Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Update on Blog

Since I don't make comments on this blog I was not aware that registration is necessary to post. Accidentally found out and changed the criteria so anyone at all can post anything at all (within reason.) What does that mean? My generation calls it common sense which, if I have to spell it out, means anonymity is OK unless the message is crude, rude or over the top. OK?

And with that as a new start to the New Year and having learned how to put video on the blog which we can start practicing with next week we are good to go in 2009. One other note: if you want me to research and/or address any topics I have given short shrift, just let me know.

We aim to please. Or if not, at least give you something to think about.

Happy New Year!

See ya

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Black Teen Murder Rate Increases 39% in Six Years

Why is this political? Let me count the ways.

In 2007 Michigan had a referendum on the ballot which gave an advantage to minorities and which I worked for and supported for 10 months. The inner city schools in Detroit are so bad that in my estimation we needed to give those kids all the extra help we could muster to make up for the adults who couldn't get the job done. In October the Crisis magazine, the NAACP official publication, included a story about teenagers who were involved in driveby shootings and other forms of outright murder.

The gist of the story was that many innocents were being hurt, that the problem was caused by Republicans not supporting gun control, was exacerbated by the gun running along I-95 from the south where guns were readily available to the major east coast metropolitan areas and then compounded by the hunting element in the New England states making a secondary source of easy procurement.

What to do about it? Counsel the young people about the negative effect on future jobs if they had a felony on their records was one remedy. A glaring omission was evidenced by no mention of the fact that it is wrong to take a life. The only place in the article where "wrong" was even mentioned was at the end of a trial resulting in finding the young man who shot a girl who became a paraplegic was when she was asked if she had anything to say was when she said "He done me wrong." At that point I decided that if they didn't even recognize an important part of cause and effect, I just couldn't support more of the same. Some tough love was called for.

Now we see a study indicating a 39% rise in murders of black teenagers between 2001 and 2006. I realize that the economy had taken over the headlines from just before and since the election, but I don't remember any earlier campaign promise which would make us think the Dems consider this a problem which might be rectified by naming a Gun Czar or Cabinet level Black Youth Safety position. (If they want to be politically correct, we can call it Youth Safety so self esteem is not an issue.)

Since Mr. Obama is so staunchly pro-abortion perhaps one could conclude that life in general is of little value to him, but I refuse to believe that. I believe that he has been caught up in the Democrat mantra of freedom of choice (euphemism for abortion) that he has no graceful way of standing up for life without alienating a good share of his base.

Other than prayer I see only one avenue to save these kids. We all need to keep nagging folks to listen to Bill Cosby who is one of the few who seem to get it. Keep your eyes open and write a letter to the editor now and then. Compliments if deserved, shame if not.

See ya

Monday, December 29, 2008

Our First Celebrity President

I know, I know. I can't give the guy a break. But it's so hard to watch the manipulation of the media by this guy's handlers and the way they are denied nothing by print, video, radio and cyberspace. (Of course I'm jealous. My ignorance of all things electronic in particular is almost insurmountable. All I can hope is that there are some conservatives out there who know how to reach these technophobes, if that's a word. All I want for Christmas is an even playing field.)

Anyway, my references today have to do with the photos of Mr. Obama released just as a movie studio press room in the old days. Remember the shot of Hillary and Bill dancing on the beach in their swim suits? We were supposed to think that all was forgiven and it was again a marriage made in heaven.

Well now we have all these pin-up type pics of Obama which will help us "get to know him" better resulting in our affection levels becoming closer rather than adoration from afar. (We know that the Secret Service would not allow anyone close enough to take these photos unless it was part of the publicity plan.)

The other shots on TV today were in a coffee shop, etc. where he performs what I call the "patronizing pat." Have you ever noticed when doing an interview where he is sitting face to face and leans over and pats the interviewer's knee or arm or hand? When in the coffee shop today he had to put his hand on the shoulder/back of a guy who just happened to be close as he was walking by. This happens over and over again. Are these folks supposed to be flattered by the gesture? I find it a bit condescending, but maybe it's my age. My mom taught me about personal space and being overly familiar with strangers or one's elders. There's something wrong with this picture.

Tomorrow I want to talk about the murder rate among black teens and where's the outrage.

See ya

ps-I'm not a golfer, but have many in the family and have watched a round now and then. I just want to say that if I had a chili dip like Obama I wouldn't want it put out there for all the world to see.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Weekend Newspaper item you may have missed

Didja see that a veterinary hospital in Akron, Ohio needs $300,000 to put in a sewer for the expansion of a facility employing 45 vets and 120 full time staff? The city ran out of money just before they reached the area. So they are getting in line for a govt bailout as an infrastructure expenditure and you wouldn't believe the list that goes on and on and on....... I have a thought. Why not have the Akron community do some fundraising? By my arithmetic it would take 30,000 donations of $10 to pay for it and there would be no payback of bonds or loans. Surely Akron has the population to take care of this.

Now, what follows is a litany of other projects in the Akron area such as the red brick sewer in a residential neighborhood which presently is known to flow into the Cuyahoga River which has been known to burn--Remember Lake Erie? As for the brick sewer the guy in charge says it was put in by the WPA in the 30s and it is only fitting that the government should come take it out to correct the mistakes they made then and now they can do it right.

Think we should have a contest to see who can come up with the most ridiculous use of public monies?

Meet the Press, now hosted by Mr. Gregory was a joke today. Poor guy from the National Review was the only conservative, flanked by a guy from Newsweek who spoke with an elegant English accent, an editor from Vanity Fair and a bag full of hot air from the Washington Post plus, of course, the host. They really believe in piling on.

Remember when we spoke of the Clinton Legacy a few days ago? Just remembered that one of the problems I had ten years ago was that so many of the folks who supported him in his stall for time effort ended up spending upwards of a hundred thousand dollars when called before the grand jury. I've always wondered if the Clintons ever reimbursed these people. We're talking folks who work for a paycheck such as his secretary and other staff people. Not nice, Bill and Hillary. It's not too late. Send them a check--you can afford it.

See ya

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Ten Best, Ten Worst--How about Best Comparison?

Clinton, 370 electoral votes
Dems: 258 House seats; 58 Senate seats
Govs: 33 then, 29 now
Obama, 365 electoral votes
Dems: 258 House seats; 58 Senate seats without Minnesota

Rep govs: 31 - up from 17
AND the
Contract with America!

The present recession is more serious than the 1992 situation. There are other obvious differences--terrorism for one--you can make your own list.

We have to do all the same things we did then plus the internet and rebuilding the base for both fund raising and philosophy. Most of this needs to be done at the state level, so let's get ready to go for it NOW, not later.

A few weeks ago I mentioned that Obama will probably be smarter than Clinton in that he won't alienate the independents so quickly. The country wasn't quite ready for HillaryCare. Rather than charging in to fulfill all his campaign promises he will space them out trusting it will lead to apathy. We, however, have history to learn from and so we have. Haley Barbour did it right the last time and I'm sure we will have a new RNC Chair and state party chairs who are chomping at the bit.

This will not be easy, but hopefully the electorate will be able to see that the rhetoric and the generalizations can't get the job done. The President-elect has talked the talk, walking the walk is something else.

See ya,

Friday, December 26, 2008

Bush-A Giant of a Man vs the small, mean, petty, rich white guy

Yes, through the last 8 years I have criticized our President--for not getting rid of Rumsfeld soon enough and making what I considered other mistakes in timing. Perhaps I've let my first impression of him in 1996 at the Midwest Leadership Conference in Indianapolis color my attitude toward him in other inconsequential ways. (I thought he gave a lousy speech.)

However, in the last couple of days I see a need for sticking up for the guy. Case in point: Jay Leno has made some of his gazillions of dollars at the President's expense. His monologues consistently poke fun in a very mean-spirited way at our President. We certainly can bet the farm that he will not make any such comments critical of Obama. In fact, I'd be willing to bet that his 10:00 time slot will be an excuse to become more "neutral."

What makes Bush great? We've always known about his humility and if we thought about it, everything about him points to his self-confidence. He is what defines a Republican: doing the right thing whether or not anyone is looking and doing it because it truly is the right thing to do.

Here's where Jay Leno comes in. Most of the comedians stock in trade these days starts with the President's stupidity. But he and Karl Rove have had a friendly rivalry going on for about 3 years. Rove mentioned wanting to read a book a week and Bush, apparently in his usual friendly but competitive fashion, figured they could "go for it." And since it's Rove's idea, he's game. The first year the score was 110 for Rove and 95 for Bush. 58 of Bush's were non-fiction, mostly on history and bigraphy with 8 on mostly Mideast current events and 6 on sports. In 2007 they slowed a bit with Rove leading again at 76-51. And this year the score is now 64 to 40. Most of the reading is pretty heavy going. I'll give Leno the benefit of the doubt, but I'll bet a lot of his reading is about cars. At any rate, this President is not stupid. He can make a joke about shoes thrown at him and makes no comment about the comedians, but it takes a big man to smile through it all.

Other evidence? (In the interests of honesty I need to tell you it would have cost over $1700 to quote an article from the WSJ entitled "The President Comforts a Marine Mom." I can't afford it so I'll just tell you about it.)

The Mom in question is Mrs. McPhillips whose son was killed in Iraq. They met in the Oval Office a few years ago and have exchanged letters, many written in the president's hand since. "Through the sadness that binds them together, they look eye to eye and let their hearts do the talking." and "....the brave young lieutenant who was born to one and laid down his life under the command of the other." They spent 45 minutes a couple of days ago talking about everything from Iraq, what he hoped to accomplish in the Middle East and their conversation was punctuated with words on the challenges and consolations of faith.

Lt. McPhillips sister and father were also present and when they left the President wrote a note to the sister's kindergarten class asking them to excuse her for missing class that day. They spoke further about faith and prayer and how to live a Christian life. He described men like the Lieutenant as the kind of man any parent would want to lead their son into battle or wait at the altar when a father walked his daughter down the aisle.

One more quote: "This Christmas, Mr. Bush's last as commander in chief, Mrs. McPhillips would like him to know how grateful they are that Brian served a president who was determined, at great cost to his own popularity, to ensure that their son's sacrifice would not be in vain."

"Mr. President, Brian was proud to be a Marine. And he carried within him the same light that you do--a faith in God, in America, and in the dignity and worth of every man, woman, and child on this earth. A blessed Christmas for you and your family, Mr. President."

And I hope, also, to all of you.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas-Visions of Giving

It's difficult to write about anything that could be called negative, so we will try to give some time to its reality.

#1-How do you feel about giving through the IMF to prop up Russia's bad economy which was predicated on the high price of oil and no one apparently thought it could ever possibly go down, so they just continued on using up reserves to prop up segments of the economy. Following this, and with foreign investors leaving in droves, they devalued the currency and the stock market plunged 75%. Who puts the money into the IMF? And why should Russia be looking to repeat 1998, the last time they tapped the rest of the world.

#2-Nonprofits beginning to talk about getting a bailout. Whoa.......... When I think of nonprofits, I generally think of groups or organizations which benefit the public and are usually held in high esteem by those who send them a yearly stipend and sometimes, like Planned Parenthood, should be re-examined as to their need for any public monies other than those privately donated. Shouldn't the government be precluded from giving anything that could be construed as being labelled discretionary income on their balance sheets? Frankly, I think most of these should be funded by individuals. It should be pretty special to deserve public funding.

#3-from the NY Times: "....the financial ability to contribute to charity, and the willingness to do so, are strikingly unrelated. Amazing, the working poor, who have the least resources somehow manage to be more generous as a percentage of income than the middle class.

So, even in tough times, there are ways to help."

We all know that we have a culture which has givers and takers. And, we also should know that except under extraordinary circumstances, it certainly feels a lot more satisfying to give than take. At this time of year it is brought home in myriad ways that it is the season of giving and we should all enjoy the activity.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Blogspot Block

If "" shows up on your recently used addresses or faorites or bookmark, delete it or just don't use it. For some reason it showed up as an "invited guest only" and I didn't do it.

Same old get you here. Thanks

Why are we blocked out?

I don't understand this any more than you do; will try to get to the bottom of it.


Sunday, December 21, 2008

Democrats, United or Divided?

We have heard the so-called pundits discussing the Rick Warren inclusion in the inauguration festivities as pitting Democrats against each other and since Obama has been making liberal use of all things Lincoln of late it would benefit him to remember "United we stand, divided we fall."

I beg to differ and in most cases the conservative view is just wishful thinking. My take? Obama is doing the same thing McCain did throughout his campaign. Taking his base for granted knowing full well that they had no place else to go and would complain for a little while and then go ahead and pull the Republican lever.

Since some of the analyses after the election indicate that although some Republicans would not cross party lines, they just stayed home. One can only hope, but if I were a betting person I would expect that when the next election comes around the Democrat version will have forgotten the incident or at least come to terms with it.

We will still need to work as hard as we possibly can and win on the merits. That is the only scenario which works.

See ya-

Friday, December 19, 2008

Clinton Legacy-Anarchy?

The above title is the same one I used exactly 10 years ago on the website I had at the time for Michigan Senior Citizens. (It was Dec. 19, 1998 when Pres. Clinton was impeached.)

This is a quick introduction to the next couple of columns since I'm going to share with you what I wrote at that time and how coincidental it is that just 2 weeks ago we heard about the young folks who cheat.

That's a teaser.

See ya

Thursday, December 18, 2008

AARP Friends

My friends at AARP are at it again.

They are describing our country as lacking in prestige with our reputation around the world in tatters. Why, then, I ask you, does the rest of the world turn to us when a catastrophe decimates their population? And, why do we still have an enormous problem with illegal immigration? And why, when they say "Yes we can" in answer to the question "can we fix this?" they reference the Obama campaign slogan indidcating that it's really the Republicans who are causing all the trouble?

They just have such a problem realizing that the so-called mean-spirited political climate started with the Clinton administration when the pot called the kettle black.
Not being a psychiatrist, but having picked up some of their jargon along the way, I'm sure there is a name for the response of someone who strikes out at others when they realize that they made the original mistake. All of those people who defended the Prez and vouched for his honor had, and probably still have, a terrible guilt complex about doing so.

They keep thinking that the best defense is a good offense and usually that is so, but they keep falling into the trap of two wrongs making a right and that is not so.
So, until they realize that in order to "cooperate" they must meet halfway, it's not gonna work to tell us we need to "work together."

We'll keep trying.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Chrysler Shutdown, Obama's abortion stance/education choice

You pays your money and takes your choice.

Story #1: If you aren't acquainted with the automotive industry you probably are not aware that the company picks up the 90% wage that workers get during a shutdown.

Story #2: Obama has said (paraphrased) that the worst mistake in voting that he ever made was to keep Terry Schaivo alive and has hired the attorney who defended the husband who wanted to take her off life support to help his team.

Story #3: Obama's Education cabinet member, Mr. Duncan, has stated that certfication of teachers is no guarantee of good performance plus he supports charter schools, among other positions. Wonder when the teachers' unions are going to weigh in. They can't be too happy with this guy.

See ya

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Ecuador and Venezuela/Connect the Dots

The only thing seen in the last couple of days which will bear investigation is the connection between Correa of Ecuador who is a good friend of Hugo Chavez and who has "skipped" a $30.6 million payment to bondholders which was due yesterday indicating that there were "irregularities" in how the deal had been constructed by his predecessor.

It just seems that there is hardly any gray area any more where we can give folks the benefit of the doubt. Good and evil are as black and white as they can be and lately it seems the good guys and bad guys are easily identified. In fact, if we don't approach any given situation with skepticism and look for trouble we will probably be caught flat-footed and look like fools for being too trusting.

It's pretty basic, isn't it? But who has the ability to do something about it?

Maybe it's the Christmas season, but it's more depressing than usual since we really do want to see the good in everything and it appears to be getting harder and harder to find.

See ya..........

Monday, December 15, 2008

Playing Both Sides Against the Middle------

American Greeting (the card company) has companies in Michigan and Tennessee. According to the Mackinac Center these folks put out the information that they would "probably" be closing one of the plants. So, what happened, you ask? Why, they're not stupid. They accepted both states' offers of, in the case of Michigan, $2.4 million in Single Business Tax Credits, $400,000 in job training subsidies and early $2.5 million in local property tax abatements. This was in 2000 and they were to creat 200 new jobs with the company by 2002 and 144 additional "spin-off" jobs by 2010. Tennessee was probably an equivalent.

The result was nowhere near 200. 60 jobs (it had been as high as 85) were the end result in 2002. Total tax credits earned for the tax year 2002 were valued at $346,560. You can do any kind of math you want, this does not compute. What are the odds that any monies will be returned to the state?

You can make up the end of this story any way you want. It just rubs me the wrong way and I don't want to talk about it any more today.

See ya,

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Blogging, Dieting, Exercising.........

What's the Connection?

It seems if you stop any one of them it takes a major effort to get started again, at least if self-discipline is a fault in your psyche.

So, let's put it this way--

I've always tried to keep this short enough that it's not a chore to stop by and doesn't take too much time and will continue to do so.

With that in mind today I have only an update on an old subject: the gangs have infiltrated Hartford, Connecticut in the same way as Dallas, San Diego and other locations in the south where you might expect them. They are working in the same way with the Spanish title for "solid" meaning they are solidly together and their coordination is strong.

If yo have a few minutes to research the newspapers in Dallas and San Diego, you really should.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Shame on you, Sen. Shelby!

Sen. Shelby is the epitome of working at cross purposes, having a vested interest, conflict of interest or anything else you may want to call it.

A guy who has new auto plants, non-unionized, etc. and from a state that has been tied with Mississippi and others for the bottom of the list of all things important for years is sounding a bit greedy, don't you think?

At first I thought he was actually concerned with sending good money after bad but the more vitriolic he gets the more it looks like he is trying to kill the Michigan sources in favor of those who have come to the table later than most. this another of those comspiracies I've been seeing behind all those trees?

Went to the 7th District Republican meeting last evening in Battle Creek where there was some crying over spilled milk but for the most part a genuine desire to get back on the horse and charge ahead. Especially here, where we have to replace Mr. Schauer who did not garner 50% of the vote, but yes, there was a spoiler. From this vantage point it looks like Repr. Mike Nofs from Calhoun County is the best guy to accomplish that feat. Go for it, Mike!

See ya...

Monday, December 8, 2008

Ford Question Answered, I guess

Can't figure out why Ford even accompanied the other two if they are now saying they don't need any help and that they have had a plan in place for quite some time. Wich reminds me, I promise I will put up a video next week showing a Ford plant in Brazil that boggles the mind as to robotics, modernization, suppliers under the same roof, etc., etc. Of course the message is that it could never happen here because the unions wouldn't allow it. Some things ever change.

Only one response?

See ya tomorrow...

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Union Bosses, Politicians and Kingmakers

Just heard Ron Gettelfinger expounding that GM and Chrysler are in real danger of failing but didn't mention Ford. What is he trying to do? Or is this just another example of the psychology of self-fulfilling prophecies?

We've watched the drama of the hearings and grilling of the auto makers leadership knowing full well that the Dems won't let them fail. That is one campaign promise they will keep--the open ballot so anyone who would rather operate without a union is fearful to voting in opposition to the union control.

Undoubtedly they will give them enough to carry them through until January 21 when the new administration can move without opposition. Which reminds me, heard that the bars in DC will be open longer hours during inauguration week. Isn't that just asking for trouble?

It's still cold here-hope you are toasty and cozy...

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Michigan State Politics

Friday evening the State Party met with the County and District Chairs of Michigan looking over the past and planning strategy for the future. There is much to share with our readers as soon as it becomes public knowledge. Don't look for rumors or letting cats out of bags on this site.

This morning the State Committee met and heard a pretty complete breakdown plus the highlights (and some low points) of the last couple of election cycles from our State Party Chair, Saul Anuzis, who has thrown his hat in the ring for Chair of the Republican National Committee. We wish him well. He is not a one-note Charlie being extremely knowledgeable about the cyberspace thing plus coming from an immigrant family whose roots were in the unions. So he can see the picture from both sides and can empathize with different points of view having lived them in some measure. Many people, through no fault of their own, do not have that advantage. The approaches need to fit the demographic voting blocs which is a fine science in itself.

Our Committees and officers have worked tirelessly and should be applauded for their efforts. Even though we came out losers at the top, we are building a strong foundation and the future looks much better. And even better if our audience is motivated to join us at the grassroots.

Today at the conclusion of my remarks I likened our efforts to the time, talent and treasure contributed by us as stewardship in our religious lives. Don't let anyone fool you, this is a three-legged stool and we just can't expect to do the job if we're missing one of the legs.

See ya tomorrow..........

ps-Brrr - the calendar says it's still fall, but it sure feels like winter!

Friday, December 5, 2008

What is Important in Your Life?

I've been away for a couple of days because even though I don't believe multi-tasking is a modern phenomenon not as much seemed as important as the fact that we had a very serious fire in our church building on Wednesday which was followed by the usual flurry of logistical discussions and phone calls, interspersed with every day chores and some attention being paid to Christmas. (Not to mention taking time out to shampoo carpeting in two rooms because the dog had "something" on his feet.)

Suffice to say that although there will be inconveniences during the next few months it was our church "building" that suffered damage and not the "church" who will gather in several different places to join hands in worship. No personal injury involved and not a complete loss. So praise God.

At this point in time (a cliche if I've every heard one) I need to make a request. Granted we started this blog during the campaign cycle and we are nothing if not political, but it is my opinion that if we don't keep it going, it will lose the three or four people who check it out daily and no one will have a reason to look for us in a year or two. Given the types of information we have put out during the last month, is this enough to hold your interest? Or, where would you like us to go? Thanks for taking your time.

Have a good weekend and we'll try to be back tomorrow.

God bless-

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Rewarding Incompetence?

The CEO of AFLAC has it right! No pay for doing a bad job. (When hiring in to avoid injustice, maybe, but not after the period of time required to accomplish what any employee is being paid to do.) Did anyone else just hate that quacking duck the first few times we saw him? Now, he has become an American icon and AFLAC has greater assets than Prudential, Lincoln Life and a third I can't remember, all put together.

Golden parachutes have different levels. I abhor rewarding incompetence right down to changing lawn services. And guess what--the firm we had dealt with for 6 years and showing no improvement kept bugging us to take them back and give them another chance. Why would we when the new guy had it looking great in a year and a half?
Now, since retirement, the man of the house has no trouble keeping it looking good around here.

On a personal level I'd bet that everyone out there reading this has at least one example.

See ya

Monday, December 1, 2008

Cheating, Economy, Schadenfreude

We can go into the Cultures of Life and Death down the road, but today under the heading of Culture of Death meaning the culture encompassing the death of honesty and integrity as demonstrated by the fact that 64% of kids admit to cheating on tests in high school and over 93% think they are better than most of their peers is the scandal of the day.

When thinking about the economy it occurs to me that perhaps one of the reasons why stimulus packages or tax rebates aren't working quite as well as expected may have something to do with the fact that a few years back we moved from a product to a service economy. If we all have most of our needs and a good percentage of our wants already, all we can really do is upgrade and that makes a lot of used goods available. Also, even the most greedy of us stop someplace. How many cars can we buy? How many houses? How many appliances? How much jewelry or luxury items. Clothing? Food? Books? Electronics? But on the service sector do we need an extra visit to the doctor? An extra will? Take another credit hour if already carrying a full load? Go through the car wash? Have extra gardening? Go out to dinner more than once a day or week depending on your starting point.......I think you see where this is going. Buying stocks or bonds isn't spending, it's saving, right? (I don't have the answer, just the question and maybe the beginning of a discussion.)

Perhaps we can do a bit of our own stimulus by helping a charity do what they do best.

And last, my very favorite foreign word without exception. This always conjures up a certain amount of guilt by its very definition, but it feels good for a minute, or two or three. The definition: to take pleasure at someone else's misfortune. Today's reason for that feeling is Rosie O'Donnell whose TV special last Wednesday evening was a total bomb. That German word just fills a special niche, don't you think?

God bless--