Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Tucson vs. Fort Hood

Van Jones' Idea of Social Justice is an Anathema to a "Good Life"

Van Jones, the former Obama administration Green Jobs Czar and self-avowed communist, has a strange definition of what would constitute social justice, in my opinion.  In order to determine if true social justice exists in a community, Mr. Jones asks the hypothetical question of whether you would be willing to write your life on a card and then place it in a huge pile with everyone else's "life cards" and then draw at random a new card from the pile with total confidence that the new "life" you drew would be a "good life".

As the video below states, that is not social justice but rather it is communism.  Communism, as evidenced without fail particularly throughout the twentieth century, is the equal sharing of misery; not happiness.... and certainly by most measures, not a good life.

Further, Mr. Jones' whole premise is one I dismiss completely.  What one person considers a "good life" may be someone else's living hell.  I would be completely miserable if I were to have Donald Trump's life, while that may be someone else's happiness and very definition of a good life.  One might want to live the life of Bono and all of the fame and celebrity that comes with it.  Some people may simply want to live a quiet life of solitude in a monastery in contemplation of God.

I would be happy to have a nice cabin near a good trout stream somewhere in the mountains in western Montana or northern Idaho.  I am quite sure this would drive many people to the point of suicide though.

The fact is that we each are able pursue our own happiness and what makes a good life for us as individuals.
To some, that may mean lots of hard work and the accumulation of creature comforts and fine things in their life.  To others, they may not want to work that hard and rather choose to spend time with their family or volunteer in their community.  Neither is wrong.  What is right for one person is not right for all.

Having a form of "social justice" enforced on a community or nation to ensure equal outcomes is an anathema to happiness, in my opinion.  Now this does not mean that we as a civilized and prosperous nation do not have an obligation to care for those that are UNABLE to care for themselves.  We absolutely do have that moral obligation.  What we do NOT have though, is an obligation to provide for others what their definition of happiness might be.  By doing so we only rob them of that very happiness we are trying to provide.  Far better to have the dignity and pride of having found happiness by one's own means.  To have a society where the freedoms and opportunities exist so that one is able to accomplish through one's own God-given talents  what makes one's self happy through a self-defined good life is what social justice truly is.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Co-founder of Greenpeace States There is No Evidence of Man-Caused Global Warming

Patrick Moore is a scientist and co-founder of Greenpeace.  He left Greenpeace because he said that since the mid-1980's the recent generation of directors had no formal scientific education and the organization had become "more about globalization and anti-capitalism than it is about science or ecology..."

This prompted Moore to write a book entitled, Confessions of a Greenpeace Dropout: The Making of a Sensible Environmentalist in which he exposes the green movement and explains why he left the organization.

Recently, Moore did a very interesting interview on Fox Business News with Stuart Varney in which he claims that, "We do not have any scientific proof that we are the cause of the global warming that has occurred over the last 200 years..."  He further states that the prophecies of disaster caused by anthropogenic global warming by many "environmentalists" are based on computer modeling and predictions that simply aren't accurate. 

This is an assertion that was backed by Dr. S. Fred Singer who was largely responsible for developing the observation satellites used to "capture" such environmental data.  Indeed, Dr. Singer has stated that these agenda-created "models are very nice, but they are not reality and they are not evidence."

Thursday, January 20, 2011

John Lewis and Other Elected Officials and Their Woeful Ignorance of the Constitution

I wrote a post back on January 8th of this month advocating the need to test those people seeking elected office regarding their knowledge of the United States Constitution, since it is this very document and the ideals it represents that they will be swearing an oath to support and defend.

Now Congressman John Lewis (D-GA) was asked the other day by CNS News where in the Constitution is the legal justification for congress and the president having made the "Affordable Health Care Act" into law, particularly the mandate that all citizens MUST purchase health insurance.  As his justification for it, Congressman Lewis stated, “Well, when you start off with the Preamble of the Constitution, you talk about the pursuit of happiness.”

What?!?!  Never mind the fact that his logic in using this argument is incomprehensible, but as any junior high history student would tell you, one cannot find the words "the pursuit of happiness" in the Constitution, but rather they are a part of the God-given inalienable writes that Thomas Jefferson penned in our Declaration of Independence.

Unfortunately Representative Lewis and his lack of Constitutional knowledge is apparently the norm and not an aberration amongst our elected officials.  Indeed a recent quiz was conducted amongst typical American citizens including 165 people who identified themselves as having been "successfully elected to government office at least once in their life." This included members of federal, state, or local offices.

