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America


If you don’t read Orange County Register columnist Steven Greenhut on a regular basis, you should.  His column from February 25th is a jewel. It’s entitled, Customers Rule. In this opinion piece, Steven’s main point is this: Why in the hell does the American public and media get themselves all worked up into a lather and put all of their focus on the occasional bad practices of the private sector but rarely focuses this same level of outrage on Bad Government. Here’s a great quote from Steven’s piece: “No matter how demonstrably bad the government may be, legislators, and even many regular folks, focus much outrage at the private sector – the only portion of society that works relatively efficiently and humanely.”

I wonder this, too, Steven. It’s a great question.

Yes, there are bad people in the business world and there are bad businesses, too.  Yes, there is no excuse for fraud and abuse and for the bad people who took Enron down. But where’s this same outrage over BAD government? Sure, JetBlue screwed up badly during the recent snow storms and left a bunch of people on airplanes for WAY too many hours. These people were abused for sure.  But JetBlue came right back and offered to make it right with customers and create a customer Bill of Rights. Now consider the abuse we take from the government, day in and day out? Steven asks a great question on this subject,  “When was the last time the government offered to reimburse you for being stuck on one of its highways or in one of its offices?” Can you say “NEVER!”

At least the majority of businesses listen to the customer. We can’t say that about government. But it’s about time the American public started demanding that government start listening to it.

As it stands now, the American public is sliding down the razor blade of life as long as we do not demand better service from our government officials.  There is nothing worse than energizing incompetents and this is what the American public is doing by not complaining more about our incompetent government.  Start complaining and holding government officials to the same standards we profess to hold business executives to.

As Steven states, “Government always seeks to stop, regulate, control, tax and put the kibosh on new ideas and entrepreneurship.” I couldn’t agree more. In business, one has to think to be successful. Not too many government officials know how to think. In our capitalist economy, if you know how to think, the rewards are sensational for those who can make things happen.

It ain’t brain surgery.

Richard

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The Dragon in Wolf Clothing

Her Highness, Senator Clinton, began shedding her centrist ways at the recent Democratic Winter Meetings.  In example, her comment regarding the profits made by Exxon last quarter “I want to take those profits and put them into an alternative energy fund that will begin to fund alternative smart energy alternatives that will actually begin to move us toward the direction of independence.”

First, whoever is responsible for writing this comment for her should find a substitute for the word alternative!  More importantly, every person who thinks they understand the profit motive and the word socialism needs to rethink the definitions in “Hillaryspeak.”  Like it or not the profits made by Exxon are due to the American public and their non quenchable thirst for gasoline and petroleum products.  Who bought the products that allow Exxon to be so profitable?  A better question may be do we really care if they are profitable as long as the flow of gasoline continues?  I think the latter comment may be closer to the truth.  Senator Clinton is utilizing the age old practice of Demagoguery to increase her polling numbers and possibly because she feels the hot breath of Obama breathing on her neck.  She will have to unleash her true persona if she is to beat back the onslaught of “Mr. Clean”.  Pardon my paraphrase of Senator Biden’s verbal misdemeanor.

So now we have the wolf’s clothing being removed to make room for the fire breathing dragon lady known as Senator Clinton.  I cannot wait to see what outlandish comments she may let escape her oral cavity during the next few months.  I suspect the true socialist’s agenda may raise its ugly little head regarding not only the stealing of private enterprise funds (Exxon) but also the heavy yoke of additional taxes required to fund the plethora of social programs desired by the Democratic Party.  Does socialized medicine come to mind?  It should because the likes of Senator Clinton, Senator Kennedy and the current most powerful woman in America, Nancy Pelosi, would all like to force so-called medical care for everyone down our throats. 

Look at the current budget approved by the Bush administration!  2.9 Trillion dollars for a budget with which to run our country.  Our friends in Congress do not believe this is enough and would like to increase the budget to accommodate additional social programs (vote buying).  So now we know that with a population of 300,000,000 (not including illegal aliens) and a budget of 3 Trillion every man woman and child in the United States owes $10,000 apiece in order to fund the budget.  For argument sake let us say that there are only 200 million working people in our country paying taxes.  The bill now becomes $15,000 per working person.  How much tax did you pay last year?  More importantly, how much tax will you pay next year and in the future?  How in the name of common sense will our children and grandchildren live in such a suppressed society?  Regardless of your political, religious or societal affiliations you have to ask yourself the questions above and then put the pressure on our elected royalty in this country to actually do something. 

I suspect a lot of working individuals believe that the rich are not paying enough and that the good old boys currently in charge in Congress will see to it that this changes.  Poppycock! Do the research and you will see that roughly 5% of the American public pays 57% of the taxes in this country.  All we need is to tax those making more and the free enterprise system will fall about like a house of cards.  Where is the incentive to work and make more when the dragon lady is planning on appropriating any excess profits for redistribution to her favorite governmental charity?  I certainly cannot speak for anyone but myself but I would never want to see any branch of government be able to “steal” profits for redistributions from private enterprise.

My firm belief remains constant that Barack Obama and Hillary will eventually become running mates.  Our electorate is uninformed regarding factual information surrounding candidates and so brainwashed into the celebrity mentality that Obama is almost guaranteed a position should the Democrats win in 2008.  Barack Hussein Obama is indeed quick on his feet and gives a great impression during a grin and grab session.  His charisma and charm have generation X and Y all but swooning like giddy schoolgirls, but it remains to be seen if Gen X and Y will get out and vote.  Meanwhile the Republican Party remains on course to run another aging European American male.  The number of individuals remaining in America who will vote for the traditional candidate is shrinking every month and heaven knows who will be less polarizing to the Republican faithful. 

The countdown has begun and we only have 11 months until the first Presidential caucus.  How much money and how much ink are wasted determining the next candidate remains to be seen but I personally cannot wait to witness the verbal assault from Hillary once she receives the oral colonoscopy from the media.  Then we will see the wolf shed her fur and assume the true persona of a fire breathing scale covered dragon lady.

Remember picking a Presidential candidate is not brain surgery.

Terry


Call me names if you want to. Hate me, I don’t care. Here’s another copy of an email that says what I want to say. So … instead of me saying it, I’ll let this author say it. Who is the author? I don’t know (see update in next paragraph). If I knew, I’d give him or her credit. But I like it and here it is for your enjoyment. Just let me say … I’m glad I’m an AMERICAN!

(Update since I first made this blog post: The author is Craig Smith. He first published this article on Nov. 2oth, 2006. You can read Craig’s original article here on the World Net Daily website. Craig R. Smith is an author, commentator and popular media guest because he instantly engages audiences with his common-sense analyses of local, national and global trends. For media interviews iwth Craig please call Holly at 800-950-2428.)

The other day I was reading Newsweek magazine and came across some poll data I found rather hard to believe.  It must be true given the source, right? The Newsweek poll alleges that 67 percent of Americans are unhappy with the direction the country is headed and 69 percent of the country is unhappy with the performance of the president.  In essence 2/3s of the citizenry just ain’t happy and want a change.

So being the knuckle dragger I am, I starting thinking, ”What we are so unhappy about?” Is it that we have electricity and running water 24 hours a day, 7 days a week?  Is our unhappiness the result of having air conditioning in the summer and heating in the winter?  Could it be that 95.4 percent of these unhappy folks have a job?  Maybe it is the ability to walk into a grocery store at any time and see more food in moments than Darfur has seen in the last year. Maybe it is the ability to drive from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean without having to present identification papers as we move through each state?  Or possibly the hundreds of clean and safe motels we would find along the way that can provide temporary shelter?  I guess having thousands of restaurants with varying cuisine from around the world is just not good enough.  Or could it be that when we wreck our car, emergency workers show up and provide services to help all involved.  Whether you are rich or poor they treat your wounds and even, if necessary, send a helicopter to take you to the hospital.

Perhaps you are one of the 70 percent of Americans who own a home.  You may be upset with knowing that in the unfortunate case of a fire, a group of trained firefighters will appear in moments and use top notch equipment to extinguish the flames thus saving you, your family and your belongings.  Or if, while at home watching one of your many flat screen TVs, a burglar or prowler intrudes, an officer equipped with a gun and a bulletproof vest will come to defend you and your family against attack or loss.  This all in the backdrop of a neighborhood free of bombs or militias raping and pillaging the residents.  Neighborhoods where 90 percent of teenagers own cell phones and computers.

How about the complete religious, social and political freedoms we enjoy that are the envy of everyone in the world?  Maybe that is what has 67 percent of you folks unhappy. The fact is we are the largest group of ungrateful, spoiled brats the world has ever seen.  No wonder the world loves the U.S., yet has a great disdain for its citizens.  They see us for what we are.  The most blessed people in the world who do nothing but complain about what we don’t have, and what we hate about the country instead of thanking the good Lord we live here.

I know, I know.  What about the president who took us into war and has no plan to get us out?  The president who has a measly 31 percent approval rating?  Is this the same president who guided the nation in the dark days after 9/11?  Is this the president that cut taxes to bring an economy out of recession?  Could this be the same guy who has been called every name in the book for succeeding in keeping all the spoiled brats safe from terrorist attacks?  Is he the same Commander-in-Chief of an all-volunteer army that is out there defending you and me?

Make no mistake about it.  The troops in Iraq and Afghanistan have volunteered to serve, and in many cases may have died for your freedom.  There is currently no draft in this country.  They didn’t have to go.  They are able to refuse to go and end up with either a ”general” discharge, an ”other than honorable” discharge or, worst case scenario, a ”dishonorable” discharge after a few days in the brig.

So why then the flat-out discontentment in the minds of 69 percent of Americans?  Say what you want but I blame it on the media.  Their philosophy is “If it bleeds it leads” and they specialize in bad news.  Everybody will watch a car crash with blood and guts.  How many will watch kids selling lemonade at the corner?  The media knows this and media outlets are for-profit corporations.  They offer what sells, and when criticized, try to defend their actions by “justifying” them in one way or another.  Just ask why they tried to allow a murderer like O.J.  Simpson to write a book and do a TV special about how he didn’t kill his wife, but if he did… It’s Just Insane!

Stop buying the negative venom you are fed everyday by the media.  Shut off the TV, burn Newsweek, and use the New York Times for the bottom of your birdcage.  Then start being grateful for all we have as a country. There really is exponentially more good than bad.

WE ARE THE MOST BLESSED PEOPLE ON EARTH; WE SHOULD THANK GOD SEVERAL TIMES PER DAY

By Craig Smith. He first published this article on Nov. 2oth, 2006.

Have a great weekend,

Richard