Saturday, January 31, 2009

Saturday Parody - We Can Never Retire

That was from 2ndHalfLaughs who says: "With apologies to "Light My Fire" this rock and roll parody takes The Doors' classic and sings its own comedic tale of financial fires, economic meltdowns, and the vanishing hope that the baby boomer generation will ever be able to retire, or even avoid the unemployment lines."

Here is the original by the Doors (written by Robby Krieger, performed by Jim Morrison) "Light My Fire".

A longer version with more instrumentals is here (Live At The Roundhouse, Europe)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Born Again American - Let The Obama Propaganda Begin

The quote goes:
“When fascism comes to America, it’ll be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross” — Sinclair Lewis

I think when Socialism comes to America it will be wrapped in a flag and promoting the individual and equality, hope and change.

This little Norman Lear ditty almost drew me in until I realized what was going on. Huffington Post did a piece on it as well. Norman Lear is a well known Leftist. Slickly produced propaganda like this will no doubt continue to be produced.

The website promotes the volunteerism that Obama is promoting.. along with registering to vote and contacting your elected officials. Of course who knows what else they are going to ask of people later on as you are committed to this "organization". (Actually if you really want to participate in a real Liberty and pro-America movement; one that supports the Constitution and the ideals of our Founders, you should visit Campaign For Liberty)

Obama's propagandists are out to make it Un-American not to go along with his Socialist policies. They are even selling clothing with the appropriate logos for you to wear. They even have a cute pledge to sign (which of course puts you on their email list).

The "us" against "them" divisions are being set - this was visible in the "Obama versus Rush Limbaugh" controversy this week. All you Conservatives better step in line. Stop listening to Talk Radio and listen to "the Leader" and Comrade Pelosi. Our country after all, is at stake. (Note to Mr. Obama: I will listen to whom I wish to listen to... and that may not necessarily be Rush Limbaugh!)

But back to the video.
I find it particularly interesting how they weave all of the American icons and symbols into this video. It evokes emotion and love of country and that is what it is designed to do.

As for the song - catchy songs are always good propaganda tools.
Listen to the lyrics - really listen
There is an obvious blend of victimhood and blame. They condemn big business. They also sing about people working for little wages and wanting equality... that things are unfair... that government has failed to provide for the people... that America has been about greed... etc etc... it's Socialism wrapped up in American rah rah patriotism.

"My country tis of ME" ????
That just about says it all.

Messages in this video also are designed to bring Conservative Christians into Obama-land. Even the name of the organization and it's song is that obvious.

Songs and programming which promote Obama's agenda are already beginning to infiltrate the airwaves and the Internet in the guise of Americanism. They are putting forth the call for people to get involved and volunteer (to build Obama's civilian army/work force), and helping to rebuild America... blah blah blah.

You will be considered Un-American if you don't march along, especially as the economy worsens.

Beware: Your mind will be manipulated through emotions and patriotism and the media. We'd all do well to investigate where the messages originate from and what the purpose is.

Fascists and Communists use similar tactics.
Propaganda is the deliberate, systematic attempt to shape perceptions, manipulate cognitions, and direct behavior to achieve a response that furthers the desired intent of the propagandist.
—Garth S. Jowett and Victoria O'Donnell, Propaganda and Persuasion

The Obama propaganda begins...

(H/T Leann S.)

CT Representative Begins An Effort to Censor Cyberspace

Connecticut State Representative David Scribner of the 107th District (R) seems to be on a quest to attack our 1st Amendment rights. His office claims that he introduced the bill on behalf of one of his constituents. Apparently a girl was harassed via email to the point that she killed herself. Now I don't claim to know the circumstances of this one event and I am sorry for her and her family - but did she complain to anyone? like the police department? was she on any psychotropic medications that might have made her suicidal? She could have just closed her email account. Who knows, but now we have this dangerous bill in the General Assembly's machinery and it really ought to be dumped.

This takes the form of proposed state bill HR 6181:
The bill has been referred to Committee on Judiciary

This is what the bill says:

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

That chapter 952 of the general statutes be amended to establish the crime of cyber harassment that occurs when a person, for the purpose of frightening or disturbing another person, transmits or causes the transmission of an electronic communication, or knowingly permits an electronic communication to be transmitted to another person from an electronic communications device under his or her control, (1) using coarse language offensive to a person of average sensibility, (2) anonymously or repeatedly whether or not a conversation occurs, or (3) threatens to commit any felony; and that any person who commits cyber harassment shall be guilty of a class A misdemeanor unless such person is twenty-one years of age or older and the crime is committed against a person under seventeen years of age, in which case such person shall be guilty of a class D felony.

Statement of Purpose:

To establish the crime of cyber harassment.

Wow, can you just imagine the potential for abuse here?
I know we are fed up with emails pushing Viagra and informing us of lottery winnings and schools have had it with students calling administrators "douche bags" (recall the Avery Donninger case), but this is absurd and patently unconstitutional.

And what definition will they allow for what constitutes "disturbing someone"? or what is offensive? What exactly is "average sensibility" these days? (ever watch TV? looks like average sensibilities go pretty far nowadays)

This is a CT bill to keep an eye on!
Maybe some of you out there who are interested in this can contact Rep. Scribner and set him straight on the concept of freedom of speech and ask him to withdraw this bill. We really don't need to set up an Internet Police squad in Connecticut.

List of House members
List of Senate members
List of Judiciary Committee members

Passing A Sow's Ear Off As Stimulus - And Raiding The Public Silk Purse

For once the Republicans in the House showed some brains.
They all voted NO for this "Stimulus Bill" which is nothing more than pork on steroids!
It is not expected that the Senate will demonstrate any brains. They will probably pass this abomination on Monday.

This $825 billion piece of legislation is being sold as an "economic stimulus," but we really know what it is - it is a spending spree for just about every Democratic proposal dreamed up in the last 40 years.

These people are insane, and they are wrecking our country further than what we have already experienced under the Bush administration.
Worst of all, they are spending money on things that have absolutely no affect on stimulating the economy!

Check this out -

There's $1 billion for Amtrak, the federal railroad that hasn't turned a profit in 40 years; $2 billion for child-care subsidies; $50 million for that great engine of job creation, the National Endowment for the Arts; $400 million for global-warming research and another $2.4 billion for carbon-capture demonstration projects. There's even $650 million on top of the billions already doled out to pay for digital TV conversion coupons.

Most of the rest of this project spending will go to such things as renewable energy funding ($8 billion) or mass transit ($6 billion) that have a low or negative return on investment. Most urban transit systems are so badly managed that their fares cover less than half of their costs. However, the people who operate these systems belong to public-employee unions that are campaign contributors to . . . guess which party?

$600 million more for the federal government to buy new cars. Uncle Sam already spends $3 billion a year on its fleet of 600,000 vehicles. Congress also wants to spend $7 billion for modernizing federal buildings and facilities. The Smithsonian is targeted to receive $150 million; we love the Smithsonian, too, but this is a job creator?

Another "stimulus" secret is that some $252 billion is for income-transfer payments -- that is, not investments that arguably help everyone, but cash or benefits to individuals for doing nothing at all. There's $81 billion for Medicaid, $36 billion for expanded unemployment benefits, $20 billion for food stamps, and $83 billion for the earned income credit for people who don't pay income tax. While some of that may be justified to help poorer Americans ride out the recession, they aren't job creators.
It is even being reported that illegal aliens will receive stimulus money!

This pork laden bill won't do anything to help the ailing American economy or its citizens. Much of it will even keep people dependent on government handouts. Perhaps that is what the Democrats intend.

Congress continues to reward failing companies and also throw money towards union jobs and they say it will help Main Street (that's code for you and me).

I think Main Street is absolutely fed up.

Perhaps it is time for a tax revolt?
Anyone care to not pay anymore taxes in protest?

Might as well throw your money down a rat hole rather than send it to Washington..

Monday, January 26, 2009

Peter Schiff Speaks Once Again About The Problem With Bailouts

From wikipedia:
Schiff has said on numerous occasions that the current economic crisis is not the problem; it is the solution. According to him, the transition from borrowing and spending to saving and producing cannot be accomplished without a severe recession, given the current imbalances of the US economy. But according to him, that transition needs to happen. He also thinks the government is doing no one a favor by trying to "ease the pain" with stimulus packages, bailouts and such. Schiff believes these actions will only make the situation worse and possibly result in hyperinflation if the government continues to "replace legitimate savings with a printing press".
As it is now we are bouncing from one sector to another to provide bailouts and stimulus. First it was the housing market where we offered low interest sub prime lending... then on to the financial sector to bail out the banks that gave those bad loans... next on to the auto industry hurting because of decreased sales and poor management and unavailability of credit in the market, now we are seeing states and municipalities crying for money and we are hearing from the transportation sector, the education sector, and on and on and on. Everyone is lining up to grab taxpayer money; and banks and car companies plan to come back for more money.

If Mr. Thain or any other bone headed CEO wishes to squander corporate funds by buying expensive accouterments for their offices, then they should be allowed to go out of business. Period. The folks they put out of work will find jobs and be absorbed into other companies who have more competent management. That is how the market works.

Capitalism isn't the criminal here. Government intervention is.

It is also complete insanity for our government to be spending the way they are on programs that continue dependency.

Stimulus programs are being devised purportedly to put money into the hands of the consumer - but in reality we are seeing that these programs amount to nothing more than a smokescreen for wealth redistribution. It is Socialism. People who don't pay taxes could end up with cash. People who lack skills and education may get construction jobs (and other government jobs) based on the color of their skin and where they live. People who got NINJA loans (No Income No Job/Assets) now expect someone else to pay off their debt. The hard working people who are being taxed in America are paying the price.

