Tuesday, July 15, 2014

My experience with government idiocy

About a year ago my life had come to a crossroads of sorts. My business had taken off to a point where I could no longer stay at home full time and take care of my two little girls, and provide good service to my clients who were coming out of the woodwork to do business with me. Although I enjoyed my time as a work at home Dad, I saw a chance that if I were to play my cards right, that my wife and I could fulfill our goal of getting her home full time. So a plan was set into motion. We would hire a full time Nanny, while I ramped up my business enough to replace my wife's income.

So we hired a Nanny. She is great with the girls, helps out a little on the cleaning up after them, does activities with them, and keeps them busy during the days. I went full bore back into residential real estate, and as I expected my income rose almost 35% in 2013. WOO HOO!! Yes! the plan was working and replacing my wife's income would have occurred about June of this if the growth rate continued. Then taxes time 2013 came, and after paying for the Nanny's salary, which I considered a business expense, I learned that in addition to NOT being able to write of her income as an expense, I also had to treat her as a Full-time employee, and owed the government Social Security and Medicare taxes. So that was 30K worth of salary that I had to pay income taxes on, then another 12.5% (I didn't surprise the Nanny with Hey, By the way, you owe the government 6% taxes on your wages) which was about 4K, so all in all I did all that work, was away from my family for about 10K. I was distraught. Didn't I do all of this so that we could eventually have a better life with my wife as full-time Mommy like she wants? Didn't I work every single day except Christmas Day with no days off, no weekends, so that we could make this happen? So I had to do something different, because this plain sucked. So I came up with another plan.

I drive a lot in my car. About 4-8 hours a day, so i have a lot of time to think to myself. In April of this year I had a singular mission: Get my wife out of a job that was going south for her, and into the job that she wants, and that I want for her. But how could I make it happen. As I mentioned I am a Real Estate Agent, so I know a little about buying and selling houses. I also know that moving sucks, so I had better come up with a plan that was so good that my wife would agree to go through that. So I thought and thought, and finally one day I came up with what I thought was a solid plan. I would sell our house, use the equity in it, and we would buy a farm. My wife had always talked about having horses and llamas, and I wanted a place that was big enough to grow some food, shoot some guns, and raise some livestock. We would become better prepared, more self -sufficient, and have less debt, enabling my wife to leave her job. i was already paying the Nanny 30K, so really I just needed to come up with another 25K of income or cut 25K in expenses. Not wanting to put this out to my wife, until I really had something to show her worthwhile, I searched for over a month for the perfect property. I found a few, but one finally met the needs, and had a cute house on it that was big enough and in perfect condition, for a model home in 1993. It was so dated, but obviously lived in by a cleanly grandma or something. Perfect condition, and I figured we could overlook the mauve carpet and shower. So finally I had my house that I could pitch, I had all the numbers down, and I made my pitch to my wife. She agreed to go look at the house, and it was a hit with her. 5 acres, and a cute well maintained house. She said yes, lets do it. Being the good Real Estate agent I wanted to get qualified for a mortgage before we put in the offer. The plan was to buy new house, move, then fix up current house a little and sell. Not sure if you've ever tried selling a house, but you need to keep it spotless, neat and organized. Spotless, neat and organized are not words I would use to describe a house with a 2 and a 3 year old.

So we finally got or pre-qualification letter, and I am about to make an offer on the grandma model home on 5 acres and I realize that it is under contract. Are you friggin kidding me?!?! That house was on the market for over 120 days and then suddenly when I have all my ducks in a row, it goes under contract. UGH! Ok. On to Plan B. I had found another farm, and this one had 12 acres, a barn, a stable, a second house, and a main house that needed some carpet and paint but overall was pretty good. Now to take the wife to Plan B. Well she loved it. Especially the barn and the stable. Horses here we come!! But this one is a short sale, which are always shaky. We made an offer, negotiated and got it under contract. Woo hoo! YES! So we waited and waited for the bank to either accept the offer (in a short sale the bank is taking less than what is owed on the property, and usually sends back a price that they will accept) or counter with what they will accept. We waited, and waited until finally the bank simply rejected our offer. Now I've been involved in at least 15 short sales transaction, and I had never seen a bank not counter, even if the counter is ridiculous, but alas, no counter. So we upped our offer price by 10K. Still rejected, no counter, and finally we offered the max that we were willing to go. At this point the bank tells us that we were high enough the first offer, but there was a second mortgage that would not accept a lesser payout. So we negotiated again, that the second we would pay cash to, and the first mortgage would accept our first offer. Then the second decided it would only release their lien if they were paid in full. All of this took over a month, and finally the first mortgage bank decided, OH YEAH? little second mortgage? We will just foreclose and you will get nothing. And so Plan B was dead, because it can take up to 2 years before a foreclosed house gets put on the market. It may have been sooner, but we had no time to wait around to see, because... while all this was going on, I was still searching for a backup to the backup, and had found another great farm.

Onto Plan C. Now this was a great deal, and it was a GOVERNMENT (this is important as you will see the stupidity of government in a moment) owned foreclosure. It was a great deal. A main house, a second house, a red barn with a loft, and a storage shed also with a loft, all on 4 acres, for less than 150K. Not sure what part of the country or world that you live in, but here that is a great deal. But there was something else that made it an even better deal... Freddie Mac had prices it as 4 acres, but it was actually deeded as 8 acres. Oh Happy friggin days!!!! So we offer something ludicrously low to get the ball rolling, it was countered, and we countered that. Long story short we went under contract at 132500, which is a great bargain. So there we have it. Our financing is set up, the house is in pretty good condition, but we would update and upgrade a few things, it was a foreclosure instead of a short sale, so the seller would want to sell, and all is great with the world. Until our home inspection, when we found out that some assclowns had gone into the attic and stolen the copper electrical wires. BOOM! Now our regular loan will not be possible. Conventional loans apparently do not exist on houses without electricity or plumbing, no matter how much we put down. So our ONLY option was to get a government loan. Now all of you who follow me understand my distaste for the government. As a matter of fact and record one could call me a hater of government. But what could I do?

So I agreed to do a Fannie Mae, FHA 203K Loan which allows for the repair and renovation of the house. Well since the electrical was going to cost about 4600 dollars, and we already had to get this type of loan, we figured we might as well renovated the entire 2 houses. New paint inside and out, new bamboo flooring, new ikea kitchen, new light fixtures, new plumbing fixtures, tile in the baths, new shower in the "Man House" (I dont have a basement for a man cave so I made the executive decision that the extra house was all mine. That seemed fair. ) New everything basically. Total cost for this was about 35K which would be included in the loan, which we were not going to have for very long anyway, because as soon as our current primary house sold we would drop that equity into that loan and refinance out of the GOVERNMENT MANDATED PMI. So being the (I'm trying to keep this clean, but I swear i wanna curse so bad. errr) Real Estate professional that I am, I searched for comparable houses to Farm C, and found the value as is to be about 160K We ordered the appraisal, and we held our breathe, because appraisal and appraisers are tricky. Due to DODD-FRANK, mortgage lenders no longer are able to just call up and order an appraisal. Instead they have to order the appraisal from a "warehouse" and then that warehouse just assigns the appraisal to whomever is up in their little appraiser cue. This is such a bad frigging idea, because it is best to have an appraiser that is at least moderately familiar with the area in which they will do the appraisals. This is rarely the case now, and I started worrying when I learned that the appraiser was coming from over 60 miles away, in a close in suburb of Atlanta, to appraise a rural property on 8 acres, with a second house. Appraisals usually take about 2-3 days to complete. 2 weeks after the appraisal was ordered I get a call from my loan officer telling me that the appraiser can not find any comparable houses, and cant complete the appraisal. Could I send her some comps to help him out. Now under Dodd-Frank, the appraiser is not supposed to even talk to the loan officer, and cant talk to me the agent or me the customer. So I knew when he was contacting her we were in trouble. No problem! I spent an hour finding 15 comps for this guy and sent them on in. YAY! Then he comes back three days later and says he needs comps that have a second house. BOO! As you can imagine finding houses that have a second house in a suburban or even urban area is a little difficult. Finding them in a rural area? Sigh. But never fear, me being the consummate Real Estate Pro I can find the comps, and I spent 4 hours pouring through mls data to find 4 comps in the area that had second houses. I sent them in and waited for 2 more days. Meanwhile, our contract was about to expire, and I needed to get an extension from Freddie Mac. They agree to an extension till June 20th, but every day longer than that, we had to pay them 50 dollars penalty. being that everything but this appraisal was already done, and we had about 2 weeks, I agree to that. then the appraiser called me directly to ask me how I found those additional comps. he had looked for carriage houses, guest houses, garage apartments, and found nothing. I explained that I searched for a second kitchen and then had to go through each listing to see which w=ones were in a basement, and which ones were not. Anyway...

So we finally get the appraisal in. It is good. The comps (he used almost exclusively ones that I sent him) were as good as they can be for a rural property, and the value was low (appraisers will always bring in the value right above where you need it, this way they cant be blamed if it gets foreclosed on and it sells for much less) but enough. 159K WITH the renovations. I put it at 160K as is, but whatever. It was enough to cover the loan, which is what mattered. So almost done! Just send all of this to the underwriter to get approval and we will be closing on time or even early. Until we ran into more GOVERNMENT and worse still, an IDIOT who is about as logical as a teacher that suspends a kid for eating a pop tart into the shape of a gun. That stupid.

I call this underwriter Apu, because I dont know his name but I do know he is an Indian (dot not feathers). So we need the file back from underwriting by the 16th in order to clear whatever stipulations he puts on closing, usually updated bank statements and paycheck stubs, nothing major, but because we are buying from the GOVERNMENT in Freddie Mac, they need 72 hours to approve the Settlement Statement, before they will release the property to close. The 16th came and went, as did the 17th and 18th, and not a fucking peep from Apu. I knew IF we got the approval by the 19th, there was a slight chance we could squeak the closing in, and even if not, no biggie 50 bucks, okay. Well the 20th came and went so we needed another extension, and we extended the closing to July 7th, because it wont take that long, but at least we have it in case we need it. On the 24th, we finally hear from Apu. The stips were as such: 1) A letter of intent to occupy the house. 2) Change a few things on the bid to be fixed. That was it. No problem. I wrote a letter of intent explaining how this proeprty would be an hour closer to my parents, would be a better commute for my wife, and since I grew up in the area would put me in a position to do business with my "natural market". We changed the little thing on the bid and sent everything back in in about an hour. We were ready to go live our dreams on the farm!!!

Caution: the rest of this will NOT be safe for reading aloud to your children.

Then Apu called me a fucking liar. I heard the voicemail that he left for my loan officer, which is why I know he is an Indian. " I do not believe that they are going to move here. they have another rental property that is free and clear and I believe they are lying about moving from the suburbs to this house in the country. I believe they will be using it as an investment property." You motherfucker!! This is my fucking dream and this cocksucker is calling me a fucking liar? Why would anyone want to move from the suburbs to the country? To BE FREE YOU FUCKING IDIOT!!! So my loan officer asked me if I could lease out my current house, get a lease on it so that Apu would be convinced that we were really going to move. At first I thought, sure, no problem. I have a ton of friends that will do a fake lease for me. Even send in a check for me to hold as my *wink wink* deposit. Then I rethought this. I would not let this cocksucker make me into a dishonest person because he thinks I'm a dishonest person. It took all my willpower but I told my loan officer that if this motherfucker thinks that I'm a liar than he can keep his fucking money. I sent an email to the loan officer where I had resigned from my HOA's Board of Directors telling them back in April that we were moving. Unless I really knew that some stupid ass douchenozzle would have questioned whether or not we were truly going to move back in April, I figured that was pretty convincing but apparently not to the absolute dumbest person on the planet. She asked me if I would list our house for sale. This way he could see that we were serious. So I thought, Ok. I was going to list it anyway, and if this convinces this assclown that I am not lying then so be it. So I listed my house which was NOT ready to show in any way. It is dirty. It is disheveled. It has boxes that are getting packed everywhere. But I will list it. I listed it for 25K more than I thought we would sell it for. I even put in the comments that only agents can see, "Do not want to show house. Putting it on the market to appease an idiot underwriter." Take that Apu! But this would not appease Apu. Then it was suggested that if I had it under contract perhaps THAT would convince Apu. Then Apu gives us another reason he wont approve the loan. He just doesn't "like" the appraisal. I ask my loan officer if I actually got the house under contract if she thought Apu would like the appraisal, since he was convinced that this rural property on acreage is a dream investment rental home? She said it probably would. So my house is a total wreck, but I said Ok. I'll sell the damned thing.

Meanwhile Apu decides that he just really doesn't like the appraisal. It doesn't fit FANNIE MAE guidelines because it only has 2 comps that have second houses, and one of those is 16 months old instead of the 12 month GOVERNMENT regulation for FHA appraisals.

Now I could send you 15 comps that have sold in the last 6 months, within a 3 mile radius of houses that are the same size and condition as JUST the main house, that have sold for over 150K, which is what we needed Apu to agree that the value was. But Apu thinks that having the second house on the property makes it "unique" and harder to sell. So what Apu believes is that the second house, which is a 950sf 2 bedroom 1 bath house with a kitchen and living room,  which is actually attached to the first house by a breezeway, makes the property less valuable, and less desirable, because that is what the FHA guidelines say.
Did you get all of that? Yesterday i put a candy bar in my left hand. I put 2 candy bars in my right hand. I asked my 3 year old daughter, 'Which is more? She pointed to the one with 2 candy bars. I asked which one do you want? She pointed to the hand with 2 candy bars. Now if a 3 year old can understand this, why cant a 20 something year old man? Like I said. Apu is the dumbest human on earth.

So I was planning on going to Florida with my family for the entire first week of July, but I sent them without me, so that I could make the house look more presentable. I packed boxes like a madman. Cleaned everything so that I could actually show the house. Took out the Dont want to show the house bit, and really marketed the house to sell. This was on a Friday. I sold the house on Monday. NOW!!!! Apu had to know we were serious and were truthfully moving. But this was not enough convincing for Apu. Now he relied on the old, I dont like the appraisal, because it doesn't have enough comps that have the second house. AHHHHHHHHHH!!!! FUCK YOU APU!!!! So my loan officer appealed to someone greater than Apu. Some sort of loan committee. We were awaiting the decision as to our fate from them until today.

Yesterday, I saw that the Farm B was on the market. I called and asked how quickly we could close on it. Pretty much decided to tell Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae and Apu to go fuck themselves. I'd buy from a bank and use a regular bank loan. I took my brother who is a contractor over to Farm B to make sure all was okay and it just needed cosmetics. It was all good. So I am thinking, no problem, we go back to Farm B, and we close in a month. Then my loan officer called and said apparently the committee had seen how stupid Apu was and agreed to do the loan for Farm A, BUT we have to close on our primary house first.

So now we have to find a place to stay while the renovations are done on Farm A, BUT Freddie Mac wants their 1500 bucks in late fees, and supposedly will not extend the contract farther than the 23rd. I dont believe we can close on our primary by the 23rd, so we may be out of time anyway. So I may not be able to buy a GOVERNMENT owned house, because I cant get a GOVERNMENT loan, because the stupidest human on earth wants to follow GOVERNMENT regulations even if they are quite impossible. I'll know tomorrow which way and which farm we will be getting. If Freddie Mac extends, then we will go with Farm C, rent a camper and stay on the property while the renovations are done. If Freddie Mac will not extend, we will go with Farm B and not have to deal with the government either with buying or financing. I;m sort of hoping Freddie is dumb enough to say no to the extension.

So government caused the problem, government fails in fixing the problem, and I'm left without a farm for the time being. Oh and for anyone thinking USDA LOAN MAN!!! Well that would be the perfect loan for this type of house. USDA loans are for rural properties on acreage, with second houses, barns and such. But in order to qualify for USDA loans one cant make over a certain amount of money. It is really low, and I believe it is 30K or so. Now how can someone qualify for a house with an income of 30K? that's government at work.

Friday, January 31, 2014

How "UnRandian" of Me

On Tuesday, January 28th Atlanta was hit by a snowstorm. Well to most of you a snowstorm involves more than 3 inches of snow but for Atlanta at noon, on a weekday 3 inches is a disaster of almost biblical proportions. Traffic was gridlocked as if a dirty bomb had been detonated and everyone was tryng to escape for their lives, and in a way that's how folks reacted, except that instead of roads to escape on, they had ice skating rinks. You get the picture? Not good. Not good at all. Well during my trek home which normally would take about 30 minutes, which on this fateful night took 7 hours, I found myself sitting in the car at an intersection about 3 miles from home. And we weren't moving. Having "not moved" for hours with only a few hundred feet at a time giving up ground, it finally caught my attention after 30 minutes that something must truly be messed up. So I got out of my car, and walked forward about 200 yards, where I saw a Coca-Cola truck in the right hand lane of a 3 lane road, with about 15 cars all piled up next to it, blocking all the lanes. On this night, there would be no tow trucks, no ambulances since nobody was critically injured, not that any could make it there anyway, and no police officers. In front of my car was about 6 cars before the melee, and behind my car was hundreds more cars just sitting there. About 200 yards behind my car was an opening that crossed the westbound lanes into a parking lot of McDonalds, an old grocery store turned gym, and a generic strip mall.

So I sprang into action.

I started walking back to my car, telling each person in cars at first in front of me, and then behind me, what was up ahead, that we were either going to get out of this jam or spend the night right there on the road. Luckily nobody behind me decided on spending the night, so I started with the cars that were nearest the crossover point, and was directing them as to which way to turn their wheels, and whether or not reverse or forward was the direction. The road was indeed a solid sheet of ice about 3 inches thick and I was only wearing some beat up running shoes that had about 5% of the traction left. Not a good combination for traction on the ice. So I started pushing cars up this little hill, and folks ahead where my car was, came to help. I was the leader of this little Ice Posse, and about 4 of us moved about 11 cars back up a little hill, and directed them across the other lanes of traffic into the Mcdonalds parking lot. Finally all the cars blocking me had been rescued, so I got in my car, out it in reverse and proceeded to back up, and pull over to the safety of McDonalds parking lot. I then went back across the "rink" to those people that were previously in front of me. Then some true idiots decided to ignore the fellow I had posted up at the turn across point, and came barrelling down on us, causing even more cars to be moved. (Slight aside: Some of these people were true assholes. I guess not seeing what me and the Ice Posse had already done to clear out so many others, they were not as appreciative of us having to push their sorry asses back up the hill.) So finally the Ice Posse got all of the cars that were not in the wreck back up the hill, across the rink of the other lanes to the parking lot and around to wherever they were heading.

One of the Ice Posse stayed up at the top of the hill waving his arms trying to get people stopped and across to where they could escape their icy fate at the bottom of the hill, but some people are oblivious to what is going on appparently and as I was finally getting in my car, aching and exhausted I could see the traffic moving back to where I had already cleared. Sorry. I've done what I could do.

Anyway, what the hell does all of that have to do with Ayn Rand?

Well, one of the motorist I was helping out took my picture and posted it to a local Fox stations webpage. She asked me what my name was and I told her, and I thought that would be the end of that, but apparently one of my friends found the post and posted it to facebook. "This Good Samaritan (name redacted) deserves some major props! He's parked his car across the street and is out here pushing numerous stranded people out of a disaster where a dozen cars slid into each other." That's when things went a little crazy. By yesterday, 6 friends had shared the pic, and the one that posted it on my page got about 112 "likes" and about 130 comments at last count. All but one of these comments were things like "Good job", "that's my friend", "heart of Gold", "A great example of an Eagle Scout". It made me feel good. I like to feel good; dont you? Then a certain friend posted another "good job", and immediately I started thinking of all the times we had argued politics and religion with her taking a statist/secular side and me being the world's only Ragnarian (a combination of Christianity and Objectivism- screw you I do what I want!), but I thought well that was probably a shock to her being that she generally thinks me a heartless bastard who wants old people and kids to starve to death because I see Social Security and Welfare as evil and a cause of the degradiation of society. But it was a positive post, but my mind quickly switched to Ayn Rand, and how many people whom, like myself often speak of selfishness as a virtue, and self reliance as the way things should be.

But of course she followed the comment up within 3 minutes with "How very 'Un-Randian' of you. What the hells going on with you?"

To which I replied that doing this was probably the MOST "Randian" thing that I had done in years.

And it was. To so many people, and perhaps some people who would consider Rand and Atlas Shrugged as influences on their lives, and the way they live, selfish means looking out ONLY for one's self. But this is not what I take away from Ayn Rand. I suppose I should say that I am NOT an Ayn Rand Scholar, and I have never read anything directly about Objectivism as a philosophy. But I dont really give a shit. I took from the books meaning for MYSELF. Anyway, I digress. To me being selfish means that take care of myself and those that are my responsibility because I have chosen that they are my responsibility. My children are my responsibility, as is my wife. All others, although I personally feel my parents fall under my responsibility, are optional whether or not I help them, out of not responsibility but out of generousity. Just because I do things that are in my self interest and make sure my RESPONSIBILITIES are taken care of doesn't stop me from helping others. I help others quite often, probably daily. Why? Because it makes me feel so damn good. I had my own self interest in mind as I started pushing cars up an icy hill, because if I didn't I couldn't get MY car out of there, but I went back after my car was out because it felt good to have an ability and to help others.

Another friend posted that "I was John Galt." Although that is flattering I think I acted more like Francisco in Atlas Shrugged. He had absolutely no reason to help with the furnace break out at Rearden Steel, but he jumped in and helped save lives and the mill. Why? If we "Randians" are really such a bunch of self-centered assholes, why did Frankie (his friends call him Frankie) risk life and limb to save others? Because he had the ability to do so and it feels great to use ability and to help others even when there is no self reward. The feeling is the reward.

So when I say that it was the most "Randian" thing I've done in years I meant it. I had the ability to lead, and to push, and although my body still aches a little 3 days later i can tell you that I felt more alive than I have in a long time. Gonna do a lot more of that in the future when the needs arise, because I am so selfish and it feels so good.

Friday, August 30, 2013

The most memorable event of my life.

I am sure most people when thinking of what would be their most memorable would say the day they were married, or the day their kids were born. Well as far as the day I got married to She Who Must Be Obeyed, I remember everything up till the reception, and then it gets a little fuzzy. As for the day Dagny was born, I will never forget the first moment I saw her, the tears in my eyes, and holding her in my arms for the first time. For sure that was a day and a moment that I will never forget. I will write more about that day at another time, as that is a very happy memory, but unfortunately our brains do not work that way. No our brains always brand into our psyche the bad things. Getting fired, getting divorced, losing a loved one, or having violence done upon you all can leave their permanent scars. These are the things that stick with you the longest. Having told very few people about this event, it seems strange that I take to writing about it now, but it is an important part of my life, and I would like to get it out so that I might move on to more positive things. So without further ado, the story of Denley Casto:

West Virginia is a beautiful place. It's a natural wonder that despite what some would tell you regarding the harshness of mining is still full of pristine areas that east of the Mississippi, is hard to find. I grew up in a small town surrounded a small college, although in truth, we lived so far out of town it's hard to equate that we lived "in" the town. Nope. Not my family. Our trailer (yep, that would be "mobile home" to a lot of you), sat out in the country on about 5 acres of cleared land surrounded on 2 sides with huge forests, and the other two sides with hayfields, which make great makeshift golf holes, using the 12 inch PVS pipes with a lunch bucket on their tops, that were the covers for wells that had been drilled as holes and pins. Our "backyard" was about an acre and a half of garden that we planted each spring and about another acre that we had to mow, at first with a push mower, then later with a Ford riding mower. Suddenly a horrible chore became something to fight over with my brothers to see who was going to do it doing because a riding lawnmower was like DRIVING!!!  We were remote, in the country, in the boondocks, however one likes to put it, but we did have neighbors. The best neighbors you could possibly imagine. The most friendly, outgoing, helpful folks that you have ever met, and I tell you that I was "raised" by all of them. Most of the folks around were older people, either retired, or as close as people got to retired back then and there, which meant that they only raised 3 or 4 hogs a year, 1-2 acres of fruits and vegetables, a few dozen chickens, a couple heads of cattle, and a horse or pony. Retired to them, meant they didn't go to the mines everyday to a "real job". All of these folks had grandchildren that would visit now and then, and of course I would go and play whenever that happened, but even in between visits, I would go to their houses, walk right in (didn't everyone do that where you are from?), and go hang out with the old folks, help them with whatever they were doing, eat supper with them, then head home about dark. Some hired me to do things around their farms. I've done just about everything you can think of when you think of farms. I've weeded gardens, painted countless fences, cleared ponds of cattails, gathered eggs, cleaned chicken coops, tarred roofs, bailed hay (even better once I was big enough to drive the truck, since that made driving the lawnmower trivial by comparison) and fed slop to pigs and feed and corn to chickens and cows. I never had an "hourly wage" per se but I usually got about 10 bucks for a full day of work on the weekends. Trust me when I say that I was the "richest" kid in my family, though my brothers were 6 and 7 years older than me, and probably the "richest" kid in Upshur County, at least as far as I knew. I once made 50 bucks to dig a trench 18 inches deep, 12 inches wide and 120 feet long. I tell you I was friggin RICH!!! 50 buckaroos for just 1 week and a half of work? How could I have been so lucky? I bought Pitfall for the Atari with that, and no matter what you say, that was the best game of all time.
     So my neighbors, and I call them neighbors though they were all a good 5 minute Huffy ride from us, were all what people back then and perhaps still do call, "Salt of the Earth" folks. I will assume that is some sort of Biblical reference, but to me it just means folks that you can count on, that you can trust, and that would literally do whatever they could to help you. I did have 2 friends my age though in the "neighborhood". Mitch Tenney and Denley Casto although Denley was 1 year older than us and at 6 and 7 years old that year means a great deal in terms of physical being. Denley's dad was Buck, and Buck plowed our garden each year, so that is how I met Denley. I would ride my Huffy to Denley's house and we would play board games, make elaborate trails and cities for our Hot wheels cars, cowboy and Indians, or war out on their land. They had a barn which was weather-beaten, full of hay dust all the time, and filled with hay bales that we would arrange into forts, bunkers, stunt hills, you name, and we built it out of hay bales. They had a corn bin too! For you city folks, a corn bin is the country version of a ball pit. You could get in and jump around, bury yourself and have fun. I spent probably 3 days out of the week at Denley's house and barn, until dark thirty or so, and then rode my Huffy back the dirt road the couple miles back to our house, usually in complete darkness. Side note- If you've never done so, go drive the routes you rode on bikes as a kid. Some will surprise you at the "car brevity" and some will impress you with how far you really did go. I'll save the story of Mitch for another day, but there are stories there as well. Let's just say that when I was a kid, my best friend pretended to be a black dude, 90% of the time. So...
    In the fall of 1979, at the age of 6 exciting news came to our little part of the country. I boxing club was started up, and we met a couple times a week at Buck Casto's barn, where they had a heavy bag, speed bag, and even a ring with ropes and everything set up. Denley and I were sparring partners of course, as all the other "boxers" were my brother's age and well that wouldn't be much fun at all, although that did not stop my brothers from using me as a punching bag for the next 6 years or so, but that too is a story for another day. Each practice or workout, or whatever you call it when a bunch of kids get together and punch things and get tired to the absolute delight of their parents, my brothers and I would run to the Casto Barn, or FIGHT CLUB! As I romanticize it now, and walk home. So we practiced, all through the fall and into the winter, until finally we were all going to go fight in a real life boxing match on January 19th, 1980, which was the day before Ronald Reagan was sworn in, to put a relative time frame in mind. We practiced hard, two and 3 times a week, which although there was an adult "coach", for us younger kids meant we punched, jumped rope, until we could barely walk, which if you've ever had a 6 year old is a lot of punching and jumping rope. Winter comes early in our part of West Virginia, meaning that by November it is fairly cold, and by December it's really cold, and snow is possible if not probably a few times a month. But we still ran to practice and walked home in the snow. We never really thought much about it. About 2 weeks before the big boxing match, we were mostly sparring, which in 6 and 7 year old parlance means that we stood in the ring and threw haymakers until one of us got knocked down, or we couldn't throw any more punches being too tired. out. But we were focused, and we just knew we were all going to beat these other boys from wherever they may come from, and no matter what training or experience they may have. We had a calendar set up on the barn wall, which just had the number till the big match, and every day or that last week, we would gather round it and pull off another page, until finally the number was 1. One day until the big boxing match that was going to bring all of us to the big leagues of Sugar ray Leonard, and Muhammad Ali. So my brothers and I went home, this time driven by our Dad, you know; to preserve our strength for the big fight tomorrow. 
     January 19, 1980 had finally come, and I was excited as I could possibly be. Not only was I going to go box my first match and probably knock some kid out in the first round in about 6 seconds, but a special guest was going to be there. Now you have probably never heard of Tommy Franco Thomas, but in West Virginia he was as big as Ali and Sugar ray put together so this was a big deal. Side note- Tommy Franco Thomas got a title shot in about 1982 against Michael Dokes, and unfortunately was knocked out in about 5 rounds. I cried. That's all I have to say about that. So it's Saturday in West Virginia, and the big boxing match is to start about 4:00PM. They had my "bout" scheduled shortly after that, as they went from youngest to oldest, and then finally to the Golden Gloves official matches. I was psyched, my Dad was psyched, and finally we were in the gym of Buckhannon Middle School, and I had my hands taped up, my gloves were on, and I was ready to go make mincemeat of this chump kid who dared to come face me on my own turf. I am a little lion cub; hear me roar! So our little bout was scheduled for 3 2 minute rounds, and even back then I guess the safety officials or probably more likely our Moms decided it was a good idea for us to wear headgear. So there I go into the ring. I'm bouncing up and down, floating like a bee, looking every bit the Rocky Balboa that I was and then some, then the other kid came in. Now I'm not saying that this kid was not 6 years old. Maybe he was kin to Andre the Giant or something, but he was at least a head taller than me, and probably had me by 30 pounds. Then again, I was sort of a scrawny kid, and maybe I was on the short side as well. Well no matter. I was going to decimate this Giant once and for all for the pride of Sago!
    Ding! Ding! The bell rings, and this kid is on me like an animal. He is "boxing", which to me meant that he actually punched straight out in front of him. I was getting pummeled pretty badly and my head was all goo-goo quickly. Luckily the side training of my brothers kicking the shit out of me regularly must have toughened me up at least a little, because this was getting ugly quickly. DING! DING! The round is over. What a sweet sweet sound that bell was. Even to this day I remember this event whenever I hear a bell like that. So I am in my corner, all whooped and tired. If I did any punching that first round, I can’t recall any of them. It was mostly protecting my face from getting pulverized. My Dad was in my corner, and I will quote him, as it is as fresh these 33 years later as it was then. Side note- My Dad did some weird things for the navy back in the day. I'm not really sure what, but it wasn't peeling potatoes. Anyway.... My Dad says, 'well goddammit (probably my Dad's favorite word after 'the") are you going to fight or are you going to just get your ass whooped?" Me: He’s bigger than me. Dad: "You get your ass out there and you swing until you can’t swing anymore and you knock him down, because I think he wants to kill you. Screw that boxing shit and go out there and fight and kick his ass." Me: Okay. 
      DING! DING! Round two commenced. "Hulk" came out with his proper boxing stance and was moving in to finish me off, and I just went apeshit on him. I threw haymaker after haymaker until finally I caught him square and poof, down he went. He got back up, and again I started wailing like a little Tasmanian Devil, until finally I knocked him down and he didn't get back up. Now mind you I did NOT knock him out. I think I scared him so much he just decided to stay down there until the 10 count, rather than have to come back at this little maniac. DING DING DING! Match over, and I go to the middle and have my hand raised as the vicious little rascal that I was. I got a trophy that I still have to this day. It's about 6 inches tall, but it was at least 2 feet tall when I got it. It must be a magically shrinking thing or something. 
    So I watch the next bout which was Denley and another giant from Webster Springs. Must be something in the water down there or something! So Denley and this other kid fight all 3 rounds, and apparently at this age level, if there is no knockdown or obvious winner it is called a draw and they both get trophies. So Denley and I were done with the fighting part of the fight and were walking on air as we walked around the gym, and found a place to sit. We watched our brothers fight, and they all did pretty well as I recall, with nobody getting their asses kicked or anything. A little more actual boxing was going on here, so that was interesting to both of us "swingers". About 7 o'clock we decided we had watched enough boxing and decided we would go across the street to Spudnuts. For those of you that do not know what a Spudnut is; it is a doughnut that is made with potato dough instead of wheat dough. Pretty damned tasty if I recall correctly. In actuality, Spudnuts was a small diner that had a couple pool tables, about 4 video games, and probably sat 15-20 people at a low counter with small, red sparkly cushioned stools that swiveled around, at least until the owner made us "stop our damned spinning". So Denley and I were excited, and we had a couple dollars that I brought just for this occasion and we started running down the parking lot and across the street to Spudnuts. I remember us racing towards the bright lights of the building which was about 200 yards from the gym doors, and across the 2 lane road. It was already dark in the cold winter night, but we were all jacked up on victory and being 7, well at least almost 7. We were racing at full speed and being a year younger, and that year meaning a lot in a boy's speed, and me being slow even as a skinny little guy, Denley had about a 5 yard lead on me in no time. I was trying with all my might to catch up as I looked to the left and saw the cars big headlights bathe Denley with what seems still to this day a spotlight. Denley was hit and knocked almost 100 yards down Route 33 in Buckhannon, West Virginia. Though the lady driving the car hit the brakes immediately, it was not quick enough to stop a car from hitting a running boy of 7 years old. I stood there and watched, as my best buddy and friend laid on the blacktop of that road. I ran up to him, and he was already gone. People came around, and were looking and trying to help him. Police came from inside the gym, and were there within a minute. I remember the lady driving the car screaming like a crazy person, and falling to the ground, sobbing. I didn't cry. I knew he was gone, but I also knew that I only was alive because I couldn't keep up with him. My Dad came out and picked me up off the ground. I can’t remember him ever doing that before or since. AN Ambulance was there in a quick minute or two, and they loaded Denley on the stretcher and had him inside the ambulance and gone in minutes. Apparently Denley was not dead, or at least not officially dead right then. My Dad went and put me in the truck, and drove us all home. I went straight to my bedroom that I shared with my brother, and climbed up into the top bunk. The quilt that I had was homemade by one of my surrogate Grandmother neighbors, and was brown squares on a white background with little knots of red yarn in the middle of each square. About 10:30 or so, and I am just guessing on that time, but it sounds about right, I heard the phone ring at the house. My dad came in and told me that Denley had died. He said, "I'm really sorry buddy", which in my Dad's parlance meant a lot. He left me alone, and I cried for my best friend. 

    A few days later I went to the funeral for Denley Casto. I was afraid to go, because I was scared that Denley's Mom and Dad would not like me anymore, or blame me since I was with him. But that fear was misplaced, as they both got down on their knees and hugged me at kid level. They said that they were so glad that I didn't get hurt with him, and that he had loved me, and that I was always welcome at their house. I cried a lot that day. There are many feelings in the heart of a 6 year old that are exaggerated, but I can honestly say that pain was real, and deep. I feel it to this day, and am thankful for the life that I have. Sometimes not winning the race can save your life. 

Thursday, February 28, 2013

So what happens now? The political shrug

I realize that some of you that follow my adventures, rants, tirades, and snippets have possibly noticed that I've been absent lately. Not only from long pieces, but even short comments. I've allowed the debt ceiling cave, the immigration amnesty push by Prince Rubio, the confirmation of a douchenozzle who apparently is an idiot Jew hater to boot, this entire Sequestration bullshit, and just about every other thing pass by with not much comment. Have I lost my passion? Have I lost my will to fight? Yes, and no. I cannot financially shrug. I cant just walk away from the business I've built and continue building, because I want to provide for my family, in the best way that I can right now. But I can politically shrug, and have done so as much as I can. One could go mad very quickly trying to figure out why the GOP sucks so badly at just about everything, but in truth it is really simple to understand. They are in on "it".

I derided those who tried to tell us that there was no difference in Romney and Obama. Well they are still wrong. There is a big difference between Obama and Romney, and there is a big difference in the GOP and the Dems. The difference is what they say and how they say it. And that's the extent of the difference. They say the opposite things, but they DO the same things. they both spend money that they don't have, and have to borrow. They both talk about cutting spending and instead increase spending. They both denounce wasteful spending, yet continue to vote for it. They both pander to those on each side of the political spectrum but remain firmly in the mushy middle. And they both suck. So once you understand that they both suck, and that neither is going to do anything good form our point of view, a political shrug is pretty easy.

I've stopped worrying about the politics that is happening in Washington DC. They are a bunch of assclowns, but they are smart enough to convince some of you, that they WOULD change things, yet those evil Republicans or those evil democrats are standing in their way of getting anything meaningful done. And if we would just send more of them, then they would be able to accomplish so much to make our country better. But they wouldn't. This was proven in 2008-2009 when the Democrats had complete control of the government. They could have passed anything that they wanted, yet they didn't. The GOP had majority control in 2000-2002, then a short time again in 2004, and did they use that time to cut government, lower regulations, and make us in any way better? No. They spent more money on brand new programs, and got thrown out on their asses in 2006 by those of us that realized they were no better than the Democrats. But it is all a ruse. They are all in on it, and we are the suckers to believe that they are anything but deceivers  They go on the talk shows and they say what they think their followers would want to hear, but in their minds, if not in their hearts they are laughing at us all. They don't give a shit about you. They don't give a shit about anything but one thing; remaining in office. If they can appear that they would do something, then perhaps enough people will be dumb enough to buy their bullshit and reelect them. And it works, as more than 90% of Congress gets re-elected.

So I shrugged. I understand now that none of these people are any good. If they are any good they are sent out tot he sidelines as pariahs of unreasonableness. For every 1 good Senator, there are 30 bad ones, who will push the good one to the worst committee assignments, will help primary them so they can get a go along to get along type in there that will not rock the boat. It's a disgusting pit of vipers, but it is what we have. 535 assclowns all working together to do as little as possible, and remain in power. Once you figure out that I am right on this, things will be much happier for you. It's like the old serenity prayer. Accept the things you cannot change. This is something you cannot change. For every Ted Cruz, or Rand Paul  I will name 10 douchebags that have the exact same power as they do. So what is one to do? Post 50 or 60 posts about how bad the Democrats are? Post another 50-60 posts about how this guy or that guy is "fighting" for an issue you support? Well I tell ya friends, you can wish in one hand and shit in the other and see which one fills up first.

So have I given up? Nope. Just preparing for the inevitable. I have accepted what I cannot change, and have found more peace preparing for the inevitable outcome of a 16 Trillion dollar national debt on it's way to 22 Trillion in the next four years, the rising taxes, and the pension and retirement account grab that will be coming down the pike. The day of account will be on us soon. It's simple math. We cannot continue to spend at this rate for much longer. Whether the collapse happens in a year or 10 years, one thing I am positive of, and that is NONE OF THESE PEOPLE ARE GOING TO DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT! And if there are one or two that would like to fight for change, they will be destroyed either by the media or their own party members, even though in reality they cant do anything to stop it anyway. The train is coming. Will you stand in the middle of the tracks defiantly yelling at it, "This is unconstitutional !!", or will you understand that that doesn't matter to them and get the fuck off the track so that it eventually crashes, and you can come back in to build something anew?

I'd like to stay disengaged, but I will probably relapse once in a while back to caring and thinking that I could make a difference. I can make a difference to my family and my friends by preparing for what is to come, instead of bitching about people who don't give a fuck about any of us. I give a fuck about you, and I will try to help you if I can, which is more than what they will do. There comes a point in every person's life where they come to an understanding about the way things are in their personal lives, their local lives, and their national lives. I've come to that point. This country is lost. It will be rebuilt, but it will never become better than it is right now, because there is nobody in Washington DC that can lead us out of this. They are all in on it, and are simply riding out the end. As in Atlas Shrugged, the Wesley Mouchs and Jim Taggarts, and Oren Boyles all sat there trying to hold their little pieces of the pie together even when they knew it was all collapsing, so do the Harry Reids the John Boehners sit and try to hold what little modicum of power and prestige they have now.

So join me when when you figure it out. Fight if you wish. Put your hope in any politician that says the right thing on that one issue that is important to you. Meanwhile I will be enjoying my new found peace in acceptance that there is no hope left until after it all collapses.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Santorum is George W. Bush not in disguise.

Okay. Just going to throw this out there that I like President Bush. Seemed like a good guy. Heart was in the right place as far as keeping us safe, and all, and was overall a good leader in one of the most trying times of our history as a nation. However, I was not one who overlooked his spending habits, his new agencies created like Homeland Security and with it the TSA. I was never in favor of No Child Left Behind or Medicare Prescription drug benefits entitlement. I was never in favor of spending a shit tone of money that we had to borrow. Never. Notice how I said I liked President Bush? Honorable guy. But Rick Santorum HAS exactly the same governing phillosophy as George W. Bush. He supported, wrote, voted, and campaigned for all of those new agencies, programs, and all the spending. He NEVER once stood up and said, HEY GUYS THIS ISNT making government smaller, it's making it bigger which isn't what conservatives do.

Now Maneesh Bhatnagar has said that I have an irrational hatred against Rick Santorum, but that is only half correct. My hatred of him is not irrational. I used rational logic that what brought about the changes in 2006, when Nancy Pelosi took control of the House of Representative, (when Rick Santorum lost his Senate race by 18% as a two term incumbent), and in 2008 brought about the election of a far extreme leftist, and bigger Democratic majorities were made in the House and the Senate, were not the cause of the American People who were tired of wars in the Middle East, nor the economy which although it was portrayed as horrible by the press was actually pretty robust until it was apparent that Obama would win the election, when it tanked. It was the spending, the deficits, and the bigger government brought on by the GOP from 2000-2006. They did not have a big majority in the Senate but were eager to pass some laws now that Clinton was gone, so they reached across the isle to reform education, and they reached across the isle again to sure of Medicare. It's like they could not help themselves. YES Education needed reform, but doubling the size of the Department of Education with No Child Left Behind, wasn't the "conservative" solution. It was the big government solution, that they should have known NEVER WORKS! The same is true with Medicare Part D. There was an issue, but was the free market solution which would have been the conservative approach used? No. More big government, top down bureaucratic nonsense.

So why my rational hatred towards Rick Santorum? Because Rick Santorum is the Poster Boy for this era. He was right in the middle of all these debates, and did he fight for conservatism? EVER? No. Now if all Conservatism is is being anti-Abortion, then Rick Santorum lead the way. He has been a standard bearer of that issue forever. But he has never been ANYTHING but a big government, we can solve things from up here in Washington type of politician. NEVER. Look at his voting record. Time and time again, he voted to spend more money, create more government programs, and create a huge Top down federal behemoth that we have today. I am sorry, but no matter how much he loves babies, he is not a conservative. He is a Pro-Life Big Government politician, and is very similar to George W. Bush. Like I said. I like President Bush, I think he did a pretty good job, but there is absolutely NO WAY I would want another President that has his same ideology again. If by chance that Santorum could win the general, and my personal belief is that he cannot, then THIS will become what the general public think of as "What Republicans do, and what conservatives do." If that is the case then we lose forever.

Say no to Santorum.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A football analogy.

Sometimes we lose sight of the war as we focus on battles. This one is Mitt vs. Newt, or Newt vs. The Establishment, or Obama Vs. The Free market, but those are simply battles in the larger war. There are two sides to this battle. One that would like us to be a big government top down society and one that wants us to be as the founders intended with a smaller federal government, more state centric Republic. This battle has been raging since Jefferson and Hamilton, and heated up with Wilson, caught fire with FDR, raged with Johnson, and went nuclear over the past 20 years. We are losing the war at this point. There are but a handful of elected officials in DC that are fighting for our side. The opponents have the propaganda arm in the media that helps sell their message of dependency. The other side is waging a ground war for the hearts and minds of the people, moving forward to a European Socialist style society. THEY ARE WINNING!!!!

How do I know they are winning? Because when one thinks of this as a physical battle ground they have been inching towards victory for the past 100 years, taking huge chunks of ground.

Being Super Bowl week, let’s tell of a story of the past 100 years in the form of a football game. One end zone being a country that our founders set up and the other end zone a country that Marx would set up.

The Liberty Team kicks off through the end zone and the Socialist start with the ball on their own 20 yard line.
They won a huge battle in 1913 with the passing of the 16th Amendment. This gave them POWER over the people's money. We were to work, and produce for ourselves, but THEY were to be paid first. Our production was OWNED by them, and the LET us keep some of it. The Federal Reserve is set up, to control monetary policy. The Defense is pushed back 20 yards.
Then the 17th Amendment was passed the same year. Probably was not seen by the people as a big battle lost but it was necessary to consolidate power at the Federal level. The Senate was set up to represent the states AGAINST the federal government, but with the popular election of Senators, the Senate morphed into a Federal Arm, instead of an arm to protect the states. The Defense loses another 10 yards.  1st and 10 for the Socialist on the 50 yard line.

Then the Great Depression happened, and those that were starving, out of work, and desperate were easy prey to those that wanted a huge government. Social Security was passed, Payroll taxes were collected directly from people's paychecks, new programs and agencies sprung up overnight, FDR stacked the Supreme Court with Justices that expanded the Interstate Commerce Clause to virtually mean the Federal Government was THE ruling authority in the US. Huge advancement on the field, never to be regained. And with each big play, smaller ones were lost in between, and the side for freedom, gave a few yards at a time. Big pass play for the Socialist, the defense gave up 20 yards. 1st and 10 for the Socialists at the Liberty 30 yard line.

Had the Liberty team scored any victories during this time? Sure. Very small ones.  They stopped the Socialist Offense on a couple of downs, but in general were giving up 1st downs left and right, and the Socialists never had to punt. Then LBJ came along. Great social upheaval with the Vietnam War, The Civil Rights movement, easy time to go for a big play. SO the Great Society with Welfare, and Medicare, and Medicaid was passed. The straw that broke the camel’s back really. The Social Security Act of 1965 is absolutely the number one program that has doomed us. It has changed not only our country economically, but socially. We officially had given in to the thought that government was going to take care of us. If we didn't have money for medicine, the government would provide medicine, if we didn’t have money for food, the government would provide food, and if we didn't have any money to live the government would provide that too. 25 yard end around for the Socialists, 1st and goal on the 5. They tried and tried to punch it into the end zone, but there were just enough people backing the Liberty team that their efforts of Universal Healthcare was thwarted, and they could not overcome the power of the individuals that would stop them. Turnover on downs.

So in 1980 Ronald Reagan found himself working out of his own end zone, 1st and goal on his own 5 yard line. He passed tax reform, and the ball was moved out to the 10. This gave them (and capitalist) a little room to play with, so he went huge on offense. Suddenly the fans began to believe that indeed Liberty was the best team, and more gains were made, but then Reagan was taken out (knee injury) and the backup quarterback was put in. He had watched for many years how things worked and how well things were going, but he (GHWB) decided to give up some of the ground that Reagan had gained. He then punted but it was a squib kick out of bounds at the 15 yard line. The people booed and demanded a replacement.

So they brought in a baddass linebacker (newt). He was a little erratic, was a little brash, but had a bunch of sacks. So the Socialist (Clinton) tried to score on the first few plays from the 15 yard line. A pass into the end zone (Hillarycare) batted down by the linebacker. The next play the linebacker sacked the quarterback (cut spending), for a loss of 5 yards. The next play was another sack by the linebacker (welfare reform) for another 5 yard loss. But the cheerleaders on the sideline started screaming that the linebacker was a bad person, and shouldn't be allowed to play. The crowd booed him although he was the only one on the Liberty team that was actually not only stopping the Socialist Offense, but costing them yards. But his own teammates didn't like that the crowd was booing the Linebacker and the whole team because the cheerleaders had convinced the crowd that what the linebacker was doing was evil. So the Liberty Team decided to bench the Linebacker so that the crowd would like them again. But it didn't work, so they gave up 5 yards on purpose to win back the fans, but that didn't work either.

The Cheerleaders still were convincing the fans that the Liberty team was the cause of all their problems, and the Socialist team brought in a new Quarterback to punch it into the end zone. He completed his first pass (Obamacare) because the Liberty defense had already given up except a few players that still believed they could keep the Socialist team out of the end zone. But the Liberty team was on the 3 yard line, and they were tired. But something amazing happened. The crowd started ignoring the cheerleaders, and started rooting for the Liberty team. They screamed that they didn't want the Socialist team to score and win the country for the Socialist. But the crowd was split. Part of them said bring back the linebacker to stop the touchdown, but many of them said no bring in this other guy, who use to play for the Socialists, but now says he wants to play for the Liberty team. So the New Guy was saying that the mean nasty linebacker was even meaner and nastier than he ever really was. He says that he didn’t break up that pass, or sack the quarterback,  but that he only did all of that because the rest of the team made it possible. He points out that the mean old nasty linebacker drank from the Socialists water bottle and this proves that he really is with the Socialist team now. The Mean Linebacker tells the people, I’ve stopped them before and I will stop them again. I’m sorry that I drank from the Socialists’ water bottle, but I was ostracized by the Liberty team. The Liberty teammates said NO Bring in the New Guy, because the people hated the Mean nasty linebacker, but really they were thinking that the mean nasty linebacker made them work harder, and expected them to do well, but the New Guy wouldn’t push them, and if the Socialists scored they could always point and blame at the New Guy.

And here we are. The Socialist team is on the 3 yard line. Do you pick the mean nasty linebacker who thwarted the Socialists’ offense before, and gained ground for the Liberty Team? Or do you choose the New Guy, who was playing for the Socialists until 5 minutes ago?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Top 5 Lies and other obfuscations of Obama’s Last State of the Union Address.

1)      "We gather tonight knowing that this generation of heroes has made the United States safer and more respected around the world. For the first time in nine years, there are no Americans fighting in Iraq. For the first time in two decades, Osama bin Laden is not a threat to this country. Most of al Qaeda's top lieutenants have been defeated. The Taliban's momentum has been broken, and some troops in Afghanistan have begun to come home."
Victory in Iraq? Well yes we may have had victory in Iraq, as a matter of fact thousands of US troops paid the ultimate sacrifice there, and the American Taxpayers spent Billions if not a Trillion dollars for victory there. You were handed a victory in which the insurgency was over, and all that was left was to put together a coalition government, and secure the peace, but of course you failed miserably at this. You sent Biden to negotiate for the peace, which would have included leaving about 2-3,000 US troops as a security force for the new government, but Biden pissed everyone over there from the Kurds, to the Sunnis and the Shia, and we did not “pull” our troops out of there after securing the peace, you failed to negotiate for a workable peace, and we were basically told to get out.

2)     We can either settle for a country where a shrinking number of people do really well, while a growing number of Americans barely get by. Or we can restore an economy where everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules."

This “shrinking middle class thing is a hoax. It doesn’t exist. You did tell the truth when you said a growing number of Americans are barely getting by. You are the cause of it, not the rich people in this country. The poor do not get poorer because the rich get richer, the poor get poorer because you try to punish the job creators, and saddle the businesses that may have hired those poor people, with gigantic new expenses like Obamacare, and ridiculous regulations that have those that WOULD create jobs, to wait until you are out of office. The one thing more than any others that you President Obama have done to increase the number of unemployed people, the number of welfare recipients, the number of food stamps recipients, is through your first 2 years with the implementation of Obamacare, and with your wishy washy rhetoric of making the “rich pay their fair share” and with the demagoguery against those that create jobs and opportunity, you have created an environment that it uncertain. Uncertainty about what is next for an employer. What will a small businessman’s tax rate be? What will a large businesses corporate tax rate be? What will Obamacare mean to the bottom line? Will only your supporters obtain waivers, or will others get them as well? A business is unlike a Democratic Party Planning Session. They do not make decisions that will only affect them until the following year’s election. They have projections 1 year, 2 years, and 5 years out. Decisions about hiring a new worker, or investing in another factory, or whether they should outsource jobs are all made years in advance. Not one single policy that you have passed since you came into office has given ANY business reason to believe that their opportunity is greater in the future here in the US. None.  You are a hindrance to business growth. You create the atmosphere that THEY are bad, and the WORKERS are good, and that it is their responsibility to give the workers a job, despite all the obstacles that you have thrown up. But that’s not how it works, and it never has, and it never will. It seems that what you want is a fascists, or socialist country, where the WORKERS are the reason that businesses exist, and not the other way around. People get upset when I say that you are a Marxist, or a Socialist, but sorry, Marxist is as Marxist thinks.

3) In the last 22 months, businesses have created more than three million jobs. Last year, they created the most jobs since 2005. American manufacturers are hiring again, creating jobs for the first time since the late 1990s. Together, we've agreed to cut the deficit by more than $2 trillion. And we've put in place new rules to hold Wall Street accountable, so a crisis like that never happens again.

You know you sound just like a damned gambling addict that only tells you about the 10K they won at poker, but neglects to tell you that they lost 11K the night before.  American manufacturing is dying and has been dying for the past 30 years. Your buddies in the Unions have killed them off, so they reopen with a smaller workforce in a right to work state. With every regulation you put in place, with every cost you saddle employers with, the labor costs rise and manufacturers will find cheaper labor in 2nd and 3rd world countries that do not have such burdens.

4) "We should start with our tax code. Right now, companies get tax breaks for moving jobs and profits overseas. Meanwhile, companies that choose to stay in America get hit with one of the highest tax rates in the world. It makes no sense, and everyone knows it Second, no American company should be able to avoid paying its fair share of taxes by moving jobs and profits overseas. From now on, every multinational company should have to pay a basic minimum tax. And every penny should go towards lowering taxes for companies that choose to stay here and hire here. Third, if you're an American manufacturer, you should get a bigger tax cut. If you're a high-tech manufacturer, we should double the tax deduction you get for making products here. And if you want to relocate in a community that was hit hard when a factory left town, you should get help financing a new plant, equipment, or training for new workers My message is simple. It's time to stop rewarding businesses that ship jobs overseas, and start rewarding companies that create jobs right here in America. Send me these tax reforms, and I'll sign them right away."
Actually you liar, you said this last year too, yet you have done nothing to lower the tax rates on ANY US corporation, and instead vilify them for making profits.  Again with this fair share nonsense? Here’s an idea chump; lower the taxes for all US businesses, do away with all the tax breaks for this company or that industry, do away with all the corporate welfare for all industries, and POOF! What do you have? Almost the free market. Winners will win, and losers will be out of business replaced by winners. You simply do not have the ability to understand economics nor the free market.

5) "Tonight, I'm announcing the creation of a Trade Enforcement Unit that will be charged with investigating unfair trade practices in countries like China. There will be more inspections to prevent counterfeit or unsafe goods from crossing our borders. And this Congress should make sure that no foreign company has an advantage over American manufacturing when it comes to accessing finance or new markets like Russia. Our workers are the most productive on Earth, and if the playing field is level, I promise you - America will always win."

Great another federal bureaucracy that wouldn’t be needed if you would simply kept us competitive in the world with lower tax burden, less regulations, and not hamstringing the US business with your mandated overhead. You see Chump, we Americans like to think that we are special, and that we are better people than the rest of the world. Well let me tell you a little secret. We are not genetically superior in any way. We do not work harder or smarter by nature. What made us the best people in the world was our belief and moral system. We were told that we were special, and we were because of the Freedom we had in this country. No place on Earth had ever existed like the US, where anybody, from any background, from anywhere could rise to the very top of society. It was called the American Dream, but in fact it wasn’t a dream at all, and should have been called The American Reality. We had the freest economy in the world. We applauded success, and those that strived to better themselves. But much of that attitude is gone now. Now success is vilified by you and your ilk, now personal achievement is met with envy and derision. People that succeed are called greedy, and claims are made that they are not paying their fair share. They are called fortunate as if they are lucky to be successful and the hard work they put in to achieve was some coincidence of fate they had nothing to do with. So no sir, the playing field is not level around the world, but frankly it never has been, and it never will be. We as a country overcame all the inequities and have ruled this planet economically for the past 100 years, because of our freedom, and with each new tax, with each new regulation, with each new government program, with each dollar that we borrow, with each story where the rich are vilified, with every accusation of greed to a corporation we are LOSING WHAT MADE US THE BEST!!! And as President Reagan said, you are not the solution to this problem, you ARE the problem. And as for improving the economy, for allowing those that want to work find it readily available and for making this country great again, take the advice of my literary brother John Galt, and GET THE HELL OUT OF OUR WAY!

Sorry folks. This was going to be the top 10 lies, but I couldn’t stomach any more of this guy’s crap.