Monday, January 31, 2005

admirayshun of buddy don: them brave iraqis

i gut to hand it to them iraqis who went out to vote yesterdy. dont matter nun ifn them candidates couldnt campain or even let thar identities be known befor the vote, dont matter that lots of iraqis dint know whut they wuz a'votin fer (sum surveys suggest they figgerd they wuz votin fer president, not a group of folks to rite a constitushun). nun of that matters a bit.

whut matters is that they went out to vote in numbers that wood make amurka proud even though the violents wuz promissd n deliverd. to give ye a idee bout how brave they wuz, to have the same percent of killd here, twooda been nigh onto 400 folks dead. we wood be verr upset about it. fack is, i wunder ifn we wood git over 60% of folks votin ifn violents wuz promissd. we dont git that when thay aint nuthin to fear.

so i honor the iraqi bravry n deesire to vote. ye kin have hope fer the futchur. twill be innerestin to see how it shakes out now that the vote is counted n the power is handed out.

i gut a few questchuns: is iraq a sovern nayshun yet? ifn they ast us to leave, wood we? will we still git our 14 bases n our $1.5 billion embassy? will we even find the $9 billion thats been lost over thar alreddy? lets hope this step in the rite die-reckshun gits us sum ansers.

Friday, January 28, 2005

gleanins of buddy don: pinions n news everwhar

i spent the mornin readin the papers n found a bunch of articulls thats downrite innerestin.
  • in todays ny times, paul krugman eggspozes the racism bein used by mr bush to cum up with a nuther reason fer privatizin soshul securty in a articull name of Little Black Lies (free registrayshun required):
    Let's start with the facts. Mr. Bush's argument goes back at least seven years, to a report issued by the Heritage Foundation - a report so badly misleading that the deputy chief actuary (now the chief actuary) of the Social Security Administration wrote a memo pointing out "major errors in the methodology." That's actuary-speak for "damned lies."

    In fact, the actuary said, "careful research reflecting actual work histories for workers by race indicate that the nonwhite population actually enjoys the same or better expected rates of return from Social Security" as whites.

    Here's why. First, Mr. Bush's remarks on African-Americans perpetuate a crude misunderstanding about what life expectancy means. It's true that the current life expectancy for black males at birth is only 68.8 years - but that doesn't mean that a black man who has worked all his life can expect to die after collecting only a few years' worth of Social Security benefits. Blacks' low life expectancy is largely due to high death rates in childhood and young adulthood. African-American men who make it to age 65 can expect to live, and collect benefits, for an additional 14.6 years - not that far short of the 16.6-year figure for white men.

    Second, the formula determining Social Security benefits is progressive: it provides more benefits, as a percentage of earnings, to low-income workers than to high-income workers. Since African-Americans are paid much less, on average, than whites, this works to their advantage.

    Finally, Social Security isn't just a retirement program; it's also a disability insurance program. And blacks are much more likely than whites to receive disability benefits.
  • on the same page, ye kin read bout how tiz one thang to talk the talk but a nuthern to walk the walk. tiz thar lead editorial n titled America's Promises, witch it eggsplains about the millenium challenge account, witch thats sumthin the bush administrayshun is a'usin to claim how its heppin folks but fack is, all the money so far has jes been accumulatin in this here account n aint been give to nobidy yet. that aint all:
    Three years ago, President Bush created the Millennium Challenge Account to give more money to poor countries that are committed to policies promoting development. Mr. Bush said his government would donate billions in incremental stages until the program got to a high of $5 billion a year starting in 2006. While $5 billion is just 0.04 percent of America's national income, President Bush touted the proposal as proof that he cares about poverty in Africa and elsewhere. "I carry this commitment in my soul," the president said.

    For the third straight year, Mr. Bush has committed a lot less than he promised. Michael Phillips of The Wall Street Journal reports that the White House has quietly informed the managers of the Millennium Challenge Account to expect about $3 billion in the next budget. This follows a sad pattern. Mr. Bush said he would ask Congress for $1.7 billion in 2004; he asked for $1.3 billion and got $1 billion. He said he would ask for $3.3 billion in 2005; he asked for $2.5 billion and got $1.5 billion.

    So if past is prologue, the Republican Congress will cut the diluted 2006 pledge even further.
  • finely, the same page has a articull by robert wright name of The Market Shall Set You Free bout how we orta have faith in the thangs we claim to bleeve in, lack free markets:
    LAST week President Bush again laid out a faith-based view of the world and again took heat for it. Human history, the president said in his inaugural address, "has a visible direction, set by liberty and the author of liberty." Accordingly, America will pursue "the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world" - and Mr. Bush has "complete confidence" of success. Critics on the left and right warned against grounding foreign policy in such naïve optimism (a world without tyrants?) and such unbounded faith.

    But the problem with the speech is actually the opposite. Mr. Bush has too little hope, and too little faith. He underestimates the impetus behind freedom and so doesn't see how powerfully it imparts a "visible direction" to history. This lack of faith helps explain some of his biggest foreign policy failures and suggests that there are more to come.

    Oddly, the underlying problem is that this Republican president doesn't appreciate free markets. Mr. Bush doesn't see how capitalism helps drive history toward freedom via an algorithm that for all we know is divinely designed and is in any event awesomely elegant. Namely: Capitalism's pre-eminence as a wealth generator means that every tyrant has to either embrace free markets or fall slowly into economic oblivion; but for markets to work, citizens need access to information technology and the freedom to use it - and that means having political power.
  • salon has a cuple articulls bout the administrayshun payin pundits to push thar programs. turns out thays a thurd right-winger thats been caught takin pay fer pinions n not add mittin it. eric boehlert splains it in thar lead articull, Third columnist caught with hand in the Bush till (registrayshun is required fer sum of thar articulls n ye have to pay). thisns a feller name of michael mcmanus n his timin couldnt hardly be no wurser:
    One day after President Bush ordered his Cabinet secretaries to stop hiring commentators to help promote administration initiatives, and one day after the second high-profile conservative pundit was found to be on the federal payroll, a third embarrassing hire has emerged. Salon has confirmed that Michael McManus, a marriage advocate whose syndicated column, "Ethics & Religion," appears in 50 newspapers, was hired as a subcontractor by the Department of Health and Human Services to foster a Bush-approved marriage initiative. McManus championed the plan in his columns without disclosing to readers he was being paid to help it succeed.

    Responding to the latest revelation, Dr. Wade Horn, assistant secretary for children and families at HHS, announced Thursday that HHS would institute a new policy that forbids the agency from hiring any outside expert or consultant who has any working affiliation with the media. "I needed to draw this bright line," Horn tells Salon. "The policy is being implemented and we're moving forward."
    in the same edishun, joe conason chimes in on how jurnalistick ethicks is a'gone down the drain whar moral values is determined by witch party they heps. mr conason points out that this kinda thang is whut them totalitarian single-party regimes lacks to practiss:
    It is remarkable that Williams and Gallagher, who claim to understand why democracy and freedom are superior to tyranny, don't fully understand why pundit payola is so repugnant. American journalists don't take money from the politicians they cover because we don't live in a totalitarian regime where state-subsidized scribblers are expected to glorify the Beloved Leader.

    Yet that's essentially what Williams and Gallagher did. While quietly taking money from the Bush administration, they promoted the president and his party, as well as his policies, while denigrating the opposition. Their misconduct gives off a nauseating whiff of totalitarianism that should outrage any honest conservative.
  • i add vise ye not to read thisn ifn ye dont wonta git yer hart broke readin bout a grate amurkin dyin over in iraq while he wuz a'trine to hep out the eleckshun. tiz the main articull in todays washinton post, writ by a feller name of Steve Fainaru, witch the title of the articull is On Campaign Trail, a Single Shot; Before Sniper Struck, Platoon Leader Was Encouraging Iraqis to Vote (free registrayshun reauired). tiz a long articull that ye caint do justus by copyin out a paragraf or two, so i recommend yer read it ifn ye wonta read bout sum of the good guys over in that bad place.

  • last articull fer the day cums from the la times frunt page. tiz a story by Edmund Sanders name of Iraqis Get Ready for the Worst; People stock up on food and gasoline before an election-related national lockdown takes effect (free registrayshun required):
    Starting Saturday, borders will be sealed and the airport will be shut down. Government offices and most companies will take a three-day holiday. Nightly curfews begin at 7 p.m. and last until 6 a.m.

