Friday, August 29, 2008


Back on August 26th I posted an essay titled “There is Trouble in River City,” which I hope you have had an opportunity to read. In that work I suggested that we contact our Representatives in Washington and I did that today by seven personal letters.

Today I wrote individual letters to Senators Lugar and Bayh and Representatives Viscosky, Donnelly, Souder, Buyer and Upton. Attached to my letter was a copy of the blog “There is Trouble in River City”.

Yesterday the Democratic Party formally nominated Barack Obama, but will the Clinton supporters fall into place? Today we were all surprised by John McCain’s announcement of his Vice-Presidential selection, and will that choice deliver the desired female voters and appease the Evangelicals of the party? The next 67 days will be interesting to say the least. The results of this Presidential election will impact all of us, and our families for many years to come. Most Presidential elections do.

We are all very busy, but there is time to act, and your direct efforts can make a huge difference in getting Washington off their backsides to accomplish something of significance. For instance, why is Washington waiting to address the energy crisis until after the election, when we need action sooner rather than later? Pick your favorite issue and make your opinion known to your elected officials and/or those you support in the November race. Without your voice, your opinion is silenced.


Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Amazingly, despite all the difficulties facing Americans today, the USA is still the best place in the entire world to be born. To be a citizen of this country is a prize that thousands of people desire, and they fight to get into the USA legally or illegally daily. We who are native born or naturalized legal citizens are truly blessed.

With that in mind, we are currently confronted with multiple forces and converging incidents that are threatening the future security and very existence of our way of life. While we were all glued to our television sets watching the Beijing Olympics, the USA was sent a strong message by the government of the Peoples Republic of China with their staggering opening night pageant.

I believe the Beijing Olympics were the best Games I have ever witnessed personally or via television. In addition to presenting formidable teams in all events, China showed the world that they are no longer just a huge backward country, but a force that has pulled all their people together and delivered a first-class product that is the envy of the world. China announced to the world that they have qualified, educated people, the financial wherewithal, a massive population, a huge army, an exploding economy, and an all powerful government that rules with an iron-hand. In putting on the 2008 Olympics, China not so subtly said, “Don’t take us for granted or ignore our concerns, needs, and interests. We have come a long way from the days of The Long March at the end of World War II.”

Right at the start of the Olympic Games Russia invaded independent Georgia, which resulted in hundreds of deaths and disrupted the lives of thousands. The timing of this incident was clearly a carefully planned incursion that took advantage of many world leaders being at the opening of the Games. Massing a huge invasion force took weeks of planning, so this was in the works for sometime. Where was the American intelligence apparatus to alert the world to Russia’s pre-planned attack?

Our President is in the closing months of his term and our government is occupied with the coming election, not to mention the huge energy/economic crisis that negatively impacts our daily lives. The United States is involved in two Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and has taken a position opposed by the Russians with the expansion of NATO to countries adjacent to Russia that were once portions of the USSR.

The Chinese have serious internal issues feeding their huge population and maintaining their economic engine. Unrest exists with Chinese western providences like Tibet. They desperately need Russian oil to feed their economy, so they will not step forward to hinder Russia’s efforts to control the pipelines across Georgia.

Russia is desperate to feed their huge population and their economy is hinged on maintaining a high per barrel price for their vast oil reserves. Without control of oil reserves and the continuation of substantial oil revenue Russia will have big financial trouble.

The United Nations cannot be counted upon to do anything of substance in Georgia, because Russia has a veto within the Security Council. All the oil producing countries realize that with the growing demands for oil across the world they have a product that will only last just so long. With technical developments on alternative energy sources, the end is in sight for the countries that count on oil revenue to prop-up their governments and feed their people. The Arab countries have a very bleak long-term future, because there is no other economic resource to sustain them when the oil runs dry.

While the USA cannot, and should not depend upon oil as a viable energy source forever, we must increase our homegrown supply until we develop alternatives. Our government currently is playing politics with a real energy solution, but I believe the Democrats can read the tea leaves and will vote to drill and plot a course for energy independence. Any student of Economics #101 knows that increased supply will result in decreased prices. A vote to drill will send a strong message around the world that we mean business, but it is up to the American voter to demand action in Washington and to do it now.

The USA cannot continue to send hundreds of millions of dollars to foreign oil producing countries without causing permanent damage to our economic future. I believe it makes good financial sense to pay ourselves, at least, a huge portion of our energy dollars and pump our economy and not further damage our balance of payments. Why do we continue to funnel petro-dollars into Arab countries, Russia, China and Venezuela who are trying to destroy our society and financial structures?

The price of a barrel of oil has dropped substantially in recent weeks, because the American public cannot and will not pay $4.00 or $5.00 per gallon. Our sharp reduction in driving has proved the economic model that less usage of a product reduces the price.

There has never been a time that requires thoroughly researched prompt action on the part of the USA than there is now. We must show Russia, China and the entire world that we can and will solve our energy problems and we will not permit our future economic security be bullied by any foreign governments. It is embarrassing for the USA to see that Brazil has gained energy independence by utilizing sugar to create bio-fuel and thus no longer rely on foreign oil.

The political bickering in Washington is playing into the hands of our enemies and causing daily financial hardship to all Americans. The environmental lobbyists influence our Congress and are road blocking progress in securing vast oil deposits in ANWR, and their actions are self-serving and anti-American. The caribou herds in Alaska have in fact thrived since the pipe-line was built years ago.

Any student of history will remember that we were clearly warned of the threats confronting the USA by the Russian bear and the Yellow Peril of China by Winston Churchill, George S. Patton and my old Commanding Officer, General Douglas Macarthur. Our leaders and our citizens were so happy to have won WWII that we did not heed that well-founded advice and we are now paying a huge sum for our complacency.

Your Commander cannot believe the arrogance being demonstrated by the Democrats’ leaders Senator Harry Reid and Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi continuing to play the obstructionist card. The Republican leaders are not blame free either. Both parties are ignoring the will of their constituents when they fail to address a bi-partisan energy bill. What is going on along the shores of the Potomac River?

If we look at our history, we can learn how to address the events confronting our world. We can solve our needs and interests, just as we did when we resolved to go to the Moon. We need another Teddy Roosevelt to walk softly, but carry a big stick, and we require Harry Truman’s straight talk. President Ronald Regan brought down the Berlin Wall / USSR, but we must stop the present political posturing, and obstructionist tactics before it is too late. There is trouble in River City, but we can, and must turn it around into another great American achievement.


Monday, August 25, 2008


As I begin this posting, the 2008 edition of the Summer Olympics opened last evening with one of the most spectacular presentations in Olympic history. The Chinese Olympic Organizing Committee created a truly outstanding opening event. While it may have cost in excess of $40 billion dollars, the gigantic creative scale and precise spectacular proved to the world-wide television audience that China has arrived and is able to deliver something special.

While I have only seen the Opening ceremony, I intend to hold off the completion of this piece until the Closing pageantry takes place some sixteen days from now. I will give you my early impressions and then recap a larger, more accurate personal appraisal of the events.

My wife and I have been truly fortunate to attend two different Olympic gatherings, first in Barcelona 1992 and then in Atlanta 1996. In both cases we were blessed to be the guests of NBC in Barcelona and King World Syndication in Atlanta due to our respective positions in the Television business. Both were wonderful, exciting venues that provided life lasting memories. But, the opening night in Beijing blew me away with its discipline, creativity, precision, scale, theme and pageantry – totally capturing the spirit of the Olympic movement.

My early reaction is that China accomplished in one day many goals (planned or unplanned). I also came away with an uneasy feeling that China said to the world…So there…See we can do it… We pulled it off…We have the might…We have the money…We have the power…We have the discipline to do what we set out to do…We have the creative talent for pageantry…Don’t take us for granted…We have the determination…and finally, Don’t screw with us. It will be interesting to see if my reflections change after the closing ceremony.

Let us pray that the Games continue free of terrorist intervention and that the tragic early event (killing of an American Tourist) was a random act of violence which could occur within any country. The smiles on the faces of the participants during the Parade of Nations proved the efficacy of the Olympic movement. National pride is appropriate, but the introduction of political influence detracts from the spirit of the Olympic Games. Personally, I believe if the Olympic athletes ran their countries’ governments we would have less tension, hostility, and a better chance for lasting peace.

Well it is now seventeen days later and the Olympic flame has been extinguished in Beijing. To say that the 2008 Olympics were a success would be a huge understatement, they were unique and spectacularly sent a strong message across the world. The closing ceremony was not as special as the opening, but the Chinese proved to the world-wide audience that they know how to put on a memorable pageant.

Your Commander is physically exhausted having set a personal best record for total hours viewing sporting events and participation in different categories. My Lazy-boy chair has been totally tested and I am sleep deprived having frequently stayed up until the wee hours nightly. Was it worth it? Absolutely.

NBC delivered a superior television product and utilized its unique collection of digital and cable channels effectively. Their talent gave great performances across the board, and I especially applaud the work of Bob Costas, Chris Collingsworth, Jim Lampley and Mary Carrillo. Mary’s insightful background stories gave the viewer a better glimpse of the inside of China and its people. The video High-Definition pictures were spectacular and revealed a China most viewers have never seen.

Special kudos go to my old friend, Dick Ebersol, Chairman, NBC Universal Sports & Olympics. Dick’s experience and creative eye continue to make the Olympic coverage something memorable, exceptionable and profitable for the network and cable entities of this division of General Electric.

NBC should be congratulated for addressing the concerns of the American viewer when it comes to freedom of expression, repression, freedom of the press and other issues we see within China. I thought they handled many sensitive matters well when you consider that China could have taken a much firmer hand toward their coverage. Remember we and NBC were guests of China.

Very special thanks should go to the American Olympians who found a subtle way to send a political message. The U.S. Olympic team captains voted to have Lopez Lomong, one of “The Lost Boys of Sudan” and now a naturalized citizen of the USA, carry the American flag into the stadium for the Opening Ceremony. A similar move occurred at the Closing Ceremony, when fellow U.S. team mate, Khatuna Lorig (born in Tblisi, the capital of Georgia, and also a naturalized citizen) was given the honor of being the flag bearer.

NBC’s long history of presenting the Olympics both winter and summer have again shown the real ability of the television medium to educate, entertain and influence. We have witnessed again just how important television can be to the betterment of mankind (not to mention future tourism to China).

Already, I feel sorry for whoever is responsible for the opening ceremony at the 2012 Olympics in London. How can anyone ever match what we experienced in Beijing? If it were up to me, I wouldn’t know where to start, but would probably rely on something that would remind of the British long-standing special ability for royal-style pageantry.

I have come away from the 2008 Beijing Olympics with a renewed sense of awe in the youth of the world. Every athlete gave their all. Some succeeded and some failed, but good sportsmanship prevailed, with very few exceptions. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the appropriate governing sports federations are to be complimented for taking quick action to address the few violations of doping, and gross unsportsmanlike conduct, such as the Cuban Taekwondo participant who kicked the referee when he learned he had been disqualified from the bronze medal match. His proposed banishment for life from the Olympics and the sport was just and swift.

Special note should be drawn to the many athletes who participated from lesser known countries. They do not have the training venues or financial support that larger, richer nations provide for their athletes. They truly define the Olympic ideal.

While the USA team performed their expected spectacular job, they must be looking over their shoulders, because China proved to the world that they are coming into prominence with a well oiled sports initiative. The USA has a fight on their hands to maintain their position in the world not only economically, but within the sphere of sports.

Your Commander still wonders when he saw Olympic competitors embrace on the podium or field of play from Georgia and Russia, from North Korea and the USA, from Iran and Iraq if the world would not be better off letting our athletes handle our countries’ relationships. Our politicians cannot seem to gather harmoniously, but our world’s athletes seem to find a way when they keep trying for that Gold Medal and are still happy when they achieve a Silver or Bronze Medal, while in many cases just for the opportunity to participate.

The youth of the world keep returning every four years for their summer and winter sports to try and try again. I see an important message for everyone to consider seriously, especially the world’s leaders.


Friday, August 22, 2008


For over forty years your Commander worked in private business and was required to come to work every day in order to receive his paycheck, and earn vacation time. If you work for our government as a Senator or Congressman you don’t have to work everyday and you still receive $169,300.00 per year in pay, plus excessive vacation periods, i.e., 5 weeks beginning in August.

Actually, this is just the beginning of the deals our elected officials have voted themselves, because that does not include the perks, support staff, and special privileges that come with their lofty office.

I am certain you will be interested in looking up the The Capitol Net website, which provides details on retirement benefits, expense allowances, free franking (mailing privileges), foreign travel, outside employment limits, domestic travel to and from their Districts, foreign travel parameters, paid telephone/telegraph service, and personal staff allowances.

If that is not enough, there are special perks that provide access to taxpayer supported dining rooms, gyms, swimming pools, barber shops, private elevators, and office supply facilities. Members can use government military aircraft at no expense. Not noted, but known to be a huge benefit is medical coverage for the members and families that cover care by any Dr. or hospital in the country.

Of interest too, are details on The Capital Net covering salaries for Federal Officials in the Legislative Branch, the Judicial, and the Executive Branch.

The current Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, has access to the military equivalent of a Boeing #757 for her frequent round-trip flights home to San Francisco. Due to security reasons since 9/11, the Speaker is allowed that privilege. The Speaker is the second in the line of succession for the presidency. Her predecessor, Dennis Hastert of Illinois, used a considerably smaller aircraft for his trips home. It was deemed that she could bring up to 10 staffers with her, and that any other passengers would have to pay the government for their transportation to/from San Francisco. Talk about wasting precious jet fuel and polluting the skies! And, she continues to prohibit a vote on drilling for oil or addressing our energy needs. Apparently a small government jet does not befit the Speaker’s personal needs, but that is ok, because the taxpayers pay the bill.

Despite pronouncements by Pelosi promising five day work weeks, it is a fact that her Congress usually works Tuesday thru Thursday, providing members four full days per week to spend in either Washington or back in their Districts with taxpayer paid travel. Additionally, consider the number of vacation days taken by Congress and there are very few days left in the year in which “The Peoples Work” is being conducted, or accomplished. No wonder the 2007 Congress worked the fewest number of days since 1948, less than 139 days! (see

During our recent Primary Election Campaign consider the large number of Congressional and Senate members who were campaigning away from Washington for literally months and not attending to their sworn elected duties. Every one of those potential candidates continued to draw their $169,300.00 salary and perks and they were rarely in Washington when Congress was in session. It is hard to believe, but some of the candidates have been running their campaigns for over 18 months. Is that fair to the taxpayers and the constituents in their Districts? I feel that if you’re a member of Congress and you decide to run for the Presidency you should not collect your Congressional salary during the race. If you are not working in your elected job, why should the taxpayer’s continue to pay your salary?

Since the Democrats gained a majority in both Houses in 2006, Congress has failed to address the taxpayer’s concerns about the Housing Crisis, high gasoline prices, an energy policy package, skyrocketing medical expenses, a soft economy etc., etc., etc.

Your Commander is reminded of the long referred expression “Nero fiddled while Rome burned”.

With all the perks and paid travel, an incumbent has a huge advantage when it comes time for reelection. The deck is stacked against any opponent and that is why so many incumbents are reelected and reelected, despite the fact that they really work three days or less per week with additional excessive vacation time. Now, don’t tell me how hard they work when they return to their home districts, because we all know they are hustling campaign donations for their reelections or passing out earmark pork money to assuage their donors.

Why do we permit this farce to continue? We even permit our Congressional members to vote their own pay raises, which they seem to do frequently without any report card. Are the American voter’s and taxpayer’s nuts? Are we simply dumb, gullible, uninterested, and really nuts. Your Commander thinks we are all of the above.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Now we have the revelations of John Edwards’s appalling indiscretions while his wife battles a devastating return of cancer. Just how deep does the abuse of power within the Washington political elite extend? Hopefully, John Edwards’s political future is now toast, but I predict that this story has legs and will not fade quickly. There is more to be learned and now that the media admits to smelling smoke they may now look for the fire. In newsrooms from Washington, DC to North Carolina (at least), the Edwards affair rumor frequently circulated, but no one was willing to pursue it until the tabloid, National Enquirer, caught him red handed. This scandal could impact the results of the national election, and may guarantee greater vetting of all political candidates.

This is not a Republican or Democrat issue, because the arrogance of power has permeated both the Senate and the House of Representatives and even the Presidency, i.e., Franklin Roosevelt, Kennedy and Clinton to name a few. It seems that every few months there is some unbelievable disclosure of stupidity or morally unethical conduct from our politicians at every level. While history has shown that bitter infighting has been going on since the days of President George Washington, we now have moved into an era of blatant abuse of position and power.

Frankly, I hold the Washington Press Corp responsible for protecting or ignoring the goings on of our elected government officials. While most businesses have cut expenses to the bone, it is or should be a basic responsibility of the press to provide thorough investigative reporting. I have always suspected that Senator Teddy Kennedy was given a big pass by the press when he drove the automobile that crashed resulting in the tragic death of Mary Jo Kopechne at Chappaquiddick back in July of 1969. (go to

Time and space requirements prohibit me from listing all the scandals that have permeated the Washington scene.

Your Commander worked the Halls of Congress for several years as the Government Relations Chair for the NBC Affiliates and I saw numerous examples of sexual harassment first hand. I remember sitting in the office of a then prominent Senator from New York who used every four-letter word I had ever heard in the barracks. He had a very young intern secretary taking notes and as the meeting continued the young lady’s face became redder and redder. That is the same Senator who told me…"If you want me to be your friend there is an easy way for you to be my friend.” When I returned home there was a letter from the Senator soliciting a large financial contribution. He never got a dime from me.

Washington teems with young, inexperienced, susceptible workers (men and women) who are in awe of powerful government officials and they are easy prey. Personally, I do not think we are asking too much of our leaders and officials to conduct themselves as Gentlemen or Gentlewomen.

As the Edwards saga continues to unravel we have learned that he has lied to his wife, family and the electorate. His conduct goes way over the edge when you consider the health issues being confronted by his supportive wife and his disregard for their young children. If ever there was a good case for shunning an individual, Edwards would be my first candidate. The Press could guarantee that Edwards pays for his misdeeds, if they do their job properly. Normally I am in favor of giving a person a second chance, but Edwards does not deserve our sympathy. Remember, he was in the middle of his campaign to be the Democrat nominee for President of the United States of America when he participated in his adultery.

A logical question to ask ourselves is “What has happened to America’s moral compass?” I firmly believe that we must demand that our leaders function with a high ethical moral standard everyday, and lead with impeccable, unimpeachable conduct. How can America be a proud world power if our leaders are dishonest and morally corrupt hypocrites?


Tuesday, August 19, 2008


With apologies, this is a little long, but if you read through you will understand.

Surely some of the Commander’s readers will disagree with my position on ex-President William Jefferson Clinton. It makes little difference if you’re from a Red or Blue State; it is of little importance if you’re a Republican or Democrat. Clinton is recognized as a lightning-rod across America. At least give me a few minutes to outline my feelings on one of the most controversial, prominent figures on the American political scene.

Personally, I was offended to see that a large Boeing jet full of reporters recently flew to Africa to cover Bill Clinton’s tour of several countries in conjunction with his Clinton Foundation. I suspect that the Clinton Foundation has provided some improvements toward the plight of citizens in Africa, but a plane full of journalists represents the hypocrisy of the “green conscious” mass media.

It is my position that the main-stream media has long been in love with the Clinton persona and they continue to fall over themselves to portray him as a great leader and humanitarian. History certainly will establish that President Clinton made many significant contributions to the betterment of mankind, but in view of the numerous blemishes to his Presidency why does the media continue to promote him as their darling?

First, to call Clinton “America’s First Black President” is a disservice to many outstanding African-American leaders, and that “title” is not supported by many blacks. Bill Clinton has, throughout his political career, pandered to black constituents and thrived financially with their voting support. When he left the Presidency in shame, he moved his government paid office to Harlem, but that was after the U.S. Government refused to pay an exorbitant rental fee for his first choice in mid-town Manhattan.

Clinton’s office in Harlem remains a pure PR stunt and his living in Chappaqua, NY. proves his hypocrisy. Chappaqua is one of the most affluent, exclusive suburban white neighborhoods in the New York City area. That relocation from Washington and not to his native Arkansas was to position his wife for a carpet-bagger run for the New York Senate seat. Who is kidding who? The Harlem office location was another example of the Clintons’ pandering for the black vote.

President Clinton brought international and national shame to the office of the presidency with the Monica Lewinsky scandal. His repeated denial and oblivious lies cannot be condoned, but the main-stream media handled this story as if it was a mere indiscression. His actions were deplorable and it was only due to a sympathetic Senate that saved his skin against removal from office. There is no way that Clinton can deny the impeachment action and it will be a huge part of his legacy. Since leaving office, Clinton has strutted around the world as if the Lewinsky scandal or the impeachment action never happened. In my opinion, dishonor should have followed Clinton for disgracing his Presidency. If you or I did as Clinton did we would be shamed, shunned, fired, and possibly be in jail…but not Clinton.

Why did President Clinton reject the offer to capture Osama Bin Laden when the Sudanese Government offered him on a plate? While the Justice Department has said they did not have sufficient evidence to prosecute, I wonder how history would have played out had Bin Laden been taken out of action?

Clouds of suspicion have followed both of the Clintons throughout their political careers, but nothing seems to stick. I wonder if we will ever really know if they were guilty in the Arkansas Land Deal.

Don’t you wonder just how many times Bill has made improper sexual advances and/or has had affairs? Would it not be good to know the real story behind the suicide of the White House Assistant who was found dead by the Tidal Basin in Washington? What is the real story behind the fact that key former Clinton White House aide, Sandy Berger, admitted to removing classified documents without authorization AFTER Bush became president? The questions continue, but again the main-stream media has not done their job of thorough investigative reporting on these and other unanswered questions.

The recent arrest of the ex-Bosnian Leader Radovan Karadzic raises new questions that then Sec. of State Madeline Albright and Asst. Sec. of State Richard Holbrook offered immunity from prosecution if Karadzic would just go away quietly. If that is true, the international court at The Hague will have a difficult time finding Karadzic guilty of the many charged crimes of genocide. I doubt the truth of this situation will ever see the light of day.

How do you think the families of the American Soldiers who were butchered in Mogadishu feel? Clinton authorized sending our brave men into Somalia to stop the slaughter of innocent civilians by War Lord Thugs. Our troops were killed and dragged through the streets by the mob and Clinton withdrew our forces. Clinton’s failure to address and retaliate is, in my opinion, inexcusable. Look at the current situation in Somalia today and we should be ashamed of permitting that situation to fester.

It has been widely reported that President Clinton has made millions of dollars from his book sales, and even more from associations with and Board Memberships on foreign companies. While the book sales are legitimate, I find the association with foreign governments to be reprehensible. His continuing close relationships with leaders in Dubai are at least inappropriate for a past President and to take millions in compensation is disgusting. The American taxpayers should know full details about who is contributing to the Clinton Foundation and the Clinton Library Fund as long as he is receiving a pension and Secret Service protection paid by taxpayer funds as a retired President.

The recent campaign of Hillary Clinton for the 2008 Presidency has been interesting to say the least and Bill Clinton played a significant role with numerous personal appearances. Bill’s involvement raised legitimate questions and concerns, especially his introduction of race in the closing days of the South Carolina Primary. History may establish that he actually caused Hillary to fail in her quest for the nomination

For the past fifty years your Commander has been a keen student of the American Political system and for all those years the Democrat Party has claimed to be the Party of Black America. While the Black People of America have cast their votes to the Democrats just what have those votes gotten them? From my perspective, the only thing Clinton and the Democratic Party did for the Black man was increase entitlement programs that keep Black people under their umbrella and restrict their opportunities to get out of poverty. The Party’s blind obedience to unions has, for instance, prevented significant improvements in our educational system, which further hampers everyone’s upward mobility. Blacks should have been receiving a hand-up, not a hand-out!

We have not heard the last of the Clintons as a political force. Why I do not know in view of all the baggage they continue to carry. Hillary is going to have her name entered into the nomination process at the forthcoming Democratic Convention. One must wonder just what last minute surprises the Clinton trash machine has up its sleeve.

Recent developments seem to confirm Bill Clinton’s lukewarm support of Obama. In an interview in Africa he did not endorse Obama and answered only that no one was ready to be President of the United States, not even him when he entered office. I see clear resentment toward Obama that may only linger and never totally heal.

Ex-Presidents of the United States of America have a legitimate right to make money once they leave office, but they should do so with class. I believe that President Jimmy Carter has not conducted himself with grace and distinction; however, he has done wonderful work with Habitat for Humanity. President Nixon got what he deserved, but he did good work in opening our door to China. Past Presidents Johnson, Ford, Reagan and George H.W. Bush all took on senior advisory rolls with dignity and honor to the office they held.

Bill Clinton has blatantly used his past office to make huge amounts of money in ways that bring a further shadow to his Presidency. Even in the closing days of his Presidency the Clintons took furniture from the White House that they were later shamed into returning. Clinton abused his office until the last minutes, selling pardons to known criminals who contributed to his Library.

So, tell me why does the main-stream media still praise and continue to promote a myth of Clinton as a great leader, and America’s First Black President who in reality brought great lasting shame to his terms? Recent television interviews reflect a spoiled, petulant individual who constantly craves to maintain his position at the center of adulation.

Before you say it…What about our current President? I will save my comments about President George Bush until he has leaves office. Be assured your Commander has a lot to say about his presidency too, but thus far he has not strayed sexually from his ranch…at least as far as I know..


Tuesday, August 12, 2008


When times and finances get tight government frequently turns to a quick fix for its problems. Over the years, I have seen government officials think that approving gambling in their communities will solve budget shortfalls. Unfortunately, budget difficulties may be improved in the near-term, but there are unforeseen consequences that are rarely taken into consideration.

I have witnessed local, state, and federal governments in Arizona, Minnesota, and California approve Indian Gambling Casinos in the hope that revenue developed would improve impoverished conditions on the Indian Reservations. Long-term results show that most of the enormous profits have failed to reach the Indians and end up in the hands of casino operators hired to manage operations under contracts with many loopholes to the operators’ advantage. Various investigations have also indicated some criminal elements skimming Indian profits.

Originally, Las Vegas was dominated by criminal elements, but local and state government eventually realized that they had to make the operations function under strict open oversight. The mob was ostensibly forced out and Las Vegas casinos have thrived. The casinos still make huge profits, and the guests feel the games are now cleaner with chances of winning greatly improved.

The lure of a quick buck is the hook that all gamblers bite into, but the statistical odds prove that in the long run gambling is not a winning proposition.

Years ago when I lobbyied for The National Association of Broadcasters and NBC stations, I worked closely with then Congressman Tim Roemer (D-IN), because broadcasters wanted the ability to advertise gambling. Tim was a strong voice against gambling in his congressional district and firmly against any broadcast advertising. He suggested that I read a very interesting book called The Luck Business by Robert Goodman. I strongly recommend this book (if you can find it) and I can tell you that it convinced me of the numerous implications gambling inflicts on our communities as a whole.

Over time, gaming advertising was permitted and it became a huge revenue resource for radio and television stations. In fact, Jim Rogers who I later worked for, owned and operated NBC television stations in Las Vegas and Reno where he personally led the successful legal fight that ultimately opened gambling advertising. The efficacy of this issue remains open to debate in our democracy and in my mind.

Surely broadcasting outlets have benefited greatly from gambling advertising and local, state and federal governments have opened a huge, new lucrative revenue stream. On the other side of the coin, there have been many off-setting and unwanted consequences flowing directly from citizens expanded access to gambling operations. While the games are cleaner due to oversight, the criminal elements still tend to have an influence on both Native American and Corporate owned casinos. Crime statistics indicate a direct correlation to gambling with large increases in police operational expense, increased prison populations, substantial increases in gambling addiction, bankruptcies, resulting home foreclosures, and financial problems that lead to greater state and federal welfare obligations.

State and multi-state lotteries are a huge con- job, too, that hide behind the guise of usually providing new funding for education. The truth is that only a very small portion of the States’ takes get to the schools and the pay-outs to the States’ Treasury is absurdly high. Most lottery operations have substantial operational expenses that benefit the operating contractor of the State disproportionately. The odds of winning a state or regional lottery are not in the player’s favor by a long-shot.

Gambling has long been a historical problem with many consequences, since before the birth of Christ. It is noted in The Bible, Hebrews 13:5 “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” I would say that THE BIG GUY left little doubt as to how he felt about gambling.

Considering the upside and the downside of gambling and the mathematical odds, you would be a complete fool to get hooked. Apparently, it is easier said than done. This addiction has hit many families. It struck mine 60 years ago when an uncle lost his huge Midwestern farm as a result of gambling debts on the ponies. I have been blessed, because I get mad as hell when I lose $5.00 at the casino and I remember just how hard I worked years ago to earn my first five bucks. Call me cheap, but I think I am both smart and lucky to have not swallowed the gambling hook.

Caveat emptor…let the buyer beware.


Friday, August 8, 2008


Yes, I am old, but I can’t change that and I find it to be a blessing in disguise. Age provides experience, knowledge and a historical perspective. Hopefully, age also develops objectivity and the ability to distinguish right from wrong. While we tend to be more set in our ways, some old timers still have the ability to change minds. In recent years I have surely changed my opinions about numerous events and issues.

As this torturous election cycle continues, my frustration becomes more evident with each passing day. Our political discourse continues its historical coarseness and it insults the voter’s intelligence on a daily basis. Americans continue to eat up our candidates’ pandering and constant changing of positions without demanding substantially announced action plans.

It is of little difference if you’re a Republican or Democrat, because the spiel is all essentially the same. They continue to tell you what they think will get you to vote for them. While everyone wants to deny the fact that RACE has entered into the discourse, it has and we should face that fact squarely. Frankly, I do not feel guilty for past racial misdeeds, because I did not have anything to do with them. That was another time and place and those people responsible for those past sins have long passed to their just reward – Good or Bad.

I found ex-NBA super star Charles Barkley words to be dead on when he said, “Black people have been voting for the Democrats for forty years and what has it gotten them?” Republicans don’t have a stellar record on Civil Rights and that fact should be recognized, too.

Our society has become captured by the entitlement crowd and millions of our citizens wallow in a political WOMB TO TOMB philosophy. What has been achieved? Is this not the root of our economic budget woes? Where is the old American work ethic, which catapulted our country from its founding into the economic powerhouse of the world? It really came from massive immigration and the opportunity that America gave to hard working, family oriented, god fearing individuals who accepted the challenge that their American freedom provided.

Where and when did we go astray?

Many of our current problems date back to the Depression that started in 1929 and lasted until 1933. At that time President Franklin Roosevelt initiated many government funded programs such as the Civilian Conservation Corp (1933 to 1942) that put thousands of unemployed people back to work. The impact and influence of that Depression upon our daily lives continues still today.

World War ll gave work to millions starting in 1940 and 1941, but government supported programs were necessary to find jobs for the returning veterans in 1945. Also, In 1935 FDR signed the Social Security Act and Medicare followed in 1965. The age of entitlement has been creeping forward for a long time.

I submit that the American Way of Life began to unravel after World War ll and the Korean War. Our political leaders felt that we must save the entire world and we started throwing money around like there was an unlimited treasury. Our success world-wide during the Wars made our leaders feel invincible and that the entire world should be just like us. Millions of patriotic Americans returned home after saving the free world in devastating wars and all those veterans needed jobs and homes for their growing families. Our politicians answered that call with promises to everyone and as our post-war economy grew, they continued to promise wondrous perks and ignored fiscal responsibities. Our fiscal debt has continued to deepen as our political leaders keep promising hand-out programs to garner votes.

What has America gotten for its money? We have generations of individuals who have not graduated from high school and are thus under-educated and not able to earn adequate incomes, hence requiring welfare. We have bred generations of individuals who now feel entitled to government support and there is no motivation to improve their lot in life. Why work when the government will support your life style?

At the same time, our government felt that they could replicate their successful Marshal Plan rebuilding of Europe. We flooded countries across the globe with Foreign Aid and we decided that the entire world should be just like the USA. Our leaders failed to be well versed in the lessons of history, because money cannot buy friends in every case. A perfect example is the failure of the USA within the great halls of the United Nations. Rarely does the USA find any support for our positions, but we continue to throw money into that bottomless pit.

Without going into extensive detail, why can’t we address our frightful immigration policy? This country was founded on immigration and currently the policy is a nightmare. Our borders are not secure, we rarely deport illegal residents, and we permit criminal elements to fill our jails. We are destroying our hospitals’ financial viability caring for illegal, undocumented people.

We know we have a health care crisis and we cannot get our political leaders to work together to solve the issue, nor establish a workable program that will not break the bank. Why?

Social Security is on the brink of bankruptcy, but Congress does nothing. They continue to rob the Social Security treasury and place IOU’s in the vault, but never repay the loans. No wonder the Fund is in trouble. Why?

Why does the Speaker of the House arrogantly prevent a vote on Oil Drilling when a huge percentage of the American public supports drilling? It is a proven fact that drilling will bring a reduction in price per gallon. We need a comprehensive Energy Bill and we need it NOW…not after the election.

Earmarks continue to haunt me, but we keep electing the same people to Congress that are robbing you and me so they can satisfy contributors back home. Why do you keep electing these people who are stealing your tax paid funds? Are you getting any real benefit from Earmarks?

Age and hard work has permitted me the luxury of free time and the ability to read extensively. In my reading of history, I have learned that leaders of once great nations were frequently wrong and their decisions led to great losses of life and significantly changed the course of history. Clearly, Winston Churchill did many fine things, but he did lead his country and the USA into a frightful World War on two different occasions. The result of Churchill’s actions also led to the demise of the British Empire. While it is still totally unproven, George Bush ll may have done that with Iraq. Pat Buchanan in his frequently questioned book about Churchill and Hitler suggests that Mesopotamia (Iraq) and Afghanistan may be America’s Dienbienphu. Time will tell, but Dienbienphu sure destroyed France’s Southeastern Asia colony and led to the huge loss of life for many Americans. President John F. Kennedy felt the USA should save Viet Nam. Fifty years from now history will provide a clearer answer to the efficacy of Bush's action.

It just goes on and on and that is why I am so darn frustrated. I want to be more positive, because we live in the very best country in the entire world. I feel we are destroying ourselves from within, because of our apathy. I am not an isolationist, but we cannot cure all the worlds’ problems without solving our own. I remain uncertain that it is really our moral obligation to tell others how they should live their lives. If we should, why did we not address the genocide in the Congo, in Rwanda and currently in Darfur?

It is time to get our house in good order. Your vote is very important to assure the future of this wondrous country. Even with our warts, why do so many people still want to come here legally and illegally? The United States of America still must offer the best opportunity for anyone’s future.


Monday, August 4, 2008


This project started back on July 19th, but for two very good reasons it has been delayed until today. First, two of my very close personal friends passed away within two weeks of each other. Secondly, when I first drafted this material I came up with seventy-four questions that I posed for your consideration and possible action. When my great editor (my wife, Dianne, or more affectionately known as dink) reviewed the writing it was immediately red-lined as being far too long. So here is a list of ten questions for you to ponder and I’ll address other items in some subsequent works.

It is now less than one-hundred days until the election of our next President and I can not remember a time in which we have been more divided in our national consciousness. Everybody is angry with the President and Congress and our government seems to no longer function for the benefit of WE THE PEOPLE, but for the members of Congress and the special interests. Between now and the election you should answer some questions and hopefully do something that activates your positions.

1. Do you support Congressional earmarks or would you support pork projects if they were proposed as stand alone legislation?

2. Do you favor an immediate withdrawal of all American Military units in Iraq?

3. Do you think the Presidential election season is too long or should it be restricted to a defined shorter period?

4. With Congress receiving only a 9 percent approval rating do you plan to vote your current elected official in or out of office?

5. Why does Congress fail to do anything regarding gasoline prices?

6. Are you in favor of public contributions to the election process or do you support federal funding?

7. What is your position on local, state and federal taxes? Do you believe a tax revolt is possible or realistic?

8. Do you feel the current candidates for President have been vetted sufficiently and objectively?

9. Does presidential authority to nominate candidates for the Supreme Court influence your decision in voting for a President?

10. Do you write or email your elected officials expressing your opinions or concerns on specific issues?

Certainly each of you would have a different list. I would like you to think about these important matters of the day. Hopefully, you will be moved to do something to address, resolve or prompt action in some way, but at least stimulate your thought process and discussion.

I remember my dear Father telling me in the early 1950’s that he felt the country was going in the wrong direction. Currently that concern has crossed my mind on several occasions. I ask myself if we are so confronted with problems that apathy and frustration has influenced our daily lives and decision making.

For far too many years I have been complacent and felt that I had little influence on the important issues of the day. I now compare my attitude to a drop of water on a stone, but on reflection I realize just how powerful multiple drops are on the ultimate shape of that stone. Your one voice can be heard and it can be influential in assuring the benefits of long-term survival of this great country.

The United States of America must re-establish its position as that bright shining place in this often confusing, frightening but wonderful world. We, both you and I, have a significant responsibility to leave this country better than it was when we were fortunately born as citizens of the United States of America. Make your voice heard and participate in our future course now. Your Commander is proud to be a PROVOCATEUR.