Here We Go!

If anything, these are interesting times.  No one I know is completely happy with the budget, or what is termed the budget, that was passed by the legislators and governor here in California.  As long as there are some things that everyone likes, and some things that no one likes, we are probably ok.  What is most important is getting people back to work, and keeping them in work.  I don’t think it can be built on unrealistic housing expectations, at least not in the near future.  Sometime in the farther off future this whole thing will play out again, as human memory is a short lived thing.  It would be nice if we found more sustainable ways to build the economy.  It’s time for the entrepreneurs to get to work.  It could, and should, be quite interesting.  I’m looking forward to it.

It Took This Long? No Excuse

Looks like the clowns in Sacramento have finally run out of political games to play.  It’s not a done deal yet, but the obvious has been stated: if we are to maintain services, we actually have to a way to pay for them.  Maintaining the various services equals maintaining jobs, which equals a better economy.  Some cuts and frugality in budgets, coupled with, gasp!, new taxes is what we have to do.  It might not be the most fun thing you’ve heard today, or tomorrow, but it is what has to be done.  The most amazing, and dissappointing aspect of this entire episode is that it took our elected officials this long to figure out the obvious.  It’s a good thing, for them, that they weren’t attempting to bypass a skunk.  They’d have been sprayed right after the phony budget was adopted last summer.

Maybe, Just Maybe

The Great Insolvent State of California may be, but only may be, on the verge of having an actual budget.  Of course, this was supposed to happen last July.  Our legislators, being the politicians they are, stuck to ideological idiocy rather than working together to keep us out of the insolvency pit.  Imagine that, working together to pass a budget that works.  It is an amazing thought, one that is difficult to come to grips with, given the nature of our legislators and governors over the last few years.  In the meantime, together with the mess that the financial industry and everyday greedy people gleefully jumped into, our friends and neighbors across the state have been losing their jobs, or living in fear of losing their jobs.  One of the things that drives new jobs is older workers retiring.  As the Boomers head out to pasture, their jobs open up for the younger folks.  This would be in addition to actual new jobs being created in a normal economy.  The rush to retirement has, I think, slowed to a crawl.  The Boomer Generation is having to consider not only the loss of some investment dollars, but whether their children will be employed and able to carry on.  The Bank of Mom and Dad may have to stay open a bit longer because of all the financial turmoil that we are going through.  If we actually get a budget from the loons in Sacramento, we will at least be able to make some plans, from businesses, to schools, to household finances, for the near future.  While crystal balls are admittedly in short supply and questionable use, it would be nice to have an inkling as to what, exactly, we should be able to plan for.  As it stands now, the time-line to a new budget for the next fiscal year has been shortened quite a bit. Not a comforting thought, at least not to me.  Contact your legislators and encourage rational thought for the good of the whole, rather than whatever it is they did this year.  If you have a printable name for it, let me know.


According to an article in Converge, a report by North Central Regional Educational Laboratory and the Meteiri Group entitled “enGauge 21st Century Skills: Literacy in the Digital Age,” literacy, the basic ability to read, still counts, among other things.  I should hope so. I think that children today read a great deal more than we think they do: they are constantly in touch with each other, and have invented an entirely new version of short hand. Text messaging has it’s own ciphers and protocols. The ciphers are cross generational, the protocols probably aren’t. I’m not a big txt msgr. I do work with young children, and my own children text, blog, write, and read all the time. In order to use today’s techno tools, one really does have to have a strong reading base. It may even be a motivator for some children.  There are many blogs out there, and young children, young adults et al use them all the time. Now, I have not read the report itself, so I cannot vouch for its veracity.  From my observations, no reading these days equals being out of touch, something the young among us are not fond of.  The Teaching Box is an educational blog that covers a lot of ground, literacy being part of it.  Eduskeptic is another one that encourages reading, to make sure that what you think is true in education can be verified.  Keep reading. It really is necessary, even in the digital world.


I am looking forward to tomorrow, Jan. 20, 2009.  For the first time in 8 years I have hope that America will come out of the darkness, and once again take a place on the world stage as a leader, that we will once again stand for integrity, peace, and for the good of all.  Barack Obama has lit the fire of hope.  He will need help.  Visit this site to let him know what is important to you.  Thank you.

Money Mess

How is it possible that the entire California state governmental group, elected to office, all of them, the governor included, can continue to draw paychecks while they have a good time playing politics, and getting absolutely nothing done? I am pretty sure that I won’t be able to pay any of my bills with an IOU from the state. I am also pretty sure that if I performed in my job as they have been performing in theirs, that I would be looking for work. Reality must be different at the Capital.

Our Money, Gone

The banks we bailed out have finally come out with it: they can’t, don’t have to, and won’t, tell us what they are using our bailout money for.  Bonuses, CEO goodies, who knows? Certainly not us. It’s just out money, right? Go to your favorite bailed out bank for a loan tomorrow, don’t tell them what it is for, just that you’ll go bust if you don’t get it. Let me know how it turns out.

Learn, Learn, Learn

Regardless of who actually said it, the adage “Those who do not learn from history are bound to repeat it”, certainly seems appropriate just now. The Detroit auto magnates, now begging for $34m as opposed to $24m a week ago, haven’t come up with much of a plan yet for keeping out of history’s way. I do wonder how much they’d ask for if they all took the train to D.C. as opposed to flying corporate jets or driving hybrids. So far, it sounds like the money that you and I will be forking over will go for…..well, I guess I just don’t know. Do you?

Heads In Dark Places

How is it possible, with all the connectedness of todays world, that the financial wizards of Washington  (and the great state of California) can’t quite get a grip on the plight of the normal person in the neighborhood? Even allowing for a very broad interpretation of normal, the wizards still think that they are on a completely different planet than I am. How about, instead of giving the big guys, who spent years working very hard to establish this mess, $25 billion, or $800 billion, or $0.10, we give each adult United States Citizen a paltry $1,000,000? Sounds crazy, right? Socialism you say. How can it be less crazy, or less socialistic, than giving the big 3, banks, creditcard companies, etc. so much of our money? If we passed out the $1million to all the adults, there would be an instant financial boost to the economy. Mortgages would get paid, shoppping would be done, savings put aside, cars bought, credit card bills paid, all, I think, very quickly. That would put an enormous amount of money into the system right away. By the way, this line of thinking came from a credit guy at an auto dealer I was speaking with. It is at least as good an idea as providing taxpayer welfare for all the financial firms that worked so hard to steal everything they could from everyone they could before the inevitable crash occured. Could you use the million? I could. Toto could probably find Kansas again, too. Happy Thanksgiving.

Still waiting:bail out

The Big 3 jet setters flew into Washington, D.C., wanting money from you and me. I don’t actually have a private jet to fly anywhere on, but I’d still like a bailout from the congress. Most amazingly, the big 3 CEO’s can’t quite conceive of the disconnect between private jets and begging for more money. The public outrage is only surpassed by the increduality of the entire scene. United Airlines filed chapter 11, turned things around, and came out stronger and better. If the congress were to bother to ask us about it, I’m willing to bet that GM et al would be directed straight to the chapter 11 counter. Perhaps there would then be a pretty good buying opportunity for at least 3 private jets. Maybe I could pick one up with the bailout money I’m hoping that I get. Toto, where’s Kansas?