3-18-2004 Hitchhiking on your stuff

Since the tender age of fourteen, I've always had a good job and I always will. I'm not sure why that is, but that's the way it is. Not being afraid of hard work, having a schedule, or a boss helps as far as I'm concerned. Possessing a few skills can't hurt either.

My first "job" was at thirteen-landscaping, under the table-digging ditches. By fourteen it was working at the chicken farm-smell, nasty, horrible. At fifteen I was working under the table at Murphy's Mart in Tunkhannock, cleaning the garbage up, getting carts, painting. At sixteen I was officially hired at the Mart, and also worked as a maintenance guy at a local hotel. Never made more than $3.65/hr, but I always had money for movies, hobbies, sports, munchies, dates, and my own car.

As far as our country goes, the unemployment rate right now is less than the average of the Clinton years. It's kind of funny when you think about it. Bush Sr. was kicked out of office because "It's the economy (stupid)." Yet, as soon as Clinton took office, suddenly there was NO unemployment problem, even though his performance was worse than Bush Sr's. Check out the numbers yourself.

And now, after inheriting a recession, which has now been adjusted correctly back to Q2 of 1998, after the worst disaster to hit our country which completely shut down our economy for a month, we have had the largest quarters of growth since before the cold war and unemployment to rival Bubba's best years-and there are no jobs? Since when is job creation the role of the President anyway? (Since there is a Republican in office). And every month we have our unbiased friends in the media having to report the bad news-that more jobs ARE being created. Damn. Besides that, locally, there are tons of wanted adds, Verizon is hiring 132, there is a local electronics firm that is hiring 120, my own company needs welders and we can't even find any. All of these are good paying jobs.

Health Care:
Since the very first day that I needed it, I somehow managed to find it. And I've had it ever since. For 27 years, I've been paying for mine and my family's health care and being the natural athletes that we all are-we've rarely ever even needed it.

Yep. We have the best Health Care system in the World-in the World. Right now, France, Germany, and even China are in the process of dumping their national health care. My friend, Patrick Wulff, lives in Bochum, Germany, and has to wait 3-4 months to even see his doctor for his yearly physical. Why do so many people flock to this country when they need serious health care? Because we have the best, the brightest, the most talented health care folks in the World, and yes, many of them have foreign names. The best and brightest come here precisely to escape all the national controls imposed by other countries. Here, they can be the best, have the best, and compete in the market. No one is telling the OBGYN, you can't open an office in your hometown because there are already two other OBGYNs like in France and Germany (and like Hillary wanted). National Health Care is failing around the world. Is our system flawed-of course. It can be even better, but I find it hysterical that most of the flaws have to do with places where our government has stuck their noses in. Did you ever notice that? Things like Medicare/Medicaid, SS Disability, Drug regulation, etc. This is where the fraud exists-government programs. Yet, if you need emergency services, Bang, it's off to the hospital and there you receive care-anybody at any time.

Prescription Drugs:
I really don't give a flying farg. My insurance covers that. If a day arrives when I need them and I can't afford to get them, I guess I'll then enter the perpetual hibernation mode. Like I care. Guess what? Human beings weren't originally designed to last for one hundred years. If I get 65, or 70 healthy years, that'll be just fine with me. If I drop dead due to a lack of anything, it probably won't bother me much afterwards. Why dicker with the devil?

This is an area I have a great deal of knowledge about as my wife worked in this field for nearly ten years. She was a research scientist (published as well) for Pfizer-outstanding company. Her job was to determine the overdose level of a drug. A very tedious, exhausting, important and stressful job. You absolutely cannot believe the amount of regulation involved in creating a drug. It takes YEARS. The government regulates the color of the pens you use-true. Every test needs to be replicated over and over and over and over and the paperwork must be done by hand, no correction fluid or correction tape allowed. Then everything must be entered into electronic files and forms-hundreds of them, duplicate, triplicate, and over and over again. And each department must do this, chemistry, bio-chemistry, toxicology, photo-toxicology, etc...Aside from all of this, EVERY process you use in every one of these departments must be documented to the "T", and you must be able to prove that the processes were followed to the "D." One mistake in the process, nullifies the process. My wife had uncovered a mistake in a process and a million and a half dollars worth of work went down the drain. Start over. My wife also sat on the company's process creation and control team, and the same government regulations were here. Were they necessary? Absolutely. Was there a lot of duplication and waste? Yes. But I guess protecting people is more important.

But all this aside. For years and years the Democrats have been screaming for prescription drug coverage. Go back to the Reagan years and you will find comments. And did Clinton deliver on it even when he had the House and Senate? No. But Bush did. And guess what? The Democrats then switched to "He's spending too much!" Much like Kerry, they want it both ways-"we want more health care, more drug coverage." Bush signs it and he is an evil Nazi for spending too much. Isn't that what Liberals want-more programs and spending. Hypocrites.

Not only that, just about every drug company offers free lifetime prescriptions for people that can't afford drugs. All it takes is filling out a form. Now people, I know this is so hard to do and you'll actually have to get off you ass, make some calls, get the form, find a pen, fill out the form, lick and seal the envelope, find and stick on a stamp, address the envelope and walk to your mailbox, because the drug companies won't do it for you-those bastards!

