Friday, November 20, 2009

ObamaCare is a Political Ticking Time-Bomb

Having watched the drama unfold surrounding the upcoming vote on the Health-Care overhaul bill it is hard not to come to the following conclusion: Obama Care is a ticking time-bomb that is waiting to destroy the political careers of dozens of Representatives and Senators.

From shouting matches in town-hall meetings to outbursts during congressional assemblies it is clear that this country as a whole does not want the type of over-haul to the Health-Care system that the proposed bill will do. Coupled with this and the blind devotion that many Democratic Congressmen have toward our "fearless leader" we may be heading toward the biggest shake-up in our nation's government in history.

It is clear that many people throughout this country strongly oppose the proposed bill. This, if it is passed, will take years to implement. In the meantime many of the Representatives and Senators who voted in favor of it will suddenly see their seats go to their rival parties. At which time they draft additional bills to drastically change the one they approved, or completely dismantle it.

There is one thing that is markedly interesting though. Where are the opposing bills drafted by members of the other major party? If the republicans are so vehemently against the proposed bill, why are they not coming up with their own bills to be considered before Congress?

One can imagine, however, that many Republicans would rather allow the Health-Care system to work itself out. Which could be done, yet may take even longer due to the mindsets of the current Health-Care providers and the fact that it is extremely difficult for new companies to enter the marketplace.

The current Health-Care Insurance industry is probably the closest one can get to a state of complete imperfect competition. There are relatively few players, it is nigh impossible to enter the market, and the general public has so little understanding of the services that are offered by the different providers.

It is easy to see how the government feels that they are the only ones that can impose such a sweeping reform policy on this industry, yet they are unable to come up with one the majority of the population can agree on. Sure we have Medicare, but with the rampant fraud going on with it there is no wonder it is losing money. And the fact that it is run by the government.

We need to take a look around and see how other countries have approached this issue and take a cue from their examples, instead of trying to "reinvent the wheel." There are enough talented people in this country that are able to get this done; we just need to tap into them. And the current majority in our government apparently does not include any of these people.

Maybe the passing of this bill is just what this country needs to force out the "old guard" and allow new blood into the hallowed halls of our government. Though, let's hope that it doesn't take another twenty years to come up with a solution, shall we.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Apparently some feel our "fearless leader" may be a modern day Hitler.

Recently I was forwarded an email (the contents are quoted at the bottom of this post) that many people have probably received. Whether or not it was actually written and sent originally by a historian it does make some rather interesting points about parallels between our country's current economic and political situation and a certain major world power from the early part of the 20th century.

Of course the liberals will denounce everything in the email as nonsense, and the conservatives will say it is the gospel truth. But if one takes the time to study some of the correlating factors between the events between what was going on in Europe in the 1930's and what is happening right now in our own country you must take a moment to pause and think. He does make a compelling argument.

The main thing that one needs to take into consideration is how likely is it that what is being pointed out is actually true. And if it is true will we just sit on our hands and let it happen, or will we have the courage to stand up and say, "Not on my watch!"

In all reality I hope that my generation (generation X), the one before it, and just as importantly the ones following, will have the wherewithal to be able to have learned from our past and recognize the warning signs and be able to stand up and stop it before things go to far.

Here is the email:

Maybe he is wrong. What if he is right?

David Kaiser is a respected historian whose published works have covered a broad range of topics, from European Warfare to American League Baseball. Born in 1947, the son of a diplomat, Kaiser spent his childhood in three capital cities: Washington D.C. , Albany , New York , and Dakar , Senegal .. He attended Harvard University , graduating there in 1969 with a B.A. in history. He then spent several years more at Harvard, gaining a PhD in history, which he obtained in 1976. He served in the Army Reserve from 1970 to 1976.

He is a professor in the Strategy and Policy Department of the United States Naval War College . He has previously taught at Carnegie Mellon, Williams College and Harvard University . Kaiser's latest book, The Road to Dallas, about the Kennedy assassination, was just published by Harvard University Press.

Dr. David Kaiser
History Unfolding

I am a student of history. Professionally, I have written 15 books on history that have been published in six languages, and I have studied history all my life. I have come to think there is something monumentally large afoot, and I do not believe it is simply a banking crisis, or a mortgage crisis, or a credit crisis. Yes these exist, but they are merely single facets on a very large gemstone that is only now coming into a sharper focus.

