Tuesday's Rambling Thoughts – January 27, 2009

An uncle (by marriage) of mine passed away Sunday morning. He was the type of man who was always willing to help someone in need. I had known him since I was 12 years old. He was as close to a blood uncle as I had. My uncle worked just about all his life at a nearby shipyard. I do believe he breathed in asbestos since he worked there before 1976. He died from COPD. It was a combination of things, not the least, of which, was due to being a lifetime smoker. He could not give up the cigarettes. My uncle was never a really big man. But, he was incredibly strong. By the time he died Sunday morning, he weighed about 77lbs. Anyone who is reading this blog entry and is still smoking; I wish you could have seen my uncle just gasping and struggling to get one good breath of air. I have never smoked a cigarette in my entire life. That has turned out to be one of the smartest things I have ever done in my life.

It appears the recession is starting to hit my home town. We had largely been an oasis from the moribund economy with a surplus of jobs, new industry in town and all the suppliers of this new industry which in turn provided even more jobs. The new ThyssenKrupp Steel plant was greeted with great enthusiasm upon the news we had beaten out the state of Louisiana for this plant. News last Saturday [article link] was that the stainless steel unit was going to be delayed for full operation for at least a year. That sunk in like a ton of bricks to people here. It should not have been unexpected with ThyssenKrupp stocks falling in Europe last week. The carbon steel plant is still good to go at this time. This news means nearly a 1000 people expected to be hired as permanent employees will have to wait about a year before being given the opportunity to work at this plant.

In even more bleak economic news, General Motors announced it was cutting 2000 jobs and halting production [article link]for “several weeks” due to the continued downward turn of the economy. This is on top of news last week that Toyota out sold GM worldwide for the first time in history. It looks like things are going to get worse before they get better. You have to consider all the suppliers that get hurt when a major corporation like GM halts production. It's a terrible domino effect that will plunge the jobless rate even higher. I still think throwing money at this problem with this 1-2 trillion dollar bailout is a big, big mistake. What would I do? Unfortunately, I don't know what I would do. I just know throwing money at a problem is never the fix needed. How much money has been thrown at LBJ's “War on Poverty”? 30 billion? 50 billion? Has it worked? No. Will this bailout fix our economic woes? Not no, but hell no. Having a neophyte like Barack Obama in the Oval Office is not going to help things either. Those on the Obama cult bandwagon; you are about to get what you asked for now. The only silver lining I see is that “W” is finally out of the White House. That's the good news.

Finally, my other blog, “Diary: Alone on Earth,” is starting to surpass this older, more established blog in terms of traffic and subscribers to my feed. I had to take about a two week hiatus from that blog because it was taking up so much of my time. I am, quite frankly, amazed at the number of emails I have received and comments I have gotten in regard to that blog. The comments have not been numerous. But, there have been some that have massaged my over inflated ego a great deal. I'm really flattered by some who say I should get that story published. It is my first attempt at fiction. I am now going into the final half of this story on that blog. I'm not going to let the cat slip out of the bag here. But, I have a feeling people aren't going to like the ending. That's just the way it is. I have gone back and forth how I want this story to unfold and end. I have finally settled on an ending. I have a long way to go before I get to that point.


David, I'm sorry about your uncle. Cigarettes are a vicious poison, I wish more people would head your advice!

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