Blogs > It's Time To Take A Stand

Being a business theatre producer has allowed Brian the opportunity to meet and work with some very fascinating people from a variety of backgrounds which, in turn, has helped shape his knowledge and his opinions. His blog will not always be political, it will be about a lifetime of subjects, and nothing is off limits. “Few people have original thoughts, we are shaped by the people we know and meet” he says.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Re-gaining our Trust

When trust is lost it takes a long time before it is re-gained, if ever. You know the scenario, a wife or husband have an affair and it takes years before they will trust each other again, if ever.

A friend double crosses you and you stop talking to him or her forever. Can you rebuild his or her trust? Can you ever really be comfortable trusting them again?

Or a son or daughter gets caught or busted drinking and driving and you, as a parent, will forever be skeptical about their driving again. Every time they go out, you get on edge and you don't sleep. You don't quite know how to react until you see them home safe and sound.

Trust is something that is earned, and you don't earn it overnight. So then the question becomes "How can we trust the Republican Party to do right after the way they acted the last time they had a majority?"

We know that we cannot trust the Democratic Party based on how they lied, cheated and stole to pass the Health Care Bill. We really know that we cannot trust Obama, Reid, Pelosi, Frank, Shumer or just about any Democrat but are the Republicans deserving of our trust?

You earn trust by actions, not be words. Words are cheap and have no value when it comes to judging trust. As President Obama once said, "Words, just words." Actions can be the only true judge when it comes to trust.

Republicans have to act. They not only have to talk the talk, they have to walk the walk. They need to stop being politicians and start being human beings. Being Americans. For the people. By the people. Of the people.

Republicans don't have much time to demonstrate their trustworthiness. They have between now and November to lead by their actions.

I live by a basic rule. Question authority! Question everything and believe what your heart and brain tell you. And trust no one in politics unless they prove worthy.

That is my stand, what is yours?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Wrong about Democrats!!!

I was wrong about Democrats! There I said it. I didn't think they had the courage , lack of morals and ethics or the will to pass the Obamacare Health Care Bill. I didn't believe they could sell out America so easily with such disregard for public opinion.

Conservative experts predicted that Michigan Democrat Congressman Bart Stupak would cave to Pelosi and Obama. He never caved. He was just grandstanding to get a reputation by pretending to have principles. He dropped his supposed opposition and any principles he allegedly held and voted "YES" on Health care. In October, he told a gathering in Cheboygan that even if he didn't get his abortion language in, he was still going to vote for health care. He was pretending to be against Federally funded murder of the unborn. He received an Executive Order promise from Obama that federal funds would not be used for abortion but it does not have validity as is with most of Obama's government. Would you trust anything that President Obama promises? He has made and broken so many in the last year alone but that is just Chicago-style politics. Tell them anything they want to hear and do what the hell you want to do anyway.

Ethics don't count if you are a Democrat because I believe they have a total lack of them. The Democrats knew all along they had Stupak in the fold and were just trying to appear as though they were working hard to pass it. They were playing Political Theatre with the American public as the audience. Stupak and the Dems were and still are playing us.

Free health care for anywhere from 10 million to 26 million illegal immigrants, depending on to whom you listen, is in the works and all taxpayers get to pay for it. Ten years of tax increases for 6 years of health care doesn't sound like reform. Drug companies, Democratic alleys, will be the big winners. Watch their market shares rise.

This bill will be good for unemployment, as long as you want to work for the Federal Government because it will create the largest bureaucratic agency in government. The efficiency of the Postal System will be the envy of this new department. They will more than likely be the epitome of incompetence and the taxpayers will have to pay for it. 12,000 new IRS agents to monitor your every move is just part of the reform.

Reports state that most taxpayers have to work until August 15 to pay their taxes. Just a few years ago, it was until May 15th. But that will change, it will now probably change to October 15 before you get to keep any money.

And did Congress sign up for this Health Care Bill? No, they exempted themselves from any participation or penalties from their Cadillac plan.

November is going to loom larger than ever now that this bill is going to be signed into law. We now know exactly who to vote out in November. Unfortunately, Michigan is traditionally a Democratically held state with the many union members blindly following their leaders. It is time for people to remember this in November and vote anyone out who voted for this bill.

That is my stand on the Health Care reform bill, what is yours?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Raises for ALL!

Why hold it to 3% when we can give all of our government employees 7% or maybe even 10%? The recent events in Lansing allowing a 3% raise for UNION employees to occur on Oct. 1 is just another example of how out of touch Michigan legislatures really are. I know it is ONLY $43 million but it still adds up unless it is taxpayers money, then it doesn't seem to matter. They are acting more like Washington every day.

With unemployment in the high teens, although they will quickly point out that the numbers are dropping, they continue to feed from the public trough. The only reason unemployment appears to be going down is because of people giving up or people like me who are self employed or self-unemployed and are not counted among the unemployed. Michigan has one of the largest Freelance communities in the country and when work disappears, these Freelance people go without. They don't collect unemployment benefits, they don't get to be counted among the statistics, they just try to find alternative employment. They still have to pay their own health care insurance, mortgages, car loans, you name it.

They cut back in expenses. They stop going out to dinner or the movies. They trim their budgets to reflect their loss of revenue. Unlike Lansing legislatures, who in times of loss revenue, take or give a pay increase. Doesn't Lansing know that their revenues are down? Why can't they realize they have to make cuts? What is wrong with these people? Are they so stupid they can't see this coming? Or are they just so arrogant that they think we won't notice? Don't they know the difference? People are hurting but they just continue as if nothing has happened.

This Lansing and Washington elitist attitude disgusts me and come November, we need to remember who is doing what to whom?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Taking Advantage of the System

You can be sure that if I or someone else claimed to have no money and requested a legal aid lawyer to file an appeal, we would be told to show proof that our family does not have the resources to hire a lawyer. That neither spouse has any money. That both partners are without funds.

If John Conyers is broke, he should not be in Congress representing the people. The man has been in Congress for 50 years, and makes $174,000 per year. How can this couple be broke? Why does the court system allow such flagrant disregard of the couples' finances and supply Monica Conyers with a lawyer at no cost to her or John Conyers. They are making a mockery of the system. Have they no shame.

While hard working people who get into trouble, struggle to pay for their own legal aid, embarrassed to file for government assistance because of the stigma attached to it, Ms. Conyers and her alleged husband, Congressman John Conyers, don't have a problem with it. This is a travesty being played upon the people they supposedly represent.

If they are not married, as it looks from his unwillingness to be seen in public with his convicted felon wife, that is an entirely different case. But all accounts are that they are still married, if only in name.

Let the people who actually need legal aid get it and stop this complete abuse of the system.

Thank is my stand, what is yours?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Politics of FEAR Remain Constant

It doesn't seem to matter which party is in power. Fear and playing on people's fears make good politics or at least that is how the politicians think.

During the Bush administration, the Democrats were claiming that the President was using FEAR tactics to get and continue funding for our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. They screamed it every time they had an opportunity.

Now that President Obama is using FEAR tactics in an effort to pass his Health Care Bill, it is OK. He is spreading fear every opportunity. Bringing out sick people and telling us all that we are going to all end up like that if we (politicians) don't pass his Health Care reform bill. He is telling us that if we don't act now, in 10 or 15 years, we will not be able to afford to fix it. That time is of the essence.

Remember when we had the gasoline shortage and the people were wondering why we couldn't drill for oil in our own country, in Alaska's Anwr region or off shore. The people said if you start drilling now, in ten years the problem would be over. The Democrats blocked every attempt to "Drill Here, Drill Now" Had we started drilling back in the 1990s, like we would have liked, we would probably have affordable gas now. But the environmentalists, like Al Gore, blocked every attempt to drill and still do using FEAR. We will ruin our landscape. There will be oil rigs on every shore line in the country. It will ruin our forests, kill off vegetation and animal life. What about the caribou?

Why is it OK to use FEAR if you are a Democrat and not if you are a Republican?
I don't think our political system is failing us, the people we have elected are failing us. I think we should vote them all out of office and start over. If you are a lawyer, you should be barred from politics, only real people allowed. People who care about the country, not people with hidden agendas. People who would like to go to Washington for a couple of terms and then hand over government to more willing ethical, morally sound people, not professional politicians.

That is my stand, what is yours.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Health Care Bill Intelligence?

The Health Care Bill is something that we all know is needed. We all know that some sort of reform is needed. We all know that the current cost of health care insurance is not sustainable. We all know there is enormous profit to be had in health care with our aging baby boomers. Unprecedented levels of profit, to be sure.

So what are our politician thinking? The current Health Care Bill in its present form is a disaster and everyone admits. Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, along with President Obama, admit it that it needs fixing, that it is not right, that it is broken and needs fixing. They all claim that they will fix it in Reconciliation. So why are we even thinking about passing it. When was the last time you believed a politician and it didn't happen. Broken promises are the stock and trade of a politician.

This is just like a family with a 1992 Oldsmobile that has 220,000 miles on it. They know it is on its last legs but they can't afford more than $17,500 to replace it. What are they going to do? If you are a politician from Washington, D.C. I know what they would do.

They would propose going out and buying a 1965 Dodge Dart for $10,000, even though they know it is not worth $10,000 that is in need of major repair. Then they would spend an additional $100,000 rebuilding it into a 2020 Crossover vehicle that hasn't even been designed yet. It is not going to happen.

The Health Care Bill is that same type of logic. The family can barely afford the $10,000 to purchase the 1965 Dodge Dart and cannot afford the $100,000 necessary to rebuild it, forget the fact that it is not even designed yet.

What are our politicians thinking? Obviously they are not thinking. It is time to clean Washington, D.C. of everyone who supports this bill and start over.

That is my opinion, what do you think?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Health Care - Who owns the football?

When Democrats and Republicans face off about the Health Care issue, it is like a bunch of emotionally challenged elementary school kids playing in someone's backyard. He who owns the football, makes the rules.

Currently the Democrats feel they own the ball but there is so much protest about who makes the rules, the other team may just stop playing. Then what is going to happen? The Democrats will have to play with themselves, something for which they are eminently qualified. Taking a stand alone in politics is not anything either party wants because they will have to own their decision and be responsible to the electorate.

What to do with Health Care reform is an enormous problem? All agree that some measure of reform is needed but not to the extent of Obamacare. How do we handle the Health Care dilemma?

Will the Democrats produce a health care bill that contains true reform or just the self-serving gigantic bill currently being offered? If the Republicans had the majority, would they bring forth a series of reform bills that address the problems with health care? It seems that men still control the health insurance industry and have many politicians in their back pockets.

When Viagra is available to prison inmates for free and as a co-pay for men but birth control is not covered under most insurance programs, there is a problem. When malpractice insurance costs doctors so much that they have to practice defensive medical policies, there is a problem. When courts award millions of dollars in damages instead of what should be realistically awarded, there is a problem. When insurance is managed by the individual states and not available to people outside of the state, there is a problem. When congress gets their insurance, a Cadillac insurance, for FREE, and we the taxpayer foots the entire bill, there is a problem. When the President refuses to listen to the people, there is a problem.

We know we need reform but which party will actually have the courage to enact true reform, not their government mandated 2,600 page bloated, over the top, HB 3200 currently being discussed. I don't believe either party is capable of enacting real reform for health care alone so let's go back to putting America back to work because Health Care is not going to happen. When are they going to stop playing politics with health care and actually start doing something?

Now you know where I stand, what is your take?

Just more government waste

Have you ever seen anything more wasteful than our Federal Government?

I received, as I am sure every American household received, a letter from the Census Bureau. It was very official looking, almost looked like a regular direct mail piece than normally gets thrown away with the rest of the junk mail we receive. It had a Presorted First Class stamp paid by the Census Bureau.

The opening paragraph read, "About one week from now, you will receive a 2010 Census form in the mail. When you receive your form, please fill it out and mail it promptly."

Don't you think that after their wasteful Public Service Announcements on the Super Bowl and on many TV programs that it would have been much more economical to just mail out the Census form?

I know they are trying to support another one of their failed enterprises, the U.S. Postal Service but the printing, handling, sorting, and mailing alone had to cost the already over burdened U.S. Taxpayer a couple of hundred million. But it is not real money, it is only taxpayers money. It is time the U.S. Government stop trying to support their failing business with their own failing mismanaged business.

The U.S. Census is estimated to cost over $10 Billion, why not start all that alleged saving of government waste now. Why wait for congress to pass some other useless expensive bureaucratic spending cut law that will only waste more money.

I can't wait until the Obama Administration passes the Health Care Reform, if they say it will cost less than $1 Trillion, you can bet it will cost many more Trillions of Dollars.

Now you know where I stand, where do you stand?

Sunday, March 7, 2010

An open letter to the President

I received this in my email and decided to check out the validity and found it to be true. The author is a retired Proctor and Gamble vice president. Read it for yourself.

Dear President Obama:

You are the thirteenth President under whom I have lived and unlike any of the others, you truly scare me.

You scare me because after months of exposure, I know nothing about you.

You scare me because I do not know how you paid for your expensive Ivy League education and your upscale lifestyle and housing with no visible signs of support.

You scare me because you did not spend the formative years of youth growing up in America, and culturally you are not an American.

You scare me because you have never run a company or met a payroll.

You scare me because you have never had military experience, thus don't understand it at its core.

You scare me because you lack humility and class, always blaming others.

You scare me because for over half your life you have aligned yourself with radical extremists who hate America and you refuse to publicly denounce these radicals who wish to see America fail.

You scare me because you are a cheerleader for the blame America crowd and deliver this message abroad.

You scare me because you want to change America to a European style country where the government sector dominates instead of the private sector.

You scare me because you want to replace our health care system with a government controlled one.

You scare me because you prefer 'wind mills' to responsibly capitalizing on our own vast oil, coal and shale reserves.

You scare me because you want to kill the American capitalist goose that lays the golden egg which provides the highest standard of living in the world.

You scare me because you have begun to use extortion' tactics against certain banks and corporations.

You scare me because your own political party shrinks from challenging you on your wild and irresponsible spending proposals.

You scare me because you will not openly listen to or even consider opposing points of view from intelligent people.

You scare me because you falsely believe that you are both omnipotent and omniscient.

You scare me because the media gives you a free pass on everything you do.

You scare me because you demonize and want to silence the Limbaugh’s, Hannity’s, O'Reilly’s and Beck’s who offer opposing, conservative points of view.

You scare me because you prefer controlling over governing.

Finally, you scare me because if you serve a second term I will probably not feel safe in writing a similar letter in 8 years.

Lou Pritchett

Mr. Pritchett is a former vice-president of Proctor and Gamble whose career at that company spanned 36 years before his retirement in 1989 and he is the author of the 1995 business book, Stop Paddling and Start Rocking the Boat.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Race to the Bottom

The latest news that Michigan did not qualify for Race to the Top federal funds should not be a surprise to anyone. One leaders continually show us why our state and schools are in such turmoil. They lack character, commitment and action on a timely basis.

County Executive L.Brooks Patterson chastised the Michigan Education Association for not collaborating with the committee who wrote the application. Doug Pratt, communications director for the MEA claimed that the MEA only received a 12-page summary of the application, rather than the more than 600-page application and were asked to sign-off on it without any details. But on the Paul W. Smith show on WJR-AM radio on Friday, Iris K. Salters, president of the MEA claimed it was just a 5-page summary. They should at least get their stories straight.

Whether it was a 5-page or a 12-page summary or the entire application was made available is only part of the problem. The real problem is the lack of action on a timely basis. The committee wasted so much time bickering back and forth that they didn't produce any results on a timely basis. The deadline was upon them and they were still lacking an application or support.

Just like the Michigan legislature trying to enact a budget on a timely basis. They wait until the very last minute before they even consider doing something.

The real problem is that everyone is to blame but politics being politics no one accepts any responsibility for their actions or lack of actions.

The school system in Michigan is broken and needs fixing. It is not a funding problem, it is a spending problem and it is this writer's opinion that parental involvement is and will be the best remedy.

Parental involvement is the key to all successful students but we may need to teach parents how to be parents. Far too many are absent from their children's education. Far too many think schools should raise their children during the day. Far too many don't know how to be responsible parents.

If more parents were involved they would demand that school districts to be more efficient; they would demand an end to the waste; they would demand school districts spend more than the current 15% on their children; they would demand reform. It is estimated that 85% of all school funds go to salaries, benefits and administration of non-academic activities.

But school districts don't encourage parental involvement and don't spend any funds trying to improve parental involvement. Sure they pay lip service to it but they really don't want it. It is time that parents get more involved in their kids lives, maybe have a little less extra curricular activities and put a little more emphases on academics.

I know the economy is bad and that many parents are unemployed. Rather than sit around the house between looking for employment, get involved in your kids education. It doesn't have to cost a penny and the results could be amazing.

That is my stand, what's yours?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Extending Unemployment Benefits, Again!

On February 23, 2009 - The White House: "The pay-go approach is based on a very simple concept. You don't spend what you don't have. So if we want to spend, we'll need to find somewhere else to cut," the president said at the White House Fiscal Responsibility Summit. "This is the rule that families across this country follow every single day, and there's no reason why their government shouldn't do the same."

The country is in a tizzy because Senator Jim Bunning, who is retiring after his term is over this year, took a stand for "Pay-go". Being the lone hold out vote to extend unemployment benefits another unfathomable amount of time has caused many to ask when is enough, enough? Some states now have unemployment benefits as long as 99 weeks. That's almost two years. Somebody has to pay for it.

Bunning is not being a hero, he is being your typical politician. Didn't have the courage to say no during the spending spree of George W. Bush because he wanted to get re-elected. Now that he is not running for office, he has found the courage. This is typical of Washington politicians and exemplifies what is wrong with this political system. This illustrates why term limits need to be instituted in Washington, although we all know that they never will.

We have heard all of the stories that it hurts the people who need help the most and I feel for them but it is not about the unemployed. It is about spending money we don't have. They could easily cut some entitlement program that wastes money left and right. Cut some money out of ACORN's budget. Cut foreign aide to countries that abuse human rights. Cut out a couple of pork projects, like the Jack Murtha Airport in Pennsylvania. There are probably a million places to cut but no one wants to do any serious work in Washington. They just want to spend.

Spend all you want, just make sure you cut the same amount out of the budget. If you don't have it, don't spend it.

Enough with the SPENDING is my stand, what's yours?

Monday, March 1, 2010

Thank You, CANADA!

Wow! As a Canadian living in the states, I have never been more proud of Canada. Canadians displayed such style, grace, friendliness, kindness and creativity during the 21st Winter Olympic games.

From the moment the opening ceremonies began with whales swimming across the field (water) to the curling and the hockey game (it is only called "Ice" hockey in the states) between Team Canada and Team U.S.A., the people of Canada made all Canadians throughout the world proud.

Even NBC's coverage, at times, almost seemed as if it were produced by a Canadian.

As many Canadians know, they even apologized for always saying, "Sorry". Sorry we didn't have more snow, sorry it rained, sorry we sent you Jennifer Granholm.

Their sense of humour (Canadian spelling) showed in the closing ceremony with the fourth cauldron finally being raised.

During these trying times in the states, it was nice to have a reprieve from reality. Thank you Canada.