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.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Responses - A New Year's Look Back To 1955

Upon receipt of several messages in response to the original subject message like "And I recall that when my dad was hospitalized at Barnes, a leading hospital in St Louis, we were appalled that his private room cost $30 per day!" Carol reminded me "what about the days when your mother gave you $6 to give the dentist to have your teeth cleaned & that was the end of it?" In this regard I also remember my mother was upset when the dentist raised his price from $5 to $6 for a cleaning.

I had some fun with "whoever sent you this information, certainly has a very, very good memory. I don't remember things that only happened 1-2 years ago. This person has a very sharp memory. It shows growing older does not hamper your memory." Seems this writer's memory is not 1-2 years but 1-2 sentences.

Lastly thanks to a great new friend who I met during the NJ congressional campaign & now is a subscriber to ReturnToExcellence.net - "Happy New Year Doug! I enjoyed reading about 1955....gives me hope that we'll survive today's non-sense!"

Attorney Addendum - The Many & Militant Dangers Of Public Sector Unions

Thanks to the attorney who prompted the original subject posting re law professionals employed by the state of NJ being represented by an electricians' union for adding the comment below.

With regard to the neighbor against neighbor militant ending I mentioned in the posting please check out today's front page story in the WSJ entitled Housing Pain Pits Neighbor Against Neighbor In Florida.

Whether housing or public sector unions the end may not be pretty - we have some of the housing problems on HHI. Our regime posts the unit numbers, names of those falling behind, amounts in arrears, & whether or not they are in foreclosure. It just may take a little longer for the union problem to materialize in this same way as described on the blog & in this housing report.

---Attorney Addendum---

I am the attorney who wrote the two letters quoted in this posting. As a 62-year-old New Jersey State employee who will be lucky if he can retire in ten years, I was struck by the comment about the state or city worker who retired 30 years ago at age 50.

The comment takes me back to a PG-13-rated scene from the movie "When Harry Met Sally." There Meg Ryan sits with Billy Crystal in a restaurant. Those of you who saw the movie recall what Meg Ryan does next.

The character with whom I identify is the older woman two tables away who calls the waiter over and says, "I'll have what she's having!"

Thursday, December 30, 2010

A New Year's Look Back To 1955

Thanks to a subscriber to ReturnToExcellence.net for sending us this reminiscence from 55 years ago from 1955.  I also refer you to the blog to click on "Classics" on the left hand side & check out A Hundred Year Look Back that was originally presented by the Historian & posted on 1/9/07.  It provides a similar look @ 1906.  We'll have to wait until 2065 to see what someone posts for this year.  Happy 2011.
"1955 CHEVROLET And The Conversations That Went With It"
    Comments made in the year
 (That's 55 years ago!) 

'I'll tell you one thing, if things keep going the way
they are, it's going to be impossible
To buy a week's groceries for $20.00.

'Have you seen the new cars coming out next year?
 It won't be long before $2,000.00 will only buy a
used one.

'If cigarettes keep going up in price,
I'm going to quit.
 A quarter a pack is ridiculous.

'Did you hear the post office is thinking about
charging a dime just to mail a letter

'If they raise the minimum wage to $1.00,
Nobody will be able to hire outside help at the store.

'When I first started driving,
Who would have thought gas would someday cost 29cents a gallon..
Guess we'd be better off leaving the car in the garage.

'I'm afraid to send my kids to the movies any more.. Ever since they let Clark Gable get by with saying
It seems every new movie has either HELL or DAMN in it.

'I read the other day where some scientist thinks
it's possible to put a man on the moon by the
end of the century.
They even have some fellows they call astronauts
preparing for it down in Texas .

'Did you see where some baseball player just signed a
contract for $75,000 a year just to play ball?
It wouldn't surprise me if someday they'll be
making more than the President.

'I never thought I'd see the day all our kitchen
appliances would be electric.
They are even making electric typewriters now.

'It's too bad things are so tough nowadays..
I see where a few married women are having to work
to make ends meet.

'It won't be long before young couples are going to
have to hire someone
To watch their kids so they can both work.

