Monday, December 22, 2008

Post-Modern Baalism-Just a very old book with a shiny new cover

Matt Barber has written an excellent article at TownHall, The Gods of Liberalism, I recommend that you read it in its entirety. It inspired me to write this blog.

A new Congress with a larger number of Ds will convene in the first week of January, and a new President, Barack Hussein Obama (D) will be sworn into office on January 20th, 2009. This new Congress wants to move quickly with new legislation ready for the new President to sign on day one. Let me list the issues and their Baalist counterpart.

planned parenthood reproductive freedom=Baalist fertility worship

providing funding and clinics for abortions=Baalist child sacrifice via burnt offering

gay rights and comprehensive sex education=Baalist ritualistic promotion, practice, and celebration of both heterosexual and homosexual promiscuity

radical environmentalism for controlling climate change=Baalist pantheistic worship of "mother earth" (reverence of creation over the Creator).

Matt opines
In fact, today's liberalism is largely a sanitized retread of an antiquated mythology – one that significantly predates the only truly progressive movement: biblical Christianity.

Both Obama's social agenda and that of the 111th Congress are rife with unfettered pro-abortion, freedom-chilling, pro-homosexual and power-grabbing environmentalist objectives. The same kind of "hope, action and change," I suppose, that was swallowed up by the Baalist Canaanites of old.

So, today's liberalism is really just a very old book with a shiny new cover. A philosophy rooted in ancient pagan traditions, of which there is naught to be proud.

I agree with this opinion, but I would expand the net to include to include some radical libertarian anarchists who do not want to have any enforcement or laws. Yes I believe in small government, but not anarchy.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The First Christmas Tells Us When Life Begins

Andrew Tallman wrote an excellent column at TownHall, A Christmas View of Abortion. I encourage everyone to read it in its entirety. In one respect the title is misleading because the medical practice of abortion is not directly addressed anywhere in the Holy Bible. What the Gospel According to Luke does address directly in Chapter one is the recognition of life less than a week after conception.

Luke 1:3-4

3 It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus,

4 That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed.

Unlike the other Gospel writers, Luke will tell us his story in the form we modern readers best comprehend: chronologically. This means we can rely heavily on the order of things in any of our conclusions.

Luke 1:5-7

5 There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth.

6 And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.

7 And they had no child, because that Elisabeth was barren, and they both were now well stricken in years.

Luke 1:13

13 But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John.

Luke 1:24-27

24 And after those days his wife Elisabeth conceived, and hid herself five months, saying,

25 Thus hath the Lord dealt with me in the days wherein he looked on me, to take away my reproach among men.

26 And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,

27 To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.

Luke 1:30-31

30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.

31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.

Luke 1:35-44

35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

36 And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.

37 For with God nothing shall be impossible.

38 And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.

39 And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda;

40 And entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth.

41 And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:

42 And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.

43 And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?

44 For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.

Luke 1:56-57

56 And Mary abode with her about three months, and returned to her own house.

57 Now Elisabeth's full time came that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son.

Working solely with the calendar of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, Luke has told us that Jesus was a person with sufficient individual identity that His cousin could recognize him through the assistance of the Holy Spirit. He was only a few days old (perhaps not even implanted yet) when John recognizes Him. Mary certainly wouldn’t have even been able to know by ordinary means that she was pregnant yet.

So the pressing point of all this analysis is not that John (in his third trimester) was a person in the womb when he leapt for joy. The unavoidable and much more forceful point is that Jesus was in the very earliest portion of His first trimester when He was recognized by John as a person.

Andrew Tallman concludes his column with this final paragraph-

So as we prepare to celebrate Christmas and the birth of our Savior this year, I have a simple question. Since we now know that Jesus was somewhere between a few days and a few weeks gestation when he was recognized in scripture as a person, then who or what is it in the young woman’s womb today if not a person—and somebody’s grandchild?

I expect sometime in the afternoon of January 20th 2009 for President Obama to issue executive orders that will undo every obstacle and delay that are currently in place to reduce the number of abortions that are performed. This will all be legal, however in my reading again the account by St Luke of the First Christmas this will be morally wrong.

Monday, December 15, 2008

There Oughta Be A Law

from left: brother-in-law Konrad, half-sister Maya, niece Suhaila, Barack Obama, daughter Malia, wife Michelle, daughter Sasha

back row from left: Unknown, Barack Obama, half-brother Malik, unknown, half-brother Abo, half-brother Bernard. Front: Half-sister Auma, stepmother Kezia, stepgrandmother Sarah, unknown

On December 15th 2008 the formality of state electoral college voting occurred, and history was made in the USA. For the very first time the US voters have elected someone whose father WAS NEVER a US citizen. Barack H. Obama Sr. was a British subject at the time of the birth of Barack H. Obama Jr. He later became a citizen of Kenya when the British colony became an independent country, but he never became a US citizen. His mother remarried an Indonesian, Lolo Soetoro where she gave birth to a daughter, Maya. The only living relatives of Barack Obama who are US citizens are ones he either married or gave birth to.

An excellent blog has been written that makes a sound legal case for not taking up this question of Presidential eligibility by the Supremes. I agree that there is no definite law on the books to challenge the eligibility, but there oughta be a law.

The Sons of Liberty who fought and shed their blood for the creation of these United States of America have been slapped in the face. They never wanted the opportunity to exist for someone with foreign ties to be a US President. They did not anticipate a 'citizen of the world' being the American President.

I would like to see a U.S. law that clearly defines that anyone who at the time they announce their candidacy to become POTUS must have both a father and a mother at that time who are United States citizens. I am not a lawyer and certainly I am not an expert on U.S. Constitutional law, but I truly believe that a law such as I have described should be written.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Hey Barry, Think 'Aloha' NOT 'The Chicago Way'

Well Barack Obama has certainly moved with great speed to get a White House Staff and a Cabinet together as soon as possible. Definitely better management than Bill Clinton at this task, and the general opinion is the selections are pragmatists instead of idealogues. That is the good news for him.

Now for the bad news... When the human excrement hit the air circulator last week with the arrest of Illinois Gov. Blagojevich some of the selected Cabinet and Staff are now going to be not targets but subjects of interest in the case that Fitzgerald will be developing against the Illinois Governor. Those folks will be distracted from working for the President while they lawyer up and appear for special testimonies and appearances before a Grand Jury.

Let me name some names for you:

Rahm Emanuel as Chief of Staff

David Axelrod White House Senior Political Advisor

Valerie Jarrett Senior Advisor and Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Relations and Public Liaison

Desirée Rogers, Special Assistant to the President and White House Social Secretary

Michael Strautmanis Chief of Staff to the Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Relations and Public Liaison

Christina M. Tchen White House Director of Public Liaison

That is six of the thirty-four folks who have been officially announced as nominees. I think Barack is a cautious guy who could use this situation to pivot away from his political cronies in Illinois to the kinder gentler Island folks of Hawaii. On one hand this could be seen as political betrayal for Barack to turn his back on the people who nurtured him politically and got him into the Office of President. On the other hand Rush posits another idea about Barack and 'the Chicago Way.'

Now, Richard Daley somehow is magically escaping any discussion about anything that happened here, and anybody who knows Chicago politics knows that it all runs through Mayor Daley, and Mayor Daley and Blagojevich were not close. They were not good buddies. They have had their contretemps over the years. In fact, I actually think that one of the reasons that Barack Obama is president is that Richard Daley wanted him outta Illinois, because Richard Daley didn't want him staying there running for governor. Richard Daley didn't want to have to do battle with a messiah as governor of Illinois. So, they arrange for him to run for president. Lo and behold, he stuns everybody and wins!

A President needs to get away far away from Washington DC. We have had Presidents who took time away at their political base. JFK went to the Kennedy compound near Martha's Vineyard, MA, LBJ went to LBJ Ranch near Johnson City, TX, Nixon went to San Clemente, CA, Carter went to Plains, GA, Reagan went to Rancho Del Cielo near Santa Barbara, CA, and George W. Bush went to his ranch near Crawford, TX. There are also Presidents who did not have a political base that they would retire to such as George H.W. Bush going to Keenebunkport, ME, and Bill Clinton going to guest with whatever celebrity would put him up.

If I were Barry instead of going back to Chicago to hang out with Bill Ayres, Bernadine Dohrn, Tony Rezko, Jeremiah Wright, Father Michael Pfleger, and Emil Jones I'd enjoy a vacation in Hawaii. It will be interesting to see where he will go to get away from DC.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Henry Thoreau and Priming the Slump

Back in the 60s I thoroughly enjoyed reading Walden. I especially liked the way that he talked about marching to the beat of a different drum. I liked the idea about an individual being left alone. Young people love this kind of stuff.

As I grew older I have seen the growth of a fanatic environmental movement and Garry Trudeau cartoon strips about Walden that just seemed wrong to my memory of what Thoreau was all about. Thoreau was not about creating a political movement. Everything that he lived was about the individual instead of the country.

Here are some Henry Thoreau quotes:

There is no odor so bad as that which arises from goodness tainted. It is human, it is divine, carrion. If I knew for a certainty that a man was coming to my house with the conscious design of doing me good, I should run for my life, as from that dry and parching wind of the African deserts called the simoom, which fills the mouth and nose and ears and eyes with dust till you are suffocated, for fear that I should get some of his good done to me some of its virus mingled with my blood. No in this case I would rather suffer evil the natural way. A man is not a good man to me because he will feed me if I should be starving, or warm me if I should be freezing, or pull me out of a ditch if I should ever fall into one. I can find you a Newfoundland dog that will do as much. Philanthropy is not love for one's fellow-man in the broadest sense.

There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root, and it may be that he who bestows the largest amount of time and money on the needy is doing the most by his mode of life to produce that misery which he strives in vain to relieve.

The fact which the politician faces is merely that there is less honor among thieves than was supposed, and not the fact that they are thieves.

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.

The necessaries of life for man in this climate may, accurately enough, be distributed under the several heads of Food, Shelter, Clothing, and Fuel; for not till we have secured these are we prepared to entertain the true problems of life with freedom and a prospect of success.

I agree with the conclusions Ken Kifer reached about Henry Thoreau.

The purpose of Walden is to argue for, explain, and demonstrate Thoreau's philosophy of life, a philosophy that is practical and poetic, personal and universal. Thoreau developed his own sense of economics, an understanding that differs greatly from that of Karl Marx (communism) or that of Adam Smith (capitalism), an understanding that can free an individual from a life of toil and worry. But in addition, he developed a purpose for life, something that the communists and capitalists overlooked, a purpose more important than economics. Rather than seeing the acquisition of wealth as the goal for human existence, Thoreau saw the goal of life to be an exploration of the mind and of the magnificent world around us.

Ralph Waldo Emerson could shake his head at Thoreau's funeral and say, "I so much regret the loss of his rare powers of action, that I cannot help counting it a fault in him that he had no ambition. Wanting this [that is, lacking ambition] instead of engineering for all America, he was the captain of a huckleberry party. Pounding beans is good to the end of pounding empires one of these days; but if, at the end of years, it is still only beans!"

Emerson, considered the most brilliant thinker of his day, overestimated Thoreau's natural abilities, greatly underestimated Thoreau's accomplishments, and failed to see Thoreau's purpose. Thoreau was not interested in "engineering for all America." Instead of looking at just the problems of the 1850's, Thoreau based his philosophy on ageless truths from the past and looked into the future.

In today's world Henry Thoreau would not be able to live in a cabin at Walden Pond because he would violate rules and regulations and requirements from a big Federal government Dept. of Agriculture, Housing and Urban Development, and Energy Dept.

Last night I listened to Pat Buchanan rant about how the Toyota Republicans are killing the manufacturing base of the US economy. He said there are only four productive bases in an economy, (manufacturing, mining, agriculture, and factories), and killing off the Big 3 by not bailing them out is akin to destroying a large part of the manufacturing base. I agree with Pat on the four productive bases which closely resemble Thoreau's breakdown of the basic necessaries, but I disagree that heavy intervention by the US Federal Government is the right thing to do. I believe if the Government can get out of interfering so much with these productive bases to appease the powerful environmental lobby, then people are going to find a way to produce the products for an existing market.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Boris and Ivan Again

Thomas Sowell wrote this article about the human condition of using envy, hate, and fear to grab power.

An excerpt -

There is an old Russian fable, with different versions in other countries, about two poor peasants, Ivan and Boris. The only difference between them was that Boris had a goat and Ivan didn't. One day, Ivan came upon a strange-looking lamp and, when he rubbed it, a genie appeared. She told him that she could grant him just one wish, but it could be anything in the world.

Ivan said, "I want Boris's goat to die."

Thomas Sowell went on to explain how this old Russian fable tells us something painful about many Americans today, when so many people are preoccupied with the pay of corporate CEOs. It is not the general public that singles out corporate CEOs for so much attention. Politicians and the media have focused on business leaders, and the public has been led along, like sheep.

Those who want more power have known for centuries that giving the people somebody to hate and fear is the key.

This article jarred my memory about a book written by Henry Thoreau, Walden Pond.

Walden's original title page...The drawing is by Henry's sister, Sophia Thoreau. The text under the drawing is:
I do not propose to write an ode to dejection, but to brag as lustily as chanticleer in the morning, standing on his roost, if only to wake my neighbors up.

In this book Thoreau spells out the basics that are necessary. an excerpt -

The necessaries of life for man in this climate may, accurately enough, be distributed under the several heads of Food, Shelter, Clothing, and Fuel; for not till we have secured these are we prepared to entertain the true problems of life with freedom and a prospect of success.

Each individual is going to secure these necessaries of life in differing amounts, and we have got to let go of envy for those who have more than others. The envy and the hate that follows will not get you any more of the necessaries. All that hate can do is spread the misery.

Let's expand on this fable from the economy to entertaining the problems of life with freedom and a prospect of success. Why was so much effort made to ban a ballot initiative in California that defines marriage as only between one man and one woman? It had nothing to do with the necessaries of life, and it would not add any additional legal rights that citizens of California already have.

There are some in the gay community who want everyone to applaud and approve of their sexual activity. It is not enough for them to be legally protected from harassment. They want everyone to approve and appreciate their sexual activity.

They see the traditional family respected and admired in the community, and this brings them envy followed by hate. When they can't have what they want they become Ivan wanting Boris's goat to die.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Frederick Douglass's First Meeting With President Lincoln

Frederick Douglass escaped from slavery in 1838 after a harsh life of servitude in Maryland. He was later hired by William Lloyd Garrison as a speaker for the Anti-Slavery Society. He founded and edited the North Star, an abolitionist newspaper.

Frederick Douglass had impatiently snapped at Lincoln on the pages of his newspaper for sloth and indifference to the issue of slavery. He came away from his first meeting with Lincoln in August 1863 surprised.

I find the president the first great man that I talked with in the United States freely who, in no single instance, reminded me of the difference between himself and myself, of the difference of color. The reason is because of the similarity with which I had fought my way up, we both starting at the lowest rung of the ladder.

Based upon the writings of Frederick Douglas, if I were a fly on the wall listening to the conversation of this first meeting between these two, I would have heard the following:

President Lincoln: I am alarmed by the increasing opposition to the war, in the North, and the mad cry against it, because it is being made an abolition war. I am apprehensive that a peace might be forced upon me which would leave still in slavery all who had not come within our lines. I want to make my Proclamation as effective as possible in the event of such a peace. The slaves are not coming so rapidly and so numerously to us as I had hoped.

Frederick Douglass: The slaveholders know how to keep such things from their slaves, and probably very few know of your Proclamation.

President Lincoln: Well, I want you to set about devising some means of making them acquainted with it, and for bringing them into our lines. I am troubled by the attitude of Mr. Greeley, editor of the New York Tribune, and the growing impatience there is being manifested through the North at the war. I am being accused of protracting the war beyond its legitimate object, and of failing to make peace, when I might have done so to advantage. I am afraid of what might come of all these complaints, but am persuaded that no solid and lasting peace could come short of absolute submission on the part of the rebels, and I am not for giving them rest by futile conferences at Niagara Falls, or elsewhere, with unauthorized persons. I see the danger of premature peace, and I wish to provide means of rendering such consummation as harmless as possible.

Frederick Douglass: I am the more impressed by your benevolent consideration because you previously said, in answer to the peace clamor, that your object was to save the Union, and to do so with or without slavery. What you are now saying shows a deeper moral conviction against slavery than I had even seen before in anything spoken or written by you. I agree to undertake the organizing of a band of scouts, composed of colored men, whose business should be somewhat after the original plan of John Brown, to go into the rebel states, beyond the lines of our armies, and carry the news of emancipation, and urge the slaves to come within our boundaries.

President Lincoln: Douglass, I hate slavery as much as you do, and I want to see it abolished altogether.

A few days later, Douglass wrote the President:

All with whom I have thus far spoken on the subject, concur in the wisdom and benevolence of the idea, and some of them think it is practicable. That every slave who escapes from the Rebel States is a loss to the Rebellion and a gain to the Loyal Cause I need not stop to argue the proposition is self evident. The negro is the stomach of the rebellion.

The reasons for my posting this short little history lesson is to refute a couple of ideas being projected about what the Republican Party needs to do.

One idea is that we cannot spend any time, money, and resources on outreach to folks who have a track record of criticizing and voting against Republicans.

We are assuring the prospects of always being in the minority if we only spend time, money, and resources on folks who compliment and vote for Republicans. Folks who fall into this category are in the minority, and we need to stop being in denial about it.

A second idea is that we need to stop protracting the "culture war" with regards to overturning Roe v Wade, and prematurely surrender for the sake of achieving election victories. There is no middle ground on an issue like Roe v Wade.

Friday, November 14, 2008

There Is No Middle Ground

In Hartford on March 5, 1860, Mr. Lincoln said:

If abortion is right, it ought to be extended; if not, it ought to be restricted -- there is no middle ground. If it is right, we cannot justly object to its nationality -- its universality; if it is wrong, they cannot justly insist upon its extension -- its enlargement. All they ask we could readily grant, if we thought abortion right; all we ask they could as readily grant, if they thought it wrong. Their thinking it right, and our thinking it wrong, is the precise fact upon which depends the whole controversy. Thinking it right, as they do, they are not to blame for desiring its full recognition as being right; but thinking it wrong, as we do, can we yield to them? Can we cast our votes with their view, and against our own? In view of our moral, social, and political responsibilities, can we do this? Wrong as we think abortion is, we can yet afford to let it alone where it is, because that much is due to the necessity arising from its actual presence in the nation.

Mr. Lincoln's philosophy was often revealed in letters designed for publication. One such letter was to Kentucky editor Albert G. Hodges in April 1864. President Lincoln began:

I am naturally antiabortion. If abortion is not wrong, nothing is wrong. I cannot remember when I did not so think and feel, and yet I have never understood that the Presidency conferred upon me an unrestricted right to act officially upon this judgment and feeling.

James R. (Ron) Weddington, one of the co-counsels for Roe v. Wade, wrote to president elect Bill Clinton in 1992, advocating elimination of the lower class through birth control and abortion:

But you can start immediately to eliminate the barely educated, unhealthy and poor segment of our country. No, I'm, not advocating some, sort of mass extinction of these unfortunate people. Crime, drugs and disease are already doing that. The problem is that their numbers are not only replaced but increased by the birth of millions of babies to people who can't afford to have babies.

There, I've said it. It's what we all know is true, but we only whisper it, because as liberals who believe in individual rights, we view any program which might treat the disadvantaged differently as discriminatory, mean-spirited Republican...

Condoms alone won't do it. Depo-Provera, Norplant and the new birth control injection being developed in India are not a complete answer...

No, government is also going to have to provide vasectomies, tubal ligations and abortions...RU 486 and conventional abortions. Even if we make birth control as ubiquitous as sneakers and junk food, there will still be unplanned pregnancies. There have been about 30 million abortions in this country since Roe v. Wade. Think of all the poverty, crime and misery ...and then add 30 million unwanted babies to the scenario...

We don't need more cannon fodder. We don't need more parishioners, We don't need more cheap labor. We don't need more poor babies.

So, Weddington's solution to the "problem" of the poor is to convince them to use birth control, and when that fails, provide them with government-funded abortions. Planned Parenthood has taken this strategy to heart, putting the vast majority of their abortion clinics in inner city neighborhoods, resulting in a disproportionate number of abortions among African Americans and Hispanics. So, even though African Americans makeup only 12% of the U.S. population, they account for 35% of all abortions.

Ok, Ok, so I took the liberty to replace the word slavery with the word abortion in the speech and letter of Abraham Lincoln. I did not replace any word that Ron Weddington used in his letter to Bill Clinton. I believe that there has not been a change of heart and attitude by the donkey party from the time of Abraham Lincoln with respect to the barely educated poor segments of our country. There has been a change of strategy. The strategy then was to make good use of them in the same way good use was made of livestock. In our more modern urban world the strategy is for them to just die out by not reproducing.

Monday, November 10, 2008

More Faces Of The Future GOP

This is a list of photos of CongressCritters™ who have been elected to serve in the House or the Senate of their state. source

I pray that these folks are rising stars in the GOP because this will smash to smithereens the narrative framed by the left about who the Republican Party represents.

Rep. Donald A. Blakey DE-34

Rep. Jennifer Carroll FL-13

Rep. Melvin Everson GA-106

Rep. Willie Talton GA-145

Sen. Bill Hardiman MI-29

Rep. Jane Powdrell-Culbert NM-44

Sen. Maurice Washington NV-2

Rep. T.W.Shannon OK-62

Sen. Jackie Winters OR-10

Rep. Paul Scott MI-51

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Faces Of The Future GOP

Sen Jim Risch ID

Sen Mike Johanns NE

Rep Bill Posey FL-5

Rep Tom Rooney FL-16

Rep Duncan Hunter CA-52

Rep Mike Coffman CO-6

Rep Aaron Schock IL-18

Rep Lynn Jenkins KS-2

Rep Brett Guthrie KY-2

Rep Phil Roe TN-1

Rep Bill Cassidy LA-6

Rep Erik Paulsen MN-3

Rep Gregg Harper MS-3

Rep Blaine Luetkemeyer MO-9

Rep Leonard Lance NJ-7

Rep Steve Austria OH-7

Rep Glenn Thompson PA-5

Rep Cynthia Lummis WY-AL

Rep Jason Chaffetz UT-3

Rep Pete Olson TX-22

Rep Chris Lee NY-26

Friday, November 07, 2008

On This I Agree with Obama

Let's remember that it was a man from this state who first carried the banner of the Republican Party to the White House, a party founded on the values of self-reliance and individual liberty and national unity.

Those are values that we all share.

I hope that President-elect Barack Hussein Obama was speaking the whole truth and nothing but the truth when these word came out of his mouth at the victory speech in Chicago.

There are supporters of Obama who want to see conservatives looking sad, demoralized, and defeated. I refuse to let them see this in me, and it will be so much easier if Obama truly believes in self-reliance and individual liberty.

There is a need among conservatives to stay on message and recognize how important it is to define capitalism, self-reliance, and individual liberty. Too often in the last fourteen years the Republicans elected to the US Congress and the White House made decisions based on fear of losing. We need to promote leaders who will make decisions based on faith in the core principles and values described in the Declaration of Independence and US Constitution Preamble.

In addition to the leaders that we need is the need for a more informed electorate. Parents need to talk with their children about what they are being taught in school. More people need to know what Marxism is all about, and what Capitalism is all about.

There is one more line in his victory speech that caught my attention: And we know the government can't solve every problem. This statement is another part of a message conservatives need to promote.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Americans Embrace Childish Unity

The title of my diary is from an excellent column, Americans Embrace Childish Unity , written by Ben Shapiro at TownHall. I especially like his concluding remarks:

America has always recognized that unity for its own sake is useless at best and dangerous at worst. Unifying behind a mysterious charismatic figure promising transformational change may make us feel good, but it is a betrayal of the open and honest governmental debate our Founding Fathers sought and so many Americans have fought and died to preserve.

Americans think they grew up during Election 2008. They think they moved beyond the past. In one way they did. In another, more important way, they regressed dramatically -- to a time before politics mattered. In the next four years, there will be plenty of growing up to do.

All the talk lately seems to be about unity, and I agree with Ben that this talk is useless and dangerous. Actions speak louder than this talk. Apparently the first decision Obama has made is to choose Rahm Emmanuel to be his chief of staff. One would have to have a real perverted definition of unity for its own sake to look at this choice of chief of staff as a unifying move. Let's just look at what Rahm Emmanuel said to his staff after the 2006 midterm elections.

I'll tell you this, the Republicans may have the 72-hour program. But they have not seen the 22-month program! Since my kids are gone, I can say it: They can go bleep themselves!

From here on for the next four years we've got to stop saying - This action by the President raises questions - and start realizing and saying - This action by the President answers questions.

Another thing I am getting tired of is the use of a label. I am convinced that so many people are so ignorant that they don't know the meaning of labels like Marxist or Capitalist. Instead of name calling let's try getting answers to this question - Which of these economic views do you embrace?

A. To enhance the wealth of a nation, every man, consistent with the law, should be free to pursue his own interest his own way, and to bring both his industry and capital into competition with those of ... other ... men. It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest. The individual is driven by private gain but is led by an invisible hand to promote the public good, which was no part of his intention.

B. Capitalism is an anarchy of production, in which the businessmen and capitalists run about like chickens without heads. Rationality, order, and planning emanate from the government, not from the participants in the market.

Capitalism and economic freedom are a formula for injustice and chaos, while government is the voice and agent of justice and rationality in economic affairs.

If they answer A they embrace Capitalism, and if they answer B then they embrace Marxism. A is a quote from Adam Smith, Father of Capitalism, and B is a quote from Karl Marx.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Karl Marx is NOT the Father of Capitalism

This morning I read an excellent column written by Wynton Hall at TownHall. The title of this column is Karl Marx is not the Father of Capitalism

This article has this opening line -

Sen. Barack Obama won for a simple reason: historical amnesia.

I encourage everyone to read the entire article. After reading it I was inspired to write this blog with the words of Adam Smith, Karl Marx, and Ronald Reagan.

Adam Smith

To enhance the wealth of a nation, every man, consistent with the law, should be free to pursue his own interest his own way, and to bring both his industry and capital into competition with those of ... other ... men. It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest. The individual is driven by private gain but is led by an invisible hand to promote the public good, which was no part of his intention.

Whatever be the soil, climate, or extent of territory of any particular nation, the abundance or scantiness of its annual supply must in that particular situation, depend upon ... the productive powers of labour.

In every country it always is and must be the interest of the great body of the people to buy whatever they want of those who sell it cheapest. The proposition is so very manifest that it seems ridiculous to take any pains to prove it; nor could it ever have been called in question had not the interested sophistry of merchants and manufacturers confounded the common sense of mankind. Their interest is, in this respect, directly opposite to that of the great body of the people. As it is the interest of the freemen of a corporation to hinder the rest of the inhabitants from employing any workmen but themselves, so it is the interest of the merchants and manufacturers of every country to secure to themselves the monopoly of the home market.

A dwellinghouse, as such, contributes nothing to the revenue of its inhabitant; and though it is, no doubt, extremely useful to him, it is as his clothes and household furniture are useful to him, which, however, makes a part of his expense, and not of his revenue. If it is to be let to a tenant for rent, as the house itself can produce nothing, the tenant must always pay the rent out of some other revenue which he derives either from labour, or stock, or land. Though a house, therefore, may yield a revenue to its proprietor, and thereby serve in the function of a capital to him, it cannot yield any to the public, nor serve in the function of a capital to it, and the revenue of the whole body of the people can never be in the smallest degree increased by it.

Karl Marx

In the absence of government intervention, the self-interest, the profit motive--the unbridled greed--of businessmen and capitalists would serve to drive wage rates to minimum subsistence while it extended the hours of work to the maximum humanly endurable, imposed horrifying working conditions, and drove small children to work in factories and mines.

The profits and interest of businessmen and capitalists are unearned, undeserved gains, wrung from wage earners--the alleged true producers--by the equivalent of physical force, and hence the wage earners are virtual slaves (wage slaves) and the capitalist exploiters are virtual slave owners. Taxing the businessmen and capitalists and using the proceeds for the benefit of wage earners, in such forms as social security, socialized medicine, public education, and public housing, is a policy that serves merely to return to the wage earners some portion of the loot allegedly stolen from them in the process of exploitation.

The capitalists expropriate all of the wage earner's production above what is necessary for minimum subsistence. The government's intervention harms no one but the immoral businessmen and capitalists, never the wage earners. Thus not only the taxes to pay for social programs but also the higher wages imposed by pro-union and minimum-wage legislation simply come out of profits, with no negative effect whatsoever on wage earners, such as unemployment.

Capitalism is an anarchy of production, in which the businessmen and capitalists run about like chickens without heads. Rationality, order, and planning emanate from the government, not from the participants in the market.

Capitalism and economic freedom are a formula for injustice and chaos, while government is the voice and agent of justice and rationality in economic affairs.

the disciples of Karl Marx

Karl Marx's viewpoint is the intellectual framework of the great majority of today's professors and of several generations of their predecessors. It is equally the intellectual framework of their students, who have dutifully absorbed their misguided teachings and some of whom have gone on to become the reporters and editors of such publications as The New York Times, The Washington Post, Newsweek, Time, and the overwhelming majority of all other newspapers and news magazines. It is the intellectual framework of their students who are now the commentators and editors of practically all of the major television networks, such as CBS, NBC, ABC, and CNN. And it is this intellectual framework within which the media now attempts to understand and report on our financial crisis.

