Thursday, February 26, 2015

Watchdog Death! The Shocking and Tragic Loss of Tom Schweich

Missouri lost an amazing leader and one of the greatest Taxpayer Watchdogs ever with the truely tragic Loss of Tom Schweich.
He aparently shot himself today while his wife was in the next room. Thus, while he certainly had many enemies emanating from audits passed and current, and also as an announced candidate for Governor in what was to be an ugly battle against former House Speaker Catherine Hannaway, foul play seems unlikely. 

 The Missouri Net has the reactions from across Missouri which universally credit Schweich for his brilliance and integrity. In an interview on KMOX radio, veteran Missouri Capitol reporter Phil Brooks described Schweick to host Mark Readon as and amazingly rare politician whose door was always ope, literally. He then gave a most interesting insight wiht his personal assessment that Schweick seemed to lack the personal "thick skin" of most successful politicians he knew. 
Perhaps the personal criticism that all politicians must endure may have in fact taken a toll on the heart of this amazing public servant. 

 As a taxpayer watchdog, Schweick was second to none, and yours truly is in a unique position to assess as a 14 year lawmaker and even candidate for State Auditor (albeit a failed one). I am very familiar with what the job involves, from looking out for taxpayers and making sure taxpayers get the best value and efficiency from government agencies from the state and local agencies to public schools. Schweich not only took on anyone and everyone, he had the brilliance to take on the Mack's Creek Law. I voted for that taxpayer protection in 1995, so I was amazed that an auditor would have the foresight to take on the task of checking up on whether the policy is being followed almost 20 years later. It was another great Missouri invention, limiting the use/abuse of speed traps. Abusive locales like Macks Creek, MO could not gain more than 35% of their revenue from traffic tickets. 

Tom Schweich's amazing ability is perhaps best noted in the way he came to power as the Establishment's pick for Auditor designed to defeat Tea Party favorite Alan Icet, but quickly won over the Tea Party prompting a tribute by St. Louis Tea Party founder, Bill Hennessy. Schweich had all of the trappings of the typical Ladue blue blood, from his Ivy League lawyer credential to Ambassdor appointment, author and scholar. He was so stunningly dynamic and genuinely curious that he won over everyone who got to know him. The real tragedy is the loss to his wife Kathy and two children left behind. I am certain that a man like Schweich made every preparation for them. May God bless them.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Rand Is Right and Jeb Bush Must Want Government Forced Vaccinations

