| December, 2008

Publisher's Perspectives 2008

Posted on 04 December 2008 by LeslieM

George Will – Shame on you! – paid by Japanese to diss U.S. car manufacturers

4 Dec 2008
Last week George Will, the famous syndicated columnist for The Washington Post, wrote a stinging editorial entitled “Bailout won’t fix the dying auto industry.” Reading on, I realized he actually meant the U.S.-owned auto industry should be shut down in America, and not the foreign-owned auto industry operating here.
Being a fan of George’s for many years, I read on with some concern as he gave reason after reason why our government should not do anything to prevent our U.S. car manufacturers from collapsing. Finally at the end of his editorial, there was the following disclaimer: Disclosure: Mrs. Will is a public relations consultant for the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association.
That really made me mad. And frankly it should make all Americans mad to know that a famous columnist like George Will had been bought and paid for by the Japanese to trash their American competitors, and suggest the American car companies should be put out of business. This proves without a doubt that the U.S. automobile manufacturers, their employees, retirees, investors and bond holders have been operating in a very unfair competition situation. The U.S. government, using money taxed from the American people and companies including General Motors, Ford and Chrysler, was right there to help pay for rebuilding the Japanese, European and Korean automobile companies after their countries’ wars. Now some of these same foreign companies are trying to prevent the U.S. government from helping our own U.S. car companies to rebuild!
That is outrageous. Doesn’t the term “conflict of interest” have any meaning to Mr. Will? By writing this editorial slamming Detroit, he is providing direct assistance to his wife, who is paid by the Japanese to promote their cars.  And now knowing the Japanese have hired George Will to dump on our American companies, how many more of our press, opinion leaders and politicians have been compromised? I now suspect it is not just a few. No wonder our economy is in shambles.
But looking to the future, hopefully the U.S. car manufacturing executives will come up with a plan for continued viability that Congress can support. And if it requires the executives and union members to lower salaries and perks to survive, they should get on with it. Furthermore, since the foreign car companies are subsidized about $1,500 per car for their employee’s health costs paid for by their governments, something should be done by the U.S. government to equalize that playing field for the Americans.

Congratulations to Obama!

— and all our African-American friends, too —

13 Nov 2008
If anyone had any doubts about the status of racism in the United States, his or her doubts should now be answered. Martin Luther King started the peaceful march against racism, but it was Obama who finally crossed the finish line. Hopefully race will not be an issue in future Presidential contests, or any other elections either, because of him. That is wonderful, and makes me proud to be an American.
The only fly in the ointment is those who keep harping about the amount  of money he spent  to get elected, and where it came from. I wish they would leave him alone about that.  It was only $200,000,000 — about a third of the total money he raised, in small amounts – for which he hasn’t identified the donors. Why does it matter where it came from? Remember how popular he was when he traveled overseas? And besides, he is really busy organizing things right now!
But seriously, he needs to get that question behind him as quickly as possible or it may jeopardize his Presidency. If there is nothing to hide, just release the names of all of his contributors like John McCain did, and George Bush did, as well. If some are foreign, illegal, or unidentifiable, the money should be returned or donated to charity. If he has to make a special fund-raising effort to make up the difference, we will understand, praise him for doing it, and make a contribution.
Hopefully he will get the air cleared on this matter so he can go about running the country and get everyone fully behind him to help.
Furthermore, John McCain should devote the remainder  of his career in the U.S. Senate to closing the loophole that now permits candidates in federal campaigns to raise unlimited amounts of small credit card contributions via the Internet with absolutely no record as to who is making the contribution, where they reside or whether they are even qualified by virtue of U.S. citizenship or a Green Card to make any contribution.
David Eller, Publisher

Which Presidential candidate will be best to protect you and your loved one’s job?

