Friday, September 8, 2017

Life in Florida: expect lots of wind and water. Count on it.

Hurricanes and Florida go together like peanut butter and jelly, sumo wrestlers and all-you-can-eat buffets, Democrats and corruption.  The U. of Miami even calls their sports teams the Hurricanes.

If you choose to live in Florida, you can count on rebuilding your destroyed house at least once, if not more.  Count on it.  Either the hurricane force winds will flatten you, or the ensuing flood/storm surge will swamp  you.  Or both.  

And yet people living in 'America's Friendliest Home Town', 'The Villages,' all live in cheap double-wides, which can't even stand up to a 75 mph gust, much less stronger hurricane force winds.  What's up with these people?  

With the latest hurricane (Irma) predicted to tear through the middle of Florida, starting at Miami and heading north, the news media can hardly wait to film the carnage this latest maelstrom will bring.  These vultures will glom onto the many sob stories of poor schmucks losing everything, the tears rolling down their cheeks, clutching to their wedding photo album; the only thing they could save when the Cajun Navy comes by in their air boats to save them from drowning.  

I don't get it.  Live in Florida, and get hammered by a hurricane. It's like the sun coming up in the east and setting in the west.  It occurs so often, you can set your watch by these monster storms' arrivals. And yet these poor fools are shocked...SHOCKED!!!...that their lives have been devastated by Mother Nature.  

Recommendation to people who insist on living in Florida despite the well known hazards of constant hurricanes: don't live in double-wides. Build your home above the flood plain, probably 'stilts' are in order. Frame your stick-built homes using steel studs, not southern yellow pine studs.  Use masonry (bricks) for the siding, not vinyl.  Build your roofs with ceramic slate or metal, not flimsy asphalt shingles.  Don't plant big trees near your house that can get blown into your bedroom.  

In other words, use your brain.  Don't be an idiot who makes the 6 o'clock news, getting interviewed by Matt Gutman wearing virtually everything you now own: a wife-beater T-shirt, camo shorts and flip flops, with tears flowing down your face.

Duh.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Pick your poison: where do you want to live?

Yes, Hurricane Harvey wreaked havoc on the Houston area, with terrible damage that will take years to rebuild.  

It happens.  Living in subtropical areas such as Florida and southern Texas as well as many nice areas along the Gulf coast has its appeal: nice, temperate weather for most of the year, with the winters just a bit chilly and the summers pretty hot.  Lots of people like this.  Me, too.  But living in subtropical environs, one should expect that extreme subtropical weather will be part of your living experience as well.

But nobody should expect that taxpayers should subsidize your choice of where to settle down.  When you buy a home in Oklahoma ('Tornado Alley'), you should expect a tornado from time to time, and accordingly you should buy appropriate insurance.

Or living  in the beautiful forested areas out West: it's real nice most of the year, but from time to time, lightening or careless campers set these forests on fire, and folks' homes go up in flames along with the trees.  Again, some home owners insurance goes a long way when the poop hits the fan occasionally.

When you choose the Great State of Alaska to put your roots down, you need to know that the place is frozen two thirds of the year and that your heating bills will take up a significant amount of your disposable income, in addition to snowmobiles and snow blowers just to get to the store or post office, etc. so that you have some semblance of freedom to move about.

Ditto living in the upper mid-west: it can get down to 30 below zero in northern Minnesota.  For weeks at a time in January and February.  Expect to sit tight until that kind of killer weather moves on, and don't expect government helicopters to swoop in and take you to the grocery store when you run out of Oreo cookies. 

But please don't expect to live in these areas on other people's dimes, and when the weather dumps on you horribly, you put your hand out to the government and expect to be made whole at the taxpayer's expense.

Pick your poison.  Live where you want to live.  This is America, and you can go wherever you want.  Just don't expect the rest of us to pay for your choices.  

It may sound hard hearted, but this is the United States of America, Land of the Free and Home of the Brave: take care of yourselves.  

Thursday, August 24, 2017

With Republican governors like Bruce Rauner, who needs Democrats?

It is widely believed that Gov. Bruce Rauner (R-IL) plans on signing into law SB31 next Monday.  This is a bill that would essentially make the entire state of Illinois a sanctuary state.  That is to say, it would forbid any state or local employee or any organization that receives money from the state to assist the federal government in detaining illegal aliens.

