Monday, March 30, 2009

TPD and the Great Chief Search...

Ok, this is a story that kinda came and went, but I did some research this past weekend and learned a few things...

This story appeared in the March 11th Tucson Citizen. I'll include the pertinent details:

Seven hours of closed City Council talks Tuesday quashed a national selection effort for the city's next police chief.

The pool had been narrowed to four over several days of interviews and public panel discussions.

The next search will be limited to officers from within the Tucson Police Department, City Manager Mike Hein said in a news release Wednesday evening.

The release was sent at 4:54 p.m. and contained no reason for the change in the recruitment process.

Neither Hein nor former police chief and current Assistant City Manager Richard Miranda was available for comment during the day or after the release was sent.

Tucson Director of Human Resources Cindy Bezaury confirmed the halt Wednesday but denied it was because there were discrepancies in advertised criteria for the position, which two sources told the Citizen was the reason the selection was called off.

The job opening was posted on the city's Web site and on several police-affiliated Web sites, but the minimum criteria differed and could have led to a legal challenge after a chief was selected, the Citizen was told by two independent sources.

One of the alleged discrepancies involved whether a bachelor's degree was required. One candidate, TPD Capt. Brett Klein, expects to earn his degree this summer, according to his résumé.

TPD's Klein and Assistant Chief John Leavitt, two of the four finalists, are welcome to reapply, she said. Hein had said he hoped to have a candidate in place by May, when current Chief Kermit Miller retires.

None of the candidates - Klein, Leavitt, former North Las Vegas Police Chief Mark Paresi and Phoenix police assistant chief Blake McClelland - would comment on the process Wednesday, but Paresi said he was "notified."

My source within TPD sheds a little more light onto this story. What he has said is that there is a power struggle with Assistant City Manager Miranda, who would like to keep direct control over the Police Dept. That being said, both outside candidates during interviews were visibly at odds with Miranda's previous policies and decisions, and would be on the outside with Miranda - possibly making Miranda's control over TPD limited to the duties available to the Assistant City Manager, and no more. How to fix that? Residency requirement, which was left off on one of the job postings.

Leavitt apparently has always agreed with Miranda, and while having minimal support from the officers (outside of them doing their duty), he would have been favorable to Miranda's continued direct influence over TPD policy and structure.

Klein, who like Leavitt, comes from within TPD, would come into the job with a desire to change things up, and minimize Miranda's continued influence. However, Klein does not have a BS, yet, and has a lower rank than Leavitt, not necessarily enough to consider him a 'lesser' candidate. On one of the job postings, it states "BS or equivalent"...equivalent by TPD policy is time of service, allowing Klein to meet the requirements set forth on one, but not all, of the job postings.

Starting to see the picture? Miranda, through Hein, sees only one opportunity to keep control over TPD. If someone else comes in, changes policy, and makes the force better, more effective, and most cost-efficient, how is his tenure as chief going to look? So right then and there, both outsiders must be taken off the running.

Now we are down to two men, Klein and Leavitt. Hire Klein, and possibly lose control, because the officers will rally behind him, or hire Leavitt, and open the force up to a lawsuit - due to the discrepancies of the job-opening postings. Not to mention the two outside candidates who may also sue due to the discrepancies in residency requirement.

Ultimately, the only choice that could be made, was:

Shut down the process.

Start over - with one posting so that there is no possibility of any errors causing a lawsuit, and find as many reasons to limit the available candidate pool to those that would be favorable to Miranda. Note, while the Chief of Police (you can see the current job posting here) reports to the Asst. City Manager's office, it is the Chief's job to organize and direct all functions, not the Asst. City Manager.

Miranda, it is time to let it go. You took the step up the ladder, do the job you are hired to do. If you want to be Chief of Police, apply for the job. Until then, be the best Assistant City Manager you can be, and let the Police run the Police Department...

Great quote...

"The Greeks... labored under the delusion that their democracy was a guarantee of peace and plenty, not realizing that unrestrained majority rule always destroys freedom, puts the minority at the mercy of the mob, and works at cross-purposes to the effective use of human energy and individual initiative."
-- Henry Grady Weaver

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Earth "Hour of Power"

First of all, let me say this...

CONGRATS JIMMIE JOHNSON on your win today!!!

Ok, that's out of the way...(I know any liberal reading this is saying to themselves 'of course he's a nascar fan, how typical')

Anyways, last night, Tucson celebrated Earth Hour. Or at least I was told we were going to... Since I live out 2 miles past B.F.E., and I knew no one on my street would turn off their lights, since darkness just invites the tweekers to steal stuff... I went into town to document just how dark all the places that promised to observe Earth Hour would get.

First stop, Ward 2 offices... but I got there a little too early, so I decided to stop off at the 104.1 The Truth's broadcast office, right around the corner. As 8:30 rolled around, lights on the first floor dimmed - home to KGUN 9, the TV station housed in the same building. But true to their word, and proudly too, the lights blazed on upstairs:

8:25, time to head out to Rodney Glassman's Ward 2 Office.

What you don't see, because it doesn't show up well, is that inside, there are quite a few visible 'vampire' lights - these are systems, computers, etc. that continue to drain power while in sleep mode. Also, the main sign out front remained lit. Now, normally I would commend Rodney for keeping all these (except for security lighting) energy draining products on in sleep mode, to help counter the power-backup caused by everyone else going dark, but this is the office of someone who has always talked a good game, but never backed it up with action.

In this instance, I say, hat's off to you Rod, for not giving in to pressure and unplugging everything for the night before leaving... for once you agree with Jon, and joined in on the 'Hour of Power'!

So, I head down the street. I fully expect the City of Tucson, and Pima County Parks and Rec., to bow to the pressure of Earth Hour, yet, as I pass by Udall Park, on of the biggest recreation facilities in NE Tucson, this is what I see...

Thank-you, Pima County Parks and Rec, and City of Tucson for adding to Jon's 'Hour of Power'!!!

I drive past Ft. Lowell park, and see that City of Tucson felt that Udall wasn't enough:

They even light the statue!!!

On up the hill, next stop is Ventana Canyon, where the 'Director of Green Operations' had been interviewed by the local paper, all under the guise of increasing business at one of their lounges, where some "dark" theme was to take place. You would think, if you were in the paper, saying you would also get involved in Earth Hour, you would go dark, right? Well...

Some one there obviously listen's to 104.1, and decided to take part in the 'Hour of Power'.

So, lets see how Tucson does, during "Earth Hour":

And same spot, little over an hour later:

I had quite a fun night, first time ever out wasting my time doing something completely stupid, all for the sake of showcasing an equally stupid green movement publicity stunt. Wasted all that gas, all that time, and lots of bandwidth, which in turn is wasting electricity every time somebody opens this page...

