MY  RANT  PAGE
Last Updated; March, 2019  by Gene Sullivan

 

 

 

The Day After the Mueller Hearing (July 25, 2019)

 

All along, I've been banking on what I thought was a rock-em, sock-em, leatherneck marine.  He turned out to be a senile old man.

No wonder Bill Barr's been able to trample all over him.

Looks like we'll just have to wait for the 2020 election. I guess that's just as well; Mike Pence may be more dangerous than Trump. But that's a sad thing, because reelection is a distinct possibility. Four more years of a Trump presidency could destroy America. Khrushchev may have been right when he declared "We will bury you" (with a young Vladimir Putin looking on).

We just don't have any strong leaders in our government who will stand up for democracy.

 

The Day After AG William Barr's Summary of the Mueller Report is Released
March 25, 2019

Donald Trump has declared complete and total exoneration and vindication. His supporters are dancing in the end zone while he encourages all the fans to rush the field and tear down the goal posts. It's party time at Fox and Friends. For them, victory is absolute and Trump's domination is indisputable. Trump is calling for the resignations of Democratic congressmen who accused him, and he is demanding that the media bow down and beg forgiveness for ever doubting him.

Maybe it's what we know about William Barr, or it's something a famous man once said, but I've got a feeling this isn't over.

“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” - Martin Luther King Jr.

What A Sad Chapter
March 2019

As I watch this fiasco unfold, I can't help but think what a sad chapter this will be in the history books when future civic students arrive at the post Obama 20 teens, and I almost feel sorry for the many Texans I know who supported the con man we know as Donald J. Trump.  My sympathy doesn't last for long, because I tried to warn them all what a charlaton this man was, and none of them listened to me.  (Spoken by a lone liberal in Brazoria County, Texas)

The Border Wall
February 2019

100% of the Congressmen who represent districts on the Rio Grande River oppose the border wall
100% of Texas Senators (Corntn and Cruz) oppose the border wall
53% of Texas citizens (in this red sttate) oppose the border wall
Most sheriffs in counties bordering the Rio Grande River opposes the border wall
Most mayors in cities along the Rio Grande River oppose the border wall.
But Trump and his political base want the wall.

 

The Border Wall and Government Shut Down
January 11, 2019

I would like to suggest some ways President Trump could solve the problems at the border, and end the government shutdown.

1) Since he is worth $10 billion, he could use half of his empire to build the wall himself and then send the bill to Mexico.

2) He could start a Go Fund Me Page on Facebook and ask his supporters to contribute to a wall-building fund, telling them that Mexico will reimburse them.

3) He could solve the problem at the border with thoughts and prayers, the same way the Republicans solve the problem of gun violence in the schools.

4) He could declare a national emergency and take money from the victims of floods, fires and hurricanes to pay for the wall. No, that idea is as bad as Dan Patrick's idea of taking money from Texas schools to fund the wall.

Our country has faced problems like this in the past, and the Constitution does provide a simple solution. The senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, could easily bring a veto-proof bill to the floor for a vote. Problem solved!

How Could A Christian Support This Republican Party?
January 2, 2019

The alien who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the alien as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt; Leviticus 19:34

I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me; Matthew 25:35

Thus says the Lord of hosts: Render true judgments, show kindness and mercy to one another; do not oppress the widow, the orphan, the alien, or the poor; Zechariah 7:9

When he was on that golden elevator telling us he was a racist, we already knew Donald Trump was a womanizer and a liar, yet we elected him president in spite of all that.

Now his policy to separate children from their families is as immoral and anti-Christian as anything I can possibly imagine.

 

The Best Thing I've heard in These Campaign Debates

"Now, I'm not calling Mr. DeSantis a racist, I'm simply saying the racists believe he's a racist," - Andrew Gillum debating DeSantis in Florida

It rather sums up my feelings about Trump and his supporters. I'm not saying they're all racisits, but the racists think they're racisits. That's reason enough for me to oppose the Republicans.

 

The Liberal's Uncivil Behavior
Updated July 7, 2018

When Trump said he could shoot someone in the middle of 5th avenue and get away with it, he was speaking literally and not figuratively, because by the time the news got spun by the GOP and filtered through Brietbart and Fox News, the headline would look like this:

"President Trump shoots suspected terrorist in self defense, saving countless innocent people's lives. Unreliable witnesses, members of the deep state and suspected MS 13 gang members, tell the liberal press a different story in a failed attempt to bring down our president. Too many haters, SAD."

Polls would show an increase in Trump's approval ratings. His base would cheer. Thanks to his propaganda army, whatever Trump does, no matter how evil, he benefits from it. And this explains why he goes headlong into his strategy of separating children from their parents down at the border.

Now the right complains about the uncivil behavior of all the 'snowflake' liberals. When a government does something that is illegal, immoral and simply wrong in every way, how 'uncivil' should a civil population behave?

The Germans behaved in a 'civil' manner while Hitler was exterminating the Jews.

 

About Bigots and Racists

Not all Republicans are racists and bigots. However: all the bigots and racists are Trump supporters.

So if you jump on the Trump train, don't be surprised if people who are not on that train consider you a racist. It's an honest mistake.

Furthermore: You just might want to do a little self-examination, because if you choose to align yourself with bigots and racists, that "honest mistake" may not be a mistake.

 

Mit Romney: "He's a Charlaton",
Blog Update: April 10, 2017

According to Judicial Watch, who keeps track of this sort of thing, Obama's travel and security expenses over his 8 year presidency totaled 97 million dollars. In 8 years (96 months), his travel budget breaks down to roughly 1 million per month.

In Donald Trump's first 80 days in office, his travel/security expense budget has reached 21.6 million dollars. That breaks down to over 8 million dollars per month, and that does not include the money that the city of New York has spent on the security of Trump Tower.

At this rate, Trump's travel/security budget, in just his first year, will exceed that of Obama's entire, 8 year presidency. This is particularly high considering Trump has not yet traveled out of the United States. It is also troubling that he has visited Trump branded properties more than once every three days. The tax payer pays and the Trump brand profits from these expensive presidential visits.

As P. T. Barnum once said: "There's a sucker born every minute."

American voters; you have been played.

Just Say "NO" to Flynn's Request for Immunity

Yesterday, 3/30/2017, Donald Trump's disgraced National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn, asked for immunity in exchange for his testimony before Congress.

But "Why should we say no to such an offer?"'; You may ask. After all, wouldn't we want to get to the truth, and find out who all the real culprits are. Sure we would, but consider the record of Michael Flynn. He has proven himself to be a liar, and there is no reason to believe that he would tell the truth with or without immunity. He is a retired general and considers himself to be a loyal soldier. He would consider it the most loyal of soldierly duties to sacrifice himself and fall on his sword for his commander in chief. Just as Oliver North was Ronald Reagan's sacrificial lamb, he could become Donald Trump's savior. If you remember your history, Oliver North deflected all the blame and assumed all the responsibility for the selling of arms to our adversary, Iran, in exchange for money to fund the Contra rebels that congress refused to support, thus letting Ronald Reagan off the hook.

Oliver North became the hero of the neo-conservatives (now the alt-right) by taking all the blame for Reagan. President Reagan appeared before Congress on December 2, 1986, to answer questions regarding his involvement in the Iran-Contra affair. He sated that he had no recollection of authorizing any arms shipments to Iran through Israel, but in his 1990 autobiography, An American Life, Reagan acknowledges having authorized those shipments. As one of his final acts as president he commuted the 3 year sentence that had been given to Oliver North who is now a Fox News pundit and highly paid public speaker.

This is an outcome that Michael Flynn would be most satisfied with , especially if he could get immunity from prosecution. The way I see it, he is planning to take the fall for Donald Trump. If he does it without immunity, he will serve some time in prison until his sentence is commuted by Trump, and if he does it with immunity from prosecution, all the better for him.

There is no benefit in giving him immunity from prosecution in exchange for his lies.

 

Could Something Good Come of This?

If Trump continues to spin out of control, would our representatives honor the pledges they made to uphold the Constitution? Is the threat of a deranged president enough to make law makers set aside their partisan differences? Could Trump's fanatic approach to immigration possibly push law makers to pass comprehensive immigration reform?

How ironic that Trump could be the catalyst that unites our country. A real possibility? No, just the wishful thoughts of a dreamer.

 

Where to Go From Here?
My local paper has quit printing my letters to the editor, so here is my February (2017) submission:

It's been said many times: "All politicians lie". It can be argued that it is necessary and justifiable for leaders to stretch the truth, whether it be a tyrant in a dictatorship or an elected politician in a democracy.

Although the lies can be the same in both situations, the saving grace in a democracy would be the existence of neutral and politically independent institutions capable of safeguarding truth from the politics of persuasion, misdirection and outright lies.

It is precisely these institutions that have been the target of President Trump's malicious tweets and tirades.

These institutions; the judiciary, and the free press have been empowered to fact check our politicians and make the truth known to us all. Without these institutions, and just as importantly, without confidence in their integrity, democratic self-governance would be impossible.

Trump has attacked a "so called" judge and encouraged supporters to "blame him if something happens". If something does occur (God forbid) there will be an all out assault on our judicial system, just for having done its job.

Trump has called the media a "dishonest arm" and claimed as "fake news" any criticisms that appear in the press, whether true or not. This very newspaper, which has quite conservative bona fides, has suffered attacks from people who have written in to ridicule The Facts' liberal agenda- an assertion I find ridiculous.

With President Trump attacking the credibility of these institutions, I fear that our very democracy is under attack as well.

 

UNBELIEVABLE

November 9, 2016- Waking up to a living nightmare; a sad day for America. A crude, misogynistic, racist bully has been elected to the most powerful position in the free world. A man who is dedicated to dismantling the meager and hard-fought-for advances this nation has made in recent times. He never recognized the legitimacy of our past president and was able to use fear, divisiveness and intimidation to garner a majority of electoral votes from a frightened, spineless and largely bigoted group of voters. He was able accomplish this feat due to the following: 1) Greedy republican leaders who wanted control and power at any price. 2) Corrupt leaders within the Democratic Party and the Democratic National Committee. 3) The meddling of the FBI and the Russian hackers in the national political campaign. 4) Fox News and the right wing (Republican) media that glorified him, refusing to point out his many untruthful statements, illogical promises, and his deeply flawed character. 5) The weak-kneed media who, in order to maintain viewer ship/readership, would not call out a fraud for what he was. 6) Most of all, ourselves and the gullible among us who prefer to be entertained rather than educated.

The candidate who I supported had this to say over a year ago, and he was spot-on:

"Let me be very clear. In my view, Democrats will not retain the White House, will not regain the Senate, will not gain the House and will not be successful in dozens of governor’s races unless we run a campaign which generates excitement and momentum and which produces a huge voter turnout.

With all due respect, and I do not mean to insult anyone here, that will not happen with politics as usual. The same old, same old will not be successful.
The people of our country understand that — given the collapse of the American middle class and the grotesque level of income and wealth inequality we are experiencing — we do not need more establishment politics or establishment economics.

We need a political movement which is prepared to take on the billionaire class and create a government which represents all Americans, and not just corporate America and wealthy campaign donors.
In other words, we need a movement which takes on the economic and political establishment, not one which is part of it."

~ Bernie Sanders August 28th, 2015

Donald J. Trump was not elected by popular vote and I refuse to accept him as my president. I disavow his leadership just as much as the righteous disavowed the authority of Adolph Hitler when he became Chancellor of Germany in 1933. I can only pray for this country.

 

MARK MY WORD!

I am writing this as soon as the news breaks. Saturday morning, 1/16/2016. Before it has a chance to reverberate in the echo chambers of R & L wing.

The Iranians are releasing the 4 American hostiges they have been holding. This is great news, but....
Republicans have criticized Obama for not making the 4 Americans held by Iran part of the nuclear deal.
Now that the hostages are being released, what will the Republican response be?
They will twist themselves into pretzels finding a way to spin it as negative.
My guess is it will be after Monday afternoon before they prepare their official response.
They'll have to wait until Rush and Trump (the loud voices) have weighed in on it. (see below: "Who's the Real Leader of the Republican Party?")

It's not good enough to simply ignore the decent things Obama has done, they must be demonized.

Mark my word, I don't know how they will manage to spin this event as a negative, but they will.

Sunday update (1/17/2016): I underestimated the maliciousness of the Republican presidential candidates. The hatred and repugnance they have for our president goes beyond even what I had calculated. It wasn't two days, as I had predicted, but only one before these candidates have come out slamming Obama for: 1) not having secured their release sooner and 2) having gotten a bad deal by trading 7 imprisoned Iranians for the 4 (which turned out to be five) Americans. These are still weak criticisms and I believe Rush Limbaugh will come out with more creative ones tomorrow which conservatives will adopt and the Republican nominees will adapt to. There is one exception; Rand Paul said it was a "sign of hope" and “a sign that we need to continue to try to see if negotiations will work.”

 

 

It's Hard to Have a Rational Discussion With a Republican
when they live in the ccnservative echo chamber

When one political party does something completely outrageous, responding with "both sides do that" is not an answer to the problem, it does not defend the outrageous act, nor does it make it acceptable. However, it is the most common response I get when pointing out the folly of today's republicans. Answering in such a way simply brushes the issue aside in an attempt to minimize it so the person with conflicted ideals does not need to think about it.

To quote Adolph Hitler: "How fortunate for governments that the people they administer don't think."

If your party has 'jumped the shark', then you need to think about it and either resolve the conflict or change your political affiliations.

 

 

Claims of a California Senator on the Armed Services Committee.

Diane Feinstein, a democrat from California, says the Islamic State (ISIS) is getting stronger because the United States isn't doing enough. That's a lot like saying my dog is getting meaner because I'm not beating it enough.

The fact is, ISIS has become strong because the United States has done too much in the Middle East. The best thing we can do is disengage, invest in renewable energy and leave them to their oily resources.

 

Ten False Claims Made by Conservative Media; The Truth and the Proof


1) The Lie: Obama's spending has grown the deficit
The Truth: The Deficit Has Grown Mostly Because Of The Recession
The deficit has ballooned not because of specific spending measures, but because of the recession. The deficit more than doubled between 2008 and 2009, as the economy was in free fall, since laid-off workers paid less in taxes and needed more benefits. The deficit then shrank in 2010 and 2011.

2) The Lie: Obama's stimulus package ran up the country's debt
The Truth: The Stimulus Cost Much Less Than Bush's Wars, or his Tax Cuts
Republicans frequently have blamed the $787 billion stimulus for the national debt, but, when all government spending is taken into account, the stimulus frankly wasn't that big. In contrast, the U.S. will have spent nearly $4 trillion on wars in the Middle East by the time those conflicts end, according to a recent report by Brown University. The Bush tax cuts have cost nearly $1.3 trillion over 10 years.

3) The Lie: The country was in good shape until Bush left office
The Truth: The Deficit Grew Under George W. Bush
When George W. Bush took office, the federal government was running a surplus of $86 billion. When he left, that had turned into a $642 billion deficit.

4) The Lie: The deficit is growing
The Truth: The Deficit Is Shrinking
Last year's federal budget deficit was 12 percent lower than in 2009, according to the Office of Management and Budget. The deficit is projected to shrink even more over the next several years.

5) The Lie: The money we borrow now is costing us a great deal in interest payments.
The Truth: Investors Are Paying Us To Borrow Money
The interest rate on 10-year Treasury bonds is negative, according to the Treasury Department. Investors are even paying us for 30-year Treasury bonds, when adjusted for inflation.

6) The Lie: Fewer people are willing to invest in America
The Truth: Investors Are Not Running Away
Conservative commentators have been warning for years that investors will run away from Treasury bonds because of the national debt. So far it's not happening. Interest rates on Treasury bonds continue to hover at historic lows.

7) The Lie: ObamaCare is running up the deficit
The truth: Health Care Reform Reduces The Deficit
Republicans have blasted the Affordable Care Act as "budget-busting." But health care reform actually reduces the deficit, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

8) The Lie: We are borrowing more and more from the Chinese
The truth: The U.S. Is Borrowing Less From China
The U.S. government is borrowing much less from foreign countries than before the recession, according to government data cited by Paul Krugman. That is because the U.S. private sector is financing our bigger deficits.

9) The Lie: We aren't spending enough on defense to keep our country secure
The truth: We Spend A Lot On Defense
Defense spending constituted 20 percent of federal spending last year, or $718 billion, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. This adds up to 41 percent of the world's defense spending, according to Bloomberg TV anchor Adam Johnson. Mitt Romney has vowed to not cut defense spending if elected president. (See the next segment on Military Spending.

10) The Lie: Republicans believe in fiscal responsibility
The truth: Republicans Only See a Deficit Crisis When Democrats Are in Power.
The federal budget deficit ballooned under Ronald Reagan, and that may be just the way Republicans like it. Some Republican thinkers have proposed "starving the beast": that is, cutting taxes in order to use larger deficits to justify spending cuts later. Since Republicans ultimately want lower taxes and a smaller government, what better way is there to cut spending than to make it look urgent and necessary? When George Bush was in office, and deficits were again balooning, Dick Cheney famously said: "Reagan proved that deficits don't matter", but now that Obama's in office, the deficit is a crisis.

 

Military Spending

In 1939, before entering WWII, the United States was ranked the 19th largest military power in the world. We put together a massive effort to build that military, and only a few years after WWII, we had the largest military in the world.

Enter the cold war: In the years after WWII, we went into competition with the Soviet Union to attain the title of Greatest Superpower. Spending over 4% of our GDP on the military, we spent the Soviet Union into bankruptcy. Now that the cold war has ended, we are still spending on our military at that same rate. We spend more than the next 18 countries in the world combined.

Russia is the next largest military power in the world behind us. We have about 8 times the number of aircraft they do, 10 times the number of naval vessels, and we spend almost 20 times as much money on our military as they do.

There are 12 operating nuclear aircraft carriers in the world. 11 of them belong to the United States and the other one belongs to France. We have 3 more currently under construction. There are 10 more conventionally powered aircraft carriers in the world. One belongs to China, one belongs to Russia and the remaining 8 belong to solid allies of the US. It is estimated that building and operating one nuclear aircraft carrier throughout its 40 year life span is $22 billion. That works out to $545 million each year, for each aircraft carrier.  Our fleet of 13 aircraft carriers cost us over $7 billion per year. Do we really need this fleet of aircraft carriers?

How is it we have been convinced by our government this is necessary? How did Hitler convince the German people that they needed the massive military buildup that Germany had in the 1930's?  Or did he? (Little known fact: Hitler only got 44% of the popular vote when he first came to power.) The U.S. is the Sparta of the modern world while Western Europe is the Athens. Look what happened to the Greeks? I wish people knew the history of western civilization. They don't. When a people don't knowtheir history, they are doomed to have it repeated.

And the Republicans Wonder Why They Lost

Worst economy since the great depression. No president has been re-elected in such an economy as this. It should have been a shoe-in for Romney, but he lost, and the Republicans are licking their wounds in disbelief.

The Republicans have such an elite party. They have rejected the Hispanics, the gays, women, and kicked out scientists such as climatologists, evolutionists, and the biologists. They have welcomed into their party the Christian fundamentalists and the racists. They've thrown a party that no one wants to go to. And they can't figure out why no body came to that party. They are now saying they weren't "getting their message out". This is an indication that they're going to continue doing what they've been doing. They just don't realize that their message is getting out, it's just that no one is buying it.

They said that Ron Paul couldn't beat Obama. Ron Paul would have invited the Hispanics to his party, along with the gays and the women. And Ron Paul had the support of young people because of these ideas that were more socially inclusive. Ron Paul's attitude about less involvement in the affairs of foreign countries, also turned out to be a popular notion around election time. The country's attitude to the war on drugs turned out to be more in line with his way of thinking also, with two states legalizing marijuana and several others legalizing medical marijuana.

We know now that Romney couldn't beat Obama, are you people still so sure Ron Paul wouldn't have had a better chance?

Racism in Politics

I have lived in Texas all 63 years of my live time. There are two things I know to be factual:

1. There are a lot of racists that live here.

2. Racists are not going to support Barrack Obama and/or the Democrats.

So by logical reasoning, the following is also true:

Not everybody who votes for the Republican Party is a racist, but everybody who is a racist votes for the Republican Party.

And that's a party I don't care to go to.

 

Why the Economists Disagree

Why is it that Nobel prize winning economists are split on whether or not stimulus spending by the federal government is a good idea. Brilliant people who have studied our country's emergence from recessions and depressions have come away with completely different takes on this issue. All economists agree that this spending has a short term positive effect on the economy, but about half of them believe the overall affect of stimulus spending is negative.

It's important to consider the political persuasion of the economists, not that they are partisan in their considerations, but their ideologies give them different starting points from which to begin thinking about the issue.

Consider the conservative economists first. This economist is looking at the conservative's idea of stimulus spending, that being largely defense department spending. Historically, spending on defense was a very profitable investment. Armies and navies were paid from the government coffers. Businesses that supplied those armies and navies were paid, and that created more jobs in the marketplace. All of this government spending gave the economy a short term boost. When foreign lands were conquered, they were often looted of their resources. New territory was acquired and new tax bases were formed. As these assets flowed in, the economy realized some very healthy long term benefits. There was a time when government stimulus spending was good for a country all the way around.

Times have changed. Government spending on defense is not the same as it was a hundred years ago. The short term benefits, however are still there. Defense spending has made millions for the defense contractors and their investors. This has boosted Wall Street and put money in the pockets of people throughout the economic spectrum, further boosting the economy. There are many conservatives in the government unwilling to cut defense spending because of the negative economic impact it would have.

But there is a caveat. The long term affect of this kind of spending has changed drastically. Soldiers we send off to war don't die at the rate they once did before we were able to transport them to medical facilities and treat their life threatening injuries. From a time when men died from minor wounds that became infected and couldn't be treated, we now have young men coming home where they will need long term, expensive medical treatment and then welfare for the rest of their lives, all paid for by the taxpayer. Also, there is no more gain from the acquisition of foreign lands. We will usually end up policing the new country, and then begin systematic and long term foreign aid to "stabilize" their new government. What was a financial asset derived from political conflict is now a financial liability. Considering the conservative economist's point of view, stimulus spending is just not worth it.

Now let's consider the liberal economist. When thinking about stimulus, this economist is thinking about building roads, bridges, schools, power plants, water treatment plants and other types of infrastructure. These expenditures provide the same short term lift to the economy as the defense spending, but there is a different long term affect. The roads and bridges facilitate commerce, enabling businesses to transport goods. The building of power plants and water treatment facilities cut overhead of local businesses, enabling them to expand. Building schools enable local districts to better educate our children, which in turn supplies the businesses with a more capable and competent work force. All these boons to businesses have a positive long term affect on the economy. The liberal economist sees government spending as a win-win situation, with a swift short term boost, and a strong, vibrant economy emerging in the long term.

Although they may disagree, both economists can be correct. Government stimulus spending can be negative, or it can be positive. It all depends on how the spending is done.

What the Republicans Have to Say About Education in Texas

I read the state's Republican Party platform and learned a lot. Not that it was informative, but I learned a lot about the Republicans. I recommend that anyone who thinks of themselves as a party member should read it. I was very surprised that their ideas were actually this Draconian. You probably won't believe these are really from their documented platform. But honestly, they are, read it for yourself.

These are the republican's ideas about education that I found in the Texas Republican platform:


"Since data is clear that additional money does not translate into educational achievement, we support reducing taxpayer funding to all levels of education institutions." That tidbit can be found on page 17 of the document- They want to cut education funding even deeper.
"We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills" that one's on page 12. What's that about?
"We believe that parents are best suited to train their children in their early development and oppose mandatory pre-school and Kindergarten. We urge Congress to repeal government-sponsored programs that deal with early childhood development." on page 12 -No more Kindergarten?
"We oppose any sex education other than abstinence" on page 13 -Take health classes out of the curriculum?
"We oppose medical clinics on school property except higher education and we oppose health care for students without parental consent" on page 13 -No more school nurses?
"We encourage the Governor and the Texas Legislature to enact child-centered school funding options which fund the student, not schools or districts." on page 13-Translation: state education money is to be given to the parents instead of the schools or the districts.
"We believe that parents and legal guardians may choose to educate their children in private schools to include, but not limited to, home schools and parochial schools without government interference, through definition, regulation, accreditation, licensing, or testing." on page 13 That means we'll have schools without accreditation and teachers without licenses or even education. (but they'll work cheaper)

Read the whole Republican Party platform. It all reads like that. A true Neanderthal masterpiece.

On Class Warfare

“There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.”- Warren Buffett

The latest attack has been the lashing out against public union employees. Statistics have been grossly mis-stated to make people think that public sector employees are paid more than private sector employees. Here's a little stat that sheds some light on those lies:

One of America’s best large school districts, Maryland’s Montgomery County, has just hired a new superintendent — at a salary of $250,000. The new superintendent will manage 22,229 staffers and a $2.1-billion budget. Montgomery County’s 20 highest-paid private corporate CEOs last year managed, on average, 13,911 employees and $4.2-billion budgets. These CEOs averaged $7.9 million in pay.

Tax laws and government regulations have changed over that past 40 years to favor the 'haves' over the 'have-nots', so that now the 'haves' have more, and the 'have-nots' have even less. Currently, the top 1% of our population controls more of our country's wealth than the bottom 90%, and the Republicans, with Paul Ryan's proposed bill are saying this: “Give more to the 1%, and ease their tax burden! For only by increasing in equality will we make things more equal!”

The Holdings and Influence of Rupert Murdoch

News Corp., is the world's third-largest media conglomerate (behind The Walt Disney Company and Time Warner) as of 2008, and the world's third largest in entertainment as of 2009. The company's Chairman & Chief Executive Officer is Rupert Murdoch. The company's assets are too numerous to list here. It includes newspapers, magazines, network broadcast companies, cable broadcast companies, movie production companies, internet assets, information service companies, AM radio stations, FM radio stations, book publishers, and other miscellaneous holdings more indirectly related to media. These holdings are located all over the world.

In an interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Rupert Murdoch admits in this video that he does try to shape opinion to his own political agenda, and that agenda is aligned with that of George Bush's and the Republican Party. Let me repeat: "shape public opinion to his own political agenda".

Is that not the very definition of the term "propaganda"? That means that the third largest media outlet in the world is a propaganda outlet for the Republican Party.

Many say that it is acceptable for a media outlet to be conservative to balance out all the liberalism in the print and broadcast media. The only people who truly believe that are the ones who have fallen prey to the propaganda delivered by the Rupert Murdoch media conglomerate. Using the propaganda technique of repeating a lie over and over until it becomes the truth, the GOP has been saying for years that the media is liberal and never gives them fair shake. I believe an objective look at the media will prove this to be a lie.

A prominent CBS news anchor was fired for openly favoring one party candidate over another. Numerous executives, reporters, and even salespeople from all the major networks, PBS, and radio have been fired for making politically biased statements or for making insensitive remarks about people's race or religion.

But take a look at Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh or Glen Beck. These people are idolized for doing just that. When FOX starts firing people for demonstrating bias, I'll start to reconsider their "fair and balanced" claim. And when the major networks quit firing people for being biased, I'll begin to worry about their objectivity. Until then, I have a very different worry.

If people don't wake up to what Rupert Murdoch is doing with his media conglomerate, I fear that propaganda and lies will triump over truth and common sense.

Quote from Warren Buffett:

“Only when the tide goes out do you discover who's been swimming naked”

 

Who"s the Real Leader of the Republican Party?

Within the GOP officialdom, Limbaugh is a sensitive subject. The chairman of the Republican National Committee, Michael Steele, said on CNN over the weekend that Limbaugh was merely an "entertainer" -- and an "incendiary" one at that. He also disputed the notion that Limbaugh was leading the GOP.

Limbaugh fired back on his show: "Now, Mr. Steele, if it is your position as the chairman of the Republican National Committee that you want a left-wing Democrat president and a left-wing Democrat Congress to succeed in advancing their agenda, if it's your position that you want President Obama and Speaker Pelosi and Senate Leader Harry Reid to succeed with their massive spending and taxing and nationalization plans, I think you have some explaining to do."

Steele later called Limbaugh to apologize, Politico reported. Steele released a statement: "I respect Rush Limbaugh. He is a national conservative leader, and in no way do I want to diminish his voice. I'm sure that he and I will agree most of the time, but will probably disagree some as well, which is fine."

In an interview Monday, David Axelrod, senior advisor to Obama, pressed the argument that the real GOP boss is Limbaugh: "I don't see most of these Republican office holders heeling for Mr. Steele like they do for Limbaugh."

********************************************

Are Elections in America Being Stolen?

The liberal conspiracy theorists are at it again. There are a series of Youtube videos showing an interview with Stephen Spoonamore, arguably the nations foremost authority on computer security. His Bio is here if you would like to confirm that:
http://www.linkedin.com/in/spoonamore
These interviews were conducted before the election. He is a whistle blower who predicted the GOP would steal the election and McCain would win by 1.2% popular vote and 3 electoral votes. His prediction was wrong, but the guy he implicated, Mike Connell, was the person who designed the computer architecture of the voter tabulation data gathering in Ohio, Florida and Texas since 2000. He maintained the server computer that held the GOP National Committee website, the Bush website, the McCain website, the Swift Boats for Truth web site, other GOP web sites, the Karl Rove "lost" emails in the Gonzales case, and he has since been subpoenaed to testify in an Ohio 2004 voting fraud case. Connell claimed to have been threatened by representatives of Karl Rove, and then he died in a plane crash on December 20. Yes, that's right, all very suspicious. The attorney prosecuting the case, Cliff Arnebeck, is a US Representative from Ohio.
Here is his bio:
http://www.thefreespeechzone.net/html/Arneback.html
It's all wonderful fodder for conspiracy theorists. It is interesting that our "liberal" media has been ignoring all of these seemingly bizarre allegations since these are credible people and all the evidence, although circumstantial, is very compelling. Some of the theorists are saying there is a media blackout on this because of what would happen in our country if all our citizens realized that our elections since 2000 have been decided by computer hackers.

This has been called "the most important video you'll ever see".

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jy1sz-xBxf8&feature=related

From there you can link to a series of videos of Spoonamore, very interesting stuff.

 

Why I've Given Up

I've called myself a Libertarian for a number of years now, but I had hopes for the GOP. Those hopes have been dashed by the final four years of Reagan's administration ('88-'92) and now by eight years of Bush's administration.

The Republican Party has given up all pretense of any allegiance to limited government. In the last eight years, the GOP has given us a monstrous new federal bureaucracy in the Department of Homeland Security. In the prescription drug benefit, it's given us the largest new federal entitlement since the Johnson administration. Federal spending—even on items not related to war or national security—has soared. And now, in the midst of this trillion dollar financial bailout, we get to watch as the party that's supposed to be "free market" nationalizes huge chunks of the economy's financial sector.

This isn't to say that Barack Obama would be any better. Government would undoubtedly grow under his watch. And from my libertarian perspective, he has been increasingly disappointing even on the issues where he's supposed to be good. We may not go to war with Iran in an Obama administration, but we'd likely become entrenched in a prolonged nation-building adventure in the Sudan. Obama's vote on the FISA bill and telecom immunity also suggests that, for all his criticisms of President Bush's use of executive power and assaults on civil liberties, Obama wouldn't be much better.

Obama will take the reigns with a lot of expensive campaign promises to fulfill in a time of economic despair. With an out-of-control deficit and an over-the-top budget, there is a good chance he will only come to disappoint those who elected him. It would be a shame for our first elected African-American president to turn out to be a total failure, but it is going to be very difficult for whoever is elected. Even so, I still feel the Republicans need to get their clocks cleaned in two weeks, for a couple of reasons.

First, they had their shot at holding power, and they failed. They've failed in staying true to their principles of limited government and markets that are open, yet free of corruption. They've failed in preventing elected leaders of their party from becoming corrupted by the trappings of power, and they've failed to hold those leaders accountable after the fact. Congressional Republicans failed to rein in the Bush administration's naked bid to vastly expand the power of the presidency (a failure they're going to come to regret should Obama take office in January). They failed to apply due scrutiny and skepticism to the administration's claims before undertaking Congress' most solemn task—sending the nation to war.

Secondly, the only consistent principle we've seen from the White House over the last eight years is that of elevating the American president (and, I guess, the vice president) to that of an elected dictator. This administration believes that on any issue that can remotely be tied to foreign policy or national security, the president has boundless, limitless, unchecked power to do anything he wants. They believe that on these matters, neither Congress nor the courts can restrain him.

If the GOP does lose, (which is what all the polls are predicting) it's likely to be interpreted not as a repudiation of the GOP's excesses, but as an endorsement of the Democrats'. When the only two parties who have a chance at winning both have a track record of expanding the size and scope of government, every election is likely to be interpreted as a win for big government—only the brand changes.

Voting yourself more freedom simply isn't an option, at least if you want your vote to be taken seriously. When I vote for the Libertarian Party, which I've done for a number of years now, my vote is not taken seriously. Which brings me back to why the Republicans need to get throttled: A humiliated, decimated GOP that rejuvenates and rebuilds around the principles of limited government, free markets, and strict constitutional government, is really the only chance for voters to possibly get a real choice in federal elections down the road.

Of course, there is no guarantee that the party will emerge from defeat. But the Republican Party in its current form has forfeited its right to govern.

*************************************************************************************************************************

 

Quote of the day: "The leaders of our countries (U.S. & Iran) no longer see themselves just as politicians, but as agents to carry out God's will. It's as if they have risen a little bit above the ground. This is very dangerous for the rest of the world."- Mohammed Ali Abtahi, Iran's Vice President of Parliamentary Leagl Affairs from 2001-2004

***************************************************************************

We vs. Them, a Look at Modern Day Nationalism

Do we learn from our mistakes? If we don’t learn history, are we doomed to repeat it?

World War I, The Big One, The Great War, took place primarily in Europe from 1914 to 1918. More than nine million soldiers and civilians died. The conflict involved virtually every country in Europe and had a decisive impact on the history of the 20th century. When looking at the root cause for the First World War, many historians agree that nationalism is the greatest, single contributing factor.

Nationalism is defined in Webster’s New World dictionary as: Excessive, narrow or jingoist patriotism; absolute devotion to one’s nation in favor of an aggressive, threatening, warlike foreign policy.

Feelings of nationalism are a normal, natural human instinct. In most instances we call such feelings a good thing. Patriotism, loyalty, devotion, dedication, commitment, fidelity, faithfulness, allegiance, team spirit; these are all positive terms that describe a form of nationalism. Humans all have a need to belong to the group. Once we have selected a group to belong to, and that group has accepted us, we begin to have these feelings of devotion and commitment, and that is not necessarily a bad thing. But can it be a bad thing?

Why are gangs such a problem these days, and why have we had so little success in controlling gangs in our communities? When a young person is accepted by the gang, these positive emotions of devotion, dedication and commitment all begin to set in. These positive emotions associated with belonging to a group are not necessarily a bad thing. We call it a good thing when it is applied to a team, a school or a nation. It is called team spirit, school spirit or patriotism and we encourage it among our young people. Yet when applied to gangs, it is easier for us to see the negative aspects of belonging to the group.

The positive feelings of devotion, dedication and commitment are all very intense, and along with them we will develop intense negative emotions toward the rivals of the group. These negative emotions include distrust, animosity, hostility, enmity, resentment, antagonism, and even hatred. Take for instance the two gangs, the Crips and the Bloods. These are two gangs formed of African Americans who appear to be very much alike, with the only apparent difference being that the members of one gang wear red and the members of the other gang all wear blue. These gangs need to be separated in institutions such as schools and prisons, because the gang members will fight on contact. Some gangs can get along with other gangs in an amiable manner, but when gangs form rivalries, very intense negative emotions, and even fights will ensue. However, this is really not much different than fans skirmishing at soccer matches, parents fighting at little league games and politicians brawling in parliament.

One may not think that such negative emotions would embroil the average college student, but let’s take a look at school spirit. In a discussion with a family member recently, the topic of football came up. It seems this person’s alma-mater had a prime rival who was playing an out-of-state team and this person was rooting for the out-of-state team. She would rather see the local, rival team loose to a team that was from a completely different region. When questioned about the dichotomy, she said that if a communist country fielded a team against this rival, she would root for the communist team.

Now there is nothing wrong with a little friendly competition, but let’s look at the accompanying thought processes and extend it to other areas. When one becomes a member of a group, whether it be a college, a religion, a gang, or even a political party, they begin to adopt the “we vs. them” attitude and all that goes along with it. They become devoted to that group. This devotion tends to make the person think “my group behaves the right way”, “my group thinks the right thoughts” and “my group does the right thing”. If you are truly devoted and committed to your group, then this thinking becomes more extreme, and then one begins to think; “my group is always right, all the time”. Along with that thinking, comes the antithesis “the rival group is wrong”. The extreme of this occurs when “the rival group is always wrong in whatever they think, do or say”.

This “we vs. them” mentality is prevalent throughout the world today in our sports, our religions and our politics. My team should win every game. My religion is the only way to get to Heaven, and my political party is the only one capable of leading the country. The only thing that matters any more is winning. Since my side is always right, then anyway my side wins is acceptable. 'The ends justifies the means', becomes an accepted policy. Ethics is out the window. This is why we have steroids in sports, terrorism in religion and corruption in politics.

One of the most damaging aspects of the “we vs. them” mentality can be found in the current condition of our political parties. It is why our nation is more partisan than it has been since the Civil War. It is why no Democrat can applaud anything that any Republican says, and no Republican can approve anything said by a Democrat. It’s why Republicans wear red and Democrats wear blue. (just like the Crips and the Bloods) It’s why republicans who break the law are excused by other Republicans just as errant Democrats are excused by other Democrats. It’s why anything one party supports is brought into disrepute by the other party regardless of its merit. It is why our government is grid locked and can’t get anything done. It is why our sixteenth president wrote: “A house divided can not stand.”

While this struggle goes on, the two political parties argue over which one is more patriotic, which one supports the troupes, which one is more about protecting our country- not our constitution nor our liberties and freedom, but our country. This is where the nationalism comes in as a threat. When you begin to see what nationalism really is, as the “we vs. them” mentality, this is when you begin to see how it has become a part of our modern society and how it poses a threat to our freedom.

What can be done about this? Can we as a society recognize our “we vs. them” mentality and change it? How would we go about this?

Personally, I doubt if humanity can resolve this issue. We will just have to live with it as one of our frailties. If we were capable of solving the problem we would end our gang problems, bring peace to the Middle East, and the elephant would lie down by the donkey. I don’t believe these things will happen for some time to come- certainly not in my lifetime.

What we can do is learn to recognize the negative aspects of belonging to a group and do what we can to keep those negative emotions out of our lives. Keep in mind that all competitions should remain friendly competitions. Remember the other side can be right too, and my side may not always be correct. Regardless of what my holy book may seem to say, my way to Heaven may not be everyone’s way. Always remember that no matter how important the outcome is, the use of unethical means to achieve it can never be justified.

This is actually a simple lesson: Respect your fellow man. Treat him as you would want him to treat you because we’re all in this thing together.


****************************************************

Who Took the Conserve out of Conservative?

Merriam Webster:

Conserve: to avoid wasteful or destructive use of
Liberal: given or provided in a generous and openhanded way

Doesn't the word 'conservative' mean 'one who conserves'? Then explain something to me. Listening to Rush Limbaugh today (conservative talk radio), I had a bit of a problem reconciling some things he said. He played his humorous, 'Yugo' song about the liberal couple who died in their small, economy car. (If you've heard this parody of Elivis's song "In the Ghetto" - Yes, humorous- very funny, particularly if you're into dead liberals.) Then Rush bragged about the large SUVs he owns and enjoys riding around in, (a Cadillac Escalade and a Chevrolet Suburban) and he bragged about the amount of gas they use, stating he didn't even mind paying today's higher prices for fuel. This reminds me of another radio talk show host, Shawn Hannidy, who bragged about his Cadillac Escalade. Anyway, Rush went on to discuss how nobody but a liberal would ever drive a Toyota Prius. He stated unequivocally, "anybody you see in a Prius is an "evil liberal." I didn't really follow how the term "evil" got put into his remark, but it did. There were some comments that led to how liberalism is "the dark path" as he put it, culminating with "only evil liberals drive Priuses". I didn't really make the leap in logic that he expected, but then I wasn't paying very close attention. I don't think his remark will help Toyota's sales, but since Toyota is not one of Rush's sponsors, I'm sure Rush doesn't care. He has also come out saying the new high efficiency light bulbs are a waste, and that breaking one of them creates a hazardous chemical spill due to the mercuric oxide within them. It is true that the bulbs contain HgO and should be recycled, but it's simply not true about the the broken bulb causing a hazardous chemical spill, because the HgO is in the base of the bulb and not in the glass portion. Why would Rush make light of one being conservative? To what end? Why have the conservatives been advocating the liberal consumption of our resources and the liberals asking us to conserve? It seems things have been turned topsy turvy.

Without ragging any more on Rush, I just have to wonder. Why have the Democrats, or the liberal party, taken up the banner of conservation while the Republicans, or the conservative party, become so liberal about their energy consumption? I don't really see why either party would want to start a race to see how quickly we can use up our resources, but it looks as though that's just what the Republicans are doing. True, the liberals have gone overboard by getting legislation passed that damages our economy in exchange for some very modest ecological advances. The liberals are also pushing for treaties that will put the U.S. on an un level playing field in the world market by making American businesses comply with restrictions while competing with companies in foreign countries that will not be forced to comply with the same restrictions. So in response to irrational behavior by the Democrats, the Republicans, in typical partisan fashion, are going to act childish and criticize any efforts to conserve. You can tune into talk radio and regularly hear the conservative hosts bashing windmills, solar cells, economy cars and even trees. God forbid they be mistaken for a tree hugger.

Our political system was remarkably similar about a century ago. It was 1912 when a man named Theodore Roosevelt, a conservative Republican, began a campaign. In his words, he was out "to dissolve the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics". This pissed off the Republicans of the day. Many in the GOP thought he wasn't conservative enough and too much of a 'moderate', so he didn't win his party's nomination for president. That is when Teddy Roosevelt set out to establish his own party, the Bull Moose, or Progressive Party. Evidently, there were enough independent voters at that time (again, sounds like now) that didn't think he was too moderate, so they voted for him. He split the conservative vote allowing the Democrat, Woodrow Wilson to be elected. Roosevelt did, however, win the popular vote. Teddy Roosevelt, who did consider himself a conservative, was a Rough Rider, a fighter, a defender of freedom and the kind of conservative who conserved. During his term of office (he had been the Republican president from 1901 to 1908) he was the greatest conservation president our country has ever seen, establishing the National Park Service and setting aside thousands of acres of protected land. I doubt if the conservatives we have in the GOP today would like him very much either- and I doubt if he would think highly of our neo cons and their relationships with the drug and oil companies.- and a lot of other things going on in Washington D.C. today too. Could it be the "unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics" has been reconsolidated?

Maybe today we need Teddy Roosevelt, or at least a viable third party candidate- just my humble opinion, but.....sheesh!.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 HOME || CURRENT || ABOUT US || GALLERY || DEMOTIVATION || ALAMO PALMS || MOTORCYCLE