Friday, December 30, 2011

2012 Economic Indicator Forecast

In 2011, over several weeks, I posted a model for each of the most vital economic indicators: GDP, Unemployment, Inflation, federal budget, federal debt, federal spending, trade deficit, consumer spending, tax receipts, state deficits, state social benefit spending, personal income, and federal social benefit spending. From these models I am predicting the 2012 end of year results for these variables to be as follows (2010 results are in parenthesis):

Federal Social Benefits – 2.5 trillion dollars (2.3)

Personal Income – 12.9 trillion dollars (12.5)

State Social Benefits – 615 billion dollars (540)

State Deficits – 87 billion dollars (50)

Consumer Spending – 11 trillion dollars (10.5)

Trade Deficit – 560 billion dollars (520)

Budget – 3.7 trillion dollars (3.7)

Government Spending – 5.1 trillion dollars (5.3)

Tax Receipts – 3.7 trillion dollars (3.9)

Federal Debt – 16.4 trillion dollars (13.3)

Inflation – 2% (1)

Unemployment – 7.5% (9.6)

GDP – 15.5 trillion dollars (14.2)

My Book: Is America Dying? (Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Obama’s Lowlights (12/29/11)

Occupy Wall Street – The Milk Street Café in NYC, the restaurant whose business dried up in the face of the Occupy Wall Street barricades, is shutting down.

AP Poll – “We are the 99 percent” was chosen as the top quote of the year. Although I am part of the so called “99%”, Occupy Wall Street does not remotely represent my views.

Race Card – This is a quote from Eric Holder in a NY Times piece about the increased scrutiny he has received for the terrible job he has been doing as the head of the DOJ: “This is a way to get at the president because of the way I can be identified with him,” he said, “both due to the nature of our relationship and, you know, the fact that we’re both African-American.”

Obama Vacation – The price tag is in and it will cost the taxpayers 4 million dollars for his 17 day vacation in Hawaii.

Public Employees - The latest government employee numbers at the state level are down by 80,000 jobs since the recession started whereas the federal government has added 110,000 government jobs since 2009.

Joe Biden – Joe had this to say in a Newsweek interview: “Look, the Taliban per se is not our enemy.”

Crime – A report in the USA Today claims 1 in 3 youths will be arrested by the time they are 23. This is an increase from 50% over the past 50 years.

Oil – For the first time since 1949 U.S. exports of oil based products is more than its imports. The reason for this is due to technological advances that enable the U.S. to manufacture oil from tar pits using “fracking” technology.

David Axelrod - "Some folks [Republicans] over there think somehow screwing up the economy, throwing a wrench in the works, is somehow a god political strategy for them." What a surprise, more finger pointing and blaming by the Obama administration.

Syria – AP Reports “Since the revolt against Syrian president Bashir Assad began in March during the "Arab Spring," over 5,000 protesters have died at the hands of Assad's brutal regime. Looks like these protesters know which president would have been a friend to their burgeoning democratic movement (Bush instead of Obama)...”

EU - Michael O'Leary, the CEO of the Irish airline Ryanair, believes his company is being relentlessly persecuted by the European Union for the oh-so-heinous crimes of innovation, free market competition, and producing a service that people actually want to buy.

Bill Clinton – In an interview with Bill O’Reilly, Clinton admitted he felt the media was biased against Hillary in the 2008 primary against Barack Obama.

Department of Agriculture (DOA) - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, in an interview in Politico, is trying to spread the word that the USDA is a large government network involved in many different types of projects—“it's not just about farming anymore”. This is another sign that big government is once again overstepping its bounds. First, we do not need a DOA and secondly, the DOA is getting involved in things outside the realm of agriculture. This is an unwarranted power grab.

EPA - The Environmental Protection Agency announced new rules this past week that will require the oldest oil- and coal-fired power plants nationwide to cut down on their emissions of mercury and other pollutants, or else be forced to shut down--ostensibly because of the EPA's concern for the public's health.

My Book: Is America Dying? (Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

History’s Frigid View of Coolidge (Part II)

It is important to remember that recessions are cyclical and can hit in any administration regardless of their policies. However, the length and magnitude of a recession can be indicative of presidential policy. In 1929, when the Great Depression started, it was for the first year merely a common recession. It was therefore, Hoover policies of pro regulation and anti-laissez-faire that turned the recession into a Depression. Remember, Hoover was trained in the Woodrow Wilson administration and had been greatly influenced by the policies leading to the reconstruction of Europe after World War I.

Hoover’s initial reaction to deal with the recession was to promote volunteering efforts. This policy should sound familiar; it is a policy that President Obama has been preaching. Obama wants to reward volunteers with government subsidies and entitlements to carry out his ideology. Obviously, this Hoover policy was misguided and flawed at best. After all, even a strong community volunteer effort alone would not rescue the United States from a full blown recession.

In 1930, Hoover had some bad luck that made the current recession worse. That year, the Midwest was hit with a massive drought that destroyed the agriculture business sector. Once the agriculture business sector collapsed, it began to have a ripple effect on the entire economy. Hence, the recession got worse and Hoover began to realize that he had to act.

Hoover’s first mistake was passing the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act in 1930 which placed a tax on over 20,000 goods imported by the United States. The act’s intent was a form of “protectionism policy” to force American citizens to buy American made products. Of course, our global trade partners around the world retaliated and placed higher tariffs on American products they imported. Hoover’s action only resulted in higher prices for goods and services around the world and therefore, made the recession not only worse in the United States, but around the globe. Hoover’s second mistake was passing the “Estate Tax” and the “Check Tax”. The Estate Tax doubled taxes on estates and the Check Tax placed a 2 cent tax on every check drafted. The Check Tax is partly to blame for the 5000 banks that failed during the depression. By this time, the United State and the world were no longer in a recession, but a depression. And let’s not forget the negative impact of the Federal Reserve (Fed) on the depression. The Fed was created in 1913 by Woodrow Wilson to protect the American economy. However, first, the Fed failed to prevent the 1929 recession and secondly, it failed to mitigate the recession once it started. During the Great Depression the Federal Reserve tightened money supplies because it feared inflation. Thus, it was nearly impossible for anyone to receive a loan. As money dried up, the recession got worse.

By 1932, Hoover was desperate because all of his policies had failed miserably and the economy continued to get worse. As federal government revenues fell dramatically and U.S. debt got worse, Hoover proposed the Revenue Act of 1932. This act raised the taxes on wealthy Americans from 25% to 63% and corporate taxes were increased as much as 15%. Obviously, this policy limited consumer spending and led to even further unemployment. To make matters worse, Hoover passed the Emergency Relief and Construction Act. This act put aside expenditures to start public work projects. Many believe the New Deal started under FDR, they are wrong. The New Deal started with this act under Hoover, FDR only expanded Hoover’s policy. After all, it is called the Hoover Damn, not the FDR Damn.

During the 1932 election campaign season FDR attacked Hoover for spending and taxing too much. FDR’s running mate even had the audacity to claim that Hoover policies are leading us down the road to socialism. Once elected, FDR would increase taxes and spending on public work projects. Needless to say, the American economy never fully recovered from the 1929 recession until full employment ensued during World War II.

Historians can blame Coolidge for the Great Depression, but anyone who looks at the facts knows they are misguided. I have lived my life believing and practicing Coolidge philosophies of fiscal constraint and personal responsibility. It has worked for me; as it worked for Americans during the Roaring 20s.

My Book: Is America Dying? (Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

History’s Frigid View of Coolidge (Part I)

History classes pass over the presidency of Calvin Coolidge by saying he accomplished nothing, but was hugely responsible for the Great Depression. In fact, my history teacher told our class he was a “no good drunk”. I have never found any documentation that Coolidge drank let alone abused alcohol. So how is it that the man who presided over arguably the most prosperous time in American history (Roaring 20s) accomplished nothing? And why do historians place most of the blame of Great Depression on Coolidge? Two words – Laissez-Faire. Since Coolidge believed in a small government and had a “hands off” approach of the federal government’s role in society, he must have accomplished nothing and therefore, did nothing to prevent the Great Depression. This is a very weak argument at best.

In fact, this could not be further from the truth. Coolidge became president after Warren Harding died in office in 1923. Coolidge quickly made it a point to clean up the corruption and scandals that riddled the Harding presidency. Coolidge worked hard over his 6 year presidency to reduce taxes and cut federal government spending. In 1927, only the top 2% of the wealthiest Americans paid income taxes. That meant 98% of all Americans paid no income taxes! This coupled with extremely low unemployment and no inflation led to prosperous times. American citizens had more money than ever before. Interestingly, despite cutting taxes and cutting federal spending the Coolidge economic approach still increased federal revenues. The 20s were also a time that saw more and more technology introduced into society. The radio, automobile, and electric appliances made people’s lives easier and therefore, they had more spare time. Coolidge pushed for civil rights legislation, but it derailed by Southern Democrats. He removed the influence of the Ku Klux Klan in the federal government. Coolidge was ahead of his time in terms of civil rights for not only African-Americans, but for Native Americans and women.

Although he was extremely popular, Coolidge decided not to run for reelection in 1928. He said he would be setting a bad precedent by serving more than 8 years (if he won, he would have served as President more than 10 years). This exemplifies why Coolidge was a great president. He was a modest man with a small ego. He was not gung ho on pushing his ideology and did not worry about his legacy and how history would judge him. Coolidge simply was not consumed with power like all other presidents.

Instead, Herbert Hoover won the 1928 election. Hoover, like Coolidge was a Republican, but this can be very misleading. Hoover was a progressive no different than Woodrow Wilson or Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR). In fact, Wilson and FDR wanted Hoover to run for president in 1920 as a Democrat. Hoover served in Coolidge’s administration as his Secretary of Commerce. Coolidge stated that he was most advised by Hoover, but he did not agree with any of the pro labor policies he proposed. Hoover believed that a technical solution existed to all social and economic problems, thus he was a believer in government intervention – not laissez-faire. Hoover, like Wilson and FDR, was the antithesis of Coolidge. Most historians do not agree that Hoover’s political ideology was similar to that of Wilson and FDR. But since a small number of historians have linked Hoover in the same category as FDR and Wilson, it is for this reason; progressive historians blame Coolidge for the Great Depression. After all, if they blamed Hoover, they would be admitting that FDR and Wilson policies are also flawed.

My Book: Is America Dying? (Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble)

Monday, December 26, 2011

Obama’s Lowlights 12/26/11

Medicare – Republican representative, Paul Ryan, and Democratic Senator, Ron Wyden, have put together a bipartisan plan to save Medicare. "Beginning in 2023 there will be a cap on cost growth of 1 percent over Gross Domestic Product, plus inflation. Any increase over that cap will be reflected in reduced support for the sectors most responsible for cost growth, including providers, drug companies, and means-tested premiums." Unfortunately, waiting to 2023 is too long to wait to begin cost control measures.

Native American Poverty – John Koppisch wrote a good article about the reason for Native American poverty citing “the vast majority of land on reservations is held communally.” This is a socialism model at work. Koppisch explains when people do not own their land they have no equity and they do not properly care for the property. Case in point, look how the Occupy Wall Street people are destroying park lands.

Dollar Coins – The U.S. will stop printing its one dollar presidential coins because of a lack in interest. Interestingly, it only costs the government 18 cents to manufacture dollar coin pieces and if they replaced dollar bills it would save the country 6 billion dollars over 30 years (because coins last longer than paper bills). Actually, the government should stop manufacturing pennies and nickels because the government loses money making these coin pieces. The US Treasury is like all government entities; they are wasting taxpayer money and making bad decisions.

Occupy Wall Street – Adam Carolla had a good YouTube video that went viral explaining why Americans have both envy and jealousy over the wealthy and argues most people who got wealthy worked their a%s off to get there. In other news, over 50 protestors were arrested in Times Square New York.

China – China has imposed a 21% tariff on U.S. automaker exports. This was a direct response to the tariff Obama placed on China made cars (this is good example of why protectionism policies do not work). In other news, China bought less U.S. Treasury debt in October than in past months, the Treasury Department reported this past week. China, the largest foreign holder of U.S. debt, owns $1.13 trillion in government debt.

Spending - President Obama has issued an executive order mandating that federal agencies cut unnecessary travel in an effort to promote efficient spending.

Big Government - Sixty-four percent of Americans say big government is a bigger threat to the nation’s future than big business or big labor, Gallup reports.

New Budget Bill – The omnibus budget bill suspends the ban on incandescent light bulbs; does not increase taxes on the wealthy; extends Bush tax cuts; and approves the building of the Keystone oil pipeline. This is a huge win for Republicans over Democrats.

Fannie and Freddie – The SEC has charged several executives of the mortgage giants with fraud.

Sackett v. EPA – The Supreme Court will hear arguments over a case where the EPA denied the Sackett family from building a home on property they own in a residential area. The EPA claims the .63 acre lot in Idaho is a protected wetland, which is incidentally surrounded by homes.

My Book: Is America Dying? (Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble)

Friday, December 23, 2011

Defying the Forces of Nature (Part II)

Progressives will argue that the large portion of Americans (Tea Party members) pushing back against ObamaCare and other Obama policies are doing so because they are racists. This is absurd. The people of Missouri supported a referendum to oppose the ObamaCare mandate to purchase healthcare insurance by over 40 points. This means a large portion of Democrats oppose this controversial provision of the ObamaCare law. This is not racism, but Americans concerned over the future of their healthcare quality and the costs associated with it.

The same analogy of forces can be applied to other Obama policies including the Recovery Act (stimulus), corporate bailouts, and Financial Reform. The Recovery Act added a massive downward force to our debt, but at the same time it has failed in its objective to create jobs. Thus, many people are opposed to this pork riddled legislation and this is therefore, creating a strong frictional (resistant) force opposed to the policy. The bailout of auto and financial corporations had the same negative effect on the American public and to our growing national debt. Financial Reform has also created a massive downward force to our financial markets by creating new bureaucracies in charge of enforcing new mandates, restrictions, and regulations on Wall Street institutions.

There is a reason why our founding fathers made it difficult to amend the Constitution – popularity results in both less downward gravitational and horizontal frictional (resistance) forces. It takes two-thirds of a majority in both legislative houses of our federal government and three-fourth of all state governments to approve the law before it can be amended to the Constitution. This ensures the law is popular and will not be controversial so that a large majority of American citizens will oppose (resist) it to create unnecessary frictional forces. Popular laws also reduce downward gravitational forces working to push the law out of equilibrium. This is true because popular laws are bipartisan and therefore, not overly complicated to add massive amounts of bureaucracies and or costs to the law. This is why laws such as healthcare reform should be decided in the same fashion proposed by our founding fathers - by amending the Constitution. Healthcare reform should not be decided by slim majorities in Congress without any state government approval. And healthcare reform should not be decided by the courts. Although the supremacy clause of the Constitution can trump state referendums, courts and Washington politicians would be wise to heed to the wishes of the American people. After all, our government is elected to represent the will of the people and not to satisfy the political agenda or ideology of egomaniac Washington politicians.

In summary, popular laws amended to the Constitution would avoid and eliminate unnecessary forces that defy nature by making laws bureaucratic, wasteful, expensive, and unpopular.

My Book: Is America Dying? (Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Obama’s Lowlights (12/21/11)

Immigration Law – The Supreme Court has announced that it will hear the case of Arizona's contentious immigration law, SB1070, in the coming year. Justice Kagan will recuse herself from the ruling.

Harry Reid – Wealthy job creators are “like unicorns, they don’t exist”. Now that is out of touch!

DOJ – Eric Holder is now filing lawsuits against individual states which have tightened voter ID requirements and have reduced the timeframe for early voting. Holder needs to realize the U.S. justice department has no jurisdiction over individual state election laws.

Pakistan – Congress has frozen 700 million dollars in aid to Pakistan as distrust between the nations continues to escalate.

Obama - "I would put our legislative and foreign policy accomplishments in our first two years against any president -- with the possible exceptions of Johnson, F.D.R., and Lincoln," Obama told Steve Kroft, "just in terms of what we've gotten done in modern history." Obama has a point, he did accomplish a lot, but it was economically harmful, not beneficial.

Planned Parenthood – Officials are on record saying they need more funding to create jobs. In other words, the economy is more important than the life of an unborn child.

National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) – The NTSB is recommending a nationwide ban on all cell phone use while driving. I am not a big fan of government interference, but this is a good idea. Cell phone use while driving is out of control.

Energy Costs – According to a USA Today article, the cost for electricity has gone up over 20% the past 5 years. And it is no surprise that states with highest electric energy costs are liberally run states such as New York, New Jersey, California, and Illinois.

Taxes – The House passed a payroll tax extension, but it was dead on arrival in the Senate because it approves the building of an oil pipeline between Canada and the US. However, a deal was later struck between Parties when Democrats dropped their requirement for increased taxes on millionaires.

Obama Campaign - The Obama presidential campaign is launching an effort to collect Republican email addresses by inviting its supporters to submit information about their Republican associates to the Obama 2012 website. The president will stop at nothing to get reelected even if he violates the CAN-SPAM Act to do so.

Ethics – Dan Indiviglio reports “a pending clean energy bill on Capitol Hill certainly represents the possibility of a windfall for Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.”

Department of Labor – The U.S. Department of Labor wants to prevent kids from being exposed to “farm-related safety hazards,” and is basically barring youths from any sort of employment in the agriculture industry.

Iraq – The war is officially over. Time will tell if it was the right decision to bring home all troops.

MSNBC – They apologized for comparing Romney’s campaign slogan to the KKK slogan.

My Book: Is America Dying? (Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Defying the Forces of Nature (Part I)

We all know how hard it is to defy the forces of nature, but this is what Obama and his progressive policies are attempting to do. To understand this concept, we must first understand the natural forces of nature. It is second grade physics to understand that a box sitting on a table will have both a gravitational force downward (equal to the mass [weight] of the box times the acceleration of gravity [9.8m/s^2] and an equal and opposite upward normal force to keep the box in equilibrium. When a force is applied to push the box horizontally across the table there is still both a downward gravitational and an upward normal force on the box. However, a frictional force also exists that is in the opposite direction of the horizontal pushing force. These are the basics laws of how forces work in nature.

Let’s assume, for instance, that the box on the table is our healthcare system. Now consider how the weight or mass of the healthcare system is altered by adding the ObamaCare healthcare reform legislation to it. The mass is obviously going to get bigger. After all, there will be more people added to our healthcare system and there will also be more administrative bureaucrats added to the system. This is true because ObamaCare creates hundreds of new agencies and departments and many entities such as the IRS will become bigger to enforce the mandated provisions of the policy. In effect, the ObamaCare legislation adds a tremendous amount of weight and stress to our healthcare system. ObamaCare also creates more frictional (resistance) forces to our healthcare system because it will affect each person in the system with higher taxes and or higher premiums. At the same time, frictional forces are increased because many people are concerned about other risks that may accompany ObamaCare such as companies dropping their employee healthcare policies or rationed care to name a few. Thus, both the downward gravitational and horizontal frictional forces applied to our healthcare system are becoming much larger. If the downward force becomes too great, equilibrium in the system can collapse if the weight becomes too much for the economy (table) to support in terms of debt and healthcare costs. Our healthcare system is not static, it is very dynamic and must be put in motion to implement and enforce its provisions. Thus, frictional forces and barriers such as lawsuits and its unpopularity are keeping the law static and preventing it from being put into motion. Hence, it is becoming harder and harder to push the healthcare box across the table, not only because the downward force is becoming too great, but because the force of friction is becoming greater. Large portions of the American population oppose many aspects of the ObamaCare legislation and are therefore, pushing back to resist the law. This is only natural; nobody likes being told what to do, so they push back.

My Book: Is America Dying? (Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Mind Games (Part II)

Personally, I set very big goals and then set up intermediate goals to attain the big goals. For instance, I set a goal when I graduated college that I would retire when I was 40; and I set a goal to climb the highest mountain in all 50 states; and I set a goal to climb all 55 fourteen thousand foot peaks in Colorado; and I set a goal to attain distinguished member of the technical staff at work. Over the course of years and decades I had to complete dozens of intermediate goals to achieve these main goals I set for myself. Sure, life will throw some curveballs at us and force us to change direction, but we can adjust – especially if it is going to take decades to accomplish some of the main objectives. If, for example, I never planned ahead I would have been in no position to help an ailing family member. But since I was planning in advance I was able to put in place risk mitigation plans in case of emergencies – and there will always be emergencies. Injuries and some weird ailments have hindered some of my climbing goals, but there is nothing wrong with modifying those goals to be realistic. The point, at which an individual stops visualizing the future, by continuously setting goals, is the time at which they have become a failure. Unfortunately, this point, for some, comes very early in life (grade school). What exactly is an individual living for if they have no goals and or future ambitions?

Visualization is the key to obtaining a positive attitude in not only education, but also in life. It is the best way to program the brain for success. I constantly find myself awake at nights trying to visualize some algorithm or the moves I need to make to successfully climb that 5.10c wall that I have failed time and time again to conquer. The bottom line is that individuals must be thinking about the future to both solve and achieve short and long term goals.

At home and in the classroom students must have a positive mindset or they will not succeed and fail to meet their full potential. Yes, teachers and parents have a responsibility to make sure each child and student is focused on visualizing the future and setting both long term and short term goals. It is essential to get students to start thinking forward instead of what is going on today or what happened in the past. The difficulty of this task is what motivates each student is unique. Thus, it is imperative that families and teachers must find out what makes each student tick and that information has to be passed on to their future teachers. Unfortunately, teachers are forced to teach to standardized tests and are therefore; not focused on what is best for each child, but what is important to the government and bureaucrats. Schools that are cutting special education classes such as physical education, music, and art will fail to find the strengths of students. Unfortunately, these are missed opportunities to identify potential future goals for students. It is essential that parents work with teachers and educators to ensure the strengths of their children are being focused on in their studies. This is the best way to motivate students. For instance, if a child likes sports, it is easy to incorporate this into reading assignments and math problems.

Liberal policies, without question, hinder students. Is a child who grows up on welfare learning about how to excel in life? Of course not, chances are this child is going to be a burden on society and never accomplish anything positive towards society let alone for themselves or their children. Are unions that support failing teachers building an educational system that fosters success? Of course not!

The bottom line is we need to stop promoting an educational system that is governed from the top down with bureaucrats (and unions) forcing their standards on individual students. Education needs to start with the focus on the individual student by implementing their aspirations into the classroom without any bureaucratic interference. Let’s face it; education and life are both a mental game and those with the strongest mental state are the more likely candidates to succeed.

My Book: Is America Dying? (Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Obama’s Lowlights (12/19/11)

MF Global - Jon Corzine, testified in front of the House Agriculture Committee last week about the sudden bankruptcy of MF Global in October. He was at the helm for barely a year, but while Corzine was CEO, the financial services company made some poor bets on European debt, and about $1.2 billion simply vanished.

Iran – The U.S. finally confirmed that Iran did indeed capture a U.S. drone that was spying on their nuclear program. To complicate things, the drone is nearly 100% in tact meaning Iran can reverse engineer much of the technology. Our naïve President has asked for the Iranians to return the drone back to the U.S.

Taxes - "Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says his chamber won't approve a House Republican bill extending the payroll tax cut that also clears the way for construction of a controversial oil pipeline," the AP reports.

Debt - States may face up to $3 trillion in unfunded pension liabilities for government workers, according to new Congressional reports.

NRLB – Darryl Issa, who is chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, says he has issued subpoenas to the labor relations board for documents related to its case against Boeing, which he argued was political.

OccupyEducated.org - The far Left Occupy Wall Street movement is planning to use online sources and our public classrooms to indoctrinate the masses with a socialist propaganda.

Infrastructure – According to a USA Today article the federal government spends 40 billion dollars annually on road construction projects, but they do not track how the individual states use the funds.

Wasserman-Schultz – In a Fox News interview the DNC chair denies that unemployment has gone up with Obama as President.

Obama - "I always believed that this was a long-term project," the Democratic president told "60 Minutes." He added it would "take time" to reverse "structural problems in our economy that have been building up for two decades." What Obama does not acknowledge is the average recession only lasts 15 months – only bad policies will let a recession last 6 or 8 years.

Occupy Wall Street – Boston is the latest city to evict rowdy protestors from city parks. Forty-Eight protestors were arrested making the total arrests nearly 4000 thousand nationwide. And yes, they claim to be the Party of civility. Meanwhile, some protestors are blocking access to major ports on the West Coast.

Border Security - The Obama administration, in an effort to make the border "more secure than ever," has issued a new proposal would allow people to check themselves into the United States through an electronic kiosk on the border, without a Border Patrol or I.C.E. agent physically present.

Happiness - One of the biggest reasons why conservatives are happier than liberals according a Yale sociologist profiled on PBS is because conservatives believe in equal opportunity and being rewarded for hard work. The violent anger within the Occupy movement is proof that liberals are less happy than Tea Party conservatives.

My Book: Is America Dying? (Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble)

Friday, December 16, 2011

Mind Games (Part I)

The news and political conversations revolve around education reform almost constantly. The Obama administration has started his vision for education “The Race to the Top”. When Bush was President he passed “No Child Left Behind”. The U.S. already spends more per capita on education (nearly 12,000 dollars per student annually) than any other nation in the world, but this certainly has not correlated to success in the classroom. According to the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), out of 65 industrialized nations the United States ranks 30th in math, 18th in reading, 23nd in science, and 29th in problem solving when testing a sample of 15 to 16 year old students. This does not bode well for the United States who currently has the largest economy in the world (by far). The United States is on the decline and throwing more money at education has not solved the high dropout rate and it has done nothing to bolster academic achievement. How can this be, it makes little sense, right? Wrong, the U.S. government is not thinking about this problem in the correct context.

It does not matter how much money the government throws at education, if the curriculum and teachers are bad then the students will suffer. Money is just one variable out of hundreds that can determine a good or poor education. But the single most important variable in the equation for a successful education is the student followed closely by the family. This is where education starts and finishes. If a student and his or her family have a poor attitude towards education then it really does not matter how much money is thrown at these students because they will fail. Education does fail students, but students also fail education. The combination of these two things has led to disastrous results. I have harped about, in the past, how education fails students. Today, I am going to talk about how students fail education. Students and children (along with their families) who have the right mind set and a positive attitude can succeed even in poor educational environments.

What is needed for kids to have the right attitude? They need to stop thinking about today, and start thinking about the future and where they want to be in the next 5, 10, 20, or 50 years. To have the right attitude they need to visualize the future and understand the consequences of the actions they take today. It is all about putting mind over matter to succeed.

I have been very critical of both political and corporate leadership. One reason for this is because our leaders lack strategic vision and the ability to visualize the consequences their actions and policies will have on future generations. This is particularly true when talking about the future fiscal ramifications of policies and actions. Many leaders make decisions based on what is best for them as influenced by special interests. Still, many leaders are just unable to visualize the future. If they could, then politicians would not have passed ObamaCare or the Recovery Act which have already had major negative fiscal ramifications on our nation. Corporate leaders enacting diversity quotas do not see how that is making them less competitive. Sure, corporate and political leaders set fiscal goals, but they are not the ones that have to do the work to attain those goals. A monkey can set goals they do not have to achieve. The bottom line is that we do not want our future leaders falling into the same trap as this current generation of leaders – lacking the ability to visualize the future.

My Book: Is America Dying? (Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Obama’s Lowlights (12/15/11)

Spending vs. Revenue - Spending will skyrocket beyond its historical average of 20.3 percent of the U.S. economy, reaching 26.4 percent by 2021. Revenue, meanwhile, will surpass its historical average of 18 percent of GDP in the same year, according to Heritage Foundation calculations based on CBO data.

Europe - The Federal Reserve, along with the 17 euro zone national central banks, may help provide the International Monetary Fund with funds that could be used to aid debt-ridden states, a German newspaper said (Die Welt).

NFL - Hank Williams Jr. was yanked from Monday Night Football for comparing President Obama to Hitler during a Fox and Friends appearance. However, Madonna's vile words toward Sarah Palin weren't enough for the NFL to revoke her invitation to perform at the Super Bowl in February.

Standard and Poor - Standard & Poor's warned it may carry out an unprecedented mass downgrade on the credit ratings of euro zone countries if EU leaders fail to reach an agreement on how to solve the region's debt crisis in the near future.

Caitlin Halligan – Halligan was tapped last year by President Obama to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, but her nomination was defeated in a cloture vote. Moderate Democrats and Republicans voted against Halligan based on her record against gun rights and her philosophy of dealing with enemy combatants.

RNC – The Republican National Committee warned Republican candidates this past week to refrain from personal attacks against President Barack Obama. The RNC insists that while most poll numbers indicate that Obama’s approval ratings are low (job performance), most Americans still have a high opinion of the President personally.

CFPB - The new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), according to Obama administration officials simplifies credit card agreements because it would help avoid confusion and stress for those struggling to make ends meet.

The Party of Civility – Alec Baldwin was kicked off an American Airlines flight last week for being uncivil (yes, liberals favorite Hollywood star).

Fort Hood Shooting - The Obama Administration still doesn't get it, and officially classified the Ft. Hood shooting carried out by Islamist Nadal Malik Hasan that left 13 people dead and 29 others wounded as "work place violence." Call it political correctness.

Rod Blagojevich – The former Illinois Governor was sentenced to 14 years for fraud and corruption.

Registered Democrats - 825,000 Democrats in the swing states of Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina and Pennsylvania have left the Party.

EPA – The agency is considering tighter regulations of dust created by farming.

My Book: Is America Dying? (Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Teaching (Part II)

I have always had a lot of respect for teachers mainly because I know I could not do the job. I simply do not have the patience to work with underperforming and behavioral problem kids. My wife is a teacher and I have come to respect the job she is doing every year. I hate it when people claim teaching is a safe job protected by unions and easy work because they are off 3 months out of the year. This is not entirely true. Most teachers do not belong to a union and most good teachers work many weeks out of the summer writing curriculum or even doing other jobs because they are so grossly underpaid and underappreciated. During the school year my wife leaves for work before 7am (5 minute bike ride) and does not get home to 6pm. She spends at least 3 to 4 hours every night grading papers and does the same on the weekends.

The past few years I started to volunteer in her classroom and tutor a few of her more advanced kids in math and science. It was at this point I realized how effective of a teacher she was and how dramatically teaching had changed since I was in second grade. I remember being restricted to my chair in all my classes. This is no longer the case. She keeps her kids on the move to keep them alert. Kids work on the floor and use the entire classroom. The key word here is work. As long as students work all the kids are allowed to have special assigned areas other than their desk.

In all my years of education I never remember being allowed to eat a snack or chew gum in the classroom. Her kids eat small snacks they bring in throughout the day. Again, this keeps them alert throughout the day. Kids that have attention deficit disorder can chew gum to help them concentrate. And I never remember having three recesses per day. The school gives each class three 15 minute breaks to go outside and blow off steam. Once again this helps to keep them alert throughout the day so they can retain information.

Back in my day kids with behavioral or learning issues were seldom removed from the class for any of length of time. Today, my wife works hard to get kids with learning and behavioral problems diagnosed to make sure they get the necessary care they need from specialists. She has dozens of volunteers working her classroom weekly to help give advanced and underachieving kids the special attention they need to improve. In other words, she gets families and the community involved in the educational process.

I have never seen anything like it, but she can keep an entire class of 22 students attentive all day long. It is simply amazing. And the end result is that all of her kids move to the next grade level having met or exceeded all curriculum expectations.

So how is it that our educational system is failing thousands of kids each year? Is my wife one of the few teachers that cares and reaches out to each individual kid to make sure they succeed? I don’t know, but she is grossly underpaid for what she does and this may force the better teachers out of the industry. Still, the one glaring thing that sticks out why schools are failing kids is standardized testing. Once that stops, kids will once again be able to succeed. They will learn other subjects, they will be graded on their entire year of work instead of on one day, they will retain more information, they will enjoy school more, advanced kids will not be bored and held back, underachieving kids will be identified and given the proper assistance, and so forth.

It should be pointed out the past few years my wife has been teaching in a rural school district. And she admits that the bureaucracy and red tape is not nearly as restrictive as her previous 22 years of teaching in a large city school district. In other words, teachers and kids are more likely to succeed in a rural environment. For instance, the rural school district places an equal emphasis on trade education and everyone in the school district from janitor to cafeteria staff to teachers to superintendent are treated as an equally important part of the educational system.

My Book: Is America Dying? (Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble)

Teaching (Part I)

There are many variables involved in the teaching of school children and teachers are arguably the most important variable. Good teachers can partially compensate for poor funding, poor parenting, and even poor curriculum. The U.S. spends nearly double what other developed nations spend per child on education. Despite this the U.S. drop in education performance over the past 30 years has been cataclysmic. During this period the U.S. has dropped from number one in high school and college graduation rates to 18th. During the same period the U.S. has gone from a leader in math, science, reading, and problem solving to 25th, 21st, 15th, and 24th respectively. And what’s worse is that socioeconomically challenged kids and minorities fare much worse. So it begs to reason that teachers are coming under much more scrutiny these days.

Recent studies have indicated the obvious – two teachers teaching the same grade in the same school can produce widely different results regardless of the socioeconomic status of students. The same study concluded that by replacing the worst performing teachers (bottom 10%) it can turn the educational downward trend in the U.S. around. However, this is easier said than done since teacher shortages are brought about because of low pay and unions bend over backwards to protect bad teachers.

What makes a good teacher? A good teacher sets high goals for their kids and has a strong work ethic to meet their goals. A good teacher is continuously working to become a better teacher through higher education and training to keep up with all the latest concepts, ideas, and technology. A good teacher not only gets parents (the community) involved but holds them accountable for the progress of their children.

The big question that remains is how to measure teacher effectiveness. Unfortunately, the only answer that bureaucrats have is to grade teachers based on how their students perform on standardized tests. There is just too much of an emphasis on standardized testing in our educational system and under the Obama administrations “Race to the Top Program” it is going to get worse. This narrow view of grading teachers and students will lead to teachers “teaching the test”, fraudulent reporting of test scores, less focus on developing other curriculum based subjects, it holds back overachieving students, and it fails to identify children with learning disabilities in a timely fashion.

Obama’s “Race to the Top” program wants to mimic schools that use programs such as “At the Knowledge of Power Program” (KIPP). Most of the schools using KIPP are located in socioeconomically depressed areas and have shown dramatic improvement in student test scores. KIPP schools start at 7:30 am and run to 5 pm while teachers must be available for questions to 9 pm at night. Good teachers already work these schedules, but there are three important conclusions that one may draw from KIPP programs. First, parents are failing to perform their role in the educational process (but we want to blame and place the entire onus of educational success on teachers). Secondly, increasing teacher’s workload without pay increases is not going to attract top teachers. Thirdly, more is not necessarily better. Just because KIPP programs are successful in minority and poor school districts, it does not mean the success will translate to wealthier school districts. Kids can only retain so much information on a daily basis and trying to increase information flow usually results in more information being forgotten.

The bottom line is that the onus of education starts at home with family and education does not need longer days and education does not need more government intervention. Finally, education should cover much more than the narrow scope of standardized testing.

My Book: Is America Dying? (Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Obama’s Lowlights (12/12/11)

Vacation – Obama is in the middle of a 17 day Hawaiian vacation that will not only cost the taxpayer millions, but doing this during a time when people are suffering and the economy is sluggish only proves the President is out of touch.

ObamaCare – More bad news has surfaced about the legislation. Minnesota Public Radio reports, “A loophole in the federal health care overhaul would allow many employers to game the system by dumping their sicker employees [into] public health insurance exchanges.”

Occupy DC – This past week the group protested outside a fundraiser for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Economy – In November, the economy added 120 thousand jobs and the unemployment rate dropped to 8.6%. In a revised forecast, the number of jobs added in September and October was increased by 72 thousand jobs. This all sounds good, but it is estimated that 315 thousand people stopped looking for work.

Van Jones – The racial conspiracy theorist is trying to convince the Occupy movement to block major U.S. ports.

Kyoto Agreement - Canada, the country furthest from meeting its commitment to cut carbon emissions under the Kyoto Protocol, may save as much as $6.7 billion by exiting the global climate change agreement and not paying for offset credits.

Firearms - US firearm sales reached a record 129,166 during Black Friday weekend that kicked off the holiday shopping season, this is a 32 percent increase from the previous all-time high, officials said.

Israel - “Obviously, no ally is more important than the state of Israel,” Obama said. “This administration – I try not to pat myself too much on the back – but this administration has done more in terms of the security of the state of Israel than any previous administration,” he added. In other news, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta urged Israel on Friday to "reach out and mend fences" with Turkey, Egypt and other security partners in the Middle East, saying he is troubled by the Jewish state's growing isolation in the volatile region. This is nothing new; the Obama administration is placing the entire burden of peace in the Middle East on Israel. Meanwhile, speaking for most people here, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak called the emerging result of the first round of parliamentary voting in Egypt “very, very disturbing” and expressed concern about the fate of the landmark 1979 Egyptian Israeli peace treaty.

Welfare - A new Census Bureau report shows the number welfare recipients increased during the recession. According to Politico, participation in the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families program among families with children under the age of 18 jumped from 1.4 million to 1.7 million between 2006 and 2009. 

AIDS - After criticisms that he wasn't doing enough to follow in the footsteps of George W. Bush on AIDS research, President Obama will increase AIDS funding by $50 million. 

DEA - In the latest U.S.-Mexico Obama Justice Department corruption saga, the New York Times is reporting Drug Enforcement Administration undercover agents have been laundering millions of dollars in Mexican Cartel profits in an effort to "catch the big fish," just as they tried to do by allowing thousands of guns to walk during Operation Fast and Furious.

Climate Change - Several animal species including gorillas in Rwanda and tigers in Bangladesh could risk extinction if the impact of climate change and extreme weather on their habitats is not addressed, a U.N. report showed on Sunday. Seriously? After UN reports that Polar Bears were drowning due to a rise in sea level was refuted, who believes any nonsense the UN reports?

My Book: Is America Dying? (Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble)

Friday, December 9, 2011

Math and Science (Part II)

It takes commonsense to derive useful statistical models unless of course an individual’s objective is to mislead, brainwash, and to indoctrinate unaware Americans. For instance, with some simple commonsense in the infant mortality and life expectancy example one could conclude that comparing the wellness amongst private insurance owners, Medicaid owners, and those without insurance would be more accurate and beneficial than comparing these statistics against those of other nations. If liberals did this they would also conclude that those on Medicaid and those without insurance have comparable infant mortality and life expectancy rates. Thus, the lack of health insurance is not causing high infant mortality or lower life expectancies - education is the problem. It is commonsense to surmise that a great healthcare system does not mean individuals within the system will be responsible and healthy. It also makes sense to analyze the Massachusetts healthcare model to prognosticate the effects of socialized healthcare in the U.S. than using data from foreign healthcare systems. Why? Because Massachusetts demographics and other variables (poverty rate, insurance rate, obesity etc.) will more closely emulate U.S. national statistics than say Denmark. This is the type of commonsense that eludes people who want to trick uninformed Americans to create an illusion that socialized medicine is great.

Having knowledge of scientific theories and theorems is also helpful to solve complex problems. For instance, an FBI profiler can use history to draw a profile of a predator, but there is no substitute for forensic science to detain and convict criminals. For example, one could easily conclude that the carbon dioxide levels in our atmosphere are always going to go up from understanding Thermodynamics second law on entropy which states the entropy of the universe is always increasing. Entropy measures the inefficiency or disorder of a system. And every system and life form has imperfections leading to carbon emissions. Thus, carbon dioxide is always increasing in our atmosphere.

For many reasons I delve into political issues from a scientific and mathematical perspective. First, it is not as hard and complicated as many may suspect. Data is readily available from numerous government sources and therefore, models are easily constructed. Secondly, creating models enables individuals to better understand how variables affect complicated issues. This perspective enables people to offer better solutions to problems by thinking out of the box. Third, it is hard for individuals to refute model claims because they do not understand them. Thus, math and science is a much more effective way to argue with idiots (as Beck would put it). Interestingly, my experience is that most individuals who are math and science illiterates are still “know it alls” and will ignorantly argue any model results that contradict their beliefs. Fourth, and most importantly, complex problems need to be reviewed analytically.

What are some conclusions that can be drawn from some of the models I have created? What are some of the effects of moving 20 million uninsured Americans into a government run Medicaid program? Most would not be surprised to find out there will be a doctor and nurse shortage, health insurance premiums will go up, life expectancies will go down, and healthcare costs will continue to spiral out of control. What is the effect of reducing our dependency on fossil fuels and increasing our usage of renewable energies? Carbon dioxide levels in our atmosphere will continue to go up, energy consumption will go down, and energy costs will skyrocket. What is the effect of raising the taxes on the wealthiest Americans from 35% to 40%? The federal government will collect about 200 billion dollars more in revenue annually, consumer spending will decrease by 700 billion dollars annually, the federal deficit will continue to grow, and entitlement spending will rise uncontrollably. These are some of the model analysis that I will post on my blog over the next several months.

My Book: Is America Dying? (Barnes and Noble, Amazon.com)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Obama’s Lowlights (12/8/11)

Chevy Volt - Federal officials say they are investigating the safety of the lithium-ion battery in General Motors’ Chevrolet Volt after a second battery fire following crash-testing of the electric car.

Homeland Security - Starting next year, jaguars will be the target of an extensive network of remote cameras (at a cost of 771 thousand dollars) placed across Southern Arizona and southwest New Mexico by Homeland Security.

Barney Frank – The Massachusetts Democrat will retire and not seek a 17th term. The good news for Democrats is it is very unlikely this district will elect anyone but a liberal. That being said, it is becoming apparent that Democrat pollsters do not see significant House gains in the 2012 election.

Capital Punishment - A condemned inmate, Gary Haugen, who was scheduled to be executed next month in Oregon, is now slamming Gov. John Kitzhaber for giving him a reprieve, saying the governor didn't have the guts to carry out the execution. Kitzhaber does not believe in capital punishment.  

EU Debt - President Barack Obama pressed European Union officials last week to reach a definitive solution to their sovereign debt crisis which is emerging as a major 2012 U.S. election worry. How is that for hypocrisy – Obama, who is responsible for 4 trillion dollars of debt, is preaching others about debt concerns?

2012 – ABC’s Jake Tapper points out that our “unprecedented” President is making more history by “campaigning on taxpayer dime”.

Medicare – Unless Congress acts before Jan. 1, doctors face a 27 percent cut in their fees for treating Medicare patients. That could undermine healthcare for millions of elderly and disabled beneficiaries. This may also force many doctors to stop seeing Medicare patients entirely.

NY Times – Thomas Edsall writes that Democrats have abandoned the white working class in favor of highly educated liberals and minorities.

Egypt – Islamists won a 65% majority in their national election with the rogue Muslim Brotherhood Party being the largest faction.

China - The Chinese Defense Ministry is upset with the U.S. for upgrading our military alliance with Australia.

Solar Energy – Was Solyndra the beginning of a solar market collapse? “Of the few hundred or so solar panel makers worldwide, just 20 to 40 are expected to remain standing in a few years time”, said Mark Bachman, a renewables analyst at Avian Securities.

Gallup – The polling company now ranks Obama’s approval ratings lower than any President since Eisenhower (at this juncture of their presidency).

Fitch – The rating company has downgraded U.S. treasury bonds outlook from positive to negative, although they are still rated AAA.

National Debt Donations – Over the past 50 years the United States government has received 83 million dollars in donations to pay off the debt. Unfortunately, the contributions don’t specifically go to pay off existing debt (yes, there is a federal program which accepts donations for the national debt – but I do not see any of those wealthy liberals donating to it – you know the ones that want to be taxed more). The government deposits these funds in the Treasury Department’s general fund, in essence the government’s main checking account. “The gifts go toward funding the federal government, not to pay off the debt,” said Mckayla Braden, a spokeswoman for the Bureau of the Public Debt.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Math and Science (Part I)

Glenn Beck wrote a book entitled: Arguing with Idiots. I did not read the book but from what I can gather it provides a historical overview of certain national problems and issues. In other words, people with a strong understanding of history can effectively argue political issues. This may be true, but there is a much more effective tool to argue political issues with adversaries: math and science. It seems we have become a nation of mathematical illiterates. This is sad, because many of the political issues we are debating today are math and science problems. Unfortunately, Americans take sides on many of these subjects without any remote understanding of the math and science behind these problems and issues. This only reinforces that American society is becoming more and more narcissistic since everyone is a know it all.

So what are some of the mathematical and scientific political problems facing Americans? Climate change is a classic example. Americans are polarized over this issue despite the fact that less than 1% of Americans have the scientific and mathematical background to understand basic statistical concepts and models. It is unfortunate because most Americans could understand these fairly simple statistical models if they really wanted since they are not that complex. Most national political debates are math problems. For instance, Americans and politicians are divided over the question as to whether or not the government should raise taxes on the wealthiest earners. This is a math problem and once again less than 1% of Americans have the capacity to formulate models to calculate the significance of this problem. Other math problems include understanding the benefits and consequences of adding 20 million uninsured Americans into government run Medicaid programs or the result of moving America away from fossil fuel energy sources to renewable energies. Everyone seems to have a strong opinion about all these topics, but in actuality most people with opinions are ill informed and these subjects.

Most Americans solely read and watch pundits and sources that reinforce their beliefs. And since many political issues are mathematical in nature, one can conclude Americans cannot decipher or comprehend if the information they rely on is biased or not. For instance, many liberals feel award winning economist Paul Krugman is King when it comes to economic issues. However, Krugman, like many Americans, is a mathematical illiterate. Krugman can only draw conclusions on data he can solely decipher with his eyes. He does not have the basic knowledge to generate models to compare dozens of variables to draw conclusions. Hence, Krugman’s analysis of problems consists of eye balling a few variables. The Krugman analysis is commonly used by most Americans and it is hardly mathematical or scientific. One of my favorite examples of this behavior is how the left insists that the American healthcare system is flawed because its infant mortality and life expectancy rates are much worse than other developed nations who have socialized systems and spend less on healthcare. The bottom line is it is wrong to assume that medical expenditures and wellbeing in one country is directly proportional to the same statistics in other nations because each nation has unique healthcare systems with much different rules and regulations. However, it is easier to show that the link between a nation’s wellbeing is not related healthcare expenditures, but education. The U.S. has much lower literacy rates, high school education rates, and a higher dependence on entitlement handouts than other developed nations. A simple analysis shows that by increasing literacy and high school education rates and lowering our dependence on entitlements correlates to lower infant mortality and higher life expectancy rates. It is impossible to draw these conclusions without being able to formulate and analyze models based on a multitude of variables and data. But it seems everyone is an expert these days.

My Book: Is America Dying? (Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Diversity Policy Failure: Title IX (Part II)

Another side effect of Title IX is that many elite high school male athletes are opting out of college and going directly into the Olympic training center in Colorado. Henry Cejudo did not go to college and won an Olympic freestyle wrestling gold medal in the 2008 summer games. Cejudo was ranked as the top high school wrestler coming out of college in 2004, but passed on scholarships and went directly into the Olympic training center. Cejudo understood that competition at the college level is dwindling (and college wrestling rules are much different than international wrestling rules). But for every Cejudo success story there are hundreds of more stories that end in failure. Many athletes that pass on a college education to train for Olympic events fail to meet both their Olympic and educational goals. Is this what Title IX should be accomplishing? Shouldn’t the law be promoting excellence and encouraging athletes to get an education? Yes, but this is not happening when political correctness and judges meddle in college athletics and education.

To combat Title IX, many schools have created athletic programs that used to be male only sports. For example, the number of schools with women’s hockey teams or wresting squads has been going up. This is a positive outcome of Title IX and should be one purpose of the law. But let’s face facts; there will never be an equal number of women competing in hockey and wrestling nationally. Another thing that has worked against men’s programs is football. Most college football rosters have around 100 participants and there are no women’s football teams to offset this participation. Hence, this means a university or college must cut some men’s sports and gymnastics, rugby, wrestling, hockey, and volleyball are easy targets. Why, simply because these sporting events earn very little revenue for the school. Thus, these sports will always play second fiddle to big revenue raising sports such as football or basketball.

Let’s logically think about the consequences of Title IX. It has decreased opportunities for males. Is that really what the Title IX law wants to accomplish? Doesn’t it make sense to create more opportunities for both males and females? It does, but this is not what is happening. Title IX, like most diversity policies, promote mediocrity, not excellence. These laws overcompensate and in effect reverse discriminate against one group of people to create so called equality. It is a moronic policy to knock down one group of people to create equality. It is idiotic to lower standards for one group of people to create equality. It simply does not make sense to create a law that promotes fewer opportunities and lower standards. After all, what does this really accomplish? It creates mediocrity and it simply makes very little sense.

My Book: Is America Dying? (Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble)

Monday, December 5, 2011

Obama’s Lowlights (12/5/11)

Russia – According to the Christian Science Monitor “Russia will target US anti-missile sites in Europe, deploy advanced radars to monitor all missile launches from NATO territory, and might even withdraw from the New START arms reduction treaty that came into force this year unless Washington takes dramatic steps to allay Moscow's concerns over plans to deploy major elements of an anti-missile shield in several European countries, President Dmitry Medvedev warned this week.”

Congress - Charles Gonzalez, a Texas Democrat and the head of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, said this past week he will not seek an eighth term in the House of Representatives, blaming congressional gridlock for his decision.

Economy – Black Friday sales were estimated at a record 52 billion dollars (a 6.6% gain over last year). This may be a good sign for the economy.

Wildfires – A recent report cited that as many as 30 wildfires have been started by illegal aliens along the Mexican border in Arizona.

Don Berwick – The chief of Medicare has resigned. Berwick was the point man in the Obama administration for implementing ObamaCare.

Redistricting – A Texas court decided on a redistricting map, for the state of Texas, which heavily favors Democrats. Census results awarded Texas four additional congressional seats and they all could end up in the hands of Democrats with the proposed map.

China – Obama has been preaching the U.S. should be more like China when it comes to investing in infrastructure. This past week the roof blew off terminal 3 at Beijing’s airport (the 2nd busiest in the world).

Dow – The Dow Jones posted its worst Thanksgiving week showing since the Great Depression.

Obama Gear – It is the holiday season and the White House is in the spirit offering consumers a 10% savings when they buy any Obama Gear.

Florida Prison – Lake County Judge, Donna Miller, provides non-violent offenders a chance to get out of prison early with her “lose-a-pound, gain-a-day” plan.

Religion – The military has ordered the removal of a cross from a chapel located on a U.S. base in northern Afghanistan.

Nanny State – A 200 pound Cleveland third grader was removed from his family and put in foster care.

Climate Change - A new study in the journal Science suggests that the global climate may be less sensitive to carbon dioxide fluctuations than predicted by the most extreme projections, and maybe slightly less than the best estimates of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Occupy Wall Street - The Associated Press is reporting that Occupy Wall Street is planning a benefit album, the proceeds of which will help fund the movement protesting income inequality.

GQ – MSNBC host, Ed Schultz, and President Obama made GQ’s list of the 25 least influential people in 2011.

Pakistan - As if Pakistan was not already a volatile ally, the death of 24 Pakistani soliders due to what the country says was a NATO drone attack has made the country decide to temporarily close border crossings used by NATO for their work in Afghanistan.

My Book: Is America Dying? (Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble)

Friday, December 2, 2011

Diversity Policy Failure: Title IX (Part I)

Title IX was a federal statute that passed in 1973 and it states the following:

No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance...

—United States Code Section 20

Title IX, like most laws, makes sense on the surface. In fact, in this day and age, it is sad that a law like Title IX is still being enforced. And like most laws the implementation and enforcement of Title IX has been a major issue. Although there is no mention of sports in the law, Title IX has been most influential in defining both high school and college athletics. Federal judges and school administrators have interpreted Title IX to mean that the number of male and female athletes competing in high school and college sports must be equal. Otherwise, they concluded, the school is discriminating against female athletes. This is not only absurd, but it is ridiculous.

Today, many male athletic teams are becoming obsolete at both the high school and college level. For instance, rugby, gymnastics, wrestling, water polo, and volleyball have seen their Division I representation dwindle each year. There are merely 15 Division I rugby teams in college and 16 men’s gymnastics squads (there are nearly 350 Division I basketball teams). In the past several decades the number of Division I men’s volleyball and wrestling teams have decreased substantially. The end result is there is less opportunity for high school boys in athletics and therefore, fewer opportunities for them to attend college. Title IX means fewer scholarships and therefore; fewer academic opportunities for males. And the end result is that United States Olympic performance in these events has also seen a dramatic decline. The U.S. was once a powerhouse in volleyball and wrestling, but this is no longer true. Is this fair? Is this law really making males and females equal in terms of athletic participation? No, it is another bad attempt by bureaucrats to level the playing field between men and women.

What’s worse is that the Title IX law has nothing to do with money. Even if male athletic teams raised the money to compete, Title IX will not let them. And if that is not bad enough, judges have ruled that women cheerleaders do not count as female athletes under Title IX. What judges and administrators claim is that all men and women’s sporting events are equally challenging. This is not true; men’s gymnastics are much different than women’s gymnastics. Women compete in four events, meanwhile men compete in 6 events and only two events overlap. Men’s wrestling matches are longer than women’s matches. Men’s baseball games are 2 innings longer than women’s softball games. This is not equality under Title IX; in fact, most men’s athletic games are much more demanding.

Because of Title IX, many Division I college participants in particular sporting events are vastly different. For instance, Division I wrestling schools include many universities that are Division II in other sports (Lock Haven, Clarion, Bloomsburg, Edinboro, North Dakota State, South Dakota State, Northern Colorado, Campbell, Gardner Webb, Liberty, Lehigh, Bucknell, Binghamton, Hofstra, Sacred Heart, and Utah Valley to name a few). Not one Southeastern Conference school has a wrestling team. This is true in most men sports that are in jeopardy of becoming absolute due to Title IX. For instance, Rutgers-Newark is one of the few Division I men’s volleyball teams. A major university, such as Tennessee, cannot support Division I wrestling and volleyball teams and still comply with Title IX interpretations even though Tennessee has the resources to support these teams.

My Book: Is America Dying? (Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Obama’s Lowlights (12/1/11)

Michelle Obama – The Obama’s are already in full campaign mode. Michelle attended the NASCAR final this past week, in Miami, and was booed loudly by the crowd.

Pat Caddell and Doug Schoen – In a Wall Street Journal piece, the two Democratic Pollsters have been pushing hard for Obama to step aside in 2012 in favor of Hillary Clinton.

Intelligence – Hezbollah and Iran have captured 12 U.S. spies, which is obviously a huge blow to our intelligence system. Meanwhile, the U.S. and allies are hitting Iran with more sanctions (that will not work) over its nuclear program. In other news, the FBI declined to pursue a case against an "al-Qaida sympathizer" accused of plotting to bomb police stations and post offices in the New York area because they believed he was mentally unstable and incapable of pulling it off.

Convicts – They are using Facebook, within prison walls, to harass victims and intimidate witnesses.

HIV – People with the HIV virus hit a record high, which is blamed partly on the fact that there are drugs to treat the ailment.

Super Committee – They announced this past week its inability to agree on a deal to cut at least $1.2 trillion dollars from the U.S. debt. This should surprise no one since the 12 members on the committee have voting records which are very partisan. Both parties are now playing the blame game (led by the President) for the committees’ failure and waste of taxpayer dollars.

Dale Kildee – The 18 term Michigan Democratic congressman has been accused of child sexual abuse by a relative. The crime took place 50 years ago.

School Districts – Districts strapped for cash have started to find ways to raise revenue by advertising on school buses and even on report cards.

Mexican Border – This past week, three drug cartel tunnels were discovered between the U.S. and Mexico.

Utah – Utah has become the latest state to face a lawsuit from the DOJ challenging its immigration law. Utah is now the third state to face DOJ lawsuits for their immigration laws (Arizona and Alabama have also been charged).

NOAA – Richard Gaines, a reporter from the Gloucester Times reports about the quid pro quo crony politics within the NOAA. In his article he states “A $5 billion foundation that has spent tens of millions of dollars promoting the catch share commodification of New England's and other U.S. fisheries has chosen a firm with close ties to NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco to evaluate the nation's newest catch share programs.”

Occupy Wall Street – The LA Times Reports “City officials have offered protesters a $1-a-year lease on a 10,000-square-foot office space near City Hall.”

Tony Rezko – The former Obama fundraiser received a 10 year sentence for extortion and fraud.

Economy – Third quarter GDP has been revised from 2.5% down to 2%. However, there was some good news because October housing sales rose by 1.4%.

Post Office – They will be raising prices across the board in January including a one cent increase on a letter.

American Bar Association (ABA) – The ABA has declared that many of Obama’s judicial nominees are “not qualified” to be federal judges. In fact, the ABA says Obama non-qualified candidates already outnumber the number deemed unqualified put forth during the entire Clinton and Bush administrations.

My Book: Is America Dying? (Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble)