Friday, October 8, 2010

Foreclosing on Foreclosing

Here we go again. Another banking crisis at our feet. Yet another round of recrimination, blame, stupid ideas and finger pointing. And guess what? It is all about mortgages...again. Because the banks messed up...again.

First, let's simplify and identify the problem. It is actually pretty straight up this time. The banks, in their haste to foreclose on those mortgages they should not have issued, were sloppy about the paperwork. Yes, I know. A lot of people bought houses they could not afford and agreed to mortgages they could not pay. They share in the responsibility for this mess, too.

But not the foreclosure debacle we now have. This one rests squarely with the banks. They simply failed to review the documents as they filed thousands of foreclosures. This led to uncertainty about the titles of the homes and that has led to canceled sales and removal from the market. This is not rocket science. In a lot of cases, the documents that are flawed are affidavits of ownership or delinquency.

It is important to note that the banks themselves stopped the foreclosures. Not the government as some would like to say. In fact, except for some really stupid ideas, government is not all that involved yet, which is partially a problem and partially a blessing.

Several so-called leaders including the false queen Nancy have called for a nationwide freeze on all foreclosures. This is idiocy. Lots of the proceedings are just fine and have no problems. A freeze would actually make things worse since those people being foreclosed on for non-payment would get to live for free in homes they should not be in. And it would embolden even more people to stop paying. Nancy's little freeze idea is the result of election year panic and her need to sound like she is in charge of anything other than 435 severely incompetent congress critters.

This is a problem created by the banks and one that can only be resolved by the same banks. Many are claiming that this mess will further harm the economy. Probably not. See, these homes will be foreclosed on and become available. Nobody is forgiving mortgages. Nor should they. The banks need to learn to do their job properly. It is really that basic.

My question is where are the regulators? Again? I thought this lax regulatory issue was being dealt with. What happened to the promises of vigilance from Obama's pre-failed economic team? Where are all of the regulators now? Well?

Because that is the question here. The banks freely admit they messed up. That is not up for debate. The real problem is that once again, the Federal Reserve under the ever incompetent Bernanke and the Treasury under the always incapable Geithner have simply not done their jobs. They have once again looked the other way. Once again pretended it is not a real problem. Once again yielded to the corrupting forces.

In an interesting side note, the Senate quietly and without any fanfare at all passed a bill that would actually make it easier for the banks to not do the proper paperwork by allowing out of state notarization, thus making it almost impossible to verify the documents' legitimacy. Obama says he will not sign this and he should not. The banks need to learn to do their jobs, not keep asking government to relieve them of their responsibility. I am sure that this will become part of the whole silly political shouting match, too and be wildly misrepresented by both sides. My question is how did this pass the Senate while aid to Haitians still suffering from an earthquake and tropical storm did not. I guess bankers write bigger checks than homeless families.

Some on the right want to claim this is somehow Obama's fault. Well, except for the lack of any kind of regulation or oversight, it is not. They would like to somehow get us to believe this will cost the taxpayers and further hurt the economy. Not so much. All this does is reduce the inventory of homes for sale by less than a third. What ehey don't tell you is that 2/3 of foreclosures are procedurally okay.

Some on the left want to use this to again try their ludicrous and dangerous mortgage forgiveness scheme where those folks that bought homes they could not afford are suddenly free and clear of their mortgage. They want to use this to basically reward idiotic behavior by home buyers. It was a bad idea 2 years ago, a bad idea last year and a bad idea today.

What needs to happen is everyone should step back from this and let the banks sort it out. They made the mess through sloppy and lazy procedures. Let them fix it. In most cases, it involves actually reading the paperwork. Just like Congress doesn't and apparently like the banks don't.

This entire mess can be simply summed up. The banks messed up again and they want to make it our problem again. Well, I say no. They broke it, they can fix it. This time, they will have to just deal with it.

To those in government - on both sides - looking to make political points, I say shut up, shut up, shut up! Stop! Enough! These are home foreclosures we are talking about. Families and businesses. Not some abstract you can use in your sad election bid.

To the pundocracy, I say happily, who cares what you think? You are more part of the problem than any solution. Screaming about this as if it is the end of the world. Looking for the partisan angle. It isn't there. This is a simple paperwork snafu. Caused by laziness and arrogance at the banks. Yell at them. I dare you.

Maybe we need to vote on November 2 for anyone not an incumbent. No matter how wacky they seem, they have to be better than what we have now. Come November 2, let's foreclose on their political careers and take our house of government back from them. They certainly have not paid as promised.

To drive home that message, I am offering T-Shirts with this message:

As a capitalist and a free market person, I am selling them for both profit and with the intent of donating to those candidates that are willing to step outside the parties and declare a concern for the Constitution and the people.

You can order them here:

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Bullying? Seriously?

Last week a truly tragic incident happened. A college student was secretly video taped having sex by his roommate. As it turns out, the young man was gay and not public about it. The roommate published the video on the internet, which exposed the victim who, sadly, committed suicide. Before I go any further, let me express my sincerest condolences to the family. This is a tragedy at so many levels.

According to our somewhat unreliable media, the roommate that did the video is being prosecuted. And rightly so. Hopefully the law is strong enough to mete out a punishment befitting the extreme violation of privacy and the tragic consequence.

Unfortunately and somewhat disgustingly, the nanny state machine wasted no time in cranking up their failing "anti-bullying" campaign, using this sad incident as their new centerpiece. These nanny staters are again grave dancing for their own benefit. They are using this tragedy to further their own importance and their sad cause. Suddenly, it is all the popular cause to yak about the evils of bullying and how we have to put a stop to it...for the children.

Well, here is a memo for the nanny staters - the children are also doing the bullying. And like it or not, bullying is part of growing up. Just like failing a class, losing at a sport, not getting a trophy or coming in last in a race. All part of growing up. All essential elements in the experience recipe for adulthood.

Sadly, the nanny staters have already chipped away at this recipe for an adult. The elimination of competitive sports at many schools. The awarding of "Certificates of Attendance" for those who simply could not pass their high school exams and did not qualify to graduate. The endless creation of "also ran" awards for those who didn't come in first. Not to mention the entire self-esteem industry.

And now they seek to further pad the cocoon of this falsely idyllic childhood dream of theirs by somehow eliminating "bullying." Of course, like most of the nanny state goofiness, bullying is not exactly clearly defined. Was the incident above bullying? Not by my measure. It was a lot of things, but bullying is not one of them. In fact, it is more the opposite, since the victim had no idea he was the victim and the perpetrator had no desire besides mischief. If anything it was a horribly nasty extension of prejudice and hate as well as a severely misplace sense of right and wrong. But not bullying.

That has not stopped the new onslaught of anti-bullying nonsense.

Nonsense? You bet. See, bullying, as awful as it can be, is a part of growing up. Of learning to fend for yourself and deal with stuff. The nanny staters have already worked to eliminate the concept of winning and losing. They have already started the process of taking away the value of achievement by granting the rewards for hard work to all, including those who do not work at things (see any and all "participation" awards.) They are already devaluing competitive spirit by removing competitive activities.

Now they think they can eliminate bullying. But without bullying, all of us would have grown up without any sense of courage or the ability to stand up to bullies. Without the adversity that bullying presents, an entire generation may grow up without learning how to deal with the adversity that is a part of every day life.

We already have a generation that has been taught it is simply entitled to everything. A generation that has gotten awards for being average of worse. A generation that has been shielded from failure by the nanny staters. An entire generation that has zero concept of failing or rebounding from failure to success. A generation that believes success is a given and will simply happen. They believe this because the nanny staters have taught them this.

Who are these nanny staters? Well, look at the media for one. How many anti-bullying specials are now slated? Hows many news programs are ignoring actual news like wars and stuff to cover the fiction of anti-bullying efforts? How many pathetic celebrities are now claiming to have been the "victims" of bullying? Ask those celebrities where they learned the assertiveness and aggression needed to succeed in show business. Any that don't say, "From a bully," are liars.

Look at our leaders. Both parties. Hurrying to jump on this bandwagon. It is only a matter of time until laws are passed criminalizing schoolyard behavior. Stupid, pointless laws, but laws nonetheless. There will be hearings and commissions. All wasting precious tax dollars on a Utopian pipe dream. As if the education system can afford any more mandates from cowardly politicians looking to cash in on the latest media craze. We already can't afford teachers and books. What will have to be eliminated for more feel good nonsense?

I had my share of bullies in school. And I pretty much ignored them. Those that forced me to deal with them were dealt with in whatever way worked. As a result, I developed the ability to run my own business and to stand my ground in an argument. I got the lesson of toughness that is not in a textbook or curriculum. I doubt I would have the ability to run my business without this lesson.

I pity these kids that won't get these lessons. Why? Because it is not a nice world out here. It is harsh and cut throat and competitive. The business world makes high school bullying look like a school dance. Sure being bullied sucks. So does losing a client or getting fired. But that is real life and life happens. It is how you deal with the adversity that counts. Not how you avoid it, and these nanny staters are big on avoidance.

So before the nanny staters further weaken our kids, ask them this: "How many people did you have to beat out for your job?" Then ask them if they think those people they beat out felt bullied. When the stammering and verbal tap dancing starts, just laugh and walk away.

For parents, teach your kids to stand up to bullies. They don't have to take it. Sure, they might get a little bruised in the process, but so did all of us. And we seem to be just fine.

As the saying goes, if everyone is special, then nobody is.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Steaming Rhetoric, Anyone?

Usually, I try to be balanced on this blog when it comes to stupid politicians, but Congressman Alan Grayson of Florida's 8th district makes it difficult at best.

Recently, this pathetic excuse for an intelligent being ran a campaign ad calling his opponent "Taliban Dan," based on some very out of context clips. Essentially, Grayson took a single sentence quoting a passage of the Bible (the one about a wife submitting to her husband) that Dan Webster used in a long speech and turned that into evidence that Webster somehow supported the total subjugation of women like the Taliban.

Now, to be as fair as possible, Webster is not exactly a proponent of equal treatment for woman across the board. He is known to be extremely anti-choice and anti-gay. That said, he is not Taliban. A full view of his speech reveals that he was pointing out that there are more than just that one verse in the Bible about women. I am not giving Webster a pass on his views towards women. He is most assuredly somewhere before Suffrage with his positions. But I am pretty sure that this does not include stonings.

That did not slow Grayson down, though. He put up a 30 second television ad that used Arabis looking lettering and the phrase "Taliban Dan." This from a congressman that has decried the Republican smear machine.

Or more appropriately, from a hypocritical congressman looking to save his job at any cost. Another fat, lying, thieving politician that would sell his children to keep his corrupt job. Another perfect example of what is wrong with our government.

In all fairness the Republicans are not a lot better, but not as bad or deplorable as Grayson. Their endless cries of socialism and not so subtle suggestions of Democrats being pro-terrorist and so on are bad enough. They have been pounding that drum for 2 years now.

But Grayson? Well, he just made them look good. It will be hard to top this one for even the most hateful and goofy Republican. Sure, the GOP has been playing the hate and fear card heavily, but that is what they do. And Grayson was one of the folks decrying it. But now he is one of the folks using it.

Alan Grayson is pretty much the new poster boy for what is wrong with American politics. Both sides engage in this endless hate filled food fight. Both sides feel an entitlement to elective office and feel the ends always justify the means. Both sides hurl insults and threats as if they were candy canes and cheap beads. Neither side takes actual responsibility for their words.

And Grayson has now redefined the apex of that method. One look at Grayson and you have to knows it is time to throw all of them out. They don't care about us. They barely knows we exist. His ad proves that. Instead of a logical argument against Webster's extreme positions, he hurls hate and vitriol. They all do that.

Why? Because, truth told, there is no real difference between to 2 corrupt tired parties in Congress. Both sides main interest is staying in Congress. They will do and say anything. Grayson is not alone in this Hall of Shame. Michelle Bachmann deserves a place in there. As do Boehner and Pelosi. And Cantor. All of them. If dishonesty, mean spiritedness and plain old hate were ranking factors, Grayson is number one this week.

In just over a month, we get to have our say. We get to fire the entire stinking lot of them. Send them all home. They have not served us at all, let alone well. Not one thing they told us they would do has been done. On either side. It has all been about them and their need to win the next election. And while they play this idiotic game, we pay the price.

Look around. Think things got like this in just 2 years? Nope. Both parties have been so busy serving themselves that they totally forgot to govern. And we are paying for it. Well, on November 2, we can end that by simply voting them out. Tell both parties that their day is over. All incumbents at all levels need to be replaced. On November 2, cast a vote that sends that message.

To drive home that message, I am offering T-Shirts with this message:

As a capitalist and a free market person, I am selling them for both profit and with the intent of donating to those candidates that are willing to step outside the parties and declare a concern for the Constitution and the people.

You can order them here:

Monday, September 27, 2010

Whose Civil Liberties?

In one of the least covered stories last week, the federal government invoked the privilege of state secrets to try to stop a lawsuit brought on behalf of a terrorist by the ACLU.

Anwar al Awlaki, known to be linked to the Fort Hood terror shooter and multiple attempts to bring a WMD into the US, is suing the US government on the grounds that he has a right to not be killed in defense of the nation. Specifically, he claims in this insane lawsuit that he has a right to not be targeted by our anti-terror efforts. To make this even more mind boggling, the misguided folks at ACLU are demanding all defense and intelligence documents relating to this terrorist.

This would be ironically funny if it were not so serious.

Note I do not say alleged. Because he admits all of this. He is proud that he had a hand in the failed "underwear bombing" attempt. He openly advocates attacks on the US. He is currently hiding in Yemen and spewing his anti-American hate daily. The only alleged I can apply to Awlaki is his alleged humanity, which is apparently non-existent.

This is the guy that the ACLU is helping. Because his rights are more important than mine. Or yours. They are suing on the grounds that it violates international law to target an individual with death. Really? So all those fatwas issued by radical Moslems are illegal? Where are those lawsuits and condemnations? It is against international law to seek the death of an enemy? So why was not the ACLU suing Islam when it issued their death threats against an American for her (misguided but Constitutional) "Draw Mohammed Day?" Where was the ACLU when Comedy Central went all coward and censored South Park?

This disgusting terrorist would happily kill a school full of American children and then post the video on an Al Qaeda web site. This truly vile person wishes death on innocents every day, yet the ACLU is concerned about his rights. Apparently the right to promise death and destruction outweighs the Constitutional obligation of government to protect us from enemy attacks.

And there is the problem with American understanding of the threat of terror. Folks like the ACLU do not perceive the real threat of terrorism. They simply do not understand that people like their client Awlaki wish all Americans harm, including the ACLU. They don't want to accept that this guy is playing them for fools. So , they are suing.

The ACLU claims that the courts must have a role in the pursuit, capture and - where necessary - killing of terrorists. Seriously? Perhaps they need to review the Constitution which is amazingly clear on granting defense and war powers to the Executive Branch with limited approval power to Congress. The Courts are never mentioned.

This is why organizations like ACLU - that have done amazingly good work in the past - are in such disrepute today. They have no sense of the real world. No concept of the actuality of the enemy and their desire to kill and do great harm. They pretend that this is all a classroom exercise in law and not an actual ongoing life and death struggle. In my opinion, the ACLU is allowing its institutional dislike for our military and intelligence organizations to direct this action. They hate the military so much, they are willing to defend a publicly self proclaimed anti-American terrorist just to hurt our defenses.

The good news is that the administration has claimed official secrets on all requests for discovery. It seems the ACLU thinks they need lots of secret intelligence documents to make their case. They don't. There is no case. The ACLU's "client" Awlaki has openly called for attacks on America. He is currently the top English speaking Al Qaeda thug. He has participated in the planning of attacks. The only case the ACLU has is one where they need to prove their own sanity.

So the question remains - whose rights matter more? Those of a traitorous American that has taken up with our enemy and participated in attacks that killed Americans on US soil and others that came close or the rights of the other 300 million Americans who rely on our military to defend us from killers like Anwar Al Awlaki? And what of the rights of our military and intelligence people? Those documents could put them further into harm's way, unlike ACLU client Awlaki who is hiding behind and protected by the terror loving Yemeni government.

At what point does the ACLU ever realize that they need to reign in their ideological idiocy and see the reality. This is not about desegregating schools or Illinois Nazi rallies. This isn't even the somewhat abstract debate over the rights of Gitmo detainees. This is about real life and death from a real enemy. A real terrorist. One the ACLU has inexplicably chosen to side with. One that is working right this second to kill more Americans, even while Americans are working to prevent us from taking this piece of human trash out of the gene pool.

It is time for folks to stop sending ACLU money. It is time for our government to stop funding ACLU. After all, those funds are now being used to try to expose our covert efforts to stop terrorists who want us dead. And that violates MY civil liberties. Will ACLU sue itself on my behalf?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Taxes, Lies, Media and Politicians

As this election season thankfully heads to a close in November, the issue of whether or not to renew the "Bush Tax Cuts," stands at the top of the list of items the cowards in Congress hope to avoid taking a firm position on. This includes both parties, which are all over the place. In general, Democrats want to extend them for everyone except the top 3-4 percent and Republicans want to extend them for everyone, especially the top 3-4 percent.

Oddly - or perhaps not so oddly - both sides are not being totally honest about their positions. In brief, the Democrats claim that raising taxes on the top earners will somehow resolve the deficit. Not so much. The amount gained over 10 years would not cover this year's deficit, let alone a 10 year run. They also want us to somehow believe that those that earn more want to pay more taxes. Well, except for big fat liars like Warren Buffet (he really is a big fat liar who get on Goldman to profit from our misery) nobody wants to pay more taxes.

And the Republicans claim that this top 3-4 percent of earners are job creators. Again, not so much. Every bit of research indicates that this tax cut on top earners has almost no effect on the greater economy and creates very few jobs. The GOP also makes goofy claims about small businesses being harmed. Also not really true. I run one of those small businesses and this tax change would not affect me at all. The truth here is that those top earners will not spend the tax savings, nor will they be seriously harmed by the increase.

All of that said, this is simply not a good time to raise taxes. Not because of the false economics put forth by the 2 corrupt parties. Not because of any actual economic harm. It is just a bad time to raise taxes because of the psychological factor. There is a saying that in politics, perception is reality, and the tax issue fits right into that.

A tax increase of any kind right now would have a serious psychological impact on the economy that far outweighs and real dollar impact. Before folks start yelling, remember that we have spent over 2 years being told scary things about the economy that mostly were not true. The banking system was not about to implode, depression was not around the corner, stimulus did not stimulate, states did not default, nations did not go bankrupt and the Wall Street gang did not need our money. So the claims about these tax cuts have to be viewed in the light of over 3 years of lies from Congress and both administrations.

However, the damage to the recovery of the economy from the psychological factor of a tax hike is real. Businesses would stop growth and people - at all income levels - would stop spending. Not because of anything tangible, but because of the intangible effect, which is endlessly amplified by the nonsense spewing forth from the financial media. One of the unspoken truths about this entire financial mess is that the financial media has way exaggerated the situation to increase the drama for ratings. In much the same way as the ever unreliable Jim Cantore at the Weather Channel exaggerates a simple thunderstorm into a disaster of epic proportion. This has not helped at all.

Well, the same financial media is exaggerating the real impact of increasing taxes on the top 3-4 percent to try to extend their relevance. Oh, don't forget that most of them have a personal and undisclosed interest in the tax situation. Their taxes might go up.

What we never hear and what we should be hearing more about is a flat tax. If there ever was a time to put one into place and eliminate the zillion page tax code, this is it. If the financial commentators were honest and not spinning for politics and profit, they would talk about a flat tax. Instead they prattle on - incorrectly - about how Wall Street dislikes uncertainty. Wall Street love uncertainty. They profit from it.

Businesses dislike uncertainty. Families dislike uncertainty. It makes planning impossible and fairly pointless.

Imagine if every business and person knew - for certain - what their tax burden would be. Say the flat tax is set at 20 percent. No deductions, credits, exemptions or tricks. You make a dollar and 20 percent goes to tax. No property tax, no sales tax, none of that. Then businesses could plan. Then families could plan. Of course Wall Street would have to go back to fundamentals and actually working for a living, but that is not a bad thing.

Best of all, imagine never again having to deal with 2 inch thick tax returns and instructions that are written in some language that defies understanding. No more Schedule C, Form 1040, Earned Income, Deferred Income and the rest of the jungle of garbage that we call the tax code. No more paying someone else to decipher that maze of nonsense. Imagine the stimulus the billions spent on tax preparation would have if it suddenly was available in folks' pockets. Not to mention the psychological boost of being freed from the servitude of those forms.

If the Tea Party people were serious (they are, but not enough for this) they would be advocating a flat tax and a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. Put those 2 together and government will shrink to fit. If the Eric cantors of this world were serious about taxes, they would be advocating this, but the Eric Cantors of the world are not serious about this. They are puppets on the strings of their masters, who like the complex tax code that allows them to hide money legally.

So let Congress know that a flat tax beats a tax cut all day every day. Date those elected morons to defy their special interest masters and do something for the people they pretend to represent. I would tell my failed Congressman Kendrick Meek, but he is too busy running to lose for Senate to care about actual constituents. As if he ever cared.

And on November 2, lets help Congress with their taxes by firing the lot of them.

To drive home that message, I am offering T-Shirts with this message:

As a capitalist and a free market person, I am selling them for both profit and with the intent of donating to those candidates that are willing to step outside the parties and declare a concern for the Constitution and the people.

You can order them here:

Thursday, September 16, 2010

US Senate - A Division of Goldman Sachs

One of the items in the recently passed financial reform bill is the creation of a consumer protection bureau. While I have never been sure this was really needed and certain it should be not part of the Federal Reserve or Treasury, I was always of the belief that if it did come to pass then Elizabeth Warren should head it up.

Way back, I suggested that Warren and Fox's Eric Bolling head up an investigative panel to see exactly what happened on Wall Street before new regulations were created. Obviously, like they do most citizens, the Congress ignored me completely and passed a set of new regulations without benefit of a full investigation. And, as is usually the case when Congress acts hastily, new information comes out regularly that points up the flaws and shortcomings in the new law.

That said, since passage, only one name has been floated to head this new agency. That would be Dr. Elizabeth Warren. She was initially chosen to head up the TARP oversight for the Congress. This is perhaps one of the few intelligent decisions Congress has made in a long time.

As head of that oversight panel, she has been relentless in holding the banks' feet to the fire and is well known for asking tough questions and speaking her mind without the normal prevarication and nonsense that is so much part of Washington. Her plain spoken and honest assessments are what have made her as well known and respected as she is.

However, it appears unlikely that she will head up this new agency after all. According to the Associated Press, "The 61 year old Harvard professor and consumer advocate had been considered the leading candidate to head the bureau itself, but her lack of support in the financial community could have set the stage for contentious hearings that might ultimately have derailed her confirmation." (this is directly quoted from the article itself which appears in today's Miami Herald).

So the "financial community" is still able to tell the Senate what to do and not do. And by financial community, one can only assume that this means Goldman Sachs. Sure, there are others like Citi, JP Morgan, Bank of America and so on, but Goldman is the leader of this perilous pack. And apparently now in charge of the Senate.

I am not sure what is worse here. The fact that Goldman and their gang of thieves can assert this kind of control or the fact that the media states it as a simple conclusion with no further comment.

It is bad enough that the Senate is obviously a bought and paid for enterprise. The simple fact that all the Senate as a whole has been concerned about since the passage of the original TARP has been their Wall Street benefactors is bad enough. Remember, it was the Senate that amended TARP to another bill after the House resoundingly defeated it. It was Reid and McConnell (who now lies and says he was opposed) that subverted the Constitutional requirement that all spending bills initiate in the House. It was Dodd (now leaving the Senate before the investigation into his own depth of corruption) who jammed it into an unrelated bill just for the "HR" heading required to end run Article 1, Section 7 of the Constitution.

Now, it appears that the same Wall Streeters that used fear and intimidation to get $700 billion in free money from the taxpayer is still in charge enough to prevent the nomination of an actual regulator that might just force them into following the laws and rules. Apparently, the only thing this joke of a Senate does in a bipartisan manner is genuflect before the all powerful "financial community" and ignore the best interests off their constituents.

What is worse is that the media sees no problem with this. They state it in the same way they note that the sun rises in the East. At least according to Erica Werner and Julie Pace of the AP, this is OK. In fact, as far as I can tell, neither of these so-called journalists even flinched at the idea that the financial community has adequate sway to not only control the Senate but also to apparently cow the White House as well. There is no follow up, no mention of just how wrong the concept is. Just a simple sentence that appears to accept the corrupt practices of our government.

So, we the people will have to settle for mediocrity as demanded by Goldman and their corrupting cronies on Wall Street. We shall have to accept that any financial regulation will only be at the pleasure of the regulated. And we might as well prepare ourselves now for the next crisis and the next bailout of these jerks. Because they own them a US Senate and we have nothing.

Of course, that is changing. Perhaps the recent victories by non-traditional candidates is a sign that Americans are sick and tired of this kind of nonsense. Perhaps these candidates are winning because Americans have done the math and realized that only these candidates will be able to resist the corrupting influences of Wall Street and the rest of the big money crowd.

Let me remind folks in both parties of something. To pass TARP, House Minority Leader John Boehner actually wept on the House floor. Look it up. He stood there in tears begging for money to bail out the big banks. Mitch McConnell predicted the end of the world if the money didn't come. Obama, Palin, McCain, Frank, Dodd, Pelosi, Bush, Paulson, Clinton, Reid and the rest of them all supported this mess. Since then some have decided to pretend they were opposed. They weren't and they are lying if they say they were. TARP was a bipartisan screwing of the American People. For those that fear government's destruction of the free markets, well, it started with TARP. It started with both parties.

We can stop the game on November 2 by simply voting these corrupt clowns out of office. Look at the reaction from official Washington to a Senate primary in Delaware. Or a gubernatorial primary in New York. The favored, party picked candidate lost and the politicians and pundits on both sides went loony tunes. While I am not a fan of a lot of the policies that these candidates espouse, I am a huge fan of irritating the political/pundit world. I am also a fan of simply tossing the entire Congress out on their heels come November. they have done a bad job, They have lied, cheated, stolen and now apparently take their orders from Wall Street.

Come November 2, vote to take America back from the special interests and corrupt politicians. This time, America is depending on all of us to help all of us. Let's not let us down.

To drive home that message, I am offering T-Shirts with this message:

As a capitalist and a free market person, I am selling them for both profit and with the intent of donating to those candidates that are willing to step outside the parties and declare a concern for the Constitution and the people.

You can order them here:

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Party is Over - or - We Are Over the Parties

So another round of primaries yesterday and another set of so-called upsets of so-called party insiders by so-called Tea Party candidates. I say "so-called" because it is the media that is applying this labels. The voters, not so much. The real loser in all of this is actually the media (and that includes you too, Fox) who really have no idea how to handle serious third party candidates or the outsider candidates that keep winning. So they try to force all of them into the tired, corrupt old 2 party structure that has miserably failed this country for at least a generation if not longer.

But what has made this even more fun to watch is the rapid disintegration of the existing parties. Both the Democrats and Republicans are having trouble as parties this time. Why? Well, both are under attack from within. The Dems from the far left and the GOP from the far right.

For too long, the corrupt 2 party system has served itself and only itself. Since 1990 or so it has been almost impossible to tell them apart once they won an election. Sure, they sound different on the campaign trail, but once in office, they are all the same. Both parties govern only for the purpose of sustaining the parties.

While this is way more obvious on the Republican side with the Tea Party movement and labels like "RINO" (Republican in Name Only)- which I find absolutely hilarious by the way - the Democrats have the same problems. It is just harder to see since the Republicans are famous for lock step marching and little or no dissension among the ranks. The Democrats, on the other hand, are not particularly well known for lock step or even agreement among the ranks. So their problems are a little more obscure.

While I am registered No Party Affiliation and have been for a long, long time I tend to see myself as a moderate in most things. I believe that the Constitution is the law of the land. And I believe that the Constitution is a living document. I do not see judges as "activist," when they render decisions. In fact I find that label somewhat detestable since it is only applied to decisions one party or the other dislikes.

I believe that the Congress as it is today is an overpriced, overpaid, overprivileged failure of epic proportions. That is the fault of the 2 tired, corrupt parties that have created the permanent incumbency. Most members of Congress are lazy and pointless. In a recent post I talked about Eric Cantor and Alan Grayson as perfect examples of this. They are exactly what is wrong with Congress today. Neither of them has an inkling of the word compromise or the word deliberation.

Both - like the rest of their disrespective parties - are blind ideologues who have no interest in serving their constituents. Neither is an honest negotiator. Both exist only to garner huge campaign contributions while serving their chosen special interests. And both - as are the other 533 Whores on the Hill - are liars of the first degree.

So along comes the Tea party folks who are actually not really part of the Republican party. However, the GOP has been desperate to fold them into their unitized message. Unsuccessfully, I might add. To date, everyone a Tea Party backed candidate has beaten has been a Republican. It remains to be seen if they can win a general election. I do not count Scott Brown in Massachusetts since it was a special election and Brown has not exactly gone all lockstep for the GOP or the Tea Party. In fact, Brown is an anomaly in Congress in that he actually votes the way his constituents want him to vote.

In the meantime, the GOP is in turmoil. To the point that Sean Hannity (who has never served as an elected official or run for office) yelled at Karl Rove last night when Rove pointed out that the Tea Party winner in Delaware was going to cost the GOP a Senate seat. Now, I am not a Rove fan, but he did direct George W. Bush's winning campaigns. So he does know a thing or 2 about the voters. Hannity on the other hand is a teleprompter reading desk jockey who has never actually done anything useful. Yet, here is Hannity telling Rove he knows nothing. And that is the GOP's problem in a nutshell. The pundits are running the show and not the actual politicians. Well, the day Hannity actually does something for the country that does not profit him personally is the day his opinion matters to me.

Same for the Dems. They have their own collection of pointless pundits who, while having never done anything for anyone except themselves, feel somehow qualified and obligated to shred folks trying to do something. While I certainly have issues with some of Obama's policies, I am stunned that those very same far left Democrats were bashing the guy they fought to elect within days of his taking office. If you want to see the enraged buffoonery of the far left in action, look no further than Keith Olbermann. Here is a guy that was a cheerleader for Obama in 2008 and immediately a critic in 2009 when Obama didn't simply pull our troops out of the wars and didn't arrest the heads of Wall Street and so on. Olbermann is another teleprompter fed blatherer who has never once done anything useful for this nation that did not somehow profit him personally.

On a semi-personal note, Olbermann has ventured even further out over the line of reality with his not so subtle contention that the reporter at the center of the controversy with the New York Jets is somehow at fault for their allegedly boorish behavior. According to this dunderhead, she was asking for it. Seriously? She was asking for it? That is so pathetic it is almost clinical. (I am not putting her name here because I am too lazy to look up the correct spelling. E-mail it to me and I will edit).

It is like the mirror reflection of the GOP-Tea Party divide. Same deal, different players, same tired old rhetoric.

I saw a comment posted on one of the blogs last night that read, "See. RINO's are running the Republican party." This was after the Republican Senate Campaign said they would not support O'Donnell in Delaware even though she is the elected GOP nominee in that state. The comment is both telling and insanely funny. The Republican Party is being run by Republicans in Name Only? Then by extension the Republican Party is a self defined fake and only those that call it a fake are real Republicans.

If this sounds loosely familiar, it should and Democrats need to join the GOP in the Shameful Act Hall of Fame for their treatment of Alvin Greene in the South Carolina Senate race. They tried desperately to not support him. They even challenged the votes of their own party in that primary. Took themselves to court if you will. It has become a comedy of the absurd and would be funny were it not real.

Well, we can end the comedy on November 2 by simply voting the old clowns out and voting new clowns in. Yes, I meant that. Most of the folks challenging incumbents and party picked candidates are pretty much the lesser of multiple clowns. O'Donnell and Greene are perfect examples of what I mean. And I hope both of them win. At least they will be new, relatively uncorrupted clowns that reject the tired old 2 party system that has kept a stranglehold on the seats of power in this country for way too long. It is past time to break that hold and end the sad comedy.

To drive home that message, I am offering T-Shirts with this message:

As a capitalist and a free market person, I am selling them for both profit and with the intent of donating to those candidates that are willing to step outside the parties and declare a concern for the Constitution and the people.

You can order them here:

Saturday, September 11, 2010

We Have Lost Our Virginity

(I sat here and tried to think of something to say, but I cannot say it any better than I did 9 years ago, so I chose to republish this. It first appeared on 9/13/01 on the Women's Firearm Network.)

(September 13, 2001) Tuesday, September 11, 2001 will forever be the day that we as a nation lost our virginity. And in the worst possible way. There is no other way for me to put it. I have spent the last 2 days unable to walk away from the television horrified, shocked and angered at what I was seeing. There is still a part of me that has not quite accepted it. But, there is no other way to look at it. We are immune no more.

The attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon sounded the opening of a war which no nation is truly prepared or willing to wage. Unlike past wars and past battles, our enemy chooses to hide in the shadows of the world, sending forth their evil operatives to kill and destroy. Make no mistake though - this enemy has as their goal our destruction. They are willing to die to further that goal. They are willing to sacrifice their children to these same dark ends. They dance in the streets as we weep.

America has learned a hard lesson. We are not universally loved. Somewhere on this planet are those that would destroy us simply because they don't like us, or our way of life. We cannot fathom that our freedom offends these animals. If we are to get past this horrible moment, then we had best accept that fact. We should not harden our hearts against strangers, but we should know that we have some truly evil enemies and recognize them for what they are.

We will never be the same again. Things are going to have to change if we are going to win this war. Even now, things that would have been unthinkable just a few days ago are now reality. The Air Force and Navy are flying air patrols over the United States. Carrier groups are laying off of our major coastal cities. Airport security is going to be genuine security. These are the things that are now part of our reality.

These are not bad things, nor are they of issue with the Constitution. These are the things that a free nation at war does to defend itself. Many of us lawfully carry a firearm daily to defend ourselves. Well air patrols, naval patrols and secure airports are weapons that America needs to carry for its self defense. We should remain vigilant that our rights are not compromised, however, and make certain that the zealotry of security does not overtake the freedoms that are the essence of America.

But we cannot allow ourselves to succumb to the terror. And that may be the biggest fight of all. The one with our own human nature. The reflex that tells you to pull into a shell. Because yielding to that reflex is precisely what the enemy is after. If we are to win this war the first thing we have to do is step up to our reputation as Americans. The 'Home of the Brave' needs to be just that.

I had at first been angered by all of the closings and cancellations, seeing them as surrender to the enemy. I was all set to say so here. And then I heard an interview with NBC Sportscaster Bob Costas on MSNBC. He made a point I had forgotten in all of my institutional anger. I had forgotten that the athletes and performers are Americans, too. They are, individually, as hurt and angry as every one of us. They did not feel they could play or perform well this weekend, much like so many of us cannot quite settle back into the job. I forgot they were just people, too.

So we will have our period to mourn and to collect our thoughts and fully accept what has happened to us. And we should. But we should look to the bright spots as well. Shining through the darkness of this tragedy are small bright spots that are what America is really about. We have the men on United flight 73 who, according to all reports, took on the terrorists, and through their actions, were able to avert a fourth attack. They knew they would not survive their effort, but they knew they had to stand up and fight. True heroes.

There are the innumerable stories of heroics in the rescue efforts. Volunteers from all over America flowing into New York to lend their needed skills to this effort. They work for no pay with no benefits in an almost incalculably risky situation. And they barely take breaks. There are the firefighters, who are heroes on a daily basis, risking all to try to save just one person, knowing that hundreds of their colleagues lay beneath that smoking ruin.

We need to look to Israel for some guidance. They have lived with terrorism for many years, and have survived and kept their freedoms intact. They have managed to get up and dust themselves off after every bombing, no matter how horrible. They have pointed an outstretched middle finger to the enemy and gone back to their lives. The pizza restaurant that was bombed there last month has already reopened, and is busier than ever. They have accepted the needs of security and found a way to keep their freedom.

I am due to get on an airplane next Friday morning to attend the Gun Rights Policy Conference in Cincinnati, and I have every intention of being on that flight. I will deal with the new regulations. I will pack my knife in my checked luggage instead of in my pocket, and be there early with photo ID in hand. And I will not complain about it, either. It is part of the way we will have to live to win this war. Our parents and grandparents lived through World War II with many restrictions and constraints necessitated by the war. And they defeated the great evil that was consuming the earth. It is now our turn to fight that battle.

We as a people can do this. We can, as President Bush said, "whip terrorism." We can make the sacrifices needed and the effort required to get our nation back on its feet. And we should replace the World Trade Center with a bigger and better one. That can be our outstretched middle finger to those evil animals that took our virginity one awful Tuesday morning.

(Note (9/11/10): This year has the added issue of controversy about the mosque proposed for near the WTC site. I have posted on that before. There is also the ongoing book burning threat from Gainesville. However, today is not a day for that stuff, nor is it a day for publicity hungry politicians or crackpots. We can resume all of that tomorrow. For today, we can set aside the partisan and political differences and remember that all of American was attacked 9 years ago and all Americans felt the loss.)

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

You Choose

Since the last time I posted here, I have been traveling on business in the Fort Worth area. I like Fort Worth, It is a nice place filled up with nice folks. My clients are the finest kind and the meetings went well.

That said, by the time I dragged myself onto the plane at DFW last night. I was tired, cranky and pretty much in a bad mood. We all get those. It was a combination of a lot of work, too much hotel room life, and some of the political goofiness that was going on while I was traveling. So, strapped in and waiting for the plane to take off and get me back home to South Florida I was not what you could call a happy camper.

Then a family boarded the plane. Mom, Dad and daughter. The daughter, a young woman of around 14 or so was wearing a complex and painful looking leg brace her parents were pretty much carrying her down the aisle to their seats – opposite me.

In conversation I learned that the daughter had been undergoing surgeries since she was 3 to correct a birth defect and that she had what was supposed to have been her last surgery 2 weeks prior. During a routine rehab therapy session, something in her leg popped and it set her back literally years. This young woman had to be in pain. It hurt to look at her.

They were flying to Fort Lauderdale to see the only doctor that was familiar with her situation after only a couple of weeks at home in the Dallas area. She was looking forward to school and seeing her friends. Her parents were looking forward to some time without doctors and hospitals. She is a pretty girl, but had lived with the surgery, devices and crutches most of her life. Here she was, almost done and bam! A major setback. But, you know what? She was happy! As was her family. Sure, Mom and Dad looked tired and somewhat wrung out, but the three of them were happy. Smiling and laughing.

This was one of those moments when life up and smacks you in the head. I had it coming. Here I was feeling all sorry for myself because I was tired and such, and this young woman, whose issues made mine look nonexistent was happy and laughing.

In speaking to them I learned my lesson. There is always a reason to be happy. It is never as bad as we make things out to be. Not the old silver lining opprobrium, or anything like that. Just the simple fact that as long as we are breathing, we have something to feel good about and all of the problems that we let anger us, upset us, depress us and so on are not as bad as we dress them up.

Sure, there are real problems in this world. Yes, people we love get sick, injured or die. Business goes sour. Deal fall through. Things get lost. Political winds change. But at the end of all of that we get to choose happiness or misery.

The world does not choose that for us. Each of us makes that choice every day. Next time you feel a bad mood coming on, stop and think, “Do I want to be miserable or do I want to be happy like that girl on the plane?” Me, I am going to work on choosing the happy.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Mosque Mess

Over the last week, I have been very busy with actual business and have not had the time to post anything here. Also, I have been fairly hesitant to weigh in on the mosque mess. Add to that my growing concern over the tenor of that debate and it is easy to see why the sidelines look so attractive on this issue.

However, the debate has now taken a turn that is more than just the normal flaming spitballs launched across the growing partisan divide. To really look at this fairly, you have to break it into 2 debates.

The first debate has to be the planned Islamic Center/Mosque near the World Trade Center site, or as it is known, the Ground Zero Mosque. Setting aside the obvious misnomer that is what it is known as and what I will call it. And let's all agree right off the top that there is a clear Constitutional and legal right to build that facility in that location. However, there is a principled, albeit emotional argument for moving it a little further from the actual site of the 9/11 attacks.

Eric Bolling at Fox best voices this. Please note that I am not a Fox fan at all. Or an MSNBC or CNN fan. From my perspective, most of the media (lame, main and otherwise) is so deeply engaged in the blindly partisan mud fest we call politics that they are useless as observers and reporters. Bolling however, while clearly voicing his conservative beliefs, is one of the few on either side that gives credence to an opposing perspective.

Anyway, Bolling explains it simply. He was in a cab on the way to WTC on 9/11. He saw the plane hit the tower. He lost a lot of friends and coworkers that day. I lost friends too, but I was in the comfort of my South Florida kitchen at the time. Eric was there. He worked there. Most folks have seen his safe deposit box. If you haven't seen it, Google it or whatever.

Bolling always acknowledges that the developer has every right the build it there. He is clear on that. However, for him, and many others, it is a strong emotional issue. It is that simple. To Bolling and a lot of folks, it is an affront, and an intentional one. I understand and respect that. I even agree to an extent. I personally think that the developer knows exactly what he is doing and refuses to even discuss a change of plans. For many like Eric Bolling, this is a personal insult.

That is something the developer should take into consideration, but does not have to. It is the kind of thing that does more for community outreach than a hundred open houses and bake sales. That is all folks like Eric want. Respect and some consideration of their emotions about the 9/11 attacks.

However, many others are not so pure of intention. Take Newt Gingrich, who most famously said that it is like putting a Nazi sign next to the Holocaust Museum in Washington. I guess to those who revel in the endless Nazi analogies, this makes sense. Unfortunately, it does not.

First, we would allow the Nazi sign next to museum. It is called freedom of speech and freedom of expression. It would be seriously distasteful, but it would be protected speech. Second, can all of you lay off the Nazi analogies for at least a month? It tends to minimize the true and deep evil that Hitler perpetrated. Also, its sounds stupid. Democrats did it to Bush, Republicans are doing it to Obama. Even though it is protected speech, it is distasteful and somewhat stupid speech.

And, worse than the Nazi analogists are the flat out haters. Those who dislike all Moslems and view all of them as the same as radical Islam. They are not. Most Moslems are just like everyone else. They just want to have a nice day. Of course those who attacked us did so in the name of radical Islam, but they are a small percentage. Painting all of Islam with that brush is wrong.

And that is what is happening now. Opposition to mosques in Tennessee, California and Wisconsin is significant and ugly. Those areas do not have the emotional argument that Eric Bolling and his peers do. Those that oppose those mosques do so out of either misplaced anger or straight out hate. Listen to the arguments.

Accusations that those mosques will allow strict Sharia law to be practiced. Well, I doubt very heavily that there will be any stonings in Murfreesboro, Tennessee or Temecula, California. This is the kind of stuff the opponents of the mosques outside New York are pushing. They use phrases like, "...taking over the US from the inside."

That last phrase should sound familiar. It was applied to Irish immigrants, Italians, Jews and recently, Hispanics. It is standard fare for the xenophobes. No matter who it is, they are always somehow plotting to take over the US from the inside. Oddly, it never seems to happen.

So there are really two debates here. One is a principled, albeit emotional argument from New Yorkers who still feel the pain and anguish from 9/11. As a compassionate and understanding American, I understand and respect their feelings. I support their effort to open a dialog to try to move the Islamic Center. It is a fair and understandable request. As a side note, there are those who suggest that it is time for Bolling and his peers to "get over it." How dare they. Whether or not I share the emotions Bolling has, we should respect them. Not respecting Bolling or anyone else's feelings is no better than those who oppose all mosques.

The other debate is not so principled. It is based on hate and misinformation and forwarded by those who simply wish to keep Moslems out of our society. To those people I say shut up. Keep your petty hate and bile to yourselves and accept that this is America and freedom is an absolute. To those in California, Tennessee and Wisconsin who are mounting hate based campaigns against peaceful good citizens, I say stop. You damage this nation with your every word and deed. Hate our enemy. Hate those who killed 3,000 on 9/11. But do not hate all who are Moslem. Most are good folks and good neighbors.

By the way, as much as I dislike the haters like Gingrich and Bo Dietl, and would love for them to just shut up, I also recognize that our amazing Constitution protects even stupid hateful speech like Dietl's inaccurate hysterics about Sharia law and Gingrich's snarling Nazi analogies. So I defend their right to free speech as much as anyone else's.

Simply put, we can have a debate about the Ground Zero location for the mosque with no hate for all Moslems (as Mr. Bolling has done) or we can descend into the kind of hate we are supposed to be better than as Americans.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

What are They Teaching?

Preventative disclosure - I am registered No Party Affiliation (NPA and Proud!) in Florida and have been for some time - as in decades. As such, I get calls from both sides seeking to sway me to one or the other. Failing that, they at least want some money. I have not given a dime to either party for quite some time and do not intend to fuel their hate and anger machines now.

As the election draws closer, the number of fund raising calls from both sides keeps increasing. And the alarmist noises being made by those fund raisers gets more alarming. This week I got a call that set me to wondering just what these callers have been taught.

This one came from the Republican Senate Campaign Committee. It could just as easily been the Democrats. Both sides are the same. It went something like this (I am not making this up):

Caller: Hi. I am calling on behalf of the Republican Senate Committee. In November, Americans head to the polls to vote in the most important election in American history. We need to elect more Republican Senators to help get rid of Nancy Pelosi.

Me: Umm. You do know that Nancy Pelosi is Speaker of the House and 100 Republican Senators could not remove her.

Caller: Right. That is why we need to elect more Republican Senators.

Me: And you do know that Senators have no voice in who is Speaker of the House, right?

Caller: Yes. Because the Democratic majority....

Me: Not to be rude, but do you understand how Congress is structured? I mean you do know that the House of Representatives elects the Speaker and the Senate has no say at all.

Caller: Yes, I know that, and that is why we need more Republican Senators. All 435 Senate seats are up for election...

Me: There have not been 435 Senators since Rome burned. Want to try that again? No, wait. Let me explain. The House of Representatives currently has 435 members, all of whom face election every 2 years. The Senate is currently 100 members and only one-third of them face election every 2 years. So, what are you asking me for?

Caller: We need to raise money to elect more Republican Senators.

Me: Out of curiosity, who is the minority leader of the US Senate right now?

Caller: Michael Steele?

And so on. This call lasted quite some time, since I asked for a supervisor who was even less well informed. They could not name any Congressional leader except the false queen Pelosi and seemed somewhat baffled that Senators could not unseat her. They could not name the Republican candidate for Senate here in Florida, even though they were trying to raise money for him.

The answer to "Who is the GOP Senate candidate here in Florida?" was, "Oh, wait. I can't remember the name. Tea Party endorsed. I know that...."

What bothered me about this call was the fact that these callers have no idea how our government is structured. None. They don't know the difference between the House and Senate. They have no clue as to who is running or who is currently in office. This is not a lack of briefing by their employers. This is a lack of proper education in basic American civics. It is a lack of basic knowledge about who sits in leadership posts in our government.

I learned this stuff when I was in elementary school. It would be do easy to blame the schools or teacher's unions. And they should be brought to task for this. But the real culprit here is the failed 2 party system we have. The Democrats and Republicans don't want voters to know how it works or who is in charge. If the voters knew the truth about how horribly twisted and corrupt the system has become, no incumbent would ever win re-election.

So what are they teaching in the schools? Keep in mind that we just send billions to school districts across the country to help them meet their budgets. And while that money is controversial (what isn't controversial these days?) what is more aggravating is the lack of any kind of requirements or conditions to get the funding. So what do we get for our billions?

Not civics or any education on how our government works. No real explanation of our rights and freedoms. No teaching about how a bill becomes law or why a bicameral legislature is more representative than a unicameral form. Nope. We get more nonsense self-esteem claptrap. More "everyone is a winner" stupidity. Another round of "everyone can do anything."

And that is how a political fundraiser has no idea how the political system works. And that is why our elected officials are simply embarrassing. That is why the ballot has become a "hold your nose and vote," process. If you think this generation of self serving narcissistic elected failures is bad, wait for the next one.

One of the few things that is bipartisan is that narcissistic self righteousness. Look at Eric Cantor and Alan Grayson. Two members of the Parliament of Whores we call Congress. One from each of the corrupt parties. Yet, they are almost the same person. Totally convinced that they are right and everyone else is too stupid to see that. Both talk to the people like we are 4 year olds. Neither has a clue about the reality of life on "Main Street," and neither actually cares.

That is just 2 of the 535 self serving corrupt entities that occupy Capitol Hill. Those 2 are just examples of how bad our Congress really is. Sure. Obama's poll numbers are dropping. And well they should. He is not doing what one could call a great job. But Congress? Their numbers would embarrass Spiro Agnew. So few people hav favorable view of Congress that it is entirely possible that all of the favorable view results came from employees of Congress.

Well, I think we need to do some unemploying. Starting on November 2, we need to get rid of all of the party hacks and whores that are in Congress now and elect anyone that is not an incumbent. They cannot possibly be worse than the corrupted, self serving, overly entitled batch we have now. And where possible, not from one of the 2 failed parties.

If anyone can be blamed for the mess we have now, it is the Democratic Party and the Republican Party. As the phone call pointed out so effectively, they actually don't care about the governing part of the deal. All they want is the winning. For them it is just a game. Well, we are the umpires and it is time to send them to the clubhouse permanently.

To drive home that message, I am offering T-Shirts with this message:

As a capitalist and a free market person, I am selling them for both profit and with the intent of donating to those candidates that are willing to step outside the parties and declare a concern for the Constitution and the people.

You can order them here:

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

No Party Affiliation

Today's Miami Herald brought some interesting - if incorrect - political analysis of the growing numbers of voters registered to neither party. As someone who has proudly been No Party Affiliation (NPA and Proud!) for over 15 years, I could not help but laugh at the pathetic attempt to pigeonhole truly free thinking independent voters by not only the press but the 2 corrupt old parties as well.

In the article by Lee Logan of the Tallahassee bureau of the decidedly Democrat leaning Herald, it is reported that the number of unaffiliated voters is growing more rapidly than either Democrats or Republicans. Since anyone in Tallahassee is most likely part of the autocratic Republican-Democrat Junta that has run the state of Florida like a fiefdom of corruption for decades, Logan's article has to be taken with an Everest size grain of salt.

Phrases like, "...while Democrats struggled to maintain their hefty registration edge over Republicans," don't seem to square up with the later phrase, "..the Republican share of the electorate has declined slightly.." This tells me that the article itself is coming from the Republo-Crat regime and not an objective look at all. In fact, I think it is fair to say that the Herald along with every other media outlet in the nation is in the same situation. They have all tied themselves to one party or the other (yes, Fox, you too) and can't seem to grasp the concept of truly independent voters not held under the sway of the Donkey or Elephant.

In the article, both parties try to claim the "No Party Affiliation" voter. Democrats say that these voters are going to start to appreciate all of the spending and taxing soon since it is saving jobs, blah, blah, blah. At the same time, the GOP claims these voters since, "these non-affiliated voters in their behavior are Republicans."

See the problem? Neither party (nor the press) can come to grips with the simple and obvious fact that more and more voters are sick of their prattling nonsense and ineffective blind ideology. They cannot seem to grasp that we want a government that serves all of the people and not just the majority money folks. The media seems to be totally incapable of even processing the idea that voters can no longer be pressed into simple molds to make reporting easier. Pundits rely on the same tired party line nonsense and refuse to accept that both parties have failed.

And that is the issue in a sentence. Both parties have failed. They have failed so big and so blatantly that it is almost impossible to tell them apart. Sure, they sound different on TV, but look at what they do. Both parties serve only themselves and their major money sources. Never doubt that. The people they elect only serve the parties and never the people. Every action (on inaction) is designed to either win the next election on embarrass the other party.

One look at Congress confirms this. Until 2007, Republicans ran the Congress and Democrats obstructed. Since 2007, it is reversed. No changes, nothing new. No deliberation, no compromise, no honesty. Just pathetic games. Senate minority leader McConnell has made it clear that nothing will pass without a filibuster for the sake of a filibuster. This includes GOP sponsored legislation. Oddly, when the GOP ran the Senate, they complained that the Democrats were obstructing. Now the GOP says it is the "will of the people," which explains the Democratic majority. More Democrats were elected to the Senate so Republicans could stop everything. Makes no sense anywhere except on Capitol Hill.

Same in the House. 6 years ago, the false queen Pelosi was minority leader and she complained about the use of parliamentary tricks to push through legislation that was not going to pass otherwise. Now that she has taken her throne and scepter, she uses those exact same tricks, like the recent use of reconciliation. Seems that when she is in charge, the tricks don't look so bad.

Tallahassee is far worse. The Republican controlled legislature has refused to work with the governor because he chose to run for Senate as an independent. And in Florida, the rift is so wide between the parties and so blatant, that the Republican House Speaker doesn't even bother to make up reasons for it. He pretty much says that the business of the people is on hold because they are mad at the governor for not playing party politics.

All of this party line garbage is why the number of NPA voters keeps increasing. Because the 2 parties are like old, worn out hookers. They just keep selling out and selling out, but fewer people are interested in what they are selling. Both parties are corrupt and self serving. Neither has a clue about the will of the people. Both have adopted hard partisan lines that neither will ever soften or negotiate. It has become all or nothing on both sides.

There are no moderates, no crossover votes, no compromises and no meaningful debates. Just the same tired old junk from the same tired old hacks. It is beyond time to send them home. On November 2, we, the NPA voters can do just that. Send them home, en masse. They have failed and failed badly. It is time to fire them - with no regard to party. They are all bad.

To drive home that message, I am offering T-Shirts with this message:

As a capitalist and a free market person, I am selling them for both profit and with the intent of donating to those candidates that are willing to step outside the parties and declare a concern for the Constitution and the people.

You can order them here:

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Hocus Pocus

Today we got news that the "static kill" was going well and BP felt that the well was finally stopped. Hopefully that is true. We could use some good news on this. However, no sooner did they say that, then the administration and BP forwarded a lie that equals "the check is in the mail," for audacity and obvious nonsense.

A couple of days ago, revised numbers put the amount of oil spilled from this disaster at just under 5 million barrels or right around 200 million gallons. This tops all previous estimates and makes this the largest marine oil spill ever anywhere. Add to that the 2 million gallons of dispersant and you have the largest environmental mess ever made.

Since this sounds really bad and takes away from Obama's "mission accomplished" moment when the well is finally plugged, the administration and their pals at BP needed some way to make it sound better. Since logic denies them this, they went with the next best thing - magic. Today, Obama point man Thad Allen happily announced that 76 percent of the spilled oil is simply gone. Vanished. Some was collected, some was burned, some skimmed. That part comes to under a million gallons or roughly 20 percent.

The rest? Around 50 percent of the spilled oil? Magically vanished. A combination of evaporation, dispersal and the mystic ability of the Gulf of Mexico to simply make oil go away. To be fair, the Gulf does have some life forms that can consume the oil. But they typically can consume less than 100,000 barrels per year. That is less than 2 days of this spill. On the evaporation thing, oil does not completely evaporate. It breaks down into several fairly toxic substances including tar. But it does not disappear. On the dispersal claim, that is just stupid. Dispersal means the oil is spread out over a greater area. Not less oil - more area.

But the administration, forever worried about PR and such, had none other than Carole Browner out today telling us that 76 percent of the oil had simply gone away. Thad Allen continues to refer to his aerial surveys. The White House and BP would have us believe that over half of the oil that leaked is just gone. Vanished. Consumed. Whatever. They want us to simply accept that it is gone.

This is with virtually no real science. In fact, real scientists at actual universities keep pointing out that there really is no precedent for this much oil and dispersant. Real researchers keep reporting elevated levels of oil in the water miles away and thousands of feet deep. And that is exactly what BP, Thad Allen and the rest of the administration and Congress wanted in the first place.

The problem to be invisible. Not gone. Not solved. Not dealt with. Just harder to see. And less photogenic. Has anyone noticed that the images from a mile below the surface pretty much disappeared from the news? That we no longer get a report of where the oil is or might be going? We no longer get a look at the damage in Plaquemines Parish where the worst of it is. Why?

Well, the administration and BP from the start wanted the oil kept off the surface. BP announced that almost immediately. Then we had the sham of the EPA order stopping the dispersant. Thad Allen and BP said no. EPA immediately backed down. When has that ever happened? When has EPA ever just backed down? This left it up to Obama's hand picked National Incident Commander Thad Allen, who was yielding to BP across the board.

So the 2 million gallons of dispersant was pumped onto and into the Gulf of Mexico with the explicit purpose of keeping the oil off the surface. BP said this. Thad Allen said this. For some reason, the same media that questions the cost of a wedding didn't notice that the oil was being hidden - right in front of them. And it obviously worked.

This is important to Team Obama. They were very slow to react to the situation when it happened and slow to really grasp the magnitude of it. They put everything through the bureaucracy, slowing it down even more. Congress is STILL working on reacting with something other than hearings. Overall, the government needs to show a rapid "mission accomplished" to try to overcome the failure to properly react initially.

So Obama gets his "mission accomplished" moment. The well appears to be finally stopped. They are still going to do the relief wells and such, but the oil seems to be finally and permanently stopped. But the oil that leaked is still mostly in the water - just hard to see. Thus they can announce that the oil had gone away on its own. And then they can run away as fast as they can. Just like the last time a president proclaimed mission accomplished when the original mission was not accomplished.

If you don't want to believe me, that is fine. Just ask any Gulf fisherman or resort owner. Ask the people whose lives this disaster destroyed. They'll tell you. Ask them - if you dare.

I am offering shirts with this design and will be sending the profits directly to the Plaquemines Parish Fund that is set up to help the folks most hurt by this mess.

I spoke to the good folks at Plaquemines and I have to say that for people living a horror show, they are some of the nicest and most grateful people you would ever want to talk to.

Please help out and get the message out at the same time.

You can order them here:

Monday, August 2, 2010

Static Lies

Sometime in the next 24 hours, BP - with the rubber stamp approval of Obama point man Thad Allen - will begin pumping drilling mud and eventually concrete into the top of the Macondo well. They will pump it through the already weakened and questionable blowout preventer that is part of the initial problem. And they will, at that point, have prevented any objective or scientific measure of the flow of oil into the Gulf of Mexico while managing to get away with pumping almost 2 million gallons of toxic chemicals into the Gulf alongside the estimated 150 million gallons of oil.

I am talking about the dispersants...again. This has been a theme on this blog for literally months. Suddenly, everyone wants to know about the dispersant. Congress is asking, the press is asking and Thad Allen is lying. He is doing his best to protect both the inept fools at BP who cooked up this chemistry experiment and the inept fools in the administration who allowed it.

Back on day three of this disaster, the Obama EPA ordered BP to stop using the dispersant. BP and their pal Thad Allen said no. EPA put a limit on the amount. Thad Allen's answer? Waive the limit repeatedly. Repeatedly as in 74 times in 48 days. And then ignore BP's violation of the waiver limit. Oh, he also managed to completely ignore the simple fact that the dispersant is designed for surface use and not the massive undersea application employed by BP.

According to Thad Allen, the goal of reducing the dispersant was "generally met." What? Generally met? As in ignored? As in disregarded? As in laughed at? Allen was supposed to be on our side in this mess, not BP's. Yet there he was this weekend, defending BP up and down the line.

Remember, BP's stated goal for the undersea dispersant use was to keep the oil from reaching the surface. It must have worked, since Thad Allen's measure of any success is to fly over the area and look for oil. Since the majority of the oil remains hidden below the surface, this means Allen can look out his airplane window and feel good about no surface oil.

He continues to deny any problem with oil beneath the surface and now forwards BP's newest lie - the magical ability of the Gulf to eliminate the oil by itself. This little fantasy is based on the Gulf's known ability to deal with tiny amounts of oil. perhaps a hundred barrels a month from tiny seeps in the sea floor. Not massive amounts measured in the tens of thousands of barrels per day.

But good old Thad, just like his boss Obama, prefers the simplistic attitude of "see no oil, have no oil." And that is his measure for success. They have managed to cover it up with toxic chemicals and screaming falsehoods. In fact, it is a lot like the way the Obama pre-failed economic team works. Just pretend it is getting better and it will. Much like the economy, they claim success in the Gulf based on a quick, superficial glance. Nothing on the surface today, must be good.

Yet, on the same days that Thad Allen does his "observational analysis," people on boats have no problem finding thick, mousse like oil mixed with dispersant on the surface. It is still exactly where it was 2 months ago and shows no signs of abating. Now Allen and new BP CEO Bob Dudley want to scale back the cleanup efforts based on - wait for it - Thad Allen's surface observations.

Well, if Obama wanted his "Mission Accomplished" moment, he has it. He and his appointed failure Thad Allen can now easily accomplish BP's mission and lie to the American people. They can tell us that the well is plugged and there is no oil on the surface. They can tell us that the fish is good to eat when the fishermen won't sell it because they don't trust it. They can tell us that the Gulf of Mexico has magic powers to absorb oil endlessly with no harm. Maybe they will tell us we can fly if we just all think good thoughts.

Why should we believe anything they tell us at this point? The cap was only for a 2 day test, yet it has been there for weeks. The flow of oil into the Gulf has been hidden since day one. There has been zero transparency in the entire mess. Allen was supposed to be working for us, but he has yielded to BP at every turn. When they lied, Thad made excuses. Same as Geithner and Goldman Sachs. Another administration appointee working for someone other than us.

Write this down. As soon as Allen and BP can confirm that the well is plugged, they are gone. Out of there. The administration, the media and BP will move on leaving the folks that live there to sort it out.

God help them because this government and BP won't.

I am offering shirts with this design and will be sending the profits directly to the Plaquemines Parish Fund that is set up to help the folks most hurt by this mess.

I spoke to the good folks at Plaquemines and I have to say that for people living a horror show, they are some of the nicest and most grateful people you would ever want to talk to.

Please help out and get the message out at the same time.

You can order them here:

Friday, July 30, 2010

Let Them Eat Nothing!

Acting en masse in a genuine Marie Antoinette moment, the US Senate has once again set a new low point for partisan politics trumping the needs of the people. And this time both sides seem to have gone out of their way to be particularly dishonest about it.

Yesterday, the Senate - along mostly party lines (duh) - failed to vote cloture and allow a real vote on a bill to give small businesses a large tax break and access to an additional $30 billion in SBA loans. This is a bill that, until yesterday, had pretty solid bipartisan support. In fact, the bill itself reads like a Republican concept, based on their accurate position that small business needs more attention from the Obama administration.

Republicans have been correctly hammering Obama and the hopeless Dems in Congress since day one about the need to give small business a break and let them create jobs. So what happened? Well, surprise, surprise, surprise. Partisan election year politics happened.

Look at the reason given by Senate Minority Leader McConnell. He complained that Republicans could not get enough amendments added to the bill. Let me say that again - Republican Senators blocked an opportunity to help small business because they could not add enough amendments to a bill they had already said they liked.

To be fair, Senate Majority Leader Reid did limit them to 3 amendments, which is silly to start with. However, many of the ideas that Republicans wanted were already in the bill itself. Democrats are easily guilty of overplaying the power hand on this and not working more to resolve what is - at the end of the day - a stupid procedural dispute. And the Dems are wrong for once again fearing that Republicans might try to add an amendment that they don't like.

However, Senate Republicans should be ashamed for once again putting election year politics ahead of the needs of the people. This was not about the bill itself. Or paying for it. Or if it is needed. Both sides agree that the bill is needed. This is about the ongoing GOP strategy of not allowing any progress on the economy so that they have a campaign issue.

Democrats are doing the same thing. Would a tax break really be on their agenda in a non-election year? The folks that brought you mandatory health care? Of course not.

Once again, the Senate proves to be an almost pointless body that has degenerated into nothing more than an endless campaign stop for a very spoiled and uncaring 100 plutocrats who put themselves and their corrupt political parties above the people that elect and pay them.

So, small business, no soup for you! McConnell and Reid are too busy making sure the soup is all theirs. The only small businesses these guys care about are the ones that they use to hide their own money. Next time a smarmy Democrat talks about job growth, remind them that they killed job growth over petty partisan nonsense. And the next time some self-righteous Republican blabbers about how small business creats most of the new jobs, remind them that they killed that job machine to further their pathetic ambitions.

Better yet, come November, vote the entire stinking lot of them out. If they were employees, they would have been fired already. The United States will be a much better place without this collection of tired corrupt career party hacks. On November 2, vote for anyone but the incumbent. Your nation will thank you.

To drive home that message, I am offering T-Shirts with this message:

As a capitalist and a free market person, I am selling them for both profit and with the intent of donating to those candidates that are willing to step outside the parties and declare a concern for the Constitution and the people.

You can order them here:

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

On the Surface..

Sometime early next week, BP will begin pumping mud down into the well in the Gulf of Mexico. This is supposedly intended to help plug the hole once and for all in conjunction wit the relief wells being drilled. This operation is dubiously named "static kill." I suspect the intent is to kill any potential of getting an accurate measurement of the oil that has already flowed into the gulf and thus mitigating the fine.

As a quick aside, for some inexplicable reason the relief wells were renamed relief tunnels last week. This makes little or no sense. They are mot tunnels. They are wells. I guess to some PR flack working for BP or Thad Allen, tunnels sounded cooler.

While the preparations for "static kill" are ongoing, retired admiral Thad Allen proudly declared that there is little oil on the surface as if that was the end of the problem. Of course, he fails to mention that he authorized the use of epic amounts of toxic chemicals to keep the oil from rising to the surface in the first place. Just like his new pals at BP, he was all about the imagery and not the reality.

In case anyone has forgotten, the stated reason for the use of over 2 million gallons of dispersant underwater was to keep the oil from the surface. And the only reason to do that was to prevent the images of millions of gallons of oil hitting every beach in the Gulf region. It was never about keeping the oil out of the ecosystem.

Last week, when Tropical Storm Bonnie was approaching, the ever inaccurate Jim Cantore at the Weather Channel came up with the analogy that the wave action created by the storm would have the same effect on the oil as shaking a bottle of vinaigrette. The oil emulsifies with the rest of the ingredients. Up to that point, Cantore was actually right. However, he then implied, as does Thad Allen, that the oil then magically disappears. It does not. Taking Cantore's bottle of salad dressing analogy, the oil is still there. It ends up on your salad.

The same applies to the Gulf. The oil is still there, no matter how badly Thad Allen and his real masters at BP want us to think otherwise. No matter how much the administration wishes, the oil will not simply go away just because we cannot see it. In fact, it is a bigger problem because we cannot see it and cannot collect it like we can surface oil.

That was BP's plan all along. Hide the oil. Hide the true depth of this disaster. Avoid the ugly photos and avoid paying for the damage they have really done. By keeping the oil hidden, they can create the illusion that the crisis is over once they plug the well. And the Obama team of failed bureaucrats led by Thad Allen can declare victory and run home.

Ask any Gulf fisherman. He will tell you that the problem is in the water and on the bottom. Yes, some of the toxic compounds in the oil dissipate and yes, some biological entities eat some of the oil. But none of that accounts for the level of toxic dispersant or the sheer volume of oil present in the water column. That same fisherman will tell you that he is concerned about next year's catch, if there is to be any. He is worried about the edibility of that catch, given the chemistry experiment that BP conducted in the Gulf with Obama's permission.

Plugging the hole is not the beginning of the end as so many media types are fond of saying. It is barely the end of the beginning. It will be years before the mess is cleared. Years for the Gulf to recover form the reckless and unchecked chemical pollution intentionally added. Years for the mess that the administration authorized to be cleaned up. EPA allowed the dispersant at Allen's insistence. NOAA continues to hedge on the amount or concentration of oil and dispersant. Obama's team continues to go with quick visuals during overflights of the are and BP is happy to go with all of that.

Here is an easy way to know it is bad - if BP and Thad Allen like it, it is probably bad for everyone else. This has been the way through this entire disaster. BP acts in its own interests and Thad Allen, on behalf of Obama, endorses it. Every time.

Once that well is plugged, they are all going home. Allen, BP, the media. All of them. And those who depend on the Gulf for a living will just have to figure it out. Because destroyed lives don't make good video and ruined family businesses don't make for dramatic headlines.

This will be Obama's "Mission Accomplished" moment. He will declare victory while the enemy - in this case the oil - remains out there. His administration and the rest of our government will walk away feeling good. Sadly, the folks that live there will still be fighting and pushing. They will know that the mission is barely started.

Get that "Mission Accomplished" banner ready now. It will make a much better visual than the truth.

I am offering shirts with this design and will be sending the profits directly to the Plaquemines Parish Fund that is set up to help the folks most hurt by this mess.

I spoke to the good folks at Plaquemines and I have to say that for people living a horror show, they are some of the nicest and most grateful people you would ever want to talk to.

Please help out and get the message out at the same time.

You can order them here:

Monday, July 26, 2010

Spenders, Tax Cutters and Liars. Oh My!

According to the US Constitution, Congress has the power to tax and spend. And they do know how to exercise those powers. It is a bipartisan activity, although the 2 parties will both happily lie to you about which they are doing more of. And both parties do plenty of both...and plenty of lying about it.

Now that it is time for this joke of a Congress to actually deal with the soon to expire Bush tax cuts, the flow of dishonesty and misdirection from all sides is just blinding. Start with the basic positions. Democrats want to pretend to end tax cuts for the "wealthiest Americans," so they can spend more and Republicans want to cut more taxes so they can pretend to spend less.

Let's start with the party in power. Seems fair - they are currently in charge of the Congressional honeypot. And the Democrats are in trouble on the tax issue. Seems that the recently former chair of the House Ways and Means Committee that actually has to initiate all tax laws (Article 1, Section 7) was himself apparently evading taxes like a Wall Street pro. Charlie Rangel is currently waiting for the full House to hear what amounts to a trial for the ethics violations he committed with his multiple residences, unpaid taxes on revenues and money he just "forgot" he had. In other words, false queen Nancy's hand chosen tax writer was actually a tax cheat. Oh, and a big fat liar.

This tosses a wrench into Pelosi's plan to raise taxes on high income folks and also raise taxes more deviously on everyone else. And that makes it almost impossible for her to keep handing out billion dollar gifts to get legislation passed. The House has gotten into the habit of simply waiving their own rules regarding spending. According to the rules, expenditures or tax cuts (they are actually the same thing) have to be paid for with an offsetting reduction in spending elsewhere. Incovenient.

Now that Rangel is no longer in charge of Ways and Means, false queen Nancy has to find another way to fund her corrupt empire of greed and nonsense. Seems that Rangel was willing to do whatever she wanted as long as he didn't have to own up to his own crimes. Remember, Pelosi kept him in that position for 2 years before finally moving him out.

This would normally be good news for Republicans, who believe that cutting taxes is the magic answer to everything. The GOP position on taxes versus spending was summed up best most recently by Mike Pence. When asked by legacy qualified interviewer Chris Wallace why the unemployment benefit extension was stalled, Pence said it had to be paid for with an offset in spending. That made sense, but Pence's next answer totally negated any logic momentarily present. Wallace asked the redoubtable Pence how extending the tax cuts would be paid for. This sent pence off into a long explanation of economics that I suspect Pence did not fully understand. When brought back down to Earth and pressed for a real answer, Pence said tax cuts pay for themselves in stimulus and job growth. And that is perhaps the lie of the millennium.

See, tax cuts are spending. the same Republicans who decried Obama's stimulus plan as unpaid for spending want to spend almost a trillion dollars on more tax cuts for high income folks. Now I have no problem with cutting taxes. None at all. However, I do have a problem with the false belief that tax cuts somehow stimulate anything and are not really spending. I have an even bigger problem with all of this targeted tax cut garbage.

Tax cuts are spending. I am saying this again because liars like Pence and Cantor can't seem to grasp this. A tax cut removes money from the government just like spending does. It costs someone. Just like spending. But the Republicans never seem to want to admit that. Just like Democrats never seem to want to admit that spending endlessly does not solve anything.

While Pence and company push to cut taxes to somehow magically increase revenue, Democrats are pushing to spend money to somehow magically save money. Only in Congress does this make any sense.

What those 535 boneheads should do is level the taxes to a single rate flat tax. No deductions, credits, exemptions or other trickery. Then they should simply only spend what they have. No deficit spending. If they need more, then let them raise taxes and justify it to the people. Same with the endless tax cuts. Tell us what programs and spending are getting cut to cover those tax breaks.

I am all for lower taxes and less spending. I think the estate tax is an obscenity and the capital gains tax is a deterrent to investing. I think the current multi-tiered tax structure with the bazillion deductions, credits and exemptions is stupid and ineffective. I fully support a one line flat tax with no breaks. Same rate for everyone. Imagine how easy it would be for business if they knew in advance exactly how much of each dollar was tax. Imagine the real dollar savings in paperwork alone.

Here in Florida, we know all about unwise tax cuts. Ask Marco Rubio - the current darling of the reduce taxes and not spending movement. As Florida Speaker, he pushed tax cuts through the legislature with no matching spending cuts. His attitude was to let the counties figure it out since he was leaving the Florida House anyway to run for US Senate. He knew he wouldn't have to deal with the fallout of his irresponsible and unpaid for tax cuts.

And that is exactly what spenders and tax cutters in Congress are doing now. Democrats keep spending in the belief that somehow all of it magically comes back. Republicans keep yelling for tax cuts in the belief that cutting revenue will somehow magically increase revenue. Do any of these morons have a working checkbook?

I think they all need to go. If they worked in private industry, they would have been fired long ago for incompetence and lying. Well, come November, we can do just that. Fire the whole stinking lot of them.

To drive home that message, I am offering T-Shirts with this message:

As a capitalist and a free market person, I am selling them for both profit and with the intent of donating to those candidates that are willing to step outside the parties and declare a concern for the Constitution and the people.

You can order them here: