Which is it: Gross Incompetence or Criminal Negligence?

The more that is revealed about the deaths at the United States Consulate at Benghazi, Libya, the more sickening it becomes. President Barack Obama and those closest to him are either grossly incompetent or were criminally negligent. Obama was the only authority who could have ordered a response by the military and CIA in time to go the aid of our Ambassador and those with him to have saved them. Instead Obama did nothing. The military and CIA were ready for the trigger to be pulled. No order came. Brave people died needlessly.
Obama now claims that he did give an order to act. What did he do then, go to bed? Obviously, no one monitored the response assuming he gave an order. If there was no response to a Presidential order, that should have triggered an immediate discharge and possibly a Courts Martial. That has not happened. I more think that President Barack Obama is lying. He and his surrogates tried to sell the story that all of the events in Libya and Middle East around 9/11 were the result of a video that was derogatory of the Prophet Mohammad when they already knew that was a lie. The US representative to the United Nations tried to sell the video story for days as did others in the administration including dear Hillary Clinton, our Secretary of State.
It has been weeks now since this tragedy. The Democrats say the matter is being studied and that they will get to the bottom of it…… of course, after the election. This is yet another example of either incompetence or lying. The facts are already known. If they are not by now, more incompetence.
If it turns out the drones overhead watching the slaughter of American citizens including the Ambassador, the personal representative of the President of the United States, were armed. It is time for impeachment if he is still in office. Nothing less will do.
Oh, you would have to catch the President first. He was off to Las Vegas for a campaign party right after the Ambassador was murdered.

Ye Ole Newspaper

It has been over 30 years since my family sold the daily newspaper it had owned for 84 years. Still, I have printers ink in my blood. I was involved with management of this newspaper for over 20 years. In the negotiations before the sale, the buyers promised to continue operations much as it had been. We had about 150 employees, were recognized by the industry as having the most penetration of our market over any other paper in the country, and made a good profit to boot.
That all changed. The cuts began almost immediately. I was still the publisher in name, but that soon came to an end. Within about 6 months of the purchase, I was out……. some are in and some are out.
To this day, I carry with me what I believe are inviolate principles of journalism. The first is to tell the truth and the complete truth. It is not the place of a “news” organization to editorialize when reporting the news. You would not know that now particularly with the electronic media. I cannot tell news from opinion most of the time. The second is to be the conscience of a community. That is, look out for your readers, look over the shoulder of politicians and those in government, and promote good things among the people.
Things changed from the old days. In the middle of the 20th Century, there were almost 2000 independent family owned newspapers in this country. This changed in the last quarter of the Century. Independent newspapers were bought out by newspaper chains. One reason this happened were the adverse estate tax laws. Newspapers had to be sold to pay inheritance taxes. Turned out this was not good for the owners or for the county.
In the old days, when owners lived in the same community as the newspaper, profit was not always king. There were intangible values that became as important once profit was at a reasonable level. The owners put back into the community in terms of time, talent, and money. It was more like family taking care of each other. Markets were more local rather than national.
The USA has suffered a loss. The “Fourth Estate” is not what it once was. Thomas Jefferson said, “Where the press is free and every man able to read, all is safe”. It should be added that the press must be both “free” and “unbiased” for all to be safe. We are not there now.

The X Factor

I am hooked on the X Factor, Britain’s Got Talent and America’s Got Talent. YouTube clips from those shows put me to bed at night and wake me in the morning. I check out the clips to see which ones have viewing in the millions, then watch them. These shows have captured the hearts of the globe. They are one of the few positive shared experiences we have.
Yes, Simon Cowell has made a lot of money from his shows, but he has at the same time provided a path for hundreds of very talented people, who otherwise would have likely never come out of the shadows, to live their dreams. What he has done is nothing short of a small miracle.
If you have never tuned in, start with Ronan Parke, Paul Potts, Jonathan and Charlotte, Eugene Murphy Jr., Carly Rose Sonenclar, Ella Henderson, Jason Brock, Tate Stevens, Jahmene Douglas, Drew Ryniewicz, Josh Krajcik, and Susan Boyle. If these don’t put a smile on your face and maybe a tear in your eye, nothing will. Enjoy.


