Monday, June 29, 2009

ASK YOURSELF THIS QUESTION

As a proud, recognized “Old Fart” I have been around a long time. I have witnessed the behavior of our presidents from Franklin D. Roosevelt through our current leader, Barack Obama. I am certain that we will all agree that we have had some great leaders, some adequate political figures, and some very disappointing presidents during my time.

The question that I want to pose to you is the following: Do you remember any President in your life time that so frequently referred to his title i.e. President of the United States or Commander in Chief, as Barack Obama has since he assumed office?

You already know that President Obama is not my favorite, but let us move on from there. It seems that on a more frequent basis every time Obama steps before his teleprompter-aided podium he reminds his audience that he is the boss, I am the President or I am the Commander in Chief. I wonder why he needs to do this. Is he trying to brag, is he reminding himself of his achievement, is he arrogant or does he need the psychological boost to his ego?

Recently I read a very interesting article that admittedly supports my suspicions by a noted Israeli psychologist Dr. Sam Vakmin. He wrote “Malignant Self Love” and believes that Obama appears to be a narcissist. He suggests that Obama’s language, posture, demeanor, and the testimonies of his closest, dearest and nearest suggest that he is either a narcissist or he may have narcissistic personality disorder (NPD).

If you are interested, I suggest you Google Dr. Sam Vakmin and read his extensive conclusions on this subject. I found the material to be most interesting and hope you do, too. In the interest of total fairness, I checked Snopes.com and found their position as “Mixed Attribution.” You may draw your own conclusion on this fascinating subject. If Dr. Vakmin is correct, we all are in for great difficulties and a challenging future.

COMMANDER GRANGER

THE BIG TAKEOVER - READ IT, THEN PUKE!

If anyone had told me that I would read an article in Rolling Stone magazine I would have told them they were crazy, but I am indebted to a good friend for recently bringing this article to my attention. Let me direct your attention to an excellent and revealing piece from the #1075 issue of Rolling Stone (July 9-23, 2009) by Matt Taibbi titled: THE BIG TAKEOVER.

The essence of this informative and shocking report is, “The global economic crisis isn’t about money – it’s about power. How Wall Street insiders are using the bailout to stage a revolution.” We are all very familiar with the famous investment banking house Goldman Sachs, and all the government officials who are alumni. Taibbi reveals an extremely interesting analysis of events over a long period of time directly involving Goldman Sachs’ behind the scenes, devious involvement in today’s crisis.

The original article is a very long read, but definitely worth your time. If you want to see a synopsis, go to Google and list (Rolling Stone magazine- Matt Taibbi) and you will find a two part summary.

What I find to be most disappointing is the fact that once these appalling revelations were exposed there was no retribution or repercussions. Apparently, the big fix is in at the highest levels of our government. Why has Goldman Sachs been permitted over a very long period of time to literally steal vast sums of money from the citizens of our country and the world?

After reading the full article, I have come to the conclusion that the average Joe doesn’t have a chance, because Goldman Sachs has such a deep penetration into the inner-working of our government. Now the question is, what can we do about it and what are we going to do about it?

COMMANDER GRANGER

Saturday, June 27, 2009

MICHAEL JACKSON'S DEATH SCOOPED BY THE WEB

The passing of the self-proclaimed “King of Pop” Michael Jackson, and perhaps the country's most odd, eccentric, and weird citizen, has sent shock waves across the world and throughout the media universe. The fact is that celebrity gossip driven outlet TMZ.com not only scooped every major media outlet, they reported the details of the story correct, which is a huge development.

TMZ started in 2005 as a website, and progressed to a TV show in 2007, but it was not until recently that it was considered to be a reliable news source. Owned by media giant Time-Warner, TMZ chief Harvey Levin’s team has trumped the entire media world on several occasions, most recent being the first news outlet to report major celebrity stories such as Heath Ledger’s death, Anna Nicole Smith’s death, Jett Travolta’s passing, and the well known Mel Gibson drunk-driving arrest.

Most important is the fact that throughout TMZ’s coverage of the Jackson passing it had the details totally correct, while several major news organizations, like the Los Angeles Times, reported incorrect details during the first 24 to 36 hours of this continuing story. I suggest that one reason is the fact that more and more media outlets have insufficient staff available to cover news across the world. News organizations from television, radio, cable, and newspapers have dramatically cut their staffs in the past year as a result of falling revenues and thus their coverage of all events has suffered accordingly.

Not long ago who would conceive that a website organization consisting of lowly paid young eager journalists would scoop the Big Guys? Where were the major television network news organizations? Where were the major newspaper reporters? Where was the legendary Associated Press? They were all beat again by the perceived non-journalistic, tabloid, lowly TMZ website.

However, this development also highlights the country’s appetite for sensational celebrity driven news at the expense of coverage of far more important stories that truly impact our daily lives. America’s worship of false idols is frightening, but a fact of life in the country today.

The big story here is that journalism has changed before our eyes. Your Commander sees that journalism and media coverage has turned toward a more sensational and emotionally charged, titillating direction. You would think that nothing of any national or international significance has occurred since Michael Jackson’s death, only tireless, unsupported speculations about Jackson’s death. Our 24 hour news channels need any type of easy content to endlessly report on, no matter how important, insignificant or sensational. It may take months or longer for the Jackson story to unfold and at that the truth may never be known. The media will be impatient, so supposition regarding “Wack-o Jack-o” will reign across the airwaves for weeks to come with little or no relationship to true or reliable facts.

COMMANDER GRANGER

Thursday, June 25, 2009

COVER-UPS CONTINUE

The current economic crisis has been going on for well over one year and it surely has not ended as promptly as many predicted. When the news broke that special considerations and opportunities were extended to many high ranking business leaders and political figures by Angelo Mozilo, the former Chief Executive Officer of Countrywide Financial Corporation, he quickly became the bad guy and the recipients of his favors quickly ran for cover. That certainly is not news to anyone with one ounce of experience, but it has become a pattern of behavior we witness over and over again.

If Angelo Mozilo is guilty of misconduct in his fiduciary responsibilities when he was the CEO at Countrywide, which appears to be the case, it should be proven in a Court of Law, and not left for idle speculation. Recognizing that I am rendering an opinion before all the facts are disclosed, I believe that Mozilo should be indicted, tried, found guilty and sentenced to jail. His actions, if proven in court, are appalling, criminal and have negatively impacted millions of innocent citizens. Only time will tell if justice prevails in this case.

I suggest that it is very important for full and honest disclosure in this situation, because Mozilo is not the only culprit in this case. If individuals who took advantage of special considerations in mortgages are ignored, we will not have provided full justice to the harmed parties. The business leaders and politicians who benefited are equally guilty of wrong doing, and hopefully a full disclosure with a detailed investigation and legal proceedings will bring these issues forward into the clear light of day.

In the June 24th issue of the Wall Street Journal there is a detailed article suggesting that some members of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform may not want to request the release of all records in the “Friends of Angelo” case. This could signal the start of a political cover-up protecting fellow members of the House and Senate. If this action receives the proper publicity and the media steps forward with wide spread coverage, the voters will demand action. The Justice Department’s position remains to be seen.

