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Watching the debates was, as always, educational.  Each of the candidates has been tested in this kind of forum before.  Each of them were prepared for most of the questions, and each of them had their shiny moments.  As always, each of them also revealed their weaknesses.

All candidates have weaknesses.  Most candidates who have made it this far, have strengths.  Our job is to decide which of them has:

1)  the best ideas, or the most feasible ideas, to aid our country in surviving and growing,

2) the most likely to succeed in getting those ideas to work,

3) can carry enough votes to win the race.

It’s a tough choice.

Given that I don’t think the current occupant of the position is, or has been doing a good job, he is not on my radar for getting voted for.  That leaves looking at the other runners in the field.  There have been quite a few to choose from.  Many of them have really good ideas.  Some of them have some hare brained schemes that sound catchy, but in reality would hurt more people than it would help.  Some of them are dead right about a number of things, but the feasibility of some of their solutions is impossible.

Under the circumstances, it’s impossible to choose one that says everything that you want to hear, and/or whose ideas would work if elected. So choosing is based on best possible scenario.

For me, that best possible scenario would be a match with Mitt Romney running for President and Ron Paul as Vice President.

Between them, there could be some real, effective change in Washington.   And that’s a ticket worth a 10K bet.

 

© Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

If you absolutely knew you were right, and the other guy was wrong, would you offer to make an all out bet with the one who was wrong to see if he would back down?

If you were playing poker and you had a royal flush, would you go all in to bet on it?

From a poker playing angle it probably wouldn’t be a smart move, because the other guy would fold, but that’s what was wanted in this case. For the other guy to admit he wasn’t sure of his facts.  To fold his hand.

That’s what happened in the  debate  between Rick Perry and Mitt Romney.  Rick made a false statement about what Romney had written in his book, and Romney knew it.  Romney offered Rick a sucker bet of $10,000.00.  Rick backed down because he wasn’t that certain of his facts. Rick probably figured he could get away with making the false statement because it might be difficult for someone to fact check it.

There’s a lot of buzz about this issue, even whole websites set up to take advantage of it.  Democrats are jumping up and down with glee over it.  Billboards are being planned, and television ads that highlight what $10,000.00 can buy the average American.

The average American would love to win a sure bet like that.  The average American is making $1.00 bets everyday in hopes they can win at least that amount in the Powerball lotteries.  Sure you’ld offer the bet if you Knew you would win.  Who wouldn’t when we all need the money so badly.

Mr. Romney has more than that amount riding on this Presidential race.  He’s betting his whole future on it, and ours.  I sure hope he wins this one.

 

© Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

I’m not always the most persuasive person.  I call myself straightforward, other people call me blunt.  Either way, you always know where I’m coming from.

Just so you know, I love trees.  They are beautiful.  They are also a renewable resource.  Meaning that they can be regrown.  Here in Maryland, trees grow like weeds.  They can become a serious nuisance when not kept in check.

What I’m getting at, is that I like a nice environment as much as the next person, but there are ways, and then there are ways of having that.

And none of the environmental considerations will matter to any of us if we end up tearing each other apart over no jobs and high oil prices.  So here’s my contribution to the dialogue below.

Subject: THIS IS A VERY INTERESTING OIL STORY, WORTH READING

Oil Anyone?

By the way, this can be verified.

Check it out at the link below !!!!!!

http://www.usgs.gov/newsroom/article.asp?ID=1911

Cruz Construct

http://www.cruzconstruct.com/services.php

(I do not know where the below letter came from or I would credit it properly, but I got it in my email, and have copied all the bits of it into here).

They are doing a lot of frack sand mining in Wisconsin near Chetek. It’s a special sand used in the extraction process from the oil shale deposits.  As you may know, Cruz Construction started a division in North Dakota just 6 months ago.

They sent every Kenworth (9 trucks) we had here in Alaska to North Dakota and several drivers. They just bought two new Kenworth’s to add to that fleet; one being a Tri Drive tractor and a new 65 ton lowboy to go with it. They also bought two new cranes (one crawler & one rubber tired) for that division.

Dave Cruz said they have moved more rigs in the last 6 months in ND than Cruz Construction moved in Alaska in the last 6 years. Williston, ND is like a gold rush town; they moved one of our 40 man camps down there since there are no rooms available.

Unemployment in ND is the lowest in the nation at 3.4 percent last I checked. See anything in the national news about how the oil industry is fueling North Dakota’s economy?

Here’s an astonishing read. Important and verifiable information: About 6 months ago, the writer was watching a news program on oil and one of the Forbes Bros. Was the guest. The host said to Forbes, “I am going to ask you a direct question and I would like a direct answer; How much oil does the U.S. Have in the ground?” Forbes did not miss a beat, he said, “more than all the Middle East put together.

