Thursday, August 20, 2009
I am interested to hear your thoughts on the healthcare debate and why you think we need reform.
Monday, July 13, 2009
I was thinking about this as I was updating my Facebook status on my Blackberry while simultaneously receiving a Tweet from a Sales Blog I follow after checking my portfolio on Fidelity Mobile on my BB. Every second of every day we are bombarded with information -- most of it useless. And the scary thing is that it is getting worse. If you really want to freak out go rent "Eagle Eye" with Shia Lebouf if you haven't seen it yet. I saw it on HBO on Sunday night before True Blood. My feeling is that if this stuff isn't going on already, it will soon. Scary stuff. Very scary.
The thing about information in today's world is that it seems to take a life of its own. People throw shit out to see what sticks and nobody bothers to even verify anything anymore. Garbage in; garbage out. Nevertheless, I admit that I am in information addict. (At least I have taken the first step and admitted I have a problem). I don't have enough time to read everything I want to read on the Internet. I subscribe to way too much shit. My work and my family time have gotten in the way of my WSJ Online, ESPN Page 2, HealthLeaders, Inc., Fast Company, Food Network and Food & Wine (some culture is necessary). Who has time to live an uncaffeinated life anymore??? And football practice is starting soon...Carajo!
Seriously though...No, seriously. The great thing about information and the Internet specifically, is it allows us the ability to go back in time for "gotcha" moments. Particularly gotcha moments with politicians...(You didn't think that this blog posting was not going to somehow be about politics, did ya??? It always comes back to politics). Not only can you go back and read what some politician (usually a Liberal) said during specific issues, but you can actually see what they said on YouTube. Gotcha! I love it! Which, brings me to the issue at hand that has me boiling -- more stimulus by the government. I cannot for the life of me believe that they are already talking about another stimulus. For the one or two of you who are so kind and must have no life that follow my blog, you know how I felt about the "stimulus" that was slammed down our throats like a cheap bottle of tequila earlier this year. People also know I voted for the "other guy", or the lesser of two evils -- but boy, they ain't even in the same time zone. Funny thing what VP Joe Biden said recently that the administration misread how bad the economy was and how effective the stimulus would be. Ya think??? What happened to the Chinese math that was used to justify the stimulus that for every dollar spent it would yield $1.50 in growth. Really?
Read this for some sobering news. How do you think I feel now? How's that workin' out for everyone now??? So another (more) stimulus is the answer? We don't even know how we are going to pay for the first one amongst the many other things we have been spending taxpayer money on, like the auto companies, banks, AIG, etc. And to top it off...government healthcare! $1 Trillion later for that alone, which you know how terrible the government is at estimating anything. How will we pay for that? Good 'ol Rangel has the answer.
Here is my pledge...screw Obama and his administration and Congress. No benefit of the doubt. No, "let's give him a chance", "he's our President now and needs our support". Screw it! And screw all of them. Change is a coming...
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
It's hard to remain positive when everything you read, or hear, or see on TV is all negative. America, capitalism, liberty, and freedom as I know it is on assault. Not just in our country, which by the way is bad enough, but by the whole world it seems. I've always heard nobody likes the "guy" at the top, and frankly I subscribe to that point of view with regards to sports anyway. I can't stand the Yankees, Red Sox, Patriots (as a Dolfan, I never have though), Cowboys, Lakers, Celtics, etc. America is the "guy" at the top, and foreign governments and some of their citizens have always been envious of us as the leader of the free world. And secretly, and some not so secretly, are smiling at the mess we have gotten ourselves into. Make no mistake, WE have gotten ourselves into this mess because we all fell asleep at the wheel and let our government do whatever it wanted.
This is where it gets interesting though. The liberals believe it is greedy corporate America and Wall Street taking advantage of us. And the "failed Bush policies of the last 8 years" and the rich getting richer; yada, yada, yada. Maybe some of this is true, but I am sick of the populist rhetoric. On the other side, the Republicans blame Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, and Chuck Shumer. Well, if the shoe fits...The bottom line is that there is plenty of blame to go around. This complex mess we are in is simply because of two intertwined words: power and money. Not solely Wall Street executives and corporate CEO's, but more importantly, our federal government -- our U.S. Congress to be more specific. Do you know of any member of Congress that is not "rich"? If they weren't rich when they were "elected" to Congress they sure are when they leave -- although they don't leave...they do not ever leave. Therein lies the problem!
Capitalism has not failed us. Capitalism is not an inherent corrupt system as many in the liberal media would have you believe. If not for Capitalism, we would not have many of the things we have today. One question...when was the last time something of great value was invented in a Socialist or Communist country in which the government dictates what should be produced, how it should be produced and how much one is going to be paid for producing it? I'll let you get back to me on that one, because it is going to take a while...
Unfortunately, the current administration believes the government is the only thing that is going to get us out of this mess. The federal government is not our savior. The federal government is the problem. If you think the banks had too much power before, wait until the government owns the financial system. Nationalization of all important industries is the prize that this government has its eyes on. They will do it just as they have done with the stimulus package, the budget, AIG, and most recently GM. Under cover at night, covertly they take over a private company or vote on a bill (usually a HUGE spending bill) all under the guise of it was necessary to avert further damage to our economy. So we've gone from an administration labeled as "war mongers" to an administration of "fear mongers"? Well, the people wanted change, and they got it! For me though, it's not the change I can believe in!
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Does it not make sense to explore and develop our energy needs in our own country? We have natural gas, huge shale deposits, and oil in our oceans that can be extracted with current technology. We can create energy jobs that will develop energy TODAY. I think to depend on technology that currently does not exist for energy that may or may not work and to hang your hat solely on that is a huge mistake. Having the government be responsible for dictating future energy sources is a gamble that we cannot afford to take. Case in point is the hype of ethanol from corn. Remember, how that was the next big thing and how that was going to save our importing of oil??? How did that turn out? More energy and natural resources (water and corn) were required to develop ethanol than anybody talked about while hyping it as the next big thing. What happened to food prices as a result of corn prices skyrocketing? Farmers started to replace their food crops with corn crops for the development of ethanol. It is elementary economics -- supply and demand.
I believe that in order for us to be truly energy independent is to explore in our own country today and to provide incentives for the development of future energy sources like solar, wind, hydrogen and biofuels for tomorrow -- and let the marketplace determine what is best, not the government. It shouldn't be an all or nothing proposition. The Democrats (liberals) do not want to drill in our own country and the Republicans only want to drill. This is another reason why I despise this two-party corrupt system. It's either "all-in" or "fold"; yes or no; drill, baby drill or green energy only. I am tired of narrow minded, short-sighted politicians where every decision is political and based on their next re-election. Unfortunately 85% of this country are idiots and do not realize it's one big sham (or scam); or even scarier, don't care as long as they get theirs.
I propose a movement -- a grassroots movement, to take back OUR country and have true representation like our founding fathers envisioned and sacrificed so much for. If you care about your country and where it seems to be going (not good), and if you want government to get out of the way please join me. We are in a delicate time right now where every day brings us more bad news. How do you think Castro and Chavez came into power? With promises that they would end the corruption and give back to the people, among other things. The government was their savior. Sounding familiar? Check out this article.
Stand up and let your voice be heard. Scream if you have to...you probably will have to because nobody is listening and nobody cares anymore.
Friday, February 20, 2009
Folks, we need to get back to the basics to what made this country the greatest country in the free world. We need a grass roots revolution to take back OUR country from the corrupt government...We the people, for the people, and by the people -- us.
"Our own Country's Honor, all call upon us for a vigorous and manly exertion, and if we now shamefully fail, we shall become infamous to the whole world. Let us therefore rely upon the goodness of the Cause, and the aid of the supreme Being, in whose hands Victory is, to animate and encourage us to great and noble Actions -- The Eyes of all our Countrymen are now upon us, and we shall have their blessings, and praises, if happily we are the instruments of saving them from the Tyranny mediated against them. Let us therefore animate and encourage each other, and show the whole world, that a free man contending for Liberty on his own ground is superior to any slavish mercenary on earth." -- George Washington, 1776
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it." -- Thomas Paine
"I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. In my youth I travelled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer." -- Ben Franklin, 1766
"[L]iberty must at all hazards be supported. We have a right to it, derived from our Maker. But if we had not, our fathers have earned and bought it for us, at the expense of their ease, their estates, their pleasure, and their blood." -- John Adams, 1765
"Three millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Beside, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of Nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us." -- Patrick Henry
"Our properties within our own territories [should not] be taxed or regulated by any power on earth but our own." -- Thomas Jefferson, 1774
"These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their county; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny like hell is not easily conquered yet we have this consolation with us, the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly; it is dearness only that gives everything its value." -- Thomas Paine after the Declaration of Independence
"Patriotism is as much a virtue as justice, and is as necessary for the support of societies as natural affection is for the support of families." -- Benjamin Rush, 1773
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
I actually laughed during Obama's speech the other night when he said there is not one single earmark or "pork" in the bill. It's one huge earmark, mixed in with some tax cuts. It's payback time for the liberal groups who helped elect him and it's the Democrats wet dream coming to reality after not being in the majority for so long. It's not only disingenious, but is an outright "stretching of the truth" when they say this is going to creat or save 4 million jobs through the liberal spending programs that have been covertly snuck into this bill. We can debate on wether some of these liberal spending programs have some social merit and are good for the future of our children and this country. But to include these programs under the guise of stimulus spending that is required to avert catastrophe is sneaky and underhanded -- even for Congress. These programs should be debated through the normal appropriations process for the new budget -- not slipped in while no one is looking (and did not have the opportunity to look at it). And whatever happened to Obama's campaign promise of transparency and allowing the public 5 days to review any legislation before signing it into law??? Is this the change you promised? It seems like more of the same to me.
The economy is in crisis...the financial system is in shambles. Foreclosures are increasing every day. More people are losing their jobs. People have been living above their means for a long time and so has our government -- wonder which came first??? Something has to be done, right?! Or does it? There is some debate as to whether or not the economy will lift itself out of its malaise without any intervention. I tend to think it will as long as we let the failures, well...fail. But let's consider that you believe some intervention is necessary by the government. We will agree to disagree.
The Obama administration and the Democrats in Congress have said from the beginning that this bill is about creating jobs. They predict it will create anywhere from 3.6 million jobs to 4.5 million jobs. I have not quite figured out how they got this number and frankly I am interested to see their formula -- but I digress. So let's get back to the issue of creating jobs. Small businesses are the backbone of the economy and there is much ado about nothing in this bill for small businesses. Here's a few things to consider....
Small businesses employ about half of U.S. workers. Of 116.3 million nonfarm private sector workers in 2005, small firms with fewer than 500 workers employed 58.6 million and large firms employed 57.7 million. Firms with fewer than 20 employees employed 21.3 million. While small firms create 60 to 80 percent of net new jobs, their share of employment remains steady since some firms grow into large firms as they create new jobs.
Of the 23 million nonfarm businesses in 2002, women owned 6.5 million businesses. These firms generated $940.8 billion in revenues, employed 7.1 million workers, and had $173.7 billion in payroll. In addition, another 2.7 million firms were owned equally by both women and men; these firms added another $731.4 billion in revenues and employed another 5.7 million workers.
- In 2007, there were 27.2 million small businesses in the United States, according to Office of Advocacy estimates.
- Represent 99.7 percent of all employer firms.
- Employ about half of all private sector employees.
- Pay nearly 45 percent of total U.S. private payroll.
- Have generated 60 to 80 percent of net new jobs annually over the last decade.
- Create more than half of nonfarm private gross domestic product (GDP).
- Hire 40 percent of high tech workers (such as scientists, engineers, and computer workers).
- Made up 97.3 percent of all identified exporters and produced 28.9 percent of the known export value in FY 2006.
- Produce 13 times more patents per employee than large patenting firms; these patents are twice as likely as large firm patents to be among the one percent most cited.
In the end, it pays to keep in mind what Senator Mitch McConnell said, as quoted in the February 11 USA Today: "This paints a picture of the Europeanization of America. I do think it's important to focus on the larger question of, ‘Where are we going to leave the country in two years if we take all of these steps?'"
This ain't the change I believe in!
Friday, February 6, 2009
Taken from the WSJ:
"Mr. Obama is now endorsing a sort of reductionist Keynesianism that argues that any government spending is an economic stimulus. This is so manifestly false that we doubt Mr. Obama really believes it. He has to know that it matters what the government spends the money on, as well as how it is financed. A dollar doled out in jobless benefits may well be spent by the worker who receives it. That $1 of spending will count as economic activity and add to GDP.
But that same dollar can't be conjured out of thin air. The government has to take that dollar away from someone else -- either in higher taxes, or by issuing new debt in the form of a bond. The person who is taxed or buys the bond will have $1 less to spend. If the beneficiary of that $1 spends it on something less productive than the taxed American or the lender would have, then the net impact on growth will be negative.
Some Democrats claim these transfer payments are stimulating because they go mainly to poor people, who immediately spend the money. Tax cuts for business or for incomes across the board won't work, they add, because those tax cuts go disproportionately to "the rich," who will save the money. But a saved $1 doesn't vanish from the economy, unless it is stuffed into a mattress. It enters the financial system, where it is lent to others; or it is invested in the stock market as capital for businesses; or it is invested in entirely new businesses, which are the real drivers of job creation and prosperity."
More from the WSJ -- this is really eye-popping...
"To understand the problem with the stimulus bill, it helps to focus on specific parts. Take the $142 billion for schools, which is nearly double the total outlays of the Department of Education in 2007. Now consider that much of this cash would go to public-school systems that don't even need the money for its earmarked purposes.
The Milwaukee Public School system, for example, would receive $88.6 million over two years for new construction projects under the House version of the stimulus -- even though the district currently has 15 vacant school buildings and declining enrollment. Between 1990 and 2008, inflation-adjusted MPS spending rose by 35%, per-pupil spending increased by 36% and state aid grew by 58%. Over the same period, enrollment fell by a percentage point and is projected to continue falling, leaving the system with enough excess capacity for some 22,000 students.
The Milwaukee situation is instructive for another reason. The city is home to the country's oldest and largest school voucher program, which provides public funds for children to attend private schools. Families who participate in the means-tested voucher program receive $6,700 per pupil, while the city spends more than $13,000 per student. In addition to saving the taxpayers money, voucher students graduate at higher rates and outscore their counterparts on reading and math exams, which is one reason waiting lists for the program are common.
Yet language in the stimulus bill expressly prohibits any dollars from going toward financial assistance to students attending private schools. In other words, Milwaukee can use the money to build schools it doesn't need, but not to expand education programs that are producing better outcomes for disadvantaged kids. The Senate version excludes provisions in the House bill for teacher merit pay and charter schools now serving more than a million students, two more education reforms that are gaining popularity nationwide despite opposition from teachers unions and local school boards."
Unbelievable, isn't it??? This is a disgrace and we are supposed to be fine with this?! Congress is so out of touch. They are playing with our kids future and everyone should be yelling at them to stop this madness. This is our money, not theirs. This is our country, our government. We pay the bills through our taxes (unless you are one of Obama's Cabinet members)! Do something about this -- contact your representatives and tell them to go take a hike. Can anyone say term limits?
Saturday, January 31, 2009
Every country music song (at least the ones I like -- which I suppose are probably classified as modern, or new country) tells a story where you visualize yourself or someone you know or something you can relate to just like old school rap does -- at least I do. The stories are not always about love lost (although many are); but a lot about new beginnings. The themes seem to revolve around either God, country, or family; or all 3 in one sometimes. I think the word or theme that best encapsulates what country music means to me is about having strong moral character. This is something that I aspire to have -- and frankly, I think we all should aspire to have. I don't know about the demographics of country music listeners, but my guess is that most are white and God fearing and come from and/or have large families. Most are probably conservative. And most probably voted for McCain although like me, only because they didn't like the alternative. I think most probably are extremely disappointed with the moral decline in family values in this country. So, they are a lot like me.
Country music sings about having personal responsibility, being a good parent, being true to yourself, humble, and about hard work. These are all qualities that we should have but unfortunately so many of us do not. The worst thing is not that we do not have all of these qualities, but that we do not care to have them. We live in a culture about me, me, me. And what you can do for me. Every day that passes, we move further away from what made this the greatest country in the world -- these traditional values that the greatest generation (WWII) perfected and are systematically being eliminated in our society today. We have gone from personal responsibility to victimhood. From making decisions based on moral principles to doing what is easy and does not offend anyone. And I am sick of it. I want to do something about it but don't know how. How do I make my voice heard? Like everything else I suppose, it all starts in the home. Just like Country music. Home. Family. God. Love. America...not necessarily in that order.
Here are a few excerpts of some country music lyrics that tells the stories I like...
"I thank God for my life
And for the stars and stripes
May freedom forever fly, let it ring.
Salute the ones who died
the ones that gave their lives so we don’t have to sacrifice
All the things we love
Like our chicken fried" Chicken Fried by Zac Brown Band
"I've been to church
I've read the book
I know He's here, but I don't look
near as often as I should
Yeah, I know I should
His fingerprints are everywhere
I'd just slow down to stop and stare
opened my eyes and man I swear
I saw God today" I Saw God Today by George Strait
"And he bowed his head to Jesus
And he stood for Uncle Sam
And he only loved one woman
(He) was always proud of what he had
He said his greatest contribution
Is the ones HE'LL leave behind
Raised on the ways and gentle kindness
Of a small town Southern man" Small Town Southern Man by Alan Jackson
"before she knows it shes a brand new bride
in her one bedroom apartment and her daddy stops by
he tells her its a nice place, she says itll do for now
starts talkin bout babies and buyin a house
daddy shakes his head and says, baby slow down
cause your gonna miss this
your gonna want this back
your gonna wish these days
hadnt gone by so fast" Your Gonna Miss by Trace Adkins
Saturday, January 3, 2009
- May peace break into your house and may thieves come to steal your debts.
- May the pockets of your jeans become a magnet for $100 bills.
- May love stick to your face like Vaseline and may laughter assault your lips!
- May your clothes smell of success like smoking tires and may happiness slap you across the face and may your tears be that of joy.
- May the problems you had be forgotten and may your home be your Sanctuary!
- In simple words ……May 2009 be the best year of your life!!!