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History Repeating Itself

November 6, 2013 Leave a comment

While many talking heads point to the many scandals that the administration continues to juggle, from Fast & Furious, to the Benghazi debacle, from Solyndra’s bankruptcy, to fisting safe-school czars, to Gaza-located campaign donations – President Obama has covered nearly every segment of scandal possible. Lack of leadership, the promotion of people of questionable character, shady money, and plenty of yes-men to provide quick, albeit, shallow, explanations for all of it are now part of the presidential modus operandi.

Like Obama, another politician who entered office with much fanfare, and promise, was Ulysses S. Grant, former Union general and war hero. Having never held office before, Grant  realized that he would have to lean on others who proclaimed their own altruism and care for their country. After two terms, he left office with a much different view of politics, nearly dragging a split Republican party into ruin, and having a greatly sullied reputation.

How much are Obama and Grant actually alike? The entire article, scandals and all, can be found here, at The Constitution Club: http://constitutionclub.org/2013/11/06/history-repeating-itself-2/

Ulysses S. Grant

Ulysses S. Grant

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Russell’s Rules vs. Today’s Government Rule

March 18, 2013 Leave a comment
Bertrand Russell

Bertrand Russell (1872-1970)

This week, on Openculture.com, I stumbled onto a reference of a Bertrand Russell column from 1951. In the New York Times Magazine article, Russell shared his “10 Commandments for a Healthy Democracy”. Now, dismissing for a moment whether he was a classical liberal, a neo-liberal, an English liberal, or American liberal, I would like to allow the commandments to stand on their own.

I propose to take Russell’s rules, and use them to give a simple zero to two grading scale for each of the majorities in the houses of Congress, and for the President and his administration. Along with the grades, I will also list the most significant reasons for assigning the grades that I have. At the end, I will tally the scores, and reveal who has been the most misguided, and most ignorant when it came to Russell’s advice. So, here is Russell’s commandments vs. the United States government’s behavior.

Read the entire piece here, on Conservative Daily News:
Russell’s Rules vs. Today’s Government Rule

“I Am Not A Dictator!”

March 1, 2013 2 comments

“O Duck Luck, ” says Hen Pen, “the sky is falling!”
“Why, how do you know it?” says Duck Luck.
Obama Chicken Little told me.”

And so goes the story of another famous alarmist, Chicken Little. President Obama has attempted for the past few weeks to raise alarm about the awful “cuts” that would affect everything. The economy will be hurt and crippled for years, other results include millions of furloughed federal employees, and a non-functioning military. All because those darned Republicans would not agree with him to further increase spending.

 The rights so valued and inherent in each of us has slowly continued to erode away, and with a president such as Obama, it will be a long four years.

Read the whole article at Conservative Daily News, here: http://www.conservativedailynews.com/2013/03/i-am-not-a-dictator/

“I am not a dictator!”

Danger – Cliff Ahead!

December 19, 2012 Leave a comment

Reid/Pelosi, Boehner/McConnell

Another day, another fiscal-cliff deal gone down the drain. John Boehner, already taking heat from the right for his softening stance on raising taxes, has come out with another offer to the president and the left. Called “Plan B”, the plan formerly had the support of Nancy Pelosi. Plan B would set the lower limit for raising taxes at the $1 million level. Plan B is very similar to the same bill that had Senate Democrats’ support in 2010.

For her part, in an interview with Andrea Mitchell, Pelosi now says she only supported the plan to “smoke out the Republicans”, and see at what level they would consider raising taxes. Pelosi was negotiating purely in bad faith, it seems. She did not have anything serious to bring to the discussion, and she was merely wasting time. That, or she is negotiating from the standpoint of “getting an inch, and taking a foot”. Whatever her motive was, it is plain to see how destructive and pointless it was.

Mitch McConnell says he would support the Plan B design, but he would do so with reservations. McConnell would rather have a bill that did not raise taxes on anybody. With Boehner’s support of this newest plan, numerous other House members raised objections to the new tax considerations, but they seem to recognize that without any plan, taxes would greatly rise. The gambit now is to “shield” as many people from the massive tax increases as possible. Sean Duffy, Jim Jordan, and Raul Labrador all seemed lukewarm at best to the prospect of voting for any tax increases, with Labrador refusing to even share his criticisms.