If our leaders want us all to get working again, then they need to get government to stand down. Sure, we need some government regulation, but we initially got into this mess because government decided to give incentives to bankers to loan money to bad risks. They created the housing bubble. They created the credit bubble. They are creating the problems we face. They have made it costly to start a business and to compete and they have allowed the American people to pay for services for those who are not even legal citizens. We send billions of dollars in aid to other countries when our needs go unmet here. What our Congress, and past administrations have done is a travesty. What our current administration plans to do is equally damaging.

The best thing Americans can do is to rely less on government and more on themselves.

Government can only do three main things to raise money to pay for things: Raise taxes, Create Debt by Borrowing, and Print Money (well, they can sell stuff too - like land and other assets). Our government has spent way too much, created debt that they will never be able to repay, and to solve the first two problems they are printing more money which devalues the currency and causes hyperinflation. Unending government programs - entitlements and obscene spending - and money that has nothing to back it up - has put us where we are today.

It is not the government's job to be an employer or be a financier and the more they continue and expand policies that do those things, the worse off we all will be.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Era Of Post-Racialism ? Surely You Jest

If you thought that electing a person of color to occupy the White House would put us all past racial prejudice in this country - think again. There are those in charge that wish to now discriminate against others - including white construction workers.

On top of it all, the federal government will choose to dictate how our tax money is spent...yes even the tax money of white construction workers. It will apparently now be o.k. for the federal government to exclude people from federal jobs based on race.

This is nothing more than creating more racial division in this country.

Post racialism my foot.
This is downright disgraceful, and Robert Reich should be ousted for his obvious racial bias and discrimination.
Was this the kind of "Change" people voted for?

And This Is Why Nigeria Is Not A World Power

LAGOS (Reuters) – Police in Nigeria are holding a goat on suspicion of attempted armed robbery.

Vigilantes took the black and white beast to the police saying it was an armed robber who had used black magic to transform himself into a goat to escape arrest after trying to steal a Mazda 323.

"The group of vigilante men came to report that while they were on patrol they saw some hoodlums attempting to rob a car. They pursued them. However one of them escaped while the other turned into a goat," Kwara state police spokesman Tunde Mohammed told Reuters by telephone.
(Click the link above to read the full article.)

Maybe they think that it was one of those people with special powers from Heroes.

The Biggest question here is - Where are PETA lawyers when you need them?

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Saturday Parody - Ben Send Me Some Green

That was "The Vocal Chords"
Ben Bernanke, send me some green
Then slash the interest like something obscene
Just drop it 2 points or even lower
And please don't say the leveraged party's over

Ben Bernanke, I need a loan
A discount window to call my own
Please hear me FOMC
Ben Bernanke send me some green!

Ben Bernanke, I'm in the red
Help me like you did, Fanny and Fred
Please make it quick, 'cause I'm in foreclosure
Send me more checks before I lose composure

Ben Bernanke, I need a loan
I'm broke and hurtin' right down to the bone
Please send me an income stream
Benny disinflate me my dream

(ching, ching, ching. etc)

Ben Bernanke, send us some green
Some insider welfare would be peachy keen
Just like you did for old JP Morgan
Some BS talk will get the market soarin'!

Ben Bernanke, hard assets to hold
Oh please, no catfood, when we're all too old
Please send in the PPT
Ben Bernanke, please send us
Please please send us
Please, please, send us some green!
(Bernanke: "Uh.. but.. uh...")

Friday, January 23, 2009

Another Day, Another Violation In Hartford

With the Chairman of the Education Committee double billing, and the Commissioner of the Department of Children and Families arrested for DUI, one has to wonder what kind of people we have running things up in Hartford.

No one is perfect - but crikey - can't people who are making major decisions for CT at least act like responsible adults?

Every week brings some other news of some illegal, or unethical activities from the boys and girls watching over CT's money and children. It's very disconcerting.

I seriously wonder if Commissioner Susan Hamilton will be investigated and have her children taken away from her, as her agency routinely does to families across CT, or if she'll just be given a stern reprimand and told to behave.

I recall all the grief given to GOP Chair Chris Healy by the Democrat establishment who routinely mocked and ridiculed him for his DUI; my guess is that Ms. Hamilton will not be treated as harshly.

Then again, perhaps the powers that be in Hartford understand that Hamilton's job would drive anyone to drink. Literally.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Change? Yeah... Right

Does This Recession Hurt Homeschoolers?

I have been giving some thought lately as to whether or not tough economic times hurts homeschooling. Aside from the obvious that a difficult economy effects every family by stressing their budget, I have been thinking about whether or not it forces families to abandon homeschooling so that both parents can work. I'd like your input.

I know that homeschooling families already make the financial commitment and sacrifice so that one parent can stay home to educate their children. That being said, there are also one parent families that homeschool quite successfully; they happen to be quite creative and extremely flexible with time.

Over the years I have observed that most Homeschooling families are also very frugal to begin with (my family included). They already figure out how to stretch a dollar so that one parent can stay home. They tend to live very simply and recycle learning materials. They get materials and books at swaps and tag sales and tend to know where to find all the bargains. They also make a lot of things at home like clothing, and foods like yogurt and bread etc. I personally know many homeschooling families that have farm animals and/or grow their own food. That can be a tremendous saving when you don't have to pay for things at the store - or at retail prices.

So I would be interested to know if you know of any homeschooling families who have had to send their kids to school in order for both parents to work as a result of this economic downturn. I'd also like to know what reductions you might have made in your own homeschooling family in order to deal with this economy and still be able to homeschool.

As for our family, I only have one left at home - and she's in her last year of "high school" and has just recently finished all of her college applications.(YAY) I've been thinking about what need to do to help pay for college. We've still had to cut back on our expenses in this economy.

So now - Comments please.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Obama Oath Of Office Do-Over

Since Chief Justice Roberts and Obama screwed up the Presidential Oath of Office on inauguration day, they decided to do it over today.

This time there was no bible, no TV cameras, and no news people.
Obama and Roberts went through the drill again out of what White House counsel Greg Craig called "an abundance of caution."

This time, the scene was the White House Map Room in front of a small group of reporters, not the Capitol platform before the whole watching world.

"We decided that because it was so much fun ...," Obama joked to reporters who followed press secretary Robert Gibbs into the room. No TV camera crews or news photographers were allowed in.

Roberts put on his black robe.

"Are you ready to take the oath?" he said.

"Yes, I am," Obama said. "And we're going to do it very slowly."

Roberts then led Obama through the oath without any missteps.

The president said he did not have his Bible with him, but that the oath was binding anyway. ....

Craig, the White House lawyer, said in a statement Wednesday evening: "We believe the oath of office was administered effectively and that the president was sworn in appropriately yesterday. Yet the oath appears in the Constitution itself. And out of the abundance of caution, because there was one word out of sequence, Chief Justice John Roberts will administer the oath a second time."

The Constitution is clear about the exact wording of the oath and as a result, some constitutional experts have said that a do-over probably wasn't necessary but also couldn't hurt. Two other previous presidents have repeated the oath because of similar issues, Calvin Coolidge and Chester A. Arthur.

Article 2, Section 1, Clause 8 of the Constitution states:

"Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:

"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

I suppose they didn't want to take any chances that Obama wasn't really president as a result of the flub. Of course, he still hasn't produced documents to prove his natural born status and no hospital in Hawaii has a record of his birth. Funny how the cable news media has been lately making a point of mentioning his "Hawaiian birth". The hoax continues and there are still legal suits pending.

Interesting how Obama is spending tons of money to fight having to offer up proof. Interesting too how he fails to offer up his own documents even as he changes FOIA rules to make government more transparent.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Bye Bye Bush - Hello Messiah

Our government is spending over $170 million dollars in hailing "the Messiah" to the presidency, and meanwhile people are losing their homes, their jobs and their retirements. What a very sad state of our Republic, but that's supposed to be forgotten because we now have a new president and we have to throw a really big party - the biggest ever.

I really see no "Hope and Change" as recycled Clintonistas pack the new Obama administration, and plans are in place to further put our country in enormously more debt with the planned giveaway of almost a trillion dollars in "stimulus". Our children and their children will be enslaved to pay off the type of debt this country continues to incur as it pillages the remaining wealth of it's citizens and continues down the road to hyper-inflation. So far, stimulus and bailout have not worked, and yet more of the same is on the way.

Today Obama will utter these words as he takes the oath of office with his hand on Lincoln's bible: "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States", and he may even add, as others before him, "So help me God". Those words will be empty words since it is evident that many of his promises thus far do not jive with the deliberate limits of power that our Constitution places upon the presidency, and our government.

Then there is the lingering question of eligibility, and at least a dozen lawsuits against Mr. Obama who chooses not to release his records in order to make transparent his natural born status and other details of his citizenship and youth. Instead, people who are asking very basic questions are being ridiculed or ignored. For all of the imagery and pomp of this inauguration, we still do not know for certain if Barack Obama (or is it Barry Soetero) is truly eligible to serve as POTUS. I cannot dispute that the American people have spoken, but we can be honest and say that the majority of Americans voted based on what the media told them, or didn't tell them. But what the hell, the Constitution according to accounts of a quote by Mr. Bush "was just a damned piece of paper" (and so much for what it requires to be POTUS). As Jay Leno said, we might as well give the Iraqi's our Constitution since we aren't using it.

And now the Obama administration seeks to pick up many Bush Republicans, asking for their co-operation in the plans his administration has to offer. He is courting them and asking for them all "to pitch in to save America" to "give him a chance", and to further abandon free market principles and to "help him out". A whole new brand of "conservatives", dubbed "Obamacons" has been born, and their mission is to help Mr. Obama march us to his vision of America where we will all sing Kumbaya and share the wealth and continue government bailout of failing businesses - or bankrolling their corporate campaign donors.

Our Republican/Conservative president Bush abandoned free market principles and damaged this country in many profound ways. People will argue that we have not been attacked since 9/11 - yet we have left our borders porous with rampant crime as a result in the Southwest - terrorist cells are said to already be within our borders. We have witnessed a financial 9/11 which still shocks our country - and we have plunged further into debt only to implore our citizens to take on more credit and buy more stuff. We don't need terrorists attacking us - we've been attacked by our own Congress and leaders from both sides of the aisle who continue failed policies, both foreign and domestic.

Here is what the Bush presidency brought us:
(this list courtesy of a posting by Anthony Gregory at Campaign For Liberty):

• Two undeclared, unwinnable imperial wars, with hundreds of thousands of dead, including thousands of Americans, and many tens of thousands of Americans wounded, with the violence and occupations continuing to this day;

• Detention without trial or habeas corpus;

• A torture scandal and the institutionalization, from the top down, of "enhanced interrogation techniques" that offend basic standards of human decency;

• New precedents on "extraordinary renditioning," whereby U.S. intelligence and military agencies hand off detainees to foreign countries where they are interrogated in ways that even the U.S. at Guantanamo will not use;

• Warrantless wiretapping of the citizenry conducted by the military wing of the government;

• Spying on peaceful political activists and putting many names on no-fly lists;

• The modification of Posse Comitatus and insurrection law to empower the president to order the military and national guard to impose order on the domestic population;

• More signing statements than any president before;

• Credit expansion that helped bring on the greatest financial crisis in many years;

• The largest expansion of welfare spending since the Great Society, specifically in the area of prescription drugs;

• The biggest bailout ever, so far, with frightening moves toward economic fascism in the financial sector;

• A doubling of the deficit and debt;

• The nationalization of airline security and the introduction of the color-coded terror system;

• The Department of Homeland Security;

• Sarbanes-Oxley and other posturing corporate regulation that hurts small firms while doing nothing to improve the economy;

• Signing McCain-Feingold into law, despite knowing it violating the First Amendment;

• The further nationalization of education;

• The 21st century version of the "unitary executive," which concentrates ever more power into the presidency;

• Massive protectionism, secrecy, duplicity, socialism, corporatism, and growing reliance on police-state tactics;

• Terrible diplomatic blunders with North Korea, the Middle East and elsewhere;

• The failure to catch Osama bin Laden.
As for Osama bin Laden, he's most likely dead anyway (according to statements made by since assassinated Benezir Bhutto), but our government has to keep him alive in a cave in order to instill fear and compliance while eroding away our rights and freedoms.

Today's inauguration perhaps is really more about quenching some American guilt by installing a first black president into office. Hence all the imagery regarding Lincoln. Fine, I really don't have a problem with that, and honestly I couldn't care if he was purple with 3 eyes, however, if the emperors clothes can be seen for what they really are, what we will be ushering in is more welfare-warfare state politics.

It's true that we can change administrations with one giving up power to another without conflict, based on the "will of the people", but really when it comes down to it, the administrations will not be far from different. Government will continue to expand and be more intrusive. Private business will continue to be nationalized and taken on and controlled by government. Pork will be funded and Congress will continue to send out form letters to their constituents with meaningless replies to their concerns. We will eventually be taxed into poverty and reliance on an ever growing government.

This American will not be celebrating today, but instead reflecting on how far we have come from the Constitutional ideals given to us by our founders. They would be appalled to see what we have become and what we have lost along the way (despite the gains in civil rights and technology). We have become slaves to the similar despots and elites which they strove to free us from. We are overtaxed and mis-represented (if not outright ignored).

We should not expect government to give us health care, or jobs, or education or food or housing. That is not its purpose. Instead of thinking about what the government should give us, or do for us, let's think instead about what we can do to restore our Republic and take care of ourselves. Today I will pledge to support the Constitution and not some watered down perversion. I will be supporting the restoration of this Republic which offers its citizens sound money and the guarantee of their rights, as well as smaller government which truly answers to the people. If Mr. Obama truly takes his oath of office seriously today, he will be doing the same.

Justin Raimondo wrote a provocative piece entitled: Inauguration Day, 2009:A Day of Mourning, it's worth a read.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King

Some quotes to ponder from Dr. King as we pause to remember a man who fought and died for civil rights in this great country.

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. "

"Pity may represent little more than the impersonal concern which prompts the mailing of a check, but true sympathy is the personal concern which demands the giving of one's soul."

"The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character - that is the goal of true education."

"The quality, not the longevity, of one's life is what is important."

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. "

"We may have all come on different ships, but we're in the same boat now. "

"In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. "

"Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal."

Also an interesting article about how Dr. King was a Republican written by National Black Republican Association.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Saturday Parody - I Want Some TARP

That catchy tune is by Bill Zucker.

