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Monday, December 14, 2009

Obama Plays the Populist Card

When in doubt, it is always safe to pander to the masses. President Obama’s approval ratings have taken a severe hit; but there is no better way to try and change direction than to have sharp words for Wall Street bankers and to portray himself as siding with the little guy. However, there are many facts the President left out of his little P.R. stunt.

During his interview on 60 Minutes Sunday evening, he said “I didn’t run for office to be helping out a bunch of fat cat bankers on Wall Street.” Is that so Mr. President? If one has paid any attention to President Obama’s first 11 months in office, they would be very well aware of the fact that he has not only continued, but has expanded the Bush/Paulson bailout plan. He has also recently considered bailouts for the ailing newspaper industry.

The President may claim that he has no intention of helping Wall Street fat cats, but one is left to wonder why these fat cats were so generous in their donations to his presidential campaign. (1) Goldman Sachs was President Obama’s second largest donor contributing nearly $1 million to his campaign. The top ten list included Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase & Company, Google, Microsoft, Morgan Stanley and General Electric.

These fat cats have invested heavily in this administration since they not only get rewarded for their irresponsibility; they also stand to profit immensely off of their proposed policies such as Cap and Trade. Cap and Trade would do absolutely nothing to address climate change concerns, but it would give the government tremendous power while companies like Goldman Sachs would profit off of the commissions. Goldman Sachs currently owns a 10 percent stake in the Chicago Climate Exchange. All of this would be at the CONSUMER’S expense. President Obama can spew rhetoric all day long that talks about heavy taxation and regulation, but the truth is that these taxes and regulatory costs are passed onto the consumer. It’s quite comical to think otherwise.

General Electric (GE) also made the list and is currently being repaid with the receipt of lucrative government contracts. The company also started a joint venture called Greenhouse Gas Services which will invest and manage the trading of greenhouse gas credits. During the fourth quarter of 2008, the company’s stock declined 30 percent. However, that did not stop the company from spending $4.26 million on lobbying. (2)

It’s interesting how the left widely publicized former Vice President Dick Cheney’s connection to Halliburton Corporation, yet they turn a deaf ear to amount of influence General Electric has had on public policy not only through lobbying, but through the promotion of its agenda via its ownership of NBC Universal along with Jeffery Immelt’s special connection to President Obama. Mr. Immelt sits on the President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board. Mr. Immelt has all but run GE into the ground, yet he is being consulted for economic advice? These types of connections make the former Vice President’s look like small potatoes.

President Obama claims he will put pressure on banks to open up their purse strings and loan money to small businesses. There is the saying that “ignorance is bliss,” but this is not the case. Obama denies what really caused the crash of 2008 – the Federal Reserve’s policy of cheap money which allowed for the financing of reckless lending practices backed and regulated by the government. He’s never spoken seriously or has expressed real concern for the weakness of the dollar, the amount of debt that burdens the nation and a dangerously large federal deficit – the largest in history. Instead, he continues and expands on the Bush administration’s (the same administration he loves to blame) absurd monetary policy while encouraging banks to stray from prudent lending practice all in the name of saving the economy.

When all of the facts are examined, one can conclude just how much Obama cares about “the little guy.” He shows his concern by condoning a monetary policy that weakens the purchasing power and net worth of every American. He supports bailouts of failing companies (many that are run by those fat cats he says he doesn’t wish to help) that prevent opportunity. Propping up failure comes at the expense of growth and innovation. He does not address any of the burdensome regulation and mandates that prevent small businesses from expanding and hiring people. Larger corporations enjoy economies of scale, which allows them to spread out and pass the regulatory cost onto the consumer; but the small business owner cannot. It’s no coincidence that there has been a surge in the hiring of temporary workers over the past several months since these mandates do not apply to temporary workers. In addition, temporary workers can be let go much easier than employees, which is a wise move for employers in precarious economic times. All that the President offers is a promise that banks will give small business the option of assuming more debt – just what it needs!

The little guy doesn’t need the Obama Administration’s statist agenda and the enactment of the same failed policies that have prolonged and made recessions worse in the past. Such polices create a very volatile economic atmosphere – not the kind that puts people back to work and ensures prosperity for all.



Sunday, December 6, 2009

"Safe Schools" Czar Perverted Beyond Belief

I'm no prude, but this is just wrong and disgusting.


Kids and A Very Pornographic Method

Kids and Proper Oral Sex Manners

Safe Schools Czar Promotes NAMBLA

Sex is a natural thing. There is a great big line between prudishness like fundemtalist religious stances on sex and the teaching of sex methods, positions and other such things to elementary and middle school students.

How would you like it if your 12 year old girl came home and asked "Mom, do you spit or swallow? The President's friend told us its rude to spit."

These people are beyond radical. They're psychologically damaged.

Friday, December 4, 2009

YTSTAP: Gay Marriage Activists - Like A Rottie To A Baby

So there's a new “documentary” coming out pinning the California gay marriage defeat squarely on the chest on the Church of Latter-Day Saints. Not happy to leave the Mormons, and by proxy Utah, alone, director Reed Cowen rounds up the usual noisy celebrities and scum-sucking politicans like Gavin Newsom and former SLC mayor Rocky “I'm Too Busy Harassing George Bush To Run The City” Anderson. The movie's approved synopsis makes sure you know that Prop 8 was all the fault of Mormons and no one else.

Except there's a tincy, wincy little problem in that. It's a big, fat, pus-filled lie.

Mormons make up about 2% of California's population. That's every man, woman and child, voting age or not. Catholics make up near 30% (that's about 11 million Californians). Protestants make up over 33% of Californians. I'd like to know how exactly 750 000 Mormons of all shapes and ages hoodwinked the other 30 million Californians into voting down gay marriage.

They didn't.

I know it goes against the Left's fantasy of big, bad religious persecution, but it wasn't that big temple in Utah that voted down gay marriage, but the little churches spread across California. It was the little Catholic church I lived a few blocks from in Hollywood. It was the Protestant church in Compton, in Oakland, in San Diego. It was the beliefs of Latino Catholics, black Protestants, eastern European Orthodox and Oriental Catholic Asians. It was the work of Christian belief, not Mormon malevolence.

But alas, since the Left doesn't like going after minorities for social injustice (when's the last time Al Sharpton stood with a non-black victim of black violence?), the mostly white Mormon church is the target, and with it, the people of Utah.

I'm a supporter of state-by-state gay marriage. If a state wants it, it'll vote it in or pass a law for it. Gay marriage by judicial fiat is less desirable, but its up to the citizens of that state to deal with that. My main concern is federalism. Each state has the right to mold it's society as it sees fit within the Constitution. If Prop 8, or any other traditional marriage proposition, came across my desk I'd vote it down. That's what I believe, along with many other libertarian-minded conservatives.

But I cannot have these know-nothing, half-baked, Micheal Moore-wannabe “filmmakers” attacking my state because they don't have the balls to go after the core voters that put Prop 8 on California's books. Like a rottie to a baby, these lip-frothing cowards aim for the weakest link in the traditional marriage chain and go for the throat, hoping to kill it in one blow and wave it around like a rag doll. In the year since Prop 8, countless moderates, libertarians and conservative sympathizers have thrown up the warning signs to the LGBT activists. The signs say: SHUT THE F*** UP! YOU AREN'T HELPING!

It's a good lesson. No one likes madness-infected attack dogs. No one wants them, except the most irresponsible, unintelligent and vicious people on the planet.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Reality Sucks

By Josh Kim

The White House State Dinner is not your typical MTV episode of Cribs: It is a time-honored function of statecraft in which the leader of a visiting nation is ceremoniously received by our President. To any serious citizen, no matter the political affiliation, the State Dinner's importance should be understood. But apparently a couple from the upcoming reality television show The Real Housewives of Washington didn't feel this way.

Tareq and Michaele Salahi were not on the guests' list at the White House on Wednesday but they somehow managed to get in. The Secret Service say the couple slipped past security.

Why did the couple do it? I don't know but if I'd have to guess, it was for fame. The couple posted pictures of the evening's festivities on their Facebook page. Do these people understand that this is potentially embarrassing for our nation, not to mention dangerous?!

Two unaccounted people getting into the White House to brush shoulders with the Bigs is itself not serious but they could have easily have been assassins, one for each World Leader. The Visiting leader was Manmohan Singh, the Prime Minister of a nuclear power nation of over 1 billion people. What the fuck were these people thinking?

This is what's wrong about the times in which we live: Just about anybody can be on TV as long as they have a marginally fascinating life. It doesn't matter who they hurt or what they do. It's time to get real, after all. It's unscripted.

Only this time the reality is that these two people were potential Presidential Assassins.

There's a pattern. A radio station holds a contest and a mother dies of water poisoning because she wanted to win her son a game console. The Opie and Anthony Show dared couples to find the most outrageous places to have sex and phone the station; one couple did and it was inside a Cathedral. The Balloon Boy Saga only cost some Colorado counties and the FAA a few measly million dollars. The Salahi White House State Dinner crash could have cost America prestige if it had turned out the wrong way. But we're also to blame. Society as a whole encourages this type of behavior exactly because we reward it with our attention, attention that translates into money. We like to gawk and stare and snap pictures, even if it's the body of Heath Ledger as it's being wheeled out of Mary Kate's SoHo apartment.

Is nothing sacred? And now the Salahis are to appear on Larry King Live. That doesn't surprise me. Every time something occurs, King is one of the first people to take advantage of it by having on as the guest(s) the ones who were in the middle of said incident. He is someone who helps to feed the sickness.

I'd weep for us but we're not worth it.

Friday, November 13, 2009

These Aren't The Droids You're Looking For

A little reminder of the opposing views of why Major Hasan went nuts.

The right believes it was his Islamist ideology, represented by this fellow:

The left's image of the right's view is akin to something like this:
The left believes it was because of the discrimination of the military, who hate Muslims so much they've broken a decades long rule against alterations to the approved uniform code for religious reasons.
Army Times further reported that a Muslim officer serving as an orthopedic-surgery intern at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center had received permission to "wear a beard, as required by his sect of the Muslim faith."

As I said in my last post, Hasan's IDEOLOGY was the driving factor of his attack, not his religion. We can debate the theology and pure religious validity of Islam vs Christianity or secularism or whatever, but that's not the problem (at least to me). The modern Islamist movement that's attacking the West is born out of a POLITICAL version of Islam created by Sayyid Qutb. The modern Islamist ideology consists of a Marxist-inspired vanguard strategy sewn together with revanchist dreams of re-making the Islamic Caliphate that their Prophet created in the 8th century. Something even the most uneducated American should known as anti-liberty and dangerous.

Alas, the left wants you to looking at the knee-jerk anti-Muslim sentiment that rears its ugly head after terror attacks (not something I support, but something that is real and slightly understandable), and not at the attackers themselves who are the programmed automatons of a dark and dangerous political force.

Who is really more dangerous? A bumpkin making bigoted remarks about Muslims while nursing a cold beer, or a motivated ideologue fueled by religious fervor bent on the murder of innocence?

Don't be fooled by the attempts at distraction by the Left. You're reason is right.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A Rant Against (And A Plague Upon) Political Correctness

In the wake of the massacre at Fort Hood, there has been a chorus of talking heads trying to make sense (or confuse us even more) why a Major in the U.S. Army would open fire on his brethren. Some call it terrorism, others call it a fragging, and of course, the Left blames it on PTSD and/or an anti-Muslim culture in the military. Evidence is coming out that Major Hasan was less a victim of Bush's warmongering and more a fellow traveler of our enemy: the Islamist vanguard ideology hoping to bring about the new world caliphate.

Now how exactly did an avowed Islamist, let alone one radical enough to initiate his own martyrdom operation from inside America's largest military base? The answer is clear enough if you listen to General Casey. Casey (infamous in foreign policy hawk circles for actively undermining General Petraues and the Surge) said that he was more worried about the “diversity” of the Army than anything else. He did not talk about the lack of armed soldiers in the building that was attacked nor did he address Hasan's well-known radicalism. He was more concerned about defending the tyrannic walls of political correctness and defending them from straw men. It is not just General Casey doing this, sadly, but all the organs of the left. I opened the Salt Lake Tribune today and read a bowel movement of a editorial “reminding” Utahns that Muslims are not the enemy. This is a paper that routinely takes up the thought process of people like Senator Harry Reid, who call Utahns stupid for voting in conservatives. Laughably, the top story for that day was people not caring about the race of the first black female mayor in Utah. I wonder who really needs the reminding...

Putting that tangent aside, let's get to real problem that Major Hasan's attack brings up: political correctness in the military. Social justice zealots would have you believe that a culture of hatred exists in the military: blacks, Hispanics, Muslims, gays and women are all under attack from the Southern infested military structure. To them, the military must be reformed so that it can better fight wars the social justice folk won't support. Instead of drumming out the radical minorities like Major Hasan, we ignore them. Hasan was lecturing his patients about the evils of America. He verbally fought with vets who supported our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He even went so far as to condemn non-believers to death by hot oil and beheading. This all on public record.

Who are we appeasing when we overlook radicalism in the military? Who are we helping if we ignore people like Major Hasan, Timothy McVeigh and Lee Harvey Oswald? All people with publicly radical views, all people who ended up committing horrible violence in the name of said ideology. The Left would have you believe people like Hasan are created by hate while people like McVeigh are the instigators. The Left would have you believe only certain people can be victims while others are inherently insane.

The reality is that people are individuals, General Casey. That people have their own ideas, Salt Lake Tribune. That most of our soldiers, airmen and seamen (along with most of the great people of America) are not wackjobs like Major Hasan, far left. America need not be reminded that not all Muslims are evil terrorists. WE KNOW THIS. Salt Lake City, a hub for African Muslims immigrants, and the rest of Utah need not be lectured by papers about the realities of religious tolerance and diversity. The US has yet to be severely plagued by the home grown radical Muslim uprising we see in France and other European countries. Most American Muslims are Americans, without question. We need not cater to the ideologically uneducated to prevent frothing masses of dunces from calling us racists against Muslims because they refuse to actually talk to real American Muslims.

The Fort Hood gunman, the Oklahoma City bomber and the assassin of JFK were all IDEOLOGUES. They had specific and radical ideas driving their murder, not race hate, not victimization and not the soft skin of mutated class warfare. They were driven by their own beliefs, not ours. America is not a radical country nor a country run by radicals. The Democrats are not the Communist Party nor are Republicans the Hamas of America, shooting gays and hanging traitors without trial. We do not foster the violence of extremists, we punish it. We punish it severely. We jail and execute terrorists and assassins. We hunt down radical sects and racist militias bent on violence. We make sure our country is safe from the deep darkness of dangerous ideology. That thick, red line was drawn thousands of years ago at the birth of the West. It remains today, and should remain, even in the military... even if it outrages yellow belly social engineers.

We all know that actions have consequences, but so do ideas. Let not the false and dangerous walls of intellectually putrid political correctness blind us to this fact the next time a nut like Hasan enters the ranks of the greatest military on the planet.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Obama will not Attend Berlin Wall Celebrations

This Monday November 9, 2009 represents the twenty year anniversary of the first time the Berlin Wall was opened in Germany. On that glorious day, it marked a significant step in the destruction of the Soviet Union and the end to the long and brutal cold war. America emerged as the lone super power in the world and surged ahead proving to the world that democracy and individual freedom had triumphed over tyranny and socialism. It was a wonderful time to be an American and an even more wonderful time to be alive. The heavy hand of government and the terrors of the Soviet Union would influence the world for the last time.

Germany became divided at the end of World War II, because the Allies could not agree as to which government should be installed after the fall of the third Reich. After much deliberation, it was decided that East Germany would belong to the Soviets and West Germany would belong to the American, British, and the French. After countless people had fled from East to West the Soviets had trouble controlling the border. Many were put in prisons and others were shot dead on the spot by Soviet border police. In 1961 it was decided by the Soviets that a more cost effective solution was necessary to stop frantic East German citizens from seeking freedom on the other side. Shooting some and putting others in prisons was very costly and thus the wall was built by the Soviets to help police the border between East and West Germany. The wall stood for many years until it was opened for the first time in 1989, and a united Germany was born.

On Monday the Germans have a huge celebration on hand to commemorate this giant accomplishment of freedom. Many will be on hand to celebrate this wonderful event including Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel as well as the last Soviet chairman, Mikhail Gorbachev. Barack Obama was invited to take part in the event, but as reported by White House press secretary, his schedule does not allow him to take part in these festivities. Upon hearing this news, I was speechless. How in the world can a sitting President of the United States and leader of the free world possibly skip an event as big as this one? Aside from winning World War II, one would be hard pressed to cite a larger example of freedom’s success in modern times than the fall of this wall and the end of the Soviet Union.

Many have tried, but nobody can deny America’s assistance with bringing down the Soviet Union. America engaged in several wars and struggles to prevent other countries from falling under Soviet rule. America would help in countless ways monetarily by sending money and aid to help other countries to stand tall in defense against the red army. The end of World War II left two world super powers who’s economic philosophy were polar opposites of one another. Each would watch each other like a hawk in a brilliant “chess like” game played throughout the decades as each tried to undermine each other. Each country would stare each other down knowing a simple blink of an eye or the first sign of weakness would open an opportunity for the other. All the while, the possibility of another world war with nuclear consequences could be in the near future. The rest of the world would watch this showdown cautiously as one country gaining power over the other would affect future decisions their governments would make. It was Stalin who once said, “for the final victory of socialism, for the organization of Socialist production, the efforts of one country, particularly of a peasant country like Russia, are insufficient.” (3) The Soviets believed socialism needed to expand to other nations to truly be successful, but during the cold war, America was there every step of the way to slow and prevent the Soviet “domino effect” in other countries. Some of America’s decisions to prevent the spread of communism this day are viewed by some as controversial, but nonetheless proved effective in keeping Communism at bay all over the globe. Finally the arms race in the 1980’s lead by compassionate, yet firm Ronald Reagan furthered the demise and helped to bankrupt the once great world threat. The fall of the Berlin Wall marked the end of this madness.

