Friday, July 31, 2009

Today's Babe

Eva Green. Eva is one of those I find unusual. Sultry. She was one of the best Bond babes.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

You are the center of my world

Without getting in to specifics, I've either read or heard a few things that got me thinking.

As many know, last year I lost my dad and brother. We all get to the point when family members die. It's to be expected. That doesn't mean it isn't sad, nor do I mean to diminish the loss . . . it's a part of life. The end of life.

My wife was just at a funeral. A co-worker of hers husband passed away. But, unlike the expected passing of those who are old or have become weak and sick, this husband was about 30 years old. The couple were married just this past April and were about to leave on their honeymoon to Ireland. They also wanted to start a family right away. Right before leaving for Chicago on business, the husband got sick. It wasn't much. In fact he went on the business trip and upon returning went to the doctor. Several tests later and it turned out he had a clot in his liver. No big deal. They caught it early. Some treatment with blood thinners and all should be well. But, it wasn't. So, in the hospital he goes to undergo surgery to clear the blockage.

He never woke up.

Just like that.

That's sad. Brutal. Tragic. No words can convey how one feels at a time like this. You often read about these kinds of things in the paper. It really hits hard when it's so close to home. I think back to when I had a clot in each lung after my ankle surgery. Was I lucky?

I started this blog not that long ago. I did so after reading a number of other blogs. Mostly conservative leaning blogs, but some that were more personal in content. I thought it a good way to vent and share my thoughts, as well as read news from a different source other than a newspaper.

As a result, I came to know many of these bloggers at Drinking Right, a monthly get together at Papa's Social Club. There we drink, eat pizza, and often discus everything but politics. The people I've met have become very good friends. We've taken in quite a few other activities together . . . the airshows, Hooters, and this weekend, one of their weddings. And that's just my participation. Others get together for a variety of reasons. Getting out to meet these folks has truly been one of the better things I've done lately.

Well, blogging led to Twitter. I've yet to attend a "tweet up", but intend to. Already I've made another batch of friends. Some of them I know from the blogs. But, others are new to me. It's been a lot of fun.

Then, there's Facebook. As a result of facebook, I've connected with a few friends from high school, other "new" friends, and three people from the neighborhood I grew up in . . . 30 some years ago!

You might be wondering . . . first death talk and then social networking?

Life can take an immediate turn down a one way street at a moments notice. Fact is, we have little control over certain aspects of our lives. The other fact is that there is no undo. No do overs. No rewind. No take backs. We live as a consequence of the decisions and choices we make. We only control the choices we make.

Should I be fortunate enough to reach my mid 80's, I'd like to be able to sit back and reflect on my life and, above all else, be content. Certainly, be happy. But, be content knowing that I made the most of my life. But, not because I travelled a lot, not because I felt more knowledgeable than other people, not because I made more money than other people, or have more than other people, not because I felt more talented than other people, and not because I feel as though I accomplished more than other people. I want to be content knowing I spent as much time as I could with my family . . . and my friends. I want to be content knowing that I was a good husband, a good father, and a good friend to the people I've known. I want to be content knowing that I was thought of as a good person. A fun person. A nice person. And remembered as such when I die.

What the blogs, Twitter, and Facebook have all done is added to the humility I already feel. To know that people actively searched me and took time to send a note . . . is incredibly thoughtful. To think that I've stuck in the memory of someone for so many years. It's nice. It's a nice feeling. It's my desire to do the same for others.

That, to me, is what life is all about.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Federal level, State level, and now City level

It's difficult not to make a comment about this. As a taxpayer I have watched as government on the federal level, and our state level have raised taxes and fees. And for all of that spending, particularly here in Wisconsin, what do we get? A huge deficit with no real "plan", other than to continue to raise taxes and fees, to bring the deficit and spending under control.

Well, it finally hit at the city level as the common council voted to increase water fees, snow removal fees, parking meter fees (one that really annoys me) and taxicab fees. All in an attempt to close a 90 million dollar shortfall in the budget. And, it's not over. The spending and tax raising, that is. This is just a start.

JSonline article

As the recession has hit us we cut back. Trimming our budgets of luxury items, things we can put off, things we don't need. We live within our means. Not so with the government. They continue to spend, then just tax and raise fees when the accounting doesn't quite work out. It's irresponsible.

At the heart of much of this is our own alderman, Mike Murphy, who chairs the joint finance committee. Thus far, he has voted in favor of all fee increases. Increases that will affect us all in higher property taxes, and in visiting downtown Milwaukee. I've emailed him several times this year only to get no response.

Trust me, I wouldn't support loosing services. Particularly fire and police. But, those aren't the only things in the budget. Especially after a year in which we've seen so much fraud and criminal activity by our representatives, it's difficult to take any of them at their word.

Who's fighting for the tax payer?

It's time to get these people out of office.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Ma'am, you're an idiot.

Barbara Boxer is a self absorbed, elitist twit. She provided proof of that when she asked Brigadier General Michael Walsh to call her senator . . . not, ma'am, as is usually done out of respect by most members of the military.

But, if the ink on her "I'm in idiot" tattoo was still wet then, it's completely dry now. (Yes, I know it's misspelled. Seems to be the rage in hollywood, these days). Talking about the "take from the rich and give to the poor" bill, or what the libs like to call, "cap and tax", Babs said " . . . there will be dire results: droughts, floods, fires, loss of species, damage to agriculture, worsening air pollution and more." if the bill isn't passed.

OK. Let's agree, at least, on one thing here. The "take from the rich and give to the poor bill" will actually do little, from a global standpoint, to reduce carbon emissions. First, cars are the biggest polluters and they're not going away any time soon. Second, some countries want nothing to do with legislation that raises costs on energy, and some of these countries are pretty big emitters of CO2. So, their non-compliance will make our compliance even less effective than it would have been. Which was pretty minimal to begin with. The fact is, simply passing this craptacular bill really won't have any huge impact on carbon emissions . . . if at all. It will simply make producing and using fossil fuel burning energy sources VERY expensive.

So, WTF is Babs talking about? So, with a wave of the pen, all worries are gone? Just like that? One day death, doom, despair, the next day paradise? Someone pass Babs her thorazine and move sharp objects out of her reach. I think the line to the mainmast snapped.

Plus, wasn't one slice of the liberal strategy pie to accuse Bush of using scare tactics to get his way with regard to the Patriot Act? " . . .droughts, floods, fires, loss of species, damage to agriculture, worsening air pollution and more."? Are you kidding me?

"Well, excuse me, MA'AM . . . you're an idiot."

UPDATE: Need more proof Bab's is an idiot? Watch here.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Today's Babe

Heather Graham:

Normally, I look for studio shots for the best in terms of quality and sexiness. In Heather's case, even in the harshest of lighting conditions she's gorgeous.


So, I'm reading this article on the plan to tax the rich to give to the poor, or as the libs want to call it, universal healthcare, and a couple of graphs stick out to me:

House Democrats plan to fund the broadest U.S. health-care expansion in four decades by increasing taxes on the wealthiest Americans, imposing a surtax of 5.4 percent on couples with more than $1 million in income.
The legislation unveiled yesterday would place additional taxes on households with more than $350,000 a year in income and calls for further increases if the measure doesn’t hit a target for cost savings. The provisions are intended to raise $544 billion over 10 years.

OK. Then I read this:

Lawmakers are waiting for the Congressional Budget Office to determine how much the bill will cost. The nonpartisan agency said in a partial and preliminary analysis that the plan would run to more than $1 trillion over 10 years and reduce the number of uninsured by roughly 37 million.

Hmm. Let me make this easier. Though, I doubt it's necessary.

The provisions are intended to raise $544 billion over 10 years.

