Saturday, March 28, 2009

"Put it in me Scott" :Quiznos Torpedo

When I first saw the current Quiznos commercial doing a "hard" sell for the new Torpedo "foot long" sandwich I was instantly creeped out. There was a glowing red hot masculine toaster oven imploring Scott the sandwich maker to "put it in me". The oven continues "say it sexier, Scott, sexier". Homo-erotic commercials for submarine sandwiches!!!

I thought I can't be the only one who finds this commercial disgusting, and pardon the pun - distasteful. (I'm not - see here and here) One commenter on a complaint forum had me rolling on the floor... "The only way this commercial could be more suggestive, is if they put a cheesy 70's porn music track on during it. I'll admit it, I popped a boner when the the oven told Scott to put one in him."

Quiznos must be getting complaints from the usual crowd, you know, family and religious associations. Not that they care, opposing the pro-family and pro-religious advocacy groups is a badge of honor these days in the popular culture. Crude, crass and in your face is the milieu of marketing in 21st century.

However, just try turning the tables. Let's suppose the toaster oven was a sexy female voice begging Scott, "put it in me" "you know we both liked it". There is no way Quiznos and their marketing geniuses would have aired a commercial like that.

I'm not a homo basher, rather, a live and let live kinda guy. I don't really appreciate Burger King's commercials for their new cute little cheese burgers with the nubile young women fawning all over the tight little buns like they were a sexy man's bum. It's almost as crude and crass as the Quiznos spot. I mean, is really necessary to sexualize every single thing?

I'm sure the fact that myself and hundreds of other bloggers are writing about it goes the very point of Quiznos' marketing strategy. Sex sells...

But, in all honesty they have lost a customer in me. This creepy, classless commercial will stick in my craw and when I'm out and about and hungry I will drive right by Quiznos. I'll be getting my sandwiches from Jimmy Johns and even, God forbid, Subway. (BTW I don't go to Burger King either)

[call me a prude, or an uptight Church laddy if you like... can we ever rise above our base animal self and suppress the adolescent need to turn everything into a Freudian sex proxy] CW

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Can We Possibly be This Blind?

I love conspiracy theories. I think they're fun. Fun and almost always fictitious. Conspiracies need secrets to be kept in order to work. I don't believe people can keep secrets. The JFK assassination and 9/11 were exactly what they seemed - the work of a lone gunman and the efforts of 19 Islamic fanatics. There is no possible way entire government agencies were involved with either.

All that being said, we come to a point in history where the nation responsible for battling and defeating The Soviet Union in the Cold War has elected a communist trained socialist as its "Supreme Leader". That may be kinda harsh - but I believe it's largely true. It's interesting that just 2 months into his presidency the dissatisfaction among Obama's cheerleading squad has already reached the pages of The New York Times. They are possibly mad that he isn't "progressive" enough. While the right-wingers are apoplectic over the swiftness of his far reaching government glad handing of the economy the lefties are disappointed that he hasn't gone even farther.

President Obama seems to miss the machinations of campaigning... Seriously, someone should tell him it's over and he won.

To be fair its been 2 months - no one is going to turn the economy around in 2 months. But what if he has no intention of turning the economy around? What if his goal is not the goal of the people that elected him but rather the goals of a cabal of 60's radicals that have been methodically laying the ground work for 40 years? (PLEASE READ THIS LINKED ARTICLE)

How fortunate that George W. Bush came along when he did. 9/11 looked like a disaster for the cause but then Bush made it so easy for them. "Dead or Alive" - "Bring it On" - "Mission Accomplished" - "Weapons of Mass Destruction" - "Strategery" - "I'm the decider". Face it, Bush and the fools running the Republican Party made it so easy for the media to turn the GOP into an enemy so terrible the public forgot all about Osama bin Laden.

So along comes the Messiah... The major media, having destroyed the Republicans with the help of the Republicans, had the perfect package to spoon feed the electorate. Once elected his only job was to finish what was started 40 years ago - namely to destroy American capitalism. So, how's he doing so far?

Remember I said conspiracies need secrets in order to work. Aha... Not this time. The truth of this vast conspiracy has been there all along. Yes, utopia sounds so nice, but realistic people always knew it was a fantasy, until now.

Rejoice - the socialist paradise is coming! The good and great things the capitalism has blessed us with was an aberration, smoke and mirrors. Only the State can make us truly happy.


Monday, March 23, 2009

Belly Laughs

Sometimes in all the absurdity
of this modern world you just have to laugh. I'm sure you have seen these humorous calendars in the cubes and offices of your co-workers - or maybe received a few e-mails with these profound and timeless de-motivational posters. It worth a look at the web site where you can see all of them in one place - I defy you to keep a straight face.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Is The Bloom Off the Rose?

