Saturday, March 04, 2006

Twice in 7 Days

I never ceased reading and enjoying the Lone Prairie Blog. Its excellence is a credit to my Home State for this expatriate North Dakotan.

So now for the second time in a week I find something stirring that merits comment.

The question posed is, “will we fade into nothingness when we are gone. Will we become a shade of forgotten gray”?

Read the post.

At 31 years old legacy matters. At 61 years old, not so much.

My legacy for better or worse is made. I’m more dangerous now because I have less to lose. In the movie with Sean Connery, “The League of Extraordinary Gentleman” from the comic of the same name there is a quote:

“Old tigers are the most dangerous, they know that their next hunt could be their last so they are more abandoned and take bigger risks.”

I have butchered the quote. The sentiment is intact. I’m an old tiger and know who I am. That’s more difficult for younger people.

I am fully aware and accepting that a hundred years from today I will be an entry in a birth and death page from an old Bible. A line in a family tree. A faded memory from a great grandchild in their old age.

Perhaps that’s why I write, why I teach, why I preach, why I invest myself in others.

That’s why I plant, why I till, why I try to change things.

It’s why I try to foster improvement in things with a sense of creative discontent. Happy but not satisfied, never satisfied.

I’ll not be famous, not in a real sense any more. I’m not sure even famous people really are. Name 20 influential politicos each or writers or business people from 1906.

Tough question. You’ll get a half dozen and hit tilt. I did.

Most of the “Famous” people of today, Sunday on Oscar Night, will die in marginal obscurity and be completely forgotten in 30 years.

I hope to be remembered in 31 years by a few.

But maybe not. It’s a great question and as a motivator for the right reasons a good reason to try to make life better, fight for right as I see it, make a little difference in someone’s life and someday step from time into eternity with a smile on my face.

He won’t forget my name, ever. It’s in his book.

You won’t be forgotten Julie.

Fox Appoints Henhouse Protection Chief

Color me really unimpressed. Wal-Mart, that paragon of non-virtue, a type of the anti-Christ, is putting in place a Global Ethics Manager.

Right.

Like that amounts to anything at all. This is a low class slimy corporation with the ethics of the worst trailer trash you can concieve of. They have done permanent damage to the economy of the USA.

And like the Anti-Christ well meaning men and women (many even Christian) have cheered them on under the banner of competition, hot dogs and the American free enterprise system.

There's nothing free or enterprising about using and abusing essentially exploited slave labor globally to destroy American industry. Certainly nothing Christian. I'm not sure a Christian can or should shop at Wal-Mart.

So, I'm not impressed.

You shouldn't be either.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Ultimate Efficiency

I have decided that for me the ports deal with Dubai is a good thing. What tipped me over was an Israeli shipping company endorsing how well they run the port.

In fact that argument is made over and over again. Let’s let them run it because they do so much better than Americans can.

I guess I have to agree. There are things other people from other countries do better and more effectively than we do. So, I hereby make my vote for turning over the following industries to foreign governments to run in our country:

v Our education system K-12. We have failed as a country, we can’t educate our students and what we do is so hopelessly expensive I give you Belgium who has an effective inexpensive education system based on school choice. Let’s eliminate all public education, school boards, by default the NEA and the department of education. Belgium.

v Our TSA department. Our security system of shoeless airline passengers with Barney Fifes (God rest his soul) in charge should be sold to the Israeli army. They will get good security and not make you feel like an idiot.

v All remaining domestic auto production in American sell to the Japanese.

v Any remaining heavy manufacturing sell to the Chinese.

v Our health care system, sell it to the Canadians (they do so much better).

v Our Money losing airlines (other than Southwest) Sell to the Germans

You get the idea. We have so many things we do badly in this country that some other country does so much better. We can sell everything to someone somewhere.

I just wonder how much England would put on the table to buy out our entire government. We could become a colony.

Wouldn’t that be efficient?

There is a limit revealed only by hyperbole to the whole someone else can do it better than we can idea. Some things need to be done here even if we do it badly.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Midwest Warning Lable

I have sworn off copying text from someone else's blog without attribution (unless they are a liberal who should be embarrassed by what they write).
 
But today I read Lone Prairie and laughed out loud. 
 
Snarky warnings to those who visit Midwestern states. 
 
 
Then behave.

Proud South Dakotan

OK, I don't live in SD, I was just born there.  Watertown.  Grew up in ND, now live in IL.
 
SD has made me proud of my birthplace with their new law outlawing abortion.  It's high time this federal abortion mandate put to the test.  Way to go South Dakota.
 
Of course, the liberal media, including the Chicago Tribune are all verfluffled about this.  Letters to the editor which have these phrases:
 
If SD does this they must make contraception available to everyone free of charge.  HUH?  I didn't think abortion was about contraception.  Guess when the pressure kicks in the truth comes out.
 
If SD does this they must make adoption mandatory.  OK, deal.  Why do so many couples wander off to Russia or China to adopt. BECAUSE THERE ARE NO LITTLE BABIES AVAILABLE FOR ADOPTION IN THE USA.  They are aborted.  The children that end up available for adoption that are not adopted are those raised by single moms who are available starting at 5 years old, mentally challenged, and mom is in prison for selling crack.  She didn't get an abortion either.  And abortions were available.  Free.  She still had kids who became abused.  That won't change.  There are no unadopted newborns in America.  None.
 
And of course the usual prattle about back alleys, etc.  Believe me, clinical abortions were readily available before Roe v Wade.  They will be after. That's a pity.  This is way overdue and very welcome.
 
As to my brethren in SD, way to go.
 
 

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

The unintended effect

I remember Bottle Sam. He made his living walking from Oakes to Ellendale and back picking up empty pop bottles. The deposit was 3 cents as I recall. I don't know how he got enough to make it work. But he tried.

When I go to Michigan I always make sure I have a few empty pop bottles I rescue from the Recyle Bin. It pays for lunch.

Michigan has a "Bottle Law". They pay you to bring them your empty pop bottles. I know it's to get waste off the street but it's hard not to help them out some. I wonder how many empty bottles migrate from Illinois and Indiana every day. I mean I was going anyway and....

I'm a bad guy. But they started it. It's hard to pass up.

So, hate me. Illinois from time to time threatens to implement such a law. It does make for cleaned out garbage cans. People spend their days in Truck Stops looking for empty containers and cashing them in. In some cases people actually steal cans and bottles from the back of the stores who paid them to bring the others in. Ultimate recycling.

Unintended consequences is what this is all about. Same thing in Europe. They do this same silly thing. Now a prime import from Belgium to the Netherlands is empty pop bottles. Read all about it here.

No good deed goes unpunished.




Blown over by the Windfall of Lotto

Unless you are dead, you have bought at least one lottery ticket. When you did you had a fantasy of what you would do if you won. Pay bills, provide for your kids and grandkids, support your church etc etc etc.

What really happens is different. People who have won a lot of money in the lottery have not always enjoyed the windfall. This is sad but real. Oh, don't get me wrong a portion of Lottery winners have learned to get help quickly in how to manage their money. They listen and survive.

But many do not. These didn't. They were blown over by the windfall.


¢ William "Bud" Post, who won $16.2 million in the Pennsylvania Lottery in 1988, had a brother who tried to have him killed for the inheritance. Post lost and spent all his winnings. He was living off Social Security when he died in January.

¢ Two years after winning a $31 million Texas Lottery in 1997, Billie Bob Harrell Jr. committed suicide. He had bought cars, real estate, gave money to his family, church and friends. After his death it was not clear whether there was money left for estate taxes.

¢ Victoria Zell, who shared an $11 million Powerball jackpot with her husband in 2001, is serving time in a Minnesota prison, her money gone. Zell was convicted in March 2005 in a drug- and alcohol-induced collision that killed one person and paralyzed another.

¢ Evelyn Adams, who won the New Jersey Lottery twice, in 1985 and 1986, for a total $5.4 million, gambled and gave away all of her money. She was poor by 2001, and living in a trailer.

This comes from a USA today article from yesterday. I read it for free on the newstand and then put it back. I'm cheap. I'd do that even if I won the lottery.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Gen Xers Don't Marry Anyone

I ran into a nice gal at a local nursery I do business with. She has a 5 year old child with her “fiancĂ©e” of 7 years with whom she lives. She has given up the idea of marriage. In North Dakota she would already be common law married. She's still not sure. What??

I can't understand why people don'’t get married anymore. Marriage is hard work but very rewarding.


In a book by Jillian Strauss called the Unhooked Generation she lists 7 reasons why Young Americans between mid 20s and early 40s are unmarried at a record pace. It was written about in a Chicago Sun Times Article.


1. They are obsessed with themselves. A cult of One. They don’t care about anyone except themselves to the exclusion of all others. Selfishness.


2. Choices. Everything Gen Xers have is a multiple choice. Toothpaste. Cell phone plans. So, what If they get married and make the wrong choice. OOPS.


3. Divorce Phobia. They have seen their parents and others in unhappy marriages or divorced ant they are afraid they might end up there as well.


4. Feminism. Women don’t “need” men. Except later they think later they might. Feminism has made men afraid to try to romance women.


5. Why Suffer. Marriage is hard work and can be painful so why go thru it. Single is boring but not unknown nor does it promise suffering.


6. Celebrity examples. The cult of celebrity has caused many to see the Jennifer Anniston messes as examples of what could happen to them and causing them to back off.


7. Marriage Delay perpetuates itself. If a person gets past 30 without being married they may not ever. The stasis that happens causes people to not look any more.


I am disappointed with the outcome of this. I wish it weren’t true. This will not forebode good things for our society. We are about to go thru a demographic crisis because of this.


So, all you 30 something gen xers. Get off your butt and start looking for someone. Marriage is a wonderful thing. Get over your old bad self. The clock is ticking.