Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Red Flag Warning: Popular and Mainstream

#OccupyWallStreet is mainstream (By Myrddin on 10/11/2011 03:00:00 AM )

I start this opinion with the above hot link as I hope readers will tag into the site and get a feel for the view from the other side. Occasionally it is worth while to take a recon into the left's domain to see what they are thinking (or not).

I left this thought on the US Politics site: "Popular and mainstream doesn't make it the right thing to do. So was Nazism and Fascism. What right of middle conservatives want is for the government to operate within the revenues it collects, quit wasting tax dollars on stupid stuff, and let Americans live in liberty of onerous regulations. And if #Occupy _____ is about economic fairness then they should be demanding the fair tax system where ALL citizens pay 10% of their income in taxes. Everybody should have a real stake in the nation and not expecting a free ride on the other 50% who do pay taxes." (The blank line is to fill in what ever city is now "hosting" an #Occupy event.)

I think I summarized the Tea Party position simply enough for their readers. To expand, it should be, but isn't, obvious to anyone with half a brain our country is in danger of fiscal disaster. With over $15 TRILLION in debt and growing, regardless of who caused it, we're in trouble. This level of debt is unsustainable over the long term. At some point we could pay every employed person's entire annual wages into the tax system and it won't even cover the interest. What part of NO MONEY do liberals and even some conservatives don't understand?

So position number one is to get our spending under control. As every household manager knows if family finances are tight, the FIRST thing to do is get spending under control. Families all over America have been chopping off frivolous expenses, delaying wants to cover needs. Our Congress must do the same thing. The problem is too many still covet the "wants", or as one pundit has put it "treats". These treats include expansive health care coverage for a citizenry that didn't want it, a social security system that is by anyone's definition a ponzi scheme and due to go bankrupt in 2036, and so many freebies to who ever party's in power.

Secondly, government must get control of waste, fraud, and fiscal abuse of tax payer dollars. Hundreds of millions of dollars are wasted every year through inept and an illogical fiscal funding system. Each year on the 30th of September all government funds (except special funds) expire. Thus each August and September government goes wild in a spending orgy. It is as if your personal bank account was shut down at midnight each December 31 and any left over money went into an electronic black hole. Bet you'd spend like crazy for Christmas, eh?

Thirdly, conservatives want to live in liberty from an oppressive regulatory central government. Up until modern times, most American citizens went about their daily lives with little concern or thought about regulatory impacts or roadblocks. The American entrepreneur of the past, staked his claim in business and went about producing goods and services with little interference by the federal government. Today, at every turn a business must take into careful account what federal regulations govern their efforts or risk heavy penalties. Now business MUST provide health care or face fines. If they don't pay a certain wage, they face fines. So much of what business must do today has little to nothing to do with creating goods or services, and ultimately the bottom line. No wonder jobs are disappearing. Business can't afford to be in business, and the little understood fact is, jobs come from business.

Finally, many of the "treats" the left desires revolves around their view of "fairness". When my children would complain that something wasn't fair, I use to tell them much of life isn't fair, so get over it. But if fairness in the economic struggle is what is desired, then America is the fairest of all nations. We have a constitution and laws that provides a basic level playing field. Nearly all forms of discrimination are now illegal. A Black man can open a business next to a White one. A Woman can actually own property and run her own business just like a Man. A Hispanic can rise from the farm fields to own the farm. An adopted little boy can rise to a computer empire. But in each and every case, it took hard, tough, diligent work. No doubt many fail in their quest for one reason or another, but in no other nation can it be said that such equal opportunity exists. That is why much of humanity yearns to come to America, home of the brave, land of the free!

This level playing field is being subverted through a tax system where nearly 50 percent of income earning citizens pay NO tax what-so-ever. This is as dangerous as having dependence on a small percentage of wealthy to pay the bulk of tax that supports our country. For when beneficiaries of a system have no stake in the system, their loyalty wanes. This aspect is very evident in the #Occupy Wallstreet mob. Many have stated their desire to be governed by some international body (the UN?)so as to ensure "fair wealth distribution". Its been tried, and was a dismal and deadly failure, aka the Soviet Union.

Thus,if the left's demands are seen as popular and mainstream, then a red flag warning is indeed needing to be hoisted high by the our lady, the Statue of Liberty, as danger to our freedom draws nigh.

