Stop Commercial flights to the United States from West Africa

Sent via email Sunday, October 19, 2014

Senator Marco Rubio
U.S. Senate
317 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington DC 205100001

Reference: Stop Commercial flights to the United States from West Africa

Dear Senator Rubio,

I read your comments on CNN Opinion on Wednesday and as much as I agree with you, temporarily denying visas is not enough.   I am imploring you to take action in Congress to stop commercial flights to the United States from West Africa. Seventy percent (70%) of the people who contract Ebola die! There’s really no “silver bullet”, antidote or vaccine. Congress needs to demand the Obama administration ban air travel to this country from West Africa.

We really don’t know if Ebola is transmitted only by direct contact. The University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy published an article arguing that the current Ebola has “unclear modes of transmission”

Transmission rates in West Africa have risen, not diminished which is proof we do not have this disease under control, increasing the chances we will have travelers from West Africa, arriving in the US desperate for a cure. By January alone. By CDC estimates, Liberia will have 11,000 to 27,000 cases of Ebola.   Why wouldn’t West Africans want to run from Ebola, or if infected come to the U.S. looking for a cure?

There are not enough “boots on the ground” to effectively fight Ebola in West Africa. Military or otherwise, we should offer volunteers significant hazardous pay duty to go to West Africa and put our best resources available there, like small transit care centers, construction of additional treatments centers supplies and training towards defeating Ebola.

Finally, what’s to stop jihadists from getting infected, flying to the U.S. before symptoms are apparent and exposing themselves to as many unsuspecting American citizens as possible? No security checkpoint is going to detect terrorist carrying Ebola, while dormant.

I greatly appreciate your time and prompt attention to this important matter. Thank you for serving Florida.

Sincerely,

Concerned husband, father and employer

To email Senator Marco Rubio: http://www.rubio.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contact

 

Elizabeth Warren will tell you, “You didn’t build your business.”

Elizabeth Warren

Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Warren, epitomizes progressive America.  Warren, has never worked in the private sector.  She was Special Advisor for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) (2010–2011). In no small measure, because of the CFPB, there will be no more de novo banks and community banks are disappearing. I consider community banks small businesses. They can’t afford the regulatory pressures imposed by the CFPB.

Elizabeth Warren will tell you, “You didn’t build your business.”  What she fails to consider is that those of us that build businesses also pay the lion share of the taxes so ALL citizens and non-citizen’s alike in this country can enjoy our roads and bridges, including Elizabeth Warren and her progressive anti-business rhetoric.

Progressives are systematically redefining success in America. If you created a business in America, “somebody else made that happen.” If your business succeeded and if you make a good living you are now demonized by the left.  Barack Obama and Elizabeth Warren will tell you, “You didn’t build your business.” Consider the source.  In spite of all the advantages Elizabeth Warren and Barrack Obama espouse to provide for small businesses, they cater only to big government.

It is our money, our time, our family’s sacrifices and our ideas that built our businesses.  Our tax dollars built the roads, the bridges…

It’s impossible for a small business owner to fathom how a taxpayer of any party can come to the conclusion, our government builds anything without taxpayer dollars.  Liberals need to wake-up.  The government doesn’t make money, they spend it!

More recent details on Elizabeth Warren here.

You Cannot Govern Leadership

individualism

While small business owners are putting up their houses and their life savings to survive, to cash flow their business, to hire employees, President Obama was and still is, greasing the palms of his political donors in the name of greentech failures, spending billions of our taxpayer dollars.

The alarming failure of big government was never more evident than when President Obama publicly and carelessly joked about a trillion dollars (stimulus (taxpayer) money) wasted on “Shovel-Ready Was Not As Shovel-Ready As We Expected.”  Where was the red flag then?  Where is the red flag now?

The only hope I see for this country is individual responsibility, and leadership that creates prosperity, not big government. You cannot govern leadership.   Today individual responsibility, leadership, and American exceptionalism are too often political talking points and empty words. When individual leadership fails, or fails to materialize, it creates dependency.

Leonardo da Vinci said it 480 years ago and he said it in Italian. Here is the clearest translation:  “People of accomplishment rarely sit back and let things happen to them. They go out and happen to things.”

I don’t do what you’re passionate about, but be passionate about what you do.  Don’t follow your passion.  Let your passion follow you.  That’s leadership.

As a small business owner after 25 years it has been my experience, the most important life decisions you make, have to be made on your own.  I built my business and leadership is key.

Others will pontificate as to what a leader is, what a leader must do and how a leader must act.  I don’t have time for all that and neither do you.  The best way to find out if you are a leader is to deal with life’s biggest challenges when it comes to crunch time.

Decide on your own and act accordingly.  You’ll no doubt get plenty of advice, but no one is going to know better than you, what to do.  You are better qualified than anyone or anything to make the decisions that affect you personally and those who depend on you.

There’s a disturbing trend in our day-to-day lives towards dependency on others, big institutions, big labor and big government.  Sweat equity has been replaced by entitlement equity.  People measure success based on what they can get, not what they can give.  

A major new study by Harvard economist Raj Chetty, however, shows things haven’t changed all that much. “Children entering the labor market today have the same chances of moving up in the income distribution relative to their parents as children born in the 1970s,” it finds.  “That doesn’t mean politicians can’t improve people’s chances of rising. It’s just that the best way they can do so is by getting out of the way.”  The Foundry

The problem is the more you lean on the government, the more your life depends on government.  You are governed by more  laws, more regulations and more public policy today than ever before.  Who you become, what you do, and how you do it, is shaped by public opinion and the mainstream media.

In this new era influenced by mass media and public opinion, big government is their divined solution to all your problems.  American exceptionalism, entrepreneurship and the multitude of small business success stories that built a thriving post WWII economy, are too often ignored, discounted and discouraged with crippling regulation and  laws that are the new normal.

What if a typical family spent like government?

What if a typical family spent like government?

Individualism and leadership are sorely needed.  People, not big government, can make a difference.  You and I need to step up to the plate.  Our country’s in peril as is our next generation.  Take on the career politicians who have created roadblocks to personal responsibility and leadership.  Our country is on the line. Vote them out in 2014 and 2016.

Career politicians passing laws that control our lives severely curtail the entrepreneurial spirit and small business startups, the little engine that could, that should and does grow the economy.   Consider the cost of healthcare has virtually doubled for small businesses in the past 5 years.  

Entrepreneurs are the lifeblood of free enterprise. Their heart is beating for their next customer, for their fellow employees and their families.  Their soul is intact.  They epitomize what comprises the backbone of our country, small business.  In their shadows are the real leaders, the chief cooks and bottle washers; the real risk takers that stand behind their champions, small business owners.  Small business owners are essential to the future success of the US economy.

Entrepreneurs are not the only leaders.  Leaders are people I see when I come to work before dawn.  I see them after dusk, when darkness settles.  They are resourceful.  They don’t think twice.  If you say something to them about the long hours they keep, they will readily commiserate with you, complain if you will, but there is a sense of pride in their voice.  There is a smile on their face.  These hard working people who are the heart and soul of the US economy.

In an atmosphere where people lean more on government, blame others and institutions for their circumstance, we need more leaders. Whether you are a parent, employee, small business owner or CEO of a multi-billion dollar corporation; people depend on you for guidance.  You are accountable for the success or failure of others.  You have to make decisions that affect other people for better or for worse. 

In business or in your personal life, when the time comes, no one will make the important decisions for you.  Don’t get me wrong.  You will get plenty of advice.  “If I were you…” “You should…”  “You could…” “You might…” Later on, after the decision has been made, you will summarily receive the same words, only in a different context.  “If it were me…” “I would have…”  I could have…”  “I would have… Draw on your own experience.  Make your own decisions.

The most important decisions you can make, are made by you alone.  That’s leadership.  You can change the world, change you can believe in.

Healthcare.gov is 500M lines of Code!? Geeks Weigh In.

ACA LINES OF CODE

Lines of Code

The claim is the Healthcare.gov website is 500M lines of code!  At a cost of $600M plus, that’s around 80 cents per line of code.  Rule of thumb for quality code,  the cost for code is in the $20 – $50 per line, the high cost of $50 per line is for the more robust and professional architected applications, where you can get as low as $10 for the hack stuff.

Anecdotal evidence, crudely adjusted for reality, suggests that if you figure your code costs $5 a line you’re lying—or the code is junk.

At $100/line you’re writing software documented almost to DOD standards (HHS and CMS apparently missed that memo).   Most embedded projects wind up somewhere in-between, in the $20-40/line range.

From a Slate article, Getting disciplined about embedded software development,  “If the site really contains 500 million lines of code, they say, that’s a strong hint that the programmers involved are doing something wrong. (Microsoft’s Windows Vista operating system, by the way, contained some 50 million lines of code, and was criticized for being slow and bloated at that.)  And if they’re using the number of lines of code as a metric for progress and project scope, that may be indicative of serious dysfunction in the process.”

From my perspective, running a software development company, the problems HHS and CMS have with their website after 3 plus years is unconscionable.  It smacks of crony capitalism.  First let me say, we do not develop websites.

We develop web applications.  Sophisticated applications for the banking and financial services industry.  One of our customers, does millions of transactions each year.  We capture, image, eSign and store all their  documents in over thousands of locations nationwide.  Imagine if we were down for 5 minutes.  Imagine if there was a security breach to our software or archive.  We would be out of business.

