"It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt." -- JP Curran, 1790
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Here are some highlights:
$1,000,000,000 (billion!) for the Census Bureau! Now that's change we can believe in, because we all know that if anything stimulates the economy it's more bureaucrats.
$400,000,000 (million!) for Global Warming Research.
$650,000,000 (million!) for analog-digital television converters!
$2,000,000,000 (billion!) for renewable energy research! (Aren't private companies doing this already?) Sphere: Related Content
Americans need to be a hell of a lot more discerning in looking at proposed legislation, and they need to look past the words and to actions.
"Don't tell me words don't matter." -- Pres. Obama
Well, Mr. President, don't tell me ACTIONS don't matter. The President has said that he wants to bring in a "new era of responsibility," yet he is proposing, along with House and Senate Democrats, to print $900 billion in free corporate giveaways, and STD prevention, free condoms for kindergarteners, and a plethora of exorbitant government spending programs.
The con artists never tell you that they are about to con you. In Colorado Springs, my current home town, the news reported of an armed burglary that started with a crying woman at an innocent victim's door. She was screaming and crying that she needed to use a phone because her car broke down. As the unwitting victim opened the door to help, her boyfriend, or baby-daddy, or whatever the hell he is, busted through the door, knocking down the victim and holding her family at gunpoint as they ransacked the house. Evil preys on the good intentions of people, and it hopes that you are not paying attention.
Giving corporate bailouts does not mesh with an era of responsibility. In words, President Obama is on the right track. In deed, he is pulling the wool over our eyes, with the help of the mainstream media. How does offering our tax dollars to support abortions overseas usher in an era of responsibility, Mr. President? I fail to see your logic.
On a large scale, we have a Republican party that serves as the resistance. They are the minutemen of our current poilitical era, and they are the last stand we have against an overly oppressive government, hellbent on gaining more power, authority, and getting it's dirty little hands into every aspect of YOUR daily life.
On a smaller, and more important scale, however, we have another resistance within the GOP. This is the resistance of true Conservatives against the mindless sheep who openly call for our leading Conserative voices to shut up so that they can make nice with those who seek to silence us. I've called for Americans to look more closely at the primaries before, and I'm repeating that call now. We simply cannot win an argument against liberal ideology by supplementing our own ideology with theirs. It will not work. It failed in 2006 and 2008, and it will fail again in 2010 unless we do something to act as Conservatives.
To those of you who wear the GOP label, but call for the rest of us to shut up, your days in Congress are numbered. We will pay close attention to the primaries, and you should not be surprised to see many Republicans who have failed to live up to our Conservative principles (who vote for corporate bailouts, who tell the rest of us to shut up, and who acquiesce to the condescension of the liberal establishment) find themselves watching the general elections from home in their proper place as soon-to-be-former Congressmen.
We're bringing CONSERVATIVE back! Sphere: Related Content
Today, Norm Coleman brought forward individual voters whose absentee ballots were rejected to ask the court to include their votes.
http://apnews.myway.com/article/20090128/D95VS4P82.html Sphere: Related Content
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
The House Republicans have expressed themselves as the opposition today by rejecting the ill-contrived Obama Stimulus package. Under the leadership of Rep. Boehner and Rep. Cantor, the House Republicans appear to be voting en masse against the plan.
At an ideological level, Obama's plan is doing a little bit of everything to stimulate the economy, other than make the market more free and unregulated. Republicans want more tax cuts to create an immediate impact. Democrats want more spending to expand the government, which would take longer to get into the economy. Tax cuts have lasting impact year over year. Spending is a one time shot in the arm. The argument against tax cuts is that not all of the money can be guaranteed to be spent. Well, if the money is saved that money is invested or expands the assets of the fiduciary holding (i.e. banks) which gives them more leverage to borrow. Isn't credit availability the heart of the problem here?
With stimulus dollars intended for things like contraception and ACORN, who would vote for this Boondoggle part deux.http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0109/18024.html
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/obama_economy Sphere: Related Content
Monday, January 26, 2009
- We will see less than 50% of Americans paying income taxes
- We will see the credibility of U.S. Treasury Bonds, arguably the most secured investment, questioned with historical deficits
- Guantanamo Bay may close, but a replacement will be erected in its place somewhere else in the world
- Obama will be re-elected under the perception that he ended the war in Iraq and the economy is in recovery
- Republicans will return to the Majority in the Senate and House by 2016
- When he leaves office there will be no more diversity in the U.S. Congress than there is today
- Blue Dog Democrats will be outcasts and will have to be courted for votes on tough economic issues
- Obama will attempt but will be prevented from nationalizing Healthcare
- Obama's stimulus package will pass but little of it will be spent before 2011
- Obama's policies will reduce the production of coal and the number coal related jobs by 2012
- The DJIA will not return to +10K before 2012
- The top tax bracket will be +65% in Federal Income Taxes, +80% in total income
- Zero legislation will be passed impacting illegal immigration
- Strategic ground forces will exit Iraq in accordance with the signed SOFA under President Bush, but support forces will remain indefinitely
- His approval numbers will be below 50% before the 2012 election
- Obama and his foreign policy team will embrace a less prominent role in international relations, bowing to the U.N. and failing to counter the rise of China, India, and Russia
- For the first time since the French Revolution, fewer people will enjoy freedom and liberty in the world
- Iran and at least 3 other nation states will become nuclear capable
- Unemployment will hit 10% by 2011 and will not see single digits until after 2013
- The U.S. will suffer a terrorist attack, likely a dirty bomb in a major city center. Sphere: Related Content
Adding a tax to your retirement is simply another way of saying to the American people, you're so darn stupid that we're going to keep doing this until we drain every cent from you. That's what the Speaker of the House is saying. Nancy Pelosi wants a Windfall Tax on Retirement Income. In other words tax what you have made by investing toward your retirement. By putting a Windfall Tax on all stock market profits including Retirement fund, 401K and Mutual Funds, you money can be redistributed.
She quotes...' We need to work toward the goal of equalizing income, (didn't Marx say something like this?), in our country and at the same time limiting the amount the rich can invest.'
When asked how these new tax dollars would be spent, she replied: 'We need to raise the standard of living of our poor, unemployed and minorities. For example, we have an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants in our country who need our help along with millions of unemployed minorities. Stock market windfall profits taxes could go a long way to guarantee these people the standard of living they would like to have as 'Americans'...'
Still not convinced that the current Democratic Leadership has a Socialist agenda??
Signing off...JCB Sphere: Related Content
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Obama is steadily showing his arrogance, which is a benign attitude incorporated into his DNA as a Chicago politician. What Obama and Rahm will learn the hard way is that victory does not equal an unquestionable mandate. Unlike single party dominated political geographies like Chicago, Boston, and Cheyenne; Washington forces the intelligent use of political capital. The beauty of 2 party systems is that is prevents ideological domination.
Obama better cool his brazen opulence and tone down his partisan quips if he hopes to gain concessions from the Right. Democrats are not the opposition any longer, they now have to play the friendly bargainer.
Signing off...JCB Sphere: Related Content
Friday, January 23, 2009
My question for those who support this model (ahem, Obama, HillaryCare, etc.) is if the limited supply of healthcare provided in this country is not issued based on monetary means, by what means will the supply issued?
Demand will always exceed supply of healthcare and to assume that somehow adequate supply can be provided to all with the urgency, availability, accessibility, and choice they demand is naive.
With that said, by what means if not be price will the supply of healthcare by proportioned in a government controlled system? By age, race, population area, veteran status, first come first serve, severity of illness, etc?
Money is the single equitable means with which to "price" the supply of healthcare without discrimination. So for those seeking to remove money as the "price" element, please tell us how healthcare will be rationed, who decides how, and by what means will it be rationed?
Signing off...JCB Sphere: Related Content
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Why we are where we are...
As of today we, as a nation, are $10.6 trillion dollars in debt with next year’s anticipated deficit being $1 trillion more dollars! In simple terms, we are flat broke, living on credit cards, and the worst part is that no one seems to even really care to fix it. So what got us here? How did this superpower falter to the point of collapse? Believe it or not, the answer is pretty simple. America has become the spoiled child that favors litigation over accountability, handouts in the name of equality and security over freedom.
We’ve always had some issues with accountability in government. Politicians are not synonymous with leaders, and yet we seem to consistently attempt to make ourselves more susceptible to petty politics. Take for example our incessant desire for direct voting on almost every single issue. Pure democracy, better known as a mob rule mentality, has slowly taken away the Republican ideals of our founders. The US Senate, once considered a check from the national perspective on the spending-crazed US House, is now elected by popular vote thanks to the 17th Amendment. Senators, rather than being accountable to their state legislatures and therefore more accountable to the nation as a whole, are now thrown into the popular election mix just like Representatives. Here comes the pork! In D.C. we have 50 separate states looking to take what they can get from the other guys with little regard for national unity, and a curb in our spending. We have a government that just prints money at will, with little regard for the long-lasting effects on our children, and our grandchildren.
It’s no surprise that the decade that brought us such notable phrases as “greed is good,” also brought a new found sense of entitlement to wealth. The 1980’s marked some fairly prosperous times for many corporations, and those in business. The 1990’s seemed to justify this mentality, but instead of “hard work pays dividends” we got “instant gratification” and “buy now, pay later.” In taking this spoiled brat approach to living as a nation, and as individuals, this country put itself into increasing debt with no regard to the future.
Perhaps it’s our nation’s love of irony that has gotten us into trouble. You can’t procrastinate tilling your land, planting the seeds, watering and caring for your crops, and then harvesting them. You can’t begin planting in September and expect a harvest a couple of weeks later; the law of the harvest is absolute and non-negotiable. Wise people understand the law of the harvest, but there’s no irony in that! If a couple of supernerd college dropouts can form Microsoft and be successful, then we should just make our own rules! We can have it all now!
The problem is that many people tend to want to start at the top and work their way down to the bottom, instead of the other way around. In our consumer culture, keeping up with the Joneses has taken on a whole new meaning. Young couples are now not satisfied with a one bedroom apartment and night classes and overtime in order to make a better life. They must taken on increasing debts, mortgages they can’t afford, credit cards, store cards, car payments, loans, and a whole lot more in order to “buy now, pay later.”
We’ve done this as a nation. In order to purchase votes from various groups, both major parties have increased spending when there is no money to spend. It’s “buy now, pay later, government edition.” The problem is that no one seems to care about when later is, because everyone making the decisions assumes they’ll be long gone when it’s time to pay the piper! “Don’t worry citizen, trust us!” say the lawmakers and law enforcers! “We NEED to increase our debts to get out of debt!”
Does that make sense to you? We owe $10,600,000,000,000.00+ now, and rather than make payments on that debt, we are increasing our debt. If you owe $20,000 in credit card debt, should you 1) spend less than you earn and put the remainder on debt, or 2) spend more than you earn and take out 5 new credit cards? If you have an ounce of brains, then the choice is obvious, but our government is taking option 2 and laughing about it all along the way.
How we move forward...
It’s time to think Conservative and get serious, America. As individuals we must take responsibility, because we are accountable to ourselves. Government should be accountable to us, but we’re attempting to reverse that relationship for fear of the unknown! Stop worrying, stop being prideful, and roll up your sleeves and get to work. That’s what it’s going to take, nothing more, nothing less. CNN today ran a news story about a father of three teenagers who recently lost his job as a restaurant manager. The man was depressed and “ashamed” at his new status as an unemployed person, and he claimed that he couldn’t work as a pizza delivery driver. If you are without a job, and you have a family to take care of, you don’t have time to be “ashamed.” You need to be employed. If you don’t have one good job, find two bad ones temporarily.
Our grandparents did whatever they had to do to make ends meet. My great-grandparents, who raised many, many children during the Great Depression worked their fingers to the bone to provide for their children. Because of that, my grandparents scoffed at the idea of “buy now, pay later” and they were better off because of it.
I truly believe that Americans can learn their lesson from years of a lack of accountability, but we cannot do it with a President who talks in meaningless platitudes about serious policies. Hoping to change the way we hope about change does not stop the bleeding. “Yes we can!” does not specify what we can do to actually make government accountable.
We need a revolution of sorts in this nation, and here’s the first step: a new states-sponsored Constitutional Convention with the sole objective of establishing term limits on Congress. If we hold our Presidents to two terms in office, why should a Senator or Representative (those who actually set our budgets and tax policies!) serve for a lifetime? It’s unfortunate, but we have a 96% “freshman surge” in Congress, whereby leaders are usually re-elected once they hold the office. Let’s limit their time in office; there are just too many good citizens who could do as well a job as those lifetime “leaders.” Let’s limit Representatives to 2 separate 2-year terms, and Senators to just one 6 year term! Even with a popular vote, as created by the 17th Amendment, Senators would not be obligated to cater to any lobbyist group or pork-barrel project. They could, in turn, focus on the nation.
America, we need some real change, but it has to be tangible, and it has to be in accordance with the dreams of our founding fathers. We cannot expect to really hold government accountable until we hold ourselves accountable. Those who sit and wait to be acted upon are the mindless followers, God bless them, but they are not fit to lead this nation. You must act to take responsibility. Get yourself out of debt, and demand that the government do the same.
As a citizen in the state of Colorado, I’ve written my Representative (Doug Lamborne – R) on numerous occasions asking for a relief from incredible government spending and support for term limits. To date I haven’t even heard from a single staffer (which is in direct contrast to even my former Democratic leaders in the state of Georgia who did respond in some way or another). This will not stop me from continuing to write him about the same topics over and over again until I get either 1) a response, or 2) the primaries come in 2010 at which point serious consideration will be given to supporting an alternative candidate or a run against our current Representative. Conservative principles are our heritage, and they are what’s needed to get us from where we are, to where we can be as a great nation.
- JD Brooks Sphere: Related Content
Obama has no where to go but down. This balloon is has been over inflated. He has tried to let the air out with pessimistic assessments of the economy but the inauguration countered that. With the extravagances of a monarchy and the gushing coverage of a celebrity wedding (Michelle's attire) Obama has likely peeked.
Compared to past Presidents, those who started out hot (Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, Carter) fell hard. Now that he has to make decisions, we will get a sense of reality again.
Signing off...JCB Sphere: Related Content
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
This is clearly President Obama's moment, and I wish him well. As our new President takes over the reigns of power, let us hope and pray that we come out of this with the same old America that has come through each and every challenge we've ever faced. Let there be no mistake...we are one nation, under God, indivisible. That does not mean we will agree on policy. Tomorrow I will probably have a fresh new criticism of the President's policies, something I haven't enjoyed much since the Clinton years...in the era before Offering "Common" Sense! This will be nothing if not interesting!
President Obama's history is as yet unwritten (much to the consternation of the liberal pundits). We will just have to wait and see how he governs.
President Bush, on the other hand, is now a former president, and his history is in the books for all the world to read. If they actually take the time to look at his accomplishments, they may see that his only true failure was believing that he could be bipartisan in a partisan world that is D.C. He tried to reach across the aisle, and did so on numerous occasions, but it only put him off balance to the liberal attack dogs, and gave him bad press.
Still, last night was another good night's sleep for this nation. With President Bush at the helm, we knew what we had, and we had a warrior who would never falter in the face of terrorism. I really don't know how we'll sleep tonight as a nation, because we honestly don't know what we've got in our new Commander-in-Chief. I remember the frustration I felt in 1993 after the first terrorist attack on the World Trade Center when President Clinton got on the public airwaves and declared the issue one of law enforcement rather than war. Muslim fanatics who wanted to bring the towers down were largely ignored, and they were left to continue planning. All of that frustration, as a young American, built up over the remainder of the Clinton years as we saw attack after attack against American interests (Khobar Towers in 1996, US Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998, and the USS Cole bombing in 2000). The lawyer-turned-president demonstrated to the world what bin Laden would call the "paper tiger." He was just as wrong as Osama in his assertion of American might.
Then came President Bush, announcing to our troops (I was one of them during his campaign) that "help is on the way," and he delivered. By the grace of God, he got into office as the 43rd President by just over 500 popular votes in Florida! Talking about budgets, lock-boxes, and tax cuts during the campaign, President Bush was the businessman-turned-president... up through Sept. 10, 2001. The minute we were attacked, he became a warrior, and he never ceased to be one for the remainder of his presidency. President Bush did not take a public opinion poll to act, and he successfully defended our country everyday after the Sept. 11 attacks. Zero attacks on American soil. Mission accomplished.
In stark contrast to his large boasting during the end of the Clinton Administration, Osama bin Laden has been effectively muted. Too afraid to use a cell phone, or even offer a public appearance, Osama bin Laden has been in hiding and on the run since he dared to put himself in the cross-hairs of our former President. Rather than shooting his rifle off in celebration of his 100% election victories while murdering political dissenters, Saddam Hussein is dead. Another stark difference between the end of the Clinton Administration and the Bush Administration! Rather than worry about Iraq attacking Israel or going for Saudi Arabia's oil, we now have a common ally in our greater Global War on Terrorism. Another important distinction between Clinton and Bush's last day in office. Rather than see a fugitive financier political contributor (Mark Rich) get a pardon, we see commuted sentences for border patrol agents who were abused by our own legal system for defending our borders. Today, on Bush's last day, we look across to Afghanistan, renewed with a sense of Democracy, which is a far cry from Clinton's last day when that nation, under oppressive Taliban rule, was plotting for our next terrorist attack.
The world is a great deal better off after 8 years of President George W. Bush. Let's hope that the same can be said for his successor. Sphere: Related Content
Monday, January 19, 2009
See it here.
The decision is probably welcomed by many, but it falls short just as our government fell short in prosecuting Border Agents for shooting a Mexican drug smuggler. They should have been given a medal, and Mexico should have been told to take a hike when they approached the US Attorneys with charges.
This country is not free as long as the criminals are treated as victims, and the police are sent to prison for taking a stand. Sphere: Related Content
Thursday, January 15, 2009
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/4242376/George-W-Bushs-10-Best-Moments.html Sphere: Related Content
Proceeding to follow-on stages would require "a sufficient number of votes" changing from Franken to Coleman.
Some follow-on stages:
- Investigating the ballots from Minneapolis that election officials say went missing
- Review ballots with "questionable voter intent"
- Review whether some voters had more than one ballot counted (a separate legal case is being filed by Coleman supporters on approximately 150 ballots)
If the panel of judges adopts the proposed schedule in Coleman's challenge an outcome isn't expected until March. Franken is proposing a more aggressive timetable to address these same challenges.
Signing off...JCBSphere: Related Content
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
The painting above is titled A Charge to Keep by W.H.D. Koerner. It was lent to then Governor George W. Bush (R-TX) who says this scene "epitomizes our mission" in his book with the same title "A Charge to Keep".
I read the book prior to the 2000 election and I recommend it as a reread or first read for anyone who cares to get better sense of this man. There are many in this country with a deep-seeded hatred for George W. Bush. They have launched a continuing concerted effort to destroy, blame, ridicule, and belittle him. He is the source and reason for all of their problems. I myself have disagreed and criticized his policies and approach. However, if you disapprove of a persons' actions and prevent yourself from understanding that person, your disapproval can morph into anger and hatred for that person. People who have disagreed with President Bush's policies don't just hate the policy, they hate the man. In that hate they contrive conspiracy theories that range into disturbing ulterior motives.
Take President Johnson as an example, a President who's policies I am not fond of. There are some who in disagreement with him over Vietnam have created the idea that he played a part in orchestrating the assassination of President Kennedy with the sole purpose of pursuing war in Vietnam. That is just as ridiculous as thinking President Bush passively allowed 9/11 to invade Iraq is some sort of vindication for his father. It is these obscure and absurd conspiracies that demonstrate the ignorance of the person.
Many pages will be written on the decisions President Bush as made, when reading them ask yourself if the author present the realities of the environment at the time and the mentality of the decision makers. So as we bid farewell to our 43rd President, I think it is important to understand who he is and why he made the decisions he did as President. An under-appreciated characteristic of President Bush has been his consistent keeping of his charge through determination, conviction, and grit (symbolized in the painting above).
Conversely, this same logic should be applied towards our 44th President Barack Obama. Unfortunately, the relative the genuine exposure of Barack's character has been somewhat more defunct when compared to the accessibility with past Presidents. I imagine that as he takes office, the unequivocal coverage of Presidents will reveal more of who Barack Obama is and how he makes decisions.
Signing off...JCBSphere: Related Content
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Grabbing his Secret Service Agent from those trying to prevent him from continuing his detail in Chile.
A perfect strike!
Celebrating freedom with the Georgian people
We will miss you... Sphere: Related Content
The "victim society" is in direct contrast with personal accountability. The "victim society" is an acceptance of intentional and unintentional failure and the embrace of forgiveness for any action based on pity. It is a society in which individuals race to the bottom in hopes of receiving the greatest hand-out. It is a society in which some seek to exploit the charity or sympathy of others to avoid the application of their own efforts towards the same reward. It is a society in which the productive non-victims are forced by guilt to assuage others because of their presumed circumstances.
The "victim society" saw a grand resurgence in the 1990s and has continued to this day. We all seem to be subjected by the open embrace of victimhood by the worlds' leaders, news media, organizations, etc. There are examples of this all around you.
- One is not in error for committing a crime, they are a victim of their circumstances so leniency should be granted.
- One is not is error for noncompetitive business practices, they are a victim of efficient rivals who preyed upon their market weakness so they should be bailed out.
- One is not is error for poor investment diversification, they are the victim of Wall Street greed and their debt should be forgiven.
- One is not in error for failing to heed content warnings, they are the victim of overheated coffee and should be rewarded with a successful egregious lawsuit.
What inspired me to pen this article was my recognition that Barack speaks the language of a victim. Listen to his reasons when discussing any imperfection, and he blames the result not on his actions or judgements but on the circumstances of the situation forcing his error. Let's look at a few quips from his interview with George Stephanopoulos this past weekend on ThisWeek:
George: "...can you fix this [economy]?"
Barack: "I think we can fix this. But it's going to take some time. It's not going to happen overnight. And what we tried to do this week was, first of all, explain where we are in the economy. That the jobs numbers this week were terrible. That means we've lost 2.5 million last year. That's the most since World War II. You've got another 3.4 million people who have gone from full-time work to part-time work, or want full-time work. So the underemployment rate is extremely high. And, you know, whether it's retail sales, manufacturing, all of the indicators show that we are in the worst recession since the Great Depression.
And it's going to take some time to fix it. But what we tried to do was put forward a plan that says let's act boldly, let's act swiftly. Let's not only provide a jump start to the economy and immediately or save 3 million jobs, but let's also put a down payment on some of the structural problems that we have in our economy."
JCB: Excuses based on circumstances, I'm the victim of inheriting this economy, and generalize means of "fixing it", always the "we" can do this, does it ever so "I will do this".
George: "When you look at the array of things you want to do, as president, something is going to have to give. Which of your ambitions, which of your campaign promises will you have to scale back on because of all of this?"
Barack: "Well, we are going to be presenting a budget in February. And as we learned this week, we are inheriting over a trillion dollar deficit. Unheard of in recent history and...So one of the things that I've said is -- and I've said this to my economic team, we are going to have to make some tough choices under my watch to ensure that on the medium term and the long term we're starting to bend the curve where we are getting the deficit under control. They are going to report back to me in the next month to give me a plan. Now as difficult as it is to spend money wisely, it's going to be even tougher to make some of the adjustments that are needed to get the deficit under control."
JCB: Again, victim of circumstances, transference of responsibility to "my economic team", I'm starting to feel sorry for him and all the troubles he has to deal with, not!
George: "are you really talking about over the course of your presidency some kind of a grand bargain? That you have tax reform, health care reform, entitlement reform, including Social Security and Medicare where everybody in the country is going to have to sacrifice something, accept change for the greater good? ...And when will that get done?"
Barack: "...what you describe is exactly what we're going to have to do. ...Everybody is going to have to give. Everybody is going to have to have some skin in the game."
JCB: Applying guilt to force the sacrifice of many for the few victims, somebody get me a tissue
Obama often talks about the inspirational leaders and Presidents of the past and how he aspires to emulate them. Well Barack, victims do not inspire confidence, they inspire pity. You run this path of victimhood for your own gain, voter dependence. The age old game of the Democratic party is to play up victimhood to generate dependence upon their hand-outs, bail-outs, and shout-outs. Dependence breeds fear of cutbacks and voter loyalty. Classic Marxist Theory.
Don't be a victim, don't reward victims. Hold politicians and everyone accountable. Take responsibility without fear of bearing the burden when things go wrong. When they go right, don't let the victims claim your due credit. Without risk their is no reward!
Signing off...JCB Sphere: Related Content
Monday, January 12, 2009
There are several recounting irregularities that could change the outcome of this recount. From missing ballots, to double counting, to absentee ballot rejection criteria, to handwriting and signature verification. The list goes on and on.
Neither side will be happy with the outcome unless they have a special election. Something that is highly unlikely at this point.
More to come...
Signing off...JCB Sphere: Related Content
The University of California has just completed a study on the efficacy of San Francisco's numerous surveillance cameras. The result: they have no effect on crime. (Read it here) That's the liberal response to a criminal element...put up cameras while making gun ownership all but impossible.
Here's the American response, straight out of Kennesaw, Georgia! This Georgia town mandated that all homeowners MUST possess a firearm to protect their property. There are a few exceptions for religious objections, etc, but by and large, this Southern town took criminals to task. Lawful citizens back in 1982 said to criminals, "come and get it" and crime dropped by 74% the first year! Since passage of the law, there have only been 3 murders to date...two of them committed with knifes.
The socialists-liberal agenda wants to control the citizenry, seeing only numbers, not individuals. By restricting our rights to gun ownership, they are effectively removing our self-reliance, and placing it firmly in the hands of government. Public schools preach a reliance on the government as if it were Gospel, and endless public service announcements, liberal Hollywood productions, and writings tell us that the proper response is to sit and wait for the police (i.e., the government) to take care of our problems. Police do not prevent crime, citizens do. The police are vital to a civilized society, but only in the fact that they capture known criminals, and investigate past crimes. An officer will do a nice job of drawing a chalk outline around your body for you, but a Colt 9mm will probably keep you alive during a home invasion.
The results of the UC study shouldn't really be a surprise to anyone. Criminals think in the immediate present, with no regard for future or near-future consequences of their actions. A camera presents a far-off future possibility to a criminal, much less important than the immediate gratification of taking your money or your life. A Saturday Night Special out of the purse of a would-be victim...now that presents more of an immediate concern for the bonehead criminals!
The answer to almost any problem in a free society is to create MORE freedom, not less. Many of our problems revolve around our lack of true freedom (e.g., gun restrictions in areas of high crime, government intervention in the free markets in the form of institutions like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, etc). Sphere: Related Content
It is expected today that Sen. Voinovich (R-OH) will announce his retirement in 2010. Along with Sen. Brownback (R-KS) and Sen. Martinez (R-FL) there will be 3 open Republican seats up for election in 2010.
Although there is hope for gains in the House, they probably won't be substantial enough to change the dynamic Democrat majority. Which leaves me with a pessimistic outlook for GOP congressional advances in 2010.
Although, a lot can change in 2 years.
Signing off...JCB Sphere: Related Content
Signing off...JCB Sphere: Related Content
Part 1: West and East South Central
My Election Review: "A historical guide to the future of Conservatism"
Signing off...JCB Sphere: Related Content
Sunday, January 11, 2009
There is now talk that because Blagojevich has been impeached, that upon conviction by the Illinois State Senate, the Lt. Governor would make a Senate appointment. Unfortunately for the Democrats, and their insatiable appetite for favorable public and media opinion, that just isn't how it works. Sen. Burris should take his seat, and more important, if anyone attempts to prevent him from taking his seat, they should be arrested on the spot (including the Senate Majority Leader and the Majority Whip).
Our old friend Article I, Section 6 strikes back:
"They [legislators] shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place."
If you can't arrest a duly appointed/elected legislator, you darn sure can't prevent them from entering the Senate floor. Doing so, violates our own constitution. Sphere: Related Content
Friday, January 9, 2009
Really? Don't you have more important things to worry about?!? Are you going to sign an Executive Order requiring playoffs?
This is about as ridiculous as the new Spiderman comic featuring Obama.
Signing off...JCB Sphere: Related Content
He has correctly realized the scale of the financial crisis but his diagnosis and solutions are all over the map. Like his campaign promises, he is a generalist, a populist, a I-want-everyone-to-love-me politician.
Obama's "stimulus plan" includes tax cuts, business credits, infrastructure investment, green technology, deficit spending, promises of a balanced budget, rainbows, unicorns, and peter piper. Even the Democrats with conviction of their own are pushing back on items in the stimulus plan that are in contradiction with their Principles (yes, they do exist).
The man who holds the record for "present" votes will not get by on vague, visionary, generic, or charming policies. The President of the United States is the highest executive position one can hold. He will be forced to make major decisions with imperfect information that will have fatal and enormous consequences on the spot, every minute of every day. If he doesn't understand that, he will learn the hard way.
Bye Bye ambiguity. Its time for Barack to grow his conviction.
http://www.usnews.com/blogs/capital-commerce/2009/1/7/why-obama-will-own-the-recession.html Sphere: Related Content
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
We now see reports that the Democrats will actually seat Senator Burris. Well, thanks a million guys! Sen. Reid, you are a true gentlemen, by allowing to have Burris join you as a colleague, despite the clear and obvious fact that you can do "whatever [you] want to do." Pesky issues like the 17th Amendment, and the fact that turning away a Senator from taking the floor vote is, in and of itself, a Constitutional crime, shouldn't get in your way! It's not the law, but rather your own good graces that make government work.
Hubris, meet Sen. Reid...Oh, you two already know each other?! Wow! Who would have guessed?
President Obama meet fiscal reality...Mr. President? Mr. President? Where'd he go? Sphere: Related Content
Part 1 or what appears to be a thorough statistical and data-driven analysis of the 2008 election was published today. I enjoy Jay's previous articles for his detailed and agnostic approach. In his series, Jay takes a more intimate look at regional demographics and is focused less on any particular party or ideology.
Signing off...JCB Sphere: Related Content
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
First he wants to defy the Constitution to prevent Senator Burris (D-IL) from taking his appointed seat in the U.S. Senate because Democrats can do "Whatever we want to do."
Now he makes the brazen statement that Senator Norm Coleman will "never ever serve [again] in the Senate.". Those are some arrogant words considering that the election in Minnesota is far from over, there is not a certified winner, and even if Franken is certified the winner and assumes the seat Coleman is an odds-on favorite to run again after such a narrow and disputed election.
Up for a potentially close election in 2010, the Senate Majority Leader is on the offensive before the legislative agendas have even been discussed. I doubt his actions and words will help bring cross-over Republicans when he needs it most!
Signing off...JCB Sphere: Related Content
Like many things in life, prosperous times come and go. Riding the flows upward are fun and the ebbs down are not. But its not with a messianic clairvoyance that one could foresee this coming. With a simple understanding of Economic principles (supply & demand, market pendulum, velocity of money, etc.) it is more of a question of "why did it take this long for the proverbial "bubble" to pop?"
Pick your bubble (housing, energy, tech, .com, etc.) and it has contributed to this downturn in our economy. When you over supply a market with a product (houses) without reducing prices, you create a surplus gap between the supply and the demand. Mortgage companies sought to remedy this gap by reducing the immediate impact of purchasing a home at the same price by deferring payments. This helped raise demand which fueled additional building. However, as the deferred payments and interest caught up with over-extended buyers, demand plummeted.
Here are some interactive S&D curves to play along:
This is an over-simplified micro-economic view of why growth has slowed. But, apply this misalignment in the supply & demand of products to a handful of industries and you have momentum. Free markets contain tightly interwoven dependencies throughout the various supply chains. The benefit is cost efficiencies and competitiveness. If there is true competitiveness, when one entity falls or fails another can rise in its place. This does not happen instantaneously and in the time it takes for the successor to rise or enter that market there can be further decline among other associated entities. So as one grows/declines so does its dependencies, which creates an inertia. If the inertia is not controlled we get the large boom and busts. The problem is that the larger/longer the boom the larger/longer the bust and vice versa.
Looking at a macro-economic view let's go back to the Utopian idea of no recessions. Well in theory it is possible. Based on the idea that markets act like a pendulum, if you don't have a flow you won't ebb. Economists vary in there belief of the ideal growth % to avoid the rollercoaster. I've come to adopt 5% based on Ibbotson's analysis of Risk Premium in the Cost of Capital equation of the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM). CAPM helps determine the rate of return for an asset and is a quantifiable measure of the value of an investment. The Risk Premium takes into account the opportunity cost of not investing the potential investment capital. Ibbotson determined that in developed countries the risk premium averaged 5% throughout history. In other words, if you invest in the market expect 5%. If your investment opportunity presents a higher percentage, seek the opportunity.
Lets look at a 5% annual growth versus the Adjusted Closings for Dow Jones Industrial Average, NASDAQ, and S&P 500 throughout each indices history.
The Dow, Jones & Company has existed since 1882 and has been tracking an annually chosen group of 50 predominant companies from leading industries. The companies have changed over time with General Electric being the only original company still included (except from 1902-1908). As the graph shows, the post WWII era of growth was inline with the 5% annual growth up until 1964. From 1964 the DJIA stagnated with some large swings until 1980. From 1980 to 1994 you can see a steady growth back towards the 5% line, with a few down years (1989-1990). From 1994 to 1999 the DJIA almost tripled from going 3800 to 11500!!! This unprecedented growth was the ride of rides. However, reality came back as the market started to correct itself from the overheating with the declines through 2002. President Bush and others realizing the potential magnitude of the decline following the boom used steps to change the decline (pre-9/11). Unfortunately for us today, those steps were too aggressive in my opinion and created another boom rather than a soft landing back at consistent growth. Instead the false confidence grew the DJIA to an all-time high of 14,164.53 in Oct. of 2007 and we have been sliding ever since as the market continues to correct itself.
The NASDAQ (National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations) was founded in 1971 and is currently comprised of approximately 3,200 companies. It has the highest trading volume per day of any stock exchange in the world and gained its place along side the DJIA in the 1990s by focusing on technology and growth companies. The graph shows a similar trend as the DJIA against a 5% annual growth. The 1970s were a stagnant period with steady growth through the 1980s and early 1990s. Like the DJIA, the NASDAQ composite boomed in the 1990s as it gained 6 times it value from 1994 through 1999 going from 750 to +4000!!! Hurt by the .com and technology bubbles of the late 1990s, there was a resurgence from 2002 to 2007 and decline ever since.
Published since 1950, the Standard & Poors (S&P) 500 index is comprised of 500 stocks traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and the NASDAQ. The 500 companies are typically the 500 largest American stocks according to market capitalization. Similar to the DJIA and NASDAQ the S&P500 saw growth inline with 5% through the 1950s until 1964. It then stagnated until 1980 and then steadily grew until 1994. From 1994 to 1999 the S&P500 tripled its value from 450 to +1500!!! It too declined into 2002 and re-boomed until 2007 and has been down ever since.
Monday, January 5, 2009
According to Minnesota state law, an election cannot be certified if there is pending litigation challenging the outcome of the election. The Canvassing Board and SECSTATE Ritchie can announce Franken as the winner of the recount but that does not complete the process.
Coleman has file a lawsuit over 650 duplicate ballots that were improperly rejected. He may pursue a case against broader counting errors and the process all together. As today's WSJ points out, there is some funny business in the counting results. "...one Canvassing Board member, State Supreme Court Justice G. Barry Anderson, has acknowledged that "very likely there was a double counting." Yet the board insists that it lacks the authority to question local officials..."
Until this litigation is settled, SECSTATE Mark Ritchie is bound by law to withhold Certification. I will not be surprised if he proceeds in contradiction. However, Governor Tim Pawlenty (R) also has to sign the official Certification, which I doubt he will do unless there is absolute determination of the victor.
Meanwhile, as of this past Saturday Senator Coleman's term has expired and seat is now vacant. So the Democratic Senators, most notably Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), want to seat Al Franken until the vacancy is filled. Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) has said "Sen. Schumer's exultations are premature to say the least." and promises to filibuster any attempt to fill seat without state certification.
I am impressed! I figured it would take the Democrats at least 3 months to draw their divisive line in the sand. This will be the catalyst for Republican backlash against their power playing. Queue the filibusters! The honeymoon of working together under a new administration is over before it starts. Thank you!!
Signing off...JCB Sphere: Related Content
Sunday, January 4, 2009
Read it for yourself!
We cannot even begin to understand the hubris of this man, and his party. Sen. Reid and the Democrats have wilfully circumvented the Constitution, and they are happy to proclaim that they have the power to do whatever they want to do in the face of public opinion. This basically means that we only cite the Constitution when it suits our objectives, and we ignore it if it doesn't. I urge Offering "Common" Sense readers to contact their own Senators and advise them to follow the law, not their own personal political objectives.
I certainly hope Sen. McConnell tells Sen. Reid to step down, or face legal action for breaking the highest laws of our land!
This is not about politics, people. This is about our rights as Americans. We were granted rights because we were created by God, and the Constitution is vital because it is acknowledges that simple fact and requires lmiitations on the government's power. Democrats, and to some extent Republicans, have sought to throw this document into the trash heap of history, in favor of their incessant desire for more power.
People need to stop letting politicians run away with their money, and stop letting the media dictate the debate. Screw the media.
It's time to face these people, look squarely into their eyes, and proclaim, "You have negated your authority by abusing it, time to put someone else in office."
Just remember those five words: Whatever we want to do.
That sums up our current Senate leadership's perspective in a nutshell. Sphere: Related Content
"You called down the thunder, well now you got it! You see that? It says United States Marshall. I see a red sash, I kill the man wearin' it. So run you kerr. Tell all the other kerr's the law's comin! You tell 'em I'm comin', and hell's comin' with me, you hear...HELL'S COMIN' WITH ME!!" -- Kurt Russell as Wyatt Earp, Tombstone
Anyone who doesn't get chills from that scene in the movie Tombstone, isn't playing with a full deck. I can't help but think of the United States as a Marshall in the wild west atmosphere of our free world, where terrorists threaten civility. On 9/11 they called down the thunder, and we've hit back hard, consistently, and without hesitation ever since. Much to the consternation of lesser nations who would allow terror to be dealt with in mock courts after the fact, we have demonstrated leadership as a nation. Israel is doing the same thing with Hamas. Terrorists shot rockets into Israel, and they called down the thunder. Gaza residents are basically held hostage by their own people. Hamas starts the fight, tells Israel to bring it on, when they get their butts handed to them, they call for a public outcry. We see protests in New York, London, and elsewhere from Palestinians calling to end the plight of the people.*
*Note: ending the plight of the Palestinians can only be accomplished by killing all Jews, and ending the state of Israel, according to these "peace"ful protestors. Sphere: Related Content
Saturday, January 3, 2009
You have no authority to prevent a duly appointed Senator from taking office. Your efforts, as reported in the press, to prevent Sen-select Burris from taking the Senate floor are more than a little concerning.
I suggest that you stick to your Constitutional mandates. We can disagree over policy, and you can vote to create almost any law that your heart desires, but you cannot trample the Constitution of the United States for political expediency.
If anyone tries to circumvent the Constitution, I will press my duly elected Representatives and Senators to make it a public matter by calling for the removal of officials that openly defy our nation's founding documents.
Colorado Springs, CO
USAF Veteran, Citizen Defender of the Constitution Sphere: Related Content
We know a few things:
1) Hamas started this round of fighting, breaking through a months-long ceasefire.
2) Many have died in the attacks and the reprisal. Many more will.
3) Hamas places its own military operations in civilian areas to maximize its own casualties, including those of women and children.
4) This conflict will end, but the war between the Muslim and Jewish nations will never end.
People like to talk in meaningless platitudes about peace and justice, but those are unattainable goals in our world. We must all act by the courage of our convictions, and hope to do so in the name of God, and not for some other prideful reasons.
As the fighting escalates, the Israelis need to consider a final end game to this war, even though it may be impossible.
1) They must destroy Hamas.
2) They must destroy military operations in Gaza and elsewhere.
3) They must use an incredible amount of precision and accuracy. (Accuracy is hitting the right target, precision is hitting right where you're aiming....)
4) Recognize Palestine as a state.
Let me expand upon that for a moment. Numbers 1 and 2 above are obvious. Israeli could use their unacknowledged nuclear arsenal to basically wipe out every Palestinian in the area, if they chose to. But it's important not to lose sight of 3 and 4. Hamas has deliberately created an environment conducive to massive collateral damage. Like cowards, Hamas military operatives launch rockets at civilians in Israel, and hide behind women and children. Meanwhile, other Hamas leaders encourge their own children to blow themselves up after they complete their Koran studies.
Either Hamas is not Muslim, or all Muslims favor death to life. In either case, those who favor death do not worship God. They are on the wrong side of eternity. We have to hold on to hope that the majority of the Muslim world is in favor of peace, and in favor of simply living their own lives, freely. Imagine the 15 year old Muslim "student" who has just been assigned to a suicide bombing by his Hamas mentors. He looks over at the free world and sees teenagers living freely, anticipating going to the movies, or going to college, or marriage and family, etc. If given a choice, in what environment would he choose to live?
We have to do a better job of demonstrating what freedom really is to these people. Hopefully Israel can find a way to do that, although it won't be easy.
If Palestinians are granted statehood, it should not deter from Israel's self-defense. When rockets fly over the border, it's time for action.
As Israel embarks upon the latest battle for its defense, let's hope and pray that the innocent are spared.
1) get their children out of the battle zones today
2) then get Hamas out of their neighborhoods!
3) stop voting for terrorists 'leaders' that will get the citizens killed (not themselves, they hide)
1) stop calling down the thunder on someone else
2) face the fact that they are done
3) go into retirement or die Sphere: Related Content
Friday, January 2, 2009
In the same survey, over half thought that President Bush had their best interest at heart. Staggering opinions from the people Obama will rely on to end the war in Iraq, win the long war in Afghanistan, defend this country and its freedom.
As a former military member and combat veteran I know that on the ground it doesn't matter who your Commander in Chief is. The only thing that matters is the mission in front of you. Like all citizens of this country, when you step away from the front, you have to ask who is issuing the orders and why?
I started my military career under President Clinton and proudly ended it under the command of President Bush and I am uncertain of President-elect Obama as our next Commander in Chief.
Signing off...JCB Sphere: Related Content
McCain said it, watch Ukraine and the Baltic states.
Sphere: Related Content
Ladies and Gentlemen, especially you voters out there in Nevada, how does it feel to have your leaders who have sworn to protect the Constitution trample on it in the interest of public opinion polls?
While it is unConstitutional for a Senate Majority leader to deny a state the ability to choose its Senator for a vacant seat, it is perfectly legal for the Senate to remove a Senator for cause! Sen. Reid, by your willful attack on our government's founding document, you should be removed from the Senate. If not, the people of Nevada should really consider the consequences of their actions during the next re-election bid for Sen. Reid.
I hereby call for your immediate removal, Senator Reid. Rep. Lamborn, you're getting another letter from this Colorado resident calling for a House Bill to end multiple terms in office for Senators, and limiting terms to 2 (for a total of 4 years) for Representatives. This nation deserves better than careerists who put self-interests above national ones.
Write your representatives!: http://www.house.gov/
Write your senators!: http://www.senate.gov/ Sphere: Related Content
JCB is the business guy, so he can tell us what the 32.4 "index" means, but see my earlier post for a general philosophical view...paradigm shift.
Supercomputers operate at many teraflops now (trillions of floating operations per second), yet the human mind supposedly works at a rate of about 10 petaflops (10 quadrillion flops or 10,000,000,000,000,000). In 3-4 years, supercomputers will think faster than we do. In 5-7 years, a standard laptop will.
While it's exciting to think about the possibilities of world's future, we must also remember to maintain a moral compass. Ethics are sometimes lost in the pursuit of scientific research. Science is a useful tool of humanity, but it is only a human interpretation of God's universe...it does not replace it. We can uncover truths, bring the world closer together, and expand our horizons, but we will not uncover absolute truth, bring a utopian society in our time, and reach the end of the universe with scientific quests.
We were a farming nation once before we shifted to an industrial one.
We became a superpower.
The world became more free. Sphere: Related Content
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