Monday, October 10, 2011

RFD - News

Occupy Atlanta The mob's rules of assembly right out of communist Russia.
Published October 10, 2011 | FoxNews.com

Lessons in business management: Netflix kills the goose that laid their golden eggs.
By Jennifer Booton, Published October 10, 2011 | FOXBusiness

Christian pastor's fate in hands of Iranian supreme leader.
By Joshua Rhett Miller, Published October 10, 2011,| FoxNews.com

Yemen Al Qaeda terrorists still a threat.
Published October 03, 2011 | Associated Press

Al Gore's inconvenient truth? Cult leader may be loosing his viewership.
Published September 23, 2011 | FoxNews.com

Sharpton to broadcast from Occupy Wall Street Protest.
By the CNN Wire Staff, updated 8:27 AM EST, Mon October 10, 2011

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Red Flag Warning: Consequences

The Watchman attended a meeting some time ago of governmental staff from a high Army headquarters element on the topic of sustainability and with the purpose of conducting a "Staff Assistance Visit" or SAV. I always welcome these kinds of activities as they enable me to exit the usual humdrum of life in the office where we actually prevent environmental disasters and work diligently to conduct operations in a sustainable manner.

As this 8 person team of high-level staffers proceeded to spew the standard propaganda of sustainability and spouted the goals of something they called a Campaign Plan, I tallied up the cost of their little trip to Colorado. The estimated total loaded labor rate (base salary + bells and whistles) would be approximate $525/hour. We generally allocate $2,500 per person for a weeks worth of travel. Thus the SAV to our installation cost taxpayers around $41,000. The team let slip the visit to our installation was one of many more yet planned over the next few months. One might guess the total price to taxpayers will ultimately be well over $200K if they conduct 5 more SAVs. (I suppose I should add in the cost of the 30+ installation staff being corralled for three days hosting the SAV team, but maybe we don't want to know the full cost of this boon-doggle.)

So what did we get for our $41,000. Little post-it-notes on butcher block paper with scribbles of our installation's sustainability goals posted under the several Campaign Plan goals. Yep, that was it. We were roundly thanked for our participation, have a nice life, good-bye. Prior to the post-it-note exercise, we were grouped into several small groups and played a sustainability game where we harvested fish from the ocean to maximize our profits. The room full of environmental sustainability minded individuals over-fished the ocean with in 3 rounds. The really sad part of the whole affair is it could have been done via teleconference using "Go-to-Meeting" on a wide-screen TV for about a tenth of the cost and saved the emission of a lot of green house gasses!

About now you wonder what is the connection between the title of this blog and the forgoing story? Following the meeting I engaged in a old "Foxism". Ron Fox was my boss in Kansas and he use to come up with Foxisms, pithy sayings that left you scratching your head, but knew there was a grain of truth in them. He use to say, "We need to learn to pre-think our afterthoughts." Meaning if we'd just shut up for a minute and consider how we'd feel after we took some sort of action we might not do it. So I was wondering to my self about the consequences of failure to achieve the installation's sustainability goals and those of the Campaign Plan. What if our installation failed to meet the air quality goal of a 16% reduction in green house gases by 2020? Would I get fired? Would I be demoted? Would I get put into a prison? Be shot? Be hauled before the peoples court and condemned to a gulag near Sparks, Nevada (Senator Harry Reid's hometown). Or, would we, as I suspect all good government collective central planners would do, press the "Easy Button" and reset the goals. Given the "Sovietization" of our senior command, I don't think I need to worry. Where's that "Easy button"?

Connected to goals and objectives should be accountability and consequences. Real ones. Not fake, make believe ones, but real honest to God negative outcome for those who are responsible. And this leads me to the observation: Our nation is in danger of loosing its moral compass and stepping off the cliff when we fail to hold those who govern to full accountability and the harsh real consequences of their failure.

Let me list just a few actions of late with zip consequences:

* No federal budget passed in the last 4 years by congress by 1 October. Easy Button Response: Congress just passes a continuing resolution and goes on vacation.

* Massive failure to run our government operations on current revenue. Easy Button Response: Congress just hikes the debt ceiling and tells the Treasury to print more money. $15 Trillion in debt, the presses continue to roll, one day in the near future we won't be able to collect enough revenue to even pay the interest on the debt.

* A nation with one of the highest education per/pupil funding and the lowest per/pupil achievement. Easy Button Response: We impose more taxes on an already over taxed middle class to pay higher teacher salaries for more failure.

* $500 million dollars loaned to a known failing green-energy company. Easy Button Response: The administration wants to put another $489 Billion dollars into green-job creation so the average per job created cost is in the millions. Obama's new signature phrase: Forward....More like Forward to Failure.

