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“The Shadow of Crisis Has Passed.” Oh Really!

When a world leader is perceived to be cut off from the reality of the world, it is quite a spectacle.  Frightening in its implications.

But that’s what we are seeing now when President Obama, opening his State of the Union address recently, makes a statement such as “the shadow of crisis has passed.”  Did he really say that?  What world is he living in?  If he really believes what he said, he is totally and completely cut off from the realities of the world.  He does not deserve to be president.   And the country needs, somehow, to do damage control  for the next two years.  As in major damage control.  In other words, at the very least a congressional watchdog is needed to make sure Obama does no harm to national interests.  This watchdog must oversee everything he says and does.

Maybe Obama is just too busy working on his golf swing to read the newspapers or watch television.  Maybe he really doesn’t  know or understand whats going on in the world.  Maybe he really doesn’t know what happened in the congressional mid-term elections last November.  Maybe, even scarier, he doesn’t care.

Can it really be true that he has never heard of ISIS, or the Islamic State?  Or  Al Queda.  Or Paris.  Or Yemen.   Or does it just seem that way.  Is Obama really detached from reality?  Is he living in a separate but parallel universe, as one well-known commentator recently asked.  Is he really delusional, or does it just seem that way?  Does the public need a dictionary definition of delusional to understand this guy?  Does he really not see the threat posed by radical Islamic terrorism.  If he does, why doesn’t he say so?  In those words.

But it’s more than his detachment from world reality that makes one question his competence.  It’s also his defiance when it comes to domestic matters.  He continuously taunts the Republican Congress by threatening to veto legislation even before it comes to his desk, as in Keystone pipeline.  This is the mark of someone who has his own agenda at heart, not the national interest..  Obama is obsessed with his own importance, wildly obsessed.  By his  continuous taunting of Congress he is showcasing his fury at being told by the electorate that it doesn’t care (to put it mildly) for his policies. The Republican party now controls Congress but Obama can’t accept it.  To adopt a time-worn cliche, it’s his way or the highway.  This is a dangerous state of mind for someone who is supposed to be leading the country.  Very dangerous.

But Obama is more than just  incompetent.  He also has no credibility.  He is a gifted, world-class liar, with lies flowing out of his mouth like water out of a faucet.  How can anything he says or does be trusted?  Is he acting in the national interest or in the interest of his own political program?  He is dead set on closing Guantanamo but is the release of the detainees there in the national interest?  Or Obama’s political interest?  Are th0se being released a threat to America?  Who’s checking on that?  The WH has also said giving Guantanamo back to Cuba is not on the table.  We’ll see.   And his recent comment that Iran’s path to nuclear capability has been halted is too blatantly false to require further comment.  Congressional oversight is desperately needed here, and has traditionally been employed, but Obama has said he will reject it.

Democracy is not perfect.  Sometimes mistakes are made.  Electing Obama is an example. The country must learn from this mistake and not ever again elect someone who has not proven his/her leadership traits.  The country cannot afford another mistake like Obama.  Nor the world for that matter.  Demonstrable leadership qualities must be present in any future presidential candidate.  Are you listening Hillary?   But that’s a whole  new ocean to swim in, which we’ll leave for another time.

Copyright©2015. Arnold G. Regardie. All rights reserved.

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An Equal Opportunity To Respond Law Is Badly Needed

So one-time Hollywood pretty boy Robert Redford has come out against the Keystone pipeline.

Well, it’s a free country so anyone can have his say.  Right?   The trouble here is that a celebrity like Redford gets free publicity.  How about an opportunity for the man on the street to respond.  Publicly.  At the same time and in the same space.  Celebs, particularly liberals (or progressives)  seem to get more air or print time than others.   To the exclusion of the opposing view.  Well, this writer in particular believes the Keystone project should go forward.  Now.  It’s been stonewalled by an incompetent president far too long.

I do believe in the environment.  I like nature, the outdoors, parks,  wild animals etc.  But I don’t believe in extremism.  Moderation is the key.  And I also do believe in progress.  Some balancing is in order.  People like Redford appear to be totally one-sided.  It’s save the environment at the expense of  everything else.  And because of his celebrity his views get to be put forward without any opposing viewpoints.

Well, that’s not right.

The Canadian oil sands, which are at the heart of the Keystone controversy, will be developed, Obama or no Obama. If the oil is not transported through the U.S.  by pipeline to refineries at or near the Gulf of Mexico, then it will have to be transported by rail to other destinations, likely Canadian.  What about the impact on the environment of all that rail activity.  What about the carbon emissions in that scenario? What about the loss of jobs if no pipeline is built?  In an economy which needs to put more people back to work  wouldn’t pipeline construction be helpful?

So, there are many arguments for the pipeline which have not been advanced because a celeb like Redford gets free press  and has the whole stage.  He made a few bucks taking advantage of the American capitalist system  and acquired a bit of a name.  But he’s not entitled to exalted status.  He’s not entitled to mouth off publicly at the expense of those who disagree with him.  And which media outlets are going to publish my thoughts if I want to be heard?  Right.  None.  That’s the point.  Space for an appropriate response to any celebrity outburst should be the law.  In the same space, and at the same time.

That should be the American way.  That should be the law.

Copyright©2015.   Arnold G. Regardie.   All rights reserved.

 

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On The Resignation of Eric Holder: Long Overdue; A Jaded World Series

Eric Holder is finally leaving the post of U.S. Attorney General.  It may sound a bit harsh to say good riddance, but undoubtedly his departure  is  long overdue.  He has been in effect nothing more than an apologist for an incompetent Obama presidency and clearly a partisan idealogue.  Appointed in 2009, he was the first African American to hold that office.

Some media sources have championed his tenure for taking a stand on civil rights but in my opinion he’s been nothing more than weak and ineffective.   I see his original appointment as cronyism, only a gesture of friendship by Obama and not because he was the best choice available.  In his goodbye speech, Holder remarked that beyond having a strong relationship with Obama, “I am proud to call you a friend.”  Not surprisingly, Obama has supported him, saying  “He’s done a superb job.”   A White House spokesperson added that “Holder’s accomplishments have established a historic legacy of civil rights enforcement and restoring fairness to the criminal justice system.”

Well, let’s see.

As previously reported by Fox News, Darrell Issa, R-Calif., Chairman of the House Oversight and Government reform Committee, said that “Eric Holder is the most divisive attorney general in modern history.”   Issa continued, “By needlessly injecting politics into law enforcement, Attorney General  Holder’s legacy has eroded more confidence in our legal system than any attorney general before him.”  That sums it up nicely.

There are many, many Holder shortcomings (to put it politely, failures to act would be more accurate) which could have easily justified Obama’s jettisoning him much earlier.   The failure to act in the national interest in pursuing the IRS targeting scandal, where the agency targeted certain interests for “special treatment”, is only one glaring example.   Allowing IRS official Lois Lerner to escape prosecution for destroying evidence of her involvement in this scandal or at least conducting an investigation into the matter is inexcusable.  To this day there was been no action by the Justice Department concerning her conduct, which can only be ascribed to Holder’s longstanding friendship with Obama.  And Lerner remains retired, enjoying her government pension paid for with taxpayer dollars.

The botched operation known as “Fast and Furious,” was another scandal .  This was a probe into gun-running  along the Southwest border.  It featured a Holder confrontation with Congress over the Justice Department’s  failure to turn over of records of the operation.  It  resulted in Holder’s being held in contempt of Congress, the only sitting Cabinet member to have been held  in contempt.  In this matter, the government allowed Mexican drug gangs to walk away with high powered weapons.  Key documents and witnesses were withheld from Congress, resulting in the contempt charge.  This is quite a legacy.

Holder also clashed with Congress over other issues, including his department’s civilian prosecution of terror cases and surveillance of media outlets.  His appearances before Congress were often combative.  It has also been reported that during the contempt fight, Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, was quoted as saying that “Holder’s arrogance knows no bounds.”

Often outspoken in public remarks, in 2010 he  referred to America as a “nation of cowards,” in regard to matters of race.

Obama has deferred naming a replacement until after the mid-term elections.

Skipping to baseball, I can’t get excited about this World Series.  Two also-rans (so-called “wild cards”) are playing each other, the Kansas City Royals and San Fransisco Giants.  Ho hum.  Snzzz.  It used to be that the Series featured the two best teams in baseball, one from each league.  This series has two second place teams playing each other.  The Royals finished two games behind the Detroit Tigers in the American League Central Division and and the Giants finished six games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National Ledague West.  What a bore.  I guess opening the playoffs up to wild card teams increases the pot for Major League Baseball and the teams, but this year it results in a disappointing Series.  Maybe some kind of second place trophy would be appropriate for wild cards, but not the World Series.

Copyright©Arnold G. Regardie. All rights reserved.

 

 

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Butchery In The Middle East – An Intelligence Failure? Or Sheer Incompetence.

Lessee now. Purported President Barrack Obama took office in the beginning of 2009.  That was some six years ago. As secretary of state, his top advisor on foreign policy,  he appointed an unqualified woman with no experience whatsoever in the position – or any in any other position in government for that matter, our own Hillary Clinton.  Since Obama himself was a neophyte in foreign policy, to put it mildly, as well as in everything else touching on governmental matters, one would have thought he would select someone for this all important post who was well qualified.  Think again.  Here’s the rub.  An experienced foreign policy appointee may well likely have foreseen the rise of the Islamic State and would have better prepared us, and the rest of the free world for its advent.

So here we are, stuck with Obama’s incompetence, watching butchery being performed online virtually on a daily basis.  And Obama says there has been an intelligence failure?  Well such a statement coming from the liar, er, commander in chief is not surprising.  Has this guy ever taken the blame for any of the scandals plaguing his administration?  Its a rhetorical question.  The answer is obvious.  Yet he has the effrontery to tell Fox News Bill O’Reilly, last Super Bowl Sunday,  that there is not even a smigen of corruption surrounding the IRS scandal.  So much for truth in government.

The Islamic State has been a growing threat for a long time.  But what about the role of the foreign policy advisor, the purported expert in foreign affairs, who has been a true sister of silence in forecasting trouble. With no experience in foreign affairs, never wrote, taught, lectured, nothing on foreign affairs, Hillary is the epitome of the worst political appointment any president can make.  Four Americans died on her watch. Yet, she apparently considers herself to be the next coming of Margaret Thatcher and is therefore well qualified to be president. This is a manifestly false state of mind.  She is no Margaret Thatcher.  Her utterances to the public that her “experience” qualifies her to be president are part of the fraud she is perpetrating on the public.  Wake up America!  The truth is that this woman is eminently unqualified for any public office and is  dangerous for the country.  Her incompetence is there for anyone wanting to see it.  The election of an unqualified and incompetent politician is a mistake the country cannot afford to have repeated.

So far as any lack of intelligence is concerned, blaming the rise of Isis on a lack of intelligence would be a laughable statement were it not for the deadly consequences of the lack.  But the intelligence gap is within the president himself and not in any gap in the gathering of information.  Perhaps Obama is a smart politician.  Give him some credit for getting elected (his promises weren’t known to be false when he was running, however).    But the credit stops there; there is no intelligence  when  it comes to having insight into foreign policy, not to mention judgement and understanding.  Maybe in this vein, intelligence should be equated with experience and common sense.  Once again its a question of a president who refuses to take the blame for his own personal shortcomings.

Inextricably tied in with the Middle East butchery is the failure by Obama to listen to advisors such as former CIA Director and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, who urged him to leave a U.S. security force in Iraq in 2011 instead of a complete pullout.  Obama, dead set on a complete withdrawal from Iraq, refused to listen, thereby putting politics over the national interest.  The absence of U.S. forces created a vacuum, filled by sectarian chaos leading to the present state of affairs.

So, the so-called intelligence failure is more Obama mishmash.  Its hogwash.  What started out as the “JV team” some months ago is now the “network of death.”  The lack of original perception into the unfolding events in the Middle East is a tribute to Obama’s lack of experience, his incompetence.  He is in over his head.  When will the country ever learn?  Its the price we pay  for living in a democracy, a free country.  Anybody can run for president and if the country likes the message and the politician, qualified or not, experienced or not,  he can get elected.

But something more than experience as a community organizer and an apparently reliable golf swing is needed for the presidency.  Real nuts and bolts experience in confronting and handling problems, in making tough decisions, and in the demonstration of strong leadership qualities is needed.  The country deserves it.  The country, indeed the world, needs it.  A repeat of the  present inexperience and  incompetency in Washington is out of the question.  Hillary are you listening?

Copyright©Arnold G. Regardie. All rights reserved.

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If You’re Looking For Tranquility…Try The Carson Valley, Nevada

We just returned from a long weekend trip to Carson City, Nevada.  Apparently named for the intrepid  Old West trailblazer, Kit Carson, it’s located just on the other side of the Sierra Nevada mountains from Lake Tahoe, California, and about 3o miles south of Reno.   With snow capped mountains from the recent rain,  it was very, very picturesque.  At night the glow from the lights at Lake Tahoe ski resort Heavenly Valley were visible.  Carson Valley is very quiet.  Maybe the area is America’s best kept secret.   Some old friends we’ve known since we moved to California in 1963, Marge and Rich, invited us to join them up there this past weekend.  Under lowering skies all weekend, we drove the length and breath of the Valley.  The main attraction was the 94th annual Candy Dance festival.  More about that later.  Reno by the way, according to my friend, has grown quite a bit over the years.  When he lived there many, many years ago the population was about 30,000.  Now it boasts a population of over 1 million in the greater Reno area.

After landing in Sacramento, our friends met us and we drove east on I-80 over the Sierra Nevada mountains.  It was a very scenic drive, especially since I was not the one driving.  At the top was a welcome stop near the Donner pass.  A boulder with a plaque commemorating the ill-fated Donner party, a group of emigrants trying to cross into California,  many of whom perished from starvation and cold during the winter of 1846-1847, was plainly visible.

Back in the days of the Old West, the government operated a mint in Carson City, from 1878 to 1893.   Carson City Morgan silver dollars are beautiful coins and are among the most sought after by coin collectors.  These silver dollars were designed by George T. Morgan and are still popular today because of their attractive design.  According to Yeoman’s “United States Coins,” 63rd edition, Morgan was formerly a pupil of William Wyon’s in the royal Mint in London.  His initial M can be found on the coin.  Many can be bought at a reasonable price; others are quite expensive.  For example, the 1879 coin is priced over $7800, depending on its grade. The old mint has long since been  shuttered and is now a museum.  I didn’t make it there this trip but it’s high on my list for next time.

Our friends’ son lives in Minden, Nevada, which is right next to Carson City.  He and his wife have a lovely home on a two- acre spread which they bought about two years ago after he retired.  The entire spread sits atop a small hill which overlooks the entire Carson Valley area.  The site enjoys a beautiful view of the mountains to the West, and no noise.  Grazing cattle are visible throughout  the Valley.   Mountain lions are known to come down out of the mountains to harass the cattle ranchers.  Jack rabbits and coyotes abound.  They are a very hospitable couple and spent considerable time helping us find our way around, not to mention having us to dinner twice.

Now don’t get me wrong.  I don’t know if I want to live in the Carson Valley.  I’m strictly a big city guy.  But those that do enjoy a very low key life style.  And if that’s what you want, this may be the place.  Also, there is no state income tax here.  So I’m sure many of the area’s residents are ex-Californians looking for a less expensive way to enjoy life.

The 94th annual Candy Dance Arts and Crafts Faire was the big event which lured us up there.  But alas! It rained and cut our enjoyment of the festival short.  Spread over several acres, it was located in the small town of Genoa at the base of the mountains just west of Carson City.    Originating in 1919, it was a two-day event from September 27-September 28 and now comprises over 300 vendors.  My wife managed to buy a couple of trinkets and some of the famous English toffee before we were forced to leave by the weather.  With help from the weatherman, we could have stayed considerably longer.

The area also boasts fine eating.  We dined at The Mindin Food Company before attending a play across the street.  While the food was excellent,  the setting was unusual, somewhat reminiscent of an office building.  We also tried Saletti’s, an Italian restaurant, and also excellent.  My friend Rich is a die hard spaghetti lover but here he ordered fish!  He deserved to be chided mercilessly for this omission.  I’ll bring it up next time we get together.  The menu also featured oyster shooters. These were  Blue Point oysters (outstanding oysters, small and succulent) each one served in a shot glass with a splash of vodka, a dash of hot sauce, and a topping of horseradish.  If you enjoy oysters, you must try one of these.

It’s safe to say that  a return trip to the Carson Valley in the near future, and to take in more of the Candy Dance Faire, is definitely on our radar. Next time though we’ll fly into Reno.  Sacramento has a great airport, clean, quiet,  and relatively uncrowded.  But its a three hour drive to Carson City, over the mountains.  Rich drove us back to the airport at mach 1.5, maybe 2.0 (or so it seemed), to make sure we made our flight.  Next time we’ll avoid that adventure.

Copyright© 2014.  Arnold G. Regardie. All rights reserved.

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Forgetting Cleveland – The City, Not The Convention

I’m back from my recent network marketing convention.  It was my first trip to Cleveland, Ohio.  If I have anything to do with it, it will be my last.  Cleveland is  an old, run-down, and dreary city.  That old saw, “The Mistake By The Lake,” (Lake Erie, that is) still applies.  One of the cabbies noted that the city has done little in the way of restoration.  Justification for that comment was quite evident from just looking around.   During the Saturday lunch break at the convention, we walked several blocks looking for some place to eat.  We wound up going back the the convention center because everything we saw was overflowing with lunch seekers.  But the point is we walked past one dreary, old fashioned building after another.  Very depressing.  The next convention will be in Phoenix, AZ, however, which should be a different story altogether.

But the convention itself was a success.  It always is.  The continuous excitement and energy pouring out from some 25,000 attendees  packed into the Quicken Loans Center  (known locally as the “Q”) was overwhelming.  The speakers offered  sage advice on how to improve business.  The testimonials provided by those recognized for success so far this year was inspirational.  Some of the people who were recognized  only spoke broken English, but they had become very wealthy.  So the money I spent on the convention was money well spent.

If I can  reduce the weekend’s information into one golden thought, it would be this: to make professional money, you must develop professional skills.   This means personal skills as well as business skills.  Personal growth and development is just as important, perhaps more so, than skill in running a business, although  it can probably be argued that the two go hand-in-glove.  The founder of the company I’m partnered with remarked that his personal growth has been instrumental in the growth of the company.  One book relied on heavily for personal growth is Napoleon Hill’s classic, “Think and Grow Rich.”  I strongly commend this book to anyone who has not read it.  It is a book which not only should be read but studied.

One of the more exciting aspects of the company is that it now operates in Mexico.  This is a huge new market which I am trying to exploit.  I think development of this aspect of the business will also go a long way to strengthen Mexican-American relations by providing the common Mexican “man on the street” with an opportunity to make extra money by owning his/her own business.  This is one of the aspects of this network marketing business that truly excites me, i.e.,  making a difference in the lives of others.

I also met an individual  attending the convention who had an inspirational  life story.  He’s still a young guy, I think in  his late twenties or early thirties, who spent several years as an iron worker and then as a boxer.  Down on his luck money-wise, he turned to network marketing to improve his financial circumstances and has done very well.  He was quite interesting to talk to and provided some useful information on how he built his business.

In closing, let me add one other thought that I have mentioned in previous posts.  The network marketing business not only can be personally rewarding but it helps the economy by reducing unemployment.  So you can be  making a difference in the lives of others and also helping the country as well.  This is an unbeatable combination.   This is a truly remarkable business, one that should be seriously considered by anyone seeking to change his/her life.

Copyright©2014.  Arnold G. Regardie.  All rights reserved.

 

 

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On My Way To Cleveland, Ohio

Next weekend I’ll be traveling to Cleveland, Ohio to attend one of the international conventions hosted by my network marketing partner.  I consider it  part of the business I’m involved in, part of the commitment I’ve made to succeed at this business, to attend this convention.  It will be my first trip to Cleveland, so that will be a new experience.  But, for that reason,  it will not be possible for me to post a blog here next week.

After practicing law in California for over forty years, network marketing is a new challenge for me.  I got into it at the behest of my oldest son, who is also in the business, to help him escape the financial constraints  of teaching.  One of the exciting aspects of the business is to be able to help others change their lives by becoming independent business owners.  Helping a client start a new business when I was practicing law was always a rewarding  endeavor for me.  Now I can do it all over again in my network marketing business.

Many, many years ago when I was in prep school in Pennsylvania, I took a course in English writers.  One of the writers I studied was John Keats.  Keats was not with us on this planet very long.  He died of tuberculosis at age 26.  That was back in 1821.  There was no cure for it in those days.  But while he was here he wrote some memorable poetry and one of the poems was “On First Looking Into Chapman’s Homer.”  It was Chapman’s translation  (Chapman was a writer himself who lived in the 1600s) of  the epic Greek poet Homer (who lived around 700-800 BC and is famous for the “Iliad” and the “Odyssey”) which excited Keats so much.  He described his excitement in this poem as akin to that of an astronomer watching a new planet swim into his field of vision, or that of Spanish explorer Cortez when “with eagle eyes” he stared out upon the vast expanse of the blue Pacific.  The network marketing business is likewise an exciting experience and it provides vast opportunities for personal and financial growth.  Excuse me for going a bit overboard, but you get the idea.

I’m also reminded of the Los Angeles blender salesman who one day got an  order for blenders from a small hamburger shack in San Bernardino, about 90 miles East of LA.  He drove out to San Bernardino to deliver the blenders and look at the hamburger shack’s operation himself.  He found a business that was a model of simplicity.  All the little shack  served was  hamburgers, fries, and shakes.  He also saw a business that was easily duplicated.  The blender salesman, whose name was Ray Kroc, bought the little hamburger shack, decided to keep the shack’s name, McDonald’s, and the rest is history.  I only mention this story because my business is also simple in operation and easily duplicated.  This is the key to growing the business.

It’s not just the potential financial rewards that motivate me in this business.  It’s also the personal satisfaction from the thought that I’m actually helping the economy by reducing unemployment.  I have often voiced my extreme displeasure with the current occupant of the White House for being someone who is not only unqualified for the job of being president but is incompetent to boot.  The continued stagnant economy in this country marked by high levels of unemployment attests to that unpleasant fact.  So I feel I’m doing my part by helping others to move ahead financially despite the shortcomings of the present administration.

The company I’m in partnership with now now operates in Mexico as well as other parts of the world.  This factor provides me with the opportunity to expand not just in this country but in Mexico and worldwide.  I have also taken an increased interest in Mexico in my efforts to expand my business into that country.  Mexico is a whole new universe of opportunity.

So this is why I’m going to Cleveland.  Attending the convention will enable me to keep up with developments in the network marketing business, hear firsthand from eminently successful business leaders, and to share in the excitement from being a part of a huge and ongoing industry.

Copyright 2014.  Arnold G. Regardie.  All rights reserved.

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