Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Crying for the Sun

By Jonathan Bert
The Extreme Moderate

December 23, 2008

Winter is rarely a pleasant experience here in Wisconsin. This one is starting out terribly. It’s bad through the whole country, so it’s extra ugly here. The North Pole is getting warmer because it is sending it’s cold to Cheddarland.

The good news is that the Sun is coming back north! Last Sunday, December 21st, was the solstice, the Earth angled away from the Sun as far as it goes, and is now angling back. It will be a while before we see or feel a difference, but it is a reason for celebration. Historians contend that this event has been celebrated ever since the cave people first figured it out.

Some early societies considered the Sun a deity. You wouldn’t dare mention to them that it is just one of a zillion stars, and a rather puny one at that. It wasn’t that long ago, relatively speaking, that people were imprisoned or even executed for uttering such blasphemy. But it is my Sun, puny as it is, and I love it, and I am delighted that it is now headed home to me.

Apparently many of the holidays and holy days this time of year are linked to the solstice, whether anybody wants to admit it or not. These holidays are beautiful, and give cheer at a time when cheer is hard to find. I not only enjoy nativity scenes, Christmas lights, and New Years parties, but also Menorahs and other “decorations” of all the cultures and religions in this country. Atheists, instead of trying to ban all of these good times, should just figure out how to join the party! People that belong to religions that don’t allow a good party still have to be somewhat happy that light and warmth are returning; and if they don’t want anybody to whoop and holler about it, well maybe these folks should get a life.

A nasty winter is the last thing our struggling economy needs. Snow and ice are literally paralyzing. Heat sucks up a lot of consumer and business dollars, with a big portion of the money going overseas. Construction slows through most of the country, as does home sales, car sales, etc. It does help industries that provide goods and services that help us survive, and even attempt to enjoy, this mess, but not enough to offset the disaster it inflicts on everybody else. Overall, winter sucks!

Patience. In just a few months our toes will defrost. The butter on the counter will be softer than the butter in the ‘fridge. Skating will move indoors, and fishermen will no longer be able to walk on the water, and will start using boats. Spring and summer will return, bringing long days and warm nights. With a little luck they might bring some prosperity.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Put America Back to Work!

By Jonathan Bert
The Extreme Moderate

December 15, 2008

I am sick of bailouts and loans for big businesses. This is still following the “Trickle Down” ideas from the Reagan years, and the middle class has suffered for decades because of this backward economic principle. We have got to reverse gears, get the money to flow up!

America needs jobs! While the little guys would love have money handed to them, like it is being handed to big financial firms, and soon to big car companies, most are very willing to work for it. Give Americans a regular paycheck and they will pay their bills, and buy new stuff. In a consumer driven economy, keep the consumer behind the wheel. Giving big business free money will just give them a license to keep their foot on the middle class’ throat.

Not that a lot of the middle class didn’t bring this treatment upon themselves. Reagan was the guy that figured out that if you get the ignorant among us frothing at the mouth over issues like gay marriage and abortion you could shove the screws up our butts and still get praised as great leaders.

Hey, the Democrats can fix this, they’ve always fought for the little guy! Say what? They want to shove billions to the big screw-ups instead of using the money for job creation? Do we have any friends? Don’t answer, I don’t want to hear it. We might also remember how much responsibility Democrats have for some of the trade agreements that shipped millions of jobs out of the country, with the crazy idea that we could compete with countries that don’t have OSHA and where trade unionists are shot. What would these guys do with a brain if they had one?

Franklin Roosevelt pulled us out of the Great Depression by putting America to work. Now, with all of our money going to bail out the big screws, can a job program be funded? Can we create a job program without big corporate interests demanding their cut?

Our new President will have to be strong, real strong, to do what’s needed to put America back to work, while making the bigwigs realize it will be good for them, too. Otherwise, we will witness the fall of the Great American Empire.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Barking at the Moon

By Jonathan Bert

The Extreme Moderate

December 12, 2008

The Moon is getting full again and I’m in the mood to bark.

I just moved, only seven miles, but it was still a pain in the ass. After living in the same place for 10 years, I’ve moved 3 times in the past year and a half. The way the job market is going my next move might be to a cardboard box.

America needs jobs. The Democrats are thinking like Republicans, bailing out the bigwigs instead of helping the little guys find jobs. People with jobs will pay their mortgages, pay their credit card bills, and buy new cars. These multi-billion dollar bailouts won’t do a damn thing. They want to give the car companies big loans, but they will still lay off thousands! That’s going backwards! Now the Republicans are looking good because they know a bad idea when they see one.

The Dems have a majority in the Senate, but it’s not filibuster proof. Hopefully everyone realizes what a blessing that is.

Illinois’ Governor just got busted for trying to auction off a Senate appointment! And there are other high power Democrats getting indicted. I might have to change my motto to Democrats are Crooks and Republicans are Clowns, or, let’s face it, they are all crooked clowns!

I’m trying to meet women that don’t drink, in Wisconsin. Do you know what that’s called? Lonely.

People in Wisconsin drink a lot so they can put up with the Packers.

NBC is going to move Jay Leno to 9 PM (Central Time). I need to be humored after the evening news.

Remember when people used to like Ladybugs?

A military jet crashed into a house killing two women and two children. F-18’s are fine machines, but they have no business flying over residential neighborhoods. Not in this country, anyway.

Gas prices are going down so now the SUV’s and overpowered pick-up trucks are coming out of the woodwork. I’m getting the impression Americans are slooow learners.

Winter is here in Wisconsin. Hell must be a cold place, nothing makes me feel more God-forsaken than a forty below wind chill.

New Mexico is losing a great Governor. Obama better put him to good use and not do what Bush did, ripping off Tommy Thompson then telling him to keep quiet.

I’m tired of barking. I’m gonna go out and bite somebody. Don’t worry, I’ve had my shots.