Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Another New Year!!!!!

First of all, I want to thank my readers. You mean more to me than you will ever know. I wish every one a happy, peaceful, fulfilling, and successful New Year. Remember, tonight is "amateur night". So keep yourself and those with you safe if you are on the road. 

Look for a new blog, Thursday or Friday. I'm looking forward to another good year. But I don't expect to enjoy a terribly improved year. I don't mean to be a downer looking forward, but I don't see much to encourage me. As always, "time will tell". 


Monday, December 30, 2013

Insanity or Inanity

There seem to be so many things, in recent years, that I don't understand. I think that I am a logical person with a sense of history but I just do not get Twitter. OK, maybe if you're ten, but adults? If I understand correctly, the idea is to get as many people as possible to follow your tweets. The twit that twitters, I assume that if you twitter, you are a twit, then produces an ongoing stream of nonsense, in 140 words or less, about every boring thing they do and every inane thought that passes through their head.

Ah, the charm of spontaneity. Unrehearsed and as raw as a freshly pulled carrot. Thank you, I'll take the carrot. It is far more useful. I am not sure, but I have a theory that every tweet that you read knocks a point off your IQ. Far to many people today can ill afford that sacrifice. A note to you twits out there, read a book, you will find your time better spent.

Now, while I feel that reading tweets is a boring waste of valuable time, I think writing them gets into an area somewhere between stupid and dangerous. Consider this. You are a dyed in the wool twit that feels his public is hanging on every word produced. Clipping your toenails, tweet it. Took a slug of cold medicine, big stuff. Get it out there. No harm, no foul, right. I understand that part of being a twit is to be a bit sarcastic and snarky. To produce tweets that cause excitement and, perhaps, a little anger from time to time. So what if you get angry or have a few to many adult beverages? What if you daringly range over into the world of non-politically correct.

Dangerous stuff, that. Didn't I just hear about a young woman that trashed a very promising career by being a twit? Jobs have been lost.  Police investigations have been begun. There are just so many ways to put your foot in it nowadays. 

Now that I have vented, I have one piece of advice. If your time is so useless and your life so empty that tweeting appeals to you, re-examine your life. Maybe do some volunteer work, take a course. You will be better for it.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Tolerance Is A One Way Street

I am getting extremely tired of liberals labeling conservatives as intolerant. They label themselves a progressive and extol the virtues of their own breed of tolerance. They love gays, transsexuals, cross dressers, folks with an affinity for barnyard animals, any body that marches to a different drummer, so to speak. They make sure not to label those that kill Americans shouting "Allahu Akbar" as terrorists. I have lost track, I think they call them freedom fighters or strangers in a strange land, or something like that. Their infinite degree of moral relativism allows, no, requires them to shout down those uneducated neanderthals that are so poorly schooled and of such low moral character as to find fault with the highly evolved liberal philosophies.

You see they love everyone. All ideas are welcome at their table. OK. maybe not so much. If you are a mullah that wants to kill homosexuals, that is acceptable because Islam is a religion of peace. If you are a priest of the Roman Catholic Church and preach that homosexual behavior is a sin, that is unacceptable hate speech and you may be considered a domestic terrorist. Or if your religious beliefs are fundamental and you quote the Bible, you will be vilified.   So, to the liberal mind, Christian speech must be stifled in spite of the first amendment.

If you are a layabout college dropout and take over a public park with a thousand or so of your closest friends. Then you hang there for a month or so of unwashed bodies and random violence, you must have an important political message for all to hear. Don't let the fact that you spout nonsense an live like animals stop you. Since you are young, inexperienced, and have been supported by over indulgent parents all your life, you can be sure the world is waiting for your wisdom.

But if you are older, have worked and paid taxes all your life, and you unite with others that feel that they have been Taxed Enough Already, you will be labeled "tea baggers" and thought of by those so very tolerant ones as terrorists. That is how it works in their, up is down, and, black is white, logic. So the first amendment does not apply to you either.

And to top off this whole pile of messy thinking, the DHS published a paper about how brave American soldiers who did what the government sent them to do are a danger to us all when they return home, labeling them as terrorists. In some cases these men have had federal agents show up at their homes to confiscate their privately owned firearms.

The country and it's government have gotten out of control. The tide of liberalism has overflowed the banks of reality. It is time for the tide to turn.  

Friday, December 27, 2013

I Love America And I Want It Back

"God Bless America", "America the Beautiful", My Country, "Tis of Thee", these are songs that we used to sing in school. Every morning. We would stand, face the American Flag. there was one in every classroom, and recite the"Pledge of Allegiance". We studied American History, from Columbus, through the Pilgrims, the Revolution, the Civil War, all of it. Our country became part of us.

My earliest years of memory were during World War Two. In those days patriotism was a point of pride, not something to be denigrated as uncool. To speak the truth, cool never gained anyone anything except an inflated image of their own place in the world. Everyone sacrificed because they knew that to do otherwise would hurt the war effort. And that was the most important thing on everyone's agenda. Besides, the small sacrifices made here at home could not compare to the sacrifices made by the young men that were sent to fight.

Finally, the war ended. There were parades and celebrations. Once again America had kept the world safe. We were the only country that had the capacity to supply the free world with arms and materiel to wage a war on that scale. We did it and we were proud. We were Americans and half the world wanted to come here and be American too. We welcomed them. Sign up. Get your name on the list. You'll get your chance.

Time marches on, ( No pun intended.) Five years later we had the war that wasn't a war. Believe me, it was a lot uglier than you would think it was by watching MASH. Then the country was subjected to that horrid mess in Viet Nam. That was the war that should never have been. Suddenly it seemed to be acceptable in many colleges and universities to find fault with America. To put every imperfection under a magnifying glass and exploit it for fame and fortune.  

Many professor made their careers as America haters. Unfortunately, the mush minded undergraduates that they taught bought their line and swallowed it, bait, hook, and all. It became cool to rip the country that gave you the freedom to rip your country. Remember what I said about cool.

Well, those mush minded undergraduates grew up in body, if not mind. Since they never learned any career skills in school, the got into politics. Either directly or as part of the hyena pack that politicians attract, looking to grab what they can. But still they rip the country that allows them to do this.

I, for one, am damned tired of it. I like to think that there are more of us that are like minded then there are of them. We have an election coming up in the next year. We must look at every politician on the ballot and ask, Is this person making this country better or doing harm? If they are doing harm, dump them. I do no care what their political affiliation is. I don't care if they have a pleasant smile. I don't care if they are the greatest orator that ever lived. And I most certainly don't care if they are cool. If we all can do this and save America, then we are all patriots.

Monday, December 23, 2013

OK, I Confess

I will sit here in front of the world and finally confess that I am a Christian. This absurd "Duck Dynasty" brouhaha has driven me to this. I intended to keep this to myself until they stuffed my ashes down some abandoned rabbit hole, never to be seen again.

Some personal history, for perspective. When I was old enough to attend Sunday School. I was summarily delivered to the local Methodist Church by my father in our old Pontiac. At which point he disappeared for an hour. For Christmas and Easter both of my parents would drive me to Sunday School and they would actually go to church.

But I did go to Sunday School. I read the Bible some. I loved to sing the hymns on Sunday and still remember most of the words. Later I sang in the choir and spent many enjoyable hours as a member of the youth fellowship. I did not "accept" Christianity. Christianity was part of me. I grew up into it.

As a child, I knew that there were Catholics and Protestants. I did not understand that Protestants came in so many flavors. But one night at a youth fellowship meeting we had a speaker who was of fundamentalist leanings. He gave a "Hell" raising speech about sin and accepting Christ as you savior. We were young and confused. We were trying to figure what in "hell" he was talking about. To our good fortune, and maybe not by chance, Dr. Linden, our minister attended the meeting.

The good Doctor walked to the front of our group and explained the difference between the sudden acceptance of Christ and being nurtured as a Christian from baptism.  He was moving, understandable, and commanding in his explanation.

In my mind, total unquestioned acceptance does not make the total Christian. All of my life I have sought answers. Blind faith is a wonderful thing if that is acceptable to you. Me, I question everything. I have gone from total acceptance to absolute confusion.

To me, religion is a very private journey. One travels across the plains of confusion and climbs the mountains of sure knowledge. On your lifelong trip you descend into the abyss of doubt. But as you mature in years and, hopefully, wisdom. The answers that you have sought start to emerge. But, be aware, they are your answers. Others may share them. Many will not.

I am coming to the end of my journey. I have been high on the mountain and lower in the valley than was necessary. But it was necessary to my journey. Every person must discover their own path. My understanding is greater than it was in my youth, but far from complete. I accept that in my mortal coil I will never completely resolve my doubts. After all, I am but human. But to my last breath and, hopefully beyond, I will continue to seek the truth.  

This is the first time that I have discussed religion and the first time that I have gotten this deeply personal. I decided that on Christmas week it might not be inappropriate. This will be my last blog until Christmas has passed. But I want to wish everyone a happy, merry, and joyful Christmas. It will be all family, all the time, for us. I hope you all have a Christmas that is as fulfilling.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Once Upon An Opportunity

As the industrial revolution progressed, America changed from an agrarian economy to a manufacturing economy. Made in America was proudly stamped on a world of well made and well engineered products. The ability to manufacture, regardless of size or quantity made America, not a world leader, but the world leader. It grew our economy and, especially, our middle class right through into the fifties.

Then, in the sixties, those that lead us, many times down a garden path, decided we are better than factory workers. We should all have college educations. We should all shower before we go to work, not shower the dirt of our toil after a day's hard labor. So manufacturing jobs were sent to other countries. Apprentice programs disappeared. Factories fell to ruin and smokestacks vanished from the horizon.

As is often the case when politicians make great plans. There were flaws. Big flaws. Not everyone wants to or is equipped to or can afford to go to college. Many college courses, while greatly instructive and interesting, do not provide the tools needed to earn a decent living. So we ended up with millions of people who wore white shirts and had clean hands doing office things that required all sorts of thinking and communicating but few manual skills.

When we had a manufacturing centered economy, a young person could go into the factories, start at the bottom, learn skills, they were happy to teach willing learners, and work their way up through the ranks to success. Many industries ran apprentice programs. One of the great machine tool manufacturers, Brown and Sharpe, had an apprentice program for machinists. A graduate of that program had the knowledge base of an MS in mechanical engineering and the manual skills to build just about anything. All of that is gone now.

We need to recover our ability to manufacture. We need the jobs that will be created to support a vital middle class. We need it to be self-sufficient in an emergency. The world is getting more dangerous and we must look to our selves first. Non-traditional colleges must be encouraged to provide the training in manual skills that used to come with "on the job training". We need a well rounded economy where those that don't make it to college can have a full and successful career in a less traditional path. We need to bring back the opportunities that brought this country to greatness and have since been discarded.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Benghazi - Reprint Twelve

I said I would keep re-posting my original Benghazi blog until we started getting answers. I want to reprint it again before the end of the year but I felt Christmas week would be inappropriate. Slowly but surely, information has been made public. But there is much more to know. It seems more likely that this was a weapons depot for arms going into Syria. It has also come out that the attackers knew the layout of the buildings. Both exterior and interior, including where the safe room was. There is no doubt in my mind that this was a military operation with fore-planning and good intelligence. We now know that there were military assets within striking distance that should have been called in. We are getting there but there is still a long way to go. My voice is one small voice, but I will keep trying.

Make no mistake, the Benghazi scandal is the one this administration fears most. They can label it "phony" all they want. It is real. The Benghazi scandal taints two people primarily. That is the President and the woman that would be his replacement. It is their lack of pride and lack of decisiveness along with a fear of political fallout that caused, directly or indirectly, the debacle in Benghazi. I may not be the loudest voice to express deep concern about the failure of our government to protect Americans on American soil. If all that are like minded keep up the struggle for honesty and justice we will ultimately prevail. So my re-posts will continue. My original article follows. It was written over a year ago and we are still waiting for the answers we deserve.

Remember Benghazi

The holidays are here and everyone is busy with their preparations. The newspaper, if they report at all, are reporting the crisis of the day. The president is heading to Hawaii in a week. Most politicians have lost interest in anything that matters. There are distractions galore. But through all this, we must remember Benghazi.

The administration, every person in it, hopes that the American people will just move on and call it done. Over. Old history. We must not do that. Benghazi is a big deal. Benghazi is not just one scandal. It is four separate scandals. Every one of them deserves our close attention.

The first scandal is that Ambassador Stevens called for more security and it was denied him. That is unheard of. An ambassador is the highest ranking American in any foreign country. He is the direct representative of the President. Normally when an ambassador makes a request it is granted without question. There are only two people in government with the power to deny an ambassador. That would be the Secretary of State and the President. So who made that decision and why? Was it made on political grounds? Was it made to appease someone in the Libyan government? After all this consulate had been attacked before. Weren't there enough warning flags up? Why was the Ambassador even there? Was he sent there secretly for a meeting? Why was he sent with insufficient personal security?

The second scandal is the attack on the consulate itself. This was an attack on sovereign American soil. When the consulate came under fire they called out for help. None was forthcoming. The people calling for help were experienced military. They had a drone overhead monitoring the situation. The battle lasted over seven hours. Help was available. Even a single AC-130 sent from Italy could have been there in an hour. Four honorable Americans lost their lives while serving their country. Why? Was this also a political decision? Do we now sacrifice our people for political reasons? Who was monitoring the feed from the drone? Who did they report to? We need answers. We deserve answers. Whatever was or was not done occurred in our name.

The third scandal, of course, is the pack of lies that the administration put out to cover this debacle. The stories had not even a bit of truth to them. It was not about some movie upsetting a flash mob. Any person with more than two active brain cells knew they were lies. But for weeks after, coincidentally right through the presidential debates, the administration stuck with the story. Week after week, on the Sunday talk shows and in the news papers the media allowed this story when they must have known it was a fabrication. A man in California was jailed for his part in inciting a riot that never happened. In America? Please. That is just wrong. When did our country come to this?

The fourth scandal is a little more difficult for me.  I have a tendency to accept the military as straight forward and honorable under any and all pressure. As back in Caesar's day, they would fall on their sword rather than dishonor their uniform. General Petraeus initially mouthed the party line as to the cause of the attack on Benghazi. He reiterated the obvious lies that were played to protect the administration. It is my opinion, and mine alone, that he wanted to tell the truth. Again, my opinion, he was told that if he went public, his private misfeasance would be made public. Being an honorable man who made a mistake, he did the right thing and resigned. We, as American citizens, need his testimony as to what transpired throughout this whole mess.

I am adding this on 10/19/ 2013. There were aircraft capable of dispersing the Benghazi attack available in Italy. There were F-16s that could have been overhead in 2 hours or less and there were AC-130 in one of their meaner variants like Spectre or Stinger that were around 4 hours out. They sacrificed these good men.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Politics As Football

Back many years ago, when I was in high school, if you played football, you played both sides of the ball. For those that have never heard that phrase, it means you played offense and defense. If you were one of the better players, you spent a long time on the field. It was grueling. You had to keep the playbook simple because playing both sides was a lot to learn in a short time.

Today, the Republicans are still playing politics the way we used to play football. While each of them tries to play both offense and defense, they don't do it well. Although they are not perfect, they do a better defense. They attack liberal over-reach with passion. They are weak on explanation of where liberal plans fall apart.

In today's football, you have an offense, a defense, and special teams. This is the model that the Republicans should follow. It is a model for waging war. And today's politics have become a war. There is no longer even a pretense of collegiality. 

Democrats, today, have a very harsh defense that, if they can't destroy the policy, they will do all that they can to destroy the person. They do this with the skill of a professional assassin. Think about what they did to Judge Bork. They have an offense made up of people speaking soothingly to the mostly uninformed, promising that the nanny government will take care of all their needs in exchange for their vote. Think Obama phones. They also have special teams made up of talking heads that hit the weekend talk shows, extolling the virtues of those kindly liberal policies and the inveterate evil that is represented by the Republicans.

That is modern politics. Specialize. Don't try to be all things to all people. Get the best speakers and get them in front of cameras. Get the people that think on their feet fastest out to all the weekend talk shows. Stifle the RINOS. They do more harm to the Republican brand than the Democrats do. Respect is important, but this is not church, it is politics. And finally, remember, negotiation is not doing what the Democrats want you to do.  

Wednesday, December 18, 2013


There are times when I tire of castigating politicians. They earn it. They deserve it. They need it. But sometimes just thinking about these ego driven, self centered, jerks hurts my sense of reality and what is important in the world.

But it is the Christmas Season and other things need to be said. Christmas is a unique holiday. It has become both religious and secular. The roots, of course, are religious and focus on the birth of Jesus. Christmas gifts recall the gold, frankincense, and myrrh given to the Christ Child by the Magi. In the secular Christmas, the baby Jesus has morphed into every child. The Magi have morphed into Santa. Christmas has become the holiday with something for everyone.

When I was younger, it seemed that people took more pleasure in the magic of Christmas. Families would get in their cars after dinner and ride out on the dark streets to see the lights. The stores on main street, the creche in the town square, the displays that people put up at their homes were mapped out and the route carefully traveled. After all, you didn't want to miss anything. If one person discovered an especially grand display, their friends and neighbors would hear about it the next day. Merry Christmas was on everyone's lips.

Then along came an army of Grinches.   They don't believe in God and they are "offended". Mean spirited is what they are. They said, "by having religious displays on public property you are infringing on my Constitutional Rights". So they hired lawyers, who, like geeks and hit men, will do anything as long as they get paid for it. As we all know, the Constitution promises freedom of religion, not freedom from religion. So rather than embrace the beauty of the season they have injected their own brand of  sour ugliness.

So now people say happy holidays and look at holiday trees. My feeling is that if you are personally unable to accept the religious holiday, accept the secular holiday. You can accept the joy without accepting the religion. You can accept the tolerance without accepting the religion. You can accept the forgiveness without accepting the religion. Do this and you bring some happiness back into your life and I will have converted a Grinch,

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Betrayal Thy Name Is Congress

I may be a conservative, but that does not mean that conservatives in government get a free pass when they do bad. This particular piece of nastiness reaches across the aisles to include almost everyone in Congress. There are exceptions, like Jeff Sessions and Kelly Ayotte and a few others but the majority seem dedicated to a very harmful path.

As everyone knows, we have a volunteer military. It is the finest military on the planet. That is not because of Washington politicians. It is in spite of Washington politicians. It seems to be a constant battle to keep important programs on track and eliminate older programs due to political interference.

But the men and women in our military persevere and get the job done. The military is a meritocracy. Work hard, do good, and you will benefit. They care not for your color, financial background, or even your life previous to the military. One can earn advancement in the ranks, get training, even get an education. The military has saved more than one young person. And, no, I am not so naive as to believe the system is perfect. I do believe it is very good. I also believe that a strong and prepared military is what stands between us and those that would do our country great harm.

Those that have devoted their lives to the military deserve honor and respect. Those that have spent twenty years or more for their country entered a pact with the leadership that, at the end of that time, they could retire on a decent pension. To me and many others this pact is sacrosanct. It should never be broken.

Now the degenerate spendthrifts in our Congress want to take money away from military pensions because they just never have enough money to waste. They have put the country so deeply in debt that we may not ever recover but they still can't stop themselves from spending more. Those of you reading this know their sins. You do not need for me to list them. We all know that this must change. We need no more "hope and change". We need to back up a bit and put solid ground under us. We need to go back to what made America great in the first place. We must stop the betrayal. 

Monday, December 16, 2013

Bad Is As Bad Does

I read where President Barack Obama had the worst year of anyone in Washington. I suppose that is true. Most of the denizens of that paved over swamp had a good year. They didn't work very hard but, for the most part, made far more money than they deserve. They didn't have to answer any hard questions. The press has given up, at least temporarily, the option of pressing for hard news. Their evenings are pleasant, as they hang with like minded people so all petty political squabbles seem to be a thing of the past

The one person in Washington who has complete control of his quality of life is the President. During Obama's first term, when he had his tame hit people, Reid and Pelosi, running the Senate and the House, he lived in an impervious bubble. He, or more often, his surrogates, spoke and it was done. The only things that were heard inside that bubble were paeans of praise to the mighty one.

Even after his cohorts lost the house, and Nancy Pelosi was relegated to second class status, there was barely a murmur of negativity that made it's way through the Presidents protective shield.  The only clear voices that he heard sang his praises. When someone from the press had the audacity to ask a real question, Obama was never in the loop. It was always "out of control underlings".

Then after five years of parties with the rich and famous, vacations with his entourage, and round after round of golf, life got complicated. His legacy legislation was introduced to the public, and it fell flat on it's face. It was big. It was complicated. It was expensive. It took away people's right to control their own health care. Worst of all, at least up front, after three years in production, the website didn't work. There are high school kids out there that can put together a credible website in three weeks. And to put the cherry on top, the back end, where you actually pay for your insurance is not even built yet.

OK, Mr. Obama, it's embarrassing. Of course you have reverted to your "some pother dude done it" defense. But it is your baby. When they started calling it Obamacare you gave a big grin and said that you liked that. Now it is crashing around your ears and you cannot deny parenthood.

But I say to you Mr. Obama, while you may be having a bad year, you have given the American people five very bad years with no end in sight. I'm sorry. I cannot be concerned for your plight. I'm more concerned with my fellow citizens that have no job or a poor job, those who's savings are not growing, those that will be cold this winter because they can't afford fuel, and those that are losing their health care. Their years are far worse than yours.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

In The Zone

I'm old now. I just had my seventy-fifth birthday. I have grandsons that are athletes. Sitting around on a snowy Saturday, my mind went back to when I tried my hand at athletic endeavors. 

To be completely honest, I was never hugely successful. Sports that required hand eye coordination were not my strong point. As a lad, rowing on my college crew was probably my best sport. But as most boys do, I tried my hand at baseball, a complete failure, football, tackle position suited my meager talents, shot put, forget it.

I was a pretty good swimmer. I enjoyed free diving, no SCUBA, and spear fishing. That is where I first found the "zone". One fine summer day I was diving at Pt. Judith, RI. I dove down to the twenty-five foot bottom and lingered waiting for a nice plump gray chin tautog to come along. I looked up and realized that while I had been down on the bottom for a considerable time, others were not able to dive deep enough to join me. I was in the zone. It is a remarkable experience.

My next experience with the zone was while I was recovering from back surgery. My doctor suggested that I find a pool and swim laps as part of my recovery regimen. While I was a good swimmer, my style left something to be desired. My swimming was roughly akin to a snowplow after a blizzard. There was no subtlety in my technique. Needless to say, I did not cut the water like a knife.

One evening I went to the pool. At the end of my usual ten laps where often, I could  barely breath, I was breathing fine. I felt like I could go on forever. Once again, I was in the zone.

Later in life, around my fiftieth birthday, some sadistic friends got me interested in bicycling. They were doing a hundred mile run in the Fall of that year. I was older than them and I had just taken up cycling. That did not prevent them from busting my chops. While they were planning to do the full century, they, in a moment of kindness, suggested that maybe, being an older type, I might make a half century, fifty miles.

There was an organized rest break at the fifty mile point. I did not think that I could get back on my bike. But I did. I went into the zone. It got me to mile ninety-five. I peddled those last five miles. I don't remember any of it until I rode into the parking lot at the finish. My first year cycling I did the full century. Almost half of it in the zone. That was the only way I could have made it.

That was my last experience going into a place beyond. I think most endurance athletes go there at some point. In retrospect it is a marvelous experience that should be experienced by all. It taught me that there is something in me that, in time of need, I can tap into. Something that makes me better than I am.      

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Who Has Their Head On Backwards?

Do you remember that old phrase? When someone did a completely masterful job of screwing something up, it was said that they "had their head on backwards". In the olden days when I was a kid, this was about at the top of the screw-up ladder. 

Today's "head on backward" award, once again, goes to that frequent winner, the Department of Homeland Security. It seems that one division or another is always at the top of the list for this award.

If it isn't ATF smuggling guns into Mexico, its the TSA groping grandmas. This time however, to be mildly crude about it, they have really screwed the pooch. It seems that the immigration bureau has regional offices. If a foreign traveler with a visa and identification drops into one of these offices and expresses a desire to stay in America, invest in a business, and employ at least ten people, he is given a green card, almost immediately, and without a background check. What a country. So open and helpful.

So guess what country is taking advantage of our good nature. You guessed it. It is our good friends from Iran. Sure, they call us the "Great Satan", and chant "death to America" a lot, but hey let them come anyway. So the artful dodgers that have been bamboozling our politicians since the days of Jimmy Carter get another shot at us with our compliments.

So an Iranian can come into the country, start a business, hire ten of his fellow countrymen, and possibly solicit business from the federal government. Maybe a computer consulting business where they can get up close and personnel with things they shouldn't be allowed near. I'm sure everyone can see the possibilities.

Meanwhile, just to balance the scales, the DHS continues to spy on their real enemy, honest Americans. They have just won another "Head On Backward" award.  

Friday, December 13, 2013

The Rich Get Richer, The Poor Get Sicker

We will never know whether the, off the track, result of some legislation is intentional or accidental. Sometimes the "Low of Unintended Results" exerts itself just because things are poorly thought out before action is taken. One example of that that I have written much about, is "Quantitative Easing". It has created a huge economic bubble that,while holding back the general economy, has done wonders for the stock market. 

One day, probably soon, that bubble will burst. The smart money, the super rich, will move so quickly that they will exit taking their profits with them. Many, as the market sinks, will sell short, making more money. Then at the bottom they will buy bargains and make even more money. And the general economy will be doomed to an extended stay at the bottom of dismal swamp.

We have another administration policy that was definitely poorly conceived that will cause tragic unintended results. As the President's economic policies allowed the rich to get richer and the poor and middle class to lose ground, Obamacare will allow the rich to remain healthy while the poor and middle class get sicker.

If you are rich, you can keep your doctor because you can afford to pay him out of pocket. If your not rich you can go to whatever doctor the government allows, if you can find one that will take you on as a patient. It is even worse for patients with serious conditions. Tell someone that they can't keep their cardiologist or oncologist and you have tossed them into the ocean without a life preserver.

If you are rich, you can go to whatever hospital you wish because you can pay for it out of pocket. If you are not rich you can go to whatever hospital takes Obamacare. Many of the best hospitals and specialty clinics choose not to have the government tell them how to practice medicine. They are opting out. The hospitals willing to take Obamacare may not be your preferred place of treatment.

 If you are rich, you can purchase the exact medications that are required for your treatment because you can afford to pay out of pocket. If you are not rich the government may not list the best medications for you in their pharmacopoeia. You will have to go along with second or third best. 

If you are rich and you wish to buy health care insurance, you can afford the gold plan with higher monthly payments and a small deductible. If you are not rich you will purchase the lowest cost plan available to you so that you have some form of insurance that your government is forcing upon you. The problem is that your deductible will be so high that you will probably defer getting treatment because you can't afford to be sick.

If you are rich, you will remain as healthy a modern healthcare will allow. If you are not rich, pray that you and your family never get seriously ill. The "law of unexpected results has just trumped the supposed concern for the poor and middle class. Under Obamacare the rich will stay well while the poor get sicker.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Don't Say I Didn't Warn You!

I have been writing about the Bernanke Bubble for many months now. For those new readers, that is the stock market bubble caused by "Quantitative Easing", an administration policy that has made the rich much richer. Anyone that knows anything at all about economics realizes that QE,printing new dollars to purchase government bonds, cannot go on for ever as it cuts into the value of every existing dollar.

Just last week I wrote that I saw one possible way to get out of the bubble without it bursting. That would be if the big money thought that there was still some upside room in the market. Well yesterday the Dow dropped by almost 130 points on speculation that tapering of QE would start after the New Year. This morning, as I am putting the final touches on this blog, the Dow is down another 65. Seems like there is not too much confidence in the upside.

I was rather surprised that they are saying that tapering would start so soon. Particularly, based on the nomination of Janet Yellen as the next Fed chairperson, I Thought that they would hold out until after the election. This may still happen, but it is looking less likely.

Both Ben Bernanke and Janet Yellen are very smart people and are well schooled in economics. But they, like most liberals, are enamored with the theories of John Maynard Keynes. The problem with Keynesians  is that when the government pumps the economy and it doesn't work, they think they aren't pumping hard enough. Well, they have been pumping so hard that it is hurting every American except the super-rich. The Fed knows they must stop.

I believe that it would be their preference to wait until after the election to give cover to the Democrats. But if they believe that the cover for the Democrats is blown by all the problems with Obamacare they may see no advantage in waiting.

So, one way or another, there will be a sell off and the market will go down. I would not be shocked to see the Dow at 12,000 under normal circumstances. The other problem for those that are heavily invested is, will the lens of the ongoing problems with Obamacare magnify the effect on the sell off? It could even drive the market under 10,000.

When this happens, and I think it must, a lot of money will be lost by some, and a lot of money will be made by others who find someplace close to the bottom and grab bargains. I really hope my readers protect themselves and possibly pick up some of those bargains. But please don't say I didn't warn you.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Conscription By The Real Name

I have read a couple of articles lately that have troubled me. I passed the first one off as simply an aberration. Now, since I have seen the same information twice, I must take it seriously. You can be sure that in this day and age, it would have to be about Obamacare.

From the initial days of his term in office, President Obama wanted to totally transform the health care system into a single payer, government system. This was to be his legacy. As are most liberals, Mr. Obama is an incrementalist. He knew that it would be impossible to accomplish this whole transition in one step.

The answer to his problem seemed to be Obamacare. He envisioned a health care system controlled by the government but administered through the private sector. This would create a hybrid system that would be an intermediate step en route to his true goal.

So as it is with any project in the Obama administration, he also wanted plausible deniability. To accomplish this, he placed the project in the hands of assorted people, none of whom seem to have had any competence in this sort of endeavor. The results, of course, are the unfortunate mess that the nation is trying to deal with now.

The problems that have been built in to the "Affordable" Care Act are myriad. The web site works poorly when it works at all. People are losing their doctors. People are losing the insurance plans that they were happy with. Prices are going up. Out of pocket expenses are going up. Some drugs won't be covered. Major and important hospitals are opting out of the plan.

To make matters even worse, the President has given illegal special dispensation to friends, politicians, unions, big business, and other power groups while the average person suffers. The President expected the young people that supported him to flock in to cover the cost of older sicker folks in the system. That isn't happening.

Now we come to the latest travesty. It seems that a large portion of the doctors not retiring are considering not accepting Obamacare patients. Primarily, I understand, because payments are so low. I suspect that the high degree of government regulation and the cost of compliance may also have something to do with it.

What is the proposed government solution to this problem? They are discussing government conscription of the medical profession. In other words, forcing, under law, doctors to work for the government. It seems to me we fought a civil war to prevent this sort of thing. If you are forced to work for someone, under duress and against your wishes, is that not slavery? 

The Obama presidency is in disrepair as it is. The American people are not dullards. Most of us are aware and concerned. This is a major problem, all the denials and all the spin doctors in the world can't heal it. Major changes need to be made and conscription of the medical profession is not one of them. 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Random Thoughts - Thirty

Can someone explain to me why grown men, who make a ton of money playing professional football, do silly little dances like sugar hyped kindergartners when they make a successful play. After all, isn't that what they are paid to do. Must they also make themselves look like fools. I mean, it is embarrassing to see a thirty year old man who weighs 280 lbs. prance around on his tip toes wiggling his hips.

A Norman Rockwell painting, "Saying Grace", just sold at Sotheby's in London for 
$48 million. Don't get me wrong, I like Norman Rockwell. It would be unamerican not to. But he was an American artist that lived in the twentieth century and painted cover art for the Saturday Evening Post. 48 mil. Really?

Wouldn't you love to know why Jimmy Carter wouldn't fly to Mandela's funeral with the other Presidents and is flying there separately? I know I would.

I see area 51 is back in the news. They are bringing out something that anyone could guess was coming, a stealth drone. It's the old magicians trick. Look over here. See what I want you to see. Let's face it, area 51 is almost as public as Fenway Park. I wonder what they have going on at the really secret places.

So thirty million people didn't have health insurance. Some because they couldn't afford it. Some because they didn't want it. Some because they never thought about it. So now we have fifty million people who have lost the insurance that they wanted to keep. The health care system is in turmoil. The whole country is in turmoil. They spent a ton of our money, screwing up the system and proving once again that they are the gang that couldn't shoot straight. Go ahead. Ask yourself if you are better off now than you were five years ago. Go ahead. I dare you.

Did you see in the news, "Global Warming" is dead. Yup, we are now in a cooling cycle that may last to the end of this century. Or maybe in twenty or thirty or forty years the Earth will start warming up again. Weather cycles, folks. We can't predict them and, certainly, can't control them. Remember the old commercial? "You can't beat Mother Nature."

Speaking of commercials, I haven't seen the "hump day" camel on TV lately, and that is a good thing. I can only hope that he has been placed in a high security zoo someplace, never to be seen again. Had to be the most annoying commercial ever.

Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, has been accused of lying to Congress. If true, he should, at the very least, resign. If he doesn't he should be fired in disgrace.

So on Pearl Harbor Day, our President honors those that died there with a picture of himself at the Pearl Harbor Memorial, on his Facebook page. Once again, it is all about him.

Monday, December 9, 2013

The Lyin' King

I suspect that I am not the first to come up with this title. It is just so obvious at this point in United States history. My apologies to those that believe that they were first. Let's call it a tie and move on.

I think everyone has known someone that would never tell the truth when a good lie will do. Even as children we find these poor souls and recognize that they trying to fulfill an un -fulfilled life.

Most of us, in childhood, take liberties with the truth. Most, and I am a prime example, do not lie well. Our parents look us in the eye. We start blubbering and give it up. That is life training that lying is, generally, not the best option.

Sometimes, even as adults, we find people that will go for the lie first and only face the truth when cornered. The strange thing is that most times, it does not matter. We are the little people. We don't count for very much.

But every once in a while, not often thankfully, a person of significance takes this approach. To our detriment, we have such a a person in our government today. He is the President of the United States, and he is the "Lyin' King".

There was an old joke. How can you tell when the President is lying? His lips are moving!

Unfortunately in this President's case it is true. "I never knew my uncle. Well, yes, I met him. Actually, I lived with him for three months."

"You can keep your doctor, you can keep your plan."

"The raid on Benghazi was about a video clip that some guy from California made."

"No one in the IRS went after conservative groups."

And the beat goes on. This administration has not the intestinal fortitude to admit mistakes. They will throw anyone under the bus thinking that people do not recognize their weak and anti American agenda.

Sorry, we do see what is going on. Look at the numbers. You will lose. We will win. Our only fear is how much damage can the Lyin' King do.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

A Way Out - Maybe

The stock market was very interesting yesterday. Unemployment went down. Interests rates moved slightly up. In spite of factors that may cause the Fed to ease Quantitative Easing the market rose. That is a little bit puzzling. 

There are a couple of scenarios that would support this stability in the face of change. Actually, I can think of three. It could be that investors have become inured to the bizarre management style of the White House, realizing that the White house is totally divorced from economic reality. That they are so disconnected from economic reality, that they will see this as a vindication of their policies in spite of the fact that we are starting into our sixth year of non-recovery. If this is true, then the beat goes on and nothing changes. The hole gets deeper and QE continues. Remember, this is one point in time, not a trend.

The second option is that Janet Yellen is seen as so deep into Keynesian  economics that she will continue QE in spite of any fluctuations in the economic basics. Frankly, this is my favorite theory. As "one swallow does not a summer make", one good day on the market does not a recovery make. She will keep those printing presses rolling and gutting the dollar faster than I can clean a trout.

There is a third option. Honestly, this is the option that will keep the economy stable and give us a chance to recover without a deep recession. If so, than maybe, just maybe, we can get through this and not have decades of bad economics.

Maybe the adults have re-entered the room. Maybe the strong money in the market sees that the market is not really oversold. Maybe they see that there is still some upside room. Maybe they see that profit taking is short sighted and real growth is still possible.

To make this happen the real movers and shakers in America must make their presence felt. We have been under control of the most amateurish administration of my lifetime. They are the gang that couldn't administer straight. The big money people have the power to bring them under control. And they should. No, they must if we are to continue as the United States of America and not some Euro look alike.

If they love their country and want to bring us back from the abyss, they  have the power and the influence. Above all else this country needs a dose of sanity right now. That dose of sanity may well give us a way out, maybe.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Another New Road

I don't usually usually write about products. My old Dell computer had served well and long. It was getting past it's "sell by" date. Also I was tired of fighting the war on viruses and malware. It was time to look at new technology,

I started researching the Chromebook. Since I was using the Chrome browser, I felt it would be an easy transition. It is small and light with a real keyboard. Since most things were in the cloud, including data storage, there was no need for a hard drive. This also isolates the computer from all the nasty stuff out there trying to attack your machine.

My family heard me talking about Chromebook favorably. So guess what I got for a birthday present. God, I have a great family! It comes with a basic office type software, some games, gmail, and various other things, but you can add software from the Google store. Most are free. I down loaded a really nice program to replace my Photoshop, for zippo.

 When I got the computer, I fired it up, tied into wi-fi, and, since I was using Chrome browser on my old machine, my personal links, data and my blog were all there from second number one. And, oh, it the machine fast. I believe it saves me an hour a day that I wasted waiting for screens to finish.

So much for the commercial. Now I am going to do a public service. Since you are on wi-fi and operating in the cloud, your printer needs to be in the cloud too. I was fortunate. I replaced my printer about a year ago. The one that I bought happened to be cloud ready. So that is the first thing, you need a cloud ready computer. They are not expensive. The method to get the Chromebook talking to the computer is not totally transparent to the casual observer.

Your computer and the printer must be on the same wi-fi network. So follow your printer's instructions and connect to your wi-fi. At the end of that procedure you should be given a chance to print out a Network Status sheet. Do it. You will need it. From here on you will be working on the computer. Bring up your Chrome browser. Click on the flower in the lower right hand corner. On the little window that comes up, click on "settings". When the settings screen opens, scroll to the bottom and click on "advanced settings". Now you can scroll down to "Google Cloud Print". Click on "Manage".

This will bring up the screen that you need to connect your printer. On the address line type in the Cloud Print Configuration URL. It should look like (http://###.###.#.###/). The #s represent the IP Address on your sheet. Don't use the parentheses. They are there just to separate. Now hit enter. Since Chromebook updates automatically, you won't need "update firmware". Now just complete that page and all should be good.

