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Posts Tagged ‘Barack Obama’

Morality and Leadership; Pelosi is bad for America

March 19, 2010 4 comments

At it’s most basic level, government is a willing agreement entered into by a group of people to give up some individual liberty for the preservation of the group in general. Cicero called it a “partnership in justice.”

For example, I have consented to be governed by the laws of my city, state and nation, even though that means I can’t do everything I may want to do whenever I want to. I may not agree with every law, but by not rebelling, it proves my tacit consent.

Naturally, then, in government leaders will emerge. We need to pick sheriffs, judges, mayors, presidents, legislators, etc. But does it really matter what kind of people they are? I think it does.

We have recently heard of all kinds of votes being “bought” in order to pass the healthcare bill. A Utah Congressman’s brother is getting appointed to a judgeship in exchange for the Congressman’s vote for Obamacare. The Hill newspaper reports on some of the goodies, including $300 million in extra funding for Sen. Landrieu’s home state of Louisiana, and millions in extra Medicaid dollars for Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson. The public doesn’t want the bill to pass, so the Dems have to make these hidden deals in order to get it passed. Outside of Obamacare, the New Jersey government has been caught in corrupt contract scandals, awarding contracts and taking a cut of the money. Many state and national politicians are caught in sexual scandals. Our government leaders have been convicted of embezzlement, lying, and tax-fraud; implicated in the disappearance of interns, campaign fraud, and abuse of intelligence to rationalize war; and unconscionable waste of taxpayers money – basically robbing us, the citizens. It’s more like reading about pirates plundering a nation than its leaders preserving it!

Polybius, a Greek from around 200BC, watched the downfall of his native Greece and the emergence of Rome as the dominating power of the era. He wrote many books on Rome’s emergence and its history. He compares Rome to other contemporary nation-states like Greece, Carthage, etc. He says in The Histories, volume III that

“But the quality in which he Roman commonwealth is most distinctly superior is in my opinion the nature of their religious convictions. The consequence is that among the Greeks, (where belief in religion was deemed foolish) apart from other things, members of the government, if they are entrusted with no more than a talent, (a piece of money) though they have 10 copyists and as many seals and twice as many witnesses, cannot keep their faith; whereas among the Romans those who as magistrates and legates are dealing with large sums of money maintain correct conduct just because they have pledged their faith by oath. Whereas elsewhere it is a rare thing to find a man who keeps his hands off public money, and whose record is clean in this respect, among the Romans one rarely comes across a man who has been detected in such conduct.”

Whether the moral code you adhere to comes from organized religion or not, Polybius makes clear that moral people — people who believe in and live in accordance to the natural principles of right vs. wrong; honesty is good, dishonesty is bad; fidelity and integrity are good; etc. — these are the people that make the best public servants and leaders in government.

A generation later, the Roman Cicero said that leaders that follow these moral codes are the only ones fit to govern.

Another generation or two later, approximately 160AD, Marcus Aurelius was Emperor of Rome. In his Meditations he lauds a moral character that works for the public interest in a manner that befits a ruler.

My point is that the morality question has very little to do with the Religious Right of the current political landscape. Oh sure they get their boxers in a bunch about it nowadays, just in time for the next one to fall from within their own ranks due to yet another “indiscretion.” We don’t need to look to these punters for direction, or assume when they fall that the belief in a moral code is incorrect. We have the writings and lessons of history before us. Some Roman guys from a long time ago set-up a mixed government system with an Executive Branch, a Senate, a legislative (popular assembly) body, and judges. Sound familiar? They were the world’s super power for centuries, and their system worked for over 500 years. America, by paltry comparison, is just above the 200+ years mark.

So it’s not like we haven’t been pointed the way.

James Burgh, involved in the creation of this great nation, wrote in 1774 that,

“When we elect persons to represent us we must not be supposed to depart from the smallest right which we have deposited with them. We make a lodgment, not a gift; we entrust, but part with nothing. We have, therefore, a right to know what they are saying and doing. And should they contradict our sense, or swerve from our interests, we have a right to remonstrate, inform, and direct them. By which means, we become the regulators of our own conduct, and the institutors of our own laws, and nothing material can be done but by our authority and consent.”

Compare this with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and her behavior around the healthcare bill. Not only does the American public not know what is in this bill, she is deliberately trying to keep it this way as it says on her own website. The hidden deals, millions of dollars for buying votes, and strong-arm tactics is exactly the opposite of how the representative system is supposed to work!

