Melvin Schmugmeier

Melvin Schmugmeier is my online pen-name, who the hell would name their kid that?!?!? I love to make fun of people and things, particularly political stuff. Stay tuned, check back.

Monday, June 26, 2006

The Supreme Court

Today, the Supreme Court has agreed to listen to the debate regarding global warming.

I have 2 problems with this and they are essentially the same problem regarding 2 different parties. My problem is that neither the attorneys that are going to present the case nor the supreme court justices are really qualified to make any determination regarding the issue. The qualified people would be scientists. This is just going to be 2 sets of attorneys illustrating points they feel state their case without any real regard to the validity of the findings that they are quoting. Second, the judges presiding over this case won't really have a clue what they're being told. They're unqualified to do any research other than what is said in the constitution and what was previously presented in court regarding this issue.

This is a very dangerous case being put forward by what many people would consider to be radicals. The implications of this case are really global in nature and could potentially bankrupt many of the energy companies that we are relying on to fund research into helping us overcome these issues. Taking money from them and from the US government is really (IMHO) a stupid strategy for these people to follow. I guess in our gotta-blame-someone society this is what we have to resort to.

PVR / TIVO Strategy

I subscribe to DishNetwork rather than pay the rediculous fees that I paid Cablevision in the past. I got more channels and I paid less --> now it's roughly the same, just like everything else. People settle on something and then stop price shopping because they (we) don't want to have to remember that the FoxNews Channel is no longer found on channel 205 it's now channel 26.

Anyway, not that it's summer TV really sucks with no new shows coming on (except for on HBO or some crap reality TV) until the fall. I've started to really dig into the guide that is provided by Dish. On the guide I can view whats on for the next 8 days or so (depending on available disk space on my PVR device). I scour the guide to find ANYTHING that I would find interesting to watch. What I've found is that as a guy most of my stuff can be found on the weekends. TV programming directors I guess assume that every other day, all I care about is work/work/work. Once I find something on the guide, I select it to record it. This allows me to watch the show whenever I have the 2 hours to chill out and watch it.

PVR stands for Personal Video Recorder -- it takes the MP2 file used by the satelite network and stores it on the harddrive. Exclusively watching my tv here allows me to blow right thru the commercials -- I can watch a 1 hour show in about 46 minutes and a 2 hour show in twice that.

I think that the networks are going to shoot themselves in the foot by not putting new programming on-air constantly. The production companies are able to include product placement revenues into their shows, so unless the network can grab a piece of that pie they're going to be in a bit of trouble over the longer haul.

Final thought -- tv generally sucks and I have to work harder and harder to find something on that I really feel like spending my time watching. Tivo or the PVR really helps to simplify the search.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


Last night I watched the season finale of 24, which is one of my favorite shows. I basically have a show on most nights that I consider to be my favorite where I'll set aside time to watch it. I watch 24 and TiVo CSI:Miami for Tuesday night viewing.

Last night's episode I thought was really good. At 9:45 when the show felt over, I asked myself, now what the hell are they going to do for 15 minutes??? Well when the chinese grabbed Jack I was shocked, but thought back a couple of months when the head of security for the consulate showed up in an episode. If I had a better memory that would have told me that that story was going to resurface.

Next season looks like it's going to be just as good as it has been. My only gripe is that i have to wait until JANUARY '07 to watch again. At least Fox will put on a new series in the meantime. The idiots at the other networks put on reruns to make the show last from September to late May, which i just hate. I think that TV needs to review how it airs shows and when -- 7 months is a long time between episodes of Jack and crew. HBO is even worse -- and the Sopranos have paid a big price for that, they lost about 33% of their audience by making us wait 18 months. Some day they'll air a show constantly [with a few weeks off here and there] until the public grows tired of it. I mean do these guys really need the time off??? They're not the ones that are sitting at their mundane jobs doing things that they hate everyday like we are.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Global Warming

Okay, if anyone actually reads this post I'm sure I'll get a negative comment on this one.

I just don't believe that humans have anything to do with the current warming trend, and I also don't believe that changing behaviour is going to do a bloody thing to stop it or even slow it down. The earth has been warming since the last ice age ended with periodic ups and downs with the latest warming trend happening over the last 200 to 250 years. Evidence points to the fact that the civilized world (rome, greece, etc) was much warmer than it is today to the tune of 5 degrees farenheit. The worst case scenarios over the next century are indicating 5 or 6 degrees warmer -- so this is nothing new.

This whole global warming campaign is based on 2 statistics -- carbon dioxide and temperature. Since they're both going up, THAT MUST be the cause according to the Gore-ites. Well, being a numbers person I know that statistics do nothing but tell the story that you want to tell. Any group of scientists can point at any 2 stats that happen to prove their theory and say that it's the truth -- since the media strives for exclusives, they'll say pretty much anything [and then hope they're right].

The majority of scientists disagree with these theories. Most importantly, most meteorologists disagree with the assertion that humans are to blame for any changes in the climate trends. Overall yes the temperature on the earth is typically cooler than it has been. But cutting down on fuel emmissions in the United States while China doubles their output is just rediculous. The Kyoto treaty was signed, not to save the earth, but most countries signed the treaty so that they could sell their energy credits to wealthy nations -- surprisingly it's all about money.

I'm shocked that this could be true. Gore's 'movie' is just another example of him and his crew distorting the truth. He should stick to inventing great things like the internet.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Duke Lacrosse Team

Well, things seem to be pointing towards another Tawana Brawley case. IF THEY ARE GUILTY then they should definitely be prosecuted and if found guilty, jailed. Things aren't really looking like that right now. Let me remind you of the Tawana Brawley case. Up in Westchester around 20 years ago, a high-school aged girl accused a cop of raping her, smearing her with crap, dropping the 'n-bomb' and essentially torturing this girl. Al Sharpton and a couple of lawyers got involved and made a racial issue out of it. The only thing that happened was a girl made up a lie -- and RUINED some guys life.

Things are looking like she made the story up. What I've been hearing is that she got home to her pimp/boyfriend and that he was pissed that she didnt get enough money so he beat her up.

Yesterdays news showed a 3rd man being charged and actually getting in front of the news cameras to answer the charges. He told his side of the story where he tried to present evidence that exonerated him and his friends -- but the DA wouldn't hear of it. This DA is on a mission to destroy these 3 men [guilty of not] and to make a name for himself in a racially split area. He's not thinking of the victim(?), he's not thinking of the defendants -- he's thinking of himself.

When this story blows up and the charges are eventually dropped [which they probably will be] or if the boys/men are found not guilty -- I personally want to see charges brought up against the DA for his mishandling of this case. Nobody should be allowed to misuse justice in this way.

If this case turns into a case about money [time will tell] and that turns into nothing -- the accuser should be jailed. If the case goes to trial and they are found guilty -- then they should go to jail. But based on what I've seen so far in the news, nothing in this case shows me that there's guilt. I actually saw a woman on the news last night talking about this case, but all she had to say was that the boys should not have had a stripper at the party -- WHAT?!?!? So they're guilty because they did what boys do?

Let's see how things flush out now and stop the nonsense.

Border Patrol

I still think that the so-called solution to the immigration/border mess that the president presented last night is a bit odd. He talked about the illegals that are here in the country now (11 to 12 million) can stay, but it's not amnesty. If they are not going to be prosecuted, it's amnesty.

Now -- I keep talking about this NOT BECAUSE I AM AGAINST IMMIGTANTS. My grandparents were immigrants, educated their children and assimilated them into American society. This is what the current immigrants need to do -- not try to turn the US into Mexico-north.

I am FOR closing the border in order to protect the citizens of our country. This actually has nothing to do with Mexicans or Asians. If they want to make themselves economicaly better, then I am all for them coming into the US to work and become part of society. To become part of society -- learn English, pay taxes and vote!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Revision to Oil Data

I found an updated site which indicates that the US consumes 320,500,000 gallons of gasoline per day. With my proposed $1 per gallon gas tax, we would accumulate $235 Billion in 2 years. That's 1/2 of our defense budget and would go a long way in investing in our war against the extremists.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Oil Companies

There's been a lot on the news over the last week about the President somehow being able to influence the price of gas at the pump. This is rediculous. The only way that the president is going to be able to affect the price of gas is to eliminate the Federal tax on a gallon of gas (around $.18). The government won't allow that to happen -- aren't the Democrats already groaning about his other tax cuts???

Anyway -- we just left a period of a few years where the oil companies were charging around $20-30 a barrel for oil that costs about $20 to pull out of the ground. There weren't a lot of profits to store up to further exploration. Now that the oil companies are making some profits, they will now have cash reserves to allow them to do additional exploration and establish new wells. This will, in time, allow the price per barrel of oil to drop. Do the Senators think that consumers DON'T pay for companies to expand thru pricing? Come on, they can't be that stupid.

We are paying the same price FOR THE OIL part of gasoline as everyone else in the world. The difference is that our taxes (state, local and federal) account for around 20% of what we pay, where Europe pays around 60% in taxes (which is why they are paying twice what we pay).

I have a solution to the problem, albeit a long-term one. About 50% of the oil consumed in the US is by consumers at the gas pump. This means that roughly 9 million barrels of oil per day are consumed (this comes to about 222 million gallons of gasoline per day). [Source - ] If the Federal government adds in $1 per gallon for a special tax for 2 years, the Federal government would have about $160 BILLION to come up with a new energy source, or more ways to more efficiently use what we are using now. This is about 30% of our defense budget -- the majority of our defense budget is now being used to fight the areas where we get our oil. This is something that should go under national defense, which is really about national survival.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Bin Laden

Okay, I had to post again today.

I just saw this thing about Bin Laden's latest tape that was released. In this latest tape he's talking up a new jihad in Darfur because the west is sending in troops to protect the innocent people there that are starving to death. He goes on to say that 'the west is at war with Islam'.

All I have to say about that is NO SHIT. Bin Laden and crew DECLARED WAR on America. What other rational response is there but to fight?!? Bin Laden asked for something that he got what he asked for AND is actually blaming us for it.

I think that the only solution to this Bin Laden problem is for the west (the US, since everyone else is too chicken to fight) to begin to fight like Americans. Americans always fought to win until Vietnam -- we have to do that again and just fight and kill until the other side gives up. We are the top dog at the kennel and everyone wants to knock us out. If we want to become a secondary power like France, then we should just let them go.

Oil & Gas Prices

Okay -- it's really obvious to me and I hope it is to you too. Oil is now as much a problem today as it was in the 1970s. Anyone who doesn't want to admit that is kidding themselves or they're too young to remember the 70s.

Iran has all but announced that they are going to use oil as a weapon against us and our trading partners (which will hit us in the wallet). The price per barrel of oil (for SUMMER DELIVERY) is up around $75 per barrel. Now what really gauls me about that is that the gas stations are raising the price of gasoline that's in the ground now. If oil is delivered to our ports in the summer, it's not gasoline until the fall -- so why are they raising the price of gas now??? This is theivery from the oil companies and from the owners of the stations themselves.

Now on to Iran. The American people have sat and watched this increase in the price of oil, like the fat idiotic slobs they (we) are. The democrats have now taken this as a battle cry -- IT'S BUSH'S FAULT. Uhm, yeah, right. I have news for you -- IT'S THE AMERICAN PEOPLE'S FAULT. We LOVE our big gas guzzling SUVs, we LOVE to start the car and drive 3/4 of a mile to get milk or the newspaper.

American's by and large are really stupid when it comes to our habits. For 30 years economists and environmentalists have been screaming about how oil is becoming more scarce and how the price will do nothing but rise. And we've done NOTHING. We've given a proven enemy the sword that they now hold at our throats. The Iranians and that screwball from Venezuela are holding our wallets hostage.

The increase in the price of oil can do only 1 thing. MAKE US KICK THIS OIL HABIT. America has to change our energy consumption habits. We use too much oil and natural gas for our own good. It's time to increase fuel efficiency in automobiles, it's time to increase our use of solar energy, it's time for us to use other renewable energy sources like ethanol.

Friday, April 14, 2006

I'm back.... Illegal Immigrants

Hey, I'm sorry but I've been away for a while. I sold my business and I've been looking at new businesses so I haven't had much time to be angry at the rest of the world recently.

This whole mess with the illegal immigrants is starting to tick me off. There are laws on the Mexican books that really restrict the ability for immigrants to live there. For example, there's a law that says that an immigrant cannot be an officer in the military. There's another law that says that an immigrant cannot hold an elected office.

We've got people that are here illegally, demonstrating in our streets for us to treat them as if they were citizens protected by OUR CONSTITUTION. I'm sorry, but there used to be a process for immigrants to come here. When my fathers parents came here in the 1920s, they needed a sponsor here in the US that not only guaranteed that they would have a job for at least 2 years, but they guaranteed that they would not go "on the public dole" for 5 years after they got here. Now this was right before the depression -- and they NEVER wend on the dole.

These illegals want us to educate their kids IN SPANISH, they want free healthcare (we dont even have that for citizens), it's free because they dont pay the bills after emergency room visits. They want jobs that pay from 2 to 10 times what they make in Mexico AND NOT PAY TAXES. I know this because I used to own a payroll business -- these people make a bit over minimum wage and claim 8 dependants (so theres no Fed or State tax taken out) and then they don't file any taxes -- BECAUSE THE GOVERNMENT DOESN'T KNOW THEY'RE HERE.

Before any worker program is discussed we need a fence up to close the border with Mexico to prevent these people from coming here whenever they want. Once we close the border THEN we can talk about worker programs for the people that are already here. We MUST stop this flow of people over the border. They're NOT just taking jobs that Americans won't take. I had work done on my house last year -- EVERY single worker (except for the contractor) was an illegal immigrant. Now a carpenter or a carpenters helper is definitely a job that an American would want -- but the illegals worked for so much less money that the contractor was afraid that he wouldn't get the job if he charged me more.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

NY Transit Strike

I'm going to give a quick shout out regarding the NYC Transit Strike.

Here's what's at issue. The Transit Workers, who average around $54,000 in pay want a share of the HUGE surplus that the MTA created by overcharging riders. Now for anyone that has ever ridden the NY City subway system, these are not the friendliest, most helpful people in the world. They typically [although not always] yell at you if you ask them something beyond the purchase of a MetroCard.

The union is holding out for a NINE PERCENT pay increase for each of 3 years of a new contract. This would put the AVERAGE worker at a pay rate of $70,000 a year -- for sitting around doing not much of anything. NINE percent is so far above the inflation rate that their stance shouldn't be taken seriously.

The money that they are looking for a share of should be RETURNED to the rightful recipients of this money -- the people that PAID it. The subway and bus fares should be frozen until this surplus is used up. The Transit Workers do deserve pay increases, but not 3 times the amount paid out to anyone else in any position working for any company in NY. They should get their 3.5% and be happy with it.

I say fire them. They have created chaos.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

So Called Snoopgate

Okay, I have a problem with this probe. We are at war. The war was declared ON US. Granted, there's no organized army, there are no uniforms, there isn't even a country. Does anyone remember the attacks on the US? The WTC bombin, the WTC planes, the Pentagon planes and [my bet] the 2 planes that came down around Long Island [one off Smiths Point and 1 in a Queens neighborhood]. There were all acts of war against the United States.

This is not a time for the US to tie 1 of our hands behind our back to try to knock off the flea that's annoying us. Why do the democrats want to handcuff the government from doing their ONLY job which is to keep the CITIZENS of the US safe.

If the government wants to tap my phone to see if I'm going to commit an act of terror -- GO RIGHT AHEAD. I have nothing to hide so I have nothing to fear. The WTC highjackers were NOT U.S. citizens so should not be afforded the same rights as citizens. If the government wants to keep this a secret -- GO FOR IT.

I'm behind the President doing this 100%.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Oil Drilling in ANWR

Drilling for oil in ANWR [the Alaskan Wildlife Refuge] has been to most ecology and conservation people as if it were sacreligious to even THINK about drilling there. I'm as into nature as most people that love to hike and camp, which is significantly more than most people.

I think that it's silly to prevent drilling in the small piece of land that they are considering for use. The drilling at Prudhoe Bay has not decimated the caribou population as many people feared, as a matter of fact, it seems to have helped it. I guess the active pipeline keeps things a little warmer [and allows for food growth?]. Why would things be different in ANWR?

Many critics of the drilling plan indicate that there's less than 1 years worth of oil for the entire US that is easily obtainable in ANWR. There are just as many people that say there's 2 1/2 years worth [to compare, Prudhoe Bays anticipated TOTAL production is going to be around 2 years of total consumption]. How do we really know until we actually drill? I think that we need to drill, even if the production is less than anticipated. The reason for this is that we're not going to kick the oil habit anytime soon. This will hopefully tide us over until the population wises up and KICKS the OIL HABIT.

The Republicans that really wanted drilling to pass got shifty. They tacked the drilling legislation on to some military expenditures for the troops. There's no way that the Democrats would vote no to funding our beloved troops. Now, I don't agree with the use of Pork, I believe that if something can't stand on its own then it shouldn't pass -- this is how we have so much waste by our government.

So let's review the drilling in '09 when it can actually begin so that we can see the quality of the oil as well as the potential quantity that we'll be able to suck out of those new holes that we create.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Been a while... Funny post today

A friend of mine sent this over to me as an email. I think this is perfect in the depiction of the American Idiot.

(On September 17, 1994, Alabama's Heather Whitestone was selected as Miss America 1995.) Question: If you could live forever, would you and why?
Answer: "I would not live forever, because we should not live forever, because if we were supposed to live forever, then we would live forever, but we cannot live forever, which is why I would not live forever,"
--Miss Alabama in the 1994 Miss USA contest.

"Whenever I watch TV and see those poor starving kids all over the world, I can't help but cry. I mean I'd love to be skinny like that, but not with all those flies and death and stuff." --Mariah Carey

```````````` "Smoking kills. If you're killed, you've lost a very important part of your life," --Brooke Shields, during an interview to become Spokesperson for federal anti-smoking campaign.

"I've never had major knee surgery on any other part of my body," --Winston Bennett, University of Kentucky basketball forward.

"Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country," --Mayor Marion Barry, Washington, DC.

"I'm not going to have some reporters pawing through our papers. We are the president." --Hillary Clinton commenting on the release of subpoenaed documents.

"That lowdown scoundrel deserves to be kicked to death by a jackass, and I'm just the one to do it," --A congressional candidate in Texas.

"Half this game is ninety percent mental." --Philadelphia Phillies manager, Danny Ozark

"It isn't pollution that's harming the environment. It's the impurities in our air and water that are doing it." --Al Gore, Vice President
And . .
"We are ready for an unforeseen event that may or may not occur." --Al Gore, VP

"I love California. I practically grew up in Phoenix."
--Dan Quayle

"We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?" --Lee Iacocca


"The word "genius" isn't applicable in football. A genius is a guy like Norman Einstein." - --Joe Theisman, NFL football quarterback & sports analyst.

"We don't necessarily discriminate. We simply exclude certain types of people." --Colonel Gerald Wellman, ROTC Instrutor.

"If we don't succeed, we run the risk of failure." --Bill Clinton, President

"Traditionally, most of Australia's imports come from overseas." --Keppel Enderbery

"Your food stamps will be stopped effective March 1992 because we received notice that you passed away. May God bless you. You may reapply if there is a change in your circumstances." --Department of Social Services, Greenville, South Carolina

"If somebody has a bad heart, they can plug this jack in at night as they go to bed and it will monitor their heart throughout the night. And the next morning, when they wake up dead, there'll be a record." --Mark S. Fowler, FCC Chairman

Monday, November 21, 2005

Great Editorial in the NY Post on 11/20/05

There was a GREAT editorial on the flip-flop of the Democrats regarding the Pre-War intelligence. There was more than 1 quote PRIOR to Mr. Bush coming into office, including Mr. Gore commenting that the US needed to create a coalition, invade and get rid of the Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

If I get a chance I'll put in some snippets from it, but if you can, try to get your hands on it.

You know as well as I do that the Democrats with quotes AFTER Bush took office will say that Bush lied to them and changed the intelligence to suit his purposes. Which we also all know is a load of crap.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Democrat Cut & Run Strategy

This post is going to be kinda short -- it's Friday afternoon, I'm doing the company backup and I'm bored.

The current cut & run strategy being professed by the Democrats is really a bad idea. The terrorists are winning and it's because of this strategy. The terrorists have attacked our allies and have made several of them withdraw some or all of their troops from our efforts in the Middle East. The terrorists have fought an intelligent battle since the fall of the Iraqi dictatorship that kills indiscriminantly and is mostly killing Iraqis, but the deaths of Americans overseas has ALWAYS been intolerable to us.

The terrorists hate us and will do whatever they can to fight us. We have to keep troops in the region in order to protect the flow of oil coming out of Saudi Arabia to the east coast of the US. Since we will need to have some troop presence in the region and the terrorists indicate that that is why they hate us, they will continue to fight. If we completely pulled out they would hate us because we support Israel. If we discontinued our support of Israel, they'd hate us for some other reason. The other reason is that we have power right now -- this is not a permanent thing and these terrorists know it. Power moves from place to place over time. [Rome, the Middle East, the Mongols, Spain, Britain, France, Britain again, Germany, the US, the Soviets, the Chinese from time to time, etc.]

If we pull out of Iraq and do exactly what these terrorists want us to do -- guess where they'll come and fight with us. DING DING DING DING. Correct, here! They will come here and drive trucks in front of churches at weddings at funerals and more than likely at tailgate parties before Penn State plays for the National Championship of college football this year.

Pulling out is a bad idea. Pulling out is ONLY a political strategy to get Kerry or Clinton elected president so that we can become weak again. Which the rest of the world wants and likes. A weak US will hurt our credit with the rest of the world -- then our economy goes into the toilet....


Thursday, November 17, 2005

US Economic Growth

As you look at the last 40 years of American economic history, there has typically been 1 or 2 major 'things' that have fueled the rapid growth of our economy. Back in the 60s there was a combination of military spending fueled by the war in Vietnam, there was also growth in technology. The 60s were sparked by companies like IBM as well as companies that aided in the development of the space program.

The 70s started out as an extention of the 60s but got derailed for nearly a decade because of the first real oil crisis in our history. The remainder of the 70s was spent with gas lines [my first job was at the tail of a gas line holding a sign 'Last Car Today!'] and a general economic mailaise.

The 80s were sparked by the first tech run, fueled by the advent of the PC. Throughout the 80s PC Sales soared, PC software companies boomed and the US economy soared to new heights. In 1990/1991, this was again derailed by oil and the first Gulf War. Forwarding ourselves to the 90s, the late 90s were sparked by the internet/tech boom. Money was spent as fast as it could be printed. This tech boom also had a real estate and housing boom came out of this.

Since the attacks on 9/11 the US economy has been fueled by the historically low interest rates [which have extended the housing and real estate boom]. The 2nd item fueling the US economy is the spending being done for defense, the war in Iraq as well as homeland security.

Now what???

Based on what is going on in the world and what has historically gone on in the US, there will need to be some technologic breakthrough that the US economy can expoit. I personally think that the next thing that the US as a nation needs to focus on is in the energy field. The world understands that we've used up the easy 1/7th or 1/6th of the original oil reserves (dating back to 1846). The next 1/4 of the reserves will be 'relatively' easy to extract and anything after that will be quite expensive to pull out of the ground, if we even can.

The US needs to understand that in spite of the oil money used to elect president Bush, the government needs to create a national effort to rid our reliance on foreign oil and even oil in general. Without a sound energy policy that focuses on alternative energy sources we're economically doomed. For example, France [i hate them] generates a huge %age of their electricity thru the use of nuclear power. This electricity is created very inexpensively and can even be used for heating the home. Home heating oil and natural gas is how many Americans heat their homes. The combination of gasoline for the car, oil for the furnace and oil used for all of the plastic crap that we buy from china and wrap our food in WILL cause economic upheaval in the years to come unless the US finances the next energy sources.

Monday, November 14, 2005

LA Times Online - weekend commentary

Wow. I'm not a really big newspaper reader (since the "best" local paper is a slanted liberal rag -- the NY Times). I saw a link on to a commentary in the LA Times Online (

In the wake of the riots in France perpetrated primarily by Muslim youths, followed by the hotel bombings in Jordan, they asked 5 very simple questions regarding the actions of muslims throughout the world.

1 - Why are you so quiet? Why are there so few demonstrations by Muslims against the actions of these murderers like the ones that attacked 2 weddings out of the 3 bombings in Jordan?

2 - Why are none of the Palestinian terrorists Christians? They're just as nationalistic and occupied as the muslims in Palestine.

3 - Of the 47 predominantly muslim countries, why is only 1 'free'?

4 - Why are so many attrocities committed and threatened 'in the name of Islam'?

5 - Why do countries whose primary religion is Islam, persecute other religions? If the US persecuted Islam, there would be worldwide outrage.

To see the details on each of these, head over to the This is a really great editorial column, particularly from the 'I Hate America' US media.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Current War = Vietnam ?

Okay -- I'm sure that we all know that there were several bombing attacks yesterday in Amman, Jordan. Al Qaeda has taken responsibility for these attacks, which is no surprise.

Al Qaeda is currently following a well documented plan that was developed over 18 months ago. That plan calls for Al Qaeda and affiliated terrorists to plan and execute attacks within any country that is currently assisting America in the war in Iraq. This strategy began in Spain, continued into London, was thwarted in Australia and has continued with the recent attacks in Jordan.

The key difference in this war vs. the Vietnam war is that in Vietnam, America was essentially alone in the fight. The similarities are that we were fighting against guerilla tactics in a region where to locals were not very able to assist in the fight. The other KEY similarity is in the sentiment in the population within the United States. The general population has turned its support away from the Bush administration and this fight against radical Islam, this is very similar to what happened back in the 60s when public support turned into internal political unrest.

What can we do to make things different? [Please note, this is just my opinion here -- flame me if you'd like, but I won't change my opinion on this.] In both situations, the actions of the military are being dictated (to a degree) by the political situation at home, this is similar to Vietnam. When the military goes into a town in Iraq to 'clean out the terrorists', we are stupid enough to give the town warning. We do this so that innocent civilians are spared the sting of battle. This is a noble and incredibly STUPID thing to be doing. This allows the organizers of the insurgents to leave the town/city along with the innocents, leaving only the poor idiots they've convinced to die for their cause to stay and fight.

What we should do is change this tactic. The military should increase the size of the units cleaning the towns out from the current 1500 US and 1000 Iraqis up to about 3000 US and 1500 Iraqi. This will allow the military to leave 1/2 the force to encircle the town while the other 1/2 goes in to fight. It's important for the town to be encircled PRIOR to going in -- with NO warning. Yes, innocent civilians will get caught up in the middle of things. The difference is that the organizers (the ones we REALLY want to nail) won't have the chance to leave the town.

I'm sure that this is not going to be a very popular opinion because it is a very hawkish position. The reality is that if we tuck tail and run out of Iraq the future problems that we cause will be grave for the economic well-being of the United States. This will essentially turn the entire middle east into a radical islamic state that will dictate to us what we pay for our oil. The citizens of the US and the Senate are all going crazy over what we had to pay during the fall -- what we'll be paying down the road will make those days seem like paradise.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Oil Prices and Profits

Bill O'Reilly of Fox News has been very aggressively attacking the oil companies for the amount of profits that they are currently making with the runup of oil prices. Now, I understand Mr. O'Reillys point about helping Americans weather this economic storm, however there's a few problems with this.

First, these corporations have 1 responsibility and that is to their shareholders, to make them money. That's afterall why these people are shareholders in the first place. Second, if the chairmen of these oil companies put forth an agenda before their boards that would reduce their profits, these chairmen would be fired [see first item].

The last issue is the most important issue. The oil business has a long history of volitile prices and volitile profits. In the 80s the city of Houston virtually died when the bottom dropped out of the price of oil and profits were eliminated. [For more on the price history, please refer to] When companies have periods where their profits are extremely high, there's a few things that ANY company does with these profits. Some gets paid out in dividends (ExxonMobil has actually reduced their dividend payout ratio) and the rest gets put to work to make more money in the future.

ExxonMobil has not significantly increased their dividends because they do understand that significant investment is needed for the future of the oil industry. If the oil companies are to give back some profits to the 'people', then the 'people' are going to have to agree to pay for new refineries and they will have to pay for new exploration costs to find new wells to tap into. This just cannot happen. Anyone that knows anything about business and finance can tell you that what the news people are doing is just impossible. [This also sounds a little like Mr. O'Reilly wants to nationalize an industry.]

There are a lot of related issues at stake rather than just the profits of these oil companies. OPEC accounts for 40% of world oil production [and this %age is dropping as developing countries develop their oil resources]. The sources of US oil imports are; Mexico, Venezuela, Persian Gulf, Canada, the North Sea, Nigeria & the infamous 'other'. The %age sourced from the Persian Gulf has been increasing over the last several years. The US oil companies cannot be expected to be able to manage a global production company and have their profits curtailed -- new production facilities will not come on line. The reason that the US has refinery capacity issues is that the price of oil had been down for so long that it didn't make sense for the oil companies [or anyone else] to INVEST in more capacity.

The oil industry and the economy as a whole will take care of this problem. If the prices stay high for a long period of time, the economic power of the consumer will change things. Alternatives will be developed because people will PAY for alternatives. Companies will develop alternatives because they will PROFIT from the alternatives. The economy will regulate itself over time -- that's why the price of oil is dropping. People are beginning to think about what they're doing, they're thinking about that gas guzzling SUV in the driveway. They're thinking about weather proofing their homes, they're thinking about solar power.

Leave this one alone Bill, you're a smart intelligent guy but you're wrong on this one.

Friday, November 04, 2005

More on the 109th Congress

Just for giggles, I decided to have a look at just how much 'stuff' the 2 houses of congress shovel in a given session of congress. [Note each 'Congress' is 2 years long, thus the 109th].

The 109th Congress between the House and the Senate has inundated us with 7,455 Bills, Acts, Resolutions, Joint Resolutions and Concurrent Resolutions. I just love looking at these and reading what these people are doing for the 85 million bucks a year. [Remember this doesnt count staff, benefits, janitors, orderlies, office space, etc.]

I LOVE Senate Resolution 298 introduced just yesterday (November 3rd, 2005). This resolution designates November 17th, 2005 as "Feed America Thursday". Essentially this is an excellent idea. With all that we have there's no reason why people should be going hungry. The resolution quotes some incredible statistics that illustrate that 3 MILLION children in America experience hunger. This is a virtual crime.

The REAL crime here is what the Senate in their resolution wants. Remember this is only a 1-Time shot. The Senate wants the President to issue a proclamation for all people of the United States to sacrifice 2 meals on this date and to donate the cost of that food to a religious or charitable organization whose purpose is to feed the hungry. Very nice idea -- essentially it tells Americans to cough up about $20 to one of these charities.

The problem here is that this thing is going to get lost in the shuffle of life and lifes overdose of news media. The only way that any of you are actually going to hear about this is if you read it here. The only reason that I know about it is because I'm a loser and I actually look at the Bills and Acts and Resolutions that come out of Congress.

Great idea -- waste of the Senates time, another waste of my tax dollar. I guess Congress measures success in the volume of stuff the shovel thru and the amount of money that they're able to spend. Well this Congress is GREAT at all of that.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Great Use of Taxpayer Money

Just for giggles I went on to a site that provides information regarding all of the bills that are run thru the Senate and the House of Representatives. Each 'rank & file' member of both houses receives $158,100 per year as a salary [the speaker gets 203,000 and the majority and minority leaders of each house get 175,600]. The total cost in just salary is around $85 million. If you break that down to around a 12 hour day for about 150 days (which is grossly over stating how much these people work), we're looking at $47,222 per HOUR [$787 per minute]. Now keep in mind that these people have decent size budgets with their assistants and their aids and their benefits (which does NOT include Social Security).

Now, let's take a look at the value that we get out of all this money. In the latest congress (the 109th), here's a few of the bills that have been run thru the Senate in the last few months. Keep in mind that once the bill is introduced, it may even require conversations and god forbid debate.

Senate Resolution # 269 - the establishment of a 'Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day'. Now didn't we already have a chance to do that right, and if memory serves me correctly, we screwed that one up.

Senate Resolution # 257 - the establishment of National 'Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day'. Call me crazy, but why on earth do we need THAT?

Senate Joint Resolution -- authorizing WW1 and WW2 veterans special awards. I'm pretty certain that there aren't going to be too many WW1 awards given to live people.

Senate Joint Resolution - proclaiming honorary citizenship to Casimir Pulaski. Now Mr. Pulaski has been dead for well over 200 years, since he was a Polish officer that helped in the American Revolution. Do we REALLY need to waste our time discussing and passing a bill for THIS?

I love this one:
A Concurrent Resolution - recognizing the achievements and contributions to the nation of African American basketball players. Now I'm all for recognizing my hero Julius Erving, Bill Russell, the late great Wilt Chamberlain, but come on. This is just some bill that someone put thru for some bizarre reason for some buddy of theirs.

This is just 5 of the long list of time wasters that we foot the bill for. I don't think that the average citizen has any clue about what a waste of time and a waste of money our democracy has become. DON'T GET ME WRONG -- some other form of government is not the answer. People are just so consumed with 'life stuff' that they can't even pay attention to where their money is going. We see these idiots on TV every night and they sound like they're saying something really important in their blue suit and ivy league tie [or red suit for the ladies] and bloviating about whatever the issue of the day is.

Well that's it for now. Don't ya just love to hear this stuff??

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Stuff in the News

I've had some stuff going on during the last 2 weeks that have made it impossible for me post or even think about anything.

The big thing in the news right now is this CIA leak investigation into who said what about some woman that nobody never heard of before. This grand jury investigation is taking up an enormous amount of time from my hurricane and disaster viewing. Yes there is some obscure law that has been broken or set aside in this case. Here comes the But.....

I just don't care. Granted, this woman may have been put in jeopardy by the irresponsible media (for reporting this case). I just find it difficult for me to really care on who is at fault in this. There are a lot of important issues that the country faces and the bipartisan political jockeying just needs to stop. When Clinton was in the White House the republicans pulled every trick out of their hats to not allow the husband-and-wife team to put their agenda forward. Now, with the republican controlled White House (and elections coming up) the democrats are following the same strategy in an attempt to regain control of the Senate, Congress and eventually the White House.

Now -- who is actually paying the price for all of this... Well it isn't the politicians that continue to get their raises. It isn't the politicians buddies who continually get fat government contracts. It's people like you and me -- Joe and Mary SixPack. There's never any progress on any front that actually got anyone elected. The Clintons with their health insurance platform and the Bush Social Security platform both got side tracked. We're just in for another 2 years of nothing ness until the presidential political season kicks into high gear about a year or 18 months before the next presidential election.

That's it for now. I think I'll look at the energy and oil company issues next. The oil companies will probably lower prices now that Americans are focusing on reducing the use of oil. That'll be some fun research.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Personal Spending

I just wanted you all to know that I'm working up an analysis on personal spending trends over time and how this can be affected by increases in the cost of oil. This will have a significant impact on the future of the US and the world economy so I want to get my figures/estimates correct before shooting my mouth off.


Monday, October 10, 2005

Government Spending

We all feel the pinch of taxes. We don't feel it as much with our periodic paycheck but we really notice it when we do our tax returns (in April for those that owe). I generally try to nail down how much my taxes are going to be some time in October so that I definitely don't get anything back, and sometimes so that I owe a little bit of money. I really hate giving the government an interest free loan if I don't have to.

I've found a great resource for monitoring what the heck Congress is doing with our money -- remember, the President doesn't actually spend the money. Anything that the President wants to do must be approved by both houses of Congress. The link that I've found is .

On this site, one interesting thing that I saw was during my 'Highway Bill' search. The top search result on the site was for a very large file (about 3 MB) containing the text of a massive spending project. What I found interesting is that there is nowhere that totals up the amounts of the 21 classifications of appropriation. Just for kicks I totalled up the amounts listed in the appropriations section (the beginning) and came up with $28.5 Billion. That's not even the interesting part. In the very next section of the bill is an annual limitation for 2005 of $34.4 Billion. A $6 Billion rounding error? Or is this just padding for the crap that the senators are throwing in and not actually writing into the bill.

Once I started, I needed to go down to the end of the bill just to see what kind of fun things were thrown in at the end. This one was good -- Sec. 11161 covers 'Treatment of Kerosene for Use in Aviation'. Now, I've only seen an airplane on a highway once and only when the plane had actually crashed.

Sec. 11146 'Tax Treatment of State Ownership of Railroad Real Estate Investment Trust.

Sec. 11131 'Custom Gunsmiths'.

Sec. 11127 'Quarterly Excise Tax Filing for Small Alcohol Excise Tax Payers.

As you can see, the section numbers here are going backwards because I'm reviewing the document from the end. I think that it's a very eductional thing to read these bills in this direction to see just how Senator Byrd and crew actually get some of these rediculous projects passed. My biggest concern as a funder of these projects (tax payer), how the hell does the government keep track of all these promises. And then how the hell do we ever get out from under the debt?

One other thing -- what the heck do these things have to do with Highway spending?


Saturday, October 08, 2005

Standardized Testing

I'm the parent of a child in elementary school in New York state. There's been a very big push for the last couple of years to standardize testing of all children within the state -- I would imagine that this is a nationwide thing.

The increased reliance on these standardized tests is that the entire school program is geared around the success of the children when taking these tests. The test results have a direct relationship to the property values within the school districts. Those districts with high test scores are viewed as more desirable to live in [for families with school age children] which in turn drives up demand for the homes in that area. If you ask most parents of students in those areas with excellent test scores they will not tell you that their motivation for their kids education is property value -- however deep down many of them DO think this way.

In addition to the property value issue, the big push towards standardized testing is to allow states to monitor the abilities of the teachers. Through the 60s to the 90s there was something called 'Social Promotion' happening. This was where teachers were pushing kids through the schools, even if they were unable to complete the work in that grade. This in turn increased illiteracy in American adults by pushing kids out of the education system even if they did not know how to read in many cases. This just means that the teachers were not doing the jobs that they were hired to do.

Both of the points above don't have anything to do with the children in the schools. These points are focused on the adults that are associated with these children and are in place for adult reasons. These changes can have a long-term impact on patents. Patents are an excellent measure of future economic growth since those countries that are able to have a constant flow of new products and new ideas are in an excellent position to exploit these discoveries. The number of patents granted by the so-called 'Trilateral Offices' can be used to measure patent and discovery activity.

The standardized tests eliminate a huge amount of creativity that needs to be part of education. With total standardization of the education system there will be little creativity. We will be producing students that all know how to do the same thing in the same way. That is not the kind of future we should want for our kids. We want them to be able to compete in a highly competitive world and to prosper as we have. Standardization stiffles creativity and will create robots that are more part of the 'Machine' [from a Pink Floyd movie/song] than part of a blossoming economic power.

There will be more on this as I get more documentation on these points.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Initial Post

As I've been browsing thru a lot of the political or activist blogs that are available, I have only seen blogs that are more left leaning than the current administration in Washington. This is normal because people that disagree with things are much more likely to be vocal about their opposition.

Melvin is by no means a radical right-wing conservative slave. Melvin does NOT believe that everything that the Republican party does is as if willed from the heavens. Melvin essentially sits in the middle --> there's no real ideology that sits in the middle, so what does this mean. Being in the middle means that some views are left-leaning and some views are right-leaning. When using the right to vote there are always key voting points, things that sway the vote decision towards one candidate or the other.

Melvin's Thoughts was put together to relay ideas and [obviously] thoughts that Melvin feels should be shared based on what is going on in the world and in the US. First -- Melvin voted for Bush in '00 as well as in '04. The latest election was not decided by Melvin due to any ideological agreement with the current President, but because he made a better leader than his opponent [Kerry for those that forgot]. There was a point during the campaign that Bin Laden came out with some statement and Mr. Kerry's first reaction was to take a poll to see what he should do -- that was my decision maker.

Things to come in my thoughts relate to politics, the media as well as money. Melvin is a fiscal conservative that feels that money in the publics pocket is better than money in the governments pockets -- this will hopefully get some responses.