Saturday, January 26, 2008

Tidbits of interest

I have caller ID and an answering machine on the cordless phone I bought for my mother. The answering machine is left permanently on for a reason, if we want to call you, we'll let you know. So, I get plenty of calls, some over and over again in a single day. The name is unknown, and sometimes it is an 800 number. Do I know you? Have we done business? I hear distinctive sounds of hanging up in the middle of the message, then 2 or 3 rings back to the home phone number and from the same unknown individual. You knew the first time that the answering machine happens to be on. You call back repeatedly in the space of a few seconds, you are only going to get the same message again. You call off and on throughout the day, did you expect the machine would be off? If you call late night, did you expect the machine to be off? We don't do business with questionable people, telemarketers and scam artists. If you think it is important to make the call, leave a message, and we'll think about getting back to you. Many LOLs!

Kathleen Parker finally woke up and smelled the roses when it came to "Lies, Damned Lies and Politics." I had been reading her sometimes republished column in the Spokesman-Review since the late 1990s when she began opining about Bill Clinton and the Monica Lewinsky show. I have a fairly good memory of Ms. Parker's opinions, and she has spent more time handing out preachy, how much better I am to you, my values underpin my judgment of what you do with your private life and how dare you dictate to me my physical fitness (GW) and if I want to drive a gas guzzling SUV. Parker can often be shrill. Actually writing something thoughtful comes as a rare and welcome surprise. But like so many of her other columns, Ms. Parker arrives at this subject with wide-eyed shock. Shock that anyone would think of using smear tactics, including out right lies about a candidate in any election campaign. Dear lady, smear tactics and out right lies have been a means to an end since the founding of this republic and part and parcel with any election year. And yes, people supporting one candidate or his opponent are very inventive when it comes to effective smearing.

What is most amazing, the news media in 2004 didn't choose to question smear tactics and even helped them along. John Kerry wearing a special protective suit while visiting a secure [lab?] environment that requires anyone who visits there to wear the same thing. A photo appearing and the news media such as CNN cackled over it. GW himself engaging in smear tactics and out right lies. There is a reverent hush from the news media such as CNN. The "Swift boat veterans" get a media outlet to engage in an hour and a half of smear tactics. Wonder where Ms. Parker was while all this was happening? So now that GW and the ugliness that he brought to the office of the presidency will soon be history, the news media has real questions for anyone who'd engage in out right lies of any politician running for president. And yeah, Ms. Parker expresses her weariness of people who'd engage in such whispering campaigns by way of e-mail. Recently, GW visiting a factory that makes lawn mowers. He rides about on one on the factory floor... Reminds me of Mike Dukakis in a tank. The only media outlet that cackled over GW looking like an utter fool was Comedy Central.

GW was talking to some Republican group, he was at one point urging Congress to pass this and that in the way of an economic stimulus package and a secure America act. But, he wasn't making his presence known to Congress, rather to his guaranteed supporters. Just when has GW ever really addressed Congress to its collective face? He talks to everyone else but Congress as to what he thinks they should do to help his "presidency" along. So here is the punch line, GW talking about how strong the underpinnings of the economy was, watching CNN, I saw the Dow Industrial develop an erratic pulse and close down sharply in the triple digits. I had to collect my latest paycheck get something in the bank and proceed to pay some bills. I came back to watch the "Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer" for long enough to see that the Dow had closed sharply down by almost 200 points: 171 points in the red zone. I have a money market for my eventual retirement. I won't close it out and will continue to contribute to it on a monthly basis. Just as I have my plans to continue to contribute to American Funds and Franklin Templeton when ever I have spare cash. I also plan on buying more savings bonds. Latest Signe Wilkenson political cartoon: Described here where GW leans out and asks the "falling to their deaths" stock traders if this is a bad time for privatizing Social Security and investing it in Wall Street. Those of us with private stock and bond accounts who look to these things as vehicles toward retirement would argue that it would be a bad time to put a guaranteed government pension into the same volatile stock market situation as currently exists.

No comments: