TRUMP -- BIDEN DEBATE: A VIEW FROM THE SOUNDBOARD

The morning after the debate…

Reading the usual plethora of pontificating partisan pundits, we see that their particular candidate dominated the debate and should be declared the winner. Other than the varying degrees of dissatisfaction with the opposition candidate, the only thing that was universally evident is that the moderator, Fox News host Mike Wallace, did a piss-poor job and appeared to favor the Democrat candidate—often appearing to directly engage with Trump and side with Biden.

But the most transparent view of the debate is probably that from the sound mixer’s console…

TRUMP-BIDEN-SOUNDMIX

No matter how you viewed the debate, it was mostly a cacophony of disrespectful and discordant noise as the three ranted, raved, and talked over each other. Nothing was said that you hadn’t heard before. The key takeaway was Joe Biden’s open and blatant disrespect for the President of the United States.

Even the Debate Commission was displeased with the results of the first debate…

“The Commission on Presidential Debates sponsors televised debates for the benefit of the American electorate. Last night’s debate made clear that additional structure should be added to the format of the remaining debates to ensure a more orderly discussion of the issues. The CPD will be carefully considering the changes that it will adopt and will announce those measures shortly. The Commission is grateful to Chris Wallace for the professionalism and skill he brought to last night’s debate and intends to ensure that additional tools to maintain order are in place for the remaining debates.”

One suggestion would be cutting off the microphones after the pre-determined time and allowing only one microphone to be live at a time, with the moderator’s microphone overriding those of the candidates. Of course, this would reduce the entertainment value of the debate and lower the ratings.

How crazy are the pundits?

Consider that George Will, characterized as an American libertarian-conservative political commentator, suggests that the remaining two presidential debates be canceled. Of course, this should come as no surprise since Will is employed by the uber-progressive Washington Post.

For the sake of the country, cancel the remaining debates

"The putrescence of America’s public life was pitilessly displayed Tuesday when, for 98 minutes, whatever remains of the nation’s domestic confidence and international stature shriveled like a brittle autumn leaf. The national interest — actually, national security — demands that the other two scheduled mortifications, fraudulently advertised as presidential debates, should be canceled..."

"Presidential debates test next to nothing that is germane to the performance of presidential duties. Biden’s ungraceful scrum with someone unhinged and uninformed was an event with no analogue in a well-managed presidency." <Source>

What an elitist schmuck -- a member of the media trying to censor the debate participants to deny the American people an opportunity to see an unfiltered view of the candidates.

Bottom line…

Unfortunately, there was no clear winner unless you give former Vice President Biden credit for remaining upright and mostly lucid during the 90-minute debate. However, there was a clear loser, the American voter.

I am looking forward to the single debate between mild-mannered Vice President and sharp-tongued  Kamala Harris, who is likely to finish out the Biden presidency as the President of the United States should Biden win the 2020 election.

On Wednesday, October 7th, the debate will be at 9:00 EDT and take place at Kingsbury Hall, a performing arts center located on the University of Utah campus in Salt Lake City, Utah. The moderator will be USA Today's Washington Bureau Chief Susan Page.

Once again, you can plainly see that the debate deck is stacked against conservatives in favor of the progressives. For those of you pointing to Fox News’ Chris Wallace, he is among the most progressive members of the Fox Team – next to Juan Williams and Judge Andrew Napolitano.

We are so screwed.

-- steve

VOTE-GOP-AMERICA


“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

“Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar

“Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS



OBAMA'S PROGRESSIVE POLICING FOR PROFITS AND POLITICAL GAIN ...

If you wish to see the type of political claptrap that is being bandied about when it comes to policing in your community, you may wish to review part of President Obama’s Task Force report.

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Ask yourself, is this the beginning of the federalization of local police and sheriffs departments? [my comments in bracketed blue italics]

ptf

“When any part of the American family does not feel like it is being treated fairly, that’s a problem for all of us.” ~ President Barack Obama

[Of course, as we have seen during the course of the Obama Administration, both President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder have made inflammatory statements regarding race and policing. In some cases appearing to support thuggish individuals over duly constituted law enforce without investigations being completed and the facts from being full known. A clear indication of the politicalization of law enforcement activities and further attempts by the Department of Justice to intervene in local law enforcement to apparently promote the Obama agenda of individual and community victimization to drive a progressive socialist democrat agenda.]

Trust between law enforcement agencies and the people they protect and serve is essential in a democracy. It is key to the stability of our communities, the integrity of our criminal justice system, and the safe and effective delivery of policing services.

[If trust between law enforcement is essential, how does the Obama Administration justify its constant agitation and “community outreach” activities at a local level – a level where federal officials should play no role. And, how can members of law enforcement trust the federal government if a grand jury proceedings return a “no true bill” or a court of competent jurisdiction returns a politically unpalatable verdict – and then the federal government investigates and charges a “civil rights” violation? Truly, political double jeopardy based on technicalities.]  

At the first session, Building Trust and Legitimacy, the topic of procedural justice was discussed as a foundational necessity in building public trust. Subject matter experts also testified as to the meaning of “community policing policing” in its historical and contemporary contexts, defining the difference between implicit bias and racial discrimination—two concepts at the heart of perceived difficulties between police and the people. Witnesses from community organizations stressed the need for more police involvement in community affairs as an essential component of their crime fighting duties. Police officers gave the beat cop’s perspective on protecting people who do not respect their authority, and three big-city mayors told of endemic budgetary obstacles to addressing policing challenges.

[That minorities in the inner cities do not trust members of law enforcement is understandable within the context of illegal aliens,omni-present criminals, and the suppression of law enforcement assistance by minority gangs who do not appear reluctant to kill or injure those who provide information to law enforcement. Yet, this is rarely the subject of official inquiries. The attitudes of “us” versus”them” are reoccurring themes in political campaigns as politicians have little or no impetus to support law enforcement when their largest constituencies engage in cultural dislike and distrust of law enforcement.

Implicit bias and racial discrimination are political terms, applied by politicians to prove that they and their community’s minority leadership are not complicitly and directly responsible for the behavior of the community’s minority residents. Why, you might ask, are the racial motives of a law enforcement officer questioned when it is white-on-minority law enforcement action and not when minority law enforcement acts upon a minority perpetrator? Could the answer be as simple as: the disparity of color gives rise to benefits that can be exploited by both the defense and politicians running for office?

Real animosity towards the police and racial bias are systemic problems unlikely to be influenced by additional police or additional funding. In fact, tracking the law enforcement money into bloated pension benefits makes incremental changes in law enforcement levels prohibitively expensive. As does union work rules which favor sworn personnel over civilians – although many civilians held security clearances from the federal government.] 

0.1 Overarching recommendation: The President should support and provide
funding for the creation of a National Crime and Justice Task Force to review and evaluate all components of the criminal justice system for the purpose of making recommendations to the country on comprehensive criminal justice reform.

[Just what the people need. Another feel-good, do-nothing task force staffed by politically-appointed hacks whose work is performed by “staff.” Usually lawyers with a political bent.

When someone speaks of comprehensive criminal justice reform, they are most likely speaking of law enforcement restrictions against minorities and illegal aliens, the reduction of sentencing for minority criminals, and the expungement of criminal records for minorities. Not that we already do not have a problem will allowing hardened criminals to plea-bargain serious crimes to less serious crimes for the purpose of generating statistics-building conviction records of politically ambitious prosecutors.

Where is the mention of the misconduct of rogue investigators and prosecutors that has resulted in innocent people being sent to prison or even executed?]   

0.2 Overarching recommendation:  The President should promote programs
that take a comprehensive and inclusive look at community-based initiatives that address the core issues of poverty, education, health, and safety. 

[Since the War on Poverty began under President Lyndon Johnson in 1964, billions of dollars have been used to address the so-called core-issues. After decades, crime in the inner cities is rampant and those areas, mostly governed by progressive socialist democrats, remain cesspools of poverty, illiteracy, disease, crime, and general decay. The money being siphoned-off by the ever-expanding government and political special interests.] 

1.1 recommendation: Law enforcement culture should embrace a guardian mindset to build public trust and legitimacy. Toward that end, police and sheriffs’ departments should adopt procedural justice as the guiding principle for internal and external policies and practices to guide their interactions with the citizens they serve. 

[Excuse me! Isn’t that what we are supposed to have, guaranteed by the Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause. To the extent that this type of policing does not exist, it is the failure of the politicians who govern the system.] 

1.2 recommendation: Law enforcement agencies should acknowledge the role of policing in past and present injustice and discrimination and how it is a hurdle to the promotion of community trust.

[Excuse me! How about the minority communities acknowledging their disproportionate criminal activity and the politicians acknowledging their governance failures. There have been failures on both sides of the line. ]

1.3 Recommendation: Law enforcement agencies should establish a culture of
transparency and accountability in order to build public trust and legitimacy. This will help ensure decision making is understood and in accord with stated policy.

[Coming from the Obama Administration, the idea of calling for transparency and accountability in order to build public trust and legitimacy is ludicrous given the public lying about national security, healthcare, and law enforcement activities. Truly a case of don’t do as I do, do as I say.]

  • 1.3.1 Action Item: To embrace a culture of transparency, law enforcement agencies should make all department policies available for public review and regularly post on the department’s website information about stops, summonses, arrests, reported crime, and other law enforcement data aggregated by demographics.
  • 1.3.2 Action Item: When serious incidents occur, including those involving alleged police misconduct, agencies should communicate with citizens and the media swiftly, openly, and neutrally, respecting areas where the law requires confidentiality.

[Until the investigation is complete and presented for review with the prosecutors, silence is preferable. Acknowledgement of the event is necessary and proper, but the details of an ongoing investigation must remain tightly held to protect both the innocent and the integrity of the prosecution. Community agitators should be sanctioned if they incite a riot when the facts are not in the public domain.]

1.4 recommendation: Law enforcement agencies should promote legitimacy internally within the organization by applying the principles of procedural justice.

  • 1.4.1 Action Item: In order to achieve internal legitimacy, law enforcement agencies should involve employees in the process of developing policies and procedures. 
  • 1.4.2 Action Item: Law enforcement agency leadership should examine opportunities to incorporate procedural justice into the internal discipline
    process, placing additional importance on values adherence rather than adherence to rules. Union leadership should be partners in this process.

1.5 recommendation: Law enforcement agencies should proactively promote public trust by initiating positive non-enforcement activities to engage communities that typically have high rates of investigative and enforcement involvement with government agencies.

Witness Laura Murphy, for example, pointed out that when law enforcement targets people of color for the isolated actions of a few, it tags an entire community as lawless when in actuality 95 percent are law abiding.

[This is a specious and general allegation of the type usually put forth by community victimization activists. So who is Laura Murphy? She is the Director, Washington Legislative Office, of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).] 

  • 1.5.1 action item: In order to achieve external legitimacy, law enforcement agencies should involve the community in the process of developing and evaluating policies and procedures.

[When politicians and activists speak about community involvement, they are usually speaking about themselves, not the unwashed members of the general public.] 

  • 1.5.2 action item: Law enforcement agencies should institute residency incentive programs such as Resident Officer Programs.

Resident Officer Programs are arrangements where law enforcement officers are provided housing in public housing neighborhoods as long as they fulfill public safety duties within the neighborhood that have been agreed to between the housing authority and the law enforcement agency.

[This should be known as the “get an officer killed, put their family in danger, and never give them a moment of peace” plan.]

  • 1.5.3 action item: Law enforcement agencies should create opportunities in schools and communities for positive non-enforcement interactions with police. Agencies should also publicize the beneficial outcomes and images of positive, trust-building partnerships and initiatives.

[Funny, we used to do this with police visits to the classroom, Explorer Scouts, and Police involvement in community affairs as our neighbors. As for demonstrating the benefits of low crime  – perhaps we should allow the police to do their own perp walks. ]

  • 1.5.4 Action Item: Use of physical control equipment and techniques against vulnerable populations—including children, elderly persons, pregnant women, people with physical and mental disabilities, limited English proficiency, and others—can undermine public trust and should be used as a last resort. Law enforcement agencies should carefully consider and review their policies towards these populations and adopt policies if none are in place.

[Just a little reminder that a law enforcement officer can be killed by a child, a senior citizen, or a mentally disabled person. While control techniques are not pretty when observed on the nightly news, to make an officer second-guess their safety is deadly.]

Source: President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing. 2015.
“Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing.”
Washington, DC: Office of Community Oriented Policing Services.

Well you get the idea. If you wish to read the entire 160-page document in context, it can be found here at the Department of Justice.

Department of Social Justice …

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When Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta spoke to the crowd at the Colorado Lawyers Committee annual lunch about the realities of the severed relationship between police and the Black community, she started by listing some of the most sobering reminders of what police brutality and excessive force can really do.

Mistrust can’t be explained away as the kneejerk reaction of the ill-informed or the hyperbolic,” she said. “It’s, in part, the product of historical awareness about the role that police have played in enforcing and perpetuating slavery, the Black Codes, lynchings and Jim Crow segregation. As FBI Director James Comey noted, ‘At many points in American history, law enforcement enforced the status quo, a status quo that was often brutally unfair to disfavored groups.” <Source>

Can you even begin to imagine why a high-ranking Department of Justice official would start in on historical awareness about the role that police have played in enforcing and perpetuating slavery? If not to stoke the fires of racial discord, victimhood, and progressive socialist democrat ideology. If you want to see where the parrot got her talking points … look at Recommendation 1.2 above.

Pointy-head intellectuals …

The idea that crime and punishment should somehow reflect the percentage population of the perpetrator’s color, race, or ethnicity, without regard to other factors is something only a pointy-head intellectual can support. Most of these prognosticators are progressive socialist democrats who cannot seem to understand that crime is committed by individual criminals and criminal gangs – and is not caused by the broader society. There have always been criminals, but never before have so many wanted to spread the blame to law-abiding citizens.

I don’t own slaves. My family doesn’t own slaves. And, my ancestors didn’t own slaves. So why am I being punished and made to feel inferior because of historical injustice? Can you say political power and wealth redistribution to increase that political power? As we have seen in Ferguson, Missouri and Baltimore, Maryland, criminals are simply criminals, not historians, nor protesters with a legitimate grievance with a factual basis.

Crime is big business …

The mantra of the criminal justice system is not better policing or lower crime, it is stabilize the system to keep the political power from being eroded and the money flowing into our coffers, and individual pockets.

Most people do not think of the criminal justice system as big business, but when you consider the tremendous amounts of money awash in the system, you will quickly change your mind. Progressive policing is not so much a matter to detecting and deterring criminal activities, but keeping the crime rate high enough so that taxpayers and voting citizens will demand more police support, but not so high as to cause the taxpayers and voting citizens to demand regime change.

In many cases, the top-level police are politicians, with the very same issues: raising campaign funding and avoiding negative publicity. To the extent that they support the politicians, community agitators, and the special interests who provide campaign funding, voter support, and positive media. Favors all around. To the extent that the rank-and-file are well-trained, diligent, and exhibit personal integrity, it to the extent that the leadership sets the example. And, to the extent that the community supports their actions.

Heaven forbid that law-abiding citizens act as individuals and become responsible for their own self-protection. Can’t have that as it would diminish the power of the politicians and police. No, we need to disarm the law-abiding and make them even more vulnerable to the criminal class. So they must turn to government for their security and safety. How else can you explain the stringent gun-control rules and regulations that don’t seem to be working in the inner cities, especially those governed by progressive socialist democrats and their “go soft on punishments” public policies. As if crime were a disease, to be treated humanely in the community, not harshly behind bars.

Obama’s poster boy for racial agitation and anti-police rhetoric …

as2

If you were to select one person to typify the self-serving corruption and dishonesty of a racial agitator, you would be hard-pressed to find one as corrupt and dishonest as the so-called “Reverend”Al Sharpton.

Here is a man who has incited mob violence with his racial rhetoric. Here is a man who put forth big lies that were totally disproven. Here is a man who is little more than a racial extortionist – and he doesn’t even bother to pay taxes on his ill-gotten gains. So why is this man invited to the White House? Why is this man sitting next to New York’s Mayor and Police Chief?

The answer is simple. He is the progressive socialist democrat’s go-to man when it comes to agitating the minority base that overwhelmingly votes for the democrats, even though even a cursory glance at history will show that Blacks were misused by the democrats and then discarded after the election. With the good “reverends” and “ministers” paid off in “walking around money” and token access to the top politicians for their self-serving photo-ops.

Have you ever wondered why this race-baiting charlatan will go after American corporations and police departments, but will not engage in curbing inner city thuggery, out-of-wedlock births that doom mothers to a life of poverty, or those who bring the very worst of culture to the ‘hood? Beyond his personal safety, it all comes down to political power, prestige, and most of all, profits. You can make no money going after the root causes of decay and crime in the inner cities. You can make no money telling young men to be responsible and to support their families. And, you certainly don’t get media attention for denigrating the entertainment of thuggish hip-hop.

So why is this despicable man thought to be one of the preeminent leaders of the Black Community, as if Blacks were anything other than a monolithic voting block? Because he is a necessary evil to the progressive socialist democrats. To keep the base agitated about their victimhood based on the implicit racism and poverty that the progressive socialist democrats promised to resolve decades ago with their “war on poverty.” Ask yourself where did those billions of taxpayer’s dollars go – and the answer is invariably, programs to promote the progressive socialist democrat cause and to keep the dollars flowing to the special interests that kicked back campaign funding, voter support, and media attention.

Bottom line …

To the extent we are seeing policing problems along racial, ethnic, or religious lines, you may wish to thank President Obama and his cadre of progressive socialist democrats for their efforts in balkanizing and promoting victimhood in order to gain and maintain political power. The chaos and criminality we are seeing is directly attributable to the progressive governance model where the politicians do not attack minorities or hold them accountable for their criminality, bad behavior, or other misdeeds lest they switch their party affiliation and back the opposition.

Truth be told, Blacks and Hispanic minorities have been screwed over by the democrats while their point elsewhere to explain the failures of their public policies.

Enough is enough. We need to remove or reduce corruption in politics – allowing the taxpayer’s funds to flow into the community without a detour through the politicians and their special interests' pockets.

-- 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

“Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar

“Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS



A CALIFORNIA DEMOCRAT HISTORY LESSON ... RE-LEARNING THE 3 R's: REPEAL, RECALL, REVOLT!

In the past we have seen radical left activists infiltrate the halls of higher learning as well as the educational unions that dominate so much of what is being taught to our children today.

In case-after-case we have seen the tenets of multi-Culturalism, diversity and political correctness alter the very nature of the educational process.

In reading, where the substitution of “whole language” learning concepts replaced the sounding out of words (“phonics”) and produced a generation of functionally illiterate children who were more inclined to read pop-culture magazines and comic books than more stimulating fare.

In writing, where grammar, language and spelling use no longer counted; as long as the ideas being expressed were politically correct.

In mathematics where the correct answer was not as important as self-esteem. Where the ability to add, subtract, multiply and divide without the use of a calculator has gone the way of a dodo bird. Where repetitive drills and pop-quizzes give way to mathematics illustrated with pop-stories.

In history, where revisionism was the watchword and cultural biases were eliminated as moral equivalency was stressed. Good and evil were taught to be no more than just two concepts competing against other ideas. Where evildoers were celebrated as freedom fighters instead of terrorists and where patriotism was just another form of nationalism – something to be shunned in our global world. Where our forefathers whose wisdom produced our great nation were reduced to some old rich white guys who exploited the masses and just happened to occupy a particular time in history.

In behavior, where good citizenship and appropriate behavior gave way to the tolerance on insubordination and outright thuggish behavior. Where individualism was shunned and collectivism was the operative rule of the day.

An generation compromised by those activists who spouted far left liberal propaganda, demonized and punished anyone that did not agree with them and then destroyed the ability of today’s young citizens to think critically – against a solid background of historical context of right and wrong.

A generation compromised by those who needed to dumb down classes to accommodate non-English speakers being mainstreamed into inappropriate grade-levels based on their chronological age. Not to mention the dumbing down of the educational requirements to support a class of teachers who tried to game the system by teaching to the test, rather than simply teaching the required basics.

And now that the democrats have been so infiltrated by the radical left activists, perhaps it is time for the citizens of America to stand up and teach these political special interests our own version of the 3 R’s:

  • REPEAL

  • RECALL

  • REVOLT

Repealing a decade or more of politically correct programs that conferred citizenship rights on those who were illegally in the United State and were complicit en mass for the destruction of our healthcare, educational, judicial, retirement, social and cultural infrastructure. Repealing legislation which is confusing, conflicting and which contains the loopholes designed to further the aims of special interests who provided campaign funds to legislators who proven they could be bought for very little money. Repealing older legislation before replacing it with newer legislation so as to eliminate the patchwork of conflicting rules, regulations, laws, loopholes, grandfathered rights and such other legislative folderol.

Recalling those who have led us into unsustainable budgets, whose profligate spending produced nothing of lasting value while our utility systems were in desperate need of repair or replacement. Recalling those who have acted as surrogates for corrupt special interests – and especially those who attempted to breach the sovereignty of the United States by pandering to illegal aliens and others outside of our country.

Revolting against those taxes and surcharges which will surely bankrupt our nation, our states, our cities and ourselves as the accumulated result of our labors is transferred to those who refuse to work and whose claim to our bread and butter is based on their friendship with the people in power. Revolting against celebrities who, while dumb as rocks, manage to spew pre-written lines with believable sincerity. The ones who pretend they are intellectuals and yet cozy up to dictators and despots.

I must be a racist …

So before the name calling starts, let me warn you I do not care what you may call me. Because I refuse to pander to illegal aliens of Mexican decent, I must be a racist. Because I openly oppose Barack Obama, I must be a racist. Truth be known, everybody is a racist: preferring to be with their own tribe rather than somewhere more uncomfortable. It’s not right or wrong, but it is human nature.

But this is the tactic of the far left liberal democrat activist: to divide the masses by class, race, ethnicity, sex or any other category which can be used to promote the democrat concept of victimhood. For without victimhood, why would anyone lead democrat leaders to seek redress from “the man.”

Consider our politicians today …

The are almost thoroughly corrupt. Bought and paid-for by the unions and private sector special interests whose entire being rests upon being able to tap the public treasury and aided and abetted by those who are allowed to dictate how funds are spent.

Boy was I wrong …

I once admired what I thought was a principled politician. A man who openly spoke his mind on matters, especially those related to profligate spending and budgetary manipulations. Unfortunately, I learned a hard lesson in politics. When termed out, this man simply ran for another public office, a professional politician pursuing his career of living off the public teat. I was also surprised to learn that he was not a neighbor, living in my community. But an established resident of a suburb of the state Capitol. The house in the neighborhood belonged to his parents. Further disillusionment followed when I learned that a vote, which  I thought very odd for a fiscal conservative, was placed in context when I discovered the issue’s backers had spent millions of dollars on my representative’s campaign.

