These are the contributing authors on this site.
For Valentines Day 2009 last Saturday I thought it would be a nice gesture to take my wife to Daytona during its most famous week. That would of course be the week of the Daytona 500. For those not familiar with NASCAR racing Daytona is the first event of the 36 event season that closes out November 22 in Homestead, Florida. There are races during the week leading up to the 500 main event. These lesser events allow the race teams to gain race experience and fine tune their stock cars. For Valentines Day we had the Camping World 300 with a purse of $2.6 million.
These racing events are a huge economic benefit to Daytona and a huge headache for the locals. Traffic jams and country folks clog the highways in every direction as far away as Orlando. Pickups, Impalas, campers, RV’s and every muscle car know to man populate the streets and towns around Daytona. I wanted to beat the crowd and mad rush of insanity so the wife and I left five hours early from Orlando for the hour drive. When we arrived the traffic was light to medium. Hmmm.
We drove around the west side of the track next to the public parking and were astonished to see acres of parking space available. Then we pulled into Cracker Barrel on US 92 about a half a block from the speedway, parked and were seated within 10 minutes. Simply unheard of in the past at Daytona where the wait is usually an hour plus during speed week for a nearby quality restaurant.
During most years US 92 next to the speedway is to be avoided at all cost. We drove up and down it a few times and were immediately struck at the huge volume of tickets for sale and the desperation of the sellers. These were not your normal scalpers trying to make some money for some Saturday night shenanigans. These were the country folks out there frantically looking for anyone to buy their tickets. It was unusual for me because the country folks outnumbered the normal scalpers by my estimation 2 or 3 to one. Never seen anything like it before.Seizing the moment I soon began to haggle.
For the uninitiated the quick rules of scalping are as follows. If the event is sold out offer 75% of the face value of the ticket but is prepared to pay 100% or more. If the event is not sold out offer 50% and depending on walk up demand be prepared to pay 50% to 75%. If you really want low prices you will have to scout the crowd for the original owners of the tickets and offer them 25% of the face value like the scalpers do. For most people this is extremely distasteful both dealing with original owners and scalpers and they buy tickets ahead of time.
I have attended hundreds of sporting events, concerts, political events and have bought tickets at the window, on Ticketmaster, from athletic departments, from scalpers and from original owners. Hands down the worst place to buy tickets is from Ticketmaster and on the Internet. They add bogus fees, sell the worst seats and try to get you to sign up for some useless club memberships. Nobody else even comes close for the rip off Ticketmaster has inflicted on me. I vow to never use them again after getting the worse seats in the house every time.
Athletic departments and professional teams usually through the arena box office sell at face value and can occasionally get you some preferential treatment. Honest folks looking to take care of their clientèle.
The best bargain by far hands down that I have gotten through the years has been with scalpers. I almost always pay less than face value and typically save 40% on tickets. I look at the face value of the ticket and offer 50%. The scalper counteroffers 75% and I walk away until I can get that 50% to 60% range I am looking for. Having a map of the arena or having it memorized is a must. Ending up in the visiting section of a college football game is no fun at all.
At Daytona Saturday what I saw was not the normal barter of buyers and sellers exchanging tickets and money. What I saw was full blown panic as hundreds of sellers desperately looked for buyers. Scalpers had thousands of tickets on every block and in the back lots as well. Panic, a full blown panic.
I went up to a few and offered 50% and my offer was immediately accepted. Being an economist kind of guy with a couple of useless degrees in the subject I had to probe this phenomenon further. I gave my standard excuse that I needed to get money from the ATM but thanked the gentleman for his offer. A few more offers at 50% and immediate acceptance with the notable exception of one scalper who looked incoherent from a previous night’s indulgence in various substances unknown to me and probably himself. It was time to search for the bottom of this market. Soon I had a 40% offer. Finally I achieved the bottom and made an offer of 30% on a couple of grand stand seats in the Roberts Tower section of the race track. $70 for $240 seats. Good seats close to the start finish line and with a view of pit row. The football equivalent of seats on the 25 yard line. The only time I have ever achieved this was buying tickets from original owners at an unattended football game.
When we parked close to race time there was still acres of unused parking spaces. In the stands there were thousands of empty seats. The crowd was announced at 70,000 for the 168,000 seat venue but I would estimate the crowd at 60,000 or less. The back stretch grandstands were filled with maybe 15% and my section has less than that.
