Previous month:
June 2008
Next month:
August 2008

Schwarzenstupid: Governor cuts pay of state workers to punish legislators who are responsible for the budget problem -- Should have cut payments to illegal aliens first!

UPDATE:  (07/31/08) CALIFORNIA CONTOLLER TO GOVERNOR -- YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT!

John Chiang, the California State Controller sent Arnold Schwarzenegger a 3-page letter informing him that he will not comply with the Schwarzenegger's order and pointing out why the Governor is wrong about the law, his powers and his fiscal assumptions. The letter can be found at http://www.sco.ca.gov/eo/pressbox/2008/08/ltr_to_gov.pdf.

Original Blog Entry ...

In an act of pure political theatre, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has issued an executive order punishing California’s state workers for the lack of action on the part of the California legislature.

Capture7-31-2008-1.52.42 PM

“ ‘Today I am exercising my executive authority to avoid a full-blown crisis and keep our state moving forward," Governor Schwarzenegger said. ‘This is not an action I take lightly, but we do not have a budget, and as Governor, I have a responsibility to make sure our state has enough money to pay its bills.’"

IT IS ORDERED that the services and functions of state government directly related to the preservation and protection of human life and safety, including but not limited to emergency and disaster response activities and the provision of 24-hour medical care, shall be deemed critical and exempt from this Order.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that except for services and functions of state government deemed critical and exempt by this Order, all State agencies and departments under my direct executive authority take immediate action effective July 31, 2008 to cease and desist hiring of employees (except in instances in which there is a bona fide offer and acceptance prior to the effective date of this Order), transferring employees between State agencies and departments, promoting employees, and contracting for individuals to perform services. 

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that except for services and functions of state government deemed critical and exempt by this Order and emergent situations to preserve and protect human life and safety, all State agencies and departments under my direct executive authority take immediate action to cease and desist authorization of all overtime for employees effective July 31, 2008.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that except for services and functions of state government deemed critical and exempt by this Order, all State agencies and departments under my direct executive authority take immediate action to terminate the services of the following five categories of employees and individuals effective July 31, 2008:  (1) Retired Annuitants; (2) Permanent Intermittent Employees; (3) Seasonal Employees; (4) Temporary Help Workers; and (5) Student Assistants.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that except for services and functions of state government deemed critical and exempt by this Order and except for services provided pursuant to multi-year contracts for Information Technology systems and services, all State agencies and departments under my direct executive authority take immediate action to suspend all personal services contracts effective July 31, 2008.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Director of the Department of Finance and Director of the Department of Personnel Administration shall work with the State Controller to develop and implement the necessary mechanisms, including but not limited to pay letters and computer programs, to comply with the California Supreme Court's White v. Davis opinion to pay federal minimum wage to those nonexempt FLSA employees who did not work any overtime

Bold action?

Bold and dramatic action is something that Schwarzenegger understands from his days in Hollywood. Unfortunately, unlike movie effects which are accomplished with smoke, mirrors and complete with re-takes, this is real life with real consequences.

The Governor doesn’t get it …

People were fooled by Schwarzenegger’s well-scripted rhetoric and seemingly sincere delivery. The Republicans went along for the ride knowing that they would re-gain a modicum of power that would be denied to the democrat-infested legislature. Boy were they surprised when Schwarzenegger announced that he was a new breed of post-partisan politician (e.g. liberal democrat) and was all about working for the people. A RINO (Republican In Name Only) in every sense.

Imagine their chagrin when the “I’m too rich to be bought” Governor then proceeded to out fundraise even the prodigious “special interest fundraiser”  Gray Davis, the recalled Governor who he replaced. Going Davis one better and using money from special foundations whose contributors (lobbyists and others) remained shielded from public scrutiny to fund his lavish jet set lifestyle befitting a movie star.

Immediately cutting aid to illegal aliens ...

The first step in resolving the budget crisis should have been terminating all payments and aid to illegal aliens before cutting payments to legal California citizens who happen to be state workers.

Risking the California economy …

Those who are not able to collect their full state salary may face foreclosure on their housing or other severe financial problems caused by this drastic action. Of course, the Governor suggested that California banks help any disadvantaged employees with loans – mentioning that they will be paid when he receives a budget and state operations resume. When the salaries resume and back-payment is made, the employees will still be responsible for the interest on any loans which may have been necessary to continue their daily lives as well as dealing with any black marks on their credit reports.

Will the legislature respond?

It is unknown whether or not this action will force California’s legislature to respond with a budget or adopt one of Schwarzenegger’s proposal for increasing gaming revenues, securitizing the lottery or raising California’s sales tax on an emergency basis.

It is also unknown if California’s Treasurer and Controller will follow the executive order and institute the action – or bypass it using a court challenge of the Governor’s ability to take this drastic action.

Not all bad …

This is a perfect opportunity to dump all of the superfluous employees and paid political commissars (appointees) that head  generally useless and ceremonial positions.

Like with all California Government operations, one needs to both follow the money trail and wait to see how the issue is resolved.

What can YOU do?

Do not elect celebrity movie stars who are used to a life of adoration and special privilege to run any government function.

Terminate Schwarzenegger’s political career before he turns into his relative: Teddy Kennedy.

Demand that the California legislature deliver a balanced budget on time.

Demand that the California legislature live within their budgetary means.

Demand that payments for illegal alien programs be cut before payments to state workers.

Do not elect liberal democrats to the California legislature – especially those whose allegiance to illegal aliens is well known and documented.

Do not vote for any candidate or current politician who is willing to subvert the safety, security, sovereignty and economic strength of the United States or limit an individual's right of self-defense for their personal philosophy, power, prestige or profits.

-- steve

Quote of the Day: “He who laughs last has not yet heard the bad news.” --Bertolt Brecht

A reminder from OneCitizenSpeaking.com: a large improvement can result from a small change…

The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane. -- Marcus Aurelius

Reference Links:

Governor Schwarzenegger Issues Executive Order to Address State’s Looming Cash Crisis - Press Release by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger


“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell



The United States Navy: a model of accountability that should be used to reorganize the other military services.

Unlike the other military services, the single greatest thing about the United States Navy is that everybody is accountable up and down the line. An unbroken chain of responsibility extending from the lowliest seaman recruit to the top-ranking fleet admirals.

As a Navy officer, you are responsible for every aspect of those serving under you: ranging from personal habits and hygiene to specialized training and daily activities. All with continual in-depth testing and performance reviews. No man or woman is beyond the responsibility for acts committed during their watch – even if they were not directly responsible for the act itself.

If there is any informal guideline to follow in the performance of your duties, it has always been “do the right thing at the right time.”  A mantra drummed into the heads of all naval personnel by generations of unheralded Chief Petty Officers who serve as the supervisory backbone of the Navy and the carriers of its rich traditions. The fastest way to get action on the docks or underway is to ask the Chief.

While military courtesy (RHIP - Rank Hath Its Privileges) is strictly observed, it does not extend to making allowances for shirking one’s formal or informal obligatory duties.

Therefore, when the following story was released by the Navy, I, once again, was positive that the other services need to modify their organizational behaviors along Navy lines.

A deadly serious situation …

Because of the speed at which a shipboard fire may spread and the difficulty accessing many parts of the ship with enough manpower and fire suppression equipment, there are few more dangerous situation than a fire aboard a ship.

