Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Dismal Nation's Report Card

Dismal "Nation's report Card" inspired by an article from Townhall.com

As a conservative Libertarian congressional candidate in Texas district 10, one of my signature issues will be to defund 100% the Dept. of Education. It was started by Pres. Carter in 1976. It is a complete failure, unless you consider it's main purpose to support unions and dues for Demoncratic (accurate spelling intended) campaign contributions.

Take a look at this article and the report card itself. Then tell me where I am wrong. One of my favorite sayings is the definition of insanity - "doing the same things over again and expecting different results." Here's the link, then I will finish with a true story about my education.


just a sample:

Here is the percentage of Grade 12 public and non-public school students at or above proficiency by subject and race in math and reading:

Math: 25 percent student average. By race: Asian 47 percent, white 32 percent, Hispanic 12 percent, African American, 7 percent.

Reading: 37 percent student average. By race: Asian 49 percent, white 46 percent, Hispanic 25 percent, African American 17 percent.

Writing: 27 percent all students.

Science: 22 percent all students.

U.S. History:12 percent all students.

The full report is here:


Now for my personal story. I was in college and taking very difficult engineering courses. One of my Professors was trying his best to educate us in the hard sciences, emphasis on the "hard". We had a mechanics class, technically "Statics and Mechanics" which deals with various loads, forces and stress levels in different materials. This is a critically important skill to have if you ever want to design any parts to work in any type of machinery, from planes, trains and automobiles to dishwashers, etc.

During the 80's many engineering universities began to admit more women. Many of them had a different idea about how they should be graded. This was news to the traditional male students who were mostly clueless about this social concept. Our test scoring was extremely rigorous and totally unforgiving. Ten test questions were worth ten points each. Either you got them right or wrong. You got either ZERO points for an answer or ten points.

As you can imagine this was a new concept to many of us. The women (yes, only the women would do this - so much for equality) would approach the professor after the class and say something like, 'I got the right answer but I just missed a decimal point. What about partial credit?"

My professor looked at them cold-heartedly and said in broken English, "You build bridge, bridge fall down, NO partial credit!" That was the end of that. He would not budge. It was at that time that I learned the most valuable lesson of my engineering career. He was 100% right. Throughout the years, I never , ever forgot that principle. Sometimes there really is no partial credit in life. You have to get it right 100% or not at all. Sometimes being merciless has great value.

Afterwards I went on in my career to design automotive fuel systems, cruise control systems and missile systems for the military among many other designs. About 10 years ago there was a terrible tragedy in Minnesota where a bridge fell down across a river and killed several people. It was then that the professor's words came back to the front of my mind.

Think about this for a moment. Who do you want as your design engineer for your car's brake systems? How about your airline pilot, or the wing designer? Do you think the military wants smart bombs that work most of the time or all the time? Being from the Houston area, I have had the pleasure to meet many astronauts and NASA personnel. A relative of mine was one of the engineers that designed the plumbing on the International Space Station. What that really means is that he designed the toilet flushing system. Have you ever seen the tv show The Big Bang Theory? They did an episode about a faulty toilet. Without getting graphic, if that system doesn't work, the you know what literally hits the fan.

Think about how many bridges you and your family drive over every day without a care in the world. Do you want an engineer who was trained unmercifully as I was or would you prefer someone who got partial credit?

The government is not capable of providing any educational experience close to what I have and they have proven to be an abysmal failure at social engineering. It's time to end the charade and say to the Dept. of Education, "NO partial credit!"

Monday, May 7, 2018

Common Sense Immigration

My thoughts on immigration. My grandparents came here legally about 110 years ago and I have the Ellis island certificates to prove it. They came her with hopes and dreams like everyone else, but also with a great respect for American values. They very much wanted the American dream. As I have said many times before, we need to look to history for many answers for modern problems. As a logical engineer, I always ask myself and others, “Why not do what has worked in the past? If it worked then, it will probably work now.”

