Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Our newspapers and news broadcasts are trumpeting the falling polls reflecting flagging support for President Barack Obama’s agenda. After only nine short months the bottom has fallen out of Obama’s approval ratings and there must be a reason.

Basically the same major issues confront the United States of America as did in November 2008 when our national election took place. At that time the electorate voted in favor of the pronouncements of Barack Obama vs. those of John McCain. The margin of victory was decisive, but not an overwhelming mandate. However, victory is victory and that is what counts in our democracy.

Now only nine months later we are confronted with essentially the same problems, i.e., the recession, continuing job losses, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, but the polls indicate that the voters are no longer exhibiting the same euphoria for Barack Obama. The answer is quite simple, in my opinion. The actions of this new administration and the pronouncements of Barack Obama are significantly different from those rendered on the campaign trail, and the taxpayers are confused, frustrated, and disappointed. No one likes to have been made a fool or taken advantage of in the decision process. Apparently, we were.

For instance, where is the promised TRANSPARENCY? Remember being promised that bills before Congress would be posted on the internet for 30 days prior to vote so the American public could provide input? Did that happen with the Stimulus Bill? No. A draft of one of the proposed health care bills was posted, but Congress has said they won’t do that again because of the public outcry that ensued. You can bet now that earmarks are being added to versions of the bills; the American public will not be able to read them and comment on them. And, for that matter, Congress and President Obama will probably not take the time to read them either.

Words and deeds do matter. Honesty means a great deal to the masses and what we are getting is substantially different from what we were promised. While our President still has a strong base of support he has growing discontent that has every indication similar to a snow ball rolling down the hill.

In earlier commentaries I have expressed my deep concern about Obama’s constant reference to “I, me, my” in his speeches. Wouldn’t it be better to say “us, we or together?” Even in his recent United Nations pronouncement he took the position that only HE knew what was good for the world, and everyone should fall in lock-step behind him. It is one thing to be confident, but another to be arrogant. Our President was elected, and not crowned by his subjects.

Hopefully, Obama will recognize that the advisors who helped him get elected are not doing him any favors with their strong-arm tactics. For the benefit of our country I for one hope he changes his course of action, because before too long it will be necessary to call the moving vans to Pennsylvania Avenue if things don’t improve substantially. The bully wins in the short term, but tends to have a short reign. Americans will not permit anyone to destroy the foundation of the American Way of Life, not even our President. We fought many battles to achieve what we have and we will fight to preserve the acknowledged greatest country in the world. Obama promised HOPE and CHANGE, and he gave us thus far corrupt old style Chicago bully-boy politics.



Sunday, September 27, 2009


When the news broke last week that the College Football Hall of Fame was moving to Atlanta, the only surprise was its new home, and not Dallas. Having a son who works in the television media world in Dallas, I was very familiar with the significant efforts being extended to the National Football Foundation’s headquarters to attract the Hall to the Dallas/Ft.Worth metroplex.

When the College Football of Fame was moved to South Bend from an unsuccessful location in Ohio back in 1994, there were extensive discussions regarding the advisability of spending $18 million to build the Hall. Long-time critics such as Jim Cierzniak have never backed off from their strong, consistent opposition to the project. From the very beginning the Hall has been a huge financial drain on the taxpayers of South Bend requiring yearly support payments of up to $750,000. The city is still on the hook to repay the remainder of the $18 million original construction bond issue to the tune of another $11.9 million of which $9.3 million is principal and a projected $2.5 million is in interest costs.

Hindsight being so accurate, it is now clear that the original projections of the Hall’s potential attendance and revenue were well off the mark. Clearly some significant miscalculations were made by the decision-makers when the first due diligence was performed by the city officials. Ex-South Bend Mayor and former Indiana Governor Joe Kernan promised the taxpayers that not one public dollar would be used, because he believed in the optimistic projections of both attendance and sponsorships, both of which never materialized. Thus the local taxpayers were hung out to dry and the National Football Foundation (NFF), seeing the handwriting on the wall of the Hall, sought greener pastures.

Looking back, the NFF had a dream contract with the City of South Bend and never had anything to lose. The original mistake in the deal was the contract itself, because all of the financial responsibility was solely on the city, and not the NFF.

Personally, I have some opinions on the Hall’s failure. I was a Docent volunteer at the Hall some years ago and there were many hard working people who tried to make the Hall a success, but I never felt the paid staff was pulling their share of the load. For instance, the Hall does not open early on football weekends to permit fans to visit the Hall and waits until 10AM? Frequently when I worked Friday’s from 10AM ‘til 12noon there would only be five or six visitors on non-game weekends, partially because the price of admission was too high. Entry to the Hall is not fan/kid friendly. Although local residents receive an admission discount, it is not that much.

Volunteers such as the late, great Jim Baumgartner gave his heart and soul to the Hall, but he could not overcome the site’s location in a parking scarce South Bend downtown. I always felt the Hall would have attracted more visitors had it been built near the Notre Dame exit of the Indiana Toll Road, and not ten miles into the city.

Well all of that is now water over the dam, and the City is scrambling to find a way out of their budget dilemma. It certainly will not be easy, because they now have a huge continuing financial obligation and a 58,000 square foot albatross around their neck. I personally urge the City officials to go slow and make sure they get it right this time. A quick decision is clearly not advisable, because that is what got them in trouble to begin with.

The South Bend Tribune in an editorial today rubbed its hands together and stroked its brow about how great the Hall was and how bad it feels. Where were they in their great all-knowing opinion when the Hall was only in the planning stage? The Editorial Board in my opinion has some responsibility on this issue too. The Tribune has been running a poll the past few days asking for the community’s suggestion for the future use of the Hall, and the early results are shocking.

Question: What would you like to see in place of the College Football Hall of Fame in downtown South Bend?

Casino 49%
Offices 7%
Specialty shops 13%
Entertainment venue 31%

WOW! The result of this poll scares the hell out of me, especially during these questionable economic times. I, for one, hope the politicians do not go for a quick fix with gambling, because the consequences can be frightful. That is all this community needs is more people on the welfare rolls due to gambling addictions. It is time to face the facts that South Bend is not the center of robust economic activity and it is time to stop fooling ourselves that it will be in the near future.

For some reason, this community loves to celebrate failure with such expensive follies as the College Football Hall of Fame, the Studebaker Museum, and the Recreational Vehicle Hall of Fame. The Football Hall of Fame failed because it had a poor location, was mismanaged, was located in too small a market to sustain the needed attendance base. The other two follies have a dying support base too. I suspect some of my younger readers do not know what Studebakers are.

It would not surprise me to hear that City Hall wants to open a museum to salute the welfare crowd or the empty, blighted homes that flourish on the West Side.

It is time for the politicians in South Bend to get honest with themselves and the citizens who are paying their salaries. Goal one should be to get decent jobs to come into the community to improve the tax base. They cannot continue to count on the University of Notre Dame to bail them out, and local citizens have long run out of patience with politicians who promise everything and deliver little.

Now, on the lighter side, I have suggestions for the long-term use of the precious land where the Hall of Fame is now located. First close the Hall as soon as possible, terminate the staff, and save a substantial amount of money. Then implode the building, because its unique inner structure is of little or no use for anything other than its current tenant. Take the scrap and re-cycle it earning some amount of money in this Green-conscious society. Fill in the hole, level it, and plant corn and soy beans. Harvest the crops when matured and feed the local prison inmates, thus saving more money. Apply to Congressman Joe Donnelly for a government agricultural subsidy, and apply for a government grant for carbon credits.

All these suggestions would provide jobs, reduce costs, and contribute to reducing the City’s financial obligations to pay off the Hall bonds. South Bend can announce to the world that they are “going green,” and Democrats, Liberals, even Republicans, and bleeding hearts from across the nation can flock to the city to see the project first hand thus filling the empty hotel rooms and generating more tax revenue from the Hotel/Motel Tax. Win-Win-Win.

Or, the property could be offered to ACORN to move their national headquarters to the Hall’s site. They could apply to Washington for huge government subsidies that could help the city pay off bond obligations. Clearly there are many local projects to keep ACORN Community Organizers busy solving the needs of the citizenry.

I’m sure you get the idea. The property once vacant will be a joke. It was ill conceived from the start – location, lack of parking, a three story building with two stories below ground, etc.

Eventually the City of South Bend should learn how to perform due diligence. Do you suspect the citizens of South Bend just may remember what their current politicians have given them for their money…nothing but tax increases? One must wonder when the people will learn from their repeated mistakes in voting the same clowns into office again…again…again…and again. There are solutions to South Bend’s financial embarrassments, but not with the current bunch of political hacks.



Here is another suggestion to save you a couple of dollars. If you are interested in reading Rowan Scarborough’s 2007 book "SABOTAGE – America’s Enemies within the CIA", I suggest you pick it up at your local library. This is a small tell-all type book with a decided right-wing point of view, but it is not worth price you will be charged at your local book store.

Scarborough does a very good job of exposing the long established Ivy League elitist vent that has permeated the CIA dating back to the long tenure of Allen Dulles and the conservative influence once exerted by his brother, Secretary of State John Foster Dulles in the 1940's. Since those days the CIA has been transformed into an almost non-functioning intelligence agency due to inappropriate political budget cut-backs and shifting policies.

Instead of being a non-partisan intelligence agency operating in the pure best interests of our country, it has become a political football, endangering our long-term existence. The proven fact that the CIA operated throughout the Iraqi operations with very few employees who spoke the local languages is unimaginable, but true.

Currently our new administration is further eroding the CIA’s effectiveness by vetting agent’s identities and placing politically motivated policies that hamper effective intelligence gathering. The book does ask an important question, “Has the CIA become a rogue agency?”


Saturday, September 26, 2009


With the annual meeting of the United Nations General Assembly, and the Security Council commencing last week in New York City it is appropriate to review the United States’ participation in that forum. The rants and ravings of some third world leaders may require further comment from me if you saw any of their antics on the news channels this week.

Buried deep in the Sunday, September 20 Parade Magazine was a revealing article titled “The Truth About U.N. Peacekeepers.” After reading the article and doing a little research on my computer, I have come to the conclusion that the taxpayers of the United States are either the most naïve or the dumbest people on the face of earth. Let me share some facts and statistics with you, then decide for yourself.

First, there are some 90,000 U.N. peacekeepers stationed around the world at the present time. Of that total, the bulk of the troops are drawn from Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Nigeria, and Rwanda. Some members of the United Nations have suggested that a permanent armed force be created like NATO, but the United States is opposed to that idea. Several countries have strongly opposed the placement of US troops in their countries under any circumstances.

It is reported that the poorer countries who are making significant commitments of military personnel have an economic motivation, because the U.N. pays them $1,028 for salary and allowances, $303 supplementary pay for specialists, $68 for personal clothing, gear, and equipment, and $5 for personal weapons for each soldier each month. That is at least $1,100 per month in payment for a soldier from countries where that payment far exceeds the earning potential of a man for a year. The individual governments then pay their soldiers, but if you think the troops are getting all that money, you would be sadly mistaken. Supposedly this funding permits these poorer countries to support a larger standing Army, but who knows if the money is really going for that purpose, because there are no accounting standards or reporting requirements.

Now while you are digesting those facts, consider this. The United States currently pays 25% of the United Nations total operating budget of $22.4 billion. Here are some shocking statistics to ponder. China’s share of the budget is 0.9%, Australia pays 1.47%, Belgium is charged 1.09%, Brazil at 1.61%, Canada is 2.82%, Mexico is charged at 0.94%, Sweden is billed at 1.09%, Germany at 9.63%, France pays 6.49%, Britain has dropped to 5.07%, and Russia only contributes 2.87%.

Now if you are picking yourself up off the floor consider the fact that there are currently 185 members of the United Nations, and I have only listed the largest contributors. Add to this debacle the fact that most of the countries that pay significantly less than the United States rarely vote in support of any resolutions presented by our country.

There are three very interesting supportive documents that will provide you with significantly more insight into this subject, and I suggest you take a look at them so you can draw your own conclusions. They are:,2933,551480,00html

History has proven that the failure of the original League of Nations was caused basically because they never had a military organization to enforce their rulings. The same situation is essentially repeating itself with the U.N., because its peacekeeping forces are a total joke, corrupt, inadequate in size, and ineffective (just look at the countries supplying most of the troops).

When work frequently took me to New York City, I often stayed at the UN Plaza Hotel near the UN headquarters. The lobby and the restaurants were full of tin-horn country ambassadors and their staffs living it up, actually residing in the hotel, living in diplomatic immunity, not paying NYC traffic tickets, voting against the USA, and virtually paying nothing for their membership. United Nations representatives live lavishly while our country keeps pouring good money after bad to support highly unethical conduct. Believe me it is a disgrace, and our government does absolutely nothing about this continued abuse and ruse.

