Thursday, July 31, 2008


I am sick of reading and hearing about the polling nonsense every day concerning the presidential election. How many times do the political pundits have to prove how stupid they can be? Political polls in the media have about the same degree of accuracy as the weather man and we all know a single digit IQ qualifies you to be a meterologist.

So we are having our own poll and we are declaring the accuracy to be within 1 to 3% of the accuracy of all those political polls in our face every morning. While they claim statistical accuracy because they use voting age, eligible voters, registered voters and likely voters or whatever might be the fad that morning, we claim statistical accuracy because we simply don't care.

They have a poll sample of between 300 and 2000. Now how in the world can 300-2000 interviews tell you what 300 million people think? So we are conducting a single interview assuming our single citizen does indeed represent a cross section of America. We are going to interview Hillbilly Joe from Coltons Point.

Now some Coltons Pointers are not big on reading, Hillbilly being among them so we are going to use pictures to ask questions in hopes of getting coherent responses. Here is our first Illustrated Presidential Poll of 2008.

CPT: Who do you like for president between these two characters?

Hillbilly: That's it? Those are my only choices? What ever happened to the great American heroes like Ronald Reagan or John Wayne. What happened to America?

CPT: These are the choices the people decided on during the primaries.

Hillbilly: Must be more idiots in America than I thought. Daddy is right, we are being overrun.

CPT: So I guess you are undecided. Which one of these two has the image you want for your president?

Hillbilly: That ain't right man. Somthing just ain't right. Where is my old bomb shelter? We are in deep shit!

CPT: That's okay Hillbilly. How about their position on war, which one is closer to your stand on war of these two?

Hillbilly: Good Lord, are we being punished by Divine Providence or what? One wants to fight and one wants to run. One wants to fight forever and one wants to stop in 16 months. Ain't there no happy medium? Can't we just kick some ass and get it over with like the good old days?

CPT: So you must disagree. How about on the economy?

Hillbilly: What the hell do they know about the economy? They're both on federal welfare aren't they? Both US Senators. And both live off their rich women. McCain should retire to Bora Bora while he can still enjoy his wife and Obama should retire to Hollywood where he can really make some big bucks in movies about presidents.

CPT: So who do you want for president?

Hillbilly: Good thing I ain't got no kids. They'd be cursed by the choices we make this generation. The people didn't nominate these dudes, the media did! So I say pass a law and make the network media stars liable for the next president. Whatever happens they are to blame, not us!

CPT: So who are you going to vote for?

Hillbilly: Are you crazy? I'd lose my lifetime Redneck membership if I backed either one. Ole McCain changes position every day and I ain't got a clue what Obama's position is to begin with. It's like Clinton and Bush. They all came from the same place, speak the same double talk, and think the American public has been taking stupid pills for life!

CPT: What place is that Hillbilly?

Hillbilly: You know, Yale, Harvard, those uppity, uppity Ivy League schools where they are brainwashed from birth. I ain't registered to vote and I ain't voting and that's all there is to it! Now leave me alone dude, I'm going to see Rambo 5 at the movies.

Who Can You Trust?

So we gave you our pick for the Queen of Network News Diane Sawyer, the Kentucky girl who rules ABC News. Diane proved that beauty and brains can be combined when she won the America's Junior Miss scholarship pageant and went on to break down all the doors of television news for women becoming the highest paid woman in network news.

However, not even that is good enough for the CPT Who Do You Trust? honor. The person must demonstrate a strict adherence to the ancient rules of journalism where you are objective, fair, unbiased, and never ever try to advocate a political philosophy or cause. Diane stands alone on network TV in this regard.

Today we are announcing the winner of the cable news Who Do You Trust? honor and once again beauty and brains are packaged in the Queen of Cable News, Robin Meade, anchor of CNN Express morning news. Robin was Miss Ohio and a Miss America finalist and went on to broadcast journalism in Ohio, Florida and Chicago before joining CNN.

You can find her every morning lighting up CNN Headline news where most CNN news personalities will put you to sleep. Many shows on CNN, Fox, MSNBC and whoever claim to be fair, unbiased and no spin but they are liars of course and all have an agenda to push on the unsuspecting public from right wing to left wing, conservative to liberal, and I for one am sick of hearing them tell me what to think.

