<![CDATA[Carol's Piece of Mind - AZ Man]]>Thu, 23 Nov 2017 06:50:02 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[The Bad Guys Are Winning The War On Guns]]>Thu, 19 Sep 2013 15:19:07 GMThttp://carolspieceofmind.com/az-man/the-bad-guys-are-winning-the-war-on-gunsPicture
I read with interest an article describing how a multimillionaire in New York is now in serious trouble for using a gun to stop an intruder breaking into his home.  He is now free from jail on $250,000 bond, but is possibly facing three years in jail.

George Bardwil was in his upstairs bedroom when his alarm system let him know someone was breaking into his house.  His bodyguard was off duty, so Mr. Bardwil retrieved the body guard’s gun from a secure box and used the loaded gun to chase the intruder away.

Mr. Bardwil then made the mistake of calling the police, and voluntarily showed them the entire incident that was recorded on his security system.  He stated that this was not the first time his house has been broken into because of his vast wealth.

The gun he used is legally registered to his body guard, but Mr. Bardwil has no permit that makes it legal for him to have a gun in his own home.  That’s correct; in New York City one must apply for a permit to even have a gun in their home.  I’m guessing that obtaining one of these permits in New York City is not an easy thing to do.

So where does a law preventing a home owner having a gun in their home leave the residents of New York City?  The bad guys are no doubt aware of this law, and would naturally take full advantage of this situation.  The bad guys can be reasonably sure their intended victim is not armed, and will be unable to defend themselves.  I would say this is stacking the deck in the bad guys favor, wouldn’t you?

Fortunately, with Mr. Bardwil being a multimillionaire he will be able to afford the best attorney’s money can buy, and he will probably not serve a day in jail.  If this had been an average citizen with an average income, their life would be ruined for this same act of defending their own home from a bad guy.

Is it just me, or do you see something wrong with this picture?  The citizens of New York City are denied the right to protect themselves, and the bad guys could care less about the laws.  I would have to question why these citizens are not raising heck and demanding these laws be changed to level the playing field.

I can assure you a law such as this New York City law would never fly in Arizona.  If any elected Politician even proposed such a law, there would be a very hasty recall election.  Just recently, a couple elected officials in Colorado learned a hard lesson regarding their attitude toward gun control.  They just joined the ranks of the unemployed.  Perhaps Colorado just set an example for other states to follow.

We have a large number of Politicians who firmly believe they can pass any bill into law they want to pass, and there is nothing we citizens can do to stop them.  I would bet that the recall election in Colorado over gun control was a wake up call to many professional Politicians.

Even if you happen to fall into the strictly anti-gun category, you must admit it is grossly unfair to write laws that allows the bad guys to have guns but makes it nearly impossible for the good guys to have guns.

Keep in mind that most guns are just an inert mass of metal parts that are not evil.  It is the person using the gun that causes the problems.  Most gun owners are solid citizens who would never use a gun to intentionally harm another person or commit a crime.

If I were multimillionaire Mr. Bardwil, I would be moving out of New York City to a more gun friendly location as soon as possible.

Your comments are welcome and appreciated.


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<![CDATA[Putin And My Rant For The Day]]>Thu, 12 Sep 2013 21:57:30 GMThttp://carolspieceofmind.com/az-man/putin-and-my-rant-for-the-dayPicture
The following is copied directly from an email I received from a friend of mine.  I read this several times and am now of the opinion this is something we should have said to immigrants many years ago.

On February 4th, 2013, Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, addressed the Duma, (Russian Parliament), and gave a speech about the tensions with minorities in Russia :
"In Russia live Russians. Any minority, from anywhere, if it wants to live in Russia, to work and eat in Russia , should speak Russian, and should respect the Russian laws.  If they prefer Sharia Law, then we advise them to go to those places where that's the state law.  Russia does not need minorities.  Minorities need Russia , and we will not grant them special privileges, or try to change our laws to fit their desires, no matter how loud they yell 'discrimination'.  We better learn from the suicides of America, England, Holland and France, if we are to survive as a nation.  The Russian customs and traditions are not compatible with the lack of culture or the primitive ways of most minorities.  When this honorable legislative body thinks of creating new laws, it should have in mind the national interest first, observing that the minorities are not Russians.
The politicians in the Duma gave Putin a five minute standing ovation.
_____________________________________________________________

If you read this a couple times and really think about how many of our current problems are directly related to the message Putin delivered in this short speech, you may be surprised.

Yes, America is a melting pot and all of our ancestors came here from some other place.  America offered great opportunity to these immigrants as a place where they could live in freedom, raise and educate their children, practice their own religion, work or own a business, and on and on.

We now have millions of immigrants to this country, some legal and some not, who refuse to even learn English and disagree with many of our laws.  As some of these groups of immigrants grow in numbers, they actually want to replace our laws and our religions with their own.  Some have even been able to get elected to positions of power where they can actually change some of our laws to better suit their own beliefs.

Huge numbers of these immigrants, both legal and illegal, have become a huge drain on our Entitlement (AKA Welfare) systems.  The opportunity for good paying jobs just doesn’t exist anymore for the immigrants or our own citizens.  Many immigrants have no choice but to go on the dole for survival, and they do.  For some immigrants, our Welfare system provides them a better standard of living than they had where they came from.

We have allowed some groups to build their own places of worship wherever they want to in our country; while in their own countries they are burning ours to the ground and killing Christians.

We have the “Gang of Eight” that is working diligently crafting a plan to grant amnesty and a path to citizenship for millions of illegals who have been living in our midst for many years.  I have to wonder if any other country would be this involved with dealing with illegal residents on their own real estate.

We print most important documents in at least two languages, and most business telephone systems allow us to choose the language we wish to use to conduct our business.

Just suppose that you took in a family of refugees into your home.  At first they were very grateful that you were providing them with food, shelter, clothing, and medical care.  As time passed, this family of refugees begins objecting to what you watch on TV, demanded you prepared food from their culture, and insisted that you learn their language so you could better communicate with them.  They stated they had no interest in learning to speak your native language.

Would you be hurt and outraged?  Yes, most likely you would and you should be.

Yet that is exactly what has happened to our country.  We opened our doors to people from many different countries and cultures, primarily because they desired a better way of life.  As time went by, these same people wish to change our country to be more like the country they chose to leave.

Am I confused and alone, or does anyone else see anything wrong with this scenario?

Try relocating to some other country and making demands they change their laws to better suit you, and see how far you get.  Try making their citizens learn to speak English because that is your native language.  Try getting approval to move to another country without proof of income that will keep you from becoming a welfare burden to them.  It will not happen.

Try living in many of the other countries without proper paperwork and documentation.  I hope you enjoy prison food because you will be eating it for a long time.

While I don’t agree with Putin on many things, he has my complete approval on this message he delivered to his own law-makers.  Perhaps we should invite Putin to deliver this message to our own law-makers in this country.  I doubt that many of them would have a clue what he was talking about, but it would be worth a try in my opinion.

We have made far too many concessions and drifted way too far to the liberal side when making concessions to those allowed to enter our country legally.  We have pretty much ignored all of those who enter our country illegally and it is time to deal with this issue.  Amnesty is not the answer as that is rewarding them for breaking the law by entering our country by means other than the proper channels.

I have no problem enjoying cultural traditions in other countries, but I go to their country to do so.  While visiting their country, I don’t try to show them all those things I think they should change, and I don’t expect them to provided me with fried chicken and apple pie just because I like that better than their local fare.

Maybe, just Maybe, Putin has this figured out and we still have a lot to learn.

Your comments are welcome and appreciated.  It is also fine if you choose to disagree with me as I have a very thick skin.


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<![CDATA[I Finally Get It--We Do Need Obamacare]]>Thu, 29 Aug 2013 19:54:54 GMThttp://carolspieceofmind.com/az-man/i-finally-get-it-we-do-need-obamacarePicture
This is partly a rant, and partly a discovery for me.

Other than taking a month off after my discharge from the US Army, I can’t remember a time when I didn’t have a job and worked for a living.  I can’t even remember a time when I couldn’t find a job anytime I wanted one.  Yet today, I know quite a large number of people who are unemployed or underemployed.

Sometimes things aren’t real clear and grab your attention until they affect you personally.  I just experienced a medical situation that turned on the light of understanding for me.

Situation #1

This one involves my own daughter, thus the personal connection.  She works for a large restaurant chain that decided to cut all employees to 30 hours or less per week due to Obamacare rules.  She does however have basic group medical insurance through the company with the insurance premiums being deducted from her pay.  With the new 30 or less hours per week pay, her net take home pay is around $100 per week after taxes and her health insurance is paid.  Her employer pays nothing toward the cost of health insurance.

Then disaster struck and she injured her back and needed surgery to correct the problem.  Because she is employed, and has basic insurance coverage, the surgeon and the hospital demanded $5,000 down before they would perform the needed operation.  This was just a down payment on the hospital and surgical costs that would not be paid by her basic insurance plan.  There was no choice other than for me to pony up the money so they would schedule the needed surgery.  Without the surgery she would not be able to return to work and would join the ranks of the unemployed.

Yesterday, my wife took her to the hospital at 5:30AM for the surgery.  At the hospital admitting desk, the nice lady behind the desk asked for yet another $1,000 down payment against the hospital portion of the bill that would not be covered by insurance.

It seems that my daughter had committed not one, but two major sins that caused this financial dilemma.

Major Sin number One:  She got a job.  She is employed even though her job pays almost nothing for 30 hours of work after payroll deductions.

Major Sin number Two:  She pays for medical insurance that pays only a small percentage of the actual costs of medical care.  Her health care policy reads like a comedy when I finally was able to read it.  There are more pages describing what they don’t cover than pages describing what they do cover.

The surgery was done yesterday, but we have no idea what the final unpaid balance will be.  I am certain my wallet will be considerably lighter after all of the bills arrive. 

Situation # 2

There is a young couple that lives in our neighborhood that have become friends of ours.  They are both really great young people with limited education and no real skills to sell.  They are not married, and ironically, she gave birth to a baby girl on the same day my daughter had her surgery and at the very same hospital.

She works for minimum wage at an elder care facility and he is unemployed.  They both collect food stamps and get financial assistance for their housing.

Now here comes the difference between this young couples and my daughter’s medical situation.

The entire cost for the delivery of this baby including all of the prenatal care and hospital charges was $00.00.  Yep, not one penny cost for any of the medical expenses.  I don’t begrudge them any of this free care because the State makes it available to those in their financial position.

Comparing these two situations led me to my new understanding of how things really work these days.

 If one can’t find a decent job that provides full time work at a decent rate of pay, and health insurance that actually pays something when needed, he or she would be better off to be unemployed with no medical insurance or assets at all.

With this in mind, is it any wonder why so many choose to stay unemployed and collect as many entitlements as they can?  For this group, the doctors and hospital welcomes them with open arms because they know they will be paid by the State.  Perhaps they are paid at a discounted rate, but they do get paid something.

Any employed person working for minimum wage with no health insurance has a difficult time finding health services for anything other than an extreme emergency situation.  They are only given emergency care because the law says they must be provided with lifesaving emergency services.

Bottom line is that we now have a society where many intentionally choose to stay below the poverty level.  This is the best place for them to be if they are concerned about suitable medical care for themselves and their children.  This is their medical insurance.  If they rise above this level, their free medical care is gone.  It seems we have now arrived at the point where some are more likely to get adequate medical care when they are unemployed, dead broke, and have no assets of their own.

Am I alone or does anyone else see how twisted and messed up this is?  Part of the reason medical costs are so high for those able to pay is they must help make up the cost for all of those unable to pay anything at all.

Will the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) do anything to fix this mess or will it make it worse?  There will still be those unable to pay the premiums for their own medical insurance, and they will depend on others to pay the premiums for them.  Not much different than the way things work today.  Those who can, pay inflated rates to cover the expenses of those who are unable to pay.

With more and more companies cutting their employees hours to 30 or less to avoid the high cost of Obamacare, there will be even more of those whom are unable to pay the premiums for their mandatory health care insurance.

With the little knowledge I have on the internal workings of Obamacare, I don’t see it as the answer to high cost medical care at this time, but let’s hope I am wrong.  I see it shifting the burden from paying higher rates for medical care to paying higher rates for insurance to cover those who can’t pay for their own policy.  So other than changing who receives the money, what has really changed?

Please don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that every citizen of this country should not receive proper medical care when they need it.  I’m saying that as more and more are unable to afford the premiums fewer and fewer will be able to help make up the difference.

And I’m not saying that no changes in our health care system are needed.  If anything ever needed a major renovation, it is our current health care system.  I just think this whole Obamacare thing was poorly planned, improperly executed, and it is not ready for implementation.

I would hope that those who wrote the rules and regulations on Obamacare never attempt to build a sky scraper.  They have no concept of the fact that the first step in building most anything is a proper foundation.  It also helps to have a good set of detailed plans on hand so at least they would know how tall and how wide the building is supposed to be.  Obamacare is actually being implemented from the top down, and the plans keep changing by the day.  My guess is that by the time Obamacare is fully in place, it will look nothing like the original drawings our politicians voted on without reading.

As always, your comments are appreciated...


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<![CDATA[Space Travel Is Expensive]]>Thu, 22 Aug 2013 13:59:42 GMThttp://carolspieceofmind.com/az-man/space-travel-is-expensivePicture
I just read where Russia is raising the price for transporting our astronauts back and forth to the International Space Station.  They will now be charging NASA $71,000,000 per trip in 2016 for this taxi ride.

That is three times what we were charged in 2006. 

NASA also spent $60 Billion of our hard earned tax dollars to help build the Space Station, $40 Billion more for space shuttles used in the assembly process, and we still contribute $3 Billion per year to cover the Space Station’s operating costs.

No wonder Obama sees no problem using a few Million of our tax dollars for his vacation expenses.

Our own space program ended in 2011 with NASA retiring the space shuttle leaving us no way of getting our astronauts to and from the Space Station other than paying Russia for the ride.

Between the years 2006 and 2008, we only purchased one seat per year.  Beginning in 2009 we started paying for 6 seats per year.  In 2006 we paid $22 million per seat, in 2010 we paid $25 Million per seat, and in the first half of 2011 we paid $28 Million per seat.

In the second half of 2011, Russia raised the price per seat to $43 Million.  In 2014 we will pay $55.6 Million, and in 2015 it will cost $60 Million per seat.

Then in April of this year, our friends in NASA signed another contract with Russia for six seats at $71 Million per each seat for 2016 to mid-year 2017.

Because the Russian Soyuz craft can only carry three persons at a time, the Space Station is forced to operate with only 6 persons rather than the 7 it was designed to hold.  They keep two of the Soyuz craft at the Space Station in case the crew would need to evacuate in a hurry.

A seventh crew member could potentially add about 33 hours per week to the current amount of crew time devoted to research which would equal a 94 percent increase.

As a result of these expenses, NASA started the Commercial Crew Program in 2010 to end our reliance on Russia to transport our people to the Space Station. 

They intend to develop safe, reliable, and cost effective transportation to the Space Station and a low earth orbit.

What’s that you say? “It sounds like a good plan to stop paying Russia for our rides to outer space when we could do it ourselves cheaper?”  I would agree with that, but it seems our friends in government don’t agree.

The Commercial Crew Program has yet to receive the full amount they requested in 2011.  If they can’t get the proper funding, we will be forced to sign yet another contract with Russia to provide the needed transportation at a likely expense of $100 Million per seat.

OK, those are enough facts for this time.  Now, if this were a large business venture rather than a governmental department, it would not take them long to determine if we could save money by building our own transportation or continuing to pay Russia for our taxi service. 

Do many of us really know what benefits have been derived from the huge expense of building and maintaining the Space Station?  Is it still worth the huge amount of money we are spending?  The entire space program has provided us with many of the luxury items we take for granted today.  There are a number of people who refuse to believe we actually walked on the moon.  I am one that believes we really did walk on the moon and return safely to earth.

When, if ever, has any government agency built anything for their estimated costs?  It is normally at least double or triple their cost estimates.  We also know that much of these cost overruns are due to corruption, theft, and sweetheart contracts with kickbacks.

Would anyone see anything wrong with putting this project out to bid to private contractors for a firm price?  When the bid was awarded, the contractor would need to produce the product at the agreed upon price, or absorb the loss.

Knowing the actual cost would make it easy to determine if we could save any money by doing it ourselves rather than paying the Russians for transportation.

Unfortunately this will never happen.  Our elected representatives are not really interested in closing the door on graft and corruption.  Much of the gold that trickles down from these massive projects ends up in the pockets of lobbyists and crooked politicians or their friends and relatives.

Have any of our elected representatives ever left office with less gold than they brought with them?  Why would anyone in their right mind spend millions of their own money to get elected to office if they didn’t see the possibility of increasing their wealth while in office?

Do we really know if someone in our own government is not getting huge kickbacks from the Russians in trade for the high priced travel contracts?  Of course we don’t but is this impossible?  I don’t think so.  After all, our elected representatives are exempt from insider trading laws, and are now exempt from Obamacare.

The biggest change that needs to happen in our government is to get rid of the “Business as usual” attitudes.  And this will not happen until a few of them are caught, found guilty, fired, and put in prison.  Only then will they get the wake up call they need to start doing the right thing.


As always, your comments are welcome and appreciated.

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<![CDATA[Seattle's Office Of Civil Rights or How Far Will the PC Police Go?]]>Thu, 15 Aug 2013 19:11:26 GMThttp://carolspieceofmind.com/az-man/seattles-office-of-civil-rights-or-how-far-will-the-pc-police-goPicture
Today I learned that the Seattle city officials called for a ban on “Potentially Offensive Language” being used by their government workers.

The words banned by Seattle’s Office of Civil Rights are “Citizen” and “Brown Bag.”   Their employees are forbidden to use either of these words in any documents or even in idle conversation.  They suggest using “Resident” in place of citizen, and “Sack Lunch” or “Lunch-and-Learn” in place of Brown Bag.

The employees were told the word "citizen" should be avoided because many people who live in Seattle are residents, not citizens.

"They are legal residents of the United States and they are residents of Seattle. They pay taxes and if we use a term like citizens in common use, then it doesn't include a lot of folks." 

The employees were also told the term "brown bag" has been used historically as a way to judge skin color. 

"For a lot of particularly African-American community members, the phrase brown bag does bring up associations with the past when a brown bag was actually used to determine if people's skin color was light enough to allow admission to an event or to come into a party that was being held in a private home."  Oddly enough, I have been on this planet for over ¾ of a century and this is the first time I have ever heard of this.  Perhaps I led a sheltered life, but at least I learned one new thing today.

This would indicate to me a department of government that either has way too many employees, or has completely run out of things to do.  It would appear that some employee of the Seattle Office of Civil Rights was instructed to “do something today,” so he did.

Seattle, however, isn't the only city with an eye on potentially disruptive words. The New York Post reported in March 2012 that the city’s Department of Education avoids references to words like “dinosaurs,” “birthdays,” “Halloween” and dozens of other topics on city-issued tests because they could evoke “unpleasant emotions” among the students.

For example, Dinosaurs conjures the topic of evolution, which could rile fundamentalists and birthdays are not celebrated by Jehovah’s Witnesses. Halloween, meanwhile, suggests an affiliation to Paganism.

Officials said such exclusions are normal procedure, insisting it’s not censorship.  I wonder how President Obama’s paid liar, Jay Carney, would have handled this situation.

With all that being said, and their assurance this word-ban should not be viewed as censorship, we can all relax and look at the bright side of this issue.  If this word-ban were to continue, our dictionaries will get smaller and lighter and easier to carry.  Children in spelling bees will have fewer words to worry about being able to spell correctly. Our Presidents will have a much easier time reading speeches off their Teleprompters, and immigrants to this country will have a much easier time learning the language because there will be fewer words to learn.

Almost every child will have the same basic vocabulary, and none will feel inferior for not knowing or understanding words used by their peers.

Most of us are fully aware that “Every action has an opposite and equal reaction.”  Because the censorship aspect could be viewed as a negative, then everything else about these new rules should be a positive.  I can see so much good coming from these new rules I can almost forgive the utter stupidity that was involved in making these rulings.

If by chance you ever find yourself bored with nothing to do, just thumb through a dictionary and scratch out the words that you have never used, and probably never will use.  Why in the heck should there be three or four words that all mean the same thing?  We really do need to trim down the size of our dictionary.

The more words we eliminate, the lower the probability of offending someone.  We can all use just the words that have passed the PC Police test and are on the approved word list. This would virtually eliminate the need for the PC Police to monitor everything we are saying and writing.

We may occasionally find ourselves struggling to convey our exact meaning to someone using just the approved words, but a new language will evolve and life will be simpler.

This language thing most likely begins with some poor caveman who was getting dirty looks from his mate about all the bones littering the cave floor.  In frustration his vocal cords contracted and a sound came out of his mouth that sounded very much like “Yes dear,” and that is how this whole language thing started.

From that simple beginning, the need for the PC Police was created and became what it is today.  We all need to concentrate on making their jobs easier and just use as few words as possible in our daily communications.

Thanks for reading and comments are welcome.


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<![CDATA[Another Blow To Our Economy, Thanks Obama]]>Thu, 08 Aug 2013 19:27:33 GMThttp://carolspieceofmind.com/az-man/another-blow-to-our-economy-thanks-obamaPicture
Those of us who choose to watch things other than “Honey Boo-Boo” on TV have heard of the controversy over the Keystone Pipeline Project.  Most of us are also aware that Obama has done every thing he can to stop construction of this pipeline that would deliver Canadian crude oil to the Texas gulf area.  It is thought that his motive behind blocking this project is to appease the “tree huggers” crowd who are mostly hard-core liberals and vote only for liberal candidates.

This project would also provided many high paying jobs for the construction phase, and result in many jobs for skilled persons who operate and maintain these pipelines.  In a speech yesterday, Obama was joking about this pipeline project creating perhaps 50 jobs.  I guess he has never been around any pipeline construction, but I can assure you it would take more than 50 people to build this pipeline.  If the full pipeline got the green light, it would create 13,000 construction jobs and 7,000 jobs making equipment such as pump houses and the pipe itself, according to the company.

Link to Keystone Pipeline facts.

On Thursday, Canada announced they are tired of waiting for a decision regarding the Keystone Pipeline, and are moving ahead with plans to construct the $12 Billion Energy East Pipeline project.  This new pipeline is expected to send 1.1 million barrels per day of oil from Alberta to Saint John, New Brunswick.  There is a deep-water port project slated for construction in Saint John to facilitate large oil tankers to export this oil to other countries around the world.  This is oil that could have ended up at US refineries in Texas if the Keystone Pipeline project was completed.

While this administration is doing everything possible to keep oil drilling at a minimum in our country, Canada is expanding their oil production efforts every day.  Canada’s oil production increased from 2.7 million barrels per day in 2000 to 3.7 million barrels per day in 2013.  They expect this upward trend to continue until at least 2030.

By the time the Energy East Pipeline becomes operational, Canada could be the world’s fourth-largest oil producer, behind Saudi Arabia, Russia, and the United States.  Canada could become a global player in oil exports, which would have implications on the rest of North America.

By virtue of geography, Canada’s oil and natural gas exports have been tied to the US energy sector.  This new pipeline is the first step in connecting Canada’s energy to the rest of the world.  Canada is also exploring a pipeline that would take oil to the Pacific Coast for export.

The likely possibility of large-scale exports of Canadian oil outside North America in not in our best interest.  The US has good reasons for wanting Canadian Oil to stay on the continent.  It is more likely that a dollar spent on oil produced in Canada will be reintroduced back into the U.S. economy than a dollar spent on Venezuelan Crude Oil.  Canada’s landlocked oil has been trading at levels far lower than oil of similar quality being traded internationally, and companies like TransCanada are searching for higher profits in foreign markets.

Most of Canada’s current exports to the United States go to the Midwest.  As Canada’s production increases, it will surpass the demand for oil in that region.

If the Keystone Pipeline were completed and Canadian oil was sent to our own refineries in Texas, Canadian crude could replace oil imports from countries such as Venezuela, Ecuador, and other OPEC producers.

SUMMARY  

We hear so often that we are striving for energy independence, yet we ignore and block solutions to that problem that would help us become energy independent.  To my knowledge, the only drilling permits that have been issued by this administration have been on private lands.  Were promises made to oil exporters in other countries that are being kept?  I have no idea but would not doubt it.

I just find it very strange that with a partial solution to our energy demands at hand, that this administration would so firmly plant their feet and block the pipeline.  If they have valid reasons for doing so other than the pipeline crossing ground where the three-legged, cross-eyed beetle makes their home I would love to hear them.

I would think that a project like this that would provide both jobs and oil would be a blessing to this administration.  I wonder why our elected representatives aren’t asking these questions?  I actually thought we paid them to keep an eye on things like this and fight for what is best for America.

I guess I’ll never get too old to be wrong when it comes to understanding our government.

Your comments are welcomed and appreciated.


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<![CDATA[Phony Scandals]]>Fri, 02 Aug 2013 13:28:41 GMThttp://carolspieceofmind.com/az-man/phony-scandals
Picture
Another
Phony Scandals Video


In his latest boring one hour and six minute speech, our President made reference to the “Phony Scandals” the GOP keeps harping on.  Obama claims this type activity prevents him from getting things accomplished in regard to jobs and the economy.  In his entire speech, he didn’t mention anything about what he intended to do about jobs and the economy. He just played the “blame game” one more time.

Just hearing these words come out of his mouth made me very angry, and I hope it also made you angry.  I would guess these words were put on his teleprompter by one of his speechwriters, and I would hope he is forced to eat these words.  It is my guess that blaming Bush has finally worn out its welcome, and he was desperate for something new on which blame his failures.

I sincerely hope we have at least a few of our elected representative with enough courage to stand up to his claim of Phony Scandals.

Although he was not specific, let’s take a moment to quickly review just a few of these “Phony Scandals” he is most likely referring to.

FAST & FURIOUS  

Fast & Furious Details

 

This gun running operation led by the ATF sent guns purchased in the US by straw buyers to Mexico.  Some or all of these guns ended up in the hands of the Drug Cartels, and resulted in the death of an Arizona Border Patrol agent, and many innocent civilians on both sides of the border.

The first know history on this botched operation was early in September 2009.  To this day, the individuals involved in this operation have not been identified, and most likely never will.

BENGHAZI

Video on Phony Scandals


 

I realize there are still many of our citizens who know absolutely nothing about what took place in Benghazi resulting in the deaths of 4 brave Americans.  Even with this information at your fingertips on the Internet and the on the news, we still have many who have never even heard the word “Benghazi.”

I seriously doubt if we will ever learn the truth about Benghazi.  This is one of the better coverup’s this administration has handed us.

IRS  

We learned that the IRS was selectively screening applications for (501C3) status if they even suspected it was for any group on the conservative’s side.   It is interesting how a short time ago, Obama acted outraged about the IRS targeting these organizations.  He promised to stay of top of this situation and deal with the individuals involved. 

But now, this is nothing but a “Phony Scandal” that keeps him from doing his job as President.

Lois Lerner took the stand at Congressional hearings, and after declaring she was innocent she then declared her 5th amendment rights and refused to answer any questions.  She is now on paid leave for an indefinite period of time.  It is now rumored that she is willing to give some details regarding who issued the orders for this selective processing in trade for complete immunity.  Why would anyone not guilty of any misdoing ask for immunity?

NSA

NSA's information gathering program.

This is a situation where we learned the NSA has been recording all of our phone calls for some time now.  Some believe they only record the number we dial, or the numbers of those who call us.  Others believe they record the entire conversation.  They also monitor Internet traffic and keep track of the websites we visit.

Supposedly this information has allowed them to stop some terrorist threats here in the USA, but others deny the validity of this information.  And now we have a mix of people who are perfectly OK with this invasion of privacy, as long as it stops terrorists from harming our citizens.

The cell phones we carry with us now track us everywhere we go.  We are recorded on video while driving down the street and while shopping in stores. We possibly have drones spying on us while we work in our gardens.  On top of that our phone calls are being monitored and recorded along with our Internet activity.

Does anyone else see a possible invasion of privacy in any of the things I just mentioned?

SUMMARY We have a President who in my opinion is in way over his head.  He is very weak in math and has problems telling the truth.  To my knowledge, he has never assumed the blame for any of his failed policies.  He is quick to play the blame game, but finally had to quit blaming Bush for all of his failures.

After losing the ability to blame Bush, he was desperate for someone else to blame.  He latched onto “Phony Scandals” as his new lifeline.  His hired liar, Jay Carney, goes right along with the lies he is fed by those who tell him what to say.

Our President doesn’t understand that he is responsible for all the things that happen on his watch.  If those who work for him fail to keep him informed, they should be fired and replaced.  He has put some very incompetent people in highly responsible positions, and they have failed miserably.

To blame the corruption and poor performance on “Phony Scandals” is an insult to all citizens of this country.

I am not a conspiracy nut, but we still don’t know who our President really is.  We did a terrible job researching this president prior to his being elected the first time.  The mainstream media fell in love with him at the first speech he made, and nothing would have changed their mind about this man. Many females fell in love with him at the urging of Oprah Winfrey who featured him on one of her shows. We know nothing of his true agenda, and what he hopes to accomplish/destroy during the remainder of his second term.  His Obamacare plan may turn out to be the final nail in the coffin as far as our economy goes.  We can only hope that we survive the next three years and someone who can straighten out this mess he has put us in replaces him.  I could care less what party our next President comes from, as long as he or she can do the job.

Your comments are welcomed and appreciated…..


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<![CDATA[Concealed Carry States--Welcome Illinois]]>Thu, 25 Jul 2013 16:50:48 GMThttp://carolspieceofmind.com/az-man/concealed-carry-states-welcome-illinoisPicture
I read with interest where Illinois will be the 49th State to allow private citizens to apply for Concealed Carry Permits, and to carry weapons on the street.  This decision was met with a great deal of resistance, but is now lying on Gov. Pat Quinn’s desk for his signature.

The bill sitting on Quinn's desk is a hard-fought compromise between conservative downstate lawmakers who opposed most gun restrictions and anti-gun lawmakers from Chicago and other urban areas. The legislation requires state police to issue a concealed-carry permit to any gun owner with a state-issued Firearm Owners Identification card, and who passes a background check, pays a $150 fee and undergoes 16 hours of training.

Chicago is fairly famous for their high crime and murder rate.  During a recent weekend, a gang war in Chicago resulted in 48 participants being shot, with 7 of them being killed.  Until this new law takes place, only police, gang members, and other criminals have been free to carry weapons.  Remember, criminals don’t care about any of our laws.

Quinn, a Chicago Democrat, has been quiet on his intentions with the legislation, his office saying he's "reviewing the bill carefully." But what he decides may be moot, given that the Legislature passed it by wide enough margins to override any veto.

It's not as stringent as concealed carry laws in California, New York and a handful of others states, which give law enforcement authorities more power to deny permits. But it's more restrictive than earlier proposals by gun rights advocates, including one that would have superseded all local gun restrictions. For example, it won't wipe out Chicago and Cook County's ban on assault weapons.

For me, it will be extremely interesting to watch the crime statistics for Chicago after this law goes into effect.  I can’t help but believe that a bad guy just might be a little more careful in selecting his victims if there is a possibility they might be armed.

I happen to have a Concealed Carry Permit in the State of Arizona, and I do carry on occasion.  I also belong to a local gun club and practice defensive pistol tactics at least once or twice a month.    You will notice I used the word defensive?  Concealed Carry Permit holders are not vigilantes.  Using a deadly weapon is the last possible resort, and only if you fear for your life, or the lives of those you love, and then only if there is no other possible way to escape the situation.  It is not legal to use deadly force to defend property such as your car, your watch, your wallet, or even your home, unless your life is being threatened.

To obtain my Concealed Carry Permit, I had to pay for the permit, submit a finger print card, agree to a background investigation, attend a mandatory 8 hours of classroom instruction, and demonstrate weapon proficiency at a gun range.  They don’t hand these permits out like candy.

In the classroom portion of the training, the main emphasis is on when not to use the weapon you may now legally carry concealed.  The students are warned that if they ever do shoot a bad guy, they will probably be sued in Civil Court, even if Law Enforcement rules it a justified shooting.  Even if they kill the bad guy to save their own life, they should expect to be sued for millions of dollars by his surviving family members.  The minimum legal expense they should expect is approximately $50,000 to defend themselves in court.  There are lawyers who stand in line to handle this type of trial.  That person, who kicked down your door and was trying to take your head off with a machete, was just a poor misguided youth who should not have been shot by you.  This civil liability threat alone keeps most every CCW Permit holder I know from running around waving his or her gun in the air like a drunken cowboy in the old Western movies.

The most confusing part of Concealed Carry Laws regards knowing which other States recognize the Arizona issued permit as valid in their State.  There are published lists on the Internet that cover reciprocity between States.  When traveling by car, it is easy to be perfectly legal carrying your weapon until you cross a state line into the next state.  It is then possible that you are instantly a criminal carrying a concealed weapon illegally in that state.  Don’t ever think about crossing the line into the States of California or New York with your weapon concealed, or you could regret that mistake for a long time to come.  It would be great if all of the States had exactly the same laws making the Concealed Carry Permit valid in all States.


If you have ever had the dubious pleasure of stopping at a highway rest area in the wee small hours of the morning, you may have encountered some really creepy looking individuals hanging around the entrance to the rest rooms.  I always, repeat always, have my concealed carry weapon resting comfortably in its holster under my shirt or jacket when making this necessary pit stop.  I instruct my wife that in the rare event that she finishes first, to wait until she sees me near the door to the ladies room before heading back to the car.  Some of these rest areas have even turned off much of the outside lighting to save money on their utility bills. Also due to budget cutbacks, few of these rest areas now employ private security guards for the nighttime hours.

Let Law Enforcement handle the problems:

 

It would be great if we could always count on law enforcement to respond within minutes to take care of life threatening situations for us.  I live in a very rural area of Arizona.  Average response time for Law Enforcement to my area is 30 minutes to one hour, if they have anyone available to send at that time.  I can’t even imagine what it would be like sitting there defenseless for an hour waiting for the cops while some crazy maniac is trying to kick in the front door to my house.  And to be perfectly honest with you, I will never experience this type situation because I have the necessary tools and knowledge to deal with a threat such as this.


A video that covers this subject very well:


My home is only 65 miles from the border with Mexico, and on a direct route for smuggling drugs and illegals (undocumented persons to be PC) into the US.  Those smuggling the drugs and illegals into our country are not nice people.  Many of them are members of Drug Cartels, and would just as soon kill you as look at you.

“What’s that you ask?  You thought that Homeland Security had sealed this border tight a long time ago?”  Nothing could be further from the truth.  The border fence you were told is 100% completed is entirely missing in many locations, and nothing but 3 strands of barbed wire in other places.  I’m not certain if they purposely lied to us, or were just badly misinformed.

Do Concealed Carry States have a lower crime rate?

I honestly don’t know.  The only real way to test this now would be to make concealed carry illegal and wait to see if the crime rates go up.  I personally think that would be a very bad plan.

I found a quote online that said, “The nation’s murder rate is near a 40 year low and the number of privately owned guns in the U.S. is at an all-time high and rising by about 4.5 million annually. Right-to-Carry states had lower violent crime rates on the average than the rest of the country. Total violent crime in Right-to-Carry States was 24% lower; murder 28% lower; robbery 50% lower and aggravated assault 11% lower. The cities with the highest murder rates were cities with severe gun control.”

The quotation cited the FBI Crime Report, 2007 as its source.

There are many other factors that play into crime statistics that make these numbers fluctuate. Just population growth or population reduction in any area can change the crime statistic numbers.  Keep in mind; it is people who commit crimes, not guns.  The more people there are, the higher the crime rate.

You can do a Google search and find websites announcing that crime actually went up in those states that approved Concealed Carry Permits for their citizens who could meet all of the qualification requirements.  The greatest thing about Google searches is that if we look long enough, we can find something that will support what we are trying to prove, no matter how incorrect that may be.

I’m not here to convince you that a citizen being approved to carry concealed weapons is a good thing, or a bad thing.  That’s not my job or my place to do so.  Only you can make this decision.  At least all permit holders have been fingerprinted, had a background check, and proved they can handle their weapon of choice.  I made my choice and went for the permit and the training.

There are those who were born or raised with the anti-gun philosophy, and that is OK.  If they don’t like guns and have not been properly trained to use a gun, it is probably better they don’t have a gun, and I pray they never need one.

It was not that many years ago in the Old West when almost every adult male carried a gun.  Then Law Enforcement slowly took over and encouraged everyone to put their guns away with the promise they would take care of protecting the citizens.  Over the years, our laws have tied the hands of Law Enforcement to the point that there is not much they can do until a crime has actually been committed.  Even if someone directly threatens you, there is little Law Enforcement can do until that person actually commits a crime.  In many ways, we have now made it necessary for we citizens to once again be able to protect ourselves.

The beautiful thing about living in the United States is that owning and/or carrying a gun is a personal choice we are still allowed to make.  Let’s hope it stays that way.

Thanks for taking the time to read this article.  Comments are always welcome and appreciated.

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<![CDATA[Jay Carney Professional Liar]]>Sun, 21 Jul 2013 19:55:37 GMThttp://carolspieceofmind.com/az-man/jay-carney-professional-liarPicture
I often watch Jay Carney giving his Press Corps briefing, and admire how smoothly he is able to tell obvious lies with a straight face.

Just yesterday, he was explaining to the Press Corps how the amnesty bill will be good for the economy and actually “Raise Wages” in the United States.  Even the usually reserved and respectful members of the Press Corps could not contain their laughter at this comment from the Presidents Paid Liar.


I don’t hate or dislike Jay Carney, I pity him.  I can’t even imagine having to get out of bed every morning, report to my office to receive the list of lies I am supposed to tell today, and stand before the Press Corp to deliver those lies convincingly with a straight face and a smile.  For the first few years, the Press Corp was very forgiving of being lied to, but it seems they too are getting fed up with these outright lies, or distortions of the truth.  Jay’s straight faced lying greatly reminds me of when my children were young and they would lie like troopers even when caught with their hand in the cookie jar.

Who is Jay Carney?

James “Jay” Carney was born May 22, 1965, and is President Obama’s second White House Press Secretary.  Prior to becoming Press Secretary to replace Robert Gibbs, Jay was director of communications to Vice President Biden.  From September 2005 to December 2008, Jay held the post of Washington Bureau Chief for Time magazine.

Since becoming the White House Press Secretary, Carney has, as of June 21, 2013, declined almost ten thousand questions: of these, he did not have an answer for the asking journalist almost two thousand times.

Top 9,486 ways Jay avoids answering questions....

I truly can’t think of any job I would rather not have.  I have had some really sorry jobs in my lifetime, but all of them were better than the job Jay Carney is required to do every day.  Of course this job will look great on his resume if he chooses to stay with politics.  A provable track record emphasizing his ability to either lie convincingly or totally avoid the question would serve him well in a politician’s role.  Any politician worth their salt can speak for two hours and never say a thing they could possibly be held accountable for.  They specialize in double-speak and are very good at that.

Why would anyone want the job Jay Carney now holds?  Is it for money?  I have no idea how much he is paid.  It could be for power, notoriety, recognition, fame, ego, or all of those things in combination.  I would bet he has closed a whole bunch of doors out in the private sector, unless of course they would happen to need a professional liar.  He has certainly lost all credibility in the eyes of many.  To some Jay is a joke and they believe absolutely nothing he has to say.

I sometimes wonder what Jay would have to say if he was allowed to speak his own mind.  Would he still tell the same lies and deny situations he knows for a fact are true out of party loyalty?  I also wonder who feeds him the information he delivers in his press briefings.  Does he have a mini-teleprompter or wear a wireless earpiece where someone listening behind the scenes can shoot him an answer?

It is refreshing to see members of the Press Corp asking more difficult questions and insisting on a decent answer.  I wonder if the President or Vice President ever watches the briefings to get a feel for what the press and we citizens are interested in or are concerned about.

Like I said earlier, I don’t know Jay Carney.  Heck, he might be a fun guy to talk with over a couple ice cold beers.  One thing I do know for sure, Jay never needs to worry about me trying to steal his job from him.

Would any of you be interested in having Jay’s job?

As always, thanks for reading and your comments are appreciated.

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<![CDATA[The Obamacare Temporary Reprieve]]>Wed, 17 Jul 2013 13:24:46 GMThttp://carolspieceofmind.com/az-man/the-obamacare-temporary-reprievePicture
Most of us are aware of what has been going on with the economy due to the new rules for employers with over 50 employees.

The ruling was that all employers with over 50 employees would either provide healthcare insurance or pay a $2,000 fine per employee if they don’t.  That was to become effective in 2014 but has now been delayed until 2015.

The negative side of this ruling should be obvious to most of us.  Employers with less than 50 employees cancelled any expansion plans they may have had which would have required hiring more people.  Many businesses with over 50 employees cut all of their employees to 30 or fewer hours per week letting them off the hook for either the fines or providing the insurance.  This worked fine for the business owners, but was devastating for the employees.  Most of these now part-time employees are forced to find yet another part-time minimum wage job to keep their bills paid and food on the table.

Take a moment and think about yourself being in the shoes of an employer with 50 employees.  He is faced with providing each and every employee health insurance at a yet to be determined cost.  That is correct, he has received no information at all telling him what the actual cost of this insurance will be.  It is rather hard to budget and plan for the next year when there are large and unknown expenses looming in the shadows.  His other choice would be to not buy the insurance, but to pay the $2,000 per employee fine every year.  That choice would cost him $100,000 every year until the law is changed.  He is thinking that this new law just may force him out of business.

Then a genius Politician comes along with a solution that would save his business and his employees jobs.  If he were to make all of his employees “part-time,” then he is exempt from buying the insurance or paying the fines.

Now one might think that the decision to delay enforcing this requirement or collecting fines was done to help boost the struggling economy, but nothing could be further from the truth.

The one-year delay decision was entirely based on Politics, and the government agencies not being prepared.  Even some democrats and hard-core liberals own businesses and will be affected by this new law.  This administration didn’t want to anger these people by having them feel the pain of either paying the huge fines, or paying for expensive healthcare prior to the mid-term elections.  It was the very Politicians some of these business owners voted for that helped rush this bill through congress and put it into effect.  Few if any of the Politicians actually read the bill; they just voted in favor of the bill that is now law.

In essence, they said, “Sorry Mr. Business person, but we have passed a new law and I am now required to shoot you in the foot.”

“But Mr. Politician, if you shoot me in the foot I may not be able to keep my business running and I will have to lay off all my employees and close the doors.

“Sorry Mr. Business person, but the law is the law, and this will be good for the country.”

“OK Mr. Politician, I guess I have no choice but to cut every expense I can, and not hire anymore people.”

“Well Mr. Business person, you could make them all part time employees and then the law will not apply to you.”

“But Mr. Politician, they can’t live on part time wages, what will they do?”

“Mr. Business person, that is not my problem.  They will just have to get by on their own.  This will make them eligible for food stamps, and you know we are handing those out like candy.”

Time passed, and things that should already be in place prior to 2014 have not been accomplished.


Your comments are welcomed and appreciated.



Additional Reading, information and updates:

NOTICE TO BUSINESS OWNERS:  WEDNESDAY 7/3/2013

This administration has decided to delay shooting you in the foot until 2015 so you have more time before you need to come up with the money to purchase health care for your employees or pay the fines.

“But Mr. Politician, I still have to worry about the pain you will cause when you shoot me in the foot in 2015?”

“Yes Mr. Business person, but the elections are coming up and I need your vote.”  I was afraid that if I shoot you in the foot before the election you might be angry and vote for someone else.”

“But Mr. Politician, this one year extension is all about helping you, and really does nothing to help me, except buy me a little more time before you shoot me in the foot?”

“Remember Mr. Business person, this is good for the country and your personal pain is of no concern to those of us in Washington.”

NOTICE TO BUSINESS OWNERS:  FRIDAY 7/5/2013 An end of day announcement by the Department of Health and Human Services was published in the Federal Register.  No press agencies were notified, and most of the buildings were empty of Politicians due to the Holiday weekend.

They announced that now the Verification plans for taxpayer subsides was also being delayed until 2015.  They are willing to just take the word of those filing tax returns claiming these subsidies with absolutely no verification of income.  The Honor System at its finest.  It is estimated that 25% of those who file for “Earned Income Credits” are not eligible, but receive the refund checks from the IRS every year.  But what the heck, it is only money and they can always print more money if they need it.

They purposely do this sort of thing on Friday’s, and as late in the day as possible, so that little or no media attention is drawn to the matter over the weekend.  By Monday, hopefully some new crisis has occurred somewhere in the world, and the media will never even bring up this subject.

Again, there was a dual purpose behind this one-year delay of making anyone feel the pain of ObamaCare.  This administration wants the pain to not be felt until after the mid-term elections, and they didn’t have the necessary tools and people set up to do the verification work.  They will make it sound like they are doing us a favor, when in fact they didn’t get their work done on time and are not prepared.

So once again, Millions of our hard earned dollars will be paid out without any proof the person claiming the subsidy is actually entitled to the money.  I guess we should be used to that by now, but it still hurts.

I have to ask how anyone in their right mind could not see that saddling employers with unknown insurance costs or be forced to pay a fine just might have a negative impact on our economy is beyond me.  This healthcare bill was shoved through without even reading what was in it, and lots of vote buying among the “good ole boys” in government.  For example, promises were made to agree to vote on one guy’s new bridge in return for his Yea vote on ObamaCare.

Now even some of the ObamaCare bills staunchest supporters are running like rats and don’t want the pain that will come with this bill blamed on them; at least not until after the election that is.  They just need that next four-year term in office to finish lining their pockets with gold before they leave.  They know there will be a huge outrage when employers pay their first bills for ObamaCare coverage for their employees, or pay the large fines in lieu of providing insurance.

When I talk to people, or read comments on some of the blogs, there are still those who truly think ObamaCare is free medical care for everyone.  Nothing that could be said will ever change their minds on what they believe.  They also believe the greedy corporations and the wealthy just don’t want them to have this free care.  Again, nothing can be said that will make them change their minds.

The actual result of this one-year delay on implementing these rules will only be to stall the economy for a longer period of time.  Employers will not expand their businesses and hire more people.  Many full time employees will find themselves working part time. And the same Politicians who caused this mess will get re-elected because of this temporary delay.

It will be interesting to see how far away from this fiasco the rats will run.  Some will escape completely; others will at least have their fur singed by the fires that are sure to come with full implementation of ObamaCare.

CNN says no big deal...

I disagree with CNN.  If employers are not paying their fines, and people are still getting medical care, take a wild guess at who will be paying the bill.  If you guessed we taxpayers, you win the prize.

Fatburger's Solution

This company started splitting employees between two different franchise owners.  They work at one store for 25 hours, and then work at the other store for 25 hours.  They work 50 hours per week and the employers are exempt from providing healthcare insurance or paying the fines.

UPDATE:

Since these two announcements were made, it is now being questioned if the President has the power to change what was voted on by Congress and written into law.  It appears to be an attempt to “Cherry Pick” this failing program.  The facts are that some employees dropped their medical coverage to save money, fully expecting to be provided insurance by their employer in 2014.  This sudden change means they will not have any medical coverage until 2015.

The promised insurance exchanges are not in place and functioning as they should be by this time, many employees have been reduced to part-time status, the means to verify applicants requesting taxpayer subsides has not been established, and employers are still not hiring.

Does the Health Care industry need an overhaul?  Of course it does.  With more planning and preparation, ObamaCare could have been a step in the right direction.  However, this plan was rushed through, voted on without reading the bill, and has turned out to be a nightmare rather than a dream.

All of this was because someone wanted to go down in history as fixing our badly broken healthcare system.  I can only hope that history will truthfully report what a total disaster this has become.


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