Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Gerrymandering Conressional Districts

Why is it that the Democrats / Liberals / Progressives always express a fear that the Republicans will behave the way they do?

With the Gubernatorial seats gained by the Republicans, the Democrats were expressing a fear and concern that the new redistricting that will occur will be "gerrymandered".  How about we take a look at how the districts are set up in a state whose governorship is traditionally Republican vs one that is traditionally Democrat and see if and where gerrymandering occurs.

Texas Congressional districts are all pretty much in block format.  The state divided into districts by population without reference to the prevailing political affiliation of the populace.

Massachusetts Congressional districts on the other hand, are a bit more artistically drawn.  This one looks a lot like somebody through paint balloons at a wall. The 4th Congressional district is particularly interesting.

Less there remain any doubt as to where gerrymandering of congressional districts occurs, just look at CA 38th Congressional district.  If you believe there was no gerrymandering in the setup of that district I have some carbon credits to sell you.

Whenever the Democrats have an outcry about what the Republicans might do, you can usually be sure that the Democrats have already done it.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Deregulation Explained Through Wal-Mart and Target

I haven't written a blog in many months but the Regulation Vs Deregulation debate has inspired me once more.  There is much debate going on in sound bites from both sides of the political aisle, but this is not really an issue that can be fully comprehended in snippits of 15 seconds or less.

Pretend for a moment that this debate was not going on in Washington but in the board room of Wal-Mart and that Target was the government of another country.  Also pretend that you (the customer) are a business.

You need to go shopping and both Wal-Mart and Target carry what you need.  The price is nearly identical but you go to Wal-Mart for the sake of convenience.  You arrive and get your cart but to your surprise you are handed a survey to fill out as you shop.  You are also informed that this is not optional but a requirement to complete checkout.  You comply but find that check-out takes much longer.  The next time you go you find that in order to control traffic in the aisles, arrows have been painted on the floor.  Following them is not optional.  You follow the arrows, filling out the survey as you go, walking much farther than you intended and find that the lines are backed up so far that you can't even see the register.  Frustrated you wait because guards are there to hand out tickets should you abandon your cart and shop elsewhere.  When you finally arrive at the register you discover that the cost of everything has risen to cover the cost of enforcing the new rules so that Wal-Mart is now much more expensive than Target. 

On your next shopping trip where do you go?

In the Wal-Mart executive offices, the board scrambles to find a way to get back their market share.  Their brilliant idea is to lay down more rules for their shoppers.  They also wage a marketing campaign stating that they are for order and protection of their customers through these new rules -- because the shoppers havent been behaving right you know -- while Target offers no protection and just wants a free for all with shoppers brawling in the aisles.

Would you continue to shop at Wal-Mart?  If not, how can you not expect a business to seek other alternatives?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Arizona's Request For Documentation

The new law in Arizona which so many are afraid will lead to a police state, simply gives the police the freedom to ask for legal status when a person is stopped for investigation for another crime or violation.  This has people outraged, but why?

Their fear that legal immigrants will be harrassed or thrown in jail for the failure to show their documentation is unfounded.  At least if the legal immigrants are following the requirements of their residency.  This is because it is a requirement of all those immigrants granted legal residence to carry their residency card with them AT ALL TIMES.  They must do so until they are granted citizenship.  Therefore, if they are fulfilling that requirement and are asked for proof of their legal residence, they'll have it to show and then be on their merry way.

I don't understand how identifying and deporting those people who should not be here is a bad thing.  I really don't.  I have to prove I have a lisence to drive if a traffic cop stops me, so how is this any different?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

A Real Reform Bill

In honor of the tax day tea parties and Bob Beckel's statement that he has not heard a single tea party person indicate how spending would be cut or the deficit reduced (I guess Bob's gone deaf) I am reposting this blog from December.

While on vacation I was discussing politics with my father, which I always do, and we came up with a Congressional reform bill. This bill was written by two process improvement specialists but we would love your input on it. If you like what we have come up with, please pass it along. If you have any suggestions on anything that needs to be added or changed, please leave a comment to that effect. I will be sending this bill to my Congressmen and encourage you to do the same.

To the purpose of Congressional reform, reduction of federal debt and elimination of wasteful, and unnecessary, spending the following provisions must be implemented.

Section 1: The Allocation of Dollars for the Federal Budget.

There will be no automatic budget increases for any department. All departments, excepting the department of defense, will initially receive a 20% budget reduction from their previous year’s allowance. There will be an additional 5% decrease each year for the next 5 years.

Any department or area under the Executive Branch which performs a function designated to the Legislative Branch by the Constitution will be immediately defunded.

The White House budget is included in the above reductions. All Czarships will be immediately terminated and any federal dollars allocated to those Czarships will be returned to the treasurey to reduce the debt.

No money designated for one purpose may be directed to another.

No funding request may be added to a bill less than 4 business days prior to the vote. Also, all funding requests must be directly related to the primary objective of the bill.

Any funding bill, or any line added to a funding bill, must be for the benefit all of citizens. Any item within a bill which directs federal funds to a single state or a pair of states is prohibited in all cases except for national disaster relief. However, the theory of man-made global warming does not now, nor will it ever, fall under the category of natural disaster. Any funding to address damage resulting from an act of war or a terrorist attack is to be considered for the benefit of all citizenry even if the damage is limited to a single state.

To enforce the aforementioned stipulations, there must be executive authority for a line item veto.

Section 2: The Reduction of the Size of the Federal Government

All government agencies created in the last 3 years will be immediately eliminated. There will be an additional reduction of 2 agencies per year for the next 20 years.

One agency may be combined with another agency to meet this reduction. However, in the event of combined agencies, their budget becomes 75% of the combined dollars.

No new government agency may be created without a two-thirds positive majority vote in both houses. The creation of the agency can only be raised for a vote when the first 5 years of funding has been appropriated and the method by which it will be funded must be included in the bill for the agency’s creation.

Section 3: Compensation for Federal Employees Including Congress and the White House

Congress may not exempt themselves from any law, mandate, regulation or legislation of any kind which they impose on the general citizenry.

Travel will be paid out of federal funds only when it directly relates to the people’s business. Family members may join Congress, the vice president or the president upon a business excursion, but no public funds may used for the expenses of the family members. Any exception to this policy must receive a unanimous vote from the Senate appropriations committee.

Congress will no longer be able to vote themselves a pay raise or an increase in their discretionary spending allotment. Their pay and discretionary spending allowance will be directly tied to the GDP of the nation. Their pay will be based on their performance and the growth of the organization they lead just as it is done in the private sector. Each year their pay will be evaluated against the GDP. If the GDP increased, their pay will raise at half the rate of increase. Should the GDP decrease, their pay will be reduced by twice the rate of decrease. For example, if GDP raises 6%, then Congress will receive a 3% increase in pay and their discretionary spending allowance; if GDP drops by 6% then Congress will receive a 12% reduction in pay and discretionary spending.

The pay received by federal employees may not exceed the comparable pay in the private sector by more than 10%.

All federal employees will be held to an increase of the lesser of 2% or the cost of living increase until the federal debt is paid. This excludes those whose current pay exceeds 10% of the comparable pay in the private sector as they will receive no pay raise until the private sector rises to their level.

Section 4: Elimination of the Federal Debt

All excess revenue either not designated to a department or not utilized by a department will be applied directly to the federal debt. The utilization of these funds for any other purpose will require a two-thirds majority vote in both houses.

Section 5: Taxation Protection

No individual making an income may be exempted from paying income taxes.  The tax rate will be immediately reduced to 11% across the board for all individuals and 12% for corporations.  This has been shown to generate the same revenue as the current method.

Section 6: Term Limits

A Constitutional amendment will be ratified which limits the Congressional terms to 3 in the House of Representatives and 2 in the Senate. Additionally, after meeting the limit in one house, they may not run for another position for at least 2 years.

I believe that these provisions would force our government to become more efficient and effective. Please let me know your thoughts and ideas.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Cost of Public Education

As many states face serious budget deficits and teeter on the edge of bankruptcy, the funding of public education has come under scrutiny.  While some cry foul and list education as a sacred cow, I'm all for looking at how this service can be delivered better, cheaper and more efficiently.

Recent statistics list the US as the third highest in spending for education with $7,764 per secondary school student.  However, in Math and Science the US student perform far below other countries that spend less.  We are 10th in those categories and a distant 10th at that.

I've been hearing a lot about paying teachers more and even had a conversation with a woman currently in school to become a teacher who was excited about Obama paying off her student loan.  When confronted with my objection to paying the balance of a loan she chose to take out, she replied that it was the least we could do for our children's education.  Poppycock!  The least we can do is give them a quality education which is currently not happening.

Let's do something unthinkable for a moment and really do the math on this.  If we're spending $7,764 per student and we have a classroom size of 30 students then we are spending $271,740 per classroom.  The teachers make about $30K per year but we can double that to include benefits and salaries for bureaucrats.  So that would leave us $211,740 per classroom.  We have the books that must be supplied but many of these are re-used.  Calculating a text book cost of $50 would still only be $1,500.  Then there are maintenance costs and the bus drivers and such but does that make up the remaining $210K per classroom?

Even for a moderately sized school of 250 students per grade, this would equate to $7 MILLION dollars for 4 years of students.  That is $7 Million spent on something other than the books and the teachers.  This means that only 22% of the money allocated to education is actually being spent on educating.  What in the world is the other 78% of the money being spent on?

The main focus of improving education and controlling spending should be around that 78% of the dollars.  Where's the money going, how is it being spent, is it adding to the quality of the education of the students, etc.  With the current situation we could throw more and more money at the problem and never have any of it trickle down into the actual classroom. 

We keep hearing that with budget cuts the government will have to cut teachers.  Really?  Why?  Especially considering that the teachers are only 22% of the budget.  Whey don't we do some serious cutting in the remaining 78%?  Why is it that when it comes to educating our children, the last consideration given is the actual process of educating them?  I'm all for paying great teachers more money, but that doesn't mean we should have to pay more in taxes.  It appears that there are TONS of places that the education budget can be slashed. 

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Poster Child For Obama's Injustice

In order to make his political points, Obama has trotted out one sob story after another, many of which turned out to be untrue.  He talks about redistribution and more justice in the tax code but I have a poster child of my own to display.  This is a person who represents everything that this country is supposed to be about and I ask you to make your own determination of whether Obama's policies are fair to her.

Let's call her Jane.

Jane is 29 years old and has worked hard her entire life.  She recently completed 2 different masters degrees at 2 different colleges in 2 different states simultaneously.  She did all this while holding down a job AND serving in the National Guard.  Nobody handed her the education, she worked her butt off for it for years after making the decision to improve her life.  Compare her to John who partied all the way through high school, has no ambition beyond his minimum wage job at which he does just enough to get by.  Instead of working to improve his situation he spends his free time out partying with friends or playing Nintendo.

Each of these two made their own decisions about what their life would be as each was free to do.  Now I ask you this, is it fair for Jane to have to pay taxes while John does not?  Is it fair that Jane now has to subsidize John's medical insurance?  Is it fair that Jane has to subsideze John's grocery bill through food stamps?  Is it fair that Jane's hard work will now fund John's apathy?

Is this really what we call justice in this country?

And yes, Jane actually exists.

Is It Possible For A Supreme Court Justice To Be Too Conservative?

With justice Stephens retiring there is a lot of talk about who will replace him and whether or not they'll be too liberal (high probability), but with this discussion came talk of the Democrats in the Senate objecting to nominees who were too conservative.  I had to ask myself if it's even possible to be too conservative in that position.

What is considered conservative in the Supreme Court?  That would be a strict adherence to the writings and intent of the Constitution and all it's amendments.  If that's the definition then how can they be too conservative?  If they read the Constitution so strictly that they interpret it to mean something it doesn't, then they're no longer conservative but liberal again. 

What I don't understand, and probably never will, is how appointing somebody who believes in the original intent of the Constitution to a job whose sole role is to interpret the original intent of the Constitution and determine whether a law falls within those guidelines or not can be a bad thing.  How is there any justification for a stance of hiring somebody for that job who DOESN'T hold to the original intent of the Constitution?  What's the point of having a Constitution if we can stray from it as long as the court says it's ok?

I admit that I'm a Constitutionalist and I believe the country would be in much better shape if the entire Supreme Court was now and always had been made up of justices that bordered on being too conservative.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Commerce Clause and the 9th Amendment

When the Constitution was originally drafted the anti-federalists opposed the document because it didn't list protections for the individuals.  The federalists who supported ratification didn't think a bill of rights was necessary because the powers of the government were specified.  They saw no reason to specify what would be protected when there was nothing in the Constitution that stated the government could regulate it.  The federalists feared that a Bill of Rights would specify only some rights and leave others with the interpretation that it was not a right and open to government influence.  In this debate, both sides have been proven to have valid points.

Alexander Hamilton stated that there was no need to specify a freedom of the press because there was no power given to regulate the press, but is there any doubt in anybody's mind that Congress wouldn't hesitate to invoke the commerce clause to regulate the press?  There's no doubt in mine.  Congress uses the commerce clause to justify absolutely everything they do.  Considering that newspapers are purchased in states other than where they are printed, Congress would view this as interstate commerce and available for regulation.  In this case the anti-federalists demands for a list of protected rights was absolutely justified.

However, we are also seeing where the government and the judges are interpreting the Bill of Rights to only grant those rights specified, so the federalists were right as well.  The 9th amendment was supposed to protect all rights not enumerated in the Bill of Rights by stating "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."  The intent of this amendment was to ensure that Congress or the president did not take one of their powers and interpret it to cover absolutely everything, but the courts pay little to no attention to the amendment because it doesn't specify certain rights. 

The courts, unable to determine what human rights are or should be, disregard the Constitutional amendment which is supposed to further restrain our government from infringing on our rights through expansions of their own power.  This is sad considering that the information on the intent of the amendment is easily found and interpreted, but then again, what influence does the intent of our Constitution actually have on our judicial system?  Not much.

So what are some of the unenumerated rights that the 9th amendment is supposed to protect?  The right to privacy is one that has been determined via this amendment, but how about the right to spend your own money how you want and on what you would like?  A government mandate on the purchase of insurance is a clear violation of the 9th amendment in that situation.

Isn't it funny how we have an amendment specifically designed to protect us from Congress' belief that they can regulate absolutely everything about our lives, and nobody pays attention to it?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A New Low in Legislation Marketing

We've been seeing more and more ads garnered to gather support or opposition to not just politicians, but for individual pieces of legislation.  I'm pretty hard to offend so most of these ads, even the most blatantly misleading, pretty much roll off my back, but I just saw one that has even me angry and disgusted with these marketing ploys.

The commercial starts out with a soldier awarded the purple heart in Iraq talking about what the soldiers are facing.  He then goes into a description of a specific ammunition designed to pierce military armour and that it was designed in Iran.  Next he begins talking about oil and that our dependence on foreign oil sends money to Iran to design and manufacture this ammunition and design others just as deadly.  Had this then gone in to an add for alternative energy sources I would have been fine with it, but instead of being about research for new sources of fuel, it went in to why we need the cap and trade legislation.

I was sitting alone in my own home and yet felt compelled to yell at the tv, "that's disgusting" though there was nobody to hear.  The idea of trying to drum up support for a bill -- which has already been attempted in England and was shown to actually increase carbon emissions and raise costs -- by stating that a vote against the bill is a vote to kill our soldiers is absolutely horrifying.

Can this be described as anything but disgusting?  So those who object to the liberal policies are cooks, racists, nut jobs, violent, stupid and now want to murder our soldiers?  Oh hell no.

Unfortunately I didn't catch who put out the ad because I have old eyes, but whoever they are they should be ashamed of themselves.

The Loss of an Honorable Man

My Uncle, Merl Wilhelm, passed away in the wee hours of the morning, and as with any loss, this has prompted me to re-evaluate my perspective.  I write often about the leaders of our nation, but today I realized that men like my uncle are the true leaders and that people like him, not a politician, are the ones who shape our lives and lead the way.

A man of strong and unwavering faith, Merl showed many the way to walk in the Christian faith.  He was a man of infinite generosity and had a capacity to love which was truly awe inspiring.  He and his wife, Ethel, opened their home to children in need by becoming foster parents and embraced each child as their own.  But you didn't have to move into the house to be pulled in as part of the family.  Merl embraced one and all and adopted them into his extended family.  His own family growing up was large as he was one of the youngest of 13 boys with a girl finally coming as the last child, but that family with all of it's expansion of nieces and nephews, even when added to the family he married into which was not inconsiderable, could never rival the size of his honorary family.

With a round belly and a long white beard, Merl was perfect to play Santa Clause and it was a role he gladly filled for as long as he was physically able.  He made such a great Santa that even out of costume children would walk up and ask if he was Santa and, with his generosity and love, it was the perfect part for him to play, but Merl went far deeper than that.  He was a true leader as he worked to show those of us in the next generation how to behave, what was expected of us, and most importantly that we were responsible for ourselves as well as those around us.  Though we were all greatly loved, we weren't molly coddled.  He knew that we needed direction and guidance if we were to grow into the adults that we needed to be, and he gave it.  He led by example but took a real hands on approach as well.

I was very lucky to have great people as my role models growing up and Merl was only one of them, but he was an important one.  I learned much from my parents and my grandparents and I would not dimish their influence on me for anything, but the loss of Merl has caused me to examine his influence on me and these are the things that I learned from this great leader of our nation. 

There is never a question of whether or not to help somebody in need, the question is only how.
It is amazing the wounds that a smile and a bear hug can heal.
Family is so much more than a blood tie.
Knowing there is someplace you are always welcome is sometimes all it takes to get you through a crisis.
A real Christian is neither pious nor self-righteous and seeks no recognition for the help he gives.
There is no such thing as too many people to love.
In order to help others you must first be able to take care of yourself.
Though you may disagree with the choices of the people you love, it is no reason to stop loving them.
Kindness is a commodity that will always be required and which we rarely have enough of.

Merl Wilhelm was a great man and a great leader who will be sorely missed by the hundreds of people whose lives he touched and influenced and my words are wholely inadequate to truly capture how great that was.  As a nation we need more people like Merl to serve as our leaders to shape the next generations. 

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Capitol Punishment on Higher Education

The novel Capitol Punishment is set in the not too distant future and illustrates where we will be if we progress down the path of the last decade.  The novel actually addresses the current debate over the government taking over the student loans and attempting to socialize higher education.  Here is an exerpt from the novel as it describes what happens when the government takes this over.

"...When they arrived at the desired museum within the massive complex, Daniel prepared to just walk right on in as he had the last time he’d visited, but that had been years ago, when the museums were still free. They had been under Federal Government ownership for nearly three years, along with most other museums and all other parks in the nation.

City and state parks were all now considered federal land and any proceeds went to the Federal Government while the maintenance costs were absorbed by the state. Not surprisingly, the quality of the parks and museums had deteriorated. The Federal Government had made the argument that with the entrance fees added on to the current donations, the museums could help to fund the Promotion of Higher Education Act. Considering that museums promoted education, it was only right that their admissions should pay for the higher education that Congress had deemed a right to all.

Daniel had initially supported the idea of the government paying for college for all students, but as with any government program, the costs had skyrocketed, the quality of the education had plummeted, and fraud and abuse of the system was rampant. The schools no longer had to be competitive and the costs just continued to rise. Since neither students nor their parents were spending their own money for this education, the cost of it no longer mattered. When the program was found to cost three times what was estimated, Congress turned to the parks and museums as a source of revenue.

Eminent domain is what they had used to simply take over all of these places, and they had based the revenue gain on the current volume of visitors. It had never occurred to them, not even for a moment, that attendance for the Smithsonian would decline when it was no longer free. The admission fees had started out fairly low, but were periodically raised as the powers that be realized that revenue fell far below projected, while the cost of the new program continued to rise. So they’d adjust the ticket price, and even fewer people would go, and the revenue generated would drop even further.

Now it cost them eighty-four dollars each to enter the Smithsonian, and that was for a single museum. They could have purchased an all access pass for the low, low bargain price of two hundred forty-nine bucks. What a deal."

Senator Claire McCaskill and Jobs

I follow Claire McCaskill on Twitter because I just can't get enough of what passes for logic in her world.  Yesterday she posted a rather sarcastic message stating "Why do I get the distinct impression that some Americans will be disappointed if the job growth continues its recent positive trend? weird."

She actually believes that we should be happy that the vast majority of the jobs created are in the government?  The private sector has lost 3 million jobs while the government has gained 119K jobs.  Now there is definitely something to be excited about.

This is all at the same time that Obama and his lock-step administration are waging a war on corporations and spreading the message that profits are bad. 

After hundreds of billions of government spending to create jobs, we should all be grateful that the unemployment has stabilized at over 9%?  Do I have that right Claire?

All I can say is that I'm really sorry that this sorry excuse for a representative of the people isn't up for re-election this year. 

Friday, April 2, 2010

Why Republicans Suck Too

The lefties trying to take over the country obviously don't understand the people they were elected to govern, but the Republicans are hardly an option we're happy to vote for.  The Republicans don't really appear to understand us either.

Though they'll tout the principles they think we want to hear, they don't make much of an effort to live by them and they are just as quick to forget they type of people that make up the majority of this great nation.  What made Reagan such an exceptional leader was that he got it, he understood.  He reminded us of what made us great and celebrated those unique and inherently American characteristics we possess, but this is not what the current Republican party is doing. 

How on earth can a politician believe that he can lead a country, a state or a district he doesn't understand?

I don't want to be lectured to, controlled or even pacified.  I want to be inspired.  I want somebody to stand against the current out of touch idiots in Washington and say that we are a nation who leads, not one who follows.  That we bow to no one.  That our Constitution is the greatest political document ever written and that, when adhered to, results in the finest form of government the world has ever seen.  That a people free to make their own decisions will always work together to improve their situation.  That a man in control of his own destiny will set a higher bar for himself than his government could ever set for him and is far more likely to achieve it.  That we are a nation of self-reliant, hard working people who do not need a nanny to care for them, but who are dedicated to caring for each other.  That we are a generous people and the individual citizens are better at recognizing worthy causes than a politician could ever be. 

I want somebody to show the glaring distance between where this administration is taking the country and where the majority of it's citizens reside.  However, I may as well want to win the lottery as my odds are better for the lottery than they are of finding a politician who actually gets it and can articulate it.  And I don't buy lottery tickets.

Instead of this inspiration we have a Repbulican party that stands as firm as milk toast and is even less appetizing.

Stranger Than Fiction

Congress has paid as much attention to their oath to protect and defend the Constitution as Jesse James paid to that fidelity clause in his wedding vows; and we need to follow Sandra Bullock's lead and kick the bums out.  But will we still be able to do that when our leaders have finished fundamentally transforming our nation?

As I watch what is unfolding in our nation I can't help but believe that our country has been flipped ass over tea kettle as my grandmother used to say.  Our elected officials now view themselves as our parents, the voice of authority telling us how we should live, what we should eat and how to spend our money.  The point they miss is that WE are the voice of authority.  They work for us and we are the ones given the power to punish them, not the other way around.  But punishing us they are.

If you dare to speak out you are villified.  If you tell the truth about the impact of legislation you are called before Congress for a "familly meeting."  We are fined for engaging in behavior that they believe is bad for us.  None of this is within their authority to do.  We are the equivalent of a parent with an out of control teenager and is it really any wonder considering that we've done little to discipline them in the past.  Now, as with a teenager, it may be too late.

Yes, we can vote them out, but they know this and are taking steps to fix it.  Do we really think wide spread amnesty and returning the right to vote to convicted felons is anything but a ploy to load the ballot box?  Just as FDR attempted to stack the Supreme Court in order to get his New Deal passed, the Obama administration is attempting to stack the vote to turn us into a totalitarian socialist nation which would make Hugo Chavez weep with joy.  Then what will happen?

We have millions of people out protesting now and they are being marginalized, disregarded, ridiculed and villified.  Unlike the lefties these are not people who protest as a hobby much as we would knit or read, but people who have to really be upset before they set aside the knitting, pick up a sign and head to the streets.  So when these patriotic citizens, desperate to preserve the Constitution and all that has made us great are denied their voice, what will they do?  That is a question that has plagued me for years.

I don't believe that Constitutionalists are the type of people who will take to the streets with guns and molotov cocktails, but neither are they a group of people who will sigh in resignation and just give up without a fight.  So what will happen?  My idea is that they will go underground.

Years ago I had an idea for a novel where a group decided that the only way to save the country was to wipe out Congress and start fresh.  As I watched events unfold I figured I'd better get off my ass and put it in fiction before it became fact.  I believe I barely made the cut.  In the novel Capitol Punishment a large group of people are determined to save the country in just such a way and have found the means to do it.

Geneticist Samantha Mallard has lived her life in a lab, separated from the world, sequestered in her shell and afraid of what would happen if she ever stuck her head out. Then an attempt is made on her life and she does the only thing she can do – she packs up her laptop, her suitcase and her three-legged cat and she runs. Praying for help, but fearing it will not come, she contacts the only man she has ever loved, tabloid journalist Daniel Callahan. While working to discover why Samantha, a timid scientist was targeted for murder, their investigation leads to something far more shocking; an imminent and potentially cataclysmic revolution.

The revolution is being waged by a subversive group of outraged citizens determined to punish our lawmakers with lethal force. They have issued a death sentence on corrupt, power hungry politicians and there will be no stay of execution.

Though unable to find assistance from any quarter, overwhelmed by the magnitude of their task and positive of their inadequacy to achieve it, Samantha and Daniel refuse to give up. Drawing upon strength they didn’t know they possessed, they persevere down a path that will teach them about life, love, each other, and most importantly themselves.

Can these ordinary citizens save Congress from the wrath of the people? Should they even try?

The novel is now available on Amazon and if you oppose big government, fear the direction the country is taking, wonder where we will end up and what we can do to prevent it, then you'll enjoy this novel.
I would love to see every member of Congress inundated with copies of this book and I'd be saying that even if I wasn't the one who wrote it.

It's The Constitution Stupid!

There's the famous sign that Bill Clinton had in his office that said, "it's the economy, stupid!"  Well, it's still the economy, but that's being nudged into second place by The Constitution and all I have to say is that it's about time.

What the government doesn't seem to understand is that though they may disregard the constitution and relegate it to a meaningless piece of memorabelia, the American people still believe that it is the cornerstone of who we are and what our government is supposed to be. 

The trampling of the constitution will no longer be allowed by the majority of the American citizenry so while the economy is still a driving force in people's opinions of their leaders, it is now also the Constitution, stupid.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

But States Mandate Car Insurance

I've heard the state mandate for car insurance trotted out so much as a justification or a precedent for the mandate of coverage that it makes me groan.  However, like most talking points, both sides are missing a big issue.

Yes, it's a state mandate vs a federal mandate.
Yes, it's for the priviledge of owning a car and if you don't want to pay for insurance you don't have to buy a car.

The one they are missing is that you only have to carry liability insurance.  The mandate is to carry coverage for injury you may do, not to yourself, but to somebody else.  You can totally take the risk of crashing your car, doing injury to yourself and losing the value of your vehicle with no safety net.  The states haven't mandated that you cover those situations.  The mandate is to ensure that if I hit you with my car, I can pay your medical bills and you don't go bankrupt from the medical bills incurred by my actions.  That mandate is all about responsibility and accountability for what you do to somebody else, not for the government to tell you how to take care of yourself.

For me, the comparison between the auto insurance mandate and the health insurance mandate are no comparison at all for that reason.

Obama Says Profits Are Bad

In justifying the take over of the student loan business from the private sector, Obama says that billions of dollars that could have helped send more students to college went to padding the company's profits.  So profits are bad and government is good. 

Let me ask this, which do you think is higher; a company's profit margin or their corporate tax rate?  Which do you think costs the consumer more?  Considering that the federal corp tax rate is 35% I know my answer to that question.  Adding some of the state taxes of 10% in,  we now have a 45% tax rate built into the cost of our products.  But is Obama speaking out about taxes cutting into the ability to give loans?  Nope.  It's the profits, and we all know what stellar years for profits the banks have been having.

What Obama is hoping to do is rile up anger against companies for being so inconsiderate to their consumers as to actually make a profit.  Oh the horror, oh the travesty of social justice, oh the shame.  Profits I am sure have murdered innocent children, taken food from the mouths of the starving and oppressed the masses into unrelenting poverty. 

This idea that the government should take industries over so that companies aren't "padding their profits" is socialism 101.  He's unapologetic in his belief that the government should run everything and yet he wonders why we're upset and angry.

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Tea Partiers Aren't The Racists

On O'Reilly tonight I was dismayed by Al Sharpton saying that a sign reading "take back our country" was racist.  "What do they mean by 'our' country?" Sharpton asked.  Then I was further dismayed to hear Juan Williams say that we have to consider that the president is a black man and we should be careful about what we say for this reason.

What bothers me here is that Al Sharpton, Juan Williams and most of the hard left see Obama as a black man first and the president second.  And yet the Tea partiers are the racists?  I find it very disturbing to hear that we should meter what we say based on the skin color of the person we're talking to or about.  How can we ever get past the very real, and very horrible problem of racism when we have people telling us that we MUST consider the race of the person and adjust our words accordingly.

It shouldn't matter what color skin the leader has or anybody else for that matter.  We shouldn't see Obama as a black man first and the president second.  As much as I hate it, the man is the president and no assumptions should be made that opposition to his policies has anything at all to do with his race without hard evidence.  The idea that somebody can cast such a broad interpretation of an innocuous statement as to claim it is racist based solely on the color of his skin is tragic, insulting and racist in itself.

I refuse to see an individual by their color first.  Each man and woman will be judged by their actions, and claiming racism where it doesn't exist is keeping a wound open while the rest of us are desperately trying to make the wound heal.

Shame on Al Sharpton and shame on Juan Williams.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Why I'm Angry

I, like so many others, am angry with our so called leadership right now.  I'm even angry that none of the pundints or the politicians seem to understand why I'm angry.

I'm upset of course that they have refused to listen to the will of the people, but that's only fuel to a fire that was already burning a pure, blue flame.  I'm angry because of what is in the bill, but I seem to be seeing it from a different perspective than many others.  Perhaps because I am in the insurance business, and it is a business.  Why are we not looking at what is happening to the insurance companies within this bill instead of looking at the insurance benefits.

The government is now telling private companies what their rate for administrative costs are, what they can charge for their product, what rate of profit they can make, and that they can refuse service to nobody even if serving that person will be financiallly catastrophic.  Imagine for a moment that this was any business but an insurance company.

How would people react if this was the auto industry.  What would people think if Congress wrote a bill that said that auto companies could make no more than a 5% profit and have no more than 15% of the money made from car sales in their administrative costs?  How do you think the UAW would react to finding out that Congress had mandated how much their company could spend on their pay and benefits?  Especially if Congress also stated that they could only charge $15,000 for a new car and that nobody could be turned down for financing of that vehicle - which of course the auto company would have to provide.

In what alternate universe is this kind of government control of a private company an ok thing to do?  This is what the people and the corporations should be doing to Congress, not what Congress should be doing to the private sector.

Congress is the only application of this idea where the policy makes sense.  Allow a smile of bliss to drift over your face as you imagine that we had a limit on how many of our tax dollars could be spent on administration costs vs actual federal benefits.  Or what if Congress had a limit on how much they could collect in taxes - all types of taxes combined.  Wouldn't that be glorious?  This is how it is supposed to be; the people limiting Congress, not Congress limiting the people.

Is what is happening acceptable because of the industry chosen to control?  If so, what happens when it's an industry we don't want them to control?  The precadent will already have been set.  They are nudging us in the way they always do.  They expect us to say, "well it's the insurance industry so it's okay."  And why wouldn't they expect us to say that?  Isn't that what we always say?  Congress abdicated their legislative power to the EPA and we said, "well, it's for the environment so that's okay."  A new government agency is created to do the jobs the FBI and CIA are already supposed to be doing and grow the government hugely and we said, "well, it's for national security so that's okay."  The census is sent out asking questions that Congress does not have the constitutional authority to ask and we say, "well, they'll use it for statistics and good things so that's okay."

I'm tired of saying okay and I'm mad at myself and every other citizen who said it was okay for Congress or the president to overstep their constitutional bounds.  It's not okay for so much as a political toe nail or nose hair to poke or flutter over that constitutional line and we should be there, at that line, prepared to block an advance and facilitate a retreat.  We should be the firm guardians of our constitutional lines of power.

I'm angry because while we were supposed to be manning the Constitutional Battlements we were listening to our ipods or watching American idol and our castle of liberty has been stormed and the enemy is no longer at the gate but is inside the castle keep. 

I'm angry because too many people in this nation still think it's okay.  It's not okay.  It should never be okay and I for one will never stand by, shrug my shoulders and say "okay" to such things again.

The Progressive Version of the Declaration of Indpendence

We all know (or at least the conservatives all know) that the Declaration of Independence states that we are endowed by our creator with certain unalienable rights.  These being life, liberty and pursuit of happines.  We also know that the progressive / liberal / socialist / marxist folks are attempting to endow us with more.  So here is that portion of the Declaration of Independence as written by the progressives.

We hold these truths to be something we must teach you by any means possible, that most men are created equal but your governent leaders are the elite; that you are endowed by your government by certain rights which are subject to arbitrary change based on the whims of your leaders; that among these are life - unless you are viewed as inconvenient by the woman carrying you, liberty - unless we think you're doing the wrong thing with it, happiness through no effort of your own, purchasing a home whether you can afford it or not, healthcare, a job, food, higher education and the right to have somebody else pay your bills for you.  That to secure these rights we will rule you with an iron fist and ignore what you have to say unless you agree with us. 

Gee, what were our founding fathers thinking when they wrote THEIR version of this?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Congress is Surprised by Threats?

Let me begin by saying that I do not condone threats of violence against our Congressmen, even as much as my palms itch to smack each and every one of them into next week.  However, I find it questionable that Congress is shocked by these threats.

Nancy Pelosi even went so far as to say that "words matter" and threats have no place in our political process.  This is particularly interesting because it's the frustration with Congress not listening to the words of the people which is probably responsible for the current threats.  People are angry and frustrated and the avenue of dissent that is acceptable was ignored.  The people tried their very best to follow the accepted process and express their displeasure with the Health Care Insurance Reform bill.  They called their congressmen, they wrote letters, they sent e-mails, they showed up at protests and attended town halls.  All to no avail.  They were crying out their concerns to a Congress who had gone deaf.  Is it really any wonder that the rhetoric would ratchet up to a point that they hope will make congress listen?

Again, I do not condone this behavior, but I am also not in the least bit surprised by it.  Our voices and our votes are the only weapons we have against a government drifting towards tyranny.  When one of those weapons fail, it is only logical for people to find another.  The natural progression from rhetoric to violence when our elected officials refuse to represent the will of the people who elected them is the subject of my book, Capitol Punishment.  A people driven to extreme and violent measures by a Congress apathetic to the will of the citizenry.  Yes, I saw this coming.

Did Congress honestly believe that the people calling, writing and protesting would just shrug their shoulders and give up?  Do they really believe that we will allow our representatives to defy our will with impunity?  The vast majority of the people are satisfied with continuing to speak out and to use their vote in November to make a bigger statement, but there are always those on the edges who will take things farther. 

Is Congress shocked, or is this a poor, poor, pitiful me play by the Democrats?  I think the latter, but you decide.

Americans Need To Cowboy Up

Cowboy up.  Is there a phrase that more perfectly expresses who we as Americans used to be?  The people who would dust themselves off, get back on the horse and do what needed to be done, all without whining about it or crying out for government assistance.  Yep, we all need to cowboy up.

The cowboy image that we have in our minds is of a people who lived with a code of honor, worked hard for everything they had, helped those in need and fought against impossible odds for freedom from tyranny and oppression, whether that came from the government, criminals or the rich land owner.  They controlled their own destiny and the very idea of putting their lives into the controlling hands of others was more than just distateful, it was abhorant.  These were men who found it easier to admit to being the spawn of Satan than to tell their neighbors they were on the government dole. 

This is who we used to be, who some still are, and who we all need to be again.  A people who recognize that the only person who can change our position in life is us.  We need our leaders to remind of us our strengths, our individual power over our own lives and our generous spirit so that we are inspired to be the very best people that it is possible for us to be.

We need leaders who, though maybe not a cowboy, express the ideals of one.  The ideal that you ask not what your country (or your neighbor) can do for you, but what you can do for them.  The ideal that what you have should come from the sweat of your own brow, not somebody else's.  The ideal that if you want what somebody else has, you work your butt off to get it.  The ideal that you are grateful for what you have and not resentful of what you do not.

Unfortunately, at times we get a leader who looks like a cowboy, maybe even is a cowboy, but doesn't have the cowboy idea of compassion.  A cowboy knows that you have to learn the ropes and doing the job for you does not help.  They understand that real compassion means allowing somebody to fail and to learn and then being there with a hand to help get them back on their feet should they need it.  That telling somebody they can't do it on their own is the opposite of compassion, but a cruel life sentence of dependence on others.

A real cowboy held himself and others accountable for their actions.  Their honor dictated what was acceptable and what was absolutely not.  They were unafraid to confront somebody whose behavior was dishonest or dishonorable and if you were offended by that confrontation, well then, that was just too damn bad.  They absolutely did not reward people for that bad behavior.

The American people need to stop whining about the personal situation that their decisions got them into and stop demanding that the money another has earned subsidize their own lack of ambition or planning.  Yes, Americans need to cowboy up.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Voting Against A Ban On Pre-Existing Conditions

We've already heard the Democrat talking points about how Republicans want to vote against or repeal legislation that grants coverage for pre-existing conditions and extended coverage for young adults under their parent's plan.  Aren't they mean and nasty to want to rescind such wonderfully compassionate legislation.  I've already heard this from a progressive friend of mine.  (yes, I have one.)  But this is tantamount to offereing somebody a hot fudge sundae covered in maggots and cockroaches and then being shocked when they vomit on your shoes.

There is a bit of ice cream and hot fudge in the bill, but the maggots and roaches are far more plentiful.  Here is a list of just a few things that make the sundae not just unpalatable but quite revolting.
 - Stages a government takeover of the entire student loan business thereby eliminating more than 30,000 private sector jobs and adding further hardship to an already struggling banking industry.  (Bail them out so they don't fail and then steal their business - good plan)
 - Forces people to buy coverage they don't want and levies a fine on them if they don't.
 - Places an excise tax on Medical Equipment which will cause the cost of the equipment to rise.
 - Places a 40% tax on insurance companies which will be passed on to the customer.
 - Mandates that small business owners offer group coverage to their employees whether they can afford it or not.  Businesses will either fail or hire fewer workers in an already struggling economy.
 - Places a medical cost to administrative cost ratio on the Insurance companies which will define them as insolvent in all 50 states.
 - Mandates that Insurance companies will have to refund premium amounts in excess of the medical cost thereby allowing them no cusion for the years when medical costs exceed the premiums collected.
 - Sets up a government program to monitor administrative costs of the insurance companies so that while the admin costs of insurance goes down, the admin costs of the government skyrocket.
 - Limits the amount that you can put in your own FSA to $2,500 per individual.  This serves no purpose except for the government to tell you what you can do with your money.  The FSAs are used to pay for child care, co-pays, deductibles and non-covered medical expenses so what right does the government have to tell you how much you can have deducted from your paycheck to cover these things?
 - Places a cap on how high an insurance premium can be without considering the actual medical costs of the coverage.  And remember that they have left the companies no cusion to cover excess costs.  This is equivalent to telling GM that they cannot charge more than $20,000 for a car no matter what it is.  How well do you think that would work and how long do you think GM would stay in business?
 - Mandates that there can be no more than a 3% variation in premiums across the population which means that a healthy person who takes excellent care of themselves, eats right, exercises and doesn't smoke or drink has to pay more in their premium in order to cover the 400 lb, chain smoking, beer swilling couch potatoe down the street.  If the premiums can't be more than 3% different do you think the sick guy's will go down or the healthy guy's will go up?
 - This is my favorite - The states will have to increase the number of people on Medicaid and raise the Medicaid re-imbursement rate even though many of these states are fighting against mounting debts already.

In the last instance the supporters say, "but the federal government is going to pick up the tab for that," and they are - for a few years - and then it's all up to the states.  The only difference there is that they put the maggots under the ice cream instead of on top of it.

These are not Republican talking points but actual extracts from the Bill.  I read it.  Just some of it, not all of it, so I can only imagine what kind of disgusting additions are in the portions I didn't read.

This bill was supposed to be about health care reform and controlling the rising costs of care but all it addresses is insurance, and it raises the cost of that.  It does address medical equipment, but it raises the cost of that as well.  There are no measures within this bill which will actually address the rising cost of healthcare, and if you're suprised by that then you haven't been paying attention.

Call me crazy, but I prefer my hot fudge sundae without maggots and cock roaches.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Why Healthcare Reform Will Increase Premiums

Here is the reality in a nutshell.

Medicare is bankrupting the country because it doesn't collect enough in premiums to cover the benefits paid out.  Now our government is mandating that private insurance pay out more benefits.  In order to stay more solvent than Medicare, the premiums will have to increase at the same rate as the benefits paid.

One way to save Medicare is to increase the premiums to cover the benefits paid, (what a wild and crazy concept to take in more than you pay out) and then Medicare premiums would be just as high as private insurance.

Health Insurance Explained With Food

I like food - a lot - so it becomes a frame of reference for me with a lot of things, but there is a food reference which really helps to explain health insurance and why some of these new provisions have the potential to be disastrous.

An individual health insurance plan is like ordering off the menu.  You pay for what you as an individual are going to eat.  Your cost for the bill reflects what you are costing the restaurant to feed you.  The more you're going to cost them, the more you're going to pay.  A group insurance plan is like a buffet with the same price for every individual.  The buffet works because it's a balance between those who eat enough for 4 people against those who barely eat anything.  That's the insurance premium balance as well.  Those who are sick and will cost the insurance company thousands, hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars against the healthy people who cost the company nothing or next to nothing.  It balances and, as with a buffet, those who use less pay for those who use more.

However, with a buffet, everybody who uses it is paying for it.  Now imagine that the restaurant has to offer the buffet to people who can't pay for it because it's unfair that some people get the benefit of all you can eat while others do not.  Now the restaraunt has their balance thrown off and are feeding more people with no additional money coming in and no more food.  Some of these new people will also be eating in excess of the average and costing the company even more.  When this occurs, one of two things will happen at that buffet.  Either the cost will go up for those who pay for their meal, or the restaurant will be unable to cover the cost of the new eaters and go out of business.

This of course does nothing to really increase the availability of an all you can eat privilege for all.  It is still limited to how much food there is, how many seats the restaraunt has and the locations of them.  There are still those that will not be able to get all you can eat because there are simply not enough buffets to serve all of the people in the area.  Will the government then mandate that all restaraunts offer an all you can eat option thereby forcing them into bankruptcy?  Probably.

The insurance companies are all risk mitigation.  They exist to cover the cost of your health care.  If the costs you accrue rise, then the premium whose sole purpose is to cover those costs will have to rise as well.  The group policy is nothing but a buffet with the high cost of a few members being offset by the low cost of the majority of the members.  As you increase the number of high cost users without increasing the low cost members as well, the price for everybody goes up.  If you do all of this without increasing the number of doctors - and this new plan has the potential to actually decrease that number - you do nothing to improve access to health care.

What this bill does is give people access to health insurance but does nothing to give them access to health care.  It potentially has the opposite effect.  A health insurance card does nothing but take up space in your wallet if you can't find a doctor.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Sandra Bullock & Jesse James - The Ultimate Redistribution of Wealth

Does anything express the political ideals of California better than their divorce laws?  It's no fault and you split the assets down the middle.  That's it. 

The divorce is nobody's fault.  It failed but that can't be because of anything either party actually did.  Nobody should be blamed and nobody should have to take accountability.  Cheat on your wife with a tattooed tart and that's ok.  The destruction of your marriage isn't your fault.

The assets get split down the middle regardless of who made the money and who caused the divorce.  Oh, that's right, it's nobody's fault.  So not only did you cheat on your wife, but now you're entitled to everything she has earned through her hard work and dedication to her career.  The career she was off working while you were screwing the tattoed tart.  Talk about redistribution of wealth!

I'm fairly confident that there is a prenup involved in the Sandy and Jesse situation, but the news of their split did make me think of the CA divorce laws and their redistributive philosophy.

Does anybody know any rich, single men in CA that I can marry, cheat on and divorce?  I need some quick cash. 

Self-Preservation Legislation

Is there really any debate that Congress writes and passes legislation simply to prove that they have a job to do and therefore can keep the job they have?  We have been overladen with so much legislation which was written just for the purpose of showing that Congress has something to do.  The reality is that we as a nation would be much better off if Congress focused less on justifying their own position and more on what their job actually is.

The legislation of Congress has two main goals.  To preserve the safety and security of the union, and to ensure the rights and liberties of the citizens.  That's it.

The founding fathers and drafters of the Constitution recognized this and knew that there should be little for Congress to do.  Article I, Section 4, Paragraph 2 of the Constitution states that Congress has to meet once a year.  Once.  That's it.  Only one time each year.  That it was specified that they had to meet at all shows just how little the drafters believed that Congress would really be needed.  We would all be better of if Congress really did only meet once a year.

Instead of passing only the legislation needed to preserve the union and the liberties of her people, Congress has passed so much legislation that they passed legislation to delegate some of the legislating responsibilities.  And hasn't that served us all well.  They passed legislation to fix the problems caused by other legislation which was a result of even more legislation. 

Consider all the legislation that has been passed in the last 75 years and think about how much of that was actually critical to the preservation of the union and the liberties of the people.  There's not much of it.  There is some, but probably less than 1% of the total legislation written.  Now imagine if all of that legislation which did NOT have it's basis in those two categories were wiped from the books by a wave of Harry Potter's wand.  How much better off would we all be?  Especially considering that the vast majority of the legislation written not only does not serve the true purpose of Congress but actually defies it by intruding further and further into the personal liberties of the people.

We could disband Congress all together and it wouldn't make much difference in anybody's daily life.  That is if it weren't for the imbending bankruptcy the government is facing as the result of Congressional self-preservation legislation.  If only I had Harry Potter's wand.

Wouldn't it be nice to have a politician run on a platform of removing any legislation on the books which does not directly and primarily preserve the union and the liberties of the people.  Now there's a fantasy.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Deem and Pass the Buck

Congress will use any chicanery available to shove this bill down the throats of the American public.  The worst part of this whole thing is that we could have had healthcare reform if that's what they truly wanted.  Certain parts of the bill would have passed had they been voted on individually, but that's not what the Dems in Congress wanted.  They didn't - and don't - want reform.  They want a takeover.

They could still get reform if they would only do what the American public is asking them to do and step back, break the huge bill into smaller parts, and start over.  But no, they are going to revert to a policy that flies in the face of the specific instructions in the Constitution.

Representatives say that it is Constitutional, though it doesn't follow the very specific set of instructions in the Constitution, and that they've been using it since the 1930's and that it's ridiculous to believe that Congress would use an unconstitutional policy for that long.  Ridiculous? More like highly probable.  The Congress has shown so little respect for and adherence to the Constitution for so many years that the idea that they would institute policies defiant of the Constitution is the furthest thing from ridiculous.  The only reason they've gotten away with it for so long is that nobody knew about it because they've never used it on anything of this magnitude.  The idea of creating a new entitlement program which will bankrupt a country they have already relegated to the poor house and do it all without an actual vote is appalling, offensive and despicable.

And people wonder why I wrote a novel about Congress getting wiped out.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I Didn't Think It Was Possible

I thought I had reached my limit and couldn't get any more disgusted with our Government than I already was.  I was wrong.  With the Dee and Pass announcement the government has reached a new low in their shady deals and obvious belief in the stupidity of their constituents.

Generating a way to vote to pass the bill without actually voting on the bill will insulate at risk Congressmen and give them the cofidence to vote against their constiuency - or so Pelosi believes.  Do they honestly think that we will be any less irate at the passage of this pile of untreated sewage that they call healthcare reform?  Do they really believe that embattered Democrats running for re-election will be safe by saying, "well, technically I didn't vote for it."  Do they really believe that we'll sit back and shrug our shoulders as they shred the very Constitution they swore to uphold?  Unfortunately for us, perhaps too many people will. 

Our syste of governent works only as long as those in the governent adhere to the system.  It is time to kick anybody who does uphold their oath to support and defend the Constitution to the curb. 

It's time to clean House, and the Senate too!

Capitol Punishment

My novel, Capitol Punishment, is now available for sale here.

It is a story of average people driven to desperate measures to take back their country and two average citizens trying to stop them.  The plan, to remove the power hungry politicians from office in a single and targeted act of domestic terrorism which would change the face of the country and her government forever.

The question isn't just can the plot be stopped, but whether or not it should be stopped.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Weiner Is a Weiner

During an interview on Fox News, Anthony Weiner, the Congressman for NY 9th District, behaved in a matter which illustrates why so many people are so frustrated with politicians.  What was the behavior .... to blatantly and willfully mislead the public about what is happening.

Weiner stated that the Republicans are refusing to vote for any healthcare reform and are blocking the legislation to side with the insurance industry.  He began his answer to every question asked with this reminder.  This is so frustrating because it has been made very clear that there are reforms that the Republicans would like to pass but that they object (as most Americans due) to the All Or Nothing /  Take It Or Leave It bill that is being forced down the throats of the American people.

Both sides of the isle do this, but I'm so disgusted with the political spin which is nothing but lies and the willfull misleading of the American populace.  Then they have the audacity and unmitigated gall to wonder why we don't trust them and don't believe anything they tell us.

Only a politician (or a crazy person) could lie to you repeatedly and then wonder why you don't believe what they are telling you this time.

Just once I would love to hear a politician attempt to make their point and sway the hearts and minds of the people WITHOUT lying about the opposition.

Life Lessons From Children's Books

I finally watched Where the Wild Things Are last night and as I perused the trailer to decide whether or not I could trust the interpretation of the book I loved as a child, my mind took off on a wild tangent (as my mind often does) and I began thinking about how much I loved to read as a child - a love I brought with me to adulthood - and what was so special about those books.

Childrens books don't tell us that everything is wonderful.  They don't tell us that there are no winners and losers.  They don't try to scew our perspective as liberal leaders would like to do.  The great childrens books teach us about the hard and sometimes cruel realities of life in a gentle manner, and more importantly they teach us how to deal with these challenges with grace and dignity.  My tangent took me back to the Ramona Quimby novels by Beverly Cleary and all of those children on Klickitat St.  Romana's life wasn't perfect, but often stressful and difficult, which is why the books were good.  There was a lesson to be learned and Beverly Clearly was brilliant in teaching that lesson.

When I decided to go ahead and watch Where the Wild Things Are I decided to look for the lessons in that story and was shocked at what I found.  As I watched, the little boy Max reminded me more and more of Barack Obama.

Max shows up in the land of the Wild Things and at first begins destroying their village.  When confronted with it he claims to be King in order to save himself - a position he is wholely unqualified to fill.  As king he promises to make them all happy then procedes to build a Utopia.  Unfortunately he finds out that everybody has a different idea of what their Utopia is and that you can't make everybody happy.  He claims that all people will be equal but then gets questioned over why he is favoring some over others.  In order to bring the back together and heal the rift his leadership has caused, Max decides to separate them into good guys and bad guys and start slinging dirt at each other.  My favorite line was when he was deciding who was good and who was bad.  "I can't be a bad guy," he said, "I'm King.  I'm a good guy."  The dirt slinging of course does not bring them all together but drives them even further apart.

The main difference between the story and what is happening now is that little Max realized that his attempt to create a Utopia made the situation worse and not better.  He realizes that he is just a normal person and not qualified to lead and he steps down and goes home.

What I find so interesting is that Obama has failed to realize what we learned in a children's book.  You can't make everybody happy and you cannot impose your idea of happiness upon others.

Considering that the Producer of this movie was Tom Hanks, I do not believe the makers saw the same message I did.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

California's New Database

While $40 billion in debt and unable to meet the existing obligations of the government, the CA Senate Majority Leader proposes a new government program to create a database for identifying convicted animal abusers.  I love animals and the abuse of them makes me physically ill.  I believe that those who torture animals should be locked up in institutions and be subjected to the same toruture they inflicted.  I believe that punishment for abuse and neglect should be harsher, but I also don't believe that CA is in any condition to spend more money at this point.

Were the state in a sound financial situation and they were persuing this database, I wouldn't think anything of it.  I don't believe it can be fully effectual since many people give pets away for free and anybody on the register would just check the newspaper and get their pets from somebody without access to the register list, but if it would help at all and the state had the money to pay for it, then good for them for looking after our furry little friends.  However, CA is teetering on the edge of bankruptcy and currently can't meet the obligations to the people of their state much less the animals.

This database is simply one more illustration of how out of touch politicians are with economics and budgets.  How, when the state is in the financial situation it is, can anybody propose a new program to be paid for by the state?  It's absurdity at it's most glaring.

There should be nothing coming out of the California Legislature except ways to SAVE money and reduce the deficit, and yet they persist in suggesting new ways to spend money they do not have.  It's an epidemic in houses of politics across the nation and as yet no cure has been identified.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Obama Explaining One More Time

Poor President Obama must be horribly frustrated with his perceived stupidity of the American people.  In spite of polls, protests and outspoken citizens at town halls, the president believes that if we only understood the bill then we'd support it.  He can't even fathom that we actually do understand it and this is why we DON'T support it.  I wonder what it feels like to be the leader of a nation of people you consider to be absolute dolts.

He has thrown everything he has at a horrible healthcare reform bill that will increase spending, bankrupt the country, not cover everybody, do nothing on this urgent problem for four years after it is signed into law and will do nothing to bring the cost curve of health care down.  Gee, what's not to support?

One of my biggest problems with the bill is that analysis has already shown that 60% of every dollar for healthcare services is for administrative costs.  The fastest and most efficient way to bring down the cost of healthcare is to eliminate or at least mitigate administrative costs.  Does anybody with more than a single brain cell believe that the big government organizations which will be created as part of this bill actually decrease administrative costs for your healthcare?  I sure don't.

By failing to do adequate research around what is causing the rise in costs, they cannot effectively fix the problem.  This is proven by them increasing, via their big fix, the largest current cost in healthcare.

I'm Back

Sorry I've been gone so long but there has been a lot happening in my life.  My mother had double knee replacement surgery, my uncle has cancer which has progressed to the point where we will lose him soon, I've had house guests and I've been working on getting a book published.

The good news is that my mother is progressing well and my book is now for sale on Kindle.  I am now going to take the opportunity to shamelessly hawk my book as anybody who reads this blog would be the target audience.

"Capitol Punishment" - They synopsis:  At a time when those in power have shifted almost completely from serving the people to serving themselves, a revolution is brewing; but what if this revolution was not one of guns in the streets but one waged quietly, with a targeted plan respecting the value of human life? What if the first indication the nation would have of the revolution is a single act of such magnitude that it would change the face of the country and its government forever? And what if you, an average citizen, discovered this plan and faced the moral and ethical dilemma of whether to stop the revolution or allow those in power to reap what they have sown? What decision would you make? Tabloid reporter Daniel Callahan and geneticist Samantha Mallard are about to find out. Together they will embark on a journey filled with twists, turns and surprises which has them fighting for their lives, their country and each other.

I'm still awaiting the proofs of the hard copy but the novel is available on Kindle now.  I won't say it's great literature, but it is a fun read.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Fueling the Economic Engine

Obama told a group of small business owners that he acknowledges that government can't build the economy (he doesn't believe it but he acknowledges that they do) but the government can and should fuel the engine. Let me ask you this; does your engine run without fuel?

He gives the analogy saying something he thinks we want to hear but reveals the truth. He believes that the economy is dependent on the government to be the "fuel". A total crock. The government is not the fuel, it is that gunk that builds up in your fuel line and causes your engine to spit and sputter. Government is the sugar in your gas tank that seizes your engine, leaves you stranded on the side of the road in a blizzard and costs you a month's salary to fix. But Obama has made even that situation worse.

Unsatisfied with clogging up the lines, he's pushed the private sector away from the gas nozzle and decided to fuel our big diesel engine of an economy on bacon grease and horse manure. Now the spitting, sputtering, seizing and shuddering engine of our economy has developed a frightening knocking sound and is beginning to smoke. As those pushed from control of the fuel tank wave their arms and raise their voices begging for him to stop, Obama puts on his earmuffs, turns his back and shovels another load of manure in the tank. If this keeps up we'd better all duck and cover because when that engine blows, and it will if the government doesn't stop trying to fuel it, we'll all be covered in shit.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Forget Vegas - DC is Gambling for You

The president singles out Vegas yet again stating that you shouldn't plan a trip to Las Vegas instead of saving for your child's college tuition.  I find this really interesting as he is currently gambling away our futures and our children's futures for us.

He's displaying the classic gamblers philosophy in all of his leadership moves.  You have to spend money to make money so let's lay a wad of cash down and see what we can make.  The Stimulus Package was one big slot machine play.  They put in the cash, pulled the lever and prayed it came up jobs.  They missed the jackpot payoff  -- they didn't even get their investment back, but in traditional gambler characteristic they are itching to put in more cash and pull the lever again, praying this time they'll hit the jackpot.

Also in gambler style, he's refusing the admit that he's on a losing streak and instead is determined to "double down" on his agenda.  Borrowing more and more money to gamble away in the hope of a big payoff.  This is exactly the behavior that causes people to lose their life savings and their kid's college tuition at the tables.  But instead of bankrupting an individual or a family, Obama's addiction to gambling with our hard earned money is going to bankrupt us all.

His constant claims of how things have improved and what a great job they've done is tantamount to claiming you won $100 at the slots but failing to mention you lost $4,000 at Roulette.

Is gambling away our money just one more thing the government believes they can do better than we can?  In this case they may be right.  They certainly piss away a lot more of my money than I do.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Healthcare Vs Higher Education

Obama speaks repeatedly on the cost of insurance premiums rising at a rate twice that of general inflation.  It's all due to the mean and evil practices of the insurance companies and we must call a halt to their nafarious and predatory ways.  But what about higher education?  That too has a rate of inflation twice that of the rest of the economy.  Is Obama calling out universities and villifying them for their predatory practices?  Of course not.  He's dealing with this by offering to foot the bill for people who can't pay back their student loans.

What I want to know is why college tuition is rising at such a rate.  Health care premiums rise because the cost of health care itself rises; but what about education?  What costs are rising so fast that the universities have to increase their tuition at such a rate.  They should already own all of their building.  They make the students buy their own books.  On campus students are charged extra for housing and the kids have to buy their own food.  So what on earth is causing the universities to have to increase their tuitions at such a rate?  Can it be, could it possibly be, the salaries the colleges pay their professors? 

If we want to talk about predatory practices, colleges are a good example. 
  • You are forced to take classes you don't want and don't need in order to satisfy the individual college's requirement -- and you have to pay the college for this priviledge.  That sounds remarkable like racketeering to me. 
  • If you transfer from another school, the classes you didn't want to take don't transfer to the new school and you must take more useless classes to replace the last batch. 
  • You have to buy ridiculously expensive text books which you find when you try to sell back at the end of the year are actually worthless because of a new addition. 
  • You have to fight with 4,000 other students to get the class you do want only to find when you get there that the teacher doesn't speak English.  Or at least you think he doesn't.  It's hard to tell if what he is speaking is a foreign language or just so heavily accented that it's indeciferable. 
  • You have to pay for the priviledge of this up front and there is no refund for a class given by a professor you can't understand. 
  • When all is said and done you have paid $160K - $280K for an education that will qualify you for a $30,000 per year salary.

Forget banks, forget credit cards, forget insurance companies, let's go after the institutions of higher eduction for robbing us blind and using our money to indoctrine the children.

Terrorist Vs Directors

James O'Keefe, the documentary dude who brought us the ACORN scandal on how to get a loan for a whore house, was arrested for entering a federal building under false pretenses with intention to do commit a felony.  The suspicion was that he was going to wire tap Mary Landrieu's office phones.  I have no problem with him getting arrested; what I do have a problem with is that the fruit of kaboom guy was treated better.

We now know that the Christmas Day bomber whose name I will not even attempt to type with my proverbial fat finger syndrome, had a lawyer within 50 minutes of his arrest.  I heard that there were 4 government agencies involved in the decision to offer him the Constitutional rights of a country he wants to destroy.  Really?  Four agencies met and reached a conclusion within 50 minutes?  Color me skeptical.

However, James O'Keefe sat in jail for 28 hours without a lawyer while the media spread the story of his arrest.  A member of Al Queada who tried to blow up a plane had a lawyer in less than one hour while a documentary director was held for more than one day without one.  What the hell?  And it was the FBI doing both investigations.

The only conclusion I can draw from this is that a conservative film director is seen as far more dangerous, and therefore issued fewer rights, than a foreign terrorist.  Tapping a Senator's phone (which wasn't even happening) far more egregious than blowing up a plane.  If there was any quesiton in my mind whether the government's priorities were out of whack, this would clear it up for me.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Taxpayer Funded Vacations for Family

After reading a blog by Left Coast Rebel regarding money spent by Nancy Pelosi on travel for friends and family, I was hopping mad.  To say the least.

I have written a letter to my Congressmen demanding that a bill be passed into law which makes this illegal.
I demand that a bill be immediately proposed to prohibit federal funds from being used to pay expenses for friends and family travelling with elected officials. There is no company which pays for airfare, food and entertainment for friends and family who accompany an employee on a business trip and the federal government should be no different.

It is unconscionable and offensive for money that the people work tirelessly for to be used to fund another's vacation. If friends and family wish to accompany an employee (and don't forget you're all our employees) on a business trip that is fine, but it should be at their own cost and not the cost of the taxpayers.

I want this made as illegal as it is unethical and I want it done now. As our federal debt explodes and you vote to raise the debt ceiling to accommodate your recklessness, it is abhorrent that money we do not have is spent on travel expenses for anybody not directly performing the people's business.

I encourage everyone to call, write or e-mail our elected officials and let them know how you feel about this travesty.  It probably won't change anything, but doing nothing definitely won't. 

We're mad as hell and we're not going to take it anymore. 

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Rules by Which America May be Reduced

A wise man once said that those who fail to study history are doomed to repeat it. The study of American history has been corrupted for decades now, and as a result we appear to be treading the same path. This is made clear if we independently study our history and look at the reasons behind the revolution.

In 1773, in an attempt to show Parliament and the British people how their actions were serving to alienate the colonies, Benjamin Franklin wrote a document Rules by Which a Great Empire May Be Reduced to a Small One. In reading this wonderful piece of comedic literature I was struck by how our current government is repeating the actions which caused us to break from the British Parliament and Monarchy.

I make no claims to possessing the brilliance of Mr. Franklin, but for the love of my country and the desire to see her remain strong, I am compelled to emulate the great man and list out the ways in which we are now working to reduce our nation.

The first and most important rule is to divide the people, and therefore the nation. A people bound together by common goals, common beliefs and common sacrifices will not be divided. Therefore, in order to achieve your goal of division you must make people focus on their differences instead of their similarities. You must convince some that they are owed the fruits of another’s toils.

To further divide the people you must have two sets of laws and rules, or at least apply them differently. If taxes are levied on the people, these groups must be exempt. If the favored group behaves badly, it must be the ill favored group who bears the cost. This will insure that the favored group shows superiority and contempt while animosity builds within those ill favored. Do not, under any circumstances, promote true fairness and equality for this will undermine your efforts of division.

You must give no credence to any complaints offered by the people. Instead, no matter how peaceful their objections may be communicated, you should always assume that they are on the verge of violence and treat them as such. A good idea in this instance is to consider them as a terror risk and list them as more dangerous to the country than any foreign threat. The real benefit of this plan is that you may, if real care is taken, turn your suspicions of revolution into reality.

Next, you must take care to avoid the approval of the people in any political appointees. Should the people believe that their government officials are honest, and have the best interest of the people and the nation at heart, this will only serve to strengthen the bond of the people to their government. As a result, you must select people unqualified, contemptuous of the masses, elitist and, if at all possible, openly corrupt.

To drive the wedge even deeper, should anybody complain or otherwise speak out, you must make them the villain. Investigate them more thoroughly than you would any criminal and expose every mistake they have made in their past. Call their character into question and make their life such a hell that no other will dare to take such a stand in future. This will close off a critical outlet for the people and make them even more desperate and angry.

Another very important rule is to take more and more of the people’s money and flagrantly waste it. Take from the hard working people and give large salaries to the officials they despise. You must also use the money to prop up those in the government’s favor, again serving to divide the people. Constantly remind the people that the government knows best how to spend their money while simultaneously wasting it on programs the people do not support. It is also best if you can use the people’s money taken through taxation to institute and fund government programs which will take their liberties as well. This will prevent those left in poverty through punitive taxation from taking comfort in their freedom and liberty

Make the people ashamed of the greatness of their nation. Paint her in the worst possible light both domestically and abroad. As patriotic pride is squelched, individual ambition and determination will decrease as well. This will assist in the destruction of the economic foundation thereby expediting the division of the people.

Most importantly, deny that you have any culpability in the discontent of the people. Take no responsibility and give no acknowledgements to the legitimacy of any complaint. Should you do this, should you follow these simple rules, the nation will become divided, the states will break apart and you will be freed from the bother and necessity of ruling a great nation.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Obama Lectures Republican Caucus

The Republican Caucus invited Obama to come and meet with them so that they could actually discuss the alternatives that the Republicans have developed and which Obama continuously refuses to acknowledge.  So what does Obama do?  He stands up there and lectures the Republicans on why he's right and they're wrong and that they shouldn't be so partisan.

The one thing he said that bothers me the most is that they shouldn't be so concerned with their reelection or their poll numbers.  That doing the people's business is more important than their polls.  This translates into the biggest problem with this administration; that they don't give a rat's patooty what the people think or want.  The polls actually tell them how the people feel about the business they're doing.  It should absolutely be paid attention.

I just can't believe that he is reading a recycled campaign speech to the Republican caucus.  Oh wait, yes I can.

The man just won't listen to anybody.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Obamanomics Applied to Real Life

I've listened to Obama discuss his idea of ecnomics and fairness over and over again.  I think I understand but you tell me.  The easiest way for me to explain it is with ananologies.

There are 3 neighbors; Person A, Person B and Person C.  They all started out the year with the same job and the same salary. 

Person A plods along doing what they need to do but not striving to excel.  They live paycheck to paycheck and spend everything they make, saving nothing.

Person B works really hard, does as much overtime as possible, makes wise investments and spends only what's needed as they save for their dream vacation to Europe.

Person C plods along like person A, but also decides to spend all of their money on lottery tickets and lives off their credit cards.  They fall behind in their credit card payments and their mortgage.

Under Obamanomics Person B should pay Person C's credit cards and mortgage.  After all, if they can afford a trip to Europe they can afford Person C's mortgage.  If the three go out to dinner, Person B should pay for the meal for all of them.  Again, if they can afford a trip to Europe then they can afford the meal.  If they go to dinner separately, Person A should pay a low tax on their meal, Person C should pay no tax on their meal and Person C should pay a high tax on their meal.  They can afford it so why shouldn't they pay?

In the end, Persons A and C still plod along and save nothing while Person B has to cancel their trip to Europe due to a serious lack of funds.  The rule of Obamanomics, Person B is buggered.

Please let me know if I got this wrong.