According to the investigators of a fire that occurred aboard the USS George Washington (CVN 73) on May 22nd, “the investigation determined that the likely cause of the fire was unauthorized smoking that ignited flammable liquids and other combustible material improperly stored in an adjacent space.”

“The fire and the subsequent magnitude of the fire were the result of a series of human acts that could have been prevented. Specifically, the storage of 90 gallons of refrigerant compressor oil in an unauthorized space contributed to the intensity of the fire.”

“The fire, which occurred in an unmanned Auxiliary Boiler Exhaust and Supply space, took approximately 12 hours to extinguish due to the location and geometry of adjacent spaces and ventilation systems that created a chimney effect.”

“Thirty-seven Sailors were treated for minor injuries incurred during fire fighting efforts, with one Sailor requiring treatment for first and second degree burns.”

“Approximately 80 out of over 3,800 total spaces aboard the carrier were damaged by the fire. The estimated cost of repairs to George Washington as a direct result of the shipboard fire is approximately $70 million.”

Capture7-31-2008-12.17.58 AM

It should be noted that USS George Washington is a Nimitz class nuclear-powered supercarrier that serves as home to approximately 6,250 crewmembers.

Resulting in serious consequences …

“USS George Washington Investigation Complete, Senior Leadership Relieved”

“Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, Adm. Robert F. Willard, issued a final endorsement to the investigation of a fire that occurred aboard USS George Washington (CVN 73) on May 22.”

As directed by Admiral Willard, Vice Admiral Thomas J. Kilcline, Jr. relieved the both the Commanding and Executive Officers of USS George Washington of their command duties. 

                               RELIEVED OF COMMAND

Capture7-30-2008-11.38.05 PM Capture7-30-2008-11.38.19 PM
Captain David C. Dykhoff, Commanding Officer of USS George Washington (CVN 73) Captain David M. Dober, Executive  Officer of USS George Washington    (CVN 73)
Relieved due to a loss of confidence in his ability to command and his failure to meet mission requirements and readiness standards. Relieved for substandard performance.

The Navy does not take the removal of highly-trained and distinguished line officers lightly.

Lest you be left with the impression that these men are either incompetent or personally responsible for the mishap, it may be instructive to briefly review some of the highlights of Captain Dykhoff’s background.

“Dykhoff’s operational background includes tours with two F-14 Tomcat squadrons, Fighter Squadron (VF) 154 and VF-24. He was also executive officer and commanding officer of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 97, flying the FA-18 Hornet.”

“While commanding officer of VFA-97, the squadron won awards for excellence in ordnance handling, aircraft maintenance, carrier landing excellence, and battle efficiency.”

“After leaving VFA-97, Dykhoff took over as executive officer of USS Nimitz (CVN 68) and then as commanding officer of the fast combat support ship USS Seattle (AOE 3). During his tenure aboard Nimitz, the ship completed the first refueling of a Nimitz-class carrier and also changed homeports from Norfolk to San Diego, returning to full operational capability.”

I have no doubt that both men served honorably and were measurably proficient in the performance of their personal duties. Or they would have never been allowed to command others.

The Navy way …

However, the mishap occurred on their watch and it is apparent that the crew was permitted, officially or unofficially, to smoke in non-designated areas and that flammable liquids were stored improperly.

While I personally feel sorry that these officers had to suffer a career-ending disgrace for the actions of others, they, more than anyone else aboard ship, were responsible for setting the tenor and tone of the required behavior of the ship’s supervisory leadership. Unfortunately, somewhere in the chain of command, unnecessary laxness in storage procedures and crewmember behavior led to a tragic accident. This is an intolerable condition aboard a ship, especially one loaded with aircraft, arms, fuel and a nuclear propulsion system.

The Navy system is self-correcting, for the most part, and I am sure that this action will result in renewed vigilance and enhanced performance in all venues, especially aboard naval vessels.

In all fairness to the Air Force, the Strategic Air Command also operated on the same “personal responsibility” model with its unofficial mantra being “ “"To err is human. To forgive is divine. Neither of which is current SAC policy."

Let us hope that our next Commander-in-Chief will realize that while certain military traditions must be preserved to maintain and enhance the esprit de corps, the military must be reorganized and modernized along an unbroken chain of command.

We wish both of these officers, their replacements and the entire crew of the USS George Washington fair winds and following seas.

-- steve


“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell



CA Proposition 8 (2008): Did Gerry Brown change the ballot summary for political reasons?

Capture7-30-2008-1.30.49 AM

California State Attorney General Gerry Brown, long known for his liberal democrat viewpoint has abruptly changed the language of California’s Proposition 8 --

Old Version New Version
LIMIT ON MARRIAGE. CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT.

Amends the California Constitution to provide that only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.

Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: The measure would have no fiscal effect on state or local governments. This is because there would be no change to the manner in which marriages are currently recognized by the state

ELIMINATES RIGHT OF SAME-SEX COUPLES TO MARRY.
INITIATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT

Changes California Constitution to eliminate right of same-sex couples to marry. Provides that only a marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.

Fiscal Impact: Over the next few years, potential revenue loss, mainly sales taxes, totaling in the several tens of millions of dollars, to state and local governments. In the long run, likely little fiscal impact to state and local governments.

It has been a well-known practice of politicians and others to attempt to change the titling and/or descriptions of ballot initiative in order to sway the popular vote.

The issue of gay rights continues to be a hotly contested issue as California Proposition 22 (2000) passed with 61 percent of people against gay marriage (39 percent voting to allow it) but was invalidated by a recent California Supreme Court ruling.

Current polling shows that at least 51 percent of Californians want to recognize marriage as a traditional act between a single consenting man and a single consenting woman.

Considering the recent Supreme Court ruling which defies the wishes of the majority of California voters, Gerry Brown, rumored to be considering a run for another term as California Governor (term limits were imposed after his past terms in office), is now appearing to court favor with prominent gays in re-writing the language of the ballot initiative. Especially since San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom is also known to be running for Governor position and is seen by the GLBT community to be gay-friendly.

The original ballot group has informally announced plans to sue Brown to get the wording changed back to the old version.

My position on California Proposition 8 – at this point in time: I take no position as this is not a major issue for me on  fiscal, religious, moral or procedural grounds.

However, I do have a great solution for the problem. Let the conservatives keep the word “marriage” and its traditional definition and let the gays use the word “merger.” Both equally backed with the force of law. 


“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell



BLACK POLITICIAN HERALDS ORGANIZATION THAT COMBINES RACE, CLASS, VICTIMHOOD AND GLOBAL WARMING

If there is any doubt in anyone’s mind that global warming is more about politics and funding, let it be clearly demonstrated why I have very little faith in the environmental movement to arrive at a truthful conclusion on which to base broader policy decisions. It is my personal opinion that the environmental movement has been co-opted by the far-left socialists to the detriment of all American citizens.

Surprise: A politician pandering to his far-left democrat base?

It angers me when a high-ranking politician, be they democrat or Republican uses his office to publicize a group which is overtly racist and claims that their constituency is somehow being victimized by others along racial, ethnic or class lines.

“House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn (D-SC) today released the following statement on the establishment of the Commission to Engage African Americans on Climate Change (CEAC).  Clyburn participated in a press conference today with the Joint Center on Political and Economic Studies to announce the establishment of the CEAC.”

