Monthly Archives: December 2014

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‘Educated Idiots’ – Did That Really Come Out of Your Mouth?

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!  Yes, it’s that ‘tweener’ time of the year.  That crazy, mystical time of the year when both holidays fall in the middle of the week.  Do I get mail?  What stores are open?  When do the kids go to school?  It is the ‘mystical’ time of the year because we are inundated with that great American tradition – college football bowl games!  I have been watching them for a week and the great games are yet to come!  Yippee skippee!

Yesterday was the second anniversary of my official beginning of writing this blog, December 28.  Even though I fought and struggled to write this blog yesterday, the mind was somewhat willing, but the body was definitely weak.  As a result of it being a Sunday, I decided to take a much needed break from watching the college bowl games.  There weren’t any televised yesterday anyway.   I watched the pro games.

Anyway, its time to get back to work!  (Or in my case – back to retirement!)

Have you ever been dumbfounded by some of the things that come out of the mouths of supposedly educated people?  I know I have.  Early in life I discovered that not all educated people have ‘street smarts.’  For instance, while someone that has an advanced degree could max any college test known to man and could rate at the top of a mensa entrance exam, he may not know how to change a lightbulb.  These people have all the ‘book’ smarts that one could possibly have and yet would not likely know how to change a flat tire if their lives depended on it.    We all know some of these people.  I have a term for them – educated idiots.  They are not stupid, they just did not inherit that gene that provides them the ability to cope with every day, common sense situations.  Thinking ‘on their feet is not one of their fortes.

I once had a young junior officer in my military unit that had a master’s degree in engineering.  Everyone outside the military would always emphasize that he was a brilliant person, a genius by all measures!  I had two incidences with him.  The first was when a field grade officer, as a reward after a successful evaluation, brought two large watermelons into our field headquarters for the staff.  The young officer asked the Major where he got the watermelons.  The Major pointed into the woods and jokingly replied that he found them in a ‘wild watermelon patch’ located about 200 yards from our headquarters area.  Now I need to point out that there is no such thing as a ‘wild watermelon patch,’ much less one to be found in the overgrowth of a coniferous/deciduous forest.  There was plenty of watermelon for everyone present, but the young officer decided he would be a hero and search for more watermelons.   Before we knew it, and before we realized what he was going off to do, he spent two hours looking for that watermelon patch!

My second incident with the junior officer was when he was required to write a statement that was approximately three sentences long.  He had to write this in long hand, as there were no computers or processors available for this form.  I was appalled.  Both his handwriting, spelling and grammar were at a third grade level!

Eventually, he was discharged from the military.  In retrospect, I missed an opportunity.  If I were to have asked him how the pyramids were built, he might have ended centuries of curiosity with his likely profound explanation.

Enough about my life experiences with ‘educated idiots.’  I am going to provide statements from political figures and you will provide the name of the ‘educated’ person that gave that statement.  I was going to do this with movie and television celebrities as some of their statements are astonishing.  It was decided that most of them are not educated and I would be writing for another two years to cover their statements.  Here we go……….

What graduate of both Wellesley College and Yale Law School said the following:  “Don’t let anybody tell you that, you know, it’s corporations and businesses that create jobs. You know that old theory, trickle-down economics.  That has been tried.  That has failed.”  This person made this statement while campaigning for a gubernatorial candidate in the last election.

Who made this statement?  Wait for it……wait for it……..Hillary Rodham Clinton, on October 24, 2014, while campaigning for Martha Coakley who was running for governor of Massachusetts.  Hasn’t Hillary Clinton been lauded as the smartest woman in Washington?  If corporations and businesses do not create jobs, exactly who does?  I believe we have witnessed and experienced a Freudian slip with Madam Clinton supporting a much bigger government.  After this speech was televised, Madam Clinton’s minions attempted to do damage control by saying she really wanted to address corporate tax cuts and corporate outsourcing.  If that is indeed the case, it surely appears she missed the mark.

Which President said this?  “Goodbye from the world’s biggest polluter.”

Admittedly, I had to throw this one into the mix, just so I had one conservative comment.  This was said by George ‘Dubya’ Bush at his last G-8 summit.  He said this as he was punching the air and grinning while departing Rusutsu, Japan, July 10, 2008.   ‘Dubya’ had received much negative publicity from the liberal media because he did not sign the Kyoto Agreement concerning global pollution.  He did not sign it because China and India did not sign it, and they are the world’s largest polluters.

Ready for another one?  Which graduate of Trinity Washington University with a BA in political science said the following:  “But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of the controversy.”

I am throwing you an underhand softball on this one.  Think about it.  Time is up!  This statement was made by house speaker Nancy Pelosi while waxing poetic about President Obama’s healthcare law on March 9th, 2010.  As one pundit pointed out, this was similar to someone handing you a plate of Tuna Surprise, and you said “Hey, what’s the surprise in your Tuna Surprise?” and they said,”…..why don’t you eat it and find out?”  It appears we are being more and more surprised by the Affordable Healthcare Act as time goes on.

Here is another one.  Which person, with a BA from MIT and a PhD from Harvard said the following: “Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage.  And basically, call it the ‘stupidity of the American voter’ or whatever, but basically that was really, really critical to getting the thing to pass.”

If you don’t remember his name, you certainly remember his face.  Those comments were made by Jonathan Gruber, one of the Obama administration’s consultants on the Affordable Care Act.  Additionally, Gruber said the following, “This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure the CBO (Congressional Budget Office) did not score the mandate as taxes.”  All of these comments were made and recorded at the Annual Health Economics Conference held in 2013.

It is difficult to respond to not only the statement, but to the methods of getting this bill passed.  Rush Limbaugh said, “There you go, America.  That is what the Democrat Party thinks of you.  They think most people are incompetent and will make the wrong decisions if living a life of self-reliance.”

On December 24, 2009, the United States Senate passed the Affordable Care Act with a vote of 60-39.  The vote was split precisely on party lines, with one abstention.  On March 21, 2010, the House of Representatives voted to pass the senate version of the Affordable Care Act by a vote of 219-212.  All of the pro votes were from Democrats.  The against votes were from all 178 Republicans and 34 dissenting Democrats.

As you well remember, the Democrats controlled both the Senate and the House at the time.  Now we find out that even though our President promised government transparency, this law, commonly known as Obamacare, was passed in a very non-transparent manner.

So who are the real idiots to whom Jonathan Gruber was referring?  In retrospect, I don’t think it was the American voter.  I think it was the representatives that were elected to represent our best interests – those that passed this law.  They passed this 2000 page law without having read it, or without any clue as to how it was to be administered and managed.  Look at the problems associated with the website.  This falls right into the presidential feel-good political motto of Hope and Change.  I have often wondered what we were supposed to hope for and what exactly we were changing?  Again, I don’t think our representatives have a clue, but it all sounds good and doesn’t it give the voter a warm and fuzzy feeling?  More than a few voters may have heard harps and seen rainbows and unicorns at the mere chant of Hope and Change!

Who may have become the smartest people in the last few years?  Contrary to what the eminent Johnathan Gruber says, I think the smartest people are the American voters.  Why?  Because in four short years  we have gone from a Democrat-controlled House and Senate to a Republican-controlled House and Senate that will be sworn in on January 5.  Now that’s what I call Hope, followed by a whopper of a Change! Do you think this is what Obama had in mind with his motto?

I mentioned that December 28 marks the second anniversary of Common Sense by Grandpa T.  On our one year anniversary, we had 42,556 unique hits on our website.  It was most humbling.  This year, on the second anniversary, we have had 130,612 unique hits!  Amazing!  I want to thank the Bayou Mauler for the much appreciated editing and my Houston Nefoo for his graphics.  Without them this would not be possible.  I would also like to thank the three avid readers that diligently follow my blogs.

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American Media Goes Hog Wild

I have often said, “Retiring is tiring.”  So being a man of resolve, I, along with Grandma P, have just returned from a 20-day Caribbean cruise.  After all, when the going gets tough, the tough go cruising!  (I should copyright that as a bumper sticker.  It can’t be as bad as some of the other crappy bumper stickers that I have seen!)

We always have a wonderful time in all our little adventures.  This cruise was notable for two reasons:  Firstly, I again had to struggle with my BACON!!! addiction.  Secondly, I met some really great people from other countries.  It is interesting to converse with a non-American on their opinions about the United States.

First the addiction.

I blame Princess Cruise Lines for enabling my bacon-aholic addiction!  While going through the breakfast line, the first thing you do after washing your hands is take a plate.  So far, so good.  Then you let your senses kick into warp drive!  The first sense would be smell.  And what is the first thing you smell?  Bacon!  Next, the visual senses are stimulated.  Looking two feet past the plate pile, I see  a  large pan filled of corned beef hash.  I love corned beef hash, but I can pass it up.  So far, so good.  The next  large pan contains fried potatoes.  I love potatoes, but I can pass it up.  So far, so good. At this point, I am feeling good about my ability to resist calorie-laden, carbohydrate-driven temptations.   Maybe I won’t gain any weight on this cruise after all?  And then…….and then………..there it is.  The dreaded, yet highly anticipated third large pan.  Three feet past the plate pile.  Mounds and pounds of bacon!  I’m screwed.  So much for resisting carbohydrate-caloric temptation!  Any thoughts of maintaining or losing weight on this cruise just went out the door along with the next largest hole in my expanding belt.  This must be the reason for the expression ‘hog wild’!  How could Princess Cruise Lines be so cruel?

But wait!  Isn’t this America?  I can’t possibly be held accountable for my bacon-aholic addiction.  It must be someone else’s fault.  Where is that government program when I need it?  The government is not readily available on a cruise ship in the Caribbean.  Then who is to blame?  Whom can I hold accountable?  My intellectual acuteness finally adjusts to the real culprit.  Princess Cruise Lines!  It has to be their fault!  So my next step was to use my persuasive powers to coerce Princess to take responsibility for my addiction.

Here is how the conversation unfolded at the passenger assistance desk.

“Hi.  My name is Grandpa T, and I am a bacon-aholic.”

“What can we do for you, Grandpa T”

“Could you burn the bacon a little, so that it does not smell as good?” (I thought this to be a reasonable request.)

“No.”

“Can you relocate the large pan containing the mounds and pounds of bacon at least six decks away just prior to me coming to the buffet?  It would be out of my way in the library, as no one uses that room anyway.”

“No.”

“Could you organize a chapter of ‘bacon-aholic anonymous’ on the ship?”

“What would be anonymous about people who are 60 pounds overweight, drooling over a pile of bacon?  They are pretty easy to differentiate from the slender yogurt-and-fruit-junkies.”

Damn it.  Foiled again by sound reasoning.  I hate it when that happens!  OK.  I did not have a conversation with Princess Cruise Lines about my bacon-aholic addiction – but if I did, I suspect it would have gone down just like that.

Australians, Canadians and the Welsh.

I met some really interesting and intelligent people from other countries on this cruise.  David and Petra were from Australia.  Catherine and Keith were from Wales.  Jeffrey and Claire currently live in Canada, but they have lived all over the world.  This made for a great trivia team, as well as for interesting conversation.  Gail was from Illinois.  This, too, made for some interesting conversation.

What we had available on our ship for outside information was an in-room TV that had two financial channels, two ESPN channels, the BBC, and Fox News.  There were also some other shopping/travel/shipboard channels.  That was it.  The one thing we were missing was any local  TV channel.  These are the channels that give you the good news taking place in your area or in the country.  Apparently, it is against media ethics to show positive things happening in the world in general, and in the US, in particular. (OK.  Fox News does televise some feel-good news items, but those were certainly overshadowed by other events.)

So what did our foreign friends observe on the TV?

Well, when we first got on the ship in mid-November, the two big news topics were the Ferguson grand jury still being in deliberation and the fact that the POTUS just announced that he was circumventing an inert Congress and was going to use executive order to grant amnesty to 1.5 million illegal aliens.  Add to this mix the story about one economist, Jonathan Gruber.  You remember Jon-Boy?  He was the Obamacare consultant that stated that Obamacare would not have been passed if it were not for the “stupidity of the American voter.”

So there you have it.  The dominating new headlines were: Ferguson grand jury, illegal immigration Executive order, and a government consultant calling the American electorate stupid.  Do you see anything positive for the good ole US of A concerning any of these news items?  What would you have thought if you were a non-American.  I can only surmise that they were quietly happy that they were not Americans.  After all, Australia, Canada and Wales were not experiencing such disasters and embarrassment in in their countries.

Now we are a little further into the cruise.  Obama is being fried over his executive order.  As was poignantly pointed out, he had overstepped his presidential authority.  He said he had not overstepped his authority.  The Ping-Pong game of blame begins.

(As an aside, I pointed out in my last blog that I was fearful as to what both the POTUS and Congress would do before the Republican-controlled Congress was seated on January 5.  I did not think any action such as this executive order would take place so quickly.)

Jonathan Gruber becomes a media sensation.  The White House denies knowing him, even though he received about $500,000 for consulting on the proposed Affordable Health Care Act.  There is documentation that he visited the White House 19 times.  Nancy Pelosi denies knowing him even though there are pictures of her and Gruber together.  Gruber’s name is specifically mentioned by Obama and Pelosi during speeches, but they still deny knowing him.  He is videotaped making the statement about the ‘stupidity of the American voter.’

The tar pots are being heated!  There are chickens being plucked all over America to assure we don’t run out of feathers and KFC doesn’t run out of chicken!  So what happens next as we are further into our cruise?  There was only one salvation that took Jonathan Gruber and the Illegal immigration executive order off the front page of the news networks – the timely Ferguson, Missouri grand jury decision!

There it was.  In all its blazing (no pun intended) glory.  A good, old fashioned burning and looting demonstration conducted by some of America’s finest citizens.  How convenient for the POTUS to have this occur as the heat was being turned up both on his executive order and his association with Jonathan Gruber.

America’s democratic and judicial systems were laid bare for the entire world to see.  According to the POTUS himself, we are a nation of laws.  Apparently that does not apply if you disagree with the law.  It must not apply when you don’t want to support the people that enforce our laws.

Who, in their right mind thought for one second that there was not going to be rioting/looting in Ferguson regardless of the decision?  That is called civil disobedience.  I certainly assumed there would  be.  Apparently the POTUS did not.  Because much as Nero fiddled while Rome burned, the POTUS really did nothing to alleviate the building tensions in Ferguson.  Hasn’t he claimed to be the ‘unification’ president?  I believe this country is more racist now than it has been for the last 50 years.  (Gruber may be on to something about American stupidity.  We conveniently forget about what comes first – the crime or the arrest!)

Here is what our leader should have said: “The loss of any young life is a tragedy.  But, we are a nation of laws, and we must let these laws work to preserve our great society.  In this instance, a grand jury has been diligently working to assure that justice is being served.  Regardless of the outcome, all Americans can be assured that all evidence was evaluated, all witnesses have testified, and all professional authorities have been heard regarding this case.  Therefore, I call on all Americans to maintain peace and civility during these emotional times.  Civil disobedience, terrorism, looting, rioting and the destruction of property are uncalled for and will not be tolerated.” (The reason I mention terrorism, is that some idiot burnt his hand while trying to light and throw a Molotov cocktail!  That pretty much moves this event from a demonstration to terrorism!)

Did you hear anything from our President that sounded anything like what I just wrote?  Unfortunately, I did not, either.

Now the end of the cruise is nearing.  The destructive scenes of the damage done in Ferguson are shown on BBC and FOX.  There are scenes of lesser destruction in other US cities.  Most of this additional destruction was sanctioned by agitators, such as Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and even by our POTUS due to his convenient inaction and lack of law enforcement support following the initial Ferguson events.

What did my foreign friends think as we got off the ship in Florida?  I can only surmise that they were happy to be returning to their own respective countries.  Y’all come back now, ya hear?  Things can only get better.