Has America gone to the Dogs?

My dog Susie says

The Sky is Falling”



Chicken Little is famed for proclaiming, after being hit on the head with an acorn, that the sky was falling. Her friends, hen, duck, and goose, helped sound the alarm to all the animals when they heard the news. Mr. Fox, however, didn’t really believe it. Instead he used their fears to lure them to his inviting safe den where he enjoyed a great feast of fowl. There’s a lesson to be learned here I reckon.


My Big Mommy and Daddy have been watching the news and there always seems to be somebody on TV telling us that the sky is falling. I know things are bad, but are they as bad as World War II?  Or World War One? Or Viet Nam? The Cold War? How about the 10 year Depression in the 30’s? I don’t think so!


One advantage to being a dog instead of a human is that we sort of keep things in perspective. And since we don’t live very long compared to people, we sort of keep things more positive. We don’t sweat the small things and try to stay ahead of the pack by watching what’s around us at all times. You never know when you might run into a bear or mountain lion in the woods. So, let’s look at the facts and see if it’s fixable.


This current economic downturn began in 2006 according to most experts. But it really began in 1996. That year mortgage companies started giving generous discounts on mortgages to congressmen and women. Over the years, these representatives stated that they only received the same benefits as anyone else and only a few special mortgages were actually utilized. Oh really? CNN reported today that House and Senate members received lower mortgage rates and no up-front fees. Can the average person get this? Also, over a ten year period from 1996-2006, about 17,000 of these special mortgages were given out to our elected officials and other selected individuals. That works out to over 1700 mortgages a year for a total of 100 Senate and 435 House members. So a bunch of their staff and worker-bees must have received these discounted mortgages as well. What about the Presidents office? Hummmm.


Then in 1999 another interesting thing happened. The repeal of a major finance law called Glass-Steagall which was implemented after the bank failures in 1933. The collapse of the banking system is regarded as the main reason for the Great Depression. This law had worked perfectly since then and kept the banks from risking their depositors’ money. So why change a good thing? Was the fox getting into the hen house?


Congress smelled a golden opportunity to use the banks to not only loan money directly to homeowners, but to allow banks to “securitize” these loans into bundles that the banks could sell and own for themselves. This meant that an unlimited amount of money was now available to purchase homes by virtually anyone. Next, Congress decided to dramatically reduce the qualifications and down-payment requirements to purchase a home. Through Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, the two largest mortgage companies in America, pressure was brought again by “well-meaning” Congresspeople to make it easy to buy as many homes as you wished.  Everyone, including undocumented people, jumped on the bandwagon.  How could we lose?


The Stock Market went up to its highest level and peaked in 2007. Much of it was the result of an exploding real estate market. Coincidentally, it was recently acknowledged that all Congresspeople can do something that the average person can’t. In fact, if you do this, you might go straight to jail for a long time.


Unbelievably, these same Congressmen and women can trade on “inside information” for their own stock accounts. In other words, when they decide to do something that might affect an individual company or industry, they can buy stock way before the average citizen knows anything. So let’s summarize:


Starting in 1996, our elected officials could buy a home on special terms. Next, in 1999 a powerful but simple law, Glass-Steagall, which many believe would have prevented our current “Great Recession” was repealed. Wall Street was encouraged to make available trillions of new credit available via the bundling of these “easy” mortgages. The result was a explosion in home values and stock prices. I wonder how many elected officials became millionaires during this time as a result of their actions. This period in history reminds me of a children’s game where you run around chairs until there aren’t enough to sit down and everyone loses but one. Are we the losers and Washington officials the “one”? Maybe Chicken Little was right!


Eventually, the whole financial domino game imploded. My Daddy frequently follows a premise in all his business dealings. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Where would we all be, if Washington had followed this?


Catch you later,


Sandy and Susie


P.S. I had a lot of help with this as my Big Mommy and Big Daddy are business people. However, being a Border Collie I’m smarter than you think. How smart? Well, I know which city has the most people making over $200,000 a year. Is it New York, Dallas, Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Houston? Nope. It’s Washington D,C. There you go!


To read a few more “Susie says” barks: http://sandy-steele.blogspot.com


More info on Sandy Steele:  http://sandysteele.com





Animal House


My dog Susie says

History repeats itself?

I was reading my USA TODAY and realized that the world is in real turmoil. We give lots of money to nations that give us oil, but they’re mad at us. Our friends in Europe whom we’ve supported for years don’t particularly like us either. We buy things from the Chinese, who then give us back lots of money, don’t really trust or like us. We give money both to the Republicans and Democrats whom really don’t like each other in Congress. And the President is constantly mad at Congress and half of the nation. We also pay his salary don’t we? Rich against poor, haves against have-nots, the 99% vs. the 1%. What does all this mean and is there a solution? 

It seems that the problem is money! Even if you’re a dog, you can’t buy real love or friendship by simply paying for it. If you’re mean to me, than I won’t like you even if you feed me filet mignon every night. I do have my principles. My first principle is “to treat someone like I’d want to be treated.” And speaking of treats( my favorite subject), if Mom loaded me up every day and night for years with treats, I’d become very fat and die at an early age. So you see by paying all of these countries and people lots of money for all of these years has made them resent us in the end. And the same with our elected officials. The more we give the more they disdain us. So why don’t we try something different but very simple. Stop giving any of them any money or support. Take it away and let them be on their own for a while. They won’t starve and maybe just maybe, they might appreciate what “We the people…” means!  

I decided to call a little quorum in my neighborhood to see what ideas the animals could come up with. Meeting in the local park, the dogs, cats, parrots, eagles, pigeons and squirrels all had opinions on what humans should think about doing to fix the problem. The dogs, cats and parrots all were taken care of by humans. The eagles, pigeons and squirrels were all on their own. So it was sort of a have and have-not conference. An animal house. Perfect! 

After hours of ideas and debating, it seemed that the best recommendation came from an Italian Greyhound named Luigi. It seems that being an Italian by birth, Luigi was a history buff as well. He had a quote from some American businessman named Buffet that he really liked, “If you want to know what’s going to happen in the future, look at the past.” Hence Luigi said we should examine what’s happened over the last few thousand years or so. 

A long time ago the most powerful nation on earth was Rome. The people of Rome worked hard for themselves, trained armies and conquered one nation after another. Slowly, year after year , century after century, the Roman people became fat and sassy. Their Senate and Caesar ruled and taxed everyone and graft was the rule of the day. To keep the armies happy, the people had to keep spending huge sums on keeping the conquered empire intact. The ultra rich became so bored with daily life, their emperor was obliged to create entertainment for the masses. Hence, the Coliseum was created to watch man battle man, and man slaughter animals. And to keep paying for everything the people with money were constantly taxed and the people without much became servants or slaves. The soul and spirit of their great nation, along with the Coliseum, began to crumble, eventually died and never returned to its former glory. Luigi said everyone in Washington D.C and Congress should be given an assignment to read the “ The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire.”  

Our little group of animals hope that the humans of this great nation study a little and try harder to solve the Country’s problems together, without the animosity. If cats and dogs and eagles and squirrels can all get along, don’t you think the “smartest” race on earth can too?  

Catch you later,

Susie and Sandy, 

P.S. A stranger in town approached me. “Lay down, lay down doggie,” ordered the man. “Lay down, I say!”

Soon a bystander approached the stranger and stated. “ Mister, you’ll have to say, ‘Lie down, Lie down‘, because that’s a Border Collie.” 

To see more of Susie’s barks go to: www.sandy-steele.blogspot.com 

For additional info on Sandy Steele go to: www.sandysteele.com

It’s not Calculus

Sandy Steele’s dog Susie Says 

It’s not Calculus  

Sandy was reading the newspaper to me recently when I discovered that I would rather look at the comics. Every time she saw something about taxes, government debt and the idiots running the government, she would blow a gasket. When she finally went back to her bedroom to take a nap, I picked up the paper and took it outside and used it for a blotter. Ahh, relief is only a fish-wrapper away. 

You know, I’m 3 years old but still a teenager by government math. I think I’m a lot smarter than the crew running our government. As I see it the problem of balancing the checkbook is simple. Put all the Congresspeople and the President in a room and lock them in without food and water and no bathroom. And don’t let them come out until they agree to use 2+2 =4 not equals 5, 6 or 10. I’d bring in my German buddies the Dobermans and the Shepherds to guard the room to make sure no one gets out until they pass the math test. I bet you they’d agree to work together and solve this simple problem. I mean who wants to pee in public. 

Well,  that’s all for now as I’ve got to run over to the dog park and see what’s happening with the girls. Got to keep up with the gossip. 

Catch you later, 

Susie and Sandy 

P.S. A Washington Senator said to a House Representative: “Hey, does your dog have a good pedigree?” The House member replied, “Does he? If my dog could talk, he wouldn’t speak to either of us.” 

For more info on Sandy & Susie go to www.sandysteele.com

Can’t we all just get along..


Sandy Steele’s dog Susie Says


Those geniuses in Washington


Sandy is taking a nap, so I thought this would be a good time to type and twitter. My name is Susie and I’m her Border Collie.


I was watching some TV recently and noticed that it had a lot of “human” dogs barking and “people” cats hissing and scratching over something called the debt ceiling and budget deficit. Congressmen and women fighting like cats and dogs! I haven’t seen so much commotion since that sneaky raccoon got into the neighbors garage and pooped in their convertible Mercedes.


My mom Sandy says to just ignore that kind of stuff and focus on really important things like what’s going on with Schwarzenegger’s lovechild or Donald Trump’s latest political speech . You know when people or dogs do something stupid they always try to ignore the consequences by either saying, “it was taken out of context,” or denying it ever happened. Somehow the truth always come out and they look more stupid than before.


I remember when I was just a puppy and unfortunately took a leak on the kitchen floor. Instead of owning up to my accident, I tricked Dusty, the male boxer from next door, into coming inside my house and hanging around the kitchen. When Sandy came home the “patsy” Dusty looked guilty and was blamed for the doggy lemonade on the floor. I was innocently “sleeping” on the couch and of course didn’t know anything. The point I’m trying to make is those animals in Washington are experts at blaming everyone but themselves for the problems they help create.


On a lighter note, I realized that people are getting fatter than ever. I’m not sure how it happened because I always seem to weigh the same. Of course, I run everywhere and mom fixes me nutritious meals with fish and stuff like that. If Sandy was cooking for the nation, I have a feeling that the health care mess wouldn’t be so bad. People would feel and look better, spend little or no money on pharmaceutical drugs and have more sex. However, I’m just a 3 year old Border Collie that Sandy rescued, so what do I know?


I know that the actual plural of genius is actually genii, but that’s just showing off!


Catch you later!


Susie and Sandy


P.S. Cat’s motto: No matter what you’ve done wrong, always make it look like the dog did it.


For more info on Sandy & Susie go to www.sandysteele.com