“America's energy policy can either be reactive and arcane, or it can be proactive and visionary.  Everyday in Congress we are fighting for policies that will end our dependence on foreign oil, enhance our national security, protect our environment, create new economies, and provide better options to those who suffer disproportionately from rising energy costs.   The debate over climate change policy will impact all of these goals and it is critical that our community be an active part of this debate.    I am honored to participate in the launch of the Commission to Engage African Americans on Climate Change and commend the leaders of the Commission for having the vision to bring this diverse group of experts together to broaden the reach of the African American community.   I look forward to working with the Commission as Congress continues to tackle critical energy and climate change issues.”   

Proactive and visionary – surely the Congressman is wrong. What is proactive and visionary about further dividing the nation along racial, ethnic or class lines? The only people attempting to do this seem to be democrats who are fond of using the word “progressive” when they actually mean “socialistic.”

Politics and funding trump science …

I have always claimed that the issue of global warming was more about the politics and the control over political influence and funding than it is about science.

And now, we find that the House Majority Whip, James Clyburn (D-SC) has truly made it an issue of race by promoting an organization with a unique perspective.

“Africans are less responsible for global warming and suffer from the effects of global warming. African Americans are thirteen percent of the U.S. population and on average emit nearly twenty percent less greenhouse gases than non-Hispanic whites per capita.”

Have you ever noticed that liberal democrats want people to believe that it is natural to think in terms of racial or ethnic percentages. If the jailhouse population of an ethnic minority does not mirror its proportion in the general population, the conclusion is that something is very wrong and certain people are being oppressed. The actual number, nature and character of their crimes is of lesser importance than the “proportional population number.” Or if a certain percentage of a minority doesn’t live in mansions in a particular area, something must be wrong. All of which is dead wrong.

If this organization had even a modicum of intellectual honesty, they would simply say – the poor, all of the poor, lack the resources to enable the use of profligate amounts of energy when compared to the general population. Notice they dare not attack those who use the most energy: the politicians, the movie stars and their other liberal supporters.

Though far less responsible for climate change, African Americans are significantly more vulnerable to its effects than non-Hispanic whites. Health, housing, economic well-being, culture, and social stability are harmed from such manifestations of climate change as storms, floods, and climate variability.”

Again, they are speaking in terms of racial, ethnic and class discrimination. The poor and disadvantaged in America have always been more vulnerable to adverse events of all kinds.

And the politicians and community leadership have every incentive to keep them dependent on the political machine for any crumbs that they receive.

Look around you, especially at today’s leaders – are they sending out a message of individual initiative or are they telling you to organize to provide them with political power? Are they about the “collective” over the rights of the “individual?” You bet!  They want to hold everybody back – to the extent that they are necessary and relevant to a manufactured struggle based on class, ethnicity and race. And failing that, on geographical lines. The classic “us” vs. “them” war that brings them to power.

“African Americans are also more vulnerable to higher energy bills, unemployment, recessions caused by global energy price shocks, and a greater economic burden from military operations designed to protect the flow of oil to the U.S.”

Notice that while they are speaking of racial and class discrimination, they insert a blatant, unrelated lie: that the United States military operations are designed to protect the flow of oil to the U.S.  If this is true, where is the oil that we are supposed to be receiving from Iraq and why am I paying $4.50 for a gallon of regular gas? And what does this have to do with global warming?

Blending class and racial warfare into global warming …

“Global warming amplifies nearly all existing inequalities. Under global warming, injustices that are already unsustainable become catastrophic. Thus it is essential to recognize that all justice is climate justice and that the struggle for racial and economic justice is an unavoidable part of the fight to halt global warming.”'

“All justice is climate justice.” What is this crap? Justice? Are these loopy liberals saying that unless we embrace communism or socialism – equally sharing everything -- that there is injustice? Climate justice? What the hell is climate justice and what does that really mean?

Justice = entitlements, give-aways and special privileges for minorities?

Sound global warming policy is also economic and racial justice policy. Successfully adopting a sound global warming policy will do as much to strengthen the economies of low-income communities and communities of color as any other currently plausible stride toward economic justice.”

I thought that global warming or, more properly, global climate change, was a scientific phenomenon and not another socialistic call for “justice” on the basis of class, ethnicity or racial divides.

Assuming you raised the standard of living beyond its current value in a particular community, wouldn’t it be logical that you were increasing energy usage and thus contributing to the phenomenon which they call global warming?

They can’t have it both ways: reducing man’s energy use and standard of living – while at the same time demanding more perks.

“A distinctive African American voice is critical for climate justice. Currently, legislation is being drafted, proposed, and considered without any significant input from the communities most affected. Special interests are represented by powerful lobbies, while traditional environmentalists often fail to engage people of color, Indigenous Peoples, and low-income communities until after the political playing field has been defined and limited to conventional environmental goals.”

Unless African-American scientists want to weigh-in on the scientific merits of the case for or against global warming, there is no need for any political voice. Especially one based on race, ethnicity, class envy or any of the other  tricks liberal socialistic democrats use to polarize their coalitions.

Politicizing the issue …

“African Americans Pay a Heavy Price and a disproportionate Share of the Cost of Wars for Oil”

As does every poor American. The correct question is who is keeping these people uneducated, unemployed and poor? Could it be the democrats and their unions who have failed our children by providing a substandard level of education? By forcing jobs overseas with their insane work rules? Could it be those who openly encourage multi-cultural diversity where deviations from the social norm: in language, custom and appearance, makes it less likely to attain any level of achievement amid mainstream America?

“Oil company profits in excess of the normal rate of profit for U.S. industries cost the average household $611 in 2006 alone and are still rising.”

Am I wrong? We are in America, prospering under a capitalistic system where profit is not a bad word? Only a socialist or communist would even speak of “profits in excess of the normal profit rate for U.S. industries.”

Consider the proposition that someone’s excess profits has cost people a certain amount of money. What isn’t being told is that the government makes more money on oil and energy than do the corporations who find, develop and sell the oil.

Let politicians or your community activists tell you what your total combined tax rate is and how much of your money simply disappears into special interest sinkholes without a trace.

The government demands you keep perfect books, yet the preponderance of government agencies cannot keep track of millions, and in some cases, billions of dollars. Ask the government and the community activists to account for their funds. Yeah, right!

“The total cost of the war in Iraq borne by African Americans will be $29,000 per household if the resulting deficit is financed by tax increases, and $32,000 if the debt is repaid by spending cuts. This is more than three times the median assets of African American households.”

This is sheer nonsense. Telling someone that tax increases will reduce their total debt burden whereas spending cuts will increase their total tax debt. Orwellian – where up is down and down is up. All of which has nothing to do with the median assets of African American households or global warming. This is the type of crap that the media is unwilling, or perhaps unable, to point out or challenge.

I am unaware that African Americans have some special tax bill to pay for government operations. Again, with the class argument along racial lines. This can be said of the poor –- regardless of whether or not they just happen to be African American.

Somehow these evildoers have latched on to the subject of global warming to make political statements which makes my point. Example:

“Combat Racism for Healthy, Efficient Communities. Racism, both institutionalized and individual, is a driver of sprawl, inefficient housing, and irrational transportation policy.”

Perhaps they should have said: concentrate on education and individual achievement so you can earn enough money to live in any manner to which you aspire. No victimhood. No government intervention required.

Bottom line:  This organization is another in a long line of organizations seeking to capitalize on the media attention surrounding global warming in order to promote the goals of its leaders (personal power, prestige and profits) by obtaining money under the guise of helping the community.

What can YOU do?

First, recognize the difference between weather and climate is a matter of time. Weather is defined as the the state of the atmosphere at a given time and place in terms of characteristics such as temperature, wind velocity, moisture, etc. Climate can be defined as the mean meteorological conditions that characteristically prevail in a particular region over longer periods of time.

The government can no more change the climate than they can stop an earthquake, tidal wave or any other naturally occurring phenomenon.

It is all a ploy to secure additional power, raise taxes and increase the dependency of individuals on their government.

Almost as foolish as disarming the American public so only the government can protect you from the crooks who have weapons. And what about the crooks in the government? Or the fact that a government representative cannot be everywhere at once – and is not legally responsible for protecting individuals as they are charged only with maintaining a good general order.

Second, recognize when anyone is attempting to use a topic of interest to polarize a particular segment of the population for the purposes of gaining political power or raising funds.

Third, recognize the corruption of those politicians who pander to these special interests in exchange for votes, campaign funds or other personal advantages.

Fourth, recognize those so-called activists who want to assume a leadership role or solicit funds by playing on the hopes and fears of a particular segment of the population.

And fifth, recognize the toxicity of those who continue to attempt to divide the American people by race , ethnicity or class – speaking incorrectly in terms of “justice” as if injustice can be remedied by political action rather than individual performance.

I suggest you obtain a copy of “While African Americans Slept: Leadership by Parasites” by Dr. Lenton Aikins at Zit Publishers.  See what so-called African American leaders have actually done for their community. I am sure it will be extremely enlightening.

As for those who are attempting to milk the public treasury for grants, earmarks and other funds – be aware that they are doing it more for their own personal prestige, power and profits than for the benefit of the community which they purport to serve.

Do not vote for any candidate or current politician who is willing to subvert the safety, security, sovereignty and economic strength of the United States or limit an individual's right of self-defense for their personal philosophy, power, prestige or profits.

-- steve

Quote of the day: “People everywhere confuse what they read in newspapers with news.” - A. J. Liebling

A reminder from OneCitizenSpeaking.com: a large improvement can result from a small change…

The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane. -- Marcus Aurelius

Reference Links:

I strongly suggest you read this claptrap – if for no other reason to see how the far-left socialists have attempted to use the subject of global warming to further divide America on race, ethnic and class lines.

Capture7-29-2008-8.02.44 PM 

House Majority Whip: Climate Change Hurts Blacks More

A Climate of Change African Americans, Global Warming, and a Just Climate Policy for the U.S.


“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell



Climate Change: Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed mandatory climate change curriculum (or did he?)

Arnold the RINO …

I have been openly critical of Arnold Schwarzenegger and his Administration.

For his  failure to provide the leadership necessary to curtail the democrat-led spending which has produced a record $16 BILLION dollar deficit.

For his actions as a RINO (Republican In Name Only) who has appointed life-long committed democrats to positions which I felt should have been held by qualified Republicans.

For his narcissistic movie-star lifestyle which is partially funded by special foundations which are less than transparent as they hide their donors from public scrutiny.

And for his apparent duplicity on several issues; where he says one thing and does another.

A step in the right direction …

So it was with some degree of pleasure that I read that the Governor vetoed a S.B. 908, a bill whose purpose was to require the State Board of Education and the State Department of Education to revise the framework in science to include specified topics in environmental education; specifically climate change.

The revised curriculum would have included the following topics:

    1. Integrated waste management.
    2. Energy conservation.
    3. Water conservation and pollution prevention.
    4. Air resources.
    5. Integrated pest management.
    6. Toxic materials.
    7. Wildlife conservation and forestry.
    8. Climate change.

In my opinion this seems to reflect a little effort on the Governor’s part to move in the right direction; and by right, I mean both figuratively and literally. Especially since we find that the far-left environmental movement has a political agenda to enlarge their power and fund their initiatives by doing an end-run around the people and using the courts to win their positions when they cannot possibly win at the ballot box.

According to the San Jose Mercury News …

Governor vetoes climate change curriculum

California public students will stick to reading, writing and arithmetic, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger decided as he vetoed a bill late Friday that would have required climate change be added to schools' curriculum.”

“The measure, sponsored by state Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, also would have required future science textbooks to include climate change as a subject.”

“In January, the state Senate approved the bill, SB 908, by a 26-13 vote. Only two Republicans supported the proposal.” 

What the Governor said …

To the Members of the California State Senate:

“I am returning Senate Bill 908 without my signature.”

“While I am supportive of encouraging ‘climate change’ education curriculum, I have consistently vetoed legislation that has attempted to mandate specific details or events into areas of instruction.”

“The State Board of Education adopted content standards are developed by a diverse group of experts and are intentionally broad in order to allow coverage of various events, developments, and issues.”

“I continue to believe that the State should refrain from being overly prescriptive in specific school curriculum, beyond establishing rigorous academic standards and frameworks.”

“Moreover, in this particular case, the California Integrated Waste Management Board’s Office of Education and Environment, in conjunction with the California Environmental Protection Agency is already well into the process of incorporating the “climate change” issue in the creation of an environment-based K-12 model curriculum.”

For these reasons, I am unable to sign this bill.”

Sincerely,

Arnold Schwarzenegger

But it is the last part of the Governor’s veto message that is puzzling …

“Moreover, in this particular case, the California Integrated Waste Management Board’s Office of Education and Environment, in conjunction with the California Environmental Protection Agency is already well into the process of incorporating the “climate change” issue in the creation of an environment-based K-12 model curriculum.”

Bill or no bill, it seems that they are going ahead to modify the curriculum anyway …

So my conclusion is that they are going to do it anyway, quietly and without any legislative approval of the process. So why bother vetoing the bill becomes a significant unanswered question.

Circumventing the Constitution …

We know that here in California, the EPA and the Department of Fish and Game have already circumvented the “takings clause” Fifth Amendment of the Constitution by imposing environmental controls on certain landholders without compensating them for the reduction in the value of their property holdings. Or the State has participated in the extortion of private property owners by requiring that they donate land and provide other unrelated benefits to the State in order to secure building permits and permission to undertake improvement projects on their property.

And we can see that these very same people are attempting to circumvent the Second Amendment by restricting weapons and ammunition in designated areas which are growing larger by the day. All in the guise of protecting indigenous wildlife. such as the rapidly declining California Condor population, from copper and lead poisoning based on somewhat suspicious science. In some areas, even those with valid pistol carry permits can be arrested and charged if a weapon and any bullets containing lead are found in a person’s vehicle. 

So what is my objection?

I have no basic objection to including the discussion of global climate change in science classes – as long as it pertains to the scientific study of weather and the climate.

What I strenuously object to is for the geo-political implications of global climate change being taught in such a manner as to validate inconclusive science and provide prescriptive remedies which are political in nature. Additional inculcation of a far-left political point of view based on nothing more than speculation and supposition.

I find no compelling need for the State to mandate the coverage of global climate change in textbooks unless the subject is presented in a rigorous scientific context that posits that global warming is a theory based on computerized models with varying degrees of mathematical uncertainty.

As for Schwarzenegger, I am still hoping that he will turn away from the far-left and become the Reagan conservative he originally portrayed himself to be. Of course, I am not holding my breath – even in the pollution-laden Los Angeles basis. 

