All Rich Guys Think They are Infallible….

via Jack Welch: I was right about jobs report РOct. 9, 2012.

Welch, the former CEO of General Electric, had previously contributed content to Fortune, but following critical coverage of his comments on the jobs report and tenure at GE, Welch said in an e-mail Tuesday that he was terminating his contract with Fortune.

In his WSJ op-ed, Welch suggests that the reaction to his criticism of “the ruling authorities” was something he would expect in Soviet Russia or Communist China. “Nope,” he wrote, “that would be the United States right now, when a person (like me, for instance) suggests that a certain government datum (like the September unemployment rate of 7.8%) doesn’t make sense.”

I am using the source above to give you an example of the fact that all rich guys think they are infallible. It seems that once a person has managed to collect a few million bucks they come to the conclusion that they know everything. While Jack Welch definitely had some successes at running General Electric in the 1980s he really didn’t do anything more than listen to what his people told him and then choose a profitable path.

I am going to give you a technical term for the reason people who have success in one area then think they know everything in all areas. It is call having a “big-head” ūüôā ¬†Of course Jack Welch is not the only person to show symptoms of having a big-head. There are many others. The most obvious one right now is Mitt Romney. He thinks he know everything since he was successful at buying companies and stripping them down and selling their parts for a profit. He thinks that since he made a few bucks doing that he is somehow infallible.

Another symptom of having a big-head is that you think that everyone will believe whatever comes out of your mouth. ¬†Mr. Welch says he doesn’t need any proof that somehow the unemployment numbers were fixed; he just knows its true and we are supposed to believe him. Mr. Romney is also much like that even when he says exactly opposite things. He thinks everyone believes whatever he says. ¬†The trouble with this is that there are some people who actually do believe everything he says. ¬†How else can you explain why so many say they will vote for him even after flip-flop after flip-flop ūüėČ

Whenever I think I might be getting a big head I go to visit my hero Will Rogers to see what he says about the subject I think I know all about. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that I made a bunch of money like the yahoos I am talking about here. It is just that sometimes I come to the grandiose conclusion that I got it right about this or that and others just can’t for some reason understand. Whenever my head starts swelling I read Will’s words:

Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects – Will Rogers

There is nothing so stupid as an educated man, if you get him off the thing he was educated in. – Will Rogers

Thanks Will for keeping me level-headed. Now if only Mr. Romney, Mr. Welch and so many others would just heed your words of wisdom and realize they too are not perfect.

Its All In The Editing….

Now that I have passed the 1,000 post mark on this blog and have managed to get a regular and growing following I thought I would give you some “secrets”on blogging. ¬†Even though I am just an ordinary guy and not a Pulitzer prize winner I think I have some wisdom to offer beginning bloggers. Read more

Where the candidates differ on foreign policy…. thank heavens….

via Due Diligence: Where the candidates differ on foreign policy РCBS News.

The president wants the military to focus more on nontraditional threats like al Qaeda, and no longer wants the United States to serve as the world’s policeman. He noted on Monday that America spends more on the military than the next ten countries combined – which you only say if you think America is carrying too large a burden.

It can be difficult to tease out differences between the candidates on specific issues. But when it comes to the larger, overarching philosophy, there is a clear difference: Romney wants to spend more money to expand America’s traditional military role in the world, while the president wants to transition to a new era in which America plays a fundamentally different role. And that philosophical chasm is more important than the lack of difference on many individual issues.

I must admit that I didn’t watch the final presidential debate. I was just too burned out on politics at the time and I had to get up early the next day. I knew I wouldn’t sleep well if I watched it since I would be constantly going over it in my mind until the early hours of the morning. In the following days I did read the reports but the one above got my attention!

It seems Mr. Romney wants more of the same for our military complex. At the same time he says we are going bankrupt he wants to add to their budgets even while he is cutting the safety net for our citizens. If you have been visiting this blog if only for a short while you know that I am abhorred at the money we spend on being policemen of the world. To me it is totally absurd to spend more than the rest of the world combined while even talking about cutting for “the least of these”.

I knew Mr. Romney and especially Mr. Ryan wanted to do more of the same but I was very pleasantly surprised to see President Obama openly say he wants to go a different approach. ¬†It took guts to even suggest that in some circles. I couldn’t agree more with his stand to re-configure our military. Mr. Romney wants to give the generals more money than they even ask for. The president wants them to focus on keeping us safe.

For that reason alone he would have my vote even if he didn’t get it for a number of other reasons. ¬†68% of us are war-weary. We want to get out of the policemen of the world mode. It is good to see that at least one of the presidential candidates hear our plea.

Celebrating Two Personal Milestones Today…

I am putting aside my usual Sunday post about things that inspire me in order to tell you about two milestones that are happening today in my life.

The first milestone is that today is my 66th birthday so I have officially survived my first full year of single-payer system health insurance. I have to tell you that it was great.
Although I had no life threatening events ¬†the past year I did have a couple of emergency room visits and several doctors visit. All in all I saved over $4,000 from what it costs me with private insurance the year before. I look forward to many more years of knowing that I will have affordable medical care when I need it. That is of course if the politicians just tweak it as necessary instead of putting me out on my own as some suggest. The picture here is of me being “popped” at the Guadalajara Grill in Mexico on my 49th birthday. That seems like ages ago now ūüėČ

The second milestone is that this is the 1,000th post to RJ’s Corner blog. ¬†I never dreamed I would still be blogging here after so many daily posts. ¬†I thought I would surely run out of things to say by now. ¬†But it turns out that I seem to be just getting started. I am astounded that my readership continues to grow month over month. I am also humbled that so many of you have an interest in reading me on a daily basis.

I try to make this blog a little different from many I come across.¬†Some of my fellow bloggers use their blogs as a journal of their lives. ¬†They tell you about what they do on a daily basis. I just don’t think my daily activities would be of interest to most of you. Much too boring! ¬†Other bloggers pick a niche that they feel comfortable concentrating one. Many of the ones I follow are about one aspect or another of retirement. ¬†I have chosen not to do either of these two options.

Of course we all write from our life experiences. I am certainly no exception to that. ¬†I naturally write on issues that I am passionate about. Altruism is just part of my soul so that has much to do with what I pen. ¬†Some call altruism social justice. I kind of like that phrase. Some, like Mr. Ryan’s hero Ayn Rand, see altruism much differently than I do. Her most famous quote about it is:

“If any civilization is to survive, it is the morality of altruism that men have to reject”. ¬†

His idols’s words is probably one of the reasons that I distrust Paul Ryan. ¬†Who you chose as heroes says a lot about your character and worldview. ¬†Jesus Christ, another of my heroes, says exactly the opposite about altruism. I think I will follow him instead of choosing ¬†anyone remotely like Ayn Rand.

Will Rogers is my literary hero.  I have over the years adopted his writing style and especially his respect for others as my own. So here I am ending my 1,000th post with no end in sight. Thanks to everyone for letting me be part of your daily lives.

War Jobs vs Peace Time Jobs….

Source:¬†Defense cuts could further dim US jobs picture ‚Äď Life Inc..

There are thousands of civilian jobs related to the war effort, and cutbacks in defense spending have already led to reductions in these defense-related jobs, including direct government positions or those with defense contractors.

Outside of slightly more federal money spent on citizen’s safety nets the defense budgets are the biggest use of our tax dollars.  We spend more on our military than the rest of the world combined. As shown by the quote above and the source article one of the arguments our hawks give us for maintaining our military spending is that it creates much needed jobs. The graph below provided to me by my friends at the American Friends Service Committee show that the same money could produce many more jobs if spent outside of our military complex. The only reason we spend as much as the rest of the world combined on our military is because our politicians and generals have chosen to make us the policemen of the world.

We are expected to spend our money and our young people’s lives no matter where the conflict is in the wold. But can we really afford to do that even if we as a population want to which the majority of us clearly don’t? It has been shown time and again that given a choice between military spending and domestic spending the majority of us choose to reduce military budgets. So, why do we allow others to continue down this insane path of bankrupting ourselves to “make the world safe”? Shouldn’t we ask, or even require, those more affected by the conflicts to step up and bear more of the responsibility. Of course they won’t volunteer to do that as long as they can count on us to do it for them. Why should they spend their money and kid’s lives when we will so willingly do it for them?

The problem right now is who to vote for to make this change happen. It seems that the Obama administration has adopted the Bush wars as their own. At least they are finally putting a time line on the withdrawal of many of our troops. ¬†But they don’t tell you about the thousands of our young men who will be left behind. We have so many troops spread out around the world that even that costs us $billions to maintain.

Nothing will change until enough of us say “enough”. Bring our troops home and out of harm’s way. They belong with their families not stationed around the world protecting many who don’t even want us there. ¬†We simply can’t continue to put all the debt to maintain this absurd military/industrial complex on our grandchildren. Your voices are needed to make this happen.

A Powerful Moderate Republican Backs Obama….

via Colin Powell endorses Barack Obama for president РCBS News.

When he took over the country was in very, very difficult straits. We were in the one of the worst recessions we had seen in recent times, close to a depression. The fiscal system was collapsing. Wall Street was in chaos, we had 800,000 jobs lost in that first month of the Obama Administration and unemployment peaked at 10 percent. So we were in real trouble. The auto industry was collapsing, the housing was started to collapse and we were in very difficult straits. And I saw over the next several years stabilization come back in the financial community, housing is now starting to come back after four years, it’s starting to pick up. Consumer confidence is rising.”

And, despite his endorsement of a Democratic candidate in two presidential elections, Powell says he remains a Republican. “I think I’m a Republican of a more moderate mold,” he said before adding, “That’s something of a dying breed I’m sorry to say.”

I am hoping that after President Obama is re-elected that more moderate Republicans like Colin Powell seek to take back control of their party.

The Light at the End of the Tunnel…. Finally…..

Here we are twelve days away from the election! I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. It seems that each election, especially when a president is on the ballot, gets uglier and uglier. There just seems to be so much hate in our country now and that is truly scares me at times.

Twelve days and we will finally be finished with all these negative ads costing billions of dollars telling us why we should be against someone but little about why we should vote for the other guy on the ballot. I just saw some yard signs like the picture here in several yards in my neighborhood. ¬†The Republican party’s mascot is the elephant and of course we all know that an elephant never forgets (all of us believe in all those clich√©s don’t we). ¬†As I am getting older in years I definitely am forgetting things but I don’t forget who caused so much of our current problems. Read more

I am War Weary…….

I saw a statistic  somewhere that said that 68% of U.S. citizens are war weary.  I am certainly one of them.  Neither party seems to shy away from sending our kids and/or our dollars to fight in this or that conflict. After twelve years of constant war costing us thousands of our kids and $trillions I am war weary. Do we really need to be the policemen of the world even if it bankrupts us? Our war machine has cost us enough! Read more

Big Money….

‎[Republicans] take care of big money for big money takes care of them. Р20 September 1931  Will Rogers

I don’t think that even Will would have dreamed that we would one day have something called “Citizens United”. That is the Supreme Court decision that opened the money spigot in today’s politics. There are now dozens of groups both Republican and Democrat, but mostly Republican, that go by various innocuous names that put out much of the mud in today’s politics.

Since these guys can hide behind noble sounding names and don’t have to say what their political bent is it is hard to know where they stand without a program. So I took the effort to track down the top fifteen pacs for you. ¬†It is shown below. In case you are interested the totals add up to

Republican – $263 million

Democrat – $48 million

So even though Will’s words are from eighty years ago they are still valid today. ¬†Next time you see an ad that seems to be authoritative look them up here to see who is really giving you this “information”.

 <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Source:  http://elections.nytimes.com/2012/campaign-finance/independent-expenditures/totals

1 ¬†Republican — ¬†¬†Restore Our Future —¬†$95,369,101 ¬† ¬† ¬†85%¬†spent on attack ads

Created by former aides to Mitt Romney,¬†this super PAC¬†has turned its attention to criticizing President Obama and promoting Mr. Romney’s campaign.

2 ¬†Democratic — ¬†Priorities USA Action —¬†$44,579,362 ¬† ¬†100%¬†spent on attack ads

Bill Burton, a former Obama White House aide, heads this Democratic super PAC, which has not been as active as its Republican counterparts.

3 ¬†¬†Republican ¬†—¬†American Crossroads —¬†$44,323,976 ¬† ¬†99%¬†spent on attack ads

This super PAC was active in many Congressional races during the 2010 midterm elections and has Karl Rove as its senior adviser. It has spent money on advertisements opposing President Obama and congressional Democrats.

4 ¬†Republican —¬†Americans for Prosperity —¬†$30,800,720 ¬† ¬†¬†100%¬†spent on attack ads

Backed by David H. Koch and Charles G. Koch, Americans for Prosperity is a conservative issue advocacy organization with ties to the Tea Party movement. It recently began running advertisements expressly calling for the defeat of President Obama.

5 ¬†Republican —¬†Republican National Committee —¬†$28,038,239 ¬† ¬†100%¬†spent on attack ads

The R.N.C. is the national party organization for the Republican Party and raises and spends money on behalf of its candidates nationwide. Its chairman is Reince Priebus. Its spending total does not include about $21 million in advertising coordinated with Mitt Romney’s campaign, or general party spending on other Republican candidates and administrative costs.

6 ¬† ¬†Republican —¬†Winning Our Future —¬†$17,003,038 ¬† ¬† ¬†24%¬†spent on attack ads

This super PAC was created by Becky Burkett, the former chief development officer for American Solutions, a PAC that Newt Gingrich founded. Since the reporting period ended, the super PAC has reportedly also received at least $10 million from a wealthy casino owner, Sheldon Adelson, and his wife.

7 ¬† ¬†Republican —¬†Americans for Job Security —¬†$16,457,078 ¬† ¬†100%¬†spent on attack ads

A nonprofit group with ties to a Republican consulting firm, Americans for Job Security began broadcasting advertisements opposing President Obama in late September.

8 ¬† ¬†Republican —¬†Crossroads GPS —¬†$9,543,123 ¬† ¬† ¬†¬†98%¬†spent on attack ads

A nonprofit social welfare organization, Crossroads GPS is a companion group to American Crossroads, a Republican-backing super PAC active in the presidential and Congressional races. A lawyer for President Obama has asked the Federal Election Commission to force GPS to reveal its donors.

9 ¬†¬†Republican —¬†Red White and Blue Fund — ¬†$7,529,620

This committee, founded by a former Iowa adviser to former Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, is one of two super PACs supporting his candidacy.

10 ¬† ¬†Republican —¬†American Future Fund —¬†$6,752,902 ¬† ¬†74%¬†spent on attack ads

A conservative nonprofit organization based in Iowa, American Future Fund has spent money attacking Democratic candidates for Congress and President Obama.

11 ¬†¬†Republican —¬†Ending Spending Action Fund —¬†$4,016,836 ¬† ¬†¬†71%¬†spent on attack ads

Financed primarily by Joe Ricketts, a billionaire businessman from Nebraska, Ending Spending Action Fund is the super PAC of a group dedicated to reducing the federal debt. Mr. Ricketts had considered bankrolling a $10 million advertising campaign against President Obama earlier in the election cycle.

12 ¬† ¬†Republican —¬†Make Us Great Again —¬†$3,959,824

A¬†super PAC¬†that supported Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, who left the race in January. It is headed by Mike Toomey, Mr. Perry’s former chief of staff.

13 ¬† ¬†Republican –¬†NRA of America Political Victory Fund –$3,933,069 ¬† 65% spent on attack ads

The national gun lobby organization has used its PAC to finance advertisements, mailings and other outreach efforts opposing President Obama.

14 ¬† ¬†Republican —¬†Republican Jewish Coalition —¬†$3,768,770 ¬† 100% spent on attack ads

Backed by contributions from casino mogul Sheldon Adelson and other donors, the non-profit Republican Jewish Coalition is airing broadcast advertisements “to win over Jewish voters who could be persuaded to turn away from President Obama and support Mitt Romney.”

15 ¬† ¬†Democratic —¬†Service Employees International Union —¬†$3,589,500 ¬† ¬†90% spent on attack ads

The S.E.I.U., with around two million members, has been a strong supporter of President Obama and has joined with the super PAC Priorities USA Action to pay for advertisements opposing Mitt Romney.

RJ’s Doctrine….

Tonight is, thank heavens, the last debate for this presidential season. It will be on foreign policy. I can tell you in advance what will happen. Each side will tear into the other saying their opponents foreign policy will assure the total destruction of the United States. There will be little of anything but put-down and counter-put-downs.

If I were running for president I would give you very clearly what I would proudly call RJ’s Doctrine: Read more