In order to be admitted to the USA, they had to do three things. 1. Pass a health check – if you were sick, you were sent back. No one was allowed to be a burden on the taxpayers, 2. Have a USA sponsor who was financially responsible for you. Again, not a burden on the taxpayers, 3. Sign a form stating you would not take any welfare. Yet again, not a burden on the taxpayers. After that you were free to go, best of luck to you.

Of course, it went without saying – if you committed a crime you were gone. I cannot believe that if either side of my family, Italian or Irish, had a relative who was a criminal that they would tolerate that behavior. It was hard enough as it was – anyone who did that would tarnish the family name and make it harder for the rest of the Irish or Italian community to get ahead. As newly arrived immigrants, there was much struggle to gain a foothold and achieve legitimacy. No one wanted a bad apple to ruin it for the rest of them.

My Italian grandfather apparently had offers to go to work for a certain group of people in New York, you know who they are, and he said no to that offer. It was time to abandon the old ways. He did not want to associate with any criminals, it was more important to assimilate legally and prosper. They told me there were signs on building that said, “Irish need not apply.” And also signs that read, “Italians need not apply.” Our family had to look out for each other and help each other whenever possible. I could go on and tell you how poor they were and what we had to do to survive, but there were so many others in the same circumstance.

My father told me that when my Uncle Pete came over he had a “letter of introduction” to others in the community vouching for his character from a well-off businessman. Some members of my family had to go back and forth a few times before they could establish themselves. Makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it? If they got a job, they paid taxes like everyone else, no big deal. They were glad to be here. If not, you went back, re-grouped, came back and tried again.

My Italian grandfather even forbid my grandmother from speaking Italian in the home. He said the children need to learn English and adapt to America as quickly as possible. That was how he hoped they would succeed. They all had to work under the existing system and learn to play by the rules to get ahead. There was no “accommodation” requested or expected. They all wanted to prove that they could succeed just like others before them and they wanted that pride of accomplishment. I could go on, but the parallel to today’s issues is exactly appropriate. We used to have an open system but ZERO welfare. Yes, it was hard but also efficient and it produced an incredible generation as a result.

Today’s immigration system is a mess because we combined too many conflicting values into one catch all system. We should separate immigration from welfare and also separate it from temporary worker systems. My only change or minimum addition to the older system would be to add a background check requirement for filtering out criminals and terrorists because of modern problems. I know for a fact that my grandparents would not want anyone in this country who was illegal or a criminal, no matter where they came from. That is what they were leaving behind in the old countries. The rule of law was sacred to them and part of the attraction of the American Dream.

It amazes me that even today we cannot have an intelligent conversation about immigration without euphemisms. Either you are legal or not. A young man I met last week commented that “We cannot have different classes of people!”. I replied , “Yes, there are different classes of people, and it is perfectly legal.” Criminals are a different class of people. They are further divided into groups based on offenses – misdemeanor and felony. Have you ever paid extra or been upgraded on an airline seat? What do they call that section?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Katy ISD bonds, more money for what?

I am a tea Party member, several representatives of the bond committee attended the last meeting to gather info on our group, but here are undeniable facts:

Katy ISD budget facts Source: Houston chronicle 8/15/2010

Employment: 4732 teachers, 3537 non-teachers (57%/43% ratio!!)
New proposed budget: $561.9 million
Estimated revenues: $558.5 million (3 million deficit)
General fund expenditures: $448 million
Start $78.6 million balance (surplus)
Debt service: $85.8 million
Debt service fund revenues: $82.6 million ($3 million deficit)
TOTAL current bond debt : $916,813,286

Property Tax rate base : $20 billion (2.17% higher than 2009)
Tax rate: $1.1266 per $100 valuation And $0.40 per $100 valuation for debt service
Combined tax rate: $1.5266

Enrollment: 60,857 students (4.18% increase over 2009)

