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.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Rodriquez must be a Democrat!

After 20 years of coaching football on the college level, Rich Rodriguez still doesn't know what compliance means or how to achieve it. Are you kidding me?

Listening to the news conference yesterday was painful. Here was a Division I university Athletic Director, not just any university, the University of Michigan, the university with the most wins in college football, the university with one of the most ethical records, claiming they made mistakes. Not taking any responsibility for the actions of his staff.

Yes, I know he wasn't the Athletic Director when it all happened but he is now and his first action is to slap the hand of his head football coach for making some mistakes.

Rodriguez claimed that the Compliance Dept. didn't notify him of his non-compliance. Excuse me,as head football coach, he should have been on top of this, all the time.

Rodriguez must be a Democrat because they never take responsibility for anything. Maybe he should look for a job in the Obama Administration where no one is to blame. I know, It's Bush's fault.

In the couple of years Rodriguez has been at the University of Michigan he has only embarrassed the university with his conduct. The stealth meeting in Toledo to hire him, his lawsuit, his player rebellion and departures, his losing record are all reasons to replace him.

I have been a staunch supporter of the U of M for over forty years but not anymore. Go Green - Go White!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Congress over reacting again, still, yet!

According to reports, Congress is getting ready to quadruple—to 32 cents a barrel—a tax on oil used to help finance cleanups. The increase would raise nearly $11 billion over the next decade.

The tax is levied on oil produced in the U.S. or imported from foreign countries. In other words, all oil. The revenue will allegedly go to a fund managed by the Coast Guard to help pay to clean up spills in waterways, such as the Gulf of Mexico.

The House could vote on the bill as early as Tuesday. Senate leaders hope to complete work on it before Congress goes on a week long break next week.

Lawmakers want to increase the current 8-cent-a-barrel tax on oil to make sure there is enough money available to respond to oil spills. At least 6 million gallons of crude have spewed into the Gulf of Mexico since a drilling rig exploded April 20 off the Louisiana coast.

Whenever there is a crisis, Congress never fails to seize the opportunity to raise taxes. I am sure the spin will be that they are just taxing Big Oil and not the people who pay Big Oil. That they are just making BP pay for the cleanup but didn't BP already state that they will pay for the cleanup. So why is Congress once again over reacting?

As White House Chief of Staff Rohm Emanuel once said, "Never let a serious crisis go to waste…it’s an opportunity to do things you couldn’t do before." Like raise taxes again!

Any fund that Congress sets up with the Coast Guard will turn into another mismanaged slush fund for politicians to play their power games.

As bad as this tragedy is, it probably cannot be avoided in the future. We need to find out what happened and try to improve safety but their is never a guarantee it will never happen again. It is like a plane crash. We study it and try to improve safety but when you get on an airplane, there is never a guarantee that it will not crash. Congress is like an alcoholic needing a drink, one is too many and 20 is not enough. They can't help themselves when it comes to raising taxes.

Congress never needs a reason to raise taxes but they really like it when they can pretend they are doing it for the good of the country.

Vote out all incumbents in November. Let's start over.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Is Mexican President Calderon being hypocritical?

Listening to Mexican President Calderon speak to congress yesterday and wondering why not one single Senator or Congressman walked out on him has me wondering "What the hell are they thinking?" Having a third world country leader claim the Arizona law is wrong is none of his business. He said he supports President Obama in claiming the law is wrong. Obama has had three weeks to read the bill and he still hasn't read it. And then most of the Democrats and a few RINOs gave him a standing ovation. The last person to stand up was Eric Holder(maybe he finally read the law). I wonder if Calderon has read the bill yet or if he is just going on what he has heard about the bill from the Obama Administration and hearsay.

It is only 17 pages including the title page. Read the damn bill, I have. I admit it is a tough read with all the legal double speak and cross references to other bills but I have read it, twice to try to understand it. It does not support racial profiling, nor does it even allude to it but President Calderon and Mexico support racial profiling by his own admission. He condemns Arizona for taking a stand against "unauthorized aliens" who are draining the Arizona economy, yet he clearly stated that Mexico views illegal immigration as unlawful and strongly enforces their laws.

On the talk shows where Calderon appeared the other day, he stated that Mexico has tough immigration laws and a first offense usually results in two years in prison. He said it is against the law to illegally enter Mexico and that Mexico uses racial profiling to stop illegal immigrants from entering Mexico, and that immigrants must have "papers" with them at all times to validate their status or be subject to imprisonment. And Mexican jails are no picnic.

I support the Arizona Law and applaud Governor Brewer for signing it but I think they didn't go far enough and should include whatever means possible as a way to identify and control illegal immigration because the Federal Government has failed in its job to protect our borders.

The answer to the question is a resounding, "YES, he is being hypocritical!" but that is SOP for most politicians.

That is my stand, what's yours?

Saturday, May 15, 2010

It is still Bush's fault!

It is all George Bush's fault. If he hadn't taken action after 9-11, none of this would be happening. He tried to protect our country, as a matter of fact, he did protect our country. He ran up debt in a war that the American public first supported and when he told them that it would be a long war, the American public, as fickle as ever, had a conveniently short memory.

