Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Best Christmas songs ever

 Merry Christmas.

Most of the Christmas songs playing now have been written very recently, say in the last 25 years.  The really good ones, though, are old.  And the best one is REALLY old.  These are my favorites at this time of year:

5.  Jingle Bell Rock.  This little ditty was pumped out around the infancy of rock and roll by a guy named Bobby Helm in 1957.  It's a catchy tune, and was very popular in its day, and you can't go very long at this time of year without hearing it played. (

4.  Rockin Around The Christmas Tree.  Brenda Lee was only 14 when she recorded this favorite in 1958.  Again, this tune has legs and has been one of the more popular Christmas songs for over 50 years and running. (

3.    Breath of Heaven (Mary's Song). Amy Grant has a number of outstanding Christmas songs under her belt, but this one is a jem of jems in the jewelry box of outstanding tunes.  (

2.  It's The Most Wonderful Time of The Year. Andy Williams really hit it out of the park with this one in 1963, although Amy Grant's rendition years later is also a real toe tapper.(

1.  Messiah by George Frideric Handel, composed over 250 years ago, in 1741.  This one is my favorites owing to a performance I witnessed many years ago on a Christmas Eve, in a little Lutheran church in Manassas, Virginia.  The congregation at the time was perhaps 150, and the choir consisted of a gifted music director with perhaps 15 singers.  When they were done with their performance of Messiah, those perhaps 80 worshippers burst into applause, and there simply wasn't a dry eye in the church, it was done so beautifully.  I've never heard it done as well before or since, not even by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in the link below.  It was the closest thing to a miracle I've ever witnessed in my life. (

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Obama's Ministry of Truth puts out 'The Big Lie'

We've seen it before.  Historically, the manipulation of information by the government for political purposes was wildly successful for several years just last century in keeping a corrupt and evil regime in power for a decade plus.  All of this misinformation and distortion of statistics and economic reports issued by the Obama administration for the purposes of his re-election, this has been done before to fool the public.  This administration didn't invent this tactic.

The National Socialists, or more popularly referred to back in the day as the 'Nazis,' under the leadership of Adolph Hitler, were able to fool much of the German public through brazen lies and fabrications provided by Reich Minister of Propaganda Josef Goebbels.  It was ol' Josef Goebbels who orchestrated the huge parades and spectacular settings for the soaring speeches of Hitler, and of convincing the German population that white was black, that up was down, that wrong was right.  And most infamously, Goebbels was able to convince the German public that Jews were responsible for everything bad in their lives.  Goebbels was the mastermind behind the 'Krystal Nacht' in 1938. Goebbels was the master of 'The Big Lie:' tell the people something so outrageously incredible, tell them the same thing over and over and over, and in time the lie becomes true, because how could it not be?  Who would have the brazen audacity to concoct something so universally broadcast to be true out of a falsehood?  Nobody would ever do this, so the 'Big Lie' (whatever it is) simply must be true.  At least, it becomes true in the minds of the masses, but the reality never changes. Obama must have read Hitler's tome 'Mein Kampf' and underscored the 'Big Lie' and its constructs. 

They say that once you mention Hitler's name in any issue, you lose the argument.  Well, maybe so.  The similarities between these two governments are just too eerily close not to bring this up.  The unemployment statistics issued by the Bureau of Labor Statistics are one such "Big Lie."  According to most economists (those who participate in the 'dismal science'), the concept of 'full employment' in an economy is one that for everyone who is willing and able to work, employment is available to them.  The statistic for 'full employment' is roughly 4.5%, give or take, and those 4.5% 'unemployed' folks are simply in between jobs, and that they fully expect to find employment within a month or so.  This was the rate of unemployment or close to it during much of the Reagan, Clinton and Bush administrations.

Owing to the current 'Frank/Dodd/Obama Recession', this number has crept over 10% at one point, and has hovered in the 9's for most of President Obama's first (and hopefully only) term.  Now the administration puts out the newest unemployment rate: 8.6%.   Oh great!  Things are getting better, way to go, President Obama!  Woo hoo!

Not so fast, there, Joe Sixpack (Joe is the average run of the mill American, who doesn't pay much attention to what's going on the in country).  This rate doesn't include those Americans who have been unemployed for so long, that they just gave up looking for work.  And who are now no longer counted as unemployed.  They just disappeared from the books.  And this number of Americans last month who disappeared from the unemployment rolls was around 315,000 people.  The rate can be reported to shrink, but that is because the total labor force has declined (a very bad thing).  That's why we call these bad times a 'recession.' Things recede in a recession.  Am I being redundant here? Good.  And when things recede economically, that's really bad news.  We are living and breathing in a real, live recession that continues to eat at all of us.

The Ministry of Truth would have us all believe that things are getting better, 8.6%, we should all be dancing in the streets with that kind of prosperity going on out there.  Just like Josef Goebbels, the Obama administration is blowing the horns heralding our great recovery, and assuming we believe them when they tell is that up is down, that night is day, and that wrong is right.  All we have to do is look around.

That's right.  Get up and go to the mall of your choice.  Count the number of empty stores in that mall.  Subtract that number from the total stores in the mall, and then look at the ratio of the existing leased businesses vs the total available.  This is what they call the occupancy rate.  When we have full employment, most established malls have occupancy rates that are the inverse of the full employment rate: 100%-4.5%, or 95.5% occupancy.  That's in good times.

Occupancy rates these days are 70% in way too many malls across the country right now.  Or worse.  And you can see this with your own eyes.  Things are really, really bad out there right now.