As if to drive home the point that times have changed the pastor who gave the traditional prayer before the race said “we hope to go forth in this new era with generosity not greed.” Wow a dose of Carl Marx at the one place I hope to get away from the political correctness of the day. How sad in America no place is immune from the march of the socialist and fascist waiving their flag and giving their political indoctrination talking points to the masses. I wanted to scream “greed motivated the clothing manufacturer to make your clothes you ungrateful jerk. Get lost.” But the microphone was soon passed and the incident forgotten.
Tony Stewart won the race and my favorite driver Greg Biffle finished 5th. My wife was happy with her valentines present and we planned the rest of the evening with a nice dinner, a dozen roses and a couple of bottles of Sonoma Valley Zinfandel.
Today the main event will take place and I hope it works out well for Biffle and all our country men and women who have made this country the great place that it is. Sooner that we think we will be working together in the coming years to undue the damage that the past and current administrations have done to this country. Nothing like a good old boy to have as ones ally in the fight for freedom and liberty.
PS Matt Kenseth was the surprise winner of the main event and the place was sold out. Congratulations Matt and the good people running the event. Best wishes for the rest of the season.
I found this posted on a forum yesterday.
Anne Wortham is the epitome of what so many of us whites fought for in the 60’s … believing all blacks deserve equal rights. Counter to the equal rights movement emerged the likes of Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and now Barack Obama who all realistically want blacks to remain enslaved by being “cared for” by another ‘massa’ this time called the government (government slave masters).
No He Can’t
by Anne Wortham
Please know: I am black; I grew up in the segregated South. I did not vote for Barack Obama; I wrote in Ron Paul’s name as my choice for president. Most importantly, I am not race conscious. I do not require a black
president to know that I am a person of worth, and that life is worth living. I do not require a black president to love the ideal of America .
I cannot join you in your celebration. I feel no elation. There is no smile on my face. I am not jumping with joy. There are no tears of triumph in my eyes. For such emotions and behavior to come from me, I would have to deny all that I know about the requirements of human flourishing and survival – all that I know about the history of the United States of America, all that I know about American race relations, and all that I know about Barack Obama as a politician. I would have to deny the nature of the “change” that Obama asserts has come to America .. Most importantly, I would have to abnegate my certain understanding that you have chosen to sprint down the road to serfdom that we have been on for over a century. I would have to pretend that individual liberty has no value for the success of a human life. I would have to evade your rejection of the slender reed of capitalism on
which your success and mine depend.
I would have to think it somehow rational that 94 percent of the 12 million blacks in this country voted for a man because he looks like them (that blacks are permitted to play the race card), and that they were joined by
self-declared “progressive” whites who voted for him because he doesn’t look like them. I would have to be wipe my mind clean of all that I know about the kind of people who have advised and taught Barack Obama and will
fill posts in his administration E2 political intellectuals like my former colleagues at the Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.
I would have to believe that “fairness” is the equivalent of justice. I would have to believe that man who asks me to “go forward in a new spirit of service, in a new service of sacrifice” is speaking in my interest. I would
have to accept the premise of a man that economic prosperity comes from the “bottom up,” and who arrogantly believes that he can will it into existence by the use of government force.. I would have to admire a man who thinks the standard of living of the masses can be improved by destroying the most productive and the generators of wealth.
Finally, Americans, I would have to erase from my consciousness the scene of 125,000 screaming, crying, cheering people in Grant Park, Chicago irrationally chanting “Yes We Can!” Finally, I would have to wipe all memory of all the times I have heard politicians, pundits, journalists, editorialists, bloggers and intellectuals declare that capitalism is dead – and no one, including especially Alan Greenspan, objected to their assumption that the particular version of the anti-capitalistic mentality that they want to replace with their own version of anti-capitalism is anything remotely equivalent to capitalism.
So you have made history, Americans.. You and your children have elected a black man to the office of the president of the United States , the wounded giant of the world. The battle between John Wayne and Jane Fonda is over – and that Fonda won. Eugene McCarthy and George McGovern must be very happy men. Jimmie Carter, too. And the Kennedys have at last gotten their Kennedy look-a-like. The self-righteous welfare statists in the suburbs can feel warm moments of satisfaction for having elected a black person. So, toast yourselves: 60s countercultural radicals, 80s yuppies and 90s bourgeois bohemians. Toast yourselves, Black America . Shout your glee Harvard, Princeton , Yale, Duke, Stanford, and Berkeley.
You have elected not an individual who is qualified to be president, but a black man who, like the pragmatist Franklin Roosevelt, promises to – Do Something! You now have someone who has picked up the baton of Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society.
But you have also foolishly traded your freedom and mine – what little there is left – for the chance to feel good. There is nothing in me that can share your happy obliviousness.
Who is Anne Wortham?
Anne Wortham is a Black woman, an Associate Professor of Sociology at Illinois State University and continuing Visiting Scholar at Stanford University ’s Hoover Institution.
She is a member of the American Sociological Association and the American Philosophical Association.
She has been a John M. Olin Foundation Faculty Fellow, and honored as a Distinguished Alumni of the Year by the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education.
In fall 1988 she was one of a select group of intellectuals who were featured in Bill Moyer’s television series, “A World of Ideas.” The transcript of her conversation with Moyers has been published in his book, A World of Ideas.
Dr. Wortham is author of The Other Side of Racism: A Philosophical Study of Black Race Consciousness which analyzes how race consciousness is transformed into political strategies and policy issues.
She has published numerous articles on the implications of individual rights for civil rights policy, and is currently writing a book on theories of social and cultural marginality.
Recently, she has published articles on the significance of multiculturalism and Afrocentricism in education, the politics of victimization and the social and political impact of political correctness. Shortly after an interview in 2004 she was awarded tenure.
“We hate you guys. Once you start issuing $1 trillion $2 trillion … we know the dollar is going to depreciate, so we hate you guys but there is nothing much we can do”.
Lou Ping, China Banking Regulatory Commission.
The one thing China CAN DO is say no to loaning us the money we need for this ‘porky pig stimulus package’.
Face it America this is NO STIMULUS … lets call a spade a spade. This has turned into a lunatic Democratic SPENDING SPREE fully condoned by Barack Obama.
What has Barack Obama turned in to … or has he simply been this all along?
What happened to the transparency? The time to check things out? The debate and coming to a bipartisan consensus?
I have heard the public say “oh … he has only been in office 3 weeks give him a chance”.
A CHANCE TO DO WHAT?
LEARN TO BE A LEADER?
TAKE CONTROL OF THE RENEGADE PARTY THAT IS FAST DESTROYING HIM?
Daily I sit here in disbelief.
I am dumbfounded that what is going on in our government is actually occurring.
It takes all of my strength to keep from bursting into tears of frustration over the new events we are daily facing.
The television draws me like a magnet to what one feels by being drawn to a horrible accident where you are helpless to do anything but watch. It takes every ounce of my strength to muster the will to read, research and pound these blog posts out. I remind myself moment to moment the worth of any of this is to show others they are not alone. If there is one sound in the night there will at least be one.
A friend said the other day … I looked at your blog to see if there were other posts but yours. In digging to understand that statement the outcome was there were 3 of us out of the registered 7 … which apparently were not enough to join in. After thinking seriously about this I determined that was fine. If there is just ONE interested person out of the average 130 per day (average this month so far) visitors who gets one tiny thing? … mission accomplished.
I am not a formally educated woman. I do not have a degree in anything but perhaps hard knocks. I am simply and average citizen just like all of you. We at least should be smart enough to see the trillions that are so UNTHINKINGLY plucked from thin air are NOT going to solve the problems we in America face much less the crisis now to be made worse by the renegade spending spree foisted on us all.
First and foremost the financial crisis we face IS NOT THE PROBLEM.
The true problem is the lack of ethics and moral fiber of those who we put in charge of running this nation.
I did not vote for Obama.
I did however hope he would come through with what he said he would. Not only am I sorely disappointed I see the demeanor of those who honestly HOPED, TRUSTED AND EXPECTED this man to be EXACTLY what he said he was. What is going to happen when those trusting people realize that no matter what this man says HE CAN NOT PRODUCE THOSE PROMISES and HE IS NOT the person with the metal he claimed have or be?
This very morning I was discussing this with my cousin (who on most core issues is like minded).
It is natural for people to survive better if they understand and prepare for something.
Today the people of this UNITED STATES are heading for a train wreck.
It might not happen tomorrow afternoon BUT IT WILL HAPPEN.