My comments - This means that it will take about 10 years simply to pay off the existing debt. If the new bond is passed, the total debt will exceed ONE BILLION DOLLARS. Are they saying we need another $450 million for a 4% projected enrollment increase? How about trimming non-teacher staff levels to a more acceptable 80%/20% ration like a real business would do? The only feedback I get is that"our numbers are better than the surrounding districts" (which are failing miserably). So, we are a step above poor/mediocre? What ever happened to excellence? How about insisting on excellence in fiscal management?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Wal-Mart vs. The Morons

Wal-Mart vs. The Morons

1. Americans spend $36,000,000 at Wal-Mart Every hour of every day.

2. This works out to $20,928 profit every minute!

3. Wal-Mart will sell more from January 1 to St. Patrick's Day (March 17th) than Target sells all year.

4. Wal-Mart is bigger than Home Depot + Kroger + Target +Sears + Costco + K-Mart combined.

5. Wal-Mart employs 1.6 million people, is the world's largest private employer, and most speak English.

6. Wal-Mart is the largest company in the history of the world.

7. Wal-Mart now sells more food than Kroger and Safeway combined, and keep in mind they did this in only fifteen years.

8. During this same period, 31 big supermarket chains sought bankruptcy.

9. Wal-Mart now sells more food than any other store in the world.

10. Wal-Mart has approx 3,900 stores in the USA of which 1,906 are Super Centers; this is 1,000 more than it had five years ago.

11. This year 7.2 billion different purchasing experiences will occur at Wal-Mart stores. (Earth's population is approximately 6.5 Billion.)

12. 90% of all Americans live within fifteen miles of a Wal-Mart.

You may think that I am complaining, but I am really laying the ground work for suggesting that MAYBE we should hire the guys who run Wal-Mart to fix the economy.

This should be read and understood by all Americans Democrats, Republicans, EVERYONE!!

To President Obama and all 535 voting members of the Legislature,

It is now official you are ALL corrupt morons:

a.. The U.S. Postal Service was established in 1775. You have had 234 years to get it right and it is broke.

b.. Social Security was established in 1935. You have had 74 years to get it right and it is broke.
c.. Fannie Mae was established in 1938. You have had 71 years to get it right and it is broke.

d.. War on Poverty started in 1964. You have had 45 years to get it right; $1 trillion of our money is confiscated each year and transferred to "the poor" and they only want more.

e.. Medicare and Medicaid were established in 1965. You have had 44 years to get it right and they are broke.

f.. Freddie Mac was established in 1970. You have had 39 years to get it right and it is broke.

g.. The Department of Energy was created in 1977 to lessen our dependence on foreign oil. It has ballooned to 16,000 employees with a budget of $24 billion a year and we import more oil than ever before. You had 32 years to get it right and it is an abysmal failure.

You have FAILED in every "government service" you have shoved down our throats while overspending our tax dollars.


Folks, keep this circulating. It is very well stated. Maybe it will end up in the e-mails of some of our "duly elected' (they never read anything) and their staff will clue them in on how Americans feel.

My editorial note: I recently attended a Katy Tea Party meeting and met some great people. I shared with them my personal story - My 101 year old grandmother recently had a hip operation, and she is doing fine. If Obamacare was in effect, she would be dead. We had two choices, sedate her and make her "comfortable" in her last days, or operate. We chose life. Now she is up and moving around, hoping to get home and work in the garden again. I am glad that the government does not have this power - yet.

Monday, May 17, 2010

It's the spending, stupid!

Dear Friend:
this article appeared in the Houston Chronicle this weekend:

Balancing, Act II
How not to deal with our projected $18 billion state budget deficit
May 15, 2010, 4:33PM

Houston Mayor Annise Parker isn't the only one struggling to make budget numbers add up.

Texas House Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, has been handed some discouraging early word about the state budget for the coming biennium. Deficits for the budget could reach $18 billion, says Rep. Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee.

This isn't exactly unexpected. Preliminary estimates had the deficit pegged at near $11 billion. A revenue shortfall of about $3.5 billion in the current budget cycle evidently helped balloon the deficit estimates for the coming two years.