Time and time again, the United Nations has failed to react in a timely or effective manner to tragic developments around the world, such as Darfur, Somalia, North Korea, and Iran to name a current few. Repeatedly there are well documented scandals, such as the Iraqi oil for food pay-offs.

Rarely, since the United Nations aggressively addressed the North Korean incursion into South Korea nearly 60 years ago, has the UN acted promptly against unwarranted aggression. The UN’s record is a world-wide well established embarrassment. I proudly served as a member of the UN forces from the United States protecting South Korea near Kunsan in the 1950’s, but we participated in a settlement not a victory. That action led to American armed forces being stationed in South Korea to this day at our expense, not the UN’s.

Your Commander clearly remembers when the United Nations was created after World War ll, and that idea was sound, but the execution is seriously flawed. The United States, through an extremely generous gift from the Rockefeller family, provided the enormously expensive ground that the UN buildings occupy along the East River in mid-town Manhattan. The US provided the majority of funding to erect the buildings, and substantial funds are expended yearly by New York City and the federal government to support its operation. The US pays the largest percentage of the budget and we consistently are voted down by many members. Now there is nothing essentially wrong with losing a specific vote, but virtually every time? The voting structure is rigged against the United States getting a fair shake because of the veto powers of other members. So I ask you…What does the United States get out of this deal, except massive expense, and absolutely no appreciation, let alone respect? We deserve respect, and we have earned it repeatedly over the years for saving, and preserving the very existence of many of the member countries.

Diplomatic immunity is daily flaunted by U.N. members, and it is time to impound their cars. Why should the cars of UN diplomats be exempt from paying New York City for parking violations? Wouldn’t it be interesting to recommend at the next meeting that the United Nations leave NYC, and move their headquarters to say Lagos, Nigeria? What would the delegate’s facial expressions look like?

If that happened, the U.N. would likely collapse, a few NYC ethnic restaurants would close, the New York hotel room rates would drop, there would be fewer spies in NYC, many useless free-loading diplomats would then have to find gainful employment – and would no doubt look to US companies for that so they could stay here. Our country would save billions of our hard earned dollars that could be re-directed to protecting our fellow citizens or supporting worthy causes.

Just consider all the money we would save in reduced foreign aid dollars we provide virtually every country in the world to send their representatives to serve at the unproductive and ineffective United Nations. Just imagine our foreign aid dollars going to legitimate causes, and not graft. It seems to your Commander that a simple “cost benefit analysis” would dictate a sound departure course of action for the United States. Silly me, that would be logical.


Friday, September 25, 2009


As a frequent and harsh critic of the administration of Myles Brand at both the University of Indiana and the National Collegiate Athletic Association, I mourn his passing following his courageous battle with pancreatic cancer. While I disagreed with some of his decisions, there is no doubt that he was a strong and effective advocate of academic excellence. Brand is to be saluted for his leadership in improving the scholastic performance of athletics across the country.

I was a critic of his failure to terminate Indiana University basketball coach Bobby Knight sooner than he did, and I praised his ultimate action despite extensive pressure from many alumni against the firing. Winning clearly was not everything to Brand, and academic performance and proper behavior was an appropriate priority. It remains so today.

Additionally, I long opposed his decision against colleges and universities with Indian mascots such as Chief Illini at the University of Illinois. Brand took the easy political way out on a controversary brought on by two under-worked tenured Professors at Illinois who created the boogey-man theory that some mascots represented a racial bias against Native Americans. Many institutions bowed quickly, but many other schools spent millions of dollars in legal expenses to save their long honored mascots. All of that money could have been better spent far more effectively on student scholarships, or important research projects. Florida State University bought off the local Indian tribe to save their honored Seminole Indian mascot.

At the time of one’s passing their total body of work should be look upon and their contribution to the betterment of mankind, and in that case Brand made numerous significant contributions. My differences are now water over the dam and it is time to pay my respects to a man that did what he thought was best. I bow my head in prayer to Brand and his family at this time of sorrow. May he rest in peace.


Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Revelations recently aired by the Fox News Channel showing two young investigative reporters posing as a pimp and a prostitute at an ACORN office seeking help with housing are nothing short of disgusting. Immediately government officials, especially Senators and Congressmen who had voted to fund ACORN programs, began running for political cover. Suddenly, Congress found a way to quickly vote to stop all federal funding for ACORN in hopes that the scandal would go away quickly. I believe this story has long legs and will impact future elections across our country.

Certainly the White House advisors were already working over-time in anticipation of the planned Sunday morning network news blitz preparing the president to address Health Care, then they were faced with the possibility that someone would question the ACORN debacle. I personally viewed CBS’s Face the Nation and NBC’s Meet the Press and the touchy ACORN subject never came up. These two programs were like a public relations event, and never really probed the issues. David Gregory on NBC was actually fawning and obsequious.

My hat is off to anchor George Stephanopoulos for asking aggressive, probing questions of the president on his ABC This Week program. While I did not see that program, I have heard reliable reports that he challenged the president’s statements on Health Care and brought up the ACORN subject.

According to the Associated Press, President Obama is quoted as responding that what he saw on the ACORN video “was certainly inappropriate and deserves to be investigated.” The AP report indicated that the President did not say who should investigate, and he said it is not a major national issue he pays much attention to. Most shocking was his additional statement: “Frankly, it’s not really something I’ve followed closely. I didn’t even know that ACORN was getting a whole lot of federal money.”

That final quotation is something that I do not believe for one minute. As a former highly educated community organizer, politician who was an attorney who represented ACORN, and as an ex-State and U.S. Senator from Illinois how could he not know that ACORN received massive amounts of federal funds?

Right-wing cable media has aired audio tapes of previous speeches Obama gave to various organizations expressing his total support for ACORN on several occasions, and AOL carried an extended story, too. I do not purport to be the brightest bulb in the chandelier, but I do get plenty of wood on the ball on occasion, and I am astounded that I have heard so few challenges to our president’s astoundingly false statements. Where is the main-stream media’s integrity in challenging the president’s falsehoods? Community organizers know exactly where every possible funding dollar comes from and I believe that President Obama does too.

Just because our President says, it doesn’t mean it is so.


Sunday, September 20, 2009


Recognizing that it can never happen, wouldn’t it be phenomenal to hear the reaction of President George Washington if he could return and share his opinion about the current policies of the United States government? As a strong admirer of our Founding Fathers and a passionate supporter of our Constitution, I would be intrigued to hear Washington’s views regarding just what is going on in our government today.

When Washington completed his second term as President, he addressed an open letter to the American people on September 19, 1796, which I find to be most interesting and significant to our governance some 213 years later. Here is an excerpt:

“Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked: Where is security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice? And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.

‘Tis substantially true that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government. The rule indeed extends with more or less force to every species of free government. Who that is a sincere friend to it can look with indifference upon attempts to shake the foundation of the fabric?”

Your Commander believes Washington’s thoughtful words have equal applicability to our government today as they did back in 1796. I suspect that were a President to speak those words today he would be vehemently attacked by many, especially the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) attorneys. One must wonder if we have progressed over these many years, or have we slipped backwards into a society of uncivil discourse with almost total disregard for ethical behavior.


Friday, September 18, 2009


As a long-time fan of Clive Cussler books, I sadly report that you should save your hard earned money when it comes to buying a copy of his latest adventure book "SPARTAN GOLD." This is a joint collaboration with Grant Blackwood, but it just does not match up with many of Cussler’s previous best-selling yarns.

First of all, there are two new lead characters that repeatedly place themselves in situations that no reasonable individual would ever consider. Of course they survive, and move on to another unwarranted, inescapable circumstance. I do applaud the author’s excellent weaving of long past historical events and circumstances into the story, but the saga sometimes drags on and on before coming to the well anticipated successful conclusion.

Save your money, and go to the local library if you are still sufficiently intrigued. Just based upon Cussler’s previous success I expect the book will reach some best-selling list.


Thursday, September 17, 2009


On this date way back in 1787 a world changing event took place when our Founding Fathers signed the United States Constitution in Philadelphia. This important event came to my attention with my morning reading of this day’s page in “THE AMERICAN PATRIOT’S ALMANAC,” the best-selling work of William J. Bennett and John T.E. Crib which I have referred to in previous blogs.

Among the thirty-eight delegates who signed the Constitution was the legendary Benjamin Franklin, who was in such ill health that he had to be assisted forward to sign the document. It is also reported that the very first signature was that of first President George Washington.

Quoting from the book, “In writing the Constitution, the Founding Fathers launched a daring experiment. The idea that a free people could begin a new country by designing their own government and writing down the laws and principles they would follow had never been tried before.

The Constitution has guaranteed freedom, equality, opportunity, and justice to hundreds of millions of people. It is the oldest written constitution still in effect and has become a model for nations around the world. It is, as Great Britain’s Prime Minister William Gladstone called it, ‘the most wonderful work ever struck off at a given time by the brain and purpose of man’.”

As our great nation journeys through one of the most contentious times in its history, it is most important that we all renew our knowledge and appreciation of our precious Constitution. Your Commander suggests that the concerns being expressed by our fellow citizens represents their desire to preserve the tenets of our Constitution, which many believe are being ignored or abrogated by our leadership’s agenda.

As a conservative Constitutionalist I promise to fight with every bone in my body to preserve the integrity and abidance to our Constitution. This document is the envy of the world, and millions of fellow Americans over the years have given their lives to assure the American Way of Life. We must maintain our vigilance against those forces that labor to change what has been proven again and again as our United States of America’s core principles.


Wednesday, September 16, 2009


No, I am not looking for Michael Jackson or his family who are frantically trying to profit from his passing. I am wondering where and why The Reverend Jesse Jackson and his son, Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr., have been virtually invisible over the past few months.

After years of constant press coverage of the actions of The Reverend and the ascendancy of Jesse Jackson, Jr. into political prominence under the banner of the Chicago Daley political machine, one must wonder why they are both so quiet these days. Do leopards change their spots?

During the excessive television coverage of the Michael Jackson death and funeral, The Reverend Jesse suddenly was demoted to a secondary role behind the camera mugging of The Reverend Al Sharpton. At the same time, Jesse’s son is suddenly off the pages of our newspapers and television screens since his name was prominently mentioned in the investigation of Illinois Senate seat “pay for play” by then Governor Rod Blagojevich.

Do you, too, suspect that there is something to hide regarding the Jackson family? Whenever publicity seeking individuals suddenly vanish from their normal pattern of behavior it is just logical to get very suspicious. If and when the Blagojevich indictment eventually comes to trial, I suspect that a very juicy story will unfold involving this power and privilege seeking father and son.

Just this afternoon the House Ethics Committee announced that it will delay the investigation of Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr.’s involvement in the Blagojevich scandal. Who does this surprise?

As I have suggested in the past, (6/23/09), I urge you to read Kenneth R. Timmerman’s very revealing tome, “Shakedown – Exposing the Real Jesse Jackson.” It is beyond reason and logic to learn of the shenanigans this family has been permitted to get away with over the years of political corruption in Chicago and across our nation. It is appropriate to question just where the state and federal prosecutors have been all these years without any action being taken against the Jackson’s dealings.


Tuesday, September 15, 2009


No sooner did I post my suggestions for controlling spiraling college tuitions (9/12/09) than Time magazine’s website carried an article on recent cost-cutting actions taken by some institutions of higher learning. Unfortunately none of the cuts noted addressed my specific concerns on tenure or unwarranted union contracts.

Most of the cuts specified in the Time article are obvious and should have occurred a long time ago, such as reducing trash collection and window washing to save $122,000 at the University of Colorado. If you are interested, take a look at the full article:,8816,1921613,00.hrml

Some solutions are really innovative such as virtual swim meets, and I applaud the fortitude it took to eliminate under-utilized programs that reduce significant costs. It takes real guts, clear thinking outside of the box, and innovation to make responsible budgetary decisions.

Three cheers for some original thinking in the hallowed Halls of Ivy across the country.


Saturday, September 12, 2009


College tuitions continue to increase at rates above inflation numbers and something must be done to regain cost containment. An interesting article in the September 5th edition of the New York Times indicates that the 4.3% projected increase this year is the smallest tuition advance in 37 years.

First of all we need to recognize the fact that everyone does not need to attend a College or University to have a fulfilling life experience. Some individuals are just not suited to attend college, or do not want to or cannot after graduation from high school. But, a high school education is at the least absolutely essential for everyone today. Sadly, the graduation rates from high schools continue to drop nationally, and that will certainly lead to increased long-term welfare cost obligations.

And, let’s not forget that we need educated, qualified tradesmen and women to contribute to building, home repair, etc. Also, a very fine living can be made as a plumber, electrician, carpenter, heavy equipment operator, etc. Do you want to have to fly someone to the US from India to fix your toilet? Or imagine them walking you through the repair on the phone?!

Over the years I have served as a Trustee or Director at five different Universities and one private secondary school. I can tell you unequivocally that two of the biggest problems confronting the leadership of many institutions is academic tenure and unwarranted staff union contracts. In virtually every school there are tenured teachers/professors who should be eliminated, replaced, or retired, but little or nothing is all too frequently done to solve this growing burden. Most institutions have union contracts stuffed with spiraling cost inefficiencies. If the halls of advanced learning operated as an efficient business, great efficiency could be achieved. They would then have strong cost controls to strive and constantly assure a thorough learning experience for students.

Unfortunately institutions of higher learning increasingly have presidents that are solely fund raisers, and/or political types who frequently have poor financial control skills. Also, support staff sizes are bloated in many cases. It is my experience that often unwarranted pressures are placed upon administrations to commit to unnecessary expenditures in brick and mortar. I know this first hand. Some presidents that I served wanted to commit their institution to huge building programs well before the appropriate funds were available or achievable.

Fiscal efficiency is not a strong suit in higher education because a run to legislative delegations at both the state and federal level has become the way to do business, begging financial support without looking at cost cutting measures or waste. Begging for financial support is easier. As an example, my community has 26 University or College institutions seeking financial support and every one of them have under-utilized facilities and classrooms, suggesting there are far too many higher institutions of learning here. Without in depth research, it is my contention that this is the case in most communities across the country.

Many schools are excellent and well endowed financially; every one of them begs for more public money and endless private financial support, while tuition increases in a seemingly uncaring manner. I suspect that many educational leaders just do not know how to prepare a realistic or appropriate budget or know how to negotiate with unions, particularly due to the past reliance on public money whenever they wave their emotionally charged “fund education banner”.

It is your Commander’s opinion that the federal government has way too much influence in public education and the individual state governments are burdened by unwarranted, unworkable Washington mandates. It is time for the leadership of our higher educational institutions to wake-up to the fact that the American taxpayer has been tapped out. We have been required to adjust our operating budget, and it is time for them to share the pain. Colleges and Universities are not immune from sound fiscal responsibility. Hopefully, we can begin to loudly convey that message to educational institutions and our federal government, as well.



Written 9/11, posted 9/12

Let us never forget the attacks on our nation. Lives lost at Pearl Harbor 12/7/41; The World Trade Center, Pentagon, and the other attack missile, United Flight #93, headed to our nation's capitol taken out, thankfully, by its passengers on 9/11/01 were the bravest and most courageous our nation had to offer on those respective days

To the families and friends of those lost on those dates, I share in your sadness and grief. Everytime I see or hear a plane in the sky, I think of all of you and the ones lost.


Friday, September 11, 2009


Note: Written 9/10, posted 9/11/09

Just like many fellow Americans I sat last evening and watching and listening to President Obama address a joint session of Congress regarding the troubled health care legislation. It is well known that your Commander has not been a big fan of President Obama, but I do want him to achieve beneficial actions for our nation. He can only secure those goals with a sharp reduction in the level of discord that has fallen upon our country.

Unfortunately, despite his strong oratory skills, last night’s performance did not hit a home run, but only moved the ball further down the field with much additional work required to cross the goal line. The American public is desirous of health care reform. Our health care industry is not broken, but it is in great need of improvement. One only needs to consider the proven fact that many world leaders have come to our shores when they required advanced medical assistance, and Canadians flood our hospitals when then require prompt medical care. We need several adjustments, but the polls clearly indicate that the public does not trust the government to provide a public option, despite what the president said last evening.

The level of discourse has become far too elevated to achieve a prompt successful piece of legislation. Both the left and the right are going overboard, but to classify citizens who are attending recent Town Hall meetings as un-American or members of an unruly mob is inaccurate and politically naïve. Charges of that nature remind me of the school yard bully’s power plays of intimidation.

I have a theory that one of the reasons for the harshness of the debate is that the voters of America are embarrassed. They bought Obama’s campaign rhetoric, and after less than nine months of the new administration they believe they have been conned. The abuse of the average citizen by repeated misuse of the so-called mandate has caused outrage in the ranks of the man on the street, thus he is extremely harsh and emotional. Nobody wants to admit they bought a pig in a poke, but they did and are embarrassed for their gullibility.

Tragically, Obama’s repeated arrogant, inaccurate statements caused one Congressman to inappropriately interrupt his speech, but the president’s track record of repeatedly telling the American public lies are a documented fact. He has made repeated statements that do no make common sense that are the root cause of the outbursts by a totally frustrated electorate. Logic tells us that you cannot add millions of bodies to the medical system coverage and not have huge increases in total cost obligations. That has been substantiated by the Congressional budget office. Mr. Obama talks a good game about non-partisanship, but the facts clearly prove he is trying to jam his way only through the process with his Democratic majority.

The biggest problem confronting health care today is our failure to address tort reform once and for all. That, of course, involves a powerful lobby for attorneys; guess what, most of our elected federal offices are held by attorneys. And, if that is not enough, most lobbyists are also lawyers. Until we get a handle on the influence that money buys in the Halls of Congress, we will only secure diluted half-baked results, and not real solutions. Money buys corruption, and money rules Washington today.

Today we have a government that is so divisive there is little evidence that any appropriate reconciliation can or will occur. Bi-partisanship is the most misused word in Washington today, because it clearly does not exist.

Once the speech concluded I sat in my recliner scratching my head trying to discern just how any corrective action can take place. There is so much mis-information flying around on both sides, and the electorate is so frustrated, I see bigger problems ahead.

I wonder why we do not enforce existing laws. If we enforced our immigration laws, we would substantially reduce medical costs associated with their care. Immigration judges permit lawyers to continue cases literally for years causing unwarranted expense for both sides. Violations of medical insurance abuse occur and not enough is done. Yes, these questions are political, but our government’s inaction just exasperates our problems.

This was President Obama’s 28th health care speech and I suggest that if he cannot sell his programs on this issue after that much effort, there is something seriously wrong with his proposal. I really believe that Obama is experiencing over-exposure on television. Did you, too, notice that he never looked the American people in the eyes, because he was too busy reading his teleprompter script. If he really wants to get the public behind his proposals, he should demand that all federal employees and Congress have coverage identical to that being forced on the American public. He should eliminate the elite status currently granted to his fellow government employees if he ever hopes to regain the public’s confidence.

My local newspaper ran a poll after last night’s speech and asked the following question: “Do you support or oppose the provisions for changing health care after listening to President Obama’s speech to Congress?”

Support 45%
Opposed 55%

Obama is always talking about his mandate, well this is another mandate and this one does not support his program. What ever happened to government for the people, by the people? Apparently, Obama is trying to force a “what I want is what I get” mentality…one way or another.

In conclusion I give the President’s speech a C+, because he failed to be specific enough for the average citizen to understand how we can pay for his programs with out increases in taxes or national debt. What really troubles your Commander is the continued utterance of “I, MY, and MINE” in every speech he utters. Maybe I just do not understand his real role, but I thought he took an oath to be the leader of ALL the people, and not just the leader of what he wants. Why does Obama insist on a reform bill that the American electorate does not desire in its current presentation? And let’s all remember that there is no written bill yet presented to America. I thought we elected a President who promised ALL bills would be posted on the internet for 30 days prior to vote and that he took an oath to govern in accordance with our Constitution, not as a dictator of policy.


Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Without a doubt I am supportive of humanitarian aide, but it does not make one ounce of sense to spend public money to assist individuals who make bad decisions. This issue comes to our attention almost daily, and it is the top of the news as the California wild fires blaze across the western mountains, as they do yearly.

I cannot think of anything worse than losing your home and all your possessions. Your Commander, however, is vehemently opposed to providing taxpayer supported money to bail-out individuals who make unwarranted or just plain dumb judgments, and then expect the government to bail them out. It is well established that wild fires occur annually across the west, and the situation is significantly worse when there are dry seasons. When someone builds their home on a mountain top or in a canyon, they are in danger of losing their home to wild fires. Don’t you wonder if they considered the statistical danger of building in those locations? When you build in a dangerous location just what is the justification for the government to provide funds to rebuild those homes on the same site?

I believe that both state and federal governments hold some responsibility for permitting the homes to be built in those fire susceptible locations, and they also hold some responsibility for bowing to special interests that prevent proper management of the forests. Trees and shrubs should not be permitted to grow close to the homes; underbrush should allowed to be cleared; but environmentalist influences have obstructed common sense actions. It is only a matter of time before some lawyer files a law suit against the Forest Service or the Sierra Club for causing the loss of the homes.

We once lived along the Atlantic Ocean in the lovely Key Colony complex on Key Biscayne, Florida. One year the weather was very bad, and there was substantial beach erosion. Shortly thereafter the federal government spent millions of dollars to dredge sand from off-shore and pump it back to restore the beach in front of our building. The next year the bad weather returned, and the beach eroded again, and the millions of dollars originally spent was a total waste. Guess what? The federal government replenished the beach again! If you choose to live close to shore, it stands to reason beach erosion will occur, and thus you should not expect to automatically receive federal support. Private insurance is the answer, not a public handout.

The same is true of the massive expenditures in New Orleans. The city is below sea level, and will flood every time there is an unusually severe hurricane. It happened with Katrina four years ago, and it will happen again. Why should public dollars be spent to rebuild a city that will flood again?

Humanitarian support is one thing, but wasteful expenditures to satisfy voters who make foolish judgments are something else. I do not support propping up individuals who cannot exercise common sense. If one elects to build for a great view of the mountains or the sea shore and you lose your home, then that is the price of the view. If you choose to rebuild, do it with your own money or find someone who will insure your property. Really it is just that simple, and why do you deserve to be entitled to a government handout for your lack of common sense? No wonder we have massive federal debt, because we continue to throw good money after bad.

It has been a long time since politics and common sense co-existed in our land. When we look at our history, common sense and politics has not worked hand in hand since our Founding Fathers wrote our Constitution and look where that has gotten us in the years that have followed.


Sunday, September 6, 2009


As the United States government goes around the world telling other countries and their leadership how to conduct their affairs we continue to permit our own governance to exhibit hypocrisy.

At the top of our Congressional leadership we have House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) who have become two of the most hypocritical partisan government officials in modern times. Repeatedly each has used the harshest language against their opposition despite the fact that they once promised open non-partisanship with their new Democratic majority controlled House and Senate operations.

Your Commander is totally embarrassed to have these two obstructionists representing my interests and our government to the entire world. For two elected officials who have taken an oath of office to function ethically, and in a partisan manner, we have seen just the opposite behavior. Just answer one question for me. Why have Pelosi and Reid not forced their respective Ethics Committees to render a judgment concerning Congressman Charles Rangel (D-NY) or Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) failure to meet their tax obligations? Apparently it is more important for them to protect their majority votes than to enforce ethical and legal behavior.

That's just the tip of the iceberg insofar as too many of the current Washington crowd are concerned. Improprieties abound within the Beltway!

How can there be any legitimacy to anything the United States proposes world-wide when we have such complicit Congressional leadership? We all should look with shame upon the voters of both California and Nevada for permitting these two corrupt federal government individuals to continue to feed at the public trough.


Friday, September 4, 2009


In March of this year two young American television reporters from Al Gore’s website Current TV were arrested for illegally crossing into North Korea from China. Our airwaves were swamped with sympathetic stories voicing grave concerns about their safety while incarcerated since their March 17th arrest and subsequent sentence to 12 years of hard labor.

First of all my ears perked up wondering just why they were in this isolated section of China, and what was the significance of the story they were supposedly investigating. Current TV says they were reporting a story about the plight of North Koreans who have fled to China to escape poverty and repression. It is believed that particular focus was on North Korean women and children. Anyone who has read anything about Asia knows that women have been mistreated and abused in the Orient for centuries.

Al Gore’s ultra-liberal Current TV is at best an insignificant operation with virtually little or no interest on the national or international scene. One wonders just why Gore or any organization would send two naive reporters to this dangerous location with inadequate security.

There is an interesting article from the Wall Street Journal that provides some insight, but also raised the questions that I am addressing:

Having read this article and an AOL report (9/3/09) that indicates the journalists do not feel they can discuss the full details of their experience at this time raises my further suspicions. Do you suppose that some damn fool actually sent these reporters on a mission expecting or planning for them to be captured? Oh, and a book deal in the works?

Frankly, I am beginning to believe that they thought they would get publicity for their sponsoring organization (Al Gore's Current TV), and that the American government would get them out quickly. If that is true, and I cannot prove it, they were certainly fooled and had the hell scared out of themselves.

At best, the story was a minor one considering all the things going on in this troubled world. Someone endangered these reporters, and caused the American government to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to get them released. I suspect that my cost estimate is far short of the true number, but ex-President Bill Clinton came riding in on his white charger, and pulled them back to safety. Al Gore was waiting on the airport tarmac with a supercilious grin on his face to welcome his simpletons back to civilization. Our country was again made to look foolish, and don’t think for one minute that North Korea didn’t get something of significance for the return of the sentenced American prisoners.

This story has much more to be disclosed, and we may never really learn the true answers to my suspicions. I do believe that Laura Ling and Euna Lee were pawns. Was this entire fiasco worth it? Al Gore, and Current TV should be billed by the American government for every single cent this embarrassing fool-hardy mission cost the taxpayers. Some investigative agency should get the true facts and somebody should be held accountable, but as is all too frequent these days do not hold your breath for any action.

Ling and Lee could have been killed, and the crazed government of North Korea could have manipulated this incident into a major catastrophe. Does anyone wonder why our main-stream media has dropped this story completely after heaping praise on one of their favorite liberal sons, ex-President Bill Clinton? Who ever sent these journalists on this dangerous assignment should be identified and held accountable.



The business model for the United States Postal Service has changed just as it has for newspapers, and radio/television stations. Those original models all have been permanently impacted by numerous inventions, but most significantly by the rapid expansion of internet business transactions.

If you’re interested in learning an in-depth understanding of the Postal Service, I suggest that you take a look at the interesting details covered in a Wikipedia report.

I could go into all kinds of details such as reporting that our first postal service dates back to February 1692 when King William and Queen Mary empowered Thomas Neale to settle parts of his majesties’ colonies in America, and creating a postal service was part of those instructions. Actually it was our old friend Benjamin Franklin who created our current Postal Service in Philadelphia on July 26, 1775.

Today the Postal Service has bloated to over 760,000 employees with 32,741 offices along with the largest civilian fleet of vehicles totally 260,000 units. With a projected operating loss of $7 billion for fiscal year 2009, suggestions have been made to seek approval to reduce the number of days mail is delivered and to close 300 postal offices. Shockingly, nothing was indicated about reducing the size of the staff. The USPS has been losing money for years, and the future looks bleak without continuing support from taxpayer funding.

Frankly, the proposed action is really a band aid, because it does not address the true problems. There is a union mandated contract requiring a $7 billion obligation to fund current and future retiree health benefits. The planned cutback in delivery days and the closing of offices ignores the fact that the volume of mail has now dramatically dropped, because of competition from FedEx and UPS. Additionally, the dramatic increase in receiving and paying bills, receipt of company annual reports, and internet e-mails and greeting cards via the internet means that the Postal Service has far less work and too many employees and outlets. If there is less work to be performed why would they not reduce the employee count?

The truth of the matter is that our political leadership will not take the appropriate action to reduce the size of the union employees. With over 760,000 potentially obligated voters, don’t expect the current Congress to take the appropriate action.

Our Postal Service should immediately be seeking competitive bids that will lead to being privatized ASAP. But, don’t hold your breath, because what is $7 billion to Congress when they are throwing Trillions of dollars around as if they were nickels. Do you think Congress would possibly take any action that would jeopardize their re-election or union donations? Logic says they should cut the staff dramatically if they are to fulfill their oath of office.

True leadership makes the hard decisions, but Congress does the Washington Two-Step. Please remember these continued inept actions come Election Day November 2010.


Wednesday, September 2, 2009


There is no doubt that your Commander rarely agreed with the positions espoused by Senator Teddy Kennedy, but I would be hypocritical if I did not agree that he was a significant force in our government for many years. Since his long anticipated passing last week the airwaves have been dominated by coverage of every aspect (both good and bad) of his seventy-seven years.

As a subscriber to a television insider newsletter called "Newsbluezette," I found its Editor’s comments about the coverage to be interesting and on the spot. Referring to Boston TV and cable news outlets he said’ “…they are deep into all-hands-on-deck, balls-to-the-wall, round-the-clock smotherage of the death, private memorial, and funeral of Senator Edward Kennedy.”

Also my local newspaper ran an interesting poll:

“For what will Sen. Ted Kennedy be most remembered?”

Campaign for presidency – 0%
Efforts at health care reform – 18%
Youngest son in prominent political family – 16%
Chappaquiddick – 67%

Frankly, I was a little surprised by that poll’s results, but I guess that in this time in our history we tend to be more interested in a person’s shortcomings rather than their achievements. The August 29th Washington Post ran an extensive story with a headline “He Remains the Man MANY Love to Loathe.” They pulled no punches in reviewing his many indiscressions along with his legislative initiatives.

There is no doubt that Teddy was dealt a very heavy burden with the tragic passage of sisters and brothers as well as the heavy handed reputation of his legendary Father. It is not my role to judge Teddy Kennedy, because in meeting his Maker final judgment has been rendered.

It is an interesting coincidence of history that Teddy’s funeral celebration started on the anniversary of Martin Luther King’s famous “I Have A Dream” speech forty-six years ago. (8/28/63)

I sometimes wonder why there are so many devout liberals who happen to come from very financially well-off families or have achieved mega-financial independence. Just consider a few such as John Kerry, David Rockefeller, Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, and Bobby Kennedy. One wonders if they feel guilty for being so privileged and try to make up for that guilt with their liberal causes. I also suggest that you do not see those liberals living within the poor or under-privileged communities, because they go home each night to enclaves of privacy, security, and the good life. Hyannis Port is certainly not a hang-out for the poor or minorities.

Hopefully, Congress will take to heart the fact that Teddy Kennedy was historically willing to reach compromises to secure passage of important legislation. He was willing to take baby steps to reach his goals and that approach certainly is most appropriate to achieve improvement of the pending Health Care legislation. If, in fact, true, bipartisan compromises can be reached and a palatable Health Care Bill passed, Teddy’s legacy just might be properly embossed in the history of our great nation.

Teddy paid a heavy price for his behavior and he was an imperfect human being, just like all of us. To have lived for over one year with the full knowledge that he had inoperative brain cancer must have been hell on earth. It is now time for all of us (his supporters and opposition) to extend deepest sympathy to his family and to say…REST IN PEACE.


Tuesday, September 1, 2009


Historically the newspaper and broadcasting business has been a highly profitable endeavor. Today we hear almost daily of local newspapers printing their last editions and television stations filing for bankruptcy. Publishers and General Managers are rubbing their hands together and stroking their brows in anguish because their products and jobs are going away.

Broadcasting & Cable Magazine recently reported that local broadcast revenue is down a previously unheard of 27%, while network TV was down 5.8% and syndication was down .7% during the first half of this year. Local automobile advertising was down a whopping 54.5% while auto dealer advertising was off 43.6% in the same period.

Graduate schools in the towers of learning across the country are conducting case studies to analyze these figures and failures. I can save them all a lot of time and investigation, because there is nobody to blame but the leadership of these businesses. Obviously, the economic turn down is one fact, but the operational model for newspapers and television has changed due to a dramatic increase in competition from cable and computer usage and the inevitable advertising dollars chasing them. The days of obscene profits from newspaper and TV are long over, and the ownerships failed repeatedly to take appropriate action as the profile of their business shifted over the past 15-20 years.

Your Commander can speak with some authority, because he was there during the heydays of profit, but that was a time when there were only three network television stations in a market, and there were actually many smaller markets where there was only one television station serving the entire market place. The same was true in the newspaper business, but then came cable television, 24 hour news channels, satellite broadcasting and the then unknown world of the internet.

Those new ventures all seemed very speculative and they were foolishly disregarded as competitors that had little or no chance to succeed. Today we know that newspapers, television stations, and the networks failed to adjust to the changing competitive forces. The expression “adapt or perish” comes to mind and it is certainly valid when you consider what has happened over the last twenty years.

The newspaper industry has failed to establish a revenue producing format that will attract users to their internet sites. It is a matter of fact that young adults are not reading newspapers because the internet is portable with Blackberry and I-Phone. Today our youth are into Facebook, Twitter and/or blogs. When you look at your shrinking newspaper you will note that one of the biggest sections in the paper today is the Obituary section and even the Classified Section is smaller. With less readership and subscriptions the revenue volume and advertising lineage is plummeting downward. More and more cities and towns are becoming single paper or no paper towns. Only USA Today and the Wall Street Journal, having created a special niche, enjoy increased readership totals as well as revenue success. Newspapers must determine a way to increase their readership and revenue. Currently it appears those goals may be achieved with on-line editions that require paid subscribers.

The television business model has changed, too with dramatic increases in competitive viewing alternatives, such as cable, satellite, and all the competitive forces that confront the newspapers. Production costs have grown dramatically over time and when you have fewer viewers you can no longer absorb the syndication, production, and personnel expenditures. Something has to give and to date it is shrinking personnel and product quality with an increase in reruns of old successful programs. None of those “solutions” led to increasing profitability. There are two ways to survive: cut back to a profit or grow your business to a profit. Television has thus far not found a way to successfully do either.

How this happened is a fair question. Most stations were started and owned by local families who owned newspapers and/or radio stations in their respective markets. It is my theory that as the value of the properties grew, there was great interest in selling the stations at 20 times cash flow or more. Original owners were getting older and were advised to begin to put their finances in order. Banks were aggressively pushing both buyers and sellers to make deals and the banks, in turn, prospered with big commitment fees in the range of $400,000 or far more just to arrange the financing. Many stations sold several times over 10 years or so and each time there were additional commitment fees, which just added to the debt leverage. Ultimately the audiences started to plummet and the debt burden became unsustainable, and that is where many stations are today.

During my years in station management I worked for four different ownerships. Three were highly leveraged with a constant goal of greater profit ratios. One was owned by a very successful operator who had a flagship station in Las Vegas that made huge profits, and thus it took the pressure off the other stations in the group to operate over-aggressively. That one group truly did function in the public interest, convenience and necessity as is the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) mandate.

As an old timer from the good old days of huge profitable television operations, I believe we did ourselves in by greed. Few owners took the long-term view and lived for only today. Television increasingly airs far too many commercials, less quality programming, a reduced standard of ethically appropriate program standards, and a fails to adapt to the changing competitive environment. Seven and eight commercials on a break are excessive! The number of commercials in a thirty minute newscast has reduced the amount of actual news presented to viewers to about 20 minutes, if that. Programs now running in syndication, such as Two and A Half Men are very funny, but should not be scheduled from 7 to 8PM, and products such as Viagra, Kotex, etc. should not be running during times when young impressionable children are in the audience. Programming and network television executives are totally responsible for the dramatic erosion in the quality of their product due to financial greed.

Tragically, the industry push for viewers has led to the reduction in moral responsibilities. The cable competition can create and air highly volatile programs that the networks cannot due to FCC regulations.

Remember, too, that today’s television networks are owned and operated by huge publicly held corporations. The days of influential strong-willed leaders such as William Paley, General David Sarnoff and Leonard Goldenson are gone. Were they still with us today the industry would be healthier, because they had long held views and integrity.

Your Commander predicts that in the future we will see far fewer newspapers in print, and more on-line newspapers in a majority of markets. Ultimately we will pay for that on-line information and much more.

Television’s future is bleak too, because we will see more and more stations going black due to a lack of financial solvency. There will be more and more pay to view options that will provide an increase in commercial free viewing, but you will see more and more inappropriate content, also. Some people think I may be nuts, but I believe that within five years we will see open nudity and sexual acts on our televisions delivered by cable.

At the same time we are experiencing change, we will see a leveling off in the number of viewing options. I suspect that a 500 cable universe is just about all that the market can support. As I have already predicted in an earlier report I believe one of the major television networks will drop their affiliates and move totally to a cable environment.

What does the future hold? I wish I knew, but it already is vastly different from what we grew up with. Will it be improve is a better question, but I doubt that old timers like me believe that the prospects for betterment are very good. Even cable fails to deliver quality live programming like “Playhouse 90.” Do you ever wonder why it seems that our past is now more appreciated? Thankfully, some things will never really change.



The #1 book on the best seller list this week is Pat Conroy’s new novel SOUTH OF BROAD. This fictional story is about a group of young people who grew up in Charleston, South Carolina.

My great Editor and I frequently vacation in the beautiful low-country of South Carolina, and we love everything about this unique part of America’s south. Architecture, food, southern hospitality, the weather, and the god-given landscapes all make the low-country a memorable and pleasurable vacation spot.

Conroy, a local resident, has captured the charm of South Carolina with his wonderful ability to tell a story. Few authors have his unusual ability to make you smell the fragrances of the flowers as he walks his readers along the streets of Charleston. While I must warn you that the story is quite dark, it is a wondrous read. I highly recommend that you pick-up a copy of SOUTH OF BROAD. Conroy’s latest best-seller is another sweet charmer just as is southern hospitality.