Called out for his part (or non-part) in the fiscal-cliff talks was Harry Reid. One Republican adviser said Reid has been on the sidelines for the cliff negotiations. Reid has also claimed that, despite numerous revisions to their positions, and despite the most recent offer, Republicans “…have threatened to abandon serious negotiations”. Perhaps more proof that he is merely running interference for the White House, Reid also claimed that President Obama has not heard from Boehner since Boehner’s new offer on Monday.

President Obama has balked at every offer the Republicans have proposed so far. Threatening a veto of everything has him in the position of a win-win situation. On one hand, if nothing happens, and taxes explode, he can continue to spend, thanks to the new revenues. On the other hand, if the Republicans cave in, he can both claim he negotiated the excellent deal, and privately, he can tell his sycophants he made Boehner and the Republicans submit. White House officials are also now claiming that the President will refuse to negotiate with Republicans out of principle. That of course, will allow President Obama (and Reid) to claim they attempted to negotiate, but were simply prevented from passing any legislation by the blocking Republicans (yet again).

To the left, the worst thing to come of failed fiscal-cliff talks is that President Obama has to postpone leaving for his Christmas vacation. They face: finally getting huge tax increases, yet again, furthering the narrative of a blocking, do-nothing, Republican party, and they get huge military cuts. Merry Christmas, America.

Political Machination and the Middle Class

December 29, 2011 2 comments

When I mention the “Middle Class”, I would suspect most Americans immediately think, “Hey, that’s me!”, and they pay attention. However, it is an over-used, hackneyed phrase in politics. Whenever a politician wants instantly to grab attention of the American populace, they bring up the “Middle Class”. Since it is usually used by politicians in a “threatened-species” manner, the Middle Class members sit up straight, and listen intently. The Upper Class pays attention, because they are out numbered by the Middle Class (and despite what some people claim, more votes certainly do still count). The Lower Class pays attention because they see the Middle Class as the destination that they are struggling to earn their way into. Politicians, belonging to a class all their own, notice these behavioral tendencies of the three main groups, and smell opportunity.

Something for everyone?

The government is NOT Robin Hood!

For the politicians to use the knee-jerk reaction of the Lower Class, I find their methods very insidious. Usually, what the politicians will do is tell the L.C. that their “gravy train”, their government-granted entitlements, or any other government-dolled goodies are in dire jeopardy because of the actions of the filthy rich. While this will not cause as large a reaction, because the L.C. is less mobile and likely to show up at their Congressman’s office. Anytime someone is given something, and then they are told it is threatened – watch the anger at losing that entitlement explode.

For the politicians to use the reaction of the Upper Class, they can threaten that the M.C. will push for higher wages or take a larger part of the Uppers Class’s wealth in any other number of ways. The U.C., then finding themselves threatened may decide to react by using their money and friendships in Washington to affect change in their favors. Most recently, I think that the more common method of trying to keep goodwill is for the constituents to offer to pay higher taxes (knowing that it will never come to that).  I find it interesting to think that a class so often seen as miserly and “above-it-all”, still seems to be so easily swayed by this type of rhetoric.

The dirty trick is, according to where the politicians put their measuring sticks, the Middle Class could be made to be any group. From an income of $30,000 up to $120,000? You are Middle Class. From $28,000 to $150,000? Boom – you are Middle Class. It is all about political expediency. The politicians constantly play fast and loose with rules, regulations, and our money, so why should their rhetoric be any different? If there is a political point to be made, or some “points” to be earned for their next election, they will paint you in any shade that they need to, to make their point (or to engage fully in their fear-mongering). The Middle Class has to be the most bandied-about segment of America.

These methods of politicians to get various classes to argue and fight with one another, while the politicians get away with murder, creates this huge positive feedback loop. Costs increase with every promise and entitlement given. While it seems to have been this way as long as this blogger can remember, I do not expect it to change (especially since blowing that class-dog-whistle works so well). The government has given goodies to pry support from certain groups, and now it is nearly impossible to reduce it. They need constantly to keep money flowing, while others, seeing these sweet deals, want their “fair share” too. Ever-increasing funds are needed as more and more people join the rolls. Where is it supposed to all come from? Sometimes, I wonder how much a little critical thought is worth – well politicians are attempting to figure that out for us all.