What can YOU do?

As with all politicians, what you see is not always representative of what they are doing. Educate yourself on the subjects which interest you and ignore the politician’s words as you follow their actions. Two very different pictures often emerge.

Want the truth, follow the money. It is a far more accurate indicator of what is happening than anything a politician may do or say.

Remember, global warming is still a theory and cannot be proven without a reliance on deeply-flawed computer models which are continually being tweaked to produce pre-ordained results.

Demand intellectual honestly from your elected officials even though honesty seems to be a foreign concept that never interferes in their pursuit of less than practical political solutions to problems of their own making.

Do not vote for any candidate or current politician who is willing to subvert the safety, security, sovereignty and economic strength of the United States or limit an individual's right of self-defense for their personal philosophy, power, prestige or profits.

-- steve

Quote of the day:  “That which has always been accepted by everyone, everywhere, is almost certain to be false.”  --Paul Valery

A reminder from OneCitizenSpeaking.com: a large improvement can result from a small change…

The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane. -- Marcus Aurelius

Reference Links:

Governor vetoes climate change curriculum|San Jose Mercury News

California Senate Bill S.B. 908 (Enrolled)|California Senate


“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell



Wall Street: Scaring up a self-fulfilling panic

Once again we see the alarm being sounded by an academic who just happens to be the creator of the infamous Z-score that is said to correlate well with the probability of bankruptcy.

According to Bloomberg …

“GM, Ford `On the Verge of Bankruptcy,' Altman Says (Update2)

General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co., the two biggest U.S. automakers, have about a 46 percent chance of default within five years, according to Edward Altman, a finance professor at New York University's Stern School of Business.”

“‘Both are in very serious shape and the markets reflect that,’ Altman, the creator of the Z-score mathematical formula that measures bankruptcy risk, said in an interview with Bloomberg Television. The model shows that these companies are “on the verge of bankruptcy,'’ he said.”

What’s wrong with this picture?

First, the mathematical model does not directly measure bankruptcy risk, it attempts to model bankruptcy risk by using a number of common easily-computed business ratios that are then weighted to approximate the probability of bankruptcy.

Second, it is based upon circumstances existing at a single point in time when the analysis is performed.

And third, circumstances can easily change over all (short-, medium- and long-term) time frames which can alter both the model and the underlying reality.

Artificially creating havoc?

To simply say that a company has a predicted chance of a bankruptcy in the coming five years is, in my opinion, not helpful to the company or the public as it may set into motion a public reaction leading to a loss of capital, customers and other opportunities that might be normally available to the company. Thus creating a self-fulfilling prophesy of failure based on nothing more than the loss of consumer/customer/counterparty confidence. Similar to the catastrophe which befell Bear Stearns when both investor and counterparty confidence was eroded by, among other things, rumors in the marketplace.

What is the Z-score?

According to Wikipedia

“The Z-score formula for predicting bankruptcy was developed in 1968 by Edward I. Altman, a financial economist and professor at the Leonard N. Stern School of Business at New York University. The Z-score is a multivariate formula that measures the financial health of a company and predicts the probability of bankruptcy within two years.”

“Studies measuring the effectiveness of the Z-score have shown the model to be accurate with >70% reliability (Eidleman).”

“The Z-score combines four or five common business ratios using a weighting system calculated by Altman to determine the likelihood of bankruptcy. The weighting system was originally based on data from publicly held manufacturers, but has since been modified for private manufacturing, non-manufacturing and service companies.”

“The original data sample consisted of 66 firms, half of which had filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 7. All businesses in the database were manufacturers, and small firms with assets of <$1million were eliminated.”

The original score was as follows: Z = 1.2T1 + 1.4T2 + 3.3T3 + .6T4 + .999T5.

T1 = Working Capital / Total Assets. Measures liquid assets in relation to the size of the company.

T2 = Retained Earnings / Total Assets. Measures profitability that reflects the company's age and earning power.

T3 = Earnings Before Interest and Taxes / Total Assets. Measures operating efficiency apart from tax and leveraging factors. It recognizes operating earnings as being important to long-term viability.

T4 = Market Value of Equity / Book Value of Total Liabilities. Adds market dimension that can show up security price fluctuation as a possible red flag.

T5 = Sales/ Total Assets. Standard measure for turnover (varies greatly from industry to industry).

Variations on a theme …

It should be noted that there are a number of variations in the basic scoring system and the weighting averages which are subject to change over time. Many professionals tweak this algorithm to compensate for private companies as well as introduce other values such as those predictive of sector performance. The more complicated the formula, the greater the probability of systemic errors and the less likelihood of maintaining statistical validity to a high level of confidence.

What does it really mean?

The Z-Score is simply a tool as is other formulas or a comparative ratio analysis using data from the Internal Revenue Service or from Robert Morris and Associates (now called the Risk Management Association)

It should be noted that, like most mathematical models, one can derive a numerical value by plugging in the appropriate information… but the output value must be correctly interpreted by professionals with some knowledge of the underlying economic and company values. Merely changing the accounting methods when revenue is booked or costs expensed or capitalized can have far reaching effects on the ratios which, in turn, greatly affect the derived result.

Bottom line: while this score may be used by financial types as a rough guideline to the likelihood of insolvency, the score itself must be interpreted in conjunction with other company factors and analysis of the sector grouping and the economy.

A moving target …

Considering that the economy, cost of borrowed funds, discontinuance of business lines, revaluing the inventory and any number of events may occur, this Z-score analysis must be re-computed time and time again. And, in many cases, the rate of change may be more significant that the score itself. As an example, Bloomberg also reports that

In 2005, Altman said GM had a 47 percent chance of default within five years.”

“The Z-scores for GM and Ford give both a bond rating equivalent to a CCC ranking, though GM is in slightly worse condition than Ford, Altman said. GM reported a $38.7 billion loss in 2007, the biggest in its 100-year history, and hasn't posted a profit since 2004. The scores are based on the companies' finances at the end of the first quarter.”

Ability to Refinance

“‘The thing that triggers a default in almost all cases is running out of cash and not being able to refinance,’ Altman said in an interview prior to his television appearance. ‘You're not going to go bankrupt as long as you can refinance short-term liabilities. You will go bankrupt if you can't.'’'

What can YOU do?

Be extremely careful when chasing rumors or so-called professional advice from someone whose hidden agenda may simply be self-serving media attention.

Be even more careful of those Wall Street Wizards who thrive on conflict and volatility – they make money only when people buy and sell, nothing when they continue to hold their positions. The old Wall Street saying “Churn ‘em and burn ‘em” has never been truer. Especially when we can see Wizards earning their multi-million dollar bonuses while their customers fight to stay above water.

As with any computational model, be it a computerized financial or global warming model, the results must be tempered with common sense and an awareness of the environment which gives rise to much of the impact on the subject being modeled.

Become aware of the “halo” effect which describes someone who may have reached the pinnacle of their profession or earned an inordinate amount of money. The confluence of events which gave rise to their success may rarely or never duplicated again. Perhaps the reason for so few second stellar acts from high-performing individuals. In many cases, their notoriety, success and wealth will pre-position them for access to additional capital and the very best deals. Something that a lesser mortal may never experience.

-- steve

Quote of the Day: “Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life's coming attractions.” -- Albert Einstein

A reminder from OneCitizenSpeaking.com: a large improvement can result from a small change…

The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane. -- Marcus Aurelius

Reference Links:

GM, Ford `On the Verge of Bankruptcy,' Altman Says (Update2)|Bloomberg.com


“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell



Immigration Reform: Caught with their pants down

Think back to the McCain-Kennedy SHAMnesty legislation …

How many readers remember the Bush-McCain-Kennedy SHAMnesty legislation which was called the “Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007, or, by its full name, the Secure Borders, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Reform Act of 2007?” 

And how many people remember the multi-part procedure for obtaining Legal Permanent Residence (LPR) status which featured registration documents which could be immediately issued and used to stop deportation proceedings if the Department of Homeland Security couldn’t produce any “disqualifying” factors within twenty-four hours?

No matter what the government said, these documents would have immediately provided each and every illegal alien applicant, including violent criminals and drug dealers, with legal standing in United States Courts – thus insuring that they could not be deported without a full hearing.

And now we are finding that the Department of State would have never been able to process the mass of paperwork arising from 12-20 million illegal aliens in a timely manner. Which should come as no particular surprise to those following the antics of our Congress and Administration.

The real truth emerges and it is not pretty …

The Government Accountability Office has just released a report which finds that the Department of State (State) “was unprepared for the record number of passport applications it received in 2007, leading to significant delays in passport processing.”

“State underestimated the increase in demand and consequently was not able to provide enough notice to the financial agent it uses for passport application payment processing for the agent to prepare for the increased workload, further adding to delays.”

“As a result, reported wait times reached 10 to 12 weeks in the summer of 2007—more than double the normal wait—with hundreds of thousands of passports taking significantly longer. State had difficulty tracking individual applications and failed to effectively measure or communicate to applicants the total expected wait times, prompting many to re-apply and further straining State’s processing capacity.”

The future …

“Although State has taken steps to improve its ability to respond to near-term surges in passport demand, it lacks a comprehensive strategy to improve long-term passport operations. State previously identified several deficiencies limiting the efficiency and effectiveness of passport operations, such as reliance on a paper-based work flow and ineffective communications, and these deficiencies were exposed by State’s response to the surge. While State also identified a framework to guide its modernization efforts, it does not have a comprehensive plan to prioritize and synchronize improvements to its passport operations.

So, the government admits that they were not prepared to handle the routine flow of passport applications – and thus makes it abundantly clear that they could have never processed the number of illegal alien visa applications necessary to insure that the comprehensive immigration reform program would be successful. Thus, in a perverse way, insuring those who did the right thing in applying for passports would be overwhelmed by the masses who simply broke into our America.

What can YOU do?

Realize that our government is more open than most; not specifically hiding critical documents from the public, but burying them in a mass of words and paper that prevents easy discovery. Immoral: yes, illegal: no. 

Demand that before any comprehensive immigration reform is introduced in Congress: that the borders be secured; that DHS (Department of Homeland Security) can reliably track incoming and outgoing travelers so as to identify those who overstayed their visas and who are subject to immediate deportation; the FBI and other law enforcement agencies can be queried for electronic background checks and that the Department of State can actually process the necessary paperwork on a timely basis.

Demand that before any comprehensive immigration reform is introduced in Congress, that the probationary period – the period after the visa application and prior to the issuance of formal documents contain no limitations on the time required to perform preliminary background checks unlike the previous SHAMnesty legislation which provided that the preliminary documents be issued if the DHS found no “disqualifying” factors within 24 hours. A ludicrous assertion as most illegal aliens have bogus identification and social security documents, multiple aliases and little or no biometric information on file with law enforcement to adequately identify the criminals among us.

Demand that your elected officials insure that all government agencies are prepared to handle the volume of transactions necessary to ensure security within the United States during the “open enrollment” period. With penalties including the removal of senior management should the agencies fail to perform to expectations. I am a great believer in the SAC (Strategic Air Command) method of government where failure nor forgiveness are not operational policies.

Acknowledge the difficult work of the Government Accountability Office at a time when almost everyone in government would rather bury their mistakes under mounds of paperwork than openly admit they need further assistance in achieving their mission.

Do not vote for any candidate or current politician who is willing to subvert the safety, security, sovereignty and economic strength of the United States or limit an individual's right of self-defense for their personal philosophy, power, prestige or profits.

-- steve

Quote of the day: “Always be wary of any helpful item that weighs less than its operating manual.” - Terry Pratchett

A reminder from OneCitizenSpeaking.com: a large improvement can result from a small change…

The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane. -- Marcus Aurelius

Reference Links:

State Department:  Comprehensive Strategy Needed to Improve Passport Operations – 1 page summary|GAO

State Department:  Comprehensive Strategy Needed to Improve Passport Operations – 51 page full report|GAO

Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007|Wikipedia

Fact Sheet: Immigration Fact Check: Responding to Key Myths|The White House


“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell



TAXES: YOUR FAIR SHARE?

Over and over I keep hearing both Barack Obama and John McCain endlessly discuss the need for tax reform. In Obama’s case, the cancellation of the Bush tax cuts and a modest increase in taxes for the wealthiest citizens among us. John McCain will preserve the Bush tax cuts and take a long hard look at rationalizing our tax code.

But what angers me is that both politicians, being politicians, are simply figuring out ways to sell their revenue enhancements to the American public in such a manner as to avoid adverse consequences at the polls.

So let’s review the facts surrounding the existing tax code.

(1)  The actual tax code is complex by design. Consider this the full employment opportunity act for accountants and other tax professionals whose entire livelihood is based on explaining the tax code to us mortals and insuring that the special interests are provided with the special privileges they had sought and paid for through their campaign contributions. One of the great paradoxes of nature is that tax code legislation is mostly written by lawyers with little sympathy for the ordinary man and promoted by legislators who claim it is the ordinary man they are trying to protect.

(2)  You pay more in taxes than you realize.  Especially since the United States, as well as local and state entities, use unofficial tax collectors such as your employer, your local gas station, your local telephone carrier and others to charge you and remit the taxes to Washington and other places. Often these taxes are disguised with that magic code word designed to make you think it is not a tax, but a fee.

The difference between a fee and a tax is simple. When someone chooses to use a government service and pays for it, he is paying a user fee.  If the government service is funded more broadly by all citizens, and especially those who don’t want or need that particular government service, it is a tax.

In other words, paying taxes is not a matter of choice and what you pay is not directly related to the government service you are actually using.

(3) Corporations do not pay taxes. Corporations are artificial constructs of law. They are, for all practical purposes, artificial persons. And being artificial, they pass all of their costs, including taxes, along to individuals who purchase their goods and services. Therefore, any tax that is imposed upon a corporation is spread among the ratepayers or clients of the corporations. Another nifty way that your legislators avoid directly taxing the citizenry.

In many cases, those “record fines” which are widely hailed as punitive actions and collected by various governmental entities are just another form of taxation on corporate users. So when you cheer on the government who has just unloaded a “record fine” on a corporation for some form of malfeasance, rest assured that the stockholders, ratepayers and clients are paying the freight.

(4) The rich are different, and the mega-rich are offshore. The merely rich can afford advisors to handle investments, tax and liability avoidance trusts and have a far greater chance of preserving their wealth. In fact, various government entitites are willing to sell them tax exempt bonds and other financial instruments which let them avoid even filing returns should they choose.

And the really rich, the so-called mega-rich don’t even bother telling the taxing authorities what they have, in what form their wealth is held, what the return on their investment might be or anything else which might be subject to tax in the future.