Pelosi and politicians like her are bad for America. Watch CNN say so HERE.

We need a way to get career politicians back into the real world – like thru term limits for Congress. And we need to be as vocal and vigilant as ever against her and politicians like her. The right to govern ourselves is a real and unalienable right that we have. When our elected representatives abuse it and take power unto themselves like Pelosi is doing – hiding the contents of a bill from the public and doing back room deals to get it put into law – we need to use our natural rights and get her and her cronies out of our government. She and politicians like her are working toward the decline of America. The history is before us.

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Healthcare action YOU can take

March 18, 2010 6 comments

This is going to be a short one today. I have a couple of other posts partly written, but as we head toward the possible weekend vote on the ObamaCare national healthcare bill, I want to post a couple of ways that you can take action if you haven’t already. Personal contact from constituents can really influence how our representatives vote. And, since your congressmen and women are representing YOU in Washington D.C., you should let them know how you feel.

If you are for or against the federal government taking over the healthcare in this country, let them know. Let your representatives know how you would like them to vote in order to best represent you.

This is from Nancy Pelosi’s own website, speaking of the healthcare bill: “We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of the controversy.”

Say what? Pass a piece of legislation into law so that (we) can find out what is in it? That is completely backwards, Ms. Speaker of the House! And it is completely wrong.

The people we have representing us in Congress (the House and Senate) should represent the will of the people. There are many, many polls that show Americans do not want this version of national healthcare passed…due to the trillions in costs and the fact that people haven’t even read it yet! We don’t know what is in the bill, and we don’t trust the politicians pushing it through “at all costs.” Whether you agree with me or not, take a stand and act on it.

Here are some places that you can go to send faxes to your congressional representatives. Jump in. Make your voice heard.

Human Events Grassfire.Org Citizens In Action

If you would prefer to phone your representatives, you can find their phone numbers on this website. Just call them up, and leave a message with the staffer that answers the phone. Tell them how you want them to vote on the healthcare bill, and wish them a nice day. It will make a difference, and you can do it.

My 2012 Presidential Campaign Speech

March 5, 2010 16 comments

Campaign Slogan: Restoring our Country’s Greatness

You know, there was a time, not very long ago, that “Made in America” meant something special.  You would see it on labels of clothing; on the handles of tools; and on spare parts and toys you purchased at many different types of stores. It made us feel proud: proud to be part of this great nation; proud of the work that went into building the greatest nation on earth; proud of our heritage; hopeful for the possibilities of our future. But you don’t see the “Made in America” slogan these days as much….

We’ve shipped many of our jobs beyond our borders. We are increasingly dependent on other nations for our food supply. We have become massively in debt as we have adopted policies that mirror the social democracies of Europe with their massive entitlement payouts. Those countries are nearly bankrupt – is it any wonder that we are too?

And there is a growing feeling of negative anticipation in our nation. I’ve heard people say they are ‘hunkering down’, and ‘waiting for the end to come’. People just seem to sense that we cannot continue in this manner. But when will it change?

The time is Now. It is time for Restoring our Country’s Greatness. America has never shrunk from a challenge, and we will not do so this time. My plan, as outlined in my 6-point Party Platform, will Restore our Country’s Greatness. The first plan of attack is to get our economy turned around, and the American people working again. We must make it easier for small businesses to prosper in America. We also have plans to bring corporate manufacturing jobs back to America, but that will take some time. I strongly believe that our small businesses will lead us out of this economic recession.

The American people are the most ingenious, inventive, and hardworking people on the planet. I believe that federal government bureaucracies have grown to unduly tax and interfere with our economic progress.

For example, in 2010 the Obama administration passed legislation aimed at protecting us from dangerous goods from China. This is a commendable idea. But in the legislation that passed, crippling bureaucratic hurdles have been placed in the way of American businesses. Now, small business that produce and ship goods around our country will need to spend thousands of dollars to get each of their products tested and “certified” to sell by yet another new governmental department. This will harm many small American companies, the Mom & Pop stores barely scraping by. It will cripple their bottom lines, and cause many more to shut their doors completely. And it continues to grow the size of our ever-increasing government, adding more expenditures that we cannot afford.

I will work to help small businesses, not hinder. We will simplify the tax code, and reduce bureaucracy and regulation for the small business owners of America. We will get the government out of their way, and allow them the freedom to pursue life, liberty, and happiness. We will encourage investment in new technologies, US factories, and minimize government hurdles and costs for businesses of all sizes. We will also do away with farm subsidies to get America’s farmers working their farms again, bringing food production home where it belongs. For large corporations, corporate tax breaks for companies that manufacture in the United States, keeping our economic advantages on our own soil.

…And we need to keep our soil safe. When our country is safe and well protected, the American citizens feel safe and happy about our security. Our military forces have struggles for years to provide an opportunity for Iraq and Afghanistan to make better governments for themselves. After so many years, it is time to allow them to stand on their own. We have shown them the way. At this time of great worldwide economic struggle, the US military personnel need to be home with their families. Our own borders need to be better protected. We will always protect the United States from attacks, both foreign and domestic, but we need to get out of the business of nation building and the idealism of creating our “brand” of government around the world.

As we focus internally, let’s take a look at our country’s education system. The education of our current and rising generations is the key to our future. Therefore, I propose to gradually wean the Federal Government from managing the education process in America. This will be a big change for us, but it is necessary. The American people should be in charge of their own education at the family, community, and State levels. By removing federal monies and requirements, we will clear the path for education to become competitive, and for states to regulate education within their own borders. We will work with party members at the state and local levels to weaken union strangleholds in the education arena that are destroying the education process for millions of young Americans, provide tax credits to leave failing schools, and offer merit pay and other performance-based incentives to ensure our teachers and students are the best they can be.

And let me make this pledge to you this evening: I will work to create real reform and change in America’s government. By spending more money than we have as a country, the current administration has created a debt burden for future generations that will take many years to overcome. This is not fair for our future generations, and it is common sense that it cannot go on forever. Spending more than you have doesn’t work in your homes, and it does not work for our country. We will work for a balanced budget, eliminate deficit spending, and introduce greater oversight and transparency on the workings of the Federal Reserve System and other banking institutions. Clear steps will be taken to “follow the money” and measures will be put in place to put an end to reckless financial practices, like credit default swaps, as well as create a payback schedule for all bailout monies received by our financial institutions. We cannot continue to “print money” at record levels, like our current administration, and not expect to reap the consequences of high inflation and a valueless dollar.

Too much money gets spent and too many laws are created outside of the legislative process. Our government cannot continue to allow the executive branch to wield the power of the Executive Order to create binding laws outside of our checks-and-balances system. If given the chance I promise I will correct these and other corrupt practices currently taking place in Washington. I promise to reduce our spending year upon year until we can see an end to the uncontrollable deficits.
(pause…)

Why are we in this prolonged recession after some of the best growth decades our nation has ever seen? Some of the biggest reasons are right here in Washington: It’s called Politics as Usual. Bloated government. Spend, spend, spend. Miles of bureaucracies thwarting American business. You were promised Hope & Change. But let me ask: Is this the Hope & Change you were looking for? I don’t think so.

THE UNITED STATES of AMERICA has the HIGHEST levels of RESERVE ENERGY RESOURCES of any country in the world.* Yet we struggle with rising energy costs and energy dependence on countries with unstable leadership and that often have anti-American positions. This situation can be rectified by developing environmentally safe methods to extract the natural resources within our own country. We will work to encourage and provide incentives for private companies to help the USA attain energy independence, through the extraction of existing American oil reserves, as well as developing new sources of clean, renewable energy. These resources alone “represent tens of trillions of dollars in wealth and millions of American jobs.”*

If given the chance, my fellow Americans, we can make this dream a reality. If given the chance, you and I together will Restore our Country’s Greatness.

Thank you, and God Bless America.

Eric Merten
President 2012

*Congressional Research Report 2009    http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm
http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=34233

We’re sick of the secrecy, Barry

February 26, 2010 6 comments

Check out this exchange between Senator John McCain and President Barak Obama, aka Barry Soetoro. (If you don’t know about Obama’s former name, please google it and learn a few things.)

ABC News (http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/HealthCare/john-mccain-health-care-summit-obama-democrats-start/story?id=9952202&page=2) says there was a tense exchange between McCain and Obama when the longtime senator criticized Obama’s healthcare bill and his promise to televise healthcare discussions on C-SPAN, one which he did not keep.

“Let me just make this point, John, because we’re not campaigning anymore. The election’s over,” the president countered.

McCain today said he brought up the subject because of the closed-door meetings.
“The reason why I brought it up yesterday was not because of the campaign, but because the American people don’t like these unsavory deals,” he said.

What does Obama mean, “we’re not campaigning anymore”? As in, he can make any promises he wants to on the campaign trail, but once the “election is over”, he doesn’t have to follow through? I know we think this is “normal” for politicians, but would Obama really do this? I just want to point out yet another swig of kool-aid that many Americans were all too happy to drink in the name of Hope & Change, that has turned out to be a lie.

I’m not in love with McCain and his voting record, but he is spot on this time: “the American people don’t like these unsavory deals.” We are sick of the secret deals benefitting Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, ACORN, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, and everyone else playing politics on Obama’s team secretly hidden in the healthcare and bail-out bills. The American people have said they don’t want the current Senate healthcare bill, yet Obama is moving ahead with it and all the hidden benefits and political favors because he doesn’t have the votes to get it through the Senate again. If this passes, it will be a multi-Trillion dollar mistake we will be paying for many years to come. One small. enormous example: It has 6 years of benefits, but will take 10 years of increased taxes to pay off. Sound like good business sense to you? That’s Bernie Madoff accounting! What happens 6 years from now…and it’s time to pay for the next round of benefits? We won’t have any money because we’ll still be paying off the first set — for 4 more years!

Obama has filed over 90 lawsuits keeping personal information about his past hidden from the public. Why? When you and I go for a job, we expect people to check on our references and educational claims. There are more background checks going on for College Football coaches who have their resumes scrutinized than the President of the USA. When coaches’ claims are false, the institutions have no problem dismissing the coach straightaway. Yet we cannot even see Obama’s records from Columbia University. They are sealed by yet another lawsuit.

Investigative reporters have been trying to uncover anything about Obama’s time at Columbia. Many claim that he never attended the University. I don’t know either way – but my point is this: Why the secrecy? Obama has told people that he will be the most open President in US history, and yet he spent over $1million to hide his hospital birth records. Was this done to give his team more time to concoct their story and produce a forgery? Or was he really born a US citizen? I have no clue, but – if there is nothing to hide – why the millions to hide the record? If he attended Columbia, why hide the university records behind another court order?

We know less about this man than any President in US history. Most of what we know has been written by Obama himself, which should be a clue about something. The problems happen when his stories about himself are refuted. Like the one that Michelle Obama refuted. About his birth story.

Mrs. Obama has said that Obama’s mother was “very young and very single” when she had Barak, who she named “Barry.” http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=114259 which doesn’t jive with what Barry claims.

(Does this mean that I can call him a bastard if I want to? If Michelle is right, technically, it would be accurate.)

But back to the point: We the People are sick of the secrecy. Open the healthcare discussions to real debate. Give the legislators time to read and understand the ramifications of $1.5 Trillion worth of legislation. And then open your records Barry. Let us know who we have as President of the United States of America.

Bailout Money and Spanakopita

February 24, 2010 10 comments

There’s a new term in America’s lexicon: “bailout money”. A friend said to me last weekend, “Let’s not go to that restaurant, that place takes ‘bailout money’.” As in expensive. Very. One of my favorite dishes, spanakopita, usually isn’t very expensive. It usually doesn’t take “bailout money” to buy spanakopita. Usually.

Speaking of the $787bln bailout, what happened to (y)our bailout money? There is evidence now that some of the companies that received our bailout money – Goldman Sachs, French company Societe Generale, etc. – were associated with the mortgage bankers that offered the high risk loans in the first place. Mortgage companies associated with these investment banks were offering loans to people without even verifying employment and income claims. In other words, they knew these loans were very high risk. And when they tanked, they received our money to get bailed out of the very problem they created.

Here’s how it worked. In a bit of financial hocus-pocus, Goldman Sachs, SocGen, etc. rolled up these high risk loans into something that people could invest in called CDOs. They were basically bonds, which have a guaranteed return. The return to the investors was supposed to be provided by the interest payments that people make on their mortgages. And it would have worked if people kept paying their mortgages on time. Before it blew up, however, there was a bit more hocus pocus: Goldman Sachs, et al. knew these CDO investments were super high risk. So they bought insurance policies. AIG decided to insure the debt of these high risk home loans with something called credit default swaps. Bad move. Once the people – the same people that never should have been offered these home mortgages in the first place – started defaulting on their payments, Goldman’s and SocGen’s CDOs were not making their expected returns. So, they called their insurance company AIG for a payout. There were so many bad CDO bonds (based on high risk loans) made by these and other banks, and insured by AIG, that when it came time to pay the claims, AIG went bankrupt…..well almost. Instead, the US of A decided to step in and bail them out. Just to make sure this is clear: Goldman Sachs and friends – unethically, or at the very least with conflicting interests – made the bad loans to begin with, which created the problem. Next, they purchased insurance without disclosing the true nature of the assets they were insuring. Then they were bailed out of their poor business decisions with our money.