The veil of protection that has existed throughout Washington covering up the insiders in politics must be tossed out by the citizens of our country. Corruption must be rooted out, and guilty parties should be held accountable.

There are both Republicans and Democrats involved in this scandal, but If Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-CT) or Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND) are not held accountable by the Senate Ethics Committee Investigation then the “fix is in”. Should the corresponding Committee in the House investigate the allegations against Reps. Barney Frank (D-MA) or Charles Rangel (D-NY) we face a situation that suggests that unethical behavior is acceptable in the Halls of Congress. Tragically I believe that such conduct is and has been acceptable not only in Washington, but across our country.

Let’s not forget the just revealed dalliance of Republican Gov. Mark Sanford of South Carolina. It never ceases to amaze me just what a public political figure thinks he/she can get away with! Give me a break, love letter emails, disappearing acts, trips to Argentina??? What was he thinking?

We all should remember that questions still remain unanswered relative to Barack Obama’s purchase of his Chicago residence from political influence peddler Tony Resko, who currently resides at the Chicago Metropolitan Correctional Center awaiting sentencing for corruption. How much do you want to bet that Resko is somehow kept under wraps until Obama leaves office, sooner hopefully rather than later?

No one wants to discuss the sudden wealth acquired by White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel after his short term on the Board of Freddie Mac. Hopefully Emanuel’s legendary foul mouth and harsh tactics will not cover up his mis-deeds as well as association with the Daley Machine and indicted Illinois ex-Governor Rod Blagojevich.

Do you find it strange that illegal and unethical conduct continues in our nation’s capitol when our current leadership promised CHANGE and TRANSPARENCY? Sadly, I am losing confidence in the entire gang in American politics today. Your Commander has long thought that lessons learned in both the Illinois and Chicago political battle ground would eventually flow east to Washington, but it appears to have completed the journey. There clearly is one hell of a lot of additional rotten apples in our barrel than anyone ever suspected, so how can we not expect the rest of the world to look at us suspiciously.

The United States desperately needs a miraculous return of the Founding Fathers and a heavy dose of moral inspiration.

COMMANDER GRANGER

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

IS GREEN REALLY GREEN?

Whenever anyone addresses the subject of going GREEN, I feel it is essential to include the subject of CLIMATE CHANGE, aka GLOBAL WARMING, in the discussion. The GREEN issue includes a wide range of conservation matters, and the inclusion of the purported warming of the planet is appropriate.

Obviously that statement suggests a bias on my part and I readily admit my questioning of the entire CLIMATE CHANGE position. More and more recognized scientists are coming forward doubting the wide array of statements attributed to ex-Vice President Al Gore. I really do not know if there is a sound foundation to all of Gore’s claims, but I am suspicious.

It is your Commander’s position that it is prudent to conserve our resources, because at some point in time the supply of some basic necessities, such as oil, will be exhausted. I do, however, question the validity of our government curtailing the drilling of available reserves off our continental shores, on the North Slope in Alaska, and developing the vast oil shale deposits within the United States. Why do we limit employment of U.S. citizens, yet fund unfriendly nations’ government controlled oil production when we could be spending those same dollars for American produced resources?

For far too long we have failed to invest sufficient dollars into research for alternative energy sources. Unfortunately our expenditure of vast sums of money into the corn based alternative fuel has proven to be a very poor choice, and many investors are paying for their original rush to profit, and all we are stuck with is a big increase in the price paid for corn bi-products.

Political influences have delayed the vital research necessary to develop alternative fuel. The Kennedy family influence has blocked the installation of wind turbines off the coast of their compound in Massachusetts. Special interest pressures in Washington have virtually brought appropriate investment into research to a stand still in an effort to continue huge profits for clients, further preventing exploration for acceptable alternatives.

I get very suspicious when our government officials tell us to conserve while they pollute our skies flying off on taxpayer paid jaunts or home each weekend to stuff their pockets with re-election campaign dollars. With the invention of computer meeting software why can’t our elected officials cut back on their travel? That suggestion includes our President and his gang, too.

Both GLOBAL WARMING and the GREENING OF AMERICA come under a skeptical eye from your Commander when the leader of these efforts, namely Al Gore, totally disregards his own urgings to the average American citizen. He flies around the world in a private jet and lives in a totally inefficient, energy sucking mansion in Tennessee. Apparently the same rules do not apply to the elite such as Gore or our government leadership when they leave gigantic carbon footprints from air travel or run around Washington, DC in low mileage, large SUV’s. It is reported that Al Gore had $2 million in the bank when he left federal office, and today, just over 8 years later, he has accumulated a net worth of over $100 million. Something does not ring ethical, and something stinks. Obviously the rules do not apply to the elite, but we average Joes must suck it up and listen to their “do as I say, not as I do” lectures.

I honestly believe that pure self-serving greed and opportunism is at the base of the entire GREEN movement. There are a lot of people making one hell of a lot of money promoting GREEN and conservation. It is further my position that much of the movement is exaggerated fear, and does not hold up under a scientific investigation.

Should we conserve? YES. Should we go GREEN? YES, but within reason and only with appropriate scientific support. I will not buy a small automobile just because some bureaucrat who does not know anything about the auto industry says I should while he rides around in a big SUV.

We desperately need reasoned, objective, research-based leadership that is not always politically motivated. We are living under over-reactive decision making determinations being made by questionable poll results, and urgently require honest, non-partisan, objective leadership. I know that I am an optimist and a dreamer, but something must change before we go down the tubes. The policies of leadership today are just not working for the average American’s best interests, only for the benefit of the politically elite or welfare entitlement crowd’s pocketbook.

COMMANDER GRANGER

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

SHAKEDOWN - "REV." JESSE JACKSON

One of the great joys of my life is centered by my books, but until now I have never read any book cover to cover twice. My motivation to re-read an old book came from new information that came forth as a bi-product of the Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich scandal. On May 25, 2009 the Chicago Sun-Times reported that Representative Jesse Jackson Jr.’s congressional campaign organization paid his wife $247,500 since 2001. Congressman Jackson’s wife has been a Chicago City Council member since 2007. Additional questions remain open as to whether Jackson Jr. is negatively involved in the pending Blagojevich “Pay for Play” trial, too.

Smelling blood in the water of Chicago politics, I remembered reading back in 2002 a fascinating book about Jesse, Jr.’s father by Kenneth R. Timmerman titled “Shakedown - exposing the real Jesse Jackson.” Just to give you an idea of the author’s take on Jesse, Sr. let me quote from the book’s dedication, “To the victims of racial brokering, from the West Coast of America to the eastern shores of Africa.”

Now that I have re-read Timmerman’s well researched tome I can highly recommend that you, too, read this work. Once you read the 433 very revealing pages you will fully understand that in the case of the Jackson family “the apple does not fall too far from the tree.” I can honestly report that I have never had such a visceral reaction to any book I have ever read. I remain totally disgusted with the revelations.

Without spoiling your read, you will find that Jesse Jackson Sr.’s life has been based upon one lie after another starting with his fraudulent use of his self-proclaimed religious title, because he abandoned his studies at the Chicago Theological Seminary six months before graduation. When questioned why he did not complete the courses he said, “I am special,” and he has thus far gotten away with it. Additionally, Jackson claimed to be the last person to speak with Martin Luther King before he died, but that has been proven to be a lie by several individuals who were in attendance.

While never close to the Chicago Daley dynasty, Jackson has been permitted to do his thing because he keeps the vital black vote at bay. Jackson’s family shenanigans may be coming under greater scrutiny while the Obama administration maintains an ever increasing distance. You may have noticed that “Rev.” Jesse Jackson has been very quiet since Obama came into office. One reason is the fact that Susan Rice, Obama’s Ambassador to the United Nations and Cabinet member, knows the true story about Jackson’s illegal, unethical dealings that actually led to many murders and a War in Africa. Jackson’s close relationship with President Bill Clinton is very revealing too.

You will find this book clearly documents the duplicity of both political and judicial influences in perpetuating the highly lucrative Jackson con job. I predict that “Rev.” Jackson will lay low during the Obama administration, because Obama dare not permit a Jackson scandal during his term. If Jackson tries a power play against the Daley Machine or Obama he will be cut off at the knees without mercy.

I am certain you will not be able to put the book down once you start reading the shocking true story of the Jackson family’s misuse of the “race card” for their personal financial benefit.

COMMANDER GRANGER

Monday, June 22, 2009

LOOK BACK BEFORE LOOKING AHEAD

I start every day by reading my copy of “The American Patriot’s Almanac,” the well written work of William J. Bennett and John T.E. Cribb. As an old history buff, I want you know that it is far more accurate to look back upon historical facts to better prepare resolving troubling issues confronting our daily lives and future conditions. As is said, “Hindsight is far more accurate than future speculation.”

On the June 22nd page of this Almanac there is a very timely historical report that has direct implications to today’s troubling world circumstances. Presbyterian minister John Witherspoon on this date in 1776 was elected to represent New Jersey in the Continental Congress in Philadelphia. He said, “There is not a single instance in history in which civil liberty was lost, and religious liberty preserved entire.” That could surely apply to what is going on in Middle East hot spots today.

Witherspoon came to our land from Scotland in 1768 to be President of the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University). A colleague once said of him, “He laid the foundation of a course of history in the college, and the principles of taste and the rules of good writing were both happily explained by him, and exemplified in his manner.” When Witherspoon realized there would be war with Britain, he said, “If your cause is just, if your principles are pure, and if your conduct is prudent, you need not fear the multitude of opposing hosts.” Wow, how insightful!

He was the only minister to sign The Declaration of Independence. He made a very important statement when urging independence from Britain when he said, “The country is not only ripe for the measure, but in danger of rotting for the want of it”. Those powerful words would certainly apply to the uprisings now going on in Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan today.

After the Revolutionary War he told his students, “Do not live useless and die contemptible.” This unsung founder and educator’s influence developed 9 future cabinet officers, 21 senators, 39 congressmen, 3 Supreme Court justices, 12 governors, a vice-president, and one President (James Madison) who was one of 5 Witherspoon students at the Constitutional Convention.

Thanks again to “The American Patriot’s Almanac” for recording this significant and valuable vision. Above are several examples of the value of looking back to secure a depth of knowledge that better prepares one for solving current and future problems more efficiently or effectively. We must never ignore the fact that our Founding Fathers laid the groundwork for the great quality of life and success our country has achieved. We must not fail to look back to their great guidance as we move forward. I fear that our recent political leadership has all too frequently moved ahead in excessive haste. They repeatedly fail to look back for solid proven guidance or they are just plain arrogant and self-centered.

I know that your Commander is dreaming, but wouldn’t it be a magnificent experience to sit in a room with all our Founding Fathers in attendance and hear just what they would have to say about our government today and the challenges we face in the 21st Century. I believe we could use their vision and guidance more today than ever before.

COMMANDER GRANGER

Sunday, June 21, 2009

IMMIGRATION SOLUTIONS

Currently the word immigration raises the tenor of any dialog, because it is such a highly emotional, inflammatory subject. Our great country was founded on the basis of immigration and throughout our history we have grown significantly by the number of people lawfully entering. The hot-button portion of this subject is the failure to abide to a realistic, legal immigration policy.

On June 19, 1885 the unassembled parts of the Statue of Liberty arrived in New York City as a gift from France to celebrate our centennial, which occurred some nine years earlier. On that wondrous statue are engraved the following words from Emma Lazarus’ “The New Colossus:”

"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

(Editor’s note: Part of the program for my 8th grade graduation in 1962 consisted of the class reciting Emma Lazarus’s moving and famous words along with singing Woody Guthrie’s much loved song, “This Land Is Your Land.” I have never forgotten the words and meaning of her sonnet and his lyrics.)

I firmly believe that every American believes in those beautiful words and supports immigration as an integral part of the American fabric. Aside from the Native American Indians we are all products of immigration with proud roots from all over the planet. Absent from the debate is the fact that our population is now substantially larger than it was back in 1885, and some fair and orderly restraints are appropriate to be placed on immigration to our country in the 21st Century.

It is obvious that many countries around the world cannot or do not want to provide for all their inhabitants, so they urge immigration, legal or illegal, to alleviate their internal population problems. While I believe we should welcome people to our shores, it is equally realistic to recognize that we cannot and should not have an unrestrained open door to everyone and everybody. Citizenship in the USA should be desired and then earned under our terms, not some foreign government’s policy of dumping their dregs or criminal elements like Cuba has.

Many of the United States most egregious problems can be traced directly to illegal immigration, but we have repeatedly failed to get our hands around an acceptable solution due to numerous, powerful special interest influences. A major factor in our huge national debt obligation is a direct result of massive welfare costs accrued from millions of illegal immigrants residing across our country. Every state government is being negatively influenced by massive costs for food stamps, crime, prison costs, gangs, bilingual education, spiraling welfare costs, non-reimbursed health care, drugs, and unemployment statistics. Were we to eliminate or reduce substantially the direct costs of illegal immigration, we could realistically begin to reduce our long-term national debt.

It is foolish to think we can just ship all the illegal immigrants back to their country of origin, because it would negatively impact our national economy in the short-term. It is also foolish to believe that our political leadership will dare negatively impact the illegal immigrant community, because politicians actually thrive on their very existence.

I suggest that an acceptable place to start is multi-faceted. First, close the borders to only legal entry thus immediately improving our national security. Enforce visa termination dates, thus reducing the number of illegal residents. Also, require a reporting system for those here on student visas. Require state governments to establish stronger standards for the issuance of driver licenses. Eliminate the policy of safe havens, such as San Francisco, and New York City have. Our government must stop providing foreign aid to governments, such as Mexico, whose economy virtually forces their citizens to flee, because of internal corruption.

Immediately form a Blue Ribbon Committee to present a realistic Immigration Bill for Congressional consideration. Reduce bi-lingual teaching in our federally supported schools (perhaps only K-2nd grade). English should NOT be taught as a second language! English should be strictly enforced as our official language, but this should not suppress educational options to learn other languages. It is crazy to be teaching elementary school children in Los Angeles in more than twenty different languages.

Illegal immigration is totally destroying our Social Security system, and illegal immigrants must not be permitted to benefit until they are accepted as legal residents. Just look at what illegal immigration has done to border states, especially California. We need a fair immigration policy free of political and judicial injustice.

I recognize that my proposals may be harsh, but we must get a handle on this grievous problem ASAP, and we must start somewhere. While many of our politicians are thriving on the backs of illegal immigrants, we cannot continue to financially support individuals who break our laws. Objectively it is now simply an issue of THEM or US, and we cannot permit our American way of life to be destroyed or jeopardized by interlopers, criminals or welfare slackers. Continuing our current permissive immigration policy is a slap in the face to every citizen who waited in line to enter the USA legally.

The expense of illegal immigration is unsustainable. The gravy train must stop soon, but it is up to you and me to act forcibly with questions to our elected Representative and Senators. Think about writing a letter to your elected federal officials on the subject, I have. If we do not tell them what we think, they will continue in their errant, self-serving ways. At least when you let them know what you are thinking, the voice of your vote becomes louder.

COMMANDER GRANGER

Friday, June 19, 2009

QUESTIONS THAT BEG FOR ANSWERS

Your Commander is a child of Chicago’s south side, and a product of the Chicago Public School system. Living in the Avalon Park/Chatham neighbor- hood one learned early the definition of sensatory adaptation, because when the wind blew from the northwest we smelled the Union Stock Yards aromas, and when it blew from the southeast we were inundated by the smells of the huge garbage dump along Doty Avenue.

I remember the administrations of Mayors Ed Kelly, Martin Kennelly, Richard J. Daley, Michael Bilandic, Jane Byrne, Harold Washington, David Orr, Eugene Sawyer, and Richard M. Daley. Scandals occurred during every Chicago Mayor’s term, and several ex-Illinois Governors moved on to serve jail time, so the famous stench of political life in Chicago is something that never leaves one’s nostrils. The suspicious reek of politics in Chicago now has reached our nation’s capital.

We now have a new president serving his first few months in office. He is a true product of the Chicago/Illinois political machine. The president won our national election with a convincing margin in the popular vote, and in the Electoral College, too. Barack Obama thus should deserve the support of all Americans because he is our elected leader, but legitimate questions linger that cry for complete answers. During the campaign Obama repeatedly stated that he and his administration would go to Washington to bring CHANGE and TRANSPARENCY to our government, so it is appropriate for the electorate to expect those two promises be delivered.

Just today I heard sharp criticism directed against anyone who questions virtually anything about President Obama is a messenger of hate, intolerance and racism. That comment came from a highly emotional Shepard Smith on his Fox News channel program. I object to his comment and told him so in an email. Let me state for the hundredth time, I do not hate anyone, I continue to believe in the Ten Commandments, and I demand adherence to our Constitution that guarantees everyone be treated equally. With that in mind, I have the right to ask legitimate questions of all our elected officials, and if anyone thinks I am thus a hate monger or racist, they can just wallow in their own narrow minded world.

Repeatedly in my writings I have expressed my desire to support my new president, but I must admit that thus far he is making my endorsement increasingly difficult to warrant. Experience has taught me to consider all politicians’ words with skepticism, but I cannot accept deception, the absence of total disclosure, or worse any dishonesty.

With a world in turmoil and the American economy in stress, our president needs the strong support of his Congress, his electorate, and other world leaders. Currently Obama support is increasingly uncertain from a growing number of concerned citizens. Several very important questions continue to haunt Obama’s integrity, and authenticity. Why Mr. President do you not provide convincing transparent answers to the following very important and relevant questions?

1. Why have your Occidental College records not been released?
2. Why have your Columbia College records not been released?
3. Why are your Columbia thesis papers not available?
4. Why are your Harvard College records sealed?
5. What is the reason for your Selective Service Registration not being made available for review?
6. Why are your medical records not being released?
7. Why is your Illinois State Senate schedule not available?
8. What is the reason for not releasing your Illinois Senate records?
9. What is the justification for not releasing your Law practice client list?
10. Why are Certified Copies of your original Birth certificate not available?
11. Why is your embossed, signed paper Certification of Live Birth unavailable?
12. Why is your baptism certificate not available?
13. Where are articles you published as editor of the Harvard Law Review, or as a Professor at the University of Chicago?

While not an elected government official, our president’s wife, Michelle Obama, made some controversial statements during the campaign. When she stated that she was never proud of her country “until now,” many Americans became aroused. Those words and others have lead to a justifiable interest in her writings while a student at Princeton University. Why are her academic papers not available for public observation?

A new inquiry has come forward asking what passport was used by Barack Obama in 1981 when he traveled to Pakistan, Indonesia and New York. This question could be easily answered by presenting the passport. If he was traveling with a British passport that would provide proof that he was born in Kenya on August 4, 1961, not in Hawaii as he claims, and if he was traveling with an Indonesian passport that would tend to prove that he relinquished whatever previous citizenship he held, British or American, when he was adopted by his Indonesian step-father in 1967.

To a casual observer there appears to be a double standard applied to proper vetting of our current leadership. All candidates should expect to receive identical scrutiny when running for the Presidency whether you are a Republican, Democrat or Independent. I believe that even the most ardent supporters of President Obama would agree that the refusal to respond fully to any of my thirteen unanswered questions tarnishes his pledge for CHANGE AND TRANSPARENCY in his administration. Do you wonder why these questions remain unaddressed even well into the Obama administration?

Your Commander, and many other American’s feel we taxpayers deserve a proper accounting from all our leaders. Deception and arrogance breeds discontent with growing bitter dissension. Remember what your mother told you years ago, “honesty is the best policy,” but it has apparently not applied in the world of politics. I wonder why the American voting taxpayers permit our leadership to dodge full, honest disclosure?

COMMANDER GRANGER

Thursday, June 18, 2009

BIG BILL'S MOTHER TURNS 100

This story started back in 1956 when I first joined Big Bill’s sales representation firm located in the Lincoln Tower on Wacker Drive along the Chicago River. I had a four year delay getting into the workforce, because I served in the Air Force, thus delaying my completion of study at the University of Illinois.

Over the years I got to know Big Bill well and knew he was an only child of a dairy farm family from Marysville, Kansas. As I recall, his mother and dad immigrated from Switzerland to Kansas prior to the turn of the century. Life on the farm in those days was certainly difficult, and Big Bill frequently told me that milking cows on a cold dark winter morning was sufficient motivation to move on to city life as soon as possible.

Frequently Big Bill would visit his widowed mother, Marie, in Marysville, especially on holidays and always on her September 8th birthday. At the time we represented television stations in both Topeka, Kansas and Lincoln, Nebraska, which were conveniently located within a short drive to Marysville, so Big Bill met with those clients regularly.

One day Big Bill came into my office and told me to cover the Chicago office for him, because he had to get to Marysville immediately. His mother had gone missing from the nursing home where she had recently moved. Big Bill took off for the airport to get the first flight to either Topeka or Lincoln. Before he got on the plane he called me and said that the nursing home had located his mother, but he still felt it was important to continue to Marysville.

The next day Big Bill called and told me that his mother had called a cab and was driven to the old family home, because she did not like being told what to do in the nursing home. She had a perfectly good home in Marysville, and it was a waste of good money to pay to live in the nursing home. Big Bill threw up his hands and arranged for a housekeeper to come in daily to clean, cook and provide companionship for his mother. He returned to Chicago within three days, and announced that he felt this was a good alternative for his 95 year old mother.

Within two weeks Big Bill got another call and this time it was from the housekeeper, who announced that she had been fired. Upon investigating the circumstances he learned that his mother objected strenuously to the housekeeper wasting money buying cut-up chickens and not whole chickens at the local store. Out to Marysville went Big Bill, and he settled the dispute with some soft words and hand holding which resulted in the housekeeper being rehired.

In September, 1977, Big Bill invited me and my associate Bob from New York to join him along with his lady friend Edith in Marysville for Marie’s 100th birthday. This was to be a big event, especially in tiny Marysville. He rented a meeting hall in the center of town, and all Marie’s local friends were invited for afternoon coffee and cake. We, of course, used the fact that we had clients in both Topeka and Lincoln to justify our presence by having sales meetings at each station during the course of the trip.

There were two wonderful side stories to that special day that I must share with you. The General Manager of the station in Lincoln came down for the party and brought his wife, who apparently had been sipping from her flask during their early morning drive. Big Bill arrived a couple of days early to prepare for the festivities in his big new, shiny Cadillac which he parked just outside the meeting hall.

Back in those days everyone smoked, and I ventured outside for a quick cigarette during the party. There, teetering against the railing was the lady from Lincoln having a smoke, too. She saw Big Bill’s new car and admired it expressing a desire to look at the interior. I accompanied her and opened the door, and I will never know what possessed me to do it, but as I opened the door I turned my head and said “HELLO.” With that she jumped back saying “By God that damn car talks to you…I’ve got to tell my husband.” With that she walked off to find her husband in the meeting hall. Shortly thereafter Big Bill took me aside and said to leave the poor woman alone, but he did think it was damn funny!

As the friends gathered for Marie’s party a young reporter appeared from WIBW-TV in Topeka to interview her. He set up his camera, and the lights before he stepped in front of her as he asked Marie, “What do you think is the reason you have reached your 100th birthday?” With that Marie looked right into the camera and said, “Well, young man, I didn’t die.” The reporter was stunned and had difficulty reorganizing his thoughts, but he regrouped and then asked, “What was the most important event during your 100 years?” Marie looked him in the eyes and said, “there were two big deals, namely when the man landed on the moon, and when we got electricity on the farm.” With that he folded his equipment and headed back to Topeka to edit and file his story.

Fortunately, Marie lived another wonderful, healthy four years. The housekeeper came daily, but Marie spent the night alone in the old house and died in her sleep peacefully. She lived her life just the way she wanted…on her terms. Can you just imagine all the magnificent changes and inventions that occurred within her lifetime? We were all very fortunately to share Marie’s big day and to get to know this wonderful pioneer woman.

COMMANDER GRANGER

COST TO FLY AIR FORCE ONE DIFFICULT TO JUDGE

For several weeks I have been trying to establish some accurate cost estimates for the use of the Air Force One Boeing 747, but to no avail.

During that period of time, I have sent emails to my local newspaper suggesting a story that would be of interest to our local citizens, because President Obama recently flew into South Bend for his controversial appearance at the University of Notre Dame. For days in advance of his appearance, lasting only a few hours, there were literally hundreds of law enforcement, military support personnel, and presidential support staff gracing our community, thus I felt the story has substantial local interest. Apparently our local newspaper was so busy selling obituaries (one of their largest profit centers) they were too busy to oblige.

Interestingly, I saw a very informative article on the Chicago Tribune website (6/15/09). Wouldn’t you know it my local paper carried a similar article the same date that was almost a copy of the Chicago article. So be it, I got the information that I was seeking.

When President Obama flew into Chicago on June 15th for a political pep talk on Health Care it cost the American taxpayer at least $236,000 for the round-trip from Washington. That, however, does not include the expense of the Secret Service protection, motorcades and helicopter transports. Frankly, for a 21/2 hour trip that is damn expensive and I suggest that it is an unnecessary expense placed on the backs of stressed taxpayers.

In 2000 the Government Accounting Office reported it cost $54,100 to operate each flight hour, or almost $67,000 in today’s dollars. The article also reports that the flight to Chicago is cheap compared to President Reagan’s 4,700 mile round trips to the western White House in California. It is also quick to report that this cost of $236,000 is approximately one-half the expense created when President George Bush flew to his ranch near Crawford, Texas. I suspect that the White House made a point to highlight the Bush cost to divert attention to the recent fiasco when Air Force One flew low over New York City for a photo op at a reported cost of more than $300,000.

Recognizing the legitimate security considerations that are forced upon our government during these hectic times there is some other cost-sharing done when travel is purely political. White House spokesman Tommy Vietor said, “The White House is committed to following all of the relevant rules and regulations regarding reimbursement for travel expense.” If you believe that I want to sell you the Golden Gate Bridge.

Frankly, I do not believe these figures for one minute. It does not take a rocket scientist to know that there are literally hundreds of government employees, law enforcement officials and support staff involved every time the president jumps on Air Force One. Since taking office, President Obama has climbed on Air Force One some 54 times, and I suggest that the cost to you and me is probably closer to some number between 54 million and 100 million greenbacks.

With modern electronic communications available to our President I suggest that it is far past the time to park the big jet in the hangar. Yes, our president requires security, but he does not need to fly across the nation or around the world at the drop of a hat. Video conferencing can save literally millions that could be more effectively spent on solving the ills of our great nation. I really believe that our new president is like a kid with a new toy when it comes to Air Force One, and it is time for his parents (the taxpayers) to send him to his room for a rest. The same is true with our president’s use of the television airwaves. He is in real danger of over-exposure and national embarrassment if his teleprompter breaks down.

COMMANDER GRANGER

DID OBAMA STUDY THE CLASSICS?

With all the education that President Barack Obama secured in the hallowed halls of the Ivy League institutions he attended, I wonder if he ever studied the classics.

“The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance.”

These important and significant words were spoken 2,064 years ago by Cicero – 55BC

Apparently none of the all-knowing White House advisors, czars, or our president ever read Cicero.

COMMANDER GRANGER

Friday, June 12, 2009

GENERAL BLACK JACK PERSHING

Just consider the following information that recently came to me.

“General Black Jack Pershing was born September 13th, 1860 near Laclede, MS, he died July 15th, 1948 in Washington, D.C. Highlights of his life include:

1891 Professor of Military Science and Tactics University of Nebraska
1898 Serves in the Spanish-American War
1901 Awarded rank of Captain
1906 Promoted to rank of Brigadier General
1909 Military Governor of Moro Province, Philippines
1916 Made Major General
1919 Promoted to General of the Armies
1921 Appointed Chief of Staff
1924 Retires from active duty Education West Point

Just before World War l, there were a number of terrorist attacks on the United States forces in the Philippines by Muslim extremists. General Pershing captured 50 terrorists and had them tied to posts for execution. He then had his men bring in two pigs and slaughter them in front of the now horrified terrorists. Muslims detest pork because they believe pigs are filthy animals. Some of them simply refuse to eat it, while others won’t even touch pigs at all, nor any of their by-products. To them, eating or touching a pig, its meat, its blood, etc., is to be instantly barred from paradise (and those virgins) and doomed to hell. The soldiers then soaked their bullets in the pigs’ blood, and proceeded to execute 49 of the terrorists by firing squad. The soldiers then dug a big hole, dumped in the terrorist’s bodies and covered them in pig blood, entrails, etc. They let the 50th man go. And for the next forty-two years, there was not a single Muslim extremist attack anywhere in the world. Maybe it is time for this segment of history to repeat itself, maybe in Iraq? The question is, where do we find another Black Jack Pershing?”

Wow! How about that action. Can you imagine any General doing that today? Can you conceive of the immediate reaction of our main-stream media, the ACLU, or the liberal left-wing elements of our society?

This story was so amazing I had to check its authenticity via Snopes.com. There is no conclusive evidence to the story’s accuracy, but it was referred to by Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Bob Graham (D-FL) at a dinner in 2001. There are numerous examples of Pershing’s harsh dealings with the Muslim Philippine terrorists in 1911.

I will leave it to your imagination just what your Commander would do under similar circumstances. It seems to me that General Black Jack Pershing well deserves his place as a legendary figure in American History, particularly if this story is true.

COMMANDER GRANGER

Thursday, June 11, 2009

TELEVISION HAS CHANGED FOREVER

Tomorrow, television will convert from an analog transmission format to the brighter, clearer digital system. While some sources suggest that all this federally mandated change is nothing but forced obsolescence. It really is a significant technological improvement for all television viewers, which frees broadcast spectrum for more efficient utilization.

The well recognized national research firm, A.C. Nielsen, reports that 2.8 million homes are still not ready to receive a digital signal even after a delay of four months in the implementation of the conversion deadline. Only homes that receive their television signal over-the-air without a digital TV, cable, satellite service, or a converter box will be without a viewable television picture tomorrow.

Frankly, anyone who is without service tomorrow must have been living in total isolation for the past two years considering all the announcements that have flooded the air-waves and media outlets. Unfortunately there are many unfortunate soles that live alone or have infirmities that prevent their understanding of this country-wide transition. I cannot believe that there are 2.8 million in this latter category, so I suggest that some number are just cheap or lazy in addressing the situation.

Tomorrow there will be 252,180 homes (4.46%) in Los Angeles who are not ready, and Albuquerque has the highest percentage of unconverted homes at 7.58% or 52,235. While the viewers without television service will lose their entertainment and vital information stations, the local television stations will be negatively impacted from a financial point of view. With already seriously depressed revenue streams during the current economic recession, all of our television stations will have lower total viewing, which directly impacts their pricing and revenue.

One very good bi-product of this conversion, however, has been the huge increase in the sale of digital high-definition television sets, which have positively impacted national retail sales. Additionally with increased sales we saw the price of these HDTV sets drop significantly, and we the viewers have improved picture quality with better viewing enjoyment.

Enjoy the new world of digital High-Definition Television. I wonder what the next new electronic development will be on our horizon. I remember when homes did not even have one television, never mind multiple sets, and we seemed to live happy, satisfying lives. In those days we heard about War, but now we see War, crime, violence, death, and hate in full HDTV color. I guess progress carries a heavy price.

COMMANDER GRANGER

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

YES, VIRGINIA, THERE IS A SANTA CLAUS

Your Commander believes the above title is appropriate after reviewing the results of the Virginia Gubernatorial Primary election. Much to my surprise, Terry McAuliffe was handsomely defeated by fellow Democrat State Senator R. Creigh Deeds.

On June 6th I wrote that with a huge campaign war chest of $7.0 million he would overwhelm both Brian Moran and Creigh Deeds, but your Commander was dead wrong. I want you to know that it feels wonderful to be proven wrong in this case, because it establishes that clear thinking voters do step up, and right can win over wrong. As reported in the New York Times, Deeds quietly surged past his two opponents, who spent most of their campaigns battering negatively against each other.

Deeds stuck to his long standing positions of pro-gun, including support for legislation permitting concealed firearms in bars, promoting his support for the death penalty, enforcing immigration laws, and higher salaries for teachers. While I do not endorse all of Deeds’ positions (concealed weapons in bars?), I admire his consistency regarding issues he supports.

I would have loved to have been a little bird in the corner when Tim McAuliffe learned of his defeat. Can you imagine the remarks of McAuliffe, and supporters such as Hillary and Bill Clinton, Paul Bagalia, Rham Emanuel, and the “Ragin’ Cajun,” James Carville, made when the defeat was announced? It has been reported that the “Ragin’ Cajun” has stated that radical, evil right-wing forces were directed at McAuliffe’s campaign. Finally a politician who has been notorious for pulling all the behind the curtain strings has been called up short by the electorate.

There is a lesson here; you cannot buy a primary or general election every time!

The result of this primary election in the Commonwealth of Virginia has given me hope that the national electorate just may be ready to make their voices resoundingly heard. Are we receiving the CHANGE and TRANSPARENCY we were pledged or really wanted? Yes, Virginia, there really is a Santa Claus!

COMMANDER GRANGER

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

THE NORTH KOREA PROBLEM

Have you noticed that most of the websites for newspapers, television stations, and cable channels carry a daily poll, which solicits your response to a question of the day? Of course, these are not scientific, but like all polls the response can be very interesting, but it is also very important to carefully read the questions, because all too frequently the respondent’s answer can be erroneous.

In my local newspaper a couple of days ago the question was, “IS NORTH KOREA PLANNING TO EVENTUALLY INVADE SOUTH KOREA?” Wow that is a very serious and interesting question, and the poll results reported astounded me, to say the least. 60% of the paper’s readers said yes, and 40% said no.

I wonder if 60% really thought North Korea was PLANNING an invasion or did 60% think there would BE an invasion. There is a huge difference here and I just wonder how many people understand the significance of the difference.

Having served in Korea during the War, which some people called a Police Action, I can report factually and objectively that it was not a Police Action, but an all out god awful War that resulted in the loss of over 46,000 American lives and over one million South Korean lives. I do not believe that anyone will really ever know just how many North Korean or Chinese lives were lost, but the number was horrific.

Over fifty-five years have passed since the cessation of hostilities in Korea and that situation remains a hot-button issue. America still has thousands of our troops stationed on the DMZ and throughout South Korea, Japan, Okinawa, and Guam. With the passage of time, America still does not fully understand the long term goals of the North Koreans or just does not want to think about a bad situation, but the North Koreans are not normal, rational thinking individuals.

Administration after administration has failed to resolve this festering boil on our foreign policy agenda, but it eventually will come to a devastating head. The huge difference between our position and theirs is that they have millions of people on their side of the line and if they lose a few million that is of little consequence to their leadership, because that is just a few million less to feed. We value life totally different than the Far East and Middle Eastern mindset, and we just never seem to recognize that simple fact.

Some of our opposition is the result of religious misinterpretations, and a deep hatred of the American way of life. American support of long-standing friends is being used to further divide possible resolutions of historical tensions.

Your Commander believes that the North Korean situation is just as volatile, if not more, than the Iranian, Iraqi or Afghanistan situations. President Obama has a full plate as far as foreign affairs are concerned, and he is placing our National Security position in jeopardy with the dramatically increased national debt structure. I hate War and anything to do with it, but War is tragically on the American horizon from more than one direction, and we best be ready to defend our sacred land from the incursion of very evil forces to our south, east and west. Appeasement will only delay the inevitable confrontation, so we must be extremely prudent in how we conduct our foreign affairs in the near term.

More than ever America needs the wisdom of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Harry Truman, or Ronald Regan, and not British Neville Chamberlain pacifism. I find it interesting that many of our very best leaders did not go to Ivy League schools, with the exception of Teddy Roosevelt who attended both Harvard and Columbia. Conversely several of our poorly regarded leadership did attend elite Ivy League institutions. The world is currently paying a heavy penalty for the actions of our leaders at the end of World Wars I and II. The narrow, long-range visions of Presidents Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Prime Minister Winston Churchill are at the foundation of today’s turmoil.

If you cannot see the organized squeeze play taking place between North Korea, China, Russia, several Middle East countries, and the South American opposition forces against the United States then you’re just damn na├»ve or blind.

COMMANDER GRANGER

Monday, June 8, 2009

YOU CANNOT MAKE THIS STUFF UP

Now more than ever we all need a few laughs to take our minds off the perils of the day. I have always admired the ability of some individuals to express themselves in memorable phrases, and at the same time have been amazed at the stupidly of some statements that repeatedly come back to haunt the speaker for years. Recently a good friend sent me an email that covered these situations perfectly, so I will share the material with you. Now don’t get your knickers in a wad because this particular item covers only Democrats. Believe me, the Republicans have their share of wonderful quotes and an equal number of “foot in the mouth” blunders to fill many books.

Here we go…….

Great Orators of the Democrat Party

“One man with courage makes a majority." - Andrew Jackson

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” - Franklin D. Roosevelt

“The buck stops here.” - Harry S. Truman

“Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” - John F. Kennedy


And from some of today’s Democrats……..

“It depends what your definition of IS is?" - Bill Clinton

“That Obama- I would like to cut his NUTS off.” - Jesse Jackson

“Those rumors are false…I believe in the sanctity of marriage.“ - John Edwards

“I invented the Internet.” - Al Gore

“The next Person that tells me I’m not religious, I’m going to shove my rosary beads up their ASS.” - Joe Biden

“America is-is no longer, uh, what it-it, uh, could be, uh, what it was once was…uh, and I say to myself, ‘uh, I don’t want that future, uh, uh for my children.” - Barack Obama

“You don’t need God anymore, you have us Democrats.” - Nancy Pelosi (2006)

“Paying taxes is voluntary.” - Harry Reid

“Bill is the greatest husband and father I know. No one is more faithful, true, and honest than he.” - Hillary Clinton (1998)


Don’t you wish you had the ability to make memorable statements like the first ones? At the same time, can you just imagine what would happen to you had you made any of the latter statements? Do you wonder, as I do, why nothing seems to stick to some of our politicians? Your Commander is beginning to believe that there really are two sets of standards impacting our daily lives.

I will leave you with these two statements for the day….

Illegitimi non carborundum - “Don’t let the bastards get you down.”

Gaudeamus igitur - “Let us make merry.”

COMMANDER GRANGER

Saturday, June 6, 2009

DOES MONEY GROW ON TREES?

The June 6th edition of the Wall Street Journal carried a very revealing article titled “Democrats’ Rainmaker Aims To Hold Virginia.” After reading this report, I have come to the conclusion that our politicians believe money grows on trees and it is there for them to indiscriminately consume. While this material covers only the State of Virginia the theme will no doubt apply to any State in the Union.

As of May 27th the Virginia Public Access Project released a study of Old Dominion Dollars specifying the amounts of money in millions raised and spent by candidates for the Virginia’s Governor’s office. The results are absolutely astounding:

CANDIDATE / SPENT / TOTAL RAISED

Terry McAuliffe (D) / $5.8 / $7.0

Brian Moran (D) / $3.3 / $3.8

Creigh Deeds (D) /$2.3 / $2.8

Bob McDonnell (R) /$4.0 / $8.9

According to my calculations these four candidates have thus far spent $15.4 million, and the three Democrats have spent $11.3 million to date. The four candidates in Virginia have raised a staggering $22.5 million dollars to attain the Governor’s Office and the Primary Election has not even taken place! Obviously these individual politicians believe that Virginia’s Governorship is worth that kind of money.

After the Primary it is apparent that the Republicans are well financed to meet the spending of Terry McAuliffe’s campaign. In the unlikely event that he does not win the Primary, the Democrat’s are in for a difficult election race. McAuliffe has a long record of attack politics and nothing will prevent him from attaining his objective, just look at his nasty record running Hillary Clinton’s Presidential campaign, and his tenure as the Chairman of the Democrat National Committee.

The point I am attempting to raise is as follows: Is it morally and ethically appropriate to spend this staggering amount of money for the Governorship of the State of Virginia? A total of $22.5 million has been raised in an attempt to win nomination and there is nearly 18 months until the General Election! How much more will be raised once the two major candidates are named? The same question is applicable for all elections in our country today.

With record numbers of our citizens unemployed and fellow Americans going without appropriate health care coverage, should we be spending these unbelievable amounts of money for jobs that are supposed to be public service, well compensated, leadership roles established for the greater good? Your Commander did not just get off the train from the middle of nowhere, so don’t tell me that these politicians are not totally obligated to individuals, unions, corporations, or the special interests that contributed these vast sums. Here we go again with "PAY FOR PLAY."

Just consider how many civil ills could be resolved with the $22.5 million raised thus far. Would it not be better if qualified candidates were granted a stipend from the State government to run for office, and the individuals would not be permitted to raise any money? Sure I am a dreamer, but would this not be a good way to address corruption, and hopefully attract honest office seekers?

Your Commander is certain that hell will freeze over before any of our current political figures vote to really clean up our election process. Until there is real reform I believe we will continue to have growing treasury deficits, and wide spread political corruption.

How can the American public or our government expect other nations to look upon our policies and find them to be nothing short of hypocritical? Personal self-serving greed and self-preservation by our political leadership again has overwhelmed ethical and moral considerations. Our political clowns should stand in a lead-lined enclosure when they take their Oath of Office, so they are not hit by the Lord’s lightening that is sure to eventually come their way.

COMMANDER GRANGER

Friday, June 5, 2009

DOES CHICAGO DESERVE THE 2016 OLYMPICS?

Whether or not Chicago deserves to receive the (IOC) International Olympic Committee’s approval is a subject of wide and diverse discussions. There was a very interesting and inflammatory column written today in the Chicago Sun-Times by Rick Telander that really stirs the pot of controversy.

For months I have been ranting relative to the corrupt political situation that has been pervasive for decades in Chicago. This pall has been far reaching beyond the limits of the City of Chicago, extending beyond the shores of our country into the international political scene. One of Rick Telander’s comments deserves quoting;

“The politics of pay-for-play and skimming and old-fashioned, suspender-slapping, cigar-chomping, big-bellied ‘Where’s mine?’ clout is so vibrant and alive and grotesquely arrogant here in Chicago that it is very nearly a breathing, slime-dripping creature worthy of a Star Wars-style assault.”

Who knows which of the bidding cities will receive the IOC’s stamp of approval? I suspect that Rio will get the nod, because the Olympics have never been held in South America. One never knows just what money will buy however, so I will not bet against Chicago’s clout pulling this rabbit out of the hat.

COMMANDER GRANGER

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

PATRIOTIC RETIREMENT PLAN

Much has been written about the recent Economic Stimulus Plan, and the resulting trillion dollar plus budget deficit. I recently received an e-mail outlining a suggested plan to fix our American economy. You may have also seen it, but I thought it worth sharing with all of you.

“PATRIOTIC RETIREMENT PLAN”

“There are about 40 million people over 50 in the work force.

Pay them $1 million apiece severance for early retirement with the following stipulations:

1. They MUST retire. Forty million job openings –

unemployment fixed.

2. They MUST buy a new AMERICAN car.
Forty million cars ordered –
Auto Industry fixed.

3. They MUST either buy a house or pay off
their mortgage –
Housing crisis fixed.

It can’t get any easier than that!

P.S. If more money is needed, have all members in Congress and their constituents pay their taxes.”

Had this suggestion or something like it been enacted in place of the Stimulus Plan we would have solved our three biggest economic problems quickly, and saved one hell of a lot of money. Isn’t it amazing just how accurate hindsight is? With both General Motors and Chrysler now in bankruptcy consider the amount of money that would have been saved had this Patriotic Retirement Plan been implemented. Consider the number of auto plants that would still be open and the number of United Auto Worker’s jobs that would have been saved.

Sometimes I have found that the simplistic plans are the most efficient, but then the politicians would have difficulty in getting their slice of the pie. How many of those Shovel Ready Projects have started in your community? Don’t you wonder if an idea like this was ever considered in the inner circle of the White House, or was the sole goal to payoff the political obligations one way or another? Is that not really PAY FOR PLAY?

COMMANDER GRANGER

Monday, June 1, 2009

ARE THE LIBERAL JOURNALISM WINDS SHIFTING?

Your Commander is sensing the beginnings of a shift in the liberal vent of American journalism. As the Obama Administration charges forward with an agenda that would like to dramatically change the landscape of America, I am seeing initial signs of inquiry on the part of some newspaper and broadcast journalists. Throughout the recent national election cycle we were bombarded by the media which had dramatically fallen in love with the Obama campaign, and almost daily bashed the McCain initiative with criticism. Even the third and fourth voices in the campaign, Ralph Nader and Ron Paul, were treated with almost total disregard.

Now questions and even criticism is slowly being written or voiced by a few major media outlets like the New York Times, the Washington Post, the big three television networks, and cable 24 hour news channels. Previously, only the Fox News Channel questioned the Obama policies. The inquisitive voices are few and far between, but they are a fresh breeze blowing against the previously totally one-sided portrait.

I believe the recent taxpayer discontent expressed with the numerous Tea Parties not only gained the attention of the media, but increased traction nationwide to question the Obama Administration’s rush to sudden changes in the American way of life. Americans across the land are expressing deep concern about the dramatic increase in our national debt levels and it has become clearly obvious that taxes will not be decreased as we were told, but will be dramatically increased to meet our unsustainable debt obligations.

Have you noticed the shift in the tone of the questions being addressed to Press Secretary Robert Gibbs by the previously adoring Washington Press Corp? Gibbs continues to amaze me in his arrogant positioning of the Obama agenda, however, now we hear some brave reporters asking objective and direct questions. The fawning tone that once ruled the Press Corp has slowly shifted demanding answers and not more Washington double speak. Although Obama promised America change, his spending spree is not “change we can believe in.” We continue to be lied to and those lies are catching up to this governing body, both Executive and congressionally speaking. Reporters are finally beginning to ask, “How will we pay for a change we can believe in?”

While still very early in the Obama Administration, corruption issues are already beginning to surface with close allies. Terry McAuliffe, former Democratic National Committee Chairman and current Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate, allegedly offered money to Ralph Nader to drop out of the 2008 presidential campaign. At that time McAuliffe was the Chairman of the Hillary Clinton Presidential Campaign. Right or wrong, these charges should seriously hurt his election chances in the coming election cycle. Then there is the lingering issue of Obama’s vacated U.S. Senate seat and what involvement Chief of Staff Rham Emanuel might have had in discussions with now impeached Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich concerning the person to fill it.

The fact that the Stimulus Bill was jammed down our throats without even being given time to read is not something the American public will soon forget. We now know the Democrats were hiding a multitude of inappropriate expenditures that served special interests.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s recent remarks claiming she knew NOTHING about the use of water boarding followed by her disastrous Press Conference claiming that the CIA “lied to her” permitted the press to salivate. Pelosi’s actions have placed the Democrat Party and the Obama leadership in further jeopardy.

President Obama’s statement in June 2007 “We’re no longer a Christian nation” is coming back to haunt him, and his recent trillion dollar stimulus bill contains anti-Christian legislation that will stop churches from using public schools for meeting on Sundays, as well as Boy Scouts and student Bible study groups. These activities have taken place for years and not even the ultra liberal ACLU has tried to stop them. This has aroused many Americans.

The Wall Street Journal, while conservative, is asking hard questions relative to lawmakers charging taxpayers for TVs, cameras, and Lexus automobiles. In a lengthy May 30th article details of excessive personal self-serving expenditures by numerous Congressional members on both sides of the aisle establishes the fact that change has not come to Washington, as Obama promised.

The Wall Street Journal recently ran a poll that asked the question, “Is it appropriate for Congressmen to be reimbursed for ‘Official and representational expenses’?” The results indicated that 4.1% said yes, 26.3% said yes, but there should be more disclosure, and 69.6% stated a firm No.

My reaction to that poll is that come the next General Election incumbents are in for much closer scrutiny and that will not serve the Obama Administration well.

Vice President Joe Biden’s repeated verbal blunders and misstatements must cause President Obama great anguish. Biden will now be watched even closer by the “hungry for a story” press corp.

I suggest there is another reason for the awakening of the journalism fraternity. It is the sad economic condition of our major newspapers and broadcast outlets, and they collectively are frantically searching for ways to attract increased levels of readers and viewers. Controversy is effective bait in attracting bigger audiences for their work, so misstatements; corruption; reports of misconduct; and what seems to be old fashioned investigative reporting are just possible solutions to their audience erosion.

It will be interesting to see if Obama’s oratory skills can fool the inquisitive eyes and ears of our elite media. I think you, too, will agree that increasingly questions are being addressed. We the taxpayers need that to happen. I have always felt that it was the mission of journalism to get the facts and report them without bias.

COMMANDER GRANGER