Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I'm not dead yet

People have asked why I am absent.

I have no real reason why I haven't written much this year (these last years);  I don't think I have the blog bug any longer.

Lots of changes in my life, too many to list here, but for an overview:


  • Beginning 1Sep I've been relocated to Maryland, ~157 miles from home.  My somewhat famous long-distance-commute has gotten worse.  I had plans to spend time with a friend who had a spare room, but after spending but one night there, I came home with so.much.pet.dander that my much-better-half and youngest son spent over 24 hours sneezing (friend has 2 cats, 1 dog).   Since then I've been living in hotels - so far a different one each week - Mon-Fri.  It sucks, but it could be far worse.

    On the upside, my commute now puts me back on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, at least 2x/week, meaning for now my nom de plume is once again more accurate.
  • Last month I spoke of a prospective employer making me a verbal offer, then delaying the formal offer due to upper-management.   In the proceeding weeks the story went like this:   upper-management kicked out the offer, as they indicated the hiring manager offered me too much in salary.  The hiring manager then said he needed to take time-off from work due to a death in his family, and apparently no one else picked up the task regarding hiring me.

    This meant I had to wait through Labor Day weekend for an update.  Over the next 10 days, we went back and forth with phone calls and e-mails, and that had me in Maryland 2 full weeks.   In the end, I suppose, I did myself the biggest damage by stating as my reason for leaving my current position was the Maryland relocation.   They hooked me with the initial verbal offer, then had no reason to honor it knowing I was bleeding cash by either a hellish, 6 hour round-trip commute or that I was paying for hotels.  

    The final offer was less than I had hoped, and clearly less than I gross today, but not out of the question of consideration.  Last Thursday I resigned, and agreed to stay-on through EOM.
  • The new position will not involve the PA Tpk.  Perhaps with this change will also come the end of this blog for good?
Time will tell.

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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Getting closer

Continuing the saga...


  • Was in Maryland this week, moving 90% of the office to the new development lab / office space.  It's only that much as we're supposed to support our customer (sans dev lab) during the relocation effort.  We can do it, to a point, without a lab.  Fortunately support calls are down this time year due to vacations (gee, what does that word vacation  mean?)   Got to my office at 05:45 on Monday, and the moving vans were there already.  By 08:30 we were on the road.   These guys get paid by the job, not the hour!

    One truck driver says to me We're taking Route 40, not 95   When I asked why he explained I-95 always has a weigh-station, but 40 usually doesn't in the mornings.   When I asked why he was concerned, he answered Well if we get weighed, we'll be shut-down.  OK!  Let's go!  Fortunately, there was no weigh-station, but I was sweating going down.

    I spent the morning and late afternoon at the new lab, positioning equipment and the like.   System Admins and Network engineers showed up on Tuesday, and we began reconstituting the lab.   I left around 4:00 PM and headed home (3 hour drive).  I clocked enough hours that tomorrow, Friday, I staying home.
  • During lunch Monday, I received 2 phone calls from a prospective employer.  We had spoken last week and he indicated that I should get the offer letter (per our discussion) early this week.   As I was at lunch with my colleagues, taking either call was out of the question.   I did speak with the guy and he repeated his offer, and that I should get my offer tomorrow (Wednesday), with a requested start-date of 6-September.    Now that would work for me, as I am supposed to be in Maryland beginning 1-Sep, so I can easily end my employment on 31-Aug if I got the offer letter today.

    Well today came and I phoned him, looking for the letter.  He apologized profusely and blamed upper-management being on vacation (again that word!),  so he's put me off to next week, and a start date of 12-Sep.   So we wait again.  I do understand the hurdles of management, and I've been in his shoes with people I've hired, but that does not make this any easier.
  • If you read this far, drop me a line or comment and say as much.  I wondering how much longer I can pretend to blog, and if I do hang-it-up I want to know who I should reach-out to with a personal sign-off.

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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Congratulations to Wisconsin

Despite intense pressure from organized labor, the voters of Wisconsin spoke and turned-away the recall election efforts.   Pressure over fiscal policies brought forth by the state legislature and signed into law by Gov. Walker brought calls for recall of 4 of the Republican legislators.

Ironically, when the entire Democrat minority of the Legislature left the state in order to deny the majority the ability to debate.  Whereas the Democrats were derelict in their elected duties, only 2 of those members face recall election next week.

Happy to see the voters speak their mind, and that their legislators have been vindicated.

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Tuesday, August 02, 2011

What's next for Rep Giffords?

This is the sort of post that will anger a few, perhaps.

What's next for Gabrielle Giffords, the US House of Representative from Arizona who was tragically attacked early this year by a crazed gunman?   She miraculously survived being shot in the forehead, in what most reasonable guesses and arm-chair experts would have predicted would have been fatal wound.  

I am happy to see someone survive such an attack (eclipsed, perhaps, only by knowing they have the thug who did it).  

But what's next?  Reports say she's continuing her speech therapy, for example, and I - along with millions - wish her well.   

But what about her seat?  Last night she returned to the House to cast her vote for raising the debt-ceiling, and with predictable and justified standing-O's, she left soon after.  Not surprising, considering how soon after it's been since she was released from hospital.

For the record, I am pleased with many of Rep Gifford's positions, including:
  • Increased border patrols
  • Endorsing 9/11 Commission findings
  • new rules for the House of Representatives targeting ethical issues
  • advocated for a national day of recognition for cowboys 
That she had already earned rock-star status from her husband being an astronaut and active-duty military member - not to mention she's also extremely attractive in her own right - makes her an even brighter spot on the political landscape.

But what about her representation of her district?  How long will the people of 8th-Arizona go without their voice in the Congress?  What is to be done for those people if Ms.Giffords requires another year or so of rehabilitation to regain more of her speech ability?  

Anyone who knows me is aware I am not one to dismiss the possibilities of anyone affected by different abilities, but in the real world of politics, one has to ponder when the well-wishing for her recovery must be balanced with whether or not she is able to carry out her duties as an elected official.  For whatever standard is determined for Gabby today will be the same ruler used when the next elected official faces such an impairment (i.e. stroke).  And in that vein, no one should be chastised if they dare to challenge her for her seat - either in a primary or the general election.  

For if we are truly concerned for a fair and level playing field, then Ms. Giffirds must be allowed to demonstrate to her constituents her ability to lead and serve.


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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Counting down the days

I have neglected this humble blog for so long, so a quick recap seems appropriate.

I am a systems engineer a defense program.  Seven years ago I was laid off because the defense contractor that created and managed the project lost their rebid to continue it.   I was on the bench for 5 weeks, later picked up at another defense job that was decidedly beneath my skills.  Who could forget this post that answered the question "Say, Charlie... how goes the new job?" 


Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: Love is the only thing that can save this poor creature, and I am going to convince him that he is loved even at the cost of my own life. No matter what you hear in there, no matter how cruelly I beg you, no matter how terribly I may scream, do not open this door or you will undo everything I have worked for. Do you understand? Do not open this door.

Inga: Yes, Doctor.

Igor: Nice working with ya.

[Dr. Frederick Frankenstein goes into the room with The Monster. The Monster wakes up] 

Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: Let me out. Let me out of here. Get me the hell out of here. What's the matter with you people? I was joking! Don't you know a joke when you hear one? HA-HA-HA-HA. Jesus Christ, get me out of here! Open this goddamn door or I'll kick your rotten heads in! Mommy!

Oh, where to start??  No workstation on my desk at work yet, so I am still reliant on my trainer, who said to me, apparently in all honesty, "Gee, you seem to know a lot about computers and stuff!"

Due to the bureaucratic layers upon layers around and above me, I cannot rise about my level without the weight and anger of others, so I will do my time and move on. I found comfort in the following thought: had I took a real McJob at McDonalds, there would be a period of novelty, for a time. You know, the whole 'grab a bucket and mop', yada-yada-yada, the fries, etc. A few days, maybe a week, and then it would wear off. Well I didn't even get a few days of novelty and I despise this place (for several reasons I'll detail later).

Anywho, a few short months later I was picked up as a Subject Matter Expert for the very same project, but for the contractor that did win the bid. And after a time my SME status diminished a bit, as more and more people got skilled in the application.  And while there have been about the routine number of head-butting incidents with management  things went swimmingly in spite of the fact I commute 2 hours, each way, every day to the office.   It's crazy,  but it has allowed me to afford being the sole-income in my home and afforded my much-better-half the opportunistically of being a stay-home-mom (much to her pleasure).  I've done that drive for about 15 years now, so it's pretty routine.

Last August I got the word: the Army base that has been the center of operations for this job is slated to close this Fall (part of the BRAC program I won't describe again here).   I have been tapped to go to Maryland, where the new office is already built.  The daily drive of +160 miles is a bit much, even for me, for a daily commute.  Officially, I am to report to MD on 1-September, but as I've been assigned the project lead on the relocation efforts (my first hint I was included in the relocation), I will be reporting there on 15-Aug.

In the last year I have pounded the virtual pavement in search of a suitable position where I can maintain my sole-support role at home.  No such luck.  This week I learned I have a conditional offer:  a defense position, a.lot.closer to home for a reasonably close salary.  Just as soon as the contractor gets funding.

It's not perfect, but it's nothing to sneeze at either.  I am looking forward to hearing from the company in about 6 weeks, in the meantime, I called in a favor and will be crashing at a friend's house.  A spare room, less than an hour from MD, about 2 hours from home.   Making the best of things while I wait on the offer.

Things could be worse.  A lot worse.   So my chin is up, and I am looking towards the hope of an e-mail telling me news of funding.

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Friday, July 08, 2011

Advice for Couples

Recently, a friend of mine started dating again.  The guy is, by all measures, a stand-up kind of guy, is good to her kid, good to her, etc.

I happened to around when they were having an inevitable spat.  Nothing serious -- it involved packing for a getaway trip -- and while it wasn't at all an angry or otherwise over-the-top debate, each clearly believed they were right and the other was wrong.

At different points of the day they individually related their debate to me.  I guess I got that effect on people -- everyone tells me stuff.  I guess they wanted my insight (while I tried to avoid taking sides).

The guy at one point turned to me in front my friend and asked how my-much-better-half and I manage all these years with arguments.  I told him the secret I learned in the over 21 years of marriage:
At various points, in every relationship, there's going to be an argument, no matter how kissy-kissy you are, it's going to happen.    And for me, it always ends the same way:  sooner or later, someone always says "I'm sorry" and then she always says "That's OK, Charlie."

Well at this point they're both laughing.  Hysterically.  And the couple hugged and agreed my advice was funny but useful.

It wasn't supposed to be funny...  that is how it works in my house!

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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

On this day in 1991

Way back when, in 1991, I responded to post card stuffed into a tech magazine -- I believe it was an issue of Lotus, the magazine for professionals using Lotus 1-2-3 (for you youngsters, 1-2-3 was the forerunner to Microsoft Excel). It was an advertisement for a new online network.

I mailed it in and soon received 5 floppy disks (5-1/4") containing a run-time version of GeoWorks, which promised (and actually delivered) a GUI-like environment for an Intel based 286 desktop computer.

On this day in 1991, I created my AOL account. Little did I realize the main name would forever linked to the account, otherwise I would have chosen a better handle.   From a novelty point of view, I am still regarded as a charter member though there is no longer any discount associated with that stature.

That account (and it's subsequent better choice) lives on today. Also my mom's account does as well, and at her advanced age, she has no desire to learn a no interface to contact her friends and grandchildren.    I've long since migrated to GMail for my personal/professional mail, but have yet to give up my old AOL accounts.   I suppose I'll keep it until my mom stops using it (in one manner or other).

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Tuesday, May 03, 2011

CONGRATULATIONS PRESIDENT OBAMA

Many people did not believe I said Congratulations to President Obama yesterday, and I imagine there are those who don't believe I wrote them here.

President Barack Obama, the Commander In Chief, deserves praise for the successful elimination of Osama Bin Laden.    Regardless that I do not care for his overall politics, Pres. Obama got the job done.                      

The intelligence that led to the assault on Bin Laden's compound started with a nugget before Mr. Obama took office.   Had he been totally hands-off prosecuting the War on Terror, there would not have been the necessary follow up, investigation, and final dispensation with Bin Laden.   Many critics have taken exception to Pres. Obama's positions since he took office - including yours, truly - when his administration refuses to use the phrase War on Terror, for example.

While all praise goes to Mr. Obama today, I hope this does not mean a reduction of the ongoing efforts against those who would do us harm.   Already, elected Democrat representatives and pundits are calling for Defense cuts - that would be a horrible mistake.

The US was vulnerable to the September 11th attacks because we didn't take the threat seriously.    Pres. Obama demonstrated the threat still exists, and needs to be exterminated.  Now is not the time to relax, indeed we have a psychological advantage with the death of Bin Laden.  

Stay strong, USA.  Stay vigilant.


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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Holy Thursday: GETHSEMANE

From one of my all time favorites...

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Monday, April 18, 2011

My son, the movie critic

Yeah, I know... where have I been?


8 year old son ponders about a movie he loves:

Dad,  in The Return of the Jedi, when Jabba the Hut captured Princess Leia, why did he make her wear a bikini??

Ummm.....

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Monday, March 14, 2011

I am glad my father-in-law died before the Wisconsin protests

My father-in-law died about 11 years ago.  He was a good man, his biggest vice in life being that he couldn’t quit smoking, and that ultimately led to his last years being painful for him and his family.

We seldom if ever discussed politics.  He was a hard-sown man, a dyed-in-the-wool Democrat. I was (and remain) anything but a Democrat, so I knew to mind my place and keep politics out of discussions.

He worked in a number of jobs that had in the grocers union in NYC and Long Island  - the UFCW.  So his politics and views were easy to discern.

On one such occasion I discussed politics with him dealt with unions, and Ronald Reagan.  As you might imagine, he had little to say in absolute favor of President Reagan.   He would not disparage the man, out of respect for the office, but he thought he was a crazy actor, that he favored the rich too much, etc.

The one area he had a very specific opinion about Ronald Reagan was that PATCO union strike.   The union covering the Air Traffic Controllers at all commercial airports walked off the job.

My FIL had this to say: Ronald Reagan was wrong because he waited too long to fire them!  Their union negotiated a contract, and they were supposed to live up to their end of the deal.  They promised never to strike, and so they deserved to be fired.

He also questioned why the ATC were unionized at all, because they were (in his estimations) public servants, and no public servants should be unioninzed.

The way the union members and their thugs carried on this last month would have made my FIL sad, I believe.  Not that they should protest, but their utter disrespect for the Wisconsin capital, for their utter disrespect for their public service, and for the contempt they’ve shown.

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Thursday, March 03, 2011

Yet another reason to increase my job search efforts

Remember the old H&R Block TV commercials? Long before the electronic filing era,  Henry Block (or some actor pretending to be him) appeared on the screen and gave another in an alleged series of reasons why you should have your taxes done at H&R Block.

Well tonight I learned REASON #8 (or thereabouts) why I need to find another job.

There's little secret that my job is relocating to Maryland in September, and while my much-better-half and I have kept our youngest son out of the discussions, he (an 8 year old) has heard enough to know something is coming down late in the summer.  He asked me if I was moving away because of my job.

I told him the truth:  the drive is too long (upwards of 3 hours, each way), and even though I do a 2 hour drive each way today, 3 hours back-and-forth 5 days a week would be too much.  So if I have to, I will leave Sunday night, and come home either late Thursday or first-thing Friday morning.  That would last for at least a few months, maybe more.  In the meantime, I hope to find another job, closer to home.

He understood, and then asked you like pets, right?  Well, the vet-rin-arian near the supermarket has a help-wanted sign!  You could work there!


I told him I would consider it, and that I would do my best to find a job closer to home.

And damn it, I will make it so.

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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Say what you want about the TEA PARTY...

… but I don’t recall any video of doctors handing out fake sick-notes so they could protest.

Wisconsin Teacher Unions are shooting themselves in their own feet. No one will back their insistance at benefit-collective-bargaining when they fake sick days instead of teaching kids.

Unions, in this case at least, are not all for the children; they are for the dollars. Not that there’s anything wrong with it, because that’s what the free market is all about. But in a free market, there aren’t union strikes (or the threat of them) that influence those dollars.

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Monday, February 07, 2011

Perils of Online Privacy

I know to many it would sound like I am making too big a deal, but I had to deal with several photos that while being well-intentioned they had put me into a tough spot.

On my real-life Facebook profile, a friend - a true friend, mind you, someone I've personally known for over 25 years - opened his photo albums and started scanning and posting photos.   Included in the collection were some of yours, truly, from 1983-1986 or so.

Let the record show I did not photograph any better back then than I do today!

And while some of what my friend uploaded were largely harmless - unless you consider posing in front of a car that was wrapped with several rolls of paper towels as being harmful - some were of me (and others) imbibing.   Nothing in those photos would be considered over-the-top by today's standards or even 25 year old standards.  At least, they shouldn't be considered as such, but we all know how the job market is so very tight these days.   We all know how much data is accessible online, and how hiring managers and HR departments are known for searching on employees, and in some cases firing employees for their offline activities.

So I spent Sunday going to each pic wherein alcohol is being consumed and untagging myself.  And I didn't like doing that one bit.  In some way I believed I was being unfair to my friend.  He meant no harm, surley, and even though we've stayed in touch over the years, our circle of friends have grown so far and wide that the majority of his friends wouldn't know who I was any more than would the majority of my contacts in Facebook would know him.   So with that wide berth between us, what should it matter?

Upon further thought, however, I found myself growing angry with Facebook and my friend: why should I have to untag myself in the first place?  Perhaps I don't want anyone to be able to tag me at all.  Maybe there's some who decided to photoshop a pic of something unthinkable (say, a Nazi , which is pretty universally considered unsavory) and then tags me to it.   Why am I required to untag it, as opposed to sending me a note saying you were tagged, do you wish to approve

After a time I stopped stewing, and stopped being angry with my friend.   I sent him a note, explaining my concern that a company - either present or future - might disagree that what I did in a photo 25 years ago has little bearing on me today, and I asked him to not tag me in any photos going forward that might include questionable behavior.

He's a good man, and he agreed as I knew he would.   And after thinking back to those glorious years, that probably means there aren't any more pictures of me that he can or will post.

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Monday, January 31, 2011

FEDERAL JUDGE RULES OBAMA HEALTH CARE LAW UNCONSTITUTIONAL...

YES!!

Here is the conclusion of the Order from Leagl Insurrection (emphasis made by me):

The existing problems in our national health care system are recognized by everyone in this case. There is widespread sentiment for positive improvements that will reduce costs, improve the quality of care, and expand availability in a way that the nation can afford. This is obviously a very difficult task. Regardless of how laudable its attempts may have been to accomplish these goals in passing the Act, Congress must operate within the bounds established by the Constitution. Again, this case is not about whether the Act is wise or unwise legislation. It is about the Constitutional role of the federal government.

For the reasons stated, I must reluctantly conclude that Congress exceeded the bounds of its authority in passing the Act with the individual mandate. That is not to say, of course, that Congress is without power to address the problems and inequities in our health care system. The health care market is more than one sixth of the national economy, and without doubt Congress has the power to reform and regulate this market. That has not been disputed in this case. The principal dispute has been about how Congress chose to exercise that power here.

Because the individual mandate is unconstitutional and not severable, the entire Act must be declared void. This has been a difficult decision to reach, and I am aware that it will have indeterminable implications. At a time when there is virtually unanimous agreement that health care reform is needed in this country, it is hard to invalidate and strike down a statute titled “The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.” ...
In closing, I will simply observe, once again, that my conclusion in this case is based on an application of the Commerce Clause law as it exists pursuant to the Supreme Court’s current interpretation and definition. Only the Supreme Court (or a Constitutional amendment) can expand that.

For all the reasons stated above and pursuant to Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment (doc. 80) is hereby GRANTED as to its request for declaratory relief on Count I of the Second Amended Complaint, and DENIED as to its request for injunctive relief; and the defendants’ motion for summary judgment (doc. 82) is hereby GRANTED on Count IV of the Second Amended Complaint. The respective cross-motions are each DENIED.

Undoubtedly the Administration will appeal to SCOTUS.  BRING IT!!

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Friday, January 28, 2011

Egypt in flux

It is not because I support Hosni Mubarak; I confess ignorance of the region an it's politics. But any ruler in power for 30 years fails any sanity test for a democracy.


It is not that I fear the people protesting in the streets. They hunger for freedom like every human does.


But I am old enough to know this can very well go from a bad situation to an even worse one.



And as America has fueled the Mubarak monarchy for 30 years, I pray tonight the US Marines in our embassy in Cairo are locked and loaded.

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The Clock Tics: Obamacare Rationing Continues While Repeal Is on Hold

A quick note about where we all stand in regards to the Obamacare healthcare crisis that is upon us:

The House of Representatives moved quickly to pass legislation to repeal the President’s Health Care Reform measures but for breast cancer patients, repeal might not come soon enough.

Breast cancer patients are among the initial victims of the ObamaCare mindset where cost of treatment trumps the effectiveness of treatment. Thanks to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the life-extending drug Avastin may no longer be an option for breast cancer patients – despite evidence of its effectiveness and testimony of women—and their doctors– who believe they survive solely because of the drug.
The FDA seems intent on “de-lableing” the drug – a move that would allow insurance companies and Medicare to deny coverage for the drug. Even though the FDA is not charged with considering the cost of a drug when determining its availability, it is apparent they did. Jean Grem of the University of Nebraska explained her anti-Avastin vote by observing, “We aren’t supposed to talk about cost, but that’s another issue."
Read more at BigGoverment

Defund and Repeal Obamacare... now!

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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The irony of President Obama's call for a 'Sputnik Moment'

Presient Obama at his 2011 State of the Union address spoke:

Half a century ago, when the Soviets beat us into space with the launch of a satellite called Sputnik¸ we had no idea how we’d beat them to the moon. The science wasn’t there yet. NASA didn’t even exist. 

But after investing in better research and education, we didn’t just surpass the Soviets; we unleashed a wave of innovation that created new industries and millions of new jobs.

This is our generation’s Sputnik moment.
In 1957, at an Army base in northern NJ, a group of scientists working in Top Secret scanned the heavens waiting to hear a signal from Sputnik I.   Camp Evans became part of Fort Monmouth, which later became home to the US Army's Communications-Electronics Command (CECOM).  

A half century later, Ft. Monmouth stands poised to be shuttered in 2011, part of the DoD's ongoing Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process, while NASA is about to end it's manned space program with the end of the Shuttle program.

Neither of these are directly related to Pres. Obama (altho his disdain for manned space funding is quite apparent),  bur they do serve as a bitter irony to his use of the phrase Sputnik Moment.

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State of the Union recap

Here then are my comments on President Obama's State of the Union 2011 speech.

New laws will only pass with support from Democrats and Republicans.  We will move forward together, or not at all -– for the challenges we face are bigger than party, and bigger than politics.
How nice!  After we had TARP and Obamacare shoved at us, and after a decisive shellacking in November, shifting the power in House of Representatives to the GOP's favor, now we will have bipartisan.   So it seems today the reported 'I won' attitude is gone. Curious timing, don't you think?
 With more research and incentives, we can break our dependence on oil with biofuels, and become the first country to have a million electric vehicles on the road by 2015. 
Nice goal, but tell me: with my infamous 2 hr commute (each way) by car, what will this do for me, since right now we're good for ~40 miles on battery?  And who will pay for these charging stations, the employers?? That's rich!  (oh, wait, have I answered my own question?)

 Today, there are hundreds of thousands of students excelling in our schools who are not American citizens.  Some are the children of undocumented workers, who had nothing to do with the actions of their parents. They grew up as Americans and pledge allegiance to our flag, and yet they live every day with the threat of deportation.  

Now, I strongly believe that we should take on, once and for all, the issue of illegal immigration.  And I am prepared to work with Republicans and Democrats to protect our borders, enforce our laws and address the millions of undocumented workers who are now living in the shadows.
In one breath, Pres. Obama endorses amnesty for dependants of illegal aliens, then speaks of strengthening the border.  How about reversing the order: secure the border, then deal with the illegal immigrants?  When you're house has a water pipe break, you fix the leak BEFORE you bail the water.

 Within 25 years, our goal is to give 80 percent of Americans access to high-speed rail. 
Nice applause line.  Throughout the northeast there are hundreds of miles of unused rail beds, running through lots with homes and backyards.  Efforts to reclaim those rail beds to provide commuter lines through northern NJ, for example, are met with lawsuits from the home owners, who ignore their deed restrictions and instead setup playgrounds on  the beds, daring the rail companies to come through.  How will were ever get rail service to 80% of the US if the railroads cannot reclaim their OWN land today?
So tonight, I’m asking Democrats and Republicans to simplify the system.  Get rid of the loopholes.  Level the playing field.  And use the savings to lower the corporate tax rate for the first time in 25 years –- without adding to our deficit.  It can be done.
Why is it when companies (or individuals) use a legal loophole to their own advantage, they are demonized as if they're somehow cheating?  Why do we continue to bad mouth those who are successful?

So tonight, I am proposing that starting this year, we freeze annual domestic spending for the next five years.
Freeze?  Freeze?  HOW ABOUT CUTTING DISCRETIONARY SPENDING??

Now, I have heard rumors that a few of you still have concerns about our new health care law.  (Laughter.)  So let me be the first to say that anything can be improved.  If you have ideas about how to improve this law by making care better or more affordable, I am eager to work with you.  We can start right now by correcting a flaw in the legislation that has placed an unnecessary bookkeeping burden on small businesses.  (Applause.)
Eager to work?  With the GOP?  So you mean Pres. Obama will listen to the GOP, like he did at Blair House, where the entire meeting was used to justify the unkept promise of having all debates on Obamacare being on CSPAN?  Where none of the concerns or ideas of the GOP were even considered? 

Are that many Americans that naive to not see this lie for what it is?

Of course, some countries don’t have this problem.  If the central government wants a railroad, they build a railroad, no matter how many homes get bulldozed.  If they don’t want a bad story in the newspaper, it doesn’t get written.
Heh, unless you contact MSNBC and spike the story or discussion (even if it's being discussed live).

Nothing new from President Obama, right down to the intentional shift to the Center.   He's on the re-election trail, and efforts will need to be stepped up to ensure his agenda will go no further, and that he will be defeated at the ballot box in 2012.

We cannot afford to do any less!

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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

On the road to repealing Obamcare

I am cautiously optimistic ad the growing movement to repeal the law laughingly called Affordable Care Act (ACA), or better known as Obamacare.

Now let's get this right out in the open: a lot of people are angry at the use of the word Obamacare, and to them I merely point them to Google, wherein you'll find that the Department of Health and Human Services have paid for a Google Ad that will direct you to their site if you search on Obamacare.  So regardless of whether I want the law repealed or not, if the HHS is going to spend our tax monies on Google searches of the word Obamacare, it's good enough for me!

My kid's physicians announced they no longer take Medicare, my current job is to be relocated without my yet knowing if I am invited along, and my employment future is still not-as-good-as-I'd-like, yet I am growing optimistic that Obamacare will be repealed.  Maybe not this year, but not too far down the line.

It is a boondoggle and a nightmare of government overreach, pushing good doctors out of the field. Here's an interview with one dedicate physician who can no longer afford to practice her art:



The House vote will be the first step towards killing (yes, I said killing) this horrendous law.  I am not so optimistic to think the Senate will vote to overturn it, but it may.   But step-by-step, the voters will hear the arguments, see their taxes rise to pay for this mess, see the numbers of doctors dwindle, then they'll oust the Senators who stand in the way.

And even if that means waiting until 2012, so be it.  I just hope it won't be too late for us all!

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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Time for a road trip

In the last few weeks, I've had the opportunity to be at home at lot more than usual.

Between Christmas Eve, New Year's Eve, a few snow days and some planned days-off, I've been home about 6 more days than typical.

My much-better-half is wondering when will be my next business trip; too bad I don't have any such opportunities on the horizon.

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