The educational system and the media do not favor any kind of forcible overthrow of the United States government or are necessarily even advocates of socialism. They are Marxists insofar as they accept Marx's views concerning the nature and operation of capitalism.

Ronald Reagan. a disciple of Adam Smith

Who pays the business tax anyway? We do! You can't tax business. Business doesn't pay taxes. It collects taxes. And if they can't be passed on to the customer in the price of the product as a cost of operation, business goes out of business. Now what they're going to do is make it easier for demagogic politicians--and you've got plenty of them in the state legislature--to say to the people, look, we need money for this worthwhile project but we're not going to tax you, we're going to tax business, now that we can do it by a one vote margin. So they'll tax business and the price of the product will go up and the people will blame the storekeeper for the rise in the price of the product, not recognizing that all he's doing is passing on to them a hidden sales tax.

If people need any more concrete explanation of this, start with the staff of life, a loaf of bread. The simplest thing; the poorest man must have it. Well, there are 151 taxes now in the price of a loaf of bread--it accounts for more than half the of a loaf of bread. It begins with the first tax, on the farmer that raised the wheat. Any simpleton can understand that if that farmer cannot get enough money for his wheat, to pay the property tax on his farm, he can't be a farmer. He loses his farm. And so it is with the fellow who pays a driver's license and a gasoline tax to drive the truckload of wheat to the mill, the miller who has to pay everything from social security tax, business license, everything else. He has to make his living over and above those costs. So they all wind up in that loaf of bread. Now an egg isn't far behind and nobody had to make that. There's a hundred taxes in an egg by the time it gets to market and you know the chicken didn't put them there!

Ronald Reagan said those words in July 1975, a full five years before winning the White House. Put simply, Reagan stayed on message for years and didn't relent.

Reagan understood that you have to teach voters why Leftist policies are wrongheaded. He also understood that you have to pound home a message before it will stick.

Rebuilding the conservative message will demand that the next generation of conservative leaders do the same.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Useful Idiots Fifty Years Ago

We the People have a duty as voters on Tuesday, November 4, 2008. John McCain is well known from his years of service to our country for the last 55 years. Barack Obama is not so well known. There are some things we cannot know about Barack Obama because the State of Hawaii and major US newspapers have sealed the information. Vote for McCain/Palin as if your life depends on it. It does.

A Timeline of Events Fifty Years Ago

November 1956

Fidel went into exile in Mexico, where he met a young, militant Argentine named Ernesto Guevara, better known as El Che. They left Mexico in late November 1956 on the ship Granma. They landed at Playa Las Coloradas, in the rural eastern part of Cuba. With financial backing from Russia, Castro bribed many military leaders. He got a substantial amount of support from the intellectual and working class, who knew nothing of his Communist intentions.

February 25, 1957

Herbert L. Matthews, a correspondent for the New York Times, Matthews reported:

There is no communism to speak of in Fidel Castro's movement.

April, 1957

Herbert L. Matthews interviewed Fidel Castro at his mountain retreat. For three successive front page articles, he compared Castro to Lincoln and presented him as "a peasant patriot", "a strong anti-communist", "a Robin Hood", and "a defender of the people."


A member of the Intelligence section of the Cuban army hand-carried Castro's dossier to Washington in 1957, delivering it to Allen Dulles, head of the CIA, which revealed that Castro was a Communist. Dulles 'buried' the file.

Arthur Gardner, the American Ambassador to Cuba, referred to Castro as a communist terrorist and so he was replaced by Earl E.T. Smith, who, instead of being briefed by Gardner was briefed by a correspondent for the New York Times, Herbert Matthews. A Senate Committee investigation of William A. Wieland, who in 1957 became the State Department's Caribbean representative, said that he
regularly disregarded, sidetracked or denounced FBI, State Department and military intelligence sources which branded Castro as a Communist.
Individuals in the State Department, and individuals in the New York Times, put Castro in power.
These individuals included Robert McNamara, Theodore C. Sorenson, Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., Roy Rubottom, McGeorge Bundy, William J. Fulbright, and Roger Hilsman.

December 1958

In 1958, in an interview with Jules DuBois, Castro said:
I have never been nor am I a Communist...
Roy Rubottom, the Assistant Secretary for Latin American Affairs, said in December, 1958:
There was no evidence of any organized Communist elements within the Castro movement or that Senor Castro himself was under Communist influence.

December 31, 1958

After being asked to abdicate by Eisenhower, Batista left office on December 31, 1958 and Castro took control of the country in January, 1959.

February 1959

On CBS-TV, Edward R. Murrow portrayed him as a national hero.

Ed Sullivan interviewed Castro for a film clip which was seen by about 30 million people in which he said:
The people of the United States have great admiration for you and your men because you are in the real American spirit of George Washington.

April 1959

In April, 1959, Castro visited the U.S., and the State Department welcomed him as a "distinguished leader." Castro meets US Vice President Richard Nixon on an unofficial visit to Washington. Nixon afterwards wrote that the US had no choice but to try to "orient" the leftist leader in the "right direction."

July 1959

In July, 1959, Major Pedro Diaz Lanz of the Cuban Air Force toured the United States and revealed that he had first-hand knowledge that Castro was a Communist. This fact, for the most part, was kept out of the media. The truth of the matter was that the State Department was purposely covering up Castro's Communist connections, the fact that his supporters were trained by Russia, and that he was carrying out a Communist revolution.


All US businesses in Cuba are nationalised without compensation; US breaks off diplomatic relations with Havana and imposes a trade embargo in response to Castro's reforms.


Castro proclaims Cuba a communist state and begins to ally it with the USSR.


Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Pilot or the Wizard?

I just read an excellent column by John Andrews over at TownHall, The Pilot or the Wizard?, and it inspired me to write this blog. In less than 2 weeks we should know who is the next President of the United States. I say should because of the "I take back my concession" gambit that Al Gore played in 2000. Now contrary to what you will read and hear, we are not going to know who is the next POTUS until after votes are counted. This has been a strange year. I remember before this year's Super Bowl every expert had already crowned the New England Patriots as this year's Super Bowl Champs. Guess what? All of these experts were wrong. The New York Giants won when it counted, during the game itself.

I hope that you enjoy the videos that I selected for this diary. I think they depict the crossroads that our country finds itself at. On the one road we have the munchkins, Democrats and media, exhorting us to "follow the yellow brick road" and be off to elect the wizard who will save the planet. On the other road we have a maverick pilot who punches out all the panhandlers who get in his way.

I encourage everyone to read John Andrews' column that gives 20 reasons why we should elect John McCain instead of Barck Obama. Here is an excerpt that I especially enjoyed.

The final and most important reason is character. The crusty old Pilot, airborne for all these years, has it beyond a doubt. The weaselly Wizard may or may not. The shadows enshrouding his resume, the special effects propelling his campaign, just make you wonder.

The Wizard’s voice is alluring, but what’s behind the curtain? These stormy days are no time to gamble. Trust the Pilot, America.

I agree completely, and I will be bitter if the majority of voters vote for Obama. I will not give the voters a pass on this one. There is no gun pointing at them when they close the curtain and cast their secret ballot. Contrary to anything any expert will tell you over the next few days, it is the voters who are in control of this election.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Straight Talk from Ayaan about the Free Market

Recently Ayaan Hirsi Ali has written an excellent article, Does the Free Market Corrode Moral Character? in conjunction with her participation in the John Templeton Foundation's series of conversations among leading scientists, scholars, and public figures about the "big questions" of human life. There is right now a lot of conversation about what should be the direction for the country in terms of being on the right track to improve living conditions in the United States. An example of this discourse is evident by a question posed by JoeWurzelbacher to Barack Obama about the change he wants to implement if he is elected President. Obama's reply -
I think when you spread the wealth around it's good for everyone.
I encourage everyone to read the entire article, but I do want to highlight what I consider the real straight talk that she provides on this subject.

A socialist might measure moral strength by one's dedication to the redistribution of wealth. A liberal--by which I mean a classical, Adam Smith or Milton Friedman liberal, not a liberal in its American meaning of "pro-big government"--might be religious, and he might see the merits of income equality, but he will always put freedom first. This is the moral framework to which I subscribe.

To appreciate just how effectively the free market strengthens moral character, it is helpful to glance at economic systems that undermine or openly reject it. Everywhere Communism has been tried, for instance, it has resulted not just in corruption and sub-standard products but also in fear, apathy, ignorance, oppression, and a general lack of trust. The Soviet Union and pre-reform China were morally as well as economically bankrupt.

Or consider the feudal order typified by Saudi Arabia. There we see an absolute monarch, a religious hierarchy that reinforces the ruling family's hold on power, and several classes of serfs: the oppressed Shi'a minority, the vastly exploited underclass of immigrant workers, and women, who are confined and abused. The stagnation and oppression of Saudi society make it utterly immoral in the eyes of a classical liberal. Unlike Communism, it cannot even proffer the fig leaf of greater "fairness."

In a free-market society, where liberty comes first, individuals tend to be more creative and to innovate; in welfare states that assign priority to equality, the natural resourcefulness of human beings is perverted. To become successful, you must learn how to "work the system" rather than how to develop a better product. Risk is avoided, and individual responsibility is thwarted. Although superficially the system may appear fair, it promotes mediocrity and a sense of victimhood, and it discourages those who want to excel.

Free-market societies are under fire from environmentalists today for supposedly ruining the planet. But the passionate debate about global warming and the moral implications of waste and pollution has arisen only in politically free societies.

In the course of history, the search for perfect societies--that is, the failure to acknowledge human imperfection--almost always ended in one or another form of theocracy, authoritarianism, or violent anarchy. But for those who seek to work with human flaws of every stripe, and to increase the sum total of individual happiness, the free market, combined with political freedom, is the best way.

I put in boldface type some of the words she used in her straight talk that mean the most to me. This woman who was born a Muslim in the Horn of Africa nation of Somalia is an avowed atheist pro-choice and pro gay rights liberal who I respect and admire for her courage and her strength. She has written what I believe effectively in short concise and meaningful words, and all I can add to all that is one hearty AMEN.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Coming Backlash?

The title of this diary is from a recent article by Pat Buchanan at TownHall. I am not one of Pat's fans, especially when he writes as an apologist for Hitler's third Reich, but he does have a sharp political mind. Pat makes the distinction in this article between Barack Obama and George McGovern. an excerpt -

No Democrat has ever come out of the far left of his party to win the presidency. McGovern, the furthest left, stayed true to his convictions and lost 49 states.

Obama has chosen another course. Though he comes out of the McGovern-Jesse Jackson left, he has shed past positions like support for partial birth abortion as fast as he has shed past associations, from William Ayers to ACORN, from the Rev. Jeremiah Wright to his fellow parishioners at Trinity United.

One question remains: Will a President Obama, with his party in absolute control of both Houses, revert to the politics and policies of the Left that brought him the nomination, or resist his ex-comrades' demands that he seize the hour and impose the agenda ACORN, Ayers, Jesse, and Wright have long dreamed of?

Whichever way he decides, he will be at war with them, or at war with us. If Barack wins, a backlash is coming.

This is the mystery that this year We the People need to wrestle with on election day. Had Barack Obama provided a clear paper trail of a record that former contender George McGovern brought with him then this would be another landslide election year for the Republicans. But no, Barack is where he is by "voting present" for the majority of his political career.

I personally have no dilemma in rejecting the younger mystery man in favor of the older man with a record of policies and politics that I sometimes disagreed with him on. I will go with the devil I know over the devil I do not know.

One thing that Pat did not expand upon is what would actually be happening in the US if the backlash is a President Obama resisting all of his ex-comrades' demands? Nobody knows for sure, and if John McCain is elected then the question is moot. I did stumble upon an excellent article by Sean Dorgan over at This is an article about Ireland evolved from one of the poorest countries in Western Europe to one of the most successful. It basically IMO is a report of how conservative policies and practices were put into place, and where conservatism is tried it works. an excerpt -

The political parties were not successfully addressing the gathering gloom. Fianna Fail, the opposition party since 1982, won the general elec­tion in 1987. When in government in the late 1970s, Fianna Fail had been largely responsible for the excessive and misguided public spending. This time, however, the party tried a different path. On election to government in 1987, they surprised many, including their own supporters, with a pro­gram of severe cuts in expenditure accompanied by some novel consensus-building and developmental measures. Within a few years, these steps began to show dividends, helped by a coincidence of other factors.

Smaller government became part of the road to success. There was surprise with the first moves to cut spending severely across a range of programs and abolish a number of government agencies. These steps were strongly criticized initially, espe cially when they seemed to affect (state-provided) health and social services, but the depth of the bud getary crisis allowed the momentum to be sus tained. The government was assisted by a consensus that had been built in the NESC, com prising business, farming, trade union, and social interest groups. The main opposition party, whose leader had been minister for finance before the election, also supported any measures that restored fiscal discipline.

A second element of the new government’s action plan was moderate wage increases in return for modest reductions in direct income taxes, in effect allowing take-home pay to increase more than the pay raise granted by employers. This three-year Program for National Recovery involved government itself, employers, unions, and farmers. This helped to break the spiral of inflationary wage increases and ensured industrial peace. The program also served to create agree ment on the nature of the crisis facing the state and on steps needed to deal with it. The wider benefits of consensus on development priorities and the shared efforts involved to achieve national goals proved to be of lasting value, and similar national partnership agreements have been put in place repeatedly up to 2005.

I know, I know, it is way too much for me to suggest that conservatism can be given a chance to work. Just count me as another one of those bitter folks from a small town who clings to his guns and his religion. I am not about to change what I believe, but I am willing to change my address if I have to give up more liberty and freedom.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Lucy, you got some 'splainin' to do.-Ricky Ricardo

On some positions a coward has asked the question is it safe? Expediency asks the question, is it politic? Vanity asks the question, is it popular? But conscience asks the question is it right? And there come a time when one must take a position that is neither safe nor politic nor popular but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right.

The hottest place in Hell is reserved for those who remain neutral in times of great moral conflict.

A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

I think the responsibility that the Democrats have may rest more in resisting any efforts by Republicans in the Congress or by me when I was president, to put some standards and tighten up a little on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Bill Clinton

There are 31 House Democrats and 27 House Republicans who voted No on the bill on Monday and voted Yes on the bill on Friday. So what changed between Monday and Friday? A lot of pork was piled into this bill. David Freddoso wrote an excellent piece at NRO about these changes. An excerpt:

Some conservatives, as fans of lower taxes, prefer that the special tax-credit provisions (such as the benefit this bill confers upon wooden-arrow-makers) not be called "earmarks." "Calling tax cuts "earmarks" is very unhelpful and completely wrong from a fiscal conservative perspective", reads a memo from Ryan Ellis of Americans for Tax Reform. "There is no such thing as a tax earmark."

Indeed, narrow, targeted tax cuts are not the same as handouts of federal money. But if they are not "earmarks", the tax advantages for wooden arrows and other special interests are still pernicious. At best, they are an attempt by the federal government to manipulate people's behavior through the tax code. At worst, they are a successful attempt by various special interests to feather their nests by attaching tax wish-lists to must-pass legislation.

I don't claim any expertise on predicting how people are going to vote, but I am going to print out the list below to see if any of these incumbents lose their election this time around. I sense a loathing and distrust for current occupants of Congress and the White House. There is a Washington-speak that is spoken to us out in the hinterlands, and we are tired of hearing it.


Shadegg (R-AZ-3)

Pastor (D-AZ-4)

Mitchell (D-AZ-5)

Giffords (D-AZ-8)


Thompson, M. (D-CA-1)

Woolsey (D-CA-6)

Lee (D-CA-9)

Schiff (D-CA-29)

Solis (D-CA-32)

Watson (D-CA-33)

Baca (D-CA-43)


Buchanan (R-FL-13)

Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL-18)


Lewis, John (D-GA-5)

Scott, D. (D-GA-13)


Abercrombie (D-HI-1)

Hirono (D-HI-2)


Rush (D-IL-1)

Jackson, J. (D-IL-2)

Biggert (R-IL-13)


Carson, A. (D-IN-7)


Braley (D-IA-1)


Yarmuth (D-KY-3)


Alexander, R. (R-LA-5)

Boustany (R-LA-7)


Edwards, D. (D-MD-4)

Cummings (D-MD-7)


Tierney (D-MA-6)


Hoekstra (R-MI-2)

Kilpatrick (D-MI-13)

Knollenberg (R-MI-9)


Ramstad (R-MN-3)


Cleaver (D-MO-5)


Terry (R-NE-2)


Berkley (D-NV-1)

New Jersey

Pascrell (D-NJ-8)

Frelinghuysen (R-NJ-11)

New York

Kuhl (R-NY-29)

North Carolina

Coble (R-NC-6)

Myrick (R-NC-9)


Schmidt (R-OH-2)

Tiberi (R-OH-12)

Sutton (D-OH-13)


Sullivan (R-OK-1)

Fallin (R-OK-5)


Wu (D-OR-1)


Gerlach (R-PA-6)

Shuster (R-PA-9)

Dent (R-PA-15)

South Carolina

Barrett (R-SC-3)


Wamp (R-TN-3)


Green, A. (D-TX-9)

Conaway (R-TX-11)

Thornberry (R-TX-13)

Jackson Lee (D-TX-18)

Ortiz (D-TX-27)

Cuellar (D-TX-28)


Welch (D-VT-AL)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

A Conservative Phoenix from the Ashes Populist - John S. McCain

A phoenix is a mythical bird with a tail of beautiful gold and red plumage. It has a 1,000 year life-cycle, and near the end the phoenix builds itself a nest of cinnamon twigs that it then ignites; both nest and bird burn fiercely and are reduced to ashes, from which a new, young phoenix or phoenix egg arises, reborn anew to live again. The new phoenix is destined to live as long as its old self.

There has been a lot of chattering and head shaking lately about how John McCain is changing all of his Republican positions and sounding like a Huey Long populist just to win the Presidency. This is not the John McCain that they have known. Why this John McCain is not lashing out at Pat Robertson and evangelicals like he did in 2000. Oh nooooo.

I disagree with these chatterers and head shakers, and I think their problem is that if they did not have George W. Bush and Dick Cheney opposing them then at least it ought to be Bob Dole and Jack Kemp. Cry me a river because I think this is the same John McCain maverick politician that he has always been.

They are also wrong in portraying John McCain as a Huey Long populist. There are no examples of John McCain speaking about populism in terms of rich man vs. poor man or proletariat vs bourgeoisie. The kind of populism that John McCain expresses is government of the people by the people and for the people. Here are some quotes from his acceptance speech:

Let me offer an advance warning to the old, big-spending, do-nothing, me-first, country-second Washington crowd: Change is coming.

You know, I've been called a maverick; someone who marches to the beat of his own drum. Sometimes it's meant as a compliment and sometimes it's not. What it really means is I understand who I work for. I don't work for a party. I don't work for a special interest. I don't work for myself. I work for you.

I've fought corruption, and it didn't matter if the culprits were Democrats or Republicans. They violated their public trust, and had to be held accountable. I've fought big spenders in both parties, who waste your money on things you neither need nor want, while you struggle to buy groceries, fill your gas tank and make your mortgage payment. I've fought to get million dollar checks out of our elections. I've fought lobbyists who stole from Indian tribes. I fought crooked deals in the Pentagon. I fought tobacco companies and trial lawyers, drug companies and union bosses.

I've been an imperfect servant of my country for many years. But I have been her servant first, last and always. And I've never lived a day, in good times or bad, that I didn't thank God for the privilege.

John McCain will be the next President of the United States of America, and he will serve for the ones who vote for him and for the ones who do not vote for him. An example of this is Michael Steele's take on John McCain appearing before the NAACP.

You've got to live in the real. Barack is going to take more than the lion's share of the black vote. But that doesn't and has not stopped John McCain from competing for that vote. And I think that says a lot about the kind of president he is going to be -- that he doesn't just see this as an election opportunity, that he sees this as an opportunity for America to right a lot of wrongs certainly but to grow together -- the idea of every boat being lifted at the same time, and I think that's a powerful message.

Unlike Obama, McCain held a Q&A after his speech, which caused a visible stir in the room.

You could hear the room go, what?! He's actually going to open this up?! And I was asking folks, 'Did Barack do that?' And they were, like, 'No.' So, I think it speaks to the style. It speaks to the substance of the man in terms of how he wants to engage the black community, and I appreciate him doing it.

It is "long overdue" for Republican leaders to reach out to the African Americans. I think the work has to begin in earnest, and I think John McCain wants to do that. Regardless of how the election falls out in November, the Republican Party -- if they want to be players; if they want to be taken seriously as a political voice in this country -- they are going to have to engage in all levels, all communities. And you can't piecemeal this. You can't have this attitude, 'Well, they won't vote for us so why bother?'

Rich Lowry analyzes the McCain campaign:

The McCain campaign believes that there are twin tests this fall. One is whether Barack Obama is ready to be commander in chief; the other is whether John McCain represents change. Even if Obama fails to meet his test of readiness, he will still win if McCain fails the test of change. It wasn't enough for McCain to mock Obama in his deadly 'not ready to lead' ads. He had to re-establish his outsiderness, and did it with his electrifying pick of fellow reformer Sarah Palin, whose Alaska governor's desk sits no less than 2,800 miles from Washington.

For Sarah Palin's other contribution to McCain is to point him downward, toward the lunch-bucket concerns of the working-class voters that Hillary won in the primaries. McCain's politics of honor can be as unsatisfyingly abstract as Obama's politics of hope. No more. With a new Palin-enabled populism, McCain the 'fighter' for you evoked the struggle 'to buy groceries, fill your gas tank and make your mortgage payment.'

John McCain is going to pass the tests of readiness and that he represents change. Barack not only fails the readiness test, but he also fails the test of making the voters believe the choice is between Barack Obama and George W. Bush.

Friday, September 19, 2008

The Players in Paving the Way to the Wall St Meltdown

During these times of heated political election year politics agreement across the political spectrum has been achieved that the financial institutions on Wall St. are in terrible shape. The agreement that things are a mess very quickly falls apart when it is broken down into who is to blame for this mess, and what can be done to clean the mess up. The disagreement over who is to blame reminds me of the song It Wasn't Me by Shaggy - especially this part of the lyrics

To be a true player you have to know how to play

If she say a night, convince her say a day

Never admit to a word when she say makes a claim

And you tell her baby no way

So the true players that opened up this new road to the abyss are Alan Greenspan, Robert Rubin, Sandy Weill, Phil Gramm, Jim Leach, Tom Bliley, Barney Frank, Bill Clinton,

Alan Greenspan -

In 1990, the Fed, under former J.P. Morgan director Alan Greenspan, permitted guess who J.P. Morgan–to become the first bank allowed to underwrite securities.

Four legislative attempts were made to weaken or repeal parts of Glass-Steagall from 1988-1996. One reason they failed is because smaller banks feared that opening the doors to allow banks to trade in securities would lead to the domination of larger banks–a fate that has come to pass.

The biggest change came in 1996 when Alan Greenspan issued a ruling allowing bank investment affiliates to have up to a quarter of their business in investments.

Robert Rubin - in testimony before Congress in 1995

The banking industry is fundamentally different from what it was two decades ago, let alone in 1933.” He said the industry has been transformed into a global business of facilitating capital formation through diverse new products, services and markets.

U.S. banks generally engage in a broader range of securities activities abroad than is permitted domestically. Even domestically, the separation of investment banking and commercial banking envisioned by Glass-Steagall has eroded significantly.

Robert Rubin - following Shaggy's strategy in 2008

If Wall Street companies can count on being rescued like banks, then they need to be regulated like banks.

He was for the deregulation before he was against the deregulation.

Sandy Weill -

Here you have the leadership, Sandy Weill of Travelers and John Reed of Citicorp, saying, Look, the Congress isn't moving fast enough. Let's do it on our own. To heck with the Congress. Let us effect this. And so they move towards effecting it, and they get the blessing of the chairman of the Federal Reserve system in early April, when legislation is pending.

I mean, this is hubris in the worst sense of the word. Who do they think they are? Other people, firms, cannot act like this. Citicorp and Travelers were so big that they were able to pull this off. They were able to pull off the largest financial conglomeration the largest financial coming together of banking, insurance, and securities when legislation was still on the books saying this was illegal. And they pulled this off with the blessings of the president of the United States, President Clinton; the chairman of the Federal Reserve system, Alan Greenspan; and the secretary of the treasury, Robert Rubin.

And then, when it's all over, what happens? The secretary of the treasury becomes the vice chairman of the emerging Citigroup.

Phil Gramm James Leach Thomas Bliley -

The Citi-Travelers Act went under the benign-sounding name of the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999 and, like Glass-Steagall it has become known for the key sponsors of the bill as the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, for Republican Senate Banking Committee Chair Phil Gramm, House Banking Committee chair James Leach, and Virginia Representative Thomas Bliley.

Lobby money to push through the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act -

In the year previous to the Financial Services Modernization Act, the thing that overruled Glass-Steagall, Citibank spent $100 million on lobbying and public relations, which is a good indication.

Yes. They spent a small fortune, a king's ransom, if you will, getting rid of Glass-Steagall. In fact, when thrown in with other financial firms lobbying, it was closer to $200 million over the short period of time.

The Industry's efforts to jump-start progress on the Senate bill is a case study in how a well-heeled and well-organized interest group can swiftly prod Congress to move, even on an issue about which most people outside Washington and New York have little knowledge.

Nor is it surprising, according to both political science and economic literature, that the interest groups played a vital role in the timing of the 1999 deregulation. Without persistent lobbying by commercial and investment interests it is unlikely that reform would have taken place in this century.

Barney Frank -

There was only one problem: the bill had to reconcile differences between the House and Senate versions. The House version differed in two important ways: 1) It took regulatory authority from the Federal Reserve and gave it to the Secretary of the Treasury and 2) it refused to extend to insurance companies obligations under the Community Re-investment Act to provide information about their patterns of mortgage lending.

Democrat Barney Frank was among those who especially opposed the second.

We do a good job in fostering conditions in which our capitalist system can flourish and it's in our interest that our capitalist system flourish. But can we try to do a little bit for those who are being left behind. This is an inappropriate continuation of a pattern of helping those who need a benefit but ignoring those who are left behind.

How the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act became law -

On Oct. 21, with the House-Senate conference committee deadlocked after marathon negotiations, the main sticking point is partisan bickering over the bill's effect on the Community Reinvestment Act, which sets rules for lending to poor communities. Sandy Weill calls President Clinton in the evening to try to break the deadlock after Senator Phil Gramm, chairman of the Banking Committee, warned Citigroup lobbyist Roger Levy that Weill has to get White House moving on the bill or he would shut down the House-Senate conference. Serious negotiations resume, and a deal is announced at 2:45 a.m. on Oct. 22. President Bill Clinton signed this bill into law on November 12, 1999.

Bill Clinton -

So we know that the topic of that late night phone call between Bill Clinton and Sandy Weill, the man whose career began in the subprime mortgage business, was the Community Reinvestment Act. We know that Phil Gramm, who was the one most strongly pushing for gutting CRA (Leach actually supported it) threatened to torpedo the legislation if the White House did not reach an agreement.

So why did Clinton go along? His writings are silent on the subject. He seemingly held the trump card with the threat to veto any legislation that did not meet his approval. And why is it Sandy Weill who makes the phone call to Clinton? At this point not enough evidence is available to finally connect the dots, but whatever it is, it cannot possibly benefit Bill Clinton. The reason for the silence may be that for the Clintons the repeal of Glass-Steagall may prove far more embarrassing in the long run than Monica Lewinsky.

Barack Obama - when asked if he would restore Glass-Steagall

Well, no. The argument is not to go back to the regulatory framework of the 1930's because, as I said, the financial markets have changed substantially.

Obama's top campaign contributors include Goldman Sachs, J.P.Morgan, and Citigroup.

Where are these players today

Alan Greenspan -

Retired as chairman of the Fed in 2006, he is married to staunch Obama supporter and NBC correspondent Andrea Mitchell.

Robert Rubin -

Chairman of Citigroup and one of Obama's economic advisors

Sandy Weill -

Retired as chairman of Citigroup in 2006

Phil Gramm -

Retired from the US Senate in 2003. Served as John McCain's campaign co-chair and most senior economic advisor until July 18, 2008.

James Leach -

Defeated in the 2006 midterm election for US House, Iowa's 2nd District. He currently is the Director of Harvard University Institute of Politics at Kennedy School of Government. On August 12, 2008, Leach broke party ranks to endorse Democrat Barack Obama against John McCain for the American presidency. He spoke at the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver Colorado on the night of August 25, 2008.

Thomas Bliley -

Retired from the US House 7th District Virginia in 2001, and he was succeeded by Eric Cantor.

Barney Frank -

Current chairman of the House Financial Services Committee. Earlier this year he told Obama campaign staff Eric Holder and Caroline Kennedy that he would have a hard time voting for the ticket if Obama picks former US Sen. Sam Nunn as his running mate.