I have not heard what Barack Obama will be doing that day instead, but nothing excuses him taking a pass on this event. He found time to fly in the last minute to make a push for the Olympics a few months ago. He flew several times to campaign for his Democratic colleagues running for Governor. He made several overseas trips and has already met with Russia. Obama is only days away from a trip to Asia, I find it remarkable he can’t pencil in some time to stop by one of our best allies for an event as big as this one. He has apologized to the rest of the world endlessly for American mistakes made throughout history, but rarely cites examples of American success. This is Barack Obama’s opportunity to set everything else aside and enjoy the success of world freedom and America’s involvement in helping establish it as such. Unfortunately, the President has someplace else he would rather be that day and is dispatching Hillary Clinton in his place. I am not sure what the President was thinking on this one, but I am extremely disappointed he refuses to show up in person to represent America and share in one of freedom’s greatest accomplishments.


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Doug Hoffman’s Loss Spells Future Victory

All who are disappointed in Hoffman’s narrow loss … do not despair any longer. Hoffman may have lost the election, but those who stand for conservative principles won last evening. The results sent a clear message to the Republican Party – a message that apparently needed to be repeated and will continue to bear repetition until Republican leadership understands that liberal candidates are toxic.

Doug Hoffman not only fought against his Democrat opponent, Bill Owens; he also fought against the Republican National Committee – the committee that spent $1 million backing their liberal candidate Dede Scozzafava and ran ads AGAINST him. The Republican’s “one million dollar baby,” Ms. Scozzafava, was pro-bailout, pro-tax, pro-stimulus and leaned toward supporting a public option for healthcare. In spite of these very liberal positions, the Republican National Committee (RNC) felt she was worth a $1 million investment. After all, RNC elites concern themselves only with party affiliation – not the candidate’s principles and core beliefs. After Dede benefited from the RNC’s lucrative investment, she turned around and endorsed Bill Owens after she dropped out of the race. Mr. Owens owes the RNC much gratitude for his victory.

The RNC still has not learned from its painful past – the 2006 and 2008 elections. I wrote in the first column I published after Barack Obama won the election that conservative principles (especially fiscal) will make one of the most prominent comebacks in decades. The Republican Party still doesn’t get it, which is why America just witnessed an independent running against TWO parties almost emerge victorious. RNC chairman, Michael Steele, can continue his “big tent” policy with calamitous consequences. All he will have in the end is an empty tent. The key factor here is to have a political party that actually stands for something and has core principles. Deviation from core principles or letting liberals define what the party should stand for will allow Democrats to continue to win in areas of the country that had a century of Republican leadership.

This past election is about short-term pain for long-term gain. Either conservatives are going to take back the Republican Party so it will stand as the party of personal and fiscal responsibility or there will be plenty of independents following in Doug Hoffman’s footsteps. Mr. Hoffman’s bravery showed that it is VERY possible to win as an independent – to defeat BOTH political parties. As the U.S. dollar continues to weaken, as more people begin to see that the third quarter GDP results were artificial, as the reality of inflation or stagflation sets in, voters will reject liberal fiscal policy as well as any politician that advocates it regardless of the “D” or “R” after their name. The newly elected Republican leaders and governors in New Jersey and Virginia should keep this in mind.

Michael Steele’s “big tent” Republicanism and George W. Bush’s “compassionate conservatism” has failed on every level. History has shown over and over that “Liberalism Lite” is not the formula for success and leads to disastrous losses for Republicans. Herbert Hoover’s abandonment of conservative economic principles led to decades of Democrat reign in Congress along with four terms of FDR. George W. Bush followed in Herbert Hoover’s footsteps, and America now has one of its most liberal Presidents. If “Liberalism Lite” leads to “Ultra Liberalism,” then conservatives are better off going to war with Republican elites because the elites will soon realize that the tent doesn’t expand or even exist without the base. It is better to lose elections in the short-term than allow radicals to give America an economic makeover.

The near-term is going to be a bumpy ride. However there is a greater danger in giving liberals the opportunity to paint liberal Republicans as conservatives and convince voters that fiscal conservatism is to blame. American citizens need a real option, and when that option exists, blame will be distributed properly. If it takes an independent third party to stand for the kind of economic and monetary policy America needs, then the country is better off being run by Democrats until things get sorted out. Both political parties steering the country in the SAME direction (one faster than the other) is a far worse fate. It is possible that Mr. Owens may be more conservative than Ms. Scozzafava – the Republican Party’s $1 million baby!

Congratulations to Doug Hoffman and everyone on his staff for an eye-opening election that caught the entire nation’s eye. Whether one is a Reagan Republican, a Ron Paul Republican or whether they are socially liberal, libertarian or conservative, one thing that unites all of these constituents is ECONOMIC POLICY. If the Republican Party doesn’t change its ways, this is only the beginning of the rise of the independent conservative and libertarian candidates.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Real GDP Grows 3.5% in the Third Quarter – A Path to Prosperity Perhaps?

Not so fast. Estimations for positive GDP growth began early this summer; however, a closer look at how this was achieved will reveal a bleak outlook in the future.

The key contributions to growth in the third quarter are listed below:*

• Real personal consumption expenditures increased 3.4 percent in the third quarter, in contrast to a decrease of 0.9 percent in the second.
• Durable goods increased 22.3 percent, in contrast to a decrease of 5.6 percent.
• Real residential fixed investment increased 23.4 percent, in contrast to a decrease of 23.3 percent.

The Economic Recovery Act of 2009 had very little impact on the numbers as the federal government's contribution to GDP growth was up just 2.3 percent.* In addition, the money spent thus far has exceeded total output from quarter to quarter. However, much of the growth is attributed to the government’s “Cash for Clunkers Program” and the $8,000 first-time home buyer credit.

The costs of these government programs have well exceeded $1 trillion. Was this exorbitant cost worth 3.5 percent “growth?” More to the point, there wasn’t any REAL growth! The government has essentially printed money it doesn’t have to BUY growth. This is similar to individuals borrowing money on their credit line, going out and buying goods and claiming that their personal wealth has increased. Money shifting hands is not growth. Speaking of money shifting hands, how many people borrowed more than they can afford to take advantage of these programs betting on the fact a strong recovery is in sight? Does the word “bubble” come to mind?

Now, let’s have a look at the more discerning part of this report.

“Current-dollar personal income decreased $15.5 billion (0.5 percent) in the third quarter, in contrast to an increase of $19.1 billion (0.6 percent) in the second.”*

This is a cause for concern. 4.1 million jobs have been lost in 2009, and unemployment currently stands at 9.8 percent. People who still have jobs have been reduced to four-day work weeks in many cases. With personal income declining and no change in the high unemployment status, it’s time to look beyond the textbook term for an end to a recession.

“Personal current taxes increased $4.8 billion in the third quarter, in contrast to a decrease of $119.1 billion in the second.”*

Current-dollar personal income has declined, but personal current taxes have increased. Many individual states have raised sales taxes, property taxes and income taxes to cope with very large budget deficits. If people’s personal income increased, an increase in tax liability would have made sense.

“Disposable personal income decreased $20.4 billion (0.7 percent) in the third quarter, in contrast to an increase of $138.2 billion (5.2 percent) in the second. Real disposable personal income decreased 3.4 percent, in contrast to an increase of 3.8 percent.”*

Translation – people are barely getting by. Households and businesses have cut down expenses as far as possible. This is not a good situation for a consumption-driven economy.

Finally… “Personal saving -- disposable personal income less personal outlays -- was $364.6 billion in the third quarter, compared with $533.1 billion in the second.” “The personal saving rate -- saving as a percentage of disposable personal income -- was 3.3 percent in the third quarter, compared with 4.9 percent in the second.”*

A key indicator of real recovery is an increase in the personal savings rate for obvious reasons. An increase in personal savings is indicative of job growth and an increase in personal income. People then have dollars to invest to strengthen the markets.

In the end, what does all of this sum up? It reveals how just how effective government intrusion in the economy really is. What do we have in exchange for 3.5 percent GDP growth?

• A very weak U.S. dollar (Take no notice of the short-term bounce it has received from the GDP news, as it will be temporary.)
• A real possibility of a V-shaped recovery, inflation and stagflation if the government does not reverse course soon
• Personal income and savings declining and taxes rising
• A jobless recovery thus far
• An economy currently reliant on excessive government spending to produce positive growth with government spending exceeding the rate of growth

Considering how fast and how much the U.S. economy has declined, growth should have been much higher – possibly 6 or 7 percent. Perhaps that would have been possible with less government intervention and a focus on a strong U.S. dollar. For those naysayers who still believe that a weak dollar is critical to recovery, it is important to state that the U.S economy is not one that relies on exports. In addition, do people really think the U.S. will ever outdo China in terms of labor cost?

I’ll save my celebrating until the United States’ government looks backward in time and remembers the effects of Keynesian “stimulus.”


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

On Religious Freedom and the Public Square

What's so bad about religion? What's so damn wrong about it that it drives inverted church-and-state activists bonkers? Is religion so powerful that seeing a lone cross in the desert will create the notion that the government supports Christianity over all else? Is it really so important to muzzle religious speech by banning or diluting the original message of a display? What does that say about how we Americans view religious freedom as compared to our Founders who pioneered the idea? I hope with this post to answer these questions and to lay out a moderate and liberty-based approach to religious freedom in this great country.

Religion and Culture

From the dawn of time, man has had stories of gods, devils, spirits and all kinds of paranormal beings creating the world we see around us. Throughout the years religion has evolved from trying to explain the sun, the stars and the wind to become the staple of the world's most advanced cultures on the planet. Not only that, religion has created some of the most beautiful art, inspired the most profound works of literature, and even was the rallying cry behind the American Revolution and the call to free millions of blacks from the bondage of slavery and suppression of the civil rights. There is not one nation, not one culture, that hasn't been based around or based on a religion.

Even today, in spite of anti-religious rhetoric, every human being is wired to have some kind of faith. They have faith in God, faith in Allah, faith in any number of scriptures, texts, ideas or powerful creators. Our modern society has even reached the point where political ideologies have reached such extremes that the term “political religion” describes the movement's religious nature to secular ideal - not a political ideology based in religious doctrine. To use a current issue, people talk about “believing” in universal health care, having “faith” in its workability, or even outright dismissing fact and proclaiming it good and moral, as if the very declaration will destroy the pitfalls.

Secular political religion in America has a very big grudge against traditional religion and traditional culture as well. One does not have to be an atheist or agnostic to be part of the secular political religion movement. There are many groups of faithful people who also believe in the strict secularization of America's public square. From removing God from the pledge of allegiance to banning any moments from schools that could be used for prayer, the secular political religion has made headway in all aspects of American life. Either knowingly or unknowingly, they have created a wedge between America and her culture, between America and her national values, between America and the ability to teach moral lessons on a national scale. This is dangerous in the long view because no matter how you view a certain religion, or all religions, a moral code is necessary for a moral and just society. There is no better teacher of basic individualistic morality than religious texts.

Defining the Great Line

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
-First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States

Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man & his god, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between church and state.
-Thomas Jefferson. From his letter to the Danbury Baptists on government interference in religion.


As read by the secularization movements, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion” along with “a wall of separation between church and state” indisputably means that religion must be either totally removed from the public square or accommodated in full by all other faiths. Otherwise it would seem that the government, state or federal, is “establishing” a religion. A theocracy-by-perception, if you will. This is a ludicrous view of the First Amendment and its history. It also distorts Jefferson's meaning of “church and state” and his personal views on religion in the public square.

Firstly, before anything else, one must read the entirety of the religious clauses of the First Amendment. It says “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” The first clause is pretty clear in that the United States is not to have a state religion, a state church or any kind of state subsidized religious domination by one section over others. The second clause clearly states in light of the state not establishing a national religion, that the free exercise of religion cannot be prohibited. It does not say that the state cannot have religious displays in national parks, state parks or city parks. It does not say the state must accommodate a religious display with displays of other faiths around it to remove the perception of religious establishment. It does not say that without accommodating other faiths, such displays must be removed for the sake of secular views on religion. It states simply that the state cannot establish a national faith nor can it deny the expression of faith among its citizens. The religious clauses were intended as such as seen by their early drafting, which were written by James Madison as: “The civil rights of none shall be abridged on account of religious belief or worship, nor shall any national religion be established, nor shall the full and equal rights of conscience by in any manner, or on any pretext infringed.” [1]

While the First Amendment has a clear cut definition of what is and is not permissible by the government in the religious realm, as in all things, modern complexity has brought up many issues that may not fit so easily into the original intent of the clauses. For instance, should a public school have a recited prayer before classes begin? During the first two centuries of America (and before the creation and implementation of incorporation to the states), it was not seen as a violation to have prayer. But with the ever increasing number of secularists, atheists and agnostics, the issue was eventually brought up before the infamous Supreme Court ensemble known as the Warren Court. The verdict in the case (known as Abington Township v. Schempp (1963)) created a new test for judges to use in such cases and is known as the “secular purpose” test. The test is supposed to determine if an activity is secular enough to be compatible with the Establishment Clause. In my opinion, the Warren Court ruled justly. In today's society, the Christian faith, while the majority, no longer has the super majority it once had. To be faithful to the intent of the Establishment Clause, an obvious Christian prayer, even if it's non-denominational, cannot be mandatory in a government-run school.

If the line had been drawn there, I don't think anyone including the politically active religious of us would be able to argue against a simple reforming from a Christian to a secular moment in public schools. Prayer would not be suppressed, but simply not encouraged by the state. Alas, the line was not drawn in rock, but sand. Since then, prayer at after-school games and clubs have been banned or called into question. Christian groups on high school or college campuses have been banned or threatened with banning if they did not include people of other faiths in their clubs. Government voucher programs for poor minority students have been cut with some justifying it on the grounds that the money went to religious schools and the government should not be supporting such schools due to the Establishment Clause. (They forget that these schools were being paid for their service - not subsidized for being religious. Nor do they remember these lucky children were removed from violent and failing public schools that were awful in spite of massive funding.) This hardly scratches the surface as displays religious and seemingly religious in nature are being taken down or are in the process of being struck down. Even World War I memorials in the lonely Mojave Desert are not safe from those who see a single cross on public land as the creeping shadow of a government sponsored religion.

The Hammer, the Flea and the Vase

This post is not meant to demean secularism or try to make excuses for those who wish to see a more religiously based government in America. The former, in the form of the Establishment Clause, has done much to prevent the permanence of religious-based idealists like Woodrow Wilson or (God help us if he ever become President) Mike Huckabee. But, in contrast to the vast good the Establishment Clause has done, the misreading and its abuse by anti-religious groups and overzealous secularists has put religion in a bind, and with that, the nation's moral center.

Every major religion in America has the same common views on life, its importance and its care. Christians, Muslims and Jews may argue over theology, but there is concurrence on topic such as abortion or euthanasia. One will see a beautiful display of inter-religious harmony. Human cloning, destroying embryos for research and other science versus morality issues all require that we look to our moral leanings for guidance. It doesn't matter if you think Christians are polytheists, that Muhammad was a child rapist or that Buddhists are just wackos worshiping a fat statute. When it comes to reflecting on moral choices, religion has the monopoly that no one can break.

The thing is that secular political religion has a problem with the moral monopoly. It may be because of religion's view on gay rights, divorce, drug use, child rearing, etc. The more outlandish and idealistic of the secular movement don't simply want religion in its rightful place in the public square, as the Warren Court provided, but it wants it gone from the square completely. Those in like-mind with the anti-religious crowd, even though they may not be anti-religious themselves, cannot justify their views unless they are prepared to admit they are either anti-religious or making a big mistake. To me, the secularist, who isn't anti-religious, sees an ugly flea of dangerous religious power on the face of the beautiful religious culture vase and wishes it gone. However, instead of simply blowing the flea off the vase with their breath, (something that won't harm the vase), they take a hammer and smash the vase into pieces just to remove the aesthetic unpleasantness of a single flea. How does that help anything? It doesn't, and it drives our faithful citizens to object to the destruction of our grand and free religious traditions - traditions that have done so much for the people of this country. What do they get for their objections? Anti-religionists and like-minds saying religion has no place in this discussion - bold words from the temple's vandals.

Secularize the Government, Pluralize the Square

Most Americans have a rightful fear of the government, either economically, militarily, religiously or politically. Some fear it on all sides, and some do not fear it at all. Religious freedom today has been suppressed on the fear of a religiously powerful government growing from the raising of monuments by private citizens, students and localities. American history does have its times of religiously motivated political extremism, from preachers defending slavery to civil rights suppression and the President saying God wants the nation under a united culture of Christianity. We should not ignore the dangers of a religious-driven politic. Yet, we can't simply throw out the baby with the bathwater, or in this instance, the faith with the demagogue.

As written by the Founders, government has no place in the religious square. Government should not regulate religion nor should it invite religion to create policy or give it undue control of anything. Government should not pick one religion over another; or a group of religions over another group. No public building should have religious imagery without a historical or secular purpose, as the Warren Court ruled. Basically, government can't play favorites with the public's faith. However, the government shouldn't be playing policeman with people's feelings and (mis)perceptions either. Private events approved by public schools, private monuments on public land approved by a city or state should not be torn down over the objections of overzealous secularists under the pretense of a person's perception (most of all theirs). Isn’t it possible to simply regulate HOW MANY private memorials can go up in any section of land - not WHAT KIND of private memorials go up? Hell, just for safety's sake, put a sign saying “The government is not responsible for the views of the displays in this park,” or something along those lines just so everyone knows that the government isn't about to toss gays in jail or atheists into churches. It's simpler and more free to secularize the government, but leave the public square to the plurality of faiths that have built and kept America moral since its birth.

One's ability to display their political views and religious faith in the public square is the core reason of the First Amendment. To toss away half of a guaranteed freedom for bleeding hearts, hand wringers and angry bigots proves that we're cowards, not enlightened.


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

On Leadership and Media

Yesterday was the birthday of Margaret Thatcher, the Iron Lady of the United Kingdom. In spreading the word on Michelle's Facebook group, it became apparent that Mrs. Thatcher was not a well-liked figure by the Left. Wishes of rotting in Hell, accusations of personal political greed and all the various other accusations that the Right should be accustomed to after the Bush era. When you cross the Left's moral line, beware.

In spite of the Left's objections, the world should be thankful for people like Mrs. Thatcher, her American counterpart Ronald Reagan, and all the other stalwart leaders of West during the Cold War. Post-World War II Earth was not a place for the wishy washy foreign policy pillow talk. Out the destruction of three dangerous imperialisms came the unfortunate birth of a new, more dangerous power. While the fascist powers were overtly imperial and used their military might to show it, the Soviet Union had its forth column of fellow travelers, spies, satellite countries and useful idiots. What was a war of might from 1939 to 1945 became a war of ideas from 1945 to 1991.

In a war of ideas, it goes way beyond one's ability to be a diplomat, a general or a dreamer. For 50 years, the United States and the Soviet Union danced around places like Berlin, Hungary, Suez, Israel, Cuba, Vietnam, Angola and Afghanistan. In each one of these conflicts, both cold and hot, the soldiers were only one part of the equation. The press, especially in the West, was unbelievably important to influence. For example, the Tet Offensive was a massive psychological blow to the war effort due to the press's assumption the war was lost. You ask a random person, and if they know what the Tet Offensive is, there is good money that they think it was a military victory for the Viet Cong. In fact, the Tet Offensive severely crippled the once vast resources of the Communist insurgents. But, for the pictures, video and commentary, no to mention the future President Nixon on the horizion (we all know how much of a backbone he had), by all common sense, Tet would have been a conclusive victory.

The whole world, from the intellectuals to the peasant, is watching us more than ever. From the Mullahs to the enslaved soldier. From the Prime Minister of Israel to the Palestinian child. One could wavier and not be noticed 50 years ago, even more so 100 years ago. But today, a President is under a 24-hour microscope and there is no agreement to what is seen. Leadership of today has to be strong. It has to be steel. It has to be both feet in the dirt Hoplite-style. The enemy must be crushed by your immovable will. Otherwise, they will see the crack, they will expose the crack and they will bash it open into a chasm to which the world you detest will pour in like a mudslide.

This doesn't mean you can't debate all you want privately and publicly, but once you set your feet down, don't move it. Otherwise, you'll lose your footing, you'll teeter and fall. Sometimes being a stubborn ass is the best thing, especially when a leaf on the wind may be blown over a cliff.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Obama’s Nobel Peace “Surprise”

On the morning of October 9th, the world woke to learn President Barack Obama had won the Nobel Peace Prize. What does the Nobel prize mean these days? Well, unfortunately, to me it hasn’t meant a whole lot for quite a while now. Today the award has become more about picking the most out spoken liberal than choosing someone who truly promotes the idea of world peace. Al Gore won the prize in 2007 for his documentary that was riddled with mistakes, exaggerations, and even a few untruths. Many feel that prize should have went to Irena Sendler, the sweet woman who saved thousands of Jewish lives during the Holocaust instead of Al Gore, but who are we to judge?

I thought I had heard enough when Yasser Arafat and Al Gore had taken home the prize, but Barack Obama winning this year simply takes the cake. Every major piece of legislation this man has pushed as President has failed to pass – cap and trade and health care being are among the largest. I cannot recall our country being more divided as it is today despite Obama’s campaign rhetoric promising to be everyone’s president. A worthless spending bill as pay back to the left wrapped up and disguised as an economic stimulus package is his most notable accomplishment. The stimulus bill that was supposed to protect us from 10 percent unemployment has failed to free us from the shackles of unemployment which topped 9.8 percent this month. (1)

Barack Obama becomes only the fourth US president in us history to win the honor. Former president Jimmy Carter was awarded the Nobel Prize in 2002. He had been out of office for over 20 years and had spent a lifetime devoted to promoting peace around the world. I agree very little with Carter politically, but one can justify Carter getting the award after a lifetime of dedication to peaceful causes. Woodrow Wilson was awarded the prize for founding the League of Nations in 1919. Theodore Roosevelt was given the honor for assisting with various peace treaties in 1906. Both Roosevelt and Wilson were given these awards after they had been in office for many years. Roosevelt was president for about five years and Wilson for six. Barack Obama was given his award after only 10 months in office.

Well Obama must be one heck of a president right? Let’s take a look at his record after 10 months as the leader of the free world. We still have troops in Iraq who are still in danger helping to keep the current Iraqi regime in place. At the same time, his general that he has chosen to turn around Afghanistan has begged him for 40,000 more troops and a new strategy. Obama has yet to make a decision on this and every day more troops and civilians are in danger while the President consults with his advisors. The President has said publically that the Taliban will have to remain in power in certain areas, but away from the Afghanistan central government. (3) The Taliban is still the same group that has supported terrorist actions against civilians and Americans in the Middle East for many years. Gitmo remains open for business, only without harsh interrogation techniques that kept us free from terrorists for many years. North Korea still possesses nuclear weapons and Iran is getting closer every single day to building one. Meanwhile Israel has made it clear all options are open to prevent a nuclear strike from Iran. None of this sounds like peace to me and sounds like the world is getting worse every day. To his credit, Obama did inherit a lot of these problems and was very humble when he accepted the award. I do, however, find it ironic that continuing many policies of the previous administration put Bush in exile, but awards Obama with the peace prize.

So why did he really get this award? What could the committee possibly see to have awarded Obama this honor? Some feel this is a slap at former President Bush and others prior to him who supported America as a super power and sometimes an interventionist. I personally feel this was done as a token of good will from the Norwegian Nobel Committee to make sure Obama doesn’t fade from his radical left agenda. Polls for the President are slipping and he has lost tremendous support from moderate Democrats and many independents who are shocked by the giant leaps to the left our President and this Congress have made recently. Without a drastic change in policy, Obama and many liberal Democrats stand to be voted out of office in the next few elections. This was a way the Nobel Committee could say to our President, while many Americans may disagree with you in these areas, the rest of the world is behind you. This is the single most powerful means of encouragement to keep Obama on his current pace to change America into a more collective system that Europe has had for decades. I also see this as a way for Norwegian elites on the committee to thumb their noses down at Americans like myself who are unhappy with the liberal direction our country has taken. After all, what do we the peasants know anyway? Haven’t the elites always made the best decisions for us throughout history?

The good news is the Nobel Committee does not vote in our elections…you do. As I have said time and time again, America will always reject these ideas because we are a nation that focuses more on individual freedom and individuality rather than a collective rationing body. No foreign Committee will ever decide what you think is best for America. Sadly, the real losers in this deal are all the significant people who have earned this prize throughout the years back when it meant something. Every year this award becomes less and less meaningful and more political. This year’s decision has all but destroyed any sanctity that remained with the Nobel Peace Prize. Many people around the world see this for what it is and many high ranking liberal commentators are calling this act premature. Perhaps there is an outspoken liberal in his home right now who is worthy of this award today. Maybe we could take this a step further and award this honor to everyone in the world so we can all feel good about ourselves. I guess I should be happy that another American has won the prize. However, when the prize is given away for political purposes, as it has for many years, I would rather it went to someone else in another country who really deserves it.


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A Memorial, A Threat...

The Supreme Court will hear a case on a lonely World War I memorial in the Mojave Desert.


Because a good number of Americans believe a upside-down Orwellian reading of the Establishment Clause based on the misreading of Thomas Jefferson's letter to the Danbury Baptists on why government (key word: GOVERNMENT) should stay out of religion.

Monday, October 5, 2009

You're Too Stupid to Argue Politics: Moral Outrage

Dear God in Heaven, it's been one of those months. Missile defense, the slow death of the public option, Chicoms getting a birthday wish from an American landmark, Joy Behar getting her own show and Iran's not-so-secret nuke plant to name but a few. Everything is just dannnnnndy this September, ain't it?

However, what's getting me today is backwards moral outrage.


What? Really? Hold on a tick.

“Health care reform,” as it's used by the Left, means government-run health care. It means the public option. It means more regulation. It means a closed market like they're trying to do with student loans. Reform, as far as I remember, means changing the current system. It doesn't specifically mean having government shove its hands up the collective asses of American doctors. It could also mean (SHOCKINGLY) reversing the decades of uneven and conflicting regulation and (SHOCKINGLY) freeing up the market to small individual providers who don't lobby Congress to fence the market in their favor.

The speediness that the Left wants this passed (the day before yesterday) is amusing, because the reform bill currently on the table wouldn't be implemented until 2013. FOUR YEARS. Rush through reform so we can wait? Something is up. Usually, it’s the uncanny ability of smart Americans to notice things that may be wrong... like... the entire damn thing. Why do you think Obama wanted it done in August? It wasn't because he was going to sunbathe with Nancy in Hawaii and wanted to keep the date.

These people, not every Leftist, but the big, loud, super morally outraged at every damn thing but things that matter, are sick people. These are the same folk who support the troops by rooting for the Taliban and pushing to cut funding to the war. These are same people who check the casualty lists so they can be outraged at the increasing number, all the while they are for the restrictions on the war that get our men and women killed more often. These people like bad things, so they can use it to change the world. It's a tactic of the far Left... create the chaos so you can change the world. The anarchists of the 19th and 20th centuries blew up buildings, murdered nobles, massacred priests, creating the authoritarian response that would bring people to their side. Today's out-of-their-mind Left follows in their footsteps.

