Wednesday, December 30, 2009


We have not reached the first anniversary of President Barack Hussein Obama’s presidency, and his honeymoon is over and the blooms are coming off his roses. It appears to your Commander that President Obama already rues the days he sold the country on his version of TRANSPARENCY and CHANGE, which incidentally he has yet to achieve or deliver. If anything, Washington has not changed one bit for the betterment of the citizens of the United States of America in his first eleven months of leadership.

Once the darling of the media world, Obama now finds his administration coming under an ever increasing degree of scrutiny. My local newspaper ran a very critical warning from Washington Post columnist David Broder titled “A Warning Obama Should Take to Heart.” Broder reports on a letter written to Obama by William Daley (ex-Commerce Secretary, brother of Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, political power broker, fellow Chicagoan, and one of the canniest Democrats in the party) warning Obama that he is on the verge of losing his grip on the vital center of politics.

Additionally, my local newspaper has been running Letters to the Editor for several days decrying growing concerns and objections to the Health Bill passed by the House and the version recently approved by the Senate. One must wonder if anyone in Washington listens to their constituencies, if they care, or if they have just become totally arrogant. One would think that the President and his advisors have read the polls, and the flood of letters objecting to the proposed Health Care legislation, but they thumb their noses at the very people who put them in office.

Proof of my contention that Obama is in growing trouble with the people is a revealing Op-Ed in the 12/29 issue of The New York Times by Bob Herbert. The first line of his article proves that transparency is out the window, “There is a middle-class tax time bomb ticking in the Senate’s version of President Obama’s effort to reform health care.” The New York Times was once the ardent supporter of Obama, but with each passing day there are more and more articles questioning this administration’s shortcomings.

Now, just one day later there is an Editorial titled “The System Failed” regarding Christmas Day’s attempted Al Qaeda effort to blow up a Delta Airlines plane, and a stinging Op-Ed by columnist Maureen Dowd, once one of Obama’s strongest supporters, titled “As the Nation’s Pulse Races, Obama Can’t Seem to Find His” on a similar subject. Both New York Times pieces add to growing Obama criticism as his poll numbers continue downward.

Mr. President if you do not already know it, both the media and the citizens of this country are circling the wagons against your leadership and administration. The Tea Party movement is real; it is growing and just may seal your fate. It is time for our President to read the tea leaves. I predict there is a strong message coming in November 2010, and it will not be a ringing endorsement of the Obama Administration, or our Congress.


Monday, December 28, 2009


There are only a few more days left to write 2009 at the top of correspondence. As I continue into my 79th year on this marvelous place called Earth, I am more grateful each and every day for what our creator has granted me. To enjoy the wondrous features and experiences of life are truly amazing and something that we all too frequently take for granted.

I have been blessed with a wonderful wife and two successful, loving children. My four grandchildren have been a source of great joy and pride to all, and I know to their parents as well. Your Commander bursts with pride each and every day. Despite all the confusion and contention facing our democracy, life is good and it is something all of us should never take for granted.

What lies ahead for all of us in 2010 is unknown, but we must all strive everyday to achieve peace and goodwill among all peoples of the world. The alternative is totally unacceptable, and we must keep going daily to the plate to take a swing of the bat to all the problems facing mankind.

To my readers and friends, I wish you a very Happy New Year filled with much joy and happiness.


Sunday, December 27, 2009


With the recent startling news reports of increasing violence in and around Chicago educational institutions, I decided to investigate the correlation between financial expenditures and attained results. The unbelievable accounts of a good Fenger High School student’s death due to a beating by thugs with two by fours hit home, because it occurred at the high school that my wife attended 1962-1966.

Did you know or remember that the Federal Department of Education was not formed until President Jimmy Carter signed legislation in October 1979, and since that time the staff has grown to over 5,000 federal employees? President Reagan promised in 1980 to eliminate this Cabinet post and through the 1980’s and 90’s the Republican Party unsuccessfully supported that position.

President Reagan said, “The Federal government has no constitutional authority to be involved in school curricula or to control jobs in the market place. This is why we will abolish the , Department of Education, end federal meddling in our schools, and promote family choice at all levels of learning.” Obviously that never happened and the federal educational budget has exploded to over $62.6 billion in the regular 2009 discretionary appropriations, plus $96.8 billion in discretionary funding provided under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Just consider the fact that many believe that the funding of Education should be the responsibility of each State as clearly espoused by our Founding Fathers. The State of Illinois Education budget is in excess of $4.8 billion alone. That does not include the dollars flowing from the Federal government.

Considering those huge numbers, I looked to the Chicago Sun Times recent reports of individual schools’ achievements, and found some startling results. In the Adequate Yearly Progress Report it is specified by the No Child Left Behind Act that schools must strive to achieve:

High Schools must have a graduation rate of at least 78%.

Elementary and Junior High Schools must have an attendance rate of at least 90%.

Compare that to these numbers for Fenger High School on Chicago’s far south side:

Only 6.7% of all students meet or exceed state reading standards.

Only 3.4% of all students meet or exceed state math standards.

Only 47.1% graduated.

Fenger High School has been identified for school/student improvement for the last seven years and is rated 654 out of 656 ranked high schools.

I could not believe my eyes, so I then looked at the report for the Chicago high school I attended 1945-1949, Hirsch High School, also located on Chicago’s south side, and the results were shocking, too.

Only 17.4% of all students meet or exceed state reading standards.

Only 7.0% of all students meet or exceed state math standards.

Only 46.5% graduated.

Just like Fenger, Hirsch has been cited for improvement the last seven years and is rated 628 out of 656.

Trust me when I tell you that these two schools today are educationally nothing like the schools my wife and I attended. We had teachers and administrators who encouraged us to do our best and parents who expected exactly that.

There were many other statistics in the Chicago Sun Times reports, but the three quoted above from two high schools tell a frightful story of underachievement and a failure of our governments, both Federal and State, to achieve appropriate educational results. The reports clearly prove there is a huge difference in the level of achievement between white and minority students and schools.

I looked at a number of schools in more affluent areas of Chicago and, although the scores and statistics were significantly better, there was plenty of room for improvement. One wonders about parental involvement and the ability of the teachers in high minority schools. What about the Teachers Unions and National Education Association (the teachers’ lobbying group in Washington)? Shouldn’t they expect excellence from their members, and my feeling is the issue of tenure makes a bad situation even worse. How many people do you know, other than teachers, have tenure with their jobs?

Your Commander salutes the bankrupt Chicago Sun Times for bringing this vital information to its readers, but I suspect little or nothing will be done to really solve this appalling situation. The sad result of these poor levels of student success will definitely lead to increased crime, confinements, welfare rolls swelling, and a massive financial obligation to support a growing entitlement population. Thus, it is obvious that we ask ourselves why we permit our politicians to continue to fail to address our long-term educational requirements and obligations. As taxpayers and parents we certainly are not getting our money’s worth and our country will suffer the devastating consequences.

On December 23rd, noted Economics Professor Walter E. Williams posted on comments that directly address the problems in education, particularly where black students are concerned. The article is enlightening and you can find it at:

Williams pulls no punches, which few politicians or black leaders do, when he says, “Black people have accepted hare-brained ideas that have made large percentages of black youngsters virtually useless in an increasingly technological economy. This destruction will continue until the day comes when black people are willing to turn their backs on liberals and the education establishment’s agenda and confront issues that are both embarrassing and uncomfortable. To a lesser extent, this also applies to whites because the educational performance of many white kids is nothing to write home about; it’s just not the disaster that black education is.”

I believe that President Reagan had it right and we should close the Department of Education, because we certainly are not getting what we are paying for after wasting more than a trillion dollars since its inception. Good heavens, where is the accountability, responsibility, transparency, and essential improvements to the system? Do you suspect, as I do, that our Washington politicians really want a growing entitlement voting block that is obligated to them for hand-outs? America is slowly destroying two of our most precious commodities, our children and our democracy, by permitting a failed educational system to further erode.


Wednesday, December 23, 2009


As 2009 draws to a close we are about to celebrate another Christmas, and I want to suggest that we all read or re-read the beautiful Christmas story. There is much to be gained by understanding and appreciating this beautiful story of love and compassion.

As our troubled planet continues to spin on it’s axis we all have much to celebrate and appreciate. Be certain to tell your loved ones just how much you appreciate and love them, because one never knows when one can no longer render that important message. Hopefully, all citizens of the world will join together in approaching and resolving minor and major differences with a more conciliatory attitude despite the fact that history suggests that is wishful thinking.

Throughout the span of time our most serious conflicts have been religiously based and currently the tensions between a small segment of the Islamic World and the Christian World remain unresolved. Regretfully, I doubt we will solve these issues anytime soon, but that does not mean that more reasonable heads cannot and should not work toward finding a satisfactory peaceful solution. It may be naïve, but we must find a way to stop the killing of innocent fellow citizens of this beautiful planet.

This holiday our family observes the fourth anniversary of our first grandson’s passing. Robert Michael McFeely was a special loving child who fought a 24 year long courageous battle, despite very long odds, with positive good humor. We miss you Rob, but know that you are assisting God as he tends his flock. With every passing day Rob remains a caring GIANT in our lives.

Please take time to deliver a special prayer for all our troops serving throughout this vast world. They are serving so we all can enjoy the fruits of life with peace and safety. Their service should be an inspiration to all.

No matter what your religion, I wish you a Merry Christmas, and a very Happy New Year. If that offends you, I am truly sorry. If my message offends you, I suggest that you look to the message of Christmas and translate it to your religious preference, and enjoy the Holidays in a peaceful way with the guidance of the Ten Commandments.



This week my mailbox contained a slick four color, four page self-congratulating message from my Congressman, Joe Donnelly (D-IN) announcing he was “Fighting for the Right Kind of Health Care Reform.” My first reaction after reading his propaganda was to throw it in the wastebasket, but on further reflection I decided to keep it so I could compose this commentary.

As I have repeatedly stated, I do not want my Congressman going to Washington to “fight;” I want him to work with objective honesty for the best interests of his Congressional District and the United States. Additionally, I expect my Representative to function once he or she is elected in an identical fashion to that pledged during the election campaign. Tragically, but not unexpectedly, my Congressman has sold out the interests of his constituency to the Democratic Party, and his personal interests.

This is a candidate who pledged to fight waste, oppose earmarks, support an anti-abortion agenda, and be bi-partisan. This is the same Congressman who has supported Cap and Trade, brags about the recently passed Congressional Health Care Bill that is loaded with Pork, and now spends precious taxpayer dollars on his frivolous self-promoting expensive campaign literature. His latest self-praising brochure is a wasteful financial abuse of his franking privileges.

This is the same Congressman who flies home every weekend at government expense to appear at numerous photo-ops to brag about how he is looking out for our interests. He should stay in Washington and WORK to reduce spending, eliminate PORK that flows to his special interest campaign supporters, and stop selling his vote to the union movement.

Congressman Joe Donnelly has lost my vote, as has President Barack Hussein Obama, because they have both lied repeatedly to the American public when they vote for and repeatedly support PORK laden, fiscally irresponsible projects. Please remember both Donnelly and Obama pledged during the campaign to fight against PORK, but they sold us down the river to preserve their self-interests. Repeatedly both have failed to abide by their oath to support our precious Constitution.

The November 2010 Congressional Election cannot come fast enough for me to cast my vote to replace Joe Donnelly from his service to the odious Barrack Hussein Obama’s liberal, socialist, fiscally suicidal, hoped for one-term complicit administration. Hopefully you understand the depth of my concern for our country, because next November may just be the last opportunity we will have to express our opposition to elected officials who repeatedly enact legislation that runs diametrically opposite to the electorate’s desires.


Sunday, December 20, 2009


After reading Greg Mortenson’s best selling "THREE CUPS OF TEA" (earlier reviewed), I have come to the conclusion that there are well financed forces active to prevent, or at least delay the establishment of energy independence in the United States. There are several subversive movements whose goals are the massive expansion of their influence beyond the ultra-conservative segments of the Islamic culture. These statements are not some startling new revelation, but a well-known fact which keeps being swept under the rug.

The current unstable economy of our country is inextricably tied to our massive consumption of oil for a long time to come. Our economy cannot just walk away from oil, because our politicians think that is a politically effective talking point that appeals to their liberal left leaning voting base.

Recently it came to my attention that the United States actually has more oil under its ground than ALL the oil in the Middle East put together. This fact has been verified by the U.S. Geological Service in an April 2008 report. The oil is located in western North and South Dakota, and eastern Montana. The area is called The Bakken, and it is larger than the discovery in Alaska’s Prudhoe Bay, and it has the potential to eliminate our dependency on foreign oil imports.

Additionally, the United States government and environmental special interests have prevented the exploration of oil in nearby off-shore locations citing questionable environmental concerns, while oil exploration is occurring off the shores of Cuba by Chinese government sponsored companies. The recent government supported push to develop ethanol corn based gasoline has proven to be a real bust, and it has caused significant shortages of corn along with huge price increases for that vital commodity. This is a perfect example of haste makes waste, which may be the case too with the pending Health Care Bill.

The United States continues to depend upon foreign oil imports from Middle Eastern governments, and other corrupt foreign countries that thus pump trillions of dollars into their bank accounts. This out flow of our dollars negatively impacts our employment and income to our domestic economic interests. Government experts, economists, and academic spokesmen all agree that the development of a realistic, adequate, alternative fuel sources could be decades away.

In the meantime it was confirmed in Greg Mortensen’s THREE CUPS OF TEA that Saudi Arabian individuals are flooding into Pakistan and Afghanistan with suitcases stuffed with money to build Madrassas (Islamic schools for boys) with frightening consequences. In a Wikipedia Report there were 189 madrassas in Pakistan in 1947, 10,000 by 2002, and it is estimated to be over 40,000 in 2008 serving millions of students. We know for a fact that these schools teach a radical ultra-conservative form of Islamic study that has lead directly to significant increases in terrorist activities. Additionally it is a proven fact that the followers of these radical teachings have a record of creating large family units thus increasing their influence in the countries where they reside. The political influence of this radical group is growing at a staggering rapid rate around the world.

With these facts in mind, your Commander believes that we could significantly slow down the growing influences and actions of the madrassas in the Middle East, and around the world, if we were to take immediate action to significantly decrease our importation of foreign oil. By doing so we would put a huge dent into the economy of the Saudi Royal family, and the radical fringe elements of the Islamic faith.

Were America to dramatically reduce purchases of foreign oil and develop the resources that we know we have, we would bring economic enlightenment to those oil producing countries’ economies. Why not? Why should we continue to build our enemies’ economy and increase our debt levels? We could bring substantial pressure on those governments to take action against the radical elements working against society. Without the massive oil export revenue, the Saudi’s could not continue to fund the madrassas across the world, and our country would immediately improve our employment numbers, and keep vital dollars flowing into our economy.

I further suggest that in doing so, our government could over time withdraw our military troops from Iraq, Afghanistan, and many other foreign countries thus reducing our Defense Department budget substantially, too. This expense reduction would not happen overnight, but could take place as conditions warrant.

Why does our government not see this direct connection, (our purchase of foreign oil, and their funding of terrorists) which is obviously occurring? I suggest that someone is getting a pay-off, and it directly negatively impacts our national defense, our national debt, and works against the self-interests of our country. Appropriate compromises can and should be reached with our environmental special interests, but there is a greater need to address our energy independence now once and for all. Maybe twenty years from now there will be some economically feasible fuel alternatives, but in the meantime we must use our vast domestic supply of coal, natural gas and oil. The policies being followed by our country may address supposed global warming, but our country may cease to exist before we really can become Green.

Recent actions taken in Copenhagen prove that without the cooperation of China and India there will be little or no achievement in combating Global Warming, which in itself is beginning to draw growing skepticism. I for one am growing deeply concerned by all the con-men associated with the Green Movement, and commercial beneficiaries, such as General Electric.

Right is right, and wrong is wrong. Before some liberal hand-ringer starts saying that I am being anti-Muslim I want to make it clear that they would be dead wrong. My beef is solely with the small segments of Muslims that support violent terrorist actions. Stop the politics and just plain unmitigated duplicitous actions and resolve this vital national interest situation before the ultra-conservative Islamic fanatics rule the world.

It is far too early to suggest that there is a direct relationship to the recent tragic Ft. Hood killings other than the fact that the accused killer is a Muslim, so we should take it slow in drawing hard positions. Unfortunately actions such as this are identical to those resulting from teachings emanating from the Madrassas. The initial news reports were proven to be highly inaccurate, so we must wait for the trial and see what facts are disclosed. Early indications suggest that this may be just an isolated incident, but some feel it is part of the fanatical elements’ plot against our democracy. Obviously many facts are still missing, because it is hard for me to believe that a lone gunman could kill 13 people with only two handguns. Vigilance is appropriate, but patience is propitious.

Getting back to my main point…foreign oil replaced by domestic oil production is the clear solution. Why is there any debate? This is a situation that must be solved or the United States will ultimately cease to exist as we know it. Simply put, why do you and I permit our political leadership to continue to ignore the obvious duplicitous criminal actions going on in the Middle East and elsewhere? All of the responsible individuals and misguided special interests are not overseas, some are right here in the good old USA. Just tell me why we buy our oil from foreign countries that take our money then kill our fellow citizens and soldiers? Our great country has absolutely no moral obligation to keep funneling our precious petro-dollars to countries and people who are trying to destroy not only our democracy, but our very lives. Wake-up America and act responsibility.



It has come to the attention of your Commander that a scientific study conducted by the Center for Disease Control reports that as a resident of Indiana I am ranked as living in the 48th unhappiest State. I want to go on the record that I am very unhappy to learn that our government has spent an unreported and no doubt substantial sum of money to conduct such an idiotic scientific study to determine where happy people reside.

Some clowns conned our government into subsidizing a four year research project that any fool would essentially come to the same assumptions without spending one thin dime. I am confused, however, by the report’s conclusion that the happiest people in the United States live in Louisiana when you consider the fact that the study spanned the two years before and after Hurricane Katrina struck the state. That No #1 ranking totally destroys any creditability or logic to the research, because over one million residents were certainly not happy by any criteria as reported for days by our major media outlets. The survey must have been isolated to Bourbon Street inhabitants.

It does not take a brain surgeon to know that Hawaii, Florida, Tennessee or Arizona would be in the happiest top five, and it does not take a PhD in Economics to know or at least suspect that Illinois, California, New Jersey, Indiana, Michigan, Connecticut and New York would fall to the bottom five unhappiest states for various financial reasons.

As a resident of the 48th “Unhappiness State,” I feel I am entitled to be depressed, but for different reasons than this so-called research. Yes, the weather stinks in Indiana during the winter, currently unemployment is one of the highest in the country, and let’s not forget the Notre Dame football woes for the last decade or more; but my depression is in reality caused by an inept government from the local to federal level that refuses to adapt suggested reforms.

I have shared my theories that could have saved our federal treasury one hell of a lot of time and money. How did I get so smart?


Thursday, December 17, 2009


If you are a fan of action-adventure stories then you will want to read Stephen Coonts’ newest tome “THE DISCIPLE.” Coonts is the author of fifteen New York Times best-selling books, and is a former naval aviator and Vietnam combat veteran. For more information about Coonts, and his books go to

Coonts returns with key characters, namely Tommy Carmellini and Jake Grafton, to save the United States from the evil forces leading the Iranian government. Again and again Tommy gets himself into almost impossible circumstances and of course he survives while saving the good-guys’ hides. While you know the conclusion will be successful, there are numerous well written exploits that keep you turning pages well into the early morning hours.

Personally, I cannot wait until Coonts releases his next adventure yarn. Dedicated patriot resolve rules the day.



If I did not know better I would think there are forces in our government that are definitely trying to destroy the United States of America. When I read my daily newspaper and listen to the Washington talking heads on the Sunday morning talk shows I am certain that my assumption is accurate.

Here are three examples that support my position, and be assured that I could list numerous other examples, too. To say that our government’s actions are bizarre is beyond my belief, but it is actually happening before our eyes.

1. Here we are in the midst of a recession with mounting debt and our Senate has passed an additional $1.1 trillion spending bill. Some portions of this legislation are just and necessary, such as funding Medicare/Medicaid. But, here are some other contents of the bill: funds to grant a 2% pay increase to federal employees who, in a recent government analysis, are reported to being paid excessively; expenditures of $3.9 billion to cover 5,000 projects requested by lawmakers or PORK; then, there is a stipulation for $5.1 billion for heating assistance for the poor, which is 40% more than requested. There are more questionable items, but you get my point.

2. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has granted $3.5 billion for projects that include little-used airports. As an example, per USA Today, $2 Billion is earmarked for low-priority projects, including $700 million for terminals. The Pelston Regional Airport in Michigan used $7.5 Million in federal funds to build a terminal with stone fireplaces and cathedral ceilings, and it averages three departures a day. Tragically this is not fiction, but proven reality.

3. Then, there is a most interesting post at by Joe Klein, whose work frequently appears in the New York Times, about our involvement in Afghanistan. With our President recently announcing the addition of 30,000 additional troops at huge expense to the American taxpayers, Klein questions the lack of participation by our NATO partners. He goes on to indicate that the real problem facing the ultimate solution in Afghanistan is the long-standing tensions between India and Pakistan, not the internal tribal problems in Afghanistan. Since we are pumping millions of dollars into both India and Pakistan why can’t we put stronger pressures upon both governments to solve their disagreements, which could directly impact a peaceful and cheaper resolution to the Afghanistan dilemma?

I keep wondering why we keep throwing our money into a conflict that does not really address the real root problem. Far too little concern is addressed for the loss of Afghani and American lives by our actions. Your Commander would put the leaders of both Pakistan and India in a room, and tell them to settle their differences now or there will not be one more dime spent to prop-up their governments. They could find a solution damn fast. It is far past the time to stop the diplomatic double-talk, and stop the killings and consequential wasteful spending.

I have not even addressed the wasteful Health Care Bill that is being shoved down our throats, which is loaded with pork, and it does not even solve the root problems of Health Care that we all want addressed. The pay-off to the trial lawyers is just plain criminal, but we are going to get some kind of a Bill despite the polls that reflect our over-whelming disapproval.

With trillions of debt facing our government, and ultimately the American taxpayers, how can our elected officials continue to add debt to the existing mountain of debt? It appears to me that there is a concerted effort to destroy the government of the United States by decimating our financial solvency. I have failed to see any indication of any degree of awareness of the urgency to address our financial obligations. We were promised CHANGE and TRANSPARENCY, but what we have so far is an apparent conspiracy to destroy our country, and place it in the hands of a ONE WORLD AUTHORITY, such as the corrupt UNITED NATIONS, which is controlled by Third World thugs.

Your Commander suggests that our new President is acting more and more like General George Armstrong Custer did at his battle at the Little Bighorn River, and we all know the results of his arrogance. (

Tragically for the American taxpayer our President Barack H. Obama is wearing blinders just like General Custer did in 1876. Do you suppose that history will repeat itself not with death, but mission failure?


Sunday, December 13, 2009


Living in the South Bend, Indiana area one quickly learns the importance of the Head Football Coaching position at the University of Notre Dame. Certainly the entire world knows by now that Charlie Weis was fired two weeks ago as the coach of the Fighting Irish.

Weather Weis’s firing was justified or not it is for much wiser football minds than mine. I do know that when you lose a game at Notre Dame, the fans turn on the coach first and then the team, and the win/loss ratio has not been good for the last three years. During that time the press has been relentlessly questioning the team’s performance and every single decision rendered by the coach and his staff. Transgressions off the field by players have not improved the relationship between the team, the players, the media, the fans, and the local community either.

What I have found especially troubling is the fact that Weis and his family have been harassed constantly during his reign, and that is something I feel should be off limits. Judgments about the team are one thing, but leave the family off-limits. Unfortunately, Weis was not media or public relations friendly and that just added fuel to the fire. Weis is leaving with his ego well taken care of by the huge buy-out of his lucrative contract, so there will be no tag-day for the Weis family, and there are NFL teams lining up to buy his services in pro-football as Offensive Coordinator. Weis joins a growing long list of under-achieving ex-Notre Dame Coaches.

It is time to stop piling on Weis, because his era is history. It is time to look to the future. It should be recognized that much of the pressure that comes with the Head Football Coaching job at Notre Dame comes from the demands of the University itself to win and bring the team to national prominence now…not at some future time and place. Winning means money and that is very important to this and a growing number of educational institutions.

At the same time, the local community is going through tough economic times and it, too, has added pressure to have a winning team, because it has a huge economic impact to local business. When the team wins, local business wins. That is something that has not happened in South Bend for many months.

Brian Kelly, ND’s recently named new Head Coach, comes with great collegiate credentials and a proven track record of accomplishment at the college level. I wish him well, but at the same time I warn him that he is now on a totally different field of play. He no longer can go to a local supermarket or local restaurant with his family, and he will be entering an isolated world of win or you’re out. Life will never be the same, but that is what comes from making huge money and entering into a world of succeed or be fired. While Kelly will be in the limelight, his family will pay a huge price for his new position. Just ask Tyrone Willingham, Bob Davie or Jerry Faust.

I truly wish Kelly and his family well, but I really wonder if it is all worth the price he and they will have to pay. Personally I do not think it is, but that is why he is the Head Coach and I will never be in that position. We should all remember that football is just a game, and there is much to learn in life from losing also. Winning is not everything as it is promoted by many today.

While I salute the University of Notre Dame for its academic excellence, I do not share the near frantic demand to win football games or the coach is dropped like a hot potato. The economic rewards of winning football games have created an unhealthy atmosphere, and it has created misplaced priorities with significant negative consequences. Money is not everything, but it appears to be at Notre Dame, and one wonders just how the founding Holy Cross Priest’s would address the situation today?

Football is no longer just a game or a sport, but a huge big-money business. Frankly, my personal priorities are far different from those excessively loud greedy voices being heard and acted upon today. I am quite content to be living a wonderful rewarding live in obscurity accepting the fact that we all win some and lose some everyday.


Thursday, December 10, 2009


When I read my local newspaper recently, and a report in the New York Times, I was reminded of an old expression my Irish Mother used to say…”Elephants and Irishmen never forget.” Well I would like to change that statement a little and say…”Elephants and American Patriots never forget.” Tragically, our government has no memory at all.

When I read that NATO members pledged 7,000 more troops to the American contingent fighting in Afghanistan, I immediately became furious. Those arrogant elitists at NATO have quickly forgotten or are ignoring the fact that brave American men and women gave their lives saving their very existence on numerous occasions, such as World War l and World War ll. There are several additional instances where American intervention saved millions of lives and governments, but those very people and their leaders seem to have short memories. When it is time to step forward and support a just intervention that addresses a threat to world order these same European functionaries hide and ignore the realities of the day.

I am further disgusted by President Obama’s fawning and unjust expressions of understanding the NATO commitment, along with the praise being uttered by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that she “was extremely heartened by the commitment” of 7,000 troops. One only needs to go to the numerous military cemeteries dotting several locations in Europe and other spots around the world to see the thousands of graves of Americans who gave the full measure to save European hides time and time again. I wanted to put my finger down my throat when I read that President Nicolas Sarkozy of France had the gall to support his Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner’s statement, “For the time being, no improvement in troops.” Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel is playing a political waiting game, too.

Our government and European leaders are all speaking political double-talk, and not accomplishing the real job of winning the War in Afghanistan. While diplomats drink tea in lavish surroundings, brave American troops are wounded and dying propping up a corrupt government. It is time to win this war or get the hell out of Afghanistan once and for all time. Our government is guilty of ignoring the history of this arm pit of the world, but we insist that they should have a democracy just like ours. Well they do, it is corrupt just like Washington, but our troops are paying the price of our leadership’s ignorance and arrogance. The Afghanistan situation is just plain ghastly and inexcusable.


Wednesday, December 9, 2009


Growing up in the Land of Lincoln (Illinois) I thought I knew quite a bit about our much revered President Abraham Lincoln. It was not until I read a special Time magazine book that I really appreciated the unique qualities that composed his true greatness. To say that Lincoln was a complex man is common knowledge, but to really understand his magnitude one must delve into a detailed examination of this truly great leader.

In order to avoid any copyright problems let me specifically state that this is a review of Time’s 2009 Home Entertainment publication titled “Abraham Lincoln - An Illustrated History of His Life and Times.” I do this specifically to prevent incarceration or financial penalty.

This book contains a wonderfully supportive pictorial presentation that enhances the text from the Introduction, Lincoln’s Youth, Illinois Lawyer, National Stage, and the Civil War. Each segment of the book contributes to an improved understanding and appreciation of Lincoln’s contribution to not only his country, but mankind.

Personally, I found the portion of the work titled “The Master of the Game” written by noted historian Doris Kearns Goodwin to be a pivotal contribution. She writes “When he arrived in Washington he didn’t have much political experience, but Lincoln’s emotional strengths made him a natural.” Kearns Goodwin lists several vital characteristics that made Lincoln highly successful in the long run. Empathy, Magnanimity, Generosity of Spirit, Perspective, Self-Control, A Sense of Balance, and A Social Conscience all contributed to making Lincoln the long honored figure he has become.

Personally I believe Lincoln’s magnanimity was a major contributor to his historical and long lasting achievements. His bold action in selecting his major opponents to fill his Cabinet is a perfect example of keeping your friends close, and your enemies closer.

Far be it from me to attempt to draw any comparisons of our current leadership to Lincoln, because the two are not even in the same league. Your Commander will state emphatically, however, that there was never a time in which we could benefit from a man with the qualities Lincoln presented and possessed. He truly deserves to sit peacefully in stone in our nation’s capitol. God truly blessed Abraham Lincoln, and he blessed The United States of America, too, when he brought him to our Presidency.


Tuesday, December 8, 2009


As the United States Senate met in an extremely rare weekend session attempting to formulate acceptable details on a Health Care Reform Bill that will garner the necessary 60 votes, there is still time to register your sentiments to your elected officials. We all should remember that people around the world have given their lives in an effort to acquire the right to be part of the political process, but we Americans take it for granted.

It is not too late for you to voice your opinion to the proposed legislation. I strongly urge you to participate in the process. There is no question that some kind of health care reform must take place, but is this the kind of bill you want? The significance of a Health Care Bill will have lasting influence to our daily lives and our quality of life, so do not pass up the opportunity to make your voice heard in Washington, DC.

My wife and I have individually contacted our Senators and even our House Representatives and rendered our opinions and urged our elected officials to vote according to the will of their constituents and not their self-serving special interest campaign contributors. It is your responsibility to act as a concerned citizen before it is too late. It is essential that we remind our elected officials that they work for us, and not themselves. Have you acted responsibly?


Monday, December 7, 2009


Your Commander clearly remembers just where he was and specifically what he was doing 68 years ago. It was a Sunday morning and I was lying on the floor of our living room in our 3rd floor walk up apartment on the south side of Chicago. I was 10 years old and was reading the comic section of “The Chicago Tribune.” Our floor model Philco radio was tuned to “Hawaii Calls,” a popular program, which broadcast from a beach front location in Honolulu. My Dad was out getting our car washed, and my Mom was preparing Sunday Dinner.

When the Japanese planes attacked Pearl Harbor from their naval carriers off the coast of Hawaii, it was immediately reported on the radio and my Mom and I immediately knew that my Dad would be involved because he was a Captain in the Illinois Army National National Guard’s 33rd Infantry Division. Dad quickly returned and we all sat around the radio listening to all the sad details of death and destruction occurring to the Navy’s Pacific Fleet and the planes at Hickam Field.

Dad, although called for service at age 51, failed his vision test and did remain home with us. Until his last breath he was upset that he was unable to be a direct part of the war effort. He was, however, an executive in the steel business and probably had a larger effect on the war than he ever imagined.

The day after the attack President Franklin D. Roosevelt went before a joint session of Congress, and said, “Yesterday, December 7, 1941 – a date which will live in infamy- the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.” War was declared immediately. In addition, Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, who planned the attack, summed up the result of the Pearl Harbor assault, “I fear we have awakened a sleeping giant and instilled in him a terrible resolve.” Little did he know his words would be so prophetic.

I feel it is my duty to remind those who do not directly remember the events of December 7, 1941. The results of that attack changed the world as was known at the time. September 11, 2001 has had a comparable effect, attacking civilians in a city, not military personnel on a base, and the free world again felt a sea change.

I suggest that you take a moment when you read this to honor the veterans who have served this country since its inception 233 years ago and those who are serving today. They represent everything our democracy was founded upon.


Sunday, December 6, 2009


Our society-worshipping, celebrity gossip airwaves and newspapers are filled with the latest breaking news about Tiger Woods. Frankly, I am disgusted and could care less what Tiger does off the golf course. Salacious conduct is not something that peaks my interest.

What I truly find most disturbing is that my fellow citizens of the world are craving to know every detail of this sordid Tiger tale. I have long held great respect for Tiger’s father, Colonel Earl Woods, for his legendary military service to our country. While serving his country he and his wife raised Tiger to be one of the best golfers in the history of the game. Although Earl and Koltilda made their son one of the wealthiest men in the world through golf, they failed totally in making him a man, husband, father we could and should respect due to his off the course behavior.

During these difficult economic times the game of golf has enough problems, and Tiger’s scandal won’t do it any favors. Any sponsor who continues to fund Woods after this date has lost my respect, and proven that they are into his sponsorship only for what his endorsement might bring to them without concern for his moral character. Before anyone suggests that I am casting the first stone please remember that I am not a celebrity, and it is Tiger who has frequently complained about his lost of privacy while collecting huge sums of money for his elite star status. No one ever said that glory came cheaply.

It is time for Tiger to stop talking out of both sides of his mouth. If he wants to earn the golf fan’s and the world’s respect, it is time for him to be a solid honest husband, father, and keep his fly zipped closed when he is away from his house.

Most will say that his indiscretions are totally a private manner, but once he stepped into the public’s eye reaping billions of dollars, he gave up any hope for privacy. Why were the likes of Arnold Palmer, and Jack Nicholas able to live in the lime light, and still be faithful to both their fans and families? The answer is simple…they are men deserving our respect and admiration…they are men of principal with a heavy dose of humility.


Thursday, December 3, 2009


Like millions of Americans, Tuesday evening I viewed President Barack Obama’s teleprompter assisted speech announcing his decision on our future course of action in the Afghanistan War. I suspect you will be surprised to learn that I endorse his plan to send an additional 30,000 brave young American troops to strengthen our fighting forces in this historically god-forsaken pest hole. I agree, too, that we must address the aggressors at their source before they can strike again here in the United States.

Before you get the impression that I have had a total conversion to the smooth talking utterances of our President, let me assure you that I am totally opposed to his announced plan to start withdrawing forces from Afghanistan in July, 2011. Anyone who ever served our country in the military (Obama and most of his inner-circle never have) knows full well that one never tells the enemy what, when, and how you intend to fight a war. Tragically, our President has again made decisions based upon political considerations, and failed to send a strong, clear message that we are there to win. Already today his spin stooges are working to negate the concerns being expressed by Congress and Americans across our country.

For a man with the educational background that is so frequently referred to, I continue to be shocked by the degree of naïveté he displays. As I recently wrote there is a right way to address an issue and there is a political way, and again our Chicago trained President has chosen to bow to political pressures in hopes of maintaining his popularity with his political base. When you are fighting a war and are the president, you have taken an oath to represent all the people and not just your political supporters. Our brave soldiers are not political fodder.

Another issue that peeves me significantly is Obama’s continued disregard for growing financial waste. Why was it necessary to spend many millions of dollars to give the speech at West Point, and not in the White House? His action to fly substantial resources at great expense to West Point was nothing but a politically motivated photo opportunity. Our President has again thumbed his nose at the American public’s growing concern about our financial debt, and has yet to provide one single indication that he intends to fulfill his campaign promise to review line by line all expense items. Obama is just like the old Southern Senator I personally heard say…”Son, just because I said it doesn’t mean it is so”.

Obama’s actions will result in the death and lasting injury to hundreds of fellow American fighting men and women, but telling the enemy what we intend to do defies historical reality. This hell hole must be confronted once and for all, but historical reality should tell our supposedly scholarly president that these people have been fighting among themselves since before the time of Christ, and they will continue to do so into the future. Conquest after conquest has not changed the tribal in-fighting over the centuries and Obama’s approach disregards that fact.

Lastly, as I have addressed in previous essays, where was any mention of the blatant production of poppies in Tuesday's pronouncement? If Obama is so concerned about placating the local population he cannot permit the continued cultivation of poppies that directly leads to death and destruction back here in America. Since we are financially propping up a corrupt government why can’t we tell them the drug game is over NOW, not at some date in the future? It is time to burn the damn poppy fields to the ground or else it is apparent that the fix is in.

Anyone who thinks American troops will be coming home in 2011 is simply consumed by wishful thinking. It is not going to happen, because we apparently do not have the will to win under this current leadership. If that is really the case then we should start coming home now, and save hundreds of American lives. Our President is taking us down the path of massive spending in Afghanistan, nation building that won’t work, and is disregarding historical realities.

It is one thing to be a humanitarian, and it is another to be deluded. The Taliban and Al Qaeda are sitting comfortably in their caves this morning. They will wait until 2011 while they kill our soldiers and then come back stronger after they refill their pockets with a flood of American aid dollars.

I pray I am wrong, but this time I think I will live to tell my opposition that I told them so. Fortunately I am smart enough to not tell you what I really think we should do in this rectal area of the planet. Just remember that old statement, “Nice guys don’t win ballgames,”


Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Reading my copy of the “American Patriot’s Almanac” my interest to investigate Mark Twain further was sparked when it was noted that the legendary humorist and political commentator was born on November 30, 1835 in Florida, Missouri. When I searched for further information I learned the following insight to this famous American.

Twain is quoted to have said, “There is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress,” and then in a Boston speech in 1890 he expressed his scorn for European snobs who looked down on America.

“If I look harried and worn, it is not from an ill conscience. It is from sitting up nights to worry about the foreign critic. He won’t concede that we have a civilization----a “real” civilization…[H]e said we had never contributed anything to the betterment of the world…

What is a “real” civilization? [Let us suppose it is one without despotic government and near-universal inequality, ignorance, and poverty. In that case] there are some partial civilizations scattered around Europe---pretty lofty civilizations they are, but who begot them? What is the seed from which they sprang? Liberty and intelligence. What planted that seed? There are dates and statistics which suggest that it was the American Revolution that planted it. When that revolution began, monarchy had been on trial some thousands of years, over there, and was a distinct and convicted failure… [W]e hoisted the banner of revolution and raised the first genuine shout for human liberty that had ever been heard…

Who summoned the French slaves to rise and set the nation free? We did it. What resulted in England and on the Continent? Crippled liberty took up its bed and walked. From that day to this its march has not halted, and please God it never will. We are called the nation of inventors. And we are. We could still claim that title and wear its loftiest honors, if we had contributed nothing! Nothing hurts me like ingratitude.”

While those words were uttered over one hundred years ago they continue to be a sound appraisal of the situation then and now. One wonders if our current leader President Barack Obama ever read Twain’s works or words, because he certainly has bowed to European interests during the earliest days of his administration. Why would he want to take us backward and not forward as the real leader of the free world? There are those among us who suspect that he envisions himself as the ultimate leader of one world, United Nations governance. This subject sure gives me pause to contemplate Obama’s true intentions.


Monday, November 30, 2009


As the holiday season of 2009 begins, I remain concerned about the direction that our democracy is taking. Maybe I am just getting old, because as a youth I fondly remember that I thought my parents, especially my Dad, were just out of touch with reality with their very conservative positions. Suddenly I find myself getting more and more like my Dad, and I believe that life’s experiences sway one to a more conservative point of view.

Recently I read the November 27th posting of my good friend Kim Carlson’s blog titled, “How do we arrive at our political positions, anyhow?” which you can read by going to: I think you, too, will enjoy Kim’s writing and comments.

Today I received an email from a friend back east that reported some very disturbing information. The U.S. Government now accounts for about a third of the US Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and that in itself is creating a disturbing long-term financial obligation that in my opinion is just not realistically sustainable. Did you know that H.R. 3962 (the House Health Care Bill) creates 110 Boards, bureaucracies, commissions, and programs?

There is one very important and glaring question that is not being addressed, nor raised by responsible media sources. How are the American people and our government going to pay for the massive financial obligations being legislated under the Obama Administration? Your Commander sees no evidence of any reduction in spending, and every piece of legislation passed since Obama became President has created further zeros at the end of our national debt.

When will just one of our elected officials step forward with an agenda that calls for doing the right thing and not the politically correct thing. It appears to me that most of the decisions coming out of Washington today and for the last 20 years are purely politically motivated, assuring either a politician’s longevity in office, improving personal financial security, pays off obligations for election support, or enhances the growth of the exploding entitlement crowd’s long-term influence.

Anyone who has read anything about the founding of this great country knows that the Founding Fathers had a profound and abiding respect for the rights of individuals and held a deep respect for a higher being. Congress talks a good game with paid religious figure-head preachers in the House and Senate, but ignored are the basic theses of the Ten Commandments when they govern. They open each session of Congress with prayers, but then ignore those good words of guidance.

America desperately needs someone to tell the voting public the total truth, and have the guts to take the appropriate action to get our country back on a solid moral and financial footing. I, for one, am sick and tired of our politicians’ self-serving decision making which only leads to their self-preservation and our country’s demise. Truth has and always will be stronger than fiction, but sadly we are living in a world of total political fantasy and unless we voters do something this story can only end in tragedy.


Thursday, November 26, 2009


With all the crazy things happening in our world today it is most appropriate that we take a few minutes and give thanks for the many blessings that have ben given to each of us. While our family has had surprising sadness recently we are joined together with a bond of love and admiration that will get us all through this period.

Let us join together holding one another’s hands and pray to our respective sources of inspiration, because there are millions around this world that have much bigger problems than we do. Please take a minute to tell your family and loved ones that you love them, because tomorrow may be too late to do so.

Please give special attention to the thousands of fellow Americans serving in distant lands on this Thanksgiving Day, and thank them for their sacrifice and service in our behalf. Take a minute to look out your window and appreciate just how beautiful the day really is (no matter what your local weather might be), because each and every day is a spectacular event in our lives to be appreciated to its fullest.

Happy Thanksgiving Day to one and all who are fortunate to experience life on this wondrous place called Earth.


Wednesday, November 25, 2009


With our planet spinning away on its axis we appear to be confronting a growing number of very complex issues that threaten our nation’s sovereignty. I need not list the multitude of difficult challenges we are facing, because every one of us has different priorities.

In reading my American Patriot’s Almanac I was drawn to the magnificent words of President Calvin Coolidge who took to the radio back in 1924 to remind Americans of a solemn duty, “All the opportunity for self-government through the rule of the people depends upon one single factor. That is the ballot box…The people of our country are sovereign. If they do not vote they abdicate that sovereignty, and they may be entirely sure that if they relinquish it other forces will seize it, and if they fail to govern themselves some other power will rise up to govern them. The choice is always before them, whether they will be slaves or whether they will be free. The only way to be free is to exercise actively and energetically the privileges and discharge faithfully the duties which make freedom. It is not to be secured by passive resistance. It is the result of energy and action…”

“Persons who have the right to vote are trustees of the benefit of their country and their countrymen. They have no right to say they do not care. They must care! They must remember that their country and their countrymen cannot get along, cannot remain sound, cannot preserve its institutions, cannot protect its citizens, cannot maintain its place in the world unless those who have the right to vote do sustain and do guide the course of public affairs by the thoughtful exercise of that right on election day."

It is a proven fact that citizens of our country consistently register low voting percentages compared to other countries who share the cherished right to vote. Apparently our fellow Americans are just too complacent, smug, or apathetic and that just may be the principal causal factor for the perilous condition of our democracy. Millions have given their lives for the privilege to vote, so why would anyone want to ignore the opportunity to participate in our governance. Sometimes I just scratch my head, because I cannot understand the actions of my fellow Americans when it comes to the ballot box.

Please remember these words in next November, whatever your party affiliation.


Sunday, November 22, 2009


I thought my most recent rant about the pending Health Care Bill would be the last one for a while, but after viewing this morning’s CBS “Face the Nation” program, I must comment further. I was shocked to learn that in the effort to bring forward the Senate’s proposed bill, the great all-knowing devious Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid (D-NV), has agreed to insert a provision into the bill that would grant $300 million for Senator Mary Landrieu’s (D-LA) home state of Louisiana just to get her vote.

When I heard this on the program my blood pressure jumped sky-high and I even uttered some colorful language. I know full well that this kind of horse-trading goes on in the Halls of Congress all the time, but these people are getting out of control throwing our money around just to buy votes. If Landrieu wants money for her state, it should be a separately discussed piece of legislation. After all, $300 million is not chump change!

Clearly there are sufficient accurate polls that indicate that a clear majority of Americans want health care legislation, but a similar majority does not want the bills being proposed, plus voters want Washington to immediately start showing some financial responsibility.

My old ticker took another shock when that sanctimonious, deceptive, supercilious, smug Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) sat on the same program, and dismissed the action taken by Leader Reid as “just the way things work in Washington,” and this type of action is done all the time. That is just the problem that has got us near financial do-do, but those corrupt idiots in Congress continue to run amok with our money and jam self-serving legislation down our throats.

I am telling you there is a day of reckoning coming and it is coming soon. The actions of our Senate and House are nothing but pure unadulterated EXTORTION! What is the difference between Reid’s offer to Landrieu and “pay to play?”

The inmates are running the institution and we better do something about it damn soon. I, for one, am sick and tired of these self-serving politicians ramming legislation through that threatens the American way of life and directly serves their self-interests. We are experiencing pure and simple insanity before our eyes, and the American public is sitting on the sidelines letting Congress run wild with our present and future (no doubt rising) tax dollars. I think we have all lost our minds. Is our only salvation joining the entitlement crowd…not if I have one breath left in my body.


Friday, November 20, 2009


Not being a subscriber to Newsweek I happened to read the recent copy with Sarah Palin on the cover while visiting my son in Texas. Additionally I have been reading John Meacham’s best selling book about President Andrew Jackson, Meacham is the top dog at Newsweek.

What first struck me was the fact that Newsweek has changed its format and content significantly since I last read an issue. What used to be a magazine covering very current news, it is now a magazine that contains essentially essays about topics of the day with very liberal vent. Right off the bat Meacham does a smear job of Palin in his “Top of the Week” column, and then the cover article on Palin is a similar liberal “over the top” analysis. I guess Meacham is taking the magazine to the far left, so he is losing me as a possible subscriber.

I think it is important to state that I am not a particular fan of Sarah Palin, but she does appeal to a large number of people who are very conservative, and many who are seriously concerned about the direction President Obama is steering the country. Palin is expressing words that appeal to a growing number, because they so dislike the drivel we are getting out of the Washington talking heads. Palin talks sense, and Washington talks double-speak. Personally I do not think Palin is qualified to be our President, but she does have a following. It is highly unlikely that she is a viable candidate, but she will sell one hell of a lot of books along the way.

While I am knocking Newsweek for their diversion to opinion pieces and an essay style of content I do not fail to recognize the fact that it is very similar to the type of writing that is presented in FrobertTWorld commentaries. So be it, because I do not charge one thin dime, and my readers can take it or leave it at anytime without spending their hard earned money. I just do not like a magazine to tell me they are a “news" entity when they are something else.



I need not get into all the details of the government’s recent announcement by the U.S. Preventive Task Force recommending that women 40-49 forgo annual mammograms unless they have certain risk factors. I am the husband of a cancer survivor (not breast cancer) who had no symptoms, but the malignant tumor was found in a routine colonoscopy. I must tell you that I think this is the first clear indication that the pending Health Care Legislation is moving in a direction that will be most unpleasant to most Americans.

Your Commander suggests that our government, despite their initial announcements, is in reality going to ration health care, which will lead to the unnecessary death of some of our fellow citizens. We are on another slippery slope, and I do not feel we are being told the whole truth before this legislation will come up for a vote, jamming something through that satisfies the special interests that got the Obama Administration elected.

This is pure Rahm Emanuel taking advantage of the electorate’s desire for health care reform. What little I have been able to read and understand indicates that the House and Senate are operating strictly to get themselves re-elected, while retaining their own special unique classification of health care.

It is now obvious that Senator Harry Reid’s (D-NV) proposal carries an estimated cost of $848 billion, and it will be funded by cuts to Medicare and increased taxes from you and me. We all agree that reform is necessary, but at what cost? Just when is someone going to get the guts to standup in the Halls of Congress and demand to be told how we can continue to spend money we do not have. The day of financial reckoning is coming quickly. Wake-up America before it is too late, because we are sliding down the hill faster every passing day into financial insolvency.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Recently I reported the fact that I was reading “POWER AMBITION GLORY – The stunning parallels between great leaders of the ancient world and today…and the lessons you can learn” by Steve Forbes and John Prevas. Well I have finished after re-reading several passages because I was so moved by the historical facts that are intertwined throughout the book with well known business leaders. Let me provide you with some tidbits in hopes that I will wet your whistle for a rewarding read.

“Rem tene veba sequentur” (Get hold of the matter and the words will follow) –Cato.

“In life a man must resign himself to expect anything, and never count on anyone but himself” –Xenophon.

Meg Whitman, the former eBay CEO, is one of the business comparisons in the Xenophon chapter.

“I set no limits to what a man of ability can accomplish” – Alexander the Great.

In the chapter about Alexander the Great the authors write, “Ambition and the desire for immortality destroyed Alexander the Great. His story is the tragedy of what happens when a leader achieves power and wealth equal to his passion, something the Greek historian Plutarch warned about when he wrote, ‘No beast is more savage than man when he is possessed of power equal to his passion’. Alexander failed because he came to believe his own propaganda, and he lacked the self-control to keep his success within a sane perspective. He was weak within and not strong enough to carry the weight of his success.” (Page #140)

One of the business comparisons to Alexander the Great in the book is Dennis Kozlowski, the former CEO of TYCO.

“What do you think the Alps are? They are nothing more than high mountains. Their heights are not insurmountable to men of determination. We came to conquer Rome, now steel your hearts and climb” – Hannibal.

In a chapter about Julius Caesar Forbes and Prevas say, “Caesar projected a sense of sovereign self-assurance. There was no question that he was the boss and considered himself the only man for the job. Of course, Caesar was not the first person to live with the delusion that he alone could handle the top job. But in his case, that sense of self-worth turned out to be a double-edged sword. It mesmerized his followers and galvanized his enemies. Throughout his career, Caesar gave the impression that he always knew where he was going and what he was going to do when he got there. That impression eventually proved to be his undoing as it mutated into an imperious arrogance that cost him his life.” (Page #214)

The authors have a sub chapter on Caesar titled “If you are going to cross the Rubicon, make sure you know what you’re doing and where you’re going”. (Page #216) On page 217 they say, “The phrase ‘crossing the Rubicon’ has come to mean willingness to undertake a major and risky course of action from which there is no turning back." Alea iacta est translated means – the dice have been thrown.

When Caesar defeated a defiant Pharnaces in 47 B.C. he uttered the famous words…”Venim Vidi, Vici” (I came, I saw, I conquered) at the battle of Zela in northern Asia Minor, which was classic Caesar – quick, thorough, and decisive.

In the section about Augustus, he is quoted as saying, “May it be my privilege to establish the state firm and secure…so that I might be called the author of the best government and when I die the foundation which I have laid will remain.”

Hopefully that is more than enough to draw your interest without completing the parallels the authors draw to modern business leaders with the dominant leaders of the ancient world. I would hope that business schools across our country would make this book required reading, especially for their MBA programs. Even if one’s active business career is now history the book is a most rewarding read.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009


On October 29th a Washington reporter asked Speaker Nancy Pelosi a simple question; “Madam Speaker, where specifically does the Constitution grant Congress the authority to enact an individual health insurance mandate?” Speaker Pelosi responded, “Are you serious?”

Later one of Pelosi’s press spokesmen was asked about the original question and responded, “You can put this on the record. That is not a serious question. That is not a serious question.” This is a further example of the arrogance flowing through the Halls Congress.

It has been reported that Congress proceeds on numerous pieces of legislation using a broad interpretation of the Constitutional clause covering Interstate Commerce Transaction. Recently retired Federal Judge Andrew Napalatano spoke to this very issue and indicated that should the matter come before an honest Judge that the health care bill action would be ruled as unconstitutional.

Supporting Pelosi’s constitutional contempt and arrogance is the fact that her fellow members of the House support her disregard for our precious Constitution. In each session of Congress since 1995, Congressman John Shadegg (R-AZ) has introduced the Enumerated Powers Act “To require Congress to specify the source of authority under the United States Constitution for the enactment of Laws, and for other purposes.” Tragically his actions have failed repeatedly to draw little or no support from his fellow members of the House and Senate.

Thus it is obvious that our elected officials are taking our government toward greater control of our lives. It has been stated that after all, mankind’s standard fare throughout history is arbitrary control and abuse by government. Just what are we doing to ourselves permitting these devious politicians, which we elect, to take our lives in directions that serve them and not us?


Monday, November 16, 2009


Just like many of you I religiously view the network and cable Sunday morning talk programs. After many years of growing frustration I ask the question, “Why do the guests not answer direct questions?

Having been in the television business for over forty years I know the answer, but it does not solve the problem. The guests do not answer the questions, because they probably would lose their jobs if they responded honestly. Politics is a shady business, and honesty does not provide career longevity.

Just once I would love to see a moderator have the guts to stop the interview, and just walk off the set after announcing that due to the guest’s repeated failure to answer the questions, the remainder of the interview was cancelled. After all, guests, particularly Hollywood types, do this all the time when being interviewed. It would be most refreshing if we could see the political interviewer do the same.

Were that to happen the host would probably be terminated, because the network or station would lose significant revenue, and few if any politicians or political operatives would ever appear on future programs. Maybe we all would be better off if someone would fire a shot over the bow of all the guests to answer the questions with one word answers or start telling the truth without spin.

Frankly, I am not sure I can continue to watch the drivel we are subjected to every Sunday and on most week day interview programs. Maybe this is the real reason for falling ratings.

Recently I received an email from a friend suggesting we all go to the polls in November 2010 to vote every member of the House of Representatives, and the 33 Senators up for re-election out of office. Then, as the next two-thirds of the Senate come up for re-election, we vote them out too. Within the following four years we could be dealing with an entirely new Congress.

This would surely send a strong message that the electorate will no longer put up with the greedy, disingenuous, deceitful, behavior of our 20th century politicians. This is the opportunity to lay down the gauntlet and show the people have awakened to the 21st century.

Were our leaders and their so-called advisors to give honest answers, we may not like what we hear, but they might just earn our long absent respect and admiration. While I don’t think it has never been tried, I believe a program requiring honest and direct questions and answers would be welcome.

Remember, we voted these clowns into office. We can vote into office women and men of impeccable character who deserve our support. Individually we fail, but collectively we win. This can be accomplished if we join forces for a secure, rewarding, honest future.


Sunday, November 8, 2009


Recently details about Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi’s, arrogant behavior in spending the people’s hard-earned money came to my attention. I know that Speaker Pelosi exerted her power in securing the use of an Air Force 757 aircraft for her frequent non-stop flights from Washington to San Francisco as opposed to her previous use of a smaller jet that required a refueling stop.

I have now learned that the cost to the American taxpayer is $60,000.00 for each flight or $120,000.00 for each round-trip, which occurs almost every weekend. It is reported that the flight crew must always be on standby, and the flight departs whenever Speaker Pelosi decides. Do you not wonder who is tagging along on the flights, and are they paying the government for the ride? It is reported that Pelosi’s family is frequently included, and I suspect that fellow Democrats from California are also frequent flyers.

Let us just assume that Pelosi and company make round-trips 40 weeks per year that would represent an expenditure of at least $4,800,000.00 of our money. While we have been told that she flies on government aircraft for security reasons, I see no legitimate reason for her to not have a couple of security agents and fly a non-stop commercial aircraft at significantly less expense. And, yes, I understand that she is third in line to the office of president. If security is so important, a smaller Air Force jet aircraft should be sufficient. Pelosi’s actions are nothing less than total arrogance, and an insult to the American taxpayers.

While I am in this ranting posture let me address another concern I have with our representative governance. It is now apparent that our House of Representatives and Senate now usually meet only three days or less per week when in session. The total number of days that they formally meet in Washington is getting fewer and fewer, but whenever they do adjourn, is it necessary for them to fly home at taxpayer expense every single weekend? I suppose with a few simple calculations I could come up with a financial number as to what that is costing us, but you and I know it is a devastatingly high amount of our money.

With the above in mind would it not be a better use of our money if our elected officials stayed in Washington, and conducted the peoples business? When our Representatives and Senators get home, they are essentially passing out earmark dollars, and raising money for their re-election campaigns. With our economy in disarray would it not be logical to cut the travel expense and work an increased number of days per week accomplishing the work they were sent to Washington to conduct?

There is another looming expense, and that is the need to replace Air Force One in the near future considering the fact that our new President is utilizing it with an unprecedented number of flights. Can you just imagine the cost of each of his ventures considering the expense of fuel, secret service, pre-positioning automobiles and personnel? I am certain no President has flown as much as Obama and I think he should stay in Washington more often, too.

Let me suggest a few more questions. Why doesn’t our president of ten months suggest that Congress reduce its expenditures and travel, and increase the number of days worked in Washington, since he promised CHANGE and TRANSPARENCY? How about this question…If you only worked three days per week would your employer continue to pay you your full salary and all of your benefits? Would you expect your employer to pay all your travel and miscellaneous expenses for trips to exotic locations when you were not officially in session too? Do you suspect in your wildest dreams that Speaker Pelosi or Senate Majority Leader Reid would suggest economic and efficient improvements in their individual domains?

If you believe that any of these questions should be answered in the affirmative, I have a bridge to nowhere I want to sell you. While these situations are sad, disgusting, criminal, corrupt, and will surely continue unabated, there is no one to blame but us. More shockingly I do not hold out much hope that we will do anything about it either. Our complacency will continue until our personal pocketbooks are empty, and I fear that time is coming very soon. Have we totally lost our minds or have we been bought-off by our duplicitous political leadership? Using the word again, I think we have become equally duplicitous in creating this economical debacle.

In my 78 years on this earth I do not remember living under a federal administration that exudes such pomposity.



As America slept last evening our House of Representatives, under the direction of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, strong-armed the passage of her version of the House Health legislation. One must wonder just what promises and how much money was committed in the last hours before its passage by a razor thin margin?

Now we must await the actions of the Senate under the leadership of Senator Harry Reid (D-NV), who is facing a difficult re-election by his Nevada constituents. It appears that passage in the Senate may be more problematical, but back-room deals will probably again take place assuring President Obama his pledged payback to special interest contributors.

Retired Judge Andrew Napolitano has raised a very interesting and important question for every American to ponder, “Where does it say in the U.S. Constitution that Congress has the right to pass legislation for health care?” For many years our Congress has applied the passage in the Constitution addressing the transaction of Inter State Commerce as justification for passing many laws. Napolitano and many fellow American citizens feel our Congress has acted unconstitutionally, and were the question to be brought before an honest Federal Jurist, the passage of health care reform would die.

While most Americans want some kind of health care reform, it is equally clear that a majority does not like the proposed legislation and many polls support the opinion that the action is unconstitutional. Only time will tell, but again your Commander suggests that you not hold your breath. Our all-knowing power-conscious federal leadership will plow their will upon us lesser beings. We will have to step forward and pay for their actions whether we want to or not.


Thursday, November 5, 2009


While my worthy Editor was recently basking in the sun on Marco Island while attending a seminar with her friends in an investment group, I slaved away catching up on reading. Lately I have been bouncing between several different books, something I find easier to do than one might suspect.

Jon Meacham’s very detailed tome AMERICAN LION which covers Andrew Jackson in the White House is taking me a long time to read. Personally I am finding it difficult to stay with this book, having trouble being very interested in details about Jackson’s cousin’s love interests, but time will tell if it is really vital to the work.

I have just completed Steve Forbes & John Prevas’ wonderful POWER AMBITION GLORY which covers “The stunning parallels between great leaders of the ancient world and today and the lessons you can learn”. I find this to be a very important book, especially for future business leaders to read. As a fan of history there is much to absorb and utilize from the parallels outlined.

I have been reading but have not yet finished THE TRUE STORY OF THE BILDERBERG GROUP by Daniel Estulin. This is a very interesting behind the scenes revelation of influences that are and have impacted governments and events of the world. I intend to write about this compelling and divisive group shortly. I am quite sure the results of the read will shock you and you will want to read this one yourself.

I’m just getting into Newt Gingrich and William R. Forstchen’s novel of George Washington and the fight for American freedom titled TO TRY MEN’S SOULS. After only four chapters I find their fictional approach to historical detail to be a rewarding read.

Lastly, be sure to get a copy of Vince Flynn’s newest Mitch Rapp CIA action adventure thriller PURSUIT OF HONOR. As always Rapp conquers all forms of violence and danger to achieve his goal of saving the good old USA. This book is also high on the best seller list.

Your Commander hopes you enjoy reading as much as he does. He is saddened that he did not recognize the joys and rewards of reading at a much earlier age. When you are young and chasing your dreams, time is spent reading many documents that involve your employment. Recreational reading is difficult when life, work, and family occupy much of your time. Your Commander feels most fortunate that he now has time in retirement to share his hobby of reading and the many worlds the home computer has to offer.



With all the rhetoric being spewed across our newspapers and airwaves, the level of emotion on the Health Care Bill has reached a fever pitch. I will not waste space discussing all the false information being tossed about, but a few facts should be obvious.

First, we all agree that Health Care and health insurance coverage needs improvement, because many fellow citizens are under-served and it is just too darn expensive. Insurance companies must be held accountable, and their services must be made available across State lines.

The recent elections in Virginia and New Jersey clearly announced the growing fears of the electorate regarding our current economic uncertainties. Democracy is defined as government that responds to the will of the public. I do not see that happening, because what little I do know about the pending legislation is that the Bills are trying to address far more than what is necessary, and they are including provisions that are not supported by the will of the people.

My local newspaper ran a poll today, and they asked a simple question. Is a national health care insurance mandate constitutional? The answer shows that the people in my community do not think so. They voted and say that 22% think it is constitutional, but 78% think it is un-constitutional.

Apparently our government leaders and our President do not read newspapers. Thus, we the people are going to get shoved down our throats what they want and not what we want. I suggest they take a close look at what happened when politicians did not follow the will of the people in New Jersey and Virginia.



Recently my cousin visited from South Carolina and was kind enough to give me a gift copy of THREE CUPS OF TEA – One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace… One School at a Time - by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin.

Without a doubt this is one of the most inspirational books that I have ever read, and while Mortenson is without a doubt a unique individual, the world would be one hell of a lot better were there more Mortensons within our populous. He appears to venture into the extremely dangerous lands along the Pakistan and Afghanistan borders without one ounce of fear, or he is just crazed by his desire to regress the massive injustices that occur in this god forsaken area.

This paperback book has been listed as a best seller. I can strongly recommend that you add it to your reading list. The leadership of all countries should read THREE CUPS OF TEA, because they just may see one peaceful way to address the conflicts in that part of the world. Obviously Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfield certainly did not have the wisdom or knowledge this important first-hand account portrays of what is really going on inside Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan when they chose their deadly military actions.


Wednesday, November 4, 2009


The election in up-state New York and the voting for the governor’s offices in both New Jersey and Virginia are thankfully over. Today the Republicans are running around with exaggerated claims of total victory considering they really won in two-thirds of the big contests. The Democrats are spinning their position, and ignoring the fact that a newly awakened group of voters have spoken.

Certainly the results in New Jersey and Virginia have sent a signal to the Obama administration that dark storm clouds are forming on their political horizon. It will be necessary for the Democrats to step back, and consider a slower approach to taking advantage of chaos. The senior citizens and the Tea Party crowd are obviously a force to be reckoned with for the long-term interests of both parties. The media has finally recognized that the sad state of our economy is a key issue in the electorate’s mindset.

Wouldn’t you have liked to have been a little mouse hiding in the corner of the Oval Office this morning when President Barack Obama and his inner-circle met for a morning-after council? Somebody will pay for the failure to deliver the desired poll results, and it will not be pretty. Your Commander suggests that all-knowing Rahm Emanuel, and David Axelrod have some questions to answer, and they will be required to eat a healthy dose of crow. Hold on to your seat because the spin doctors will be working over-time in the days ahead.

It is clearly apparent that the base of Obama’s supporters in the minority, youth, and the Independent voter communities are fickle, because they voted in substantially lower numbers or switched parties in these elections. Why? Hopefully the strong voices that did speak will have sufficient influence to slow-down the madness surrounding the excessively expensive Health Bill legislation, and the Cap and Trade Bill, among other Democrat causes. Do you suppose that Washington got the word that America wants them to stop spending money, and act responsibility?

The Blue Dog Democrats will not be sleeping well tonight, and yesterday’s elections just may be the needed arrow into the heart of the Obama administration’s conceit.


Saturday, October 31, 2009


Events of the past few days announcing the significantly increasing death toll of both Americans and civilians in Afghanistan has filled the airwaves of the major television networks, cable channels and newspapers across the country. At the same time the White House continues to drag its feet in making a decision in response to the Commander General’s request for 40,000 additional troops.

Recently my local newspaper ran another poll asking the question: “Should more U.S. troops be sent to Afghanistan or should our troops be brought home?” I found the response to be most interesting, because it reflected a shift in the attitudes from similar polls of just a few weeks ago. Now the poll indicates that 44% want more troops to be sent, and a majority or 56% want our troops to be brought home.

Honestly, I am glad that I do not have to make the decision, but it is troubling that should we withdraw we will be looked upon as losing the War and not having the will to complete the original mission. Additionally, I find it to be most troubling to even start to wonder if those brave men and women who have given the fullest measure did so in vain. My God, what if you had a child who died in this distant God forsaken land, and we now decide to fold up the tent and come home?

As I have stated firmly in earlier commentaries I have fully supported the War on Terrorism and held a strong desire to win that War before it comes to our shores again. But, I must admit that I am beginning to have doubt that we or any other force can change what no Army has been able to accomplish since before the birth of Christ. History has shown one failure after another in this part of the world and considering all our other problems, maybe we have no business being there. Both sides of the argument can and have made strong arguments for their position, but this is one that we better get right. For instance do we want those crazy people infiltrating our country any more than they already have?

What really concerns me is the action currently being taken by this Administration. Taking time to reach a good decision is one thing, but traveling all over the country to raise money for elections and re-elections is, in my opinion, a misuse of our President’s important time and his oath of office. Our President repeatedly says he supports our troops, but his actions do not back that pledge. How can he or we support our troops if we continue to spend printed money in a reckless and irresponsible manner?

Thus far our new leadership has talked a good game, but has little to show for the initial months of his administration. Bluster and braggadocio does not get the job done, and never has in the past. An old cowboy expression comes to mind; “Big Hat No Cattle” and it certainly applies to Barack Obama in my judgment. Chicago style politics never won a War, and it will not win the conflict in Afghanistan. Hell, Chicago politics cannot even control the gangs that are killing teenagers every day in the shadows of their public schools and in neighborhoods.

I pray that winning the Nobel Peace Prize will not lead Obama to a course of action that brings further loss of life by our brave fighting men and women. Why does the name Neville Chamberlain keep coming to mind?

The decision about our course of action in the Middle East is way beyond my pay grade, but this is one that can make or break our precious United States. We have made huge mistakes in Iraq and Afghanistan and we better get it right now before it is too late. The clock is ticking for every one of us, and the polls indicate that the American people do not like what is occurring in that hell-hole Afghanistan, and unlike the America I grew up in, our will to win seems to be quickly eroding.

Maybe the real questions we need to address are not do we want to win, but can we afford to win, or can we afford not to win due to our current economic circumstances? America cannot continue to print money forever without addressing the consequences of irresponsible behavior. Remember the inflation of the late 70’s and early 80’s?



When our magnificent democracy was founded way back in 1776 I thought the authors of our Constitution purposely created separation between the three segments of government: the Judiciary, Legislative, and Executive branches. The purpose of assuring clear guidelines of authority have served our government well over the years, and proved the Founding Father’s brilliant foresight.

I do not know about you, but I am tired of hearing the deceptive dialog connected with the pending legislation on Health Care Reform. Certainly there is general agreement that Health Care requires improvement, but what we are getting is an excessively expensive program that has a hidden agenda that is not supported by the majority of Americans. Just imagine what good could be rendered if we took all the special interest money being spent to push each side of Health Care just on television commercials alone?

Apparently we are going to get a liberal Health Care Bill whether the majority of voters want it or not. What really starts my heart to beat faster and my blood pressure to rise is the blatant disregard for our Constitution. Please show me where it is written in our Constitution the words that justify the inclusion of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel into the final markup of the Senate version of the Health Care legislation? That role is clearly the responsibility of the Senate, and not the Executive Branch.

The Bills should be individually drawn up by the House, and then the Senate. Once the individual Bill versions are passed, they should go to resolution in a Conference Committee represented by a group of Democrats and Republicans from each body, and voted upon up or down. Then that Bill should go to the Executive Branch for the President’s acceptance or veto.

We the American people, who will have to live with whatever Bill is passed, will live with its consequences for decades. (It will take that long to undo the financial damage to our country.) The Bill will NOT apply to our elected officials. So now we will have the three branches of government, not to mention most non-union federal employees, who do not have to live under this Health Care Reform, or Social Security for that matter, because they will retain their cushy health insurance and retirement packages.

We never elected Rahm Emanuel to office, and he has no business in closed door meetings pushing the Executive Branch’s hidden agenda which is swayed by special interests. Why such a rush for passage?

The full impact of this legislation will not take effect for several years, but we will have to pay for its impact to our economy for a long time. By then, Rahm Emanuel and his ilk will be long gone collecting their inflated government retirement checks along with their leader. We will be left holding the big financial bag, and the best of it is health care will not be improved.

We the electorate have been totally banned by our elected officials in the formation of this legislation, and it just plain stinks. Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, and Independents best remember what has been rammed down their throats come Election Day.

Don’t you just love CHANGE?


Friday, October 30, 2009


As the month of October closes I was reminded of President John Adams’ birthday (October 30, 1735), and his strong support and promotion of education. In Adams’ “Dissertation on the Cannon and Feudal Law” (1765) he stated that he believed that the best way to guard the blessings of liberty is through education.

In that dissertation Adams wrote, “Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people, who have a right from the frame of their nature, to knowledge, as their great Creator, who does nothing in vain, has given them understandings, and a desire to know…”

It is your Commander’s opinion that our country’s educational system has deteriorated steadily since the conclusion of World War II, and one governing administration after another has permitted this erosion to occur. Numerous forces hold the responsibility for our continuing slide downward in educational achievement, appalling drop-out rates, and lower graduation rates. Tragically, decisions impacting our children’s education have been made on the basis of political consequences, and not the best interests of the students or the country as a whole.

Year after year our elected officials have thrown vast sums of money at education, and the consequences have been considerably less than repeatedly promised. Elected officials have continually bowed to the strong teachers unions, unqualified school boards, and special interest lobbyists. Students have suffered the results of political compromises and the politician’s almighty campaign for votes at any cost.

The problems and corrective action must address numerous causal influences, but it must start in the homes of the students. Parental supervision is increasingly inadequate, but politicians are scared to address that issue for fear of losing votes. The same is true of unwarranted union influences, because the unions throw tons of money at the politician’s war chests. Citizens continue to elect unqualified individuals to school boards, which then persists to look to complicit political friends for more and more money. Money does not automatically deliver improved achievement.

No one wants to answer why private schools, home schooling, parochial schools, and charter schools students all achieve better graduation rates, have less drop-outs, and have greater percentages of college/university acceptances. Devious political decision making just maybe the root cause of our educational failures.

A few powerful voices such as Bill Cosby have spoken to education’s problems, but few actions are taken by influential Washington officials. Our failure to improve education will certainly lead to the deterioration of our standard of living, increased unsustainable entitlement financial obligations, our competitive standing in the world, and our democracy itself. Why do we continue year after year to permit this tragic situation to fester? Where is the political leadership with the courage to address this national cancer with honesty and results oriented action? Lastly, why is responsibility and accountability always absent from the education discussion?