Monday, May 25, 2009


Would that each of us were so engaged in the cause of freedom.

Thank you, men and women of the armed forces. Fallen or not, thank you! May the sacrifices you make for your country and its people be remembered and honored always and forever.
"It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather, we should thank God that such men lived."
- Patton

Sunday, May 24, 2009

All the King's Horses

This is what I was saying about how lots of people get hurt by TARP junk. In fact, I'm not sure that any of these "bailouts" have really helped anyone.

In a simplified case-in-point:
  • The government gives or force-feeds funds to an industry or organization.
  • The government then claims it can dictate how the recipients spend any and all monies (not just the bailout money). The taxpayers are irate at the recipients of the money, not at the government for its carefree spending.
  • The recipients cancel plans for any spending that might cause negative PR. Sponsorships of golf tournaments, naming rights for buildings, business travel, capital investments (new equipment/buildings), etc.
  • Lo and behold, those would-be suppliers/providers are now suffering and in need of bailout money themselves.
Vegas is suffering. Hawaii is suffering. Durable goods are suffering.

Guess what, Mr. Obama. Your intervention in the marketplace has been a complete failure. You wanted to put more money into the economy, but now everyone is afraid to spend money because you own them (see AIG's attempt to compensate its employees according to their contracts). Workers are being laid off as a result (companies/people not spending money = lower demand = layoffs). Those workers, now, instead of helping the economy produce, are now drawing unemployment ($$$) and (WOW) universal health care ($$$) sounds good to them. Tax collections from displaced workers are also reduced proportionally. Then, of course, you have the omnipresent gloom cloud hanging over the entire country as they realize that it will be mathematically impossible to ever repay any of this money. Mr. Obama, it would appear that your plan is to devalue the dollar so much that our debts become practically worthless to the debtors. Your budget is over $3 trillion for just one year! That's not your money, fool. 

Would it not have been better to have allowed AIG to simply file bankruptcy? We survived Global Crossing. We survived Enron. We survived Long-Term Capital Management and Tyco. And we would have weathered this storm as well. I mean, that's the entire point behind things like FDIC insurance, bankruptcy court and a competitive marketplace.

Here's hoping the next president can just call for a 'do-over' and erase the countless mistakes of Obamadom without any ill effects.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Quote of the Day - Michael Steele

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, commenting on the suggestion that the RNC target less popular individuals than President Obama:
They suggest that instead we should go after Nancy Pelosi, whom nobody likes.
Or Harry Reid, whom nobody knows.
Or this Tim Geithner fellow, whom nobody believes.
Or maybe even Barney Frank, whom nobody understands.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

That Phone Call - Fraud Protection

Not sure what to make of this one. I think it may be a case of mistaken identity.


Caller: Hi, my name is Laura. I'm calling from the Bank of America Fraud Protection department. Don't worry, there is nothing wrong with any of your accounts.

Ducheznee: Hi Laura. I'm not worried.

Laura: Is this Mr. [my name]?

Ducheznee: This is he.

Laura: I'm calling to discuss one of our security products that I think you will find quite interesting. Is this a good time?

Ducheznee: Yes, it is. What would you like to talk about?

Laura: [Laura proceeds to describe the same "protect your accounts" monthly service fee program that is advertised in every credit card statement and every bank statement that passes through the US Postal Service.]  So you receive all of that plus free credit report monitoring all for $7.95 a month.

Ducheznee: That program sounds fairly common. I've seen advertisement for something very similar from my credit card company and from my bank. Assuming I were interested, how would I proceed from this point.

Laura: Oh, we'll just deduct the cost of the program from your checking account each month.

Ducheznee: Really? And how do you intend to do that?

Laura: It will be an electronic transaction.

Ducheznee: I'm sorry. I mean, how do you intend to gain access to my accounts?

Laura: Oh, we already have a record of all of your accounts.

Ducheznee: You do? You have access to all of my accounts at [XYZ] Bank?

Laura: No, just your Bank of America accounts.

Ducheznee: I don't have any accounts with Bank of America.

Laura: That's odd. But you are Mr. [me] at [my phone number]?

Ducheznee: That's me. I haven't had an account at Bank of America for at least 15 years.

Laura: So your phone number is [my phone number]?

Ducheznee: That is the number you just dialed to reach me.

Laura: And you are Mr. [my name]?

Ducheznee: Yes, I am. Is it possible that you may be looking for another Mr. [my name] and somehow, some computer has linked in my phone number?

Laura: And you're positive you don't have any accounts with Bank of America? Maybe a mortgage?

Ducheznee: I used to have a checking and savings account at Bank of America, but closed them when your company tried to strong arm the Boy Scouts of America and force them to have gay scoutmasters as role models for young boys learning to become men.

Laura: I'm sorry. I'm not sure why your name and phone number are in our database if you don't have any accounts with us. I apologize for the interruption.

Ducheznee: No problem at all. Have a good day.


Everyone is entitled to receive one free copy of their credit report annually from each of the three credit reporting agencies. There are many web sites out that use similar language in an attempt to trick you into using their paid service. Don't be fooled. The Federal Trade Commission endorses only There is no cost for this. If you're asked to pay anything, you're on the wrong web site.

There is also a company [link to be included later if I can track it down] that nationally syndicated radio talk show host Lars Larson endorses. They charge a one-time fee of $5.00 to do the same thing mentioned above. I have not yet checked them out, but I respect and trust Mr. Larson's endorsement. I do intend to research the company in question when I have some time.

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Empress Has No Clothes

Could it be that there is a great big lie being told and everyone is in on it except Nancy Pelosi? 

First, she denied any knowledge that waterboarding had been discussed.
Then, she admitted to having been briefed about it.
Then, she said she was told waterboarding would not be used.
Then, she said she was told waterboarding had not yet been used.
Then, she said that she had only been privy to one meeting.
Now she has taken the position that the entire CIA is lying.

I can't imagine that will be a popular position to take (against the CIA) with the American people. We like the CIA, right? Don't we glorify the CIA on TV and movies and sometimes even pretend we're CIA ourselves when we talk to our friends? Mission: Impossible? Bourne? Alias? James Bond? (Yes, I know, but that's not the point). 24? Men In Black? We love us some spies.

Why not just fess up and admit she knew about it? She could even admit that she was opposed to the techniques because not-so-deep-down she wants the terrorists to conceal information that might assist in preventing further attacks on U.S. interests. The Dems wern't in a strong position to do much about it anyway, if it had come to a vote. Despite the fact that she was the senior Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, she only attended one briefing on the matter. It wasn't for lack of opportunity. Ms. Pelosi was shirking her responsibilities. She sent her staff to subsequent meetings. She stated that she herself could not be bothered with this subject at the time because she was focused on taking control of the government. Could it be that, at this time, she is still most concerned about losing that control? Her back is against the wall. Who has the most at stake here? The CIA? What, are you going to disband the musketeers? The GOP? They can't lose much more than they already have. President Obama? To his credit, he didn't get involved in the politics. He accepted that waterboarding had been used and, according to his beliefs, choose to ban the controversial practice. 

I think Ms. Pelosi could learn A LOT from a children's song I remember from my childhood.

When you tell one lie, it leads to another.
Then you tell two lies to cover each other.
Then you tell three lies and, oh brother,
You're in trouble up to your ears.

So you tell four lies to try to protect you.
Then you tell five lies so folks won't suspect you.
Then you tell six lies and, you'll collect
A life filled with worries and fears.

'Cause you can't remember how many lies you've told
And half the things you say aren't true.
And sometime you'll slip up, you'll trip up, and then
Whatever will become of you?

So you lie and lie without even trying
And each lie you tell will keep multiplying
'Til the whole wide world will know you're lying
Then you'll be suspected,
And you should.
When you lie, you're closing the door on everything good.
-Janeen Brady

If this song is a 12-step program, I believe Ms. Pelosi is at the "whole wide world will know you're lying" stage.

Every day she has a different story to tell - a different recollection. She apparently has no qualms about it, but if I were on her staff I think I would be putting my resume out. If I were her colleague, I would be distancing myself from her. If I were her family, I would be embarrassed. 

Thursday, May 14, 2009

From the Desk of Captain Obvious - Volume Three

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Planet of the Dogs

I like dogs.

I do not currently own a dog. But that is more of a practical matter than one of preference.

I like their personalities and quirkiness. I like their loyalty. I like dog smiles.

[The following excludes seeing-eye dogs, police dogs and firehouse Dalmatians.]

The dogs I don't like are the ones riding mass transit or buying plumbing supplies at Home Depot. I don't like seeing yipper dogs freeloading in every Paris Hilton-wannabee's purse. I don't like seeing dogs in the produce section at the grocery store. And I REALLY don't like the dog that tried to order a small Chicken Carbonara at my local Quizno's on Saturday while I was dining with my children.

These are dogs, people! Animals, not babies. They chew on logs and drink from the toilet. Where we use bathroom tissue, they use their tongue.

If you want to take your dog for a ride, great. Dogs love to roll with their heads out the window. Take them on a nice country drive. Don't make them run errands with you. Your dog is yours alone. If you want to let him lick your face with the aforementioned tongue or sleep in your bed, so be it. But that does not mean that the rest of society wants to share your dog. Have some respect and consideration for your fellow man, please.

Sorry Snoopy, no dogs allowed.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Census 2010

I got censured last week.

This is the first census I am actually aware of. Not sure what happened in 2000. I was around. Don't know if I was counted or not.

Actually, I'm not even sure I was counted this time either. Dude rings the doorbell. I open the door. Dude doesn't say anything but taps a few times at his tricorder. Then he says, "Almost done here. I'm just getting the coordinates of your home into my GPS for the census... Okay - all done." He then tears off a 'who was that weirdo at my house' information sheet from his pad and hands it to me.

"That's it?", I ask, wondering if they might also wish to know my age or race or how many people live in my home. Maybe my profession or income bracket.

"That's all there is to it. Thank you," as he walks away. I scan the horizon for snipers.

What in the world does the government want with a GPS lock on my front door? Is the hi-res aerial photograph of my house from four angles from 500 feet available for the world to see on Google not sufficient? Couldn't they have typed my address into Google Earth and simply pulled the latitude and longitude from there? Or better yet, to the entire country at one time with a free tool like

Can I expect a GPS-guided missile strike soon? Was that guy CIA? The CIA guys are always pretending to be landscaping crews or cable TV repairmen as they surveil the mission.

Here's what explains about the 2010 census:
  • The census is a count of everyone living in the United States every 10 years  (fine, I knew that)
  • The census is mandated by the U.S. Constitution  (ok)
  • The next census is in 2010  (cool - I'm done early)
  • Your participation in the census is required by law  (seems to agree with the 2nd bullet)
  • It takes less than 10 minutes to complete  (try 30 seconds)
  • Federal law protects the personal information you share during the census  (such as? I wasn't asked any questions and didn't share anything; but I'm happy to know that had I done so, the continued privacy of my personal information would be backed up by the full faith and confidence of our government, who has time and again proven it's trustworthiness beyond all doubt)
  • Census data are used to distribute Congressional seats to states, to make decisions about what community services to provide, and to distribute $300 billion in federal funds to local, state and tribal governments each year  (seriously? that's $1,000 per U.S. resident! I'd love to see a breakdown of the civic/social benefits my family receives for our $5,000 share)
The census wasn't at all what I had expected.

Have you completed the census yet? Is my experience common? Should I be concerned?

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Not Smart: Cap and Trade

I keep telling myself I'm going to start keeping track of all this stuff - like a pro/con list or something. Good ideas and bad ideas. Pats on the back and kicks in the butt. Not so bad versus worst...government...ever.

Cap and trade goes in the con/bad idea/kick in the butt/worst...government...ever column.

A lot of ideas sound great in a brainstorming session. However, once you begin to work out the details, most should be scrapped. Cap and trade is one such idea.