The Horse Sense Blog compares the nonsense in today's news with good ol' fashioned horse sense

“…I shall speak forth my sentiments freely and without reserve.… It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfill the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the Majesty of Heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.” - Patrick Henry, March 23, 1775

"The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it." - George Orwell

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Thursday, September 29, 2011

What Does Political Experience Get Us?

Here’s the Nonsense:  You need to have political experience to be president.

Here’s the Horse Sense:  We’ve only had people with political experience running things for some time and that’s not working for us.  Einstein’s definition of insanity was doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.  Maybe it’s time we quit repeating the same mistake and looked to someone who has proven problem-solving achievements in their background and let them fix this mess. 

The media and political elite want us to disregard Herman Cain as a candidate and their basis for it is that he has no political experience.  Yet of all the candidates, on either side of the aisle, that have shown interest in running for the presidency, no one, NOT ONE, has near the experience or track record fixing things, turning things around, and solving problems as Hermain Cain.  His track record at Coca-Cola, Pillsbury, Burger King, the National Restaurant Association, the Federal Reserve, and at Godfathers Pizza is filled with accomplishment after accomplishment.  And all that after he came out of a poor background in the middle of the Civil Rights era and built himself up by his own efforts to take on those tasks.

In my latest book, Many Are Called But Few Can Manage, I talk about what it takes to be effective at management.  One of those things is recognizing the benefits of experience.  Experience is a better teacher than any school you’ll ever attend, regardless of its name.  In the case of our nation, we need someone with experience.  But experience at politics only means that they know how to be politicians, not problem-solvers.  America has problems and they need to be solved.

No, we don’t need another politician.  As Dr. Phil often says, “How’s that working for you?”  The fact is that it isn’t working for us.  We’re in dire straits and it’s time we looked at getting a specialist in to fix the problem. Herman Cain is a problem-solving specialist that should be given serious consideration.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Herman Cain Is The Only Adult In The Room

Here’s the Nonsense:  Actor Morgan Freeman has expressed that members of the Tea Party are racist for disagreeing with the President.  He feels they simply want him out of office because of race and not because of his policies, ideology, job performance, or plans for the country.

Here’s the Horse Sense:  Presidential candidate Herman Cain, when asked about Morgan Freeman’s claim, simply said that it was sad.  Mr. Cain isn’t offended.  He isn’t angry.  He isn’t anything other than sad, which is how we should all feel when people stoop this low to keep others from disagreeing with them.  It is a sad point our society has come to when there are so few adults in the room.  After all, adults can agree to disagree and not make it personal.  But those who are immature, childish, and without fact-based arguments turn to personal attacks, rumor and innuendo to defend their positions.  They are not able to have an intellectual discussion that allows for disagreement with their position.  It leaves us asking what positions we are allowed to disagree with without being called racist.  Mr. Cain is right.  It is very sad.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Solyndra: Example Of A Screaming Warning Sign

Here’s the Nonsense:  The New York Times had a headline this week that said:  “In Rush to Aid Solyndra, U.S. Missed the Warning Signs.”  The media doesn’t get it on this issue (or many other issues for that matter).  Many in the media act like this entire debacle was just overzealous enthusiasm for new kinds of energy and not really something corrupt.
Here’s the Horse Sense:  When politicians jump into projects like Solyndra so fast and deep we would be wrong not to suspect corruption.  Few, if any, politicians know anything about these technologies (or economics or business for that matter).  This is a warning sign screaming for attention.  
The green energy industry is pie-in-the-sky.  Even if the technology were efficient (and Spain is a good example that proves why it isn’t), the U. S. cannot expect to develop jobs in new industries that countries like China can also enter.  China’s low cost of labor and overhead and rapidly improving technological capabilities means it can produce at costs so far below the U. S. that only a fool would think America could compete with them.  Unless and until America chooses to push hard for leadership in science we cannot overcome the competition from countries like China.  We will continue to be a consuming nation and not a manufacturing nation.  We must be so far advanced above other nations in the sciences that we are the only ones who can produce advanced technological products the world wants and needs.  Then we can get the prices we need to support the higher cost of labor, higher cost of overhead, and higher cost of living an advanced society like ours requires. 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

What Would A Leader Do?

We have a problem in this country.  We need someone to lead the country and we don’t have a leader to do it.  The people who are attempting to lead our nation are showing absolutely no signs of true leadership.  The economy is still down and people are really hurting (No, we’re not on the edge of another recession.  We’re still in an economic slump and I think it’s more of a depression than recession if you look at it objectively.).  Long-term unemployment is high and continues to be a major problem.  Businesses are still laying people off, struggling to pay their bills, and hoping to keep their doors open.  People are still losing their homes to foreclosure.  Everywhere you look things are tough.

At times like this is when people in leadership positions show whether they are cut out for their job.  In my new book, Many Are Called But Few Can Manage: How to Succeed in Management Where Most People Fail, I talk about the 17 characteristics of a true leader.  Each one is specific and a part of the character of a true leader.  Without those characteristics you show you’re not really cut out to be a leader.