You want a refreshing, upbeat news report go to Diane or Robin. They stand alone in preserving journalistic integrity. Interesting that they came from neighboring midwestern states.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

What happens if the USA has a Financial Meltdown?

If any other nation of the world faced the financial disasters we faced the last year from the oil price spiral to the housing catastrophe, the doubling of food prices to the largest budget deficit in history they would have been foreclosed, bankrupted and sold at a sheriff's auction.

The leaders would have been strung up from the nearest lamp pole, the people would be rioting in the streets, there would be a breakdown of authority and anarchy would rein supreme. So why are oil prices in a free fall, the stock market soaring, people calm and politicians still in office?

There is one intangible in economics that defies all rules of accounting and all standards of financial integrity. It is an intangible that stands in the face of common wisdom and sinister manipulation. It makes executives buffoons, analysts liars and politicians fools and in the end stands in defense of the helpless and silent majority called citizens.

It is the spirit of a nation born out of revolution, hardened by civil war and awakened by world wars. It is the spirit of freedom that guides the United States and makes it the envy of terrorists and financiers, the super rich and despots, warmongers and human rights violators, and all of those whose lives are grounded in evil and motivated by greed.

The American Spirit has withstood the test of time and the trials of sacrifice and never faltered from its ferocious defense of freedom, protection of human rights, its sense of fair play, its tolerance of diversity and its foundation in spirituality. True spirit can only come from a higher force like spirituality, a fact our Founding Fathers knew well and our current leaders keep trying to forget.

The United States is not old, it is still young and it will never lose its youthful enthusiasm because our Founding Fathers made it a living, breathing modern nation the day they adopted a Constitution that was the first in world history to be first person present tense.

The USA is the richest, most powerful and still most generous nation on Earth no matter who is the present pretender to the American seat of power (the president) for in truth the president and congress work for the people.

Our nation, under God, has evolved and grown for 232 years making it one of the oldest continuous forms of government yet one of the youngest nations in world history. Our role in the world far surpasses that of being a super power. People want what we have and we buy from others what we need and the result is an economic system that is the most unique, yet most stable in history.

I mentioned in a recent banking article how 15 of the top twenty banks in the world are from Europe. Two others are from Japan, meaning 17 of the top 20 banks in the world are from other nations leaving just 3 of the top 20 from the US. Yet the profits and losses of all those world banks are dictated by the US economy, no one else.

The world would be bankrupt if the US was bankrupt. The vast majority of money in the world is driven by the US economy, what the US needs and what the US generates, and the nations of the world, like it or not, would fade away and die without access to our markets, goods and services.

That is not an indication of arrogance but a statement of fact. We are in a financial mess but one we have faced before and when our leaders prosecute the crooks including those sitting next to them in our seats of power the system will heal and the world will be stabilized for a time.

Pay no attention to the purveyors of doom and gloom in the corporate boardrooms or on the evening news. They do not share our agenda. And we do not share their agenda. In the end they cannot win as their motives are not pure and their actions are not good.

Those that have tried to use the resources of America for personal gain will be stopped. Those whose greed drove them to manipulate markets, fix prices, corrupt associates and bribe officials have had their moment, even disrupted the world economy in the process.

In the end all the true enemies of the US are dependent on the US and cannot allow our country to fall into ruin. We have the only economy capable of making them billions of dollars and of protecting their trillions of dollars of investment in the US. The Spirit of America remains a beacon drawing the people of the world to us and that spirit will continue to dominate the world until it has spread throughout the world.

Another Miracle at Coltons Point?

What is it about this ancient site in Southern Maryland that is the birthplace of religious freedom in America, the site of the first Catholics in English speaking America, the site of the first Jesuits in the continental United States, the site of the first miracle in North America, and the site where the first relics of the Cross of Jesus were brought to the new continent?

This unknown sacred site on the banks of the Potomac came to the attention of the world last spring when the Pope made his first trip to America and St. Clements Island at Coltons Point was mentioned on worldwide television as the birthplace of Christianity in the new world.

Ever since the miraculous healing of the fatally sick son of the leader of the Native Americans back in 1634 when the first Jesuit, Father White, placed the relic of the Cross of Jesus on the dying boy and he came back to life things have been unusual.

Tornadoes hit all around Coltons Point but none hit here. Hurricanes devastate and flood the surrounding area of Maryland and Virginia but there is never much damage here. It was almost 400 years ago that two ships from England brought Christianity, religious freedom, Catholics and Jesuits to this site and things just haven't been the same since.

