Monday, December 28, 2009

A nation divided

One of the biggest complaints about politics today is the inability of the two parties to work together. In fact this is partly what drove people to vote for Obama. During the campaign he often promised to bring the parties together in a more harmonious fashion.

Well the election is long behind us and so is the idea of a more civil debate over issues. This is not to lay it all on Obama. This problem has been long brewing, Bush also campaigned on being able to work with the opposition. We all know how that worked out.

This morning on the way to work I heard an interview with Mike Huckabee on the radio. This was not a political show but local radio guys Lanigan and Malone. They were reviewing Huckabee's new book a collection of Christmas memories. After talking about the book for a little while they asked the obligatory question of weather Huckabee was going to run for president again.

Following up they asked him why politics was so rancorous and what could be done about it. Huckabee had two suggestions for alleviating the discord first he would like term limits on congress. Secondly he would like to repeal the seventeenth amendment, this amendment changed the way we elect senators. Early on state legislatures appointed our senators as opposed to popular elections.

The reasoning behind term limits was to have congressmen voting in the countries best interests as opposed to just trying to get re-elected. With the seventeenth amendment he feels the way we are electing senators now they function to much like congressmen. With state legislatures appointing they were more beholden to their individual states. This kept a more even balance between states rights and federal dominance.

I don't like the term limits idea, I feel this is a restriction on freedom of speech. Repealing the 17th amendment might have merit and give the states a measure of power back.

By the way Huck says he doesn't really see himself running again but you never know.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

When do you celebrate

When I was a child we opened gifts on Christmas morning. This worked out good when I got married because my wife's family opened gifts on Christmas eve. Now my kids are older and it's getting harder to meet all at the same time. So now we celebrate Christmas on Christmas morning ,and eve and the weekend before and the weekend after.

How do you celebrate Christmas?

Haiku #16 Christmas

Merry Christmas all
Feelings of good cheer
Joyous time of year

Saturday, December 19, 2009


Numbers are wonderful things. Reading the paper this morning a couple of numbers jumped out at me. 5 billion that is the amount of money that will be left on gift cards this year. This is based on 5-15 percent being left on gift cards on average.

Personally I pick up pennies off the street so I can't imagine leaving money unspent on gift cards.

The second set of numbers are 289-21-3 this the won lose record of Larry Kehres. Larry coaches at Mount Union a division III college football powerhouse. Mount Union is playing for the championship in the Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl today at 11. That's 21 loses in 24 years, amazing.

Sunday, December 13, 2009


Two stories in Sunday's Cleveland Plain Dealer the first on the House passing a spending bill. Five pages later there is a story about the deepening worry over the ever increasing National debt. In the national debt story they talk about the need to raise the statutory debt ceiling to keep money flowing. When we all know we need to drastically cut spending to reel in this debt. A bi partisan commission to find ways to cut the debt has been proposed. Congress is against this because it would usurp their powers to tax and spend. In effect their power to control us is in jeopardy and they are worried.

The spending bill story stated that this bill covered spending for half the federal government. The bill increases funding by ten percent for the agencies covered.

Does any one else find it as ludicrous as I that they worry about debt but increase spending.

Fixing things

When I was young and the muffler was falling off of my car I tied it back up with a coat hanger. As a homeowner I often find myself having to fix things around the house. Weather it is patching holes or re roofing, inside or out I do it myself.

When business comes up with a new product, Plasma T.V.s,or Hybrid cars they are slow to hit the market. The people who are willing to way over pay rush to get the latest and greatest. Often the bugs haven't been worked out and the product is inferior to that which will be produced years later. Businesses also must worry about the cost effectiveness of a product. That is unless it meets some agenda and is subsidized by the government, like Hybrid cars. When you see a hybrid realize that you helped purchase that through your taxes.

So now we're told that the climate needs repaired. I won't argue the point all though I'm not convinced. I will offer a few thoughts though on the on going debate of how to fix the climate.

First off we need to decide what we want to accomplish. What are we trying to change the climate to, what is the optimum temp.
Secondly how do we pay for it, a repair must be paid for. We have all seen in the past year how most individuals and our government manage money. Spending into foreclosure and debt that is growing out of control. We the people need to tell them no to spending on all fronts. The only fiscally responsible approach to climate repair is to wait for a cost effective approach.

In the mean time if people want effect climate change they should do it their selves. Spending other peoples money to fix a problem without a defined goal is unacceptable.

Saturday, December 12, 2009


Much of what's happening in Copenhagen reminds of that old saying. There's something rotten in Denmark. At conference set up to combat pollution that leads to AGW we have world leaders producing more pollution via limos and private jets. We also have the EastAnglia e-mail scandal which has people openly questioning the science behind AGW. Time and again we are hearing how the rich countries (U.S.A.) must fork over billions of dollars to the poor countries to fix this problem.

Yes, something surely stinks in Denmark.

Saturday, December 5, 2009


Barak Obama has to decided to take on Unemployment this week. Holding a conference to discuss the employment issue. The key theme to the conference was that the private sector really needs to lead on this issue.

I can't really argue with the idea that the private sector should lead because I believe in a limited government. Though it seems strange coming from Obama who chooses to insert government into private affairs frequently. My immediate reaction when I read Obama's comments was well get out of the way.

Not that it will happen but a lengthy congressional haiatus would be the best medicine for the economy and jobs. Businesses like certainty with pending legislation of the magnitude of Health care reform and Cap&Trade businesses are hunkering down.

So if President Obama wants the private sector to lead all he needs to do is stand up and be a leader. Lead by putting a hold on all new legislation that does not eliminate programs and reduce spending.

Sarah Palin

I haven't written about Sarah P{alin in the past. Reading the paper this morning got me to thinking maybe we are too quick to dismiss Palin as a viable national candidate.

Two questions from the Washington Post phone poll of those who lean Republican taken Nov. 19-23. The first question focused on issues and and the emphasis the Republicans put on them.

Too much Too little Right amount

Gun rights 16% 33% 50%

Same sex marriage 27% 32% 42%

Abortion 23% 34% 42%

Federal spending 11% 60% 28%

Taxes 11% 44% 44%

Illegal immigrants 9% 61% 29%

The second question was concerning Republican leaders and who represents the parties core values. Sarah Palin with 18% led the next closest leader by five points at 18%. I believe if she focuses on Federal spending she can have run away Republian support. More importantly she could sway independants taking this approach.

Saturday, November 28, 2009


Proponents of the public option are continually talking about the merits of competition. Adding this new player, the government to the health insurance field is supposed to lower costs.

What is competition is it two equals vying for dominance or at least victory? Or is it as reformers would have you believe just adding another player.

A couple of analogies to consider. When my son was young he was hospitalized often for asthma. After work I would go and spend time with him. The hospital on the children's floor had video games for the kids to play. My son liked the sports games hockey especially. He would beat me regularly O.K. always. Now why did he beat me, no I didn't let him win. Some of it was that he was better at video games. Mostly though it had to do with incomplete instruction. You see he would tell me just do this and this but would leave out how to pass or go faster. Basically he laid out the game so he couldn't lose.

I like to play basketball in the driveway. When the kids were high school age we would play 2 or 3 on one. This kept the games competitive for the most part. However the one day my son invited a kid from the H.S team over He was 6'7. No matter how we split players this kid destroyed the competitive balance.

So is the public option adding competition or just taking over the game.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Haiku #15 Thanksgiving

Contemplate my life
Good wife, good job, and good health
Cause to be thankful

Happy Thanksgiving all.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Global warming/good,bad ,real?

As cap and trade legislation and it's cost become more visible people are questioning the so called truth of AGW(man made global warming). I'm not a scientist so I won't claim that I can prove the fallacy that is AGW. Instead I would ask if things are getting better or worse in our environment.

Growing up I first lived in an inner ring suburb of Cleveland Ohio and then a little further out but still the suburbs. The animals we saw were squirrels and raccoons,mice and moles. We were amazed after we moved further out and saw a possum or skunk rarely.

As an adult I live in an area that is a blend between suburbs and farm land. Twenty years ago when we first moved here we would see the occasional deer. Lately the deer have become more and more prevalent. Last year there was a story of of a women in the downtown area who killed a deer with a shovel.

Last week when I was out for my daily run I saw something I've never seen before at least not in Ohio. Standing along side the road there was coyote. As I approached it retreated closer to the woods and watched me pass.

So why the litany of critters. I believe it is a testament to the health of the environment. Some of it can be attributed to location but the increase in sightings in my mind means there are more animals to be seen. More animals appear because the winters are lighter allowing them to survive but also because the general health of the environment is better. Air quality and drinking water are both less polluted.

So I ask two questions is this a sign that whatever global warming is happening is good or bad. Secondly have any of you noticed similar results in your part of the country?

Friday, November 20, 2009


Thursday evening watching the local news they did a story about the opening night of the new Twilight movie New Moon or Twin Moon or something. Teenage girls longing romantically for vampires. They showed a line at the movie theatre that had formed four and a half hours before the first showing. The first show started at eleven.

Now you might think the why is why would anyone want to watch this film but you would be wrong. My question is why would they have a first showing at eleven on a school night. After all the audience is predominantly teen girls. There was a time when civic responsibility would have dictated using Friday for the first showing.

Alas I think common sense loses out to trying to milk a buck out of the consumer.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Interpretting the Bible

I read an interesting article this morning Jesus the Capitalist .

The article talked about people who used Jesus or the Bible to argue politics. The premise was that people have preconceived idea then go looking for scripture to back it up. To me this is a problem with interpretation of any work. If we read only one sentence from a book or even one book by an author can we truly know their message.

To me context and of an individual verse and in connection with the rest of scripture is the key to understanding.

Jesus should not be used as bludgeon to coerce people in public policy debates. Public policy should be argued only on the basis of weather it is going to provide for a healthier city, state or nation.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


I saw a poll this morning listing the states in order happiest to least happy.Utah was happiest, I live in Ohio we are #47.

It got me thinking I always assumed happiness was in our mindsets. That by simply thinking positively we can will ourselves to be happy. Oh I know sometimes this won't work but in general if we start with a smile it pushes us in the right direction.

So now I read this poll and it tells me here in Ohio being happy is tough. Can data like this be self fulfilling?

What the heck I'm going to go ahead and be happy anyway.

Sunday, November 8, 2009


A couple of days ago John posted about how people live their lives. Categorizing themselves in several ways based character development in role playing games. These categories included 9 character traits from lawful good to chaotic evil true neutral being in the middle.

Coming home from work Wednesday Dennis Prager stated if you are neutral in regard to something that is evil you are actually evil.

The Bible tells us in Matt 6:24 No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. This would lead me to believe that everyone has an opinion. You can't be for a free market economy and Cap&Trade they are diametrically opposed.

My question is can any one be truly neutral. We can claim to be neutral but is this just being afraid to express an opinion. When we say we don't want to pick sides aren't we saying either we can't decide which side has more merit or we don't want to offend.

I think we would be better served by our leaders if they strove less for neutrality. For while being neutral in regards to political opinion might not be evil it certainly serves bad policy.

Thursday, November 5, 2009


Leading up to Tuesday's elections several stories got me thinking. Two separate school unions were demanding raises between 2-4 percent. The one demanding 4 percent was offered 2 and was indignant, threatening a strike. There was also a deluge of letters to the editor in our small local paper debating the merits of a new school levy.

The thing that struck me was the tone institutional type people take when discussing money. Institutional people in my eyes are people who have never worked in the private sector government workers,school employees and such. whenever institutional people discuss money it's as if they think it's in unending supply.

Society might be better served if public employ could only be had after 5-10 years of private sector work. Having to create something in order to earn a pay check helps give perspective to what money really is a token representing work or service done.

Saturday, October 31, 2009


A poem I remember from my youth. I don't know the author

Ruth and Johnny
side by side
went for an auto ride

John hit a bump
Ruth hit a tree
John kept going ruthlessly

Friday, October 30, 2009

Look both ways before crossing the street

Any of us who walked to school as youngsters know this rule,look both ways before crossing. I walked to school from the first day and this was drummed into my head.

Most of the summer and into the fall people have been debating health care reform. People are wary and for good reason our Representatives have consistently shown poor judgement failing to look for unintended consequences and overlooking true costs. This is a universal failing of both parties.

While we have been staring down the speeding train of health care reform we have forgotten to look the other way. Coming equally fast is the climate change legislation. As hard as it may be to believe this bill might even do more damage to our economy. I've posted earlier about our local problem of the cost of cfl's the new spiral light bulbs. At a time when businesses are trying to right their ships and put Americans back to work uncertainties are the last thing we need.

We need to let congress and the White House know that what our country needs most now is not new programs and new taxes but stability. Those with dollars to invest didn't get wealthy gambling. They need to know what direction the government is taking and the possible effects of their direction.

Health care opt out

I keep reading different accounts of the reform plans and questions people are asking. The latest scam to try to raise public approval is the opt out option for the public option.

The thinking goes people won't complain if they don't have to participate. The only problem is that you don't get to opt out of paying for this boondoggle.

So how stupid does the Democratic leadership think we their constituents are, evidently quite stupid. Because in effect they are asking us to pay for a product and receive nothing in return.

Here's a thought why doesn't congress stop trying to buy reelection with unconstitutional programs. Some people would say they are looking out for the public welfare. I would say if all they were interested in was the public good there would not be so much interest in polling data.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The end of civilization

The AP. has a story about a young girl and her homecoming dance. This 15 year old girl left the dance and was drinking outside when she was attacked. For more than 2 hours she was raped and beaten. She was left half naked by a picnic table, she is still in the hospital recovering.

This should be enough to make you think civilization is ending but it gets worse. More than two dozen people saw this heinous act and did nothing not even calling the police.

The world has always had demented evil people but there was a time where people would have tried to stop this outrage.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


In Norway a new law went in to effect this year. This law makes every one's income and tax records public knowledge. I would prefer to decide myself what is told about me or not.

Does a government have a right to disclose personal data?

Friday, October 23, 2009

How to act when in power

Last Thursday a House committee was meeting to discuss reforms for the mortgage industry. The Republicans let it be known that they planned to subpoena Bank of America for records concerning the Friends of Angelo's V.I.P. mortgage program. Dems Including Chris Dodd and Kent Conrad have been getting negative press for their connection to this program,they got sweetheart loans.

When the meeting was to start however the Dems were absent the Reps waited more than half an hour then were told the meeting was cancelled. In actuality the Dems met in a smaller room behind the main hearing room.

A republican aide video taped them leaving this meeting through a back door. This video interspersed with footage of the empty meeting room was placed on YouTube.

The majority Dems were not pleased so they changed the locks on the hearing room doors.

This is a fine example of how not to act when you're in power. Caught in the act of doing something the wrong way blame the other guy and retaliate.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Over controlling or out of control

During the Bush administration the left was quick to yell about fascism and coercion. Whether it was Natalie Maines Dixie Chix or the Patriot act. The media seemed to buy in to this with if not outrage at least sympathy.

Now that we have a new administration encouraging people to inform on people who are against the current health care reform or threatening insurance companies the outrage has stopped.

Most of these things are a non issue for me. However the latest deal where if the insurance industry wants to point out problems they see from their perspective with the health care reform congress threatens them with legislation just seems wrong.

This truly is an abuse of power.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


People are being foreclosed at the rate of 7 per minute according to ABC news. This is a sad situation for America and for these families.

The Obama administration has a portion of the stimulus bill setting a side billions of dollars to help banks make mortgage payments more affordable. One of the restrictions is that you must show income. ABC was decrying the policy because it rules out too many people. The majority of the foreclosures are happening to the unemployed.

I'll tell you my problem with the program. The government has no business taking money from one person to pay another persons mortgage. This is the same as rewarding irresponsibility at the cost to the responsible.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


No not the Canadian football league, the new style light bulb. We bought several last year with a coupon. The bulbs were still expensive but we figured why not try them. The light takes a little while to get to full strength and full strength is still inferior to the incandescent bulb. Plus there is the disposal problem, it isn't recommended to just toss them in the garbage,they are hazardous waste.

In Ohio the electric companies are giving away 2 bulbs to residential customers. The hope is this will reduce electric consumption. Only they aren't going to give them away they are going to add 60 cents a month to the bill for several years. The total cost for these free bulbs will end up being 21 dollars. Now they are spending 3.50 each for the bulbs the rest is packaging and distribution.

This is in reaction to a government mandate to reduce electric consumption by 25%. Just another example of government interference leading to inefficiency and waste.

2012 is coming when the incandescent bulb is to be banned in the U.S. better stock up now.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Odd survey results

Parade magazine did a survey on religion and spirituality in the U.S. It talks about the U.S. being founded on strong religious faith and how that is still basically true with 69% believing in God. Now here's the odd part the survey also said that 77% pray outside of religious services. Now either I read this wrong or 8% of Americans pray even though they don't believe in God.

More likely the article was edited wrong but I sure got a laugh out of it.

Friday, October 2, 2009


A recent post over at Zerays gazette John was talking about principles to live by. In the course of discussion debate arose over weather working for causes was worth while. I think this is really a defining issue separating liberal from conservative.

Liberals and conservatives look at causes differently. A liberal is much more likely to campaign to save the polar bears, or the planet or for any of a myriad of projects. Conservatives tend to see the world as being pretty good, and would like the status quo to continue. I know these are generalizations but look at this summer. People were talking about how angry and disruptive the conservative protesters were at townhall meetings. This was just people not thinking things out. The real reason people were talking about this is that it was so out of the norm. People are not used to conservatives protesting. However this was different than the normal liberal protest in that the protests were to prevent change not implement it.

I believe in a slower change one where people effect people one on one. Coaching youth sports, teaching Sunday school, etc. any where there is interaction between people we are changing the world.

How are you going to change the world?

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Haiku #14 Wedding day

We'll be partying tonight
Uniting of two

Our family grows
A second daughter to love
Share the joy we feel

Friday, September 25, 2009

Wrong problem

Census data published this week shows by area of the country percentage of people without health insurance. Those states with the lowest percentages invariably have the fewest illegal aliens. Maybe tackling the problem of health care reform should start with the illegals.

We can't truly judge the costs of our health care while we allow 8-12 million people to abuse the system. Reform proponents are often touting the cost of treating the uninsured at E.R.s. My guess is that if we had data broken down demographically about which groups abuse the E.R most often Illegals would head the list.

We need to cure the problem not treat the symptoms.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Do you trust politicians?

If your like most people you find it hard to trust our elected officials. I sat down at the computer before and though it wasn't really a surprise I read that Massachusetts was changing their law again. This is the law that governs how they replace a representative due to death or retirement. Thay change in 2003-04 in case Kerry was elected to keep a Republican govenor Romney from naming a replacement. Now there is a Democrat in the govenor's chair so they need to put it back so a replacement can be named for Kennedy. These type of shenanigans are exactly why people don't trust their elected officials.

The Dems aren't the only ones playing games. Anytime there is a census and districts need to be redrawn they carve the states up in to as many safe districts as they can.

Arbitrary rules that only serve to advance political aims are trust killers.

Saturday, September 19, 2009


Jockeystreet posted the other day bemoaning the racist tone of some of the signs and comments at tea party rallies and elsewhere. Taken individually you might argue that this shows a negative trend in our society. After all no one wants to be thought a racist. Certainly I don't condone racist talk or attitudes.

However politically this shows a vibrancy and enthusiasm no matter how misdirected.People in the spot light often say publicity of any kind is better than being ignored. The importance of what is happening in our country now is evident by the reactions on both sides. After all this doesn't just affect you and me but our children and grandchildren.

There is a definite need to do any legislation right but especially entitlement legislation. Because entitlement legislation is the hardest to amend or repeal. That means no going back if we make a mistake.

While the debate has been less than civil at times at least we care.

Friday, September 18, 2009

I'm not stupid

Sometimes you just have to check. says I'm 0% Stupid! How stupid are you? Click Here!

Politician just don't get it.

In Ohio a recent court case in which the attorney general Richard Cordray sued all Ohio grocery stores a verdict was reached. The court ruled that grocery stores would have to pay a commercial activity tax. This is a tax on gross receipts. The grocers argued this amounts to a tax on food Ohio's constitution forbids this. The AG argued that this was a tax on being allowed to do business.

Now I don't know where politicians get their ideas but who do they think is really going to pay this tax.

My bet is a lot of grocery store employees are walking up and down aisles as I type marking prices up.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


If taxation without representation is tyranny is representation without paying taxes also tyranny?

Monday, September 14, 2009

I don't think so

Last week in the paper twice in letters to the editor and once in an editorial President Obama was referred to as a centrist or center right. What do you think?

Friday, September 11, 2009

Pre- existing

A story out of Indiana explains the pre-existing dilemma. A pizza shop hired an obese male 340lbs to work in the kitchen. This guy hit his back on a freezer door and the pain was so persistent that it required surgery. The pizza shop agreed to pay for this being that it happened at work.

So how is this describing a pre-existing condition. His doctor told him for the best results any back surgery would require him to lose weight. So he sued his employer to pay for weight lose surgery costing between 20,000-25,000 dollars The courts found in his favor ordering payment for both surgeries.

This is why insurance companies don't insure pre-existing conditions. You can't insure against something that has already happened.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

I never thought I would say this

Dennis Kucinich, Ohio congressman, and former presidential candidate said something smart the other day. In discussing the on going health insurance reform Dennis said when dealing with such a big issue you have to discuss the issue and prepare people you can't just cram things down their throats.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Haiku #13

Body stiff and sore
Blistered and callused
One more day of work

Sometimes I think I work harder on the weekends than I do at work.

Saturday, September 5, 2009


I read a letter to the editor this morning she wrote that she had written several letters to our senator Sherrod Brown asking question concerning health insurance reform. She states that questions were answered only once in an e-mail and the answer was look how good medicare is.

I had a similar experience when Senator Brown was a congressman I wrote asking his opinion on the fair tax a consumption tax to replace the income tax. I was respectful and courteous but got no reply.

My question is how responsive should legislatures be to their constituents?

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Haiku #12

What am I seeing
The issues seem distorted
Time for bifocals

Went to the eye doctor monday, must be getting old he said I needed bifocals.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


I read an article out of the U.K today stating that 17 percent of the households have no one working. The list includes over 100,000 people who have never worked. All this is bad enough but the one family the story featured was bringing home 33,000 pounds a year in social benefits. This is more than a lot of working families net.

When socialism rears it's ugly head it leads to these kinds of abuses.

Swine flu

Yesterday on the radio they were talking about the coming flu season and swine flu in particular. The news outlets are talking of up to 90,000 deaths related to swine flu. The actual report say a chance of between 30,000 to 90,000 deaths

So are you going to get the swine flu vaccine?

I probably won't it seems like too much hype and not enough facts.

Friday, August 21, 2009

The heart of disagreement

People on the left when discussing health insurance reform are angry with the right. They rant that the right is racist,ignorant ,lying,fear mongering, and violent I might have missed a few. When they finish bad mouthing the right their usual next line is that if they don't like the dem's bill they should work with them to make it better. Sometimes the criticism is that the right has no plan of their own. I believe the reason the right and left aren't working together on this issue is that both sides are so far apart that compromise becomes almost impossible.

When you can't reach a suitable compromise in politics the only solution is to try to stop a great wrong from happening.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Public transportation

There has been some outrage in cities around Cleveland that are losing their circulator buses. The circulators make more frequent stops in a smaller area.

The Plain Dealer reported this morning that the circulator for Lakewood cost $470,274 a year to operate and average 20 riders per hour. I did a little math and if the buses run for 12 hours a day 365 days a year it works out to about $100 dollars an hour. Now the only way I can see for these buses to keep running would be to charge $5 bucks a head.

However public transportation doesn't work this way. Every time an issue over fares comes up no one wants to pay what it cost even to break even. Government subsidizes a mode of transportation that so few people want to use that it isn't viable.

This is why government has such a hard time working within a budget.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Hazards of linking

Being relatively new to hosting a blog I learned something today. When linking always try the links after posting. I linked to two separate blogs this morning and found I did not do either one correctly. One was a misspelling of the url the other I had mistyped when I initially set-up the side bar. I added an s to Keane observations url it should have been Oddly enough there is an Edward Keane no relation set-up at the url I mistakenly had typed at my blog roll.

It's good to learn even if you feel a little stupid in the process.

Death penalty

A couple of weeks ago there was a lively debate over at Zeray gazette concerning the death penalty. Two stories this week reaffirmed my position in favor of the death penalty. First was the story from Fridays evening news the bomber who took down the PanAm plane over Lockerbie Scotland killing more than 200 hundred people was being considered for release. He has little time to live suffering with prostate cancer in the U.K. they have a provision for compassionate parole. Secondly I was reminded by my brother over at Keaneobservations of the release of Squeaky Fromme this week for the younger folks she was a disciple of Charles Manson and attempted to kill President Ford.

One of the arguments for dispensing with the death penalty is that life in prison is a better penalty. The problem is that if such high profile criminals can have their life sentences commuted is life in prison really life in prison.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Will you buy it?

G.M. announced on Tuesday that their Chevy Volt will get 230 mpg in city driving. The combined average mpg will be around 100mpg.

G.M. is hopeful that this will help right their floundering company. I have my doubts first the price is to be around $40,000. This is a price higher than the really cost conscious shopper might be willing to spend. Secondly the driver that does most of their driving in the city usually doesn't pile on the mileage the way the highway driver would. My son drives a Dodge Ram about 15mpg but driving mostly in the city it doesn't bother him because he doesn't pile on the miles and have to hit the pumps too often.

Only time will tell and maybe the second generation of electrical technology will be more affordable.

Saturday, August 8, 2009


A new pew research poll that I read in today's paper bothered me. The question posed was what is your view of the United States. Now at the bottom of the list there were no surprises. The countries you would expect Turkey, Palestinian Terr., Pakistan, Jordan , and Egypt have a bad impression of the U.S.

The part I found disturbing was the top of this poll the country with the highest opinion of the U.S. was Kenya. Not surprising in that they feel their native son of sorts is president. Still not disturbed,the U.S. was polled and we have a lower opinion of ourselves than the Kenyans.

Here's a link to the poll The poll shows this isn't really a new trend in fact are own opinion of the U.S. has risen. One thing in reading the online poll that I found odd was that when questioning certain international policies other countries liked what we are doing better than we do.

Foreign policy should benefit us not other countries, I think Ricky Nelson said it best" You can't please everyone so you got to please yourself.

Friday, August 7, 2009


For years as costs have risen manufacturers have coped with how to sell their products. We have all seen the half gallon carton of ice cream lose several ounces or 3 pound can of coffee that only has 2.5 pounds. We are visually fooled into thinking we are getting the same product. Well the post office is thinking of taking a cue from these businesses. There is a proposal to eliminate Saturday deliveries, same price less service.

If this goes through they better hope it doesn't lead to a further exodus away from the postal service. People may after all seek other alternatives and find they don't need the U.S. mail service.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Who spends more

Reading the letters to the editor concerning health insurance the writer was complaining about the current inefficiencies. Their point was that the private insurers skim of 300billion a year in administrative costs, therefore we need a single payer system.

My question is do you think the government or private companies will have lower administrative expenses?

Saturday, August 1, 2009


Reading the paper this morning there was a story about an ad campaign for Blackglama furs. They ask what becomes a legend showing an actress draped in fur no need to give her name everyone knows her. They have run these ads since the sixties using Judy Garland, Audrey Hepburn,Lena Horne. This years model is Elisabeth Hurley while I have heard of her I didn't know who it was from the picture.