'I'm afraid the Volkswagen car is going to open the
door to a whole lot of foreign business.

'Thank goodness I won't live to see the day when the
Government takes half our income in taxes.
I sometimes wonder if we are electing the best
people to congress.

'The drive-in restaurant is convenient in nice weather,
But I seriously doubt they will ever catch on.

'There is no sense going to Lincoln
 Omaha anymore for a weekend,
It costs nearly $15.00 a night to stay in a hotel.

'No one can afford to be sick anymore,
At $35.00 a day in the hospital it's too rich for
my blood.'

'If they think I'll pay 50 cents for a haircut, forget it.'






Monday, December 27, 2010

The Many & Militant Dangers Of Public Sector Unions

This posting shows the many dangers public sector unions pose to our economy that could have a militant ending as described below.  It also presents a current on-going example of an electricians' union maneuvering itself to represent law professionals who work for the state of NJ. 
As recently as the 1950s there were no unions for government workers.  Public sector employees were expected to earn a bit less than their private-sector equivalents.  The reasons they did so included an interest in public service, job security, & reasonable benefits.
But that changed in the late fifties with New York City Mayor Robert Wagner's cynical appeal to the votes of city workers (a form of Death Of Democracy).  Wagner signed an executive order authorizing city workers to unionize, & soon other city & state Democrat legislators around the country followed his lead.
In 1962 JFK signed executive order 10988 which allowed unionization of the federal workforce - this also was the genesis of the unionized public work force in many states & cities.  This led to the large membership growth of public employees unions such as The American Federation of State, County, & Municipal Employees (AFSCME), the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), & the National Education Association (NEA).
Since January 2008 the private sector has lost 8 million jobs while governments @ all level have added 600,000.  Federal employees total average compensation is twice that of pay & benefits of the average in the private sector - see first graph above.  Average total compensation per hour worked for state & city workers is $39.66 compared to $27.42 in the private sector according to the BOL & the Cato Institute.  Other than a 34% differential in wages & salaries the biggest disparities are that state & city public sector defined benefit pensions are 7 times as large as those in the private sector & public sector healthcare insurance is over twice as costly.  In 1973 there were four times as many private sector union employees as public sector union employees - Last year, for the first time in our history, a majority of union members worked for the government - see second graph above.  Amity Shlaes writes "if we did not have so many government employees today, the cost of sustaining them would not be so high."
Many states are just simply out of money teetering on bankruptcy.  NY's Governor-elect Andrew Cuomo & even CA's Governor-elect Jerry Brown who introduced public sector collective bargaining in CA in 1978 has told the teachers' unions they are going to have to tighten their belts.  FDR was against public employee unions because he knew it pitted various groups of people against all taxpayers - public sector employees are paid with taxpayer dollars & allowing taxpayer dollars to be given as dues to a union who then provides political contributions to elected officials who will agree to give them even more taxpayer dollars was even too much of a conflict of interest for FDR to stand. 
MN Governor Tim Pawlenty recently wrote "The moral case for unions - protecting working families from exploitation - does not apply to public employment.  Government employees today are among the most protected, well paid employees in the country.  Ironically, public sector unions have become the exploiters, & working families once again need someone to stand up for them."  Just ask yourself what type of OSHA-violating work conditions government workers could possibly face that would warrant forming a union?
With the above as background please consider the current ongoing seemingly far fetched but true case of law professionals employed by the state of NJ becoming unionized represented by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW).  Below are two letters written by a subscriber to ReturnToExcellence.net who works for the state in the Department of Law & Public Safety - the person has a law degree & is awaiting details of the electricians' union representation & forced deductions from their pay whether they join the union or not.  The letters appeal to the appropriate elected state representatives for relief of this condition.
Many who have been in the public sector unions for decades can find themselves retiring in their early fifties with an inflation adjusted pension near their full final salary plus lifetime free health care while their private sector employee counterparts continue to work well into their sixties or seventies with their taxes going to support the pension & healthcare benefits of their public sector unionized neighbors.  Carol believes this is the basis of a militant relationship of neighbor against neighbor.
J.L. Gabbert describes this danger when he writes "Imagine the irony (little imagination required) when a 60-something worker in the private sector, who is still working @ half his former salary because all he has is a rolled over 401(k) from a chapter 11 bankrupt former employer, is faced with a tax increase to continue funding the six-digit public pension of a state or city worker who retired 30 years ago @ age 50."
Steve Walde echoes Gabbert's thoughts when he writes "as the baby boomers begin to retire it will become obvious that there are two Americas.  The first consists of those with pensions, mostly government workers, & the second, the rest of us.  These government retirees, many of them a decade or more short of age 65, will be seen @ the local golf courses & shopping malls, while the others will be toiling away @ some form of job well into the 60s & beyond."
The above real life examples could very probably not end well as resentment is built up from one neighbor to another as more & more of this comes out.  The above mentioned attorney who is near retirement @ the end of a long non-union working career in state employment & is just now in the process of becoming represented by an electricians' union will not be around to collect all of the promised magnificent union benefits decades from now.  Unfortunately, in the economic real world neither will anyone else. 
---Attorney's Letter #1 Dated 12/6/10 To State Representatives---
As you know, I am employed by the State of New Jersey, and I would like to call your attention to the issue of forced unionization - and to ask you to consider "Right-To-Work" legislation.  To be clear, I am not writing you as a state employee but as a constituent to my state legislators.

