Archive for November, 2009

Made In China Is A Good Thing

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

I had a discussion recently with my Aunt Vera, a wonderful lady in her 80’s who still lives in the house she and my father grew up in San Francisco.  She, like many of her era were raised to believe that unions and union jobs were the way to achieve middle-class lifestyles, and that companies owed lifetime employment to their workers.

As my kids were running around and making more noise in the house than she is used to, she mentioned to me between sips of tea just how horrible it is that all the jobs are being outsourced to India and Mexico, and that there are no good jobs left for hard working Americans.

I asked her what she meant, and she went on to say that all the factory jobs and the jobs that made the Bay Area and our country strong were being sent to places where labor was so cheap.  I knew where she was going but I wanted to hear it from her, since if I were in her shoes I’d likely feel the same way.  My goodness, MADE IN THE U.S.A. used to mean something is what she was trying to say.

Levi’s 501 Jeans Are Made in Haiti

My dad used to drive cool Thunderbirds and even had a 1965 Firebird.  I had an RCA TV in the house growing up, and my Levi’s 501 jeans were made in America, now they are made in Haiti.  American cars were cool, pre-Pinto, Vega and Pacer, then the 1970’s happened when Detroit got lazy and Toyota and Datsun took their lunch money.

Levis 501 Jeans Made in Haiti

Levis 501 Jeans Made in Haiti

I started talking a bit about progress, and how technology moves things along for the betterment of not only our society, but also the global economy by allowing workers in countries that do manufacturing to earn good livings so they can buy our Nike sneakers, watch Disney movies and have a Coke with a smile.

Then I asked her how, when she was a kid, she made a phone call.  “Didn’t you pick up the ear piece and crank the handle on the side of the box to alert the operator who then asked for the number?”  She nodded and I jokingly said, “But those poor operators – they’re all out of work!”  She chuckled.

Then I commented on her new TV in the living room, a nice model that was about 32”.  I then mentioned the number of TV’s manufactured in the United States was right around zero, and hers’ was likely made in China.  (Vizio, a company headquartered in Irvine, California, led by Taiwan-born William (not his given name) Wang, claims to be America’s #1 LCD HDTV Company.  Their televisions are made in China.)

She winced.

Then I quickly jumped in and said, “Just think, 20 years ago a 19” Sony TV cost about $500, and today you are getting a 32” TV for the same price that gives you a better picture.”

Made In China Is A Good Thing

As the chat progressed, she got the fact that because some things are made in places like China where the cost of living and the corresponding wages are significantly less, more American people can enjoy things that used to be considered luxury items – like an LCD TV.  To really put the matter of TV prices into perspective and why “Made in China” is not a bad thing, chomp on this: A Sony 42” Plasma TV had a MSRP of $7999.00 in 2002.  Yes, EIGHT  THOUSAND DOLLARS for a 42” TV, seven short years ago.  Today I can buy a 52” Sony TV with a free Blu-Ray DVD Player for about $1500.00, and Costco is selling an off-brand ProScan 40” LCD set for a ridiculously low $499.00!

I would love to buy American-made products, but I am not willing to support the unions that seemingly ruin a good thing whenever they can, in the “best interests” of their rank and file.  In other words, I am not willing to pay a large premium to buy goods made in this country, when I know the Sony TV made across the Pacific Ocean is of better quality and price than any comparable set that could be made here.

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Monday, November 23rd, 2009

Yours truly, Logical Republican, will be a guest on An American Warning Radio, tomorrow, Tuesday November 24th from 2:30 to 3:00 Central  Time.

David Robertson is the show’s host, and I am not sure if we are discussing my point of view on immigration or he will nail me on my gun control stance.  Either way it should be an interesting segment!

An American Warning Radio David Robertson

An American Warning Radio David Robertson

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Arrogant Liberal-Owned Bookstores Don’t Carry Sarah Palin’s Going Rogue

Saturday, November 21st, 2009

Sarah Palin’s book, “Going Rogue,” was released this past week with some major fanfare. Palin was on the Oprah Winfrey show, and had her public relations team working overtime handling book signings throughout the Midwest.  The major booksellers had large posters in their windows alerting customers of the date it will hit their shelves for over one month.

