Thursday, October 30, 2008

No-Fault Divorce: An Experimental Mistake with a Dire Warning

It's official. The "legacy" of no-fault divorce is ugly. What started out as a bold and confident experiment has left a wake of despondency and destruction. As I read to you some statistics and anecdotes from Judith Wallerstein's book, The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce, I want you to stop me if it seems like you've heard this before...

Doctor Wallerstein and her colleagues

Despite what was hoped then, there is now little question that no-fault divorce was and is a social maelstrom, an evil genie whose lamp we can no longer even find. Knowing what you now know about this disastrous experiment, do you really want to attempt a similar one?

studied the effects of divorce on children for a 25-year period--children who, by the end of the study, had advanced well into their adulthoods. These case studies indicate that, decades later, sons and daughters of divorce still have trouble building healthy and trusting relationships, and that their offspring are much more likely than the general population to follow the same destructive path.

Here are excerpts from Wallerstein's general discoveries regarding her "25-Year Landmark Study".
In July 1999, Sesame Street aired an episode in which...a little bird [told Kermit the frog] where she lived. She chirped that she lives part of the time in one tree where she frolics in her mother's nest, and the rest of her time in a separate tree where she frolics with her dad. This, of course restates the beguiling myth of divorce. The story may provide bland comfort to some worried children. But I suspect most know better. The story...in no way matches their experience of growing up in a divorced family...

The story...nevertheless...has deep roots in our contemporary culture. Up until thirty years ago marriage was a lifetime commitment... Then, in an upheaval akin to a cataclysmic earthquake, family law in California changed overnight. A series of statewide task forces recommended that men and women seeking divorce should no longer be required to prove that their spouse was unfaithful, unfit, cruel, or incompatible.

In 1969, Governor Ronald Reagan signed the new law and people were jubilant. It was a time of hope and faith that greater choice would set men and women free and benefit their children. Within a few years, no-fault divorce laws spread like wildfire to all fifty states. People all across the country were in favor of [the] change.

But what about the children? We made radical changes in the family without realizing how it would change the experience of growing up.

The first [faulty assumption] holds that if parents are happier, children will be happier, too...[that] the crisis will be transient because children are resilient... [During the making of these fateful choices] children are not considered separately from their parents; their needs and even their thoughts are subsumed under the adult agenda. ...most adults cannot fathom the child's world view and how children think. The problem is, they think they do.

The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce: A 25-Year Landmark Study, pp. xxi-xxiii
Despite what was hoped then, there is now little question that no-fault divorce was and is a social maelstrom, an evil genie whose lamp we can

Enough with the mad science. Let's not put our children into a brand new petri dish.

no longer even find. Knowing what you now know about this disastrous experiment, do you really want to attempt a similar one, called "homosexual marriage," which portends to be at least as disastrous?

As was the case with no-fault divorce, the major battleground for "homosexual marriage" is currently the state of California. Back then a state task force swayed the public balance; now a sharply divided State Supreme Court may have opened the floodgates of another madly scientific experiment. If "homosexual marriage" were to be legalized in California, would it also "spread like wildfire to all fifty states"? Do you really want to find out?

Wallerstein continues:
...the history of divorce in our society is replete with unwarranted assumptions that adults have made about children simply because such assumptions are congenial to adult needs and wishes. We embarked on a gigantic social experiment without any idea how the next generation would be affected.
We now know.

During the making of these fateful choices, children are not considered separately from their parents; their needs and even their thoughts are subsumed under the adult agenda. ...most adults cannot fathom the child's world view and how children think. The problem is, they think they do.

That generation has developed emotional scars, many of which never heal. That experiment was an abject failure.

Enough with the mad science. Let's not put our children into a brand new petri dish. If you value children, this time you'll support California Proposition 8 and stand firm against "homosexual marriage".




Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Two Examples That Illustrate Obamanian Wealth Redistribution

Wealth redistribution is--to some people anyway--way cool in concept. But it takes them by surprise when it happens to them in real life. Wealth redistribution, whenever it is conducted or influenced by government, makes the rich richer at the expense of the poor. Here are two examples of why you should beware of an Obama in sheep's clothing.

Story #1--I Guess I Don't Like Wealth Redistribution After All

Recently, a radio talk show host (Alan Watt?) was walking toward a restaurant when he saw a homeless man holding a sign that said "Vote for Obama...I need the money." He smiled, and walked into the restaurant. After being seated, he was greeted by a very cheerful waiter, who, as fate would have it, was wearing an "Obama 2008" tie.

In no case has socialism closed the gap between rich and poor. The difference between the top 1% of Soviet wealth holders and the rest of society was far more vast than exists in America today, but through socialism, that divide in America is increasing.

When the meal was over, the man asked the waiter to confirm that he would be voting for Obama, which he said he was.

"So you believe in Obama's wealth redistribution?" the man asked.

"Yes, I do," replied the waiter.

"Good", said the man, "because I'm going to give your tip to that homeless guy outside."

The talk show host could see the cheery waiter turn to steaming anger at the realization that (1) he'd been had, and (2) because of wealth redistribution, he wasn't going to get his tip.

For some reason it's easy to feel overly amenable toward wealth redistribution,

Most people choose not to remember that the government thug who just robbed them will invariably become more bold.

that is until, by force, it actually happens to us. The point of having been fleeced by our government is coincidentally a tiny window in time through which we can see that it's much more efficient in the long run to give charitably. However, because the task requires
courage, most of us don't look through that window, preferring instead to close the blinds of forgetfulness, choosing not to remember that the thug who just robbed us will invariably become more bold.

Story #2--Wealth Redistributes, All Right...Upward

A friend of mine called recently to ask if Glenn Beck was correct in bemoaning the potentiality of falling into a cesspit of socialism were Barack Obama to be elected our next president.

"Good heavens, no (I think I said 'heavens')! We've been

Government cannot be trusted to be the re-distributor of wealth, because perennially socialistic governments have skimmed the cream off the top of the ill-gotten revenue, and then redistributed most of the rest of it to their friends--which happened to be the big guys.

steeped in socialism for almost a hundred years!" I said. Not much is going to change in that department, except for the velocity at which we hurtle toward the cliff of America-no-more-dom. Here's a good example of how we don't have to wait for an Obama reign to see how socialism redistributes wealth in a manner opposite of that which is so commonly claimed.

The $700 billion wealth redistribution to American financial institutions does not include the little guys.
...what started as an effort by the federal government to spur lending has transfigured, some analysts contend, to a much more grandiose undertaking that will essentially weed out the weak banks from the strong. Critics argue that such a focus puts too much power in the hands of the government in determining which banks survive the credit crisis.

By doling out money to only the strongest financial institutions, with the aim of spurring consolidation among banks, the government is protecting itself from having to salvage some of the industry's weakest players, analysts said.

"It appears to us that these 'gifted' banks will receive the capital whether they need it or not, as they will likely do the cleanup on behalf of the Fed and the Treasury by acquiring weaker institutions..."
Have you ever noticed that, when it comes to socialism, some institutions are invariably "too big to fail", while most of the rest of us--the little guys--are persona non grata?

Whether it is through favors to the corporate world or favors

Have you ever noticed that, when it comes to socialism, some institutions are invariably "too big to fail", while most of the rest of us--the little guys--are persona non grata?

to those most greedy for power, socialism redistributes wealth upward. In no case has socialism closed the gap between rich and poor. The difference between the top 1% of Soviet wealth holders and the rest of society was far more vast than exists in America today, but through socialism, that divide in America is increasing. Socialism claims to take "from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs." But it has never worked out that way.

The only way wealth redistribution can ever hope to succeed is through charity. Because government can never be expected to be charitable, government should only be expected to encourage charity, and to punish violations of peoples' rights, such as the theft of their property. Government cannot be trusted to be the re-distributor of wealth, because perennially socialistic governments skim the cream off the top of the ill-gotten revenue, and then redistribute most of the rest of it to their friends--which happen to be the big guys.





Monday, October 27, 2008

Proposition 8: How Free-for-All Abortion Paved the Way for Homosexual Marriage

Just as with abortion, nuances exist with regard to homosexual rights. The Supreme Court's blanket decision in Roe v Wade, however, took away most of those distinctions with regard to abortion, saying that abortion is in nearly all cases simply another choice. These same subtleties are just as obviously missing in the debate about "homosexual marriage" in California. In all of the discussion of "homosexual rights", the most important of the missing nuances--"what's best for the child?"--has been all but discarded by the so-called "rights" advocates.

In his book, The Future of Marriage, David Blankenhorn notes that beginning in the 1970's, "free-love" advocates claimed that marriage didn't matter. Blankenhorn goes

Admittedly, a great deal of discrimination still needs to be cleaned up. Homosexuals still don't have all the rights of heterosexuals, even though they should. Yet, when all of these rights are abstracted away, what's left over is one gigantic responsibility.

on to say that since the 1990's it has become very clear, as divorce statistics and other evidence were analyzed, that the corollary to healthy marriage is a healthy society. Above all, marriage is a responsibility to foster the health and well-being of children. "Homosexual rights" advocates don't much seem to care about this nuance.

Admittedly, a great deal of discrimination still needs to be cleaned up. Homosexuals still don't have all the rights of heterosexuals, even though they should. Yet, when all of these rights are abstracted away, what's left over is one gigantic responsibility. Marriage has been throughout the

I suppose one could define as "unequivocal" a 4-3 (or 57%) Court decision. In light of (1) a referendum in the year 2000 in which 61% of Californians agreed that marriage should be defined as only between a man and a woman, and (2) 6,000 years of history that has recognized marriage as primarily a responsibility, such a definition seems trite and self-serving.

entirety of earth's history a commitment to society made by marriage partners that they will make every attempt to raise healthy and happy children. "Free love" damaged that social compact. Abortion as a simple choice was another sucker-punch against the family. Now "homosexual marriage" seeks to completely sever the institution from its primary reason for existence.

The "California Marriage Protection Act" ballot initiative, as it was initially called, was modified by Attorney General Jerry Brown so that it came to be legally known as the "Eliminates Right of Same-Sex Couples to Marry" act. Brown said,
The title and summary is not false or misleading because it states that Proposition 8 would 'eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry' in California. The California Supreme Court unequivocally held that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry under the California Constitution.
I suppose one could define as "unequivocal" a 4-3 (or 57%) Court decision. In light of (1) a referendum in the year 2000 in which 61% of Californians agreed that marriage should be defined as only between a man and a woman, and (2) 6,000 years of history that has recognized marriage as primarily a responsibility, such an unequivocal definition seems trite and self-serving.

We have only lately discovered, as the Roe v Wade smoke has cleared, that abortion can never be thought of as simply a woman's right to choose. Children have rights, too. Unfortunately, standing on the shoulders of abortion advocates who don't bother to think about such trivialities, "homosexual rights" advocates have learned not to care either.




Friday, October 24, 2008

What's Worse: ACORN or the "Help America Vote Act?"

There is a huge difference between "voter registration fraud" and "voter fraud". Based on this difference, does that mean, then, that the ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) voter registration fraud is not a big deal? Republicans say absolutely it's a big deal, but Democrats state that the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) is much worse.

I think that both institutions are very ugly. Each is committing or facilitating the commission of voting fraud, primarily in the name of raising the "entertainment factor" so that hardly anyone will notice that neither of the mainstream presidential candidate bozos are worth voting for.

Can you believe how much time we're spending in this election talking about ethics as opposed to the core issues? I guess

Both of these kinds of shenanigans are immoral and illegal. Not just one. Not just the other. Both have to stop. But how can they stop when we keep limiting ourselves to the two wrong choices?

that's what we get when the populace becomes so generally dense that we accept the Establishment's decree that we have to choose between Dumb and Dumber every presidential election cycle.

But to illustrate just how bad it's become...

ACORN: Shilling for Comrade Obama?

I've been wondering if there should be a big concern about ACORN's being investigated for fraud in several states. ACORN registers people to vote. ACORN enlistees get paid by the number of voters that they sign up. But how would they get all these fraudulently-registered voters to actually vote fraudulently? Here's one way, in Utah at least. Just fill out the absentee ballot to match the information on your fraudulent voting form. Then, as long as you didn't put "Mickey Mouse" or something similar as your voter registration, it would be up to the County Elections Office to notice that 500 absentee ballots got mailed to the same address.

Seriously, though, it could happen through concentrated effort. And the fact that a whole bunch of members of ACORN are actively campaigning for Barack Obama makes me wonder if it might not just happen.

Yes, it's a big deal.

HAVA: Ensuring Republican Dominance?

When asked about ACORN, Robert F. Kennedy Jr said that what the Help America Vote Act does is much worse. Here's what he told "Morning Joe" on MSNBC.



According to Kennedy, the "Help America Vote Act" (HAVA) was authored in part by Jack Abramoff and Bob Ney, both of whom are currently in prison. HAVA makes it difficult to vote by requiring a "tight match" or a "perfect match". With "perfect match" it requires an exact match between your name as it appears on your driver's license and on your voting application. If you fail the match, you can vote, but your vote will not be counted.

About 1 of 5 registered voters were purged from Colorado voting roles, for example, because of HAVA.

Kennedy also chastises the HAVA requirement to show a photo ID to be able vote, because 1 in 10 people (such as senior citizens) don't have driver's licenses.

I think showing photo ID is a critical requirement to be able to vote. But it seems that purging voter rolls because of "tight" and "perfect match" requirements such as Kennedy describes would be pure disenfranchisement.

. . .

Both of these kinds of shenanigans are immoral and illegal. Not just one. Not just the other. Both have to stop. But how can they stop when we keep limiting ourselves to the two wrong choices?

Both major political parties--at least on a national level--have become a cruel joke. Rather than wanting what's best for Americans, their anointed bicker back and forth so that we hardly notice that they're stealing us blind.

It's going to take a revolution of getting our hamster butts out of the Establishment squirrel cage before life in the USA gets any better. How about let's start now and vote for someone else other than McCain and Obama?




Monday, October 20, 2008

Utah Legislature: Phil Riesen's Shanghai of Greg Hughes is About to Bite Back

When I first read about the accusations against Utah State Republican Representative Greg Hughes, my first reaction was to ignore the fact that the allegations were brought up right before an election, and to think he was guilty. Since Hughes has been cleared of all allegations by a bi-partisan committee, it appears that I should have not ignored that timing.

Hughes, after nearly three weeks of negative press, was cleared of all charges. Phil Riesen, Democrat Utah State Representative, was the one who made the allegations public. Riesen, rightly, will now be the next legislator to have a personal political proctology exam.

For the last few years, I have thought of former news anchor and current stage legislator Phil Riesen as a man of great

Hughes can be a bully, according to a former Republican legislator. But what Riesen did is much worse.

integrity. No longer. The latest failed ploy against a Republican legislator proves that the Utah Democrats are at least as unethical as the Republicans in trying to build up their empire--if not more.

Did you know that the allegations made by Susan Lawrence that Greg Hughes offered her
tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions in 2006 if she would switch her vote on the controversial private school voucher issue
happened before the last election? Did you know that Susan Lawrence didn't think that her concerns and accusations should be made public, but wanted them, rather, to become known only to legislators who are about to overhaul ethics rules in the next session?

Armed with the understanding that nothing could legally stop him

In an effort to raise the stature of the Democratic party party in Utah, he's put the party and his fellow legislators in a very terrible situation. It will be interesting to see if his fellow Democrats cut bait or follow him over an ethical cliff.

from making the allegations public, Democrat Representative Phil Riesen did just that. Knowing that only 5 weeks remained until the November 2008 elections, Riesen went on the attack. Now that Hughes has been exonerated of all charges, Riesen is probably wishing that the committee hearings had taken just a bit longer. The Salt Lake Tribune reported
Hughes was accused of attempting to bribe a former lawmaker to support school vouchers, of strong-arming lobbyists into backing the voucher movement, of threatening would-be political foes, and of pressuring lobbyists not to support a GOP voucher opponent.

After seven days of closed-door testimony, the committee [of four republicans and four democrats] determined that the six charges lacked merit.
Riesen is next. He used pro bono work from his own law firm to draft the charges against Hughes. Hughes told KSL's Doug Wright this morning that of 9 supposed witnesses on the primary allegation of bribery, none could corroborate the allegations against him. He said that he is likely to take up civil litigation against Riesen in response to Riesen's "fishing expedition".

A former Republican legislator told me that Hughes can be a

Now that Hughes has been exonerated of all charges, Riesen is probably wishing that the committee hearings had taken just a bit longer.

bully. It sounds like, based on the ethics committee's findings that that's true. Greg Hughes told Doug Wright that he needs to exercise more sensitivity with his colleagues and constituents. But that's all the bi-partisan ethics committee found.

What Phil Riesen did is much worse. In an effort to raise the stature of the Democratic party party in Utah, he's put the party and his fellow legislators in a very terrible situation. It will be interesting to see if his fellow Democrats cut bait or follow him over an ethical cliff.




Saturday, October 18, 2008

Greed and Potato Chips: The Fed's Role in the Current Credit Crisis

There is no doubt that a lot of greed is going on in America. Most people's greed rises or falls in relation to what is available to them. To illustrate this concept, let me use a food example. Assuming that I love salt and vinegar potato chips (I do), when am I the most greedy--when they're put away on the shelf, or when they're sitting in front of me?

As a lead up to the current credit crisis, the Federal Reserve has been the banking industry's bag of salt and vinegar chips. Hardly anyone is talking about this.

Business Week has talked about it, as recently as March of this year.
One measure of the size of monetary stimulus is the expansion of M3, a broad measure of the money supply that includes institutional money funds. Capital Economics calculates that M3 is up 15% from a year ago, the biggest increase in 37 years.
All I've heard recently, however, is about the greedy banks who offered subprime salt and vinegar chips to

If you love potato chips, when are you the most greedy--when they're put away on the shelf, or when they're sitting in front of you?

As a lead up to the current credit crisis, the Federal Reserve has been the banking industry's bag of potato chips.

unsuspecting mortgagees. It's much more important to figure out where the banks got the chips from in the first place.

Imagine that banks suddenly have 15% more money (just in the year 2008) to lend out. What are they going to do? They're going to eat the chips. Notably, Business Week doesn't even talk about how many bags of chips the Fed put in front of the banks in the last several years before

The Federal Reserve was the architect not only of the 1929 stock market crash, but also the prolonged depression of the 1930's. They also caused the current crisis, yet they're fully content to let the bankers take all the blame.

2008 (although they were worried about too much M2 and M3 back in 1997).

The Federal Reserve was the architect not only of the 1929 stock market crash, but also the prolonged depression of the 1930's. Their actions recently, at least so far, are eerily similar to what they did 80 years ago. Will the result be any different? Ha! It would be nice if we could vote these rascals out of office, but we can't because they're a private corporation.

Is the Fed really worth it? No. They caused this crisis, yet they're fully content to let the bankers take all the blame.




Friday, October 17, 2008

Does Phone Spam Drive You Nuts?

The number of phone calls from snake-oil salesmen to my home telephone makes me want to put myself on the Do-Not-Call list. I probably should, because I'm getting to the point where I don't even want to answer the darn thing.

E-mail spam is easy (although I'll admit that so far my phone spam is not nearly so illicit). You get to your spam box when you get to it, and if a message makes it through the spam filters into your inbox, you just delete it with the click of a button. It's not so easy with the telephone, though.

There's always that long pause, right before you hear something like:
Hello, did you know that you can consolidate all of your credit cards onto just one credit card and reduce your monthly payment if you act now? Stay on the line, and an agent will be with you shortly to give you the shaft!
I don't think the product they're selling would be good for anyone. Especially someone like me who has no credit card debt.
Hi, this is Lisa, and did you know that your vehicle warranty is about to expire? Please press 1 to renew your warranty.
I hope Lisa doesn't work for Echelon, because when I swore into the phone to shut the %^&* up she probably thought I was a terrorist.

My "favorite" prank phone call, however, probably because it's the most common, is the revelation that I have just won an "absolutely free" trip to the Bahamas or someplace if I just wait for the operator to take down my information and "ask a few questions". I actually stayed on the line for that one...once. I think I need to get a new dictionary, by the way, because mine still says that "free" in the economic sense means "without cost".

Sometimes I think it would be easier to just let all phone calls go to the answering machine. But that's really not too nice. Besides, it really bugs me that for some people that I call I always get their answering machine.

Would my life be more peaceful if I got on the "Do Not Call" list? Would it help if I just bit the $6.95-per-month bullet and got caller-id?




Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Want a Ford that Gets 65 MPG? Move to Europe.

It seems that the fight against man-made global warming is not really so much about global warming--at least in the United States. It's more about perceptions and authoritarian control. Ford has a new vehicle that gets 65 miles per gallon, but Ford can afford to sell the car only in Europe, mostly because the United States is worried about being seen as environmentally conscious rather than actually being environmentally conscious.

We always hear from the environmental wacko lobby (there are some liberal environmentalists that aren't wacko) that Europe signed the Kyoto Protocol, but the US didn't. Here's something else that Europe's

At current gasoline prices, that would save me about 5 bucks a day--$12 if I compare it to driving my SUV battle tank.

doing that we aren't: buying a car that gets 65 miles per gallon.

Part of the issue for Ford is cost. But even if Ford overcame those barriers, it is still not likely that it could pass those costs onto Americans and still get them to buy the cars. It's because:
"We know it's an awesome vehicle," says Ford America President Mark Fields. "But there are business reasons why we can't sell it in the U.S." The main one: The Fiesta ECOnetic runs on diesel.
Only 3% of cars sold in the United States run on diesel fuel. Why? Partly because of hybrid mania, but mostly because of the high taxes on diesel itself. The United States sees diesel fuel as a high polluter, and because of this misconception, drivers in the United States likely can't drive one of the most fuel-efficient cars ever.

I think

Otherwise, my worst fears are confirmed. Blaming man for global warming is not because they really think we are to blame. It's just a bogey monster story so they can control our lifestyles--and keep us poor.

this misconception sticks with so many environmentalists because they are hell-bent on making sure that we stop using fossil fuels yesterday. It's the same claptrap that won't deign to allow drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Maybe it's because they think the fossil fuelers will take a mile if they're given an inch...?


Diesel fuel has always been more efficient than gasoline. Until recently, diesel was dirtier than gasoline, but that's no longer true. And the latest improvements show diesel mileage at about 30% better than gasoline. I can go for that!!

Would I spend $25,000 to buy a Toyota Prius that gets 45 MPG?

This misconception sticks because they are hell-bent on making sure that we stop using fossil fuels yesterday. It's the same claptrap that won't deign to allow drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Maybe it's because they think the fossil fuelers will take a mile if they're given an inch...?

No, because I have a 1988 Honda Accord that gets 33. But I think I'd at least turn my head if I could pay a couple thousand bucks more for a car that gets double what my Honda gets. At current gasoline prices, that would save me about 5 bucks a day--$12 if I compare it to driving my SUV battle tank.

Except that brings us back to the dirty truth about diesel in the United States: because of extra taxes on diesel fuel, diesel can cost over a dollar more than gasoline in some places.

It's time for the environmental lobby to put their money where their standards are. If we're going to increase our CAFE standards, we've got to be able to accomplish that increase with fossil fuels.

Otherwise, my worst fears are confirmed. Blaming man for global warming is not because they really think we are to blame. It's just a bogey monster story so they can control our lifestyles--and keep us poor.




Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Campaign 2008: A Choice Between the Lesser of Two Dumbers

I'll bet you didn't want Congress to vote for the recent $700 billion bailout bill? Yet the two Establishment candidates--the ones you are asked to choose between--voted for it. The other four candidates in the presidential race (you thought there were only two, didn't you?) vehemently opposed the bailout.

And you're voting for whom for president? With at least 3 far better choices, why are you limiting yourself to voting for dumb vs. dumber?

It is refreshing that someone from the national media is noticing the ridiculous political straits that we have

I won't be needing to watch the next debate. It would be a waste of time. The one I watched already made me embarrassed enough for my country.

gotten locked into. With American confidence in the economy at its lowest point since the 1930's, and with our confidence in Congress at an all-time low, does anyone besides me and Kenric Ward find it ironic that the only two choices for president being served up by the national news media (1) are members of a record-breakingly-reviled Congress, and (2) have no clue about how to restore confidence in our economy? Mr. Ward's opinion piece, released by Scripps-Howard this morning, says
the mainstream media...persists in the notion that America's political duopoly — fronted and funded by the same racketeers who got us into this mess — can deliver solutions.

While the press works itself into its quadrennial lather, thinking Americans wearily ask, "Is this the best there is?"

Anyone who would vote for a "maverick" or a "messiah" is just plain stupid.

McCain, The Pseudo-Maverick

In an effort to craft an undeserved image, the news media in the

Does anyone else find it ironic that the only two choices for president being served up by the national news media (1) are both members of a record-breakingly-reviled Congress, and (2) have no clue about how to restore confidence in our economy?

US have, for the last several years, designated John McCain as a Maverick Republican. Pshaw! The "Maverick" has to his credit (1) agreement with Neo-conservatives that we should occupy Iraq with our military for another hundred years, (2) stumbling across the aisle to support Democrats in blaming capitalist man for the destruction of the earth by future global fire, and (3) the pushing through of campaign finance reform that helped, more than any of its predecessors, to ensure that incumbent establishment bureaucrats, elected or otherwise, retain their federal offices in perpetuity.

If you really want a maverick, vote for someone who thinks for him- or herself, and who is not on the Establishment side of the line nearly so often.

Obama, The Messiah

Obama's not the Messiah. Nor is he the anti-Christ. He's just your everyday run-of-the-mill gangster.

Obama is a friend of Louis Farrakhan, who recently implied that

Obama's not the Messiah. Nor is he the anti-Christ. He's just your everyday run-of-the-mill gangster.

Obama is the new Messiah. He is friends with convicted Chicago real estate developer Tony Rezko. He's been in pretty cozy with Franklin Raines who profited nicely from the demise of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. He's related to a woman who, following passage of a pork laden bill in the US Senate, received a $200,000 salary increase. He's been a long-time associate of terrorists Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn. He nearly has the Shady-Characters-R-Us market cornered, yet about 50% of Americans are considering voting for him for the highest office in the land?

He's not a Messiah, because the Messiah was honest in his business and political dealings. And he's not the anti-Christ, because the anti-Christ does a much better job of pretending to be honest. In reality, Obama's just a two-bit gangster.

. . .

Are You Confident that Either of These Guys Can Help Pull the Economy Out of a Nosedive?

I watched the recent debate between Candidate "me" and Candidate "that one", and--based on the "blah blah blah, it's your fault" syndrome--I won't be needing to watch

With four far better choices, why are you limiting yourself to voting for dumb vs. dumber?

the next debate. It would be a waste of time. The one I watched already made me embarrassed enough for my country. Neither of these people have a clue how the economy got this way, let alone how to fix it. All of the four non-Establishment candidates (Chuck Baldwin, Cynthia McKinney, Ralph Nader, and Bob Barr) have more of a clue (some of them much more) than Obama and McCain.

Kenric Ward sums it up:

Fact is, there's hardly a dime's worth of difference between Obama and McCain when it comes to dealing with the metastasizing credit crisis. Both supported the widely unpopular and apparently ineffective $700 billion bailout. Neither has a clue about what to do next. Some choice.

[The Wall Street] Journal declared, without substantiation, that "the electorate has shown little appetite for third-party candidates."

For this, the political scribes can pat themselves on the back. By serving as handmaidens for Democratic and Republican spin doctors, they suck the oxygen right out of democracy. The media's treatment of Paul, a former Libertarian standard bearer, epitomized the bigotry.
It's about time we started investing in third-party candidates, because dumb and dumber haven't got a clue. If you vote for either of them, that makes you dumber-er.




Thursday, October 09, 2008

The Fed Walks a Brand New Tightrope, While the World Says We're Screwed

As I write, the Dow Jones has dropped over 1,500 points in the last 3 days. Almost exactly a year ago, the dow was 5,000 points higher than now. But no one is talking about the financial real elephant in the room.

The Federal Reserve is that elephant. The Fed has incited most of the economic problems that we're now facing, and they don't show any signs of stopping their bullish rush into oblivion.

Meanwhile the world is crying uncle. Banks are failing. States are seeking bailouts. Whole countries are on the verge of bankruptcy. Is the Amero just around the corner? Or will we have a global currency because of the so-called "failure of the free market"?

The Plunge Protection Team is powerless in the face of the market. The global money changers are washed up. Someone needs to throw them out of the temple.

The Fed Ventures into the Commercial Paper "Market"

For the first time ever, the Federal Reserve will issue commercial paper. The Economist reports that
America’s Federal Reserve is now said to be considering its own plan to take a flame to frozen interbank lending markets, and tackle the equally pressing problem of a shrinking commercial-paper market that could choke off funds to businesses. On top of further efforts to pump liquidity into the banking system, it might begin unsecured lending to banks and businesses, something that central banks rarely attempt and that the Fed has never tried before.
You know...the Fed has done pretty much whatever it's wanted to in the past, and that's always kept the economy healthy, so what the heck?

It's Just One Big Party Over at AIG

A day or so after the government provided 85 billion dollars of bailout for the American International Group, they used half a million dollars of that to hold a very large executive party. Today, they're getting 38 billion dollars in

The Plunge Protection Team is powerless in the face of the market. The global money changers are washed up. Someone needs to throw them out of the temple.

more bailout money. I haven't yet found out where their next party is going to be.

I wish I knew someone at AIG. It sounds like a great company to work for!!

Iceland: What Happens When a Whole Country Goes Bankrupt?


Forbes reports that
Iceland is getting closer to becoming the first nation to go bankrupt as a result of the subprime mortgage crisis
Why is Iceland the first potential casualty country? Forbes states:
Most currency investors are shying away from any exposure to Iceland, a country which has been hard hit by the lending crisis partly because it is so heavily exposed to the banking sector, which dwarfs the rest of the economy.
Has anything like this ever happened before?

Did Obama and McCain Just Have a Debate? I Couldn't Tell

The Tuesday night debate was a blamefest and a condescension on the part of both candidates to those everyday Americans in attendance. "The economy is the fault of the last 8 years of Bush failure." "No, it's the fault of Democrats who cozied up to Fannie Mae." "I warned the Treasury Secretary 2 years

In a case of "if they can do it, why can't we?', the states of California and Massachusetts have clearly illustrated the fact that unbridled social welfare programs cause the need for bailouts.

ago about the problem." "No I did." All the while they talked past the people in the audience. It was supposed to have been a town hall meeting. Couldn't they have had a conversation with the people, rather than saying "Alan, that's a great question..." and then bloviating about almost nothing?

Imagine how much more productive the debate would have been if Ron Paul had been one of the candidates. He, far more than the two Establishment candidates, would have identified with the members of the audience, and would have been able to honestly lay out the schedule of mistakes and blame that got us to where we are now economically.

When are we going to get ourselves out of the "lesser of two evils" rut?

Global Interest Rates Drop, but Stocks Continue to Fall

Is the Plunge Protection Team running out of magic? In coordination with nearly every other central bank on earth, the Fed reduced interest rates again. Asia Times Online scoffs at the Herculean failure. The problem is
a monster that seems to get worse, and more importantly, laugh away all attempts to contain it, with every passing day.
California and Massachusetts Ask for a Bailout

In a case of "if they can do it, why can't we?', the states of California and Massachusetts have clearly illustrated the fact that unbridled social welfare programs cause the need for bailouts. If California and Massachusetts weren't always teetering on the edge of welfare-engineered economic oblivion, they wouldn't be facing such hard times right now.

Actually, I've got a much simpler solution to the problem. Why should they have to balance their budgets? The federal government doesn't have to. They should just pass a law that the banks have to loan the states short-term funds!! As much as they want!!! Isn't that how it works?

. . .

By the way, I have some Monopoly money I can throw in. That would probably help just as much as everything else that's being tried.




Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Kucinich: Congress Just Murdered the American Dream

Congressional representatives, whether they are for or against socialist wealth redistribution, if they had any integrity, voted against the recent bailout plan.

--Conservatives, because they don't believe in wealth redistribution.

--Liberals, because they don't believe that redistribution of the wealth of the poor to the already wealthy makes any sense.

Those who voted for the bailout plan either didn't understand it, in which case they shouldn't be in Congress, or are shills for the Establishment. I look forward with relish to perhaps hundreds of such representatives being handed their walking papers in the elections next month.

We all are doing our worst and making the [people] pay. We forget that we all are the people; that while each of us in his group can shove off on the rest the bill of today, the debt is only postponed; ...We have to pay in the end, every one of us. And in the end the sum total of the debt will be our liberty.

Samuel McClure
, January 1903
It was

Perhaps it's a good thing that the economy began to melt down at a point in time so close to the election. Let's remember that as we head for the polls.

interesting that those in the House of Representatives who initially voted down the bailout were from both the left and right sides of the aisle, although more were Republican. Truthdig, a left-leaning organization, bemoaned the fact that of the real representation left in Washington D.C. most of it is Republican. Speaking with TruthDig, Dennis Kucinich said of the bailout:
It is a direct attack on the American people’s ability to be able to stabilize their homes and their neighborhoods. This single vote will define the careers of everyone. We are back to taxation without representation, to markets that are openly rigged.
Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges wrote
The passing of the $850-billion bailout pulled the plug on the New Deal. The Great Society is now gasping for air, mortally wounded, coughing up blood. It will not recover. It was murdered by the Democratic Party.

We are on our own. And don’t expect any help from Barack Obama and Joe Biden, who lobbied hard for the bill and voted for it. Ignore their rhetoric. Look coldly at the ballots they cast against us.
Kucinich rightly criticized the destruction of free-market principles in the latest bailout scam.
Instead of Democrats going back to classic New Deal economics where we prime the pump of the economy and start money circulating among the population through saving homes, creating jobs and building a new infrastructure, our leaders chose to accelerate the wealth of the nation upwards. They did so in a way that was destructive of free-market principles.

The Democrats have unfortunately become so enamored and beholden to Wall Street that we are not functioning to defend the economic interest of the broad base of the American people.
It's no longer a battle between Republicans and Democrats, as the current presidential campaign would try otherwise to convince you. This is clearly now a struggle between the "big people" and the "little people". For a capitalist society to have any chance for succeeding, it must be fair. With this bailout, the United States economic system, although it has been unfair for decades, is now painfully, clearly so.

The beginning of a solution is to remove from office anyone

For a capitalist society to have any chance for succeeding, it must be fair. With this bailout, the United States economic system, although it has been unfair for decades, is now painfully, clearly so.

who voted for the recent $700 billion bailout. Perhaps it's a good thing that the economy began to melt down at a point in time so close to the election. Let's remember that as we head for the polls.




Saturday, October 04, 2008

A Healthy Society Does Not Not Have Obscene Levels of Income Inequality

Instances have occurred in American history where socialists and atheists cared for their neighbors in a much better way than many Christians ever thought of doing. Too often we think that gain is godliness, forgetting that in a Zion society there are no differences in economic equality. In October 2008 LDS General Conference, Elder D. Todd Christofferson made this concept clear to people like me who have spent so much time thinking that if people are poor it is their own fault.

I was wrong. But it took the backdrop of a national economic collapse for me to notice it.


A profound change in my thinking occurred several years ago when, on a Brigham Young University-produced video, The Education of Zion, Chauncey Riddle stated that the socialist Karl Marx had correctly assessed various economic problems in the world, which occurred then and still are in existence today. That perked my ears up, because I couldn't understand why someone would agree with Karl Marx. It made more sense to me, though, as Professor Riddle stated that Marx may have seen the problems, but he arrived at exactly the wrong solutions for them.

Before the Communist revolution in Russia, several similar but smaller revolutions occurred in America, better known as worker's strikes. One of the best

Karl Marx and other socialists teach almost the same thing that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches, except for one thing: we don't advocate the forcible leveling of society. Rather, it must be done in love. But it must be done if society is to succeed.

known of these events is known as the Haymarket Square Rally in Chicago in 1886. What began as a peaceable assembly of workers striking for subsistence wages turned into a slaughter in which the Chicago Herald claimed more than fifty people were killed. People like this banded together and helped one another when they were down. Not clearly understanding what they desired, and not in the least attempting to sympathize with them, we instead revile them.

We should be ashamed.

Robert B. Reich, former US Secretary of Labor under Bill Clinton notes that the first casualty of this income inequality was the stay-at-home mother:
The first coping mechanism was moving more women into paid work. The percentage of American working mothers with school-age children has almost doubled since 1970 - from 38 per cent to close to 70 per cent. Some parents are now even doing 24-hour shifts, one on child duty while the other works.
The new, second coping mechanism is working harder.

To be a Zion society, we must eliminate poverty. Are we able to eliminate poverty in our neighborhoods and wards, or are we too busy eliminating just our own?

More people work two jobs, and we are working the equivalent of two weeks longer per year than in 1970.

Our Heavenly Father's plan is much more simple. To achieve social accord, we should look out for our neighbor and help him when he is down, in part because someday he might be in a position to help us.

From the other side of the political aisle from Robert Reich (as the aisle and the sides are drawn--incorrectly, if you hadn't noticed) Ron Paul agrees with the former Labor Secretary. Congressman Paul decries

It's too bad, I think, that in these economically perilous times most of the Latter-Day Saints are unready to demonstrate the positive effects of such living to the rest of society.

the massive transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich that is ongoing.

During the Saturday afternoon session of October 2008 LDS General Conference, Elder D. Todd Cristofferson of the Church's Quorum of Twelve Apostles described the antidote to severe economic malaise. He reminded us that, contrary to popular belief, gain is not godliness. Zion has no poor. I suspect that Zion has no greedy, either, but Elder Christofferson didn't talk about that. He did teach that members of the church, if they want to be part of Zion society, must give liberally to the poor and the needy. It's too bad, I think, that in these economically perilous times most of the Latter-Day Saints are unready to demonstrate the positive effects of such living to the rest of society.

Why was Karl Marx at least partially right?

Early American socialists banded together and helped one another when they were down. Not clearly understanding what they desired, and not in the least attempting to sympathize with them, we instead revile them.

We should be ashamed.

What about Robert Reich and Ron Paul? They were right because they agreed with the revealed word of God, whether they knew it or not. Karl Marx and other socialists advocated for societies living together in equality. It's almost the same thing that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches, except for one thing: we don't advocate the forcible leveling of society. Rather, it must be done in love. But it must be done if society is to succeed.

Any Zion society must be unified, be holy, and eliminate poverty among its members. Are we able to eliminate poverty in our neighborhoods and wards, or are we too busy eliminating our own?

This article also appears on My Two Mormon Cents under the title "Zion Does Not Not Have Obscene Levels of Income Equality".




Thursday, October 02, 2008

Senate $700 Billion Bailout Pork and Police State Plan is an Utter Disgrace

The Senate bailout plan--and any bailout plan for that matter--should be opposed on the basis of just one issue: the integrity of the people who are voting on the plan.

But wait 'til you hear
what's in the plan that will allegedly prevent the US economy from falling off a cliff--but only if we act immediately!!!

John McCain voted for this plan. So did Barack Obama. Utahns should know that Orrin Hatch voted for it as well. And one of the most conflicted financial profiteers in the

Now, if you speak too loudly, and if the IRS "coincidentally" finds something in your IRS records that just might indicate "evidence of a violation of any Federal criminal law", you are fair game. Here it is in the...ahem..."bailout" bill.

Senate--Robert Bennett voted for it too. But who's surprised? Most of these guys voted to allow the government greater alacrity in spying on you a couple months ago.

The bill, known as the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, is 451 pages long (at least the one that is being displayed for public consumption). It's a modification of the bill that the House voted down the other day. Several of the items covered in the bill have nothing to do with economics, and even more of them have nothing to do with an emergency (unless we count concocted ones). Are you surprised?

Cotton Candy and Banana Cream Pie

What do the following items have in common?
  • Wool products and research
  • Farming business machinery and equipment
  • Film and television productions
  • Mental health parity
  • Exxon Valdez mitigation
  • Puerto Rican rum
  • railroad tracks
They are all subsidies that are covered in the Bailout Pork and Police State Plan bill.

Several of the items covered in the bill have nothing to do with economics, and even more of them have nothing to do with an emergency (unless we count concocted ones). Are you surprised?

Hurry, it's an emergency!!! We're running out of rum!!!

Ensuring and Expanding the U.S. Police State

Since the economy is in an emergency, it has apparently become critical to shore up and strengthen law enforcement powers so that none of the common folk can thwart any of the emergency measures. For example, look at this section of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, which has to do with the easing of restrictions regarding undercover operations conducted by the IRS.
14 TITLE IV—EXTENSION OF TAX
15 ADMINISTRATION PROVISIONS
16 SEC. 401. PERMANENT AUTHORITY FOR UNDERCOVER OP
17 ERATIONS.
18 (a) IN GENERAL.—Section 7608(c) (relating to rules
19 relating to undercover operations) is amended by striking
20 paragraph (6).
21 (b) EFFECTIVE DATE.—The amendment made by
22 this section shall apply to operations conducted after the
23 date of the enactment of this Act.

Section 7608 of the US Code Title 26 allows the IRS to spy on you and to "make arrests without warrant for any offense against the United States". Section 7608 expired

These are times of emergency, don't you know. And in times of emergency...you are a target. You probably thought you were getting bailed out, didn't you?

on January 1, 2008, but will be resurrected if the House of Representatives votes in favor of this "spruced up" bill that it has already once rejected.

Additionally, Section 6103 of US Code Title 26 provides justification for the IRS--or any other agency that it notifies--to act under the auspices of the ticking time bomb theory. It had expired in December 2007--before the bailout. Now, if you speak too loudly, and if the IRS "coincidentally" finds something in your IRS records that just might indicate "evidence of a violation of any Federal criminal law", you are fair game. Here it is in the...ahem..."bailout" bill.
1 SEC. 402. PERMANENT AUTHORITY FOR DISCLOSURE OF
2 INFORMATION RELATING TO TERRORIST AC
3 TIVITIES.
4 (a) DISCLOSURE OF RETURN INFORMATION TO AP
5 PRISE APPROPRIATE OFFICIALS OF TERRORIST ACTIVI
6 TIES.—Subparagraph (C) of section 6103(i)(3) is amend
7 ed by striking clause (iv).
8 (b) DISCLOSURE UPON REQUEST OF INFORMATION
9 RELATING TO TERRORIST ACTIVITIES.—Paragraph (7) of
10 section 6103(i) is amended by striking subparagraph (E).
11 (c) EFFECTIVE DATE.—The amendments made by
12 this section shall apply to disclosures after the date of the
13 enactment of this Act.
It's nice to know that we've now "bailed out" all that confusion.

These are times of emergency, don't you know? And in times of emergency...you are a target. You probably thought you were getting bailed out, didn't you?

Josef Stalin said "The death of one man is a tragedy, the

Since the economy is obviously in an emergency, it has apparently become critical to shore up and strengthen law enforcement powers so that none of the common folk can thwart any of the emergency measures.

death of millions is a statistic." In like manner, one travesty of justice is easy to notice, but a million such travesties become overwhelming and incomprehensible to the mind. We may have just reached that point. There may no longer be enough Americans who care enough to point out that the criminals are now running the prison.

I hope that's not the case. I hope enough of us have the integrity and understanding to firmly resolve to campaign against anyone who voted for this so-called bailout bill as someone who is no longer qualified to serve in elective office under the United States.




Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Does the Senate Bailout Plan Violate the Constitution?

The House bailout plan failed a couple of days ago, but now the Senate is weighing in on the thing. Not that they've ever cared much in the last few years/decades, but I'm thinking that the Senate has no authority under the Constitution to even propose a legislative plan for a bailout. Here's why...

Article I section 7 of the Constitution says:
All bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.
The House bailout plan has already failed, but now the Senate has its own plan. Is the Senate bailout plan a bill for raising revenue? I think it is. It's "debtified" revenue, but it nonetheless fits the definition. From dictionary.com, revenue is
the income of a government from taxation, excise duties, customs, or other sources, appropriated to the payment of the public expenses.
This is definitely being touted as a public expense, and the government will eventually have to tax us to get the income to pay for it.

So it's not Constitutional, on top of the fact that it is economic insanity.

If you haven't called your senator yet, give him or her a call, and when they ask you why not to vote for a bailout, tell them, in addition to it not making the least bit of economic sense, that it violates their oath to uphold the Constitution.

That will be something they didn't think they'd hear!