Sunday, July 31, 2011


Several months ago I posted the following quotation, but apparently our Washington based politicians failed to read my blog, history or lessons from the failure of Rome. It is worth repeating.

What have we learned in 2,064 years?

"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."
- Cicero - 55 BC



Friday, July 29, 2011


Many of my readers will express concerns about any articles written by the firebrand conservative scribe Michelle Malkin. I am not a big fan of her attack journalism, but you must give the devil her due when her work delivers important divisive acts to our attention.

I urge you to read the link, which outlines the loop-holes provided by the Title IV Dodd-Frank legislation supported by President Barack Obama. As Malkin notes, this law provides significant financial benefit for one of Obama’s major campaign contributors, the hedge-fund manager and one of Forbes magazine’s “wealthiest people,” George Soros.

Draw your own conclusions, but I believe this entire deal stinks to high heaven. This represents only one small part of our serious economic difficulties emanating from both the White House and the Halls of Congress and just how cozy Wall Street and huge campaign contributors affect decisions on legislation.

Tragically, our elected officials from top to bottom render most if not all their decisions and actions based upon how many votes it will get them at re-election time. Apparently once our politicians take their Oath of Office they ignore it and work paying-off their campaign contributors and stuffing their personal pockets.



Here we are about to face the final weekend with no resolution to the ticking time bomb that is about to explode our national economy into chaos. Our political leadership from President Obama to both the House and Senate are playing games to garner favor with their voter’s back home.

Below is a link to a YouTube video I received today via email from a friend in Wyoming that hits the nail on the head about how I feel and I am certain that the overwhelming majority of my fellow Americans feel exactly the same way.

"Here is a phenomenal video from an ordinary guy that really pinpoints many of the key issues surrounding our messed up government and their total failure, to date, regarding the budget crisis.

It would be great if it could be shown in the Oval Office, in Congress and the Senate.
They are the ones that really need to hear this."

I would love to send this to the president and every member of Congress, but I am certain their staffs would hit the delete button. They only care about themselves and not us, so why would they want to view our opinion since they have totally ignored us thus far.


Thursday, July 28, 2011


A small article appeared on page 5A of my copy of USA Today with a headline “Rep. Wu could collect comfortable pension.” Surely you have heard the sad and disgusting details surrounding Wu’s (D-Ore) ultimate decision to resign his Congressional seat, because he has been accused of an “unwanted sexual encounter” with the daughter of one of his Congressional aides.

The National Taxpayers Union has calculated that Wu, who is currently 56, may elect to start taking his pension now that will pay around $851,000 over his lifetime and his Federal Thrift Saving Plan (similar to a 401K) is possibly as much as $213,855, or he can wait until he is 62 when his pension would be 30% higher.

It is your Commander’s opinion that when a Congressman or Congresswoman resigns having conducted actions that bring disrespect and disregard for the rules of the House he or she should not receive their pension. They should be paid under the terms of Federal Thrift Plan, but not any pension.

Recently Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) resigned under pressure for acts far more egregious than Wu’s, and he too will receive a very generous pension that comes out of the pockets of the already abused and over-taxed electorate. This is not a Democrat vs. Republican issue, but one of values and principals that our members of Congress flaunt on a daily basis.

For the members of Congress to permit these individuals who are members of their exclusive club to be rewarded for their misconduct is beyond my understanding. They protect their fellow members as a lioness does her cubs. The Senate and House Ethics Committee are a total joke and an insult to the citizens of this country.

Members of Congress live with their unique set of standards that differ from those that apply for you and me, and when they get caught they still get rewarded. No wonder this once great country is going broke. This has happened again and again and I see absolutely no indication that this misuse of public money will ever change as the good old USA continues to slide down the slippery slope toward ultimate collapse.



It is really absolutely none of my business to inquire what you did yesterday, but I want you to know what I did, because in my humble opinion I consider it to have been important.

With the economic foundation of this country about to fall into default I took it upon myself to contact my Congressional Representative and both Senate members with a strong message expressing my specific concerns and advising them that I would not support their re-election unless they acted in the interests of the electorate and the nation.

Here is a copy of my email, which was addressed to each in separate communications.

“The clock is ticking toward our economic default and that is not acceptable to the American electorate. You must take all possible action to avoid default. Additionally, you and your associates MUST reduce spending and do it immediately. Within the very near future a complete review of our tax code is necessary, but EVERYONE must and should pay some amount of tax to support this government.

If you and your associates fail to avoid default you will be held responsible and you should never even try to be re-elected. Remember you work for us and we do not work for you.”

With one-half of my fellow citizens not paying ANY federal income tax and millions of others receiving government hand-outs, I doubt that a sufficient number of my fellow Americans will take the time to contact their elected officials directly. I doubt seriously that my email will have any real value, but I sure feel better having done so, and hopefully I have dropped some water on the stone.

Our problem in Washington today is that our elected officials, including President Obama, are so isolated and insulated that they live in a different world than you and me. If the USA defaults they will not be hurt, but you and I will be devastated. It is just that simple, and tragically there are so many individuals in this country that just do not care or understand what is going on so they do not make their voices heard.

Your Commander is proud of what he did yesterday, and I pray for the survival of this great country despite the sad, ineffective, self-serving efforts of our elected officials.


Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Just how many times must we read announcements from the Postmaster General of the United States Post Office relative to its long history of losing massive amounts of money? In the USA Today link below we learn that Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe projects a loss of $8.3 billion, and the fact that it is unable to meet the $5.5 billion dollar payment for future retirees’ health benefits.

Stories of this nature hit our newspapers and other media outlets year after year and our spineless politicians just pass additional appropriations to fill the gap temporarily without addressing the real issues. The existing business model is outmoded and is dysfunctional, and it is far past the time for our elected officials to take the necessary action to prevent further debt obligations for a business supported by our government that just simply does not make financial sense.

Part of this problem is directly related to our government’s cozy relationship with the American union movement and their unjustified pay packages. Our government officials fear for their re-election and pass the buck.

Now the Postmaster has announced plans to suggest the closing of 3,700 post offices. That action should have been taken years ago, but it is now far too late to save a business model that is outdated.

Again your Commander strongly urges our Congressional leadership to step forward and privatize the U.S. Postal Service. Let some professional business people assume the responsibility of providing postal service to our country. We are way past the time to take this unsustainable financial burden off the backs of the over-taxed American citizens. Or do our elected officials fear they will have to pay for their own “official” mail?

This is simply a case of stopping the financial hemorrhaging for a business we simply cannot afford to underwrite. Whether we like the end product is not the question, but it is the reality of the size of our pocketbook.



Considering the recently announced position our President Obama has taken relative to raising the debt ceiling I received a rather interesting email that outlined his remarks back in 2006 when he was a U.S. Senator. Here is a copy of that email.

“The fact that we are here today to debate raising America ’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the US Government cannot pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies…Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that ‘the buck stops here.' Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.”

Senator Barack H. Obama, March 20, 2006

After reading this old speech I went to the internet to verify his remarks and they were confirmed in a posting dated January 4, 2011. Here is the link to an article from the National Review Online, but it fails to provide a justification between his statements then and now.

Your Commander wonders why the mainstream media has not asked President Obama to explain the difference between his statements of 2006 and his position today. Where are the appropriate questions from NBC, CBS, ABC, PBS, and even Fox? Where are those brilliant reporters at The New York Times and The Washington Post? I think they are all silent providing cover for their chosen one.

President Obama’s speech to the nation last night was nothing but another perfect example of TRANSFERENCE coming from a typical politician deflecting blame. It is your Commander’s opinion that our President, the Republicans, and the Democrats are all wrong and irresponsible. A compromise is essential now as it was back in 1776 when our Founding Fathers created this once great country.


Monday, July 25, 2011


That is the title of a new book by Catherine Herridge who is the Fox News National Correspondent that carries the sub-title, “On The Hunt For Al Qaeda’s American Recruits”.

This is a fast moving report of extensive investigative reporting by Herridge that exposes the fact that Al Qaeda has deeply penetrated the United States to develop agents who are home-grown and reside among us across America. This is a very troubling report based upon an extensive list of first-hand interviews with people who know what is going on inside the American intelligence community.

We have all heard the statement “It is not a case of IF another attack will take place inside America, but it is a case of WHEN it will happen.” We Americans not directly hit by a family/friend loss in the 9/11 attack have proven we can pick our selves up after an attack, band together, and move forward with our lives. But, we cannot be allowed to forget the severity of the attacks that day and the innocents murdered and those remaining to pick up the pieces of what were left of their lives.

Herridge’s book clearly establishes the fact that a new real and present danger exists right here inside the good old USA. We have an enemy that does not play by the rules, and they are intent upon destroying our country. Time is not a problem for these very disturbed individuals, and they use America’s impatience to their advantage.

Your Commander classifies Herridge’s book as an important read for America’s long-term survival.



Permit me to draw your attention to an investigation that has proven that a $2.6 billion transportation contract has revealed a criminal enterprise or in other words support for the enemy. Take a look at the link below and the article by Karen DeYoung in yesterday’s issue of The Washington Post.

Little more need be said about the proven waste of our money in this War that has no end, and one that our government has decided to conduct with one-arm tied behind the backs of our brave military. Again your Commander calls for the immediate removal of all U.S. military personnel from this corrupt arm-pit of the world.

I cannot comprehend the depth of sorrow and frustration that the families of our deceased military must feel when they read this investigative story. Our politicians have little or no shame, and they hold all the responsibility for this debacle.



As Americans across the country wait and watch the political shenanigans occurring in Washington in conjunction with the debt ceiling debate, there is a genuine fear that our government will actually default for the first time in our country’s history. Viewing the Sunday morning talk programs the word of the day was COMPROMISE and it is being tossed around by the pundits as if this is something new. Those talking heads are wrong, just as our government officials are, because that is only part of the problem.

First, just consider if we had today’s group of politicians in Philadelphia back in the days of the Continental Congress. It is your Commander’s opinion that there never would have been anything like the Declaration of Independence, The Constitution or the Bill of Rights, because this group can not agree to anything. Fortunately, 235 years ago the goal of independence held priority over party and compromise was the only way to mutually accomplish their common goal.

The Founding Fathers were men of honor and purpose caused by a British government that subjugated them to conditions that could only be reversed by independence. Those leaders were generally not wealthy individuals and they were not professional politicians ruled by greed.

The major difference between the politicians of today versus then is simply one factor and that is MONEY. History has proven that our Founding Fathers suffered greatly as a result of their work on the documents that shaped the future of our country. Many of them gave their lives, their fortunes, their homes and their family’s very lives as a result of their work. Can you imagine our current politicians doing the same? It is highly unlikely.

MONEY rules Washington today. There is not one politician in Washington that has not been completely compromised before they even get to our nation’s Capitol, because they have had to raise so much money to campaign and get elected that they have sold out to special interests and are compromised before they even take the Oath of Office. That was not the case with the Founding Fathers.

