Wednesday, September 16, 2009
From the Voter Beware Files...
All those proud Obama voters, here's a few hard knocks from reality for you...

Here's a significant new tax on the middle class despite The One's great promises that there would be no new tax...Joe Wilson was right - Obama is a liar.

(AP)The Obama administration has privately concluded that a cap and trade law would cost American taxpayers up to $200 billion a year, the equivalent of hiking personal income taxes by about 15 percent.

A previously unreleased analysis prepared by the U.S. Department of Treasury says the total in new taxes would be between $100 billion to $200 billion a year. At the upper end of the administration's estimate, the cost per American household would be an extra $1,761 a year.

Bend over and take it, boys and girls.

Oh, and speaking of huge new taxes under Mr. No New Taxes Obama, here's what a Democratic Senator has to say about Obamacare:

Senator Jay Rockefeller said of the Baucus Bill, "...[This] means that virtually every single coal miner is going to have a big, big tax put on them because the tax will be put on the company and the company will immediately pass it down and lower benefits because they are self insured, most of them, because they are larger. They will pass it down, lower benefits, and probably this will mean higher premiums for coal miners who are getting very good health care benefits for a very good reason. That is, like steelworkers and others, they are doing about the most dangerous job that can be done in America."

"So that’s not really a smart idea," Rockefeller continued. "In fact, it’s a very dangerous idea, and I’m not even sure the coal miners in West Virginia are aware that this is what is waiting if this bill passes."

So, Obama and the answer for most Democrats seems to be tax, tax, and tax again, all in a year where they promised no new taxes and have been spending money like Paris Hilton on Rodeo Drive.

But, don't forget, protesting these taxes and failed programs in waiting is racist. Don't be racist, just blindly bend over and take it.
posted by Phoenix | 12:24 PM | 0 comments

Friday, September 11, 2009
Remembering: Graham Andrew Berkeley
Today, I also remember Graham Andrew Berkeley in my part to assist with Project 2,996. Bloggers unite each year to remember those innocent lives lost on September 11, 2001.

Graham Andrew Berkeley was murdered when the plane he was on, United Flight 175, was the second plane to crash into the World Trade Center.

Graham was a Briton, born in Worksop Nottinghamshire, England to loving parents Charles and Pauline Berkeley. He loved life, this man with the amazing smile. As a young child, he showed a talent for music and took lessons. At the age of 14, he won the Shropshire Concerto Competition and became the leader of the school symphony orchestra at the same age. Equally talented in the more mundane of academics, music was his passion. He played violin and viola and studied at the Royal College of Music.

A bit later in life, he found himself working for a US software company in Germany. In time, his skills developed further and he became a programmer and analyst. Eventually, he moved to the United States to pursue his career. He settled near Boston and worked tirelessly for 10 years to get permanent resident status. He was finally granted this status in June 2001, just before his death.

He loved the United States and the freedom she offered. He loved the energy of New York City, where he was planning to move. The loved our open society and the many many friends he made along the way. This bigger than life character is missed dreadfully by co-workers, family, and friends alike who remember him as easy-going, a pleasure to work with. They remember an opera lover, a classical violinist, and a world traveler.

The families of the victims of 9/11 have left virtual memorials all over the internet to their lost loves. Graham's family and friends have done the same, but one thing is clear and rings from each entry. Graham's passion for life was inspiring. He grabbed hold and held tight, whirling and twirling, but always true to himself.

In the past eight years, I am certain that the pain in the hearts of those he left behind has lessened some. Not forgotten, surely, merely managed. There is no question that he is remembered, for in reading what has been written about him by his family, it is clear that he was unforgettable.

I want to close with quotes from his memorial service.

His brother, Chris, said this:

To us Graham was our ‘lark’, he soared high and made beautiful music.
His good friend and co-worker Doug Turner said this:

Every time there was a new business opportunity, by chance or by design, Graham and I seemed to be there together. Many people told us we were taking some big risks and making some bold moves. Well, I can tell you that for me, with Graham by my side, the risks somehow seemed smaller and I seemed somehow bolder.

I remember Graham Berkeley, who was cut down in his prime but who could teach us all about living life passionately. May he continue to soar and make beautiful music in heaven. We will hear him in birdsong.

If you want to remember Graham, please leave a comment.
posted by Phoenix | 7:02 AM | 2 comments

Remembering: Sergeant Major Lacey B. Ivory
September 11, 2001 was a day that I cannot forget. So many innocents were struck down as they were going about their daily routines.

