Commonwealth Journal

Columns

October 20, 2011

Simple Minded

I’m a simple guy. I don’t know, maybe that makes me simple-minded. I always have to narrow things down to a point that makes situations understandable. However, with all of us being bombarded from all directions by news and social media, all with their own agendas, I don’t believe I’m alone with this affliction. And sometimes certain situations are just beyond making sense.

With political correctness so prevalent in this nation, sometimes it is difficult to understand what someone is trying to say, let alone make sense of what they want to say. Politicians must take classes on “How to answer questions without answering the questions.” Whatever happened to plain talk; saying what you mean and meaning what you say?

Let’s narrow down a governmental department budget. A department is given a set amount of dollars to operate during the fiscal year, from October 1st of one year through September 30th of the following year. Someone even had to mess with the calendar; what’s wrong with a regular 12 month calendar? Anyway, if a department is given $1 million dollars to operate for the fiscal year and they have $100,000 left at the beginning of September, they must spend that money or their budget will be reduced by that amount for the next budget year. But if they spend it all, they can request an increase for the next fiscal year. There is no incentive to save or conserve.

Enter stage left: The Department of Energy.

On September 30th, 2011, they just happened to have $1.2 billion they needed to spend so, it was used to back up guaranteed loans to the Direct Sunlight Project in Riverside County, CA. making solar panels. Ironically, three weeks earlier, on September 6, $535 million dollars of taxpayer money went down the drain on a similar project, Solyndra, a name now synonymous with corruption. Isn’t it amazing how both companies just happen to be tied to Obama through nepotism or campaign contributions?

Just like the discovery of DNA testing by an individual revolutionized forensic science, someday a junior Einstein will discover a method of clean energy that will revolutionize its use in major applications. And it will happen in the private sector, in the free market system.

• The FET (field effect transistor)—starting point for modern day electronics—was the brain child of Julius Edgar Lilienfeld in 1925, a Canadian civilian physicist.

• The use of solar energy goes back to the Greek and Roman days when Archimedes used a magnifying glass to create steam and to set enemy ships on fire.

• In 1839, Becquerel discovered the use of the photovoltaic cell.

See the progression?

It takes time, and not through political cronyism while people go hungry. While those young Einsteins are at work, we have no choice but to ask mother earth to give up her natural resources to provide us energy.

Enter stage center: US Postal Service.

Another entity headed toward a temporary-fix, tax payer bailout? You can close all the house trailer-size post offices in the nation and what will it accomplish? Union regulations will not allow personnel to be laid off and that’s where the money goes. So shuffle the people from point A to point B and keep paying union wages, health care and retirement benefits. Can’t blame the people though; I’d sell stamps across the counter, sort mail, sweep the floor, and clean the bathroom all day for $22 an hour and all those bennies.  Answer: Put it up for bid and let a private organization take it over. Who cares if we get mail only three times a week? I’m tired of a mailbox full of magazines, junk mail and advertisements, which is the main source of postal revenue.

Stay tuned, there’s a lot more stage doors.

•••

You can contact Cline Calhoun at

ccalhoun1@windstream.net

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