Thursday, March 31, 2011

BloggeRhythms 3/31/2011

According to Reuters, $550 million has been spent on the non-war in Libya so far. We've been lobbing in missiles costing $1.4 million apiece and the first fusillade accounted for 160 of them.

At the same time, the Washington Post says that the administration is now sending the CIA in to find out who the rebels we've been supporting really are. That's because folks in the Pentagon are pretty sure they're good guys, but since no one's really checked that out...nobody knows. And it would certainly be better for us if they're not Al-Qaeda.

So, I guess it's pretty easy to sit back in D.C. and give orders to go drop some ordinance in the Middle-East, because apparently deficit spending is the chosen approach to curing the country's economic ills.

But I just wonder if it wouldn't help us all much better if all those funds had simply been used to subsidize the cost of oil.

That's it for today folks.


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

As time goes by and the flow of information improves, its amazing what we learn about how our so-called leaders think and act.

And though it's been known for quite some time, it's not been until recent years that significant truths have surfaced proving that electees rarely care about anyone but themselves. And cases in point at present illustrate that although the country and its population are in dire need of help, politicos will continue to play games because their primary concerns are party affiliation and party lines above else.

That's why Republican House Majority Leader, Eric Cantor,was pleased yesterday when Senator Schumer of New York was heard before the start of a conference call telling other Democrats that they should use the word "extreme" to describe Republican budget demands. Because, he said, "that's what the caucus instructed me to do the other week."

Cantor said, "Chuck Schumer did us a favor. He exposed their tactic. He's telling his members to deem any spending cut as unreasonable. I don't see how we can do anything if they're not set serious."

So, whether the government shuts down or not isn't really at the top of anyone's list, because neither party really cares what happens in that regard, their own income's protected regardless. And seeking some kind of compromise or sensible solution can't work for them because they crave confrontation at any cost to the public and nation.

Their only problem is, the voting public's changing due to immensely increasing flows of information that indicate that all of these incumbents aren't worthy of re-election and fairly soon, all of them will be thrown out.

That's it for today folks.


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

BloggeRhythms 3/29/2011

I'm not a Bill O'Reilly fan because I think he's much more self-impressed and pompous than he is a purveyor of news. But last night I didn't change channels fast enough as I blew by his show, so I caught a comment he made about the president.

What O'Reilly more or less said was that he thought the president was totally unprepared for being elected and didn't find out the magnitude of the job or what it entails until after taking office. And, I believe that's pretty much the truth. Because after learning the facts is when he first faced dealing with the truths and tremendous burden of "leading," and also realized that the academic pap and mindless propaganda he ran on can't possibly work in the real world.

So, I guess that's why we're still in Guantanamo, haven't left Iraq, are fighting like hell in Afghanistan, haven't raised taxes on the "rich" and are letting so many large businesses avoid the new health care legislation, among many other non-Obama things.

But then there's one other thing that goes all the way back to his campaign. In the past two years we've seen U.S. oil production seriously curtailed. Much of that has to do with the Gulf spill, but regardless, practically no licenses to drill have been issued anywhere else including deepwater sites and Alaska among many other places.

At the same time, Libya was bombed at the behest of the president causing great unrest all over the Middle-East, and simultaneously the president visited South America, particularly Brazil. And, as I've mentioned here for over a year now, that's where George Soros is producing oil thanks to a $2 billion loan guarantee from the U.S. That oil was supposedly for South American use only, which raised the question of why we would provide any kind of guarantee to begin with.

Now, just a few minutes ago I saw a news blurb that said the president plans to reveal his new oil strategy tomorrow, and because of the Middle-Eastern turmoil is likely to suggest that in this emergency, perhaps we should begin getting oil from our nearer neighbor in Brazil, because even if all domestic bans were lifted it would take a few years to get our wells up to speed.

Now, naturally, all these world-wide events randomly took place because that's how things work and none of this could possibly be planned. What's more, believing that there was some kind of colossal conspiracy to enrich one man, George Soros, simply because his organization, practically put the president in office by itself, means that there might be some kind of collusion involving our government right to the very top. And we all know that can't be possibly the case.

So, I'll just do what the media does and disregard all the coincidences I mentioned, because if I want to be a real journalist, I certainly can't search for or print the truth.

That's it for today folks.


Monday, March 28, 2011

BloggeRhythms 3/28/2011

While citizens of various countries in the Middle-East spent the weekend trying their best to blow each other off the map, another battle took place right here in the U.S. This one was in Orlando, Florida at Bay Hill Club and Resort, the home course of Arnold Palmer and his annual Arnold Palmer Invitational Golf Tournament.

While the tournament itself was exciting, fought right down to the very last hole, there was another aspect to it that prompted this writing.

As I've often mentioned before, I watch most sporting events with the sound off, mainly because there's little that sportscasters say that I care about, and as far as the events themselves are concerned I can see what's going on myself. Beyond that, the blaring of constant inane commercials really drives me bats. But, in Arnie's case it's different because he spends considerable time in the broadcast booth himself, and I think he's someone well worth listening to.

Consequently, since I actually listened to a lot that was said, not only by Arnie himself but others, I certainly got a reconfirmation of my regard for him, but also about the game itself. And the really glaring point was the very high level of simple respect paid by everyone involved in the tournament, which I believe is practically absent in all other sports today.

For starters, all the on-air people called him "Mr. Palmer" though he's known throughout the world as "Arnie." The only exception was lead announcer Johnny Miller, a living legend himself, who's well-earned the right of familiarity. And as far as the golfers went, most are relatively young, but regardless, the general consensus was that aside from winning the contest, a highly respected test of golf, a goal was to be given the trophy by the "King" himself, something that the player would remember and respect for the rest of their life.

So, in a sports world that's largely become "me first and the Hell with everyone else" it's nice to see that there's still one left where players have a sense of history and an appreciation for those who paved the way for them. And especially in the case of Arnold Palmer who built the game of modern golf.

That's it for today folks.


Sunday, March 27, 2011

BloggeRhythms 3/27/2011

As I wrote yesterday, due to dire circumstance the president is actually acting presidential for once. To my knowledge, it's the very first time. Up to now it's been continual droning meaningless pap focused on appeasing those who voted him in with no regard for what was good for the country.

But, these Libyan decisions seem to be more like steps taken because circumstances indicate they're right, and as president he hasn't got time to make sure he's assuaged all those he has to, especially the self annointed all-powerful press.

Then to top it all off for the moment, Syria may be coming apart at the seams which might provide the chance to step up and bomb them senseless too. And,who knows, maybe the whole Middle-East will implode.

So, with a little luck and some determination, perhaps when the smoke settles the U.S. might regain some control over enemies who'd like nothing better than to obliterate us. And if that means the president has to take some heat from some brain-dead leftists who know nothing about how the world really works, so-be-it. Because all that really matters is the U.S. and our allies stay safe.

That's it for today folks,


Saturday, March 26, 2011

BloggeRhythms 3/27/2011

The president's under fire because of ordering flyovers and bombings in Libya. At the same time, though the economy might be gaining some steam, it's not due to anything attributable to him. When you add that to the almost total national dissatisfaction with his health care revision and his support of unions that are draining huge sums from the economy, it looks like his re-election chances are pretty bleak.

And then, just when his political opponents ought to be feeling pretty confident about their chances, the newly elected majority in Congress falls far short of economic reforms they promised, proving to be the same old political hacks when push comes to shove. The budget cuts they're promoting won't make a dent in the national debt.

But, worst of all for the opposition is a blurb I read today that said Newt Gingrich might skip an exploratory committee step and simply throw his hat in the ring. So, if you add that recycled pompous clown to the likes of Palin you realize the opposition offers nothing but worthless wind when it comes to fixing the ills of the country. In fact, they might as well run Donald Trump, because the country could use a good joke and he certainly is one.

And, since it's likely the case for the next election that the opposition will offer some kind of empty political suit, its looking as if Mr. Obama's re-election is a shoo-in.

That's it for today folks.


Friday, March 25, 2011

BloggeRhythms 3/26/2011

I don't often agree with the president, but I'm not all that upset about his deciding to bomb Libya without going the Congressional buy-in and/or U.N. route. And part of the reason I feel that way is due to reading Tony Blair's biography in which he mentions all kinds of decisions leaders have to make while bogged down by procedural hurdles and protocols.

Interestingly and understandably, Blair himself became more comfortable in decision making with the experience of time in office, and one of the greatest helps was his exposure to George W. Bush. It was Bush who told him that half the public or more hated him anyway, for good reason or not, and they weren't going to change toward him no matter what he did. That being the case, Bush focused on doing what he thought was right at the time regarding decisions, because that's what his job called for. And Bush got to more or less the same ideological place as President Harry Truman, who said that those who can't stand the heat should stay out of the kitchen.

And, as I've mentioned in these writings, Blair's book is full of down to earth examples and stories about what national leadership is all about and the fact that there are no ways to learn what to expect before being elected. Because it isn't until you're in the position that you really find out the magnitude of what you're responsible for.

Yet, having said that, and realizing there are all kinds of situations only a national leader can manage, since Blair's ideology was basically socialistic many of the things he felt he needed to manage, I think are actually none of his business.

In my opinion, governments are responsible for keeping folks safe and insuring national survival because that's what military's and policing are for. But, beyond that its citizens who make the whole thing work and most importantly, pay all the bills too. And since that's the case, all the political types, though they might write interesting bio's, ought to just stay out of everyone's way and shut up.

That's it for today folks.


Thursday, March 24, 2011

BloggeRhythms 3/24/2011

Had an AlGore moment this morning when I went outside to shovel the snow off my wife's car. Three days into Spring, and I was freezing my tail off with temperatures around thirty degrees. And I really don't know where the globe's actually warming, but I can tell you this much for's not around here.

Then, as I looked at the cloud my breath made in the frigid air I also considered the impact that carbon swapping has made in the world. Another Gore fostered scheme that has businesses and governments trading substantial currency and other assets of value for basically hot air.

So, I guess you really have to hand it to this guy because he's way ahead of the curve when it comes to rip-offs and scams, but I'd expect nothing less from someone smart enough to create the Internet in his spare time.

That's it for today folks.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

BloggeRhythms 3/23/2011

Quick entry today. Lot's of stuff to do and not enough hours.

But, as I re-mentioned on the 18th of this month and originally almost a year ago, the president helped Brazil expand its offshore drilling with $2 billion in loan guarantees through the Ex-Im Bank, while U.S. production struggled to get back on its feet in the wake of the BP spill. At the time, I believed it was because the president was repaying George Soros for his help in winning the election. Soros is a major investor in Brazilian oil.

Then when the president made Brazil the first stop on his South American trip, I not only wasn't surprised I figured the impatience must have been killing him. Because who wouldn't want to know that his expected payback down the line was money good? After all, Clinton or Gore wouldn't take foreign risks like that, they got their repayment right here at home.

But, what was surprising was that when the guarantee was advanced the story line was that none of the oil would come to the U.S., it was intended for foreign consumption. However, now the president says he wants to assist the Brazilian government "with technology and support" in developing its oil reserves, a black gold mine he said could hold twice as much oil as U.S. deposits. "And when you're ready to start selling, we want to be one of your best customers," he went on.

So now, this whole deal is really making sense. Because it seems the strategy all along was to minimize oil development and production in the U. S. as best they could, and then swing the buying from the precipitous and volatile Middle-East, to a more controllable neighbor who'll channel the kickbacks right through Soros.

And as has been said countless times before, if you want to understand anything at all, no matter how complex the issue...simply follow the money and you'll get to the truth.

That's it for today folks.


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

BloggeRhythms 3/22/2011

I have no particular axe to grind today, just a couple of comments about the shape the world seems to be in and our place therein.
I remember some years ago when Pat Buchanan was trying to run for the presidency and most wrote him off as some kind of oddball who looked at our place on the planet quite differently than others. And one of his beliefs was that the U.S. ought to shore up its borders, reduce or eliminate most of its international relationships and focus on ourselves. As I recall , he rightly said that this country has more than enough resources to self sustain and that just about every time we try to help some other nation we pay an outrageous price for our efforts and gain just about zero.
Now, whether I've remembered his positions precisely, or even come close to his point, I think he's absolutely right.
It seems to me that we always perform as the good guy, try to help others out and in one way or another, wind up holding the bag. And all you need do to confirm that supposition is watch the news, particularly the business related channels.
Japan has an earthquake and tidal wave and our stock market takes a huge hit. At the same time, since they'll likely be using less fuel while they recover, because they'll have fewer vehicles on whatever roads they have left, the price of oil blips down. Then Libyan rebels decide to revolt and oil prices start to climb toward the roof because speculators believe supply from Libyan wells will shrink.
Japan is also the largest consumer of fish in the world. So, since their waters are likely contaminated, worldwide fish prices begin to climb, as will vegetables, fruit and meat. And while all this is going on, the Syrian population is finally tiring of autocratic monarchies and their roof might blow off as well. And in that event we might as well all sell our cars, unless we've cornered the market on gold because gas will go to ten dollars a gallon or more.
Then we have South America, where our leader is now. He says he went because our neighbors down there trade with just about every nation on Earth except ours, and he wants to establish closer ties.
And in the event that he's successful in opening partnership doors, we'll have three or four more countries to bail out when their citizens revolt, or their leaders decide the time has come for another massacre, or some natural disaster or other causes them to seek our help.
So, the bottom line of it all is that since we've never seen the upside to any of our international ties, yet been dragged into quite a few disastrous economic situations, not to mention wars, maybe the time's come to build Pat Buchanan's fence around the nation. And, who knows, when we do we might even greatly reduce our drug problems and finally get out from under the costs and headaches caused by illegal aliens.
That's it for today folks.

Monday, March 21, 2011

BloggeRhythms 3/21/2011

Big news today that AT&T put together a mega deal over the weekend to acquire rival T-Mobile USA for $39 billion, the largest transaction of the year. If okayed by regulators, it would create an industry leader with almost 130 million customers. Second place Verizon Wireless has 94.1 million.
The reason the transaction caught my eye is that I was with an equipment financing company acquired by AT&T in 1989 or so. We were the largest in our specialized field, which is why we were attractive as an acquiree, and by far the most knowledgeable and sophisticated organization of our type in the U.S. and likely, the world. Our business was an industry leader and respected by all.
That's why I thought it remarkable that the day after the acquisition took place, "experts" from the acquirer gave us a detailed list of great length telling us about all the changes we'd have to make to be in compliance with their systems, regulations, policies and reporting formats, making no matter that this would completely eliminate our competitive edge and negate most of the features through which we outperformed our competition. It was like having a world class sprinter being forced to compete with his legs tied together. Bottom line, in not too long a time they sold us, I myself however was long gone by then.
Then in 1991, AT&T acquired the National Cash Register Company (NCR), maker of the first mechanical cash registers founded in 1884 by John H. Patterson. They changed the name to AT&T Global Information Solutions in 1994, then spun it off to AT&T shareholders in 1997, as an independent, publicly-traded company, once again called NCR.
The point of all this is that AT&T seems to be an organization that's weighted down by all kinds of both, internal and external issues that continually get in its way. And by the time they realize that they need to make substantive managerial and philosophical changes, it's too late. So being acquired by them isn't so much a matter of clashes of corporate culture, it's more like dropping a boulder into a bottomless pit.
That's it for today folks.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

BloggeRhythms 3/20/2011

Many recent blogs mentioned how government performs in ways that would never be acceptable in business, and any enterprises managing money so poorly would have long ago been forced into bankruptcy and foreclosure.
So, it wasn't surprising to read this morning that Senators John McCain of Arizona, Mike Lee of Utah and Representative Jason Chaffetz of Utah have suggested that the government sell off about 3.3 million acres of land it no longer needs. Senator Lee said the sale of the land alone could generate more than $1 billion and lead to strong economic development.
On the surface, the suggestion certainly sounds like it makes sense and illustrates that there are folks in Congress who use their heads and are actively seeking ways to reduce the national debt.
But then, at the very end of the article, and almost as an afterthought are the words of Robert Abbey, director of the Bureau of Land Management. He testified before a legislative committee in 2009 that many of the lands that his agency has identified for disposal are isolated or scattered parcels in remote areas with relatively low value, saying "Frequently, there is limited interest in acquiring these lands, and the costs of preparing them for sale may exceed their market value."
So here, once more, we have legislators grabbing headlines and doing their best to show that they have solutions to problems while either having no real information or ignoring facts. And, what's worse is, if a solution like this is actually voted in, the expense of making the land salable will likely be twice what it'll sell for.
That's it for today folks.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

BloggeRhythms 3/19/2001

Flipping channels the other day, I came across an interview with Arnold Palmer. He was showing the interviewer around his home and workshop. And as I watched I realized that from his start in professional sports, he's maintained a particular kind of class and dignity which combined with his talent has set him head and shoulders above most athletes, particularly those self-serving dolts we see today in just about every sport.

While mentioning to my wife how Arnie's quiet expertise comes through and the significant impression he still makes, she said "Why don't you write and tell him. I'm sure he'll appreciate it." So that's what I did.

I wrote and told him the first time I'd seen him in person was at the U.S. Open tournament at Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, NY in 1959. I followed in his gallery as best I could on the Saturday round, and although the course layout and crowds, even then, prevented seeing every shot, I saw plenty of his golf.

But, as I told Arnie in my letter, what really impressed me significantly was when his round was finished. Because he came out to the crowd, told everyone not to push, shove, or worry, and that he'd get to us all however long it took. And then, that's exactly what he did.

As I sit here and type, that framed score-sheet signed by Arnie is hanging over my desk where its been since I got it. And though I saw just about every other top golfer in the world that day as I traveled the golf course, his was the only autograph I wanted.

And now I have another of his signatures up there on my wall, because he personally answered my letter to thank me for thinking of him and remembering for all these years, which goes to prove my original point. Arnie had more class, grace, style and sincerity way back in 1959 than just about all of his competition. But more importantly, and best of all...he's still got plenty of it.

That's it for today folks.


Friday, March 18, 2011

BloggeRhythms 3/18/2011

As businesspeople, salespeople, inventors and comedians will tell you, timing is everything.

And over the past few months, I've mentioned that the U.S. has made a little reported $2 billion loan guarantee to a Brazilian oil company in which George Soros is said to be a major investor.

In the meantime, at the moment parts of the world are literally and figuratively blowing up, with significant uncertainty as to how, when and where all the pieces will wind up. In fact, much of the world population is gravely concerned about the outcome.

So, in view of all this, where does our president go? Well, he's on his way to South America. And, where's the first stop? Why, Brazil of course.

Now, is this just a trip that any president would make at a time like this, regardless of the planet's ungluing? Or is it a precautionary step, to ascertain his investments are safe? Well, I assure you, I have no clue as to what his motives are and know nothing about his plans for this trip. But I do know that if I was concerned about a potential global nuclear holocaust, I'd want to know that my assets were safe.

That's it for today folks.


Thursday, March 17, 2011

BloggeRhythms 3/17/2011

The Associated Press said that Florida public school teachers could make more money though losing job security, if their students do well on standardized tests under a trailblazing bill that went to Governor Rick Scott on Wednesday. The same bill was vetoed last year by then Governor, Charlie Crist, after statewide protests by teachers and their supporters.

Having spent the vast majority of my business life in positions where my own income was a direct result of my personal production, or of those whom I managed, I know I wouldn't want to be compensated any other way than on production, because otherwise I have no way to receive compensation for reaching or exceeding targeted goals.

And I guess that clearly illustrates why Florida teachers and pretty much all other educators balk at merit pay, because they either don't have the abilities to perform at exceptional levels or don't desire to try. And that's understandable because life is far simpler when all you do is punch a clock.

As for me, I personally find nothing wrong with a system that rewards mediocrity, sets low standards, tolerates failure, and fosters poor performance. Because I have to go out and compete in the market every day. So, the less my competition knows and the less educated they are makes my job far simpler. Because if I know five times as much, and work twice as hard I'll keep burying my business completion like always...and that's certainly good for me.

That's it for today folks.


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

BloggeRhythms 3/16/2011

Maybe politicians will begin getting a clue that voters in this country are sick and tired of getting ripped off by arrogant egotists who ignore the wishes of their constituents. Because yesterday, Mayor Carlos Alvarez, was ousted by voters angry over a property tax rate increase and salary raise for county employees in a county struggling to recover from the recession, according to the Associated Press.

With 100 percent of precinct votes counted, 88 percent voted to oust the mayor of Miami-Dade county. Having more than 2.5 million people, its the largest area ever to recall a local official. Just 12 percent of the 204,500 casting ballots were in favor of allowing Alvarez to finish his second term, which ends in 2012.

So, while the folks in DC keep on playing their budget shell games and making lots of noise while doing practically nothing to cap spending, people are casting ballots in other places, ousting incumbents.

If you add this to the situations in Indiana, Illinois and Ohio there's now plenty of handwriting on the wall showing that voters are fed up. And I for one, think that it may be too late for incumbents to scramble and try to look like they care about wasteful spending. In fact, it's likely that by now most voters realize that the biggest misuse of their hard earned tax dollars is whatever gets paid to politicians.

That's it for today folks.


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

BloggeRhythms 3/15/2011

Charles Schumer, the rarely heard from senator from New York, actually spoke up yesterday. Three of the key issues he addressed were, Republican objections to increases in spending limits, the Indiana removal of collective bargaining for municipal employees and the attempts to overturn Obamacare.

In a nutshell his comments centered around why Republicans in particular, and members of the Tea Party, were being so obstructionist on the three preceding issues because he believes their opposition is making it difficult for government to function. He also seemed to fear a government shutdown.

Now, it's highly likely that even Schumer, who's never even going to be allowed to park cars at a Mensa meeting, understands the pro's and con's of these issues. And he's simply pushing the programmed buttons of his party, because that's what party hacks do. Nonetheless, he's still a politician and as solid as his Senatorial seat is, he needs to be voted in again.

So, why would he take the chance of painting himself in a corner again when all the indicators say his party's in trouble re-electionwise because of their policies and beliefs? I guess he just needs to reconfirm for everyone that he's truly not very bright.

That's it for today folks.


Monday, March 14, 2011

BloggeRhythms 3/14/2011

I'm still having a hard time trying to figure out why all these union members are still jumping up and down about collective bargaining and benefits.

Now, don't get me wrong here, I certainly understand that no one wants anything taken away from them under any circumstances, and that these folks think they're being financially harmed. But, what confuses me is why anyone would want their wages tied to anyone else's performance in the first place.

I guess there's an upside to union membership, whereas you're guaranteed an equal total compensation package regardless of your job performance. And thus, I can see where poorer performers can gain significantly, because their productivity, skill level or accomplishment doesn't matter. They receive the same pay as those at the top.

But, what about the good ones? Why would they willingly to be tied to this rock of having to carry everyone else on their back? In a free economy, they can depart any time they choose and sell their skills to the highest bidder, like everyone else. And since that's the case, they don't have to carry signs, jump up and down and picket. All they have to do is quit.

And maybe I'm answering my own question here as I type. Because perhaps the top ones do know that they're free to leave any time they please, but income-wise they've maxed out and the free market won't give them higher compensation. Thus it's probable they absolutely know their own worth.

And that means if they want more, they have to unite and threaten as a group, because individually they don't have a prayer of getting anywhere near what they're already paid now. And if it were pure merit pay, they'd likely have to give half of it back.

That's it for today folks.


Sunday, March 13, 2011

BloggeRhythms 3/13/2011

I've mentioned Tony Blair's book, A Journey, several times recently. I keep thinking of it because of the issues he faced when in office are so very similar to the ones we have now, he might as well have been writing about the U.S. And, what comes through most strongly to me is how almost every issue he dealt with or tried to reform, from education, to healthcare, to the military, homeland security and practically everything else, came down to cost, budget and affordability.

What was especially difficult for Blair was that he's a liberal, was leading the strong left leaning Labour Party, and in a country whose policies, programs and economy were basically already socialized throughout. Yet, he quickly realized after being elected PM, that the country couldn't go on as it had economically. There simply wasn't enough money to keep it afloat if the overhead continued on the same curve.

Faced with budget shortfalls almost everywhere he looked, instead of continuing with policies his party had established back as far as the thirties, he took each issue individually, confronted those in his party unwilling to try to modernize, and sooner or later accomplished the buy-ins he needed to establish reform. In the end, he never really compromised principles, but instead took a realistic approach to economic aspects of governance and worked to insure that everyone understood how critical it was to keep the budget controlled.

And I guess that's the thing that made Blair's approach so interesting to me, especially under present circumstances here. Because he keeps mentioning throughout that he was prepared at any moment to face argument, disagreement, perhaps even loss of his status in his own party, yet continued to take a realistic approach to problem solution because he realized that if he didn't, his whole country would go broke.

So, looking at Blair's approach to liberalism, which contains some very strong stances on budget and controlled spending makes me think that -as has been often said- if JFK were to run for office today he'd probably do so as a conservative republican, and Blair himself would likely be a Tea Party candidate.

That's it for today folks.


Saturday, March 12, 2011

BloggeRhythms 3/12/2011

According to Fox News, Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour pointed an accusatory finger at the White House's energy policies today, putting his dissatisfaction on the record in statements issued both before and after President Obama's press conference.

Then House Speaker, John Boehner, blasted the White House Thursday while announcing a GOP initiative focused on more domestic energy production, saying "The Obama administration has consistently blocked American energy production that would lower costs and create jobs in our country. They've canceled new leases for exploration, jeopardized our nuclear energy industry, and imposed a de facto moratorium on future drilling in our country. They've even pushed a cap-and-trade energy tax that the president himself admitted would cause the price of energy to skyrocket."

But what intrigued me most about the article and the comments was the reporter also wrote that "Although his stance is not new, the timing of Barbour's critique is in sync with a growing chorus of Republicans who are tying the president's energy strategy to prices at the pump."

If that's really true, my question is: Where have these Republican politicians been for the last two years? The Democrats, and now particularly the president himself, have been trying to minimize domestic oil production every chance they get. Particularly because the "anti-everything productives" make up such a huge part of their base, their stance against drilling certainly isn't news.

But, beyond that, how can people supposedly good for our country and who insist they're doing their best on our behalf's, suddenly wake up and realize that refusal to permit domestic production significantly increases the price of fuel? I think even most grade school drop-outs know that.

So, I guess it's good for the politicians that they have jobs where intellect doesn't matter, because if they had go into the real world to look for work, the long-term unemployed rate would go through the roof.

That's it for today folks.


Friday, March 11, 2011

BloggeRhythms 3/11/2011

According to the Associated Press, since the labor movement suffered an "epic" defeat in Wisconsin, union leaders plan to use the setback to fire up their members nationwide, and mount a major counterattack against Republicans at the ballot box in

And I guess that would sound pretty scary to Republican incumbents were it not for the fact that I don't think a union member's ever voted Republican in their lives. In fact, since there's such a wide divergence in beliefs, any union member pulling a Republican handle would be occupationally suicidal. Beyond that, union bosses do everything in their power and beyond to further insure that such an event couldn't happen.

So, if that's really the case, what does it matter how much noise unions make regarding the next election? Because while the unions may have absolute control over how members vote, in total there aren't enough to guarantee victory.

And as for everybody else, if they've got any sense at all and want to keep however much money they may still have left, I doubt they'll be giving the union much electoral help.

So, while the unions are indeed making all this noise, that's exactly what it comes down to: A really loud waste of their time.

That's it for today folks.


Thursday, March 10, 2011

BloggeRhythms 3/10/2011

Peter King began his congressional hearing on Islamic radicalization Thursday, saying America is "failing to confront the threat."

But one Representative, Keith Ellison, a Democrat from Minnesota and a Muslim himself said, "When you assign their violent action to the entire community, you assign collective blame to a whole group. This is the very heart of stereotyping and scapegoating."

That leads to my question, which is if you don't try to find terrorists and threats how will you ever ferret them out? Because while political correctness sounds good, decent and humane, there's no doubt subversives take advantage of the premise.

Beyond that, even when there are no imminent threats, groups have been singled out in this country since its inception, and there's discrimination all over the place even now. Whether its religion, color, gender, sexual preference, economic status or a slew of other characteristics and traits, there's more than enough hate and distrust to go around.

So, since that's how it works around here, all kinds of groups, sects and sets have had their share, or more, of hostility, and significant numbers still do. And the game's not going to change in that regard soon, I don't think.

And that means for Muslims, it's their turn in the limelight right now. Which means they can help everyone solve the problem through cooperation in routing out the bad ones or worsen the whole process by protecting the thugs.

That's it for today folks.


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

BloggeRhythms 3/9/2011

Vivian Schiller, CEO of NPR resigned Wednesday at the request of the board according to the Associated Press. I've mentioned the station before, when they terminated commentator Juan Williams after he remarked that he felt uneasy when he sees passengers in "Muslim garb" on airplanes.

This time around a hidden-camera video was released showing a fellow executive criticizing Republicans as "anti-intellectual" and calling the Tea Party "racist."

While these events are getting headline news, I really don't understand why. Because the station's politics and views haven't changed in thirty years that I know of. And you really don't need a video tape or leaked stories of commentator firings to find out how far left the station leans. All you need to do is tune it in.

As I've mentioned before, I began listening years ago primarily because as a public radio station, there are very few commercials. So, whether I agree with their viewpoint or not, I find the station much more pleasant because nobody hammers at me to buy stuff I don't need, want, or care about every two or three minutes.

In fact, I think the top broadcasters on regular radio stations are commercials themselves. Every one of them is involved in a boatload of other businesses they're trying to hype, and they pound you to death with boring, senseless commercial drivel every chance they get. That's the primary reason I don't tune them in any more.

So, as for me, I really don't care who runs NPR, so long as they keep the programming rules the same. Because if I can continue to have uninterrupted stuff to listen to, I don't care if the station's run by Fidel Castro.

That's it for today folks.


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

BloggeRhythms 3/8/2011

As I mentioned yesterday, there's a lot of noise currently being made about discrimination and civil right and liberties. Even moreso because of Peter King's planned investigation this week into threats posed by Islamic radicalization in the U.S.

And all the hullabaloo about mistreatment of people reminded me of the old adage, which Tony Blair also mentioned in his new biography, "A Journey."

After visiting the U.S. early on in his political career, Blair said he has a very simple way of determining whether a country's desirable to live in or not. Are there more people trying to get in or to get out?

So, when you get right down to it, the U.S. may not be perfect and certainly has its flaws. But, overall, its not a bad place to be, especially for all those who simply want to live their lives as American citizens. But, if for any reason particular folks have a problem with that, and want to change the rules, the door swings both ways and they're absolutely free to go back where they came from any time they want.

That's it for today folks.


Monday, March 7, 2011

BloggeRhythms 3/7/2011

Peter King, representative from New York is chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee. Later this week, he's hosting a hearing looking into threats posed by Islamic radicalization in the U.S. Naturally, he's facing all kinds of opposition from various religious, rights advocacy and civil liberties groups.

To me however, this is one of those issues where you're damned if you do or you don't. Because while there's no question that some innocents might get tainted, or feel unwarranted persecution, to do nothing invites considerable peril. And that's the whole problem with permissiveness and political correctness. While people are falling all over each other, and biting their tongues lest they hurt someone's feelings, cities like San Francisco are turning into third world swamps.

So, I guess the basic dilemma is: If you don't ask the hard questions and look under the rocks, how are you going to ferret out those who want to do this nation in? And that's pretty much what happened right after September 11.

Although there were huge outcries and demonstrations against invasion of privacy and the like, regarding screening and other safety measures that were intensified for entry to public places, buildings and aircraft, there hasn't been another incident since.

Now, whether incidents have been prevented or stopped due to security intensity or not, which can really never be proven one way or the other, I'd rather see over-protection pursued instead of outright gambling on the alternative, even if it causes me some personal inconvenience in the bargain.

That's it for today folks.


Sunday, March 6, 2011

BloggeRhythms 3/6/2011

Maybe it's just me, but I often get confused regarding the way our "leaders" think. Because, at the moment the economy's starting to show some feint glimmers of light, but the situation's shaky at best. Employment's much too high for rapid recovery and the nation's in strangling debt.

So, amidst all of this, I found a blurb buried in an article about the current turmoil in the Gulf that said "many in the administration emphasize alternative forms of energy and some, including the president, have openly talked of the need for higher prices on oil and coal to make alternatives such as wind and solar more price-competitive."

Now, if I understand the comments correctly, they're saying that high prices for oil is desired because the other alternatives are currently too expensive, and if oil prices increase that makes wind and solar more financially viable. And I can see how that makes theoretical sense, however, the only problem is, we have to break the financial back of consumers to prove the alternative's worth.

But I guess what it really illustrates is how theorists promoting ideals are often out of touch with reality, and also apparently ignorant of fact. Because one of the things that makes the American economy the greatest in the world is free market competition. And in a competitive world, new ideas and products are welcomed with open arms and have every chance to succeed. provided they do what they're intended for, and that people willingly accept and buy them.

But, apparently what we have regarding and coal today are powers that be trying to control and manipulate markets through legislative devices designed to subvert market freedom, which in and of itself is horrendously wrong. But it's also compounded by forcing innocent users in a captive market pay to the price for idealism. And maybe that's why while these politicos are contriving to push prices up, voters are simultaneously massing to push those same politicos out.

That's it for today folks.


Saturday, March 5, 2011

BloggeRhythms 3/5/2011

I had a memory flash this morning which probably doesn't mean anything, but might be worth a couple of keystrokes.

Way back in June 2010, I mentioned reading about a $2 billion loan guarantee given by the U. S. to a Brazilian company controlled by George Soros, for oil exploration in Brazil. The rationale advanced by the Ex-Im Bank here was that project would require tools and technology purchased from the U.S., so the loan's basis was stimulating foreign trade.

At the time, there were lot's of stories about an Obama/Soros connection, including items suggesting that it was Soros' huge lobbying power and funds that got Obama the presidential nomination to begin with.

Now, I certainly don't know if any or all of the stories have any merit, and I also don't think there's any reliable method of ever learning any of the real truths, either way.

But, the thing that got me thinking was, what if the shut-down in the Gulf and the administration's refusal to permit drilling there again are somehow tied together? And what if the reliance on foreign oil is desired, rather than utilizing the vast resources we have here? And what, if all of a sudden, Brazil comes to our rescue, by stepping in to provide much needed oil?

Well, if as they say, you can find the truth to almost by following the money, the potential payback in this case would likely make the $2 billion guarantee look like a drop in the drum.

That's it for today folks.


Friday, March 4, 2011

BloggeRhythms 3/4/2011

It's been apparent for many years that politicians live in their own world. Especially the one's in D.C. and the point can't be proven any better than something said yesterday.

House Speaker, John Boehner, said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid "owes the American people an explanation" for not taking action on the funding bill that passed the House and would cut $61 billion in federal spending. Reid's spokesman immediately fired back, saying: "That's tough talk from someone who is being bossed around by a bunch of freshmen."

Now, Reid's spokesman's words might have some kind of import to members of congress who reside in their delusional vacuum and see themselves as above it all, therefore unaffected by anything newcomers say or think. But, on the other hand, maybe they ought to give that premise more thought. Because the newcomers are there in the first place due to the fact that voters are sick and tired of retread party hacks who have no regard for the pocketbooks of their constituents, so they're voting to replace them.

Beyond that, most astute incumbents are very aware of the message sent by the voters on last election day. Because the signal was loud and clear. Voters aren't going to sit still anymore, and want some kind of action, particularly about wasteful spending and fiscal irresponsibility.

And I think Reid's spokesman ought to wake up and realize what's going on around him, because next election day the number of freshman is likely to grow exponentially and he himself might suffer if he doesn't show them some respect.

That's it for today folks.


Thursday, March 3, 2011

BloggeRhythms 3/3/2011

Yesterday I mentioned that the Social Security Agency will have 69,675 employees in 2012. Re-reading the entry later on, it seemed like an awful lot of people to me, and not being familiar with what the agency does, I looked it up and here's what I found on their website.

The Bureau of Federal Old-Age Benefits, renamed the Bureau of Old-Age Insurance (BOAI) in 1937, was created in December 1935 and was the forerunner of today's Social Security Administration. The Bureau was responsible for Title II of the Social Security Act and its functions included: the maintenance of wage records; supervision of field offices; examination and approval of claims, including related claims functions (for certification of payments recovery of excess payments, and hearing and deciding appealed cases); and the making of actuarial estimates.

Now, the bureau has gone through several changes over the years, but their primary focus remains the same. And as near as I can tell, all they really do is keep records and handle claims. So, assuming that even the government is automated and systematized today, much of the work is done by machine. That means, almost 70,000 people push the paper around that's left, and deal with questions and issues from the public at a cost of $13.5 BILLION dollars per year from taxpayers. What's more, the bureau doesn't raise a cent in revenue, so it's all overhead and cost that's being spent against no income.

Looking at the size of the bureau's budget, I tried to find some comparative private entities size-wise, just to see if there was anything similar in the real world.

Microsoft, for example, employs 88,596 worldwide. So that's an awful lot of people too. But, whereas the Social Security Agency costs $12.5 billion to run without any income other than taxpayer's bucks, what does Microsoft earn? Last year they earned $18.76 billion on sales of $62.46 billion and had a growth rate of 29%.

I looked at Exxon/Mobil too, because they employ lot's of people. In fact, there were 83,600 of them in 2010. Those folks produced gross revenue of $383 billion dollars, netting almost $31.5 billion in profit.

Now, I realize I'm comparing apples and oranges when it comes to government and business, but nonetheless, you'd think that even though government isn't Microsoft or Exxon they'd try to trim their costs. And perhaps a place to start would be to tell their workers to fill up their tanks at Exxon and drive their paperwork over to Microsoft, and after that...tell them not to come back.

That's it for today folks.


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

BloggeRhythms 4/2/2011

At a time when civil war's breaking out across the nation between union workers and non, regarding wages and benefits and the costs, I came across some interesting information.

One of the hot buttons about the U.S. economy is the so-called "third-rail" subject of social security. Because, according to many, the growing longevity of the population will soon break the bank if the government keeps paying those reaching eligibility age as it does now. So, I did some research.

The social security agency itself currently employs a full-time workforce of more than 68,800. They're operating at fiscal 2010 levels due to the failure of Congress to pass a 2011 budget, but the number is expected to reach 69,675 in 2012. What's more, the president included $12.5 billion for the agency in his 2012 budget request, representing a $1 billion increase over the 2010 level.

That seemed like a lot of people to me, and a lot of funds, so I did some simple arithmetic. There are an estimated 40,229,000 folks of retirement age in the U.S. right now. So if there are 69,675 social security employees, each is responsible for 577 people. If every one of those retirees needed personal attention, that equates to 48 per month, 11 per week and approximately 2.3 folks per day. And, if the average case took an hour of time, what do the employees do with the other 5.7 hours of their work day? My math tells me that there's 397,147 work hours left in which these employees have nothing to do.

Of course, my case isn't really accurate at all, it's just a hypothetical. Because today most of the social security process is automated. So, between computerization and on-line access, there's likely much less than 577 folks for each employee to handle. That means you can probably double or triple the hours that employees have left with absolutely nothing to do.

Now, I may not be the only one who's noticed that there may be too many folks on staff at present, because the agency reportedly is offering to let employees 50 and older choose early retirement, provided they've logged at least 20 years of service. Any employee with 25 years of service would also be eligible, according to an agency e-mail obtained by the Federal Times, with a negligible reduction in benefits for some workers under 55.

But let's say that perhaps the agency is overstaffed and now realizes it, hence the attempt to reduce its staff. That's a step in the right direction. But, there's still another question I have. If my arithmetic's right once more, a budget of $12.5 billion covering a staff of 69,000 people equates to $181,159.00 per person. So, isn't that a lot of money to pay out to deal with 2.3 clients a day?

That's it for today folks.


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

BloggeRhythms 3/1/2011

I just finished typing a letter to Arnie. I'm sending it because, as I put in the letter, surfing channels yesterday I happened to see him being interviewed at his home at Bay Hills in Orlando. And it was while I was watching that it occured to me that he's one of the very, very few real "professionals" in all of sports today. Almost all the rest are self-serving oafs who happen to have some kind of skill or talent.

I told him in my letter, that the first time I saw him in person was at the U.S. Open Golf Tournament at Winged Foot Country Club, Mamaroneck, NY in 1959. I knew a lot about him even then because he looked like a future star from the very start of his professional career, and I liked the way he attacked golf courses, going all out to do his very best, no matter.

But, what I really wanted to tell him was, and why I wrote the letter, that I got a very strong sense of where his career was going to go, even way back then. I also saw that he was different when it came to his fans. Because after his round was over that Saturday at Winged Foot, he assured everyone that he'd stay around for as long as it took to meet us all and spend some time with us. And that's exactly what he did and he's been the same way with his fans ever since.

As for me, I saw all the other golfers that day and had a chance to talk to them all if I'd chosen, because it was the U. S. Open, the most prestigious event of the year and they were all there. But, I only wanted one autograph, and that's what I got. And, as I type, that score-sheet still hangs over my desk in its frame, signed by Arnold Palmer, the greatest name ever in the game of golf.

That's it for today folks.