The Way I See It
By cj pollick
What Makes Charlie Tick? - There was a time when many voters around Tampa Bay knew Charlie Crist as a distinguished-looking young politician who supported conservative ideas when it came to politics. As a result St. Petersburg's Charlie Crist raced through the local political ranks as a state representative and state senator. There was even a time when people referred to him as "Chain-gang Charlie" due to his tough political stand regarding criminals. It was not long before Crist caught the eye of Gov. Jeb Bush and other high ranking GOP people in Florida politics. Soon, Crist became State Attorney General and took a stab at a US Senate seat before many people across Florida even knew his name. Crist lost that election, but became a "name" in Florida politics. Crist later ran for the Governor's seat, and won. He is now Gov. Charlie Crist.
However, something happened to "Chain-gang Charlie" and many political pundits now refer to Crist as a "Centrist" politician (the same was often said about Pres. Bill Clinton.) Of course, with Crist's recent political moves, such as traveling with Pres. Obama to promote Obama's spending plan to citizens in Ft. Myers, etc., loyal GOP conservatives have begun to wonder if Crist has not changed his political views and is no longer what he once was, a conservative Republican. Crist's recent appointment of a liberal justice to the State Supreme Court instead of a conservative, has caused even more concern among the GOP faithful. Yet, Gov. Crist still refers to himself a Republican who has more moderate views. Thus, a new Gov. Charlie Crist.
How Safe Is Your Bank? - People who have placed important savings accounts with some local banks have asked, "How safe is my bank?"
The answer, of course, may vary according to the "bank rating service;" however, according to at least one credible bank rating service, the following list of local banks had been rated Sept. 2008 according to their financial results (five star rating is best, one star rating is troubled):
Free Choice, Who Says So? - Labor unions, who, over the years, have donated considerable funds to elect Democrats, have been asking those Democrat officials to support a proposed federal labor law known as "Free Choice." The issue? To allow employees of a company to vote "openly" in support of labor unions instead of using secret ballots. In this manner, a union official could meet with each employee to see exactly how they voted.
Free choice? No, this manner of voting to support union development allows "strong-arming" and other coercive tactics. Once made "union shops," other interesting methods of using employee "dues" for political and other nefarious purposes soon follows.
Political payback to unions from the Democrat Party for years of union member funds to win elections?
Time will tell, but unionism will clearly expand in record proportions under Barack Obama's leadership. Free enterprise and capitalism will suffer.
Defined Benefit Plans In A Recession? - Federal public employees will enjoy tremendous growth under the Obama administration. And with trillions of American taxpayer funds planned for federal projects, such as roadways and bridges, many people will gain jobs working for the government. Yes, it is also likely that government health insurance benefits (second to none) plus defined benefit pension plans will be included in the government compensation package (something most non-government taxpayers do not enjoy.)
This is part of Obama's stimulus package to, as he says, "boost the American economy." The plan is to spend our way out of a deep recession by use of working-people's taxes. "We need to stimulate the economy," Obama says.
Here is the proverbial "rest of the story" about some of this historic spending plan: Employee fixed benefit retirement plans require more funds to be contributed (than expected) when the nation's economy is bad. Thus, the retirement benefit is fixed, the issue of how much money it might take to reach that benefit goal depends upon the investment market. For employees, this is the best of all retirement plans. You get the amount of the target benefit regardless of the investment market or the nation’s economy. Some folks might ask: Who bears the brunt of the funding needed to pay these retirement funds? The answer is: Taxpayers. If more employee retirement funds are needed, taxes must be increased or government services cut.
Why would any elected official support this type of government benefit plan that could be to the detriment of taxpayers?
Perhaps when times are good, many elected officials don't think much about negotiating employee benefit plans. But when times are tough, like now, some of the same elected officials merely scratch their heads and say things like, "We must cut city/county/state/federal services to balance the budget," or "We must increase taxes and fees to balance the city/county/state/federal budget." Of course, what is not cut is the amount of fixed expenses due to previously approved superior retirement plans and superior retirement health care plans where taxpayers are responsible for any financial shortfall.
Military Troops Use Rape As A Weapon – There are places in Congo, Africa, where military troops from warring tribal factions have killed tens of thousands of innocent people throughout their country, just to show they are in control. Call it a message of fear.
What you may not hear on nightly news, is the fact that these so-called military soldiers regularly rape young and older Congolese woman simply to show they have power.
Thousands of pregnant women with emotional and physical scars. Yes, these young women of the Congo have no place to hide, no place to run, and few places that could offer them help. It is a disgrace that American leaders in Washington have not tried to stop these abusive acts against innocent women in Africa. This horrific story is about Africans killing and raping innocent Africans in large numbers.
Imagine the pain of families living in the Congo when they can't protect their women from military gang rapes? And yes, these are grotesque gang-style acts that are occurring as you read this column.
He who loses money loses much; he who loses a friend loses more; but he who loses courage, loses all.
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