” The U. S.. Geological Service issued a report in April 2008 that only scientists and oil men knew was coming, but man was it big. It was a revised report (hadn’t been updated since 1995) on how much oil was in this area of the western 2/3 of North Dakota, Western South Dakota, and extreme eastern Montana.

Check THIS out: The Bakken is the largest domestic oil discovery since Alaska’s Prudhoe Bay, and has the potential to Eliminate all American dependence on foreign oil. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates It at 503 billion barrels. Even if just 10% of the oil is recoverable( 5 billion barrels), at $107 a barrel, We’re looking at a resource base worth more than $5.3 trillion.

“When I first briefed legislators on this, you could practically see their jaws hit the floor. They had no idea..” says Terry Johnson, the Montana Legislature’s financial analyst.

“This sizable find is now the highest-producing onshore oil field found in the past 56 years,” reportsThe Pittsburgh Post Gazette. It’s a formation known as the Williston Basin, but is more commonly referred to as the ‘Bakken.’ It stretches from Northern Montana, through North Dakota and into Canada. For years, U. S. Oil exploration has been considered a dead end. Even the ‘Big Oil’ companies gave up searching for major oil wells decades ago. However, a recent technological breakthrough has opened up the Bakken’s massive reserves, And we now have access of up to 500 billion barrels. And because this is light, sweet oil, Those billions of barrels will cost Americans just $16 PER BARREL !!!!!!

That’s enough crude to fully fuel the American economy for 2041 years straight. And if THAT didn’t throw you on the floor, then this next one should – because it’s from 2006 !!!!!! U. S. Oil Discovery – Largest Reserve in the World Stansberry Report Online – 4/20/2006 Hidden 1,000 feet beneath the surface of the Rocky Mountains lies the largest untapped oil reserve in the world. It is more than 2 TRILLION barrels.

On August 8, 2005 President Bush mandated its extraction. In three and a half years of high oil prices none has been extracted. With this motherload of oil why are we still fighting over off- shore drilling?

They reported this stunning news: We have more oil inside our borders, than all the other proven reserves on earth. Here are the official estimates: 8 times as much oil as Saudi Arabia 18 times as much oil as Iraq 21 times as much oil as Kuwait 22 times as much oil as Iran 500 times as much oil as Yemen And it’s all right here in the Western United States !!!!!!

HOW can this BE? HOW can we NOT BE extracting this? Because the environmentalists and others have blocked all efforts to help America become independent of foreign oil! Again, we are letting a small group of people dictate our lives and our economy.

WHY? James Bartis, lead researcher with the study says we’ve got more oil in this very compact area than the entire Middle East, more than 2 TRILLION barrels untapped. That’s more than all the proven oil reserves of crude oil in the world today, reports The Denver Post.

Don’t think ‘OPEC’ will drop its price even with this find? Think again! It’s all about the competitive marketplace, it has to. Think OPEC just might be funding the environmentalists? Got your attention yet?

Now, while you’re thinking about it, do this: Pass this along. If you don’t take a little time to do this, then you should stifle yourself the next time you complain about gas prices, by doing NOTHING, you forfeit your right to complain. Now I just wonder what would happen in this country if every one of you sent this to every one in your address book.

“One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferior” . . . Plato

I have been pondering this for a while.  A recent article that oddly mixed news of whale bones and Hooters waitresses in the same article got me thinking about it again.  Someone at a Career day in a special needs school got offended that a person who was a waitress at a Hooters restaurant was speaking to the children about her type of work; that is, serving tables in a Hooters restaurant.

Wow.  I thought.  What is her problem?  Does she never go out to eat?  Maybe she only eats in fast food restaurants, or buffets, and doesn’t let anyone wait on her.  Or maybe she only cooks at home and does all her own serving.  Still, even if that were the case, why look down on someone who is taking food orders and delivering it to people who want it that way?

If this is because of the pay scale…..  again, I say Wow.   This is a subject that seriously needs addressing.  The inequalities present in our system are there because we put them there.  We choose to place one person’s type of work above another’s, in spite of the fact that we want all those different types of work to exist within our society.  We choose to assign different levels of pay to those different types of work, in spite of the fact that all the types contribute to the smooth functioning of all our lives.

Does the person who works in the tall buildings with the corner window office actually believe they would be able to do their job as well without all the things provided him or her by all those people interacted with on a daily basis?  What makes you think that the  person serving you your coffee at the drive up window, to help you be alert and ready for your job,should be paid less than you?  Or the person who cleans your suits to make you look presentable for your other interactions. Why is their  job considered less valuable than yours?   The arbitrary dollar value someone places on the different jobs is not actually a good indicator of the worth of either the person doing the job, or the necessity of the job being done.

The fact that some people had to pay large amounts of money out for a required education is sometimes used as a justification for charging higher fees for services.  That is a subject for another day, but suffice it to say, that the founding fathers wanted our nation to be educated in order to compete with other nations.  A College education should be free for all our people, all the way through a Bachelors degree, since that is what is required to be competitive.

If we take out the need to repay the educational dollars as a reason to assign an arbitrary dollar value, that leaves just the expense of doing the job.  For doctors, that would mean more, since their equipment is more expensive (shared offices help with that),  and the liability issues become another factor (torte reform).

Some people believe that the number of people served is a justification for an increase in pay scale.   Does the person who thinks this live on an island, entire of itself?  Yes, that is a reference to Don John.  We do not exist without each other.  There is no real independence except for hermits who live in caves in the hills or holes in the desert, and they don’t get paid by anyone.

The garbage collectors in New York city proved that they are a necessary and valuable part of your existence.  They had to stop doing their job to make you acknowledge it, but you finally gave them their dues.  Now they get paid a better wage.  The person who harvests the food that you eat is also worthy of the same consideration.  Alabama is now finding out just how valuable that job should be.  No one who is Not an “undocumented worker” will stay with the job at it’s current pay scale.  The tomatoes are rotting in the fields because there is no one to pick them.

The person who drives the bus to carry so many people to work is valuable, and so is the person who drives the bus that carries your children to school so that they may have the ability to properly co-exist with others both in the now, and in the future. Why should their pay scale be so low?   Or the teacher who shapes their views of the world?  Why should you think that the advertising executive should get paid so much more than the street sweeper?  Does the advertising executive actually improve the most people’s live’s?   The street sweeper keeps the streets in a state of clean that makes it possible for many people to walk about or drive on it in a reasonable condition.  The successful advertising executive only improves the lives of  those who work inside the firm that they work for.  Why should you respect the advertising executive, and not the street sweeper?

Why should the worker who serves you the hamburger be despised for their work?  Are they not giving you something you want?  Are they not providing you with a valuable service?  If you wanted to be serving yourself, you’d be in a different restaurant, or at home, making your own food.  If you don’t directly benefit from someone who serves hamburgers for a living, then you benefit indirectly.  The hamburger server provides a service to many people.  All of them members of your society, in one context or another.  When someone, anyone, provides any service to you or any member of your society, that you could not, or did not want to do for yourself, that service is valuable to you, and should not be dismissed as beneath you; neither the work, nor the worker. They have added value to your life, they are worthy of your respect.

I’m still pondering the ways and means of how we could change things in a fair way, to raise the pay of one type and lower the pay of another type of work until we all get paid the same for an hours work.  Maybe this isn’t possible, given that no one would then harvest the food, being as it is harder work than sitting at a desk writing.

Hah!  Wouldn’t  that be something, when the food harvester gets paid more than the advertising executive.

© Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

When a grass roots movement on the right meets a grass roots movement on the left, and they share some common goals, it’s time to pay attention.

Adrian Sainz of the Associated Press reported that during a lively question and answer session, the members of the Occupy Memphis movement informed their cultural counterpart Memphis Tea Party movement of some of this groups aims. When the Memphis  Tea Party movements group heard how the Occupy Memphis group wanted to limit the influence of lobbyists on Legislators, they extended an invitation to join ranks.

If the two movements link up, even temporarily, to achieve the goals they have in common, the legislators are going to have a tough time ignoring them.  If members of both movements can meet in each city, and discuss what their goals are, and when finding common ground, agree to work together for those goals, there will be no wriggle room for their respective legislators to deny them success in those goals.

I became an Independent voter because of the apparent lack of a rational middle ground in either party; however, I believe there are people of all parties that desire, or at least would settle for,  a rational middle ground, rather than the total stalemate that currently exists.  Our legislators will continue to use the extreme issues to deny us all of any forward progress as long as we continue to polarize ourselves.  It’s an easy control measure for them only if we let them use it.  We have to be smarter than that if we want real, effective change in our government.

Our Forefathers, who set our form of government up, did not agree on everything, but they came together and discovered their mutual goals, and agreeing on those, fought for their independence from the tyranny of any corruptible Crown.  Our legislators have become confused by influences that do not have our countries best interests at heart.  The personal and professional agendas have taken precedence over the health of the nation.  This has caused an egregious burden on the average working person, no matter what your party affiliation.  As a result our people are re-discovering their power to influence, because if we don’t do it, who will?  Each movement has some valid points.  Each movement has people with good intentions in it.  But neither movement can, by itself, obtain goals that both movements want.  Joining forces to achieve common goals, like our Forefathers did, is a sensible and probably necessary thing to do.  For the health of our country.  Perhaps it’s not everything that either movement wants, but it’s some progress, and some progress is better than no progress every time.

© Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

I’m sure that my next few statements will surprise some people.  Many of my opinions have been on the side of what most would call conservative.  But the protesters of Occupy Wall Street aren’t just a bunch of crazies any more than the Tea Party protesters were.  There are thoughtful people in both camps.  Sure, there are some who are protesting with no fixed objective in mind, just a general sense of dis-satisfaction, but that can be enough when things are squeezing you so bad.

I found that there are some thoughtful writers who seem to be catching on, but still leave open any specific agenda for the movement.  Others have picked up on one or two points, like Re-instating the Glass-Steagall Act but believe that the movement has a  potential for negative impact and therefore will continue to be largely marginalized.

My first reaction to the movement was a happy grin.  At last, someone is taking the money lenders to task again.  My second reaction was, gee, isn’t this kinda how the Bolshevik revolution started?  Maybe this last point is the reason that more people are not getting involved.  I thought about this a while, and decided that it was unlikely that any of the protesters wanted the U.S. to turn into another failed communist regime, with it’s incipient lack of production incentives, and dreary one party system.  In fact, some of the protesters are actually complaining about the lack of any real, effectual diversity in our current party structure (see comment below).

LG

Chicago
November 17th, 2011 4:38 am
That, and there’s the fact that we of the movement are Post-Partisan. No one thinks a system historically entrenched in two-party politics is a healthy system. How can what is theoretically only two voices (effectively one, in most ways that we care about) possibly speak for the most diverse nation on this planet? Even practically homogeneous Germany has a multiparty system.

So, given that, I’m thinking that there are probably a number of things that the occupy protesters would agree with me on.

1) Since the banks were seen as “Too Big To Fail” and required a hand out to save us from their fall (which was entirely due to their own greed, and not just to the fact of being told not to discriminate on home buyers), the banks should be required to break-up into smaller pieces.  I would recommend  that they also be required, like many Credit Unions, to only hold real-estate in an area near where they are physically located.  This would solve some of the problems of the bundled investments, and the inability to actually discuss ways to stop a foreclosure from happening.  At least people would have someone they could go talk to about it.  If this causes a problem with really large loans, then several banks in one area could go in on a single loan together, but they would all have to be in the same area.

2) Banks should be taxed at the same rate that they charge interest on their most risky loans, flat out, no loopholes.

3) Bundled investments have to go.  If people want a diverse portfolio, they can shop around to get what they need, or their stock broker/agent can shop around for them.  Practically guaranteeing that an investment won’t fail has Never been allowed.  You pays your money and you takes your chances.

4) I absolutely agree on re-instating the Glass-Steagall Act, and on putting a reasonable cap on usury. Getting charged more than 15% is pushing the boundaries of robbery.  Especially if the initial sign-up had a much lower interest rate.

5) The Credit companies should be required to leave due dates where they were when the person signed up.  There is no reasonable argument for changing a due date.   People who have an automatic payment set-up in their online banking shouldn’t have to read every piece of mail that comes in from the credit companies and jump through hoops to keep from getting charged extra fees.

6) There should be a reasonable cap put on fees.  Getting charged $35.00 or more for a credit purchase that the company allowed to go through is outrageous.  If the company didn’t want the purchase to go through, they should have just said no.  If they  are willing to let it go through, they are already making interest on it anyway, there is no need to charge more for the transaction.  The neediest people are being destroyed by unreasonable demands, and unreasonable changes in their agreements.

7) Congress may not like taxing themselves more, but they need to listen to the roar that is coming up around them.  The other millionaires are telling you to tax them more too.  You cannot expect to live so well, when so many are living so poorly, and not reap what you have sown. If you don’t actually raise the tax, then you need to lower the benefit of the tax loopholes.  I would still be in favor of encouraging investment in research and development, but at a lower rate of tax incentive.  If the little guy has to pay taxes, so should you.

8)  Corporations are Not people.  Legally, we may treat them as an entity for lawsuit purposes, but they don’t have a vote.  The people that work there have enough votes already.  If you are going to treat them as people, then they should have a cap of $2,500.00 put on their contributions too.  That would include the money spent on informational commercials in support of any particular agenda.

9) Since insurance companies did such a fabulous job of lobbying to set up the Health Care Reform, they should carry the burden of the results.  I had a boss who owned a company, and was a partner in several others.  He had a heart attack.  His insurance company sued the state to cover him with Medicare so they wouldn’t have to.   We get told all the time that it’s the poor people who are the reason that health care is so expensive.  This guy wasn’t poor at all.  And neither was his insurance company. If insurance companies don’t like this, then they should be nationalized.

10) The credit reporting companies, Equifax, Transunion, and Experion need to go away, and no other system of large scale collaboration between loan companies should be allowed to exist.   Manipulating our credit scores to be able to charge the most interest, or whatever they do….   wrong, wrong, wrong.  It’s nothing short of a Financial Cartel.

If you agree with me on this, like my post.  If you agree on some things but not on others, comment and let us all hear what you really want.

© Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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