Thursday, October 9, 2008

Bailout Politics

by Thomas Sowell

Nothing could more painfully demonstrate what is wrong with Congress than the current financial crisis.

Among the Congressional "leaders" invited to the White House to devise a bailout "solution" are the very people who have for years created the risks that have now come home to roost.

Five years ago, Barney Frank vouched for the "soundness" of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and said "I do not see" any "possibility of serious financial losses to the treasury."

Moreover, he said that the federal government has "probably done too little rather than too much to push them to meet the goals of affordable housing."


Earlier this year, Senator Christopher Dodd praised Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for "riding to the rescue" when other financial institutions were cutting back on mortgage loans. He too said that they "need to do more" to help subprime borrowers get better loans.

In other words, Congressman Frank and Senator Dodd wanted the government to push financial institutions to lend to people they would not lend to otherwise, because of the risk of default.

The idea that politicians can assess risks better than people who have spent their whole careers assessing risks should have been so obviously absurd that no one would take it seriously.


But the magic words "affordable housing" and the ugly word "redlining" led to politicians directing where loans and investments should go, with such things as the Community Reinvestment Act and various other coercions and threats.

The roots of this problem go back many years, but since the crisis to which all this led happened on George W. Bush’s watch, that is enough for those who think in terms of talking points, without wanting to be confused by the facts.

In reality, President Bush tried unsuccessfully, years ago, to get Congress to create some regulatory agency to oversee Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
N. Gregory Mankiw, his Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, warned in February 2004 that expecting a government bailout if things go wrong "creates an incentive for a company to take on risk and enjoy the associated increase in return."


Since risky investments usually pay more than safer investments, the incentive is for a government-supported enterprise to take bigger risks, since they get more profit if the risks pay off and the taxpayers get stuck with the losses if not.

The government does not guarantee Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, but the widespread assumption has been that the government would step in with a bailout to prevent chaos in financial markets.

Alan Greenspan, then head of the Federal Reserve System, made the same point in testifying before Congress in February 2004. He said: "The Federal Reserve is concerned" that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were using this implicit reliance on a government bailout in a crisis to take more risks, in order to "multiply the profitability of subsidized debt."

Chairman Greenspan added his voice to those urging Congress to create a "regulator with authority on a par with that of banking regulators" to reduce the riskiness of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, a riskiness ultimately borne by the taxpayers.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac do not deserve to be bailed out, but neither do workers, families and businesses deserve to be put through the economic wringer by a collapse of credit markets, such as occurred during the Great Depression of the 1930s.


Neither do the voters deserve to be deceived on the eve of an election by the notion that this is a failure of free markets that should be replaced by political micro-managing.

If Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were free market institutions they could not have gotten away with their risky financial practices because no one would have bought their securities without the implicit assumption that the politicians would bail them out.

It would be better if no such government-supported enterprises had been created in the first place and mortgages were in fact left to the free market. This bailout creates the expectation of future bailouts.

Phasing out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would make much more sense than letting politicians play politics with them again, with the risk and expense being again loaded onto the taxpayers.


Copyright © 2008 Salem Web Network. All Rights Reserved

Thursday, September 25, 2008

DON'T WORRY

BE HAPPY

By: Philip J. Rappa

There is no need to be a forensic pathologist to understand the cause of death of America's financial institutions and our credibility abroad. The only thing required is a familiarity with our history.

Over the past twenty-nine years beginning with the 96th Congress and concluding with the 106th, there has been a systematic concerted effort by our elected officials to unravel the remaining vestiges of our institutions that represented our sovereignty as a nation. If we just round up these usual suspects, based on reasonable suspicion we can begin to delineate more then just probable cause, but most importantly the direct cause of our misfortune.

Following the stock market crash of 1929, laws were enacted to prevent another debacle: The Glass-Steagall Act and the creation of the FDIC. Both officially named the Banking Act of 1935. These laws set in motion the apparatus separating commercial banks from investment banks; this arrangement worked for sixty-four years.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) included banking reforms some of which were designed to control speculation. Some provisions such as Regulation Q allowed The Federal Reserve to regulate interest rates in savings accounts. In 1980, congress in all its wisdom repealed the FDIC reforms by enacting the Depository Institutions Deregulation and Monetary Control Act.

Then on November 12th, 1999, President Bill Clinton signed into law the Gramm-Leach-Biley Act, which repealed the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933. One of the effects of the repeal was to allow commercial and investment banks to consolidate. From that moment in time it only took Wall Street and K-Street nine years to destroy our financial institutions and our credibility abroad.

The only noteworthy fact that is prologue to this disaster is that each generation preceding us has had their own financial calamity ushered in by unencumbered and unbridled capitalism. Each time profit trumped public interest. The agents of our despair have treated their oath of office as if it were an antiquated notion giving their allegiance as well as aid and comfort to the free market, while the working man became little more then an expendable asset.

Each generation had its own brand of corporate and government corruption and cronyism and an understanding of the collusion between the government, industry, military and the bankers. Even to a casual observer a pattern seems to emerge. Humanity has struggled for centuries to unshackle themselves from the subjugation of kings, popes, empires and raw capitalism.

In one generation we have idly watched as these same elected officials dismantled our nation's industries sending them, our jobs and our technology to foreign shores to be made on the cheap. America's labor force has been disemboweled placed on a pyre fueled by vapors of a gossamer web that once epitomized America's "Promise": that of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.

The "Promise", once the tapestry of this nation's domestic social contract, which was won by the blood, sweat and tears of those who came before us has been shredded by an unregulated corporate free-market fanaticism. We on Main Street shall be left to pay the piper due to the treasonous actions of our elected officials and our own individual participation in this Ponzi scheme.

" Published originally at EtherZone.com: republication allowed with this notice and hyperlink intact."

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

IS TIME RUNNING OUT

Or have you giving up?

More terminated Mixed Blood Ute's are sounding off about the Ute Partition Act than ever before. But, have things reached the point where the sounding off is more of a jarring cacophony than a stirring rallying cry? -Or- are we all destined to lose in the long run? Politicians and lawyers, aided by behind-the-scenes handlers of all kinds, quite nimbly played one faction against another and have been for more then fifty years. They seized the opportunity to appeal to a group that they knew wouldn't take the time to read the fine print and notice scripts change just enough to lock in a different agenda, while claiming to represent the best choice for everyone's future.

Politicians, Lawyers and the Ute Indian Tribe, worked itself into a frenzy of viewing the Ute Partition Act (Termination) as a do-or-die marathon, never noticing or caring what the effects this act would have on individuals. It was and is a game where greed and bigotry replaced common sense and effort--from qualifying to a winner take-all finale. Now, when the stakes were at the highest, individuals were coerced into ‘stakeholder” status, the rules rapidly change; but too few people paid any attention to the details.

This process (termination) can be compared to an Old Western movie, where the gullible Rancher loses his wallet, jewelry, horse, ranch, and even his very life-- because the Rancher mistakenly assumes the game was honest. The Ute Partition Act was not an Old Western movie. It was and is real life. By the time they noticed the game was rigged and what was lost it was too late.

What's left? Do we have any workable solutions? Who can orchestrate a sustained and needed solution? Do we have time left to find out and get any orchestrated efforts all working together? The tune is more important than the people directing the chorus! There is still time!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

A SOCIALIST BY ANY OTHER NAME...

SWEEPING THE WEST
By: Selwyn Duke

One of the consequences of being right in an age of lies is that it brands you as a radical. Remember that being an extremist doesn't mean you're wrong, but simply that your views deviate greatly from those of the mainstream. If you say that 2+2=4 in a land where everyone else insists it's 5, you'll be labeled a radical. The same is true if you assert that a certain society of men is full of wolves when everyone else believes they're sheep.

Now, for years I've been telling people that most of our Democrats are essentially socialists; sure, either they won't admit it publicly or aren't fully aware of it themselves (quite common; self knowledge is often sorely lacking, especially among leftists). It was a message as hard to relate as it is for many to accept, as it renders you something less than the kind of "credible" commentator who gets invitations to appear on Fox News (bigot Opio Sokoni was on O'Reilly last week). But that message now goes down a little easier with the recent Democrat proposal to nationalize oil refineries.

There is a great article on this very subject by a writer named Lance Fairchok; it is titled "Why Do We Call Them 'Democrats'? After quoting a couple of Democrats who waxed enthusiastic about nationalizing the oil refineries, he presents this Freudian slip by Congressman Maxine Waters:
"This liberal will be all about socializing, uh, uh . . . would be about . . . basically taking over and the government running all of your companies."

Well, well, I don't suppose that's the kind of rhetoric she used on the campaign trail (although I suspect most of her constituents either wouldn't know what she was talking about or wouldn't care). Don't rejoice too much at the shedding of the mask, however, as it's not so much attributable to a sudden spirit of honesty as it is to a changing climate. The truth is that no small number of American citizens are now socialists, only, they usually aren't aware of it. These are people – and we've all met them – who never heard a proposal for government involvement they didn't like. They only ask that one of two criteria be met: The proposal must sound convenient for them or inconvenient for someone who they envy. Oh, and, yes, I have always known that greed and jealousy -- as opposed to some noble desire to help the downtrodden -- are what drive leftists. Winston Churchill observed this decades ago when he said:
"Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy; its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery."

If you doubt both that old curmudgeon and me, a younger one, consider research related by columnist Peter Schweizer in this article. He writes,
Scholars at Oxford and Warwick Universities found the same sort of behaviour (a desire to take from those who have more) when they conducted an experiment.

Setting up a computer game that allowed people to accumulate money, they gave participants the option to spend some of their own money in order to take away more from someone else.

The result? Those who considered themselves 'egalitarians' (i.e. Left of centre) were much more willing to give up some of their own money if it meant taking more money from someone else.

Much of the desire to distribute wealth and higher taxation is motivated by envy – the desire to take more from someone else – and bitterness.
Unfortunately, while we can give ourselves pep talks about how we value liberty and the wonders of our "free market" (if only it were freer), the truth is that socialism has swept the West. British Chancellor of the Exchequer quipped about this over a century ago when, after introducing death duties in the budget of 1894, he said, "We are all socialists now."

As I said before, though, let's not lose sight of the fact that the politicians merely reflect the people. Too many Americans have been instilled with unrealistic expectations for lifestyle and a spirit of entitlement, and they will glom onto any slick demagogue (even if he has a strange foreign name) who promises a larger piece of the pie. As to this, in Fairchok's article he presents a chilling prediction made by U.S. Socialist Party presidential candidate Norman Thomas more than half a century ago. To wit:
"The American people will never knowingly adopt socialism. But, under the name of 'liberalism,' they will adopt every fragment of the socialist program, until one day America will be a socialist nation, without knowing how it happened."

While I can't say much for the man's politics, he was, at least insofar as this went, quite prescient. Most Americans have been inured to socialism under a different name, although virtually all would protest loudly if so accused.
People fall victim to the idea that socialism can work for a few reasons. For one thing, new generations are born and, with history taught so poorly, the mistakes of the past must be learned anew. Then, many labor under the illusion that socialism breeds prosperity in places such as Sweden, when in reality such countries are dying a lingering death.

Yet, if socialism – in any guise – is what Americans want, it's what they will get. But not only won’t they know how it happened, as Thomas said, they won’t like the consequences and won't know what to blame them on. Thus, they probably will fancy that the solution is even more government involvement.

Another thing that gets you branded a radical is when you point out that socialism is just a less virulent strain of communism. Yet the pseudo-intellectuals who would thus stigmatize you are blithely unaware of an important fact.

Karl Marx himself said that socialism was just a transitional phase on the road to communism.

We just have to wait for the second mask to come off.

" Published originally at EtherZone.com: republication allowed with this notice and hyperlink intact."

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

“AN ENIGMA”

The Perplexity of Life as a Mixed Blood Uinta

There are still many barriers facing the terminated Uintas that seem extremely difficult to over come. In the white communities adjacent to; along with the Indian communities on the Uintah and Ouray Reservation, and some individuals within our own group; there exists a foundation of prejudice which inexorably target’s the mixed-bloods efforts at regaining their Indian identity. While the full-blood Indian feels a need to marginalize the terminated mixed bloods and their descendant’s because of dogmatic tenets within the Ute Tribe; the tribe supercilious believes all mixed bloods must be held prisoner behind invisible bars and malevolently feel that to allow the mixed blood to escape this prison will be the very death of the Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah and Ouray Indian Reservation in Utah.

This kind of mindset is nothing more then a 1970’s colloquium on South Africa and the Coloureds. This vociferous wanton attitude, by the tribe, its members; which is fomented by the white community, and with some mixed blood’s supercilious dogmatic attitude, assiduously maligns the terminated mixed blood, which only serves to empower cabal grift-ers ad-nauseum.

For the terminated Uinta, notwithstanding their disparate mixed blood lineage, this becomes a form of genocide, or, put in the word spoken as a hiss by Indians, assimilation. This is an enigma and is the crux of the problem for me.

I’ve been assimilated. It seems like a thousand years from Dry Mountain, Rock Creek, Pigeon Water and Mud Springs, to the freeways of California, and I traversed those thousand years in one swift stroke. I’m also one of the many thousands of metis¹ (mixed blood) whose combination ancestry serves to bridge those thousand years between white and Indian ways. I’m a living testament to the best, and the worst, of two significantly dissimilar worlds.

I suppose I’m luckier than most mixed bloods, including direct cousins. I look white and thus am automatically exempt from the immediate visual tag of half-breed. I do not consider myself much different from my white neighbors or my Indian cousins. However I do cling tenaciously to my Indian-ness and its like holding fast to a wet rope while the floodwaters try to carry me away.

We had our identities taken away by an antecedent wanton act, but those malevolent demagogues couldn’t and won’t make us disappeared. The terminated mixed-blood is still here and here to stay!


Most Indians seem to think the government owes them just because they’re American Indian, but that feeling isn’t true of all American Indians. A few, like me, realize that you can't turn back the clock. Instead, we argue, pay the Indian his/her due, as spelled out in treaties, and then leave us the “h***” alone!

Is Education Our Salvation?

Education is the great dilemma facing our people. Without it, we will never be able to survive the white man and yet with it the full blood Indian has tried to destroy us. On today’s U & O Reservation, Ute parents sends their child to the local white school located off the Reservation to learn values and trades that do not necessarily relate to the world on the U & O. The reservation doesn’t have the economy to support an Indian with an advanced education. It is fine to train a young Indian boy or girl to be a dentist, doctor or engineer, but when they must choose between going home and serving their people or moving to a large urban area and making money, the choice is obvious, especially if they’re a descendent of a terminated Uinta, but for the full blood an advanced education is like trying to break the suction of a suckling piglet clinging to the tit of a Sow (the government.) All though there are a few exceptions to this rule, but not many.

We mixed bloods are better educated, but having a diploma doesn't mean you'll be infused with or automatically gain wisdom; wisdom can only be gained by experience and time.

When it comes to my Indian-ness, I'm pragmatic and not ignorant. Ignorance² is the condition of being unaware, or uninformed.” I have an awareness of things as they really are and I know who I am. The enemy wants to keep us ignorant! This can be prevented by making an effort at keeping the lines of communication open between each other and not shutting anyone out of the loop.

We are surrounded by many tenacious miscreants bent on keep us down. We must all have fidelity, fortitude and not abrogate our faith in, both, Dennis Chappabitty and Felter v. Kempthorne.

1 -
M├ętis were the offspring of local Indians and Europeans in the Red River area of what is now southern Manitoba. They call themselves the Forgotten People.
2 - Ignorance is a lack of knowledge. Ignorance is sometimes misinterpreted as a synonym of stupidity, and is as thus often taken as an insult.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Incrementalism

How To Boil A Live Frog
By Tom Barrett
http://www.americandaily.com/

(08/07/03)
Please do not try this at home. I want to make it clear from the outset that I do not advocate frog boiling. I am simply describing a science experiment which I learned about roughly a hundred years ago when I was in high school. I want to make this very clear, because otherwise I'll have liberals demonstrating on my front lawn about my insensitivity to frogs. (Isn't it interesting that the same people who advocate killing babies in the womb are so concerned about animals? Kind of twisted, isn't it?)

In the experiment a frog was dropped into a pot of hot (not boiling) water. It immediately jumped out, as would any sensible frog. Then it was placed in a pot of cool water sitting on a stove. This was more to its liking, so it swam about and lounged comfortably. The heat was turned on and raised very gradually. Soon it was hotter than the water in the first experiment, but the frog didn't jump out. This was because there was no dramatic difference, as there had been when it was taken from room temperature and dropped into hot water. The frog became accustomed to the increased temperature as it was raised little by little. Before long the temperature was so high that the frog was unable to jump out of the pot, and it died.

Thinking about some of the radical changes in our society over the last several decades made me remember that frog. Here are a few things that would have been unthinkable when I graduated from high school in 1966. A homosexual U.S. Congressman is caught having sex with a male Congressional page, and is allowed to stay in office. Schools suspend high school students for quietly praying together during lunch, but teach classes on witchcraft and Satan worship. Little children are sexually abused by trusted day care workers. Illiterate teenagers receive High School diplomas. The President of the United States commits perjury before a Grand Jury, and beats impeachment. High school girls are ashamed to admit that they are virgins. When I was in high school they would have been ashamed to admit that they weren't! Irresponsible adults use abortion as birth control; over half of the babies conceived in this nation are killed in their mothers' wombs.

These changes didn't take place overnight. Just like the frog, our nation has been assaulted gradually, so that we didn't realize what was happening to us. It wasn't easy to turn a mostly moral nation into an amoral morass. But the liberals, secular humanists, God-haters and perverts who have systematically engineered this cultural revolution had strong allies in their campaign. Over the years they have targeted and gained control of four of the most powerful influences on American thought: the public schools, the judges and justices on the benches of our appeals courts, the entertainment industry, and the media. Here are just a few examples:

I often tune in to C-Span's live coverage of the Senate and the House of Representatives. I once saw a bunch of Hollywood stars and two hundred young diabetics testify before a Senate sub-committee. They were supposedly there to request additional funding for juvenile diabetes research. Instead they used the television exposure to lobby for embryonic research. I saw deliberate, repeated use of the term "embryonic stem cell research." No mention was made of the fact that there are many other sources of stem cells for research that do not involve killing an embryo. For instance, literally tons of stem-cell-rich human fat from liposuction are discarded every week. They are desperate to link the use of the word "embryonic" to the phrase "stem cells" so that no one will realize that you can have stem cell research without using embryos. They know that most Americans are in favor of stem cell research, and that if they can tie these two concepts together, they can get America to approve of killing human embryos.

Mary Tyler Moore disgraced herself by repeating the lie that all human embryos will be destroyed. No mention was made of the fact that millions of infertile couples could adopt those embryos, and that human embryo adoption has already resulted in many healthy babies being born. They put ten-year-old children in front of the microphones to parrot scripts written by PR hacks. One little girl talked about "...legislators playing politics to stop the embryonic stem cell research that could save children like me." Come on - does that sound like a ten-year-old speaking from her heart? She had obviously memorized her lines. Liberals seem to have no compunctions about using ill children to push their agenda.

The heat is being turned up in the area of morality. School children are told by their teachers, "We know you're going to fornicate, so here are some free condoms." TV sitcoms show happy homosexual and lesbian couples living "normal" lives. Anyone who has studied the statistics knows that heterosexual couples stay together far longer on average than same-sex couples. A national radio ad has a dentist advising listeners to "Ask your lover if you grind your teeth at night." Not your spouse; your "lover." Not too long ago most radio stations would have refused such an ad; now few people take notice.

It's getting very difficult to find any family-safe programming on television or at the movies. It used to be the filthy words, sex and violence were reserved for the R-rated programs. Now PG programs are like the former R's, and the R's are frankly pornographic. Even some G-rated programs contain sexual innuendos. Many times we have tuned in to or rented a movie that we thought was safe, only to have to cover our daughter's eyes and hurriedly turn off the tube.

Am I hopelessly old-fashioned, or am I right when I say that we are in serious danger of becoming a completely perverted, amoral nation? Only you can decide whether you will idly stand by and watch as the heat gets turned up, or whether you will take action.

What action? Please don't say, "What can I do? I'm just one person." There are many things each of us can do to stop this slide. Start with talking to other people. Don't be afraid of controversy. During Election 2000 two men from my church were on a job with another man who described himself as a Christian. When he said he planned to vote for Gore, they asked him if he was aware that Gore was in favor of abortion on demand, and was an advocate of homosexual marriage. The man was shocked. He said he had no idea that was where his candidate stood, and that as a Christian he could not vote for him after finding out Gore?s views on these moral issues. These men made a difference by being willing to speak the truth in love.
Talk. Discuss. Vote. Write letters. Get involved! Evil can only prevail when good people fail to act.

I'D BE LOST WITHOUT OUR EDITORIAL BOARD. These volunteers review each issue before it is published, and their corrections, comments and suggestions are incorporated in the final version. In response to this issue, Editor Michael Carr made me laugh with his comment, "And may we dinosaurs continue to roam the earth."

Editor Ed Mitchell sent back some very insightful comments. I couldn't send this issue out without including them: "When alchemists were in their heyday, frogs were considered to be excellent catalysts, and were used for all kinds of experiments. In his search for gold, one alchemist took a tub of urine (because of its gold color) added a frog (as a catalyst) and boiled the pot. The point is that all this "embryonic stem cell research" is simply modern day alchemist's medieval philosophy, using newer tools. The frog still dies, only in this case it is a human embryo. True scientists try to expand man's knowledge and condition by understanding the mind of God through researching his creation. As you said, fat cells, bone marrow and umbilical cord blood are full of stem cells, and they are discarded every day. Federal funding and private research should be involved for the good of mankind. The assault on the human embryo is consistent with Satan's big lie and the liberals parrot it constantly. If evolution is true, then human life (or any life for that matter) is of concern only to the family or state as long as it is a productive life. Thus a donkey has more value than a baby because a donkey can do work." (NOTE: Most of these "researchers" are medical doctors. They have forgotten their Hippocratic Oath, which says, in part, "First, do no harm.")

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Laws Killing Refineries and Jobs in U.S.

Our Thorny Oil Patch

By INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY, 3/13/08

Energy Policy: When America’s biggest oil refiner contemplates putting almost a third of its refineries on the market, Congress should sit up and take notice. The business climate it has created is hurting our economy.
Valero Energy Corp. is an industry leader that refines more oil than any other in the U.S. The San Antonio, Texas, company had a good run in the stock market this decade, rising 1,400% before earnings topped last year. But it’s no longer so easy for the company or any refiner.

Valero will probably sell three of its 17 refineries this year and maybe two more later to focus on its core operations amid what CEO Bill Klesse acknowledged on Tuesday is a weak economy.

But maybe that’s because the environment for the energy business in the U.S. has turned downright hostile.

Upstream, oil drilling is off-limits, crimping supply and driving prices ever higher. Downstream, refiners are hit by not only high energy prices, but also bureaucratic regulations, environmental lobbies and special interests that make moving to Asia, where economic growth is still valued, more attractive.

The sorry fact that no new refinery has been built in America since 1983 has been cited so many times that we would have thought someone in Washington would have done something about it by now. But no — it just keeps getting worse.

In 1982, the U.S. economy was served by 301 refineries. By 2007, the number had dwindled to 149. Productivity has kept output steady over the years at 17 million barrels a day. But the U.S. economy has grown by 125%.
"Valero believes there will never be another refinery built in the U.S.," spokesman Bill Day told IBD. He cited costs, environmental regulations, neighborhood activism and lawsuits.

"For a new refinery, it would take five years for a permit and five years for construction, and it’s very expensive. A company would have to know it would pay off."

Congress has been of no help whatsoever. Mandates requiring certain ethanol percentages in gasoline composition are chopping down refiners’ market share at the pump.

Refiners are undercut by the subsidies ethanol producers get that refiners don’t. Ethanol producers are also protected by high tariffs on overseas ethanol, while imported gasoline comes in duty-free. This brings in a lot of competition for refiners.

Given these conditions, is it any wonder companies such as Valero are looking for friendlier climes?

The laws by which Congress hamstrings energy producers have had the lethal effect of slowing down the economy while driving up prices. It’s high time for measures that do just the opposite.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Jurisprudence?

From the Latin term juris prudentia, which means "the study, knowledge, or science of law"; in the United States, more broadly associated with the philosophy of law.

What is law? How does a trial or appellate court judge decide a case? Is a judge similar to a mathematician or a scientist applying autonomous and determinate rules and principles? Or is a judge more like a legislator who simply decides a case in favor of the most politically preferable outcome? Must a judge base a decision only on the written rules and regulations that have been enacted by the government? Or may a judge also be influenced by unwritten principles derived from theology, moral philosophy, and historical practice?

Thursday, March 6, 2008

WHY MOST VOTERS SHOULDN'T VOTE

"GET-OUT-THE-DOPE DRIVES"

By: Selwyn Duke

Often the most fanciful ideas become the least questioned assumptions. In this election season a few have made themselves apparent, such as the notion that “change” is good by definition and “experience” is definitely good. Yet an even better example is the oft-repeated platitude that greater voter participation yields a healthier republic.

Ah, I’ve transgressed against dogma, but let’s be logical. Most of us agree that having an educated populace is a prerequisite for a sound democratic republic. We also know that not everyone is well-educated. Thus, it cannot be a good thing for everyone to vote. For those of you who had trouble following that line of reasoning, please remember that Election Day is November 5.

And one needn’t be disenchanted with universal suffrage to agree. It’s one thing to have one man, one vote; it’s quite another to have one man, one obligation to vote. Yet we still hear that it’s our “civic duty” to go to the polls. Well, no, actually, it’s a civic duty to make ourselves worthy to do so.

This “vote first, ask questions later” idea reaches the very nadir of inanity when it manifests itself in get-out-the-vote drives, which can quite correctly be defined as an effort to rally the idiot vote disguised as a noble exercise in democracy. Yet whether the call to the polls is organized or incidental, I would always make the same point: If people don’t have the initiative to get out and vote without prodding, it follows that they don’t have the greater initiative necessary to inform themselves on the issues; thus, they shouldn’t vote. As I said years ago in “Get-out-the-dopes Drives”:

“. . . this is a problem that takes care of itself when we let nature take its course. Those who don’t care may not inform themselves, but more often than not a result of that will be that they won’t vote, so no harm done. The problem arises when we put the cart before the horse and encourage those who can’t yet drive to take the wheel.”

This is no minor point. When people don’t vote, it’s for the same reason why they don’t repair cars, fly planes or perform brain surgery.

They’re not interested in those things.

This is important because, generally speaking, interest is a prerequisite for competency. How often have you met someone who became adept at something through disinterest? “You know, I don’t like playing the piano, but one day someone convinced me to tickle the ivories and my fingers started playing Mozart’s Concerto No. 9.” When you hear that, let me know.

Really, we delude ourselves. We see a lot of posturing about getting people “engaged in the process,” but it’s all talk. A process is just that, a process, “a systematic series of actions directed to some end” [1], while voting is simply an action. Or perhaps we could say it’s a reaction – catalyzed by one’s own knowledge and passion.

If people really were interested in the health of the “process,” they would start at the beginning of that “systematic series of actions” – which is the step whereby you encourage people to care, study and inform themselves – not at the end with voting. They would understand that once this step was tended to, people would naturally cast ballots, as it is merely a by-product of personal political health.

Yet we entertain the folly that for some mysterious, inexplicable reason everyone should participate, that it’s a good thing, regardless of how ignorant or ill-informed he may be. Well, why don’t we apply this to others matters? We might as well say that if everyone flies a jumbo jet, air travel will somehow be better; we should assume that if everyone performs brain surgery, medical care will somehow improve. Why? Well . . . participation is the answer! That is enough.

Does it sound ridiculous? It’s no more so than asserting that having everyone vote will yield a healthier nation. What we should do is take the Hippocratic Oath: “First, do no harm.” This applies not just to those too ill-informed to vote but also those ill-informed enough to encourage them to do so.

You can call me an elitist, but it’s getting easier to achieve that designation all the time. Study after study after study has revealed an appalling lack of historical knowledge among American youth – which carries over to adulthood – and our grasp of significant current events is no better. Quoting author of The Age of American Unreason, Susan Jacoby, The Wall Street Journal writes,

“(One poll that [sic] found more than three years into the Iraq war, only 23 percent of those with some college could locate Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Israel on a map . . . .)”
Moreover, many aren’t any better at navigating the political map – some people don’t even know the name of our vice president (hard to believe, but true). Despite this, there still are those who would convince the uninformed to vote, even though when pulling the lever at a polling place, the latter have no more grasp of the consequences of their actions than if they were to pull one in a casino.

Yet, when some encourage the ignorant to vote, there is method to their madness. The people I speak of do in fact care about the “process,” it’s just that their process – that “systematic series of actions directed to some end” – probably isn’t the same as yours. This is because they seek a very different end: The attainment of power.

The people I refer to are liberals.

It’s well known that the greater the voter turn-out, the more likely it is that liberal politicians will prevail. Thus, liberals reason that low turn-out is bad because it’s bad for them. This, of course, means it’s good for America.

Many will bristle at what I’ve said, but just take a look at how liberals plumb the depths of the barrel for votes. They want convicts and the homeless (many of whom are mentally ill, a perfect leftist constituency) to vote; they aggressively get out the vote in urban wastelands, their strongholds, which are plagued by crime, drug use and high abortion rates; and their constituencies are people such as homosexuals and others with aberrant lifestyles. Liberals in California were even advocating pubescents’ suffrage: Giving 14-year-olds the right to cast ballots. So, it’s funny. It used to be said that the Democrats were the party of the common man. The truth is that they’re the party of the uncommon man.

And there is an irony here, one I’d like to ask our liberal friends about. I know you believe you’re much smarter than we traditionalists, as you often attribute the embrace of our ideology to stupidity. I was, in fact, once told by a certain bit-part, liberal actor (forgive the redundancy) that I just wasn’t as “evolved” as he was.

Thus, I wonder about something. How is it that, with few exceptions, the more degraded, immoral, criminally inclined, immature, and ignorant voters are, the better it is for liberal candidates? If these normally apathetic people are in fact voting correctly, as you liberals assert, to what do you attribute it? Beginner’s luck? And does this make you liberals question your ideology at all? Does it make you think, even for a moment, that maybe you’re on the wrong side?

I won’t hold my breath waiting for a good answer, but I will mention another irony. Liberals are completely taken with gun control; some of them even say that no one but the police should own firearms. Yet they believe that people too irresponsible to have their finger on the trigger should influence the choice of who will have his finger on the button.

1. Dictionary.com

"Published originally at EtherZone.com : republication allowed with this notice and hyperlink intact."

Judge orders homeschoolers into government education

Family's religious beliefs 'no evidence' of 1st Amendment violation.

By Bob Unruh
© 2008 WorldNetDaily

A California court has ruled that several children in one homeschool family must be enrolled in a public school or "legally qualified" private school, and must attend, sending ripples of shock into the nation's homeschooling advocates as the family reviews its options for appeal.

The ruling came in a case brought against Phillip and Mary Long over the education being provided to two of their eight children. They are considering an appeal to the state Supreme Court, because they have homeschooled all of their children, the oldest now 29, because of various anti-Christian influences in California's public schools.


The decision from the 2nd Appellate Court in Los Angeles granted a special petition brought by lawyers appointed to represent the two youngest children after the family's homeschooling was brought to the attention of child advocates.

"We find no reason to strike down the Legislature's evaluation of what constitutes an adequate education scheme sufficient to promote the 'general diffusion of knowledge and intelligence,'" the court said in the case. "We agree … 'the educational program of the State of California was designed to promote the general welfare of all the people and was not designed to accommodate the personal ideas of any individual in the field of education.'"

The words echo the ideas of officials from Germany, where homeschooling has been outlawed since 1938 under a law adopted when Adolf Hitler decided he wanted the state, and no one else, to control the minds of the nation's youth.

Wolfgang Drautz, consul general for the Federal Republic of Germany, has said "school teaches not only knowledge but also social conduct, encourages dialogue among people of different beliefs and cultures, and helps students to become responsible citizens."

Specifically, the appeals court said, the trial court had found that "keeping the children at home deprived them of situations where (1) they could interact with people outside the family, (2) there are people who could provide help if something is amiss in the children's lives, and (3) they could develop emotionally in a broader world than the parents' 'cloistered' setting."

The appeals ruling said California law requires "persons between the ages of six and 18" to be in school, "the public full-time day school," with exemptions being allowed for those in a "private full-time day school" or those "instructed by a tutor who holds a valid state teaching credential for the grade being taught."

The judges ruled in the case involving the Longs the family failed to demonstrate "that mother has a teaching credential such that the children can be said to be receiving an education from a credentialed tutor," and that their involvement and supervision by Sunland Christian School's independent study programs was of no value.

Nor did the family's religious beliefs matter to the court.

Their "sincerely held religious beliefs" are "not the quality of evidence that permits us to say that application of California's compulsory public school education law to them violates their First Amendment rights."

"Such sparse representations are too easily asserted by any parent who wishes to homeschool his or her child," the court concluded.

The father, Phillip Long, said the family is working on ways to appeal to the state Supreme Court, because he won't allow the pro-homosexual, pro-bisexual, pro-transgender agenda of California's public schools, on which WND previously has reported, to indoctrinate his children.

"We just don't want them teaching our children," he told WND. "They teach things that are totally contrary to what we believe. They put questions in our children's minds we don't feel they're ready for.

"When they are much more mature, they can deal with these issues, alternative lifestyles, and such, or whether they came from primordial slop. At the present time it's my job to teach them the correct way of thinking," he said.

"We're going to appeal. We have to. I don't want to put my children in a public school system that teaches ideologies I don't believe in," he said.
A spokesman for the Home School Legal Defense Association, one of the world's premiere homeschooling advocacy organizations, said the group's experts were analyzing the impact of the decision.


"It's a very unfortunate decision," he said.

Randy Thomasson, of Campaign for Children and Families, said under California law parents have the legal right to create a private school in their home and enroll their own children.

"Children belong to the parents, not to the state," he said. But he acknowledged that there's a great deal of misinformation about the status of homeschooling in California.

"For years the government school establishment has been lying to parents about the law. Just this week, a Los Angeles Unified school district employee lied to a mother who wanted to homeschool, telling her you must have a license, you must be credentialed and you must follow all the state curriculum. That's three lies in one sentence."

"Now we have judges going crazy and actively separating children from their parents."

A legal outline for parents' homeschool rights in California, published by Family Protection Ministries, confirmed Thomasson's description.

The state's legal options for home educators include establishing a private school in their home by filing a private school affidavit with state regulators or enrolling in private school satellite instruction programs or independent study programs, it said.

The Long family had been involved in such a program with Sunland Christian School, but the appeals court took the extraordinary step of banning the family from being involved in that organization any longer, since it was "willing to participate in the deprivation of the children's right to a legal education."

A number of groups already have assembled in California under the Rescue Your Child slogan to encourage parents to withdraw their children from the state's public school system.

It's because the California Legislature and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger worked together to establish Senate Bill 777 and Assembly Bill 394 as law, plans that institutionalize the promotion of homosexuality, bisexuality, transgenderism and other alternative lifestyle choices.

"First, [California] law allowed public schools to voluntarily promote homosexuality, bisexuality and transsexuality. Then, the law required public schools to accept homosexual, bisexual and transsexual teachers as role models for impressionable children. Now, the law has been changed to effectively require the positive portrayal of homosexuality, bisexuality and transsexuality to 6 million children in California government-controlled schools," said Thomasson.


Even insiders joined in the call for an abandonment of California's public districts. Veteran public school teacher Nadine Williams of Torrance said the sexual indoctrination laws have motivated her to keep her grandchildren out of the very public schools she used to support.

The Discover Christian Schools website reports getting thousands of hits daily from parents and others seeking information about alternatives to California's public schools.

WND reported leaders of the campaign called California Exodus say they hope to encourage parents of 600,000 children to withdraw them from the public districts this year.

The new law itself technically bans in any school texts, events, class or activities any discriminatory bias against those who have chosen alternative sexual lifestyles, said Meredith Turney, legislative liaison for Capitol Resource Institute.

There are no similar protections for students with traditional or conservative lifestyles and beliefs, however. Offenders will face the wrath of the state Department of Education, up to and including lawsuits.

"SB 777 will result in reverse discrimination against students with religious and traditional family values. These students have lost their voice as the direct result of Gov. Schwarzenegger's unbelievable decision. The terms 'mom and dad' or 'husband and wife' could promote discrimination against homosexuals if a same-sex couple is not also featured," she said.

Karen England, chief of CRI, told WND that the law is not a list of banned words, including "mom" and "dad." But she said the requirement is that the law bans discriminatory bias and the effect will be to ban such terminology.
"Having 'mom' and 'dad' promotes a discriminatory bias. You have to either get rid of 'mom' and 'dad' or include everything when talking about [parental issues]," she said. "They [promoters of sexual alternative lifestyles] do consider that discriminatory."


The California plan still is facing a court challenge on its constitutionality and a possible vote of the people of California if an initiative effort succeeds.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

One more Nail in the coffin of Freedom!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Is John McCain Constitutionally Qualified?

What are the Qualification's to be President of the United State of America?

Article 2 section II clause 5 of the Constitution states:
No person except a Natural-Born citizen, or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of President;

The Naturalization Act of 1795
An Act to establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization; and to repeal the Act heretofore passed on that Subject. For carrying into complete effect the power given by the constitution, to establish an uniform rule of naturalization throughout the United States;

SEC. 3. And be it further enacted, that the children of persons duly naturalized, dwelling within the United States, and being under the age of twenty-one years at the time of such naturalization, and the children of citizens of the United States born out of the limits and jurisdiction of the United States, shall be considered as citizens of the United States.

SEC. 4. And be it further enacted, that the Act, intitled, "An act to establish an uniform rule of naturalization," passed the twenty-sixth day of March, one thousand seven hundred and ninety, be, and the same is hereby repealed.

It must be clearly understood by you and all the candidates, including Senator John McCain that:

Only someone physically born within one of the States is lawfully qualified to be elected president, and that … In order for naturalized citizens like Arnold Schwarzenegger and John McCain to be qualified an Amendment to the Constitution under Article V would have to be passed before a naturalized citizen could legally be elected President. It has been assumed incorrectly that children born overseas to US citizens are considered to be "natural born". They are automatically "naturalized citizens" as a result of their parents but they are not "natural born citizens". That misunderstanding is likely rooted in the Naturalization Act of 1790. First Congress, Session II, Chapter 4, pages 103-104, wherein the relevant part states:

"... And the children of citizens of the United States, that may be born beyond sea, or out of the limits of the United States, shall be considered as natural born citizens:"

The use of the phrase "natural born" in the Act of 1790 raises the issue of it having been unconstitutional, since it was in conflict with the language of Article 2, Section 1, Clause 5 cited above. The Act of 1790 was not an Article V modification and could not lawfully change the Constitution. This act was repealed by The Naturalization Act of 1795.

John McCain was born on August 29, 1937 at the Coco Solo Air Base in the Panama Canal Zone. The Panama Canal Zone was not a territory of the United States but was leased property subject to Panamanian law making John McCain a Naturalize citizen not a Natural Born Citizen. Thus John McCain does not meet the requirement's set forth under the Constitution of the United States to be a candidate for President! He is not eligible for the office!

The root of the natural birth requirement was that the States formed the federal government and they required that a person must be physically born in one of the states. Simply being born on US territory or commonwealth property overseas does not qualify you as being natural born. This is also a related source/reason for the Electoral College. The States elect the executive and not the people because we do not have a democracy but a republic. The two are not the same but are *antithetical*.

A good friend of mine, who's wife was born overseas to an Air force officer and his wife, both citizens. She was taught as was everyone else and they knew/know that if you are born overseas and not physically within a state, then the only limitation to your citizenship (it is automatically naturalized) is that you cannot be president. You can run for Senate or the House or be a judge but not President.

Unless and until the Constitution is changed with an Article V process that is still the law.

One cannot unknow what they know. Facts and actions have consequences.

So I say “no” John McCain is not qualified, because I'm a strong supporter of the original intent of the Constitution.

*Antithetical: of, relating to, or marked by antithesis. Being in diametrical opposition. (Antithesis: direct contrast; opposition: "hope is the antithesis of despair.")

Friday, February 1, 2008

Democracy or Republic?

I am a Conservative and a Constitutionalist when it comes to preserving all that is good in our constitution and a Radical at removing all laws that undermine the freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution. I seek to preserve property and to respect order, and I equally denounce both the passions of the many and the prejudices of the few. I also refute any law, order, or resolution based on passion (Fear) or prejudice.

Any rule that takes away from one, in order to reward another, I repudiate and it is every citizens duty to remove from position of power any official who proposes, endorses or has a hand in passing any regulation, code, ordinance, statue or legislation that is based on emotion, if their actions do not meet the standards set forth under the Constitution.

On a daily bases we're constantly bombarded from all sides by propaganda. It seems every Liberal or Conservative, Democrat or Republican, and even the person on the street, tells us this country is a Democracy! Well, in my opinion, that is just not true.

Now that I've got your attention, and the smokes rolling out of your ears and your blood pressure is on the rise, let me explain.

Why is the word "Democracy" always used when someone or some group promotes a certain agenda? I've been asking myself that question for years. I've come to the conclusion that this is an effective marketing strategy developed during the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century. The strategy is, use words that invoke an emotional response in people and if a word or phrase is used enough people will begin to believe it, even if it’s a lie. The Socialist Democratic Party (The Nazi's) in Germany of the 1930's perfected this strategy called Propaganda. Today, both Liberals and Conservatives use this same method to promote their agenda's, evoke an emotional response and repeat it over and over enough times and no one will question your motives...

What is the definition of a Democracy? There are as many definition of that word as there are ants on an anthill. I've boiled it down to just one.

Democracy: Majority rule. (Literally "rule by the people", from the Greek demos, "people," and kratos, "rule") Democracy is a form of government in which all the citizens have a vote. Today, the term democracy is often used to refer to liberal democracy, but there are many other varieties and the methods used to govern differ. While the term democracy is typically used in the context of a political state, the principles are also applicable to other bodies, such as universities, labor unions, public companies, or civic organizations.

Now where does it state we live in a Democracy? Not in the Declaration of Independents, that’s for sure! Does the Constitution of the United States, or the Articles of Confederation tell us that? No, not in these two documents, either! If our form of government is not democratic, then what is it?

A country with a true democratic form of government can be compared to a ship without a compass and a rudder. Having no control over its course, with no means to determine which direction to take. The ship’s course is completely at the mercer and control of the wind.

The ship is the government, a compass is a set of core principles, the rudder is the rule of Law, and the wind is the people of that country.” True or simple democracy lacks a compass and a rudder and can only move in the direction and at a speed the wind dictates.

Democracy is the "direct" rule of the people, which results in mobocracy¹. And has been repeatedly tried without success.

A certain Professor Alexander Fraser Tytler, nearly two centuries ago, had this to say about Democracy: "A Democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of Government. It can only exist until the voters discover they can vote themselves largess out of public treasury. From that moment on the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that Democracy always collapses over a loose fiscal policy, always to be followed by a Dictatorship." Sound familiar

To quote Thomas Paine, who wrote The Rights of Man. "Simple democracy is society governing itself without the aid of secondary means. By engrafting representation upon democracy, we arrive at a system of government capable of embracing and confederating all the various interests and every extent of territory and population; and that also with advantages as much superior to hereditary government, as the republic of letters is to hereditary literature."

So what system or form of government do we have? I was taught in school back umpteen years ago that our form of government is a Representative Republic.

The definition of a Republic is:
A political system in which the supreme power lies in a body of citizens who can elect people to represent them. In a broad definition, a republic is a state or country that is led by people whose political power is based on principles that are not beyond the control of the people of that state or country. Several definitions, including that of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica, stress the importance of autonomy and the rule of law as part of the requirements for a republic.

Authority is derived through the election by the people of public officials best fitted to represent them.

Attitude toward property is respect for laws and individual rights, and a sensible economic procedure.

Attitude toward law is the administration of justice in accord with fixed principles and established evidence, with a strict regard to consequences.

A greater number of citizens and extent of territory may be brought within its compass.

Avoids the dangerous extreme of either tyranny or mobocracy. Results in statesmanship, liberty, reason, justice, contentment, and progress.

A republic is a form of government under a constitution, which provides for the election of:
1) An executive and
2) A legislative body, who working together in a representative capacity, have all the power of appointment, all power of legislation, all power to raise revenue and appropriate expenditures, and are required to create
3) A judiciary to pass upon the justice and legality of their governmental acts and to recognize
4) Certain inherent individual rights.

Take away any one or more of those four elements and you are drifting into autocracy². Add one or more to those four elements and you are drifting into democracy.

A republic is a government of law under a Constitution. The Constitution holds the government in check and prevents the majority (acting through their government) from violating the rights of the individual. Under this system of government a lynch mob is illegal. The suspected criminal cannot be denied his right to a fair trial even if a majority of the citizenry demands otherwise.

Democracy and Republic are often taken as one of the same thing, but there is a fundamental difference. Whilst in both cases the government is elected by the people, in Democracy the majority rules according to their whims, whilst in the Republic the Government rule according to law. This law is framed in the Constitution to limit the power of Government and ensuring some rights and protection to minorities and individuals.

Federalist No. 48 is an essay by James Madison, the forty-eighth of the Federalist Papers. It was published on February 1, 1788 under the pseudonym Publius, the name under which all the Federalist Papers were published. This paper builds on Federalist No. 47. In that essay Madison argued for separation of powers; in this one he argues that the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government must not be totally divided. It is titled, "These Departments Should Not Be So Far Separated as to Have No Constitutional Control Over Each Other."

Charles A. Beard, historian (1874-1948) said, “One of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the great struggle for independence.” This statement is truer today then when it was originally spoken.

There are many Individuals and Groups who daily erode the constitution. This erosion is being accomplished by the strategy I spoke earlier about. One example is the propaganda put out that the first amendment of the constitution says there is a separation of church and state. These five words do not appear anywhere in the first amendment. They are taken from a letter written by Thomas Jefferson to a church in New England in the early 1800’s. You need to understand that groups and individual will take a few words from a sentence that they use to further their agenda and throw the rest of the sentence away.

Little by little our freedoms are being eroded away. It seems most people want to have someone else tell them what and whatnot to do and make decision for everyone, from safety to privacy in our homes. I don’t need you to protect me from myself! I don’t need someone to tell me that putting my head in a microwave and turning it on can kill me, if I don’t know the dangers of this action then my death will mean one less idiot you’ll have to worry about or put up with.

¹ The mass of common people as the source of political control or political control by a mob.

² Autocracy declares the divine right of kings; its authority cannot be questioned; its powers are arbitrarily or unjustly administered.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The “speeches and debates” of the candidates

by: John Silveira
On January 22, on the CNN website, there was a poll asking: Have you listened to or watched any speeches or debates by the presidential candidates?

The choices were:

Speeches
Debates
Both
Neither

I voted. I checked “neither.”

Then I viewed the results. Here they were as of the moment I voted:

Percent # votes
Speeches 3% 536
Debates 14% 2374
Both 38% 6455
Neither 44% 7493
Total Votes: 16858

Those percentages will hold pretty constant even with thousands of more votes.

Why, you may ask, do I not bother to listen to the candidates’ debates nor their speeches?

Quite simply because what they say is more often than not meaningless. They say whatever they think they have to say to get elected. Often, what they say depends on who they are talking to. It often depends on what the polls say prospective voters want to hear. (It means these politicians are not standing on principles, they’re saying whatever they have to, to get elected.)

I remember a long-ago speech, before tobacco farmers by Al Gore in which he promised them his support. This contradicted anti-smoking speeches he made both before and after that speech, anti-smoking speeches he made to groups that were clearly against tobacco. Like most politicians, he was firmly in the camp of the wishy-washies.

I also recall that in 1980, friends urged me to vote for Reagan, instead of the Libertarian candidate, Ed Clark, because we had to get a liberal like Carter out and a conservative like Reagan in. I said I couldn’t vote for Reagan because he wasn’t a conservative, he was a big-government Republican. I based my opinion on what he did as governor of California and not on what he said in his campaign speeches. And, as it turned out, I was right.

After listening to these guys for years, I realize if there is any positive the correlation between what they say and what they do when they get into office it is more a matter of chance and coincidence than a matter of them keeping their promises.

They all promise smaller government, lower taxes, peace, etc. But, once in, those speeches and promises are forgotten.

As an aside, I thought it was laughable when Clinton ran for reelection, in 1996, and simply appropriated the Republican platform. Not that he intended to carry out any of the promises for smaller government, lower taxes, etc., that he ran on. It was just neat stuff to say. And, when he was reelected? All the promises were forgotten–by both the voters and the press.

I even asked liberal friends why they were voting for him when he was backing away from the liberal agenda. They, of course, didn’t answer and Bill, as I said, abandoned all the small-government rhetoric he’d gulled the swing voters with. I knew he’d do so. I imagine even his supporters knew his speeches were bullshit–lies–but they didn’t care.

However, if you really want to know where a candidate stands, and assuming he was previously in an elective office, look at his voting record in whatever legislative bodies he may have been in, look at his track record if he was a governor. What they’ve done in the past, they’re very likely to do in the future.

Only one of the candidates says what he means and means what he says, and that’s Ron Paul. His voting record in Congress is a reflection of his campaign speeches and what he says in the so-called “debates.” But I don’t listen to him, either, because I already know what he’ll do if elected. He’s not going to say anything in his speeches or the debates that he hasn’t said and done before. He’s the only one there I trust. He’s the only one up there not trying to snow you.

I’ll vote for him even if he doesn’t run.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Thinking For Yourself Is Now A Crime

Monday, January 07, 2008
by: Paul Craig Roberts

What was the greatest failure of 2007? President Bush's "surge" in Iraq? The decline in the value of the US dollar? Subprime mortgages? No. The greatest failure of 2007 was the newly sworn in Democratic Congress.

The American people's attempt in November 2006 to rein in a rogue government, which has committed the US to costly military adventures while running roughshod over the US Constitution, failed. Replacing Republicans with Democrats in the House and Senate has made no difference.

The assault on the US Constitution by the Democratic Party is as determined as the assault by the Republicans. On October 23, 2007, the House passed a bill sponsored by California Democratic congresswoman Jane Harman, chairwoman of a Homeland Security subcommittee, that overturns the constitutionally guaranteed rights to free expression, association, and assembly.

The bill passed the House on a vote of 404-6. In the Senate the bill is sponsored by Maine Republican Susan Collins and apparently faces no meaningful opposition.

Harman's bill is called the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act. When HR 1955 becomes law, it will create a commission tasked with identifying extremist people, groups, and ideas. The commission will hold hearings around the country, taking testimony and compiling a list of dangerous people and beliefs. The bill will, in short, create massive terrorism in the United States. But the perpetrators of terrorism will not be Muslim terrorists; they will be government agents and fellow citizens.

We are beginning to see who will be the inmates of the detention centers being built in the US by Halliburton under government contract.

Who will be on the "extremist beliefs" list? The answer is: civil libertarians, critics of Israel, 9/11 skeptics, critics of the administration's wars and foreign policies, critics of the administration's use of kidnapping, rendition, torture and violation of the Geneva Conventions, and critics of the administration's spying on Americans. Anyone in the way of a powerful interest group--such as environmentalists opposing politically connected developers--is also a candidate for the list.

The "Extremist Beliefs Commission" is the mechanism for identifying Americans who pose "a threat to domestic security" and a threat of "homegrown terrorism" that "cannot be easily prevented through traditional federal intelligence or law enforcement efforts."

This bill is a boon for nasty people. That SOB who stole your girlfriend, that hussy who stole your boyfriend, the gun owner next door--just report them to Homeland Security as holders of extreme beliefs. Homeland Security needs suspects, so they are not going to check. Under the new regime, accusation is evidence. Moreover, "our" elected representatives will never admit that they voted for a bill and created an "Extremist Belief Commission" for which there is neither need nor constitutional basis.

That boss who harasses you for coming late to work--he's a good candidate to be reported; so is that minority employee that you can't fire for any normal reason. So is the husband of that good-looking woman you have been unable to seduce. Every kind of quarrel and jealousy can now be settled with a phone call to Homeland Security.

Soon Halliburton will be building more detention centers.

Americans are so far removed from the roots of their liberty that they just don't get it. Most Americans don't know what habeas corpus is or why it is important to them. But they know what they want, and Jane Harman has given them a new way to settle scores and to advance their own interests.

Even educated liberals believe that the US Constitution is a "living document" that can be changed to mean whatever it needs to mean in order to accommodate some new important cause, such as abortion and legal privileges for minorities and the handicapped. Today it is the "war on terror" that the Constitution must accommodate. Tomorrow it can be the war on whomever or whatever.

Think about it. More than six years ago the World Trade Center and Pentagon were attacked. The US government blamed it on al Qaeda. The 9/11 Commission Report has been subjected to criticism by a large number of qualified people--including the commission's chairman and co-chairman.

Since 9/11 there have been no terrorist attacks in the US. The FBI has tried to orchestrate a few, but the "terrorist plots" never got beyond talk organized and led by FBI agents. There are no visible extremist groups other than the neoconservatives that control the government in Washington. But somehow the House of Representatives overwhelmingly sees a need to create a commission to take testimony and search out extremist views (outside of Washington, of course).

This search for extremist views comes after President Bush and the Justice (sic) Department declared that the President can ignore habeas corpus, ignore the Geneva Conventions, seize people without evidence, hold them indefinitely without presenting charges, torture them until they confess to some made up crime, and take over the government by declaring an emergency. Of course, none of these "patriotic" views are extremist.

The search for extremist views follows also the granting of contracts to Halliburton to build detention centers in the US. No member of Congress or the executive branch ever explained the need for the detention centers or who the detainees would be. Of course, there is nothing extremist about building detention centers in the US for undisclosed inmates.

Clearly the detention centers are not meant to just stand there empty. Thanks to 2007's greatest failure--the Democratic Congress--there is to be an "Extremist Beliefs Commission" to secure inmates for Bush's detention centers.

President Bush promises us that the wars he has launched will cause the "untamed fire of freedom" to "reach the darkest corners of our world." Meanwhile in America the fire of freedom has not only been tamed but also is being extinguished.

The light of liberty has gone out in the United States.

Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page and Contributing Editor of National Review. He is coauthor of http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/076152553X/counterpunchmaga
The Tyranny of Good Intentions.
He can be reached at: PaulCraigRoberts@yahoo.com

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Liberals and others

The big government vs big business paradigm diverts attention from the international bankers who run both. It places the blame on capitalism and the U.S., which has been under internation banking cartel control for at least a century. It teaches each new generation to be alienated from their country, culture and economic system, and to become dysfunctional and impotent.

The bankers love socialism and Big Government. They have a monopoly of money and need a monopoly of power (i.e. government.) Together, these international banker monopolies are the essence of liberals, socialists etc. and are using elected officials, who they control, to bribe the people with social services and jobs which create debt and higher profits for bankers.

Modern world history is nothing but the process by which this satanic force is replacing Western Civilization with an occult world police state managed by taser and television. The whole world is being colonized by this imperialist financial power, which is behind all left, liberal, Communist and revolutionary movements. What they call "progressive" is progress only in their occult terms.

Socialist Presidential candidate Norman Thomas said, "The American people will never knowingly adopt Socialism. But under the name of 'liberalism' they will adopt every fragment of the Socialist program, until one day America will be a Socialist nation, without knowing how it happened."

The world is in the advanced stages of a diabolical multi generational conspiracy. Our educators, elected politicians, mainstream media, plus cable news have largely been subverted.

The ruling classes have been hoodwinked to believe they are building a Brave New World. In fact they are accomplices in the mental, spiritual and possibly physical enslavement of humanity.

Thus, a person such as Ron Paul and anyone like him who favors individual freedom along with self-reliance, family, nation, and smaller government, God and believes in following the Constitution are labeled “Rightwing Crackpots”. These are the people and things that internationalisms are out to destroy.

I favor individual freedom, self-reliance, family, freedom from government interference. I also believe in free expression, if this makes me a rightwing crackpot, so be it. I believe in the power the three boxes, the soapbox, the ballot box and the ammunition box. I will be voting for Ron Paul in the coming primary and general elections.