Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Where is Our Economy Going?

Here we are in 2008 with fuel costs on the rise, the housing market collapsing and America apparently heading into a recession. I know according to Washington the economy is not as bad as we are being told. First of all, I do not need the media to tell me the economy is in trouble. Just stop at the gas station, go shopping for clothes or better yet go to the grocery store. The increase in the cost of groceries is very evident and felt every time we go food shopping. Meanwhile our wage increases are almost nonexistent. The cost of fuel is probably the most crucial part of the equation at this point. Since all of our products are transported via trucks, thus transmitting that cost to the final product. I am not an economist by any stretch of the imagination, however it does not take a rocket scientist to figure out we are in trouble. In my opinion it is business as usual with Countrywide Financial. They were the pioneers in the Creative Mortgage movement, which is the foundation of the current housing debacle. Lets walk through this, a couple of years ago when housing prices were going up at an astronomical rate these creative mortgages were allowing individuals to qualify for loans they could not afford. Now that the introductory rates are disappearing, these homeowners are facing mortgage payments they cannot afford. Should they be surprised? Hardly, unless they were forced at gunpoint to sign the loan package, they are liable for the contract. I am of the opinion the individuals in these loans are responsible for them. I believe most of the homeowners that are in trouble will eventually lose their homes no matter what the government does. The government jumping in a staving off the crisis is just postponing the inevitable. The longer it takes for this wave to crash the bigger the wave gets. This will compound the problem down the road, but then again we have become a society thirsting for instant gratification. Oh ya, we are in the middle of the election so the politicians do not want to rock the boat.

We recently had the pleasure of President Bush begging for OPEC to increase oil production. How humiliating, we beg them for more oil.

Where do we go from here? The United States needs to be independent again and not dependant.

Dependence begets subservience and venality, suffocates the germ of virtue, and prepares fit tools for the designs of ambition.
Thomas Jefferson

Friday, January 11, 2008

My Favorite Fishing Allure

The sun is peeking through the window, gently reminding me I over slept! As the fog dissipates in my brain, the panic begins to materialize. I’m Late! Sitting up in bed, running through my mind what needs to be done; Make Coffee, Feed the Dog and Let Him Out, Brush my teeth…. To heck with that, I should be on the water instead of getting my happy butt out of bed late. I’m Late! All right, get dressed, let the dog out (we don’t want no stinkin messes). Better feed him, I don’t want him to bite me when I get back either. Coffee hmmm…oh well twist my arm; Starbucks it is. What else? Backpack, fishing vest, license, main rod, extra rod (just in case one breaks), water, snacks, hat and sunscreen. Sounds close enough to me, I gotta go!

Stop everything!!!!!!!! This is supposed to be a relaxing, what is going on here?

The truth is fishing is one of the most enjoyable and relaxing sports I have found. Here in Southern California there are miles and miles of accessible coastline begging to be explored and fished. With our mild weather you can fish nearly year around. Obviously some periods are better than others spring, summer and fall being the best times. With winter being a little less fruitful.

Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after. ~Henry David Thoreau

So what is it that drives people to get up at the crack of dawn and stand in or near the surf to go fishing? For me it is not just catching fish, it is a way to clear my mind of the daily sensory overload we all deal with. It can be big things or small things but when you are fishing all those things melt away and it is simply you trying to catch a fish, the elusive little creatures they are. Maybe it goes back to some primeval hunter gather thing, I am not really sure. The fact for me is, there is a great amount of peace attained while striving to catch fish. And once a fish is hooked nothing else matters, not the people walking around you, not the wind on your face or the sun in your eyes. It is just you and that fish, trying to keep him on the hook while the surf is breaking, keeping your line tight but not breaking it. Timing each wave perfectly until you see that fish come to the shore. Then as quickly and gently as possible pick the fish up remove the hook and release him back to be caught another day. How can you not smile? It is impossible!

The charm of fishing is that it is the pursuit of what is elusive but attainable, a perpetual series of occasions for hope. ~John Buchan

Friday, January 4, 2008

China WTF!!!!!!

I have come to realize that we as Americans like taking it up the ass by China. Lets think this through a little bit; a communist country that does not care about human rights, enjoys unchecked polluting of its land, water and air, has little oversight of manufacturing procedures, is building its military at an alarming rate and owns a huge amount of our debt. Kind of like strolling into a lion’s cage, with a steak hanging around your neck. If there is an item sold in the US, chances are it is made in China. Better yet I challenge you to spend a little time in most any store. Look at the product labels and try to find products not made in China. Good luck, our consumer driven thirst for cheap shit, has created a situation where we are dependant on China for manufacturing our cheap shit and most everything else. Now they are enjoying expanding their footprint by drilling oil wells between Florida and Cuba. China is pissing in our backyard and laughing all the way to the bank. Meanwhile back at the ranch we refuse to build nuclear reactors for energy and god forbid we drill for oil in Alaska or off any of our coasts. It seems the U.S. operates with no plan B. Our dependency on China leaves us in a rather precarious position. What if relations with China were to go south? What would we do? Our consumer market would tank. We think the current mortgage situation is dire but it would pale in comparison to a consumer market with little to consume. Back to our debt, what if China dumped the notes they hold? Our dollar would plummet to unprecedented lows crippling our economy. POLUTION……Where the hell are all the global warming fanatics? China does not give a shit about pollution in any form; they are only concerned with improving their world economic standing and building their military.

Is anyone else thinking about this nonsense or am I the only person?