Monday, February 23, 2009

Monday Morning Rant 79

There are concerns about a couple of different items in light of the coverage of the “porkulus disaster.” The first is the apparent attitude of the president and many top officials in Washington who seem to portray a constant message of gloom and doom. I fully appreciate that it is necessary, when you have just passed and signed the largest pork bill in history, to cover your foolishness in the event it turns into the national tragedy which it undoubtedly will. Be assured; it is not a stimulus. Much of the legislation deals with projects which have no hope of being implemented before 2010 at the earliest and little which (percentage wise) will aid the citizens at the present. Not even the $13.00 will help.

That having been noted, may we observe that the executive branch in particular has a “bully pulpit” to set a theme for the nation as a whole? What they have done with the complicity of the media is sound more like Chicken Little than the American eagle. Yes, we have financial problems and yes home prices in certain areas have dropped below their value as mortgage collateral and yes, to a degree, there are marginally more homes in foreclosure than usual.

To cast an unbiased eye on this matter, we turn to Alan Reynolds of the Cato Institute with the result of some amazing research he has done on the subject. In this linked article he names the five (5!) states which are experiencing the bulk of the grief in this imbalance in our normal financial condition. He also explains the circumstances which brought it all about and has some interesting figures on the threat of unemployment. There was a time when we lived not in fear but in a spirit of courage to confront our problems. Let us pray that our leadership will fully understand the indomitable will of the American people and get over this business of crying in our beer all the time and encourage the citizens to exercise their will.

As you read Mr. Reynolds piece I encourage you to pay special attention to his remarks on the second item--unemployment figures. One issue which many have not factored in is the truth that most of our retailers traditionally cut back on personnel shortly after the busy Christmas season. Any business (retail) that I have ever been a party to wound up virtually costing me the entire month of December in personal time to maintain enough staff to handle the business. Most businesses operate with longer hours and greatly increased traffic during that critical season. It is a shakey balance which must be maintained and those in my level of management were the ones who filled the gaps. On December 20th, you may need twenty cashiers manning the registers. On January 5th, you only need about 7 to 12. You may keep five delivery trucks on the road in December and only need 2 or 3 the following month. This is a component of manufacturing and services as well. It is a fact of the marketing scheme.

No manager, be it retail, service, or manufacturing, intentionally lays people off without reason unless he himself is seeking greener pastures. There is no profit in maintaining millions in inventory if you can’t get it out the door. These people fully understand this as well as the penalty for failing to maintain an inventory of workers to do the job.

In summation it is apparent that our leaders do not understand the Americans they govern. The president endlessly campaigned on promised transparency and then summarily concealed the details of the “porkulus” package. The leadership of the congress didn’t even provide the full details to the membership before they put it up to a vote. Then they follow up with a message laden with dire warnings. To counteract this, read the report I linked and while it will not completely put your mind at ease; it will help.

Pillsbury Doughboy Obituary

This was lifted from the web-site Wicked Thoughts in its entirety. While probably not newsworthy, it is at least, punny:

“Veteran Pillsbury spokesman Pop N. Fresh died yesterday of a severe yeast infection. He was 71.

Known to friends as Brown-n-Serve, Fresh was an avid gardener and tennis player. Fresh was buried in one of the largest funeral ceremonies in recent years. Dozens of celebrities turned out including Mrs. Butterworth, the California Raisins, Hungry Jack, Aunt Jemima, Betty Crocker, the Hostess Twinkies, and Skippy. The graveside was piled high with flours as longtime friend Aunt Jemima delivered the eulogy, describing Fresh as a man who "never knew how much he was kneaded."

Fresh rose quickly in show business, but his later life was filled with many turnovers. He was not considered a very smart cookie, wasting much of his dough on half-baked schemes -- conned by those who buttered him up.

Still, even as a crusty old man, he was a roll model for millions. Fresh is survived by his second wife. They have two children and another bun in the oven. The funeral was held at 350 for about 20 minutes.”

An apology

In an unheard of circumstance, The Huffington Post, a leftist blog site, offered a heartfelt apology to John Gibson. They acknowledged with regret that they had falsely accused him of identifying Eric Holder, the attorney general, of being “a monkey with a bright blue scrotum.”

What was refreshing was the absence of “weasel” words in the formulation of the apology. It had been alleged that Gibson made the remark in response to Holder’s accusations of racial cowardice on the part of the American public. Nothing was heard from the attorney general regarding his ill-thought remark.

And finally

Without flat tires and other distractions, I finally made it to Miami, OK for some much needed fellowship with the Saints who fill their pews. On the drive over, I made note of the progress that the citizens just east of Neosho, MO were making in restoring order to their tornado ravaged area. It has been nearly a year and I’ll wager none of you heard of their mini-disaster. I pointed out at the time that the obviously “manufactured” homes, so prevalent in the area, were the ones with the least damage. The result for “stick” houses ran from lost roofs to total devastation. There were also huge trees scattered everywhere.

I was reminded of some definitions relative to storm damage: minor damage = your house; major catastrophe = my house. By virtue of driving through the area over fifty times since the event, their accomplishments in the rebuilding and clean up process have reached a near personal level. As each broken window is replaced, each porch rebuilt, each roof repaired and each brush pile is burned and larger pieces turned into firewood, I make a mental note and rejoice for their progress. But, progress it is! I’m certain they had lots of help but I have never seen any evidence of FEMA or local services. At the offset, every lot became a construction zone but now one only sees a ladder here and there as evidence of storm clean up.

These folks are typical Americans who have the capacity to shed a tear and then rapidly get to work to clean up the mess. The signs of their responsibility were everywhere. It shows by the stacks of newly delivered lumber and shingles, heavy equipment, temporary living accommodations, and yes, even working on the Lord’s Day to restore shelter for their families. It’s nearly complete and I thank God for people such as these. It is a cause for thanksgiving and a sign of hope for the republic.

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon

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