Think about it. Why did the housing market crash? First, the Fed kept credit cheap, so loans were cheap so people could keep buying houses. “It's the American dream to own a home,” was the call. Second, the government manipulation of the home loan market with various programs and institutions that either forced or disproportionately loaned at sup-prime rates to people with bad credit, no credit or little income. Community ratings. Housing rights. Name your social justice catch-theme. It all contributed to the downfall. And now, after the CRA, after ACORN, after the obvious failing of government diddled markets, they want MORE rules and MORE special interest. Dear God.

Now, what does this have to do with health care? Let's see. People can't buy across state lines. Employer-based health care is the only way many people can get insurance. The FDA has monopoly power over what drugs get on the market. Issues like massive corporate tax rates, mandated coverage for non-health emergency things like simple check ups that people can pay out of pocket, monopoly-regulation on different drugs depending on who is running Congress, and the list goes on and on. The health care insurance market is full of so much GOVERNMENT red tape, the private industry red tape can wrap around the ass of a dust mite with just enough slack for a nice little bow.

For God's sake, Ted Kennedy, the lion of the Senate, the icon of government health care, the great man of the little man, was cared for.... IN A PRIVATE HOSTPITAL!!!!! That shows you who he trusts with his life.

If you want to be outraged, how about at Chicom labor camps, North Korean mass graves, Cuban execution of gays, Venezuelan closing of free press, Bolivian discrimination of natives, British arresting of kids for playing war... SOMETHING that actually deserves some outrage.

The politically ignorant emotional jerkings of a rotting corpse of ideological laziness does not make a moral code. Got it?

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Social Security: The Government’s Ponzi Scheme

In spite of the burdensome and complex regulations that preside over financial markets, criminals like Bernie Madoff can pull off schemes that destroy the lives of many innocent people. One is left to wonder how a person can manipulate the system with such ease. Perhaps criminals like Madoff devise their schemes from the “legal” ones resembling Social Security. Is that a bit of a stretch? Probably. However, the parallels are quite interesting and close enough to make the assertion with the stark difference being intention, of course. The government does not intend to rip people off – it just doesn’t foresee the economically catastrophic consequences of programs designed to help people.

The definition of a Ponzi scheme is “a fraudulent investment operation that pays returns to investors from their own money or money paid by subsequent investors rather than from any actual profit earned; or an investment swindle in which high profits are promised, and early investors are paid off from funds raised from later ones.” A Ponzi scheme is essentially a pyramid scam since it relies on future investors to pay returns to the initial investors.

An examination of the Social Security system reveals some similarities to illegal pyramid schemes. Social Security is a “pay as you go” system. A payroll tax exists in which funds are taken from a worker’s paycheck and distributed to those who currently qualify for benefits. The government does not have individual bank accounts set up in which the money you contribute can grow until you reach retirement age. Therefore, the Social Security system relies on “new investors” to pay returns to the people who are eligible.

The Social Security tax burden is equally shared by the employer and employee. However, just because the employer pays half, does NOT mean that it doesn’t come at the employee’s expense. Businesses designate a certain amount of dollars that they deem an employee is worth. The government takes their cut from payroll taxes, and the employee is left with the difference, which translates into lower gross pay. If a company affords a $50,000 salary for an associate, the 12.4 percent employer/employee Social Security burden reduces gross pay to $43,800. (1) This does not include other payroll taxes such as Medicare tax and income tax.

Social Security has built the “pyramid” over the years, and a pyramid scheme is an unsustainable business model. Eventually, there are too many people requiring a return and not enough people buying into the scheme. Before life expectancy increased and differences in population growth (“baby boomers” vs. “generation X”) took hold, Social Security was able to thrive since there were more people paying into the system than drawing on benefits. For example, in 1950, the ratio of people aged 20-64 was about 7.25 to 1 to people aged 65 and over. (2) This means that there were 7 people paying into the Social Security system for every one person collecting. This number does not include those under the age of 20 who were also working and paying into the system. In 2007, the ratio has fallen to about 4.7 percent. Due to the falling ratio, the government has raised tax rates and delayed benefits to younger generations to adjust for longer life expectancies.

Bernie Madoff’s investors probably didn’t know how their money was being invested. They were simply promised a very high return. Social Security was sold to people under the guise of financial security in later years. How many individuals know what the government does with Social Security dollars? How many know that the government spends Social Security funds on other programs? These “loans” are called “intergovernmental holdings.” The Treasury department issues bonds to the Social Security Administration; and those bonds are held in a “trust fund.” Bonds are simply a promise of future tax increases, which means that taxpayers are funding other government programs via Social Security. Would you mind if Vanguard or ING Direct borrowed from your 401k contributions to pay other investors? Only the government can make loans to itself with other peoples’ money, require a loftier investment from people in the future to pay off the loan, and no one winds up in jail.

What would happen if workers’ were given a 12.2 percent increase in pay today with a stipulation in place that a certain percentage of one’s salary had to be placed in a retirement fund? Imagine if workers actually had a say in how their money is invested, and they were given quarterly statements that show an account balance to assess their progress. Imagine retirees being able to pass on their savings to their children and grandchildren instead of receiving a $255 death benefit.

Isn’t it time that people take control over their financial future instead of contributing to a government slush fund? How secure is Social “Security” when a worker pays into the system all of their life, but dies at age 66? The surviving spouse has a choice between taking their benefit or their deceased spouses’ – whichever is greater. They do NOT get both, and children are not entitled to benefits unless they are disabled or under the age of 16. The rules are complex and have some exceptions; however, the key point is that people should be able to designate freely who their beneficiaries are and be able to KEEP all that they invested.

The Social Security pyramid is going to collapse. The ratio of those paying into the system versus those receiving benefits will continue to drop. It is estimated by 2016, a deficit will exist, and the deficits will be made up by redeeming trust fund assets. (3) America’s economic performance will determine how long it will take the government to deplete the trust fund.

Social Security will have disastrous economic consequences if the move to abolish the program is not made soon. It all boils down to individual as opposed to statist control over your golden years.


Monday, September 28, 2009

The Easy Way Out

Why work hard in the private sector when you can be a paper pusher for the city/state/feds?

A taste:

* The disparity between the public and private sectors is present even in employment statistics. Between July 2008 and July 2009, the private sector lost some 5.2 million workers while government grew by 238,000 workers, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

* Since the recession began in December 2007, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows that private sector employment has declined 5.74 percent, while government payroll has grown 0.83 percent, according to the New York Times.

* The private sector lost more than a million workers in the second quarter of 2009, while government added over half a million, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. From March 2009 to June 2009, the number of employed persons in private industries dropped from 108,674,000 to 107,498,000. During that same timeframe, the number of employed persons in government rose from 20,904,000 to 21,446,000.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Glenn Beck Owes Libertarians An Apology

by Dan Hanley

Last week Glenn Beck apologized to his fans for calling himself a libertarian in the past. Upon hearing this many libertarians probably jumped for joy…until they heard his reasoning.

Beck’s apology centered on his treatment of Texas Congressman Ron Paul during the 2008 Republican primaries (1). He apologized for labeling Paul as “kooky” and claimed that he wished he could go back and rethink his opposition to Paul’s stance on foreign policy and social issues. He failed to mention his assertion that Paul’s supporters were domestic terrorists following their November 5th fundraising event (2). Perhaps Mr. Beck would have given more thought to Paul’s candidacy were it not for his (likely racially motivated) fear of the “Kenyan” opponent Barack Obama. Apparently the “birther” conspiracy theorists are worth Beck’s time but not his supposed political allies.

Glenn Beck’s apology to libertarians for his treatment of Ron Paul ranks very low on the long list of things for which he should apologize. It is quite ironic that this apology comes almost exactly a year after his support of the bank bailouts (3). Perhaps an apology for distorting the public’s view of libertarian fiscal policy would have been more apt. Until recently, Beck had never even questioned his support of a militaristic, interventionist foreign policy. He supported the drug prohibition through the 2008 primaries, citing his alcoholism and past drug use as influences in this stance. These would have made for a far more interesting and relevant apology piece. Upon close examination, it seems that all of Beck’s so-called “libertarian” stances have only presented themselves over the past year or so.

Beck’s conversion coincided with two important political events. The first is the decline of the neoconservative wing of the Republican Party. Beck began to drop positions to which he attributed this decline. Therefore, social conservative positions like opposition to equal rights for homosexuals and support for the ineffective “War on Drugs” had to go. The attention-craving Beck realized that the libertarian stance on these issues was gaining popularity, and his change in position allowed him to grab many libertarian and social moderate viewers. Beck is one of many GOP conservatives to take the label of libertarian as an out from the unpopular neo-conservative establishment. This leads into the second event: his move from CNN to Fox.

Beck’s network switch created a need to pull in listeners which other Fox shows were unable to capture. The label of “libertarian” gave him more legitimacy in the eyes of those wearied by the hypocrisy of the Republicans. Beck’s show also allowed Fox to throw right-libertarians a bone without hiring someone who would bring with them legitimate criticism of the Republican Party and its neo-conservative base, such as Andrew Napolitano. Beck also gave Fox an outlet to gain access to the populist Tea Party movement which the open establishment neo-conservative pundits could not.
Either Mr. Beck is nothing more than an opportunist seeking to profit by hijacking the name of libertarianism, or he has absolutely no idea what the word means. No libertarian would have voted for Clinton (7) His pro-war stance completely defies the non-aggression aspect of libertarianism. One cannot be a libertarian without supporting a foreign policy of peace. He ignores fiscal conservatism and the principles of Austrian economics with his support of the bailouts, though he only supported them when they were proposed by Republicans. Finally he rejects the anti-authoritarianism inherent to libertarian beliefs with his nonsensical banter about the dangers of drugs.

In short, Glenn Beck has to include quite a bit in his apology to libertarians. He should apologize for further associating libertarianism with conspiracy theorists like the “birthers” and FEMA camp lunatics. Perhaps he should apologize for corrupting the label of libertarianism by associating it with the interventionist foreign policy of the GOP conservatives. Another apology is deserved for his association of libertarianism with the daily insanity he displayed on his show: from hatred of the victim families of the 9/11 attacks (6), to saying he would enjoy choking Michael Moore to death (4), to screaming at callers who criticize his stance (5). “Glenn Beck libertarianism” is nothing more than outdated Fox News idiocy rebranded. Glenn Beck owes libertarians many apologies, none of which will come. So instead Mr. Beck must answer one question, “Where were you for the last eight years, Glenn?”


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Circus of Tyranny

That's what the UN is.

From NRO:
Late Sunday night, the United Nations issued its Monday Journal, which lists the heads of state who are addressing the opening of the 64th U.N. General Assembly on Wednesday. Tucked in between Colombia and Russia is Honduras — but the legitimate president of Honduras will not be speaking. The U.N., a majority of whose member states are not “fully free” (according to Freedom House), has invited the ousted would-be dictator of Honduras, disgraced former president Manuel Zelaya, to deliver the address.

This is an outrageous decision, but don’t expect President Obama to stand up for justice and the rule of law. As NR’s Jay Nordlinger recently pointed out, Obama has decided to revoke the visa of Honduran president Roberto Micheletti, preventing his entry into the United States. Obama apparently feels more comfortable sharing a cappuccino in the U.N. Delegates Lounge with a deposed Chávez acolyte than with its authentic, constitutionally legitimate president.

Why is the leader of the free world choosing to “take a stand” against the democratic, pro-American Honduran government? And why doesn’t he have the moral courage to take stands against the world’s most oppressive regimes, such as those in Iran, North Korea, and Burma? Shouldn’t Obama be denying visas to the real enemies of Lady Liberty?

Friday, September 18, 2009

You're Too Stupid To Argue Politics: Racism

Welcome to the new sporadic series on Generation Patriot. This series, You're Too Stupid To Argue Politics, will be mostly rants against the stupidity of people who think they can argue in politics. This won’t be a partisan series. It will cover both arguments from the left-wing and the right-wing because, honestly, there are idiots everywhere. It will be blunt, offensive and full of asshattery. However, this is a subject where if you're offended, then you're probably too stupid to argue politics.

#1 Racism

Since the day President Obama announced his candidacy, there have been accusations that his opponents, both Clinton supporters and conservatives, were racist. Mentioning Reverend Wright was racist, telling people that Bill Ayers was a terrorist was racist (though Obama had no connection with him, wink wink), and questioning his policy was racist. The frequent use of the term took away the meaning and the importance of the word. False events like the “Kill him!” and the viral videos of “raging” McCain supporters just made the view even more widespread and more idiotic.

Fast forward to today. Ex-president and the official National Crazy Old Man Jimmy Carter just accused Representative Joe Wilson of racism. The Republican's outburst of “You Lie” during the President's congressional address has rallied conservatives and offended liberals. While boorish and uncivil, Mr. Wilson, who apologized, was correct as shown by the reinsertion of enforcement provisions into “Obamacare” to prevent illegal aliens and unqualified immigrants from getting government funds. However, don't let that stop the chorus of “RACIST!” echoing out of the Church of Tolerance. Once a heretic is found, he must be punished!

In the similar manner “fascist” is used, “racist” is a codeword for “shut the hell up!” It's something you use continuously when you don't have an argument. It's something that is supposed to shame your opponent into removing him/herself from debate because how could you ever argue when people think you're a raging racist? Classical liberal Republican nominee Barry Goldwater was accused of hooking up with neo-Nazis in Germany so he could get his racism mojo working. Ronald Reagan was accused of supporting slavery when he talked about states rights in his first campaign speech. Newt Gingrich was accused of genocide with a smile when he invited the Congressional Black Caucus over for drinks after the 1994 sweep. Sarah Palin was accused of racism when she said Obama was “paling” around with a terrorist. Does any of this sound like actual racism? Do you see Hitler, George Wallace, whips or eugenics?

The funny thing about all this screaming of bloody racism is that the people who are pointing it out are the same people who believe in the classification and promotion of races based on broad racial categories and based on skin color. On top of that, the label may or may not be accurate to the person's ethnic heritage. There are many, many ethnicities that fit into “black” or the more inaccurate “African-American” label. “Hispanic” is a broad category that covers pure blood Spanish living in South America, as well as a variety of mixed race groups. Not to mention that if you mix up the nationality of a “Hispanic,” they may or may not be pissed at you for mixing up Guatemalan and Honduran. These nations have distinct cultures and histories and their citizenry are proud of it. Don't think that's true? Just walk around Toronto, pick out a white resident, and call them an American. Bring ear plugs.

Racism, real racism, is a horrible and fringe belief in today's America. Institutionalized racism against minorities hasn't been a problem in decades. There is no enforced federal law that puts minorities on one side and whites on the other in which the minorities are put below whites. There are, of course, local issues and schisms born from institutionalized racism, but those are, like I just said: LOCAL. Drunk white teenage skinheads in Louisiana aren't a microcosm of the entire white race. No local problem is a statement on the entire nation, unless you're an opportunist racialist like Al Sharpton.

Racism is much too important a word to throw around like a rag doll. Racism is much too important an issue than leftist moralism or rightist indignation. Racism, like fascism, like any word now used as a term for “Shut The F**k Up,” is way too important than the crybaby whiners that use it to cover their lack of intellectual capacity.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The United States Constitution vs. the European Constitution

By: Jordan and Michelle

Part I: The Structure of American Government

America has always looked to Europe for guidance. During the Revolutionary Era, faction vied for power by claiming to look to Revolutionary France or Great Britain for ideas. In the early 1900s, various Old Progressives were influenced or directly taught by German Idealists and British Historicists. In fact, before he became President, Woodrow Wilson wrote volumes on the superiority of the British parliamentary system while lamenting the flaws of the American Constitution. Today, the New Progressives look to Europe's growing unity (and growing government) and feel envy. The European Union (EU) has passed sweeping environmental laws, has a large welfare system, and in most nations, state-run universal health care. To a leftist, Europe is the future. To most Americans, however, transplanting the EU's system to the U.S. would be a nightmare beyond words. To understand why, we must understand the history of the American structure of government.

The Confederation

The United States of America began under a much smaller and much weaker Constitution. The Second Continental Congress took the role of a provisional national government during the Revolutionary War and presented the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union to the states in 1777. After years of haggling and dealing, Maryland, the final state, ratified the Constitution, and the first permanent structured government of the United States was established.

Thirteen articles made up the first Constitution, and recognized the following:

• The name of the United States of America
• The equality between the thirteen states
• The assurance that the United States of America is a free and independent nation
• The union between the states is perpetual
• The freedom of movement between the states except for criminals
• The establishment of a Congress with each state having one delegation and one vote per delegation
• The central government can conduct foreign relations and war, and that no individual state can declare war nor have a state navy
• When an army is raised, all officers ranked Colonel and below are named by state legislatures
• The United States expenditures will be paid by funds raised by the states
• The job of the central government encompassed war, weights and measures, and mediation
• A Committee of the States was to be established to act as the government for when Congress is not in session
• Nine states are needed to ratify new states
• The war debt incurred by the previous Congress is now owned by the Confederacy
• The declaration that the Articles are perpetual and can only be altered by Congress with the approval of all state legislatures

While this document is quite the read, one can see the emphasis on decentralization. Each state had vast amounts of power over its own destiny. The central government was essentially a mediator and a very weak commerce regulator, as the states each had their own trade policy. There was no executive branch, no judiciary and no bureaucratic regulatory commissions. In fact, the Congress had no way to force the states to submit troops or supplies which made it difficult to prosecute the war. Many people such as John Adams, James Madison and Alexander Hamilton saw the weakness of the Articles during and after the war. Congress had no power to tax; and, therefore, it had no power to pay debts, fund roads or any other kind of basic national infrastructure. Congress had to ask the individual states for money. Unsurprisingly, the states, without having any mandatory reason to give money, were reluctant to work outside their own self-interest. A slightly similar, but more centralized version of this structure can be seen in Canada where the provinces are forced to give money to the federal government who then distributes that money back to the provinces. The rich provinces receive very little of what they gave, and the poorer provinces receive far more than their contribution. This system creates a lot of ire between the individual provinces as well as between the provinces and the federal government.

The Union

Due to the compounding problems of the Confederation, a call was made to amend the Articles to create a stronger central government that could levy taxes, create domestic and international trade policy, conduct foreign policy and war with more coordination. This process began with Charles Pinckney of South Carolina (the Virginia Legislature at the time). Following a recommendation by James Madison, the states were invited to Maryland to talk about how to simmer inter-state conflict. That convention endorsed a motion that called for the states to meet in Philadelphia to discuss ways to amend the Articles of Confederation, which became the historic Constitutional Convention of 1787. On its face, the “Grand Convention” was about amending, not replacing, the Articles; however, the delegates in Philadelphia began closed-door meetings and hashed out a new constitution.

There were several proposals on the structure of the new government. The Virginia Plan, drafted by James Madison, proposed a bicameral (two chamber) legislature (seats distributed by population or taxes) with the lower branch being elected by the people and the upper branch elected by nominations from the thirteen state legislatures. The upper house would be able to veto laws of the states if it conflicted with the national union. The executive branch would be elected by the national legislature. Both branches would be limited to one term. A national judiciary was also proposed. With the Virginia Plan and a similar plan proposed by Charles Pinckney, the smaller states were under threat of losing influence in the national government. The New Jersey Plan, or the Small State Plan, proposed a single legislature with each state having one vote. Similar to the Virginia Plan, there was a judicial branch and the single house electing the executive branch. A fourth plan, called Hamilton's Plan after Alexander Hamilton, proposed the abolishment of the states in a government based on the British government. It wasn't seriously considered.

On July 16, 1787, a compromise was proposed by Connecticut that combined the Virginia and New Jersey Plans. There would be a bicameral legislature in which the lower house (House of Representatives) would be elected by the people, and the seats would be distributed by population. The upper house of the legislature (the Senate) would be elected by state legislatures. Instead of the Congress electing the executive branch, the President would be elected by electors who in turn would be elected by the people of each state. Out of all these plans, the only consistent branch was the independent judiciary appointed to life terms. There had been a call for a bill of rights before the Constitutional Convention as a protection against government tyranny. During the ratification of the Constitution, many states added recommendations to amend the Constitution. When the First Congress met, it wrote and proposed the Bill of Rights, which was ratified on December 15, 1791.

Why It Works

The key to understanding why the United States government is shaped the way it is in its current manner is to understand why the Revolution happened in the first place. It wasn't simply about taxes, but about representation and rights of citizens of the British Empire. During the Revolutionary Era, colonists were treated as second-class citizens with their natural and legal rights under the British Bill of Rights being violated. After the victory over Great Britain, the founders had it in their mind to prevent an overbearing, centralized government from forming. The way they came to do this was to pit the government against itself while leaving room for it to progress and function.

Unlike a number of other nations who have a parliamentary model based on that of Great Britain (my second home of Canada being one); the lawmakers and the law executers are not of the same cloth. The powers of the executive branch and the legislative branch are specifically appointed to the former or the latter. This allows each branch to try to outmaneuver each other in their mutual attempts to gain more power. However, it was written not only with checks on both the legislative and executive branches, but with an originally established check on both houses of Congress. Before the Progressive push and victory for the popular election of Senators, those of the upper house were elected by state legislatures. This kept a check on the populism of the lower house with the interest of the state governments. The removal of this check has had drastic consequences, as seen with the alliance of both Senators and Representatives on many, many questionable bills that took more power away from the individual states. This would never happen if the state government had its own representation in Congress. In spite of the loss of that check, the short but dramatic history of the United States has shown that the system still works - both before and after the removal of certain checks. During the Civil War, civil rights were suspended, but reestablished quickly after its end. During the First World War, a proto-fascist state was established. However, the President that created it was voted out of office; and the government's powers were reigned in by a rightly fearful judiciary, Congress and public. The policies of the New Deal and Second World War had a similar fate with the slow dismantling of many of Franklin D. Roosevelt's giant government programs and the repeal of questionable war-time laws.

The philosophy behind our entire system, at least at the time it was created, was the idea that human nature will not change. Politicians will grasp for power, national leaders will attempt glory and have grand ambition, and the citizen mob will be moody and prone to frenzy. The founders knew of the history of republics and saw the abuses of a powerful, unchecked government in their own cities and towns. There are millions of Americans today who think we have progressed beyond what the founders deemed an eternal constant. They believe humanity is progressing towards an endgame, a final state of bliss, utopia or some kind of better world. This leads these Americans to promote or defend structural changes that do not fit into the original design and purpose of the American government (popular election of Senators being one example - judicial “first among equal branches” being another). The Declaration of Independence says "That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends [life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness], it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness." It does not talk about progressing or advancing. It doesn't talk about modifying our views for a new age. The first document of principles by the United States talked about taking back rights from those who did not believe they existed.

Part II: An Analysis of the European Constitution

Contrasts to the U.S. Constitution

First of all, one must ask if it is possible to unite nations as opposed to individual states. Nations have different cultures, different economic structures and different ideologies. When the founders built the United States government, the nation had just been born. The attempts made by the EU to devise a constitution to bind nations that have long histories of standing on their own is a far more difficult and dangerous task. The caveat here is to question the intentions of such a document. Will such a document preserve individual freedom, or will it be used as a mechanism for regulatory control over multiple nations?

The idea of the constitution has been sold under the guise of unity and that is necessary for better trade between nations, a stronger international market presence and job growth. The Founders of the United States created the Constitution not to strengthen international presence, but to PRESERVE individual liberty and freedom from an overbearing government. Over the past century, the United States has seen power become more centralized in spite of the efforts of the framers of the Constitution to keep power decentralized. An EU constitution does not seek preserve the identity of nations, but to blend nations into one and establish a centralized law-making bureaucracy. Centralized power does not preserve freedom, and for this reason, Europeans should fear an EU Constitution.

In addition to the original intent for a constitution being dissimilar, another stark difference is voting power. The EU constitution seeks population based voting power (Article I-25), which means that nations with the largest populations would have the most control over policy making. A population-based law would violate the classical principle of local control and state equality. The founders in America realized the importance of state and local power – hence the New Jersey Plan. If a population-based policy were implemented in the U.S., then populous states such as New York and California would be making Federal policy while less populous states would have no influence. In addition, as long as there is collusion between the populous states, laws would be passed with ease and little debate.

The Dangers of Centralized Economic and Monetary Policy

Article I-13 of the Constitution gives the EU exclusive legal power to decide policy in regards to trade tariffs, quotas, monetary policy, competition rules for the international market and trade agreements to name but a few. The issue of the Federal Reserve being “constitutional” in United States is a widely debated topic. The idea of a centralized body having total control over monetary policy obviously conflicts with the idea of decentralized power. The powers of the Federal Reserve can essentially make or break the economic stability of the United States. The reasoning behind the establishment of the Federal Reserve was to reduce systemic risk; however, many have argued that such authority and the history of monetary policy have actually increased systemic risk. The Federal Reserve shares the blame for the creation and bursting of the housing market bubble.

If the EU wishes to implement their own “Federal Reserve,” it can be far more dangerous in the sense where the ultimate goal could be to abolish the currencies of individual nations. Such a move would place one institution in charge of the economic fate of several nations.

The corporatist traditions of countries such as Germany and France, whose population size would give them disproportionate influence on monetary policy under the voting system, could make “crony capitalism” the norm for all of Europe in spite of countries that wish to pursue a more classical liberal approach. Article I-4 states that Laissez-faire and economic competition based on the unobstructed movement of goods, capital and labor throughout the EU countries are constitutionally mandatory, however, this motive serves no purpose in a constitution that would bind nations together. Decentralized power seeks to preserve the principles of a free market. A binding document that would determine “fair” economic and social policy for multiple nations would have the opposite outcome.

The Power of the Lobby

The process of European integration has stemmed from socialist parties, trade unions and big business. These tenants remove freedom and give large bodies the power to impose policy with little resistance. Socialists who have not been able to transform society to their liking through the ballot box, can now have socialist policies imposed through an EU Constitution. In addition, multi-national corporate conglomerates have only one legislative body in which to lobby and negotiate. Compromise and voice from the opposition have only been possible because groups had to deal with the elected democratic governments of each nation. The difference between American framers and their European counterparts is the former sought to protect America from those who have no faith in the democratic process while the latter holds such beliefs.


If a constitution is not devised as a mechanism to preserve individual freedom and reign in the powers of government, then the creation of such a document serves no purpose. Constitutions should not be devised to band nations together to create a super-power rival to other powerful nations with the “power-elite” in control. Constitutions written with such motives lead to oppression and tyranny. If the EU wishes to follow the footsteps of America’s Founding Fathers, then the framers of the EU Constitution must recognize the importance of localized power, and adhere to the rights of the individual nations’ liberty.