What can you believe in?

January 2o, 2009  was a monumental day which should be officially memorialized …

2009tombstone

When one considers the last minute deals and the character of the incoming Administration, it appears that the public trust and faith in our government has died.

We have entered the realm of political celebrity, where good intentions and a well-crafted speech serve as a measure of accomplishment – even though little or nothing may have been accomplished.

Where the special interests reign supreme and those who contributed mightily to the campaign are now expecting their rewards.

Where the media is afraid to jeopardize its corporate interests by telling truth to power and is complicit in sycophantically covering up the stone cold truth.

Where the word “crisis” is used to suspend the normal rules and conventions of the government, to allow egregious acts of self-interest and public deception to take place on the national stage; often without a fight or words of dissent.

While observing the pageantry and solemnity surrounding the inauguration, I became even more convinced that Barack Obama was, up until now, an empty slate upon which the voters projected their own wants, needs and desires.

Truly a symbol of hope and change … if one looked only at the rhetoric and ignored the actions of the politicians and their political parties.

It is almost inconceivable that slightly more than half of those who took the time and trouble to vote ignored the environment of corruption and special dealing which surrounded Barack Obama. And, most importantly, ignored the fact that Obama was, at best, a dupe or an opportunist when he associated with those who were corrupt, harbored anti-American sentiments or were judged to be unrepentant domestic terrorists.

That a good portion of Barack Obama’s personal history has remained hidden from public scrutiny and shrouded in mystery. And the portion of what has been revealed surrounded with contradiction and controversy.

That his party, the democrats, by means fair and foul, have managed to corrupt the election process by their suspicious voter registration drives and election practices which, in some cases, count more votes than citizens voting.

That his staunchest supporters rely on the precepts of moral equivalency to justify their actions; to claim that President Bush and his Administration led the way in corrupt, special interest dealings. All under the guise of inoculating themselves from future blame by claiming the roots of any corruption and/or crisis should be attributable to the Bush regime.

So I ask again, “what can you believe in?”

And there is but one answer: YOURSELF!

It is time to take defensive measures …

It is time to take defensive measures and insulate yourself from the physical, emotional and spiritual consequences of a government which has proven to be increasingly out of control.

A government where Orwellian definitions indicating black is white, up is down and good is evil abound. Where lawyers parse sentences to find favorable meaning where there is none. Where profligate spending on special interest projects which never work or are canceled before the acid test of everyday usage abound.

Where people are encouraged to sacrifice for the common good, even though that good benefits only the special interests.

It is time to take matters into your own hands. To manage your own health and physical well being, to isolate yourself from those who are crazy-makers and demanding that you blindly follow their latest schemes, to educate yourself when education is being dumbed down and perverted by social activists, to protect your own employment future when CEOs simply shed employees to improve their bonuses and to manage your finances in an age when the government wants you to spend yourself further into debt claiming it is your patriotic duty to help spend our way to a strong economy.

We can no longer trust those institutions which have failed America. Education which is more about union control and supporting minorities than it is about providing a sound basis for adult maturity. Finance, where those who you trusted to prudently manage your finances, gambled on speculative derivatives to earn outrageous bonuses in the tens, and sometimes, hundreds of millions of dollars.

And unfortunately, this same toxic environment extends to local and state governments. Where personal self-interest pervades party politics and those who do not wish America well are busy enabling our enemies, both foreign and domestic, to take over our cities, states and federal government without a single shot being fired. Using the tools of political correctness, multiculturalism and diversity to further divide and conquer our legal citizens.

There is much that is right with America and there is every chance that this recession will turn the corner soon. But we need to take action now. To position ourselves to benefit from bad times as well as good times. To become strong enough to lend support to our families and our communities.

Beginning YOUR journey …

Today, the day after the inauguration, should be a solemn day. A day in which you begin your journey into the future. Putting aside all of the past angst and confusion over politics and moving forward with your own programs that benefit you. In essence, your inauguration into the world of YOU!

To this end, I am going to dedicate a portion of my time to building a web site that will be dedicated to self-protection and the encouragement of personal achievement.

Join me in becoming personally proactive …

If you should wish to join me on the journey, you can sign up for my free report on job loss related panic at www.aminext.com or by clicking on the site logo below.

subscribe to aminext.com

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you once again for reading my OneCitizenSpeaking blog and encourage you to sign-up for the future benefits yet to come.


“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



Are the Russians stepping up their propaganda war in America?

I was very much surprised to see a headline story on the Drudge Report announcing “Pravda: Earth on the Brink of an Ice Age...” What made this story somewhat unusual is that the story was originated by Pravda, a Russian publication with an historical link to the government and its propaganda apparatus.

Pravda was leading newspaper of the Soviet Union and an official organ of the Central Committee of the Communist Party between 1912 and 1991.

According to Pravda.Ru …

“At that time, a very serious split occurred in the editorial office. Over 90 percent of the journalists who had been working for Pravda until the coup d'etat of 1991 quit their jobs. They established their own version of the newspaper, which was then closed under government pressure.”

“These journalists had to take their fight to cyberspace, and the Internet newspaper PRAVDA On-Line was launched in January of 1999, the first Russian newspaper of its kind. We think that both the newly registered newspaper and PRAVDA On-Line (you are now on its server) have an equal moral right to continue the history of the newspaper that was closed by then-President Boris Yeltsin in August of 1991. The number of journalists that work in the head offices of both publications is comparable with the number of journalists who worked for Pravda at the time it was closed.”

“In spite of the fact that the journalists of both these publications are still in touch with each other, we have different conceptions about news about Russia and the world. The newspaper Pravda analyzes events from the point of view of the Party's interests, whereas PRAVDA On-line takes a pro-Russian approach to forming its policy.”

“Wouldn't you agree that this gives more diversity to the world?”

The link led to a well-designed American-style webpage that could have been published by any American newspaper.

Along with the features were items such as:

  • Russia: Conversation between President Medvedev and Gazprom CEO (relating to the current gas distribution crisis)
  • Opinion: Neo Warfare
  • Science: Earth on the Brink of an Ice Age
  • Society: Man Dismembers His Wife by Mistake
  • Business: Economic Manipulation as Political Strategy
  • World: The tower of Babel of the European left
  • Hotspots and Incidents: Israel, you are Serbia now
  • Sport: Dakar Argentina: Kamaz in front!
  • Photo Report: Brooke Berk demonstrates bikini
  • Photo Report: Cheerleaders: Healthy body and soul
  • Why God Didn't Have a Beginning?

A diversified mix of articles designed to capture the broadest possible audience. (Perhaps the New York and Los Angeles Times should take heed?)

In the “Breaking News” Section we find …

  • Israel launches massive military operation against Gaza Strip 
  • America chooses its future
  • Russia to retrieve its status of world's strongest superpower

Again, interesting subjects, except for the last item which is definitely speculative conjecture of a political nature and could be classified as propaganda.

Implicit dangers: But are there dangers hidden in the web pages or in the content?

In this day and age of Cyber-War, one can easily imagine the collection of non-public personal information from those who visit the website and wish to participate in online discussions. One can also appreciate the danger of replying to an online advertisement or link with credit card information. To note, Russia remains one of the hotbeds of criminality in the world and the technical expertise of their hackers is second to none. Cheap pirated software and pornography provide attractive lures to those seeking materials of this nature. All with the risk of computer system compromise.

And let us not forget the potential for subtle anti-American propaganda. This is not the heavy-handed obvious anti-American rhetoric of the past, these are carefully crafted and tested messages that are designed to introduce fear, uncertainty and doubt into discussions involving American politics and commercial operations.

