Sunday, February 15, 2009

Something Off My Chest

This has been eating at me for a while...
Remember when the Auto Execs went before Congress to tell them why they needed a big loan and they got lambasted for flying their Gulfstreams to DC. It would be my assumption that most members of Congress fly coach. I would be wrong! Congress members fly TAXPAYER FUNDED Gulfstreams and Boeing Business Jets. Of course these aircraft are "owned" by the Department of Defense for training pilots and Operational Support (e.g. time-sensitive travel). Most large corporations and/or governments reach a point when the executives' time becomes so valuable that the expense of corporate provided transportation is justified. Especially when the corporation can lease the aircraft and provide an alternate stream of income to the business.
I am not against Congress taking the DOD provided aircraft. It is better for the taxpayer to make good use of the Congress members time. It is also better for the economy to make good use of the auto execs time, not to mention all the jobs associated the Gulfstream lease and commercial aviation.
The hypocracy of Congress knows no bounds. I am sure their out rage will wane as they commute back and forth to their home districts in their TAXPAYER FUNDED (not just subsidized) Gulfstreams.

Friday, February 13, 2009

We Surround Them

This is a very interesting project that a good friend of mine pointed me to. I had heard Glenn Beck mention it quickly but really did not pay much attention until I read the website. Below is a cut from the website I think most people will read them and not have a problem with most of them so I want to address a couple that on the surface may seem offensive or troublesome.
2. This is hard for people who have been indoctrinated into a worldview that has man at the center of the universe. We have become so self centered that we think we control the weather and what happens to us...we are so calculated and forget that so much is outside our control. This statement acknowledges that there is a power bigger than us. That there is a purpose for human life and it is bigger than anything humans can control. There is a God. Life is not happenstance that true superior human knowledge we are in control of. Without something bigger than human knowledge there is no truth. Without truth, right and wrong do not exist. George Washington in his farewell address warned what would happen if we abandoned belief in a higher power and failed to maintain our virtue in public life, government will fail. Belief in a higher power is where government should start. Maybe our best wouldn't be tax evaders and womanizers...but then again we are human and not God.
7. Some of my coworkers will quickly disagree with this statement. That is what government is for to take care of those who can not take care of themselves. That fundamental belief is where government has gone wrong. The framer's were very specific in the preamble to the Constitution. Every word was written intentionally and with purpose. To illustrate this compare to word...promote and provide. They are very different in there meaning. If the framers meant for the government to do the same thing in both areas they would have used the same word. They did not. The government is to promote the general welfare and provide the common defense. Last time I checked promote should mean less involvement than provide...however, when I look at federal entitlements and compare it to the military, I feel like we are treating them the same provide and provide. So what does this have to do with the government can not force me to be charitable. 2 things...1. Taking my money and giving it to some one else is not charity. That more closely resembles theft. Also we forget that those deciding who to give my money to are human. They are influenced by their own selffish desires. We have forgotten that. Today's thought is corporation evil, government saintly when in reality they are no different...the same humans work in government that work in corporations their humanness just shows in different areas. 2. Having the government be charitable robs people the benefit of giving. We are meant to give. I think that is a huge source of societal problems today, we don't give to one another. In one of my other post, I mentioned when FDR gave up on families taking care of one another. To paraphrase, he said it is time to devise a new system where government takes on that role, we have progressed to that point. I say that is regression. We are meant for so much more. Giving is one way to live large. It benefits both recipient and giver. Government robs us the opportunity and gives us an excuse. I walked by a homeless man begging with a group and the comment was, "The government needs to take care of this blight." We have turned over our caring to an entity that can never do as much as individuals who care and feel responsibility for their fellow human.

I could go on for days, but it is already way too long for a blog post. Go to WE surround them and decide for yourself.

In the days to come I plan on writing about me becoming a true social progressive. Progressive in the fact that I want to look at lessons from the past and actually use them for progress.

WE Surround Them
February 12, 2009 - 0:00 ET
What are we counting down to? Listen to today's radio and television program for more...

Do you watch the direction that America is being taken in and feel powerless to stop it? Do you believe that your voice isn’t loud enough to be heard above the noise anymore? Do you read the headlines everyday and feel an empty pit in your stomach&hellipas if you’re completely alone?If so, then you’ve fallen for the Wizard of Oz lie. While the voices you hear in the distance may sound intimidating, as if they surround us from all sides—the reality is very different. Once you pull the curtain away you realize that there are only a few people pressing the buttons, and their voices are weak. The truth is that they don’t surround us at all.We surround them.So, how do we show America what’s really behind the curtain? Below are nine simple principles. If you believe in at least seven of them, then we have something in common. I urge you to read the instructions at the end for how to help make your voice heard.

The Nine Principles
1. America is good.
2. I believe in God and He is the Center of my Life.
3. I must always try to be a more honest person than I was yesterday.
4. The family is sacred. My spouse and I are the ultimate authority, not the government.
5. If you break the law you pay the penalty. Justice is blind and no one is above it.
6. I have a right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, but there is no guarantee of equal results.
7. I work hard for what I have and I will share it with who I want to. Government cannot force me to be charitable.
8. It is not un-American for me to disagree with authority or to share my personal opinion.
9. The government works for me. I do not answer to them, they answer to me.

You Are Not Alone: If you agree with at least seven of those principles, then you are not alone. Please send a digital version of your picture to: and then stay tuned to the radio and television shows over the coming weeks to see how we intend to pull back the curtain.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

President Obama is Exactly Right!

"It's a little hard for me to take criticism from folks about this recovery package after they've presided over a doubling of the national debt," he said at a news conference on Monday. "I'm not sure they have a lot of credibility when it comes to fiscal responsibility."

What was cited as the reason for the huge deficit, growth in national debt, and bad cuts and government spending. What is the new "stimulus" package comprised mostly of...SPENDING and TAX CUTS! Are you kidding me? Does anyone else see the irony? When will we learn? Fear makes us do silly things. We have to make a rash decision to stop catastrophe? $1,000,000,000,000 will put the government spending at almost 35% of GNP...Huge amounts of borrowing will do nothing but weaken the dollar...I can't wait until we go for a loan from China and they say credit denied. Fear that drives us to short-term solutions only hurts the long-term health of the Republic.

The other part where Obama was exactly right is on A-Rod's drug us. In his words:
“It's depressing news on top of what has been a flurry of depressing items when it comes to Major League Baseball,” Obama said at a news conference, adding the new admission “tarnishes an entire era to some degree.”

In his words from 1995 memoir, Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance:
"Pot had helped, and booze; maybe a little blow when you could afford it," wrote Obama about what he would later say were "bad decisions." "Junkie. Pothead. That's where I'd been headed: the final, fatal role of the young would-be black man."

So does his pot, booze and blow use tarnish an entire era of Presidents? Casting stones in a glass house is a dangerous business.

I am continually impressed by President Obama charismatic stage presence and intellect. It is refreshing to watch him as President...HOWEVER, his continuation of BUSH policies of TAX CUTS and UNCONTROLLED GOVERNMENT SPENDING! The US needs a large infusion of infrastructure recapitalization, but that doesn't have to be decided by Presidents' Day.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Ponzi Scheme

Bernard Madoff has put Ponzi schemes in news. I thought I'd do a little investigation into what a Ponzi scheme was, so I turned to Google who directed me to Wiki. Wiki explaned the Ponzi scheme as "The idea behind a Ponzi scheme is an operation that pays returns to investors from their own money or money paid by subsequent investors rather than from profit. The system is destined to collapse because the earnings, if any, are less than the payments."

Then it occured to me that I had read of a very similar system the other night when I was educating myself about FDR...Someone please explain to me the difference in a Ponzi scheme and Social Security as it currently exists. All I can come up with is that the government runs it and can prevent investors from making a run and go into debt when there are more taking benefits than paying in...

From my SS research:

Since the inception of Social Security, the government had administrated it as a pay-as-you-go program, paying benefits out of current receipts rather than building up a capital fund for each contributor. However, in the mid-1970s, expenditures for Social Security benefits began to exceed tax payments coming into the trust funds. This occurred because a serious recession reduced employment and trust-fund revenues while inflation simultaneously created a need to increase benefits. Public concern developed over the possibility that the Social Security system might become bankrupt over time. Since the funds had been accumulating for more than 35 years, they had a reserve of more than $40 billion in 1976, so the system was in no immediate danger. Nevertheless, experts warned that in the long term the reserve would eventually become depleted.

Friday, February 6, 2009

"Nothing to fear, but fear itself"

Fear: an unpleasant feeling of anxiety or apprehension caused by the presence or anticipation of danger. We like to think of ourselves as rationale beings that make smart decisions based on fact. We like to think we can remove our emotions and weigh cost versus benefits. I have news...that is not where we, the American people, are today. Unfortunately, fear is setting public policy. This is nothing new...fear has ruled people since we lived in caves. Fear paralyzes sometimes and causes over reaction at other. The one thing in common is that it usually leads to less than optimum decisions. I believe that fear led President Bush to enact laws and wage wars that he thought were the only solution to keep America safe. Just like normal Americans, he points to exceptional circumstances that lead him to make decisions that he felt justified because of the anticipation of danger. Perceived or real danger has the same effect. See post below, but the perceived threat was great, not just to President Bush. President Bush let fear influence his decisions...the fear of another attack on American soil and the fear that people would question his inaction if he did not take radical action. Most of the laws over the past 100 years are based in fear. Elected officials make decisions based on being re-elected. Decisions focus on the next election and not what is best for the country in the long term. This has led to a financial crisis which has just begun. The GAO did an outstanding job factually documenting the dire straits our posterity will face.

So today we have a choice to succumb to the fear and repeat history. As Roosevelt put it in his first inaugural address, "We have nothing to fear, but fear itself." He was exactly correct. The sad part is that his action spoke louder than his words. I highly recommend that you read his entire address. History is eerily repeating itself.

Let's learn from history. Let's use history to confront the fear which leads us to bad decisions. Fear that says spending is the only way out of this crisis. Exuberant spending is why we are here. A government that over spends sets the example. Live greater than your means...let me think, what was the spark that started this fire...oh yeah it was spending on credit and trading credit. What is the current stimulus bill: SPENDING ON CREDIT! When will we learn?

I firmly believe that the following statement by Roosevelt has roots in our problems today:

"Security was attained in the earlier days through the interdependence of members of families upon each other and of the families within a small community upon each other. The complexities of great communities and of organized industry make less real these simple means of security. Therefore, we are compelled to employ the active interest of the Nation as a whole through government in order to encourage a greater security for each individual who composes it . . . This seeking for a greater measure of welfare and happiness does not indicate a change in values. It is rather a return to values lost in the course of our economic development and expansion . . ."Franklin D. Roosevelt: Message of the President to Congress, June 8, 1934.

Roosevelt gave up on what made America great...interdependence of members of families upon each other and of the families within a small community upon each other. Government replaced people. It took years but the unintended consequences of the decisions made in the 30s and 40s are catching up to us today. Those are posts for another day.

America is great! YES WE CAN overcome the despair of the day, but we must not let our fears control us. We, as a people, value our freedom. DO NOT LET OUR FEARS AND DEPENDENCE ON GOVERNMENT DRIVE US TO GIVE THOSE FREEDOMS UP. We would be better off monetarily poor than prisoners to our fears and government.