Saturday, March 28, 2009

Subterranean Economic Blues

With huge bonuses going to executives of many large corporations, I have to as, "What do they do with all that money?" My personal contact with the wealthy is limited to short trips in the taxi that I drove for twenty years, so my understanding of that social class is limited to that perspective. Those folks do tip big.

I left that job eight years ago when I returned to the agricultural community where I was born and raised. Most of all I miss the tips, that little bit of 'dash' that provides the instant gratification that is practically non-existant in a rural setting. Tips are a large part of the under-ground economy that you will find in any city, subterranean so to speak. I liken my sense of loss to Bob Dylan's Subterranean Homesick Blues. So, what is the connection between the underground, Bob Dylan, corporate bonuses and my blues? Let me explain;

There is a line in Bob's song ( click on link above ), '...the pump don't work, cause the vandals took the handles...' That particular lyric has mystified myself and many others for years. Now I understand; Without the bonuses, corporate executives can't support the thousands of low-lifes ( like myself ) that depend so much on their filthy lucre. The pump is the economy, and the handle is instant gratification ( TIPS = to insure prompt service ).

When those executives left their homes to appear before the US Congress, I have no doubt that they tipped everybody they met along their route to those hallowed halls. I'm just guessing, but I'll bet they laid out thousands of dollars in largess that they fully expected to 'trickle down' through the economy, and thus 'stimulate' that same economy. Limo drivers, sky-caps, and valet parking assistants are just a few of those that benifit from their 'cash flow'. That is just the way the weathy contribute to society ( except for wealthy Canadians, they don't tip ).

How much of our lives, our jobs and our Government is dependent on an under-ground economy? For the last eight years, my wife and I have supported ourselves with minimum wage jobs, so we really don't feal the pinch like we would have 'back in the day'. The blues I feel are more nostalgic, than financial.

I'm also grateful that circumstances put disance between myself, and a very corrupt system that depends so much on instant gratification.

And about that pump, my neighbor has an old one in his back yard that works well ( if you work it )

Posted via web from Wallace's posterous

Thursday, March 19, 2009

President Obama fills out his March Madness Bracket

Barry likes Duke ( but says they won't go all the way ). I can get behind the Pres. on this issue ( especially since he proved himself with his Super Bowl pick ( he went with Pittsburgh, I liked Arizona ).

Sports Videos, News, Blogs


Posted via web from Wallace's posterous

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Rumors of Wars

I am worried that the US and Mexico may soon escalate the 'War on Drugs' from a strategy of enforcement by civil authorities, to a shooting war on the border between the nations. Mexico has been using it's military for several years now in it's efforts to battle the Drug Cartels influence and control over several of their states. The US has supported Mexico's efforts with much money, and advisors under the banner of 'The Merida Initiative', but has refrained from deploying Federal Troops to the Mexican border ( although National Guard Units from the region have been alerted to the possibility of such a deployment ).

Living far north of the border ( in Illinois ) doesn't remove the affects of a conflict on the Rio Grande, as so many folks from south of the border live as neighbors and work beside mid-west citizens. If the US where to use Federal Troops to battle the Drug Cartels in the States, or ( God forbid ) in Mexico, would fear dictate the relationship between this minority and Non-Latinos? Certainly different states and regions of the US would react differently, but would the Federal Government be able to establish a workable general policy for dealing with conflicts inside the US?

One would hope that the Obama Administration is looking for models of past conflicts, and judging them for their successes and failures. The Internment of Japanese Americans during the Second World War comes to mind, which brings up the issue of immigrants and Americans of Mexican descent that are ( or will be ) serving in the US military.

I have asked several questions, to which I have no answers. While we all worry about our involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq, perhaps we should also be concerned about events that are not so far over the horizen..

DoD photo by Staff Sgt Adam Mancini US Army - Released

Thanks to Sgt. Mancini for the photo.

Posted via web from Wallace's posterous

Sunday, March 8, 2009

"I'm just glad I have a job," is a phrase heard more often lately. My thoughts echo that sentiment as I 'tag' news articles that focus on the economy, bailouts and legislation aimed at keeping American's on the job ( and in their homes ).

My shift at the Pasta Plant is scheduled for the weekly start-up, which means that in a few hours I'll be walking into a production area all gleaming and shiny from Saturday's clean-up shift. All the chrome will shine, the floor will be empty, and the plant will be relatively quiet for a few hours until production ramps up and the flour dust begins to fly.

Pasta is cheap food, and is not likely to suffer in the market-place like so many other products. Also, most of your major brands of pasta that are sold in your super-market are produced by a few companies. So I'll probably not get that pink-slip that so many are seeing lately.

Concerning my home, I am buying one but not with the help of a bank. I guess my wife and I didn't qualify for a loan as so many upwardly mobile folks did in the last several decades. We found a man willing to sell with a 'contract for deed'. Looking back, I think we are the fortunate ones ( not having to worry about banks and loan companies ). As long as 'our man' is solvent, so are we, and since we haven't missed any payments I'm sure he considers us an asset, rather than a liability.


Posted via web from Wallace's posterous

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Don Surber » Blog Archive » Jesus and the Democrat

Today’s viral e-mail that’s making the rounds. It’s cute.

Come on. You want to read it:

A Republican in a wheelchair entered a restaurant one afternoon and asked the waitress for a cup of coffee. The Republican looked across the restaurant and asked, ‘Is that Jesus sitting over there?’

The waitress nodded ‘yes,’ so the Republican requested that she give Jesus a cup of coffee, on him.

The next patron to come in was a Libertarian with a hunched back. He shuffled over to a booth, painfully sat down, and asked the waitress for a cup of hot tea.

He also glanced across the restaurant and asked, ‘Is that Jesus over there?’

The waitress nodded, so the Libertarian asked her to give Jesus a cup of hot tea, ‘My treat.’

The third patron to come into the restaurant was a Democrat on crutches. He hobbled over to a booth, sat down and hollered, ‘Hey there, honey! How’s about gettin’ me a cold glass of Miller Light?’ He, too, looked across the restaurant and asked, ‘Is that God’s boy over there?’

The waitress once more nodded, so the Democrat directed her to give Jesus a cold glass of beer. ‘On my bill,’ he said.

As Jesus got up to leave, he passed by the Republican, touched him and said, ‘For your kindness, you are healed.’ The Republican felt the strength come back into his legs, got up, and danced a jig out the door.

Jesus also passed by the Libertarian, touched him and said, ‘For your kindness, you are healed.’ The Libertarian felt his back straightening up, and he raised his hands, praised the Lord and did a series of back flips out the door.

Then Jesus walked towards the Democrat. The Democrat jumped up and yelled, ‘Don’t touch me. I’m collecting disability.’

I wonder how the Democrats would tell it…

Posted via web from Wallace's posterous