This quiz asked 33 basic civics questions, many of which were taken from sources such as the U.S. Citizenship Exam. Of those 33 questions asked, 10 questions were directly related to the U.S. Constitution.  The sad truth of the matter is that our typical American citizen did pretty poorly.  The truly frightening thing is that our typical elected official participating in the quiz scored an average 5 percentage points lower still than the typical citizen on the Constitutional questions.  Citizens typically scored 54% correct versus 49% for elected officials. (For the record, I got all ten questions correct.)

Of the ten questions asked only 49 percent of elected officials could name all three branches of government, compared with 50 percent of the general public.  Let me re-state this: less than half of our elected officials could even name all three branches of the federal government for which some had held office!

Only 46 percent of our elected officials knew that Congress, and not the president, has the power to declare war compared to 54 percent of the general public getting this one correct.

Just 15 percent knew that the phrase "wall of separation" appears in Thomas Jefferson's letter to the Danbury Baptists and is NOT in the U.S. Constitution.  19 percent of citizens knew this.

And finally only 57 percent of our elected officials knew what the purpose of the Electoral College is.  66 percent of the public knew this one.  Indeed, amongst elected officials 20 percent thought the Electoral College was a school for "training those aspiring for higher political office."

Yes, we absolutely need to pass a law that mandates those seeking at least state and federal offices to have a passing score on basic Constitutional knowledge.  I certainly don't expect this to go anywhere, as this would be akin to teacher's unions actually requiring their members to pass competency tests for the subjects they teach.  I don't think our congress is going to set up another obstacle to their attaining office.  ...Even if that oath of office taken requires their supporting and defending a Constitution of which most of them are more ignorant than their own constituents.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Ronald Reagan Jokes About the Problems of Communism

Dang I miss Reagan!  He was seemingly the last president that understood the dangers of Communism and Socialism.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Progressives Attempt to Ban Metaphors

Free0352 from over at John Galt for President wrote another article which I thought was brilliant and thus had to share.  I was mulling over the same ideas for a posting of my own but his posting was so well done, as typical, that I didn't want to waste my time even trying to do better.  You can read Free's often unique and insightful takes on current issues at his blog, John Galt for President

Freak'n stupid, Progressives attempt to ban Metaphors

After the shooting in Arizona last week, we can all agree that we've got to pass Obama's agenda immediately and stop using metaphors.

At least I think that's what the mainstream media is trying to tell me. But it also told me I hate black people because I think we as a nation should pay off our debt and balance our budget, so what do they know?

This whole exercise in feigned outrage is just another case study in a long tradition of Progressive Nannyism. Hitler had Nazism, Progressives have Nannyism.

Ask a Liberal- "When the DNC puts up a map for you to donate money with on it's web site that has targets on it, do you get confused and think you're being instructed to shoot people?"

They of course answer no. It's not "they" that need protection from themselves, it's "the other" and by that they mean us. Protection of course is code for denial of our rights to speech. All their nanny laws, from smoking bans, gun bans, alcohol bans, drug bans, salt bans, fatty food bans.... it's all part of the design to seize more control. The motive is for most of them is perfectly benign. Liberal crusaders always need a cause, and the cause seems to always be protecting people from themselves. In this case, protecting Americans from "mean people."

This as always leads to the question of responsibility? Whose responsible for the lung cancer? The cigarette company or the smoker? Whose responsible for this shooting? Is it liberals like Daily Kos and his little map or Sarah Palin and her map?

The answer is neither. The answer is Jared Loughner.

Liberal journalists often get who they should hold responsible staggeringly wrong.

I mean really wrong.

That's why you shouldn't listen to them, not because of hate filled rhetoric. Uber leftist blog Daily Kos attempted to reverse this point on it's site, saying quite breathlessly that since Republicans blamed Marilyn Manson for the Columbine killings (Which was the other way around, truth being Liberal Clinton officials came up with that one) they should take responsibility for the Tuscon shooting. What was the point of this blog post? I wanted to ask Kos, "What side of this are you on?" But there seems to be no side. The post reveals a total absence of principles, and so he and I approach the question in totally different ways. I first ask myself; who was responsible for Columbine, and Tuscon? The answer I come up with of course is the shooters. Kos isn't doing this. Instead he's simply screaming "Hypocrite!" Isn't that what everyone is complaining about in the first place, the nasty "tone" of the national debate?

I'll flip it right back around. Was Marilyn Manson responsible for Columbine? Apparently yes, so say the liberals in 1999 and today. Weather it's scary music or scary speeches, Liberals always want more control to "protect people" from themselves and remember they never waste a crisis to dump more rules on us. In the case of Daily Kos, his only position is the one best to say the very "vitriolic" things he complains Tea Party members use. Whose the hypocrite now?

This is very consistent with liberals ongoing assault on free speech. There were the quaint days of Liberal icon Al Gore's wife Tipper trying to control art and music to today's nightmare of FCC take over of the Internet with net neutrality. This attempt to shut decent up is just another logical step on the road to socialism for Progressives. You can almost hear their logic sneak in between their words. "People are mostly stupid apes who need our guidance to live better, so we'll take control of their lives and force our agenda on them through government. We'll use any crisis to move quickly before they catch on to the beauty of our plan to reshape America."

They then goal in hand go to the tried and true Saul Alensky play book. "Rule 4, Ridicule," and "Rule 5 Trap Them With Their Own Rules," in this case.

First they called us a "mob."

Then we were "Racist."

Then we were "Crazy."

Now we're "Full of Vitriol."

After the ridicule, they want to tie us up in knots bending over to justify ourselves when in reality it's they who should be explaining why they added 6.4 trillion dollars in debt, ran deficits from 200 billion into the trillions, Social Security and Medicare can't keep up with aggregate demand, why we're loosing the war in Afghanistan, and last why there's 9.5% estimated unemployment and likely much more than that. Those are the real problems facing America, not "vitriol." Coming together in a spirit of cooperation and Kumbaya got us this mess. Divisive politics between Rush Limbaugh, the New York Times, Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich got us four years of balanced budgets.

I suppose we're going to need a new bumper sticker. Metaphors don't kill people, people do. They call us angry? This use of a national tragedy to slander us and score points gives us a right to be angry. It's a testament to how tolerant we really are, because if our freedom were threatened like this in any other country we really would arm ourselves and kill them in mass! But we tolerate them, because we're not the animals they slander us to be.

Andrew Klavan: The Liberal Culture of Shut Up

Friday, January 14, 2011

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Loughner in His Own Words; The Truth About Rep. Gifford's Shooter

Jared Loughner's Friend Says That He Was Not Political

It would seem that facts don't matter to many on the left side of the aisle regarding the horrific Tucson shootings, as they are trying to gain a political advantage from the fallout of this evil perpetrated by Jared Loughner.  Many folks are seemingly convinced, regardless of all of the evidence and witnesses to the contrary, that somehow it is the "hateful rhetoric" from the right that was the catalyst for this murderer's actions.  In one more fact to the contrary, which will inevitably be ignored by many on the left, Jared's former best friend says otherwise at about 2 minutes and 30 seconds into this 3-1/2 minute video below: 

The politicization of the actions of this kid who seemingly was mentally unstable and NOT responding to the "hate-filled" marching orders given to him by Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, or Sarah Palin is disgraceful.
The posturing and political grandstanding, particularly from the Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders, to gain political advantage over the deaths and injuries of these people borders on the ghoulish. 

I have had numerous debates on other blogs about this issue and almost invariably my leftist friends claim that the right needs to stop with their "hate and violence-inciting rhetoric", and in the rare instances where this has occurred I am in complete agreement.  However, I find it ironic and maddening that the left has been guilty of the same and worse and yet this is dismissed as fiction created by the right in order to exonerate their complicity in these murders.  Michelle Malkin wrote an excellent piece that absolutely destroys that notion, however, as she has an impressive list of leftists inciting or engaging in violence.

The bottom line is that everyone, particularly those with a public forum, need to be responsible in their speech.  Those listening need to take things in context and not twist the message or exaggerate the intent of the speech in order to try and gain advantage.  If someone truly does try to incite violence, then by all means, they should be called on it and publicly chastised at a minimum.

There is a reason why our Founders specifically placed Americans' right to free speech as our first amendment in the Bill of Rights.  Good, healthy, vigorous political debate is specifically to what they were referring and indeed it is this right when exercised that helps the best ideas to flower forth to help govern our nation.  Without this right to free speech, including that which we find as foolish or even repugnant, is necessary to maintaining the health of our representative republic.  We should all strive to listen to the words and the meaning behind the words of our fellow Americans and not twist them around in libelous or slanderous fashion simply because the strength of our own words and ideas might be lacking in comparison.

All Americans can and should come together to insist on such, while holding those people responsible that truly do attempt to incite violence.  There is no place for that in our country.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Jordan McCabe; Basketball Prodigy

This kid has extraordinary basketball skills.  If he plays his cards right, someday he might get to play for the mighty Portland Trailblazers!  (apologies for the brief commercial at the beginning of the video)

H/T: Rex

An Excellent Example of Wasted Stimulus Spending; Cash for Clunkers

In an attempt to demonstrate the "efficiency" of our government and its "stimulus" spending by placing it into proper perspective, lets do a little math regarding what the federal government characterized as their "wildly successful" cash for clunkers program, shall we?

