Pelosi Implosion

September 29, 2008

In her incredible address before the Congress, undoubtedly assuming easy passage of the $700 billion dollar bailout package, Madame Pelosi just couldn’t help herself…  Unbelievable.

After all the talk about agreement and the need for bipartisan cooperation, going on to speak from an acutely myopic vision, attempting to use a national crisis to take a political swipe at President Bush, displayed a level of heady, arrogant hubris both hateful in expression and uniquely historic in delusion.

Not even a weekago President Clinton remarked how, in 1999, he and some Republicans warned against the lax process surrounding Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.  In 2004, the Bush administration again raised this issue, with suggested safeguards, to no avail.

Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid ought to be deeply ashamed.

Frankly, their blatant lack of decency at this unspeakably critical juncture is extremely alarming, and ought to be permanently informative.

Truly unbelievable, and grossly unacceptable.


Easy Credit! All you can eat… $9.11

September 25, 2008

I’ll admit I’ve gone to the Ledyard Casino three times in the last 15 years, dropping $20. in the slots, then going straight to the All-You-Can-Eat buffet that’s been oddly priced at amounts like $8.47, $9.78, $11.42…

I know a bargain!  So my infrequent visits have enabled me to consume $50. worth of Prime Rib for a fraction of price.

But there could be a greater cost.  As it happens, my doctor likes where I’m at weight-wise, but the fact is, in our free society, there is nothing stopping me from the hell-bent pursuit of pinning the needle on the old sphygmomenometer. 

Carrying trays in front of a smorgasbord of delectable treats, no one prevents patrons from plunking down their $12.63 on a daily basis and chowing down all the Bread Pudding they can stand.  Thus we could easily see a scenario in which more than a few ravenous recipients might gladly eat themselves into a cholesterol clogged oblivion, with no governmental agency guiding them along the way.

It seems that, as a nation, since 1999, we have been invited to an incomprehensibly enormous credit buffet for a stated price too low to resist.

For too many, low interest rates were not enough.  So instead of reasonable and healthy portions of credit being taken from the financial coffers of our nation’s lending institutions, folks were tempted, invited, allowed, to take far more than they could reasonably digest.

The resulting obesity and arterial damage is something we will all be forced to deal with. 

Perhaps we need to drop Algebra II in High School curricula and replace it with Consumer Finance 101.  Perhaps we need to have government warnings automatically kick-in when certain prudent parameters appear to be violated in negotiation for a given loan.

Even so, no educational adjustment or governmental reform can ever take the place of personal common sense and restraint.

If we’re willing to accept the price of being free, we’re far less likely to bear the heavy cost of widespread foolishness.


Fear… I hate it.

September 25, 2008

I hate fear.  Much as I can’t claim any immunity to it, I still hate it.

Thus I am sick to the back teeth of the modern media penchant for raw fear-mongering masquerading as “news”.

Not long ago, various outlets reported predictions of oil running up to $200 a barrel.  Didn’t happen, but that doesn’t mean that thinking people didn’t worry.

Following 9/11, I watched my retirement nest eggs, that took many years to build, get nearly halved, scrambled and fried, in a matter of hours and days, not decades.

And by the way, remember, if you lose 50%, it takes a 100% rebound to get back to where you were before the loss (which still isn’t as good as where you might have been if the original loss hadn’t occured in the first place). 

Put in simple terms, losing 50% of $10. leaves you with $5.  To get back to $10., that $5. now has to increase by 100% (not to mention the fact that had the shrinkage not occured you might have been at $12. or $13.).

So now there are tons of terror inducing quotes and assessments liberally laced across the net.  Words and phrases like Long Recession and Great Depression are prominently placed in the daily lexicon.

Fine.  So be it.  But, as serious as our current dilemma is, and it is, I for one am detaching from the panicked market watch and focussing more on the stable and priceless value of my family, my faith and my friends.

I can’t say I am not concerned, for myself and others.  I am.  But, for some reason, I am not afraid. 

Since 9/11, and UBL, and the dot.com bust, and Enron, and Katrina, I think I am all “feared out”.

Hopefully those in power can soundly secure our economy. 

Regardless, let’s face what is, get to work dealing with it, learn from it, and be better off for it.


No debate?

September 24, 2008

I was looking forward to a clear night this Friday to watch the Presidential debate, and John McCain has to go and opt out in favor of getting directly involved in our world-wide dramatic financial crisis.

National priorities above partisan politics.  Go figure.

McCain is not the polished speaker some might enjoy, but he has this curious habit of letting his actions speak for themselves.

It may not be the most popular thing to do, but it is the right thing to do.

We can always wait to discuss it’s merits at the next scheduled debate.


MacDonald’s Hot Dogs?

September 22, 2008

On the lighter side, though not fat-free, have you ever wondered why MacDonald’s has never tried purveying hot dogs?  I have.  Not on a daily basis, but it has crossed my mind.

Let’s be “frank”…  They’ve done ribs, lobster, chicken, wraps, salads, and more — but nary a dog in the bunch.  Not even the cocktail variety.

There must be a reason.  Is it image?  Something Ray Kroc said should NEVER happen?

These kinds of things make me curious, because marketing decisions are fascinating, and I marvel at those who are capable of reading the tea leaves concerning what might be a hit or a disaster.

Maybe I’ll stop in my local Mickey D’s and ask the manager… 

Then likely get arrested for suspicious behavior.


Palin’s private email, not so

September 18, 2008

BREAKING NEWS!  Governor Palin’s private email account has been hacked, and now private pictures of kids, along with private phone numbers of friends get posted on the net.

The story seems to be in what might be gleaned from the spoils, but I would submit that the real gem is already out and glistening in the sun.

This pearl of great price, now laid bare in an open field, is the glaring reality that the radical left will attempt to destroy anyone who threatens to win over the hearts and minds (votes) of the American people. 

Forget the right to privacy.  That only counts for AlQaeda. 

Never mind the fact that the Alaska Governor has embodied the essence of freedom and accomplishment for all people, men and women.  That is of no account to those who only tolerate their own kind. 

Everyone else must be destroyed.

Nothing of any real account is likely to be revealed in the pilfered correspondence.  But if we step back and take a gander at the big picture, much will be learned about the motives and practices of those who will try to profit from the unconscionable theft.


Greenspan & Greed

September 15, 2008

So, the venerable Alan Greenspan thinks we’re at a 50% chance of a Recession.  I suspect he means a real one, as opposed to a rhetorical one.  A real recession is, what, 2 consecutive quarters of negative growth.  It is not an adjective to be bandied about by those advancing an agenda.  It is a contracted economy, with an actual slowdown in production and a loss of employment.

Let’s then be clear.  Up till now, we have not been in a recession.  Regardless of how it feels.  In point of fact, our economy has steadily, if sometimes falteringly, grown.  This is an extremely important fact.  Why?  Because if you think we’ve been in a recession now, just wait.

According to Greenspan, the current looming crisis “…will continue to be a corrosive force until the price of homes in the United States stabilizes.”

Finally someone said it (and that someone warned about it at least a year ago).  The price of homes in this country, at least in my neck of the woods, has been ridiculously absurd, with shabby houses at one point selling for 80k being flipped faster than burgers at MacDonalds to prices exceeding $300k INSIDE OF TWO AND THREE YEARS!

I suppose now we have to find a way to blame government for our lack of financial common sense and inability to say, “No.  That house is OVER-PRICED.  AND I DON’T CARE WHO ELSE MAY BE STUPID ENOUGH TO BUY IT!”  Let alone, “No!  I won’t pay for that house, because I won’t then be able to put furniture in it!”

Perhaps, if more people had done this, the housing market, that wound up vanquishing the initial post 9.11 potential for recession, would have softened, and we’d have had a minor recession earlier (that so many predicted).  I don’t know.

But as an observer, it’s struck me for a long time that there’s been something deeply amiss in housing prices that’s completely violated common sense.

Eventually, however, reality sets in, and I don’t know if it’s in the government’s purview or power to waive a magic wand and make the hard truth disappear.

Obviously, I hope no one gets hurt in the coming shakeout.  Yet, in some way I am also fearful of practices that blatantly fly in the face of reality.

In our greedy grab for increased wealth, we have apparently ignored the actual cost, thereby revealing that while we have acquired so very much, we have, in reality, valued very little.


The Cross at Ground Zero, 9.11 2008

September 5, 2008

 

                                                    Copyright 2001-2008 WJKeane

The creaky train wends its way through shadowy tunnels, downward toward the sprawling metropolis teeming with yellow cabs and harried pedestrians.  Exiting the underground, walking several blocks and eventually passing through the checkpoint, the sun shines differently here than anywhere else.  It is the light filtered by particulate matter suspended in the air like the hopeful destiny of so many souls turned into the incense and mist of our mournful distress.

 

The earth around the pit is so permeated by the lingering toxins of ruptured machines that shoes must be washed before entering areas of respite or nourishment – not unlike the customs of old Nazareth and Bethlehem, albeit for different reason.  Encircling the gaping cavity wherein the masters of commerce daily trod, now stand the charred and ghostly “edifice witnesses” keeping watch over the empty space once proudly occupied by their taller siblings.

 

Day after day men and women venture deep into the netherworld of incendiary debris, perchance to recover what remains of their fallen kin.  Cleaving to them like an irrepressible aura is the odor of wet smoke, yet far more so they are adorned with the special perfume of heroism that makes their grimy countenance shine brighter than any cold statue of marble or bronze.  They are the real Masked Marvels, the enduring disciples of true faith and love.  And they are not alone.

 

There in the midst of the sooty, carbon stained wound stands a Cross – girder of girder, steel of steel, True Presence of True Presence, begotten not made.  Within this festering gash of sin it is the preeminent Symbol of redemption, the sign giving testimony that out of evil, greater good shall come.  In spite of this place, nay, because of this place, God is with us.

 

Here, caked in the dust of congealed iniquity is the epicenter of saving grace, the true Ground Zero.  In this final resting place of loved ones lost, the assurance of eternal life is found.  This unlikely spot, so devoid of material beauty, shines as a beacon of heavenly Truth.  It is like the Manger, unfit for a King, yet so fitting for a Savior.  The soil of an urban Calvary cradling our frailty, yet cultivating our Salvation. 

 

Perhaps more than in any other way, to fully encounter the ash of mortality and grief is to finally comprehend the gift of Christ.  It is to behold, and be held by, a Divine promise, articulated in a tiny Child, that the life which is to come will be far greater than the life that has been taken away.


John McCain

September 5, 2008

Senator John McCain is not the most skilled man at reading from a teleprompter.  He’s not the most fashionable individual ever to ascend a convention podium.  At some level, every single speaker preceding him at the Republican convention would score higher oratory style points.

Yet, along with and beyond broad and solid political experience, John McCain truly has what few others possess.  That is the sturdy character, tempered courage and seasoned confidence that can only come through facing down unspeakable adversity and finding new life beyond.

In so many ways, this man has been there, and done that — with conviction and with class.  We don’t have to wonder what kind of person he will be.  It is unavoidably obvious who he is. 

John McCain’s credentials are truly unmatched, at least in this contest, and I hope, on Election Day in November, that the man of few flowery phrases will find a nation of millions able to say two simple words:  thank you.


Sarah Palin

September 4, 2008

WOW!  What a great moment in American politics and life, as this woman, Alaska’s Governor, stood up in the batter’s box, under duress, impossibly high expectations, 3 and 2, the bases filled, and calmly hit the ball clean out of the park!

Graceful, funny, smart, classy, perceptive, poised — what an incredible performance. 

What struck me as interesting was that her choice by McCain seemed to instantly bring down such unspeakably hateful and despicable gutter sniping from the far left.  Attacking 17 year old children?

I wondered, what are they afraid of?

Now, we all know.  It’s simple.  Sarah Palin is a most capable and attractive public servant who can speak directly to, and from, actual experience.  She doesn’t need to morph supposedly running a campaign into the equivalent challenge, expertise and responsibility of holding an executive office.

No wonder Sarah’s home state loves her.  Her choice was an innovative stroke of genius, unseen by the “experts” who were desperately trying to put a handle on this woman.  Taking to the the airwaves, this self-effacing “hockey-mom” grabbed their gossip-laden, trash-talking sensibilities and shook them to pieces.

Good for Sarah Palin.  Good for her family.  Good for us all.