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Archive for May, 2011

Why The Seventeenth Amendment Was A Mistake

28 May

Our founding fathers displayed a great deal of wisdom when they decided to have members of the Senate represent each state rather than the people of that state.  Remember, the prevailing wish of our founders was to keep the power of the federal government as limited as possible.  They did this by spelling out exactly what powers the federal government was to have and to leave the rest to the states.

Uppermost in their minds was to give the people total control over the government.  However, they did see the need to focus a certain amount of control and authority on the individual states, thus assuring a limited role for the feds.  Even then, the people were in charge when selecting their federal representatives.

The people had total control over picking the members of the House of Representatives.  Each persons vote carried equal weight.

But when it came time to select members of the Senate the Constitution put the states in charge.  It was up to the state legislatures to select their U.S. Senators.  These senator’s primary purpose was to represent the state, not the people.

Why was this wise?  Because the senators would make sure that their state was taken into account when passing legislation.  This guarded against passing a law that would be detrimental to that state.  The senators could be more measured in their deliberations because they didn’t have to be overly concerned about facing the eire of the electorate in an upcoming election (another reason for a six year term).  What they needed to worry about was whether or not their state legislatures would be unhappy with their vote.  This might seem like a trivial matter, but it was just one more “check and balance” mechanism provided by the Constitution.

Now comes the Seventeenth Amendment.  That amendment takes away this check and balance.  It puts senators on the same level (from an election standpoint) as a member of the House of Representatives.  Sure, it makes the “people” more powerful, but it also makes congress as a whole operate more on emotions rather than proceeding on a more rational approach to the issue at hand.  It takes away an important opportunity to evaluate what impacts a particular bill might have on their individual state.  Does “unfunded mandate” ring a bell?  Does ObamaCare come to mind?

Just think how much more control your state might have without the feds thrusting their demands on the states.  More importantly think how much more control you would have if those kinds of decisions were made at the state level where the relative impact of your vote is magnified several times over.

The one, and perhaps only good thing about the Seventeenth Amendment was that it came about by following the rules laid out in the Constitution, not my judicial dictate.  But that’s a story for another time.

 

News Flash–Democrats More Likely To Keep Medicare As IS!

25 May

A recent poll showed that almost 70% of those polled think that the democrats are more likely than republicans to keep Medicare as it is now constituted.  This neither surprises me, nor does it confirm something that I didn’t already know.

To some, this is a comforting finding because they believe that Medicare is a valuable safety net.  I agree that it is valuable.  And, it is a safety net.  But, democrats, for the most part, are so tied to the concept of using government aid to heal our wounds that they can’t find any reason to make a needed change.  In fact, I’m sure that they feel this way about all of the social programs that our federal government orchestrates.

Therein lies the problem.  Democrats seem so committed to “protecting” everyone that they are willing to go to all lengths to that end.  With such nearsighted focus on solving the problems, they totally miss the fact that we just can’t afford to do everything they hold near and dear to their hearts.  And that scares me…a lot.

This country is in serious financial trouble.  We are in no position to buy our way out of this dilemma.  Not even the “wealthy” among us can divvy up enough to do that.  And, we can not afford to “print” our way out of it either.  We have a spending problem, not a shortage of income problem.  Real and substantial cuts have to be made.

Rep. Paul Ryan has opened the door for “grownups” to come together to carve our way out of this mess.  But, what is the knee jerk reaction of the democrats.  Well, they put an add on TV that shows someone (who looks suspiciously like Rep. Ryan) pushing an old lady in a wheelchair off a cliff.  Now just how grownup is that?

My land, they own the presidency and the senate.  They are in a perfect position to lead the country.  The president even has the recommendations of his own Debt Commission to help start the ball rolling.  But, no.  They lay in wait of the republicans to come up with a proposal and then lambaste it.  What kind of leadership is that?

The democrats either don’t see the problem or they just don’t care.  And that is the basis of my fear.  The stakes are too high to play petty political games.  Their approach is only inviting the republicans to hit back in a like manner.  That will get us absolutely nowhere.  Except perhaps Uncle Sam being pushed in that wheelchair.  Then over the cliff we will all go.  And with no parachute or even a safety net.

 

Why is Social Security in Trouble?

21 May

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There are at least three main reasons the Social Security program is in trouble.  These are no surprises to anyone.  One could have been anticipated.  One is a short coming of the integrity of our political leaders.  And, one is a good news-bad news thing.

Social Security was first enacted, on August 14, 1935 when President Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act into law.  With the stroke of his pen he launched what turned out to be one of the county’s first real “entitlement” program.

The country was in the throws of a major depression.  Unemployment was high and the ignominy of being unable to provide for one’s family or even one’s self was pervasive.  For those fortunate to have employment, a sense of guilt over the travails of their friends and neighbors weighed heavily on them.  Many of the country’s elderly were nearly helpless and the future looked hopeless and depressingly grim to them.

This act showed the compassion that the United States felt for the down and out.  And, particularly for the problems that widows faced.  It was, indeed a safety net.  And as a temporary measure it had merit.

However, it turned out to be anything but temporary.  To this end it had one very major flaw.  That was, the Act was based on the basic principle that allows pyramid schemes to flourish.  If you get into them early on in the beginning you will make out just fine.  However, if you get in late, the scheme will fall under its own weight and usually it is you it crashes upon.

You see when the act passed there were 16 people working for every retired person.  A ratio like that could sustain the program for a very long time.  But over time this ratio changed significantly, and will continue to do so.  By 2003 that ratio had slipped to three workers for every retired person.  It will be two to one by 2035.

Congress found a few ways to keep the system up to date.  In 1935 the tax was one percent of the first $3,000 earned.  By 1962 it was 3.125% of the first $4,800.  After that both the rate and the base amount increased rather rapidly.  By 2005, the rate was 6.2% of the first $90,000.  It should be noted that the employer matched one for one the employee’s contribution.

Payments out of the Social Security fund were to begin in 1942.  But typical of our politicians, money began flowing out of the system in 1940.  Interestingly, according to The CPA Journal (on line), “the first monthly retirement check was issued to an individual who had paid a total of $22.54 into the system and received $22,000 in benefits over her lifetime!”

The idea was to sock the money taken in away in a safe place so it would be available when needed.  In a way this was done.  However, clever as congress usually is, when it needed money to pay for one or more of its favorite programs, it simply borrowed money from the fund.  This they claimed would be paid back later.  But later never came.  And surprise, surprise when it comes time to pay the piper, the bill will be very high and there won’t be any “extra” money to pay it back.

The good news–bad news.  We are living longer.  In 1935, most people didn’t live much, if any past the age of 65.  Now it is up into the upper seventies or lower eighties, depending on your sex.  The implication of this is quite apparent.

So keep these facts in mind when you hear our leaders pontificate on the “state of the Social Security system.”  Some will say we don’t need to make any changes.  It is, after all, an entitlement isn’t it.  Others might paint a much more dismal picture.

Draw your own conclusions.  If you thought Bernie Madoff had a good thing going, what, you might ask, has Congress got going for it?  And just whom do you think the losers will be?

 

A Detailed Summary of My Retirement Activities

18 May

My Retirement Activity Summary

January 1, 1995 to July 18, 2011

I’m often asked what I am doing with myself now that I’m retired.  I am usually at a loss of words as there is no main focus on my activities.  I feel they are expecting answers like: I golf, I fish, I travel, etc..

I guess my mind tries to be accurate and descriptive as it seeks a clear concise answer.  To no avail.  My life isn’t that clear cut.  Nor is it very complicated.  So I usually come up with something like: “I’ve done numerous things.  I seem to undertake something, work at it for several months, a year or so, or over a few years.  Then I switch to something else of interest.”

My best answer though is: I don’t do what I don’t want to, and pick out those things that I want to do.  My life, though rather solitary is varied, challenging at times, sometimes very interesting, often weird like computer programming, but never boring.

By far one of the best things that retirement has blessed me with was five years of palling around with my father.  Now, that was worth the price of admission.  I count those times right up there with the best of them.

Also, it allows me time to spend with my kids and their families.  I’ve been able to appreciate just how wonderfully they have grown into human beings of great merit.  On the other hand, it gave me a glimpse of the many ways I could have prepared them better for life.  But in spite of that, they have risen to the occasion and are making a valuable contribution to our society.

