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In response to:

Poll-Tested Pee in a Cup

Pete from CA Wrote: Jun 22, 2014 3:08 PM
Blame the doctors for a nanny who crashed into pedestrians while under the influence of prescription drugs. Let's see... every such drug bottle has a warning: "Do not drive while using this drug...." The only reason to sue the Doctor and/or the medical practice (in this case, the huge Kaiser organization) is that a nanny doesn't have much money to pay a judgment and likely has minimum insurance coverage -- essentially limiting the collection to the fairly low insurance policy limit for the accident. Too bad the kids weren't run over by one of the state's high net worth folks. (The accident is a sad unfortunate ... it's the money grubbing that I object to.) Of course, raising the medical "malpractice" judgment limit will just raise health insurance premiums for all Californians ... and are likely to drive more doctors (faced with higher insurance costs for malpractice premiums) either into retirement or out of the state. One more reason I moved out of the Californian Utopia....
Any federal employee found in contempt of congress (by a vote of a single house) should be denied all payments from the Federal treasury until that contempt is "cured." This includes salary, bonus, pension, and tax refunds. Contempt of Congress can be construed as a failure to honor the oath that every federal employee is required to make when they are hired.
The civil service rules need to be seriously reformed to allow management far more leeway in hiring and firing employees. The current system is so complex and difficult that most managers will not even attempt to fire someone, even if they are taking excessive days off and not performing their duties. It can easily take a year long effort for a manger to implement the firing including making detailed records of the "issues" with the specific employee subject to the firing action. WIth respect to the IRS situation, Congress should "punish" the whole organization by cutting the IRS budget by 20% -- but not reliving it of any of the duties assigned to it. Further, the salary of every IRS Manager ought to be cut by 20% and then all IRS salaries frozen with NO allowance for raises, even if an employee is promoted.
The United States has long been a country where illegal aliens choose to take the risk to enter our country in violation of our laws. Unlike most other countries, the U.S. has, mostly, put up with this influx eventually "regularizing" the illegal aliens at some point. What is somewhat new, is after the "bracero" program (that allowed entry of (mostly) Mexican citizens to work in agriculture) was ended (around 1960 as I recall), that the flow of Mexican workers continued to arrive -- and instead of going home after working here, these workers had the incentive to avoid the difficulties of crossing the border (without documentation) by settling in the U.S. Now, if a U.S. citizen performed the same behavior to visit Mexico, they would be treated with considerable severity -- so it is not that the U.S. treatment is "proper" -- it is actually in significant conflict with the normal treatment given illegal aliens in all other countries. Personally, I'd prefer that the government perform its primary task under the Constitution which is to protect the rights of its CITIZENS. That would include minimizing illegal border crossings as well as providing for the military defense of the country. As a practical matter, the politicians, especially those who think they may benefit from the arrival of illegal aliens, have not performed their duties. (Perhaps those politicians should be charged with treason for failure to live up to their oath of office to defend and protect the Constitution of the United States.) We now have millions of illegal immigrants living amidst the native and properly documented immigrant population. As a practical matter, it would be in the country's best interest to "document" those who are here. It is probably impractical to deport any significant number of these illegal aliens. What we can do is offer to "document" those who are able to prove the've been in the country for some reasonable period of time (at least a couple of years) and then give them a permit to remain here on the condition that they report all their income and pay taxes, and otherwise obey the local, state, and federal laws. These special resident permits should not create a "fast" pathway to citizenship, since that would (1) encourage more illegal aliens to enter or remain here, and (2) it would benefit the very politicians who cynically allowed our borders to be unenforced. Therefore, these permits should only allow citizenship application after 25 years.
Criminals are entitled to a vigorous defense as the trial system is (supposed to be) a finder of truth through an adversarial proceeding. ("Trial by combat.") The lawyer for a defendant is not there to personally assess the guilt or innocence of his/her client, but rather to put on a defense. While the "tear down the opposition" approach seems to come naturally to Democrats and especially the Clintons, it is not outside the bounds of "fairness" for a defendant's attorney to do that. However, criminal defense lawyers tend to be held in very low esteem by the general public and even by other lawyers, even in light of understanding their necessary role in reaching a finding that a defendant is "guilty beyond a reasonable doubt." (If the glove doesn't fit, you must acquit!) Admittedly, an incompetent prosecution and/or a judge who fails to properly control his/her courtroom can allow a very guilty defendant to go free. But that is in keeping with our desire that false positive verdicts (where an innocent is incarcerated) should be kept to an absolute minimum. Sadly, there are too many cases of over zealous prosecution coupled with distracted, overworked, public defender lawyers who fail to provide an adequate defense (or worse, face a prosecutor who "cheats" by not disclosing exculpatory evidence). None of this means that I approve of Ms. Clinton. She disgusts me. But it also appears that she did her job in defending her client quite well.
It is past time for the Congressional Republicans to ACT. As the old farmer said, he carried a 2 by 4 with him as it was occasionally needed to hit his mule "up side the head to get it's attention." It's time for the Republicans to hit the government bureaucrats "up side the head" to get their attention and to remind them that the depend on the good grace of the American Taxpayer for their existence. Since the literal "2 by 4" of government is money, the overall IRS budget should be cut by 20% based on the 2014 appropriation (not the fake numbers used to project next year's budget). And... the management positions of the IRS should all have an additional 20% pay cut from their existing salary. All IRS pay should be frozen at least until the end of the Obama presidency and no salary increases or bonuses should be allowed for any reason, including promotion to a nominally higher paying position. (The promotion should be allowed as needed, but no individual should get any increase in their pay.) No IRS employees should be allowed to transfer to another department for any reason. Obviously, unaffordable staff should be handled by a "reduction in force." Considering that the average work output of government bureaucrats is minimal, the remaining staff can easily take up the extra work, should they feel the least bit of motivation to do their jobs. I invite them to quit their government positions and try to get a job in the private economy as it grows under Obama's no growth policies. Most private employers understand that the work ethic of (former) government workers is nil, so they are usually the least desirable to hire. (Though McDonalds often needs "hamburger assemblers" and there are always a few "greeter" positions available at Walmart.) Naturally, the Republicans would need to include this in a "must pass" bill -- and stand their ground when it gets to the senate (by refusing to cut the provisions from the bill) -- Dare Obama to not sign the bill....
"...but can we not work togethere to make America 'a light upon a hill'?" Yes, it is possible. But you must give up the thought in your earlier clause: "We may wish to convert those of different faiths to our own understanding of truth..." That is the problem. You (Christians of various sects) wish to convert those who do not agree with you to your religion and way of thinking. You wish to force your concepts of "good and evil" upon everyone. Your evangelists are often extremely pushy, and when give a polite "not interested," you leave your tracts stuffed in a crack of the door (as if a glance at John 3:16 will instantly convert someone). You force your "10 commandments" (not that the various sects actually agree on what they are) onto the walls of our civil court houses, and crosses and Christmas displays onto our secular public lands. You demand that we listen to prayers given before public meetings. You insist that the United States was formed as a "Christian Nation" when the very document that organizes our national government states unequivocally "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..." (Implicit in this is the concept that "freedom of religion includes absence of religion.") The founders (specifically Thomas Jefferson) described the intent that there be a "wall of separation" between the government and religion. (In a letter after the Constitution had been accepted and established as the law of the land.) The Christian Nation myth comes from the historical reality that the United States was formed when almost every citizen was a Christian -- but the government was intended to be completely secular. That there were traditions that mixed religion with politics (in the past) does not mean that those traditions should continue in the present or are even appropriate in a more religiously diverse populace we now have. So, the typical Christian "my way or the highway" attitude remains supreme and makes it nearly impossible for non-Christians to work together to make America "a light upon a hill."
It's time for Congress to cut the IRS budget by 20% -- and to cut the pay of all (yes, all) IRS managers pay by 20% -- and to freeze all pay raises for any reason (e.g. service years) and for those who are promoted (they take on the new job at their former pay rate). Of course, no bonuses should be paid to any IRS employee under the Federal civil service bonus program. This will get the bureaucracy's attention. The civil service "lives" on budget growth and on ever increasing pay rates. Many IRS employees may feel unfairly treated by this proposal -- but then it may motivate the whistle blowers to come forward and rat out all the corrupt officials.
This is all going as expected. Obama's policies, based on utopian views of the left, will lead inevitably to impoverishment for all except the "chosen" government elites and other special people considered part of the governing crowd. The sad part is that our liberty is quickly being flushed away, to soften us up for the totalitarian dictatorship to come. Note that the "PC" objections to the "Redskins" name with the official government action by the U.S. Patent Office to suspend its Trade Mark is typical of the arbitrary actions of a socialist government.
In response to:

Three Cheers for Starbucks, But ...

Pete from CA Wrote: Jun 18, 2014 1:18 PM
I support Starbucks in their decision to offer qualifying employees tuition help. Indeed, my employer (a major railroad) paid the tuition for me at a state university as I completed the last 2 years of my degree while working full time. (Admittedly, tuition was lower in those days.) I benefited and the company benefited from my further education as I moved from sales rep and first line supervisor positions into middle management while I attended college -- and after graduation, I moved (in a couple steps) to a "sub department head" position. So long as companies can benefit by improving the education of their employees, they are likely to have such programs. There certainly should be no negative criticism when one stands up and does this. Too bad they over-roast their coffee...
It comes as no surprise. Academia and the media are filled with leftists. The left has a utopian vision of a "better world" of "social justice" once the "socialist revolution" takes place and overturns the "evil AmeriKKKa" ... The result is that this message appears in everything they say. The result are outright lies, most of the time, based on a subjective and very distorted world view. Realize that "social justice" can only be achieved by a totalitarian regime, since Marxist economics offers no incentives to behave in ways that would support the system it creates. (Thus, all socialist states have devolved into abject poverty.) What does amaze me is that the Left joins with the Islamic Fascists since they both consider America their enemy. However, if America is ever "brought down" and Islam takes over ... the "Left" is likely to be among the first lined up for beheading.
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