Friday, August 24, 2012

Havasu Falls (new painting)

 "Havasu Falls"

20 x 24 acrylic
by Craig Willms

A painting done on commission for an old High School friend as a present for his wife who took the original photo years ago. I really hope she likes it.

Check out more of my paintings here --->


Saturday, August 18, 2012

Incommunicado... sort of

On a vacation of sorts. A long weekend in northern Wisconsin with my son and his buddy. We will eventually go fishing I'm sure, but for now I'm enjoying the fine northern air and trying to unwind. You all have a great weekend too!


Monday, August 13, 2012

The Chicago Miracle, or not

The President is now touting Chicago as a shining example for America. Chicago is in indeed a great town in many respects. Sitting at the crossroads of the east and the west it was always destined to be great. But it is a great city despite the prevailing leadership of the 20th and nascent 21 centuries.

The Daley machine and it's legacy have made Chicago a tough place, a rough and tumble place. It is ruled by the unions in the government sector and business has always adapted by folding that reality into the cost of doing business. Greasing the palms of the union bosses and the "inspectors" to get anything done in a timely manner is legend in this town. Politicos also have to kiss the ring of the union bosses and the Daley machine in order to have a chance of getting elected. Election fraud is expected not just tolerated.

To hold the view 'Chicago Is an Example of What Makes This Country Great' as Obama does is clearly his local pride talking because he can't be serious that the "Chicago Way" is the way the rest of the country should work. In truth Chicago is an example of everything wrong with politics. Win at any cost and ignore legalities and consequences.

As the linked article eludes to: not many of us wants to live with the consequences of Chicago style government. In fact more Chicago residents - 228 - have been killed so far this year in the city than the number of  American troops killed in Afghanistan - 144 - over the same period. The war zone-like statistics are not new. Some 2,000 U.S. troops have been killed in Afghanistan since 2001, contrast that to the more than 5,000 people have been killed by gun fire in Chicago during the same time. Is it a source of pride that Chicago's murder rate is currently quadruple that of New York and double Los Angeles' rate? God, I hope not.

Chicago is a great place to visit, but like California I couldn't live there, by the number of people who flee both places I'm guessing I'm not the only one who feels that way.


Saturday, August 11, 2012

Romney/Ryan - good ticket, very good

Couldn't be more pleased that Paul Ryan was picked by Mitt Romney as his running mate. There were many who wanted Ryan to throw his hat in during the primary season - me too - but this should work out well.

The Democrats are not going to pull a Sarah Palin on this guy. He is one - squeaky clean, and two - an intellectual. They won't pull the dunce card, but they will pull the evil card. The budget plans he passed in the House are going to misrepresented as radical - dangerously so. Yes they are radical in the sense that he is actually addressing real problems with real solutions. If left stuck in liberal la la land these structural fiscal problems are going to destroy this country. But the Democrats will continue to demagogue and then prescribe higher taxes as the solution for everything.

Honest people can disagree with specifics, but Ryan and Romney are serious about addressing these huge issues and not just sloganeering. Obama has largely succeeded in getting the country moving in his direction, but it is clearly the wrong direction and the economy is the measure of that (if the economy was actually ever a real concern of his). If we want more poverty and food stamps, slow to no growth and crippling deficits then Obama is your man. If we want a rising tide then it's time for a change of direction.

Romney and Ryan have got to hone their message to a fine point. They have to offer a path away from the Federal government usurping more and more power and responsibility from the middle class. They must convince the middle class that self empowerment (by way of a strong economy and plentiful jobs) is what they want.

More to come on this...


Monday, August 06, 2012

Recession no more...

Maybe I'm the only one tired of the mainstream media telling us economic news through the filter of what it will do for the re-election chances of President Obama. What about what the economic news (the real news) does to the American people. It seems fairly obvious that Obama is a disaster. It's time to let someone else in there who has a pro-growth (for the private sector) agenda. We are on the brink of economic disaster and this administration is either, one clueless or two fomenting it.

Ladies and gentleman this is no recession it is a depression. The only thing preventing a full blown depression is high government spending, and that can't go on forever. The advent of the modern welfare state is preventing the reality of the true economic situation from becoming a stark reality to the masses. Food stamps and food shelves have become the modern soup kitchen.

- One in seven people in this country are on food stamps
- 48% of food stamp households are working households

- Vacant properties have increased by 43.8 percent nationwide since 2000

- banks are preparing to ramp up their foreclosure efforts again (they have to)

- Under any factual reporting the real unemployment rate should be well over 22%

- When, not if, China quits buying U.S. government debt then the entire house of cards starts tumbling down

 -without some real leadership (ha ha ha) taxes are about to be raised on all of us to the highest levels in U.S. history

 The rose colored glasses of  mainstream reporters in an effort to aid the President's re-election - for reasons that are frankly beyond me - take news like this: 365,000 people applied for unemployment benefits in July, but analysts were forecasting 370,000. Off by 5000 individuals yet reported as “better than expected job numbers”. Contrast the 163,000 new jobs that were added in July and its a net loss. Of course this is being reported as “good news” for Obama’s re-election. The official unemployment rate rose to 8.3 from 8.2 and that is, of course, statistically unimportant.

U.S. corporations are sitting on billions of dollars that could be invested in the economy. Why? They don't know where this administration is going, or they do and they don't like it enough to risk their capital.

I personally have a decent enough job and make a good living by historical comparative standards and yet I am squeezed every month. My bills are being paid but there never seems to be much left over. What of my savings for retirement? I'm just throwing good money after bad - it's going the wrong way!!!

Something has to be done. The first thing has got to be sending Barack Obama and Joe Biden to the unemployment office in November and then let the healing begin.

 That's my 1 cent worth.