Now he went and done it...

One thing the President can't claim is that he hasn't had enough face time in front of the American people. Week after week of leading every newscast, cover after cover on Time and Newsweek as well as the National Enquirer is pretty good for any celebrity. Why, he even had a guest appearance on Jay Leno's Tonight Show.

News is out today that he is going to preempt Tuesday night's American Idol program with a prime time press conference. He certainly has balls, doesn't he? Does he really think the state of the global economy is more important than American Idol??? He's more of a fool than I thought.

For Democrats and Obama lovers is there such a thing as too much of a good thing? Some of the comments on various websites are just precious...


“Stop, please stop, Mr O, we can’t take much more,” one angry viewer wrote on an Idol-related website. “Not again!” complained another. “It’s the same speech he’s been giving for the past year.”

Perhaps what is needed is a 24 hr/day Obama only channel. "Obama all day, everyday". Gosh, that would be swell.

I can not get enough of Barack Obama's nostrils. It sends a chill up my leg every time I view his upturned face.

The fact that American Idol is a Fox Corporation show probably has nothing to do with it - but knowing Obama's "petty" streak anything that might hurt Fox News even indirectly - well, you be the judge. All in all the President seems intent on aiming the media gun at his own foot. Yes, the honeymoon is over as the bloom falls from the rose.

It's fair to say the White House misread the public outrage at AIG hot-shots rewarded for running their company into the ground; interestingly there have been signs of discontent from a slew of disillusioned "hope and change" Obama supporters complaining about everything from his lack of support for gays to his plans for a new military “surge” in Afghanistan.

Probably not much to really to worry about for Super O in the long run. Those who voted for him have a lot of emotion invested in the merchant of change even as they find that his policies stand in direct conflict with there own financial health. However, when they learn that he wants to mess with their home mortgage interest deduction while raising there income taxes and removing the cap on their FICA contribution - not to mention confiscating the capital gains they realize selling their devalued home - they might not like the change they hoped for.


Monday, March 16, 2009

A Harmless Little Fuzzball: Talk Radio

John Derbyshire explains how conservative talk radio, which once energized the right-wing by giving a much needed voice to the center-right, is now preventing a rational, contemplative, conservative conversation from taking place. Frankly, I have to agree with him for the most part.

Honestly, when President Obama began fingering Rush Limbaugh as the head of a leaderless Republican Party, and Rush, for his part, spouted off with a provocative diatribe against Obama, I didn't really know who was being more foolish.

Rush is an entertainer after all, he is not a politician nor a statesman. This doesn't mean he doesn't have real influence. That said, Jon Stewart is also an entertainer and one could argue he had more influence with the electorate than Rush did in this last election cycle - his guy won it all. Does President Obama look petty going after a loud mouth heckler in the crowd? In my opinion - yes. Is it good for ratings for Rush to hope out loud that the new President fails? Well, yes... Is it good for the conservative cause? No way.

Back to the larger point in Derbyshire's article that talk radio has become a hindrance to intellectually based conservative ideological branding. Instead - as he puts it - in place of the permanent things, we get Happy Meal conservatism: cheap, childish, familiar.

This sentiment is true of many of today's talk radio juggernauts like Michael Savage, Laura Ingraham, Sean Hannity, Mike Gallagher, Bill Cunningham and to some extent Rush himself. Salem Radio's Hugh Hewitt is a well informed cheerleader for the center right movement who nauseates rather than insults. Michael Medved is a strange duck in that he offers his show to liberals and kooks supposedly to draw a contrast to the sanity which is conservatism, but he just as often stoops to their level of discourse (which isn't saying much) and bringing himself down in the process.

Spend ten minutes with Michael Savage and you'll see
cheap, childish and familiar with bells on. Savage is the ying to NPR's yang. Frankly he's a disgrace. He makes some excellent and valid observations, but the uncontrolled thoughtless stream of conscious ranting ranges from off-putting to disgusting.

Speaking of NPR (or National Palestinian Radio as I like to call it) and its extreme popularity, falling just behind Limbaugh in the ratings, only proves there is a market for a calm and reasonable approach to talk radio. I know a lot of people who just can't stand blowhard talk radio and leave the dial tuned to NPR 24/7. I suspect some of it is an aversion to constant commercial interruptions which makes us all subject to ADD-like episodes. It's more than that, it's a one sided conversation that allows the listener to think a little without all the insults. Many of these people don't recognize they are being fed a hard left liberal, anti-Israel, often anti-capitalist slant on NPR. Unlike all flavors of conservative talk radio NPR will never admit to a bias. That's fine. The larger point is that center-right talk radio could learn a thing or two from NPR.

Bill Bennett's Morning in America is the closest of the conservative radio shows to NPR's style, preferring wit and wisdom to browbeating and bloviating. Here again Bennett suffers from the short attention span of commercial radio - and the fact he on so early in the morning. It is often very good radio. Also on Salem Radio is Dennis Prager, a radio veteran and a fair minded thinker who has examined the world and its choices and wound up choosing conservatism. He once said the first time he voted Republican he felt like he had just sinned. So ingrained in his Jewish upbringing was liberal left politics that he found himself always at odds with common sense and common good when he supported the Democrats. Both Bennett and Prager prove that there is something other than Rush Limbaugh's mighty wind on the conservative dial. I would challenge anyone to listen to them for more than a week and try to pin them with the lowbrow label.


Thursday, March 12, 2009

Best Friend In God's Country

A new painting...

"Best Friend In God's Country"
18X24 (acrylic)
(click on the image for a larger view)
Based on photos by Jason Lance.

This is part of my continuing series of paintings based on vacation photo's submitted to me. When finished I give the painting to whomever submitted the photo - no charge. For one, I love the challenge of painting something that I didn't choose. Also, I want to get my art work distributed and I have no need to be financially rewarded for it, my reward is the smile and appreciation of the commissioner.

Here are links to the previous paintings in this series.

"Lyman Lake at Dirty Face Peak"
"A View From Doyle's"

Please visit Static Art online gallery to see examples of my other work and details for submitting photos to this project.


Monday, March 09, 2009

"Change" the Wealth Paradigm

Given that the global economy and monetary system is in shambles there has been plenty of talk of "change". There is always such talk in times like these. The folks at the White House have been quoted as saying in regards to change - "it would be a shame to let this crisis go to waste". There will be change...

The Obama Administration has wasted no time instilling the fear that if we don't "change" how things are done and let the government take over and direct our economy WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE! (In some future post I want to talk about the use of fear mongering as it applies to the left and the right, a fascinating juxtaposition when compared side by side). Still, "change" can be good, it can make things better, but it can make things worse too.

For now lets talk about how money and wealth is created. Since the beginning of time wealth has been created by the production of goods and services. The earth itself (for now) is the source of all wealth in one way or another. The farmers crop, the output of mines and the fish netted by the fisherman are wealth. Wealth is not to be confused with money. Money is a essentially banker's note with implied value. A dollar bill is just a piece of paper, deposits are merely book entries on a bankers ledger.

What makes money valuable? According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago - The fact that checks, paper money, and coins are acceptable at face value in payment of all debts and for other monetary uses is due mainly to the confidence people have in it. That's all. We need to be assured that these bank notes will be usable for other financial transactions and for real goods and services where ever and whenever we choose. Money gets its value from its scarcity in relation to its usefulness.

So our money is backed by our confidence in the system. That's it... Does this bring any clarity to the situation we find ourselves in. The stock market is tanking, our 401K accounts are disappearing before our eyes and why? Because no one has confidence in the system. Where does confidence come from? Wealth creation? No, think about it - farmers are still farming , miners are still mining and fisherman are still fishing. Confidence comes from the creation of new money. And how, pray-tell does money get created?

This is where is gets interesting.

Early on when the concept of banking was just getting started those with wealth needed a way to trade for other goods and services without having to lug around bags of gold and coins (or fish). Goldsmiths provided safekeeping services, making a profit from vault storage fees for gold and coins deposited with them. The receipts they gave out, which came to be known as bank notes, became acceptable as money since whoever held them could go to the goldsmith/banker and exchange them for real metallic money. The bankers, in a eureka moment, realized that they could make loans merely by giving their promises to pay, in the form of bank notes, to borrowers. In this way, banks began to create money.

So there you have it: banks create money simply by making a loan. If you really think about it you realize the truth. When a bank creates a loan it puts money into the economy it picked out of thin air. So you can now see that when the credit markets dry up and no one is taking on debt the economy suffers from an acute lack of money.

Here are some quotes that illustrate what we just learned (taken from

“…the actual creation of money always involves the extension of credit by private commercial banks.”
- Russell L. Munk, Assistant General Counsel, Department of the Treasury

“Money is created when loans are issued and debts incurred; money is extinguished when loans are repaid.”
- John B. Henderson, Senior Specialist in Price Economics, Congressional Research Service, Report No. 83-125 E

“Thus, the money that one borrower uses to pay interest on a loan has been created somewhere else in the economy by another loan.” - John M. Yetter, Attorney-Advisor, Department of the Treasury

“Someone has to borrow every dollar we have in circulation, cash or credit. If the banks create ample synthetic money we are prosperous; if not, we starve. We are absolutely without a permanent money system. When one gets a complete grasp of the picture, the tragic absurdity of our hopeless position is almost incredible, but there it is. It is the most important subject intelligent persons can investigate and reflect upon.” - Robert H. Hemphill, Credit Manager of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

This means we are in vicious spiral with no way out. The economy is doomed. Something has to change.

There are groups of people in Minnesota with some very interesting ideas. Ideas that seem incomprehensible but certainly make some sense. The main idea can be summed up with by this short article.


In March of 2008 there was an historic hearing in the Minnesota House and Senate. The Minnesota Transportation Act (MTA), in the form of HF 619 and SF 500, would fund the rebuilding of bridges and roads in Minnesota using Transportation Certificates, in lieu of bonds, or increased taxes.

This is a robust, wealth based concept, with newly created money from State Chartered Banks flowing into the economy. New money flows from the Bank, to the State of Minnesota, that pays the Contractor to build the roads and then pays the Workers - they continue the movement of the new money into wider circulation:

1. debt free
2. interest free
3. inflation free
4. tax free

The State Chartered Banks create the money the same way they do it now - electronically.

Creation of the new money is limited by production and the infrastructure supports the new money, so it is inflation free.

It is not a loan, so it is debt and interest free, bringing down the cost of production.

Because the State no longer needs to tax for bridges and roads, the fuel tax can be eliminated and Minnesota property taxes get immediately reduced. Again, the cost of production drops.

Jobs will be created. A boom in Minnesota's technology sector will occur as we build infrastructure that is more gentle on the environment. Innovation, investment and savings will be the result.

The public gets safer, modern roads and bridges with which to conduct commerce.

1. Banks win - lower default rate, increased liquidity and a tax break
2. Minnesota government wins - balanced budgets, national leadership
3. The people win - lower taxes and prices, plus safer bridges and roads
4. The US wins - Minnesota paves the way into a new era of prosperity


Interesting - can it possibly work? Your thoughts?


Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Hey Ass, Meet Both Hands

That old favorite euphemism that makes me smile every time I hear it "He couldn't find his ass with both hands" was the first thing that popped into my mind when I read this piece: Global Warming: On Hold? by Michael Reilly of Discovery News.

The experts he cites in this piece act like there is no rational cause for the global cooling we have seen since at least 2001. But there have been many scientists screaming at the top of their lungs that the Sun (a big burning super hot ball of gas in the sky that lights and heats our planet) is currently in a minimal output phase. Solar cycle 24 has failed to start and has produced no sunspots - a condition which has been known for centuries to indicate the Sun's output will be weaker.

From the article: "This is nothing like anything we've seen since 1950," Kyle Swanson of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee said. "Cooling events since then had firm causes, like eruptions or large-magnitude La Ninas. This current cooling doesn't have one."

But just what's causing the cooling is a mystery. Sinking water currents in the north Atlantic Ocean could be sucking heat down into the depths. Or an overabundance of tropical clouds may be reflecting more of the sun's energy than usual back out into space.

What is so hard to understand? Does it not even occur to these Global Warming Enthusiasts that the Sun MIGHT have something to do with climate variation on Earth??? They could have at least considered the possibility and rejected it out of hand, but to not see it at all is just mind boggling.

Nevertheless, according to these guys this cooling is just temporary, maybe lasting only 20 to 30 years. We had better do something right now to stave off the warming that is sure to return with a vengeance in a few short decades.


Tuesday, March 03, 2009

I taut I taw a Communist - I did, I did taw a Communist

There was a good piece on the American Thinker website today that looked at Obama's stated policy mandates against a detailed list from the current Communist Party USA. Amazingly the author, Randall Hoven, could only find 2 discrepancies. So when people accuse President Obama of being a communist, well, he is!

I printed the CPUSA's list here with my snarky comments in BOLD and I marked the only 2 policies Obama is at odds with in the color RED - you could've guessed it ...

Oddly, I found a few items even I agree with - I guess that makes me a PINKO!!!

1. Immediate Relief

1.1 A moratorium on foreclosures and evictions.
This is a bad idea on so many levels that it's hard to know where to start. Clearly lenders should try to work with deliquent clients but a moratorium to prevent the "rightful" owners access to their assets is criminal.