Let me be clear, I’m just speculating, but the Healthcare.gov website code that they say has to be partially rewritten is probably largely undocumented, poorly written (possibly using contractors from 3rd world countries), without  the proper testing and quality assurance every step of the day.

During a recent crunch time, we used 3 programmers from India on one miniscule project which took them 6 months.  We had to manage them very closely, and their work was still subpar.  We will never do it again.   It’s going to be a nightmare to patch and fix Healthcare.gov.  It should probably be completely rewritten.

Until hundreds of thousands of people have been successfully enrolled, applications processed, insurance plan in effect…with no horror stories regarding security breaches, I personally would not go on their website or even give a phone operator or navigator my personal information, especially a SSN or debit card.  Just my two-cents.

Costs are soaring for community banks struggling to comply with the Dodd-Frank Act and new regulations.

finregsCommunity banks are small business folks serving their fellow local small business community.  Dodd-Frank is just another example of what BIG can and will do to you.

Big Government regulating Big banks has consequences and don’t say they’re unintended as the mainstream media will have you believe.  We should make little Barney Frank and Chris Dodd go with the Feds next time they raid a small bank in a small tight knit community on a Friday night quittin’ time.

Make Dodd and Frank answer to small town bank employees faces when they lose their job.  Make them stay until the Feds are done.  In one case I know they made an IT Manager stay until midnight.  She was told to stand outside her cubicle while they rifled through her files and computer.  I wrote about this in The “Physical” Cliff, Writing Checks My Ass Can’t Cash.

Turns out regulating the BIG banks hurts community banks.

The State National Bank of Big Spring, Texas suspended its entire residential-mortgage division for fear of the newly “spawned” Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) liability.

Twelve hundred rural US counties would have “severely limited banking access” without community bankers, who also serve other key sectors of our economy:

Community banks provide 48.1 percent of small business loans issued by US banks, 15.7 percent of residential mortgage lending, 43.8 percent of farmland lending, 42.8 percent of farm lending, and 34.7 percent of commercial real estate loans, and they held 20 percent of all retail deposits at US banks as of 2010.

In the early crucial stages, when a small business needs a loan, the collateral must be equal to or greater than the loan value.  Most large banks just won’t bother.   So where do small businesses turn for essential short and long term cash flow needs?  

According to the National Federation Independent Business (NFIB), six percent of the owners reported that all their credit needs were not met, down 1 point and only 2 points above the record low. Thirty-one (31) percent of all owners reported borrowing on a regular basis.  A net 7% reported loans “harder to get” compared to their last attempt (asked of regular borrowers only), up 3 points.  The net percent of owners expecting credit conditions to ease in the coming months was a seasonally adjusted negative 8% (more owners expect that it will be “harder” to arrange financing than easier), 2 points worse than in March.

Here’s an excerpt from one recent article titled, Main Streets May Soon Be Without a Bank

Government regulations have also forced many small community banks to close over the last three years. The Dodd-Frank Act was designed to regulate the banking and lending industries and decrease the likelihood of another financial catastrophe. Unfortunately, an unintended consequence is soaring costs for community banks struggling to comply with the new regulations. Many of those banks are located in smaller communities. The FDIC released a report last month that stated that no new community bank charters have been granted since 2011 due, in part, to Dodd-Frank.

According to an article, The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act: The Triumph of Crony Capitalism (Part 1) written by Jeff Harding, on August 11th, 2010 there are two questions you should consider while evaluating the Act’s impact and scope that help explain this boom-bust cycle:

  1. Why did the housing market become a bubble?
  2. Why would any lender lend money to a home buyer who (i) had a credit score of 500, (ii) made a down payment of 5% or less, and (iii) didn’t have to prove his or her ability to repay?

He answers these questions by saying:

  1. Only cheap money drives bubbles and there is only one entity that creates cheap money and that is the Federal Reserve—from 2000 to 2004 the Fed Funds rate went from 6.5% to 1.0% wildly distorting entrepreneurial behavior. This was the cause of this boom-bust cycle.
  2. No one would lend so carelessly unless they didn’t care. They didn’t care because someone else, in this case the government (Fannie, Freddie, and the FHA), would guarantee repayment.

Everything stems from these two factors yet there is nothing in the Act that prevents the Fed from starting a new cycle or that prevents Fannie or Freddie from again distorting the economics of the housing market.

Couple these alarming events with the fact there are 8.5M unbanked people eligible for Obamacare who will not be able to get it without a bank account…well we all know what rolls down hill.

Anytown Small Business Sequestration – A Letter from the CEO

EVAN VUCCI / AP President Barack Obama during the fiscal cliff negotiations in the briefing room of the White House on Friday, Dec. 28, 2012, in Washington.

