Friday, November 27, 2009

Obama's Failed Diplomacy

From the Wall Street Journal:

"The Obama bowing pictures are becoming iconic not for those reasons, however, but because they express a growing political perception, and that is that there is something amateurish about this presidency, something too ad hoc and highly personalized about it, something . . . incompetent, at least in its first year..."

I am not a big fan of Peggy Noonan. I only on occasion agree with her observations. But this column expresses the opinions that I have had regarding this administration's approach to diplomacy and protocol. It has been clumsy at best. And not a good or endearing sort of clumsy, but a deliberate flaunting of tradition in order to achieve some unknown display of a type of condescending obeisance. The bowing of President Obama to the Emperor of Japan is just another in a series of diplomatic faux pas which seem to be planned to show America's willingness to let go the reins of power.

No nation makes headway with foreign leaders by acting out a Uriah Heep type of demeanor. Reagan encouraged the Fall of the Berlin Wall, Truman when face with the possibility of a million American casualties on the beach in an invasion of Japan chose to drop the Bomb. Being the President is a serious job with serious implications. Unfortunately this White House seems to be running on the same game plan they used during the campaign. It's just not working.

From the IPOD for Queen Elizabeth II to the unseemly bowing to Saudi and Japanese royalty, it appears that this administration is trying to ingratiate itself with foreign heads of states by denigrating America's power and diminishing our policies. It is hamhanded and amateur. But then again, if you will read this column, you will see that even seasoned Democrat supporters are questioning their support in the face of a White House staff that acts as if they are either lacking in the abilities and knowledge for the job or that they are deliberately flaunting protocol with the goal being to shove off the burden of leadership.

Either action betrays a seriously flawed agenda and one that does not serve the American people well. Also note that the Democrat quoted said that if the healthcare bill fails to pass it would actually be a win for Obama because the bill itself is so inherently flawed. If this is what his friends are saying, then why is it that press refuses to acknowledge the concern expressed across demographic categories by the direction this Obama Administration and this liberal dominant Congress? I can only say that the core far Left are willing to follow this administration over a cliff if need be to maintain their fragile world view.

With healthcare being in peril, defacto unemployment at 17% and the Copenhagen treaty questionable in light of recent revelations on fraud and misdirection used to achieve Global Warming claims, wouldn't it make far more sense for this president to stay home and hammer out some meaningful pragmatic legislation to get American back to work? I am tired of worrying about the rest of the world, it's time for America First.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Definition: Concensus

We've heard a great deal about the concept of "consensus" lately. A consensus of Global Warming scientists supposedly all agreed that Global Warming is manmade and constitutes a "crisis." The word "crisis" stampeded politicians into allocating huge grants of taxpayer money to "cure" the "crisis." But what if a crisis really isn't imminent and what is a consensus is falsified and manufactured?

Academics have a great deal riding on their ability to attract grants both public and private. In many academic circles the concept of "publish or perish" has been replaced with a type of summation based on the ability to attract large donors. While this in itself isn't anything new, especially with private schools, the willingness to fudge data to fit the outcome is new. This is the antithesis of a true scientific process. In a true scientific process the entire outlay and design of the research is documented. In order to be valid, the process must be duplicated and confirmed. In this case we have scientists who are willing to suppress opposing views. Anyone who has been in academia will tell you that there is never, ever a time when ALL academics agree on a theory. So when the outcry from Al Gore and others in the celebrity community included the statements that ALL scientists agreed on the hypothesis of Anthropogenic Global Warming as a crisis, warning bells should have gone off.

But in academia these days, dissent is only accepted when it's the proper type of dissent. So you can opposed industries, you can oppose business systems, but heaven help you and hold on to your tenure if you dare to oppose those programs or ideas that are part of the agenda of Leftists. This scandal is just the tip of the iceberg. Many professors have already lost their positions for daring to oppose the political juggernaut of PC ideals. If we cannot trust a consensus of scientists, then why should we trust a consensus of economists that support the far Left views of the White House agenda?

A consensus is only as good as the true information they are selling. And in Global Warming, Healthcare and the Economy, they have been writing up hopes as facts and change as legislation. We deserve better. And we deserve honesty.

Read more: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB100014240527487047...

Reeducating the Educators

I've been a teacher for a long time.
I genuinely like most of my students.
Students that I do not like are generally troublemakers, gangsters or overly spoiled.
I do my best to teach all of them in spite of themselves.
So reading this article was disturbing on many levels.

First, for all those who vilify public education, public education is what sets us apart from other nations. While we appear to have students not as well equipped, please understand that public schools do not have the luxury of denying students access to an education for any reason. Private schools can pick and choose their students, public schools must deal with kids who are often not ready for school and not supported at home.

Having said that, I feel that our nation is only as good as the schools we create. That inner city schools suffer poor testing results and high failure rates has more to do with the environment surrounding the schools than the schools themselves. It is difficult to teach in a warzone. That's what many of our urban schools have become. Because no parents are present or care enough to enforce rules, limits and goals, students are free to party, act as criminals and generally make the process of education difficult for every teacher and every student. Unfortunately there are those within powerful positions in society that would rather spend time blaming teachers than looking in the mirror. When I see almost every week another story about a parent threatening to sue the schools over dress codes, "unfairness" or other parental excuses, it is clear where the lack of achievement comes from.

So I was truly alarmed when I read this article. This article refers to a type of gross and obvious indoctrination that should be opposed by any member of any faculty that values free speech. Instead of teaching teachers how to reach students, how to handle problems, how to adapt lessons for maximum learning, this university is indulging in a type of self-serving political exercise that will not only drive away many intelligent students, but which could also fill schools with doctrinaire repositories that are far more concerned with spouting social justice than in teaching multiplication. This is absolutely NOT what our schools need. Yet this is a program closely allied with the goals of the Obama Administration. I have to wonder if they plan on systematically removing older teachers such as myself only to replace them with ideologues that will implement "change" as a matter of political elimination.

Scary, indeed. Read the story.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

A Letter From Grandpa: The Obama Reality

G O D B L E S S A M E R I C A

Maybe this will wake some of the younger folks up and maybe some of you have already read it, but this is really hitting the nail on the head as far as I am concerned.

John G. is 63 years old and owns a small business. He's a life-long
Republican and sees his dream of retiring next year has all but
evaporated.. With the stock market crashing and new taxes coming his way,
John assumes now that he will work to his dying day.

John has a granddaughter.. Ashley is a recent college grad. She drives a
flashy hybrid car, wears all the latest fashions, and loves to go out to
nightclubs and restaurants. Ashley campaigned hard for Barak Obama.
After the election she made sure her grandfather (and all other
Republican family members) received a big I told-you-so earful on how
the world is going to be a much better place now that her party is
taking over.

Having lost both roommates, Ashley recently ran short of cash and cannot
pay the rent (again) on her 3 bedroom townhouse. Like she has done many
times in the past, she emailed her grandfather asking for some financial
help. Here is his reply:

Sweetheart,


I received your request for assistance. Ashley, you know I love you
dearly and I'm sympathetic to your financial plight. Unfortunately,
times have changed. With the election of President Obama, your
grandmother and I have had to set forth a bold new economic plan of our
own..."The Ashley Economic Empowerment Plan." Let me explain.

Your grandmother and I are life-long, wage-earning tax payers. We have
lived a comfortable life, as you know, but we have never had the fancier
things like European vacations, luxury cars, etc. We have worked hard
and were looking forward to retiring soon. But the plan has changed.
Your president is raising our personal and business taxes significantly.

He says it is so he can give our hard earned money to other people. Do
you know what this means, Ashley? It means less for us, and we must cut
back on many business and personal expenses.

You know the wonderful receptionist who worked in my office for more
than 23 years? The one who always gave you candy when you came over to
visit? I had to let her go last week. I can't afford to pay her salary
and all of the government mandated taxes that go with having employees.
Your grandmother will now work 4 days a week to answer phones, take
orders and handle the books. We will be closed on Fridays and will lose
even more income.

I'm also very sorry to report that your cousin Frank will no longer be
working summers in the warehouse. I called him at school this morning.
He already knows about it and he's upset because he will have to give up
skydiving and his yearly trip to Greenland to survey the polar bears.

That's just the business side of things. Some personal economic effects
of Obama's new taxation policies include none other than you. You know
very well that over the years your grandmother and I have given you
thousands of dollars in cash, tuition assistance, food, housing,
clothing, gifts, etc., etc. But by your vote, you have chosen to help
others -- not at your expense -- but at our expense.

If you need money now sweetheart, I recommend you call 202-456-1111.
That is the direct phone number for the White House. You yourself told
me how foolish it is to vote Republican. You said Mr. Obama is going to
be the People's President, and is going to help every American live a
better life. Based on everything you've told me, along with all the
promises we heard during the campaign, I'm sure Mr. Obama will be happy
to transfer some stimulus money into your bank account. Have him call me
for the account number which I memorized years ago.

Perhaps you can now understand what I've been saying all my life: those
who vote for a president should consider the impact on the nation as a
whole, and not be just concerned with what they can get for themselves.
What Obama supporters don't seem to realize is all of the money he is
redistributing to illegal aliens and non-taxpaying Americans (the
so-called "less fortunate") comes from tax-paying families.

Remember how you told me, "Only the richest of the rich will be
affected"? Well guess what, honey? Because we own a business, your
grandmother and I are now considered to be the richest of the rich. On
paper, it might look that way, but in the real world, we are far from it.

As you said while campaigning for Obama, some people will have to carry
more of the burden so all of America can prosper. You understand what
that means, right? It means that raising taxes on productive people
results in them having less money; less money for everything, including
granddaughters.

I'm sorry, Ashley, but the well has run dry. The free lunches are over.
I have no money to give you now.

So, congratulations on your choice for "change." For future reference, I
encourage you to try and add up the total value of the gifts and cash
you have received from us, just since you went off to college, and
compare it to what you expect to get from Mr. Obama over the next 4 (or
8) years. I have not kept track of it, Ashley. It has all truly been the
gift of our hearts.

Remember, we love you dearly....but from now on you'll need to call the
number mentioned above. Your "Savior" has the money we would have given
to you. Just try and get it from him.

Good luck, sweetheart.
Love,
Grandpa.

Friday, November 13, 2009

A Voice From Middle America: A Letter to the President

Mr. President,I didn't vote for you. Maybe you will stop reading right there. But then again, maybe this once you should listen. The reason I didn't support your campaign is because I thought you were too inexperienced, too liberal and far too swayed by narrow political groups. But you won anyway. That's the way it is in America, the guy with the most votes wins. And being an American, I celebrate that idea. Although I didn't like your ideas, I honestly had hoped you meant what you said and that you would succeed.

But as time wears on and your administration progresses, it has become obvious not only are you inexperienced, but that you are disdainful of many Americans who are suffering under your regime. I say "suffering" because what else do you call it when effectively over 17% of the population is unemployed or underemployed?

I'm a middle class, college educated 53 year old woman. I have never asked for a handout. My husband and I worked all of our lives to buy our own home, raise our own kids and simply live. We don't have time to start over. Yet the economy keeps my husband marginally employed through a commission sales position that frankly hasn't paid much because nobody is buying in this economy. I look with trepidation at the moves made by the school district where I teach. With shrinking property values the tax revenue that funds the district is shrinking. Jobs are going to go away. At 53, just where am I supposed to find a job, Mr. President? It would take three years to retrain, and by then I would be 57. Who is going to hire a 57 year old entry level employee? No rational company will hire someone at that age and train them knowing they would not be there for more than a few years.

And what of my kids? My kids worked full time all the way through college. What little they got in help was in the form of academic scholarships. There were not special programs to pave their way, no mentors to make sure they succeeded. They have some education loans, but not as much as most grads. But even after six months, my son is stuck in his college job as a fastfood manager because there are no jobs for him even as a college grad. (BTW, remember "fastfood"-many liberals categorized those jobs as ones Americans wouldn't do in justifying illegal immigration.) Now faced with dwindling job prospects at the age of 23, my son is moving back home. My daughter is moving into a spare bedroom at a friend's house. Even though they paid rent on their own through college, the economy is such that they cannot afford to pay rent and their college loans. They are deferring marriage, kids, jobs because of an economy that seems only to serve the government infrastructure. The rest of the market is flat. And with the pending additional burden of a health insurance penalty, even what few entry level jobs are out there will go away. What do you expect these kids to do...wait a few years? How many? Five, ten, fifteen? And in the meantime the favoritism of affirmative action will insure that even if my kids qualify for a job that they will have to wait behind others based on nothing more than race.

While you and your handpicked cabinet of liberals and the Congress seem content to eviscerate the economy piece by piece, do you not understand that the relentless implementation of more corporate taxing ends up being a tax on all of us? Maybe when you were in law school, you missed this point, but corporations are NOT alive. When you tax a corporation, whether it is for transporation or manufacturing or energy use or profits, those costs are rolled into the cost of the product. And that means that we, the American consumers, pay that tax. It just passes through like grass through a goose. So for all your self-congratulatory talk about "taxing profits" and "penalizing corporations" you are really only penalizing US, the American people. We are the ones suffering with fewer jobs and higher prices.

In the month of October your administration racked up a deficit equal to the entire last year of President Bush's administration. Your party screamed at his spending. Yet looking back now, it seems as if this Congress and this administration is a runaway monster bent on wrecking the economy. I have to wonder why you are doing this. Do you want us all to abandon our homes to move into federal housing? Do you want to break down our individuality by imposing a rule of law that is so unconstitutional that even some of your own party would oppose it? For the entire summer you alternately ignored and dismissed the fear, the anger and the dismay of so many American over the penalties that will be imposed by your healthcare bill. When even New York writers, not known for the conservative views, startle at the penalties and costs of this bill, then is it not time to step back and stop and refine it to a bill that approaches the central problem of the hardcore uninsured without bankrupting the rest of us for a program that offers far less than we have right now.

Mr. President, I still am not a key supporter. There are too many mysteries in your past. You seem to dislike the people who live between the two coasts. You don't want to entertain the ideas that come from outside your own limited circle. And you seem driven to tax the middle class in order to buy votes. I'm sorry if you are offended by this letter, but quite honestly from what you have done so far, you seem more interested in shoring up your personal agenda than in helping the whole of the nation. And that means you are not a statesman, nor are you wise. It just means you are another politician who has been bought by a controlling majority of rich liberals. And that means the rest of us will lose again, even though we've already lost so much already.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Our Disposable Society

Today in my email at work, I got a message from a coworker. Attached was the photo of two adorable Golden Retriever mixes. It seems that three weeks ago, someone left them in a park and never returned. A woman who lived near the park noticed them, noted that they stayed in the same area as if waiting. Finally she took them in to foster. But she has pets of her own. These are two housebroken, leash trained dogs, yet nobody claims them. Someone simply left them to fend on their own-to become feral strays or to get hit by a car. I guess now we don't have to commit to caring for an animal when it becomes too inconvenient. I guess pets are just disposable.

But it's worse than that. As I have said before, I teach high school. I teach in the most diverse school in the district, with kids that are scions of pro athletes alongside kids who live in trailers. But there is no significant difference in the role of negligence and absolute loneliness. We have kids who are in poverty who literally raise themselves. Sometimes it's because parents are working more than one job and must leave kids on their own. But just as often it is parents who have abdicated their responsibility to raise, nuture and protect their children. It is often just as common to have wealthy parents shove cars and money at children instead of spending time with them. I've been to many a school concert for choir, band and orchestra. There may be over 100 students on the stage, yet the audience is strangely missing. It is one thing to be unable to come, it is quite another to be unwilling to come. As a parent, I cannot imagine not being there for my children. Sadly, with far too many parents, that is not the case. I guess kids are just disposable.

Perhaps this comes from the sexual revolution. Remember when they said The Pill-Big Letters-would "liberate" women. If that's the case, then why was Roe v. Wade ever put into law? If that's the case then why are increasing numbers of poor children born to single parent households? Why is it that we have young women who seem willing to allow dangerous males into their lives and the lives of their children? Once upon a time, it was love and marriage that proceeded the baby carriage. Now it seems that in desperation some young women pursue the idea of a baby as a magnet to hold a man, but in too many cases, these children barely know the names of their fathers, much less have a relationship with him. And as these children see their mothers and fathers flit aimlessly from partner to partner, they don't see love in terms of trust demonstrated, all they see is love in terms of lust. So I guess relationships are disposable, too.

I may sound old-fashioned, but it didn't used to be this way. It used to be that even poor families had a mother and father. Maybe they didn't have the latest fashions or toys, but they had the constancy of family to rely upon. Our shiny new disposable culture seems fueled by acquisition of goods rather than appreciation for the finer things. Reading is seen as unnecessary, listening has become a lost art. And writing, well it exists only in small pockets with people who still believe the written word has power. I do not claim to know the answers, but I know that something has to change. Perhaps I am enough of an optimist to think that life isn't linear and that the problems our sloppy self-indulgence has wrought can be resolved by people caring enough to reinvoke the claims family, faith, constancy and reject the shallow TMZ world of style over substance. Our lives, our childrens' lives, are too important to allow them to be disposable.

Friday, November 06, 2009

The Math Doesn't Add Up-False Stimulus Numbers

This administration has been adept at smoke and mirrors. But I think many of us are used to looking up their sleeves for the extra card or in the inside pocket for the white rabbits this administration has dreamed up. The most recent one has to do with false positives on numbers of jobs created or saved by the president's stimulus bill. Seems that he's even gone the route of "creating" over 470 jobs in a North Chicago school district that only employs 290 teachers. So somewhere out there are teachers who are being paid for not teaching or.....or.....or.....
The Numbers Lie. Read the story linked in the headline. Appalling.

Excerpt:"...More than $4.7 million in federal stimulus aid so far has been funneled to schools in North Chicago, and state and federal officials say that money has saved the jobs of 473 teachers.

Problem is, the district employs only 290 teachers.

"That other number, I don't know where that came from," said Lauri Hakanen, superintendent of North Chicago Community Unit Schools District 187...."

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Fort Hood

This is too darned close for comfort. My prayers go out to the soldiers, their families and the investigative team covering this story. I cannot help but think this is rooted in a type of complacency that has stripped us of our natural reticence to embrace those who seem to adhere to cultural beliefs counteractive to our own. That this man was a doctor, an officer, and a converted Muslim has to make many stop and wonder at what point mass murder of military personnel seemed like a good idea. This has to stem from some type of cultural hysteria that allows someone to suspend their own natural guilt to do this type of traitorous act. Has political correctness weakened us? Has an unwillingness to assign blame for things like drug sales, honor killings, religious based activism allowed a domestically grown terrorism to be nutured under our noses? This is terrorism. Make no mistake about it. And unless this administration is willing to take actions to maintain our sovereignty, control our borders and assert our independence, we will be hit again. It's only a matter of time.

Please pray for our troops. It seems they not only have to fear the enemy, but the well placed traitors in their midst.