Monday, July 30, 2012

What would you say if someone built a ballpark in your town and the Feds wouldn't let you use it?

For months now, I've wanted to do a series of posts on regulations. Do you realize how all these federal regulations are strangling our economy as well as raising the cost of doing business on a daily basis. 

For my first post of 3 in this series, I want you to consider the words of Congressman Mike Kelly, a Pennsylvania Republican, who received a standing ovation from the other members of Congress when he spoke in the House of Representatives last Thursday. Now, this is so extraordinary because no applause is allowed for members of Congress.

Rep. Mike Kelly began his speech by holding up a stack of paper: 11,000 pages of lending requirements and he's on the warpath about how regulation is killing jobs in his district. 

Here's what fired Mike up with righteous anger:
Someone built a ballpark in his district, a Little League ballpark, and federal regulators came in and wouldn't open it. They wouldn't allow it to open. On the day they were going to play the first game, the little kids are all there about to have their first baseball game, and the federal regulators said, "Nope, you can't open it because the mirrors in the men's room were a quarter of an inch too low on the wall."

Here's what Kelly said on the floor of Congress:

KELLY: We renovated a ballpark in my hometown. A guy named Tom Bernadowski -- veteran -- [spent a] couple million dollars to renovate our ballpark. The day we were gonna open up, I got a call at the dealership. It said, "Mike, would you come down?" I said, "Why? What's going on?" He said, "We're having trouble with the occupancy permit." So I went down to see it. I said, "What's the problem?" He said, "Well, here. Come in the men's room. Let me show you what the problem is." I said, "We have 1,500 people want to come see the opening ball game tonight." "Yep, but we've got a major problem. You see the mirrors in the restroom are a quarter of an inch too low."
HOUSE: (smattering of laughter)
KELLY: "So you can't possibly open that ballpark!"
KELLY: So you want to know the price of regulation? You want to talk about the thousands and thousands of pages that we put on the back of the job creators? You want to talk about creating jobs in America? When you want to see a nation that doesn't want to participate but wants to dominate in the world market, then let them rise! Take the heavy boot off the throat of America's job creators and let them breathe!
HOUSE: (cheers and applause)
KELLY: The jobs we are talking about are not red jobs or blue jobs. They are red, white, and blue jobs. They are not Democrat jobs or Republican jobs or independent jobs or Libertarian jobs. They are American jobs!
KELLY: We are so out of touch with the American people. And you know what all this does? It adds layer after layer after layer of cost. And that cost is ultimately paid for by the American consumer. You want to have more revenues, then let the tide rise for all boats! Let us be able to not only survive, but to thrive. I urge all my colleagues, on both sides of the aisle. This is not a left or right issue. This is an American issue. I urge you to rise today and vote for HR-4078, and let's let America get back to work! With that, I yield back.
HOUSE: (cheers and applause)
ACTING SPEAKER: (banging gavel)
ACTING SPEAKER: (banging gavel)

Thursday, July 26, 2012

More Guns? Are you kidding me??

A few years ago while sitting at breakfast with the chief of police from my town of Londonderry, NH, I expressed concern over the fact that a home in my neighborhood had been recently burglarized. Now in our bedroom community of Londonderry, New Hampshire, any type of crime was a rarity. But, since I lived about 15-min. from the police station, I wanted to know what the police response time would have been if someone were trying to break into my home or threaten my family. Chief Ryan gave me a deadpan look like "Are you serious?" and then said in a matter-of-fact manner that the best that the Londonderry Police Dept. could do would be to show up to take a report. He went on to tell me that rather than trusting in my local police to protect me, I'd be better off purchasing a gun and learning how to use it. True story! Thank-you Chief Ryan for the wake-up call!

Since that time, when I hear people calling for the removal of guns from the hands of citizens--who do they think is going to protect them? These same elitist liberals will tell you to call 911 if you're being threatened, or if your house is being burglarized. But, if you live in a major metropolitan area with someone breaking into your home to rape you or even murder you, guess what? You would be dead before the police show up at your door. All they'll do is take a report and place a chalk mark outline where your body was found. The same can be said for a small bedroom community of 25,000 like Londonderry, New Hampshire.

Last Friday, immediately following the Century theater massacre by lone gunman, James Holmes, the nanny mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg (who will never allow a tragedy to go without being used to advance his political agenda) began calling for more gun-control laws. Now this is the same elitist mayor who wants to limit the size of sodas in NYC to 16 oz. or less. If we don't need guns, then I challenge Mayor Bloomberg to give up his security and make sure that his police detail no longer carry guns. Why should he have all this extra protection when he wants to deny every other American the same right?

Economist John R. Lott has written a book, "More Guns, Less Crime" where he makes a convincing argument that allowing people to own or carry guns deter violent crime. Lott presents data that armed citizens stop crimes. The more armed citizens you have, the lower your rate of violent crime -- criminals are stupid, but they're rational, and they don't want to get shot any more than you do.

John Lott writes: "Concealed handgun laws reduce violent crime for two reasons. First, they reduce the number of attempted crimes because criminals are uncertain which potential victims can defend themselves. Second, victims who have guns are in a much better position to defend themselves."

Virginia Tech students praying after the shooting rampage
Along with Aurora, Colorado, there is also the Virginia Tech massacre that occurred on April 16, 2007 where 33 people were killed in a deadly rampage by another lone gunman.

Here's what both the Virginia Tech shooting and the Aurora, Colorado shootings have in common. Both locations were "gun-free zones." No fire arms allowed, no concealed weapons allowed even with a permit. The problem with "gun-free zones" is that killers and other criminals could care less if Virginia Tech or the Century Theater in Aurora, Colorado is a gun-free zone or not.

At both tragedies: Virginia Tech and the Century Theater shootings--had students and movie-goers been allowed to carry concealed weapons, there would most likely have been far fewer people killed. Do you mean to tell me that if several movie patrons at the midnight screening of "The Dark Knight Rises" had been packing concealed guns, that James Holmes would not have been taken out, and the death toll and number of injuries would have been greatly reduced? And when the deadliest campus massacre in the U.S. took place at Virginia Tech where 33 were killed and 16 were wounded, do you mean to tell me that if students and professors had been packing concealed weapons--that some student or professor would not have taken out the lone gunman, Seung-Hui Cho, and maybe far fewer individuals would have been killed or wounded?

So my contention is that we don't need fewer guns, we need to change local laws in every state so that more citizens can carry concealed weapons. If you don't agree, then next time you're in a situation where someone is pointing a gun at you and threatening your life, try calling 911 and see how that goes.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Responses to Obama's "You didn't build that!"

This is an addendum to my last post, "We have met the enemy and he is us." In today's Wall Street Journal  (July 23, 2012) many readers wrote to disagree with President Obama's take on success where he stated in a speech in Richmond, VA, "You didn't build that."

If you don't get the WSJ, you're missing out on the best newspaper in America, so I wanted to share the most stinging letters with you here: 
I want to thank you and your ilk, Mr. President, for my success in starting eight million-dollar businesses since 1974. And since you are responsible for my success, then you must also be responsible for my failure. While you were wasting your first two years ignoring the economy, I was unable to get financing for my last business and lost $1.5 million of which $750,000 was personally guaranteed by me, and by you, I hope.
Please give me a call, Mr. President, and I will tell you where to send the check for your fair share.
Dick Raddatz
Mequon, Wis.
The president's remarks clearly illustrate his jealousy and disdain for those who have made it on their own, and, they fall right in line with his mentality of parasitic entitlement.
Bob Franklin
New Hyde Park N.Y.
If Obama can cry, "you didn't build that," someone needs to tell the president, "then you didn't kill bin Laden."
Maura Schreier-Fleming
If you hold an elected office, you didn't build that. Someone helped you get there. Maybe it was a teachers union whose compulsory dues paid for a negative ad for your campaign. Maybe it was a venture capitalist with an interest in a solar-energy company who bundled funds for you. Or maybe it was programmers who figured out how to use the Internet to create critical mass for raising small amounts from many donors. Or, quite possibly, you got help from employees of a private-equity firm whose success you vilify but whose dollars you gladly accept.
Mike Walsh

