Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Deployment Halfway Mark

Today marks the ceremonial halfway point of my six month deployment. It has been a deployment where work has consumed 95% of my waking hours. In the next half it is time to start working on other things. I am excited about the next half and getting back to my family.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Long time no post

Just take a minute to think about never leaving the shore, never risking anything, always thinking that comfort, security and 100% safety is the way we were meant to live. Question for the day, has America become so seditary that comfort, security and safety is what we want? I think that is what we have faked ourselves into believing...I believe what America needs is exactly the opposite. We need to be united for something, go somewhere...it is that mission that forced people of different cultures to assimilate to become out of many one. One people united in the purpose to make themselves better for their children and their country. It is time we unite in that goal again and work to higher purpose, focus on things other that comfort, security and safety. We need a mission to the moon...I am for making the 2020 mission to rid the US of debt.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Platitudes

I read the best opinion blog post tonight...read below from the WSJ Opinion Journal found at this link. Remember when we talked about platitudes and saying one thing, but only being able to deliver less. This article sums it up...Phase 1: Promise the world (Cure cancer, world hunger, and dependence on fossil fuels in one breath). Phase 2: ?. Phase 3: All promises met in time for re-election in 2012. I like the Lockheed Martin commercial that hits phase 2...it is the HOW that makes all the difference. I am very disappointed in most of the HOW in the Obama Administration. Admitting the US is broke, but continuing to spend???? Saying consumers shouldn't spend with credit cards and then push a budget that spends on debt????? Saying he doesn't want to run car companies and then firing the CEO????? The HOW (Phase 2) makes all the difference!!!! Just get it over with and start proposing the Constitutional Amendments...that is my biggest problem, either do it the way the Framers wrote the document or change it. That is the HOW, it has been the HOW since the Bill of Rights was added in 1791. Give US a plan. The what is easy, now President Obama, please give us a HOW that works and matches the Constitution or change the HOW or Constitution. I think it is called integrity when all parts are matched.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124329131991652291.html

OPINION: GLOBAL VIEW
MAY 27, 2009
Obama and the 'South Park' Gnomes
Too many initiatives that require a leap of faith.
By BRET STEPHENS
Sometimes it takes "South Park" to explain life's deeper mysteries. Like the logic of the Obama administration's policy proposals.
AP
Consider the 1998 "Gnomes" episode -- possibly surpassing Milton Friedman's "Free to Choose" as the classic defense of capitalism -- in which the children of South Park, Colo., get a lesson in how not to run an enterprise from mysterious little men who go about stealing undergarments from the unsuspecting and collecting them in a huge underground storehouse.
What's the big idea? The gnomes explain:
"Phase One: Collect underpants.
"Phase Two: ?
"Phase Three: Profit."
Lest you think there's a step missing here, that's the whole point. ("What about Phase Two?" asks one of the kids. "Well," answers a gnome, "Phase Three is profits!") This more or less sums up Mr. Obama's speech last week on Guantanamo, in which the president explained how he intended to dispose of the remaining detainees after both houses of Congress voted overwhelmingly against bringing them to the U.S.
The president's plan can briefly be described as follows. Phase One: Order Guantanamo closed. Phase Two: ? Phase Three: Close Gitmo!
Granted, this is an abbreviated exegesis of his speech, which did explain how some two-thirds of the detainees will be tried by military commissions or civilian courts, or repatriated to other countries. But on the central question of the 100-odd detainees who can neither be tried in court nor released one searches in vain for an explanation of exactly what the president intends to do.
Now take the administration's approach to the Middle East. Phase One: Talk to Iran, Syria, whoever. Phase Two: ? Phase Three: Peace!
In this case, the administration seems to think that diplomacy, like aspirin, is something you take two of in the morning to take away the pain. But as Boston University's Angelo Codevilla notes in his book, "Advice to War Presidents," diplomacy "can neither create nor change basic intentions, interests, or convictions. . . . To say, 'We've got a problem. Let's try diplomacy, let's sit down and talk' abstracts from the important questions: What will you say? And why should anything you say lead anyone to accommodate you?"
Ditto for Mr. Obama's approach to nuclear weapons. In a speech last month in Prague, right after North Korea had illegally tested a ballistic missile, Mr. Obama promised a new nonproliferation regime, along with "a structure in place that ensures when any nation [breaks the rules], they will face consequences." Whereupon the U.N. Security Council promptly failed to muster the votes for a resolution condemning Pyongyang's launch.
Now Kim Jong Il has tested another nuke, and we're back at the familiar three-step. Phase One: Propose a "structure." . . .
It was also in his Prague speech that Mr. Obama repeated his pledge to "confront climate change by ending the world's dependence on fossil fuels, by tapping the power of new sources of energy like the wind and sun."
Never mind that neither the wind nor the sun are new sources of energy. It so happens that the U.S. gets about 2.3% of its energy resources from "renewable" resources of the kind the president advocates while fossil fuels account for about 70%. The reason for this, alas, has nothing to do with the greed of the oil majors. But it has much to do with something known as "energy density": Crude oil has almost three times as much of it as switchgrass, supposedly the Holy Grail of our green future. A related problem is that heat invariably dissipates, meaning that it will always be difficult to turn diffuse sources of energy, like wind, into concentrated ones.
In Gnome-speak, then, Mr. Obama's energy policy goes something like this: Phase One: Inaugurate the era of "green" energy. Phase Two: Overturn the first and second laws of thermodynamics. Phase Three: Carbon neutrality!
Take any number of Mr. Obama's other initiatives. Rescue Detroit? Phase One: Set a national mileage standard for passenger cars of 39 miles per gallon and force auto makers to make the kind of cars that drove them to bankruptcy in the first place.
Reduce the deficit? Phase One: Approve $3.5 trillion in government stimulus, and then await the mythical Keynesian multiplier.
Pay for a $1.2 trillion health-care reform? Phase One: scrounge around for about $60 billion in new "sin tax" revenue.
Actually, we can easily guess how Mr. Obama intends to make up the difference on this last item: To wit, by taxing health benefits. Taxes, subsidies funded by taxes, regulations and mandates will also fill in many (though not all) of the other blanks. Underpants gnomes: meet Phase Two. Say, what happened to profits?
Write to mailto:%20bstephens@wsj.com

Please add your comments to the Opinion Journal forum.Printed in The Wall Street Journal, page A14
Copyright 2009 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved
This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. Distribution and use of this material are governed by our Subscriber Agreement and by copyright law. For non-personal use or to order multiple copies, please contact Dow Jones Reprints at 1-800-843-0008 or visit
http://www.djreprints.com/

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Who Pays Taxes?

With all the rhetoric lately about taxing corporations, I thought I remind folks that it is individuals that pay taxes not corporations. Corporations simply pass on increased taxes to the customer, pay lower dividends, or go out of business. I know from owning my own business...we did all three. The one that everyone forgets is dividends and it may be the one that hurts individuals the most. What current leadership forgets is that SOCIAL SECURITY is not enough to retire on and nor should it be...so we depend on investing in corporations to fill that gap. Capitalism works because it uses the sinful parts of humans for the good of all. The individuals in corporations want to be as successful as possible for themselves which they can not do without the help of the stock holders who get rewarded, but guess what, if the individuals in the corporations do not reward the investors appropriately they will be less than successful. It is this symbiosis that keeps wealth growing. Taxes if too high can become so burdensome that it damages this relationship and individuals suffer not the body we call "Corporation" because it is easy to make a faceless entity the evil problem when the problem is not remembering lessons of the past.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Term Limits

It is about time to establish term limits for Congress. I think an amendment to the Constitution is well overdue. There are several reasons I think term limits would be beneficial.
1. Personalities. The politics inside politics is ridiculous. Congressmen that have served 50 years become more of mobsters working inside the family than representatives working for the good of all families.
2. Spending. With the ability to continually be re-elected there is always reason to bring home the bacon. I theorize that Congressmen tend to concentrate on bringing home the bacon prior to election campaigns...it definitely sets them apart from any challengers. "Bob only says he loves Pennsylvania's with their God and guns, I proved it by getting $1Million in funding for our 3 airplane a day airport." Hard for the little guy to compete.
3. Let's legislators focus on writing laws not winning re-election campaigns.
4. Gets back to citizen legislators. Career legislators are affected by living in the political war zone. The echo chamber fills their heads with thoughts that they are better than everyone else and deserve special treatment. Their behavior is perfect example...Ted Stevens, Diane Fienstein, and the list goes on...

