Guest Column

Items of notes and interest from the web.

Most Recent Articles by Guest Column:

Open Letter to Ontario, Canada’s Premier Doug Ford

Aug 1, 2018 — Guest Column

Hydro One buying Avista
Dear Premier Ford,

I am one of the many Americans who wish you well in your new charge as Premier of Ontario. I must say your outspokenness and the challenges you are undertaking in ‘Liberaldom’ Ontario seems very Trumpian, so a slogan like Make Ontario Great Again (MOGA) seems in order.

My point in writing this is to open your eyes to what has been going on with this Hydro One debacle that intends to spend nearly $7 billion dollars of Ontario’s borrowed money to venture into another sovereign nation’s affairs to buy Avista, a perfectly healthy electric utility company that doesn’t need any help nor extra money that does business in Washington, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Alaska.

We must stop suffering fools

Jul 17, 2018 — Guest Column

We must stop suffering fools
An old adage says we should “gladly suffer fools.” The opposing view is that we should “stop doing stupid.” Either way, the key concern is the direct impact that not confronting stupid or shortsighted actions has on morale and the long-term effectiveness of any decision-making/leadership process.

Whether it is managing people, business processes, visionary leadership or important innovation efforts, the need to mitigate stupid, wasteful directives, interjections and interruptions has become an essential requirement if we are to grow socially and economically.

Discourse around minor children who either accompany parents who enter our country illegally

Jun 19, 2018 — Guest Column

The discourse around minor children who either accompany parents who enter our country illegally, or worse, are sent here unaccompanied,  has gotten out of hand. Democrats are playing the sympathy card while totally ignoring some important facts. They are not here legally. There is a prescribed procedure for asylum seekers. The decisions that caused them to be where they are was made by their parents.

What is happening to our south is tragic. No question. But as European countries have learned the hard way, we can’t take everyone in. One way to eliminate the problem is to prevent their entry in the first place. Once the smugglers and cartels get that message the problem would be solved, much like issuing speeding tickets in troublesome areas, it is proven to deter speeding. But as long as we don’t have a clear policy and enforce it, the problem will continue.

Please, Congress, do the hard work. Please citizens, be open to compromise. We have avoided fixing this for too long and the results of that procrastination is tearing us apart.

I guess I’m one of those mindless, Trump loving conservatives

Jun 14, 2018 — Guest Column

I guess I’m one of those mindless, Trump loving conservatives who needs it spelled out for me because I’m truly not getting it. What is wrong with renegotiating or cancelling deals that aren’t in our country’s best interest? And what is wrong with seeking peace on the Korean Peninsula? Times have changed, a fact that liberals point out regularly on things like the relevance of our Constitution or confederate statues or immigration policies. There are some things one would think we could agree on, eliminating or containing the threat of nuclear war ought to be such an issue. It has got to be difficult to build trust when the other sides sees such distrust

within our own borders. Like him or hate him, our President is a great negotiator. I wish the media would go silent on the Korean issue and let the 2 men try to work thing out.

Unable to find it in their hearts to give President Trump any credit whatsoever

Jun 14, 2018 — Guest Column

Unable to find it in their hearts to give President Trump any credit whatsoever, the Trump haters are obsessing about the one thing that they think wasn’t covered adequately in the negotiation with North Korea, that being their human rights violations which are many and horrendous. The first point is that those detractors weren’t there.

But more importantly, an open and freer No. Korea will automatically prevent much of those violations while at the same time making the entire world safer. Building trust and causing the change of decades old practices requires trust, respect, and hard work. Isn’t it worth trying. Isn’t this bigger than partisan politics. So, please, focus on what our President is doing not on what you think he is not.

As John Lennon wrote in 1969, “Give peace a chance”.

Bernie Sanders was robbed of a fair shot at the nomination in the 2016 Presidential race

Jun 10, 2018 — Guest Column

There isn’t much doubt that Bernie Sanders was robbed of a fair shot at the nomination in the 2016 Presidential race. Had the system worked without Democratic Party manipulation, it is a good bet Sanders could have been the nominee. Many people recognized a flaw in the system early on-Sanders was not a Democrat, he was an Independent. But, for years, in order to put his vote in their column in the Senate, Dems had embraced Sanders, allowing him to caucus with them. This led to allowing him into the tent during the primaries. The results made the party rethink its position. Now they have passed a rules change that says a Democratic candidate must affirm that they are a member of the party, will accept the party nomination and run and serve as a member of the party. The rule change makes sense. Voters need to know which party a candidate aligns with or they need to know that they truly are independent. This all with either tighten the messaging from both parties or it will lead to an actual third party with all the party perks of the 2 existing parties. Time will tell if the Sanders supporters can be that organized
and can garner financial support.

The United States spends, on average $13,000 per year on student education

Jun 9, 2018 — Guest Column

The United States spends, on average $13,000 per year on student education and according to Rasmussen, a rising number of Americans feel that we don’t spend enough. What that is based on is unclear but probably it is based on our standing in the world, graduation rates, and standardized tests. It may be true that the $13,000 isn’t doing enough. That is because the money doesn’t go to the most important aspect of education, the teacher. If you assume a class size of 20 students, which is likely far below the average classroom size, $260,000 ought to be enough to pay the teacher well and cover a proportionate share of facility and support personnel. If it is not enough, there is a management problem not an education problem.

Letter to the editor Ontario hydro users could not have afforded another Liberal government

Jun 9, 2018 — Guest Column

Premier Kathleen Wynne wanted to remain in power at all cost’s and the provincial debt didn’t matter to her one would think it was was more ego related when Wynne announced her pre-election plan and fair hydro plan, by 2020-2021 our provincial debt was expected to hit $370 billion we already pay over a billion a month in interest .

Premier Wynne stated our hydro rates would’ve been tied to inflation for four to five years, but a secret Liberal document leaked showed our hydro rates would’ve increased to seven per cent for five years, through years six to 10; then 12 per cent annually afterwards which the liberal’s denied.

G7 Summit

Jun 8, 2018 — Guest Column

The G7 Summit makes me stop and wonder as the French and Canadian leaders express their anger at President Trump.

What I wonder is this: If things were reversed does anyone think those gentlemen would not be screaming to high heaven?

The root of their current complaint is that their hands will be removed from the cookie jar. Healthy agreements have both sides getting what they want. Finally we have a leader who puts America and American business first. There will be pain as things adjust. Some of our products will go up, some will go down. Some businesses will suffer more as the scales get balanced. Most Americans believe that taxpayers can no longer bear the weight of subsidizing the rest of the world. For many centuries men have traded goods. In every transaction both sides received something they needed or wanted. When that ceases to be true, the deal must be renegotiated. It as simple as that.

Liberals will drag out the immigration issue with another round of heart wrenching stories

Jun 8, 2018 — Guest Column

If there isn’t enough current news to gin up public indignation, the liberals will drag out the immigration issue with another round of heart wrenching stories.

But they, nor anyone else, will answer a few simple questions. One, if indeed, we “need” to take in more folks why shouldn’t we revise our policy and our quotas?

Doing so would take the illegality of their entry off the table. Two, What is wrong with securing our borders? Shouldn’t we at least try to control the opiod epidemic sweeping our country and killing our people? Three, shouldn’t we know who is here, legally and not legally for purposes of distributing benefits and bestowing privileges which are for American citizens? And finally, how much longer are you willing to kick this can down the road rather than have the hard negotiations to fix a system that has been broken for decades? If not now, when? If not us, who?

Renata Ford legal action against Doug Ford

Jun 5, 2018 — Guest Column

I see that Renata Ford, wife of the late Mayor Rob Ford, filed a lawsuit against Doug Ford and his brother Randy yesterday through her solicitor Aird & Berlis LLP (*). This is the equivalent of a #MeToo drive-by shooting, with only three days left before voting day. I wonder how the Law Society of Upper Canada would react to a complaint of unethical behaviour in this matter? Deliberately interfering in an election in this way affects millions of people, not just Doug Ford and his brother. This is absolutely outrageous, and I hope that action can and will be taken against the Aird & Berlis law firm.

The Star

June 7th election

Jun 1, 2018 — Guest Column

On June 7th we will cast our votes in the most important decision the Ontario electorate has ever had to make. A vote for Andrea Horwath’s socialists will inevitably result in an NDP-Liberal coalition government, and I have no doubt that the vastly more experienced Wynne will manipulate and control Horwath like a hand-puppet. Anything short of a majority win for the Doug Ford Conservatives will assuredly result in more - much more - of what we are trying to get away from. This is it, folks; let’s not mess it up!

I’ll give Kanye credit for bravery and setting an example to young people

May 7, 2018 — Guest Column

I never liked Kanye West or his music. I found the words vulgar and rap just isn’t my thing. But I’ll give the man credit for bravery and setting an example to young people, especially black youth. In his recent nod to President Trump and in his thoughts about black people having a herd mentality rather than being independent thinkers, Kanye took some risk. But, he spoke the truth and has possibly opened the door a crack for meaningful dialog that could result in real change. Some say it was hype to launch a new album. I say it doesn’t matter if it achieves results. I hope that people like me will embrace the attempt to shed light on one of this countries biggest and longest problems. It isn’t necessary to agree with the messenger all the time. It is necessary to admit when they are right.

John Kerry is way out of line meeting Iranian officials to discuss the Iran Nuclear Deal

May 7, 2018 — Guest Column

Unless he was asked by President Trump to do so, John Kerry is way out of line meeting Iranian officials to discuss the Iran Nuclear Deal.

He seems to know that too because he is negotiating in secret. Imagine if all past Secretaries of State were running around trying to manipulate
our foreign policy and influencing potential deals, there would be even more chaos than already exists. When it comes to international diplomacy, only the current administration should be in charge.

Furthermore, is Kerry motivated by what is best for the United States or by preserving his own legacy? Remember he played a large part in crafting the deal.

Condoleezza Rice is right on! Paying college athletes will make matters worse

May 5, 2018 — Guest Column

Condoleezza Rice is right on! Paying college athletes will make matters worse
EDGEWATER, Maryland — In its recent report on college basketball, the special commission headed by former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice made several long overdue recommendations aimed at dealing with the sport’s “crisis of accountability.”  But, wisely, it stopped short of suggesting that players be paid.

In largely keeping intact the NCAA’s core rule of amateurism, the 14-member commission reaffirmed the notion that while compensating players might sound attractive in this era of huge professional contracts, it would only lead to ever more problems down the road.

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation scholarship program for low income students

May 2, 2018 — Guest Column

‘60 Minutes’ aired a segment this past Sunday on the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation scholarship program for low income students.
The laudable goal of the program is to get low income kids into college where they will earn a degree and with it the ability to earn more money and lift their families out of poverty. Some 20,000 students have benefited from the program and most used the opportunity wisely. Colleges are helping with the program by giving preferential admission to kids simply because of their economic status. Why wouldn’t they? A Gates scholarship is money in the bank for a college as well as a guaranty of a high rate of completion.

As is usually the case, middle class families and students are the ones who suffer. To qualify for the program, family income must be below $65,000. Where is the advantage for a family with 2 blue collar workers who brings home $80,000 and pays all their own bills? Shouldn’t it be weighted to include the social service benefits the poorer family receives? How many kids lost a rightfully earned acceptance in order to accommodate the poor kids? If I was a family earning over $65,000,  with a bright student, I’d think about lowering my income. A 4 year college degree costs much more than what some families bring in above the $65,000 threshold.

What happens to total economic picture of the country if 20,000 poor kids get a degree and 20,000 others do not?

I have no problem with programs that lift the poor out of poverty. I do have a problem when it is at the expense of hardworking middle America.

If you are considering buying a home…

Apr 27, 2018 — Guest Column

If you are considering buying a home, you should plan about 35% of your pretax income for total housing cost: mortgage, insurance and taxes.

That is the model that most lenders use. So the proposal by HUD Sec. Ben Carson to raise the minimum payment for subsidized housing from 30% to 35% of adjusted income seems in line with accepted norms. He also proposes raising the minimum rent, that charged to the poorest families, from $50 to $150. That also doesn’t seem unreasonable. These changes follow the Trump plan of lifting people from welfare to work.

He is also looking to simplify the burden on housing authorities for outdated calculation methods and onerous regulations. Dr. Carson said, “Today we begin the necessary conversation about how we can provide meaningful, dignified assistance to those we serve without hurting them at the same time.”

This should be a concept that people on both sides of the aisle can embrace. For far too long, we have held down our poorest citizens and in doing so, did great damage to the black community.

Neither of these candidates is Native American. Warren is flat out deceitful and Ayyaduria is playin

Apr 27, 2018 — Guest Column

I wish I could say, “Only in Massachusetts” but I’m not sure that is as true as it once was. There you have it: Elizabeth Warren is again, running for the United States Senate. One of the things on which she hangs her hat, is her unverifiable Native American roots. Oh, it gets better. Warren is being challenged by Shiva Ayyaduria who is using his Indian heritage as a campaign slogan, calling himself the real Indian candidate.

It seems that Ayyaduria doesn’t understand the difference between Native American and Indian. Or, more likely, he thinks the voters don’t know the difference.

Neither of these candidates is Native American. Warren is flat out deceitful and Ayyaduria is playing with perceptions. It will be fun to watch how this game of Indians and Indians plays out.

We have every reason to be very proud of our First Lady

Apr 26, 2018 — Guest Column

It is such a ray of sunshine to see a White House State Dinner being held with grace and class. In her quiet way, Melania Trump has rid the occasion of Hollywood heavy hitters and put it back where it belongs, as an event for foreign dignitaries and for building relationships. And she has stepped up to take the reins in planning the event. I have no doubt that the First Lady knows more about protocol and etiquette than any firm or person she could hire. By her involvement in the planning, she is demonstrating the importance of the event and its messaging.

We have every reason to be very proud of our First Lady.

A princely name

Apr 25, 2018 — Guest Column

I hear that Arthur is one of the possible names for the new Prince. I am sure ‘Arthur Daley’ the prince of entrepreneurs would be pleased to hear this.