About Me

In writing the "About Me" portion of this blog I thought about the purpose of the blog - namely, preventing the growth of Socialism & stopping the Death Of Democracy in the American Republic & returning her to the "liberty to abundance" stage of our history. One word descriptions of people's philosophies or purposes are quite often inadequate. I feel that I am "liberal" meaning that I am broad minded, independent, generous, hospitable, & magnanimous. Under these terms "liberal" is a perfectly good word that has been corrupted over the years to mean the person is a left-winger or as Mark Levin more accurately wrote in his book "Liberty & Tyranny" a "statist" - someone looking for government or state control of society. I am certainly not that & have dedicated the blog to fighting this. I believe that I find what I am when I consider whether or not I am a "conservative" & specifically when I ask what is it that I am trying to conserve? It is the libertarian principles that America was founded upon & originally followed. That is the Return To Excellence that this blog is named for & is all about.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Notification To Subscribers To Return To Excellence

Dear Subscribers,
On May 26 there was a malfunction in sending the post entitled "Had Enough?"  This posting highlights Dave Corsi's campaign for Congress & also lists other FairTax supporting candidates.  This is the posting you should have received via e-mail on May 27 as part of your subscription to the blog.  To read the posting please click on ReturnToExcellence.net - it is the May 26 posting.  Sorry for the inconvenience.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Who Is Qualified To Lead Oil Leak Control & Cleanup - BP or BO?

Now I know that you are not supposed to & definitely are not required to indict yourself so you can understand just how shocked I was when BO admitted @ his news conference yesterday that he had been in charge & was personally responsible since day one - which was 38 days ago & counting - for control of the oil leak that resulted from the BP/Transocean Deepwater Horizon drilling rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20.  
This is not the sort of thing most people would take responsibility for especially when they have no expertise in such matters.  In fact shortly after the news conference began BO made another startling admission - namely that BP & the other oil companies were the only ones who have the technology to possibly stop this leak that originated in an oil reservoir that was 13,000 feet below the sea floor that was 5,000 feet below the water surface in the Gulf Of Mexico.  Who in his right mind could imagine that the EPA, Coast Guard, Army Corp of Engineers, or BO - all of who have never produced a drop of oil in their lives could manage such a task?  But this is the politically correct ignorant world we live in.
As many of you know I spent my engineering -construction career building chemical plants all over the world.  Part of this experience was building the incineration portion of sludge incineration plants for such clients as the City of Detroit (largest wastewater treatment plant in the world), the Cleveland Regional Sewer District, & the Orange County Water District.  All of these clients were required to have a licensed professional engineering firm write the specs for our projects - which always without exception came with a performance guarantee - & of course approve our drawings & calculations & inspect our work in the field until the project was complete.
The problem started when the professional engineering firm did not know how to write the specs & accordingly our sales engineering department wrote the specs for them.  Once we became the low bidder the client's engineering firm justified their existence by finding everything wrong with our drawings & calculations that they could - of course delaying the project completion while we resubmitted the drawings & calculations.
My experience with these municipal sewage treatment clients mirrors exactly what BO was describing @ the news conference re BP & government control of the clean up & control effort of the oil leak in the Gulf.   Detroit's incineration plant projects would have been far more successful if the clients & their engineers would merely have gotten out of the way & let the people who knew the technology execute their performance contracts.
If anything, since BP is responsible for the cost of the cleanup & every other damage they should be the kingpin in charge of the Gulf oil leak matter.  BP should determine the government's role, if any, asking for help from the government, if any is required.  Now I know that the leak occurred in federal waters & that in accordance with some ill conceived law that the federal government is legally in charge, but when you think of all of the above points you can clearly see one more colossal case of falsely relying on government when they really have no business being involved @ all - especially while industries & livelihoods are being destroyed.
Chicago was rebuilt after its fire, as was Galveston after its hurricane, & San Francisco after its earthquake, all without a dollar of government money.  The philanthropy & charity of the American people, coupled with the free market capitalistic system that has made America the envy of the world, restored these cities.  This is the same force that ultimately will restore the Gulf Coast if BP fails to meet its obligations.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Had Enough?

