Saturday, December 29, 2012

Solving Gun Violence

A tragic and horribly misplaced approach of today's liberal and progressive leaders is to blame inanimate objects or cultural attitudes or corporations (which today's liberals see as inanimate objects) or, rarely, government for any and all of today's ills.  But we avoid any assignment of personal responsibility at all costs. Even if the cost is in human lives.

Gun deaths and gun violence is no exception.

First we blame the guns themselves.  And, of course that allows us to blame the NRA. From there it's easy to blame the gun manufacturers, gun sellers and gun owners (as a group, of course, and primarily if they're legal, registered gun owners).

Quickly we blame lax gun laws, gun shows and gun registration.  We blame large ammunition clips and semi-automatic weapons.

Next we blame the lack of jobs, poverty in general, or as Reverend Jessie Jackson did this week, a "lack of dreams."

Curiously we don't blame Hollywood or the media culture of violence very often. I'm guessing that's because many of the people in Hollywood are wealthy liberals who contribute verbally and, rather rarely, financially to our causes.  Best not bite the hand that feeds. But that's a very minor side point.

But we avoid any assignment of personal responsibility.  We do not, under any circumstances blame personal lifestyles, personal choices or personal decisions. We never allow any blame that would insult or hurt an individual or the choices they have made or failed to make.

If a person drops out of school, that's the school's fault. A school system is a great inanimate object.  But we never blame the teachers, or even dare to measure a teacher's ability or success.  That's personal and we don't do personal.

Because of our tragically failed approach to problems we have the great tragedy of gun violence in our society.  And the iconic symbol of our failure in curbing gun violence is not Newtown, Connecticut, but Chicago Illinois.

Chicago had 500 hundred murders this year, 87.5% of which were "gun related."  And they took place in city with the tightest, toughest gun laws in America.  Babies, children, teen and adults were all killed, with the toughest gun laws in place.

Did you realize that virtually no murders are committed by people with "concealed carry" permits? Nationally. Almost none. It turns out that murders are committed by criminals.  Who knew?

I personally have no problem with tougher gun laws.  I believe some new gun laws will emerge from Congress this next year and they'll have my strong personal support.  They won't solve any problems, but my fellow liberal will feel better.

But no gun law currently being proposed or discussed will prevent the tragedy in Newtown or reduce murders in Chicago (or anywhere else).

Both Ann Coulter and the vilified NRA know exactly how to stop future Newtown's from happening.  We will condemn them with our strongest voices of righteous indignation. We will call them "racists" and "neanderthals" and then we will quickly and quietly implement their solutions because they are right. Curiously, Ann Coulter is almost always right.

And Larry Elder knows how to solve the poverty problem, which does lead directly to the gun and gang violence in Chicago.  Our problem is that, as liberals, we've decided to take personal responsibility off the table and, therefore we cannot consider Elder's solutions.  Let me print some of what Elder has to say:

“To avoid poverty, UCLA public policy professor James Q. Wilson said that everyone — not just blacks — must do three things: finish high school, don’t become a parent until at least the age of twenty, and get married before having a child. Do this and you will not be poor,” 
Elder said. “I once asked Kweisi Mfume, then the head of the NAACP the following question: ‘As between the presence of white racism and the absence of black fathers, which poses the bigger threat to the black community.’ He immediately responded, ‘The absence of black fathers.’ Screaming about racism won’t solve this problem.”
“And if every white person, as my friend Walter Williams likes to say, suddenly became as pure as Mother Teresa, the problem of a 50 percent urban high school drop out rate would remain,” he added.
I want to be clear. I favor gay and lesbian marriage.  But Elder is right, we need two parent families.  Two men, two women or a man and women, I don't care.  But marriage need to occur before childbirth.  And life long commitment is a key.

Poverty rarely occurs in two parent families.  School drop-outs are reduced, too. Be honest, a single parent doesn't have the time or financial resources to attend school meetings, join the PTA and lead fund drives for more resources.  They often don't have the time to help with homework.

Poor single parents are good people, but they are handicapped  financially and functionally.  They love their kids, but they are stressed to the limit.

We cannot and must not legislate marriage. But, as a society, we need to realize strong family units are a key to a healthy society.  And, as liberals, we must look beyond the inanimate and toward the personal if we are truly to make an impact and begin to actually solve problems.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Thelma and Louise

Are we going to the edge of the cliff? Or are we going to go, full throttle, over the edge?

I've already stated it is best for the country if we pull a full Thelma and Louise and sail right over the edge.  If somehow you don't know the Thelma and Louise reference, please go rent, borrow or buy the excellent movie.  While it will teach you only a little about economics, it will teach you a great deal about humanity.

Indeed, what's happening in Washington is mostly "theater." We have players acting on the stage to impress the audience.   Both House Speaker Boehner and President Obama are striving for an Academy Award.  They want to win.  Neither actually wants whats best for the American People, the economy or the future.

These are small men with small minds and smaller hearts.  There's no Mr. Smith Goes to Washington in this bunch.  And that is a shame.  Like Thelma and Louise, we deserve better.

Kathleen Parker wrote an excellent piece about President Obama and Speaker Boehner yesterday.  I urge you to read the entire article, but here is a small excerpt:

The cliff negotiations between President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner have taken on the aspect of a game of chicken. Boehner needs spending cuts; Obama needs revenue. America needs both.
Who will blink first before we plummet off the edge into automatic tax increases for all, government spending cuts and a probable recession? 
After so many years of partisan intransigence, it's easy enough to assume that all parties are equally guilty, but this time Obama is driving the herd. Elections have consequences, as the president keeps reminding us. By this, he apparently means that he will have things his way, the rest of the country be damned.

Friday, December 07, 2012

Happy Holidays! Here's President Obama's Gift to You

You Owe $51,252.21.  That is your personal share of the National Debt.  If you have a son or daughter, they each owe the exact same amount.

As a Nation we owe $16,353,231,308,750.00 at this second.  By the time you read this it will be more.

Tomorrow, we all will owe more.

When President Obama and his family return from their taxpayer paid $4 million vacation to Hawaii we all will owe more.

Leadership in Washington, D.C. does not exist today.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

The World is NOT Coming to an End

TODAY'S HEADLINE:  Fiscal Cliff Talks Frozen

Two thoughts.  First and, by far, most important: If Congress fails to act the world will not come to an end.  Far from it. In fact I believe the complete failure of talks is the optimal outcome.  We need to aggressively deal with the national debt. This is the only approach that does that.

I am confident the economy will not go into recession.  In fact, I predict with confidence, it will improve.  After all Nancy Pelosi's $800 million dollar stimulus had no effect on the economy.  Neither will this tax increase coupled with the minor spending reduction.

This is much ado about nothing.

Second, in spite of my bold suggestion we allow the tax cuts to expire and the spending cuts to take effect, neither will happen.  Compromise will be reached.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Green Chri$tma$

File this one under "speaking truth to power."

Stan Freberg created his comedic mini-opera "
Green Chri$tma$" all the way back in 1958. Logging in at a whopping 6 minutes and 52 seconds it was too long for most radio station's formats.  But that isn't what kept it from being played on AM and FM stations back in the late 50's.

Freberg was an advertising powerhouse in the 1950's sought after by major clients worldwide. He was also a major comedy recording artist for Capitol Records.  Virtually his entire catalog is still available for purchase or download. 

Popular history says that Stan Freberg was inspired to write "Green Chri$tma$ when he happened upon a magazine advertisement showing a family, on Christmas morning, thrilled with receiving four new whitewall tires for Christmas. For the son and grandson of ministers, it was just too much, and he had the first draft written that afternoon.

"Green Chri$tma$" performed by Stan Freberg and the folks from his advertising group. Some of the greatest advertising and musical geniuses of the day worked with Mr Freberg in creating this masterpiece.  Musical arrangement was written by Billy May, who directed the Capitol Records house orchestra. Other vocal performances are by Daws Butler, Marvin Miller, Will Wright and the Jud Conlon Chorale.

While the creation of "Green Chri$tma$" was truly inspired, getting it released and on the air turned out to be a nightmare. At first, Capitol Records refused to release the record. Capitol told Freberg the record was offensive to everybody in advertising, and predicted confidently that Freberg would never work in advertising again. 

Freberg doubled down and  threatened to cancel his entire recording contract with Capitol if they didn't release his masterpiece.  He went so far as to talk to a competitor,  Verve Records, and Verve jumped at the chance to sign Freberg. They offered to release the record without even hearing it. Rather than lose Freberg, Capitol released Green Chri$tma$ quietly, with no promotion or publicity.

In spite of Capitol's efforts to "fly under the radar" Freberg's record was attacked immediately in advertising trade magazines. And advertisers flexed their muscles and forced radio stations to censor the song and keep it off the air. It was played only twice in New York by one disc jockey, and the station's sales department threatened to have him fired if he played it again. The story was repeated station after radio station. In spite of overwhelming listener requests, stations bowed to advertisers and refused to air the song.

And it got worse!  An editorial in the Los Angeles Times condemned it, but the author later admitted he had never listened to it.   The head of CBS refused to even listen to the song because he "already knew what it was all about."

However, the mail Freberg received from the public, including Christian clergy and rabbis, was overwhelmingly positive.
However, Freberg did get both the first and last laugh.  The song became an underground hit is an age when copies had to be made on home tape recorders.  Even more importantly Coca-Cola and Marlboro, both recognizably satirized in the record without being named, asked Freberg for advertising campaigns. On principle he turned down cigarette company Marlboro, but he created a very successful campaign for Coca-Cola.

Today Green Chri$tma$ is considered a work of art by an advertising genius who had the courage to see exactly what his profession was doing and to call them on it.  Freberg was willing to speak truth to power and win.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Ding Dong Death Watch

There are genuinely serious issues facing us today.  Hamas is retaliating for Israels massive missile strike with new, long range missiles hitting the suburbs of Tel Aviv.  We may on the verge of outright war in the Middle East which could easily escalate into a world wide conflict.

Europe has fallen back into a real recession.  Strikes are occurring in many countries and Spain and Greece are on the verge of default once again.  The economic implications for the United States are immense.

