Posts Tagged ‘bureaucracy’

History Unfolding by Dr. David Kaiser

August 22, 2010

Please take three minutes to read this. Maybe he’s wrong, but what if he’s right?

David Kaiser is a respected historian whose published works have covered a broad range of topics, from European Warfare to American League Baseball. Born in 1947, the son of a diplomat, Kaiser spent his childhood in three capital cities: Washington D.C., Albany, New York, and Dakar, Senegal.  He attended Harvard University, graduating there in 1969 with a B.A. in history.  He then spent several years more at Harvard, gaining a PhD in history, which he obtained in 1976. He served in the Army Reserve from 1970 to 1976.

He is a professor in the Strategy and Policy Department of the United States Naval War College.  He has previously taught at Carnegie  Mellon, Williams College and Harvard University.  Kaiser’s latest book, The Road to Dallas, about the Kennedy assassination, was just published by Harvard University Press.



Dr. David Kaiser

History Unfolding

I am a student of history. Professionally, I have written 15 books on history that have been published in six languages, and I have studied history all my life.  I have come to think there is something monumentally large afoot, and I do not believe it is simply a banking crisis, or a mortgage crisis, or a credit crisis.  Yes these exist, but they are merely single facets on a very large gemstone that is only now coming into a sharper focus.

Something of historic proportions is happening.  I can sense it because I know how it feels, smells, what it looks like, and how people react to it. Yes, a perfect storm may be brewing, but there is something happening within our country that has been evolving for about ten to fifteen years… The pace has dramatically quickened in the past two.

We demand and then codify into law the requirement that our banks make massive loans to people we know they can never pay back?  Why?

We learned just days ago that the Federal Reserve, which has little or no real oversight by anyone, has “loaned” two trillion dollars (that is $2,000,000,000,000) over the past few months, but will not tell us to whom or why or disclose the terms.  That is our money.  Yours and mine.  And that is three times the $700 billion we all argued about so strenuously just this past September.  Who has this money?  Why do they have it?  Why are the terms unavailable to us?  Who asked for it?  Who authorized it? I thought this was a government of “we the people,” who loaned our powers to our elected leaders. Apparently not.

We have spent two or more decades intentionally de-industrializing our economy… Why?

We have intentionally dumbed down our schools, ignored our history, and no longer teach our founding documents, why we are exceptional, and why we are worth preserving. Students by and large cannot write, think critically, read, or articulate.  Parents are not revolting, teachers are not picketing, school boards continue to back mediocrity… Why?

We have now established the precedent of protesting every close election (violently in California over a proposition that is so controversial that it simply wants marriage to remain defined as between one man and one woman.  Did you ever think such a thing possible just a decade ago?)  We have corrupted our sacred political process by allowing unelected judges to write laws that radically change our way of life, and then mainstream Marxist groups like ACORN and others to turn our voting system into a banana republic. To what purpose?

Now our mortgage industry is collapsing, housing prices are in free fall, major industries are failing, our banking system is on the verge of collapse, social security is nearly bankrupt, as is Medicare and our entire government.  Our education system is worse than a joke (I teach college and I know precisely what I am talking about) – the list is staggering in its length, breadth, and depth. It is potentially 1929 x  ten… and we are at war with an enemy we cannot even name for fear of offending people of the same religion, who, in turn, cannot wait to slit the throats of your children if they have the opportunity to do so.

And finally, we have elected a man that no one really knows anything about, who has never run so much as a Dairy Queen, let alone a town as big as Wasilla, Alaska.  All of his associations and alliances are with real radicals in their chosen fields of employment, and everything we learn about him, drip by drip, is unsettling if not downright scary.   (Surely you have heard him speak about his idea to create and fund a mandatory civilian defense force stronger than our military for use inside our borders?  No? Oh, of course.  The media would never play that for you over and over and then demand he answer it.  Sarah Palin’s pregnant daughter and $150,000 wardrobe are more important.)

Mr. Obama’s winning platform can be boiled down to one word: CHANGE.   Why?

I have never been so afraid for my country and for my children as I am now.

This man campaigned on bringing people together, something he has never, ever done in his professional life.  In my assessment, Obama will divide us along philosophical lines, push us apart, and then try to realign the pieces into a new and different power structure.   Change is indeed coming.  And when it comes, you will never see the same nation again.

And that is only the beginning…

As a serious student of history, I thought I would never come to experience what the ordinary, moral German must have felt in the mid-1930s.  In those times, the “savior” was a former smooth-talking rabble-rouser from the streets, about whom the average German knew next to nothing.   What they should have known was that he was associated with groups that shouted, shoved, and pushed around people with whom they disagreed; he edged his way onto the political stage through great oratory.  Conservative “losers” read it right now.

And there were the promises.  Economic times were tough, people were losing jobs, and he was a great speaker.  And he smiled and frowned and waved a lot. And people, even newspapers, were afraid to speak out for fear that his “brown shirts” would bully and beat them into submission.  Which they did – regularly. And then, he was duly elected to office, while a full-throttled economic crisis bloomed at hand – the Great Depression.  Slowly, but surely he seized the controls of government power, person by person, department by department, bureaucracy by bureaucracy.  The children of German citizens were at first, encouraged to join a Youth Movement in his name where they were taught exactly what to think.  Later, they were required to do so.  No Jews of course.

How did he get people on his side?  He did it by promising jobs to the jobless, money to the money-less, and rewards for the military-industrial complex… He did it by indoctrinating the children, advocating gun control, health care for all, better wages, better jobs, and promising to re-instill pride once again in the country, across Europe, and across the world.  He did it with a compliant media – did you know that?  And he did this all in the name of justice and… CHANGE And the people surely got what they voted for.

If you think I am exaggerating, look it up.  It’s all there in the history books.

So read your history books.  Many people of conscience objected in 1933 and were shouted down, called names, laughed at, and ridiculed.  When Winston Churchill pointed out the obvious in the late 1930s while seated in the House of Lords in England (he was not yet Prime Minister), he was booed into his seat and called a crazy troublemaker.  He was right, though.  And the world came to regret that he was not listened to.

Do not forget that Germany was the most educated, the most cultured country in Europe.  It was full of music, art, museums, hospitals, laboratories, and universities.  And yet, in less than six years (a shorter time span than just two terms of the U. S. presidency) it was rounding up its own citizens, killing others, abrogating its laws, turning children against parents, and neighbors against neighbors. All with the best of intentions, of course.  The road to Hell is paved with them.

As a practical thinker, one not overly prone to emotional decisions, I have a choice:
I can either believe what the objective pieces of evidence tell me (even if they make me cringe with disgust); I can believe what history is shouting to me from across the chasm of seven decades; or I can hope I am wrong by closing my eyes, having another latte, and ignoring what is transpiring around me…

I choose to believe the evidence.  No doubt some people will scoff at me, others laugh, or think I am foolish, naive, or both.  To some degree, perhaps I am.  But I have never been afraid to look people in the eye and tell them exactly what I believe – and why I believe it.

I pray I am wrong.  I do not think I am.  Perhaps the only hope is our vote in the next elections.

David Kaiser
Jamestown, Rhode Island
United States

If you pass this along, perhaps it will help to begin the awakening of America about where we are headed… GOD HELP US ALL!

JUST A MOM? – an inspirational story

June 9, 2010

A woman, renewing her driver’s license at the County Clerk’s office, was asked by the woman recorder to state her occupation.

She hesitated, uncertain how to classify herself.

“What I mean is,” explained the recorder, “do you have a job or are you just a …?”

“Of course I have a job,” snapped the woman.

“I’m a Mom.”

“We don’t list ‘Mom’ as an occupation, ‘housewife’ covers it,” said the recorder emphatically.

I forgot all about her story until one day I found myself in the same situation, this time at our own Town Hall. The clerk was obviously a career woman, poised, efficient, and possessed of a high sounding title like, “Official Interrogator” or “Town Registrar.”

“What is your occupation?” she probed.

What made me say it? I do not know. The words simply popped out. “I’m a Research Associate in the field of Child Development and Human Relations.”

The clerk paused, ball-point pen frozen in midair and looked up as though she had not heard right.

I repeated the title slowly emphasizing the most significant words. Then I stared with wonder as my pronouncement was written, in bold, black ink on the official questionnaire.

“Might I ask,” said the clerk with new interest, “just what you do in your field?”

Coolly, without any trace of fluster in my voice, I heard myself reply, “I have a continuing program of research, (what mother doesn’t) in the laboratory and in the field, (normally I would have said indoors and out). I’m working for my Masters, (first the Lord and then the whole family) and already have four credits (all daughters). Of course, the job is one of the most demanding in the humanities, (any mother care to disagree?) and I often work 14 hours a day, (24 is more like it). But the job is more challenging than most run-of-the-mill careers and the rewards are more of a satisfaction rather than just money.”

There was an increasing note of respect in the clerk’s voice as she completed the form, stood up, and personally ushered me to the door.

As I drove into our driveway, buoyed up by my glamorous new career, I was greeted by my lab assistants — ages 13, 7, and 3. Upstairs I could hear our new experimental model, (a 6 month old baby) in the child development program, testing out a new vocal pattern.

I felt I had scored a beat on bureaucracy! And I had gone on the official records as someone more distinguished and indispensable to mankind than “just another Mom.”

Motherhood!

What a glorious career! Especially when there’s a title on the door.

Does this make grandmothers “Senior Research associates in the field of Child Development and Human Relations” and great grandmothers “Executive Senior Research Associates?”

I think so!!!

I also think it makes Aunts “Associate Research Assistants.”

Please send this to another Mom, Grandmother, Aunt, and other friends you know.

May your troubles be less, Your blessing be more,
And nothing but happiness come through your door!

WE FIGURED HIM OUT! By Ben Stein

February 25, 2010

Why is President Barack Obama in such a hurry to get his socialized medicine bill passed?

Because he and his cunning circle realize some basic truths:

The American people in their unimaginable kindness and trust voted for a pig in a poke in 2008.

They wanted so much to believe Barack Obama was somehow better and different from other ultra-leftists that they simply took him on faith.

They ignored his anti-white writings in his books.

They ignored his quiet acceptance of hysterical anti-American diatribes by his minister, Jeremiah Wright.

They ignored his refusal to explain years at a time of his life as a student.

They ignored his ultra-left record as a “community organizer,” Illinois state legislator, and Senator.

The American people ignored his total zero of an academic record as a student and teacher, his complete lack of scholarship when he was being touted as a scholar.

Why were we duped, you ask? Because it is in the character and personality of an ego-centered Narcissist to be believed. They accept no contrary opinions. They have a 100% conviction in their own opinion and beliefs. They typically are well spoken and have a certain amount of charisma. They are adept at twisting and spinning any thought into their own mold. He rallied much of the non-Caucasian and youth vote. Why? Because he preached change. This element of voters either feel they needed change, or in the case of the young voters, they didn’t have enough experience to fully understand “change from and to what” but the charisma and rhetoric sold this “load of poles”.

Now, the American people are starting to wake up to the truth. Barack Obama is a super likeable super leftist, not a fan of this country, way, way too cozy with the terrorist leaders in the Middle East, way beyond naïveté, all the way into active destruction of our interests and our allies and our future. The American people have already awakened to the truth that the stimulus bill — a great idea in theory — was really an immense bribe to Democrat interest groups, and in no way an effort to help all Americans.

Now, Americans are waking up to the truth that ObamaCare basically means that every time you are sick or injured, you will have a clerk from the Department of Motor Vehicles telling your doctor what he can and cannot do.

The American people already know that Mr. Obama’s plan to lower health costs while expanding coverage and bureaucracy is a myth, a promise of something that never was and never will be — a bureaucracy lowering costs in a free society. Either the costs go up or the free society goes away.

These are perilous times.. Mrs. Hillary Clinton, our Secretary of State, has given Iran the go-ahead to have nuclear weapons, an unqualified betrayal of the nation. Now, we face a devastating loss of freedom at home in health care. It will be joined by controls on our lives to “protect us” from global warming, itself largely a fraud if believed to be caused by man.

Mr. Obama knows Americans are getting wise and will stop him if he delays at all in taking away our freedoms. There is his urgency and our opportunity. Once freedom is lost, America is lost. Wake up, beloved America.

Ben Stein is a writer, actor, economist, and lawyer living in Beverly Hills and Malibu. He writes “Ben Stein’s Diary” for every issue of The American Spectator.

The title “WE FIGURED HIM OUT!” does not apply to me. I knew all about him for over a year. I’m teed off at those who put him there, for being either too lazy or too stupid to know better.

They may have ruined my country and yours.

You must as an American FORWARD this to all, or you will wake up one morning and your freedoms are no longer there.

Perhaps this is the problem with America

December 3, 2009

This is very interesting!  I never thought about it this way. Perhaps this is why so many physicians are conservatives or Republicans.

The Democratic Party has become the Lawyers’ Party.

*  Barack Obama is a lawyer.

*  Michelle Obama is a lawyer.

*  Hillary Clinton is a lawyer.

*  Bill Clinton is a lawyer.

*  John Edwards is a lawyer.

*  Elizabeth Edwards is a lawyer.

Every Democrat nominee since 1984 went to law school (although Gore did not graduate).

Every Democrat vice presidential nominee since 1976, except for Lloyd Bentsen, went to law school.

Look at leaders of the Democrat Party in Congress:

*   Harry Reid is a lawyer.

*   Nancy Pelosi is a lawyer.

The Republican Party is different.

*   President Bush is a businessman.

*   Vice President Cheney is a businessman.

The leaders of the Republican Revolution:

*   Newt Gingrich was a history professor.

*   Tom Delay was an exterminator.

*   Dick Armey was an economist.

*   House Minority Leader Boehner was a plastic manufacturer.

*   The former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist is a heart surgeon.

Who was the last Republican president who was a lawyer?  Gerald Ford, who left office 31 years ago and who barely won the Republican nomination as a sitting president, running against Ronald Reagan in 1976.  The Republican Party is made up of real people doing real work, who are often the targets of lawyers.

The Democrat Party is made up of lawyers.  Democrats mock and scorn men who create wealth, like Bush and Cheney, or who heal the sick, like Frist, or who immerse themselves in history, like Gingrich.

The Lawyers’ Party sees these sorts of people, who provide goods and services that people want, as the enemies of America.  And, so we have seen the procession of official enemies, in the eyes of the Lawyers’ Party, grow.

Against whom do Hillary and Obama rail?  Pharmaceutical companies, oil companies, hospitals, manufacturers, fast food restaurant chains, large retail businesses, bankers, and anyone producing anything of value in our nation.

This is the natural consequence of viewing everything through the eyes of lawyers.  Lawyers solve problems by successfully representing their clients, in this case the American people.  Lawyers seek to have new laws passed, they seek to win lawsuits, they press appellate courts to overturn precedent, and lawyers always parse language to favor their side.

Confined to the narrow practice of law, that is fine.  But it is an awful way to govern a great nation.  When politicians as lawyers begin to view some Americans as clients and other Americans as opposing parties, then the role of the legal system in our life becomes all-consuming.  Some Americans become “adverse parties” of our very government.  We are not all litigants in some vast social class-action suit.  We are citizens of a republic that promises us a great deal of freedom from laws, from courts, and from lawyers.

Today, we are drowning in laws; we are contorted by judicial decisions; we are driven to distraction by omnipresent lawyers in all parts of our once private lives.  America has a place for laws and lawyers, but that place is modest and reasonable, not vast and unchecked.  When the most important decision for our next president is whom he will appoint to the Supreme Court, the role of lawyers and the law in America is too big.  When lawyers use criminal prosecution as a continuation of politics by other means, as happened in the lynching of Scooter Libby and Tom Delay, then the power of lawyers in America is too great…  When House Democrats sue America in order to hamstring our efforts to learn what our enemies are planning to do to us, then the role of litigation in America has become crushing.

We cannot expect the Lawyers’ Party to provide real change, real reform or real hope in America.  Most Americans know that a republic in which every major government action must be blessed by nine unelected judges is not what Washington intended in 1789.  Most Americans grasp that we cannot fight a war when ACLU lawsuits snap at the heels of our defenders.  Most Americans intuit that more lawyers and judges will not restore declining moral values or spark the spirit of enterprise in our economy.

Perhaps Americans will understand that change cannot be brought to our nation by those lawyers who already largely dictate American society and business.  Perhaps Americans will see that hope does not come from the mouths of lawyers but from personal dreams nourished by hard work.  Perhaps Americans will embrace the truth that more lawyers with more power will only make our problems worse.

The United States has 5% of the world’s population and 66% of the world’s lawyers! Tort (Legal) reform legislation has been introduced in congress several times in the last several years to limit punitive damages in ridiculous lawsuits such as ‘spilling hot coffee on yourself and suing the establishment that sold it to you’ and also to limit punitive damages in huge medical malpractice lawsuits. This legislation has continually been blocked from even being voted on by the Democrat Party. When you see that 97% of the political contributions from the American Trial Lawyers Association goes to the Democrat Party, then you realize who is responsible for our medical and product costs being so high!

An Arizona woman writes an open letter to our nation’s leadership

November 24, 2009

GLENN BECK: I got a letter from a woman in Arizona.  She writes an open letter to our nation’s leadership:

“I am a home grown American citizen, 53, registered Democrat all my life. Before the last presidential election I registered as a Republican because I no longer felt the Democratic Party represents my views or works to pursue issues important to me. Now I no longer feel the Republican Party represents my views or works to pursue issues important to me. The fact is I no longer feel any political party or representative in Washington represents my views or works to pursue the issues important to me.   Instead, we are burdened with Congressional Dukes and Duchesses who think they know better than the citizens they are supposed to represent.

There must be someone. Please tell me who you are. Please stand up and tell me that you are there and that you’re willing to fight for our Constitution as it was written. Please stand up now.

You might ask yourself what my views and issues are that I would feel so horribly disenfranchised by both major political parties. What kind of nut-job am I? Well, these briefly are the views and issues for which I seek representation:

One
, illegal immigration. I want you to stop coddling illegal immigrants and secure our borders. Close the underground tunnels. Stop the violence and the trafficking in drugs and people. No amnesty, not again. Been there, done that, no resolution. P.S., I’m not a racist. This is not to be confused with legal immigration.

Two, the STIMULUS bill.
I want it repealed and I want no further funding supplied to it. We told you No, but you did it anyway. I want the remaining unfunded 95% repealed. Freeze, repeal.

Three, Czars.
I want the circumvention of our constitutional checks and balances stopped immediately. Fire the czars. No more czars. Government officials answer to the process, not to the president. Stop trampling on our Constitution, and honor it.

Four, cap and trade.
The debate on global warming is not over. There are many conflicting opinions and it is too soon for this radical legislation. Quit throwing our nation into politically-correct quicksand.

Five, universal healthcare
. I will not be rushed into another expensive decision that will burden me, my children, and grandchildren. Don’t you dare try to pass this in the middle of the night without even reading it. Slow down!  Fix only what is broken — we have the best health care system in the world — and test any new program in one or two states first.

Six, growing government control.
I want states rights and sovereignty fully restored. I want less government in my life, not more. More is not better! Shrink it down. Mind your own business.  You have enough to take care of with your real [Constitutional] obligations. Why don’t you start there.

Seven, ACORN. I do not want ACORN and its affiliates in charge of our 2010 census. I want them investigated. I also do not want mandatory escrow fees contributed to them every time on every real estate deal that closes — how did they pull that one off? Stop the funding to ACORN and its affiliates pending impartial audits and investigations. I do not trust them with taking the census with our taxpayer money. I don’t trust them with any of our taxpayer money. Face up to the allegations against them and get it resolved before taxpayers get any more involved with them. If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, hello! Stop protecting your political buddies. You work for us, the people. Investigate.

Eight, redistribution of wealth
. No, no, no. I work for my money. It is mine. I have always worked for people with more money than I have because they gave me jobs — and that is the only redistribution of wealth that I will support. I never got a job from a poor person! Why do you want me to hate my employers? And what do you have against shareholders making a profit?

Nine, charitable contributions.
Although I never got a job from a poor person, I have helped many in need. Charity belongs in our local communities, where we know our needs best and can use our local talent and our local resources. Butt out, please. We want to do it ourselves.

Ten, corporate bailouts.
Knock it off. Every company must sink or swim like the rest of us. If there are hard times ahead, we’ll be better off just getting into it and letting the strong survive. Quick and painful. (Have you ever ripped off a Band-Aid?) We will pull together. Great things happen in America under great hardship. Give us the chance to innovate. We cannot disappoint you more than you have disappointed us.

Eleven, transparency and accountability.
How about it? No, really, how about it? Let’s have it. Let’s say we give the buzzwords a rest and have some straight honest talk. Please stop trying to manipulate and appease me with clever wording. I am not the idiot you obviously take me for. Stop sneaking around and meeting in back rooms making deals with your friends. It will only be a prelude to your criminal investigation. Stop hiding things from me.

Twelve, unprecedented quick spending. Stop it now
.
Take a breath. Listen to the people. Slow down and get some input from nonpoliticians and experts on the subject. Stop making everything an emergency. Stop speed-reading our bills into law. I am not an activist. I am not a community organizer. Nor am I a terrorist, a militant or a violent person. I am a parent and a grandparent. I work. I’m busy.  I am busy, and I am tired. I thought we elected competent people to take care of the business of government so that we could work, raise our families, pay our bills, have a little recreation, complain about taxes, endure our hardships, pursue our personal goals, cut our lawn, wash our cars on the weekends and be responsible contributing members of society and teach our children to be the same all while living in the home of the free and land of the brave.

I entrusted you with upholding the Constitution. I believed in the checks and balances to keep from getting far off course. What happened?
You are very far off course. Do you really think I find humor in the hiring of a speed reader to unintelligently ramble all through a bill that you signed into law without knowing what it contained? I do not.

It is a mockery of the responsibility I have entrusted to you. It is a slap in the face. I am not laughing at your arrogance. Why is it that I feel as if you would not trust me to make a single decision about my own life and how I would live it but you should expect that I should trust you with the debt that you have laid on all of us and our children. We did not want the TARP bill. We said no. We would repeal it if we could. I am sure that we still cannot. There is needless urgency and recklessness in all of your recent spending of our tax dollars.

From my perspective, it seems that all of you have gone insane. I also know that I am far from alone in these feelings. Do you honestly feel that your current pursuits have merit to patriotic Americans? We want it to stop. We want to put the brakes on everything that is being rushed by us and forced upon us. We want our voice back. You have forced us to put our lives on hold to straighten out the mess that you are making. We will have to give up our vacations, our time spent with our children, any relaxation time we may have had and money we cannot afford to spend on bringing our concerns to Washington. Our president often knows all the right buzzwords like unsustainable. Well, no kidding. How many tens of thousands of dollars did the focus group cost to come up with that word? We don’t want your overpriced words. Stop treating us like we’re morons.

We want all of you to stop focusing on your reelection and do the job we want done, not the job you want done or the job your party wants done. You work for us and at this rate I guarantee you not for long, because we are coming. We will be heard and we will be represented… You think we’re so busy with our lives that we will never come for you? We are the formerly silent majority, all of us who quietly work, pay taxes, obey the law, vote, save money, keep our noses to the grindstone… and we are now looking at you.

You have awakened us, the patriotic freedom spirit so strong and so powerful that it had been sleeping too long. You have pushed us too far. Our numbers are great. They may surprise you. For every one of us who will be there, there will be hundreds more that could not come. Unlike you, we have their trust. We will represent them honestly, rest assured. They will be at the polls on voting day to usher you out of office.

We have cancelled vacations. We will use our last few dollars saved. We will find the representation among us and a grassroots campaign will flourish. We didn’t ask for this fight. But the gloves are coming off. We do not come in violence, but we are angry. You will represent us or you will be replaced with someone who will. There are candidates among us who will rise like a Phoenix from the ashes that you have made of our constitution.

Democrat, Republican, independent, libertarian. Understand this. We don’t care. Political parties are meaningless to us Patriotic Americans are willing to do right by us and our Constitution, and that is all that matters to us now. We are going to fire all of you who abuse power and seek more. It is not your power. It is ours and we want it back. We entrusted you with it and you abused it. You are dishonorable. You are dishonest. As Americans we are ashamed of you. You have brought shame to us. If you are not representing the wants and needs of your constituency loudly and consistently, in spite of the objections of your party, you will be fired. Did you hear? We no longer care about your political parties. You need to be loyal to us, not to them… Because we will get you fired and they will not save you.

If you do or can represent me, my issues, my views, please stand up. Make your identity known. You need to make some noise about it. Speak up. I need to know who you are. If you do not speak up, you will be herded out with the rest of the sheep and we will replace the whole damn congress if need be, one by one. We are coming. Are we coming for you? Who do you represent? What do you represent? Listen. Because we are coming. We the people are coming.”

Stimulus spending – By Susan Ferrechio

November 7, 2009

Remember, these projects all provide jobs and stimulate the economy. Obama told me so!

After a flurry of stimulus spending, questionable projects pile up…

(Where the government is spending (squandering/wasting) our hard-earned tax dollars)

By: Susan Ferrechio
Chief Congressional Correspondent

November 3, 2009

The $787 billion stimulus bill was passed in February and was promised as a job saver and economy booster. Here is where some of the money went:

$300,000 for a GPS-equipped helicopter to hunt for radioactive rabbit droppings at the Hanford nuclear reservation in Washington state.

$30 million for a spring training baseball complex for the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies.

$11 million for Microsoft to build a bridge connecting its two headquarter campuses in Redmond, Wash., which are separated by a highway.

$430,000 to repair a bridge in Iowa County, Wis., that carries 10 or fewer cars per day.

$800,000 for the John Murtha Airport in Johnstown, Pa., serving about 20 passengers per day, to build a backup runway.

– $219,000 for Syracuse University to study the sex lives of freshmen women.

$2.3 million for the U.S. Forest Service to rear large numbers of arthropods, including the Asian long-horned beetle, the nun moth and the woolly adelgid.

$3.4 million for a 13-foot tunnel for turtles and other wildlife attempting to cross U.S. 27 in Lake Jackson, Fla.

– $1.15 million to install a guardrail for a persistently dry lake bed in Guymon, Okla.

$9.38 million to renovate a century-old train depot in Lancaster County, Pa., that has not been used for three decades.

– $2.5 million in stimulus checks sent to the deceased.

$6 million for a snow-making facility in Duluth, Minn.

– $173,834 to weatherize eight pickup trucks in Madison County, Ill.

– $20,000 for a fish sperm freezer at the Gavins Point National Fish Hatchery in South Dakota.

– $380,000 to spay and neuter pets in Wichita, Kan.

– $300 apiece for thousands of signs at road construction sites across the country announcing that the projects are funded by stimulus money.

– $1.5 million for a fence to block would-be jumpers from leaping off the All-American Bridge in Akron, Ohio.

$1 million to study the health effects of environmentally friendly public housing on 300 people in Chicago. (Obama’s hometown)

– $356,000 for Indiana University to study childhood comprehension of foreign accents compared with native speech.

– $983,952 for street beautification in Ann Arbor, Mich., including decorative lighting, trees, benches and bike paths.

– $148,438 for Washington State University to analyze the use of marijuana in conjunction with medications like morphine.

– $462,000 to purchase 22 concrete toilets for use in the Mark Twain National Forest in Missouri

– $3.1 million to transform a canal barge into a floating museum that will travel the Erie Canal in New York state.

– $1.3 million on government arts jobs in Maine, including $30,000 for basket makers, $20,000 for storytelling and $12,500 for a music festival.

– $71,000 for a hybrid car to be used by student drivers in Colchester, Vt., as well as a plug-in hybrid for town workers decked out with a sign touting the vehicle’s energy efficiency.

– $1 million for Portland, Ore., to replace 100 aging bike lockers and build a garage that would house 250 bicycles.

Sources: News reports, Office of the Senate Minority Leader, Office of Sen. Tom Coburn

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How much longer are we going to put up with this? We should all be calling or writing to our Senators and Congressmen and demanding a stop to all this wasteful spending. And if they do not respond, remind them that re-election time comes soon. It’s time for the American people to stand up and make our voices heard. We need to tell them as in the words of Howard Beale in the 1976 movie “Network”,

‘I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!’

Remember Lee Iacocca?

November 7, 2009

Remember Lee Iacocca, the man who rescued Chrysler Corporation from its death throes?   He’s now 82 years old and has a new book, ‘Where Have All The Leaders Gone?’

Lee Iacocca Says:

‘Am I the only guy in this country who’s fed up with what’s happening? Where the hell is our outrage?  We should be screaming bloody murder! We’ve got  a gang of clueless bozos steering our ship of  state right over a cliff, we’ve got corporate  gangsters stealing us blind, and we can’t even  clean up after a hurricane much less build a  hybrid car. But instead of getting mad, everyone sits around and nods their heads when the politicians say, ‘Stay the course…’

Stay the course? You’ve got to be kidding. This is America, not the damned, ‘Titanic’. I’ll give you a sound bite: ‘Throw all the bums out!’

You might think I’m getting senile, that I’ve gone off my rocker, and maybe I have. But someone has to speak up. I hardly recognize this country anymore.

The most famous business leaders are not the innovators but the guys in handcuffs. While we’re fiddling in Iraq, the Middle East is burning and nobody seems to know what to do. And the press is waving ‘pom-poms’ instead of asking hard questions. That’s not the promise of the ‘ America ‘ my parents and yours traveled across the ocean for. I’ve had enough.  How about you?

I’ll go a step further. You can’t call yourself a patriot if you’re not outraged. This is a fight I’m ready and willing to have. The Biggest ‘C’ is Crisis! (Iacocca elaborates on nine C’s of leadership, with crisis being the first.)

Leaders are made, not born.  Leadership is forged in times of crisis. It’s easy to sit there with your feet up on the desk and talk theory. Or send someone else’s kids off to war when you’ve never seen a battlefield yourself. It’s another thing to lead when your world comes tumbling down.

On September 11, 2001, we needed a strong leader more than any other time in our history. We needed a steady hand to guide us out of the ashes. A hell of a mess, so here’s where we stand.

  • We’re immersed in a bloody war with no plan for winning and no plan for leaving.
  • We’re running the biggest deficit in the history of the country.
  • We’re losing the manufacturing edge to Asia, while our once-great companies are getting slaughtered by healthcare costs.
  • Gas prices are skyrocketing, and nobody in power has a coherent energy policy. Our schools are in trouble.
  • Our borders are like sieves.
  • The middle class is being squeezed every which way.

These are times that cry out for leadership.

But when you look around, you’ve got to ask: ‘Where have all the leaders gone?’ Where are the curious, creative communicators? Where are the people of character, courage, conviction, omnipotence, and common sense? I may be a sucker for alliteration, but I think you get the   point.

Name me a leader who has a better idea for homeland security than making us take off our shoes in airports and throw away our shampoo?

We’ve spent billions of dollars building a huge new bureaucracy, and all we know how to do is react to things that have already happened.

Name me one leader who emerged from the crisis of Hurricane Katrina. Congress has yet to spend a single day evaluating the response to the hurricane or demanding accountability for the decisions that were made in the crucial hours after the storm.

Everyone’s hunkering down, fingers crossed, hoping it doesn’t happen again. Now, that’s just crazy. Storms happen. Deal with it.  Make a plan. Figure out what you’re going to do the next time.

Name me an industry leader who is thinking creatively about how we can restore our competitive edge in manufacturing.  Who would have believed that there could ever be a time when ‘The Big Three’ referred to Japanese car companies? How did this happen, and more important, what are we going to do about it?

Name me a government leader who can articulate a plan for paying down the debit, or solving the energy crisis, or managing the health care problem. The silence is deafening. But these are the crises that are eating away at our country and milking the middle class dry.

I have news for the gang in Congress. We didn’t elect you to sit on your asses and do nothing and remain silent while our democracy is being hijacked and our greatness is being replaced with mediocrity. What is everybody so afraid of? That some bonehead on CNN will call you a bonehead

Had Enough? Hey, I’m not trying to be the voice of gloom and doom here. I’m trying to light a fire. I’m speaking out because I have hope – I believe in America. In my lifetime, I’ve had the privilege of living through some of America’s greatest moments. I’ve also experienced some of our worst crises: The ‘Great Depression,’ ‘World War II,’ the ‘Korean War,’ the ‘Kennedy Assassination,’ the ‘Vietnam War,’ the 1970’s oil crisis, and the struggles of recent years culminating with 9/11.

If I’ve learned one thing, it’s this: ‘You don’t get anywhere by standing on the sidelines waiting for somebody else to take action. Whether it’s building a better car or building a better future for our children, we all have a role to play. That’s the challenge I’m raising in this book. It’s a “Call to Action” for people who, like me, believe in America’. It’s not too late, but it’s getting pretty close. So let’s shake off the crap and go to work. Let’s tell ’em all we’ve had ‘enough.’

Make your own contribution by sending this to everyone you know and care about. It’s our country, folks, and it’s our future. Our future is at stake!!

Government bureaucracy

October 27, 2009

Once upon a time the government had a vast scrap yard in the middle of a desert. Congress said, “Someone may steal from it at night…”

So they created a night watchman position and hired a person for the job.

Then Congress said, “How does the watchman do his job without instruction?” So they created a planning department and hired two people, one person to write the instructions, and one person to do time studies.

Then Congress said, “How will we know the night watchman is doing the tasks correctly?” So they created a Quality Control department and hired two people. One to do the studies and one to write the reports.

Then Congress said, “How are these people going to get paid?” So they created the following positions, a time keeper, and a payroll officer, then hired two people.

Then Congress said, “Who will be accountable for all of these people?” So they created an administrative section and hired three people, an Administrative Officer, Assistant Administrative Officer, and a Legal Secretary.

Then Congress said, “We have had this command in operation for one year and we are $18,000 over budget, we must cutback overall cost.”

So they laid off the night watchman.

NOW slowly, let it sink in. Quietly, we go like sheep to slaughter.

Does anybody remember the reason given for the establishment of the Department of Energy during the Carter Administration?

Anybody? Anything? No? Didn’t think so!

Bottom line. We’ve spent several hundred billion dollars in support of an agency … the reason for which not one person who reads this can remember!

Ready?? It was very simple … and, at the time, everybody thought it very appropriate.

The Department of Energy was instituted on 8-04-1977…TO LESSEN OUR DEPENDENCE ON FOREIGN OIL.

Hey, pretty efficient, huh???

AND, NOW, IT’S 2009 — 32 YEARS LATER — AND THE BUDGET FOR THIS “NECESSARY” DEPARTMENT IS AT $24.2 BILLION A YEAR.

THEY HAVE 16,000 FEDERAL EMPLOYEES AND APPROXIMATELY 100,000 CONTRACT EMPLOYEES; AND, LOOK AT THE JOB THEY HAVE DONE!

THIS IS WHERE YOU SLAP YOUR FOREHEAD AND SAY, “WHAT WAS I THINKING?”

Ah, yes — good ole bureaucracy.

And, NOW, we are going to turn the banking system, HEALTH CARE and the auto industry over to the same Government?


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