This would make every public building in the entire state sanctuary's for illegals: public libraries, DMV offices, state government buildings, college campuses, public school grounds, on and on - the entire state would become a sanctuary for illegals.

Currently, Illinois spends approximately $4.5 Billion dollars annually supporting illegals and their progeny.  Also note that Illinois is dead, flat broke; the Land of Lincoln is arguably in worse financial condition than California, and that is saying something.

Now we are going to see a wave of illegals hitting the welfare rolls, depleting the state coffers even more than they already are.  

With Republican governors like this, who needs Democrats?


Friday, August 4, 2017

'Deep State' moles fighting for their lives

There should be no doubt now that the so-called 'Deep State' exists, and much like cockroaches when exposed to the light of day these Deep State insects are scurrying for cover lest they get stepped on and squashed.

These Deep Staters are simply liberal bureaucrats leftover from former administrations to include the Obama, Bush and Clinton days.  They are all thoroughly entrenched within the government bureaucracies, and are completely addicted to gobbling down the excessive bloat, waste, fraud and abuse of an inefficient system that has been awash in cash for decades and decades.

Also known as 'The Swamp,' which Donald Trump swore he would drain, these guys and gals now understand that the President is determined to change things in Washington, and if he is successful (which he usually is in about everything he has ever gotten involved in), their days laying sideways in the government trough are numbered.

Accordingly, they are pulling out all the stops in their efforts to thwart the Trump agenda, and will stop at nothing to make The Donald look bad, even at the risk of doing damage to our national security with these recent leaks of conversations between the President and the leaders of Mexico and Australia.

We should expect this type of sabotage to continue, until these cockroach Deep Staters are uncovered and terminated.  After all, when a swamp is drained, you are always going to run into disgruntled alligators and snapping turtles.  They won't go quietly into that good night, no siree Bob.  They will go kicking and screaming.

Fine.  As long as they go.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Why Bill O'Reilly is gone

Bill O'Reilly had a good run.  But it was bound to end, and end it did.  I would have preferred that he had gone out under indictment, or otherwise frog marched in front of the cameras with his sport jacket over his head, but at least he's gone.

Bill is not unlike others of his mold: basically a big bully who has gotten everything to go his way for his entire life.  His downfall was a cumulative effect of how he lived his life:

Ivy League educated.  How he got into Harvard is anybody's guess, based on his background.  He grew up in a working class neighborhood in Leavitttown, NY, with a working class father scratching out a living.  But once he graduated from Harvard, he had that arrogance that all the Ivy League schools imbue in their graduates: they are our betters, they know everything and should be given whatever they want in life.  These Ivy Leaguers are for the most part insufferable.  And Bill O'Reilly is no exception. I hate Ivy League graduates.

He is a good looking guy.  It's no secret that good looking people have a leg up in society.  Notice that there are no bald, fat, short people reporting the evening news.  No, that just will never happen.  As he got older, he got uglier (don't we all), but in his youth he was a dashing figure, and he moved to the front of the line at all times, whatever line he wanted to cut.  I hate good looking people.

He is 6'4" tall.  Tall people always seem to think that because they can look over the crowd without a step stool, they know everything.  It starts in grade school or junior high: once these guys get to be that big, they assume the 'bull of the woods' mentality: don't you know I'm bigger than you?  And because I'm bigger than you, I am right and you are wrong.  True, not every tall guy is like this, but most are, or at least most tall guys that are 6'4" or taller that I've ever known are. All these tall guys were born on third base and think they hit a triple.  I hate tall guys.

And finally, he got wildly rich and famous.  That was the final nail in the coffin for Ivy League educated, good looking tall guys.  They think their poop doesn't stink.   I hate wildly rich and famous guys.

Bill O'Reilly had all of these things 'going for him,' or so he thought.  He would yell down his guests when they started getting the best of him, such as Barney Frank and Geraldo Rivera.  Screaming matches is how these guys get their way.  And with women, they just assume since they are Ivy League educated, good looking and tall, the girls will just swoon as they work their magic.

In Bill's case, a few of these gals he ran into didn't buy into all of his charms, and probably told him to go pound sand.  Big, Ivy League educated handsome tall guys don't put up with that, and his handlers had to pay up some significant monetary settlements to smooth over his misdeeds.

I will not miss Bill O'Reilly.  He was a big, nasty bully, and finally was held to account.  

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Lou Dobbs is right: Ryan is the most incompetent Speaker ever

Why Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wi) still has a job is beyond me.  This is the guy who personally scuttled the efforts of the Trump administration to repeal Obamacare.

Lou Dobbs, financial analyst on Fox Business channel, ever the Ryan detractor, has nothing good to say about Ryan.  Lou can point to absolutely nothing that Paul Ryan has ever accomplished, other than to get elected in backwater Wisconsin several times, tapped for Veep by Mitt Romney in his failed presidential run in 2012, and reluctantly accepted the Speaker's gavel (which he now refuses to give up).

Paul Ryan has legislatively opposed every initiative that Donald Trump has proposed, and is actively encouraging the Freedom Caucus, those renegade Republicans in the House who will vote down any bill that is not perfect.  

And of course, no bill is ever perfect, so we can count on the Freedom Caucus to scuttle every effort President Trump advances. With Ryan in the Speaker's chair, Trump's presidency will struggle to get anything done.  Ryan is in his heart of hearts a Never-Trumper who continues the fight to bring Donald Trump down.

This guy has got to go.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

They think we are all idiots

There's gold in them thar hills.  All you gotta do is just dig it out.  Stupidity is big business, with big money to be had from those dim bulbs out there who believe anything they see on TV.

"Marie Osmond lost 50 pounds of stubborn belly fat on Nutri-System.  You can, too!"  Everybody knows that if you say 'stubborn belly fat' enough times, the money will flow into the advertiser coffers.  And American bellies will still be layered with that stubborn belly fat.  Lots of it.

"Serve-Pro; it's like it never even happened."  A flood wipes out everything you own, and these guys will swoop in and make your life whole again.  The ads said so.  Right.  They will promise to fix every damn thing, just sign here.  And once your check clears, the foot dragging starts.  It'll take between now and Kingdom Come for these scalawags to get your life back together, and it will never be exactly to your liking.

"Nothing ever sticks to MY pan, ever."  Chef Daniel Green swears that you can buy his Gotham Steel frying pan and throw away all of your cleaning pads, scouring powder and such, just wipe his miracle pan clean with a paper towel.  I actually bought into this one myself, stupid me.  The pan loses its anti-stick properties after one or two uses.  

If you believe these guys, the only thing you will be guaranteed to lose is not your stubborn belly fat.  It's your wallet that's going to get skinny, and you will get virtually nothing in return.

Take those ads for reverse mortgages from AAG, featuring smooth talking, handsome Tom Selleck shilling these loans.  Stability in retirement is what they are selling.  Your home's equity turned into tax free cash, it's like money for nothing and your chicks for free.  "It's just another way for the bank to take your house," and Tom poo-poohs this notion.  Americans will believe Tom, he's too damn tall and handsome to lie.

Is Tom lying?  Well, technically, probably not.  He's reading a script.  The reverse mortgage people are counting on the dumb American public to trust these celebrities (and we do), and then watch the money flow in.  In fact, it is just another way for the bank to take your house.  Tom may not be lying technically, but what he is saying is not what you are signing up for.

We used to call these loans 'second mortgages,' and they are all the same: banks loan money to home owners and use the equity in the home as collateral.  Once you sign those papers, the bank just took your house.  "You still own your home," Tom croons.  Well, not really.  The bank has a lien on your house, just like any other instrument such as a home equity line of credit (HELOC), a home equity loan, or some banks even stick to the antiquated term 'second mortgage.'  

The only difference in these new fangled reverse mortgages from the old fashioned mortgages is how the loan is repaid.  Rather than chip away at the interest and principal each month with a payment, these things are back loaded and are paid in full once the home 'owner' vacates the house: assuming you don't default on the banks terms for maintaining their interests on 'their' property such as failing to fix the leaking roof, pay your annual property taxes or fail to take out home owner's insurance (which would be grounds for immediate eviction of you and your loved ones from the bank's house).

In the good ol' days, home owners would pay off their 30 year mortgage, burn the mortgage paper at the pay off date, and live happily ever after in their free and clear house.  And after the Good Lord calls these folks home, the off spring inherit the homestead.

Those days are long gone.  The bank now owns the home, until its interests are paid in full after the house is vacated.  Which is usually a hefty sum, often equalling the fair market value of the house (which the bank will arbitrarily and unilaterally determine).

These ads, all of them, promise the world to a gullible viewing public.  Word of advice: don't believe a word, not a syllable of what these shysters are hawking.  It's all crap, and the only winner in any transaction with these guys is them.  

Not you.