There are good reasons for no term limits, but I'm a fan of 8 years in the House and 12 in the Senate.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Press Conference

What did I hear tonight...that if you don't pass my budget now we are in dire circumstances...sounds all too familiar...if you don't pass the stimulus quickly the economy will crumble. The Dodd amendment is a perfect example of how/why Congress is not supposed to function rapidly. When Congress is artificially forced to "cram," even more wasteful spending results.

Dear Congress, please take your time before you spend my tax money. (The only way I do not go insane is that I envision that all my money is going to battle cattle methane production...a real way to get rid of greenhouse gases, not car emissions). I take my time before I spend money...I research the best value etc...What has every personal financial consultant since the beginning of time said is the best way to avoid debt that leads to bankruptcy, DON'T SPEND WHAT YOU DON'T HAVE AND AVOID COMPULSIVE PURCHASES!

On health care:
Before I can form an opinion I need more information on the source of the rising health care costs. If anyone knows please fill me in.
1. Are costs going up because the level of care is going up? Could I get the same "level" of care I did 10 years ago for the same price. E.g. 10 years ago when you daughter got stitches b/c of a cut on her face, she didn't also get an MRI to ensure there was no brain swelling. The technology and drugs available today are incredible...and guess what we expect everyone to get the latest care...it is not cheap to write the software, mine the titanium and pay upkeep on complex pieces of equipment.
2. Are costs going up b/c of increased litigation? Malpractice insurance costs increases are only a small piece of overall affect on costs...why do you think my daughter got the MRI, makes the doctors case stronger if there was litigation.
3. Are costs going up b/c we are offering care to more people? Anyone, Anyone can go to an emergency room and will not be turned down. Has anyone thought about that means non-taxpayers? So the costs of that expensive care for non-payers is spread to those who can pay. Guess what it is the way the free market economy "spreads the wealth." The market raises the price on those who can pay to pay for those who can't.
4. Are HMO and health care employees getting rich? Do they make more relative to what similar skill and position used to make?

I will be first to tell you that the system we have is bad. It is one where private individuals are forced to pay sticker price b/c they do not know the ins and outs and HMOs use their power to negotiate a fair market value. The health care system much like airlines works on a system of yield management. Health care is perishable in the sense that opportunity must meet with circumstance and health care management knows they must squeeze every drop they can to make ends meet. The system does need overhaul, BUT WE NEED TO STAY AWAY FROM ANYTHING THAT LOOKS LIKE CANADIAN SYSTEM AND/OR THE VETERANS/MILITARY SYSTEM! The rules focused approach concentrates on the system and not the patient...I know, I have gotten the t-shirt.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Is this what we've come to?

White House to China: No Safer Investment Than U.S. AP
Friday, March 13, 2009
powered by Baynote
The White House says there is no safer investment in the world than in the United States. Press secretary Robert Gibbs was responding to Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's comments Friday that he is concerned about the safety of his country's investments in the U.S. China is Washington's biggest foreign creditor, with an estimated $1 trillion in U.S. government debt. And Washington is counting on the Chinese to help pay for President Obama's $787 billion stimulus package by buying U.S. bonds. Gibbs says the Chinese should rest assured because investments in the U.S. are the safest in the world. Gibbs also says Congress can help by passing Obama's budget for next year, which promises to halve the deficit by 2012.


Who thinks this is a good idea? Is it just me or is this sad? We are begging China to loan us money and having to convince them we are good for it. Bernie Maddoff also promised his investments were the safest in the world. If you have to say it maybe there is reason to question it?