The administration of George Bush ran the government. They tried to warn Congress and us of the impending collapse of the housing market, 23 different times they attempted to slowdown Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac, but the Democrats wouldn't let it even get to the floor for a vote. So the housing crisis is George Bush's fault.

George Bush, through Obama, promised to put all bills on the White House website 5 days before voting on them. Never happened.

George Bush, through Obama, promised to have a bipartisan discussion about a Health Care bill and have it broadcast on C-Span before ramming it down our throat. Never happened.

George Bush, through Obama, promised to end earmarks. What a joke that is. Never happened.

George Bush, through Obama, promised to end the hiring of former lobbyists to high level White House jobs. Never happened. Count the number of CZARS in the current administration.

George Bush, through Obama, promised to find a church and attend on a regular basis. Never happened. Probably because he is really more Muslim than Christian.

George Bush, through Obama, apologized to the world for American behavior because Bush set such a bad example of leadership. This happened.

The government had a plan in place for accidents like the BP Oil Spill but George Bush, through Obama, would not let them put it in place on day one because of Obama's inability to make real decisions. Now it is too late.

As Chuck Green, Denver Post columnist asked, "Will the failed administration of George Bush ever end and the time for hope and change ever arrive?"

The definition of a narcissist is the inordinate fascination with oneself; excessive self-love; vanity. Enter Obama!

It is no longer George Bush's fault. Remember this in November.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Aid Should Begin at Home

We're "broke" & can't help our own Seniors, Homeless, Veterans, Orphans, etc. ?????

This so pathetically the last months we have provided aid to Haiti, Chile, and Turkey, not to mention the countless other countries where we provide billions and billions of dollars of foreign aid annually.

Our retired seniors living on a fixed income receive no aid while our government and religious organizations pour hundreds of millions of dollars and tons of food to foreign countries.

We have hundreds of adoptable children who are shoved aside to make room for the adoption of foreign orphans, mostly because of red tape.

Why are so many American citizens, and the American government, so star struck they won't provide for our own?

The USA is a country where we have homeless without shelter, children going to bed without eating, elderly going without needed meds, and mentally ill without treatment - yet we have celebrity benefits for the people of Haiti on 20 TV stations, ships and planes lining up with food, water, tents, clothes, bedding, doctors and medical supplies.

Imagine if we gave ourselves the same support that we give all other countries.

I feel bad for them but I also care about our citizens in the U.S.A. We are the most giving, caring and loving people in the world when it comes to other countries needs. Why can't we take care of our own?

Sad isn't it?

Monday, May 10, 2010

Supreme Court Nominee

Are we ready for the mud slinging to start?

With the announcement of Solicitor General Elena Kagan as Nominee to U.S. Supreme Court surely the Liberals, Conservatives, Democrats and Republicans will crawl out of their respective holes to attempt to discredit and torch her. Last month, CBS News reported that she could be the "first openly gay Justice."

Here is a nominee who has no voting record to distort, no history of making decisions to invalidate and question, with the distinction of being a brilliant legal scholar with both liberal views and conservative friends. She has no or limited personal life to attack. She is not married and doesn't have any children to embarrass her. Her focus always seemed to be her career.

Kagan's reputation for bringing together liberals and conservatives as dean of the Harvard Law School, with the hiring of young conservative scholars "sent a strong signal to conservative alumni that, despite her own party affiliation, she was committed to intellectual diversity and meritocracy at the law school," said Harvard alumnus and former Bush administration lawyer Brad Berenson.

As Solicitor General, Kagan argued against the military "don't ask, don't tell" policy, calling it "just flat out wrong."

"At Harvard, she was known as an avid listener, who could get to the heart of the matter with a measure of both logical analysis and compassion. Sound like excellent qualifications to me, " according to Lis Wiehl.

Let's see, no judicial experience, a good listener, analytical and compassionate, a brilliant mind by most standards. Not your typical Washington, D.C. resident, maybe she is a good choice but that will be decided when all of the name calling and mud slinging subside.

Now we get to hear from the Left and Right for the rest of the summer. Let the games begin.

Friday, May 7, 2010

NHL Hockey on TV

If you are a hockey fan, this time of year is exciting and stressful, all at the same time. Lately I have been switching between Versus, Fox Sports Detroit, and on weekends CBC and NBC.

Sometimes I wonder if I am watching the same league. While switching between the Detroit/San Jose and the Montreal/Pittsburgh game last night I had the feeling I was watching different leagues.

While both broadcasts featured some of the best hockey players in the country, they were worlds apart in viewer friendliness and excitement.

With Detroit taking a 5-0 lead in the first period, I would have thought that it would be an exciting game but I was surprised to listen to announcers who were putting their audience to sleep. If this is the best the Red Wings can offer in live announcers, they should hang up their skates. Play by play was mediocre at best. It appeared almost folksy. Folksy is fine if you are telling a bedtime story but not for hockey. The live audio mix was muted and lacked excitement.

Watching and listening to the game on Versus and CBC was a completely different experience. The announcers were animated, excited and actually gave a play by play description of the game, offering excitement even when there was a lull in the action. The audio mix (fan noise to some) was fairly high so the announcers had to be heard over the spectators, and they were.

