Saturday, September 25, 2004

Another Surprise Visit

I know I didn't hear about this, but thanks to Matt at Blogs for Bush, it's out there for all to see. You think these soldiers won't be writing their families and friends to tell them the POTUS came to their plane?

It will have the same effect as seeing the President handing out ice and bottled water to people in hurricane ravaged areas of Florida. Are you going to turn down badly needed ice and water if the president is handing it to you? Even if you can't tolerate the man? I would think it would put an entirely different face on your feelings.

Those soldiers will remember who came to their plane, they will write their friends and families because it was one of the biggest moments of their lives. When those soldiers go to fill out their absentee ballots, when their friends and families vote on Election Day, a few more votes will go to the POTUS for the simple act of greeting them and thanking them for their service. On Election Day, whose face do you think the voters in Florida will remember? The man who handed them ice and water or the man who didn't?

There are people who will see both incidents as vote getting stunts. In my personal opinion, that just happens to be a side benefit for Bush. I believe he honestly wanted to help in Florida, and wanted to express his pride and gratitude to the military. It shows character.

And it is all about character.


Every few months, we have a graduation/transition ceremony for a platoon at Boot Camp. They've worked for six months and have finally reached all their goals. They can graduate and return to their families and friends. Hopefully, with the tools that will keep them out crime-free. One of my duties is to meet and greet at the gate, direct people to the area where the drill ceremonies will take place and to take names of the VIPs that attend so that they can be recognized at the indoor ceremonies. I've debated for some time about trying to get out of this duty. It takes a couple of hours out of my day and I'm not doing something that someone else can't do.

I started thinking about it though. I get seen by people who know me, but because they don't see me very often, don't think about me. Usually, this is a good thing. I'm not looking for promotion, so I'm not concerned about "being seen" for that reason. It dawned on me, that because I've been around so long, I'm known. We're on the list to get a new copy machine. When the copy machines are purchased and the major in charge is determining who needs the newest equipment, because he has recently seen me (and actually likes me, or at least has nothing against me), my section has a chance of going higher on the list than someone he doesn't know. I've been around long enough to know how the game is played. It's not necessarily because you need this piece of equipment, you get it because of who you know, or who knows you.

I seldom have the chance to use my seniority or my connections, but when I can, you bet I do. Working in government is no different whether you work on the county level or the federal level. It's who you know, and sometimes what you know about them. Is it right? Sometimes it's the only way. And who among us won't use connections? Have you ever taken a fundraising brochure into your workplace to sell for your child's school or function? I'll bet every parent has. Guess what? You are using your connections on behalf of your child. Ever had a friend fix you up with a friend? Connection usage! How about jobs? Anyone ever tell you they'd put in a good word with so-and-so if you applied for a job. There it is again...connections!

I'm mentioning this because of the flap about President Bush perhaps using connections to get into the National Guard. I don't care if he had connections get him into the Guard. I'm more concerned with what he did after he got in. And I'm much more concerned with what he's done in the last 4 years. I also feel the same way about Kerry. I really don't care what he did 35 years ago. I'm more concerned about what he's done in the 20 years he's been in the Senate.

As my Dad used to say: Connections will get you there. It's up to you what happens after you get there.

Inventory of Hurricane Humor

By way of DebWire. We might be a target for hurricanes, but Floridians still have a sense of humor.

Among Deb's offerings:
A Message to Hurricane Ivan this can be addressed to the hurricane of your choice.

Deb has also included a couple of links to an Energizer Bunny commercial, and comic relief for Pet Lovers.

Go now! Hurry! It's worth it!

Thanks Deb!
Election Projection

According to Election Projection, it looks like President Bush has no worries. But, we in the blogosphere can't sit back. We have to continue to put the good word out. We have to be logical and reasonable with our stand, and I believe we have been.

You know, I'm really proud of the blogosphere and that I'm just a teeny, tiny part of it. Maybe I've missed it, and if so, I'm glad I did, but I haven't seen a single pro-Bush blog that has been as mean, hateful, and spiteful as some of the pro-Kerry, or anybody-but-Bush sites have been. I have no quarter with Bush-bashers, or even Kerry-bashers for that matter. I don't mind if someone disagrees with me, but give me logical, provable reasons, not political rhetoric. Leave the hate and spite at the door, no matter who it's against.

I said I have no quarter with Bush or Kerry bashers. They just hate the object of their attention and don't care whether there is truth or not behind what they say. They latch onto somethine and won't let it go. Think Mary Mapes looking for 5 years to prove that Bush either didn't complete his guard service (he did) or that he got someone to use undue influence to get him into the Guard (who cares?) or that someone attempted to sanitize his Guard records (everyone involved says it didn't happen). Think Dan Rather latching onto obviously forged documents in his attempt to bring down Bush. Who ended up being brought down?

And, by the way, for those saying that he entered the Guard in order to avoid service in Vietnam, did you know that in 1969, President Bush's Selective Service draft number was 327? That's pretty high, high enough to be unlikely that he would be drafted. If he wanted to avoid serving in Vietnam, going into the National Guard was an unlikely way of doing so. I also understand that he requested transfer to a group of pilots that were flying into Vietnam. But the planes being used were being phased out. He was qualified on this plane, but not on the replacement.

I've gotten away from my original point about the Election Projection. It's a good site to see what states are solid Bush or Kerry, really close Bush or Kerry, or just close Bush or Kerry. Blue is my favorite color, but Red is looking real good right now.
Gushing Thanks

One of the things I do everyday is check my site stats. I simply cannot believe that people actually come here to read what I've written, and some even keep coming back! Wow! Yes, I know, one of the reasons for blogging is simply to put words to paper, err, computer screen. Use the blog for ranting, raving, and so on. But, there is the recognition factor too. It's a real boost to the ego to see people passing through your site and to see the site stats go up.

I also like reading the comments they leave. Some I agree with, some I don't. Some leave me shaking my head and saying, "huh?" or "jeez louise, why is an obvious, Kerry-loving, tree-hugging liberal bothering to leave comments on this site? Do they really think they're going to change my mind?" or even, "Why did they have to call me that? That wasn't nice!" and spend the rest of the day trying to build up my ego again. Then there are those who say nice things and make me feel good about myself. Thank you! I keep telling myself that I don't need validation from someone else to make me feel good about myself, but, when I get it, it sure feels good!

I love seeing new people on my referral list and I make a point of visiting their sites. Some I return to, and some I like enough to add to my sidebar. Some are in another language and some appear to have been written while under the influence of something or another. I always take something away from each site. Sometimes it's a link, sometimes a new thought to ponder.

All I can say is: Thank you!
House Cleaning

I was doing a little light housekeeping here in The Corner today, I hadn't realized the cobwebs were so bad. I really thought Charley, Frances, and Ivan had blown the corners clean, but they missed a few. While Jeanne may send some wind our way, I doubt (Please! Please! ::wishing and hoping for a hard right turn north::) it will be enough to clean up. don't get me wrong, I'd rather clean a few cobwebs than endure a hurricane. Having lived through hurricanes in my youth (Donna in '60 and Betsy in '65 - btw, Betsy did the same type of loop-de-loop that Jeanne did. Started north, looped around and struck Florida), I am very grateful that Manatee County has dodged the bullet as often as we have. I only wish I could extend that luck or whatever it is to the rest of the state.

I was reading on Drudge a few weeks back that there is something in the current climate changes that is making Florida a "hurricane magnet." I'll admit to not reading the entire article, so I don't remember the why's and wherefore's. After this season, I think there might be something to it.

I'm planning that in the next few years, hopefully in the next five, but surely in the next ten, we'll be building a house somewhere in the beautiful state of Florida. Hurricanes have renewed my interest in building a hurricane-proof, or as hurricane proof as possible, house. Hmmm...poured concrete walls, ceiling, and floors sound good right now. There was a time when I was interested in dome construction. Maybe I'll look into this again.

Just thought of another reason for dome construction: no corners and so no cobwebs in the corners.

For the last few years I've been counting down how long I have until I can retire. I'm a county employee, so I'm vested in the state retirement system. In Florida, the state has an option called the DROP. It's a deferred compensation retirement plan that offers an incentive to retiring early. I'll be eligle for entry into the DROP as of September 1, 2007. That makes it 35 months and 5 days. And yes, I've been doing a count-down since it was in triple digits. I can do just about anything when I break it down into months or days instead of years.

With the DROP, I will actually retire from my job, but I will continue to work at my current job for up to the next 60 months. As I understand it, I will cash out my accrued annual and sick leave. While enrolled in the DROP I will continue to work at my current job, receive my paycheck, earn annual and sick time and receive an annual raise just as if I had not "retired." I put retire in quotes because while I have officially retired, I will still work as if I had not retired - retirement is deferred. The only difference is that I will start out with zero leave time and will probably not be considered for promotions. But, I don't expect to be promoted now. I've gone nearly as far as I can without being certified and the only other position I could go to, I really don't want.

Now, this is the good part: my monthly retirement check will be deposited into an account where it will draw interest while I am in the DROP. I have to be in the DROP for at least one month, but can stay for up to 60 months. Anyway, when I do finally retire, I will get my deferred compensation -I'll have approximately $120K (most likely more, depending on raises, interest rates, and so on) in the bank and will receive my monthly check in my own account.

I don't have to retire in 3 years, but I do have the option. If I understand correctly, I could wait until I'm 57 to actually retire, spend 5 years in the DROP and then retire at age 62 when I'm eligible for Social Security and Medicare. I'm thinking of waiting until I'm 55 to enter the DROP and officially, finally retire at 60. Each year I wait will mean a little more money going into the retirement account.

One of the things I'm wrestling with is: do I want to work an extra two to five years? Right now, today, hell no! I want to retire as soon as possible. Monday isn't soon enough! But, realistically and financially, it might make better sense to wait that two years. Shoot, I've already worked this long, what's another twenty-four months? And sometime, I will be talking to a financial planner of some sort to help me make the decisions I need to make.

Decisions, decisions. But, like the DROP, I can defer the decision until another day.

Friday, September 24, 2004

The Speech that Should Be Given at CBS

Hugh Hewitt does a marvelous job of telling Les Moonves at CBS what he should do and say. It would re-estabilish CBS credibility for me. This article is a must read.

And, it would behoove ABC, NBC and CNN to take this message to heart also. Well written, Hugh!

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Beer for Soldiers

They can't get anything but something resembling near beer in Kuwait and Iraq, but Sgt. Dale Rogers decided that he could do something to get beer when he gets home.

Being Internet savvy, he knew that people will buy anything online. He also knows that people want to buy soldiers a beer. He put it together and before he was deployed he created the website Beer for Soldiers where you can donate to buy a soldier a beer.

Here's the link to the story and the link to the Beer for Soldiers website. Drink up, my friends. I can't think of anyone who deserves a beer more.

Secret Plans

You might remember that early on Kerry talked about foreign heads of state who had told him they wanted him elected to the US presidency. But, he couldn't say who they were. Now, Kerry is talking about Bush's "secret plan" to re-institute the draft. I'm beginning to think Deep Throat is alive and well and working for Kerry. Or that Kerry has a tin foil hat under all that hair.

These "secret plans" are scare tactics the Democrats are bringing out in order to scare people into voting for the Dems. Every election year the Dems bring out the same old scare tactics such saying that the Republicans will take: Medicare and/or Social Security away from the Senior Citizens, welfare aid from the poor, and others, but these are two of the big ones. Kerry is behind in several polls and his people are starting to run scared. The next six weeks are gonna be both fun and aggravating.

What I hate about these tactics is that they are meant simply to scare. The Dems have nothing on which to hang their hats so they have to resort to scaring old people and the poor. They know there is no truth in this. Why do I know there's no truth? First of all, in order to reduce Social Security, Medicare benefits or welfare benefits there has to be a bill introduced into Congress. The President does not wake up one day and say, "You know what? I think I'll reduce Social Security payments to the elderly. They're not gonna live much longer anyway." A bill is introduced into the House or Senate by a congressman who wants their name associated with the intent of this bill. Who wants their name associated with taking money away from the elderly or poor? What congressman is going to vote for it? If the Dems want to stop such action, all they have to do is lobby against it, and not vote for it. Same thing for the draft. The President can't just say, "We'll start a draft tomorrow."

I've been hearing these scare threats my entire life and it aint never happened yet. The Republicans, for all their faults, aren't going to take benefits away from Senior Citizens or the poor. They know if they did, they know the seniors and poor would vote them out of office so fast it would make their heads swim.

Actually, I think the secrets are being kept by Kerry himself. All I've heard him say is that he would do things differently than Bush has done. Has he specifically said he would do this or that?

Kerry and Company: shame on you! If you want to campaign, then campaign like adults and not like whiney little sneaks.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Charity Drive

The bloggers at (nka "The Daily Brief) have started a charity drive to heal the breach between CBS and the rest of the country. Found via Michelle Malkin.

It's a worthy cause that I ask my readers to at least check into. My heart just bleeds when I realize the real cause behind the CBS scandal. Please, I beg, give until it hurts.
Wicktory Wednesday

Depending on what polls you pay attention to, either Bush or Kerry is ahead. What I'm trying to say, is with 41 days (less than six weeks!) left until the election, we can't afford to let up. This election is just too important.

You can't donate money to the campaign, but you can volunteer your time. You can host a party (I wish I could! What a fun excuse to have a party!) to watch the debates and invite people you would like to sway to the light.

Each of us has to decide which candidate we think has the experience, the skill, the background, the honor, and the integrity to lead this nation for the next four years. I don't agree with everything President Bush has done in the last four years, but I sure don't think 20 years of doing next to nothing in the Senate has given Kerry what is needed to take America through the next four years.

Over the last couple of weeks, we've seen the influence the blogosphere has. We need to keep up the good fight and do our best to remind the rest of the country what we already know: the economy is up, housing and retail is up, unemployment is down. Could it be better? Of course. But I don't see it getting better under Kerry and the Democrats. And this is from a recovering Democrat.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

My Dreams of the Past

At one time in my life, actually, quite a long period of my life, I was a Democrat. I embraced the ideals of the party as I thought they would lead to a better life for one and all. After finding this page, I realized I could, nay, must! return to return to the dreams of my youth.

Thanks to The Queen of All Evil for showing me that I can believe again!

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Sunday Musings

A Must Read

Ken at Esoteric*Diatribe posted this. I hope Dan Rather reads this good, down-home Texas advice. I about split my sides reading it.

All things Dan Rather (biased) Also has a web of connections that is rather (sorry) interesting.

Another 527

I found yet another 527 that you might be interested in. Football Fans for Truth have joined together to expose Senator Kerry's ignorance in all things sports. It's a real 527 and fun to check out at the least.

Aspartame/NutraSweet Controversy

This link is offered for your information only. I won't use aspartame or products containing it whenever possible. If you choose to, that's your choice. Link thanks to Weapon of Mass Distraction.

Fallout from Memogate

The first firing has occurred over the CBS controversy. Was it Dan Rather? No. Mary Mapes? Wrong again. Some junior producer or go-fer? Nope.

Seattle radio host Brian Maloney expressed his opinion that Dan Rather should either be fired or forced out on his September 12 radio show, heard on the CBS afflilate KIRO-AM. Maloney has hosted this weekly show for three years, but station management felt that the show went in a direction they weren't comfortable with. Hmmm...KIRO is a CBS affliate. Maybe that's why they weren't comfortable with this opinion?

My Two Cents on Memogate

Well, maybe another two cents. Rather and Company are concerned that there is so much controversy about the memos and little about the content.

Dan. Dan. Dan. How can the content be believed when the method of delivery is first suspect and then proven to be a forgery? That's like saying the check for $1,000,000 I just signed on my friends account is good. It doesn't make any difference whether the money is in the account or not when the check itself is no good.