    In addition, cars will be banned from roads unless occupants have special election badges, except in cases of medical emergency.
    Traffic in Baghdad, a city that loves cars as much as Los Angeles does, appeared Thursday to be down by about half. Road closures and police checkpoints made navigating the capital difficult. Many drivers said they wouldn't risk taking to the roads, noting that insurgents had threatened to attack anyone attempting to vote or assisting in the election.

    "I'm staying home," said Ali Mohammed, 40, a government employee who was filling plastic jerrycans with black-market gas. "We don't know what's going to happen."

    Though he won't be driving, but Mohammed said he needed the fuel to run a generator to compensate for chronic electricity failures.

    Demand for gas, food and emergency supplies has spurred a price surge. Black-market prices for gasoline doubled from $1.30 a gallon last week to $2.70 a gallon Thursday. Potatoes that sold for 22 cents for a little more than two pounds on Monday sold for 55 cents Thursday.

    Long lines snaked out of bakeries selling samoun, a popular bread. Grocery stores were selling out of water, eggs, canned food and rice.

    Iraqis, who over the last two decades have grown accustomed to hunkering down, are preparing for the worst.
thays a nuther piece wurth readin, witch i caint read it a nuff, so ima gone put it here as the last thang with my own wish that we bleeved in this kinda thang so much that twood change our behavior. tiz two chapturs (6 & 7) frum the bible, book of Matthew:
[Matthew 6]

Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.

Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth:

That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.

And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.

Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.

After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:

But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face;

That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.

Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:

But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.

But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!

No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?

Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?

Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?

And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:

And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?

Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?

(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

[Matthew 7]

Judge not, that ye be not judged.

For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?

Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.

Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:

For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?

Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?

If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.

Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:

Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:

And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.

And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:

And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine:

For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.
i real eyes the hole two chapturs is wurthy, but i bolded sum of them verses that i wish the folks in charge wood read agin (n take to hart!).

Thursday, January 27, 2005

mizry of buddy don: whut made the migraine stop?

i real eyes not everybidy lacks readin bout no migraine headaches n i caint blame ye. i dint have my furstn till i wuz near 47 year old. fer a cuple years, couldnt nobidy say whut wuz rong to make me have days whar i wood vomit ever 15 or 20 mints fer up to 16 hours at a stretch. we tried antiemetic drugs to stop the vomitin, but they dint wurk atall. my digestive track wuz checked, but we couldnt figger nuthin out till one day my primary care physician sed it could be a migraine. so he tole me to take a painkiller as soon as i woke up with a urge to vomit. that wurked ok fer a while.

durin that time, me n miz bd gut to whar we wood try to notice everthang that wuz a'gone on durin n rite befor the attack. took us a while to larn that tiz mostly when the weather changes, when thays a lot of barometric pressure changes. i dint notice that on a counta how by the time i had one, i wuznt noticin much of nuthin. but i did notice a few thangs lack how my scalp wood git to whar it felt lack thay wuz a scrape rite across the verr top if it, runnin frum my forehead back to the crown. it wood be on one side of my head n wood be so real that i wood check all day long to see ifn i wuz bleedin. took a long time to real eyes that tenderness wuz a sine that a nuther migraine wuz a'comin. fack is, twuz probly a sine that migraine wuz alreddy underway.

nuther thang we noticed bout this is how the attack mite end jes as sudden as it started. one day, after vomitin ever 20 mints fer 16 hours, i tole miz bd i wood take a shower so she woodnt half to put up with the smell whenever we went to bed. as soon as i tuck that shower, the attack wuz over. twuz so magickull that i have tride it agin n agin, but it only wurked the one time.

last nite miz bd wunderd whut i wonted fer dinner. tole her i wuz cravin beans fer sum reason. i tole her i wood make dinner, witch twuz a lil mexican with refried beans the main attrackshun. bout the time we wuz halfway thru eatin, i noticed the attack wuz finely gone, jes as quick as that. miz bd noticed also, tellin me i wuz 'back.' seems to her lack i git lost inside my sick bidy durin an attack. i dont ritely know how it wurks, but tiz amazin how she kin tell whuther im havin one or not.

innywho, i finely skeduled a pointment with dr mauskop, witch hes on vacayshun n wont be back till middle of nex munth. so i gut the furst pointment thay wuz, fer febuwary 28. i gut plenty to tell im bout whuts happend since the last time i seen im.

im a'hopin he kin splain how i kin make them migraines stop better or even how i kin avoid em ever startin.

pinions of buddy don: chile is the model?

mr bush lacks to praise chile fer privatizin thar penshun system. so how did that work out? thays an articull bout it in the new york times name of Chile's Retirees Find Shortfall in Private Plan (free registrayshun required). tiz wurth a read. heres the quote splainin how mr bush lacks this plan:
Under the Chilean program - which President Bush has cited as a model for his plans to overhaul Social Security - the promise was that such investments, by helping to spur economic growth and generating higher returns, would deliver monthly pension benefits larger than what the traditional system could offer.

But now that the first generation of workers to depend on the new system is beginning to retire, Chileans are finding that it is falling far short of what was originally advertised under the authoritarian government of Gen. Augusto Pinochet.
heres a quote that splains purty well how thangs wurked out fer them wurkers in chile:
For those remaining in the government's original pay-as-you-go system, the maximum retirement benefit is now about $1,250 a month. The National Center for Alternative Development Studies, a research institute here, calculates that to get that same amount from a private pension fund, workers would have to contribute more than $250,000 over their careers, a target that has been reached by fewer than 500 of the private system's 7 million past and present contributors.

This leaves many Chileans in a situation that has led to the coining of a phrase: "pension damage." There is now even an Association of People With Pension Damage, 157,000 members and growing, that consists of Chileans, mostly former government employees, who find that their pensions, based on contributions to the private system, are significantly less than if they had remained in the old system.

"They come to us in desperation," said Yasmir Fariña, the group's president, "because those who stayed in the government system are often retiring with monthly pensions twice as large as everyone else's."
corse, one group made shore they gut perteckted, witch thats the military:
Chile spends about $2 billion a year to pay retirees from its armed forces, according to Mr. Scolari. The military imposed privatization on the rest of the country, but was careful to preserve its own advantages and exclude fellow soldiers from the system. Despite calls that the military be forced to give up its exemption, no civilian government has been prepared to pursue that.
how bout the rest of the folks? did the program make thangs cheaper to run fer the gummint? not eggzackly:
Over all, Chile has spent more than $66 billion on benefits since privatization was introduced. Despite initial projections that the system would be self-sustaining by now, spending on pensions makes up more than a quarter of the national budget, nearly as much as the spending on education and health combined.
has it wurked out fer wurkers? again, not eggzackly:
"What we have is a system that is good for Chile but bad for most Chileans," said a government official who specializes in pension issues and who spoke on condition of anonymity, fearing retaliation from corporate interests. "If people really had freedom of choice, 90 percent of them would opt to go back to the old system."

Among the complaints most often heard here is that contributors are forced to pay exorbitant commissions to the pension funds. Exactly how much goes to such fees is a subject of debate, but a recent World Bank study calculated that a quarter to a third of all contributions paid by a person retiring in 2000 would have gone to pay such charges.
that means privatizayshun (dont matter nun whuther ye call it personal accounts or sumthin else, tiz still privatizayshun) of soshul securty wood manely be good fer them banks on wall street lack the one whar i wurk on a counta how sumbidy has gut to colleck them fees -- quarter to a third! -- n git richer than thay alreddy is. that means sum folks is a'gone win no matter whut.

wunder if our military is a'gone git perteckshun frum the plan?

