Wednesday, February 27, 2013

See You Next Tuesday!

     I will be on vacation in the wilds of Southern Ohio and will be unable to post until Tuesday, March 5, 2013. During that period I would encourage visitors to my blog to come on in, kick off your shoes, make yourself comfortable and browse through my closets of forgotten favorites. I have selected some previous posts that I would recommend, but there are many others from which to choose.

Hunger Incorporated
Occupy Wall St. Occupy Some Facts.
The Munchausen By Proxy President
The Fault Lies Not In Our Politics-But In Ourselves
Follow Your Heart To Ruin
The Self-Esteem Of Global Warming
The Secret Mission Of Ambassador Stevens
America's Cool Hand Luke Moment

The Wages Of Complacency

     There are many problems with the unconstitutional law referred to as ObamaCare. It grants the federal government the unprecedented authority to compel citizens to purchase a product from a private-sector  business, i.e. the individual mandate. It requires states to setup health care exchanges which will further burden their stretched-to-the-limit budgets. The price tag on the program has already tripled from the amount President Obama said it would cost, according to the Congressional Budget Office, and benefit one hasn't even been doled out yet. Americans are being kicked out of their current plans and losing their doctors, something else the President promised wouldn't happen. But the most egregious feature of ObamaCare are the placeholders for tyranny that were inserted into the bill in the form of the statement, "As the Secretary shall determine." Now we know what Nancy Pelosi meant when she said that we must pass the bill before we can see what was in it. It was because the bill was partially unwritten and would be filled in later by Secretary Sebelios as directed by the President.
     To Witt: Kathleen Sebelios has just unfurled her most recent ObamaCare edict. It states that insurance companies can no longer charge twenty and thirty somethings based on their lower risk factors, but must increase their premiums to place them more in line with higher risk seniors. It also states that Americans are no longer, by law, allowed to purchase catastrophic only health care plans. So if I choose to carry a large deductible and want my insurance only to cover medical disasters, I will no longer be allowed to purchase such a plan. The fact that there are people in this country that see nothing wrong with this is the very reason that the rest of us are forced to live under this soft tyranny.
     Beyond the repugnance that these new edicts and the hundreds more yet to come engender in every supporter of liberty, the real motivation for them is even worse. It is not the lowering of health care costs that the President and his phalanx of mind-numbed robots hope to accomplish. Nor is it the expansion of availability and quality of care. President Obama knows that these things will never be the outcomes of his health care plan. Similar plans throughout the world have failed miserably. No, the President's real motivation is the motivation that drives most of his policies, i.e. wealth redistribution. Asking those, who under a just insurance system would pay less due to their lower risk factors, to pay more is a way to redistribute wealth from one group of people to another. ObamaCare will also have the added effect, through the rationing of care which is a necessary feature of any socialized medical system, of providing equally bad health care for all citizens.
     The passage of the massive, and ever-growing in leaps and bounds, ObamaCare law was completely unnecessary. It was a solution to minor problems in the health care insurance system analogous to needing an oil change in your car and instead having the engine completely rebuilt. And not only that but the guy who rebuilt it had no knowledge of engines and re-assembled it incorrectly. Now we must all take the bus to work because we've spent all our money on re-building an engine that didn't need it and the car no longer operates properly. These, my friends, are the wages of  complacency by the Right which has allowed the Leftist faith to replace the very principles upon which this great nation was founded.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

No Reward For Economically Weary Americans

     I have lived through probably half a dozen recessions in my life, and each one has been followed by a period of economic reward for those having endured the economic hard times. The natural prosperity that rained down upon those willing to expose themselves to it after a recession, has been missing from the current "recovery." President Obama foretold this anemic economic growth in the beginning of his first term when he said he wanted to even out the economy and eliminate booms and busts. Unfortunately the President evened it out at a no growth level, which in medical parlance is flat lining.
     Many on the Left like to point to the growing stock market as some sort of success barometer for the economic policies of Barack Obama. But the Dow Jones Industrial Average still has not recovered to its October, 2007 level. This pathetic performance has even had the unprecedented help of artificial stimulus from the Federal Reserve, where Ben Bernankaclause lives and has been printing 85 billion dollars a month in his work shop and essentially using it to buy bonds to force money into stocks. This has also had the added effect of lowering returns for many retirees who live on bond interest. Oh, and by the way, it has also caused a desert in the lending market because rates are too low for banks to risk their money on home loans when they can earn close to the same rate in much safer deposit accounts. Banks have also been scared away from lending by the endless law suits against them by the Obama Justice Department and the thousands of new federal regulations enacted by people who never spent even one day anywhere in the financial industry.
       The President has succeeded abundantly at his task of "evening out" the economy, trouble is he has also evened out the prosperity and liberty that is part and parcel to it. The President either doesn't understand or doesn't care to understand the fact that when the free market determines interest rates and money flows, there is much more accountability and prosperity overall. Someone once said that capitalism without risk is like religion without hell. Barack Obama, and those who hold his beliefs, want to remove risk from every aspect of life and replace it with the riskiest of life's aspects, an overbearing central government. The free market punishes bad actors in it much more effectively than government, and it does so without harming those that play by the economic rules of satisfying customer needs and expectations over the long term.
     Sadly, the economic freedom that comes from the free market and is the wellspring of liberty, and for which the founders of this great nation fought so valiantly, has been dealt a staggering blow by an ideology practiced by people who see themselves as the great eveners. The problem is that once we are all even, the need for liberty will be eliminated. There is no need to be free when you are even.

Monday, February 25, 2013

The Rope-A-Dope Of Sequester

     In August of 2011, while the Republicant House of Representatives negotiated with itself for a deal that would raise the debt limit on the national credit card, President Obama and Senate Democrats cooked up a big pot of sequester stew. Republicants, so hungry for approval from the President and the national media, scarfed down the stew and during the recent fiscal cliff negotiations asked for a second helping.
     The Sequester, from a purely political standpoint, was a masterfully executed rope-a-dope scheme that gave Barack Obama the ability to escape blame for being the only President to presided over a U.S. credit downgrade, increase the debt that caused it, allow the country to wallow in an anemic economy and get re-elected. Of course I don't know how masterful he had to be to pull one over on John "Bonehead" Boehner. I would love to play poker with this guy because he folds every hand. In fact, using the poker analogy, Mr. Boehner "negotiating" with the President would be analogous to someone who gives all their money to their fellow players before the game even starts.
     The same deal that created the Sequester (mandatory cuts in defense and domestic programs) also created the Super Committee made up of six Republicants and six Democrats. The job of the Super Committee was to come to an agreement on a trillion dollars in responsible budget cuts to avoid the "indiscriminate" cuts of the sequester. It mattered little that the very formation of the Super Committee was an admission by Congress that they found their job too difficult and relieved themselves of the responsibility of their sacred trust by outsourcing it to the Super Committee. To make matters worse, the much smaller Super Committee found it impossible to agree and disbanded, setting up the automatic cuts of the Sequester. Congress' inability to cut the unsustainable spending by the federal government is a little like someone watching a loved one drown and not being able to decide which of the many life preservers available to throw them to save their life.
     I say, "Bring on the Sequester." Even the cuts in defense are not real cuts but reductions in the rate of anticipated growth. And besides, they only amount to 50 billion dollars a year. Put into perspective, the Federal Reserve is spending 85 billion dollars a month buying U.S. bonds in order to keep interest rates historically low and drive investor money into stocks for the purpose of pulling the President's fat out of the fire.
     In the final analysis, we need real cuts to the federal budget which would require spending less money not more but just less than we expected to spend. The penny plan, or something like it, would be a common sense way to balance the budget and set this country on the road to paying off our debt. The plan requires that spending levels be frozen and one penny get cut from every dollar that the federal government spends each year. This one penny of cutting, along with freezing spending would balance the budget within five years and pay off the debt in a relatively short time after that. But common sense is in short supply in Washington, and where common sense is not voluntarily applied the cold reality of numbers eventually will take command. And God help us all when that happens.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Noise From The Peanut Gallery

     Four employees from the Peanut Corporation of America, including two brothers who co-owned the business, were indicted by federal authorities this week in connection with causing the 2009 salmonella outbreak that killed nine people. The factory was found to have deplorable conditions that included roaches and mold. There is no way to mitigate the responsibility of the owners and plant manager for the deadly conditions of their factory. But if the taxpayers are spending billion of dollars every year for the Food and Drug Administration and the Consumer Protection Agency, shouldn't they bear some of the responsibility for the deplorable conditions at the Peanut Corporation of America?
     The recent conditions found at the factory belonging to the Peanut Corporation of America are at least partially the results of regulatory agencies failing to accomplish the most basic tenets of their charters and sacred duty to the American taxpayers who fund their bureaucracies. But as per usual, government agencies have no accountability for failing so miserably at their assigned tasks. The Peanut Corporation of America is just the latest in a long history of government failures that at times results in more government with less accountability.
     The financial industry regulators are illustrative of the concept of government agencies not being required to meet even the most basic standards of competence. When Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns collapsed in the fall of 2008, signalling the beginning of a financial meltdown that still haunts this country, there was plenty of blame to go around. Unfortunately none of it stuck to the regulators whose job was to prevent institutions from engaging in the very behavior that caused the collapse. In fact, far from being held accountable, federal regulators for the financial industry had both their authority and budgets expanded, a reward for incompetence and in some cases collusion. The Bernie Madoff debacle could never have preceded for as many years as it did without compliant regulators. And yet, while Mr. Madoff was imprisoned and his son driven to suicide, the deaf, dumb and blind regulators not only kept their jobs, but prospered with increased budgets comprised of taxpayer dollars.
     The Peanut Corporation of America, for those willing to have the courage to admit it, is exemplary of the failure of government bureaucracies that have become too big to be effective. And as the agencies responsible for protecting the public continue to waste taxpayer money with no accounting of their job performance, all we as concerned citizens can do is sit and wait for the next Peanut to drop.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Education In America: A Continuation Of Failed Policy

      In some ways much has been said about this country's educational problems, but with all the talk from politicians and others, the problem gets worse with each passing year. There are strident advocates for reforming education, such as Bill Bennett, best selling author and radio talk show host. But even this former Secretary of Education for the Regan administration misses the point that the more federal involvement there is in education, the worse it gets. And the best solution is a state, local and free market one which will eliminate much of the union influence which has driven the resources away from the student and towards teacher benefits for the last forty years.
     Mr. Bennett and others in his camp still see a central government solution to the lack of adequate results in the American primary and high school educational system. But education began it's precipitous fall in the 1970s when it was federalized. That was when the Department of Education was created by the Carter administration, and control of the country's educational system was handed over to the unions and people like Bill Ayers. Mr. Bennett's camp suggest that national standards are the magic pill to cure the disease of substandard education. But they fail to understand that countries like South Korea, that kick our butts in education, have no national standards that are set by a central authority. In fact they don't have much of a public school system, not one to which most Korean families aspire to send their children.
     The South Korean educational system isn't a system but a free market industry. Education in South Korea is comprised of many private, for profit schools that compete for educational dollars which are controlled by the Korean people themselves. So standards are set by the parents who control the educational purse strings. Families save and live frugally in order to send their children to the school with the best reputation for attaining the highest educational standards and outcomes that they can afford. If a school is not performing, it does not stay in business. And likewise if teachers do not perform, they will find themselves without work. There are public schools in South Korea, but most Korean families consider it a mark of great shame to send their children to such schools, not wanting them to spend their lives as street sweepers or worse.
     For at least the last forty years, education in this country has been driven by Leftist policy, which is why we have continued to emulate failure instead of success. Education is illustrative of a myriad of issues that have been degraded by the Lefts insistence on replicating programs and policies that have not worked and ignoring ones that will work, like the South Korean system. The reason is clear, in a South Korean-style educational system there is no central authority that lines the pockets of teachers' unions at the expense of educating children and inculcating them with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed and excel, whether in their local economy or the global one.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Simpson/Bowles 2.0

      The original Simpson/Bowles commission was initiated by President Obama in the beginning of his first term. The charge of the commission was to find solutions to the mounting debt and deficit problem. The President ignored the final Simpson /Bowles report because it included too many common sense cuts to a bloated federal budget and not enough punishing taxes levied against the wealthy. Instead, President Obama chose to attack Republicants for the debt he created, proving once again that the President is more interested in affixing blame than he is in fixing problems. 
     Simpson/Bowles 2.0 calls for the closure of loop holes and the eliminations of deductions. The Republicants offered this very same approach during the recent Fiscal Cliff debate as an alternative to raising tax rates. And even though the President had proposed tax reform that included closing loopholes and eliminating deductions just a year before, during the Fiscal Cliff debate he insisted on raising tax rates on job creators. Now that tax rates have been raised, I'm sure the President will embrace the new Simpson/Bowles recommendations wholeheartedly. Especially since he got so much flack for ignoring  Simpson/Bowles 1.0. In embracing Simpson/Bowles 2.0, he can shield himself once again from any responsibility for an increase in taxes by saying that he is following the recommendations of the second Simpson/Bowles because of the criticism he received from Republicants for not following the first Simpson/Bowles.
     If there is one thing that Barack Obama does well, it is avoiding accountability for ideas and policies that he initiates. A good case in point is the Sequester cuts that will go into effect automatically on March 1 if Congress and the President don't reach an agreement on meaningful deficit reduction. If someone were to drop onto this earth from outer space and listen to President Obama drone on in one of his many speeches about the Sequester, they would think he had nothing to do with it. And he can exculpate himself from blame because the American public, by and large, has a short memory. I'm sure if you did a poll and asked Americans who created the whole idea of  the Sequester, a majority would say the Republicants. But the Sequester was manufactured in the Obama bad idea factory in August of 2011 as a way out of the debt ceiling debate raging at the time. Remember that? It was the first time in U.S. history that the country's credit rating was downgraded, another great distinction of this administration.
     The Republicants should not allow President Obama to once again drive destructive policy and then escape accountability with the help of the brain-dead media. They should insist that any closure of loopholes and elimination of deductions also be accompanied by across the board decreases in tax rates. Republicants must also make the case to the American people that the President's approach will deliver a severe blow to an already faltering economy. And how reforming the tax code as a corollary to lowering tax rates will spur economic growth. This nation deserves real solutions that will work, not the President's approach of ducking blame and avoiding responsibility.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Shelter Care Plus And The Cleveland Housing Market

     My comprehensive ability has been stretched to the breaking point by the awareness that there are still people in this country who hold fast to the belief that the financial crisis, and the sub-prime market that caused it, were not the responsibility of government regulation. It is the height of incredulity to think that an industry as highly regulated as mortgage and finance suffers no effect, good or bad, from government involvement. If one truly believes that federal regulations had no effect on the mortgage industry, then why have them at all? Isn't the whole point of government regulation to have an effect? The over-regulation of the financial industry is exemplary of the law of unintended consequences when Liberal policy aims to use the free market as a tool for social engineering.
     I don't know about the rest of the country, but here in Cleveland, Ohio government involvement in the housing market destroyed it. A few years ago the government-subsidized rent program, Section-8, decided to enter the housing market. Section-8 created a program called Shelter Care Plus, whereby low income people could buy newly renovated homes for a fraction of market value, and in a few years they would own them free and clear. The thinking was that once these people owned their own homes, they would no longer need assistance from the Section-8 program and they would magically become contributing members of society.
     So Section-8 set about buying distressed properties, or in some cases having tax-lien properties donated to them by the city. They then hired a gaggle of union contractors to completely gut and remodel the homes. These weren't just paint and carpet remodels, but ripping out walls and replacing them with new drywall, re-wiring and re-plumbing the house, installing new kitchen cabinets and bathroom vanities, etc. The houses were, for all intents and purposes, brand new. These homes were then "sold" to low income families for a fraction of market value so as to allow them to pay off the "loan" in just few years.
     The problem with the Shelter Care Plus program is that it devalued the housing market in Cleveland so much that legitimate home owners could not sell their properties for what they were actually worth. This unintended consequence, along with the buckets of taxpayer dollars used for the purchase and remodeling of the properties, drained resources better spent elsewhere or simply left in the private sector to grow the local economy. Not only did the Shelter Care Plus program suck up tax dollars and ruin the Cleveland housing market, but the vast majority of intended beneficiaries ended up losing their homes to foreclosure after initiating subsequent loans in an effort to get cash out of their essentially free homes. The tax dollars, if they were spent at all supporting a government program, would have been better spent educating low income people in economics and finance.
     The real rub in the Shelter Care Plus debacle is that it, or programs like it, are still in existence in Cleveland. But then the only requirement for a Liberal program to be considered successful is whether or not it can obtain taxpayer dollars to fund it, and all other metrics of failure should be ignored.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Obama Immigration Plan- Let 'em In, Let 'em Vote

     The Democrats have partially succeeded in winning the immigration debate because of the increasing percentage of the population that are low-information voters. This is the segment of the populace that comprised the majority of those who returned President Obama to office for another four years. And while the Democrats and the Left in this country have painted all immigration, legal and illegal, with the same broad brush, Republicants have been inept at providing a strong counterpoint.
     The Democrats have turned the illegal immigrant problem into the issue of comprehensive immigration reform, which is just a fancy way of saying, "amnesty for the purpose of transforming illegals into Democrat voters." This attempt by Democrats to locate a new vein of voters to mine  doesn't surprise me. What is surprising is how many on the Right have fallen for the subterfuge of "comprehensive immigration reform." Is our current immigration system really broken, beyond the fact that no one seems willing or able to enforce its laws? The Obama administration seems less willing to enforce the immigration laws already on the books than any other administration before. They are so unwilling that when Arizona tried to protect its own borders by enforcing federal laws, the Obama administration along with a compliant Supreme Court, forced them to cease and desist.
     The current salvo fired in the illegal immigration war has come from the Obama White House. The President let details of his "immigration reform" leak in an attempt to paint Republicants as  obstructionists, as he has done successfully in the past. The President's leak makes it clear that enforcement is not part of his plan, no way, no how. This has been the problem with immigration reform going back to Ronald Regan in the 1980s. Democrats promise enforcement later for amnesty now, only the enforcement never comes. Currently, President Obama has dropped all pretense of enforcement and is hellbent on transforming illegal aliens into Democrat voters enmasse. Remember the 800 mile fence that was part of a 2007 immigration deal? Very little of the fence has been constructed a full 6 years later, and it doesn't appear that it will ever be completed.
     President Obama has none the less had some unintended success with regards to illegal immigration. There are many fewer Mexicans wanting to make the illegal trip across the border due to a Mexican Gross Domestic Product that is out pacing that of the United States. President Obama has transformed the economy that once was the envy of the world into one which even our impoverished neighbors to the south don't see as a viable alternative to staying put. If this keeps up, Americans may one day be making the illegal trip across the border to look for work in Mexico.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Will The Confirmation Of Chuck Hagel Really Matter?

     The Senate Republicants have successfully filibustered the confirmation of Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense. There are two questions which immediately spring to my mind. First, is this temporary reprise going to ultimately result in Mr. Hagel's confirmation being blocked? And secondly, what does it matter in the execution of the job he or anyone else will do in that post? This is an administration that is headed by a man who does not welcome dissenting opinions or off the reservation suggestions. So anyone who ultimately fills the position is going to be hemmed in by the President's rigid ideology.
     We now know, for instance, that before the terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya that killed four Americans including our Ambassador, that the President orchestrated the environment that allowed it to happen. It was his directive that the U.S. consulate not appear provocative by having enough security that was actually armed with live rounds. There was no Secretary of State or Secretary of Defense that could have swayed President Obama from his world view that every problem that occurs on the world stage is a result of a well-armed America provoking indigenous populations to desperate and extreme measures. And after four brave Americans were unnecessarily slaughtered, there was no cabinet official, or anyone else for that matter, that could have engaged the President in the aftermath of his ignorance of world affairs and national security. We know from the testimony of the former Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Dempsey, that the President didn't want to be bothered with the four Americans killed by Al Queda terrorists. So he ran away to Las Vegas and began a campaign to blame an anti-Muslim YouTube video. He left his underlings exposed to all the blame and responsibility for the incompetence of his ideology.
     Make no mistake, if Dick Cheney was confirmed as the next Secretary of Defense, it wouldn't make a difference. Quality people in the right positions only matter when the person at the top is willing to accept that others have ideas worthy of consideration, which Barack Obama doesn't. Ronald Regan had a sign on his desk that read, "It is amazing what a man can accomplish when he doesn't care who gets the credit." Barack Obama's sign reads, "It is amazing what I can accomplish by avoiding responsibility." It is the difference between a real leader and an office placeholder who, in his own mind, is the smartest guy occupying any room into which he walks.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

The Carnival Triumph And Our Lack Of Perspective

     The Odyssey of the Carnival cruise ship, Triumph, has thankfully come to an end. I say thankfully for the passengers sake, but more importantly for the rest of the country that had to endure five days of constant reports about the disabled ship in the Gulf of Mexico. I know conditions on the ship were less than adequate, but those people had no idea what we, on land, had to endure.
     While they were drinking themselves silly at an open bar, we had to attend our jobs and the myriad of life's other responsibilities. While they were sunning themselves on the deck of the disabled ship (to my knowledge the power outage on the ship didn't affect the sun and warm weather in the Gulf ) we had to endure one story after another about their personal tales of cruise ship holocaust. And while it was true that they had to endure the smell of spoiling food and human waste, they were passengers on the Triumph, not the Titanic.
     I can think of worst places to spend my vacation than five days on a disabled cruise ship in the Gulf of Mexico. How about five days trapped on the side of snowy mountain under an avalanche? Or five days in a South American prison after being accused of a crime you didn't commit. How about those hikers a couple of years ago who were unexpected guests of the Iranian Ayatollahs? Talk about a vacation from hell! The worst vacations are the ones from which you do not return, like Natalee Holloway's Aruba vacation in 2005. No one has even been able to locate her body. As far as I know all the passengers aboard the Carnival Triumph have been accounted for.
     I think the Carnival Triumph circus is illustrative of our loss of perspective. This disabled cruise ship dominated the news cycle for five days. All while the very dangerous North Korea fired off another potentially deadly rocket, the looming sequester is illustrating just how dysfunctional our government has become, the anti-Semite military deconstructionist Chuck Hagel is on the cusp of being confirmed the next Secretary of Defense and our imperial President is moving ever closer to transforming the country into one big cruise ship Triumph. In four years we will all be trapped on a once great and luxurious cruise ship that has been turned into a floating port-o-potty.

Friday, February 15, 2013

The Jealous President

     Many Conservatives, and even some Liberals, have tried to get into Barack Obama's head and determine what makes him tick. Some have said he is motivated entirely by Marxist ideals and egalitarianism. Others contend that our current President's ideology has been a product of his race. And still others surmise that he is a typical modern-day Liberal with visions of a federal government that solves every problem with a new program, tax or regulation.
     I believe, after having watched Barack Obama since he burst onto the national scene when he gave the keynote address at the 2004 Democrat Convention, that his motivation and the impetus for his misguided policies are the result of his deep-seeded jealousies. Barack Obama had to spend most of his life up until he was an adult without a stable father figure. His role models were his Leftist grandfather and the self proclaimed Communist, Frank Marshall Davis. His biological father abandon Barack and his mother and his step-father, Kolo, was ripped from Barack's life when his mother felt his free market beliefs were a corrupting influence on her son.
     Being raised by a single mother, in a time when that wasn't so acceptable, made the future community agitator feel as though he was a victim. His desire to be accepted as the child from a single-parent home found a place in the Leftist ideology. His motivation to make his and others disadvantaged upbringing more acceptable, lead him to advocate for policies which would swell their ranks and make it the norm.
     Barack Obama felt that it wasn't fair that some should have two parents and some should not, so he worked to, in his mind, correct that situation. And he and the rest of the Left have been successful. Over the last 50 years, the policies of the Left that Barack Obama has gleefully embraced, have caused the out-of-wedlock birth rate in the general population to rise to 43% from only 6% in 1960. And in the black community that rise has gone from 15% to 75%.
     The explosion in the out-of-wedlock birth rate has accomplished two goals for Barack Obama. First, it has made little Barry Dunham feel as though finally his single-parent upbringing is the norm. And secondly, the rise of single-parent homes has made dependence on Barack Obama's big government essential. How many times have we heard President Obama and others in the Democrat party shamelessly use children to sell their oppressive government policy to the populace? The use of children is one of the primary ways in which the Left imposes policy that no one wants. But the children, especially those from single-parent homes, have a special significance for Barack Obama. Because with each Leftist policy that creates more fatherless children the more equal little Barry Dunham becomes in the mind of Barack Obama.
     The President's jealousies over not having his father involved in his life is the same jealousy he has for people who are successful in business. That is why he aims to obviate those jealousies through government policies which will make the wealthy less common and fatherless children more common. His desire, sown as a small child wanting what others had, is what drives his ideology and his ultimate goal of reshaping America into a country where one day the children with a father and a mother living in the same home are the anomaly. Then, finally, little Barry Dunham can smile in the knowledge that he is equal.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Four Keys To Happiness

     Everyone has met people in the course of their lives that seem to not have a care in the world and are always happy. The natural reaction is to think the person is extremely lucky or lives some sort of charmed life. I use to feel this way myself, but as I have traveled the road of life I have discovered that there isn't a person alive that doesn't have problems. And the individual can choose to meet their challenges with a happy disposition or an unhappy one. I have come to realize in my life that there are four keys to happiness which I hope you will find helpful in yours. I must give credit to Dennis Prager for setting me on the road to thinking through the happiness issue and for being a major influence on what you are about to read.
     Fake it 'till you make it: Each one of us has an obligation to our fellow human beings not to inflict our bad mood and unhappiness on them. If we are not feeling particularly happy, it is essential that we act happy in the presence of others. Just as we would bathe and brush our teeth in order to avoid inflicting bad ordors on people, we must bathe our atitiude in happiness in order to not inflict our bad mood on them as well. In acting happy even when we are not, we actually begin to attain happiness for real. Happiness is the same as any other human endeavor, it must be cultivated and practiced. One can not become proficient at playing a muscial instrument if they never pick it up and practice. So it is with happiness, the more one pratices it, i.e. fake it 'till you make it, the better one will become at being happy.
     Expend more energy in others happiness than your own: I once read that depression is a very selfish affliction that requires the individual to dwell completely within themselves and focus only on their problems. The literature I was reading suggested that the best way for someone to fight depression was to help other people and focus on something other than themselves. So it is with happiness. I have found that my greatest happiness comes from making other people happy, not in selfish pursuits that I thought would make me happy. That's not to say that one can't derive great pleasure and happiness from soletary pursuits such as reading a good book, but people who are generally selfish are not normally happy. My theory is that the happiness you inculcate in others is returned to you in a multiplied state.
     Do the right thing, not the thing that feels good: There are many people who feel that a fulfilled and happy life is the result of always doing what feels good at any given time. This idea began to germinate in the 1960s with the counter-culture and it taught people that being selfish was the road to happiness Nirvana. I believe, from my own life's experience and those I have known, that the surest way to happiness is by doing the right thing. When one lives a balanced life of meeting their responsibilties to something greater than themselves, they create a space for happiness to exist. I have found that the times in my life when I am most happy is when I am living day to day doing the things I should, not necessarily the things I want. This is because wants come from the heart, and following the heart is the quickest path to ruination.
     Count your blessings, not your problems: My motto for the last 10 to 15 years has been this, "There are 7 billion people in the world and I am sure that at least half of them would gladly change places with me and live my life, so stop complaining about this problem or that one." A more general, and more succint, motto would be, "Count your blessings." Everyone has blessings, if you are breathing you have life which is the greatest blessing of all. Start from there and focus on those things in your life which are good. If you have eaten today, that is a blessing. So many of us become accustomed to the basic blessings we have that we don't even consider them blessings. True happiness walks down the road of life hand-in-hand with gratitude. Those who are the most thankful for what they have, no matter how little it is, are generally the most happy.
     Well there it is, my four keys to happiness. What it all boils down to is that each one of us has the ability to choose happiness. Happiness is not bestowed upon certain people at birth and not on others. It does not come as the result of wealth, there are many wealthy people who are extremely unhappy. As you go about your daily life look for opportunities to be happy, even in the worst of situations. Because if you can achieve a level of happiness in the worst situations, then how much easier will it be to achieve in every day life.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Statist Of The Union

     President Obama gave his State Of The Union speech last night as required by the Constitution. The speech was watched by 13% fewer people than last years, which in turn was watched by fewer than the year before. With so little interest in what the leader of the ever-decreasing free world has to say, I wonder how he was re-elected last fall. In fact, it is so bad for the President that his number of viewers for last night's speech was about the same as George W. Bush got for his 2008 State Of The Union, and that was after 7 years of 24/7 demonization of the President by the Left and the main stream media.
     As far as the substance of President Obama's speech, well there wasn't any. Unless you want to count engaging in the telling of falsehoods and the blame game as substance. The President once again misrepresented his record on jobs, saying that 6 million new jobs have been created under his watch. The truth, for those interested, is that there are 8.2 million fewer people working now than when Barack Obama took office in January of 2009. This according to his own Department of Labor Statistics. That is why the labor force participation rate is the lowest it has been in over 30 years. Some of the people who have left the labor market have retired, but with a real unemployment rate over 14%, wouldn't their jobs be filled by those who are looking for work? So in order to believe the President and others on the Left, one would have to believe that when someone retires, so does their job. This would mean that no one would be left working after just a couple of generations.
     President Obama also used his Statist Of The Union show to call for higher taxes on the rich, demonize Republicants and push his far Left agenda with regards to everything from energy policy to gun control. Traditionally, the State Of The Union has been an opportunity for the President to inform the country of the challenges overcome in the previous year and those that must be faced in the coming one. But as it is with every speech, appearance, death and tragedy, this President has used the solemn and sacred duty required of him by the Constitution to engage in petty and crass politics. In fact, Barack Obama looked less like a President after his fourth State Of The Union at the beginning his fifth year in office, and more like a community organizer.
     If you missed the State Of The Union speech last night, don't worry, you can catch the re-run with Barack Obama's next speech. In fact, if the President was so concerned about conserving energy, he could have saved a bundle of it by just having the networks re-run his State Of The Union from last year, or the year before, or the year before that. I wonder, are there any intellectually engaged Democrats who are tired of hearing the same broken record of Barack Obama? Or have they abandoned any hope of change from the man who promised both hope and change and has only delivered the petty divisiveness of a community organizer and common street thug.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Obama Steps In Deuteronomy

     It is not surprising that President Obama would show his ignorance in public on a whole host of issues. What is surprising is his recent ridiculing of the Bible, at a prayer breakfast. The President misrepresented several Bible passages, either on purpose or through ignorance, most notably Deuteronomy.  He characterized Deuteronomy 21:18-21 as condoning the stoning of children, which it most certainly does not. I have excerpted the passage below:

          If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his
          father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not
          hearken unto them:

          Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders
          of his city, and unto the gate of his place;

          And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious,
          he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard.

           And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil
           away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear.
    The President misstated the passage as condoning the stoning of children for simply wandering from the faith. Anyone who actually reads the passage would understand that it says nothing at all about a child wandering from the faith. The passage talks about a child who is rebellious, stubborn, gluttonous and a drunkard. One must also have the context of history when trying to understand this and many other Bible passages. Clearly Barack Obama thinks history began with his rise to power and anything that came before is just not important. Prior to the writing of Deuteronomy 21:18-21, the killing of a child by the parents without any outside involvement was a commonly accepted practice. For the first time, this passage from Deuteronomy, required that the father and the mother bring the child to the town elders, who acted as the first legal system in civilized society. This is important because for the first time it elevated due process over even the rights of parents. President Obama most likely missed this point because due process and the rule of law are not concepts that he values. This passage also completely removed capital punishment from the realm of the parents, where it had existed prior, and placed it in the hands of the town elders.
     Deuteronomy 21:18-21 also elevated women to the same status as men when it makes clear that the rebellious child not listening to the voice of his mother is a sin on the same level as not listening to the voice of his father. Secondly, the passage clearly makes it a requirement that the child be brought to the town elders by both his father and his mother, making the mother's role as essential as the father's.
     And finally the passage makes the execution of the son the responsibility of all the men of the town, giving this law of Moses transparency and broad-based support in the community at large.
One could make the case that the President's recent policy of using drones to kill American citizens that he decides are collaborating with terrorists, is based on pre-Deuteronomy practices.
     President Obama's recent Bible misquotes are not the first time he has shown scriptural ignorance. He and others on the Left have continually justified their big government programs by using the Bible's promotion of being your brother's keeper. The problem is that the only place in the Bible where it mentions the term, "brother's keeper" is in Cain's response to God when asked about the whereabouts of his bother Abel. He asks God, "Am I my brother's keeper?" It's part of the Lefts hypocrisy, ridiculing the Bible on one hand, while misusing it to sell their big government expansion on the other. But it is our ignorance as the governed that allows President Obama to step in Deuteronomy and end up smelling like a rose.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Even John Maynard Keynes Wasn't A Keynesian

     There was a British economist in the 1930s by the name of John Maynard Keynes, whose wrongheaded economic theories have left their indelible mark on generations of Leftists. Mr. Keynes authored a book on economics entitled, General Theory of Employment, Money, and Interest.  This book has been the holy bible and the source of permission used by the Left for the last 70 years to grow the size and scope of government. It is the quintessential foundation of the tax and spend Liberal.
     The Keynesian economic theory can be boiled down to one statement, "You reverse economic downturns in a country through more government spending." That's it folks! This man who is considered brilliant by the intellectually unwashed, economically ignorant Left, based his entire thesis on the idea that poverty creates wealth. It doesn't matter to the Left that the tree of Mr. Keynes' empty-headed economic ideas has never born fruit in any country, town, city or even family where they have been tried. Those on the left whose political fortunes are totally invested in big government have whole heartily embraced his irrational ideas. Keynesian economics is analogous to filling a swimming pool by removing the water.
     Mr. Keynes' economics may well work if the money that government possessed existed in a vacuum. But it doesn't. For every dollar that government spends, it must first pull it out of the private economy. Government has no way of making its own money, therefore it can not create the wealth that is needed to lead an economy out of a downturn. Government can obtain money in one of three ways, through taxing the governed, borrowing from creditors or by printing more dollars. All three of these ways involves depleting the private economy of wealth in one way or another. For every dollar of economic stimulus the government claims to create, it costs two to three dollars of wealth. This is due to the cost of the bureaucracy involved with the government acquiring the dollar to spend in the first place. There is no mathematical basis for Keynesian economics being successful at accomplishing anything but growing the size of government and shrinking the size of the private economy where all wealth is created.
     For those who still are not convinced of the folly of Mr. Keynes' economic theory, try it with your own finances. Keep spending money no matter how much debt you accumulate, the more you go into the red, the more you should borrow and spend. Do you honestly think that eventually this behavior will lead you to some economic Nirvana whereby you have addition by subtraction? If you do, then you might be a Keynesian. Oh, by the way, John Maynard Keynes didn't apply his economic theories to his own finances and instead chose to make millions in the stock market. I guess even the man whose name is synonymous with the failed economic theory he authored, wasn't himself a Keynesian.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Broken Agreements Of Barack Obama

      The Obama administration has no problem denying our allies like Canada a deal on the Keystone pipeline, or previously promised missile defense systems to Poland and Czechoslovakia. He also seems to be desirous of denying law-abiding American citizens their God-given right to defend themselves and their families in whatever manner they choose. President Obama has even expressed a desire to see Israel leave themselves defenseless against their enemies by retreating to pre-1967 borders. What the President doesn't have a problem with is handing over F-16 fighter jets, Abrams tanks and piles of cash to the terrorist-controlled Egypt.
     I realize that the United States has long-standing agreements with Egypt, but that was under the regime of Hosni Mubarak, not the terrorist leader, Mohamed Morsi. And while Hosni Mubarak was no saint, he was an ally in the war on terror and he kept the peace with Israel for over 30 years. That peace is viewed by the Morsi regime as a burden too great to bear. We already know that Barack Obama has no compunction with regards to breaking previously held agreements, just ask the Poles and Czechs. For that matter just ask Congressional Republicants who have made agreements with the President, only to have him change the terms and move the goal posts.
     In fact, President Obama has broken every agreement he has made with the American people, who he is suppose to serve. The most glaring example is that of not raising taxes on the middle-class. But higher health care costs due to ObamaCare, inflationary fuel costs resulting from the President's energy policy and higher electricity costs which the President has caused with his war on coal, have all hit the middle-class harder than any other demographic. And when you factor in the continued and growing costs of ObamaCare, this President has raised taxes on the middle-class more than all other presidents combined.
    President Obama made an agreement with the American people that he would cut the budget deficit in half, he has actually tripled it. And now he says that the Federal government doesn't even have a spending problem. This statement flies in the face of a 16 trillion dollar debt with trillion dollar deficits being added every year. If the President stays the course that his administration has set for itself, Mr. Obama will leave the next president with over 20 trillion dollars in debt. This is hard to even fathom but if you imagine going back 4.5 billion years ago when the earth was formed and you spent four thousand dollars every day forward to the present, it still would be slightly less than the debt being left by President Obama to the American people.
     After having watched Barack Obama operate the last four years, one would be living in denial to say that he is a man of his word. He will say anything he thinks he has to in order to gain politically. And no agreement made by his administration or previous ones is sacred and worthy of being kept if breaking it means he can advance his authoritarian world view. Let us hope that by the time Barack Obama leaves office in January of 2017, his flood of broken agreements don't drowned the very tenets of freedom and liberty upon which this country was founded.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Chris Rock Insults The Founders

