Saturday, February 28, 2009

Can or Should Every American go to College?

In his address to a joint session of Congress this week, Obama called for every American to pursue some form of education beyond high school. Not only is this goal unrealistic, but it may even be counter-productive.

Let me say right off that I think it would be great if it were realistic and attainable for every American to go to college.  If for no other reason, college graduates are more likely to become conservative and Republican that non-college graduates.  

Putting that aside, however, some people are clearly not cut out for post-secondary education. Some people are more suited for jobs that don't really require an education beyond high school. That's not necessarily a knock on those people or their skills or abilities.  We have a good family friend who started his own plumbing business right out of high school. He had worked for a plumber during his High School years and was ready to go out on his own at the age of 18.  He developed a successful business and sold it when he was around 50 years old (for a substantial amount), then worked for the corporation that bought out his business as a manager on commercial construction projects.

Then there are those who aren't cut out for further education because they simply can't handle the work. If Obama wants these people to go to college, one of two things must happen. Either they are going to be set up to fail and waste a lot of time and money on an education they can't achieve.  Or, colleges and/or technical and trade schools will have to be "dumbed down" in order to accommodate those who aren't capable of doing the work as it is today. That sort of accommodation helps no one and would do great harm to our nation and its education system.

Having said that, there is no question that there should be more people going to colleges, universities and technical schools than are currently going.  Too many parents (often poor, uneducated, minority and single parents) do not place enough of a priority on education to make their children motivated to further their education.  Others are unable to go on to higher education because they attend schools that do not adequately prepare them for furthering their education.  

There is no question that America would be more productive and thus produce more wealth if more young Americans would avail themselves to the opportunities that this nation has to offer in the way of Education.

However, Obama simply saying that more kids should go to school, and even offering to pay for it, isn't likely to be a solution to the problem.


Paul Harvey Dies at age 90

Today, America lost one of it's biggest supporters.

Paul Harvey, the news commentator and talk radio pioneer who became one of America's most familiar and beloved voices, died today.  Harvey started at a small radio station in Tulsa, Oklahoma, but quickly moved on to national prominence with a distinctive voice and style of delivery.

Harvey was particularly loved by people outside the beltway because of his common sense and down-home approach.  He was generally either loathed or ignored by the MainStream Media, Washington insiders and the Hollywood elite, mostly because he was willing to "tell it like it is" regardless of who is involved in a particular news story.

The loss of this Giant almost feels personal to me.  I grew up listening to him at home.  A shortened version of his daily program came on the radio during breakfast when I was growing up.  While in school, I seldom heard his noontime program, but on weekends and holidays it was usually on the kitchen radio during lunch.  My favorite, however, was his "Rest of the Story" programs in the late afternoon.  

Not only did I grow up listening to Paul Harvey, but my dad grew up listening to Paul Harvey ... and his dad listened to him on a daily basis.  

Paul Harvey is an American icon that will be greatly missed.  Thank goodness for his son who carries on his tradition.


Friday, February 27, 2009

How Much is $3.6 Trillion?

Obama has already said that he wants to spend $3.6 trillion next year.  (Don't we all?  Imagine the shoes that would buy.  But I digress...) 

Does anyone really understand how much money that is?

If you had $3.6 trillion and you spent $1 million an hour, non-stop, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, you wouldn't run out of money for 411 years.

If you took 3.6 trillion one dollar bills and placed them end to end, that line of bills would reach from Capitol Hill to the sun and then back to Capitol Hill and then back to the sun - and then almost all the way back to Capitol Hill again. 

Here is another way to look at it:  $3.6 Trillion is one out of every four dollars produced in the U.S.  It's 25% of the Gross Domestic Product. 

... and that doesn't include the $700 billion in bank bailout money or the $410 billion pork-spending bill currently under consideration on the Hill.  That's another $1.1 trillion, which is a ton of money.  Actually, it's about 1 million tons of money.


Anti-War Crowd Uneasy With Obama's Withdrawal Plan

What Candidate Obama promised and President Obama delivered has many of his most ardent supporters on the left -- from members of Congress down to grassroots anti-war activists -- wondering whether he can be counted on to advance the liberal agenda.  (He's not keeping a campaign promise!!!???)

The president, speaking to Marines in Camp Lejeune, N.C, today, announced that the U.S. will end the Iraq war over the next 18 months, ordering the immediate drawdown of the 142,000 troops in Iraq. The war will officially end on Aug. 31, 2010.

Not soon enough, according to Democrats in congress and anti-war activists. Obama's withdrawal plan will take three months longer than he promised on the campaign trail, and it will leave a residual force of between 35,000 and 50,000 troops in Iraq, which many Democrats view as too high.

Us "Pro-War Hate-mongers" would prefer that we (the US) take its time to get out of Iraq so that the situation there could be as stable as possible before we leave.  In that way, hopefully, there would be fewer Iraqi citizens killed by terrorism and civil unrest.

The "Loving Anti-War" crowd, however, want us out right away.  They don't care how many people are slaughtered in Iraq, so long as it's not associated with an ongoing "war".  

Gotta love them liberals.


Thursday, February 26, 2009

Cut off the US Government

Millions of homeowners are now struggling to repay money that they clearly should never have borrowed.  Meanwhile, our leaders are wagging their fingers at predatory lenders who allegedly entice innocent borrowers into borrowing more than they can afford to pay back.

Had lenders exercised better judgment, and had borrowers avoided overly burdensome debt loads, our nation would possibly not be in the mess we are in today.  Instead, borrowers demanded credit to fuel their "American Dream."

Now, re-read the previous two paragraphs, replacing homeowners and borrowers with "The United States Government."  Does it read any differently?


The Stock Market Comments on Obama's Policies

President Obama equated his initiatives in health care, energy, and education to the creation of the railroad and interstate highway systems and putting a man on the moon. But these temporary transportation and technology initiatives created a platform for tremendous growth in the private sector. 

What he is proposing now is much different. He wants to create tens of millions of jobs that would have to be funded in perpetuity by tax dollars — taxing the very people who we need to create the next generation of economic growth. Forming millions of taxpayer-funded jobs is a very different vision for America than creating a climate that rewards and encourages private-sector initiative. 

This will take our economy in a very different direction — toward one in which the government plays the central role. It is no wonder that the stock market has lost half its value in just a few months and continues to plummet today.


Byrd Cautions Obama

Senator Robert Byrd, the longest-serving member of the Senate and a poster child for term limits, apparently sent a letter to Obama this week, warning him against an executive branch "power-grab".  In the letter, Byrd cited pervious administrations and cautioned that the many "Czar" posts that Obama is creating will be led by people who are not confirmed by the Senate, and yet they will form and influence major policies.

Byrd is right that Obama is grabbing as much power as he can, while he can, for his administration.  Byrd is also right that Obama is intentionally avoiding the required Constitutional checks and balances that Senate confirmation provides.

What is even more interesting is two points I haven't seen mentioned:

1)  Depending on who is reporting, this story is being spun as "Byrd sends a polite reminder to Obama" or as "Byrd chastises Obama for Power Grab."   (They report, they decide.)


2)  This really is a territory fight between the Senate (Byrd) and Obama.  We all know that anyone Obama appoints to anything will be confirmed by the Senate who still wants to be perceived as working with (kissing the butt of..) Obama.   But they want everything to go through them.  They want the power, the attention, and frankly, they want the perception that they are the "most important" branch of government.  Congress has been on the biggest power grab of our nations history over the past few decades, trying to re-write the Constitution while circumventing it. 

Pot ... meet kettle.


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

"I won't take away your guns"

Remember back in February 2008 when President Obama went to Boise, Idaho and spoke at a big rally? He made a big point of saying, "I won't take away your guns," because those nasty, dishonest Republicans were saying that Obama was going to do that.

It sure didn't take long for Obama to reveal his intentions. The afternoon of the inauguration, the White House Web site's Urban Policy page admitted that he is indeed going to try and do exactly that. "Obama and Biden also favor commonsense measures that respect the Second Amendment rights of gun owners, while keeping guns away from children and from criminals. They support closing the gun show loophole and making guns in this country childproof. They also support making the expired federal Assault Weapons Ban permanent."

While guns are not my personal interest, I do know that the best way to make guns "childproof" is to make them adult-proof.  And there is only one way to do that....

What other freedoms did Obama promise not to take away?


More Threats to Freedom of Religion

From the Heritage Foundation:

Student Jonathan Lopez says his professor called him a “fascist bastard” and refused to let him finish his speech against same-sex marriage during a public speaking class last November, weeks after California voters approved the ban on such unions.

When Lopez tried to find out his mark for the speech, the professor, John Matteson, allegedly told him to “ask God what your grade is,” the suit says.

Lopez also said the teacher threatened to have him expelled when he complained to higher-ups.

(Read the whole article here)


Cause and Effect

When Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd went on Bloomberg TV Friday and mused about the possibility of bank nationalization, panicked investors sent the Dow plummeting a hundred points in the next hour.


Dodd’s casual remark and the not-so-casual consequences it caused were among the most vivid examples of a new Washington phenomenon. The city’s sudden status as the de facto world financial capital means that briefings and interviews that once would have passed with a yawn can create instant terror on Wall Street and Main Street alike.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner laid an egg earlier this month when his public rollout of a bank-rescue plan was deemed too vague by the markets, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average slid a harrowing 382 points.

Last summer, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) faced criticism that his high-profile criticism of IndyMac’s precarious financial condition caused a run on that bank, which failed days later.

Another garrulous politician, Vice President Joe Biden, did not help the cause of consumer confidence when he told lawmakers, in a remark that got out, that there was probably a 30 percent chance the Obama administration would fail.

These are all signs of one thing .... Washington has too much power.


Roland Burris Update

I was Googling "Roland Burris" for an update on his status a few minutes ago and ran across this gem:

Think Democratic leadership is going to yank Roland Burris soon? Think again. “There is already a process in place that includes investigations by Illinois state officials and the Senate Ethics Committee,” Reid spokesman Jim Manley said. “Let’s let the appropriate process play out and let all the facts come to light. But, in the meantime, he is still a Member of the Senate."

In other words, "He ain't no Republican, so let's see if it will go away quietely.  Besides, we need that extra vote in the Senate."  If Burris were a Republican, you could expect a much different reaction to this whole situation.


Fifty Jobs - Fifty States

By now, you've all heard of this story.  It shows that, with a little effort, jobs can be had ... if you really want one.  While I would not try to tell anyone that the economy "isn't really all that bad," the flip side of the coin is that we are each in control of our own "little economy."  I don't think anyone really has to be out of a job today, if he is truly motivated to work.

Here is the update...

THERESA, Wis. (AP) — At a time when some people are having trouble finding one job, Daniel Seddiqui is lining up 50 — one in every state.

Each job symbolizes the state's most famous industry, and each lasts one week — just long enough for the 26-year-old to appreciate the labor and explore the region.

Since starting in Utah in the first week of September, he's been a park ranger in Wyoming, a corn farmer in Nebraska and a wedding coordinator in Las Vegas.

Last week, in Week 23 of his yearlong saga, he was a cheesemaker in southeast Wisconsin. He mixed ingredients, hoisted slabs of cheddar — and tasted plenty of his work.

"I would say this was as hard as logging," he said, referring to his stint as a logger in Oregon three months ago. "Everything here is done by hand so there's a lot of heavy lifting."

Seddiqui, who grew up in Los Altos, Calif., insists his job-hopping isn't a gimmick. It's a legitimate effort to travel the U.S., learning about cultures across the country and developing a respect for what other people do, he said.

For example, at his Nebraska job he was surprised that every farmer he met had a college degree.

"That's the problem with stereotypes. People think farmers aren't educated, but probably every one was more educated than me," he said. "That's the kind of thing you learn when you do this."

The hardest job so far was toiling in a meatpacking factory in Topeka, Kan. Seddiqui (pronounced seh-DEE'-kee) said his employer said he could slaughter a cow with a rifle, but he couldn't bring himself to do it.

"That was a little too extreme," he said. "But they didn't really expect me to do it. They just said I could if I wanted."

The goal of his project, which he plans to write a book about when he's done, is to force himself out of his comfort zone. By daring himself to try all sorts of jobs — rodeo announcer, border-patrol agent, archaeologist — other people might be willing to follow his example, he said.

At least one person has already been inspired, according to Seddiqui. After a news crew in Kansas City, Mo., reported on his stint as a boilermaker, an unemployed dentist who saw the story decided to brush off his old welding skills and apply. The next day the man had a $40-per-hour job, Seddiqui said.

The rest of the article is here...


Friday, February 20, 2009

Lutherans To Allow Homosexual Clergy

The nation's largest Lutheran denomination will consider allowing individual congregations to choose whether to allow homosexuals in committed relationships to serve as clergy, a thinly veiled attempt to placate liberals in the Church at the expense of Biblical teaching. In an attempt to avoid the sort of infighting that has threatened to tear other churches apart, they will likely make matters worse.

A task force of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America recommended that course Thursday in a long-awaited report on ministry standards. The panel, however, said the church needs to clarify a number of questions before overhauling its homosexual clergy policy.

"At this point, there is no consensus in the church," said the Rev. Peter Strommen of Prior Lake, Minn., chairman of the 15-member task force on sexuality. "The question ends up being, 'How are we going to live together in that absence of consensus?'

Apparently for these Lutherans, scriptural authority has now taken a back seat to political correctness.


Black Ministers Call for Burris' Resignation

A group of black ministers who previously supported U.S. Sen. Roland Burris now plan to ask for his resignation, one of the ministers told The Associated Press on Thursday. Many of the city's influential black pastors supported Burris because of his supposed "scandal-free reputation" — even though he was appointed by then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich after the governor was arrested.  Of course, black pastors in Chicago are obviously not opposed to supporting candidates who do not have a "scandal-free reputation."

But, prompted by revelations Burris attempted to raise money for Blagojevich while seeking the Senate job vacated by President Barack Obama, some of those pastors will ask Burris to resign, according to the minister, who spoke on condition of anonymity because a meeting with Burris had not yet been scheduled.

Sentiment in the black community is not unanimous, but the clergy's silence as the maelstrom of criticism swells around Burris "speaks volumes," said another minister, Ira Acree, of the Greater St. John Bible Church.

"I'm a little disturbed, but because of his track record, don't want to rush to judgment," Acree said Thursday. "But neither will I attempt to defend his actions."

Burris spokesman Jim O'Connor would not say whether the senator would meet with the ministers, and referred to Burris' previous pleas that fellow politicians and constituents alike "stop the rush to judgment." 

Burris lied to an Illinois House committee in January when he testified that he hadn't had contact with key Blagojevich staffers or offered anything in return for the seat.  Last weekend, Burris released an affidavit admitting that he had spoken to several Blagojevich advisers, including Robert Blagojevich, the former governor's brother and finance chairman, who Burris said called three times last fall asking for fundraising help. This week, Burris admitted trying, unsuccessfully, to raise money for Blagojevich.

Not surprisingly, Burris has resisted a growing chorus of calls for his resignation, including from within his own party.  Burris is clearly following the Bill Clinton example.


Thursday, February 19, 2009

Paul Blart: Box Office Success

A few weeks ago, an unheralded movie called Paul Blart: Mall Cop shocked Hollywood by earning nearly $33.8 million in its opening weekend. Paul Blart then continued to shock Hollywood by holding strong in its second and third weekends rather than dropping off precipitously, which is usually what happens when a bad movie opens big and the people who went to see it tell their friends to avoid it like the plague.

As of this writing, Paul Blart has earned $100 million against a production cost of $26 million, and will probably top out around $120 million. While American comedies often do poorly overseas, the broad nature of Paul Blart means it might make a lot of money abroad. If so, it will end up a phenomenally profitable piece of work.

This wasn't supposed to happen. Variety, which still considers itself the show-business bible even though by now it is more like the show-business Dianetics, called Paul Blart "an almost shockingly amateurish one-note-joke." It was little advertised. Its own distributor hoped it might earn maybe half of what it made in its first few days. As a result, the term "blarted" is now being bandied about to describe the effect of a terrible movie that crowds out more deserving fare, as in "you've been blarted."

The key to understanding the success of Paul Blart is its modesty. There's nary a curse word, nor is there flatulence joke, or an exposed or near-exposed breast. He is an innocent, and so is the movie that surrounds him, and it seems clear that audiences have been hungering for a comedy that doesn't force them to cover their own eyes in discomfort, their children's eyes in embarrassment, or their grandmother's in shame.


This One Speaks For Itself


Tennessee Passes State Sovereignty Resolution

Here's something I ran across that is ... well, interesting, for lack of a better word.  Perhaps the Revolution has started.  Clearly, many Americans are disappointed and concerned about where our government is headed.  (It's rather long, but worth a read.)

A RESOLUTION to affirm Tennessee’s sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States and to demand the federal government halt its practice of assuming powers and of imposing mandates upon the states for purposes not enumerated by the Constitution of the United States. WHEREAS, the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States reads as follows: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people”; and WHEREAS, the Tenth Amendment defines the total scope of federal power as being that specifically granted by the Constitution of the United States and no more; and WHEREAS, the scope of power defined by the Tenth Amendment means that the federal government was created by the states specifically to be an agent of the states; and WHEREAS, today, in 2009, the states are demonstrably treated as agents of the federal government; and WHEREAS, many powers assumed by the federal government and federal mandates are directly in violation of the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States; and WHEREAS, the United States Supreme Court has ruled in New York v. United States, 112 S. Ct. 2408 (1992), that Congress may not simply commandeer the legislative and regulatory processes of the states; and WHEREAS, a number of proposals from previous administrations and some now pending from the present administration and from Congress may further violate the Constitution of the United States; now, therefore, - 2 - 00394664 BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE ONE HUNDRED SIXTH GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF TENNESSEE, THE SENATE CONCURRING, that we hereby affirm Tennessee’s sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States over all powers not otherwise enumerated and granted to the federal government by the Constitution of the United States. We also demand the federal government to halt and reverse its practice of assuming powers and of imposing mandates upon the states for purposes not enumerated by the Constitution of the United States. BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that a committee of conference and correspondence be appointed by the Speaker of the House and of the Senate, which shall have as its charge to communicate the preceding resolution to the legislatures of the several states, to assure them that this State continues in the same esteem of their friendship and to call for a joint working group between the states to enumerate the abuses of authority by the federal government and to seek repeal of the assumption of powers and the imposed mandates. BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that a certified copy of this resolution be transmitted to the President of the United States, the President of the United States Senate, the Speaker and the Clerk of the United States House of Representatives, and to each member of Tennessee’s Congressional delegation.


Pope and Pelosi Attend Different Meetings

After rushing the economic stimulus legislation through so her private jet could wisk her and some of her colleagues off to Italy for a working trip, Speaker Pelosi had arranged to have an audience with the leader of the Catholic Church.

Despite her position as the head of Congress, third in line to the Presidency (absit), Pope Benedict XVI met with Speaker Pelosi, but would not have a photo-op session. He challenged the Speaker on her stance on abortion. As has been pointed out, the press releases from the Pope and from Pelosi give the impression that they were at different meetings, or His Holiness was as impressed with Speaker Pelosi as most of the American public are:

From the Vatican:

His Holiness took the opportunity to speak of the requirements of the natural moral law and the Church’s consistent teaching on the dignity of human life from conception to natural death which enjoins all Catholics, and especially legislators, jurists and those responsible for the common good of society, to work in cooperation with all men and women of good will in creating a just system of laws capable of protecting human life at all stages of its development”

And from the Speaker’s Office:

"It is with great joy that my husband, Paul, and I met with his Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI today,” Pelosi said in a statement released hours after the meeting. “In our conversation, I had the opportunity to praise the Church’s leadership in fighting poverty, hunger and global warming, as well as the Holy Father’s dedication to religious freedom and his upcoming trip and message to Israel. I was proud to show his Holiness a photograph of my family’s papal visit in the 1950s, as well as a recent picture of our children and grandchildren.”

No answer on the lack of photos. Pope Benedict XVI is a very smart man, and perhaps he was not going to a be pawn for Pelosi!!


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This blog is about my opinions and world view.  I am a conservative, evangelical Christian.  Generally speaking, if you post a comment, I'll allow you to express your view.  However, if you say something hateful, untruthful, or just generally something I don't like, I may remove it.

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