President Obama's belittling the success of smart, hard-working people is so telling. It President Obama's belittling the success of smart, hard-working people is so telling. It makes one wonder about how much "help" he received in achieving his own success through affirmative action and preferences. We'll never know, however, because he refuses to release his college or graduate-school records.   
Crawford C. Campbell                                                                                             Windham, NH      
If I didn't build my business, please find the "somebody else who made that happen" and begin taxing them.
Tom Marini

Regarding your editorial "'You Didn't Build That'" (July 18): I would like to pose a question to President Obama. If we assume that you are right, Mr. President, and the lion's share of my success in business is due to the help I got from the government more than what is due me because of my willingness to work harder than others, take risks that others did not want to take, being more resourceful and inventive than others were, then how come not everybody took advantage of that government help and became successful entrepreneurs? 
I came to this country 30 years ago with practically nothing. I always believed that the difference between the U.S. and other countries is that everybody has better opportunities in this country than anywhere else. I am sorry to learn that you, my president, don't share that point of view.
Ruben Mirensky

Thursday, July 19, 2012

We have met the enemy and he is us.

When I hear the latest polls which have Obama and Romney locked in a dead heat, and in some cases, Obama ahead by 4 points, I fear for our country. We have met the enemy and he is us.

We have a president who is leading the charge against success and individual achievement. If you're successful, you don't deserve your success because you got it on the backs of other people. 

According to Obama, if you're Bill Gates of Windows, Steve Jobs of Apple, Ray Kroc of McDonald's, Walt Disney, Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Larry Page of Google--you don't deserve your success because you've stolen it from other people; you've stolen their labor. We have the president of the United States denigrating the entire concept of success and attempting to dismantle the American dream.

Thomas A. Edison, Henry Ford, Walt Disney, Steve Jobs
Once upon a time, we celebrated success and wanted to be like Thomas Edison, Henry Ford,Steve Jobs, Walt Disney, Ray Kroc or Larry Page, but now we've got a president who has successfully brainwashed half the country with his "class warfare rhetoric" that this kind of success is "criminal" and not really deserved. According to Obama, these successful, innovative  entrepreneurs did it with the help of government and other people, and they're ungrateful.

We now have a president who has never held a job, never met a payroll, not even operated a lemonade stand and he is out there attacking those who are successful, who innovate and create jobs for millions of Americans. Men like Thomas Edison who invented the light bulb and electricity without any government help, as well as Henry Ford who invented the modern assembly-line. Walt Disney pioneered animation, built Disneyland and Disneyworld, and Disney Studios in Burbank without any financial assistance from Uncle Sam. And then there is Steve Jobs--If he would've waited for the government to invest in Apple, there would be NO iPad, iPhone or Macbook Pro today!

For Obama, it's always about expanding government at the expense of free enterprise and the private sector. Government is always the "good guy" and small business, companies and corporations are the "bad guys."

Here's what Obama said last Friday in Virginia to a cheering crowd:
FOLLOWERS: That's right!
OBAMA: You didn't get there on your own. I'm always struck by people who think, "Well, it must be because I was just so smart!"
FOLLOWERS: (laughing)
OBAMA: There are a lot of smart people out there. "It must be because I worked harder than everybody else." Let me tell you something. There are a whole bunch of hardworkin' people out there!
FOLLOWERS: (cheers and applause)
OBAMA: If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help!
FOLLOWERS: Yeaaaaaah!
OBAMA: There was a great teacher somewhere in your life.
FOLLOWERS: Yeaaaaaah!
OBAMA: Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges! If you've got a business, you -- you didn't build that!
FOLLOWERS: Yeaaaaaah!
OBAMA: Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn't get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.
OBAMA: Look, i-i-if you've been successful, you didn't get there on your own.
Obama's goal is to convince the American public that whatever success you've achieved as a businessman or employer is not deserved. You haven't earned it; you stole it from the little people, the poor people. This is what Obama learned at the feet of Frank Marshall, his self-described mentor and an avowed communist. This is what his father in Kenya taught him. But the sad thing is that now we're at a tipping point where half the country believes in what Obama is saying, and are giving him their full support.

As Pogo said, "we have met the enemy and he is us."

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Two totally unrelated posts: I'm ashamed I haven't prayed for Syria and Thoughts on Romans 3

Syrian Christians celebrating Christmas
This is a two-fer post (2 for the price of 1). Yesterday, I was reading the latest issue of Christianity Today and came across this article, "Syria's Last Chance: As violence surges and diplomacy fails, Christians, Muslims, and Druze advocate for reconciliation and democracy."

Over the past 16 months, an estimated 17,000 people have died and the number is growing.       In late May, militias slaughtered 108 civilians, including 49 children and 35 children. One 11-yr old witnessed his family being murdered.

To my shame, I have seen numerous news stories covering the violence in Syria, and I have NOT prayed for Syria until today. I am ashamed that it has taken me this long to drop to my knees in prayer for Syria.

Here's what the Syrian Christians are asking us to pray for:

  • Pray for the Christians in Syria to be the peacemakers and to be bold, without fear..
  • Pray for reconciliation & forgiveness on all sides
  • Pray for hearts to be softened and for the Christians to have favor in seeking reconciliation from all sides.
  • Pray for Christians and other leaders to have wisdom in developing a strategy for national healing and reconciliation.
  • Pray for the violence to be stopped; that the darkness that shrouds Syria would be lifted. Pray for opportunities to proclaim and share God's Good news.
Now for my thoughts on another matter: If you read my posts with any regularity, you know that I can be quite judgmental. That is certainly a fault of mine for which I often ask the Lord for forgiveness. I am always trying to walk that fine line between being critical and speaking the truth in a loving manner. Most of the time, I fall far short as you well know.

I was reading Romans 3 today and here's what St. Paul says:
Romans 3:9-12 (ESV) 
9 What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin,
10 as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one;
11 no one understands; no one seeks for God.
12 All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.”
Please note that Paul says that none of us is righteous, none of us really seeks for God or understands.

Like the Jews and Greeks that Paul was writing to, we like to compare ourselves with one another. We compare our churches with other churches. We compare our Christianity with others to make us feel like we are spiritual and pleasing to God.

What Paul is asking is this: Why does one condemned sinner wish to compare himself with another in order to show himself better?

The empty tomb
Imagine three men on death row, all convicted murderers. The man in cell one was a drug dealer, who ordered the death of many of his rivals and whose drug dealing destroyed countless lives.  The man in cell two killed five fellow-employees in a fit of anger. The third condemned criminal hired an assassin to murder his wife. The human tendency is for the man in cell two to compare himself with the man in cell one, judging himself the better man. The man in cell three compares himself to the other two and feels he is better than both. But on the day of execution, what difference does it make? They have all broken the law, and they are all sentenced to die.

The real issue is not the appraisal of men but the judgment of God. If a Jew is better than a Gentile, God must say so. He has not said so. In fact, God has continually condemned the Jews and the Gentiles for their sin. God has treated the Jews and the Gentiles impartially.  

Paul helps us to resolve this dilemma and the condemnation that we so justly deserve when he says in Romans 3:22-25 (ESV)
22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction:
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,
25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins.
I am saved not by my own righteous acts or deeds but because I have placed my faith in Jesus Christ. I know that I CONTINUALLY fall short of God's perfect standard. I deserve to be on death row, and in a sense I have been on death row, but Jesus has delivered me. He pardoned me from death row. He pardoned my sins. 

I  have been justified (made right, made perfect) through the price that Jesus paid for my sins on the cross at Calvary. I am saved, not because I deserve it or have earned it, but because my faith and trust is in Jesus Christ as my Lord, my Savior, my Redeemer. He has given me a new life--for that I am truly thankful and praise His name!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Obama wants Romney's life to be an "open book"

President Obama was interviewed this week on WMUR TV in Manchester, NH (my former home). Here’s what Obama said: 
"What's important is if you are running for President is that the American people know who you are and what you have done and that you're an open book. And that's been true of every presidential candidate dating all the way back to Mitt Romney's father."
These comments coming from the man who three weeks ago invoked executive privilege to prevent “Fast & Furious” documents from being turned over to Congress. Where’s the transparency, Mr. President? Where is the “open book” and "transparency" on “Fast & Furious?”

If I were Mitt Romney, I would toss these comments right back in Obama's face and ask him to release his college transcripts. Decades after he completed his college course work, Obama’s academic performance is still a mystery. He has refused to release his college transcripts from his days as an undergraduate and law school student. One website has offered $20,000 to anyone who can produce these transcripts.

What would be interesting is to see (a) what classes he took and (b) with what professors.  The President cultivated friendships with many of the law school's professors and made a big show of calling them by their first names in class.  Did Obama take rigorous, larger classes with blind grading (like Antitrust with Phillip Areeda or Corporate Finance with Lucian Bebchuk) or did he take seminars with his friends like Charles Ogletree on "softer" subjects, where grading couldn't have been blind because of the class' small size?

Stephen Hess, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution said that most president’s academic records are made public by the time they reach the highest office in the land.

I’d also like to see his financial records during his time as a college student? How did he pay for college at Occidental, Columbia and Harvard? How much college debt did he really accrue? How did he pay it off and when? What type of scholarships or student aid did he receive?

I believe that Romney needs to release his tax returns, but first and foremost, let the transparency begin at the White House. President Obama, we’re waiting for you to demonstrate your “openness and transparency.”

Monday, July 9, 2012

Chief Justice Roberts gives us the New Gestapo!

Chief Justice John Roberts
Thank-you, Honorable John Roberts. With your help, we've fallen down the rabbit hole in "Alice in Wonderland." We make words mean whatever we want them to mean.

We now have a Chief Justice whose guiding principle is not to determine whether or not a law is constitutional, but to move heaven and earth to make it constitutional. He has become a politician. Roberts actually went in search of some way to make the mandate constitutional. He actually rewrote Congress' law. Never mind that the law never defines itself as a tax. Chief Justice Roberts chose not to interpret the statute but to re-write it.

Then, Chief Roberts writes, "It's not our job to protect the American people from their political choices." He's got it wrong. The American people did not want Obamacare, and they were NEVER told that this would be a massive tax increase! The ONLY ones who wanted Obamacare and voted for it were the Democrats in Congress!

The New Gestapo!
Thanks to Chief Justice John Roberts, the IRS (the U.S. version of the Nazi Gestapo) will now have terrifying new powers to investigate you under Obamacare! 

The IRS has hired 4-5,000 new agents to delve into every small business's entire payroll, the level of their insurance coverage. Also, contained within Obamacare is the authorization for the IRS to seek out income of not just the primary breadwinner in your house, but your entire family’s income, in order to assess/collect the mandated tax. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. The IRS will now have the authority to put a lien on your business and even your house if you don't pay the fine (tax). 

The Taxpayer Advocate Office "has noted Americans must now tell the IRS under the new law: Insurance plan information, including who is covered under the plan and the dates of coverage; The costs of your family’s health insurance plans; Whether a taxpayer had an offer of employer-sponsored health insurance; The cost of employer-sponsored insurance; Whether a taxpayer received a premium tax credit; and whether a taxpayer has an exemption from the individual responsibility requirement."

Talk about an invasion of privacy. The Left always likes to talk about the dangers of the Patriot Act limiting our right to privacy, but they seem to have no problem with the IRS investigating every aspect of your life.
I believe that Chief Justice Roberts will go down in history as the Neville Chamberlain of Supreme Court justices.