General David Petreas has been forced to resign as the head of the C.I.A. in a sex scandal that seems to grow daily.

And the events in Benghazi, Libya are just now beginning to emerge.  Susan Rice, our United Nation's Ambassador has been tarnished by her role in making a series of misleading statements (or attempted cover-up) of events surrounding the murder of Ambassador Stevens. Unfortunately this mess gets uglier by the day at a time when we need President Obama and his entire national security team to focus on world events.

But I today I must spend a few comments about the potential death of a great American Institution, Hostess Bakeries and their flagship confections, the Twinkie and Dong Dong dessert snacks.  If striking bakers don't return to work by the close of business today, the CEO of the bankrupt Hostess Brands, the parent of Hostess, has promised to close the business and liquidate all assets.

While the names Twinkie and Ding Dong will no doubt be sold in the liquidation, it's unlikely the snacks will ever be the same.  

The bakers are fighting a rather small reduction in wages ordered by the bankruptcy court.  The strike is illegal and the court has ordered the strikers to return to work.  If they don't, and the company liquidates, 18,000 employees will all lose their jobs.  

And all America will lose their Twinkies and Ding Dongs, perhaps forever.

There is no doubt in my mind that Hostess has been mismanaged.  They had just clawed their way out of bankruptcy two short years ago.  Now they're already back.  That's not the Baker's Union fault, that's management.

On the other hand Hostess cannot compete with the brilliantly run McKee Foods, maker of Little Debbie Snacks, who operate non-unionized plants with significantly lower costs.  Saddled with huge union costs, high medical benefit costs and gigantic pensions (which the Bankruptcy Court is now proposing to reduce), Hostess simply cannot compete profitably in the cost conscious American marketplace.

Let's hope that calmer minds prevail in each of the crisis we face today, even the Twinkie Crisis.  

ADDENDUM November 23, 2012:  Everyone tried to save Hostess, the Teamsters Union, Management and even the Bankruptcy Judge, but the Baker's Union was determined to close the company and place it into liquidation.  I've read dozens of articles and cannot find one word of explanation from the Baker's Union as to why they refused every effort to resolve this crisis. 18,500 people will now all lose their jobs.  No one believes the 6,500 Baker's Union members will ever get their jobs back, even with new owners.

Why did the union work so aggressively against the interests of their members?  Why do we have 6,500 Baker's Union members suffering this Christmas?  I'd welcome input, especially from any member of the Union, especially the Union Leaders.

Red State has an in depth analysis of this failure and the union's mysterious failure to help thier members: Let Them Eat Cake

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Why Romney Lost

There is no point in writing a post telling you why Romney lost because I've already spent an entire year telling you why Romney would lose.  And he lost for the exact reasons I already have posted.

November 18, 2011 - Why Mitt Can't Win

February 19, 2012 - Mitt Romney Can't Win

July 18, 2012 - Dear Mr Romney

September 18, 2012 - NOT BREAKING NEWS: Mitt Romney Can't Win

September 28, 2012 - Why Mitt Romney Must Win and Why Mitt Romney Will Lose

November 1, 2012 - Obama is a Lock for an Eight Year failed Presidency

But there are a couple of new points I can add.

My first point is that President Obama waged a brilliant campaign.  Many now say his 2012 campaign will be studied for years to come. He had everything working against him from high unemployment to exploding national debt to a Watergate caliber scandal (Benghazi) that would have easily sunk any other President.

But he ran a text book campaign including the key act of defining the opponent in May and June before the opponent has a chance to define himself.  Romney was quickly defined as an elitist, out of touch, business CEO, a multi-millionaire who genuinely had no regard at all for the lower classes.

Meanwhile Romney also ran a textbook campaign: but his was the textbook about how to lose!  Romney never responded to a single attack in a timely manner.  After playing four quarters of defense, he then tried to run out the clock.

My second point comes from a genuinely great analysis of voter turnout in Real Clear Politics today: The Case of the Missing White Voters by Sean Trende.  Trende points out that minority turnout equaled Obama's first election in 2008.  It had been expected minority turnout would drop.  What did drop and drop dramatically was white middle class turnout.  Had Mitt Romney simply got the votes John McCain and Sarah Palin got in 2008, he would have won.

Obama's ground game was superb.  He got his vote out. And by successfully turning off the middle class voters with his negative defining of Mitt Romney, potential Romney voters stayed home.  

Romney's ground game was, well, pathetic.  He counted on "enthusiasm" instead of a real get-out-the-vote effort.  The Republican Party is also largely to blame.  There are real lessons to be learned here.

But there is also a lesson about enthusiasm.  Romney never got people excited.  And he failed to use the single most powerful weapon in his (potential) arsenal, Sarah Palin, until it was too late.

Palin should have been the keynote speaker at the convention.  Certainly not the traitor Chris Christie, who gave a lackluster speech that was all about Chris Christie.  And Palin should have been on the road.  

To her credit Sarah Palin was on Romney's side to the very end and, when finally asked, recorded robo-calls for Romney.  It was way too little, way too late.

