account, but no one seems to be watching the coin purse.  Instead of rehashing old territory, can some government official go through every department and have every manager justify the reasoning behind every project costing over a certain amount?  I used to think that projects over $1 billion, or even $1 million, should be reviewed annually, just to make sure that the project is still necessary but, looking at these numbers, maybe we should shorten that time to every quarter, for every project over $10k, just until we get a few trillion of the debt paid off. 

We seem to be sinking from the puddles of unwatched waste and abuse, as much as from the floods of departmental spending.  Some of these activities are old, I understand that.  Yet they shouldn’t have happened in the first place.  Now that we are trillions in debt, we need closer oversight so this type of thing doesn’t happen again.

Oh, and where did I read this story, you ask???   The Daily Mail out of London!  Sure makes the U.S.A. look brilliant, doesn’t it?

Let’s Help Everyone In The World!

What did he say???  I’m sorry but the only thing I understood in President Obama’s speech was that he was trying to answer his critics … from all sides … and said absolutely nothing!

I have a theory and his speech just reinforced what I thought.  I think that he wants to look good, by helping people.  I can understand that.  I would like to help lots of people too but I just don’t have the extra cash to give some to every homeless person in this country.  This country doesn’t have the extra money to help the world either.  But he just set a precedent that we will help every country being ruled by a dictator who has brutalized his/her own people.  What happens when the next country demands our help via the UN? 

He does NOT want to take the blame for anything that goes wrong however.  That’s why he left on the trip to Brazil and sent Sec. Clinton instead to meet with the world leaders on Libya.  If it doesn’t go well, he can just blame it on Clinton and Gates for not running it well, for not being on the same page.  Now we’re going to turn it over to NATO.  Oh, great.  Now, if it doesn’t go well, he can add NATO to the blame-game.  It’s not HIS fault!  He gave general instructions and everyone else screwed it up!

So far, it looks like he thinks everything is going just fine.  We’re helping lots of people from genocide.  That’s true, but what happens if the rebels don’t win and Qaddafi stays in power?  Who do you think Qaddafi will retaliate against?  Yes, his own people would be first in line but then he would go after US.  If that happens, it’s NATO’s fault for not helping the freedom-fighters enough. 

If the freedom-fighters win, who takes over power?  Is there anyone strong enough to rule that country?  I don’t see anyone stepping up to the plate yet.  That means almost any organized group can come in and take over the country and we could be in a much worse situation than when Qaddafi was in power.  Then it’s still NATO’s fault for not sending people in to help set up a democratic republic. 

If WE had taken the lead, we would’ve handled it a lot differently!  Yes, Pres. Obama would have to take the credit OR THE BLAME for everything.  I may not have agreed totally with Pres. Bush, but at least he took a stand and everyone knew what he thought.  I can’t figure out exactly WHAT Pres. Obama is thinking … except that he wants to help everyone in the world … at our expense!

Wall Street, banks, unions, community groups, the government, terrorism or treason?

I am just amazed at the audacity of people in this country.  It was reported by a former SEIU employee that there are people who actually want to bring Wall Street and banks down.  They want to destroy them.  They want to distribute the money they have to the U.S. masses.  Well, excuse me, but part of that is MY money and I don’t want it all going to people I don’t know.  If I’m going to give my money away, it will be to people in need whom I love.  I don’t want anyone else coordinating home owners and students to default on their loans.  I sure don’t want yet another financial crisis in this country!  I don’t want the U.S. economy destroyed.

I just don’t understand why anyone would go along with this proposal.  The average American stores their money in a financial institution of some kind.  Whether they know it or not, chances are really good that their retirement funds are in the stock market.  WHY would they want to destroy both their life today and their future?  This just makes no sense to me.  The only people who wouldn’t be hurt, in this case, would be those who get paid in cash and have no retirement savings.  For others, I guess they could take all of their money out of the bank before they default on their mortgage and/or student loans.  Regardless of how you get paid, at least you have a job, right?  If you do, and if the company you work for has checking and savings accounts, you could be jeopardizing your job to boot.