Lets assume that a clunker car travels 12,000 miles a year at 15 mpg and thus uses 800 gallons of gas a year. A new vehicle that travels 12,000 miles a year at 25 mpg uses 480 gallons a year. So, the average Cash for Clunkers transaction reduced US gasoline consumption by approximately 320 gallons per year.

Now the government claims 700,000 clunker vehicles were removed from the road with this program, so that's 224 million gallons of gasoline saved per year. That equates to a bit over 5 million barrels of oil. 5 million barrels is about 5 hours worth of US consumption. More importantly, 5 million barrels of oil at $70 per barrel costs about $350 million dollars, so the government paid $3 billion of our tax dollars to save $350 million dollars.

In summary we spent $8.57 for every dollar we saved.

I'm pretty sure the federal government will do a great job with our health care though!

H/T: Marigrace

Monday, January 10, 2011

Tom DeLay is Sentenced to Three Years in Prison

Former United States House Majority Leader Tom DeLay was sentenced today by Judge Pat Priest to three years in prison for his conviction by jury last November on charges of money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering.  Judge Priest was to have sentenced DeLay to an additional five years in prison on the money laundering charge but allowed DeLay to forgo the additional prison time in exchange for ten years of probation.  DeLay had originally faced the possibility of up to life in prison for his two convictions.

An AP story reports, "After a month-long trial in November, a jury determined that he conspired with two associates to use his Texas-based political action committee to send $190,000 in corporate money to an arm of the Washington-based Republican National Committee. The RNC then sent the same amount to seven Texas House candidates. Under Texas law, corporate money can't go directly to political campaigns."

My thoughts on the subject are that DeLay broke the law knowingly, was convicted by a jury of his peers fairly, and sentenced justly.  I frankly would like to have seen the additional five years of prison been added to DeLay's sentence instead of probation.  When our elected officials abuse their office and knowingly break laws, they especially should be punished severely within the confines of the law as examples that they represent us and are not above the law. 

I don't care what party affiliation they have; unlawful conduct is inexcusable.  It is too bad that other congressional criminals like Charlie Rangel only get a censure under former Speaker Nancy Pelosi's House of Representatives and seemingly no other penalties for his egregious tax evasion, and yet actor Wesley Snipes ends up doing jail time for the same charges.  It is these double standards and ignoring of criminal behavior by our elected representatives that ruins America's faith in congress and brings about such a lowly state of respect upon them accordingly.

It is refreshing to see that in this rare instance, one former powerful congressman was not exempt from the law.  If only it was always so!

H/T: Randy

The Gun Is Civilization

I had this article forwarded to me by a friend.  I was unable to verify the authorship of the article, but was unable to disprove it either.  Regardless, I found the author's reasoning to be solid and thought I would post this worthy argument accordingly.

"The Gun Is Civilization" by Maj. L. Caudill USMC (Ret)

Human beings only have two ways to deal with one another: reason and force.  If you want me to do something for you, you have a choice of either convincing me via argument, or force me to do your bidding under threat of force. Every human interaction falls into one of those two categories, without exception. Reason or force, that's it.

In a truly moral and civilized society, people exclusively interact through persuasion.  Force has no place as a valid method of social interaction, and the only thing that removes force from the menu is the personal firearm, as paradoxical as it may sound to some.

When I carry a gun, you cannot deal with me by force.  You have to use reason and try to persuade me, because I have a way to negate your threat or employment of force.

The gun is the only personal weapon that puts a 100-pound woman on equal footing with a 220-pound mugger, a 75-year old retiree on equal footing with a 19-year old gang banger, and a single guy on equal footing with a carload of drunk guys with baseball bats. The gun removes the disparity in physical strength, size, or numbers between a potential attacker and a defender.

There are plenty of people who consider the gun as the source of bad force equations.  These are the people who think that we'd be more civilized if all guns were removed from society, because a firearm makes it easier for a [armed] mugger to do his job. That, of course, is only true if the mugger's potential victims are mostly disarmed either by choice or by legislative fiat--it has no validity when most of a mugger's potential marks are armed.

People who argue for the banning of arms ask for automatic rule by the young, the strong, and the many, and that's the exact opposite of a civilized society. A mugger, even an armed one, can only make a successful living in a society where the state has granted him a force monopoly.

Then there's the argument that the gun makes confrontations lethal that otherwise would only result in injury.  This argument is fallacious in several ways. Without guns involved, confrontations are won by the physically superior party inflicting overwhelming injury on the loser.

People who think that fists, bats, sticks, or stones don't constitute lethal force watch too much TV, where people take beatings and come out of it with a bloody lip at worst. The fact that the gun makes lethal force easier works solely in favor of the weaker defender, not the stronger attacker. If both are armed, the field is level.

The gun is the only weapon that's as lethal in the hands of an octogenarian as it is in the hands of a weight lifter.  It simply wouldn't work as well as a force equalizer if it wasn't both lethal and easily employable.

When I carry a gun, I don't do so because I am looking for a fight, but because I'm looking to be left alone. The gun at my side means that I cannot be forced, only persuaded.  I don't carry it because I'm afraid, but because it enables me to be unafraid. It doesn't limit the actions of those who would interact with me through reason, only the actions of those who would do so by force. It removes force from the equation... and that's why carrying a gun is a civilized act.

So the greatest civilization is one where all citizens are equally armed and can only be persuaded, never forced.

H/T: Paul

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Evil of the Tucson Shootings and the Sadness of Those Who Seek Political Gain From It

I don’t often find much in which I am in agreement with John McCain these days, or in the past for that matter, but I thought his comments on the horrific shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and all of the other victims of by the sick young man down in Tucson yesterday morning were darn near perfect.

“I am horrified by the violent attack on Representative Gabrielle Giffords and many other innocent people by a wicked person who has no sense of justice or compassion. I pray for Gabby and the other victims, and for the repose of the souls of the dead and comfort for their families. I beg our loving Creator to spare the lives of those who are still alive, heal them in body and spirit, and return them to their loved ones.

Whoever did this; whatever their reason, they are a disgrace to Arizona, this country and the human race, and they deserve and will receive the contempt of all decent people and the strongest punishment of the law.” – Senator John McCain

After having read Senator McCain's statement, I was quite appalled at then reading Judson Phillips statement of Tea Party Nation,

“While we need to take a moment to extend our sympathies to the families of those who died, we cannot allow the hard left to do what it tried to do in 1995 after the Oklahoma City bombing.”   

I could not believe that in such an instance as this that Mr. Phillips would issue such a statement and in that statement refer to a matter of politics.  It struck me as not only highly inappropriate but rather disgraceful.  Although I continue to be appalled, after much sniping from the left for seemingly political grandstanding reasons from such detestable people as Keith Olbermann and Paul Krugman, I now understand that Phillips' statement had merit, and sadly, I can at least fathom why he would have said it.

No decent person, regardless of political persuasion, would want or encourage this evil. Making this a political issue associated with and “supported” by an ideology that encompasses nearly half of the American populace by their political adversaries for political gain is SICK and completely unfounded!  Those who think this evil is condoned by ANY American should be ashamed accordingly.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Testing Members of Congress Regarding the Constitution They are Sworn to Uphold

"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God."

The above text comprises the oath of office that is administered to members of congress upon being sworn in to execute their posts at the beginning of their terms of office. It is a formality, but one that I think is critically important. I know that swearing an oath or giving one's solemn word in promise seems to be an antiquated and archaic notion these days. Indeed the concept of personal honor sounds more like the punch line to a joke in a David Letterman monologue.  The Good Lord knows that very few members of any party in congress actually seem to take this oath or their own personal honor seriously any more.

In fact, as highlighted in a previous posting of mine, many progressives seem to actually have a certain attitude of intentional neglect, if not outright disdain and contempt for our United States Constitution. Indeed, many of these folks either do not know the contents of the document and the ideals it represents that they are swearing to uphold, or they simply choose to ignore these inconvenient facts and use their swearing in as nothing more than a photo-op.

With this being the case, I am writing my senators and congressman asking them to draft and support a bill requiring that all members of congress must pass a comprehensive test of the contents and clear intent of the Constitution and its Bill of Rights prior to taking their oath of office. After all, how can they reliably and truthfully support and defend the Constitution if they are ignorant as to its contents?

The Whole System Is Rotten

Guest Post by Free0352

You can read this story and other exceptionally insightful postings at Free's blog, John Galt for President.

The Whole System Is Rotten
President Obama is out telling us all - once again - that we've turned a corner and we as a nation are finally digging out of the hole.

Sorry to say it Barry, but it just ain't so.

We'll get back to Barry, but first I want to talk about Oliver Stone's latest film Money Never Sleeps, the sequel to his most famous film besides Platoon... Wall Street.

Everybody beat this film up but I'm here to tell you folks, I loved it! I remember reading reviews on Pajama's website that called it anti capitalist and thinking "Oh I don't know about seeing that one," but I loved the first film so much I just gave in. I'm glad I did.

First, I found the film a profoundly PRO capitalist film. I don't know if that was stone's goal, but that's what he made. Second, it spends two hours beating up TARP, and so of course you know that kept my attention!

I don't want to ruin the film for you, but I'll tell you the thrust of the film - which made I think two very important points.