30 Oct 2008
That is an easy question to answer: If you work in the private sector, Obama’s proposals to increase taxes on the people who own businesses could cost millions of people their jobs. If you work in the private or even the government sector, the job loss could possibly be yours.
The formula is relatively simple. Every business requires a certain amount of working capital, i.e. money, to operate. The amount varies depending on the type of business. For instance, the manufacturing industry, which I know about, requires an average investment of about $125,000 per employee for buildings, machinery and working capital. Most of that money typically has to be borrowed. To employ 20 people, therefore, a company has to find a bank willing to lend $2,500,000, which the bank typically wants to have paid back over a 10-year period, or $250,000 per year. Add interest at 7 percent, or $175,000, and you have a minimum obligation of $425,000 per year or  $35,400 per month.
The $175,000 per year interest is deductible from taxes on any profits the business might make. But the additional $250,000 principle they have to earn each year to pay the bank back is taxable, less depreciation, before they get anything for themselves. That tax is already one of the highest in the world at 35 percent, and Obama is proposing to raise it!  Consequently, many small business owners already make less in actual take home pay, after paying the bank and the government taxes, than many of their employees. I know because I am one.
Now, Obama promises to make it worse by raising our 35 percent taxes higher. Either he doesn’t understand, or doesn’t care, that a lot of people are going to lose their jobs because of that tax increase. Jimmy Carter had our taxes at 70 percent; people got laid off and our economy collapsed. Reagan lowered them to 26 percent, our economy boomed, people got hired and the U.S. government received more in taxes the next year than it ever did before.
Incidentally, to those of you in government jobs, when we in the private sector lose our jobs, there is less tax money to pay for you or fund your pensions. Therefore, guess what? You’re next! Think about that before you vote next Tuesday.
David Eller, Publisher

If you liked Jimmy Carters’ Foreign Policy, you’ll probably love Obama’s

23 Oct 2008
Barack Obama’s Vice Presidential running mate Senator Joe Biden said last week that he expects a serious international crisis to occur within the first six months of the next U.S. President’s term. Let’s reasonably assume that it involves Israel, since that country has been threatened over and over again with annihilation. For instance, Iran could acquire a nuclear warhead from Pakistan, mount it on one of their long-range missiles and strike Israel. It would be a sneak attack to try to completely destroy Israel and knock out Israel’s ability to retaliate.
If this possibility concerns you, who do you want to be President of the United States at that time? Who might our enemies fear the most as our President? Who would, hopefully, keep such a scenario from happening in the first place? I suspect our enemies would fear McCain the most … which is a good thing!
Remember when Iran took dozens of Americans hostage during Jimmy Carter’s administration? The Iranians did not respect or fear Carter, acted accordingly, and the American people suffered the consequences. Reagan had not been sworn in as our President for 5 minutes when the Iranians let our people go. The Iranians admitted later that they were afraid of what Reagan was going to do as our new President. That’s called respect. It is not saying “I will sit down with [terrorist nations] and negotiate,” as Obama is fond of saying.
All due respect to Joe Biden, but it would not be his call to make as Vice President — how to retaliate. It would be the President of the United States’ responsibility as Commander in Chief. If elected, Obama would be the only one ultimately making the decision on what to do … if anything.
Meanwhile Obama’s Chicago neighbor and [friend] Jesse Jackson was at the World Policy Forum at a French lakeside resort last week, where Jackson was quoted as saying: [that under Obama] “decades of putting Israel’s interests first” would end.
Jesse should know. Jesse knows him well. He calls him his “neighbor.” He says, “We helped him start his career;” and says his daughter went to school with Obama’s wife Michelle. Therefore, we can assume that Jesse knows what he is talking about.
So the bottom line is: If you liked Jimmy Carter’s foreign policy, you’ll probably love Obama’s. And if you really care about Israel, the choice is clear.
David Eller, Publisher