Tuned into the news this morning only to hear that Sarah Palin does not rule out the possibility that she will run for the Presidency of the United States of America at some point. My reaction…. she is delusional. Let’s face it. The only reason she ever got onto the Republican ballot was that Sen. John McCain was pandering for the female vote in the 2008 election. It didn’t work. “Hope and Change” won.
Palin should be satisfied that she has become a millionaire through the fortunes of luck. It was not because she was/is so skilled as a public servant. Yes, she was the governor of the State of Alaska for a time, but not even for a full term. And I remind you that the State of Alaska has fewer people than the city of Indianapolis, Indiana. A good chunk of Alaska is federal government land and/or so rugged only moose, wolves, and other wild animals live there.
I add, too, that even her daughter, Bristol, has become a millionaire. She became the spokesperson for the Candie’s Foundation, a teen pregnancy prevention organization and was paid some $262,000 in 2009 for that alone. Are you joking me. That and now she is a star on “Dancing with the Stars”. She cannot dance but she continues on from week to week through the votes of her adoring public. That, too, is a joke. Now, she has a book deal for reportedly over one million dollars. The joke goes on.
This whole episode beginning with the nomination of Sarah Palin for VP is a mockery of our way of life. There are plenty of dedicated, hard working, and competent people in the USA that deserve more. The comedy of the Palins turns my stomach.

Military Downsizing

In case it is not clear, our military is in trouble. Unless change in Congress happens, “sequester” – a set of automatic cuts in federal spending – kicks in on January 2, 2013. The automatic cuts would chop the Pentagon’s budget by about $500 billion (That’s with a “B”) over nine years. That is about $55 billion per year. This whole process came about via agreement between the White House and Congressional House Republicans in the ongoing fight over federal government spending. I think it has become a big “OOPS!” Many Republicans now want to cancel the sequester through legislation, stating that the mandated cuts would pose a serious threat to our national security.
Now that time is drawing near, the cheese gets binding. The agreement and affected worker contracts require a 60 or 90 day notice if layoffs are to happen. The White House is telling military industry companies not to issue such notices to workers. This is in violation of the law. The companies are between a rock and a hard place not knowing exactly what to do. The Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta, said that under such budget restraints, the USA would become a “paper tiger”. If layoffs happen en mass in companies that produce things, it could take months or even years to rebuild the skilled workforce in the military industrial complex back to the point of today.  At the same time, troop strength would drop from the present 569,000 active-duty soldiers today to 426,000, the lowest number since WWII. Not smart in today’s world.
Mitt Romney advocates a strong military. He says he will restore budget cuts if they happen and even raise the defense budget by some $150 billion a year. Romney believes the United States of America should have a military second to none; in fact, one so powerful that no nation would take the risk of challenging it. I think most American citizens believe the same way.
On the other hand, periodically there are stories about military projects and production that are not needed or are carried on only to please some Senator or Representative. This must stop. We cannot waste any dollars, military or otherwise. All waste and pandering must be rooted out and ended. Weapons systems and development should be judged by professionals, not politicians. We expect our military to protect this country and its interests around the world, yet we handicap it with politics.
We have yet to see if the sequester can be avoided. Any compromise must come after the November election during a lame duck Congress. Good luck.

Voter Identification

Count me in on the side of those who want photo identification at the polls for everyone that wishes to vote. The argument by the liberals and ACLU just does not fly. They claim requiring a photo ID for voters will prevent millions of young people and minorities who are legal citizens of the United States of America from voting. Bologna. Identification is required for driving, cashing a check, boarding an airplane, buying alcohol, buying tobacco products, and more. It is even required to buy some over the counter medications like Zyrtec D. In fact there is even a nationwide data base for those type of meds.
Every state that has enacted a voter ID law has been careful to provide a means for people to get one easily. If individuals cannot handle the “inconvenience” of getting a free ID after proving citizenship, I am thinking voting is not on the plate either.
The argument goes like this: “Minorities, poor people, college students, and seniors are less likely to have driver’s licenses than other Americans, often live miles from the nearest DMV or post office, and may lack transportation”. I am sure that if any of such individuals would contact an office of the political party of their choice, transportation would be provided for them to obtain both identification and for getting to the polls on Election Day.
The one thing we do want to prevent is someone voting twice or voting under the name of some dead person or some other fraudulent way. A member of my family witnessed firsthand rampant voter fraud in Texas in the Democrat primary when Hillary Clinton was running against Barack Obama. In the United States of America, every citizen’s vote should count and no phony vote should. Elections do matter. Fraud is unacceptable. Requiring voter ID will not discourage anyone who is a legitimately eligible voter.