Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The DNC Redux

Day 1 of the DNC

 Yeap, I watched the entire Democratic convention from the women who want abortion on demand at any stage of life to the elegant Michelle Obama who certainly knows how to deliver a speech, but I have heard it all before in 2008. I certainly understand why the faithful like her. But, it scared me in 2008, and it scares me more even now should Barack be reelected.

 Reagan once said, "Government is not the solution, it is the problem". And his policies set off two decades of economic growth. Barack has become the antithesis of Reagan, and it seems liberals have become even more brazen in their views with Obama as the head of the party than any other leader. We heard a lot about investment. Investment in liberal speak is just another term for "more government spending."

 Liberals (and I have many friends who are liberals) don't think deficits really matter. The 16 trillion deficit mark was reached last night during the DNC but not one word was mentioned. Before the dot-com crash, pundits were saying valuations don't matter. Before the housing crisis, pundits were saying house prices would never go down, Valuations always matter and bubbles always burst. So too, the deficit will come back to haunt us.

 Pay attention to what is going on in Europe. In Spain after prolific spending and disastrous policies, the entire leftist party was thrown out on its rear end. It has reached the point in Spain that no matter who is in office he or she will be despised because the country has almost reached the point of no return. Capital and Employers are leaving Spain for fear the country might return to the Peseta. Unemployment has reached a staggering 25%, 50% among the youth. There is even a station I watch RTVE from Spain which is a government station that has been subsidized by the government since the days of Franco, and now they had to delay much of its better programming due to a 200 million Euro cut. Its austerity measures have also included cuts to its social safety nets, but we sit blindly by and watch it happen while we head down the road of the same fate. Grant it we will not return to another currency, but the unintended consequences of this debt will be disastrous if nothing is done. And, we may see throngs of people in the street rioting just like we see in Spain.

 In a wealthy nation such as the United States we should be able to provide for the elderly, the disabled, the temporarily unemployed, and the temporarily impoverished. But, the error is assuming that government is the answer for every ill of society. Reagan had it right. This country will cease as a nation if we can't get our fiscal house in order. So, while we shower accolades over a failed president, discuss why government should be paying for contraception, debate why killing the unborn is such a necessity, and argue about a contrived war on women, we are headed towards a fiscal cliff from whence we may not be able to return.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Ten Years of Stock Investing

I don’t use Technical Charts. Buy and Hold still works, but temporary anomalies do occur, and sectors do fall in and out of favor. Right now, the Health sector and the Energy sector are the places to be.

From time to time, a stock investor should check how his stock picks have done. We always hear how this investor has made a killing on this investment or that investment, but we never hear about the bad investments. I decided I wanted to check out how I have done in the last decade on my stock picks. It was quite a chore, but here are the results.

In the last ten years, I have made a total of 82 stock picks, 32 which I still currently hold. I have made some great trades, and I have made some downright awful trades. My batting average has been 29 losses and 53 hits with a 65% success rate.

My Best Picks
McDonalds – up 217.20% Internal Rate of Return 19.25% (still holding for almost 7 yrs went up even during 2008)

Mastercard – up 410.65% Internal Rate of Return 89.23%

Activision - - up 287.26% Internal Rate of Return 54.51% held for 4,65 years

Chicago Mercantile Exchange up 383.19% Internal Rate of Return 383.19% continued to go through the stratosphere after I sold it.

Intuitive Surgical up 106.85% Internal Rate of Return 304%

My Worst Picks

Cemex - Down 77.29% Mexican Cement Company. Internal Rate of Return -77.71 Triple Whammy Mexican Devaluation, Housing Crisis, and Chavez expropriating Mexican cement in Venezuela

Ebay – Down 67.99 Internal Rate of Return -35.78 Poor Execution at Ebay

International Speedway Down 61.34% Internal Rate of Return -31.63% Downward trajectory since beginning of recession. Going to races considered discretionary spending by consumers.

Allied Irish Banks – Down 14.75% Internal Rate of Return -19.07% I put this one in because this could have been a disaster. Ireland was the paragon of the global economy, but it became embroiled in the subprime scandal. I purchased this bank in the 40 dollar range, and it is now trading around 3.50. it is on the verge of bankruptcy.

Washington Mutual – Down 97% - need I say more. We all know what happened to Washington Mutual with the banking crisis.

Bank of America – Down 53.79% Internal Rate of Return -50.03% bought after credit crisis, and it kept falling. Should have kept it but panicked and exited too quickly. Recovered after bailout. Should have waited until it fell further. This was a risky stock but should have understood that the administration would have never let the banks fail. Should have, could have, would have….The story of my life…

And then there is the story of Exelon where coincidence is just the beginning. I buy a stock that holds 24 nuclear plants, and then Japan happens, but it could pan out to a net positive for Exelon. Only time will tell. Meanwhile I hold my breath. Such is the world of stocks.

Check out the latest scam by a Filipina lady in Singapore - click on link

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Propositions for CA elections – my vote

Proposition 19 - Yes -– The legalization of Marijuana. Marijuana essentially is legal in California anyway. The terminator just lowered the penalty for an ounce of marijuana to a mere 100 dollar fine. I have never been under the belief that pot will increase in usage or lead to other harder drugs. It will however lower incarcerations, and put competitive pressures on the Mexican cartels. It will be taxed and regulated, and therefore bring in money to the depleted tax coffers.

Proposition 20 -Yes - Redistricting of congressional districts, initiative constitutional amendment – When I look at some of these propositions, I look at who is against or for them. The Sierra Club is against it. That is enough for me to vote for it. Proposition 20 allows independent citizens to draw California redistricting lines instead of the politicians. Allowing the politicians to draw the lines allows entrenched politicians to remain in power. As Dr. Phil would say, "How is it working for you so far?" FAQs

Proposition 21 - No – Establishes $18 Annual Vehicle License Surcharge to Help Fund State Parks and Wildlife Programs, Grants surcharged vehicles free admission to all state parks, Initiative Statute – You have got to love it, another tax on our vehicles in the guise of funding state parks. While State parks are important, why do you charge everyone a vehicle surcharge even if some may not use the parks. State parks should charge vehicles an entrance fee when they use the park. Not everyone should have to pay a vehicle fee, because not everyone uses the parks.

Proposition 22 –yes - Prohibits the state from borrowing or taking funds used for transportation, redevelopment, or local government projects and services. Initiative constitution amendment. This initiative is just common sense. If funds are dedicated for a specific purpose, that is where it should go. This initiative prevents the state from raiding certain funds into the general fund - similar to a "let's rob Peter to pay Paul."

Proposition 23 – yes - Suspends implementation of Air Pollution control law (AB 32) requiring major sources of emissions to report and reduce greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming, until employment drops to 5.5% or less for full year. Initiative Statute. I agree with Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina when they say the passage of AB32 will cause companies to leave California for more a more amicable business environment, and it will cost jobs. Brown is against suspending prop AB 32 – Why not? He was the one responsible for starting CARB, the California Air Resource Board which operates with impunity and no oversight. It has cost jobs, and responsible for the MTBE fiasco. California operates like a fiefdom which is part of the reason we are dropping into the abyss. We enact green policies that make it more difficult to operate in the once golden state, so businesses look elsewhere for greener pastures – not in California. Prop 23 suspends the implementation of AB32. The only problem is prop 23 did not go far enough, AB 32 should be repealed. At least, this is a start.

Proposition 24 – no – Repeals recent legislation that would allow businesses to lower their tax liability. Initiative Statute. You have to love the explanation on the ballot. It says it will increase tax revenues. Tax increases in this economy will cost jobs and cause companies to further emigrate to other states. Not sure how that will raise tax revenues. California is the highest taxed state in the union apart from New York. How has it worked for us so far? The California Teacher's association loves it hmmm.

Proposition 25 – no – Changes legislative vote requirement to pass budget and budget related legislation from two-thirds to a simple majority. Retains two-thirds vote requirement for taxes. Initiative Constitutional Amendment. Why would I want to make it easier for the legislature to increase taxes? I think not.

Proposition 26 – yes – Requires that certain state and local fees be approved by two-thirds vote. Fees include those that address adverse impacts on society or the environment caused by the fee-payer's business. – Currently, the legislature can pass fees instead of taxes (they just call them fees) by a simple majority. This will stop that. I am for anything that prevents this legislature taking us further into the abyss, and this is one step.

Proposition 27 – no – Eliminates State commission on redistricting. Consolidates Authority for redistricting with elected representatives. You might wonder why this proposition is backed by incumbents like Barbara Boxer because it keeps them in power. Need I say more. Here is a good article on why.

Alameda County Propositions

Proposition F –no - – Alameda County Transportation Improvement Measure – adds a $10 local registration fee to vehicles. Soon our vehicle registration fees will be as high as our property tax (hyperbole) suppose to raise money to repair and maintain local streets – hey what happened to the stimulus money?

Proposition G –no – Ohlone college Job training / Quality Education Fund $349,000 bond to improve and continue affordable college education. – okay who is paying for the bond again?

City of Newark –

Proposition U – yes – establishes a 3.5% utility tax user tax for five years. I thought long and hard about this one. Had to recently go to the city council to prevent closure of Newark's parks. Newark is in dire straits, and it cannot afford to get rid of the police at Newark's schools. It also says it will close the Silliman Center (a recreation place in Newark.) The Silliman center has only been open for about five years, and now they want to close it. Personally, I can care less. It is cheaper for me to go to 24 hour fitness than to use the facilities at the Silliman center and for inferior equipment. They charge an arm and a leg. They have a youth program that my children never went to. So, in a word, they can close it for all I care.











Monday, March 22, 2010

Elections have consequences – now what? The ramifications of Health Care Reform

I haven't blogged for awhile, but last night's death knell to freedom prompted me to write this new blog entry.

