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Monday, February 27, 2006

If College Tuition Increases by Five Thousand % And Government Aid to Students by Five Hundred %, Whose Fault Is It?

I caught a bit of Bob Brinker's radio show this weekend. Brinker has a show called Money Talks and he takes calls from people who have questions about managing their money. I am not a regular listener but Brinker generally offers good advice.

Anyway, this weekend Brinker had a guest named Tamara Draut. She just wrote a book called "Strapped" which tells how the high cost of college has stapped 20 and 30-somethings. On the show, the author,
Draut, blamed the government for cutting student loan programs and she used this as an example to make her case:

In 1948, the GI Bill paid a veteran $475 per year to use for college and that covered virtually the entire tuition bill at Harvard (except for $25). Today, Draut reported the GI Bill provides a grant of about $2,500 and that leaves a gap of more than $24,000 because Harvard's tuition is more than $28,000.

So according to Tamara's argument the government is not doing enough even though the GI grant increased by 500%. I would argue the problem is primarily due to Harvard's tuition increasing by an astronomical 5,000% . Maybe, Tamara should be asking why college tuition (at least at Harvard) has increased by ten times the rate of the government grant.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Great Story About A High School Kid Who Gets A Chance To Play

The Inky had a great story about an autistic high school senior who was the devoted and loyal manager for the varsity basketball team. Well, the coach decided to let the kid suit up for a late-season game and the kid actually played int he game. And he scored 20 points when he made 6 out of 10 three-point shots (maybe he can give lessons to the Sixers). It's a good story so I provided the link below. As the star of the game, he had a great quote... "I was as hot as a pistol". And that is from a kid who did not speak until he was five years old. Enjoy.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Non-Profit Radio Exec Makes A Lotta Loot

The state of Minnesota has a population of about 5.2 million people. Its public radio network is called Minnesota Public Radio (or "MPR"). MPR operates 30 public radio stations in the state (which is a ratio of about one station for every 150,000 residents). There is a state law that requires non-profit groups (who take state funding) disclose every employee whose annual salary exceeds $100,000. Sounds like a reasonable law, huh?

Well, MPR has said it will refuse any state funding if it has to comply with the law. And btw, it has been learned the president of MPR, a person named William Kling, gets an annual salary of $500,000. Like I always say..."that is pretty good work if you can get it".

(and a Hat tip to the Blogfather at Instapundit via Mickey Kaus).

Poll Shows Liberals Are Less Happy

I am sure you have heard of the lastest poll that found that conservatives are happier than liberals. What's that, the media has not been trumpeting about that poll's findings.

Well I'll be happy to share the link to a George Will column (that is where I heard about it). Happy reading to you (if you are conservative). Thanks to one of my favorite websites (Real Clear Politics) where I saw the article.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Sounds Like Most Other Two-Bit Criminals Just Before They Put A Bullet In Their Own Heads

You gotta admit that Osama Bin Laden's latest statement (that he will never be taken alive) sounds just like the typical smalltime hoodlum about an hour before the cops corner him and the alleged toughguy shoots himself.

Can I Cast My Vote For "None Of The Above" ?

Lynn Swann, the Republican candidate for governor, is taking a beating in the Inquirer for his voting record. They reported he had an almost perfect voting record in the last ten elections (voted in nine) but was far from perfect if you go back for the last 36 elections (voted in only 20 or just over 50% of the elections).

Shockingly, the Inquirer story emphasized Swann's lower percentage, the 20 out of 36, when it could have just as easily used the more recent 9 out of 10. I think it is fair to say one could spin Swann's record either way. Methinks the Inquirer first checked with Governor Rendell (Swann's opponent) to see if Fat Eddie had a spin preference.

But I digress. The media proclaims our number one duty is to vote when they are not proclaiming our number one duty is to pay higher and higher taxes. I say give me a chance to go into the voting booth and pull a lever marked "None Of The Above" ! Then I will be sure to vote in almost every election except for those wheeny primaries like the one in May of 2005 (only about 12-15% of eligible voters actually voted).

The candidates must earn your vote- am I right? So why give your vote to the lesser of two evils. Unfortunately, that's what we typically are forced to do on election day if we choose to vote. I submit the lack of good candidates helps to explain why this great country has relatively low voter turnout.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Not Just Big Governent- It's Expensive Government Too

Parade Magazine reported this weekend that the average federal employee now "earns $63,125 per year". Damn if you add the cost of fringe benefits and a great pension/retirement package that must cost taxpayers about $85,000 per year. That is pretty sweet (if you are the federal employee and not just a taxpayer like me). I have to ask why is it so high? The annual earnings for an average American worker is only about $40,000.

Someone please tell me why the federal government pays such high salaries. And let me know if they are hiring!

Cheyney Hub Bub

It appears the Washington MSM is all abuzz because the news of the Cheyney shooting was not put in a press release for their consumption sooner. It took 18 hours or so and Hardball's Chris Matthews spent almost his whole show covering the unexplained delay. May be Cheyney figured it was OK to follow Ted Kennedy's example at CHappaquiiddick.

The MSM hubbub shows what the American MSM has become - regurgitators of press releases. Do they really have to go to college to prepare for that? It seem they have forgotten it is their job to go and dig up news.

Shouldn't this story have been broken by some cub reporter (do they still have them?) who was gloomy because he was assigned to cover the boring travels of the vice president. So, where were those reporters who are assigned to the VP? Did they have their heads up their butts or what?? Or maybe the MSM has all its resources hanging around the White House waiting for that press release to do their work for them.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Cheyney Sends A Message To Scooter?

Did you hear about the "accident" Scooter? Let that be a warning to you. Uncle Dick knows where you live!! [and what kind of name is Scooter anyway]

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

PA State Budget Costs $2,100/ Resident

Current and soon to be one-term Governor Fat Eddie Rendell just announced his annual budget proposal for the state of Pennsylvania. It's like $24 Billion or so. Trust me it is the equivalent of $2,100 for every man, woman and child in the state. Just yesterday I posted a comment that the latest federal budget proposed by Bush is $9,000 per resident. So combined the two are spending $11,000 per Pennsylvania resident (and yes I understand that some of the PA budget comes from the feds).

But don't forget too that tax revenue such as gasoline taxes and other government fees are not included in the numbers above (in some cases). Pigs At The Trough I tell you. Anyway you slice it sounds like way too much wasteful spending to me!!!! And unless you are a government-loving lib, you should agree.

Ann Althouse Is In A Slump

One of my favorite blogs is Ann Althouse's. She generally has interesting postings and topics and her readers are pretty smart and informed so the conversations are interesting. But for the last 2-3 weeks, her posts have been really uninteresting to me. That's why I say she is in a slump!

Lately, Althpuse has been writing about stuff like her son's lame artwork and her angst-ridden decision to move from a big house to a condo. Ann, here is an FYI for you. Please don't take huge offense, but I probably don't care much about you or your personal life. However, I do enjoy reading about the outside interests you select for your blog. So get back to work and enough with the personal minutiae.

Here is her website; suggest you check it out.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

"Muslim Cartoon Riots"

Was watching O'Reilley last night and he announced his next segment would be on the "Muslim Cartoon Riots". Doesn't that sound funny? Like some sort of joke or maybe a music/rap/ rock band...such as O.D.B. was Old Dirty Bastard. Or the Dead Kennedys. Yeah, I can almost see it "now appearing tonight and back by popular demand the Muslim Cartoon Riots".

Last comment- those Mulims sure have a lot of free time on their hands. And I always wondered how much work a man could do when the Koran requires you to stop and pray six times a day.

The West needs to do more humanitarian work in the Muslim world. I think it is critical for us to encourage those young Muslim men to get involved in more important activities like capitalism, blind career ambition, battling obesity, staving off credit card debt, choosing your favorite substance abuse, avoiding bankruptcy, carrying on fine family traditions like alcoholism, and participating in fun-filled group activities like bowling or gamblers anonymous. Why should we have all the fun?

Monday, February 06, 2006

Power Corrupts

In round numbers, the federal budget has grown since 2000 from $1.8 trillion to 2.7 trillion. That is a 50% increase in five years!! That is an annual increase of $3,000 per person!!!!!! Means in 2000, federal government cost you $6,000 per year and now it costs you $9,000.

Jeez, that is a disgrace and it can't all be attributed to 911 and GWOT. Can you say Pigs At The Trough? How many of you have seen your family income grow by 50% in the last five years?

In Pennsylvania, last summer's pay-raise grab by the state legislators is leading to a possible seismic shift in voter sentiment. I think an awful lot of incumbents will be cast out of office. That is what voters should do to the Congress! Can we all say term limits?

Birthdays Coincidence

February 5th is Hank Aaron's birthday. He, of course, is baseball's all time career home run king. Hammering Hank hit 754 home runs. Oddly enough, Hank took the home run record from Babe Ruth, The Sultan Of Swat whose birthday is February 4th, just one day before Hank's. ..I think that is pretty interesting. And I just learned that yestderday. Hat tip to my brother who shares the same birthday with Hammering Hank.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Oh the Irony

Check out this link to a website that mocks angry muslim response to their depiction as angry muslims.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Super Bowl Prediction

I see a really hard-fought, exciting game and the Seahawks win by a point in a not high scoring game due to a young Roethlisberger (the Steeler QB) miscue. But I am rooting for a Steelers win cause I am a Pennsylvanian and I think it could help Lynn Swann beat Fat Eddie Rendell next fall. Enjoy the game!

Will Buy Sirius Satellite "Stream Jockey II"

I gave Sirius satellite radio as an Xmas gift and bought the boombox before Xmas but the receiver was sold out at the time. Now here it is almost six weeks later and the receiver I need is still unavailable ABSOLUTELY ANYWHERE. So, if anyone has a contact, I want to buy the Sirius receiver called Stream Jockey II.

Sirius has to be losing SERIOUS amounts of money everyday cause there must be 1,000's just like me. IDIOTS!!

XPN - Now Has Commercials??!!

WXPN, the nationally reknowned radio station owned and operated by the University of Pennsylvania, just finished it's semi-annual fund drive.

It is a great station and is proud to tell listeners it is "member supported". I have given it small donations myself a couple times. But this morning, I swear I heard the DJ read a commercial for Dodge! Now,the station has been drifting across the line for several years with announcements such as "XYZ Corporation is a proud supporter of XPN". But the one I just heard crossed all the way over the line. What is up with that XPN? You can't have it both ways.

BTW, If you have never listened, check it out on the internets. You can find by googling WXPN (and google is not paying me to say that).

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Best Letter To The Editor (tried to find a uplifting winner but this was too easy)

Below is a letter to the editor. It was published in the Philly Inquirer on 2/02/06. Frank Keel submitted the letter to the Inquirer. It appears, from his letter, Mr. Keel is simply a public-minded citizen from the suburbs. But, in fact, Mr. Keel is a well known and well-paid public relations professional whose clients include many Democratic city elected officials. These include (I believe) Mayor Street during his last election campaign, and Councilman Rick Mariana until Mariani’s unfortunate federal corruption indictment. Ironically or not, Keel’s letter criticizes an Inquirer reporter for a recent story on a Republican candidate for mayor, Tom Knox.

I’d like to criticize the Inquirer for failing to point out Keel’s role in city politics and for stooping so low as to select Keel’s letter for publication. Afterall, it was Keel who was criticized because his wife apparently wrote letters to the editor under her maiden name in the last mayoral campaign. Below is the actual letter.

A candidate or not?

In the Jan. 22 Inquirer, gazillionaire and mayoral candidate Tom Knox announced that he was resigning his position as chief executive officer of UnitedHealthcare to devote all of his time and energy to becoming mayor ("Insurance firm's chief exits to focus on '07 mayoral run). In the very next breath, he stated that he was not going to abide by new campaign contribution limits and used the rationale that he didn't have to adhere to the limits because he was not a declared candidate for mayor.
Which is it? He quit his job to run for mayor but won't abide by the rules because he hasn't announced that he's running for mayor? Huh? And why didn't The Inquirer's reporter call Knox on his doublespeak?

Frank KeelNorth Wales

$110 Million Dollar Whiner

Donovan McNabb is being paid a bazillion dollars to play a kid's game and he whines about being dissed by T.O. I think McNabb must be a real Momma's boy. He needs to grow a spine and stop eating all that soup with his Mommy or he's gonna look like the Pillsbury Doughboy one day (he already sounds like him).

And please stop with the "black on black crime" crap. There are kids being shot every day in Philly and McNabb thinks being figuratively bitchslapped by T.O. belongs in the same category.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Lets Drill Down Into The Number Of Uninsured

We are often reminded there are 45 million uninsured people in this country. Let’s look at what comprises 45 million number. The figure is derived from US Census data; I checked it myself at and learned the following:

  • In 2004, there were 45,820,000 individuals without health insurance and here are some non-mutually exclusive facts regarding the uninsured individuals.

  • 34% (15,934,000 people) or one of three was in a household with income of $50,000 or more.

  • 17% (8,092,000 people) or one of six was in a household with income of $75,000 or more.

  • 25% of the uninsured individuals (11,859,000 people) or one out of four were foreign born.

  • 20% (9,542,000 people) or one of five are not citizens.

  • 19% (8,772,000 people) or almost one out every five was between the ages 18-24.

The census data suggests the uninsured crisis is partly hyperbole. A good number of the uninsured could afford insurance coverage but apparently decided they don’t want to pay their own premiums. That group represents one-third of the total. You may guess if COBRA premiums were made more economical, the size of this group would likely shrink significantly.

The group between 18-24 is primarily comprised of college students and others trying to find their career niche. They tend to fall off their parent’s insurance policy when they reach the age of 19. Once they settle into a regular job, the majority get insurance coverage.

The non-citizens represent 20% of the total. Should an immigrant expect immediate coverage for health insurance from his/her new country? I am curious as to how an immigrant is treated in countries with national health insurance. The United States admits 2-3 million immigrants each year so this data seems to suggest the average immigrant is without insurance for 2-3 years after their date of immigration. That does not seem like a bad trade-off to trade life in this country with their former homeland.

I trust you understand these categories are not mutually exclusive. That means a high-income individual may also be a non-citizen and I am not trying to count those twice. I just used the base US Census data as best as I could.

Lastly, I would argue that anyone who truly wants to fix health insurance in this country is not acting in good faith when they use this 45 Million number. The census data detail supports my argument.

Out Of Touch?

This morning on the Today Show, John Kerry was quoted in news accounts as saying that 53% of students don't graduate from high school. That is so blatantly wrong, it confirms what I believe about Kerry...that he is out of touch and out to lunch.

When I mentioned this to a far left co-worker, she replied she thought Kerry could be accurate because you know once you get away from the coast, education is inferior and in fact, she heard on NPR that there are still about 500 one-room schoolhouses in the USA (like that is relevant).

Memo to self- don't discuss this unfair country with this lib co-worker again. Talk about reality-based discussions huh?