Our founders had strong differences of opinion, but they had a common purpose and that was INDEPENDENCE. Our current politicians are constantly raising money for their next election and they have sold-out to special interests and campaign donors, and thus cannot and do not work for the common good of our country.

President Obama and both Houses of Congress are not worried about the debt ceiling, because they are more concerned about getting re-elected and continuing to raise more money. Their complicity escalates with each campaign contribution they receive. They even exchange campaign money between themselves to buy voting favors within the House and Senate.

America is at a tipping point; we are about to have more voters collecting welfare and entitlement money than those contributing taxes to the function of government. Only we the taxpayers and voters can change what is happening in Washington and I suggest it will require cleaning house over a period of several election cycles.

Tragically, our current elected officials are not worried about you and me, but only their own re-election. We the voters who put them in positions of power are to blame for our problems, and a ceiling on our debt appears to not be a priority to our elected officials. If default comes I guarantee the politicians will get paid first, and the voters will be at the end of the line.

The solution to the debt crisis is very easy, cut excessive spending and stop buying votes from the entitlement crowd…poor and minority voters. It is appropriate to remember the words of Plato, “The penalty good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men.”


Saturday, July 23, 2011


This summer I have been very active reading a number of different books covering a wide range of subjects. One of the best to come to my attention is THE DEAL FROM HELL written by the ex-Managing Editor of both the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times newspapers. Both are now in bankruptcy and James O’Shea, the author, has been fired from his last position with the Times.

The book first drew my attention because I knew several of the principal participants in this story personally. Major personalities in the book such as Charles Brumback CEO of the Tribune Company (now retired); Dennis FitzSimons, a long time Tribune executive; Michael Gartner, Publisher of the Des Moines Register and once News Director of the NBC Television Network; and James Dowdle, a Tribune broadcast division executive and later top executive of the Tribune Corp, all crossed my path frequently during my 40 some years in the advertising and broadcasting business.

If you have been reading my blog you may remember that I have long suggested that one of the major problems with the demise of both broadcasting stations and newspapers can be directly attributed to the major shift in ownerships from family dominance to banks/consultants/accountants and huge corporate interests. There have historically been hostilities and barriers between the journalists and management over creative necessities and service to the audience.

O’Shea is a gifted writer and journalist who has written an excellent analysis of the root problems that surrounded the near implosion of two great newspapers. Similar difficulties have influenced the broadcasting side of the business too, and I personally observed this situation while serving as a General Manager of television stations under family ownership, minority ownership and bank controlled management. Someday I will take the time to tell my story and analysis of this business conflict.

While I compliment O’Shea for his numerous accomplishments in journalism it is clear that he was always fighting a losing battle, and he remains very bitter having been terminated by the bean-counters. I suggest that O’Shea is both right and wrong in his theory of the Tribune Company’s ultimate collapse into bankruptcy.

O’Shea has presented a well-written book and provided an excellent case-study of American business as it is today. It is a book that should be read and studied at every American MBA University today. What is missing at this time is a balance between the two combative forces that exist in a business (broadcasting and newspapers) that has basic conflicting interests, which are the creative side of journalism, and the management side which is obligated to meet the interests of stockholders and bank loan repayment obligations. That is a very fine balancing act and only a few media companies have been successful in walking that tight-rope.

Your Commander highly recommends THE DEAL FROM HELL.



I think this is a very legitimate question to ask considering the hullabaloo that is circling the Rupert Murdoch Empire in London these days. Personally, I doubt that Rupert Murdoch knew anything about what happened, but as CEO the ultimate responsibility rests right in his lap.

In considering this entire subject one must certainly take into consideration that history has proven the way the press operates in Europe is totally different from what we have experienced and expect here in the USA. I found an excellent article a few days ago in USA Today by Ken Paulson, President of the American Society of News Editors and a former editor of USA Today and a member of the USA Today Board of Contributors.

One thing I will be watching carefully is to see if the current administration, who clearly does not like the Murdoch Fox News organization, institutes action via the Federal Communications Commission against the Fox television station licenses. I suggest that it would be an unwise course of action politically, but nothing surprises me these days when it comes to the ethics and behind the closed door skullduggery of an administration that originally promised transparency.

I believe this story will not go away quietly, because it reminds me of an old dog with a bone that has long-lasting flavor.



For some time I have been commenting and reporting about the growing economic issues facing the newspaper business world-wide. Permit me to draw your attention to the latest development impacting newspaper operations in Chicago for both the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times.

The consolidation of production facilities is occurring across the country and is destined to continue at an expanded pace. Costs have to be brought under control and we will be seeing more and more of this with some cities reporting newspaper mergers and the unification of editorial employees to cut costs.

Ultimately I fear that we will only be able to read our local news via the internet with a pay firewall requirement. Newspapers have to adapt or perish, but that is a fact of business that our government officials cannot wrap their arms around, because it would ultimately cost them their jobs.

When you think about my theory, it may just be what this country needs to survive.



That is the title to a very alarming article written by Frank Gaffney Jr., who is affiliated with the Center For Security Policy that appeared recently on the website. I suggest you take a few minutes to read Gaffney’s important article, because it highlights the latest policy shift on the part of the Obama administration to expand contacts with the Muslim Brotherhood.

Your Commander finds this plan to be extremely troubling and a policy shift that I do not believe would be supported by a majority of the American electorate. It is my personal opinion that our government is being drawn in by forces that have clearly announced their intent to defeat our government and way of life.

What in the hell is going on at Foggy Bottom where our State Department is located, and within the Halls of the White House? Don’t they know that these people kill everything and anyone to achieve their goal? If this type of policy were in effect back in 1939, Obama would have held a State Dinner for Hitler and Tojo along with his good friend George Soros.

