Thursday, March 31, 2011

Bradley Manning - More Proof President Obama Is Channeling President Bush

The Week magazine is a wonderful weekly publication that summarizes the week's important events by compiling information from various sources for each event in a fair, unbiased manner. This compilation approach allows the reader to get a flavor for what journalists, politicians, leaders, and others are saying about what is going on.

In their March 25, 2011 issue, they did a compilation of comments from foreign journalists regarding the treatment of Bradley Manning. Mr. Manning is accused, and is being held prisoner, of leaking hundreds of thousands of government documents to the Wikileaks website. As most people now know, many of these documents were  breeches of national security, embarrassing revelations of how our foreign policy and apparatus works, or both, depending on your perspective.

According to The Week article, and other U.S. news sources:
  • Manning has been held in solitary confinement for the past 10 months.
  • His cell is six foot wide by 12 feet long where he is held 23 hours a day.
  • The one hour when he is not in his cell, he is taken to an empty room where he can walk around but is not allowed to run.
  • A prevention-of-injury order requires that he be strip searched every night.
  • When he goes to sleep, he must wear a suicide proof smock.
  • However, the military psychologist that is responsible for him has repeatedly stated that Manning should be treated as a regular prisoner and is not a danger to himself.
A State Department spokesperson, P.J. Crowley, has been fired for speaking out against this harsh treatment of Manning, an American citizen who has not been convicted of any crime but who is being treated in this manner in an American jail.

President Obama campaigned against this kind of behavior, specifically condemning the previous administration for its treatment of prisoners and declaring if elected President, he wold shut down the prison at Guantanamo within a year.  His reasoning is that the prison was a stain on America's integrity and respect for justice and was used as a recruiting tool for terrorists around the world.

However, if you examine some of the foreign press reaction to this treatment of Manning, as reported in The Week article, you would think they we are still under the Bush administration:

- Switzerland's Le Temps: "Free speech in America doesn't extend to government officials. State Department spokesperson P.J.Crowley was fired this week for speaking out against the brutal treatment of Bradley Manning...Crowley called this treatment 'riduculous and counterproductive and stupid' - and its hard not to disagree."

- Germany's Der Spiegel" "It's quite a radical turnaround for Obama. One of Obama's campaign pledges was that government whistle blowers would be 'protected from reprisal.'...It seems clear that he (Manning) has, in fact, been singled out for harsh treatment."

- England's Guardian: "The 'stench of U.S. hypocrisy" is nauseating. Manning has been convicted of no crime. Yet he has been held in isolation in a stark room that's 6 feet wide and 12 feet long. In recent weeks, the U.S. government has condemned torture by the brutal, failing regimes in the Middle East, 'yet at a prison within its own borders, it sanctions persecution, alleged psychological torture and debasement of a young soldier.'"

- Spain's El Pais: "It's not just the Americans who are ignoring this injustice. Many Europeans have been passionate defenders of the rights of Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks... while the real hero (Manning) has languished in prison."

So much for breaking from the Bush stigma and behaving on a higher ground when it comes to prisoner treatment. In a sense, you could argue that this approach is even worse than the Bush approach. At least the imprisonment of people under the Bush administration, right or wrong, had some connection to the physical battleground of terrorism, where the prisoner may have actually fought against our armed forces.

In the Manning case, he never fired a gun at an American, he was never on a physical battlefield facing American armed forces, and most importantly, he is an unconvicted American citizen who is undergoing such harsh treatment that the Founding Fathers must be turning in their respective graves. This is not the kind of America they wanted and they ensured that this behavior would be banned under the protections built into the Constitution.

But as we have observed previously, this President and his administration have not been strict adherents to the guiding principles in the Constitution. It attacked a foreign sovereign nation, Libya, without proper Congressional support and discussion, it ignored a judge's order to drop the moratorium on oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, and the President unilaterally decided that the Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional, something he had no right to do. Once you have violated court orders and Constitutional protocol a few times, imprisoning an American under duress and terrible conditions becomes child's play.

This is just another example of the Obama-channeling-Bush phenomenon we have discussed previously. Consider:
  • Obama campaigned to get us out of Iraq which he is doing far later than he implied and he is using the original Bush exit timetable.
  • Obama campaigned to close Guantanamo Bay's terrorist prison, a prison Bush opened, but that event is unlikely to happen any time soon.
  • Obama has gone on record that even if some of the prisoners at Guantanamo are found not guilty at trial, his administration reserves the right to still hold them indefinitely, so very Bush-like.
  • Obama pledged to significantly reduce the number of Federal budget earmarks, but the number and value of earmarks are still at an all time high.
  • Obama crucified the Bush administration while he was in the Senate for the record setting Bush budget deficits and then proceeded to blow those records out of the water with deficits that were three times larger.
  • Obama signed the extension of the repressive Patriot Act, a law originally enacted under the Bush administration.
  • Obama's reaction to the Gulf oil spill disaster was just as ragged and incompetent as the Bush reaction to Hurricane Katrina.
  • Obama and Bush seem to have taken in inordinate amount of vacations and leisure time as the world exploded around them.
  • Obama and Bush appear to have no clue on how to develop and implement a coherent strategy to repair our failing schools, win the war on drugs, fix our immigration situation, and find a way to make our country energy independent.

Very, very sad but not surprising. As it was pointed out many times in "Love my Country, Loathe My Government," we have two political parties int his country but really only one political class. When you compare the records and actions of the two parties side-by-side, you realize how true that observations is, two parties, one political class of people. 

This Bush-like behavior by this administration has now trampled the rights of Bradley Manning. The international outrage is just as bad as the outrage towards the Bush administration's treatment of prisoners. Just another example of political class and government behavior that resulted in the exact opposite of the desire outcome.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said that "An injustice anywhere threatens justice everywhere." We should be very scared when an unconvicted American is held in isolation, falsely treated as a suicide threat, and treated in a degrading manner by being strip searched everyday by his government. As the above examples show, once government takes that first step over the line of legality and principle, the second and third and future stepovers become easier and easier.

Our book, "Love My Country, Loathe My Government - Fifty First Steps To Restoring Our Freedom And Destroying The American Political Class" is now available at It is also available online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Please pass our message of freedom onward. Let your friends and family know about our websites and blogs, ask your library to carry the book, and respect freedom for both yourselves and others everyday.

Please visit the following sites for freedom:

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Latest Insanity And Bewilderment From Your Political Class - March Edition

My monthly edition of Reason magazine arrived today so that means it is time to do our monthly update on the insanity and bewilderment that continuously emanates from the American political class. As I have mentioned many times before, Reason magazine is an outstanding publication that looks at our world through the lens of freedom and liberty. Its articles are always well researched, well written and while they are almost always in-depth, they are a fairly easy read. I suggest that anyone with Libertarian leanings subscribe, their understanding of the world and liberty far exceeds any other news or media outlet in the country.

The following bits of government insanity are in the April issue of Reason:

- Joe Biden spoke highly of former Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak in a PBS interview on January 27, 2011: "I would not refer to him (Mubarak) as a dictator." Let's see, Egypt has lived under virtual martial law for decades, any elections have been rigged, opposition political parties have been suppressed, Mubarak's friends and military allies own or control great portions of the Egyptian economy for their own benefit, and Mubarak ran a vicious secret police organization during his time in power to go after Egyptians who dared to oppose him.  Many and various forms of torture machines and processes were found when his secret service buildings were opened up. If he is not a dictator, Mr. Vice President, I would hate to see a real dictator.

- According to an article by Matt Welch in this month's Reason, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was really not in tune with what was going on in Egypt in the early part of the year:
  • On January 25, 2011, Hillary viewed the Egyptian government situation as "stable."
  • However, just five days later on January 30, 2011, she said that an "orderly transition" was needed to a new form of government that should occur over a period of months. What happened to the stability of the current government she talked about five days before?
  • It gets better. Just eleven days later, Mubarak resigned, the current Egyptian government structure collapsed and Clinton's boss, President Obama, said that "Egyptians have made it clear that nothing less than genuine democracy will carry the day." Therefore, we went from a stable government to a government collapse in just over two weeks. Does not appear that Madam Secretary, or her boss, were on top of this situation.
- In the United States, it is currently against the law to provide so-called material support to terrorist groups. Sounds like a good law, we do not want people providing guns, bombs, information, etc. to violent, anti-U.S. groups. However, according to a short article by Jacob Sullum, the law goes further than that. In fact, it is a felony to challenge a group's designation as a terror organization, it is a felony for a lawyer to file a brief on the behalf of that organization, and it is a felony to advise that group on how to use peaceful tactics for achieving its goals.

Thus, using Joe Biden's definition of what is and what is not a dictator, it is not out of the realm of possibility for a sitting President to declare a political opposition party a terror organization, an organization that would have no legal recourse. Given the President's dislike of Fox News, what would stop him from labeling Fox News as a terror organization? After all, under the Biden doctrine, if Mubarak is not a dictator, all laws of logic can be suspended by the Obama administration.

- The number of pedestrian deaths increased .4% in 2010. No big deal. While any death is bad, most people would be smart enough to realize that a .4% increase is so small that it could probably be attributed to rounding or sampling randomness, not a trend. Unless you are New York state senator Carl Kruger who has introduced a bill making it a crime to use a cell phone, an iPod, or other electronic device while crossing any street.

Talk about screwed up priorities. The New York state government is in a desperate hole financially, slashing budget in order to remain solvent. New York public schools, like most public schools, are failing to educate our kids. The war on drugs in New York and elsewhere goes on unabated. But what is Senator Kruger worried about? Whether or not full grown adults are smart enough to look up when crossing the street. Pathetic priorities. How is this ever going to be enforced? Are you going to have cash strapped police departments stationed at busy intersections to write tickets and make arrests?

And the real kicker is that even if they passed the law it is unlikely to make a difference. A 2010 study by the Institute For Highway Safety found that laws banning cell phone texting while driving actually increase the danger on our road ways. Why? When it became illegal to text, drivers simply moved their cell phones away from the windows in order to not get ticketed, which took their eyes further away from the road while texting. Thus, this is a stupid law that is likely to backfire. Politicians should not be involved in such nonsensical activities like crossing the street.

- On the good news side, a Pennsylvania law that allowed police within the state to issue summons for public profanity has been struck down as a result of an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit. As with the nutty New York Senator,  we need to start running this country like adults that are serving adults. Most people do not like profanity but it should not be a crime, it is really just bad manners. With our dire financial situation, let's free up our police and other resources to do real work and not the work of grandstanding politicians.

- On the good news side, that is really not a good news side, President Obama recently announced that he wanted Federal government entities to do a review of their regulations and procedures and identify and eliminate those that are inefficient, ineffective, or outdated. Sounds great, good news, let's cut through the red tape and bureaucracy.

Not so fast. According to the Wall Street Journal, any regulations put in place under the Obama regime are off limits. I guess he thinks that anything regulation he put in has to be good, it's those other President's who put in the bad stuff. Also, more than a dozen major Federal government entities will be exempt from the exercise since they are independent agencies. Some of these agencies include the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Communications commission. Thus, in the twinkle of an eye really good news has turned into really no news at all.

This does give you an idea of how out of control our Federal government has become. If the President Of the United States cannot dictate a common sense directive to major portions of the government, who or what can control them? We are truly headed for an out of control Armageddon if agencies of the government have become self sufficient and self sustaining with no executive branch oversight.

But Reason magazine does not have a monopoly on political class insanity. Consider some recent findings from The Week magazine:

- A top state department employee, P.J. Crowley, was recently forced to resign when he voiced his opinion that Bradley Manning, the accused leaker of government documents to Wikileaks, was being subjected to cruel and unnecessary punishment. Mr. Manning is supposedly forced to stay n his very small, solitary confinement cell 23 hours a day, he his stripped naked each night, and is then forced to wear a suicide proof smock to bed every night. All of this stupid treatment for someone who has not been convicted of any crime and who reportedly has not been any kind of trouble maker. I guess the administration does not see any problem with this inhumane treatment since they did not think that Mubarak, who probably did similar things to his unconvicted people, is not a dictator.

- Many times we have discussed the phenomenon of how many government policies actually accomplish the exact opposite of what they are intended to do. Ban texting while driving and make the roads more dangerous, that sort of thing. In the United States, we pay people to purchase a hybrid car under the assumption that if there are more high hybrid autos on the road instead of traditional gas autos, less oil will be used, since hybrids generally get far better gas mileage, which will result in less green house gas emissions.

This may not be the case or reality. According to a short blurb in the March 25, 2011 issue of The Week magazine, Sweden the exact opposite has happened. Sweden apparently has been a big advocate of their citizens buying and using "green cars" such as hybrids, ethanol, and clean diesel autos. However, the Swedish government has found out that since all of these alternatives get great gas mileage, their owners tend to drive much more than they used to, resulting in many of them actually using, and burning, more gasoline than non-green car owners. Thus, we may actually be subsidizing drivers in America to burn more gas and create more green house gases then if they had bought traditional, lower mileage cars.

- As the country drowns in TRILLIONs of dollars in red ink, the political class is viciously fighting itself to decide whether or not National Public Radio should continue to receive $450 million in Federal subsidies every year. The ship is sinking in red ink and they are trying to decide which direction to point the lounge chairs in. $450 million on our $14 TRILLION deficit is to small to even be worth calculating.

To further illustrate how stupid this discussion is, in the context of the bigger issue of insolvency, the March 25, 2011 issue of The Week magazine reported that NPR has a loyal audience of 26 million listeners. If each of them contributed less than $1.50 a month to the operation of NPR, the organization would cover the $450 million easily. If a listener does not think NPR provides $1.50 worth of value a month, then why should non-NPR listeners, via the subsidy, have to pay? When will the political class get beyond such idiocy and start making serious inroads to our devastating national debt?

- The March 25, 2011 issue of The Week also printed a short blurb from a recent Wall Street Journal edition. According to the Wall Street Journal, U.S. households have cut their debt burden to the lowest point in six years. The level of debt is down to 116% of disposable income, substantially down from its peak of 130% in 2007. Thus, under tough economic times, mature adults running the nation's households know that they must cut expenses and get their budget under control.  This mature adults' description does not apply to the Washington political class since rather than reducing debt over the past six years, they have set record high debts.

Some simple math: if the political class reduced it debt load from 130% to 116% (about 11%), you could make the rough calculation that over $400 billion would be taken out of the Federal government expense stream. Now you are talking real financial management if our politicians would just match the behavior of most Americans.

As always, bad priorities, bad laws, and insane views of reality, all from your political class, updated every day, every week, and every month, just like our national debt and diminishing freedom.

Our book, "Love My Country, Loathe My Government - Fifty First Steps To Restoring Our Freedom And Destroying The American Political Class" is now available at It is also available online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Please pass our message of freedom onward. Let your friends and family know about our websites and blogs, ask your library to carry the book, and respect freedom for both yourselves and others everyday.

Please visit the following sites for freedom:

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Mess That Is And Will Be Libya

I did not listen to President Obama's Libya speech last night. To be honest with you, I have come to a point in my level of respect for the man that is at an all time low. I just do not believe anything he says, either because he leaves out facts, is a hypocrite, refuses to man up to his responsibilities, or is an insult to the Constitution and the rule of law. Thus, many of you might feel that I have no right to criticize his speech regarding his Libyan actions.

However, I did do a lot of reading and follow up today of what he said from a variety of sources. If any of the following assertions on my part are incorrect, then please feel free to correct me, I am honest enough to admit my mistakes. With that said, here are my very serious problems with the President unilaterally, at least within this country, allowing our military forces and budget to be drawn into another Middle East hornets' nest:

- I cannot understand how the President was able to militarily attack a sovereign country without the approval and consent of Congress. This Libyan issue has been brewing for a long time, he had plenty of time to properly involve Congress in the action and planning. He did not. Rather than answer to the American people through Congress and the Constitution, he answered the call of the United Nations and the Arab League. This is not the way things are supposed to get done in this country. He answers to us, not foreign organizations.

