Thursday, December 18, 2008

December 22, 2008-A Week of News

Consider This for December 22, 2008—A Week of News

As the year grinds to an end it seems as though more and more news was shoved into this past week.

When journalism students dream they dream of becoming a reporter. Reporters dream of becoming editors and editor’s dream of becoming publishers. Publishers dream about becoming owners. This week they are all having nightmares about being unemployed as more and more newspapers and media outlets shut down.

Take a look at what is happening with Channel 2 and Channel 31 in Denver.

I have thought for many years about how the Internet news outlets would eventually cause the end of newspapers and even books. You can buy just about any book published in an electronic form from today. A good friend once said that she would never curl up in bed at night without a book as it was something about holding a book and smelling the pages and the ink. I would imagine that the new electronic books could have a smell included in a chip somewhere.

In a bad economy the things that are believed to be redundant go first. Advertising budgets, safety and security programs, media specialists, training programs, public arts programs and human resource programs go by the wayside. Anything that is not directly associated with the main mission gets cut. What a shame when this is the exact opposite of what we need right now. I think they should look at management first and cut there.

The Governor of Illinois has effectively ignored the pleas for him to step down so far. Sounds like he understands the system because no one including their State Senate and the Attorney General has been able to move forward with any action. Corruption breeds corruption. The entire state is corrupt. They ought to hang a closed sign at the borders and annex themselves to Iowa.

I have also read that in five years there will only be three major airlines. I will not hazard a guess on the names of the airlines. Yes, there will be discount airlines with few routes and some small commuter airlines.

A family of four dies of carbon monoxide poisoning in a million dollar house in Aspen recently. Everyone needs to get a CO detector for their house. I have had two in my house for years after losing a good friend in Iowa to a bad furnace many years ago. Don’t take a chance. It is well worth the expense. Remember I used to be the Coroner so I have some experience in the matter. They are fairly expensive but how much is your life worth or the life of your loved ones. If you don’t have one I would say that you don’t really care.

A train to the mountains is such a wonderful idea. Let’s stop the madness of fossil fueled cars on narrow highways moving slowly between Summit County and Denver. There is an ad on TV right now about how a train gets over 400 miles per gallon of diesel fuel.

We need to figure out ways to save money in the future and not spend money. Mass transit will replace the fossil fueled cars within the next ten years.

Speaking of cars. The House approved the automotive bail out. The Senate voted it down. The worst President we ever had decided to fund it anyway but at a reduced rate. General Motors and Chrysler said it was not enough money and now some are going to close their plants for a month to save money. Maybe they should have tried to save money earlier. Buyers do not exist so what is a car company to do?

I will also predict that in five years there will not be any U.S. car companies. Very bad management and the cost of union contracts to blame.

I guess the very best news of the weeks is that it is Christmas. A time to give gifts and renew old friendships from years gone by and a time to eat too much and to remember to not drink and drive. We want to make sure that you are here next year and not to become part of tomorrow’s news.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

December 15, 2008-Power Corrupts

Consider This for December 15, 2008-Power Corrupts

Governor Rod Blagojevich of Illinois is in deep doo doo. He is up to his eyeballs in the brown sticky stuff.

And to top that off he actually looks like Mike Meyers from “Wayne’s World” and “Saturday Night Live” and the Austin Powers movie series.

The old saying is that “Power Corrupts.” Then is always changed to absolute power corrupts absolutely. This saying has been attributed to Winston Churchill and several other great orators.

Today it describes the Governor of the great state of Illinois and his alleged insane desire to gain some personal benefit from being able to be the sole person on this planet to name the replacement for President Elect Barack Obama in the United States Senate.

To understand how this terrible thing happened you must be able to understand the thinking of the men (Yes, men. Women were not allowed to get involved beyond doing what they were told to do by the men.) who wrote our constitution and the federalist papers.

I am sure that there are a few people out there who are prepared to attack what I am about to say but this is the easiest way to understand the dilemma.

Our nation was founded as a Federalist nation. It is today actually fifty different countries who each have their own constitution and their own set of laws. It is hard to believe this considering what we have today but there are only two things our federal government is supposed to do. One is to provide for the national defense. States cannot and should not declare war on other countries. The other thing is to provide for foreign relations. States cannot and should not negotiate with other countries and have treaties with other countries on their own. They must go through the Department of State. Aka: Hillary Clinton.

As a result each state can and does create laws concerning the filling of a vacancy in congress either for United States Senator or United States Representative.