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

mizry of buddy don: caint brake the patturn

a migraine is sumthin that aint verr well understood. fer one thang, ye gut a lot of disagreement bout whut they is n how they caws folks to be disabled fer a day or two.

mine seem to be brought on by weather, speshly ifn thays a low pressure system follerd by a high pressure system with lots of wind. yesterdy i wuz shore i could wurk, but once i gut out in the sunshine n onto the bus, the nausea gut to risin till once we gut to port authority bus stayshun, i knew i wood half to turn round n go back home.

i still aint had that 'click,' as miz bd calls it, witch tiz a moment when suddenly the migraine is gone, almost as suddenly as ye noticed ye were havin it in the furst place. so i know thays a good chants i wont make it thru wurk today n thats a horrbull shame.

besides hatin to miss wurk, i gut a nuther thang me n miz bd wood miss: tonite is robbie burns nite at keens, witch we dun paid fer our irish frien n his wife to join us thar fer the evenin. i reckun bes thang to do is ast my irish frien ifn he knows a cuple folks that wood lack to go in our place. i doubt ifn ima gone feel lack drankin scotch tonite.

but i will make shore i make a nuther pointment with dr mauskop to see ifn thays sum other way to fite these thangs off. the medicine -- zomig -- knocks me out to whar tiz almos as trublesum as the migraine, though the migraine is ackshly much wurser. but usin the medicin or not, ye git the same result: caint do nuthin all day long.

pardon my whinin. tiz awful that sumthin lack this kin take over yer life. corse, once i git the 'click' meanin tiz over, i caint hardly magine whut tiz lack to be havin an attack. at the moment, that aint my problem.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

mizry of buddy don: tiz the calm after the storm

yesterdy whenever i dun my bloggin, i dint real eyes whut wuz a'gone wrong with me, witch i wuz bout to have a nuther migraine attack. miz bd tole me after i add mitted i woodnt be able to wurk how she knew sumthin wuz a'gone on with me frum sundy afternoon, witch ye mite half herd bout how we had a blizzard on saturdy nite n sundy mornin. once twuz over, a high pressure frunt moved in. miz bd has noticed how when thays big changes lack that i git migraines, lack as not.

twuz a bad day to have one on a counta how twuz mundy n my new boss had her furst day, but ye caint deny the truth, not that i dint try. i gut up, went thru the usual routine to git reddy, rote my blog, n left. the instunt i gut out in the lite, i had to add mitt the obvious. came back home n tuck the medicine n spent the day in the comatose state it puts me into.

so i reckun tiz time to make a nuther visit to dr mauskop to find out ifn thays a nuther way to deefend agin weather changes.

Monday, January 24, 2005

pinions of buddy don: mundys

seems lack no matter how good i git bout the facks of life, bout how ye half to git up on a mundy n go back to wurk, seems lack no matter how well i know bout that, i still hate mundys, hate havin to go to wurk n feel more tuckerd out after a verr nice weekend than i do on a fridy mornin after a hard week.

we also jes went thru the kinds of weather changes that sumtimes leads to migraines. i hope i dont half that to look ford to, but i reckun i kin take my medicin to wurk with me n be reddy ifn it gits out of hand.

Friday, January 21, 2005

pinions of buddy don: war on ss

i half to add mitt to bein impressed so far by how them that wonts to perteck soshul securty have dun gut out lots of thar arguments agin privatizayshun. bes analyst in that job is paul krugman, witch he has a articull in todays ny times name of The Free Lunch Bunch (free registrayshun required). his basick point is splained thisaway:
President Bush is like a financial adviser who tells you that at the rate you're going, you won't be able to afford retirement - but that you shouldn't do anything mundane like trying to save more. Instead, you should take out a huge loan, put the money in a mutual fund run by his friends (with management fees to be determined later) and place your faith in capital gains.
he then points out whut folks who thank ye kin make up fer a secure investment n reduced benefits with a risky one mus bleeve bout them that invests the big dollars, that fer the hole scheme to wurk, sumbidy is a'gone half to buy bonds to make up fer all the money borried n diverted to stocks to finants the hole ruse:
So privatizers are in effect asserting that politicians are smart - they know that stocks are a much better investment than bonds - while private investors are stupid, and will swap their valuable stocks for much less valuable government bonds. Isn't such an assertion very peculiar coming from people who claim to trust markets?
corse, that ain even takin into account how much it costs to git yer wall street folks to manage such accounts. as luck wood have it (not that yer seein much bout this on tv), a nuther cuntry dun tride this trick, witch that wood be britain under maggie thatcher. are they happy bout it? have they made moren they lost? not hardly:
Today, the value of a typical company's stock is more than 20 times its profits. The more you pay for an asset, the lower the rate of return you can expect to earn. That's why even Jeremy Siegel, whose "Stocks for the Long Run" is often cited by those who favor stocks over bonds, has conceded that "returns on stocks over bonds won't be as large as in the past."

But a very high return on stocks over bonds is essential in privatization schemes; otherwise private accounts created with borrowed money won't earn enough to compensate for their risks. And if we take into account realistic estimates of the fees that mutual funds will charge - remember, in Britain those fees reduce workers' nest eggs by 20 to 30 percent - privatization turns into a lose-lose proposition.
ifn ye wonta know a lot more bout how thangs went in britain, ye kin read bout it in a articull in the american prospect name of A Bloody Mess. tiz a long articull, but the crux of the thang is in this here quote:
But whatever the solution to that challenge, there is little disagreement within the United Kingdom that the path chosen by successive governments over the past 25 years is not the right one. The Pensions Commission recently completed the most comprehensive review ever of the U.K. system and concluded that there are only four possible solutions for the difficulties ahead: cutting state retirement benefits, increasing taxes, increasing savings, or delaying retirement. While noting that there is no political support for the first choice, the commission concluded that each of the three other choices, on its own, is too painful. Only some combination of them is likely to help Britain’s elderly obtain retirement with dignity. Adair Turner, chairman of the commission, a vice chairman of Merrill Lynch in London, and the former director general of the United Kingdom’s biggest business lobbying group, says, “There are no other choices.”

And so, at the exact moment that America contemplates replicating this disaster, many in Britain -- some conservatives included -- are looking more and more kindly on American Social Security as a model for reform. The National Association of Pension Funds, a group of employers who sponsor the nation’s largest schemes, is urging government not to expect the private sector to shoulder the burden of keeping the nation’s elderly from poverty. Chief executive Christine Farnish notes that it’s “actually cheaper for the state to carry the risk,” adding that in looking for a system that offers the best combination of modest guaranteed retirement benefits delivered at low cost, the U.S. Social Security program seems the best model. “It doesn’t have to make a profit, and it delivers efficiencies of scale that most companies would die for,” she says.

And that is how the British eye, wearied after beholding decades of privatization “reform,” views the American system, which has served the United States so remarkably well for seven decades but which supposedly is now in dire crisis and must be overhauled by the time the forsythia bloom. It’s a point of view Americans would do well to take in.
ye reckon we amurkins larn frum miss takes other folks has made? or do we half to make em ourself before we git the point?

Thursday, January 20, 2005

pinions of buddy don: miss takes wuz made

thankee, miz rice, fer finely add mittin whut everbidy alreddy knows:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Secretary of State-designate Condoleezza Rice, in a rare acknowledgment of mistakes, said on Wednesday the Bush administration had made some bad decisions in Iraq and was unprepared for stabilizing the country.
kin we eggspeck ye to lead yer add mininstrayshun to add mitt inny other miss takes? or will yer statin that miss takes wuz made be cunsidderd a nuther miss take?

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

pinions of buddy don: crisis? whut crisis?

magine ye had inside infermayshun bout a crisis a'heddin rite fer everbidy ye luv n keear bout. magine y wonta git the wurd out sos to save as minny folk as possibull. magine that the news is not eggzackly welcum on a counta how ye wood have to use tuff medicine to head off the crisis. sum wood lose benefits they bleeves they gut a rite to keep on a'gittin. sum wood jes half to change the way they live ifn they wonted to avoid the crisis. thar woodnt be no easy way to fix thangs sos to avoid the crisis.

magine ye had a situwayshun whar thay wuznt no crisis, but ye wonted folks to thank so on a counta how they woodnt wonta wreck sumthin that wuznt broke, but ifn ye kin cunvints em tiz broke, then they woodnt have not choice but to do sumthin to fix it.

i gut to thankin bout this kinda stuff this mornin as i wuz readin a articull in the washington post (free registraysun required) bout a feller that has discuverd a real crisis, but the news is not welcum. his name is James E. Hansen n he wurks as a climatologist fer the u.s. gummint.

the crisis he wonts folks to pay tenchun to is called global warmin. ifn hes rite, then thangs is lackly to git verr bad, but we aint willin to do nuthin bout it. why? it mite hurt the economy. ye wood half to do thangs lack make cars that gut more miles to the gallon n let off less carbon die-oxide. ye wood half to cum up with differnt ways of gittin energy. ye mite even half to sign the kyoto accords. bad bizness, no doubt.

so whut are we -- based on us bein the gummint, witch that principle mite be jes as quaint as sum parts of the geneva cunvenchun -- whut are we a'gone do? nuthin, kick the problem down the rode n hope fer the bes. mayhap taint humans a'doon it. mayhap twill be nice to have a sea shore in upstate new york. mayhap we dont need manhattan n all them places close to the shores of our cuntry. lease we kin make lots of big cars n sell em fer a grate profit!

so whar science by overwhelmin numbers sez thays a problem with global warmin, problem cawzed by human activity, a problem ye kin address only by changin human activity, our anser is, we dont bleeve them scientists is rite. thar motivated by partisan intrests. we aint a'gone change nuthin bout how we live on a counta we deserve to live well cawz were all amurkins.

whut bout tuther crisis, the one bout soshul securty, witch thay aint really no crisis with no soshul securty regardless of the false situwayshun mr bush n the add ministrayshun n even the soshul secury administrayshun is claimin (folks at ssa has dun been tole to make shore everbidy knows tiz a big crisis -- n thar alreddy at it) -- whut bout that crisis? cordin to mr bush, we need folks to thank thay is one. he even sed thats jes whut he wonted in his furst publicity stunt with his hand-picked audients (aint he a brave man fer facin all them folks that agrees with him?), that he wonted fer folks to thank the system is goin flat broke:
"If you're 20 years old, in your mid-20s, and you're beginning to work, I want you to think about a Social Security system that will be flat bust, bankrupt, unless the United States Congress has got the willingness to act now," Bush said.
thats whut he wonts em to thank. dont matter whut the real truth is.

one of them crises is real n kin have devastatin effecks to change everbidys way of life on the hole planet. tuther aint no crises atall n kin be fixed with minor tweaks.

witchn ye reckon is gonna git addressd?

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

life of buddy don, chaptur 130: how i cum by the nickname of docter

the hole strang of events gut started on a counta how me n emily jes couldnt see eye to eye bout money. we dint make much but even so, we wuz squirrlin away a lil now n then, a nuff to have over $1,000 in the bank n to make our land payments n rent n other eggspentses. we dint never once run out, but that dint stop us frum fussin n fitin lack crazy whenever we gut to whar she figgerd twuz too low to sleep on without a major wrangin of the hands. ifn i wuznt upset lack she wuz, it made her mad on a counta that meant i dint keer.

but i did keer jes as much as she did. i jes dint see why twuz so awful fer our checkin account to git near zero now n then. whut other opshun did we have? wurse time of all wuz when i paid virg our land payment on the 7th, witch twuz due on the 1st after all, a'leavin only $33 in checkin till the nex time we gut paid. whut a fite we had over that. she wuz deathly afraid we'd git cawt short with only the $33. i couldnt fer the life of me see whut wood happen to us ifn sumbidy knew we wuz so short? whut wood they do to us?

frum a more persunal n selfish point of view, i still couldnt afford to by inny of thevil weed n i half to say my friens n relatives kept me frum a'runnin out. corse thay wuz randy fox, who wood show up when ye lease eggspeckted him n give me a lil chunk of hash or a cuple buds of thevil weed. virg or brew or mj wood share whut they had growd thar ownself.

but the main reason i never run out wuz a new frien name of johnny mayhew, a feller who wuz takin the furst shakepeare class i had in grad skool. seem lack he add mired me frum day one n he gut to whar he wood hang round with me befor class or ast did i wont a cup of coffee after, witch i never had no money n he lacked that since he could say he wuz byin n my money wuznt no good. but tho we gut to be purty good friens, i hated spongin off im n he dint lack to here me say no so i gut to wontin a lil exter money moren ever.

so frum the day i started the secunt quarter of grad skool, i let it be known how i wood lack to make sum exter money. thay wuznt no opshun to do that at furst, but by my third quarter, i gut a chants at one thang n that led to a nuther till finely i had a few coins to rattle round in my pocket n a brand new nickname.

twzu back durin the sprang quarter of 1981 when i wuz still a g.a. or graduwait assistunt. i had ast fer a chants to pick up a lil exter money, so i gut assined to wurk in the ritin lab, witch ye had students n thar that dint have a chants to pass no reglar english class without lots of hep. i had to go down thar twice each week on tuesdys n thursdys twixt 3:30 n 5:30, witch that wuz latern i lacked on a counta i generly tride to have dinner reddy round 6 of a evenin. but they dint ast my pinion so i showed up n made do. sides, i made $4.50 a hour, witch that added up to near $20 a week, a nuff to make thangs a lil easier.

befor i even gut started, sam johns tole me how thay wuz manely three kinds of students in that thar ritin lab: yer jocks, yer bimbos n yer blacks. he made it lack twuz a joke but thang wuz, twuz mosely true. my furst day i noticed how tuther teachin assistunts a'wurkin thar divided up the students. the men tuck the bimbos, the women tuck the jocks, n the blacks sat amungst themselves in the back talkin.

i ast the prof in charge, miz jeffords, whut should i do, n she sed jes see ifn innybidy wonted inny hep. by time i turnt round, a feller helt up his hand n ast wood i hep him? he wuz on the football team n he wonted to talk about the game, witch so did i but i figgerd we wuz spozed to git a paper writ n he wuz kindly hopin i wood rite his paper but i tole im i luved them vols lack nobidy else but i couldnt do that so he ast me did i thank they wuz a'gone beat alabama finely after losin ten in a row n i tole im i hoped so but we needed to wurk, witch he dint lack that so he called a g.a. name of glenda over n she seemed rite happy to take over.

it dint seem lack nobidy else wonted no hep. them that wonted hep wuz a gittin it n most everbidy else wuz ritin or readin, witch they wuz spozed to cum thar n rite n raze thar hand ifn they wonted inny hep. i couldt catch the eye of nary a one of the black students, so i figgerd they mus not wont inny hep.

i checked my watch n seen i hadnt been thar but 25 mints, so i wunderd whut wuz i a'gone do with my time. ye could torchur a bidy lack me jes by sittin im down in a room with nuthin to do. i caint abide such boredom. i went up to the prof n ast her wuz it always lack this?

i checked whut tuther grad students wuz doon n it sprized me to see how, ceptn fer glenda, they wuz mosely wurkin on thar papers n waited fer sumbidy to raze thar hand fer hep, witch that mean they mosely jes wurked on thar papers.

i didnt see how i could do that, so i give one of the bimbos a lil attenchun til she ast could i hep her, witch i figgerd out purty quick whut she wonted wuz fer me to dictate a paper to her. i wurked with her all one afternoon till she real eyesed how i wuznt a'gone rite her paper. the followin tuesdy when i cum in, she wuz a'flirtin with phil reiner, witch he wuz a phd student who had been thar ferever alreddy.

so i looked over at the black corner of the lab n a young man cawt my eye, mayhap by acksident, n before he could look away, i sed, 'how bout we git you outta here?' i musta dun sed it lack he wuz stuck in prison, witch it made the hole table laff, but i tole im that wuznt no reason to spend so much of his life waitin fer sumthin to happen when wuznt nuthin a'gone happen till he dun sumthin. he smiled whenever i sed that n stuck out his hand n sed his name wuz gerald. i tuck his hand n tole im mine wuz buddy don, but he could call me bud.

sum kinda way we hit it off n i wuz sprized bout how he had plenty to rite bout n knew verr well how to make his argument, but he was skeered to death of makin grammar, spellin, n punktuayshun miss takes. i tole im everbidy wuz a'skeered of that, so that dint matter. i gut im to make a lil outline, witch i tole im fer the outline, wuznt nobidy a'gone brang out no harbrace college handbook to mark it up, so dint matter bout the grammar, spellin n punktuayshun on that, witch he made im a purty goodn bout how ye could solve the welfare problem usin a verr simple practiss: make everbidy that gits welfare show up fer wurk n sit all day in a offus a'doon nuthin. i laffed when i red it. he had dun larnt a lot bout the suffern of sittin n doon nuthin, n he figgerd thonly folks that wood put up with such a thang wood be them that really needs the welfare.

then we tuck whut he had dun writ n wurked on gittin it to be 'formull english.' he wuz sprized how close he cum to that the verr furst time n whenever the prof graded the essay, he give gerald a b on it, witch twuz the furst time gerald had ever writ a passin essay. but he wuz rite proud of whut he had dun, so nex time i cum, witch twuz the verr nex thursdy, gerald wuz a'waitin n he had a frien who wonted me to hep too, so purt soon, i had four or five of them black students a'wurkin on papers all at once. turnt into a lil class n twuz verr intentsive since i wuz rite thar to anser inny questchun as quick as it cum up.

so i gut to lackin ritin lab jes lack twuz n seem lack everbidy wuz happy. fack is, miz jeffords gut to whar she lacked havin me round n gut me to cum in exter ifn i ever had the time. fack is, she sed i could cum in inny time atall since thay wuz always sum black students a'needin hep. then she sed, 'seem lack ye gut a way with em,' witch she meant with black folk i guess so i anserd i jes lacked keepin busy. but she woodnt let it go, trine to git me to add mitt i had a speshul way of a'gittin long with black folk. she wuz so impressd by it, she had tuck the liberty of astin round fer whar i could make even a lil more money n she cum on the idee of me tutorin over at the black cultural center or 'bcc' on volunteer bullavard. ifn i wuz innerested, i should go over thar n ast fer anthony p williams.

so i give it sum thought n figgerd i dint have no reason not to try it, so i went in n gut a innerview with anthony p williams. we gut on purty good on a counta how miz jeffords had tole him bout me alreddy. purty soon he had agreed to pay me $5.50 a hour to tutor a couple of students who had severe difficulties passin english. i gut a cuple students rite away.

one of em wuz a verr black woman frum memphis. she wuz so shy to whar she couldnt look ye in the eye but only stared at her hands whenever she wuz a'talkin, witch twuz lack pullin teeth to git inny wurds outta her innyway. but we tuck the same path i had used over at the ritin lab n gut her to puttin down her thesis n points as best she could, witch we wood go over the logick of the argument she wuz a'makin long before we ever tride fixin the english problems. she lacked that on a counta how she gut to git her points herd in sted of gittin 'crucified with errors,' as she lacked to put it.

tuther student, angela green, had a differnt problem, witch she had a verr bad attitude n wuz cunvintsed ever white person wuz out to git her, witch that made it hard fer us to git a'goin, but one evenin i cum in n found that i woodnt be doin no tutorin that day even ifn bof my students wuz thar. in sted, we watched a movie bout the underground railroad, witch i half to add mitt, i dint hardly know nuthin wurth knowin bout it till i saw that film. twuz awful to contemplate sum of the thangs dun by white people agin blackns durin slavery n thay wuz a conversayshun after the movie to discuss jes that. seem lack everbidy wuz glad to have a white person thar fer such a discusshun fer a change. sumbidy ast me whut i thought bout when i saw the movie, n befor i could cunsidder whut i wuz a gone say, i herd myself a'sayin it made me ashamed. i dint have nuthin else to add, but nobidy needed nuthin more.

after that, angela seem lack she warmed up a bit more to me or at lease to given whut i wuz a'trine to teach her more of a chants. so we gut goin too, n frum that, i had me a nuther purty good job.

corse, the money jes went into the same account, but whenever it cum time to argue bout the last $33 in checkin or sumthin, i could always say that twuz a good thang i had that exter wurk on a counta twood be empty otherwise. n thay wuznt much emily could say, even ifn she wuz still verr unhappy bout it.

long in the sprang of the furst year of grad skool, witch that wood be sprang of 1982, the english department gut em a softball team up n johnny mayhew figgerd we should join up. twuz a lotta fun. johnny wuz a odd frien. he wood praise me in publick ever chants he gut. he started cummin to group n hepped the idee that i wuz the leader by the way he ackted. he even sed he wuz too intimidated to rite nuthin, but i kep at im n eventually he dun it.

he wuz a verr good frien. he gut me to wurking out with weights, witch we dun that frum the time softball started n kep it up fer a few years. i gut my weight up to a lifelong high of 162 pounds, but i couldnt hold it. still, i wuz in better shape than ever n havin a real good time playin softball n wurkin out. life wuz verr busy, but also verr rewardin.

whenever the fall of 1982 cum around, anthony p. williams ast me did i know how to play basketball. fack is, daddy had hung up a backboard over the garage whenever we eli n me gut to be bout 11 or 12, so we had played a million games of horse n one on one or two on one. i dint know much moren that, but i had a cuple of shots i could use in horse lack a long set shot n a pure hook, witch ye dont hardly see nobidy take hook shots no more. innywho, whenever anthony ast me, i tole im i had played a lil. he ast did i wonta be on the bcc team. i figgerd ye wood half to be black n ast him dint that matter? he sed he dint see why since everbidy else on the team wood be black.

so i joined. we practissed a nuff to whar anthony tole me he dint need me to be drivin the basket much, though twuz nice how i drove to the left. he n brother john, as tuther main player wuz named, wood take keer of that. twuz odd since i wuz tallern eethur one of em, but i couldnt jump the way they could n twuz amazin how they could cut through a pile of folks n cum out with the ball in the hoop. turnt out ye had to have three players n that wuz jes whut we had, so i gut to play all the time.

fer the most part, i was the outlet guy, witch whenever thangs gut too tough inside, they wood throw me the ball n i wood be able to hit a set shot or a hook (ifn innybidy wuz guardin me, witch mosely they dint waste time guardin me). purt soon johnny gut wind i wuz on such a team n that gut him to wontin to see us play. so i tole im when our nex game wuz n he cum.

twuz one of them games whar ye caint do no rong. brother john couldnt make it so we had us a tall skinny kid frum detroit who sed he dint know how to play, witch that meant he wuz our outside threat n anthony had me trine to pick n roll with him n all. lack i say, twuz one of them games whar everthang went rite fer me. my passin wuz crisp n fooled the defents. i sprized em time n agin by drivin to the left in sted of to my rite lack everbidy else dun. n i started makin layups n such to whar tuther team gut so mad that one of em threw me to the ground whenever i had lef my feet to make a jump shot. amazingly, that shot went in.

meanwhile, johnny mayhew wuz rootin lack thay wuz no tomorrow. purty soon, we ast did he wonta take the spot of the tall skinny kid, witch he dint wonta play nohow n only dun it sos we woodnt half to forfit. so johnny joined the game n then i could here whut he had been a'shoutin bout me, a'callin me 'docter b' after julius erving, witch he wuz known as docter j. purt soon that turnt into 'the docter' or jes 'docter.'

fer years dint nobidy much call me nuthin else. folks wood cum to group n ast me whut wuz my docterut in n thay wuz sprized whenever i sed i dint have no docterut n dint have no plans to git one.

we wood go play miz pacman a lot in them days, speshly after a group meetin. twuz sumthin that made emily mad, but since i wuz makin the quarters, she dint feel lack she had a rite to objeck to how i mite spend four or five of em sum evenin. ifn i wuz havin a lucky nite, i mite pay the furstn n then the challengers wood pay after that. on evenins lack that, johnny wood be crowin bout how 'the docter is operatin.'

i wuz rite prouod of that nickname. i figgerd the way i gut it sed a lot bout how ye move frum one way of life to a nuther, how yer needs lead ye into sum good thangs n all. i dint real eyes how in gittin that nickname, i gut a glimpse of my futchur, much moren i ever coulda real eyesed at the time.

Friday, January 14, 2005

fever of buddy don: day two

still gut it. all day yesterdy i couldnt git it down under 102, but last nite broke n now tiz about 100.5. feels a lot better even ifn i wont be able to wurk thisaway. sumbidy at wurk tole me bout havin this. furst ye cough n have sumthin lack bronchitis only taint n then ye git a high fever to whar yer eyes hurts n then ye git that fever broke n ye gut a sick stumach to look forward to. tiz awful, but brang it on so i kin git thru this!

Thursday, January 13, 2005

fever of buddy don: cawt the corporut cold

everbidys had it n yesterdy i gut it. by time i gut home, temp wuz 101.7, so i probly spread it too. wurk is the best place to git sick on a counta how nobiy lacks to be out, witch they cum in sick n spread the germs. yestrdy i dun it too. so tiz back to bed with me, a'hopin that fever brakes soon -- my verr eyeballs hurts frum it.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