* A new future healthcare system that will still leave millions without health care and long waits for those that do. Easy Button Response: State and companies are given waviers to implement, yet the new system blunders onward to implementation right off the economic cliff.

* A Social Security and senior Medical system that all agree is doomed to bankruptcy. Easy Button Response: Our leaders play fear-mongering games and bury their heads in the sand.

There are dozens more of these situations. Each has the potential to bring the house of cards tumbling down. The consequences will be dreadful for the survivors. Red Flag Days for sure if we don't get our act together and put some new people in charge.

Keep the House - Take the Senate!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

RFW - News

Course Instructs Journalists to Take Note That Jihad 'Not a Leading Cause of Death'
By Judson Berger Published September 29, 2011 | FoxNews.com

U.S. Military Hands Millions of Dollars of Equipment Over to Iraqis
By Jennifer Griffin & Justin Fishel Published September 29, 2011 | FoxNews.com

Why We Need a 21st Century 'Contract With America'
By Newt Gingrich Published September 29, 2011 | FoxNews.com

U.S. Doctor Cautious About HIV Vaccine
Published September 29, 2011 | NewsCore

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Red Flag Warning: A Secret Government Bank?

The headline caught my attention: "Secret Gov't Bank Financing More Solyndras" At first I thought perhaps it was some kind right wing conspiracy theory. Then I read the by-line and realized it was a news article from Fox Business. So I clicked into the article and within seconds was dumbfounded by the report. Indeed there is a "secret" bank set up by the Congress in 1973. I won't go into all the details but what struck me as immoral, unethical, and possibly illegal is this federally run bank can acquire funds directly from the US Treasury at will as the Secretary of the Treasury sits on the governing board! The bank, Federal Financing Bank (FFB) doles out very low cost loans to a wide variety of enterprises. And we're not talking chump change here either. Indeed these loans are going out to the tune of billions of dollars!

As I noted above about the Treasury Secretary being on the bank's board, he is the CHAIRMAN of the board and the bank's board executives are treasury officials! The article linked above states,
"The FFB can borrow unlimited amounts of taxpayer money from the Treasury for these kinds of political pet projects. Under the 1973 "FFB Act, the bank may, with the approval of the Secretary (of Treasury), borrow without limit from the Treasury." (italics my emphasis) says the bank's audited statements..."

Does anyone see a problem here? While the article is targeting the recent debacle of the FFB loaning Solyndra a half a trillion dollars and other flaky "green energy" projects, to be sure other administrations and congresses since 1973 have abused the bank's black cover. How much this little boondoggle has cost us is anyone's guess as the bank's operations are not part of the federal budget!

With our nation's finances teetering on the edge, this just adds another weight on the scale to tip us over. The Watchman encourages all citizens to write to their congressional representatives to investigate and plug this leaking hole in the ship of state.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Red Flag Warning: Suspend the Constitution?

Today in comments during a speech the Governor of North Carolina suggested that since all the bickering in congress is caused by the good representatives and senators being more concerned with re-election than the nation's welfare, we should suspend the constitutional mandated elections in 2012. Again, I never thought I'd see the day when a citizen would advocate this. This kind of talk is very dangerous. Even as a joke, as she later attempted to downplay the comment, its sentiment should be cause for alarm. This is how Hitler and the Nazi's took power. Create a false crisis, declare a police state to "protect" the citizens, then swoop into power. Bingo The One is President for Life! Nancy P and Harry the Reid keep on running the insane asylum.

Her logic was to force individuals who so far have nearly driven this nation right off the cliff of financial ruin to stay on and do the "hard" work to fix the problem. But based on past performance what makes us think these folks would do any better with more time behind the steering wheel as the car plunges over the edge?

Instead we should hold the elections as scheduled, carefully weigh the performance of each candidate and then vote in the best people. If they don't perform, then in two years hold them accountable and bring in new folks until they get it right! This is what makes our nation totally different than every other in the world. We hold regularly scheduled elections to maintain stability and continuity. We don't cotton to the idea of changing leadership on a whim and we're not to happy about changing rules during the game.

We need to write to each of our elected officials and clearly lay out our expectations and what we believe is the correct course for our future. Then observe and as I've said above, if these expectations aren't met, then vote in some one else.

Just say NO to his horrible idea to suspend the elections. It is one precedent we don't need to begin!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Red Flag Warning: Who Would Believe?

When I grew up in the heartland of America, during school days we did two things each morning. First we had a prayer. Most of the time it was short and to the point, usually given by the teacher, but sometimes they would ask a student to give it. These prayers simply asked our creator to bless us with wisdom and help the teacher impart knowledge. As a kid, I didn't pay too much attention to them, but each of us knew it was a serious moment of simple quietness before the hub-bub of the day.