But that's not Romney's style. In fact, Romney has no style. Therein lies the entire problem.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Obama is a Lock for an Eight Year Failed Presidency

For over a year I've predicted a dozen times in this blog alone that Romney cannot win the election and that President Obama is assured of certain victory. I predicted Romney would repeatedly stumble, miss opportunities and fail. Romney is that tone deaf. 

Today I repeat that assertion. President Obama wlll be re-elected Tuesday and by a comfortable margin. 

Curiously Mitt Romney had a chance. Even more curiously, he decided to forgo almost certain election and pursue a genuinely bizarre last minute campaign strategy, ignoring the huge issue of the Obama Administration's cover-up of Libyan Ambassador Steven's torture and murder in Benghazi and opting instead to double down on a deceptive ad about Jeep moving production to China. 

Instead of exposing the truth of the biggest cover-up of this century, Romney decides to repeat a lie about automobile production. Missteps don't get much bigger than this. 

Someday, someone will write a book about this election (they always do) and will reveal why Romney made the gigantic mistake. 

In the meantime, after his comfortable re-election , President Obama will face a massive Congressional and media investigations that could actually bring down his Presidency. Shades of Nixon and Watergate. 

The nation is the loser next Tuesday. We could have had a competent disciplined President who would have turned around our economy and stabilized world relations. Instead will will get four genuinely horrific years of gridlock, investigations, bitterness, divisiveness and an utterly failed Presidency.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Why I'm Disappointed in the News Media

I listened to National Public Radio's Morning Edition this morning as I do every morning.  What a superb news organization!  The news stories presented are in depth, thoughtful and thorough.  I'm convinced there isn't a finer news organization working today.


Today and all this week there hasn't been a single story about the most important new event since the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.  I'm referring, of course, to the 9/11 Anniversary attack on the  Consulate in Benghazi, Libya including the rape, torture and murder of our Libyan Ambassador AND the subsequent bizarre cover-up of events by a White House in the middle of an Election Year Crisis. 

This is a news worthy story. In fact there isn't a single story that even approaches this in terms of importance.  Yet there is no coverage.  No one on NPR is asking the important questions. No one is asking any questions.

This isn't a news blackout.  The New York Post ran the story on their front page.  There have been stories on CBS and ABC News.  And FOX NEWS has it properly positioned as the single most important story of this decade.

FOX NEWS ratings are going through the roof.  The public recognizes the importance of this story.  When the story is completely ignored by MSNBC and only minimally covered by CNN, the audience goes where they must to learn the facts.

Of course FOX NEWS is presenting this story with a distinctly Republican spin.  That makes the FAILURE of NPR and other major news organizations even more disturbing.  The public needs an objective, dispassionate and in depth look at the facts and the White House Spin.  NPR could do that.  But someone, somewhere high up in their news organization is blockading the story.  WHY?

The cheerleader news groups (MSNBC and FOX) do their loyal viewers no good by eliminating news unfavorable to their candidates.  Better they should face the bad news head on and over it properly.  But the other news outlets who claim to be unbiased really betray us all by covering up a story that they will eventually be forced to cover.  All they do is lose credibility by being late to the scene.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Why Did Obama Lie? Why Did Others Lie?

Slowly buy surely the actual facts in the Islamic radical assault on our Consulate in Benghazi, Libya are coming to light. 

We now know that Ambassador Stevens asked for increased security many times before the attack.  We know the State Department turned him down in a dismissive and arrogant manner.  It appears no one at the State Department will pay the price for this gross error in judgment.

We now know that drones overhead witnessed the attack and that officials in the CIA, the State Department and even President Obama himself knew this was a terrorist attack.

We now know that there was no protest of demonstration preceding or during the assault on the Consulate.

And today we know that President Obama was fully aware that the radical group Ansar al-Sharia had asserted responsibility for the attacks.  The White House had emails from this al Qaeda allied group within two hours of the attack.

What we will never know is why President Obama lied continuously and consistently for two solid weeks about the attack.  We will never know why he forced Jay Carney, the White House Press Secretary to lie, when Carney knew the truth.

We will never know why the President ordered Susan Rice, the United Nations Secretary to outright lie on four Sunday Morning News Interviews, destroying her credibility forever.

We will never know why in the world Vice President Biden told such an involved fictional account of the information known to the administration, even recounting totally false dates, during the Vice Presidential Debate.  Biden knew from day one.  Why did he destroy any chance he might have had of becoming President? 

Certainly the administration will never explain these lies and the bizarre and unnecessary cover-up of the facts.  It's a mini-Watergate with no logical explanation. 

We can only guess that the President was trying to place the blame elsewhere, on an obscure video maker, to avoid any direct blame that would harm his re-election chances.  It just all seems so odd.

If President Obama wins re-election the Main Stream Media will then investigate and ask these same questions.  If he loses it will fall upon a disgruntled staffer to reveal the truth.  But either way, Mr. PResident, the truth will come out.

Friday, October 19, 2012

The Video Game President

There is a world wide uproar over President Barack Obama's appearance on Comedy Central last night.  President Obama stated that the rape, torture and murder of Ambassador Stevens and three others was "not very optimal."

"Not very optimal."