pinions of buddy don: arithmetick

i been readin this here book name of my life by former presdint bill clinton. on page 537 thays a comment wurthy of quotin:
In later years I was often asked what great new idea my economic team and I brought to economic policy making. Rather than give a complicated explanation of the bond market/deficit-reduction strategy, I always gave a one-word answer: "arithmetic." The American people had been told for more than a decade that their government was a gluttonous leviathan swallowing their hard-earned tax dollars to no good end. Then the same politicians who told them that, and served up tax cuts to starve the evil beast, would turn right around and spend themselves to reelection, leaving the false impression that the voters could have programs they didn't pay for, and that the only reason we had big deficits was wasteful spending on foreign aid, welfare, and other programs for poor people, a tiny fraction of the budget. Spending on "them" was bad; spending and tax cuts for "us" were good. As my fiscally conservative friend Senator Dale Bumpers used to say: "You let me write $200 billion a year in hot checks and I'll show you a good time, too."
i wish thay wuz sumbidy in mr bushs administrayshun that could do arithmetick. in sted, we git this kinda thankin:
  1. the social security system is in crisis -- crisis! -- on a counta how in 2018 twill start sendin more to our citizens than tiz a'takin frum em in taxes.
  2. dont matter nun how way back in 1983 mr greenspan n mr raygun cunvintsed the people to let thar payroll taxes be raised to whar, with jes three wurkers fer ever social security recipient, ye still git a surplus of near $100 billion most years.
  3. that money wuz put into a trust fund of u.s. treasury notes, the safest investment thay is (on a counta how the point of social security aint to git rich but to keep frum bein destitue with nuthin, n fer that, ye trade higher rates of return fer safer, more secure investments.)
  4. mr bush spent that money by usin policies that reduced a huge surplus to the largest deficit in our cuntry's histry.
  5. now he dont wonta half to pay it back on a counta how all his budgets are writ on the assumpshun he kin use that money fer other thangs.
  6. but ye caint default on a treasury note, so sum kinda way they gut to cover the differnts, witch they gut em a magick plan (lack voodoo economicks or trickle down theories that caint pass no arithmetick test neethur) to let the folks thats payin into soshul securty quit a'doon it jes when thar money is needed most!
  7. in sted, the plan is to borry more! so in sted of havin to pay off the trust fund that mr bush dun wasted, he thanks he kin jes borry more n twont have no effeck on nobidy, speshly not the interst rates n bond markets.
  8. corse, to cover the eggspentses frum that borryin, thay gut em a plan to cut benefits by up to 45% by 2052, witch is when the cbo sez twill no longer be able to pay off the benefits promissed since the trust fund wood be all used up n thay wood be that other huge debt to pay (with near 40 of interst tacked on top), n how else ye a'gone pay it but by cuttin benefits?
so to make up fer owin too much, we gut to borry a bunch more, cut benefits on the mos successful gummin program ever, take the small risk that has a small return n spread that risk over all the individuals, whar the theory is they git a better return. ifn thay wuz innybidy in the bush administrayshun that knew arithmetick, they could splain why ye git a better return on equities than bonds -- thar much riskier! ye dont git loser in bonds, but thays minny a story bout folks losin thar shirts in the stock market.

whut it all boils down to is takin our soshul securty n givin us a 401(k) plan in return.

innybidy member how that wurked out at enron?

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

pinions of buddy don: tiz the bias, stoopid

i jes found a articull by leonard pitts of the miami herald name of Party allegiance, bias are swaying our opinions, witch he rites bout a scientifick eggspearmint dun by a feller name of Drew Westen to find out ifn folks is unbiased n objecktiv n such lack.

turns out that ifn ye know a persuns pallticks, ye kin tell whut that persun is a'gone bleeve.

fer eggzample, mr westen asts his subjecks to cunsidder the case of a soljer accused of tortchur. no matter whut the evidents of that soljer gittin orders frum above to doot, publicans n them that lacks mr bush bleeves the soljer wuz actin alone. n no matter how much evidents they give that he jes acted alone, dimcrats n them that dont much lack mr bush is always a'gone say them orders cum frum above.

sad as tiz, it splains a lot. i caint git over how it seems lack were a'livin in at lease two sepert worls. frum my perspecktiv, publicans n bush fans dont keer bout whuts real n lie bout it rite n left. but i reckun thar side wood thank the same thang bout me -- ceptn they wood be wrong :^Þ.

as nietzsche put it, 'there are no facts, only interpretations.' thats one way to put it. wont a nuthern? tiz the bias, stoopid.

Monday, January 10, 2005

pinions of buddy don: mundys

mundys. dredful. i couldnt hardly git myself to wake up this mornin. so ye dont git nuthin but these few wurds. ye wood thank i woodnt feel so tired since i slept late, but i am whupped. twernt lack we did nuthin much over the weekend, tho we did watch payton mannings team take them broncos apart. nuff fer now.

Friday, January 07, 2005

frustrayshun of buddy don: tecknology is spozed to hep us, right?

yesterdy i had to go home early with a migraine. ackshly, i knew i wuz probly havin one, but i wonted to make shore. problem is how ye git them furst symptoms n ifn ye take yer medicine then, ye mite swell be havin a migraine whuther ye are or not on a counta how the medicine knocks ye out. i went to wurk innyway on a counta two thangs:
  1. i wonted to see whuther i wuz ackshly havin a migraine, witch turnt out i wuz.
  2. i had a verr importunt meetin at noon n i figgerd no matter how bad twuz, i should be able to tuff it out till then, witch i did, but twuz a bad way to suffer in publick.
but that aint the point of today's post.

a lil while back, i tride to make an appointment fer my yearly physicull with my docter. they gut em a new online schedulin thang at the offus whar he wurks, witch i made the miss take of puttin in a email address frum my last job on a counta how twuz close to whar the docters offus is. thang is, i caint git em to change my email address to a valid address in three years of trine. when i try to git my password, they send it to that dead email address.

not only that, i caint git nobidy to anser thar phone on a counta since they have em this new skedulin softare, the figger they dont need as minny folks ye kin ackshly talk to.

i figger i probably gone have to git a new docter even tho i lack thisn n have dun been a'goin to im fer nigh onto eight years now. i tride to find out whuther my attemp to skedule the physicull tuck n whut time im spozed to be thar ifn it did, but thays no way to tell. so i reckon i dint git one.

nex step is to send em snail mail splainin why thar a'gone lose my bizness n sayin goodbye to one of the bes docters i ever had.

i lack them tecknologicull add vantses that ackshly makes thangs better, lack the microwave or mp3s. but sum add vantses is wursern whut they replaced. tiz a crine shame.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

futchur fun of buddy don: keens tastins cummin up

yesterdy my irish friend sent me a blackberry note sayin he had sum real good news, witch turnt out to be how keens chophouse is holdin sum tastins purty soon. thays three of em, two bout scotches n one fer red wine. my docter tole me not to drank no red wine or beer on a counta they gut histimeans in em that kin cause migraines, so we wont be attendin thatn. that leaves two that we dont wanna miss:
  1. Robbie Burns Night Celebration: New Single Malts in the Market Place (windsdy, jan 26, 7 pm)
  2. Scotch Whisky from the Inside: A Special In-Depth Seminar and Tasting with F. Paul Pacult (tuesdy, march 22, 7 pm)
ye kin read sum deetails bout em here. ye mite recolleck how we met mr. pacult durin a prior tastin.

tiz fittin that i thank eric over at straight white guy fer gittin us off on a good start whenever it cums to sangle malt scotches. thankee, sir!

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

fears of buddy don: the unknown

sum the good news frum last year fer me n miz bd wuz how our apartment complex is goin private, witch we hope to buy ours. one thang ye need fer that is good credit, n the way ye kin figger how good or bad tiz at the moment is by findin yer FICO score. i been a'knowin i wuz a'gone need to find it out fer bout a munth or more, but fer sum reason, i couldnt git over thankin the news wood be bad n ifn twuz, wood ruin whutever day i wuz bout to have. but sooner or later ye gut to face such thangs, so this mornin, i orderd ours. i am deeligthed to report twuznt bad atall. fack is, looks lack we orta be able to borry bout whutever we need.

that sez lots bout a bidys fears. twuznt no reason to be scairt n ye couldnt avoid the facks whuther they wuz good or bad. so bes thang to do is face em hed on. i know that to be true n even gut mad at my own daddy fer not checkin his health till twuz too late to do innythang bout it. then i go n ack the same way bout this. shows how the fruit dont fall far frum the tree, huh?

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

pinions of buddy don: day of reckonin?

thays been a slew of articulls lately on soshul securty. them thats been trine to dismantle it frum the day twuz started claim tiz in a crisis, that we gut to do sumthin now or face a day of reckonin.

when is that day? this feller name of edwin j feulner over at the heritage foundation claims tiz 2018. heres how he puts this dishonest claim:
The revered entitlement program seems fine, but it needs fixing. Starting in 2018, Social Security will start paying out more than it takes in through taxes.
tiz a common lie thats bein tole all over the place. fack is, soshul securty has dun been payin in add vants jes to cover this day, witch we started a'doon that back when president raygun n alan greenspan raised soshul securty taxes on us all back in 1983. that money wuz spozed to be locked away n makin a good rate of interst in a verr secure investment, u.s. gummint bonds.

now tiz gittin close to time to pay em back n folks lack dr feulner wonts us to thank they shouldnt have to pay us whut they owe. n no wunder: ifn thar a'gone make good on that debt, they wont be able to make them tax cuts on the rich a permanent thang. we dun spent all the money on tax cuts fer the rich n a unneeded war in iraq, a'wipin out the surplus without payin off no bills, n runnin up the highest deficit in our histry.

now they a'gone save soshul securty lack they dun falouja: dismantle the hole program. take it frum bein a secur insurants policy fer all to bein a way sum folks (mos of em wurk on wall street n i know a bunch of em whose dun countin thar future profits) kin git even richer than they dun alreddy are.

fack is, evertime they recalculate how long tiz a'gone last, the number goes up. in 1994 the figgerd twood last till near 2035. now they figger twill be either till 2042 or 2052, dependin on whos doin the calculatin. ifn the economy keeps on a'growin moren they perdick -- moren 1.9% a year, that is -- then twill be a hole lot longer till thay aint a nuff to pay us all whut we dun been promissd.

corse, ifn the ecomony performs so bad -- 1.9% growth -- over the next 50 years, then investin in stocks wont git ye nowhar. ye wood have a lot more risk, no insurants fer when yer disabled or sick or lose yer parent, no perteckshun agin the day when folks takes that money n uses it fer sumthin else. purty soon we kin have us our own hoovervilles of ole folks that aint gut nuthin.

wunder ifn them japanese n chinese that owns a huge chunk of our debt -- a lil under $4 trillion of it -- wunder ifn they wood accep puttin sum of that money into the stock market in sted sos we woodnt half to pay em back? wood they lack that? or woodnt they have dun bought stock in the furst place ifn they wonted a riskier investment with a possibull higher return?

Monday, January 03, 2005

life of buddy don, chaptur 129: them bruises

by januwary of 1982 whenever the winter quarter begun, i had dun larnt how to be a graduwait student, witch twuz a game whar yer perfessers give ye more wurk than inny human could ever do n then see ifn ye kin figger out whut to do n whut to pertend ye dun n how to make it seem lack ye dun whut ye never had time to do.

then thay wuz yer classes, witch ye had to take two or three of em, two ifn ye wood teach two english classes, witch thats purty much whut everbidy had to do to make ends meet. corse teachin two classes wuznt no easy trick neethur on a counta ye had ye a good 25 students in each class n they had to rite em at lease 8 essays to pass n ye couldnt speck moren maybe 5 of em to drop the class befor they had dun failed the thurd essay.

corse, that wudnt a nuff fer me on a counta how i wonted to be a riter n figgerd all that wurk at skool wuz jes a way to give me sumthin to do while i wuz spozed to be ritin, witch i felt guilty mos everday of skool on a counta how i dint rite as much as i figgerd i orta, witch that led to us gittin that group a'goin n that becum lack a nuther corse i wuz a'takin only the stories i writ fer it is still wurth readin n aint hardly nuthin i writ fer skool wurth lookin at twice.

ifn ye mayshur in a lil time fer gittin yer grossries n doon yer housewurk n a lil time fer visitin friends n more time fer dealin with the farm n givin yer fambly thar time ever now n agin, ye kin see whar thay wuznt hardly time to have sex with yer wife. twuz so bad to whar one mornin emily splaind to me how durin the nite i had woke her up without a'wakin up my ownself n got her all hot n botherd till we masturbated together, witch we dun that in sted of 'doin it' on a counta she dint have her diaphram in, witch she wuz a'takin the pill but she wuz so deathly afraid of gittin pregnunt that she had to use two methods at lease. i caint member nuthin lack that happenin to this verr day, but she swore twuz jes whut happend n showed me the stains to proov it. tiz the kinda thang that makes ye wunder ifn ye takin on too much.

so twuz only natcherul how i gut to whar i wood try to mix two or three thangs together, a'trine to git eli or virgil or maisie or brew to cum to the group or visitin em only durin a party or rite befor a party to hep git thangs reddy.

nuther way i tuck keer of moren one thang at once wuz in gittin eli to cum over to take me on our munthly grossry run to the krogers out on chapman hiway. twuz a fack that i spent more time with eli than i dun with all my other brothers n sisters combined, mainly on a counta how we wuz close in age n bofus lacked to rite n all. ye mite member how he had bought my volkswagen whenever i quit carbide n started skool n how twuz good fer him n me bof till he wrecked it round christmus of 1981. it tuck em a coupla munths to git it to whar twood run agin tho they couldnt git it alined proper, witch that meant it chewed up tires before thar warranty hardly gut dry.

innywho, his car bein broke is whut gut maisie out fer a visit n to hep me git them grossries long bout the end of januwary n the instunt i seen her, i knew sumthin wuz rong. her rite eye wuz blue black n her nose wuz crooked. ye could almost see the fist print n whenever i looked at her that furst time, thay wuz a moment when bofus knew whut twuz i wuz a'seein, but whenever i ast whut happend, she claimed how she wuz the clumsiest human alive n how she had fallen n landed rite on the door handle n dont i know how we duncans need to larn to clean up our thangs to whar we woodnt be trippin overm?

i let them lies go fer true fer a lil while sos we could git them grossries. we talked bout lots of thangs. i tole her bout a story i had writ name of Cleaning Up, witch i splained how twuz a tale bout them four thangs that makes marrg so hard: relatives, sex, money, cleanin the house. befor she knew whut she had sed, she added one: alkyhol. agin, i dint say much bout it, but we gut on the topick of how hard tiz to be marrd.

ye mite member how maisie deecided she wood marr oscar clowder, witch he wuz brew's bes frien. oscar n brew gut to be friens whenever they went to robertsville junior high skool. thay had bofem ended up in whut brew called the dum class. whut happend to brew wuz we moved whenever he wuz in furst grade n he dint larn how to read all that well, so by thurd grade, them skools had deetermind he wuz a'gone spend his educayshun in the lease challengin classes.

oscar gut to them dum classes a differnt way, witch he wuz the kinda feller that jes couldnt hold in a smart-alecky remark even ifn he knew twood git him in trouble. he lacked to make fun of the smart kids in class n hung round them that dint bleeve in trine all that hard.

twernt a matter of eethur one of em bein dum atall. fack is, brew is bout as smart as innybidy ye ever met, speshly ifn yer trine to settle sum kinda conflick, witch thats one reason he rose up so high in the local of them carbide guards. i member minny a deebate at home with daddy n me n eli n roena may making the mos sofisticated arguments ye could magine. finely brew wood speak, say one line bout how mayhap he dint understand the issue well a nuff, but he thought twuz a simple matter. then he splained whut he though n purty soon, couldnt nobidy cum up with a better anser. he lacked to say since he wuz dum, he had to listen harder befor he sed innythang, n since he wuz dum, he had to thank rite keerful bout whut he wuz a'gone say so nobidy dint make fun of him.

bofem fellers lacked fishin moren jes bout innythang, so they wood tie flies n buy rods n study weather n git depth finders n yew name it. wuznt nuthin thay lacked bettern goin fishin out a melton hill lessn they could git up to obed. bout as quick as he got on out at the plant, brew bought him a lil flat-bottum boat with a evenrude motor n thay gut to whar they knew mos ever inch of melton hill lake n then they gut to wurkin on watts bar.

thay wuz bofem born in 1955, so whenever it cum time fer the draft lottry of 1973, thar fates pointed em in differnt die-reckshuns. oscars number wuz low, somewhar in the thirties if i recolleck it rite, but brews number wuz near the verr top, 361, witch we had us a party fer thatn n oscar wuz thar n a lil riled bout how fate had dun im, a nuff to whar he gut to drankin tequila n broke up a lil anteek coffee table aunt ruth had give us by sittin on it n then laffin whenever the legs give way.

so oscar joined the navy n spent mos of his two years over in the fillipines, whar he claims all he dun wuz type forms out all day ever day. by the time he cum back home, we had the farm so oscar gut to whar he wuz one of the callus basturd reglars out thar, witch thats how he cum to know maisie.

oscar had gut im a job at orkin sprayin houses fer bugs, witch he gut rid of all the bugs out at the farm once maisie moved out n cumplaind bout em. he had im a good wit n could keep ye in stitches talkin bout cockroaches. he dint have no problem touchin em or even smashin em dead with the palm of his hand, witch that turnt everbidys stumach.

i reckon thay musta gut marrd rite after we cum back frum germany, sumtime in 1980. they gut marrd in the presbyterian church, same as roena may had dun, n then they moved in to oscars apartment, witch twuz one of them pre-fabs name of 'e apartments' on highland avenue.

once they had dun marrd, ye could go ver long stretches without seein maisie even one time. she wurked as a dental assistunt to the same dentist gretchen schuler wurked at, witch thats how gretchen n maisie gut to be bes friens, n twuznt odd not to see her now n then. fer that matter, ye mite not see inny one of us fer long stretches, so dint nobidy thank nuthin of it.

but whenever i saw them bruises that furst time, a slew of thoughts run through my mind bout how everthang fit all of a sudden: her disappearin now n then, the way randy fox hated oscar clowder, the way everbidy lacked jokin bout how clumsy maisie wuz, even the habit she gut in of gittin sample painkillers frum her dentist.

whenever it cums to drugs, maisie wuz eager to git innythang she could. she lacked mos ever drug ceptn the evil weed, n she luved to git thangs frum eli, witch he had dun been thru a long series of differnt medicayshuns till they finely gut him more or less settled down on a steddy dose of bout six differnt pills, witch the one he lacked the bes -- artane -- wuznt even spozed to hep his mental illness but wuz fer the side effecks of them otherns, manely the problem of how his muscles wood git to twitchin to whar he couldnt git still. turnt out they wuz a favert of maisies too.

eli begged me to try it sos i wood know whut kinda 'chemical cage' he wuz a'livin in, so i dun it. twuz a verr odd kinda hi whar ye dint wonta do much of innythang. ye could sit lookin at yer hands fer hours, swep up in wunder bout how mazin fangers is. eli lacked to call it 'brain-stop,' but even he add mitted yer brain dint stop but jes gut stuck on common thangs since everthang seemed lack such a miracull when ye wuz on it. ye also dint feel a hole lotta pain whenever ye wuz on it.

maisie luved her sum artane n purty soon she gut to whar she could git it frum her dentist, witch i dont know whuther he wuz even in on it -- maisie dun everthang at the offus includin the books, so twuznt hard fer her to hide sumthin lack that.

odd thang bout oscar wuz how he dint much lack takin no drugs. he lacked dranking beer n had the red face n pot belly that goes along with a six-pack a day habit (ifn he dint drank more, speshly whenever he n virgil gut to drankin together). everbidy knew he had im a bit of a problem with it, but lack lots of folks with problems, oscar lacked to point at the problems other folks wuz havin whenever one of his problems wuz a'showin.

me n maisie talked bout mos everthang under the sun ceptn fer them bruises that i couldnt keep frum starin at. we wurked our way thru the marital battles round sex n relatives n money, witch thay had em thar share of trubles in all three, n turnt out cleanin up the house wuznt no problem since they wuz bofem such slobs that they never noticed.

bout the time we had made our way thru them topicks of marital mizry, i sed i hadnt cunsidderd alkyhol as one of them topicks befor. that made maisie blush till i sed, 'ye dont half to lie to me, maise. i kin see how yer been beat n taint the mark of no door handle.' that statement busted the damn n the tears flooded out. we hugged while she tried to splain the hole thang, how twuz really her fault on a counta i dint know whut a bitch she could be n she orta know bettern to say sartin thangs to oscar whenever he wuz drunk n she needed to larn how to hold her tung when she knew she wuz a'winnin the fuss n fite n she knew he dint have no chants agin her in fussin n fitin on a counta all she had larnt frum mama n daddy.

after that, it tuck her a while befor she wuz dun with the kleenex n could talk without crine. purty soon she tuck her a big breath n let it out n laffed. then she ast me to promiss i woodnt tell nobidy bout whut she had tole me. i tole her that woodnt be easy, but she insisted, so i did.

fer a few weeks, she wood cum over bout ever other day, till i half to add mitt i wished the problem could be over on a counta all the wurk i had to do. i blush to add mitt that now on a counta i caint member a sangle importunt thang frum that wurk i had to do but i caint never fergit whut maisie wuz a'gone thru.

long bout the beginnin of the fall quarter in 1981, emily made her a new frien, a woman that lived in our bildin name of margaret dobbins, witch everbidy called her maggie. maggie wuz a beeyootiful woman who had dun been marrd twice n had a lil boy left over frum each marrg. turnt out she had been abused durin her furst marrg, witch that led to the secunt one on a counta she marrd the lawyer that handled her case. he hired her as a legal secretary n i never herd whut ended thatn. innywho, emily tole her bout whut i had dun tole emily bout whut maisie had tole me bout whut oscar had been a'doon to maisie. maggie wonted to hep, so we tride to git maggie n maisie a chants to talk bout how she could deal with the situwayshun. maggie lacked to point out that twuz importunt fer maisie to make the deecishun her ownself. she dint need to be forced on a counta her problem wuz how she had been forced to accep ever deecishun made bout her frum the time she wuz born, witch i had to add mitt twuz so.

but maisie dint never git no chants to meet maggie. in sted, oscar tole brew bout how he had to put maisie in her place, witch eli herd that n went over to see maisie n put two n two together. maisie begged him not to tell nobidy, but twuznt his way. he gut to shoutin bout how evil oscar wuz n how sumbidy needed to do sumthin bout him. whenever i herd how angry he gut, i wunderd had i dun the rong thang by not gittin into a angry snit my ownself.

once the news wuz in elis mouth, twuznt but a hop skip n a jump till we were all in a fambly council over the matter, witch everbidy wuz thar ceptn brew. mama wuz sayin how she wonted to beat the peewaddlin out of oscar her ownself, witch she sed he she had always figgerd he wuz meanern a striped snake. eli gut to talkin bout how twuznt no marrg n twoodnt be no sin to deevorce such a animull. poor maisie dint do nuthin but sit n cry n try to beg folks to let her do thangs her own way. i tride to support that idee, but daddy brung everthang to a end by tellin us all to shut up.

durin that long silence, twuz easy to see how much daddy luved maisie n how hurt he wuz by all this stuff. they had always had em a speshul relayshunship. they lacked to hike together, speshly up to frozen head state park or mount le conte. they had em a secret tree that dint nobidy no nuthin bout sumwhar over in the woods near south hills golf course in oak ridge. to this verr day, aint nobidy outside of daddy n maisie that knows whar that tree is. so when daddy sed fer us to shut up, we did n twuz such a moment that maisie even stopped crine to listen to whut daddy wuz a'gone say.

he tuck his time gittin reddy, smokin the res of his cigarette n drankin the res of his beer n openin a nuther. finely, he sed, 'maisie, i aint a'gone say this but one time: ifn yer a'gone stay with that man -- no that lil slimey inseck -- ifn yer a'gone stay with him, ye all are a'gone half to git used to visitin me in prison or at the graveyard. i will kill him ifn he touches ye one more time.' maisie tride to say sumthin, but daddy shut her up n turnt to eli n sed, 'wood ye tell oscar whut i jes sed?' eli wuz proud to do jes that, only he wonted to know whut we should do bout brew. daddy sed ifn oscar wuz a'whuppin brew, that wood be brews problem. eli sed twuznt that, but how brew n oscar wuz bes friens. agin, daddy sed twuz brews problem n we couldnt live brews life fer im. eli dint lack the anser n he later tole me he dint see why we let brew live his life but changed maisies. all i ast him in reply wuz dint maisie ast ye to keep quite with whut ye knew? made him mad n he sed i must not luv maisie verr much ifn i wood let her git beat up thataway.

by this time, twuz near finals in march, so i dint see much of nobidy fer a while. but i couldnt quit a'thankin bout maisie n purty soon i rote a story name of Big Wheels Roll bout her n the situwayshun, witch i member how ashamed i felt whenever i red it to the group n they all gut to praisin it n i gut to thankin how i wuz so brazen as to make a 'profit' on maisies pain.

once the quarter wuz over, maisie ast could she cum hep us git grossries. emily wuz at skool whenever maisie gut thar, so we drove out n gut the grossries. maisie kep on a'sayin she felt bad bout thangs on a counta she wuz jes as much to blame as oscar. she dint know if she should stay away frum him or maybe move back in. he even ast he bout whuther he should re-up in the navy sos they could see the worl. i sed no doubt he wonted to git away frum the fambly on a counta how we woodnt tolerate whut he wuz a'doon to her. maisie jes kep a'sayin i dint understand.

whenever we gut home, i ast her did she wonta git hi, which corse she did. i tole her bout ritin a story on the topick, so she gut to beggin to read it. i finely let her. twuz a long time she red it n her tears gut to flowin agin, but she dint wonta stop. whenever she wuz dun she stood up n started walkin in a circle. then she stopped n put her arms out. i give her a big ole hug. while i wuz a'doon that, she thanked me fer lettin her read that story. i gut to whar i wonted to apologize fer usin her story fer my writin, but she dint wonta here nun of that.

'ye dont understand, bud. i luv yer story n besides that, i aint a'gone back to him fer nuthin now. i dint real eyes till now jes how thangs wuz till i saw whut ye had writ. taint my fault atall. i aint a'gone back to him fer nuthin now.'

maisie never went back to live with oscar agin n thar deevorce cum thru sumtime durin the summer. maisie started datin n such n one day she cum over to visit when emily wuz in class. she sed she wonted to thank me. i ast her fer whut? she sed, 'fer showin me whut them bruises look lack.'