I tell my students that the most real example of states rights and federalism is our traffic laws. Each state makes their own unique traffic laws and if you have ever lived in a state other than Colorado you will know what I mean. And yes, there are cases where the federal government in all their wisdom will step in and tell the states to pass certain traffic laws under threat of withholding federal highway funds. One was the old 55 mile per hour law and a more recent one is the drinking age must be 21 in every state. I could hear the bodies flipping in the ground in Virginia and Maryland as those laws were passed.

So what’s a mother to do? The people of Illinois as in every other state are stuck with a system that creates an environment where a governor can ask for patronage for his or her decision to replace an elected official.

This was also apparent as there was speculation that Governor Palin of Alaska might appoint herself to fill the vacancy in the senate seat occupied by the now convicted felon Senator Craig.

I think that the first Mayor Daley and his regime added a lot of fuel to the fire. I knew many Chicago Police Officers during that time and they were no better or worse than even the Denver Police Department who was committing burglaries while working in uniform and using Denver Police cars to haul off their loot.

My point is that no town or city is either better or worse than another when it comes to corruption and crime. Chicago and Illinois just seems to get the bulk of the idiots and the resulting publicity.

The bottom line is the amount of public scrutiny there is on such matters. Public scrutiny by the citizens and especially local media. Newspapers, radio and television are so very important in this process.

If guilty the Governor of Illinois should be hung up by his thumbs at the gate to the city for all to see. Our elected officials are not for sale although they might have been in Chicago at one time.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Consider This for December 8, 2008-Earl's Gotta Die

Consider This for December 8, 2008-“Earl’s Gotta Die”

“Earl’s Gotta Die” The now infamous Dixie Chick song lyrics have been ringing in my ears every day since the big three auto manufacturers have decided that the taxpayers of the United States need to bail out their industry.

They want an immediate loan of $18 Billion to get to the end of this month. So do I.

Most of the time when you try to help someone with a bad behavior or an addiction by bailing them out of jail or giving them money all you are doing is allowing them to continue their bad behavior. You are not helping them or solving a problem. You are merely funding their continued dysfunctional life.

The words “bail out” ring in my ears also. People who are co-dependent are continually “bailing out” their loved ones from jail when, in fact, all they are doing is enabling their loved ones to continue their bad behavior.

“Wanda looked all around this town
and all she found was Earl”

That is exactly what the auto manufacturers are asking. This week they asked for several billions of dollars to allow them to stay in business for the next couple of months. Of course that does not include a plan to sell more cars. That would be impossible because their market has dried up because no one has any money to buy cars. I am sure that if the rest of the economy would be better then people would have money and they would buy cars. Simply “bailing out” the manufacturers will not stimulate anything other than the executive’s bail out package and to continue the stifling union contracts that make our cars cost more than just about any on this planet.

Earl’s (The auto manufacturers) gotta die.

The biggest joke was this week when the head of Chrysler announced that the failure of any one of the big three auto manufacturers would result in a deep and long economic depression. I am happy that he has such a good self esteem to think that of his industry but there is nothing that he or congress can do about the fact that his industry has been so poorly managed in recent years.

How arrogant of him to say such a thing. We had a great economy because we were all working together to make it strong. Now that the economy is failing we all have to take some responsibility in the failure.

I live in a single story, single family, ranch style home and I would be more than happy to jump out of one of my windows to take my responsibility for the failure. Think about that. What would that prove?

Oil prices have fallen to a three year low this week but gas prices in Summit County still remain more that 50 cents a gallon higher than Denver. Let’s put together an economic recovery program to help the motoring public in Summit County. Hey, welfare is welfare and why not spread it around?

But when will this madness end? We were told that all we had to do was shore up the banks and the credit industry and that did not work. All we got out of that was some weekends of riotous behavior by some of the recipients of the money. After that was discovered they responded by they felt a good expensive party was important to bolster their customers and clients.

I guess my invitation to that party was lost in our wonderful postal system.

I am not so cold to not think about the thousands of workers and their families who would be out on the street if the companies fail. But at the same time to pay billions of dollars just to keep an industry going is a case of the biggest welfare program ever known to man.

“That Earl had to die
Goodbye Earl”

The $700 Billion bail out (stimulus) program by the characterization of Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson has been a total failure and will only shore up a few companies that maybe should die along with the car companies.

“Earl had to die
Goodbye Earl
We need a break”