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Trouble ahead

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

We were just a couple of pilots flying cross country in a private airplane. The takeoff, approach and landing portions of such flights are busy times. In fact, professional airline crews are enjoined to suppress any extraneous conversation, they call it a "sterile cockpit," and concentrate only on the business at hand during those critical phases of every flight. After climb out and level off with the autopilot capably handling the flying duties, the pilots relax and simply monitor progress. That quiet time is usually filled with friendly banter interspersed with the occasional short responses to air traffic controllers. The old adage applies "flying is hours of boredom interspersed with moments of sheer terror"!

My student pilot doing the flying that recent day also happens to be a banker from a really small town nearby. He spoke of real estate lending from his bank which amounts to four or five loans to local homebuyers annually. He told me that his bank would have to bow out because of all the new complex regulations. To continue he would have to hire a full-time person just to comply with those recently added regulations and that such a move is just not economically feasible.

Then this week, I happened to mention housing loans to the manager of a local savings and loan, now full-service bank, and she expressed the same concern. Securing a home loan for a customer is nigh unto impossible was her sentiment. Any housing loan application today involves way too much senseless regulation generating reams and reams of closely parsed paperwork.

Nationally we have a housing industry that is in dire straits and ham-fisted government regulatory agencies that just make the problem worse. Yet we have a president representing a political party that insists that the only way out of our current economic doldrums is to hire more government regulators. I see such little vignettes as all the more reason why your informed vote next November is so crucial.

That thought brings me to the endless Occupy Wall Street protests that seem to take up 99 percent of TV news time of late. No doubt a few of the jobless college graduates camping out have legitimate gripes but the vast majority of the unwashed seem to be irresponsible joiners-in out on a lark. I'm reminded of the '60s protestors driven by fear of a draft that would expose them to patriotic duty in Vietnam. Cowards!

They won, and millions of South Vietnamese people died as a result.

There always seems to be some selfish motive in such protests and today's Wall Street protesting vermin want their college loans forgiven.

When my own children went off to college it was dad that footed the bill for their education. My largess was not without stipulation: no break in enrollment, no getting married and no living with some boy/girl friend. Fortunately none of the three tested my resolve and no, there was never any consideration that they pay back any of the expense incurred. In my opinion paying for your kid's college education was just what parents did then and what parents should do now.

If the education loan protestors want to protest they, and their parents, should be protesting in front of college presidents with bloated administrative staffs that have raised college tuition out of sight. How about rallying in front of the White House and Congress?

The protestors are correct in seeing their economic future as grim. It is grim because our government has spent the future's money today.

Past and current administrations, aided and abetted by a liberal Congress have mortgaged the future by printing cash and borrowing against theirs and our own future.

The loosely organized Wall Street protests across the U.S. are technically a mob. So far their actions have been mostly peaceful but as with any mob, danger lurks beneath the surface. I recently read Ann Coulter's book "Demonic" where she explores how it was the mob mentality that spurred the atrocities of the French Revolution. It wasn't a pretty picture and our own future needs none of it. I have my doubts that the mob mentality of the Wall Street Protesting bunch will continue to be non-violent. As is currently taking place in Europe looting stores and burning cars in the street will likely soon be appearing on our TV screens. The cure to dispersing a mob includes eliminating the leaders but I fear our politically-correct bunch in charge will not have the courage that worked so well at Kent State.

The protest party scene makes me doubly happy to live in rural Nebraska far from the dingy occupier camps ranging from NYC to San Francisco and every blue dot in between.

In closing, I have to compliment Sen. Ben Nelson for his courage in helping defeat President Obama's latest attempt to raise taxes, increase the federal debt and create ever more government jobs.

Sen. Ben must be running for re-election.

That is the way I saw it.

Dick Trail

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Well said, Dick. Sadly, I fear you only scratch some small part of the surface of the problems facing this nation (better known as "We The People"). Perchance, the 'Liberal' mind-set is beginning to see the 'Light??' One can only hope.

I already left a comment at Senator Ben's Opinion, so I won't rant further here.

There is, IMO, little time left to stop the destruction of this Republican form of life, unless Congress awakens to the hazard; and takes action.

-- Posted by Navyblue on Tue, Oct 25, 2011, at 12:32 PM

As usual, little brother, you and I are on different sides of the issues. As you might expect, I am one of the "the unwashed .... irresponsible joiners-in out on a lark" whom you villify in your column. (I've also been called a "ragtag anarchist", an epithet I wear proudly.) If you are interested in finding out what the "Occupy" movement is all about, stop getting your information from Fox News and come to the "Occupy" site nearest you. Talk, and listen, to the people involved. At Occupy Phoenix, I find lots of seniors, like me, police officers, active duty service people, veterans of Iran and Afghanistan, J.T. Ready and his white supremacist bullies, young people, working people, jobless people, college students, high school students, soccer moms, people from across the spectrum of American life. You are ill informed about the Occupiers, and I'm hoping that you will be fair-minded enough to learn some facts before you condemn us any further. And Arly, this is not a "liberal" movement per se, but a large group of people committed to change in lots of different issues. It is democratic, leaderless, nonviolent, egalitarian, inclusive. No political parties involved, no religious or racial affiliations. Come and see for yourselves. To quote Ghandi, "First they ignore you, then they ridicule you. then they fight you, then you win."