McCain made a good choice…

18 Sep 2008
in selecting a woman as running mate
but must realize he can’t treat her as he might a man
”In revenge and in love, woman is more barbarous than man”
–Friedrich W. Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, 1865
My wife, who doesn’t normally like politics very much, called me excitedly last week.
”McCain has just announced he has selected a woman, the Governor of Alaska, to be his running mate!” I frankly was surprised by my wife’s reaction, even though we’ve been married 40 years.
She continued:  “and she has five children, including a son in the military going to Iraq, three daughters and recently birthed a baby son who has Down’s Syndrome!”
“Wow,” I responded.
“And that is not all,” she continued, “She got into government to clean up the mess and corruption some men had made. Even though some were in her own political party … she exposed them, ran against them and won with about 80 percent of the vote!”
“Wow,” I said again.
“Sounds like superwoman to me!”  “Yes,” she said. “She even looks like superwoman!”
“Wow.” I said again.
“I can’t wait to see … uh … hear her!”
Thus was my introduction to Governor Sarah Palin. Later, when I got a chance to listen to Sarah Palin speak, heard her joke and saw the twinkle in her eye, as she obviously was enjoying herself, I could understand my wife’s enthusiasm.
There are those who say she doesn’t have the experience to be Vice President. However, she is the only candidate of either party who actually does have the executive experience of running something: Alaska, the largest state geographically in the United States. And before that, she was a mayor, i.e., chief executive of an important city in Alaska. Compare that to either of her current political opponents, who have zero executive experience between them, yet aspire to be chief executives of the land.
John McCain, who also lacks executive experience, was wise to pick someone with executive experience to help him run the government. However, if he and Sarah win, President John McCain and his staff better be careful. His Vice President, Sarah Palin, has a proven record of going after members of her own party and administration if she sees them abusing their positions in government. Therefore the “good old boy network” in Washington might be in for a shock.
Now how about that for a change and some fresh air in DC?
David Eller, Publisher

Warning, Non-Citizens who vote could go to jail along with those who assist them

21 Aug 2008
Publisher Perspective: Warning, Non-Citizens who vote  could go to jail along with those who assist them
I was sitting in my office just west of Dixie Highway a number of years ago, when a middle aged lady, who worked for the Broward County Welfare Office as a bus driver, came to see me. Their office was located in a building we had just bought for the Observer. She immediately apologized for the interruption, but said “I’ve just got to tell someone what is happening.” She went on to explain that she drove a bus for the county, and her bosses were having her drive the bus around for them to find people to register to vote.
What was bothering her was that it appeared her “bosses” were intentionally registering non-US citizens to vote. She said they would pull the bus up to areas where foreign workers were apparently known to congregate, and where “runners” had already gone out ahead to gather them up. The “runners” were being paid by the number of people they brought to the bus. She noted that most of the people being brought to the bus did not speak English. Once on the bus her “boss” would tell them loudly in English: “Raise your hand if you are a U.S. citizen.” Most of them, according to her, would just look confused. So her “boss” would hold up a box, as though she was going to give them something of value, and repeat the question, simultaneously raising her own hand in a motion for them to mimic. Those who raised their hands were immediately given a voter registration card application to fill out with the help of the “runners” and the “bosses.” My informant then begged me not to confront her bosses about this as she would certainly be fired.
So, the next day I drove down to the Supervisor of Elections office in Ft. Lauderdale to find out what could be done about this. I talked to Easter Lily Gates, who at the time was  Supervisor of Elections and an old friend of my father’s. A kind, matronly looking lady with a hat on, she explained to me that it was against the law for them, the supervisor or her staff, to even ask someone for proof that they were a U.S. citizen. Anyone who applied for a voter’s registration card was automatically given one with no proof of citizenship required.
Flabbergasted, I personally spent years trying to get the system changed to make sure only citizens could register and vote. It was finally changed a few years ago here in Florida, but only after it was discovered that eight of the 19 September 11 hijackers were registered to vote in either Virginia or Florida. It was determined that the registrations were obtained when they applied for driver’s licenses. So now if someone who is not a U.S. citizen registers and votes, it is a felony crime. Do your part to make sure our elections are fair. If you know of someone who is not a U.S. citizen, yet has registered to vote, contact the Supervisor of Elections office and let them know.
David Eller, Publisher

