Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Another Open Letter to Mitt

Dear Mr. Romney,

Mitt, my friend, I used to be a Republican. I am no longer.  Back during George H.W. Bush years the party left me. I am still a conservative.  I bill myself as a Constitutional Conservative. But I am now speaking to you as a middle of the road voter. Let me rephrase that. I am speaking as a middle of the road voter that realizes that a victory by Obama would seriously damage this country.

You're a reserved person. Most men of your generation, especially those of means, were raised that way. There is nothing wrong with that. In politics that reserve can be a handicap. I know that you were taught to be modest, polite, and quiet about your own accomplishments while extolling others. Again, fine qualities in a businessman or a president. An obstacle to be overcome by someone campaigning for President.

While you're a good looking guy, you are never going to be a rock star. You will never run out onto the stage yelling and pumping your fist to rile up an audience. You live in a world of logic, information, and firm decisions made not from feelings or ideology but from research and knowledge. While you are willing and capable of making hard decisions on your own you will try to find a consensus position to get support from others.

So here is my suggestion. While I'm sure that your convention speech will be a great speech. It will be from the big stage in the big hall, probably giving air to big ideas. And after all that, people will not feel much closer to you than they do now. I think that you need to get more up close and personal with the voters. After the convention is well over, do a twenty minute speech on prime time TV sitting at a desk in a modest working office. Look right into the camera. You will be looking your audience right in the eye. No shirtsleeves. Wear a suit and tie. You're an executive, not the foreman of the shop.

Then open up to who you really are. Talk about your childhood growing up with George Romney as a father. Talk about the Mormon principles that made you what you are. Talk about your marriage and you family. Become everyone's likable and dependable neighbor. Become the person that they can rely on.

Finally pick three pivot points for your campaign. Big points not infinite details. Then do what Ronald Reagan did. Treat your opposition with humor but keep pounding those three points. Don't let Obama's straw men distract you. Assign knocking those down to others.

You have a great ticket and the wind at your back. Now go win one for the Gipper.

Best of luck,


Sunday, August 26, 2012

Random Thoughts - Eight

First of all, I would like to thank those that have supported my blog. In just under 5 months I have had over 5000 hits from 41 countries. That may not equal the Drudge Report but it is very gratifying to me. Thank you.

It seems that Muslims are the Democrats new favorite minority group. The Democrat National Convention will be holding "Jumah at the National Convention" for 20,000 Muslims. This will include a Friday afternoon Jumah prayer leading up to the "Islamic Regal Banquet". The next day will be an Islamic cultural and fun fest. Everyone, please just draw your own conclusions here. I just don't know where to go with this.

James Hamblin the Atlantic's health editor, being a kind and caring liberal, has suggested in that magazine that Boy Scouts should be "killed like rabid dogs" because they do not support homosexuality. Now isn't that nice.  I have two grandsons that are in scouts and have been since their Cub Scout days. I really don't think it's a good idea to have 10 year olds out camping with some 16 year old that has just discovered his propensities. Call me old fashioned and you'd be right. If the Atlantic has any class at all, Mr. Hamblin is now on a job search. I must have missed this on MSNBC.

Here's another cutie. The Obama administration gave $495,000 to a public relations firm and you'll never guess what they spent it on. Yep. Political ads for Barack Obama. Creating jobs is so much fun.

I just checked. There will be no fun fest or banquet at the DNC for the Democrat's ex-favorite minorities. It's tough when love goes sour.

I have mentioned that I have been a Red Sox fan for many, many years. This is a team that has totally lost their heart. It is painful to watch. When there is discontent and bickering without leadership the result looks like this. I can't even sit and watch a whole game any more. I don't enjoy preseason football. But the regular season can't come fast enough. Go Patriots!

Mr. Obama, you didn't make that beer.

Todd Akin has caused the Republican party more pain, trouble, and aggravation in one day than all the Democrats have in a month. He has trashed his career. There is no need to take the party down with him. Resign now! Do the honorable thing!

Is there anyone that has made themselves more irrelevant than David Letterman?

All the Dems and the press trashed Sarah Palin for talking about Obamacare death panels. Well, it seems that she was right. Part of Obamacare is a 15 member "Independent Payment Advisory Board". These non-medical political appointees that need no congressional approval are required to find ways to cut the cost of medical care. They answer to no one and their word is law. Ultimately they will be allowed to refuse doctor advised treatment as being to expensive, (ie. chemotherapy to a seventy year old or a kidney transplant to an alcoholic). More hopeless change.

Just in case you haven't caught on yet. All that bragging Obama's doing about the success of GM is going to blow up in his face. When they ship a car from the factory to a dealership, they count it as sold. It's not. It's just sitting out there with acres and acres of unsold cars that the government counts as sold. Every American should be given one for free, since we have already paid for them and will continue to far into the future. Thank you Barack for your superior business acumen. Not!

Please, can we get our America back?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

I'd Rather be Wrong

I look at and read a lot of news. But I have a tendency to look for the little things and think about them. Sometimes, in the middle of the night when I can't sleep, I will sit in my recliner and let my mind roam loose on these little bits and pieces. Two years ago I started seeing things about what is happening in Washington that I didn't like. Early on in his administration the president opined that it might be a good idea to form a domestic military. Then the president started appointing czars to essentially take over the roles that are traditionally done by Senate approved Cabinet members. There was also the "in your face" insult to the Supreme Court during the State of the Union address. The president has exhibited a disdain for the law preferring to do things by Presidential Order completely bypassing congress.

Members of the administration have been producing studies refering to domestic terrorism as a major threat to the country. Returning veterans have been insulted by implying that they may become a domestic threat because they have military training. Law obeying and peaceful "Tea Partiers" have been called vile names and labeled as a threat while the "Occupy" groups are ignored or encouraged. All the while the administration is ignoring illegals streaming across our borders. They have created a "domestic enemy" where none really exists.

As most everyone knows, things haven't gone well in this country over the last four years. Blaming Bush has gotten worn out as an excuse. The Obama campaign is throwing out rash and untrue accusations against the opposition. As the campaign heats up and election day approaches there seem to be an aroma of panic in Democrat quarters. This to the point where they had to send Joe Biden home to consider his verbal transgressions. On his first day back from isolation he refers to Republicans as "squealing pigs" and is said to be making plans to crash the Republican convention.

Now to the really scary stuff. On March 16, 2012 Barack Obama signed the "National Defense Resources Preparedness - Executive Order". It is available on line with any search engine. This executive order gives the president control over everything in the country in an emergency. I'm talking about food, transportation, manufacturing, banking, everything. And guess who gets to decide what is an emergency. Why the president, of course. The use of Predator drones has been approved for use in the US. They are talking about putting up a spy blimp to monitor the cities for unruly behavior.

It gets worse in March the department of homeland security made a purchase of 450 million rounds of .40 caliber S&W hollow-point ammo. That is just their most recent purchase. They have also ordered bullet-proof traffic control booths with stop and go lights and level 3 bullet-proof glass. These should go well with the military style combat vehicles they also bought. Two other agencies made significant ammo purchases. NOAA bought 46,000 rounds and Social Security bought 174,000 rounds of .357 Sig ammo. All hollow point. The other thing that I have stumbled across is the rumor that DHS is planning to arm TSA agents. Yes those lovely smart people that grope you and granny at the airport may be armed at some point. The amount of ammo being purchased far exceeds the amount needed for sworn agents carry weapons along with training and practice.

So where does this bring us? I do not think it inconcievable that backed into a corner and feeling he has lost the election or, having lost the election, the president would find an excuse to declare martial law. I understand that the military has been having domestic warfare training exercises in American cities. This has been written up a number of times. Again use your search engine. There is a lot of information out there.

