Patrick's Rants



9/16/2010

I’m Joining the Tea Party

Filed under: Politics — site admin @ 8:35 pm

I’m joining the Tea Party. I’m “Taxed Enough Already”. I’m sick and tired of the government being involved in everything. I’m with Rand Paul. Let’s eliminate the “federal reserve bank”. Interest rates and monetary policy should be up to me.

Let’s get rid of the SEC, I don’t want my taxes paying to prosecute Martha Stewart or Bernie Madoff. I want the government out of regulating the airwaves, I want my kids to see Janet Jackson’s nipple – except that interferes with my government granted right to protect my children from nipple exposure.

Just like Rand Paul, I say cut out the right of the government to dictate who I can have as a customer – if I want to discriminate against Jews and Blacks and Mexicans it’s my private business. I shouldn’t have to serve LTWs if I don’t want to. That’s my hero Rand Paul – except I don’t like the way that guy looks either. His giant bulbous nose on that anorexic Mr. Potato head with steel wool hair is just creepy. I would discriminate against that guy on his crazy looks.

(If you dare, and aren’t squeamish about language then read (more…)

9/15/2010

Gotta Love the Internet

Filed under: It's funny — site admin @ 8:54 pm

Jake linked to this hysterical email exchange lovingly documented by someone with an obvious sense of humor.

What’s Worse?

Filed under: Politics — site admin @ 8:05 pm

What’s worse, “Obamacare” or GOP/Republican “don’t care”? When Jesus himself said, “you will be judged in heaven by how you treat the weakest among you.” Or maybe they (Repugnicans) don’t believe in God?

The Tax Debate

Filed under: Money,Taxes — site admin @ 7:56 pm

When you hear the “families making more than $250,000.00” as the threshold for potential tax cuts what do you think? Do you think that means that they earn $250,000.00 and then subtract their home mortgage and charitable donations? You would be wrong. You would also be wrong if you thought Joe the Plumber was upset about the potential to gross $250k and have to pay taxes on all of it.

You would be wrong if you believe the argument that taxing those making more than $250k would reduce hiring or small company spending. The truth is that whatever you spend your company funds on – as long as it’s ordinary and necessary – reduces your tax bill. Let me restate that. Any small company owner that says they are holding off on hiring because of the potential for their tax bill to go up – on taxable income (taxable meaning the part that’s left over after paying business expenses) – is disingenuous, a liar, uninformed or perhaps greedy.

Here’s a simple example: company A (a pretty small company) grosses $30,000/month in retail sales. Assuming a markup of 30% approximately $23,000 goes to inventory. Cheap rent might be as low as $500.00 for a smallish shop; utilities maybe another $150. That leaves $6350 in the shop owner’s pocket. Subtract a barely over minimum wage full time employee (assume the owner keeps whatever is left) at around $2,000/mo and business insurance and there’s only $4350 left. I’m not counting a lot of business expenses that the owner could have, but you can see how this business that grosses $360,000 year leaves the owner with $48k/year. Guess which tax bracket this owner is in? If s/he’s married and has a child, next to nothing.

To be left with over $250k taxable income you aren’t talking about most people’s idea of a small business anymore. You aren’t even talking about Congress’ idea of a small business anymore.

Let’s look at Joe the (lying) Plumber’s business. (more…)

9/4/2010

Bank Blame Game

Filed under: Money — site admin @ 9:09 am

Bob Cringely writes how he believes that crappy programming at Bank of America that doesn’t integrate with the crappy programming over at Freddie Mac is to blame for his friend’s inability to modify his mortgage loan. I’m guessing the reason is really more nefarious, the banks don’t really care. Someone else is there to take the hazard away from the bank.

Why do I say this? Because I know someone who has tried for nearly a year to get a modification. The bank has asked weekly for the same information. The person on the other end of the line isn’t really able to help, they are a cog that has to be worked to get to the next cog only to eventually be told that the process has to be started over because – well the bank was slow in processing the paperwork and all of the information is out of date. The person I know gave up when the bank called and informed her that she had “fallen out” of the loan modification program, and “when are you going to make these past due payments?” The response? Come and get the house.

Incompetency, ignorance, malice. Whatever the reason, people around the country are given the run-around and are still losing their homes. These are people that want to stay in their homes. Whether they made mistakes in their original purchase and made assumptions about their ability to pay, they still want to pay the bank. I’m not talking about the outrageous ideas about refinancing in a few years when “the home value goes up because they never go down,” but genuine belief that their income would continue to be sufficient to pay the bank. I say if there is something wrong with the software it’s because it was never intended to actually work, but to delay the point in time when the bank has to list the loan as a bad asset.

8/22/2010

Web Stumbling

Filed under: General,It's funny — site admin @ 5:22 pm

Professor Smartass Check it out.

Barack Obama Is The Worst President in History

Filed under: Politics — site admin @ 5:21 pm

At least he is if you believe Ben Quayle, pasty faced son of forgetable Dan Quayle. But Ben is hard to believe. He’s running as a family values candidate who used to write some pretty seedy things on a web site about the dirty side of Scottdale Night life.

He then says,

“Drug cartels in Mexico, tax cartels in Washington”

Drug cartels are Obama’s fault? Easier to say coke snorting former President, George W. Bush is to blame for that.

