Friday, October 31, 2014

                                                    Leaders from Hell
 When we start blaming our leaders for all of our  problems it's probably a sign that we've become too lazy and indifferent to solve our problems ourselves. After all our problems usually are "our" problems- not the politicians problems. If we take ownership of the problems we'll probably have better luck solving them than the politicians will because we're the ones that have to deal with these issues everyday.We're the experts not the politicians.

 Have you noticed how many politicians are buffing up their "so-called" leadership credentials lately? Technically a leader is someone who has the ability to bring people together in common cause. Hopefully those causes will be just and righteous but that's not always the case.  Hitler was a leader and so was Stalin, Castro, and Gengus Kahn.
Given the recent performance of our current crop of politicians we'd probably have far better solving our challenges ourselves than letting them fester and hope our politicians will find solutions. If we step back and get some perspective on our daily lives, and the ways that we interact with one another, we seem to do a pretty good job of getting along and working together. The vast majority of us get up everyday and do the work that keeps the Country running with a high degree of efficiency and a minimum of discord. It's time for us to become leaders and let the politicians know who they work for and what we expect them to do.  We do that by voting, by writing letters, and making phone calls. 

The way to judge the skill of a  leader is to ask whether  they bring us together or pit us against one anther.The way to judge the quality of a leader is to ask if their actions are fair, just, wise, moral, and compassionate. Politicians who attempt to get elected by pitting us against each other should be turned out of office as quickly as possible. Don't forget to Vote!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

                                                      Democracy doesn't have a "Party Line"

Only a few more days before the election and we'll be able to start answering our phones again!
It's interesting  to watch the ads on TV  that accuse the candidates of  consistently voting  for the so called "Party Line" of each political party. Communism has a "party line". Democracy doesn't. The sooner we get "Party" out of politics the better.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Scary days come  up! Ghosts, goblins and politicians prowling the streets looking for handouts and votes.
Hard to tell who is really behind those masks or what they plan to do after they count their goodies and claim their votes. It's scary to vote and even more scary not to! All those promises fade away in the morning like a fog burns off with the sunrise. They'll disappear by noon scuttling back to their caves and offices in the East. We won't hear from them for a few more years. No more ads, no more promises, no more masks. Let us be neighbors again. Let them swarm back to their nests. Leave us in peace!We're doing just fine without you!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Who was Ayn Rand?

This Russian immigrant probably had more influence on our Free Enterprise system than any other writer in the 20th Century. Her novels portrayed wealthy Oligarchs who controlled the major industries of the Nation and could be counted on to do what was best for the Country. Al Capp, one of America's noted social commentators who expressed his social views in the comic strip - Little Orphan Annie, created a wealthy Oligarch named "Daddy Warbucks". Not hard to figure out how he made his fortune. Any Rand created similar Oligarchs in her novels. She came to America as an Atheist knowing virtually nothing about a Free Enterprise system and for some unknown reason decided to write novels about heroic oligarchs. She wrote about a highly idealized concept of Free Enterprise which was so convincing that her philosophy became the bed rock of todays Republican Party. Alan Greenspan was among those who virtually worshiped at her feet.
Paul Ryan is another admirer. The characters in her books weren't just good business men, they were heroic and handsome as well and it goes without saying that their wives were gorgeous.  These larger than life characters owned the railroads and all of the major industries of the Nation. They created the jobs, financed the industries, and basically controlled every major segment of the economy. It's ironic that a Russian immigrant who had no concept of a true Free Enterprise system could have had such an enormous influence on many of our Nation's economists and investors over the years. She was a skilled writer. Her characters were larger than life, highly romanticized  and always could be counted on to know what was best for the country (and their own pocket books). Her appeal was largely to young college age boys (I confess to being enamored with her books in college). Her basic thesis was that Oligarchs could be trusted to do what was best for all of us. Alan Greenspan was so brain washed by Ayn Rand that to this day he can't believe that the bankers and the boys on Wall Street couldn't be trusted with the reins of our economy.

It's ironic that the core members of the Republican Party so admire a Godless Russian who promoted an Oligarchy controlled economic system. Her views were the very antithesis  of everything that our Free Enterprise system is supposed to represent.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Why Martha Stewart?

It's been five years since the economy collapsed in 2009 and so far the only CEO who's gone to jail is Martha Stewart. Not one of the Bank CEO's, not a single Wall Street CEO, has even been prosecuted but for some reason they went after Martha Steward for a stock transaction that was so small it;s hard to imagine how it even popped up on the radar of the Justice Department. They nailed her for so called "insider trading" as if the majority of the big players on Wall Street don't take advantage of "inside" information every day of the week. So what gives? Why did they pick on Martha Stewart and ignore the really big fish who nearly brought our economy to it's knees? Was she just an easy target, some  low hanging fruit that the Justice Department could parade around to show that they were actually going after the law breakers? Frankly I think she got the shaft. Who among us wouldn't buy or sell a stock if we knew someone who knew something. There are all kinds of experts who make a living by using insider information to buy and sell stocks. Every Fund manager has ties to market, financial, and corporate insiders and they all use that information to help them make profitable investments. Everybody who buys stocks has an ear to the ground trying to get insider information. If the Justice Department needed to make an example of someone why did they pick on Martha Stewart? Was it simply because she was so well known or did someone with some influence in the Department of Justice decide to take her down for other reasons? A business competitor for example, who makes big donations to a few powerful politicians? To quote the famous bard -there's definitely something rotten in Denmark! This had to be pay back from someone she crossed swords with.
The fact that she never complained and took her medicine without saying "why me?' may indicate that she knew who sent the message and why they sent it.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Falling in love with Fall....

What a great time of year to get out on the open road and leave the fumes and traffic of the city behind. Roll down the windows and breath in some fresh air. Give those tired eyeballs a chance to focus on something farther away than your smart phone. Breathe - exhale - breathe - exhale - let go of the tension and get in touch with the natural rhythms of nature. Give that adrenal gland a chance to rest and recharge. Dump those worries by the side of the road. Pick any road - it doesn't matter which one -  just pick one and drive away from the artificial insanity of all the things we think are so important. Dump those worries by the side of the road and you'll get much better emotional mileage out of those calories you've been burning 24/7. Friend the breeze, the clouds, the silence. Friend yourself.

Bon Voyage!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

                                             Why can't politicians be more like us?

The over whelming majority of Americans go to work every day and get along with each other. We cooperate with one another. We work together to find solutions to our problems. We praise and encourage each other, and form long term rewarding relationships in the work place.

Politicians live in an entirely different world than ours. They live in a world of continuous conflict where people try to destroy each other instead of coming together to work as a team. Can you imagine what the world would be like if we all acted like the politicians? Imagine a world where nothing every gets done, where every idea is opposed and every action is criticized. Imagine a world where your work mates primary goal is to get you fired from your job. Imagine a world driven by non-stop negativity . Imagine how much you would dread going to work every day if you had to work in that type of environment.

Why can't the politicians be more like us?

Monday, October 13, 2014


Violence comes in many forms. Physical, emotional, and spiritual. Violence in the Middle East takes the form of separating peoples heads from their bodies over religious beliefs. In Africa violence takes the form of  tribal warfare, starvation, and disease.  In China, Russia, and North Korea we see political violence emerge in the form of imprisonments and executions. In portions of Europe immigration issues produce prejudicial violence. In third world countries economic problems  produce a form of social violence we call poverty and starvation. World wide ethnic and racial prejudice produce psychological and economic violence. Competing religions often produce spiritual violence. Politicians thrive on ideological violence- which take the form of personal attacks on individuals occupying or running for office.

As we approach our mid-term elections in November we're bearing witness to some of the most infantile and reprehensible "dark money" attacks on candidates from both sides of the aisle. The thing about the so-called anonomous "dark  money" ads is that they produce violence against the "truth" without the liars risking legal penalties for libel .

We cam thank the Supreme Court for removing the legal barrier against libel for lying. If you want to express you opinions to the Justices of the bench of the Supreme Court for the infamous "Citizens United" decision you can write to the address shown below. You can also contact your local media outlets and let them know how you feel about them accepting money to run these vicious personal attacks on the candidates.

Supreme Court of the USA
One First Street
NE Washinton, D.C. 20543

Friday, October 10, 2014

                                            Climate Change (hoax or real?)

Climates by their very nature change and the climate on our planet has gone through numerous changes long  before we appeared on the scene. If we're ever going to have an intelligent discussion about this contentious issue we need to ask if there is a difference between "human" caused climate change and non-human caused climate change. The climate of our planet went through a multitude of changes long before our species started making mischief.  Many of those changes made it possible for life to even exist on our little rock.. It took probably a billion years just to create enough oxygen for life to emerge from the sea and walk on solid ground. For much of our history the planet was covered by ice. Over the eons incoming asteroids and erupting volcanoes have caused significant changes in the atmosphere and changes in temperature while killing millions of species of life. Natural processes such as the wobble of the earth and periodic changes in  our orbit around the sun, as well as periodic reversals of our magnet field have all contributed  to climate change. Variation of  the temperature of the oceans have been a major cause of changes in climate long before human activity became significant. Recently human activity has become a measurable factor in climate change as well. Those who seek to deny that human activity can contribute to climate change tend to exclude our species from the natural processes of nature. In fact we are just as much a part of nature as are volcanoes and asteroids. Once we face that fact we can free ourselves from our ego-centric cosmic sense of  guilt and set about the task of seeing what we can do to limit the extent of our influence on our climate - remembering all the while that earth's climate is destined to go through many more climate changes whether or not we continue to survive as a species. History shows that the species which do survive over the long period are those that adapt to change. We've proven to be one of the more intelligent and adaptable species to inhabit this planet so far. This is no time to bury our heads in the sand and deny that our activities have no effect on our climate.

