I Beg to Differ

July 13, 2010

I recently forwarded an email to just about everyone on my mailing list – conservatives, liberals, independents, and totally apathetic people. I’ve heard back from very few. Some have called me names; some have challenged the facts presented.

Perhaps the major problem for those who did not care for the message was the use of the term “Death Panels”. I can understand that, but the name seems so apropos.

The one comment that truly stuck in my craw was the one that accused me of being a bigot. I have to wonder if George Bush was black how many Democrats would have been given the same title? It’s a shame that one cannot disagree with a man of color without being accused of racism.

Of course, we are learning that racism, under Eric Holder, is a one-way street.

Some might ask, “What’s so bad about holding a little stick in front of a polling place?” In years past, it was the white man holding the stick and threatening the black voters. That was also wrong. As my mother always said, “Two wrongs don’t make a right.”

Some might still insist the man is harmless. Those are the people who refuse to watch the evil FOX News Network and the even more evil Glen Beck. Of course, getting one’s news only from the major networks means you miss seeing things like this:

I searched for this video on the web sites of ABC, NBC, and CBS. If it was there, it was not easily located.

Hopefully, such things should make you question what else you might be missing by not watching the evil FOX network.

I recall years ago the Catholic Church would frequently ban movies and practically order their parishioners to stay away. For many Roman Catholics, that was a challenge that couldn’t be ignored. They would judge for themselves, thank you!

I’m saddened by the number of people who have made derogatory comments about FOX. I’m saddened, mainly, because they refuse to watch it. Why? What are they afraid of? Who told them it was evil? Have they no courage to see for themselves?

Glen Beck is accused of lying. Yet, most of his claims are backed up by video or audio tapes of the people in question.

On one recent program, Beck pointed out that George Soros has a 900 million dollar stake in Petro-Brazil… a company that showed fifteen billion in profits last year. (I wonder how that compares to BP, EXXON, and our other oil companies.)

To make that part of the story more interesting, Glen told us that Obama recently promised to “lend” Petro-Brazil two billion American tax-payer dollars for offshore drilling in South America. (I’ve read that same information in a number of other sources, but it didn’t make sense at the time.)

Then, when BP has the accident in the Gulf, Obama places a moratorium on offshore drilling in the US – putting thousands of people along the Gulf out of work. (Perhaps he forgot we have an unemployment problem.)

If the drilling platforms sit idle for any length of time, the owners of the rigs will move them elsewhere so they can continue to earn money by renting them to other oil companies. Now, where do you suppose they might go?

Since Glen Beck reported this story and pointed out how much money George Soros (a man who provided significant financial support to the political campaigns of Obama and other key Democrats) stands to make on his investments, I’ve heard nothing from the White House refuting the story. I think maybe they have temporarily given up their attempts to silence FOX.

Besides, they have so many of their followers believing that FOX is evil. No one should pay any attention to their reporting.

These are just a couple of examples why I forwarded the email. People need to start paying attention to what our government is doing to us.

As for the “death panels”, let’s look at some logic behind the claims.

The Health Care Reform bill is supposed to provide health insurance to thirty million people who did not have insurance before. The politicians would have us believe that those thirty million people simply couldn’t afford it. In truth, a large percentage of those simply saw themselves as immortal and didn’t want to spend the money. Another portion of the thirty million are illegal aliens who should not be living off the fat of the land to begin with. (I’m going to get lots of people angry with me. Maybe I am a bigot!)

In the meantime, many doctors have already stopped accepting Medicare and Medicaid patients for two reasons. First, the government refuses to pay them a reasonable fee for their services. Second, the government sees no reason to pay those doctors in a timely fashion.

Many doctors have threatened to retire if they are forced to take on government patients.

Thus, we’re adding thirty million patients and reducing the number of doctors. And we are told we will save money in the long run. Fewer doctors, less money, and more patients: Slice it and dice it as you will, someone will have to step in to control the rationing of health care, and dollar limits will have to be placed on individual cases.

What are those dollar limits? At this point, it is yet to be decided. Perhaps with Donald Berwick in charge we’ll soon get some answers. He seems to love the British model which calls for $100,000 maximum the first year of care and $50,000 per year there after.

I’m sure Dr. Berwick will be too busy to make these decisions on every individual case. Therefore, he’ll most likely set up panels of experts (accountants) to make the decisions. After all, the decisions must be cost effective if we’re going to save money in the long run.

Oh yes, I almost forgot, the NAACP is issuing a condemnation of the racist elements of the Tea Party movement. I wonder how Herman Cain (a very dark complected fellow) feels about that. First they called him a red neck. Now he’s a racist.

I wonder if the things I’ve said qualify as “Hate” speech? That’s another way our government is slowly taking away our freedom of speech.

Please note, I am not simply anti-Obama and the Democrats. I’d really prefer we vote all the scoundrels (both parties) out of office, replace them with true representatives of the people who would immediately set term limits, and see if we can’t get things back to what the Founding Fathers envisioned for the United States.


Moving to Mexico

May 22, 2010

I’m amazed by the uproar that has resulted from Arizona creating a law – modeled directly after the Federal law concerning immigration – in an attempt to save their state from unbelievable crimes and a complete drain on their limited tax revenues.

It’s also interesting that our Director of Home Land Security, the former Governor of Arizona, Janet Napolitano, who flooded President George Bush with letters and phone calls expressing the same concerns now sees the law as inappropriate. Perhaps when she finally gets around to reading the law, she’ll recognize the problems she once saw so clearly.

I recently received a letter addressed to President Obama. Without a doubt, it was written with tongue firmly planted in the political cheek, but I see it as a very insightful way of helping people wake up to see the truth behind the problem. As with so many things flying around in cyberspace, I have no idea who deserves the credit. In any case, here it is.

—————————————————————————————–

Dear President Obama:

I’m planning to move my family and extended family into Mexico for my health, and I would like to ask you to assist me.
We’re planning to simply walk across the border from the U.S. into Mexico , and we’ll need your help to make a few arrangements. We plan to skip all the legal stuff like visas, passports, immigration quotas and laws. I’m sure they handle those things the same way you do here. So, would you mind telling your buddy, President Calderon, that I’m on my way over?

Please let him know that I will be expecting the following:
1. Free medical care for my entire family.
2. English-speaking government bureaucrats for all services I might need, whether I use them or not.
3. Please print all Mexican government forms in English.
4. I want my grandkids to be taught Spanish by English-speaking (bi-lingual) teachers.
5. Tell their schools they need to include classes on American culture and history.
6. I want my grandkids to see the American flag on one of the flag poles at their school.
7. Please plan to feed my grandkids at school for both breakfast and lunch.
8. I will need a local Mexican driver’s license so I can get easy access to government services.
9. I do plan to get a car and drive in   Mexico but I don’t plan to purchase car insurance, and I probably won’t make any special effort to learn local traffic laws.
10. In case one of the Mexican police officers does not get the memo from their president to leave me alone, please be sure that every patrol car has at least one English-speaking officer.
11. I plan to fly the   U.S. flag from my house top, put   U. S. flag decals on my car, and have a gigantic celebration on July 4th. I do not want any complaints or negative comments from the locals.
12. I would also like to have a nice job without paying any taxes, or have any labor or tax laws enforced on any business I may start.
13. Please have the president tell all the Mexican people to be extremely nice and never say critical things about me or my family, or about the strain we might place on their economy.
14. I want to receive free food stamps.
15. Naturally, I’ll expect free rent subsidies.
16. I’ll need Income tax credits so although I don’t pay Mexican Taxes, I’ll receive money from the government.
17. Please arrange it so that the Mexican Gov’t pays $4,500 to help me buy a new car.
18. Oh yes, I almost forgot, please enroll me free into the Mexican Social Security program so that I’ll get a monthly income in retirement.

I know this is an easy request because you already do all these things for all his people who walk over to the U.S. from Mexico . I am sure that President Calderon won’t mind returning the favor if you ask him nicely.

Thank you so much for your kind help. You’re the man!!!

____________________________________________

Perhaps someone should take a poll of immigrants who entered our country the old-fashioned way and ask how they feel about those who sneak in.

There is no doubt our immigration laws need to be re-written. A lot of good people are kept out because we have quotas for numerous countries. But why should those quotas be furthered reduced to allow for those who see no reason to obey our laws?

Let’s fix the problem, but not by granting amnesty to the law breakers.


Ask Any Indian

January 29, 2010

On my recent trip to Branson, Missouri, I purchased two T-shirts: one for me and one for a friend. This particular friend and I don’t always see eye-to-eye (understatement?), but we do agree on some things.

The shirt I bought him read, “Homeland Security – Fighting Terrorists since 1492”. In the middle of the shirt was a row of Indian warriors on horseback.

The middle of my shirt showed an Indian on horseback, with his head bowed low. The words? “Of course you can trust our government. Ask any Indian”.

Yesterday on my Facebook page, I brought up the subject of racism. I was recently accused of racism because I disagree with some of the policies of President Obama. Obviously, the charge was made by a black man and some of his ultra-liberal white friends.

I did not vote for Mr. Obama. My vote had nothing to do with the color of his skin. It had everything to do with his inexperience and his far left-wing leanings. I voted for John McCain because I saw him as THE LESSER OF THE EVILS.

In eleven presidential elections, I have never voted FOR a candidate and it really angers me that our two major political parties can’t find more suitable candidates. Of course, I firmly believe that anyone talented enough to do a decent job is smart enough not to want the job.

But getting back to discrimination…

In 1984 I dragged my family on a six week tour of America. We pulled a camping trailer and visited 29 states in those six weeks. I cooked many of our meals, but from time to time we ate at a restaurant.

The restaurant that sticks in my mind was in South Dakota. I don’t remember the place for its food or ambiance. What I do recall is an American Indian family standing in line waiting for a table.

I believe there were seven of eight people in their party. There were six of us and we were quickly shown to a table… ahead of the Indian family.

More than an hour later, we were finished and on our way out. That’s when the place became memorable to me. The Indian family was still waiting to be seated. And there were empty tables that could’ve been pushed together.

I later mentioned this to a family member who spent some time in that part of the country. He explained that the whites saw the Indians as lazy drunken bums that didn’t deserve to be treated as equals.

As I write this, I recall a trip to Copenhagen where I saw discrimination on an unbelievable scale. Some Danes absolutely hate the Swedes. I learned this when a shopkeeper tried to throw a Norwegian out of his store because he thought the man was a Swede. To make matters worse, the Norwegian also hated the Swedes and was, therefore, highly insulted to be called a Swede.

Why is it that some people have to look down on others simply because of their race or nationality?

A good friend (the harmonica player in our Nostalgia band) explained that the trouble with Baptists, Catholics, and Methodists is that they think they’re just as good as us Lutherans.

While such a statement is laughable, it seems that it may be truer than we like to think.

While working an assignment with IBM Europe/Middle East/Africa, I met many people from other lands. Through them I learned that the Germans dislike the Portuguese with the same sort of passion as the Danes in regards to the Swedes. There were other examples of discrimination between nationalities, but I’ve erased them from my memory banks.

In the United States, we have all sorts of laws to protect the blacks of our society and ensure their civil rights, but what about the American Indians. Does the NAACP have any programs that benefit the original settlers of this country? The Indians could be consider “colored”, couldn’t they?

Perhaps things have improved in South Dakota. I certainly hope so. That will give us all more time to turn our hate toward the Mexicans.

———————————————————————————–

I searched, unsuccessfully, for our camera before writing this post. Then my bride jogged my memory and I found the missing technological wonder! So, finally, here is the photo I wanted to include.

My newest T-shirt


Rebuttal

January 28, 2010

Ready to hunker down

I haven’t listened to an entire State of the Union speech since… Come to think of it, I’ve never listened to one from beginning to end.

Why? Because I view it as an annual campaign speech. If it truly was a “State” of the Union speech, it would be a multimedia extravaganza with charts and graphs. It would be a well researched and carefully planned presentation to let the public know exactly where we, as a nation, stand.

Instead, the State of the Union has come down to two things: First, a litany of excuses (the blame game) to explain why things are not better. Second, to make the same promises that were made in the past.

Politicians have no intention of keeping promises. That’s why they make them so freely. In the same speech, a politician (I’m not pointing the finger at Obama or any other individual) can blame the deficit on others, promise to cut back government spending and waste, and promise billions of dollars will be spent on new projects.

The shame of it is… the blind followers fail to see the contradictions. They stand up and cheer the politician’s every word. Oh! Wait! That was the senators and the other members of congress and the Cabinet. I guess they were simply cheering for the man’s audacity! Such gall! Let’s hear it for our fellow politician!!

To be honest, I’m glad this President was unable to move much of his agenda forward. Bush might have begun this deficit, but Obama wants to take it to new heights.

Hopefully, he and the congress will slow down and give more careful thought to the things they propose. Instead of a lawyer deciding what should be in health care reform, let’s put together a committee of doctors, nurses, hospital administrators, and insurance company executives and tackle the problem areas.

I think another word for “politician” is “arrogance”. They see no need to bring in a panel of experts. They’ll put together a 2,000 page bill that is full of crap… sorry, full of earmarks that have nothing to do with the proposed legislation and try to convince people that they’ve created the greatest thing since the Federal Reserve.

I didn’t listen to President Obama’s State of the Union speech for the same reason I ignore most political speeches. When a politician’s lips are moving, it’s a sure bet that he or she is lying.

I never did like listening to lies.


More Information on the Health Care Plans

July 27, 2009

CNN and Money Magazine have an interesting article on their website. It’s entitled “5 Freedoms You’d Lose in Health Care Reform”.

I invite everyone to take the time to read it. It is one more example of our politicians using deception to take control of our very lives. But don’t take my word for it. Read the article and come to your own conclusion.

Click here to read the article.


The Right Answer – Our Worst Enemy

July 23, 2009

As I race toward my sixty-fifth birthday, I’m reminded of the many things I’ve learned in my lifetime. One of my most significant discoveries is that the right answer is a terrible thing. For many of us, the quest for knowledge ends as soon as we think we have the right answer.

I sometimes joke that I found an object in the ‘next to last’ place I looked. How many times have we heard someone report that the lost object turned up in the last place he or she looked. Well, sometimes I go the extra mile just so I can make a silly comment.

When lost objects are the subject of the search, it doesn’t make any sense to continue the search after the object has been found. However, when it comes to knowledge, it’s extremely important to continue seeking a more definitive answer. Quite often, the additional probing turns up additional facts that, at times, totally alter our thinking. That’s when we realize our first conclusion was absolutely incorrect.

Case in point, a 1939 reference book listed uranium as a worthless metal.

It doesn’t take an in depth study of history to recognize how many times the scientific community has been mistaken. Yet, every time they ‘prove’ a theory, they’ll defiantly defend their findings as the ultimate truth.

It took an amateur paleontologist to prove that many dinosaurs were more akin to birds than lizards. The established community laughed at him until he found nesting grounds and eggs.

Lately I’ve been accused of being a right-wing FOX News watcher because I dared to question the universal health care plan being shoved down our collective throats by a President who seems to have little trouble spending tax payer money.

I’ll be the first to admit both parties seem to enjoy throwing around our tax dollars – especially when it can win additional votes for them during the next election. But the quantities of cash in question with this administration are beyond comprehension. We were told the stimulus package would turn the economy around. Thus far, it’s hard to say. Has it or hasn’t it? That all depends on who is doing the talking.

(Do you know how to tell when a politician is lying? His or her lips are moving. Trust me!)

The fact that the Administration is delaying the mid-year budget report until after the August recess of Congress seems to me to be a bad omen. Do they not want us to know how deeply in debt we are headed? It would be much harder to pass legislation to add to the financial burden if the public knew just how heavy that burden might already be.

And yet, when I question and try to determine the truth behind the news reports (on FOX, CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, and PBS) I’m accused of being right-wing.

I consider myself a moderate. If I were to be identified with any political party, it would be Libertarian. I have never voted a straight party ticket and consider anyone who does so to be a complete idiot who refuses to take the time to learn about candidates of opposing parties.

Nancy Pelosi condemns the corporate executives who fly on private jets. Yet she does the same on a regular basis – at tax payer expense. Is this acceptable behavior? Might this be called hypocritical?

George Bush was accused of being arrogant. The way Barbara Boxer treated Harry C. Alford, the president and CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce, was a true example of arrogance. He tried to tell her how condescending her remarks to him were and, instead of taking the time to listen to what he was saying and, perhaps apologize, she interrupted him repeatedly to explain how wrong he was.

Sean Hannity does the same thing when he ‘debates’ someone who sees things differently. Bill O’Reilly is even more arrogant… but in a more polite way. I once heard him speak out against the Fair Tax. His comments proved that he had never read the bill and had no idea what he was talking about.

This country has forgotten the meaning of debate because we no longer listen to one another. We are so positive that we have the right answer that there is no need to listen to any facts that might prove us wrong.

We need to get back to being a civilized society that respects a person’s right to speak. We need to stop the protests that occur whenever someone from the opposition tries to explain his or her view of the issues.

Am I correct in my arguments? I think so, but can never be sure. If I’m off base, hopefully someone will come along and tell me where I’ve gone wrong. I promise to listen.

By the way, how many of you have taken the time to contact your friends and acquaintences in countries that have Nationalized Health Care. Do you want to get some honest answers from people who live under that system… or will you simply take the word of Glenn Beck?


Cap & Trade or Michael Jackson

July 7, 2009

Regardless of which side of the issue you’re on, it should bother you that the news media is spending far more time keeping the American people up to date on the Michael Jackson memorial service than they are in informing us of the progress of the Cap & Trade legislation.

And why are they placing so much emphasis on a dead celebrity? Why are they ignoring more important issues that could affect all tax payers?

Some right wing conservatives would have us believe that the left leaning media is intentionally taking the focus away from Congress so the Obama administration can shove another giant spending (and taxing) bill down our throats.

The left wing radicals would argue otherwise.

Naturally – and unfortunately – the truth has nothing to do with politics. Sadly, the media is giving the American public what the American public wants. I’ll admit I haven’t checked, but I’d bet that any broadcast of the American Idol show garnered a much larger share of the viewing public than any of the Presidential debates.

The truth is a large portion of our population doesn’t care about what goes on in Washington, D.C. In fact, they care even less about what goes on in their own state capitols.

Many years ago I attended a Key Club convention in Philadelphia. Each delegate was given a key ring. On one side was the Key Club logo. On the other was the phrase, “Combat Complacency.”

I believe we’ve lost the battle. In the 1960’s, college students stood up and voiced their opinions. While many of them were wrong in their beliefs, they all had the courage to stand up for what they believed. As a result, many things in our society were changed.

The youth of my youth took the time to learn about things that mattered. Sometimes they heard one side of the story and jumped to incorrect conclusions, but in most instances, they looked at both sides and came to good logical conclusions.

I’m afraid today’s youth are too busy twittering their lives away.

Perhaps that’s the major difference. While we didn’t have CNN, FOX News Channel, C-SPAN, or… come to think of it, we didn’t have any cable channels because we didn’t have cable. We also didn’t have lap top computers and the Internet. But we did have newspapers, news magazines, and the library.

We paid attention to the world around us – sweat bullets during the Cuban Missile Crisis – and felt a responsibility to speak out against what we saw as injustice.

Perhaps that was the influence of John F. Kennedy. I know we all admired the man and took the “New Frontier” very seriously. And we all deeply mourned his passing.

Until President Obama came along, we hadn’t had another President who could reach out and stir the interest of the youth as JFK did. But it appears that the interest of our current youth petered out once their man was elected.

It’s a shame because, the way I see it, it’s the youth and future generations who will be most harmed by what is currently happening in Washington.

The U.S. Government has no business being in business. Every time government has taken over an industry, that industry stops being self-sufficient. For example, independent bus and trolley companies operated in major cities for decades. They competed for riders and most of those companies were profitable.

The companies that couldn’t compete went out of business and their assets were bought up by the other companies. Then, the government decided to take over. The two ‘companies’ I’m most familiar with – the Port Authority Transit (PAT) in Pittsburgh and the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit  Authority (MARTA) – have both operated at a loss for decades. Taxpayer subsidies are the only way they stay afloat.

Will General Motors be any different? Will taxpayer subsidized pricing put Ford, Chrysler, and others out of business?

The Federal Government has put itself in a very awkward position. Congress is talking about passing a ‘clunker bill’ that will give citizens a tax break for trading in an old car for a new, more fuel efficient, car. Will the tax break be higher for those of us who buy a GM product? It would make sense if the government wants their ‘company’ to flourish.

But wouldn’t that be unfair to the other companies? Does the government care?

There are many people who believe the economic crisis could’ve been solved months ago simply by the government letting workers keep their entire paychecks. Think about that. The typical worker has almost a third of his or her paycheck withheld every pay day. If that money had been available to the individuals, they would’ve spent it. Even if they simply paid off some bills, the economy would’ve improved.

Foreclosures would’ve been reduced dramatically and banks would’ve had more money for other loans. Consumers would’ve bought more cars, televisions, and other big ticket items… which would’ve resulted in more jobs.

If consumers bought Fords and Toyotas rather than Chevys and Buicks, GM would’ve had to fix their problems or go out of business. With increased sales, the other auto makers would’ve been able to buy GM factories and put the former GM employees to work building other makes of cars.

Is it too late for the government to get out of the auto business? I hope not. And while they’re at it, they should also get out of the banking and investment businesses.

Come to think of it, maybe it’s time for MARTA and PAT to liquidate and let the private sector show the politicians how it should be done.

Considering the business acumen of most politicians, it wouldn’t take a business genius to repair the damage done by congress. Think of it! How many politicians have held a ‘real’ job during their adult life. There may be a few, but most of them were borderline lawyers who recognized they could make a lot more money supporting the causes of special interest groups.

If they were intelligent enough to be successful business people, why would they even consider becoming a member of Congress?

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go and see if Michael has been buried yet.