Much of my wife's family came to the United States as political refugees escaping the corruption, socialism and the Daniel Ortega type of liberation theology oppressive style government that was and is Nicaragua. Little did they know that just shy of 32 years would their style of government be the type of government we now embrace in the United States. We are now witnesses to the change about which Barack Obama spoke. We are seeing the disappearance of what the United States of America was to the New United States of Europe. This is not a time for celebration; this is a time for mourning. We will enter the five states of grief Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance as described by Kubler Ross. But once we enter that fifth stage, we must stand up strong, regroup and begin the fight. We cannot sit on our laurels, and let the inevitable happen. We must take back our country.

 Before the election of Barack Obama, few knew who Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi were. But, those of us who were paying attention knew very well who they were. We knew that this country would effectively be run by three people, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and the newly elected Barack Obama - But what happened after Scott Brown won the election in Massachusetts. We thought the health care bill was dead, but not Nancy. On January 28th, Nancy said the following, "We will go through the gate. If the gate is closed, we will go over the fence. If the fence is too high, we will pole vault in. If that doesn't work, we will parachute in. But we are going to get health care reform passed for the American people for their own personal health and economic security and for the important role that it will play in reducing the deficit." She did not waver; she continued the fight. We need to learn from her example; we can take this country back.

 Make no mistake; this is the legacy President Bush left us. When Republicans lose their way, conservatism fails. When conservatism fails and becomes indistinguishable from liberalism, voters see no reason to keep the party in power. But, even after the election of Scott Brown, I sometimes wondered if Republicans were really getting it. Some did but some did not.

If this reform stands, what will happen? First the insurance industry will collapse. Insurance companies will not be able to make a profit given the new federal mandates. We will see larger insurance companies merge with the smaller companies, but that will not be sufficient. The entire insurance industry will be obliterated. Once the insurance industry is gone, Barack Obama will blame the insurance industry for its demise, and then say we needed a public option from the start, and the only way to pay for it is through more taxes. One tax which they are already looking at is a European style VAT (value added tax). The VAT is added to every part of the production cycle of a product thereby substantially increasing the price of consumer goods. This will have the added effect of lowering productivity. Companies will also look for other countries where it is cheaper to do business.

 Of course, the immediate effect will be to increase the unemployment numbers, because thousands of new people will become unemployed. The AP reported the following:

Caterpillar Inc. said the health-care overhaul legislation being considered by the U.S. House would increase the company's health-care costs by more than $100 million in the first year alone.

In a letter Thursday to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and House Republican Leader John Boehner of Ohio, Caterpillar urged lawmakers to vote against the plan "because of the substantial cost burdens it would place on our shareholders, employees and retirees."
Caterpillar, the world's largest construction machinery manufacturer by sales, said it's particularly opposed to provisions in the bill that would expand Medicare taxes and mandate insurance coverage. The legislation would require nearly all companies to provide health insurance for their employees or face large fines.
The Peoria-based company said these provisions would increase its insurance costs by at least 20 percent, or more than $100 million, just in the first year of the health-care overhaul program.

This is only the beginning. Companies will begin to layoff because of increased costs. Investor's Business Daily
listed 20 ways Health Care Reform will take away our freedoms. I believe there will also be a backlash against Mexicans. Barack Obama lied when he said, "Illegal Immigrants would not be covered under this health care reform." Barack Obama was a constitutional law professor. Constitutional attorney Judge Napolitano says this about covering illegal aliens, "There is no question that under the present law, Congress simply cannot pick and choose which "persons" to whom it will afford social benefits and to which "persons" it will not. How could the president not have known that?" When everyone's premiums begin to go up, the quality of care begins to go down, and taxes begin to increase, Americans will look for a scapegoat. Mexicans will be the scapegoat, because people will see that they are paying for healthcare for illegal immigrants. This is currently happening in France with the Muslim population. In 2006, the average unemployment rate among Muslims in France was 21%. The Muslim situation became so bad, that the French went to the polls and voted in a center right politician Nicolas Sarkozy. He campaigned in part to deal with the Muslim problem. I have a couple of friends in France, and both have told me that the average Frenchman is tired of the Muslims coming to France, using the social services and not contributing to society. Mexicans come to the United States to work hard for their families, and to earn a living they cannot earn in their own country. But, the fact remains that they will be covered under this so-called health care reform. The idea that illegal aliens are covered will not matter until the health care Americans receive goes down and until taxes begin to rise (which will be sooner rather than later). Americans will then look for someone to blame, and illegal immigrants will be the likely culprits.

 This is nothing less than a loss of liberty. The left believes they have won another big one towards complete government control over our personal freedom. Whenever you ask a liberal how we are going to pay for this, they always revert to the Iraq war somehow thinking that it is analogous to what Barack Obama is doing. It reminds me of a certain friend. The wife is the sole breadwinner. Her husband has not been able to find a job. They have five kids, rent and a car payment. The wife impulsively decides to buy another 33,000 dollar car. She doesn't make a lot of money, but for some reason, she buys a car knowing she cannot afford it. But, it doesn't seem to be a problem. It is like the bumper sticker that says, "How can I be overdrawn, I still have checks." This is the liberal mindset, and this is the way our government continues to operate.

 I fail to understand how any Christian who believes in the sanctity of life could ever have voted for the most radical abortion president this country has known. Stupak can no longer say he is pro-life. Phyllis Schlafly put it succinctly when she said in response to Stupak's "yes" vote,  "It is naive for any elected official, especially one who describes himself as 'pro-life,' to expect that a promise to issue an Executive Order that reasserts the intentions of the Hyde Amendment will be fulfilled by the most pro-abortion president to ever sit in the White House. Perhaps Mr. Stupak and his fellow pro-life Democrats forget that President Obama's first Executive Order was the repeal of the Mexico City Policy to allow for international funding of abortion." Trust Obama on the sanctity of life? – I think not.

 I was reminded of the fact that God continues to be in control. When it appears God has abandoned us, that is when He is doing His work, "
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9 We must not be disheartened. This may be what is required to purify the party. This has to happen. This is a fight between good and evil, and we will eventually win. We have to persevere, but we must not rest on our laurels.

 If you are a conservative and value your freedom, get involved. Facebook is a great medium. Those who are most impressionable and who have not yet been brainwashed are the youth. We have to teach the youth. They do not remember the Carter years or the Reagan years. We must teach them. Make an impact on anyone who will listen. If you have determined the person will not listen and is wrapped up in leftwing ideology, move on. And, if you know how to communicate conservative principles, think about running for office. If you speak Spanish, get involved with the Spanish community, because there are currently no media outlets that reach the Hispanic community on conservative principles, and most of all if a person refuses to stand up for life, then go to the next person, because a person who refuses to stand up for life will not stand up for what is right. That is the way we effect change.


Monday, September 14, 2009

Pete Stark’s Town Hall Meeting

If it sounds too good to be true, it isn't true – Judge Judy

You muck up everything you get your hands on – Senior Citizen at Pete Stark's Town Hall Meeting.
"I wouldn't dignify you by peeing on your leg, it wouldn't be worth wasting the urine" - Pete Stark to Senior Citizen, Town Hall Meeting

Don't blame Pete - He just can't help himself
Imagine your representive saying to one of your Senior Citizens "I wouldn't dignify you by peeing on your leg." This is exactly what arrogant toilet mouth Pete Stark said to a Senior Citizen at the Town Hall Meeting on September 12. Why do voters keep this guy in office? Click on foul mouth for other incidents of Pete Stark. This is a pattern. He doesn't care about you the voter. He cares about power. The voter is a second class citizen.

Go to the fourth video for a high quality video provided by Steve Kemp.

Saturday, I decided to attend the town hall meeting of the feckless, buffoonish, foul-mouth, contemptuous, imperious and egotistical Pete Stark. The meeting took place at the Senior Center at Lake Elizabeth in Fremont California. Outside the Senior Center in front of the serene and calm waters of the lake, a group of Chinese men and women were practicing the martial art of "Tai Chi." I watched as the Chinese men and women stretched their arms and legs in carefully coordinated movements with such grace that they seemed to mimic the rolling currents of a river. An occasional quack of a duck could be heard in the background. This serenity was juxtaposed against the backdrop of our so-called representative Pete Stark who spoke and answered questions in the confines of the Senior Center about Barack Obama's Health Care Plan – a plan certain to remake America into Barack Obama's utopian vision of government control.

I have attended Pete Stark's meetings before, and the meetings are usually small, and more like a liberal love-fest where Stark speaks to his choir. This meeting was different. Parking was difficult to find, and there were people from all walks of life. As we entered the room, we were given a number, and Stark would randomly pick one from the myriad of people present. I thought this was actually a good idea. There were the occasional angry bursts and applauses for and against the bill. The meeting was dotted with a few Union Supporters wearing yellow tee shirts. The citizenry came prepared with information. It seemed that each individual seemed compelled to state that he or she was not part of an organized group, but just concerned citizens. They wanted to make sure they were not identified as some right-wing conspiracy group or card-carrying NAZIs as Nancy Pelosi would have you believe. These were as they would state "concerned citizens" who feared a government takeover of the health care system. In one instance, a high school girl went up with her question and asked how many people were against the health care plan sitting in the meeting. About half the group many of whom were seniors raised their hands. It was astonishing to see so many raise their hands in liberal Fremont.

I brought my Iphone 3GS and I took some video of typical questions or statements. I wish I had brought my video camera, because the quality would have been better. In any event, you can get an idea of how people feel about this health care plan even in the Bay Area.

What I believe is happening is that the people just do not believe the administration. It is simple as that. Why is that? – Because it doesn't make sense. What rational person actually believes that Obamacare will reduce the deficit yet this is exactly what Obama said on Sunday night's 60 minutes? Obama said, "Ironically, health care reform is critical to deficit reduction." He then went on to say that he knew that it was counterintuitive to think that health care would reduce the deficit. Counterintuitive? That is the dumbest thing I had ever heard. The CBO says that in the Senate version there is a 900 billion dollar increase in the deficit or the house version a 1.6 trillion addition to the deficit over the next ten years, and the CBO states there will be a deficit in its first ten years, and even worse the next ten years, (and considering that Medicare cost estimates was off by a factor of ten, you can imagine how off the CBO will be with Obamacare.) Obama flat out lied. Does he think the America people are stupid? He has to know these figures. Who in their right mind believes that Obama will be able to reduce the deficit by his so-called health care reform, and who in their right mind believes that Obama will be able pay for this boondoggle by the fraud and waste in Medicare? Well, the follow up question is if there is so much fraud and waste in Medicare, why have we not cleaned it up yet? And if there is fraud and waste in Medicare, who in their right mind believes we will not have the same fraud and abuse in a government takeover of the healthcare system? No one believes that adding 30 million or 47 million people to the health care system will not increase costs. None of it makes sense. None of it adds up. Obama has a knack for making his vision sound true, but to believe it, you have to be very gullible.