Something of historic proportions is happening. I can sense it because I know how it feels, smells, what it looks like, and how people react to it. Yes, a perfect storm may be brewing, but there is something happening within our country that has been evolving for about ten to fifteen years. The pace has dramatically quickened in the past two.

We demand and then codify into law the requirement that our banks make massive loans to people we know they can never pay back? Why?

We learned just days ago that the Federal Reserve, which has little or no real oversight by anyone, has "loaned" two trillion dollars (that is $2,000,000,000,000) over the past few months, but will not tell us to whom or why or disclose the terms. That is our money. Yours and mine. And that is three times the $700 billion we all argued about so strenuously just this past September. Who has this money? Why do they have it? Why are the terms unavailable to us? Who asked for it? Who authorized it? I thought this was a government of "we the people," who loaned our powers to our elected leaders. Apparently not.

We have spent two or more decades intentionally de-industrializing our economy.. Why?

We have intentionally dumbed down our schools, ignored our history, and no longer teach our founding documents, why we are exceptional, and why we are worth preserving. Students by and large cannot write, think critically, read, or articulate. Parents are not revolting, teachers are not picketing, school boards continue to back mediocrity. Why?

We have now established the precedent of protesting every close election (violently in California over a proposition that is so controversial that it simply wants marriage to remain defined as between one man and one woman... Did you ever think such a thing possible just a decade ago?) We have corrupted our sacred political process by allowing unelected judges to write laws that radically change our way of life, and then mainstream Marxist groups like ACORN and others to turn our voting system into a banana republic. To what purpose?

Now our mortgage industry is collapsing, housing prices are in free fall, major industries are failing, our banking system is on the verge of collapse, social security is nearly bankrupt, as is Medicare and our entire government. Our education system is worse than a joke (I teach college and I know precisely what I am talking about) - the list is staggering in its length, breadth, and depth.. It is potentially 1929 x ten...And we are at war with an enemy we cannot even name for fear of offending people of the same religion, who, in turn, cannot wait to slit the throats of your children if they have the opportunity to do so.

And finally, we have elected a man that no one really knows anything about, who has never run so much as a Dairy Queen, let alone a town as big as Wasilla , Alaska .
All of his associations and alliances are with real radicals in their chosen fields of employment, and everything we learn about him, drip by drip, is unsettling if not downright scary (Surely you have heard him speak about his idea to create and fund a mandatory civilian defense force stronger than our military for use inside our borders? No? Oh, of course. The media would never play that for you over and over and then demand he answer it. Sarah Palin's pregnant daughter and $150,000 wardrobe are more important.)

Mr. Obama's winning platform can be boiled down to one word: Change. Why?

I have never been so afraid for my country and for my children as I am now.

This man campaigned on bringing people together, something he has never, ever done in his professional life. In my assessment, Obama will divide us along philosophical lines, push us apart, and then try to realign the pieces into a new and different power structure. Change is indeed coming. And when it comes, you will never see the same nation again.

And that is only the beginning..

As a serious student of history, I thought I would never come to experience what the ordinary, moral German must have felt in the mid-1930s In those times, the "savior" was a former smooth-talking rabble-rouser from the streets, about whom the average German knew next to nothing. What they should have known was that he was associated with groups that shouted, shoved, and pushed around people with whom they disagreed; he edged his way onto the political stage through great oratory. Conservative "losers" read it right now.

And there were the promises. Economic times were tough, people were losing jobs, and he was a great speaker. And he smiled and frowned and waved a lot. And people, even newspapers, were afraid to speak out for fear that his "brown shirts" would bully and beat them into submission. Which they did - regularly. And then, he was duly elected to office, while a full-throttled economic crisis bloomed at hand - the Great Depression. Slowly, but surely he seized the controls of government power, person by person, department by department, bureaucracy by bureaucracy. The children of German citizens were at first, encouraged to join a Youth Movement in his name where they were taught exactly what to think. Later, they were required to do so. No Jews of course,

How did he get people on his side? He did it by promising jobs to the jobless, money to the money-less, and rewards for the military-industrial complex. He did it by indoctrinating the children, advocating gun control, health care for all, better wages, better jobs, and promising to re-instill pride once again in the country, across Europe, and across the world. He did it with a compliant media - did you know that? And he did this all in the name of justice and .... . .. change. And the people surely got what they voted for.

If you think I am exaggerating, look it up. It's all there in the history books.