Recently a majority of my colleagues voted to certify the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers ("IBEW") as the collective bargaining unit for my unit of state employment.  Previously, my unit was not represented by a labor union.

I did not participate in that vote because of my political and ideological beliefs.  As you probably know among other reasons, I am active in a non-partisan and single-issue group called Americans for Fair Taxation.  This group educates the public about a federal tax reform proposal you know as the FairTax.

As an illustration of my dissatisfaction, the IBEW last year contributed $10,000 to the campaign of Congressman Frank Pallone, NJ-06.  In this last election, Pallone ran a series of false and misleading ads about the FairTax in an attempt to discredit his opponent.  I find the thought repugnant that a single penny of my forced dues should benefit candidates such as Frank Pallone and his ilk.

I am aware of my option to become a non-member and pay less so as to theoretically not support the political agenda of the IBEW.  See Chicago Teachers Union v.  Hudson, 475 U.S. 292, 106 S.Ct. 1066, 89 L.Ed.2d 232, 1986 LEXIS 27. But that option does not satisfy me.  Money is fungible.  I also am not sanguine about receiving benefits that I otherwise would be compelled to pay for, if I do not theoretically support the political goals of the IBEW.

I submit for your consideration the following link containing right-to-work laws in other states: http://www.nrtw.org/rtws.htm. The Virginia and Iowa statutes deserve highlighting because of their sanctions for violations.

Please review this request and advise me of you position.  Thank you.
---Attorney's Letter #2 Dated 12/15/10 To State Representatives---
As a follow-up to my earlier e-mail and my telephone conversation with Ben, I would like to propose that you introduce a Right-To-Work law as your opening gambit.

Your fall-back should be as follows: Members of a collective bargaining unit should have full rights of union membership by paying the equivalent of an "agency fee." No part of these dues should be used for any purpose other than collective bargaining, contract administration and grievance mediation.

If a union, at any level of its organization, is to support political activity, that activity is to be funded entirely from voluntary contributions of its members. As a corollary, no part of the "agency fee" is to support upper hierarchies of the union organization if any level of those hierarchies supports political activity. All political activity must be separately administered and fully accounted for.

The management concept is to turn this issue on its head. Under existing law, employees support union political activity unless they affirmatively opt out. Under this proposal, employees will support union political activity only if they affirmatively opt in. The proposed arrangement is far more equitable.

Thanks again for your consideration.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Responses - Broadway Comes To Belgium & Classic Christmas Messages

The spirit of Christmas & fun of year end Holiday celebrations were embodied in the recent postings of the spontaneity of the singing of the Hallelujah Chorus in shopping malls & the Julie Andrews' song in Belgium that lightened people's hearts based on the overwhelming positive responses received - which was my intent in presenting them.

I recommend to the many new subscribers to ReturnToExcellence.net to go to the "Classics" section on the left hand side of the blog for two previous favorite Christmas messages - A Contrast In Christmas Messages from December 22, 2007 & In Hoc Anno Domini from December 24, 2008. Long time subscribers should like the refresher.

Below are three representative responses to Broadway Comes To Belgium from three very serious Americans each of whom make enormous contributions to our postings throughout the year. Responses like these put me in the Holiday spirit.

---Response #1---

Thanks, Doug. I loved watching the expressions on the faces of the people who were watching. What fun!

---Response #2---

how charming - was this an impromptu performance?

---Response #3---

I love these....thanks for sending!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Tar & Feather Statists In The Lame Duck Congress

Thanks to a long time subscriber to ReturnToExcellence.net for sending me his thoughts re the Dream Act in the despicable lame duck Congress that has seen people who were resoundingly defeated in the last election offer one idea after another as to how to destroy America in the few days they have left in elective office. These people have no shame - they have only the destruction of your way of life & the establishment of theirs as an elite as their goal. Of course they are counting on you being too busy to notice.

I sent my personal thanks to the writer of the note below as validation for his comments - "The assault by statists is never ending & until we tar & feather all of America's enemies, both foreign & domestic, & run them out of our country on a rail you & I will never have peace. Thanks for all you do for America & particularly your support of the FairTax. Merry Christmas & Happy 2011 to you & your new wife."

---Dream Act---

The Dream Act is just a bad dream for now. The lame duck congress will not be passing it. The latest giant spending bill is dead too. Two reasons to celebrate this holiday. The no-go amnesty, in particular, is just great news. The communists simply ran out of time and cover to ram laws down our throats. If that amnesty had passed who knows how many millions of illegals would vote in the future. The communists would have almost all of those votes forever, and after a little more chain migration, we could kiss America goodbye. That was damn close, but the statists never stop pushing and amnesties will come up again soon and with the backing of RINOs. The so called moderates are pushing extremist amnesty laws that no other country would impose on its people. So good news for now and Happy Holidays to you & Carol but we can't let up because the statists never stop plotting to end liberty.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

GOP Endorsement Of Tax Plan Improves BO Reelection Chance

The above graph shows the government would have to tax people with incomes in the current two highest tax brackets well past the 70% rate to reduce the deficit to 3% of GDP. This is based on a static analysis which does not take into account human incentives like successful people protecting their life savings & incomes from confiscation by bureaucrats. In the real world of dynamic analysis the high earners & wealthy (there is a difference) legally protect their incomes & wealth from taxation. This of course always leaves the middle class to pay for the government bills for the programs politicians promised would be paid for by the wealthy, but weren't, thereby leaving the middle class that much poorer. And this in turn promotes more class warfare as the real culprit - politicians go blameless.

BO's Debt Reduction Commission was purposely designed to report their findings one month after the November 2 election & their findings have so far thankfully been totally ignored - just another waste of time & money - only our two most precious commodities.

The Debt Reduction Commission recommends one dollar of spending cuts for every two dollars of tax increases (raise gasoline taxes by 15 cents, raise the capital gains & dividends tax rates, & raise the cap on Social Security payroll taxes are some examples) - we have all seen where these type of recommendations end so I won't bring up their recommendations again if no one else does either.

This leads to the current tax & spending deal negotiated by BO & the detestable establishment Republican leaders such as Mitch McConnell that only serves to set up BO's reelection victory in 2012 - hard to believe but BO is the favorite especially after this deal was certified by the House after it passed the Senate earlier. The WSJ describes the deal (that extends the "Bush tax cuts" for everyone, reinstates the lapsed extended unemployment benefits for 13 months, reinstates the estate tax but @ higher limits & lower rates than those in 2009, & reduces the employee payroll tax 2% for one year) - "this spares the economy from immediate tax harm...but (it) is nothing close to a genuine pro growth supply side tax policy." NJ Congressman Scott Garrett says "ultimately, the bill does not provide the certainty that businesses need" & IN Congressman Mike Pence explains why Garrett is right when he says "uncertainty is the enemy of prosperity...what businessman would take out a five year loan with a two year tax structure in place" & I add "& a President who despises the parts of the deal that don't raise the highest tax rates."