Consider an excerpt from a New York Times column several years ago:

"Congress, the Constitution and War: The Limits on Presidential Power "

By ADAM COHEN - New York Times, 2007

But the Constitution also gives Congress an array of war powers, including the power to “declare war,” “raise and support armies” and “make rules concerning captures on land and water.” By “declare war,” the Constitution’s framers did not mean merely firing off a starting gun...In giving Congress the power to declare war, the Constitution gives it authority to make decisions about a war’s scope and duration.

The Founders, including James Madison, who is often called “the father of the Constitution,” fully expected Congress to use these powers to rein in the commander in chief. “The Constitution supposes, what the History of all Governments demonstrates, that the Executive is the branch of power most interested in war, and most prone to it,” Madison cautioned. “It has accordingly with studied care, vested the question of war in the Legislature.”

Very well put, Mr. Cohen and Mr. Monroe. By vesting the question of war in Congress, as Monroe stated, it keeps the country's delicate balance of checks and balances in place. Congress authorizes war, funds war, and determines the scope and duration. None of this happened in this instance of attacking a foreign government. No matter how despicable the actions of this foreign government might be, there is a process to follow and Obama ignored it outright.

- Following up on Alan Cohen's article, he was writing to discredit the very similar actions of Bush and Cheney in Iraq. This is where the big hypocrisy comes in. If these words from the New York Times were appropriate to use against Bush, how are they not appropriate to use against Obama? Where is the moral outrage the liberal portion of the country expressed when Bush attacked Iraq? It appears to have been muted or no-existent as Obama attacks Libya, a country that even the high ranking members of the President's administration admits holds no military, security, or strategic value or threat to the United States.

In fact, you could make the point that since Sadaam Hussein had already killed hundreds of thousands of his own people, including the poison gassing to death of thousands of Kurds in just one day, Bush as as justified going into Iraq militarily as Obama has justified going into Libya to prevent the killing of the rebels. It was pretty clear that Hussein was in the daily business of killing his own people and would have killed many more if Bush had not attacked.

Let me be very clear. I was against the Bush move into Iraq from the very beginning and I am not trying to justify that action now. I am just pointing out that if military intervention in the Middle East is justified to prevent civilian massacres, as Obama has done to justify his Libya actions, then he and anyone else cannot condemn Bush on these grounds.

- Which brings us to another aspect of Obama's logic. If he intervened in Libya to prevent a massacre, why has he not intervened in Darfur, Sudan. According to most sources I have referenced, the Sudanese leader, Omar Al-Bashir, and his henchmen are responsible for over 300,000 deaths and the displacement of about 2.6 million civilians.

This is a humanitarian disaster far larger than Libya and is a disaster the political class and Obama have know about for years. Why has Obama not involved us in this situation, that appears very similar to the Libyan situation: madman ruler massacres his own people. Who gets to decide where the we intervene?

An editorial piece from the Christian Science Monitor tries to answer this question:

A Christian Science Monitor opinion piece echoes this idea, stating that the Obama Doctrine is bad foreign policy because it leaves the U.S. in an open-ended commitment in Libya, while confusing the standards for intervention in foreign countries.

“Under the Obama Doctrine, it appears that the U.S. is committed to putting troops in harm’s way and bearing the heaviest financial costs as long as the coalition of NATO and selected Arab states want U.S. troops,” the piece states. “Simply, by compelling an open-ended commitment under international control and limited tools to resolve the conflict, the Obama Doctrine and the Libyan campaign are not good foreign policy.”

- "Not good foreign policy," that sums it up pretty well. No one has any idea what our foreign policy is. When will the United States take similar action? The President of Yemen has had his snipers gun down dozens, if not hundreds, of protesters. How many does he have to kill before Obama unilaterally commits us to another military action.  Do thousands of Yemen civilians have to die, tens of thousands?

The leaders of Bahrain has killed dozens of their civilians. When does his government and country get subjected to U.S. military strikes? Syria has killed dozens of its civilians. When and what is their tipping point? How about Iran? Heck, while we are at it, China has been doing a pretty good job of suppressing freedom and has a horrible human rights record against its own civilians. When do we tell them enough is enough? The policy leaves these questions so open ended that it is no longer a policy or strategy, it is a reflex action.

- If Obama's Libya excursion is in fact a reflex action, then we could be in trouble. Remember Reagan's Middle east reflex action when he went and stationed U.S. ground troops in Lebanon for similar humanitarian reasons in the early 1980s? Hundreds of Marines were killed by one of the earliest Middle East suicide bombers that no one in the Reagan administration foresaw as a problem. The unforeseen problems to this reflex action in Libya are not likely to end much better.

- Apparently the President did not answer even basic questions last night in his report to the American public:
  • How long is this likely to last?
  • How much is this military action likely to cost?
  • How much is the follow up humanitarian effort likely to cost and who will operate and pay for that?
  • Does the President understand that many Americans are upset that he appears to be taking his marching orders from the United Nations and the Arab League and not the American system of government? How does he explain that perception or misperception?
  • When will the Arab League, who reportedly asked for our intervention, start kicking in money, men, and materials?
  • The President says this operation will be turned over to international control. What in the world does that really mean? Who is really in charge, who will be in danger, who will be paying for all of this, etc.
  • How does the President explain the disconnect of saying that the military action was only to protect civilians but credible news reports indicate the military action is taking out Libyan infrastructure and military assets nowhere close to the rebels?
  • And the biggest question of them all, if the rebels succeed, what are the likely consequences and what is a post Qaddafi regime likely to look like? Is it possible that the replacement government could be a hostile one?
None of these points say that from a humanitarian perspective, we should not have intervened. However, 1) the process was bad in that it did not adhere to over two hundred years of Constitutional processes, 2) with all of the unanswered questions, this does not look like a strong foreign policy, it looks like a knee jerk reaction, 3) the financials have not been thought through or shared, something that a government hemorrhaging billions of dollars a day now has to consider, 4) the hypocrisy of criticizing Bush for a similar action in Iraq, no matter how wrong it was, is overwhelming, and 5) the nebulous nature of when and why we would militarily intervene elsewhere confuses an already muddied and dynamic situation.

Bottom line: this is a crap shot of a military action and if history holds any clue to its outcome, these Libyan dice are loaded with unforeseen consequences, unforeseen expenses, and unforeseen mistakes.

P.S. While the American political class and government has been busy funding and executing this non-strategic and non-threatening Libyan action, the governments in China, India, South Korea, and dozens of other countries in the world have been going about the business of improving their economies to the detriment of our economy.

Our book, "Love My Country, Loathe My Government - Fifty First Steps To Restoring Our Freedom And Destroying The American Political Class" is now available at It is also available online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Please pass our message of freedom onward. Let your friends and family know about our websites and blogs, ask your library to carry the book, and respect freedom for both yourselves and others everyday.

Please visit the following sites for freedom:

Monday, March 28, 2011

And You Thought The Mexican Drug Cartels Were a Problem

Many times we have discussed the drug cartel situation in Mexico and the tremendous risk it holds for the United States. The demand for drugs is so high in this country that the sovereign government of Mexico is in danger of being overrun by the drug cartels who could turn the country into a lawless, drug cartel-run nation. Already we have seen countless acts of violence between the cartels and the government and between rival cartels. As the demand for illegal drugs has grown, the wealth and firepower of the cartels has kept pace.

However, according to a recent New York Times article, "Drug Trade, Violence Rock Central America," the problem is not contained within the Mexican borders. Findings from the article include the following:
  • Of the known cocaine shipments moving north towards the United States, government crackdowns in Mexico, Columbia and the Caribbean have forced the cartels to now ship over 80% of their cocaine inventory through Central America.
  • This 84% is almost double the amount that came through Central America just three years ago and almost four times the amount that came through the region in 2006.
  • Five of the area's seven countries are now on the United States list of 20 countries that are major illicit drug transit or drug producing countries.
  • Three of these countries, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Honduras were just added within the past year.
  • Many of the drug trafficking networks in the Central American countries are now run by the Mexican cartels who use local gangs to do the drug transportation work along with using extortion and kidnapping to accomplish their goals.
  • The Honduran defense secretary recently compared the match up of the cartels against the Central American governments as a David vs. Goliath battle with the governments taking on the role of David.
  • Honduran authorities recently busted a major cocaine production lab in that country, suggesting that the cartels were expanding their presence in that country from one of only transit to both transit and actual production.
  • The Costa Rican minister of public security recently stated that unless the region gets immediate help, Central America could degenerate into a similar situation as Mexico where lawlessness, bribery, kidnappings, and murders are the norm.
  • The Costa Rican drug czar recently stated that the Mexican cartels have so much money from their current operations that they are using those funds to buy up legitimate Central American businesses such as farms and transportation firms, all with the purpose of producing and transporting more cocaine.
  • The United States Congress authorized $1.6 billion worth of law enforcement support funding in 2007, of which $258 million of that was for central America. So far, only $20 million of that had been spent.
Very scary stuff. Now, combine this information with a March 17, 2011 Associated Press report that recounted how the Bolivian authorities announced they had arrested a police colonel on suspicion of drug trafficking. This was the second major Bolivian official busted for cocaine trafficking in less than a month. The outrageous aspect of this second arrest is that the colonel was the Interpol chief until last December. Interpol is the international crime fighting organization. Thus, we are seeing the corruption of government officials due to the large amount of drug cartel wealth filtering down into Central and South America, similar to what has happened in Mexico.

The infestation continues to grow, down out of Mexico into Central America and into Bolivia in South America. All done in support of the illicit drug traffic into the United States. The business is so big that it could easily spiral out of control and topple the sovereign governments in more than just Mexico.

Meanwhile, back in Washington D.C., Senate Majority leader Harry Reid is distressing over the fact that the Republicans want to cut some Federal funding that might wipe out the annual cowboy poetry contest in his home state. Four U.S. Senators are worried that some mobile phone apps might identify where police have set up DUI road blocks. President Obama has been preoccupied with televising his NCAA men's and women's championship basketball picks on ESPN. These trivial political efforts are not to be confused with the law passed last year that would allow the Federal government to regulate the sound volume on television commercials. Which should not be confused with the effort last year by some members of Congress to regulate the college football playoff system.

Pathetic set of priorities. Countries are about to be destabilized because of our domestic illicit drug demand and the current crop of politicians worry about basketball and football games, poetry contests, and who knows what else that has a minor, minor impact on our lives compared to the above drug networking situation. Is it not time to finally get some serious leadership and a new view of how to address and solve some of the many major issues facing this country? 

It is obvious that our political processes are broken, given what the processes produce for elected office. That is why several steps from "Love My Country, Loathe My Government" are so important if we are to ever adequately address the lost war on drugs problem in this country:
  1. Step 39 - this step would impose term limits on all Federal political offices. Many, many of our current set of politicians have been in office for a very long time. Despite their long tenure, they have not solved this issue or any other major issue. Thus, Step 39 is compatible with the old saying: "If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem."  Time to get some fresh faces and ideas in office, how much worse could they do compared to what we have now as it relates to the illegal drug issue?
  2. Step 26 - this step would convene a panel or commission of smart Americans, sans politicians and lobbyists, and set them up to do a detailed, comprehensive analysis of the entire illicit drug situation. They would then develop a set of strategic alternatives to address what they identify as the root causes of our problem in this area. Part of their analysis would be to look at what other countries have done in this area, both successes and failures, and see what could be learned and implemented in this area. They would have no limits placed on their thinking and recommendations which could range from tighter borders to decriminalization to complete legalization or a combination of all three. The political class has not been able to do this type of planning and analysis, maybe some smart Americans could.
  3. Step 29 - this step would also convene another panel or commission but they would address the related problem of illegal immigration. They to would do a ground up view of the problem and identify the root causes, developing a plan that interlinked with the panel from Step 26.

It is pretty clear that the current American political class cannot solve this problem. They have allowed the problem to get worse since the Nixon administration declared war on drugs in the late 1960s. We have gone from a criminal activity to a destabilizing of governments activity. At the same time we have not helped Americans who are addicted to illegal drugs but have probably wasted hundreds of billions of dollars in a vain attempt to fix the problem without understanding the problem.

And trust me, spending $20 million dollars on Central American law enforcement programs over a three year period is akin to just flushing the $20 million down the drain when compared to the billions of dollars the drug cartels can now bring to the issue. We have to seriously consider other approaches before the drug infestation, including the murdering, the violence, the bribing of public officials, the kidnappings, and the general breakdown in society moves north from Mexico and the new drug production and transportation centers in central America into our country. The poerty contests can wait. This issue cannot.

Our book, "Love My Country, Loathe My Government - Fifty First Steps To Restoring Our Freedom And Destroying The American Political Class" is now available at It is also available online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Please pass our message of freedom onward. Let your friends and family know about our websites and blogs, ask your library to carry the book, and respect freedom for both yourselves and others everyday.

Please visit the following sites for freedom:

Friday, March 25, 2011

Some Quick Hits and Pitifully Bad Priorities From Your Political Class

Outside of Libya, our ever growing Federal budget deficit, and the Japan earthquake, subjects that we have covered extensively in recent posts, it has been somewhat quiet on the political front with very few outlandish or inane comments or actions to review. However, below are a couple of miscellaneous hits on political class behavior that leave you either scratching your head regarding their priorities or making you mad because many politicians really do not understand reality:

- During a recent Federal budget debate, Nevada Senator Harry Reid, the Senate Majority Leader, lamented the fact that proposed budget cuts of the Federal government budget might result in the elimination of the "Cowboy Poetry Contest" which is held annually in his home state.

Really, is this how we are going to go about deciding how to get our financial house in order, debating whether a poetry contest deserves government funding support? Our national debt has recently raced past $14.2 TRILLION and this is the best Senator Reid can come up with, whining about a poetry contest? Pitiful.

- USA Today reported on March 23, 2011 that four U.S. Senators want to get involved with and ban software applications that identify the likely locations for DUI checkpoints around the country. These applications are now available on a variety of electronic devices including smart phones. The Senators got together and sent letters to  Apple, Google, and Blackberry to quit selling these applications on their devices.

Okay, I am definitely in favor of keeping drunk or impaired drivers off of the road. Most sane people would also. But ask yourself, in a poll of Americans, how high do you think "smartphone DUI applications elimination" would rate in the top 25 concerns of Americans? Does anyone think it would get ranked higher  in importance or urgency above the escalating national debt, failing public schools, the failed war on drugs, home foreclosures, high unemployment, illegal immigration, high health care costs, high taxes, the divisiveness in the country, or any number of more important issues?

Bad, bad set of priorities when four Senators, and more wastefully, four Senate staffs, get together to draft and mail a letter on this topic. Pitiful waste of money and resources, you're U.S. Senators, work on the big issues.

- Without a national, sane, and coherent energy policy and strategy for the country, it is not surprising that the political class cannot develop rational energy programs. The most wasteful and useless program is the billions and billions of dollars that the Federal government has spent over the years promoting the development and use of corn based ethanol as an alternative energy source. Bjorn Lomborg, writing for, recently had his article, "End The Ethanol Scam Now," summarized in the March 25, 2011 issue of The Week Magazine. According to Mr. Lomborg
  • The Federal government spends $6 billion a year to promote ethanol use. [Note: the article specifically states this is for ethanol promotion, I believe the actual farm subsidies to grown corn for ethanol ethanol in this country is much higher]
  • As a result of this effort, one sixth of the world's corn supply, enough to feed 350 million starving people for a year, gets pumped into American cars.
  • This government emphasis on corn based biofuels actually increases greenhouse emissions into the atmosphere since forests are chopped down to plant more corn.
  • According to the article. Al Gore admits that his support of corn ethanol was in part driven by his desire to get Iowa farmers' votes during his Presidential run.
Great, another political class program that accomplishes just the opposite of what it is supposed to accomplish. We spend taxpayer money to support a program that increases the world wide starvation level while not reducing emissions, brilliant. And pitiful.

- The March 18, 2011 issue of The Week Magazine had a snippet from the Washington Post which reported that House of Representatives Republicans have reintroduced Styrofoam cups and plastic plates into the Capitol cafeteria. These articles were banned when Nancy Pelosi was Speaker of the House and she mandated the use of recyclable utensils and cups made from corn starch.

I cannot decide which is worse, the current Republicans who took time out of their schedule to make this change or Nancy Pelosi who took time out of her schedule to make the original change. Don't these people have better ways to spend their days and resources? Oh, yes they do, these better priorities are listed above under the section on why are four U.S. Senators worrying about software applications. I wonder if the use of corn starch based products under Pelosi's watch also contributed to world wide starvation by diverting corn products into plates?

It never ends, does it? Bad politicians working on bad priorities and coming up with bad policies and results. As a result, our financial wealth and taxes slip away as does our freedom and liberty to keep government minimal and out of our lives.

That is why Step 39 from "Love My Country, Loathe My Government" is so important. Step 39 would impose term limits on all Federally elected officials. By allowing these people to stay in office as long as they do has not worked. We need a way to refresh the process with new people and new ideas. Otherwise, the supplies in the Capitol cafeteria will keep changing, depending on what party is in charge. This is no way to run a country.

Our book, "Love My Country, Loathe My Government - Fifty First Steps To Restoring Our Freedom And Destroying The American Political Class" is now available at It is also available online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Please pass our message of freedom onward. Let your friends and family know about our websites and blogs, ask your library to carry the book, and respect freedom for both yourselves and others everyday.

Please visit the following sites for freedom:

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Obama White Rabbit Doctrine: I'm Late, I'm Late For...Well, Just About Everything

As the world has become crazier and crazier over the past few months with an ever growing budget deficit, the call for freedom against oppressive regimes throughout the Middle East, the increased tensions and fighting between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip, the Japanese earthquake ramifications, etc., the White Rabbit character from "Alice in Wonderland" came to mind.  Specifically, the famous White Rabbit quote: "I'm late, I'm late, for a very important date."

Kind of reminds one of the Obama administration's inability or unwillingness to plan ahead, to establish contingency plans that support some kind of overarching strategy or policy. It seems that this White House administration either arrives late with what usually appears like an ad hoc approach to a problem or issue or is so late that the strategy, even an ad hoc one, never materializes. Consider:
  • After weeks of brutal suppression of the rebels in Libya, the President beLATEdly allowed U.S. armed forces to be used against the regime's military assets. How this fits into an overarching strategy is unknown, since other Middle Eastern countries, Syria, Yemen and Bahrain, are also brutalizing their own citizens looking for freedom. The President of Yemen recently sent out his sniper goons to gun down innocent protesters and Bahrain has called in foreign troops from Saudi Arabia to brutalize their protesters. How does all of this fit into the use of military force in Libya, which is of little strategic importance to the U.S., and standing on the sidelines in Yemen and Bahrain, which are U.S. allies? Does not sound like we have a cogent strategy for this part of the world, just an ad hoc reflex action.
  • The President has been very LATE in bringing Congress into the loop in Libya where he is using our military power to attack a sovereign foreign nation. So LATE, in fact, that it does not look like he plans to bring Congress into the discussion at all. Doesn't the Constitution require that through the checks and balances of our system of government, that the President must get approval from Congress before militarily attacking another country? The last two Bush Presidents followed this Constitutional requirement, why is the Obama administration LATE in doing the same with this Congress? Since he has been considering military options for weeks, proper Constitutional protocol should have been followed.
  • The Obama administration was LATE in solving the BP Gulf oil spill last spring, so LATE in fact that the Federal government more or less stood around waiting for BP to come up with the ultimate answer. This is hardly a well thought out plan when doing nothing is your approach or plan. We pay large amounts of taxes for the government to protect us and its lack of a contingency plan or preparedness plan was so very evident. Their plan and reaction to the spill was so LATE that the Gulf suffered tremendous environmental and economic damage.
  • The Associated Press has a report out today reporting that the government of Portugal has resigned, an interim government is now in place, and that the country of Portugal will need large amounts of bailout money from somewhere in order to reverse its declining economy and financial system. Why? As a country, Portugal was LATE in getting its financial house in order after it was ravished by the Great Recession, with its national debt reaching unsustainable levels. In the U.S., the Obama administration has also been LATE getting our country's financial house in order, so LATE that their plan to curtail spending was to submit a Federal government budget that adds over $9 TRILLION to the country's debt in the next ten years. Their austerity plan is so LATE that it does not exist.
  • Although Obama the Presidential candidate pledged to get our troops out of Iraq during his campaign, his plan for removing U.S. troops from Iraq was so LATE that he ended up using the Bush withdrawal timetable.
  • Although Obama the Presidential candidate pledged to significantly reduce the amount of budget earmarks that Congressional members set aside for their campaign donors, his plan for accomplishing those reductions is so LATE that earmark volumes and their dollar value is as high or higher than at any time prior to his administration.
  • Although Obama the Presidential candidate pledged to close the prison at Guantanamo, he has been so LATE delivering that plan that the prison is still open and is likely to remain open for the foreseeable future.
  • Although the Obama administration was quick to criticize and seek legal action against the state of Arizona for its new state  immigration law, the administration has been LATE in coming up with any kind of effective alternative that would deliver a sane and effective national immigration policy and plan.
Pick any national issue or problem, failing public schools, war on drugs, energy policy, divisiveness within the country, etc., and the administration has been so LATE to deliver bold, effective strategies and plans that these strategies and plans do not even exist, more than two years into this Presidency.

And that is the main point. Its' either LATE, LATE, LATE or worse yet, never existing when it comes to execution and contingency planning. The President can no longer blame Bush, that administration is now ancient history. He is LATE on every important problem and issue and the country suffers via a weakened economy, a weakened financial system, an embarrassingly muddied foreign policy and military policy, and a weakened democracy. He had control of the White House and filibuster control of Congress in his first year and majorities in both houses of Congress his first two years, there is absolutely no reason that he played the role of White Rabbit and has always been LATE.

Of course, he has been on time for a few events. During the Gulf oil spill crisis, the President was on time for his six or seven golf tee times, he was on time for the several vacations he took, and he was on time for the several California campaign trips he made while oil gushed into the Gulf. He was on time for his recent South American meetings and banquets despite the fact that he had just placed U.S. armed forces in harm's way in Libya, with one U.S. jet being downed. He placed the military in harm's way in a potentially unconstitutional manner, without Congressional approval, and without an overarching strategy. Last week after a briefing on the Japanese earthquake disaster, he was apparently on time for his scheduled golf tee time. He has been on time for his annual ESPN television appearances to discuss his college basketball tournament picks and apparently he was on time to film a television commercial for the George Lopez show a little while ago.

Thus, he is not always LATE for everything. Seems like it is just the important things he is LATE for like the economic future of the country, U.S. armed forces, foreign affairs, ecological disasters, terrorists prisons, earmarks, and the many issues that effect most Americans. He and his white rabbit administration continue to live in some sort of Wonderland, where being late is okay, while the rest of us live in the real world where being late is rarely wonderful

Our book, "Love My Country, Loathe My Government - Fifty First Steps To Restoring Our Freedom And Destroying The American Political Class" is now available at It is also available online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Please pass our message of freedom onward. Let your friends and family know about our websites and blogs, ask your library to carry the book, and respect freedom for both yourselves and others everyday.

Please visit the following sites for freedom:

Monday, March 21, 2011

The New CBO Budget Numbers Are In And The New CBO Budget Numbers Are Not Good

From a historical point of view, we are in the  midst of three history making upheavals that will have long term impacts throughout the world, certainly interesting times. The first upheaval is the earthquake disaster in Japan and what the recovery time and costs will do to the world economy. Second, the quest for freedom in the Middle East and how this quest is likely to have both good and bad consequences for various parts of the world including the U.S. And finally, the financial integrity disintegration of the United States economy through the mismanagement of the country's financial health by the political class.

Today's post concerns the last history making event, the financial destruction of the United States. The Associated Press reported on March 19, 2011 that a new evaluation of the Obama administration's long term budget by the Congressional Budget office (CBO) revealed that we are much closer to our financial collapse than even the most pessimistic among us could have thought. Before going into the details of the article, let's review where we know our national financial health is today:
  • The Federal government national debt is around $14 TRILLION and climbing rapidly.
  • This debt places an average debt burden on each U.S. household of about $122,000.
  • The February, 2011 monthly incremental debt was about $225 billion or about $2,000 per household. In other words, in February, each American household was responsible for $2,000 that the Federal government spent that it did not have the tax revenue to cover.
  • In the past four years that the Democrats controlled Congress, the national debt rose over $4 TRILLION.
Nasty, nasty stuff. However, now the CBO has released its latest estimates and they are not good:
  • Obama's original budget estimate called for an additional $7.2 TRILLION worth of debt over the next ten years or about $63,000 per U.S.household.
  • However, the CBO estimates that this is a very, very optimistic number based on some faulty assumptions and that the increase in the national debt is likely to be $2.3 TRILLION higher or $9.5 TRILLION.
  • Thus, between the existing $14 TRILLION and the additional $9.5 TRILLION debt that the Obama budget will incur, every U.S. household will be on the hook for about $204,000 of the national debt within ten years.
  • This debt will be more than one and half times the size of one year's gross domestic product. In other words, the country would have to work more than 18 months to pay off the debt and not spend any money on anything else including food, products, services, etc.
  • The new CBO numbers estimate the Obama Care will also be $90 billion more expensive than previously hyped by the administration, substantially reducing any positive budget effects from the legislation, one of its main selling points originally.
  • The Obama administration estimates that the deficit will eventually be reduced to about 3% of the GDP number but the CBO disagrees, estimating that the deficit will never get below 4% of the GDP which would still make it unacceptably high.
  • The difference in estimates between the CBO and the administration is that the CBO does not believe in the "rosy" assumptions in the President's budget, it does not believe that the government will collect all of the increased tax dollars it assumed, it does not believe that the political class has the will power to reduce Medicare payments (which it has never had int he past), and there is no substantiation for "unspecified bipartisan financing," all very legitimate disagreements to have with Obama's budget.
  • The White House does not dare disagree with the CBO estimates or methodology since it used the CBO estimates to sell in its own health care reform legislation. Thus, if they vilify these CBO budget numbers they nullify the Obama Care numbers.
  • The situation has gotten so bad that 64 Senators, 32 from each political party, recently signed a bipartisan letter to Obama that called on him to take the lead in developing a strategic and comprehensive budget reduction plan along the lines of Obama's own deficit reduction commission's findings, the very commission that Obama commissioned and then almost completely ignored.
We are witnessing historical financial distress and the administration does not even acknowledge how bad the situation is by developing outrageous spending plans that add TRILLIONS to the deficit while ignoring its own commission that would help fix the problem. Both political parties, as witnessed by the Senators' letters, realize that the problem needs urgent attention. Only the White House and the current resident seem to see no urgency in this area.

If they do not reverse their attitudes, take the lead, and make some bold and courageous moves, we are likely to end up like the economy of Ireland, whose status was reviewed in the March 11, 2011 issue of The Week Magazine. According to an article by Colin Barr of Fortune that was summarized in that issue of The Week:
  • Ireland has imposed two years of painful austerity on its citizens for its mismanagement of the economy.
  • As a result, wages are falling, unemployment has tripled to 13%, and younger Irish citizens are leaving the country in larger and larger numbers.
  • Investors who are buying Irish government bonds are insisting on a return of at least 8%.
This is what has happened in Greece, has happened in Ireland and other European countries who let their government spending get out of control. Economic hardship, as the interest on the piles of debt get higher and higher and standards of living get lower and lower. It is a fate that we face unless the President somehow does a turnaround and starts leading for once and stops touring other countries, stops playing golf so often, and stops being just a typical Chicago politician.

And it is not as if most of the heavy lifting has not already been done for him. His deficit reduction commission appears to have done a fine job and detailed analysis of how to get spending under control. The Cato Institute has gone through the current Federal government budget line by line and has identified hundreds of billions of dollars that could be pared from the Federal government without undue harm to ordinary Americans. Think tanks, both convervative and liberal, have done the same. Step 1 from "Love My Country, Loathe My Government" lays out a straightforward approach to systematically cut government down to size over a five year time frame so that the pain is equally shared across everyone. All that is needed is a leader, not a politician, to lead the way.

A famous Chinese saying goes as follows: "May you live in interesting times." On the surface this looks like a positive thought and intent, may you have an interesting journey through life. However, if you do a little research on the saying, it really is meant to be a curse and to be read as follows: "May you experience much upheaval and trouble in your life." From Japan to the Middle East to the precarious financial situation our politicians have put us into, we are expereincing much upheaval and trouble, neither of which will enhance our individual freedom and liberty in the long run.

For as the government's financial situation collapses, it will draw down/confiscate more and more wealth from its citizens in a desperate last attempt to prop up the financial system of the country which is buckling under over $20 TRILLION worth of debt. When government gets into the confiscation game to cover its own incompetent bungling, you are no longer living in a free country. Interesting, and troubling, and sad, and as the CBO numbers illustrate, not good.

Our book, "Love My Country, Loathe My Government - Fifty First Steps To Restoring Our Freedom And Destroying The American Political Class" is now available at It is also available online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Please pass our message of freedom onward. Let your friends and family know about our websites and blogs, ask your library to carry the book, and respect freedom for both yourselves and others everyday.

Please visit the following sites for freedom:

Friday, March 18, 2011

Obama Care Will Apply To All Americans...Except for Those Covered By The 1,040 Waivers That Have Been Issued

There are many reasons to despise and doubt the many components of Obama Care. The latest set of numbers from the Department Of Health and Human Services (HHS) adds another layer of doubt that the political class really had any sense of reality when they passed the legislation. Less than a year after the legislation was passed, HHS has already granted 1,040 waivers to the law to various organizations across the country.

This raises some pretty obvious and simplistic questions:
  1. If this law is so good, why have so many waivers been granted so quickly for temporary exemptions from the law?
  2. How could the architects of this law not have even a clue that it would adversely affect so many Americans so quickly (the healthcare blog from "The Hill" estimates that these 1,040 waivers/exemptions cover about 2.6 million Americans).
  3. Since over 800 waivers have been granted just over the past three months, how many more waivers affecting how many more Americans are yet to be granted?
  4. Accusations have been made that many of these waivers have been granted to union organizations, the very types of organizations that supported Obama Care in the first place: is this granting of waivers a payment for union support for the passage of Obama Care?
Just another aspect of this very bad law. Let's review all of the negative aspects of the law that have erupted or oozed to the surface so far:
  • While the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) originally estimated that Obama Care would reduce the Federal deficit by about $135 billion over ten years, their estimate did not include all of the components of Obama Care that were finally included in the legislation. Associated Press analyses found over $100 billion of excluded costs that at the very, very best case makes Obama Care deficit neutral, not positive.
  • Even so, the ten year CBO analysis included ten years worth of revenue and taxes and only six years worth of expenses, an apples to oranges, invalid analysis.
  • Some of the starting programs of Obama Care are woefully under enrolled, missing their estimated enrollment totals by over 95% in most cases, indicating that maybe these programs are not as good as the political class would have us believe.
  • Twenty six states, more than half of the state governments in the country, are in court trying to stop various aspects, if not the whole, of Obama Care. While there are obviously some degree of partisan politics in play here, if Obama Care was that great, there would be no basis for the state court actions. Given that two judges have already found serious flaws with the legislation indicates that the 26 states may be on the right track.
  • The current legislation gives very little credence or support to medical tort reform, a strategy that has significantly reduced health care costs in states that have already implemented tort reform in this area.
  • This legislation gives very little credence or support to allowing insurance companies to easily operate across state lines, which would increase health insurance competition and reduce costs.
  • This legislation gives very little credence or support to reducing the main culprits of bad health and increased health care costs in this country: smoking, bad eating habits, and lack of exercise of most Americans. Thus, even if Obama Care works perfectly, which is highly unlikely, the root causes of our high national health care costs will still be in place: Americans smoke too much, Americans eat too much of the wrong kind of food, and Americans do not exercise enough. These life style root causes will not be solved by Obama Care which is only a doomed taxing and government bureaucracy approach, not a life style and personal responsibility approach.
  • Although Obama Care is supposed to reduce health care costs and allow more Americans to get health care insurance, the legislation is structured so poorly and so stupidly that many major U.S. corporations (AT&T, Verizon, John Deere, MacDonald's, others) have already publicly stated that they may drop health care insurance for their employees and retirees since it would be less expensive, under Obama Care, to pay the Obama Care fine than continuing to offer health care insurance for their people. Thus, a political class action to reduce the number of Americans without health care insurance is likely to attain just the opposite result: increase the number of Americans without health care insurance. Brilliant!
  • This legislation, via its mandate that orders all citizens to buy a product/service that they may or may not want, health care coverage insurance, is a basic violation of our freedom to choose and to live our lives as we see fit.
So let's review. This legislation is so bad that every month, hundreds of American companies and unions get exemptions from the law. This legislation is so bad that it will likely increase the number of Americans without health care insurance, the exact opposite of what is supposed to do. This legislation is so bad that it does not address the underlying life style root causes, meaning it will never solve the symptoms of high health care costs and high uninsured rates. This legislation is so bad that the very people it is supposed to be helping already have basically ignored the programs it introduced. This legislation is so bad that over half of the state governments in the country are in court to stop the law, an unprecedented move on any other Federal legislation in our history. This legislation is so bad that the Democrats in the political class did not even have the class and courage to pass the law in traditional ways, needing to sneak in the side door of reconciliation to get it passed. The legislation is so bad that there are serious flaws in the methodology and analysis used to prove its financial worthiness. This legislation is so bad that it undercuts our basic freedom of choice in this country with its government mandates.

What is needed is not an individual waiver from Obama Care. What is needed is a waiver of the entire program and a fresh start as outlined in Step 28 of "Love My Country, Loathe My Government." Step 28 lays out a logical, problem solving approach to health care in this country without the intrusion of the political class and the accompanying lobbyists. We see what the political class and lobbyists have gotten us, it is time to put a waiver out on them and do the job right the next time.

Our book, "Love My Country, Loathe My Government - Fifty First Steps To Restoring Our Freedom And Destroying The American Political Class" is now available at It is also available online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Please pass our message of freedom onward. Let your friends and family know about our websites and blogs, ask your library to carry the book, and respect freedom for both yourselves and others everyday.

Please visit the following sites for freedom:

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Nancy Pelosi and Morality? Really!

Just when you think it might be a tough day to find a topic to discuss, Nancy Pelosi rides to the rescue again. Ms. Pelosi has been a treasure of insanity, quotes, and madness over time and has provided fodder for many a post to this blog. Remember how she screamed that over 500 million Americans were losing their jobs every week even though there are barely 300 million people in the country? Remember how she explained we would not know what was in the health care reform legislation until the legislation got passed? Remember her voodoo economic lesson she gave us by proclaiming that unemployment benefit checks were one of the very best ways to create jobs, leaving one to ponder the extension of her logic: does this mean that the more unemployed people we have, the more jobs will be created? Priceless.

Today she has graced us with another Pelosiism that further illustrates how out of touch with reality she can be. Regarding the urgent need to get Federal government under control, Ms. Pelosi recently dropped this gem on the world: "I think this debate is on a higher ground of our values. It's not about money. It's about the morality of what we're doing." Thus, it appears that we should not make any cuts in the bloated federal government on morality grounds, not sensible budgeting and economic grounds. Ridiculous.

Any number of things wrong with Pelosi talking about morality. First of all, morality is a very personal, private sense of being. For her to dictate what is moral and what is not moral is an insult to free thought and overall freedom. If she wants to go down that road, then many Americans would reply that any political party that condones adultery and lying has no grounds to lecture any citizen about morality. Democrats John Edwards, Jim MacGreevey, Eliot Spitzer, and Bill Clinton were serious adulterers and liars.

Is breaking the law immoral? Many, many Democratic politicians in Illinois have served prison time for bribery, fraud, and other crimes. Democratic Congressman William J. Jefferson was convicted of bribery with the added twist of storing his bribery money in his freezer. Please, Ms. Pelosi, your peers and your party are in no position to lecture any American about morality.

Second, how moral would the decision to cut wasteful government spending in the following areas:
  • Is it "moral" to waste billions and billions of taxpayer dollars to station tens of thousands of U.S. troops around the world in Germany, Japan, South Korea, and throughout Europe, defending us against threats that no longer exist or that can be better handled by local, friendly countries?
  • Is it "moral" to waste billions and billions of taxpayer dollars on politicians' earmarks that are nothing more than thinly disguised ways for incumbent politicians to fund their re-election campaigns?
  • Is it "moral" to waste billions and billions of taxpayer dollars to support the marketing activities of large corporations via the government's Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the Market Access Program, and other corporate welfare programs, shouldn't these marketing expenses be part of each corporation's marketing expense stream?
  • Is it "moral" to not sell at least some of the 55,000 Federal government buildings that are currently vacant in order to reduce reduce taxpayer expenses and generate revenue via the sales of these buildings to reduce the deficit?
  • Is it "moral" to not cancel the production of the V-22 Osprey aircraft and save billions of taxpayer dollars, an aircraft that has seen vast cost overruns and poor performance results and which much of the military does not want or need?
  • Is it "moral" to not replace the highly expensive but poorly performing Space Tracking Surveillance System with lower cost and better performing alternatives (according to a Defense Department analysis, the users of the systems)?
  • Is it "moral" to waste billions of taxpayer dollars by allowing the Army, Navy, and Air Force to continue ordering obsolete parts and supplies that are never used?
(Note: many of these wasteful examples of government spending come from a joint analysis and paper done by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group and the National Taxpayers Union. However, other reputable and educated American organizations such as the Cato Institute, the Concord Coalition, and Obama's own deficit reduction commission have also done thoughtful, thorough, and insightful analysis on ways to get government spending under control that are also "moral.")

You get the idea. By not knowing how to trim and budget of fat and excess or not wanting to trim the budget, Ms. Pelosi just lumps every government expense into this nebulous "moral" bucket that should not be touched because she and only she knows what is moral and what is not. A budget by definition is numbers. You can debate the impact reducing some of those numbers might have but a budget is numbers. Unfortunately, the Federal government's numbers are not good and need to be drastically reduced.

If Ms. Pelosi wants to talk morality, let me counter argue that the biggest atrocity to morality would be if this generation of America citizens and American politicians burden future generations of Americans with mountains of debt to pay off but who garnered none of the benefits of spending the money that caused the debt. That is the biggest moral tragedy of our time if we fail, not whether or not Pelosi thinks not cutting the bloated government is the moral thing to do.

It amazes me that she and others can continue to think that we are not in crisis/meltdown mode when the Federal deficit in February alone was over $200 billion. Not total spending, just the spending of the government that was done beyond what revenues were received. If we use $200 billion as a conservative estimate of the February deficit, then everyday Pelosi and her kind spent over $7 billion a day that they did not have cash for. Every hour they spent almost $300 million that they did not have.

Unbelievable numbers. This kind of reckless spending is immoral. It will wreck our economy and our freedom for decades to come. But we should not be surprised. The latest Obama budget has virtually no budget cuts despite the dismal February results. Obama totally ignored his own deficit reduction commission's recommendations.

And not to be outdone, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid recently and erroneously stated that Social Security will be solvent for decades to come, a most insane statement that Ms. Pelosi cannot even match for unbridled ignorance. Currently, the Social Security Administration is paying tens of billions of dollars more than it collects. The Social Security Trust fund has been depleted by politicians over time for other uses, there is no trust fund of money sitting around the U.S. Treasury. The unfunded liabilities of Social Security is well into the TRILLIONS of dollars. And Harry thinks it is solvent for decades. That is the most immoral, misleading statement that any politician can make.

Thus, we have the triumvirate of Obama, Pelosi, and Reid who either see no problem, cannot solve the problem, or choose not to solve the problem. In any case, they do not have the high moral ground and future generations of Americans will see them for what they are: morally corrupt and inept.

Our book, "Love My Country, Loathe My Government - Fifty First Steps To Restoring Our Freedom And Destroying The American Political Class" is now available at It is also available online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Please pass our message of freedom onward. Let your friends and family know about our websites and blogs, ask your library to carry the book, and respect freedom for both yourselves and others everyday.

Please visit the following sites for freedom:

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Barack Obama, Where Are You? (Sung To The Tune Of "Car 54 Where Are You?")

There could have been a few alternative titles to today's post. The "Second Coming Of Jimmy Carter" would have been one alternative since it captures the rudderless, leaderless administration of Jimmy Carter that we are currently experiencing under the Obama administration. Another title could have been "Where's Barack?" based on the children's books, "Where's Waldo," where you try to find Waldo, or Barack, since it is not obvious where either are and what either are doing.

However, in a tribute to one of 1960's television sitcoms, today's post is based on the TV show, "Car 54 Where Are You?" The basis of the show revolved around two New York City policemen, Toody and Muldoon, who were assigned to car 54 and who were not the sharpest officers on the NYC police force. For those of you who have never seen the show, let's start with the original lyrics:

There's a holdup in the Bronx,
Brooklyn's broken out in fights,
There's a traffic jam in Harlem,
That's backed up to Jackson Heights.
There's a scout troop short a child,
Kruschev's due at Idlewild,
Car 54, where are you?

Now, lets replace these lyrics with lyrics from the new television show, "Barack Obama, Where Are You?"

There's a debt fight up in Congress,
Muammar's forces are a killing,
Unemployment still so high,
B-Ball picks get top billing,
Nuke reactors are on fire,
Gas prices soaring higher,
Barack Obama, where are you?

These new lyrics capture the state of the Obama adminstration, from the beginning until now. Leaderless as people die in Libya. Leaderless as the country heads for a financial meltdown. Leaderless as the lack of a national energy policy leads to soaring energy prices. Leaderless as unemployment stays unacceptably high. President Obama is as lost as Toody and Muldoon  were decades ago. Consider the following examples:

- The Federal government is spending well beyond its means, with a Federal budget deficit in February alone of about $225 billion. This is about half of what Bush's worst ANNUAL budget deficit was. Difficult decisions and cuts need to be made across all spending categories including the politically sensitive categories of defense, Social Security, and Medicare/Medicaid. This is a turning point, for better or worse, in the country's history as the next several months may decide whether or not the country makes the tough calls and fixes its financials or does not and suffers incalculable economic distress.

Where is Obama on this topic? According to a March 13, 2011 Associated Press article, the President had this to say on the $14 TRILLION national debt and the Congressional debate on how to tame it: "This is an appropriations task." This allows him to avoid any difficult decisions and make Congress do the dirty work and take any political hits. Hardly a leadership stance, let others do the heavy lifting.

- A member of his own party, Democratic Congressman Joe Manchin, recognizes the gravity of the budget situation and publicly yearned for the President to help resolve the issue. But according to a White House spokesperson: " There's a very strong gravitational pull in this town to try to drag the President to every single skirmish and new story." Fair enough, the President should not be involved in every national or local issue. However, what was he doing attending an anti-bullying session/forum rather than saving the economic health of the country? Seems like a bad sense of priorities and hardly a leadership stance, even though your own party's members are calling for you help.

- On the major problems and issues sweeping the Middle East, the President is no where to be found. He pops up on television for a quick hit here and there and speaks some meaningless garble, tied to no overall strategy or leadership position. As a result, the country's foreign policy is exposed for how weak it is as friendly despots disappear or are about to disappear in Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain, and possibly Saudi Arabia, with the long term replacements having unknown consequences for the United States. One would have thought that the President, leader of the free world would be putting together and implementing a consistent and sound, long term Middle East strategy.

However, according to a New York Times article on March 10, 2011, the President apparently has no overall leadership or strategic plan in place. He is treating each Middle East country differently, based on what he sees as America's needs. Unfortunately, by standing for nothing and just reacting to each crisis, the article states: "This emphasis on pragmatism over idealism has left Mr. Obama vulnerable to criticism that he is losing the battle for the hearts and minds of the Arab street protesters."

The article goes on to contrast this piecemeal approach to the  way Ronald Reagan's emphasis on freedom ended the Cold War in a favorable way for the United States. Without a leadership stance and overarching vision on the Middle East, the President is hardly taking a leadership stance.

- Regarding Libya, the whole world is aghast as the Libyan government guns down, bombs, and slaughters some of the brave rebels who have risen up against the tyrant. Many have called for a no fly zone over Libya to give the rebels at least a fighting chance. France and Britain have called for a no fly zone. The 22 nation Arab League has called for a no fly zone. President Obama? No where to be found even though he boldly stated in early March that the Defense Department was looking at military options.

However, despite this little bit of saber rattling, it is now obvious that Obama will not commit to any military intervention, despite the slaughter. His rationale: "Anytime I send United States forces into a potentially hostile situation, there are risks involved and there are consequences. And it is my job as President to make sure that we have considered all those risks." How non-committal can you get? How weak of a leadership stance is this? By the time he considers all of the risks, no action would have been taken and the situation will be resolved, for better or for worse.

- It seems that more and more Americans are tuning into the rudderless and ineffective administration we are now being ruled by. As part of Obama's education initiative, the White House is sponsoring a contest where U.S. high schools can apply to have the President speak at their commencement as reward for having and extolling the virtues of their own high schools.

However, it seems the idea is falling flat on its face. As the deadline for applying approached recently, according to ABC News, the White House was scrambling to get more applications to be filed since only 14 applications had been received up to that point in time.

If you search the Internet to get the number of high schools in the country, you get widely varying estimates but they all seem to be around 20,000. If only 14 of them put in an application for the supposed honor of having the President speak at their school, then only a minuscule  .07% of eligible schools thought it worthwhile enough to have the President come talk to them. If he was a true leader, I am sure that he would draw applications at a better then .07% rate. Pitiful. Hardly a leadership performance.

This President has taken the lead on nothing. He appeared clueless and rudderless on the Gulf oil spill. He let Reid and Pelosi do the heavy work on health care reform. His business-as-usual budget is a disgrace in light of the huge national debt. He has instituted no bold and strategic intitiative in the areas of education, energy, illegal immigration, etc. Nothing, nada.

He insists on leading from the rear, lest his political aura take a hit. Consider a recent quote regarding the budget crisis: "What I have done is, every day, I talk to my team. I give them instructions in terms of how they can participate in the negotiations, indicate what's acceptable, indicate what's not acceptable."  Can you imagine Reagan, Churchill, General Eisenhower, General Patton, Coach Lombardi or any other great leader behaving this way?

This President should not be President, he should be a Prince, like Prince Charles in England. A prince likes to go to high profile, no risk events (anti-bullying session), a prince likes to state his opinion on trivial matters (March Madness basketball picks), a prince likes to go on a lot of vacations,  all princely duties. Let Obama be the Prince of The United States while we get a real doer and leader into the White House.

So, what is the answer to the question: Where is Barack Obama? This past week, the answer has been pretty obvious, and pretty petty:
  • After a phone call reviewing the earthquake situation in Japan this weekend, he went out and played some golf. Never mind that thousands are dead, the world may soon get a dangerous dose of radioactivity, the U.S. military may be needed to help out, and there are probably many Americans in Japan, that are now dead, injured, lost, or in trouble. And the prince plays golf.
  • With budget deficits hitting records, with unemployment still very high, with state governments in financial crisis, and with public schools still failing, the President attended an ant-bullying session. If you asked America where the bullying issue fell in their life priorities, do we really think that this issue would have cracked the top 25? I doubt it but that is where the prince was.
  • With Mexico devolving into a lawless state, with our borders still leaking profusely with illegal immigrants, with the war on drugs still being lost, with his health care law under duress from the courts, Congress, and many well informed and educated citizens, the President had time to fill out his NCAA basketball brackets AND attend a taping session with ESPN where he took the time to discuss his picks. Again, where do we think the President's view on the basketball tournament would fall in a list of America's priorities?  I doubt it would be very high up there relative to other issues but it was important to the prince.
The Prince has been busy, golfing, attending non-critical forums, and worrying about his tourney picks. That is where he is and that is unacceptable. Toody and Mudoon could have done better work out of Car 54.

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