Uncivil Rights

A BLOG rife with wit, sarcasm, and the endless joy which comes from taunting the socialistic and unpatriotic liberal left. Logical thoughts and musings ONLY need reply...unless you're really, really funny. You have the Uncivil Right to be an IDIOT. "Give me LIBERTY, or give me DEATH!"

Friday, December 31, 2004

To the Pinheads that Called the U.S. "Stingy"

An update for the pinheads that dared to question America's generosity in the time of need.
totalkaosdave, 8:25 PM | link | |

In Regards to a Response

The main reason why companies feel forced to layoff during a rise in the minimum wage is because they don't want the money to come out of their enormous checks. So, while they are earning more than their work is worth, the "little people" are still getting underpaid for their work.

A true socialistic philosophy. Unfortunately, views like this are common among those that do not know basic economics and business methods and operations. Unless a company is privately owned, corporate officers must answer to the executive board and the stockholders. Those that own stock do vote on issues, even hiring and firing of CEOs. The market will dictate how much these individuals are paid.

Lay-offs are the easiest way to increase ROI and stock prices. It is a short-term solution to financial anomalies. I would not recommend that course of action. Wages of the “little people” are also set by the market. If wages were too low, a company would be unable to hire or retain employees. No one is a slave to a company. Everyone has a choice to work or not to work at a company. Do not blame someone’s personal choice, good pr bad, on a company or organization.

CEOs must maintain profits while maintaining productivity and quality control. No CEO would endanger his own job and reputation by making bad business decisions just to save his own salary (at least the majority). Lay-offs that lower productivity and quality also lower profits and customer satisfaction. That is a bad business decision and is usually avoided.

It's just like in California, where we are closing down hospitals. The hospitals, they say, are no longer profitable. Yet the hospitals are securing enough money to pay the bills, pay the staff, and earn the owners money. It's just not enough money! We're talking about saving lives, and they are only thinking of their bank accounts.

No business will continue to exist if it is not making a profit. It doesn’t matter what business it is. Businesses fill market niches. If there is a need for a hospital, and profits can be made by a hospital making good business decisions, a hospital will be in that market. If a hospital cannot make a profit in that market, it is not due to greed. There are other market forces at work such as litigation costs, non-paying customers, etc. Perhaps your solution would be a state-owned and run hospital and socialized medicine? Why should anyone continue to run a business that is not providing the benefits the owner’s desire? Perhaps you should take over the management of that hospital?

It's sad, and what's worse is that people like you keep propagating these lies as truths.

There are no lies in business methods and basic economic philosophy, only poor decisions. The best part of living in America is that anyone can own and run a business. If you wish to run a business that makes no profit that is your choice. I would love to see the results after 1 year of a business run by you. Would it still be around? It is much easier to criticize a business than it is to run one, isn't it?

totalkaosdave, 8:07 PM | link | |

The Living Wage Fallacy

Democrats and Liberals like to think they're overturning a great humanitarian injustice by artificially increasing labor rates through government intervention called the minimum wage.

Now, even that idea has come under scrutiny and fire from all camps. Studies have shown articially raising wages increases unemployment. Yet politicians refuse to acknowledge facts. They play the political game that will garner more votes, that is to pay for votes. Tell the voter they can expect personal gain if certain politicians are elected. Fill pockets from the public treasury, income redistribution.

Basic economics tells us to artificially raise costs, will raise prices. It is a neverending cycle. The government must allow the free market to work. When a free market allows wages and prices to be set, needs will be met. But this philosophy will not garner votes.

Now politicians have created a new idea to sell to low wage earners. It is the "living wage." A wage theoretically set to allow the worker to buy the materials for and have a "normal" life. Who decides what is normal or how much is a living wage is not known. The fact is, the concept of a "living wage" is a fallacy.

First of all, every individual has different needs. Every situation is different, so an established minimum wage would not cover everyone equally. Well then, let's break it down into cities, since every city has its own socioeconomic demographics. However, what if there are two telephone operators, one from an upscale neighborhood and one from a slum. Should they make the same wage? What if they work at the same company doing the same job? Is there a average "living wage"? Can you begin to see the problems?

Unions will assess wages from similar jobs throughout an area to determine pay scales of union employees. Should a worker in New York City doing a particular job be paid the same as someone in rural Iowa performing the same job? Do we set the living wage by geographics, or job description? If it is set by geographics, what if the economy in that area changes? Should the living wage also change, up or down, as the area's economy?

It can be considered socially noble to argue for higher wages for those in need. However, everyone has a choice of where they live and what job they want to do. A "living wage" will articially increase prices even more than the minimum wage since the "living wage" would be higher than the minimum wage. This, in turn, will decrease the buying power the "living wage" was meant to increase. So where does it stop?

It stops when government intervention in business ceases. It stops when the free market is allowed to work and set wages and prices.
totalkaosdave, 9:04 AM | link | |

The Truth on Foreign Aid

I have read a lot about the "stingy" Americans. Too much in fact. So, for those from outside this country that reads this blogs, I have a few stories for you. I understand the media outside the U.S. The U.S. is bad, it is evil, they are lazy and don not care about others. WRONG! How about credit where credit is due.

Some overall facts on America's giving.

Wow, I thought American corporations were bad. Seems they give too.

Far from stingy.

Never mind the rank hypocrisy of receiving lectures on generosity from a representative of an organization that connived in Saddam Hussein's diversion of billions of dollars that was supposed to have been spent on feeding needy Iraqis. Quite apart from such considerations, Mr. Egeland is simply wrong. The U.S. government gave $2.4 billion in humanitarian relief last year -- 40% of the world's total.
totalkaosdave, 7:08 AM | link | |

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

A Business Primer for Liberals and Progressives

Wal-Mart will soon be under siege from unions. The objective is to unionize the workforce. Sam Walton, a stout opponent of the minimum wage and unions is probably turning over in his grave.

Union proponents will argue that they are bringing higher wages, affordable health care, overtime, and fair collective bargaining to underpaid, overworked Wal-Mart employees. They argue that employees of Wal-Mart live on minimum wage in poverty and can’t afford to buy the products Wal-Mart sells. They claim that Wal-mart is a big evil corporation that holds small-towns hostage and drives out all competition, even the mom-and-pop stores. They state that Wal-Mart profits on the labor of its workforce. Profits soar at the expense of the low-wage employees.

Needless to say, if these opponents of Wal-Mart were in charge of the operations, things would be quite different. I’m sure.

What type of company would we see if these people were in charge? Taking my own job as an example, benefits with health care is worth roughly 20% of my salary. Therefore, Wal-Mart employees making minimum wage plus benefits would have a compensation package worth $6.25/hr. But wait, liberals and progressives believe the minimum wage is too low, so let’s up that compensation package to $30/hr. That ought to make the employees happy.

Hmmm…if we do that, the company actually loses money. There are no profits. What should we do? Should we lower wages? That would be bad. Should we lay-off people? That would be bad too. Maybe we should expand our business into other territories? But that would put other businesses out of business. I know, it’s simple; we’ll just raise our prices. That way we will be able to cover our added costs. What a great idea…

Months later…

Our sales have fallen. Our profits are down to nonexistent. Our customers have moved on to our competitors with lower prices. We’re at a loss again. So what are our options now? We can raise prices again, but now we realize that increasing prices loses business. We can lower wages, close stores, and lay-off employees, but those are bad options, and make us look like profiteers. So what should we do?

Let’s examine why we’re in business and our goals: sell lots of product at low prices, give excellent service to maintain customer base, expand and grow business into new areas, make profits, earn money for our investors (after all, it is their money they’re investing; they are taking the risk of losing their money). So how do we achieve our goals while giving our employees everything they want?

It seems these to objectives are mutually exclusive. We can’t make a profit while giving our employees everything. But how can we be good little liberals and progressives if we don’t give our employees everything? I guess some common sense and good business practices are in order to successfully run a company. We must manage our costs and operations effectively and efficiently is we are to succeed in the business world. After all, if we fail in our business venture, all our employees will lose their job.

We could set our compensation package such that we make no profit, but that does not make sense. Therefore, we must make a profit, enough to satisfy our investors and make our company look like a good investment. We must earn enough profits to expand our business, so we can’t set our compensation package so high as to eliminate profits.

Perhaps we should allow the market to dictate our pay scales. Since we are good businessmen and want our company to succeed, it does not make good business sense to pay our employees more than we need or less than potential employees will work for. There must be some number that will entice people to come to work for us and allow us to make as much profit as we can. But how do we go about selecting that number?

Well, since the government has intervened in business and set a minimum wage, we’ll start there. It will be obvious if this number is right or not. If the wage is too low, we will lose employees and not be able to hire new ones. We must start here and vary our wages dependent upon the economics of the geographical area.

So now we have a business that can hire and keep employees, maintain service and customers, and make enough profits to satisfy our investors while expanding our operations. So far, so good.

But what if an outside entity or persons claim we don’t pay our employees enough? What should we do? We will be faced with the situation described earlier, losing profitability, customers, and service. When that happens, changes will need to be made.

Ultimately, if we don’t manage our wages, prices, operations, and overall costs effectively and efficiently, we will be doing a disservice to our customers, investors, suppliers, and our employees.
totalkaosdave, 8:22 PM | link | |

Increasing Wages Increases Unemployment

OK students, listen up. To all those that don't believe increasing minimum wage will increase unemployment, here is a study done on your own Bill Clinton's failed economic policy.

Here is just a brief excerpt, please see the tables in the articles:

"In his recent State of the Union Address, President Clinton urged passage of another increase in the minimum wage. He stated that he had studied the issue and is convinced that modest increases in minimum wages do not decrease employment; in fact, Clinton argued, they may attract new workers into the workplace. The president’s proposal to increase the minimum wage to $5.15 an hour follows on the heels of a trial balloon announcement by the secretary of labor, Robert Reich. Both Clinton’s and Reich’s descriptions of minimum wage effects paraphrase the conclusions of a series of case studies that have culminated in a new book, Myth and Measurement: The New Economics of the Minimum Wage, by Princeton University economists David Card and Alan Krueger. Professor Krueger is currently on leave from Princeton and is Robert Reich’s chief economist at the Department of Labor.

Both economic common sense and past research contradict the Princeton studies, and an examination of the evidence surrounding the 1990-91 increase in the federal minimum wage shows that rumors of the death of the conventional economic wisdom are premature."

I am even going to draw the conclusion that to organize and unionize a workforce will also increase unemployment. It just logically follows the findings in the study.
totalkaosdave, 8:14 PM | link | |

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

It Must Be Said

Jan Egeland of the U.N. thinks the US is too stingy in the humanitarian aid department. I must say, "Hey Jan and you guys at the U.N.! FUCK YOU!"

I apologize to those offended...unless your a liberal or work for the U.N.
totalkaosdave, 5:29 AM | link | |

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Your Uncivil Right to Litigate

These stories just in…

In Wheaton, Il…
A seminary student is suing his seminary school for the unbridled religious content of each of his classes. “We shouldn’t be subject to this kind of abuse. It’s all about a particular religion too. I mean, there are other things to study. It doesn’t all have to be religious does it? And if you disagree with their opinion on something, well let’s just say your grade will suffer.”

In Las Vegas, Nv…
A phone-sex “associate” has filed sexual harassment charges against all of her callers yesterday stating, “All I hear all day is ‘What are you wearing? I bet you look sexy. Are your nipples hard?’ This is disgusting! My boss says he’ll fire me unless I talk to these pervs!” Readers can reach her at 1-800-HOT-TWOT.

In Miami, Fl…
Former NFL running back Ricky Williams is suing the NFL, all NFL teams, and all players for physical and emotional abuse he claims lasted precisely the same amount of time as his NFL career. In his statement, Williams claimed, “They kept touching me, grabbing me, holding me, jumping on me. And when I’d get up, they’d yell at me and say they were gonna get me.” Williams was last seen holding a crystal and chanting somewhere on the west coast. Of course.

In Chicago, Il…
Herby Smythington is suing the NBA for discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Herby, extremely white, at 4’3”, 72 pounds claims the only reason he was cut by the Chicago Bulls was because he is a wheelchair bound quadriplegic. Developing…

totalkaosdave, 3:10 PM | link | |

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Unbelievable! (Social Security)

I'm sorry. I have a problem. I like to read and listen to the left-wing redicals. Call me wierd, but it is so much fun. The illogical reasoning behind the arguments is mind boggling. I have read some pretty fantastic stuff, but this article takes the cake (so far). I'm not making this up. I couldn't; I'm no that insane. Here is the link. I'm also publishing it in its entirety with my own comments.

Pessimistic Conservatives Cannot Fix Social Security

by Fred Block

The Administration’s push for radical reform of Social Security rests on the idea that it is impossible to solve the system’s long term financing problems. In reality, this pessimism is simply a consequence of their deep hostility to public spending.

Just what do they mean by "public spending"?

Right-wingers endlessly repeat the mantra that when Social Security began, there were 42 people paying into the system for every person receiving benefits and that by 2040 that ratio will fall to 2 working people for every retiree. The logical conclusion is obvious: we can no longer guarantee retirees the level of benefits that they currently receive. The elderly will have to tighten their belts and rely more on their own private savings.

OH MY GOD! Conservatives believe people can take care of themselves!? WITHOUT GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION!? OUTRAGEOUS!

I must preface this next paragraph with this: someone actually believes this enough to write it down and publish it. I did not alter this in any way.
Think, however, of the deep pessimism that lies behind this argument. It is like saying that in 1900, there was one farmer or farm worker for every seven Americans, but because that ratio has fallen to one farmer for every 83 people, we should all tighten our belts and eat less food. Rising agricultural productivity has made it possible for fewer people to provide all the food that we need. In the same way, if we can grow our economy and increase productivity over the next forty years, each working person should have no difficulty producing enough extra wealth to provide support for half of a retired person.

Did everyone get what is being said? Since innovation allowed farmers to produce more, a growing economy means each person will earn more, and therefore, when there are 2 people paying for each retiree, they will be able to afford it because those workers are earning more. Now, I am not an economist by trade. Unfortunately, I was born with a logical, analytical mind and a lot of common sense, and it's telling me that this is the biggest bunch of BS since the socialist website claimed that under SOCIALISM, people would only work a year or two to fulfill their commitment to the state before they could retire to a life of leisure. I don;t know what you think, but I'm not buying it.

Providing economic security to the aged is just a question of how we divide the pie. Today, social security outlays represent 4.5% of our total economic output. If the economy grows strongly over the next forty years, we can support the elderly as generously as we do now with only 5% of the total pie even with further gains in life expectancy. In short, strong economic growth is the key to solving the long-term financing problems of Social Security.

Someone needs to teach this guy about relativity. As the economy grows, so does costs.

And there is a proven way to grow the economy over the next half century. It is to invest in education and basic research. If we invest in our young people–from early childhood through higher education–we can create a more skilled and productive labor force. And if we also invest more in long term research, we can create the new industries that will employ those highly skilled workers. This is precisely what other nations are doing in their efforts to surpass us as the world’s strongest economic power.

This is where he takes a sharp left turn into socialism/communism. I agree in upgrading the educational system. Unfortunately, the progressives/liberals/secularists have degraded the educational system by bringing students down to the lowest common denominator rather than stressing hardwork, success in the classroom, and trying to bring everyone up to the top.
Knowledge, skills and abilities are gained in the workplace. The educational system should give students a firm grasp of the basics. It seems as if he wants school to produce workers of particular jobs, which seems to be backed up by his government investment in research. I guess we also need to tell him we live in a free market society and that businesses are not owned by the government (that's communism).

Here’s the problem: the strand of conservatism that currently dominates the Republican Party doesn’t believe in increasing any kind of civilian government spending. They don’t want money going to the elderly and they don’t want spending for young people; all they want to do is reduce taxes and shrink government. As Grover Norquist, one of the most influential conservatives in Washington has said, “I don't want to abolish government. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub.”

Let's replace his word "problem" with "solution", and that should do it, good paragraph.

With this bizarre philosophy, conservatives have been systematically underinvesting in our future. While a growing body of research now shows that investing in quality early childhood education helps all children do better in school, conservatives have steadfastly resisted increasing spending for quality childcare. Fewer and fewer families are able to afford the $7000-9,000 per year per child cost of center-based care. Despite all of the President’s rhetoric about leaving no child behind, our public schools remain desperately underfunded. Especially in working class and poor neighborhoods, overcrowding, lack of decent equipment, and a continuing shortage of skilled teachers are the rule, not the exception.

Investment should be to the private sector not government. Again he is leaning on his socialistic/communistic ideals and philosophies. Educational spending is at an all-time high. The problem is with the system, not the amount of money. He may not want to hear this, but the unions are a problem that must be dealt with to start the transformation.

Most critically, the financial barriers to pursuit of higher education are rising relentlessly. Tuition costs at public universities have increased at more than 10% per year and the Republican Congress has already made it harder for students to qualify for Pell grants that could alleviate these costs. They have no plans to help more of our young people to afford a college education.

Why do students have to have a "free" ride to go to college. Get a job. Get two jobs. Get a loan. I did.

But the problem is even deeper; their “look ma, no hands” approach to the economy is keeping us from developing the industries of the future. In Japan and South Korea, government spending is helping to wire the entire nation for high-speed Internet connections, while our Internet capacity lags far behind. Other nations are spending billions on alternatives to fossil fuels, while we continue to rely on coal and oil. All this is assuring that the industries of the future will flourish overseas.

He is officially an idiot.

No wonder they are so pessimistic about our ability to support retirees forty years from now. Their anti-government and anti-tax policies are steering our economy towards long-term weakness. They are creating a future in which most people in the United States will be poorer because we are failing to develop 21st century skills and 21st century industries. Are these the people we should trust to fix Social Security?

Less government and less taxes will increase creativity and innovation. The free market will dictate what is developed and what sells in the future. Then again, communists hate the free market societies. Oh well.

I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did.
totalkaosdave, 6:48 PM | link | |

Monday, December 20, 2004

Public Sector Management

To the Editor:

The political rhetoric is starting to heat up in the race for mayor of Aurora. All candidates are issuing their stances on crime, gangs, and “uniting” Aurora. What we are not hearing is how each candidate is going to run the City and handle the day-to-day operations. This is no small task. The City employs close to 1200 people and has a budget of $290 million. It is a business, a big business unto itself and should be managed as such. The new mayor should not only possess and provide vision, direction, and leadership skills, but should also possess and provide the knowledge, skills, and abilities to properly manage the internal operations of the City.

Successfully managing the internal operations of the City is the most important, yet most overlooked, aspect of the responsibilities of a mayor. Internal operations are financed with taxpayer’s dollars and include organizational structure, policies and procedures, and labor relations. Organizational structure will dictate communication flow and the exchange of ideas, knowledge, and data. Without an effective and efficient organizational structure design, these areas will suffer to the detriment of internal and external customer service. Policies and procedures that are logical, clearly written and coherent, and vision-based will make workflow processes efficient and cost-effective. Labor relations based on trust, respect, fairness, and consistency will optimize employee productivity and morale increasing effectiveness and efficiency.

Candidates may formulate ideas and programs but without effective and efficient internal operations, implementation of those ideas and programs will be ineffective and inefficient, and the goals and objectives of those ideas and programs will not be achieved or may be achieved at a greater overall cost.

A comprehensive understanding of the internal operations of the City will allow the new mayor to be flexible and adaptable to the changing environmental conditions and be responsive to the needs and wants of external customers, as well as internal customers.

We will be hiring the next mayor with our vote. We should hire the most qualified individual as we would when filling any position. If we look at each candidate and logically analyze the qualifications of each, who is the most qualified candidate to be the next mayor of Aurora?

Logically, we would have to conclude that only one candidate has the qualifications, the knowledge, skills, and abilities to be mayor, and that candidate is Thomas Weisner.

Respectfully submitted,

The public sector has been allowed to run amok far too long. Public sector leaders have not been held responsible or accountable for inefficient and ineffective fiscal policies. Governments, at all levels, are big business and should be managed as such. Taxpayers should expect the highest return in their investment (taxes), or they should remove those leaders through their vote. It is time for the public sector to change and employ business methods and models, but first, the public must demand that change.
totalkaosdave, 8:16 PM | link | |

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Have Yourself a Merry Liberal Christmas

Courtroom, San Francisco:

JUDGE: Well Mr. Clause, you’ve heard the evidence against you. You’ve been accused of the following:
* Giving unsafe toys to unsuspecting girls and boys.
* Cruelty to animals by continually making reindeer “play games” and “fly” you around in a sleigh on extremely cold winter nights. You even had one reindeer, which shall remain nameless, surgically altered to have a red, glowing nose for your own sadistic purpose.
* Your sleigh has been deemed unsafe due to lack of safety restraint system, lack of an anti-lock braking system, no front or rear crash tested safety bumpers, no parking, head, or brake lights, no safety rollover bars or roof, and no aerial safety flashing lights as required by the FAA.
* You have willfully and wantonly kept slave labor, in the form of elves, at your “workshop” at the North Pole. They have been forced to design, create, and manufacture these unsafe toys under your direction. OSHA has also found these elves using lead paint and other chemicals that can cause irreparable harm to these creatures, not to mention their working conditions.

ELF: Yeah fat boy! Now I can’t have kids!

JUDGE: ORDER! ORDER! SIT DOWN SIR! Or I’ll have you removed from this courtroom! Now to continue:
* You have also violated the Wagner Act by not allowing these elves to organize and join a union.
* You have had trees killed, every year, to promote this “day” of yours.
* Also, these trees have been deemed to be a religious symbol promoting a particular religion.
* Mr. Clause, you have, for as long as I can remember, offended Jews, Muslims, Atheists, and all other non-Christian religions throughout the entire world. You have tried to promote your “selfless giving” and have finally been caught. What say you?

SANTA: Uhhh…Merry Christmas?

JUDGE: HOW DARE YOU SAY THAT IN MY COURT! Guards! Put this man in a cell. I am charging him with contempt. Mr. Clause, you can sit there and think about what you have done to kids all over the world!

Guards take Mr. Clause and lead him down to the holding cells.

GUARD 1: Let’s put him in number three with that other guy.

GUARD 2: Yeah, then they can console each other.

Cell door opens and the guards push Mr. Clause in.

OCCUPANT: What are you in for?

SANTA: Bringing joy to the world and promoting religion. How about you?

OCCUPANT: Same thing. What’s your name?

SANTA: Santa Clause, and yours?

OCCUPANT: Jesus Christ.

totalkaosdave, 9:21 AM | link | |

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

My Opinion on this Whole Christmas vs. Secular Thing

To All,

Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas.

And a Happy New Year.

totalkaosdave, 5:52 AM | link | |

Monday, December 13, 2004

Another Night Before Christmas

Merry Christmas Thought!






















This poem was written by a Marine. The
following is his request. I think it is reasonable.....

PLEASE. Would you do me the kind favor of sending
this to as many people as you can? Christmas will be
coming soon and some credit is due to our U.S.
service men and women
for our being able to celebrate these festivities.Let's try in this
small way
to pay a tiny bit of what we owe. Make people stop and think of our
living and dead, who sacrificed themselves for us.
Please, do your
part to plant this small seed.

totalkaosdave, 4:44 PM | link | |

Saturday, December 11, 2004

It Could Only Happen to Me, Part I

Ahhh…Christmas time. Time of joy, friends, family, and good eating…most of the time…

Christmas 2003

God bless my in-laws. They are good people. I love them a lot. However, they do have their idiosyncrasies. For example, Christmas Eve dinner has been traditionally held at my in-laws for a traditional dinner. Food made from recipes handed down from generation to generation. Chili and oyster stew. Let me repeat that, chili and oyster stew for Christmas Eve dinner.

I have no idea how or why these two dishes were ever put together in the same dining experience, but they are. I like chili. Oyster stew I can do without. Most of the time I eat before we go, or I have a bologna sandwich for dinner. I tried to make changes. I made a prime rib roast one year. They had a bit of it after the chili and oyster stew. It was no use. Change was not coming. Bologna isn’t that bad.

Needless to say, I do not look forward to Christmas Eve dinner. That is why I have taken over the cooking for Christmas Day dinner. I’ve made turkey, ham, prime rib roast, and goose over the years. My wife prefers ham…so we have ham. But that’s okay. A nicely spiced spiral-cut ham is excellent. So I left it to my wife to pick up the ham last year. It was a week before Christmas.

On Christmas Eve day I mentioned that we still needed the ham. She was going out shopping, so I just figured she could pick it up while she was out. She said she would. She said she needed to pick up green beans for her green bean casserole. It’s nice how things work out.

On Christmas Eve eve I discovered she didn’t get the ham, or the green beans. She flippantly said we could pick the food up in the morning. I said, “Christmas morning?” “There are stores open on Christmas in the morning,” she claimed. Okay. She knew shopping; I didn’t. I succumbed to her wisdom.

On Christmas morning we packed the kids and the presents in the truck. We were heading to the in-laws. Our first stop of course, was the grocery store. Jewel was closed. No problem, Cub Foods is just up the street. Cub was closed. Aldi was closed. Dominick’s, Wal Mart, and Sunny’s Food Mart were all closed. Walgreen’s, Domino’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken, and Pizza Hut were closed too, as was Target, Mr. Muffler, and Jiffy Lube (you never know). While crossing an intersection, I saw it. It was our last hope. I just wondered… I pulled into the parking lot.

I’ve never been in a Super Mercado before. It was a quaint, Mexican grocery store. It looked promising. As I was going down the first aisle, my spirits rose. Succulent fruit and vegetables were stacked neatly on the display. I spied the meat counter. I motioned to my wife that it was in the back. I made it there first. I gazed up and down the counter, a counter as long as the store was wide. By this time my wife was behind me. She said, “Well?”
I said, “Hon? Would you prefer the cow’s head or the chicken feet? They have cow tongue, tripe, brains, and intestines, not to mention the variety of pig entrails, what looks good to you?”

“Oh God, no ham?” she asked.

“Wait, what’s that down there?” I asked.

We made our way down by the chicken feet. There was our salvation. Ham tucked neatly on the top shelf. It fit neatly because it wasn’t real ham, it was block ham, processed, but we could technically call it ham nonetheless. A young lady came over to help us. She spoke no English, but that was okay. I just pointed to the ham, said, “quatro pounds please”, and smiled. She took the ham from the shelf and made her way over to the slicer. Now I ask you, who in their right mind would have sliced ham for Christmas…well…you know what I mean. I said, “No, no.” And then she said, “No? no?” We seemed to be at an impasse. I motioned for her to bring it over. She understood now. I wanted to say, “don’t slice it, we’re having a high-class Christmas dinner!” but I didn’t. She wrapped it up and we were on our way to the green beans.

Now I don’t know if any of you have ever been in a Mexican grocery store, but they have some really strange things. I saw it first. “Honey, I found them,” I said. She was staring at something on a bottom shelf with a look of disgust on her face. She came over to where I stood and looked. “I’m looking for green beans not sliced cactus,” she informed me. If I had been by myself and in a hurry…I wonder what green cactus casserole tastes like? Thank God I wasn’t alone. She found the green beans, or at least the picture on the can matched what we believed to be green beans. The fried onion rings were a no go, although there was an assortment of fried things in bags and cans but not onion rings, go figure.

We checked out and headed for the in-laws…laughing. The teriyaki glaze my wife made to go on the ham was the best, as was the green bean casserole sans the fried onion rings. We also had mashed potatoes and bread thanks to her mom. Not bad for a last minute meal.

Christmas is a time of family and fun and we had both.

This year, I’m getting the ham. I nice processed, thickly sliced Mexican ham maybe…or maybe chicken feet…
totalkaosdave, 7:59 PM | link | |

The 12 Days of Christmas

Just an interesting theory on the origins of "The Twelve Days of Christmas". From Snopes.com.

You're all familiar with the Christmas song, "The Twelve Days of Christmas" I think. To most it's a delightful nonsense rhyme set to music. But it had a quite serious purpose when it was written.

It is a good deal more than just a repetitious melody with pretty phrases and a list of strange gifts.

Catholics in England during the period 1558 to 1829, when Parliament finally emancipated Catholics in England, were prohibited from ANY practice of their faith by law - private OR public. It was a crime to BE a Catholic.

"The Twelve Days of Christmas" was written in England as one of the "catechism songs" to help young Catholics learn the tenets of their faith - a memory aid, when to be caught with anything in writing indicating adherence to the Catholic faith could not only get you imprisoned, it could get you hanged, or shortened by a head - or hanged, drawn and quartered, a rather peculiar and ghastly punishment I'm not aware was ever practiced anywhere else. Hanging, drawing and quartering involved hanging a person by the neck until they had almost, but not quite, suffocated to death; then the party was taken down from the gallows, and disembowelled while still alive; and while the entrails were still lying on the street, where the executioners stomped all over them, the victim was tied to four large farm horses, and literally torn into five parts - one to each limb and the remaining torso.

The songs gifts are hidden meanings to the teachings of the faith. The "true love" mentioned in the song doesn't refer to an earthly suitor, it refers to God Himself. The "me" who receives the presents refers to every baptized person. The partridge in a pear tree is Jesus Christ, the Son of God. In the song, Christ is symbolically presented as a mother partridge which feigns injury to decoy predators from her helpless nestlings, much in memory of the expression of Christ's sadness over the fate of Jerusalem: "Jerusalem! Jerusalem! How often would I have sheltered thee under my wings, as a hen does her chicks, but thou wouldst not have it so..."

The other symbols mean the following:

2 Turtle Doves = The Old and New Testaments
3 French Hens = Faith, Hope and Charity, the Theological Virtues
4 Calling Birds = the Four Gospels and/or the Four Evangelists
5 Golden Rings = The first Five Books of the Old Testament, the "Pentateuch", which gives the history of man's fall from grace.
6 Geese A-laying = the six days of creation
7 Swans A-swimming = the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, the seven sacraments
8 Maids A-milking = the eight beatitudes
9 Ladies Dancing = the nine Fruits of the Holy Spirit
10 Lords A-leaping = the ten commandments
11 Pipers Piping = the eleven faithful apostles
12 Drummers Drumming = the twelve points of doctrine in the Apostle's Creed
totalkaosdave, 3:48 PM | link | |

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Rent Control and Other Unintended Consequences

Rent control is a hot topic around the country, especially in major cities. Here is a fantastic article on rent control from Cato institute.

And how about this one from the Concise Encyclopedia of Economics.

Other unintended consequences can be seen from the minimum wage issue. This Op-ed piece is from the Employment Policies Institute.

This article concerns the job market and the bleak outlook for those without the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed in today's market.

Finally, information on the "living wage". Often cited by liberals, but does anybody really know what a "living wage" is?

I hope you can use these too Richard Nixon. I hope they're helpful.
totalkaosdave, 6:58 PM | link | |

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Simple Economics

I feel I have to hammer this home for the liberals who think the government has all the answers. This is for the liberals who think if you increase the minimum wage, those workers will be able to buy more stuff and have a higher standard of living. This is for the liberals who believe in social welfare and income redistribution. This is for the liberals who don't have a clue (in other words) about how the REAL world works.

Here is an example of of how good intentions (with political motivation) will have those damned unintended consequences that make things worse. This article is on rent control (and from the Boston Globe!). It focuses on those unintended consequences when the government gets involved and regulates rent amounts.

Here are some excerpts:

The proposal would permit elderly, disabled, and low-income residents in apartments with more than six units to contest annual rent increases in excess of 5 percent, and all renters in such larger apartment complexes to contest increases in excess of 10 percent.

On the surface, this form of limited rent control seems logical and equitable. But paradoxically, the measure could lead to unintended consequences, worsening the housing crisis.

One problem is housing supply. Landlords who try to avoid raising rents to prevent costly litigation are less likely to maintain their properties, speeding deterioration of the existing rental stock. The measure could also provide greater encouragement to condominium conversion, further reducing the supply of rental property. Most important, it would almost surely discourage large developers from building new housing in Boston...

The second problem is an unintended adverse "distribution" effect. Landlords would be even less willing to lease units to low-income, elderly, and disabled households, which could grieve rent increases in excess of 5 percent when renting to others would protect them against such action until rents rise by 10 percent.

There is already evidence in the first few months after passage of Chapter 40R that communities are willing to consider implementing the new law. But approval of the rent measure would almost surely have a chilling effect on developers and lending institutions when it comes to further housing production in the city.

Rent controls have been devastating for the city of New York. Many building owners could not afford to maintain their buildings when they weren't making much on the rent. Therefore, a lot of owners have abandoned their buildings. There are more empty units in New York City than there are homeless people. Imagine that.

Another example of government intervention messing things up. Let the free market be just that, FREE.
totalkaosdave, 5:29 PM | link | |

Saturday, December 04, 2004

The Social Security Debate Part II

What in the hell is wrong with liberals? Aside from living in a surreal world, do they ever logically think through any situation before spouting their ignorance? Have they lived too long in their world of academia? Are they so insulated from reality in their world of philosophical theory that they do not even consider the consequences if they (God forbid) are wrong?

I am talking about social security reform.

It is broken. It is yet another liberal social program failure. It seems that every few years or so, it needs fixing, so congress goes about and changes some rules and numbers here and there and waits for the next set of problems to arise.

It is, in essence, a pyramid scheme. If this program was implemented by a private company under the same rules and guidelines, it would be illegal. The major problem was the initial enactment. Congress could get their hands on the money and send it for other things. It was and is an extra bank account from which to plunder.

In 30 years there will be no more money; none. So Bush has recommended new workers setting aside money in an interest bearing account for their retirement (untouchable by Congress). This amount will constitute a portion of the amount deducted for social security. So, under one plan, workers will then still be paying in a portion to social security to fund retirees now, and the rest goes into a private account for their own retirement later. Sounds like a plan.

I, personally, would prefer to keep my own money to invest as I wish for my own retirement. I do not, and will not expect any social security when I retire, so I have been planning. I believe I can do a better job planning for my retirement than the government. But that’s just me.

The liberals on the other hand, do not believe the average worker can or will plan for their future. They want to keep social security as is. The only problem they see, the amount of money needed for retirees, can be easily solved; just raise everyone’s social security taxes. Quite a simple, well thought out plan. One the liberals love to tout, just raise taxes. Raising taxes will solve every problem in the world it seems. Just one problem, I, like millions of others, do not care to pay more taxes to support a bad program; a program whose benefits I, and millions of others, will never see.

So Bush proposes to phase out social security and allow private individuals to plan their own future. To aid in accomplishing this, one proposal is to borrow the money to make up the difference. Liberals think this is just stalling the financial burden and waiting for the next generation of politicians to pay up. Could be. The fact is, however, Congress spent the money; money that belonged to retirees; money that Congress should never have been able to touch. We are paying for their fiscal irresponsibility that has spanned the last 50 years. The money will have to be paid at some point in time.

I say fix the problem now. Interest rates are as low as they have been for years. Borrow the money and fix the problem. Ignoring the problem will not make it go away. Raising taxes is never a viable, fiscally responsible solution.

The liberal’s biggest concern is that once social security is fixed or eliminated, it will no longer be an issue; their issue; the issue they use to scare the elderly with their rhetoric about how conservatives are going to steal it away. Liberals will lose power and control. That is the real issue here.
totalkaosdave, 6:01 PM | link | |

News and Views from Around the World

I could not let this one slip by. So the Oil-for-Food scandal was OUR fault, and Kofi Annan is a brilliant leader of the UN. I never knew.

Hmmm...yet another opinion on the UN.

WOW. Capitalists in Afghanistan already. You have to love it.

Sounds like the BBC has been taking lessons from CBS.

Perhaps now, the rest of the world will start to help us in the war on terror. Terrorists can not be appeased. This is a lesson that seems will be learned the hard way.

This is just a symptom of socialism. I hope the Germans are learning from history.

I guess I will never understand the mind of the suicide bomber. I will just continue to think of them as mindless idiots without whom the world would be better off anyway.

Now I'm confused.

Iran helping Iraq...Iran concerned about the uprising in Iraq...hmmm...interesting.

We object to the murder, but we understand it. If Muslims would just come out and condemn the Islamofascist radicals and their hate crime murders, maybe others would start to believe them.

Same sex problems down under...no pun intended.

totalkaosdave, 9:03 AM | link | |

Friday, December 03, 2004

This is from a German newspaper:
Claim against Rumsfeld filed
U.S. activists turn to German court for investigations of Abu Ghraib

03. Dezember 2004 By Kristina Merkner

Germany's federal prosecutors have been asked to launch investigative proceedings against members of the U.S. cabinet.
A U.S. human rights group filed war crime charges against U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and other senior U.S. officials and military officers early this week, saying they were responsible for the torture and humiliation of Iraqi prisoners by U.S. soldiers at Abu Ghraib.
Even though both the plaintiffs and the suspects are American, the complaint was filed on Tuesday with federal prosecutors at the Bundesgerichtshof in Karlsruhe. The human rights organization, Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), led by its president Michael Ratter, said the case could be tried in Germany based on a law passed in 2002. It stipulates that human rights violations and war crimes can be prosecuted in Germany regardless of where they took place and where the perpetrators are from...

It's kind of pathetic when Americans turn on Americans in other countries...
totalkaosdave, 6:08 PM | link | |

Supply, Demand, Wages, and Prices

Supply and demand economics works. When there is an overabundance of something, the demand for that something goes down, as does its value. If there is a scarcity of something, the demand for that something goes up, as does its value. So, lots of “widgets” in the marketplace, the demand and price (value) of those “widgets” goes down. Few “widgets” in the marketplace, the demand and price (value) goes up. It is simple supply and demand economics.

The same economic philosophy applies to jobs and workers. More workers than jobs mean demand for workers is low; hence the wages for those workers will be low (without government intervention). More jobs than workers mean demand for workers is high; hence, the wages for those workers will be high (without government intervention).

The caveat is government intervention. Government can intervene by implementing minimum wages. Minimum wage legislation will artificially increase the wages of workers, thereby reducing demand for those workers. The intent of government is NOT to increase unemployment rather it is to give the worker a “living wage” (another post for another time). I do not question the INTENT of the government to do what it believes is good. What I question is the UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES that are the result of those good intentions.

These unintended consequences are overshadowed by the political rhetoric of the politicians garnering votes by touting the good intentions. Unfortunately, those that do not understand the reality of economics and the actual consequences of those policies, or worse, those that don’t care about the consequences, allow themselves to be swayed by the political rhetoric and promise of higher wages. This encourages politicians to continue to make such policies.

Minimum wage does not help the “working poor.” It artificially raises the prices of goods and services, which hurts the consumer and the economy. Minimum wage also limits the number of jobs for teens and those entering the workforce for the first time.

For a free market economy to work effectively and efficiently, government intervention must be reduced or eliminated, for the benefit of everyone.
totalkaosdave, 5:28 PM | link | |

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Where's the OUTRAGE

All I hear is how many soldiers are dying in Iraq for an unjust war, war for oil, pay back war against Saddam... This war has liberated Afghanistan and Iraq. Both countries will, after time, come to realize the benefits of democracy.

Yet I have heard nothing of the senseless killings right here at home. The Iraq war has taken roughly 1350 American lives. This is a story on the Chicago Sun Times today. What do these numbers add up to?
"Although they're much more populous than Chicago, they have similar murder tallies: Los Angeles had 456 killings through last Tuesday and the Big Apple reported 466 killings through Saturday." In Chicago, "There were 418 killings through Tuesday."

Let's see 418 + 456 + 466 = 1340 lives in an 11 month period in just 3 US cities. In 1992, Chicago alone had 940 murders.

Where is the outrage from the liberals, or are these lives not political enough?
totalkaosdave, 5:31 AM | link | |