Monday, February 28, 2011

"Notes From Out Here"

I see the President's pal, Illinois Senator Dick Durbin, is supporting the union protesters in Wisconsin.  Why wouldn't he.  Illinois solved their budget deficit by hiking income rates by 75% last month!

The Arizona legislature has introduced five new anti-illegal immigration bills this week.  They include stronger provisions for employers, mandating that they use E-Verify before hiring.  Also introduced were measures to deny birth certificates to Anchor babies, arrest and detain and seize the vehicle of any illegal caught driving in the state, requiring car dealers to assure legal status on car sales and mandates that the DMV refuse issuing licenses to anyone in the country illegally.  This omnibus bill also bars illegals from receiving free public housing (we have thousands of illegals who used their anchor baby's birth certificate to apply for WIC, free Section 8 housing assistance, public welfare assistance, etc) and depriving needy Arizonans from securing housing assistance. 

  The legislature has made it clear they are willing to defend any of these measures in court, knowing full well that some of them will be struck down by the Clinton-appointed 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.  Guess the statehouse feels if they can run another 200,000 illegals out of the state, as occurred after SB1070 was passed, the efforts will be worth it; just another 200,000 illegals not clogging our classrooms and sucking the lifeblood from our medical and social programs.  Good luck to them.

The news was bad this past week. The Somali pirates have killed the four people captured on the small ship they were sailing around the world to distribute bibles.  The U.S. Navy then killed and captured the pirates.  I think it's about time the U.S. and all other countries mount a massive air strike against every harbor in Somalia and off the African coast.

The East Valley Tribune posted yesterday that a Mesa school district was lamenting the loss of illegal child school enrollment as it cost the district money; they get paid "per pupil".  They posted an example of the kindergarten classes.  Seems there are only four kindergarten teachers and three of the kindergarten classes are full of kids who speak no English.  The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals mandated that these illegal kids must be taught in separate classes.  Since they outnumber American kids they get three of the four available teachers.  The one teacher who has American kids must now accommodate 35 kids in one classroom.
Does this even sound sane to you?  We hurt our own kid's education to accommodate illegals.  Insanity!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

"Phoenix Rising - Part II; The Taxpayer Fights Back!"

Well the Arizona legislature has re-convened and it looks like they're ready to do battle!  A slew of new bills are being introduced to deal with the states problems; Mandatory drug testing for anyone on welfare, proof of citizenship to drive or register a car, proof of citizenship to buy a car, proof of citizenship to attend K-12 and university schools in Arizona, combing the welfare rolls to see who's gaming the system, mandatory checks for citizenship before treatment at state hospitals and reform of the state employee pension system to eliminate "double dippers" and overly generous retirement benefits.  Whew!

Many of these initiatives will surely be challenged by the courts.  Some of them will end up in the lap of the Supreme court.  But it is heartening to know we have a conservative legislature that is battling corruption, crime, fraud, graft, illegal immigration and the sovereignty of the state versus the strangling control of federal mandates.

The state deficit remains the biggest problem.  When Janet Napolitano was Governor she introduced a number of expensive social programs that was fundable while the Arizona economy was hot.  With the fall off in construction and the horrible housing crash, funds are no longer available to finance many "nice to have" programs.  Arizona is facing a $2 billion dollar deficit and all the big cuts were made last year; state buildings were sold off and leased back and every pocket of funding was combed for extra funds.  Now, the state is forced to look at the state health care program.  Over 20 percent of Arizona's populace is on state funded health care.  The situation is so dire that even the Obama administration has granted Arizona leeway to waive from the medical rolls up to 250,000 people.  The Feds haven't fought this cut since the alternative may be to end the program all together which would free up over a $1 billion dollars in outlay costs.

As Arizona continues to fight Washington over their failure to protect the border, a group of Hispanic activists and open borders supporters in Tucson are proposing that they be allowed to secede from Arizona, split the state in half,  and become America's 51st state.  I can't think of more clear evidence of the results of the illegal invasion than this; not content to infiltrate our nation's sovereign territory, it looks as if they are now trying to bite off a huge chunk of the southwest, thus effectively expanding Mexican control over a portion of the U.S.

Just hope many other states follow Arizona's lead and continue to resist the invasion and any effort to grant amnesty for foreign invaders.  If so, there may very well be hope for an American resurgence.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

"One 'A' and one 'B' On Obama's Report Card"

I am totally against the majority of President Obama's agenda. I believe the less government intervenes in our lives the better,  while Obama remains committed to his "community organizer" training in the belief that big government is efficient and beneficial.

However, as oil climbs over $100 dollar per barrel, and while Union teachers protest, instead of teachiing,  I will give the President credit for two efforts he has put forth to better our nation.

  1)  President Obama is the only Democrat who has come out in support of holding teachers responsible for educating our kids.  His Race to the Top program provides incentives for schools to achieve higher teaching goals, to include a willingness to fire teachers who are not doing the job and stopping the almost automatic grants of tenure to teachers who are failing.

2)  I believe the President is partly on the right side of the energy issue.  While his "Cap and Trade" policy was a stunning effort to socialize national energy, his efforts to spur production of electric vehicles, his willingness to expand nuclear power plants and his emphasis on promoting both wind and solar power are right on.  The time is now for us to realize that $6.00 gas is a hair breath away.  India and China are now industrial powers and their explosive demand for oil can only drive oil prices into the stratosphere.  Our petroleum engineers have already proven that we are rapidly approaching max oil production so there is no out for us; we must begin converting our factories and automobiles and home and office heating to natural gas, solar, electric, wind energy and nuclear.  President Obama was also right that this conversion could very well make us the leader in alternative energy development and could  be a tremendous boost to our economy.  The jobs to be created and the money to be made in this arena are unlimited.  Can you imagine the number of jobs that could have been created if the Dems had targeted that $870 billion dollar ear-marked laden Stimulous bill into alternative energy efforts?

Unfortunately, the Republicans are dinosaurs with respect to this issue, or perhaps more approriately, Ostriches with their heads buried in ground.  Very few of our Republican leaders will rise up and admit that our energy policy has been a failure for the past three decades.  They need to tell those oil company lobbyists to lunch elsewhere.

So, while Obama is still cuddling up to his biggest campaign contributors, the unions, he is at least pushing for teachers to perform...and while the Republicans sit on their hands, Obama is up front and aggressive in recognizing and proposing solutions to our energy problems.  I give him an A on Energy policy and a B for education.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

"Union Protesters Get A Note From Mommy"

Well, as I watch the news this morning, and see the Wisconsin Union protesters getting their "doctor's excuse" it only re-inforces my opinion of liberals and unions.  It seems the protesters, having fully developed "victim" and "entitlement" mindsets, have a doctor writing out "sick slips" so they can continue to abandoned their union jobs and party hearty at the steps of the Wisconsin capitol.  The state treasurer says it has so far cost the taxpayer $6 million dollars to pay their "non-working" salaries.  How long do you think the average working stiff could get away with that?

This is indicative of what is at the heart of the problem with unions.  While the rest of America has experienced severe cutbacks in their income, had their homes foreclosed on, experienced job losses and higher tax burdens, the unions just collect their annual largesse and couldn't care less about who is paying their salary...and if that involves cheating the system, so be it!

Is it any wonder that the Tea Party was born?  Working folks are just sick to death of unions and welfare teat suckers, illegals avoiding capture, and paying tax by playing the pay in cash game. 

The lines of battle have been clearly defined and a civil war is brewing.  The dwindling middle class can no longer shoulder the burden of carrying water for union slugs and all the "woe is me" welfare suckers and gamers who are living off the favor of liberal and socialist and corrupted government leaders.

So, while the kiddies miss school in Wisconsin, while they continue to receive a mediocre education, while high school drop out rates continue to explode, unionized teachers party in the streets and scream for the gravy train...and get paid while doing it.

Sad, Damn Sad.

Monday, February 21, 2011

"Liberals Are Both Cowards and Bullies"

As I watch the liberal Dems in the Wisconsin statehouse refuse to accept the democratic process and, instead, flee to the hills, I can't help but think how both cowardly and bullying liberals can be.

When liberals are in charge they will ram their socialist agenda down your throat.  One only need look at the Obama/Pelosi/Reid regime during the past two years.  Not satisfied with sharing a healthy exchange of ideas and debating those ideas on the open floor of Congress, Reid and Pelosi devised Obama care behind closed doors, refused to open the bill to debate and rammed the 2,300 page bill through, without accepting Republican amendment.

When the American people, by a 70% majority objected to the bill and voiced their anger at town hall meetings they were called "fringe elements".  Pelosi could not explain the bill and said "you'll have to pass the bill to see what's in it". 

Obama for his part took the same dictator strategy, saying "our election victory has real consequences".  He allowed Pelosi and Reid to write a cumbersome piece of legislative garbage that extends the strangling tentacles of big government into every phase of our lives.  Obama relinquished leadership on the Stimulus Bill as well.  The result was a monstrous give-away program laden with thousands of earmarks, to include a $15 million dollar rat preserve in a park in Pelosi's San Francisco.  Democrats plugged every socialist program they could into the $870 billion dollar legislation, then had the nerve to promise sub 8-percent unemployment rates.  That money is now spent and tens of millions of Americans remain unemployed.

Democrats are Bullies without conscience.

Whenever liberal Democrats are given a chance to control government they will spend all of  their legislative time on liberalizing same sex marriage laws, institute law so that gays can serve openly in the military, give waivers on Obamacare to Unions who provide their main source of campaign donations and will champion every government benefit for the unproductive while sucking the lifeblood of the working taxpayer.

Democrats are cowards.