Almost everyone in the MSM is willing to either soft peddle or is ignorant to the gravity of the subject period.
Who is going to fair best when the brick wall is met?
Those prepared for the worst and hope for a miracle that keeps the worst at bay … or those who did/could not see what was coming their way?
I saw Glenn Beck discuss with Bill O’Reilly the D & R of our future.
His interpretation was not Democrat and Republican but Depression and Revolution.
THIS IS NOT 1930.
The people are different. We still have slavery. There are great numbers who are slaves to the government taking care of them on some level. This time the slaves are multi-colored NOT JUST BLACK.
The irony of Barack Obama being the first black president is HE A HALF BLACK MAN is perpetuating that slavery. He is just as guilty as his historical kinsmen who rounded up their own people and sold them to the white land owners in America.
Instead of SLAVERY it is now GOVERNMENT NANNY.
THE RESULT IS THE SAME NO MATTER WHAT THE NAME MIGHT BE.
SLAVES NONE THE LESS!
WHAT A CRYING PITY!
Barack Obama WAS HANDED on a SILVER PLATTER every TOOL NECESSARY to emerge THE NOTED HERO OF THIS CENTURY.
To date he has miserably blown that opportunity.
Why? He is heavily influenced by a ‘tiny man’ Rahm Emanuel (Obama’s right hand man) and a ‘witless’ female speaker of the house Nancy Pelosi.
In the computer hardware world the best equipment only functions at the level of the lesser equipment. Today that is the case with Obama and his staff. If he were the best of the best … that best is lessened and degraded by those who are less around him. Unfortunate he either does not understand that or does not have the guts to correct it.
What happened to what I perceived to be an honest, well spoken, man of high ideals?
Just who is pulling the strings behind the scenes in our white house today?
Barack Obama’s own party are/will destroy that divinely given opportunity for greatness.
Again I say WHAT A CRYING PITY!
Clearly the ‘Washington Wingnuts’ have forgot just who pays their over inflated salaries.
I just emailed a friend that daily when I boot my laptop I feel like a deer hunter with a stampeding herd of bucks headed my way and do not know which I need for dinner. The government has more crap going on than the proverbial Christmas Goose.
Chuck Schumer on the Senate floor Tuesday was quick to malign the public for burning the telephone wires to a frazzle over the PORK FILLED bill trudging to completion so it can serve as the next “OBAMA PHOTO OP” for the slobbering masses. While the ‘midget minded’ San Fran Nan insists there are NO ‘pet projects or ear marks’. I am not sure who is the parrot Obama or Pelosi on this issue. It does not matter except clearly both think the population is below stupid to believe either one of them.
We the people are now relegated to the ‘chattering class’ which sort of reminds me of the comment ‘let them eat cake’ uttered by Marie-Antoinette before she was marched to the guillotine.
Daily it is more clear this renegade government feels they are comfortable thieves in charge.
This tiny trillion? What can they be thinking. How about a resounding THEY ARE NOT. I suppose the next thing that comes to mind is do they have the capability to put more than one THINKING word together in order to form a sentence. PROBABLY NOT!
Obama asks “what’s wrong with replacing the government fleet of cars with new green ones”?
Gee how about the GOVERNMENT IS BROKE? Or fine fund it out of your OWN POCKET … in fact pass the collection plate starting with Pelosi, Reid, Dodd, Frank and anyone else thinking this is a stunningly great idea? Maybe ask Geitner and Daschel to kick in the penalties they both WERE NOT REQUIRED OR FAILED to pay on their little tax frauds?
Let’s see what we still have:
$300 million for new “green” golf carts for government workers … now that is certainly a must have while the private sector scrambles for their next scrambled egg for the family.
The Los Angeles-to-Las Vegas magnetic levitation train … Harry Reid’s PET PROJECT … is defined as what now? Oh I get it an emergency solution to the problem at hand … you know the loss of jobs, homes and food?
$1 billion was added back for Prevention & Wellness Programs, including STD education.
Is it becoming evident here these politicians are tossing around BILLIONS OF OUR MONEY as if it were nothing.
I say today and will continue to say. WE THE PEOPLE need to apply some BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION here.
INSIST those who think up this PORK fund it themselves out of their very own pockets starting with OBAMA himself.
Take a look at this little snip from Chuck Schumer on the stimulus.
At what point did Schumer fall out of the loop? Is he simply deluded or somehow has he failed to notice the majority of people in the USA DO NOT WANT THIS PACKAGE!
I am a little behind the times politically today and maybe that is a good thing. I did take the time to watch Barack Obama deliver his first press conference. I tried the best I could to listen as an ordinary citizen (of which I would normally claim to be). ONLY today I have made the effort to be a ‘better informed citizen’ spending hours reading the constitution, pouring through economy sites and many other reference sites to try and figure out what lies ahead of us as a people in the USA and the world.
First things first. Trying objectively to listen to what Obama had to say as a citizen I thought BRAVO! This is exactly what the average citizen wants to hear. It had hope, drive, determination and optimism to get HIS JOB DONE.
I am a fairly savvy internet woman. I know what drives the internet and must say SOMEONE taught Obama well. I do not for one moment think he picked this up on his own. He is an excellent speaker (providing he is well prepped) and has a calm demeanor of authority.
What I also noticed were the stress line in his face. It is easy to see he is NOT AT ALL HAPPY with the turn of events these last couple of weeks. He emphasized more than once he inherited this problem which is true. However insinuating the Republicans (or opposition) is at fault is blatantly false.
Anyone with over a gnats brain capacity understands the forcing of the banks to loan housing money to people not qualified was the first domino pushed over in this current crisis. Who is to blame there? I would say just about everyone on both sides of the isle.
I can easily see how the average Joe who is busy fighting for the next house payment, dinner on the table for his 2 kids, wife, dog and cat could easily be seduced into a false calm. YES THE GOVERNMENT is the only one who can fix this.
Once the dust settled and my ‘ordinary citizen’ mindset lifted and ‘logic, reality and common sense’ crept back in I found myself saying HOGWASH!
THIS CAN NOT WORK. It does not take rocket science. Are not these people smart enough to understand this?
The answers are these:
1. Yes they do.
2. No they don’t
3. They do not care.
All of those answers make everyone supporting this particular bill a governmental FLOP.
None of those bode well for the USA citizen … NONE of us.
This is the bottom line.
I have always considered myself a share the wealth spender … meaning I kept my money churning … buy, buy, buy … whatever, whenever, wherever. Need it or not. I AM NOT RICH … probably as average as anyone. My husband says I am witless where money is concerned. From his perspective (the very conservative investor) he is absolutely right.
I want to scream at Obama … don’t you get it you half-wit? (I know name calling is not very nice but it is what I feel)
I as a citizen who is very free to spend … I REFUSE TO SPEND ONE DIME on anything but a necessity for now.
I DO NOT TRUST YOU!
I DO NOT TRUST THE BANKS!
I CERTAINLY DO NOT TRUST THE STOCK MARKET!
Now maybe it would be wise to understand that one grandmother may not be a bother to you and your stimulus want/need … but there are millions of us out here who think JUST LIKE ME.
I trust one thing … ME … MY ABILITY TO SURVIVE IN SPITE OF YOU!
I only hope there are enough of ME’s out there to withstand, kick, scream and stop you in orchestrating our destruction.
The biggest obstacle we (like me) face is the disbelief and denial that any of this could happen here in the USA.
Wake up folks … you are seeing this (up close and personal) for the first time on this level in our history.
If “we the people” do not quell this socialistic take over then none of us have anyone to blame but ourselves.
Here is what you face.
THERE ARE NOT going to be CREATED EVEN 500,000 jobs in the next few months. Instead you will see MORE SOUND SOLID business fail. What is passed so far WILL NOT create jobs immediately. We are no longer a nation creating much of anything. We are at the mercy of China, Mexico and any number of other countries for a good part of our food.
What is going to happen when those shortages begin to happen?
You think it can not happen here to us in the USA?
Well think again!
My brother said something interesting the other day.
“People think I am crazy for preparing for the worst … I tell them I would rather be prepared and nothing happen than have it happen and be stuck.”
Have you all considered maybe the WORST never visits those prepared?
The worst of what is happening here is NOT how indebted our children and grandchildren are going to be when this is all over.
THE WORST IS OUR GOVERNMENT IS RUNNING RENEGADE AGAINST 67% WILL OF THE PEOPLE AND NO ONE IN THE GOVERNMENT IS PAYING CARES.