     This week comedian and woefully uninformed political commentator, Chris Rock, stated that Barack Obama is like the father of the country. This statement is at the same time frightening in its ignorance of our founding principles and illustrative of the twisted and demented view that the Left has of government as a benevolent parent as opposed to a servant of the people. But Mr. Rock can rest easy in the knowledge that his status of a glittering jewel of colossal ignorance is shared with the 51% of voters who returned Father Obama to the Oval Office for another four years.
     A secondary data point that reveals itself in Chris Rock's statement is his appalling lack of knowledge, not only about the history of his own country, but that of every other one throughout time that has had a tyrant's boot print stamped upon its collective conscious. Even a casual observer of history would recognize that the only governments that portend a parental posture towards those they govern are tyrannical in nature. Or perhaps Mr. Rock went to a school that didn't teach the horrors of Stalin, Mao, Castro or Hitler. Perhaps in Chris Rock's school these oppressors were seen as liberators and, dare I say it, father figures.
     Chris Rock's view of government, and that of others on the Left, runs against the grain of the republican system of government for which the founders of this great nation fought a bloody revolution. They would be appalled at the president, or any other public servant, being referred to as a father. The father and mother of a family are benevolent dictators whose decisions are not decided on by democratic process. There is no consideration in a well-functioning family for the peoples(children's) voice to be heard in the questioning of the choices made by the father and mother. Chris Rock thinks that as the father of the country, Barack Obama should not be questioned. But I wonder if he felt the same way about George W. Bush when he was president.
     What those on the Left like the uninformed Mr. Rock do not understand is that any latitude with regards to power that they wish to bestow upon Barack Obama, must also be transferred to the next president when Mr. Obama leaves office in January of 2017. And that president may not agree with Chris Rock on a whole host of issues. This is the reason that the founders very wisely limited the power of the federal government specifically and divided that limited power among the three branches of government. It was an attempt to avoid one person from becoming a "father."
     Sadly, Chris Rock and many others on the Left don't understand that individual liberty depends on the people having a government that serves them by protecting their freedoms, not by parenting them. Many people in this country have bought into the gilded cage ideology of Chris Rock and others, whereby the government gives them everything they want, but at the same time takes away everything they have or could hope to have.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Republicant Governors Capitulate On ObamaCare

     The only hope that many Conservatives had for slowing down and eventually putting into remission the cancer that is ObamaCare, has recently been dashed. The spread of the pathogen that is socialized medicine had a fierce opponent in the Republicant governors who were refusing to create the health care exchanges in their states, which would have required the federal government to do so and may have resulted in ObamaCare dying of its own weight.
    Republicant governors, Jan Brewer of Arizona and John Kasich of Ohio, have both capitulated to the bribe by the Obama administration for their states to participate in ObamaCare. The governors have accepted the federal government's increase in medicaid money in order to fund the expansion of that program under ObamaCare. This rope-a-dope by the Obama administration is designed to herd states into creating the government-run health care exchanges.This along with increased regulations will force private insurers out of business, leaving only the government as a single payer. What Governors Kasich and Brewer don't understand, or won't admit, is that the government subsidies will end in just a few years and it will be left to the states to pay for the boondoggle of ObamaCare.
     President Obama has already stated publicly in a speech before his union buddies in the SEIU that his ultimate goal is a single-payer system. But he admitted that a single-payer government system would have to be accomplished in steps and it would probably take 10 years to fully implement. The acquiescence of Jan Brewer and John Kasich will go a long way to speeding up the time table for that implementation.
     ObamaCare, if fully implemented, will be a disaster for the best health care system in the world. The lowest premium per individual under the government exchanges is $4000 a year, which means a typical family of four will be paying $16,000 a year for health insurance through the government system. This estimated cost for premiums was recently published by the IRS, so in all probability the cost will be much higher. Those making under 75 thousand a year will be subsidized by their fellow taxpayers, which means every one's taxes will necessarily rise and their health care will be rationed. The President alluded to rationing when asked a question by a woman at a town hall meeting on health care 3 years ago. She wanted to know if her 100 year old mother, with a great spirit and will to live, would be given a pacemaker under the President's plan. To which the President said decisions have to be made without factoring in will to live and sometimes the best thing to do is give someone a pain pill and forgo the expensive surgery. His legislation that finally became law convenes a panel which makes these decisions over life and death based on a persons remaining life span and their worthiness to the state.
     The point that governor Kasich misses with his rationalization for accepting the federal money in exchange for selling his state's soul to the ObamaCare devil, is that the Congressional Budget Office has recently stated the system will be broke by 2017. This means that when the federal funds end in a few years, any state that has fallen for this ploy will bear the full financial brunt of ObamaCare. This will necessitate the states picking up the cost for ObamaCare through higher taxes. John Kasich is not a stupid man, and he must be aware that ObamaCare, with its system of low penalties in the beginning and increased mandates on insurance companies, is designed to fail. This allows the federal government to step in and create a single-payer system, which has been the goal from the beginning.
     I respect the work that Governor Kasich did with Newt Gingrich in forcing Bill Clinton into a balanced budget in the 1990s, and he has worked his fiscal magic during his first term as Ohio governor. But if he, Jan Brewer and other Republicant governors don't wake up and smell the bitter beans of the ObamaCare coffee and reverse their support, I am afraid for the future of health care in this country. For when we as free people lose the right to make our own choices in matters as personal and intimate as our own health care, then we will cease to be free.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Guiding Principle Of The Left

     A guiding principle of the Left and the Democrat party over the last 60 years has been the concept of replacing individual responsibility with collective guilt. This is the basis for practically all of their initiatives, policies and campaigns. And it is a deliberate attempt to control the populace and augment their own power. For when individuals are no longer responsible for their own behavior, and the collective society is, the ruling class becomes much more relevant and powerful in their ability to make laws that limit freedom and individual liberty.
     Holding the whole society responsible for an individuals behavior began in the 1960s with the creation of the welfare state and its subsequent expansion. It has continued through the succeeding decades and it is what informs the Lefts current position on gun-control. The idea is that since there are individuals in society that can not adhere to the common rules of civilization and decency, the entire culture must be punished. It is the same idea behind Hillary Clinton's book of a few years ago entitled, "It Takes A Village." The concept that the children in a culture are the responsibility of the entire society to feed, cloth, educate and protect, is anathema to the traditional concept of family and parenting. But the Left has succeeded in convincing many people that the role of parenting is too hard for individuals and that government should be an equal partner in the raising of their children.
     The guiding principle of the Left, i.e. replacing individual responsibility with collective guilt, has culminated in laws like the one that requires that children under a certain size be secured in a proper car seat. On the surface this seems like a good idea, its goal is to protect children. But every law has costs like the unintended consequences of restricting the liberty of responsible citizens. Besides, isn't the safety of my child my responsibility? The nanny state telling free people how to raise their children has recently had a new advocate in the form of our First Lady. Michelle Obama's food police have confiscated children's bagged lunches because they didn't meet her government's standards. Again, what I feed my child is no business of a busy-body Leftist like Mrs. Obama. But her goal, like that of all Leftists, is not the well being of those they purport to help, but the continued growth of a central authority that they control.
     The founders of this great nation created a government that would not get in the way of individual liberty. This means that people are free to succeed or fail, to gorge or starve, to over-protect or under-protect their children and to suffer the consequences of their own irresponsible behavior or reap the rewards of living responsibly. The Lefts guiding principle of making the entire culture pay the penalty or reap the rewards of each members' actions is an affront not only to the Founding Fathers and their principled government, but to the natural laws created by God.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Who Is Going To Control The Gun-Controllers?

      As the gun control issue continues its march towards becoming the largest non-issue ever to distract the American people from the truly important issue of fiscal collapse, I wonder if we have really become that malleable as a people. As it has been, especially for the last few years, facts and evidence don't seem to be winning the short-term battles. If they did, the gun control hysteria after the Sandy Hook massacre would not have had any legs at all in the public discourse. People would have sympathized with the victims, while at the same time acknowledging that gun violence is just not the national crisis that those on the Left would have us believe. The statistics, from any source one would care to use, show that gun violence has dramatically decreased over the last couple of decades, this has occurred while the number of guns has dramatically increased.
     The Obama administration wants to require law-abiding American citizens to register their guns, but oddly enough he did not seem concerned with obtaining the same registration from the Mexican drug cartels that his ATF gave weapons to through the Fast and Furious program. And President Obama didn't break a sweat over Muammar Gaddafi's stash of arms falling into the hands of Al Queda operatives after the U.S. Commander in Chief unilaterally removed the tyrant from power.
And I'm sure that the President is not requiring a background check and registration of the terrorist, Mohamed Morsi, before his administration hands over F-16 jets and Abrams tanks. So it would seem that President Obama sees law-abiding, Constitutional-practicing American citizens as more of a threat than the former leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, which has been the purveyor of terrorism throughout the world for many decades.
     The real problem with registration of guns is that it creates a national gun registry which makes confiscation that much more readily available to those on the Left with tyrannical inclinations. This is not paranoia, the venerable Democrat Senator Diane Fienstein has said that a national gun registry would make it easier to go door-to-door and collect weapons from the American people. Along with registration, background checks are a clear violation of the second amendment's sanction on government infringement on the people's right to keep and bear arms.
     Knowledge is power, and knowledge in the hands of a central authority is to be feared, not encouraged. The founders knew that the widest berth to liberty and freedom exists as a result of an ignorant government when it came to information about individuals. Once the government can make requirements a matter of law, what's to say those requirements won't become stricter in the future, further infringing on the people's God-given rights. The issue of gun-control to the Left is more about controlling the Constitutional rights of the people, which come from God, than it is about reducing violence or saving lives. Just ask yourself one question, "Who is going to control the gun-controllers?" 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Three Ds Of The Obama Presidency

     Well President Obama was off to Minneapolis to campaign for stricter gun regulations and an end to the second amendment as we know it. Every time there is an issue to be debated or dealt with, the President avoids doing any actual work and jets around the country in a continuation of his never-ending campaign. It costs the people of Great Britain 57.8 million dollars a year to provide for their Royal Family. Our Royal Family of the Obamas costs U.S. taxpayers 1.4 billion a year to provide for their lavish lifestyle of endless vacations and rides all over the world on the $180,000/hour Air Force One jetliner. But the question of the U.S. taxpayer footing a bill for the Royal Obamas that is 30 times greater than what Great Britain pays for their Royal Family, is a topic for another discussion.
      If the last four years has proven anything about President Obama and the Democrat leadership in Congress, it is that they are unable to perform the primary function of their jobs, i. e. governing. Whenever there is a serious issue before the President, he jets off around the country and makes speeches. The President is under the delusion that his words are an adequate substitute for action and well thought out solutions. The useful idiots in the Democrat party like Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and others have quickly learned the Obama tactic of avoiding debate on serious issues with diversion, derision and division.
     The first tactic of diversion was used to great success in getting Barack Obama re-elected and has been used to a lesser extent during his entire political career. His campaign diverted peoples attention away from his miserable economy and disastrous foreign policy to things like Mitt Romney being responsible for the death of a steel worker's wife or Mr. Romney traveling with his dog on the roof of the car. The Obama campaign also used the non-existent issue of Governor Romney's taxes to avert attention away from high unemployment, non-existent GDP growth and four dead Americans in a Benghazi terrorist attack. The President and the Democrats are engaged in diversionary tactics with the gun control issue. The issue of gun control is taking up alot of the country's political oxygen to solve a crisis which doesn't exist, i. e. an escalation in gun violence, by diverting attention from the real crisis of the fiscal collapse of this great nation.
     The second Obama tactic of derision has been used to great effect by the entire Democrat party to push an agenda that is unpopular with a majority of the American people. They know that the best way to make an unpopular position popular is by demonizing the alternative position. People will allow themselves to be like sheep being led to the slaughter to avoid being labeled a "racist", "sexist", "homophobe", "intolerant" or any of a myriad of descriptions that Democrats have heaped upon anyone who disagrees with their unpopular initiatives.
     Of course the classic Obama tactic of division has its origins almost as far back as the dawn of modern military man. Mr. Obama, like any devoted Alinskyite, knows that the path to political power is paved, not with winning converts with reasoned arguments, but with dividing groups against each other. So the President and his party pit poor against rich, young against old, black against white, gay against straight and any group against any other group that can possibly create discordance and chaos. And in that chaos they present themselves as the only solution.
     The three Ds of the Obama presidency are tactics that may bring him temporary political power, but history judges great leaders as those who have inspired and united. President Obama has done neither of these two things and has built his career and his presidency on making people feel worse about their lives. He then presents to them someone else who is responsible for their perceived injustice that he, through government edict, will compel to provide redress to the injured party. This, I believe, is not a winning strategy for creating a better and more just society because eventually the vale of glimmer and sham is pulled back to reveal the ugliness that the three Ds has created. And in that moment of national awakening we will choose a leader of substance which is commensurate with the values of this great nation's founding.

Monday, February 4, 2013

A Return To Federalism?

     One thing that drives me crazy is Americans who don't understand the founding principles of their own nation. This concept was in abundant evidence in the presidential election results of last November. Had the 51% of people who voted for President Obama understood the founding principles of this country and agreed with them, they would have never voted for the antithesis of those values in the person of Barack Obama.
     But fear not patriots of liberty and patrons of sane government, the basis of this representative republic, i. e. federalism, is in resurgence. And for those who don't understand what I am talking about, a little lesson in the founding is appropriate. The founders deliberately created a system of government through the Constitution that would severely limit the federal government's power and authority, and instead bestow that authority upon the people and the states. Each state was to be an individual laboratory of freedom and liberty. In this way, the framers of our system of government, would insure that freedom would flourish without the threat of an over-bearing central government.
     During the last 70 years this notion of federalism and a limited central government has given way to the progressive movement's ideology of an ever expanding federal government, both in scope and authority. States have been held captive by the threat from federal authorities that funds, which came from the states in the first place, would be withheld from any state that didn't tow the line. This system of consolidating power within the federal government is anathema to the founding principles of this great nation, because the founders recognized that this would create more opportunity for corruption and tyranny.
     A good case in point that is illustrative of the corruption that is a result of consolidated power is the Department of Education. Before the 1970s when it was created, education was controlled on the state and local level. This necessarily created a situation in which no single entity had control of the education system in this country. Since the creation of the Department of Education, control of the schools has been placed in the hands of the national unions which have destroyed the primary function of education, i. e. educate children in the essential disciplines they will need to be contributing members of society. The unions have worsened the education system in this country (an obvious conclusion given our drop from first in the world to thirty seventh) all while laundering hundreds of billions of dollars through the Department of Education to the Democrat party.
     Recently, states have begun to reassert their authority over their own affairs. Over half the states, those run by Republicant governors, have refused to create the state health care exchanges required by the massive government takeover of health care known as ObamaCare. Border states like Arizona, Texas and others have taken the illegal immigration problem into their own hands as a result of the federal government's unwillingness to enforce existing immigration laws. Another way in which states are reasserting their federalist authority is just beginning to happen in the arena of gun control. No doubt President Obama is not going to find states like Texas as week-kneed and acquiescent as he would prefer. The states should have never let the federal government grow to the size and authority it has. But with a resurgence in federalism promoted by some courageous governors, maybe the tide of this out-of-control federal government can be stopped and turned back for the sake of this nation and the freedom and liberty enshrined in its founding.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Our Accelerated Decent Into The Abyss Of Indecency

     I was reflecting the other day on how fast our culture has plunged headlong into the indecency which defines much of the Leftist religion. This ineffable decline in our society, while not completely explainable, is definable as having affected most aspects of our national life. Values which would have been allowed in the public discourse only 25 years ago, are now taboo because they are somehow considered exclusionary or offensive.
     My journey into the realization that our culture has grown more course and intolerant as a result of the advancement of Leftism, began with an analysis of entertainment then and now. I recall not only the late Michael Landon's very successful television show, "Little House On The Prairie", but his later show, "Highway To Heaven." In both shows the values enshrined in selfless behavior were advocated, unlike the selfish behavior that is advocated by Leftism. Both shows taught the morality of doing the right thing, and in "Highway To Heaven" there was even the advancement of the idea that these values had a religious origin in God. Sadly, neither of these shows would make it in the line-up of any network or cable stations today. Modern entertainment seems to consist of honoring people who are selfish and self-absorbed and completely without any moral compass. And as our children are fed a steady diet of such examples, it is no wonder that they grow into adults riddled with an entitlement mentality and a sense of victim hood.
     A further example of our decline into indecency as a culture is in the arena of sports. Very few modern day athletes could hold a proverbial candle to those of only 25 years ago. Today's athletes are not humble in their talent and appreciative of the fans who pay their over-inflated salaries. They, like others in the culture, feel entitled to whatever they want. And even among these talented athletes of privilege, there is now a sense of victim hood. The current fervor over head injuries is a prime example of this attitude. These athletes are well paid to take the risks of which they are well aware. I feel terrible for the family of Junior Seau, who recently committed suicide. But for them to sue the NFL for his selfish act is a symptom of a greater sickness in our society than was in mind of Mr. Seau. The sickness of holding some entity with deep pockets responsible for the acts of an individual is the apex of the victim hood mentality that results in a feeling of entitlement.
     Lastly, the decline of decency in our culture has affected our politics, how could it not? This indecency is best exemplified by the Leftist tactic of compensating for their lack of ability to defend their positions with reason by smearing their opponents. We saw this tactic full throttle in this past election where a man was re-elected to a position at which he had failed miserably, simply by lying about his opponent. But then, our politics is a reflection of our culture and we can't expect politicians to exist outside the mores of modern society. The mores that have been inculcated in the American people for the last 40 years by the practitioners of Leftism, left unanswered by the forces of decency, will eventually destroy the greatest source of advancement for the human condition in history, the United States of America.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Maggie's Retro Blog Post

     Most of you don't know that my passion for writing and politics come from my mother, Maggie. She was the 1970s version of a blogger, a letter to the editor writer. Following is one of her gems that appeared in the Cleveland Press in July 1980.

     Dear Sir,
     I am happy to read that the Republican platform is not endorsing the ERA (Equal Rights Amendment). I agree with Mr. Reagan's stand and I too believe in equal rights for women, but not by way of an ERA amendment to our Constitution.
     The ERA amendment, as it now stands, does not guarantee equality for women. Nowhere in the ERA are the words "woman", "female", or "minorities" .
     Section 1 states: "equality on account of sex", very vague. The only persons who would benefit from this amendment would be some men, those with alternative life-styles, i. e. homosexuals. Why isn't the ERA specific and use the words "woman", "female" and "minority"? In fact, Congress rejected the Hayden amendment which clearly stated : "conferred by law upon persons of the female sex." There were also 9 other provisions by Senator Ervin that listed specific rights, exemptions and protections for "women". Why was all of this language removed from the original ERA bill?
     All of the things that women think the ERA would provide (and aren't even mentioned in the amendment) are already the law of our land. Such as, economic rights, equal pay, equal opportunity, equality in contracting business and equal opportunity in obtaining credit. These are provided for us in the 14th amendment of our U.S. Constitution (giving civil rights to all, including women and minorities). The Equal Pay Act of 1963, the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and 1968, the Equal Opportunity Act of 1972 and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act of 1974 all specifically and clearly state "women", "female" and "minorities" and are not vague like the ERA.
     Any woman can go to her Equal Opportunity Office in her city and obtain free lawyers to defend her. Thousands of women and minorities have already benefited from these very specific laws that protect women and minorities.
     So you see, we don't need the ERA with its vague implications that leave the door wide open to any interpretation of "on account of sex" and in reality strips all women of their privileges and protections provided by current law. We have beautiful laws already firmly established and already in use giving equality and protection not only to all women and minorities, but to each and every individual in these United States of America, all one has to do is use them.
     In view of this, isn't it time we all wrote our representatives in Columbus urging the rescinding of ratification of the ERA by Ohio?

Friday, February 1, 2013

A Secretary Clinton Post Mortem

     The Left has a predilection for rewarding people of little or no accomplishment and making heroes of the mediocre, our current President fits this mold perfectly. Hillary Clinton is another glaring example of the Left heaping praise on one of their own when they are not worthy of that praise. The Left, in the media and elsewhere, have praised the great job performance of Mrs. Clinton as Secretary of State, but conspicuously absent from their praise are any details of any accomplishments by Mrs. Clinton as head of the State Department.     
     Secretary Clinton had no Henry Kissinger accomplishment on par with manipulating the Chinese against the Soviets, which eventually helped Ronald Reagan win the Cold War. Missing from Hillary Clinton's resume as Secretary of State is a diplomatic success similar to Dr. Kissinger's Middle-East peace deal brokered between Israel and Egypt. Mrs. Clinton doesn't even have a Colin Powell at the United Nations moment that she can point to as a success.
     Secretary Clinton has been awash in failure, including but not limited to the security debacle on September 11 of last year which lead to four dead Americans in Benghazi, Libya. Mrs. Clinton's utter incompetence in allowing a consulate in a war zone to go virtually unprotected on the anniversary of 9-11, was compounded by her bald-faced lie to the American people that the attack was a protest in response to an anti-Muslim YouTube video. Secretary Clinton also provided defacto U. S. support to Syrian leader Basar Al Assad early on in his slaughter of 65,ooo of his own people, Mrs. Clinton  called the barbarian a "Reformer." And then there is her willing involvement in replacing U. S. ally Hosni Mubarak in Egypt with the Muslim Brotherhood leader, Mohamed Morsi. Someone ought to tell this brilliant Secretary of State that the Muslim Brotherhood is an enemy of freedom and decency of which the United States use to be a defender.
     There are many other failures of Mrs. Clinton, e.g. the complete lack of any attention paid to the 4.5 million people being slaughtered in the Congo and Libyan rebels transporting Obama administration-supplied arms to Mali, West Africa in an attempt to overthrow that democratic government and establish an Al Queda base of operations. But the real failure of Secretary Clinton is her inability to achieve any level of success with regards to the prime directive of any United States Secretary of State, i. e. the increase of U. S. influence in shaping important world events. Along with President Obama, Mrs. Clinton has allowed our enemies the comfort of knowing that their acts can continue unabated and our friends have been saddled with the unease of knowing they can't depend on the United States for support against our common enemies.