1.2 Reset mortgages so payments are affordable.
Again lenders should try to work with troubled clients because it's in everyone's best interest to keep people in their homes and making payments, but keep the Federal government from dictating terms - it's contract law not contitutional law at issue here.

1.3 No bailouts for banks. Agreed - for the most part

1.4 Extend unemployment compensation, increase payments and eligibility.
Limits must be established - these benefits cannot be perpetual.

1.5 Increase food stamps, WIC, children's health ins., low income energy assistance.
Limits must be established - these benefits cannot be perpetual.

1.6 Assist state and local governments.
No, local governments must live within their means - instead stop all unfunded Federal mandates.

1.7 Fund "ready-to-go" infrastructure projects.
This is a meaningless category.

2. A Peacetime, Green Jobs Economy for All

2.1 Enact massive public works. Those which make actual sense - like a nuclear energy program.

2.2 Make existing buildings energy efficient. Why not?

2.3 Construct new schools, affordable housing, mass transit and bridges.
Mass transit means choo choo trains which are so expensive and cumbersome they make no economic sense - except to control where people can go. For schools I believe the Dept of Education should be abolished and no Federal money for K-12 schools whatsoever. Affordable housing means Section 8 and other Federally subsidized housing that always turns into poverty and crime centers. Old age housing is the only thing the Federal government should be involved with.

2.4 Major clean, affordable energy dvpt project for solar, wind, and biomass. Yes, where it makes economic sense.

2.5 Program to cut greenhouse gas emissions, environmental cleanup.
This is a major con job on nearly every level. There is no definitive evidence that "greenhouse gasses" are dangerous to humanity or the planet - certainly not enough to warrant trillions of wasteful spending and energy deprivation.

2.6 Restore energy regulation and public ownership of utilities.
Regulation that makes economic sense not punitive and non scientific based restrictions on energy production and use. Keep utilities run by private enterprise for efficiency's sake.

2.7 Enact the Employee Free Choice Act.
Nothing free about Card Check. It is anti-American, anti-Liberty.

2.8 Enact HR 676, US National Health Insurance Act, single payer.
Enact Healthcare Savings Account system. The single payer will be the individual, not the Federal government. HSA's will get employers out of the healthcare management business while still funding Health Insurance premiums for their employees as a (portable) benefit.

2.9 Fund public education, pre-school through higher and technical.
No Federal funding for K-12.

2.10 No privatization of Social Security or Medicare.
These programs are lost causes in the long term.

2.11 Expand and improve SS & Medicare benefits.
These programs are lost causes in the long term.

3. Restore Civil Rights, Bill of Rights, Separation of Powers

3.1 Restore Civil Rights Act enforcement, affirmative action.
Blah Blah Blah

3.2 Outlaw hate crimes.
Punishing peoples thoughts is unconstitutional, immoral.

3.3 Preserve Roe v Wade.
Killing babies is always the solution, right?

3.4 Immigration reform with path to citizenship, no militarization of borders.
Close the borders then reform - in that order.

3.5 No exploitative guest worker programs.
Why would we want to do something that worked for years?

3.6 No human being is illegal.

3.7 Repeal the Patriot Act.
Libraries everywhere will be safe again.

3.8 Investigate and prosecute Bush administration violations.

3.9 Expand voting rights.
No, require proof of citizenship and residence first.

3.10 Enact publicly financed elections. Sure.

3.11 Same-day registration.
Require proof of citizenship and residence first.

3.12 Voting rights for ex-felons.

3.13 Restore Fairness Doctrine in media.
Only if it applies to ABC, CBS, NBC, NYT, PBS, NPR, LAT, WaPo, CNN, MSNBC as well as Fox News and Talk Radio

4. Strength through Peace

4.1 Withdraw US troops from Iraq with no bases or US corporations left behind. This is just stupid.

4.2 Full care for returning veterans. Yes.

4.3 No war on Iran. Agree.

4.4 No expansion of troops in Afghanistan. Let the generals decide if you don't mind

4.5 Assistance to Iraq to rebuild Iraq. Agree.

4.6 New foreign policy of diplomacy, respect for all nations.
Walk softly, but carry a big stick.

4.7 Renew commitment to UN.
No, kick the UN out of America.

4.8 End trade policies that enrich corporations and destroy jobs.
I agree to the last sentiment. But the problem is more tax policy than trade policy.

4.9 Ratify Kyoto Treaty and other climate change agreements.

4.10 Enforce nuclear non-proliferation. Agree

4.11 Work to abolish nuclear weapons.
Pie in the sky.

4.12 Cut Pentagon spending in half.

4.13 Close down US bases around the world.
Ask the host country first.