In his speech, the number of uninsured mysteriously dropped from 47 million to 30 million underinsured. Well, that is because he threw the illegal aliens under the bus. But, that doesn't mean they will not be insured because they will be. That is why the Democrats have blocked every amendment to verify the legal status of illegal aliens. There may be verbiage in the bill that says illegal aliens will not be covered, but there is no teeth in it. Moreover, Judge Napolitano on Fox News has said illegal aliens will be covered under a national healthcare plan, regardless of what wording to the contrary is added. He maintained that it would be ruled unconstitutional by the courts, in the same way the initiative to disqualify undocumented aliens from public healthcare in California, was struck down.

The following youtube videos are clips I recorded during the town hall meetings. I have included the transcripts since the audio is sometimes difficult to hear.

(begins at 5:55 seconds on Steve's video)
I am here as a concerned citizen. I don't represent one side or the other. I am here first of all to give praise to our great country. For us to be able to even be here today to speak what we want to speak…remember and realize why our nation is such a great nation today is because we have those freedoms. I want to make sure that we represent the US constitution. I believe that the government's role is to make sure that the constitution is upheld and not to put all these programs together. My husband comes from the automotive industry and has been out of work since December but we have scraped our pennies and things together and we are picking ourselves up. I come from good Midwestern stock and I have been taught to work hard and when times are lean you work harder and have been on very very lean times but I am not asking for a hand-out or a bailout. We work harder. Our family has not been without insurance. The group plan that my husband had through his employer was not as good as what we could have had myself being an independent business owner. So, we put our own plan together. We have options we got to choose what we want I don't feel that the government right now has shown us through any of their major programs and organizations over the decades that they have been successful in running any major plan, and the last thing we need to do is to ramrod this undecipherable program at lightning speed through congress without understanding the process. Now, Do I agree that reform and things need to happen – absolutely, because being an independent payer of my own health care for my family, the costs are exorbitant, they are outrageous, and it's going up. We just got a 250 dollar a month increase on our private insurance. Let's get down to the root cause of what the problems are. Let's talk about the physicians. Let's talk about all of this extra waste and spending. Let's approach the fraud that is going in through the Medi-Cal, Medicare, Medicaid…. Let's not make an immediate decision in 30 days because we have to. But what we want to do is let's take a look at those things. What I want to see right now especially for all of you Fremont-Nummi people I have very close friends many years working at Nummi my husband sold cars that were produced at Nummi and is now out of work- okay. What I want to see our government focus today on changing the 12.2% unemployment in this state and it's going up. That is where our focus needs to be, put money in our pocket so we can choose the insurance plans that we want. We are spending way too much time to put another layer on top. We are not fixing the root cause. If we put another layer, there is no fix to the root cause, and the fraud is going to increase, so Mr congressman I ask that you please take our message back and let's get to the root cause and what is the plan for addressing that and focusing more on our unemployment than the health care at this point.

(begins at 4 minutes and 22 seconds in Steve's hiqh quality video)

This is my second town hall and yes I have attended a tea party. I had to get up at 6:00 this morning so I wrote down some thoughts. The lightning and thunder woke me up. I am not here because I got a call from some organized group. I am here because I am a concerned citizen, and I am fired up. I am fired up not just because of the massive health care reform bill that is coming up for a vote, I am fired up about the government taking over our banking and financing industry. I am fired up because of the government taking over our American car industry.... 47 million people are going to be losing their jobs after the first of the year and tens and thousands of others are going in the area to be losing their job, and I am especially fired up because of the huge massive spending deficits that we are dealing with, yes Bush did leave us with a federal deficit of approximately 490 billion dollars. After eight years, the World Trade Center Bombings, a new homeland security department that has kept us safe, two wars whether we agree with them or not and the aftermath of having to deal with hurricane Katrina you know we have a sagging economy. I am a CPA. 130 million citizens got 600 to 1000 dollars in stimulus that he had to spend in order to try and get the economy back together. It didn't help too much. Obama in eight months has accumulated a deficit almost three times larger than what Bush did in eight months not eight years and no matter what you think of Bush, one man did not create these federal deficits ….. But you know what Republicans like their pork too and it is just awful. Now we are suppose to believe that the government is going to take over our entire health care system and make everyone healthier and save or cut (I'm sorry) our deficits. Our taxes won't go up one dime because the cost of this overhaul is going to be paid for by the insurance industry and 2/3rds of it from cost savings from Medicare…. If you have 60 billion dollars a year for ten years and deficits you know this pay as you go that you say I think savings for cutting fraud and waste are not pay as you go. You don't know if you are going to realize those. If I need to buy something, I need to save the money first, so let's cut the waste now. I think we need to break it down into four or five like many Republicans, Conservatives and even some Democrats Let's cut it down into sections. Deal with fraud and Medicare. Let's save those 60 billion dollars first. Cut it down… Let's create tort reform and let's create an insurance market that is competitive across the board.

