Wednesday, March 25, 2009

No You Don't Have to Go to College, seriously.

After graduating from college in 2007. I was all set to explode on the scene. Instead two years later I just took a job for $7 an hour from Wal-Mart. I have to admit I'm lucky to get that job in this economy. However what happened to college degree's being the gateway to success. How come I just spent $30,000 and my degree is basically worthless. It's because now everyone goes to college even people who don't need to. It has basically become the new high school diploma.

I have a new idea. I think students should be set on individual paths after eighth grade. In my scenario students would could chose one of three options. Option one would be to go to college. Many jobs do involve a high level of math and foreign languages that you just can't get in high school. Someone who wants to be a CIA operative would probably what to learn Arabic and Chinese. Engineers need high levels of Algebra and even calculus to be successful. Also someone who wanted to teach should go to college and learn about what he or she would be instructing. Doctors and lawyers would also still need advanced degrees.

Now that we've discussed what people need to go to college for now let's talk about option two skill based education. Any kid who has decided they want to learn a skill such as locksmith, plumber, carpenter, or welder just to name a few should not bother with college. We should have a separate track for these young men. For instance I had to take four English classes to graduate high school. If you can explain to me how poetry helps someone become a better pipe fitter or work on an assembly line in a plant I'm all ears, but if you can't, and face it you can't, does it make any sense to force these young men to learn poetry. Instead wouldn't we be better off if they took classes that helped them in their chosen profession. In some cases Algebra would be needed in others Geometry. If you needed a 5/8 wrench (by the way I have no idea what that is or if it even exist) you would probably want to know how much 5/8 was. Therefore a faction based math class might be necessary for some professions. I went to college with kids who couldn't do fractions. I never had any problem with factions, but some people could use a course on them in high school.

This bring me to option three business based education. The American dream is to come from nothing and succeed. When someone achieves the American dream it is usually because they started their own business. Sam Walton, the founder of Wal-mart is a good example of this. As is Dave Thomas, founder of Wendy's and of course Bill Gates, Microsoft founder. What if we taught some high school students how to start a business? Admittedly many businesses fail, but is that a reason not to give someone a chance to go after the American dream if they want to.

The final thing I would change is this need to require more education than necessary for almost everything these days. With few exceptions such as speciality doctors, lawyers, and engineers. Most profession should only require a four year degree.
Now don't get me wrong some jobs obviously require not only college but Master's Degrees. Lawyers, Doctors, engineers, and scientist just to name a few. However many government jobs require Master's degree's and then offer salaries that you can barely live on.

Of course the problem with the track system is what if someone changes their mind. Well here's an idea we allow them to change tracks. Any class that overlaps curriculum, and many would, could count toward the new track. However the student would have to start from scratch with the other courses. Yes this means it may take longer for a student that switched curriculum to graduate than one who did not switch. What if someone gets tired of being a plumber and wants to go to college? Well we still have technical college where you can go for two years and then transfer. Who knows maybe some four year institutions would who took different tracks. Also no system would be perfect, but I believe this system is the best out of all possible options.

If we adopted this model for education I believe we the dropout rates would drop tremendously because the kids wouldn't be bored out of their minds in school. They would wake up in the morning wanting to attend school instead of dreading attending school. Crime would drop because the kids that used to join gangs would now have a trade or be opening up their own business. Maybe I'm just being an optimist, but I think if you teach kids how to make money legally that won't go sell drugs and risk being thrown in prison. Of course we don't live in a utopia. No matter what the system some people will try to cheat, steal and even kill their way through life. However I believe if more of these kids could learn a skill or how to open their own business we would all benefit.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Time to make some changes

When I started this blog I intended to make it different from other blogs, but I found that to be difficult especially in an election year. I ended up posting about what I saw on other blogs and searching the internet for interesting news articles. I gave my opinions on these articles, but now I want to do what I intended in the first place.
The New Conservatives was meant to attract new people to conservatism and changing the minds of some conservatives on issues like the Environment. Don't get me wrong I haven't become a global warming fanatic. I meant looking after the environment the way hunters would like us too. In my mind hunters are environmentalist. On Energy I believe the all of the above approach we have the right message, but on Education and the Environment I think we could use a little work on our message. Tomorrow I'm going to write an article about overhauling our education system. I hope you will stop by and read my article.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

U.N. to U.S.: Quit Demonizing the Devil

Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann, The President of the U.N. Security Council, said that the U.S. has been demonizing Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. When asked about Ahmadinejad's comments about wiping Israel off the map Brockman said "if he said that, it's lamentable," but he quickly added that "words as such don't kill" and it's the actions that have to be watched. If he said it, well just in case you have has bad a memory as the President of the Security Council here's an article referring the quote. I look for a clip but apparently there either isn't one or I just can't find it.

Brockman continued the defend the Iranian President, "I don't think anyone can doubt that in our part of the world ... (President Mahmoud) Ahmadinejad has been demonized," he said. "The United States has been in the business of the demonization of people forever and the canonization of the worst of dictators."

He also criticized the International criminal court for issuing a warrant for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir for war crimes and crimes against humanity. "It helps to deepen the perception that international justice is racist because this is the third time that you have something from the ICC, and for the third time it has to do with Africa," d'Escoto said. Bashir is responsible for the genocide occurring in Darfur.

The spokesman for the U.S. Mark Kornblau, was almost speechless when asked about the situation, "It's hard to make sense of Mr. D'Escoto's increasingly bizarre statements.",2933,509596,00.html

Monday, March 16, 2009

Obama to Charge Troops For Injuries.

Obama is planning on forcing Private insurance carriers to pay for wounded soldiers that were hurt while fighting for our country. This news came after Obama met with Commander David K. Rehbein of The American Legion. Rehbein said after the meeting that he is deeply disappointed and concerned." Rehbein described his conversation with the President Obama, "It became apparent during our discussion today that the President intends to move forward with this unreasonable plan," said Commander David K. Rehbein of The American Legion. "He says he is looking to generate $540-million by this method, but refused to hear arguments about the moral and government-avowed obligations that would be compromised by it."

Let me see if I get this straight we have money 3.6 trillion dollars to spend in the 2010 fiscal year, but not enough money to take care of our soldiers when they come home. Wasn't it Obama that said McCain didn't care about the troops? Looks like we know the truth now. Too bad it's about three months too late.

The commander wasn't happy with the results of the meeting and let that be known. "This reimbursement plan would be inconsistent with the mandate ' to care for him who shall have borne the battle' given that the United States government sent members of the armed forces into harm's way, and not private insurance companies. I say again that The American Legion does not and will not support any plan that seeks to bill a veteran for treatment of a service connected disability at the very agency that was created to treat the unique need of America's veterans!"

He had previously written a letter to the Administration letting his views be known. The letter read in part, "There is simply no logical explanation for billing a veteran's personal insurance for care that the VA has a responsibility to provide. While we understand the fiscal difficulties this country faces right now, placing the burden of those fiscal problems on the men and women who have already sacrificed a great deal for this country is unconscionable."

Outside of the fact that Obama is turning his back on the men and women that defends out country there are other problems that these troops will face if this becomes government policy. "The Legion argues that, depending on the severity of the medical conditions involved, maximum insurance coverage limits could be reached through treatment of the veteran's condition alone. That would leave the rest of the family without health care benefits. The Legion also points out that many health insurance companies require deductibles to be paid before any benefits are covered. Additionally, the Legion is concerned that private insurance premiums would be elevated to cover service-connected disabled veterans and their families, especially if the veterans are self-employed or employed in small businesses unable to negotiate more favorable across-the-board insurance policy pricing. The American Legion also believes that some employers, especially small businesses, would be reluctant to hire veterans with service-connected disabilities due to the negative impact their employment might have on obtaining and financing company health care benefits."

However none of this seemed to matter to President Obama. "I got the distinct impression that the only hope of this plan not being enacted," said Commander Rehbein, "is for an alternative plan to be developed that would generate the desired $540-million in revenue."