I tell you friends…as Harold Hill the bandmaster said in the 1962 movie THE MUSIC MAN…”THERE IS TROUBLE IN RIVER CITY”.


Tuesday, July 19, 2011


On several occasions I have made reference to when checking the authenticity of various subjects. Along the way I have had several readers suggest that the owners/operators of were liberal agents of the liberal left and the Democrat Party.

Having checked into the ownership/operation of the web site, it seems that Barbara and David Mikkelson operate the website. Thus far, I have been unable to find any indication of their political affiliation or vent or who exactly owns it. With so much info available on the internet I find that more than interesting. Who or why is the ownership of the site being covered up?

I have also found difficulty in finding exactly who owns/operates…although it is stated to be a non-profit.

Having said the above, I did run across a very provocative site while I was doing the search for data on the Mikkelsons. When I asked Google the question – “Who owns and operates,” I found a site titled The Hive and an article by Terry Anderson who is a black Los Angeles talk radio host. He lists a total of 39 different statements attributed to Barack Obama and provides his verification they are untrue.

Here is a link to this article, which states “Even Liberals may think twice after reading this one”:

Do you ever wonder why our elite White House Press Corps never asks the Obama to explain any of the remarks listed in Anderson’s article? I suggest you draw your own conclusions, but it does trouble me that based upon Anderson’s report our Commander in Chief “speaks with forked tongue”.



Recently I received an email from a good friend regarding the action of President Barack Obama signing an Executive Order to skirt the rejection of the Dream Act by Congress. I urge you to take a look at this link to a discussion of this disturbing action.

I forwarded that email and, frankly, took some criticism from some recipients, because they contend there was no confirmation by Let it be known that in searching for confirmation of Obama’s action I went to Google and found about one dozen various sources confirming the presidential deed. I found Charles Krauthammer’s article to be the most definitive. Apparently President Obama will do anything to get his way, even when Congress rejected the Dream Act.

With each signature on an Executive Orders Obama is signing away the American Way of Life, and destroying what millions of brave American fighting men and women have given their lives for, and that is the rule of law in this country. Repeatedly Obama has used his pen to sign Recess Appointments placing individuals into important positions when they could not receive Congressional approval.

How dare Obama destroy what our Founding Fathers created and our brave patriots sacrificed their lives. He promised CHANGE and he is determined to get his CHANGES one way or another. It makes little or no difference to Obama if his actions are legal or unconstitutional (think Obama care). Don’t get me started when it comes to Attorney General Eric Holder’s misuse of the law, and his failure to take appropriate action, i.e., in the case of ACORN bullies illegal actions of polling place intimidation.

Your Commander cannot wait to get to the polls and hopefully return this country to HONEST and ethical American leadership, and not a country with leadership intent upon destroying what true Americans have fought to preserve for 235 years.


Monday, July 18, 2011


Your Commander has been blessed with two wonderful children who raised two wonderful children each. Each Christmas, birthday or Father’s Day they kindly remember their old Dad with a card and, knowing my love of reading, often send a book or enclose a gift card for Barnes & Noble or Borders.

This past Father’s Day I heard from both with a gift card from my son and a subscription to Smithsonian Magazine from my daughter. I cannot tell you how impressed I am with Smithsonian Magazine. It is loaded with numerous articles covering a wide assortment of topics. The first two issues I have received so far are just simply marvelous.

I highly recommend you take a look at the magazine the next time you are at your local library or book store, because I am certain you, too, will be quickly interested in its contents. After close to 80 years there is so much that I do not know. I wish I could start my life’s journey all over again so I would start reading more when I was younger and take greater advantage of the availability of knowledge.

It has been many years since I was last in our nation’s capitol and visited some of the numerous buildings that make up The Smithsonian, but I remember well just how important the facilities are to our country. If you are ever in Washington, D.C. be certain to devote some time at these precious museums that celebrate the greatest country in the world.

Thanks to the foresight of my children I am learning something new each and every day. Don’t miss the opportunity to broaden your horizons and appreciation of life on this unique planet we call Earth.



Two very different articles in recent Chicago newspapers caught my eye and I am bringing both to your attention. I believe history proves that some decisions to attract quick money can come back to haunt politicians in the long run. Both stories have their roots in Chicago, and they both involve decisions reached by new Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D).

The first article, by Chicago Sun-Times reporter Frank Main, outlines the planning for the forthcoming NATO and G-8 summits scheduled in Chicago May 15-22, 2012. With the United States scheduled to host both summit meetings, President Obama lobbied Mayor Rahm Emanuel to host the sessions in Chicago. Please read the details of Main’s article.

With 50 different organizations already planning to demonstrate during both summit meetings there is going to be massive damage and destruction to property if previous meetings are any example of the impending expenditure of police and public resources. Is the prestige of hosting these meetings worth the potential physical and financial problems that can and no doubt will occur? I believe that Chicago has far more to lose than it has to gain by hosting these summit meetings.

The second article is about the efforts of the somewhat reluctant Governor of Illinois Pat Quinn (D) and the aggressive lobbying of Mayor Rahm Emanuel to open a gambling casino in downtown Chicago. While there is a lot of typical political posturing, they are drooling to get their hands on the money generated by a casino revenue stream.

Here is the link to Chicago Tribune reporter Hal Dardick’s revealing article:,0,6282134,print.story

While Mayor Emanuel is indicating that the money will be used to create new jobs and address infrastructure, water delivery, public transportation, schools and broadband, I suggest he is way off base in his analysis. First of all the revenue stream will be cut into so many different projects that it will be insufficient to solve any the projects completely or effectively.