Especially targeted at those far left liberals and others who already distrust and despise our nation and often believe that we are the instigators of much of the world’s problems. People who are unhappy with their lives, looking for social contacts and will accept alternative external solutions for their unhappiness.

The content is intriguing and interesting …

Make no mistake about it, the content is thoughtful and well written. The subject matter makes sense, especially if the audience member is predisposed to believing what is being written.

In the matter of anthropogenic (man made) global warming (AGW), the article’s information appears consistent with my beliefs and the science of the day.

“The AGW theory is based on data that is drawn from a ridiculously narrow span of time and it demonstrates a wanton disregard for the ‘big picture’ of long-term climate change. The data from paleoclimatology, including ice cores, sea sediments, geology, paleobotany and zoology, indicate that we are on the verge of entering another Ice Age, and the data also shows that severe and lasting climate change can occur within only a few years.”

“While concern over the dubious threat of Anthropogenic Global Warming continues to distract the attention of people throughout the world, the very real threat of the approaching and inevitable Ice Age, which will render large parts of the Northern Hemisphere uninhabitable, is being foolishly ignored.”

Weather (pun intended) or not  I believe the last part of the article pointing to the sudden possibility of serious global cooling is immaterial. But it does pose the question, why are the scientists who are modeling our global climate change patterns not perceiving this particular threat – or are they pursuing a “political” agenda in order to receive additional funding and recognition of their activities? And if this is true, what else might the government and its allied special interests be telling us?

As you can see, the process of introducing doubt into the geo-political conversation is extremely easy and unless one is trained in critical thinking and the is able to recognize subtle propaganda, it is possible for America’s enemies to wage a low-cost propaganda campaign using little more than attractive stories in an “alternative and recognized news source” on the web. 

But of course, the old saying “sometimes the paranoid are correct in their suspicions” is also true. The tagline on the website, "Pravda.ru forum. The place where truth hurts," simply makes me wonder whose truth is hurting.

What can YOU do?

Demand your local school system return to a curriculum which features the basics: reading, writing, arithmetic, history and critical thinking. Leaving the social activism featuring the far left liberal multiculturalism, diversity and political correctness for college-level political science classes. It is time we stop dumbing down our nation’s children and curtailing their growth by mainstreaming people who have language difficulties, discipline or other impairments into the classroom. Set aside language proficiency schools for those who need to acquire a working knowledge of English. Stop teaching subject matter classes in Spanish. Restore shop and craft curriculums for those who will not be going on to college and need to learn a useful trade in order to succeed and prosper.

Do not elect school boards that mix politics with education. Recall or prosecute those who waste funds on special interest infrastructure or divert funds away from the classroom. Demand that the administrator/teacher ratio be reduced and that teacher’s be required to take competency tests in their subject matter specialties.

Demand that union influence in the school systems be strictly curtailed – possibly using the funds collected from non-union employees in lieu of dues to be placed directly back into classroom programs without any additional administrative overhead.

Change local and state legislation to remove funding initiatives for education as the link between funds expenditures and the quality of education is tenuous at best.

As for accessing foreign websites, be very careful never to provide non-public personal information or make purchases using credit cards, replacement checks or other methods which can be used to drain your bank accounts or facilitate identity theft. Should you wish to purchase foreign goods, ask your credit card issuer for a one-time number which will facilitate your purchase.

Although much of the political threat comes from within, using our laws and regulations against us and collecting information using American subsidiaries, you can never be too careful when dealing directly with foreign powers.

-- steve


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

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

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

Reference Links:

Earth on the Brink of Ice Age|Pravda.Ru


“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



Bush, Congress, Obama: Shifting fundamental American protections against government tyranny? (updated)

UPDATE: 07-10-09 DEBATE OVER USE OF ARMY FOR DOMESTIC MATTERS CONTINUES ...

According to TheHill.com ...

"A bipartisan pair of governors is opposing a new Defense Department proposal to handle natural and terrorism-related disasters, contending that a murky chain of command could lead to more problems than solutions. Current law gives governors control over National Guard forces in their own states as well as any Guard units and Defense Department personnel imported from other states. The letter comes as the Pentagon proposes a legislative fix that would give the secretary of Defense the authority to assist in response to domestic disasters and, consequently, control over units stationed in an affected state."

What makes this issue so critical is that you have the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi denouncing those who disagree with the Administration's and Congress' healthcare proposal as un-American. Others have referred to those who protest as thugs, houligans, terrorists, etc. Turning over this much domestic power to a White House and Administration that appears to be openly radical, socialist and willing to use Chicago-style force to make their point is patently dangerous. The rules were made for a purpose and that purpose is still as valid today as it was when they were first written.

Remember: the Founding Fathers gave us the Second Amendment to protect against government tyranny ... something we are approaching at a rapid pace. It is time to limit the power of the Presidency and the Administration to those powers enumerated by the Constitution that the leftists are so busy trying to redefine.

Original Blog Entry ...

We always thought it might be Barack Obama, who recently spoke of a national civilian defense force that had the resources and strength of the military, that would breach the Posse Comitatus Act – and thus pose a major threat to the freedom and liberty enjoyed by Americans under our Constitution. We were wrong … it just might be George Bush.

Posse Comitatus …

“The Posse Comitatus Act and the Insurrection Act substantially limit the powers of the federal government to use the military for law enforcement.”

“The Posse Comitatus Act is a United States federal law (18 U.S.C. § 1385) passed on June 16, 1878 after the end of Reconstruction. The Act prohibits most members of the federal uniformed services (the Army, Air Force, and State National Guard forces when such are called into federal service) from exercising nominally state law enforcement, police, or peace officer powers that maintain ‘law and order’ on non-federal property (states and their counties and municipal divisions) in the former Confederate states.”

“The statute generally prohibits federal military personnel and units of the National Guard under federal authority from acting in a law enforcement capacity within the United States, except where expressly authorized by the Constitution or Congress. The Coast Guard is exempt from the Act.” <Source>

The Insurrection Act …

“The Insurrection Act of 1807 is the set of laws that govern the President of the United States of America's ability to deploy troops within the United States to put down lawlessness, insurrection and rebellion. The laws are chiefly contained in 10 U.S.C. § 331 - 10 U.S.C. § 335. The general aim is to limit Presidential power as much as possible, relying on state and local governments for initial response in the event of insurrection. Coupled with the Posse Comitatus Act, Presidential powers for law enforcement are limited and delayed.” <Source>

Previous Bush attempts …

“On September 26, 2006, President Bush urged Congress to consider revising federal laws so that the U.S. military could seize control immediately in the aftermath of a natural disaster, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.”

“Section 1076 is titled ‘Use of the Armed Forces in major public emergencies’. It provided that:

“The President may employ the armed forces... to... restore public order and enforce the laws of the United States when, as a result of a natural disaster, epidemic, or other serious public health emergency, terrorist attack or incident, or other condition... the President determines that... domestic violence has occurred to such an extent that the constituted authorities of the State or possession are incapable of maintaining public order... or [to] suppress, in a State, any insurrection, domestic violence, unlawful combination, or conspiracy if such... a condition... so hinders the execution of the laws... that any part or class of its people is deprived of a right, privilege, immunity, or protection named in the Constitution and secured by law... or opposes or obstructs the execution of the laws of the United States or impedes the course of justice under those laws.”

“The actual text is on pages 322–323 of the legislation.” H.R. 5122 can be found here.

“These changes were included in the John Warner National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2007 (H.R. 5122), which was signed into law on Oct 17, 2006, subsequently repealed in their entirety.”

