Friday, November 2, 2012

VOTE...Please Vote

ENOUGH-! I have had it up past here and all the way to there. VOTE. Please vote... Once upon a time -EVERYTHING- did not require politics. We did not season our food, bathe with, clean our cars, listen to music, buy clothing, choose friends based on politics... Yeah, I'm old. I have withdrawn from bloging, watching TV, reading the newspaper, opening mail... all are past habits. I have my opinion. Listening and speaking with people who, in the words of Jonathan Swift "Cannot be argued from a position they were never reasoned into.".. I ave restrained myself from blogging on the theory that there were too many opinions being developed before your eyes... clutter is just that...Clutter. So, everyone please vote... Let's get on to the next mess... We will not have someone who can cure everything and make it as it was... The past will not return... We will have either more of the same muddle as we have had these past four years, more abuse of executive/imperial power...or we will have a mess to clean up and new probelms will be uncovered... The world has not sat idle while we have had our experiment. New powers see opportunity as we retreat and withdraw... We don't wish to be The Worlds Policeman"... Nobody else does either...EXCEPT there is no other nation who can trusted with that power... America is unique in that we really wish the world to be peaceful and choose whatever form of government they wish. We'd like them to have all the benefits and rewards that we have, but that is their choice... We have learned to accept that reality... Can we get away from politics-? Do we need our fearless leader on our TVs every day-? Do we really need a cult of personality vs accomplishment-? Oh well, whatever you do...Please vote.. I have not concern of who you choose. I trust the American People... eventually, we get it mostly right. It's our fate...we will get what we deserve not all ways what we wish... CUE: Rolling Stones song...

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Long Distance Running

I ran for many years. A few dozen marathons and then many ultra marathons. My base training mieleage was 70 miles a week. Then I had to grow up and travel, bills and family intervened. Doing most of those miles in the Headlands of Marin County just across the Golden Gate Bridge was like having a small bit of magic where my frustrations could be smeared on the uphill sides and the realty that I was alone and unlikely to be found anytime soon. I learned to look inward and monitor myself, my energy, my resources, the weather, the trail, etc. This article reflects a bit of what I found. Chi running marries method and mindfulness Please read the whole article. It seems to offer an introduction to many of the things I learned the hard way. The rest must come from you. "We teach focus: how the arms are held, why the hips and shoulders are relaxed," he said. "It's about learning to pay attention." "In tai chi, everything moves from center," Dreyer said. "Runners are used to running from their legs. When I switched to (running from) the core, it changed how I ran. I felt better." Correct alignment is a tenet of chi running. Posture is the first thing Dreyer works on with clients. "If posture isn't good, the support system isn't good," he said. "Any weakness or misalignment will really affect you because you're always on one leg," he said, noting that running injuries happen from the knees down. In his method a forward tilt from the ankles moves the runner's center of mass ahead and allows gravity to take on more of the body's weight. "The body gets to fall," Dreyer said. "All you have to do is lift your legs." He also teaches landing with a mid-foot strike to engage and balance the entire foot. If you're new to running, Dreyer suggests starting with a walk/run sequence to allow the muscles to adjust. "Run 'til you feel tired, walk 'til you feel recovered," he said. "Our system is based on sensing your own body. If your body says it's too fast or time to go home, you listen." If you're holding yourself or just one part of your body tense while you run, work or socialize... you need to focus on those muscles and relax. The body is healthier when there i lots of air, lots of water and tension comes in small spurts. One should look inside themselves and as "What is bothering me-? Why am I tense-? Am I working against myself-? " I did and soon found that relaxing different muscles when they are not needed gave me more energy for the long run. The endorphins flowed and I was happier with the whole experience. If you're running are you running "from" or "to" some place or someone-? My final bit of advice on running and most endeavors is "Have Fun" We only pass this way once so find some happiness and stay there.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Tax = Mandate = Tax

The Mandate is THE Tax we all MUST pay. The Health Insurance Companies collect the tax and administer the benefits on the govt's behalf. The Penalty is what we pay for not paying the tax. What is unclear is how THE TAX being paid by employers is not a taxable benefit and income-? If employer paid taxes are included into income then it will not matter whether one has gold-plated policy or bare bones required by the law. When people see their gross income jump and all the associated taxes applied...they may not be happy. When the insurance company raises rates on policy holders; that will be a tax increase. See how simple it is when we view it -all- as a tax paid to insurance companies... Big "O" can then claim, honestly, to have raised incomes on all Americans... Won't THAT be a great campaign slogan... Plus he will have taken steps to pay down national debt, cure Medicare fund and Social security -all- with the higher tax rates. None of this can be challenged until 2014 when the taxes and penalty kick in... Isn't That Special-? Don't we all feel better-? I feel soiled and dirty. Time for a bath or shower inside that polling booth when the curtain is draw,

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Something Happening Here-?

The Atlantic Magazine's Ta-Nehisi Coates is a senior editor for The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues for and the magazine. In today's blog he cites Alexis de Tocqueville and says he should be part of the Democracy in American canon.

I'll cite his lengthy De Tocqueville citation, but you'll need to read his blog for his thoughts. He does seem to find value here and is honest enough to admit the value, but cannot resist his personal bias towards things conservative... Or maybe I mis-read him.

De Tocqueville;
Centralization easily succeeds, indeed, in subjecting the external actions of men to a certain uniformity, which we come at last to love for its own sake, independently of the objects to which it is applied, like those devotees who worship the statue and forget the deity it represents.

Centralization imparts without difficulty an admirable regularity to the routine of business; provides skillfully for the details of the social police; represses small disorders and petty misdemeanors; maintains society in a status quo alike secure from improvement and decline; and perpetuates a drowsy regularity in the conduct of affairs which the heads of the administration are wont to call good order and public tranquillity; 49 in short, it excels in prevention, but not in action.

Its force deserts it when society is to be profoundly moved, or accelerated in its course; and if once the co-operation of private citizens is necessary to the furtherance of its measures, the secret of its impotence is disclosed. Even while the centralized power, in its despair, invokes the assistance of the citizens, it says to them: "You shall act just as I please, as much as I please, and in the direction which I please. You are to take charge of the details without aspiring to guide the system; you are to work in darkness; and afterwards you may judge my work by its results."

These are not the conditions on which the alliance of the human will is to be obtained; it must be free in its gait and responsible for its acts, or (such is the constitution of man) the citizen had rather remain a passive spectator than a dependent actor in schemes with which he is unacquainted.

t is undeniable that the want of those uniform regulations which control the conduct of every inhabitant of France is not infrequently felt in the United States. Gross instances of social indifference and neglect are to be met with; and from time to time disgraceful blemishes are seen, in complete contrast with the surrounding civilization. Useful undertakings which cannot succeed without perpetual attention and rigorous exactitude are frequently abandoned; for in America, as well as in other countries, the people proceed by sudden impulses and momentary exertions.

The European, accustomed to find a functionary always at hand to interfere with all he undertakes, reconciles himself with difficulty to the complex mechanism of the administration of the townships. In general it may be affirmed that the lesser details of the police, which render life easy and comfortable, are neglected in America, but that the essential guarantees of man in society are as strong there as elsewhere. In America the power that conducts the administration is far less regular, less enlightened, and less skillful, but a hundredfold greater than in Europe. In no country in the world do the citizens make such exertions for the common weal. I know of no people who have established schools so numerous and efficacious, places of public worship better suited to the wants of the inhabitants, or roads kept in better repair.

Uniformity or permanence of design, the minute arrangement of details,50 and the perfection of administrative system must not be sought for in the United States; what we find there is the presence of a power which, if it is somewhat wild, is at least robust, and an existence checkered with accidents, indeed, but full of animation and effort.

Granting, for an instant, that the villages and counties of the United States would be more usefully governed by a central au authority which they had never seen than by functionaries taken from among them; admitting, for the sake of argument, that there would be more security in America, and the resources of society would be better employed there, if the whole administration centered in a single arm--still the political advantages which the Americans derive from their decentralized system would induce me to prefer it to the contrary plan.

It profits me but little, after all, that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life, and if it so monopolizes movement and life that when it languishes everything languishes around it, that when it sleeps everything must sleep, and that when it dies the state itself must perish. There are countries in Europe where the native considers himself as a kind of settler, indifferent to the fate of the spot which he inhabits.

The greatest changes are effected there without his concurrence, and (unless chance may have apprised him of the event ) without his knowledge; nay, more, the condition of his village, the police of his street, the repairs of the church or the parsonage, do not concern him; for he looks upon all these things as unconnected with himself and as the property of a powerful stranger whom he calls the government. He has only a life interest in these possessions, without the spirit of ownership or any ideas of improvement.

This want of interest in his own affairs goes so far that if his own safety or that of his children is at last endangered, instead of trying to avert the peril, he will fold his arms and wait till the whole nation comes to his aid. This man who has so completely sacrificed his own free will does not, more than any other person, love obedience; he cowers, it is true, before the pettiest officer, but he braves the law with the spirit of a conquered foe as soon as its superior force is withdrawn; he perpetually oscillates between servitude and license.

I am reading "Beyond Mechanical Markets" by Roman Frydman and Michael D. Goldberg. They are also authors of "Imperfect Knowledge Economics"

Chapter Two, page 46...

Far from attempting to minimize nonroutine activities, capitalist economies thrive on them. Yet Western economists seemed undeterred by the failure of central planners to comprehend and shape the future as if history unfolded according to fully predetermined mechanical rules. They set out to construct mathematical models that accurately capture how financial markets assess the prospects of alternative investment projects and companies not only today but for all past and future periods as well. Such fully predetermined models and the sharp predictions they produce are the hallmark of the contemporary approach to macroeconomics and finance.

I find the arrival of these two bits of information and others from normally nonconservative, nonindividualist, collectivist view point, political biased sources. There are others... I'll post em as I find em... You can find your own...

This political campaign season, besides being very nasty and personality-destruction oriented, will also be a conflict between the centralized-controlled, planned and manipulated economy and society vs the smaller, personal, private property oriented America of the Constitution and first century... Which will it be-?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

2012 Predictions

Kurzwell Accelerating Intelligence website has a round up of predictions for someone who is either in need of or has received accelerated intelligence...

Predictions... Like poetry-?

More people write them than read them.

New Year, New Wisdom-?

It's not often that my morning reading throws up some good tidbits that combine to make things seem clearer, more optimistic, and generally uplifting.

The World Economic Forum has a list of 50 Risks for the coming year. As Inspector Renault said in Casablanca; "Round Up The Usual Suspects" They have and in keeping with anything titled "World" they have done so in 151 pages (64 in .pdf)... Scan when you can or use your imagination. A good counselor and wise person always starts with the obvious and proceeds to the Arcana. That makes the reader feel wise because; They knew it also. Still take a look.

Then contrast that with this article from Forbes; "Seven habits of Spectacularly Unsuccessful Executives" It's succinct and we all know these characters in our lives...and maybe we can identify a trait and stop ourselves from wading too far in that direction.

What do the two reports have in common... They highlight that most failures come from human frailty and success. Success stops hunting, stops running in fear of the chasing hordes who will come and take away market, talent, and provide something better, cheaper, easier, and cooler.

Albert Edwards of SocGen has some 11 forecasts... Again, most of which we knew, but it's nice to see the smart and rich people see much the same. This also comes with links and references to other. Have fun.

Watching the Know-Nothings dance around the pyre of Bain Capital is sad and interesting. All the Republicans who deplore growth of government, crony-capitalism and bail-outs of the Too-Large-To-Fail will have a hard time expressing those charges against President Obama when they have taken his side of the argument and savaged Romney... There are many stories in all the media... It's sad. We should be having a different discussion. This is a golden opportunity to educate and embolden American Entrepreneurs and business.

BUT it's also a reflection on our economic education level in America. TV and the schools have spent the last 50 years trashing business and denying that economic rules have consequences. The politicians have convinced many that only -THEY- can save them from the evil rich... Free Enterprise means "FREEDOM to risk your own money. Freedom to lose every penny. Freedom to provide a value for which consumers will pay a premium over your costs. Freedom to get rich." Free Enterprise does not mean a guaranteed anything... No jobs are guaranteed. No company is guaranteed that it will exist forever. No one is guaranteed that they will get rich. No one will have any assurance that they will not waste their money and time in pursuit of the dream. Seemingly, those who would be our Political Masters want to guarantee the success of every American... They cannot do that. They can only diminish the ability to risk much or be rewarded much...

Most people cannot tell you the difference between an "Operating Statement" or a "Balance Sheet". Yet, they all want to be paid more next year. They all want to have a safe and comfortable retirement. But they cannot be bothered with the math, the economics, the tools necessary to assure their participation in their own success. They simply wish to hire someone and sue when expectations fail to arrive. Is it any wonder that we have cities, counties and possibly states that will be broke by this time next year-? Free Money and lots of it is the only those self-proclaimed leaders hide from the hard details and call for bailouts to make it all go away. Do we have more road to kick-the-can-down-? Some say "NO-!"

Sad... America was once the home of the free...but we have chosen to look at our shoes and accept the words of fools as wisdom. We even lack the ability and initiative to read the books, watch the business channels, look up companies on the internet, and take care of our own future. Our wise-men are flailing about...

Looks like a very interesting year ahead. I recall someone saying that's a ancient Chinese curse. "May you live in interesting times"... Blessing or curse, we seem to have one and there is no way to avoid it.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Two-Way Streets

CBC Radio (aka Canadian Govt Radio) Has a report on a by Susannah Breslin on the topic "Why Do Men Go To Strip Clubs?" It's an interesting tidbit... and really the responses are predictable.

I replied simply with an observation that each report and each question asked reveals something by -both- parties. The interlocutor and the respondent. Usually, Much-much more about the one asking the questions.

What do you think Susannah Breslin's report says about -her- ?

The reason this topic resonates with me is that I have spent a few moments listening to Those-Who-Would-Be-President during this reality TV season of debates, analysis, analysis and debates. A contest somewhere between American Idol, Survivor, and "Everybody Is Famous For Ten Minutes"... The TV people -LOVE- this as it draws eyeballs, is cheap theater, and tunes up their election coverage teams for the pig slop/bun fight that awaits us over the Summer and Fall. Nov 9, 2012 will be a day of silence...before they start telling us -WHAT- it all means... The silence will be wonderful.

Watching the most recent debate with Geo. Stephanopoulos and Diane Sawyer, she who always looks as tho she is just about to well up in tears... I could not help seeing -WHY- the mainstream TV people are losing audience viewers. They simply cannot get a conversation going and let the speaker reveal. They want -all- the talk after the event to be about -THEM-. Dick Gregory, on the earlier debate showed his ignorance and inability to be a reporter of events rather than an antagonist and party to the event.

New and unknown people would be much better at letting the candidates speak... It's a thought.

What is obvious is that attempting to be all-things-to-all-people is foolish and annoying. Be the same person you are at home-alone. We'll decide. The Media Made Cypher we have shows that The Media is not up to the job.

We Can Do Better.

Monday, January 9, 2012


I have been very quiet. This is because I tend to follow the instructions that Thumper's father gave him, and he related to Bambi; "If you can't say something nice, say nothing at all" ... I lack the active and endlessly childishness to be like Alice Longworth who famously said "If you have nothing nice to say, come and sit beside me."

The Blog-O-Sphere is -? Well, what is it-? Relevant any longer-? Or just a toy for old folks-? Hard to say. Tweeters and Facebookers have their own instant popularity and sharing... The aggregators still do -ok- some few better than the many others who are serving the same watered down broth. a few bloggers are doing their own reporting. Digging for facts and examining the public documents, crunching the numbers... but if cited the eyes roll and some wise person always says "Well, that's just a blog."

Given the performance of the Established, Credentialed, Mainstream, Establishment Media over these past ten years... I am given to roll my own eyes and think, if not say; "Well, you know how objective they are"... Watching the American Idol/Survivor show also-known-as Republican Debates... I can see how shallow their ability to examine and question has grown. The old axiom of "Use It or Lose it" applies to these extremely well paid and brilliantly made up-perfect-hair-people... They have lost it. They are no longer serious people for a serious time. They have surrendered their integrity for the sham of ratings and dollars... I changed the channel.

Watching their questions makes me realize that a question asked tells about -BOTH- speakers. The interrogator and the respondent. Barbara waters asking President Obama what super hero or super power he would have, or what flaws/faults does he have... No wonder they didn't cover the white House Halloween party. Full tilt Hollywood bash with Alice in wonderland theme, Johnny Depp, et al... a surprise-? Only to those who knew noting about it. Seeing the First Family in Louis XIV garb seems all too appropriate and easy...

The country is broke. People have been out of work for years. The President iis assuming royal powers, the numbers are being manipulated and nobody inquires about their veracity... and he has signed a law that allows him, and his military to sweep the streets, collecting any American they wish. They can hold them for decades without charge or notification to family or concerned associates.... Soon he will pop up and seek -YET ANOTHER- $1.2 trillion dollars in debt limit increase...

For those not paying attention; a trillion is one million individual millions. $1.2 trillion equals one million, two hundred thousand million dollars. That is a lot of money... we have already increased the limit and borrowed over $5 trillion...and that is just in his three years in office.

We are borrowing $.40 of every dollar we spend. ... The Adult Media wonders what super powers he would have or what flaws he has-? Something ain't right here. Are there any adults available who can face the reality of our impending disaster-?

See how easy it is to become a political pundit... anyone can do it. I just did...Wow-! aren't I a Pretty Bird-?

I have wondered what topics I can write about. what can I share and still remain, basically, a nice guy who values his privacy...

I'm still working on that...

But I am planning on departing California. Moving to some place more rational. California has been the cultural leader for America most of my life. despite the great people, wonderful climate and feeling of being the first to see "The Next Great Thing"... I am afraid that California will soon show America what happens when a state is financially broke. Nobody knows what happens when a state goes bankrupt. can it even file for bankruptcy-? Raising taxes and driving up costs are one factor in my decision. I am also tired of living on the bleeding edge of every social experiment that comes along... The state is broke. we owe the state employees and their pensions more money that is available. we believe in green-everything- and we refuse to develop the oil deposits that leak-naturally- from the ground and spoil the beaches.

The state wil soon lose the bothersome Pacific Cargo trade as the expanded Panama Canal allows larger ships and larger containers. The shippers, and shipping lines, will gladly by-pass these west Coast ports with their history of labor strife and political football... Hollywood remains a big deal. BUT most of the big money people and movies are owned outside of the state... You can fund 2-3-4 new movies just on the taxes you save.

In short, I see California being 6 months to 2 years ahead of the nation in our cultural rush to destruction. I'm not big enough to float thru any crisis, wise enough to time it, or energetic enough to take advantage of the fantastic opportunities that always arise in the midst of destruction...

Oregon looks interesting. California with trees, but the same social disconnect. Gown v Town played on the statewide level. democrats and unions in charge of everything... But it does hold some interest.

Virginia is nice. No, not NO-VA...that band of communities that border the capitol of the planet. I am over my temptation with the halls of power at the center of the universe. It is not my personality. I hold truth, trust and relationships too dear. I cannot deal secrets and betray trusts for the fleeting advance...The beaches are nice, but...too many people...Lots of humans make me nervous... Maybe Charlottesville or some place smaller--and in the mountains-? Shenandoah, what a lovely song and nice valley...

Florida-? Probably will win the battle. They seem to want old folks. Their tax structure is inviting. The Panhandle is nice. They have four seasons. The sand is nice, clean, soft-like powdered sugar. Not too many people-yet- that will change. Soon Knoxville, Atlanta, Birmingham and Montgomery will be an easy drive... Much like Los Angeles to Las Vegas or The Bay Area to Tahoe and Reno. Plus the air services will grow... Lots of and for homes, golf courses, etc and -ll- those small businesses that support Geezers and their related New Money

I'm up in the air-at this writing.

I am changing my life. I am readng much more than in years gone past. I have rediscovered music...lots of music...From classic symphony and opera, to big band-American Songbook Standards, rock, country, jazz.... So much new to me...and it feels like water in the desert...

Just a few of the things I have missed while I chased leprechauns and rainbows across the world...and never got a firm grasp on the famous Pot-O-Gold... I had finger tips on it a couple of times. I just "couldna make a fist of it" as a Scotsman told me once. I had a good run and some adventures...can't complain or brag, just smile in my Geezer-dom

Suggestions-? What would you do-? If you have read this far then you have some interest.