If I were to guess, the Detroit broadcast team is probably in a broadcast booth that is glassed off from the spectators resulting in muted spectator mix and lacking excitement.

One of the reasons hockey doesn't play well in the States is because the media doesn't understand how to broadcast it. They may know broadcasting but they don't know broadcasting hockey. If they are going after your entertainment dollars, they should at least use technology properly and make it as exciting as possible. Even CBC with their fuzzy analog NTSC signal without HDTV is much more enjoyable to watch than Fox Sports Detroit broadcasts.

With the Detroit Red Wings being one of the premiere teams in the NHL, the product they put on the ice is usually above average but the product they put on TV is definitely sub par at best. They could increase their fan base if only they elevated their broadcast to match their level of play.

That is my stand, what's yours.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Human Side of the Gulf Oil Explosion

What is taking so long to cap the oil well?

I know it is 5000' below the surface but surely they must have known the possibility that an event like this was possible. No amount of resources or politics should stand in the way of capping this well.

President Obama visited the Louisiana Coastline the other day to get briefed and to give his "expert" opinion of what needs to be done. As a community organizer, he is great at holding meetings, blaming someone else and throwing someone under the bus. Everyone keeps looking for someone to blame. It is not time for blame, it is time for action.

News media have all moved people on site to report the latest stories about how disastrous this will be for Louisiana, Alabama and Florida citizens when the oil reaches the shoreline. They can't wait to compare it to Hurricane Katrina. They are interviewing fishermen talking about the impending affects on the region.

What about the 11 men who disappeared?

I know this will have huge economic repercussions for a long time and I know that we will be paying BP's costs for years to come in higher gas prices but one element is missing in all of these stories. The human one.

What about the 11 men who disappeared at sea?

210,000 gallons of crude oil are leaking into the Gulf of Mexico every day and something needs to be done immediately. Something should have been done the day it happened. There should have been contingency plans in place for such a disaster. And there were but politics reared its ugly head.

So what about the 11 men who disappeared.

Usually the media has photographs of these men the day it happens! They usually have company bios of each of the missing men but not this time. Why? We haven't heard a mention about them. Who were they? How old were they? Did they have family? Where are they from? Nothing except a passing mention that 11 men are missing.

And don't call this an oil spill. I may spill a glass of milk, this is an oil leak of major proportions, not a spill. This will have devastating affects of the entire U.S. economy for years to come and BP will probably get their hand slapped and a small fine.

I am sure that, as a result of this disaster, off shore drilling will be set back at least 50 years and the environmental wackos will be reciting their talking points.

But what about the 11 men who perished?

The media once again is losing its focus and trying to make the news rather than report it as journalists.

That is my stand on this tragedy, what's yours?

Monday, May 3, 2010

Mainstream Media's Faux Pas!

Have you ever wondered what Toyota did to deserve the kind of negative press they have been receiving lately? What have they been doing for the last 20 to 25 years that they received all of the great praise and support? Has Toyota always been that good? Has any other car company been fairly judged when compared to Toyota? What part does the media play in elevating Toyoto quality? Has Toyota been receiving favors from the press? Have they discovered a great marketing tool in media relationships? Do they really deserve their claim of greatness?

These are questions that should to be asked. Questions about the role a JD Power and Associates plays in raising Toyoto to emperor-like status. And the media, when talking about runaway Toyota's, never mentions that Lexus has the same problem. It is always Toyota this and Toyota that but the very first vehicle with "unintended acceleration" was a Lexus. Four people died in that San Diego tragedy. But the media always says Toyota.

I know that Toyota is the parent company but you never hear them advertise a Toyota Lexus. It is always Lexus. A stand alone franchise wholly owned by Toyota.

Unintended acceleration and a poor braking system are problems for both Toyota and Lexus, not just Toyota.

So what role of responsibility does the media have in reporting Toyota and Lexus? Do they really play favorites?

As a well known politician who should know biased reporting would say, "You betcha!"

We know how the media treats politicians. They are either for or against. It is either Fox or the rest of them. Newspapers, once the bastion of integrity, are either conservative or liberal, for or against. Very few present both sides of an issue. Happily I think the Oakland Press does that. Is the rest of the mainstream media just printing information from press releases? Where have all the journalist gone? How could this happen to their beloved Toyota?

The answer is simply that it was Toyota's turn in the box! Everybody gets a turn in the box and Toyota has avoided it for many many years, mostly thanks to the mainstream media. Who's turn will it be next? BMW? Mercedes? VW? Nissan? GM? Ford? Maybe it should be the Media's turn in the box! Maybe the media needs a time out!

In many people's opinion, the NY Times selected John McCain to run against Barack Obama because they felt Obama had a better chance to beat RINO McCain in an election by editorials supporting McCain. Once the McCain won the primaries, the NY Times turned on him like a caged lion.

It is time for the media to stop playing king maker and start reporting the news. Period. Plain and simple: report the news. No taking sides, just solid old fashion journalism.

That is my opinion and my stand, what is yours?