Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Authoritative Socialist Mind

Ever notice that Socialists are driven to denigrate their opponents, even those other Socialists with whom they might disagree on a minor point? It seems to be the lot of these strange socialists to be disagreeable and especially to try to control the lives of their fellow humans. So, should we conservatives try and adopt those strange and ridiculous socialist ways or should we ignore them and go on our own path?

Well, the answer to that ponderous question is “Yes!” Yes in the sense that we should adopt those ways, and means, that have been so effectively used by socialists of every stripe. An example being the Alinsky technique of ridiculing others in any way possible. Yes, we should thusly ridicule socialists every time their open their mouth and make stupid statements. Put them down sharply, without remorse or qualm, or pangs of conscience. Does anyone truly believe that socialists give a damn about the feelings of anyone else? They truly do not, as shown time and again by socialist everywhere.

Recently, a college professor of some stripe claimed that he understood why conservatives loved war and loved to exert authoritative control over others. Not certain why this poor benighted individual did not recognize that his nanny state friends loved to tell everyone else how to live, what to eat, when to drive, how to move from place to place and whatever else might come to mind as an action or act to control in some way.

It seems that the nanny state mind set socialists exhibit is much more representative of the classical authoritative command and control state condition we’ve seen exist throughout human history. The more recent examples include Castro’s Cuba, Chavez’s Venezuela, North Korea, China’s “State Capitalism,” Iran’s theocratic form of state control, the Sudan, and many other such examples throughout our history. More distant, yet still recent examples include the USSR, any of the former Eastern European Bloc counties, Nazi Germany, Mussolini’s Italy, and Argentina under either Peron.

We tend to mask the history of this set of dictatorships by calling them fascists or Nazi or old-fashioned Communism. Russia’s version of communism killed many millions of its own people. Nazi Germany killed not only its own people but many peoples of many other countries. China’s Mao killed probably more of his own fellow citizens than any other tyrant in history. Vietnam’s Uncle Ho was not a kindly type of uncle since he too killed many of his people and many of his political opponents.

Still, this college professor claims that conservatives are the ones who love war and who love authoritative governments. He claimed that President George W. Bush established a dictatorship (Run by Vice President Cheney!), which restricted our American freedoms, controlled our lives, dictated what we could do or not do, and lastly must have killed off many millions of us Americans. Strange, never knew that to have happened. Although it’s certainly possible something might have happened and our famed investigative press did not know of those acts.

However, this is the same press that never noticed any of the issues that have arisen from President Obama’s administration, so this kind professor might have a point. No, wrong, the Obama question seems to have another cause and not the lack of investigative ability of our press.

My guess is that this strange and benighted college professor is another in a long line of socialists, who have tried to hide behind the shield of false claims, or spurious statements, and wild accusations to settle down smugly in a cloistered study, safe from criticism or from open honest debate. Socialists truly do live in a closed state of being; one where honest debate is non-existent, where socialist orthodoxy rules all activities.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

9. Socialism must be destroyed

The phrase in Turkish under the heading of my blog, if I did it correctly, reads that Socialism must be destroyed. This is loosely based on Cato the Elder’s personal motto was that Carthage must be destroyed. That ancient time period would have been before the third and final war between Carthage and Rome. Rome did defeat Carthage for a third time and utterly destroyed Carthage, removing for all time whatever threat Carthage had been to Rome.

It’s not my intent to actually destroy socialism, which is, after all, a philosophy, but with sinister results wherever it’s been tried. So, how does one defeat, destroy such a belief? I really don’t know, just like I don’t know how authoritarian governments can destroy the idea of freedom. As long as Mankind exists, the desire, the need for freedom will be present within some humans.

So, no, I do not expect socialism to be destroyed, merely totally discredited each time it is resurrected. It took many years from the time of ancient Athens to the era of America resuming the concept of freedom in our daily lives. We Americans either work to maintain our freedom, actually each of our many freedoms, or we lose all.

After World War II, there was a saying in the USA that” It couldn’t happen here;” meaning that Nazism and Communism couldn’t grow in freedom’s fertile soil. That saying was most na├»ve at best since we are now on the road to turning our freedom over to those who would like to rule us in the name of something holy; actually something unholy.

What must be destroyed is the idea that socialism could thrive and grow here. Our native soil only allows, hopefully, strong ideas of freedom and liberty. All authoritarian concepts need to wilt and diminish in our country.

8. Taxes are necessary.

Taxes really are necessary, our government could not exercise its many obligations without funds, which taxes provide. So, what are many of us complaining about when we complain about taxes?

The answer really does depend on many factors.

First of all, full disclosure. My wife and I are both retired. Most of our income is from Social Security, augmented with a small private pension. Yet the issue of having more taxes on income affects us greatly too. Without a continued inflow of collections from wage earners, Social Security will dry up; how fast will that happen and will it affect me, don’t know; of course, if Social Security were a private venture, it would be considered a Ponzi Scheme and its malefactor organizers would be hauled off to prison. Just to close this off, we live reasonably well, we eat well, so we’re doing Ok. What’s to complain about anyway, except for the ever increasing burden of income tax on folks.

TEA Partiers, in part, complain about additional taxes resulting from the new healthcare law and from the possible legislation on energy consumption because they see the waste and fraud that seems to be rampant in many government works. The much discussed VAT seems destined to be imposed on top of existing taxes, which greatly reduces the ability of citizens to improve their lot. They also hear, and understand, that the current tax code is very complex, to the point that several of President Obama’s key appointees had tax problems. The new head of the Treasury Department blames his tax errors on tax preparation software, plus his own human error of forgetting about certain portions of his income; so easy to forget to declare that income.

In 1942, so I’m told, FDR instituted payroll withholding for income tax, greatly speeding up federal revenue streams during World War II. What matters for many of us is our take home pay. Of course, if we’re one of those working for an enlightened company, we can also deposit money into a savings plan, 401k, or buy health insurance for our family, all of which affect our take home, or make other payments on other desired benefits. We now don’t typically notice the impact of taxes, or other deductions, unless we take care to examine our pay records; out of sight, out of mind. One last point is that until payroll withholding began, Americans wrote a check to cover paying their income taxes and generally Americans paid their taxes. But not all! I was told, as a very young boy, that one of my great Uncles never paid taxes; he was kind of the black sheep of the family. Fortunately, he was an uncle by marriage so his tainted bloodline didn’t contaminant the rest of the family. Told never to mention this, which should not be a factor now, since so many long years have passed. Uncle who?

Still, people complain about taxes. Much of that seems to be related to the complexity of filing the annual income tax forms. Many people today either use a tax preparer or use tax preparation software on the home computer. And, many of us have made mistakes. Few of those mistakes involve more than a slap on the wrist or serious other penalties, which also have seemed to escape Obama’s appointees who also made mistakes; such an example they’ve set.

Many tax payers really are reasonable sorts, willing to pay a fair share but not to pay good money for purposes of funding massive loosely defined give-a-ways or other such fraud ridden programs. We really don’t understand when people who couldn’t afford to buy a house under the older rules, bought that house under the newer rules. We don’t understand why to satisfy what some said were the 15% who didn’t have health insurance, the 85% who felt they’re in good shape medical coverage wise had to take a financial hit. We don’t understand why the government has to fire a scatter shot at multiple targets rather than focusing in on specific needs. What it gets down to is trying to comprehend why a new tax is needed?

The issue of reducing spending rather than increasing revenues is one of balance and more to the point of policy. Too many times, our politicians say that a new tax is needed to raise revenues for a specific purpose and then we find that the dollars raised are not enough.

From my point of view, taxes need to be simplified and fair. If the rich need to pay more, percentage wise, than the poorer, then let that be a reasonable difference. Recall that when South Sea Bubble burst or the Dutch Tulip Bubble burst, when the better off citizens lost their shirts, the poor suffered their loses and that hurt more too. When tax policy can be used to try to punish some for their political beliefs, like Nixon of accursed memory did to his “enemies,” then our tax collection practices needs changing.

So, is our federal tax policy meant to punish the rich or reward the poor or something else? If tax policy is meant to raise revenues for justifiable expenditures, then make that tax policy fair, trustworthy, and supportable. Making tax policy to save the “children” doesn’t work all the time or for many more times either.

7. Coffee versus Tea.

My personal hot drink of choice is coffee; my wife prefers brewed tea, simply a matter of choice. Yet, in many such matters, not everything is as simple as that choice.

The so-called Coffee Party Rallies don’t seem to make sense. A video of a founding party gathering in St. Louis showed a group of barely interested people gathering in a local coffee house. Notice how the TEA Party people do it. Their rallies generally are outside, in a public place and people bring their own signs, many handmade and hand drawn. Some TEA Partiers have signs bearing similar sayings, others bearing all kinds of slogans and sayings, voicing disagreement with some aspect of the federal government. TEA Partiers don’t gather to drink tea or perhaps any special kind of drink or partake of any special kind of food.

But, let’s get back to coffee. In my humble opinion, bad coffee is something a person shouldn’t drink. Seldom happens to me. Coffee needs to be made very hot, to extract coffee flavorings from the bean or from the ground bean powder. The next step is crucial, coffee needs to be cooled down to a sipping temperature, actual sipping temperature a matter of personal choice. In dire circumstances, or while at a local fast food store, take a couple of chunks of ice and drop them into your coffee cup. In many circles, especially very stuffy ones, blowing on hot coffee to cool it is not considered to be in good taste. However, I always like my coffee to taste good and to be easy to sip. Once sipping temperature has been reached, coffee can be downed as quickly as desired while sometimes engaging others in reasonable conversation. Of course, afterwards, it’s probably time to go join the TEA Party rally.

What makes the TEA Party rallies successful is not the tea, or the coffee preceding the rally, it’s the free exchange of ideas during the rallies. Any Coffee Partiers would be welcome as long as they behave and don’t try to subvert the TEA Party agenda with rowdy behavior.

However, unlike the TEA Party folks, I haven’t seen what the Coffee Party (CP) folks stand for, what they want, or what they’re not getting either from government or from their daily existence. One impression from the video of that St; Louis CP meeting was that the CP folks are perfectly happy with whatever the current federal administration is doing.

In the good old days, coffee houses were considered to be places where radical hippies hung out, plotting all kinds of potentially devastating acts upon society or where some simply hung out with others thought to be cool or neat. Maybe some people just kicked back and listened to Spider John or Dylan if they’re lucky. Sometimes the coffee house coffee was the draw.

But for political relevance in today’s world, TEA Party rallies or townhall meetings are the place to be. We Americans are getting accustomed to speaking our minds openly about governmental actions at all levels. And, that expression is getting full play by the TEA Partiers. What will be interesting will be to find out how this current interest will play out in the fall elections and especially well beyond that. Either we allow our Congress to do what it wishes, even contrary to the wishes of the electorate, or we need to demand real reform, real accountability, and real transparency. Also, asking Congress to read a bill before it’s voted on would be desired too. But also desired would include having sufficient time to have to read over 2,100 pages of a complex omnibus bill; not having adequate time to read the new healthcare legislation before voting on it isn’t conducive to the democratic principles this republic of ours espouses.

We’re not really riding the tiger of myth, yet we need to stay on this course and take it to the end. But, don’t ask when it’ll end! Don’t know that and will find out along with the rest of you.

6. It’s always 1984 now!

Orwell’s novel “1984” really got our mass media types riled up just before that year arrived in the calendar. According to some, this country, and for many the world, were doomed because in the year 1984, Orwell’s version of an authoritarian government was going to come into being, obviously. Well, that didn’t happen, yet in so many ways “1984” is with us always.

Just recently, former President Clinton railed against the modern TEA Partiers, who are rallying against certain aspects of the President Obama administration. Mr. Clinton raised the specter of the 1995 Oklahoma city bombing, which destroyed The Murrah Federal Building, killing 168-man, women, and children; a horrible event in our history. One shame of that terrorist attack was that two Americans planned and executed the bombing, two people who had a grievance against the federal government that somehow was not satisfied.

Mr. Clinton tried to equate the Murrah Building bombing with the protest rallies held by TEA Partiers over the past year or so. Mr. Clinton is wrong. The TEA Partiers have been generally well behaved and orderly, gathering without orders, gathering without much organization except for someone to define where a rally could be held. These people have brought their own hand made signs, with few exceptions and have not been profane or shown anger, violent anger, at federal officials. These TEA Party rallies are peaceful for the most part, especially compared to the WTO and IMF protesters and other similar protests of the Left, which typically include much violence.

What I believe Mr. Clinton is doing is to designate TEA Partiers as the Emmanuel Goldstein of today. Mr. Clinton is trying to make these TEA Party citizens an object of hate and scorn. I certain Mr. Clinton would deny that as his motive yet look at how the main stream press is playing that theme.

One cable TV news channel has condemned a statement made that said this country needs a leader, not simply a president who is a good athlete, that the statement was obvious racist? The news reporter who made that charge was taken aback when others on the show refuted her statement, rightly so in my opinion.

I’m certainly not condemning former President Clinton for he is an accomplished man, with much accruing to his credit. I am however, concerned about how easily our press ignores the good the TEA Partiers are doing, showing their interest in American politics much more than we’ve done before. And, that so-called citizen apathy has usually been attacked by our press; not now!

Just look at how peaceful the TEA Party rallies have been. Yes, there have been a few, very few, signs wildly spewing hateful statements, yes, there has been some violence at these rallies, one in Missouri where labor union thugs attacked a TEA Partier, others where the police have been called to forcibly remove a peaceful protester from a Congressional Representative’s townhall meeting. Also, there was a very recent event in New Orleans where a couple involved in that event who were savagely attacked, with severe injuries, yet the media has ignored that attack; the police seem only slightly interested in solving that attack.

So, yes, there are signs that some in our country are behaving as though they want us to be like that terrible authoritarian society so clearly shown in Orwell’s novel.

Once again, I believe this “1984” like behavior is a result of our press not doing its job. Broadcast media has a wide reach yet it doesn’t report accurately. Too often, the old broadcast networks seem to be repeating lines from a White House press release, the same words, the same phasing, the same highlighting enemies of the state. Print media is more of the same, most often word for word.

Of course, with the print media, we have the reporting services, originally setup up as subscription services for distributing news reports. Today, a news report goes around the world in a flash and then is reported as a fact even when its provenance is absolutely false. Back in the year 2004, one totally false story was reported widely, its originators claiming it was accurate even though it was false. That was a low point in so-called journalistic reporting, in my opinion.

So, today we’re at the point that a politician may claim that his, or her, opponents are evil simply because they exist. Do these politicians want the 2-minutes of hate to be directed at who-so-ever they wish? It seems that if those politicians expect that kind of behavior, our country is really in for tough times.

American politics always has been a full contact sport, if that football analogy may be used. Going all the way to our founding and then with our first several presidents, wild claims have been made, wild statements about an opponent’s health, wealth, acts, and beliefs have strained American credulity, sometimes producing an opposite result from that desired and sometimes right on target.

Yet, this recent smear on the TEA Partier’s has gone almost too far. This smear would not succeed if the press did its job but that might ever happen?

This mixing of news with opinion with less than reliable information is greatly harming this country. Those budding journalists who wish to do “good” have done much harm. When demagoguery is not challenged by the press, we all lose. What the press does not understand is that they shall lose too. Perhaps there’s been a small awakening going on with our press when they mildly protest how the current White House has been treating them. However, no one should hold their breath waiting for our press to roar back to life.

5. Words and so what?

“It’s just words,” so said Senator Obama on one of his campaign stops in 2008. He meant that his opponent was just throwing words around and so what! Obama’s campaign portrayed him as a moderate, with centrist leanings, and many persons liked what they heard; so he was elected president.

Senator McCain made several statements during that campaign that Senator Obama severely criticized, statements that now more accurately reflect what President Obama’s administration is doing. But then that was just words, both Senator McCain’s words and now President Obama’s words.

Words do count for something, they reflect what we’re trying to say; at least that seems to have been the “old time” belief, maybe now an outmoded belief. President Obama’s acts more properly reflect what some might say is a progressive, Socialist, agenda. Obama’s actions are not those of a moderate, centrist leader.

However, Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, disregarded criticism of Obama’s based on his campaign words, rejecting his campaign promises as mere trifles, words meant to be ignored. Does Speaker Pelosi means that campaign promises are mere words, without meaning or substance? If not that, what does the Speaker mean in fact?

Senate Majority Harry Reid has said, about the Iraq War surge, that the USA “lost” that war, which we now seem to have won. Leader Reid called President Bush despicable names and used most derogatory words about that president. Today, Leader Reid decries similar such statements about President Obama! Is this an example that outrage depends on who’s Ox is gored? Or, are all such statements unacceptable? It’s not clear from Leader Reid’s examples.

President Obama is praised as being most intelligent and an orator of great renown. When Obama doesn’t have a teleprompter handy, his speech includes a lot of “umm,” “ah,” and “now wait a minute” statements while he considers what he should say. It’s given that President Obama has got a tremendous voice, a low baritone or tenor voice, with a great pleasing resonance. Yet, Obama is not a good off-the-cuff speaker. His speeches best succeed when his teleprompter is working and he’s delivering a well prepared talk. However, even then, content matters and words matter, in my very humble opinion. President Obama has declared himself to have considerable humility, like his good friend Prime Minister Rudd of Australia. That’s most humble of the president describing himself that way.

Obama asked early on that we judge him by the people surrounding him, by his associates, by those he nominates to high federal office. A former appointee, Van Jones, is a self-confessed Communist, Bill Ayres, a known Socialist( He claims to be a communist with a small c), as is Ayres’ wife, others in his administration praise Mao the Tyrant, so if Obama is not a Socialist, some close associates and appointed high federal employees certainly are. Cass Sunstein, Obama’s “Regulatory Czar,” has said that power comes from the muzzle of a gun, quoting Mao the Tyrant; does that mean Obama has the same belief?

What to believe? Can we believe Obama’s words or those of his staunch supporters? If not, what do we use instead? What about acts?

The Day after November 2nd

Well, will the day after this year’s mid-terms bring a reaction from the Democrats? It’s been expected that the Democrat Party will lose its majority in the House and perhaps also in the Senate. So, will the Democrats go ahead with their threat to pass legislation during the lame duck session that it wasn’t willing to pass before the elections? We’ll find out soon enough! The Republicans, if they in fact win majorities in the houses of Congress, can always make the strong suggestion they’d be more than willing to freeze anything the Obama Administration might try and pass in the new Congress. Perhaps that Republican suggestion will include holding back funding for any new or expanded Administration effort?

But, one concern I have is in regard to Candidate Obama’s statement that he wanted a “civilian police force with the same size budget as the Pentagon!” I recall this statement was made during a 2008 campaign stop in Colorado. Obama’s statement was not highly discussed during the campaign yet it goes far beyond what anyone else, to the best of my knowledge, has ever proposed for this country. Obama’s statement is that he wanted a federal police force, one to enforce a federal mandate on the population. So, what could that mandate be? Of course, if this assertion is correct, certainly the Obama’s federal police force statement is correct, then what’s next. When President Bush had the Patriot Act passed, there was much gnashing of teeth that Bush was trying to bring about a police state. Well, few of us on the Conservative side of politics shared that fear of Bush but I certainly do share that fear regarding Obama.

Remember, Obama is the one who has made many apologies for America’s past behaviors and acts. Obama has indicated that he did not want “victory” in either Iraq or Afghanistan yet seemed to offer victory to the Arab states versus Israel. His wife said, during the 2008 campaign, that she felt proud of America for the first time, so she too had strong reservations about our country. President Obama’s ego is very large, every time he speaks, he talks about what his plans are, what his department heads are doing, what his administration wants to accomplish, never about America or what the country’s federal departments are doing. If nothing else, Obama has been the strangest president we’ve ever had.

So, yes, I do suspect that President Obama will not stand by and allow a diminishment of his administration to happen, not without a fight. I suspect Obama would use a lame duck Congress to put through his concept of a federal police force of a sufficient strength to mimic the Pentagon in size.

There’s an old adage that power tends to corrupt and that absolute power corrupts absolutely. I doubt whether Obama would be further corrupted by power since he’s been most successful trying to remake this country into his image of a Socialist state. Obama’s background is that of a Socialist first mentored by Frank Davis in Hawaii, later associating with Bill Ayers in several ways back in Chicago and perhaps even while both were at Columbia University, plus accounts of his being at various gatherings of Socialist groups during the 1980s and 1990s. Obama has shown to date a marked tendency to use his office’s strong administration powers rather than attempt to get something through Congress, that contempt for Congress might very well manifest itself after November 2nd.

Somehow, I doubt whether Obama’s being on track to be a one term president is of strong concern to him. Of far more concern is whether he is successful in remaking America to fit his ideological image, where wealth is redistributed, where personal effort is not the concern but rather that everyone be treated fairly regardless of effort; where equal outcomes are guaranteed not equal opportunity; in other words, the Socialist dream.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

A debate mislabeled

The debate over the planned mosque near Ground Zero in New York City is not over religious freedom in my opinion. It’s more simply about Islamic proponents planning a poke in the eye of America. Right after the 9/11 attacks, then President Bush went out of his way to emphasize that our fight wasn’t with Islam, it was against those terrorist groups who hated America and wished to destroy our country. President Bush included Islamic clerics in the memorial service planned for that attack. His continued statements supported the concept that we were not fighting Islam but instead those who waged terror against us and those nation groups which supported those terrorists.

Even at the end of his administration, Bush continued to emphasize that Islam was not our enemy.

As President Obama begin his term of office, he too continued the same theme that President Bush had begun. At times, there have been statements coming out of the Obama Administration that seemed quite strange to many, such as the statement that NASA’s primary mission was outreach to Muslims. Yet, that too was generally somewhat dismissed as so much, relatively harmless, administration rhetoric.

Yet, now the planned mosque to be built where the old Burlington Coat Factory building sits is controversial. Debris from the 9/11 attacks fell upon the roof of that 13-story Burlington Coat Factory Building, a collateral physical victim, so to speak, of those devastating terror attacks. We lost almost 2,900 Americans in the attacks on New York, the Pentagon, and Flight 93, so yes, there is a sensitivity to raising what some find to be that strange poke in America’s eye, especially as an Islamic outreach effort.

The Pentagon has provided a Muslim prayer room where the Pentagon was attacked by Flight 77. This is a low key effort to provide some comfort to Muslims working in the Pentagon and because our government, in effect, provided this space, and did it quietly, little or no cry has been raised about this prayer room. Would it be more appropriate to say this is a Muslim Chapel?

Flight 93 was downed near Sharpsville, PA, and there’s a memorial planned for the impact where that civilian airliner was crashed. Of course, there too is something related to Islam planned for that memorial. Part of the landscaped memorial is in the apparent shape of an Islamic Crescent. There’s been periodic outcries against having that crescent laid out in the memorial yet that plan seems to go forward.

I personally have not heard any major commentator, except those in the main stream media, mention objections per se to building a mosque in New York, which already has many such Islamic places of worship. Building a mosque where the Burlington Coat Factory stands is more, in my opinion, a strong statement that some proponents of Islam feel they are at war with America’s culture. Speaker Pelosi is raising the temperature over this Ground Zero Mosque by demanding an investigation into those funding the objections to the mosque; she then changed her stance by demanding an investigation into the mosque funding; perhaps she’s starting to do a “flip-flop” of her very own on this topic.

President Obama, of course, weighed in to say that the mosque should be built, then weighing in to say he wouldn’t comment on that topic; too late, sir. But, President Obama seems more than willing to weigh in against what he’s termed the bitter clingers, holding onto to their firearm and Christian religion. Well, what is Imam Rauf doing but holding onto his religion with all his might, and State Department Funding for his mission of outreach to those of the Islamic faith, as he goes forward with his mosque building plans near Ground Zero.

Would Imam Rauf support a plan to build a church, or synagogue, in Saudi Arabia, in Medina or Mecca? He might say that’s different because the Kingdom holds the two Muslim holy cities and that no infidel is allowed in those two holy cities. He probably would say, also, that even planning such a venture is an insult against Islam; I’d give him that. Yet I’m also certain that Imam Rauf would declare that his planned NYC mosque is an effort of outreach to Americans. I don’t understand how that could be, but his words as to his intent, and they are his words, are what they are.

Let Imam Rauf build his mosque anywhere else but on or near Ground zero and the controversy will go away.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Communications and how it’s not happening!

I follow several cable news programs and pay attention to news broadcasts quite a bit. One point that truly brothers me is how inept many TV personalities are when it comes to interviewing people. I was watching a fascinating forum show tonight about the recently enacted federal health care legislation and listened as the host asked leading questions, one after another. Leading questions can be useful if you’re trying to get the responder to answer in a certain direction, but which is not desirable in my opinion.

Another frustrating characteristic of some hosts is to expound greatly about his, or her, opinion and then at long last ask a guest what his opinion is. The shows I’ve seen on cable news networks usually have a profoundly obvious political position or position on the topic at hand. We know their views well.

I was a systems analyst for many years and know well that listening is rated as being 90% of good communications. That meant for me to do my job and discover what my clients needs, I had to listen to them and try and draw out as much information as possible. Most times, there had to be several such sessions with an individual before my thoughts about the needs and requirements were fully understood. That included feedback sessions where I would try and express my understandings and determine where corrections or changes were needed.

Well, that approach, the systems analyst method, wouldn’t work for the typical time-constrained show. Yet, the concept of listening is very applicable. Too often, a host will ramble on about his views and then leave the last little bit of an interview segment for the guest to respond. O’Reilly, Olbermann, Hannity, Matthews, and Brewer are just some hosts who demonstrate that propensity of gabbiness rather than listening to the guest.

What my frustration is that many times the guests have something of value that we, the viewers, might want to hear. But, that something is lost for that moment and might be discovered down the road. Yet sometimes never does come for everything.

The age we live in now is exciting and perhaps even interesting (That old Chinese curse then again!) with the wealth of information available to us. The internet has opened up vast amount of information and raw data, sometimes too vast for many of us. The 24-hour news cable channels also have tended to bombard us with tons of same information, data, opinion, burying us potentially. So, it might come down to knowing what is information, what is opinion, and what is propaganda?

Still, there’s one saving grace and that is the internet itself. While an Olbermann or an O’Reilly might hold down the balance on one side or another, regarding an issue, the internet acts as a counterbalance, lending transparency, exposing propaganda attempts. A recent example was the famed Shirley Sherrod episode, where a fuller accounting of what in fact occurred was made possible via the internet’s many differing outlets.

Still, good interviewing techniques will facilitate better communications and improve our understanding of complex current events. With the federal government seeming wanting to improve its direction of our lives, we need all the help we can get. And, listening remains 90% of communications. So, O’Reilly, Olbermann, Hannity, Matthews, and Brewer, as just some examples, need to listen up and improve their otherwise miserable score in the communications race.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

What a mess we’re in?

Really! We’re in a mess? Really! Well, yes and no. I saw a headline on Drudge that indicated the Obama Administration might direct Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to write off the foreclosed mortgages on their books. I don’t know what that’ll do to our economy but most likely nothing good. Still, that does mean that each of us with a mortgage above water, or without that kind of financial encumbrance, will be paying off someone else’s mortgage; you’re welcome sir.

My neighbor is an over the road trucker, a so-called independent owner operator, and he notices a slacking of business. Of course, to him everything in these United States moves by truck at some point and I can’t disagree too strongly with that. What he says is that truck loads that used to be contracted aren’t right now. For example, the farmer who used to have sawdust hauled to his dairy farm, the wood chips that used to be loaded in Northern Minnesota and hauled down to a landscape supplier, the load of recycled materials that no longer seem to be as common as before. But he still keeps on trucking just not as busy as he used to be. Plus many of his friends also aren’t as busy that they’d like to be. Even with that business slacking, some other drivers refuse to haul a load unless they get “full price” for a load; the dollars per mile for a load.

Some of my other neighbors and friends are not working much at all. Two of them do air-conditioning and furnace installations or repairs. Another person installs and repairs tile and countertops. Another is a plumber. They all say that they’ve been stung by customers being slow to pay, or refuse to pay, for repairs. So, many of them have gone to demanding customers pay by credit card, entered up front. These folks would work hard to complete a job and will work hard to make sure their work meets high standards. Yet, many of their own customers are doing poorly themselves thus the sometime problem of customer payment.

On the other hand, Fannie and Freddie might decide to shell out large globs of money to write off large numbers of foreclosed mortgages. I guess the Obama Administration feels that move by Fannie and Freddie will rejuvenate the economy; nice if true. We also hear news that the July unemployment numbers have gone up, we heard more radio and TV PSAs about how to turn our “huge” loan amounts down to zero. We hear about how our first family is enjoying a well deserved vacation over in Spain and wonder why not spend that money in the Gulf Coast region, still suffering from the aftermath of the BP oil spill; Ok, spending that money in this country would be mostly symbolic, but that’s worth something!

Lastly, we hear how all these many issues are all the fault of “The Bushes,” those of the recent dark and painful past. Then, I recall our national history, how it took about 5-years to go from the Boston Massacre to Lexington and Concord, how it took about 3-years to go from the Boston Tea Party to those same two flash points in our struggles against Britain’s Parliament. So, our new Tea Party only dates from April, 2009, and might that suggest either we need to accelerate whatever comes next or that we shouldn’t be too impatient while waiting for that momentous coming event. Personally, I’m hoping that event is nothing more than a good election, with the will of the people being openly and honestly expressed, and more importantly, without chad drama or a drawn out contest; fair contests, won fairly. Well, one can hope maybe this time that’ll happen.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Our Elections this coming fall.

November 2, 2010, could be a bellwether election, one where we really do throw out those incumbent “Bastards!” Of course, most of the time when “we” say incumbent, we’re really saying those nasty Democrat Party proles; at least, that’s what I mean. There was a time, not too many years ago when I counted myself as a Democrat, a so-called Blue Dog given today’s terminology, but in fact always a civil libertarian and prided myself on voting for the man, not the party. Then a strange thing happened and it became more important, in my view, to vote for the party not the man, depending on who that man was.

Today’s Democrat Party is not the one I used to feel represented my view better than those nasty Republicans, those strange people who liked Nixon. But that’s another matter altogether. Thing is that today’s Republicans seem to have gotten over their “Compassionate Conservative” nonsense somewhat and seem to understand that fiscal conservative views are in the best interests of our country. This does not even address social conservative issues and it turns out I’m pretty much a rock-ribbed conservative on that issue too.

Still, voting for a Republican does not ensure that you’re voting in fact for a fiscal conservative, simply improves those odds quite a bit that you have. My sympathies are with the Tea Party movement, they’re expressed desire to reduce government spending and to do away with much of the collective socialist legislation enacted under our current president; my own views and that’s all I can ever express; really hated to used the word “collective” here but it fit the statement well. But will those Tea Party folks actually affect the Republican Party? Time will tell and I do hope they will.

Yet, what will happen between now and November 2nd this fall? Will there be a national emergency, one that requires swift and strong immediate federal actions? We will voters recognize then the need to maintain our current elected Congressional members in office? Or, will we get that chance? Still, that’s my contribution to whatever conspiracy theories float out there in the internet or gossip.

It comes down to my view that President Obama does not recognize, nor appreciate, what America stands for. Our president has got the words down yet listen to what he says when speaking to a foreign audience; his apologies for our country, his lack of acknowledging the good this country has done in the past 100-years, his seemingly misstatements about what his country represents. So, no, in my view President Obama does not represent anything more than a person who wishes to consolidate power to himself. He speaks about “his” secretary of state, “his” attorney general, his homeland security secretary; these are not “his” officers, they are officers of this country, never “his” in the sense I think he’s using.

So, that’s one small reason why I fear a national emergency this fall because I believe President Obama will do what some might do in his position and that’s to seize total power over this country. That would be one way President Obama would realize his goal of establishing his view of what this country should be; forget about all those old Constitutional “negative” rights; he thinks only about what rights his administration can enforce.

Immigration perhaps?

Senator Grassley of Iowa was given a leaked copy of a draft memo on how the Obama Administration could go about circumventing Congress on amnesty for illegal immigrations. My bet is that the disclosure of this leaked document will raise a minor tempest but nothing too major, perhaps.

However, President Obama has said on a number of occasions that he will not address border security, a current hot button for states like Arizona, until comprehensive immigration laws have been enacted. This approach was done in the Reagan years and it came a cropper. The result was that the estimated 3 to 4-million illegals then present in the USA grew to the current estimate of over 12-million illegals; however some say it could be as high as perhaps 20-million now here illegally.

So, the apparent desire of the Obama Administration for amnesty seems to be the president’s goal. But what do we ordinary citizens think of that goal? Are we for or against immigration or is that even the question?

My personal guess is that instead many Americans want our nation’s border secured against illegal entry before the topic of immigration amnesty is raised. However, others may well disagree, so be it.

Yet, the point Senator Grassley raised is pertinent on whether the Obama Administration should bypass Congress on that issue, perhaps also whether that would be legal in and of itself or Constitutional even.

One topic I’ve not heard discussed regarding the Administration’s desires includes the president’s pardon powers. While I’m not a lawyer, and have never played one on TV, radio, or the stage, my bet is that a president can pardon anyone for any reason relating to federal laws or crimes. And, if a quid-pro-quo was present relating to that pardon, that in and of itself might be considered by some to be a crime; hire a lawyer and ask that question.

Yes, an outcry could happen if the American public doesn’t really like or appreciate a particular pardon. But, the pardon power in the instance of illegal immigration, used on a blanket basis could have the effect of really rocking the public boat and making life in these United States very rocky. I can’t see the most people accepting an act like that and hope it never comes to that. But, I have little respect for President Obama’s understanding of American hopes, dreams, and desires based on his track record since January 20, 2009. Our president seems to feel he knows best and can act whatever he wishes. Certainly having both houses of Congress willing to enact his political agenda, contrary to what many citizens want, especially in regard to federal spending, has allowed President Obama to affect a public swagger that seems unwarranted. At least recent public polling seems to indicate that our president’s popularity has greatly diminished recently.

It seems we really are experiencing that mythical Chinese curse of living in interesting times. Way too interesting for me. So, will our coming fall elections be held as scheduled or not? The answer might be: It depends!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

More rants with some few raves!

Now must be the summer of our discontent. It’s somewhat hot here in the great north land of Southern Minnesota along with a sprinkling of foul bugs, horseflies, mosquitoes, and other such creatures. Even the blogosphere seems to have a slowdown. Instapundit has few daily posts, for him that is, Althouse is searching in the hinterlands for subjects for her blog postings, Google news page is bland, and Drudge doesn’t seem to have content changes very quickly right now.

And, lastly, Minnesota Congressional District 2 election news is pretty pathetic and sparse. There are two Democrat party contenders trying to run against Representative Kline, who’s very popular here for several reasons. Yet, Kline is an incumbent and all such stand a danger of being kicked out; alas, even the good ones run that risk and Kline is a good one (My personal opinion, so there!).

One issue that concerns me very much is that the GOP could fall flat on its collective face this fall unless it really convinces voters of the need to change the makeup of both houses of Congress. Minnesota is spared a contest for the senate this year, mores’ the pity. Paul Ryan, a good Wisconsin representative, developed what he calls the “A Roadmap for America’s Future.” Ryan’s effort could become the basis for the 2010 version of Gingrich’s 1994 Contract with America. Yet Ryan’s effort seems not to be gaining momentum with other Republicans. My guess, unfounded but still perhaps a great hope, is that Ryan would be more than willing to work with other Republicans and put out a dynamic contract with the voters, outlining how the Republicans want to replace President Obama’s “Hope and Change” slop with positive efforts to boost America’s economy back to a healthy place.

So, again in my very humble opinion, unless the Republicans get on the ball and work together and especially with groups like the Tea Party, or better yet to listen to that group of concerned citizens, we could be stuck with Speaker Pelosi and Leader Reid; not a desirable outcome indeed. So, does the GOP pull defeat from the face of victory or does it stand tall and listen to the voters, We The People. We want America to stand up, defend itself, defend the rights of all regardless of race, creed, or degree of wealth, and to encourage that great American spirit to get moving and revitalize our economy. Where to start? That’s one of the questions!

Lastly, in my opinion, Congress and the federal government need to stop trying to run and control our lives; look at how unsuccessful it was with regard to the BP oil spill and how much it caused the spill to happen (The Coast Guard failed greatly during the initial days of the oil rig fire and then destruction of the rig itself.) and failed to follow the government’s own guidelines on the spill cleanup. We want the federal government o run our lives, to manage our healthcare, to control our many public corporations? Well, do we?

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Some minor rants and raves; very minor indeed!

I’m coming out of a blue funk, started most likely by a severe case of allergies this spring and even now still in full bloom. But then that’s a personal problem, which can be well overcome by minor personal effort.

Rant number one is that our national malaise continues unabated, with only minor pushes from President Obama. Not everything negative in our current political world is Obama’s fault, in fact since he and his minions won that last election, we the people gave him the power to do what he wants. Unfortunately, Obama told us more than enough during his campaign to foretell what his administration would promote. We the voting public either didn’t pay sufficient attention to Obama’s statements or we instead ignored them. Well, not quite true as to ignoring Obama’s many statements yet that is the effect of what we did.

Obama also said, several times, that his future administration would be a moderate one, centrist and down the middle; no extreme politics for him, no sir. Those last statements of his were the ones the most adoring media types pushed and emphasized during the campaign. At long last, America would have a typical American government of the people, not like that harsh and extreme regime of the Bushes. As Shirley Sherrod so eloquently said when she addressed a large gathering this past spring, the long nightmare of living under “The Bushes” was over. While I must have missed it, apparently large groups of concentration camp prisoners were set free once Obama became president; hurrah for that, I guess; incidentally, Ms Sherrod’s speech last spring was very recently shown on the internet, the speech a strong mixture of the horror of growing up in those halcyon days of the ‘60s, a brief recap of the horror under the “Bushes,” and how much she had personally grown from no longer hating white people to an understanding that her life was involved with a class struggle.

So, is that the key to understanding what President Obama is all about? Is Ms Sherrod’s class struggle what delineates Obama from previous presidential administrations? Yes, we’ve always had rich, poorer, and a middle class of a sort, but we used to say that America was a classless society. Anyone could become wealthy through his, or her, own personal efforts. Alternatively, we could become wealthy the old fashioned ways, inherit wealth, steal wealth, or get lucky at games of chance.

Perhaps no more for us; please no more thank you. Perhaps we’ll go the route of Czarist Russia and turn out the haves and turn over what they have to the “have nots!” While I can’t imagine that happening in this country, I couldn’t have imagined what’s happened the last 18-months happening in the USA.

No, this isn’t my last rant but it’ll do for today, for right now.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

4. Our First amendment, regarding freedom of the press.

That amendment seems to be in danger, with considerable and fierce forces encroaching on it today. That amendment identifies our rights of free speech, to a free press, of freedom from religion and of religion. Many today understand that we can individually say what we wish generally without recourse against ourselves. Still, our Supreme Court has specified a few limits on speech, a famous one being that we cannot falsely shout “fire” in a crowded room.

However, one major impediment to the exercise of the first Amendment is the current tendency of our press to avoid controversy, angst, or disagreement concerning President Obama. During Senator Obama’s nomination in 2008, it was reported without shame that about 2,000 reporters stood and cheered Obama. One reporter interviewed during that campaign claimed that watching Senator Obama speak was thrilling, another claimed that a “thrill went up” his leg.

An alternative form of press media has sprung up, the internet, with little apparent real impact on the older traditional print or broadcast media.

Traditionally, newspaper articles had been separated between whether news was being reported or an editorial opinion expressed. Current practice as demonstrated in newspaper articles today is that opinion is combined with some news reporting. Accuracy in reporting, what is that?

One of our older sayings was that we should be skeptical of what we read in the newspaper or hear reported. That is much truer today than ever thought previously. Newspapers back during the time of FDR were categorized as being Republican or being Democrat Party oriented. Yet, in many instances, the news reporting was somewhat straight forward. Exceptions like the Chicago Tribune’s wiliness to expose national security secrets during World War II caused a scandal, perhaps the paper did it to embarrass FDR; that failed.

Currently many newspapers have falling readership, reduced revenues, and suffer employee cutbacks. One guess is that newspapers might not now be the most favorable place to seek either employment or profit. Long ago, Benjamin Franklin found his newspaper to be profitable and a good means of supporting his family. If Mr. Franklin had experienced our current press economic conditions, he might have considered another line of work.

Press conferences today are timid affairs, reporters perhaps shouting out questions with few demands that those questions be answered. Sometimes it appears that the questions are screened in advance, as it’s also known who’ll be asking the questions. The timidity of reporters today, with a few exceptions and remarkably from some that wouldn’t be expected to be assertive, is complemented by an over abundance of articles praising the Obama administration and his presidency. Those articles about the president or about his administration often contain high praise indeed, even when few facts in support of those claims are known; nuclear security anyone? Reporter timidity allows government press minders to provide a short bit of an answer and then say that “they’ll” get back to the questioner. Press reporters also reminded that they should, or perhaps should not, follow up on certain subjects. Just recently, the press was suddenly excused from important meetings where sensitive topics seem most unlikely to be discussed, few grumble while they leave.

Certain comments, otherwise seemly innocuous, are now identified as being “racist” or inflammatory. Yet President Obama’s administration is presumed to be “post racial.” The president is, of course, the first African-American elected to that high office. So, our press now says that comments that the president is a good athlete are “racist.” Also, the press says that comments that his policies are not well liked are “racist” too. Other comments, especially as expressed by his vice-president, about how articulate Obama is are now considered acceptable even though they seem racist to many. So, perhaps we reduce the freedom of the press by abusing it, misusing it, and mostly by not using it.

Now, when Obama says the press must leave the room, as at the recent Nuclear Summit, or not able to accompany him as on a recent outing, the press leaves with some low murmuring. Otherwise so-called fierce believers in the sanctity of the freedom of the press are quiet, acquiescing in this reduction of freedom. Do they realize this reduction affects all of us; that tomorrow might bring a totally different, darker day, perhaps soon?

Reducing freedom of the press reduces our freedom of speech, of religion, and then perhaps what we might think. Or, does our own thought remain free and inviolate? We ordinary citizens may still say what we like, or not like, in spite of severe media disdain, while the press exerts its right to be a meek, mild animal, mostly admiring of Obama and his political pals, even of those who are serial philanders.

It seems that only by the country electing a conservative party government will our press awaken from its current nap. Maybe then our press might just pursue its goal of producing a “better world” even as it severely criticizes that new administration.

Monday, April 26, 2010

3. Abuse of power by Congress.

Congress has enacted legislation since President Obama gained office that some citizens cannot understand nor abide. We citizens have been told that “no,” proposed bills will not be read, that “no,” we shall find out what a proposed bill contains once it has been passed. We were told that to object to healthcare legislation was inherently racist, that those who objected were wrong, that health care costs would be lower, that healthcare would not be rationed, that now all Americans would have healthcare insurance coverage.

A recent news report now says that Congress might not continue to enjoy its previous good healthcare benefit, that while it’s not certain that is the case, it does appear that the new federal healthcare law forbids, perhaps, Congress from having its own version of healthcare. The reporters who found this fascinating twist are not certain as to the wording of the law, its meaning, or when it part would in fact take effect. Very recently, a federal agency came out saying that healthcare costs would in fact rise because of the new healthcare bill.

A number of hospitals, 60 or so, will be closed because the new healthcare law requires that doctor owned hospitals not receive Medicare or Medicaid payments. Apparently this characteristic was not previously understood by many. So, is this a benefit for which we should be thankful?

Some objected during the so-called debate for healthcare that the law would establish “Death Panels,” with the president’s men saying that was false, please let that be true! However, we now find that Social Security may deny certain recipients Medicaid coverage because their children now receive disability payments. The government gives and takes away, sometimes quite rapidly, and often without a sense of what would be justice or humane. But, it’s done legally, according to our new law.

We are now in the midst of a great recession, one we all hope will not become a depression. And now Congress wishes to debate enacting an energy tax, a cap and trade law, sometimes called a “Cap and Tax” act. Unemployment has risen to well over nine percent of the labor force, with the actual number thought to be higher still. Some so-called “Bush” tax cuts are due to expire soon, which shall be an actual tax increase for those previously enjoying reduced taxes; but this is not a tax increase according to our government; a mere choice of words for others.

Other federal officials also talk about tax increases, but only on those whose taxes should be raised, never on the middle class. Others talk about adding a value added tax on top of existing taxes and other new taxes. We after all have a huge federal deficit, which must be reduced by increasing revenues, never by reducing spending, now ever growing and becoming a great cause of concern to many, Still, Congress talks about extending unemployment benefits since many out of work individuals are reaching the end of their benefit period. The question is how to pay for this noble expenditure, which it is in fact, and that question is bypassed because the need for benefits is paramount. However, even one of the president’s most trusted advisors has said that unemployment benefits only discourage the unemployed from looking for work.

Much talk is made about how cruel supply side economics were during those dinosaur years under Reagan, when our economy roared and we also destroyed a cruel enemy without the use of force. Still those years must have been cruel because taxes were cut on the evil rich while only more modestly on the deserving rest of us.

So, today we must become more noble, more caring, with more largess expended wherever it may be done, without care for the cost, while ensuring that benefits accrue only to the worthy amongst us.

This Congress is acting to enable President Obama’s restructuring of America, his requested demanded legislation, his plan to “Remake America” as he said he would do when he came into office. If we agree with our president’s plan, then we must do nothing but applaud his acts. If we disagree, then we must act politically. The TEA Party movement is doing a splendid job of bringing forth reasons to oppose this president politically. We must support and continue this TEA Party effort as long as it remains the kind and gentle force it has been and shall remain until the president’s Congressional support is voted out of office.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

2. How the president acts varies greatly, when he acts depends.

President Obama won election with a decisive victory over his political opponent. Yet the election was much in doubt until that last campaign month, until that financial disaster harmed our great country. President Obama’s opponent was seen to act with less than admirable behavior, much shilly-shally coupled with questions about what would he do, which he did not.

President Obama campaigned as a moderate, who promised much and used words pleasing to many. Some thought that candidate was not born as an American, yet it is obvious that he was, wasn’t he? Others claimed that candidate was a Socialist, one of a kind with those old evil doers, yet it’s obvious he’s not, isn’t it? Yet others said that because his father was a born into the Islamic Faith that the son must be one also, yet the son claimed to be a member in good standing in an established Christian Church in Chicago, led by a Christian minister of some repute, that is obvious and not yet denied, well it isn’t.

Our president also said he would not raise taxes on the middle class, that vast grouping of citizens who are neither poor nor rich. He did state during the campaign he wanted to redistribute “the wealth” when he conversed with “Joe the Plumber,” yet has he done so? Some would say he has raised taxes and has redistributed wealth.

Our president has been installed in a very high office, one imbrued with much tradition and power. President Obama has inherited the same power that Washington established, that Jefferson and Lincoln wielded, that FDR used to protect this country during the last world war, that so many now fear is too great, too strong, too subject to misuse and abuse. Perhaps so? However, one of our worst and weakest executives, President Buchanan, failed to use the power of the national executive to protect this country when the war between the several states was fast approaching.

That said, what shall our president now do? Shall he continue to exert his political power on congress and demand further control, further federal legislation, over private enterprise, all in the name of the “good?” Shall he exert his executive powers and impose his will on the nation, a powder which has been allowed previously, in a real sense, for the executive to use?

Can ordinary citizens refuse to bend to the president’s will, once that will has been determined? No, in so many senses and in many instances. But yes, in a political sense if the electorate chooses.

Our president can wage war, even so-called undeclared war. He may issue orders that ordinary citizens or federal agents may not. He may act in many ways that we, ordinary citizens, might believe unjust or unwise or unlawful; so much power if used. Who shall dispute his actions? The judiciary might so disallow his acts yet how is it to enforce that disallowing? Congress might also disallow his actions, not the current Congress but perhaps a future Congress. Yet its only recourse, apparently, is the power of the purse, which power has been superseded by previous presidents, Lincoln for one, for a time.

Which leaves but one sure way to deny the president’s will, vote against his Congressional supporters, against all in any office who would support President Obama! Encourage strong political acts opposing this president. Allow this president to decide how he shall respond to a politically aroused citizenry. But, remove his Congressional support and prepare him for his political loss of office in 2012.

Lastly, however President Obama elects to use his power of the executive, I can only hope that he fully understands its import and effect upon the nation. Given the president’s foreign policy actions so far, that hope might be a forlorn one yet that too could change.

Friday, April 23, 2010

1. What should be done about the enablers of Fannie and Freddie Mae Corruption?

Ladies and Gentlemen: Our current financial distress was caused by a large number of sub-prime mortgages growing sour all together. Our two federal government sponsored financial institutions, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mae, were ordered, by acts of congress to encourage mortgage lending to many who would not have qualified under older banking conventions and rules. That encouragement along with subsequent loose lending and looser financial practices by other financial institutions created a bubble, which has burst, huge monies now lost, a Ponzi scheme writ large.

There have been other such financial bubbles in the history of mankind, the British had their “South-Sea” bubble collapse, the Dutch had their tulip debacle, others have had similar experiences. In some instances, those who caused the bubble paid a severe price for that. Others, like some current members of our congress have paid no price and perhaps have even profited from what others would define as misdeeds or even as crimes.

These same members of congress today tell us to repent from our complaints and to reinforce our repentance by allowing these Congress people more freedom to enact more such extravagant acts of what some call human folly.

These bubbles have caused much sorrow and pain whenever they have occurred. The British were devastated by their South-Seas bubble. The Dutch were equally hurt when their tulip speculation bubble burst, many losing their wealth and fortune.

It has never been just the wealthy who have been hurt by these burst bubbles. Businesses have been lost, along with jobs they provided. Economies have been severely damaged when people no longer have the ability to provide for themselves and their families. People find they have lost their job, their livelihood, their ability to remain an active participant in their community.

Those in Congress who in the recent past have facilitated those acts resulting in our current financial bubble are up for re-election this November 2, 2010, unless they retire from their congressional seat. While these persons have generally been able to gain re-election in the past, several times in fact, there could be quite spirited political opposition this year. I hope so, in fact.

Several of the most outspoken Congressional gentlemen have protested that they are blameless for our current recession, a nascent depression. They complain that it was the previous presidential administration that is at fault, not them. And, they might be correct that they had assistance from their opposition in creating conditions for our current woes.

Yet, Senator Dodd and Representative Frank each demanded that those without much means acquire houses with goodly sized mortgages and without the previously required goodly percentage of equity in those newly acquired homes. Representatives Waxman and Conyers have been similarly demanding in their own way and influential too on that same form of financial waging.

Hanging these individuals is not considered to be in good form, or even fair, or legal either, given our present day modern society yet are these gentlemen to be given a free pass, to live out a life of ease and comfort while so many are in the throes of poverty? That doesn’t seem either fair or humane compared to our ancestors who fought a revolution and who doused evil doers in the village pond, strapped to a chair. Now that was cruel and would be unusual in today’s world.

So, what to do? Nothing? No! Exile? Perhaps? What? Don’t know!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

What I intend with these essays.

These essays will express my views on several current political topics. There is no claim that my views are either original or that they are better than any other’s point of view. Other persons may well disagree with my views, or opinions, and that’s very proper. Some might suggest, or demand, that my views must not be expressed, and that will not happen, my views will be expressed one way or another.

My views are non-violent and my fervent hope is that our current political unrest be resolved at the polling place, during elections that shall happen, hopefully, during President Obama’s term of office. Violence has no place in politics yet we must never let violence be used against us. If there is to be violence, then it must be initiated by those who support President Obama or who work directly for him.

My concerns are many about President Obama. These concerns begin with Obama being unlike any other president we’ve ever had. Obama is an American president who bows to other heads of state, who bows to even the Mayor of Tampa, for goodness sakes. Americans were taught in my youth not to bow to others, to our God yes, but not to man. Americans who received honorary awards from other countries have sometimes bowed or curtsied to, say, the Queen of England, and been strongly criticized for doing so. President Obama bows to the Japanese Emperor and our press says nothing. Why is that? Now he bows to the Chinese Prime Minister! Why?

That said, while Obama is claimed not to be a Socialist, he also asked early on that we judge him by the people surrounding him, by his associates, by those he nominates to high federal office. A former appointee, Van Jones, is a self-confessed Communist, Bill Ayres, a known Socialist( He claims to be a communist with a small c), as is Ayres’ wife, others in his administration praise Mao the tyrant, so if Obama is not a Socialist, some close associates and appointed high federal employees certainly are. On that basis alone, I count Obama as preferring Socialism over American Capitalism.

Still, Obama said on coming into office that he would remake America and he is trying awfully hard to do so. FDR made significant changes to our society, with Social Security, payroll withholding tax among them, even though he was somewhat checked when his NIRA program was largely negated. LBJ brought in Medicare, a program of long lasting impact, with all its later enhancements. Carter gave away a vast national asset in order to be fair. Wilson thoroughly segregated our military to satisfy his own twisted sense of racial superiority and he’s now considered a model president, by Obama’s supporters, who worked for world peace, perhaps; Wilson was a damned racist as was his SCOTUS appointment in 1914.

So, Obama has a ways to go before his actions alone overwhelm what has been changed before him. And, in my opinion, Obama’s working very hard to reach that abysmal goal. Prior to Obama, we were still America and survived some mediocre president, some good presidents, some with good heart but poor judgment, and some great presidents. All were American presidents, generally following accepted American traditions and acting in what they each may have thought was the best interests of this country.

I am not certain at all that President Obama is acting in America’s best interest that he is instead acting to make us more equal to whatever his world view is. Maybe Obama wants America to be like the European Union and less like that “Shining City on the Hill!” Personally, that magical city has always seemed pretty good to me.

My inspiration for this effort include the desire to see others express their own personal view on our society, our political life today, our way of life as Americans, which I feel are under great pressure from the efforts of the Obama administration.

Too many American citizens in the past avoided involvement with our political life except when we vote and America’s percentage voting is low by some standards. Yet what defines us as Americas is our Constitution, not our ethnic heritage, not where we were born, for many of us, but what that that document describes as our rights and our form of government. We can give up our rights as a people if we do not exert our rights as citizens and demand that those rights not be subverted by government.

The TEA Party rallies that began in 2009 provide hope that we Americans are ready to actively participate in our political process. While we are not a democracy in the purest sense, our country has always acted in a way to bring about a representative form of a federal republic, in a most democratic manner.

The TEA Party rallies are my inspiration as was the Federalist Papers and the earlier Cato’s Letters. However, my effort cannot compare even remotely favorably to either the Federalist Papers or Cato’s Letters.

The statements or claims about President Obama I’m making in these essays are based on statements made by him or his supporters yet I shall not provide detailed support and references for my use of those statements. If someone wishes to dispute my interpretation of President Obama’s statements or actions, have at it.

Lastly, if a particular topic is not present in one of these essays, it can only be that the topic has yet to be addressed and likely will be in the future. This effort is very much a work in progress, an Aegean Stable of essays.