Showing posts from April, 2014

The Eurozone Military

Our citizens must be told to expect pain. Pain in the form of economic repercussions. Europe must be weaned off of Russia's natural gas and at least in the short run that means we must share in the increased cost of energy that will occur in Europe. At the same time Europe must step up and agree to bare more of the burden on their military defense. We assisted our allies in many ways to recover from World War II and the Korean War. We helped rebuild Europe. We defended the "free world" from a takeover by communism and we helped their economies by entering into trade agreements that did not always help the American citizen. However, That was then and this is now. Many of the allies that we helped are now strong; both politically and economically. In fact a number of them are our strongest competitors on the economic scene. It is time that we stop subsidizing them economically by subsidizing their defense.  John Kerry had in right in his recent speech. Europe needs to st

Ukraine: Declare Economic War

Action on the part of the west is required and when the west is referred to that means the U.S.. We should be requesting UN observers be sent in to monitor the May 25th elections. After Russia votes no and China abstains the world should call on volunteers from the international press to act as the monitors. Sending 600 troops to Poland is a joke. Europe and the United States made a mistake when rushing in while Russia was hosting the Olympics and inviting Ukraine to join the Eurozone. All that did was set the stage for what is occurring today. Further, talks of having Ukraine be a buffer zone is an insult to democracy. Europe and the United States must implement an economic war on Russia. Like all wars it will be costly but must be fought. A big benefactor of the war will be China as they sit on the sidelines and watch the west and Russia waste their resources, The United States must do what it takes to be a major supplier of natural gas to Europe. To keep the price reasonabl

Detroit: Show Us the Budget

OK Detroit, we know the city cannot continue to operate the way it has. The budget must balance, meaning the revenues coming in must at least equal the expenses going out. We know the city experienced a steady decline in population and the average household income is well below the average for cities near our geographic size. Show us our budget. We want to understand. We cannot endorse what your plan is unless we see it. The population must grow and it must be green like in money. We should not care about the color of their skin and whether they are immigrants. We recognize the city must grow its tax base now. What plans do you have to make this happen? Detroit needs to use all the assets at its disposal.  The city has many vacant houses that with some repair and improvement can quickly turn into homes. The city and its residents must accept the fact that these houses need to be given away to the right people with the right strings attached including having a job, living in the

Scalia and Ginsburg: Changes to Constitution

Here is a 3 minute video on what Justice Scalia and Justice Ginsburg would want to change in the Constitution. 

Wake Up America

"Only policies that directly address the problem — in particular, progressive taxation — can help us change course." To Reduce Inequality, Start With Families , NY Times, April 20, 2014 This is totally wrong. Progressive taxation in the short run may be needed in order to buy time to fix the problem permanently, The long term solution is to fix the constitution and invest heavily in education. The problem, as pointed out by Justice Scalia in a 3 minute video, amending the constitution will not be easy.... Amending the constitution is needed to restore the idea of one man, one vote. In a recent study reported in Business Insider ( ) "The wealthiest 10% of Americans and organized groups that speak for big business have far more influence over the U.S. government than average citizens....." After amending the constitution we can force our representatives to go after oligarchs and bring back free markets by enforc

Handling Troubled Students

Balance. Balance is the key. In our modern world education is needed to succeed at every level in life. Therefore society must do its best to help every child achieve the best education they can given their abilities. Kicking anyone out of school obviously is an admission of failure on their part and on the part of the school. Expulsion should only be used as a last resort and only after it is determined that keeping the child in school jeopardizes the ability to optimize the level of education to other students and/or jeopardizes the safety of other students or faculty.. The school and community should accept the fact that troubled students will cost more to educate than other students. At the same time the community needs to accept the fact that sometimes it must let go. There is no absolute formula to determine at what point there is no remaining viable option other than expelling the child. I assume those marching to Lansing recognize this. The key is to have a fair, balance

Free Markets For Sale Along With Politicians

Raising the minimum wage, food stamps and other social programs are short term band aids to the real solutions of bringing back free markets and significantly improving our ability to provide a good education to all Americans. These social programs should be used to buy time so we can get things right. Getting things right is going to take a while; at least a generation. There are no quick fixes. The President needs to be like Teddy. Teddy Roosevelt who busted up Standard Oil and took on the railroads. Free markets help the consumer and worker. More competition keeps prices low and increases the demand for labor which will raise wages. For that to happen Citizens United needs to be reversed. The Supreme Court recently said that limiting what one can spend on elections goes against free speech. I say uncontrolled spending by the rich on elections drowns out my right to voice my opinion. We were a nation based on the principle of one man, one vote. Today we are a nation living by the

Michigan Education Is Failing.

In Michigan it appears we are finally going to do something about improving our highways and other roads. Yet, we do little about improving the roadway to success for our citizens and our state. The opinion in the Detroit Free Press titled Stalled To Soaring by Ed Trust Midwest and after I do I will be more than happy to change any comments I make that are not correct or out of line. Teachers matter, accountability matters and funds to fix the problem matter. Unfortunately this article does not provide further information or direction to the issue. Good information would include sharing how much money per pupil do the high performing states provide for education, what portion of that goes to teacher training, how do they address making schools and teachers more accountable and what are the average salaries of teachers. Further, when comparing Michigan's results to other states factor in outside forces that are beyond an  individual school including such things as poverty and the

Putin Mania(c)

We need to be willing to pay some of the cost of Putin reducing gas supplies to Europe. It is going to happen and just like during World War II it is to our advantage to stop Putin quickly. Putin has a management advantage. He can wake up in the morning make a decision and implement in the afternoon. We must work with NATO. As a result the decision making process for the west will be slower. Part of that decision making process is which nation pays what portion of the cost to hold back Putin. Part of the cost will be the rise in gas prices to Europe, This will be no time for our energy companies to take advantage of the crisis. I assume diplomats in Washington and Brussels are drawing up these plans as we carefully watch the wild poker player in the Kremlin. Putin has an inferiority complex. Perhaps it is his height or seeing the perceived power of his country diminish as the Soviet Union collapsed on the world stage. We in the United States want other citizens in the world to h

Wealth Segregation

"According to study published last year in the journal Education and Urban Society, “Students are more racially segregated in schools today than they were in the late 1960s and prior to the enforcement of court-ordered desegregation in school districts across the country.” In fact, a report last month by researchers at the Civil Rights Project of the University of California, Los Angeles, found, “New York has the most segregated schools in the country.” The Self Sort , April 11, 2014,New York Times The division is more economic than racial. By the fact that Mr. Blow's daughter is a high ranking participant in the sport of fencing tells me they do not live in a predominantly black lower income neighborhood. It is only natural to want the best for our children and with the widening disparity between rich and poor there is less interaction between social/economic classes. America is losing its identity as the land of opportunity. We need to fix capitalism and expand access to

Ukraine: Garry Kasparov On Putin

Early in the month of March Tom Ashcroft, host of On Point Radio, had a discussion with Russian political activist, and world chess champion Garry Kasparov about Russia, Ukraine and going after Vladimir Putin’s oligarchs. Mr. Kasparov is considered by many to be the greatest chess player of all time and is considering running for President of Russia. Mr. Kasparov describes Putin as an evil man with a thought process similar to Adolf Hitler. He will not on his own stop his aggression on eastern Europe. Negotiating with the west is simply a tactic used by Putin to buy time to regain Russian control of former Soviet Bloc countries. Kasparov's main strategy is go after the assets of the Russian Oligarchs and they will take care of Putin. He acknowledges that Putin will retaliate and the west will feel pain, however he suggests that if nothing is done the pain from dealing with Putin later will be even greater. His is a three step solution. Go after the assets of the Russia

Orr's Oakland and Macomb Cramdown

"The solution that Detroit emergency manager Kevyn Orr favors is best for all players: an authority that would give the suburbs a say in the way the system is managed, and give the city much-needed cash for relinquishing its ownership." What we'd lose by privatizing Detroit's water system, Detroit Free Press, April 6, 2014 Throw much of the blame onto Kevyn Orr and Rick Snyder who Mr. Orr reports to. We are getting very close to Orr's tenure as EM ending and this issue, and the DIA, are still hanging out in the wind. Orr should have been cooperating more with the counties to get this issue resolved. What Oakland and Macomb county needs to address is whether they really want to be "owners" of a system that presently appears to be under water. No pun intended. Orr from the start acted like he had the out counties over a barrel and he would be able to extort money from them. It did not work. The question is what is the DWSD really worth given all of th

Supreme Courts Ruling on Campaign Contributions

This is another good discussion about current events on OnPoint Radio. This one is about the recent ruling by the Supreme Court concerning campaign contributions.

Citizens United: Don't Blame The Supreme Court

If you are in the middle class or lower you are screwed when it comes to elections. The constitution needs amending as it relates to campaign finance and overturning Citizens United (CU). Political campaigns have become big business and those involved in the business are spread far and wide in our society and are not about to give up their power and money making machine easily. Don't blame the Supreme Court. Blame voters for not amending the constitution and blame the founding fathers for making it so difficult. The Court is doing their job; interpreting the constitution. It is up to congress and the voters to take steps to amend our founding document. Amending the constitution is not an easy task as described by the steps below. "Article V of the Constitution prescribes how an amendment can become a part of the Constitution. While there are two ways, only one has ever been used. All 27 Amendments have been ratified after two-thirds of the House and Senate approve of the

Is Paul Ryan A Democratic Plant

There appears to be good news in Mr. Ryan's proposed budget. Apparently he is not running for President in 2016. Now if he can get Mr. Cruz to endorse it. Could it be that Mr. Ryan is really a plant to assure a victory in 2014 and 2016 for the Democrats? "As with past budget proposals, Mr. Ryan seeks to eliminate the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion, then turn the health care program for the poor into block grants to the states — saving $732 billion over the decade. He would also cap and block-grant food stamps, starting in 2020, cutting that program by $125 billion in five years. The budget relies on imposing new work requirements on food stamp and welfare recipients."  Ryan Budget Would Cut Food Stamps and Medicaid Deeply We need to get our budget under control and we need a plan. The plan does not mean we need a balanced budget under government accounting. If the average american family followed the same accounting rules we would need to count our homes