Tuesday, March 31, 2009


The source of my “nom de plume” goes back several decades.

First, the Granger part comes from where I have resided for the last 10+ years.

The very first time I was referred to as Commander was in the summer of 1949 when I was appointed the Company Commander of the 7th Naval Company at the Culver Summer Naval School. I can remember clearly just how proud I was with that designation and also because it made my Father almost burst his buttons. My Dad had also attended Culver as a teen and was a Cadet Lieutenant in the Culver Black Horse Troop and a member of the famous life saving Corps of Cadets during the devastating Logansport floods back in 1913. Additionally, my Dad was designated as Aide to Culver’s Superintendent when Indiana’s own Thomas R. Marshall was inaugurated Vice President in Washington, D.C. in 1913, which was Culver’s Black Horse Troop’s earliest appearance in the Presidential Inauguration Parade, but I digress.

The second time I was referred to as Commander goes way back, too. If memory serves me correctly it was sometime around 1970 when I was the Vice-President/Sales Manager of a Chicago television advertising representative firm. I had hired a young man from Milwaukee as a new sales representative. For the sake of his privacy, let’s call him Graham.

Graham turned out to be, at best, a satisfactory salesman, but was never what I considered a hot-shot. To my total amazement he was highly regarded by our clients and the advertising agencies he called upon. I could never figure out just why everyone loved Graham, because he was totally disorganized, and was a nightmare in his dress. Sometimes he would arrive with a black jacket and brown pants, and when I questioned him his response would be, “Ohhh Ha. I’ll be darned Commander”. Rarely did Graham’s socks match. His hair was always messed, but the young ladies loved him. He lived in Chicago’s fashionable Rush Street neighborhood, and was a frequent visitor of the night spots along that legendary avenue.

One day Graham arrived at our morning sales meeting with a brown suit, white shirt and tie, but a big “S” was showing through his white shirt. He had on a Superman t-shirt under his dress shirt. Upon bringing this to his attention he said, “Thanks, Commander” and drifted on about his day. Times were good in our business with Graham and the company thriving.

After two years, much to my surprise Graham resigned telling me that it was time for him to move on. Within a short period of time he became the sales manager of an independent television station in Buffalo, NY, followed by general manager posts in major markets, and later a Programming Vice-President for Tribune Broadcasting in Chicago. Our paths crossed frequently in Chicago, and Graham always seemed to be walking around in a fog. Don’t misunderstand me, I am not suggesting that he ever used drugs, but he surely was in his own unique world. Every time we met over many years, he always gave me a big “Hello, Commander”, so that’s how I chose my blog moniker.

I have lost track of Graham over the years, but when I decided to establish a nom de plume for my new blog his reference came to mind. Incidentally, my dear wife and editor has called me by many names, but never Commander.


Friday, March 27, 2009


When I sat down and began to prepare this commentary, I had just finished viewing the Sunday Morning major newscasts, such as CBS Sunday Morning, Face the Nation, and Meet the Press. The usual talking heads from Washington were spinning their party’s official line, and not one of them answered the question directed to them. Some days I believe nothing ever changes, and you and I are seeing our secure future slip away from us on almost an hourly basis.

After browsing my ever slimmer local Sunday newspaper I just sat in my lazy-boy contemplating recent developments, and I have come to the conclusion that there are very few people in our Congress that are like us, the common people. First, in order to get elected one must have a great source of major amounts of money. Once the campaign begins the candidate must start making compromises of his/her integrity in order to receive the necessary campaign contributions. Once elected to office the official is required to follow the party line that is established by long entrenched political elders. These party leaders are so conflicted, and obligated to special interests that their logic and oath to the people is significantly impaired.

In order to stay in Washington as an elected official he or she must immediately begin to play the game with lobbyists, and special interests to fill up the campaign coffers for the next campaign. The cycle continues year after year, and it isn’t often that the elected official ever loses office unless he/she really screws up. As history has proven even the worst possible actions do not necessarily mean the end to one’s political career.

Most concerning to me is the fact that there are few, if any, individuals serving our interests in Congress that is not extremely wealthy. If they did not have much money when they got elected they soon are flushed with a big bank account. Don’t you wonder how that happens?

Back in July an old friend from Idaho sent me an email that was widely distributed, which outlined the fact that numerous members of Congress were accused of spousal abuse, had been arrested for fraud, wrote bad checks, had bankrupted at least two companies, done time for assault, had bad credit, were arrested for drug-related charges, were arrested for shoplifting, were defendants in lawsuits, and had been arrested for drunk driving recently.

Virtually all of the offenders are still serving in their positions, and only a couple of members were forced to resign when convicted, but they continue to collect a life-time pension.

Where are the House and Senate Ethics Committees when it comes to cleaning up the misbehavior? We have all recently seen example after example where a double standard was shown for many members, such as:

Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA)
Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY)
Rep. Duke Cunningham (R-CA)
Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA)
Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-CT)
Rep. William Jefferson (D-LA)
Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID)

Repeatedly members of “The Club” were permitted to get away totally unscathed, but you and I would have lost our jobs, and probably be in jail. The most grievous example was the conduct of now multi-millionaire ex-President William Jefferson Clinton, and he struts around the world today as if nothing ever happened.

Please tell me why our Congress is permitted to work only about three days per week, allowed to vote themselves pay raises, authorized to fly all over the world at government expense, and fly home most Thursdays when in session to their home districts at taxpayer’s expense so they can pass out Pork or raise more campaign funds. When you consider the number of recesses the Congress also takes annually, they actually work for you and me very few days per year. No one in this country has more perks, better health insurance, or a more lucrative retirement plan than our elected officials.

Where you and I came from we had to work five or six plus days per week to earn a two week vacation. We worked overtime when required, and came in on the weekends when necessary. Many Americans work sixty plus hours per week just to meet their work and financial obligations.

How can our Congressmen and Senators criticize any company for holding meetings in Las Vegas, when both the Republicans and Democrats held lavish gatherings this past January at expensive resorts on the east coast all at taxpayer expense? The bonus plans at AIG were wrong, but Congress and several Administrations are complicit.

Especially during these perilous economic times wouldn’t it be appropriate for Congress to stay in Washington working five or six days per week, and accomplish something significant, rather than all this political posturing. How about not flying home every weekend, and staying in Washington preparing to complete real objective goals on Monday morning. Executives from Ford, GM and Chrysler flying private jets did little to pollute the skies compared to what Congress does every weekend flying home or on junkets worldwide.