But I digress.  The following kind of summarizes the major retirement activities that I’ve undertaken (by category, but not chronologically):

Here are my travel excursions:

Car trips:

To LA (area)  to visit the kids

J.C.’s graduation

J.C.’s hip operation

J.C.’s wedding

To Palm Springs with Adam

8 trips to visit one or both kids

To Kent, Washington to visit my sister and family–16 trips (2 with Dad)

To Powell, WY–5 trips (2 with kids)

To visit J.C. in Fircrest, WA, and Tacoma, WA–26 trips

To visit Adam in Beaverton–11 Trips

To Coast with Smiths–2 trips

To Leavenworth, WA with Smiths–1 trip

To Redmond, OR with Smiths–1 trip

To Coast with Dad

Train trips:

To LA–3 trips (1 with Adam)

To Vancouver, BC with Smiths–1 trip

To Laramie, WY–1 trip

To Portland, OR–3 trips

To Smiths–2 trips

Flying:

To Phoenix, AZ to visit Adam

To Phoenix with Smiths

To DC to visit J.C.–3 trips

To LA to visit classmates (a wine tour)

Cruises:

To Alaska–2 times

To Mexico–2 times

To Hawaii–4 times

To Panama Canal-1 time

To Eastern Canada-1 time

Volunteering:

I decided that when I retired I should find ways to give back to my community.  I applied for, and was accepted to serve on Marion County’s Budget Committee.  At the time, I never realized just how influential this committee is.  Unbeknownst to me, many people began their political careers on this committee.  Had I known that, I probably would not have volunteered for it. What a mistake that would have been.  After the first year, I was tapped to be its chairman.  This post I held for the remaining six years of my term.  I found myself being asked to serve on several other committees for the county.  Here are a few of them:

Marion County’s Strategic Policy Advisory Board

Marion County’s Facilities Planning Committee

The Juvenile Committee Team

The Juvenile Facilities Planning Committee

Strategic Planning for Marion County Government

Marion County Compensation Board (A group of citizens and business leaders which determines the proper pay for elected Marion County officials)

Selection Committee for retaining Marion County’s first national lobbyist

Title III Selection Committee (select projects for some federal funds)

Marion County Public Safety Coordinating Council

Courthouse Square Task Force (to recommend how to deal with a poorly designed major building that is now classified dangerous)

I also represented Marion County on two environmental impact committees dealing with the major bridge crossing over the Willamette River in Salem.

Currently, I’m the Vice-chair of the Public Safety Coordinating Council.  This group is state mandated and consists of the sheriff, district attorney, directors for Juvenile, Health and Children and Families departments.  Several chiefs of police, mayors and city councilors, school district representatives and judges also serve on this committee.  Our job is to coordinate the activities of the law enforcement and related efforts in the county.

I spent three years or so as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for three children in “the system.”  My task was to make recommendations to the presiding judge on issues that involved these children, ranging from recommending programs for the mother, to foster home situations…just about anything that would help these kids have a better life.

I volunteered for a few traffic related programs for the city of Salem.  These included:

Manned (or should I say personed) a Radar Reader Board (you know,

those signs at the side of the road that tell you how fast you are traveling).

Vice-chair of the Salem Citizen’s Advisory Transportation Commission and member of the Salem Transportation Policy Board.

I am a licensed amateur radio operator (HAM Radio), but am saving any meaningful activity with this hobby until I retire, retire.  However, I have volunteered for special events, such as the Special Olympics, and other disaster related programs (Red Cross, etc.).  I also put on some volunteering testing sessions for ham radio licensing.  But, most of this work was done very early in my retirement.

Finally, supporting my rather introverted lifestyle, I’ve undertaken several activities that provide stimulation for my body, mind and spirit.  Usually, I’d study the topic at hand and then try to master it (at least somewhat).  I far from mastered any of them, but I had fun trying.  My interest in them may have lasted a few months or perhaps a year or two.  Whenever I had reached a preset goal or was convinced I was at a significant benchmark, I would move on to something else.  So here goes:

O.J. Simpson Trial:  I’ve always wanted to write a mystery.  I thought that after I retired I would sit in on a few trials to see what goes on.  The O.J. trial started right after I retired, so I “sat in” on as much of it as I could.  It was fascinating and the debates from the pros on the day-to-day action was more than I had hoped for.  I didn’t see every minute of the trial, but I did watch a significant portion of it.  AND, no, I don’t think the prosecution presented the case effectively, so I would go along with the verdict of Not Guilty.  I really don’t know if he did it or not, just that the facts as presented left me with considerable doubt.

Braille:  I’ve always feared going blind, though I had no rational reason to think so.  I got a book designed to help parents learn the skill.  I got good enough to read it fairly well, but I don’t remember much of it now.

Gardening:  Doesn’t every retiree do this?  I took a class and quickly discovered that I wasn’t into gardening.  I hired a gardener.

Auctions:  Interesting, but I really didn’t need anything so I’ll stick to the old fashioned way of buying stuff.

Motorcycling:  Another activity that I always wanted to do.  From the age of nine or so I dreamed of owning a motorcycle.  For a short while part of the organization that I ran at ODOT was a motorcycle education program.  So, after I retired, I signed up and somehow got licensed.  I would never have done that as long as I had kids to support.  It is a dangerous sport, but a fun one.  During the next few years I owned a couple of motorcycles and rode them frequently.  My back and kidneys weren’t suited for riding but I did accomplish all the goals I set for myself, except for riding through Yellowstone Park.  Even though I never took a fall, one day I just decided that my riding days were over….and they were.

Miscellaneous Classes:  I took some classes in nutrition, use of the internet, and webpage design, even yoga.  I learned just how little I knew about such things.

Consulting:  I did some consulting for ODOT.  I advised them on the update of the  Highway Plan, some work on the history of Interstate 5, and various other projects.  ODOT hired me to be its project manager of the by-pass of Newberg and Dundee.  That was indeed interesting as years before I had been involved in that same project.  At that time the locals decided they didn’t want one.  It’s a shame because they could have had it and they would not be experiencing the traffic problems they now have.  After my temp appointment with ODOT, I joined URS, a consulting firm working on that project.  I dropped out when that firm made some changes in personnel and the work went to another firm.  The work wasn’t full time, but it kept me fairly busy.  One of my goals when I retired was to never have to say “I’m busier now than when I worked.”  It’s nice to have control of your time…at least most of the time.

Writing about my career:  I was asked to write about my career with ODOT.  That was really a fun project.  It brought back many memories…most all of them good.  I was reminded that there were probably only a half dozen days in all that time (33 1/2 years) when I really didn’t want to go to work that day (sick days excluded, and there weren’t too many of them.  I retired with 2400 hours of sick leave on the books).  I loved that job and feel sorry for those that don’t like theirs.

Apple Pies:  I had a neighbor that would drop off some kind of goodie from time to time.  I thought I’d learn how to make and bake apple pies.  Maybe I could pay her back sometime.  That project created a weight problem for me so as soon as I got the technique down a bit, I quit making them.

Fishing:  My favorite fishing hole was fairly close by.  I liked the serenity provided by the tranquil surroundings, but I was a catch and release type of fisherman and I didn’t like hurting the little things (and most were little).

Wood carving:  I liked the way I did it.  It really wasn’t carving.  More like sculpting.  I’d get some topographical maps of mountains and use the contours to guide my roto tool in an effort to replicate a likeness of the mountain.

Painting:  I transitioned into painting, i.e., putting something on canvas (or in my case some sort of paper).  That was fun and I spent a lot of time at it.  I amassed quite a supply of paints, brushes and the like.  Never very good, but I did enjoy it for a year or two.

Drawing:  This too I liked.  Actually, if I didn’t like anything I didn’t stick with it very long.  In fact, I almost never started anything unless I was pretty sure I’d like it.

Flying:  I became a licensed pilot in the mid-seventies.  One of my ODOT responsibilities was developing an aviation plan for the state.  I thought it would be helpful to know how to use the system so I took lessons and got licensed.  With the birth of my children my free time wasn’t so free any longer and I wasn’t able to fly enough to feel proficient.  I was a fair weather pilot…I held a blue handkerchief up to the sky and if the colors matched, I’d fly.  So, I gave it up.  Then in 2001 I decided to give it another whirl.  I did a few hours of flying with an instructor to get up to speed.  I was scheduled to take my final check ride, but something happened on the way to the airport.  You see, the day was September 11.  Well, it was a month or so before the airways opened up to me.  I didn’t like the idea of having an F-15 pull up beside me because I flew over a dam or something that I shouldn’t have so I decided my flying days were over.  It was fun while it lasted.

Piano:  I thought I’d take a shot at learning to play the piano.  I grew up around a lot of musical talent so my sites were set pretty high.  I practiced at it for a year and was not at all satisfied, in anyway, with my progress.  I finally figured out that I had inherited the musical ability of my dad and not my mother.

Stock Market:  I knew nothing, or at least very little about investing in stocks.  I did some studying and dipped my toe in the water.  I set a limit to what I was prepared to lose and after a year or two I had reached that limit.  In spite of doing good research, using the internet for doing that research and buying and selling stocks and options I walked away somewhat poorer, but much wiser.  Leaving such things to the pros is my current approach.

I was a fair to middling bridge player in college.  Even was on the University of Wyoming’s bridge team once.  By that I mean I got a call from some university official that was trying to round up a bridge team to play another university.  Their Bridge Team was going to be in town shortly.  I said okay, hence I was on the team.  So I thought I’d take some lessons offered at a seniors center.  I did.  Wow, had the bidding rules ever changed.  I played a few sets and quickly learned that my bridge playing days were over.

Spanish:  I think Spanish is a language that one should know these days.  I still feel that way, but, like playing the piano, that capability has passed me by.  I’ve learned it takes about 1,000 hours to accomplish that task.  I don’t think that few of hours would do the job for me.  On the other hand I put in far few hours than that, so I really wouldn’t know.

Real Estate:  Another investment possibility.  Another goodly amount of research and I was ready to go….primarily in buying and flipping.  I was about to set up a LLC to do my business when I kept reading about how some people were plunging ahead in this type of real estate buying and selling.  Like buying a house sight unseen and in distance towns yet.  I was reminded of a story I’d heard about Joseph Kennedy.  In the late ’20’s he was apparently in the stock market quite heavily.  When he got a stock tip from his shoe shine boy he figured it was time to get out of the market.  He did just before the big crash.  I figured it wasn’t a good time to start buying real estate.  For once, I’d made the right decision on investing.

Bible reading:  This was something that has stuck with me.  It wasn’t something that I just sat down to complete.  I’ve listened to the Bible on CD’s, bought and read several study Bibles, and I have some pretty good Bible software.  I try to start every day reading a chapter of the Bible.

Volksmarch:  Another activity I liked, but an old knee injury cropped up.  I love walking though, and Volksmarch gave me a desire to get a GPS.  Not that I got lost.  I just like an excuse to get a new toy now and then.  I do like to walk though and try to get a mile or so in every day–weather permitting.

Network Marketing:  Another effort to push my comfort level.  It did that alright.  It was an interesting exercise but alas this was not for me.  I did, however, learn a lot about personal development.  It was well worth the effort and resources I put toward it.  As usual, I placed an upper limit on how much I would invest in this program.  Having reached that, it was time to move on.

Writing:  I do like to write.  I’ve penned a couple of novels which were great fun to work on and which are good at collecting dust.  I’ll pull them up whenever I want to do more work on them.  I have one, “Ride the Winds of Change” listed as an ebook on Amazon.com.  It is a fictional novel about the beginning of the Revolutionary War.  (I’m told there are several misspelling in it, but if there weren’t it wouldn’t be me.)

Social Media: Twitter, Facebook and Blogging are my latest efforts.  I’m not whole hog into them, but dabble as time and energy permits.  They will hold my attention until I conjure up something to go along with them or replace them.

I have a daily routine for keeping my heart pumping.  Three days a week I ride a recumbent bike for about half an hour or so.  Then I work with weights for twenty to thirty minutes.  On the other days of the week I ride the bike for about an hour.  Then, as I said earlier, I like to walk a mile or so every day, weather permitting.

So there you have it.  That’s pretty much what I’ve done with myself during my retirement years.  There is room for much more.  I’ll press forward as long as the good Lord sees a need for me to stick around.  My goal is to die young at a very old age.

Thanks for asking.

 

 

The Art of Personal Destruction in Politics

18 May

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Is it really necessary to practice the art of personal destruction as we prepare to select our leaders?  I see and hear this practice filling the airways with a plethora of vindictive rhetoric.  It seems that if a particular politician chooses to run for office, he or she is besieged with a barrage of verbal emasculation.  And this isn’t relegated only to people in the opposite party.

What’s wrong with this picture anyway?  What drives one to pontificate so vehemently about the short comings of an individual?  Is it jealousy?  Or out right fear?  Perhaps it is a lack of confidence in the abilities of one’s preferred candidate.  Whatever it is, it seems to me to be just downright moronic, even idiotic.

Now I admit to not being a politician.  Aside from probably not having the qualifications to run for any particular office, I just don’t think it is right to tear a person to bits just because you disagree with their politics.  Even if they belong to an opposing party.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not suggesting that criticism should not be leveled when warranted.  That can be done in a constructive way if the person is in your party.  If they are in the other party, then it can be done by focusing on policy issues rather than personally attacking the individual.

What sense does it make to eviscerate a person that might end up being selected as your party’s chosen candidate.  Wouldn’t it be better to focus on the positive points of your preferred candidate and work as hard as you can to get him or her picked?

Sure you may not like it when your person doesn’t come out on top, but the winner of the primary has received the backing of at least the bulk of registered voters in your political party.

At least then in the general election your party’s candidate joins the battle without a boat load of negative baggage accumulated during the primary.  Doesn’t it make more sense to push your party’s values and highlight your favored candidate rather than digging up dirt to throw at your own party’s prospective candidate?

Sure it might be idealistic to fight a clean fight just because it’s the right thing to do.  But hey, what do I know?

 

Political Independents…..There is a Better Way

14 May

I’ve listened to people praise themselves for being politically Independent.  Not belonging to any particular political group seems to be a hallmark of political prowess.

How sad.  Sure as an Independent you will be sought out, even enticed by one party or the other.  That must feel good, to be constantly catered to and fawned over.  And I’m sure it does give you a certain sense of importance.  None of these things is bad to crave for.    It certainly isn’t something to be ashamed of.

But what are you telling the world?  Could it be that you don’t have any values or issues of interest that you are willing to fight for?  Could it be that you don’t really want to take a stand on any particular article of faith?  Could it be that your vote will be available to the highest bidder?  Only you can answer those questions.  And it is only you that has a right to come up with those answers.

Why give away your power so easily?  Why not figure out where you stand on issues and try to make an impact on the political party that more closely matches your feelings.  At least that way, you will be making an important contribution to the political process, not just bouncing back and forth between parties.

I’m not in any way suggesting that you become a rubber stamp for the party of your choice.  That would be kind of wimpy too, don’t you think.  But, at least you will be in a position of trying to make a difference rather than just choosing between one party or the other that has already made the choice for you.

So I suggest that there is a better way than being a Political Independent.  Don’t be wishy washy.  Help to shape and then take a stand on something that you truly believe in.  Don’t wait for somebody else to decide for you.  Become an active part of the process not someone that can be persuaded to accept someone else’s dream of what our country should become.  You can do much better than that.  Not only for you, but for society as a whole.

 

NLRB Tries to Clip Boeings Wings

11 May

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has filed a complaint against Boeing.  Seems the NLRB, aka union lackey, has filed the complaint on behalf of the machinists union.  They are miffed because Boeing is tired of putting up with their shenanigans.

Boeing has had to deal with this out of control union for years.  The latest tirade mounted by the union was in 2008 when it shut Boeing down for almost two months.  By the way Boeing lost around $1.8 billion or so during that strike.  I wonder if some of that money might not have found its way into worker’s pockets?

These strikes are brutal.  The aim of the union is to nearly bankrupt its cash cow, forcing it to settle.  Is there any wonder why a company might seek a more friendly labor force?  One that might show a little more loyalty and respect to its benefactor.

So it picked South Carolina which just happens to be a “right to work state.”  The union claims the move was in retaliation to the 2008 strike.  This would be illegal.  On the other hand Boeing might just be trying to find a way to survive in this global economy.  So maybe its guilty of spreading its labor force around a bit.  At least its in the United States, not off shore.  And there is the added benefit of being able to pick from a fresh new labor source.  One willing to work without striking.

Where is the line between retaliation and self preservation?   Wherever it falls, it casts a rather bright light.  And if there is one thing the union does not want, it’s a bright light disclosing its true motives, i.e., self preservation of the union and to hell with the company and even its union members.

First, Obama took over some financial institutions.  Then he kicked the GM’s bond holders into the gutter, devaluating their bonds to little or nothing.  Then he packed the Board of Directors with union people.  Who says he’s not beholden to the unions?  Then he is demanding that everyone must buy health insurance, industry must cap CO emissions, we all must throwaway Edison’s light bulbs (wait until the environmentalist get their teeth into the required replacement), and now he is telling companies that they can not shift some of their operations to ”right to work” states.

Next thing you know he will be telling us we can’t use oil products to power our cars.  Wait a minute.  Isn’t he already starting to say that?

Now I don’t care where he was born, or even that he was born.  What I do care about is his methodical dismantling of our Constitution (which by the way he swore to uphold).  This must end, and end as soon as possible.  There is a lot that can be done toward that end and we must do it now, starting with a lean, no frills budget bill and putting appropriate teeth to limit our spending in the debt limit bill.

Sounds like 2012 is the time to stop his damage completely.  I wonder what federal agency will file a complaint about the results of that election if Obama isn’t re-elected?

 

That Didn’t Last Long, Did It?

07 May

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Well Mr. President one of your fundamental flaws has once again raised its ugly head.  Which flaw, you ask?  I’m not surprised you need clarification as there are so many.

You did so well with getting rid of bin Laden.  Most of the nation supported your decision.  Why not admit that the basis of that decision was no doubt the intelligence laid out before you.  At least I hope so.

Would it really hurt you to admit that the linchpin of that intelligence was uncovered under President Bush’s watch.  And, that it was generated as a result of enhanced interrogation techniques.  You know, that method you so fondly like to call torture.

Sure the intelligence is a mosaic of many pieces of evidence.  But it took a bit of information to get the ball rolling.  And that was there lurked a courier out there that at least occasionally had contact with bin Laden.

So rather than sending out your henchmen to deflect the truth, why didn’t you just start out by admitting that this technique did and does, in fact, generate valid and usable information.  Perhaps that information came out during the process.  Maybe not at the time of the use, but later.  Just the thought that this tool may be used on them again was enough to convince the suspect to give the information up.  After all, these techniques are not necessarily to undercover truth at the time of their use.  Rather it is to bring about a change of attitude.  In other words, be more helpful or suffer another round.

You know how valuable these techniques are.  And how infrequently they are needed.  And that only you can order them.  I suspect you are keeping them available for use when you feel they will yield good results.   It wouldn’t hurt for our enemies to know they are available too.  Just the knowledge they are there will lessen the need for their use.

Come on now.  Man up.  It wouldn’t hurt you to admit the truth about this issue.  The world would think better of you too.  And who knows. You might just like how good it feels to use the truth every now and then.  Now that’s a change I’d vote for.

 

Good Job President Obama–You Special OPS Guys too!!!

02 May

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One thing for sure, President Obama has been tenacious when it comes to fighting terrorists.  He has used drones to destroy a significant portion of Bin Laden’s offensive operations.  And now, the bearded giant himself.

The special forces are an awesome weapon.  They are skilled and very brave.  It doesn’t get much more dangerous than what they do.  We owe them a lot.  More than we really know.

Our Intelligence people are also to be commended.  Another group that works in dangerous territory.  They take a lot on the chin when they don’t get it right and little recognition when they do.

What amazing people we have looking after our safety, both here and abroad.  And the President recognized that and proceeded to do the right thing.

Good Job Mr. President!!!

 
 

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