What both Quinn and Emanuel are totally ignoring are the hidden costs that come with the creation of gambling casinos. As you may remember your Commander has frequently warned about these hidden obligations as covered in detail in Robert Goodman’s well researched 1995 book titled “THE LUCK BUSINESS”. The devastating consequences that will occur from the new casinos will more than absorb the new revenue dollars, and the net result will dramatically increase the cost of government.

The State and Chicago taxpayers will be left holding another huge tax bill, and the politicians by that time will be retired with a fat self-serving pension that is paid by those same abused taxpayers.

It just never ends when it comes to the short sightedness of our public servants. When will taxpayers wake up and see that politicians serve themselves first, and the public they were sworn to serve last?


Sunday, July 17, 2011


When I read the front page of my South Bend Tribune this morning, I was shocked to see an article with the headline – "BEGINNING TODAY, LOCAL NEWS WILL LEAD THE WAY". Below is a link to the entire article, which clearly indicates that circulation and advertising lineage has fallen to a level that requires additional cost reductions. Note the story clearly admits the paper will be thinner in the future.,0,7689408,print.story

Recently I read an online story predicting newspapers will totally disappear in the future, and only a few will survive with paid on-line editions. Recently both the New York Times and Wall Street Journal have inserted firewalls to their internet editions and require subscriptions for access to their total content. Sadly, I believe this is the future and I fear credibility issues will be hard to maintain unless one pays to gain access to reliable sources beyond the firewalls.

The South Bend Tribune’s action is just another blow to the fate and fortunes of the greater South Bend community and St. Joseph County. The city continues to lose population, unemployment is high, schools are failing, crime has grown to dangerous levels, and taxes are totally out of control. How the Democrat Party in St. Joe Country has continued its dominance is amazing, however for years they have held all the cards. Unfortunately, many in local government and the community in general still cannot get over that the Studebaker plant closed in the 1960s and times have changed.

Fortunately a new Mayor will be elected soon. In the meantime the current mayor, a Viet Nam era conscientious objector and former Vice Mayor to Joe Kernan, seems to spend every penny he can of the city treasury on frivolous projects; one favors his previous boss former Indiana Governor Joe Kernan’s minor league baseball team ($7 million, another the economically disastrous College Football Hall of Fame (which Kernan championed when mayor), $1 million dollars for a jumbo-tron to front the downtown PBS television station’s marquee (apparently for the cultural enrichment of the downtown ladies of the night), and now $1.2 million to buy a business and piece of property that is only valued at between $300,000-400,000 to provide extra land for the new football field of an Catholic High School.

Despite the fact that South Bend was recently named a "dying city" by Newsweek, weeks later it was named an All-American City by the National Civic League, it seems to me to be dying on the vine. Notre Dame University is the largest employer in the county, but it solely cannot be expected to save the adjacent City of South Bend.

The taxpayers know the truth and apparently the South Bend Tribune knows it too, because it is taking dramatic action to reduce coverage of national and international news in the interest of serious cost reductions and its survival. Adapt or perish are the necessary words of the day during this time of politically induced economic crisis in little old South Bend, and across the entire country.

If anyone told me twenty years ago that newspapers would vanish in their print newsstand form, I would have bet the ranch. Tragically that appears to be their destiny.



Yes, I am guilty of my son’s suggestion that I view Bill O’Reilly’s Factor program a little too much. I plead guilty as charged, but believe I have sufficient objectivity to recognize the excesses of his program. You must give the devil his due; O’Reilly does provide his viewers with both sides of the story, although there is a heavy dose of O’Reilly's mostly conservative theories in each program.

The point of this report is to draw your attention to a wonderful feature of O’Reilly’s weeknight program and that is “the word of the day”, which is one of the features that draws me to his act. Words are just wonderful and bring a refinement to any and all communication.

If you are not familiar with this feature attached is an easy link to read the entire list of THE FACTOR VOCABULARY LIST.

As noted there are many great words that really define specific deeds, actions, and individuals. I especially like the definition of bloviate, because it so well defines our political rhetoric. Interesting, however, is the fact that when I investigated the word in my copy of “Webster’s New World Dictionary” and “The Living Webster Encyclopedic Dictionary of the English Language”, as well as, there was absolutely no reference to the word.

Admittedly, he says many of the words are obscure or obsolete; it does make me wonder if some of the words on the list are really creations of O’Reilly or individuals in his audience who provide him with suggestions for inclusion on the program.

Enjoy, and don’t get your knickers in a knot over O’Reilly’s over-the-top interview style. Remember it is all intent upon getting a reaction and, more importantly, strong ratings. To date, he has succeeded.

Fair warning, if you begin to use some of the words, you may be identified as a "Factor watcher."

Saturday, July 16, 2011


With all the negative things occurring around the world the fact that a giant, thankfully temporary, statue of legendary Marilyn Monroe was unveiled on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile Michigan Avenue recently is not very important, but perhaps it really is according to Chicago Tribune columnist Mary Schmich.

Take a look at Mary’s column titled “Bad taste – on such a large scale”.,0,1459085,print.column

Taking everything into consideration this is not a world changing event, but I also have not been able to ascertain its cost. It does, however, raise a question as to just where our priorities rest. The Chicago Tribune took a poll and out of 2,370 respondents some 61% found the statue to be in bad taste.

Not being one who will line up to look up her skirt, I find this display to be somewhat disgusting yet silly, and question its value. Perhaps it may be necessary to step back, have a laugh, and smile occasionally in the name of art and cultural enrichment. Heaven knows a smile is a good change of pace as we journey through another economic crisis caused by our dysfunctional politicians. But really, is this the way a real person should be remembered?



I recently received an email message drawing my attention to the fact that our State Department has been funneling precious American taxpayer dollars into programs to rebuild Mosques overseas. I was so outraged by this information I sent that email on to a number of my friends, because I believe that during these times of economic crisis this is a very inappropriate use of our dollars.

Additionally, I believe that we should not grant dollars to be utilized by religious organizations with a proven record with a direct relationship to groups that are clearly anti-American and advocate terrorism. However, I must note that the email did not relate that temples and churches overseas also have received money.

In the interest of fair play, I searched for information relative to this sensitive debate and suggest you take a look at the details presented at

Draw your own conclusion to this thorny issue. Permit me to suggest that our very liberal leaning State Department is tossing our scarce dollars around rather freely and we should be very careful just what causes our dollars actually serve. Are we funding interests that work for or against real American interests?



That is the name of a wonderful book I have just read, which was written by a legendary South Bend Orthopedic Surgeon, who happens to have just celebrated his 95th birthday. The author, retired Dr. Les Bodnar, is a good friend and fellow member of the Pathetic Golf League, which plays each Tuesday at the old Burke Golf course at Notre Dame University. Following 9 holes they adjourn for lunch at Between the Buns, and boasting conversations ensue about their golfing prowess and other topics. Incidentally, nobody keeps score, they can move their ball, and mulligans are permitted on each hole. Those who do not play golf, like me and Les, join for lunch.

Les has written a wonderful book reminiscing about his childhood as the son of a Chicago area carnival owner/operator back in 1928-1929, just before the Great Depression struck America. It was a kinder more gentle time when America was enjoying life to the fullest despite the hard times that were on the horizon.

There is something quite refreshing about Les’s book, because it speaks of a time when people enjoyed a life-style that was significantly less complicated, and they enjoyed simpler forms of entertainment. There are no swear words or vulgarity to be found in this lovely story, and it brought back many wonderful memories of my childhood, too. Les’s account about his first kiss is beautiful and that along makes the book worth reading.

It is important to note that Les later was primary orthopedist for the Notre Dame Football team for over thirty-five years and today proudly wears a National Championship ring. He also was one of the founders of what is now the very successful South Bend Orthopedic Clinic, and remains an avid bridge player. Les Bodner represents a true American success story and he is a real All-American gentleman.

I highly recommend CARNIE for addition to your reading list.



Why is it that we have to view or read conservative media to learn many facts about the actions of our government? Why do the main-stream media only report in-depth stories that are positive or favorable to the current administration? You know the answer, because our liberal-leaning, major media outlets are in the pocket of the Obama administration.

Recently I learned via an internet article on Weekly that when you divide up the cost of the $666 billion stimulus by the 2.4 million jobs created or “saved” it equals the cost to taxpayers at $278,000 per job.
This report came from the White House Council of Economic Advisors, and it was released quietly on a Friday afternoon assuring it would acquire little or limited media coverage.

Please take a look at the full article written by Jeffrey H. Anderson:

The statistics in this article are shocking, but we heard little or nothing from the big network guns or the major American newspapers. It is your Commander’s contention that the biased media is causing serious harm to the American Way of Life, and our greedy self-serving politicians are at the root of this problem.


Tuesday, July 5, 2011


Have you noticed recent newspaper and television reports indicating that America has lost the War on Drugs? Tragically, I have to agree with those reports, but there is absolutely no reason for that to have happened except for the failure of our political leadership to take the necessary action to eradicate drug importation, distribution, and consumption.

Repeatedly I have written that it is my theory that our politicians are complicit in permitting the Drug War to fail. Our politicians are more interested in securing additional votes by failing to address illegal immigration and they have ignored the necessary action to secure our borders from infiltration by illegal immigrants and the flow of illegal drugs.

Increasing the sentencing guidelines that result in extended prison sentences is not the answer, and it has resulted in many individuals being jailed when they should have been forced into treatment centers. Jails are expensive and all too frequently result in creating criminal activity once the individuals are released.

Lawyers and judges are responsible for permitting some serious criminal elements to skip on their offenses when they should be deported or jailed. Responsibility for the failure of the War on Drugs goes right up to the Presidents Office, both Houses of Congress, and the Justice Department.

I recognize that I am taking a strong position, but I honestly believe that our politicians are complicit in permitting drugs to flourish in this country. Some are directly involved with the drug dealers, some are sympathetic to secure the drug dealers and their families vote, and many fail to secure our borders in such a fashion that would prevent the smugglers from importing drugs, and illegal immigrants.

Bring our troops home from wars our government has no intension of winning, and place them on the northern and southern borders and you will see a reduction in drug imports. You will witness a reduction in drug usage and consequently a reduction in the number of people in our expensive prisons.

As part of solving the War on Drugs we should drug-test all recipients of taxpayer supported welfare, food stamps, and unemployment support payments. If recipients fail drug tests, payments should immediately stop and the guilty should be brought before a Judge. If individuals are found to have drugs in their body they should be charged for the expense of the test too. This action will save the country millions of dollars and abuse of our welfare programs that we all know exists.

Drugs are a huge part of our growing economic problems, and this cancer can be dramatically reduced if our leadership has the political will to take the necessary action. It can be done, and we all must remember that drug importation and usage is against the law in the United States of America.


Monday, July 4, 2011


A recent article in The Wall Street Journal shocked me. James Bovard’s opinion piece provided details of rampant fraud, corruption, and abuse of the Food Stamp program.

Here is the link if you are interested in reading it in detail:

This problem can be directly traced from the top of our federal government on down through our Congressional representation, and State government complicity. If President Obama will not do anything to eliminate this proven example of waste, then I have no other choice than to accuse him of buying votes and participating in illegal and unethical conduct. This charge covers both political parties and must be brought to a prompt stop.

How can our elected officials ignore the fact that the Food Stamp program has ballooned from 26 million recipients in 2007 to 44 million in 2010 (an astounding 63% increase), and the cost has more than doubled to $77 billion from $33 billion? They have, because they too are complicit in the vote buying scam, and their only concern is that they get re-elected with all of them abrogating their Oath of Office.

Clearly our government at all levels is totally out of control and we must aggressively vote at the polls ASAP to clean the swamp. Am I the only one who is concerned about this fraud? Where are the main-stream media pundit’s voices and influence on this subject? It is silent, because they, too, are part of this criminal behavior.

Your Commander begs you to get off your backside and address this criminal action. If you don’t quickly take remedial action against this problem then you are participating in this con, and you also have been bought out by the politicians and no better than they are in this conspiracy.



Back on June 22nd there was a very informative article appearing in USA Today that carried the above title. It is very appropriate for you to read Ted C. Fishman’s analysis at this time, because our great country is hemorrhaging hoards of money supporting the NATO mission in Libya where America actually has little national security interest involvement.

Fishman’s detailed article goes well beyond the excessive costs we are absorbing in Libya, but he addresses the entire excessive share of the burden that our country has been carrying. Why should we pay for a conflict that really should be the business of France, Italy, Germany, and Britain? Why should the good old USA continue to pay a disproportionate share of NATO expenses just because other NATO members spend more money supporting their aging population than we do?

Here is the entire article if you missed it earlier.

Just how long can we continue to carry the financial obligations of the entire world on our backs? You and I know that we cannot and should not, but we have an administration and diplomats in the State Department that love to spend our money and expect or demand little or nothing from other equal members.

Your Commander is becoming more and more of an isolationist than he honestly would like to be, but as a nation we have become the financial suckers of the world. My pocket is getting thinner and thinner each and every day and our politicians continue to reach into my pocket and yours and spread our money all around the world with little or no expectation of any repayment or even an equal sharing of the burden.

Something has got to give, and it has to happen sooner than later. Simply put we cannot afford the administration now residing in Washington, and Uncle Sam has got to realize that he cannot be the paymaster to the entire world. Charity begins at home and my pantry is getting damn sparse.



“…the opinion which gives to the judges the right to decide what laws are constitutional and what not, not only for themselves in their own sphere of action but for the Legislature and Executive also in their spheres, would make the Judiciary a despotic branch.”


With more and more cases being brought before various judicial authorities in our growing litigious world this is something to think about, because the influences are widespread with direct implications to our daily way of life.



Eighty-five years ago President Calvin Coolidge addressed a gathering in Philadelphia to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. He stated that “in its main features the Declaration of Independence is a great spiritual document.”

While many years have passed since the original signing of our Declaration of Independence it is appropriate to consider the words of that precious document and the applicability of those words to guide us into the ever-changing future. The source of this information comes from The American Patriot’s Almanac page #244,

President Coolidge also said in that speech, “Our forefathers came to certain conclusions and decided upon certain courses of action which has been a great blessing to the world…They were a people who came under the influence of a great spiritual development and acquired a great moral power.

No other theory is adequate to explain or comprehend the Declaration of Independence. It is the product of the spiritual insight of the people. We live in an age of science and of abounding accumulation of material things. These did not create our Declaration. Our Declaration created them. The things of the spirit come first. Unless we cling to that, all our material prosperity, overwhelming though it may appear, will turn to a barren scepter in our grasp. If we are to maintain the great heritage which has been bequeathed to us, we must be like-minded as the fathers who created it. We must not sink into a pagan materialism. We must cultivate the reverence which they had for the things that are holy. We must follow the spiritual and moral leadership which they showed. We must keep replenished, that they may glow with a more compelling flame, the altar fires before which they worshiped.”

It is not important if you approved of Coolidge’s presidency, but I do suggest that it is vital to our future to consider and abide by his worthy suggestions for our future guidance. While trouble appears to surround us at every corner, it is your Commander’s opinion that Coolidge’s words of some 85 years ago have stood the test of time, and are worthy for our contemplation.
Our current President and Congress should consider Coolidge’s advice. Unfortunately our leadership currently addresses every issue by how it will influence the enhancement of their re-election. Our Founding Fathers’ priorities were vastly different from today’s political leaderships.


Sunday, July 3, 2011


Recently your Commander wrote about the negative influence that GANGS have upon local communities. In a mid-June article in the Chicago Sun-Times there was a shocking report regarding the high usage of drugs among those arrested in Chicago.

The inter-connection between drugs, GANGS, crime, prison populations, growing judicial expense, police expenditures, poor graduation rates, and so on are evident. Please take a look at the very disturbing article:

When will the public demand aggressive action by our political leadership to eliminate the evil forces that permit drugs and GANGS to continue to erode the quality of life across this country and the entire world? Newly sworn-in Mayor Rahm Emanuel has another major problem on his hands.



This headline is probably going to drive more people away from reading further than it will attract, but I am addressing a subject of vital importance to both you and your family. Frankly, I have been guilty of avoiding the discussion of my passing so this recommendation applies equally to your Commander. Please take a few minutes to read the attached article that appeared in the weekend online edition of The Wall Street Journal.