We are ruled by elitist multi-millionaires who do not have the foggiest idea what you and I must contend with everyday of our lives. I no longer believe they care, because they have got it made in the shade. We did it to ourselves, because we had it too good for far too long. We voted these unethical corrupt hypocrites into office, and our apathy permits them to remain in office.

CNN.com recently conducted an interesting poll which asked the question: “Do you think your representative would take a bribe?”

Yes, but the price is high 41% 20,194 votes
Yes, for free meals 41% 20,566 votes
No way 18% 9,030 votes

Total votes 49,790

Now that is not a scientific poll, but I find it to be very revealing of how the average citizen rates their representatives in Washington.

We the people of these United States can do something about it in less than two years. The average person and I believe that the majority of people living in America are average, better get off his/her behind. We must vote for individuals of real integrity and decency. Our political parties must do a better job of vetting their candidates, and I believe the situation is so dire that it is not beyond the possibility that a third party could come into viable existence.

Your Commander once thought term-limits were the answer, but I am no longer certain that is correct. People like Rep. Jeff Flake R-AZ are needed in Washington, because people of his character are what are necessary to lead us out of the current destructive path. We are approaching the later innings of this game, but it is not too late to salvage a victory, and return this great nation to its position of envy, glory, and prosperity.

Greed and complicity got us into this pickle, but if we select individuals with ideals much like our Founding Fathers we can, and will, move onto the correct compass heading. We desperately need guidance, so May God Bless America.


Thursday, March 26, 2009


Your Commander is going to put his toe in the water on a very emotionally and politically charged question. First, understand that I am not Catholic, but I am a Christian. Living in the shadow of the Golden Dome, a number of my good friends are either Catholic, worked at Notre Dame, or attended the school.

When President Jenkins of the University of Notre Dame announced the invitation for President Obama to speak at the May commencement, the sparks immediately began to fly. Our new President’s frequently announced position on abortion and stem cell research goes directly against the long established positions of the Catholic Church.

Some have said that it is a long-standing tradition for the University to invite the sitting President to speak, but I do not remember an occasion when the speaker had policies so diametrically opposed to the Church’s long established and firm positions. Sure, President Bush’s position on the War was opposed by many members of the Catholic Church and Notre Dame’s Institute for Peace, but I believe this latest issue is much more debatable.

Now Bishop John D’Arcy of the South Bend/Ft.Wayne Archdiocese who has attended graduations at Notre Dame for twenty years has announced that he will not attend if President Obama speaks. Local media are having a field day interviewing young Notre Dame Students for their opinions, and they have expressed responses intelligently on both sides of the question.

The South Bend Tribune asked its readers to respond to a poll today and the results are almost evenly split, 49% Yes; 51% No on the president’s appearance.

As a total outsider on this question, it is my opinion that this is a controversy that the University did not need to take on at this time. I believe, too, that President Obama was ill-advised to accept the invitation, and walk into the middle of a well predicted controversy. Is an Honorary Degree from Notre Dame worth getting 50% of his Catholic constituency upset? I think not.

I believe the University is placing their desire to be a friend of the new administration above their basic Catholic principles. Pleasing Obama surely gets the University in a stronger position to attract large government grants, however it ignores its core values.

Numerous Universities and Colleges have made similar judgmental errors. Harvard’s former president spoke out on the lack of abilities by women in the Sciences; Duke University failed to support its Lacrosse players prior to full disclosure of rape allegations, the University of Illinois bowed to unwarranted political pressure on Chief Illiniwek, etc.

Emotional issues of this nature lead to absurd reactions, such as one I just heard on Sports Talk Radio: We could expect President Obama’s brother-in-law to be the next basketball coach at Notre Dame following his speech at Notre Dame’s Commencement. This ridiculous statement implied that the entire invitation was a Pay for Play deal like the Blagojevich fiasco in Illinois. That kind of talk does not even deserve my repeating, but it shows you how issues gain traction and distortion.

Notre Dame has enough people who dislike their very existence, so why walk into the middle of a highly emotional public relations controversy? President Father Jenkins’ invitation and announcement appears to try to walk both sides of this controversy, and curry the favor of President Obama. Incidentally, Mr. Obama has accepted the invitation. It just proves that priest’s can make mistakes, and sometimes be a little hypocritical, too.



With all the problems facing our government today, I was shocked to read an article in today’s USA Today announcing the fact that Senator Orrin Hatch R-UT is pushing for Senate Hearings on the Bowl Championship Series.

Obviously this suggestion is coming from pressure instigated by President Barrack Obama’s critical comments about the BCS, and the fact that Hatch’s home state University of Utah was left out of the Championship game despite going undefeated last year. Good God, our government has many more important matters to take up during the few hours that they work than to hold expensive hearings of the Senate Judiciary Sub-Committee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights to study this question.

Even Representative Joe Barton R-TX is wasting taxpayer dollars sponsoring legislation to keep the NCAA from calling the play-off game “The National Championship”, unless it results from a play-off.

Citizens are losing their jobs, individuals are homeless, children are hungry, American boys are dying in Wars around the world, and these fools want to waste extremely valuable time talking about a game. The expression “Rome is burning while Nero fiddles” is most apropos. This kind of absurdity gets your Commander’s “hair on fire”.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009


This morning your Commander was in deep contemplation when he came up with the politically related question noted above.

The other day I heard that many elected officials in Washington had received political contributions from AIG, so I went to Google to secure some substantiation. Shockingly, I learned that your Commander and the Huffington Post are on the same page on this interesting question. Jamie Court reported that AIG gave $9.3 million over the last decade in political contributions, and they were split 50/50 between Republicans and Democrats.

Here is a list of recent recipients:

Senator Barack Obama $104,332
Senator Chris Dodd $103,900
Senator John McCain $ 59,499
Senator Hillary Clinton $ 37,965
Senator Max Baucus $ 24,750
Candidate Mitt Romney $ 20,850
Senator Joe Biden $ 19,975
House John B. Larson $ 19,750
Senator John Sununu $ 18,500
Candidate Rudolph Giuliani $ 13,200
House Paul E. Kanjorski $ 12,000
Senator Dick Durbin $ 11,000
House Edwin Perlmutter $ 10,500
House Charles Rangel $ 9,000
Candidate John Edwards $ 7,850
Senator Bob Corker $ 7,400
House Chris Smith $ 6,900
House Richard Neal $ 6,500
Senator Jay Rockefeller $ 6,500
Senator Jack Reed $ 6,000

This certainly is a very interesting list of names, which makes this subject one of major conflicting relationships. The House of Representatives passed retroactive legislation requiring employees who were given contractually promised bonuses from companies that received government TARP money to repay them or pay a 90% tax. The Senate has yet to vote on similar legislation. The question is: Wouldn’t it be appropriate for politicians who received campaign contributions from AIG and other TARP recipients several months ago return those funds to the companies, or to the government?

Remember, politicians returned monies they received from Enron to charities after that scandal broke, so should they not do the same with AIG.

I hope you know how much it pains your Commander to agree with anything suggested in the Huffington Post. Already President Obama is making noise that he has concerns about the 90% tax proposal, so it should be very interesting to see the political dance as it unfolds in the coming days and weeks. Are we experiencing CHANGE and TRANSPARENCY or just a cunning political plot?


Saturday, March 21, 2009


When historians look back upon the actions of the House of Representatives fifty or one hundred years from now, they may consider Wednesday March 18, 2009 as the date the United States of America took a giant move toward socialism, a monarchy or even a dictatorship. Clearly the precipitous near panic actions taken by an almost mob incited Congress leads me to feel our government has dangerously moved toward the destruction of our democracy.

I sat through the hypocritically staged televised session of the House of Representatives Committee that grilled the Government appointed Chairman of AIG Edward Liddy. It is beyond belief the way in which Congressmen from both sides of the aisle attacked an honorable man who had absolutely nothing to do with the establishment of the inappropriately paid bonus programs.

Even the liberal media is now reporting the fact that both the Bush and Obama administrations knew of the AIG bonus program, and Obama and/or his people were complicit in the insertion of language protecting the bonus payments. That was the rushed through legislation that the Congressmen did not even have a chance to read before voting approval. Now the cat is out of the bag, and Congressmen who had dirty hands in this deal are running for cover. Congress is playing the old bait and switch game in an effort to deceive the voting public with their unrighteous indignation.

Yes, the American public is up in arms that the bonus program existed and was paid after massive public funds were awarded. But the fact of the matter is that it is against our Constitution to go back and break legally executed contracts.

Were I to have been in the chair getting the unwarranted attacks from those political hypocrites, I would have stood up and said: “Members of this Committee you have uncaringly attacked my integrity, and you know full well that I had absolutely nothing to do with the creation of the AIG scandal. I was asked by this government to take this job for one dollar a year and I will not stand here and be your whipping boy. You know who is responsible, just look into the mirror. You will receive my letter of resignation tomorrow, and you can take this job and shove it.”

It is my opinion that the current administration has organized its Union friends to demonstrate outrage in the streets of America inciting a class-warfare struggle to off-set the voter’s attention to the true source of responsibility in the AIG fiasco. Again we see a perfect example of Rahm Emanuel’s plan to take advantage of any crisis and get other questionable legislation passed successfully. In this case it is the “Card Check” program to payoff the Unions for their support of the Obama election. The Unions want to eliminate the secret ballot, which is a basic American right. This program is wrong in many ways and it is detrimental to the long-term benefit of our economy.

If the Courts do not reject this recent Congressional taxing legislation, assuming the Senate supports this rush to judgment or cover-up, then we are all in for big trouble in the years ahead. If the U.S. Constitution is not upheld then much is lost. Your Commander believes fervently that we need to clean house in Washington, and I wonder where the Justice Department is in announcing indictments against the real culprits of the AIG scandal. We are experiencing another perfect example of transference to cover-up the real criminals.

My wonderful Editor and Consigliore has repeatedly urged me to refrain from frequently attacking our political leadership, but it is impossible to ignore the obvious. We the voters and citizens of the United States of America have much to lose, but we have no one to blame but ourselves.

Benjamin Franklin said; “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety”.

Equally appropriate are the words of Thomas Jefferson when he said; “When the government fears the people there is liberty, when the people fear the government there is tyranny”.


Thursday, March 19, 2009


Thomas Riley Marshall was the Vice-President of the United States during the administration of President Woodrow Wilson from 1913 to 1921. He was born in North Manchester, Indiana, and became famous for his remark “What this country needs is a good five-cent cigar”.

Marshall served as Vice President for both of Wilson’s terms as President, which included the difficult World War 1 years, and when President Woodrow Wilson suffered a stroke. Your Commander suggests you take a peek at the Junto Society site as a diversion from the trials and tribulations of the day.

An interesting aside is the fact that Marshall invited Indiana’s Culver Military Academy Black Horse Troop to represent the state for the first time in the Inauguration Parade of the Wilson/Marshall Administration in 1913. That invitation began the now long established tradition of Culver’s participation in Presidential Parades that continues through the recent Obama/Biden Inaugural in January, 2009.

In doing some research for this brief essay, I ran across a very interesting website titled “Junto Society”. It is a non-profit educational site whose managers “are politically active citizens seeking to assist others in gaining a better understanding of the American political process.” If you are a history buff, as I am, you might be interested in taking a look at the Junto Society site: http://www.juntosociety.com

To read more about Marshall you can go to:


Wednesday, March 18, 2009


The hot topic is the outrage in Washington’s political circles toward the recent announced bonus payments to personnel at AIG. Recently, President Obama outlined his outrage via his teleprompter speech to an adoring media, and the dumfounded American public. This was quickly supported by his talking puppet White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, and now Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) claims that he will introduce legislation declaring the bonus checks to be subject to a 100% tax.

All this really represents is a text book example of Transference or changing the attention of the audience away from the true facts. No one can tell me that our government officials did not have prior knowledge of the bonus payment plan. Yesterday it was disclosed that a special amendment was inserted recently in the Stimulus Plan legislation by Senator Christopher Dodd (D-CT) to protect bonuses paid to “bail-out” recipients after February 11, 2009. It is very interesting that Senator Dodd was the largest recipient of campaign contributions from AIG (more than $100,000 for his re-election campaign last year). There is a very revealing article by Jim Meyers on Newsmax.com 3/17/09 titled Two Faced: Dodd Protected Bonuses, Now He Wants Them Out, which proves his culpability and repeated conflict of interest.

Each day your Commander sees growing evidence that our liberal media is smelling smoke, and is finally recognizing that they inserted the hook in their mouths far too early. Our media did not properly vet the Obama resume, and they became mesmerized in his carefully crafted campaign. It is not only Fox News that is exposing the true facts behind this AIG story, but even the Big Three network newscasts now find they must air the story. As slim as the coverage has been, it is beginning to creep into the airwaves, and the Obama administration is desperately running for cover.

Do you believe that our supposedly brilliant Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner did not have prior knowledge of the inner workings of AIG? Geithner worked in the inner circles of Wall Street and our government’s financial institutions, and worked with former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson to put the AIG bail-out package together last fall. It is impossible to believe that he did not know about the long established bonus retention plan. Assuming he knew, Geithner should be immediately replaced for permitting Obama’s team to walk into a mega-problem.

Additionally, the duplicity of both the Senate and Congressional Oversight Committees is beyond comprehension. Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA) is lying through his teeth on a daily basis, because he repeatedly failed to meet his Congressional responsibilities. Both Frank and Senator Dodd urged AIG to make unsupportable loans years ago and their actions led to the current scandal.

There is a very interesting article written by Vasko Kohlmayer for American Thinker titled: Who is Barney Frank? You should read it, and I think you will agree that he should be removed from the House, if not be put in jail. Here is the link:

In yesterday’s Wall Street Journal there is an excellent editorial “The Real AIG Outrage”, and a thorough article by Ron Shelp titled “AIG Can Be Salvaged by a Breakup”. They can be found by copying the individual links below and pasting them in your browser:

What really concerns your Commander is just how secure are any contracts that we all hold in view of the Obama administration’s recent pronouncements? I believe the contracts signed by AIG are valid. I do not like them, but how can you go back and make they invalid? What is next? What if Obama’s hatchet men decide they want my home, and they invalidate my contract with my bank or any contract I have for services rendered? Honestly, these recent actions are scaring the hell out of me because I no longer think anything is secure once the government gets involved.

Your government and mine had prior knowledge of the deals within AIG, and they are lying to the American public with their unrighteous indignation. This is pure corrupt political double-speak. Sadly many administrations have been lying to us for many years, and we never held them accountable. We better wake-up before it is too late or all our liberties will evaporate before our very eyes. The American Way of Life is in great peril. Transparency, although a much used word these days, has left the Washington vernacular. The new definition of transparency is lying, because if you tell a lie enough times the fools will believe you. We have no one to blame but ourselves.


Tuesday, March 17, 2009


The decision to change your Will is not something that one does without considerable soul-searching. Immediately I want to assure my family that my action will not impact their inheritance one bit, but it is directly related to bequests I have made to my alma mater, the University of Illinois. This is assuming there is any money remaining when President Obama completes redistributing wealth, and absorbing my hard earned portfolio.

Way back on April 5, 2008 I commenced my F. Roberts World blog with the first one titled “Sportsmanship is Dead”, and that was when the thought process about changing my Will began. Some twenty years ago in consultation with my attorney, I decided to make a sizeable contribution to the General Fund of the University of Illinois upon my death. Since that time two specific situations occurred that led me to changing my mind, and totally withdrawing my bequest.

First, as covered in my inaugural blog, I remain infuriated by the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s decision to force the University of Illinois to drop their mascot, Chief Iliniwek. At that time I was, and remain opposed to grossly over-paid President Miles Brand’s arbitrary hypocritical decision that the Chief was a derogatory racial figure. Brand demanded that many teams change their long established mascots. Some schools like Florida State elected to buy off the problem with money, and thus they continue to have an Indian mascot and team name. While I am very sympathetic with President Brand’s current battle with pancreatic cancer, I continue to feel that his actions were really none of the NCAA’s business.

It remains my opinion that the NCAA has more important fish to fry, and it bowed to unjustified pressures brought forward by two under-worked, over-paid, radical, tenured professors at Illinois. The NCAA should get its own house in order before it tells other institutions how to function. I also feel that the Illinois Trustees gave in to unwarranted pressures from the NCAA when repeated polls taken by the Champaign News-Gazette, and the Chicago Tribune reported that 70% of the thousands of respondents supported the retention of The Chief. The University spent millions of public dollars studying this issue, and they took the easy way out and destroyed a time honored institution of admiration in everything The Chief represented.

Anyone who ever witnessed The Chief dance at half-time at an Illinois home football or basketball game knows that The Chief represented nothing but honor to the traditions of native Illinois Indians. To suggest that Chief Illiniwek was a racially insensitive symbol is nothing short of absurd.

Your Commander’s roots run very deep as far as the University of Illinois goes because my Father graduated back in 1918, I graduated in 1956, and my son in 1979. I continue to love the Fighting Illini teams, and especially The Chief, but I cannot support the lily-livered administration.

As the son of Genevieve Margaret Finnegan Kalthoff I am a 50% proud Irishman. What is the difference between Chief Illiniwek’s half-time dance and the actions of Notre Dame’s Leprechaun running around frantically throughout entire games? However, the NCAA never considered touching Notre Dame. I believe that the NCAA’s actions are both arbitrary and hypocritical. I can see the NCAA’s actions encouraging the ACLU to consider all team mascots as offensive to somebody. It is not too far a stretch to see the Illini called the Big Block I or Notre Dame renamed the Dancing Irish Lace.

Secondly and more importantly is the fact that the University of Illinois continues to employ unrepentant admitted terrorist William Ayers as an Education Professor on the University of Illinois-Chicago campus. This act alone is more than proper justification for no longer supporting my alma mater financially. William Ayers should not be receiving public dollars when he continues to state “I wish I did more when we bombed public buildings”. Do you want William Ayers teaching your children?

So, if my old University has repeatedly forsaken their principals of right over wrong, and desires to have terrorists on their staff, they are not getting my hard earned dollars.


Monday, March 16, 2009


Anyone who has read the Commander’s essays knows that I have long considered the United States borders to be a long neglected, festering issue. It is my opinion that the economic problems facing our great nation have their roots flowing from the numerous issues directly attributable to our long neglected political hot-button…immigration.

Having lived about four years within a few miles of the Mexican/Arizona border, I know this subject first-hand. On more than one morning, I walked into my fenced back yard and found illegal travelers filling their plastic water bottles from my garden hose. They were as scared by our chance confrontations as I was, and fled immediately northward across the vast desert.

Our politicians refuse to objectively address this complicated subject because they want every single vote they can attract. Both Republicans and Democrats have long blatantly misused legal and illegal immigration to their benefit. Obviously this is an emotionally charged issue, but I know from personal experience that the agricultural communities along the entire southern border have long taken advantage of the Mexican workers. The Agricultural political action committees have been most effective in protecting their self-serving positions. I have seen many Mexican farm workers being worked like dogs, and living under less than humane conditions. There must be a middle ground on workers rights and living conditions, but the all-powerful farm lobby refuses to compromise to reach a fair solution.

In recent days we have witnessed horrid stories about Mexican drug gang violence along the southern border, but this is nothing new. Yes, the problem is escalating, and American citizens as well as U.S. Border Patrol personnel are getting killed. That is why the politicians are starting to express concern, typically after the fact. Only last week did our new Homeland Security Secretary suggest a study group to look into the border violence question. It is my opinion that Janet Napolitano, the ex-Governor of Arizona, is unqualified to solve this problem.

Many administrations have failed to address immigration, including George W. Bush’s, and it thus far has not even been mentioned on Obama’s agenda, because it is a political hot-potato. Our government’s failure to address immigration and propose a realistic plan to solve the inter-related issues has directly impacted our current economic crisis.

The growing financial obligations in the states of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California all have their foundation in the immigration fiasco. Here are some shocking statistics:

1. State governments spend between $11 Billion and $22 Billion on welfare to illegal aliens each year.

2. $2.2 Billion dollars a year is spent on food assistance programs such as food stamps, WIC, and free school lunches for illegal aliens.

3. $2.5 Billion dollars a year is spent on Medicaid for illegal aliens.

4. $12 Billion dollars a year is spent on primary and secondary school education for children here illegally and many cannot speak a word of English.

5. $17 Billion dollars a year is spent on education for American-born children of illegal aliens, known as anchor babies.

6. $3 Million Dollars a DAY is spent to incarcerate illegal aliens. That’s $1.1 Billion Dollars a year.

7. 30% percent of all Federal Prison inmates are illegal aliens.

8. $90 Billion Dollars a year is spent on illegal aliens for Welfare & Social Services by the American taxpayers.

9. $200 Billion dollars a year in suppressed American wages is caused by illegal aliens.

10. The illegal aliens in the United States have a crime rate that’s two and a half times that of white, non-illegal aliens. In particular, their children are going to add a huge additional crime problem in the U.S.

11. During the year of 2005 there were 4 to 10 Million illegal aliens that crossed our Southern Border. An additional, as many as 19,500 illegal aliens entered from terrorist countries. Millions of pounds of drugs, cocaine, meth, heroin and marijuana, crossed into the U.S. from the Southern border, per Homeland Security Report.

12. The National Policy Institute estimated that the total cost of mass deportation would be between $206 and $230 billion, or an average cost of between $41 and $46 billion annually over a five year period.

13. In 2006, illegal aliens sent home $45 Billion in remittances to their countries of origin.

14. The Dark Side of Illegal Immigration: Nearly one million sex crimes are committed by illegal immigrants in The United States.

The total cost is $338.3 Billion Dollars A Year!

Should you question any of these statistics, I have a number of reference websites available to verify the data.

Thus far, I have heard few politicians discuss the cost of our immigration dilemma, because they do not want to jeopardize the illegal immigrant vote. The answers to this matter are not simple, but most complex. Certainly the corruption of the Mexican government is something we must recognize, but we cannot permit their shortcomings to compound our economic interests. Our government should not permit Mexico to push their problems into our country, but they do just that by their neglect.

Your Commander is not against legal immigration, because I am a direct product of my Grand-Parents legal immigration from Germany, England, and Ireland three generations ago. It is legal immigration that made the USA the Land of the Free, and the Home of the Brave. This country continues to be the most desirous place in the world to immigrate.

I again urge our leadership to address the problems head on, and send U.S. military troops to the border immediately to combat growing border violence, and the flow of illegal drugs. We can seal off illegal immigration, and we must protect our citizens who live and work along the border before one more person is killed by the Mexican thugs. The citizens of Phoenix have found an answer to their local problem by voting Sheriff Joe Arpaio repeatedly into office. He enforces the law, and cuts the costs of confinement. God Bless Sheriff Joe.

This subject is so serious that it is endangering our national security, and it is adding a financial burden to our economy that is unsustainable. I suspect that this matter will be addressed only when it has reached crisis status, and then our all-knowing leadership will take advantage of addressing the crisis in a way that could significantly enhance their position. Is that not exactly what White House Presidential Advisor Rahm Emanuel repeatedly suggests?

Let’s not wait for more American citizens to get kidnapped, murdered or die from drug usage before our brilliant leadership responds. One has to wonder if our government truly wants to solve this situation.


Friday, March 13, 2009


With all the political double-speak flowing out of Washington and permeating the Sunday Morning talk shows it is time to set the record straight relative to who is really responsible for some of our current economic malaise.

The Democrat talking heads are all pointing their fingers at President George W. Bush, but I can prove that the real problem with Fannie Mae started back in the last part of the third quarter of 1999. At that time the legendary New York Times had a revealing article printed September 30, 1999 by Steven A. Holmes.

Here are some direct quotes from that article: “Fannie Mae, the nation’s biggest underwriter of home mortgages, has been under increasing pressure from the Clinton Administration to expand mortgage loans among low and moderate income people and felt pressure from stock holders to maintain its phenomenal growth in profits”. The article continues:” “Fannie Mae has expanded home ownership for millions of families in the 1990’s by reducing down payment requirements” said Franklin D. Raines, Fannie Mae’s chairman and chief executive officer. “Yet there remain too many borrowers whose credit is just a notch below what our underwriting has required who have been relegated to paying significantly higher mortgage rates in the so-called subprime market.”

At the end of the article Holmes wrote: “In moving, even tentatively, into this new area of lending, Fannie Mae is taking on significantly more risk, which may not pose any difficulties during flush economic times. But the government-subsidized corporation may run into trouble in an economic downturn, prompting a government rescue similar to that of the savings and loan industry in the 1980’s”.

Well it appears that the most quoted newspaper in the world (according to our major television network news departments) clearly placed the origin of Fannie Mae’s problems with President William Jefferson Clinton, and its stockholders. It is logical that stockholders want greater profits, because they invested their hard earned money in the company. I do hold the management, Clinton Administration, Bush appointed regulators, and especially the Senate/House oversight Committees for failing to provide appropriate restraint. Again we see the inter-relationship between greed and politics. While Clinton, our shamed adulterous ex-leader, struts around the world collecting exorbitant speaking fees while selling his influence he and the liberal media, as well as the current administration, continue to lie to the American citizenry.

Apparently, Obama, Axelrod and Emanuel forgot about this article, because they did not have it sealed from public viewing like they did so many of Obama’s earlier papers. Thanks to the internet there is still some degree of transparency.


Thursday, March 12, 2009


Time Magazine Names 10 Newspapers Set to Fold

That headline on the internet certainly caught my eyes, but it is difficult to believe that 10 major market daily newspapers cannot operate successfully in today’s economy. If you did not see the Time magazine article here is their list of the newspapers that could shortly cease publication.

Philadelphia Daily News
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Miami Herald
Detroit News (already reduced home delivery days)
Boston Globe
San Francisco Chronicle
Chicago Sun-Times
New York Daily News
Fort Worth Star Telegram
Cleveland Plain Dealer

Already Denver’s Rocky Mountain News has ceased operation, and the Seattle Post Intelligencer is almost out of business. Remember, too, that the Chicago Tribune’s parent company declared bankruptcy back in December.

Why has this happened is the obvious question, and you are bound to hear any number of reasons during this extensive economic crisis. In the few major metropolitan cities where multiple newspapers continue to operate, excessive competition could be the principle answer; but I think the problem is far more complex. Just like the problems facing our Big 3 automobile manufacturers, most newspapers are struggling with unrealistic union contracts. Rising production expenses for paper, ink, as well as travel expenses, labor, and raising subscription fees, etc. all have added to their unprofitable operational model.

Every newspaper, television and radio station has been trying to find a format for profitable internet operations, but thus far none has been found. The explosion of internet usage has drawn readers away from the long successful tabloids and broadsheets. Over an extended period of time the increase of the competitive environment with many more television and radio stations has hurt, as well as changes in life styles. Research indicates that young people no longer have an interest in the daily newspapers as a major source of information, and entertainment.

Just consider the number of people who have their eyes glued to computer games, the internet, Wifi, I-pods, cell phones, 24 hour cable news channels, and a growing number of television and cable outlets, etc. Newspapers have lost their basic appeal to an increasing percentage of today’s population.

Newspapers are having the same problems that television stations are experiencing with burgeoning competition. In the near future you will see a huge increase in joint operating agreements and mergers in TV, especially in medium and small markets. I cannot conceive that in our major cities that at least one newspaper cannot determine a way to operate successfully, but I have been wrong before. Unless the unions and management cannot come to realistic terms all newspapers are doomed.

Maybe your Commander is just out of touch, but I believe that our civilization will be seriously harmed without a vibrant newspaper industry. Yes, our current journalists are excessively influenced by politics, but that could change due to competitive pressures to survive. There have always been liberal and conservative segments of the print media, but unless the ownership, management, journalists, and the various unions get together they will sadly vanish into the pages of history. In a very short period of time, I predict we will read our newspapers via the internet, and hard copies will no longer exist.

What will be next to fall into oblivion? Are books and libraries in danger of extinction due to production and operational costs? I sometimes wonder just how big a price we must pay in the name of progress.


Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Being in an almost perpetual blue funk with the condition of the stock market, I decided to venture over to one of my very favorite places, our public library. Scanning the shelves that contained new offerings, my mental state did not improve, because there were several books proclaiming the wonders of Barack Obama.

Searching for mental relief, I ventured into the shelves of fiction, and investigated my library’s stash of Ted Bell works. Happily I found two books I had not read and I quickly checked them out and retreated to my study with its warm fireplace.

As usual in reading works of Ted Bell, I ended up reading both books over four days, because once you start it is almost impossible to put his stories down. I know that I am prejudiced, but no one writes better action adventure books than Bell. I remember seeing him roaming the halls of the legendary Chicago Leo Burnett Advertising Agency where he rose to be President.

The first of these latest reads was titled PIRATE. It addressed the continuing adventures of British Intelligence operative Alex Hawke who this time crosses the world to tame the dangerous actions of a relative of France’s famed Napoleon and evil Chinese forces. Hawke’s usual companions are all there to aid in the mission to save peace in the world.

SPY was written one year later in 2006 and it covers Hawke’s unbelievable assault on evil forces moving from deep in the jungles of South America into the USA. This is a real page-turner. The bad guys are Iranian, Mexican, Muslim extremists. A recurring theme in SPY is our disregard for the integrity of our precious borders.

Should you want to get away from the doom and gloom of our current economic crisis there is no better way than to spend a few hours in the chapters of Ted Bell’s creative genius. Happy relaxation and I am sure you will be a huge fan of Ted Bell after reading PIRATE and SPY.

Guess what? Just after completion of these two books yesterday, the Dow/Jones increased 379.44 points. I’ll read Bell everyday if the market will keep growing, but I do know better.

Your Commander firmly believes that the good old USA will survive our current problems, but we must remain vigilant to the many real forces of evil that threaten our precious freedom.


Tuesday, March 10, 2009


At the present time the United States of America is in deep excrement, and I predict that it may take one hundred years for it to return to its earlier days of glory and stability. Unquestionably our country is in social, political, and economic turmoil that will not be resolved quickly.

Our current situation did not occur overnight, and there are many forces, influences, and individuals to blame for our broad base of problems. To say that our present circumstances are the fault of the previous administration is divisive and dishonest, because our perils have been brewing for many years. I suggest that the decline of THE AMERICAN WAY started immediately following the Great Depression. The shock of that tragic event caused our leadership to enter into political and moral compromises that have led to today’s malaise.

Your Commander suggests that the good old USA lost its moral compass, and entered into alliances that led to a great World War in both Europe and the Far East. Yes, World War II did resolve the Depression, but it set forth a series of developments that have led to our current situation. The agreements reached by our ailing leadership toward the end of World War ll led to the demise of colonialism, and aroused passionate nationalist/religious uprisings across the world.

After World War ll, and even the Korean War, America desired to live the good life, but in doing so America compromised its principals, which we are paying a heavy price for today. Repeatedly we failed to address our growing dependence on oil, and political forces encouraged business to expand into areas that were inappropriate, unethical, and corrupt. Over an extended period of time American industry repeatedly failed to address improved automobile mileage standards, failed to provide sufficient research dollars to develop energy independence, ignored good business policies in banking regulation, as well as appropriate oversight of Wall Street policies. Our educational system is in shambles because we permitted the union movement to prevent appropriate corrective action. Political acquiescence to union pressures has resulted in the current disastrous automotive industry.

America’s foreign policies have been both arrogant and self-serving, and in many cases propped up corrupt foreign governments. We repeatedly tried to buy our influence by throwing vast fortunes at governments who in the long run have turned their backs, taken our money, and voted against America in the United Nations. For many years the USA has dumped billions of dollars into the devious United Nations, and we are looked upon as gullible fools or “Ugly Americans”.

America and its citizens have had things too good for too long, and we are now paying the piper. Our new administration is taking us down a road that can only result in massive debt that I do not see how any civilization can repay. I believe the foreign policy of the new administration is one of appeasement, which places us at great defensive peril.

Currently the future is bleak, but there is always hope and optimism that a leader will eventually come forth who will tell the electorate the truth. We need leadership that is from the people and for the people. Our leadership has come from the ranks of multi-millionaires or politicians who are out to feather their own private nest, and do not serve in the true interests of the people.

Your Commander does not see a clear picture of the future until the voting public wakes up from their stupor of prosperity, and demands accountability along with performance. We have had enough political double-talk. Our great democracy will only endure when we go back to our foundation of the Declaration of Independence, and our wondrous Constitution. Our Founding Fathers never promised womb to tomb entitlement, but we were lulled into depending upon the false promises of our political charlatans. Let us get back to basics and confidence, and then a clear and honest productive future will come into view.


Friday, March 6, 2009


Even though I did not vote for your election, I have recommended to my readers that they should support your presidency. It has been my opinion that you deserved the support of the American public as you formed your new administration. Some members of the electorate feel you did not win the election fair and square, but that is old news. You are our new president for good or bad, and it is in our collective best interest that we join together to improve our country and its economy.

After one month I have changed my mind, and now join the ranks of the loyal opposition. Remembering that I consider myself as an Independent Conservative, I retain the right to my freedom of choice.

The reasons you lost my support are simple and few. When one compares the statements you made during the campaign, and the oratory being expressed since your inauguration I see two different leaders. Your campaign called for CHANGE, TRANSPARENCY, ELIMINATION OF EARMARKS, ENERGY CONSERVATION, and ECONOMIC RECOVERY.

Since taking office your administration has not changed, but followed the old tried and true political shenanigans with strong-arm tactics. Almost daily there are statements reminding the electorate that you inherited all your problems from the past administration, but fail to acknowledge the fact that the past administration had a Democrat majority House and Senate. This is not to say that I endorse all the decisions of our past president, because I do not, but he is not solely to blame.

Transparency has gone out the window with bills being presented to a Congressional vote without anyone being able to read the contents in full. Your administration has meetings which exclude the press from attendance. The most recent example is the Vice President Biden's appearance at the AFL/CIO Convention in Florida where the broadcast media was excluded. Why?

You campaigned repeatedly stating your opposition to Earmarks, and then you present a Stimulus Bill and a Budget Bill loaded with hundreds of millions in Earmarks. To repeatedly have stated that both pieces of legislation are earmark free is nothing but a lie. This action is nothing short of abuse of power.

You strongly urged action to conserve energy, and called for energy independence, but you almost daily utilize Air Force One, and/or your fleet of energy sucking helicopters. Your indiscriminate use of government aviation costs the American taxpayers millions of dollars each time the fleet leaves the ground when the same work could have been done from the White House. Your administration criticizes the executives of publicly held companies for using their private jets, but it is alright for you to do the same polluting the skies leaving a huge carbon footprint. Why do you endorse the use of huge military aircraft to fly Speaker Nancy Pelosi D-CA back and forth to San Francisco almost every weekend? Again this represents abuse of power, and an arrogant disregard for the impact your actions have on the taxpayers.

Lastly, your Economic Recovery Plan is deceiving at best, and excessive in total dollar allocations. Many of the projects planned to solve our immediate economic problems will not take effect for several years, and do not call for job creation. Some projects are clearly pay-offs for political support. The statement of “shovel ready projects” is pure political double speak. Your plan places our children and their children with a debt burden that is almost unthinkable by any logical standard.

The clock is ticking toward your next election Mr. President, and you only have three years, and eight months before you will be held accountable. The polls already reflect growing concerns by the great unwashed electorate with an increase of 10 points in your disapproval rating. It is time to stay off the television airwaves, because each inflated arrogant elitist statement causes the Dow Jones stock averages to plummet.

As they say, “You can fool some of the people all of the time, all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time”.


Monday, March 2, 2009


President Barack Obama last week announced plans to reduce the number of American troops serving in Iraq by summer 2010, ultimately keeping 35,000 to 50,000 there to continue in a supportive role. I believe it is somewhat naive to provide date certain time lines, because history proves they do not hold. Having served proudly in the U.S. Air Force at K-8 Kunsan, Korea some fifty-seven years ago my ears perked up.

Since the president’s announcement I did some research, and learned that there are still some 40,000 American troops still serving in Korea. In March, 2006 Richard Benedetto wrote a very interesting article for USA Today that provided some staggering statistics.

World War ll ended some 64 years ago and there are more than 100,000 troops still stationed in Germany and Japan. The Iraq invasion of Kuwait came to an end in 1991, and there are still 40,000 troops in country. Now we are increasing our troop commitment to Afghanistan to some 50,000 or so. With the withdrawal of combat troops from Iraq I suspect the American force level in Afghanistan will reach far over its current level, and remain high for many years to come. History has proven this part of the world is a very difficult place to fight (just ask the Russians), and it probably will prove to be a much longer term obligation before victory is ultimately achieved.

There is a very interesting web site; www.LewRockwell.com that provides some staggering insight into this subject. There is a great article on this site, THE GLOBAL EMPIRE by Laurence M. Vance, which provides the full scope of American military activity around the world. The article highlights the fact that our global presence is unlike any other country in history, and we have troops in 70% of the world’s nations. Would you believe that American Military Personnel are serving in 135 different countries, many of which are hard to find on any map?

Your Commander suggests that it would be highly propitious for our new president to form a blue-ribbon committee to study the need for so many American military to be stationed all over the world. Can you imagine the total cost this commitment has on our Treasury? Isn’t it time to bring some of our troops home? We could place them along our borders (both north and south) and establish a firm hand on illegal immigration, which in itself is costing the American taxpayer hundreds of millions, and probably billions yearly.

In a separate commentary I intend to address the inter-relationship of Illegal immigration, prison populations, gangs and drugs. It is suspected, and reported in the media that our government does not want to enforce our immigration laws, because the current administration benefits substantially from the rapidly growing illegal immigrant communities.

With our current economic turmoil it is time to investigate every single way in which we can reduce expenditures. Bringing troops home would immediately curtail the Defense budget, because it would be cheaper to house them at existing military facilities. Any savings can be redirected to replace all the equipment that has been destroyed or will be left for the Iraqi Army. Another huge benefit would be reuniting military families, while infusing more money into local economies, plus boosting morale and reenlistments.

I cannot conceive that an American military presence is required in 135 different countries. Is it not time, however, for some of these foreign governments to be standing on their own feet, and providing proper defenses for their citizens. The good old USA cannot solve all the world’s problems and it is about time we recognize that fact.

Your Commander is a firm believer in President Teddy Roosevelt’s theory “WALK SOFTLY AND CARRY A BIG STICK”, which we can effectively do from home, and not some distant land. Your Commander is beginning to wonder if our new administration’s theory is “WALK LOUDLY AND CARRY A SOFT STICK”. I know we must have some troops overseas, but to what extent is the question. What has our continued massive excessive foreign military presence gotten us? In return we get nothing but protests, expense, and criticism.


Sunday, March 1, 2009


But first, who is the most effective person in Congress? In your Commander’s opinion, I suggest Congressman Jeff Flake R-AZ. He is in his fifth term in the House and has long been a champion in the crusade against PORK or EARMARK legislation. It has been reported that Congressman Flake has been penalized severely by not serving on preferred Committees because of his opposition to pork infested House Bills. Members of Flake’s own Republican Party have voted against his committee assignments and even withheld campaign funds from his re-election.

I believe that if there were more Congressmen like Jeff Flake, our Congress would be far more effective and efficient. Obviously there are few Congressional members who are as totally honest as Representative Flake; because we keep re-electing corrupt party hacks.

Now, regarding the subject of this commentary, where do we start when the potential list is so long? How about those elected officials who have committed criminal acts, like Sen. Ted Kennedy D-MA who left a companion to die in his water bound automobile, former Sen. Ted Stevens R-AK who was convicted of corruption, former Sen. Larry Craig R-ID who pleaded guilty to solicitation in the Minneapolis Airport, Rep. Charles Rangel D-NY who just “forgot” to pay his proper tax obligations, former Sen. Tom Daschle D-SD who missed paying taxes too, and the list goes on and on. Just look at some of the recent appointed Cabinet members (including Daschle) who had to step aside before facing the heat of the lights before congressional questioning.

Then there are Speaker Nancy Pelosi D-CA, and Senator Harry Reid D-NV who defy logic in their vicious partisanship leadership. Statements from these two are frequently beyond the pale. Included in my list are Congressman Barney Frank D-MA, and Senator Christopher Dodd D-Conn who in my judgment should be held accountable for the recent financial crisis since they and the committees they chair were negligent in their responsibilities and oversight.

Let’s face it folks, ethics and the Senate and House Ethics Committees are a total joke. There is one set of rules to be followed in Washington…theirs. That situation will not to change until we, the voters, get some objectivity and honesty in our election process. Again, and again we vote our pocketbooks and self-interests, and not the best interests of our fellow citizens. I fear what it will take to change this situation, but I do not think any of us would like the medicine it will require to improve it.

It is the Commander’s opinion that the most dangerous individual in Washington today is White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. He is of course an ex-Illinois Congressman, was closely associated with now ex-Governor Rod Blagojevich D-IL, ex-advisor to Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley, a multi-millionaire ex-investment banker, ex-Director of Freddie Mac, ex-head of the Democrat Campaign Committee, and tax evader in two specific cases.

First, Emanuel and his wife, Amy Rule, created a family charitable foundation. They declared their home as the office location for the trust and as a result, they pay no property tax on it, according to the Illinois Review. The foundation makes donations to his synagogue and the private school his children attend, the Clinton Foundation, and garners income tax write-offs and free tuition for his kids’ private school. Adjacent neighbors to Emanuel’s home are reportedly paying $6,000 and $6,800 in property tax annually according to the Cook County Treasurer’s website.

Then there is the story that Emanuel has lived rent-free in a lower level apartment of a Connecticut Congresswomen’s Washington town house for a number of years. This Congresswomen’s husband owns a polling company hired to do work for both Emanuel and the Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee. Here again Emanuel has not paid any taxes on his living arrangement. Why?

Lastly, and in my opinion most disturbing is the comment reported by the Wall Street Journal Digital Network that Emanuel stated outright his desire to make political hay with the ongoing travails of the U.S. and global economy. “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that is an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.”

This story was first reported way back on November 21, 2008 and it received very little main-street media coverage. Seton Motley, Director of Communications for the Media Research Center stated, “Where, oh where has the press’s righteous indignation at the use of national hardship for crass political gain gone?” Motley also stated that “the longer the crisis lingers, the more our economy tanks, the better it is for them” (the Obama Administration).

Just maybe Emanuel’s well known heavy hand, and theory is really behind President Obama’s frequent use of the word CRISIS in virtually every speech he has made since election.

I find these facts most troubling. Rahm Emanuel has long been reported as a “take no prisoners”, foul mouthed, hard nosed political operative. His reputation and record sure does not appear to be compatible with the theme of our president’s campaign pledges. Silly me or stupid me…do you suppose that the American People have been deceived?