Tuesday, September 30, 2008

To My Jewish Readers - L'Shanah Tova! Happy New Year 5769

Apples and Honey symbolizing a sweet year

...In the seventh month, on the first of the month, there shall be a sabbath for you, a remembrance with shofar blasts, a holy convocation. -Leviticus 16:24

My wish to you and yours -
"L'shanah tovah tikateiv v'taichateim"
"May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year."

May your year be a sweet one filled with Health, Happiness and Prosperity.

Background about Rosh Hashanah here.

"The central observance of Rosh Hashanah is the sounding of the shofar, the ram's horn, which represents the trumpet blast of a people's coronation of their king. The cry of the shofar is also a call to repentance; for Rosh Hashanah is also the anniversary of man's first sin and his repentance thereof, and serves as the first of the "Ten Days of Repentance" which culminate in Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. Another significance of the shofar is to recall the Binding of Isaac which also occurred on Rosh Hashanah, in which a ram took Isaac's place as an offering to G-d; we evoke Abraham's readiness to sacrifice his son and plead that the merit of his deed should stand by us as we pray for a year of life, health and prosperity. Altogether, the shofar is sounded 100 times in the course of the Rosh Hashanah service."

Monday, September 29, 2008

This Is How Your Congressman Voted

Ayes 205
Noes 228

Look at the roll call for the bailout vote.

It's here

Those who voted YES should be voted OUT of office this Nov 4.

Ron Paul This Morning In The House Debate

Many legislators rose to speak out against this bailout this morning - Democrats included - One Democrat even waved a copy of the Constitution while railing against this bill. The vote may be close though, as Congress is being pressured to ram this 110 page bill through (although most of the Congressmen that I heard this morning did NOT support this bailout).

Here was Ron Paul's comments.

Maybe we ought to send a Teabag to every Congressman..or at least the one that represents us.

Read the draft of the bill for yourself.

Protest The Bailout - Call Congress Now

Lawsuits are being filed against this bailout as we speak, on this bailout package which will be voted on this morning by the House and Wednesday by the Senate. What they are proposing to do is illegal. They will be committing $700 Billion dollars of taxpayer money - to buy up bad debt - and they even dare to claim we'll make a profit on it!

Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008
"To provide authority for the Federal Government to purchase and insure certain types of troubled assets for the purposes of providing stability to and preventing disruption in the economy and financial system and protecting taxpayers, and for other purposes."
Wouldn't you like to know what "other purposes" are intended?

Read the bill - it's here. It's also 110 pages long. I got this link from a congressional staffer - but this is a working draft - who knows what the bill actually says in its final form.

Sen. Jim Bunning, R-Ky., said, "This massive bailout is not a solution. It is financial socialism and it's un-American."

and here is Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio)

Understand this:

1. There is no authority vested in the Congress by the Constitution to offer such a bill.

2. Secretary of the Treasury Paulson, was the highest paid Wall Street CEO in 2005 at $38.3 million. He is a man who earned $492 million in common stock, $75.2 million in restricted stocks, options for 680,474 shares, and he avoided a 20% tax on stock that he had to get rid of due to ethical reasons over at Goldman Sachs. He has known full well what was coming with this sub-prime mortgage debacle, and told us 2 weeks ago that everything was fine. He will be given the authority to purchase, and to make and fund commitments to purchase, troubled assets from any financial institution, on such terms and conditions as are determined by the Secretary, to purchase any other financial instrument which is necessary to promote financial market stability. (H/T Blonduxo)

That means he can take any financial institution he deems, whether the company is in trouble or not, and hold unbridled power to destroy it and the U.S. economy.

3. Foreign financial institutions will also be funded/helped with this bailout money.
The Secretary shall coordinate, as appropriate, with foreign financial authorities and central banks to work toward the establishment of similar programs by such authorities and central banks. To the extent that such foreign financial authorities or banks hold troubled assets as a result of extending financing to financial institutions that have failed or defaulted on such financing, such troubled assets qualify for purchase under section 101.
4. Money is also committed to fund other activities other than "rescuing Wall Street"

The Sunday Herald reported:

"THE ROYAL Bank of Scotland is to be one of the biggest beneficiaries of the planned $700 billion bail-out that comes courtesy of the American tax-payer if the US Congress gives the financial rescue package the go-ahead this weekend.
The bank’s share of the bail-out will enable RBS to offload billions of dollars of questionable assets."

We should vote out any person who votes in favor of this bill. Not only is it unconstitutional, most representatives are not listening to the people that voted them in office.
Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) warns the American people about Constitutional enemies of the Republic and the fraudulent trillion(s) dollar bailout…

“My message to the American people don’t let Congress seal this deal. High financial crimes have been committed.”

“The normal legislative process has been shelved. Only a few insiders are doing the dealing, sounds like insider trading to me. These criminals have so much political power than can shut down the normal legislative process of the highest law making body of this land.”

“We are Constitutionally sworn to protect and defend this Republic against all enemies foreign and domestic. And my friends there are enemies.”

“The people pushing this deal are the very ones who are responsible for the implosion on Wall Street. They were fraudulent then and they are fraudulent now.”
5. The American people - their hard earned tax dollar - is being used to buy up bad debt - instead of Wall Street eating their failed investments. Tell me who bails YOU out when you have a personal loss? or when you make a bad business decision? When you can't pay your IRS bill they just seize your assets - they don't bail YOU out!

This plan will not help anyone except Wall Street, if you are unemployed, after this plan you will still be unemployed, if your house is being foreclosed, after this bill, it will still be foreclosed, if your 401k and other other stocks are worthless, after the bail out they will still be worthless. In the end the markets will be just fine without our money, it may fall a bit and it may be a shock , but it will rebound. Other companies will buy up failed companies. They will all find a way to muddle through the mess they have created. And I will tell you now, that this infusion of cash will not solve the problem that created this. It will just prolong the pain.

Call Congress NOW and let them know you oppose this bill and their actions to support this bill. Let your Congressional Representative know that if they vote YES for this bailout then you will not vote for them on Nov 4.

Link HERE to your Congressman's phone number

Capitol Hill Switch Board - 202-224-3121

Judd Gregg is the spokesperson for the House Republicans 202-224-3324.

Obama and McCain don't have the guts or integrity to give a clear stance on how they feel about this bill either. Perhaps it is time we vote for candidates that do.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Still Think Ron Paul Is A Kook?

He's the only one up in DC that seems to get it.

Whatever "deal" they come up with for Monday will be very short lived in solving this problem and it will only further destroy our dollar.

Congress obviously needs a course in economics and monetary policy.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Come To the CT Liberty Forum This Weekend

CT Liberty Forum

Click on the logo above for more information

The Bristol Clarion Hotel in Bristol, CT is the place to be this weekend!

Not since the 1700's, when the colonists gathered together in taverns to discuss the formation and ratification of the Constitution, have citizens felt the need to gather together once again to discuss Constitutional issues. This time, they are gathering to discuss how to stop the destruction of the Constitution.

Come join us!

Visit the CT Liberty Forum website and find out more about the schedule of events and speakers!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Dear Candidates: Go To Washington And Do What You Were Elected To Do

As much as I loathe John McCain, he has the right idea to suspend his campaign and get back to his desk in DC and go to work on this financial mess. The fact that Sen. Obama wants to continue with scheduled debates and pretend it's all business as usual is quite odd for someone who is advocating "Change".

One could say that McCain is just stalling for time regarding the debates, but the truth is that we probably wouldn't be much in this mess if Senator Chris Dodd wasn't traipsing around the country running for President when he was supposed to be doing his job as Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee and keeping an eye on these sub-prime mortgages. But then again he was also too busy getting his own sweetheart deals from Countrywide. We need our elected officials to do the job we sent them to DC to do.

Debates are stupid anyway. They omit other candidates from being heard and they are for the most part all blather about what the candidates "will do" or "might do". How about Sen. Obama and Sen. McCain actually SHOW US what they can do, by tackling this problem and coming up with a real solution to stabilize the situation. That's what we elected them for in the first place! They should be working towards a solution that won't burden the taxpayer with a $700,000 billion dollar bailout of mismanaged Wall Street firms. Sorry guys, but I am NOT interested in owning a piece junk mortgages and bad debt. I am NOT interested in profiting off of this as a taxpayer either. I also do not think it is the government's job to dictate how much money a CEO can make or how any company should run their business.

I am disgusted that President Bush is trying to ramrod this $700,000 billion bailout package with fear tactics. Nice work to try to scare the already outraged public into thinking that if we don't accept this bailout package tomorrow, as he and Paulson and Bernanke seek, that we will all suffer with job loss, failure to get student loans, car loans and home loans. The bogeyman told us last night that if we don't swallow this bailout we'll all get punished severely.

I have news for President Bush: We are already being punished severely and he needs to find another plan. The American people have had it with emptying their pockets and having their wealth stolen on a daily basis as a result of policies coming from both major political parties. There are other means to fix this problem that has been in the making for the past decade. The government created this debt crisis by allowing and encouraging and rewarding banking institutions for doling out money to people who they knew could not make good on their promise to pay it back. Now that that very bad experiment in public financial policy has failed miserably, we are all expected to pony up.

If credit dries up that could very well be the medicine that this country needs. We should be encouraged to be savers and not to spend money that we do not have. Unfortunately we have learned to depend on "OPM" (pronounced Opium) which of course is "other people's money". This notion follows right through to President Bush, Barney Frank, Hank Paulson and Ben Bernake. They also want to use OPM to fix this problem: OPM in this case is OUR tax dollars. I think we ought to tell them to take a hike.

Government caused this mess, but we now need them to encourage non-government solutions to fix the problem.

Sen. Obama and Sen. McCain need to get their collective hindquarters back to Washington DC and come up with a solution that will not involve tax dollars. Maybe the answer is for them to do nothing at all and to simply let Wall Street and their markets figure this out for themselves. (Now there's a concept). Warren Buffet has already put his billions up to help Goldman Sachs. (Paging Bill Gates and Richard Branson). Other such individuals can also pitch in and maybe even profit from their help.

The Federal government has no place, nor do they have the Constitutional authority, in getting any piece of any business, or directing the operations of those businesses - otherwise we have truly become a Socialist country.

Thomas Jefferson Speaks On The Banking Crisis

Banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies.
-Thomas Jefferson

A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor and bread it has earned - this is the sum of good government.
-Thomas Jefferson

I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around [the banks] will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.
-Thomas Jefferson, Letter to the Secretary of the Treasury Albert Gallatin (1802)

We must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our election between economy and liberty or profusion and servitude. If we run into such debt, as that we must be taxed in our meat and in our drink, in our necessaries and our comforts, in our labors and our amusements, for our calling and our creeds…[we will] have no time to think, no means of calling our miss-managers to account but be glad to obtain subsistence by hiring ourselves to rivet their chains on the necks of our fellow-sufferers… And this is the tendency of all human governments. A departure from principle in one instance becomes a precedent for[ another]… till the bulk of society is reduced to be mere automatons of misery… And the fore-horse of this frightful team is public debt. Taxation follows that, and in its train wretchedness and oppression.
-Thomas Jefferson

Unfortunately, I don't think Mr. Jefferson is being invited to the meeting at the White House this afternoon.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Bailout Is UnConstitutional

It's $700 Billion dollars folks!
Most likely it will end up being much much more!
They are rushing into this bailout bill!

Socializing Risk
- Since when should taxpayers be on the hook for gross negligence by business owners? When you lose money on your 401K and other investments does the federal government give you the lost money? Heck no. These guys on Wall Street who want you to bail them out are crying poverty - poverty created intentionally by their own hand - and yet they will be walking away with huge pensions, their mansions intact, their luxury cars and offshore homes, etc. while you and I must struggle to make the car payment, buy groceries and pay for the doctor visit after our pockets are picked paying state and federal taxes; taxes that will be used in this bailout! taxes that will likely have to go higher to pay for this and more bailouts. It just isn't right, but more than that, it is unconstitutional.

What we are seeing with this bailout is the further destruction and disregard for the US Constitution. Paulson and Bernanke are trying to scare us all into accepting this move to Socialism. They say we are doomed if we don't do this. They ignore the fact that our government has no Constitutional authority whatsoever to embark on this bailout!

Robert Schulz, Chairman of We The People Foundation for Constitutional Education, Inc, filed a federal lawsuit in United States District Court in Albany seeking to halt the execution of the emergency bailout of American International Group, Inc. (AIG) by the United States Government and the Federal Reserve.

He claims, and rightly so, that the U.S. Lacks Constitutional Authority to make this Loan.
The lawsuit asserts that the commitment of public funds and credit for the direct benefit of privately owned AIG is an ultra vires action by the United States Government and Federal Reserve, i.e., beyond the limited legal authority granted by the Constitution. The lawsuit asks for a "show cause" hearing demanding that the Government produce evidence of its legal authority to commit public funds for such a purpose, as well as emergency and permanent injunctions halting the bailout transaction.

Beyond the Constitutional deficiencies, the bailout establishes a dangerous precedent enabling the Fed and/or Government to nationalize virtually any business or property within the United States without legal authority or congressional approval.

The defendants include the Federal Reserve System, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, the U.S. Treasury, Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson Jr. and the United States Government.
We are all being told by Bernanke and Paulson, "Sweetheart Mortgage Deal" Chris Dodd and Barney Frank and the rest, the unbelievable and massive implications of not bailing out these companies - and yet they would rather march this country into Socialism and nationalizing industries rather than give the free market a chance to sort this out.

Robert Schulz says this:
"Beyond the moral hazard and dangerous precedent established by this action, it is of vital importance that the American people recognize that the present financial crisis is a direct and predictable result of decades of constitutional violations by the Federal Government. Through a long-standing policy of disinformation and collusion with the Federal Reserve and Wall Street financial elite, the United States Federal Government has denied public access to information about the secretive operations of the privately owned and operated Federal Reserve and its monopoly control of America’s money system.

"This monopoly control of our currency by a private banking cartel has resulted in increasing distortion, volatility and cyclical (boom and bust) economic conditions in the U.S. and abroad. America’s fiat currency (produced from thin air) is manipulated by the Federal Reserve for the benefit of its owners, major Wall Street financial institutions and the Federal Government and is not unaccountable to the taxpayers. These abuses of the Constitution have taken our financial system to edge of the abyss. The chickens have come home to roost."
The American people must not allow this bailout to happen.

Either way it will cost us dearly. If we do not bail them out, our economy (and foreign economies as well) will indeed suffer a grave shock which will have far reaching troubling implications. If we do bail them out we are further trampling and disregarding the US Constitution and it's precepts which we currently have men and women fighting for and dying for in foreign lands! Without adhering to the rules in our Constitution who are we? what are we? There ARE methods to change the Constitution, and if that is indeed what Congress and the Federal Reserve (a private company) desire then let them go ahead and try to do that, but until that time we must follow the rules.

If no bailout happens - these companies who have swindled consumers and other companies with this bad debt will fold or be gobbled up by other entities. The bad debt could be restructured and liquidated. Other opportunities would arise in the market place...but now the US government is trying a very expensive quick fix to make the American taxpayer absorb bad debt and assume the risk. Hasn't the US Government done enough to help create this mess to begin with by encouraging businesses like Countrywide and AIG to give out loans to people who could not afford them in the first place?

If we allow this bailout to happen as planned it will become the beginning of many more government bailouts to come. Other industries will be lining up to pick your pocket with help from Congress and the Federal Reserve.

Perhaps all of those elected federal officials, like "Mortgage Sweetheart Deal" Chris Dodd, who put their hand on the Bible and took an oath to protect and defend the US Constitution ought to either read the Constitution or explain to US Citizens how they lacks integrity to make a false oath to begin with.

With Congressmen in collusion with the Federal Reserve and wealthy corrupt CEO's, who needs Osama Bin Laden?

Call your Congressman today and protest the bailout.

Jim Vicevich has a wonderful post about how this crisis came about.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Parody Music For Saturday - Bennie And The Feds

I just had to bring this one back from a previous post... A gem by Rick DellaRatta

and here is one from Richter Scales...

Friday, September 19, 2008

Aarrgghhh...It's Talk Like A Pirate Day

Talk Like a Pirate Day only comes once a year (on September 19th)

On talk like a pirate day, everyone talks as if they were a pirate. For instance, instead of saying something like this:

The commitee has decided to reallocate your time to the filing group. We look forward to the exciting new synergies between these departments.

You would say this:

Aye matey, those scalawags in their fine breeches want ye’ to move o’er with the scurvy dogs yonder. If ye’ don’t come back with some fine booty, we be keelhaulin’ you next morn!
Some choice phrases can be found here

Of course the State of CT celebrates "Take Money from Citizens Like A Pirate Day", every day. Arrrggghhh.

(H/T Roger B. aka Jolly Roger)

Grover, Big Bird And Michael Chertoff

Mayne you'd better think twice before you use Sesame Street as a babysitter. The US Department of Homeland Security is instructing your kids now on Sesame Street.

This "partnership" between Sesame Street and DHS is aimed at children, and seeks to encourage family preparedness plans in the case of emergencies.

As if kids that little need to be concerned about catastrophes and emergencies. Let's worry the bejeezus out of these little kids why don't we. Can't they just be little kids who will trust that their parents will take care of things instead of putting the burden on the little ones about what "they themselves have to do"? or what they should tell their parents to do?

This message brought to you by the letter "S" as in "Scary".

As an interesting aside... one commenter on this article said, "How long do you think it will be before Sesame Street characters start telling children to report their parents for un-American activities?"

