Friday, February 26, 2010

Letter to the President

Pictured below is a young physician by the name of Dr. Starner Jones. His short two-paragraph letter to the White House accurately puts the blame on a "Culture Crisis" instead of a "Health Care Crisis". It's worth a quick read:

Dear Mr. President:
During my shift in the Emergency Room last night, I had the pleasure of evaluating a patient whose smile revealed an expensive shiny gold tooth, whose body was adorned with a wide assortment of elaborate and costly tattoos, who wore a very expensive brand of tennis shoes and who chatted on a new cellular telephone equipped with a popular R&B ringtone.

While glancing over her patient chart, I happened to notice that her payer status was listed as "Medicaid"! During my examination of her, the patient informed me that she smokes more than one costly pack of cigarettes every day and somehow still has money to buy pretzels and beer.

And, you and our Congress expect me to pay for this woman's health care? I contend that our nation's "health care crisis" is not the result of a shortage of quality hospitals, doctors or nurses. Rather, it is the result of a "crisis of culture", a culture in which it is perfectly acceptable to spend money on luxuries and vices while refusing to take care of one's self or, heaven forbid, purchase health insurance. It is a culture based in the irresponsible credo that "I can do whatever I want to because someone else will always take care of me".
Once you fix this "culture crisis" that rewards irresponsibility and dependency, you'll be amazed at how quickly our nation's health care difficulties will disappear.

Shooting From the Hip

Shooting From the Hip
Kevin Bryant

Like some of you, I watched Glenn Beck’s keynote speaker address to CPAC this weekend. It contained all the elements of good closing speech: fact, opinion, humor, history, personal touch and hope. Personally, I thought it was one of the better speeches I have heard in several years. What I liked second most about it: No Teleprompters.

That speech was delivered with Beck away from the podium over 85% of the time using nothing but note cards and when he was at the podium, he used a notebook, again with hand written notes that he hardly looked at. The White House, the media and those from the left made fun of Sarah Palin, when she jotted notes on her hand. I wonder how they are going to poke fun at this use of notes during his speech.

The speech was a mixture of a lot of things, but the one constant and what I liked most about the speech was pointing out the faults of both parties. I know the democrats will slam his speech for what he said about them but when you stop and think about the content of the speech, it was mainly directed at progressives and the Republican Party. Beck pointed out many of the causes for our economy being in the sad shape it is currently in. He didn’t blame Democrats; he mostly blamed the Republicans because under George W. Bush, they spent their way right out of office. Though some have learned their lesson, others haven’t and have supported Obama’s massive spending increases.

The speech was not a set in stone thing. It was given from the hip with only talking points for notes, yet in was energetic and entertaining. Unlike speeches given by the President, this speech was constantly moving and never dull.

Spending in this country by the federal government is out of control and does not appear to be a concern of most people in congress regardless of party affiliation. What objections we are hearing from republicans is more along the lines of how the money will be spent more than the amount of the spending itself. Unfunded mandates to the states are becoming more and more of a problem.

Government is so overweight but instead of carving out the fat in the size of government, they are more concerned about the amount of trans fat in our daily diets. Why on earth do we need over 2 million government employees who are not in the military? Answer is, we don’t. The EPA, Dept of Education, Health & Human Services, Housing and Urban Development and Dept of the Interior (minus park rangers) could all exist with less than 200 employees apiece if the idea of state’s rights were applied as per the constitution. The federal government would only be there to verify that the states are meeting minimum requirements in those areas and those minimum requirements would be drafted by a consensus of all states. It would be up to the states to determine and regulate beyond what the minimum standards would be.

I used to be a fan of the fair tax until I saw too many possible loopholes. Now I am a staunch supporter of a flat tax. Implement a federal and state flat tax and you could virtually eliminate the IRS and State Departments of Revenue. Businesses would be responsible for calculating the money owed to the federal government. The only thing the IRS would have to do is spot check business and those self employed to make sure they are compliant. The flat tax would eliminate sales tax, sin tax, utility tax and every other form of taxes. Everyone from the richest of riches to the poorest of all will pay an equal percentage and in over the course of a year, everyone will pay less including those who do not currently pay income tax. Why? Because they will not be liable for any of the other 150+ types of federal and state taxes.

Other ideas for shrinking the national debt: Scale back government retirement pensions so that they are equal to that of most businesses. The only exception would be for those who have served in the military or were field agents for the various federal law enforcement agencies. Members of congress and the President would each receive a base pay of $80,000 up to $150,000 per year (dependent upon time of service) and be paid a bonus based on a percentage of growth in the GDP as determined by an independent private company and verified by another. Members of the Supreme Court will be paid an annual salary equal to 120% of the total compensation received by the President for the proceeding year. Mandate that the Supreme Court must review all laws and executive orders before they are signed into law or action by the President for verification that they are within the limits set forth in the constitution. Congressional staffs must not exceed more than 8 per member of the House of Representatives and 10 for members of the senate. Travel expenses for those in congress must be approved and paid for by the government of the state they represent. Per Diem and other expenses would be determined by the state(s) as well. Last but not least, presidential and congressional retirements would be based on 45% of the average base compensation received during their time in office. They would also be subject to the exact same retirement benefits that those in the military receive and nothing more.

As per states like California and others who are broke. So what. It is not the responsibility of the federal government to bail you out nor is it the responsibility of the tax payers from other states to shoulder your burden. Your problems stop at the state line. Banks and big businesses, if you mismanage your company, it’s your problem, not the tax payers.

Of course nothing like this will ever happen because congress will not allow it. But these are examples of the kind of harsh measures we will someday have to undertake if we wish to continue to be the greatest country on the planet. We need to cut spending in every way imaginable and we need to cut the tax burden of everyone. We must do something. We can not continue down the path that this country has taken for the past 85 years.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Will Healthcare reform erode state sovereignty?

Will Healthcare reform erode state sovereignty?
Al Ritter

There seems to be a war cry from the uninformed to allow interstate purchasing of health insurance, but that isn’t possible, let me explain why.

Interstate health insurance
Each state has their own mandates and requirements to insurance companies to sell insurance in their states. It is no coincidence that the more liberal states make more things or higher limits a requirement in their states. With that being said it would be impossible to buy say, Texas health insurance in Massachusetts. Now major health insurance companies are licensed in multiple states, but the requirements are massively different from state to state.

State Sovereignty
Health insurance, car insurance, Medicare, and Medicaid, are but a few areas that a state has control over. Your state controls what is required, what the limits are, and how federal money is divided. The HR 3200 bill hasn’t even addressed this question of state’s rights on this issue.

It’s no coincidence
It’s no coincidence that the states with the highest liberal agendas have faced health insurance rates so high that their politicians were faced with instituting some form of socialized medicine. Enter Massachusetts and Hawaii, the top two liberal states in the union. Massachusetts’s socialized program is as well known as the skyrocketing cost to continue it. Hawaii tried socialized medicine but to their credit, experimented with children’s insurance first. They tried to offer a program for kids caught in between Medicare and private insurance. It failed because people who could actually afford insurance for their children bailed out on their private plans and flocked to the “free” insurance, thereby flooding the system. The socialized part of the health care was dropped.

Where will we go
The mandates and age are the two actuarial variables that insurance companies use to set rates, but no specifics have surfaced so far from Congress. Because the majority of Congress is liberal, one has to wonder if the agenda of states like Massachusetts and Hawaii will be mandated or will the need to reduce costs over ride the liberal agenda.

Health Insurance appeals
Under H.R. 3200 your home state’s health insurance commissioner will become extinct as the absolute decision of the federal plan is final,….NO APPEALS!

So many questions, and so few answers.

What Part of 'Party of No' Don't You Understand?

What Part of 'Party of No' Don't You Understand?
by Ann Coulter


Inasmuch as Obamacare has a snowball's chance in hell of passing (but did you see how much snow they got in hell last week?), everyone is wondering what President Obama is up to by calling Republicans to a televised Reykjavik summit this week to discuss socializing health care.

At least they served beer at the last White House summit this stupid and pointless.

If the president is serious about passing nationalized health care, he ought to be meeting with the Democrats, not the Republicans.

Republicans can't stop the Democrats from socializing health care: They are a tiny minority party in both the House and the Senate. (Note to America: You might want to keep this in mind next time you go to the polls.)

As the Democratic base has been hysterically pointing out, both the House and the Senate have already passed national health care bills. Either body could vote for the other's bill, and -- presto! -- Obama would have a national health care bill, replete with death panels, abortion coverage and lots and lots of new government commissions!

Sadly, as the president's Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel has noted, the Democratic base is "@#$%^ retarded."

The reason massive Democratic majorities in Congress aren't enough to pass socialist health care is AMERICANS DON'T WANT SOCIALIZED MEDICINE!

In fact, you might say that the nation is in a boiling cauldron of rage against it. Consequently, a lot of Democrats are suddenly having second thoughts about vast new government commissions regulating every aspect of Americans' medical care.

Obama isn't stupid -- he's not seriously trying to get a health care bill passed. The whole purpose of this public "summit" with the minority party is to muddy up the Republicans before the November elections. You know, the elections Democrats are going to lose because of this whole health care thing.

Right now, Americans are hopping mad, swinging a stick and hoping to hit anyone who so much as thinks about nationalizing health care.

If they could, Americans would cut the power to the Capitol, throw everyone out and try to deport them. (Whereas I say: Anyone in Washington, D.C., who can produce an original copy of a valid U.S. birth certificate should be allowed to stay.)

But the Democrats think it's a good strategy to call the Republicans "The Party of No." When it comes to Obamacare, Americans don't want a party of "No," they want a party of "Hell, No!" or, as Rahm Emanuel might say, "*&^%$#@ No!"

It's as if the patient has a minor fever and the Democrats (as doctor in this example) want to cut off his arms and legs. The Republicans want to give the patient two aspirin. "Compromise" means the Republicans agree to amputate only one arm and one leg.

Complaining that Republicans are "obstructionists" is not a damaging charge when most Americans are dying to obstruct the Democrats with a 2-by-4. While you're at it, Democrats, why not call the GOP the "Party of Brave Patriots"?

So Obama's sole objective at the "summit" is to hoodwink Republicans into agreeing with some of his wildly unpopular ideas on national TV. If this were a reality show on NBC, it would be called, "Dateline: To Catch a R.I.N.O."

This shouldn't be hard, inasmuch as he will be talking to elected Republicans. About a third of them were enthusiastically engaging in "bipartisanship" on Obamacare last year -- Chuck Grassley, you know who you are! (That's better than Lindsey Graham, who still wants to compromise.)

And then the American people spoke up.

In town halls and tea parties across the nation, Obama lost the argument with Americans. So now he wants a debating partner who will be less challenging: elected Republicans.

If Republicans were smart, they'd shock the world by sending in one of their most appealing members of Congress, who can speak clearly on health care -- Sen. Jon Kyl, Rep. Steve King or Rep. Ron Paul.

Actually, if the Republicans were really smart, they'd send in 14-year-old Jonathan Krohn, who understands the free market better than most people in Washington. Of course, so does my houseplant.

There are other important points Republicans cannot raise often enough -- such as putting scuzzy medical malpractice lawyers like John Edwards out of business. OK, that wasn't fair: Even trial lawyers are almost never as scuzzy as John Edwards. We want to put them all out of business.

But there's really only one idea the Republicans must cling to -- like they're clinging to their guns and religion! -- in order to resist agreeing to something moronic and losing their advantage as Americans' only allies in Washington.

Please, Republicans, remember the free market -- the same free market that gave us cheap cell phones, computers, flat-screen TVs, and stylish, affordable eyeglasses in about an hour.

Congress needs to outlaw state and federal mandates on insurance companies and allow interstate competition in health insurance.

The end.

Love, the American People.


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

U.S. left in the cold on submarine technology

U.S. left in the cold on submarine technology
Al Ritter

The Dept of Defense has leased a Swedish submarine that uses AIP (air independent propulsion) that is apparently the latest in stealth technology. In war games since last summer, the Swedish sub has sunk some of highest tech nuclear subs, and most worrisome the USS Ronald Reagan, the newest aircraft carrier in our fleet.
If you assume that we are lucky that only Sweden has this technology you’d be mistaken. Sweden was the only country willing to lease us a sub for testing. Submarine technology has come to a basic stand still since the cold war ended. We happen to be the largest world power that DOESN’T have this technology. France, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Russia, and even Pakistan, has it, but America has stood stagnant while technology has passed us by.

Let’s offer a special thanks to Presidents Clinton, and Bush for this lapse in judgment, and the fact that our superior air power can be denied by any country willing to purchase or lease this technology. Is it a far stretch of the imagination to see North Korea, Iran, Libya, or any other third world country with a nutcase for a dictator trying to buy build or lease one of these stealth subs?

Monday, February 22, 2010

Weasel In the Hen House

Weasel In the Hen House
Kevin Bryant

America thought it was electing someone who was going to fiscally responsible. At least that was one of the 100 plus lies told by Obama during the campaign. Instead we got a weasel that spent more money in his first 13 months than the previous administration did in 8 years. Obama as President has turned out to be exactly like a weasel being in charge of security of hen house.

Anyone who has ever had to deal with a weasel knows they are not tidy animals. They get into everything, they tear up everything and they kill off the ones the coop was intended to keep safe. Yep, this sure sounds a lot like this President.

He got into the treasury and spent everything in there then printed up more money so he could spend it too. He stuck his nose into private sector job creation and his stimulus was a complete and costly failure. He stuck his nose into healthcare and prices rose at even faster rates than when he was keeping silent on the subject. He talks of regulating Wall Street and the stock market nose dives. He speaks of bank reform and the stock market nose dives.

Luckily for us, he hasn’t managed to kill off everything yet, GM, Chrysler, Drilling for Oil, Digging Coal, Building Power Plants and everything else is still around. A few of them on life support but they will most likely withstand the next three years we have to put up with this guy.

Calling Obama a weasel is not an insult. He truly is not an intelligent person. He knows nothing of economics. He picks advisors who know nothing of economics. He knows nothing about how to run a business, agency, city or state. He has never met a payroll. He has never known budget restraint. He cowers in the presence of others with influence. He has no bark or bite but still tries to intimidate others. If the man wasn’t sponging off the tax payers, he would be one of those 20% to 15% unemployed or underemployed we now have. If you took away his teleprompter, his speech writers and his handlers, within a week, he would be as lost as a 4 year old in your local mall who can’t find his parents. The only two things Obama knows how to say without a teleprompter is “I inherited this mess” and “uh”. That is uh pretty much uh most uh of his uh responses.

Is it 2012 yet?

Friday, February 19, 2010

Abandon Ship

Abandon Ship
Kevin Bryant

When a ship is about to be lost at sea, even rats have enough common sense to abandon ship rather than risk certain death. Same is true in politics.

Prior to the 1980 election, many of the “at risk” democrats resigned rather than face defeat. Same was true in 1994 & republicans did it before the 2006 & 2008 elections. I guess it is better to get off when you can rather than go down in flames along with your captain.

The 2010 election is shaping up to be a repeat of 1994. When Bill Clinton was elected to office, he tried his best to govern from the left. He had a senate and house that were controlled by the democrats and thought with certainty he could push through any legislation he wanted. In the beginning of 1994, he brought people on board hoping to turn things around in the face of mounting resistance to his agenda. Moving his agenda to a more moderate stance was something he refused. With people in place that could maximize the use of his charisma, he was certain that he could win over the people and continue on his more progressive path. When Bill Clinton went to bed the evening of November 8, 1994, he faced the fact that not only had he lost the senate, but he also lost a house that had been controlled by democrats for more than 40 years running.

Now we fast forward to 2010. President Obama in his first year in office has pandered to unions, special interest, lobbyist and his electoral base. He campaigned in the primaries as a staunch leftist progressive, making friends, promises and deals along the way. His Chicago style politics has managed to defeat the once thought to be indestructible Clinton political machine. Turning his attention towards the general election, he campaigns as a moderate. While doing so, he makes more friends, promises more things and makes more deals along the way. Before he goes to bed on the evening of November 4th, 2008, he knows he is the elected President of the United States.

Prior to taking office, my personal list of top ten progressive Presidents were, in order: Franklin D. Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson (the most evil President we have had), Teddy Roosevelt, Lyndon B. Johnson, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Herbert Hoover, George W. Bush, Gerald Ford and Harry S. Truman. No, Richard Nixon didn’t make my top 10 list. Since taking office in 2009, Barack Obama has easily slid into the number 3 position on my list. If healthcare and cap & trade pass during his time in office, he will move into a tie for the number 1 spot on my all-time progressive President’s list.

With democrats abandoning his policies and several already announcing their intentions not to run for re-election, one would think that Obama would learn from Clinton and the 1994 elections. To date, the only thing Obama has learned is that he and Bill Clinton do not share the same last name. He continues to pander to unions and special interest. He continues to pay back those big donors who financed his campaign with taxpayer money. He firmly believes that his name and his charm will carry democrats to victory in 2010. Unwilling to see the truth that surrounds him, unable to grasp the idea that Americans do not want the kind of change he is pushing, arguably this makes him the dumbest person in the history of Harvard to have graduated from that institution.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Heads I Win, Tails You Lose

Heads I Win, Tails You Lose
Kevin Bryant

In the 60’s, the complaints were about all the smog in Los Angeles basin. In the early 70’s it was all about global cooling and acid rain. In the late 70’s and throughout much of the 80’s it was all about holes in the Ozone layer and skin cancer was to become the #1 killer of humans. In the 90’s through mid 2000’s it was about Global Warming and since mid 2000’s it has all been about climate change.

With the onset of the industrial age here in the United States and around the world, coal was the primary source used for heat and electricity. Coal remains the #1 source for heat and electricity around the world.

With the onset of World War I, industries ramped up production to heights never before achieved throughout the world. This again happened in the 30’s and 40’s thanks to World War II. From 1900 until the 1960’s, more carbon pollution was released into the atmosphere and anytime in earth’s history and no one ever thought about air, water and ground pollution reduction anywhere on the planet.

I am a firm believer that we should be good stewards of the planet and I think we have been. We breathe in less than ¼ of the pollutants today than our parents did in the 40’s and 50’s. If you eliminated China and India, the amount of pollution in the air would be reduced by roughly another 10% to 15% from what it is today.

We have experienced above average snowfall for 3 of the past 4 years here in Kansas City. We have had above average rainfall for 2 of the past 4 years and look to be above average again this summer. Only in 2005 has the temperature been above average for more than 8 months of the year since 1998. I’m still waiting on that global warming thing to happen here before I start to worry about any climate change stuff.

It has been scientifically proven that the earth was hotter and steamier in the days of the dinosaurs than it is now. Perhaps it was dinosaur flatulence that created the warming back then and they must have blown a hole in the Ozone layer to suddenly let out the hot air to cause the last great ice age.

It must be all the hot air in Washington that is causing record snowfall there while Vancouver has none for the Winter Olympics.

A couple of years ago, climate change fear-mongers were telling the world that the lack of snow falling in the United States was proof positive of climate change. Now those same people are claiming that the record snow falls across the United States is a direct result of climate change. That’s like flipping a coin and saying heads I win, tails you lose. No matter what, they are going to make claims to try and convince everyone they are right.

If man caused global warming, then why was congress debating global cooling in the 70’s when there was twice as much green house gasses and carbon pollutants in the air then than there is now? Even the so called climate experts who believe in man made climate change will not answer this question. To them, it’s not a question of science but a quest for the all mighty dollar. The more they promote a climate change agenda, the more likely they are to collect tax payer dollars in an attempt to prove themselves right.

The southern polar ice cap is almost back to normal ice levels. The northern ice pack, except for 2005 has been growing for the past 10 years. Sea temperatures have been falling since 1999. This is the same cycle the earth has seen over and over.

Almost 70% of all Americans realize that you can’t regulate or mandate Mother Nature to act in a certain manner. The remaining 30% will always believe that big government can do anything.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Is the moderate politician the answer in 2010?

Is the moderate politician the answer in 2010?
Al Ritter

We call them RINOs or DINOs, but are they really the answer in future politics? I suppose it depends on what you consider a successful outcome would be. There was a time when we considered moderates as the ones most likely to “reach across the aisle.”

The question lies in what that politician is willing to sacrifice to accomplish bi-partisanship. When a politician agrees to sign a bill against his party’s wishes, it usually has a payback clause. Hopefully he will receive a vote from a partner across the aisle, which is willing to vote against his party’s wishes on a bill the original politician sees as important. Unfortunately, the whole process requires the politician to place priorities on bills. If the constituents from that politician’s district don’t see eye to eye on the priority, the fireworks begin.

I’ve always viewed “moderates” as people in government willing to “sell” his or her values for a vote to be named at a later date. This isn’t how our system should work. I’m certainly not saying that some degree of give and take shouldn’t happen. What I am saying is that basic principles of the party line should be followed, and only minor details should be open for compromise. There are certain issues that I don’t see eye to eye with my party line, but I am not a politician. I don’t constantly write about the things I don’t agree with, but I do write about the things we all hold dear to our hearts.

With the current trend in the Congress, I believe that Republicans need to return to the roots of conservatism to fend off the unrelenting onslaught of the Progressive Democratic movement. It’s obvious that the Democrats don’t want to shelve the entire healthcare bill to write something truly bi-partisan, so why should the Republicans give in to receiving small concessions on a flawed bill.

The wishey- washy moderates are politicians with no principles other than gaining money for their re-election campaigns.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Systemic Failure

Systemic Failure
Kevin Bryant

Why is it that the Obama administration uses the same phrase over and over and over and over………

The latest one lately has been the term “systemic failure”. Personally I am surprised that it took them almost a whole year to start using it. This administration has been a systemic failure from the start:

Closing Gitmo: In Obama’s first few days in office, he signs an Executive Order to close the prison at Gitmo without having discussed it with his military advisors like he stated that he would do when he was candidate Obama. Here we are almost 13 months later and almost a month after the prison was to be closed and he still has no idea what he is going to do with the prisoners.

Stimulus: America is in the worst recession since the Great Depression. If we do not pass this stimulus package, our experts say the unemployment rate could reach 9% and maybe 10%. It is imperative that we pass it now to keep the unemployment rate below 8%. So, how is that stimulus thing working out? 7 Million unemployed, about the same amount underemployed and if it weren’t for all the temps the government is now hiring, the unemployment figures would still be over 10%. In real numbers, we have an unemployment rate of around 17% but thanks to Clinton Math, the numbers no longer reflect what is real. I sure would like to meet those so-called economic experts and inform them that a Jr High School student could have done a better at doing their job than they did.

Fort Hood: Rat out your neighbors to the White House, but whatever you do, if you see a Muslim behaving strangely, do not tell a soul. If someone tells you of a Muslim acting or talking strange, keep it to yourself because you wouldn’t want to offend them. Tell that to the families of those killed or injured when Major Hasan went off the deep end at Fort Hood Texas.

World Stage: “I will restore America’s image throughout the world”. As if Bush destroyed it. I am not a big fan of George W. Bush, but when it came to the way we are viewed throughout the world, America was held in much higher regards than what we are now. You know it’s bad when China is preaching to you about curbing spending and there are more jokes being told about America than there are about France. Would someone please tell me of anytime in the history of the planet when a leader of any nation bowed to one of its mayors or someone in a similar position? Congrats Obama, you made history. Gee, I thought being President was a higher pay grade than being the mayor of Tampa.

This list could go on and on about the string of systemic failures that have occurred during this administration. We could include Healthcare, Cap & trade, The outrageous usage of Air Force assets by the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi and her family and friends, including the booze tab she has ran up. How about ignoring a request from top military general on the battlefield for more multiple months then after finally reading it, take another 3 months before acting on it.

Then we have Eric Holder, Lead Counsel for all Foreign Terrorist as well as being Attorney General of the United States. Give a would be bomber Miranda rights to the Christmas day bomber before any trained interrogator shows up on the scene and declare that we got all the information possible from him in a matter of 50 minutes. Decide to hold KSM’s trial in New York City at a price tag close to a billion dollars. A .38 round will cost you roughly $0.45 and is a lot more effective.

Look around, everything is a systemic failure. What Obama does not recognize is that he is the head of that system. Every one of these failures begins and ends with the President of the United States. Barack Obama, look in the mirror and there you will find the system. You are the system. You are the one who is supposed to make it work and accept responsibility for when it doesn’t.

When you are system and the system fails, guess what….you failed. Barack Obama, stop being a systemic failure at being the President and failing those you were elected to serve.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Don’t Ask - Don’t Tell

Don’t Ask - Don’t Tell
Kevin Bryant

I write this knowing full well that there are some of you out there that will totally disagree with me and I will likely take some heat over my opinion.

The military policy of Don’t Ask – Don’t Tell has been debated for years. Since the 1940’s, the military has always been the one place government turns to implement new social and scientific experiments. Vaccines are always being force on those who serve in uniform before many of them are available to the general public. Unlike the general public, the men and women in uniform can’t just say no to getting a shot or swallowing a pill. Socially, the military was made to be the perfect example of political correctness in action. If someone in uniform resist, they are lucky if all they receive are a Captain’s Mast / Article 15 hearing and they will be found guilty as charged for disobeying a direct order. The usual punishment for this is 45 days restriction to ship or base, 45 days of having to work extra hours doing some of the nastiest jobs that need to be done, lose one rank and lose half of your month’s salary for a period of two months. Further refusal could result in being discharged from service with an Other Than Honorable discharge. In this circumstance, the former service member is not entitled to any or limited benefits they would otherwise had received.

Unlike their civilian counterparts, soldiers and sailors must obey the orders given them regardless if they agree with them or not. If an order is given, Commanding Officers will see to it that the orders are followed without obstruction because they have no choice. Don’t Ask - Don’t Tell is a manageable order for a Commanding Officer to implement and enforce. Sometimes it does cause conflicts with other orders such as, any person in uniform who sees another member of the armed forces violate an order, is required to report that violation of they too are in violation of obeying a direct order and subject to punishment. I had gay and lesbian friends in the military and on a few occasions I witnessed certain acts that were in violation of the ban on open display of gay and lesbian behavior. Did I ever report those individuals, no I did not. But had it been in a setting witnessed by the general public, I would have, as required by military orders.

The military, though large by normal standards is really a bunch of small organizations controlled by a larger one. The Unit Commanding Officers have a precise number of personnel and can not afford to give up bodies because it hurts military readiness and handicaps the unit’s mission. As the military is now, husband and wives can serve in only a few places jointly. In the navy specifically, no husband and wife can be assigned to the same ship. In the Army and Marines, no married couple may be assigned to the same combat ready unit.

If Don’t Ask – Don’t Tell were lifted, any gay or lesbian couple would be subject to the same practices and restrictions as male/female couples are when in a relationship. No couple dating may be in the same overall unit without permission from the Commanding Officer. Commanding Officers are “encouraged” to ensure that no two members who are in a relationship with one another serve in the same division within the command. By the word “encouraged” it is meant that they WILL ensure that it happens but it would be unlawful to specifically tell them to act in a particular manner.

Commanding Officers are already handicapped by numbers. They a limited amount of personnel. They have limited space and that space has to be split between male and female sleeping and showering areas. If a male / female couple has an argument and ends the relationship, it is difficult, but not impossible to keep them apart if the relationship ended badly. If Don’t Ask – Don’t Tell were lifted, and a male/male or female/female couple were to end their relationship badly, if would be impossible to keep the members separated and would cause disruption within the unit and lower moral. If a Commanding Officer were to ship one of the members off to another unit, that CO would not get a replacement for the person until such time he or she was originally scheduled to rotate to another unit. Even as little as two of these incidents were to happen within a unit, the unit could be crippled to the point that combat readiness and unit safety could be jeopardized.

In the eyes of some, Don’t Ask – Don’t Tell is a violation of constitutional rights. Since our military is an all-voluntary entity, when you enlist, you are voluntarily suspending your constitutional rights for the duration that you serve in the military already. You have no choice but to follow the directives the military has in place. Lifting Don’t Ask – Don’t Tell is inviting trouble into a unit at best and at worst, allowing for the possibility of needless deaths of up to several hundreds to be ever present. This policy is in place for a reason needs to remain in place. The subject of gays and lesbians serving in the military has been tampered with and watered down enough. Not this time nor any time in the in this decade is the time to experiment with watering it down further.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Monday Blues

Monday Blues
Kevin Bryant

As Monday evening was coming to a close, I walked out on the deck to cool off. It wasn’t hot in my house as the temp inside was a comfortable 71 degrees. No, I had to walk out do to the mounds of stupidity that had just kept on mounting throughout the day.

I got in my truck at 6:00am to head off to work. I listen to local talk show host Chris Stigall every morning driving in. The first story I hear is about how the union bosses at the Ford ClayCoMo plant were complaining that Ford actually had a good quarter, turned a much better profit that they projected and the union didn’t see any of that money. Darn, they must have missed that $400.00 check that was sent out to all the employees. I know if someone sent me a check for that amount, I certainly wouldn’t forget about it. I haven’t had a raise here at work for couple of years now since they suspended all merit pay raises. I haven’t had a cost of living adjustment in my military retirement for a while either as it has been frozen by the good folks up in Washington DC. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining about not getting a raise or a cost of living adjustment. I’m not making tons of money but my family isn’t starving either. Well over three quarters of the employees at the Ford plant here make more than I do. Their union boss makes a metric butt ton more money than I do and yet he’s complaining that the union hasn’t gotten enough of the profits? Ford has been running in deficit figures for years and I bet he got paid during those years. What would this clown like to see happen? Would he like Ford Motor Co to go the same way as GM and Chrysler? Sure, the union owns something like 55% of GM and 35% of Chrysler and yes, these numbers are probably wrong, but the point is, the union owns a good percentage of companies that they drove into the ground and are still trying to operate even though they are still drowning in a sea of debt and going deeper by the day. Message to the Ford Union Bosses: shut up. Be thankful the plants haven’t locked their doors and you still have a job. Ford made a pretty good profit because they didn’t take money from the government. More people are buying Fords because they didn’t take money from the government. My truck is a 2004 Dodge Ram but the one that will someday replace it will be an F-150 and why? Because Ford didn’t take bailout money from the government.

I get home and the first thing I always do is walk down and get the mail. There in my mailbox sits a 1099 from the state of Missouri. Why is Missouri sending me a 1099? I open it up and it states that because the state of Missouri has deemed my whopping $108.00 2008 state income return as interest and it must be claimed as such on my 2009 taxes. WAIT A MINUTE. This was money paid to the state, they get to hang on to it and draw interest on it, then give me back the small portion that I overpaid and now I suddenly have to claim that as extra money derived from interest and have to pay taxes on it. Way to go Jay Nixon. My wife has been a life long resident of the state of Missouri and this is the first year anything like this has happened. Hey Jay, why don’t you ask Bill Clinton what happens when you do something stupid as Governor and do not tell anyone you are going to do it. In Bill’s case, he lost his first re-election bid and the Republican became Governor of Arkansas for the first time since reconstruction. Jay Nixon, you are fast becoming a one term blunder. Keep up the good work. Would someone though please tell me how the heck this is even legal? How do you tax money for 2009 that was made in 2008 and taxes were already paid on it? It only increases my tax liability by a couple of dollars but that’s not the point. The point is that it should not have to be reported in the first place since it was already my money to begin with.

AW, I sit in my recliner, trying to relax even though I am still hacked off at the state of Misery, make that Missouri, for not handing out kisses to everyone they are nailing and what do I hear? Hark, it is the local news telling me that Obama’s budget is going to add an additional 1.56 trillion dollars to what is already a record setting deficit. This same clown just a few days ago preached about fiscal responsibility and here he is now, loading more debt on a nation that already can’t pay its own bills. Change you can believe in. Well, from everything I see, I really do believe that he is changing America from the greatest nation on earth into just another third rate country. Change you can believe in. I believe that America has no more change as Washington DC has spent it all. I have two credit cards to my name. One I have had for forever it seems and after my divorce from my fist wife, I paid that thing off after she maxed it out right before she left me for some other guy and have only used it twice and immediately paid it off both times. The second I have had for about two years and only used once and the only reason I have it is for emergency car repairs. Would it make sense if I were in financial trouble to look my wife in the eye and say “honey, I know we are in debt but we need to max these cards out to so we can get out of debt”? Washington logic only makes sense to those in Washington. Try this approach in the real world and the banks will take everything you own. Remember, these are the same people that want to control your healthcare.

As the evening winds down and I start to wind down also and try to get in the days episode of Glenn Beck that I DVR’d, I can’t believe my eyes. What in the name of Jesus, Mary and Joseph is our idiot President and his crony education system teachers trying to do to our kids. Had this been tried when I was in school, parents would have burned the schools down and those of the police and fire departments would have kept the radicals back so the flames could finish the job. I can’t even write about it. You have to read it to believe it.:

Thank goodness Monday is finally gone even if the effects linger. I can’t wait to see what idiotic stupid things our leaders are going to do today.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Should the Reconciliation Act be rescinded?

Should the Reconciliation Act be rescinded?
Al Ritter

Under the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 the Reconciliation Act grew legs; the move was created to approve budget spending measures to avoid filibuster. Often referred to as the Byrd Rule for Sen. Robert Byrd it was adopted in 1985 then amended in 1990. Its main effect is that reconciliation cannot be used for provisions that would increase the deficit beyond 10 years after the reconciliation measure.

In this light the Clinton Healthcare Reform was shot down and in real time measures the new Health Care reform shouldn’t be allowed either. Even Senator Robert Byrd doesn’t think it should be used for this purpose, and has said so on numerous occasions.
The biggest question is…….is this rule/law even Constitutional? In Section 7 of the Constitution it states…

“Every Order, Resolution, or Vote to which the Concurrence of the Senate and House of Representatives may be necessary (except on a question of Adjournment) shall be presented to the President of the United States; and before the Same shall take Effect, shall be approved by him, or being disapproved by him, shall be repassed by two thirds of the Senate and House of Representatives, according to the Rules and Limitations prescribed in the Case of a Bill.”

This statement has been part of our Constitution from the beginning, and yet the Byrd Rule circumvents the very idea of a 2/3rds majority, and reduces it to a simple 51% majority, making it unconstitutional in its very wording.

This all hinges on what you think is more important… be considered a Republic (a country of laws), or are we a Democracy (a rule by a simple majority). Even the Constitution has an opinion on this, and it is found in Article 4 Section 4 where it states……

“The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence.”

It depends on what form of government you see as acceptable, or better still, what our founding father had intended, and whether you believe the Constitution is, a document to be followed, or a “living document,” an instrument to changed at the whim of a simple majority, depending on what party is in office at the time.

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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

To those considering writing for the, read this first!

To those considering writing for the
Al Ritter

Financial incentives

When I first signed on to write for the they hinted at 1 cent per page view, which to be honest, at the time didn’t exactly impress me, but it was more than I receive for page views on my blog. This amount neither convinced me nor turned me away from writing for what I considered to a conservative leaning publication. From February 2009 to the summer of 2009 I did in fact receive 1 cent a page view and my ability to reach larger audiences with my opinions and views had outweighed the pay I was receiving. In the summer of 2009 the came up with a new formulation to compute page hits. This formula was NOT shared with the writers, claiming that it was similar to the formula that Ad Sense uses. They did say that it had to do with average time per view, and how many of your past articles were viewed in addition to your new one. This amount ranged between 10 and 20% less than the original 1 cent per view. This amount continued until mid December when the pay per page view dropped to approximately ½ cent per page view.

Background checks and liability

When I first applied to write for the I filled out an online application. I was informed after qualifying to become a writer that the would need to perform a criminal background check on me. This puzzled me……what exactly did that have to do with writing an interesting, informative article? Would G. Gordon Liddy be denied a writing job because of his criminal background? Finally I was cleared to write but was required to read a “terms of agreement” which foolishly I never copied for later proof against ever changing claims by management. Each writer was required to write 4 to 5 articles a week, save any and all resources, and all original articles used for publication. The writer is also responsible for all liability pertaining to each article written.

Writer support
Any company is only as good as the support they give to employees, and the is no different. The only way to find out how much your boss supports you is through experience and need. Each writer is given a contact or handler. My contact only answered my emails 50% of the time, and only then when the could possibly lose money. On the other hand my contact expected me to reply to HIS emails to me immediately, marking all his emails with “priority.” The website has a support area to fill out a form on complaints or problems. I had filled out so many of these forms having to do with publishing and site problems, I had lost count. Readership had dropped in early fall 2009 because of problems they were having getting articles into the Google search engines, nobody can find articles unless they show up there, either in the news section or the normal search. In the beginning I would get little emails regarding errors I had made, from the “editor guru.” These errors were merely oversights and could have easily been caught by spell check, which I used Word later on as my writing tool, to later cut and paste as my article. The also reveiled my personal phone number to a reader that wanted additional information on an article, a breach I don't approve of!

Publishing tools
The publishing tools the uses are difficult to learn, and up until recently didn’t really jive with Microsoft Word! I don’t know what they expected you to use as a tool to edit your work with before publication, but it wasn’t Word! I have the advantage of judging one publisher to another as I have a blogsite also. My blog is through “blogspot” a site owned and operated by Google. Articles on blogspot are extremely easy and take less than 30 seconds to post. The articles are difficult and the tools that are required are clunky and don’t always work the first time. Each article takes approximately 15 to 20 minutes. Any pictures you use in any of your articles have to be pics taken by you, previously published pics from AP photographers on the, or freedom of use articles on the internet such as Wikipedia, etc.

Thinly veiled censorship
As with most credit card companies and banks your terms of agreement change, and so does the direction of the I agreed to write for the Examiner as a conservative view from the Baltimore MD area. No demands were made of me to write on just local area politics; in fact I wrote some 250 commentary based articles on the national scene. To now supplement the amount of pay per views the Examiner has instituted, “Rules of the Road,” to pay you an additional bounty based on what THEY want you to write.
1) Topical
Articles are written in a manner that is knowledgeable about their assigned subject matter, and provide useful, relevant information to readers who might share a passion about it.
2) Local
If it's not locally relevant, it's not a local article. The combination of your topic and your city is the most important aspect of your Examiner contributions.
3) Length
Articles should be 200-400 words on average, and no less than 150 words. Use Who? What? Where? When? Why? How? as a guide.
4) Credibility
Use external sources whenever appropriate; quote and reference them when you do. Tip: Build real relationships within the community to use as ongoing source material; their credibility will build and strengthen yours.

Comment moderation

Comment moderation on the internet is handled differently by different companies, but the Examiner .com’s policy on comment moderation is sorely lacking, in fact it is nonexistent. Any moderation has to be done by the writer, except for profanities, which the Examiner will remove, but only after a complaint. You make think this is a pretty good policy at first, and it would be until you get an online troll stalker. In the summer of 2009 a particular person who didn’t agree with me wanted to make my life a living hell. The wouldn’t ban his ISP number, so I was stuck babysitting my articles every day. In one day in the summer this person was posting nasty, profane, and sometime threatening comments at the rate of 3 per minute! The Examiner was useless in stopping it. Comment moderation on other sites is by approval, and that has proved to be a very effective tool to combat situations like this, as well as spam. It’s funny how spam never seems to be posted on the Examiner but hateful comments can be. Below you can see but a few of the thousands of hateful things posted on my articles since February 2009.

Entry: Is Obama playing the name game?
Posted/Updated: 09/20/2009 08:19 PM
Xenu - Another crappy article from a crappy writer.

Entry: Is a second stimulus to seniors a payoff?
Posted/Updated: 10/15/2009 12:15 PM
More stupidity from this blog - Idoiots. The payoff is to counter the lack of a Social Secuirty COLA for the first time in 30 years. Inflation has not caused an icrease in consumer prices, so their is no need for a COLA. The payment is unneccesary and is being given to seniors who claim (falsely) that expenses have gone up. In fact, these are the same seniors who were too stupid to save for any retirmenet other than Social Security, which was NEVEr meant to be a sole source of retiremnet income. Does the author ever research facts or do you and the posters just run off at the mouth like jackasses?

Entry: Attacks and violations of decorum
Posted/Updated: 10/13/2009 12:30 PM
... - Glad to see you people are still on the extreme fringes of rational thought and still have notihng of value to contribute. It's just all ignorance and conspiracies for you people. Good luck in the elections suckers! Sore ass losers!

Entry: Doctors leaving their practices
Posted/Updated: 12/30/2009 03:50 PM
Dianna Sellers - Old people like you should be put out to pasture. You should read the book "Logan's Run" because it's a classic! You and ol' Yeller are suffering from senility and rabies, respectively. The gov't should put ya out of your misery!

Entry: Don't Cry for me Nigeria!
Posted/Updated: 01/05/2010 11:31 PM
Crappy Indep - Hey Sellers, this article isn't racist, it's just stupid and poorly written. Typical grandpa

Entry: MTA Light Rail, a crowning glory or failed policy?
Posted/Updated: 01/14/2010 10:46 AM
Dianna Sellers - Al, don't start deleting my comments again. Please act your age - which is what, 86?
Entry: One man’s ascension to power
Posted/Updated: 01/24/2010 02:31 AM
i h8 neo cons - neo cons like you need to be put to sleep. how dare you link Obama to Hitler. yet you voted for george bush - you hypocrite!!!

As you can see the benefits are hardly worth the hassle to me, you might think that “getting your word out” is worth all the problems that the Examiner causes. You may think that maybe I am merely a malcontent marginal writer bent on painting the Examiner in a bad light. Since June 2009 I have been the most read political writer in the Baltimore area. My articles had 141,000 hits last year, my highest month was 30,000 hits, I have written over 600 articles in an 24 month period, I wasn’t a fluke or a flash in the pan, my history was simple and easily proven. I have a fan base of loyal readers, they don’t make any comments on the Examiner anymore because they don’t like to be bashed by the stalker, this is sad. I liked appealing to a large readership, but I refuse to bend to something I’m not. I will continue my high standards of research, and publishing the very articles my readers can use as definitive proof of claims of their position to others.
If you would like to follow my work you may do so at

Monday, February 1, 2010

State of the Union, 2010

SOTU, 2010
Kevin Bryant

It was disappointing for me to sit and listen to the state of the union address. Once again it was filled with arrogance, promises that were already broken, promises that will be broken and partisan rhetoric. Most will write about what was specifically said in the speech. Few will give an overall assessment of the speech. My thoughts are more along this line of writing.

The speech was a little long winded for a SOTU address. Most run about 50 to 60 minutes. Back several years ago, this speech was given as a way for the President to give his assessment as to where we are as a country and his ideas to get the country pointed in a direction that best served the people. John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan come to mind as the last two Presidents that actually gave a real state of the union address and left partisan politics out of it for the most part.

Last night was, to borrow a line from the democrats, more of the same. More of the President sounding like he was on the campaign trail instead of being the leader of a nation. More blaming the previous administration rather than taking stock in one’s own failures. He preached more at republicans instead of offering a hand of friendship in bi-partisan spirit. Yes, it was more of the same.

I believe that the most disappointing thing about the speech was again, Obama demonstration just how out of touch he is with Main Street America. He didn’t speak like he was talking to America, but rather talking at America. He spoke of why we should embrace his ideas even though none of those ideas has even a 40% public approval rating.

One of Sean Hannity’s definitions of insanity is trying the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different outcome. Obama’s ideas have been tried and have failed not only in America but in many countries of the world, yet here he is again, advocating that they will work this time under his leadership.

America does not need a cheerleader in the White House but we have one. America is not best served when her President speaks down to her. Most of America has realized that Obama is an unrepentant narcissist, unable to admit mistakes and unwilling to accept other points of view that are different from his own.

Obama told America that he could bring people together, heal the divisions of this nation. In one aspect he is correct. Throughout the past year and again with his state of the union speech, he continually brings republicans, conservatives and moderate independents and more centralist democrats together to oppose his ideas and his philosophy. This is his one quality that I like and have come to appreciate.