I sincerely pray that I am reading to much into this. I want to be wrong. I do not think that many Americans would accept this. For the first time in my life I fear for the Republic. Any man that would do this his name would be would be anathema.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

An Open Letter to Democrat U.S. Congressmen

Of course, I mean both congress men and women. I want an honest conversation here without distractions. I would like to address those of you that understand what is happening to our country, even if you don't dare to express those thoughts aloud. I know that there are some of you that are as frightened as I am about the road that our country is on. I know that many of you are appalled at the rancor, lies, and false charges aimed at good people that want nothing but to do good. I know that many of you actually like and respect many of those from the other side of the aisle. You are the people that this open letter is addressed to.

We may have technically come out of the recession. That is only a result of number crunching. We never left the doldrums. We have just been drifting around a little. We are on the verge of going deeper into the recession than we have been. This is not a double dip. We are really in the same recession. But it could even be the start of a long fall into a depression. The statistics say over 8% unemployment. We all know that it is really north of 14%. Maybe higher with the college grads that can't find work. In minority communities it is even worse than that. Business and housing are both dead in the water without much immediate hope. Construction is down 70 to 80%. Not a pretty picture.

The country is standing on the edge of a tax precipice. If the "Bush tax cuts" are allowed to expire and the craziness of the Obamacare tax structure is instituted, businesses will freeze in their tracks. It will take anyplace from a decade to a full generation to get the country back on track. In the "Declaration of Independence" our founders pledged "their Lives, their Fortunes, and their Sacred Honor" to the founding of their new nation. Those are big words and they mean big things. That is why, as long as the Republic stands, their names will be revered.

The situation today is, certainly, different than it was in 1776. But it is becoming more dire every day. It is time for men and women of honor to reach out across the aisle and do what is right. Stand up to the ideologues and those with weak knees in your leadership. There is nothing they can do to you or nothing that they can offer you that is worth doing harm to this nation. And, make no mistake, that is where we are headed.

The fork in the road is there and it is coming up fast. You don't have to pledge your lives. Maybe you might have to pledge a little bit of your fortunes and all of your Sacred Honor. Do what is right and bring your country back from the edge. Bring back America.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Random Thoughts the Seventh

I can remember presidential campaigns back to Eisenhower Stevenson and this is the nastiest campaign I have ever seen. But you have to admit, it's kind of fun.

Peyton and Eli on television with little fairy wings on. Please. Is there anything those two wont do for a buck.

I really thought that Obama would kick Biden under the bus but the clock is winding down. Not much time left.

It is good that we are finally getting some conversation about Medicare even if it is over the top at this point. If nothing is done there won't be a Medicare. So truthfully a fundamental change is needed to save it. Ryan has some good ideas on this. Obama is just demagoging.

This is not finished but I'm hanging it out there anyway. Since I wrote that part on Biden on the 15th a lunch meeting was announced between Obama and Biden. This may be goodbye Joe time. So I wanted to be out there.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A General Theory of Government Deficiency

Profits are good. The higher your percentage of profit the better. If people are purchasing your product and paying the going price, they are not being cheated. So if a business is run efficiently and a good profit derives from that people will show support by buying stock in that business. A business needs a plan, good management, a controllable overhead, freedom from excessive regulation, and efficiency in producing their product.

Government does not generate a profit. They do not need to because they have the power to reach out and take money from you, dear reader. If you don't give it to them they will take your property and put you in jail. So government doesn't need a plan. In fact the federal government hasn't even produced a budget in the last four years. They should have a plan. But plans get in the way because the public expects you to follow them. The government doesn't care about good management because there is no profit motive. Just give your friends and supporters jobs no matter how inept they are. And don't worry about overhead either. If the federal government runs out of money they can borrow or raise taxes. It might do harm to future generations, but, hey, kick the can down the road. Let it be someone else's problem. And as for efficiency, they have never heard of the word.

You may have noticed, but in a number of cases on the city and state level, that big tin can they kicked down the road has landed. Due to the incestuous nature of dealings between public service unions and politicians, cities and states are facing bankruptcy. Many cities have already filed. Cities and states must run a balanced budget. No deficit spending for them. That's why the tin hit the tarmac there first. But there is a much larger can flying through the air. More like a 55 gallon drum. That one is owned by the federal government. If and when that one hits it will be bigger and louder than anyone can imagine. The feds are so deep into deficit spending, that, uncontrolled, it will bankrupt our country. With China being the main creditor the results can be devastating.

I read something a few days ago that seemed to be an allegory for government run business. Amtrak as part of their highly inefficient transportation operation sell food to those that show up at their facilities hungry. They have a hamburger that they sell for $9.50. Not exactly a bargain at that price. But the strange fact is that the hamburger costs them $16.00. How? Why? That is insane. Can you imagine your neighborhood pub operating like that. It would soon be the pub that used to be there. They went out of business.

The Postal Service had a $5.2 Billion, with a B, loss in the third quarter of this year. Do you ever hear anyone from the administration announcing new management in these government run businesses. No, they don't care. You make up the loss and you don't care.  But private carriers like Fed-Ex and UPS run at a profit. Why can't government at least break even.

If the public cared they would demand a better government. They would vote smarter. They would be more interested in the truth behind the news. They would watch what the politicians do, not just what they say. You get the government that you deserve. If you don't vote smart you end up exactly where we are heading at a high rate of speed. Everyone seems to think that the politicians they elect are fine. It's the politicians from other areas that are bad. If you think this, you are probably wrong. In my estimation about eighty percent of the politicians out there should be replaced. The new ones should be watched like a hawk to make sure that they live up to promises made. The process of government will never be perfect. It can be a lot better. It's up to the voters. They hold the keys to the kingdom. Take back America!

Just an observation. Watch Obama's face when he speaks. There is a man that is scared, confused, and has lost his way.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Economics Not For Dummies part 5

I was not eager to do another economics blog so soon. But I see a need and readers seem to like them. Having said that, I will venture onward and try to explain why the presidents policy to "increase taxes on the rich" is beyond harmful and into disastrous. The  president defines rich as an individual making over $200,000.00 a year or a couple making over 250,000.00 a year. That may be living well but it certainly is not rich. From here on we will accept that the conversation is about couples. If two people both work at good jobs an income of 250 K is a reasonable expectation. A small increase in taxes to people in this position, while unwelcome, would probably not be destructive. That is unless they have children to educate and a mortgage to pay and live in a city where the cost of living is out of sight.

There are many families that own small businesses. A great many of these businesses are called S Corporations because they fall under Sub Chapter S of Chapter 1 of the IRS Code. Profits of a S Corp. accrue directly to the shareholders as personal income. In other words, if you own an S Corp. the gross profits are income to you. You are not allowed to set aside a portion of that income before you pay taxes on it so that you can expand your business. You must pay taxes first. You may then take money out of your personal income to buy new equipment or hire new personnel.

Since the owner is the risk taker that started and grew the business he deserves as much income as he can take from the business in keeping with future plans. If the future is unknown both with taxes and business conditions one cannot make even a one year plan, never mind a five year plan. It is near impossible to run a business on the back of an economic roller coaster. With purchasing down, fuel costs all over the place, the cost of raw materials fluctuating, and the cost of Obamacare being a huge unknown, small businessmen are sitting on what profits they can squeeze out of their businesses and waiting.

Since they are the engine for growth in this country, when they sit on the sidelines, the economy stagnates. Tax income to the government falls. Since politicians cannot control their lust to spend other peoples money, they either raise taxes or borrow or both. Which, of course, puts the economy in a death  spiral. As some of our smarter pols have said, "We don't have a tax problem. We have a spending problem.". We need a government that will examine every dollar spent for honest justification.

I have said it before, but it is worth repeating. If the government would do four things the economy would take off like a sky rocket. First- freeze tax levels where they are now for five years. Second- turn back Obamacare. Third- cut back on the ridiculous amount of unnecessary regulation business must deal with. Forth- Go after every bit of fossil fuel that we have and free ourselves from the middle east. If you know a small business man or woman, show them my four points and get their opinion. There is a ton of money all over the world waiting for investment opportunities and they know that a sound strong America is the best and safest place to invest. Preserve America.

On a separate issue, I had this piece finished when Romney announced his choice of Paul Ryan as his running mate. Romney was blessed with a number of excellent choices. Ryan is right at the top of this list. He is a serious man with an encyclopedic knowledge of this country's financial situation. He is an asset to both the ticket and the country. Old Cranky approves.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Government Efficiency: A Fable for Our Time

About five years ago, my wife and I moved into an apartment house close upon a beautiful New England river. Across the road from our building was an unimproved two acre lot right  on the bank of said river. Some parts of this lot were overgrown with bushes, small trees' and weeds. But there was a bumpy gravel road, a gravel parking area, a ramp to launch canoes and kayaks, and a small clear area along the river where those that wished could sit and fish and otherwise enjoy being out of doors. The people in our building enjoyed it immensely.

The company that owned this little piece of land donated it to the town for a park. A wonderful civic gesture. The town planner hired an architect and they devised a nice little set of plans laying out a somewhat elaborate park. Just a little over the top, but not that much. Request for bids went out as required by law, and a contractor was hired.

The contractor started work clearing the land and moving earth around and soon went bankrupt. Time marches on as the say. Nothing happened for a year or two. And then the EPA arrived on the scene to lend their help. Back in the 1800s there was a huge textile mill at this location. Everyone knows that old mills often breed contaminated soil. Why the town planner didn't bring the EPA in at the beginning, I do not know. It would seem to be a logical step. But two and a half years into the project they show up and put a stop on it.

It seems that they had to sit down with a qualified contractor and figure out how to deal with this soil. Since the public must be protected they ordered a very ugly chain link fence put up around the property. And there it sat for about another year. Suddenly one morning we woke up to the sound of heavy machinery. Progress at last. The contaminated soil got covered, the site got graded and then it sat. Progress stopped. Time passed. Shrubs got installed and it sat. Time passed. Lighting and benches got installed and it sat. Time passed. Pavement was paved and grass seed was strewn and it sat. And it sat. And it sat.

Your humble scrivener called the town planners office at this point to let them know that our non-park had become over grown again. He told me had noticed that himself and would get a crew in there soon. And it sat. Lo and behold, one morning I drove out of the parking lot and found that he was true to his word. It was all mowed and plucked and prettied up. But that ugly chain link fence was still there. And it still sat.

As I try to be civic minded myself, I usually read the weekly free newspaper. It's really quite good and you can't argue with the price. What did I find but a nice little article about our fence girded non-park.  Apparently one of the high ranking town officials while looking at the non-park accidentally turned around. And what to his wondering eyes did appear? How about two buildings of senior housing. In the tried and true tradition of civic officials everywhere he apparently said, "oh my God, where did those buildings come from? We must do something to protect those doddering oldies. They might try to cross the road to get to the park". The buildings, by the way, have been there since the 80s. They  didn't just sneak in in the dark of night.

So now about five year down the line the town officials decide they need a traffic study. Everyone stop and hold your position we must get the police involved and a qualified engineering company to do said study. I have just given you the extra long definition of linear thinking. There is no reason on earth that all of these tasks could not have been identified at the beginning, tucked into a job flow chart and handled efficiently. In industry it would have been. I have been there and I have done that.

So here we are five years down the line and still no park. I suspect that at this time next year I can publish this same little essay with an addenda, but still no park. The point being government is not efficient. If they take over things like health care it will not go well. If Obamacare does last and you suffer the results, you won't be able to say you heard it here first, but, at least, you will be able to say you heard it here. Preserve America!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Six Easy Pieces

It is finally official. A federal court has acknowledged that Obama appointees did interfere with the prosecution of the New Black Panthers. I think it was pretty obvious, as they had reached a plea bargain, but at the last minute AG Holders people stepped in and dropped the case. They did a good job of covering that up for two years.

General Motors has been advertising that they have been doing well. Sales are up. Times are good. Except for one little thing. The word is beginning to leak out that they are making toxic loans to  increase sales. Can't you just picture, some time down the line, acres and acres of repos. Maybe they should start selling tow trucks. That looks to be the wave of the future.

Obama was quick to tell the world that he was the man in charge when the SEALs went in to take down bin Laden. Took all the responsibility and, of course, the credit for that super secret operation, the details of which were spread all over the media. Well it now appears that Valarie Jarrett may have actually been the man in charge.It didn't go, it appears, until she gave the thumbs up to the president. But even better is that they had paperwork in place to put the blame off to a navy admiral if thing went wrong. Look, you can't be president and take blame for stuff, unless you're not President Obama.

In an amazing feat of longevity, after four years the White House is still trying to deny that they returned the Churchill bust to the British. Everybody knows about it. Admit it and get past it.

I am truly tired of comedians, actors, and second rate TV hosts telling me I'm racist because I dislike Obama's policies. Before MLK was even heard of, it has been my policy to form my opinion of a person by their character not their color.

Really, with the country's financial situation. With the real unemployment rate north of 14 percent. With foreign policy falling apart. With Obama fighting more wars in Africa. (Oh, you didn't know about that?) With the country heading toward taxmegedon. We are supposed to make political decisions based on whether or not someone supports traditional marriage? There are many people that still accept marriage as a religious rite and support the religious outlook. It has nothing to do with sexual proclivities.

Why is there any top management in the GSA that is still working for the US government. I think  it would be prudent to kick them all out and transfer in experienced managers from other departments. Each one of them should be investigated with the intention of pressing charges. In private industry they would have been gone weeks ago. Let's make an example here.Preserve America!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Chickens Don't Hate, Liberals Do.

I had a dream last night. Maybe it was more in the form of a nightmare. I was very rich and very successful. I owned a chain of auto parts stores from coast to coast. I sold the very best parts ever made and I sold them at fair prices. I may not have made a lot on each sale but volume was good and every store was profitable. I paid my employees a fair wage with reasonable fringe benefits. Every one of them had a chance to move up in the organization.

I was active in civic affairs and gave time to serve on committees that did good works at both the state and national level. I was in good standing in a local church of a prominent religion and gave of both my labors and my wealth. I was respected and thought to be a good man.

Here is where it gets to be a nightmare. During an interview, I stated that I didn't care if they stopped singing "America the Beautiful" at baseball games. Especially as they don't sing it very well any way. That inept remark started my downfall. Within seconds it was tweeted around the world. I was excoriated on conservative talk shows. The Tea Party organized sit ins on my front lawn and signed petitions that they would never buy another car part from me if they had to walk.

Little packages started coming in the mail with cartridges in them. All with my name on the bullet written in ink. Red ink. Conservative celebrities tweeted my home phone number to their peeps. My email inbox blew up. It was terrible. I screamed out, and woke myself up. I was sweating. My heart was racing. I couldn't catch my breath. But as I calmed down, I realized it had to be a dream. Conservatives don't act like that and the Tea Party doesn't act like that. They might make the point that you are wrong. Sometimes they will make that point strongly. But they don't attack and threaten citizens. They do not try to affect your livelihood. Politicians are fair game. Citizens, no. But the one thing no conservative will ever do is to try to impede your freedom of speech. Not now. Not ever.

Well, it was all a dream after all. I'm not in the car parts business. I'm certainly not rich and famous. I'm just an old retired guy with a few ideas and a desire to write about them. But I was thinking, I am glad I don't own a popular fast food chain and really be a good religious person. I'm especially glad that I didn't answer a question honestly that I believe in traditional marriage. Because if one does that liberals and pandering mayors are not nearly so kind and forgiving as conservatives. They are perfectly willing to shut down your business, disgrace you publicly, interfere with your first ammendment rights, and run you out of town. Since I don't like people like that I'll continue to be the Cranky Conservative. Preserve America!