Liberal democrats will never take responsibility for their actions.  When the banks fell and the housing market collapsed the Dems were first to blame Bush.  Never mind that the Dodd and ole Barney were overseeing the banking committees and the SEC and chose to ignore Bush's warnings that Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac were extending bad loans to unqualified borrowers. 

Democrats hate the very military that stands the watch that gives them safety and freedom.  Every time a Democrat gets control he will institute laws that hurt the fighting posture of the military, cut the military budget , provide federal support to liberal colleges that refuse to allow military recruiters on campus or who dissolve ROTC programs.

So now, after the Republicans took control of a single branch of the government, the House, and while the democrats still control the executive branch and the Senate, the Dems are screaming "where's the jobs you promised?"  And that's after they just blew through $5 trillion dollars of borrowed money and committed another $8 trillion to Obamacare!  Kind of ties your hands when you spend all the tax revenue the feds can hope to raise in taxes for the next two decades!

So, what do we have:  the same Democratic cowards whining in Congress and we have Wisconsin Democrats fleeing the state in a "take my football and go home pout" rather than accepting the decision made by the people of Wisconsin who have, frankly had enough of liberals and their union friends.  

Dems:  the party was festive, you enjoyed an orgy of spending but now the "adults" have to come along and figure out how to pay the bill.

Friday, February 18, 2011

"Government Union Reform Overdue"

The above link is to a news article relating that the state of Wisconsin is voting on de-linking the state from the collective bargaining agreement with state employees and teachers.  The law passed the legistlative committee and was expected to pass in the state house quickly.  Apparently, during the entire decision process thousands of teachers and state employees packed the state house and surrounding capitol to protest this decision.  It seems the state is asking state employees to boost their contributions to their medical program form .02 (read free)  to 5 percent of the costs and to pay 12 percent toward their retirement fund.  State employees, accustomed to a plush ride on the taxpayer gravy train, are balking.

For anyone who has studied the progressive movement in the U.S. this development is stunning.  Wisconsin was the very heart of the socialist movement fifty years ago with Robert LaFollette leading the charge for the union cause.  What caused such a stunning turnabout in, historically, a relatively short time?

Well, it seems the taxpayers in Wisconsin, and everywhere else in America, have finally decided that they've had enough of throwing billions of their precious taxpayer dollars for teachers that are inept and ineffective, spoiled and overpaid.  Taxpayers are tired of suffering of their own family budget constraints while seeing unionized state employees earning three times what the private sector earns.  The costs of maintaining huge federal and state bureaucracies is staggering and has bankrupted the states.  California is laboring under perennial $25 billion dollar annual deficits and the same burden is being carried by New York, New Jersey, Wisconsin and two dozen other states.  The home state of our President, Illinois, is also suffering from crippling state employment costs but they apparently have enough socialists in the statehouse since they were able to impose a 75% INCREASE IN THE STATE INCOME TAX!


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Spring Training in Phoenix

This week marks the beginning of Spring Training in Phoenix.  Our temperatures are in the mid 70's and our days are sunny and warm; time for grown men to, once again, take the field and play a child's game.  There is much to love about spring training.  Phoenix and the surrounding cities love it because it brings precious tax dollars to our budget-constrained state.  Businesses love it because it brings profits.  Hotels and rental car agencies and bars and restaurants enjoy the business boost.

I've lived in some lovely places, San Diego and Hawaii but I've got to say that Phoenix has the best winter  and spring weather.  But it is Spring Training I enjoy the most here.  Folks come from all over; they join the snow bunnies from the midwest to come and watch their teams begin to come together anew in preparation for the long season.  I live within three miles of the Peoria spring home of the Padres and Marinerers and within seven miles of the Surprise Stadium that hosts both the Texas Rangers and Kansas City Royals.  Whenever I visit a restaurant or business during this time of year there is a festive air.  Baseball fans are some of the best folks on the planet and the spirit of  joy and happiness prevails among the loyal ball-capped fans.

In nearby Peoria, Padres and Mariners fans can chow down at your choice of a hundred great restaruants.  You can grab breakfast at Denny's or IHOPs, scarf a mid-morning snack at Krispy Kreme donuts, quaff a beer at a blue collar or upscale bar, have an amazing burger at InNOut Burger, put down some great barbecue at Dave's, and never have to walk more than two blocks.  Ah, life is good!

Since the Diamondbacks moved from Tucson and  built a new spring training facility in Phoenix all of the Cactus League teams are situated within a twenty-mile radius and Arizonans love to host baseball fans.  It's a fun time of year.  Yes, Arizona continues to bring in the big bucks from the college bowl games, and businesses love the money that flows into Glendale in January.  But, the most fun to be had here is truly during the spring training season.

So, Cub fans, Padre fans, Ranger fans, Giant fans...all of you baseball nuts, come on over, the days are warm and sunny, the skies are blue,  the locals friendly and hope blooms anew that "your" team will be the one to catch lightening in a bottle and win the pennant.

Play ball!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

"Doomed To Repeat"

Historian David McCullough recently decried the failure of our schools to teach history.  He cited a number of statistics to show that many educational institutions have no requirement for even a single history course as a requirement for a high school or even a college diploma.  This should not be news to anyone; the teaching of history or civics has been on the decline for three decades.  McCullough related that he was often shocked when he would, during his college tours, ask a college senior a basic history question and find that student could not provide an answer. 

The problem with this is not simply that we have raised at least two generations of young folks that are history-illiterate.  It was England's most admirable Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, who said "Those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it".    The majority of Americans have taken that concept to new and fearful levels of ignorance.  Never mind that most citizens can't name the three branches of government, or cite the preamble to the U.S. constitution, or even the name of our first President; most can't remember the history of even the last three decades.

And so, as I read the reader comments on various inter net news sites I am, regrettably, not surprised to see how naive folks are regarding the "democratic revolution" in Egypt.  Folks are hailing a new dawn of democracy in the Middle East as the raucous street crowds cheer in triumph. 

Pardon me if I'm not a small bit skeptical.  First of all, I hereby lay claim to having a better understanding of the Middle East than most, since, after my military retirement, I lived and worked there for ten years.  One thing I learned is that our western style of democracy will not work there.  There are many fine people who live there and I remain friends with some.  But, a western style democracy cannot be imposed on a people who integrate their Islamic religion into every part of their daily lives.  As I have often said, the best one can hope for in the Middle East is to have an orderly and benevolent "theocracy".

And so, when George Bush invaded Iraq I said on day one that he had better be careful.  At most, the U.S. should have moved quickly to rid the world of Sadaam Hussein and his sons and get the hell out as quickly as possible.  I was astounded that there weren't enough smart state department folks who opposed this adventure.  The U.S. government these days are quick to label our Iraq involvement as a success, even as each day thirty or forty people are blown up in an Iraqi marketplace.

The same is true for Afghanistan.  What should have been aggressive assaults against the Taliban and Al Quaida, invoking massive damage in retaliation for 9/11, followed by a quick withdrawl, did not happen.  What we have now are two of the longest wars we have ever fought, a loss of some of the best young Americans, and a drain on our treasury of half a trillion dollars per year, all in the name of "nation-building". 

How's that been working out folks?

With respect to Egypt, and remembering history, I won't ask you a question about an America two hundred plus years ago; let's try this one:  Over the last thirty years we saw an Iranian monarch toppled and our precarious relations with Iran became even more tenuous as they build the capability for nuclear strikes.  When the dictator Marcos was toppled in the Philippines many Americans hailed this as a stunning new birth of freedom.  Never mind that we've had half a dozen Philippine governments toppled since that time as corruption continues to hamper that beautiful country. 

What we need to learn from history is this:  America can and should be the beacon for all who aspire to freedom.  But America is America and Vietnam, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan and the Philippines are not.  We must walk a tightrope of diplomacy to assist our neighbors where we can but we must also approach our foreign relations with an objective and thoughtful view.

So, folks, I'll continue to study my history, strive to remember its lessons, and hope my fellow citizens will do likewise.  We've wasted enough blood and treasure by failing to learn the lessons of history.

As a retired military man who loves his country deeply I know there are just wars and just causes.  We just need to learn the art of the possible and quit making the same old tired mistakes.  We just can't afford to be wrong anymore.

Monday, February 14, 2011

"A Trillion here, A Trillion There"

President Obama has issued his budget for next year.  He plans to spend $3.73 trillion dollars.  Tax revenues are projected to come in at $2 trillion, leaving about a $1.75 trillion dollar deficit for the coming year.  This is on top of the orgasmic liberal spending spree of close to a trillion dollars spent on the "stimulous program in 2009.   (It is ironic that the bank bailout that caused all the consternation by our citizens has resulted in banks paying back all their debt with a small profit coming back to the U.S. government, while the feds have been unable to show how the stimulous program did any good at all)   In addition to the three years of massive annual deficits that have brought our current account deficit to $15 trillion dollars, we must also contend with an additional $8 trillion dollars committed to Obama care as well as, per the Congressional Budget Office, $78 trillion dollars in "unfunded liabilities" for Social Security and Medicare.  These unfunded liabilities are what really scare me.  Up until 20 years or so ago, all Social Security and Medicare payments we made to the government went to a separate account, where interest on these funds were to fund future Social Security/Medicare.  However, the government decided to rob this fund by sweeping all SS/Medicare funds into the General Fund, the fund which is used for any government expenditure Congress and the President deem necessary.

 In his State of The Union message he stated that America simply must get a hold of the massive budget deficits.  His budget is certainly not doing that so it looks like we'll need to borrow another trillion dollars from China next year.  The CBO says we'll be paying 43 percent of all tax revenue just to pay interest on the government's massive debt.

I noted that the President's announcement of his budget was accompanied by selective statistics to make it appear that the government is cutting costs whereever possible.  I'll leave it up to you whether you think he's sincere.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

"Why I Love Amazon" is my favorite place to shop.  It is the "magic bazaar" where you can window shop, read buyer reviews and do all the research a smart consumer will ever need to make smart buying choices.  If you can cobble together $25 bucks worth of purchases they'll ship it to you for free, and they nearly always offer the best price.  When I have needed to contact customer service, whether by phone or email, I am assured prompt and courteous attention.

While I am not a big buyer of general goods, when I do choose to buy toys, a camera, an RV accessory, a household item or anything else I generally choose Amazon. 

My biggest purchases from Amazon are for books.  I bought an Amazon Kindle and now enjoy buying e-books at steep discounts.  It adds up to alot since I read about a hundred books per year.  The Amazon Kindle lets me sample books before I buy, offer free books from up and coming writers, and I have my choice of a few million royalty free books to download for free.

I'm now ready for Amazon to expand their horizons.  We could have Amazon list all of our Presidential and congressional candidates, document how they voted on specific legislation,  along with reviews from their consituents so we could see how theyh're really doing.  We cold scrap the current dirty fund-raising methods currently employed and have Amazon handle the candidate contributions and document who gave what to whom.  We could name Amazon the "sole-source provider" for those $4,000 dollar toilet seats and $5,000 dollar hammers that the Defense Department procures from the most generous defense lobbyist.

We could have Amazon assume the current duties of the IRS; their customer service would certainly improve.  Gotta go, I'm doing my taxes and I'm only up to page 336 of the current tax code.

Friday, February 11, 2011

"Phoenix Rising"

Arizona has been taking much abuse lately.  Already under fire for attempting to stop the illegal alien invasion, and the devastating affect it has had on our quality of life here, the shootings in Tucson opened wide the liberal floodgates of vitriol.  Before we learned it was the work of a madman the media was quick to jump on it and blame the tragedy on Arizona's despicable decision not to want to spend another three billion dollars to provide more schools to educate 400,000 illegal kids, build more prisons to house illegal felons, provide medicare and WIC and welfare benefits to illegal families and subsidize every hospital emergency room for whom illegal aliens use as a "routine care" clinic.

Arizona was fortunate; it only needed to look west at California and its $120 billion dollar budget and $25 billion dollar deficit, to learn that we can't go that route.   California's legislature has been under Democratic control for over three decades and they long ago steered onto the reckless road to bankruptcy by failing to enforce immigration laws.  Crime rates have soared, whole cities lay in ruins (yesterday Forbes magazine designated four of the top five "miserable cities in the U.S." belong to California.)  Resource-rich California with its international ports, its cattle ranches, oil fields, rich agricultural valleys and it's Silicon Valley, has still not been able to provide for the millions of illegal immigrants sufficient schools, hospitals, prisons or social programs to accommodate the massive influx of illegals.

Arizona is a relatively poor state.  The economy is largely mining now that housing construction has plummeted off the cliff.  The state is trying to deal with the costs of social programs put in place during Democratic Governor Janet Napolitano's term; all day Kindergarten, state child care, federal court mandates to build more schools to house illegal kids, health care for hundreds of thousands, many of them anchor babies who, by law, are eligible for any social program afforded American citizens.  Arizona is also spending $400,000 dollars per year to teach English to Hispanic kids but last year the Clinton-appointed 9th Circuit Court of Appeals out of San Francisco has ruled that this amount is not nearly enough and has mandated that Arizona must establish "English Only" classes for all illegal children and it must allocate additional millions of dollars to do it.  Federal surveys rank Arizona 49th among the 50 states in education funding but a separate objective private party survey actually had Arizona 5th in education funding when you eliminate the 400,000 illegal children from the survey.  It is asinine to compare Vermont  or New Hampshire or Ohio, with very few illegals, to that of Arizona which must bear the cost of the illegal invasion.

Despite all of these problems I have high hopes that Arizona will resolve their problems and, like the mythical Phoenix, rise again.  We have an increasing migration of California liberals, who after messing up California, have come to Arizona demanding the same liberal programs which destroyed California.   However, the majority of Arizonans remain largely conservative and our state house is under conservative control.  Arizonans are still giving a good fight for those who believe in the integrity of our borders and the belief that individual freedoms must never be sacrificed on the altar of big government largess.

Arizona will continue to be under attack by the left.  They will always choose to vilify Arizona as full of hate-filled people.  It seems that the main stream media will continue to give wider coverage to a tragedy in Tucson than the fraternity massacre in the Midwest or other heinous crimes.  That's okay, Arizonans are tough; they can take it.

So to all you folks out in the other 49 states, pray for us; we may be your last bastion of hope against the increasing government control over your lives.  I know this for sure:  we're at the battlefront in the war against illegal invasion...and we're not getting much help from anyone else.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

I need reader feedback

I would like to thank all of you readers who have made a habit of visiting my blog.  I started it only three weeks ago and have faithfully written a blog entry each day.  Some of my writings concern personal experiences, some are frivolous and meant to add a little humor to your day, and some are very serious and involve issues that I am very concerned about. 

I've been very pleased to see that I am attracting visitors from all over the world as well as folks from all over the U.S.  Thank you for taking the time from your day to visit me.

I would greatly appreciate your taking it a step further:  I would ask that you take a moment and leave a comment, whether in praise or critical, just to let me know what kind of articles you enjoy reading. 

Note that, at the bottom of the blog article, there is a place for comments.  I'll settle for a :) or :(  or specific comments or suggestions. 

Give and Take Care,

Dearel Friend

"Taxing Not Only My Patience"

Folks, as you begin gathering all the paperwork together to do your taxes, as you review your W2's and 1099's to determine how much in taxes you've paid in and how many additional dollars you'll need to mail to the IRS, consider this:

As of 2010 only half of all families in the U.S. actually pay taxes.  Indeed, the vast majority of those who pay no taxes actually get a check back from the IRS in still another revenue-draining stream of funds that go to people who are, frankly, not contributing their fair share for all the services they receive. 

Only under the American tax system would you be encouraged to have more children than you can afford to support.  Not only is the "constant breeder" rewarded by "dependent exemptions" in the tax code, but they are also awarded thousands of your tax dollars in Child Tax Credits for each child bred!  In other words, in addition to receiving social welfare checks, food stamps, Section 8 housing, free Pell Grants for schooling, WIC, reduced tuition rates and free health care, the IRS adds an additional stream of social revenue through the child tax credit. 

Is it any wonder that we're running an annual trillion dollar deficit that now totals $15 trillion dollars? 

Now, I'm going to have to add a link to this one (because you are not going to believe it).  Nearly all of the above cited benefits are also awarded to illegal aliens and their children.  Can you believe that the IRS sent out $1.5 billion dollars in Child Tax Credits to illegal aliens?  Here's how it works:  In some instances the illegal alien will be bold enough to file on a stolen social security number.  However illegals have become much better at playing the game now.  You see, the IRS requires even illegal aliens to file their taxes.  They do so by using a "W7" which evolves into an Individual Income Tax Return (INIT).  The IRS then awards them a filing number and stands ready to accept their return.  Since the illegal almost never files an honest return, and is often paid in cash, the illegal claims just enough to qualify for the dependent exemptions and the Child Tax Credits.  Large illegal families normally collect thousands of dollars through these credits!  How can this be?  Well, Congress, when they passed the Child Tax Credit made no distinction from those filing a 1040 or W7 so the Child Tax Credit jackpot goes to everyone who can breed a brood!  Here's one of the hundreds of sources on this; you can google this yourself as well:

It should also be noted that, by law, the IRS is not allowed to turn over addresses of illegal aliens to the Immigration and Naturalization Agency ICE.  They treat illegal tax matters more secretly than a priest in a confessional!

Is it not enough that we already spend hundreds of billions to build additional schools and prisons to accomodate illegals?  Is it not enough that we spend more billions on law enforcement to deal with increased crime?  Is it not enough that illegals take billons out of our depressed economy and send it back to Mexico?  Must we even give them our tax dollars through the IRS system?
Now folks, as Congress begins talk of cutting spending they talk about cutting social security and medicare (programs which you paid into since you were 16 years old), do you see them saying anything about ending Child Tax Credit abuse?  Payments to illegals?   As you total your tax on your bank savings (money that you already paid income tax on) do you see Congress discussing why even legal green card holders are entitled to medicare and social security disability which they never paid into?

So, Mr. and Mrs "Middle Class", as you see your jobs shipped overseas to China, as you see the richest one percent of Americans paying taxes in the investment bracket of 15 percent, as you pay out 50 percent of everything you make in local, state, federal, medicare and social security taxes how is it all working out for you?

How is all of this abuse happening?  Because too many are not willing to go out and learn what's happening, write your representatives and vote the rascals out and bring in someone who will end this abuse!

Here's headlines in Phoenix that we have to read every day.  It is any wonder were trying to fight illegal invasions?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

"A Moon For The Misbegotten"

Bill O'Reilly recently suggested that God is real and offered the magnificence of the universe, and the tides from the moon,  as proof.  Of course liberal activists were quick to jump on this statement with snickering delight.   They brought in the troops in force; atheists and scientists who believe with great faith in the "chaos theory" of creation.  Never mind that some startling new research by noted quantum mechanics physicists are actually coming around to support a "superior being" theory.

Now, we all know that religion is a very personal thing.  Our individual faith, and our personal feelings about the nature of our existence can only be settled in the realms of heart and mind.  However, it is especially intriguing that, in their effort to intellectualize the discussion on religion or no, the liberal faction may well be ignoring the finest intellectual minds in history.

Not to get too heavy here but, as I recall from my college philosophy classes, the great Greek philosopher, Plato, had a thing or two to say about the existence of a superior being.  In his "Theory of Norms, Theory of Perfection" dialogues Plato offered that nature herself presented daily proof of perfection and that, deep within the core of the human soul, is planted the "model" for perfectionism. In other words, humans, though imperfect, know damn well perfection when we see it!   Plato asked that we think of our daily perceptions on anything in nature.   He professed that, as we look at a man-made object we can see beauty and grace...but if we look hard enough, we can always see a flaw somewhere.  By contrast, Plato challenges us to look at nature; a tree, a flower or one of the world's creatures.  Invariably, he says, we never question the perfection of the thing.  Yes, we may see missing petals or a tree marred by weather, or even a creature mutated by birth but, when we do, we continue to hold in our mind's eye the perfect nature of the object.  He further states that, having that tiny model of perfection means that we are created and connected to a higher being.  If the higher being did not exist, neither would perfection...and if we hold within our core, the "ideal" of perfection, then we are surely created by a superior being. 

The French philosopher, Rene Descartes seconded Plato's Theory of Perfection; he just said it in a different way.  We have all heard Decartes' most famous philosophical assertion on God,  "I Think, Therefore I Am", meaning that it would take a superior being to instill in us the inbred certainty of what is morally right or wrong. 

I am the least qualified to pass judgement on Bill O'Reilly's Catholicism, or the religious principles of baptists or Methodists or any other "ists" that serve as the framework for one's pursuit of religion.  I have made a couple of attempts in my life to embrace organized religion but am put off by historic church abuses, hypocrites and the ritual nature of many church services.  But I do admire those who have made religion an integral part of their lives and I do believe in God.  This world is just too beautiful not to.

Far too many lliberals however seem to detest anyone who blindly follows the edicts of established religions.  They profess to be intellectually above it.  I guess they'll hang on to those convictions despite the fact that intellectual minds far superior to theirs have argued in favor of  God, no matter what religion and no matter what we choose to call him (or her).

It's early morning here, the moon's still out..think I'll go out and admire a little of God's handiwork.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Loved seeing the little boy in Darth Vader gear on the Superbowl Volkswagen commercial.  After failing to "animate" anything around the house, his father comes home, seeing his son's attempt to animate the VW, hits the remote starter and the car growls to life.

I've been intrigued by all the new electronic gizmos they're putting into cars these days.  Is it Mercedes or Lexus that has programmed their cars to automatically slow down when the less than cautious driver is following too close in traffic?  I see that Ford has incorperated Blue Tooth and MP3 and GPS and a host of other features into their innovative new automobiles.  Some of the new cars now have rotating head lights that shift in the direction of travel and serve as expressive eyes in some of those fancy commercials.  GM, for some time now, has featured their OnStar program that automatically alerts all kinds of first responders if you are in an accident and can't signal for help yourself.

These fancy new devices are fine but if they want to win my approval there going to have to do more; much more.  I want to see carmakers install a program that will send, by remote control, any potential new car right to my drive-way.  Then, to simulate the typical car-buying process they'll need to program into the sound system a "car salesman" program.  The program will tout all the latest features of this outstanding automobile, run down the competitors' product, offer me a payment program that has me paying for it for the next decade, accept my down payment in the car's ATM slot and leave the car in my drive way.

Finally, I want a program that talks to me, tells me what a wonderful driver I am, reminds me to pick up the bread and milk, praises me when I follow GPS directions, tells me I am not old, just "seasoned"....and puts "backseat drivers" on "mute".

Monday, February 7, 2011

"One Ring a Dingee"

For those of you too young to remember, comedian Lily Tomlin used to portray "Ernestine", an AT&T operator who, in a semi-orgasmic state, would remind callers that AT&T was the telephone monopoly and if they didn't like it, tough cookie.  Then, the feds and the courts decided that Ma Bell had gotten a little too big for her britches and forced AT&T into the seven Bell Operating systems.

From those humble beginnings the telephone has now become the stone idol to which so many worship.  We must now honk at drivers in front of us when the light turns green because the driver is texting or surfing the net or telling hubby what to pull out of the freezer for dinner.  Teens can now tune out the teacher and text the latest dirt and exchange test answers to the pop quiz.

Through the magic of the cell phone our favorite rock stars and movie queens can now twitter and let us know where they are, what they are doing and, how they feel about a particular superficial issue. 

My "phone-phobia" has left me a stranger in a strange land.  I am certainly the only one in my Face Book circle that does not own a cell phone.  Even my ancient land line becomes a fearful device as I measure the few pleasures of phoning against the disadvantages of owning one.

Last week I phoned in a medicine prescription to my pharmacy.  Before I was able to get down to business I first had to listen to two full minutes of information I didn't need to hear; i.e. hours of operation, dispensing policies, the specific procedure for ordering, etc. 

Still another pet peeve is calling customer service representatives for my various banking and commercial interests.  Unfailingly, after plowing through my choice of language, account number, age of my children and sexual preferences,  I am greeted by a customer service representative from India, China or Mexico and, compounded by a rapid decline in my hearing, I am unable to delve through a sing-song accent or rolling R's to understand a damn word their saying.  I have occasionally thanked them and re-dialed the number, hoping I'll hit "three cherries" and achieve the occasional jackpot of talking to real live "A murkin". 

