Thursday, January 20, 2011

Problems Confronting The US Today

No one should be fooled by the “Bi-Partisan” rhetoric spewing from Obama’s lips. What kind of idiots does the Progressive far left think we are? Do they think we have already forgotten all the broken promises this man made during his campaign? Do they think that we can’t remember how eloquently he said exactly what we wanted to hear but his actions belied those statements? Why would anyone believe that things will be different now? Oh, and thank our Lucky Stars that he just signed an executive order banning all illogical; irreverent legislation. And to what kind of legislation do we think he will apply this executive order? How about that which his brain trust deems to be irrelevant? My guess would be the new “Repeal Obamacare” bill once it has passed the house and looks like it may pass the Senate (which I, unlike other political pundits, believe may have a chance because of the looming 2012 elections). If the president gives the nod to Democratic senators to vote for this legislation to preserve their seats, his “Czars” will use the executive order to inhibit this (as well as any other) legislation contrary to his own agenda. This way he doesn’t risk his veto being overridden, which would really be a slap in his face as well as a roadblock to implementing his Socialist government.

Then we have the issue of the debt ceiling. Personally, I think the GOP should tell the Obama Administration that they will raise the debt ceiling just enough to take us through the next fiscal quarter IF the President will abolish the Department of Education and 15 “Czar” postings along with their entire infrastructure. The other caveat is that none of the people or structures involved can be shifted or posted to any other organizations and none of the money saved can be used for any purpose other than reduction of the debt. Why I mentioned the Czars should not require any explanation, on the other hand I probably do need to explain my proposed abolishment of the Department of Education. You may think this is an old cabinet level department, but no, it was established by Jimmy Carter in 1979 and did not begin operations until May 16, 1980. The department’s 2011 budget was $71 billion which is only a drop in the debt bucket but it’s not exactly chump change either and the truly sad fact is that the level of American Education has diminished ever since this office started operating, so what good is it? And the reason I said 15 Czar Positions is because at the end of the next fiscal quarter I feel we should abolish another 15 positions at the end of that quarter. And that will still leave about 6 of these posts in place. At that time we need to look at legislation to either abolish this practice or place a limit on these kinds of appointments.

Now I hear that the Republicans are proposing to cut government pay by 10%. While I believe that this is a good start I also believe the main problem with government today is rooted in money. Too many “Career” politicians exist in the US today and they make way too much money. Why? Well during all the years I spent growing up, all I heard was how businesses were buying away our best politicians because government doesn’t pay enough. In my estimation, this was just to raise wages and benefits to the ludicrous levels they sit at today. No, I do not support a 10% wage reduction but rather I want to set all Federal government wages to the current Social Security maximum wage level. This may not be much but since they do not have travel expenditures or any regular business expenses, they should be able to subsist on this amount and then maybe only those wanting to serve the country will run for office. Oh, and I also propose that all Federal workers be rolled into the Social Security system, along with their pension monies and also pay into Medicare/Medicaid and get the same Health Insurance that the rest of us are stuck with.

One activity that needs to be curtailed immediately is the practice of Lobbying. The irony of Lobbying is that when you look up the definition on Wikipedia, one of the “See Also” subjects is “Bribery” and that is what I feel and have stated before, is all that Lobbying is…Bribery. ALL lobbying should be treated like the crime of bribery…It should considered a Felony, no matter on which side of the Lobbying equation the crime occurs. One change that needs to be in place, along with the removal of lobbying, is limits to the amount of money spent on elections per candidate. I do not believe that anyone should be able to “buy” an election.

My hope and belief is that by removing Lobbying and drastically slashing Federal Pay and Benefits while placing them into the same pools for retirement and medical care will remove a lot of the “Career” politicians infesting our Political System. Of course a side benefit will be the fixes of both the Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid systems. After all, do you think legislators would want the systems that cover them to be broken? Even though they should never be allowed to earn Pensions for serving our country, they would be credited with all payments they make into the system. Another probable fix for our system are term limits but that is a fix left for another blog.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Monday Attitude Adjustment Story

Memories of Mom
Before I begin this post, in honor of my late mother Helen, I need to wish my wife Sylvia Ann Garber (nee Bank) a very happy 63rd, January 17th. I know she will be thrilled that I remembered her birthday but she will also probably kill me for remembering that it is number 63 and more than that...for telling all of you how old she is now! Oh well, I'll be seeing you soon Mom.

The first little anecdote occurred when my parents had been married for about two years. My Grandmother Araxy (Mom's mother whom we called Grandma Roxy) had asked how much money Mom & Dad had in their savings account. Mom told her that they had $5,000. Later, when Mom and Dad were alone, Dad puzzlingly said, "But Helen, we have less than $1,000. Why would you tell your mother that we had $5,000?" to which Mom replied, "Because that's how much we should have in the bank by now". 

An example of Mom's wit was demonstrated when she drove me home from the oral surgeon's after I had a molar cut out. My mouth was stuffed with gauze and I could not talk even though she seemed to enjoy asking me questions that she knew I couldn't answer. When we got home, Dad asked how things went and Mom cheerfully responded, "Oh Bill, it was wonderful. Paul didn't say one word the whole way home. Now I know how to keep him quiet...a trip to the dentist's!"

The next little blurb occurred when I was in High School. Mom wanted to replace a burned out bulb in the ceiling light of our dining room and started to use one of the wooden chairs at our table to stand on. I informed her that was a bad idea and that I would get the ladder but she insisted that since she "didn't weigh anywhere near as much as you do, there would be no problem." Of course, as soon as she stood on the wooden seat it split the chair in two and even though I caught her, she instinctively put her hand down to break her fall...and she did break something...her wrist. I informed her of this fact but she protested, "I've never broken a bone in my life and besides, it hurts too much to be broken.  I've always heard that sprains hurt more than breaks".  Somehow, I talked her into letting me take her to the emergency room and I was right...her wrist was broken and since my mother was blessed with a great sense of humor, she let me rib her about "Being Right" for years to come.

Finally, as an example of how her sense of humor never quavered even as she lay dying and knew it, comes these little gems. Just before becoming bedridden, Mom said she saw herself naked in the mirror and said she was so skinny and that "I knew I was a starving Armenian but I never realized that I was a survivor of the Auschwitz concentration camp too!" And then only  days before her passing, my wife Sylvia was helping Mom dress and seeing her emaciated state uttered out of pity , "Oh Poor Helen..." to which Mom sternly replied, "Listen you, I'm not poor!"

My only regret is that I never persuaded her that her favorite singer, Anthony Newly,  was a wonderful actor and song writer but also a piss-poor singer...And for proof I offer this little gem: