Joe Biden: Behind the Scenes

As we get older, we are all going to have events in our lives that truly test us as human beings. While both my wife Trisha and I try our best to stay positive, losing loved ones and dealing with illness and injuries certainly presents some serious challenges. In just the last month, I’ve had surgery, my best friend passed away, and recently my wife found out she will have to have some surgery in the next couple of weeks.

None of these events are uncommon for seniors, but when they happen to you, they become the most important things in the world.  So, how do we maintain our sanity during such troubling times? Fortunately for me, I recently witnessed the State of the Union address by President Obama. It was  incredibly boring as most of them are, but it was our indomitable Vice President Joe Biden that provided some much-needed humor.

I may have taken some liberties with my interpretation of events, but it’s all in good fun. Here’s behind the scenes with good ‘ol Joe.

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Leaning Ivory Tower

“If you’re not a liberal when you’re 25, you have no heart.  If you’re not a conservative by the time you’re 35, you have no brain.”

We’ve probably all heard this famous quote before. It’s often falsely attributed to Winston Churchill. I’m not sure the originator of the quote is important, nor do I buy into it completely. I have many friends of each persuasion and I’m quite sure at the time this observation was first stated, both political orientations were quite different from today.

I do know for an absolute fact that our school systems, and especially our universities lean far, far to the left. This is probably an incredibly obvious statement to most people, but it’s the extent to which this statement is accurate that causes me concern.

My credibility on this subject is substantial. I spent way too many years as a student and an entire career teaching at several major universities. Trust me, the fix is in. In fact, it’s one of the reasons I retired sooner than I had planned. Personally a conservative, I always felt like I was part of some underground organization.

What brings up this subject today? Well, first of all, it’s been simmering in my brain for many years. Secondly, the Young American’s Foundation reported today only 1 in 7 commencement speakers invited to speak at the top 100 universities in the country is politically conservative. Shocking? Yes. I couldn’t believe there were any conservatives invited to speak.

How bad is the educational bias? Let me share my favorite, albeit somewhat dated example. One day near the end of my career while teaching at a very prestigious college, I began to notice the many pictures that had been posted all over campus. You could not walk ten feet inside or outside without seeing them. They were pictures of the communist, black panther, and former FBI top ten most wanted Angela Davis. She had been invited and was being paid a large sum of money to visit the campus and speak to the students. The build up went on for days. The students were excited, and the faculty (with at least one exception) was nearly orgasmic. On the day she arrived, classes were cancelled and professors made attendance at the event mandatory. O. K., but at least we were being fair and balanced, right? The next week I noticed Elizabeth Dole, a former cabinet member in the Reagan administration was coming to speak. When I walked into class, I asked if any students were planning to attend Ms. Dole’s presentation. There were crickets. Finally, one student asked, “Who’s Elizabeth Dole?”

Fact is, I’m more of an observer than a drum beater, but all parents and grandparents paying good money to these bastions of education should know this bias has only gotten worse through the years. Some time back, someone asked me why I stopped teaching when I did. After thinking for a moment, I responded, “Because I enjoyed teaching people how to think, not what to think.” Students today have very little choice.




Government Stupidity!

When I pulled up to this stop sign, I broke out laughing. Just had to get a picture on my iPhone. Do I turn right as instructed, or heed the no right turn sign? If it wasn’t so sad it would be even funnier.

As it’s often been said, “We get the government we deserve.” It has become obvious to most thinking individuals our government at all levels is terribly inept at best, and corrupt at the worst. Even more frustrating is the way so many people are played like violins by slick politicians and their friends in the media.

Here are a couple of my favorite examples:

“We can’t ask voters for identification, that might disenfranchise someone.” Really? The states involved in these controversies have offered free identification cards for anyone who needs one. Who would be disenfranchised? Is anyone so completely stupid they don’t recognize this as a ploy to make sure the ballot box can be stuffed by illegal votes and in some cases, illegal citizens. In what transaction in this country are you disenfranchised if someone asks you for identification? I’m asked for it at my bank, grocery store, health care facility, airport, liquor store, video store, department store, hardware store, etc. Is our stupid government really telling me in order to vote, our most sacred right as a citizen of this country, I shouldn’t have to show my identification? Very stupid.

“The oil companies are gauging us at the pumps.” While the term gauging can be debated, when our own government officials make this statement, it makes me cringe. The fact is, oil companies make on average, 6.7 cents profit on a gallon of gas. The average government tax on a gallon of gas is 49.5 cents. Of course in those well-run states like New York and California, the taxes are closer to 70 cents a gallon. Very stupid.

Heads Up!

Do you realize that 42 billion dollars in government student loans is held by individuals over 60 years old. What’s more important is according to the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996, an individual’s Social Security benefits can be seized up to 15% over $750 each month. Whether it’s original loans or co-signed loans, the government is going to start coming after you.