This got me thinking about the actors and actresses of today and the past. How do they match up who could you see acting in a role from the forties and fifties and vice versa.

1. John Wayne-----------------Harrison Ford
2. Errol Flynn-----------------Jonny Depp
3. Gary Cooper----------------Arnold Shwartzenegger
4. Bob Hope-------------------Adam Sandler
5. Jimmy Stewart------------Tom Hanks

1. Katherine Hepburn-------Meryl Streep
2. Olivia DeHaviland--------Julia Roberts
3. Doris Day------------------Meg Ryan
4. Marilyn Monroe----------Angelina Jolie
5. Judy Holliday-------------Sandra Bullock

Any others how would you do it.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Double dipping

Did you know that Jimmy Dimora currently under investigation as the feds look into corruption in Cuyahoga county is a double dipper. After all how could any public official get by on only 92,000 a year. this is interesting , but the best quote I read came from county recorder Lillian Greene a double dipper herself, It's not double dipping it's a necessity for me. How could I have afforded the lifestyle
I set for myself.

You see she ran for a new office that paid less so she needed to get paid for something she no longer did to make up the difference.

No wonder we can't correct the welfare mentality in society our leaders want something for nothing as well.

I didn't know this

Reading the paper this morning The Cleveland Plain Dealer, There was story about the recently passed state budget and one of it's provisions. This provision states that public schools are no longer allowed to use corporal punishment. Now I was under the impression that this was already the case but I guess it was just the case for most individual school districts.

My question is do you think this is a good thing for our schools and our children. I've often thought part of the discipline problem in today's schools is the fact that the swat was forbidden. Children need discipline and while some child rearing experts feel physical punishment is counter productive it's hard to deny the fact that today's youth are less respectful of authority than past generations.

So what really works

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Haiku #11

Home alone tonight
Daughter at work, wife at work
Lonely is the night

Quality health care reform

You can tell the quality of a product by those who espouse the product or by word of mouth from people who have used it.

As the health care reform bill was going through commitee one of the amendments to the bill that was suggested was to have congress forego their health plan for the public option of this new bill. Now the Dem's many of whom are pushing hard for a universal provider or a plan that will lead to a single payer system voted against this amendment.

What does this tell us about The health care reform currently on the legislative agenda?

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Who to listen to?

As the build up to war with Iraq was going on The Bush administration even in talking about a land war were thinking we would be greeted as liberators and it would be short. The left virulently opposed going to war and thought we would be fighting the same battles fought in the sixties in Viet Nam.

Now I think that our war efforts were instrumental in helping to keep terrorism at bay and worth the effort. But I also think the lefts arguments had some merit in that war is unpredictable and the short war rarely happens.

It makes me think that when we are making policy decisions we need to concentrate more on the detractors than the proponents. leaders tend to be optimistic and enthusiastic about their ideas and don't always follow the idea all the way to consequences.

So when Pres. Obama and the Democrats are telling you how great health care reform( reform of the payment methods the care is already there) remember to listen to the detractors. If someone in government predicts 1 trillion dollars over ten years and the detractors say it can't be done at that price I would bet on the detractors.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Obama the unifier

As President Obama campaigned he railed against Bush and the Republicans as being divisive.

Now Pres. Obama works to create class warfare, government health care,cap and trade,G.M. all these things we can do. But whose going to pay? Simple we'll tax the rich and surcharge the rich and even tell the rich how to run their companies. All these things are playing one group of people against the other.

This may be popular and get some people elected or re-elected because there are far more working class and poor than there are rich people. The question is will it work and who really pays this increase in taxes. I hope that people are smart enough to realise that the rich rarely pay more taxes than they want to simply passing increases along to their customers.

That's right no tax increase falls on one group for the rich will surely share their tax burden with us all

Monday, July 13, 2009

100 greatest books

Whenever I see a list like this It makes me feel as though I am not well read. I have read 15 of them and started some of the others and never finished them. This list is rather expansive covering all books fiction and non-fiction alike going back as far as Homer's Illiad and the Bible.

Sunday, July 12, 2009


How big does a gift have to be to be concidered a bribe in connection with a public official

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Tax the rich?

The house appropriations commitee proposes we tax the rich to pay for health care reform. Rich being defined as 350,000 for married or 280,000 for singles. Now I'm not even close to these numbers, but if I was it would be from massive amounts of overtime. Why should I or anyone put in the extra work to possibly hit the magic number so that congress can spend the fruits of our hard work. This new tax burden is the last thing our economy needs while trying to shake out of the doldrums.

A more appropriate measure would be to find a way to reward the most productive people in our society thus encouraging hard work and productivity. I've often thought that overtime should be tax exempt. People who work 50-60 hours a week deserve to keep the money the make by going above and beyond.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Long weekend

This weekend my son and I tore off a section of the roof on my house removed damaged wood and replaced everything. All is cleaned up now and I'm a little sore from the work, but I sure feel good. Finishing a big job really leaves you with a sense of accomplishment.

I think this is the hardest part for those who have lost jobs, not having a task or a goal to achieve.

We all need something to do.

Friday, July 3, 2009


How do we define a man's or woman's character? I think we take the measure of a man on the what he values. Now when were young are values aren't yet fully formed, experiences and education are still molding us.

So how do we define these values? I think probably the easiest way to see what a person values is to listen to the way they speak about various issues. Now this isn't fool proof we also need to watch the behaviour of the person. Is there a level of consistency between word and deed if so this is person of character.

We tend to think of our political leaders as being men of character, at least the ones we voted for.

Two examples to contemplate Gov. Sanford S.Car. and Gov. Strickland Oh. one Democrat and one Republican. Govenor Sanford thought to be a presidential hopeful pro defense of marriage and family values. How does he show he believes in what he values he breaks the bonds of fidelity and trust between his wife and his constituency, cheating on her and lying to the electorate.
Govenor Strickland over the course of his political career has spoken against gambling on a personal and legislative level. Recently his note has changed the state doesn't have the money he wants to spend so now he's a big supporter of gambling. One who for political expediency so easilly cast off their principles is not some one I would choose to trust.

I may not agree with a politician but if they are at least true to themselves I can respect them even if I don't share their vision.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Fitness/Wii fit

The Wii Fit is a video game that works you on scale like board to help improve your fitness level.

Once it gets cold I tend to back off on the running and lose quite a bit of my level of fitness. As years go by the cumulative affect is pretty bad though not pot bellied my BMI said I was over weight, maybe fifteen pounds.

So what did the Wii fit do for me we got ours at Christmas time and using it daily has shown measurable results. First I noticed in the spring instead of struggling to get back in the swing running 2-3 miles I was ready to go with much less pain and heavy breathing. Secondly my coordination has improved to a point where my balance is much better. Thirdly after thirty some years out of High school I weigh the same as I did way back then.

Now I wouldn't attribute everything to the Wii fit but I believe it made me feel good enough and strong enough to push me to exercise and eat better giving me that initial boost back to better health.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Whose business is it?

Working in the steel industry I've seen many times where an account goes unpaid due to bankruptcy. So this story caught my eye from the Cleveland Plain Dealer " Republic must resume supplying American axle". A county judge in Michigan ruled the Canton steel company Republic had to resume supplying material to the struggling auto parts manufacturer. Republic had stopped shipping when in a sec report American axle had said it may not be in business much longer.

My problem with all this is who is going to pay for this material if the company folds. You see the court just mandated that Republic act against it's own best interests. Because you know what happens to bills when a company folds they go bye bye. This can be brutal for the companies left holding the bag. That's why the sec demands reports so that suppliers and vendors are aware of the financial status of the companies they deal with.

Once the government starts meddling in private business it's awful hard to get their noses back out of it.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

What do you need?

A couple of days ago I posted about a survey on what people think they need. Today I would like to change the focus to government.

Here in northeast Ohio there has been a lot of talk about reforming county government due to the corruption in Cuyahoga county. My question is in this day and age with cities running together do we really need state,county and city governments. I think not' a practical solution might be eliminating county government all together. If we allowed the state to appoint administrators by region with staff of about 100 many redundant jobs could be eliminated. This would also lessen corruption being that every four years a new election would have a chance to change the political landscape. You say we have this now well not quite you see on the county level especially around the bigger cities parties are entrenched Dem or Rep. Where on a state level we see control flip-flop from one party to the other.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


I'm a couple of days late for Father's day. Reading around the internet and watchng Tv and movies fathers tend to be cast as idiots. a society that consistently portrays any segment in this light is not very healthy.

Wisdom comes from our elders and experiences if our society is to act wisely we can not continue to knock out one of the pillars of wisdom.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

What do you need

Pew research did a poll asking which of these items is necessary in your life.
car 88%
landline phone 68%
clothes dryer 66%
air conditioner 54%
television set 52%
home computer 50%
cell phone 49%
microwave oven 47%
satellite or cable TV 23%
dishwasher 21%
flat screen TV 8%
Ipod 4%

A few observations on the results if 23% say they can't do without cable or a dish how many of the 48% that say they can do without TV are lying.
Secondly I would like to ask the question the other way around what can you do without. The only thing listed above that I would say I could not do without is my car. Modern society is too spread out to truly be free without a car.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Obama 's good idea

I don't agree with Obama very often in fact almost never but in a story from the U.K.'s telegraph I found an idea I like.

Anyone who lives by a large midwest city has seen the stories of city blocks with half the houses vacant. In the story they highlight Flint, Michigan With forty percent vacancies and a population suffering twenty percent unemployment it's no wonder the populations been cut in half. So how does Obama resolve to fix this problem. The proposal is to bulldoze huge tracts of properties returning them to open fields . Destroying that which makes the cities look and feel blighted might be the only way to make them viable again.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Haiku #10

A time for all things
Going to the vet today
Goodbye to Lizzie


Sometimes the most interesting things to happen at a game don't happen on the field.A story from Friday's Cleveland Plain Dealer recounts the story of a retired auto worker Larry Quesenbberry who attended Wednesday's Indians game. In the fourth inning Larry caught a homerun ball. Not amazed yet ,well 4 batters later he caught another homerun ball

Now I've been to a lot of games in my life and have never even caught a foul ball or batting practice ball. As a side note he also caught one a few years back and attributes it to location. For future reference he sits in section 182 row A so there's the location, happy hunting.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Detroit automobiles

I'm reading Tramp Royale by Robert Heinlein it's a travalogue detailing his trip around the world in 1953-54. In stead of just sightseeing he tends to look at each country in a geo-political manner. One of the points he raises is the fact that one of the most universally coveted pieces of wealth in the world is the detroit automobile. Fifty years sure makes a difference G.M and Chrysler can't give away their product and Ford is only just now starting to make new headway. Detroit became compaisant sure that they would always have the advantage letting the competition pass them up. If we aren't advancing and perfecting our industries someone will be more than happy to take advantage.

Now is the time for America's industrial giants to rededicate their businesses to being the best in the world being American isn't good enough anymore.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Haiku #9

The creek of a chair
Early morning quiet time
Loudness of movements

Health care

In reading about health care reform I came across a statement that shows why reform is so difficult. A government official stressing the need to get health care expenses under control to aid the struggling economy said we need to cut back on health care. Not spending mind you but trips to the doctor or E.R..

It seems to me that most solutions like the one above tend to be distasteful to a large group of people. Massive reforms are hard to move forward when representitives are always trying to get re-elected.

A better method is probably working on the externals, living healthier life styles,litigation reform(malpractice limitations)regulating the way drugs are marketed, and stiffer penalties for bill padding. These are all ideas that could potentially reduce the costs of medical care without reinventing the payment process.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

June: Book Review/Ninety minutes in heaven

Ninety minutes in heaven written by Don Piper with Cecil Murphy is the account of Don's near death experience and recovery. Subtitled a glimpse of heaven I found the real compelling part of this story not to be the discription of heaven but near heaven experience on earth during Don's recovery.

Don leads us on a journey of personal growth and discovery for him and his family and friends. Teaching us to reach out and help each other so that we can all glimpse heaven through our fellow man.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Haiku #8

Great expectations
For Lebron and company
Go Cavs two to go!


Everyone seems concerned with Supreme Court nominee Sandra Sotomayor's appearance of racism from a speech she gave in the past. She basically stated that her experiences as latino women would allow her to make the proper judgments more often than a white man.

President Obama stated Friday 5-20 that she was simply saying that the hardships and experiences of her life would help her understand other peoples struggles. This is what makes a good judge according. to the President.

First off what really makes a good judges is knowing the law without an understanding of the constitution and U.S. history you can't make proper judgements. Secondly you must be able to set aside personal feelings and interpret the laws as they were written. Society can't function properly if judges can't stick to these simple guidelines so that people know the parameters within they must operate.

Now I don't know enough about Sotomayor's record to say that she doesn't know the law but President Obama told us she will judge based on her experiences and feelings.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial day

On the day our country chooses to honor the fallen I wonder what those heroes would think of the present state of our nation. What would you tell the fallen hero about the carelessness with which we chose to treat our liberties.

We have a government that now thinks the way to lead is to take over private ventures. Even worse we have business leaders and labor asking to be taken over with no care for the freedom they relinquished.

Instead of people looking to take care of themselves everyone is looking to blame someone else for thier predictaments. The government blames greedy bankers the bankers blame government regulations and the deadbeats act like they couldn't possibly know what they were doing. Mean while the solution they come up with is to have the responsible pay for the irresponsible.

So on this day not only should you remember our fallen soldiers. Let us also remember our falling country and fight to preserve the freedom and liberties that are being so cavalierly tossed to the side.

Haiku #7 Memorial day

Concepts worth fighting to hold
Remember the price

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Haiku #6

Joy turns to sorrow
Cavaliers season slipping
Miracles happen!

Still can not believe
Lebron turns lose to a win
Very Jordanesque

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Haiku #5

The recession blues
Should I spend or should I not
Fear drives us deeper

Monday, May 11, 2009

Contradictions/Rules and Islam

An interesting article over at the American Thinker talks about Hawaii voting to celebrate Islam day on Sept. 11 Julian calender Sept.24 Gregorian calender. Now we are using the Gregorian calender now so the date doesn't bother me as much as the fact that a state legislature would enact a day to celebrate any religion. I was under the impression that the government was to refrain fron endorsing any religion. Of course none of the rules seem to apply where Islam is concerned so I guess I shouldn't be suprised.

haiku #4

Basketball tonight
Cavaliers, destinies team
Pistons,Hawks who's next

Sunday, May 10, 2009

haiku #3

Lazy Sunday morn
The day unwinds so slowly
Listen to the birds

Why anyone has a job

People often think they should have a job because of length of service or because they deserve a job. This is especially true of union jobs with there sense of entitlement and protection of the incompetent.

The fact is that businesses aren't in business to provide jobs. Businesses function to make a product or service at a profit.

Hard words during hard times but useful as well when we understand this we can strive to perform in a way that leads to success in the business's goal (profit). This is the only way to stay employed working hard not for ourselves but the company

Who is John Galt?

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Haiku #2

Is anybody out there
Expressing thoughts for myself
A drift on the net


A Pew research poll from april 14-21 asked people if torture can be justified to obtain information from suspected terrorists to help thwart attacks. A majority of people said either often,sometime, or rarely, I say never.

I think most people honestly would say never but the left has confused the issue by misdefining torture. While much of what has been called torture would be unpleasant to endure that doesn't make it torture. People who said torture would be acceptable are more than likely thinking of this new definition of torture.

We as a people need to think about and discuss what torture really is so that we can make informed decisions.

Friday, May 8, 2009

haiku #1

The rainy day blues
Stuck indoors missing the sun
Sittin' and drippin'

Equal Justice

Reading the Cleveland Plain Dealer Wednesday I was struck by a pair of stories. One had to do with a disparity in sentencing between crack and powder form cocaine. You see crack is seen as more dangerous and holds a mandatory 5 year sentence. Our fearless leader President Obama wants to discontinue this practice of differentiating between crack and blow.

The second story was about a brave young woman 40 year old Connie Culp. You might ask who is Connie Culp she is the first face transplant recipient in the U.S.. Severely disfigured struggling to breathe, taste, and smell going through more than twenty surgeries she went public and asked people to think before they poke fun of somebody for their looks.
The question I'm sure your asking is what do these two stories have to do with one another. You see the real sentencing oddity was in this story Connie's husband who shot her in the face and caused all her miseries was sentenced to seven years in prison.

Yep five years for crack and seven years for ruining someones life makes sense to me.