All in the Family featured the curmudgeonly Archie Bunker. Archie was television’s most famous grouch, blunt, blustering, straightforward and untouched by the PC crowd. He was the archetype of the conservative male. Michael desprately tried to reeducate him, but he persisted in his breviloquence.

Looking back at the last 40 years, we realize: ARCHIE WAS RIGHT!


Inflation and Housing Markets

My good buddy Nate is fixin to be released form purgatory and is moving. The move is job related. They are going from one town to a better job and a better place to live. Back in 2001 they bought the house that they now live in and just sold. Purchase price $118,500 in 2001, sales price in 2006, $192,000, it would look like they made a profit of $73,500. Nice chunk of cash right?

Not so fast. I know everyone’s talking about the great housing bubble and how house prices are through the roof. Like most things there is a reason for what we are seeing across America. The reason is inflation.

With the exception of areas that are high demand real estate locations, the home bubble is in part a reflection of inflationary pricing.

If we use Nate’s house sale as an example we see that $192,000 adjusted to 2001 dollars equals $169,250. In terms of what he paid for the house in 2001 he made a gross profit of:

$ 50,750

Pretty good just for 5 years of living in a house, but over $22,000 of his nominal profit was just the difference in how much the fed devalued the dollar. Considering that the ole boy made a return of about 8.5% per year on the place, I’d say he did ok.

Before you rush out and sell off the homestead to cash out and move to greener pastures you need to check the actual economic profit, not the nominal one.

First take what you think you could get for the house today and cost effect it to figure out the inflation. I can give you the formula, or you can use this.

Second subtract the cost of selling the house, real estate commissions etc.

Third, did you have a mortgage? If so subtract the interest you paid on the mortgage from the adjusted profit.

Forth, did you make any home improvements? Subtract that from the total. The amount left is what you actually have received in terms of real economic profit on the property.

Another example:
Year house bought 2000
Price paid $125,000
Value today $200,000
Value improvements $12,000
Closing costs @ 7% = $14,000
Mortgage interest on $100,000 at 6.5% = $31,500

Economic profit adjusted for inflation is:

$ 45,500
$ 14,000 less closing costs
$ 12,000 less home improvements
$ 31,500 less interest expense
$ -12,000 LOSS

Even if you had no closing costs or home improvement expenses you still would have only made $14,000 or 2.25% rate of return on the house.

I wish Nate’s clan all the best with the move and the new job. I know that they’d gladly bale out of where they are to go just about anyplace, regardless of profit or loss. Before you sell your place to take advantage of supposed high house prices, remember to look at how much of your house price is the result of inflation. You’ll often do better by paying off the mortgage than by cashing out and moving.


Electing Dinner Guests

Dinner parties are a favorite way to spend an evening. I enjoy getting together with friends, sharing a night of laughs, good food and good conversation. The best of these affairs is one that someone else has gone to the trouble of throwing. My job is simple, show up, eat, laugh and try my darnedest to win whatever game the hostess dreamt up.

Inevitably, what comes around goes around. Decisions need to be made. What are we serving, doing for entertainment, and who are we inviting? That last one is the hardest. Who to invite? If we have the Texan over, he’ll dominate the conversation with funny tales. If the Old Farts come, will we hear all about the latest bowel surgery?

The task of planning a dinner party isn’t complete until with perfect mix of guests is selected. Mostly the guest list is a fixed affair. If we have the Texan we invite the Plumber but never the Preacher and the Old Farts. The most tenuous decision in this process is including a new couple in the mix. Which group do we put them with, do we want them at all?

Every four years we throw a national dinner party. We don’t call it that. We call it the Presidential Election. We elect the President with the same criteria we use to pick dinner guests.

  • Eisenhower: everyone invites the pastor, it’s respectable

  • JFK: classy wife and you know he’d be a hoot

  • LBJ: occasionally you get a stinker

  • Richard M: a Republican that hangs with Teamsters, might be fun

  • Carter: after Tricky Dick, a gentlemanly farmer is a step up

  • Reagan: quick one liners, sharp wit, lots of laughs for an old guy

  • Bush I: Reagan’s quite friend, nice fellow

  • Clinton: Bubba, everyone's bass fishing and beer buddy

  • GWB: coffee shop pal, not banging the waitress, likes BBQ.

That, my friends, is how the greatest nation on earth selects its Chief Executive. It has nothing to do with policy, intelligence, or who the best man for the job is. We play a nation wide reality TV game. It’s like Bachelor or American Idol, it’s shrill, its caddy, and mud will be slung by contestants and audience members alike. Everyone knows the candidates are talent less whores, but you'll still pick one to hang with.

With the next dinner two years away, the professional party planners are gearing up to get their guest invited. That’s all precampaigning is, guest list talk. Will the Lizard Queen run? Cheney was the Old Fart, then he shot a lawyer, could be a contender. When it’s all said and done the next President will be as useless as tits on a NOW activist. The one thing he will be is a master of charades and other party games. Just like real life, the guest list is mostly a fixed affair.


You Know It's Time to Diet When...

  • You dance and it makes the band skip.
  • You are diagnosed with the flesh eating virus, and the doctor gives you 22 more years to live.
  • You put mayonnaise on an aspirin.
  • You go to the zoo and the elephants throw you peanuts.
  • Your driver's license says, "Picture continued on other side."
  • You run away, and your picture takes up all four sides of the milk carton.
  • You learn you were born with a silver shovel in your mouth.
  • You could sell shade.
  • Your blood type is Ragu.

How about "yo moma's so fat" jokes?

Activism on College Campuses

There are two stories about young people and free speech in the news today. One story I’ve been following, the other I hadn't heard. The first was a young man, Paul Trost, in his early 20’s, living in Brockton, Massachusetts. The second was a young women also a college student, who lived in Munich in 1943. Her name was Sophie Scholl.

It might seem a little over the top, at first, to compare the Chappaquiddick Kidwith a Nazi war protester. Sophie Scholl was guaranteed to have the police arrest her. Mr. Trost was only faced with the police questioning him, ‘possible disciplinary action’ and the scorn of the half-wit intelligentsia at his community college.

Consider the outcome if people stood up for what they knew to be right. If Germans had called BS in the 1930’s, what might have happened? Instead of speaking up, they shouted out for “more jobs”, “free education” and building the national empire.

There will always be a power provocateur willing to trade the people's votes for personal power. They will promise the leftist utopia of material blessing from the hands of bureaucratic benefactors. Instead of heaven on earth they will deliver hell.

These young people must be fans of Aaron Tippin, if not his actual work, the sentiment expressed.

Now Daddy didn't like trouble, but if it came along
Everyone that knew him knew which side that he'd be on
He never was a hero, or this county's shinin' light
But you could always find him standing up
For what he thought was right

Now we might have been better off or owned a bigger house
If Daddy had done more givin' in or a little more backing down
But we always had plenty just living his advice
Whatever you do today you'll have to sleep with tonight

Now I know that things are different than they were in Daddy's days
But I still believe what makes a man really hasn't changed

You've got to stand for something or you'll fall for anything
You've got to be your own man not a puppet on a string
Never compromise what's right and uphold your family name
You've got to stand for something or you'll fall for anything

I’d love to be in the Senate when Ted Kennedy walks in, and hear “REMEMBER CHAPPAQUIDDICK!”


Why You Believe What You Believe

I like talking about religious topics with friends. For some reason something happens in blog comments that takes the enjoyment out of it. One thing I’ve noticed, is people start talk past each other and try to fit the other commentators into a theological straw-man that they douse in gas and set afire.

I’d like to avoid that sort of thing here. It is unlikely that anyone will be converted to anything on a blog, but it is interesting to learn about how folks have come to think what they do.

I went to a Baptist school for most of Jr. High and High School. My undergrad and graduate education was in private universities. None of the schools shared a common denominational background, except they all claimed to be “Christian”. These institutions didn’t mirror the teachings of my parents.

Religiously speaking I’m a mutt.

In 9th grade Bible, our teacher issued a challenge to the class. The school was made up of kids that attended different churches. His challenge was to learn why we believed what we did. He wanted us to be able to give him a reason for the faith we professed. It was made clear that the purpose of the class wasn’t to convert anyone to a different church or make fun of different beliefs. The purpose was to get us to think about why we accepted the things we believed.

I should point out that this level of open-mindedness is normally unheard of in a graduate of Bob Jones University and was generally frowned upon by the Baptist Administration, as evidenced by the fact that this teacher wasn’t kept on staff very long.

I’m curious, so I’m taking a poll. Why do you believe what you believe, or why do you attend the church that you go to?

Please don’t bless us with an explanation of what you believe, just list some reasons why you go where you do.

If you’re not a Christian please post what you are, Jewish, Hindu, etc. If you don’t belong to a religious group, go ahead and say so too, but please state if you’re atheist (don’t believe in the existence of any god) or agnostic (not sure if there is a god or if there is it doesn’t matter). Thanks.


So far, So Good?

I tried to make the changes to incorporate Halo Scan. Please let me know if it’s working ok.

Sorry about eating all the previous posts. Halo Scan doesn’t automatically transfer them over and I forgot to cut and paste them in.


Your thoughts please

As has been pointed out to me, I don’t have a clue about how to set up the whole blog thing. It might surprise you to know that I was already aware of this.

Which would you prefer, Halo Scan, or Blogger for comments? Is Halo Scan easy to set up for the non geek?

If you have any other suggestions please let me know. Be warned though, I’ll end up pestering you on how to actually make them work.


RCBS, American Company Doing Things Right.

I started reloading ammo about 13 years ago. I was looking for a cheap way to shoot a lot of pistol ammo. I had two guns that I shot a lot and I wanted to shoot them a lot more. I talked to a few guys and they said “buy a RCBS Rock Chucker kit”. So I did.

This winter I decided that I was gong to get back into reloading in a big way. I dusted off the boxes that my gear had been setting in and set up my reloading bench after not having one for 6 years.

I had never used my RCBS Manual Trim Pro Case Trimmer. Having lost the manual for it years ago, I guessed my way through setting it up. After not getting things to work out, I had to look on the internet for instructions. What I discovered was that I didn’t have all the parts for it, including a handle that was necessary for holding the case being trimmed in place.

I called RCBS to order the parts to replace what I was missing.

The customer service rep was an honest to goodness, English as a first language, American female with a pleasant phone voice and helpful attitude (apparently the last one, working in customer service, any ware). I explained the situation to her, how I bought the kit years ago, had moved, probably lost the part at some point, etc.

The conversation went something like this:

Her: Do you still have the original box?

Me: Yes mam.

Her: Did you ever set up the trimmer before?

Me: No Mam.

Her: Did you keep the trimmer in the box all these years.

Me: Yes mam.

Her: We’ll send you a new hand lever, disc springs, and pivot pin, just reassemble it like the diagram.

Me: Thank you, how much do I owe you.

Her: Nothing, it sounds like we didn’t ship you all the parts when you bought the kit.

Me: It’s been 13 or 14 years, I might have lost them.

Her: Not if you’ve been keeping it in the original box, you wouldn’t have just stored the unit and thrown out a big bag of parts like that.

Me: I don’t mind paying for it.

Her: I can’t charge you for it, if it’s wrong we fix it, life time guarantee means, life time. I hope you enjoy our products, call back if you need help setting it up.

That’s how it went. As of yesterday the trimmer is up and working and RCBS wouldn’t let me pay them for it twice. Plus they actually hire Americans to work their phones and train them to understand what the heck the product is that you’re calling in about. Simply amazing.


Inspired by Billy D

Archie said a lot of things on the show that only made sense if you could translate them from New Yorker to normal American. Here are some of my favorite Archieisms and what they mean:

adult-er-ess (adult female)
a-rhab (arab)
buttinsky (a person who is nosy)
birth patrol (birth control)
chinooka (hanukah)
chinkiepuncture (acupuncture)
constitionalists (constituents)
corpsuckels (corpuscles)
detergerate (regurgitate)
entramanore (entrepreneur)
female intermission (female intuition)
floorplay (foreplay)
groinocologist (gynecologist)
geronimous zones (erogenous zones)
homosapien (killer fag)
house of ill refute (house of ill repute)
his-mones & her-mones (hormones)
iminent (intimate)
ipso fatso (vice versa)
ivory shower (ivory tower)
last will & tenticle (last will & testament)
menstrual show (minstrel show)
mental pause (menopause)
minororities (minorities)
premartial sex (pre-marital sex)
prederranged (prearranged)
prostate server (process server)
suppository remarks (derogatory remarks)
transversive (transvestite)
urology (eulogy)
woman's lubrication (woman's liberation)

And some Quotes:

“No taxation without regimentation.”

“If that ain't "the Black calling the kettle pot!"

“A four-letter Italian word for good-bye...BANG”

“Entertainment is a thing of the past, today we've got television.”

“I got nothin' against mankind. It's people I can't stand.”

“I just don't want you to do nothing on the sperm of the moment.” Go ahead and leave your favorite Archie Quote.


Ah Jeez, put a sock in it!

Bill Clinton and free speech

I understand that the socialist states of Europe don’t like a person thinking anything that isn't approved of and have laws to punish anyone who publishes something outside the accepted ideology. That's their loss. Why be free when someone can tell you what to think, say or print in a newspaper? Please explain to me, why does a former American President (typing “former” is sooo cathartic) need to be in Taliban country promoting jail time for telling the truth? Even if a free press isn't in Europe's idea of democracy, it is part of America's. It's in that part of the Constituion that the Stainmaster didn't get around to reading in law school.

The cartoon incident reminds me of a child throwing a fit. Picture your 4 year old being told that he has bad manners because the throws a temper tantrum. Then picture the brat throwing himself on the floor kicking and screaming that he is a good child. I AM GOOD BOY! I AM! I AM! I AM! And I won't stop this hissy fit till you believe me.

Now picture the collective unwashed, uneducated, bus bombing, disco bombing, airliner bombing, building bombing, journalist beheading, (ok I understand that one) infidel killing, Religion of Peace; showing up in mass, rioting and killing to protest a few cartoons about violent Muslims. How or why the western world is susposed to treat Islam as anything other than a spoiled brat with guns and bombs waiting for a chance to use them, is a thought beyond comprehension.

American Democrats can’t spend enough money to support the “arts” in America, especially when it involves putting a crucifix of Jesus in a jar of urine, or elephant dung on the Virgin Mary. Just let a few newspapers reprint cartoons, that first ran in Muslim newspapers, tell the truth about rag heads being violent, and Bill Clinton will rush right over to “feel their pain”.

Two lists come to mind.

Things Bill Clinton thinks you should go to jail for:

1. Telling the truth, a problem he never seems to have.
2. Freedom of the press.

Things you shouldn’t go to jail for:

1. Importing cocaine to Arkansas
2. Sexual assault
3. Impeding a federal investigation
4. Perjury
5. Selling military secrets to China for campaign money
6. Killing the only man to ever please Hillary in bed, Vince Foster

Will somebody please take Bill aside and tell him to:

Stifle it already!

Fixing the Public Schools

The best solution to the American public school system starts with a wrecking ball, bulldozers and trucks to haul off the rubble. Step two, would be requiring the teachers, administrators and everyone who has ever been associated with the NEA to either; sign an affidavit stating they will have nothing to do with public education ever again, under penalty of death, or give them a one way paid ticket to Cuba never to return to the US. One can dream.

The second best solution involves vouchers and total parental freedom in choosing which school the adults will pick to send the kidos off to. The main benefit to this program is that the better schools will get more money because they have more kids and the bad schools will go out of business. Once again, a brilliant idea that is far too radical for the educational komisar's at the National (lack of) Education Association. If America used vouchers bad performance in academics could be traced back to one of three reasons:

1.) The parents didn't get Jr. in a good school
2.) The parents didn't make Jr. do his homework
3.) Jr. is a feebleminded dolt

As long as parents are willing to have their educational choices dictated by professional edu-crats, we will have the public school system as we know it. But even with what we have now, we could make things better. This encouraging story from Alabama demonstrates one useful technique.

So what other things can be done to fix the schools? How about trying these:

  1. Same sex classrooms
  2. Uniforms
  3. Discipline (public corporal punishment)
  4. Teach manners instead of PC thought control
  5. Exercise, scrap gym for daily PT

In every instance where one of the above has been used the kids have preformed better academically. The big assumption that I’m making is that Public Schools should be primarily about academics. If you were to ask the NEA I think you’d find that the primary purpose is social engineering. Which is why by the time Jr. is 18 he can barely read, do basic math, or think at a cognitive level above a lab rat. Thankfully he can role a condom down a banana, and knows how to stand in an unemployment line.



Boy, the way Glen Miller played.
Songs that made the Hit Parade.
Guys like us, we had it made.
Those were the days!

Didn't need no welfare state.
Everybody pulled his weight.
Gee, our old LaSalle ran great.
Those were the days!

And you knew where you were then!
Girls were girls and men were men.
Mister, we could use a man like Herbert Hoover again.

People seemed to be content. Fifty dollars paid the rent.
Freaks were in a circus tent. Those were the days!
Take a little Sunday spin, go to watch the Dodgers win.
Have yourself a dandy day that cost you under a fin.

Hair was short and skirts were long.
Kate Smith really sold a song.
I don't know just what went wrong!
Those Were the Days!"

“I love
America, I just can’t find it anymore”. I’m not sure who first expressed that feeling, I’d give em credit if I knew who they were. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t anybody from the 20th century. My guess is someone like Jefferson Davis or Robert E. Lee said something like it after the War of Northern Aggression was lost. While most of America’s problems can be tracked back, at least in theory to Mr. Lincolns Great Fit, we don’t have anyone to blame but ourselves for the current sad state of affaires.

I can’t remember the last time I listened to Glen Miller or any other big band era performer. Today’s popular music leaves a lot to be desired compared to the musicians of yesteryear. I don’t just mean the Classic’s either. Heck, classic rock is better than 98% of the crap that’s getting play time today. I had the radio on today and heard a redo of Ted Nugget’s “Cat Scratch Fever”. How much of a talent less hack do you have to be to rip off The Motor City Madman? Crip, I like the Nuge but lets be real honest, he ripped off a lot of the stuff he played. You gotta really suck as a musician if the best you can do is remake Teddly songs.

“I don't know just what went wrong! Those Were the Days!"