Think about it; it would be a personal nightmare if this were to happen.  Whether you are in a union or not, when the economy starts failing, you could end up in deep doodoo!  Assuming you have your paycheck automatically deposited to your financial institution and a retirement fund, this could definitely be a possibility:

You take all your money out of the bank and close your account so you don’t lose what you’ve already got before you voluntarily default on your student and/or mortgage loan.   Then you have to notify every commercial entity you use that any automatic draws will no longer work and that you will be paying in cash.  If the commercial entity is local, that’s ok; you just have to stop by every time a payment is due to pay it.  But if it is NOT local, that means that you have to get money orders or send money through the mail.  Ouch!  Sending cash through the mail is dangerous, since there is no money trail proving you paid.

And what if you forget one?  Or someone took the cash you mailed in that envelope?  Or what if your company’s bank doesn’t have enough ready money to pay everyone this month?  Crap!  Then you’ll be hit with late fees!  If it is a credit card, you’re really messed up because chances are good that they will raise their rate.  Your credit will suffer and you will have to live this way for at least the next 7 years, without missing any payments.  If you do miss one, the 7 years starts all over again!

With all the extra time, money, and trouble you will be spending, you probably couldn’t afford to eat, much less to pay any union dues anymore. So you will need a second job … or a third  or fourth.  But can you find a second, third or fourth job?  Chances are that most companies won’t be hiring if our economy is in the dumps!

So is defaulting on your mortgage or student loan really worth it?  Don’t get me wrong; I was in a union, years ago.  Yes, I was a telephone operator and part of my paycheck automatically went to a union.  I’m not against unions per se.  I am against, however, those people who are explicitly trying to cause our financial downfall here in the United States by organizing unions and community groups.  As far as I’m concerned, this is economic terrorism at the least and treason at the worst.  By trying to destroy our economy, they might as well be trying to take down the government as well.  Neither one can succeed if the other fails.

A Budget for Alien Abduction Investigation?

Ron Paul???  Seriously???  Please!!!  At the CPAC going on right now, Ron Paul won the straw poll for President for the 2nd year in a row.  Are you serious?  I KNOW he’s a Texan but that does not mean that most Texans, even Texas Republicans, would vote for him.  Unless the Dems put up Daffy Duck or Goofy, Ron Paul could not win.  I know I wouldn’t vote for him.  Where do the people who attend CPAC come from?  That does not give me any sense of respect for anyone attending CPAC.  I wouldn’t want to be associated with that straw poll.

In a recent Fox News poll, President Obama would win over the straw poll runner-up, Mitt Romney, 48% to 41%.  I’m not sure what that says about either one of them but so far I wouldn’t vote for any of the front-runners, Republican OR Democrat.  I’m just not sure that any of them have gotten the message yet that they work for us and that their power rests with us and not strictly within the Washington beltway. 

I have to live within a budget.  Texas has to live within a budget.  Businesses have to live within a budget.  A budget includes the money you have and the credit you are approved for.  Up until recently, credit has been relatively easy to get.  Nowadays, though, personal and business credit is difficult to get so we are forced to live on the money we have.  We can’t even rely on the assets we own anymore because few can afford and would want to buy what we may need to sell.  Yet the Federal Government doesn’t have this stipulation. 

One thing I do know … Even though I am conservative, I will not be looking at the results of the CPAC straw poll to help me decide on a candidate.

Cash for Plug-ins???

First Cash for Clunkers, now Cash for Plug-ins? Excuse me? I just got a hybrid not long ago and NOW the President wants me to junk it and get an electric car? Has he lost his mind? Not only is this ridiculous, it’s stupid! Unless he is trying to convert all-gas cars to all-electric, it just doesn’t make sense.

Also, with all the debt the US Government has, e.g. WE have, why is he trying to use my tax dollars to help private enterprises instead of using my tax dollars to help pay off the debt? If he really wanted to help the environment, promote bicycles and mass transit, not individual cars. If he wants to promote electric cars, let him give private companies a tax break on each electric car they sell and let him promote research to make electric cars better. Otherwise, I think his plan means that now I can get a free/nearly-free electric golf cart to putt around the farm. Do I REALLY need that? NO. Do YOU want to help pay for that? NO. Why should you? Why should I?

Didn’t he learn the first time he tried something like this??? At least I could understand trying to get old, polluting gas-guzzlers off the road.  But, if I remember correctly, wasn’t the Cash for Clunkers program used for things like golf carts?  I just cannot understand trying to push this country toward a solution that most people don’t seem to want. If they did, there would be more of a market for them and we may get there at some point. Now just doesn’t seem to be the time.