Most disturbing of all is having to receive the telemarketing calls.  The "gov", in their infinite wisdom in passing the "Do Not Call" law, provided exceptions to politicians campaigning for re-election, and charities.
I can tell you first hand that the "Do Not Call" program is not working; in this depressed economy businesses have decided to ignore the law, telemarket their product or service and worry about any fines later.  When I tell the telemarketer that I'm on the "Do Not Call" list he or she is actually offended!

I said earlier that my "phone-phobia" actually compounds my problem with using the phone in the first place.  For years now I have picked up the phone with the intent to call a friend or loved one, but just at that moment, I imagine they are just sitting down to dinner, captivated by an exciting episode of "Glee", or in the throes of making mad passionate love.  I then place the phone back in the receiver and feel just a little angry that they are "too busy" to take my call.    When I finally do call I end up getting the answering machine and am hurt that they wouldn't pick up the phone.

So I miss Ernestine a little bit.  At least when AT&T controlled things it was too damned expensive to call anyone.  And I miss not being able to pick up the phone, dial "O" and ask for the time, just to hear a human voice and have "no strings attached" aural contact. 

Got to run phone is ringing....probably the guy calling to offer me a great cell phone package!

(Note:  Would love to hear your comments, good and bad; it's hard stumbling around in the dark, not knowing if your words are reverberating in the spheres of the blogosphere)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

"Ask What Your Country Can Do For You!"

On a cold January day in 1961 a bright young President stepped up to the podium and spoke of a new generation of Americans who he called upon to "Ask What You Can Do For Your Country, Not What Your Country Can Do For You".  President John F. Kennedy challenged this new generation to join the Peace Corp; teach sanitation practices in Africa, volunteer as a health aid in South America, or begin your teaching career in a backwoods Mississippi school.

Inspired by these words, America set off on a new path and volunteerism and the pride of American citizenship was at an all time high.  America was taking pride in giving back to a country that had given them so much.  Just three years later our youthful President was gunned down in the streets of Dallas and a crafty old time politician assumed the presidency.    The contrast between Kennedy's warm and inspiring personality and Lyndon Johnson's crass and brutish personality was stark.

Johnson, a man of huge ego, desperately wanted to be loved and to be remembered in history, set about implementing legislation called "The Great Society" that would result in trillions of dollars added to the national deficit over the subsequent years.  Medicare, free government housing, food stamps, social welfare and a host of other social programs  required deficit spending and huge city, state and federal bureacracies just to administer these programs.  And, as with any government program, bureaucrats have little interest in controlling costs since it was "only taxpayer monies, not theirs".  This is always the problem with bureaucratic management, no matter how well-meaning a program seems to be.

Far more serious than the immediate program costs has been the creation of a "victim society",  a "give-me" society.  Since these government programs began we have encouraged three generations of Americans to expect something for nothing. 

Is it any wonder then that we have government employees at all levels making three times what the worker makes in the private sector?  Is it any wonder that, with half of all Americans paying no income taxes, that those who "take" have no interest in how the bill is paid? 

Is it any wonder that the majority of our unionized teachers, protected by tenure, have no interest or incentive to educate our children?  Are we really surprised that 40 percent of our high school kids will never finish high school, and even those that do are functionally illiterate, having been passed on from grade to grade despite failing minimum standards?

Alas, here we are, in a new century, our country on the brink of bankruptcy with I.O.U.s for Social Security and Medicare totalling $73 Trillion dollars?  Or a current national deficit of $15 trillion dollars?  And yet, we see teachers taking to the streets to fight for even bigger salaries and benefits despite doing such a lousy job in educating our children. 

Our social programs are being financed by money borrowed from China because we no longer have the money to pay for them. Our dwindling middle class that always paid the bills is almost gone, their jobs lost to other countries.   The incentive to work and be productive in America is at an all time low.  Too many have had a free ride for too long and it may very well be too late to turn this country around.

Today, John Kennedy would be laughed off the podium by some to even suggest that our citizens "Ask For What You Can Do For Your Country".  Sad.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

In Praise of Nelson Mandela

I was heartened to see that Nelson Mandela has left the hospital and returned home after his recent illness.  We need more Nelson Mandelas in this world, if only to remind us of perseverance and the grace of forgiveness. 

Mr. Mandela, after being wrongly imprisoned for more than two decades, emerges to freedom and, rather than bask in bitterness, sets out to lead his country to independence and freedom.  More important, he favors everyone he meets with a smile and let's that magnicent soul shine outward to other souls thirsting for fulfillment.

It is heartening to see the magnificent preachings of a Jesus Christ enlivened by a life challenged beyond belief.  Mr. Mandela, live long, live strong and continue to inspire us to better ourselves through your example.