One of those characteristics is the ability of a leader to put themselves in the place of others who are struggling, hurting, and suffering.  We don’t have that in the people who are attempting to lead our nation today.  We have people who are only worried about retaining their power.  There is no concern shown for the populace, for businesses that are the foundation of a solid and growing economy, for the country and its future.  We need to look back and remember what the reaction of great leaders are to circumstances as difficult as we face.  One of those was the father of our country, George Washington, who said, “Let your heart feel for the affliction and distress of everyone.”  We need another Washington.

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Drought-Maker

Most people know what a rainmaker is.  The dictionary says that a definition of a rainmaker is an executive with exceptional ability to attract clients and increase profits.  We need a rainmaker leading our government.  In fact, we need a government full of rainmakers if we’re going to get out of this Recession/Depression we’re in. 

Unfortunately we don’t have a rainmaker, as badly as we need one.  We only have a drought-maker.  In fact, we’ve got a whole government full of them.  These are the people who not only don’t know how to turn this mess around and get us out of it, they continue to do things to make it worse.  They continue to do things that are causing more businesses to stagnate, dry up and die. 

They are either too worried about maintaining their political agenda and put it above the good of the country and intentionally do things that are hurting businesses or they are too foolish to know what they are doing.  Either way these are not people who should be running our country. 

Our entire society lives or dies based on the economy.  And the engine, the thing that runs our economy, is the success of businesses in this country.  Mostly small businesses. 

Whether the politicians are maliciously putting their own control of power over what is best for the country or they are too ignorant to know that what they are doing is killing us doesn’t matter.  These people are drought-makers.  And the media that buy into the foolish economic policies that they advocate are nothing more than their pawns doing their bidding. 

Both groups, the media and politicians, pride themselves on their ivy league educations and great wisdom from their academic leaders.  Clearly it’s time to question the education these people prize so highly.  Any person with the simplest understanding of basic household economics knows that what they are doing won’t work.  To buy into this scam as a solid option to save our country is nothing short of foolish.  The media is guilty of either supporting this foolishness because they are determined to maintain their favored politicians in positions of power or they are just plain stupid and actually believe that these economic policies can work.

It doesn’t matter if someone has some fancy degree from a “prestigious” university, a Nobel prize, or anything else if what they believe is wrong.  And the economic policies that have been foisted on our nation are absolutely wrong.  They have not worked.  They do not work.  They will not work. 

It is time for American citizens to demand that these failed policies be abandoned and sound policies be implemented that will turn things around. 

Presidents Coolidge, Kennedy, and Reagan all proved that cutting taxes and getting out of the way of business would increase revenues to the government.  All three did just that and saw revenues increase and businesses thrive.  The arguments against it are nothing but twisted ideology that refuses to admit the truth.

Not surprisingly there was an article in the New York Times this past week after the president spoke about jobs.  The article said that the president’s jobs bill idea isn’t going to cause employers to start hiring. The reason it won’t cause employers to start hiring is that the future is uncertain.  Employers see nothing from the government that is solid enough that they can actually believe they can bank on it as they plan for the future.  Pouring money into the economy again, which hasn’t worked to date, that will give us more debt only causes the businesses to be more nervous about the future of the country.  Contrary to what the administration claims, saying there are going to be cuts to future spending does nothing to build confidence.  Spending still goes up and there is no guarantee that a future Congress will honor the promises made by this administration.  They have no obligation to do so.

In fact, in the past when these types of deals have been done the promises are never kept.  Why should businesses believe it will be different this time?  Why should businesses trust that this time is the exception?  Why should businesses trust an administration that has gone back on virtually every promise they have made?

It’s time to stop believing the drought-makers and start looking to rainmakers to turn this country around.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Is The Tea Party Racist?

There are a vast number of politicians and people in the media that are saying that the Tea Party is racist.  You’d have to be absolutely out of touch not to have heard this being said.  And yet with these claims there has yet to be anyone that I’ve heard that has used basic logic and honesty to determine if these claims are true.  Everyone seems to be so tied to their political agenda that they refuse to think logically.

Let me first say that I am not a member of the Tea Party.  In fact, I’m not a member of any group or party that has political connections or a political agenda.  I abandoned both political parties many years ago when they proved to both be so terribly out of touch with what is best for the country and in touch only with their own power.  They have both proven to be headed in the same direction, I just think that one of them is headed there faster than the other.  You can take a jet or a train, but if they’re both headed to the same destination then you’ll end up in the same place and only arrive at different times. 

With a desire for limited government, controlled spending, and accountability to voters the Tea Party has grown and taken hold across the nation among average citizens from both sides of the political spectrum.  The media and many politicians have had virtual heart failure over the fact that average Americans might actually think they know what’s best for their own lives.  Anyone who is outside the mindset of New York, Washington, D.C., or California is considered out of touch with what is best for the country.  But Americans from coast to coast have had it.  They’ve realized that they’ve allowed the inmates to run the asylum and now there is a price being paid because of allowing this to happen.  And they’ve decided that it’s time to stop it and take control back from the inmates.

In the wake of this activity the mainstream media and the politicians that are locked in to their old ways and ties to power in Washington have fought back by vilifying average American citizens that are primarily in the Tea Party.

The claim we constantly hear is that the Tea Party is racist and when asked for examples they either don’t have any, make things up that they never seem to be able to prove, or just badger the questioner until the subject can be changed. I’ve seen pictures of signs at Tea Party events that were making strong statements of disagreement with the government and elected officials.  But I have never seen a picture of a sign calling for a lynching because of race or anything else that falls into the category of outright racism.  Now I’m not claiming that I’ve seen every picture out there, but it seems that if these were so numerous that the mainstream media, who have over and over again attacked the Tea Party as racist, would be publishing and broadcasting these pictures over and over again to show what they had found. 

There was also a claim of an incident when a group of Democrat Congressional Representatives were walking across a street in Washington, D. C. and one of them claimed that a Tea Party member spit on them.  Ironically in this case there were many people with cameras present and yet not one person caught the incident with their camera.  A reward was even offered for anyone who could produce proof and no one ever could.

So, does this mean that these incidents really didn’t happen?  No.  They might have, but without evidence it is hard to know who is telling the truth.  People do lie.  If you don’t admit that then you are lying.  It’s a sad thing, but people lie and often do so to further their own agenda.  But more importantly, even if these incidents are true it raises two questions.  First, just because something MIGHT have happened when Tea Partiers were present does not mean that it was a Tea Party member that did the terrible deed.  And second, even if we go so far as to accept the claim that it was a Tea Party member, how many Tea Party members have to be involved in these incidents to make the Tea Party as a group become guilty of what that individual is guilty of?  And remember that we’ve never had reports of Tea Party leadership performing racist acts.

There are no real solid numbers as to the membership in the Tea Party.  However, most estimates figure there are at least a few million people who’ve joined their ranks.  One rally alone had estimates of 2 million people showing up. But let’s be even more conservative and say there are only 1 million people in the Tea Party.  How many of those people would have to perform racist acts for the entire group to be legitimately called racist? 

Time and time again conservatives have asked for proof of racism on the part of the Tea Party.  No real proof has ever been offered that I’ve seen or heard of.  However, let’s assume that some proof was produced.  Based on the claims that have been made against the Tea Party on this issue there have only been a few incidents that are cited.  A very small number.  To put that number in perspective you have to realize that if they could produce proof of 10,000 acts of racism on the part of the Tea Party that that would only be one tenth of one percent (1/10 of 1%) of one million people.  It’s one twentieth of one percent (1/20 of 1%) of two million people. 

Using the very low estimate of one million Tea Party members, IF there were proof of 10,000 (that’s TEN THOUSAND) examples of racism it would still only be one person out of every 1000 Tea Party members that was acting as racist.  Is it logical or even reasonable to call an entire group racist if only one person out of 1000 acts in that fashion?  If a college had 2000 students and 2 cheated on an exam would that mean that all 2000 students were cheaters?  If an army battalion has 1000 soldiers and one soldier deserts his post does that make the entire battalion of 1000 soldiers deserters?  So how can any reasonable measurement come up with calling the entire Tea Party racist when no one can come up with even one Tea Party member out of every 1000 as having performed a racist act?  It would be ludicrous to assume such a thing.  Yet no one questions the faulty logic of the media and politicians who continually make these claims.

By any logical measure it would take 100% of the people in a group to do the same thing for us to be able to identify the group by that action.  If a group of 1000 people are together and some own homes we cannot say it is a group of homeowners.  If a group of 1000 people are together and some are dressed wearing blue shirts we cannot say they are a group of blue shirt wearers.  It would take all of them doing the same thing for us to legitimately identify them by that characteristic.  That said, obviously if a reasonably large percentage of the Tea Party were performing racist acts then it would be reasonable to question the motives of the Tea Party.  And that reasonably large percentage may be as low as 5 or 10 percent because racism is such a heinous thing.  However, we cannot even get 1/10 of 1 percent to be shown to be racist.  It seems that there really is no legitimate argument for identifying them as such a terrible thing.

So what is the reason someone would use such awful terminology for the Tea Party?  Maybe we all need to wake up (the media included) and realize that when someone doesn’t have a legitimate argument against something they only really have two choices left.  They can either give in and admit their position can’t stand up or they revert to personal attacks based on lies and innuendo hoping to destroy the credibility of their opponent and thereby influence the opinion of other people. 

Many people would call that immoral, which it is.  I think we should also call it something else that it is, which is childish.  It’s time to grow up and face the problems our nation faces and fix them.  There is no more time for irrational arguments.  It’s time for solutions and hard decisions.