EVAN VUCCI / AP  – President Barack Obama during the fiscal cliff negotiations in the briefing room of the White House on Friday, Dec. 28, 2012, in Washington.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Due to our inability to produce a product in the past 4 years and the conjoined, unbridled spending we have undertaken, it pains us to adopt the Government’s style Sequestration, a.k.a. mandatory spending cuts, here at Anytown Small Business, Inc. 

Following the President’s example, I am voluntarily taking a 5% salary cut.  If I was making as much as our President, that would be enough to replace the windows in Building 100, thereby erasing the threat of Mud daubers terrorizing our finest.

Let me explain.  The promise of lower healthcare costs didn’t happen.

The promise of cleaner, renewable, and cheaper energy costs and fewer regulations, where everything that was beautiful, has now brought us down, didn’t happen.

Our hiring practices, spurred on by the promise of a Government backed Stimulus plan to create jobs and economic growth, didn’t happen.

We have had to hire armies of attorneys and consultants to remain in compliance of the new regulations and laws.

Each year over the past four years our healthcare costs have risen 25% or more.  As the Supreme Court has ruled, we all know now, even though the Main Stream Media (MSM) chooses to ignore, Obamacare is a tax!  Now on top of the cost of healthcare we have an additional tax burden.  Any new tax increases the cost of doing business.

So now we have to  reduce employment to less than 50 workers.  We are playing spin the bottle every day, after work of course.  The winner gets to kiss his or her job good-bye but gets to keep the bottle.

We’ve hired the people the Government wanted us to hire.  If you were down on your luck, if you had been laid off or fired somewhere else, if you had remained unemployed past the limit of your unemployment benefits, and you have been kicked to the curb by the government, you were on our radar.  Why not?  There were thousands of reasons to hire you.  Government incentives.  Government dollars.

Those of you who turned our job offers down and preferred to live on government entitlements, it seems like you’re working harder not to work.  Too often we have seen your job inquiries were bogus.  Too bad there were no frequent flyer points from Craig’s List for answering either your own phony ads or ads for which you need not apply, because you were not remotely qualified.

At Anytown, you would have come to the front of the line.  The less qualified the better.  Our local, county, state and federal government want you to work for us and they want to provide Anytown, thousands of dollars in incentives to hire you.

Of course, we all know, there are the many companies who take the government’s money and not only never meet quotas, meaning jobs, but basically fail, pick a Chapter 7 or 11.

Many who were hired spent their valuable time to build a truly homogeneous product.  We made every effort to provide our product in many different languages, including all of the Asian dialects, but then we realized all of our major competitors learned to publish their products in English and are our best customers, too.  As part of the Sequestration, we had to let every translator go.

This has been a tremendous benefit to our company’s bottom line, the cost cutting terminations and the fact is there that are still employees working for us that do not comprehend, read or write in English. The last thing we need is a lawsuit from the government.

Those of us who are capable of doing our  job, spend countless hours covering for our fellow employees, and the company appreciates it!   Unfortunately, we are also announcing 10%, across the board, salary cuts for all personnel, will affect each and every one of you… the same.   I thank you for your sacrifice.

Finally, we poured unconscionable sums of borrowed money into unproven technology and insolvent companies.  Our investments, while popular with the majority of our customer base, they did little to contribute to our future growth in revenues or in our company’s best interest.  

After nearly going out of business it finally dawned on us.  The top 20% of our customers were contributing 70% of our revenues.   Our General Accounting Office (GAO) said it’s time we start paying attention to our paying customers.  

Let’s hope they love golf!

Now over 20,000 Reasons to Repeal Obamacare

Reality GapMore broken promises from the Obama Administration.  Surprised?!

Now over 20,000  17,000 pages of regulations, forget the 2,000 plus pages that comprise the law that’s equivalent to the Lord of the Rings Trilogy!  Like fiction HHS just makes stuff up as they go along.

17,000 pages of regulations, Sebelius and the Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS), making up the rules and regs. as they go along, the tsunami has only just begun…

Here’s a sample, a lawyers dream. ““The final rule does not address all of the insurance exchange provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and additional rules will address those, according to the rule.”

Be afraid!  Wake UP! people!!!

A House Committee on Small Business Republicans quote, “Sec. Sebelius claimed this morning that the health care law (Obamacare) has been “good news” and President Obama claimed that his health care law would decrease premiums by $2,500 in his first term. However, this tells a different story for small business.”

Excerpt from SHOP the Small Business Exchange Option

“Consistent with the scope of the Exchange establishment and eligibility proposed rules, this final rule does not address all of the Exchange provisions in the Affordable Care Act; rather, more details will be provided in forthcoming guidance and future rule making, where appropriate.”

From the 644 page document, Final Rule State Healthcare Exchanges, and how the final rules address small business, capitalism and the entrepreneurial spirit may die.

Keep in mind this is one paragraph of a 664 page document to mandate a final rule on SHOP!

Be afraid!  Be very afraid!!!

 
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