How about Nixon? Reagan who eliminated the entire S&L industry with the swipe of a pen? Nope. It has to be Obama.

No matter, he said he didn’t write for thedirty.com. While technically true he’s a bona fide right winger. And what does that mean about Obama being the worst President ever? Well, first you have to believe that he never wrote sleazy material for dirtyscottsdale.com. Do you?

Vote for The Other Guy

Filed under: Politics — site admin @ 5:03 pm

The Republican primary ballot for my district breaks down so bizarrely that I wouldn’t know who to vote for if I were to request that ballot* on August 24.

So let’s see what we have:
For Senator, we there is John “I sent 3000 troops to the border” McCain. Never mind that Federal law prohibits troops from acting in a policing capacity on US soil. McCain has flip flopped on the border fence and is running on security, not jobs.

JD Hayworth is running against him. JD is a tea bagging blow hard who was voted out of Congress and then ran infomercials selling “free government grants” that were investigated for fraud and the company had to settle with several attorneys general for misleading advertising. (more…)

It’s Politics Season

Filed under: Politics,Religion — site admin @ 8:15 am

The supposed “Ground Zero Mosque” is adding to the list of lies perpetuated by the Tea Baggers and right wing wackadoos. “Death Panels” is a notable tick mark on that same list.

Here’s where I weigh in. Do not allow any, any “house of worship” anywhere. They impinge on my right to be atheist. They offend me in their beliefs that there is some mysterious “man in the sky” who controls life or watches us like tropical fish in a bowl.

Or maybe the right wing whackadoos should step back and realize that our first amendment protects the Islamic religion as much as it protects the Mormons who killed innocent cross country travelers in the US, the Catholics, who baptized babies so they would go to heaven when their heads were bashed in moments later with axes by those same Catholics and the Jews, who killed Jesus himself.

The mosque is blocks away from ground zero. And the right wingers, as Sara Palin has said, cling to their guns and their religion. The First and Second Amendments allow them to do that. It also does not allow them to take that away from the Muslims. If they want to build a mosque and cling to their guns I say so be it. The First Amendment does not read, “unless you happen to be muslim, or your church is too close to something I want to call ‘sacred’.”

Right wing whackadoos are allowed to spew their lies and hatred under the First Amendment and back up their words with their Second Amendment rights. Muslims are too.

8/7/2010

Beaver Creek Camping

Filed under: General — site admin @ 11:27 am

We’ve been camping a few times this summer. Three times at Blue Ridge Reservoir, and this past week at Beaver Creek Campground. It was rainy this past weekend, the forecast was for 60 – 80% chance of continuing rain and I was sure that we wouldn’t be heading anywhere to camp. But my wife decided she was going camping and there wasn’t anything that I could do about it, except go along. Rock Crossing is our favorite campground, but we’ve been there when it’s been raining. It’s miserable – or least I am.

The water was high and running quickly. Not so quickly that the kids couldn’t get in, swim, splash around and ride the float down the channel, but quickly enough to keep the bottom swirled up and the water a bit muddy in the widened space we were using. I fished all three days we were there with only a minor amount of luck. A nice sized catfish hooked on my line, but I was too far from my net to slip under it and as soon as I tried to lift it out of the water my 6lb or so line just snapped and the fish was gone. It was later, fishing just as the light was beginning to fade that I hooked into my only trout of the trip. I was casting my line across the creek nearly landing the bait no the shore and letting it float down the current when I noticed what looked like a little pop on the bobber. A couple more casts exactly the same and I hooked a 10 – 12″ rainbow trout. I was hoping to hook a catfish or two and switched to hotdogs on the bottom – and to my new catfish pole (replacing the pole lost at Lake Mary) and settled in to fish.

Around 9:30 or 10:00 my wife came down to the water to check on my luck. While we were chatting, I caught movement from the corner of my eye. A skunk. And then two and then five. What is it with night fishing and skunks? I decided to give up on the fishing, packed my stuff up and grabbed my trout. We went back to our camp site and I started to clean my fish. Apparently fish smells good to skunks because one walked up right behind me while I was cleaning the fish. I had to clean it quickly, slip it into a ziplock bag and drop it into the cooler. I put my fishing bait in the trunk of my car too so the skunks would leave.

For breakfast we had bacon, eggs, potatoes, and no my plate fresh trout cooked over the grill. Butter, salt, pepper and the last of the Corona limes squeezed over the top and sealed in foil. The trout was absolutely delicious. My wife asked for a small taste and then kept taking forks full from my plate. She agreed that I could bring home more trout to cook.

A few things to remember if you are going to Beaver Creek:

  • it can get noisy during the day since it’s easy to get to, the PBR crowd just may show up
  • do not keep trash at your campsite overnight, the skunks will visit – they even licked the greasy spot where our portable grill was sitting. We kept the grill in the back of our van
  • No see ums are out morning and evening, put on bug spray before bed. Watch out for the ants too, they are everywhere
  • The campground is small – 12 rentable spaces – and you are fairly close to your neighbors
  • There is a charge for your second vehicle if you have one
  • Firewood can be bought from the host or picked up in the forest
  • The water is not deep enough for diving

All in all we had a great time even though it rained for days in Flagstaff (we only had a little bit of rain). The camp hosts were very friendly, chatting any time we ran into them.

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