Archive for January 26, 2008

Early Voting in Florida Rant

Like I suspect many people did, I waited for the final debates in Florida before voting for a candidate.  I did not vote based on whether or not the candidate shared my religious views, something which seems to be of much greater importance to the press than it is to the ordinary voter.   I did not vote based on what they promised for the future.  I voted based on past performance. 

You see, there are several things important to me in a candidate.  We lost our family business after 9/11, and I never want to see terrorists hitting our country like that again.  A person that I believe can be trusted to take care of national security is very important to me.

As a person who has been self-employed for 30 years and just took a salaried job last September, I know just how important it is to reform the tax laws in order to keep our  economy strong.  Sarbanes-Oxley needs to go.  Corporate tax rates need to be cut.  As the ol’ saying goes, I never  got a job (or a great deal of business) from a poor person. <rant>Why is the government even talking about giving tax rebates to people that do not pay taxes?  That’s crazy.  How about (wild idea here) giving tax rebates back to the people that actually pay taxes? </rant>

Control of illegal immigration is another thing that I’m ticked off at Washington about.  Those people are insulated from the effects of illegal immigrants displacing American citizens from jobs.  The young men without educations that used to go into construction or maintenance jobs and still earn a pretty decent living can no longer do so because the jobs have been filled at a lower rate of pay by unskilled workers from Mexico and places south.  Narcotrafficers can travel in and out of the country unchecked.  I’m more tired than I can say of illegal aliens killing citizens and then fleeing back across the border where they are protected.  I’m also very worried that if these people can travel back and forth, then who else may be coming through our borders? 

<rant>I would like to see an actual sane energy policy coming out of Washington instead of some starry-eyed environmentalist on crack bullsh**.   No, I don’t believe that turning corn into fuel is going to be the energy future and anybody with any common sense doesn’t, either.  Right now, we have an oil-based economy so I suggest that we exploit it instead of worrying about polar bears which, if they cannot tolerate a tiny little portion of the ANWR being drilled in, deserve to go extinct.  (And if you look at that wasteland, you do not see polar bears lounging about.)  Cuba and China are drilling off of Florida’s coast, so why the hell isn’t America? </rant>

Well, as I have said, I’m less interested in what a politician tells me he/she is going to do for me than I am in looking at what he (or she) has done in the past.  While looking at a candidate’s job performance in the past is no guarantee of future good behavior, hiring a candidate that has lied to and stolen from his/her past employers is only asking for trouble.

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“Broke” with Payday a Week Away

I had a telephone conversation today with my daughter.  “Dang, payday is a week away, my bank account is nearly empty, and I need to buy feed for the livestock as well as gas.”  Normally, feed is not a problem but this year, with hay prices being high and a recent freeze putting the coastal bermuda into dormancy, I was hurtin’.

“Oh, pulleeeeze, mom”, I heard her say and could only imagine the eye roll that went along with it, “you have not been entirely broke a day in your life.”  

“But I AM!” I wailed. 

“Really?  Did you cash in those milk jugs full of change?”

Well, I hadn’t actually thought of them as money but more as decorations dust collectors.

“Well, no”, I told her.

“Did you even count the change in your purses? I know that you hardly ever spend change.”

“Umm…….”. 

 “Momma, you could knock somebody out with one of your purses!  They feel like you carry bowling balls in them.”

“Well, weightbearing exercise is supposed to protect you from osteoporosis….”

“Dump out the red alligator purse, and just count the change.  Now.”

I dumped the red alligator purse and the black purse that goes with everything and counted out $27.78 in change. 

I have a lot more purses.  Guess those milk jugs full of change won’t have to be emptied just yet.  Some of the livestock definitely needs to go to market before I have to count pennies.   

    

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Gasparilla Invades Tampa Today!

gasparillagasparilla1.jpgArrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla will be invadin’ and defeatin’ Tampa today in search of booty, just like they been doin’ since 1904. There will be a whole lotta ways for pirates and wenches to separate tourists from their treasure, so bring plenty. Here’s the schedule of events.

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West Bengal asks for “all possible help” to control bird flu

KOLKATA (AFP) — The Indian state of West Bengal, battling the country’s worst outbreak of deadly bird flu, appealed to the federal government to send “all possible help to defeat” the virus.

The call by state animal resources minister Anisur Rahaman came as authorities struggled to stop the disease spreading beyond the 12 out of 19 state districts already affected.

“We have to control the disease immediately as the deadly H5N1 virus has been spreading fast,” Rahaman said, adding “avian flu is knocking on the doors of Kolkata,” the eastern state’s congested capital of 13.5 million people.

“I’m urging the federal government to send all possible help to defeat the virus before it affects the humans,” he told AFP.

New Delhi has already sent medical teams and other assistance to the state.

But three days of heavy rains have held up efforts to slaughter poultry, turning some rural dirt roads into muddy rivers and making it impossible for health teams to reach chicken farms in the poverty-ridden state.

Rahaman said he was concerned by reports some villagers in rural areas were eating slaughtered chickens.

“We don’t understand why people do not understand the dangers of the disease despite repeated warnings,” he said, adding children were still playing with chickens.

Humans typically catch the disease by coming into direct contact with infected poultry, but experts fear the H5N1 strain may mutate into a form easily transmissible between people.

India has not had any human cases of bird flu. But Rahaman said he feared the disease would spread to humans with hundreds of people reporting flu symptoms.

Panic about bird flu has gripped Kolkata after news spread that the disease had reached the city outskirts on Friday. Workers at entry points to Kolkata were disinfecting vehicles entering the city.

Few shops were selling poultry in Kolkata on Saturday.

Read the rest at AFP.

As a person who has studied microbiology, I know that all possible precautions must be taken to protect against the spread of disease. As a poultry enthusiast and hobby farmer, I know that people will go to great lengths to conceal their flocks and livelihood. I hope India can get this under control without any loss of (human) life.

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