Hat tip to Steve Kemp for providing the following video.

Stark: Social Security Card or Do you require that everyone has proof of citizenship? – followed by (yes yes). (this can also be seen about 1 minute and 40 seconds in Steve's video)

Starting at 1:04 on video: Mr Congressman, you answered part of my question a little while ago how this will affect Medicare. Medicaid is going to be available to more and more people.

…The question is President Obama's plan – he doesn't have a plan, Whatever plan is out there he talks about he is going to get half the savings for that from the waste in Medicare. That is all smoke and mirrors. He says he will raise taxes by ten cents, another smoke and mirrors. It is common sense. And If he can get this much savings out of Medicare, why isn't he doing it right now… Why didn't we do earlier. You got Social Security broke, you got Medicare broke, you got abysmal care for veterans, rats running around in Walter Reed Hospital, before they finally fired a couple of generals they finally got the message. Now, you muck up everything you get your hands on. Now why - Mr Congressmen Don't pee on my leg and tell me it's raining.

Stark - Thank you. I wouldn't dignify peeing on your leg. It wouldn't be worth wasting the urine. (Boos)

The San Francisco Chronicle says it this way:

Only a politician who assumes he has a job for life could behave so badly on a semi-regular basis by spewing personalized invective that might get him punched in certain East Bay taverns. Would-be challengers sometimes sense a whiff of opportunity, but the reality of taking on a 16-term Democrat in solidly liberal terrain is nothing short of daunting.

Surely there must be someone along the shoreline between Alameda and Fremont who could represent the good citizens of the district with class and dignity. It's not the case now.

Need I say more. These are the people who will be running Obamacare. Thank you but I don't think so.

Debra Saunder's makes a few good observations in her piece ObamaCare is too good to be true.

Michelle Malkin also blogged about Pete Stark's latest rant click here.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Health Care Reform or Bust!

I have been having a lively debate on facebook with a former high school classmate of mine. He says he is a centrist, but for some reason unbeknownst to me, half the liberals I talk to say they are centrists. On his facebook profile page, his political view states the following, "Whatever causes the greatest good for the greatest number." I suppose that would be my philosophy too. I also suppose that that would be the philosophy of most. So, how will healthcare reform cause the greatest good for the greatest number. It won't.

Obama's presidential approval ratings continue to plummet. The latest Rasmussen presidential daily tracking report shows a presidential approval index of -12. In January, Obama's approval rating was +28. Democrat pundits will continue to decry those who are against Obamacare, "They haven't read the bill." "They are misinformed." "They are only repeating what Fox News and right wing radio have told them." The reason Obama tried to shove this bill down the throats of American citizens before the August recess in the first place was so Americans didn't have a chance to read and understand the bill. Obama was afraid that once Americans discovered what really was in the bill, they would reject it - so much for transparency.

No matter how Democrats try to paint it, if Obamacare passes, there will be rationing. It is the only way to decrease costs. It is the basic law of supply and demand. When you have a higher demand with the same amount of doctors (or fewer), the government has to ration. This has happened in the United Kingdom and It has happened in Canada.

The president of the Canadian Medical Association, Dr Anne Doig said this about the Canadian system, "We all agree that the system is imploding, we all agree that things are more precarious than perhaps running flat out, we're all just trying to stay ahead of the immediate day-to-day demands." Polls tend to be misleading whether or not Canadians like or dislike their system because until you need the healthcare, it doesn't really matter. What is more important is how Canadians perceive their healthcare vis à vis their U.S. counterparts. According to Gallup, one-fourth of Americans are completely satisfied or somewhat satisfied. This level of satisfaction is significantly lower in Canada, where 57% are satisfied with the availability of affordable healthcare including 16% who are very satisfied. The reverse is true however when it comes to the affordability of healthcare. In the end, Gallup concludes the following, "this dichotomy seems to support the hypothesis that private healthcare encourages high-quality standards, but may be a barrier to access and affordability." I concur with that statement. However, that does not mean there are not ways to decrease costs and preserve high-quality without a government takeover.

Spain has also been Obama's latest example of how well socialized healthcare works. But how well is Spain's healthcare working? Spain's government run healthcare is called, "la sanidad pública." In a report entitled, the decline of Spain's health care system, the journalist Francisco Rubiales of Spain writes:

The great paradox is that while the Spanish health system suffers from a shortage of health care providers, Spanish doctors and health specialists emigrate to work in the healthcare systems of Great Britain, Portugal, France and many others.

Perhaps the greatest example of the decline in the Spanish health care system can be seen in Andalucía where the PSOE (the Socialist party currently in power) has always used the public healthcare system as the standard of its government and symbol of the goodness of socialism. For decades, Andalucía has received the greatest and most generous investments in medicine… the quality of that magnificent Sanidad Pública is falling apart.

The media has not reported that hospitals lack resources or urgent medicines or that entire hospital wings are being closed, or that doctors are being pressured to send home the sick and that they don't prescribe too much medicine, or that doctors with valuable experience are leaving the health care system, establishing themselves in private hospitals or emigrating to foreign countries where they are able to obtain better salaries and above all better consideration and respect….

I have several friends in Spain, and I asked a few of them what they thought of their countries health care system. I wrote to an entrepreneur in Spain, and she sent the following response as she was trekking through Rome.

Our public health system does not work well. There are too many people, and the waiting lists for operations are enormous. Everyone even if they do not pay into it has a right to it including immigrants who bring relatives to be operated on and that has the effect of making everything even worse. (my comment - Spain has a huge immigration problem like France with illegal Islamic citizens coming over from Northern Africa)


It does however give you peace knowing that if you do not have anything a house or money you can still get doctors.


The people who have means, here, have private insurance and the private insurance carriers treat you differently. In those situations, there are no waiting lines, and the hospitals are like hotels with rooms.


One day Antonio and I went to the beach, I went to the doctor and the waiting line went around the other street. There were not enough doctors for everyone. I decided I wasn't sick enough to put up with this line and I left.


The following year Antonio had to go to the doctor, but he had private insurance his father paid for, and what a difference. The waiting room was air conditioned with very comfortable sofas, and in five minutes the doctor was seeing him.


That year we saw the difference between the two systems.


Now, fortunately I have private insurance.


With this economic crisis (my comment - Spain's unemployment is about 20%) We have noticed that since people do not have any money, the system is even worse. In a few years there will be a lack of medical personnel and a lack of medical technicians. With what is approaching, I really don't know what is going to happen. It sounds like a good idea to for the state to cover medicine for the people - at least you wouldn't die in a clean bed and then they could waste more on other things.


In Europe, private insurance is available, but only a small percentage can afford it. The pool of insured people is smaller making the insurance very expensive. Europeans will opt for private insurance if they can afford it, because it is a much better system.


In another email from a Spanish journalist, she writes in part:


We all have a family doctor assigned, so if I feel ill I just make a call to the health center to be checked or go to ER directly. The doctor makes the first checkup and then sends you to the specialist if necessary. Again, you have to wait days or months for the next visit, depending on the specialist you need. Of course, in the waiting rooms there are plenty of old people and immigrants. Some people just go to the family doctor to ask for prescriptions, because there the medicines cost much less even if you ask for a simple Ibuprofen prescription, so there are old people that waste 2 hours waiting to get their prescriptions filled. In my opinion, that is elder abuse. Big cities like Madrid or Barcelona health centers and hospitals are fuc**ing busy (sorry for the expression, but it´s quite worrying). And, I'm afraid, hospitals may have real problems when having to value who's first in the list of operations.


Are we happy with this system? Personally, I am, maybe because I don´t need to go to the doctor very often, but I don´t have to pay for it (the system is deficient, the taxes should be higher to cover costs), I'm certain I´ll be attended as soon as possible when I´m ill and we have competent doctors.


Each year Forbes magazine publishes its tax misery index. This is a compilation of all the taxes in a country to determine which country has the highest tax rate. The higher the tax rate, the more prohibitive one's life becomes as to his or her leisure activities. As taxes increase, the taxpayer becomes more of a slave to the state. France has topped the list for years because of all its entitlement programs. The more a country becomes a welfare state, the higher its tax misery index will go. Will the United States succeed in topping France for the number one spot? Only time will tell.


What do we know will happen for sure in an Obamacare world that we have learned from other countries with nationalized health care?


  1. There will be rationing that will affect the most vulnerable of society.
  2. The deficit will go up enormously not down as Obama claims.
  3. The cost of Obamacare will have been severely underestimated. Just today he announced that the ten year deficit is going from 7 trillion to 9 trillion. Trying to figure out where the deficit will be is like the global warming alarmists trying to figure out where the weather will be in a century from now.
  4. There will be long waits.
  5. Emergency rooms will be more crowded than they already are.
  6. We will become a magnet for illegal aliens since they will have access to our health care system.
  7. There will be corruption, fraud and waste as there is in any government system.
  8. Taxes will go through the roof (not just those who earn more than $250,000).


Barack Obama is trying to fundamentally change the United States. There is a reason the United States has been number one all these years. It is because the United States was founded on individual liberty, not on the nanny state. The liberal believes in a utopian world where everyone is equal and everyone is taken care of from cradle to grave. Before we used to talk about billions of dollars, now we talk about trillions of dollars. Before the dot-com crash, everyone said we have reached a new paradigm and valuations no longer mattered. In the world of stocks, valuations always matter. Before the housing crisis, houses kept going up in value, and we heard the mantra, "Real estate never falls in value." What goes up must always come down. Now we here the economist Barack Obama imply that printing trillions of dollars with nothing to back it up is no big deal, because he will reduce the deficit by the end of his term and somehow healthcare will not increase government deficit. Argentina gave a similar argument before the collapse of its peso If Obama succeeds in passing this healthcare reform, he will bankrupt this nation. If he succeeds in his cap and trade scheme, he will also fundamentally change this nation and not for the better. Both of these changes will be irreversible. Why are we not doing a test case? Why is Obama against tort reform? My classmate's political view is, "Whatever causes the greatest good for the greatest number" is a nice thought, but Obamacare will cause the greatest harm to the greatest number. Obamacare must be stopped before it is too late!!!!!!

Monday, July 20, 2009

30 years of suffering for the Nicaraguan people


Speech given by Daniel Ortega at 30th celebration of the Nicaraguan Revolution July 17, 2009.
Because the truth is that our sister republic of Bolivia and Venezuela have come to the aid of the people of Nicaragua – that is the truth. We would be without energy in the entire country. There wouldn't be light in Nicaragua nor would companies be able to function if it were not for the solidarity of Hugo Chavez and Fidel who were the ones responsible for the formation of the ALBA alliance (a leftist Latin American Alliance). And when the United States decided to cut the last funds of the millennium, President Hugo Chavez immediately said we are going to help Nicaragua, and so we counted on Venezuela to generously give to Nicaragua 50 million dollars to defend itself in these difficult times.
President Hugo Chavez just called, and he sent a message that we are going to read and publish. In the telephone message that he just made, he called to send us his greeting. He is very happy for our 30th anniversary. He is watching thousands of Nicaraguans through channel Telesur. He congratulates Daniel and all the people of Nicaragua. He is sorry he could not be present because of sudden health problems at the last minute. Soon we will be together Long live the people of Nicaragua. Long Live Sandino, signs Hugo Chavez and the president of the Republic of Bolivia 1:30 pm Nicaraguan time.
July 17, 2009 marks the 30th anniversary of the Sandinista Revolution so says Ortega. My wife (who is from Nicaragua) and I used to travel to Nicaragua frequently before the revolution to enjoy its people and its culture. We have been back to Nicaragua since on several occasions, but Nicaragua is not the country it used to be. The destruction of its economy and the country can be attributed to one person Daniel Ortega, and Daniel Ortega's rise to power can be attributed to one man Jimmy Carter.

Ortega speaks of the 30th year of the revolution, yet for most of those years, the left in Nicaragua wasn't even in power.

I have followed Nicaragua since the 70s, so in commemoration of its 30th anniversary, I thought I would post a few pieces I wrote about Nicaragua.
What the elections in El Salvador mean (including Nicaragua) click here

Fraud in Nicaragua – Continuing Jimmy Carter's legacy click here

Obama's new buddy – Daniel Ortega click here

One of the traditions in Nicaragua, and only in Nicaragua click here

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Monday, June 15, 2009

Uprising in Iran

Jerusalem post:

Without support from the United States and other Western countries, Iranian opposition groups will likely stop demonstrations against the Iranian regime and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's declared victory in Friday's presidential elections, senior Israeli defense officials said Sunday.

Wanna bet Barack Obama will not give any support to the uprising
Let's hope we do not have another tinanmen square.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

My daughter’s letter to herself.

Here is an assignment I did not know my daughter had, but it was definitely a good assignment. Her eighth grade language arts teacher asked her students to write a letter to themselves. Four years later, she mailed the letters to the students at the end of their senior year in high school. This was definitely a creative idea by Raeann's language arts teacher Mrs. Sisneros. I liked the letter so much I thought I would post it (as written grammatical errors and all).

June 3, 2005

Dear Raeann,

I think high school is going to be fun but hard, and, and there's probably going to be a lot of drama. My best friends right now are Kiki, Jennie and a lot of other people. Kiki and me always hangout now, we say were cousins.

I don't really have any favorite teachers but I really like my lang. Arts teacher, Mrs Sisneros.

I mostly get As and Bs, but sometimes I mess up, and get lower grades that that L.

Me and my friends like to walk around a lot, we don't really have a certain spot, we hang out at.

I don't usually get allowance, but when I do get money, I spend it on clothes J

I used to do gymnastics and sport aerobics, but not anymore cuz I quit.

I wear Hollister clothes, or whatever is cute!

I listen to 89.3 94.9 and Mariah Carey, Usher, 50 cent, Frontline, Frankie J and a lot more.

Three guys liked me but I didn't really like them back except for one [Steven].

My favorite foods are tacos and macaroni & cheese, for drinks I like, smoothies, and anything that's good. My favorite color is pink! I like watching MTV, Degrassi, Blind Date. I hate action movies. I like chick flics. The kind of car I Hope to have is similar to my brothers car. Im not sure what to expect though.

My relationship with my parents is good, but sometimes we argue and then they say I get an attitude, but hey its not my fault. They have strict rules, and I don't like the rules they give. My brother and I used to fight, but starting this year we don't anymore, [wonder why?] Maybe he's finally growing up.

Love Raeann

And there you have it – four years later, Raeann is a graduate from high school.


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