(This post took me forever, due primarily to the fact I started Tweeting, and that’s like Internet crack. I told those responsible that they’d be noted as my distractions): @tamale102280, @iteabellsingers, and @apologyispolicy
They’re good people – follow ’em if you don’t already!

Your Government’s Using You

December 8, 2011 Leave a comment

In the past few years, we have seen an American government swing drastically to one direction. Then the winners  mistake that election for a mandate (instead of the rejection of the neo-conservative-right that it was), ram-rod legislation through the one-party Congress, and then see their own party’s even larger rejection, in the process, losing control of Congress. It is like the American electorate has a sudden schizophrenic temperament, swinging wildly from one political ideology to another. Is the electorate like a top, wobbling one direction and another, looking for a fine balance of both parties? If people are actually looking for some “fine-line” between the parties, then why is there so much angry rhetoric and complaining when we are told a compromise is in the works, and that it will benefit everyone?

In the preceding three years, this country has seen massive amounts of capital expended for saving this industry or that company. A few trillion here, and a couple of hundred billion there – pretty soon, it is real money (or so the saying goes). All the while, this administration continually tells us Americans, that the millionaires have too much money – far more than they will ever need, and that the government would  better utilize that money. The same government who squanders billions on uncompetitive solar panel companies, run by friendly money-bundlers would use the money better than the owners of it, who will either loan it to banks (as CDs or other accounts) or spend it, thereby stimulating the economy with said purchase.

Recently, instead of merely wasting public funds, we have seen the government and politicians actually committing and supporting other illegal acts. From going to war without consulting Congress, to trading on inside information (which amounts to stealing from other stockholders who do not have the same access to information), to strongly supporting the Occupy Wall Street trespassing and violence. The Occupy Los Angeles Occupiers were reported to have had plans to use violent bombs and other weapons against the police force, but the mayor finally reacted, and police cleaned up the camps. In a twist of irony, the politicians would have us believe that using non-lethal pepper-spray is akin to slaughtering those protesters, who were warned repeatedly if they did not move, the spraying would occur. Free speech is not without responsibility, and neither is any action.

Racist!

Racist! (and other baseless dog whistles)

I believe that the continuously broadcast line by government, that Americans are being somewhat subjugated and “used” by big, bad corporations may be true in some instances (check the still growing MF Global scandal)– but the people pointing the fingers are far worse than any of their boogeymen. “It is the bankers and stock traders who are stealing – they are making tons of money, and they are holding America down while they do it”, we are fed daily. It is an everyday occurrence, and must be continually reinforced, or the sheeple may begin to question the rhetoric and think critically once again, ruining the carefully laid plans. What a perfect set-up the politicians have created, eh? Simultaneously, they: create a problem, identify and offer “solutions” to the problem, all while pointing to the creator of the problem as everyone but themselves. The politicians have even aligned themselves with various social interest groups (under the guise of “grassroots” movements and concerns for group members) to continually, reinforce the lies. Government causes the problems, government identifies the problems, but whoa – government certainly are not the ones to blame for the same problems!

This continual reinforcement of the incendiary rhetoric is not without costs. The Occupy movement has seen hundreds of protesters arrested, property has been trashed, defaced, and ruined — all because of what amounts to baseless finger-pointing. The politicians have failed at nearly every task that they are supposed to accomplish (is anyone wondering where budgets for the past 2-3 years are? They are somewhere in the black hole that is the Harry Reid-led Senate). Americans are not stupid, but when they are constantly told that something is not “fair”, and that somehow they are being forced to do more work than the Joneses – well, we cannot have that, can we? Everyone must pay their “fair share” as the code-words call for. What better way for politicians to “cash in” on a generation that grew up in the 1980s and 1990s, that is frequently referred to as the “me generation”? Of course, tell them that someone has more than they, and that they could have it so much easier if someone else could make it all even. You cannot incessantly stoke a movement with violent, unfounded rhetoric, and expect that you can also shut it down effortlessly.

The fact remains whether or not the democratic party can still control the greed- and unfairness-driven masses that they have created. In my eyes, it is very comparable to Dr. Frankenstein’s monster – once he was turned loose, he was uncontrollable. In cities where mayors finally chased away the Occupiers, the crowds vowed that they would return. So, where does the country move from here? Will the spring thaw also see the rebirth of the Occupy Movement? Will politicians see the errors of their ways?

