Friday, July 31, 2009

Dependence on Foreign Oil

US President Barack Hussein Obama bows to Saudi King Abdullah in the photo above.
Do you think we're about to decrease our dependence on foreign oil anytime soon?

One year ago, crude oil peaked at $147.27 a barrel and a gallon of unleaded gasoline topped out at about $5.00 a gallon in California (state and federal taxes included). The upward price was pushed by speculation and the futures market and projections of huge increases in demand. The bubble popped as the severity of the worldwide financial crisis took hold and on December 17, 2008, the price fell to $32.40 a barrel. This year the price moved back to a high of $72.68 a barrel on June 11, 2009.

As the captioned photo (above) would tend to indicate - the President of the United States bows to his fellow Muslim to show deference. The only thing the Saudis have going for them is oil and the production capacity to influence prices worldwide. It's not simply Obama. It's every US President for the last fifty years.

We have a self-inflicted dependence on foreign oil. For example, roughly half the cost of every gallon of synthetic oil produced in the US goes to federal and state taxes (source: Truman Stovick, prof. Missouri State University at a meeting of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers). There is no US tax on foreign oil. We tax domestic production with a vengeance but allow foreign oil to flow to the US without a tariff.

Rather than pick a technology (such as ethanol from corn) and give it an incentive, we need to level the playing field. Incentives frequently lead to bad technology. Ethanol takes more energy to produce from corn than it yields. It takes 11 acres of corn to fuel one automobile with ethanol for 10,000 miles.

Back to oil and the present situation -

  • Barring a supply event such as a big hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico or a new war, prices are not going to spike this summer. Refiners have taken capacity off line in response to the decreased demand of summer driving.
  • The worldwide recession has left the dollar strong because a number of countries are worse off than we are. Since oil is traded in dollars, this is important to US consumers.
  • Lack of demand in a time of plentiful supply has led to decreased production costs, particularly for drilling and finding.
  • The volatile price of energy resulted in a reduction in capital spending, setting us up for more price volatility when global markets recover from the present slump.
  • US companies are taking refineries off-line for "maintenance" but they are not bringing them back on. At the same time the rest of the world is adding refineries. It's cheaper for oil companies to refine oil off-shore and ship it to the US. In the future we will be MORE dependent on our refined products from foreign sources.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Did Joe Biden LIE to America?

Vice President Joe (Slow Joe) Biden declared an end to economic woes about a week ago in a prepared speech. He said, "Look around, the employment problem is over." Some of us looked and didn't see what the myopic Biden saw. Anyway, the Obama Administration is strong arming loan service providers to step up their loan modification programs which have had little impact in slowing foreclosures with good reason.

The US Treasury Department wants lenders to modify 500,000 mortgages by November 1. The Washington Post reported that the program known as "Making Homes Affordable" made 200,000 loan modifications since March. There is a fly in the ointment: Over 1,000,000 borrowers received loan default notices in the first half of 2009. Falling home prices and increasing unemployment have pushed even more homeowners into delinquency.

CRL Director Keith Ernst testified before Congress that the 1.5 homes that have already been lost to foreclosure are "just the tip of the iceberg compared to the 13 million total foreclosures expected between January 2009 and 2014.

To spite your Vice President's assurances that everything is back to normal, the apparent stabilization we have seen in the homebuilding sector will be challenged by persistent high unemployment and rising foreclosures.

Sources: Moodys Investor Service,, The Washington Post

Do we need another housing czar in addition to Vice President Biden, the recovery czar? I think that we have an unemployment czar, or maybe it's an employment czar? The ObamaNation has so many czar's that I find it difficult to keep track. What are they doing?

And how will the $1 TRILLION Cap/Trade bill and the proposed $1.5 TRILLION ObamaCare program impact the situation? They'll both lead to higher unemployment, which will exacerbate the housing crisis. THANKS JOE BIDEN for coming clean with America.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Passing Friends

I've had a tough day.

Normally I don't blog about tough days but today was difficult.

There was an immediate family situation I won't discuss and there were concerns with the work I do in terms of the health and welfare of employees that I can't discuss.

Overarching in its way was the death of an old friend, Richard Richhart. His wife passed away 14 months ago and he passed away last week. Word reached me in a round about way because his family didn't know how to contact me.

The value of old friends is that they understand us and we understand them in the context that comes through years of interaction. There are very few if any people left that knew me when I was young. He was about the last. The context of years helps us bridge the journey over decades and allows us to understand each other in fundamental ways that can't be examined with short term acquaintances.

I will miss him.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Alyssa - 2 months

I'm posting this to demonstrate that my granddaughter is very cute (maybe cuter than your granddaughter...) Alyssa turned two months old. These pictures are of Alyssa in my back yard, playing with her mother and her aunt Heather.
Grandchildren add a very profound dynamic to your life. Alyssa is a real joy to us.

