Governor Rod Blagojevich and Rahm Emanuel Chat It Up

I don’t know how long this podcast will stay up, but Sacramento morning drive talk radio personalities Armstrong and Getty offered a hilarious take yesterday on what is apparently the transcript of a taped telephone conversation between Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich and Barack Obama’s newly appointed chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel.

Jump ahead to about half way through the podcast. Like I said, it’s hilarious!

Posted on Jan 14, 2009 at 07:30PM by Registered CommenterDoug in , | Comments9 Comments | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

Hamas' Steep Learning Curve

Michael Ramirez penned this editorial cartoon for Inverstors Business Daily that sums up, in some respects, the difficulty Israel faces in dealing with Hamas.

Yet I’m amazed at the way the conflict is portrayed in the media. The rockets being fired daily into Israel are small, they report, only killing a few Israelis at a time, while Israel is (finally) fighting back with bigger rockets. No fair! Yet Hamas keeps firing their rockets, hoping to win the propaganda war.

As I drive past the State Capitol each day, I see the moonbats marching around with their signs protesting Israel’s “aggression”. And the Sacramento Bee obediently “reports” their message. I suspect if Hamas was shelling downtown Sacramento every day, the Bee would be whistling a different tune.

On second thought, probably not.

Posted on Jan 14, 2009 at 08:00AM by Registered CommenterDoug in , | Comments8 Comments | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

Happy 38th Birthday, James!

It’s sometimes difficult to believe but, like us, our children do grow up. And when they grow up with good character, a keen sense of humor and, most importantly, a kind heart, they make their parents proud. Today is youngest son James’ 38th birthday. It seems like only a few short years ago that we were laughing at the way his diapers drooped when he played in the little wading pool in our back yard - he was a trend-setter even then. And now he’s grown! He’s still cute and funny but, thank goodness, he’s no longer wearing droopy drawers!


Posted on Jan 13, 2009 at 12:30PM by Registered CommenterDoug in | Comments12 Comments | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

Is Social Security the Biggest Ponzi Scheme in History?

There’s no shortage of news about Bernie Madoff’s astounding Ponzi scheme through which he (allegedly) bilked a great many investors and charitable foundations out of billions of dollars. The fact that he is out on reduced bail and has used that freedom to send millions in jewelry to his children and write checks for a few billion more to friends and family is even more astounding. But what amazes me is how Congressional leaders are posturing about it. They’re appalled, they say. Something must be done, they promise. But wait. Isn’t that the pot calling the kettle black?

For those few of you unfamiliar with how the Ponzi scheme works, it’s where a shyster takes in money from marks investors to “invest” for them, pockets it, produces spurious reports illustrating the stellar performance of the “fund’s” portfolio, gets more investors and uses some of the newly invested money to pay a few of the earlier investors, then continues the practice until he has a ton of money in his pocket. The portfolio, of course, is essentially worthless and he has all the money squirreled away in off shore accounts. Then he moves to an island somewhere in the Pacific or to a country without an extradition treaty with the U.S. and lives large. The trick is to keep the investors believing their investments are earning astounding returns while he collects more and more money from new investors. You’ve probably heard of Ponzi schemes, but Madoff’s may be one of the largest such frauds (ahem…alleged frauds) in history.

Or is it? Isn’t that exactly how our government has been operating our Social Security system?

Click to read more ...

Posted on Jan 12, 2009 at 08:30AM by Registered CommenterDoug in , , , , | Comments14 Comments | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

Amazing Numeric Symmetry

Mike sent these fascinating examples of numeric symmetry:

1 x 8 + 1 = 9
12 x 8 + 2 = 98
123 x 8 + 3 = 987
1234 x 8 + 4 = 9876
12345 x 8 + 5 = 98765
123456 x 8 + 6 = 987654
1234567 x 8 + 7 = 9876543
12345678 x 8 + 8 = 98765432
123456789 x 8 + 9 = 987654321

1 x 9 + 2 = 11
12 x 9 + 3 = 111
123 x 9 + 4 = 1111
1234 x 9 + 5 = 11111
12345 x 9 + 6 = 111111
123456 x 9 + 7 = 1111111
1234567 x 9 + 8 = 11111111
12345678 x 9 + 9 = 111111111
123456789 x 9 +10= 1111111111

Click to read more ...

Posted on Jan 12, 2009 at 08:00AM by Registered CommenterDoug in | Comments8 Comments | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

No txtN yl drivN?

While most of us were ringing in the new year, California police officers were preparing for the text-messaging law, SB 28, that went into effect on January 1. It bans writing, sending, or reading a text-based communication while driving on the highways of the golden state as posted on the Department of Motor Vehicles’ web site.

Frankly, I’m amazed that such a law was needed. I mean, common sense should have made it unnecessary. But apparently a wake-up call to the swerving clueless among us was needed. Texting has become a big deal, especially among teens, but I hadn’t noticed until recently just how many of them do it while driving. Maybe I wasn’t paying enough attention to fellow drivers with whom I share the highways before the law went into effect, but I am now and what I’m seeing scares me.

Bear in mind, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger just signed the hands-free cell phone law in September although the fines, if you’re caught in violation, aren’t very steep. Yet, now that I’m paying closer attention, I’m noticing that a lot of people — and not just teens — are talking on hand helds or texting in the lanes next to me.

It’s as though they’re thumbing their collective noses at law enforcement. Or maybe they’re rich and aren’t swayed by the prospect of shelling out the bucks for fines if they’re caught. Or maybe they’re just too stupid to realize they’re putting other people’s lives — yours and mine — at risk. Maybe they just don’t give a damn.

In any event, I wonder what can be done about it. There aren’t enough police officers available these days to nab red light runners or drunk drivers, so I imagine texters are way down the priority lists of the few officers we do have. Would it help if we called 911 and reported abusers? Or would that be considered a non-emergency call?

I don’t have the answers. If anyone does, I’m all ears.

Posted on Jan 9, 2009 at 06:00AM by Registered CommenterDoug in , , | Comments21 Comments | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

A Christmas Tale - 1919

My mother-in-law clipped this article from the Wall Street Journal for me and I thought it well worth sharing. I realize it’s after Christmas — and it’s a little long by blog standards — but I promise you’ll find reading it worth your time…

A Christmas Tale - 1919
by Hans von Spakovsky

It’s easy to complain in the midst of a stressful holiday season. But my family has a unique remedy: We remember one special Christmas in 1919 that gave us the freedom and liberty we enjoy today. This will be the 89th anniversary of the year my father celebrated Christmas Eve deep in the snow-laden woods of Russia as he fled the Communist takeover of his homeland.

When I tell people that my father was an officer in the White Army who fought the Bolsheviks in the Russian civil war, they usually look at me with disbelief, because I am only 49. But he married and started a family later in life, after he lived through both world wars.

He had been an officer in the Russian Army in World War I; after the Bolshevik putsch he ended up fighting against them in the far north of Russia. In 1919 he was close to the Arctic Circle in the port city of Arkhangelsk, where at the beginning of the year, six feet of snow fell and the temperature was regularly 30 degrees below zero.

The Allies — the English, Americans and French — had put military forces in Russia, including in Murmansk and Arkhangelsk, in 1918. When they withdrew in September 1919, the White Army forces faced dire peril: Their source of supplies, including arms, was gone. Many regular soldiers deserted en masse to the Bolsheviks.

As the situation deteriorated, my father and his unit were surrounded. They fought until very few supplies remained. By December, their commander told them that they would soon be unable to continue to fight and that the Bolsheviks had promised that surrendering White forces would be freed and sent home.

But my father knew that the communists shot the officers they captured. The only way he could escape was through the frozen White Sea on the lone icebreaker in the port, which was not large enough to evacuate everyone. Only a small number of high-ranking White Russian officers eventually fled that way.

One woman and 16 men, including my father, decided they would try to get out another way. In the middle of a very snowy night, they skied through the Bolshevik lines toward Finland. As my father later told his five children, it was an arduous and long journey. They had so little food that at one point they were reduced to eating the beeswax candles they carried with them…

Click to read more ...

Posted on Jan 8, 2009 at 08:00AM by Registered CommenterDoug in | Comments14 Comments | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

Reflections and Resolutions Revisited

The New Year, they say, is about reflections, resolutions and high hopes for the future. We take time to reflect on the year just ended and look hopefully ahead toward the fresh new year just beginning. Too often, admittedly, our reflections are about last year’s uncompleted list of resolutions and, yes, I’m just as guilty as anyone.

Admittedly, 2008 was a challenging year for many of us – hopefully 2009 will be  better. But being the optimist you know me to be, I’m working hard to stay positive about the coming year. Color me “hopeful”.

I hope California’s government and  citizens find ways to work together for the good of the people and that the politics of negativity get buried beneath the overwhelming swell of goodwill that cooperation fosters.


I hope 2009 brings us closer to  a lasting peace in the Middle East and a positive conclusion to the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. There are good things happening in the region – we need to acknowledge and expand upon them. I hope the conflict between Israel and Palestine is resolved without more bloodshed.

I look forward with hope - and some trepidation - to the coming year. I expect it to be difficult, but I have the love of an amazing woman whom I cherish, children I am proud of, beautiful grandchildren I adore, and wonderful friends I respect and appreciate. I still look forward to retirement and more time with family and friends, good health, and greater opportunity for Dawn and I to continue checking things off “our list.” 

I’m an optimist. I see the year ahead filled, not with problems, but with challenges and opportunities,  the glass half full rather than half empty. Thank you everyone for helping make our 2008 all it could be. Dawn and I wish you all a safe, healthy and prosperous 2009.

Posted on Jan 6, 2009 at 10:00AM by Registered CommenterDoug in , | Comments11 Comments | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

Election Junkie

According to my wife and a couple close friends, this Randall Munroe ‘toon has me pegged…

Posted on Jan 6, 2009 at 07:30AM by Registered CommenterDoug in , | Comments12 Comments | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

Save an Executive

The money you give won’t just save a life, it’ll save a lifestyle.

Posted on Jan 5, 2009 at 08:00AM by Registered CommenterDoug in , , | Comments14 Comments | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

Monday Punday - 1-5-09

First pun of the new year from Denny

Posted on Jan 5, 2009 at 07:00AM by Registered CommenterDoug | Comments12 Comments | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

Obama Wealth Spreader

I’ve been saving this image from James ‘til after the holidays. Well, it’s after the holidays, so…

Posted on Jan 2, 2009 at 08:00AM by Registered CommenterDoug in , | Comments14 Comments | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

Happy New Year 2009


Posted on Jan 1, 2009 at 12:01AM by Registered CommenterDoug | Comments Off | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

JibJab's 2008 Year in Review

And no year would be complete without JibJab’s “Year in Review”. All right, the last couple of years were phoned in, but this installment signals the bros are back to some serious “reviewin’”.

Posted on Dec 31, 2008 at 10:00PM by Registered CommenterDoug in , | Comments9 Comments | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

Uncle Jay's 2008 Year in Review

It’s been a whole year since Uncle Jay has sung an entire episode, and here’s a reminder why! It’s the year-end review of the news, and maybe it’ll seem a little better with music. Or not.

A year that witnessed unprecedented shocks to the financial system, wrenching losses in stocks, a disastrous blow to home values, massive layoffs, and a knee jerk election that trumpeted our desperation is heading into its final hours on a quiet note. I for one will be happy to see it disappear into the annals of history. Here’s to a brighter 2009!Tip o’ the hat to Michael!

Posted on Dec 31, 2008 at 06:00PM by Registered CommenterDoug in , | Comments10 Comments | EmailEmail | PrintPrint