Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Majestic Southern Utah

October has been a hectic month in my household.  You see, my beloved wife broke her ankle quite severely a few years back.  She has had multiple surgeries on it during the ensuing years, but nothing really helped with the pain and the arthritic joint that developed because of it.  The only real way to give her any lasting relief was to fuse her ankle joint together.  As this is a painful surgery and the recovery time before she can even put any weight on the ankle is on the order of months, we decided to take a trip to the southern part of our state to get away on vacation before she was cooped up and unable to go anywhere for basically the remainder of the year. 

My wonderful in-laws went with us and we spent several days meandering through some of our National Parks in southern Utah in what has to be some of the most magnificent and majestic scenery that God has ever created.  With that said, I thought I would veer away from politics briefly and share some of the pictures we took on our trip.

We started our trip by staying near Moab, UT at a beautiful resort on the Colorado River called the Red Cliffs Lodge. This is a picture looking at the cliffs at sunrise from just outside the front door of our room.

Using Red Cliffs Lodge as our home base for the first couple of days, we explored the surrounding areas starting with the beautiful Fischer Towers.

The next day we all ventured into Arches National Park to see some of the beautiful red rock formations and natural arches created by untold millenia of weather and erosion.

The above picture is of balanced rock.  If you look real closely you can see people at the base of the rock between it and the monolith to the right.  That gives you an idea of the size of this monster.  For some strange reason I am reminded of the roadrunner cartoons by these peculiar formations.

Below is a picture of just a few of the thousands of rock arches that give this beautiful park its name.

Below is a picture of Wall Street.  This one is far prettier than the one in New York City.

The following day we ventured towards Canyonlands National Park and stopped at a Utah State Park called Dead Horse Point along the way.  Dead Horse Point is a beautiful overlook that towers 2000 feet above the Colorado River below.  The point of the mesa from which we took this picture is accessed by a very narrow span that is no wider than the width of the road.  Legend has it that cowboys used to herd wild horses across this choke point onto the mesa and then built a fence at the narrow point to corral them in there.  At one point, the cowboys didn't get back to the horses in time and they died there due to thirst on this arid mesa overlooking the Colorado River below, hence the name of the park... so legend goes.

From there we took our leave and wandered to Capitol Reef National Park.  At one point within the park, etched into the side of the canyon walls are ancient Anasazi Indian petroglyphs which are still visible today.  Unfortunately there are signs of idiots that have carved their initials into the wall by these petroglyphs.  The foolishness and short-sightedness of some people never ceases to amaze me, especially in such beautiful places.

These days of Indian summer were warm and pleasant on our trip and all of nature seemed to be enjoying the sunshine before the first snows come to Utah.  My wife captured this picture of a Monarch butterfly that was flitting about the wild flowers near the petroglyphs.

From there we headed to one of my most favorite places on earth: Bryce Canyon National Park.  Nowhere else in all of my travels have I found scenery as unique and as mysteriously awesome in the truest definition of the word than at this park. 

In previous years on our journey to Bryce, my wife, youngest daughter, and I would hike down into the canyon amongst these sand stone "hoo doo" spires and be lost in wonder at the beauty of this canyon.  Unfortunately on this trip there would be no such hikes for us this time.

 On the way home, the clouds started to come in and my wife captured these cotton-ball clouds in the late afternoon as we ventured north towards home again.

 The trip was wonderful, all the more so because I spent it with people I loved.  And by the way, my wife's surgery was successful.  As she continues to heal, hopefully the beauty we all experienced will tide her over until she is up and walking on her own two feet once again. 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Selecting Romney's Cabinet

While nothing is certain in this life except death and taxes, particularly under the governance of the Obama administration, I am feeling rather optimistic that Governor Romney will indeed be our next president.  With that in mind, the governor’s organization has reached out to me to help vet the very best candidates to fill his cabinet.  Okay -- not really -- but if Governor Romney were to ask me, the following would be my recommendations for good people to help restore Americans’ faith in our government so that it might be administered constitutionally for a pleasant change.  That said, here are your future cabinet secretaries under President Romney:

Department of State:  John Bolton
Bolton is an exceptionally smart man with clear insight into the workings of world affairs.  His stint as President Bush’s ambassador to the U.N. showed that he knows the impotence of this corrupt organization and what truly must be done to further America’s interests and keep the world safe for freedom’s sake.  Bolton would set a tough pro-America tone and reinvigorate what is a feckless and wimpy group at Foggy Bottom.

Department of the Treasury:  Ron Paul
While Paul is a nut job and sounds like Dennis Kucinich on foreign policy, he is dead on accurate with his assessment of domestic policy, especially when it comes to the Federal Reserve.  Romney should appoint Dr. Paul and then give him carte blanche to clean house, starting with an exhaustive audit of the Federal Reserve.

Department of Defense:  David Petraeus
Move General Petraeus from his current position handling intelligence and instead have him mold and form the Defense Department for the future generation of wars that might be thrust upon America.  Petraeus is smart and knows how to win wars and what that entails strategically, tactically, and logistically.  Working with a new Joint Chiefs Staff, he could set policy that would help to secure America’s safety in the world.

Department of Justice:  Chris Christie
Christie’s tough no-nonsense approach to… well… everything, would restore integrity with him as our new Attorney General.  This is direly needed in light of the corrupt and incompetent job done by Eric Holder.  Christie would not play political favorites and thus turn what has become a politically motivated cabinet back into the top law enforcement agency in the country of which Americans can once again be proud. 

Department of the Interior:  James Inhofe
Inhofe would manage our natural resources responsibly without caving to the enviro-whackos on policy, particularly when it comes to the specious anthropogenic “global warming” nonsense.

Department of Agriculture:  Rick Perry
Perry has a long history involved with agriculture and would do a fine job overseeing this department.

Department of Commerce:  Steve Forbes
After the devastation wrought on our economy by Obama, Bush, Pelosi, Reid, the Democrats and Rino’s, we will need a brilliant businessman along with President Romney to help steer government away from hurting commerce and towards getting out of the way of our small businesses in order to get the economy moving again.  Forbes would do splendidly as commerce secretary accordingly.

Department of Labor:  Scott Walker
After Obama’s allowing of unions to set U.S. labor policy, Governor Walker would be a great pick in providing the appropriate balance between unions and businesses.  The fact that he has taken on public tax-payer unions and saved millions of dollars in Wisconsin accordingly would be a warning shot across the bow to other public unions that the tax payers will not be fleeced by them anymore.

Department of Health and Human Services:  Rand Paul
The younger Dr. Paul would be very good at trimming the fat in this department while ensuring that only vital functions were retained and funded, all without infringing on Americans’ liberties and Constitutional rights like the Obama administration has done.

Department of Housing and Urban Development:  None
This is a department whose tasks are better and more efficiently handled at the state level, if even necessary then for some smaller states.  Cutting this department is the first step to trimming federal government largess and returning to a constitutional governance accordingly.

Department of Transportation:  Marion Blakey
Ms. Blakey as the CEO of the Aerospace Industries Association would be a dynamic and innovative leader for this department.  She would bring true usefulness to it and ensure tax payer dollars for transportation were used wisely accordingly.

Department of Energy:  None
Disband this department which was created during the Carter Administration to supposedly wean us off of foreign sources of oil and energy.  Obviously this is a goal at which it has failed horribly.  Return the nuclear regulatory functions to where they once were administered with the Navy, and return all other required functions to the states where necessary.

Department of Education:  None
Again, eliminate this department and return funding to the individual states where they can better and more efficiently administer to the educational needs of their students.

Department of Veterans Affairs:  Allen West
Colonel Allen West would do an exemplary job looking out for the needs of our veterans, just as he did when he was in the Army.  His integrity and devotion to his troops would be well utilized here in serving those that have sacrificed so much to protect America.

Department of Homeland Security:  Rudy Giuliani
Unlike the lip-service paid to security by Janet Napolitano, Mr. Giuliani understands the ramifications of it better than nearly anybody else in the country.  His management skills and no-nonsense demeanor would actually improve our national security without infringing on more of our constitutional rights.

Now I am sure that my recommendation of many of the good folks on this list will cause many of our liberal friends to blow an aneurysm.  That said, it is my opinion that these folks I have chosen are serious people whom are well qualified and would do admirable jobs in each of their positions instead of merely being assigned for political patronage or to make the cabinet appear to meet some politically correct standard.  I have no illusions that some of these people will ever be asked, or that they will necessarily accept the appointment if asked.  I certainly don’t expect  that some departments will be eliminated, although if Romney wins by as large of a margin as I suspect he might, there will be no better time to get rid of these unnecessary and extra-constitutional departments.  We shall see very soon what the future will hold.  In the meantime, I think I will forward my list to Governor Romney just in case he needs some better suggestions. 

Friday, October 19, 2012

The Impending Defeat of a Progressive President

The common wisdom among our partisan leftist friends, including the mainstream liberal media, is that the upcoming presidential election will be a close one.  But in the end, their champion Barrack Obama will indeed emerge triumphant and send that “selfish 1%’er” Mitt Romney running back to obscurity to lick his wounds.  I strongly suspect that this is more a matter of misplaced faith on their behalf than on common sense.  Ronald Reagan was 9 points behind Jimmy Carter in the month prior to that election, and as we all know, the Gipper won in a landslide.  I would submit to my leftist friends that they are about to experience a similar shellacking in 18 days. 

When it comes down to it, common sense dictates that America will not re-elect Obama to the presidency.  In 2008, Barrack Obama was a fairly unknown candidate who spoke eloquently about grandiose ideals such as generic hope and change.  In 2012, President Obama now is a known candidate with a dismal record on which he has to run.  The result of his record pretty much suggests that his re-election is indeed doomed.  President Obama has angered or disappointed far too many people and specific demographics thereof to get the kind of support or even voter turn-out for him that he received in his first election.  Let’s look at a few specifics as to why I think this portends the end of his administration accordingly.

First off, it is with a high degree of certainty that I think that those conservative folks who voted for John McCain in 2008 will not be voting for Barrack Obama in 2012.  Obama thus will pick up none of those votes accordingly.  That said, there are millions of independent people that did vote for Obama in 2008 when he was a well-spoken but virtually unknown quantity that are sorely disappointed in his performance who will not vote for him again in 2012.  The net result will be a loss for Obama.

President Obama carried a staggering percentage of the black vote in 2012, however, he has angered many church-going black people including prominent pastors due to his recent stance in support of gay marriage.  While Obama will still easily get a majority of the black vote again, he will not have anywhere near the percentage that he did in the first election.  Again, this is a net loss for Obama.

The Jewish vote in America has also historically been a strong support group for the Democratic candidate, and indeed Obama captured a majority of their votes in 2008.  That said, Obama’s policy of “placing daylight between America and Israel” has made Israel feel more vulnerable to ever rising anti-Jewish terrorist groups and states in the Middle East.  Obama’s suggestion that a return to the indefensible 1967 borders for Israel as a starting point for negotiations with the Palestinians drew the ire of Prime Minister Netanyahu and alienated many of the Jewish people.  Obama’s seeming indifference in actions, if not always in his rhetoric, towards preventing Iran from getting a nuclear weapon is a huge existential threat to Israel’s survival.  These factors have ensured that Obama will lose a significant percentage of the Jewish vote in America for this election.

The youth vote was wildly enthusiastic and turn out for Obama was huge from this constituency in 2008.  Now, four years later, 50% of college graduates are unable to find employment and enthusiasm for Obama based on his poor stewardship of the economy and job market for these young people will ensure that far fewer of them will turn out to vote, and of those that do vote, many of them will not pull the lever for Obama this time.

The Catholic vote was slightly in favor of Obama in 2008.  Now with Obama’s assault on Catholicism and Americans’ first amendment right to practice their religion via his Obamacare HHS mandate, there are millions of Catholics that will not vote for Obama this time around.   Another net loss for Obama.

Next, small business owners have seen a dramatic increase in their costs of doing business and are fearful of the impact that Obamacare will have on their bottom lines.  These and other negative factors that Obama has created in the economy through his policies have made it so that small businesses are unable to grow and hire more people, hence the horrible unemployment numbers still.  For that reason, most small business owners will not be voting for Obama on November 6th either.

Then there is the veteran vote to consider.  While this group has historically been more reliably Republican in their voting tendencies, Obama has done nothing to endear those folks in the armed forces to himself.  Indeed, Obama has made it even more difficult for military members to vote absentee out of fear of this, accordingly.  You will see Romney get an even greater percentage of this group than McCain did in 2008.  Net gain goes to Romney.

Even among the bed-wetting on-fire progressives that voted for Obama in 2008 there is much anger and resentment towards him for not going even further in his attempts to usher in a worker’s paradise.  The enthusiasm gap and waning support from the most ideological of his base will suffer accordingly and result in less voter turn-out from this group too.  Another net loss for Obama.

Lastly, there is the blue collar working class folks who have seen true unemployment remain above 8% for nearly all of Obama’s tenure.  Gas prices, food prices, and even health care costs have dramatically skyrocketed directly due to Obama’s policies over the last four years.  People ultimately will always vote with their pocket books, and Obama has not done anything to alleviate the burden for America, and particularly for this constituency group.  This is a huge net loss for Obama.

The bottom line is that President Obama will lose, in some cases by huge margins, many votes from the preceding groups of American voters.  There is no single group where Obama stands to gain in voter support over the 2008 election.  With that said, common sense and simple arithmetic tells me that on Wednesday November 7th, President-elect Romney will be celebrating, as will a strong majority of Americans.  May God bless America again accordingly!