Entries Tagged 'America' ↓

APATHY AND GREED DESTROYED OUR ECONOMY

Frank gets Frank with the American people

I guess we can all point fingers and crunch numbers when it comes to the economic recession that has been rocking us for at least 12 months and counting. But something Senator (D) Barney Frank said not long ago really struck a chord. For the record, I think Frank is also part of the problem but sometimes he says things that make sense. While being asked by an interviewer if the Senate and Congress are to blame about the crisis, Frank had this to say (paraphrasing) “Well, sure we are, but so are the American people for not paying attention.” At first, when I heard that, a multitude of things went through my head, like ‘once again a politician is blaming everyone but themselves for the problems our country has’. Whether Frank realized it or not, he makes a good point. We elect these them, and if we don’t have enough sense to inform ourselves before voting for them, that’s our fault.

I remember the ridicule I received for not supporting the invasion of Iraq, I think it was the first time I realized just how apathetic this country was. Sure, politicians lie to us (and themselves) and the MSM hardly gives us the whole story, unless it is about Anna Nicole eating fried chicken naked in bed. But as a registered voter who intends to vote, we have a duty and responsibility to seek out as much information as possible about an issue before drawing a conclusion. I summed up my opposition to the Iraq War based on just a few important facts. Bush had a horrible track record as a leader before he was even president and he stole the election in 2000, I already had trouble trusting him. Secondly, multiple UN weapons inspectors said that they were almost 99.9% sure if we do find any weapons they would only be in experimental or disjointed stages and most certainly would not be nuclear. I also believe that preemptively attacking someone when we are not 100% sure about the reason we are attacking is a failure in diplomacy. The list could go on and on. There was very little support for the war in the international media, which I have come to trust more than the American media ever since the run up to the Iraq War. As a nation we have a responsibility to inform ourselves when we may be suspicious of our lawmakers and leaders.

But how did this economic crisis sneak up on us? Well, it really didn’t.

When I bought my home six years ago, interest rates were very low and dropping at an incredible rate. I noticed ‘loan originators’ popping up faster than car lots in this town. I was fortunate enough to have a friend originate my loan, but I couldn’t help thinking at the time, loan origination seemed kind of like a shady business. Usually if something is too good to be true, it is. What accountability would a loan originator have after selling a bad loan to a bank? None really, and here lies the problem, excessive greed. The mortgage industry didn’t kill our economy by itself though. For instance, Wells Fargo barely got hit by the mortgage crisis, because they were wise about who they gave mortgages to and did not let greed change their business practices, I’m not saying Wells Fargo is perfect, but they are a good example of what and what not to do in this kind of situation. Other factors have been inflation, gas prices and the industrial military complex Bush and Cheney helped to create, which I could never figure out. You can train a soldier how to shoot a M-16 in a combat situation, but you can’t train them how to peel a potato? The sad part is the contracted kitchen help is probably making more money per hour washing soldiers undies and cooking tators than the soldiers that are getting shot at.

So why did politicians and the MSM shut us out for so long about the recession? I have speculated several reasons.  I started to make cuts in spending about a year ago because of trends I saw in my personal finances. I was wondering when the politicians were going to fess up about the worsening economy. Not until it became an important campaign issue I guess. One reason may be the old standby excuse, ‘We didn’t want to sound negative.’ Since when is misleading and lying to people positive? I have often been accused of being negative and an angry little man for telling people the truth, but when I am right I never get a ‘Thanks for being honest with me.’ I’m still waiting for my friends who taunted me about not supporting the Iraq War to tell me how right I was. I guess people like being lied to, especially with a smile, why do you think Mike Rounds still enjoys such high approval ratings?

Another glaring reason was that it was an election year. Do you think politicians are going to tell us the economy is going in the toilet if they are trying to get elected? Who would contribute to their campaigns if a recession was approaching (or was already here)? You could say the same about the Fourth Estate. During an election year many media and advertising outlets make 30-50% of their profits from political advertising alone, do you think they would jeopardize that revenue source by telling people button down the hatches?

But as Frank says, the citizens are still responsible for what happens in this country. There are plenty of dependable alternative independent media sources to get information from. You can also call, write, text, Twitter or email your representatives. You can attend your local county and city meetings and most importantly you can ask questions and demand answers. Your first amendment rights guarantee it. I may sound like a negative angry little man, but at least I am informed before I walk into the voting booth and in the end, that’s what will make our country better.

Don’t let greed and apathy destroy this country further, get informed and get involved. Knowledge is one of the most positive things you could ever give yourself and it’s FREE.

Stylin’ & Profilin’

This one’s for Beer Jew

“Cocaine, Women and Limosines! Wooo!”

Is the Sioux Falls Department of Parks & Recreation a monstrosity?

I compared apples to apples and all I can say is, damn right it is!

I first want to say that Sioux Falls has an amazing park system. But is it all useful? We continue to build new parks when we are not using the current parks we have to capacity. Take Yankton Trail for instance. Rumor has it the city only allows the park for competition, not to be used as a practice facility. Why is that? I have even heard stories of police intimidation if you are using certain parks just for recreation instead of competition. What Up?!

This summer I rode my bike to work almost every day on the bike trail. I found the trail to be well maintained and frequently used, I also found our parks are over manicured, watered, mowed, and maintained (what’s the point of mowing ½” of grass!?).

Why does the parks department and budget continue to grow at such a rapid rate, and what is the solution to slow it down a bit to an acceptable inflationary level? I suggest we stop building new parks for at least two years and do an extensive study on how much our parks are used by monitoring their usages throughout the week and seasons. If certain parks have little usage – we sell off the land. I also suggest we build smaller parks that are easier and less expensive to maintain. I also think we should reduce the size of some of our larger parks. One thing I observed this summer is that smaller parks are more populated. Not sure why? Maybe people feel safer?

I decided to look at another city similar to ours in climate, size and growth. Billings, Montana is two-thirds the size in population to Sioux Falls.

Billings spends $5,714 a year per developed acre of parkland.

Sioux Falls spends $11,546 a year per developed acre of parkland.

Can you imagine if it cost you that much to maintain your lawn every year! Even if you feritlized, watered and paid a lawn service for an acre of land you are still looking at about $2,200

You must also remember, the $33 Million is the 2009 operating budget ONLY! This does not include building and developing new park land, that is in a separate budget called the CIP.

Sioux Falls maintains 4.8 times more parkland than Billings and even if you adjust for the population difference Sioux Falls still maintains 3.22 times more parkland than Billings. Sioux Falls budget is 9.78 times larger than Billings and 6.52 times larger when you adjust for population – Holy Crap! This is pretty amazing considering the similarities between Sioux Falls and Billings. If you go to Billings Parks and Recreation page you will see that they also offer as many activities as Sioux Falls. In Sioux Falls defense we charge visitors a tax to buy stuff here to help fund our parks. In Billings they are not so lucky, they only have a state income tax to work with. Not only does Billings maintain developed acres on such a small budget they also maintain over 2,000 acres of undeveloped parks but they also irrigate their parks like we do, from the river. When I spoke to one of the park’s directors about his operating budget, he said they were underfunded (well duh) but when I told him our budget, he was dumbfounded, as was I when I heard his budget.

What is the problem? My guess is Sioux Falls is paying too much for outside services and over-maintaining. It’s not like Billings is a couple bucks short of us on funding, they are millions and millions of dollars shorter than us. It tells me that Sioux Falls Parks and Recreation is in a constant state of overspending. We can have all the same things we have now, we just need to start shopping at the dollar store.

How has the Parks budget grown to such a massive level without some oversight? That’s just it, there is no oversight or accountability. The Parks board meetings are not televised or broadcast on the city website. The other problem is that the Parks board is all volunteer. I think they need to be elected officials. With a $33 million dollar operating budget a year, they operate almost as a separate entity from the city. In fact, up until a few years ago, the Parks and Rec department made their own decisions on public art, not consulting the Mayor, Council or Visual Arts Commission before placing public art. Kinda takes the word ‘Public’ out of ‘Public Art’.

Once we ask for accountability from our Parks and Rec department not only will you see incredible savings to taxpayers, you will see more CITIZEN friendly parks.

FYI: Male to Male adapters may be Immoral

A hardware store had this sign up after several people came in requesting such an adapter. Now, it’s pretty easy to understand why such a peice of hardware doesn’t exist, but immoral? WTF?

The coolest kitchen gadget of all time

It’s hard to tell from the picture, but the device you see here will revolutionize the kitchens of beer lovers the world over. It is a totally self-contained, self-cleaning brewery inside a kitchen cabinet. It does the entire process of brewing beer from sterilization of the equipment all the way to the taps at the other end. It includes two 7.5 gallon containers under the taps so you can have two brews at the same time – make your own black and tan!

This is just the sort of device we’ll need to bring ourselves out of this recession.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

When we bury the truth, we do not bury consequences. We only stand in the way of the American people. We keep this government of, by, and for the people from working as it should. And when we are complicit in burying the truth, we need to know well that we are also complicit in burying ourselves . . .                        Dan Rather

I want everyone to know that though this site may be rude, sarcastic, snarky, nasty, offensive and downright rotten sometimes, it is in the pursuit of the truth. Though there are many ways to pursue the truth, I choose satire, it is what I am most comfortable with. And for those of you that understand, I welcome you. For those of you who don’t, I encourage you to educate yourselves. Apathy, ignorance and denial will destroy this democratic nation. Dissent, knowledge, diplomacy and practicing our civil liberties will make us great.

Jello for Change

If you haven’t written your ideas for change in government on Change.gov yet, it’s time to get on the ball. Jello Biafra (formerly of the Dead Kennedys) beat you to the punch. Using nearly half to two-thirds of the government’s server space to spout off on the kind of change aging-punks-turned-spoken-wordsmith need, Biafra laid out what President-Elect Obama should do in his term as a President. I have a life, so I did not read it all, but here are a few highlights, most of which I agree…

  • Employ the assistance of willing Muslim volunteer nations (Indonesia, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Yemen and Morocco) to police Iraq instead of our own troops.
  • Abolish torture in the intelligence community.
  • Undo any of the Bush administration’s signing statements tacked onto bills he signed in order to restore the rule of law.
  • Stamp out election fraud.
  • Limit political campaigns to between 30 and 60 days. Apparently some country to the north already does this.
  • End the war on drugs.
  • Economic stimulus to the people who need it, not corporations.
  • Give the auto industry a bailout when they produce greener cars.
  • More trains.
  • It goes on from here…

If you haven’t written your letter to Mr. Obama, you may want to get on it. Biafra has beat us to many of the best points.

Are you ready to ROCK?!!??!

I CAN’T HEAR YOU, GITMO!!!

Too Funny. Check out the playlist. I wonder if they have Metallica’s permission to rock Enter Sandman.

Non-Christians believe in God to, yah know

Alexander Hamilton, a deist, a founding father and our first Treasury Secretary did not run for president because he had to admit to his peers that he was paying some guy to screw his wife.

Another letter to the editor about how our country was founded under God (ironically by deists);

Our country was founded on the words “In God we trust” and “One country under God.”

The letter writer doesn’t mention Christianity, so I hope she knows that the founding fathers were referring to all references of God not just Christianity. And BTW “one nation under God” was not added to the pledge of allegience until the 20th century to scare the Russians.

Well, that should settle it

 

The Supreme Court has decided not to hear the appeal over Obama’s citizenship and eligability for the presidency.

While this may not settle the stirred-up folks over at voices-crazy, it should put the matter to rest for the sane population. The last, desparate attempt to keep the secret Muslim terrorist out of the Whitehouse has failed.

On the bright side, it looks as though Obama’s a pragmatist just like I figured all along. He’s picked good people for his cabinet (though I still think Hillary has too much baggage to be Sec. State), and is willing to hear ideas from all sides.

Sorry, Wingnuts, the better man won.

Hey, Steve, how does that crow taste? You should really share it with Sibby, since he feeds you (conspiracies) all the time.