Finance


Since the ratification of the 16th Amendment in 1913, American politics has become all about money, money, money…rather than rights, liberties and freedoms. Citizens and their rights have taken a back seat to how much they make and how much they have. We are not individuals any more to our government (except when they want our vote, ha)…we are numbers much larger than one.

If you look at every other provision of the Constitution with the exception of the 16th Amendment, there is a limit to what the government may do, and the individual’s rights are paramount in the discussion. In fact, the federal government has very little power over the individual if one actually follows the authentic words of the Constitution…the federal government is SUPPOSED to be the protector and servant of the States. Not the controller and lord over individual citizens.  The 16th gives the Congress, and thus the government, nearly unlimited power over the income, and thus the property, of an individual. And by extension, unlimited power over the individual. If there were no 16th Amendment, the government would be forced to pay as they go…because there would be no income tax money tree to shake. And there would be no cross-aisle fighting about taxes and spending cuts, etc.

I firmly believe that the 16th Amendment is unconstitutional, because it renders each and every citizen of the US as a bond servant/slave to the government. Couple this with the requirement for automatic payroll deduction of taxes from a worker’s pay, and we have lost our ability to control OUR government through our free-willed actions — like withholding our taxes as a protest, etc. Much like the upcoming gun control debate which is actually an excuse to try and pacify the American populace, the 16th amendment has pacified us in terms of our ability to redress our grievances with our government. Instead, we’re stuck with this corrupt feedback loop in which we have to deal with “representatives” who have the power to tax us, ostensibly in our own best interests. Taxes always seem to go up to appease this special interest group or that one — and these taxes are indeed Progressive according to the provisions of the 16th Amendment. As a result, we’re left with covetousness and class warfare as part of our government…and national debate. And we can see from the last election, this strategy will certainly elect a president if he chooses to take this low road of politics.

If we are to become reasonably debt free and once again a nation of truly free men and women, the 16th HAS TO GO. This single action would make our representatives work for us once again and take the worship of mammon (or the use of it for political gain) from our governance. Remember, if there was no 16th, there would be absolutely no discussion about fiscal cliffs and debt ceilings. Period.

Do you know how you get out of a hole? You stop digging.

But after his election in 2008, Obama kept right on digging for the four years after Bush had vacated the White House. On Jan. 20, 2009, Obama had all the tools he required to correct any fiscal imbalances “caused” by Bush. He had a Congress comprised of a House and Senate Democrat majorities. They were a race car ready to rock-and-roll for whatever his whim was. But he chose to do his job in a car with only an accelerator for spending…and no brake pedal for cutting spending. He could have avoided the massive unemployment we suffered even today if he had shelved his ideology, ratcheted back regulations and significantly cut spending. Instead, he opted to waste his political capital on the liberty-sucking and debt-busting Obamacare as his signature accomplishment. I’m sure children will be singing paeans to him for this monstrosity generations from now. NOT!!!

See, we don’t have a revenue problem…we have a massive spending problem. Nobody wants to touch the very sacred cow of spending, as it is the very deadly third rail of politics. Craven politicians like Obama know that re-election chances approach 0% if government sending, particularly entitlement spending, is reduced. And if you think our spending problem begins and ends with the one point something trillion dollars being batted about in the lamestream, you’re more naive than you think. Cruise on over to www.usdebtclock.org if you want true enlightenment into the world of hurt our profligate elite masters have gotten us into. Take a look at the last box at the bottom for the true extent of our debt and profligacy…and tell me if we haven’t been duped by the most diabolical and sinister Ponzi scheme ever dreamed up…which by the way we’re on the hook to pay.

As a nation we currently have almost $122 TRILLION in unfunded liabilities. Any way you look at it it’s a lot of dough. YOUR part of this is a little over a million bucks. When are YOU going to pay up?!?!?! Seeing that many working stiffs won’t make a million bucks in their lifetimes, the answer for many is NEVER! Guess what? That debt, plus interest, falls to our kids to pay. Some legacy gift to the widdle tykes, huh?

Making matters worse, we only have national assets (you know, the real stuff that we can pay the debt back with) of just over $87 Trillion. This leaves a deficit in this liability of around $35 TRILLION. There aren’t enough millionaires and billionaires in the galaxy to pull our fat out of the fire on this one. But Emperor ZERO fiddles, and then goes on a lavish Hawaiian vacation after his re-election, while Washington runs up over $150 MILLION per hour in debt…just for the operational side of things. Honestly, the guy doesn’t have $50 worth of concern in his eyes regarding debts and deficits…let alone the countless trillions that we do owe. He’s proved this time and time again. He’d rather complain about his predecessor than do the hard lifting that is required to put our fiscal house in order.

So, although Obama didn’t run up all this debt, his party and his Progressive ideology are squarely responsible for it with their entitlement schemes and their historical profligate spending — since 1903. Obama would not be president today if it weren’t for 20th century Progressives T. Roosevelt, W. Wilson, FDR and LBJ getting the ball rolling and keeping it moving over time. [I saw a news report that since his election that Obama has spent more money than all the presidents that preceded him, COMBINED. Some legacy, huh?]

Our profligate Commander-In-Chief may argue about “fiscal cliffs” but he really should be worried about fiscal icebergs…because we’re going to hit the one with the teeny-tiny tip just above water and the ginormous mass just below the surface. It’s called unfunded liabilities…and it’s coming for us REAL soon. And soon we’ll get to meet the good buddy of unfunded liabilities as well…remorseless hyperinflation. All brought to you by the spendaholics in the Obama administration.

Despotism By Any Other Name. Daniel Hannan is a member of the EU parliament from the UK and a thoughtful, articulate and outspoken conservative. Recently, he addressed the CPAC conference in Washington, DC with a stern and dire warning of the path that we are traveling on as a nation. His speech can be found HERE:

Daniel Hannan/CPAC

His words at CPAC dovetails with an op-ed piece that he wrote almost a year ago in March 2011 for the WSJ. His astute and prescient words still ring as true today.

If you repeat our mistakes, we know exactly what lies in store for you. — Daniel Hannan

We ignore his warning at our own peril.

It Is Better To Receive Than To Give. A twist on the old saw to be sure, but truer words have never been spoken, I assure you. Approximately 50% of our society is on the receiving end of things, in one form or another, from the federal government. Whether it’s inflated benefits from a lifetime of forced contributions (contributions plus presumed interest that only account for a fraction of what is received), subsidies in the form of housing and food or benefits like a monthly check in the mail for whatever reason, contemporary Americans are increasingly and sadly becoming more co-dependent upon government for their living. So it’s not unexpected when those who productively contribute to society (read: WORK) clamor for reforms and changes to the system to encourage (read: FORCE) others to toil and contribute as well that those who receive show their ire through demonstrations and other overt displays. A prime example is the “Occupy” movement with its numerous squatters campsites scattered throughout the country. This movement was a microcosm of “slacker nation” on full display for all to see and hear. Our nation was regaled with this nonsense for over three months in the fall and early winter of 2011 as the “Occupiers” took to public parks with their protests and succeeded to foul them with human waste and refuse. And we were also treated to an amusing hodgepodge of demands and proposals from a group of protestors who obviously have too much time on their hands and who haven’t worked in a meaningful way in far too long. But isn’t this what it’s like with American society writ large? Our nation is running up record debt and burdening ourselves with record deficits, and we all know that the party must end at some time (lest someone else turn off the lights for us) but we cannot bring ourselves to elect and command our representatives to do what is best for our nation — decrease spending. It is instructive to note that we will find the will to decrease spending on those things constitutionally-mandated, like the military, but we cannot find the will to even broach the subject of entitlement reform or benefit reduction. I guess it really is better to receive than it is to give…that is until there’s no more to receive or to give. But that’s where we are inexorably going as we’ve recently passed the 100% GDP point in our national debt; this number growing every day. With all the “receivers” out there and their high expectations (they voted, now they DEMAND results from Obama’s “stash!”), I imagine we all will have hell to pay when the gravy train derails and the goodies stop flowing. This will all be good, though. It took a long time to learn to be hopelessly co-dependent with the government, so it will take some time for those who are in some cases the results of multi-generational dependence to muster the initiative to go to work each day for their living. We better discover soon as a nation that it is better to give than to receive or else we will have no future to give to our children. And we will be despised by our heirs for our treachery and selfishness.

Obama’s Budget Jackpot! Barack Obama released his 2013 budget without much fanfare last week. As predicted, it maintains the spending tack that has been the hallmark of his past budgets. But critical analysis of the budget by the public at large was overhshadowed in the news by a bit of overt and controversial (to say the least) political maneuvering by Obama and HHS regarding Obamacare and “free” contraception as it relates to the Catholic Church. But as Mark Steyn points out in his brilliant opinion piece in the NRO this weekend, there is a telling component to this budget that is being little talked about:

My favorite bit is Chart 5-1 on page 58 of their 500-page appendix on “Analytical Perspectives.” This is entitled “Publicly Held Debt Under 2013 Budget Policy Projections.” It’s a straight line going straight up before disappearing off the top right-hand corner of the graph in the year 2084 and continuing northeast straight through your eye socket, out the back of your skull, and zooming up to rendezvous with Newt’s space colony on the moon circa 2100. Just to emphasize, this isn’t the doom-laden dystopian fancy of a right-wing apocalyptic loon like me; it’s the official Oval Office version of where America’s headed. In the New York Times–approved “responsible budget” there is no attempt even to pretend to bend the debt curve into something approaching reentry with reality.