Sean Smith was one of the diplomats slain in an attack Obama has been trying to cover up for weeks.  He mother feels sorry that the event just wasn't "optimal" for the President.  She told a reporter for the UK Daily Mail, "My son is not very optimal - he is very dead."

As I mentioned in yesterday's blog, Whoopi Goldberg asked Ann Romney how her husband could possibly speak to parents of fallen soldiers since he himself had never served in Viet Nam.  I can answer that question right now for you, Whoopi, "One Hell of a lot better than Barack Obama did last night!"

This get back to the point I raised a few days ago in the blog entry, The Paint By Numbers President, where I discussed Obama's use of sterile form letters to parents of fallen servicemen and women.  President has no feel for the office of President. He has no sense of gravity.  He avoids all aspects of the job of being President except for the Television appearances and perks of the job.

He is exactly like a child playing the popular video game "Call of Duty."  None of it is real to him.  It's all just a video game.  

That's all the raid on Osama bin Laden was to him.  A big video game, an opportuninty to brag (and release government secrets to the press).  Likewise, the drone attacks that kill terrorists along with innocent Pakistanis.  It's one big video game.  And Obama gets to play the President.

This time I hope America elects a real President.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Mary at FREEDOM EDEN Takes on The View

Working in retail and heading into the Holiday selling season, I've just not had the time to prepare and write the blog posts I want to write.  I'd like to write an entire blog post about the amount of shear "hatred" I read in many posts, especially on the left.  And Twitter? OMG!!!

I will devote a few short paragraphs to Candy Crowley's role as Moderator of the Presidential Debate this past week.  President Obama won the debate, exactly as I predicted and expected.  No surprise there.  But why and how did Candy Crowley suddenly jump into the debate to defend President Obama with an obscure single word, out of context, factoid from a Rose Garden Speech?  It revolves around one word, "terrorism." 

In fact, why did President Obama, after weeks and weeks of absolute denial of ANY KNOWLEDGE THIS WAS A PLANNED, ORGANIZED, TERRORIST ATTACK during that first ten day period following the torture and murder of Ambassador Stevens (including a lengthy and tortured denial by Vice President Biden last week), suddenly remember he actually DID call it terrorism before any of the "facts" were known?  

More importantly why did the otherwise objective Candy Crowley have that Rose Garden speech literally memorized?  How was she suddenly able to verify Obama's obscure single use of the word "terrorism" in the middle of the Wednesday night debate?  

And why did she need to "fact check" Mitt Romney instantly?  

This smells bad.  I have no proof, of course, but I genuinely believe there was some sort of collusion between Crowley and the President's Election Committee. I don't believe in accidents.  And this was no accident.  This doesn't feel right.  

And it wasn't necessary. President Obama was winning on style and substance.  Worse yet we now know that Candy Crowley was essentially wrong.  She herself has personally "walked back" the interruption saying that Romney essentially correct.

Finally I'm bothered by the vicious attack on Ann Romney on The View today.  Mitt Romney wasn't there (and he should have been).  But, after the sickeningly sweet cotton candy interview of President and Michele Obama, how is it that Barbara Walters let the Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar dogs loose on Ann?

I'm going to let superb blogger Mary from FREEDOM EDEN take it from here. Read her entire post:   ANN ROMNEY: THE VIEW

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Paint By Numbers President

I have three thoughts tonight that need little or no expansion.

1.)  I remember the "Bush Haters" really well from just four years ago.  It seems like a century ago, doesn't it?  President Bush could do nothing right.  McCain lost, at least in part, because he was unable to distance himself from the reviled President Bush.

2.)  Four short years later we have the mirror image of the "Bush Haters" in the "Obama Haters." For these critics Presidnet Obama can do nothing right.  Every tiny move is subject to review and criticism.  

The newest cause celeb in the "Obama Haters" click is the growing critcism of President Obama's use of one single standard and terribly impersonal form letter being sent to the families of every soldier killed in Afghanistan, Iraq or on any duty.  One cold letter, printed and signed again and again and again.  They point out that President Bush, for all his flaws, usually wrote personal notes,often by hand.

The Gateway Pundit has covered the controversy here: Confirmed: Obama Sent Same Form Letter to Parents of All Fallen Soldiers, Marines, SEALs

3.) I will refuse to ever become an "Obama Hater."  He is not a bad man.  He doesn't deserve the vilification thrown his way. 

I'm voting for Mitt Romney for a variety of rational reasons outlined elsewhere in this blog.  I think this "letter" controversy is overblown.  But, it does reflect Obama's approach to his entire Presidency.  He has no feel for the job or its gravity.  It's all paint by the numbers, sign the form letters, then on to The View.

He's not a bad man.  He's just not the man we need in the Oval Office.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Just a Reminder: YOU Pay for Every Obama Phone

Somehow a vast number of Americans believe the "Government" pays for certain things (or many things).  This, of course, isn't true.  The "Government" actually pays for absolutely nothing.  Either we taxpayers pay the bill through our taxes or, more increasingly, the government borrows the money and pays using these borrowed funds.  Either way we are ultimately on the tab.

But the phenomena of the "Obama Phone" has gone viral this campaign season.  This program, begun long before Obama even thought of running for President, was originally designed to help poor rural citizens pay for telephone service and to encourage the telephone companies to extend telephone lines to remote areas.

For reasons that defy understanding, a few years ago (again before Obama was President), the program was expanded to provide cell phones to virtually all low income people nationwide.

It is curious how some enterprising salesmen and telephone resellers have renamed the program the "Obama Phone" implying the President deserves full credit for providing cell phones to millions. Check out this URL:

Assuming that you are NOT one of the low income people receiving an Obama Phone, you are paying for them!  You are on the hook for millions and millions of cell phone bills!  And the program is absolutely EXPLODING.

I want to emphasize that this isn't Warren Buffet or the multimillionaires paying, it's virtually anyone who uses a telephone.  It is an egregiousness TAX on lower income and middle income people.

Here's HOW YOU PAY: The program is funded through the “Universal Service Fund” charge on phone bills — usually a dollar or two per bill per month — and the amount of the fee is determined by the cost of this and other programs. In other words the more people given the supposedly "FREE" Obama Phones the higher YOUR PHONE BILL RISES!!!

A growth of $100 million in this program could result in an increased fee of a few cents on the average bill, according to officials from the agency that administers the program. The total cost of the program nationwide was $1.5 billion in 2011, up from $1.1 billion in 2010.

Today, thanks to the viral You Tube Video requests for the phone have also gone viral! Costs could jump to over $2 billion by the need of this year.  You phone bill could jump to by another $2.00 a month.

Just remember the government pays for absolutely nothing.... ever.  Every government program is ultimately paid by individual citizens.

Certainly an interesting question is, "Will FREE Obama Phones throw the election to President Obama?" There is a reason its illegal to provide financial incentives to voters.  But keep in mind that the President is not doing that.  This program began and expanded long before Obama became President.

But it is now always called "Obama Phones" and over 1,000,000 (one million) OHIO residents alone now receive Obama Phones.  That's more than enough votes to sway the election.  What if Mitt Romney is right?

This article in The Dayton Daily News was certainly helpful in preparing today's blog entry.  Read it in full and you decide: 1 million Ohioans using free phone program

The photograph above is of Ohio resident Aliesa Azbill and was taken by Chris Stewart.  It is from the Dayton Daily News article.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Why Romney Must Win and Why He Will Lose

Mike Allen, Jonathan Martin and Jim Vandehei, writing the lead, in depth, story today in Politico, have managed to encapsulate both the reasons Romney would be a great President, ready on day one to take on the country's problems, AND the reasons Romney cannot possibly win. It's both a sobering and eye opening article.

Even the article title says it all: In the End, It's Mitt

I'll limit myself to just a few small quotes. Please read the entire article.

It kills his admirers to say it because they know him to be a far more generous and approachable man than people realize — far from the caricature of him being awkward or distant — and they feel certain he would be a very good president. 
“Lousy candidate; highly qualified to be president,” said a top Romney official. “The candidate suit fits him unnaturally. He is naturally an executive.” 
That comment captures precisely why his closest confidants think he is a much better, bigger and more qualified man than often comes through on the trail. He treats his staff with respect, works hard on his weaknesses and does all of it because he possesses supreme confidence in his capacity to lead effectively.

Yet many of the folks who are despairing about Romney
[campaign weaknesses] would actually love what he would do in office. Romney’s metric-obsessed transition team is fleshing out a “200-day plan” (100 days wasn’t enough time to pass a bunch of big bills) aimed at goosing the recovery and creating jobs by bringing corporate cash off the sidelines in the United States and attracting investment from abroad. 
The weapons would include tax and regulatory policy and what one aide called a “very aggressive” series of executive orders, many already on the drawing board. Two of Romney’s friends told POLITICO he would be eager to sign a bipartisan grand bargain in the first four months in office to calm markets and ease partisan tensions.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Worst President in the Last 100 Years

My last essay (blog entry) about Mitt Romney's ill fated campaign for President began with the sentence "Barack Obama is, in many ways, the worst President in the last 100 years."  My Liberal Friends on Twitter, while agreeing with me that Romney will lose the election, lambasted me for my condemnation of Obama. I wish they were right. I wish my accusations were not true. But they are.

President Obama loves to campaign and loves to play President, but is both unwilling and unsuited to actually do the work of the job. He is the first President in 20 years to not meet a single Head of State during his visit to the United Nations. He instead appeared on “The View.” 
His avoidance of his National Security Briefings (he attends only 30% of the briefings) and his failure to hold a single meeting of his own Jobs Council in over 6 months are just two of dozens of examples of his avoiding the actual work of being President. He doesn’t love the work, he loves the role.
This is also why he avoids the work of actually compromising with Congress. By delegating his normal role to Pelosi and Reid, he abdicated the normal responsibilities of the executive branch.

I applaud the few out there who admit to knowing Obama's flaws and have decided to vote for him anyway. These are wise folks who weigh the facts and the risks of a Romney Presidency and feel Obama is the better choice.

I've chronicled many of the problems with Obama's policies and p[practices in previous blog entries.  You can go back and read them here: President Obama (WARNING: There are dozens of articles, some only tangentially mentioning Obama).

But recent events in Libya and the Middle East may well be President Obama's lowest point.  His policies were wrong to begin with and have failed badly.  He was cavalier about defense and never took the threat from Islamic Radicals seriously.  His avoidance of Security Briefings and total failure to prepare for the anniversary of 9-11 are failures enough to warrant his defeat, but the lying now coming out of his office and  the State Department demand he be removed from office.

You just don't lie when the entire world know the truth.  And he is bringing down Secretary of State Clinton with him, although she shares some of the blame, especially for misleading Congress.  

The murder of Ambassador Stevens lies at their door.  If they were candid and honest I could forgive the lapses of judgement, but the cover-up is unforgivable.

If the Press were to honestly cover these issues (and they are finally starting to do this) Obama could not possibly be reelected.

Obama pressed on failures at Univision forum

U.S. probes whether Benghazi attackers had inside help

State Department was discussing putting Marines in Libya 'sometime in next five years’

Republican senators decry ‘useless, worthless' Clinton briefing on Libya attack

IG: White House ‘Made it Impossible’ to Pursue Lead in Fast and Furious Probe

Deafening Silence About the Camp Bastion Attack

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

NOT Breaking News: Mitt Romney Can't Win

Barack Obama is, in many ways, the worst President in the last 100 years.  Yet this ego-driven, rather incompetent progressive may well win a 40+ state landslide victory this November.  Thank you Mitt Romney!

I just want to repeat what I've been saying in this blog again and again for the last year.  Mitt Romney cannot possibly win! His flaws are so fatal he will simply self destruct over and often throughout this election cycle.

Yesterday's "hidden tape" released by Mother Jones is simply the latest self destructive explosion, not the last.  But it is the worst so far from a candidate who has proven he can "out Kerry" John Kerry. Wind surfing anyone?

Now Romney will not succeed in "out McGoverning" McGovern.  He can't lose all 50 states. Well, I don't think he can.  But it's early yet, I don't want to underestimate the man.

After the last two weeks Romney is so toxic I believe Republicans will lose the House and most assuredly fail to regain the Senate.

After the election the media will finally turn on Obama.  And the Republicans will most assuredly regain both houses of Congress in 2014.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Rhetorical Question

What if the Catholics begin rioting? 

What if Catholics scale the walls of the Embassies in, say, Italy, Poland and Czechoslovakia and torch American Flags?

What if Catholics kill the Ambassador in Andorra (Andorra is 94% Catholic, by the way)?

What if Catholic protests break out in Germany, Great Britain and much of Europe?
What if the rioters and others claim that the protests are because of Bill Mahar's movie "Religulous?"

Will the FBI bring Bill Mahar in for questioning?  Will the government scour his records looking for criminal activity? 

Will CNN publish his home address, directions to his home, his movements?  

Will CNN News announcers denounce and ridicule the movie? 

Will the Obama Administration contact You Tube and ask that clips form Mahar's "Religulous" anti-Catholic movie be pulled from the service?

Will the The Pentagon call the executives at LIONSGATE (the Studio responsible for "Religulous") and ask them to remove their financial support and repudiate the film?

And, while all this happens, will virtually all so-called Liberals and progressives remain silent?

Monday, September 10, 2012

Honoring the Memory of Peter, Sue and Christine Hanson

In 2006, five years after the horror of September 11, 2001, a diverse and eclectic group of bloggers created the 2,996 Project. In this project, one blogger was assigned to prepare a remembrance for each of the victims who died during the terrorist attacks.

It's hard to believe eleven years has passed since this horrific tragedy. Last year, on the tenth anniversary, there were many television specials, newspaper stories and articles to commemorate the event.  It seems to me that this year the quiet lives of the victims are fading into the mist of time. That is the greatest tragedy of all.  

Please take time to remember just how frail and how fleeting life really is. Read and remember Peter Hanson, Sue Kim Hanson and their little daughter Christine Hanson, the youngest victim of 9/11.

Susan Kim Hanson, her husband Peter and their daughter Christine were just three of the victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack that took the lives of 2,996 souls in the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and the fields of Pennsylvania.

Sue, Peter and Christine were on United Airlines Flight 175, flying to Los Angeles to visit Sue's family and to take their daughter to Disneyland.  However, people whose hearts were filled with hate hijacked their plane and crashed it into the South Tower of the World Trade Center.
Sue Kim Hanson 

Sue Kim Hanson was a great scientist in the making. She was a doctoral candidate in micro-biology immunology at Boston University and working on her final thesis. Her work promised to reveal the workings of a chemical believed to regulate immune responses. She had isolated in lab mice a gene suspected of being involved in asthma sufferers and AIDS patients. Her work had the potential to help millions of people.

Susan Kim was one of those wonderful American success stories. A Korean-American, Sue had lived with her grandmother in Korea until she was 6. Her mother died when she was 15 and she was raised by her strict Korean father. Through hard work and discipline, sacrifice, dedication and sheer will power she neared the goal her mother and father and grandmother had hoped she would achieve, her doctorate degree.

Dr. Hardy Kornfeld, Hanson's thesis adviser, said "She was sort of fearless. Sue just took on tasks that were incredibly challenging, and more often than not she was able to make a go at them."

That she would be attracted to the wild and undisciplined Peter Hanson was a great surprise. Three years younger than Sue Kim, Peter gained his education by following The Grateful Dead. Peter believed that the group and its music would become classics, up there with Beethoven, Bach and company, and he tried to sway the opinion of anyone who would listen. 

But even if Sue wasn't quite convinced about the Dead, she believed in Peter. And her faith was well placed. Peter was, by all accounts, a brilliant software engineer, a great salesman and a wonderful person.

He was passionate about Sue and Sue fell head over heals in love with Peter. She obviously had a great effect on him. has a reprint of a New York Times article about Sue that tells the story:
    "The relationship spurred Peter Hanson to clip his tangle of brownish-red dreadlocks, trade in tie-dyed T- shirts for suits, go to business school and become one of the best software salesmen his friends and family had ever met. He was vice president of marketing at TimeTrade in Waltham, Mass."

    "Her bond with the Hansons was so strong that they accompanied her to California when she went to inform her father about her engagement. She worried that her father would protest because Peter Hanson was not Korean. But her family embraced the Hansons."
Sue and Peter were married and had a beautiful daughter. Sue continued to pursue her doctoral degree. She was scheduled to defend her thesis in November, 2001.
Sue, Peter and ChristineTaking a last break before finalizing her research and thesis, they boarded United Airlines Flight 175 for a mini vacation. 

Peter Hanson is remembered as one of the passengers who documented the hijacking during the flight with two calls to his father.  Peter made a final cell phone call to his parents moments before the plane crashed into the south tower.
"It's getting bad, Dad. A stewardess was stabbed. They seem to have knives and Mace. They said they have a bomb. Passengers are throwing up and getting sick. The plane is making jerky movements. I don't think the pilot is flying the plane. I think we are going down. I think they intend to go to Chicago or someplace and fly into a building. Don't worry, Dad. If it happens, it'll be very fast. My God, my God."  The call ended abruptly.
Those memories will haunt us forever.  But there are better memories, too.
Sue's friend Mona Pengree writes, "Sue was awarded her PhD posthumously, as her professor finished her work on her behalf. This is a wonderful picture of her, and she shone every bit as brightly in person. Probably more. Her loss was a loss to all mankind."

Sue gave a great deal to Boston University and she gave a great deal to all of us. Her work in immunology inspired her fellow students, faculty and the University to continue her research and finish her thesis. They awarded her a doctorate degree. And they established the Annual Sue Kim Hanson Lecture In Immunology, not just to honor her memory, but to give full credit to her work and the inspiration, the strength and the courage Sue provides to us all.

Christine Hanson SHOULD HAVE BEEN 14 years old this year. Michelle Malkin wrote this in her syndicated column back in December, 2001:
"Eight children were murdered on hijacked airliners that crashed on Sept. 11. Christine Hanson, 3, was on United Airlines Flight 175 with her parents. She was on her first trip to Disneyland. Christine was brown-eyed and rosy-cheeked and button-nosed. At family meals, she made everyone stand and hold hands while singing the theme song from Barney. During Christine's funeral, mourners re-enacted the scene, singing: "I love you, you love me""

God bless you Christine... and Peter and Sue and all those who died so tragically five years ago.

God bless.

As I mentioned in an earlier entry, there is a wealth of information, tribute and love scattered throughout the Internet in remembrance of Sue Kim Hanson. I owe every contributor who came before me a deep debt of gratitude. Through each of you I have come to know Sue, Peter and Christine. You have touched my heart.

If my Tribute to The Hansons here today fell short in any way, I deeply apologize and would love to hear from any of you.

I suggest these following resources from which I have borrowed freely in preparing this tribute:
Remember September 11, 2001
A mother to her son: How could I forget your curiosity and energy? By Eunice Hanson, for The Associated Press

Peter, Sue Kim, and Christine Hanson Memorial Web Site

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Back in 2006, the 2,996 Project asked bloggers to prepare tributes to all who died in the tragic events of September 11th. Many of those blog entries remain on line and many will be reprinted again this year.


    I've been spending a little time preparing to repost and hopefully enhance my blog entry remembering Sue Kim Hanson.  Sue, along with her husband Peter and daughter Christine were murdered along with 2,996 others on "nine-eleven" as it has come to be called.   My blog entry will appear tomorrow, as it has every year since 2006.

    As part of my research I stumbled upon this wonderful video for The Alzheimer's Foundation.  There is a great blog out there called Smoke and Mirrors by Michael Murphy, a. blogger who has all the talent I wish I had. He posted the video at the request of one of his readers.

    My mother has Alzheimer's and it has progressed to the point where she remembers very little of her life.  The other day she was unable to remember her name.

    The video below is not a "downer." It's neither frightening nor depressing. It's short and, well, it's important.  Don't be afraid to watch it.

    Remember those you love.  And give a gift to The Alzheimer Foundation so that we all can remember the important things in our lives.