What Really Caused Our Deficits

This ia an amazing chart.  It comes from an article posted at Investors.com.  As you can see, the Iraq War represents a very small part of the current deficit. 


According to the article:

“As President Obama celebrates the official end of combat operations in Iraq, a war and a strategy he both opposed, the Congressional Budget Office tells us that in terms of national treasure, the president’s economic strategy has resembled Pickett’s Charge during the Civil War more than the surge of Gen. David Petraeus that turned the tide in Operation Iraqi Freedom.”

It also needs to be pointed out that if we keep enough troops in Iraq to give the government a chance to stabilize (as we did in Germany and Japan after World War II), the positive change in Middle East politics and balance of power will be well worth it.  Would someone please tell me what President Obama’s economic stimulus has accomplished?

The article further points out:

“The CBO’s Budget and Economic Outlook published this month puts the cost of Operation Iraqi Freedom at $709 billion for military and related activities, including training of Iraqi forces and diplomatic operations. The projected cost of the stimulus, not counting interest on the added debt, is $862 billion.”

The Democrats have been in charge of Congress since January 2007.  Admittedly, it would have been nice if President Bush had vetoed their budgets, but the fact remains that Congress sets the budget–not the President.  If you want to see deficits spin further out of control, re-elect Democrats in November.  If you believe that federal spending can be restrained, vote Republican.

How You Spend Your Money Shows Where Your Priorities Are

This article is based on an article in the Washington Post in February and a Heritage.org article in July.  The article in the Washington Post stated that the civilian federal employees and the military would receive a pay increase of 1.4 per cent in 2011.

The article at the Washington Post points out:

“That’s much lower than the 2 percent civilian pay jump this year and the military’s 3.4 percent increase. The proposed military pay bump is the smallest bump since 1973.”

At the same time, the article at Heritage.org points out that:

“The federal government pays its employees substantially more than they would earn in the private sector…(the federal government) pays hourly wages 22 percent above that of comparable private sector workers.”

For example, an average sergeant in the Army with four years and service and one dependent would receive $ 52,589 a year, including base pay, housing, subsistence allowances, and tax benefits.  A U. S. postal carrier makes approximately $80,000 a year, included his benefits.

Keep in mind that Congress has not yet passed a budget for the coming year.  The Democrats currently in power do not want to pass a budget until after the November elections–they don’t want to make the hard decisions that some of their supporters might not agree with.  It will be interesting to see how all of this all shakes out.


What We Are Up Against

Flying home from California yesterday on United Airlines, I met a really sweet young couple flying to Denmark with their two young children–one child was one and one child was five or six.  They were flying there to spend a few months with the husband’s family–he is Danish and his wife is an American.  I thought of this family when the story broke about the terrorists suspects being arrested in Amsterdam.  I realize that Amsterdam is in a different country, but there were people of all ages on the plane with the arrested terrorists.

Yesterday ABC News reported that two men on a United Airlines flight from Chicago to Amsterdam have been arrested for “preparation of a terrorist attack.”   

According to the article:

“(Ahmed Mohamed Nasser) al Soofi was found to be carrying $7,000 in cash and a check of his luggage found a cell phone taped to a Pepto-Bismol bottle, three cell phones taped together, several watches taped together, a box cutter and three large knives. Officials said there was no indication of explosives and he and his luggage were cleared for the flight from Birmingham to Chicago O’Hare.”

Al Soofi checked his luggage on a flight going to Washington’s Dulles airport for connections on flights to Dubai and then Yemen, but did not board the plane.  Instead, he met Hezem al Murisi and boarded the plane to Amsterdam. 

It is standard practice to remove the luggage on someone who does not board the flight the luggage is going on.  The luggage was removed and inspected.  The mock bomb set-up was discovered.

I have a few questions about this.  Had al Soofi boarded the plane with the luggage, would the fake bomb have been detected?  How good is our luggage screening process?  Are there explosives the terrorists can use that will not be detected?  If so, if they can get a mock bomb through without explosives, all the terrorists need to do is find an explosive that will not be picked up by dogs or sensors.  Also, in this arrest, the terrorists just learned that the terrorists has to be willing to die in the attack–if he does not board the plane with the bomb, the bomb will be taken off.  

The terrorists we are fighting do not hesitate to kill innocent families.  We need to remember that.  The extreme Islamists are at war with any part of civilization that does not adhere to their standard of Islam.  We need to find a way to identify the people who put these plots together and lock them up for the rest of their lives.  Targeting innocent people is not acceptable behavior in any civilized society.

Just A Personal Note

In case anyone has noticed that blog posts have been somewhat irregular for the past two weeks, I would like to explain that I was experiencing the “Griswold Family Vacation.”  I will be writing about some of the things I saw in my visit to California in some future posts.  California is a beautiful state–I wish I could magically transport the Southern California weather to Massachusetts!

I will be posting an article about what is happening in the Central Valley in California, where extreme environmentalists have shut off the water to the farms.  This used to be the ‘bread basket’ of the nation–now it is miles and miles of empty fields.

I also had a chance to see the movie “Despicable Me” with two of my granddaughters.  It is a great movie for young children.  It has a really good message.  It is amazing what is being done with animation in today’s movies.

I spent a day at Knott’s Berry Farm (mostly at Camp Snoopy).   At the end of the day, the park sells holographic glasses that do amazing things to the lights in the park (only in California!).  The park was clean, well-run, and my granddaughters really enjoyed having their pictures taken with the Peanuts characters.

I also attended a family reunion in Santa Rosa and visited the Charles M. Schultz museum there.

Now it’s time to get back to work!

Who Are We Funding ?

The source for this article is an article by Scott Johnson at Power Line posted today.  His source is a much longer article at Big Peace by Christine Brim.  The article by Christine Brim is much more detailed and well worth reading. 

The White House is presenting a workshop tomorrow put on by a number of government agencies.  The workshop is for leaders of about 20 Muslim groups.  The purpose of the workshop is to provide “funding, government assistance and resources” for these groups.

According to Power Line:

“Working from an Islamic Society of North America email newsletter, Ms. Brim notes that the workshop will apparently afford special access for the organizations in attendance. The organizers pledge to provide “direct access” and “cut through red tape.” Readers with long memories may recall that the ISNA is perhaps best known as one of the unindicted co-conspirators in the Hold Land Foundation prosecution. More good news: an iftar dinner will be held after the workshop.”

According to the article at Big Peace, the groups attending are associated with the Muslim Brotherhood.  The article points out:

“The Muslim Brotherhood, founded in 1928, is a global Islamist political movement dedicated to imposing Shariah law on all nations and institutions.  Their credo is “Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. Qur’an is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.””

This does not seem to be a wise use of taxpayer dollars.  Somehow I don’t believe that the attendees at this meeting are working toward becoming more assimilated into American culture.  (Although the fact that they are looking for ways to get government money might be an indication that I am wrong on that!)  American culture is not perfect, but I prefer our Constitution to Shariah Law.

Whoops! Another Healthcare Promise That Doesn’t Work

Ed Lasky at American Thinker posted an article today about another promise made in Obamacare that is simply not working the way it was supposed to.  In the Obamacare plan was a tax credit that was to be given to small businesses to help them with their increased healthcare costs under Obamacare.  Now let’s stop right here for a minute.  The people who were selling us Obamacare knew all along that it was going to increase the cost of health insurance for everyone and increase the cost of health insurance for small businesses.  Somehow I don’t remember hearing the supporters of Obamacare bring that up in the discussions.   For the true picture of the future of Obamacare if it is enacted as written, google “Massachusetts healthcare reform” and see what government healthcare has done to Massachusetts.

Anyway.  This spring the government mailed out postcards to four million businesses explaining the tax credit program and how it would work.  There has not been a great response.  Why?  The tax credit phases out for companies that pay an average of $25,000 a year to their employees or that employ more than 25 people.  In states where the cost of living is high and workers’ wages are high, businesses get no tax break.  In other parts of the country, the tax credit is so low it is insignificant.

The article points out:

“The legislation “is just not doing what we had hoped,” says Steven Selinsky, the incoming president of the National Association of Health Underwriters.” 

Why is that a surprise to anyone?  Another reason to vote Republican in November!

Federal Law vs. Executive Order

Ken Connor,  Chairman of the Center for a Just Society in Washington, DC., posted an article at Townhall.com about the recent ruling by Judge Royce Lamberth which places a temporary injunction against President Obama’s Executive Order  (which overturned restrictions on federally-funded embryonic stem cell research (ESCR) put in place by former-President Bush).  The problem with the President’s Executive Order is that there is a federal law passed in 1996 (during the Clinton Administration) which prohibits federal funding of research involving the creation or destruction of human embryos.

In the article, Mr. Connor wonders:

“Is this the philosophy of science that President Obama had in mind when he spoke of science’s “proper place?” Is this why his executive order discontinued funding for alternatives to ESCR, alternatives that have proven more successful than the embryonic approach without any of the ethical controversy? Is this why he felt justified in manipulating the power of his office to override standing federal law? It’s clear from the president’s words and actions on this issue that the answer to all of the above is a resounding “yes.””

We do need to remember that in the past, policy on ESCRhas been decided by elected officials in Congress.  If President Obama wants the 1996 ban on funding research that creates or destroys human embryos and to discontinue funding for alternative research, he needs to ask Congress to pass a law–not take matters into his own hands.  As Mr. Connor points out, there are valid alternatives to embryonic stem cell research.  There has been progress in treating certain medical conditions using cells from umbilical cords and using adult stem cells.  To defund the research that is bearing fruit in order to make a political statement does not help improve anyone’s health.  Hopefully, the judge’s ruling will hold and the funding for alternatives to ESCR will continue.

Current Events In Iran

In recent weeks, we have all been hearing all kinds of things about Iran going nuclear.  We have heard rumors of attacks on Iran’s nuclear facilities by Israel or the United States, and we have heard reports of Russia supplying missile defense systems.   What we haven’t heard a lot of is what is happening inside Iran in terms of the relationship between its people and its government.

Michael Ledeen posted an article at the Wall Street Journal last week on some of the internal unrest in Iran.  Michael Ledeen, a scholar at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, is the author of “Accomplice to Evil: Iran and the War Against the West” (St. Martin’s, 2009).

Mr. Ledeen points out recent communication problems within the regime.  According to the article:

“A few weeks ago, according to official and private reports, the Iranian air force shot down three drones near the southwestern city of Bushehr, where a Russian-supplied nuclear reactor has just started up. When the Revolutionary Guards inspected the debris, they expected to find proof of high-altitude spying. Instead, the Guards had to report to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei that the air force had blasted Iran’s own unmanned aircraft out of the sky.”

Evidently the Iranian military had deployed the drones, but had neglected to tell the Iranian Air Force.  This sounds more like Keystone Kops than a successful dictatorship. 

There have also been a series of recent attacks against the Iranian oil industry.  A pipeline to Turkey was blown up last month, and there was an explosion in a natural gas pipeline.   There was also an explosion at a petrochemical plant used to convert natural gas to fuel for vehicles.

The Green Movement (the movement that opposes the current government) is gaining strength.  The best solution to Iran going nuclear would be for the current government to fall.  A true democracy in Iran would be a big step toward peace in the Middle East.

A Member Of The Greatest Generation Speaks

The letter than follows was posted on tcunation.comSnopes has researched the letter and found it to be authentic.  This is a long entry, but well worth reading.

Harold B. Estes is & much honored WW II vet is well known in Hawaii for his 70-plus years of service to patriotic organizations & causes all over the country. A humble man without a political bone in his body, he has never spoken out before about a gov’t official — until now. He dictated this letter to a friend, signed it and mailed it to the president.


Dear President Obama,

My name is Harold Estes, approaching 95 on December 13 of this year. People meeting me for the first time don’t believe my age because I remain wrinkle free and pretty much mentally alert.

I enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1934 and served proudly before, during and after WW II retiring as a Master Chief Bos’n Mate. Now I live in a “rest home” located on the western end of Pearl Harbor, allowing me to keep alive the memories of 23 years of service to my country.

One of the benefits of my age, perhaps the only one, is to speak my mind, blunt and direct even to the head man.. So here goes.

I am amazed, angry and determined not to see my country die before I do, but you seem hell bent not to grant me that wish.

I can’t figure out what country you are the president of. You fly around the world telling our friends & enemies despicable lies like: ” We’re no longer a Christian nation.” “America is arrogant” (Your wife even announced to the world,” America is mean- spirited. “Please tell her to try preaching that nonsense to 23 generations of our war dead buried all over the globe who died for no other reason than to free a whole lot of strangers from tyranny and hopelessness.)

I’d say shame on the both of you, but I don’t think you like America, nor do I see an ounce of gratefulness in anything you do, for the obvious gifts this country has given you. To be without shame or gratefulness is a dangerous thing for a man sitting in the White House.

After 9/11 you said,” America hasn’t lived up to her ideals.”

Which ones did you mean? Was it the notion of personal liberty that 11,000 farmers and shopkeepers died for to win independence from the British? Or maybe the ideal that no man should be a slave to another man, that 500,000 men died for in the Civil War? I hope you didn’t mean the ideal 470,000 fathers, brothers, husbands, and a lot of fellas I knew personally died for in WWII, because we felt real strongly about not letting any nation push us around, because we stand for freedom.

I don’t think you mean the ideal that says equality is better than discrimination. You know the one that a whole lot of white people understood when they helped to get you elected.

Take a little advice from a very old geezer, young man.

Shape up and start acting like an American. If you don’t, I’ll do what I can to see you get shipped out of that fancy rental on Pennsylvania Avenue. You were elected to lead not to bow, apologize and kiss the hands of murderers and corrupt leaders who still treat their people like slaves.

And just who do you think you are telling the American people not to jump to conclusions and condemn that Muslim major who killed 13 of his fellow soldiers and wounded dozens more. You mean you don’t want us to do what you did when that white cop used force to subdue that black college professor in Massachusetts , who was putting up a fight? You don’t mind offending the police calling them stupid but you don’t want us to offend Muslim fanatics by calling them what they are, terrorists.

One more thing. I realize you never served in the military and never had to defend your country with your life, but you’re the Commander- in-Chief now, son. Do your job. When your battle-hardened field General asks you for 40,000 more troops to complete the mission, give them to him. But if you’re not in this fight to win, then get out. The life of one American soldier is not worth the best political strategy you’re thinking of.

You could be our greatest president because you face the greatest challenge ever presented to any president. You’re not going to restore American greatness by bringing back our bloated economy. That’s not our greatest threat. Losing the heart and soul of who we are as Americans is our big fight now. And I sure as hell don’t want to think my president is the enemy in this final battle.

Harold B. Estes

Bureaucracy Is Ridiculous Regardless Of Where It Is Located

The American Thinker Blog posted a story today about a British soldier who returned to England after being seriously wounded in Afghanistan.   Lance Corporal Johno Lee lost his right leg in an explosion in Afghanistan in 2008.

Upon his return to England, Lance Corporal Lee was fitted with a prosthetic leg.  He has been able to function very well, driving to work and living as normal a life as possible.  When Lance Corporal Lee applied for a disabled parking permit with the Notinghamshire County Council, the permit was refused.  He was told that he was still young and “may get better.” 

According to the article:

“The disabled war veteran said “I replied that they possibly did not quite understand the situation and I thought it unlikely my leg would grow back.””

The Council has stated that it plans to meet with Lance Corporal Lee to review his situation.  Hopefully, he will receive his disabled parking permit quickly.

The only comfort I can find in this story is the fact that bureaucracy is as bad in Britain as it is in America.  I do wonder how carefully the people in charge read the soldier’s application.  Possibly this case will cause the Council to review such applications more carefully in the future.

What Are These People Thinking ?

All of us remember the bombing of the USS Cole in 2000.  The fact that this bombing occurred is a tribute to political correctness and the stupidity of attempting diplomacy where strength is needed.

Investors.com posted an editorial yesterday about the prosecution of the terrorist who masterminded the attack on the USS Cole.  Included in the editorial was the following:

“It’s bad enough that our rules of engagement dictated that a U.S. warship visiting a known terrorist haven “was defended by sailors with unloaded guns,” as the London Daily Telegraph reported several weeks later. “If we had shot those people, we’d have gotten in trouble for it,” Petty Officer Jennifer Kudrick, a sonar technician and Cole survivor, told the Telegraph. “We would have gotten in more trouble for shooting two foreigners than losing 17 American sailors.”

“It’s also bad enough that the only reason the Cole was in Yemen to begin with was apparently because the Clinton administration was trying to get the Yemeni government’s support for Middle East peace initiatives.”

The charges against the Al Qaeda operative who planned the attack, Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, have temporarily been dropped. 

The editorial states:

“A filing by the Obama Justice Department last week in the D.C. Court of Appeals stated that “no charges are either pending or contemplated with respect to al-Nashiri in the near future.” A military official told the Washington Post on condition of anonymity that it’s all politics because, he believes, the administration does not want a high-profile terrorist tried in a military tribunal before major figures held at Guantanamo Bay start having civilian trials — as the president and Attorney General Eric Holder prefer.”

The editorial also suggests that after the November election, al-Nashiri will be added to a case involving the 1998 U.S. Embassy bombings pending before New York City U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan.

It is really sad that we have an administration that does not care enough about the death of American sailors to prosecute the terrorists who killed them.  Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri is a terrorist.  Terrorists should not have the rights and privileges of American citizens.  It is also unfortunate that the Obama Administration again has chosen to go against the general wishes of the American people and play politics with this prosecution.  If the Administration were truly comfortable with this decision, they would try al-Nashiri in New York before the November election.

The Kopp-Etchells Effect



No, this is not a picture of a UFO.  It is a picture taken in 2009 in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, by Michael Yon.  The ghostlike image is a result of the Kopp-Etchells Effect.   The picture is from an article at Michael Yon‘s website.

 According to the article:

“Basically it is a result of static electricity created by friction as materials of dissimilar material strike against each other. In this case titanium/nickel blades moving through the air and dust. It occurs on the ground as well, but you don’t usually see it as much unless the aircraft is landing or taking off. The most common time is when fuel is being pumped. When large tankers are being fueled they must be grounded to prevent static electricity from discharging and creating explosions.”

The phenomenon is named after two soldiers who died in Afghanistan–one British and one American.  Please follow the link above for more pictures and to read about the heroism of these men.

Please pray for all of our troops who are deployed overseas.


Are You Sick Of Congress ?

Today’s Attleboro Sun Chronicle posted a story about Marty Lamb’s recent campaign stop in Attleboro.  Mr. Lamb is running in the Republican primary for Congress in the 3rd District in Massachusetts. 

According to the article:

“Republican congressional candidate Marty Lamb handed out barf bags in downtown Attleboro Thursday, asking voters “are you sick of Congress?””

Marty Lamb is running on a platform of tax cuts, fiscal responsibility, ending illegal immigration, improving the economy, and stopping Obamacare.  Details of his platform can be found at MartyforCongress.com.

I am supporting Marty Lamb in his campaign because I believe he will be willing to vote for legislation that will move Massachusetts and the nation forward economically.  I have talked with him about his ideas and have found him to be a consistent conservative.  I plan on voting for him both in the Republican Primary election and in the general election.

More Man-Made Obstacles To Economic Growth In The Gulf States

Today’s Washington Examiner posted an article by Bill Dickens, senior economist specializing in network economics for Tacoma Public Utilities in Tacoma, WA, and an adjunct Professor of Economics at Florida A&M University.  The article describes the impact on the Gulf States of two tax proposals currently being discussed by Ctongress.  Both tax proposals have to do with the production of domestic energy and the companies who produce domestic energy.

The first proposal is to change the way income earned abroad is taxed.  Under current laws, income that is earned abroad and taxed (and paid) abroad is not taxed again by the United States.  Changing this policy would put American-owned businesses at a disadvantage against companies owned in other countries.  At a time when the American economy is struggling, do we really want to make American companies less competitive?

The second proposal involves the repeal of a tax section known as Section 199.  This tax credit was enacted six years ago to encourage job growth in all American industries–from auto manufacturing to the film industry.  However, Congress is calling for a repeal of this tax credit only in the oil and gas industry.  This is a targeted tax change that will only impact the oil and gas industry.  Is that really a good idea right now?

When gasoline prices reached $4 a gallon during the end of the Bush Administration, President Obama stated on one of the Sunday morning shows that he did not have a problem with the idea of $4 a gallon gas, the problem was that the price had risen too quickly.  Looking at the policies of the Obama Administration in the area of domestic energy production, I believe we are moving into an error of very expensive gasoline.  Although gasoline prices are reasonable now, if the ban on drilling in the Gulf continues and Cap and Trade legislation is passed, I believe we will see $5 a gallon (or more) gasoline prices by the end of the winter.

Domestic energy production is a matter of national security as well as economic security.  I am hoping that the elections in November will give us a Congress that will better protect both our national security and our economy.  The current Democrat Congress is doing neither.

The Unintended Consequence Of Cash For Clunkers

On Wednesday, Ed Morrissey at Hot Air posted an article about the impact of Cash for Clunkers on the current used car market.  Because of the number of used cars destroyed as a result of the Cash for Clunkers program, used cars are scarcer and more expensive.

The article cites the impact of the program on some used car prices:

    • Cadillac Escalade – 35.6% increase
    • Chevy Suburban – +34.2%
    • Dodge Grand Caravan – +34%
    • BMW X5 – +33%

Generally speaking, people who buy used cars buy them because they are less expensive than new cars.  A quality used car will last almost as long as a new car and be cheaper to buy.  I live in Massachusetts, where the excise tax on a new car is considerably more than the tax on a used car.  I bought a new car in February.  In addition to the sales tax on the car, I paid a personal property tax of over $500.  Had I bought the same car a year old, that cost would have been closer to $200 or $300. 

The article concludes:

“As predicted last year, the people most hurt by the price increases are those who can least afford them.  The used-car market usually attracts people who need transportation on a budget, who cannot afford to buy new.   By destroying a quarter’s worth of trade-ins in three weeks and permanently taking them off the market, the Obama administration has forced an artificial inflation by supply restriction.  Moreover, they did so by subsidizing new-car sales that would have occurred anyway, eating up three billion dollars in taxpayer money.

“In other words, the White House spent $3 billion to make used cars more expensive for working-class families.  Nice work.”

This is another example of government interference in the free market.   When the government gets involved, there are always unintended consequences.

Supporting The Fishermen

Today’s Boston Herald posted an article about the protest off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard by some of New England’s commericial and recreational fishermen.  The fishermen were protesting  President Obama’s restrictions on commercial fishing. 

The article states:

“The protesters already have reeled in a couple of big fish: In the past few days, both U.S. senators from Massachusetts, Republican Scott Brown and Democrat John Kerry, have spoken out in support of the fishermen.

“I have no problem with (Obama) protecting species that need to be protected,” Brown said. “But there’s been very little flexibility with (regulators) when they get new information that they’re wrong.””

Hopefully as more Congressmen become aware of this attack on the commercial fishing industry, the restrictions will be re-evaluated and more realistic fishing levels will be put in place.  Senators John Kerry and Charles Schumer and Congressman Barney Frank have been calling for a change in the current restrictions for some time.  Hopefully, we will see a change in the restrictions in time for the small fisherman to save his business.

Five Years After Hurricane Katrina

We are approaching the five-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.  There is a video posted on the website of the New Orleans Times Picayune of two of the newspaper’s reporters remembering a bicycle ride on the Monday after hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans.  It is a moving video that reminds us how dangerous a hurricane can be.

There is also an article in yesterday’s Times Picayune which details how Hurricane Katrina changed the demographics of the city of New Orleans.   The city is now about twenty-two percent smaller and not quite as poor as it was before the hurricane. 

The article points out how the population has shifted:

“The suburbs are different. St. Tammany has grown by an estimated 8 percent since the storm, and St. Bernard and Plaquemines have lost about 37 percent and 15 percent of their populations respectively, according to census data gathered by the Greater New Orleans Community Data Center.”

The local economy has been helped by the recovery money that has come in for the rebuilding of the city, but the city has been impacted by the nationwide recession.  The city has remained poor, however, and apartment rental costs have climbed to the point where it is difficult for people to afford the rent. 

New Orleans is an amazing city.   Hopefully it will be able to continue as a center for arts and music in the future.

Remember The Heathcare Promises ?

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air is reporting today that under Obamacare, over three million senior citizens on Medicare drug plans will have to look for other plans. 

Meanwhile, Associated Press posted an article at Yahoo News which put a positive spin on these changes.

Regardless of how you feel about the changes at Medicare, the fact remains that the promise made was the promise broken. 

There were three main promises made by President Obama when the Healthcare program was debated:

  • It won’t increase the deficit
  • It won’t raise the cost of health care
  • If you like your current healthcare insurance, you will be able to keep it

Regardless of how you spin it, we are watching all of those promises be broken.  Obviously, you cannot lower the cost of health insurance by adding coverage for millions more people.  If health insurance is run by government bureaucrats, someone has to pay the salaries of those bureaucrats.  Whenever the government overregulates something, consumers lose.  It is becoming very obvious that all the promises made were not going to be kept.

There is about two months left before the Congressional elections.  Please understand that a vote for any Democrat is a vote to continue to implement Obamacare.  As long as the Democrats hold majorities in the House and the Senate, the program will move forward and the new bureaucracy will be created.  If the Republicans take the House, the funding for the new bureaucracy can be stopped and the program delayed until it can be repealed.  I do not see healthcare being repealed while President Obama is still in office, but the damage it will do can be limited.  If you believe that Obamacare is a good program, please google Massachusetts health reform (the prototype for Obamacare) and see what has happened in Massachusetts since it was implemented.  If you love your grandparents, please vote Republican in November.

Fishing On The East Coast

On Tuesday, the Boston Herald posted an article about leaders in the commercial and recreational fishing industries planning a protest outside the harbor at Martha’s Vineyard during the President’s stay there. 

According to the article:

“The protest is being organized after a bipartisan, bicameral coalition of federal lawmakers — including the core of the President’s Congressional base on banking and health care issues — have given up hope of working productively with Obama’s top appointee for oceans and fisheries, Jane Lubchenco, who heads the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.”

I guess what has happened here is that the fishing industry has realized that the Obama Administration does not negotiate.  The protest is scheduled for noon today. 

The article further points out:

Since her appointment to head the NOAA by President Obama, Lubchenco, who had been an officer of the Environmental Defense Fund and a leader of the Pew Oceans Commission, has pushed to convert the fisheries into commodities markets under a management system known as catch shares.

In a statement to the Times soon after her confirmation by the Senate, Lubchenco’s office said her goal was to see a “significant fraction of the vessels … removed.”

With the stocks rebuilding strongly, fishermen wonder at the need to reduce the size of the work force.

There are some real questions about what the Obama Administration is attempting to do to the fishing industry.  There are examples of excessive fines that have put small fisherman out of business and abuses in the enforcement process.    This seems to be an attack on small businesses that create jobs and feed Americans.  Some of these fishing businesses have been in the same family for generations.  These businesses are part of the backbone of the New England (and East Coast) economy.  I am not sure the protest will be effective in changing Washington, but more people need to be aware of what is happening to the fishing industry.

This is another reason to change the composition of Congress.  We need to elect leaders who will protect the small businessman–not drive him out of business with unnecessary regulations.

This Arrived In My E-mail Today

This is long, but worth reading.

Robert A. Hall is the actor who plays the coroner on CSI if you watch that show. He is also a former Marine who served his country in Vietnam and an ex -State Senator from Mass.
This should be required reading for every man, woman and child in the United States of America .
“I’m 63 and I’m Tired”

by Robert A. Hall

I’m 63
. Except for one semester in college when jobs were scarce and a six-month period when I was between jobs, but job-hunting every day, I’ve worked, hard, since I was 18. Despite some health challenges, I still put in 50-hour weeks, and haven’t called in sick in seven or eight years. I make a good salary, but I didn’t inherit my job or my income, and I worked to get where I am. Given the economy, there’s no retirement in sight, and I’m tired. Very tired.

I’m tired
of being told that I have to “spread the wealth” to people who don’t have my work ethic. I’m tired of being told the government will take the money I earned, by force if necessary, and give it to people too lazy to earn it.

I’m tired
of being told that I have to pay more taxes to “keep people in their homes.” Sure, if they lost their jobs or got sick, I’m willing to help. But if they bought McMansions at three times the price of our paid-off, $250,000 condo, on one-third of my salary, then let the left-wing Congress-critters who passed Fannie and Freddie and the Community Reinvestment Act that created the bubble help them with their own money.

I’m tired
of being told how bad America is by left-wing millionaires like Michael Moore, George Soros and Hollywood Entertainers who live in luxury because of the opportunities America offers. In thirty years, if they get their way, the United States will have the economy of Zimbabwe , the freedom of the press of China , the crime and violence of Mexico , the tolerance for Christian people of Iran , and the freedom of speech of Venezuela …

I’m tired
of being told that Islam is a “Religion of Peace,” when every day I can read dozens of stories of Muslim men killing their sisters, wives and daughters for their family “honor”; of Muslims rioting over some slight offense; of Muslims murdering Christian and Jews because they aren’t “believers”; of Muslims burning schools for girls; of Muslims stoning teenage rape victims to death for “adultery”; of Muslims mutilating the genitals of little girls; all in the name of Allah, because the Qur’an and Shari’a law tells them to.

I’m tired
of being told that “race doesn’t matter” in the post-racial world of Obama, when it’s all that matters in affirmative action jobs, lower college admission and graduation standards for minorities (harming them the most), government contract set-asides, tolerance for the ghetto culture of violence and fatherless children that hurts minorities more than anyone, and in the appointment of U.S. Senators from Illinois.

I think
it’s very cool that we have a Black President and that a black child is doing her homework at the desk where Lincoln wrote the Emancipation Proclamation. I just wish the Black President was Condi Rice, or someone who believes more in freedom and the individual and less arrogantly of an all-knowing government.

I’m tired
of a news media that thinks Bush’s fundraising and inaugural expenses were obscene, but that think Obama’s, at triple the cost, were wonderful; that thinks Bush exercising daily was a waste of presidential time, but Obama exercising is a great example for the public to control weight and stress; that picked over every line of Bush’s military records, but never demanded that Kerry release his; that slammed Palin, with two years as Governor, for being too inexperienced for VP, but touted Obama with three years as Senator as potentially the best president ever. Wonder why people are dropping their subscriptions or switching to Fox News? Get a clue. I didn’t vote for Bush in 2000, but the media and Kerry drove me to his camp in 2004.

I’m tired
of being told that out of “tolerance for other cultures” we must let Saudi Arabia use our oil money to fund mosques and mandrassa Islamic schools to preach hate in America , while no American group is allowed to fund a church, synagogue or religious school in Saudi Arabia to teach love and tolerance.

I’m tired
of being told I must lower my living standard to fight global warming, which no one is allowed to debate. My wife and I live in a two-bedroom apartment and carpool together five miles to our jobs. We also own a three-bedroom condo where our daughter and granddaughter live. Our carbon footprint is about 5% of Al Gore’s, and if you’re greener than Gore, you’re green enough.

I’m tired
of being told that Drug Addicts have a disease, and I must help support and treat them, and pay for the damage they do. Did a giant germ rush out of a dark alley, grab them, and stuff white powder up their noses while they tried to fight it off? I sure think druggies chose to take drugs. And I’m tired of harassment from cool people treating me like a freak when I tell them I never tried Marijuana.

I’m tired
of Illegal Aliens being called “undocumented workers,” especially the ones who aren’t working, but are living on welfare or crime. What’s next? Calling drug dealers, “Undocumented Pharmacists”? And, no, I’m not against Hispanics. Most of them are Catholic, and it’s been a few hundred years since Catholics wanted to kill me for my religion. I’m willing to Fast Track for citizenship any Hispanic person, who can speak English, doesn’t have a Criminal Record and w
ho is self-supporting without family on welfare, or who serves Honorably for three years in our Military…. Those are the citizens we NEED.

I’m tired
of latte Liberals and Journalists, who would never wear the uniform of the Republic themselves, or let their entitlement-handicapped kids near a Recruiting Station, trashing our Military. They and their kids can sit at home, never having to make split-second decisions under life and death circumstances, and bad mouth better people than themselves. Do bad things happen in WAR? You bet. Do our Troops sometimes misbehave? Sure. Does this compare with the atrocities that were the policy of our enemies for the last fifty years and still are? Not even close. So here’s the deal. I’ll let myself be subjected to all the humiliation and abuse that was heaped on terrorists at Abu Ghraib or Gitmo, and the critics can let themselves be subject to captivity by the Muslims, who tortured and beheaded Daniel Pearl in Pakistan, or the Muslims who tortured and murdered Marine Lt. Col. William Higgins in Lebanon, or the Muslims who ran the blood-spattered Al Qaeda torture rooms our troops found in Iraq, or the Muslims who cut off the heads of schoolgirls in Indonesia, because the girls were Christian. Then we’ll compare notes. British and American soldiers are the only troops in history that civilians came to for help and handouts, instead of hiding from in fear.

I’m tired
of people telling me that their Party has a corner on virtue and the other party has a corner on Corruption. Read the papers; bums are bipartisan. And I’m tired of people telling me we need Bipartisanship. I live in Illinois , where the “Illinois Combine” of Democrats has worked to loot the public for years. Not to mention the TAX CHEATS in Obama’s cabinet.

I’m tired
of hearing wealthy athletes, entertainers and politicians of both parties talking about innocent mistakes, stupid mistakes or youthful mistakes, when we all know they think their only mistake was getting CAUGHT. I’m tired of people with a sense of entitlement, rich or poor.

Speaking of poor, I’m tired
of hearing people with air-conditioned homes, color TVs and two cars called poor. The majority of Americans didn’t have that in 1970, but we didn’t know we were “poor.” The Poverty Pimps have to keep changing the definition of poor to keep the dollars flowing.

I’m real tired
of people who don’t take Responsibility for their Lives and ACTIONS. I’m tired of hearing them blame the government, or discrimination or big-whatever for their problems.

Yes, I’m tired
. But I’m also glad to be 63. Because, mostly, I’m not going to have to see the world these people are making. I’m just sorry for my granddaughter.

Robert A. Hall is a Marine Vietnam Veteran who served FIVE TERMS in the Massachusetts State Senate.

A Program That Would Be Useful In Afghanistan

The Royal Project Foundation is a program set up by the King of Thailand in 1969.  The aim of the project was to encourage farmers to grow crops other than poppies (which fueled the drug trade and supported all sorts of unsavory characters). 

According to their website:

“Under the directorship of H.S.H. Prince Bhisatej Rajani,this Royal Project has pursued its mission in collaboration with the Royal Thai government, foreign governments, universities, public and private agencies and volunteers.”

The website lists the four goals of the program:

1. Offer a helping hand to all humankind;

2. Ensure natural resources for conserving a sustainable future;

3. Eradicate opium poppy cultivation and opium derived addiction problems;

4. Encourage a wise and proper balance in utilising and conserving land and forest resources.

From what I understand, the program has been successful.  Michael Yon, in a Facebook post, stated that he will be doing some further investigation of the project to see how it might be used in Afghanistan.  Since Michael will be returning to Afghanistan shortly, I hope he will be able to share his information and see it put to good use.


Why We Must Win In Afghanistan

First of all, I would like to say that I was alerted to this story through a Michael Yon post on Facebook.  If you are on Facebook, Michael’s posts are very insightful in terms of what is going in the Afghanistan and other countries in that region.  Mr. Yon was embedded with American troops in Afghanistan until a disagreement with General McChrystal forced him to leave.  He is on good terms with General Petraeus and will be headed back there soon.  You can ‘friend’ him on Facebook to follow his travels.

CNN is reporting today that dozens of Afghani schoolgirls and their teachers became ill when their school was attacked with poison gas. 

According to the article:

“The latest incident, this one at a high school, is the ninth such case involving the poisoning of schoolgirls, said Asif Nang, spokesman for the nation’s education ministry.

“Dr. Kabir Amiri said 59 students and 14 teachers were brought to the hospital, and were faring better.”

Obviously this is not an isolated incident.  There is something in the Taliban variety of Islam that is very threatened by the idea of women getting an education.  There is a book entitled “Three Cups of Tea” written by Greg Mortenson that deals with the author’s experiences with setting up schools for girls in Pakistan.  He encountered many of the same problems–schools being blown up, death threats, etc. 

The article at CNN further states:

“A report compiled last year by the humanitarian agency CARE documented 670 education-related attacks in 2008, including murder and arson. Much of the violence in what CARE called an “alarming trend” occurred at girls’ schools.”

It would be very nice if all Muslims stepped up to the plate and denounced this sort of violence against women and girls, but obviously that is not going to happen.  Until the part of the world that enjoys freedom and appreciates the blessing of freedom stands up and says no to anyone who opposes education for everyone, this will continue.  If America does not stand up and defeat the people who cling to this ideology, we will regret it.  Some of our ideals will have been lost.


Most Americans Have Heard This Story

Please follow this link to You Tube.  There you will find a video of a supposed planning session of a Congressman trying to spin the fact that he is unwilling to hold any Town Hall meetings this summer.  The video was put out by Heritage for America and is very well done.  If you haven’t seen much of your Congressman this summer, you will probably enjoy watching this!  In order for something to be funny, there has to be a grain of truth in it.  The authors of this video definitely understood that.

Something I Wonder About

Fox News reported Monday that:

“…under President Obama, the numbers of arrests and deportations of illegals taken into custody at work sites plummeted by more than 80 percent from the last year of the Bush administration. In the current fiscal year 2010, which ends Sept. 30, ICE has arrested 900 workers.”

President Obama stated that his administration would focus its enforcement of illegal immigration laws by targeting workplace activities.  If that were true, why has the number of illegals taken into custody at their work places dropped so drastically.  Somehow, I don’t believe it is because there are no illegals working in the country because we have solved the problem.

At the same time workplace arrests are down 80 per sent, the article states:

“…employer audits are up 50 percent, fines have tripled to almost $3 million and the number of executives arrested is slightly up over the Bush administration.”

The decision to fine companies and arrest executives is another example of the basic anti-business mindset of the Obama Administration.  I find it interesting that the punishment for hiring illegals under the Obama Administration is aimed at the businesses–not the illegals.  To me, it comes across as just another basic attack on business in America (one that will raise money for the government in the process).

All Elections Have Unintended Consequences

Michael Barone is the expert on American politics–voting trends nationally, statewide, and districtwide.  He posted an article in yesterday’s Washington Examiner talking about possible unintended consequences of this year’s Congressional and gubernatorial elections. 

According to the article:

“…the optimistic scenario belongs to the Republicans.  If they hold what they have and capture a few governorships (Ohio, Tennessee, Wisconsin) and a few legislative chambers (the Houses in Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania and both houses in Wisconsin), they will control redistricting in 11 states with more than five House seats, including Florida, George, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas.  Those states are projected to have 178 House seats.”

Now before anyone gets too excited about this, we need to remember the Republican’s gift for setting up circular firing squads and shooting themselves in the foot.  Also, if the Democrats control California, the state is big enough to offset any redistricting gains elsewhere.

Mr. Barone also points out the the voters right now do not have predictable party alignments.  Party affiliations are very fluid right now, so that even what was a safe district for one party three years ago could go in a different direction very rapidly.

It is going to be an interesting November.