Most  politicians no longer represent the people …

We are living in an age where the politicos no longer listen to the public. They act solely in their best interests based on campaign funding, bloc voting and appearances in the media. We have lost control of our politicians – and by extension, our government on the local, state and federal levels.

Direct action: repeal, recall and revolt …

Thus we are faced with the prospect of taking direct action: by demanding the repeal of harmful legislation which will sink us further into debt and obligation to foreign nations. By demanding the recall of those who openly flout the public’s wishes by contesting legislation which has already been approved by the majority of the voters. Not to mention those who appear to be either corrupt or beholden to toxic special interests; especially those who do not wish the United States well or want to violate our sovereignty for economic or political power. And by revolting against those who are destroying America with their self-interest, self-serving policies.

There is absolutely no reason why we should tolerate the enlargement of government until the reach the critical mass of self-perpetuating and ever-increasing funding. Where we become the slaves to the elite rulers and their faceless bureaucrats. Damnit – they are supposed to work for me, not me for them.

Consider what I have said before you cast that next vote or write a contribution to a politician based on their celebrity appeal. Before you buy that next newspaper, magazine or listen or watch those who have sold America short. Before you bank with companies who were complicit in destroying our retirement funds. And before you trust those who have paid off our politicians with pennies on the dollar and then have surcharged our purchases to cover the expense of our own demise.

Disagree? You are welcome to argue your point. Either by commenting at the end of this blog entry or by sending an e-mail. Prove me wrong, I dare you!

Be well and be safe.

-- steve

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

flag


“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

“Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar

“Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS



THE OBAMA $TIMULU$: STIMULATING THE CYCLE OF CORRUPTION?

Where is our money going?

There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that one of the greatest reasons that governments on the local, state and federal levels are running major deficits is because they not only have to fund ongoing public safety, education and social programs, they must also fund ever-growing employee wage and benefit programs which offer the average government worker lifelong employment, above average wages and almost obscene health and retirement benefits when compared to the private sector.

"We have far less to spend on core services, such as public safety, education, parks and senior centers," Mayor Michael Bloomberg wrote in December of the city's pension costs. "That defies common sense, and it's hurting our city."                     -- F0rbes

And the reason for this outrageous behavior is because the public has very little input into the process. They have been frozen out of the picture by the unholy alliance between politicians and the unions.

A perfect illustration of the cycle of corruption …

Capture2-10-2009-7.02.08 PM

Politicians pander to the unions to obtain the financing and votes to gain or maintain political office. Then they are reluctant to vote against union demands for higher wages and better health and retirement benefits. And because the union can put additional sums of money into paid advertising during election campaigns, is it any wonder that the unions come first and the electorate comes in dead last?

Socialism …

I do not know what disturbs me most about unions …

  • The apparently socialistic roots and support for Marxist organizing tactics;
  • Their unholy alliance with organized crime in some cities;
  • Their leadership which seems to run the union for their own benefit;
  • Their acceptance of illegal aliens in their ranks while knowing full well that other illegal aliens are depressing wage rates and taking jobs from their members;
  • That the members may have little or nothing to say about which political parties or politicians are supported;
  • Their nefarious dealings with government leaders knowing that they have the advantage of possessing “inside knowledge” provided by their membership;
  • Their onerous and detailed work rules which have employees sitting idly by while other employees perform the work – or even worse, make a requester wait while employees of more than one union are required to complete a single job;
  • A grievance process which makes it almost impossible to fire a poor performing worker;
  • A grievance process which intimidates members of middle management to the point where they will simply walk away from egregious behavior because it isn’t worth the trouble of tangling with union representatives;
  • A system which rewards seniority over merit and accomplishment and which often results in productive workers being chastised by their slower counterparts for making them look bad or setting a superior standard of accomplishment;
  • Their propensity to strike at the most inopportune times to force the general population to suffer mightily as to coerce the politicians to settle the strike on terms favorable to the unions;
  • Their association with the democrats, especially in one-party governments, where a disproportionate portion of the waste, graft and corruption can be associated with unionized projects; or
  • Their latest flirtation with union organizing: the card-check program which denies American workers the right to a secret ballot and exposes the individual worker to coercion and thuggery.

Look around at most cities controlled by the democrat party and which feature an active union presence. Note the level of decay and political corruption. In my mind, cause and effect.

Why are public sector unions even necessary?

What was wrong with civil service? In many ways, it was almost as cumbersome as union representation – but without the propensity to strike.  For years unions have claimed they were necessary to fight against the excesses of the capitalistic private sector. So why are they necessary to protect the rights of public sector employees when a civil service arrangement would suffice? With the added benefit of allowing the public sector employee to keep more of their money as a real stimulus to the economy? Not to mention a corresponding reduction in political corruption?

It is about time to set aside the old myths …

The myth that public service workers are provided with guaranteed employment because they receive substantially lower pay than employees in the private sector has long been disproven.

“In public-sector America things just get better and better. The common presumption is that public servants forgo high wages in exchange for safe jobs and benefits. The reality is they get all three. State and local government workers get paid an average of $25.30 an hour, which is 33% higher than the private sector's $19, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Throw in pensions and other benefits and the gap widens to 42%.”           --Forbes

The myth that public safety personnel deserve significantly better benefits because they put their lives on the line is also mostly untrue. Especially when you consider what our volunteer soldiers are actually paid. True first responders and those who risk their lives daily are a relatively few in number when you consider cubicle workers with similar benefits. Yet is is this group of dedicated employees which are always featured in position advertising whenever anyone attempts to cut salaries, overtime or benefits.

The myth that it’s for the children and that we have underpaid union teachers is mostly that: a myth. Paying teachers outrageous sums for non-teaching administrative jobs is also out of control. There is something wrong with the picture of a  teacher forced to buy classroom supplies out of their pocket while the school district spends $320 million dollars for a monstrosity of a modern art high-school to soothe the ego of a politically-active billionaire. Especially when the teachers unions complain about crowded classrooms -- when three high schools could have been built for the cost of that modern art monstrosity.

And the worst and mostly false myth of all: that government knows what is wrong and can provide a solution with legislative controls and stimuli.

What Obama has done …

By not demanding work standards and competitive bidding from both union and non-union sources, he has increased the cost of all government projects and subjected them to the usual type of waste, fraud, corruption and mismanagement that plagues most government contracts. Projects which are sure to feature cost overruns and additional funding to complete the project.

By not demanding hiring controls, Obama has promoted another class of government employee who will stay employed long after the stimulus funding has run out – and another 20-30 years of guaranteed employment with wage, benefits and retirement funds which will further cripple government operations. Further draining the treasury and placing a burden upon us all.

“Four in five public-sector workers have lifetime pensions, versus only one in five in the private sector. The difference shifts huge risks from government to private-sector workers.”                        --Forbes

By enlarging government, Obama has contributed to a critical mass of government employees, many of them union-controlled, that can simply override the public’s input and continue with their self-interest programs to increase their benefits.

By bailing out state and local governments, Obama has rewarded those who spent profligately on special interest projects and social engineering. Perhaps, pumping new life into the political careers of poseurs such as California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

And most importantly, by acting in this egregious manner, Obama has provided aid and comfort to our enemies who want to see our economy and military decimated. If Obama had only studied history, he would have seen that it was Russia’s inability to finance further military and economic actions that led to their downfall. Obama is in the process of insuring that we meet the same fate.

Solutions …

We need to get government costs under control. One, by eliminating unions in favor of civil service programs. Two, by imposing work rules and requirements (for non-sworn personnel) that eliminate any disparity with the private sector. And three, by eliminating politicians from selling their votes – however subtle their actions are. We need to prosecute transgressing politicians and not simply allow them to file amended reports and returns.

We need to educate the people into seeing what corrupt losers their politicians have become and the damage they have done to their community, their state and the country.

Another solution is to separate those first-responders and others who have risky lives or an increased probability of harm from those who live their lives as cubicle functionaries and are more likely to die choking on a donut than while engaged in life-saving activities.

And even these benefits should be capped at some reasonable amount that does not count overtime and other such factors when computing retirement.

Public service people should be employed at will – with no guarantee of life-long employment – and the ability to double dip in the retirement pool.  They should be hired for their abilities and fired when they are no longer productive. They should have the same type of 401(k) retirement programs of the private sector.

Remove the employee unions and you eliminate much of the waste and corruption in government. We will deal with the waste and corruption involved with private sector special interests also.

Talk about working for the man …

Here were are, the American public, now forced to work to provide wages, benefits and retirements to an expanding cadre of government workers – benefits which will include healthcare and retirement that will not be available to the average American under an Obama-driven socialized healthcare plan and with the meager amount of money remaining in our retirement plans.

Welcome to the third-world where government and its friends enjoy life and everybody else struggles to make do. 

-- steve

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:

The Employee Suppression Of Choice Act|Forbes

Gilt-Edged Pensions|Forbes


flag


“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

“Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar

“Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS



Does the Treasury Secretary have a clue to solving the problem? Not if you see today's pathetic performance.

The Bush/Paulson solution failed …

Henry Paulson, the Secretary of the United States Treasury went before Congress and the American people and claimed that if the TARP (Troubled Assets Relief Program) legislation was not passed, we were sure to experience a financial system meltdown of catastrophic proportions.

As time went on, we were to learn:

  • The $700 BILLION number was picked from a hat; a number that sounded serious and substantial and less than a psychological barrier of $1 TRILLION.
  • After approximately half of the TARP funds were disbursed, we found out that the money was being spent by the banks to acquire other financial institutions or shore up the balance sheets of the recipient. Little or no money actually went to facilitate consumer or commercial lending.
  • In a pitch for the remaining funds, Paulson admitted that there were problems with the initial TARP fundings but that he needed the remaining money to avert a catastrophe in the financial markets. He also acknowledged that the banks were not, as a condition of receiving TARP funds, required to report to the Treasury Department exactly how these funds were allocated.

Time for the messiah …

Exit the Bush Administration and Treasury Secretary Paulson and enter the Obama Administration and Treasury Secretary Timothy “TurboTax” Geithner.

One would assume that Geithner, head of the New York Federal Reserve, close associate of Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke, and one of the authors, with Treasury Secretary Paulson, of the TARP program would have a plan in place to distribute the remaining TARP funds and deal with the additional BILLIONS allocated in the Obama Stimulus package.

Winging it …

And now we find that Geithner, too, plans to wing-it with little or no real disclosure and a program of public utterances that are Obama-like in that they say little or nothing about the problems at hand, but simply quote the dire consequences of inaction.

Saying nothing of substance: Tim Geithner, in his own words …

The market doesn’t believe Geithner gave a credible answer…

In response to a presentation which featured a broad overview of the problem and very little of substantive detail of an estimated $1 TRILLION program, the market reacted;  the Dow industrials falling by 381.99 points, or 4.62 percent, to 7,888.88. Likewise in the much broader market,the Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 42.73 points, or 4.91 percent, to 827.16. The NASDAQ composite fell 66.83 points, or 4.20 percent, to 1,524.73.

This is the biggest decline since Obama’s inauguration on January 20th. Quite a response to someone who has been hailed as “The One,” the messiah who can return normalcy to our financial markets as well as right previous social wrongs and his minion, Treasury Secretary Geithner.

Wait and See?

Truth be told, Paulson, Geithner and Bernanke do not have a plan – other than to try a little of this and a little of that – buying enough time so that the recession naturally corrects as it has historically and enough time for the financial institutions to further camouflage their balance sheets. 

For those readers who desire to read Treasury Secretary Geithner’s prepared remarks at today’s hearing before the Senate Banking Committee, they can be found here.

For those readers who want to really find out what Treasury Secretary Geithner is up to, you might want to click below.

Ask the Magic Eight-Ball

I am sorry I can’t be of any further help as my crystal ball seems somewhat cloudy.

What I do know is:

The first step in resolving this financial meltdown is to institute “safe and sane” accounting rules. Eliminating “off balance sheet” accounts and suspending or eliminating the “mark-to-market” requirement which has decimated the balance sheets of financial institutions.

The second step is to develop a methodology for handling toxic derivatives, be they held by individual financial institutions or be acquired by a so-called “bad bank.” By building a program to re-aggregate some of these assets, fire sale pricing might be side-stepped.

The third step is to develop rules and regulations for the creation and marketing of derivatives – the fruit of the poisonous tree which caused our fall from grace. Whether or not derivatives should be capped at two-generations, much like a multi-level sales program, will be up to the regulators.

The fourth step is to develop a marketplace to register and wind-down all of the credit default swaps which used as bogus insurance. Perhaps by cancelling all contracts in which the purchaser did not own the assets being covered. This estimated $55 TRILLION exposure must be eradicated before one has faith in an insurers, or anyone else’s balance sheet.

But this is all conditioned on stopping the downward spiral of the housing market. Without some form of price stabilization, mortgage-backed securities and other assets will continue to have “wonky” valuations that are more a product of computer schemes and the presence of a willing counterparty than a tangible and reliable value.

As for people who have lost their house to foreclosure or are about to lose their house in foreclosure, might I suggest that we simply apply sound underwriting standards which presuppose that one can muster the necessary cash flow to service their debt. In this instance, a cash flow equivalent to the amount of money that would be required to rent a property of equivalent value in today’s market. For those who purchased property far beyond their means, I am sorry. For those who tricked them into buying, be it the real estate agent who cited rising values, the appraiser who fudged the numbers, the loan officer who falsified data, or the borrower who simply misstated their credit capacity – you have a one-time “get out of jail free” card if you simply walk away from the property and relinquish all claims. Otherwise, let the chips fall where they may.

As for Treasury Secretary Geithner, we wish him well as we do Federal Chairman Bernanke. As for Obama, we wish him to fail before any more disastrous policies are initiated and the American Dream turns into a survivalist nightmare.

Be well and be safe.

-- steve

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


“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

“Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar

“Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS



OBAMA: THE STEVIE WONDER* PRESS CONFERENCE?

It was a boring press conference where Barack Obama gave a 10-minute head-swiveling answer to an unasked question. Obama did not look into the camera as his head continuously swiveled back-and-forth (right-left-right-left) as he read from his TelePrompTers. Never looking directly at the camera and the American people.

And perhaps that is the real answer: looking Presidential as he spews lofty words penned by others. The ultimate empty-suit performer. Worthy of an Emmy for a momentous speech by someone who says absolutely nothing.

The fact that the President is engaging in fear-mongering and telling only part of the story should be condemned. But not as much as a complicit mainstream media which can no longer be trusted to “tell truth to power” as they jockey for corporate privileges.

The short answer …

  • “The plan is not perfect.”
  • "At this particular moment, with the private sector so weakened by this recession, the federal government is the only entity left with the resources to jolt our economy back to life."
  • "My bottom line is to make sure that we are saving or creating 4 million jobs."

The biggest lie …

“But when they start characterizing this as pork, without acknowledging that there are no earmarks in this package -- something, again, that was pretty rare over the last eight years -- then you get a feeling that maybe we're playing politics instead of actually trying to solve problems for the American people.”

What would you consider $4 BILLION FOR COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS LIKE ACORN (Which is allegedly complicit in improperly and illegally registering democrats)?

The toughest question …

The single toughest question, in my opinion, was when  Associated Press reporter Jennifer Loven asked:

“Mr. President. Earlier today in Indiana, you said something striking. You said that this nation could end up in a crisis without action that we would be unable to reverse. Can you talk about what you know or what you're hearing that would lead you to say that our recession might be permanent when others in our history have not? And do you think that you risk losing some credibility or even talking down the economy by using dire language like that?”

My highlight …

When the cute Bloomberg reporter, Juliana Goldman, asked “Many experts from Nouriel Roubini to Senator Schumer have said that it would cost the government more than a trillion dollars to really fix the financial system. During the campaign, you promised the American people that you won’t just tell them what they want to hear, but what they need to hear. Won’t the government need far more than $350 billion remaining in the financial rescue funds to really solve the credit crisis?

Obama’s answer revealed the fact that the government really doesn’t know how to solve the problems at hand and what they will cost. It is against this background that I find that I have little or no confidence in the Obama Administration to solve the underlying crisis of trust.

“Well, the credit crisis is real, and it's not over. We averted catastrophe by passing the TARP legislation. But, as I said before, because of a lack of clarity and consistency in how it was applied, a lack of oversight in -- in how the money went out, we didn't get as big of a bang for the buck as we should have.”

“My immediate task is making sure that the second half of that money, $350 billion, is spent properly. That's my first job. Before I even think about what else I've got to do, my first task is to make sure that my secretary of the treasury, Tim Geithner, working with Larry Summers, my national economic adviser, and others are coming up with the best possible plan to use this money wisely in a way that's transparent, in a way that provides clear oversight, that we are conditioning any money that we give to banks on them reducing executive compensation to reasonable levels and to make sure that they're not wasting that money.”

“We are going to have to work with the banks in an effective way to clean up their balance sheets so that some trust is restored within the marketplace, because right now part of the problem is that nobody really knows what's on the bank's books. Any given bank, they're not sure what kinds of losses are there. We've got to open things up and restore some trust.”

“We also have to deal with the housing issue in a clear and consistent way.”

“I don't want to preempt my secretary of the treasury. He's going to be laying out these principles in great detail tomorrow.”

“But my instruction to him has been: Let's get this right. Let's create a template in which we're restoring market confidence.”

“And the reason that's so important is because we don't know yet whether we're going to need additional money or how much additional money we'll need until we've seen how successful we are at restoring a sense of confidence in the marketplace that the federal government and the Federal Reserve Bank and the FDIC, working in concert, know what they're doing.”

“That can make a big difference in terms of whether or not we attract private capital back into the marketplace. And ultimately the government cannot substitute for all the private capital that has been withdrawn from the system. We've got to restore confidence so that private capital goes back in.”

The lowlight …

In my oh so humble opinion, the lowest point of the press conference came when Helen Thomas, the old hag in the red dress who should have been retired after John Kennedy’s last press conference, stupidly asked:

“Mr. President, do you think that Pakistan and -- are maintaining the safe havens in Afghanistan for these so-called terrorists? And, also, do you know of any country in the Middle East that has nuclear weapons?”

So-called terrorists? Trying to out Israel as having nuclear weapons? How many people know that Helen Thomas’ parents were Lebanese immigrants? Her time has long been over and this is one long-standing tradition that should be scrapped. The time would have been better spent taking more important questions.

The unasked and unanswered questions …

If your previous promise to bring cooperation and bi-partisanship back into the government, why did you ask Senator Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, among the most liberal ideologues in Congress, to  write the stimulus package – which wound up packed with projects having nothing to do with the creation of jobs?

How do you account for the future cost of all of the new government employees whose cost will continue for twenty to thirty years, with ever mounting salaries and benefits – and a retirement obligation that exceeds all but the top executives in the nation?

How do you account for the lack of the stimulus bill’s provisions for cost-effectiveness when obviously one needs to employ union workers with their outrageous, non-competitive salaries and work rules? Not to mention, a provision which prohibits the use of undocumented illegal aliens. And a provision which provides criminal penalties with mandatory imprisonment for fraud and corruption.

Why should we believe you and not the Congressional Budget Office when they say that “no action” might be preferable to implementing this bill?

And the biggest unasked questions of all:

Where are we going to get the money to pay for this program and will it finally end in an inflationary nightmare?

How can we trust a government, which cannot accurately count votes or account for monies spent on past and present government programs, to be responsible for the trillions of dollars which are about to be spent in governmental programs.

How can we trust a government who wants to institutionalize health care and deny care to an aging population?

Most dangerous …

What he said …

“The same applies when it comes to information technologies in health care. We know that health care is crippling businesses and making us less competitive, as well as breaking the banks of families all across America. And part of the reason is, we've got the most inefficient health care system imaginable.”

“We're still using paper. We're still filing things in triplicate. Nurses can't read the prescriptions that doctors -- that doctors have written out. Why wouldn't we want to put that on -- put that on an electronic medical record that will reduce error rates, reduce our long-term costs of health care, and create jobs right now?”

What’s really in the bill …

According to an analysis by Bloomberg News (page numbers provided for reference)

The bill’s health rules will affect “every individual in the United States” (445, 454, 479). Your medical treatments will be tracked electronically by a federal system. Having electronic medical records at your fingertips, easily transferred to a hospital, is beneficial. It will help avoid duplicate tests and errors.”

“But the bill goes further. One new bureaucracy, the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology, will monitor treatments to make sure your doctor is doing what the federal government deems appropriate and cost effective.”

“The goal is to reduce costs and ‘guide’ your doctor’s decisions (442, 446). These provisions in the stimulus bill are virtually identical to what Daschle prescribed in his 2008 book, “Critical: What We Can Do About the Health-Care Crisis.” According to Daschle, doctors have to give up autonomy and “learn to operate less like solo practitioners.”

“Keeping doctors informed of the newest medical findings is important, but enforcing uniformity goes too far.”

“New Penalties”

Hospitals and doctors that are not ‘meaningful users’ of the new system will face penalties.  ‘Meaningful user’ isn’t defined in the bill. That will be left to the HHS secretary, who will be empowered to impose ‘more stringent measures of meaningful use over time’ (511, 518, 540-541)

“What penalties will deter your doctor from going beyond the electronically delivered protocols when your condition is atypical or you need an experimental treatment? The vagueness is intentional. In his book, Daschle proposed an appointed body with vast powers to make the ‘tough’ decisions elected politicians won’t make.”

“The stimulus bill does that, and calls it the Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research (190-192). The goal, Daschle’s book explained, is to slow the development and use of new medications and technologies because they are driving up costs. He praises Europeans for being more willing to accept “hopeless diagnoses” and “forgo experimental treatments,” and he chastises Americans for expecting too much from the health-care system.”

Elderly Hardest Hit

“Daschle says health-care reform ‘will not be pain free.’ Seniors should be more accepting of the conditions that come with age instead of treating them. That means the elderly will bear the brunt.”

“Medicare now pays for treatments deemed safe and effective. The stimulus bill would change that and apply a cost- effectiveness standard set by the Federal Council (464).”

A staged event …

You had your part to play, the press theirs. Unfortunately, many people will not go beyond the “celebrity” factor and analyze exactly what was said and what was left unsaid.

Yes, you looked good, spoke well, and said precious damn little. The press corps did not do their job. No follow-up questions. No wonder while you were jawboning and mugging for the cameras.

Bottom line: This was a speech – with the press as props. Obama is still in campaign mode – promising something which he may not be able to deliver. And a mainstream media unwilling to challenge the President and ask the hard questions.

What can YOU do?

Consider President Barack Obama as you would a Trojan Horse. Provoking curiosity until the fateful act of allowing his programs inside the gated walls of society.

Obama admits that they really don’t know if this will work or what the long-term consequences of this program will be. Therefore, why the rush towards oblivion. We need to allow this stimulus bill to go through the normal bi-partisan legislative process – including committee hearings.

I do not believe that this program will encourage people to spend, spend, spend to stimulate the economy. With the current atmosphere in the country, people are more likely to use stimulus funds to pay down debt or put the money aside for the rainy day most believe will be forthcoming.

Ask yourself if you want you doctor to deny the care you need because he is afraid of violating governmental care guidelines enforced with civil money penalties and possibly the loss of practice privileges.

Perhaps you should reconsider your support of AARP which allegedly represents seniors, but in reality is a portal to profit from selling travel, medical insurance, pharmacy services to the senior community. Lobbying for liberal democrat causes which support dangerous medical legislation such as that contained in the ill-defined stimulus bill.

We need also to stop electing people who are insulated from the results of their legislative decisions by reason of wealth, power or position. We need to insure that the average American is treated as well as members of Congress and government employees.

Be well, be safe – and remember: the bastards are not looking out for the average American.

-- steve

* No disrespect to Stevie Wonder

Quote of the day: “when the day comes for you to receive that life-saving treatment, don’t be surprised when your doctor simply says ‘Next!’”  -- steve

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:

H.R. 1 -- American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009|U.S. Government

Ruin Your Health With the Obama Stimulus Plan|Bloomberg News


“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

“Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar

“Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS



Smooth talk, half-truths or omitted details make the stimulus package dangerous ...

In his own words: watch the smooth-talking orator tell you about his economic stimulus       plan …

This is an example of a well-delivered speech. A speech which one hopes would set the tone in Washington and usher in an era of a government whose political parties set aside their petty political differences and began to serve the American people, openly and honestly, without considering the special interests and their campaign contributions. Fulfilling the dream of our forefathers: representing the people of the United States and doing the people’s business.

But, unfortunately as Barack Obama has said on numerous occasions, “These are words, only words.”

How can we believe someone who stands before a TelePrompTer and tells us only half of the story: the half which we want to hear? The half about hope and change? The half that does not contain fraud, waste and abuse safeguards and the provisions that require specific performance for the funds being spent? The half that does not speak about the enlargement of the government, the increase in taxation, the payback to the unions and others who helped elect Barack Obama. The half that does not acknowledge that these funded mandates are only the first part of the funding and that the government infrastructure will require additional sums for 25-50 years for all of the new government employees hired? The half that insures a massive government employee cadre that can outvote the American public when it comes time to increase their own benefits at the expense of the American taxpayer?  

And the essential truth: that the amounts of money to be allocated and disbursed under this bill are not some carefully crafted, well thought out plan, but crude estimates made by politicians who know that the follow-on legislation will serve to balloon these initial amounts as surely as government-run projects balloon from mere millions into multi-millions and then into billions from cost overruns that disguise the waste, fraud, corruption and the payment of bills for entertaining politicians, vendors and the so-called “powerful people.”

What does the Congressional Budget Office have to say about the stimulus bill?

Job creation is not as immediate as it might be portrayed …

“In estimating outlays for that third category, CBO expects that the rate of spending in 2009 for many programs funded in the legislation would be considerably slower than historical rates of spending for a full year of funding because the bill would be enacted almost halfway into the fiscal year. Thus, it would not be appropriate in most cases to use the full-year rates that CBO typically employs for appropriations enacted near the start of the fiscal year.”

Some funding measures duplicate existing funding …

“Moreover, some programs would receive funding that is significantly above (double, triple, or more) the amounts provided for existing or similar programs in recent years.”

Difficulty in managing and overseeing projects …

“Frequently in the past, in all types of federal programs, a noticeable lag has occurred between sharp increases in budget authority and the resulting increases in outlays. Based on such experiences, CBO expects that federal agencies, along with states and other recipients of that funding, would find it difficult to properly manage and oversee a rapid expansion of existing programs so as to expend the added funds as quickly as they expend the resources provided for their ongoing programs.

Lags in spending …

Lags in spending stem in part from the need to draft plans, solicit bids, enter into contracts, and conduct regulatory or environmental reviews. Spending can be further delayed because some activities are by their nature seasonal. For example, major school repairs are generally scheduled during the summer to avoid disrupting classes, and construction and highway work are difficult to carry out during the winter months in many parts of the country.”

“Brand new programs pose additional challenges. Developing procedures and criteria, issuing the necessary regulations, and reviewing plans and proposals would make distributing money quickly even more  difficult—as can be seen, for example, in the lack of any disbursements to date under the loan programs established for automakers last summer to invest in producing energy-efficient vehicles.”

Bottom line …

“Throughout the federal government, spending for new programs has frequently been slower than expected and rarely been faster.” <Source>

And because the current recession is significantly advanced, it is possible that this stimulus bill might serve to prolong the recession and create rampant inflation.

Therefore, let us take a moment to examine what Barack Obama is saying.

“So let’s talk about what this plan does.”

“From the beginning, at it’s core it had a simple idea. Let’s put Americans to work doing the work America needs done. It will create or save more than three million jobs all across the country in the next two years. Many in your own communities. 16,000 jobs in Maine. 80,000 in Indiana. Almost all of them in the private sector. And all of them jobs which help us recover today and prosper tomorrow.”

There is no doubt that the stimulus package will not be effective immediately and it may take a number of years before its provisions become fully productive.

“Jobs that upgrade classrooms and laboratories in 10,000 schools nationwide. At least 485 in Florida alone. And train an army of teachers in math and science.”

Is this the same Florida that routinely loses and abuses thousands of children in its child protective services over the years? Perhaps this critical issue should be resolved before giving Florida another dime?

Considering that our nation’s teachers unions have resulted in the degradation of our children’s education and that there is no causal link between per pupil funding and scholastic success, perhaps we need to re-think this portion of the spending bill as, in many areas, enrollment is declining and much of the aid is being spent on illegal aliens whose environment, language skills and lack of parental concern serves to impede the progress of true education reform. Why not tie this funding into mandates for teacher competency testing and certification? Demanding that “tenure” and lifelong job security be removed as it is in the private sector? Thus making it easier to remove teachers and administrators that are incompetent and underperforming. Where are the provisions that keep the school systems from building monumental ego projects like the high schools built in California at outrageous costs.

“Jobs that modernize our healthcare system, saving us billions of dollars and countless lives.”

Perhaps we need to first enact a “patient’s privacy” bill which insures that the government and insurers do not have access to these records for purposes unrelated to the immediate provision of patient healthcare. The sad fact is that doctors do not have the time to review voluminous patient records and the hand-scrawled paper forms will be a nightmare to convert into electronic form and remain legible and comprehensible. Not to mention that the average patient’s records are so spread out over the years, that it would require a massive database to capture it all. A database which, without appropriate safeguards, could be used for nefarious purposes such as blackmail, denial of insurance coverage and the potential rationing of healthcare to meet future budgetary restraints required when the governmental health system derails. 

“Jobs that construct a smart electric grid. Connect every corner of the nation to the information superhighway.”

These massive infrastructure projects are privately owned and used to “unofficially” tax the American people. Don’t believe me, just check the bottom of your recent utility bills. Surely, the American public should be given a stated return in exchange for the use of their money to assist these private ventures. And about the information superhighway – how many people know that there is existing legislation which requires all telecommunications carriers to enable the government to easily and quickly monitor your activities? (CALEA)

“Double our capacity to create renewable energy.”

The easiest and most cost effective method for achieving energy independence from foreign sources and providing energy to the American people is through nuclear energy.  Not one word about this important program as they government talks about unreliable windmills and solar energy.

“And grow the economy of  tomorrow. Jobs that rebuild our crumbling roads, bridges, levees and dams so the tragedies of New Orleans and Minneapolis never happen again.”

Yes, we need to repair or replace our crumbling infrastructure. Electric grid, aqueducts and other essential services.  But what hubris to claim that tragedies like New Orleans and Minneapolis never happen again. Just consider the devastation that will occur when nature unleashes a major earthquake in a populated area? New Orleans is a city that is partially under sea level, thus necessitating extensive levees and pumping stations. How much more appropriate would it be to turn this into a deepwater port and move the housing away from nature’s wrath? Spending more money to rebuild structures which will, once again, face a future natural disaster does not seem either prudent or wise.

“It includes immediate tax relief for our struggling middle class in places like Ohio where 4.5 million workers will receive a tax cut of up to a thousand dollars.”

Amazing. They want to give you $500 or $1,000 in tax relief and then burden you with the responsibility of paying off $14,o00 in profligate spending incurred by their tax cutting programs. The more children, the more money, the more incentive to have children that you cannot afford.

“It protects health insurance and provides unemployment for those who have lost their jobs.”

It appears that the program extends existing unemployment and social benefit programs beyond there normal cut-off periods. And it does nothing for the self-employed entrepreneurs and sole practitioners who make this country great.  Most of these people are not eligible for unemployment.

“And it helps our states and communities avoid painful tax hikes or layoffs for teachers, nurses and first-responders.”

Nothing more than a payoff to the public service employees unions whose members will be severely impacted by state deficits. The size of government should be reduced. So once again, the democrats make their pitch to save teachers, nurses, firemen and policemen – truth be told, public safety concerns should be funded before education and non-life threatening social programs. The ever-rising cost of union-driven education should be dialed back until we see significant change in the education our children obtain. In essence, this is no more than a bailout of states which have overspent on social welfare programs and government employee benefits. We need to eliminate payments to illegal aliens until the needs of our legitimate citizens are met.

We should be reducing the size of government. Reducing the labor contracts which provide life-long employment and a retirement most of us can ill-afford. Eliminating those employees who retire one day and are re-hired at the same salary the next.

“That’s what’s at stake with this plan. Putting Americans back to work. Creating transformative economic change. And making a downpayment on the American Dream that serves our children and our children’s children for generations to come.”

This bill does not embody transformative change. It is merely the unfettered pork barrel spending that the democrats have dreamed about for the last fifty years. While they claim that there are no earmarks in this legislation, some of its provision are so narrowly crafted as to apply to only one or two organizations in the nation – conveniently located in certain legislative districts. 

“And we’re going to do all this with unprecedented transparency and accountability. I’ll appoint an aggressive inspector general and a cabinet-level oversight board to make sure your money is spent wisely.”

Already Barack Obama broke his promise of placing legislation on the government’s website prior to signing it into law. There was no such action taken on the recent Ledbetter bill – and it appears that such information may be highly and selectively edited to portray the Administration in a good light.

“And more importantly, I will enlist all of you. As soon as this plan is signed into law, recovery.gov goes live. And you will be able to see precisely where your tax dollars are going.”

The money will be spent by the states and private contractors who do not have the obligation to report on the details. Knowing that ABC school system was allocated $500,000 for a language lab does not really tell you how the money was spent – or even if it was used for the language lab.

Consider the states who received designated grant and bond money to purchase transportation-related items. And then turned around and sold them to a private investor who leased them back to the state in order so the operator could provide service to the public. And thus allowed the government evildoers to convert restricted funds into unrestricted funds to be spent on their special interest projects. And when their insurance company, AIG, crashed, the states were forced to hustle to provide additional insurance to the private investors who did the sale and leaseback – thus revealing the scam to the public.

“Because this is your democracy. As I said throughout the campaign, change never begins from the top down, it begins from the bottom up. It begins with each and every one of you. So I hope that you will talk about the importance of this plan with your friends and neighbors.”

An outright lie: change is being crammed down from the top. But I do agree with Obama, you need to discuss this with your relatives, neighbors, friends and co-workers. But ask questions about how the government is going to deliver on its promise? How the government is going to eliminate waste, fraud, corruption and special interest pork? Or even, if the government even is going to take action on the ethics violations that continue to be lodged against individual legislators – even though not a single action was taken over the last few years.

“Because we cannot wait to take action and turn this recession around. We’ve inherited a terrible mess. But I know that we have the capacity to rise to this moment and keep the promise of America alive in our time. If the American people demand that we do. Thank you.”

The American people should demand that our government provide a well-thought out plan and not just another spending bill which rewards the unions and special interests. A plan based on real numbers, not wild-eyed guesstimates which are tuned by legislative compromise.  A plan which is phased into existence based on the measurable progress of money already spent. A bill that is a slap in the face to corrupt politicians who claim that they best know how to spend the money and refuse to explain the details of the spending.

And above all, the guarantee of a mandatory jail term for those who abuse the process. And the accountants and lawyers who aided and abetted in the action. Make accountants accountable. And lawyers bound by the law.

Obama is right about one thing. It’s up to you to take back your government from the current crop of thieves and freebooters who are doling out our hard-earned tax money to their friends, who in turn provide campaign funding kick-backs and jobs for the relatives of the legislators.

THIS IS A BAD BILL AND YOU SHOULD TELL YOUR CONGRESSIONAL REPRESENTATIVE THAT THEIR FUTURE IS ON THE LINE.

-- 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

“Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar

“Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS



Representative John Conyers: a pattern of promoting victimhood for political advantage?

This is not the first time …

This is not the first time that Representative John Conyers (D-Michigan) has utilized the Marxist tactic of dividing the population into classes of victims which can then be pitted against each other for political advantage.

Proposing special legal protections for those whose religion commands them to kill  or enslave “infidel” non-believers …

Once again, we find our enemies using our own freedoms and laws against us as they plot and prepare to attack the United States from within. There have been numerous accounts of radical hate speech being preached in Mosques, some of which are being funded by foreign radical Wahabist elements emanating from Saudi Arabia. One need only open their eyes to observe what happens when the Islamic community grows to critical mass in a Country – and then starts demanding the implementation of Sharia law and creating areas which are not welcoming of existing civil authority. Another instance of the demographic bombing of a nation leading to the creation of foreign-dominated influence within communities. Leading, of course, to gaining sufficient political power to ride roughshod over the original community’s laws. To the end of forcing those who do not agree to move away from the community and thus concentrating political power in the hands of those who advocate a radical philosophy.

According to Conyers’ own words …

“Text of My Resolution Regarding Religious Intolerance”

“I received a large number of comments, and quite a spirited debate, concerning my resolution opposing religious intolerance, including desecration of the Quran. I appreciate all of the comments, both those supporting and opposing my actions. I continue to believe that given recent events, it is worthwhile for the Congress to actually express its support for the freedom of religion.”

The resolution was drafted to oppose all religious intolerance. To the extent it mentions the Quran and Islam specifically, that is obviously to respond to those who believe our nation would tolerate disrespect of that religion or its holy book. Clearly we should not, at least in my opinion.”

“Anyway, below in the extended entry is the full text of H. Res. 288. I hope you agree that read in its totality, it is a fair and appropriate resolution.”

“Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives condemning bigotry and religious intolerance, and recognizing that holy books of every religion should be treated with dignity and respect.”

We are definitely living in an Orwellian world, when up is down, white is black and right is wrong. You need only ask yourself a single question: What other modern religion openly promotes religious  intolerance and bigotry as does Islam?

“Whereas believers of all religions, including the Abrahamic faiths of Christianity, Judaism and Islam, should be treated with respect and dignity;”

Right off the bat, we can see the democrats fondness for moral equivalency and their treatment of good and evil. Nowhere in the Judeo-Christian philosophy does it encourage those to kill non-believers and spread the religion at the point of a sword. At least, not in modern times and using modern weapons of mass destruction.

(And am I the only one to note that the Quran does not apparently have any reference to the creation and seems to be a selective mixing of existing Judeo-Christian principles with self-serving rules promulgated by a then local warlord?)

Whereas the word Islam comes from the Arabic root word meaning “peace” and “submission”;

Whereas there are an estimated 7,000,000 Muslims in America, from a wide variety of ethnic backgrounds, forming an integral part of the social fabric of America;

Whereas the Quran is the holy book for Muslims who recite passages from it in prayer and learn valuable lessons about peace, humanity and spirituality;

How conveniently Conyers overlooks toxic passages which urge its followers to commit barbarous acts of horror over the centuries to support the “religion of peace.”

    • “The only reward of those who make war against Allah and His messenger
      and strive after corruption in the land will be that they will be murdered or crucified,
      or have their hands and feet on alternate sides cut off, or will be expelled out of the land.
      Such will be their degradation in the world, and in the Hereafter theirs will be an awful doom; 005.033 [AL-MAEDA (THE TABLE) HOLY QURAN]”
    • “Strongest among men in enmity to the believers wilt thou find the Jews and Pagans; and nearest among them in love to the believers wilt thou find those who say, "We are Christians": because amongst these are men devoted to learning and men who have renounced the world, and they are not arrogant.” 005.082 

Hardly peace and religious tolerance for other non-Muslim peoples.

“Whereas it should never be official policy of the United States Government to disparage the Quran, Islam, or any religion in any way, shape, or form;”

It is already the policy of the United States to open accept all religions – it’s codified in the Constitution as the First Amendment. “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.”

“Whereas mistreatment of prisoners and disrespect toward the holy book of any religion is unacceptable and against civilized humanity;”

What would a radical agenda be if it did not attack the government’s treatment of prisoners? 

The prisoners are not American citizens, protected by the Constitution and, in almost all cases, are not subject to the Geneva Convention due to their conduct on the battlefield. Conyers’ resolution does not mention that the prisoners have no compunction against killing, beheading, torturing, maiming, raping anyone that does not accept their religion. Or that the prisoners Conyers wants to be treated with religious respect were taken from the battlefield where they were engaged in attempting to kill or actually killing Americans. In my opinion, this “prisoner issue” is part and parcel of the democrats disregard for America as they attempt to regain and maintain political power. 

Restating the obvious …

“Whereas the infringement of an individual’s right to freedom of religion violates the Constitution and laws of the United States:

And creating another legally protected class enabling the enemy to self-fund their operations through extortionate lawsuits …

Now, therefore, be it  Resolved, That the House of Representatives–

(1) condemns bigotry, acts of violence, and intolerance against any religious group, including our friends, neighbors, and citizens of the Islamic faith;

The clause “and citizens of the Islamic faith” is totally unnecessary and should be stricken. In fact, the entire clause should read: “condemns bigotry, acts of violence, and intolerance against any religious group.” But that would hardly suit Conyers’ political agenda.

(2) declares that the civil rights and civil liberties of all individuals, including those of the Islamic faith, should be protected;

Again, the phrase “including those of the Islamic faith” should be stricken as being totally unnecessary.

(3) recognizes that the Quran, the holy book of Islam, as any other holy book of any religion, should be treated with dignity and respect; and

Here I disagree … any book, holy or otherwise, which urges believers to kill non-believers or force them into submission is not to be treated with dignity or respect – even if it forms the basis of a religion. If the book advocates violence and the suppression of God-given human rights and freedoms and demands fealty, it should be treated as any other political book.

(4) calls upon local, State, and Federal authorities to work to prevent bias-motivated crimes and acts against all individuals, including those of the Islamic faith.

<Source>

And, once again, the phrase “including those of the Islamic faith” should be stricken.

Is Conyers a racist or simply a self-promoting politician?

One may ask yourself, is Conyers’ reinforcing the rights of all American citizens, acting as a politician with a self-promoting agenda or is openly perpetrating an act of divisive racism by urging the separation of a single class of people, based on nothing more than their religion, as alleged victims of some overarching government or civil conspiracy?

Now consider Conyers’ current proposal: rewarding those for the actions of our ancestors …

Commission to Study Reparation Proposals for African-Americans Act (H.R. 40 Introduced in House)

“To acknowledge the fundamental injustice, cruelty, brutality, and inhumanity of slavery in the United States and the 13 American colonies between 1619 and 1865 and to establish a commission to examine the institution of slavery, subsequently de jure and de facto racial and economic discrimination against African-Americans, and the impact of these forces on living African-Americans, to make recommendations to the Congress on appropriate remedies, and for other purposes.”

In literature, law and other areas of life, the abominable actions relating to the practice of slavery have been denounced. However, it appears to be the democrat’s dream to somehow create another level of “victimhood” out of the ancestors who may have suffered under slavery and then create another entitlement program to compensate the “aggrieved descendents” for the actions of people long dead. All for the political advantage of gaining the votes of a large class of current American citizens who have been traditionally treated by the U.S. government as a class of victims and worthy of special privileges.

Considering the amount of money that has gone into the war on poverty, affirmative action and other social programs which have not yielded broad reforms – I believe that we have already paid any debt owing to those who were enslaved by historical precedence. As for their modern descendents, I believe their grievance should be with the democrat party who has siphoned off monies that were legitimately owing to the American people and who have promoted egregious racists policies that have resulted in the breakup of the black family. By insisting that those requiring financial assistance not have a black male or father present in the house and by the upwards scaling of benefits to those who have a larger number of unaffordable children, I believe that the democrat party has wreaked havoc on black society and are the ones that should be punished for their actions.

Truth-be-told, it seems that it was the democrats who opposed racial equality and promoted racist policies at every turn of the political path. And were the most complicit in denying those American citizens who happen to be black decent housing, employment, education and other necessities of life – as they stole their birthright in an orgy of political and personal corruption. It is hard to think of a single major democrat-controlled predominantly black area that does not feature waste, fraud, corruption and a staggering crime rate.

My thoughts …

Why should any money be given to any citizen for the past actions of people long dead?

Why should I, the average American taxpayer, be taxed or surcharged for the actions of those over whom I exerted no control and, in fact, were not be related to me at all?

If society did owe a debt to some class of oppressed people, be they indigenous natives or people brought here against their will, has it not been long extinguished by the creation of “special” social programs like affirmative action. We have now spent trillions of dollars on the so-called democrat “Great Society” and the “War on Poverty.” There programs were abject failures and the democrats want to spend even more money.  

The problem is democrats not slavery …

We seem to have created a society where the average American citizen will go out of his way to avoid being labeled as a racist. A condition which has led to the rise of corrupt black leaders who feel that they are entitled to special privileges because of their skin color.

What we have inadvertently done to destroy much of the individualism and personal initiative that was championed by our forefathers is to create a sense of entitlement in those who are being portrayed as victims by those who want to secure and maintain power by creating an unbreakable bond of social benefits that can never be breached by the opposition party – a battle between those who offer opportunity to achieve and those who offer payments to the terminally lazy.

Obama’s change …

To those who can see clearly, consider that Barack Obama’s program of change and hope is really one of smoke and mirrors; put forth by a charismatic, telegenic and well-spoken (at least with a TelePrompTer) individual. Look behind the scenes and you will find an opportunist who has, by sheer luck, found himself in the Office of the President of the United States – not by popular acclaim, but by being the antithesis of one of the most maligned Presidents in modern history. An historical fluke. Consider Obama’s associations with radical anti-American, anti-Semitic, terrorist and corrupt people. People in and of the corrupt Chicago political machine. Now consider the number of corrupt democrats who are coming out of the woodwork.

