Tuesday, September 30, 2008


I've posted this on my other blogs.

Yes, I'm angry about this 'bailout'!

Welcome to the roller -coaster ride of Wall St. No suicides, homicides or bailouts allowed. Please keep your hands and feet inside the car, sticking your neck out is optional. Just as long as it’s not mine.

Remember, that it’s all about your perception of ‘credit‘. None of the ‘money’ on Wall Street is real, it’s all paper tiger trash. All tangible assets will still be there tomorrow. Your house and city won’t disappear overnight.

This ‘financial meltdown’ is being done to keep you from real issues; lost jobs, wage, health care, and pension erosion, immigration and the wars on drugs and terror. All of which have contributed to this credit, mortgage and bank dilemma.

The root causes of this crisis is deregulation by the government.

There is a simple solution to this problem. It’s listed below and will pay for itself.

1) Immediate levy of an 80% tax on all incomes over 10 million per year.
Tax rate to adjust down to 30% per $100,000. These rates to be in effect for the next four years. If you made big bucks, you should pay big bucks, no exceptions.

EXAMPLE: Rush Limbaugh will have to ‘get by’ on about $27 million from the $105 million that he’s paid. Either amount is ‘lottery’ money to the average American.

Big actors will ‘take home’ 4 million out of their usual 20 million movie salary. Tough, but they’ll survive. Sell a yacht or an extra house. Taxes were higher than this in the 1950’s for millionaires.

2) Immediate 10% reduction on all government contracts. No exceptions. ‘No-bid’ contracts to be reviewed for revision and imposition of limitations.

3) Immediate 10% reduction on all elected officials salaries in the government (Executive, House of Representatives and the Senate) Since they can’t do their jobs, they deserve a pay cut.
They’re lucky we can’t fire them outright.

4) Immediate yearly bonus cap for ALL employees, agents, managers or officers of companies, not to exceed 10% of annual salary. No adjustments or exclusions. This to include shares of stock or any other investment instrument.

5) Price gouging fine of 25%, minimum, on all excess profits from market manipulation for any ‘vital necessity’; such as: energy (oil, gas, propane, coal, electricity, etc.), food, health care and products, and clothing. A temporary price cap to be put into place as penalty for a 3-6 month period.

6) 90 Day moratorium on mortgage rates, to be extended as needed, on a monthly basis. This will allow the market to stabilize over the winter, which is a slow time for sales.

7) Minimum 50% equity share in every business that requests assistance from the government. Government to be first to recover investment when asset is liquidated or there is a return on profits.

8) Immediate freeze on stock market. Declare a ‘stock market holiday’ until 6 October for legislation to be enacted, based on proposed actions listed above.

IF no action is taken on a fair and comprehensive restructuring of the financial system, then:


October 7, 2008, is the 243rd anniversary of the Stamp Act Congress. One of the first attempts to insure the rights of citizens of America. Look it up, read about it, learn our history.


We trust in our government to manage our money and provide for our security. When they don’t, we the people must assert our rights to demand proper service.

The proposal above is not perfect, nor complete. It’s an outline of what needs to be done, without putting the entire burden on the average American.


Please forward this email to all your friends!
30 September 2008 Thomas L. Segerson

Friday, September 26, 2008

Club Hollywood, the Religion Test

Nikki Finke loves to shred people in Hollywood.

Big players, moguls, movie stars who have gone astray.

When she picks on a person who's just trying to do her job, it's over the line for me.

See what you think. Check out her blog:


In case she doesn't post my comment, it's included here:

Dear Hollywood and Nikki Finke,

Thanks for this important and earthshaking post.
All the major players, liars and thieves out there and you pick on this poor, young soul. A person just trying to do her job in the best way possible.

I would like to see a public apology by you Nikki Finke to Michelle. A private one would be in order also, but I don't expect miracles from you.

I'm sure your 'insiders' could easily get you in touch with her. Take her to lunch. Do the right thing.

Life is difficult enough, without you beating up on someone like this.

Try to be inclusive, this exclusive club of Hollywood is only being self-defeating by supporting this sort of thing.