Today, I remember Sgt. Maj. Lacey B. Ivory of the US Army as part of Project 2,996.

Sgt. Maj. Lacey Ivory was at work in the Pentagon like usual on that fateful day. When American Airlines flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon, Sgt. Maj. Ivory was in a meeting in Lt. Gen. Timothy Maude's office. That man also perished that day.

By all accounts, the Sergeant Major was a very hard worker who greatly valued education. He worked hard and rose in the ranks, finally attaining a position in the Pentagon one year before his death. He pursued his education as he developed his career, eventually earning a Master's in Education with a concentration in counseling. His wife tells an anecdote about him earning the degree. He earned the degree in Germany while posted there but had been reassigned to Colorado Springs before crossing the stage to accept his diploma. He insisted, however, that he and his wife return to Germany for the ceremony, however. He wanted that moment that he'd worked so hard for. His wife also shared the Sergeant Major's plans to someday return to his hometown of Kansas City and help kids.

Lacey Ivory was from Kansas City, MO originally. He still has family in the Kansas City area and many still remember him fondly. Although, that is not something that is unique to Kansas City. In the 24 years he was with the Army, he and his wife Deborah traveled the country and the world. He made lasting impressions everywhere he went.

In researching this post, I came across so many people whose lives he had touched. His sister and nieces miss him terribly. Young recruits remember him warmly, speaking of his leadership and his love for his soldiers. They speak of him as a model soldier and an excellent role model. I ran across co-workers who missed his easy camaraderie. I ran across one woman who shared how he had served to help her in the most difficult time of her life: her husband's deployment to the Persian Gulf. The Sergeant Major helped her stay positive, reassuring her that her husband would come home safely.

This was the man. Professional soldier, leader of men, role model, student, educator, counselor, husband, father, beloved uncle and son.

He leaves behind his wife and two children, his mother, sisters, and nieces. God bless him and his family and all of the lives he touched.

I remember Sergeant Major Lacey B. Ivory. A hero in many respects.

If you remember Sgt. Maj. Lacey Ivory, please feel free to leave a comment.

posted by Phoenix | 7:01 AM | 0 comments

Remembering: Francis J. Skidmore
This is Francis J. Skidmore. As a part of Project 2,996, I have been honored with the responsibility of remembering him again this year along with two other victims of the heinous attacks committed on September 11, 2001.

I honestly wish that I had known Francis J. Skidmore.

In researching this memorial, I cried many times, and I didn't even know the man. From everything that I have learned about Frank, I feel certain that I would have enjoyed his company. Nobody speaks of him with anything but admiration.

Frank knew the real meaning of charity. He was a Eucharistic Minister and brought Communion to a homebound parishioner for 20 years. 20 years. That takes real dedication. Some people claim to be charitable, but Frank was the definition of charity. He gave of himself and his time. He worked tirelessly to raise money for his church's school and to bring comfort and aid to underprivileged families in Central Appalachia.

He was such a giving soul, in fact, that his work was recognized by his local Rotary Club. What we had in Francis J. Skidmore was a man dedicated to his fellow man. But there is more to his nature than that. Frank played Santa many times, bringing joy to the lives of children. It isn't hard to imagine him bringing that character to life, right down to the twinkle in the eye.
I imagine that his jovial good nature would have made him a wonderful grandfather. I have no doubt whatsoever that he was an amazing father. A "teddy bear", and I'm sure a great "Daddy." He must have had a terrific sense of humor, too. He urged his pastor to give break-dancing a try. What a guy! He had a joyful spirit and a charitable nature.

He was a loving husband to his wife, Katie, and a devoted father to his three children, F.J., Patrick, and Melissa. He treasured time with his family and didn't miss the moments in his children's lives. He grew from doting and guiding parent to friend as his children matured into adulthood. No doubt, for him, this was the best reward for a job well-done. There was real love there, you can tell from the faces.

Frank seems to be a man who lived his life to the fullest. A life of good times and family vacations at the beach. A man who defined charity and gladly did the work of God. I can imagine the pain his family felt at the loss of such a wonderful man. No doubt they struggle to live up to his legacy when, in fact, all he would probably wish for them is a lifetime of happiness free of want and hurt. A man so loving, so generous, would want the rest of us to live on. Live on, but never forget.

Never forget. Frank, I hope you are enjoying Cheeseburgers in Paradise.

Francis J. Skidmore was a victim of the September 11th attacks. He died on the 85th floor of Two World Trade Center when terrorists piloted United Airlines Flight 175 into the building between floors 78 and 84. These men may have thought they were on a mission from God.