Sarah Palin on the Oprah Winfrey Show

Sarah Palin on the Oprah Winfrey Show

Ever since Palin burst on the scene as a virtual unknown at the Republican National Convention as John McCain’s improbable running mate, she has gone from overnight sensation, to a running joke to tabloid fodder, for various reasons.  I honestly felt McCain stole the election when I heard her acceptance speech – I was blown away by her communications skills, and felt her blue-collar background, teamed with a card-holding union member husband and heart-string-pulling autistic child sealed the deal.

Then something happened.  She went dark the week following the convention and everyone assumed she was being coached by Team McCain for the grilling she would face as a vice-presidential candidate.  The coaching was piss-poor and the liberal, Obama-loving press turned her into the class dunce, whether accurate or not.  Palin went from an asset to a liability in a matter of weeks, and was ridiculed at every level.

Fast-forward one year, and Palin has mysteriously stepped down from her elected position as governor of Alaska, entered into a feud with Levi Johnston, the father of her illegitimate grandchild, and written a book that will pad her bank account to the tune of several million dollars.  Good for her on the dollars.

Closed-Minded Liberal Bookstores Spit on Sarah Palin’s Book

I am writing this entry at the Portland Airport and can buy her book at the many kiosks, or at any local Border’s or Barnes and Noble.  Yet there are many holier-than-thou independent bookstores that have chosen not to stock the book for no other reason than she is Sarah Palin – Republican.

Imagine for a moment if Bob’s Books in Hackensack, decided not to carry either of the Barack Obama books because his is a democrat?  Reverend Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson would mobilize the troops and protest, targeting all who enter the store with insults and deem the owner and patrons as racist scum.  TV camera crews would paint the store owner as intolerant, closed-minded and hateful, and you would have the reporter finding the tree-hugger in the crowd to get a juicy quote on how such despicable acts in this day and age are unacceptable and how he/she felt we have, as a society moved beyond censoring a community from books.

Liberal Censorship of a Republican is OK, Apparently

Witness the liberal double-standard of the #1 book on the Best Seller List: Nathan Embretson of Pendragon Books in Oakland, California, states in the San Francisco Chronicle, “Our customers are thinking people, they aren’t into reading drivel,” while Emily Stackhouse, the unbiased clerk at San Francisco’s Cover to Cover stated that the book “would gross us all out,” and that “you carry (books) because of freedom of speech, but a book like that is just gross.”  Apparently freedom of speech applies to liberals and to muzzle a Republican is humorous.

There are no pickets outside either bookstore by the National Organization of Women or any other group that would show up if they refused to stock Hilary Clinton’s “Living History” book.  Clinton, you see, is a democrat, and by virtue of her political affiliation has built-in virtue, and her book demonstrates insight and a value to the greater good of society.

That is the rule for republicans – deal with censorship; the regulations are different for liberals.  Liberals cannot be racist, intolerant or closed-minded; it’s not in their DNA.  They believe in free speech – provided the speech is in agreement with what they believe.  Deviate or disagree and they will berate, belittle and call you names.

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Republicans For Gun Control

Monday, November 16th, 2009

I’ve gotten into a few jousting matches in the last week regarding gun control, or my statements that I, personally, will likely never need to own a gun.  I believe my statement was something like, “I live in San Jose and cannot go hunting at the park where my kids play, and since I don’t feel a need to pack heat when I go grocery shopping, my desire for a Glock is less than minimal.”  Apparently this is blasphemy for some. Guess what – gun ownership beliefs do not define political beliefs any more than your religion, or lack thereof!

Let me clear some things up:

1)      I am not against gun control in that I feel people should be able to own a firearm.  I do not see a need however, for any private citizen to own an assault weapon or any other weapon that fires more than a single bullet per trigger squeeze.

2)      I agree with the statement that “guns don’t kill people, people do,” as much as I agree with the statement, “needles don’t inject heroin; addicts do.”

3)      Other than target practice, a handgun does not have much use for a private citizen, since you are not going duck hunting with a Glock.