Those of us in the 'fly-over states' are not as dumb as you think.


When you celebrate the New Year, try to remember the reasons we all need to work harder at understanding each other.

You ain't helping the problem.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Life's Rollercoaster

It aggravates me no end. I WANT to post everyday, but you know, life gets in the way. Hmm, some blogger country singer could make a song out of that line.

The past week has been full of non-events, but lots of work. My father's building a new house, instead of remodeling one....so I'm digging out all the lumber and building materials on the farm for this new project. He's a tough one, works most people right into the ground, even at his age.

I just spent the past two days welding up the trailer that he almost destroyed hauling concrete block. It's a good thing that he's got more than one trailer. I'm usually fixing one, while he's out bending the usable one.

I'd rather be working on one of the car projects, like my '65 Baja Bug. Plan on doing a blog on doing 'downhome' custom work. How you too, can have a custom ride, without the big expense of taking it to the local bodyshop.

One of my monthly projects is sending out the bill to my former company, O'Neil & Associates, Inc. of Dayton, Ohio. We parted ways over seven years ago and they still haven't paid the court judgment. Have tried to get a lawyer to take this case, but not too many of them are interested in a court judgment from the Netherlands.

It's one of the reasons that I started a new blog.


I'll be reviewing work conditions, the loss of benefits and healthcare, any issues related to the workplace. Too many people put their faith in their companies, only to find out that the company is only going to wear you out, then throw you out.

Didn't get to the flea market this past week. With all the flack about the Big Bailout on Wall St. I didn't think that too many people would be there. Saved the gas and the time. Maybe this weekend....

It's been a wild rollercoaster ride and it's not over yet...keep your seatbelt fastened until the ride comes to a halt.

You may be paying for everybody on the ride, please have exact change ready.

Cash only, we don't take no credit.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Ten Cents on the Dollar

Hurricane Ike’s winds swirled up dust, floated crumpled papers through the near empty parking lot. Saturday’s flea market was about shut down, tables covered with tarps, people throwing junk they couldn’t sell into the dumpster, other treasures reloaded into the trunks of sway-backed cars.

I was standing at camo-man’s table. We were discussing bicycle parts, what they were worth, is there going to be a market for them. Gasoline being five dollars a gallon.

An old man, hunched over with his arms wrapped around a ‘squirrel cage’ fan unit shuffled up to the table. He eased the unit down, put his hand on top of it.

“See you got yourself one of them.” pointed at the older unit that camo-man was using to keep himself and his wife cool in the sweltering heat.

“Yep, lot better than some box fan. What you want for it?”

“Like to get $25 dollars, it cost a lot more…brand new…lookit them wires, ain’t never been hooked up.”

Camo-man is looking the unit over. It’s as clean as the day it came off the factory line. “What voltage is it?”

“She’s 220, that’s why I can’t use her. Cost too much to put 220 in the house. Man wants $150 just to hook it up.”

Camo-man nodded, “Yep, mine’s 110, use it anywhere. Don’t really need it, but I might be able to use it for my wood-burning stove. You take ten for it?”

The old man shook his head, he was anxious. The unit probably cost at least $150 dollars new. I’ve had to work on more than one of them myself. The old man looks at me, “You interested?”

I shook my head, “We’ve got about eight of them on a shelf down in the barn.”

His eyes were full of doubt, “Yeah…?”

“My old man remodels houses, keeps everything. I’ve got rid of all the old heating units, took ‘em to the scrap yard in the past year, kept the fans. Almost always they’re still good. Never know when you might need one.” He nods, knowing that I’m out of the game.

Turning to camo-man, “You think you can go twenty on her?”

Camo-man looks over at his wife, she’s not committing or commenting, poker face. This is her man’s deal, she can berate him in private. He shakes his head, “I’ll give you ten for it, know it’s worth more, but I’ve got to be able to turn around and sell it if I can’t use it.”

The old man looks down, shakes his head, “How about a TV, got a nice one, over in the car. Take $45 for it and throw in this here fan.”

“Naw, we’ve just about stopped watching TV. Nothing to see on it.”

The old man looks over at me.

I lean up against a metal support pole, shaking my head, “Stopped watching TV four years ago, gave my set away to a neighbor about three months ago.”

The clouds are closing up, blocking the light, shadows meld into a gray pall over the market.

Camo-man looks the old man in the eye, “I’ll tell you what, give you fifteen for it, but that’s all I can go.”

The old man looks defeated. He knows he’s dealing with his last chance. It might be the only money he makes today. He studies the table, then looks up, “OK, I’ll take it.”

Camo-man pulls out his book of a wallet, drawing out the tattered bills. He hands them across the table to the old man. Camo-man’s wife, behind him, looks with disgust at his back.

I clap Camo-man on the shoulder, “Catch you later, need to get back to the farm.”

He nods, “See you next week?”

“Yeah, tomorrow’s gonna be nothing but rain. I’ll get those bike parts together for you. Take it easy.”

I trudge over to my beat-up old truck. Slide behind the wheel.

Ten cents on the dollar. Is that all things are worth?

It could be worse.

We could all be using hand fans again.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Wet and Not Wild Weekend Ends

Some people look forward to the weekend. I know that I used to, but things change.

A farm has a magnetic ability. It attracts things. The various barns and buildings down here have accumulations of items that would boggle your mind. Everything from antique wooden crutches to an old fire department ambulance. The usual and unusual farm debris.

Game plan was to get some of the various 'collections' together and take them to the flea market Saturday. Sell what I could, talk with some of the other folks and drive home with an empty truck and a pocket full of cash. Call it 'Spring Cleaning, the Late Version'.

Hurricane Ike kicked into Texas, sending water and economic shock waves throughout the country. I was late getting to the flea market, but I could tell when I pulled in that it was not going to be a good day. The place was empty.

I made the rounds, talking to various vendors. People who sell livestock, used clothes, old books, everyone a specialist. The usually crowded aisles were quiet, no throngs of people, just scattered clumps of families wandering around the tables.

The frumpy woman selling used clothes shook her head. Nothing good about the day. I asked her if there was any particular sizes that she was looking for, what was selling. There's something depressing, end-of-the-line about used clothes. She wants more men's work clothes, in my size. I shook my head, told her that I wore my clothes out, then used the remains for cleaning car parts and farm equipment.

One of the livestock vendors cruised by on his electric cart, paused for a moment. He gave me that, "Where you been?" look. The semi-disgusted one. There are a couple of old animal cages sitting in the barn. I need to fix a hinge on one, put a brace on the other, been meaning to do it for a couple of months. He gets first crack at buying them. After he whirred off down the path, I excused myself. A late start and more people to catch up with.

Need any bicycle parts? There are probably 2,000 pounds of new and used stuff out in the barn. Almost all of it is thirty years old.

I stopped and talked with one of the old men who used to fix and repair bikes. Now he and his wife sell used toys and some bikes in their indoor booth. He didn't have any bikes today. Told me that he was getting out of the business. Too much work for too little profit.

I showed him the bike parts that I brought with me. Good stuff, but he had no use for them. Asked about the man who rented the next stall over. He also kept a few bikes for sale.

The old guy shook his head, "Closed down, going to fix bikes at home and try to sell them from his garage." He pulled out his wallet, gave me the guy's card.

He had another old man in his booth, who spoke up and told me about a guy who was now getting into fixing bikes, just down the road a few miles. Got his info, thanked the man, excused myself again and headed out the door. This was getting grim.

Went over to the tool man. New and used stuff, everything you need for the home or shop. I had three coils of used air hose. He had no use for them, but another vendor who was talking to him wanted to see what they looked like. Took him over to the truck, he inspected the air hose and we negotiated the sale. After we agreed on the price, he fumbled his wallet from his bib overalls, pinched out the bill and handed it to me. We did the "Thanks...I appreciate it. See you later." exchange as is common amongst country folks. He scooped the coils of rubber hose up and walked away.

It had been over three hours and I looked down at the ten dollar bill in my hand. With the dollar that I got from the used clothing lady for a pair of kids boots that I sold her, I had made $11 dollars. You could say that it wasn't worth loading the truck, much less spending the time and gas to make the trip. I got in the truck and drove over to see the camo-man.

He sells surplus military stuff. Knives, targets, old ammo cans. Friendly guy, everyone knows him. They stop by to shoot the breeze, catch up on the latest flea market gossip. Everyone talks about the weather, the usual farmer stuff. Now with the elections, add in the spice of politics.

Politics are pretty much a sore subject, with the economy doing its swan dive. Hurricane Ike was giving us some high winds, also pushing up gas prices. As the day wore down, prices keep moving up. Rumor? Fact? Fear? A man from Alabama told me that he had seen $5.99 per gallon at a station. Another just in from town said that it was up to $5.11 at one of the discount stations. There were no happy campers.

The forecast for the rest of the night was rain, high winds and possible tornadoes. We turned eyes toward the sky when gusts would knock things over on the sale tables. Spooky weather, odd clouds.

The lady across the aisle was selling DVDs and music CDs. I looked over her wares and made my big purchase of the day. Since there's no TV in the house, I watch a lot of movies. An old classic caught my eye, "The Last Time I Saw Paris". Something about it stuck in my head. I looked up and down the table, came back to it. Old movie, 1954, Elizabeth Taylor, Donna Reed, Van Johnson, Roger Moore, Eva Gabor, Walter Pigeon, a cast of great actors...shrink-wrapped in the world's smallest cardboard cover. All for a quarter, that's right, 25 cents American.

I asked the lady if the price was correct. She didn't know, it was her friend's DVD, but it looked right to her. You could tell by the 'period' in front of the 25. I dug a couple of dimes and five pennies out of my pocket, handed it to her and went back over to the camo-man's table with my new treasure.

We discussed bicycle parts. He's into riding now, trying to lose weight. I left a couple of new bike seats and other parts with him. Just to see if he could move them. Never hurts to expand the inventory.

There was nothing else to do. The only traffic was from other vendors, trying to sell their wares in a last ditch effort to make a few bucks, pay for the gas it took to drive to the market.

I headed for the house. It looked like rain and the mood was more down than up.

A tropical depression, an economic depression and general social depression.

The three together don't make for a wild weekend.

One thing about being on the bottom.

You can only go up from here.

Self-Defeating Behaviour

Ever wonder how much would get done, if you could just ignore all the distractions in life?

People get caught up in issues, causes, current events, most of the time without having the slightest chance of being able to impact these situations. I'm guilty of this more than most people. Other people go on about their lives, I try to 'help', only to step into the deep manure.

Just spent the past couple of days sniping back and forth with a SAG supporter. I think that's what they are, they have one of those anonymous blog poster names.

End result, I'll go back to spending more time on my novel and blogs.

The SAG people will learn the hard way about contract negotiations in this day and age. That's how I did it. Fell on my face more than a few times, didn't enjoy the pain.

It's one of the reasons that I wrote "Going Dutch, Trials of a Wage Slave". Wanted to point out my errors in life, give people a few laughs and hopefully, keep them from making my mistakes.

People don't mind the laughs, but lessons? They usually have to learn those on their own.

Hitting the pavement can hurt. Hard on the face, too.

Bring your own band-aids.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Going Dutch, Trials of a Wage Slave

I’m getting ready to launch another blog. Like I need more work.

This one will focus on my book, “Going Dutch, Trials of a Wage Slave”.

It will be a couple of days before I launch. Working out the blog name, deciding the layout and contents, etc.

Have been raising hell on Nikki Finke’s blog:

The SAG/AMPTP thing is nothing short of a fiasco. Time to shut Hollywood down until the people who do the work get paid for their efforts.

This country has been allowed to sink into a wage slave mentality. Too many people think that they don't have any say in their work conditions. They are too scared to speak out, afraid to lose their jobs.

Instead, they are slowing losing everything, while they are holding onto a job that could be gone tomorrow.

Those who aren't brave enough to fight for their rights usually have none.

Ike and His Storm

Ike and Ike, the perfect storm.

Irony is one of nature’s strong points. We’re about to get hammered by a storm named “Ike” and we really need an Ike, as in Eisenhower-type president right now.

You don’t hear anyone talk about him. Probably too honest for most of our current political types to mention.

After all, he warned us of the potential problems with various situations in the world and within our country. I have mentioned in a previous post, his book “Mandate for Change” should be required reading. Catchy title, huh? Almost like a political slogan.

I’ll start my review of the book in the next couple of postings. Expect it to last for a couple of weeks. The parallels with our problems today will shock you.

Then there's that storm out there.

I'm afraid it's going to shock this nation, in more ways than one.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Into The Rain

Rainy season is just around the corner.

Which will mean more time to write. I don't like doing outside work in the rain, if it can be avoided. I thought I would be outside today, but rain came in, so I'm sorting through my paperwork, getting the house changed over for the cold season, all those things I hate to do.

The rain is leftovers from Hurricane Gustav. It's been pretty funny down here, listening to people try and pronounce 'Gustav'. It doesn't translate well to print, so I'll just leave it to your imagination. Bounce the syllables around a bit, try it with a drawl, slur on it, make it into a couple or even three syllables. Fun, huh!

I've never said that the boredom factor was low, but sometimes you have to make your own entertainment.

Try watching how people react to a sudden rain shower. Most frown, pout, get angry, especially if they don't have a raincoat or umbrella. Very few people smile at it, unless they're a farmer or gardener, needing some water on the crops.

Without the rain, there are no rainbows.

Enjoy them after your local shower.

Monday, September 1, 2008

The Harder You Play, The More You Pay

Trying to start the month off right. Even if this will be a short (for me) post.

A couple of old items on the agenda, which I WILL take care of in the coming month.

The "You Wanna Be In Movies" Series will get wrapped up. Trying to break down the overly long post that is the one day of shooting on the feature film set. It was a long day, so it's a really long post.

My education into the ways of the blogosphere continue. It's a good thing for the Internet that people can make anonymous comments. If they couldn't, about 80-90% of all blogs would dry up and blow away. Anon commentators remind me of hecklers in a crowd. Always wanting to shout out some usually worthless dreck, but hey, not brave enough to get up on the stage and give their name. Don't even begin to lecture me about 'freedom of speech'. The people who believed in it were brave enough to sign their names to the document, when doing so could have meant their death. Yes, this could mean another blog.

The summer is officially over. Getting the farm ready for winter. Which seems to be coming on rapidly this year. An early winter would not be any surprise, but I would like to have a fall season for once. The past few years fall has lasted about two days and then the cold weather slammed down. That's relative of course. I don't have to deal with three feet of snow any more and when we get three inches of snow on the roads...they close the schools! All of you in the Great White North can go ahead and laugh now.

If you are one of the few people who read this blog, I can report that the pear tree was loaded with fruit this year. Some of the biggest pears I've ever seen. So far, I've got about a dozen five gallon buckets of pears off the tree. It was well worth getting up at 4AM to light a fire and keep the tree from icing up during a late freeze. Pear preserves are already on the shelf, right next to the red plum preserves. Need to get some apple trees planted down here. Pecans will be next, they're starting to fall.

Work, an appropriate topic for the day, considering that it's "Labor Day" in the U.S.A. The irony of which is that only rich people or those who have vacation days usually get to take the day off. OK, I know, most businesses are closed and everyone is having a barbecue, congratulating themselves on having a job.

One thing about national holidays in Europe which the US needs to look into copying. When they have a national holiday, they usually close everything. You can't go to the grocery store, mall, etc. Some restaurants will be open, but that's about it. Unfortunately, the trend has been for Europe to copy us. So now they are trying to work everyone, every day of the week, all year long. So much for enjoying life! Take some time out from the greed.

I will be spending more time on my writing in the coming months. It's not easy, but it certainly is much less stress and strain on my body.

During my life, I played hard, got the lumps, scars, broken bones and aches to prove it. All that fun comes with a bill. Which is not covered by medical insurance.

You can't appreciate pleasure, until you've tasted pain. Whether in your body or brain.

It's a comparison thing.

Not avoidable in life. See your doctor, if pain persists.

He'll write you a prescription.

Take as directed.