Saturday, February 04, 2012

If it is Romney

If it is Romney, should TEA Partiers focus on electing conservatives in Congressional & local races and let the establishment drag Romney over the finish line? We’ll need to win those races no matter who gets the White House, and the establishment won’t help us.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

On the U.S. Debt Ceiling

  1. There won't, CANT'T be a default if the ceiling is NOT RAISED, Social Security checks must and WILL go out after August 2nd (unless Obama DECIDES otherwise)
  2. There's NO plan being discussed in Congress that CUTS spending at all. All plans just REDUCE THE RATE OF GROWTH. If they would simply FREEZE spending at the current levels CBO would score it as a 9.5 TRILLION CUT over 10 years. The ONLY deal that WILL cut spending is NO DEAL by August 2nd and beyond
  3. US debt is rated according to its ability to PAY back, NOT according to our willingness to borrow MORE. Therefore, it is if the debt ceiling IS RAISED without REAL CUTS, then there WILL be a REAL DEFAULT

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Could Obama manage a Web server outage?

Imagine Barak Obama in charge of Information Technology department of a small Internet company. Now imagine one of the company's web servers goes down spewing error messages and interfering with customers accessing the website. What would manager Obama do? Well, if he'd handle the situation the same way he is handling the oil leak in Gulf he would:

  1. Play golf
  2. Shut down every other server in the company even those not connected to the website
  3. Declare that those responsible will be punished
  4. Play golf
  5. Visit a few customers to commiserate with their plight
  6. Call a meeting to find out who is responsible
  7. Dispatch someone to the desk of the lone technician trying to fix the server to continually harass him and to keep reminding him that he is fired the moment the situation is resolved
  8. Hire a consulting firm to find out who is responsible
  9. Make a speech about how good it would be if there was no need for servers at all
  10. Declare “war” on the server and the technician who's trying to fix it
And the server is still down...

Now just as a comparison let's see what a normal IT manager does in this situation. As an IT professional and a manager myself I see situations like this handled on regular basis and I'm not talking about a good manager just about anyone who can hope to keep his job for a while. That's because manager Obama would be fired on the spot if he did just half of what I described.

So here it is, the actions of a normal manager in the situation described above:

  1. Cancel plans to play golf
  2. Instruct technicians to transfer load to the remaining servers and ensure that they run as smoothly as possible
  3. Go over to the technician trying to fix the server and reassure him that no blame will be assigned until the situation is fully resolved and proper investigation is done
  4. Explain to everyone that their first priority is to resolve the situation and not to find out who is responsible
  5. Declare that any help in resolving the situation will be rewarded regardless whether that person is responsible for causing the problem or not
  6. Make every possible resource available to those working on a solution
  7. Tell everyone to either help those fixing the problem or not to distract them
  8. Solicit alternative solutions from everyone and set up a meeting to review them
  9. Inform those fixing the problem of alternative solutions that came up and make decisions on how to proceed based on all input
  10. Call customers and/or superiors to take responsibility for the outrage and to inform them of the progress being made to fix it

And only after the problem is fully resolved conduct an investigation into what lead to the problem, how it could be avoided, who is responsible and then take any necessary punitive action.

That is what a normal manager would do. And that is what Obama would do too had he had any experience in running anything even a coffee shop. But unfortunately for us he did not.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Death Panels, Free-Market or Not

Today I read an article by Froma Harrop in called “Free-Market Death Panels”. Here are some of my thoughts in response to it.

I have to say that I am extremely sorry for what she has endured with the death of her husband. I cannot possibly imagine what she had to go through. But... she decided to use her plight to make a political point which gives me the right to rebut it.

First of all, she writes:

“What we wouldn't have done to have traded Dollar Bill's minions for a government bureaucrat. The bureaucrat would have given a simple "yes" or "no" based on official guidelines. He or she would have had no personal stake in denying you care.”

I don’t think a bureaucrat would have given a simple "yes" or "no". I think they would put her husband in the line for the “next available chemotherapy” and told him to expect a letter in mail with the name and address of the hospital to report to for the procedure when his turn comes, sometime in the next 5 years. And that brings me to my second point.

The health insurance in its current form of all-included “basic maintenance” plan for your body is not a solution. It’s the problem. Problem that invariably arises when, after turning over management of your health to someone else, someone who does not have the same interest in it as you do, you later disagree with their decision. And the currently proposed healthcare reform will standardize exactly the same kind of health coverage and force it on everyone, thus amplifying and perpetuating the problem.

As for the ability to pay for it yourself, let me bring up the Public School system as an example (the same way our President brings his favorite Post Office comparison). The Public School system while bringing bad to mediocre education to everyone, at the same time makes private schools all but unaffordable to everyone in the middle class. It does it by making everyone who wants to send their children to a private school pay for it twice, once for the public school they don’t use and then for the private. And because the system is paid for through progressive taxation, people in different income levels find private schools equally unaffordable (the more you earn the more you pay for your local public school). This is exactly the kind of “competition” we are to expect from the proposed healthcare legislation. Moreover there won’t be much incentive to develop new drugs and treatments or get them approved unless they are expected to be paid for by the government standardized healthcare. So life saving procedures to be “paid for, yourself” might not even exist in the future.

So, what’s the solution? It might come as a shock but there might not be one, to be enacted by the government that is. After all if governments were good at solving problems then socialist states would flourish. But they don’t. Governments are not good at solving problems, people are. People try many solutions, most of them don’t work but some do. Governments impose a single solution on everyone and it doesn’t work.

Therefore the role of the government is to step away (eliminate mandates on insurance policies for example) and let people try their solutions. Free markets work. There is gain for everyone to solve this problem.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Obama dictionary: The Rich

The rich are the prime target of modern social warfare waged by The White House. They’ll be blamed for all failures and made pay everything, both literally and figuratively speaking. They are defined as those making over 250K, 150K, 100K, the “top one percent” or even “me and Charlie”. But being rich has nothing to do with how much someone makes or has. The “rich” are simply those who make their money neither through Obama directly nor with his express permission. There also a third, temporary category of those who give money to Obama. They are also excluded from the “rich”, but only temporarily. Once the need for them diminishes they’ll too be called rich and dealt with accordingly.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

On Hunger and Obesity

Does anyone else besides me find fighting both hunger and obesity among the “most underprivileged” contradictory? Someone even said that obesity is the “new face of hunger”. Interestingly enough this presents three creative ways to raise taxes on the “slim and wealthy” (and everyone else who pays taxes).

First raise taxes to provide money for the hungry to buy food. Then tax high calorie foods so that they can’t afford it. And then institute a federal program to educate the hungry which food to buy using the money government gives them. Yes, such program exists and according to website it “grew from $660,000 in 1992 to over $147 million in 2002”, and some $313 million in 2008.

But here is a novel idea: how about we solve problems by reducing federal spending instead of increasing it? For example start reducing food stamps for those who become obese using them? Who knows, maybe this will help reduce the budget deficit as well.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Negotiations Giuliani style

Recently I was having a series of conversations with my colleague at work on whether Michael Bloomberg will make a better President than Rudy Giuliani. But as much as my friend believes that Bloomberg’ s business skills would make him a better President, I think that since dealing in the international arena is more like dealing with the mob than with legitimate business partners, we need a President who is a prosecutor more than a businessman.

I hope Rudy will use his plea negotiation skills when dealing with characters like the nut from Iran, whose name is not worth my effort trying to spell it.