It took me a while to figure this out. I got scant help from any online sources. I am sure with all the readers that come to my blog, some will end up with Chromebooks. So I'm taking a day off from my usual rantings and trying to provide a little extra service. I hope it helps.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

A Proverbial Problem

There is a mid-eastern proverb that I am particularly fond of. I have seen it phrased a number of different ways, but this one will do;

"He who knows and knows not he knows, he is asleep—wake him;
He who knows not and knows he knows not, he is simple—teach him;
He who knows not and knows not he knows not, he is a fool—shun him;"

One other proverb that I like but I will add my own touch to is this one;

"He who cannot do, teaches."

To that I add:

He who can neither do nor teach, becomes a politician.

Other than people in the entertainment industry, there is no group of people so generally ego driven and full of themselves as our elected officials. There is no better example of this than the way Obamacare has been handled.

Our President, Barack Obama, has been blessed with an education far better than all but the elite of the populace. From the finest private school in Hawaii, to Occidental College, to Columbia University, to Harvard Law School. One would be hard put to find a finer education. Although he was elected by the American people, we have never been privileged to see his school records. But he graduated and passed the bar so he must have learned a great deal. The problem is that he doesn't know that he doesn't know what he doesn't know. Therefore, his ego tells him that he knows everything. Neither he nor anyone else has seen fit to correct his ego.

When it came to Obamacare, he told his underlings what he wished. He, then, left for the golf course or to go campaigning assuming that his underlings were competent to complete the task. In the private sector a CEO would appoint a project manager and, for a project of this magnitude, a corporate attorney to ramrod the project. They would meet with the CEO at least weekly. Wasn't done.

One of my favorite websites is Amazon. Between general purchasing and my Kindle, I visit the site multiple times every week. Even the first time is a pleasure. You pull up the website and you can immediately search for anything you wish. Their breadth and depth is amazing. When you wish to check out, it takes five minutes or less. Thereafter they have your data in a secure space and many times you can make a purchase with a single click. They handle millions of hits a day and the site is never down.

Now if I were President and I needed a major league website I would get on the phone to Jeff Bezos or someone like him that has actually run a major website. With the President calling, the call would, most assuredly, be taken. I would ask if he and a couple of his technical people would be willing to consult on the Obamacare website. In other words experienced and competent people from the commercial world where things must work or there are ramifications. I doubt anyone would refuse this request.

Apparently, from what has been reported, all the different groups involved in Obamacare went off into their own little corners and did what they felt was best with little or no consultation or coordination. When someone suggested a systems integrator, the White House people said no. They said they would handle that situation. No experience, no knowledge, just a strong desire for power and control. Once again, in private industry that would never happen. To make all those little parts and pieces work together seamlessly requires brains, skill, and the power to make it happen. It is the results that count, not the politics. In private industry, heads would roll.

So our President came back into the loop when things started falling apart. It seems that all he had to offer toward correction was temper tantrums and more speeches blaming straw men and Republicans for what they created with their own hands. It seems it is panic time in our nations capitol. So I say unto you, never put your faith in a man that doesn't know that he doesn't know what he doesn't know. He will lead you down the road to hell every time and tell you he is leading you to heaven.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Down The Rabbit Hole To Bitcoins

Once again friends, we will take a trip down the rabbit hole to that amazing place where black is white and up is down. During our Thanksgiving festivities, someone suggested that I do a blog about bitcoins. I demurred, explaining that I knew nothing about them. But Friday morning I found and read an article about bitcoins by Dr. Gary North. It is an excellent article which I have since read a second time. I recommend it.

Dr. North refers to bitcoins as a ponzi scheme. After doing a little research, my opinion is that it is way so much more than a ponzi scheme. Before I started looking into bitcoins, I thought it was just another version of Paypal. A means to pay for on-line purchases without using a credit card. Not even close. It may have started out with some people using it this way but it has evolved into a financial chimera.

Someone by the name of Satoshi Nakamoto created bitcoins out of thin air. By the way, that isn't even his real name. So he starts by selling bitcoins for $2.00 each. Now, once he sells these coins, he is out of the loop until he "creates" and sells more coins. The highly involved book keeping process is now in the hands of a group of anonymous volunteers who get paid in, you guessed it, bitcoins.

Money started out as something of value that people could accrue to buy future products or services. It is what allowed society to grow through the division of labor. In ancient societies, it might have been sea shells. It soon became silver and gold. Substances with intrinsic value. Along came real coins. Finally came paper money with the good will of a government supporting it's value. One feature that is common to all of those exchange media it the consistency of value. Any fluctuations are small and may only be measured against other stable currencies.

Those $2.00 bitcoins are now worth  $1200.00. How or why the value of something that is really nothing could increase six hundred fold is beyond me. Greater faith has no man than that he would put down real money in expectation of selling a dream for more than he paid for it. Dr. North made an excellent point. "When someone wants you to invest in new money, hang on to your old money".

The closest thing that I can think of to the bitcoin situation is the Dutch tulip mania from the middle 1600s. Single tulip bulbs were selling at a price that would be roughly equivalent to over half a million dollars today. A few people made a lot of money. Many were ruined.

So here we are down at the bottom of the rabbit hole. As much as I enjoy the Cheshire Cat and the Mad Hatter, I think it is time for a return to sanity.

Monday, December 2, 2013

President Suppositions

Just suppose you are rich as Croesus.

Just suppose that you are a person of great power. The power to manipulate world markets.

Just suppose, even that immense power isn't enough.

Just suppose you have a plan where you could control a country.

Just suppose you find a personable young boy who was abandoned by his father.

Just suppose that boy's mother is more interested in radical politics than mothering.

Just suppose you get that boy an education in the best liberal schools.

Just suppose you encourage the boy's natural acting talent and provide professional training.

Just suppose that you make sure that certain radical thinkers take this boy under their wing.

Just suppose that you make sure all this boy's educational credentials are there but the records are buried.

Just suppose you introduce this boy, now a man, into the most corrupt political scene in America.

Just suppose that in an incredibly short period of time this man is elected to state office.

Just suppose that after another short time he finds the support and financial means for a national office.

Just suppose that in an impossibly short time he is a candidate for President.

Just suppose that you use your immense wealth to fund his party, PACs, and propaganda machines.

Just suppose you now have the power to "fundamentally change" a country.

Just suppose.....  

Sunday, December 1, 2013

The Estimable Dr. Krauthammer

There are very few people in today's world that deserve admiration. I respectfully submit that Charles Krauthammer is one person that does deserve admiration.

I have been a fan of Dr. Krauthammer for some time. I have read his columns from time to time, but I really became a fan watching him on the Fox News Channel. He has become the premier conservative thinker of his generation, in my opinion. He has a practical approach to conservatism. He does not tout the impossible, nor does he let the perfect preclude the good.

He has with a wry sense of humor that he, sometimes, uses as a dart to impale those that refuse to understand the obvious. With all that, he is never boring, nor is he ever mundane. His quiet brilliance cuts to the heart of political thought. He is always right and usually correct.

I use the word brilliance most advisedly. Dr. Krauthammer's undergraduate studies were in economics and political science. For post graduate work he was accepted to Harvard Medical School and Oxford University. He chose Oxford to continue to study economics and political science. He had a change of mind. Returned to the United States and enrolled at Harvard.

At that point his life also took a dramatic change. He was an athlete as a young man. But an accident in a swimming pool left him with a spinal cord injury. I had been watching him for months on TV before I realized he was sitting in a wheel chair. He never spoke of his situation. In spite of his difficulty, he managed to stay with his medical school class and graduate. He did an internship in psychiatry and eventually became a practicing psychiatrist. The only time I have heard him talk of his life was in a long interview on Fox with his friend Bret Baier. That interview showed Dr. Krauthammer as a man worth listening to and knowing about.

He left medicine and came back to his first love, politics. He evolved from a liberal in his early years into a solidly logical conservative. If he has an ego, he keeps it well tucked away. But he will back down from no one in a debate. If he cannot win you over by his logic, he will slice and dice you with his wit. As I said, a man to be admired.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Five Points, One For Each Finger

I no longer have any skin in the Republican game. That allows me to see clearly, what they should do, and to offer advice ad nauseum.  This is a task that I accept with great joy because they seriously need a good talking to. Since I am still a conservative, but no longer part of the Republican party, the Republicans come closest to representing my frame of mind.

To make anything work for the next election the Republicans must first stop bickering among themselves . Look at the Democrats. Most of them can barely stand to be around their cohorts. Some of them are so onerous that they can barely stand themselves. But, come election time, they all sing from the same hymnal in perfect harmony. So, come on Republicans, suck it up and do what must be done.

So as you are assembling this hymnal, keep it to five and only five songs. When you are asked a question by a reporter sing one of those songs. Sing it loud. Sing it clear. Sing it often.

What shall I do, you ask, if some reporter asks me a question off topic? I answer, did you not take "politician 101". When you are asked a question that you don't want to answer, answer the question that you want to answer. Reporters are aware of this ploy. They see it every day. They expect it. That is how all the Democrats keep to the same talking points.

So, what points should the Republican party hammer? Remember, five, just five.

1. Obamacare: It is a mess now and will continue to be a mess for some time. Certainly long enough to effect the 2014 election. They don't have the political courage to admit that they have bought a sick horse that will never carry the weight. It is obvious that it is time to get rid of it and start over. They won't. They will continue to try and cure a terminal animal. The Republicans need to tout long and loud an optional plan using the free economy that makes sense. 

2. The economy and jobs: I have joined the two because if you cure the economy, jobs will come back. Because the economy has been hit so hard for so long the emphasis must be on the Democratic failure. Especially the terrible job they did during the first four years when they owned the whole government. Turning the economy around now will be difficult and painful. But it must the Republicans must start the process or the country is in real danger.

3. The use of the IRS and the Census Bureau for political advantage: The use of government agencies to target those that are perceived as political enemies is both illegal and morally wrong. It has been done before but never on the scale that the Obama administration has achieved. Controlling the Census Bureau out of the White House to finagle the jobless figures coming into an election is equally illegal and reprehensible. These points need to be attacked viciously.

4. Benghazi: The Obama administration abandoned good men to die in one of the world's hell holes. They lied about the circumstances. When they were caught in the lie, they covered up. Little by little we are getting the story, but there are things still deeply hidden.

5. The contempt for the poor and middle class: In the past five years, the rich have gotten richer. Much richer. The rest of us have seen jobs disappear. We have seen salaries dwindle. Many have seen their full time jobs go to part time. Are most Americans better off now than they were five years ago? Not just no. Hell no.

The Republicans face an opportunity that they didn't expect to have. Can they exploit that opportunity with teamwork and intelligence? Or will they go back to snatching defeat from the jaws of victory?

On a personal note, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. The three Fs make it so. That is food, family, and football. Since there are so many people traveling over the extra long weekend, unless something drastic happens, I will take a few days off from my blog. I'll be back Sunday or Monday. In the meantime travel safe, cook good, and enjoy the holiday. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, everyone.

Monday, November 25, 2013

I'm Going Where I've Never Gone Before

I never talk about products. Good or bad. If I did someone would think that I was bought and paid for. But I have to. I'm in love. I hate to admit it but I'm in love with Google. OK, as a company, they are not perfect. They have made mistakes. Who hasn't? I'm past that.

This love affair started innocently enough. When I needed information, I'd "google" it. I always got what I needed. It fulfilled my every request. Others came along, like Bing, and tried to get my loyalty. But I was into a successful relationship. I needed no other.

Then I started having serious problems with my Windows based computer. My service provider has a support service. I called them. They were excellent. After two hours on the phone, we almost had things straightened out. The tech I was working with had to leave. He said he would call me in the morning to finish up.

After he rang off, I started wondering if I might have a problem with my browsing software. I had Google Chrome installed on my machine. I shut down my old browser and booted up Chrome. The rest of my problems went away immediately. I loved Chrome. Our relationship had suddenly moved to a new level.

We had formed a stable long term relationship, Google and I. With my blog on Google Blogspot and with Chrome as my browser, there was daily interaction that satisfied my every need. It could have gone on this way forever, but my computer was getting older and I was having problems with malware and registration errors. I felt a need to prepare for the future.

I started seeing adds on TV for something called a Chromebook. They billed it as the future of computing. Your work is shared in the "cloud". It could never be lost. You could buy a brand new machine for less than three hundred dollars. That sounded wonderful.

I started doing due diligence. I went to my favorite etailer and read the specs. No hard drive to crash. Since you operate in the cloud memory is not an issue. Almost all of the software is free. All the basic stuff is preloaded. Google deals with viruses, malware, and all that other ugly stuff. It sounded almost to good to be true.

I discussed this with my daughters and their husbands. Three of the six are computer professionals and they're all computer competent. They were skeptical and made me present a solid case. 

Well, last week, I went to a birthday party. It happened to be mine. Lo and behold, my loving family gave me a Chromebook. We fired it up. Put in my Google password. Connected it to wi-fi. It immediately had all my links, all my favorite websites, all my Cranky Conservative blog, everything I needed. It was amazing.

I have been using it now for a few days and had to fire up my old machine to look at some old files. My Chromebook feels like a sports car as compared with my old machine that feels like a burned out old truck. I never thought I would say this publicly, but I love you Google.