Precisely why I hate limousine liberals …

These are the wealthy individuals, living large with multiple mansion-style homes, expensive cars, yachts, planes and other goodies who constantly tell you that you need to pay your fair share. The “do as I say, not as I do” crowd that attends charity events more to see and be seen than actually do good works. Of course, with the exception of precious few, charity is mostly about foundations, tax shelters and naming opportunities.

So before Teddy Kennedy demands that I pay more taxes to support his idea of a socialist nirvana where entitlement programs are used to secure political power, let him fully divest himself of the family trusts and those investment trust vehicles which are alleged to be parked in the Bahamas and/or Cayman Islands.

Ready for a vacation?

Capture7-25-2008-10.19.12 PM

Here is a nice little house, known as Ugland House,  located in balmy George Town on Grand Cayman Island. And you would be greatly surprised to find that 18,857 (more or less) individuals and corporations reside here.

In fact, according to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), Ugland House has as its sole tenant the “Maples and Calder law firm which provides registered office services to companies established in the Cayman Islands.

  • 18,857 registered entities at the Ugland House address
  • Very few have a significant physical presence in the Cayman Islands
  • Five percent wholly U.S. owned.
  • Fewer than 50 percent have a U.S. billing address

“Ugland House registered entities included investment funds, structured-finance vehicles, and entities associated with other corporate activities.”

“Gaining business advantages, such as facilitating U.S.–foreign transactions or minimizing taxes, are key reasons for U.S. persons’ financial activity in the Cayman Islands. The Cayman Islands’ reputation as a stable, business-friendly environment with a sound legal infrastructure also attracts business.”

“This activity is typically legal, such as when pension funds and other U.S. tax-exempt entities invest in Cayman hedge funds to maximize their return by minimizing U.S. taxes.”

“Nevertheless, some U.S. persons have used Cayman Island entities, as they have entities in other jurisdictions, to evade income taxes or hide illegal activity.”

A scenario …

Imagine, if you will, an insurance company located in the Bahamas or the Cayman Islands that supplies re-insurance to insurance companies and collects large premiums to insure that portion of the risk that a domestic company is unable or unwilling to assume. Now imagine if you had a number of subprime loans that used some form of insurance in order to secure their triple-A rating. The risk of default being insured with domestic companies in the United States who then re-insure the risk with offshore entities who may or may not meet our domestic insurance standards for good governance, core capital, liquidity and financial soundness. Now as long as the underlying borrowers are paying their mortgages everything is fine. Now imagine what might happen if there is a large loan default group that forces the investor to call upon insurance to make them whole. The domestic firm quickly runs out of cash … and the offshore firm is nowhere to be found. It exists as a paper transaction somewhere in someone’s file cabinet. Even if the domestic insurer could pursue a claim in a foreign court, there is no guarantee that the firm will prevail and secure a legal judgement or that the funds to satisfy a legal judgement can be found.

The people who put the deal together made a large profit. The people who sold the insurance policies made a large profit. The people who collected the offshore premiums made a large profit. And nobody goes to jail.

Of course, the American taxpayer is left holding the bag? Which is a real possibility in today’s financial climate.

In the final analysis …

The rich will get richer, the powerful will consolidate their power – and hopefully some of us ordinary people can ascend to the ranks of those wealthy enough to actually do good works without worrying about securing a tax advantage.

What can YOU do?

Before voting for any candidate who wants to increase your tax burden, ask them if they maintain any offshore or trust accounts of their own and if they are listed in their financial disclosure documents.

Before voting for any candidate who wants to increase your tax burden ask them why the legislature does not require more complete disclosure of their personal finances and those of the family members who hold joint funds subject to the legislator’s beneficial control.

Before voting for any candidate, ask them why the public should trust them with additional funding since the government’s internal accounting system is often unable to be audited and billions of dollars are lost in the system each and every year.

Before voting for any candidate, ask them about their direct or indirect earmarks and/or benefits for special interest groups which does not benefit the public as a whole.

Before voting for any candidate who wants to expand government and social entitlement programs, ask them for a pro-forma statement showing the costs of such programs and a list of those who are most likely to reap the rewards of such programs. Are they legal citizens of the United States is also a good question to ask.

Before voting for any candidate, ask them if this particular plan is designed solely for public relations purposes and what the real chance of having the program signed into law.

Before voting for any candidate, ask them how they plan to determine if their proposed program is working and what they will do if the program suddenly develops massive and unanticipated (yeah, right) cost overruns?

It’s your money that these candidates propose to spend. Isn’t it about time that we had some form of vote on who we are giving our hard-earned money to and for what purpose. The thought that our politicians routinely give away millions to a government which may be hostile to the  United States to secure a photo opportunity or some meaningless agreement makes me sick.

We are at the crossroads of our beloved nation’s continuing development. One wrong turn and we can easily find our collective wealth siphoned off and shared with others – only to purchase their temporary approval. And, of course, when adverse events strike, we will be expected to bear the full burden in both blood and finances. I say enough. We take care of our own people first, before diluting our strength to the point where we actually require assistance from other nations to remain the nation we once were.

-- steve

Quote of the Day: “When it is a question of money, everyone is of the same religion.” --Francois Marie Arouet de Voltaire

A reminder from OneCitizenSpeaking.com: a large improvement can result from a small change…

The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane. -- Marcus Aurelius

Reference Links:

Cayman Islands: Business and Tax Advantages Attract U.S. Persons and Enforcement Challenges Exist.  1-page highlight report|GAO

Cayman Islands: Business and Tax Advantages Attract U.S. Persons and Enforcement Challenges Exist.  57-page full report|GAO


“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell



OBAMA IN BUMPER STICKERS (CONTINUED)

Capture7-24-2008-11.50.21 PM

Capture7-24-2008-11.52.26 PM

Capture7-24-2008-11.53.56 PM

Capture7-24-2008-11.56.51 PM

Capture7-25-2008-12.09.49 AM

Capture7-25-2008-12.05.22 AM

Capture7-25-2008-12.08.33 AM

With all of the photo-ops and media attention, who knows what Obama means by change. Of course, we can ask his racist, anti-American spiritual mentor/pastor, his corrupt buddy Tony Rezko, or his domestic terrorist buddies Bernadette Dorn and William Ayers.

While the media concentrates on the big shots in Manhattan and Malibu – the people of America know the truth and will vote accordingly.


“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell



THE BUSH FREEDOM AGENDA & BAD MEMORIES?

Normally I avoid listening to presidential speeches as they are often self-congratulatory, fatuous and are often crafted to send some message to some segment of the planet.

So it was with half an ear and a very small part of my brain that I listened to President Bush drone on about his “Advancing the Freedom Agenda”.

However, when President Bush started speaking about America’s role in the fight against foreign disease did I become fully alert.

“In the years ahead, America must continue to fight against disease. Nations afflicted with debilitating public health crises cannot build strong and prosperous societies for their citizens. America is helping these nations replace disease and despair with healing and hope. We're working in 15 African nations to cut the number of malaria-related deaths in half. Our Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, known as PEPFAR, is supporting the treatment of more than 1.7 million people. And Congress will soon pass legislation to significantly expand this vital initiative. We're expanding our efforts to train health workers for the poorest countries, to treat key neglected tropical diseases such as river blindness and hookworm. The challenge for future presidents and future Congresses will be to continue this commitment, so that we can lift the shadow of malaria and HIV/AIDS and other diseases once and for all.”

Do you see the section which upset me?

On the surface, everything seems as it should be. But there is a single section which is not only odious – it reminds me that the United States may be complicit in the deaths of millions of people based on the same type of junk science that is now being used to promote prescriptions for curbing global warming. And it has nothing to do with the United Nation’s recent admission that they deliberately overstated the African HIV/AIDS numbers to raise both support and funds from member nations. Do you see the section now?

Here it is …

“We're working in 15 African nations to cut the number of malaria-related deaths in half.”

and why it upsets me …

If it hadn’t been for the far-left democrats and their environmental movement supporters, millions of people who died from the effects of malaria would still be alive. And additional millions of people who suffered, and continually to suffer to this day, would have been spared this agonizing and debilitating malady.

Did this politically-inspired feel-good action kill millions?

Remember Rachael Carson and her book "Silent Spring?" And the demand that the pesticide DDT be banned worldwide based on faulty ecological science. Well the results are now apparent for all to see: millions have died due to a rise in indigenous diseases of all types. It is estimated that more than a million people die each year from malaria borne by mosquitos. A disease which was nearly eradicated globally decades ago. It was the very same type of ecologist-led  junk science that led to the ban -- and the charade continues to this day because the politicians are afraid to admit they were wrong and reverse course.

"But the scientific case against DDT was, and still is, nonexistent. Almost 60 years have passed since the malaria-spraying campaigns began--with hundreds of millions of people exposed to large concentrations of DDT--yet, according to international health scholar Amir Attaran, the scientific literature "has not even one peer reviewed, independently replicated study linking exposure to DDT with any adverse health outcome." Indeed, in a 1956 study, human volunteers ate DDT every day for over two years with no ill effects then or since."

"Abundant scientific evidence supporting the safety and importance of DDT was presented during seven months of testimony before the newly formed EPA in 1971. The presiding judge ruled unequivocally against a ban. But the public furor against DDT--fueled by "Silent Spring" and the growing environmental movement--was so great that a ban was imposed anyway. The EPA administrator, who hadn't even bothered to attend the hearings, overruled his own judge and imposed the ban in defiance of the facts and evidence. And the 1972 ban in the United States led to an effective worldwide ban, as countries dependent on U.S.-funded aid agencies curtailed their DDT use to comply with those agencies' demands."

"So if scientific facts are not what has driven the furor against DDT, what has? Estimates put today's malaria incidence worldwide at around 300 million cases, with a million deaths every year. If this enormous toll of human suffering and death is preventable, why do environmentalists--who profess to be the defenders of life--continue to oppose the use of DDT?"

"The answer is that environmental ideology values an untouched environment above human life. The root of the opposition to DDT is not science but the environmentalist moral premise that it is wrong for man to ‘tamper’ with nature."

Too late for DDT?

Originally DDT was effective and cheap enough to use in developing countries. However, as time progressed, so did nature … and over time mosquitos developed some degree of  resistance to DDT? Only history can accurately judge the final toll of this lost opportunity to bring one of nature’s most serious diseases under control.

But is it too late for us to demand better science before implementing public policy…

Here in California, Schwarzenegger wants to craft strong anti-global climate change legislation based on the same type of politically-inspired junk science that led to the suffering of millions. He apparently needs this environmental win, not because he cares for his constituents, but because they are the type of far-left credentials that can be used to boost his future political career. And it is not only California where this nonsense being played out to the benefit of the special interests. Every special interest with an eye on the public treasury is planning to somehow capitalize on the global warming craze. Like in the dot com boom when “profits didn’t seem to matter,” in the current global climate craze, energy efficiency, cost effectiveness and the ability to measure the effects of politically-mandated programs are also being ignored.” The result being: another man-made catastrophe which may radically change the political balance of democracy and results in some form of controlled socialism. 

It seems that the environmentalists now want man to tamper with nature, as long as it is their environmental agenda that is being enacted. An agenda which has been steadily perverted by far-left socialistic radicals into an anti-America stance.

What can YOU do?

Do not support any candidate who supports fixing the alleged global climate change with political solutions such as a “cap and trade” system which would allow polluters to continue to pollute using UN-issued pollution credits which will be manipulated, Enron-style, by the Wall Street Wizards.

Do not support any environmental group which is more about political action agendas than they are about the environment itself.

Ignore those “people for a perfect planet” as they want to minimize man’s footprint on Earth and give civil rights to animals.

Use you own common sense when it comes to government giveaways to special interests. Ask yourself is the benefit measurable and can it serve a public need at a price that is affordable without government subsidy.

Do not vote for any candidate or current politician who is willing to subvert the safety, security, sovereignty and economic strength of the United States or limit an individual's right of self-defense for their personal philosophy, power, prestige or profits.

-- steve

Quote of the Day: “If one synchronized swimmer drowns, do all the rest have to drown too?” --Steven Wright

A reminder from OneCitizenSpeaking.com: a large improvement can result from a small change…

The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane. -- Marcus Aurelius

Reference Links:

Rachel Carson's Genocide by Keith Lockitch|CapMag.com

Malaria|Wikipedia

DDT|Wikipedia

“In 1962, Silent Spring by American biologist Rachel Carson was published. The book catalogued the environmental impacts of the indiscriminate spraying of DDT in the US and questioned the logic of releasing large amounts of chemicals into the environment without fully understanding their effects on ecology or human health. The book suggested that DDT and other pesticides may cause cancer and that their agricultural use was a threat to wildlife, particularly birds.”

“Its publication was one of the signature events in the birth of the environmental movement. Silent Spring resulted in a large public outcry that eventually led to most uses of DDT being banned in the US in 1972. DDT was subsequently banned for agricultural use worldwide under the Stockholm Convention, but its limited use in disease vector control continues to this day in certain parts of the world and remains controversial.”

DDT: The Bald Eagle Lie|Steven Milloy

“A 1984 National Wildlife Federation publication listed hunting, power line electrocution, collisions in flight and poisoning from eating ducks containing lead shot as the leading causes of eagle deaths.”

“In addition to these reports, numerous scientific studies and experiments vindicate DDT.”

“U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologists fed large doses of DDT to captive bald eagles for 112 days and concluded that ‘DDT residues encountered by eagles in the environment would not adversely affect eagles or their eggs,’ according to a 1966 report published in the “Transcripts of 31st North America Wildlife Conference.”

“The USFWS examined every bald eagle found dead in the U.S. between 1961-1977 (266 birds) and reported no adverse effects caused by DDT or its residues.”

“One of the most notorious DDT ‘factoids’ is that it thinned bird egg shells. But a 1970 study published in Pesticides Monitoring Journal reported that DDT residues in bird egg shells were not correlated with thinning. Numerous other feeding studies on caged birds indicate that DDT isn’t associated with egg shell thinning.”

“In the few studies claiming to implicate DDT as the cause of thinning, the birds were fed diets that were either low in calcium, included other known egg shell-thinning substances, or that contained levels of DDT far in excess of levels that would be found in the environment – and even then, the massive doses produced much less thinning than what had been found in egg shells in the wild.”

President Bush Discusses Freedom Agenda|The White House

Fact Sheet: Advancing the Freedom Agenda|The White House

In Focus: Freedom Agenda|The White House


“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell