Archive for the ‘Fixing the World’ Category

Who likes sharing the road with idiots? I know I don’t, though I’ve found yelling at the windshield until bits of my lungs are expectorated on the glass seems to have no effect. It’s obvious the police are stretched to the max with real crime and don’t have time to correct minor infractions of traffic etiquette.

I have a solution. Let’s create a squadron of NFL referees in zebra-striped cars to patrol our streets and issue penalties for egregious violations of road courtesy. These infractions would not be paid for in monetary fines, but rather in the one currency people seem to value most: time.

Here is my list of violations and suggested punishments. Feel free to add your own.

Pass interference – An infraction occurs when a driver fails to get their lazy, stupid ass out of the passing lane when faster traffic approaches from the rear. Violators will be flagged and forced to return to their starting point to resume their journey.

Holding – Maintaining a speed BELOW the posted limit even though unimpeded by traffic. Violators of holding penalties will be forced to drive in circles in a Costco parking lot for twenty minutes on a Saturday afternoon.

Illegal use of hands, hands to the face – Any use of an electronic device, such as a cell phone, GPS, radio, or vibrator, while driving. Violations will result in a penalty of one-point-five miles, or half the distance from home, whichever is greater.

Clipping – A clipping penalty is incurred when the driver wanders the hell over into a lane other than the one they are using. Their car is placed at the spot of the foul and they will be ridiculed in public before being allowed to proceed.

Delay of game – Failure to execute an expeditious transit of an intersection for any reason. Violators will be left on the side of the road with two flat tires and no jack.

False start – If, while stationary at stop light, a driver jerks forward because the light next to them changed from red to green, thereby causing others to jump forward, they are guilty of a false start. Punishment will include loss of start when their light changes.

Personal foul, unsportsmanlike conduct – A driver commits a personal foul if they buy a bigass vehicle they can’t properly operate because a.) they are a small woman and operating a big vehicle gives them a false sense of power, or b.) they are a male and have a small penis. Evidence of this personal foul will be a.) any failure to adequately and correctly park said monstrous vehicle in a timely and forthright manner between the lines painted on the parking lot, b.) tires big enough to house a family of four, or c.) inability to see over the steering wheel.

Feel free to add your own penalties. We’ll be back, right after this commercial break…

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The newest edition of the Marketing handbook just came out. It says, in order to successfully retain customers, act like you give a shit. And the marketing department read the book, and found it good. They have spread the word of the book thus:

  •  Buy groceries, get a survey.hand-with-clipboard-1239798
  • Buy hardware, get a survey.
  • Buy a car, get a survey.
  • Go to the mall, duck the survey taker.
  • Call the cable company, get a survey.
  • Use a technical help line, get a survey.
  • Pause for an instant on a website, and a popup asks if you want a survey.
  • Rent a car, get a survey.
  • Stay in a hotel, get a survey.
  • Fly on a plane … No, nothing there. At least the airlines are honest about not giving a shit what you think.

And the people find it … annoying as a kid with a drum kit. The never. Ending. Pounding. Of the SURVEY. On a scale of 1-to-10, rate how much you like taking surveys: Minus Infinity times ten to 50th power. Stick that up your survey.

I applied for a job. Didn’t get the job. They sent me a survey asking me to rate my job application experience. Really? Are you kidding me? You didn’t hire me, you dumb shits, how do you think I feel about the experience?

What happens to all these surveys? Since the only time you fill one out is when you’re so angry at the company or service, little crumbs of teeth fall from your mouth, the results of these polls should indicate that maybe (just maybe) the customer service experience should be improved. Has it? Call for cable service, see how much that’s improved.

Just do your job, people. When you flop, expect that you’ll hear about it. Stop asking me for an opinion that you’ll promptly ignore. Be honest about your disregard for customer service and keep sending my call to a guy in India.

If you liked this post, please kindly fill out my survey…

A climber clings to a sheer cliff face, fingers pressed onto a narrow ledge. Above the climber, a steep mountain arises; below him, a deep chasm awaits the tiniest slip.

Humans have climbed a long way from the hills below. We have achieved wondrous things in art, science, mathematics, and medicine. We like to think we’re at the pinnacle of our great journey as reasoned, rational beings.

Savages claw at our ankles, pulling us down, threatening to dislodge our hold on the knife-edge of civilization. They murder, they rape, and they destroy. They see a thing, and if they can’t eat it, or screw it, they piss on it.

Barbarians use piety as a mask, shrouding their evil with the exemption of righteousness, thereby relieving themselves of responsibility. They use the language of the victim. God told me to do it. Society made me this way. I’m poor. Nobody will give me a chance. You take more than your share. I have no choice.

Ignorance is the blanket which comforts the savage. The cruel and brutal abhor education. They revere vulgarity and praise illiteracy. Apologizing for them makes them stronger. Misguided empathy feeds their hunger for more blood.

Savages breed in every dark corner, throughout every social strata. They molest children. They murder innocents. They shout down and heckle the speech of others. They hold the weak in contempt and they prey on the good will of the decent. They destroy civilization.

These vicious monsters can’t be appeased. Unless those who preach ugliness through deed or dogma are silenced, their cycle of ignorance and brutality will continue. Every olive branch will be burned. Every helping hand chopped off. Every dollop of gold consumed until there is no gold left in the land.

Barbarians want to pull us off the ledge. Our choice is to release our grip and fall onto the rocks below, or kick them in the teeth. Savages want to kill us. We can bow our heads for the sword, or whet our blades to cut hard and fast.

Stand up. Face the fiends. Look them in the eye.

Don’t let them win.

The Big Lie

Posted: September 24, 2015 in Fixing the World
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Adolf Hitler wrote in Mein Kampf:

“…that in the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily; and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods. It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously.” – Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, vol. 1, chap X

This quote has been whittled down to the spin doctor’s maxim:

Tell a lie big enough, long enough, and people will believe it, despite facts to the contrary.

FACT: The Antarctic Ice Shelf is growing, not receding.

FACT: Temperature has risen ~ .01-degree C in sixteen years.

FACT: Carbon emissions from 1920 – 1960 correlated to exactly zero change in temperature.

FACT: The earth has experienced climate change with and without human activity throughout the geological ages.

FACT: Funding flows to crises.

FACT: The IPCC ignores data it finds inconvenient

FACT: The “hockey stick” model is false

And yet people still believe the Big Lie of Climate Change, and follow the dogma that somehow humans are responsible.  Hydrocarbon emissions are bad for a number of reasons, air quality being foremost among them. Let’s figure out how to reduce hydrocarbon emissions, but stop believing the BIG LIE because you believe no one would have the gall to “fabricate colossal untruths.”

Sources:

MIT Technology Review

The UK Telegraph

Judith Curry’s Blog: Climate, Etc. (Judith Curry is Professor and former Chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology and President (co-owner) of Climate Forecast Applications Network (CFAN).

William Briggs, Statistician, Cornell

Forbes: Dark Money Funds to Promote Global Warming Alarmism Dwarf Warming Denier Research

It turns out the history I learned in second grade was wrong.

Those of us born in the barbaric age of black & white TV learned Columbus discovered America, which allowed the migration of freedom-loving, intrepid people of all races the opportunity to establish the greatest nation on Earth, a nation that has provided the greatest economic bounty and personal freedom to people from every social class.  Later, these hard-working and diligent people created the game of baseball from the insanity that was cricket, thus bringing peace and tranquility to many afternoons.

According to those folks 35 and younger, who learned history in the more enlightened times—post 1990, that is—Christopher Columbus discovered America, handed the indigenous people smallpox-laden blankets, stole their land, raped their women, and allowed white Europeans the opportunity to destroy the noble, animistic, peace-loving culture of the quote-unquote Native Americans. Later, these same greedy white men invented capitalism, a system of wealth accumulation that enriched them while impoverishing everyone else.

What happened to Columbus?

The Truth does not lie somewhere in the middle, as people tend to suggest Truth will be found.  The Truth ran away and hid behind the door while the rest of us manipulated facts to fit our paradigm.

Christopher Columbus—or Cristofolo Colombo, in his native Italian—actually made four voyages to the New World, all of them to Hispaniola, a mid-sized island in the Caribbean.  Hispaniola is best known for coup d’etat, hurricanes, and being home to the nation of Haiti.  With the Santa Maria sunk out from under him, Christopher greeted the native Taino people, said hello, shook hands, and picked up some nice t-shirts for the kids back home.  He left behind a handful of sailors, who promptly infected the natives with a cornucopia of diseases, including—probably—small pox.  They didn’t mean to, but hey, shit happens and people die.

On subsequent missions, Christopher brought his pals, the Dons, to Hispaniola.  The Spanish nobles, not to be outdone by a bunch of illiterate sailors, committed atrocious acts of genocide and enslavement, and attempted to exterminate the Tainos, which certainly gives Columbus a bit of a black eye, historically speaking.

Important fact Mrs. Green, my second-grade teacher, failed to mention: Columbus never noticed the enormous land mass a hundred miles to the west.  Never set foot on any part of North or South America, or even that skinny bit in the middle.

Another Italian should share in Christopher’s fame-slash-infamy. Amerigo Vespucci ran into South America while navigating for the Portuguese, who wanted new lands and native peoples to pillage.  We can thank Amerigo for the name of our continent, yet he didn’t get a cool mnemonic poem written about him sailing the ocean blue.

We should also add to the list John Cabot, whose real name was Giovani Caboto (another damned Italian!), who smacked into Newfoundland in 1497.  He sailed for that rascally white guy, Henry VII—the father of the serial wife-killer.

And then there’s the damn Vikings, who hated paperwork and lost all their files during a pillage or while quaffing too many ales in the longboat. Had they not, we’d be celebrating the discovery of Erikland by Leif and his horn-helmeted kin.

So is there a point to Columbus Day? What, exactly, are we celebrating?  (Beyond the Macy’s Clearance Event Sale, I mean.)  Should we gift the Postal Service with a day off in order to remember to the guy who opened the door for his party boys back home to decimate the Taino on Hispaniola?  Or should we say what we really mean when we honor the “discovery” of this hemisphere by European explorers?

I suggest two actions to rectify this misunderstanding of Columbus’ place in history.

One, if you’re suffering from retrograde guilt related to American history, and it burns in your gullet that superior firepower and organized industrialism destroyed both the agrarian and the nomadic indigenous people (who stole the land from the Anasazi), then you should move back to England. Give your home to a descendant of the Cherokee, Apache, or Comanche.  Or to anybody from Oklahoma.  That will help restore the balance by (a) ridding us of another hair-shirt and (b) opening up some minimum wage jobs for someone else.

Second, I move that we change the name of Columbus Day, for the sake of accuracy. My favorite alternates are Damn Glad We’re Americans Day, or TGI’m American and Not French.  If I can’t have that, then I’ll enjoy both Columbus Day and Thanksgiving without a scintilla of guilt over why, knowing as I do the real reason we honor the explorers of the 15th Century.

The good King Guden ruled wisely and well in the land of Cornucopia. He always, always wanted to do the Right Thing, and was a man of profound principles.

One day, king’s advisors came to him with a problem.

“O Sire,” they said. “There are people starving and homeless, begging in the streets of your cities.”

“What people? How is this possible, when we have so much?” The king wrung his hands and paced the oval chamber.

“Old people, Sire. They were foolish and didn’t put aside money for when they were old, so now they starve, and go without shelter.”

“Why are their children not taking care of them?”

“Many of the children have moved away to work in the factories, building marvelous devices to enrich us all,” the advisors said. “They have neither time, nor desire to care for their parents.”

“I know what to do!” cried King Guden. “We will place a tax on these children, a small amount that they will hardly notice. We’ll put this money in a special room of the treasury and appoint a guardian to watch over it. This treasure will multiply until these workers are too old to be productive, whereupon my guardians will dole out the treasure in a monthly stipend so that they may neither starve, nor go without a home.”

And the advisors nodded and decided the king was very wise, indeed.

“Many of the elders grow sick from disease,” one of the advisors, whose name was Berol, said. “And healers are expensive. How will this stipend provide for their health?”

The King thought for a long moment, stroking his chin. “I have it! We will enact another small tax upon the workers, and this money will go to pay healers for their care of the elderly.”

“But Your Majesty,” said the advisor, “everyone knows healers charge exorbitant fees, and are licentious and greedy. How will we know they are charging accurate fees?”

“Ah, that one is easy,” said another of the king’s men. “We will say exactly how much they may charge for treatment, and pay not a farthing more.”

All the wise men in the room nodded. This made perfect sense.

And so it was passed into law and, as is the way of such things, took on more administrative burden than king first imagined. Someone had to collect the tax, police the tax, account for the tax and justly apportion the tax. It came to pass in the next many years that the king’s guardian of the Old People Saving System grew from one small group to a thriving bureau, employing thousands of people. The people, realizing they no longer had to worry about setting aside money and handling that difficult chore themselves, could rely on the king and his band of faithful guardians to insure their future comfort.

The few malcontents in the kingdom who wanted no part of this system were quickly silenced, not only by the OPSS Enforcement Bureau, but by the elderly, who feared losing their meager dole.

Many years passed in the land of Cornucopia, and there were ups and downs, as there are in all kingdoms, but by-and-large the citizens of this land were more prosperous than many of their neighboring kingdoms.

It was this very prosperity that troubled many kind-hearted advisors to King Guden. At a formal audience, the advisors told the king, “O Sire, there are people starving in the street, and going homeless, right here in Cornucopia.”

“Surely not Cornucopia,” cried the king. “You must mean one of those far off lands where they know not how to grow wheat. Those places where we sent the Soldiers of Tranquility to teach them to fish, and bathe, and drink Coca-Cola.”

“Nay, Sire, right here in this land, people go hungry. They fail again and again to take advantage of their free education and instead wallow in poverty.”

“That’s awful. Something must be done. We have to do the Right Thing!”

“Perhaps . . .” said Berol, who had become somewhat wealthy in the last few years, helping to administer the OPSS. He kept his face mild and demeanor subservient. “Perhaps we could do something like we did for the old people. Add a small tax to the people and feed all the hungry, and give them homes.”

“Outstanding idea!” commended the other advisors.

“No, wait,” said the king.

“Horrible idea!” decried the other advisors.

“No, I like the idea, but I’m not sure the people would be happy with another tax, especially to pay for those who are foolish, indolent, or lazy.”

“But, Sire,” Berol advised, “these aren’t the indolent. These are people who have fallen on hard times, through no fault of their own. And we would pay them only for a short while, until they got back on their feet, so to speak.”

“We need a catchy phrase,” an advisor named Topp chimed in. “Ah, maybe . . . the Assault on Poorness!”

“Excellent,” said the king. “Make it so.”

And the advisors all nodded wisely, went forth and began the Assault on Poorness. Berol took the prominent lead, for he knew he could grow even richer in power and influence if he gave people money from the king’s treasury. It had happened with the Old People Saving System, and he saw how easily it would work with the Assault on Poorness.

A period of great wealth came to the kingdom. Even with the AoP and the OPSS bureaucracies having grown at an exponential rate, the king’s treasury was stuffed.

Berol had grown influential and powerful, controlling huge segments of the population who benefited from his stewardship of the treasury. Every month, Berol whispered in King Guden’s ear with a voice so seductively reasonable, the king agreed that Something Must be Done.

“O Sire, our people are not smart enough to adequately provide for their own healing . . .”

“O Sire, our communities are incapable of educating our children correctly . . .”

“O Sire, the rotten factory owners are despoiling the land . . .”

“O Sire, the people are too stupid to advance themselves through merit. We must address the imbalance through fiat and require their employers to pay them A Living Wage . . .”

“O Sire, some people have been foolish in their use of weapons. We cannot allow this to stand . . .”

Each time Berol whispered in the king’s ear, he agreed that Something Must be Done. The town criers, who went to schools run by Berol’s sycophants, and agreed with Berol’s philosophy, all cried the same news, that Something Must be Done!

And so it came to pass that Berol became the most powerful of all advisors, aided by Topp and praised by all the town criers. King Guden lost interest in government entirely, preferring his amusements and distractions and refusing to think too deeply about the juggernaut he’d created. He ate fattening foods and dispensed with wearing any clothes, prancing through the palace, playing an out-of-tune violin.

One night, as King Guden caroused, he wandered down a path he’d rarely taken and soon found himself lost. Blundering aimlessly, he came to a chamber wherein sat a little man with a serious demeanor.

“Who art thou?” the king asked, for he often spoke that way while in his cups.

“O Sire, I am called Pat.”

“And why dost thou look so serious, Pat?”

“I’m in charge of your accounting department, Your Majesty, and I’m very sad to have to tell you, the treasury is empty, but for spider webs and mouse droppings.”

“Empty?” King Guden was dismayed. “How can it be empty? My land is more prosperous than any other?”

“It is indeed very prosperous, Your Majesty, and your tax collects winnow a bounty of revenue from the people every year. However your bureaucrats have given it all away, trying to do the right thing.”

“And have they done the right thing?” the king demanded. “Have they provided all the people with an adequate retirement?”

“No.”

“Have they lifted people from poverty?”

“No.”

“Are our children not better educated?”

“No.”

“Have the rotten factory owners stopped despoiling the land?”

“No.”

“Don’t all my people make A Living Wage?”

“No.”

“And haven’t people stopped using weapons foolishly?”

“No.”

“Well then,” King Guden thundered. “Something Must be Done!”

The next day, the king called together all his advisors and explained the treasury was bare, and yet none of the taxes or policies they’d enacted had done what was originally intended.

“We must stop spending all this money!” The king banged the table for emphasis, frightening some of the advisors.

The sly Berol, having grown powerful enacting and administering those very policies, said, “O Sire, but wait. If you stop sending money to your people, many will be grievously harmed. They will starve, go without education, become ill, and bureaucrats will lose their jobs. We simply cannot end spending. Think of the devastation.”

“But, Berol,” whined the king, already tired of the argument. Banging his fist on the table had taken a lot out of him. “We have no money.”

“That is not a problem, Sire.”

“Huh?”

“There are four simple ways we can continue Doing the Right Thing, even though the treasury lay barren as a spinster’s womb.” Berol raised a chubby finger. “One, we can print more money, for what is money beyond symbols on a piece of paper? We print as much as we want and we can give it away like water flows over a dam.”

“Ahhh!” sighed the advisors. They let Berol take the lead, for he was very clever, and good at this sort of thing.

“Two,” another finger went up, “we can increase revenue to the treasury by adding taxes, fees, regulations and outright confiscations. Three, we can borrow from ourselves.”

“Come again,” said King Guden, now picking away one-fingered at a game on his wooden pallet.

“We merely promise to pay our citizens back and we borrow from them – at a very reasonable interest rate, I might add. We’ll call it, uh . . . bonds! As in, they are bonded to us. And four . . .” Here Berol paused, sure this next idea would enrage King Guden. He took the plunge anyway. “And four, we can borrow from the Chimunists.”

“The Chimunists hate us,” blurted one advisor.

“Yeah, what about that, Berol?” King Guden yawned. All this economics talk was making him sleepy.

“Well, sure,” said the sly Berol. “But since they have a totalitarian rule, and their people live in fear and poverty, they can dictate wages, profits and taxes.”

“Wait,” said Advisor Phox. “Don’t we do that, too?”

“No, you ninny, it’s completely different,” Berol snarled. “Now shut up. The Chimunists utter control of their economy allows them to have excess cash on hand, ready for loaning. We can borrow as much as we want, and continue to provide all the Right Things for our people.”

“You know,” the king said, fighting a yawn. “That sounds like a great plan, Berol. I’m putting you in charge of all that silly money nonsense. Take care of it, would you?” King Guden pushed out of his chair and turned away. “I’m going to take a nap. Wake me when everything’s fixed.”

 

 

In December, 2008, Bernie Madoff was arrested for orchestrating and profiting from a large-scale Ponzi scheme.  He is currently serving a 150-year sentence.  Allen Stanford is in prison, serving a 110-year sentence for the same thing.  Others include Nevin Shapiro, Edmundo Rubi, Mark Drucker, John C. Jeffers, Norman Adie and hundreds more.

What did they do wrong?

A Ponzi scheme uses new investor’s money to pay high rates of return to previous investors.  When the new money dries up, the scheme implodes and everyone with money still in the pot loses their entire investment.

Why is this illegal?

One of the reason this is illegal is because the architect of the scheme – Mr. Shyster – never really “invests” in anything except his own back account.  Another reason is Mr. Shyster promises high rates of return, knowing the system will collapse at some point.  (An over-simplification, but hang with me a minute.)

Who created the longest-running Ponzi scheme in America?

Franklin Delano Roosevelt.  Yep.  FDR.  During his term as President, FDR created a Ponzi scheme called Social Security.

What does Social Security do?

It takes money from new investors and uses it to pay returns to previous investors.  It “invests” in nothing.  The funds go to the Treasury’s General Fund (the pocket of Mr. Shyster.)  Anybody who believes in the Social Security Trust Fund is sadly deluded.  Put a tooth under a pillow and see if the Tooth Fairy comes; it’s the same principle.  Social Security promises huge returns upon retirement, in excess of contributions.

“But wait,” you say.  “It’s my money I’m taking out.  I’ve paid in every working day of my life.  I’m entitled to it.”

No, not all of it.  At the time of this writing, you will receive benefits in excess of contributions.  Don’t believe me?  Check it out; I ain’t making this up.  Guess where the extra money comes from?  That’s right!  New investors.

So why have we not tried and sentenced FDR to a Bernie Madoff-type prison term?  In terms of raw dollars, Social Security has bilked hundreds of times more money from investors than Madoff ever did.  Well, it’s because FDR is no longer available for prosecution, having gone to the Great New Deal in the Sky.

So what should we do?

Stop living in Fantasyland for one thing.  If you’re over fifty, stop getting your panties bunched every time a conservative (Paul Ryan) mentions allowing younger people to opt-out of Social Security.  Stop contributing to AARP.  Stop whining and worrying about whether grandma’s checks will stop coming.  (They won’t.)

Overall, stop insisting the government take care of you after retirement.  That’s YOUR job.  Look in the mirror.  Take control of your life.

Right now, we pay 15% of our earnings every paycheck into Social Security.  Half of that never makes it to our paycheck, because Mr. Shyster uses some strong arm goons called the IRS to insure your employer coughs that up every quarter.

If you put 15% of your money in a mattress every paycheck, you would at least break even.  Stuff into CDs, money market accounts, a mutual fund, a REIT, a diversified portfolio of all the above, even (God help us) the stock market.  Or do like Robert Wagner says and buy gold with it.  Can you imagine what you – an intelligent and responsible human could do with that kind of money?

Final word:  Let’s stop contributing to biggest Ponzi scheme ever invented.  If we don’t, we’re going to get burned when the bottom drops out.

            Has decided that personal responsibility, hard work and independence no longer matter.  The America of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, Abraham Lincoln and many other iconic thought-leaders is, quite simply, dead.  That ship has sailed.  The final nail in the coffin was driven home last night, Tuesday, November 6th, 2012.

             Good bye United States of America.

             Hello United States of Dependence.

             One half of America decided to ignore Barrack Hussein Obama’s longtime friendship with Bill Ayers, the terrorist who bombed a police station.  They decided to ignore his longtime affiliation with the racist, America-hating Reverend Wright.  They decided to ignore the lessons of history which have clearly demonstrated that government redistribution of wealth is an unsustainable model.

            One half of America has chosen the dubious leadership qualities of a man with no history of success in any endeavor; a man with a polished exterior thinly veiling a smirking, condescending smugness.

             Why?

             I do not know.  I don’t understand it.

             I can only surmise that they are motivated by greed at worst, or a misguided perception that compassion comes from the hands of the people who brought them the Post Office, the Veteran’s Administration, the DMV, the passport office, Medicare/Medicaid, Social Security, food stamps, farm subsidies, TARP, Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Unemployment Insurance, Solyndra and, well, see the full list here: 

             http://www.recovery.gov/Transparency/fundingoverview/Pages/entitlements-details.aspx

             A motivation encompassed in the one sentence:  Take care of me, please.

             Has one half of the American Electorate bought into the “rich don’t pay enough” argument?  Can any argument be more specious?  If you took away every asset owned by a people with a net worth exceeding one million dollars – took away every dollar owned by Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Jerry Jones, all of them – and paid it into the Treasury tomorrow, you wouldn’t make a dent in the Federal deficit – not the debt, the deficit.  (Although I strongly suspect that one half of America does not understand the difference.)

             I can only suppose that one half of America wants the other half of America to pay for their medical care, guarantee their mortgage, cover their living expenses while unemployed, feed them, clothe them, pay for their retirement, protect them from harm – but not if we have to go to war to do it – pay to heat and cool their homes and pretty much guarantee that they will never face anything more distressing than a hangnail.

             No, I’m doing them a disservice.  They don’t want the other half of America to pay for all this.  They want the government to pay for it instead.  I’m sorry, my bad.

             So on Wednesday, November 7th, 2012, I would like to welcome all of you to the New United States of Dependence.

             I have to sign off now and go to work this morning.  My neighbor needs a new car.