Friday, January 13, 2017

National Blame Someone Else Day

 This Friday should be the most celebrated day in America.  National Blame Someone Else day should be hailed by all of our politicians.  Blame, hypocrisy, and a little bit of hate are what motivates our Parties  and it should disturb all of us as they spread this disease over our country.  The Republicans are all out of joint because the Democrats are behaving exactly as they did after Obama was elected. Meanwhile the Democrats are out of joint because the Republicans are trying to steamroll over them, just like in 2009. We are disturbed about Russia tampering with our elections but show no problem at all when we meddle in elections in the next state that we can’t vote in.  We have to realize that those embedded in power, in this country, are mainly concerned with holding on to that power by using divide and conquer tactics.  We have to stop blindly believing what “our” side says about the “other” side, and find out the truth for ourselves.  Can we please get back to talking about issues and ignore this bashing of individuals, even if the other guy started it first?  This country has demonstrated many times that there is nothing we can’t accomplish if we work together at it.  Why do we insist that the other guy is something other than a decent human being?

Sunday, January 8, 2017

"Let's see how negative we can get"

I am trying to see the difference between Donald Trump’s appointment to Secretary of State and John Kennedy’s appointment of Robert McNamara for Defense Secretary.  Neither had prior government experience and both had run one of the world’s largest corporations.  While I am not a fan of either man, or Mr. Trump, I am outraged by the hypocritical treatment the media has made of this uncomfortable transition.  Having a Secretary of State that has actually negotiated with world leaders can only be beneficial to future negotiations.  The tenure of all your transition articles has been negative, positing a world of winners and losers.  We are all on the same team, isn’t it about time to recognize that synergy is much stronger than division?  It’s obvious that we cannot be guided by what Mr. Trump says.  Can we just keep our negativity within ourselves and let the new administration, actually do something before calling foul.  Let’s not fall into Mitch McConnell’s call to screw America in favor of the Party.

Regulations do need reworking!

I may be a wild optimist, but I do believe that if we can overcome our hatred, anger, and one sided view of the world we may be able to accomplish some good in the coming years.  The issue of government regulation needs a cooler head:  When the liberals hear of reforming regulation they think of smog, rivers catching fire, and poison in our foods among other things.  When conservatives think of reforming regulations they think of: The size of compliance departments, additional paperwork that no-one reads, and procedures that slow everything down.

My career in the financial services industry has shown me the current regime of regulation is more concerned with its’ self preservation than with stopping wrongdoing.  When a company is caught breaking the law they are usually allowed to pay a fine along with a promise to “sin no more”.  The people responsible for breaking the law (or regulation) suffer no consequences.  The company’s shareholders are the ones to suffer, even though their sin was only inadequate due diligence.  The government entity that caught them frequently gets the amount of the settlement.  There is no detriment to doing wrong for the management!

While I’m generally against jailing non-violent offenders, I feel it is the only way we will see integrity coming back to our business world.  When a company hurts people, people should go to jail.  Regulations that require filling out numerous forms will not keep people honest.  We need principal based prosecution, not rule based paperwork.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Democrats won't get it!

While I didn’t vote for Mr. Trump, I feel that many Democrats still “just don’t get it”.  I have no doubt that most of his voters could not stand the thought of the Lincoln bedroom and pardons going up for sale again, along with another four years of stupid high profile congressional investigations into questionable actions on the Clintons’ part.  Thanks to the press coverage, many of those that voted for Mr. Trump didn’t think he had a chance of winning.  I am hoping that as people wake up to the fact that Mr. Trump has conned us with the standard con: “I’ll screw the other guy to give you a great deal” they will realize it isn’t just Mr. Trump who has conned us.  By turning the electoral process into a personality contest, those in power are desperate to not only hold onto the power they have but to gain more.   They do this by name calling and focusing on emotional issues that aren’t going to be solved by anyone.  Meanwhile, the banks are able to rip off people and get paid big bonus’s to do it,  the health insurance companies can continue to rip us off, and the earth continues to heat up.  Could it possibly be due to campaign contributions?  The media won’t touch campaign finance reform because they may go broke without all those campaign dollars flowing in. 

We need to stop putting Democrat/Republican first and begin to think of what’s best for America.   To do this we need to put ideas ahead of personalities.  Good people have bad ideas as well as bad people having good ideas.  To move forward we have to discuss the ideas, not the people.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Outsiders control our elections!

I’m hoping that now that all the media companies have booked their campaign revenues, that they might do some honest reporting about why both Trump and Sanders did so well.  We as citizens are tired of the Parties and Media telling us what to think.  We are aware that the politicians are representing the special interests as presented by their parties to the detriment of the United States.  These interests that hold power in this country think they can hold on to it only by spreading hate, lies, and division.  The special interests are picking our candidates by contributions, not giving the ordinary citizen a voice due to a lack of money.  They then come in from out of town and tell us how terrible all our choices are.   We are outraged when Russia tampers with our election, but accept as ordinary when California and Washington DC tampers with our Minnesota elections. It’s been a long held American value to mind our own business and stay away from our neighbors business, we need to renew this American Value.  We need to regain control of our corrupt political process and talk about campaign finance reform.  A Constitutional Amendment reading:  Notwithstanding the first amendment, all efforts to influence elections are limited to those able to vote in said election.  This may return our parties to shepherding legislation and our lobbyists to advising about issues.  Let’s get both these groups out of our local campaigns.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Change you can't believe in.

The idea that any one President can change our corrupt system should have been put to bed with President Obama’s “change you can believe in” election.  We all seem to agree that there is rot in our government, but until we are willing to accept the blame for the corruption we will see no change.  This campaign of lies that we have been subjected to is the best proof of the corruption. If you can’t differentiate yourself from your competition on the issues, or justify your position based on facts, you are forced with making your opponent into a horrible person.  Both parties have shown their true faces with the ads they are running with out of context quotes, decades old actions, blame for everything gone wrong in the last 10 years, and downright lies.  It is the folks running these ads that are benefitting from the corruption and because they hold the levers of power, the corruption will continue.  The real corruption is in Congress.  We can only fight this in two ways: refusing to fund any political entity that we can’t directly vote for and asking our Congresspersons to back a constitutional amendment prohibiting funding from those not able to vote in the election.  Change will only come when we eliminate the power of the special interests to influence elections.  We have no right to influence elections in other states, and others don’t have a right to influence our elections.  Let’s keep things local.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Ignorant or Stupid?

The good news about our presidential situation is that rest of the country knows how we got Jessie Ventura as Governor.  The bad news is that we’ve forgotten the difference between ignorance and stupidity.  We are all ignorant about some things and the more complicated our society becomes the more acceptable it is to be ignorant.  In my youth most males could tune up a car and change a tube on a radio and you weren’t considered very smart if you couldn’t.  We are now blissfully ignorant of how either cars or electronics work, and carry no shame for our ignorance.  Ignorance can be defined as the lack of knowledge about a subject.  Stupidity, on the other hand, is the inability to realize that you are ignorant about something.  All stupid people are ignorant, but not all ignorant people are stupid. (logic is foreign to the stupid).  Even though the vast majority of illegal aliens have entered the country legally and overstayed their visa, and even though we have a net outflow of illegal’s currently, the stupid think a wall will somehow solve the immigration problem.  Both China and East Germany have had experiences with walls that didn’t work well, and Israel is currently finding out that walls can’t solve problems.  Because our media and celebrities say a wall will do our country good, people aren’t willing to overcome their ignorance and we continue with our stupid ways. 

John Stuart Mills said that “Not all conservatives are stupid, but all stupid people are conservatives.”  We are now suffering the results of the smart conservatives leaning on the stupid ones to carry them through.  We should have learned that electing a President as a change agent isn’t going to work.  It hasn’t worked well the last 8 years and it certainly isn’t going to work in the next four.  The divide and conquer tactics of our political parties has poisoned our country into a mass of people that automatically reject or accept all ideas as either unpatriotic or a magic solution that will fix everything. Many of us have come to believe that because many politicians are liars, the best politician should be the best liar.

The majority of the current campaign issues may be highly emotional, but affect relatively few people.  Of all the issues of concern to us only two will affect our grandchildren: Global Warming and Campaign Finance Reform.     

Should we really want change in this country, we have to get Congress to represent those in their districts, rather than myriad special interest groups.  As long as campaign money can come from sources other than voters in the campaign, we will have the elites on the campaign finance gravy train keeping everything just as it is.  If this country isn’t great anymore it is because of the hateful ways the elites are keeping in power.  We must change the way we believe and act towards those that disagree with us if we are to unite and prosper.