Friday, August 31, 2012

What is Wrong

What's wrong with this picture? Well, for one, they're two white guys. For another, they're two rich white guys, one in fact worth several hundred million dollars, almost all in overseas (foreign) accounts we don't know where, what or how much. For another, they've never worked a real job in their life and career.

Yes, they're two white well-off men who haven't worked outside of politics except for Romney who was the head of the venture capital company Bain Capital which bought and sold companies for profits, always striping any money from the companies and often striping or raiding the pension and health insurance funds, and almost always firing hundreds of people in the process.

Ryan has proposed a budget which won't pay down the longterm debt for decades since it won't balance the annual budget for decades. He calls it fiscal restraint, except where's the restraint on spending? It's in domestic programs which benefits everyone but the rich. He calls for lower taxes on the wealthy and corporations who are already weathly beyond our imagination.

They both call for social reform which takes away our rights and freedoms, especially those of women over their healthcare. They both call for a religious doctrine, one Mormon and one Catholic, which imposes religion into the decisions about this country and people.

They want all of us to think like them? And if you don't, or you're different in your own way, then, of course, you're un-American and unpatriotic, for only people like them are Americans and patriots. Never mind the great diversity of race, ethnicity, religion, sex/gender, etc who built and are this country. We don't count to them. We're not them.

So, what's wrong with this picture? Well, how about all the rest of us. Where are we in their world?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Dear News Media

For what it's worth to you, I'm not watching any of the Republican National Convention (RNC) on any network or cable show or will I watch any of the Democratic National Convention (DNC) next week except maybe the President's acceptance speech. Otherwise, you're wasting you time and breath on me.

The truth is that I, like many others, don't care about the conventions anymore and especially this year when it's obvious they're about money and power and screw the little and ordinary people like us. And you expect us to watch being belittled and lied to by all the politicians? We may be ordinary, but we're not dumb or stupid.

We learned a long time ago PT Barnum was right and we're not being fooled anymore, not after the Bush-Cheney adminstration and Obama's failures to keep his promises until it's politically expedient for votes, like ours. I like him as President but he's not my best choice anymore. Romney isn't by any measure, he's a liar from the start, something I guess is normal for Mormons toward the rest of us.

So, hope you enjoy the RNC and DNC, but I'm not watching. I'm watching baseball, especially the Seattle Mariners, the real national pastime where, honesty, hard work and fair play is the standard not the exception.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A Woman's Right

A woman's right is a national right, not a state's right to decide for her or for Congress to decide for all women. A woman's right is the right of every woman to decide for herself by herself and whomever she wants involved in the decision. No one else and nothing else, just her rights.

Really Mr President

Mr. President,

Do you really think a 0.5% pay increase means anything to federal employees and retirees, like myself? Really, you're playing politics again with us employees and retirees for what purpose and gain? And you expect us to still think you're worthy to be president now?

You froze our salaries and annuities two of the last three years, which to me amounts to about $300 in lost net monthly income today. That's money I didn't get and don't have, all the while everything has gone up to where I'm now losing and my annuity isn't keeping up anymore. What don't you understand?

That's my truth. I retired in 2005 with expectations and plans of annual increases to at least cover inflation, which it did until you froze my annuity three years ago and then again the following year. I got an increase this year but only what I should have gotten three years ago, so I've lost the accumulated increases over those three years.

My health insurance premium has gone up 50% in the same period, no thanks to the "Affordable Care Act" which was supposed to minimize increases in my health insurance premiums and costs. It's done neither as both have increased. All the while my rent and living expenses have increased far more over the three years than the annuity increase this year.

And now you want to screw us again for political gamemanship with Congress? Do we look and work like political fodder to you? Obviously you think so. And the good news you have for us, at 0.5% increase? Really? Think about it. That's $5 per $1,000 of income. That's one fast food lunch.

That's just over a gallon of gas. It's a gallon of milk and a few groceries. It's a breakfast and coffee anywhere. In short, it's nothing of significance beyond being spent very quickly. And it's about $18 for the month for me, and only if taxes and my health insurance premium doesn't eat it before I get it.

I can't expect to be sitting pretty in my retirement, but you're driving retirees in to the lower income levels, and even some into poverty levels. And you still expect our vote. Really Mr. President. Would you vote for yourself if you were us after these last four years?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


Well, hope? Maybe? The team is now only 5 games under .500. This after getting to 7 games under .500 then dropping to 11 games under .500, by winning 7 games in a row before losing 5 games a row and now winning 6 games in a row.

The team is playing hard, which turns into wins, and while they have a top ten pitching staff in baseball, 3rd in the American League, and the best defense in baseball, they're always in trouble when they play teams with better offenses their pitching can't shut down. They simply don't have the offense against better pitching.

But still there's hope for the season. It won't be the same as the last few years if they continue to play hard. And they can, just maybe, get back to .500? We can hope. You still gotta like them. They might be playing over their head, much like Oakland and Baltimore, but still they're playing better 4 other American League teams and 8 National League teams.

There's not a big name player on the team outside of Felix Hernandez, but they're playing as a team and learning to win. If only they had some better hitters. There's always next season. But this one is turning out to be a good one too.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Gear Sale

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I am in the process of updating the photo gear sale blog with photos of the equipment, starting with the lenses which seems to be the gear of most interest. Over the next few weeks I'll post photos of all the gear for sale and I will update any individual piece with the latest information when it is sold.

Right now I have several pieces of interest to a few people. I'm am documenting the interests and will let folks know if there is more than one person interested so they can weigh any decision about their interest and the price of the piece. I've also decided for the interim to restrict sales to the United States so shipping is easier and cheaper.

I realize international shipping is just as easy, but it's not as cheap, which would necessitate adding the cost to the price, which some won't find acceptable, and it's not a cost I'm willing to absorb at this time. That may change but for it is the rule for now.

That's it. You can check the photo gear sale blog for more information and I'll update this one only occasionally.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Consider the Thought

Consider the thought that Mitt Romney is approaching the Presidential campaign and election as a takeover as he did many times with companies when he ran Bain Capital. And if elected, he'll run the government like a company he took over when he ran Bain Capital, meaning suck the money out of the government for the company and himself, and in this case, the company isn't us the taxpayers, but the corporations who are his friends.

Consider the thought he'll gut or subvert government like he did the companies he took over when he worked for Bain Capital, meaning stripe everything from government, like the departments he said in the primary campaign he would eliminate (energy, EPA, education, health and human services, etc.), and then rewrite regulations to help his friends, the corporations.

Consider the thought he would appoint all this corporate cronies and former GW Bush people, you remember them when they oversaw two large tax cuts, TARP (the $800 Billion bank bailout), the Medicare drug doughnut hole and two wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, all of which was not paid by taxes and went directly into the national debt, to agency leadership positions to do their work with his policies.

Consider the thought that he doesn't give a thought about the national debt and won't give much thought about the annual deficit unless it relates to domestic spending, the 15% which isn't entitlement programs (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, etc.), the defense, security and intelligence agencies, especially the longterm capital defense purchases, and the interest on the national debt. It's that 15% he'll blame for everything and propose to cut.

In fact, the higher the deficit and debt, the higher the interest, the more he can cut domestic spending. The more he can say it's about the deficit and debt, but then he'll recommend more tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations. And the more he can increase defense spending and more on homeland security, which is to help corporations who get all those contracts.

Consider the thought he would run the government and this country like he ran Bain Capital. Is that what you want? Be one of Bain Capital victim's? To be left without a job, broke, no health insurance? And to be left with a President who doesn't care about us?

Consider the thought that this is what he's thinking. Really.

Monday, August 13, 2012

To Obama and Romney

To Obama and Romney,

Ok, add Biden and Ryan too. In the presidential campaign from here on out, it would be nice if all of you focused on the facts and the truth. Not just your interpretation of them for political purposes or gain, but as the fact are known in the whole picture of the truth and reality.

Yeah, wishful thinking of me. It's why I'm not listening to the campaign ads, political rhetoric or much of anything during the campaign. Romney has shown that depsite all his Mormon teaching he has never been honest or truthful with the American people about himself, his wealth, his religion and anything else to date.

And while I know the President is almost factually true most of the time, it's clear he is shading things too. It's expected. And I know Romney's Vice Presidential candidate, Paul Ryan, is an extremist who hates government, even though he's spent his career in government, and he hate the American people, especially anyone who isn't like or thinks like him.

And yes, Joe Biden is Joe Biden. almost always honest, even if he does fudge the facts and truth a bit, but he's always entertaining. But in the end, I won't listen much at all from now until November. I've pretty much decicded who to vote for, so anything said is just wind with noise sounding a lot like crows.

I'd much rather watch the Seattle Mariners in the losing season see if they can't succeed at not losing more games than each of the last two seasons. At least there I know they're honestly trying their hardest to win without hurting anyone else.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Really Mr. Romney?

Let me see if I understand you correctly. You are running for the presidency of the U.S. using your business experience at Bain Capital and your experience as governor of Massachusetts. That's what you've cited as your right to ask voters to trust you as a prospective president. Right?

But when you're questioned by others about your business and governorship experience, especially when it's questioning your statements, showing evidence it wasn't as you said, or showing something you did but haven't mentioned, you say that's off limits? Really? Off limits for what?

The truth? The facts? The reality? Only your side of the story is allowed? That's I heard this is a democracy where people have the right to question you, to do their own homework about you, and to ask you about stuff you want forgotten. Or do you not understand our democracy?

You want us to trust you but you don't trust us to know more about you. You refuse to answer questions about your religion but you question President Obama's religion. You refuse to answer questions about your taxes and finances, but you demand Obama release more of his as well as his financial records, college records, and even his birth certificate.

And you wonder why we don't trust you? Really, Mr. Romney? What don't you get, besides everything?

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Photo Gear Sale II

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Over the next few weeks I'll be adding posts on the photography gear sale blog on each of the lenses, cameras, and peripheral equipment, one entry for each piece of equipment with photos. You can get the full descsription of the whole Minolta system for sale.

Please contact me if you have questions and especially if you have an interest to buy any of the equipment.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Photo Gear Sale

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I'm selling the majority of my Minolta manual focus photography equipment. You can get more information about the equipment and sale, and you can also get the latest updates on the sale.

It's a collection I started in 1969 with my first Minolta camera and lenses and just grew until a few years ago when I switched to Canon's digital system. Minolta changed their lens mount with their autofocus cameras so all the equipment was useless if I switched to their AF cameras.

They kept the same lens mount in their move to digital camera with Konica and then Sony, but never produced a full frame sensor until recently, so I never got into their newer cameras. Canon offered 35mm film and full frame digital cameras with the whole range of lenses, flashes, etc.

I'm keeping some of the Minolta photo gear from the earliest cameras and lenses to later cameras and a few lenses and other gear I've acquired over the years. The rest is better in the hands of people will use it.