"The most significant threat to our national security is our debt," Admiral Michael Mullen, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, August 27,2010


Friday, September 25, 2015

Learning by listening


“What is the difference between a Democrat and a socialist?” MSNBC host Chris Matthews asked Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D., Fla.).
“Uh,” Wasserman-Schultz responded.
“I used to think there was a big difference,” Matthews said. “What do you think?”
“The difference between—the real question is what’s the difference between being a Democrat and being a Republican,” Wasserman-Schultz said, attempting to dodge the question.  Matthews didn’t let her off easily.
“Yeah but what’s the big difference between being a Democrat and being a socialist?” Matthews said. “You’re the chairwoman of the Democratic Party. Tell me the difference between you and a socialist.”
“The relevant debate that we’ll be having over the course of this campaign is what’s the difference between being a Democrat and being a Republican,” Wasserman-Schultz repeated.
This is a simple question and should produce a simple answer.  Socialists (those who embrace the economic scheme of socialism) opt for government ownership and/or control of the economy’s productive and distributive activities.  Debbie doesn’t know this?  And she needs to answer this question – are you a capitalist (private ownership of an economy’s productive and distributive activities) or are you a socialist as is the main challenger to Hillary Clinton.  Bernie Sanders would not (should not at least) struggle with the question as he is a self defined socialist.
There was one other defining moment, recently and it involved Hillary.  She was asked – “describe yourself in three words.”  You may have seen it.  What did she come up with after her silly laughter and obvious inability to know what best to say?
“I am a real person.”
Ask almost any person to define themselves in three words and this is roughly what you will get –
A woman will say, Wife, Daughter, Mom, Sister, Grandma, Granddaughter, Aunt, Good Friend and maybe, a reference to a vocation or an avocation.
A man will most likely say, Husband, Son, Dad, Brother, Grandpa, Grandson, Uncle and possibly something dopey like “struggling golfer” or “crazy inventor” or some such thing.
But – “real person.”  There is something very, very strange about this woman.  Is she just acting (programmed to pretend to be real, perhaps?) when on the stage or campaigning or politicking?  There is nothing real about her answer.  Something is very wrong here.
The head of the party can’t say if she or the party is socialist or not while the party’s leading candidate wants us to know that she is a real person.  Yee gods, folks, these two women are nuts.
BTW, we can easily come up with three words to describe Bubba's frau (or the other goofy gal) but we are committed to a policy of respectful and appropriate commentary.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

In his own words - Lawrence Peter (Yogi) Berra (1925 - 2015)


·         When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

·         You can observe a lot by just watching.

·         It ain’t over till it’s over

·         It’s like déjà vu all over again.

·         No one goes there nowadays, it’s too crowded.

·         Baseball is ninety percent mental and the other half is physical.

·         A nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore.

·         Always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise they won’t come to yours.

·         We made too many wrong mistakes.

·         Congratulations. I knew the record would stand until it was broken.

·         You better cut the pizza in four pieces because I’m not hungry enough to eat six.

·         You wouldn’t have won if we’d beaten you.

·         I usually take a two-hour nap from one to four.

·         Never answer an anonymous letter.

·         Slump? I ain’t in no slump… I just ain’t hitting.

·         How can you think and hit at the same time?

·         The future ain’t what it used to be.

·         I tell the kids, somebody’s gotta win, somebody’s gotta lose. Just don’t fight about it. Just try to get better.

·         It gets late early out here.

·         If the people don’t want to come out to the ballpark, nobody’s going to stop them.

·         We have deep depth.

·         Pair up in threes.

·         Why buy good luggage, you only use it when you travel.

·         You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you are going, because you might not get there.

·         All pitchers are liars or crybabies

·         Even Napoleon had his Watergate.

·         Bill Dickey is learning me his experience.

·         He hits from both sides of the plate. He’s amphibious.

·         It was impossible to get a conversation going, everybody was talking too much.

·         I can see how he (Sandy Koufax) won twenty-five games. What I don’t understand is how he lost five.

·         I don’t know (if they were men or women fans running naked across the field). They had bags over their heads.

·         I’m a lucky guy and I’m happy to be with the Yankees. And I want to thank everyone for making this night necessary.

·         I’m not going to buy my kids an encyclopedia. Let them walk to school like I did.

·         In baseball, you don’t know nothing.

·         I never blame myself when I’m not hitting. I just blame the bat and if it keeps up, I change bats. After all, if I know it isn’t my fault that I’m not hitting, how can I get mad at myself?

·         I never said most of the things I said.

·         It ain’t the heat, it’s the humility.

·         If you ask me anything I don’t know, I’m not going to answer.

·         I wish everybody had the drive he (Joe DiMaggio) had. He never did anything wrong on the field. I’d never seen him dive for a ball, everything was a chest-high catch, and he never walked off the field.

·         So I’m ugly. I never saw anyone hit with his face.

·         Take it with a grin of salt.

·         (On the 1973 Mets) We were overwhelming underdogs.

·         The towels were so thick there I could hardly close my suitcase.

·         Little League baseball is a very good thing because it keeps the parents off the streets.

·         Mickey Mantle was a very good golfer, but we weren’t allowed to play golf during the season; only at spring training.

·         You don’t have to swing hard to hit a home run. If you got the timing, it’ll go.

·         I’m lucky. Usually you’re dead to get your own museum, but I’m still alive to see mine.

·         If I didn’t make it in baseball, I won’t have made it workin’. I didn’t like to work.

·         If the world were perfect, it wouldn’t be.

·         A lot of guys go, ‘Hey, Yog, say a Yogi-ism.’ I tell ’em, ‘I don’t know any.’ They want me to make one up. I don’t make ’em up. I don’t even know when I say it. They’re the truth. And it is the truth. I don’t know.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Show and tell – clock building skills

Okay so Mr. Obama is a politician and he thinks, acts and put himself of full display as a politician.  Move along folks, nothing to see here.

And little risk to his “legacy” by elevating the kid with the “clock” who was treated aggressively by school administrators and local cops.  Not questioning the kid might be some throwback to the 1950’s and 60’s but today we allow government bureaucrats to enter, investigate and control darn near every normal routine movement we make as citizens so a kid with some device with wires and circuitry is probably going to catch the eye of even the average sleepy head administrator/cop, unless its right before “break time.”
Were the handcuffs too much?  Fingerprints?  Of course they were/are too much.  But again our great “first responders” are trained to go over the top first, second and third and, after all, they have immunity for such behaviors which are universally applied to all but their own.  Shoot first; don’t answer questions later; call an attorney, or, even better, the union rep.  Worse that can happen, suspension, with pay (giggle – giggle.)
So what is Obama’s message about the clock builder?  Well, other than lining up the Hollywood media for a photo op of a kid who is “inventive”, we don’t know.  It seems that Obama is grasping for something that evades our limited perceptive skills.
Is he saying to just Muslim kids, build something and take it to school?  We encourage it?  Or is he saying, to all kids, build something and take it to school?  Regardless of who your parents are, how you dress, what you believe or don’t?  We don’t know.  Obama is a bit close lipped on the message he is sending – but we gather he likes the visual?
Here is what we do know.  He sends his kids to private schools.  Let’s ask those schools what they would do if a kid showed up with such a device.  (Can you imagine the secret service response?  Assuming the prostitutes had left?  And they were sober?)  Obama’s head of education?  Sends his kids to private schools?  What would happen there?  His old sidekick the wandering mayor of Chicago; he of the inability to stop building the public debt of his already insolvent city, same question – private schools, okay to bring in devices – one per kid per day?  Or is it just okay to bring devices to public schools like the one in Texas where the clock builder ended up in ‘cuffs?  By the way, shouldn’t the fingerprints be expunged inasmuch as the kid did nothing to warrant their taking?
And here is our closing thought – we like the clock building idea – we think it should be encouraged.  And obviously Mr. Obama, you do too because of your quick, thoughtful, reactive act.  So let’s go whole hog on this idea – put it in the department of education rule book for all public schools taking federal money – students are encouraged to build clock like devices and bring them to school, but no more than one per day.
Why do we like this idea?  We think it might accelerate the end of the monopoly of bad public schools in this country and turn over to parents the money they need and that has been collected to get their kids better choices for K-12 education.  A luxury that few taxpayers have but that Obama and his well paid government “officials” enjoy and that they fully, totally and with no shame deny to the very people who need it the most.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Curiosity

A noun described as follows:

1.    a strong desire to know or learn something: "filled with curiosity, she peered through the window" – interest, spirit of inquiry, inquisitiveness
      2.     strange or unusual object or fact. 

Is this the greatest of human characteristics?  Perhaps but we are not certain that it is a human characteristic in the sense that it may be shared with many other species beside homo sapiens.  And we most certainly know it is not universally shared by all homo sapiens.  We know for sure that those humans who have this characteristic are more likely to be those who seek answers where others seek comfort.  And we know that those seeking answer have books written about them and movies made about them and statues constructed of their images and bodies.  But then again so do many without curiosity.  That latter group we call “politicians” and “bureaucrats.”
In the current field of many seeking the top job we ask the question – are those most likely to succeed, get elected that is, curious?
That’s all.  That’s what this essay is about.  Do they seek answers?  Well, how would a reasonable person (say a voter) make that judgment?  Here are some possible ways to form that judgment – is that candidate curious?
1.    Did they pursue from a young age challenging topics, subjects and experiences?

2.    Did they seek mentors and teachers who push them to this day to question and challenge and be inquisitive?

3.    Do they preach answers or encourage thoughtful discourse?

4.    Do they question themselves openly, in front of others?

5.    Do they routinely allow and even encourage others to challenge them – in open debates and settings – with no props or support mechanisms or audiences?

6.    Do they just try something different to see if it works?   See what happens?

7.    Do they surround themselves with people much smarter and more curious than they are?  And encourage such people to speak their minds?

8.    Do they present themselves as the smartest person in the room?  The know it all?  Or do they present themselves as a student who has learned some things but still has a long way to go?

9.    Do they listen and seek advice more so than offering it?

10. Do they ever utter the words, “I don’t know.”
It is almost un-American to think that our top leader should be “curious.”  Rather it seems to be more American to want that person to be certain.  About most everything.  Big mistake.
We are in very unchartered waters in this world of ours.  Not so much because the issues and problems that face us are all that much different than they ever were but because we have made great technological leaps forward and there are so many more of us today than there were when it took weeks or months to find out about something taking place elsewhere.  If at all.
Curiosity.  Curiosity sometimes leads to interesting results.   Inventions.  Cures.  Other forms of advancement.  We seem to value it until we get to our governance?  Is that why we don’t demand it from our politicians and bureaucrats?  Or is there another reason(s)?

 

Friday, September 11, 2015

Time for Mr. Trump to get serious about debates

We heard the report – CNN should send $10 million to a veterans charity from the mega bucks it will make off the debate next week.  Or else Donald will not show.  Wow!  This is Donald’s thinking – his cleverness – his “negotiation skills” and it tells us a lot about the man.  Much more than the Donald would want us to know because it shows that this fellow is not quite as clever or smart or as good a negotiator as he claims.

Donald should have simply stated his case this way – let’s debate; commercial free.  Forget about selling sugar water and soap and male erectile solutions.  This is a debate about the future of America; it should be commercial free.  If CNN won’t agree – we move it to a network that will agree.
Mr. Trump,  the solution for our veterans has nothing to do with a $10 million fix.  The VA wastes that amount of money each morning while you are doing your hair.  Do you really think that $10 million will make a dent in the ridiculousness of the VA?  If so you will not be able to negotiate your way out of a paper bag – and you will be manhandled with ease by SEIU, AFSCME and the AFL-CIO and hundreds of more “government employee” unions.
It seems to us that Donald is afraid of a real debate?  Think about the topics we don’t debate.  Here is what Donald, Hillary, all the candidates should put on the table and demanded questions/debate regardless of what the “journalists” at CNN might have on their agenda:
1.    How much of the American economy today – 2015 – is an underground economy?  What does the Fed know?  The Department of Labor?  The IRS?  The census bureau?  How much GDP is not counted?  What amount of taxes are not paid?  Social security and Medicare/Medicaid levies never collected?  Why is this not a top priority of the Democrat candidates in and running for office?  Who constantly clamor for more taxes for their “needed” programs?  All the public employee unions, AFSCME, SEIU, etc?  Of president Obama?  Of the US justice department?  Don’t we need the money?

2.    Immigration enforcement.  Why don’t we hire an outside contractor to oversee a thoughtful legal immigration process (see #4 below)?  Why don’t we hire an outside contractor to manage a legal, limited, clearly defined alien worker program?   Using the extensive know-how and modernity of American commerce, particularly American businesses that routinely deal with millions of transactions and customers/clients every single minute of every hour of the day and use those systems to oversee travelers, tourists, students, visitors and those seeking temporary work in our country?

3.    Why don’t we shut down the Veterans Administration and make the entire American health care system open to all veterans?  How can it possibly make any sense for America to run a “separate but equal” health care system and duplicate all the overhead, labor and facility components for this one group of individuals?   Particularly given the substandard result produced?

4.    Immigration policy.   Policy is a very different issue from enforcement (see #2 above.)  We all know that we have the largest gathering in our history of unemployed, age eligible to work, citizens (90 million of them!)  We are not talking about youngsters or seniors; the handicapped or the disabled.  We are talking healthy, functioning young and middle age citizens who either cannot find work or are not interested in seeking work.  And, at the very same moment in our history, our country is flooded with illegal aliens who are working (after all this is the single most consistent argument mentioned by the “need for comprehensive immigration policy reform” gang) and we are also admitting legally, annually, 500,000+ more immigrants, many of whom will seek work.  Today, 25% of our population was not born here or are the children of that group – that is 80 million people!  This is just dumb policy.  A dead end policy that has done great harm to the country.  But don’t mention it.

5.    Constitutional convention.  In the first place the supreme court was never intended to be the moderator or evolution agent of the nation’s basic law – the people were.  Our constitution is simply out of date – to some extent by advances in knowledge and technology but mostly by life’s passages and events.  We may as well get the lines clearly drawn – America is split down the middle on most economic, political, cultural and societal issues.  The split however is not equal when it comes to geography – it is only equal in terms of voters.  If we must, let us decide now which part of America can survive as a borderless socialistic entity (think about it – most democrats desire one overriding, dominant, national government) and which part of America will coalesce around the concepts of capitalism and individual freedom under a federalism concept of law.

6.    America has its own refugee crisis.  A silent and very inconvenient crisis.  We have refugee camps within our major urban populations centers.  These are communities within communities where survival is largely the responsibility of various governments as well as NGO and charitable caregivers, mostly faith based.  Also, we are part of a much larger world refugee crisis including some within our own hemisphere although much of the world refugee crisis is now middle east and Asian based.  We have no discussion, debate or even dialogue addressing our role in these home grown and outside refugee situations. 

7.    Islam.  (A major cause of the worlds refugee situation.)  Islam is not a religion of peace.  Not even a religion. It is a form of life control – political, societal, commercial, governmental and ideological.  It is not tolerant of anything and it abides by written and historical laws, traditions, customs and mores that are in direct violation of our American laws, principles and traditions.  We neither do nor are permitted to discuss it.   Not openly at least.   Yet, America should be as intolerant of Islam as it is of communism.  Please don’t mention it.

8.    The proliferation of propaganda.  Most of this comes from our own government(s), the dissemination of incorrect and invalid and just outright deceptive information.  Most of our bureaucracies distribute data that is not accurate.  Most informed Americans ignore their data and seek alternative sources of valid information. If the Fed itself followed the employment data issued by the BLS it would have raised interest rates several times by now.

9.    Public schools.  This debate is going on – but still stymied by teachers unions and their puppets in the democrat party.  A party that touts choice for moms who don’t want to be moms abandons those who are take on the difficult task of being a mom and hangs them out to flap in the wind with one of the most important decisions a parent must make.  School today is more than the three R’s but jamming kids into classrooms with teachers who struggle themselves with basic skills is not a choice; it’s pure politics.

10. Debt – never mentioned; ignored; yet our single biggest domestic and international problem/threat.  We simply must put an end to deficit living and debt accumulation.  We choose instead to not even talk about it.

11. Population.  We have 300+ million people rapidly moving to 400 million.  Essential basic jobs in manufacturing, assembly, metals, chemicals, even refining are virtually gone due to labor, environmental and endless forms of legal restrictions, rules and litigation.  Those that remain are taxed to death and burdened with every societal goodie imaginable to politicians and bureaucrats who never made or grew or mined a thing in their (miserable) lives.  This is not progressive and it sure is not a dream of a better life.  It is suicide by fiat.

12. Bureaucracies – government bureaucracies everywhere.  Staffed by 24+ million people – earning 2 and 3 times the wages of middle class Americans – with much more generous benefits including free health care and able to retire in their 50’s with close to 100% of their last five years average pay.  Everyone watching knows this.  We can’t find one politician who has even the smallest or passing interest in possibly saying – enough – we must cut back – now. 

Donald gets a lot of credit for saying things that we think but most politicians are afraid to voice.  Okay.  Much of that, unfortunately, is entertaining but not significant.  We wonder, Donald, do you even think about some of the issues raised above?  We haven’t heard much from you to suggest that you do.  We know the others don’t.

 

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Aylan and Galip Kurdi

 

A Turkish officer carries the body of Aylan Kurdi who drowned with several other migrants trying to reach the Greek island of Kos on Wednesday.


 
Aylan and Galip Kurdi, aged three and five. 
 
The family of a three-year-old Syrian boy whose body was washed up on a beach in Turkey were making a final, desperate attempt to flee to relatives in Canada even though their asylum application had been rejected, according to reports.

Syria was already at war when Aylan Kurdi was born. He died with his five-year-old brother, Galip, and mother, Rehan. Their father, Abdullah, survived.