The vaccine debate is one of the most troubling of our time. The Republican bashing from the media and from fellow Republicans is more troubling than the health questions.
The core issue that Senator Paul espoused and that is lost in all of the vaccine hot air is the critical principle of individual and parental liberty. It is repugnant that anyone outside of the duplicitous political progressives would undermine the Senator for the "sin" of expressing such a bedrock Republican view but that is exactly what is happening. Those who do this are behaving in the cagiest anti-family manner while promoting truly dangerous policy.
We expect statist hate-mongers like the petty school boy impressionist Rachael Maddow to work to spin sentiment in favor of liberty trampling Big Government, but what was especially loathsome was the way would be Presidential nominee Jeb Bush took his shot. With the controversy of the entirely made up measles outbreak pandemic raging (the last US death was 2003), and Rand Paul being forced to "defend" his honest position,
Bush used the timing of s speech in Detroit to throw one of his Iowa opponents under the Big Pharma bus. Taking a page from Hillary Clinton (expect two years of that from the conjoined candidates soon to be separated at the birth of the 2016 campaign) he echoed the type of woefully uninspired vacuous rhetoric we have come to expect from Establishment candidates boldly proclaiming, "Parents should vaccinate their kids".
Really? How about giving us a real position on real policy? The only conclusion from anyone who would distance themselves from Senator Paul's (and to be fair Governor Chris Christie's) absolutely clear statement that parents should control the matter, is that you must hold the opposite view. So when Hillary and Jeb say that parents ought to vaccinate their kids, the only conclusion in context is that they would subvert parental control for government control. I witnessed the tyranny of the Big Pharma oligarchy first hand when I tried to make a simple change in the law. My cautionary note to Republicans and anyone left or right who claims to care about liberty and the Bill of Rights is that our rights are worthless if we do not understand and assert them. Wherever you fall on the vaccine issue, the devil as always,is in the details and the vaccine details hold incredible treachery when you examine two things: !. Who gets to mandate the vaccines on the list? 2. What force is behind the mandate, from a ban from "public, private, parochial or parish schools" (Missouri), from military service, etc)
In Missouri, I was surprised when the chicken pox vaccine was added to the list of mandates vaccines. As I opened the State Statutes to review the relevant vaccine mandate section, I noticed that the varicella vaccine is not on the list passed by lawmakers and no bill had been passed to add it. That is when I learned that the power to add vaccines to the list rests not with elected lawmakers but is 100% in the hands of the appointed Director of the Missouri Department of Health. When I attempted to take back the power and put it with the people, I was shut down by both political parties and the Republican Governor. Virtually every lobbyist related to doctors, hospitals and leftist social service groups opposed me, while Big Pharma hid. My liberty-loving colleagues saw the writing on the wall and hid as well. As I sat there contemplating my own fully vaccinated children and surveyed the sorry state of liberty in the Heartland, my
biggest fear was not vaccine dangers, but the power of corporate America to get politicians to do their bidding. It should be hard to add to the list of mandated vaccines. All Big Pharma needs to do in Missouri to gain a huge new market for a product is to win the support of one appointed Department Director. That is a massive moral hazard. I was then truly dismayed and disgusted when Republican Governor Rick Perry added Gardasil (to prevent a sexually transmitted disease) to the Texas list.
Any debate that centers on whether vaccines are good or bad misses the point. The issue is about whether children should be forced by any government over the protests of their parents, to ingest a for profit product at all, especially in light of the fact that Federal Courts have allowed almost 4000 families to share over $3 billion in awards for vaccine injuries and/or deaths since the Vaccine Injury program was launched in 1988.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Ladies and Gentlemen: Gina's Book Launches Del Mar Horse Racing Opening Day

Ok, shameless plug for my best girl. Please link it, "like" it, tweet it or otherwise share it, because the fruit of Gina's labor of love is born today. When the publisher, AMG established today as the date, who knew there would be so much excitement in San Diego surrounding the opening day of the 75th anniversary of the races at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club. So when the bugler plays "Call to the Post" at Del Mar, you won't see Seabiscuit, but you may see Gina, probably on her phone doing one of about 20 radio interviews today regarding the book she co-authored with Dr. Dathan Paterno, Ladies and Gentlemen: Why the Survival of Our Republic Depends on the Revival of Honor. Phyllis Schlafly says, "Dr. Gina and Dr. Dathan Paterno open a groundbreaking window to a world of chivalry, manners, and decorum that our younger generation has never visited and, indeed, has never even heard described. The feminists have repeatedly manifested a particular animosity toward the word “lady.” But this remarkable book puts male and female behaviors in proper focus, historically, biblically, and in contemporary relationships." Pamela Geller adds, "Gina Loudon and Dathan Paterno diagnose the political contro- versies of our age magnificently, rightfully perceiving them as symptoms of a much deeper malady. The unique and profoundly perceptive cures they prescribe are right on target. If the analyses in this book are heeded, our country will be on track to regain the position of preeminence that it once won not by force of arms, but by the power of ideas and the ladies and gentlemen who exemplify them." About the book: Ladies and Gentlemen studies the history of the terms that once elevated the ideal woman and man and illuminates how the structure of Western society established and maintained the virtues. In contrast, the book demonstrates how three movements—atheism, liberalism, and radical feminism—undercut these ideals, especially in the 20th Century. Rather than a dry history lesson, readers will understand the crucial contributions of government, family, literature/media, and churches in producing a culture that either esteems or debases the best of each gender. Ladies and Gentlemen draws aggressive battle lines in today’s culture war, pressing Christians and conservatives to value all people, cherish manners, humility, and graciousness, and esteem virtue above self. It directly challenges politicians and media personalities to honor and reflect a culture of honor, as well as calling all conservatives to reward public figures who exhibit these traits, while rebuking or rejecting those who do not. The book exemplifies several public figures on both ends of the political spectrum who engender the traits of the lady or gentleman, as well as several who clearly fail. Finally, Ladies and Gentlemen paints a portrait of modern civility, proving that women can be warriors without burning bras and men can be tough without smoking Marlboros on horseback. It instructs parents how to raise their own children to be ladies and gentlemen. Incorporating Biblical principles and an awareness of modern day challenges, it boosts parents’ ability to navigate the murky waters of today’s culture.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Breaking! Fired Fire Chief's Suicide Prompts Demand for Resignations

(cross posted on 24thState)

The favorite fire board candidate of Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder stands defiant. As related earlier, voters in West County have fought for years to first regain and then hold the Monarch Fire District away from control of the union felt betrayal when several Republican lawmakers endorsed the union-backed Swyers. While Kinder, Auditor Schweik, and State Reps McNary and Gosen insist they endorsed the right guy, the suicide of Chief Fred Goodson may have been an attempt to jog minds to see the horrible destruction the union is perpetuating in their blood coup.

Chief Goodson Attendees received the stunning revelation that the excuse for the firings pertained to the alleged mismanagment of the sexual harassment allegations is contradicted by the revalation that the firings were promised over a month in advance of the court ruling. So it appears that were the leaders who were not even accused, then fully vindicated, they still would have been fired. When all you have ever done is lead a fire house, how do you make that career change at 60 plus years of age, especially when you have been fired without so much as a hearing?

So let's recap the record of the "Republican," "Taxpayer Candidate,""independent of the union" Swyers.

1. He has voted with the union favorite Kim Evans in a perfect block against Robyn Harris on every major decison.

2. He successfully voted to pass a tax increase.

3. Swyers, the certified public accountant actually voted for the tax rate increase before he even knew what the budget would be. Standard procedure is to vote a budget and then set the rate to meet it.

4. Swyers, embarrassed by the backlash over the tax increase then voted to undo his tax increas while complaining publicly that the lower rate would make the budget complicated to design.

5. Swyers, again in a block with Evans voted to fire virtually the entire leadership of the Fire District and do so without even giving any of the accused the opportunity to have a public hearing.

Why were the accused not given the chance to defend themselves?

6. Finally, Swyers the CPA voted to install a new fire chief hand-picked by the union who is not even minimally qualified. I repeat, he does not even meet the qualifications to be hired as a private. He has zero experience in a multi-house department and does not even have the requisite college degree.

7. Almost worse than the offense of hiring a union shill for chief, Swyers and Evans voted to waste money hiring an outside search firm to look nationwide for a guy they knew locally. So what did the firm do? Did they come up empty?

The unfortunate reality for Swyers and Evans is that former board member Gans has decided to not quit caring. Gans went from active citizen in the early 90s, to union-endorsed candidate for the board, to union-opposed board member amassing incredible institutional knowledge and connections. He predicted almost before the search firm began, that Vinyard would be their choice. This would be laughable if not such a shameless abuse of the public trust.

The combination of these embarrassing revelations and violations of the public trust lead Director Robyn Harris to take the extraordinary step of asking his colleagues to resign. They refused. Perhaps the Republican lawmakers who endorsed the clearly union-corrupted Swyers will ad to the pressure and join the departed Chief Goodson and demand justice.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

St. Louis County Tax Hike

This from Lisa Payne Naeger. St. Louis County, now that "drive by" reassessments have been curbed, is contemplating a straight out property tax increase. You have to admire the honesty on the one hand. However, centrist Democrat Steve Stenger has expressed doubt about the need.

County Council Meeting on Tuesday, August 30. Show up and make your voices heard.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

The U.S. Debt Matrix - Are you ready for the red pill?

In the famous scene, the protagonist is asked by the Judas character, whether he regrets not having taken the blue pill of blissful ignorance. Those who pay attention have to endure the frustrations that come with knowing the painful truth. What we do with that information is what defines us.

We who take up political arms and fight risk everything. Our Founding Fathers knew they risked their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor. Those same risks are very real today. The next four links paint one of the scariest pictures imaginable. Once you see it, take the "red pill" if you will, you may never invest in equities again. You also may choose to join the fight alongside Neo.

By the middle of the Bush years, the great investment banks like Bear and Lehman no longer made their money financing real businesses and creating jobs. Instead, Wall Street now serves, in the words of one former investment executive, as "Lucy to America's Charlie Brown," endlessly creating new products to lure the great herd of unwitting investors into whatever tawdry greed-bubble is being spun at the moment: Come kick the football again, only this time we'll call it the Internet, real estate, oil futures. Wall Street has turned the economy into a giant asset-stripping scheme, one whose purpose is to suck the last bits of meat from the carcass of the middle class.

Is the Greek debt crisis the result of a socialist country being really irresponsible? Likely. Did a loan arsonist burn down the Reichstag?

Greek Debt Crisis, A Goldman Sachs Economic Coup?

Here is the piece that lays out how "naked short selling" became a death star laser that could be pointed at any company or worse, any country.

Next we have an article in the Riverfront Times, a leftist publication in St. Louis, that describes the Obama administration's cozy ties with the Wall Street pirateers.


Finally, we have someone who is taking these menaces to court. He has extracted millions in settlements from one crooked investment bank after another. His current target is Goldman Sachs. Here is his story in his words.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Hey Boehner, Balance the Budget Yourself

One idea has nagged at me for years and Charley Reese elucidates it with this article. When our politicians come to us for help with their re-elections 94% of us say "sure we will help, you are doing a great job".

Like the willfully naive mother who welcomes her son home from school. He was a total delinquent and came home and defecated in the middle of the floor and told his mother to clean it up. She only sees her little man. "Ok Dear, we'll pretend that did not just happen." "That's right wench", "you got it".

For a generation, maybe longer, every successive Congress has allowed entitlements to grow and they have done nothing. We are the parents who have to clean up the $14.2 trillion deficit and figure out what to do with the $62 trillion (yes, that is TRILLION with a capital "T") of stinking unfunded liabilities. While Republicans rebuke Democrats for their intransigence, "The Architect" Karl Rove convinced the Bush White House and GOP Congress that adding an $8 Trillion unfunded Medicare Part D (free drugs for seniors plan) was the way to maintain Republican faith with seniors and therefore dominate the electorate for a generation. How did that work out?

Well, a two bit State Senator who abstained from nearly one half of his votes clobbered us in November. People smarter than me can give all kinds of excuse for electoral losses. I suspect the fact that when the GOP had nearly total control we maybe should have voted like Republicans and cut things. Had we cut entitlements and not added to them, maybe the independent voters would believe us now when we try to tell them there is a difference. Instead, we have a generation of Republican lawmakers who share culpability for the $62 trillion stinking pile on the floor. But we have a pivotal opportunity to capture the narrative.

As Charlie Reese points out in his famous last column entitled "545 vs. 300,000,000 People":

The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives sole responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating and approving appropriations and taxes. Who is the speaker of the House? John Boehner. He is the leader of the majority party. He and fellow House members, not the President, can approve any budget they want. If the President vetoes it, they can pass it over his veto if they agree to.

There is your road map to restoring faith in the Republican Party and, by the way, to saving the Republic. The House GOP needs to send a balanced budget to the Senate and steadfastly refuse to accept from the Senate Democrats, a conference budget that goes higher.

Now, there will be plenty of excuses as to why that is impossible. It may be tough, but nothing is impossible. Here is my list of cuts as to where to begin:

1. Cut all federal salaries by 15-25% or at least to a wage scale roughly equal to the average private sector or at least state government employee. If we lose too many highly specialized employees we can give limited latitude to executives to limit their cuts. Mail carriers, HUD workers, sorry. The gravy train is going to roll back for a while.

2. Eliminate all non-essential federal departments that should be handled by state governments, beginning with that loathsome US Department of Education. Zero it out of the budget. Before Carter created the huge new Cabinet level bureaucracy in 1980, Education was a minor "Office" founded in 1868 to distribute good teaching methodology. I think we can handle it now.

3. Eliminate the Department of Commerce. Any others?

4. Allow oil drilling and tax it.

5. Sell off a few million acres of government owned land. Enjoy the cash and enterprise while at the same time reducing the liability and maintenance costs of the land.

These ideas are just a start, but the principle remains the same. If the GOP, which Party controls the House, from which all spending bills originate, truly desires a balanced budget, they need to pass a budget that is balanced and refuse to blink when the Senate Democrats try to force a budget that is in the red. Simple.