As for us doom-mongers, at the House Budget Committee on Thursday, Chairman Paul Ryan produced another chart, this time from the Congressional Budget Office, with an even steeper straight line showing debt rising to 900 percent of GDP and rocketing off the graph circa 2075. America’s treasury secretary, Timmy Geithner the TurboTax Kid, thought the chart would have been even more hilarious if they’d run the numbers into the next millennium: “You could have taken it out to 3000 or to 4000” he chortled, to supportive titters from his aides. Has total societal collapse ever been such a non-stop laugh riot?

“Yeah, right.” replied Ryan. “We cut it off at the end of the century because the economy, according to the CBO, shuts down in 2027 on this path.”  — Mark Steyn

The graph that Mark mentions does not simply suggest dereliction of duty by Obama and his financial functionaries, it illustrates it in a textbook manner. I have included a thumbnail of it for your viewing pleasure:

Critical analysis reveals that Chart 5-1 suggests two things: the first is that the Obama administration is under some delusion that we can somehow obliviously spend ourselves into penury without a flitting care in the world; and unfortunately the second is that that graph represents the pinnacle of inter-generational treachery whereby we are spending at such an irresponsible level that we are willfully burdening our children and their children’s children with our debt. This isn’t much of a legacy and birthright to pass on to future generations, huh? But what is all this debt as compared to the worship and adulation that one man, Barack Obama, can reap with his willful disregard of our nation’s future prosperity? Politics, and free rides, are indeed messy things.

The New Nominal. We are on the road to unsustainability at an unsustainably unsustainable rate of debt accumulation as a nation. This is no more evidenced than by our switch of scale when it comes to discussing the federal budget of the United States. We have now eclipse billions and have left that paltry magnitude in the ash heap of history. We are now blazing a new frontier into the domain of trillions. A trillion dollars may not seem like a lot to you, but to me that’s A LOT of walking around money. And considering that our national debt passed the 15 trillion dollar level, we are talking serious shekels here. I recently read a comparison where if we were to stack one million dollar bills atop each other that it would take a stack over a mile high to represent a trillion dollars. So, our present debt puts us safely into low Earth orbit.

How’s the view??

This begs the question: How long before we start talking interstellar levels of debt using billion dollar bills as our reference? At some point it doesn’t matter. At some point the sheer magnitude of the debt number is so huge, it defies comprehension by an individual. But sit and think about this for a moment. One million dollars represents the average LIFETIME earnings of an average citizen (if said citizen is inclined to work in the first place.) There are approximately 150 million wage earners in the USA at the present time — a sad fact given our population is just a touch over 310 million folks. All things being left constant, if we were to give the government 100% of our earnings over our lifetimes, we could indeed service the debt…and perhaps have a little left over for paving roads and groping travelers at airports. But as in our discussion of Chart 5-1 previously, where does that leave our kids? If we are to do anything about this unsustainable debt and associated budget deficits (where our borrowing  from foreign adversaries to service it is out of control) we need to reject the “new nominal” that is being forced upon us by the government and this administration. The only reason we even discuss budgets at the 15 trillion dollar level is because we have become a hopeless welfare state, and engaged in a federal spending spree that would even make drunken Russian sailors blush. If we accept the new budgetary vocabulary, the new nominal as it were, then we cede our control and our comprehension of the magnitude of the problem. At some point, the problem becomes too large to adequately grasp because of its sheer size. It literally becomes the immoveable object. And if we are not careful, then we will be trapped beneath its crushing size and weight.

I read a news story today that the US budget deficit had “dipped” to 1.1 trillion dollars. Exceuse me if I don’t break out into my version of the “Happy Dance” but I can’t seem to get to thrilled with such ominous news. A deficit of that magnitude threatens our stability as a nation and our viability as a people. But the most frightening bit of analysis came later in the story when the author wrote:

The Congressional Budget Office report also says that annual deficits will remain in the $1 trillion range for the next several years if Bush-era tax cuts slated to expire in December are extended, as commonly assumed.

That statement represents the stilted thinking of a government-favoring progressive who sees tax cuts as harmful expenses that must be eliminated rather than as desirable and beneficial to citizens. The reason this thinking exists is because liberals/Progressives/Democrats think that government is immune to the vagaries of reality. In fallow times, when the rest of us tighten our belts and cut our budgets, government cannot be expected to do the same. It is impossible for us to imagine or, more boldly, demand that government downsize for any reason.

We now have government for government’s sake. Government has become a powerful god…a false idol that must be worshiped and accorded all power and glory. After all, if one treats government good, good things come from government. This is a particularly beneficial truism for those who have traded their vote for generous goodies…and their life’s sustenance. It is the ultimate symbiotic quid pro quo, and an unfortunate individual-government co-dependence. And it is the nourishing substrate upon which many political parasites feast. Self-serving pols who seek power, riches and glory insinuate themselves into this co-dependency, promising and then delivering more, and then reaping the rewards. Chief among these rewards is political longevity. After all, who is going to be foolish enough to bite the hands that feed them?

So, accordingly, politicians have rigged our system. They have configured social programs and “entitlements” as mandatory, untouchable spending. This is important because even considering changing these taboo expenditures is akin to sticking ones wet finger into a power outlet. It is tantamount to political suicide!! Just look at what has historically happened to courageous politicians who have suggested tweaks or, ohmigod, the complete elimination of these socio-political sacred cows. They are fist ridiculed by the Progressives…and then run out of town on a rail by “angry” (read: greedy) voters. Those lucky enough to survive the maelstrom never, ever broach that subject again.

What happens? We all suffer because government is treated as sacrosanct. It must never be changed or reduced, else all manner of evil will befall us. The implication is that there is a fair percentage of us who simply can’t take care of themselves without the doting of a nanny government. If we were to prohibit government’s role in social programs like Social Security or Medicare/Medicaid then the sky would literally fall. Because we all know that government is the fairest arbiter of services and has the purest of intentions. Right?

So rather than eschew the yoke of control placed on us by government or reject the liberty-stealing government dictates and regulations, we have become inured to being killed with kindness. But the only fatality is our free, independent spirit. Unfortunately, we’ve traded traded this spirit for a 1.1 trillion dollar deficit. It is the ultimate self-serving dirty deal that we’ve done. Why? Because we can never hope to pay off this intergalactic-sized burden, so by default that responsibility is deferred to our children and grandchildren (and perhaps great-grandchildren.)

Until we can change our thinking to cherish liberty in all its forms and reject statism in all its forms, then we are, I’m afraid, doomed. How unfortunate and perverse that there are a fairly large portion of our society that believes that a lowering of taxes is a bad thing, and a “cost” to our government. This is truly a form of mental illness…or the ultimate manifestation of greed, envy and covetousness. Because many of the folks who feel this way pay little or no taxes, and yet receive their livelihood from the government. They’re willing to do anything to keep this situation the same — so long as anything is defined as voting for vote-whoring pols who promise the recipients of government-confiscated largess that the gravy train will go on forever.

There are two ways that this sinful thinking will change: We can “educate” the freeloaders and over time hope that they see the error in their ways and in their thinking, or we can just wait until the defective system implodes and fails. If I were a betting man, I’d bet my money on the latter. But since I’m a realist…I’m putting my money into precious metals, supplies and water. Because old, ingrained habits die hard and an all-powerful government operates under the delusion that it can control everything, including the laws of nature and the realities of fate.

Unfortunately, the lesser angels of man’s existence tend to rule the day. Sin is always easier than virtue. And government is like a storage battery for the zeitgeist energy of the contemporary society. Right now our government is being charged by sin. It’s not a good situation of the upright and virtuous. Or for those who value the Constitution.

For your own sakes, keep your eyes open and your morals strong. It is going to be a bumpy, tumultuous ride to where we’re going.

Apparently our, ahem, Commander-In-Chief doesn’t take his responsibilities quite so seriously. Otherwise, why would he be pushing for such dramatic budget cuts and downsizing of forces in his plan to save money? Could it be that cutting the military is the political equivalent of shooting fish in a barrel? I mean, making hard decisions regarding cutting back social “benefits” and “entitlements” would only serve to inflame the passions, and not in a good way, of his core constituency — the layabouts and goody-grabbers. And in an election year, that’s like taking a big simultaneous gulp of NyQuil, Tylenol and Quaaludes. It just won’t end pretty.

So, our White House-bound Captain Courageous isn’t likely to suggest any cuts in social programs. None at all! It doesn’t fit with his “fundamental transformation” of America from a meritocracy to a cesspool of government-individual co-dependency, so why risk re-election chasing rainbows while all hopped up on phony virtue? But cutting the force size of the military and curtailing military spending — that’s a casual swipe at the ‘Easy Button’ of politics. But it seems that our misguided POTUS, and the Congress if it lets him do this, are shirking the only actual, authentic constitutional prerogatives that they have: The defense of our nation.

Now, Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution states: “The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States…,” and nothing more regarding his powers is mentioned. There is no ability to cut the size of the force, nor alter the budget of the armed services. Only the Congress may do these things. In fact the majority of the actual, authentic duties and powers of the Congress relate to the military. Article I, Section 8 details these powers: “The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States…To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water…To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years…To provide and maintain a Navy…To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces…To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions…To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress…To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.”

These very limited powers of the presidency and expansive powers of the Congress in regards to the military begs the question: Is Obama overstepping his constitutional authority when he ostensibly makes “cuts” to the military? We don’t need Supreme Court justices to come up with corrupt and contemptible “rulings” based on some specious and politically self-serving interpretation of the Constitution when we can trust our lying eyes having read the passages in question ourselves. We need our elected and appointed representatives to step up to the plate and act in strict accordance with the Constitution as well as in our very best interests.

I propose that gutting our military in favor of preserving the welfare state is not in our best interests. This action will serve to put us in double jeopardy: It will serve to bankrupt us in the long run by preserving programs and benefits that do not contribute to the financial viability of our nation and it causes us to be vulnerable and open to threats from foes worldwide. These two situation do not indicate to me that our president, Mr. Obama, takes his oath of office very seriously: “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.”

If anyone can claim Obama’s faithful execution while holding a straight face, they are quite an actor or actress. I hope and pray that even the most ardent Obama supporters see this folly for what it is — the weakening of the United States and the commencement of our downward slide towards third-world mediocrity. My only hope is that we leave our children something that they can rescue and call a nation themselves, although each passing day I doubt this more and more.

God bless America. God bless our brave and courageous military. God help us all…

Shovels??

Yup…Shovels!

It’s time that the Congress authorizes the purchase of millions of shovels in order to put the legion idle goody-getters to work. If someone is going to receive an “entitlement” from the US government, then they must be expected to expend some energy for the privilege. Shovels, and the hard work that they would assist doing, would be the national tonic that we would need to break so many citizens from their no-fault government-individual co-dependency. Our nation cannot remain a viable international entity for much longer by the continued fostering idleness and the cultivation of class warfare, sloth, envy and greed without a shred of return for our collective investment. When our purported “representatives” in Washington begin to consider deep cuts in the defense budget (which by the way is a constitutional mandate) over making common-sense and fair changes to the welfare state that our nation has become, then there is something totally wrong with the ethos and moral fiber of our country. It is prime evidence that we have completely abandoned the Founder’s vision and the Constitution.

I was always told from an early age that there are no free lunches. Well, forgive me from Heaven mom and dad…but YES there are! Tens of millions upon tens of millions of checks come from the US treasury on a monthly basis to fund such free lunches. Generations of folks have earned their sole livelihoods from the public dole. And they have given NOTHING back in return, except more and more and more consumption — either by remaining on the system for their entire lives, or perpetuating the practice by having more children, than they could afford if they were indeed working, on our dime and creating further inter-generational dependence.

It’s high time that our representatives started to trade in the currency of common sense and hard work. Those of us with jobs are yoked in the system…we pay our taxes and we live our lives under a certain level of government tyranny. But we’re too busy working for a living to complain much. But I assure each and every one of the five hundred thirty-something elected morons in Washington that we are not amused any more. When trillions are being thrown around like millions, our ire is rightfully stirred.

Just like us, the Congress and this profligate president need to rein in the spending…lessen the debt and live with our means as a nation. They need to start to “encourage” hard work, personal responsibility and self-sufficiency for ALL Americans…not just from taxpayers. They need to create MORE taxpayers…by drastically cutting back the mandated charity that disguises itself as Welfare, WIC and other social entitlements.  They need to emphasize that there are no more free lunches.

Only until they cherish and respect the sheer amount of hard work and blood, sweat and tears that the tax revenues that are spent on a daily basis represents can we working American expect a fair shake. Perhaps then these political cowards might summons up the courage to make significant and permanent changes to the modus operandi of our government.

For me, it all begins with a humble shovel…

Yesterday, March 22, 2011, we celebrated an inauspicious anniversary in the United States. Unfortunately, yesterday was the first anniversary of the passage of Obamacare.

Obamacare represents the pinnacle of what a detached, megalomaniac legislature can do with unchecked power to a unengaged citizenry. It is possibly the worse contortion and distortion of the Constitution that has been or ever will be enacted as a law. We knew we were in trouble when the almost-lifelike Nancy Pelosi told us that the Congress would need to pass Obamacare before we could see what was in it.

Well, from all the bribes required to attain it’s passage to all the “Easter Eggs” hidden within its voluminous pages, we are indeed in trouble. And we won’t know how much trouble we’re in until the entire law is rolled out over the next few years. See, the tax levies begin NOW…but the real goodies don’t become available until 2015 and beyond. This staggering of taxes and “benefits” was a clever ploy by greedy Democrats to make the cost of Obamacare appear smaller than it actually was. And by delaying the roll out of this program with time, the damaging features of the bill could be ameliorated by the “good” being done for targeted special interest groups and minorities.

Hopefully the present Congress won’t take its eyes off the prize — the de-funding and eventual repeal of Obamacare — for a single moment. There is nothing, and I do mean nothing, that is more important to occupy their collective endeavors. Without Obamacare our country is in deep fiscal trouble. With Obamacare, our descent into the abyss of insolvency is accelerated at a much greater rate.

We certainly don’t need another Obamacare anniversary visited upon us. We need to replace this event with another more beneficial remembrance…the day Obamacare was torn up roots and all and then deposited in the trash bin of history.

Now that would be a day to celebrate!

  • The Rather Imperfect Ms. Sherrod. Shirley Sherrod has unwittingly become the new Joan d’Arc of race relations. Suddenly, this once more than casually racist (if you listen closely to her own words) woman had an epiphany and just as suddenly her past sins were, POOF, forgiven and she has been cast in a new light. This new light is the aggrieved and tragically maligned speaker whose words of redemption were taken out of context. Where we had calls for her resignation just mere days ago from the White House on down, including the NAACP, we now hear cries for canonizing this woman. And my God, let the apologies begin! Two things bother me about the who Sherrod situation: first is that as she spoke of her “transformation” from someone who provided a farmer with a lawyer of “his own kind”, the visible audience nodded their heads in agreement…and laughed heartily when she spoke of her past racism. This made me go hmmmmm… . And the second thing was that if you listen real closely, at the time starting at 23:40 of the NAACP-released video you can hear Ms. Sherrod, in her capacity as a Federal USDA employee, disparage the Bush administration and the “Republicans” for racism as it relates to their stand on health care “reform:”

    You know, I haven’t seen such a mean-spirited people as I’ve seen lately over this issue of health care. Some of the racism we thought was buried. Didn’t it surface? Now, we endured eight years of the Bush’s and we didn’t do the stuff these Republicans are doing because you have a black President.

    Maybe it’s just me, but Ms. Sherrod’s words are apparently in violation of the Hatch Act, which state that “a restricted employee may not (among other things) use an official title or position while engaged in political activity).” Well, she spoke as Shirley Sherrod, USDA representative, and her speech was highly political and inflammatory. Where are the consequences?

  • “Cap and Tax” Takes a Holiday. It was announced today by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid that the Senate Democrats would no longer pursue “comprehensive” energy legislation — aka “Cap and Tax.” In place of this effort, the Dems will focus on the further beating up of BP for their accidental oil spill and increasing efficiency (whatever the hell THAT means!) I couldn’t be happier that this legislation and the effort to get it passed was abandoned. It is an economy buster, and we should oppose it in its various piecemeal incarnations that will be proposed in the future. But those of you who support this onerous pig of a bill there is still hope. Yup, there will be plenty of 2,000+ page pieces of legislation that will be floated between now and the time that the Democrats again become the minority party in both houses of Congress. And plenty of opportunities to tuck harmful, phoney-baloney amendments into, say a bill for education reform. Dear Lord, all that change, and so little time left!
  • A Day That Will Live In Infamy. On January 1, 2011 we Americans will be subjected, across the board, to the largest tax increase in the nation’s history. On that date, the un-extended Bush tax cuts are scheduled to end. Contrary to the Democrats and their minion punditry are telling the masses, the expiration of the Bush tax cuts affect every segment of the taxpaying spectrum. The effects will be chilling and toxic to an already straining economy.  To give you an idea of the damage that will be done to our personal finances, it is expected that $2.6 trillion new tax dollars will be collected by the government. I just wonder what the dunderheads in Congress will do this this new windfall? Pay the debt down? Reduce the deficit? Unfortunately, these actions are highly unlikely. Don’t be surprised when they start spending these new taxes to cultivate a whole new co-dependent constituency. It makes me crazy to think that they will get all these new monies that will only perpetuate the present corruption and bad behavior. And one last thought — Isn’t it “funny” that tax cuts have a definite expiry, but entitlements and social programs have no expiration date — they just go on and on forever??

An odd title for this essay, but I think an apt one nonetheless. Today in 2010 America, the manner in which we’re being governed is not the way it is supposed to be. We have our leaders at the federal level constantly preaching the benefits of this or that legislation is for the “middle class” or “hardworking Americans”, and that to pay for this or that social scheme that “the rich” will have to bear more of the burden.

Now, maybe I’m just proving myself to be the dolt that a few of my detractors have labeled me, but my reading of the Constitution doesn’t give the president or the Congress any authority to hurt, help or otherwise claim dominion over “the people.” Rather, the Constitution is quite clear and specific as to who and what our elected federal representatives may or may not help. And in all cases, it is the STATES…or the collected assemblage of these states, our Republic. Not people, not individuals or not social classes. But what do I know, I rely on that quaint, outmoded technique called reading comprehension to determine my opinion on the facts placed before me.

How can I prove this? Well, Article I, Section 8 “Powers of Congress” does not mention once the word individual, person, citizen, human, etc. It refers to the powers of Congress in regards to the United States. Certainly the United States is comprised of individuals, but first and foremost it is comprised of 50 independent sovereign STATES. And what’s even more clear is that no such authority or powers over individuals exist for the president as well.

The simple fact is that the only entities with any authority over the people who inhabit them are the STATES. It is only when we get to Article VI “The States” that any authority is granted in regards to ‘Citizens’ and ‘Persons’ by the Constitution. And this authority is furthermore bolstered by the Tenth Amendment. Not the federal government, the STATES!

In my opinion what has happened since the dawn of the 20th century is that individual American STATES and citizens have been snookered and tricked, and in some cases bought off with federal “entitlements”, into allowing an extra-Constitutional intrusion into our individual lives on the part of the federal government. By the rights proscribed to it by the Constitution, the Congress has no power to enact laws regarding health care, education, social programs, jobs, entitlements, etc. as they pertain to an individual citizen. They may only do these things as they pertain to the 50 states in our Union. We have allowed OUR laws to be Shanghaied by the ‘lawyerly’ class and even worse, we have allowed an almost religious sect be formed regarding the Constitution and the laws of our land. We have fostered a situation where there are law-givers and law interpreters, but the PEOPLE bear no place in the process except to obey these laws once they are thrust upon us.

But this is a gross perversion of the intent of the Founders. They wanted the United States to be a user friendly social compact. They didn’t intend to replace an all-powerful monarch, selected by heredity, with another similarly powerful monarchy, selected by our votes. But that’s precisely what has happened. Somehow, we individual citizens have let our collective guard down and have allowed our betters to interpret OUR laws using the vaguest of vague penumbral interpretations and readings. We have allowed two words in the Article I, Section 8 — “Welfare” and “Commerce” to be the ticket to legislative tyranny not seen in this country since the reign of King George.

The saddest part of all is that WE have allowed this to happen, for whatever reason. Millions of people don’t vote, millions vote for personal gain or benefit (or shall I say entitlement?), and millions more vote because they are told to do so and for whom (and perhaps million more vote who are prohibited, like felons and the dead!) And even worse, we are discouraged from discussing the Constitution in an informed manner because our educational system refuses to place much value in us being Constitutionally aware. No, our Constitutional awareness and discourse has been transmogrified into political party bickering and trying to obtain primacy over the goody giving that has become the raison d’etre of the federal government.

So for me, it’s not just enough to throw the bums out. Our problems run deeper than the group of 540 or so individuals who make up our elected federal representatives. No, our problems are systemic and run much deeper and thus need stronger medicine than a mere change of faces. Unfortunately, the change needs to occur in each of us, or in a majority of the voters who turn out each election. We need to place more emphasis and value in those individuals who promise us less, but similarly promise to hold dear and faithfully observe each provision as written in the Constitution. Until we get this tacit fealty, we are doomed. There is just no other way to express it.

But I’m also a realist, as I fear we’ve reached the tipping point in our society where more people obtain benefit from their vote — so why not vote for an utterly anti-Constitutional candidate regardless of the overall impact to our nation? We may have already entered into that democratic suicide pact with our government that cannot be stopped no more than a runaway train may be.

Unfortunately once we’ve reached that tipping point, there is exactly ZERO remaining chance that we can regain a solid Constitutional footing in the operation of our federal government. Let’s face it, only a fool would vote to slaughter and barbecue their cash cow! So, the only thing left that we can do is hold on tight and try not to be too negatively affected by the wild ride to wherever our situation as a country eventually takes us. Perhaps at some point it becomes every man and woman for themselves. Who knows?

Happy landings…

The political scene has taken another turn for the worse as a result of the über-partisanship revolving around passage of the health care “reform” legislation. Claims and counter claims are flying about from the left and the right regarding threats and violence from the “other side” in the hours before and the days after passage of this bill. However, no entity can make hay out of their claims like the Democrats and their party. Let’s just look at the spectacle for a moment and take account of the alleged carnage to date: the alleged use of bitter invective including the so-called “n-word” by protesters at the Capitol; an alleged incident where a black legislator was spat upon; a coffin left on the lawn of a Democrat rep.; windows were broken in the local office of another Democrat rep.; death threats were made to by phone to several reps. of both parties; a Republican rep.’s discovered a bullet hole in the window of his local office; and other incidents of less than acceptable deportment and decorum vis-a-vis elected officials.

I think all of these incidents reside at the intersection of reality and hyperbole. I also think that the Democrats, using their strongest politically ally in the mainstream media, have performed a bit of political alchemy on the events of earlier this week — changing the controversy of the unpopular partisan healthcare vote to ersatz-sympathy for the alleged “attacks.” See, there is quite a bit of political apprehension and guilt on the left-leaning side of the aisle. The Democrats folks knew that they, proverbially-speaking, tweaked an angry dragon’s tail with their passage of Obamacare. But they did so in order to bolster their Ideologue-In-Chief and his socialist “transformative change” agenda. So they desperately needed political cover (and since not a single Republican voted for the monstrosity they can’t take cover behind them because of that), and fast! How better to obtain this cover, and fire up their base (because we all have poor short-term political memories in the face of righteous indignations affecting “our guy” or gal) than by playing presto-chango with their vote and the alleged “violent” repercussions? How can you despise someone and their actions if they’re the hapless “victim?”

Couple theses specious and increasingly debunked claims with the fact that the alleged perpetrators of these affronts are the Tea Party protesters, then you have the basic ingredients of a spittle laden rage and tirade by the likes of Comrade Keith Olbermann et. al. that even a heaping dose of mother’s little helper can’t curtail. And so the entire width and breadth of the government controlled media are now actively involved in the debasement and derision, if not outright ridicule, of the Tea Partiers (almost as though they received specific instructions by FAX as to what to say and how to say it!) This action by the MSM would be laughable except for the fact that the Tea party folks are from all political stripes — certainly the lion’s share are right-leaning ideologically– and I know several moderate Democrats who have joined the movement out of buyer’s remorse for their 2008 vote folly. So the swiftness with which the MSM painted the alleged “violence” as right wing and associated with the TP protesters is shameful and deceptive.

But really, isn’t that their job? Aren’t the entire MSM, probably with the exceptions of FOX News, the WSJ and the indies on the internet, in the bag for the current Democrat powers-that-be and their liberal base? So why would it be unexpected or raise a single eyebrow that the MSM is off trying to do everything they can to discredit the TP crowd in the eyes of the perhaps dozens of readers and viewers that they have?

The plain truth is it isn’t unexpected. In fact, it’s entirely expected! The fact of the matter is is that if you’re persistent enough and can tolerate enough liberal dreck and pablum, you will see a pattern emerge where all the newsreaders (no, they’re not journalists!) seem to have an eerily similar story to tell. So eerily similar, in fact, that one has to wonder if it wasn’t drafted in a windowless communications office in a certain Washington landmark and FAXed to the corpus of useful media idiots for them to recite.

This is NOTHING new…it’s just the new order of American politics. American politics Democrat style. Part of the de-evolution of our society into a modern day orgy of blood sport, ad hominem attacks and ridicule. And if you add in the new administration’s Chicago political roots, you’re left with a bare-knuckled, winner-take-all implementation of the previous.

So, fasten your seatbelts for the political ride we’re about to have between now and November. By the time that the Democrat spin machine is done, we won’t know right from left or up from down. But you can bet your grandma that we WILL know one thing — that the Republicans are the problem, they are the party of NO, they are egging-on violence, they don’t have any answers, they are the party of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, and they are closely aligned with the Tea Partiers. You can also be darned sure that their claims are righteous and true.

The FAXes say so…

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