Apparently for Obama this is all about saving money. However how comes the first time he has trying to save money it involves taking a shot (for a lack of a better word) at our men and women fighting overseas. Why could he not save money by trimming his own budget requests, or vetoing that spending bill that had over 7 billion dollars in earmarks. It's simple those earmarks were more important to him than our soldiers. I hope President Obama comes to his senses and recommits to our brave soldiers that protect this country. However if he's insisted on trying to make them pay for the wounds they incur while fighting overseas, I hope he fails.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Obama to Negotiate with Terrorist

Obama told the New York Times over the weekend that he consider working with the Taliban. This comes of course after he's already reached out to Iran, Syria, and Russia. Pretty soon Obama's going to extend his hand in friendship and come back with a nub. I've posted the article below

Only seven weeks into his presidency, President Obama has already made fresh overtures to countries like Syria, Iran and Russia, fulfilling a campaign pledge to reach out to America's adversaries in hopes of settling tensions and shoring up U.S. interests around the globe.

But ... working with the Taliban?

In an interview with the New York Times over the weekend, the president pointed to the success the U.S. military had in persuading Sunni insurgents in Iraq to turn away from Al Qaeda, and he suggested that the U.S. would consider working with moderate Taliban elements in Afghanistan to do the same.

"There may be some comparable opportunities in Afghanistan and in the Pakistani region," Obama said.

But some foreign affairs analysts cringed at the suggestion.

David Rittgers, a legal policy analyst with the Cato Institute who served three tours with the U.S. Army's Special Forces in Afghanistan, said the statement would mark the most extreme attempt so far to engage an adversary.

He said negotiating with moderates at the local level, some of whom might fall under the multifaceted umbrella of the Taliban, could be possible and worthwhile. But he said any attempt to divide and conquer the Taliban would probably fail, and he said Obama had given the Taliban leadership "propaganda strength" in publicly suggesting that outreach is possible."They really are negotiating from a position of strength. What are we going to offer them?" Rittgers said. "I don't know where we're going to find the common ground, with the exception of leaving their drug money alone."

He said the Taliban does not offer the same opportunities as the Sunnis in Iraq, because whereas the Sunnis could be economically motivated, many in the Taliban control drug money and are economically independent.

Shortly after the Obama interview was published, a Taliban spokesman told Britain's Guardian newspaper that the overture was a sign that Americans are "tired and worried."

He challenged Obama to find so-called moderates in the Taliban: "They will not be able to find such people because we are united around the aim of fighting for freedom and bringing an Islamic system to Afghanistan."

Some analysts have also questioned whether the moderates are plentiful or influential enough to make a difference.

"The notion of moderates ... I'm not sure they exist," said Simon Henderson, a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. But he said it is "worth trying" to reach out to persuadable elements of the Taliban.

"This is a distraction which (Obama) wants to settle down and also to contain," Henderson said. "It's a cancerous growth which he would like to cut off completely but in fact can't."

Obama told the Times he understands that dealing with the complex nature of the Taliban is challenging. And some argue that the need for discussions with these groups is a political reality.

Afghanistan expert Barnett Rubin co-authored an article in Foreign Affairs in December urging the U.S. to distinguish political opponents of the U.S. from global terrorists like Al Qaeda -- suggesting members of the Taliban could be swayed. Rubin envisioned an agreement that would prohibit the Taliban from allowing Afghanistan to be used for launching international terrorism, in exchange for an agreement from the U.S. and NATO to end military action.

"Any agreement in which the Taliban or other insurgents disavowed Al Qaeda would constitute a strategic defeat for Al Qaeda," the article said.

Obama has won both praise and criticism for his efforts to mend troubled relations with other U.S. adversaries.

Last week, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton signaled a major shift when she said the U.S. would send two envoys to Syria to begin "preliminary conversations." It would mark the highest-level U.S. administration visit in more than four years to Syria, which has been called a state sponsor of terrorism. The Bush administration withdrew the U.S. ambassador to Syria in early 2005 to protest the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. (Syria officials have been investigated in the killing, though Damascus denies involvement.)

State Department spokesman Robert Wood said Monday that Syrian behavior is still of "great concern" to the Obama administration.

"We want to work with Syria, but it does take, you know, two to tango here. And up until now, Syria hasn't played that positive role that we've wanted to see in a number of areas, with regard to foreign fighters in Iraq, with regards to interference in Lebanese affairs," he said.

Further, Congress is poised to pass a spending bill that includes provisions to ease restrictions on travel and trade with Cuba.

Wayne Smith, with the Center for International Policy, said Obama should go even further than that in order to send a friendly signal to Latin America ahead of the upcoming Summit of the Americas, a meeting of North, South and Central American countries. He said Obama could move to lift restrictions on academic travel, for instance.

"All this can be done with the stroke of a pen," Smith said. He said normalizing relations with Cuba might actually prove less challenging than some of Obama's other diplomatic aims.

"This is much easier than talking with the Taliban," he said.

The Obama administration is also reportedly planning to invite Iran to an international conference on Afghanistan in late March.

And the administration has escalated outreach to Russia in recent weeks, with Obama writing a letter to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. Though Obama denied it, some officials suggested the letter floated the possibility that the U.S. could junk its plans for a missile defense shield Moscow opposes in exchange for Russia's help in stopping Iran from building nuclear weapons.

Clinton also met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov last week, saying the talks marked a "fresh start" in resetting relations with Russia.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Obama Thinks We're Retarded.

Obama is trying to say he's saving money by not spending money on the War in Iraq. While at first blush this seems to be true when you take a look at the amount and the length of time he projects the war would've lasted had he not stepped in it's obvious either he's retarded or he thinks the American people are.

Obama's budget presumes that we would spend over $100 billion ever year until 2019.
Of course we know that every troop will be out of Iraq by December 31th 2011 due to an agreement signed by former President Bush. John Boehner said "This budget is a lesson in fuzzy math,"

The high for spending in the Iraq war was $188 billion a year, but Obama's budget has the U.S. still spending 183.5 billion in 2019. Either Obama is planning on starting a third Iraq war, or he's not being honest. Of course their is still the option he's retarded.

"It's like a family trying to claim savings of $10,000 by assuming a family vacation and not taking it," said Brian Riedl, a senior federal budget analyst with the conservative Heritage Foundation. "Riedl said the estimate is unrealistic and allows Obama to claim massive cuts to spending that was never going to take place anyway." Obama is using these stats to say that he is heading off a $9 trillion deficit 10 years from now. Yep he thinks we're retarded.

Obama making up fake deficits and then erasing them is not change, wait yes it is, it's change for the worse. I guess since no one bothered to ask what you meant by change your still keeping your promises. It's going to be a long, long four years. I hope everyone has started hording their non-perishables.

WSJ: The Obama Economy

As 2009 opened, three weeks before Barack Obama took office, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 9034 on January 2, its highest level since the autumn panic. Yesterday the Dow fell another 4.24% to 6763, for an overall decline of 25% in two months and to its lowest level since 1997. The dismaying message here is that President Obama's policies have become part of the economy's problem.

Americans have welcomed the Obama era in the same spirit of hope the President campaigned on. But after five weeks in office, it's become clear that Mr. Obama's policies are slowing, if not stopping, what would otherwise be the normal process of economic recovery. From punishing business to squandering scarce national public resources, Team Obama is creating more uncertainty and less confidence -- and thus a longer period of recession or subpar growth.

The Democrats who now run Washington don't want to hear this, because they benefit from blaming all bad economic news on President Bush. And Mr. Obama has inherited an unusual recession deepened by credit problems, both of which will take time to climb out of. But it's also true that the economy has fallen far enough, and long enough, that much of the excess that led to recession is being worked off. Already 15 months old, the current recession will soon match the average length -- and average job loss -- of the last three postwar downturns. What goes down will come up -- unless destructive policies interfere with the sources of potential recovery.

And those sources have been forming for some time. The price of oil and other commodities have fallen by two-thirds since their 2008 summer peak, which has the effect of a major tax cut. The world is awash in liquidity, thanks to monetary ease by the Federal Reserve and other central banks. Monetary policy operates with a lag, but last year's easing will eventually stir economic activity.

Housing prices have fallen 27% from their Case-Shiller peak, or some two-thirds of the way back to their historical trend. While still high, credit spreads are far from their peaks during the panic, and corporate borrowers are again able to tap the credit markets. As equities were signaling with their late 2008 rally and January top, growth should under normal circumstances begin to appear in the second half of this year.

So what has happened in the last two months? The economy has received no great new outside shock. Exchange rates and other prices have been stable, and there are no security crises of note. The reality of a sharp recession has been known and built into stock prices since last year's fourth quarter.

What is new is the unveiling of Mr. Obama's agenda and his approach to governance. Every new President has a finite stock of capital -- financial and political -- to deploy, and amid recession Mr. Obama has more than most. But one negative revelation has been the way he has chosen to spend his scarce resources on income transfers rather than growth promotion. Most of his "stimulus" spending was devoted to social programs, rather than public works, and nearly all of the tax cuts were devoted to income maintenance rather than to improving incentives to work or invest.

His Treasury has been making a similar mistake with its financial bailout plans. The banking system needs to work through its losses, and one necessary use of public capital is to assist in burning down those bad assets as fast as possible. Yet most of Team Obama's ministrations so far have gone toward triage and life support, rather than repair and recovery.

AIG yesterday received its fourth "rescue," including $70 billion in Troubled Asset Relief Program cash, without any clear business direction. (See here.) Citigroup's restructuring last week added not a dollar of new capital, and also no clear direction. Perhaps the imminent Treasury "stress tests" will clear the decks, but until they do the banks are all living in fear of becoming the next AIG. All of this squanders public money that could better go toward burning down bank debt.

The market has notably plunged since Mr. Obama introduced his budget last week, and that should be no surprise. The document was a declaration of hostility toward capitalists across the economy. Health-care stocks have dived on fears of new government mandates and price controls. Private lenders to students have been told they're no longer wanted. Anyone who uses carbon energy has been warned to expect a huge tax increase from cap and trade. And every risk-taker and investor now knows that another tax increase will slam the economy in 2011, unless Mr. Obama lets Speaker Nancy Pelosi impose one even earlier.

Meanwhile, Congress demands more bank lending even as it assails lenders and threatens to let judges rewrite mortgage contracts. The powers in Congress -- unrebuked by Mr. Obama -- are ridiculing and punishing the very capitalists who are essential to a sustainable recovery. The result has been a capital strike, and the return of the fear from last year that we could face a far deeper downturn. This is no way to nurture a wounded economy back to health.

Listening to Mr. Obama and his chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, on the weekend, we couldn't help but wonder if they appreciate any of this. They seem preoccupied with going to the barricades against Republicans who wield little power, or picking a fight with Rush Limbaugh, as if this is the kind of economic leadership Americans want.

Perhaps they're reading the polls and figure they have two or three years before voters stop blaming Republicans and Mr. Bush for the economy. Even if that's right in the long run, in the meantime their assault on business and investors is delaying a recovery and ensuring that the expansion will be weaker than it should be when it finally does arrive.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Obama First Instict is usually wrong.

It seems to me that usually Obama's first choice is wrong. This goes back to the campaign Obama said in a a democratic primary debate he would meet with leaders from terrorist sponsoring countries without Pre-conditions. He later changed his answer. In the Presidential compaign Obama first blamed Georgia for being invaded by Russia. It took Obama three attempts to figure out that the bigger county was bullying the smaller country. I think a first grader would've understood what was going on faster than Obama did. Apparently this hasn't changed with Obama's cabinet picks.

Ron Kirk- Obama's choice for trade representative owes $100,00 in back taxes. This is now the fourth nominee with tax problems. It appears he will be confirmed

Tom Daschel- failed to disclose $300,000 in past income. withdrew

Timothy Geithner- failed to pay $40,000 in payroll taxes. He is now our Treasury Secretary

Nancy Killfer- Obama's pick for Chief Performance officer had tax problems. withdrew

So it appears Obama will get half of his tax cheating cabinet picks confirmed. I think I've figured out why this administration is so set on raising taxes. It's because no one in the cabinet is going to pay them anyway.

If we combine those choices with a couple of Obama's other picks such as Bill Richardson and Judd Gregg I think a pattern starts to emerge. Richarson withdrew after it was discovered he was under federal investigation into how his political donors got a transportation contract. Gregg also withdrew after he realized Obama had no intention of listening to any of his ideas and just wanted to appear bipartisan.

It should be clear to anyone that our new President's instincts are not good. He has chosen four tax cheats and a man under federal investigation to serve in his cabinet so far. This doesn't even include other very partisan choices he has made to serve in his cabinet such as Kathleen Seblius to serve as Health and Human Services secretary and Leon Panetta to head up the CIA. These are not choices that bring the country together these are choices that tear it apart.