Our most recent miracle happened just this past Monday when I was driving back to Coltons Point after dropping Hillbilly Joe off at his job. Around 7:00 am I came around the turn by the Catholic Church and there were two cars smashed beyond recognition nearly in front of the church.

One sat crossways in the road and the other was down in a drainage ditch with the driver's door pinned against the earth. The damage was so extensive it was impossible to tell the make of either car. I could see a body hanging out of the car on the road and I pulled over and rushed to the scene.

Car parts were strewn over 100 feet from the point of the collision. There was fluid leaking and moaning coming from both cars. I yelled at a person standing in front of the church paralyzed by shock from the horrific sight to call 911 which she did.

While searching the wreckage site for any sign of fire as fluid was everywhere I propped the guy halfway out of the car up, checked him for bleeding or obvious injuries, and went into the ditch to see if anyone survived the car that had been thrown through the air.

There was a woman pinned behind the steering wheel and trapped in the car as both sides had been crushed in the wreck. She was delirious, but no major arteries had been cut and she was falling in and out of consciousness. To reach her I had to crawl down the ditch and pulled the air bags away from her.

At that point one other person had reached the site and we did what we could to watch for fires while keeping the victims awake and comfortable. In the meantime Father Gurney, the Catholic priest came out of the church and administered Last Rites to the two people as both clearly were on the verge of death.

The woman in the car finally went out stone cold while we were waiting for the emergency vehicles with the jaws of life needed to cut her out of the wreckage. Now the wreck took place in front of the church and the EMS and Fire Departments were less than a mile up the road.

Still it took 20 minutes for the first responders to respond. During that time a fire or injuries could have easily killed the victims as there was no way to get the woman out. It was the longest wait I experienced in my life.

When they did arrive the EMS vehicle seemed to have two young kids and a woman in her 20's and that was the emergency crew. There was a great deal of confusion even after they arrived on how to proceed when there really was no choice, the guy on the road was available to treat while the woman trapped in the ditch needed to be checked.

Within minutes there were several police cars, fire trucks and ambulances on the scene and a committee kept meeting on how to cut apart the car and save the woman who already seemed to be dead or at least knocking on death's door. When they finally started using the jaws of life they seemed to be taking the most difficult path to saving her as they decided to cut the entire roof off the car to get her out.

Twenty more precious minutes passes before they completed the mission and twice they had to stop cutting and use axes to try and smash the windshield loose and then to crease the roof so they could bend it back. Both times the jolt of the axes and debris from the blows had to be affecting the woman trapped under the roof.

Later I learned that early morning calls to our all volunteer EMS and Fire Departments are the most difficult to fill because most of the veteran officers are at their regular jobs and only a skeleton staff is left. Helicopters came and landed in the field by the school and flew the two victims to the nearest trauma center about an hour after the wreck.

As for the miracle? The seventy-four year old woman we thought might be dead returned to consciousness as they were pulling her out of the wreckage and she looked at Father Gurney and I and waved. When the helicopter got her to the trauma center the only injury they could find was a broken wrist and by the next day she went home. The guy was recovering as well.

If you looked at the cars you would have said no one could survive such a wreck as neither car could be identified in the tangled mess. A high-speed head-on collision left the vehicles obliterated and the occupants should have been crushed. The 20 minute wait for emergency crews with the woman trapped, gas leaking and sparks flying should have resulted in an explosion and fire. When she lost consciousness and the priest gave her the Last Sacraments there seemed to be no life force left in her. Yet she awoke, waved to us, then walked out of the trauma center the next day with only a broken wrist.

As for me, as the helicopter flew away I went home thinking the whole thing seemed like a dream sequence. The things that can happen before your first cup of coffee. Then CuChulainn, my Irish Wolfhound, explained to me that Coltons Point is a mystical and mysterious place indeed.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Oil Hits Seven Week Low - How Low Can It Go?

Last Friday oil continued its two week decline bottoming out at $123.40 for US crude and $124.39 for Brent crude, both down over $2.00 for the day. Oil peaked two weeks ago at a record $147.37 a barrel and has been falling ever since.

So what does this mean to the consumer? The rule of thumb is the price of a gallon of gas should drop 2.5 cents for every one dollar drop in a barrel of oil. Thus gas prices should fall 57.5 cents a gallon based on the decline we have already seen.

It has dropped about 14 cents meaning a true market adjustment should see an additional fall of gas prices of around 43 cents, driving the average price from $3.94 to $3.51. This should conveniently happen before the November election with about 25 cents by September.

Now that is if prices remain as they are today. I expect prices to fall to about $90 a barrel by election day, meaning an additional $34 reduction in oil and an additional 85 cents in gas. By all rights our gas should cost about $2.68 a gallon by the time the next president is settled in at the White House.

Why does it take so long for gas prices to fall? Well the oil refiners and gas retailers benefit the least from high gas prices so they are taking their time lowering prices in order to get a little of the oil profits so greedily grabbed already by the speculators and producers.

So if the market forces cannot explain the high oil prices what is the reason? Read my article on the financial institutions. It may help shed some light.

Who Will Fall Next? Banks and the Credit Crisis

So who are the largest investment banks in the world?

1. Bank of America
2. Citigroup
3. JP Morgan
5. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group
6. Royal Bank of Scotland Group
7. ING Group
8. Credit Agricole
9. Wachovia
10. BNP Paribus SA

How about the top brokers in the world?

1. JP Morgan Chase & Co.
2. Goldman, Sachs & Co.
3. Citigroup
4. UBS
5. Bank of America
6. Lehman Brothers
7. Merrill Lynch
8. Morgan Stanley
9. Bear Stearns
10. Credit Suisse

Finally who are the largest banks in the world?

1. UBS AG - Switzerland
2. Barclays - UK
3. The Royal Bank of Scotland Group - UK
4. Deutsche Bank AG - Germany
5. BNP Paribus SA - France
6. The Bank of Toyko Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd. - Japan
7. ABN AMPRO Holding NV - Netherlands
8. Societe Generale - France
9. Credit Agricole SA - France
10. Bank of America NA - USA
11. JP Morgan Chase Bank National Association - USA
12. Banco Santander Central Hispano SA - Spain
13. Unicredito Italiano SpA - Italy
14. Credit Suisse Group - Switzerland
15. Citibank NA - USA
16. ING Bank NV - Netherlands
17. Bank of Scotland - UK
18. Fortis Bank NV/SA - Belgium
19. Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation - Japan
20. HSBC Bank plc - UK

Notice the names appearing on all three lists? How about the fact that four of the top 20 banks in the world are UK, three from France, two from Switzerland, two from the Netherlands, and one each from Germany, Spain, Italy and Belgium. Hummm, 15 of the 20 largest banks in the world are from Europe.

So there is a concentration of wealth but also a concentration of credit exposure. So far these banks have lost billions of dollars from investing in the US sub-prime mortgage market and the credit crisis but do we really know the scope of the crisis?

Losses of nearly $400 billion have already been written off from sub-prime mortgages. A confidential study by Bridgewater Associates, the second largest hedge fund in the world expects total losses from the credit crisis to reach $1.6 trillion, yes trillion. That is four times the current staggering losses.

One of these major players has already gone under (Bear Stearns) and more can be expected if the credit losses approach that level. In fact one of the major players, Fortis Bank, expects a collapse of the US financial markets with 6,000 US banks filing bankruptcy and major corporations like General Motors and Citigroup becoming victims to the US financial meltdown.

Very quietly 7 US banks have already gone bankrupt this year but are we prepared for a massive meltdown? Today the Bush administration announced we face the largest budget deficit in history. Oil prices are out of sight and housing prices are collapsing. Perhaps the meltdown is already well underway.

Of course many of these institutions are on the earlier list I published of the financial institutions that have paid billions of dollars in fines for fraud, price fixing and other economic high jinks that used to land you in jail but now just get you a slap on the wrist and a tax deduction.

Many of these banks already recovered billions of dollars of losses with their manipulation of the oil futures market so maybe the projections of Fortis have to be updated by adjusting them for the billions of dollars already stolen from the citizens of the world at the gas pumps.

Will we ever reach the point where our financial institutions won't have to steal, manipulate and defraud the public in order to cover their losses from creative stock frauds which should never have happened in the first place if the government regulators were doing their job? Stay tuned for Armageddon.

Olympics Just Days Away

The greatest gathering of athletes in the history of the world is about to take place at the XXIX Olympics in Beijing, China with 10,500 athletes competing in 302 events in 28 sports. NBC Network will be televising the event and all network executives have their fingers crossed that viewers will actually be able to see them.

Did I mention that China, one of the world's fastest growing economies does not really believe in environmental regulation nor human rights but those issues are being kept from the public as much as possible. Unfortunately, years of environmental abuse in China has left the air in Beijing so polluted that a total ban on automobiles in one of the largest cities in the world is being considered.

It would take such drastic action along with an order to shut down all the polluting factories in Beijing to clear the air enough for television cameras to see what the athletes are doing in the events. So enjoy what you can see of the Olympics and don't be upset if you can't see the faces of your favorite athletes because they most likely will be buried behind face masks to protect them from the pollution.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Randy Pausch, 47; terminally ill professor inspired many with his 'last lecture'

(Valerie Nelson of the LA Times reports this next story better than anyone.),0,1202748.story
From the Los Angeles Times

Randy Pausch, 47; terminally ill professor inspired many with his 'last lecture'

His speech at Carnegie Mellon University after a pancreatic cancer diagnosis became an Internet phenomenon and bestselling book.
By Valerie J. Nelson
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
July 26, 2008

Randy Pausch, a terminally ill professor whose earnest farewell lecture at Carnegie Mellon University became an Internet phenomenon and bestselling book that turned him into a symbol for living and dying well, died Friday.

He was 47.Pausch, a computer science professor and virtual-reality pioneer, died at his home in Chesapeake, Va., of complications from pancreatic cancer, the Pittsburgh university announced. When Pausch agreed to give the talk, he was participating in a long-standing academic tradition that calls on professors to share their wisdom in a theoretical "last lecture."

A month before the speech, the 46-year-old Pausch was told he had only months to live, a prognosis that heightened the poignancy of his address. Delivered last September to about 400 students and colleagues, his message about how to make the most of life has been viewed by millions on the Internet. Pausch gave an abbreviated version of it on "Oprah" and expanded it into a best-selling book, "The Last Lecture," released in April.

Yet Pausch insisted that both the spoken and written words were designed for an audience of three: his children, then 5, 2 and 1."I was trying to put myself in a bottle that would one day wash up on the beach for my children," Pausch wrote in his book.

Unwilling to take time from his family to pen the book, Pausch hired a coauthor, Jeffrey Zaslow, a Wall Street Journal writer who had covered the lecture. During more than 50 bicycle rides crucial to his health, Pausch spoke to Zaslow on a cellphone headset.

"The speech made him famous all over the world," Zaslow told The Times. "It was almost a shared secret, a peek into him telling his colleagues and students to go on and do great things. It touched so many people because it was authentic.

"Thousands of strangers e-mailed Pausch to say they found his upbeat lecture, laced with humor, to be inspiring and life-changing. They drank up the sentiments of a seemingly vibrant terminally ill man, a showman with Jerry Seinfeld-esque jokes and an earnest Jimmy Stewart delivery. If I don't seem as depressed or morose as I should be, sorry to disappoint you. He used that line after projecting CT scans, complete with helpful arrows pointing to the tumors on his liver as he addressed "the elephant in the room" that made every word carry more weight.

Some people believe that those who are dying may be especially insightful because they must make every moment count. Some are drawn to valedictories like the one Pausch gave because they offer a spiritual way to grapple with mortality that isn't based in religion.

Sandra Yarlott, director of spiritual care at UCLA Medical Center, said researchers, including Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, have observed that work done by dying patients "resonates with people in that timeless place deep within." As Pausch essentially said goodbye at Carnegie Mellon, he touched on just about everything but religion while raucously reliving how he achieved most of his childhood dreams. His ambitions included experiencing the weightlessness of zero gravity; writing an article in the World Book Encyclopedia ("You can tell the nerds early on," he joked); wanting to be both a Disney Imagineer and Captain Kirk from "Star Trek"; and playing professional football.

Onstage, Pausch was a frenetic verbal billboard, delivering as many one-liners as he did phrases to live by. Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted. When his virtual-reality students at Carnegie Mellon won a flight in a NASA training plane that briefly simulates weightlessness, Pausch was told faculty members were not allowed to fly. Finding a loophole, he applied to cover it as his team's hometown Web journalist -- and got his 25 seconds of floating.

Since 1997, Pausch had been a professor of computer science, human-computer interaction and design at Carnegie Mellon. With a drama professor, he founded the university's Entertainment Technology Center, which teams students from the arts with those in technology to develop projects. The popular professor had an "enormous and lasting impact" on Carnegie Mellon, said Jared L. Cohon, the university's president, in a statement. He pointed out that Pausch's "love of teaching, his sense of fun and his brilliance" came together in his innovative software program, Alice, which uses animated characters and storytelling to make it easier to learn to write computer code.

During the lecture, Pausch joked that he had become just enough of an expert to fulfill one childhood ambition. World Book sought him out to write its virtual-reality entry. He didn't get to be Captain Kirk, but actor William Shatner, who played the starship commander, visited Pausch's lab at Carnegie Mellon. Pausch believed that watching Kirk had taught him leadership skills. After the speech, Pausch was given a walk-on role in the "Star Trek" film due out in 2009.Inside the auditorium, Pausch dared the crowd to overcome obstacles.

The brick walls are there to stop the people who don't want it badly enough. They are there to stop the other people.After his applications to become a Disney Imagineer were repeatedly rejected, Pausch said, he talked his way into spending a sabbatical in the mid-1990s at the company's virtual-reality studio. He helped design such virtual-reality rides as Aladdin's Magic Carpet at Walt Disney World.

Randolph Frederick Pausch was born Oct. 23, 1960, in Baltimore and said he won the "parent lottery" with Fred and Virginia Pausch. His father sold insurance and his mother taught English. As a teenager growing up in Columbia, Md., he was allowed to paint whatever he wanted on his bedroom walls. His artistry included a quadratic equation, elevator doors and the rocket ship that adorns the cover of his book.

After graduating from Brown University with a bachelor's degree in 1982, Pausch earned a doctorate in computer science from Carnegie Mellon in 1988. At the University of Virginia, he taught for nine years. When he got tenure, he thanked his research team by taking members to Disney World. Although he didn't make it to the NFL, Pausch said playing high school football taught him to master fundamentals and accept criticism. A month after his speech, the Pittsburgh Steelers invited him to a practice. Pausch caught passes, grinning ear to ear.

Last fall, he moved his family to southeastern Virginia so that Jai, his wife of eight years, could be near relatives. He tried to "build memories" with his children, taking his oldest, Dylan, to ride a dolphin and introducing his son Logan to Mickey Mouse at Disney World. For his final Halloween, his family -- including his youngest, daughter Chloe -- went as the animated characters the Incredibles, personifying his end-of-life mantra: We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand.

With the newfound status the speech bestowed on him, Pausch called attention to the need for cancer research, appearing before Congress in March and filming a fundraising spot for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. The same friends who called him "St. Randy" to poke fun at his media image were "not surprised that he's moving the world," Zaslow said. "They always thought he was special. Even his doctor said, 'If I picked one patient who would become famous and inspire the world, it would be him.' "Weeks after his book was released, 2.3 million copies of it were in print. It is being published in 29 languages.

By the book's end, Pausch sounds like a parent imparting advice as fast as he can. The chapters grow shorter as he tries to fit it all in: Don't obsess over what people think. No job is beneath you. Tell the truth. Ever the comedian, Pausch delighted in his mother's use of humor to keep him humble.

After I got my PhD, my mother took great relish in introducing me as, "This is my son. He's a doctor, but not the kind that helps people. "His mother couldn't have been more wrong. In addition to his wife and children, he is survived by his mother and a sister. Donations may be made to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network,, or to Carnegie Mellon's Randy Pausch Memorial Fund,

The Case of the Mysterious Satellite Signal

I have basic cable like many Americans because I cannot afford the many levels of premium packages, because I need cable for the high-speed internet connection, and because the program choices on cable seem rather stupid, condescending and patronizing.

Coltons Point is one of the last outposts of wilderness in the Eastern USA so cable was a recent technological advance here. We still have no DSL on phone lines. Fact is we have no fiber optic wiring at all as the phone system is based on ancient boxes set on the ground which short out every flood or hurricane.

No cell phone towers in Coltons Point either. You have to drive 12 miles to get to the nearest cell phone reception zone meaning we remain free of radiation bombarding our brains. Here we have no technological excuse for being stupid. Yet we are only 60 miles from our nation's capitol, as in Washington, D.C. for those not historically correct.

Basic cable now means you get no cable channels, just the local network, public access and PBS stations. Not even CNN, Fox News or the Weather Channel are on basic cable. I think Congress, who regulates the telecommunications industry and sets the license requirements for broadcasters, should tell them to quit lying. There is no cable in basic cable. It is just a convenient way to charge people for the free channels in their area.

Coltons Point is also a magical place where very strange things can happen. Ever since the shipload of English arrived back in the year 1634 at Clements Island just off Coltons Point there have been strange things happening. For those of you short on history that was before New York City, Philadelphia, Washington, DC, Chicago and Los Angeles even existed.

The latest strange miracle is the mysterious case of the wayward satellite signal. If you want to pay for television and be a player in the 500 channel digital broadcast game you must have a digital television and you must have access to the 500 channels through either digital cable service or satellite television. To play you have to get a cable or satellite dish installed and be willing to pay between $35 and $200 a month for no one knows how much they are really being charged.

Now technology 101 teaches you need a cable for cable television and a satellite dish for satellite television. Digital television sets have about a thousand stations available on the super remote controls. Older sets may have 125 channels available. Even older sets have 99 channels as they could not figure out how to get three digits of channels. I have an even older set.

A couple of weeks ago I was scanning my six basic channels when a strange message appeared on the screen saying my satellite signal had failed and I needed to readjust the satellite dish. I had satellite television before and the damn dish needed to be readjusted every time the wind blew or the rain was too hard so I knew what the message meant. I just didn't have a satellite dish to adjust on my cable TV.

Still it made me curious so I started checking to see how many blank channels had the same message. Remember, my basic cable left 93 blank channels out of 99 possible. When I got past the basic channels to my complete astonishment every single cable channel except the pay channels for movies, sports or porn I guess appeared on my screen.

I've heard of wires being crossed before but never have I heard of an old television set with basic cable and no satellite suddenly start receiving satellite signals. Besides, this is a case of wires and wireless being crossed which makes for an interesting physics challenge.

So Obama goes to Europe and I get satellite television on my cable tv. This must be some kind of sign of enlightenment. Maybe we should get him elected. Even the rednecks that don't like him might like the free World Wrestling Mania, the Saturday Night Slam Down or whatever it is they watch.

I don't see how they can charge me for satellite tv when I don't have a satellite dish. This momentary miracle has given me a chance to go back and see if television programming has advanced since I last had cable or satellite service.

Fat chance. If anything the standards are far less. The shows are stupid or a copy of something that worked once upon a time. Tell Congress things are so bad we now need a warning to appear on every television show; "The Surgeon General has determined that watching digital television not only causes tumors but also destroys brain cells causing intellectual constipation. If you have not already destroyed all your brain cells you should turn off your television and start taking all those prescription drugs.

Obama Conquers Europe - Is America Next?

Over 200,000 Germans watch as Obama walks along the podium on his way to address the world. It was the highlight of his whirlwind trip from Afganistan to Iraq, Israel to Germany to France and England.

Memo to John McCain: Stop whining and start giving us a reason to take you more seriously than Obama. Ever since Obama left for the war zones and Europe McCain has been complaining about the press coverage, complaining about the policies Obama has announced, complaining about being assigned the junior varsity of the news corps since all the media stars were with Obama in Europe and complaining about every word uttered by Obama on the trip.

His "good old boy" approach to the campaign does nothing to tell us why he should be elected as the most powerful person in the world, how he will improve the image of America around the world, or how he will end the wars and stop all the special interests who are running and funding his campaign. We need solutions to problems. We need a leader who can motivate us to do good. We need a president who will go after the crooks in our financial, oil, medical, pharmaceutical, entertainment and media industries.

I thought it was pretty amazing to see an American speaking to over 200,000 Germans in Berlin and being applauded. When I see polls that say two-thirds of Europeans want Obama to be the next president I think the fact the rest of the world is taking such an interest in our election is an indication of the power of the United States and the role they hope to see for America in leading the world.

Think about it, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and England have been around about a thousand years longer than the USA. Yet in all their amazing history they have never had a minority leader, whether president, prime minister, king or queen. Only the USA, the newest kid on the block, has taken such a quantum leap forward to be seriously considering electing the first minority president in world history in a Western democratic or capitalistic society.

The people of the world stand in awe of our political system that practices what it preaches, that all people are free and everyone has an equal opportunity to be president. I happen to think that is quite extraordinary and our founding fathers should be smiling down on the land of freedom and opportunity they helped create.

There are one hundred days until the election. Both candidates have plenty of time and money to make their case to be the next leader of our nation. Let us hope they use that time and money to give us positive reasons to elect them, not negative reasons to not elect their opponent.

The United States is the sole world super power because we can stand united behind a cause for good, be more creative and innovative than any other nation when we set our mind to it, and we are the most compassionate and caring people on Earth. As long as the world is watching with such interest, let us give them an election they will never forget.

Not to be outdone by Obama, McCain is shown here meeting with the Dali Lama while Obama was meeting with the Germans, French and English. He used the occasion with this man of peace to blast Obama for his trip and to challenge the images of the wonderful reception he received in Europe.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Letters to the Editor

I got a letter from Cathe the other day asking why no new articles have been published lately. Letters to the editor are rather rare here at the Coltons Point Times but are greatly appreciated as it is the only indication people are reading and finding the stories to be of value.

So I told her I broke my brain and had to take time for repairs but the break happened at a good time as everything in the news was predictable. Truth is I was taking a break while the world caught up with my previous articles.

We made a number of predictions and suggestions on a variety of issues and it seemed as if the government was never going to get around to doing their job but slowly, often grudgingly, they seem to be getting in gear.

I suspect some of the movement by the bureaucrats might be they realize in a few months they may have a new boss and they better do something to justify their existence. There is also the calls for change by the presidential candidates and the strange policy reversals of late by President Bush that have changed things.

The Race for President
In March we called the Democratic primary and even the general election naming Obama the winner of both. The first already happened and the second is well underway. Of course the news media says the race between Obama and McCain is only a 4 percent lead for Obama. We addressed that in an article on polling stating that polls will not be accurate until after September 1 at which time we expect Obama to surge to a 15% lead and never look back.

The Oil Price Rise
For nearly two years we urged investigation of price manipulation of the futures market and finally, this week, the federal government announced the first of what could be many indictments for illegal price fixing. An expansive investigation is already underway.

The Housing Crisis
Also long ago we pointed out the impending collapse of the housing market because of over priced real estate and the proliferation of Wall street, the banks and investment houses in scam sub-prime mortgages. Well the house of cards did collapse at a cost of well over $300 billion. We urged extensive prosecutions of the mortgage, banking and financial sectors and they have also begun.

The many articles covered a host of sins ranging from medical costs to environmental issues, prescription drugs to vaccines. We pointed out that new born children now receive 26 vaccinations by the time they are two years old. No wonder our immune systems have broken down. The average older American now takes six prescription drugs a day.

We are over regulated, over stimulated, over manipulated and over weight and still we listen to the maniacs every evening on the news singing the praises for the quality of life in America while their networks suck every last advertising dollar from the guilty parties.

Television programs on our 500 channels are the dumbest collective bunch of nonsense in history, video games are the most crass and destructive forces ever inflicted on mankind, violent crime is glorified on local news and corporate crime is covered up on network news.

The price of oil and food goes up every time anything in the world goes wrong even if it has no effect on oil and food prices. Still we send the same people back to congress and our state legislatures as if they have no responsibility for all the corruption and greed that dominates our world.

Well I don't know if President Obama can change things as he will still be stuck with the same congress but he certainly can't do any worse than the last few presidents. I presented a program to Take Back America which starts to address all the freedom, choices and morality we have given up but a positive approach to problem solving has no place in a world that dwells on the negative and glorifies greed.

Still the population of Coltons Point is a couple of hundred and there are over 7,000 readers of the Coltons Point Times, not to mention the many web sites that place my articles on them so at least several thousand people are starting to look for the truth.

In order to serve that purpose and make certain Cathe has something of value to read we are now rested and will not rest again until the crooks have been driven from the capitol, from Wall Street, from television and radio, and even from the pulpits.

We will not rest until you get medical help to heal you, not keep treating you until your insurance runs out. When owning a home means something. When education actually teaches. When speculation in oil and food is stopped because such greedy speculators are threatening our national security. When foreign aid goes to countries that help us lower the cost of oil. And all that other stuff.