Get up and take a walk around your block.  How many houses are for sale?  Quite a few, I would bet. Way more than you remember at any one point in time in the good ol' days.  And how long have they been on the market?  Quite a while, I would bet.  And how many of those houses for sale are for sale because of a foreclosure?  Quite a few, I would bet.  And that's really bad.

And how many of your neighbors have lost their jobs?  Well, those still able to pay mortgage or rent payments and are still your neighbors, probably more than anyone would care to admit.   And that's really bad.

Things are really, really bad out here.  Just open your eyes and take a look around. 

And then go back and look at what the Ministry of Truth is putting out: we're on the road to recovery!  Things are rocking and rolling, 8.6% unemployment!  Let's not change horses in the middle of the stream, re-elect President Barack Obama!

Don't fall for 'The Big Lie.'

Sunday, December 11, 2011

No sympathy for 'street people'

I can hardly stand to read the Chicago Tribune anymore.  What they call 'news' is simply nothing more than article after article with some liberal spin on the passing scene.  This morning, I picked up the paper from my driveway, thinking that I should really cancel this damn liberal rag, but started to read it anyway.

And in the editorial section called 'Perspective,' the headline is When you recognize the homeless .  The author and his wife were out Christmas shopping and were approached on the street by a homeless girl whom they knew from their New Jersey neighborhood.  And the author gushed on as to his discomfort and sympathy towards her and gave her all the money in his wallet to alleviate his guilt about her situation, and promised her that he would say 'hi' to her mom.

Give me a break.  In the piece, the details are very clear as to how this woman ended up on the street: she was irresponsible, had children out of wedlock as a teenager, and had hysterical outbursts that required police intervention, and the courts took her children away from her, and slapped a restraining order on her seeing them.  I suspect left out of the author's piece were drugs, alcohol, and varied and sordid other details that land people in the gutter.

While the author had enormous sympathy for this loser, I couldn't help but think that her newly found identity as a 'street person' was a choice she actively made.  People don't wind up on the mean streets of this country because they had a string of bad luck, or that everyone was out to get them (in other words, the fault of everybody else except themselves).

This is the reality of life in America: homelessness is a choice.  Nobody has to live on the streets if they don't want to. There are too many alternatives that can divert this eventuality, most involving family solutions, some run by the state, and many run by charities and churches.  Homelessness has many causes to include but not limited to: drug additions, alcohol abuse, criminal behavior, profound irresponsibility, inability to plan, inability to respect authority, and often a conscious choice to shun polite society and a deliberate choice to live life on the streets.

When approached by a homeless person, I avoid eye contact, never give them any money, but do not feel sorry for them; that is one of their tools of their trade - sympathy.  People live life on the streets because they choose this way of life, not because 'the man' is out to get them.  They are on the streets because they like it.  And don't let them tell you they don't because they lie like shamelss dogs: to you, to me and to themselves.  If they didn't like it, they could easily do something about it.

Like take responsibility for their lives, recognize and respect authority and ask for forgiveness from your estranged family.  In other words, choose not to be homeless.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

What's fair, and what isn't fair

Last time around, Barack Obama ran his successful presidential campaign on the mantra of 'hope and change.'  It worked very well, as we all know.  Now, three years into Obama's abysmal administration, those two words are no longer uttered by anyone associated with the White House.  And for good reason: things in this country have gone downhill since he took office.  I could go into the metrics of exactly what parts of our country, to include social, political, and economic components are worse off today than in January, 2009, but I think most of us know all about it.

But this is all in the past, and our failed president is mustering his forces for a second term.  This time around, hope and change are not on the menu.  No, this time it's 'what's fair.'  Obama throws this word around like rice at a wedding.  Everyone should do 'their fair share,' 'millionaires and billionaires should pay their fair share,' and on and on.  Things should be 'fair.'

To the dumbest among us, this sounds right.  Things shouldn't be unfair.  That's just not right.  And here's a guy saying he will stand up and make things fair, if re-elected. 

To those of us who are of at least average intelligence, we all know through living life that things just are not fair, in general, and that John F. Kennedy said it best: 'Loif.  Loif's not fayuh.'  And for those of us outside of Massachusetts, this better translates to 'Life.  Life's not fair.'  And we all know this to be true.

It isn't fair that a graduate of Columbia school of journalism, with honors, interviews for a news reporting position with Fox News, and is told that while their resume is outstanding, they went with another candidate who was a better fit to the position.  The Columbia summa cum laude candidate was average looking, and the successful candidate graduated in the middle of her class at Boise State, but was also 2009 Miss Idaho.  How fair does that sound? 

But this happens all the time.  All the time, and everybody knows this to be true.  While this example is a stark one, Obama will resort more toward a class warfare point of view, and point out that the working people in this country seem to have all the money, and are greedy because they won't give any of their hard earned money to those less fortunate, and work less. Or don't work at all.  Is that fair that these greedy working people keep all of the money to themselves, Obama asks? All people need money in this great country, Obama states.  And it isn't fair that only the most industrious among us have all the money.  Not fair at all.

Obama wants to end all of this unfairness using the hamfisted power of the government.  If re-elected, he will re-double his efforts to legally transfer the wealth of those who work in this country to those who don't work in the name of fairness. 

And those dumb non-working morons will certainly vote for that, as it really sounds fair.  Why should these working people have all the money?  We non-working parasites need money, too!

Vote Obama, 2012.  It's the fair thing to do.