Let's be f**king serious. Do we really think the out-of-control teachers unions, coupled with the politically correct agendas of the Feds amount to anything resembling an education? Sorry Charlie, but no matter how much money we dump into education, your kid will never get the education that folks living in log cabins in the middle of nowhere received over 200 years ago. Abraham Lincoln comes to mind.

Plus...my kids have already escaped that pathetic system and I will see to it that my grandkids never get near that system. Despite my kid's public education, they're really not too stupid. I can take some of the credit for that.

My real hot button. Again, I have written on this many times and have given you folks the history of education and all the numbers, average salaries, benefits, class sizes, test scores and they all prove that all the money we are spending, more than any country in the world per student, is getting our children nothing.

But again in response to your friend, lets look at exactly what Bush has done. His first mistake was letting Ted Kennedy write our current education bill increasing spending over $400 million. His second mistake was actually thinking that the Democrats would stop complaining. Within two weeks of the education bill getting passed and signed by Bush, Kennedy was bad-mouthing the President for, yep, you guessed it, spending too much. Within one MONTH, he was saying we are not spending enough on education. Yep. The ink was still drying. Let's see Texas test scores increased under Bush. Arkansas' dropped from 48th to 50th under the Clintons and for the last 40 years, the Democrats have been chanting in unison "We need more money for education."

Stock Market:
This matters about as much to me as professional wrestling does. Not at all. I receive my quarterly statements. I glance at them. And then I throw them away and get back to important things such as the next CD on the turntable. I really don't feel a need to be loaded when I'm 70, or 80 years-old. Travel does not excite me. Expensive vehicles mostly bore me these days. I dress much like Crazy Kevin. All I need for my retirement years is some scratch for some used CDs, or whatever they'll call them by then. My grandparents were dirt poor during their latter years and loved each other until they were finally separated by the big guy. I started out with hand-me-downs and they'll do nicely when I'm too old to even notice the opposite sex. 8% on my investments? 16% on my investments? As Gramps used to say, "It's the little stuff that'll drive you crazy."

"There has never been a decade in our history, when the stock market has not increased in value." Who made that comment? None other than Algore, when he was supporting a plan to put some of our SS money into the stock market. That is, before he became the VP. By the way, did you know he was also pro-life?

I have had money in the market since I started working after college. It has continued to grow. I also have a college education fund for my kids and it has continued to grow. The market goes up and down for sure, but the valleys are never as low as the prior valley, and the peaks are always higher that the prior peak. If you are investing for college or retirement, you can't beat the market. The folks that got hurt are the folks that invested tons of money in one or two places and watched as the market crashed. So on paper they were losing and they sold out, taking a huge hit rather than riding it out. You know what I did? I bought more. Hey, prices were cheap; REITs were a good deal, as were many others. But my investments are spread out all over the place and I am kind of conservative. If you invest for the short term-you take the risks that go with it, but if it's for retirement or education, long-term, enjoy your retirement, just like my folks-retired millionaires at the age of 54 (Maintenance man and a nurse). Way to go dad and mom-I hope I can do as good as you did.

Or you can bank on receiving less than 0.25% interest from SS, and a death benefit that started at about $225 and has grown to a whopping $255 after seventy years-now that is what I call growth, once again, thanks to the terrific job the government does with OUR money.

War on Terror:
Finally. Something of importance to me. Dubya has this issue nailed. They declared war on us and seeking to serve them with subpoenas just isn't going to get it done. I have given y'all plenty of hints about what could happen if the terrorists start winning this war. And it wouldn't take very much for them to win it. If they manage to crash, or seriously damage the global economy, which wouldn't take much at all, your jobs, your health care, your prescriptions, your education, and whatever else you deemed to be important beforehand will be sh*t. The world economy is a fragile house of cards that could easily collapse given the right push.

What I don't understand here is why the Liberals think that these folks are just misunderstood and will leave us alone. They really do not understand that these folks are evil and are born hating the West. There have been terrorist attacks for 60 years now, only none on our shores until recently.

These terrorist, years ago, lived out in the desert. They still do. Can anyone tell me why the Saudis, the Iraqis, Kuwaitis, etc are not all rich? Here's why. They are all under totalitarian rulers that control and sell the oil and keep the cabbage for their family and friends. Where are billions and billions of dollars a month going? Surely not to Stosh Asad Collorabi, the everyday Arab Joe. He lives in the desert.

So rather than fight for their own democracy or even better health care benefits, welfare, and prescription drugs from their own country, they attack us and others like us, because we buy the oil and have it so good. Why don't they fight for their own country? I have never understood this. It is always someone else's fault. Of course if they did try to fight for their own country they would be squashed. Now we have Muslims killing Muslims.

Mark, it will always be the same from the liberals. For years it has been: education, healthcare, prescription drugs, SS, welfare, jobs, and today, 60 years later, they are still shouting the same things, except now they can add Bush is a liar, terrorist, and Nazi. Don't you just love their inclusiveness and tolerance? It must be so horrible to live in "their" United States and have to watch others actually enjoy, praise, thank, and support "our" United States.

How about some BOC-Flaming Telepaths? Loud...
Keep the Faith.
Private Sector Dude.