Dirty Harry needs a gun, I don't

Dirty Harry needs a gun, I don't

Guns don’t kill people, people kill people – stupid people with guns

Since there are a lot of right-winged yahoos out there who think that anyone who thinks like me cannot be a registered Republican, here is a thought…in fact a solution for the rampant crime in our cities that comes from guns…I mean people, since guns cannot think or commit crimes.  Ready, Charlton Heston followers…here goes:

Moving forward (that means from this point on, for you under-educated folk), all handguns sold in this country will be test-fired upon sale, and that bullet and accompanying ballistics will be entered into a data base.  Ballistics, for those who are not familiar with the term, is like a gun’s fingerprints.

With the gun’s fingerprint on file, it will be less likely that a gun owner will be inclined to commit a crime.  Ah, but what if the gun is “lost” or stolen, and “another person” does something unsavory with this gun, you ask?  Well, maybe you don’t have the gun anymore, but at least if a crime is committed and a bullet recovered, we know where to start the search for the criminal – your front door.

My idea still gives you Second Amendment rights, but may help solve crimes as older guns fall by the wayside.  So go ahead, let me have it…any argument for gun ownership other than hunting, target practice or protecting a home isn’t going to get very far!

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Union Workers Are Lazy and Helpless

Friday, November 13th, 2009

This past week, there have been several large companies announcing layoffs because of drooping stock prices, lower than expected sales, or simple job overlap.  That’s business in the real world, where if the company needs to meet the bottom line or appease shareholders, the appropriate cuts are made.  Companies do what is best for the company – end of discussion.

When a city government lays off workers, union workers, all hell breaks loose.  Let’s see, cities are broke and many in deficit mode due to over-bloated benefits and pension packages, they support illegal immigrants’ health care and social services all while crimes go unsolved and potholes unfilled, and there is griping over layoffs?

Yes, Mr. Shareholder, we donated $7 million to the Guatemalan orphan relief fund and upped our warehouse manager’s benefit package to include his grandparents in Burma, and lost $27 million last quarter, and no, we cannot lay anyone off because that would be unfair.  Can you imagine?!

Sprint, Electronic Arts and Microsoft Cut Jobs

Sprint lays off 2000 workers and Electronic Arts cuts 1500 from their force, and since there is no union involved, Nancy Pelosi is not butting in asking for better severance or government assistance.  Heck, even Microsoft eliminated 800 jobs, but that didn’t even ring a bell or get a mention in the paper or evening news.  These are technology jobs, the theory goes, so these people will just go to another tech company or start a company, right?

Actually, that is right.  That is correct because that is the way technology jobs go…one company goes up another slips and so goes the workforce.  It’s not the end of the world when Oracle buys PeopleSoft or Siebel System and lays off 10,000 because they bounce back or decide to start a company themselves.

But heaven forbid, the City of San Francisco decides to lay off 500 workers to help close a $438 million budget deficit and the world stops.  Yes, you read correctly, San Francisco has a $438 million budget deficit!  How is that even possible?  They tax the hell out of businesses, San Franciscans pay the highest sales tax rates in the country, then there are hotel, airport, gas, payroll, parking and other assorted taxes, and they are still $538.00 short per resident.

Apparently Union Workers Lack Drive and Ambition

Apparently city and union workers are helpless, lack drive and ambition, and have no visible levels of talent, and a layoff will cause them to wilt away and die.  Good for Gavin Newsom for not protecting these coddled workers from the chopping block as the some members on the Board of Supervisors wanted.

Losing a job sucks, we all know that, but (bleep) happens, and you deal with it.  The trans-gendered union boss, Robert Haaland of the Local 1021, stated¸”This is about fairness and equity,” since most of the affected workers are women and minorities.  OK, so make it more fair and equitable – lay off more workers and make them straight, male and majority.

Transgendered Union Boss Robert Haaland

Transgendered Union Boss Robert Haaland

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New 2010 Chevy Camaro – Is Detroit Back?

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

Is Detroit finally “getting” it?  While I don’t necessarily agree with the bailout of the auto industry, and I firmly believe the United Auto Workers (UAW) has crippled the Big 3 of Ford, Chrysler and General Motors, I actually see a few American cars driving down the freeway I would be proud to drive.

Growing up in the 1980’s, muscle cars from the late 1960’s and 1970’s were what the cool guys in high school drove.  It was the Trans Am, Cutlass, Camaro or the 442 that made guys say ‘WOW” and girls purr “OOOH.”  They were real cars that sounded fast and tough, not the whining blender noise of the tricked-out 4-cylinder imports that populate our roads today.

1969 Olds 442 Muscle Car

1969 Olds 442 Muscle Car

We are all grown up now and well entrenched in our 30’s and 40’s and mid-life crisis is either hitting or is right around the corner and we want a car that looks cool, sounds cool and that when we drive it, other people think we are cool for driving such a cool car.

New 2010 Chevy Camaro Looks HOT!

Enter the new 2010 Chevy Camaro.  It looks like a classic and sounds every bit the part.  I actually saw the collective heads of kids turn while leaning on their racing-stickered Honda Civics and Acura Integras as a new Camaro drove in.  If the kids think it’s cool…then it’s pretty damn cool.

I’ve yet to drive one yet so I know nothing of the feel, workmanship or the ergonomic design (or lack thereof), but if I can judge a book by its cover, let’s chalk one up for Detroit – the new Camaro looks hot!

2010 Red Camaro

2010 Red Camaro

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Republicans Are Stupid…Too

Sunday, November 8th, 2009

Stupidity is equal opportunity.  There are stupid Democrats, stupid Republicans, stupid men, women and kids.  Fat idiots and skinny alike, and there are midget morons as well as very tall morons.

Some Republicans Are Idiots

I came across one Republican on Facebook last week who decided I was in the Stupid category because I disagreed with him on gun ownership and gun control.

Stupid Is As Stupid Does

Stupid Is As Stupid Does

I told him that I don’t need a gun and likely never will.  I live in San Jose and cannot go hunting at the park where my kids play, and since I don’t feel a need to pack heat when I go grocery shopping, my desire for a Glock is less than minimal.

This set him off.  Not only did he call me stupid, he went on this rampage:

“OMG I cannot understand how you can be so stupid. You and this site with it’s comments. Just think about this- the only reason you and I can put our thoughts on this or any other site is because of the 2nd amendment. The only reason our home land, the USA, has never been invaded is because we have the right to own guns, the only reason you have freedom of speech is because we have the right to own guns, the only reason you get to work where you wish, shop where you wish, watch movies made by idoits(Chris Rock), see any doctor you wish and pee in you own home is all because of the 2nd Amendment and our guns. If you had half a brain you would do a little research of the countries in this world who do not have the right to own guns and you will discover just how much there crime rates have risen and oh by the way Germany abolished gun ownership and lets see who took power– Nazi’s and they killed millions of people just like you. Keep thinking the way you do an you will find yourself clawing you way to the top of a pile of dead people. GUNS do not KILL people. PEOPLE KILL PEOPLE. That would be you–Yoonsun and Logical Gop. Idiots. I am a true God fearing American, my father fought and was wounded in WWII and I fought in VietNam both of us did so gladly so you could say whatever you like. And guess what we would do it all again for FREEDOM. GOD, FAMILY, COUNTRY are the only things that matter. I you do not like it then please leave and donot let the door hit you in the ass as you go. IDIOTS.”

I congratulated and thanked him for his service to his country, but asked a very pointed question: Please tell me one instance in history when a private citizen has stopped an enemy invasion of the United States with his own firearm?  I also suggested he use a spell check – the post is verbatim.

He had no response and deleted me as a friend on Facebook.

Either I am really stupid for not defending our country with my own MX8 assault rifle and keeping Silicon Valley free of invading troops or my opening statement is true…stupidity is equal opportunity.

XM8 Assault Rifle

XM8 Assault Rifle

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Michigan Economic Development Corporation Wasting Money?

Thursday, November 5th, 2009

I was thumbing through last month’s copy of Fast Company magazine and came across the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s ad and it jogged my memory.

Michigan Economic Development Corporation

Michigan Economic Development Corporation

I saw the MEDC advertisement several months ago in the magazine touting “aggressive financial and economic incentives available right now,” for companies that would consider a move to their humble state.

Michigan Economic Development Corporation Never Responded

I visited their website,, read through the propaganda and dropped a note to their email address posted:

I asked about the incentives that may be available to a willing-to-move start-up technology company that is currently in San Jose, California, how my company may benefit and any other offerings.

You’ll never guess the response…ahh….the suspense!

Yes, I am still waiting for their response.  No email response, no phone call, no postal mail with a Media Kit, no smoke signals.  Zip, zilch, nada.

I would be interested in moving our Internet-based company to a location outside California if there were incentives that made fiscal sense, such as tax breaks and investment.

Your tax dollars are paying for these full-page ads, Michigan residents, and the people who are recruiting companies are dropping the ball.

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Eliminate Government Pensions

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

Here is a thought: Moving forward, eliminate all pensions for government jobs where you do not risk life and limb.

The secretary who works at the DMV? She can have a 401k like the rest of us.

The Assistant DA for the county? He gets access to a non-matching 401k just like his peers in the private sector.

Bridge Toll Taker

Bridge Toll Taker

The Golden Gate Bridge District is once again facing a deficit north of $100 million, and they are looking at ways to raise cash such as letting people walk under the bridge and of course, raising tolls. Never mind that there is a Bridge Commission that draws a salary and other perks such as a pension. Or all the bridge workers that will get paid until the day they die that are factored into this deficit that we, the taxpayer, must make up.

The City of Vallejo, which is also broke, wants to tax people for text messaging. The absurdity of it all…taxing texts!

It’s a never ending cycle of bureaus, task forces, committees and administrative assistants all getting benefits that far exceed the private sector and then can collect a check forever if they are able to slack for a couple of decades

Highway Patrol, State Troopers, police, fire, Secret Service and military – all exempt from this new ruling. Anyone who needs to carry a firearm or goes into situation where they can potentially die, you get a check. Teachers, you get a check, too.  You should also get a raise, but the union gardeners are getting that allocation.

If you sit in front of a computer, clean trash receptacles, or take my picture at DMV, welcome to the real world of getting a paycheck twice a month and worrying about retirement like the rest of us.

How can we make this reality? I am not sure, but I am open to your suggestions and would love to hear your thoughts.

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Gavin Newsom Exits Race – Bad News For Republicans

Sunday, November 1st, 2009

San Francisco mayor, Gavin Newsom, decided to drop out of the race to become California’s next governor.  This is bad news for Republicans, as this leaves Jerry Brown as the early favorite to win the Democratic nomination for the 2010 election.

You remember him, Governor Moonbeam from the 1970’s?  He dated Linda Ronstadt because everyone thought he was really gay.

The Republican’s hope is likely ex-eBay CEO Meg Whitman, who has a boatload of money but no political experience and forgot to vote in a number of elections because she was too busy.

Newsom, love him or hate him, would have been better for the state than Brown, if the Democrats won the office back.  Newsom is logical and actually cares about doing what is correct whereas Brown gives the aura of needing to be correct to feed his ego and “politically correct” to show he isn’t really just a rich white guy who’s never held a real job.  In other words, the lesser of two evils, from a Republican point of view.

Newsom would have brought some elegance to the office.  He has movie star looks and an heiress for a wife, along with a newborn baby.  He can throw out the first pitch at a ball game and not embarrass himself.  Brown looks like an angry old man, and Meg Whitman looks like she can beat Brown or Newsom in an arm wrestling match.

Meg Whitman Air-Kissing John McCain

Meg Whitman Air-Kissing John McCain

Whitman does bring common sense and decades of real-world business experience that should, in a perfect world, have an impact on the state.  The problem is she will likely run into the same brick wall that Arnold banged his head into when trying to bring sense to the school systems, voting districts and spending.  The unions and Democrats ganged up and twisted the truth, not for the betterment of the state, but for the betterment of their padded taxpayer-paid pensions.

Think about this for a second…California leans left, meaning the chances of a Republican winning are slim to begin with.  We pay the most taxes in the nation and we lead the world in innovation, but the state is broke.  I know why and you know why, and Meg knows why, but she would be powerless to fix the problems, and Jerry Brown will just make things worse with more departments, bureaus and task forces.  That is why we should be more than a bit worried.  Sorry to see you go, Gavin.

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