Friday, May 30, 2014

Weak Is As Weak Does

On the news, various talking heads have claimed that Obama is a weak President. And, of course, Obama immediately responded, "I'm not a weak President". I guess that completes that news cycle.

I do not think Obama is a weak President. It is worse than that. I think he is a disinterested President. I recall when I was about ten or eleven years old, I visited a college book store with someone. I spotted a paperback book on a scientific subject that I wanted to buy. It was the cover art that caught my fancy. When I took it to the register, the clerk suggested I read a little of it first. She knew it was too advanced for me. After a quick scan I bought the book. I was too proud to admit it was beyond me. Needless to say, I never read the book. Like the President, I lost interest in something too difficult.

Barack Obama did not understand the Presidency nor does he understand people. Unfortunately, he never allowed himself to learn. He is cold to people. He doesn't negotiate and bring people into his fold. He does not compromise. And I mean that in a bad way.

Obama had a dream of the Presidency. He had a personal agenda. In his mind, getting the Presidency was like getting a magic wand. He felt he would be all powerful. Just to express his wishes was to have them granted. He could remake the world. 

Then reality struck. Between him and his pipe dream sat 435 egos in the House and 100 even bigger egos in the Senate. Most of these people had been around for a while and didn't exactly swoon at his feet. They all had their agendas too. Obama found out that being President was actually hard work. He lost interest. He immediately reverted to continuous campaign mode. Speechify, schmooze with the rich and famous, be seen. And along the way write Presidential orders to accomplish in a quasi-legal manner what you can't accomplish by Constitutional legislative means.

Barack Obama wanted to be a transitional President. He has accomplished that. The economy is worse, health care is a mess, we have endured scandal after scandal, there are still no jobs, we have lost freedoms, the very Constitution is in jeopardy, our military is weakened, our allies no longer trust us, and our enemies no longer fear us. Yessir. Barack Obama has been a transitional President. Do you suppose that this is exactly the transition he was aiming for?

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Once Again Into The Fray

We are now on the downwind leg of President Obama's term in office. Excuse me, did I just hear a collective sigh of relief? Not so fast. That is not over until it is over. There are still ways that a person lacking moral stricture could keep control of the Resolute desk. So barring something too unseemly to seriously consider, we will have a Presidential election in 2016 and a new President in 2017.

But who? We will have gone through eight years of an unready, unskilled President. The country and the world has the bumps and bruises to share for it. But is the hard left liberal world, from whence Obama came, ready to abandon their agenda? I doubt it. They have a foot in the door and an investment to double down on.

So will they push Hillary? Obama didn't ask her to be Secretary of State because he liked her. He wanted to control her and use her as a foreign policy shield. The control part worked well for a time. The shield, not at all. But Hillary is not a favorite of the hard left, she is old. She has health issues. She has a ton of baggage. Frankly, she was a fool to give up her senate seat. I just can't see Hillary being the candidate.

Elizabeth Warren has been mentioned by some. She certainly has the hard left credentials. But she is an academic with no real world experience and a finagled resume. Her one strong point is that, while at Harvard, she taught bankruptcy law. With our country's financial state under Obama, that may be useful.

So, where does that leave us? Bernie Sanders and Dennis Kucinich have been discussed. That would give us a curmudgeon or a hobbit for President. I just can't picture either one of them walking out of the Democrat Convention with a smile.

So, I'll give you two names and three people. The first name is Castro. Joaquin and Julian are twin brothers from Texas. Julian has just been named Secretary of Housing and Urban Development by President Obama. That gives him almost four years of exposure on the big stage. Joaquin is a member of the House of Representatives. Both are Harvard educated lawyers. Does that ring a bell?

OK, I said two names and three people. Let us not count out the ever popular Michelle. Can I use the phrase "dark horse candidate" here without being accused of racism? I have written before that I think she would love to abandon the East Wing and set up shop in the West Wing. I still rate that as a strong possible. 

Watch for public exposure. The Castro brothers need name recognition. But for better or worse they are three to watch over the next few years. I am sure as things develop we will have this discussion again.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Presidents I Have Known - Part 1

If you asked me how many of these Presidents I had met personally, the answer would be, none. This little essay is about Presidents that made an impression on me. In retrospect, as I remember them, at the age I was when they were in office. This is a recollection as affected by history, not a historical treatise.

Let us start with Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Henceforth FDR. I was very young but grew up in a politically aware family. I listened and learned. FDR was not universally loved. But, in spite of his liberal credentials, he was the right man for a world in turmoil. FDR was wealthy and well connected. He knew personally people of power and influence. There are those that say he provoked the United States entering WWII. I do not believe that. But once we were attacked at Pearl Harbor, he fulfilled Admiral Yamamoto's prediction. The "sleeping tiger" was awakened. 

Within weeks, war was declared, the best brains in the country took over and created a war machine that supplied materiel for the allies that no other country could provide. Young men were drafted and trained. Ships were built or commandeered to get them to the front lines. America was very definitely at war.

Meanwhile, due to a letter from Albert Einstein, Roosevelt started the ultra-secret Manhattan Project. Creating the weapon that could win the war. FDR died in office as the war still raged. He did never saw the end of the war, but I think that no one else in his time could have accomplished what he accomplished. He was the man for the time.

When President Roosevelt passed, his Vice President, Harry Truman, took office. Mr. Truman was not very well respected by FDR and his minions. He was kept out of the loop on much of FDR's plans and ideas, including the Manhattan Project. 