“As of 2008, these changes have been repealed in their entirety, reverting to the original 1878 wording of the Posse Comitatus Act.” <Source>

It appears that this legislation breaches the trust and faith that the people of the United States have in our Constitution and supports the wisdom of our Founding Fathers when then introduced the Second Amendment right to own and bear arms as a potential weapon against a governmental tyranny. Of course, the Founding Fathers did not have to deal with weapons of mass destruction or the possibility of easily-coordinated attacks over widespread geography.

Under this legislation, the United States could be turned into a dictatorship with little more than the stroke of a pen – even using a natural disaster or concocted event to trigger the act. And, as we have seen from historical reference, power once granted to the federal government is almost impossible to restrict or remove.

We have also seen over the last eight years, President Bush and Vice President Cheney assert greater and greater powers for the Executive Branch of the Government and the expanded use of so-called Signing Statements which appeared to allow the Administration to circumvent Congressional mandates whenever they felt it necessary.

But, it was apparently the belief of many Americans that the Bush Administration and Congressional Republicans would fight to uphold the Constitutional Rights of all Americans and that it would be the democrats who would push for greater federalization efforts  in their attempt to increase socialistic behavior in the United States.

Why I am concerned …

Over the years there have been a number of attempts, mostly instigated by far-left liberal democrats to disarm the citizens of the United States and to impose legislation which would cripple or eliminate our God-given right to self-defense from both domestic and foreign threats.

While some forms of patriotism have been vilified by those who believe that America is a corrupt nation and the proximate cause of many of the world’s ills, it remains true to this day – that a well-armed citizenry is the best protection against government tyranny and the invasion of those who wish us harm.

It is well-documented that both Barack Obama and his Attorney General designate, Eric Holder, do not believe that the Second Amendment is an absolute right and that laws must be crafted to enforce gun control. Holder co-signed an amicus brief in support of the District of Columbia’s ban on all handguns and on the use of any firearm for self-defense in the home.

What have we done?

“Pentagon to detail plan to bolster security: Plan would dedicate 20,000 uniformed troops inside U.S. by 2011”

According to the Washington Post …

“The U.S. military expects to have 20,000 uniformed troops inside the United States by 2011 trained to help state and local officials respond to a nuclear terrorist attack or other domestic catastrophe, according to Pentagon officials.”

“The long-planned shift in the Defense Department's role in homeland security was recently backed with funding and troop commitments after years of prodding by Congress and outside experts, defense analysts said.”

“There are critics of the change, in the military and among civil liberties groups and libertarians who express concern that the new homeland emphasis threatens to strain the military and possibly undermine the Posse Comitatus Act, a 130-year-old federal law restricting the military's role in domestic law enforcement.”

Good planning or a double-edged sword that can be misused by the Administration?

“But the Bush administration and some in Congress have pushed for a heightened homeland military role since the middle of this decade, saying the greatest domestic threat is terrorists exploiting the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.”

Before the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, dedicating 20,000 troops to domestic response -- a nearly sevenfold increase in five years -- ‘would have been extraordinary to the point of unbelievable,’ Paul McHale, assistant defense secretary for homeland defense, said in remarks last month at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. But the realization that civilian authorities may be overwhelmed in a catastrophe prompted ‘a fundamental change in military culture,’ he said.

What is the purpose of the States’ National Guard?

“The Pentagon's plan calls for three rapid-reaction forces to be ready for emergency response by September 2011. The first 4,700-person unit, built around an active-duty combat brigade based at Fort Stewart, Ga., was available as of Oct. 1, said Gen. Victor E. Renuart Jr., commander of the U.S. Northern Command.”

“If funding continues, two additional teams will join nearly 80 smaller National Guard and reserve units made up of about 6,000 troops in supporting local and state officials nationwide. All would be trained to respond to a domestic chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, or high-yield explosive attack, or CBRNE event, as the military calls it.”

Perhaps the answer is to raise a larger standing military and return the National Guard to their more traditional role in solving state problems. Yes, the Guard could train with active military units in combat theatres, but the centralized command and control of domestic Guard units would remain with State governors unless ceded by proper authority to the military for specifically designated time periods, after which Congressional re-authorization would be required.

“Military preparations for a domestic weapon-of-mass-destruction attack have been underway since at least 1996, when the Marine Corps activated a 350-member chemical and biological incident response force and later based it in Indian Head, Md., a Washington suburb. Such efforts accelerated after the Sept. 11 attacks, and at the time Iraq was invaded in 2003, a Pentagon joint task force drew on 3,000 civil support personnel across the United States.”

In 2005, a new Pentagon homeland defense strategy emphasized "preparing for multiple, simultaneous mass casualty incidents." National security threats were not limited to adversaries who seek to grind down U.S. combat forces abroad, McHale said, but also include those who "want to inflict such brutality on our society that we give up the fight," such as by detonating a nuclear bomb in a U.S. city.

“In late 2007, Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England signed a directive approving more than $556 million over five years to set up the three response teams, known as CBRNE Consequence Management Response Forces. Planners assume an incident could lead to thousands of casualties, more than 1 million evacuees and contamination of as many as 3,000 square miles, about the scope of damage Hurricane Katrina caused in 2005.”

Speaking of Hurricane Katrina …

One of the first actions of the New Orleans Police Department, under the auspices of Mayor Ray Nagin was to violate the Constitution of the United States and illegally confiscate any and all weapons from law-abiding citizens who were then rendered impotent to defend themselves against looters and criminals of all stripes. Many in the New Orleans police force turned tail and deserted their posts, thus leaving citizens to defend themselves. And yet, Nagin and his ilk are still in power; perhaps due to the complacency, and some would argue, stupidity, of the citizens of New Orleans.

“Last month, McHale said, authorities agreed to begin a $1.8 million pilot project funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency through which civilian authorities in five states could tap military planners to develop disaster response plans. Hawaii, Massachusetts, South Carolina, Washington and West Virginia will each focus on a particular threat -- pandemic flu, a terrorist attack, hurricane, earthquake and catastrophic chemical release, respectively -- speeding up federal and state emergency planning begun in 2003.”

Defense Secretary Gates …

“Last Monday, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates ordered defense officials to review whether the military, Guard and reserves can respond adequately to domestic disasters.”

“Gates gave commanders 25 days to propose changes and cost estimates. He cited the work of a congressionally chartered commission, which concluded in January that the Guard and reserve forces are not ready and that they lack equipment and training.”

Perhaps it would be appropriate for Defense Secretary Gates, who is said to be President-elect Obama’s choice for an interim Secretary of Defense, to be questioned about these issues during his upcoming Senate Confirmation Hearings. That is, assuming that the majority of the Senate will not vote along party lines to offer an automatic confirmation of the Secretary.

Breaks the mold?

“Bert B. Tussing, director of homeland defense and security issues at the U.S. Army War College's Center for Strategic Leadership, said the new Pentagon approach ‘breaks the mold’ by assigning an active-duty combat brigade to the Northern Command for the first time. Until now, the military required the command to rely on troops requested from other sources.”

" ‘This is a genuine recognition that this [job] isn't something that you want to have a pickup team responsible for,’ said Tussing, who has assessed the military's homeland security strategies.”

Both sides of the political spectrum are troubled …

“The American Civil Liberties Union and the libertarian Cato Institute are troubled by what they consider an expansion of executive authority.”

Domestic emergency deployment may be ‘just the first example of a series of expansions in presidential and military authority,’ or even an increase in domestic surveillance, said Anna Christensen of the ACLU's National Security Project. And Cato Vice President Gene Healy warned of ‘a creeping militarization" of homeland security.’”

"’There's a notion that whenever there's an important problem, that the thing to do is to call in the boys in green," Healy said, ‘and that's at odds with our long-standing tradition of being wary of the use of standing armies to keep the peace.’"

Remembering Waco and Ruby Ridge …

We should not forget the past. Especially when the highly-politicalized Clinton Department of Justice under the direction of Janet Reno attacked civilians in the guise of a law enforcement activity which many have characterized as a pre-scheduled media event – possibly with the members of the military acting in an “advisory” capacity.

Over the past years, we have seen the wall between the FBI (domestic) and the CIA (foreign) fall by the wayside. We have also seen the consolidation of power in the Department of Homeland Defense – headed by a lawyer without management or practical skills in leading a major Agency. A leader who campaigned alongside of the President for political purposes while neglecting a department that was encountering great difficulty in organizational dynamics. To this day, I believe the Department is too large to govern effectively and is riddled with waste, fraud, corruption and malfeasance as is most large bureaucracies that are feeling their way through the political process. This is not to say that there are not quite a few dedicated and skilled people employed b DHS, but that the leadership seems sorely lacking and cries out for someone of proven worth: a Colin Powell, for example. In fact, that would be a perfect job for Powell, a man whose patriotic credentials are beyond reproach. A man with the skill and temperament for the task at hand. And someone who knows, first hand, what the military – given the correct command leadership structure– could accomplish.

What can YOU do?

Consider the non-nuclear events which might trigger this act. A natural disaster -- hurrican, earthqake, forest fire; a widespread flu or other medical emergency; a compromise of important infrastructure -- power lines or aquaducts. All events which could be exploited as a demonstration of the need for greater control over the civilian population and a suspension of civil law in favor of martial law. If this happens, I would much rather be assisted by my neighbors and friends in the national guard than impersonal troops from some national command authority. How about you?

Now, more than ever before, we need to rebuild our political infrastructure. It is time to choose leaders based on their proven ability to accomplish their sworn duties and not by their telegenic, oratorical and fund-raising skills. It is time that we do not allow party politics to provide us with lame candidates like Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, George Bush and others who might “go along to get along.” The mere fact that a relatively few people in relatively unpopulated states should define our political candidates is ludicrous. We not only need to reform the political parties, we need to reform the primary election process.

We also need to reform the voting process. It seems that we have not learned the lessons of Florida as candidates are still wrangling over fly-specks on paper ballots. The process is becoming more open to corruption due to a lack of security for mailed absentee ballots. Finding ballots in the back of someone’s personal vehicle is unacceptable in this electronic age.

And we need to assume more personal responsibility for what our government does in our name. The issues should be discussed with the widest number of people. Our elected officials should not be allowed to tamper with the First Amendment in restricting broadcast or Internet rights.

We need to overcome apathy and the laziness that is allowing us to drift toward a more centralized government control over our lives. In some cases, unions which have greatly hampered education in the United States should be disbanded. We need to reassert educational imperatives at the local level.

And while our politicians are deciding how the military might play a role in civilian defense, has anyone considered that we are being invaded by hoards of foreigners, illegal aliens, who are looking to our government to empower them with a vote to simply vote us out of our own institutions and homeland? All facilitated by power-hungry political parties trying to game the system to their political advantage.

While there is much that is right with our nations, our politicians are slowly corrupting the America we know and love. Whether for political power, prestige of office, or personal profit, our politicians are becoming worse and worse. No leadership, no accountability and no specific performance in repairing or replacing our crumbling infrastructure – as they engage in social experiments designed to produce nothing but beholden voters.

We can no longer rely on the media to discover the truth nor speak truth to power. It is all up to individuals, the average citizen speaks out, if to no one other than his friends and neighbors, and then back talk with action to support worthy candidates for office.  

Be well, be safe and protect American freedom at all cost.

-- 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:

Pentagon to detail plan to bolster security|Washington Post


“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



Gore positions himself as a "Power Broker"

Like most messianic leaders of a movement, I have always wondered if Al Gore was “certifiable” …

What happens to a man who has been groomed his entire life to assume the Presidency of the United States and loses the prize by the narrowest of margins due to a confluence of events beyond his immediate control? Can a man who has scaled the pinnacle of presidential politics simply retire or retreat into the background while life moves on?

In Gore’s case, it seems that he was privileged to be at the right point in time and space to capitalize on the “climate” issue. An issue which provides him with continuing ego-stroking accolades and the power and money to be the acknowledged leader of a worldwide movement. Free of the political constraints of having to respond to his critics or account for his funds, it seems Al Gore has done well for himself by finding his own personal nirvana.

Generating a different kind of power …

In a sense, Al Gore is his own self-interest. Free of the constraints which require the disclosure of his business dealings, especially those which are constituted as offshore entities. Al Gore can profit from his pronouncements and earn money from his speeches, writings and by hooking into the hedge fund capital scene to raise money for investments in things that he promotes. Not that there is anything wrong with this other than the possibility that it is based on “junk science” or that government subsidies for certain investments may not be forthcoming in the future.

From Wikipedia

Gore is currently the cofounder and chairman of Generation Investment Management, cofounder and chairman of the Emmy Award - winning American television channel Current TV … He is also a partner in the venture capital firm, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, heading that firm's climate change solutions group.”

“Generation Investment Management LLP is a London-based investment management firm with an investment style that blends traditional equity research with a focus on sustainability factors, including social and environmental responsibility and corporate governance.”

“Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore is chairman of Generation, and David Blood — previously chief executive of Goldman Sachs Asset Management — is CEO. The pair has given the company its nickname, ‘Blood and Gore.’”

“In November 2007, Generation and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers announced a global collaboration to "find, fund and accelerate green business, technology and policy solutions with the greatest potential to help solve the current climate crisis." As part of the collaboration, prominent KPCB Partner John Doerr joined Generation's Advisory Board.”

“Generation Investment Management LLP is authorized and regulated by the Financial Services Authority in the UK.”

You would think that any organization headed by an American and run by Americans would be headquartered in the United States and subject to control by the Securities Exchange Commission, the Federal Trade Commission and other such consumer protection agencies?

The “rain making” publicity machine …

Gore’s primary task is to keep the climate story on the front page and opening the door to new business contacts for his partners to exploit. So we often see outrageous headlines that are crafted more for their ability to attract media attention than the truth they assert.

From Politico.com … 

Gore compares offshore drilling to invasion of Iraq

“In a surprise appearance at Netroots Nation — which apparently was the worst-kept secret in Austin, Texas — former Vice President Al Gore followed up a speech by Nancy Pelosi by laying out a narrative on climate change and the energy crisis that seems ready-made for the Obama campaign to download.”

“If you look at the seriousness of the climate crisis, you see how it ties to the economic crisis and the national security threat that we face,” he said. “200 billion dollars are being sent overseas just from oil.”

It is amazing that the far-left ties a phony climate crisis where time frames are measured in hundreds and thousands of years to present day military and economic threat issues. Especially since this far-left crowd is historically about weakening the United States militarily and economically.

“’The idea that we can drill our way out of this is just so absurd,’ he said, comparing the push for offshore oil drilling — which has gained popularity and put environmentalists on the defense — to dealing with a hangover by having another drink.”

A cute word-picture which is entirely inaccurate. Perhaps a more accurate picture would be dealing with the thirst of a nation by further closing the water tap and charging more for the drink. And, of course, all the while demanding that people drink costly “alternative” water bottled at a huge profit by the legislator’s friends.

“The defenders of the status quo are the ones who have dug us into this hole,” he said, commenting that Americans have been “so often fooled into finding a remedy for a problem" that has nothing to do with the problem at hand — pointing to the invasion of Iraq when America was attacked by terrorists in Afghanistan as an example.

Notice the subtle switch of subject: from environmental concerns to military commentary.

Does Gore really believe that the American people are so stupid as not to realize that it was his democrat party, himself included, that have been the traditional the defenders of the status quo? 

That the democrat who supported NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) and BANANA (Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Nor Anytime) policies that created this crisis are are uniquely complicit in today’s war on terror?

Democrats who refused to expand the exploitation of our own energy reserves and which pushed us into supporting Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern countries on their terms. Enriching them with our money so they could support IslamoFascism.  Making it virtually impossible to attack the real source of terror in the Middle East: Saudi Arabia, Iran and Syria?

Does Gore believe that, given the benefit of 20-20 hindsight, the anti-nuclear stance of the democrats which precluded the use of relatively clean and economically viable energy generation in favor of heavily subsidized unreliable energy sources, was in the best interests of America?

On this subject, Gore is like most politicians: full of crap and in full denial of historical records.

“’The engines of distraction and the great concentrated power of communication that you’ve seen turned on this issue or that issue is already hard at work,’ he says. "’They will say we can’t switch away from oil.’"

Again, with the misdirection. Most of today’s media is biased towards the liberal left and spends much of its time bashing the Bush Administration and ignoring any good news that would enlighten and embolden ordinary American citizens. And if they say anything about energy,  it is mostly about the perils of drilling and pumping oil and the problem with nuclear waste. And anything else that would keep American from becoming energy independent.

“’We have to switch our electricity generation system,” he says, noting that changing transportation fuels will take longer, before reiterating his plan to ensure that “100 percent of our electricity [comes] from renewable sources and carbon-constrained fuels over the next 10 years.”

We need to build a better fault-tolerant electrical grid. We need to reduce pollution. We need to develop a scientific basis linking carbon dioxide to anything before we simply decide to chuck carbon-source energy in the dustbin and confer a great advantage on our enemies who are less suicidal than the democrats.

"It is not partisan, it is focused on this single objective," he says. "we are trying to mobilize ten million grassroots activists.”

With Gore, it is about being post-partisan and attracting the largest possible audience for his ideas. But has anybody noticed that the “Netroots Nation” is simply the new name of the annual YearlyKos convention. A rabid far-left political blogging organization which often spews hate and filth at those who disagree with its far-left anti-America agenda?

In response to a question about whether he'd join an Obama administration as climate czar, he says he'd rather "focus on trying to enlarge the political space in which political officials address this climate crisis ... I have seen how important it is to develop a base of support.

One of my greatest criticisms of Al Gore is that he is continually playing in the political space rather than putting together conferences of scientists who will hash out what we know, what we don’t know and what we need to do in order to continue to discover the truth about global climate change.

People for a perfect planet: a new secular religion?

The sad truth regarding Al Gore’s accomplishments is that they will be forever tainted with their association of the far-left of the political spectrum. Those who have co-opted the environmental movement in order to secure their political agenda. Some of which believe man is an unrepentant, filthy stain on the planet’s ecosystem and that his effects should be minimized at all costs. Many of these people belong to splinter sects which believe that animals have legal and civil rights and that we need to reverse the tide of civilization in order to live closer to the land.

A great cover for those who want to do physical harm to America by curtailing its ability to defend itself militarily and support itself economically. Scratch many ecologists and you will find some of the older “peace at any price” and “no nukes” crowd who objected to the rise of nuclear energy, not because it may have been ecologically unfriendly in the old days, but because it put their worshiped Soviet Union at a great military disadvantage.

This has morphed into a new secular religion which requires faith to believe all of its teachings. And, like most religions, fosters a sense of community in the social sense. Where people of like mind can meet and congratulate themselves on doing good works on behalf of the planet. Somewhat like cynical apolitical guys joining the Young Democrats, Young Republicans and various protest groups to get at the hot babes that frequented such events.

This new religion seems like an amazing parallel to the Church of Scientology that was founded by the science fiction writer L.Ron Hubbard. Both profess to want to help mankind overcome its burden. With Scientology, an internal burden and with Gore, the external burden on the planet. Both purport to make the world a better place. Both have an extremely high buy-in – in terms of commitment and cost. Both have shadowy leadership which minimizes media confrontation. Both use celebrities to attract additional supporters. Both have  a following of vocal skeptics. And both feature end-results which are somewhat unbelievable to the person not a member of the religion.

While it seemed important at the time, history may evaluate both Gore’s Noble Peace Prize ,which is a non-scientific political accolade, and his Oscar for a deeply-flawed and misleading “documentary” film to be little more than a timely anti-Bush Administration “poke-in-the-eye" Granted for the purposes of pursuing a political agenda rather than for any solid accomplishment by an individual.

A warning beacon for the planet or simply a political shill for special interests?

While the science is still out on the subject of anthropogenic climate change, there is the possibility that the science will not support Gore’s assertions and that his efforts were simply as a shill for those who wanted to enlarge their bureaucratic constituencies, assume greater political power,  raise taxes, engage in further social engineering which curtails personal liberty and freedom as well as making large amounts of money for themselves and their special interest supporters. What better way to plunder the public treasury with little or no threat of an uprising of those who are being forced to pay the price of making the rich much, much richer and the moving the powerful beyond the bounds of reproach.

Most disturbing …

The most disturbing facet of Al Gore’s work is that he tightly controls media access to his high-cost, well-attended events and refuses to engage in a debate about his work or his conclusions.

What can YOU do?

Demand that there be some rationality in our plan to achieve energy independence – which is at the root of most of our economic and statecraft problems.

Do not vote for those who have been traditional obstructions or who have corrupted the system beyond all recognition. By which I mean the democrats who have placed us in this pickle.

Recognize that the sometimes inept and uncommunicative Bush Administration has performed better than the democrats; regardless of what the left-leaning media may proclaim.

Vote your pocketbook. Do you want to pay more taxes, travel less, give up air travel altogether. Are you about economic growth or economic sacrifice?

Vote the bastards on both sides of the aisle out of office. And that includes local and state elected officials who tend to think of themselves as our new royalty and able to loot the public purse at will.

Be true to yourself, your family and friends. A political party is not a sports team where strategy can be hotly discussed, but the resulting score is not open to interpretation and is instantaneously available to all citizens regardless of their position or belief.

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

-- steve

Quote of the day:  “Everything is vague to a degree you do not realize till you have tried to make it precise.” -- Bertrand Russell

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:

Ben Smith's Blog: Gore compares offshore drilling to invasion of Iraq - Politico.com


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

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

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

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

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

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

“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



DAMN CONNECTIVITY PROBLEM IS PLAGUING ME

As with all things involving computers, I sometimes slip into "user mode" and wonder just what is it that "I" have done wrong to kill my system's connectivity with the Internet.

It seems to be one of our human failings to narcissistically consider that it is "our" fault when something goes wrong with the technology.

As I sit here -- offline and unconnected -- I will share my troubleshooting steps in the hopes that they may be of some service to others facing a similar situation.

Troubleshooting basics...

A word of warning: if you hear a crackle, smell smoke, or see little sparks -- shut down the system immediately -- just pull the plug! You can recover from a computer problem a lot easier than a house fire.

First, and foremost, I save all of the work that I have open on the desktop and shut-down any programs that I may have been using. The next step is to perform the Microsoft "three-finger" salute (control-alternate-delete) to re-boot my system.

I prefer a cold-reboot (power off) to a warm-reboot (restart) as I want to re-set all of my computer's hardware as well as my operating system. I do not want to leave anything to chance, so I normally go all the way to "power off." You should wait a few minutes before turning the computer back on. 

Sometimes, the computer does not shut down immediately and informs you that it is "saving your settings." This has always been a mysterious message to me because I always think it is saving the errors too.

Second, I turn the computer back on using the normal power-on sequence.  That didn't do it!

[missing step -- added after receiving additional 20-2o hindsight inspiration -- turn off all other computers on the network before starting to troubleshoot your connectivity] It seems that troubleshooting one computer at a time is preferable that beating your head against the wall for being dumb.

Third, I reset my wireless router by powering it off for a few minutes. That didn't do it!

Fourth, I reset my DSL cable box by powering it off for a few minutes and turning it back on. In my case, I am looking for three green lights showing that the modem is powered on and is "syncing" (communicating) with the telephone network. Activity is represented by a flashing yellow light on the DSL cable box. All appears to be well with the DSL cable, so I, once again, reset my wireless modem as per the third step.

Fifth, I, once again, re-boot my computer -- bingo, all is well in my household once again.

Should I still be unable to connect to the Internet, I can try bypassing the wireless router and plugging my computer directly into the DSL cable box.

Hint: always allow for accessibility to both your DSL cable box, your telephone wall jack (or other cable connections) and your wireless router. It makes resetting and troubleshooting much easier if you do not have to trip all over yourself in a darkened room where you can barely see what you are doing.

Even I call the PROs...

If I am still unable to connect at this point in time, it's time to speak with my ISP (Internet Service Provider). The help desk can tell you if their system is down or if they can see any connectivity issues with your circuit.

Hint, write down the customer support number for your carrier and place it somewhere convenient.  Trying to access the carrier's number over a dead Internet connection doesn't work very well.

By this time, the help desk is either arranging a visit from the telephone company or assisting you in changing some of the settings on your computer. You are often in good hands as most ISPs have competent help as they know that this is the "customer experience" that keeps you paying the bill or switching providers.

Hint:  If your carrier uses a mass support center in India, the Philippines, Canada or some other exotic locale, ask for a local support number.

Knowing when to call for assistance...

Most connectivity problems are usually short in duration and maybe somewhat difficult to troubleshoot. If you feel that you are unable to take the first five steps listed above, call for help immediately. Do nothing until someone provides direction. Believe me, computer problems can get worse fairly quickly.

Thanking your unseen (and often unsung) team...

And, of course, make sure that you thank your support representative and, if you are so inclined, mention that to their supervisor. If you should receive a follow-up survey, give them high marks. It can't hurt to have unknown friends in high places.

It's Microsoft's fault...

Being rather nosy, I decided to continue troubleshooting my system. I forgot it was Tuesday! On the second Tuesday of each month, Microsoft sends out their "automatic" patches which, depending on your computer system, may be automatically downloaded and applied -- sometimes followed by a re-boot.

For some inexplicable reason, one of the computers on my home network was automatically upgraded to Windows XP/Service Pack 3 and re-booted. Due to a coincidence of timing or some other seemingly random event, the network address of this computer failed to be automatically allocated within my home networking system -- and poof -- I was denied connectivity because my computer was trying to reach and unreachable address.

My bad...

As the kids day "my bad." I failed to turn off the other computers on my network before starting my troubleshooting efforts.  See the section in green above.

What can YOU do?

As with all things dealing with technology, things are bound to go wrong at some point in time. Stay calm. Even if you lose important information, it still will not help if you have a heart attack -- and lose documents! But it sure will put the value of those documents in their proper perspective.

If you do not know how to solve the problem, call for assistance before further complicating the issue.

If you are technically savvy, write down all of the support telephone numbers you may need, the critical settings for your system -- and have a valid backup.

If you are not technically savvy, write down all of the support telephone numbers you may need -- and have a valid backup.

And, if all else fails -- consider returning to writing version 1.0  -- using a pencil and paper.

-- steve

Quote of the day: "Life being what it is, one dreams of revenge." -- Paul Gauguin

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



THE FED: WHAT SHOULD HAPPEN LATER TODAY?

The Federal Open Market Committee decided today to lower its target for the federal funds rate 25 basis points to 2 percent.

In a related action, the Board of Governors unanimously approved a 25-basis-point decrease in the discount rate to 2-1/4 percent.

Although readings on core inflation have improved somewhat, energy and other commodity prices have increased, and some indicators of inflation expectations have risen in recent months.

The Committee expects inflation to moderate in coming quarters, reflecting a projected leveling-out of energy and other commodity prices and an easing of pressures on resource utilization.

Still, uncertainty about the inflation outlook remains high. It will be necessary to continue to monitor inflation developments carefully.

The old saying that the "Fed will do what the Fed will do" has never been truer.

The Fed Watcher game of reading the FOMC announcements and meeting minutes as gypsies read their tea leaves is often unproductive.

Pandering to Wall Street...

Considering that the Federal Reserve is a private institution owned by its member banks should be the first clue that the FOMC will do whatever it takes to keep the major banks and Wall Street institutions afloat.

It seems that Bernanke and the Federal Reserve's FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) has been pandering to the needs of Wall Street and all of its supplicants in responding to the present financial crisis.

These combined actions have resulted in ordinary citizens suffering with reduced interest rates on their bank investments and only minor reductions in their credit card interest rates.

However, for the banks the margin between what they pay for access to money and what they charge consumers and corporations has been steadily expanding. The Fed has created new and unusual methods to pump BILLIONS into the banking system at rates slightly under those charged at the reputation-tainted Fed "discount window."

It seems that the entire Fed ploy is conditioned on pumping enough money into the banking system, and by extension the brokerages who created these toxic derivatives and the insurers who guarantee the derivatives to insure a maximum rating by the ratings agencies, to allow the banks to avoid reporting their true condition and triggering concerns over solvency issues. A shell game to buy time so allow the results of  toxic securities to naturally self-resolve over time.

Even though there is a great deal of residual value in the land and structures that serve as collateral for mortgage backed securities, the Wall Street Wizards sliced and diced various levels of risk, repackaged them and induced buyers to purchase these toxic derivatives with borrowed money -- thus leveraging both their potential gains and, as it turns out, their eventual losses.

There is no liquidity crisis, only a crisis of counterparty trust...

It seems that these derivatives cannot be accurately priced and that no buyers can be found at prices which would minimize losses. Of course, the bottom feeders are all salivating at the opportunity to purchase this "residual value" paper at discount prices. What is causing the major impediment to business is that banks and others can no longer rely on the balance sheets of those who wish to do business with them, their so-called counterparties.

The Fed is attempting to resolve this situation by offering highly liquid and desirable treasury instruments as loans in return for toxic paper that is supposed to serve as so-called "collateral."  This will allow business to continue and hopefully, the situation will resolve over time.

The dollar...

On the other side we see that our trade balances are being favorably resolved by an abnormally weak dollar which is manifesting itself as an increased cost of essential energy and foodstuffs as a result of inflationary pressures. This is what is currently (apparently) moderating our economic woes. Slowing our economy to a position just this side of a formal recession.

Today...

So what is the FOMC likely to announce at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time?

What should be done...

Capture4-29-2008-10.29.54 PM

According to my calculations, the Federal Reserve should raise the Federal Funds target rate by at least 85-basis points to achieve a neutral inflationary stance in the 5-year outlook or by 157 basis-points in the 10-year outlook. The numbers were computed using the Fed's H.15 report numbers which were published on April 29th for April 28th values. In more practical terms, the Fed would be obliged to halt rate cuts and alter their "guidance" as expressed in both the FOMC meeting announcement and the actual meeting minutes which are published three weeks after the meeting. To surprise the market, a take-back (raise) of 25-basis points would not be unjustified by the numbers.

The market moves only on "unexpected" FOMC actions...

The information shown above is known to the Fed and to any competent economist. Therefore, the likely scenario, based on a consensus opinion, already prices the "common wisdom" of the wizards into the market. Thus, only "unexpected" results are likely to move the market.

The current buzz is that the Fed will reduce the Federal Funds target rate (and probably the discount rate) by 25-basis points... although there are those who wish for a cut of 50-basis points. It is also widely believed that this may be the last cut before a period of "waiting and watching."

The consensus...

Conventional wisdom has the Fed cutting rates by 25-basis points one last time before entering a period of "wait and watch."

My view...

As I mentioned before, the only safe projection is that: "the Fed will do what the Fed will do."

What can YOU do?

Ladder and diversify your investments to insulate yourself from radical moves in the economy and any particular sector such as the financials, technology, industrials, retails, etc.

Use trusted investment advisors whenever possible.

Believe the Better Business Bureau's favorite saying, "Investigate Before You Invest."

For those who wish more information on how I calculate the Fed Watcher numbers and a copy of the actual Excel Spreadsheet, drop me an e-mail.

-- steve

P.S. Thank you very much for continuing to read my blog entries. I recently reviewed the e-mail addresses of those who subscribe via e-mail and I have noticed that my subscribers range from my best friend to other interested and diverse parties, if you can believe their e-mail addresses,  such as Minister Malik Shabazz of the New Black Panther Party. All are free to disagree with me or comment on my blog entries. All I ask is that the response is within the bounds of good taste and promotes a legitimate exchange of viewpoints. The only comments that I delete are those reported to my ISP (Internet Service Provider) as being commercial offers (SPAM). Again, thank you for reading.

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 Federal Reserve H.15 Data Link

The Federal Reserve Meeting Announcements and Minutes


“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



TODAY IS A SPECIAL DAY

Today is the first anniversary of the inception of  my personal blog, "One Citizen Speaking."

Bcake

Original intent...

On April 15th, 2007, I explained the reason behind my blog.

"The purpose of this blog is to make me feel good. Most of us spend our lives tilting at windmills or its electronic equivalent, shouting at the television. But nothing much happens because our range of communication is limited."

"Well, the Internet arrived and made it possible for those with like minds to connect, to debate the important subjects and to take concerted action when prudent and necessary. Independent thinkers coalescing into a forceful tide of action takers."

"If you doubt the importance of this communication medium, just witness the number of multi-national companies with their special interest lobbyists trying to curtail free speech or program development on the Internet."

"Having said that, all of the opinions, unless specifically attributed, are my own. So, please join me in discussing whatever is on MY mind. Want to feel good, start your own blog. Want to disagree, start your own blog."

Has it made a difference?

In the larger world

I am not so sure. Even though I have seen my blog posts listed in the nation's largest circulation daily newspaper in the country (USA Today), the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, CNN, passed along by one of the major wire services (Reuters), and quoted in a number of other mainstream blogs. I also see, from my blog statistics, that my blogs are also being read by people in a number of foreign nations.

To my readers:

Again, I am not sure that I really did change anybody's mind. I have seen both positive and negative comments, which I attempted to answer with informative insight and an even hand. The only comments ever eliminated were deliberate spam efforts carrying commercial messages and these were reported to my ISP as spam so that their IP addresses could be blocked. I hoped that I was informative,  entertaining or both. If not, sorry!

To myself:

The answer is unequivocally yes!

First, in maintaining the daily discipline of writing a daily blog entry (or two) which has resulted in 547 posted blog entries.

Second, the moderation of my own personal opinions in print when considering the positions of others. Perhaps this was brought about by an awareness that I had an increased responsibility to consider journalistic ethics and practices -- even though I remain a "commentator" rather than a journalist. And perhaps this was due, in part, to some of the insightful comments presented by my friends and readers.

And third, it has made me more aware of the major issues of our times. (In no particular order)

Political Correctness. The single greatest threat to our society as we know it. Acting as if  irrational people and their views can be treated rationally or accommodated by simply acting like the problem can be resolved by a Pollyanna-like solution. A "head-in-the-sand" approach which can get you killed.

Islamo-fascism. We are headed for another great war between competing cultures and religions. They respect only strength and force, while we waffle on about the "rule of law" and democracy. I pray that a significant number of people do not have to die a terrible death before we realize that we must neutralize the threat forever or force them to change their toxic ways.

Politics.  The corruption of our leaders by the special interests is the second greatest threat to our nation. The hyper-politicalization of our institutions has greatly diminished their responsibility to America, to the rule of law, to sound principles of citizenship and has led to a position of ignoring the rights of the common citizen that is the true source of their power.

The duplicity of politicians and the importance of avoiding favoring the socialist "collective" in favor of relying on "individualism."

It has also made me somewhat more appreciative of the pragmatic politician over the one who simply refuses to budge on ideological grounds -- and thus, accomplishes little.

One politician that I really admired for his conservative, principled and knowledgeable efforts on my behalf and those of my neighbors, turned out to be a "professional politician" who actually lived outside of our district for years and chose to run for another elective office in another venue when he was termed out after years of political service. Probably the smartest man to ever serve in the position and yet was thwarted at almost every turn.

In presidential politics, it has been an interesting year. Never having found a suitable democrat candidate, I moved from Fred Thompson to Mitt Romney  -- and by default, to John McCain. As I said, I now have a better appreciation of the pragmatic politician and a better understanding of how an ideologue can fail to produce results. The closest to my ideal politician remains Ronald Reagan.

Multi-culturalism. There is every reason to celebrate our individual uniqueness and culture -- and every reason to draw together as a nation to protect our common interests. However, there is no reason why we should allow politicians, bureaucrats or the special interests to gain more power by dividing us and diluting our common strength so that they may easily claim leadership over a smaller and more manageable segment of our population. The classic "us" versus "them" syndrome that is being exploited only to increase the power of an organization and its leaders.

Moral equivalency. Or what I term, "the Jimmy Carter approach." There is a clear delineation between good and evil. Between those who kill soldiers in battle and those who kill innocent civilians. Between those who steal from the common purse and those who "do without." Loudly proclaiming one man's terrorist is another man's freedom-fighter does not hold up to scrutiny when the terrorists hide behind innocent civilians and send their women and children to kill the enemy by convincing them that they will be celebrated as martyrs. Likewise, listen up Saudi Arabia, there is no difference between those who fund terrorism and the spread of a toxic religion and those who directly attact innocent civilians.

Toxic religions. Any religion which remains intolerant of other viewpoints and "commands" its followers to kill unbelievers should be banished from the face of this earth. Any religion which condones the mistreatment of others, whether through martyrdom or the rape of a child needs to seek new leadership and to purge those members of the faith who have transgressed against humanity.

Finance. I have struggled with trying to explain the collective stupidity, chaos and corruption within our political and financial world that resulted in the present financial crisis. Considering I have a professional working knowledge of the mortgage industry, I have seen the crisis unfold on a daily basis. The solution is far simpler than one thinks. Unfortunately, it requires political resolve to ignore certain special interests in favor of protecting our financial future.

Global Warming. I have read a number of original scientific papers, performed some of my own calculations and have concluded that Global Warming is a political scheme to increase political power and to engage in massive wealth re-distribution. The science does not support the political conclusions and the matter is far from being the "emergency" that is being portrayed by the United Nations and self-interested people such as Al Gore.

We need to recognize that the far-left has co-opted the environmental movement and has moved beyond ecology into power politics.

Gun Control vs. Crime Control. The police and authorities cannot be everywhere they are needed when they are needed. The police actually are not compelled to protect any individual, only maintain the good general order of society. Therefore, you must rely on your God-given right to self-defense using any means necessary... short of machine guns, grenades, explosives, missiles and personal nuclear weapons.  Those who want to rehabilitate psychopaths are as much to be feared as the psychopath themselves.

Drugs and Crime. Why we continue to tolerate gang activity is beyond me. If drugs are such a problem, let us legalize, control and tax them -- then the billions of dollars will not flow to the drug lords and those they pay off, but into our treasury for the use in improving society. As for gang members -- deport, execute or incarcerate as circumstances dictate.

Immigration. I need only to look at downtown Los Angeles to realize that we are being invaded by a foreign nation while our government prattles on about political correctness and the necessity to support the aliens with our tax dollars. One need only to look to the Los Angeles Mayor, former Mexican activist Tony Villar (his real name), to see him welcome hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants when they took over the streets of Los Angeles and massed at City Hall. If immigration is not checked, the immigrants will simply vote us out of our own homes.   

Energy independence. We have the technology to build advanced nuclear plants. We have the technology to tap geothermal energy. We need to move beyond the special interests and actually implement a crash program of energy independence. This includes drilling in all areas that can provide petroleum products independent of the Middle East. And the arrest and incarceration of anyone who fails to adhere to the specifications and practices necessary to build safe nuclear plants. No more welding shortcuts or watered-down concrete pours. No more fudging record-keeping to meet artificially imposed deadlines.

A toxic judiciary. Along with lawyers who create complexity as a full employment strategy, we are faced with judges that are usurping the powers of Congress by making law from the bench. Judges which are letting our own enemies use our own laws against us. Judges which have become ideological instead of simply ruling on the legal issues at hand.

And a host of other issues which concern me as an American and as a individual person.

In the final analysis...

I believe that this blogging experience has been beneficial for me and I am resolving to continue my efforts, at least until the election. I am also going to embark upon a more commercial enterprise in the next few months which takes advantage of what I have learned during this exercise.

Thank you...

I would like to thank my family and friends for listening to, as well as reading, my personal rants. Especially my best friend Al who has listened to my pre-blog rants and who has offered numerous suggestions to help me channel and improve my blogging efforts. Probably one of the only people in the world that knows all of the verses to "Home, Home On The Range" and regularly threatens to sing them.

What can YOU do?

Try to enjoy your life and make a difference in this world. Start with improving yourself and being of benefit to your family, friends, neighbors, community, state and nation.

In the words of my friend Al, "lo que vamos a ver lo que vamos a ver" (roughly: we shall see what we shall see) and "this too shall pass."

-- 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



BUZZMETRICS: "THEY" ARE WATCHING YOU!

Update: It seems that Nielsen wasn't the only one looking... Andiamo Systems was also checking out the site. During my research, I found a great blog entry on data mining and social networking. It was created by Matthew Hurst; a Scientist at Microsoft's Live Labs and the co-creator of BlogPulse. His work can be found here <link>.

It all started with a hit on my blog entry...

December 11, 2007 at 7:58 AM (GMT) someone was accessing my blog article "THE WAYS OF WALL STREET: CIRCLES WITHIN CIRCLES" from a most curious web address:

buzz2jpg

What is going on?

A researcher using the logon name of "cgoldstein" was searching through blogs looking for the those with content relating to "Merrill Lynch" between the dates of 11/27/2007 and 12/07/2007 for some mysterious purpose.

And why were they looking?

It was a very short trip to the website in question to find out that it was owned by Nielsen, the people who provide television ratings, market research and who will attempt to answer any question you would care to ask.

Nielsen's  BuzzMetrics project is their way of tracking consumer-generated media which they conveniently define on their website.

"Consumer-Generated Media" (CGM) encompasses the millions of consumer-generated comments, opinions and personal experiences posted in publicly available online sources on a wide range of issues, topics, products and brands. CGM is also referred to as Online Consumer Word-of-Mouth or Online Consumer Buzz. CGM originates from:

    • Blogs
    • Message boards and forums
    • Public discussions (Usenet newsgroups)
    • Discussions and forums on large email portals (Yahoo!,AOL, MSN)
    • Online opinion/review sites and services
    • Online feedback/complaint sites"

And which they believe possesses great commercial value. But let's let them tell the story in their own words...

Why is CGM Important?

"First, consumers place far more trust in their fellow consumers than they do in traditional marketers and advertisers, according to research. For any marketer, advertiser or business professional trying to be heard or break through the clutter, understanding and managing this high-impact CGM is critical for marketplace understanding and success. "

"Secondly, CGM is prolific and increasingly easy and inexpensive to create. Online discussion forms, membership groups, boards and Usenet newsgroups represented the first CGM wave. Blogs and online videos represent the latest wave of CGM that's easy and inexpensive to distribute…and influential in its impact."

"Likewise, CGM influences traditional marketing in wholly new ways. Because CGM data is easy to find on search engines, marketers and advertisers no longer "control" the message or the medium. When a consumer types a company name, brand or product into a search engine, it's almost certain that some of the first results—good or bad—will be posted and created by other consumers. In addition, the media, analysts, regulators, competitors and other stakeholders encounter this readily available CGM “reference material” when they’re researching issues, topics and trends online."

"CGM is dramatically altering the marketing landscape, and Nielsen BuzzMetrics gives marketers and intelligence professionals an advantage by locating, measuring and analyzing CGM in wholly new ways so that it's understandable, real-time and actionable."

So someone apparently was compiling a consensus public opinion on the blogosphere's perceptions of Merrill-Lynch; either for Merrill-Lynch or one of their competitors. Or perhaps a stock analyst trying to "price in" consumer sentiment to determine their price direction and tendency? Perhaps a takeover artist looking to see if their was residual core value to their "Merrill-Lynch" brand name? Or a Merrill-Lynch executive trying to determine when the ruckus over their subprime fiasco might be over. Or perhaps it was someone associated with BlackRock to find out if anyone noticed and commented on the fact that Merrill-Lynch owns approximately 50% of the firm that was touted to administer a bank-led $100 BILLION dollar SIV (Structured Investment Vehicle) fund even though Merrill-Lynch was an apparent contributor to the subprime mess and had to write down at least $8 billion of securities  in their third quarter.

Or?

Well the use of the mined data and its relative algorithmic rankings are limited only by the imagination and resourcefulness of the client and researchers.

But I would tend to believe that they just wanted another look at they lyrics to my little Wall Street ditty which is set to the tune of "Windmills Of My Mind"

Circles within circles, wheels within wheels

It all keeps on spinning, with ever increasing deals

Until the model is broken and it reaches some unplanned end

When all the investors are broke and the game begins again.

What can YOU do?

Recognize that your blog entries and participation in the blogosphere does have an impact on commercial and political events.

Continue to share your opinion with your fellow bloggers via blog posts or comments to blog posts.

Never, never be silent when you believe that your ideas deserve to be heard or you just want to stand up and be counted.

Make an effort to make a difference.

-- 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:

BuzzMetrics|Nielsen

THE WAYS OF WALL STREET: CIRCLES WITHIN CIRCLES|onecitizenspeaking


“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



CAPTURING THE INTERNET: BARAK OBAMA

Obama Camp Takes Control of MySpace Page.

Obama strong-arms long-time partisan supporter to take over his MySpace news and tribute site. Is this the type of candidate that you would want to represent the United States on the world stage in these turbulent times? Considering the ham-fisted approach to a volunteer makes me wonder about Obama and "his people."

Continue reading "CAPTURING THE INTERNET: BARAK OBAMA" »


“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



WHY THE INTERNET SCARES POLITICIANS

There are few things that scare the politicians more than sunlight and exposure… unless it is the Internet; which positively paralyzes most politicians as well as appointed public servants.

Continue reading "WHY THE INTERNET SCARES POLITICIANS" »


“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