Since the current tax rate levels have been in effect during the last two years of recession how does merely extending these rates provide a stimulus to the economy that we don't have in place right now?

Why the deal favors BO's reelection:

- For the next two years BO will refer to his agreeing to extend the "Bush tax cuts" for the wealthy, the rich, millionaires, billionaires, the top 2% (this is political inflation - Gore used to harp on the top 1%), & every other term he can think of to portray successful people as the enemy of America & the middle class. These terms will grate on the middle class until BO wins many people over to his side in his class warfare game constantly saying that it is not fair that successful people make so much money & are taxed so little. (Over the years statists have corrupted perfectly good words such as "liberal" and many of us have unwittingly let them get away with it. The latest such insidious assault is on the so-called "Bush tax cuts" with a strong implication or even outright statement that the "cuts" favor the wealthy thereby promoting class warfare. The WSJ reports that "tax payments by millionaire households more than doubled to $273 billion in 2007 from $132 billion after the rates were cut in 2003....(and) Tax payments by millionaires also increased dramatically after the Reagan and Kennedy tax rate reductions." As the Journal reports these "rate cuts" resulted in increased revenue not less revenue so why call them "Bush tax cuts" when they actually increased revenue?)

- The longer people are out of work the more they atrophy losing skills that would make them even less employable in the future thereby making them more likely to become permanent wards of the state - just the type of voter BO prefers. The latest proposed extension of jobless benefits amounts to a cost of $56 billion which merely redistributes income to Americans who already pay no income tax.

- BO addressed Forsyth Technical Community College in NC last week. The students applauded the mention of unemployment benefit extensions & booed tax rate cuts "for the wealthy" - who do these students think provide the jobs for their positions when they graduate? But these students & most of the young are brainwashed by BO's presentations & certainly are in his likely voter camp.

- Any business plan is longer than two years - one year from now businesses will be @ the same point they are today, namely wondering about the end of their foreseeable tax rate structure so they are not likely to spend capital expanding or hiring thereby making BO's rhetoric that the extension of the "Bush tax cuts" did not work that much more attractive to economic illiterates who will be ready for more government stimulus. The deal does move investment forward into 2011 & 2012 through an accelerated business expense write-off provision thereby making "BO's economy" over the next two years look better than it really would be but with a subsequent slow down in 2013 after he is back in office. Companies that have plans to expand in three or four years & see an advantage in the accelerated write offs mentioned may move their expansion forward to 2011 or 2012. BO can spin the results either way to suit his purposes.

- The 2% cut in employee Social Security payroll taxes for the next year is more tinkering around the edges of our cumbersome tax code that gives no incentive to hire because it does not reduce employers' costs one cent. BO wants to punish the successful no matter what the economic damage - the answer to this point is right before your eyes - the FairTax eliminates all payroll taxes forever.

Laura Ingraham reports:

"When we first heard word that President Obama had caved on extending the Bush tax cuts, conservatives and tea party supporters were excited. But now, upon closer review, it seems like we may have been sold a pig in a poke. In the midterm elections Republicans campaigned on restoring fiscal restraint to the budget process, but it turns out that we have a deal that extends unemployment benefits for 13 additional months, which adds $56 billion to the deficit. Also, today we learned that the tax deal is being larded up with all this special interest tax break stuff like 'mine rescue teen training credit,' 'Indian employment tax credit,' 'railroad track maintenance tax credit,' 'the American Samoa economic development tax credit,' (& throw in a '$6 billion subsidy for ethanol'). Is this what we all voted for on November 2nd? Senator Jim DeMint is right: If Republicans don't include spending cuts in this bill, they could risk losing the credibility they've worked so desperately to restore. They have to begin unveiling serious and credible ideas about how they're going to shrink the size and scope of the federal government. Otherwise, Obama will box them into minority status again."

And that is why BO will win re-election in 2012.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Broadway Comes To Belgium

Thanks to the original presenter of the Hallelujah Chorus video from Macy's in Center City Philly for sending along this link to a video that brings Broadway to Belgium  The presenter is very musically inclined but his biggest passion is the FairTax & his drive & incomparable work ethic is why I will always be known as "the other Doug."

Monday, December 13, 2010

Responses - Christmas Message & FairTax Interview

What terrific responses to the two subject messages.  Below are three that are as good as the original Hallelujah Chorus & the poem.
---Response #1---
Christmas Poem.... yes Carol has excellent taste, I just kicked back & closed my eyes, problems just melt.
---Response #2---
I enjoyed reading the interview and loved your Christmas message, too, even though the poem made me cry.  Best wishes for a Merry Christmas and healthy, happy, new year.
---Response #3---
Doug, I have received all 3 of these several times, and never tire of them.  Thanks!  Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

FairTax Interview - Home News Tribune

Below is the interview that Reporter Tom Baldwin of the Home News Tribune conducted with me shortly after we met @ a Tea Party event on a rainy night in November in Sayreville, NJ. It is a very accurate piece. In getting to know Tom I asked him to provide some insight into the government he experienced when he lived for several years in Lebanon - it is right in line with one of the themes of ReturnToExcellence.net & I will present it shortly.

Somerville Man Leads "FairTax" In NJ

By TOM BALDWIN • STAFF WRITER • December 11, 2010

SOMERVILLE — It just makes sense, says Doug Hartlove, to tax people on what they buy and not on what they earn.

Why, asks Hartlove of Somerville, go for a system where people pay up to 40 percent of what they earn when they can pay 23 percent of the amount they choose to spend.

Hartlove, a retired engineer who has been all over the world designing and building chemical plants, now travels across New Jersey seeking out groups to address about the merits of a little-known national movement called the "FairTax."

He says he has not won many converts, but his energy seems boundless.

The FairTax plan, its creators say, "is a comprehensive proposal that replaces all federal income and payroll-based taxes with an integrated approach, including a progressive national retail sales tax."

Although Hartlove said the idea is common sense, he has been slow to enlist advocates. Most of his audiences, he says, have been TEA Party supporters or other conservative groups.

Hartlove, volunteer state director of FairTax New Jersey, says people would see their entire salaries in their paychecks or pensions free of federal taxes, under a FairTax, and would not be taxed on purchases of basic necessities.

Hartlove also says a new form of taxing would make U.S.-made products more competitive in overseas markets.

He says a manufactured good would not have an accumulation of built-in taxes, such as on the sale of materials that went into the product. Those taxes, Hartlove says, would eventually drive up the cost of the finished good.

Hartlove says a FairTax would bring transparency and accountability to tax policies, ensure Social Security and Medicare funding, close loopholes and bring fairness to taxing in general.

"It is the most important piece of legislation in our lifetime for America," says Hartlove. "This is the biggest transition of power from the politicians to the people since the founding of our country."

Christmas Message - 2010

I know this is popular because I have received several versions from so many people - here are two to help keep you in the Christmas spirit. The first - Accompanied by the Wanamaker Organ the Opera Company of Philadelphia spontaneously sung the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel's "Messiah" to the delight of surprised shoppers on October 30 @ Macy's in Center City Philadelphia. The second was on November 13 @ A Christmas Food Court Flash Mob.

The above two links are celebratory. Carol can't replay them too many times & I hope you can't either - they are terrific.

Let's close out this message with a different Christmas poem that shows who we should thank for ensuring & protecting all we have to celebrate - God's two great gifts to the world - his son Jesus Christ & America.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Don't You?

Congratulations & thanks to a subscriber to ReturnToExcellence.net for writing & getting the letter below published in the popular NJ Courier-News (he would love to see responses from any of you which I will post). The subscriber has participated in numerous FairTax seminars & Tea Parties & in fact was the presenter of a FairTax seminar to a group of over 50 people. These type of things are perfect examples of what any of us could do if we were interested in contributing peacefully to the fight against the destructive statists who work round the clock taking away our liberties & way of life little by little each & every day until none are left. I just wish we had a whole lot more like him - don't you?

Dear Editor,

Any soccer mom or hockey dad can tell you that spouses paying one another to cook and clean won't sustain their family. And for similar reasons, our nation's economy cannot be driven by the creation of minimum wage jobs with us serving one another hamburgers or selling one another Chinese made products.

Money must come in from outside the home, state and country for us to sustain our way of life. This is pretty basic stuff; however, apparently few elected State and Federal officials get it. As the number and size of social programs grow, taxes will increase. And while the volumes of regulations continue to multiply, enabling even more abusive government control, the production of American made goods will decrease and even more national income will be lost. Increased taxes plus disappearing jobs is not a formula for recovery. The only question remaining is who will be left to pay for all of the social programs and bureaucracies?

To improve our balance of trade we need to encourage the growth of American companies capable of producing and selling products to global markets. We must let our free enterprise system work as intended to create high paying jobs to fuel our recovery.

It isn't that difficult.

1 - Reduce all taxes and curb the government's obsession for control of every part of our lives.

2 - Reduce the amount of money sent to our enemies in the Middle East for crude oil and to our economic rivals in the Far East for the purchase of consumer goods.

3 - Stop sending aid to governments who "hate" America.

Now is the time to protect our freedom and defend America for the benefit of future generations. Can the free world exist without America?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The EMR Pathway To Rationing

Thanks to one of the many doctors in our group for sending us the piece below by Dr. Alieta Eck, physician in private practice in Internal Medicine, Piscataway, NJ, and Co-Founder, Zarephath Health Center, Zarephath, NJ.  Dr. Eck's piece below describes the problems with your doctors' Electronic Medical Records (EMR) being hacked into Wikleaks style but even more importantly having the government access all of your medical records for such purposes as rationing care when they determine that your life is on longer worth living as far as they are concerned.

Electronic Medical Records in the Age of Wikileaks

Alieta Eck, MD

December 1, 2010

So will you trust the government to keep all of your private medical information private? Are they capable of that?  With Wikileaks, a master hacker was able to bribe a disgruntled government worker to help him access millions of very sensitive documents and e-mails and send them into cyberspace for all to see. The US government is embarrassed but worse yet our national security and the lives of our agents overseas may be jeopardized.  So if top-secret documents are now accessible to unauthorized viewers, what would stop this same hacker from putting all of your personal medical records out there?

In ObamaCare, the federal government is offering every physician $44,000 in taxpayer dollars to set up a new electronic medical record system.  And if that is not enough of an incentive, Medicare is threatening to cut doctors' pay in the next few years if they do not sell out their patients' privacy.  One of the specifications will be that these records be accessible online to "authorized users," most notably the government .  We are promised very strict privacy measures so that the records could never fall into the wrong hands.  Oh, really?

In 1996 the federal bureaucracy unveiled the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, commonly known as HIPAA.   By 2003, all of our patients had to sign forms certifying that they knew of the "privacy measures" used by our office.  Pharmacies had to set up stand-back lines where the next patient would not overhear the sensitive discussion on how to take one's antibiotics or high blood pressure medicines. Charts in our office were to be placed face down so passersbys could not see who was visiting the doctor.  We were all supposed to feel more confident that our government made rules for very good reasons.

So why does the government want to see your medical records?  Might it be planning to limit your care once you reach a certain age or develop a certain level of mental deficiency? Knowledge of recent history suggests that governments can use such information to blackmail and smear those considered troublemakers or enemies of the state.  Now it is offering to pay for access, but later the government could make your doctor's license to practice medicine dependent on complying with the EMR mandate. History tells us it is not a good thing when a government has total control of physicians.

Medical students are taught to ask whether there is a gun in the house, ostensibly to use this as a way to remind parents to keep them out of the reach of children. But now this will be part of the medical record that goes online, and hackers might be able to use this information to target certain families. The possibilities are endless.  Information is power-- the power to do good but also the power to destroy. 

Are all electronic medical records bad? No. I am a great proponent of EMRs when they are confined to my office or a hospital. They help me organize the information I need to better care for my patients. The listing of current medicines is easy to keep up to date and I can always go back to find out why I stopped others.  I can see at a glance what operations my patient had and when.  I can look at the family history to be extra vigilant lest my patient be susceptible to the same illnesses.  But can doctors practice good medicine with the old-fashioned paper charts? Of course they can. They just must be allowed to use what works best for them.

I took the Oath of Hippocrates which states I will keep the conversations between myself and my patient private.  So my electronic medical records will never go online.  They are confined to a server right in my office and the privacy of my patients is fully protected.

Do not depend on the government to protect your medical records. Under ObamaCare, the government seeks the right to mine your most private information just as it wants to peer under your clothing in the airport.  This is another important reason why ObamaCare must be repealed.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

More Responses Re California & China

The message two back of California's financial condition's relationship to the video of the Chinese professor saying in essence "we own you" continues to rouse interest as it should - "Excellent Doug, very interesting and disturbing at the same time. Keep up the good work. Hi Carol." "Disturbing" is the key word from the great majority of responses received.

Below are three appropriate California anecdotes from a subscriber to ReturnToExcellence.net:

1) Why does U-haul charge nearly three times as much to rent a van from Los Angeles to Austin, Texas? Because the flow of moving vans is from California to Texas, and not the other way around. Whenever a van goes to Texas, U-haul has to pay a driver to bring it back.

2) A friend of our FairTax State Director had a light manufacturing business in California. Underscore "had" - in the past tense. After complaining about taxation and regulation, my friend's friend decided to do something about it. He moved his business to South Dakota.

3) My daughter, this past September, started a position in the energy loan syndication unit of Union Bank of California in Los Angeles. Her bank was then acquired by Bank of Tokyo Trust Company - her new indirect employer.

The subscriber wraps it up saying "the Golden State has much to offer, folks, but it is becoming increasingly difficult for it to overcome government mismanagement." This sentiment is applying more & more to far too many other states as well - better check yours out.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Responses - California & China Both Think They Are Taking Care of Themselves

Thanks to all of the great responses to the subject message. In addition to the three shown below James Holmes reports he has conducted research on over 2,000 California legislative races over several decades. Mr. Holmes writes "This work shows that (California) Republican candidates in legislative districts with 30% Republican registration have only about one chance in 25 of victory in the general election." His work shows that when Republican registration drops below 30% in California the chances of winning become statistically insignificant. Mr. Holmes concludes that candidates in California (as well as NJ's Anna Little & Mike Agosta - both had 14% Republican registration in their districts) may be proud that they received votes well in excess of registration numbers or historical results but their candidacies are statistically hopeless from the start.

The responses below demonstrate an understanding of the power of the principles of Death Of Democracy & that only We The People of substance can turn this power back - but we better do it quickly.

---Response #1---

The California paradox is that since the beginning of the 20th century California has had 15 Republican governors and five Democratic governors. California Republicans have failed to promote the Republican doctrine of less government, less taxes, less spending, and less business regulations. In 100 years Californians have gone from the biggest producers to the biggest moochers.

---Response #2---

Well written article. If you were unemployed, and getting unemployment checks, foods stamps, etc. WHO would you vote for in an election - someone who would continue that policy - and that is what CA did.

My own personal view - in several years, contrary to the opinion of the oblivious, U.S. will no longer be a strong country because of all the debt we owe which cannot be repaid. Government might try to do it by decreasing the value of the U.S. dollar over time which only makes matters worse.

Did you know China and several other countries are buying outright "toll roads" in various states with our dollars? They have so many dollars like you mention, they do not care how much they pay for those roads. Why are states selling "toll roads?" - to get revenue to balance their budgets. It's a no win situation for the U.S. and also for the states and cities.

BTW, Republicans will have a hard time improving the economy, creating jobs, etc. If they fail - 2012 goes to the Democrats & BO.

---Response #3---

It is scary to think that by 2030 what the Chinese gentleman is saying could be true!