Friday, June 28, 2013

A Brief Reminder

If you are as concerned about the Benghazi scandal as I am, and if you are not, you should be, tonight Friday, June 28, tune in to Fox News at 10 pm. They are having a one hour special.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Random Thoughts On Energy

A few minutes ago I heard Bob Beckel comment on climate change. He implied that the polar bear population was proof of a problem. Note to Mr. Beckel: The polar bear population is up to normal healthy levels.

Climate change isn't about science. It is about money. "Follow the money." If you do that, a big wide path will lead you to Al Gore's pocket.

Temperatures have been stable for sixteen years.

Thirty years ago the politically motivated scientists were moaning about global cooling and a new ice age.

Climate always changes. Greenland was once warm, green and had a growing season.

Due to scientific advances, they can now burn coal cleaner than the Kyoto Accords called for. And that is still not good enough. As long as there is money in climate panic, it will never be resolved.

When the Earth was warming up, Mars was also warming up at the same rate. I have run extensive tests and I guarantee that carbon dioxide level have not increased at all on Mars. There is a rumor being spread by real climatologists that sunspot were the cause of warming on both planets.

The United States is sitting on a vast reservoir of energy and we're going broke sending money to people in the middle east that hate us. But the politicians that have sworn to preserve and protect the country use every excuse they can come up with to keep the status quo. Does that tell you anything?

GDP annual growth is down to 1.8 percent and President Obama is going to wage a war on coal. I'm sure that will be very helpful. Maybe he can get it down under one percent and get unemployment back up over eight.

Carbon dioxide is a normal gas in the atmosphere. There have been times in the history of the world when levels have been much higher than they are today.

When a politician says that the science is settled on any subject, you can bet the farm he is wrong. The important question is what lever is he trying to pull by saying it.

God bless the United States, we have the best politicians that money can buy.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The New Normal

I was thinking about the changes that we've seen and accepted in recent years. Primarily, about things that have changed that we should not accept. Five years ago the price a gallon of gasoline was about a dollar eighty-five. In one year it doubled and it has stayed there ever since. So, now we accept gasoline at three sixty-five or more per gallon. There was never any reason given for the skyrocket jump, but now it's the new normal.

For my whole lifetime, five percent unemployment was considered "full employment". I remember, it even went down to four and a half percent in the eighties. Now, we are told, we should celebrate any unemployment rate under eight percent. Is that the new normal? I hope not because beyond the unemployment figures there are hundreds of thousands of people who have dropped out of the job search in total despair of finding work.

The income of middle class families has shrunk by ten percent. Their level of savings is also down. As is the number of families still considered middle class. While they may not be in abject poverty their standard of living has dropped appreciably. The new normal. 

Food stamp applications are up seventy percent in recent years. That is a sad new normal.

While many businesses appears to be profitable, they are profitable because they have scaled back in personnel and facilities. They have played smart and put themselves in a profitable position as they book lower sales and while the over all economy founders. You may ask, is any business expanding out there? The answer is yes, the business of the federal government. Most cities and states are hurting but Washington is adding more bureaucrats by the day. More new normal.

We now have a President that picks enemies of the state from a list. He then sends out an unmanned drone to do away with them and anyone in their immediate proximity. Do we really want this as a new normal. 

Is it the new normal that the Attorney General can put forward charges against a reporter in spite of the First Amendment, but turn loose New Black Panthers that have pleaded guilty to the charges against them?

Is it the new normal that the NSA monitors every telephone and internet connection of honest American citizens without regard to the Fourth Amendment?

They are trying to tell us now that it is a mere coincidence that the IRS targeted the Presidents political enemies for a harassing review. No one gave the order. No one in the White House was involved. This new normal strains credibility.

New normals should be good thing. They should show American life improving. They should, absolutely, not show the life style that most of us grew up with, deteriorating. We need someone to bring us back to the old normal. I, for one hate the new normal.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Light At The End Of The Egyptian Tunnel

An Egyptian friend of mine, recently passed away. Shortly before his passing we discussed the Egyptian situation. I had given him a copy of one of two blog posting that I had written expressing fear for what might happen in Egypt with the Islamic jihadists coming into power. My fears centered on the fate of the Coptic Christians and the possible destruction of Egyptian historical artifacts. If anyone wants to read those postings, the first is "Pray for the Sphinx" dated 6/13/2012 and "More Fear for the Sphinx" dated 2/22/2013.

His thoughts paralleled mine in that we both thought that Muslim fundamentalists would destroy Egypt as the world has known it. Egypt had a history of being freer and more tolerant than most mid-eastern countries. That freedom and tolerance has been eroding rapidly over the past year. While I have not heard of any destruction of historical artifacts or monuments, Christian churches have been attacked and native Christians have been killed.

Presently forces calling for the ouster of President Morsi are threatening to take to the street. Those that support the President have vowed to crush this opposition. As volatile as this part of the globe is, it takes no great imagination to predict that the final outcome will be  riots and bloodshed.  

The most stable organization in Egypt is the Egyptian Army. They are experienced, well trained, and disciplined. They have a qualified and educated officer corp. Six months ago both my Coptic friend and I believed it was time for the military to step in. They exercised more restraint than I would have thought possible to give the newly elected President a chance. That does not seem to be working.

It is time now for the Army to step in and stabilize the country. The world has watched enough bloodshed from the middle east. This can be stopped and it should be. I do not believe that the Egyptian Army is a junta that would take power and try to hold it forever at the muzzle of a gun. They are the most stabilizing factor in a very unstable country. 

It is time for them to act and switch on the light at the end of the Egyptian tunnel.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

No Grand Vision

We have the incredible shrinking President. We all remember when he stood in front of those magnificent fake Greek columns in all of his self aware grandeur. The glory of his being could light the dark night. Well, it could if he carried a lantern or two. His soaring rhetoric so astounded a rapt audience that they would have made him emperor, not merely President. Fortunately for all of us, that option was not available.

The man that would heal the economy, lower the oceans, heal all racial divides  and bring America back to it's rightful place as a respected and loved world leader was elected. Upon his election, he said to his minions, "let's do healthcare". Where upon he disappeared back onto the campaign trail leaving scores of minions behind to sort out healthcare.

Our new President was a man that loved reading magnificent speeches from his teleprompter. He felt he was born to campaign. He could switch from politician to evangelical preacher in  seconds, but apparently he cared not at all for the drudgery of sitting in an office doing the myriad of little tasks that a good manager must do. Such work is poor pickings when one can fly off on such a magnificent plane as Air Force One, a wonder of American technology, and stand in front of adoring fans, giving a preachy speech, telling them how they should live. Once that is done, meeting with some rich locals. Grabbing some big checks to help keep the war chest full and flying out that same evening to repeat the same sideshow tomorrow at a different location.

And ultimately his minions wrote a health care bill. It took three long years. In that three years the job market did not expand. The economy did not grow. The middle class shrank and got poorer. Our most immediate problems withered by the wayside because healthcare was king. And Mr. Obama gave daily speeches to large crowds and small, preaching to us of our errors and how he was improving the country, nay the world. But in reality nothing improved except the life of Barack Obama, his family, and his minions.

So at the end of the three years he asked his minions, what is in my healthcare bill? They explained that they did not know, but it was very good. With that Mr. Obama was satisfied. It would be way to much work to read it. So he told Nancy Pelosi to get his bill passed. When some fool asked her what was in the bill, she said, "you have to pass it to find out what is in it". So pass it they did. As people started to find out what was in it, they found they hated it. So the President shrank for the first time.

Then other things came along. His new found love for Gitmo. The New Black Panthers debacle. The "Fast and Furious" scandal. Benghazi. The IRS. The NSA. Scandal after scandal. And with each scandal, the President shrank a little more. It is so bad that when he went back to the Brandenburg Gate to relive one of his great moments of glory, even the Germans abandoned him. Vladimir Putin threw away Obama's reset button and treated him with scorn.

The man who thought himself a great President never understood that one cannot be a great President with no grand vision.

Friday, June 21, 2013

States Have Rights Too

There are so many things that the federal government can do in these confused times. They can prevent you the use of your personal property without recompense. They can fine you if you wash your car in your driveway and the runoff goes into a roadside wash that has been there to carry off rainwater for decades. They can track your movements. If you are a dairy farmer they can not only prevent you from selling your raw milk to your neighbors, they can prevent you from drinking it yourself. They can also prevent you from growing your own corn to feed your cows.

The government can tell your state what they must teach in your schools. That is why so many things are taught against a parents better judgement and so many things are overlooked like American History. They can tell your state how many prisoners they may keep in your jails and how your highways must be paved. The powers of the federal government are virtually limitless. They shouldn't be. They weren't intended to be. But they are. It has been an ugly evolutionary process that has worked because no one (representatives and senators) would draw the line. That is because as federal power grew, the power of the congress grew along with it. And, God, how those people love power.

In theory the federal government has only the power it is given in the Constitution. That is very limited. So how did this overwhelming power come about? In, oh so many, ways. One way is the power of the pen. That would be the pen that signs those big federal checks. The checks that help pay for schools. Or the checks that rebuild roads or build a new post office. I believe that I have heard somewhere that money talks etc.

But there are other ways also. The United States Constitution is not a detailed instruction manual on how to run a country. It is a glorious framework upon which a great nation can be built. That is both  it's strength and it's weakness. The weakness being that the words of the Constitution lend themselves to various interpretations. The Federalist Papers help us to understand what the founders were thinking. But they do not have the power of law, so the executive branch gets to make their own interpretations. As long as these interpretations are not questioned, they stand. If they are questioned various courts get involved. In ultimate extremes, the Supreme Court makes the final decision.

So what and where are these words that provide cover for government over reach?  If you look at the preamble to the Constitution you see the phrase "promote the general welfare". What promotes the general welfare? Some would say the TSA promotes the general welfare although it is not an assigned right under the Constitution. I'm sure many would argue that the TSA hinders the general welfare. Unless it goes to the courts, the administration wins the issue.

Article one, section eight, of the Constitution boasts a couple of catch-all phrases that are handy tools for those wishing to expand federal reach. The first is "to provide for the common defense and the general welfare". That "general welfare" thing gives a lot of wiggle room if you are big on government control. There is a phrase, "to regulate commerce with foreign nations and among the several states". There is lots of room to take control there. Almost everything is shipped across state lines at some time. That's when the feds get their nose in the tent. Finally, we have 'to promote the progress of science and useful arts etc". That phrase allows for patents and copyrights. The length of those protections is in control of the federal government. That is a make or break power for business.

The Tenth Amendment says that the powers not expressly given to the federal government comes to the states and the people. But historically, if the feds want it they get it. That is exactly why we need a much smaller government. That big dog in Washington needs lots of bones. And when they get them they abuse them. The best government is that government closest to the people. Never forget, States have rights too.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

In America, Freedom Wins

If you are obliged to protect the citizens of a country, how do you go about that task? I am not referring to a little country with a homogeneous population like Holland. I am talking about a honking big country with a wildly disparate population like the United States.

As usual, the opposite political poles have opposite ideas about the absolute best way to keep Americans safe. We must acknowledge that no manner or means will give us one hundred percent, twenty-four seven, three hundred and sixty-five safety. But task number one is to try to do whatever can be done. Anything that is done, some time, some place,  will fail. So task number two is to minimize failure. 

The mindset of liberals, as exemplified by our present administration, is to watch and monitor everyone in America. Cameras are installed on street corners. The FBI admits to using drones for domestic surveillance. The NSA is monitoring domestic telephone traffic. When they are asked about actually listening in on phone calls the answers are fraught with weasel words. The post office photographs every piece of first class mail, front and back. 

They intrude on our privacy to do this because they know that the American people are powerless to stop them. But they still don't have the spine to control our borders. So while they monitor each and every one of us, they have not the intestinal fortitude to stop foreign terrorists from coming across our borders. This is not a safety issue. This is a political issue. The politocrats of both parties, that presently run our country, care more for political expediency than they do for the safety of the people they are sworn to protect. The proof of this is that free and independent people are safer when they possess their own weapons so they can protect their families, property, and communities. But those that have the power today would take away those weapons leaving only the government and those that would do harm to be armed. That is a political position, not a public safety position.

It is the nature of the more conservative segment of the population to support traditional methods of ensuring our safety. Identify your enemies. Know who in coming into the country and when they leave. Investigate and gather intelligence. In the United States you have over three hundred million pairs of eyes. Encourage them to watch out for danger and to pass on any information. Find a way to separate the wheat from the chaff from those calls for there will be a great deal of chaff. Then operate within the first, second, and fourth amendments.

For above all, safety is of no value if we give up our freedom. The United States has always, since its inception, had the greatest freedom of any country in the world. That should always be true because in America, freedom wins.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Life In The Bernanke Bubble

I have written before about the Bernanke Bubble. That is the act of forcing of unusually low interest rates and the printing of billions of new dollars by the Fed. There is no real economic growth underpinning the US economy. It is the bubble created by the Fed that is buoying the stock market. In other words, the Fed, in collusion with Wall Street brokers and the administration have created a facade of financial success so the market will go up and claims of an improving economy can be substantiated.

I have predicted that this bubble will burst. It will. Eventually, it must. I said, initially, this would happen by mid-summer. I was wrong. I didn't think it through. I reacted to little news articles where Mr. Bernanke thought it might be time to ease up on controls and the printing of dollars a little bit. The market immediately dropped. I really thought that was the start of the landslide.

The market is just a part of the economy. It looks into the future, reacting to what is expected to happen in the real economy. The real economy being manufacturing, jobs, wealth creation, and housing, all the things that are not doing well under Obama. There is no strength in the economy to shore up the market, so the Fed does it by using regulation and high speed printing presses.

One might think that the job of the Fed was to protect the American dollar and the countries financial strength. It should be. But since the days when Alan Greenspan, as Fed chairman, manipulated the economy to help Bill Clinton beat George H.W. Bush, it has been overtly political. In other words, Ben Bernanke's main task is to keep Barack Obama looking good economically. If he can. The only way, since the general economy is trash, is the Bernanke Bubble.

Although there are some signs of fear and trembling in the market, the are still the dogsbody talking head on the TV news predicting five more years with a Dow around twenty thousand.  I do not think so. I just read an article talking about how Mr. Bernanke has been at the job longer than he wanted. There was an article last week about his possible replacement. I believe his actual term is over just after the first of next year. He could go then. I don't think he will. I think, now, that he will continue to provide Obama with cover until after the elections.

As it becomes more obvious that he is leaving the panic will start. The market hates the unknown. When people see the smart money moving out, those that watch closely will follow. And as usual the last ones out will be the middle class investor who is not tied in and not quick to respond.

I could be wrong, but Bernanke wants out and the Feds actions are all that is supporting the market. Something has got to give. If the economy showed signs of real growth before the exodus, it would change things. With Obama's policies and agenda, I cannot see that happening. But that's life in the Bernanke Bubble.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Benghazi Once Again

I said I would keep re-posting my original Benghazi blog until we started getting answers. In my total naivete, I stopped because I thought the process was under way. I was wrong. As the politocrats wanted, the Benghazi scandal is being lost in the fog of new scandals that hit closer to home. The IRS and the NSA affect people directly in their daily lives. That gets their attention. In other words the politocrats have pulled the curtain back over what they don't want you to see.

Make no mistake, the Benghazi scandal is the one this administration fears most. The Benghazi scandal taints two people primarily. That is the President and the woman that would be his replacement. It is their lack of pride and lack of decisiveness along with a fear of political fallout that caused, directly or indirectly, the debacle in Benghazi. I may not be the loudest voice to express deep concern about the failure of our government to protect Americans on American soil. But I am a voice. If all that are like minded keep up the struggle for honesty and justice we will ultimately prevail. So my re-posts start again and will continue.

Below, I've repeated my sixth update. I will move on from there. Please friends, talk this up. 
be a voice make those that are unaware, aware.

Sixth Update

It has come out that the people that were safely liberated from Benghazi have been kept under wraps and told not to speak out. Those that are CIA or State Department Intelligence should remain silent. Those that are civilian employees must be allowed to testify before Congress and tell the world about their experience, if they wish. It seems that Hillary Clinton's e-mails regarding Benghazi have been hacked. They will trickle out. Patience and pressure will bring results. Covering up a tragedy is not like taking a Mulligan. Nixon learned the hard way. Is it now Obama's turn?

Remember Benghazi

The holidays are here and everyone is busy with their preparations. The newspaper, if they report at all, are reporting the crisis of the day. The president is heading to Hawaii in a week. Most politicians have lost interest in anything that matters. There are distractions galore. But through all this, we must remember Benghazi.

The administration, every person in it, hopes that the American people will just move on and call it done. Over. Old history. We must not do that. Benghazi is a big deal. Benghazi is not just one scandal. It is four separate scandals. Every one of them deserves our close attention.

The first scandal is that Ambassador Stevens called for more security and it was denied him. That is unheard of. An ambassador is the highest ranking American in any foreign country. He is the direct representative of the President. Normally when an ambassador makes a request it is granted without question. There are only two people in government with the power to deny an ambassador. That would be the Secretary of State and the President. So who made that decision and why? Was it made on political grounds? Was it made to appease someone in the Libyan government? After all this consulate had been attacked before. Weren't there enough warning flags up? Why was the Ambassador even there? Was he sent there secretly for a meeting? Why was he sent with insufficient personal security?

The second scandal is the attack on the consulate itself. This was an attack on sovereign American soil. When the consulate came under fire they called out for help. None was forthcoming. The people calling for help were experienced military. They had a drone overhead monitoring the situation. The battle lasted over seven hours. Help was available. Even a single C-130A sent from Italy could have been there in an hour. Four honorable Americans lost their lives while serving their country. Why? Was this also a political decision? Do we now sacrifice our people for political reasons? Who was monitoring the feed from the drone? Who did they report to? We need answers. We deserve answers. Whatever was or was not done occurred in our name.

The third scandal, of course, is the pack of lies that the administration put out to cover this debacle. The stories had not even a bit of truth to them. It was not about some movie upsetting a flash mob. Any person with more than two active brain cells knew they were lies. But for weeks after, coincidentally right through the presidential debates, the administration stuck with the story. Week after week, on the Sunday talk shows and in the news papers the media allowed this story when they must have known it was a fabrication. A man in California was jailed for his part in inciting a riot that never happened. In America? Please. That is just wrong. When did our country come to this?

The fourth scandal is a little more difficult for me.  I have a tendency to accept the military as straight forward and honorable under any and all pressure. As back in Caesar's day, they would fall on their sword rather than dishonor their uniform. General Petraeus initially mouthed the party line as to the cause of the attack on Benghazi. He reiterated the obvious lies that were played to protect the administration. It is my opinion, and mine alone, that he wanted to tell the truth. Again, my opinion, he was told that if he went public, his private misfeasance would be made public. Being an honorable man who made a mistake, he did the right thing and resigned. We, as American citizens, need his testimony as to what transpired throughout this whole mess.

I am writing this piece on the evening of December 9, 2012. I plan to publish it tomorrow. I feel it is so important that I will republish this essay periodically as a reminder to those that read my blog that the administration has not answered our questions, until we finally are told the truth or have a new administration.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Keep The Faith, Baby

For those to young to recognize the phrase, it come from the hippies in the mid sixties. They meant it to mean stay true to your beliefs. In America today that is difficult unless your belief set lines up with what your liberal masters believe. If you disavow any part of their tenets you are publicly castigated and excoriated. The problem lies in the fact that they are involving groups that should not be involved in social engineering.

I have a big problem with what is happening in the military today. The military sends people into dangerous places to do dangerous things. As the military cuts across all segments of our society there are a wide variety of belief sets that support these people when they are in need. Many people when faced with danger fall back on their faith for support. Traditionally, the military has understood this need and done all that could be done under, sometimes, impossible, circumstances to support that need. Chaplains were sent along with the troops to assist them in their faith when help was needed. These brave people cross trained so they could assist those of other faiths than their own. They brought God to the battlefield where he was sorely needed.

Under the Obama administration Christian and Jewish chaplains are under duress. Lay politicians dictate to the religious how they must practice and what they must accept. The symbols of religion that were there for comfort must be stored away lest they give offense to someone. What ever happened to understanding and caring about the needs of someone other than your own sorry self. It seems to me that people only take offense if they desire to take offense. For some reason the Islamic faith seems to be exempted from much of this regulatory brouhaha. 

The Constitution says, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof". Notice that the Constitution says freedom of religion, not freedom from religion. But the heart of the problem is that, like so many things in the Obama administration, this is not being done by law. It is being done by edict from high offices. Maybe not by the President in all cases, but by his minions that know his wishes and agree with his aims.

But just to make matters worse this craziness has even affected one of the great organizations of all time, the Boy Scouts. I was a scout and two of my grandsons are scouts. I know how it benefited me and I see how much it is benefiting them.  Does anyone truly believe that there have been no homosexuals in scouts before now. It was quietly accepted as long as acceptable behavior was the order of the day. But now because everything has to be an issue, troops are disrupted, some parents are upset, and many groups have lost their meeting place. The scouts take young boys and with the help of volunteer parents, teach these boys to become responsible men who understand duty and leadership. Those parents that spend hours laboring to get it right are the best of people and are to be commended.

I pray that some day those that feel the need to disrupt societal structure will find peace and realize the only life they have to live is their own. Until then, keep the faith.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Under The Governments Wing

Under our Constitution it is the duty of the government of the United States of America to protect it's citizens. In the first sentence of the first paragraph of the Constitution the government is obliged to provide "for the common defense". While that is a pretty general statement, it is also totally unambiguous. All of the time, every day, each and every one of us is under the governments protection.

That would mean that our enemies must be identified. You cannot protect against an enemy if you don't know who that enemy's identity. Every person that is out there, employed by the government to provide that protection, must understand clearly who they are protecting us against. But our government doesn't make that clear. Our people on the front lines are supposed to protect us against an enemy that can't be named lest the people associated with this enemy be offended. Even worse the government pretends that there are others that are our enemies so as to give our real enemies cover. I do not believe that Tea Party members or evangelical Christians will become terrorists. Those that run DHS apparently do.

There is a technique to spotting your enemy when they are not in a uniform. You find characteristics that are common among the larger number of your enemies, habits they may have, places they may visit, and behaviors that are typical. But those that would disrupt the process of protecting us have labeled that process "profiling" and became highly indignant that people who may be an enemy should be examined in such a manner. So now, in airports, we make old men in wheel chairs stand when they can't stand. We grope grandmothers and small girls. The enemy just won another battle.

The finest federal law enforcement body in our country, the FBI, must have the finest and most extensive training to protect us against our enemy. For they will be involved in the most difficult and intricate cases of domestic terror. Their training manual should leave no stone unturned to provide these first line defenders with the knowledge they must have to execute their job. But some how the enemy infiltrated this fine organization and with the assistance of compliant politicians, forced them to rip fifty critical pages from their training manual referring to this enemy. And the bad guys win another skirmish.

For some ridiculous reason the people that run our government fear offending those that would kill us. They invite our enemies to the White House regularly and beg their permission on every aspect of homeland protection. This permission is never given as it is offensive to their faith. So we monitor the phones of all Americans. We check everyone's email. We waste time monitoring twitter feeds. But we do not monitor where they gather and listen to what they say. We act like fools on a fools errand. 

We have the people with the knowledge and skill to fight this war. We have a population that will watch and observe and come forward in emergencies. But two things need to happen. The president must remove the chains from our defenders and be an American President. And the media has got to support their country and unify and motivate the populace. When this happens maybe we can have some faith in being under the governments wing.

Please, never forget Benghazi!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Stamp Out Politocrats

If you read my blog regularly, you may have come across the word, politocrat. If this is your first visit, welcome, you have never seen this word before. I know that because I made up the word. From time to time when I am unable to find a word that fits my needs, I am not above creating one from scratch.

We all understand that an autocrat is a single despotic ruler, such as a czar, that controls a country, or even an empire, all alone and with a heavy hand. A good example would be the Kims of North Korea. A plutocracy is a country in the control of a group of the very rich. The United Arab Emirates comes to mind. A politocracy is a country ruled by a group of powerful politicians steeped in the maintenance of their own power. They do not like to share and they do not like change. The United States of America, I suggest, is close if not already a politocracy.

There are certain traits that politocrats share. They are generally older but some are given a special circumstances dispensation and may be as young as their late forties. Most have never worked in the private sector. If they have it was briefly when they were very young. To be part of the club, you must have survived three election cycles. Many have held office for thirty years or more. And you must have a huge campaign war chest. This will allow you to attach some pliant newcomers to your coattails. Then you can teach the next generation of politocrats the ropes.

The big thing is that you don't roil the waters. Your political party is irrelevant. But you must go along to get along. If you are a member of the minority party you may gently voice some protests to keep your base thinking well of you but in the end you pass that new debt ceiling or that new tax bill. The status quo must rule. If you play along with the big plan you will be allowed to dip into the pork barrel enabling you to show your constituents how hard you are working for them in the nations capitol.

If this description seem to fit any politician running in your area you might want to rethink your vote. Another clue that will help you tell who the politocrats are is the way they treat new energetic young politicians that get to Washington hoping for change. They attack them. Even young pols of their own party. It is ugly. They will stand before a TV camera and call these fine young men "wacko birds". What adult male calls another adult male a wacko bird. Some fine examples of politocrats would be Reid, Boehner, Pelosi, McCain, Obama, Schumer, and Biden. There are many more, and plenty waiting to join the ranks.

It was never intended that our country should be run by a political class. Men, or women for that matter,  who get too much power tend to love that power too much. There is definitely something to be said for term limits. These people have power, real power. The only way we can ever get our country back is to stamp out the politocrats.

I have been posting more than usual lately. I have to. It is what the military call a "target rich environment".

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

How Soon They Forget

I have been monitoring, with great interest, the latest big scandal to hit the Obama administration. Everyone has heard, by now, that the NSA is monitoring American phone traffic and emails and recording these call logs for posterity. A minor functionary with a contractor company who had, apparently, a very deep security clearance decided to tell the world of all the evil doing. 

It has long been known that the NSA is made up of very nosy people. That is their job. They snoop. Probably they do a lot of other things also. But mostly, they snoop. In 1929, Secretary of State, Henry L.  Stimson would not permit such behavior, saying, "Gentlemen do not read each others mail.". Well times have long since changed. To survive in this world we need to read the other guys mail. Maybe not so much other fellow Americans. I do not believe that anyone has rescinded the fourth amendment. The government has just taken a path around it.

But this is nothing new. Back sometime, I believe during the Clinton administration but possibly earlier, the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand formed a massive world wide program called Echelon. A group of receptor satellites were put into  geo-synchronous orbit monitoring all electronic transmissions. The data accumulated was fed into super-computers and sorted out by a software called Silkworth or Sire. If you go on-line to check this information you may have to dig a little for some parts but it is there.

The really wonderful thing about Echelon was that they could tap into any phone call in real time. Any phone call. Now I have never heard anything about Echelon being closed down. Most government projects of this nature tend to grow. Let's just posit, that if this "new" capability is either a part of Echelon or added to Echelon, the government owns us. Businesses can't communicate without the government being in on it. If you are running against an incumbent politician that has some power, your conversations may now be on the party line, so to speak. And don't think abuses haven't taken place already. At all levels.

So, we have a spy agency monitoring electronic communications, unfettered. We have the IRS being used as a very powerful political tool to encumber or destroy those that our incumbent President refers to as enemies. Actually, the loyal opposition. We have the Justice Department stomping all over the first amendment. We have the EPA wrecking good businesses, with whom the administration disagrees, with extreme regulation. I'm not putting any spin on this. This is just what I see and hear in the news. This along with Janet Napolitano expanding the Federal Police Force makes me very nervous indeed. Four years ago, what is now the Federal Police, were just building guards. Now they are fully empowered police and they are getting fully automatic weapons and military armored troop carriers.

All this scandal after scandal is almost like a magician trying to distract on the left side while he is actually doing something on the right side. I will admit that maybe I have a little paranoia going on. But just because you're paranoid, it doesn't mean you are wrong.   

One last note. Do not forget Benghazi. That is the scandal that this administration fears most. Every day they pray  it will get lost in the razzle-dazzle of all the other scandals. Don't let that happen.  

Monday, June 10, 2013

The Insanity Goes On

I do not watch the Saturday business shows on TV. I tire very early with a bunch of people sitting around trying to shout each other down, each one knowing that they alone are the font of all financial wisdom. But if you are flipping around the news channels looking for new news you can't help but pick up on bits and pieces. Sometimes it is worth a pause to listen. Most of these people are smart and knowledgeable. One at a time, most of them are worth listening to. In a group, they are just noise.

Lately there has been a lot of talk about the stock market, quantitative easing, and interest rates. This is what I have been referring for some time as the Bernanke Bubble. Early last week rumors were out there that Ben Bernanke was actually going to slow down the printing presses and let interest rates come up a bit. Which is actually a good idea.

Immediately the Dow dropped. The rich folks started screaming that they weren't getting richer fast enough and good old loyal Ben couldn't kiss their hem (so to speak) fast enough. He assured all concerned that he didn't mean it. He was in for the long slog. And just because his monetary policy has not helped the broad economy, he was just happy as a pig in muck on a hot summer day, to accommodate his rich friends and those that donate large sums of money to Barack Obama.

Now, getting back to the financial pundits on TV. The best of them all seem to agree that the Bernanke Bubble will burst. When it will burst seems to be the question at hand. Based on the rumors, I said mid-summer. Others say anytime out to five years. I fully admit that five years is a possibility. The problem being, the longer this financial farce goes on the bigger the explosion will be.

The administration will have spent eight years not fixing the economy. Fewer people are gainfully employed. The middle class will shrink even more. The dollar will be worth next to nothing. And the non-rich American people (most of us) will suffer as hasn't been seen since the "Great Depression". Don't kid yourself, Bernanke knows this. He may be a tool but he is not a fool.

That is the reason that he put out rumors that there would be changes come mid-summer. He was right to do that. Better to take the pain in small pieces now than suffer the ravages of a complete blowup of the economy at sometime in the future. I actually respect him for trying. I know that he must be under enormous pressure. When the administration's economic policy has been failing for four and one half years, it is not time to double down. 

I believe the next four years are the most financially dangerous that our country has seen. I will say again, if our country is to survive as we know it, we need more statesmen in Washington and far fewer politocrats. What is a politocrat you ask? A politocrat is part of a group of politicians who's sole aim is to gather power in order to rule.  And more and more of the people we send to Washington are politocrats.

Friday, June 7, 2013

The Government Just Stormed Your Castle

It is often said, that a man's, and I assume women's, home is their castle. It is their inviolate possession. Unbreachable and safe. Short of the intervention of the courts, even the government has no right of entry.

If that is true, and it should be, how much more inviolate is a persons body. Again, short of the intervention of the court, a persons body is unassailable without that person's consent. That is until now. I am not a Constitutional scholar. I have never even played one on TV. But I have read the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution. That is the part of the Bill of Rights  that protects us all against unreasonable searches and seizures. The Supreme Court has just thrown the Fourth Amendment into the trash heap.

I cannot imagine what the justices were thinking.  In a five to four decision they allowed police to administer a DNA test to any suspect for any crime. We are not talking about those that are convicted of a crime. You only need to be a suspect. It doesn't even have to be a felony. I can be a misdemeanor. The results of these tests will go into a federal DNA database. Even if you are not guilty of any crime your DNA stays in the database. It was the opinion of the court that this is no different than finger printing or taking a mugshot. 

But wait, in a mugshot it is a simple photograph. There is no physical contact. And mugshots of suspects do not go into a national database. Even a fingerprint is just an image, not a portion of ones body tissue. While a DNA test is minimally intrusive, it is intrusive. They stick a cotton swab in your mouth and swab your cheek. Not so bad. Quick, clean, and non-painful. But the issue is that they intrude into your body without your consent or evidential examination by a judge. It is a search without a warrant.

Then there is the part about the database. Where in the Constitution does the government get the right to hang the intimate information of your physical makeup out there for the world to access. Certainly, such a database would be useful in many circumstances. Solving some crimes would be almost automatic. Identifying unknown bodies would be simple. Proving relationships would be a snap.

But there is also a very dark side. Consider this. Any skilled hacker or anyone with connections into law enforcement, anyone that had access to some low level governmental clerical employee would be able to beg, borrow, or buy access to that database. Everyone in witness protection programs would be in danger. People working undercover would be jeopardized. 

Think about this. An abusive husband beats his wife. She fights back. The police are called and both are hauled in to jail as "mutual combat". Now her DNA is out there. If she should try to leave her abusive husband and hide to protect her life, her DNA trail will always be there. 

Just stack this up to the never ending list of bad decisions by government entities. Their power increases daily at the expense of ours. 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Stupidity Continues

I have written before about zero tolerance policies. With what has been happening lately, I am compelled to revisit a subject that should not exist. It was once, when a grammar school student misbehaved the punishment was tailored to fit the crime. It could be anything from being made to sit in the corner to a trip to the principles office. If said student really messed up a parent was brought into the mix. 

It was not a perfect system. Some teachers were more tolerant than others. Some played favorites. But the one thing that made the system work, most of the time, was that human intelligence was brought into the equation. Children's mistakes became teaching moments and kids learned the difference between harmless and harmful. They learned the difference between having fun and being hurtful. Teachers understood that boys and girls were wired differently. Boys didn't play quietly. They roughhoused and made noise. 

One would think that the educational system would be the heart and core of teaching our youngest and most needful, about honest educational right and proper discriminatory thinking. If all negative behavior is treated alike and all negative behavior is treated in the harshest terms, it confuses young minds. Little boys have been playing cops and robbers since cops and robbers were invented. Now at recess if the chase each other and point their finger shouting bang bang, it becomes like real cops and robbers because someone in charge will feel obliged to act as if they were the police.

When I was a boy, we played cops and robbers, we played war, and we played cowboys and, dare I say, Indians. And despite all my exposure to  that "violence", I have yet to shoot anyone. And I have never heard of any of my old playmates getting in trouble through violent behavior.

But the stupidity gets worse. A lad bit his pop-tart into the shape of a gun. Down to the office he goes and bring in the authorities before someone is seriously injured by leaking jelly. One lad made something resembling a gun out of Legos. It was smaller than a quarter. Well he got hauled off pretty quickly. We all know how dangerous a miniature lego gun can be in the wrong hands. But the crowning moment in institutional stupidity has to belong to a Nebraska school system. A school official told the parents of a three year old deaf child that he must learn the execute his name in sign language differently. The reason being that the correct way of signing his name in the "Signing Exact English  System" requires him to point his fingers. Intolerable, some misguided soul may mistake a three year old's fingers for a gun.

As I have said before and will probably be forced to say again zero tolerance is zero brains. I'm just waiting for the first teacher to be taken out in cuffs because she or he pointed at a student just to attract their attention. Then stupidity will have come full circle. They say, "you can't fix stupid". But can't we please try.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Amateur Hour

When I was a wee small child growing up in Lowell, Massachusetts, there was a national radio show (this was long before TV) called "Ted Mack's Original Amateur Hour". It was the "American Idol" of it's day. With today's production standards and celebrity focus, it would be a sad joke. But in WWII USA it was a big deal. Those were the days when dedicated amateurs meant something.

A great deal of the Allied success in WWII belonged to the OSS, the forerunner of the CIA. They were all amateur spies trying to save Europe from the Nazi scourge. The head of the OSS was a Washington lawyer called Wild Bill Donovan. Some of those that worked and sometimes spied for the OSS were famous names like Ralph Bunche, Julia Child, David Niven, and Arthur Schlessinger.  Actually, I think David Niven may have worked for MI6. But it was a real who's who in World War Two.

It was a simpler time and talented amateurs could contribute to the greater good. Time marches on. The world gets more complicated. Skilled, trained, experienced professionals are really needed to balance decisions without personal prejudice.

Look at the state of the country. Look at the state of the world. It is not a time to vent ideological preferences. Just in case no one is paying attention, we have Muslim extremists that want to destroy all that is not them. We have a resurrection of global communism in Russia. We have China, while pretending to be a friend, robbing our secrets blind. Also you have two nations of complete whackadoos, Iran and North Korea, playing with nuclear weapons. It is a time we should stand united. It is not a time we should be driven apart by a megalomaniacal President.

This is a time where we need trained, skilled, and experienced leadership. I will admit that Bill Clinton was not my favorite President. OK, he was a dog. Most guys of my generation just look on and shake their heads in wonderment. But Clinton's comments about Obama are telling. Clinton said about Obama "he's incompetent, he's an amateur, he doesn't understand how the world works". That's painful.

Even more telling, but less believable to some, when the Bush administration gave extensive briefings to Obama and his people. They were really trying to make a seamless transfer of power. Bush walked out of  one of these meetings, shaking his head, looking befuddled, and said to his people, referring to Obama, "this guy is clueless". To Bush's everlasting credit, he never criticized Obama publicly, even when Obama was blaming him for everything up to and including the Korean War.

So, today, we still have the amateurs in charge.  And I cannot remember when our great country has been in worse straits.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

It's A Free Country

Well, it used to be a free country. I can remember, it was only a few years ago that I could walk into a Walmart, buy a shotgun, some shells, and a hunting license and go chase some wily pheasant. Now to purchase firearms, you have to practically sell your soul to  the dev.., excuse me, government. If you want ammo, good luck. It is mostly “Out of Stock”.

You  can always stop and buy one of those great big cups of soda to cool down. Unless you happen to be in New York City. Those people are just so lucky to have a Mayor that realizes that they are too stupid to run their own lives so  he is obligated to do it for them.

How about going to the range and punching some holes in paper targets. That is always a good stress reliever. Not if you’re in Chicago or Washington DC. The Second Amendment does not apply in those two towns. It seems that not all America is America.

You might want to work on that Nativity Scene that you have been building to put out on the village green next Christmas season. Oh, oh, had to drop that project to. The city attorney banned it because he felt they might get sued if someone takes offense. It just seems that there are some people that are easily offended lately. Guess they just hate seeing joy in others.

I think that I have made my point. Our freedoms are eroding daily. It is worse under the Obama administration than any I can remember. Just about every president in the past has misused the power of his office for political purposes. And they usually get caught at it. But none have gone so wholesale gangster as this administration. From using the IRS to damage opposition political organizations to using the Justice Department to criminalize disliked members of the press, this administration is awash in scandals but have the gall to still stand up and face the cameras and lie, lie, lie. It has been an amazing performance. 

Not to get maudlin, but I can remember the free country of my youth. It has long gone. But what really worries me is the question, Will my grandsons be writing, fifty years from now that they remember the free country of their youth? If they do, What kind of country will they be living in?

In a recent blog I wrote about the Bernanke Bubble. I commented that it would burst one day soon. Actually, I predicted sometime after mid summer. The other evening I watched a commentator from one of the cable business programs talking about the same subject, although he did not call it the Bernanke Bubble. I enjoy listening to his analysis and respect his conclusions. We agree that the increase in the stock market is a rebound for the rich. The middle class is shrinking and all but the rich are hurting.

We differ in when the bubble will burst. He predicted five years with a Dow approaching twenty thousand. If he should be right the blow up will be an explosion. The point is that the politocrats have an iron grip on the economy to prevent it getting worse under Obama. The American economy prospers as a free economy. A politically controlled economy, reminiscent of Russia or China, will not prosper in America because we are a nation of entrepreneurs. We will become America again when the politicians loosen their grip and restore our freedoms.

One last thought before I post this, Are Obama and Christie the new Laurel and Hardy?