From YouTube commenter HappyVforVictory:
Capitalism should work like this:
Run a good business - make money and prosper.
Run a bad business - lose money - go out of business - a good business buys your assets.

Here's what we have now:
The New U.S. Capitalism - Run a bad business, lie, cheat, steal - lose money - keep your job - Get Bailed out - Pay yourself a big Bonus - use the bailout money to buy up your smaller competitors that run good businesses - Repeat.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Another Day Another Ethics Investigation In Hartford

Senator Gaffey is being investigated for Double billing his expenses.

The Courant reports:
A veteran Democratic state senator double-billed the state and his own political action committee for thousands of dollars’ worth of expenses for travel and posh hotels over a four-year period, state records show.

The commission's investigators also have questioned the fact that Gaffey allowed his girlfriend, Patricia Murphy, to use a cellphone on his PAC's account for an extended period until they broke up in 2007, Gaffey acknowledged. He said he paid for her "nominal" calls on the phone.

The questions surround flights to several legislative conferences and stays in hotels from about 2004 to 2007 — at times with Murphy — for which he solicited and received reimbursements from the state's legislative management office and his PAC.

For example, Gaffey was reimbursed $613 by the legislative management office for three days in August 2006 at the luxury Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville, Tenn., during a National Conference of State Legislators annual meeting — and he got $1,015 from his PAC for the same hotel stay....

Other questions arose concerning similar billings to both the PAC and the state for trips to political events such as national legislators' conferences in cities that included Salt Lake City and Seattle.

The expenses apparently amount to several thousand dollars, Gaffey acknowledged Thursday. ....

“This was not intentional,” he said. “There were a number of trips that just got by me. … I feel very badly about it. It’s embarrassing.”
It's more than embarrassing Senator, it's fraud, and it looks like you have a nasty habit of repeating it.

No doubt his trusty aide who helps him file his papers didn't have a clue either.

But we all know this will be viewed as "just another "oversight", and this will be swept under the carpet with the rest of his indiscretions.
In 2002, it was revealed that he and another state legislator, then employed by the trash agency, collected state legislators' mileage reimbursements for their trips to and from their homes to Hartford in trash agency vehicles, but had lagged thousands of dollars behind in reimbursing the trash agency for their personal mileage on the same vehicles.

In addition, Gaffey received some unwelcome attention about a year ago when Courant columnist Kevin Rennie revealed that Gaffey was having an affair, confirmed in e-mails, with Connecticut State University System legislative liaison Jill Ferraiolo while he aggressively pushed a billion dollars in bonds for the university system. Rennie also wrote that Gaffey had long made incomplete disclosures on the use of the PAC credit card.
Give us all a break.

He sure has done his constituents proud.

There sure is a reason why this State is known as "Corrupticut"
I thought Governor Rell was supposed to eliminate this type of thing from our Capitol Steps, but it looks like all Sen. Gaffey will do is apologize - pay a fine - and continue on.

Of course if he were a Republican - he'd be hounded and forced to resign. The double standard is obvious.

Just another day in Hartford.

Green Jobs - Shovel Ready Jobs - Union Payback

Ok - so let's just call this Obama job program what it really is - Union Payback.

All these so-called jobs that they say "will be created" to get this country going again are really union jobs in disguise. How? This is how:

Think of all these "green" jobs - like installing solar panels or other energy efficient machines and appliances... in order to install anything electrical you need an electrician. In order to install anything having to do with hot water or heating or air conditioning you need a plumber or other certified mechanic. The unions control many of those jobs. In order to do any of those jobs you need certifications and licenses and you need training too. Not any Joe Blow from Kokomo can do these jobs.

And what about all these so-called "shovel ready" jobs? You know the ones that usually go to bid to companies who deal in construction. Construction people are union people for the most part. You can't pour concrete or lay brick or do any landscaping in a government program without some kind of union people getting in the action. That's why the unions are so hot to have illegal aliens be able to join them. It increases their membership ranks and ultimately their power.

Gee whiz, even if the Obama administration doles out money to the States for these jobs it isn't going to help the thousands of executives and professionals who have lost their jobs in the financial debacle we have been going through. The people who are losing their jobs are also in retail, like cashiers and store personnel. Fixing the roadways and bridges will require licensed civil engineers and paving companies. Do you think some guy from Wall Street with an MBA is going to be pouring concrete? or some secretary is going to be installing solar panels?

Give me a break.
This jobs program is a joke.

The "shovel ready" jobs are even a waste. There will be programs in there that we don't really need to do. In fact, it's already being reported that these projects will bypass public hearings and be fast tracked to be built whether the public wants it, or needs it, or not. Not exactly a great use of resources.

If the Obama administration wants to get people working, it can give some help to small business in the form of getting rid of the myriad of permits and restrictions small businesses have to deal with. For instance, it takes somewhere along the lines of 17 permits just to open a hair salon in California. That kind of idiocy needs to stop.

Please know that I am not arguing against having jobs that move us more towards energy independence (if there is such a thing in this global economy) and I do believe that we need to develop green energy markets and bring energy innovation to the consumer. That is imperative. I think all that could be done with less government intervention and to allow businesses to develop that innovation without government getting in the way. We have to make it cost effective for businesses to develop wind, hydro, solar (etc) power products and to bring it to the public and to municipalities in an affordable manner. Government can help by not taxing these businesses as they do, and by easing restrictions regarding permits along with other government requirements. These businesses cannot be choked by union rules and wage demands either. That's the sort of thing that has killed the US car industry.

Yes, we need green jobs and improvements in infrastructure, but it is best done by private business, not by government. The purpose of government does not include being an employer (nor does it include being a business partner). Judging by how well they have done throwing our tax money at failed business in the financial markets, I have little hope for their other plans. Unfortunately, they continue to throw hundreds of billions of our federal resources into investing in businesses whose mis-management is obvious. We the People are stuck with poor performing investments. Congress might have gotten a better return by going to Foxwoods casino with the TARP money.

We can put people to work in this country by encouraging them to go into business for themselves instead of relying on government work programs that are wasteful and only reward certain sectors. We need to cultivate new and imaginative entrepreneurs instead of hiring people to dig holes and fill them back in.

Monday, January 12, 2009

$25 Billion For A Loaf Of Bread

That's what is going on in Zimbabwe.
It can happen here too.

CNN Money reports this:
Zimbabwe is grappling with hyperinflation now officially estimated at 231 million percent, and its currency is fast losing its value. As of Friday, one U.S. dollar was trading at around ZW$25 billion.

When the government issued a $10 billion note just three weeks ago, it bought 20 loaves of bread. That note now can purchase less than half of one loaf.

Realizing the worthlessness of the currency, the RBZ has allowed most goods and services to be charged in foreign currency. As a result, grocery purchases, government hospital bills, property sales, rent, vegetables and even mobile phone recharge cards are now paid for in foreign currency, as the worthless Zimbabwe dollar virtually ceases to be legal tender.

Once a regional economic model, Zimbabwe is in the throes of an economic crisis, with unemployment running at more than 80 percent and many families unable to afford a square meal. President Robert Mugabe's critics blame his policies for the economic meltdown, but he says the West is sabotaging his efforts.

What caused this crisis? The Zimbabwe crisis started in 2000 when the Zimbabwean government effectively destroyed their agricultural industry by displacing farmers from their lands.

Zimbabwe’s economy immediately went into recession and inflation began to rise.

Do you know what they did to "fix the problem"?
They printed more money.

They did that because they had salaries to pay, projects to finance, things to buy. Just like everyone else they were suddenly faced with the crisis of having to pay much more for things, and they didn’t have enough, so they printed more money to cover it.

Does that sound familiar?
Our US government has been printing money non-stop to pay for the bailouts which was caused by the problems in our financial markets stemming from universal housing (i.e. lending money to people who could not afford to pay the loans back in order to give them easier access to housing) Industry after industry has been affected and the government keep s meddling instead of allowing the markets to correct the problems. Money spent for bailouts are unchecked and untracked. No one really knows what is being done with it.

We are also now in a recession and our unemployment rates are rising.

How is Mr. Obama planning on "fixing thing"? More government spending - More debt - Printing more money.

It looks like we aren't alone - Britain is also printing more money to solve their financial problems. They think that:
"if the Government prints more money and stuffs it into our pockets, we will all feel richer. So we will go out and spend. We might by clothes, or cars, or houses again. And that might just save some of those retailers and carmakers who are in such a bad way right now."

We need to take a lesson not only from our own Great Depression, but from Zimbabwe as well.

We cannot simply spend our way, and print our way out of these economic problems.
It just doesn't work.

This is why we need money backed by gold.

Money backed by nothing is essentially worthless.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Obamanomics - The Not New Deal

Based on Mr. Obama's speech yesterday, the federal government plans to spend it's way out of this recession mounting a trillion dollar or more deficit in the federal budget. I hate to break it to him - but it won't work. It will make matters much worse, and subject our children and their children to an unbelievably enormous debt. We will be faced with rampant inflation when the money that is being printed up out of thin air right now hits Main Street. Additionally, to make people more dependent on government handouts, and encourage people to spend and accrue more debt is a path to further destruction. The way out of debt is not to accrue more debt. Mr. Obama has surrounded himself with people who are dealing with Keynesian economics which, in part, is what has gotten us into this mess in the first place.
According to Keynesian economics the state should stimulate economic growth and improve stability in the private sector - through, for example, interest rates, taxation and public projects.
One might be reminded that FDR and his government expansion extended the time which the country spent in recovering from the Great Depression. The New Deal did not cure the depression and unemployment; entry into World War 2 did. FDR's policies, in fact, prolonged the Depression. (here's another good article with other links)

Is history repeating itself? Have we learned nothing? The Roaring 20's, and the excesses of the late 1990's and early "aughts' are very similar. Put Bush in the role of Hoover and Obama in the role of FDR, and the only thing really different is the clothing styles and technology.

The way to solve these economic problems is through living within our means. Encourage business - don't stifle and restrict it. Debts need to be paid or forgiven. The toxicity of debt must be cleared from our system. Let's bring jobs and industry back and encourage people to save so that they have the real wealth to consume goods as they can afford them. Let's have some sound money that is backed by something other than faith and credit. But the path we are on now with massive bailouts and government deficit spending is the path to disaster.

Here is one opinion from economist Peter Schiff on the situation:

"We have to remember that Government does not spend money efficiently, effectively or timely. The taxpayer is best at spending their own money."
(quote attributed to Andrew Ian Dodge a commenter responding to the article by the Heritage Foundation linked to his name)

They're Ba-aaaack!

Both the 111th Congress in Washington, D.C. and the Connecticut State General Assembly seated their new and returning legislators this past week.

Returning US Congressmen took this oath:
"I, (insert name), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God."

(The oath of office required by the sixth article of the Constitution of the United States, and as provided by section 2 of the act of May 13, 1884 (23 Stat. 22), to be administered to Members, Resident Commissioner, and Delegates of the House of Representatives, the text of which is carried in 5 U.S.C. 3331: see here)

So far, they haven't done such a super job of adhering to that oath. But I digress.

Amid a financial recessionary downturn, we are bound to see more unemployment and deficits. Figures released this morning showed a 7.2% unemployment rate. How these legislative bodies will deal with that and the further predicted deterioration of the economy remains to be seen.

The CT Governor's speech, the State of the State, was pretty dire. Governor Rell stressed that deep cuts would have to be made in order to balance the CT State budget. She spoke pretty candidly about the fact that "We will not soon see an end to bankruptcies and foreclosures, to pink slips or red ink.....The sacrifices will not be easy or painless. The recommended two-year budget I present to you next month will reflect that. The cuts that must be made will be deep and they will affect every agency, every program and every service provided by state government." At least there is some understanding that as a State we must examine and cut back on our spending. What that translates into and what that actually materializes into, is something yet to be seen.

In both bodies, the Democrats are in control. I hope that both bodies remember that in these times of crisis that there are no Democrats, there are no Republicans, but rather that we are all Americans and must solve these problems together. Let's hope they use some common sense and prudence in their decisions.

If you are interested at all in what our elected officials are doing, you can Track Bills and contact your legislators via these websites:

Track Government bills at GovTrack
Contact Congress here

Track CT bills at CT Bill Tracker
Contact your CT legislator here

If you live in another State you can certainly check your General Assembly's website for similar links.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Presidential Version Of Pimp My Ride

Mr. Obama has new wheels. (Codename "Stagecoach")

FOXNews and WIRED reports: a new model of a presidential limousine, made by General Motors Corp., has been delivered to the Secret Service and will make its debut on Inauguration Day. It's a good thing that GM got some much needed bailout money so they can continue to provide parts for this vehicle (LOL).
The vehicle, referred to by the Secret Service as "the beast," will reportedly feature heavy armor that is at least 5 inches thick and comes complete with run-flat tires, bulletproof glass and a completely sealed interior to ward off a chemical attack, among many other high-tech security features.
The vehicle sports 8-inch-thick doors and also includes larger windows and better visibility for the president. The limo's interior is made of hand-stitched leather and includes a 10-disc CD player.

Word has it that it also repels flying shoes.

I guess an equally fortified version of a Prius just wasn't going to cut it, and with all the heavy duty equipment would probably negate any effort at gas economy anyway.

I also hope it comes equipped with On-Star just in case Mr. Obama or his staff lock themselves out while the car is running.

Of course older-model presidential limos - that is to say "pre-owned by past presidents" - will remain in use for the vice president and traveling world leaders.

I think I will also give my car a code name.
How about "Tapped Out Jalopy"

(H/T Leann S.)

For more on car customization refer to MTV's Pimp My Ride

Sunday, January 4, 2009

It's Not Mandatory - It's Only Required

Thought I'd share this one...

One commenter said this:
"Compulsory service is compulsory service; whether they're forcing you into the army, or into a pseudo military organization, or sending you out to dig ditches for 'the common good' is irrelevant.

I am not a serf. I do not serve at Uncle Sam's leisure."
One would think that it is enough to support this country with our taxes - now Mr. Emanuel and Mr. Obama are looking to have our kids as well.

There are plenty of opportunities for our young adults aged 18-25 to serve and volunteer, locally and in many capacities, and many of them do (and even longer than 3 months). Why should the government mandate their service? The government already takes plenty from their paychecks.

Was this part of the "Change" people wanted?

Compulsory, Mandatory, Required... it's all the same.

Make no mistake - this is not the trappings of a free nation.

(H/T DailyPaul)