The theme is that of "Moral Hazard." It's demonstrated all over the film in many ways and situations. From the protagonist's love of his fiance... and her money - corrupting his intentions toward her however initially honest, to the main antagonist (not Gordon Gekko this time BTW) pleading for a bail out at the NYCFED during the sub prime crash. This movies message is when there are no consequences for our actions we loose our moral footing.

The second point, which can be encapsulated in Michael Douglas' brilliant monologue which he gives speaking to a class of collage students early in the film, is that the system is sick. Surprisingly, I agree with Oliver Stone here 150%.

Now back to Barry and the economy.

We can talk all day about Government's role in our financial crisis. Will things improve under Democrat or Republican leadership? Will this tax policy or that tax policy turn the corner? Stimulus or tax cuts?

But here's the sad fact. While Government certainly played a role in the 2007 crash, there were other's playing roles as well. Government might have pushed some banks to give loans to minorities who could never pay the principle, and it might have relaxed the reserve requirements too much... but at the end of the day private citizens caused the crash. Not just banker's either. It's easy to blame the rich trader in toxic derivatives, but no one wants to blame the family of four that took out a third mortgage and never thought about the bottom. Our Government owes 14.01 trillion dollars. That's disgusting. We citizens borrowed over the years a whopping 16.9 trillion... and most of that money can't be paid back...

We can fix our Government, but we have to fix ourselves first. We're junkies to credit.

And there lies the problem with America. Our addiction. Credit. It's going to destroy America. Our system once upon a time was about building things, manufacturing things, producing things. Production! Today it's sick, it's about spending and consumption and credit, credit, credit. Why else do you think Obama couldn't stop talking about "Getting credit flowing again" when he signed the stimulus. Our economy isn't built on steel, cars, coal, trade, construction, or technology anymore. Today it's built on a giant circular wheel of borrowed money. No new wealth is made, already existing wealth simply changes hands. A system like that cannot last. It's sick, and it has to correct.

It started when Reagan bailed out the savings and loans. That's when the "Moral Hazard" Oliver Stone talks about in Money Never Sleeps came into play. Had we just never made that one move, perhaps today we'd be okay. Not bailing out the savings and loans would have cost Americans a few billion. That's chump change today. But we didn't learn at all. Clinton bailed out the usual suspects when they got into trouble down in Mexico when they leveraged Mexican securities. Goldmahn, Bear Sterns... we saw them all again in 2007. The logical extension of the Moral Hazard had come to fruition. By then, companies like Goldmahn figured why not throw the dice at the biggest, most potentially lucrative short term investments they could come up with and then leverage them to the hilt. It would work, or if it failed the tax payers would make sure that the "too big to fail" golden bull wouldn't die.

They were right of course. Tragically.

You know what... it wasn't just Bear Sterns. It was everybody. It wasn't just banks, it was GM and AIG and Microsoft and Google. It wasn't just Fanny Mae or Freddie Mac it was the Smiths on Main Street up to their necks in credit card debt and home equity loans. Our whole country went mad borrowing. The system got sick because of the moral hazard of simply thinking... "Well, if the bottom drops out, I'll get a bail out." Americans weren't shocked when George Bush signed TARP because he spent 700 billion dollars. They were shocked it bailed out banks and not them. No one even cared about the moral hazard, they just wanted their piece of the tax dollar parachute.

People said I was crazy in 2006 when I was all over Blonde Sagacity and every other blog screaming "Sell your house now! Cash in your 401k and buy gold! Save up a year's salary now! Pay off all your debt!" I even got baned from some blogs because people thought I was literally a lunatic.

Well, those houses likely are worth half what they were in 05-06, your 401k is hemorrhaging money, gold has gained 300% in value, and you're barley making minimum balance payments right? Whose crazy now?

So if I was right way back in 2005 when I saw this coming, perhaps I'm right today in 2011 when I tell you that until we fix our broken system... recovery isn't coming?

Here are some uncomfortable facts.

Recovery isn't coming because at the end of the day, we're propping up the sick system of moving money around instead of producing things that build wealth. Moving money around a consumption based economy isn't going to work. That system collapsed. The more we bail it out, and kick the can down the road the more pain we're going to feel later on.

Corrections are necessary in Capitalism. Capitalism is Darwinism. Survival of the fittest. We've used our government to prop up so many unfit companies and life styles for so long, that weakness has spread like a cancer throughout our economy and now our economy is too weak to stand on it's own. We should have celebrated the death of a company as an opportunity for a stronger one to take it's place. We didn't do that, and the cancer spread. Weak companies, and weak citizens were the result. Now our government is propping up both. It can't do this forever, and when private and public sectors collapse the weight of both crashing will destroy America as we know it.

We as a nation may, or may not, come through it. But the inevitable correction isn't terribly far off no two ways about it. The critical decisions have already been made, and we as a country made the wrong ones. The consequences of that are as more sick companies the government can't rescue die off, more employees turn to the government instead of self reliance and the system gets sicker. As more companies start to die, more of them turn to government and the cancer becomes even more systemic. Our system is terminal, it's only a matter of time now.

I just wish we'd get it over with. It's going to happen, it has to happen.

That's okay too. Our nation might be stronger after the correction, or it might not. At least at that point we can move on and get off this hospice economy. I'm tired of failure. In the mean time, take any announcements of "RECOVERY IS FINALLY HERE!" with the grains of salt such announcements deserve.

You know the truth. Deep down, we all do.

Our country has been through far worse. The Civil War alone killed off nearly 700,000 people in a time when our population was only a tenth of what it is today. The inevitable systemic collapse pales in comparison to that. We need honest leaders to tell the truth so Americans can go into this thing with their eyes open, that's all. Armed with information, they can fight their way through it. We can't afford to deny reality anymore.


If you'd like to see Douglas' great monologue in the film Money Never Sleeps, go here. It's about 30 minutes 15 seconds into it.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Obama's Changing Views on the Debt Ceiling

Back in 2006, a young Senator Obama was adamant about not raising the national debt ceiling and said it would reflect a "failure in leadership" to do so.  Fast forward to 2011 and the national debt is rapidly approaching that congressionally-approved debt ceiling.  President Obama, contrary to his earlier statements when he was a senator, now seems to think that raising the debt ceiling is critical to ensuring that America does not default. 

Hmmm... how about we start cutting massive amounts of spending and shut down all federal departments and programs that are not provided for in the Constitution instead, Mr. President?  You were right in 2006.  It is too bad that under your leadership and that of the 111th congress that we are now in a position in which we must decide whether to raise our debt ceiling yet again.  What you once saw so clearly is now something to which you are apparently blinded, sir.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Progressives' Mockery of the United States Constitution

It seems that there has been a contradictory stance regarding reverence towards the United States Constitution from the progressive and conservative ideologies lately.  Many progressives seem annoyed at the right's newly found respect and reverence for our Constitution.  I have read many of my liberal friends on blogs decrying this phenomenon as silly and nothing more than political theater.  I have seen the Constitution mocked and those that would chose to abide by its dictates as having a "fetish" for it.  I watched Chris Hayes the other night, standing in for Rachel Maddow, sneer and condescend that the GOP's love for the Constitution is nothing more than foolishness and political chicanery.

Frankly, I would not doubt that there is indeed a healthy dose of political opportunism and pandering by some politicians in their newly-found embrace of the Constitution that they have been sworn to uphold and defend with their oaths of office.  Nevertheless, I find it refreshing that the House is starting out the 112th Congress by reading the entire Constitution and ensuring that any legislation presented must source where the authorization for that legislation is found in the Constitution.  I cannot help but think that this should help minimize some of the asinine and extra-Constitutional bills brought forth in congress, particularly by our Democrat friends as evidenced in the preceding congress.

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has even stated that he would teach congress members about our Constitution in a conference for them.  I suspect, based on the condescension and past disregard for the document, that this will be lightly attended by those members of congress from the Democratic side of the aisle.

All of this brings a question to mind.  Why is it that many progressives have such an arrogant disregard, sometimes bordering on loathing, of our Constitution which has been the glue that has held this republic together for over 200 years?  I would submit that the answer lies in the words of our own President Obama, who has characterized the Constitution as a "charter of negative liberties".  He finds the Constitution to be a hindrance to what he would like the federal government to do for the "common good" of the nation but cannot do if he were to actually adhere to the document. 

You see, the Constitution is meant to purposely and narrowly define ONLY the actions allowed by the federal government, while enumerating the explicit rights of We The People.  If a certain right is not explicitly stated in the Constitution, then that right is reserved to the individual states or the people.  In other words, the Constitution tells the government what it cannot do, which is an anathema in the progressives' collective mind.

One tends to hate what one cannot have control over in politics, it would appear.  The progressives hate the authority of the Constitution as it ultimately proclaims the rights of the people and the fact that that the power of the American republic ultimately resides with those people.  Far better for that authority and power to rest with the federal government so that they can shape and fashion a nation for our own good which we the people are far too ignorant to figure out on our own accord, according to them.

It has gotten to the point where a small publishing company named Wilder Publications has advocated  and indeed has even been placing warning labels on copies of the U.S. Constitution, Declaration of Independence, Common Sense, the Articles of Confederation and the Federalist Papers.  In their warning, they state that "This book is a product of its time and does not reflect the same values as it would if it were written today."  The disclaimer further warns parents that they "might wish to discuss with their children how views on race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, and interpersonal relations have changed since this book was written before allowing them to read this classic work."

Evidently the progressives have gotten to the point where their loathing for the authority of our Constitution, and other founding documents, has caused them to sneer and react with disgust when our elected officials affirm that they are going to read and follow the Constitution that they have sworn to uphold.  I guess this brings too much of a spotlight on the militant left as they continue to try and avoid or thwart the dictates of the law of the land as textualized in our brilliant Constitution.  And one can understand their vexation.  They haven't really followed the law of the Constitution when it has been contradictory to their designs for generations now, and until recently have suffered little in the way of consequences for such actions.  It would seem that progressives are now going to have to actually follow the laws of the Constitution which they seemingly despise or suffer ever greater defeats at the ballot box.

The fact that conservatives are re-discovering the Constitution and bringing its common sense to light will only make it harder for the charlatans that have our own "best interests" at heart to ignore it in the future.  To this I say, HOORAY for the Constitutionalists!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Pelosi on "Fixing" Health Care That Wasn't Broken

"If everyone in America was very very pleased with his or her health insurance and had no complaints and had access to quality affordable health care in our country, it still would have been necessary for us to pass the health care reform bill..."  - Former Speaker of the House and Ignorer of the Will of the People -  Nancy Pelosi

Translation, "We Democrats don't care that most people were pretty much happy with their health care.  We could not allow this to continue when the opportunity existed for us to ignore the Constitution and usurp 20% of our national economy in taking over health care to bend it to our own federal dictates in serving 'the common good'."

And she STILL has not figured out why the American populace threw her and her corrupt progressives out of controlling the House of Representatives for their arrogance and abuse of power against the will of the people.  Amazing!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Allen West: Liberal Progressive Agenda is ‘Antithesis of Who We Are as a Nation’

The more I hear from Congressman-elect Colonel Allen West, the more I am impressed.  He and those like him are indeed the folks that get it and are the type of people we need in congress if our nation is to be restored and saved from the greed and excesses of government.  If they do not rule the day in the 112th Congress, then our republic may indeed at last fail.  Here's praying to God that their views do prevail!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Danger of Regret

A man that has taught me much in my early years as a teenager and I am proud to say is a beloved friend to this day, Benson Medina, has his own blog where he writes beautifully insightful and positive  pieces that are always exceptionally inspirational.  His posting he did for today seemed particularly fitting for the beginning of the New Year and he blessed me to go ahead and re-post it here.  You can read Benson's wit and wisdom on his blog Any Moment.  I promise this man's spirit and outlook on life are very infectious and are infused within the writing he graces us with his sharing.  I highly recommend taking a bit and perusing his writings there!   Happy New Year to all, and thanks to you, Benson, for being the person that you are!  I love you, bro!

The Danger of Regret

Guest Post by Benson Medina

It’s the last day of the year and I’m reflecting back over the events of 2010.  Our family has a picture calendar for 2010 so I’ve spent some time flipping through the months and thinking about what happened on certain dates.  All the real “highlights” have to do with family (my niece Anela placed in the Miss Kaua’i contest in February, my other niece Lindsey graduated from college in May, I saw my son Caine for the first time in a year in October, etc.) and relationships in my life.   Though there are events over the past year that could have turned out differently, I’m very careful not to take a negative perspective.
I don’t want to have regrets.

The problem with regrets is that it’s beginning of a very damaging mindset that can have very catastrophic consequences down the road.  Here’s a simple illustration that we can all relate to:  let’s say I applied for a job that I’m certain I’m going to get, but somehow I don’t get it.   I look at the situation with regret which opens the door to other negative emotions: fear, anger, resentment, loss of confidence, etc.   If I’m not able to shake those emotions off, then I start to constantly “ruminate” over the situation (ruminate means you have a tendency to obsess on negative events).   Beyond that, there’s guilt and shame waiting to crush my self-esteem into long-lasting, permanent pain which now affects every sector of my life.

You might think that example a bit extreme, but its a constant cycle that’s been playing itself out in our lives since we were children.  A lot of us have carried pain for decades over situations that we view as “regrettable.”  Our “higher self” really wants the “lesson” so we can go forward in a positive way, but “regret” blocks the lesson because it makes us focus on “what we didn’t get.”

I believe that our happiness as humans is connected to our ability to adapt to changing circumstances and to focus on the things that are present in our lives.  The Universe has already shown us that “whatever we focus on will expand” and that’s enough to make us very wary of how regret can seep into our thinking.  We also lose sight of the role pain plays as one of our greatest teachers because regret doesn’t allow us to embrace a negative experience as something potentially positive.

If worry is the negative use of our imagination, then regret is the negative use of our memory.   The New Year gives us a chance to focus on the life we want and not the life we didn’t get.