Showing posts from May, 2011

I'm Sorry, Joplin

I'm sorry, Joplin... and Vicksburg... and Tuscaloosa... and Fukushima... and West Texas... and...

The list could go on and on and on.

Saying "I'm Sorry" is an apology and shallow apologies happen way too often these days. I cannot apologize to the folks in those cities and towns for tornadoes, floods, wildfires and tsunamis because they were not of my making.

What I can apologize for is feeling put out by some strong winds at our home, a few broken tree limbs and losing power for almost 24 hours yesterday.

It is so easy to be put out by inconvenience and to feel sorry for ourselves when things like this happens. We may lose some food in the freezer, or miss the finale of "Dancing With The Stars", but in the long run does it really matter?

What about this? This is a photo of an IT support company's office building in Joplin, MO after Sunday's tornado cut a swath right through town.

This sort of destruction makes some water damage or downed trees se…

Social Security: Investment, Welfare, Ponzi Scheme or JPN?

Today while watching Fox News Sunday, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) was on with Sen. John Kyl (R-AZ). Durbin is one of my least favorite politicians because of his pathological refusal to give a straight answer to any question. Chris Wallace was asking the two senators about deficit reduction and the debt ceiling.

I don't even remember what was said, but something sparked an idea in my head to see how much money I could have/would have made if I had invested all of my Social Security money in the market using the S&P 500 average for each year.

To figure this out I would need two groups of information: How much money I had 'contributed' (along with my employer) and what was the annual return for the S&P 500 for each year I have been employed. Well, it turns out I actually needed three pieces of info.

I had recently scanned my latest Social Security Statement, so it was readily available. All of you US workers get an annual statement that shows what your retirement and di…

Atlas Shrugged: Part I - A Review

This review will be a little bit different from many other reviews you may have seen. I read recently that only 8% of the critics liked the movie and that one reviewer, Jack Hunter, contributing editor to The American Conservative, opined "If you ask the average film critic about the new movie adaptation of Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged” they will tell you it is a horrible movie. If you ask the average conservative or libertarian they will tell you it is a great movie. Objectively, it is a mediocre movie at best. Subjectively, it is one of the best mediocre movies you’ll ever see."

This movie was sort of like waiting to see a group like Chicago live in concert. You love their music and you have been waiting for a long time to go see them. Finally the day arrives and you make your way to the venue. There are 12 other people there with you. The band comes out and plays a bunch of stuff that you kinda know, a few new things and then a hit or two. They sound good, but they didn'…