Saturday, January 29, 2011

In Memory of ... Pete Ritzheimer

Pete Ritzheimer, long time resident of Bayview, Idaho, died yesterday afternoon. He was survived by his wife, Marsha. In ill health for many years, Pete had some high mileage, as he was quite the hell raiser in his youth. He was also an avid fisherman.
It appears that his generation of Bayview old timers is fast disappearing. He will be missed by many.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Barging into ... What?

Well, we are well within the beginning of the year 2011. I have noted several unusual occurrences. One, I haven't written 2010 on any checks this year. That is real unusual. Of course I don't write many checks anymore, what with on-line banking, bill paying and such. The other, is that our economy is still in a spin and not looking any better in the near future.

Then there is our federal government. For the last year and even longer, they have assured us that the great recession was over in 2009. They lied. Given that some major causes of recession/deepression are lack of confidence, they apparently decided to artificially fix the problem by declaring it over. They lied.

Just yesterday, I read where employment is still above 9.5%. In the same vein, home foreclosures have doubled since last year, which of course was a year after normal was declared. In an article in the Spokesman Review, written by Kevin Graman, he noted that last year, they counted 644 homeless in cioeur d'Alene/Post Falls area alone. That is a 54% increase from the year before, which as we know, is the year the recession ended.

Over at the National Guard armory in Post Falls, 408 people had passed through the armory before noon, where they people could pick up a food box and clothing. Food banks are being overrun by hungry people that had never asked for help before.

Having the well fed Governors of the Federal Reserve buying bonds is just trading money from one pocket to the other, increasing the overwhelming national debt. Folks, this is about jobs, not money manipulations. Until organized labor has decreased their choke hold on wage scales nothing will change. In a global economy, wage scales in the orient and India are so low as to cause goods to reach our shores for much less than it would cost to manufacture them here, even with the transportation cost. Of course near slave labor used to be fought off by the judious use of import tariffs. A policy that has no friends in this country these days.

We can't have it both ways. Global trade, or jobs. These terms are mutually exclusive as long as labor in developing countries is less than 25% of our labor costs here. When I was a teen in the '50's, my neighbor on one side was a welder and the other a machinist, both at Boeing. They were not financially in the middle class. Now they are. Our economic system is severely broke and nobody is doing anything useful to correct the situation. Even our own air force can't figure out that creating jobs at Boeing is protecting our country as well as their primary mission. It has been reported recently they are still expected to favor the European Union Air Bus for the tanker contract. Bottom line, it appears that our government doesn't give a rat's ass about the individual that cannot any longer, support his or her family. Families are learning that global free trade isn't feeding or housing their family, jobs here do.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Ronald Reagan Quotes

Back when I first started blogging, I posted some of these. Today you get all of them.

"Here's my strategy on the cold war. We win, they lose."

"The most terrifying words in the English language are: I'm from the government and I'm here to help."

"The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they're ignorant: It's just that they know so much that isn't so."

"Of the four wars in my lifetime, none came about because the U.S. was too strong."

"I have wondered at times what the ten commandments would have looked like if Moses had run them through the U.S. Congress."

"The taxpayer: That's someone who works for the federal government, but doesn't have to take the civil service examination."

"Government is like a baby: An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other."

"If we ever forget that we're one nation under God, then we will be a nation that has gone under."

"The nearest thing to eternal life we will ever see on this earth is a government program."

"I've laid down the law, though, to everyone from now on about anything that happens: no matter what time it is, wake me, even if it's in the middle of a cabinet meeting."

"It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession: I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first."

"Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it."

"Politics is not a bad profession. If you suceed there are many rewards. If you disgrace yourself you can always write a book."

"No arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women."

Most of these philosophical points were delivered as humor, yet in many cases, perhaps most, they still are valid, in my opinion. Here's another from an elder statesman:

"The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled,
public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be
tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should
be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to
work, instead of living on public assistance."

- Cicero - 55 BC

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

More Help Arrives

Yesterday, St. Vincent DePaul in Coeur d'Alene opened their doors and their pocket for the family of Yvonne Wallis, Michael and Tad Heath. They were given a voucher to shop for whatever they need in the way of household goods, clothes and other needs.

To recap, Yvonne's car has been fixed, thanks to Victory Auto who sold the parts at cost, Mr. Tire which donated the labor and some generous neighbors who put up the money for the parts.

Also a very nice sofa was donated and is already in place. Now it's mostly money that the family needs so that gas can be bought for the 60 mile round trip to Coeur d'Alene almost daily.

Don't forget the benefit at Log Spirit Sunday, January 23. Two sessions, 12:00 to 3:00pm and 4:00 to 7:00pm. Call Judy at 683-0941. A fifteen dollar donation is requested. There will also be raffles. Donation cans are in place at businesses thoughout Bayview and Athol.

If there are other efforts afoot to help this family, I'm unaware of them. If anyone wishes publicity for those efforts, please e-mail the information to me.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

It seems as though crazies are popping out of the woodword recently, what with the massacre in Arizona, and of course our very own tragedy here in Bayview. People have been generous with the collection cans around Bayview & Athol.

Wells Fargo Bank, 204 W. Hayden Ave, Hayden,ID, 83835 has an account set up to help with expenses relating to the vicious attack upon Yvonne Wallis and Michael Heath. You may mail donations in care of those names to the above address. If there are any questions, you may contact the bank: Amanda Davis, @ 772-4022. This family of innocent victis are in dire need of neighborhood support financailly.

Rudy Rudebaugh of Victory Auto Parts in Athol has agreed to donate his profit on the parts necessary to repair the brakes on Yvonne Wallis's car. The parts estimate is between $100 and $150. Eldon, as is Rudy, the always ready guys when it comes to helping others, at Mr. Tire will donate the labor. What we need is money to buy the brake parts. Please call me, Herb at 683-9107 if you can spare a few bucks to fix the brakes. Yvonne has to take daily trips to Coeur d'Alene and the gas costs are eating up any reserves they had, if any. We understand the brakes are in a failure mode and need fixing right now. Any monies over the absolute amount necessary will be donated as cash to the family. Please make my phone ring off the hook. If you wish to contribute and are out of the area, e-mail a pledge to me and I'll cover it until it gets here. PO Box 884, Bayview, 83803. This fund raising that I am doing is a single purpose thing and not in competition with any of the other fund raising efforts which are general purpose.

There are other plans as well. Judy Gullidge and Robin, of "Log Spirit B&B," are holding a fundraiser at Log Spirit Sunday, January 23 in two sessions. First is from 12 noon to 3 pm. The second is from 4pm to 7. There will be beverages, appetizers, live music and drawings. There will be a $15 donation. Reservations can be had by calling Judy at: 208-683-0941. So that they don't run out of food, they ask that you call for reservations. Log Spirit is a beautiful Log palace toward the end of Howard Road, off of Hwy 54, just east of hwy 95.

Additional news:

The brakes are fixed on the car. A caring citizen donated a sofa. Donations are still coming in and will be spent wisely. We obtained a $300 voucher from St. Vinnies in Coeur d' Alene which may take care of other needs. Gas money is still needed, and we will probably use future donations for that. It is unfortunate that a disaster of these proportions has to happen to bring the best out of people, but it sure has. I have a feeling that the donors are just as pleased as the recipients.

I received two very nice donations in the mail today. Our friends and neighbors are being very generous. Please keep them coming. I will kind of direct traffic regarding their use so that we can be sure the money does the most good for the least bucks. Don't forget you can send checks to the account set up at Wells Fargo, and also if you plan to attend the benefit at "Log Spirit, be sure to call for reservations so the sponsors, Robin and Judy will have enough supplies on hand. 208-683-0941.

A sofa has been donated as well. The old one was a bloody reminder of what took place that fateful day. St. Vinnies will help with other things as needed.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

When Civilization Stumbles

From Dave Oliveria, Huckleberries online:

"Sick, sick, sick stuff. It's sad and heart-breaking that so many violent mad men are on the loose to shoot police officers, fellow students, fellow soldiers, and now this senseless attack on the congresswoman, her aides, and bystanders."

Most of us were horrified by the senseless shooting of Arizona Congresswoman, Gabrielle Giffords, a blue dog Democrat. Unfortunately, an immediate knee jerk reaction from some on the left, blamed the Tea Party, Governor Palin, Conservatives in general, etc.

Well, there are certainly wackos amongst the Tea Party ranks.But lest we forget, there are just as many of the same on the left. While most of the right wing atrocities have centered around abortion, and specifically late term abortion, the hate striking out from the left seems less directional.

So that those so attached to these knee jerk responses can at least for a moment, step back, let me summarize:

On the right, we have religious wackos killing doctors that perform abortions, somehow forgetting that in protecting the lives of unborn humans they are violating their own mantra of protecting human life. We have loco eviro-nazis raiding research labs, freeing what may be deseased research animals, tree spikers, knowing that if a chain saw hits a spike, it might bounce the saw back, killing the operator, and not caring ... In short we have no shortage of wackos, left of right. What we do have, is a responsibility to re-establish dialogue with each other, whether as politicians or just neighbors. Then there are state legislators such as Hart that seems to thumb his nose at whatever regulation he doesnt agree with, then run for office so that he can possibly justify his positions. Refer to my previous definition of wackos.

On the left, in my limited experience within Huckleberries online, I have seen a plethora of sarcasm replacing debate. Personal attacks substituting for logical argument, counter attack instead of explanation of why the left *solution is logically the answer to any question. In short, I find shrillness in debate, distasteful whether from the left or the right. On the right, well, we have all experienced conservative rhetoric gone wild with the recent debacle over the Coeur d'Alene City council close election and the costly legal results, not to mention the emotional effect on those that might run for office in the future.

In most cases, sadly, the ramped up rhetoric from whatever direction even though from allegedly adults, is. I fear that we are more and more every year, separating ourselves from the middle, whence most of the population abodes, and even worse, from reality, as we preach to the choir, expounding on our heightened extremes to those that are already there. This and previous generations have grown up for the most part without real serious need. In past generations, such as that of my parents, American perople were starving to death without any government safety nets. We are rapicly approaching a time in which we may have to face those issues again, and tnis time without the family farms that dominated the 1930's

Honest debate on issues that are real are a necessary part of our democracy. It is those that wish to change from the constitution that we have to some Utopian future that scares me. OK, that brands me as a conservative. I accept that with one reservation. I'm only about 20% past center in my views, which is far from either extreme. Those that are 100% from center, no longer can think clearly, since they have become part of the choir.

Maybe, if these senseless murders whether from the left, right, or just the deranged continue, we need to step back, take a look at the unintended consequences of extreme political positions. Is it possible for us to return to the days of Tip O'Neil and Senator Everett Dirkson?

Monday, January 03, 2011

Network Shame

At some point it was probably inevitable. Instead of allowing the ultimate of college football to take the stage, ESPN showed their whoredom. Continuously during the telecast of the Orange Bowl, references were made to Sophomore Luck and Coach Harbaugh going to the NFL. With the coach, and or second year quarterback Luck, it was way past inappropriate to constantly hack on them as to whether they would abandon the programs they were there to represent.

It was way past lack of class. It was a classic case of the sports broadcasting industry being overcome by the news department. In my day, news reporters were there to report on news, not make it. Sports reporters were there to report the game and other relative news. Both of them failed miserably.

In an era that coaches and professional teams are not allowed to even hint at improper contact with athletes, the cable company, ESPN, snubbed their collective noses at the proper way to separate college sports from professional. Even on the awards platform, surrounded by bowl and college officials, they had the nerve to outright ask whether Stanford Quarterback, Andrew Luck would desert their program. Whore is in this case an accurate description of these Ass Holes.