Friday, December 28, 2012
Mass GOP Chair – Contest Update: Running for the Seat: Kristen Hughes, the Duo: Dean Cavaretta and David D'Arcangelo and Rick Green, Fiscal Conservative holds early lead.
The Massachusetts GOP Logo - from newtonrepublicans.org
The Mass GOP Chair is up for grabs in Massachusetts – which may be the most lackluster State GOP in the nation. The fact that there actually are conservatives in the Commonwealth, in varying degrees ranging from Moderate Republican’s to no-holds-barred, unforgiving –Social Conservatives, to those Democrats who remember what it meant to be a Democrat before the Progressives decided to make it their “Party”, and the Libertarians together make up enough of the electorate to push a candidate in any race over the top. The problem is the lack of cohesive ground-game and the inertia on the part of the few “troops” that are available.
Those Pointing to former State Senator and now former Senator Scott Brown’s win in 2010, as proof, is a bit disingenuous, as those manning the phones for Brown, and walking door to door, were not rank and file GOP members, they were the aforementioned Democrats (who are tops in organizational skills), along with Green Party, Libertarian’s and those Tea Party members. That was the group that brought Scott Brown the win. After the Special Election, Brown went on one of those “thank you” tours, and it was remarked, repeatedly, that one could tell the GOP regulars jockeying for position in a crowded room full of real supporters, or those who were in the trenches helping to elect Brown.
The State Chairman, whoever ascends to the least of the GOP Chairs, will have their hands full in trying to get anything done in this state, unless of course, they are some sort of activist who is so politically astute and connected that they can hand out favors to the “country-club” set at the same time. There is the regional split to deal with as well, Western Massachusetts, as one might not be aware is a hotbed of political rights, and by right, it is right wing, and not giving an inch – unless of course, the candidate is Calvin Coolidge reborn – maybe. On the other side, they have the country-club GOP set to deal with – those are the dinners and golf outings that are thrown by the “leadership” which can only appeal to fundraisers, an important aspect, except it does nothing to build a base – which said base is now at 11.5% of the State’s electorate (as of 10/17/12) . According to the Secretary of State’s office, the following is a snapshot of party enrollment in the state: 4,342,841 total registered voters: 1,551,693 of these are Democrats, 484,099 of these are Republicans, 6,507 are either Green or Rainbow Party, 17,269 of these are political designations of none of the aforementioned and a whopping 2,283,273 refused to be indented by a political party.
In the 2012 Elections there was a total vote cast of 3,184,196 in the top race for the Presidency and the Senate Race between Brown and Warren, 1,188,314 votes were cast for Romney, with 1,921,290 votes cast for Obama, and there were 1,458,048 votes cast for Scott Brown, while Warren received: 1,696,346 votes. (Secretary of State’s office). There were roughly, one million votes left on the table, and a lack of coherent messaging from a unified GOP to bring them to the right side. (Of course, those 1 million extra votes could be the dead or missing voters on the rolls).
This is the challenge that any GOP Chair would face – the ability to lead the country club set and the Conservative groups to the table, to some sort of agreement on organizing the Grass Roots, from the precinct level upwards. It’s Herculean in scope, and it’s going to take more than a few years to accomplish, unless – the individual (or individuals) as the case may be, has the ability to keep both sides in check and go in waist deep into the trenches – there is fertile ground for conservatives in Massachusetts, and for Republican’s – the problem is – no one knows they are there!!
Therefore: to Introduce the candidates that can try and drag the GOP in Massachusetts up from the netherworld:
From RedMassGroup.com (The Mass. Republican Activist Website):
The Statement of Candidacy of Kristen Hughes – also endorsed by Scott Brown for this position.
the Proposed organizational structure of a dual Chair by Cavaretta and D'Arcandelo (not a bad idea)
Rick Green, who appeals to both moderates and hardliner conservatives (the light bulb is on!).
The Candidates websites: Rick Green for Mass GOP Chair
Kristen Hughes for Mass GOP Chair
And the Duo - The New Mass Playbook, site for Cavaretta and D’Arcandelo for Mass GOP Chair.
The race for the GOP chair will also give an indication of who might better take advantage of the Tea Party (yes, that Tea Party), in Massachusetts. Those who are active on some many levels, especially inside politics, and inside the Mass GOP (and also, no kidding the Mass DNC), - Rick Green is the Chair of the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance, which would go a long way towards getting those who would work for a GOP leader, to work for the Mass GOP in earnest.
The Mass GOP chair election takes place in January 2013.
Wednesday, December 26, 2012
President Obama – Fiscal Cliff Drives Him Off Hawaii and Back to Washington – Low Consumer Confidence Blamed on Fiscal Cliff – Never Mind Inflation, Job Market…
Black Friday Shopping in U.S. - image and article from Reuters "Lots of shopping left to do, less left to spend: Reuters/Ipsos poll" - from 12/12/12
From: New England Cable News: The President has cut short his Hawaii vacation to come back to D.C. to deal with the “Fiscal Cliff”. Apparently with expiring tax cuts middle-income households will find themselves $2000 shorter in 2013, without the extension of the hated Bush Tax Cuts. Additionally gone will be the mortgage deduction, a huge help to low to middle income families. The article indicates that there may be room for negotiations on this particular issue. It’s in the Senate now, however, and that’s the Democrat Controlled body with Harry Reid at the helm. In other words, that’s anyone’s guess, as Reid has refused to vote on any of the House Bills. Go figure.
But what about the fiscal cliff and consumers?
According to Newsday worried shoppers spent a great deal less this Holiday season, the blame for this goes to the following three events: The Fiscal Cliff, the Shooting at Sandy Hook, and the Hurricane that hit the East Coast – two of which most people paid some attention to, the first – only individuals who watch the news. (A note on the Storm that hit the East Coast and Sandy Hook, two tragedies that were horrifying and heart wrenching , however, the Eastern Seaboard does not count as the Wealth Belt. There is more income in Chicago, the Midwest, Texas, Northern California, etc. etc., to surely make a dent in Retail woes.) The fact that the nation still is experiencing a high unemployment rate has inflation in food and fuel, which makes it difficult for families to survive on low to middle incomes, apparently doesn’t count.
Frankly, to blame the shooting at Sandy Hook School on a lack of Christmas spirit is – disgusting. The fact that people have not gone overboard, or have not taken one extra debt (mimicking the Federal Government) is more likely due to the fact that there just isn’t much to go around. One has to make choices, one eats, pays the bills and drives to work, or one buys more for Christmas. The concept that more is better under the Christmas Tree, is perhaps over-rated, as families that celebrate the season within the confines of religion, are perhaps less crazy about spending and more vested in the spirit of the season, which works to an economic advantage. The Yankee Swap is more prevalent with extended families. There are homemade gifts, food, and such, which have replaced the trip to the mall, but are more appreciated, especially if one has a talent in the kitchen. Be that as it may, the big concern from most is twofold – the first is the expiring Bush Tax Credits, the second is the fact that the IRS may not have tax forms ready to file until March.
So the pomp, circumstance, staging and political area that is the Fiscal Cliff, is nothing more than that. The two major parties, mucking around and trying to show their best side to the nation, without doing much more than that – the U.S. has not had a budget in years – consistently kicked down the road by Harry & Co. in the Senate. Perhaps if they had passed a budget low those many years ago (2009), then we’d be in less of a pickle today.
Tuesday, December 25, 2012
Christmas Greetings from the Western End of the Blues State – City of Chicopee, Massachusetts, Declares Holiday Tree to be – a Christmas Tree!
The lighting of the Holiday Tree – has been changed to: The lighting of the Christmas Tree – photo: Springfield Republican-Masslive.com
Fromthe Springfield Republican’s - Masslive.com: The City of Chicopee, Massachusetts, has declared that the Holiday Tree and its annual lighting ceremony, will henceforth be called - a Christmas Tree. The City Council passed the resolution in a unanimous vote a week before the national Christmas Holiday.
Although surrounded by politically correct universities and the People’s Republic of Amherst, the City of Chicopee consistently surprises, from its fiscally coherent management, to the amazing response from the Mayor and the City officials in the Snowicane of October 2011 - this is just icing on the cake.
The Republican could not just stop at the fact that the mainly Democrat City Council, has had it with the Holiday this and that, and designated the tree – a Christmas Tree (given it’s sold at Christmas Tree Farms, bought for the purpose of decorating with Christmas Decorations, and placement of Christmas Presents underneath said tree. The Republican hauled out its usual expert noting that the Tree itself has zip to do with Christmas – keeping the paper politically correct while covering a very Christmas story. For a history of the Christmas Tree – and the meanings attached to same with some controversy - covering Christian cultures from pre - 14th century Europe forward – read: Christianity today – the story behind why we have a Christmas tree
This blogger’s Austrian roots (the other half of the roots are Spanish), made Christmas Eve and Day the most magical and religious of holidays in the Christian – Catholic calendar. In Massachusetts at one time, there were actual carolers, who drank the neighbor’s schnapps while doing so, going from house to house to make the season bright! As the years passed, the import of Christmas has seemed to deteriorate into a retail holiday – to some, however, there are those that still see the magic and the birth of hope celebrated on Christmas. We give gifts, we celebrate, but it has been tampered down a bit, with the Holiday moniker taking the Christmas out of the hamlets, Gone is the Crèche from the public square, and national trees are not called “Christmas” rather, “Holiday. So this Christmas Season, take heart, as frivolous as it may seem, in the deepest West End of the politically Bluest State, there is a glimmer of hope. As a resident of this great City of Opportunity – this blogger could not be more pleased knowing that there is still a light shinning in the darkness of political correctness. If it can happen in Massachusetts, perhaps, just perhaps, Virginia, it can happen everywhere.
Friday, December 21, 2012
Scott Brown Speculation runs Rampant on Senate Run for Kerry’s Seat – Ben Affleck may Run as well – Mind-boggling Bay State Politics.
Scott Brown, media speculates a run for Senate - image from Salon.com
First, Scott Brown, in this opinion, was the one U.S. Senator who made the most sense; most of the time – unlike his august counterparts, who are normally so partisan or who have been in office so long that it appears as if they are far apart from those who put them there if the first place. Brown’s victory in 2009 was seen as some sort of anomaly, and his defeat by Elizabeth Warren, was surprising to many who considered Brown’s seat safe – and therein lay the problem. Who would believe that a solid, bi-partisan, Independent leaning Scott Brown, would be defeated by a Harvard Professor, with little political pedigree, and a whole lot of baggage, that somehow got slipped under the rug. Elizabeth Warren will absolutely be a rubber stamp for the Democrat Leadership in the Senate – one can bet she does not break ranks from the party line – ever. There are those who sometimes stray, and those who stray more frequently –giving leadership on either side of the aisle hysterics (see Brown), but the Democrats have no worries with Warren, which, is what is so mind-boggling about Brown’s loss, given the independent streak that is Massachusetts.
There were factors that may have led to his defeat, but for the most part, those who voted for President Obama, the women overwhelmingly who supported him – did so, and this is not a specific study mind you, but Q&A’s, because of birth control – they were afraid that the election of Romney or Brown would end their access to birth control. It wasn’t because Scott Brown was a bad guy, or that even his policies were not approved by a majority of Massachusetts voters – the problem was one ad and one common them: If the people elected Brown, (went Warrens last ad), then he might vote with the Republicans. It was the death knell, when it came to the lunatics that make up the Massachusetts electorate and honestly thought “ok, that makes sense, he might do that, let’s vote for Warren!, We know she’s not going to take away our birth control, and she is going to raise taxes on the rich!!!
Wait until they open their paychecks to a huge shock the first week in January 2013.
One has to understand that the Democrats, progressives, believe in a field where all is equal, and, rhetoric and politics aside, the one determining factor in making everyone equal is to tax the daylights out of everyone, while supplying more “government services”, and those blinded by the fact that the “government is taking care of them”, miss the point that they are paying for this “care” in the first place.
Brown is not your average politician, but whatever may be his future plans, the pundits are fast at work trying to figure out what is the impossible. Brown has his own opinion.
Over at MSNBC, they had to find a nefarious reason as to why Brown would be the first GOP senator to back a federal assault weapons ban”. The article does mention the fact that Brown also supported the same ban in Massachusetts when he was a State Senator, but, Brown’s pattern of parting ways with the right when it doesn’t make sense appear lost on those who cannot step one tenth of an inch over their own party line. Therefore, they believe that it must be political positioning for John Kerry’s may be vacant seat! First, the Massachusetts Senior Senator must be asked to be the Secretary of State (possibly done), past the Senate Sniff Test for nomination (pretty much a shoe in) and then there will be a special election – on which, Brown has not said yeah or nay as to whether or not he’s seriously interested. But that’s the national media. Local media on the other hand, has seen more news on Brown since he lost to Warren, than during the campaign itself!
The local media, aside from the commenter’s on the far right and the far left under the articles, appear to miss Scott Brown.
Over at MassLive The Springfield Republican (Oxymoron) website; the article headlines; “Scott Brown in strong position to run for John Kerry's Senate seat, according to WBUR poll” with the end result, with Brown at such a high favorable rating, how did he lose? How can he lose another run at the Senate? Maybe he’ll run for the Governor’s office!!
Maybe they miss having an elected official with an (R) in front of his name to beat up on once a week or so.
Image of Ben Affleck, speculation run for Senate in MA - Image by, Salon.com - incidentally
Be that as it may, the outgoing Senator from the Bay State, may have some serious competition as the Democrats look at the odds and figure, we need someone who’s going to get inside those silly girl’s heads and trick them once again. Enter: Actor, Ben Affleck The Daily Beast – (go figure) is touting Affleck for the next Democrat from Massachusetts, and why not. He’s a Democrat; he’s from Cambridge (Good Lord) and from the article: “After I interviewed him,” Schieffer said, “every female who works at the CBS Washington Bureau was in the hallway as he was leaving. Funny how that happened. They were getting their pictures taken with him. He was very good-natured about it.” (Daily Beast)
As a feminist, it is hard to believe that those in the media, and well, anyone with half a brain would think women in general are that stupid. However, the last election has led this feminist to believe, maybe. Not just women, but people who buy – hook, line and sinker, the promises of a candidate and vote out of “fear” of losing something. When they should be voting on policy and any available records that individual provides. Had they done a comparison on Scott Brown’s voting record, versus the narrative coming from the Coakley campaign, and with a 60% approval rating, Brown would have been a shoe in. The fact that they did not know, did not care to know, just beloved what they were told, and went along with the party lines…leads one who is not, admittedly, an intellectual genius, to conclude there’s something seriously wrong with the educational system in this nation, or, the electorate is really – stupid.
So, we’ve got Ben Affleck, and Scott Brown and a whole slew of Democrat Congressional Reps, all being speculated upon and asked if they might be running for the Senate if Kerry is confirmed as the Secretary of State.
This feminist logic see’s a slightly different and better use of Brown’s tenacious spirit when it comes to doing what is right by the people, regardless of political cost. He should run for the Governor’s office, then he should run for the Presidency – in the true spirit of Massachusetts, as an “unenrolled”, no party affiliation what-so-ever –just on his true core beliefs and his record. Of course, that’s a fantasy to envision an independent running for and attaining an office in this nation if one is not attached to one of the two major political party’s – or is it?
Having watched Brown’s record in the State Senate, and keeping tabs on the man’s political bent for several years, (prior to the Miracle in Massachusetts), only one thought kept coming to mind: he’s the real deal. When he ran for the Senate Seat, this blogger knocked on doors, made phone calls, and left the comfort of the blog – there was a lot of company, from independents, Green Party Members, and yes, Democrats, Tea Party and those rank and file Republican’s that showed up for appearance sake. (That’s politics in Massachusetts). This last election, with the thought process that Brown was as safe in his seat as a babe in swaddling cloth, no one got up to the dance, or blogged a great deal, looking towards the national race or local races that were much more in need of assistance, and then realization struck, when in the waning hours of the campaign, the worst thing about Brown was that he was a Republican. Who knew?
Whatever that Scott Brown decides to do, be it a run for public office, or a private sector career, those who brought Warren to the Dance and those who didn’t may be missing Brown a lot more once the new Congress takes to the nations woe’s in January of 2013. Even one sane voice in the playground that is Washington DC will be missed by those who are in the middle, not to the far right, not to the far left, but squarely in the middle.
Thursday, December 20, 2012
“Fiscal Cliff” Impasse – Pelosi, Boehner, Obama, Reid – What Compromise? Tax Hikes Certain, No Cuts Likely; Debt has No Ceiling, Nothing but Political Chicanery
The Impossible Task: Getting anything accomplished - image Al.com
One might come to the conclusion that the whole lot of those who “we the people” elected to make decisions on our behalf are, for lack of a better set of phrases, “out to lunch” and “out of touch”. The last three weeks or so, the big deal on the horizon has been the “Fiscal Cliff” – or where the government must act to prevent a slew of tax increases from occurring, while cutting the budget, and keeping both businesses happy, in order to continue recovery, and sustaining or increasing entitlement spending in order to please “everyone”. It’s all about the body politic and has little to do with reality.
The basic concept of spending money is not unique to this current crop in Washington; it is a lifestyle that has proliferated since the “temporary” income tax (to cover costs to fight WWII) morphed into a permanent stream of income for the Federal Government. The problem occurs when the Federal Government has fewer “taxpayers” and more programs than one can shake a stick at. The fact remains that without taxpayers, the government has no income- does not produce a product, does not offer a commercial service, does not have an unlimited trust fund from an old rich aunt or uncle. When, late in 2008 it appeared as though the world would end due to the burst of the housing bubble, and banks bad business decisions (some due to government regulations), with the prospects of a dire economic collapse on the horizon, President George W. Bush called the troops to Washington and they all agreed to bail out the banks. When President Obama took office in 2009, he decided to stave off more layoffs and underwater mortgages by jump starting the economy with a “Stimulus” in the billion. That tactic did not works as most of the money either went unspent or went to those who worked for a government – teachers, for example, we hired more teachers. We (as a nation) also bailed out and took ownership of “GM”, which was nearing bankruptcy, in order to “save jobs”. Apparently that didn’t work as, one has to have a stream of tax income from the private sector in order to pay for those teachers, and government employees of various skills, as again, the Government makes no money of its own.
How difficult is that to grasp? The government has two choices, increase revenue by raising taxes, and cutting unnecessary items from the budget – the only way that we, as a nation will get our house in order. The problem lays in the fact that the GOP would rather stick a fork in their collective eye than raise taxes, and the DNC (with the President at the head), would rather do the same than to cut one duplicate or totally unnecessary budget item and delete it from the budget. We appear to have an impasse and the press is screaming “Fiscal Cliff!
Apparently, no one in Washington is smarter than a 5th, 4th or 3rd grader (who is in a private school setting); otherwise, this debate would not even be occurring. The alleged debate has turned into name calling and avoidance.
Last week, as the specter of the Cliff loomed, Republican John Boehner, Speaker of the House, came up with a plan that mirrored, former speaker of the House, Democrat Nancy Pelosi’s plan as to tax increases and limited to no cuts (and throwing those down the road a bit) Conservatives were (and still are) ready to throw Boehner to the proverbial wolves, so anti-tax, and anti-spend a group has never graced the halls of congress since, the 1990’s.(Human Events). The plan was immediately rejected by the President. One might recall that the President and Nancy Pelosi play on the same team. It was John Boehner reaching across the aisle and giving an opening to the “other team” in an attempt to be bi-partisan. Suddenly, Boehner is under fire, for his “Plan B” (the Pelosi Plan) from and Harry Reid, Democrat, Senate Majority Leader got into a “pithing” match with Mitch McConnell (Republican) - over the whole shenanigans. Reid would not sign any bill that came from the house offering only taxes on those earning 1 million or more (the Pelosi-Boehner plan), and McConnell filibustered over Reid’s insistence that we raise the debt ceiling (increase the already limitless ability of the U.S. to borrow money (or print money that doesn’t exist). (Huffington Post).
The latest gambit is that the President is going to veto Plan B, and will not sign a bill unless the tax hikes go towards those earning $250,000 or $400,000, and he has put Social Security on the table, in return. (Reuters)
This was followed by the President, saying ”Take me out of it” (NBC News) and the GOP calling the President: “Irrational” (NRP)
Something the collective “we” should remember – we pay these people.
That‘s why we pay taxes, to pay for these collective idiots to screw around like 10 year olds at the playground.
Meanwhile, Rome is burning.
Here’s the most likely outcome: we, the collective, will all pay more taxes, either through income tax increases, or elimination of child tax credits, mortgage deductions, and bear the brunt of the new taxes on the Affordable Health Care Act (Obama-care) including the $53 tax on every insurance policy in order to build a “pool” to cover those who have pre-existing conditions, and the tax on medical equipment (which includes everything you may need from a crutch to a pacemaker). The debt ceiling will no longer exist as there will continue to be a need to feed the collective trough, and those left with any taxable income will have a little bit less income and make due. Unlike those we sent to Washington, who will continue to live in la la land, and refusing to craft a reasonable budget and make some hard decisions – such as cutting duplicate programs. We’ve paid higher taxes before (before George W. Bush), and so it’s not the end of the world. Who doesn’t like eating more pasta? Or carpooling if possible? What is incompressible is that this is occurring at all.
It’s time to pay the piper, the American taxpayer saw this coming from a mile away (ok, Tea Party Members), and the idiots on the hill, are putting their heads in the sand. There will be, by the way, no cuts to government programs, only increases in government programs.
Will it be the “end” of the way the U.S. does business? Will we be “Greece”? – Hardly, what we will be are the people paying for the mistakes of those we hired. We have an opportunity coming up every 2 years to change the situation. If one thinks its one party alone, then one is as out of touch with reality as the entire lot in Washington – it’s both parties. Whatever can we do? Vote out incumbents; bring in a bunch of individuals who have no ties to Washington in any previous life, and hope for the best. One can hazard to guess if tomorrow, the Congress and the Senate, was composed of Doctors, Lawyers, Teachers, Handymen, Construction Workers, and name a career path other than professional politician, things would move forward as all of the aforementioned have to balance budgets, make cuts and care for those less fortunate, and manage to do it, day in and day out. – Therein lays the solution, the problem is finding anyone who is willing to take on the job for starters, and then getting those so used to pulling a lever for an R or a D to do the opposite.
For now and the foreseeable future we will be “paying Caesar”, no matter which party, no matter how ridiculous the debate becomes and no matter who blames who.
Additional Reading: Opportunity to step away from ‘fiscal cliff’ dissolves into one-upsmanship” (Las Vegas Sun
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
The Sandy Hook Tragedy Brings Parents Trying to Deal with Children with Mental Health Problems to the Forefront – No Answers or Solutions for those Parents Fearing the Worst.
Some articles apparently get buried in the national conversation, but one that is starting to take hold is that of parents who are expressing their frustration in dealing with a child or young adult who is both mentally ill and prone to violence. In the wake of the massacre in Connecticut, the first thing that was politicized was the need for gun control. Granted, as a defender of the Second Amendment and knowing that there are measures in place that make it difficult if not impossible for the average individual , in most states, to acquire a gun, the fact that certain types of guns are available , those that are more appropriate to a battle field, give pause. There Is, however, another aspect of the problem, and that is the lack of care and options for those parents who, as blogger Liza Long so heartbreakingly suggests, feels she may be the next to be “Adam Lanza’s mother”. Liza goes on to describe her growing fear over a son who is in desperate need of services, but, those services appear to be less than available. She is obviously not alone. A petition was begun on Chang.org. requesting that the Federal Government increase the availability of mental health services. Those signing the petition are also recounting their personal stories. They are angry and fearful that there is nothing that can be done to held their child, brother, sister, family member, before another tragedy occurs. There was a suggestion that the move away from providing adequate mental health facilities, and allowing individuals with server problems fend for themselves, as part of a civil right, may be been the wrong course to take. They speak to the lack of insurance, and how insurance dictates the care, rather than the providers. They speak to the fact that unless an individual is a threat to themselves and/or others, they cannot prevent a crime before it happens. They speak to the statistics on our prison systems where, in the last decade there has been a significant increase in imprisonment of those with mental health disorders, and growing trend towards imprisoning those who are suffering from mental illness, after the fact – once a crime has been committed.
With the lack of adequate care, and care governed by constraints of insurance carriers (whose guidelines are written as a result of both federal and state laws – which is the crux of the problem), those who are dealing with the medical and legal issues of having a loved-one at risk, are helpless to help themselves, their loved one and the community in which they reside.
Then there is the emerging story of Adam Lanza, from the fact that he was given an antipsychotic drug that had less than stellar side-effects (Business Insider), that the diagnosis of Aspergers by the press, may have been somewhat premature, as it was based on speaking to those “sources” who knew him in high school. It was not definitive, but a pickup by a news agency which went viral. (New York Times).
We have learned that Nancy Lanza had spent the last several months of her life, trying to find a safe place for her son, that she was afraid of him, and that, he knew she was looking for a place for him. This, reasoning of the press, may have been behind his killing of her, as well as the children.
From the British Tabloid (given the source) the family had a history of mental illness, according to the mother’s correspondence with friends: “her own father shut out one of his other daughters at a young age and lived a ‘secret life’ until his past came out. He ‘turned his back’ on baby Cheryl when he remarried and moved away from his home in Ohio to New Hampshire.” the tabloid goes on to suggest this may have been the reason she was so invested in the care of her son.
It appears there are victims on all sides, and that the discussion regarding those with severe mental health conditions needs to be dealt with. After the deinstitutionalization in the U.S., the violent crime rate soared. There were no longer the gatekeepers, yet, those “institutions” run by the states, were horrible and expensive at the same time. Between the lack of services(be they facilities, availability of appointments and/or doctors) and the stigma that is attached, regardless of our inclusive society, to those that are suffering and those that must pray they are not the “Next Adam Lanza’s mother”, something must be done to help these families, be it on a state or federal level.
A list of national tragedies, compiled in March of this year, from a paper written on Deinstitutionalization:
To read the entire article in PDF (which covers the care, or lack of care in both the U.S. and abroad for those who are in need) click here. One may not agree with the political bent, but the premise aligns fairly well with what has taken place, and what will continue to take place, unless and until something is done to reform the health system, the regulations regarding mental health care and the insurance industry.
Something changed in the 1980s: these senseless mass murders started to happen with increasing frequency. People were shocked when James Huberty killed twenty-one strangers in a McDonald’s in San Ysidro, California in 1984, and Patrick Purdy murdered five children in a Stockton, California schoolyard in 1989. Now, these crimes have become background noise, unless they involve an extraordinarily high body count (such as at Virginia Tech) or a prominent victim (such as Rep. Gabrielle Giffords). Why did these crimes go from extraordinarily rare to commonplace?
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Niki Haley’s Choice to Replace DeMint - Tim Scott (R, SC) – Independent Tea Party Conservative - Media weighs in
Tim Scott - Tea Party Comfortable - image from Earlcapps.blogspot.com - read article.
Niki Haley’s decision to choose Tim Scott, a Congressman who along with dozens of other like-minded individuals, were elected to the Congress in 2010, was in keeping with the character of the Tea Party. The media is, of course, is searching for words to explain the fact that Scott just happens to be a Republican and an African American, which is out of context with the left’s narrative of the Tea Party as White Racist (or the Republican Party for that matter – see previous election and Joe Biden’s remarks, or pick any Democrat – it was certainly about race.) The New York Times article has given an fairly reasonable portrait of the man, and acknowledges his Tea Party background, while bringing up the fact that he is the 7th African American to serve in the Senate, and goes on to point out the lack of diversity in the Republican Party! Frankly, the fact that he is African-American is not of import to those Tea Party members, who, contrary to the national narrative, is a diverse and welcoming movement, candidates for public office are chosen on their abilities, rather than on the need to include or diversify.
The Washington Post, in the overview on Scott is , for the most part, a history of African American’s in the Senate with some biographical data of Scott included. Apparently, something has happened at the Post, for more on Scott, they linked to an article from the The National Journal: “House GOP Favorite Tim Scott is Ready for What Comes Next” - No kidding.
What is most disturbing is the fact that there have been so few African American’s who have served in the U.S. Senate – understanding that the two party system, on both sides of the aisle are pretty “white”, and that one of those political parties, feel s it owns the minorities (and considering the last election, that may be a case in point). That said, it is not race that disqualifies or qualifies someone to hold an elected office, it is competence and desire that should be the factor (and yes, obviously like-mined political ideology). That is where the much maligned Tea Party takes a left turn from the main political parties – in not recognizing race first, rather ideology and accomplishments. We are all American’s, and we all are “something else”, in the greater scheme of things, we are Spanish, African American, Asian, Polish, French, or a combination of any of the aforementioned – but we are all Americans. That should be the only criteria, the balance should be secondary . We are here in this nation, given the opportunity, all of us, to either rise or fall on our own merits. This is unique in the world, where these are nations (Pakistan for example) if one is born a street sweeper, then one is destined to become a street sweeper, and nothing more. The governments in some nations choose one’s career, or one is pigeonholed as having a propensity to be this or that, and there is no other course for their lives. Here, in the U.S. we are able to change outlives on a dime, we enjoy the freedom to take chances, change careers, or move freely from one state or another. The constant focus on race as a factor in any of the aforementioned , may have been true 100 years ago, or perhaps further back, prejudice exists in all forms, between race, ethnicity and yes, class and cash, but from individuals, not from the collective that is the nation. That may be why the Tea Party, and it’s representatives are who we truly are, the good and yes, the bad, but overall American’s who see the opportunity provided by the Constitution, without worrying much about someone’s race, or how diverse they might be.
One can hazard to bet that Senator Elect Scott will be an independent, conservative, voice in the Senate, and we, as a nation, are lucky that he has accepted Governor Haley’s nod.
Most important: Tim Scott as a Congressional Representative – From his Congressional Website: Sponsored Legislation, and His voting record, unusually forthcoming for an elected official.
Monday, December 17, 2012
In avoiding opining on the tragedy that struck the small Connecticut town of Sandy Hook this past Friday, the search for answers, both through personal reflection and research, brought some confusion, and more sorrow. As a mother, it is unimaginable what must have taken place, it is beyond comprehension. There will be those who politicize the very personal grief that is taking place - it will be all about guns, or not. That argument appears to be somewhat deflated when one understands that without guns, those that are not quite right, so to speak will find other means: knives, machetes, to do evil.. That said - guns should never be near a child, or a man or woman who are child-like or emotionally unstable.
In looking at the problems of society as a whole, and thinking back on the decades of disasters and murders that are not quite explained away so easily, it is clear that there were few if none of these types of incidents in the 1950's, or 1960's or 1970's, but with increasing frequency in the last decade. That is when an article was found that was both politically incorrect and somewhat uncomfortable, but made some sense in the greater scheme of things: "Madness, Deinstitutionalization & Murder", a piece published in just March of this year. It speaks to the lack of care available to those who may do harm, the inability of the parents or families to find a "safe" place to hold a family member who is capable of committing murder - yet, those places no longer exist. Uncomfortable as this may be to discuss, institutions served a purpose, and the fact that in today's society, we are all seen as equal, or more to the point, our children are told they are equal, may be part of the problem. Perhaps, with talk about gun control, talk about keeping those who have a propensity to be a harm to themselves and others under lock and key, should be part of the discussion. It came up that the mother was divorced and therefore, that must be the problem. Another pundit quipped that it was the lack of religion (of course, there is little faith discussed now in our very secular society.), another that the parents and friends of the disturbed young man were responsible for not alerting authorities.(Which, by today's standards, that would include a few days or weeks of observation, then release into the stream of society.) Some rightly suggest that there is evil in the world.
That said, there are uncomfortable solutions, but really no solution or answers to what would cause someone to take the lives of innocents - except evil and an inability to deal with evil, in a real sense, from an early stage. The later, in our society as it stands, is simply not a reality. There is simply no respect for life, either born, unborn, aged, or infirm. There is a right to die, a right to a abort, there is - in essence generations, wedded to violence, also have a lack of of general belief if the import of life. The culture where we find ourselves, is not without hope, it is not without some safety, but there is a lack of dealing with situations with uncomfortable concepts when religion or mental illness, or evil are on the table.
John Kerry (D-MA) – To be Secretary of State – Safe Senate Replacement - Dem’s to Possibly Choose Dukakis
John Kerry pictured with Michael Dukakis - from the blog beldar.blogs.com
The replacement for Hillary Clinton, who will be leaving her post as Secretary of State has boiled down to the man who brought Barack Obama to the forefront the Senator from Massachusetts, John Forbes Kerry(Boston Herald) Kerry, who has served as Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, will be an easy nomination for the President. Kerry and Republican Senator, John McCain, both having run for the office Of the President, have worked together over the years; in the “club” that is the Senate. For all the bluff and bluster that comes with general elections, (the media recounts of what was said, so viciously, the name calling that takes place, when partisanship trumps the congenial worth done in that august body over an election), it appears that Kerry would sail through a nomination with ease.
Massachusetts will need to replace Kerry, that task falls to the Governor, Duval Patrick – who is required to name a replacement until a special election can be held. The Hill is reporting that the most likely possibility for Kerry’s replacement is the 79 year old, Michael Dukakis, former Governor of Massachusetts and also a Presidential candidate” Dukakis would be a reliable Democrat vote in the Senate, and had recently helped in the campaign for Senator Elect, Elizabeth Warren. Also said to be lobbying for the seat are several of the Congressional Democrats from the state, Capuano, Lynch and Markey. Republican’s who might run for the open seat are Weld, Baker and Brown. (The Hill) The later three are considered “Moderate Republicans” by most standards – with experience with Brown showing a more Independent streak from the party in his voting pattern in the Senate. That said a moderate Republican from Massachusetts is more likely to focus on the vote on hand than be more like a rubber stamp as the case with Dukakis.
Duval Patrick has also noted he will not run for reelection – several of the above referenced on both sides have indicated an interest in running for Govenor. Republican’s, although in short supply, have historically had success at running and winning the Governor’s office in the Bay State. Brown made history in 2009 when he won the special election to the U.S. Senate replacing Ted Kennedy. There are few Republicans that have managed to obtain a Congressional or Senate seat in the “Bluest State”, which begs the question: If a Republican can be handily elected to the Governor’s office, why the difficulty in procuring a Senate or Congressional Seat? – One would think, that with 51% of the States electorate opting for non-party status as “unenrolled”, the option for choosing an alternative to the “status quo’ would be welcome - that said, ground troops, something that is necessary in winning the City Council seat, is lacking on the Republican side in Massachusetts. How then, did the Republican’s ascend to the Governor’s office, or Brown the Senate – general disgust by the people of policies in place that directly affected them at that given time. With Patrick, pro-tax, that may be an easier route for the aforementioned Republican’s to take. That said, in Massachusetts, nothing is impossible, if the ground game, and grassroots are in place for whoever the GOP candidate may be.
Friday, December 14, 2012
How Smart Is Your Dog? From The NZ SPCA’s Driving Dogs to IQ Testing – Dogs Continue to Astound and Amuse - Those Driving Dogs!
There’s a phrase one hears from time to time that just rankles – “What a dumb dog”, or variations, of the theme – “He’s Just a dumb dog”, drive those who know better, to thoughts of good uses for duct tape, or more aggressive tactics to the uninformed.
As someone who owns three dogs; one miniature Daschund, one Puggle (designer breed) and one Standard Field Beagle, the last word one would be able to use to describe any of these “animals” is “dumb”. The best comment on my pack of hounds came from a friend how had not met these canines, nor was very familiar with dogs in general, but after two hours, the comment was made: “There like little people with fur!” That one phrase summed up exactly, my take on my life with dogs. Dogs, no matter the breed, purebred or “mutt”, are multi-faceted, individual beings, who offer one the opportunity to enjoy constant companionship, unabated love and yes, even forgiveness. How smart are dogs? Let’s start with their ability to display unconditional love and forgiveness. There are myriad benefits to having a dog, or three, in one’s life, and personally, I have found that dogs behave and communicate as needed, depending upon the situation. The only frustration is learning to understand their behavior – thus buying a book on dog psychology might help. Dogs greet you with enthusiasm, no matter how long one has been gone, whether it’s a short trip to the store, a day at work, or a weekend away, the level of the greeting never changes – exuberant and joyous. They are just so glad to see you. When one is sick, with gold or a flue, the dog knows how to comfort. They are indeed, one’s best friend – they don’t care how you look, what you are wearing, if you’re grumpy they forgive, and if your happy they rejoice with you.
I’ve been asked (ok accused) - You love those dogs more than people – which may be somewhat true. Viewing dogs as children (in age of the mind, not in the actual sense of the word), and their behavior is oftentimes much more welcome than that of some plagued by the human condition.
From my Grandmother, came the love and respect accorded to all animals – as she taught – All Animals are God’s creature, for us to appreciate, protect and care for. In return, they appreciate, protect and care for us.
It’s a win, win situation.
It’s no wonder then, when New Zealand SPCA found a unique way in which to highlight the need to adopt shelter dogs, they chose to highlight just how smart the canine is – by teaching them how to drive. In news terms this story is old, it happened last week, however, every day, find myself watching on of their video’s over and over – The Worlds’ First Driving Dogs – complete with a bit of hip-hop background music. One of my close friends, whom I shared the video with, quickly wrote back: “Don’t even think about it”. Referring to the possibility that I might just try to teach my dogs to drive.
If one has seen the news stories, but missed this video, it is a must see. Also, there are so many that are in need , people and animals, so if you find yourself with a bit more than others, try giving to your local food bank (it appears that every city has one) and then a non-kill shelter. If you’re without a companion of the furry persuasion, you might consider fostering or adopting – that’s the biggest gift you can give yourself.
The IQ Test for Dogs (This test is rudimentary – or possibly insulting to one’s dog – depends on one’s point of view)
There is a game available through BestFriends.org. This is the product manufacturer here.
There is one model that has three levels, and is shaped like a dog bone, one places a treat in one of the spaced on one of the levels, to up the ante, there is a dog bone cover to place over the treat, spin the toy around several times – tell your dog to “find the treat”. Each dog is different and takes a different approach. It works well to on cold winter days, days that are far too cold for a decent walk. Highly recommended.
Thursday, December 13, 2012
Michigan Right To Work – Not Republican vs. Democrat – Survival of a State versus Political Clout of the Unions – Survival of Politician’s who fail to recognize the Power of the Taxed.
An ad to hire "organizers" to protest Michigan Governor and Right To Work Passage - the outsource! image from SEIU.org
A Reuters Retrospective article entitled “How Republicans engineered a blow to Michigan's powerful unions” somehow misses the mark – or more to the point, takes the position of the news services in general – that the Union is right and the “right to work” laws in 24 states are somehow politically motivated to dissolve union power. That argument might be made on the one hand, because those who are in a political position (State Senators, State Legislators, Governors) in the states where the “Right to Work” laws are either on the books or in the process, are generally Republican. While the national unions and the union bosses and organizers are generally Democrats, or give heavily to Democrat candidates in order to facilitate lobbying (otherwise known as bribes.) However, one might consider the more salient point that those states politico’s are listening to constituents who have simply had enough of the economy and are pressing, hard, on changing the status quo. Therefore, Welcome to 2010.
In 2010 there was a bit of a movement, anti-tax and pro government fiscal responsibility – it became dubbed as the “Tea Party”, but comprised several different movements, of people, ordinary, previously non-political, ordinary people. These ordinary fed up American’s wrote letters, stood on street corners in protest of the rise in the national debt, they were concerned about raising taxes, about the new health care legislation and how it would affect the nation, and about job losses in an ever weakening economy. Many rose to the occasion and ran for public office, some for Congress, sixty of those ended up winning, and an historical number of new “Republicans” were sent to Washington.
There have been many pronouncements since, how the Republican’s lost the 2012 election, and pointed the finger at these fiscal conservatives. However, the Republican leadership lost the election, the conservative ideals that the new Congressional Representatives brought to Congress in2010, did not get there because of the Republican Brand; they got there because of the “Tea Party” brand. The Tea Party principles were what prompted these individuals to get elected in the first place. Had a standard Republican run in 2010 – they would have lost.
Yes, Mitt Romney’s loss was a shocker, blame the software, blame the Republican Establishment (or both), but leave those who worked the hardest, The Tea Party – out of it. The principles of those who identify with the Tea Party – are based on the Constitution – not on a political platform of a major political party. That has never gone away – and in Wisconsin, in 2011, when the state’s Governor Scott Walker, signed into law the right to work laws, the riots too place, the news media was condemning, and in a recall effort by the States’ Democrats (and outside forces), Walker won the recall with a majority of the votes cast in the state. Enough said. The State of Wisconsin’s economy improved, the towns and cities were given a breather, and above all else, the laws made sense. One can either join a union – or not. It is choice that is given. Those states that have right to work laws enjoy a healthier economy simply because the unions, with demands that are often past what public sector workers enjoy, and the threat of constant strikes, the inability to fire a blatantly unqualified, or incompetent worker are not automatically in the driver’s seat with employers. This invites small business to expand without the fear of a Union strike or demands bankrupting a company and put them, and their employees out of business.
Michigan is in a state of desperation – the City of Detroit is bankrupt, the unemployment is higher, the tax base has eroded and there is little a government can possibly do without taxpayers (both corporate or individual) as Governments do not have an income other than taxes. (State, Federal or City). There were few options on the table – there were city councilors in Detroit begging the President to bail them out – because they “reelected him”. There was desperation. The anger and violence displayed by union protestors is something that the State Government had to deal with in order to give workers in the state the option to join or not to join. – but prevailed. Michigan may soon find itself out of the woods. Those union employees will still have jobs, and so will their neighbors, who are no longer under the cloud of having to join a union in order to have one.
The next state that should look at a right to work law is California. California has municipalities that can no longer afford to pay city employees pensions, or to provide services - such as police and fire, the taxes in the state have driven the population that wants to work over the border into nearby Texas. Texas is a right to work state that enjoys a booming economy. It’s all about the politicians however, and the relationship between those politicians in California and the public employees unions. The State Government is similar to Massachusetts where the makeup is almost entirely one party – Democrat, those Unions work hard to keep those Democrats in office, because on the city and state level, that means unions are guaranteed pension hikes, wage hikes, and privileges in return. (See Bribery)
What happens however, when the money runs out? Apparently no-one in California’s political class is asking that question or remotely concerned. Sooner or later the Federal Government is going to find itself in the same position (technically it already has). The Stimulus from 2009 is gone, replaced by an every growing federal “investment’ in food stamps, disability, and unemployment compensation and Medicaid payments to states. Therefore, when the tax revenues aren’t there for either the State or the Federal Government – (those programs by, the by, are responsibility of the state, after the Federal government runs out of cash), those programs will go unfunded. That translates into no money to pay pensions, Medicaid (Doctors, hospitals), food stamps, unemployment insurance, and the list goes on. Those individual who rely on the government for assistance (47% has been mentioned), will simply be cut off. All of this could have been avoided, had there been a bit of simpatico between those who believe in tax increases to infinity, and those who believe in reining in ridiculous spend gin on the State and Federal level.
Watch out for 2014 elections. One can hazard to guess, at this point, that anyone with an R or a D in front of their names who are known to be less than fiscally conservative (yes there are fiscally conservative Democrats) will be out of a job. The general Taxpayer is about to get hit (the real Fiscal Cliff), with additional taxes, both in income tax (end of the Bush Tax Cuts), and in increased costs for health insurance (a $63.00 surcharge per individual covered under existing plans will be assessed to cover the cost of covering pre-existing conditions mandated by the Health Care Act.) Those affected, regardless of which state they live in, will either defend a politician who has a proven record of voting against any of the aforementioned, or fire them. (Hint, opening all states to competion by allowing unlimited health insurance carriers to offer products across state lines would drop the premium like a hot rock -simply because it would widen the pool of high claims, and the cost to absorb those claims would lessen.)
Michigan was just the beginning of a purge of greedy politicians and lobbyists that have no regard for those who brung them, nor for the taxpayer and employee who keeps them in high style Therefore, it is not about Republicans or Democrats, it’s about politicians in general and the public who pays the piper. Anyone who thinks otherwise cannot see the forest.
Why are unions desperate to keep their hold on the Private Sector, the States, the Federal Government and the Cities, towns and municipalities?
The average salaries of the union leaders and members are available at UnionFacts.com Supplied by the U.S.Department of Labor - These figures are real eye-openers for both the general public and union membership.
A sample: The top ten paid union officials make an annual salary ranging from $330,503.00 to a low of $198,000. That is not an outrageous salary for a private sector CEO or V.P., however, these salaries come from union workers dues, rather than from a corporation that makes actual money.
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
North Korea Has “Successful” Rocket Launch with Help from Iran - Fear: Objective to launch Missiles capable of reaching the U.S. – North Korean People Starving for Decades.
In September, of 2012, the North Koreans and Iranians forged an agreement against a "common enemy" (photograph:Kuwait Times
The North Korean Government had a “successful” rocket launch yesterday to a great deal of “celebration” by North Koreans. (Washington Post). The Washington Post reporting on the event notes that the rocket, an antiquated Russian Unha-3, a three stage missile, traveled as far as the Philippine Sea. The South Korean’s feel the goal will be to build a bigger and more efficient version, one that would be capable of holding a nuclear warhead. The regime received a little help from their friends, the Iranian’s, who had sent Missile Experts to North Korean several days in advance of the launch.(Pakistan Daily Times)
The North Korean’s were immediately condemned for the act by the United States, Canada, and the world, including the U.N.. Of course, the act of verbally “condemning” a regime that has done something dangerous or has committed human rights atrocities, is somewhat commonplace – there is no saber rattling or fear of retribution as most nations are seen by the North Korean’s as either Paper Tigers or allies.
The fact that the Iranians’ are giving them a helping hand, should spark a bit of concern, as it is more than likely the balance of the aid they received in a fast paced move from failure to launch to putting one up in the air and sending it to the Philippines (merely 1700 miles), is of some concern. If they can perfect the rocket to deliver twice the distance, they will be within range of Alaska, (3,000 miles). If they take it even further, the fears are that the mainland of the U.S., the California Coast, specifically, Los Angeles which would be approximately 6,000 miles away. Of course, one would have to ask what the strategic significance would be as far as the North Korean regime lobbing a nuclear warhead at Los Angles.
What the world has at the moment is a regime that has been starving its people for decades in order to subdue and economize on food, electricity (which is given to Communist party faithful), in order to continue to develop its military. There are scores of articles dating back into the 1950’s, that depicted a “red” North Korea, where there was a massive buildup of the army, while individuals were executed for political reasons, the populace was starving, and crime was rampant. (The Spokane Daily Chronicle, Google News Archives, June 28, 1955). One would think that the situation would have changed, but it has not. Articles continue about the correlation between a starving populace and a military buildup up through the decades. Horror stories from those who have managed to escape from the North into South Korea, although rare, highlight the madness of the regime. The escape is difficult due to the borders security, as well as the fact that if one does manage to get out, their families are most certainly condemned to a camp, where they are literally starved to death.
A regime that is willing to murder its own population in order to attempt parity with nations who’s financial and military capabilities are far superior is one that would, in effect, be the one that would do its utmost to settle old scores and please the friends who offer to help, by taking out what would only be described as a “duel enemy”. (See the Iranians and North Korean’s signed an agreement to cooperate in science, citing a “common enemy”(Kuwait Times, 1 September, 2012). That would be Iran’s zealot belief of the U.S. – the “Great Satan”, and North Korea would get a two-fer, one shot at the U.S. for the 1950 Korean Conflict, and more engineers and missiles parts, including enriched uranium, from Korea and other nations with like mind. In return, the Mullahs in Iran and elsewhere in the East would be dealing a blow to the Infidels, seeing an opportunity to advance and convert a nation or nations in chaos.
Although he previous scenario sounds a bit like science fiction mixed with nationalistic anxiety, it is historically feasible. One has to question what might happen to those North Koreans once the deed would be done, and the Iranian’s (not the Persian people whom the Mullah’s hold captive), turn on them.
For more on the world’s chaos visit Stratfor.com a private global intelligence firm, which offers free access to fact based articles, analysis and projections.
Posted by Tina Hemond at 6:57 AM
Labels: North Korea gets help from Iran. North Koreans Starving for decades, North Korean and Iran agreement on Common Enemy, North Korean Missile Launch
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
The Right to Work in Michigan –President Obama Attacks Michigan Governor over Union-Busting State Law - During Tax Hike Speech in German-Owned Factory in Bankrupt Detroit. – A Rant
What a pickle – The President was on the stump yesterday in Detroit, campaigning for a proposed tax increase on those earning $250,000 or more. He was speaking at Daimler-owned, Detroit Diesel, to a “crowd” of “hundreds” of UAW members. He then went on to blast Michigan Governor, Rick Snyder, for his support of the impending “Right to Work Legislation (Detroit Free Press). The Right to Work - a concept where the employer-employee relationship does not require that the employee join a union, nor does the employer have to collect union dues from employees paychecks, is at issue. In a “right to work” state, employers are able to fire or hire at will – unions prevent an employer from firing anyone, regardless of how egregiously incompetent that employee might be. In addition, the employer has no ability to offer merit pay increases or promote an employee – as unions insist that all individual members are on the same footing. The battle has broken down into sides: Organized Labor against State Governments and Republican’s against Democrats, the employers and employees are simply stuck in the middle.
Union Busting or taking power away from union management is the key element in the fight against “Right to Work”. The national unions generally support one political party, which explains the President’s tone in Michigan. The real point is, if the unions were so popular with the workers, and offered prospective employees such a great deal, and then a “Right to Work law” should, under normal circumstances, make the union more competitive. That’s the big If.
Those Union Bosses (pick a union) make six figure salaries, and control the cash that millions of workers in the U.S. contribute through Union Dues. These dues are spent, for the most part, on political campaigns. Those political campaigns are generally campaigns for Democrats. It matters not if a union member is a Republican, a Libertarian, a Green Party Member- dues are dues. If the union bosses decide to make a statement, and call a strike, the union members are out of work and out of a paycheck. If these demands are unreasonable – then the “corporation” may just fold up and those striking workers are out of a job (See Twinkies- now closed in the U.S. and opening soon in non-union Mexico).
The premise for giving the employee the options and, in essence taking power from the union, will encourage those employers who might open a shop in say, bankrupt Detroit, if there were not union to make demands that the employer could not fiscally support, that would allow the extremely high unemployment to drop. Would those employees make less than their union counterparts – possibly, and they might also have to chip in for their health insurance and put cash into their own 401K. Employers, and even large corporation, prefer to hire “talent” – those that will rise to the occasions, - those clerks that go from the mail room to the boardroom so to speak. (Something that is prohibited under a union). The fact that the City of Detroit would have more residents employed, collect taxes from new businesses, and possibly drag itself out of arrears (of course, there is the corruption, but…) would be on the table.
There is this consensus among the left, and the union believers, that those who live in right to work states and are non-union, somehow are suffering unimaginably – They point to the south and west in particular where the majority of the right to work laws have passed. What they don’t point to, is the fact that those states have lower unemployment rates, higher homeownership, and an influx of new residents. If one reviews the 2010 census data, states with right to work laws, had increases in their population to the extent that they gained seats in the Congress, while those states without “right to work laws, lost population, and seats in the Congress.
Unions were formed to help employees with dangerous working conditions, protect them from working overlong hours, and insure that they had a living wage. Since the 1950’s when the unions were at their strongest, the U.S. government has enacted laws that protect workers from dangerous conditions (OSHA), insure that there is a living wage (Minimum Wage Laws) and the list goes on. Unions were essentially formed for those workers who were unable to defend themselves –undereducated, mainly immigrant, and working in the myriad factories that were once a part of the American Landscape.
Those factories are gone, for the most part; manufacturing in the U.S. has gone – to other countries where there are no unions, which reduces the costs to the employer. (Example: unions expect benefits to be fully funded by employers).
Govenor Snyder recognizes this – and is attempting to pull Michigan out of a swamp of debt. The President, who is a supporter of Unions (see campaign funds), and has a philosophy of bigger government) is at odds with States that take power from the Unions and hand it back to the employee and employer, and specifically cuts the campaign coffers of party members (Democrats) from the local level to the federal level It ‘s about policitcs – period.
Meanwhile the fiscal cliff looms, or does it? The fact that we, as a nation are in such deep debt, and there is no other option, from the Presidents point of view, other than to “Tax our way out of it”, while increasing Govenrment spending, does not add up. There are ways in which to cut the waste at the Federal Level, that would bring in billions: consolidating duplicate and triplicate agencies and positions, doing away with agencies that no longer are relevant, and retooling the budget appropriates to the individual agencies by eliminating the need for those agencies to spend every red cent – or not receive funding the following year. If the later were reformed, and an agency granted a 1 million dollar budget it did not need, refunded the balance each year, while still receiving adequate funding that would save the nation a bundle. Additionally consolidating these non-relevant agencies would further reduce the deficit. This is across all government agencies. This system has been in effect for too long, and under both Republican and Democrat administrations. In other words, we send idiots to Washington to deal with cash flow and budgets. It would take an Act of Congress, and a President in simpatico to fix the mess in short order – thus savings billions and reducing the deficit.
Cut out any grants or funds are not fiscally sound or would improve the nation on a very real level. If one looks at the projects the taxpayer’s supports, then one understands there is a frivolous waste of money being spent by both parties.
Let the State’s be States and the Federal Government return to its original role as stated in the Constitution.
As none of the above stand a snowballs chance in Hades of every happening unless there is a third or fourth party to knock the stuffing’s out of those two behemoths in power, which would take, years, the nonsense will continue.
He said she said, Bad Republican, Bad Democrat, and the masses (all of us) can complain or bemoan the worst of each other’s party of choice, and continue to pay Caesar. This is what will most likely occur.
Michigan will succeed in passing the Right to Work Law, Organized Labor will complain a great deal as will major and minor Democrats, and within a few years, Michigan will be booming, housing will rise above unprecedented levels, due to the influx of new jobs, and new residents. There won’t be one story in the news about it, one doesn’t hear how well they are doing in those horrid 23 “Right To Work” states John Boehner, the Republican House Speaker (so far) will, together with House Republican’s and the Senate Republican’s, strike a deal to raise taxes, for the promise of cuts down the road. It’s an awfully long road. Business will continue as usual, until the money runs out. There is that premise where the government does not have any income o f its own, it collects taxes and then distributes that “revenue” to fund projects, and pay employees, and pay for welfare, and health care and retirements. When employers faced with higher taxes, either cut workforce, or leave the country, those are additional bodies on the “dole”, and the government loses income from those bodies, while adding debt in the form of “taking care of those whom they have caused to lose income”. When, eventually, there are so few taxpayers left to support the system, the general concept would be to increase taxes on those remaining workers, when that fails and the government can no longer pay its bills (send out checks) – one has chaos.
Steps one can take:
Start watching Doomsday preppers and taking notes.
Become an ex-patriot.
Start forming new political parties to challenge the status qua.
Obviously, this began as a critique of the situation in Michigan, but it is truly a piece based on sarcasm and disgust of the status quo and the complete disregard for the people who hired these politician’s - both Democrat and Republican, to uphold the Constitution – and stay out of State’s Rights.
Posted by Tina Hemond at 7:31 AM
Labels: 23 States Right to Work Laws, Major political partes and Parity. The need for additional political parties in the U.S., Michigan Right to Work, Union Busting
Monday, December 10, 2012
Massachusetts GOP Chair Candidates – Scott Brown Endorses Kirsten Hughes for MA GOP Chair – The Right of the Mass. GOP Balks.
Yes, there is a Mass GOP (for those who might think otherwise) - Logo from newtonrepublicans.org
There has been some disconnect between the Mass State GOP and certain factions within the Massachusetts Republican Party – in brief, there are those that are moderates framing the majority of the leadership, and those that are both fiscally and socially conservative. The later would encompass Tea Part Groups, the Mass. Assembly, and the Mass. Fiscal Alliance. Those to the right of moderate take an all or nothing position on social issues encompassing the Right to Life movement and the issue of Gay Marriage. The general consensus of supporting a candidate that is both pro-choice and pro-gay marriage sees these conservatives sit out an election, or work for local and state candidates that hold core beliefs. Then there are the moderates of the party, which is the majority of the State GOP Leadership. These are Republican’s that are more moderate on social issues, yet add balance when it comes to be fiscal conservatives. These are the Moderates, who are more electable (or thought to be) in Massachusetts.
The problem arises when there is a tight race between a Republican and a Democrat in Massachusetts, and the Republican runs to the left of the Democrat and/or tries to compete toe to toe on social issues – that candidate loses the right of the party. Therefore, the incoming Chair of the Mass. GOP must know how to include both sides of the party – both the cocktail set (what is seen as the leadership) and those who see themselves as in the trenches.
Together these two factions can do the impossible, elect a Republican to a Federal or State office. Should that not occur, then there will be loses. There is the manpower that comes with the ability to bring both sides to the table. Unfortunately, some in leadership roles tend to focus on the cash, and distance themselves from those on what is perceived as the “extreme right”. This is Massachusetts – where 51% of the registered voters are “unenrolled” or have no leaning towards one party or another. They are, for the most part, moderates – not taking a hard line one way or the other on social issues. There are also those who are disgusted with one party or the other, yet still tend to vote with either major party, unless there is an alternative.
The obvious frontrunner will be Kirsten Hughes who announced her candidacy for the Mass GOP Chair – she has been endorsed by Senator Scott Brown, and had been his campaign’s deputy finance director. (Boston Globe) The Boston Globe implies that the move by Brown to endorse Hughes , and promote her Chairmanship, gives him a cash advantage should he run for either a Senate Seat (Kerry) or the Governor’s office. Although one might look at Brown as the consummate politico, he is inclined to work towards both his own political future as well as the future of the GOP in Massachusetts, with a focus on bring more Republican’s into the fold and into elected office. One only has to go back to 2010 to know that he worked for his own interests as well as the interests of the State GOP. Ms. Hughes has an exemplary record with the State GOP in a short period of time, having worked in 2010 towards bringing more state seats to the GOP. To learn more about Kirstin Hughes visit www.hughesforchair.com.
For insight into the diversity of the Mass. GOP, visit Red Mass Group, for reaction on Ms.Hughes Letter of Candidacy.
To date there is one other single candidate that has announced, Richard Green, a member of the State Committee, who is also the founder of the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance.
Other candidates who have announced an intent to run for Chair are Rachel Kemp, a state committee member from Dorchester, announced her candidacy Thursday, as did ¬David D'Arcangelo, a Malden city councilor, and Dean ¬Cavaretta of Acton, who are running as a team, according to Brock Corderio a State Committee Member.
Smart money would be on Kirsten Hughes. She has the endorsement of Brown, she had successfully worked in increasing state elected officials in 2010, has the ability to be a prolific fundraiser (See Boston Globe article ”Scott Brown endorses campaign aide’s bid to run state Republican Party”) – the plus – she is a competent woman in the GOP camp. The State GOP election will be held in January of 2013 – date is TBA.
Saturday, December 08, 2012
Michigan – Right to Work Passes Both Chambers - Union’s Will Lose another Battle as Right to Work States Increase - Unions No Longer Relevant
Map showing States with Right to Work Laws (Michigan Not Yet Added) - form the Bureau of Labor Statistics, via the Sacramento Bee
The State of Michigan is the scene of some protest from Organized Labor due to the recent passage of a Right to Work Act that will be signed into Law by the Govenor as soon as it hits his desk. The roll call and the text of the bill are available at MichiganVotes.org. What is surprising is that there are so few Democrats in the Michigan Senate, as well as the Michigan House, given the impression that the State of Michigan is a sold Democrat state. The Senate and the House went a step further, by extending the rights to work to Teachers and Government Employees in a bill that also passed without much resistance.
There are now 24 of the 50 States that have right to work laws, according to the Sacramento Bee. Those states are: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Michigan, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, - South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Wyoming.
Other states that have introduced bills or considered: Rhode Island, specifically Teachers, Missouri, Pennsylvania, and New Hampshire(americanrightsatwork.org), however, those bills were either no introduced or rejected by the legislators – so far.
The premise of a Right to Work law is to allow employees the option of joining a union – or not. One of free to join a union if they so choose, however, it takes away the ability of unions to force new hires to join a union. One would think this would benefit both the union and the employee considering the union, if the union had a good sales pitch as to why the individual should join. Therefore, when unions protest the passage of such a bill, one has to wonder why the protest? If they had such a great product to sell (the fabulous pensions or what-have-you), then the fact that a state passes such a law, should be of no consequence. Obviously, since unions fear these right to work laws, there must be something wrong with their product. Perhaps it’s the fact that the individual, regardless of performance enjoys no chance of moving up or down the ladder. That forward movement from the mail room to the corner office is off the table, so to speak, if one is a union member (unless of course, one is protected by nepotism.) Perhaps one is a fan of one political party over the other, and as the majority of dues are used to support political campaigns of one party over another, that may be a huge deterrent. Perhaps if unions made better use of the dues they are automatically given from membership (in states where there are no right to work laws or states where there were right to work laws) they would be seeing a huge increase in membership rather than the steady and steep decline they have seen over the past few years. In fact, as of 2010, the percent of those U.S. workers enrolled in unions had dropped to 11.9% of the population, compared to the 1950’s when a third of all U.S. workers were enrolled in a union. (CBS News) There are two type of unions, private sector and public workers – one can understand that the public sector workers, dependent upon the government are faring somewhat better than those in the private sector, as the economy plays a factor, while the government workers live off the taxpayer, as long as the taxpayer exists or the government prints money. That said why the steep decline in private unions?
Understanding that the right to work laws give individuals a choice to join a union or not - should not be a factor, as again, if the product was worth it, those non-union workers would be signing up in droves. What happened? The demands of unions on private firms have driven many companies overseas, or out of business. One might point to the recent loss of Hostess Twinkies – where the company tried to reason with the union, yet the demands continued – the cost was a loss of 18,000 jobs. Hostess is no more, and the U.S. Twinkie consumer will now be eating Twinkies made in Mexico. This has also been the case with the auto-workers, as American car companies are making automobiles anywhere but the U.S. and those foreign car manufactures making cars in the U.S. are going to right to work states.
The reason that there is no need for a union at all: Unions, at one time, especially during the 1950’s were a necessity due to a lack of regulations concerning everything from hours to safety. There were no child labor laws, or laws protecting factory workers from 12 hours days, with zero breaks. In factories, accidents were rampant due to a lack of concern over workers safety. Unions were there to protect the individuals, and they offered more: financial protection in the form of increase in pay, benefits such as health care and pensions to protect one in their old age. Since that time however, laws were passed by the Federal government. There are now minimum wage laws in every state, companies offer 401K (pension plans); there’s OSHA, a government entity that ensures the safety of employees through inspections of work places. There are laws regarding the length of time one can work through at day and a set standard of breaks. There are laws against discrimination, laws that protect employees from sexual harassment, laws that require companies to grant certain types of leave (medical and so on) and guarantee the individuals job. There is now Obama Care, a law that guarantees health care! The laws have evolved to the point where the question becomes: What does the union do? It is still relevant? The answer is no, unless one views joining a union similar to joining a fraternity or other “club”. They have been legislated out of relevancy by the federal government (which begs the question as to why there are Government employee unions in the first place.)
The battle therefore, is for power – power over politician’s, and power over their memberships – the premise, if one has power over a politician (by delivering votes for example through power over the membership), then the union bosses (many of whom are degreed professionals, non union members who have rather hefty salaries), get legislation passed on a local or state level that benefits the union – such as exorbitant pensions. If one lives in a bankrupt city, then one can understand that said bankruptcy involved – pensions of public employees. As these cities go into bankruptcy, they will no longer be able to pay the pensions, or the salaries of said public employees. Some desperate cities are asking for a bail out from the Federal Government (which is somewhat cash strapped) – The big question is: what happens when the taxes can no longer support the unions? Would an employee, public or private, be better off managing their own funds, and wage negations and holding onto their job, rather than find themselves out of a job and a pension. The truth is not of the matter is the private and public sectors no longer can afford, nor is there a need for unions. Should the laws change and say, work place protection no longer exist, or 401K’s would be banned, or Obama Care would cease to exist, or the Family Medical Leave Act, or a host of other Act that protect the worker, all be repealed, then there would be a need for workers to band together and demand a better environment which would then help the company and the employees. Until that time, the relevancy of the once powerful unions will continue to prevail until they simply cease to be a factor.
Disclosure: Blogger is a former member of the ILGWU, daughter to a member of the defunct but powerful AMCU and AFLCIO member who has witnessed, first hand, the corruption, ineptitude and lack of relevancy of said unions over a period of 40 years.
Friday, December 07, 2012
Update Syria 12 7 12– Assad using Chemical Weapons on his own people (Unconfirmed by U.S. Press), Clinton: events on the ground are accelerating.
What once was a neighborhood in Syria, complete with families, reduced to rubble by the Syrian Regime -image: ipnews
CNN World is reporting that according to Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, the situation is Syria is getting worse:
"Events on the ground in Syria are accelerating, and we see that in many different ways. The pressure against the regime in and around Damascus seems to be increasing," Clinton said before meeting with Russia's foreign minister and the U.N. special envoy to Syria.
The New York Times adds that the despite the growing concern from the Obama Administration, there is a “shifting” of the position on Syria, which the White House suggests is flatly untrue. Rather that the Times is interpreting the White House use of language incorrectly. The closing paragraph from the New York Times article:
“Mr. Panetta said Thursday that the administration was “very concerned, very concerned” that as the opposition fighters close in on Damascus, the Syrian capital, the Assad government might actually use a chemical weapon. Over the past four decades, Syria has amassed one of the largest undeclared stockpiles of chemicals in the world, including huge supplies of mustard gas, Sarin nerve agent and cyanide, according to unclassified reports by the C.I.A.”
Which leads one to believe that threats by the administration, “veiled” or not, as suggested by the Times, are indeed threats. Telling the Syrian’s that there will be consequences, without be specific about said consequences is enough. The Times, one is certain, would like the details spelled out, as to the exact nature of the consequence, the day, time and exist strategies, etc. It would behoove the Times to recall that President’ Obama’s favorite President was Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln, leading up to and during the Civil War, would jail, indefinitely, those newspaper editors that wrote disparaging articles about – Lincoln! Lincoln suspended the constitution – period.
The situation is more precarious as there are several situations in the Middle East, one of which it he Syrian, Turkish conflict, and now, the Syrian Rebels are fighting on two fronts, with the regime and now with the Kurds.. (New York Times)
Meanwhile, in Lebanon the Daily Star is reporting that the U.N. is asking the Palestinians to stay out of the Syrian Conflict. As if the Palestinians will do anything to jeopardize their source of bombs, chemical weapons, etc. - which, the U.N. should be keenly aware come from Syria and Iran – the two power brokers who support the demise of Israel.
Speaking of the land of Persian, which, with the help of former President Jimmy Carter, is now an Insane Islamic State of Iran – best friends with Syria. The Iranian “Press TV” article below treats the current situation (Chemical Weapons for use against the Syrian People, and possibly Turkey, further shipment to said Palestinians for use against Israel and who knows who else.
Iran’s First Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi has warned of plots against Syria, saying enemies are exploiting oil resources of Islamic countries to kill Muslims in Syria.
“There is confidence among the people and officials of the Islamic Republic of Iran that the Syrian nation will overcome enemies and the arrogant system and will be the final winner,” Rahimi said in a meeting with Syria’s Minister of Agriculture and Agrarian Reform Subhi Ahmad al-Abdullah in Tehran on Thursday.
He expressed Iran’s strong opposition to any foreign interference in Syria’s internal affairs, saying Tehran supports the implementation of reforms to resolve the ongoing crisis in the Arab country.
Al-Abdullah, for his part, said the Syrian nation has a resolve to counter enemies and added that Syrians are taking steps in the path of defense for the oppressed people.
The Syrian minister hailed Iran’s stance on support for reforms which are beneficial to Syria’s territorial integrity and the Arab country’s people. Syria has been experiencing unrest since mid-March 2011. Many people, including large numbers of army and security personnel, have been killed in the violence.
Apparently, certain leaders in certain nations have little to no access to what might be happening outside of their borders, or, more to the point, the Iranian’s who use Syria as a proxy in all fights in the Middle East, is posturing, as they continue to accelerate their nuclear capabilities.
Meanwhile: Assad continues to drop phosphorous on the rebels (See Video Below)
The Washington Post Weighs noting that this may or may not be a valid video as it comes from an opposition source. – The Post goes on:
White phosphorus can cause severe chemical burns, and the smoke vapors can cause illness or even death. There also is a risk that white phosphorus residue can poison food stocks or water sources and lead to later poisoning.
Shades of Iran’s Green Revolution in 2009 – when the rebels and protestors spend weeks on Twitter and YouTube, uploading atrocities as they were committed, and the U.S. Media, sat silent, along with the administration. One would bet the house, that the rebels may have a reason to put that info on You Tube for the world to see – they want help. It appears that Assad may already be using chemical weapons against his own people.
The opposition YouTube channel is
Labels: Clinton Warns Syria Worse, Iran, Palistinians, Syria using Chemical Weapons, Syrian Opposition, Turkey, UN, Video