                                      Count our blessings?

Why do we keep electing the same types of politicians ? The majority of us are sick of the "do nothing" Congress and the politicians who spend the majority of their time attacking each other or raising money for their re-election.

Maybe we should count our blessings. Imagine how much damage they could do if they actually showed up for work every day.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Political Attack Ads

The good news is that we're only going to have to endure these nasty ads for another 30 day. Most of the ads are so contrived, shameless, untruthful and unbelievable that the only people who benefit are the Television stations who get paid to run them. It's doubtful if any of the so called "dark money" ads change any votes but maybe they will serve a purpose in the long run if the voters finally rise up and say "enough already!"  If you're sick of the ads the best way to register your disgust is to contact your local  Television Stations and then drop a line to the Supreme Court expressing your disapproval of the Citizens United decision which condones this sort of activity. Any candidate who attacks another candidate doesn't deserve our vote.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Pima County Animal Shelter

Everybody knows that the Pima County Animal Shelter is way over capacity and needs to be expanded but not at a cost of $500 per square foot. Pima County Supervisor Huckleberry supposedly based his cost "guess" on a project in California that probably was not comparable- instead of actually putting together a detailed line by line estimate based on local costs and conditions. The proposed bond also has wording that appears to allow Huckleberry to divert some of the money for other purposes. In addition, Huckleberry is using the threat of killing dogs in order to play on voters sympathies. A" no" vote will force Huckleberry to bring this much needed project back at a realistic cost. Huckleberry's management of local construction projects is very poor as witnessed by other construction projects in Pima County - re: La Canada and other road improvements.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Martha McSally vs. Ron Barber?

Independent voters have an interesting choice in Arizona's Second Congressional District. Neither of these candidates is at the extreme end of the political spectrum and the last time they ran against each other it was very close. I contacted McSally's office last week and asked for a clarification of her positions on some specific issues. The young Intern who answered my call read from a prepared script. She said that McSally opposes Border Patrol Check points except along the actual border. She's also opposed to same sex marriage, abortion,and birth control. (as a side bar, I've never understood why Republicans who oppose abortions also oppose birth control).  When I asked questions about McSally's positions on the economy, Corporate Inversions, education, budgets,and various other National and International issues the Intern said she  would have to call me back. She never did make that call. McSally 's campaign is centered her claim that she showed "leadership" by standing up to the Military policy of requiring female pilots to respect the dress customs of the Arabs. Both candidates run the usual ads featuring them walking along the border fence with ranchers and residents who live along the border. It's amazing how politicians love to be photographed walking along the border at election time. The events are always staged and you can bet that they probably won't visit the Border again until the next election. Both candidates seem to claim credit for supporting the basic functions of the two military bases in Southern Arizona. McSally apparently wants to turn Social Security into a voucher system but she doesn't provide details. One of the Barber ads claims that McSally wants to get the government out of education. That ad runs a short cropped clip from a McSally speech. We don't know what the full content of her remarks were regarding education. Pro McSally ads tries to associate Barber with Obama Care but they doesn't provide any information on what she would do to improve our health care system. Barbers campaign centers around him being a home grown individual who has deep roots in the District. The credibility of both candidates is stained by the so called "Dark Money" negative advertising. Neither of the candidates has condemned or spoken out against the sponsors of those ads. One McSally ad claims that Barber votes consistently with Nancy Pelosi. It doesn't indicate whether or not McSally would consistently vote with the Republican Speaker of the House. This is going to be a very close election. The winner will probably be the candidate who gets the best turnout. Both candidates are intelligent and capable. Personally I don't think McSally has much experience with budget or economic issues. Nor does she have experience in the private sector. Barber has played his cards close to the chest- rarely making mistakes or offending members of either party. Which ever candidate wins we'll have an honest capable representative from that district.
Pima County Animal Control Bond

The Pima County Animal Control facility definitely needs to be expanded and improved but not at a cost of nearly $500 per square foot. If you read the language of the bond closely you'll notice that it appears to gives the County (Chuck Huckelberry) the ability to use the money at his discretion and it doesn't require him to spend all of the money right away.  It's highly likely that he's planning on using some of that money for other purposes- as he and the County Supervisors appear to have done with other bond issues.  There is no way that it should cost this much money to expand the current facility.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

UofA President gets $40,000 bonus. Apparently her $600,000 annual salary is only an "appearance" fee. If she actually does anything besides just showing up for work and redecorating her office we give her a bonus.
There is an incredible amount of dead wood at the UofA. Some of the reasons the cost of tuition is getting so expensive is that a significant number of professors spend more time writing proposals for grants that they do teaching. The campus is full of little known fiefdoms sequestered in small buildings and offices - draining the resources of the University - professors and graduate assistants taking a salary funded by student tuitions and grant money funded by the Federal Government at the same time. Essentially double dipping.