Francis J. Skidmore really was.

I remember Francis J. Skidmore. If you remember him too, please feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments.
posted by Phoenix | 7:00 AM | 1 comments

Thursday, September 10, 2009
Same Old Annoying Song
You know how every once in a while some song will become so popular that it is constantly on the airwaves? In the beginning, it was novel and fresh, but the more it gets played, the more you hate it. That's the level that ObamaCare has reached.

And, President Obama is to Billy Ray Cyrus as ObamaCare is to Achy Breaky Heart.

The President offered nothing new. Nothing.

He is still selling the same old bullshit, only this time he wrapped it in the arms of a dead Kennedy. Which, so you know, doesn't improve the smell.

He still has no substantial plan on how to pay for it.

He still hasn't addressed the fact that Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security are already huge government-run programs of the same ilk that constantly on the brink of collapse.

He still hasn't given any thought to the majority of Americans who don't want this behometh of a fraud bankrupting them and their children.

The two big issues for me remain unresolved, namely tort reform and competition.

If you want a product to improve, you increase competition not increase demand artificially.

It doesn't matter what the product, competition makes us better. It makes us cheaper. Any idiot (except the President and key Democrats in Congress) knows this.

Let's go to the lemonade stand, shall we?

Imagine two little girls, Janie and Jenny, on the corner in any neighborhood. They are selling 8 oz. glasses of lemonade for $1.00.

Initially there is some interest as people like lemonade when it is hot outside. After a while, however, the two girls have a fight over what to do with their profit and Jenny leaves the enterprise and starts her own on the other side of the street.

Jenny knows the business and knows that the $1.00 price allows for a $0.90 profit on every glass sold. She offers her own glasses of lemonade for $0.80, deeply undercutting her former friend. Quite naturally, those that were flocking to the original stand begin to see the wisdom in paying less and Jenny's profits soar. In fact, she's selling more at the reduced price, with some people taking more than one cup on particularly hot days.

But, then Jenny's younger brother Max wants a new game for his xBox and sees his sister rolling in dough.

The next day, Max joins the girls on the sidewalk too, only he's offering more choices. You can now get pink or yellow lemonade for $0.70 and every second glass comes with a free brownie.

Janie is now virtually out of the market and must adapt her business model. She drops her price to $0.70 and adds water to the menu. Sales start to improve. What do you know, the laws of supply and demand work! She's still not doing as well as Max, but sales are improving.

Of course, Jenny is compelled to adjust as well. But, our girl Jenny completely rethinks her business model. Instead of the location she had previously claimed mid-street, she moves to the corner where she hopes she will draw more traffic. Second, she makes her lemonade stand a comfortable destination, adding an umbrella to provide shade and some lawn chairs. Her menu doesn't escape her notice either. She changes her cup size to 12 oz and moves the price to $0.60 - more for less. She's still raking in the dollars, even if she's cut her price and halved-again the quantity in every cup. Moreover, she brings out her Dad's fishing cooler, loads it with ice (a sunk cost), and starts selling fudgepops at $1.00 per unit. As a courtesy, she offers a free cup of water with every fudgepop sold.

What has happened here? Two things. First, competition has driven costs lower and required Janie, Jenny, and Max to do better or get out of business. Second, while benefitting from lower prices, the lemonade consumer has also benefitted from increased service (added comfort and menu items).

That's the way business works. It is a constant struggle to be better, faster, and cheaper than the other guy. You either compete, or you go out of business. There is no "right" to sales.

Why have I gone through this long-winded example?

Simply to point out that President Obama's big healthcare plan pretends that the immutable laws of economics don't apply to his magic carpet ride. He's wrong, and you and I will have to pay and pay and pay and pay for his mistake.

Obama's policies won't increase competition, it will force private insurance companies out of business. You need not take my word for it; Obama's healthcare plan architect has admitted as much and indicated that this is by design. That's the way they want it.

So, instead of having increased competition which will drive costs lower, Obama wants to limit supply. You know what happens when you limit supply? Prices increase. If Jenny and Max hadn't come along, Janie could have upped her price to $1.50 or $2.00 or more.

But, there's another problem with Obama's plan. While limiting supply, Obamacare also increases demand by insuring that people who don't want/need healthcare are required to get it and people who have no intention of paying into the system will draw from the services (read illegal aliens).

So, class, whether widgets or wood, what happens when you limit supply and artificially mandate an increase in demand? Anyone...anyone?

It is not a good thing for the taxpayer, let me assure you.

Obama's plan is the wrong plan at the wrong time. We can't afford it; our children can't afford it.

If you really want to drive down healthcare costs, a responsible plan would increase supply and cut costs. Tort reform. Increased competition. Competition will force improvements to quality and efficiency like it has in every other business.

But I guess Obama, Reid, Pelosi, et al were lighting up on the day they taught simply economics in high school.

The rest of us, those with brains in their heads, who now total a majority of Americans according to the polls, are going to have to pay for their bake time and it is going to cost us more than the money for the munchies.
posted by Phoenix | 10:15 AM | 0 comments

Wednesday, September 09, 2009
Ready for Another Lecture?
Sometimes I think this President is convinced that if he just keeps trying to sell shit, people will suddenly think it is lemonade.

Anyway, I saw this and had to steal it. With a nod to the Grouchy Old Cripple, Obama's latest cash-for-clunkers-esque program:

posted by Phoenix | 5:19 PM | 0 comments

Yep, that just about says it
So, here's a little anecdote that sheds significant light on who I am...

Yesterday, Bunny Boop and I are doing our normal thing. She's kicking around playing and I'm trying to start supper and straighten up around the house. Quelle suprise! There's a knock on the door.

I am reluctant to open the door to uninvited guests, but it was still daylight, so I figured, what the hey...

There is a man on my front porch dressed as a police officer, but no patrol car in the driveway or visible on the street. Okay.

He informs me that there was a break-in in the neighborhood last week and that the department is trying to canvas the area for any information.

Was I home last Thursday afternoon? What time do I get home from work?

So, after explaining that, gee, I don't get home until after 4 pm and most of the living space in the house is not street-side and my husband works nights, I start kicking myself. Dumb, dumb, dumb.

Am I sure this guy is who he says he is? So, I just plunge in and ask him for his badge number, name, etc. I explain that I'm a bit nervous since I can't see his patrol car and I just told him when I get home and that we are frequently alone.

He left his car at the end of the street and, what do you know, he's been passing out cards all day and is fresh out. But, he told me that it was wise of me to be cautious and wrote down his contact information for me and showed me his employee ID that gets him in/out of the precinct.

So, I felt sufficiently relieved. (Not to mention the handgun I keep for rough men with bad intentions.) But, he points out to me that I'm the only person he's talked to all day that asked him any questions or sought to clarify that he was who he said he was.

Mind blowing.

An entire neighborhood of adults with children and they are all just taking at face value that the blue uniform is all they need to know. Some of them might have been able to see the squad car, so maybe that's okay. And, it is a smallish town (not as small as where I'm from, but whatever), so maybe some of them already knew him. But, it still surprises me that I was the only person that asked for his credentials.

Sheeple. Just so you know, I don't blindly follow anyone coughObamacough or blindly accept anything on faith. I use my best judgement, reasoning, and in the event I need to, defend myself to my last breath.

Wolves, there are easier targets, keep on moving.

I swear, you can take the Type A girl out of the office, but you can't take the Type A out of her.
posted by Phoenix | 11:38 AM | 0 comments

Saw this article and had to link it.

They've found the fabled Rodents of Unusual Size!

No humans have ever settled in the remote crater, but the Bosavi woolly rat — a vegetarian rodent that measures almost three feet in length — calls the crater home.

Dr. George McGavin, head scientist for the BBC Natural History Unit, said the rodent is thought to live nowhere else in the world and appeared to have no fear of humans.

"It just sat next to me nibbling on a piece of leaf. It won't have seen a human before," McGavin said. "The crater of Bosavi really is the lost world."

Along with the three-pound rat, scientists say they have discovered many new creatures in the lush rainforest habitat, including the world's smallest parrot, a frog with fangs, a fish that grunts and a very hairy caterpillar.

So, we've got R.O.U.S.'s and pirates...I wonder when the Six Fingered Man will make an appearance or we'll discover the other terrors of the Fire Swamp.

Nothing seems "inconceivable" now that Obama's in the White House, I guess.
posted by Phoenix | 11:28 AM | 0 comments

Wednesday, September 02, 2009
Remembering September 11
Project 2,996 needs your help!

Each year, bloggers unite to remember the individual lives lost on 9/11/01. So far, only 687 of the victims have been claimed for remembrances this year.

Please, this is important. Take a few moments and sign up, please.

I'm personally remembering 3 victims this year.
posted by Phoenix | 8:33 AM | 0 comments


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