Furthermore, consider the radical agenda of the democrats who seem to be willing to do or say anything to secure their future power. Especially by promoting “victimhood” and further entitlements.

One need only took at the so-called “stimulus” bill which was an amalgam of democrat pork barrel spending and social measures guaranteed to reward those who voted for democrats.

Institutionalized democratic crime?

Closer to home, consider Conyers’ wife, who appears for all intents and purposes to come from the Cynthia McKinney “crazy as a loon” branch of the democrat party.

According to the Detroit News

“Bribe probe ensnarls Conyers”

“Feds: Surveillance evidence suggests councilwoman took money tied to waste pact”

Federal investigators have electronic surveillance evidence that allegedly links Detroit City Council President Pro Tem Monica Conyers with receiving a payment or payments in connection with a city-approved sludge contract, two people familiar with the investigation said.”

“Conyers -- who changed her position from speaking in opposition to the sludge contract to voting in favor of it -- and at least one other council member are under FBI investigation in connection with possible bribes related to the $47 million contract with Synagro Technologies Inc. of Houston, one of the people familiar with the investigation said Friday. Bribes allegedly paid to people connected with the city but not members of the City Council also are under investigation, one person said.”

Of course, Conyers has professed innocence, but remains absent from her position. \

See Monica Conyers in action …

What can YOU do?

Study your history of civil rights and notice it was the Republicans and not the democrats who were fully engaged in promoting civil rights and the appointment of qualified blacks to positions of high office.

See if you can find a major city that is being run by democrats (one-party rule) that is not is serious trouble in terms of housing, employment, crime and poverty? Along with a disproportionate number of corrupt politicians.

Consider the democrat’s Marxist propensity for dividing people into various classes of victims along class, ethnic and racial lines for the purposes of political manipulation.

Vote for politicians who seem honest, ethical and who promote individual achievement over Marxist collectivism and further enslaving entitlements.

Demand that your elected officials punish corrupt politicians from both sides of the political aisle.

For the democrat victims among us, remember, you are an American first. Not a hyphenated-American who is somehow diminished by history. Our country guarantees equality of opportunity, not equality of outcomes. Suggested reading material: “While African Americans Slept: Leadership by Parasites” by Dr. Lenton Aikins.

Perhaps we should follow the army’s prescription for harmony: everybody is green, everybody is treated equally – like crap -- and rank, when not abused, has its privileges.  And incorporate the Navy’s command philosophy” everybody has a boss, everybody is accountable – and if it happened on your watch, you will be held responsible! 

-- steve

Quote of the day: “Know your enemy and you won't be defeated." -- Sun Zi

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:


“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

“Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar

“Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS



Financial Crisis: The Pretense of Knowledge

Yesterday’s blog entry, “Global Warming: The Pretense of Knowledge” was inspired by Nobel Laureate Friedrich August von Hayek and his 1974 Prize Lecture in Computational Economics titled “The Pretense of Knowledge”

Hayek’s lecture pointed out that …

“The theory which has been guiding monetary and financial policy during the last thirty years, and which I contend is largely the product of such a mistaken conception of the proper scientific procedure, consists in the assertion that there exists a simple positive correlation between total employment and the size of the aggregate demand for goods and services; it leads to the belief that we can permanently assure full employment by maintaining total money expenditure at an appropriate level. Among the various theories advanced to account for extensive unemployment, this is probably the only one in support of which strong quantitative evidence can be adduced. I nevertheless regard it as fundamentally false, and to act upon it, as we now experience, as very harmful.”

Which brings us to the assertion …

The Assertion …

Those who believe the democratic economic stimulus plan  are putting forth the assertion that there exists a simple, positive correlation between the amount of taxpayer money that can be spent by the government, both federal and state, and the nation’s level of unemployment.

And by extension …

And by extension, if we can spend the taxpayer’s money on infrastructure projects, we can exert a positive control over the recovery as well as to produce sorely needed employment.

Supported by nothing …

This assertion is seemingly supported primarily by pointing to historical anecdotal evidence relating to Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s handling of the Great Depression. And what we “popularly” now know is wrong.

According to UCLA economics researchers

“Two UCLA economists say they have figured out why the Great Depression dragged on for almost 15 years, and they blame a suspect previously thought to be beyond reproach: President Franklin D. Roosevelt.”

Policies signed into law prolonged the recovery by 7 years …

“After scrutinizing Roosevelt's record for four years, Harold L. Cole and Lee E. Ohanian conclude in a new study that New Deal policies signed into law 71 years ago thwarted economic recovery for seven long years.”

"Why the Great Depression lasted so long has always been a great mystery, and because we never really knew the reason, we have always worried whether we would have another 10- to 15-year economic slump," said Ohanian, vice chair of UCLA's Department of Economics. "We found that a relapse isn't likely unless lawmakers gum up a recovery with ill-conceived stimulus policies."

“In an article in the August issue of the Journal of Political Economy, Ohanian and Cole blame specific anti-competition and pro-labor measures that Roosevelt promoted and signed into law June 16, 1933.”

"’President Roosevelt believed that excessive competition was responsible for the Depression by reducing prices and wages, and by extension reducing employment and demand for goods and services,’ said Cole, also a UCLA professor of economics. ‘So he came up with a recovery package that would be unimaginable today, allowing businesses in every industry to collude without the threat of antitrust prosecution and workers to demand salaries about 25 percent above where they ought to have been, given market forces. The economy was poised for a beautiful recovery, but that recovery was stalled by these misguided policies.’"

In the three years following the implementation of Roosevelt's policies, wages in 11 key industries averaged 25 percent higher than they otherwise would have done, the economists calculate. But unemployment was also 25 percent higher than it should have been, given gains in productivity.

Meanwhile, prices across 19 industries averaged 23 percent above where they should have been, given the state of the economy. With goods and services that much harder for consumers to afford, demand stalled and the gross national product floundered at 27 percent below where it otherwise might have been.

Research acclaimed by other economists …

"This is exciting and valuable research," said Robert E. Lucas Jr., the 1995 Nobel Laureate in economics, and the John Dewey Distinguished Service Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago. "The prevention and cure of depressions is a central mission of macroeconomics, and if we can't understand what happened in the 1930s, how can we be sure it won't happen again?"

And did I mention that this seminal work wasn’t published yesterday with foreknowledge of the current economic crisis, it was published in 2004 when we were still experiencing the effects of the real estate boom and our economy appeared to be chugging along at acceptable levels.

Policies unconstitutional …

“NIRA's [National Industrial Recovery Act] role in prolonging the Depression has not been more closely scrutinized because the Supreme Court declared the act unconstitutional within two years of its passage.”

The deleterious affects of the unions …

“NIRA's labor provisions, meanwhile, were strengthened in the National Relations Act, signed into law in 1935. As union membership doubled, so did labor's bargaining power, rising from 14 million strike days in 1936 to about 28 million in 1937. By 1939 wages in protected industries remained 24 percent to 33 percent above where they should have been, based on 1929 figures, Cole and Ohanian calculate. Unemployment persisted. By 1939 the U.S. unemployment rate was 17.2 percent, down somewhat from its 1933 peak of 24.9 percent but still remarkably high. By comparison, in May 2003, the unemployment rate of 6.1 percent was the highest in nine years.

Recovery came only after the Department of Justice dramatically stepped enforcement of antitrust cases nearly four-fold and organized labor suffered a string of setbacks, the economists found.”

Sound familiar?

"’The fact that the Depression dragged on for years convinced generations of economists and policy-makers that capitalism could not be trusted to recover from depressions and that significant government intervention was required to achieve good outcomes,’ Cole said. ‘Ironically, our work shows that the recovery would have been very rapid had the government not intervened.’"

The conclusion that the recovery was delayed by government intervention is not what the government wants to hear – especially as they attempt to capitalize on the current crisis to enlarge the size of government, raise taxes, chip away at our personal freedoms – and reward all of their fellow travelers who help elect them to office.

Why can’t the democrats understand history …

American Philosopher George Santayana claimed “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” So why do all of the smart people assisting Barack Obama not know more about historical precedent as they quote historical guidelines as a precedent for their current actions? 

Two thoughts come to mind. One, they apparently ignore history because they are busy rewriting it to their advantage, it has become the party line. And the second one, and more malevolently, they care little about the long-term consequences of their actions as they go about gaining and maintaining their leftist power base.

The triumph of perception over reality …

For some of you, it might be hard to accept that you have been deceived. You have been fooled by the media into believing what was being portrayed as substantive fact by a credible source although it was nothing more than a political platitude and far from the truth. There are those who have allowed their minds to be manipulated by the media; which itself was manipulated by political forces driven more by their hatred of the Bush Administration and the Republican failure to curtail military and financial excesses than they were motivated by the innate character of the candidates being presented by both parties. This provided the tipping point to elected what is beginning to appear as a corrupt and inept Administration. Something that was readily apparent to those who considered the toxic associations with anti-American rogues, crooks and unrepentant Marxist terrorists who surrounded the candidate. And those who anointed this telegenic, well-spoken man offering nothing more substantive than the words change and hope as the nation’s savior – even though the observed facts belied the conclusion.

Don’t do as I do, do as I say …

One of my friends, upon reading one of my blog entries, sent me an e-mail containing the following lines …

“Perhaps you've forgotten what the word ‘liberal’ means:  ‘generous; open-minded; of a political party, favoring changes making towards democracy.’ [Webster's New Dictionary -- no doubt very subversive]”

“Now that sure smacks of the ‘un-Americanism’ that you so easily and foolishly tout about anyone who doesn't believe that Capitalism is the be-all/end-all answer to all of human needs ... “

Even though her missive was signed by “xxx,” I responded with …

“That is the textbook definition. In practice it is synonymous with Marxism, corruption, waste, fraud and securing lifelong political advantage so you come out as the ruling elite rather than the mass of victims you have created.”

And that seems to be the basis of the argument. That what the democrats cite as the political answer to our economic woes is far different from what they are putting into practice. One need go no further than the new head of the Department of Justice, Eric Holder, who will take an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States from its enemies, both foreign and domestic – and who famously argued against the Second Amendment, asserting it was not an individual right, but a collective one. An attempt to impose unconstitutional gun control on those who were guaranteed access to weapons solely for the purpose of preventing government tyranny. Not hunting, no target shooting, not even to uphold the God-given right of self-defense; but as a means of preventing our government from ever enslaving the population.

Which points out why the rich and the powerful allow this political folderol to exist …

Because by wealth, power, privilege or position they are exempt from the consequences of the legislative actions which will affect us lesser mortals.

Not to mention that self-interest demands that they support those who will continue to confer special treatment to the very people who consider themselves “special.”

Look closely at the so-called “stimulus” package …

I defy you to tell me that this package is not simply democrat pork and earmarks writ large. While I could cite, line by line, spending which will not create jobs, spending which will allow the fat cats to get fatter and provisions that will allow the unions to gain an inordinate degree of control over the government and private industry, it is not necessary. One need only consider that the great majority of legislators who are voting on this complex document written in legislative gibberish have not even read the full document, let alone understand what it contains. Written by the democrats, famous for being the party of lawyers and loopholes, this singular piece of legislation is characteristic of democrat ideals: reward our special interest friends and secure our position by buying the votes of a rather naive population which can be persuaded to come along with ever increasing entitlements and freebies. Entitlements and freebies which demand a larger bureaucracy for administration and which portend complex machinations which allow significant chunks of money to fall into select private pockets.

They must scream CRISIS!

“Rule one: Never allow a crisis to go to waste,” Mr. Emanuel said in an interview on Sunday. “They are opportunities to do big things.” <Source: New York Times>

The entire purpose of capitalizing on a crisis is to persuade the American taxpayer/citizen to overlook common sense, prudent and sound financial management – and their native patriotism – to allow legislation which stinks of the possibility of waste, fraud and continued corruption to be passed without significant political consequences by those who are selling out their constituents – if not their country.

Dare I say TREASON …

In my humble opinion, there are those who do not wish America well. A fifth column of Marxists, Communists, Anarchists and others who have infiltrated our educational and government institutions. Hell bent at promoting policies which weaken the United States both militarily and economically. To reduce the power of the United States towards those who are militarily and economically weaker than ourselves. All conditioned on some false belief that the United States  is a bad actor on the world stage and that we need to pursue a more “civilized” approach when it comes to dealing with other nations and their people of  different color, races and ethnicities. A country with a higher regard for the leftist United Nations with a preponderance of corrupt despots in attendance all pretending to respect human rights as they enslave and oppress their people. I believe that there are those who are actively working against America’s interests – and they will be emboldened by the passage of this “stimulus” legislation. Funded by its provisions which allow them to grow stronger and further metastasize, like a spreading cancer, into the body politic of the American people.

What can YOU do?

Tell your elected officials that they are going to be held responsible for their actions. For the first time, the American people will not let the issue die and the malefactors escape with their ill-gotten gains.

Discuss this issue with your relatives, friends, co-workers and consider what this legislation might contribute to the end of the United States as we know it.

Do not trust the mainstream media without applying both common sense and the “smell” test to what they are saying. Considering their overwhelming support for the democrats, Obama in particular, they, with very few exceptions, have lost all pretense at journalistic integrity in favor of political pandering and fawning.

Do what is necessary to protect yourself from the ravages of an out-of-control Administration. Remember: they want you to incur debt as you spend, spend, spend our service-oriented economy to health. If you are already in debt, common sense tell you that you are already in trouble and about to make it worse – whether you are a real person or a government entity. Again, do what is necessary to protect yourself. We are a strong nation based on strong individuals – not a collection of weaklings that require the government to manage every facet of our daily lives.

Be well and be safe.

-- steve

Quote of the Day: “History repeats itself because no one was listening the first time.” --Anonymous

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:

Global Warming: The Pretense of Knowledge |One Citizen Speaking...

The Pretense of Knowledge | Nobel Laureate Friedrich August von Hayek (1974 Prize Lecture in Economics)

New Deal Policies and the Persistence of the Great Depression: A General Equilibrium Analysis; Harold L. Cole and Lee E. Ohanian (doi: 10.1086/421169); Journal of Political Economy August 2004, Vol. 112, No. 4: pp. 779-816

Abstract:  “ There are two striking aspects of the recovery from the Great Depression in the United States: the recovery was very weak, and real wages in several sectors rose significantly above trend. These data contrast sharply with neoclassical theory, which predicts a strong recovery with low real wages. We evaluate the contribution to the persistence of the Depression of New Deal cartelization policies designed to limit competition and increase labor bargaining power. We develop a model of the bargaining process between labor and firms that occurred with these policies and embed that model within a multisector dynamic general equilibrium model. We find that New Deal cartelization policies are an important factor in accounting for the failure of the economy to recover back to trend.”

Cited by:

Gauti B. Eggertsson. (2008) Great Expectations and the End of the Depression. American Economic Review 98:4, 1476-1516 Online publication date: 1-Oct-2008. CrossRef

Tom Nicholas. (2008) Does Innovation Cause Stock Market Runups? Evidence from the Great Crash. American Economic Review 98:4, 1370-1396 Online publication date: 1-Oct-2008. CrossRef

D.W. MacKenzie. (2008) Supercapitalism – By Robert Reich. American Journal of Economics and Sociology 67:2, 381-389 Online publication date: 1-May-2008.
CrossRef

V. V. Chari, Patrick J. Kehoe, Ellen R. McGrattan. (2007) Business Cycle Accounting. Econometrica 75:3, 781-836
Online publication date: 1-Jun-2007. CrossRef

Luca Pensieroso. (2007) REAL BUSINESS CYCLE MODELS OF THE GREAT DEPRESSION: A CRITICAL SURVEY. Journal of Economic Surveys 21:1, 110-142 Online publication date: 1-Mar-2007. CrossRef

Gregor W. Smith. (2006) The spectre of deflation: a review of empirical evidence. Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'economique 39:4, 1041-1072 Online publication date: 1-Dec-2006. CrossRef

Edward C. Prescott. (2006) Nobel Lecture: The Transformation of Macroeconomic Policy and Research. Journal of Political Economy 114:2, 203-235 Online publication date: 1-Apr-2006. Citation-Full Text-PDF Version (530 kB)

ALEXANDER J. FIELD. (2006) Technological Change and U.S. Productivity Growth in the Interwar Years. The Journal of Economic History 66:01, Online publication date: 1-Apr-2006. CrossRef

Sergio Rebelo. (2005) Real Business Cycle Models: Past, Present and Future. Scandinavian Journal of Economics 107:2, 217-238 Online publication date: 1-Jul-2005. CrossRef

PRICE V. FISHBACK, WILLIAM C. HORRACE, SHAWN KANTOR. (2005) Did New Deal Grant Programs Stimulate Local Economies? A Study of Federal Grants and Retail Sales During the Great Depression. The Journal of  Economic History 65:01, Online publication date: 1-Apr-2005. CrossRef


“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

“Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar

“Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS



Global Warming: The Pretense of Knowledge

The Assertion …

Those who believe in anthropogenic (man-made) global warning are putting forth the assertion that there exists a simple, positive correlation between atmospheric carbon, chiefly in the form of carbon dioxide (CO2) and the global mean temperature of planet Earth.

And by extension …

And by extension, if we can control atmospheric carbon dioxide, we can exert a positive control over the global mean temperature.

Supported by computer models …

This assertion is seemingly supported primarily by computer models which embody some, but not all of the energy transfer mechanisms thought to occur in our dynamic planetary processes.

The “output” …

The mere fact that we can produce an “output” which appears to correlate with the global mean temperature may no more significant than watching computer programs (cellular automata) with a limited number of simple rules produce pictures which appear to be two-dimensional representations of natural structures (shells, leafs, etc.) – but in reality do very little to add understanding of the natural and physical process which appears to produce this representation of a physical phenomenon. A picture of a tree is hardly a scientific description upon which to base public policy.

This ludicrous interpretation is analogous to those who have identified apparent, and possibly coincidental, patterns in stock prices, but still fail to predict the market, let alone manipulated the underlying factors which would lead to a predictable outcome.

Enter the politicians and their special interest kingmakers …

Therefore, we find politicians trying to mold human behavior in order to achieve global results – which is, in actuality, based only on the pretense of knowledge. Using data derived piecemeal from faulty historical records and climate proxies and integrated over the spheroid we call planet Earth.

Which leads the rational thinker to the conclusion that the emperor truly has no clothes and is merely exhibiting the pretense of knowledge rather than the actual knowledge itself.

If one is to base public policy on science, the basic requirements of good science demands that the phenomenon be both observable and measurable. And yet we cannot separate our man-made efforts from the background of nature’s climate variability without the consideration of time frames long beyond our lifespan.

Which is not a problem for politicians as their preferential time frames are often given in terms of election cycles . Time spans of sufficient length to see them out of office and not politically, morally or financially accountable for their actions.

The burden of their public policies fall mainly on you and me – never on those who are insulated from their decisions by wealth, power, privilege or position.

That the outputs of computer models, which are manipulated by politically-motivated activists is naively accepted as “science” by the politicians and an uncritical media – is to posit the proposition that global warming is a mad-made political scam of historical and monumental proportions.

The fact that the underlying subject matter originates with the United Nations and coincides with their desires for strictly controlled population growth, a one-world government and an ultimate goal to become the final arbiter of political, financial and social policies only adds to my suspicion that any public policy that can be used to control nature’s awesome and still mostly-understood forces is bound to be bogus.

That is not to say that there are not reputable scientists studying the issues related to global climatology and planetary dynamics, but that their work is being misunderstood and misrepresented by those who are pursuing their own self-interest agendas leading to political power and personal profit.

Might I remind you that no real scientific consensus currently exists other than that posited by politicians and those scientists (often administrators) whose career and continued funding is dependent upon governmental or quasi-governmental (NGOs) institutions. And they do not know, with any degree of certitude, whether or not our global temperature is regressing to some unknown mean or remains in some pattern of unknown periodicity and amplitude. 

Therefore, I was somewhat dismayed with Al Gore’s recent appearance before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee which was characterized to the public as “testimony” although it was not delivered under oath and was not vetted by any "testimony” by reputable scientists of opposing viewpoint. The very same Al Gore whose off-shore investment company raises serious “conflict of interest” issues and some of whose past assertions relating to the impact of global climate change have now been proven to be either false or misleading.

And while there appear to be other cyclical physical phenomena which also correlate to a greater or lesser degree with the historic data, these explanations are ignored or even given short shrift as they do not lead to the conclusion that man can alter the course of nature through public policy any more than a king can command the heavens to stand still.

I honestly believe that the science is so unsettled as to preclude the necessity of public policies to alter that which may very well be unalterable. The simple fact that all agree that the historical record demonstrates that the rise in carbon dioxide lags the rise in the global mean temperature tends to rule out carbon dioxide as the cause of global climate change. However, it does not rule out that the rise of CO2 is associated with the warming of the oceans; giving rise to increasing carbon dioxide levels much in the same way a warm soda releases CO2 into the atmosphere. Based on the scenario of warming oceans, one might want to consider that our planet's path around the sun is the primary causal factor and that the moderation of CO2 will result in little or no effect on the real world’s global mean temperature. 

It is also my opinion that good public policy should mandate a reduction in ground, water and atmospheric pollution – rather than giving out indulgences (credits paid for by the public) to continue polluting based on the growth of a forest somewhere else on the planet. The entire cost, of course, to be borne by the taxpayers who will be required to finance this madness. All to the financial benefit of those who want to engage in the type of Wall Street financial manipulation that has brought us to the present financial crisis.

And that those who want to control energy production as a means to control population growth and human behavior would find a more receptive world if they embraced nuclear energy as being sustainable, cost effective and relatively non-polluting over energy sources which must be heavily subsidized to be even moderately successful.

I am but One Citizen Speaking and I invite you to prove me wrong with more than just links to individual scientific papers and limitless speculation about the nature and meaning of temperature rise.

-- steve

P.S.

I would like to credit Nobel Laureate Friedrich August von Hayek and his 1974 Prize Lecture in Computational Economics titled “The Pretense of Knowledge” for  the inspiration required for this essay.

I am reminded of a quote from Sir Isaac Newton, discoverer of the Law of Gravity. He said, “If I have seen farther, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” Each succeeding generation stands on the shoulders of those who have gone before them. Hopefully unburdened by today’s modern politicians who produce nothing by self-serving public policy to provide some advantage to the special interests that support their political campaigns.


“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

“Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar

“Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS