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Richard’s World
Fixing This Mess We’re In

They’ll never put me in charge. I know this. But humor me.

We have a mess in America right now. A REAL mess. We have a POTUS that has never held a job. Surprised at his leadership skills? I’m not. We have congressional leaders who don’t understand the meaning of Statesmanship. And they seem to have lost the concept of civil service and don’t understand the meaning of a citizen government. Our founding fathers wanted a citizen government – that would mean all citizens could run for office. Problem today is the average citizen can’t afford to run for office – especially against an entrenched incumbent who is beholden to special intereest groups and can raise big bucks to beat the little citizen with little financing.

We had a POTUS once name Roosevelt – FDR. A lot like the present one … he loved to redistribute the wealth, too. He was so popular with his giveaway programs, he got elected to four (4) terms as POTUS – poor guy died in his 4th term … guess it was too much for him. Some time after he died, some smart folks said, “Whoa, nobody should be POTUS for 4 terms. Let’s change that.”  Good idea, IMHO. They term limited the POTUS.

I think it is time to limit congressional terms, too. Too many of these folks are just too damn comfortable in their cushy positions. I say if term limits are good enough for the POTUS and America (It works), then so be it for Congress members.

That’s step #1. Now here’s Step #2.

I don’t advocate in Richard’s World more laws. I think we have enough laws. Plus, Congress should only be in session about 4 months of the year. Hell, Texas only meets every other year. The Texas Legislature meets in regular session on the second Tuesday in January of each odd-numbered year. The Texas Constitution limits the regular session to 140 calendar days. Do you see Texas falling apart? I didn’t think so.

But I will propose one more law. Ban political parties.

Just run if you want to run. If you lean right, left or center, if people want to get to know you, they’ll figure it out. So when election time comes, you see all of these names on the ballot. No party affiliation. You had better do your homework. Oh damn, problem here, I’m asking the dumb masses to think. But yep, that’s what I’m saying. If you’re going to vote, find out what the person stands for and not what their party stands for.

There is one slight problem with this “no party” idea and putting everyone on the ballot. Maybe you can help me figure out a solutions.

I’m afraid if the names are listed in alphabetical order, we’ll have a lot of members of Congress with last names that start with an “A” or “B”. I apologize to all of the people with names starting with letters low in the alphabet … you’ll probably never get elected. But hey, maybe one of you will come up with a solution.

Until next time,

Richard

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Power Pride and Arrogance or Ignorance and Naiveté

Speaker Pelosi has placed herself in the position of defending the wording of her message to Syrian President Assad.

The issue is really not whether or not she delivered the wrong message – the issue is Speaker Pelosi’s obvious naiveté regarding politics on the world stage. Her demeanor is scary, dangerous and somewhat foolish.  She is the person only two steps away from assuming the Presidency of the United States and she is acting like a power crazed court jester.

Perhaps she did not violate any diplomatic rules when communicating with President Assad but she put herself in the position of being second guessed and criticized.  She is operating in an arena where she has no qualifications and obviously fewer skills on the world stage.  Does she really believe King Abdullah cares one bit about the number of women in authority in Saudi Arabia?  The comment did make for some good sound bytes however.

So now we have Prime Minister Olmert of Israel telling us that Speaker Pelosi delivered a message he did not authorize.  Speaker Pelosi’s press machine is already in full defense telling anyone who will listen how she did not break any rules and stayed within the boundaries of her office.  Once again, I say it does not matter what message she delivered it matters that she is not qualified to play in this sandbox. 

Will Syria now assume they are more than a second class country on the world stage?  No one really knows but visits from self important demagogues will certainly not take away from this perception.  Will King Abdullah realize the error of his ways and appoint more females to important posts within the Saudi government?  When pigs fly!!!  As a matter of fact King Abdullah is now preaching the rhetoric that the U.S. is an invader in Arab lands and needs to leave the area post haste.  He is putting a multi billion dollar arms deal with the U.S. in jeopardy with his current stance on U.S. Mideast Policy. 

One would have to suspect that King Abdullah is concerned with his power base in Saudi Arabia due to the large influence of radical Islamist in the country.  Perhaps we need to stop selling arms to the Saudi’s and let them slowly return to the 7th century.  The radicals talk about returning to the glory of ancient Islam but I really wonder what they would do if they no longer had air conditioning and Coca-Cola.  Remove the facade they have installed and we might see they really like Western culture. 

Speaker Pelosi – please keep up the good work and you may find yourself wearing a veil and being the servant matron for King Assad.  Should radical Islam get their wish and dominate the world stage including the United States, it will be ironic that individuals such as Nancy Pelosi would be the first to have their power diminished in a male dominated culture.  Good thing she does not qualify for one of the 72 virgins’ positions.

Terry


Finally, I have a better understanding of global warming.  Academy awards, congressional hearings and a mountain of written information have allowed me to see the light but it must be a CFL.  (Compact fluorescent light)  You know CFL is the replacement bulb for regular light bulbs and they only cost 4 times as much as incandescent bulbs. 

New terms have emerged because of the global warming scare and one should be cognizant of the definitions for these terms prior to engaging in any attempt at logical conversation.  The terms in question are Carbon neutrality defined as purchasing something called a Carbon Offset.  Basically, if you produce too much carbon in the atmosphere through driving, flying, using too much power at home or the office you can soothe your troubled mind by giving money to one of several companies in business to sell you a carbon offset.  Your money supposedly goes to projects creating power through non-carbon producing processes. 

I encourage everyone to investigate the motive behind global warming by visiting websites such as www.terrapass.com where you will be offered the opportunity to pay for the privilege of seeking carbon neutrality.  For example, you can enter your zip code and a little information about your power bills or your vehicle and you are quoted a carbon-offset fee.  I entered my power bill totals for the past month and as a result can receive a Terra Pass for one year for only $149.70.  For only $80.00, I receive a decal for my vehicle and have the opportunity to feel good about driving again.    Frankly, whoever is behind this website has my admiration.  Anyone who can pull this off has to be brilliant.  It remains to be seen if the American people will act like sheep running to the slaughter but I would wager these organizations would be extremely successful.

Does it seem a little strange we are requested to pay fees to allow us to abuse natural resources such as natural gas and petroleum?  I thought the purpose of reducing global warming was to reduce our dependence on these resources through conservation.  Now, we have a new industry evolving that will let me pay in advance for my sin of overindulgence.  Such a deal, I can purchase a vehicle getting 8 miles per gallon but put a decal on my window and be forgiven for my greed.

Follow the money! This ain’t brain surgery.

Terry


Look before you leap!  This has always been a favorite saying of mine because some of our politicians often open their mouths and spew forth great ideas as they embrace noble causes.  Health care is one of these noble causes.  However, no one bothers to define the main issue,  define the costs involved or where to find the money to fund these great experiments. 

There are volumes of data available regarding universal health care but let’s use one example already mentioned in one of Richard’s earlier postings and that is the situation at Walter Reed Army Hospital.  My friends tell me that most VA hospitals are neat, clean and run on time.  The one drawback so I am told is the fact they are run like assembly lines.  This makes sense to me because of the volume of patients they see each day.  Often I wish my private physician would run more like a factory but frankly I have no major problems with the way my personal health care is handled. 

The quote by Ronald Bailey in a previous post in this Blog says it all regarding government run hospitals. “no real accountability from the people who run the joint.”

This statement speaks volumes of what citizens of the United States can expect if Hillary or those like her get their wish for Universal Health Care.  Look at the budget that is being sought by the VA to run their health care unit.  For fiscal 2008 they are seeking $36.6 Billion U.S. This information is readily available at http://www.va.gov/budgetYou might ask how many patients will be treated using this $36.6 billion.  By the way, I am all in favor of spending whatever is necessary to treat the troops who keep me safe on my own soil.  The point of this is to say the government is overwhelmed by 5.8 million patients who happen to be veterans.  That’s correct … the $36.6 billion will treat and take care of 5.8 million deserving veterans.  Do the math and you will see we are spending only $6200 per individual patient treated by the VA.  Statistics show we have around 47 million uninsured individuals in the U.S. Using simple math we can multiple the total of $36.6 billion by 8.3 (we arrive at 8.3 by dividing 47 million by 5.8 million) to arrive at a figure necessary for the government to supply universal health care to everyone without insurance.  The figure looks like this 8.3 X $36.6 billion = $307,178,571,428.57 or $307 Billion.

Where in the world do you think the additional Billions of dollars will be generated?  One guess boys and girls.  BY YOU AND ME.  In addition we will have the potential for the same disaster that has occurred at Walter Reed.  No accountability and a lot of passing the buck.  Do you want to see your loved ones be denied service for what we now consider routine health care?  Look at your local hospitals and tell me that individuals are being turned away if they have no insurance.  The answer is “no.”  Our local hospital subsidizes those who cannot pay using the insurance payments from those who can.  You may be told this is not lawful and does not happen but think about it.  Do hospitals write off bills of indigent patients or those who have problems paying?  NO!!  They may try to collect and in some cases they are somewhat successful in collecting a portion of the amount due.  Take a close look at your next hospital bill if you have to use a public hospital.  One reason we have $100 aspirins is to pay for those who cannot pay.  We already have universal health care and believe me bringing all citizens to the lowest level of care will not increase the care for those without insurance.

Have a grat day!

Terry


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


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


hillary_obamaOk, I must admit that I feel much safer now that Barack Obama has decided to take the first legal steps toward running for the Presidency of The United States.  NOT!!!  Are there any human beings with a body temperature of 98.6 who actually believe that Mr. Obama will run against Hillary?  Give me a small break!  Were I a betting man I would bet that the Democratic ticket for 2008 will be Clinton for President and Obama for President of Vice.

Barack Obama is indeed a fine looking young man and evidently has a lot of charm. I hardly think he has the same charisma of JFK although the media has already decided he is the second coming of John Kennedy.  He has a myriad of experience having been elected to the U.S. Senate exactly one time after serving for 2 terms in a state office in Illinois. (notice my tongue is sticking through my cheek.)  I hope his main qualification among those of voting age is not the fact that he is the only black member of the U.S. Senate.  One must admit however that a Presidential ticket that includes a white woman and the wife of an ex-President and a running mate who is young, smart, good looking and oh, by the way, is also African American would present an almost unbeatable ticket. The first woman President might serve for 2 terms and then the first Black Vice President could become the first Black President for 2 terms.  The Democrats would have the White House locked up for 16 years.  It is almost too perfect.  The only thing that could make it better would be for Mr. Obama to choose a Muslim for his VP running mate sometime after 2012.

One major problem would be Teddy Kennedy trying to pronounce Obama’s first name.  Usually, depending on how awake the Senator from Massachusetts may be, the name is slurred something like Osama Obama or Barack Osama.  That Teddy Kennedy, he is certainly a source of pride for The Bay State!

Clinton and Obama might make for an interesting ticket because it would be considered un-American and politically incorrect to vote against either of them.  I suspect Hillary would quickly find a way to avoid public scrutiny due to her disdain for answering questions that are not rehearsed or previously submitted to her staff for her approval.  Mr. Obama might have to take up the slack resulting from Hillary’s refusal or inability to give answers to any meaningful questions.  This would make for some very interesting behind the scenes jockeying as Hillary Rodham loves the spotlight but refuses to answer any serious questions and I suspect Obama will grab any microphone that is not glued down in order to get a few sound bites on the evening news.

Hang on boys and girls … the election of 2008 will indeed be a great awakening for those of you who still believe elections are won on integrity and principle.  Sound bites, good looks and little in the area of substance will certainly play well with the great unwashed voting public in 2008.  I cannot imagine who the Republican Party will run against Obama and Clinton. Perhaps Newt Gingrich, John McCain or whoever else decides to run on the Republican ticket should grow a beard and begin wearing black suits and a stovepipe hat and hope they are confused with a reincarnation of Abraham Lincoln.  The Republican Presidential candidate will also have to choose a good looking black woman to run as VP.  Condi Rice certainly has the intelligence but gets absolutely no respect from the press.  Perhaps Paula Abdul should be chosen and share her inside secrets from the American Idol Kool-Aid drinkers.  As a matter of fact, perhaps the Republicans should run an American Idol type of presidential race, the candidate could sing, dance and promise everything to everybody and then the public could vote on who they wanted to be the Republican candidate.  Wait a minute … the Democratic Party has already begun using that idea.  Oh well, I suppose we will have to become accustomed to ivory and ebony in the White House.

Terry