Dedicated to Right sizing government…..Responsibly!

Is the end near?

As I sit here this morning, it hard not to look at the
headlines about Greece’s continued economic woes, “Arab spring”, the Anthony
Weiner saga, Chinese economic might and unrest, floods and tornadoes in the south
and Midwest and wonder is this the end of the world?

Okay, maybe a little dramatic but hear me out. Let’s start
with Arab Spring, which has really now become an Arab summer. There fighting in
Libya, with rebels engaging Gaddafi the not so great. The rebels are backed by
NATO fly over’s. We have Syria attacking its own citizens. But the world
community does nothing about that, however that is the EXACT reason that NATO
is in Libya. Little hypocritical don’t you think. Then you have Yemen going at
each other. Same in Barhain. In Tunisia and Egypt we have seen the overthrow of
two very unpopular leaderships. The rest of the leadership of the Middle East
and North Africa are trying to sleep every night with one eye open.

We see Greece where the populous is protesting the austerity
measures that are mandated to receive financial support from the IMF (international
monetary fund) and the European Community. How dare they expect the Greek
people to work to age 65? Europe would love nothing more than to see the uppity
Greeks suffer a tragedy. How dare they want the same lifestyle and standard of
living as the rest of Europe? The problem is that watching them implode could
launch a financial bloodbath on economic markets around the world. Think the Wall
Street meltdown gone global.

Weiner, Weiner, Weiner…you finally did something right for a
change. You resigned. And you received a job offer from Larry Flynn. Don’t take
it. Larry is too good to have you go to work for him. I think you should hold
out for something more in your line. Oscar Mayer has that Weinermobile that
needs a driver. And that would be a catchy commercial. Weiner driving the
Weinermobile. But really we should not be surprised by you action. It seems
like 50 or 60 per cent of politicians start waving their penis around at their constituents
after they are elected. The other 40 or 50 per cent just give us the finger.
Either way the outcome is the same. I am sure you can visualize it.

China cannot seem to decide “Do we want to be a world
leader, or would we rather beat the crap out of our people and go back to Maoism.
Or can we do all three at the same time.
And continue to bankroll American debt until we are ready to pull the plug and
cause a Greek like problem?

You probably know about the floods. If you live along the
Mississippi, you probably were waist deep in it. How would you like to be the
guy who decided do I flood 350 farms and homes or do I flood Cairo Illinois? Do
I flood the swamp people or New Orleans? Again.

All of this with 9.5% unemployment, Runaway government debt,
home foreclosures at an all time high while housing values plummet, $4 a gallon
gasoline, and one has to wonder—-are we close to the end. How does a family
stay cool and then have a $350 a month electric bill to pay. How do we pay for
it all?

Then I start to wonder how my mother did and father pay for
it all? My father in his whole life probably never made more than $30,000 a
year. He was supervisor at a paper mill. But he was able to pay the bills for a
family of five. And in the 60s and 70s to boot, and yet things did not seem as
bad then as it does now. And so you have to look and say what is the different
today versus then and what makes me think it is so bad?

And then it dawns on you. It’s the media stupid. Back in the
70’s you had CBS, NBC, ABC, and PBS. You had your local paper and you local
radio stations. The news was at 6 and 11. Today you have that plus CNN, Fox
News, CNBC, and 500 channels of crap.Bloggers those bastards.XM radios,
wikileaks, USATODAY, and an online websites galore. And you realize, things are
not worse, it’s just that bad news has its own publicist. Bad news is not worse;
it’s just a media junkie. It’s not bad news fault, cause ‘Baby it was born this
way”.

So it just the media. The world is not about to end. You
have at least until December 21, 2012. The Mayas had it right, make the priest
your media, and let them pick a day. And then bad news be damned. Just sacrifice
a few dumb shmucks and everything will be okay. Oh Anthony Weiner…… I think we
have a new job for you.

Weinergate needs to end

By know I am sure everyone is aware of the scandal surrounding Congressman Anthony Weiner and his infamous bulging underwear pictures that he send to various females online. At first Weiner said his twitter account was hacked. Then he admitted he had sent them. Later blogger Andrew Beithart produced pics of Weiner in the nude.

Weiner is of course married. And his wife a key person on the Hilary Clinton staff is pregnant. Congratulation Mrs. Weiner, I am sure you very proud, and knowing your pregnant this is exactly the distraction you need to help with your pregnancy. You are the person I feel for most in all of this. And my apologies for mention you.

Weiner needs to take stock. Resign. But he does not think and many democrats do not think he should resign. They say ” Hey look at David Vitter, look at John Ensign. No body called for their resignation and they did worse.Yeah Viter should resign too, but that is not the point.

Americans may be tougher on their politicians than the French or the British or any other country. Make no mistake, we want maturity in our leadership and in our government.We want leadership we can respect, and count on. If I wanted immature actions from my congressmen, I would elect one of my nephews.

It is difficult to respect someone after you see their junk splashed all over the TV and internet.Harder still( no pun intended) to expect them to be able to be effective governing and working with fellow congressmen. They have seen the pictures too. Imagine the conversation they will have …how will he be able to convince a fellow colleague to support his position?

There is a standard. We don’t want Paris Hilton as a congresswoman, or some reality show Snookie. Or the women from the real housewives from Atlanta, or a contestant on wipe out ( we love that show at our house). We don’t want republicans or democrats in office, that take pictures of theirWillie Wonkas and post it on twitter or Facebook or YouTube.

We don’t want that from our government. We don’t want you Congressman Weiner.

Time for you to go!

Ron Paul has announced today that he is running for President in 2012. I think that is awesome and I really like the fact that he is ready to give it another go. Ron criticizes american foreign and monetary Policy( and I do too!) and I just think his participation in the coming election will really give the race some color and character.

But the question one has to ask is can he win it? I for one think he might be the ONLY candidate that has a chance of beating President Obama in the election. Here is why:

1) He has already raised over $1 million  having just announced and that will increase that significantly in the coming months.

2) He has a deep base of supporters that cut across a number of demographics : tea party, libertarian, independents, disenfranchised democrats, and fiscally minded republicans.

3) He has some strong ideas about government( or should I say “RIGHT SIZED” government) that will appeal to a number of fence sitters and un-decides.

All in all, this is a good decision, and it should be interesting if he can be the challenger, victor, or spoiler.

One thing for sure, he makes a heck of a lot more sense then Donald Trump.

Most people hear about Net Neutrality and they go …HUH? And
yet the issue being debated today in Congress, and lobbied like crazy by
AT&T, Verizon, Google, Amazon and others, and studied and studied by the
Federal Communications Commission and frankly in my opinion is one of the
single most important decisions that could be made by our federal government in
2011.

Folks, I am going to try my best to explain this, so please
stay with me, as I said it’s important. Why you might ask? Because without Net
Neutrality…..your choices as a consumer or business will be controlled by big
telecommunications companies, content will be restricted by them, and yes even
you cost for internet  information or
services could go higher.

Net Neutrality would mean that by law, everyone’s internet
traffic would have to be treated the same, regardless of where it came from,
regardless of the size of the business, etc. In other works treated neutral.
Big telecommunications companies like Comcast, AT&T, Verizon and others
could not by law slow down other competitors traffic or charge them more to
route that internet traffic over their internet pipe.

You probably ask….why do I care. That does not affect me.
Wrong! Here is why.

Let’s say you have a website or web service that requires
the internet to work. Let’s say your website or web service competes against a similar
product from AT&T or Verizon or Comcast. You know you are itty bitty
company, and they are the big giant corporation. Well guess what, without a net
neutrality law, those big companies could slow your internet traffic down. Or
make you pay more to use their internet pipe. Either way you consumers come to
two conclusions…either your site or service is too slow or cost too much.
Without Net Neutrality, the big companies shut out smaller competitors (who
could whip their butts on an even playing field). My controlling speed or price
they can eliminate competition.

Scenario #2- You are a member of the tea party, and you have
a web site, which you opine on. But someone at Verizon is a liberal democratic
and does not like the opinions you have on your website. Without Net
Neutrality, they can slow your site down on their internet pipe to a crawl. Frustrating
your readers, and sending them elsewhere. With Net Neutrality, Big
telecommunications companies can control the content they want you to see. Not
eliminate it, just slow it down to the point you get tired of waiting and go
surf somewhere else for your news or information.

Now you may say why I care, it’s their internet network,
they own it, and they paid for it. They should do what they want with it. Slow
it down, charge people more.

WRONG! They did not pay for it. YOU, and I, and everyone
else that pays taxes pays for it. Don’t believe me. Here is the proof.

The
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act)

established several broadband initiatives. One initiative included funding for the
Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP), which is administered by the
National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) in
consultation with the Federal Communications Commission. The BTOP is designed
to develop and expand broadband services to rural and underserved areas and
improve access to broadband by public safety agencies. Another initiative
included funding for the Broadband
Initiatives Program
, which is administered by the Rural Utilities Service
(RUS) of United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). This program is
designed to support the expansion of broadband service in rural areas through
financing and grants to projects that provide access to high speed service and
facilitate economic development in locations without sufficient access to such
service.

That’s right money from the federal government is
giving to telecommunications providers to build out their broadband (internet)
networks. So taxpayers pay for those networks.

I was at a telecommunications event, and a member of
the Federal Communications Commission was speaking about the billions of
dollars that have been distributed to telecommunications companies. A guy in
the back of the room said “I am a small telecom company out west with 5,000
customers, and my applications for those funds you have distributed has been
denied three times. My question is, of the billions you have distributed to telecom
companies to subsidies building out the rural broadband network, how much has
been distributed to small carriers like me.”

The FCC official replied” I am happy to report that of
the money allocated 20% has been allocated to rural and regional carriers.” The
room broke out in laugher. Why….because that meant that 80% of those billions
and billions of dollars, went to the giants, AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, Comcast
etc.

You pay for it with your tax dollars by subsidizing
what they build. They say tough we will control it anyway we want.

Without Net Neutrality….the small companies in the
world will not be able to compete with the big companies who either own the
internet pipeline or who can pay more for the privilege of using that service.
They will either be priced out of competition, or have their traffic slowed to
a crawl to where their internet product or service becomes garbage to use.

Don’t think it can happen. The big companies have
already been caught doing it. And that is why they are fighting so hard to stop
the FCC or Congress from passing a Net Neutrality law.

Tee time anyone?

I read somewhere the other day, that President Obama was complaining that he had no peace from the life of the president, and that the reason he played so much golf was that it was the only time he could get away and be his old self. You know, out of the public eye. From under the stress of the Presidency. Just a regular guy.

At first thought, one might want to feel sympathy for the President. I mean his life has changed. He is now the most powerful man in the world. Maker of the biggest decisions on the planet. And I am sure that the stress that comes with that is significant. So like I said, at first you may feel some sympathy for him. Poor guy.

But then you think about all the unemployed in the United States. The people who have lost their homes. Their businesses, their ability to work and put food on the table. The businessman struggling to make payroll. The man or women trying to figure our how to pay for healthcare. The elderly scrapping by on social security. The servicemen and women away from home, fighting in a foreign land. Why should we feel sorry for him. He has it easy.

And then you have to remember….he asked for this job! He wanted it! He campaigned for it, be promised if he was President, all of the things he and his administration would do for Americans and the world. Well with the power comes the responsiblity, the stress. And with the celebrity comes the lonely place on top and the crowds and the people and media.

Classic example of careful what you wish for. So Mr. President…while America continues to suffer, don’t expect any pity. There are plenty of other people who would love to play golf. But they cannot, they are too busy trying to earn a living. Or find a job so they can be a wage earner once again.

Next time you want to whine, next time you tee it up…you should thing about that.

While cutting entitlements and silly programs like endowment for arts, we have to face the fact, that as a nation we have to do much more in order to balance the budget. And even more when it comes to reducing or eliminating the deficit. One of the areas we will have to look to is reducing our defense spending budget.

Now it cost about $15 billion to build an aircraft carrier. And for every aircraft carrier you must have a carrier support group. You know the destroyers, and tenders, and frigates and anti submarine boats to support that floating airport. So your really not just talking about $15 billion but a whole bigger number. Plus add in a crew of 4,000 or so person on the carrier and probably an equal number on the support ships and well I think you get the picture. That is big $.

The United States has 11 carrier groups. No other country has more than 1 carrier group. I am sure if you are a Navy man ( and my dad was one and served on the Saratoga) you saying ” What not build more carriers, are you crazy?” But here is a little known fact. The Chinese have missiles that cost a couple of million dollars that have no trouble taking out a slow-moving carrier.

Carriers served an important role in WWII, Vietnam and Korean Wars. But if a long-range missile from China or Russia can take one out, what use are they in a war against a super power. And if we are going to use them in limited engagements against countries with inferior air and sea power like Iraq or pirates in Somalia, do we really need more than what we have today.

I say we go to some ship builders and cancel some contracts. Like now. And spent those billions elsewhere. Or better yet, save it.

Hey, I love music, paintings, performing arts as much as the next man. But you got to wonder why people in Congress have for years felt the need to be the funding arm for the national endowment of the arts.Between its founding in 1965 and today, somewhere a long the line of $4 billion ( yes with a b) has been given in the name of supporting the arts from this independent federal agency. What happened to the term ” struggling artist.”

Back in Roman times and during the Renaissance, arts, musicians, painters, found wealthy merchants to support their endeavors.Today, they look to the federal government and the NEA are the wealthy patrons. The budget for this year should be in the $100 million range, give or take a few 10’s of millions.

I can think of several ideas to better spend that money. And I have a strong suspicion that people will still buy concert tickets, movie passes, and bid on works of art without the government opening up its wallet.

What do you think?

Now I have to go….American Idol is on.

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