. . . the plan would run to more than $1 trillion over 10 years

Now, I'm no mathematician, but 544 billion sounds like roughly half of a trillion, no? And, if that's the case . . . again, I'm no genius here . . . won't the government fall a tad short of funding?

I haven't blogged about the Obamacare issue in that it just makes me mad. The above figures show you why. It's moronic. What people don't seem to understand is that the government system won't really save money or cut costs. In fact, the system does NOTHING to actually address the costs of healthcare. It's simply about providing coverage. Health insurance. How does that control industry costs? It doesn't.

I like reading the argument that in spite of having the best healthcare in the world we Americans have the shortest life expectancy. This is really disingenuous. Yes, with free healthcare coverage, more people could end up seeing the doctor and through routine examinations find something for which they can be treated . . . which could ultimately extend or save their life. I understand that. But, even with coverage, there's no guarantee people will see a doctor. Or, subscribe to whatever is necessary to treat their condition. I'm all for preventative care. I practice it. But, you cannot make the connection between having healthcare coverage available and life expectancy. There are other factors at play, including compliance. But also life style, heredity, and diet. We're quite a mixed bag here in America. Other countries are by far more culture and race specific. That factors in to things, as well.

What some of these articles don't tell you is that given most conditions, living in and being treated in America offers you the best chances of survival and extended life. So, should you develop cancer, you're going to want to be treated here.

I admit, costs are a problem. You don't have the best hospitals and doctors and access in the world without a price tag on it. But, simply providing everyone with insurance coverage isn't the answer. Betters ways to start would be to shorten the time it takes for generics to hit the market. Ban TV advertising of drugs. Regulate the industry in the area of selling prices. A flat rate system. Make the market work through competition . . . advertising costs of doctor visits, hospital stays, etc. Limit or regulate the public holdings. I'd go as far as to eliminate public offerings all together. We've come to a point where I don't think it's needed.

The problem is, by not actually addressing healthcare costs, and creating a situation in which the market will likely be flooded by demand, costs will go up. Which means the costs of the coverage will go up. Which means whatever and whoever the government is taxing now won't be enough. So, does the 5% become 10%? Or does the $350,000 a year earner become a $100,000 a year earner that will be taxed?

Like the energy issue, the government insists on doing things backwards. Thus, retardedly.

Unfortunately, there's no cure for that.


So, right after posting this I go to Drudge and find this article.

Here are some interesting graphs:

Elmendorf said that CBO has not completed its evaluation of the House plan, but what it has seen so far does not represent “the sort of fundamental change, the order of magnitude necessary to offset the direct increase in federal health costs from the insurance coverage proposals.”

When asked what could be done to help “bend the curve” of health care costs over time, Elmendorf pointed out that most health experts believe the tax exclusion for employer-provided health insurance is an area that could help reduce costs. Many experts say the exclusion encourages high health care spending since it shields workers from the cost of their coverage.

Then, there's an interesting article that exposes in the bill a provision that would outlaw individual insurance coverage. Read it here.

Again. No cure for this kind of stupidity. We need to get them out of office.

Where's Jimi?

So, I show up at DR last night . . . it was a good crowd . . . Jackie came with me . . . I'm feeling good . . . and one of the first things that happens:

"We've got a bone to pick with you! Where are the chicks! We need chicks!!"

Seems my absence at his here blog has not gone unnoticed and people are none too happy about it.

Well, my sincerest of apologies. I've actually started a number of post and just never seem to finish them. Including one on why I haven't been around much lately. Which, basically, is because of summer and being busy. Still, I realize that posting a babe here and there isn't difficult and doesn't require a lengthy editorial on the merits of the choice. Though, I do spend some time looking for images that have not been widely seen before. So, even with something as easy as posting babe pictures, I spend a good amount of time for an obviously hungry, yet discerning, audience.

But, I have been remiss of my . . . obligation. So, if it's babes you want, babes you will get. Prepare for a maelstrom of babes. Here and on Facebook.

I'll not be called out on again.