The second activity we did was to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. It was always stirring to look at our flag and stand in awe of what our forefathers had done for us. It was again a serious moment when in our minds eye we could seek Washington crossing the Delaware, the Blue and Gray in hot battle upon Missionary Ridge, Marines locked in bitter fighting at Chateau Theriery, the 101st dropping into Normandy, and in our own day, the fighting in Viet Nam. Beyond those images, home scenes flashed through our minds, the wheat fields of Kansas, the Statue of Liberty, a parade down main street, and the mighty Rocky Mountains soaring above the fruited plain.

Earlier this week I came across a Fox News story that in all honesty shook me to the core. The City Council of Eugene, Oregon voted down a proposal to say the Pledge of Allegiance before every council meeting! Fox News Video

Who would ever believe in our nation, men and women would have such disdain for their own country. The level of utter contempt for the flag of their nation, the symbol of what gives them even the right to say such drivel is truly troubling. Where do people get these kinds of ideas? Why do they hate America so much, they'd compare the saying the pledge to reading the Communist Manifesto? Again, who can believe our fellow citizens have come to such a conclusion after receiving such tremendous blessings from a country such as ours.

Another pledge opponent, Councilwoman Betty Taylor compared saying the Pledge of Allegiance to reading from "The Communist Manifesto."

Resident Anita Sullivan summed up a common viewpoint: “So you say I pledge allegiance and right there I don’t care for that language,” Sullivan says. “It sort of means loyalty to your country; well, I feel loyalty to the entire world.”

Then I remember reading some years back a little book written by Red Skelton. Red was a clean-cut real comedian that you could actually let your kids watch on TV. His book was about the Pledge of Allegiance. I found a video clip of him presenting his thoughts on the Pledge.

The council members of Eugene Oregon might need to review the clip and learn what the pledge is really all about. Or optionally, move to some place else in the "world" where I'm sure they'll learn just how much their allegiance to the world is worth when they lose their freedoms to some dictator thug.

The next time you have the opportunity to stand for pledge, let your heart and mind consider that freedom isn't free and many have gone on before to ensure our liberty remains. The next time you pass by the flag flying free in the wind, recall the passionate words of Red Skelton about the pledge. The next time you stand for the national anthem, don't just mouth the words, SING them aloud and proudly.

In fact, place a flag on your picnic table this 4th of July and as a family, a recite the pledge together!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Red Flag Warning: Where We Went Wrong

The watchman has been tuned into the recent controversy in Wisconsin where pro-union and government is at odds over collective bargining rights, benefits, and pending state bankrupcy. The seeds of this conflict go way back to when unionization of government workers was first autorized. At that time the general government worker did have pretty shabby pay, benefits, and work conditions. In essence government leaders pretty much treated their employees as low paid servants in trade for certain job protections. While a government worker couldn't be fired, they traded that security for below average wages and benefits. Unions were able to "buy-off" enough leaders to gain a foothold into the system. Thus began the upward sprial of ever increasing wages (good) with every increasing long-term benefits (bad). Stupidly we all fell for the game and most local, state, and federal budgets are stretched to the breaking point with greater than 50% of the budget going to pay salary and benefits of employees. Had the good times continued we wouldn't be in this mess, but we forgot that what goes up usually comes down. Pensions that were predicated on 12 and 15% ROIs by government planners actually were more in line with 3% to 5%. The baby boomers grew up and now have their hand-out asking for their retirements. Property tax revenue has dropped like a rock off a cliff. The "wealthy" either are tapped out or smartly moved money off-shore. The rhyme of ol'mother hubbard has come home in a most painful way. Collectively we are like a life boat bobbing in a sea of debt with a leak in the bottom and we're fighting over what size of plug to fit in the hole!

The solution is for wise people to follow what the good book admonishes us to do: think more highly of others than we do of ourselves. Each side back away from the edge of the cliff and vow to work together to resolve the conflict before jointly jumping off the cliff, arguing on the way down. This requires the government leaders to assure they won't treat our public servants poorly as in prior decades. It requires unions to have expectations that are realistic. It means having unions the right to organize, but government not act as their dues collector and employees free to chose to join or not. It means full and open accountability of budgets and expenditures of the government. No more funny math or putting off to tomorrow what must be paid today. And employees also need to see their need to lower expectations of outcomes.

We went wrong long ago. We need to go right now or the life-boat is going to sink, economically killing us all.