There seemed to be two schools of thought on Truman. You either loved him or hated him. He was brash and outspoken. But he was the President, and as he said "the buck stopped" with him. Although he started in politics as part of the Pendergast political machine in Missouri, his honesty separated him from the pack. 

Truman was asked to run for VP because he was a more conservative Democrat than the other contenders and provided balance to the ticket. Imagine that, a conservative Democrat. Shortly after he became President, Germany surrendered. Truman, believing that an extended war with Japan would be long and bloody, ordered two atomic bombs dropped. One on Hiroshima and one on Nagasaki. Hirohito, the emperor of Japan sued for peace. WWII ended soon after.

But Truman had one more war to fight. Korea. The Korean war was far from what you see on the reruns of "MASH". It was brutal, bloody, and we were ill prepared at the onset. The North Korean were surrogates for and had the help of Communist China. China did not want American troops on their doorstep. 

Allied troops were taking a beating until the US attacked at Inchon and opened a new front behind North Korean lines. By doing this, General Douglas MacArthur, the Allied commander, changed the direction of the war. Allied troops drove the DPRK troops back. MacArthur wanted to cross the 38th parallel and take North Korea. Truman disagreed and ended up firing MacArthur who was seen as an American hero. Once again many people supported MacArthur and turned their backs on Truman.  

Truman's presidency was rocky and fraught with angst. Today he is far more respected than he was in his lifetime. And possibly he may be respected more, today, by Republicans than Democrats.                                                                                 More to come.......

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

It's Still The Economy Stupid!

With scandal after scandal, each one worse than the one before, it is hard to keep sight of the fact that the poor abused American economy is still dragging across the bottom of Dismal Swamp. Thanks to the kind ministrations of little Timmy Geithner, big Ben Bernanke, grandmotherly Janet Yellen, and John Maynard Keynes, it is not about to improve soon.

I'd like to pour more blame for this condition on Barack Obama, he's earned his share, but those others are professional economists. They know better. They have done what they have done for purely political reasons. They know that Obamanomics is a disaster so they are shoring up the stock market to provide cover and an illusion of success.

The rich are doing fine. Their stocks keep hitting new records. The middle class and poor continue to suffer. The administration brags, they love to brag, about how many jobs they have created. They do not mention that most of those jobs are either low paying service jobs or part time. And, at that, fewer jobs are created than are lost.

To under stand where employment stands, one must look at the Participation Rate. That is the percentage of available adults that are actually employed. Right now that stands at about 68%. That means that 1/3 of the available population is not working. This is the worst rate since Jimmy Carter was in office. 

It is no wonder that middle class salaries are down 9% and 20% of American households have no income from employment. On top of this inflation is up. No, not official inflation, as figured by the government bean counters. Food prices are up. They don't count that. Fuel prices are up. They don't count that. Health care cost is up. They don't count that, either. 

On top of that, with the Fed program of Quantitative Easing, printing money, and forcing interest rates to an all time low, we still have the pressure of the Bernanke Bubble building up putting the whole economy in danger.

The economy is sick. Very sick. Those charged with it's care are lost in an ideological morass. They cannot fix what they cannot see. And it's still the economy............

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Honor Memorial Day

It is particularly important this year that we make it a point to honor Memorial Day. It should always be so. But, due to the atrocious behavior of some within the Veterans Administration, we must keep a special thought and prayer. 

If you are having a cook out, as so many are, take a minute or two to talk about the plight of veterans who are having their health care abused by hack bureaucrats. If you have youngsters at your get-together, make sure they know why we have Memorial Day.

What would really be great is if everyone would take the time to send an e-mail to their Congressmen and apply the pressure of public outrage. We have allowed five years of promises with not one minute of progress. Enough.

It occurs to me that there is a framework for a solution. To put it simply, some veterans suffer from maladies that are common to the population in general, such as heart problems and cancers along with a whole list of others. Let these veterans go to local hospitals that are staffed and equipped to deal with them.

Illness and injury that are associated with armed conflict such as injuries caused by IEDs, bullet wounds, and PTSD can be dealt with at Veterans Hospitals where they have the knowledge and experience to help. Each according to their abilities, so to speak.

There is much that needs to be done, but not one more veteran should be allowed to suffer from the inadequacies of the who would be our rulers but cannot even be our leaders. Every American, veteran or not, should be enraged by this ugly situation. Every member of the press, liberal or not, should be writing with their sharpest pen and spare no politician who has allowed this to get to this point. And that, in my humble estimation, is about all of them.

Honor our veterans. Each and every one of them. They have honored you with their service. They deserve no less.  

Friday, May 23, 2014

OK, Here's The Difference

I spent my whole working life in the private sector. Sometimes as a peon, sometimes as a boss. Sometimes in manufacturing, sometimes in sales and support. Through all those years, there was one thing that was consistent. There were always problems.

To this day, I remember the first emergency problem meeting I took part in as an engineer. A young assistant sales manager suggested that the first order of business was to find out who was responsible for the problem. Someone else suggested that the first order of business should be to solve the problem and make the customer happy. The problem was that it was an innovative design. It took hours of hard work but we did make the customer happy.

Then you have government. Investigate, investigate, investigate. Use up time. Dilute the public angst. Allot more tax dollars. Realign the deck chairs on the Titanic. Job done. At least by government standards.

In private industry, job reviews are real. Assigned tasks have budgets and time constraints. A successful employee meets budget and brings the job in on time. The next level up on the management tree is reviewed and judged by the rate of success of that person's department. Do well, you move up. Do poorly, you move out. Excuses don't count for much. Responsibility does.

In government there is no bottom line. The profit motive does not exist. Private industry must be lean and mean because the profit they make keeps the business healthy and growing. It pays for research and development so the company is assured a future. Successful people are raised up in management because they are successful.

In government they just raise taxes. Management becomes a clique. It is every managers job to make every other manager look good. Advancement is more often by connection than talent. Anyone taking blame and getting fired is a rarity.

The VA must be moved into the private sector style of management immediately. Replace Shinseki with a retired CEO from a successful large corporation. Give him carte' blanche to get the job done. That includes hiring and firing. Investigate if you must but cure the problem before others die in the VA's tender ministrations. That is the speech Obama should have given. It is also the speech he is incapable of giving.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

The Eight Year Vacation

Something caught my attention in the news. Actually a few somethings. It seems that President Obama never hears about any crisis until he hears it in the news. That struck me as odd. I understand that President Obama is a little fast and loose about his morning security briefing. After all it's not much fun to get out of bed early, shower, dress, and have breakfast and be ready for a briefing at 8 am. He's lucky he doesn't have a commute, like most Americans.

Presidents get briefed on all sorts of things. Not necessarily deep briefings. Just little FYI one page, just so you're aware briefings. I think that the problem is that the President likes to talk more than he likes to listen. After all, he is the smartest man in the world. I know this because Chris Mathews said it is so.

So the President is a schmoozer. How many days in Mr. Obama's reign has he given at least two speeches. He must write these speeches himself since, by his own admission, he is a better speech writer than his speech writers. I write, and I know it takes a lot of time to get the words just right and make the exact point that you wish to make.

And then there is the flying. President Obama has taken over one thousand trips on Air Force One. That would also mean over two thousand trips on Marine One. That's a lot of hours in the air. Travel is tiring so much rest is required so that one appears fresh and bright as on disembarks their favorite mode of transportation. That is even more important for a public figure.

Add in lots and lots of golf days and date nights and big celebrity bashes. That all really cuts into the fund raising time. A President must be out amongst the rich, famous, and infamous to separate them from their money. This takes a lot of hours shaking hands an sipping champagne. What is a hard working politician to do.

I know that the President knows that he was hired to be CEO of the country. I know another thing. In spite of his vaunted intelligence, he has no idea how to do the job. So he does what he enjoys doing most of the time, and his staff takes care of the real work. He's not a hands on worker. He's an idea man. You know, a creative type. Yep taking an eight year vacation gives you plenty of time to be creative.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

On Evil

In the Victorian era the nature of evil was described in the story of "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. An otherwise kind and useful member of society was changed into a drooling psychopathic monster by ingesting a chemical composition. The duality of mankind. And, of course, the ingested chemicals are allegorical.

As they say, that was then, this is now. What is the core of modern evil. You might claim it is drugs or money, or perhaps permissive religious tenets that empower those that have no power. There may even be others. But at the core it is the devaluation of humanity. Not just the devaluation of the victim, as important as this is. Even more important is the devaluation of the humanity of those that do evil unto others. Their hate degrades them into less than animals

Wives that get beaten, those poor little girls in Nigeria, people that will allow themselves to be humiliated for another's pleasure, yes, even those that ply their trade as "escorts" are victims of evil because they either cede control or control is taken from them. Some have recourse, some have none. A judge in the Sudan sentenced a married, pregnant woman to having her child, nursing the baby, And then to be hanged for apostasy. She married a Christian man. Needless to say, the judge is Muslim.

Without logic those in the middle east of the Muslim faith hate all things western and they fear change. Most of all, they hate that which is different. Their sharia law reflects this. The existential question is, does the hate create the fear, or does the fear create the hate? Perhaps, neither. I would not want to think that hate is the nature of man. Therefore, accepting that, there must be an additional impetus that causes one to hate. 

 Accepting that, that which impels one to hate and directs the focus of that hate is intrinsically evil. So one that is consumed by hate must ask why and how this behavior was learned and nurtured. Those filled with this overriding hate say they are following the directive of their holy book, the Quran, in their thoughts and actions.

So Allah and their holy book directs them to hate and kill? But hate and the killing of innocents is, by it's nature, evil. I believe this is the definition of a conundrum. Unfortunately, evil actions will likely beget evil reactions at some point. And the flame will be lit.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Beat The Drums Slowly

Back in ancient days, as the story goes, Joshua took on the land of Jericho in battle. This was not an easy challenge as Jericho had strong walls and high. But Joshua prayed and God told him to march his army around the walls for days at a time. It is said that the walls came crumbling down. Possible. The marching and the drums and the shofars could set up sympathetic vibrations in the ground that caused the wall to fail. That constant rythmic pounding will do it every time.

In our country today the drumbeat is getting louder. And it is about time. Back when "Fast and Furious" became a scandal conservative news junkies like myself were the only ones that took it seriously. Perhaps we still are. It certainly didn't connect with the general public or the press very strongly. 

The there was the time when the Justice Department threw out the confessions that they already had in hand from the New Black Panthers. A small ripple in the news there. When has a prosecutor ever thrown away a sure conviction. But then it, like so many other stories, went under-reported. 

The administrations refusal to close off our southern border got a lot more attention. It deserved a lot more. Some of those people flooding into the country were criminals and terrorists not to mention cartel thugs. At about this same time the Department of Homeland Security was trying to convince the public that conservative Americans and returning veterans are terrorists. Now people were starting to pay attention. The drumbeat was faint and slow, but it was starting.

Benghazi added very little to the drumbeat at first. But as citizens saw the lies, the cover-ups, and the arrogance, the beat got louder and louder. Then people realized that the NSA was spying on all of us and keeping records. Remember how the administration lied to us about that too. Then there was and still is the mess of Obamacare. And the beat got louder and the tempo faster. The XL pipeline was a small addition to the drums. But even that beat is getting louder by the day.

Then the truly big problems started getting newspaper space. The IRS, the most feared department in government, was being used as a weapon against anyone that the Obama administration felt to be in opposition.  To oppose Obama was to be an enemy. Enemies must be destroyed. American citizens or not, bankrupt them and ruin their lives. The beat gets louder and stronger. 

Then, all over the news, the Bureau of Land Management sent in a small heavily armed army to oust a rancher from some range-land. That which should have been a court case turned into an armed confrontation for no other reason than to show that they could. Americans don't much like armies showing up at there gates to enforce a legal situation. Boom. Boom. Boom. Hear those drums?

Then to pile evil on top of evil, it now comes out that the hacks running the VA were taking better care of themselves than the veterans. Every good American should take that as a slap in the face. When we ask people to serve we expect them to be cared for when they need that help. The people in Washington have failed those that should never be failed. If the bright light of publicity had not exposed this shame it would have gone on. Forever.

Mr. Obama, put your ear to the wall. Can you hear the drumbeat? Can you feel your walls shaking? Your walls are crumbling. And the drumbeat goes on and on and on. And this will be the Obama legacy.

Monday, May 19, 2014

On Racism

Having lived through every decade since the late thirties. Having spent some time in the south during the "Jim Crow" years. Having witnessed the struggle for equal rights and the trauma of school desegregation I thought that the race situation in the United States was improving. Seven or eight years ago, I thought thing were really in good shape. Not perfect, mind you. But good.

How on God's good green Earth could I have been so naive. And I do apologize to those of the Atheist faith for my use of the word God. So sorry.  I never knew all of the "coded" signals of racism that exist in our society. 

Yesterday I was helping my wife purchase a few things from L.L. Bean. An old and respected company that sells quality goods. And there it was. Right there in front of me. Moccasins. Really? Moccasins? How dare they. That is Native American footwear. Then these people come along and make money selling non-Native American made replicas to the general public. Shameful. 

We looked at some things on the Target website. Do you know that they only list skirts and dresses for women. Blatant sexism. I did not understand creeping sexism until I saw the news story where a bunch of really smart professorial types now tell us that the terms mister or miss attached to the persons name is sexist. Wow!Who knew? I hope this doesn't confuse little kids going into kindergarten who are just sorting things out. Should we eliminate mommy and daddy and just have kids say "parent". I can hear it now, "parent, can we get ice cream?" How adorable.

I did not know until two days ago that camels are racist. The intelligentsia at the University of St. Thomas, who practically no one has ever heard of, have declared camels racist and forced the cancellation of a hump day party planned by a campus organization. And of course the geniuses at UCLA forced the cancellation of a taco party as racist. But somehow Cinco de Mayo was still OK. Confusing.

Trying to cross the river of racism is a dangerous thing. The bridge is rickety and some of those planks that you trusted before seem to have weakened. AG Holder sees new subtle examples of racism. Of course Mister Holder, oops, that was sexist, sees racism at every turn of his head.

So all I can say is, no more Eskimo pies for you.   

Friday, May 16, 2014

The Height Of Destruction

When did, "change you can believe in, become change you can destroy with? It is official now as far as I am concerned. Obamacare has destroyed healthcare. The latest announcement by our President that "the time of preferences is over", seals the deal. In other words, you will get the kind of health care that Obamacare allows you to get. The better doctors and hospitals are opting out of the system or are being dropped from the system to reduce costs.

First you couldn't keep your doctor as promised. Next you couldn't keep your insurance as promised. Then came medical allocation committees. Thank God they're not death panels. These kind non-medical people who will be controlling your use of health care just decide if you will get the treatment that you and your doctor want.

Obama promised to bring back jobs. But every new policy, every new regulation, destroys jobs and causes the lowest economic growth since WWII. Fewer people are employed in the country today than at any time since the Carter administration.

The incredible shrinking military continues to shrink as the world continually gets more dangerous. And you have to love the Obama approach to defeating terrorism. I think it was designed by a five year old. Just close your eyes. Never use the word terrorism. Never say jihad or Islamic fundamentalist and it all goes away. After all, Bin Laden is dead, isn't he?

To keep on with the President's schedule of changes in the international arena, Obama has separated us from our friends and allies abroad. At the same time our enemies laugh at us. Maybe if we keep them laughing they won't attack us.

Our wounded veterans got a change they don't want to believe in. They knew that VA hospitals left something to be desired. They actually found out that bad could get worse. And these heroes are the last people that that should happen to.

But to be fair, there is another side to the coin. The stock market is doing well and interest rates are down. Both, thanks to the FED. So the one percenters are doing just great. And since they have plenty of money they will be able to afford boutique health care and the really good hospitals.

So if the changes to your life caused destruction, just remember, there is a gazillionaire out there who is smiling and happy. 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Mine Eyes Have Seen The Glory

Back when I was a boy, I learned and loved the "Battle Hymn of the Republic". With it's military cadence and religious fervor, what was there not to love. It has a theme that while Christianity is a religion of love and Christians are willing to turn the other cheek, they are willing to go to war and die, if need be, to protect their faith and their homelands.

Today, Christianity is under attack like it has never been before. In America it is under attack by atheists who have turned their lack of religion into a religion. Never forget that America was founded by Christians based on Christian principles. The heart of these freedoms are found and codified in the Bill of Rights. Everyone was given the right to practice their own religion or none at all. Every one was given the freedom to worship as they please and to speak their mind as they please.

Today there are those that would over extend freedom to some by taking away the freedom of others. There used to be a phrase, "live and let live". Now, to some, the very sight of a Christian cross in public visibility offends them. Children are forbidden the comfort of reading their Bible in school. There is nothing in the Bill of Rights that says, you need never be offended. If a person is so small minded and self aggrandizing that they find the rights of another offensive, I recommend another Biblical verse. That would be Matthew 18:9, "If thy eye offend thee, pluck it out."

Then in the rest of the world, the radical Muslim population is waging war on Christians. The middle east always had a healthy and productive Christian population. The Coptic Christians of Egypt were living there long before the Muslim arrived. Now the Christians are being killed and their churches are being destroyed. Lebanon and Iran both have just about destroyed their Christian population, just because they hate.

Most Muslims claim their hatred of Christians come from the Crusades. If fact they still refer to Christians as the Crusaders. They tell us the unwarranted attacks against Muslims in the Holy land was to destroy Islam. So, let's look a a little history that the politically correct tend to ignore. By the year 716, Muslims controlled most of Iberia by sword. For those geographically deprived, that is Spain and Portugal. By 721 they had taken their war into France, Gaul in those days, and controlled France as far as Avignon, Arles, and Lyon.

The First Crusade was not until 1096. That was just a rag tag bunch of lords and soldiers and peasants that wanted to regain Jerusalem for their faith. For the next few hundred years things got heated. But that was the way of the world in those days.

The point is, that Christians were always willing to share. But they would also stand up for themselves. For some unearthly reason, they have allowed themselves to be intimidated into submission. This cannot continue. Christians are, by and large, good people with a strong and good religious philosophy. If they wish to outlast these assaults, they must go back to being Christian Soldiers.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

None So Blind

There is an old phrase. "There are none so blind as they that will not see". This is probably attributable to John Heywood as an adaption of Biblical verse Jeremiah 5:21. Obviously, it was originally meant those that do not see the benefits of faith. I see it a little different today.

Right now, today, this country has more problems than we can deal with and more are being created weekly. In the realm of international politics, we, the United States, are a debtor country to half the first world nations including countries who's economies were destroyed after WWII. We owe over 17 trillion dollars and that number is growing. The Chinese economy is looking to outstrip ours in less than two years. Vladimir Putin has taken over world leadership only because he was allowed to do to American fecklessness. We coddle and bow to our enemies while we snub or disrespect our friends and allies losing the respect of all.

About seven years ago the jobs market started into a decline. The economy started to slow at the same time. The working people of the United States have been desperate for a recovery. Meanwhile the Fed pumped dollars into the economy, lowering the value of the dollar. They also forced interest rates to unheard of lows so people whose only investment was their savings got no return. But the rich did, and are doing very well.

While the public was clamoring for jobs, we had our health care system ripped apart and patched back together in a crazy quilt of fees, taxes, and regulations that will take years to sort out if that is even possible. Meanwhile back in Washington, jobs numbers and cost of living numbers were finagled by administration bean counters to make an appearance of progress. But fewer people are actually employed than have been employed since Jimmy Carter was President. Those jobs that have been created have been mostly part time or low paying service industry jobs.

But if you read the New York Times, or watch MSNBC and most other news outlets you would think we are mere days away from Utopia. "The recovery has been slow but it is almost ready to bust out", is a common thread. When faced down the Democrats blame George Bush. Come on he's been gone for over five years and the Democrats controlled Congress for his last two years. All of the unconstitutional behavior and scandals are just Republicans politicizing. All of those regulations that stifle business are really making the world better. And besides it is hugely important to focus on the politics of sexuality and race. 

The Democrat party either lies or they have become the political equivalent of Jonestown. Just drink your Kool Aid and shut up. There are none so blind.............

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

When A Rockslide Starts, Don't Be At The Bottom

The mountain has been developing cracks. They have a whole bunch of people running around toting buckets of cement to repair the cracks. But some people tire of the personal toll. When you know the cement is weak, and it is not in your own best interest to be spreading it. What do you do? 

You have a high and mighty boss that expects complete self sacrificing loyalty. But you have seen that same boss throw people under the bus in a heartbeat to save himself. Even worse, you know he is more wrong than right. He has harmed, and continues to harm, the country that you really love. What is a dyed in the wool liberal to do?

If you're a real American, you put your ideology behind you and try to resurrect your reputation by becoming a statesman. Tim Geithner has had his epiphany. He has stopped spreading weak cement, thrown the bucket away, and is trying to stand tall. Good for him. A huge crack just appeared in the mountain. Mr. Geithner admits in his new book that he was asked to lie on the Sunday talk shows to support the administration. I doubt if this was the first or only time.

Liberals have their own version of sharia law. If a liberal lies to gain or retain power, or if they lie to destroy an opposition member, it is not really a lie, it is a weapon. But for them it is right and justified because they are keeping the curtain around the Mighty Oz. It is just that the Emerald Palace morphed into the White House.

The cracks that Benghazi started two years ago have been slowly spreading in spite of a full team effort to stifle them. Those cracks are growing faster by the day now. A simple unredacted email provided the wedge that is opening those cracks wide. This while the liberal choir sings a tune of "America doesn't care". Many Americans are caring very much.

New cracks are opening under that ledge on which the IRS sits. And anyone that thinks Americans don't care about what happens in the IRS is dead wrong. 

Then we have the newest, biggest, and possibly the most important crack in the mountain. That is the VA. True, the administration didn't create the problem. But their shiny new Secretary, Gen. Shinseki, has known about the problem for a year and done nothing. Now when the shinola was hitting the rotor, he was missing in action. But now it appears that he is surfacing with all kinds of information. Just a little late in the game. His resignation, for the sake of his own honor, would be welcome. Veterans deserve better.

So stay off the trail at the bottom of the mountain. The rocks are starting to fall and it can't be soon enough.

Monday, May 12, 2014

A Boy's Life

Every once in a while I come across a story that I can celebrate. Not only is it worth celebrating it is a perfect background to make some points that I have been wanting to get to.

Back on April 5, Ann Curry, the NBC newscaster was hiking in Harriman State Park in New York. She apparently misstepped and broke her ankle. Along came a troop of Boy Scouts also on a hike. They asked if she needed help and she refused. The troop would not take no for an answer. They splinted her ankle and tried to help her back to the trail-head. The ground was too rough, so they improvised a stretcher and carried her out. They saw to it that she had transportation to a hospital when they got off the trail. When park rangers arrived and asked if there was someone in need of rescue, the simply said "all taken care of".

These boys are receiving a lot of praise for their efforts. And they deserve every bit of it and more. But since I have two grandsons in that organization I have kept close to what the Scouts do and how they do it. I will state right here, that I would be shocked if I found any troop in the Boy Scouts of America that would have acted any differently. 

The Scout organization is for boys from 11 to 18 years of age. They start out with the rank of Tenderfoot and through much hard work and perseverance they finish up as an eagle. In their time in Scouts they will learn a wide range of skills and knowledge. But they also learn leadership, cooperation, and self-sufficiency. They learn a lot of the old skills that have gone out of fashion today like woodsmanship and survival. They learn to rely on each other and to take care of the younger Scouts. To teach the young ones the skills they have learned.

Boy Scouts are just that, boys. They are learning to become good responsible adults and generally doing it well. It angers me when I see the Scouts dragged into the political arena by adults with axes to grind and a lack of common sense. The kids and their leaders have been working out their own problems for decades. They do it far better today then they did when I was a Scout. But it is about the boys not about applying political pressure so that some ego can get headlines. Political hacks, leave them alone. There is not a better organization in the world. And no matter how many stumbling blocks thoughtless adults throw in their path, they will adapt and prosper. Their the Boy Scouts.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Pass The Blue Bottle

I have a friend who was feeling unwell. He went to his doctor. Actually, I think it was one of those roadside doc-in-a-box clinics, as he was having some insurance problems. He told the doctor the he was logy, felt bloated, and was passing gas. I told him I felt he was giving me way too much information. The doctor did have a suggestion. He told my friend to go to the drugstore and pick up one of those well known blue bottles and go home, take a couple of healthy swigs and stay close to something big and white and porcelain. One very uncomfortable day later he pronounced himself cured.

As much as I don't want to think about it, his symptoms sounded familiar. Bloated, logy, a lot of gas being passed, and no production. That sounds to me like the United States economy. Our President has been feeding our economy the wrong stuff and we are economically constipated.

We can recognize the symptoms but what on the Chez Obama menu caused this blockage?
Let's start back at the beginning when he served up an appetizer to the Republicans of "I won you lost and I do not need you". That would be the equivalent of eating a bad clam. Then we were served a large portion of ivory tower dilettantes with no real world experience with a smattering of political hacks running departments.  The next course was  a flock of czars with secret duties only reporting to the President. Congress was trimmed from all courses.

Then the maitre'd , Harry Reid and the hostess, Nancy Pelosi served their personel recipe, an Obamination of Obamacare. Finally, for desert, we got the Obamacare website. I must say, most people found that a little tough to chew on. While there were other tasties served these were the main items. So now we know we ate to much of a poor fare that was served to us. It was certainly different from the menu we saw before election.

So we end up with a constipated economy. What was discomfort has long ago gone over to painful. The country needs a good dose of an economic laxative. The problem is, I don't see any blue bottles on the horizon.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Random Thoughts - Thirty-Six

To me, writing a blog is like driving a car. As long as I stay to the right of center, I should be OK.

There is someone on Facebook that goes by Cranky Conservative. It is not me. Please do not confuse us. 

I just saw a video clip of the students at Rutgers who accused Condaleezza Rice of being a war criminal. That is stupid on it's face. But the ones that I saw were young women wearing hajibs. Interesting. Think they might have had a particular point of view? But now I can add Rutgers to Brandeis as universities that are run by cowards that bow to the least tolerant. I would be ashamed to have a child of mine be a student at either school.

Speaking of colleges that are going to pot, so to speak. What is it with these "free speech zones"? I thought that the United States was a free speech zone under our Constitution.

Is there anyone that has ever done more to destroy the ability of the two parties to work together than Harry Reid? His attitude and his language are just plain destructive and condescending. I mean, "the Koch brothers are responsible for global warming". Really? 

Evil has a new face. It is the face of Abubakar Shekau. He is the warlord sheikh of a group called Boko Haram in Nigeria. Shekau is a very religious man. He talks directly to Allah and Allah talks directly to him. He says it was Allah, who ordered him to kidnap little girls and to allow his followers to use them for their pleasure. Those that survive, he was told to sell into slavery. He had to do this. It was his obligation. For, you see, Shekau and his followers are devout muslims.

I do not often agree with our President. This time he got it right. He offered the Nigerian government resources to help them track down Boko Haram. They have accepted. This group hides in a jungle area four times the size of Yellowstone National Park. It will not be an easy task, but it is doable. When they are found, I pray that they can free those poor girls and then turn the Reapers loose and blow them all to hell where they belong and probably be welcomed for they are true children of Satan.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

As The Worm Turns

I was brought up in a time when racism was public, prevalent, and unadorned. Does racism still exist? Of course it does. There will always be haters. It is not restricted to race. Some people are just hard wired to use hate to cover up fear. But you can believe me when I tell you that the racism that you see today is pale by comparison (no pun intended) with what I saw as a youth.

I know that as I get older I probably get confused a little more easily, but I am losing track of the rules. I read this morning that if you do not like Mexican food you are a racist. That's a reach. What if you like burritos but don't like tacos or mole sauce. Last week it was announced that non-Hispanics are not to use the word fiesta as that would be racist. But cinco de Mayo seems to be all right. At least for now. Even flying the American flag is called racist by some.

If you disapprove of our President's policies you are racist. Apparently this is true, even if your natural skin tone is even darker than Mr. Obama's. But somehow if you have a campaign against Condaleezza Rice speaking at Rutgers University that is not racist. Who are these protesters that can campaign against an brilliant and accomplished woman of color without repercussions? I'll just bet they are of a light complected hue. You see trashing any conservative is never racist. To some it is a duty. If you hear the Greek chorus chanting "hypocrisy", so do I. Somehow you never hear the racist rants of Al Sharpton called for what they are.

If you object to sharia law, or a nice peace loving stoning or beheading or female mutilation you are Islamophobic. So why, if you want to wipe Israel off the map are you not called Judeophobic? If you blow up Christian churches killing Christians in the process, why are you not Christophobic? This is a road that seem to go in one direction only and I am confused about why. Is it because those that usually apply these labels are in fear of peace loving Muslims or are the just true believers.

So if I express distress in a hateful manner about Boka Harum kidnapping twelve year old girls, as they were ordered to do, they say, by Allah, and selling them into slavery (yes, selling twelve year old girls into slavery as a religious right) am I Islamophobic? Say yes, say no. I do not give a rats posterior what anybody thinks, such behavior is sub-human and evil. If you believe in a God, any God, you cannot believe that a God would condone this.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The Spin Is On

The President, with his steady hand no where near the rudder, is, as usual, spinning like a top. Last week he said that he has set his laser like focus on jobs, This has been about , as a guesstimate, the eighth time since he came into office. The one thing that everyone agreed was needed since Obama was elected was jobs. The President periodically announces that jobs are his focus going on. Then nothing good happens. He has done absolutely nothing to promote jobs in five plus years. In fact the Participation Rate today is at it's lowest in over three decades.

Now, this week, Mr. Obama has announced that he will once again focus his boundless energy on Global Warming. Again. He has done this about as many times as he has focused on jobs. But he may actually try to do something about Global Warming, as that has become his one true religion And also because that is where the money is.

People can go to the government with plans for green projects and get huge grants to start companies and save the earth. Before the government got into the financing business, these people would have to go to venture capitalists. But venture capitalists are strange, they actually like projects that have a chance of success. The government has no such requirement. And you really have to stretch the Constitution to make a government investment in private business legitimate.

The government, apparently, has only two requirements. You must be the rich friend of someone in the administration or the rich friend of a rich friend of someone in the administration. The only other requirement is that you toe the line as a liberal.

Then interesting things start to happen. You are allowed special dispensations. Wind farms chop up eagles like a giant food processor. Solar fields cook all kinds of birds, protected and otherwise, quicker than a microwave. You hear little about that causing problems for the owners. Go bankrupt before you even get a product on the street. No problem. Get your big fat grant and start manufacturing in a foreign country. No problem.

The money goes out. The company owners get big paychecks. Along the line some cash gets back into certain political coffers and all is good in their world. In ours, not so much.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Persistence Is Golden

I congratulate those people that have the power to make things happen who stayed the course on Benghazi. Many of us recognized the abject phoniness of the original story from day one. It also became obvious that this whole mess did not start with the attack. It started weeks before.

There was an operation being run out of Benghazi. We are not told what the operation was or who was in charge. The best guesses seem to be a transfer of arms run by the CIA. But there was something going on because Ambassador Stevens requested more security. His request was not fulfilled. That was blamed on a low level staff member who felt additional security was not needed. That is simply not believable. As I understand it, the only people than can refuse the request of an ambassador is the Secretary of State and the President.

At some point the property at Benghazi was designated an American Consulate. That made it American territory. Ambassador Stevens was either asked or told to go there. He, most certainly, was not on a sight seeing tour. There were and are two major Al Qaeda affiliates in the area. They are Ansar al Sharia and Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. They are not a rag-tag bunch of neighborhood toughs. They are serious political jihadists. They knew what was going on at that consulate.

Even the video that was shown on TV gave lie to the administration's story. The people that attacked were organized and well armed. They even had RPGs. No rag-tag there. But the administration had been going with the story, "bin Laden is dead and GM is alive". "Al Qaeda is diminished and on the run."

Coming up to an election, putting more security in Benghazi and admitting an Al Qaeda based attack would have made Obama look weak and Hillary Clinton incompetent. They couldn't allow that. So good people were sacrificed on a political alter. And they didn't even try to save them.

Then came two years of deny, deny, deny. Blame it on the Republicans. Blame it on the Koch brothers. Redact any paper the must be sent to Congress. But ultimately, a spark. An unredacted email. An email from Ben Rhodes at the White House to Susan Rice instructed her in talking points that were patently untrue.

This is enough to prod Congress into convening a select committee. After two year of stonewalling and name calling, it is time for the truth. For the good of America, I hope the Democrats can come to the table and put politics aside for this one, very important, time. 

Friday, May 2, 2014

Random Thoughts - Thirty-Five

Isn't it amazing that on the day they announced that the growth of the GDP has dropped to one tenth of one percent, the Dow hit a new record. The one percent that the President pretends to dislike are all sending him "Thank You" cards.

Well, we have the Congress to look after our interests, right? Then why, when we pay to have roads built, is Congress looking at a plan to put tolls on more roads and make us pay to use what we paid to build?

There is a quiet plan afoot to eliminate COLA increases for social security recipients once again. That will make three years out of six that they have punished the elderly for being old. They say they haven't the money. They do, however, manage to find the money for Barack's golf junkets and Michelle's vacations with her entourage and the frequent Obama family respites. Priorities, folks. Priorities.

I hope everyone knows how important I believe it is to get honest answers to all of the questions regarding Benghazi, as we have been fed a constant stream of lies by the administration. But how are we ever going to get the truth when the hearings are just a stage for politicians to bloviate. We need a Select Committee.

It has become the custom in some quarters to espouse the idea that America's best days are behind us. It is all over and we are on a long downhill slide. Bull! Yes, we've been damaged. Yes, we will have more damage as long as we stay on our current path. Yes, it will take time to reverse the damage. But we can do it. I remember Germany after WWII. They were the enemy and the allies devastated them. This added to the terrible damage the Nazi Regime did to their own country in order to wage the war. Twenty years later, they had a viable economy. Forty years later they were the top economic power in Europe. And we are better than they are!

Did you see the weekly jobless claims? I'm expecting the President to make a speech soon telling us that he is going to change his focus to creating jobs. What will this be? The tenth time. Barack, your sixth year and we're still waiting. Some recovery. 

Why does the AARP air ads on TV bragging about "feeding the poor" but none about lobbying for the elderly. I thought that is what they were supposed to be doing. Amazing, not one word from the AARP about how Obama is harming the elderly. Why do you think that is? Full disclosure; I stopped supporting them ten years ago.

There are those that say I have nothing good to say about Barack Obama. That is not true. I think that he is one of the most loyal Presidents in my lifetime. My problem is with who and what he is loyal to.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

This Double Dip Isn't Ice Cream

Over the past two years, since I started this blog, I have written that the only economic recovery is in the mind of those in the Obama administration. While the government spin meisters in Washington have been shouting joyous accolades over the number of jobs that the President has created, the net employment figures have worsened. You see, the government touts the figures that they can jiggle and juggle to make them appear to be heroes of the working man.

If the unemployment figure drops by one tenth of one percent the administration claims a great victory. Eighty thousand jobs created is time to declare a national holiday and to start carving Obama's face on Mount Rushmore. What they do not tell you is that when those eighty thousand jobs were created a hundred thousand were lost. What they don't tell you is that the reason the unemployment rate went down is that the people who had their unemployment benefits run out are no longer counted. To the government bean counters, these people just dropped off the face of the earth.

What the government economists do not bring up and the cuddle puppy press chooses to ignore, is the Participation Rate. That is the rate of people available for work that are employed. The current Participation Rate is 62.8 percent. In other words, one third of the people that want to work are not employed. In more other words, our real unemployment rate is 37.2 percent. Your not reading that in the New York Times.

Our administration goes ecstatic when the GDP growth rate hits 2 percent. Primarily because that is better than 1.5 percent. But 2 percent is not even enough to maintain a growing economy with a growing population. At 2 percent we are losing ground. It gets worse.

It was just announced that the current GDP growth rate is one tenth of one percent. And there is every chance that that will be adjusted downward as more figures come in. The administration usually goes for the most optimistic numbers. 

So after the longest and slowest recovery from a recession in history, we might be heading into a double dip recession. The usual definition of a recession is two negative quarters on the growth of the GDP. We seem to be going that way. As I have been shouting from the roof tops for the past two years, we are losing ground. Obamanomics is digging the hole that our country is in, deeper. 

The Obama administration talks populist but takes care of their one percenter friends. The middle class is disappearing. And not because they are upwardly mobile. Employed people were earning more twenty years ago than they are today, on the average. Whether by intent or by ineptness, our government is destroying our economy. I know that we went out there a little bit on this  one, but it is important. There is an election coming up. Use it well.