The recent series of messages re the contemptible way the Republican Party leaders recommended their candidate in PA's 12th Special Election race walk away from the FairTax is far too typical of the way both Democrat & Republican machines work - which is an excellent reason to bring in more parties as the two major ones play us for fools alternating between positions that really only benefit them @ our expense.

Below is a piece written by congressional candidate Dave Corsi re some shabby treatment he received from the Republican machine in NJ's 12th district. Dave's run for Congress started @ a FairTax meeting held around a kitchen table in south Jersey one Saturday afternoon in September 2007 that Carol & I were honored to attend. Dave is running his campaign around the words "Had Enough?"

Please check out Lon Hosford in the 7th district and Anna Little in the 6th distrcit. If you do not vote in these districts please spread the word about these candidates to people who do. Dave, Lon, & Anna are the type of people we need in Congress - which is exactly why the machines of both major parties are doing everything they can to discourage them as indicated in the message from Dave below.

Had Enough?

The Marlboro Republican Club had scheduled an event for the Republican Congressional Candidates in the 12th and 6th Districts. In March I was invited to address the group. On Sunday I was "uninvited" as the Marlboro Republican Club "leaders" decided only to allow the "party line" candidate to speak.

After a great idea from Charles Measley we decided to show up and hand out flyers.

In the meantime the "leaders" apparently were not happy about our being there and called the police saying we were "causing a disturbance."

The police officers who responded were terrific and determined we were doing nothing wrong.

The thing that bothered me was the initial response officer, upon receiving the call that there was a "ruckus going on," rushed to the scene and almost had an accident. That officer could have been injured just because someone inside the building did not like the fact that we were outside handing out flyers and telling folks to have a nice evening.

An interesting note was that some of the attendees going inside were not happy that I was being excluded (a good sign for us).

All in all, Charles and I thought there were approximately 30 people who attended the event.

We are 2 weeks from Primary Day, we are at "crunch time". These next 2 weeks will tell the story. If we work together, putting up signs, canvassing neighborhoods and talking to family and friends on June 8th we will make history.

Dave Corsi
Candidate for Congress - NJ 12th District
Po Box 296
Oceanport, NJ 07757
732-923-1410 Office
732-413-8622 Fax

Vote For Dave in The Republican Primary Tuesday June 8th!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

To Boast Of Excellence Is Easy - To Guarantee It Is Extraordinary

The post-mortem examination of PA's 12th congressional district special election race (Critz-D-53%; Burns-R-45%) brought many comments such as the following two excellent ones: "When anyone talks about the FairTax they must emphasize that all other taxes are eliminated...& that the concepts are getting muddied between the VAT & the FairTax" as well as "I also wanted to call your attention to something disturbing that I read today in The American Spectator.  The article is called The Triumph of Murthanomics.  A few paragraphs in it talks about the mischaracterization of the FairTax by Critz.  Unfortunately, it then warns that any Republicans that have endorsed the FairTax will be hammered by the Democrats this fall.  It was rather discouraging."
Both of these comments & certainly others received emphasize the importance of properly educating both candidates & the masses about the FairTax so that purposely misleading attack ads like Critz ran can be clearly & easily exposed for the lies they are.  Don't despair this has been & continues to be the plan of FairTax leaders across our country & I must say especially in FairTax NJ under the leadership of the incomparable Jim Bennett.
With re to Tim Burns, following the election, we have reached out to him to see if he now chooses to be rooted & grounded in this education.  We will go to Pittsburgh to brief him, if he agrees, so that he can fend off the attack ads that the despicable Michael Steele & John Boehner told him to retreat from.