If you don't recall deficit troubles of this size last time around in Austin, that's because the state's bacon was saved by the Obama administration's stimulus package. For all Gov. Rick Perry's carping about the stimulus, he and others weren't too proud to use those federal funds to buff up the state's budget picture.

As a first response to this news Straus has done the politic thing. The speaker has come out against new taxes while putting most everything else on the table as a solution.

Among other things, he's mentioned placing a moratorium on new programs requiring state money, halting the issuance of new bonds, and imposing four-day workweeks and unpaid furloughs on state workers.

We have a couple of early thoughts to offer the speaker and other state leaders as they ponder the situation.

One is that the state budget must not be balanced on the backs of Texas' poor and uninsured. That would be mean-spirited; it's also false economy. Most programs for these Texans come with generous federal matches that make them a bargain. In any case, failing to insure the uninsured only drives them to emergency rooms, where costs for care spiral. Let's not go there, please.

We would also take off the table those early proposals to legalize casino gambling as a means of balancing the budget . We agree with Gov. Perry that gambling is a bad bargain. Experience shows that casinos degrade the environment. Texans should adopt the Not in My Back Yard approach on casinos.

The good news for voters and taxpayers puzzling over the coming budget crunch is that there's a statewide election between now and the opening of the legislative session next January. Everyone with a vote or a veto in these crucial money decisions is running for office.

The budget deficit will be Topic A in Austin in 2011. Our advice to voters is to do your homework on these issues, then question your candidates for state representative and state senator carefully. And do the same with those running for comptroller, lieutenant governor and governor."

I couldn't agree more - we should set an example for the nation by balancing the Texas budget - So I PLEDGE - I will help to balance the Texas Budget and NOT vote for any tax increases of any kind. Likewise, I will NOT try to balance the budget on the backs of the poor.

Too many times I see politicians saying that we need to first cut police and fire services when we balance the budget - Do they think we are fools? This is a blatant attempt at intimidating the public - "If you don't let us spend, we will cut the first thing that hurts you - your safety". This is disgraceful. I will not do that.

The FIRST thing that should be cut is GOVERNMENT PENSIONS!! It is ludicrous to think that a government pension should be 2x or 3x better than the private sector - who works for whom? Note - I have NO pension at all. I am OK with that, I prefer to have an IRA or 401K. We are NOT GREECE, nor should we emulate them. Start with the end game in mind - Four day work week? NO - how about a 5 day work week and 10% pay cut!! Temporary budget gimmicks will not fix fundamental policy problems. Don't be fooled!

I believe in DYNAMIC SCORING, not STATIC scoring. This is critical to understanding tax policy and economics - google or wikipedia this term! Simply - if you tax something you get less of it, not more. (Reagan proved it.)

Today in the Wall St Journal there is another brilliant article which proves this point - it is called the "HAUSER EFFECT". It states and proves with years of data that the government will NEVER collect more than 20% of GDP in taxes; after that people cheat, so best to stop taxing above this magic threshold number. Ain't gonna happen.

To prove I am capable, I will soon post my results on my other blog - "ConservativeCultureClub.blogspot.com" as to my math efforts to balance the federal budget. I have no power now, but I do have a calculator! It really is simply a matter of math and courage. Oh, former real world business experience doesn't hurt either.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Katy Tea Party weekend

Hi All,
I attended the Katy Tea Party event this weekend at Taylor High School and it was great. The Tea Party volunteers did a great job with this event and it was educational!
I also had a wonderful opportunity to meet Congressman Ron Paul. He stayed afterwards to meet as many people as he could, which says something about his character. My congressman, Mike McCaul, flew in and out, did not meet anyone. I guess he thinks it is not important to meet the voters.

Congressman/Dr. Paul was his usual self, very much strict in adhering to the Constitution and still very humble. I admire those qualities very much. He took a lot of heat, but it was not deserved, and truth be told, most of it was not really directed at him, just a great deal of frustration with the state of affairs in Washington, D.C

I had a NEW IDEA as I was listening to the candidates, and want to use this as an "Education Moment" for us all. There was one question asked which was - "define "We the People". Well, simply, we the people means all of us, we all have a responsibility to be participating citizens. However, here is what I thought was missing - a call to action.

We the People have three arrows in out quiver if we want to change the government.

1. Mouth - yes, you are allowed to protest, send emails, etc This result is mixed depending upon the character of the rep receiving the message. The Tea Party has done a great job here getting their attention.

However, my additional suggestion - we all need to tell 10 of our friends about this and ask them to tell 10 of their friends, start a viral marketing campaign. That will get more attention.

2. Vote - the ultimate definition of term limits. we all have an opportunity to do this but in between the reps may forget we exist. It is up to each of us to vet the candidates and their integrity and vote wisely. Again, tell 10 of your friends who and why you are voting, encourage them to do the same.

the brass tacks item no one likes, but is also effective -

3. MONEY - campaign contributions. Here is a new twist. I have often found myself frustrated that we in TEXAS don't get a voice because in many cases our choices are between a moderate and a conservative (sometimes). True liberals usually do not fare well here. Many races which will decide our future are not in Texas, as Massachusettes has demonstrated. So what can we do?

Easy - If you do not like Nancy Pelosi, send $10 to her opponent in the next election, same for Harry Reid and Arlen Specter's opponents. Money talks - loudly. Also tell 10 of your friends!!!! We the People can make a difference all over, I encourage you to think this way.

And please don't forget to vote for me in the local Texas election too!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Campaign Platform

Dear Friends:
Here is my platform; I am open to comments and suggestions to make it better.

M Ryan Platform Texas State Rep #132 rev date: 01/20/10

1.Freeze taxes! – The real estate tax system is broken, I will introduce a bill similar to California prop 13 – Your homeowner residential taxes will be frozen at the 2009 levels, no agency will be able to automatically raise them until the house actually sells. The sales price shall determine the new tax rate, no more yearly surprise increase in taxes by arbitrary agencies! Call me “Mr. Freeze”!

Reasoning – most people need to be on a budget, you generally have a fixed mortgage payment, why should this not also apply to government taxes? Why should the government automatically get a raise and take more of your money when things change – like the calendar year? If you were laid off, do you think they would forget about your taxes? Ha.

2. Health care – Simple – KISS principle – two part solution, A) Any health insurance policy sold in TX must not have a pre-existing condition clause, period. This may make insurance more expensive, so we also need part B) make insurance available across state lines, any TX resident can buy any health insurance policy by a registered USA firm. This will increase competition, thereby mitigating potential price increases due to the restriction of No pre-existing conditions.

Reasoning - it is not the right of the federal government to do anything about health care, it is a US Constitutional right reserved for the States – see the US Constitution – Amendment 10 - Powers of the States and People. Ratified 12/15/1791.

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

3.Jobs/Economic prosperity – Again, very simple KISS principle. Any TX registered business with less than 50 employees and or less than one million dollars in revenues in a calendar year is exempt from paying Franchise TAX! If the business grows beyond that mark during the year, then they pay a pro rata share tax based on a monthly calculation.

Reasoning – people will only do what hey are incentivized to do – so if you want less of some activity, then Tax it; if you want more of some activity, DON”T TAX IT!

4.Small business assistance – my favorite project! – The Street Rod Bill! –

Allow the registration (and payment of fees) of custom built automobiles. About 18 other states already have these laws, and they are flourishing. This is a multi-billion dollar cottage industry comprised of small businesses and manufacturers. See website:www.SemaSan.com

Reasoning – many auto mechanics, restoration shops, etc are limited in new business by not having a law like this. This will INCREASE tax revenues with ZERO infrastructure cost to the State. Already introduced last Session HB#2412 due to my grass roots efforts.