Saturday, September 28, 2013

Tea Party Congress

This year is shaping up to be a radical change in the way Washington works. The "Tea Party," which is really undefined can safely be known for two things.

One is that they are right of the main Stream Republican Party. Two, and most important is that is was a spontaneous, grass roots uprising by amateur politicians and supported by many that up until the last election chose to stay uninvolved.

Now we as a nation are faced with the inevitable consequences of an out of control president, one that ignores the congress when he can and the Young Turks that were responsible for wresting the house from democratic control.

The primary issue is Obama Care. A program that even many of the original supporters are calling a train wreck. It simply wasn't planned out at all. The vote legalizing it in most cases wasn't scrutinized by committees or the Congressional oversight people. It was rushed to a vote by the democratic leadership fearful that if they waited until people understood all of it's ramifications, they wouldn't have passed it.

We could have easily controlled medical costs by merely passing tort control, limiting liability for the medical industry and radically reducing the class action leaches that pass themselves off as attorneys. 

Large sectors of our population cannot afford the premiums in an all inclusive plan. Those that live in poverty will have their premiums paid for by the federal government. (read more bureaucrats and departments.) As most thinking people realize, the government doesn't pay for anything. They take it from us and then dole it out in lock step with their socialist goals.

Back to the dilemma. If the president doesn't back down, and he won't, and the House of Representatives do not either, our government will shut down. Obama would love that because he is counting on us to blame the Republican Party for their intransigence rather than his bankrupt program.

One of two things are going to occur in the next election. Either the electorate will side with Obama and the hard line Republicans will be voted out of office ... Or, the grass roots that got them there will stay strong and send even more Tea Party types to Congress. This is a major turning point. Do we minimize the federal government back to manageable size or do we leap off the cliff as Lemmings. Time will tell.

Monday, September 23, 2013

$85 Billion

This weekend's paper noted that the federal reserve is buying another $85 Billion in treasury bonds. They have been buying them at the rate of once per month for well over a year. I can't count that high, but do any of you wonder why they are doing this?

Our government has been selling bonds both domestically and internationally for many years, letting the market set the rates and prices. Suddenly and in concert with the administration, the fed is undercutting the market. They claim it is to accelerate growth and job creation, yet while the stock market is doing well, unemployment is still very high. No, don't pay any attention to the statistics on that subject. Remember Will Rogers, who once said there are lies, damn lies and statistics.

Unemployment is kept track of by benefit applications. If a person lost his/her job back in 2008 they are no longer counted, since they have already run out of benefits. Thousands that lost their jobs to cheap Asian labor, represent the uncounted. Perhaps they can be counted by trips to the food bank and food stamps.

Back to the non-recession we are in. According to the statisticians, (see damn lies) our Great Recession ended in 2008. Well, that was when the stock market recovered, mostly due to Obama throwing money at large industry, and doling out millions to individuals.

Something to remember here. This is our money being thrown at us. No, we haven't paid that money yet. That is for future generations to do. Another old quote, I think from Thomas Jefferson, said, "When the government finds out they can bribe the people with their own money, democracy is lost." That is paraphrased, but the intent Is clear.

Back to the lead paragraph. $85,000,000,000 per month for over a year. There are several things wrong with this formula including a massive inflation due soon, similar to 1980-1982. The most serious though is where is the federal reserve getting the money to spend on this program. The fed is not a taxing agency and has no real
income. If you haven't guessed yet, I'll tell you. They are just figuratively printing it. I say figuratively because they do  not print out $85 billion dollars in $100 bills each month. They merely go to their computers and send a message to the treasury that they now have that much on deposit at the central bank and oh by the way, please send the bonds to us.

This my friends is what the FBI calls a Ponzi Scheme, which if done by a citizen earns you many years in a federal penitentiary.

If in the next several elections we haven't changed our votes, we won't have to worry about Tea Party extremism, just the wackos we already have.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Out Of Groceries?

It has occurred to me that there might be a few residents in Bayview that with the Mercantile closed, have no access to groceries. If you or if you know of someone that needs a ride to the store, please call me at 208-683-9107.

I'm happy to help out, but just so there are no misunderstandings, this doesn't mean that if you are out of cigarettes or beer that I will give you a ride. I am available to either the Little town Market in Athol, or Super One in Hayden.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Store No More

The weekend was an active one as in addition to the Farragut Reunion, the Bayview Mercantile closed it's doors. Citing the expense of hiring all of the help, the Bjergos were feeding a loss.

Both have well paying jobs with Scott operator of the Mail Boat and Jeannie a Registered Nurse. This left the store with a larger payroll than it would support. A Mom & Pop operation would fit well, but not if all the help was hired.

It has been more than 15 years since Bayview has been  without a convenience store. It will be sorely missed. Want a quart of milk or a half rack of beer? Drive eight miles to Athol, which has three. The winners will be the operators of the Little Town Market on highway 54.

Those elderly and unable to drive will not be able to shop with a golf cart anymore. This is a huge hit to the unincorporated town of Bayview.

The store is going back to the bank which will be looking for a buyer when they take possession, which could take most of the winter months. If it is still closed next summer, the cost to tourism will be high. Scott and Jeannie ran a good shop and will be missed.  Living in the apartment above the Mercantile are the Darnells, Clint and Jamie. They will have to move soon, as the power will be disconnected.

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Bittersweet Reunion

Farragut Navy reunion was a bittersweet experience as those that still survived from Worth War Two become fewer each year.

Brightening this year was Spokesman-Review photographer, Hawaiian, Jesse Tinsley who performed with his ukulele and sang Hawaiian songs. Most of the naval veterans served in the Pacific and either were stationed in the Islands or listened to the haunting Hawaiian tunes over short wave radio as they plowed through the water in search of the Japanese that had attacked Pearl Harbor without warning December 7, i941.

The bitter was the loss of several long time attendees from previous years. Al Sweetman, a favorite of all passed away since last year's event. He and Gene Cooper were fixtures at the flag raising ceremony. Sadly, Gene suffered a debilitating stroke and his wife, Lorraine, also a loyal member of the group, became blind.

Even so, several Farragut Vets, still hanging in there at age 90 plus, were in attendance.

L-R Gene Cooper, Al Sweetman and Park Ranger Errin Bair, circa 2010, who in attempting a eulogy for Sweetman, broke into tears and needed assistance from Ranger Dennis who read it for her. Al Sweetman was very special to Errin and for that matter many others. R.I.P, pal.

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Hydro Volunteer Party

An after race party is being held today, Thursday in Riverstone. The party will be from 5-7 pm in the space across the breezeway from the 2040 Main St. address that served as the race headquarters.

Without a doubt many changes will happen before next year's race but a huge thank you is owed to those that in spite of many hurdles, managed to pull this off.

For myself, I was rewarded with the knowledge that I did a good job. This race pulled me off of the rockin chair to become active again. Now that I have become productive, how in hell are they going to put the cork back in the bottle.

To the vast numbers of people that served at the race, what can be said for the long hours, the dedication and toil by the volunteers. I think volunteer of the year should have gone to the person in charge of the outhouses and TP replacement.

Monday, September 02, 2013

Diamond Cup Aftermath

From the comments on Huckleberries and the Scott Maben story in the Spokesman-Review, it appears that more things went right than wrong. I was pleased that the perception was a good job well done. Considering this was a first try, I actually didn't think it would go that well. I suppose that springs from being on the inside where one sees all of the warts.

The area I worked on pretty much exclusively during the week leading up to the race was community relations, primarily with those homeowners and guests living on Lakeshore Drive or roads leading up the hill from it. I know there was a great anxiety from some of these folks as to the potential disruption it would cause them. We haven't heard from them yet, so I will still hold my breath as I was responsible for limiting their discomfort. A great deal of effort went into the attempt to see that residents and their guests were not inconvenienced any more than necessary.

If I have one recommendation for next year it would be to schedule the race the week prior to Labor Day, as their were much more group activities in the private home area than was anticipated. Hopefully, everyone got to where they were going without too much stress.

Also, our typical weather patterns have abrupt changes just before, just after or during the Labor Day weekend. This year, we missed a week filled with thunder storms and rain by one day. This year we needed all the time we could get. Next year it will luck not good planning.

From log boom reports it appears that people were willing to walk long distances to get where they wanted to sit. That also was a concern of mine, but with only one lane of traffic and that flagged as one-way, it was deemed to difficult to take the large buses into the course without  a decent turnaround place to get back out.

I regret that I wasn't there to witness the fruits of my and other's labor in the months preceding the race. Most of the confusion could not be helped. The period between financing being assured and the race was too short. Next year that shouldn't be an issue. I was ill most of the week-end, most likely from stress.