-- Posted by Virginia B Trail on Tue, Oct 25, 2011, at 4:18 PM

In recent months, many have been horrified as despots, fighting to retain control of their countries, fired on their protesting populace. In fact, the UN intervened in Libya because their late, largely unlamented, leader sought to end the opposition by ending the lives of those who dared protest. Surely, you're not advocating the same thing with your reference to Kent State, which, as I recall, enflamed an up-to-that-point uninvolved middle America, ramping up the protests and adding fuel to the fire that eventually brought about the end to the Vietnam War.

-- Posted by newdawn on Wed, Oct 26, 2011, at 6:28 AM

Ms. Trail, I would be interested in your perspective of the TEA party movement.

-- Posted by doodle bug on Wed, Oct 26, 2011, at 11:52 AM

To Doodle Bug:

The Tea Party movement may have begun as a populist movement of folks who were disaffected with what they view as alarming fiscal and social issues. They seem to be pretty much libertarian, populist and "strict constructionists" of the Constitution. Theirs are issues in which I am not much interested: to me they appear to be trying to recreate a romanticized vision of the past. I am interested in the future.

Somewhere along the way, The Tea Party movement got co-opted by some major money interests, fronted by Dick Armey and the Musso Associates. Especially the Billionaire Brothers, the Kochs. It's too bad because they at one time provided an interesting counterpoint to post-millenial views. Except for the influence of their very wealthy backers, I regard them as pretty much irrelevant to modern political discussions. But hey, it's a free country (if we can keep it) and all views should have a voice.

Points of interest: The Koch brothers father, Fred, was co-founder of the John Birch Society.

And Ayn Rand (not her real name) was a Russian emigre who wrote novels ---- hardly an intellectual heavyweight and something of a one-note pony.

-- Posted by Virginia B Trail on Wed, Oct 26, 2011, at 5:28 PM

Thank you very much Ms. Trail. I re-read your first post (twice). I dont know about the OWS you attended (I havent attended any)(nor did I attend any TEA party events) but the news I read and hear (not all Fox) would lead me to believe that the OWS are not all unorganized or non-violent. Do you believe there is any Soros money involved in the OWS movement? Many news outlets have also indicated OWS participation by many unions, teachers, labor and others.

-- Posted by doodle bug on Wed, Oct 26, 2011, at 5:49 PM

No Soros money. No money or any kind, unless you count my donation of bottled water and pizza coupons (buy one get one).

I go to Occupy Phoenix in Cesar Chavez Plaza near the former City Hall, but I come home at night. So far I've not seen any violence: some arrests last week but I had left for home by then. The Phoenix Police would probably be embarrassed to arrest a 78-yr old great-grandmother in running shoes. The predominant theme of OWS/PHX seems to be that people feel they are not getting a fair deal anymore and that big money has replaced the voice of the citizens in government. If I have an issue, it is to urge people to read Article Five of the Constitution, which provides a means for the People to amend to Constitution, bypassing Congress. There is some movement toward a Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia next summer.

In the meantime, I do what I can to help the voices of ordinary people to be heard. The recent attacks of police -- Oakland, Atlanta -- represent a really big mistake on the part of what we used to call "The Establishment." They can attack and even kill people who raise their voices in protest but ----- in the end, we are the many; they are the few. And they look so-o-o-o bad, beating up on grandmothers and veterans.

Join us. Denver OWS could use your help. Or Occupy McCook, or Oberlin, or Danbury. It is our country, after all. Or it used to be and can be again.

-- Posted by Virginia B Trail on Wed, Oct 26, 2011, at 6:58 PM

Doodle Bug:

Yes to teachers unions and to police unions, but not officially. The Phoenix police have some issues with city government and they, while not officially part of the protest, are very much interested. There have been too many layoffs, too many pensions lost, too much unpaid overtime. The old-time labor unions (teamsters, mine workers, etc.) haven't been much of a force in recent years and don't have much presence in Arizona anyway. I saw some Si Se Puede, a Hispanic activist group, and the usual legalize marijuana group. Homeless veterans, unemployed college graduates, retirees whose 401Ks were lost or greatly diminished in the financial crash -- lots of those. Oddly, no Christian groups per se, but some Unitarian church members providing food and water and the No Mas Muertos folks with a medical tent.

-- Posted by Virginia B Trail on Wed, Oct 26, 2011, at 7:07 PM

I don't want to be disrespectful Dick, but have you ever considered reading your articles after finishing? My word man, you are all over the place. At least your sister can stay on one topic. Next week, be sure to include references to losing the family farm because of the president, and as I have encouraged you before, throw in a reference or two about how you hate subsidies, but please touch on farm subsidies next week. P.S. Don't forget Muslims.

-- Posted by hulapopper on Wed, Oct 26, 2011, at 9:14 PM

Ms. Trail, I will reluctantly concede your point on the Soros money. I am unable to find a credible link that points to direct funding by Soros. I do believe there is some evidence of indirect funding; money funding other agencies that are financially supportive of the OWS movement. I believe there was video evidence of SEIU participation in some OWS events in the northeast. I appreciate your respectful posts.

-- Posted by doodle bug on Thu, Oct 27, 2011, at 1:33 PM

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Dick Trail
The Way I Saw It