Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The New Year

"The optimist stays up to see the New Year in. The pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves."

Bill Vaughn

Congress' Ill-Advised Plan to Destroy A Valued Hobby

Under the guise of the Economic Stimulus Plan to be proposed on January 6, Speaker Pelosi will introduce the "Cash for Clunkers" proposal that will severely damage, if not destroy, the classic/antique auto hobby. It is important for each and every person involved in our hobby to contact Speaker Pelosi's office (info below) to let her know that the "Cash For Clunkers" proposal is not a viable solution to anything, and will actually harm the economy, since so many individuals and businesses spend tens of millions of dollars each year in this hobby.

Please, folks - it only takes a minute or two for you to stand and be counted. If you do not, then it is likely that the source of parts for our cars will dry up, and at the very least, become far more expensive as supply dwindles. And to add insult to injury, they will use YOUR tax money to accomplish this travesty.

Even if you are not involved in this hobby, but like to see the restored classics and antiques as they drive by, you really need to add your input to Speaker Pelosi. If Americans do not stand together, we will fall together.

From the SEMA website at

Urgent Action Alert
Oppose Federal Vehicle Scrappage Program

Washington lawmakers are drafting a large economic stimulus package to help create jobs and rebuild infrastructure. They want to include a nationwide scrappage program which would give U.S. tax dollars to consumers who turn-in older cars to have them crushed, as a misguided attempt to spur new car sales. The lawmakers need to scrap this idea.

The stimulus package is being drafted right now. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) wants to introduce the bill on January 6 and have it approved by Congress by January 20, so that President Obama can sign it into law after he is inaugurated. Contact House Speaker Nancy Pelosi IMMEDIATELY To Oppose Cash for Clunkers! Call: 202/225-0100
Click here to send an electronic message: __________________________________________

Talking Points Oppose the Use of U.S. Taxpayer Dollars for Cash for Clunkers

• I am [calling/writing] to urge lawmakers not to include a “Cash for Clunkers” provision in the economic stimulus bill. Owners who turn in vehicles for crushing would receive a "minimal" payment to purchase a new car. This is a misguided attempt to spur car sales and claim that the country’s air quality or fleet fuel mileage is being improved.

• “Cash for Clunkers” programs threaten enthusiasts nationwide with the loss of valuable parts and parts-cars for repair, restoration, and customization projects. The programs also risk destroying classic, historic and special-interest vehicles, our American heritage.

• Cars turned in for scrappage often barely run, or are rarely-driven second or third vehicles that have a minimal impact on overall fuel economy or emissions.

• “Cash for Clunkers” programs will reduce the availability of affordable transportation and repair parts used by low-income drivers. It will also compete with the Salvation Army, the Purple Heart and other charities that rely on vehicle donations to raise money.

• “Cash for Clunkers” ignores better policy options. If Congress wants to act, support for repair and upgrade is a better choice and a win-win for consumers, dealers, manufacturers and repair shops. Significant emissions and fuel economy improvements can be achieved in older vehicles through relatively simple and inexpensive means: repaired/replaced exhaust systems, tune-ups, etc.

• We hope we can count on you to reject “Cash for Clunkers.” Thank you for your consideration on this very important matter.

Please send a quick note and/or a copy of your message to Speaker Pelosi to: E-mail:
Fax: 202/783-6024

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

T'was The Month Before Christmas

*Twas the month before Christmas*
*When all through our land,*
*Not a Christian was praying*
*Nor taking a stand.*
*See the PC Police had taken away,*
*The reason for Christmas - no one could say.*
*The children were told by their schools not to sing,*
*About Shepherds and Wise Men and Angels and things.*
*It might hurt people's feelings, the teachers would say*
* December 25th is just a 'Holiday'.*
*Yet the shoppers were ready with cash, checks and credit*
*Pushing folks down to the floor just to get it!*
*CDs from Madonna, an X BOX, an I-pod*
*Something was changing, something quite odd! *
*Retailers promoted Ramadan and Kwanzaa*
*In hopes to sell books by Franken & Fonda.*
*As Targets were hanging their trees upside down*
* At Lowe's the word Christmas - was no where to be found.*
*At K-Mart and Staples and Penny's and Sears*
*You won't hear the word Christmas; it won't touch your ears.*
*Inclusive, sensitive, Di-ver-si-ty*
*Are words that were used to intimidate me.*
*Now Daschle, Now Darden, Now Sharpton, Wolf Blitzen*
*On Boxer, on Rather, on Kerry, on Clinton!*
*At the top of the Senate, there arose such a clatter*
*To eliminate Jesus, in all public matter.*
*And we spoke not a word, as they took away our faith*
* Forbidden to speak of salvation and grace*
*The true Gift of Christmas was exchanged and discarded*
*The reason for the season, stopped before it started.*
*So as you celebrate 'Winter Break' under your 'Dream Tree'*
*Sipping your Starbucks, listen to me.*
*Choose your words carefully, choose what you say*
*Shout MERRY CHRISTMAS , not Happy Holiday!*

Merry Christmas to all our readers


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Bar Stool Economics 101

Bar Stool Economics, simple but effectively explained !!!!

Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:

The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing. The fifth would pay $1. The sixth would pay $3. The seventh would pay $7. The eighth would pay $12. The ninth would pay $18. The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.

The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve. 'Since you are all such good customers, he said, 'I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20. Drinks for the ten now cost just $80.

The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes so the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free. But what about the other six men - the paying customers? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his 'fair share?'

They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody's share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer. So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man's bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay.

And so: The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings). The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33%savings). The seventh now paid $5 instead of $7 (28%savings). The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings). The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings). The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).

Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings.

'I only got a dollar out of the $20', declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man,' but he got $10!'

'Yeah, that's right', exclaimed the fifth man. 'I only saved a dollar, too. It's unfair that he got ten times more than I!'

'That's true!!' shouted the seventh man. 'Why should he get $10 back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!'

'Wait a minute,' yelled the first four men in unison. 'We didn't get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!'

The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

The next night the tenth man didn't show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn't have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!

And that, boys and girls , journalists and college professors, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, or attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier, leaving the rest of us to pick up the entire tab.

David R. Kamerschen
Ph.D. Professor of Economics
University of Georgia

For those who understand, no further explanation is needed. For those who do not understand, no explanation is possible.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Food For Thought

Lately, I have had a number of folks comment about why there must be misery in the world - particularly war and disease - we have several good friends who are currently suffering such things as cancer, or the loss of a loved one. The latest person I discussed this with said she did not understand how any "compassionate God" could allow such things to happen.

Being religious, I have given it a lot of thought. I lost my own mother when I was 15, and recall asking myself the same question. And again, when a house fire claimed two other dearly loved ones.So I got to thinking about it. And I think I may have the answer, though it does nothing to really soothe.

I think it is because God is so much wiser than us, and sees the "big picture" that we cannot, or will not, see.

From a purely scientific point of view, our planet can sustain not more than 20 billion people - or less. Limited space; limited resources. Now for the sake of argument, let us assume that when Jesus came, He put an end to pestilence and wars. Had none of those people died prematurely, and had they lived to a ripe old age and propagated, the world's population would have exceeded 20 billion over a century ago, and resources will have long been depleted. All countries - those that still existed - would all be "third world" in status, even America. There would be starvation and misery on a scale we cannot even imagine.

That said, any God would realize that there must be methods whereby the population is curtailed. He is our Father, and like any parent, He would not wish to have to choose which of His children would perish. So, he would make it so that "nature" - and our own lifestyle choices - would separate the weak from the strong - survival of the fittest. He would still know the sorrow of losing children, but at least He would not have to choose which of His children would suffer.

So He calls up the forces of war, pestilence, famine - just like it says in the Bible. Not to make us suffer, but to protect us from extinction. He is more concerned with the survival of Mankind than with the survival of any one individual.

Consider the Biblical passage that says "If thine eye offends thee, pluck it out; if thine hand offend thee, cut it off." Well, He is simply trying to teach us that in order for the whole to remain healthy, some parts must be sacrificed. It is simply a matter of survival of the fittest. Just as we prune trees and shrubs to make them healthier, or have our pets "fixed" to prevent being overrun, we, too, benefit from "pruning".

It is, in short, nature's way of helping us to preserve the whole - Mankind - though it results in losing individual parts.While this explanation does nothing to soothe our hearts at the loss of a loved one, it does explain the need, and indicates that God is not without compassion - He simply has to consider the survival of the whole of Mankind.

But perhaps this can help soothe - if any of the above has any credence, then there is a God, and those who suffer here and get called "home" before us are now in paradise, and will be patiently awaiting the time when we can all be together once more. Or, as Johnny Cash so aptly put it, "The Circle Won't Be Broken - we'll be together again up yonder in a little while."

And so there shall always be war. There will always be disease, famine, drought, poverty. And, lest we forget, we all grow stronger from any tribulation that does not kill us. Much as fire tempers steel, we must suffer the hardships of life if we are to become strong.


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Beware of Bank Of America

Bank of America is the most dangerous bank in the nation, and should be avoided at all cost. Time and time again they have been in the news for their unscrupulous and highly unethical methods of bilking their customers. In fact, they keep looking for newer and sneakier ways to do just that.

The Atlanta Journal Constitution has an interesting story about one Greg Fischer, a consumer who paid his September Bank of America credit card payment through his bank's web site. He paid on the deadline day.

However, his bank said that he was late anyway. Why? He paid at 4:10 in the afternoon, past a 3:30 p.m. cut-off that he wasn't aware of, a cut-off, I'm sure, that's buried somewhere in legalese on his credit card statement or on the credit card's web site.

He's out more than just a late fee. Since he was late with a payment in April, his interest rate doubled to 28.99 percent. He was told that the bank wouldn't consider lowering the fee until he had paid on time for six months. Now if you do the math, April to September is six months straight. Nice timing.

In another instance, BOA doubled the interest rate of one of their better customers, a man who had been their customer for over 10 years. Why? Because the Postal Service erred, sent his mailed payment across country before delivering it - a day late. One day. First "late" payment in ten years. And they doubled his rate to 27.99%.

There used to be a law against such usury. And there ARE laws governing fair business practices. But because Bank of America is so big, they simply ignore them, and get away with it.Our Congress, elected to protect us, fails to do so. The banks pay them too much money for them to take any action. So, what can be done?

Simple. If every consumer were to refuse to do business with Bank of America, they would simply go out of business - a deserving and fitting end to a bunch of pathetic cheats who prey on their own customers.Remember - Bank of America is also the bank that kicked America in the teeth in 2006 when they created credit cards specifically for illegal immigrants. Risky cards for high risk individuals, and the cost of that added risk is passed onto the rest of the bank's customers.

It is high time that we, the People contact our Congressmen and TELL them to do something about these unethical, immoral practices, and to do their jobs to protect the American people. In the meantime, do yourself a favor - DON'T do business with Bank of America - they are dangerous to your wealth, and your credit rating. They care nothing about their customers. Their only God is the almighty dollar, and they will put the screws to anyone in pursuit of their quest for your money.