My Rights Are More Important Than Your Rights

November 4, 2011 Leave a comment
The United States Bill of Rights

The Bill of Rights, along with the Declaration of Independence, are two of the nation's most sacred documents.

Right? I mean, we hear politicians in Washington claim that one’s rights are more important than some other, and they proceed to attempt to weigh the rights of one group over another constantly, depending (it seems) on how many votes that the bureaucrats need, and how much monetary support those with the “more important” rights can give. The special interests claim as well, that they have earned some special consideration – usually based in a perceived wrong or slight. This is all too typical, despite the fact that the Founding Fathers and the documents that they left this great country describes exactly the opposite. “…that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights…” goes the wonderful line of the Declaration of Independence, flies into the face of the special-interest rights-givers in Washington. The claim seems to be, that somehow, these stingy-rights-givers now know better than the Creator, which people deserve certain rights, and when those rights may be invoked.

We have seen for nearly two months now, a group, first devoted to tackling the economic structure of the United States – since everybody knows it is inherently unfair, and is stacked against those just entering the job markets from college. Whatever happened to the promise they were given of six-figure salaries, generous retirement benefits (early, naturally), and four-day work weeks? Just go to college, experiment with everything you can get your hands on, and when you graduate, the world will be laid out in front of you, laid at your feet, like your own personal pearl. When this fictional Utopian world does not match the reality of graduates, there is understandable cognitive dissonance.

“Surely, there must be a way that these things can be made right!? This was not what was promised! This is unfair!” And, so, along come the politicians, always looking for the next batch of useful idiots. The politicians recycle the usual, “Yes, we understand – it is unfair what has happened to you – and darn it, if you vote for me, I am gonna do something about it for you!” And so the useful idiots, once again buying the hype, throw their support behind the over-promising, always under-delivering politician. Usually, we know how the drill goes from here – it is a sort of “rinse, lather, repeat” scenario, where the politician finds a scapegoat, and pins their own failing to deliver on promises on that poor goat. Before long, the goat is defeated in elections, and the next class of useful idiots are graduating from college, and the pearl is laid before them once again.

To bring us back from the scenario of Utopia and the new graduates’ pearls, I reiterate that the politicians have always been reluctant to even try to deliver on their promises. After all, there was always that poor scapegoat. Simply blame, excuse, and move on. Somewhere along the line though, it seems like the politicians, sensing a way both away from the goat, and a way to “lock-in” support, decided to change the dynamics of their relationship with their supporters. They seem to have found a permanent scapegoat – the so-called 1%, and other business owners, many of which(ironically enough), have been given promises by the same politicians.

Jean Quan

America's worst mayor? Oakland's Jean Quan

Rights are somehow more noble when a movement makes a semi-cogent, nearly-pertinent point, right? We are told that this group or that, simply must be given some special considerations, because they have been wronged in the past. I do not buy that explanation for a second. Even if a person supports the “Occupy your-city-here” movement, it does not give excuse the behavior of its members. Forgetting the hundreds of violent crimes against people committed at the camps (all allegedly, of course, and being handled from within) – for the mayor of one of the largest cities in the country to turn a blind eye to wanton property destruction and violence, and the further threat of violence, is unforgivable. Various stores are shown with broken windows, and road blocks are piled and set afire. The protesters left one threat that, “We came unarmed – this time.” If Oakland’s Jean Quan stoops any further to cater to the violent protesters, she will be in the midst of the riots, handing the protesters rocks and bottles to throw at her own police force and at city businesses. Think this is mere hyperbole? She has already gone as far as posting her office phone number on Twitter, and asking the protesters to call her! Here is your new set of promises, occupiers!

This is madness. While certain media personalities talk of the end of the country and ripping apart of American ideals, I am less certain.  Once these same Machiavellian politicians re-discover the power that they hold onto so tightly before the OWS movement began, and the first mayor in a city with a sizable OWS camp sends in the riot police, the rest of the mayors will follow. This first mayor will spark something that will quickly spread. I find it is amazing – for all of the politicians and mayors’ use of scapegoats, they show themselves to be little more than sheep.