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Tag:Mountaineers
Posted on: September 21, 2009 2:23 pm
 

The gilded cage...Obamacare

As we continue to trend left toward the socialist agenda of our leadership I am reminded of this parable:

The hamster lives a wonderful life.  His food and drink is provided, his home is provided, and even his exercise is provided through great distances of twisty tubes and things that spin.  He even has a maid come and clean his house every so often. When he is sick, health care is provided free of charge.  He really has it made.

 

So why is it he is always trying to chew his way to freedom?

 

We all have our own definition of freedom and none of them include a gilded cage.


Minus 5 in the turnover margin is a recipe for defeat anywhere including in the SEC. WVU is minus 8 in its last two games and is 1-1.  Get it straightened out and the Eers could be tough.
Posted on: March 21, 2009 10:34 pm
 

Dear America - save your BS, you'll need it

 Today I purchased fertilizer for my yard at Walmart.  A bag of Scotts crabgrass killer was bargain priced at $56 and change for 15,000 square feet.  I remember paying about $35 give or take last year.  Wow! a mere 60% increase over 2008.  The fellow at Walmart asked if he could help me as I stared in disbelief at the price.  I said I would like to know what happened to the price of fertilizer.  "Well honey (he actually called me honey) fertilizer prices are up across the board."  Why?  "Well you see the price of oil has had an impact."  Huh?  Price of oil is down since last spring.

Another gent wearing Walmart blue approached and told me his father is a farmer and he too is in shock by the price of fertilizer for the farm.

Did I miss any stories about a fertilizer plant blowing up anywhere in the US?  The components of fertilzer are commodities so why the jump in price?  A little reseach links the rise to the cost of natural gas, a key component in the manufacture of nitrogen (in the form of anhydrous ammonia)  but wait just a darned minute.  Natural gas prices have fallen by almost half.  What gives?  A further look says we are running short of phosphates and potash. Are the environmentalists at work here - limiting the profligation of these chemicals? 

But world wide demand for fertilizer has fallen as the world markets have softened.  Should result in a price break.  Hmm.   Something stinks here around the fertilizer pile.

So folks, a warning to your pocket books.  Food prices are about to sky rocket.  Hyperinflation anyone?  And the weeds will be applenty as many folks make the decision to forgo fertilizing their yards this year.


PS.  My Mountaineers let me down big time.  Sadness in Cyndi's heart.

Posted on: March 13, 2009 10:22 am
 

Things to do in the dark...take it to the goal!

 

A little research to share with you folks.

I am going to use my home state for this example - West Virginia. How 'bout them Mountaineers dusting off arch rival Pitt! Back to my research, I could have just as easily used Ohio or Pennsylvania or any number of mid-Atlantic or slightly midwestern states, by the way.

Tiny little West Virginia has approximately 1.7 million residents. But it has five of the top 50 power stations in terms of pollution. Of course this is because they burn coal there, lots of it. Millions of tons of it annually. Makes sense, that is where a large percentage of the nation's coal is and it does cost a lot of money to ship it by rail all around the country. So they burn it there. These five massive power stations:

Fort Martin Power Station, Monongalia Count,y owned by Allegheny Energy

Harrison Power Station, Harrison County, owned by Allegheny Energy

John E Amos, Putnam County, American Electric Power

Mitchell, Marshall County, American Electric Power

Mount Storm, Grant County, Dominion

produce power for West Virginia. But why does little old West Virginia have so many power stations for so few people? Don't they try to conserve power there? Should we conclude these are wasteful people? Don't they know they will be punished for their terrible pollution by the clean states? Surely the West Virginians are not so stupid as to think they can continue to be so wasteful and produce so much pollution. And get this, West Virginia is dumping that pollution all over Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and Pennsylvania (oh and the District of Columbia). That is criminal! What an outrage! The good folks that live downwind of West Virginia should demand a change. Tax those stupid polluting hillbillies. Tax them big so they will stop wasting electricity. That will show them. I can't stand hillbillies but stupid hillbillies are far worse I'm sure you all agree. Let's get even!

Some of you are reading this thinking Smorgie has lost her mind. But a little look-see at the Obama Administration's proposed Cap and Trade System and you find it is just such a vehicle to teach those stupid hillbillies a lesson they will not soon forget. You see C&T puts limits on the carbon PER CAPITA a state can produce. States with large populations have the lowest output of carbon per capita. Therefore, they are allowed to sell their credits back to the government who can sell them for a profit to polluting states like West Virginia. Small population states have higher pollution per capita, sort of a duh calculation there. So the best ten include the coastal states of California, Oregon, Washington and Florida, and the New England states. The worst are Wyoming (least populous state), West Virginia, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, et al. Small population states who mine and burn coal, refine oil, or are big manufacturing states. These states will be crushed by the Cap and Trade TAX. Let's be honest - that is what it is - a tax. They have two choices, reduce their pollution or raise their costs which they will pass on to the consumer. That is you by the way. Cap and Trade represents a revenue enhancement to the Federal government of a minimum of $100 billion per year or 4.2% of the federal income. Some say it is far higher, maybe $500B a year (21%). Either way that is a hefty tax.

What would you say if the President walked to the podium and told you he was going to raise your taxes by 4.2%? That is across the board mind you, 15% goes to 19.2%, 25% goes to 29.2% and so on. That is what Cap and Trade represents folks. A massive tax on your income.

Now I have to go back and correct an omission earlier in the article. I know West Virginians are not wasteful, at least not any more wasteful than other Americans. West Virginia sells it's surplus power to Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Delaware. And even those fools in Washington DC get their power from West Virginia power stations. It was planned that way 50 years ago.

I suggest West Virginia might just want to shut off its power plants and leave these using states in the dark in order to conform to the Cap and Trade system. Maybe then they will get the attention of those stupid flatlanders.

Will Syracuse have fresh enough legs to be able to play West Virginia tonight? We shall see. Go Huggins!

Posted on: March 4, 2009 10:51 am
 

It is my fault.....say it with me.

A little girl lost her lunch money at school and had to call her mother for more. "It wasn't my fault, mommy." She failed a test but "it wasn't my fault mommy." She wrecked her bike, it wasn't her fault. She spilled her milk but it wasn't her fault. She bent the fender - no blame there. She got pregnant, how can you blame a pregnant woman! She lost her job, certainly was not her fault. Someone is out to get her and has been stalking her her whole life. The stalker is her government. They mean well, but they enable the blame. Nothing is her fault, you see. And why should it when you can blame someone else. The American way is to refuse to take responsibility for your actions.

Obama's Administration has presided over the stock market loss of 25% of its value since he was sworn it. All the while he has blamed Bush for everything. But these are his policies that are making it go down, this is his budget that is cooly received by the financial markets. His budget proposes to spend $3.6 trillion this fiscal year against an income of $2.4 trillion. This is a $1.2 trillion deficit. So much for changing the way Washington works. Everytime Geithner (the tax dodger) speaks the market pukes. Will someone shut him up please.

And he has lowered his promise of no tax increase from $250,000 to $208,000. So what, right? those folks can afford it. If only I made that much money. Tax 'em! The problem is there are thousands upon thousands of small businesses that will pay higher taxes. These small businesses are the ones who will create the 3-5 million jobs Obama has promised.

By the way, the Administration has come clean with the 'need' to hire 100,000 people to execute Obama's policy. Some conservative groups estimate the need is higher (250,000). Whichever is correct, this is a huge growth of the government and represents a tremendous increase in the annual costs. Let's see, 100k jobs multiplied by $75,000 average (total compensation package including benefits) for a total of $7.5 billion in annual payroll or $25 from each American every year assuming 300 million of us. But the true number is about 3 times higher since you only charge the one's who have a job. Is it worth it?

And then there is all that negativity. The dire predictions, the sour looks, the desperate speeches, the incessant blaming....where is the hope this guy was peddling all last year? You gotta be kidding me. Does he not know that perception drives the market either bullish or bearish. If you make people believe it is going to be all right it will trend in that direction. And if you throw the proverbial wet blanket on it we have March 4, 2009. Endless downward pressure. You might want to hire a cheer squad in those 100,000 new government employees Mr. President.

All this and his approval rating improves to 68%. The chink in his armor is only 54% approve of his policy. When will gravity take over and plunge Mr. Obama back to earth? When will people hold him accountable? The great Democratic President Harry Truman said the buck stopped with him. I don't recall Bush blaming others for his decisions. Lincoln was pretty good about taking responsibility. Perhaps the American way even relieves this president of the blame.

Will Obama actually show us true change? Will he take responsibility for this mess or will he continue to shirk his responsibility? I know the answer to that question and so do you. But I just want you to remember we the voter can hold him responsible for his policies and reckless budgets.

I said I would not post until I had a trivial avatar, but you know, it is just too damned important that someone calls it the way it is than to sit idly by.

 

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: February 23, 2009 10:07 am
Edited on: February 23, 2009 10:11 am
 

Expensive round of drinking...

I did not write this but thought I would share it with you all. Great reading if you are heading to the toilet. I know men like to read in there.

12. Titanic -

The sinking of the Titanic is possibly the most famous accident in the world. But it barely makes our list of top 10 most expensive. On April 15, 1912, the Titanic sank on its maiden voyage and was considered to be the most luxurious ocean liner ever built. Over 1,500 people lost their lives when the ship ran into an iceberg and sunk in frigid waters. The ship cost $7 million to build ($150 million in today ' s dollars).

 $150 Million

11. Tanker Truck vs Bridge -

$358 Million

On August 26, 2004, a car collided with a tanker truck containing 32,000 liters of fuel on the Wiehltal Bridge in Germany . The tanker crashed through the guardrail and fell 90 feet off the A4 Autobahn resulting in a huge explosion and fire which destroyed the load-bearing ability of the bridge. Temporary repairs cost $40 million and the cost to replace the bridge is estimated at $318 Million.

10. MetroLink Crash -

$500 Million

On September 12, 2008, in what was one of the worst train crashes in California history, 25 people were killed when a Metrolink commuter train crashed head-on into a Union Pacific freight train in Los Angeles . It is thought that the Metrolink train may have run through a red signal while the conductor was busy text messaging.. Wrongful death lawsuits are expected to cause $500 million in losses for Metrolink.

9. B-2 Bomber Crash -

$1.4 Billion

Here we have our first billion dollar accident (and we ' re only #7 on the list). This B-2 stealth bomber crashed shortly after taking off from an air base in Guam on February 23, 2008. Investigators blamed distorted data in the flight control computers caused by moisture in the system. This resulted in the aircraft making a sudden nose-up move which made the B-2 stall and crash. This was 1 of only 21 ever built and was the most expensive aviation accident in history. Both pilots were able to eject to safety.

8. Exxon Valdez -

$2.5 Billion

The Exxon Valdez oil spill was not a large one in relation to the world ' s biggest oil spills, but it was a costly one due to the remote location of Prince William Sound (accessible only by helicopter and boat). On March 24, 1989, 10.8 million gallons of oil was spilled when the ship ' s master, Joseph Hazelwood, left the controls and the ship crashed into a Reef. The cleanup cost Exxon $2.5 billion.

 

7. Piper Alpha Oil Rig -

$3.4 Billion

The worst off-shore oil disaster. At one time, it was the world ' s single largest oil producer, spewing out 317,000 barrels of oil per day. On July 6, 1988, as part of routine maintenance, technicians removed and checked safety valves which were essential in preventing dangerous build-up of liquid gas. There were 100 identical safety valves which were checked. Unfortunately, the technicians made a mistake and forgot to replace one of them. At 10 PM that same night, a technician pressed a start button for the liquid gas pumps and the world ' s most expensive oil rig accident was set in motion.

Within 2 hours, the 300 foot platform was engulfed in flames. It eventually collapsed, killing 167 workers and resulting in $3.4 Billion in damages.

6. Challenger Explosion -$5.5 Billion The Space Shuttle Challenger was destroyed 73 seconds after takeoff due on January 28, 1986 due to a faulty O-ring. It failed to seal one of the joints, allowing pressurized gas to reach the outside. This in turn caused the external tank to dump its payload of liquid hydrogen causing a massive explosion. The cost of replacing the Space Shuttle was $2 billion in 1986 ($4.5 billion in today ' s dollars). The cost of investigation, problem correction, and replacement of lost equipment cost $450 million from 1986-1987 ($1 Billion in today ' s dollars).

5. Prestige Oil Spill -$12 Billion

On November 13, 2002, the Prestige oil tanker was carrying 77,000 tons of heavy fuel oil when one of its twelve tanks burst during a storm off Galicia , Spain . Fearing that the ship would sink, the captain called for help from Spanish rescue workers, expecting them to take the ship into harbour. However, pressure from local authorities forced the captain to steer the ship away from the coast. The captain tried to get help from the French and Portuguese authorities, but they too ordered the ship away from their shores. The storm eventually took its toll on the ship resulting in the tanker splitting in half and releasing 20 million gallons oil into the sea.

4. Space Shuttle Columbia -

According to a report by the Pontevedra Economist Board, the total cleanup cost $12 billion.

$13 Billion

 

In the end, the total cost of the accident (not including replacement of the shuttle) came out to $13 Billion according to the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics..

 

The Space Shuttle Columbia was the first space worthy shuttle in NASA ' s orbital fleet. It was destroyed during re-entry over Texas on February 1, 2003 after a hole was punctured in one of the wings during launch 16 days earlier. The original cost of the shuttle was $2 Billion in 1978. That comes out to $6.3 Billion in today ' s dollars. $500 million was spent on the investigation, making it the costliest aircraft accident investigation in history. The search and recovery of debris cost $300 million.

3. Chernobyl -

 

$200 Billion
On April 26, 1986, the world witnessed the costliest accident in history. The Chernobyl disaster has been called the biggest socio-economic catastrophe in peacetime history. 50% of the area of Ukraine is in some way contaminated. Over 200,000 people had to be evacuated and resettled while 1.7 million people were directly affected by the disaster. The death toll attributed to Chernobyl , including people who died from cancer years later, is estimated at 125,000. The total costs including cleanup, resettlement, and compensation to victims has been estimated to be roughly $200 Billion. The cost of a new steel shelter for the Chernobyl nuclear plant will cost $2 billion alone. The accident was officially attributed to power plant operators who violated plant procedures and were ignorant of the safety requirements needed.

2. 2008 TARP- $750 Billion

- for little to no gain...

1. 2009 Congress/President-

$800 Billion in the first month...

Posted on: February 9, 2009 9:01 am
 

To come early or late.....

Is promptness a virtue or a curse? Some of us are inclined to be habitually late while our complements are tardy. Stereotypes paint women as creatures primping in an antechamber making their date wait. Torturing him with conversation with a father, mother, sibling or roommate.

Sometimes he is left alone to figit or snoop. If he is really interested he might even fantasize about what she is doing to prepare for this evening's fun.

Carefully she applies her lipstick, a daring new shade of luscious ruby red. Her make up is perfect. Her hair, once pulled back, is released to fall about her face providing a delicate shadow to her face adding to her allure. The bra is a push-up providing a beautiful decolletage, the lace just above her nipple. For tonight she will wear her new lace panties and matching garter belt. She slowly unrolls her stocking over her knee attaching the garters to each one, careful not to ruin the sexy silk. Her blouse is silk and barely there, offering a glimpse of the lace beneath. The skirt falls to just above her knee. Heels are added to show off the workouts she puts her legs through. She loves the way her foot glides into the shoe, carressing her arch and showing most of her foot. A touch of perfume to her neck and wrists and she is ready.

She finally arrives and his breath is audible as it expresses his disappointment. Jeans and a baggy sweater, at least the boot has a heel. What did you expect? Its a first date and you did say we were going to be outside and it is cold this time of year!

The truth is each of us is either late or on time to a fault. My mother continues to say, "If you cannot be on time, be early." As a result of 32 years of her programming I have become habitually early for every appointment, for every date, for every thing where time is involved to imply a beginning and an end. And I expect the same for those unlucky enough to have to work or play with me. Mother reminds me that it is out of respect for people that we should be early. It demonstrates we value their time. They are elevated by our respect which makes them more worthy of our attention.

What does it say when someone is habitually late? Do they disrespect me and my time? Or are they just arrogant, thinking themselves better than me? The answer is within me. How I choose to react is personal but it eventually does impact how I see the individual and will erode my respect for them. Right or wrong, that is the way it is.

I read this past week that Barack Obama is habitually late. In his almost three weeks in office he has been late for almost every event, every news conference, every signing, every photo op, every discussion with common people. He was late to explain to the families of the USS Cole bombing victims why the charges were dismissed (with prejudice) against the suspects. In fact, he skipped them altogether. He announced it to the world before he spoke with the families. He has been late throughout his campaign and now into his presidential infancy. Do you need a wristwatch, Mr. President? Or just a lesson in manners?

BTW it was my birthday Saturday and I dressed up for dinner as described above for a night out on the town with my two roommates. We three had a great time but that is another story not fit for this blog......

Posted on: October 9, 2008 2:56 pm
Edited on: October 9, 2008 2:58 pm
 

You know what makes me HOT???

Sexy men sure do.  Sexy women absolutely.  People who lie to gain power makes me hot - but this under the collar not where I like it. But what really makes me HOT is when people are too blind to demand the truth and too stupid to ask the right questions.  If you have been paying attention you probably know there is a blame fest in Washington with regards to the credit and banking meltdown.  The other night I heard Obama blame McCain and Bush for the troubles.  I heard McCain blame Democrats.  Blame is not the answer folks.

In the banter and bickering the fourth estate, the press, has failed to ask the right questions.  Failed to get to the bottom of it.  In fact the New York Times has become a Democrat Rag regurgitating party doctrine as gospel and failing to perform any investigation into the mess. The New York Times is fast fading as a journalistic icon, a bastion on truth, they are less reliable than the National Enquirer!  But this is downright ridiculous.  The same paper that is ripping the Republicans for the mess ran this article in 1999.   Look it up, its there.

FANNIE MAE EASES CREDIT TO AID MORTGAGE LENDING By STEVEN A. HOLMES 
New York Times,September 30, 1999.

In a move that could help increase home ownership rates among minorities and low-income consumers, the Fannie Mae Corporation is easing the credit requirements on loans that it will purchase from banks and other lenders.

The action, which will begin as a pilot program involving 24 banks in 15 markets -- including the New York metropolitan region -- will encourage those banks to extend home mortgages to individuals whose credit is generally not good enough to qualify for conventional loans. Fannie Mae officials say they hope to make it a nationwide program by next spring.

Fannie Mae, the nation's biggest underwriter of home mortgages, has been under increasing pressure from the Clinton Administration to expand mortgage loans among low and moderate income people and felt pressure from stock holders to maintain its phenomenal growth in profits.

In addition, banks, thrift institutions and mortgage companies have been pressing Fannie Mae to help them make more loans to so-called subprime borrowers. These borrowers whose incomes, credit ratings and savings are not good enough to qualify for conventional loans, can only get loans from finance companies that charge much higher interest rates -- anywhere from three to four percentage points higher than conventional loans.
''Fannie Mae has expanded home ownership for millions of families in the 1990's by reducing down payment requirements,'' said Franklin D. Raines, Fannie Mae's chairman and chief executive officer. ''Yet there remain too many borrowers whose credit is just a notch below what our underwriting has required who have been relegated to paying significantly higher mortgage rates in the so-called subprime market.''

Demographic information on these borrowers is sketchy. But at least one study indicates that 18 percent of the loans in the subprime market went to black borrowers, compared to 5 per cent of loans in the conventional loan market.

In moving, even tentatively, into this new area of lending, Fannie Mae is taking on significantly more risk, which may not pose any difficulties during flush economic times. But the government-subsidized corporation may run into trouble in an economic downturn, prompting a government rescue similar to that of the savings and loan industry in the 1980's.

''From the perspective of many people, including me, this is another thrift industry growing up around us,'' said Peter Wallison a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. ''If they fail, the government will have to step up and bail them out the way it stepped up and bailed out the thrift industry.''

Under Fannie Mae's pilot program, consumers who qualify can secure a mortgage with an interest rate one percentage point above that of a conventional, 30-year fixed rate mortgage of less than $240,000 -- a rate that currently averages about 7.76 per cent. If the borrower makes his or her monthly payments on time for two years, the one percentage point premium is dropped.

Fannie Mae, the nation's biggest underwriter of home mortgages, does not lend money directly to consumers. Instead, it purchases loans that banks make on what is called the secondary market. By expanding the type of loans that it will buy, Fannie Mae is hoping to spur banks to make more loans to people with less-than-stellar credit ratings.

Fannie Mae officials stress that the new mortgages will be extended to all potential borrowers who can qualify for a mortgage. But they add that the move is intended in part to increase the number of minority and low income home owners who tend to have worse credit ratings than non-Hispanic whites.

Home ownership has, in fact, exploded among minorities during the economic boom of the 1990's. The number of mortgages extended to Hispanic applicants jumped by 87.2 per cent from 1993 to 1998, according to Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies. During that same period the number of African Americans who got mortgages to buy a home increased by 71.9 per cent and the number of Asian Americans by 46.3 per cent.

In contrast, the number of non-Hispanic whites who received loans for homes increased by 31.2 per cent.

Despite these gains, home ownership rates for minorities continue to lag behind non-Hispanic whites, in part because blacks and Hispanics in particular tend to have on average worse credit ratings.

In July, the Department of Housing and Urban Development proposed that by the year 2001, 50 percent of Fannie Mae's and Freddie Mac's portfolio be made up of loans to low and moderate-income borrowers. Last year, 44 percent of the loans Fannie Mae purchased were from these groups.

The change in policy also comes at the same time that HUD is investigating allegations of racial discrimination in the automated underwriting systems used by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to determine the credit-worthiness of credit applicants.

Now which is it New York Times?  Is it Bush's fault?  Is it the Republican's fault?  Is it the Democrat's fault?  You are irrelevant!! Americans- Stop expecting government to solve your problems.  Take responsibility for your actions.  Stop spending money you don't have.  Hold your politicians accountable for their spending. Vote them all out of office.  For everyone who added pork to the bailout bill - you should be recalled immediately for your reprehensible behavior and greed.  It was not that long ago when a poor person had too much pride to even ask for help.  In 2008 there is nothing a poor person is NOT entitled to and they have very little if any pride.  Work for your living. I think I am going to makes some love now. Smorgie
 
 
 
 
 
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