So read your history books. Many people of conscience objected in 1933 and were shouted down, called names, laughed at, and ridiculed. When Winston Churchill pointed out the obvious in the late 1930s while seated in the House of Lords in England (he was not yet Prime Minister), he was booed into his seat and called a crazy troublemaker. He was right, though. And the world came to regret that he was not listened to.

Do not forget that Germany was the most educated, the most cultured country in Europe . It was full of music, art, museums, hospitals, laboratories, and universities. And yet, in less than six years (a shorter time span than just two terms of the U. S. presidency) it was rounding up its own citizens, killing others, abrogating its laws, turning children against parents, and neighbors against neighbors.. All with the best of intentions, of course. The road to Hell is paved with them.

As a practical thinker, one not overly prone to emotional decisions, I have a choice: I can either believe what the objective pieces of evidence tell me (even if they make me cringe with disgust); I can believe what history is shouting to me from across the chasm of seven decades; or I can hope I am wrong by closing my eyes, having another latte, and ignoring what is transpiring around me..

I choose to believe the evidence. No doubt some people will scoff at me, others laugh, or think I am foolish, naive, or both. To some degree, perhaps I am. But I have never been afraid to look people in the eye and tell them exactly what I believe-and why I believe it.

I pray I am wrong. I do not think I am. Perhaps the only hope is our vote in the next elections.

David Kaiser
Jamestown , Rhode Island
United States


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Yes, I may be a nerd, but this is really Cool.

Is it just me or has Dyson just invented the repulsorlift? What is a repulsorlift you say? Why it is the Star Wars Universes answer to an antigravity system. Basically it is a device that is attached to the underside of some sort of vehicle that creates a force-field, or cushion of air, that the vehicle sits on. Anyone who has read any of the Star Wars novels knows what this is.

Dyson, the maker of the first vacuum that does not lose suction, has created a fan that uses no blades. Here is a shot of one of the units:

Basically, this thing creates a column of air. No I have no idea how it works, but it does.

In my opinion, if the aircraft industry, and even those who have been trying to develop a flying car, get a hold of this technology it will revolutionize the industry.

I have been following the development of the Moller Skycar. Which has basically hit a wall due to development funds and the mixed reaction from the general public. One of the concerns that have been raised is how will the design handle the possibility of birds flying into the rotors. Well with this new technology that concern will go the way of the dodo, since there are no moving parts.

There are plenty of other roadblocks, which includes providing insurance for these vehicles, but I feel that this will be quickly remedied once the public gets more on board with these vehicles when they discover how convenient these units will be.

Really, who would not want to fly over the traffic than sit in it. This would cut commuting time considerably and create a great view on the way.

I predict this will turn the airplane industry on its head.

The Committee Doesn't Always Get it Right.

Now here is someone that Mr. Obama could take some direction from.

Jean-Paul Sartre, a French existentialist philosopher, playwright, novelist, screenwriter, political activist, biographer, and literary critic, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. He declined the prize saying that he did not wish to be "transformed" by such an award.

He arguably deserved the prize and voluntarily declined it for personal reasons.

If our current President was really "humbled" by the award, as he says, he should have realized that he didn't deserve it, as he hadn't accomplished anything close to his fellow Laureates toward promoting peace in this world. Quite the contrary in fact. He has continued the war in Afghanistan. Sure he is slowly pulling troops out of Iraq, but at what cost to the civilians in that country? I don't think they are experiencing any of the "peace" that he won this award for only a week into his presidency.

Quite frankly Mr. Obama, you should give back the award, and actually start helping the people of this country instead of just talking about it.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

You Should Always Get AAA.

I was riding along, minding my business, when out of an orange colored sky something came and decided to snap the throttle cable on my scooter.
AAA, hershey, learning the hard way, scooter, thingamajig
Yup, I was just starting to pull into an intersection when suddenly I was unable to go anywhere. The scooter was no longer responding to the throttle and I had just enough momentum to carry me through the intersection where I walked it into a nearby parking lot. I looked it over and discovered that apparently the throttle cable snapped somewhere underneath the scooter.

Now normally I would not have minded having to walk the scooter a little ways to get help. Especially if I had run out of gas, which have done previously a number of times. But this was a little beyond my ability fix on the spot.

So, it turns out I needed to walk the scooter home from downtown Orange, which was about 2.5 miles, since I really couldn't afford a tow truck. And, even though we have AAA for our car, we do not, however, have it for my scooter.

I realize that 2.5 miles is not that great a distance to walk, but when you are pushing a 500lb scooter, while wearing black pants and a dark blue golf shirt, and the temperature is in the upper 90's, it starts become a little daunting. Especially since there is a rather large hill between you and home. Of course the hill I speak of is the bridge over the 5 fwy on La Veta heading into Santa Ana.

Being a little dehydrated I decided to stop at the CVS on the way and get something to drink and a little snack so I don't collapse while traversing over the aforementioned hill.

Now I am a people watcher and while I was standing outside the store drinking the water and eating the thingamajig I had purchased I noticed a guy kind of wandering around near the entrance to the store and talking on his cell-phone. As I casually drink my water and eat my thingamajig I notice this guy is becoming increasingly agitated with whatever the person on the other end of the "line" is saying. To the point where he is becoming quite loud and profane on his end of the conversation. Yes, I probably could have said something to him, but seeing as he was becoming increasingly irate, and a bit animated, I decided to move on. After all I had my own problem to deal with.

From here I decided to take my time, and pace myself as I approached my biggest obstacle, which was not helped by the fact that I had a pretty good wind in my face and I was heading into the sun.

Well, the hill was not as bad I as I expected, of course that was due to me taking a breather a few times on the way up, and the gator-ade I also picked up at CVS. I coasted down the other side and made it home without further incident.

I guess the lesson learned from this one, which I have no idea how expensive it is going to be yet, is when you are thinking it might be too expensive to pay for the additional AAA coverage for your scooter, or motorcycle, it will probably save you from walking the thing home on one of the hottest days of the year.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Our Stupid World

Dumpster Divers...
county property values, diving dumpster, fear funny, recycle city, recycle reuse, recycling trash bin
Recently in a rare occurrence where I was watching the nightly news on KTLA, there was a story about people in my city who, in an attempt to combat dumpster divers, were given lockable trash bins. One lady that was interviewed said she felt violated, and another said she did not like it because it was her trash.

Now I understand that there is an inherent danger when dumpster diving where someone could get injured by reaching and getting cut on something. And, there is the whole adverse affect on property values for homes in the area to consider.

But if I was too lazy to take recyclables to a center and get the cash for it then anyone else who decides they want to take the risk of reaching into my trash bin and take those recyclables and getting money for it, then more power to them.

The only thing that I would be concerned about is making sure that people I do not know are not coming on to my property without my permission. Basically I would have a message posted on my trash bins that would state that anyone who wants anything in there is welcome to it. They just have to follow a couple simple rules.

* they can only search the bins on trash day, after I bring the bins to the curb, and before the garbage truck arrives.

* they may not come on to my property as it would be trespassing and I would reserve the right to rebuff them by any means permissible under the law.

Other than that I really see no problem with this.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

My New Favorite Comedian

If you have not heard of him yet, you soon will. He is one of the most popular, clean, and talented comedians I have come across in a while.
comedian, don't say to your wife, subway, tim hawkins, time of your life
Here are a couple of excerpts from a recent concert.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Rider Camaraderie

About a year ago when gas prices had jettisoned past the $4 mark I decided to use our stimulus check to get a motor scooter so I could save money on my commute I had no idea I would be embarking on such an unexpected and interesting new experience.
biker motorcycle, my scooter, ride experience, riding activities, road rider, scooter news, speed scooter
Prior to this new venture to save money I had sworn I would never ride any kind of motorcycle, much less a scooter. But, necessity succeeded in changing my mind where nothing else could.

After I took the rider course and put together my new scooter, I suddenly discovered how fun and relaxing it turned out to be. That is when I am not almost being run over by Fedex trucks, or nearly getting run off the road by some lady in an SUV.

And, to be honest, now that I have been riding for almost a year, I really want an actual motorcycle. Of course this will have to wait until I am able to pay off some credit card debt and put something aside for this.

Something else I discovered shortly after I started riding is an unexpected camaraderie amongst fellow riders, both on motorcycles and scooters. People I don't even know started giving me a brief wave or a quick nod while coming past on the other side of the street. It was like I suddenly joined some sort of club or fraternity of some sort.

Yes, I realize that I am being a bit naive, geeky and showing how much of a newbie I am, but this was cool! At first I would not reciprocate the greeting, other than a quick nod, due to my relative inexperience on the scooter, but once my confidence level grew I started responding in kind.

Now it is not all the time do you see a fellow rider extending a quick greeting, but it happens often enough from day to day.

So, long story short, if anyone has been leery of getting on a motorcycle or a scooter, it is not all that bad as long as you are safe. And you never know when you will see a fellow rider coming the other way saying "hey there".