When you view the link, the article written by Saabrira Chaudhuri “The 25 Documents You Need Before You Die”, offers some very important advice you should heed before your inevitable death. This is a subject that we all want to avoid, but in fairness to your loved ones the steps suggested are all essential for an orderly settlement and/or transition of one’s estate.

We are all guilty of avoiding the discussion of our passing, but taking the proper action is really a responsible act that shows respect and love of your family. My editor and I in the coming weeks will make sure that we have the suggested information in order. Act before it is too late.



A couple of days ago I read an article at written by Molly O’Toole with a Washington (Reuters) byline regarding 2010 and 2011 White House staff salaries. Since 1995 Congress has required the White House to deliver an annual report listing the salary and title of every WH staff member.

It is beyond your Commander’s comprehension that to maintain the White House 454 employees and an expenditure of $37,121,463 is necessary. More than 30% (over 136 people) earn between $100,000 and $200,000 a year, while 154 take home less than $50,000 according to the 2011 White House annual report on staff. Those earning the highest salaries include John Brennan, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism; Press Secretary James Carney; William Daley, Chief of Staff; and Director of Speechwriting Jonathan Favreau. The average 2011 White House staff salary is about $82,000.

All this coming from a President who, as a candidate, promised to review the budget line by line and cut all waste from government under his administration. The report says that the White House staff was reduced by 15 individuals in 2010, and salaries reduced by $1,674,844 (an average of $111,656). The expense is still excessive when you consider the economic pressures experienced by the average citizen of this country.

I applaud the transparency this report presents, but this certainly appears to be an excessive number of people and expense serving one President, his wife, two children and one Mother-In-Law. Your Commander suggests that our President is living large, or “High On The Hog” at the good old American taxpayer’s expense. Yes, those who were gullible enough to put this guy in the White House in the first place and those smart enough to choose another candidate.


Friday, July 1, 2011


Are you aware of the fiasco that has developed over the action of the Obama appointed National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) lawsuit against Boeing aircraft to build a plant in South Carolina? If you have not heard of this highly sensitive political debate, you can see a Washington Post article via the attached link:

It is shocking to your Commander that our government is telling a publicly traded American company where they can and cannot conduct business. Considering the fact that President Barack Obama is well known to be in the hip-pocket of the American union movement, and that Obama appointed union sympathetic individuals to the NLRB, there is an obvious problem.

If Boeing is forbidden to operate the plant in South Carolina, which is one of 20 some right-to-work states, then they will have little choice but to close the plant and move all those jobs overseas. If you viewed President Obama’s Press Conference June 30th, you saw that he is now trying to seek political cover in questioning the action of his appointed NLRB.

I personally take objection to the suggestion in the Washington Post article that the Union and Boeing seek a settlement. Obama should just tell his NLRB to withdraw the suit and permit Boeing to conduct its business where ever or when ever they so desire. The original charges by the NLRB are bogus and never should have been rendered in the first place.

Unions have a legitimate right to exist, but companies have an equal right to conduct business where they so desire. Obama’s got a huge political problem here and he is running for cover.



There appears to be some good indication that two relatively new and powerful Chicago/Cook County political figures are getting the message that serious action is necessary to eliminate wasteful expenditures. It is your Commander’s opinion that both the Chicago Sun-Times and the Chicago Tribune have allocated additional dollars into good investigative reporting, and that, too, is getting the attention of Chicago politicians that business as usual cannot continue.

Cases in point are covered in two different Sun-Times articles that appeared on its web-site this morning.

Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle has inherited a financial mess as a result of the totally inept administration of her predecessor Todd Stroger, who followed his equally inept and corrupt father, John Stroger. Preckwinkle has taken several bold initiatives since coming into office, and she is to be supported and saluted for her efforts. The attached article is a good example of her alert action to reduce programs that represent waste and failure to solve the problems they were created to address.

New Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who your Commander does not trust for one minute because of his long history of strong-arm Chicago-style politics, is also making some bold moves. Emanuel, like Preckwinkle, has stepped into a financial quagmire left by the old Daley Machine, and thus far he is making some tough financial decisions that are surprising many Chicago residents. Emanuel is obviously establishing his power, and cutting into the long-established Democrat Machine excesses when he challenges the likes of powerful Alderman Edward M. Burke and his expensive contingent of Chicago Police bodyguards.

Both cases are early indication that these two politicians are facing the music in making the difficult and politically sensitive reductions in expenditures that are either inappropriate, wasteful or simply represent a blatant abuse of power. It is refreshing to see some elected officials making hard decisions, but it is absolutely necessary to get their collective financial houses in good order or they too will be swept from Office as their predecessors experienced. Taxpayers will only take so much abuse, and then finally stand-up and take appropriate action.

Your Commander wonders just when our politicians in Washington will get the message that they are not exempt from fiscal responsibility either?



As part of my daily routine emails that appear in my IN basket are reviewed. Permit me to reprint a copy of one that is worthy of your contemplation.


I have often wondered why it is that Conservatives are called the “right” and Liberals are called the “left”. By chance I stumbled upon this verse in the Bible:

‘The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left.’ Ecclesiastes 10.2 (NIV)

Thus sayeth the Lord. Amen! Can’t get any simpler than that.”

For those who are not biblical scripture scholars or simply Doubting Thomases I went to Google, and entered Ecclesiastes 10.2, and came up with the attached verification.

Now that I have stirred up most liberals, left-winged zealots, liberal environmentalist whackos, socialists, and some Democrats, I hope they have a good day.

Your Commander still remembers what his old Sunday School teacher said, “It must be true, because the Bible tells me so.”