Friday, October 10, 2008

Things that should be investigated

Why doesn't the US Senate have term limits?  I don't particularly care about their arguments for keeping their seats, it is not democratic for these people to have "lifetime" appointments, especially when their partisan leadership efforts on major committees affect ALL Americans.

How is it that movie companies can promote movies without a "rating?"  I'm tired of seeing trailers stating "This film has not yet been rated."  Regulations should be changed to "require" a rating before a movie can be marketed.

What is with the legal system and "plea bargains?"  If a criminal is guilty of a crime, they should not have the opportunity to plead for a reduced sentence.  The full weight of the law should come down on them regardless of who they are.

Is there any more "racist" act than that by Notre Dame in firing coach Ty Willingham and replacing him with Fatboy whatshizname.  And then before his first season is over, he is given a contract extension as if he was the second coming.  Now where is the football team?

more to come ...

Monday, October 6, 2008

Common Sense

Websters definition: "sound and prudent judgment based on a simple perception of the situation or facts"

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Pre-requisites for elective office

How is it that Barack Hussein Obama can get away with not making public information about his past?

It would seem to me that any candidate should be required to provide the following, at a minimum:

  • Birth Certificate
  • Proof of Citizenship
  • Military discharge (if served in US Armed Forces)
  • School Records
  • Medical Records
  • Submit a professionally written resume as in a job interview
  • References
The games that get played in the courts preventing access to records pertaining to a candidates past should be immediate grounds for qualification to run.

And finally, the candidate should be required to sign a "Pledge of Allegiance" to the United States of America.  If someone can't even feel good about wearing a flag pin on their lapel, then they have told us all we need to know about their ability to uphold and defend the US Constitution.

If elected, we will probably see an attack on the need to take the oath of office with hand on the Bible.

The Housing Food Chain

Banks loan.  Housing developers sell houses.  Realtors get commissions.  Home improvement stores, furniture manufacturers, major appliance dealers, utilities, cities-counties-states get their taxes, insurance companies get premiums, everyone gets a cut.  Everyone knew this was a ponzie scheme but. hey, get while the gett'in is good.  The food chain is indeed long, and distinguished.  And it was all in the name of "fairness."

Good God!  Even nature has slow downs that help the environment acclimate to the growth and change it has just undergone.  But for some reason, man thinks himself the master architect.  Cycles, well we just can't have any of that.  There's money to be made.  And now when catastrophe hits, we can't have the natural consequences affect our growth.  There's too much at stake.  I for one think that there is plenty of evidence for the economy, society having to deal with slowdowns, adjustments to bust situations.  People need to learn that life is cyclical.  If you make mistakes, well, there are consequences and sometimes they can be very painful.  But if people don't realize that when they make their decisions, well, why is my job to bail them out when everything goes south?  It isn't my job.  It isn't anyone's job to save anyone or anything from failure.  People think nature is peaceful, and beautiful.  It is.  But that is only one side of nature.  The other is not forgiving, there are real predators and a cycle of life that is designed to have a food chain where everyone has a natural predator and life is very difficult.  Nature can be brutal and survival is anything but guaranteed.

Maybe it is a function of our Bill of Rights where it says that every person has the right to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."  People can pursue happiness in many different ways but who declared the federal government the provider of "happiness", much less fairness.  Who bought this crap of life being fair.  Or that it is someone's job to make sure life is fair.  Everytime I hear that logic, I want to B*slap them!  You want fairness, go to Disneyland, but even there  you won't get it unless you can afford an entry ticket and parking.

Above the Law

Democrats call loudly for more regulatory oversight and transparency and blame the Bush administration of failing to protect the American taxpayer.  More oversight and transparency, by the same people who brought you affordable housing for those who should be renting instead.  More oversight and transparency by the same people who neglected their own responsibilities.  More oversight and transparency by those who enabled and participated in personal financial gains that have made the public irate.  Democrats, Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, Chuck Schumer, Franklin Raines, Jim Johnson, and a host of others that over many years denied, obfuscated and simply lied, misled everyone.

And now the same A**holes are left to manage the early Christmas present approaching one trillion dollars.  This number is so large that every man, woman and child in the United States could receive a lump sum payment of $3,000.   And estimates are that the actual cost will be higher still.   And yet, Dems with the help of the MSM, are fixing blame on Bush and the Republicans as being responsible since this debacle happened on their watch.  

Where are the investigations?  Why aren't House Chairmen being told to step down from their responsibilities while investigations proceed?  Why do people like Franklin Raines get to plea bargain?  They should be in jail.  What smart bureaucrat allowed him to get away with a plea bargain that left him his millions while giving up worthless stock options, paying a miserly fine, and walking away with his freedom?

How many news reports describe those managing the markets, corporations, banks and government as "the smartest," the best of the Street, etc.  Well, being smart is one thing.  Being smart and arrogant is another completely different thing.  Call them miscreants.  Rascals.  Wizards.  Creative.  I call it criminal.  And when those doing the deeds walk away with golden parachutes and/or plea agreements, justice is not done.  The key word which seems to have grown out of favor in recent decades is accountability.

Life and Risk

Risk, "the possibility of loss or injury" is something that has consumed inordinate amounts of capital in our society.  The current financial crisis is the latest issue having the government bailout failing institutions who are supposedly private enterprises.  But this is just an extension of peoples' desire to reduce or eliminate the risk in life.  Take laws for wearing seat belts.  Helmets for bicycle and motorcycle riders.  Laws against smoking.   We either have laws that protect citizens from each other, or just even from themselves.  Where does common sense come into play?  People who are our elected officials or citizens on community boards take it upon themselves to "protect" their fellow citizens.

And what about actions that aren't prescribed by law but are undertaken by well meaning bureaucrats.  I noticed in one city that is affluent enough to spend money on all kinds of goodies, having crosswalks with traffic signals, and for pedestrians.  The pedestrians are warned by a multiplicity of devices, walking and standing figures that change color to accommodate color blind people and normally sighted people.  Beeping sounds that enable blind people to navigate the street.  Countdown numbers to let people know how much time is left before the traffic signal changes.  And all the while, some kind of arbitrary clock gives pedestrians time to cross allowing for "worst" case slowness while traffic must wait.  

In economics, the issue of diminishing returns plays a big part in making decisions.  How does someone judge that spending x amount of money is worth a marginal increase in something like safety.  Again, where does common sense come into play? 

I noticed once while taking an airport shuttle from the plane to the airline gate, which was all of 100 yards away that "safety" was on display in an astounding array of technological solutions.  Not only could a person not walk the 100 yards to the gate, but the shuttle had a "beeper" to let anyone behind this monstrosity know that it was backing up and could pose a danger.  And the driver was also equipped with a tv monitor in the cab relaying the picture from a camera mounted on the rear of the shuttle just in case the "beeping" somehow failed to heed the warning.

While providing safety is a good thing, economically, there comes a point of ridiculousness.  Our society, in large part because of it's litigious nature, tries to protect against the "n"th degree of risk.  And these costs are hidden and expensive.  What happened to personal responsibility?  Why must the state endeavor to "protect" us to such an extent?

Now we see the government bailing out failing companies and institutions.  It even now deems to protect the earth from some future destruction caused by, you guessed it, us.  Government and it's minions feel they can justly reduce the risk inherent in living because they have an unlimited bankroll called the taxpayer.  Oh, their "intentions" are good, even noble.  But who makes the decisions that the marginal benefit are worth the cost.  Even when the existence of the problem cannot be confirmed or the cause of the problem defined, these minions claim that without immediate action, life as we know will end within the next decade.

I was  taught growing up that I should endeavor to make good decisions and learn from my mistakes so as not to repeat them.  Learning from bad judgement can come with serious pain and consequences.  However, again, our society seems to want to be protected from any negative consequences.  How do we make corrections if our mistakes are just "papered" over and the "pain" is diffused over the entire taxpayer base?  Those who make bad decisions, judgments, investments should be allowed to suffer from their mistakes.

In my mind the answer to regulation of our capitalist markets is to apply the law of the land.  Those with fiduciary responsibility to shareholders, employees, customers, and business partners, should be brought to justice.  Swift, strong application of the law and it's penalties would go a long way toward "regulating" the games people play with other people's livelihoods, futures, and investments.  Bigger government is not the answer.  It is popular right now to claim that this mess occurred because of a lack of oversight and that the solution is more government regulation.

Regulation comes in the form of auditing, business results and to a lesser extent government regulation.  When corporate executives run their company into the ground, they need to be rewarded with investigations and possibly fines and jail time.  They have at their disposals the management team they assemble, the board of directors, shareholders, and the ability to hire consultants who can advise them of the feasibility of a course of action.  There is no reason they cannot make "good" decisions.  Maybe they are not reckless and do act in good faith.  Then they can be fired and their reputations impacted negatively.  And certainly poor performance should not be rewarded with a "golden" parachute just because they held a "C" level post.