December 15, 2011

Close to the News…

Hmm… little news story.

Poughkeepsie High teacher stabbed multiple times by co-worker…

…The stabbing, he said, took place in a hallway of the school at approximately 10:03 a.m. Almost immediately, teachers, students and staff began to intervene. English teacher Ronette Ricketts managed to stab Glozier 16 times in total, he said.

…Wilson said Ricketts had come earlier in the morning to the district office looking for a personnel action sheet. "Somehow she was under the impression that she was being terminated," he said, adding he did not know why….

…Glozier, 54, a Rhinebeck resident, also an English teacher at the school, is listed in stable condition and recovering at Saint Francis Hospital. No students were involved or harmed in the incident, said Wilson…

Ok, so why am I conveying this story to you my semi-interested readers?…

Well, I just found it interesting that I… who resides some 1,000 miles from today’s crime scene, was at both of these locations today for a couple of business meetings… St Francis Hospital first followed by Poughkeepsie City Schools (particularly, the Admin Building).   Small world…Huh? Sometimes I really wish it was bigger.  Oddly enough, both of my clients were a little late to my meetings…  Can’t imagine why?  (Actually, I knew exactly why, we were briefed on the situation in detail by my client at Poughkeepsie City Schools… hard not to discuss something like this…)

Man, what is wrong with people?

December 15, 2011 in Business, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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August 10, 2011

So Long as it is on Someone Else’s Back!

I get disgusted every time I read a poll taken that says Americans want the wealthy taxed more and Businesses taxed more. 

Well they didn’t ask this American’s opinion!

A CNN/ORC poll reportedly found the following:

Most Americans want a special congressional committee tasked with drafting a long-term solution to the nation's mounting federal deficits to include tax hikes for the wealthy and businesses and deep cuts in domestic spending, according to a new national survey.

… [it] also indicates that the public doesn't want the super committee to propose major changes to Social Security and Medicare or increase taxes on middle class and lower-income Americans.

My gawd… Did they take a poll of 3rd graders?

Little lesson for you here folks, we need to stop with this “Wealthy need to pay their share!” bovine scatology!  They contribute way more than their fair share!  Yes they have nice houses, yes they live a life of luxury, yes they may not suffer as much as the local McDonalds worker with 4 kids.  SO WHAT?!

Once he is content in his personal interest he has to do something with all that money!  Usually this excess is invested!!!  Look it up!

That wealthy bastard, more than likely owns a business or two that hires any number of employees who earn and contribute to the economy!  He buys capital items for his business with the funds his business earns!  Those capital items come from other companies who hire workers to manufacture them.  If the Wealthy isn’t a direct business owner/runner he more than likely owns shares in companies, these shares are offered to people like you and me to help fund the operations of said businesses!  Want to feel the power of ownership?  Buy a stock!

If we tax these so called wealthy more, that is mathematically less money that employer will have to hire someone.  Look, lets say we tax multi-millionaires another $500,000.00 per year… would that make you feel better that they didn’t have it and the government did?

Why? … Because the government will be so much more efficient with those funds? 

Think about it.  That’s 10 people that employer cannot hire!  That’s 10 more people in the unemployment line, that’s 10 more people taking from the government for literally doing NOTHING!  Except maybe for looking for a job that is not out there because we’ve taxed the wealthy more!

Seriously get off your stupidity horse!

Second part… Let’s tax business more!  Face-Palm-Smack!

There is NO SUCH THING AS BUSINESS!!!  It is PEOPLE!  By taxing business more, we are taxing people more!  Whether they be the consumer of or the employee of that business!  Again for every $30,000 in taxes levied on a “BUSINESS” that is one less employee to be hired!  One less piece of equipment purchased.  That OR the business has to raise prices of goods or services to compensate for the tax increase.  (Ergo a tax on the consumer!)  The monies to pay these taxes don’t magically appear like a fart from a pixie!  They HAVE to come from hard working Americans! 

Now as for… “the public doesn't want the super committee to propose major changes to Social Security and Medicare or increase taxes on middle class and lower-income Americans.”

It is precisely these entitlements that have the “Government” in the pickle its in.  But noooo we can’t touch these because they are so… What?…  effective????   Obviously you are giving the donkey one of your patented cranial enemas!

Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid absolutely need to be re-visited!  Increase the tax on EVERYONE if this is supposed to be for everyone!!! Raise the age of receiving these benefits!!! We’re living longer damn it!  It should ALWAYS be a function of the average lifespan!  And should be revisited every 10 years!  Whoever is born in “X” year is eligible for benefits in “Y” year!

“Don’t tax the Middle class or lower-income Americans…” Why not?  Do they not benefit from government services more than anyone?  Shouldn’t they be called upon to contribute their “Fair Share” too?

I say TAX EVERYONE EQUALLY!  Either a 20% income tax on everyone period!  No deductions!  or… let’s really simplify the tax code and institute a 9% sales tax on all goods sold to an end user (wholesale is exempt).  You pay a tax on that which you can afford!  Also we capture that missing trillion dollars in uncollected revenue from under-the-table employees and illegal aliens.

Also… this method greatly reduces the cost and the size of the IRS!  We could save 100’s of Billions in that alone!

Some good videos from a guy named Milton Freidman follow… good food for thought, if you’re willing to eat it.

The Free Lunch Myth--

Soak the Rich --

There you go…

August 10, 2011 in Business, Current Affairs, Idiots on Parade, Politics | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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August 07, 2011

Annual Camping Trip!

My friends and I have a bit of an annual ritual… Every summer we all give up many of our daily trappings and retreat to the near wilds of Colorado for a few days of R&R, fly-fishing, steak eating, beer swilling and fire poking!

This year we spent 3 glorious days at the base of the fourteen thousand feet Colorado Collegiate Peaks along the Arkansas River.

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As I’ve gained in age, wisdom, and waist size… I’ve migrated away from the more rugged style of camping, sleeping in the tent on the ground in a 1972 psychedelic sleeping bag, to mooching off of a friend of mine, ‘Scooter’- and occupying one of his two double beds in his pop-up trailer- complete with heater!  (Yeah I know it’s August, but I’ll have you know that the ambient at 3:30am was indeed registering 38 degrees!)  Odd I know coming from a guy who does not wear waders when fly-fishing in 52 degree river water!

And speaking of wading, there was indeed opportunity to do that as well in Colorado’s Arkansas River… Note I specifically did not say fishing!  Because even though I had my fly rod in hand, casting any number of feathered bug-avatars into said flowing torrent… I’m convinced there were no fish to be wrangled this year!  (My wife and Clay, who both claim to have caught something, beg to differ -- I never witnessed either acquisition so I’m still convinced it was the river and not my angling skills!)  The rest of our herd is inclined to agree with me!  Lest their angling skills be impugned as well!

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But the views more than made up for my shut out!

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Alas, the closing day of the long weekend was upon us all too soon, and the campsite required we yuppie nomads to vacate the wilderness… with electric hookups, flush toilets… and coin op showers… no later than 11:00am.  We departed at 10:55 for our 2 hour journey back to civilization, all of us proud in the fact that not one of us deposited a single quarter in their Shower Racket!

Besides there is something immensely satisfying to arriving home, unloading the SUV and proceeding to spend 20 minutes in the master bath shower, rinsing off the smoke smell of 200+ store bought pine logs sacrificed to the meditation god known as the “campfire”! 

I bid you all a good evening, as I hope to dream of star-filled skies, gentle breezes, and the trickle of a nearby tributary… 

Thanks again to Scooter for setting this whole decompress up!  You’re a GIANT among men in my book!

August 7, 2011 in Biographical, Current Affairs, Photo, Travel, Weather | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

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June 16, 2011

Cigar Aficionado Moment

Last Saturday Clay and Dana, became Clay and Dana Pfrangle.  I had the privilege of being their Best Man.  The wedding was a fine occasion, with the pending thunderstorms dissipating in plenty of time to facilitate the planned outdoor nuptials. 

The ceremony itself was short and sweet (as is best) and the reception provided ample opportunity to socialize, eat, and drink (not necessarily in that order).  Friends of Clay and Dana flew in from all points across our country to share in their great day.  I, of course, performed my duties flawlessly as Best Man… issuing the rings on command and issuing the proper toast to the Bride and Groom when appropriate (Again… short and sweet!).

I would have had any number of photos of the occasion as my reader’s have come to expect here on the pages of Carmichael’s Position, but alas being part of the ‘Official Party’ and not the ‘Official Photographer’ I left my trusty Nikon at home.  Besides, the two professional photogs filled a flash drive or twelve with images of the festivities, posed and un-posed… I’m looking forward to seeing some of those.  Especially the one that posed all of the party holding lit stogies and drinking 18year old single malt… suitable for rendering in the back pages of Cigar Aficionado Magazine.

Now that is not to say I didn’t capture a couple of images using my first generation iPhone- you know that 64k of resolution focused through that high quality- translucent as a cinderblock lens!

I do like the subject matter though…  In a bit of a mini-Cigar Aficionado moment, I had a friend take a picture of me, my lovely Bride Ginger and one of the 2 Best Men at our wedding, Stu.

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The second image was taken by Ginger of 4 good men, well 3 good men and me.  (L-R: Ken Schoeni, Your Humble Scribe, Stu Sweet, and the Groom himself-Clay Pfrangle… still smiling after a hour of marriage!)

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Good times…

And to Clay and Dana… I wish you a lifetime of love and happiness!

June 16, 2011 in Biographical, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

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January 04, 2011

At What Point Is Enough, Enough?

“Politically Correct” are two diametrically opposed words forced into grammatical copulation!

Every day we are faced with more and more incidences of our Overly Sensitized – Oprah Worshiping – Bravo Channel Watching – Pacifist Celebrating – Fairness Focused – Macramé Wearing, Medical Hemp Tote’n, Rainbow Wearing,  un-informed public declaring indignation over some perceived wrong and demanding immediate JUSTICE be served!  And like lemmings our knee jerk reaction is to kowtow these pansies and comply with what we perceive THESE Twits would like to have happen!

The latest installment in this is the sacking of US Navy Capt. Owen Honors, the Commanding Officer of the USS Enterprise.

I’ve been holding off on publishing my opinion on this subject due to what I thought initially to be proper temperance on my part.  Better to understand the whole picture before I go off in defense of the Captain or join the lynching.  But the more I restrained my contempt for the situation at large the more frustrated I became.

Honestly… I don’t give a RAT’s ASS what the good Captain said or did in this video production on board OUR most historic warship of the line!  And… NEITHER SHOULD YOU!!! 

We’ve all seen worse on the Tonight Show, The Daily Show, or Comedy Central and we sure as shit didn’t give a crap then!  Actually we probably laughed and told a friend about it the next day at work!

Grow Up!  Sometimes, just sometimes… lewd, demeaning, humorous references about almost every special interest and repressed group are made for the cause of humor, entertainment, and just plain salaciousness.  And you know what?  Sometimes it’s DAMN FRIGG’N FUNNY! (ever watch South Park? and laugh?)  And other times it is a bit embarrassing!  Don’t believe me?  Watch MTV for 7 minutes!  Watch Comedy Central! Watch Cinemax after 10:00pm! Watch Bravo… EVAH!  Or “The 700 club” for that matter too!  It is all Offensive!  To Someone! Somewhere!  That is their (the producers’ the investors’ the corporations’) intent!

Why are we (and I don’t really know who the “WE” is in this scenario) eager to call for the head of a well served, highly decorated, well worth our tax money for the task’s we’ve asked, man, and yet we immediately turn around and ignore much more heinous actions of people like… John Murtha, David Letterman, Tiger Woods, John Edwards, Charlie Rangel… and quite frankly 70% of the sitting elected officials in that cesspool Washington DC!

Here’s what we as TAX PAYERS should demand of our NAVY and those investigating this Oh My God – High Crime!  Find something better to do with your time!!!  Slap this man on the wrist!  (Which was already done 3 years ago!) and let him learn from a VERY SMALL mistake in judgment and get on with carrying out his assigned and well earned duties as a caring CO of a Nuclear Aircraft Carrier!  And if any of the offended SWO’s, Female Sailors, or other wuss’s who can’t take some ribbing would like to… They can leave the boat!  Preferably after she’s cleared the marker!

That is all…

January 4, 2011 in Current Affairs, Idiots on Parade | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

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October 23, 2010

Going Sinker

I plan to try to decompress for the next week!  With exception of a conference call I am required to partake in on Monday (for hopefully only a half an hour), I am ON VACATION!

My plan is to stay away from all that spins up my blood pressure in negative ways!  This means no Drudge Report, No Talk Radio, No News, No Blogosphere, No Work (my coworkers have my contact information for what is really needed and as always I will respond… damn that dedication thing… My wife would really like me to skip my cell phone across the pool!) but I do not plan to instigate anything other than the occasional “Check Raise” on a couple of poker tables I plan to sit at!

Maybe by Tuesday I may actually feel the decompression begin… 

A Bloody Mary or two by the pool prolly won’t hurt none neither!

I’ll probably return to regular postings in November, I’ll be back in the Center of the Universe (bringing balance where it is needed) for that week, and need to vent I’m sure.

Until then, talk amongst yourselves…

October 23, 2010 in Biographical, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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July 30, 2010

Taxes are going up… FOR EVERYONE!

This scares the hell out of me.

Despite what you may WANT to believe from the current administration that you will not face increased taxes unless… you know… you’re one of those evil non-productive, teet sucking rich folks.  You’re in for a hellofa surprise. If you haven’t seen this from Investors Business Daily, I recommend reading the whole article.

Many are unaware that the “Bush Tax Cuts” are due to expire this year.  Many may assume letting any “Bush” policy expire is a good thing.  I warn you to not get caught up in your zeal to denigrate all things “Bush”.  When these tax cuts expire (a termination date was initially established as an appeasement to the congressional Democrats, instead of making these permanent… so if you hear twits like this trying to point a finger at the Republicans for wanting this to happen… please CALL BULLSHIT!) there are a plethora of increases even the lowest marginal tax payer will be affected by.   Here are some of the low-lights…

The Tax Tsunami On The Horizon

…Resurrection of the death tax, (the death tax returns — at a rate of 55% on estates of $1 million or more.) however, isn't the only tax problem that will be ushered in Jan. 1. Many other cuts from the Bush administration are set to disappear and a new set of taxes will materialize. And it's not just the rich who will pay.

  • The lowest bracket for the personal income tax, for instance, moves up 50% — to 15% from 10%. The next lowest bracket — 25% — will rise to 28%, and the old 28% bracket will be 31%. At the higher end, the 33% bracket is pushed to 36% and the 35% bracket becomes 39.6%.
  • The marriage penalty also makes a comeback, and the capital gains tax will jump 33% — to 20% from 15%. The tax on dividends will go all the way from 15% to 39.6% — a 164% increase.
  • Both the cap-gains and dividend taxes will go up further in 2013 as the health care reform adds a 3.8% Medicare levy for individuals making more than $200,000 a year and joint filers making more than $250,000.
  • Other tax hikes include: halving the child tax credit to $500 from $1,000 and fixing the standard deduction for couples at the same level as it is for single filers.

I think the IDP/TIPP poll tells the story…

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Look, you can buy into the crap that the Government is here to save us all from ourselves, or those evil (non-union) job creating small businesses and corporations.  But I promise you, the more money you remove from individual Americans, the more despair we will face in the coming years.

July 30, 2010 in Current Affairs, Idiots on Parade, Politics | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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July 28, 2010

The Self Licking Ice Cream Cone

I was watching an interview with Florida 22nd Congressional Candidate Lt. Col. Allen West taped a few months back, where he hit upon one of the many principals I hold true as a conservative.

“… I don’t believe in the ‘Entitlement Class’, I don’t believe in enslaving the American people, I believe in the American people being empowered… 

…The number one thing we have to reestablish in our culture is a sense of individual responsibility and accountability.  I’m tired of victimization.  In the military we call it the ‘Self Licking Ice Cream Cone’.  Because the government creates victims, and victims then become wedded to the government, dependant upon the government.  Government grows, because it has to provide the entitlements to them.  So we have to get away from that!”

His entire interview is a good interview outlining his stance on a number of pressing issues.  He taps into may 3rd rail issues and addresses them head-on, thoughtfully and responsibly, I recommend watching.

July 28, 2010 in Current Affairs, Politics | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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July 21, 2010

In my mind, Shirley Sherrod is owed an apology

I watched the entire video of Shirley Sherrod, the then State Director, USDA Rural Development, where a few minute clip was excerpted and paraded as an example of racism in the NAACP.  (For those of you who would like to be your own judge I have included it below.)

I watched the whole thing, and while I do not entirely agree with her method of presentation, choosing to demonize Republicans (and of course the Bush Administration) in our “treatment” of Blacks and the Poor… I do understand the message she was trying to get across to a focus group audience. 

She was using her previous philosophical belief that “It was all about Black Folk” as a foundation to her revealing she grew to understand that it is a different bias, and bigotry if you will, one of the “Rich against the Poor” (not a hypothesis I agree with btw) that is the culprit of inequity in America.  Her words, that fed the fire of condemnation, were indeed taken out of context and not an accurate portrayal of her intended message. She continued to lecture on a more “Class-Envy” model rather than a strict focus on a racial model of injustice.  Yes she obliquely acknowledged that the White Republican = Rich and the Democrat Black = Poor, but she left that direct connection to the viewer’s conjecture more than explicitly stating it.

Should she be held up as the Poster Child of racism prevalent in organizations like the NAACP?  No!  However there may be a case to be made about the NACCP attendees in the audience, who, not knowing where she was headed in her story, were applauding her treatment of the “White Farmer” because of his race. There are far more prevalent cases of Race-Baiting-Victimization-Claiming charlatans in whatever organization you want to focus on than this woman.

Look, “Racism” has become the knee-jerk word of assault lately…

  • Don’t like a Tea-Party Member voicing his/her opinion about too much government involvement in our life? Call her a Racist!
  • Don’t like the NRA protecting Second Amendment rights?  Call  him a Racist!
  • Don’t like people making the argument that individuals comprise our Union… not Races, Social Classes, Elitists, Academics…  Call me a Racist!
  • Don’t like people wanting to secure a sovereign border?  And enforcing immigration laws?…  Racist!
  • Don’t agree with Americans who would like proof you are who you say you are when casting a vote?… Racist!
  • And finally, someone who disagrees with the policies, methods, and political philosophy of the current administration… RACIST!

It needs to stop, else it WILL lose it’s impact and worth in our lexicon.

I have every right to judge a person on their own character, morality, conviction, dedication, and devotion… I do not make these judgments based on the color of one’s skin!  I admire many people, many are white!  Many are Black! Many are Hispanic!  And many are Asian!  Usually I admire these people based on their character and their willingness to empower those around them through sharing their wisdom, while leading by example.

And yes, I have complete distain for many people as well!  They too cover the gambit of skin color!

In my mind, Racism is focusing on providing preferential treatment, or denying opportunity to an individual based on the color of that person’s skin.  I do not buy into the concept that racism has to be based on institutionalized power, and that only a minority group can be the victim of racism. 

Back to Ms. Sherrod’s comment about her own prism of racism she viewed a “White, Patronizing" farmer.  Her message, while not complete (as she finds another “classification” to justify victimization) is illustrative of the fact that YES! A Back Woman can apply racism in her own determination of justice.  She makes a fine point in stating that that is WRONG! 

And many who may have jumped, wantonly, to accuse an organization like the NAACP of a double standard and use Ms. Sherrod’s words as a flag to march behind, owe her an apology.  I think she proved a point more than she’ll ever know, that “Racism” is evil and disserving our union, and we need to stop accusing each other without cause, or comprehension.

I did note however a sizable use of the word “They”, implying an automatic inequity, I guess to be a victim one has to have an assailant.

Btw, It’s not the rich against the poor either… it is the selfish against the generous… of heart, mind, spirit, and character.  It is Envy, Pride, Wrath, Greed, Lust, Sloth, and Gluttony that are our enemies, each of them internal!  Empower the person next to you to achieve their own goals through their own efforts.  Make determinations for them, and you cripple them for life!

July 21, 2010 in Current Affairs, Politics | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

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June 03, 2010

Apollo 17 Astronaut (and Geologist) Dr. Harrison Schmitt refutes the Obama Administration’s Comparison of the Gulf Oil Leak with Apollo 13!

A great editorial by Harrison Schmitt over at “Watts Up With That?”:

President Obama’s Administration and its supportive media repeatedly say our 1970 Apollo 13 experience is analogous to the effort to contain and cap the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Not hardly!

The rescue of Astronauts Jim Lovell, Fred Haise and Jack Swigert, after an oxygen tank explosion on their spacecraft, illustrates how complex technical accidents should be handled, in contrast to the Gulf fiasco. Nothing in the government’s response to the blowout and explosion on the Deepwater Horizon and its aftermath bears any resemblance to the response to the Apollo 13 situation by the National Aeronautic and Space Administration and its Mission Control team at the Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston.

“Failure was not an option” for Gene Kranz and his Apollo 13 flight controllers and engineers. In contrast, failure clearly has been an option for President Obama and those claiming to have been on top of this situation “from day one” in his White House and in the Departments of Interior, Energy and Homeland Security. With no single, competent, courageous and knowledgeable leader in charge of a comparably competent, courageous and knowledgeable team as we had with Apollo 13, the Administration has been doomed to failure from the start. The President, without any experience in real-world management of anything, much less a crisis, has no idea how to deal with a situation as technically complex as the Gulf oil spill.

Much more here [LINK]

June 3, 2010 in Current Affairs, Science | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

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