What did AIG do with the money? First, they were forced to pay out their insurance claims *at full value* to Goldman Sachs, Societe Generale, etc. although everyone already knew by this point that the mortgages they had insured were worthless. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York ordered http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=ax3yON_uNe7I AIG to pay them back at full value even though AIG was in the process of negotiating the payout at a large discount. The Federal Reserve of NY then hid this fact for more than a year from Congress and other oversight committees even though AIG wanted to publish the information. Conflicting interests, anyone? A year later, Goldman Sachs is paying out $23 billion in bonuses to it’s employees. Yes, that’s with a “b” for billion. That’s enough money to send 460,000 people to Harvard or buy health insurance for 1.7 million families. I wonder what the NY Fed Chair is getting. Oh, and in case you aren’t following, that’s your money they are paying out as bonuses to their employees.
http://rawstory.com/2009/2009/10/goldman-sachs-2009-bonuses-to-double-2008s-23-billion-could-buy-115-million-iphones-or-send-460000-to-harvard/

AIG received more than $182bln of our money. And this is only one example. The list goes on. A lot has been – and will be – said about the lying, cheating and cover-up in this bail-out scandal. I don’t have the space or inclination to delve further right now. Maybe later. I hope people like Darrell Issa www.darrellissa.com get to the bottom of this.

But my question is: why the slimy and secret cover-up from the Administration? Why cover up what happened to our $787bln if there’s nothing to hide Mr. Treasury Secretary Geithner? What happened to the transparency that was promised on the campaign trail? Where are the healthcare debates on C-Span that were promised on the stump? Where are all my friends that drank the kook-aid and insisted Obama would be different? Instead, we have his particular brand of Chicago politics at the national level. As US News & World Report claims, the stimulus program and healthcare are loaded with hidden political pork: Pelosi and Co. receiving $54M in earmarks to relocate a wine train in California; Reid and Co. arranging an earmark for a Los Angeles-to-Vegas high-speed train. The healthcare bill, specifically, was another fiasco of political corruption, with millions of dollars allocated to buy votes, such as those of Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu and Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson. Anger with that process and the bill it produced helped fuel the stunning election of Republican Scott Brown in Massachusetts. http://www.usnews.com/articles/opinion/mzuckerman/2010/01/21/mort-zuckerman-the-incredible-deflation-of-barack-obama.html?PageNr=1

Is this the Hope and Change we were promised?

But back to AIG and the spanakopita. Due to the bailout, the USA (that’s you and me) owns 80% of AIG. Now it’s coming out that – according to a German newspaper – AIG sold the same kind of credit default swap insurance policies on Greece’s national debt. http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2010/02/german-paper-says-aig-may-have-sold-cds-on-greece.html Greece is currently floundering in debt and is in danger of going bankrupt. The EU has already imposed austerity measures on Greece to ensure that they are able to pay back their mounting debts and keep their status in the European Union. Suddenly it appears that it is in the USA’s – I mean AIG’s – I mean the USA’s interest to keep Greece from defaulting. How? Well, remember that European vacation/home in Greece you have fantasized about? Well, it may very well be that the USA will be purchasing a whole bunch of mortgages & homes in Greece — with your money — but there’s a catch: the Greeks get to keep living in them, not you.

Speaking of Greece, Aristotle made a point in 350BC that still rings true today. Legislators and politicians that get paid a lot of money and can stay in office for a long time are a danger to the Society. Not only do they receive the honor of the State, they will soon start taking the people’s money. And this makes the people doubly angry. Not only do the politicians have the honor, but they make themselves rich off the work of the people. Aristotle also saw how it gets resolved: The people will not stand for this for very long before they revolt and change the government. It was true back in 350BC and it’s true today. We the People will not stand for this type of slimy highway robbery bailout, secretive behind-closed-doors healthcare legislation process, and cover-up much longer. This should not be taken lightly, but it might just be the hope and change we are looking for in America.