Burns still has a chance in November in that 45,777 people voted in the Republican primary in PA-12, choosing Burns to run again in November & 82,695 people voted in the Democrat primary, choosing Critz.  But in the special election that Critz won, Critz won 71,684 votes and Burns won 59,476 votes meaning that Burns won, and Critz lost, around 17 percent of Democrat votes.
If Burns has the substance & backbone he appeared to have in the debate I hope that he learns from the special election experience & accepts our invitation for a FairTax briefing - if not he is just another politician that is best for us to do without so that the Democrats win & the Republic goes even farther in the hole so that it can come out quicker, if ever.
In the meantime I ask all of you to consider reaching out to your sources of information to help educate them re the FairTax - just about all of them sorely need it.  Below is my most recent letter to the WSJ challenging them to follow their own self described standard of excellence rather than to just accept the status quo that is leading our nation to ruination.  Please feel free to use any of this letter to reach out to your own media - it is so vital that we all do.
I care less about whether the Journal publishes my letter than that they accept & try to meet its challenge. 
Dear Editor,
As someone who has literally read your newspaper every day for over forty years I cherish the promise Charles Dow & Edward Jones made about the Journal - "in all things first, & in many things alone."  This standard of excellence runs like a gold thread through all of your publications except when it comes to the FairTax. 
In your lead editorial on May 20 you call the FairTax a political loser because you theorize that voters will be afraid they will get the FairTax & an income tax - which of course no one wants.  Your conjecture is like negotiating with yourself to accept a subpar result - something you can not stand in any other topic.
The FairTax is the result of a $23 million peer review study over a three year period that has tens of thousands of followers.  The WSJ would be doing a much greater service for America by trying to help correct the condition you describe rather than perpetuate it.  Please study the FairTax principles & then if you agree with them promote the FairTax in your writings so that you will help people get the proper education about the FairTax that is so desperately needed for America.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Post-Mortem Examination Of PA's 12th Congressional District Race

Late last month I posted the DCCC's video of the attack ad against the FairTax that was used in the special election race against Republican businessman Tim Burns who was running against Mark Critz for PA's 12th district House seat formerly held by the late John Murtha.  Critz was a former aide to Murtha & he decisively defeated Burns on Tuesday 53% to 45%.  There will be a rematch in November since both candidates also won their parties' primaries.
But the most important thing to learn is how Burns & the detestable Republican Party leadership (Michael Steele & John Boehner) handled the attack ad & the race after the ad was presented.
First, the ad that misleadingly stated that Burns supported a national sales tax that would increase the price of medicine & groceries by 23% was presented after Burns only said he would consider supporting the FairTax if elected.  After the ad was presented the Republican leadership advised Burns to back away from the FairTax - as they have on numerous occasions to other candidates since they don't want the FairTax any more than Democrat leaders do.  Burns obviously only had a rudimentary understanding of the FairTax & could not defend the onslaught so he backed away & may have sealed his fate as a loser in the process.
About two weeks ago I watched the Burns-Critz debate on TV & Burns was a model candidate looking like the Rock of Gibraltar as Critz kept dropping his microphone & water bottle - but Burns never uttered the word "FairTax."  This is light years away from a candidate like Mike Huckabee whose entire tax position in his literature in the last presidential race was literally "I support the FairTax."  I attended three Huckabee functions in SC during that campaign & the Governor started every one of them with a presentation of the FairTax that took up @ least 25% of the total time he spoke.  Governor Huckabee came from nowhere to finish in the final four presidential candidates while Burns was finished in one night losing to a bumbler.
Several people have asked me why AFFT financed ads refuting the original attack ad seemingly defending Burns after he backed away.  The push-back ads were funded by a Pennsylvania PAC organized by the advertising firm of Butcher and Butcher, which has a contractual arrangement with AFFT.  The contractual arrangement is currently on a 6-month renewal while AFFT and members of the FairTax Leadership Council are reviewing it.

The argument in favor of putting resources into this race was that AFFT was defending the FairTax, not Burns.  The push-back ads do send a signal to other candidates in other races that FairTax will hit back if attacked.  The other argument, of course, is that resources should go to candidates who will defend the FairTax on their own.  We definitely need top notch candidates who are well versed in the FairTax but there is something to be said for the other point of working in tandem with the strong educated FairTax supporting candidate - & that is what we intend to do.
Thanks to all of you - none of who live in PA's 12th district - who told me you sent letters against the attack ads & also in support of Burns when it looked like he might be a FairTax supporter.  I share your disappointment in this entire matter. 
It is important to know where your candidates stand in the upcoming primaries in your state.  The primaries are your best chance to find candidates who reflect your values - in NJ we have Dave Corsi (12th), Anna Little (6th), & Lon Hosford & Bruce Baker (both of the 7th) who are all unwavering FairTax supporters.  In Indiana all nine Republican candidates who won their primaries have pledged to support the FairTax if elected in November so let's hope for a sweep in Indiana. 
For the rest of us in the meantime please keep your powder dry until you find the candidate you are looking for & when you do support him with all of your might.
Some people were astonished that there was a low turn out in such an important special election.  I can only hope that every election has an extremely low turn out because people of substance in America today are so overwhelmingly outnumbered that a low turn out is the only chance we have to continue the Republic in a peaceful manner.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Jon Voight's Open Letter To America

For any one who missed Jon Voight's riveting open letter to America that he wrote & read on the Huckabee Show on FNC last month please check out the video below. The letter excellently articulates the dangers America faces under BO's insidious skillful training as a community organizer following Saul Alinsky's Socialist-Marxist method described in the book "Rules For Radicals."

"Rules For Radicals" begins - "What follows is for those who want to change the world from what it is to what they believe it should be" & goes on to say it "is written for the have-nots on how to take it (power) away."

Very succinctly put isn't it - just exactly what has been going on since January 20, 2009.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Response - The Education-Jobless Rate Relationship

Below is the best response I received to the subject message.  I present it as a single response because I do not want to water down the quality of its content with other messages or its spontaneity - it was sent just before a bad storm in Richmond by a long time member of our group who is raising & home schooling three children against all of the odds America faces.  I have told her many times that her children will not have to run - they will merely walk past the competition, if any.
Just a quick note before a bad storm hits here and I need to shut down the computer ... I only read the first couple paragraphs of your note quickly, and will read the rest later, but as home educating parents, we find it astounding that when we perform yearly tests on our children, which are mandated (depending on the state), in order for the child to be "passing" - they only have to achieve a score of 33%.  That is it!  I personally fault No Child Left Behind which really put an emphasis on "free money for good test scores" regardless of what a child is actually learning.  But too, with the terrible lack of support by parents, we will never get the quality level of educators in the schools for our children that they deserve.  Anyway ... sorry for the quick little quip, I just had to drop a note about that I, having graduated too many years ago to acknowledge, would have suffered a terrible wrath at home had I achieved a 33% on a score and called it a success!  Again, I am not talking about learning difficulties, etc., rather setting a very low standard.  Wasn't 33% always considered a failing grade?  Now that is all that is needed to "move up" to the next grade level?  Really sad for our future generations.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Education-Jobless Rate Relationship

The above graph shows government school spending per pupil going through the roof from 1960 to 2000 & it still sky-rockets ever upward today @ the same accelerated pace & yet despite the flat line reading scores that also continue today, late last month the DOL reported that a record 70% of new high school graduates enrolled in college in 2009. This record number of enrollees is caused mostly by the poor economy faced by young & uneducated people. The problem is that most of our young people are still uneducated after they graduate from college.

Staying in school of course puts off the inevitable search for a good job that the young person is still unqualified for after leaving school after building up student loans as grade inflation & the dummying down of higher education proliferates in our universities & colleges. For example, only 40% of community college students complete their programs - many high school graduates arrive @ community colleges ill-prepared for their course work & about 60% of these students take remedial courses which rightfully offer no credit toward a degree.

The percentage of eighth graders who read @ fourth grade levels continues to be astounding.

Meanwhile the 2009 high school graduates who didn't go on to college faced a 35% unemployment rate. The jobless rate of high school drop outs was 55%. What economists call the "youth unemployment rate" - those workers under 25 - is around 20%. Compare these figures with the current official 9.9% jobless rate & the 17.1% underemployment rate that includes those working part time who want full time work plus discouraged workers who have dropped out of the labor force.

The American Council Of Trustees & Alumni (ACTA) has done a tremendous job of helping students & parents analyze schools with their website WhatWillTheyLearn.com. Just click on to see what colleges are teaching. For instance only four schools in America require their students to take an economics course - you will be very surprised to learn who they are (& who they aren't). ACTA is expanding the list of schools reviewed from 125 to 600 by the time school starts this fall.

Carol & I are as deep into higher education as you can get so if you have a child or grandchild going to college in the next year or two please let us know. We will give you the benefit of what we have learned over the last decade. To us the objective of higher education is to prepare the student to be able to get a good job to support themselves after graduation & contribute to increasing the standard of living for people in our country.

Here is the transcript of the startling exchange I had with a member of the Chamber of Commerce @ the ACTA conference @ Mt. Vernon in October, 2007:

Chamber - "our 3,000 Chambers tell us they are unable to get educated and skilled workers, going from the entry level jobs to the kind of people who go to work for Microsoft, Intel and Cisco . The skills are simply not there because our education system from K to K 12 and post secondary are not doing the job and that includes our Colleges and Universities."

Doug - "you said early on that employers say that skills are not there. What skills are you talking about and in particular are there engineering skills that are not there?

Chamber - "Absolutely. There are skills all along the spectrum and let me give you two examples. We have created a career and technical group, for example, the head of the air conditioning installers -- home air conditioning installers comes in to see me, he's in association part of the Chamber, they cannot get air conditioning installers which requires some knowledge of math and reading and dealing with customers, generally a Community College certificate is required, starting salary is $60,000 a year, no candidates, or virtually no candidates. Why do we have a shortage -- why do we have all of these foreign-born individuals now working for Microsoft & Intel? There is a tremendous shortage at the high end of the scale for computer engineers & scientists. Fifty percent of the Ph.D.s issued in this country in physics, math, & computer science go to individuals on temporary Visas. The issue for the Intels, Ciscos, & Microsofts of the world is to increase the number of what's known as H1B Visas -highly-skilled foreigners, because the U.S. is not producing them. And it's a huge competitiveness issue. Intel, and this is the example I often use, has just announced a one billion dollar R&D facility in Israel It is not because it's cheaper in Israel and it is not because it's safer in Israel, it's because there are people who can actually do the work there and they are not available here in the United States."

With the above as a backdrop please realize that today one in five men 25 to 54 isn't working & the prospects are not bright because the jobs we have lost to China & India are not coming back. We are also getting use to this life of leisure as the unemployed in America spend 40 minutes a day looking for work & 3 hours & 20 minutes watching TV. We are getting more slothful as the destructive ways of socialism & government dependence increases - until it collapses of course.

Thanks to a member of our group who sent us the following video showing exactly how high the stakes are for America. Our country needs to be unshackled from the yoke of government interfering with entrepreneurs investing & starting businesses that will bring jobs back to America. BO knows this so he keeps playing on populist impulses - the more government interference has caused problems the more he tells people they need another government program as the solution only this time bigger than the one before. And the people educated in government schools fall for it.

The entire problem of both our decreasing livelihoods & standard of living can be understood by thinking about eighth graders reading @ fourth grade levels as mentioned above. I join Mark Nadler who writes - "what shocks me is how a student got to the eighth grade reading @ a fourth grade level."

Saturday, May 8, 2010

People Of Substance - In Greece & America

After the two most recent messages regarding America's trillions of dollars of unfunded entitlement liabilities, that will obviously be reduced by Congress one way or another, & the parallels of our country to Argentina it is only natural to next look @ Greece for more insight on where America is heading under BO's Socialist policies.
The riots & disturbances in Greece are the result of the Socialist Greek government collapsing because the critical mass of public sector union members & paper shuffling government employees' livelihoods can no longer be maintained because there is no wealth creation in Greece by the free enterprise system.  Andy Kessler reports that "In Greece, the public sector makes up 40% or more of the work force, with short weeks, lots of vacation, & lavish retirement benefits."  
In order to provide a bailout the IMF & other nations in the EU are demanding draconian Greek budget cuts that directly affect the people you see attacking police on TV.  Current legislation includes a combination of a higher VAT & excise taxes, reduced pensions & public sector wage cuts.  This is the inevitable result as a nation moves down the stages of Death Of Democracy - ironically a piece based on the Athenian Republic some 2000 years ago.
Now some, but definitely not all Greeks, are ready to take their medicine & tighten their belts & hopefully start again - & not necessarily in Greece.  The Greeks who interest me are the ones who finally admit that Greece's career politicians who promised anything & everything to get reelected are the problem - sound familiar?  With their own livelihoods threatened the rioters are suddenly forced to recognize decades of government corruption, kickbacks, & accounting deceptions that hid Greece's deficits from their own people & the other EU nations.
Even the least discerning of us can recognize that BO has us on a similar path of a much lower standard of living centered around government dependence that will result one day in the same type of scene as in Greece today.   The Greeks have figuratively fallen down a flight of stairs & now know that you can get hurt doing this - America stands @ the top of the same type of stairs built by the same type of career politicians & the question is will we learn from all of this or do we too have to take the same tumble?
The Greeks are ready to tar & feather their politicians & run them out of Greece on a rail.  The smart Greeks know that they have been complicit in voting for the same Death Of Democracy politicians & vow to never make this type of mistake again.  This gives Greece hope if there still is enough of these people - it is never too late for the human spirit to start again.
For me, if the statists somehow stay in power after the November elections, Americans of substance will have to ask themselves @ what level will they have had enough of a world turned upside down where right from wrong can no longer be distinguished.  If the peaceful election process fails because people of substance are simply outnumbered we can't start soon enough to begin a similar tar, feather, & rail house cleaning of Congress & the White House.  I just don't think people who have created wealth & a decent standard of living all of their lives are going to see it taken away from them for no good reason without a fight.  This image is the opposite of what is happening in Greece today where the statists are the rioters - in America it will be the people of substance who must take charge when things get bad enough for them.
The aptly named Greek architect & engineer Pericles Papapetrou hopes that all of this does not end in Greece with "an explosion of young people with no future."  That is precisely my hope for America as we continue to face BO's treacherous challenge to our way of life.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Argentina Then - The Poverty Level In America Now

As a natural follow up to the April 30 posting entitled "Unkind Benevolence Is Shorting America" many people have mentioned to me the internet slide show piece entitled "Argentina Then...America Now," so here it is.

As the interest on the national debt & the unfunded entitlement mandates of the retiring 10,000 per day baby boomers overwhelmes our economic system just look @ the comparisons in the slide show of Argentina in the 1900s to America today & more importantly look @ where Argentina is today & you can project America's future on the road we are going down.

Most people always have trouble making ends meet but I have found over the past year that people are just plain out of money to spend on anything other than their normal paycheck to paycheck costs to maintain their current modest standard of living. Now add in the costs of Cap & Trade & a VAT & the majority of people will be left with a disposable income that will be @ or near the poverty level - & it is all by BO's design as plain as the nose on your face.

The April 30 piece referenced above asked "isn't shorting America's treasury securities even a more obvious bet now than shorting housing was a few years ago?" The WSJ ran a front page story today documenting the participation of members of Congress who did exactly that in 2008.