More Opinion by The Springboard

THE UPRISING OF THE AMERICAN PARTY "Clearly the voters are engaged right now, at least for sure on the republican side, and what they have concluded is that the republican party has not done their job. Thus, Donald Trump gets their vote."

Friday, January 22, 2010

DANNY GLOVER HAS LOST HIS MIND

He's out of his wits, this Danny Glover. After hearing his remarks recently about Haiti, the American government's response, and Hugo Chavez of all people, I think its clear the man has lost his mind. Who knows if he's always been a left wing junkie...probably has been. Most of those Hollywood types are, of course. It always pains me when these guys get out there and do this as well. I mean, Danny Glover's a good actor, no doubt about that. I enjoyed his performances in the Lethal Weapon movies where he seemed to play a pretty sensible guy.

Danny Glover seems to think we're occupying the country. But then this is what Hugo Chavez seems to be saying as well. "Send doctors Mr. Obama, not soliders," Hugo was quoted as saying.

I think it's safe to say that Haiti has no infrastructure. They also do not have a viable police force nor do they have a military force. They do, however, have corruption en masse. This is the primary reason why American ground forces are there in Haiti to deliver medicine, water and other necessary supplies to the Haitian people in need of it. If they were to simply send doctors, we'd likely have to add their bodies to the growing piles of earthquake victims.

By the way, as for the efforts of America in this whole thing to Mr. Chavez and to Mr. Glover, since 1992 the United States has provided $3 billion worth of aid to Haiti. Now, granted we can argue all day what good it did. But it's still an enormous amount of money no less. We are currently sending $100 million of U.S. taxpayer money as we speak—not to mention the cost of the deployment of troops itself. Mr. Chavez has sent one plane of supplies. One plane! I wonder if anyone on it were doctors?

By the way, might I just point out in closing that long ago I decided to boycott Citgo as it is owned and operated by Chavez and the Venezuelan government. I leave that as a reminder that pumping gas at a Citgo station only serves to serve tyranny.

PROFILE OF A PATRIOT
Profiling in our nation's airports have nothing at all to do with singling people out or denying anyone their civil rights. At the end of the day profiling is about patriotism.
CLIMATE CHANGE AND THE ISSUE OF THE FALLING SKY
Global warming, climate change, whatever we are calling it today, is about putting the human race smack dab in the center of the doomsday scenario. It's meant to scare the hell out of us.



Friday, January 15, 2010

WE ALL HAVE A DOH! MOMENT NOW AND AGAIN

I sway from the usual rant today just to reflect on one of those Homer Simpson, Doh! moments we all tend to have every now and again. They're never major happenings. Just minor moments in life when you think, man that's just annoying.

It was earlier in the week when the wife and I had decided it might be nice to catch a bite out to eat on Friday (that would be today, of course). She was at the kitchen table going through the coupon wallet, and taking out the expired ones to throw away.

"Hey, there's one in here for Red Lobster—$4 off two dinner entrees," my wife told me and tossed the coupon over to me.

"Oh, well, maybe we could catch Red Lobster Friday then," I told her.

She nodded, and then asked me when it expired. Doh! It would expire on Thursday. But no problem, I told her, we'd just go out to dinner on Thursday instead of Friday. It really didn't matter to me anyway when we went out to eat.

So Thursday came along, the wife got home from work, and she just wanted to change a bit before we left. As we were headed out the door to leave for the restaurant she asked me, "You've got the coupon?"

"Yeah, it's in my wallet. I put it in there so I'd be sure not to forget it."

We arrived at the restaurant, it would be a 25 minute wait for a table we were told, and they handed us one of those little vibrating things. Not too bad. We've waited longer many times before. If it would have been Friday like we had originally planned the wait surely would have been quite a lot longer. It's always like that at Red Lobster, you know.

So, like most people do we just ambled over to the bar and ordered up a couple of drinks. One Samuel Adams on tap for me a Malibu Rum and Coke for the wife. $9.50. Let me tell you, I'm in the wrong line of business. Drink prices are getting a little soaked.

Anyway, we finally got seated and the waitress told us about the fish specials and other particulars. We refreshed our drinks and before she walked away I said "Oh, by the way. I've got a coupon just so you know."

"Fine," the waitress said. "Just present it when you pay and I'll take care of it."

So we sat and talked, the wife and I. We ordered up one of the appetizers. It arrived and we ate it. Our salads came and we ate those. Then the main course, and we gobbled that all up. The waitress came by and asked if we wanted dessert, to which both the wife and I replied (clearly way too full already) no thanks, we'd burst for sure. And so she brought the check and I whipped out the debit card to pay. Waitress came and got it, rung us up, I signed and we headed for the door.

Hitting the cold Wisconsin winter air just outside the Red Lobster the wife remembered. "The coupon," she said. It was a statement.

Dammit. Yes, the coupon. I had forgotten it.

Sure, I could have gone back inside and had the waitress apply it. But it was only $4. Only $4—spoken like I have a couple million in the bank. And it would be time consuming. The place was still busy. It would be a lot of hassle for practically nothing. Instead I simply yelled Doh! in my head, and brushed it off as I walked to the car to get the door for my wife.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

FORMER PRESIDENT H.W. BUSH HECKLED

I think it's deplorable what happened to former president George H.W. Bush at a Houston, Texas pizza restaurant where a man came up to him and began to heckle him, shouting false accusations and profanities. Luckily the president's secret service protection was in tow and they were able to send the heckler on his merry way.

Not that we don't sometimes disagree with our elected officials, including our presidents. But as anything goes in this world, if we want to get our point across, we have to do it respectfully and we simply cannot engage in the use of outright lies to support in favor of our arguments. This is not to say that had the man approached the former president in an intelligent way the president may have sat with him, chatted, and maybe even offered up a piece of pizza to the guy. But what the heckler did only served to make him look like a fool. It invalidated any case he may have had.

My concern over this incident calls me to question, beyond this, whether we may need to have another look at the law that went into effect in 1994 that limits secret service protection for former presidents elected after January 1, 1997 to just 10 years following the end of their terms. I examine it in more detail in my hub, "Bush Heckled At A Restaurant Signals Time to Revisit 1994 Law."

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

HAITI EARTHQUAKE DEVASTATES AN ALREADY IMPOVERISHED NATION

The recent 7.0 earthquake that rocked the land in Haiti, an already impoverished nation, has gotten much attention from top celebs, and President Obama has spoken about it as well. In particular Wyclef Jean has begun a foundation with a phone number that people can call to make donations to relief efforts there. You can text "Yele" to 501501 and Wyclef Jean's foundation, Yele Haiti will donate $5 from a charge made to your phone bill. Naturally the American Red Cross and UNICEF are engaging efforts there as well.

On Tuesday the president said "his thoughts and prayers were with the people of Haiti." He has also stated that U.S. Military assistance could be provided if the situation deems it to be appropriate.

The area most affected by the quake was the capital city of Port-au-Prince, which is home to nearly 1.8 million people.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

WEAK EARNINGS REPORTED THROUGH HOLIDAYS; WELL DUH!

Two stories hit the wire this morning, "Stocks lose ground on weak earnings start," and "Small business sentiment drops amid weak holidays," and as of this writing the markets are down about 30 points. But I have to tell you, I find this a little bit puzzling considering that the fact that we are not quite out of the woods on the consumer end of the recession is not new news. Nor are the jobs numbers which are still hovering around 10%. If people aren't working, or still aren't feeling a strong sense of job security they aren't going to spend their money. If you ask me, the recession, and low consumer demand should already be priced into the markets.

So, as things tend to go in these quick markets, it's just a knee-jerk reaction. I've talked about this before as being a time to jump in and take advantage of the overreaction. A long while back I wrote a blog entitled, "Jittery Investors Give Me the Cheaps," which basically was built on the premise that knee-jerk reactions from jittery short term investors typically provide an opportunity to get into a new position more cheaply, or to add shares to an existing position for less money.

Until this economy gets out of the doldrums, I'm sure there will be plenty of opportunities to take advantage of nervous traders.

Monday, January 11, 2010

FORD TAKES TWO TITLES AT AUTO SHOW, STILL A STRONG BUY

I've been touting Ford Motor Company for some time. In a recent hub, "Ford Motor Company: An American Gem," I even made the assertion that Ford Motor Company can easily snatch up the spot as the reigning #1 U.S. automaker if it keeps on the path it is currently on. I firmly believe that.

Right now, even as the stock is up substantially from even just a year ago, it's a buy, and I would be taking advantage of any dips this stock allows to add to your position—or start a new one. Even at it's Monday price of around $11.80 per share, I think this stock could easily double in the next 12-18 months.

The fact is that Ford is making great cars. They are making better cars. And they are making cars the American buying public wants. Without question, the company is certainly on the road to profitability, and being the only profitable American automaker is not only telling of their prowess, but advantageous as well. And now they've just snatched up two coveted North American Car and Truck awards at the Detroit Auto Show with the Ford Fusion being named Hybrid of the Year, and the Ford Transit Connect being named Truck of the Year.

This is no small feat, considering that in the 17-year history of the awards, only three times before has one automaker taken home both awards.

Ford is making great strides as a company, and I think they will continue to do so.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

BARACK OBAMA MAY ALREADY BE A ONE-TERMER

Fox News talking head Bill O'Reilly suggested the other day on his show, "The O'Reilly Factor," that if there was one more terrorist attempt made, especially a successful one, the fate of the presidency of Barack Obama would be sealed. In the segment O'Reilly had his regular guest, Dick Morris, join in on the debate, and at first he was in disagreement with O'Reilly's assessment. It wasn't until Bill O'Reilly threw in the word 'successful' that Dick Morris changed his mind. "You've convinced me," he said.

And I think it's true as well. I don't think there's any denying that if we have another attack on American soil by someone associated with Al-Qaeda, Barack Obama will not be elected to a second term. My personal opinion is that he may already be just a one-term president, but that's for another day.

The American people have to feel safe. As it stands right now, Barack Obama is not acting tough enough. He's not sending a clear message to would-be terrorists that we mean business, and you better not mess with us. That's the message he must send loud and clear. These people who are running these terrorist groups will use any sign of weakness to their advantage. I think it's safe to say that Al-Qaeda feared President Bush. They knew there would be dire consequences if an attack were made. Barack Obama has made the argument repeatedly that the prison at GITMO has been used by Al-Qaeda as a recruitment tool. I think the fact that he's decided to close it actually serves to embolden terrorists more. It's a victory for them. When Barack Obama says we will not torture, it is a victory for Al-Qaeda. When people hop onto planes with bombs strapped to their underwear and they get court trials, Al-Qaeda becomes, in their minds, a winner.

Barack Obama is viewed as a weak president, and that's going to hurt his presidency, and it may wind up hurting Americans as well.

Friday, January 8, 2010

ARTIE LANGE'S SUICIDE ATTEMPT RILES STERN

If anyone has been following the recent news, we're all aware that long time friend and show-pal of Howard Stern, Artie Lange stabbed himself 9 times and was rushed to the hospital in what was an apparent suicide attempt. What's astonishing about this event, aside from the fact that Artie Lange stabbed himself 9 times, it's the outraged reaction we got from Howard Stern himself regarding the suicide attempt after the news got out that it had happened.

Howard Stern told the press on Thursday, "I would love to know who the scumbag is who releases that to the press, because this is a private matter. I don't know what to say. I work with Artie, I love Artie. Everyone has their demons, including myself, but he's wrestling with some serious stuff. When I heard the news it was too much to bear."

According to reports, Artie Lange had 6 hesitation wounds and three deep plunges, obviously indicative a man who is suffering deep emotional problems in his life currently.

But even while I firmly believe everyone is entitled to privacy, and certainly this is a very personal and private matter, Artie Lange is still in the public eye. Howard Stern went on to comment that he was pissed off that someone got paid some money to talk to Page Six of the New York Post about the whole thing.

News would have gotten out anyway. And this is definitely a newsworthy item. All matters are personal when it comes to the lives of celebrities, but it doesn't necessarily mean that certain details will not wind up in a newspaper or on a news program. When Tiger Woods goofed up it was a personal matter between Tiger Woods and his wife, until something was triggered to put it wide in the open—like driving his SUV into a tree at two o'clock in the morning.

In this case it was Artie Lange arriving at a hospital with 9 self-inflcited stab wounds.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

AIRPORT PROFILING IS NECESSARY

As a society we've gotten way too touchy-feely. Political correctness is all the rage, but frankly it's a dangerous path to be on. Since the last terror attempt that happened on Northwest Airlines in Michigan, we are of course revisiting the topic of profiling in our nation's airports. It's a topic that stirs up a ton of emotions, and it continues to be a heavily heated debate. You are either for profiling or against it. There is no real middle ground there.

I get all the ideology surrounding people's rights. I understand that no one wants to be singled out for the color of their skin, or for their religious beliefs, or for any other reason. Still, I think we have to at least do something. Because the reality is that there are groups of people out there who are hell bent on killing us. Those groups happen to be of the Muslim faith, or are from Middle Eastern descent. So, you have to take a closer look at these individuals. It just makes sense.

But I'm not just talking about profiling based on skin color or religion. There are myriad factors to consider in the profiling of someone before they board a plane. Obvious markers should stand out. Is the person originating from a place where there is known terrorist activity? Does the person have a one-way ticket? Are they not carrying luggage with them on the flight? Are they behaving in a suspicious manner; are they sweating, do they have darting eyes, trembling...any number of these things could indicate a problem passenger.

We simply cannot afford to take chances is what I'm saying. The consequences of being too complacent, too touchy-feely, too politically correct will lend itself to more Americans being killed. This last incident was unsuccessful. It should also be a wake up call. The next time we may not be so lucky.

For more on Jim's take on the profiling debate read Jim Bauer's Hub,
"Profile of a Patriot," and drop a comment; Profiling is not about alienating
anyone's rights or singling anyone out. It's about patriotic duty to one's
country.