Greater Krueger National Park

Greater Krueger National Park
An image from a recent trip to South Africa. Clcik on the image for more on this trip.

Welcome to Wandering Lizard's Blog

Thank you for visiting our blog. If you have not already done so, please also stop by the Wandering Lizard web site.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Fuzzy Thinking on both sides of the Political Aisle.

Conservatives are hopping mad at the Supreme Court's decision to uphold Obamacare.  They accept the decision only because that is the way our political system is supposed to work.  They are so mad that some of them are assuming that we will defeat Obama in November in a landslide of votes.  I suggest that is an extremely dangerous assumption.  Granted, I live in California, but I know an awful lot of folks who intend to vote for the president again this next time around.  I also see and hear an awful lot of media coverage that continues to laud the good work that our president is allegedly doing here at home and around the world.

I am totally amazed at my fellow citizen's ability to avoid thinking about the reality of our debt crisis.  Although it is not kosher to say so, I believe that fuzzy thinking afflicts both sides of the political aisle.  There are a lot of conservatives that are blind to the real needs of a large portion of our society.  Some of us (understandably) want more and some of us say (correctly) that we can not afford it.  I know folks who are paying far too much for their health insurance and I know others that can not get health insurance.  My assumption is that these people will vote for Obama even though they probably suspect that his promises will not be fulfilled.  Throughout America, there are, unfortunately, a lot of folks in these dire circumstances.  If I am correct, they will all vote for Obama even though our debt crisis will ensure that his promises will not be fulfilled.

Faced with the Supreme Court's decision on Obamacare, the conservative knee-jerk reaction is to quibble about the definition of "tax" when we should be laying out what we will do to ensure a better health system once elected to office.  We have to simultaneously explain how we will pay for it in a fair and equitable manner.  Once we have that on the table we can go back to complaining about how Obamacare's specific provisions will worsen our debt crisis and block the resurgence of our economy that we so badly need if we are to maintain a viable healthcare system for our citizens.  Unfortunately, I doubt that we conservatives are smart enough to figure this out.  We will probably go into the November election without a clear understanding of what we intend to do about the cost of health in this country.

Even with that bleak prospect before us, I continue to advocate that anyone that really cares about this country should vote conservative at all levels in November.  The only way that we can pay for the kind of healthcare that this country needs is to have a healthy economy.  The only way that can happen is to stop the reckless, mindless, stupid government spending that the present administration advocates.  Once we have a process in place that will get our debt under control and put America back to work we will have the resources that we need to provide a better health care system.  If we don't get our debt under control we will not have a health care system of any kind.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Romneycare vs. Obamacare

I think that one of the reasons why the Supreme Court's five to four decision to uphold Obamacare came as a shock to my fellow conservatives is that they assumed that it was such a travesty that nobody in the political middle could possibly support it.  Although I completely disagree with the taxation argument that he used to justify his vote, Justice Roberts is correct that it is not the Supreme Court's role to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices.  Four years ago, we freely elected Barack Obama to be President of the United States and we gave him a House of Representatives led by Nancy Pelosi and a Senate led by Harry Reed.  These three people decided to use that opportunity to force Obamacare down our throat.  The current public backlash is an excellent example of what happens when a transitory political majority tries to depart too far from the middle road.  People on both sides of the political aisle who advocate extreme solutions are shortsighted and their policy choices are, for that reason, dangerous to the health and welfare of this country.

Obviously, we have to get rid of Obamacare and just as obviously we have to improve our healthcare system so that more folks can get better care without forcing them into bankruptcy to pay for it.  I am a conservative and I am highly critical of our failure to offer specific fixes to this serious challenge in a timely manner.  We pretty much have the public over a barrel right now.  If we re-elect Obama we destroy the most magnificent political experiment that man has ever produced - the United States of America.  Obama's record is so horrible in so many ways that we may well be given another chance to get things back on the right track in November.  I am an optimist so I am going to assume that we will regain the White House and will strengthen our position in both houses of congress.  I am delighted that our standard bearer, Mitt Romney, has dealt with the health issue at the state level.  I am even more delighted that he did it in a bipartisan manner.  I do not assume that Romneycare is a perfect solution to the problem, but I do believe that it is an example of the process that we need going forward.

I am not an expert, and do not know all of the specific differences between Obamacare and Romneycare.  It is my understanding that there are significant differences in the specifics, but I leave that to others that are more knowledgeable than I.  For me, it is enough that Romneycare was a bipartisan solution and Obamacare was a unilateral decision.  Romney's solution was democratic and Obama's was dictatorial in nature.  I don't know about you, but I really do not like dictators and I don't think that they are good for our country.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Mitt Romney and Bain Capital

A core element of the Democratic Party's campaign to reelect President Obama centers on destroying Mitt Romney.  Currently liberal superpacs are running ads attacking Romney's record at Bain Capital.  These ads point out correctly that Bain Capital profited from some companies that they managed, even as they slid into bankruptcy.  The suggestion is that Romney was the reason that these companies failed and that he destroyed them in order to make a profit.  In reality, Bain Capital is in the business of taking over companies that are already failing and trying to save them.  If Bain is unable to halt the decline of these companies, their demise is managed so as to rescue as much value as possible.

President Obama's attack on Bain is ridiculous and is one more demonstration that his camp is composed of folks who do not understand the economy.  Either that or they are attempting to bamboozle us with phony arguments.  Several prominent Democrats have taken strong public issue with this line of attack on Bain Capital and Romney.  These Democrats include former President Bill Clinton and Newark Mayor Cory Booker.  I conclude that the real role of Bain Capital is actually understood by Democrats and that this untruthful line of attack is one more example of desperation within the President's reelection campaign. 

I am not certain how far these folks are planning to go with all of this, but it is trending toward an all-out attack on business itself.  It is not beyond the pale to think that they are trying to argue that we are suffering from a weak economy and are without work because of business itself and they are purposely casting themselves in the role of anti-business.  The bumper sticker might read "If you are without work, vote for Obama.  He hates business too."

The free enterprise system is an important part of what has built our country into the greatest nation the world has ever known.  Why in the world would we want to destroy it - either out of stupidity or perhaps because of a misguided ideology?  Bain Capital is precisely the kind of background that will help to make Mitt Romney a better president than Barack Obama.  Our number one problem is the economy and we need someone who has a background in economic matters.  Mitt Romney has proven that he has that background and Barack Obama has proven that he does not.  We desperately need someone who can save a failing economy.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Ruling by Fiat is Dangerous

President Obama's continuing refusal to uphold and enforce the immigration laws that are on the books is extremely disheartening.  The United States has endured many trials during it's two centuries of existence, in part at least, because we have respected our system of government.  One of the basic concepts has been that the Congress will pass the laws that govern us and the president will enforce them.  When the two bodies disagree, we rely on the Supreme Court to settle the issue. 

In the case of immigration, we have a situation where the president is not only not enforcing the law, he is actively taking steps to stop anyone else from doing it as well.  Arizona is the most blatant example, but it is going on all over the country.  Granted that the immigration laws in this country need to be updated, but destroying the foundation of our governing system is definitely not the way to go about accomplishing that objective.  Whether it was so intended or not, this kind of governance is more appropriate in a dictatorship or monarchy - not a democracy with checks and balances.

Several of President Obama's recent statements indicate that he is ready to challenge the authority of the Supreme Court if they go against any of his various decisions.  This too is dangerous to the system that has held us together for several hundred years.  We had
all better be very careful as to where we go from here.  History has proven pretty conclusively that the day of monarchs and dictators is past.  Whether we like it or not, we must get along together and resolve our problems in ways that we can all support.  We must not consciously destroy the structure of our government in order to resolve any particular problem that faces us.  To do so is to ensure our demise as a nation.

Although Barack Obama promised much four years ago, he has not solved any of our problems, has divided us as a people, and now appears to be damaging the very foundation of the structure of our government.  I suggest that we must replace him before he completely destroys this country.  I urge you to join me in voting for Mitt Romney and holding his feet to the fire to develop and implement bi-partisan solutions that will address the challenges that face us.  Although many conservatives feel that Romney's record in Massachusetts was weak because, as governor, he reached across the aisle, I believe that is a quality that we badly need today in this country.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

"The Private Sector is doing fine..."

President Obama's comment that the private sector is doing fine has understandably angered many in this country who do not have work or who feel that their economic situation is worsening.  The full statement is a telling indictment of our president's lack of understanding of basic economics because he went on to say that local and state governments are where the real problems lie.  Those entities are having to lay off workers in record numbers and the president wants to borrow more from foreign countries and raise taxes on the private sector in order to continue to prop them up.

Those of us that oppose President Obama's policies point out that this kind of thinking has been tried in a whole host of places and in each has proven to be unsuccessful.  We should also point out that it has never once been successful.  The government sector consumes wealth it does not generate it.  Wealth is generated in the private sector not in the government sector.  You and I pay for everything that government does.  If we are not doing well there simply is not enough money for government services.  The first order of priority is to improve the health of the private sector.  Once we have that done we can decide which government services we really need.  If we don't get that done we will lose all of our government services.