The British love Deerfield…..to visit

17 Jul 2008
My wife and I recently took my wife’s mother, Julia Ackerman Frey, on a cruise to the Norwegian fjords to celebrate her 85th birthday. The Princess Cruise Line ship we were on, departed from Southampton (SP) England and went through the English Channel to carry us all the way up the coast and islands of Norway. We went way north of the Arctic Circle. Although the ship was huge, approximately 100 yards long and 15 stories high, and carried about eighteen hundred passengers plus hundreds of crew, it was able to venture all the way up a number of these Norwegian fjords. The fjords, some 60 miles long, were formed by glaciers cutting their way through the rocky mountains of Norway thousands of years ago as the last ice age receded. The scenery was breathtakingly beautiful, consisting of rock cliffs as high as 3,000 feet on each side with snow still on the top melting, thus creating waterfalls tumbling down the mountain into the crystal blue water of the fjord. I counted twelve waterfalls in one scene as we came around a bend. Being a boatsman myself, I was also worried about the ship running aground until the captain assured me there was no danger of that, since the water was at least 450 feet deep, even at the mountain end of the fjord.
The captain also shared that our cruise passengers were about 50 percent British, 25 percent American, 5 percent Canadian and the rest from some 20 other countries.There were many occasions, of course,  to engage in conversations with our fellow passengers. At first I would simply identify myself as being an American. The British would never allow me to get by with that. They wanted to know where in America. When I said “Florida,” I nearly always got a “I’ve been there!” reaction, with a “where in Florida?” follow up question.  When I responded “Deerfield Beach,” it was amazing to me how many of them knew our city and some of them knew it well.  One fellow said he generally stays at the Embassy Suites and likes to jog in that neighborhood. There seemed to be two main reasons they chose to come here: shopping was first, and our beach was second. The shopping part proves the truth of my Economics 101 class (taken long ago) that people typically will go to great lengths to save money. Thus, Britain’s high taxes on clothes and other items drive their citizens to Deerfield Beach.  When I suggested he might want to buy a place here, he declined, saying “your property taxes are too high.”   My Economics 101 professor was right again. Our city and county politicians need to take note!
David Eller, Publisher

Changes at the Observer

3 Jul 2008
It is with mixed emotions that we announce that Ric Green will be leaving us as editor of the Observer. The first emotion is one of sadness as we have grown to love and respect his work here. The second emotion, however, is one of happiness for him. As the newly appointed CEO/President of the Chamber of Commerce for Pompano Beach, Ric will have the opportunity to use his enormous promotional and personality skills to help take that organization to its next level. As a native son of Pompano Beach, this is certainly a win-win for both Ric and the greater Pompano Beach area.
We at the Observer are fortunate to have a professor of Journalism, David Volz step in as our new editor. David has lived in South Florida since 1980 and with a masters degree in Communication from Fla. Atlantic University has taught in both Miami Dade and Broward, including Nova Colleges. In addition to teaching and writing, David devotes much of his time to his wife, Nancy. We look forward to receiving David’s leadership and guidance as we take the Observer forward to serve you even better in the future.
David Eller, Publisher

Moses in the Bible tried to warn Eliot Spitzer “be sure your sin will find you out”

13 Mar 2008
In HIS Holy Scriptures the Lord God has given us humans a lot of good advice. HE used Moses as HIS instrument to write much of it. For example, in the Scripture’s Old Testament Book of Numbers, Chapter 32, Verse 23, it is written: “if ..ye have sinned against the Lord, be sure your sin will find you out.”
It has been both amusing and scary to watch events of this past week play out in regard to former chief prosecutor, Attorney General and Governor of New York Eliot Spitzer. As the chief law enforcement officer of New York he famously pursued many people and businesses, including prostitutes and their organizations, to enhance his own reputation. It was a strategy which he obviously intended to use to promote himself to higher office. It is said he even planned next to run for President of the United States.
Now that he has been caught using prostitues, his name will be famous all right. Want to call someone “two-faced”? Just refer to them as an “Eliot Spitzer”. Want to call someone a “demagogue”? An “Eliot Spitzer” will do just as well.
To some that will be amusing, and well deserved. However, it is not amusing to many of you, and us, who are trying to encourage the young people in our society to reach for higher goals. How many people, young and old, may now make dreadful decisions, negatively affecting their lives, while maybe even sub-consciously thinking of Eliot Spitzer and justifying it as “everybody does it”. That’s the scary part.
Well…everybody doesn’t do it! And if you want God to bless you, you must live your life in a way that is blessable. Watch what happens to Eliot Spitzer in the future. You can be sure it will be the opposite of blessed.
David Eller, Publisher

Prayer at city hall?

14 Feb 2008
In reviewing this week’s letters to the editor, and one particular column by my friend, columnist Herb Siegel, I am reminded of Rodney King’s lament a few years ago saying “Why can’t we all just get along?”
It all started last week when Pastor Dr. Joseph Guadagnino of South Florida Bible College, located on Federal Highway here in Deerfield Beach, attended the Deerfield City Commission meeting with about 100 fellow Christians requesting that the City Commission re-instate clergy-led prayers to open their meetings. He went on the say that, “For a time, Pompano Beach did not allow clergy-led prayers, but they do now. We oppose your decision to not have clergy-led prayers. I am offended. Christians are under attack.”
Mayor Capellini then read a letter from the ACLU suggesting the organization would sue the city if clergy-led prayers were not halted. An attorney in the audience offered to defend the city free of charge if that happened. Commissioner Pam Militello asked what was wrong with one moment of silence?
As a matter of coincidence, before I came into the Observer office that morning, I had been watching the U.S. Congress on C-Span. They opened their session with a prayer by a minister. Why isn’t the ACLU threatening them? Could it be because they know they would lose, maybe already have lost, and find it much more convenient to go around with bully tactics threatening towns like Deerfield Beach?
God bless Dr. Guadagnino and his congregates. I’m not one of them, but I appreciate what he and his congregation are doing to shine some light on this matter.  And Herb, God bless you too! But incidentally, you were wrong when you assumed Christians don’t study the Old Testament. I know they do because I teach it at my church.
David Eller, Publisher

Vote “Yes” on Amendment 1

24 Jan 2008
Don’t think about going to the polls next Tuesday and trying to comprehend the meaning of Amendment 1. Here are four simple reasons why you should vote YES:
1. Your “Save Our Homes” is not only protected, it is doubled to $50,000. School taxes are not affected at all and even inexpensive condos will still pay full taxes on the appraised value between $25,000 and $50,000, as well as on everything above $75,000.
2. Passing Amendment 1 will finally allow you to transfer your accumulated “Save Our Homes” benefits to a new homestead. This will free up homeowners who are now trapped in their homes and will spur the real estate market, which is the backbone of the local economy.
3. It will create a $25,000 exemption on assessed value of tangible personal property and this will be a big benefit to small businesses throughout the state.
4. It will limit assessment increases for specified non-homestead real property to 10 percent each year.
Amendment 1 is a good start at much needed reform and deserves your full support.  You can look forward to voting on a revenue cap amendment sometime in 2010, which will end, once and for all, the out-of-control spending habits of our local governments.
You should be aware that there is considerable confusion about one provision toward the end of Amendment 1 that would provide for “homestead exemptions to be repealed if a future constitutional amendment provides for assessment of homesteads ‘at less than just value’ rather than as currently provided ‘at a specified percentage’ of just value”.
Regardless of this provision, Florida voters will still always remain in control of maintaining their “Save Our Home” benefits and will never vote to eliminate them.
Vote Yes on Amendment 1 next Tuesday, January 29.
Presidential Preferences
This is undoubtedly the most “open” Presidential election since 1952 and for the first time in our history, prospective voters have been absolutely deluged with information about the Republican and Democrat candidates for President. Between the candidates’ websites, the Internet, mailings, personal appearances, news articles and the numerous debates, every voter can know exactly what position a particular candidate has taken on a possible issue. Because of this unprecedented access each of us has had into the “minds” of each candidate, we do not deign to recommend one Republican or one Democrat over another.
Next Tuesday, the choice is yours. You know what kind of world we live in. Choose the candidate who can best lead us in the next four years.
David Eller, Publisher

How Long Do We Have?

17 Jan 2008
A guest Editorial by Professor Joseph Olson of Hemline University School of Law, St. Paul, Minn.
About the time our original thirteen states adopted their new constitution in
1787, Alexander Tyler, a Scottish history professor at the University of
Edinburgh, had this to say about the fall of the Athenian Republic some 2,000
years earlier:
‘A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government.’
‘A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury.’
‘From that moment on, the majority always vote for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship.’
‘The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations from the beginning of history, has been about 200 years’
‘During those 200 years, those nations always progressed through the following sequence:
1. From bondage to spiritual faith;
2. From spiritual faith to great courage;
3. From courage to liberty;
4. From liberty to abundance;
5. From abundance to complacency;
6. From complacency to apathy;
7. From apathy to dependence;
8. From dependence back into bondage’
Professor Joseph Olson of Hemline University School of Law, St. Paul,
Minnesota, points out: The United States is now somewhere between the ‘complacency and apathy’ phase of Professor Tyler’s definition of democracy, with some 40 percent of the nation’s’ population already having reached the ‘governmental dependency ‘ phase. If Congress or a future presidential administration grants amnesty and citizenship to 12 million or more illegal criminal invaders and they vote, then we can say goodbye forever to the USA as we have known it, as the USA follows the Athens Republic over the historical cliff of “has been” nations.
David Eller


3 Jan 2008
Now that we’re “out” with the old and “in” with the new year, it is a good time to reflect on life, and among other things, make sure we do not take ourselves too seriously. For example, my good friend and first-grade classmate, Janice Brown Rogers, recently wrote the following to this publisher:
Dear Publisher and friend David Eller,
“For the last several months I have enjoyed reading your articles ‘Publisher’s Perspective: Historical Series’. Having grown up in Deerfield, I am amazed at your memory of events. I have reminded myself that these are the historical views, embellishments, and memories of a child and not necessarily fact!
You have indicated you were a mighty force to reckon with in fights. I don’t remember your boyhood altercations but I do recall, and as you have admitted yourself, to you pushing the girls off the sidewalk into the sandspurs……”
Janice goes on to challenge my memory on other issues such as the number of boys in grades one through three, and claims that Dewey Bennett didn’t arrive in Deerfield until fifth grade, not third grade as I had written.
Well Janice, as it would happen, Dewey’s sister Carol was in town this week and verified that her family moved to Deerfield when Dewey was in third grade, and she (Carol) was in fifth. So I stand on what I had written. However, I did enjoy the copy of our “6th Grade Will” you sent that was dedicated to the 5th graders behind us in school. Please note the following two bequests:
“David Eller wills his sweet disposition to Billy Hall.”
“Janice Brown wills her habit of arguing to Maria Stevens.”
I guess some things just never change. I love you Janice and dedicate the following funny stories about elementary age children to you:
A little girl was talking to her teacher about whales.
The teacher said it was physically impossible for a whale to swallow a human because even though it was a very large mammal its throat was very small. The little girl stated that Jonah was swallowed by a whale. Irritated, the teacher reiterated that a whale could not swallow a human; it was physically impossible. The little girl said, “When I get to heaven I will ask Jonah.” The teacher asked, “What if Jonah went to hell?” The little girl replied, “Then you ask him.”
A kindergarten teacher was observing her classroom of children while they were drawing. She would occasionally walk around to see each child’s work. As she got to one little girl who was working diligently, she asked what the drawing was. The girl replied, “I’m drawing God.” The teacher paused and said, “But no one knows what God looks like.” Without missing a beat, or looking up from her drawing,the girl replied, “They will in a minute.”
One day a little girl was sitting and watching her mother do the dishes at the kitchen sink. She suddenly noticed that her mother had several strands of white hair sticking out in contrast to her brunette head.  She looked at her mother and inquisitively asked, “Why are some of  your hairs white, Mom?” Her mother replied, “Well, every time that you do something wrong and make me cry or unhappy, one of my hairs turns white.” The little girl thought about this revelation for a while and then said, “Momma, how come ALL of grandma’s hairs are white?”
To Janice and all our Observer readers and advertisers:
David Eller, Publisher

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