Macho B, why am I so fascinated with this story?


Did jaguar Macho B have to die?

Phoenix Zoo may have moved too fast to euthanize him, UA pathologist says
By Tony Davis
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 03.29.2009

What is it with this story? I just will not die as easily as Macho B did...

This line from the story sums it up the best:

"We recognize that in veterinary medicine, there are almost as many opinions as there are doctors and attorneys," Terry Johnson said. "In this case, you've got the guys in the room up to their elbows in data on this animal. We asked them to give their best professional opinion."  

End of discussion. But, since there is overwhelming proof that the Vets did the best they could, and took the health and welfare of the animal into account when they chose to euthanize it, there is no chance of bringing these Vets up under some kind of formal disciplinary action - so what to do? Attack in the court of public opinion. 

And here's another little interesting tidbit: 
"The lack of total transparency in the handling of the case will not allow full understanding of what could have been done better" she said. "It is important to learn from every experience, to come together and improve the understanding of everyone involved so that there is no repeating of past mistakes."

So now total transparency has gone from catch phrase to the 21st century version of '20/20 hindsight'. How many people in the next 5, 10 years are going to lose their jobs, be discredited, etc. over not providing 'total transparency'.  We have become a nation of CYA, we are so afraid of being sued, that instead of taking drastic, but possibly right, actions; we choose instead to take no action whatsoever. Out of fear of lawsuits, no one says anything of substance on the record - and then get publicly harassed by not providing 'total transparency'. And why is that 'total transparency' needed - to provide them with the information that the evironmental lobby lawyers need to harass and/or sue these people with. 

Yes, this is just a story about a big cat. Yet, it's also indicative of the direction the country is headed in, and I do not like it.

 ***Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you.***
Peter Schmugge

Saturday, March 28, 2009

He missed the joke...

Senator Conrad (D-umb) missed the little rip that Senator Grassley (R-ight on top of the set-up) made to him...

Watch the video here.

That's what she said!

Never forget? Well, we just did...;jsessionid=8E5AEDC59BC41DC4F80F39DBFECF9D28.live23ib


Today is the day we just forgot.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Tax Day Tea Party...

For all the complaining and whining I do, I have never really stepped up and DONE something about it beyond posting this blog and the occasional link on Facebook.

Well, time to start putting my money where my mouth is!

Tucson Tax Day Tea Party!
Head here for more information:

If you complained about the AIG bonuses, you should be there...

If you complained about the TARP, you should be there...

If you complained about the ARRA ($780B) stimulus, you should be there...

If you pay your mortgage on time, you should be there...

If you VOTE, you should be there...

If you DON'T VOTE, you should be there, and register while you are there...

If feel your elected officials do not listen to you, you should be there...

My encounter with CFL's

So, today, I stop at a local gas station to refuel my work truck.

And, well, the three cups of coffee I had this morning also dictated a stop inside to use the facilities.

Now, this is a fairly new place, and their bathrooms have motion sensing light switches that operate CFL lights. Anyone that is familiar with these lights, know that they have a warm-up period. Obviously the bathroom had not been used in a while, and so the room remained quite dark, however, cup number three was not going to allow me to wait, so....

I did my business....

Washed my hands.....

And 'bing' the light starts to brighten. I realized then, that I had peed in the garbage can, and had washed my hands in the urinal.

Well, ok, I really didn't, I did use the facilities correctly, but I did walk out of there thinking there are times and places for CFL's.... bathrooms are not one of them.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

El Rio Nuevo Secundo

About 70 people involved in the newly formed Friends of Tucson's Birthplace intend to push city leaders to complete the Mission Gardens, where adobe walls are under construction to enclose the gardens just off Grande Avenue and Mission Lane.

With Rio Nuevo tax increment financing dwindling during the economic downturn, the City Council and Hein last month decided to focus nearly all Rio Nuevo attention on the Tucson Convention Center hotel, the TCC expansion and the Tucson Arena.

First of all, let me say that I am all for saving local landmarks and history. I think links to our past are important. Art and culture should be saved so as to show future generations an artistic look into our life and times.

This is not one of those projects. The archaeological dig here was. Building replications is not. We are in a financial crisis in this town. The State is NOT going to give us any more money towards this project, or anything similar for a long, long, long time.

Tucson needs to focus on it's needs first. Fire, Police, Roads, Water and Sanitaion, all take precedent. If there is money left over, then maybe, just maybe, we can look at building replicas of long lost buildings!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

oh GOODIE!, Another Billie Stanton Editorial

Stanton: Trust us, we'll survive
Newspapers provide the antidote to the lawless, fact-free cyberworld

Internet anarchy can't fill the void newspapers would leave.

March 24, 2009, 4:29 p.m.
Tucson Citizen

Newspapers are being felled across the land - victims of overextended media chains, corporate greedheads, a searing recession and a singular lack of foresight and imagination amid the dawn of the Internet, craigslist, blogs and Twitter (which I believe is an incurable genetic condition).

No, just like any other business, they are victims of their own inability to respond to the market. It's the same reason that you don't find a whole lot of typewriter stores out in the local strip mall.

And dang it, I have imagination! I find that personally insulting that your editorial is worth any more or less than my editorial, simply because your's is printed on paper and read by tens of subscribers, while mine is read by, well, probably less than ten people, but hey... I don't do it for the fame or the ego, I do it to vent my frustration over idiots like you who receive a pay check from writing one column a week, while I work a 40+ hour a week job to come home and then write most every night. You're just jealous because you probably tried to blog and found out that your blog was as well attended as mine.

Surviving dailies are ordering layoffs, pay cuts and unpaid furloughs for staff members, while hunkering down to continue business as usual.

(They're even slicing into the salaries of newspapers' top dogs - who, a la AIG, wisely now rely more heavily on bonuses.)

Yeah, welcome to the real world, your bosses are trying their damndest to keep you employed, and you complain about their struggle to continue to provide you with employment. Nice.

Clearly, change must come. But I'll believe the newspaper industry is dead when they drive a spike through the heart of that last little Kingman Daily Miner or Summit Daily News.

Until then, reports of our profession's death will continue to be widely exaggerated.

No, it's dead, it's just like the Javelina I hit with my truck the other day - laying on the side of the road, a forgotten desert rodent twitching and thrashing as it dies a slow painful death. (By the way, if I had my rifle in my truck, I would have done the humane thing and ended it's pain. I'm not cruel.)

Tech-happy gurus Clay Shirky and Dave Winer already are dancing on a nonexistent grave, giddy that hordes of Internetters will take our place.

Shirky's new book title - "Here Comes Everyone!" - underscores his glee.

And yes, it is wonderful when common folk band together to foment change, whether via the Internet or any other means.

It's what Americans have been doing in this democratic society all along.

Those mini-revolutions usually relied on information circulated by newspapers. They still do, except now it's newspaper information that's been recycled onto the Internet.

Wow, jealous a little? You are dying inside since they have actually written a book that was printed by a publishing company, aren't you...

And yes, the internet is great. It's your stupid bosses that chose to NOT charge people like me for visiting your Tucson Citizen website. Blame them that you aren't making any money off the internet. But then again, I wouldn't pay you money to visit your website either, so... Oh, and the only 'newspaper' information I recycle is your inane opinion pieces. So, you're welcome for the exposure.

Shirky doesn't express much concern about the flip side of the fiber optic, but the Internet is where the miasma of terrorism, from radical Muslims to American Nazis, can coagulate, too.

And it's the favorite playground of petty thugs without a clue. Their uncensored slander and libel via online comments would have prompted lawsuits in an earlier age. But now they're anonymous, and they can do anything - no matter how vicious, how stupid, how wrong.

That's the Internet - a cacophony of idiocy and brilliance where everyone can join in, whether helpful or harmful.

So, the sewing circle that my wife checks out is a radical group?

The same could be said for any library within Pima County. Just peruse the isles...there are books there on every religion, every political group, scientific journals that describe explosive components (if you look hard enough). Not to mention the many many islamic, communist, fascist, hate-group newsletters and papers printed on home computers or small presses and mailed to their subscribers. The idiocy of saying that this kind of stupidity and hate is limited to the internet, and not print media shows your narrow-minded "life is all roses" view of life.

And yes, you do hate that EVERYONE can join in, don't you... you can't sit there and promote your leftist, socialism anymore without people like me jumping in and pointing out the sheer stupidity of your comments! Or at least the counter-argument to your leftist agenda. Yes, I am proud to be harmful to the creeping socialism that you promote week after week after week!

But Internet anarchy can't fill the void newspapers would leave. Someone still must do the often mind-numbing reporting, and someone must separate the wheat from the chaff.

Cyberspace drenches you in misinformation, some sophisticated and subtle, some not.

Mark Morford nails it on "Whom do you trust? How do you know? How the hell do you actually find anything resembling balance and context and through-line, when no one has an editor and anyone can say anything and the concept of 'journalistic professionalism' is nowhere to be found, because no one wants to pay for it?"

Like everyone else, I sit back, listen to them, wait for corroboration from other sources. Just like anyone else does. Yes, there are idiots that see one fallacy and take it and run with it. But then again, there a lot of idiots that read the Skin-head newsletters that arrive in the print is not immune. Not to mention all the reliable and factual reporting that the Tucson Citizen has done with local stories like Rio Nuevo. I have heard many times from the State Reps. mouths information that you either twist or outright ignore. So just how accurate are you? No more than anyone else, since you have not shown yourself to be any more truthful than most of my information websites. Besides, CNN has never printed a paper...does that make them untrustworthy?

But newspapers dead? Not on my life.

Oh, don't tease us like that...

Actually, I wish you no harm, I just wish you would go along with your paper... somewhere else.

Rain water harvesting and solar...

Solar farms could also be used to harvest water
By Jim Shuttleworth
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 03.24.2009
On average in Tucson we get about 12 inches of rain each year and have rainstorms on 41 days. Assuming there was a film of water about half a millimeter thick left on the solar cell surface after each storm, we would lose about an inch of rain each year because this surface water would evaporate. However, if the water running off the solar cells was gathered quickly using gutters and pipes, additional loss by evaporation could be small.
However, Tucson Water is already recharging Central Arizona Project water in Avra Valley with 95 percent efficiency, so why not store the rainwater collected in the same way, as groundwater?
In fact, allowing for all losses, it should be possible to gather about 85 percent of the rain falling onto a solar-energy farm and recharge it to groundwater. Because the water needed for each person in Tucson is around 173 gallons per day, the area of solar cells needed to deliver a sustainable rainwater supply to one Tucson resident is roughly twice the area needed to provide them with sustainable solar energy.

Ok, folks. I seriously thinks these 'gone green' hippies sometimes cannot think very logically. They want to spend money, adding gutters, holding tanks and a retention basin simply to collect the rain water that is running off the panels in order to recharge the water table. Is that, or is that not, what happens when the water simply runs off the panel in the first place?
Wait, here's the real reasoning behind it... it will take twice as many solar panels in the process to sustain a family compared to what is needed for the family's electrical need. You do know what is coming next? That's right, tax breaks for adding additional panels and rainwater harvesting systems for all those panels.
Here's the funny part. Most panels are added to people's ROOFS. That's right, the roofs of their houses. What happens if the water falls off the panel? It falls on the roof and on to wherever. To me, this sounds like 'green' science trying to justify the addition of extra panels, and the creation of tax breaks to pay for water harvesting cisterns. Cisterns that won't collect any more water than they normally would, because essentially the surface area of the roof does not change.
Sometimes you just have to shake your head...

Friday, March 20, 2009

Displaced Anger...

This is actually a continuation of my AIG Bailout blog posted earlier...

Mar 20, 8:25 PM EDT

Senate Republicans brake rush to tax AIG bonuses

Associated Press Writers

Senate Republicans are drawing out a flap that has made the Obama administration squirm, applying the brakes to Democratic attempts to quickly tax away most of the bonuses at troubled insurance giant AIG and other bailed-out companies.

Sen. Jon Kyl, the Republicans' vote counter, blocked Democratic efforts Thursday evening to bring up the Senate version of the tax bill to recoup most of the $165 million paid out by AIG last weekend and other bonuses in 2009.

By rushing, Kyl said, Democrats were letting populist outrage trump informed decision-making in the Senate, which is supposed to be insulated from the pressures of public passion.

"I don't believe that Congress should rush to pass yet another piece of hastily crafted legislation in this very toxic atmosphere, at least without understanding the facts and the potential unintended consequences," Kyl said on the Senate floor. "Frankly, I think that's how we got into the current mess."

AMEN, brother!

Once again, Pres. TPT has chosen another crisis in which to further his big-government agenda. He was hoping to use the people's anger over the bonuses to authorize the fiscal rape of a legally binding contractual obligation of a private enterprise. Once this kind of precedent is set, who's to say the government could not go after anyone's bonuses? Or commissions? Or, dare I say it, salary in the form of a 90% tax?

More importantly, why are we even in this position? Because we HAD to rush the stimulus package through without reading it thoroughly. There is no one to blame on this except the 59 Democrat Senators and 3 Republican Senators that passed this legislation, the House Democrats who pushed the Bill into the Senate, and the President who chose to sign the Bill.

That is where our anger should be directed.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Sign of the impending appocalypse?

God-less 'congregations' planned for humanists
By Jay Lindsay
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 03.18.2009

Greg Epstein, the humanist chaplain at Harvard University, is building a God-free model of community that he hopes helps humanists increase in numbers and influence.

Definitions of humanism vary. Generally, humanists reject belief in the supernatural and are guided by reason, experience and compassion for others. Epstein defines the philosophy as a commitment to living ethical, personally fulfilling lives while serving the greater good.

“I think it’s reassuring to all of us to know that we’re there for each other and there’s other examples of people doing it and their kids seem to be turning out OK,” Acosta said.

“At the heart of the humanist project is deep individualism,” Lints said. “It’s always going to be difficult to sustain a real robust community.”

If there is any question as to why this country is falling apart and the world is going to hell, I think this story answers that question.
I don't know if you have studied the books of the Old Testament, especially the books of 1, 2 Kings chronicling the end of the Jewish empire (and in my opinion, a foreshadowing of the end of the world), but there were pendulum swings of belief and unbelief through the generations, each time, the pendulum swung away from God a little more, and a little more. Each time, God punishes that generation, they repent and come back to belief, then fall away again....just to repeat the cycle once more...
The question that worries me, is how far has our pendulum swung? How much have we left the Judeo-Christian history and moral values that our country was founded on. It is no surprise that when the Founding Fathers of the US sat and wrote out the Constitution, they based it's use by a Christian society. John Adams stated, "We have no government armed in power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Our Constitution was made only for a religious and moral people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other."
The trend right now is to be 'religious' without necessarily belonging or practicing a specific religion. Is that truly being religious? Webster's says religious is:relating to or manifesting faithful devotion to an acknowledged ultimate reality or deity Would you consider Nancy Pelosi's pro-abortion stance a manifesting of a faithful devotion to the Catholic faith? Pres. Obama's stance on stem-cell research from embryonic 'tissue' relating devotion to a deity?
Folks, I believe we are in trouble. When this is the morality base used to operate the functions of the Constitution, the Constitution will fail. Just like the Jews of old, we will find that when we turn our backs on God, sometimes he turns his back on us.

Did I miss this?

I friend of mine sent me this link. With a little digging on the Times website, I found this article.

This was a report from July 6th, 2008.

Perusal of the New York Times for that day shows a few stories about campaign contributions, the rising gas prices, and the like...
...but no focus on the War in Iraq.

If a story like this had gotten out to the public, through the MSM, what would it have done to the election? Could it be possible that if the vast public knew that Bush really had succeeded in Iraq, would they have been so quick to vote against the Republican party? Would we be watching the first female Vice President preside over the Senate?

More importantly, when Pres. Obama begins to bring the troops home, who will get the credit? Unfortunately, we know the answer to that one. It has been prep'd, staged, and kept in the waiting until the right time appears - when something deviously big-government needs to get through Congress without notice. It's time to start calling Pres. Telepromter out. NO, I am not saying impeachment. Just enough embarrassment to make him a political lame duck for the next three years. Without PresTPT constantly meddling with the economy, the economy correct itself. It would also shine the spotlight on Pelosi, Reed and the like, as they would have to forge ahead on this path to fascism without their Teleprompter'd Marionette to take the heat for any further big-gov policies.

Just remember who REALLY won the war.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I Bring to You, the Queen of Cranial-Rectal Inversion!
Stanton: Tucson Citizen staffers are the best
March 17, 2009, 7:45 p.m.
Tucson Citizen
"Like a fistful of diamonds flung across the desert floor, the gems of the Tucson Citizen were all set to scatter."
Oh, Mrs. Stanton, your prose that you wax so poetically causes my heart to flutter. 
Meh. Not really.
Your previous opinion piece was a who's-who list of CRI for Tucson, and you had the gall to call them Tucson's Treasures. I guess by that standard, the tree-hugging, macho-B supporting, pseudo-socialists at your paper would be the gems in that pile.

Much like oats in a pile of horse-hockey.

We were so close to losing you to being a speech writer or personal assistant for one of those glorious Tucson Treasures, yet you have been granted a temporary reprieve. While I bemoan future articles describing in flowery terms the plight of the illegal, or praise for some over-priced Rio Nuevo pet project, or your adoration for our illustrious Representavies Gabby "does my mouth ever stop moving" Giffords and Raul "Aslan" Grijalva... if you left, I would have nothing to laugh at, nothing to go to when I want to witness the stupidity in the cause of Liberalism.

Good-bye, Billie, yes you shall be missed.

Like a boil is missed after it is lanced.

 ***Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you.***
Peter Schmugge

Monday, March 16, 2009

Obama on the Tonite Show?

Obama plans "Tonight Show" appearance to talk about economy

By Roger Runningen
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 03.16.2009
Does this man realize he is done running for the Office of the President... and that he won? Is he that afraid to go up against a news reporter in a one-on-one no-teleprompter debate?
Or is this sad commentary on the state of the general population of the US - that we only keep up with the news through such news anchors as Letterman, Stewart, and O'brian?
I hope the rest of the world is watching this man, and laughing... I know I would be laughing at the British, if I saw Gordon Brown showing up on David Letterman. 
Please PresBO, please act like the President of the United States? Ok, i'll give you the short sleeved shirts on the weekends if you promise to never, ever, ever make a mockery of the Office as this is going to....
 ***Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you.***
Peter Schmugge

Media Matters - yes it does!

So it begins. Media Matters is going after it's first victim. CNBC. Yeah, I don't watch it, nor do I bother to pay attention to news stories regarding CNBC. But rather than let the free market dictate the success or failure of a major network station, Media Matters is going to bug, harass, annoy, and be a general pain-in-the-ass to CNBC until they give up. Best part: "to hire economic voices with a track record of being right about the current crisis "

OK, not sure about that, but -and hear me out- if CNBC did such a poor job, and people thought they were full of horse poop, would they not have a viewership? Without ratings, you can't charge for advertising; and without advertising, would you not have money to operate with? Obviously CNBC is doing something right, enough so to keep in business, anyways.

This is going to be the new tack, since the 'Fairness Doctrine' appears to be dead in the water. Go after the opposing viewpoint, use the twitterers and facebookers to make some poor interns life a living hell (well, more than an interns life is already) dealing with all the hate mail. Coerce the management to hire liberal staff - maybe they are calling it Operation Air America? Bring in liberal voices, and force the viewers to go elsewhere, effectively killing the station. Next thing you know, CNBC with be a soft rock / jazz / or pop 40's station (oh wait, that's radio)...

Immigrants locked-up are not criminals

That was the title of this article.

On the website, next to the article a picture of a very attractive, young lady in a flowing dress, as if she was headed out to prom or some formal function. The argument being that how could such a beautiful person end up locked up for something she was not responsible for? Or that is what they want you to think.

Take a closer look at the caption. She is 20. She spent 2 years in a lock up because her parents asylum claim was denied. 20 minus 2 is 18 - making her an ADULT. As an adult, she chose to remain in the US, without any type of legal authorization, or in simpler terms: illegally. She broke the law, that is what doing something illegal means. She was held in detention because she broke the law. Plain and simple. It has nothing to do with her looks, and in some ways, it's frustrating to have to remove an illegal immigrant when they have given a lot to our society. However, the law is the law, and must be upheld...even the attractive young ladies.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

AIG bailout...

Quick one here... do you realize that 165m is only .09% of 170billion? That's a pretty slim margin to worry about... what happened to the other 169,835,000,000? That seems to me to be a little more important. If it takes .1% of every dollar of stimulus money to go to retain the very people needed to get the bank back to being financially stable, so be it. That's one-tenth of one percent, if you didn't notice the decimal point.

 ***Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you.***
Peter Schmugge

Growth in Tucson

"The bottom line is, as long as Arizona is a desirable place to live and do business, we're going to be subject to the swings in this investment cycle and construction cycle," Vest said.

I'm going to start with this: Is it just me, or are they trying to say that by being a desirable place to do business, that this is a bad thing? Can the Star be that biased? I mean, really that biased? Swings are a NORMAL cyclical part of a viable healthy business environment. The only way to not be cyclical is to be dictated through government intervention - socialism. So what exactly is the paper trying to say (without saying it)? This paragraph's placement indicates an emphasis on the swings in the cycles as being the culprit, and needs to be controlled or modified (since all these construction workers laid off now have to find other jobs). Sounds a little bit like socialism to me... in other words - let's stabilize the cycles, which then makes Arizona a continually productive place to do business. Sorry, it does not work that way!

Second problem with this article, the list of jobs that remain stable during recessions, i.e. good stable jobs. Let's take a look at them:
  • Defense industry: Pres. Obama has already stated that he is going to reduce expenditures within the defense industry. The only reason it has been a 'stable industry' is because the US has maintained defense spending at a high percentage of GDP. Also, thanks to the Omnibus spendulus bill, what little money we have, is going to industries building weapons systems that the Air Force (F-22 raptor) don't want or need any more... not to mention the reduction in defense projects, which are based on new advancing technology. 20th century weapons for a 20th centruy industry, stuck with 20th century workers.
  • Hospitality/Tourism (management): Ok, so, in order to have quilified people in high-end positions, we have to pay them well, correct? Wait, we're going to tax them to oblivion...Why would they want to stay here to work, just to lose half of what they earn? There are a lot of jobs overseas, and what we will see is an exodus of high-level management to countries more accommodating to the wealthy. Plus, you have to have tourism, to have tourists, to have tourism-based-income. We need more than just one month of spring training, one week of golf, and one week of gem show to keep the hotels in the black all year...and Tucson has not done much else to keep that steady stream of tourists coming. The best thing we have going, is that we are 8 hours away from LA, and 6 hours from San Diego - last good hotels on I-10 until El Paso (sorry New Mexico, but it's true).
  • Border Related: Yeah! I am all for spending money on the border. But, we can't build the fence because the jaguars can't cross...and we can't equip our BP agents better, cause we don't want the illegals feeling like we have an 'army' coming after them...although, we could use more beds and detention facilities to process illegals...
  • Health and Biotech: The reason the health trade is so good in Tucson is the influx of elderly every winter. Also, it's government backed. Medicare/medicaid keep a steady stream of people coming in the door...whether they need care or not. (and note, I did not say profitable, it's only profitable because of all the self-pays and insurance-covered patients) Yes, health care is a good industry, and the boomer generation will drive that need, just like the boomer generation drove the housing market and the automobile market. But when we nationalize health care to take care of the boomers, profitability will go out the window, and we'll be right back to losing qualified workers to better paying, less stressful jobs. Oh, not to mention the rationing of health care in the process.
  • Construction Trades (green): note, they had to mention on the green side. why? CAUSE OBAMA IS GOING TO FORCE EVERYONE TO BUILD GREEN!!!!!!!!!! Yes, cost upon cost will be added to every project to have some specialized this-or-that come in to a new building and add some doodad, gizmo, or widget guaranteed to give us one more year before the earth melts or cools. Good luck buying a cheap house ten years from now...
  • Transportation: Well, there will need to be a lot of bus drivers for sure, since no one will be able to afford their own car, it will either have too many 'carbon-taxes' on it if it is old, or have costly technologically-controlled environmentally-unsound batteries on it, or there will be no bank out there willing or able to finance you to buy something. Rail? Ok, 100 new operators to run the monorails from Disney to Vegas to Six Flags-Texas to Disney World to Broadway.... every time I think of this the Simpson's episode about the Monorail comes to mind....
  • Information Technology: well duh, this is going to be, and will be a good industry, but good luck, since it changes every 5 to 7 years, and requires constant schooling to keep current, not just one time at a 3 year college...

But like the story says, the growth cycle will return (duh, it's cyclical, ain't it?)... and patience will do more for us that any attempt at manipulation.

 ***Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you.***
Peter Schmugge

Border Patrol

This article starts out with a story about 3 men using a ladder and a tree to scale the border fence. Several minutes later, they are apprehended by Border Patrol. Then the article goes on to describe how this shows the fence is not working -> they got over. 

Wrong. It took them so long to accomplish, and put them up in the air where they were easily seen, allowing the understaffed BP to effectively apprehend the illegals. How can this be listed as a failure of the fence?  If anything, the fact that some still get through, around, over, or under means that there is not enough BP to properly patrol the fence we have.

Farther along in the article, it illustrates a scenario where taxi cabs use spotters to watch for BP patrols, and then drive illegals to the end of the fence to let them run around. This tells me two things: One, the fence ain't long enough. If it was, and the taxi had to drive 30 miles, instead of 3, it might be more likely to find another BP agent on patrol. Two, there aren't enough agents to patrol the obvious drop off points on a continual and consistent basis. Sounds like a great set-up type of scenario - put one agent in a truck to drive off, 20 agents in a building waiting to see what crawls out of the woodwork when that truck leaves.

Also, almost lost in the article: "White said using subcontractors to build fencing resulted in more effective barriers.
"They hit the ground running, have engineers troubleshooting. They have all the right equipment for the job. They are the professionals," he said."  -> chalk one up for private enterprise and independent contractors! Once again, proving the free market does a better job than government

 ***Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you.***
Peter Schmugge

Great american thinker article.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Fark headline.

Normally as I read Fark, I laugh at most of the Farklines... this time, I just had to put it up, it was so good:
Newest Obama appointee's office raided by FBI. Left finally comes to terms that Obama is not Jesus. Jesus could actually build a cabinet.

Border violence

Lawmakers discuss how to contain drug violence
By Eileen Sullivan and Suzanne Gamboa
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 03.13.2009

Seems to me the answer is sitting on the table right in front of them. Barrett .50 cal with a range of 1000 yards (more if you are a really good shot). 'Nuff said.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

School vouchers safe once again...

 The Arizona Court of Appeals handed school-choice supporters a victory Thursday, upholding the constitutionality of a state tax break for businesses that make donations to help pay for tuition grants for students attending private schools.

Thank-you. You have once again allowed me to keep my daughter out of the government-school system. Yeah, I agree with Mr. Boortz when it comes to public education. 

Still pending though, is the voucher system. The argument against it is that it is only used by the middle class church-going religious right. But here's the catch: I am not middle-class. I am not even lower-middle-class. Our family actually is considered at the poverty level (like poverty in the US means a whole lot). Without such a program my daughter would never be able to attend a private / parochial school. As it is, we struggle to pay the difference between what we receive as gifts from friends and family, and what is left on the account at the end of the year. So a thank-you in advance and request to the State to see the wisdom that it is not just middle-class and upper-class WASP's that take advantage of this program.

Also, for all you out there, this program works for ANY child, at ANY school. Even public schools can use that money for supplies, programs, etc. If you pay tax in Arizona, there is no reason not to take advantage of this program. How else can you tell the state EXACTLY where you want your $600 (or $1200 for couples) to go? Not to Rio Nuevo. Not to Phoenix for some road improvement. To the child or school that you designate. Yes, you pay the money up front (there are monthly plans available)...but at the end of the year, you get a form with the total tax credit to apply - best part - sometime during the next 5 years, all at once, or partially every year. Yes, you have to pay state tax in order to see a benefit from the credit.

Please, think it over, and if you want more information and are willing to help me put my daughter through Redeemer Lutheran in Marana, contact me.... If not me, go to your favorite school, talk to the administrative assistant, and they will help you fill out the forms. Also, contact your local state representatives and let them know that the voucher program needs to stay.


 ***Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you.***
Peter Schmugge

An editorial today:

Allow all an equal voice
Re: the March 9 editorial "Market, individuals should say what's fair."
Fairness is a word that ought to apply to the media, don't you think? The opposite would be unfairness, wouldn't it?
Would the right-wing be against the Fairness Doctrine if the left-wing had so many more talk show hosts on the air than the right-wing does? Of course not. Please have the different sides be able to get their messages out to the American people and let them decide.
Stuart Thomas
Stuart. I hate to break this to you. They have. It WAS called 'Air America'. You want to know why it's not on the air? Because liberals do not like talk radio. It's in the nature of the liberal to not care, or not want to be informed. We call informed liberals 'born-again conservatives'. I have lib / dem friends. When I ask them why they don't listen to talk radio, their answer? I'm always listening to [insert punk/rock/rap band here]. To force a company to take on a block of shows that do not bring in the listeners, which means not bringing in sales revenue either bankrupts a station, or forces it to look for more 'cost-effective' options - like rock, rap or alternative music.

Rio Nuevo

$680,000 minus 250,000 = Head / Ass inversion

By far the best quote in this article: "When pressed on who would pay for the difference in cost, both Elder and LaSala said it is too early to determine whether Rio Nuevo or Tucson Water would shoulder the extra dollars. Since work is ongoing, Elder said the issue of who pays is "putting the cart before the horse.""

Cart before the horse. Really, the cost estimate for the job, and who and how to pay is putting the cart before the horse? If  you did this at an auto repair place, they would kick you out and roll your car into the street. 

Next best quote: " He said it's possible the work could come in at a lower cost."

Sure, how many contractors do you know that either A. come in below cost and charge you the actual price vs. the estimate price; or B. come in 9/10ths of completion with a change order and more costs attached?

Shirley Scott said it best: "It is concerning when there seems to be a lack of accountability for money being paid."

 ***Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you.***
Peter Schmugge

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

I-19 road signs, metric system fails.

I don't know if you heard this one. $1.5 Million dollars. To change the roadsigns along I-19 from metric distances back to Standard (miles).

Yes, 1.5 million dollars. Stimulus money, to boot. Why, oh why, are we wasting our money on this? How is this going to stimulate our economy? Two guys, one truck, oh, and the stock supplier for the new vinyl stickers for the signs. Yeah, I guess that will make or break the 3.5 million jobs saved or created.

I understand that this is the United States. I understand that we use the foot, inch, and the farenheit scale (as confusing as they are, and mathematically a pain in the butt to convert). Heck, I am even one of those that says if you emigrate to the US, you must learn English and assimilate into our culture. At any other point in time, I would love to change these back to miles. But now is not the time. When we have nothing better to do, yes, let's spend 1.5 million. 

Right now, 1.5 million less in taxes would be nice.

 ***Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you.***
Peter Schmugge

Tax to biuld a new spring training facility

OK, first of all, I am by no means against attracting any sort of professional team to Tucson. I would LOVE to have a Tucson-based NFL team here (can you say Marana Lions?) But to me this is too little, too late... We have already lost the Sox. We will most likely lose the D-backs, and I am sure the Rockies will pull up stakes and move on with them. What worries me, is that once again, more than likely we will spend umpteen amounts of money on yet another baseball stadium. 
Located in the worst place ever. 
That is difficult to get to... 
I mean, come on, get off the freeway, go over the overpass, follow the road 180 degrees, to make a left (because if you don't you are back on the freeway again) to get to the stadium.  And have fun getting back on the freeway - just to drive 15 minutes, get off at your exit, and spend 1 hour on surface streets. Oh, and if you miss the freeway, better break out the bullet-proof vests, lock the doors, and don't make eye contact...
Oh, and don't forget that building new would also mean abandoning some absolutely fabulous facilities in the process...
I guess my beef is more along the lines of not being against spending more tax money to attract the 'professional sporting event'... it's more that time and time again, we have been shown that the Tucson City Council and the Pima County Supervisors just do not have what it takes to do it right the first time. If we had, this would be a conversation about attracting a professional football/basketball team to COMPLIMENT the professional baseball team that calls Tucson home. Oh, and the NASCAR 2.5 mile Superspeedway. (a man can dream, can't he?)

 ***Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you.***
Peter Schmugge

Police chief for Tucson

Once again, we continue to look for a chief of police for Tucson. How long now has this position sat open? I mean, really? And now the best part, we have turned down applicants - internal applicants - because they do not live within the city limits. You know what? I don't live in the city limits, and why? 'Cause I do not feel safe due to a lack of police officers. 300 shy of the mark, and that's not even to hit the best per capita ratio, that's just to hit the minimal per capita ratio. I don't blame them one bit for not wanting to live within the city. Heck every TPD officer that I count among my friends all live in Marana. Why? Because it's a cleaner city, safer for their kids, with better services. Yeah, it doesn't speak well for a city when it's own officers look elsewhere to reside.

 ***Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you.***
Peter Schmugge

Name change...

So I changed the name of my blog...

Well, I found that mostly what I have been doing is repeating two, three or more articles that I had read in my own words. Nothing wrong with that since essentially my readership is "0". Mostly, this blog has been a place for me to vent my political frustrations, since my wife prefers not to hear my rants (and for the sake of our marriage, refuses to wear the tinfoil hat while writing for this blog).

But, since the best change is the change that you can make locally, I am going to try to rant a little less about national news (unless is affects something locally), and focus more on what I see happening locally.

Hopefully, I can double my readership this way. (I tell myself this knowing full well that 2 x 0 = 0)

Good quote

"Legal plunder can be committed in an infinite number of ways; hence, there are 
an infinite number of plans for organizing it: tariffs, protection, bonuses, 
subsidies, incentives, the progressive income tax, free education, the right to 
employment, the right to profit, the right to wages, the right to relief, the 
right to the tools of production, interest free credit, etc., etc. And it the 
aggregate of all these plans, in respect to what they have in common, legal 
plunder, that goes under the name of socialism."
-- Frederic Bastiat

Monday, March 9, 2009

NASCAR quote of the year

"Maybe he's new. Maybe he's hasn't seen us drive, but we tend to wreck a lot." - Kenseth on the crew member who ran into the infield to chase a tire.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Did we not learn our lesson?

Last summer, fuel prices spiked to over $4.00 a gallon. Everyone complained about how the prices kept us from going on vacations and depleted bank accounts just to get to work. So now we have low fuel prices (yes, not as low as they were last winter, but still pretty low), and did we learn our lesson? Well let's see. We are back on the road, doing what we do best as Americans. Drive everywhere. Now don't get me wrong, I love the open road. However, those that weathered last summers torrential gas prices are the same ones that had money in their bank account to offset the rise in prices. Have we as a nation learned our lesson? I don't think so. Gas is cheap, and so we go back on the road.

But there is one side benefit to being a nation of spenders, and that is this line:
For U.S. consumers pinched by the economic crisis, falling gasoline prices have created what some analysts call a sort of "stimulus package" that has pumped billions of dollars in disposable income back into their wallets.

So, by increasing the disposable income, we have seen the creation of a stimulus of sorts to our economy. Huh... now if there was a way to do that for all Americans - you mean a tax break? And what about businesses, they spend money too on things like fuel, equipment, etc... oh you mean a tax break would help there too?

So while I wish I could say the American population is taking advantage of the lower fuel costs by putting something aside for a rainy day...but at least our "if we have it, spend it" ways are boosting what little economy we have. That is what is going to get us out of this. Everyday Americans, across the wealth spectrum, spending that extra couple discretionary dollars that arrive in every paycheck - or are left after expenses.

But, you say, you just complained no one saves their money for a rainy day? True. But just imagine each bank account, with 5 more dollars in it every week. Think of all that cash working to balance the asset sheets of the bank as they struggle to handle all the shrinking home assets. Just a few dollars extra to loan to the family that wants to open a restaurant, one that will employ 10 people. A few dollars extra to loan a business that needs a third truck, and will then have to hire another employee to drive it. A couple dollars to stretch the bank's operating costs one more month in order to have some room to modify a few mortgages for those that need a couple dollars room (and have been paying on schedule).

Friday, March 6, 2009

Ok, found this on the web, but it's just so good!

Dear American liberals, leftists, social progressives, socialists, Marxists and Obama supporters,

We've stuck together since the late 1950s, but the whole of this latest election process has made me realize that I want a divorce. I know that we tolerated each other for many years for the sake of future generations, but sadly this relationship has run its course. Our two ideological sides of America cannot and just will not ever agree on what's right. So let's just end it right now while we can do it on friendly terms. We can smile, shake hands, chalk it up to irreconcilable differences and each go our own way.

So here's a model separation agreement.

Our two groups can equitably divide up the country by land mass, each taking a portion. That's going to be the difficult part, but I'm sure our two sides can come to a friendly agreement. After that, it should be relatively easy. Our respective representatives can effortlessly divide other assets since both sides have such distinct and disparate taste. We don't like redistributive taxes so you can have those. You are welcome to the liberal judges and the ACLU. And since you hate guns and you hate war, we'll take the firearms, the cops, the NRA and the military. You can keep Oprah, Michael Moore and Rosie O'Donnell. But you are going to be responsible for finding a biodiesel vehicle big enough to haul them around.

We'll keep the capitalism, the greedy corporations, the pharmaceutical companies; we will keep Wal-Mart and Wall Street. You can have the homeless, the homeboys, the hippies and illegal aliens. We will keep the hot Alaskan hockey moms, the greedy CEOS and all of the rednecks. We'll keep the Bibles and we'll let you have NBC and Hollywood.

You can be nice to Iran and Palestine and we'll retain the right to invade and hammer anybody that threatens us. You can have the peaceniks and the war protesters. When our allies or our way of life are under assault, we will provide them with security. You won't have to worry about it. We will keep our Judeo-Christian values. You are welcome to Islam, Scientology, Humanism and Shirley Maclaine. You can also have the UN, but we will no longer pay the bill.

We will keep the SUVs, the pickup trucks and the oversize luxury cars. You can have the compacts, the subcompacts and every Subaru station wagon you can find. You can give everybody healthcare, if you can find any practicing doctors. We will continue to believe that healthcare is a privilege and not a right. We will keep "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" and the national anthem, and I am sure you will be happy to substitute in their place "Imagine." I'd like to teach the world to sing "Kumbaya" or "We are the world." We will practice trickle-down economics and you can give trickle-up poverty your best shot. And since it so offends you, we will keep our history, our name and our flag.

Would you agree to this? If so, please pass it along other like-minded liberal and conservative patriots. And if you do not agree, just hit delete. In the friendly spirit of parting, I'll bet you ANWAR which one of us will need whose help in about 15 years.


John J Wall

Law student and an American

P.S. You can also have Barbara Streisand and Jane Fonda

Random thoughts

Oh, where do I much is happening so quickly, but isn't that the plan? I guess that is where most of my concern is. The strategy seems to be one of change through overwhelming numbers. Numbers of executive orders, numbers of bills, spend so out of control no one can possibly keep track of it.... And quickly, because soon the glossy shine will fade, so do as much as you can, as quickly as you can. By then the damage is done.

I have heard too many friends of mine talking about what to do. Tea parties, pitchforks, and purchases at the local gun shop. Is this the answer? Maybe. Maybe not. But we also know that the tree of liberty is watered by the blood of patriots. Yes, that is still a long way off... But with a leftist agenda on the table, and a right wing party too worried about whether or not a talk show host speaks for the party, it gets a little frustrating for those of us who know what principles this country was founded on.



Persuit of happiness.

So no more sitting on the sidelines. No more living in 'blessed ignorance'. Time is running out, and this course we are on will be corrected, one way or another... Lets just hope for everyone's sake, that it is a peaceful, unifying solution; the alternative is too awful to contemplate.

United States vs. Federal State of America...

"The preservation of freedom is the protective reason for limiting and decentralizing governmental power. But there is also a constructive reason. The great advances of civilization, whether in architecture or painting, in science or in literature, in industry or agriculture, have never come from centralized government."
-- Milton Friedman

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

story time

"Who will help me plant the wheat?" asked the Little Red Hen.
'Not I,' said the cow.
'Not I,' said the duck.
'Not I,' said the pig.
'Not I,' said the goose.
'Then I will do it by myself,' said the little red hen, and so she did. The wheat grew very tall and ripened into golden grain.
'Who will help me reap my wheat?' asked the little red hen.
'Not I,' said the duck..
'Out of my classification,' said the pig.
'I'd lose my seniority,' said the cow.
'I'd lose my unemployment compensation,' said the goose.
'Then I will do it by myself,' said the little red hen, and so she did.
At last it came time to bake the bread.
'Who will help me bake the bread?' asked the little red hen.
'That would be overtime for me,' said the cow.
'I'd lose my welfare benefits,' said the duck.
'I'm a dropout and never learned how,' said the pig.
'If I'm to be the only helper, that's discrimination,' said the goose.
'Then I will do it by myself,' said the little red hen.
She baked five loaves and held them up for all of her neighbors to see. They wanted some and, in fact, demanded a share. But the little
red hen said, 'No, I shall eat all five loaves.'
'Excess profits!' cried the cow. (Nancy Pelosi)
'Capitalist leech!' screamed the duck. (Barbara Boxer)
'I demand equal rights!' yelled the goose. (Jesse Jackson)
The pig just grunted in disdain. (Ted Kennedy)
And they all painted 'Unfair!' picket signs and marched around and around the little red hen, shouting obscenities.
Then the farmer (Obama) came. He said to the little red hen, "You must not be so greedy, Let's re-distribute the wealth!"
'But I earned the bread,' said the little red hen.
'Exactly,' said Barack the farmer. 'That is what makes our free enterprise system so wonderful. Anyone in the barnyard can earn as
much as he wants. But under our modern government regulations, the productive workers must divide the fruits of their labor with those
who are lazy and idle.'
And they all lived happily ever after, including the little red hen, who smiled and clucked, 'I am grateful, for now I truly understand.'
But her neighbors became quite disappointed in her. She never again baked bread because she joined the 'party' and got her bread free.
And all the Democrats smiled. 'Fairness' had been established.
Individual initiative had died, but nobody noticed; perhaps no one long as there was free bread that 'the rich' were paying for.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

It creeps in like a mouse...

What it means to be poor and hungry in America
By Pauline Arrillaga
The Associated Press
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 03.01.2009
link read the full story here, but just wanted to point out a few arguments...

'A mouse scurries by, but Chilton doesn't flinch.' What a poetic understatement about the creeping socialism our country is facing.

"And how, at times, she makes chicken for her children but eats Oodles of Noodles herself." Wait a second, I like Ramen - but here is a funny thing - Oodles of Noodles is the 'self-contained' ramen in a cup. It costs 4 times what a bag of ramen costs. Simple (and I mean simple) math tells us that she could be saving significant money buy buying smarter. Especially when 60 cents means the difference between one cup o noodles and 4 bags o noodles.

"Tianna Gaines is her name. She is 29, black, with twin babies and a toddler, facing eviction because she's $300 behind on rent." Again, why mention that she is black? Are we all not equal, the same, etc... so what does color have to do with it? Should everytime we mention Pres. Obama in paper, should it look like this. 'Today Pres. Obama, who is 45 and black, etc....' Yeah, that would go over well...

"Hers is not the picture of hunger that Americans are accustomed to seeing. She isn't emaciated, like those living in squalid conditions in famine-stricken countries, but she is underweight and malnourished, often fed chips and sugary drinks instead of milk and formula." Wow, chips and soda is expensive. Again, shop smart... not at the local convenience store, which I am sure is what is going on here - all to often I see folks shopping for groceries at the local Circle K. That's fine if you are on a road trip, don't know the area, and can afford paying extra for the convenience. But when you cannot, like most folks on food stamps, convenience should not take the place of frugality. Chips and a soda - $2.50 if you are lucky. $2.50 can buy a gallon of milk (on sale), 2 frozen juices, 2 loaves of bread, or a bunch of bananas. Or 3 cups o noodles. Or 15 bags of Ramen! (not that ramen is healthy, mind you, but better than chips and soda)

"What bothers Chilton is that the numbers, startling as they are in a country as rich as this one, seem to do little to bring about lasting change. And that's not an easy thing for a number-cruncher to admit." And the meat of the argument: Socialism does not make the poor richer. It makes the rich poorer.

"So when she learned she'd won a $100,000 award in late 2007, she ignored suggestions that she take a vacation and instead started work on "Witnesses to Hunger." She purchased digital cameras and distributed fliers to some of the mothers who had been interviewed over the years." Wow, a private sector solution! Someone WILLINGLY making the choice on how and to whom to spend their money, not government dictating how, when, where, and to whom. You can throw your own pearls into the slop, don't throw mine.

"If only it was that easy. Izquierdo pays $400 in housing every month, $80 for day care, $54 for the phone, $60 for electricity, $80 on Pampers and baby wipes, another $80 or so on transportation, leaving a few hundred dollars for food, health care and anything else she needs for herself, her 3-year-old daughter Leylanie and 1-year-old son Aidan." I don't mean to sound jaded, however, the breakdown of the family, and sexual promiscuity is at fault here - not unemployment, lack of services, etc... single parent, 2 count them 2 kids. Maybe there is something else to this story, we'll never know since it is not told. Yet, are we doing anything to combat the loss of family structure? The loss of sexual restraint? No, instead we create programs that teach our kids the "world" view on sex. We provide programs and welfare that reward based on numbers - and the wonder why these mothers have more kids then they can handle.

It's time to start treating the cause of the problem, instead of putting band-aids on the outcomes!