Monday, July 27, 2009

politics before security

In order of completely screwed up government agencies which have been gutted by the Obama Administration, The Department of Homeland Security has to be first, which means the worst. CIA is a close second. It gives one pause when a tool like Leon Panetta can be Director of Central Intelligence.

Teach Peace by Example

I hear a lot of talk about peace. Liberals always stress how they yearn for peace, but they're simply not able to get their hands around it, though they pine and whine about it. I saw a bumper sticker on a car today on my way back from the airport that said "teach peace". It touched me so I thought that I should do something about it on my blog.

I scoured my memory for something that would be appropriate here. A bit of literary prose. And settled on an appropriate poem from RUDYARD KIPLING (CLICK HERE to read). The road to peace is strength.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

annoying neighbors

  • Do your neighbors allow their dogs to deposit on your manicured lawn?
  • Do your neighbors have loud parties that run long into the night?
  • Do your neighbors set a bad example for your children by smoking dope?
  • Do visitors to your neighbor's house take up parking spaces in front of your house?
  • Do neighborhood children play baseball in the street - and do those baseballs hit your car?
  • Do your neighbors support Obama hand have those obnoxious stickers on their cars?
Now there is an answer (above).
a suite of street sweepers

Saturday, July 25, 2009


Not all casualties in a war can be counted at the time one side declares victory and the other hauls down its flag. Not all casualties fight under the standards of the various nations. Civilians are often the most grievously maimed both body and soul as they flee the fighting.

This is a follow-up to a previous posting and it deals with a friend of mine whose service ended two years ago, but who is today a casualty of that service. It doesn't always end with a bullet. It doesn't always end with shrapnel or a missing limb. Sometimes it comes later in the form of psychosis, alcoholism, and other problems that manifest themselves years later.

The war is over. We won. But the forgotten veterans do fight their own private battles long after the last bullet has been fired. We put my friend (who had been released) back into the hospital. (Not the V. A.) He can't join society in his present condition.

Shifting another veteran I'd like to mention...

Colonel Gregory H. (Pappy) Boyington USMC, flew with the Flying Tigers in China, and with the Marine Corps in the Pacific, won the Navy Cross, the Medal of Honor and spent 20 months in a Japanese Prisoner of War camp when he was shot down following his 26th air-to-air victory.

I first met Colonel Boyington in Newport Beach, California in the mid-1980's. He was an old man, suffering from severe alcoholism. Consider this: He couldn't buy a drink. Everyone bought for the legendary Colonel Boyington, commander of the Black Sheep Squadron (VMF214). He also had no problem finding female companionship because of his fame.

War hero? Absolutely. War casualty? Without a doubt. Marine Corps veterans tried for many years to have his home town airport in Couer d'Alene, Idaho named after him. There was a serious fight with people in the town who thought him a womanizer and a drunk.

Colonel Boyington died in Fresno, California on January 11, 1988 (age 75) and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery. He was a casualty of war, of sever post-traumatic stress, and to some extent of his fame.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Racial Profiling and the Police

Dr. Manning addresses racial profiling.

Do people pre-judge others? Yes

Do the police profile people criminally? Yes

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Veteran's Administration is our Model for Healthcare

President Obama wants every American's healthcare to be administered by the Federal Government. Historically one place we can look for the model of what we can expect under the new plan is more or less the same thing that America's veterans received at the Veteran's Administration (VA).

One would think that in the roughly one hundred years that the VA has been in existence, that the major problems impacting veterans would have been ironed out. They've had a couple of world wars, a number of major conflicts and millions of patients to try out the government model on.

Last year VETERANS TODAY ran an interesting article outlining COMMON problems faced by veterans who turn to the VA for healthcare. Since those are likely to be YOUR problems under the Obama plan, let's take a look at what Veterans Today said (CLICK HERE FOR LINK):
  1. Access to specialty healthcare beyond the VA's primary physician is frequently delayed or denied.
  2. There are no appeal rights when treatment is denied.
  3. VA Clinic Managers rarely respond to questions from veterans seeking healthcare.
  4. The VA clinic's committee charged with making life and death decisions about veterans has no accountability.
  5. The system is complicated and rarely understood by veterans or the public.
  6. "Patient Advocates" work under the authority of the VA and they risk loosing their jobs if they "rock the boat".
  7. "Because of the inertia of the current system, VA management and clinical staff who are incompetent, neglectful, and indifferent to the plight of the veterans area able to hide in plain sight in the self-protecting VA bureaucracy."
Yes, the VA is the place I want to go to be treated for a problem...

Please call your senators and congressman and explain to them that you DO NOT want the Obama Healthcare Plan, which will be surely patterned after the VA and other similar inefficient, cruel government programs.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Pastor James Manning

Pastor James Manning is a personal hero of mine. (CLICK HERE) I'm not part of his faith or his congregation, however the man's political acumen is spot on. I'd not only vote for him to any political office in the land, I'd be thrilled to work a second job and send the money to support his campaign. I've been following him and his efforts for the past year and - what a great guy!

Hat tip to Opus#6 for her Media=American Pravda posting of this date.

Do yourself a favor and take some time out of your busy day to listen to THE MANNING REPORT

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Don't Help Me!

The most chilling words you could say to me are simply these: I AM FROM THE GOVERNMENT AND I'M HERE TO HELP.

Why would I say that?

Because nobody can foul things up as completely as the government can. I'm in a position to know. I've worked for the government most of my life and have watched first-hand. Additionally my consulting work today involves interface with the US and other national government entities from time to time and it's - staggering.
  • I don't need a hand-out (from somebody else's pocket).
  • I don't want nationalized healthcare.
  • You don't need to disarm me. With all respect to the police, any fight will be over long before they arrive.
  • I don't want you to inspect my house. It's just fine. All the honey-do's are handled domestically.
  • I don't want you to offer any programs. If I need something, I'll pay for it myself. If I can't afford it, I'll save or get a second job.
  • If I screw up my life, it's MY OWN FAULT. You don't need to concern yourself with "fixing everything for me".
  • Please don't send a thirty-something page census to me, administered by ACORN.
  • No terrorists live here. We may love the flag, oppose illegal immigration, be pro-life, pro-military, pro-police, pro-constitution, anti-transgender adoption, and by so doing fall into a Homeland Security category that throws us on the surveillance list. However, if there are cars parked in front of my house, most of them are likely off-duty cops here for the BBQ.
  • Please don't relocate terrorists from Palestine into my neighborhood.
  • Please don't raise MY taxes to pay for government screw-ups or corporate bail-outs.
The list could be endless.

Don't help me.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Surviving Sumer

It's a hot day in Southern California and as the mercury rises you can either run for the air conditioned house or jump in the pool.

Griffin (5 months old) above and below has the solution to the problem. Sit poolside, listen to the radio and sip that most delicious of all baby foods, milk. Or when it gets too daunting, take a plunge!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Biden - American Vice President

Vice President Joe (Slow Joe) Biden said today, "To those who say that 'our economic decisions have not produced jobs, have not produced and simply have not worked,' I say, take a look around."

I suspect he was in a press conference where everybody present had a job.

Then he said, "We have to spend more money to keep from going bankrupt," as he attempted to sell another TRILLION dollars in necessary borrowing to keep the country from foundering.

Somebody needs to wipe the dribble from his chin, help him off stage and keep him sedated someplace comfortable until his term of office expires. He's a complete embarrassment to America and to the American people.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Need for Speed!

Note the name of the vessel on the bulkhead.

My boat, the Akula, met a similar fate the first time the buyer (an FBI Special Agent) took it to Lake Havasu, Arizona.

At times you ask yourself, "what idiot put that [pick the object/marker/buoy] here in the middle of the [navigable body of water]?"

There is never an adequate answer.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Something is Missing

Yes, I know that none of you make mistakes. Or if you were going to make a mistake, it wouldn't be THIS mistake.

How do I know this?

Democrats don't read my blog.

FĂȘte Nationale

Historical Moment - a backward glance

On this day in 1789, France faced a major economic crisis which had been exacerbated by an unequal system of taxation. The bourgeoisie (middle class) had been edged out of the political scene by the poor - who paid no tax, and the rich, who also paid very little tax.

It had become a familiar scene where there was taxation without representation.

As events moved toward the fateful day, July 14, French regiments were ordered to fire into unruly crowds, soldiers refused or fired into the air. It seems that they shared the sentiment of the protesters. The French soldiers in Paris were replaced by foreign mercenaries who didn't share the scruples about shedding French blood that native frenchmen did.

The Storming of the Bastille and the Declaration of the Rights of Man accompanied the middle class, which wore tricolor rosettes of red, white and blue to identify themselves began a revolt that led France into civil war.

In 1792, Claude-Joseph Rouget de Lisle wrote La Marseillaise. Once you've read the lyrics, take a moment to listen to a magnificent performance.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Battle of the Sexes: Should Men Pee Standing?

A hat-tip to Lyle for sharing the current situation in Europe where women are working hard to make it a CRIME for a man to urinate while standing in a public restroom. (CLICK HERE FOR MORE DETAILS)

My alternative is to provide the means by which women can stand next to us, shoulder-to-shoulder if they decide they want to and urinate next to us as EQUALS! I suggest that the Europeans install P-Mate vending machines in public restrooms for the sake of allowing women to exercise themselves of this option. (CLICK HERE FOR MORE DETAILS)

Islamic Law has quite a bit to say on this. If you really care, I refer you to Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's "Little Green Book" Chapter 9: On the Manner of Urinating and Defeating (CLICK TO BUY IT HERE). The Imam suggested, among other things, that "It is preferable, for urinating or defecating, to squat down in an isolated place; it is also preferable to go into this place with the left foot first; it is recommended that one keep HIS head covered while evacuating, and have the weight of his body carried by the left foot." So the Muslims have weighed into the discussion with their own opinion on the matter as well.

How do you feel about this critical issue? Sound off!!

Mexican Govt. to ARM Americans in Mexico

Blogging-on-the-Road -- from Mexico City, Mexico

Mexico's gun control laws are among the toughest in the Americas. So far the law hasn't done much to protect the citizens from heavily armed drug cartels. Benjamin LeBaron, a Mormon anti-crime activist was murdered by two hit-men last week in the State of Chihuahua where he lived. (CLICK HERE FOR MORE)

It's interesting to see that the Mexicans are finally coming around to see that an armed citizenry is not a bad concept in the face of a violent society.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Circle of Life

As the father of four girls, I felt much like the daddy cat in the picture above at times. Now two of my girls have little ones of their own and they have their chance in the bucket.

Both grandchildren are coming over today. I've been waiting. My daughters are late - so I won't see the grandchildren before I leave town for work for several days... It's amazing how important the little grandchildren are, how fun they are, and now neat is is to be a grandpa.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Enthusiastic Russian Greeting!

(hat tip to WoFat for the photo)
President Dmitriy Anatolyevich Medvedev gives a warm welcome to his American counterpart, who arrived in Russia - (with an apology on his lips?). Since President Obama has apologized to everyone else for everything else, his mia culpa tour now takes place in Moscow.

Ethnic Russians take a dim view of "people of color" and that may have shaded the warmth of the greeting above.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

First Splash

My grandson Griffin (also known as "The Little Admiral") and daughter Amanda. It's the Fourth of July. Everyone needs to get in the pool and play. This was Griffin's first taste of open water. By no means the last.
LL with Amanda, Griffin and Emilie
I took the Little Admiral into the deep end of the pool and then returned him to his mother. He liked the adventure!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Fuzzy Logic

Yes I do understand the mathematical concept of "fuzzy logic" and multi-value logic as opposed to binary logic/Bayesian (conditional) probability. That's not quite what this blog post is about.

Fuzzy Logic deals in "degrees of truth" and I don't want to plunge into the mathematics of it. I want to discuss the political application of fuzzy logic. The Obama Administration in their continuing quest to create a new Obamanation use fuzzy logic to sell their programs to the (generally ignorant) American public.

If I was the President of the US, (I'm not because I'm not a masquerading Muslim) and wanted to create a class of voters that were dependent on me, I'd enslave them - addict them to government hand-outs. President Johnson tried it in his Great Society experiment and it worked. Many black people who are on the dole from cradle to grave live in this slave society that the President is working hard to expand. One way to sell this new democratic slavery is to use fuzzy logic to prove the need.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 is a prime example of fuzzy logic.
Is it American - yes
Is it designed to impact recovery - not really
Is it reinvestment - no, not really.
Is it an Act by the legislature, approved by the executive - yes.
If it was re-named the Democratic Patronage Payback Act of 2009, it would be much harder to swing it past the American people. Fuzzy Logic is like the spoon full of sugar in the movie, MARY POPPINS, that helps the medicine go down.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

California's Budget Situation

Context and Precedence:

On March 2, 2004, Californians passed Proposition 58, The CALIFORNIA BALANCED BUDGET ACT. It was an amendment to the California Constitution that required that the state budget be balanced. It prohibits the government from issuing deficit bonds. The governor is allowed to proclaim a fiscal emergency and submit legislation to address the emergency. If the legislature fails to act within 45 days, they are not able to recess or to pass any other legislation until the budget issue is solved.

The act passed by 71.1%

The situation today as outlined in the blog entry below details how California is issuing IOU's to pay it's bills.

It's funny that the legislature is proposing a lot of taxes to address the problem.

The solution is not to tax the public more, but to reduce spending. David Wolf said, "You still have more revenue coming in than any other state in the union. You just can't justify continuing to raise taxes."

California pays in scrip

The California Legislature

CLICK HERE for an article from the San Jose Mercury Newspaper.

If you do business with the State of California - if you're a creditor, you'll be one of 30,000 people who receives an IOU from the Golden State this month ($3.4 billion this month). It's good as cash (?).

It reminds me of the scene from the movie DUMB AND DUMBER when the two heros blow $250K in cash in a couple of days and leave IOU's in the suitcase that contained the money. Except in the case of California, it's $26.3 billion.

The state MUST cut entitlements. They MUST eliminate the socialist agenda that has driven us on the rocks financially. I'm waiting to see how long it takes them - you know they want to solve the problem by raising taxes.
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