Obama - You're Fired!

Donald Trump threw his support to John McCain yesterday. "The Donald" had previously endorsed Hillary Clinton.

I am certainly not a devotee of FoxNews, however...here's Trump's reason why he is supporting McCain, when questioned by Greta Van Susteren:
VAN SUSTEREN: Are you endorsing him because you've known him for a long time, or is it--tell me the difference between Senator Obama and Senator McCain in your eyes.

TRUMP: Well, I can tell you one of the differences is that Senator Obama wants to raise taxes beyond belief, and senator McCain doesn't. And in a fragile economy like we're in right now, you cannot go around raising corporate taxes and lots of other taxes. You just can't do it. Then you really will see the great depression.

VAN SUSTEREN: But when we talk about taxes, you're a rich guy Donald. You just sold a house for an enormous amount of money. You're one of the richest guys. Senator Obama says he's not going to raise taxes on the people who aren't rich.

TRUMP: You know what I find? I find when people say that, and yet they're raising the taxes on the rich, they ends up raising the taxes on everybody. And ultimately, that's what would happen. Whereas John McCain is not going to be raising taxes and could even be lowering taxes.

And frankly, that's the language I like to hear, because the economy is very weak, it's very fragile. And any talk of tax increases, it's over, it's going to be over.

So I endorsed John McCain. I've known him for a long time. He's a brilliant guy, and I think he'll be a great president.

Oh, I find it so amusing when these celebrity types put out their endorsements...I mean who would have thunk that anyone would use the words "brilliant" and "McCain" in the same breath...

(and NO - I don't support Obama)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Governor Rell Wants Us To Report Price Gouging - Should We Report The State Too?

CT's Governor, M. Jodi Rell, issued a press release asking for people to report gasoline price gouging and an investigation into Cumberland Farms. I found that amusing and infuriating. Let me explain.

In the Governor's recent press release it said:
Governor M. Jodi Rell today directed the Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) to subpoena records from Cumberland Farms Inc. after the Governor’s Office and the DCP received numerous, specific complaints about a sudden increase in gasoline prices at the company’s stores.

Governor Rell also announced that subpoenas are being prepared for several other gasoline companies and said her Administration is crafting specific language to define “price gouging” and make it easier to investigate and prosecute suspected profiteers.
First of all, my local Cumberland Farms offers the lowest gas prices in the area. Perhaps she ought to be going after some of these other suppliers who consistently charge 10 to 15 cents more a gallon around town.

Surely the Governor recognizes what the public is feeling. She even said:
“Customers are fed up when they fill up, gasoline fuels more than our cars and trucks – it really powers our economy. From the simple need to get to and from work to the ability to move goods across the state, these price increases have a tremendous ripple effect on residents and businesses. I have made it clear that I will move aggressively to investigate allegations of price gouging at all levels. We owe it to the consumers, whose wallets are increasingly running on nothing but fumes.”
So the reason why I became amused and infuriated all at once is this: If the Governor really wants to investigate gasoline price gouging, she doesn't have to look much further than her own administration and the enormous gasoline taxes that we are paying in Connecticut - especially the gross receipts tax which rakes in more tax revenue the higher the price of gasoline soars. Talk about "suspected profiteers"!

Customers paying for gasoline in Connecticut face roughly $0.50 cents per gallon in state tax alone! CT charges two taxes on gasoline sold in the state. One is a flat 25 cent per gallon CT State excise tax. The other one is the Petroleum Products Gross Receipts Tax, which is currently set at 7% and is levied as a percentage of the wholesale price. As the price of wholesale fuel rises, the amount paid in tax also soars, which is primarily why we have enjoyed such high surpluses in our budget the past two years. As the wholesale price of gas went up so did the tax - which basically was a hidden tax on the consumer. Many legislators have been calling on an elimination of that Gross Receipts tax - or at least to cap it when the wholesale price of gasoline reaches a certain price. Another blogger agrees.

The Gross Receipts tax is where this state is price gouging it's consumers.

CT residents, and those travelers through our state, pay substantially more than our neighboring states. I will wager that anyone motoring east to west in this state makes sure they gas up before entering and after leaving our lovely borders. Massachusetts gasoline is usually 15 to 20 cents lower per gallon and that is due to our high state gas taxes. I can't even imagine how gas stations close to the Massachusetts or New York border even stay in business.

Additionally, as David Aron (Candidate for State Representative in Hamden) , writes:
Gasoline in Connecticut is among the most highly regulated in the nation. Due to federal air quality regulations, Connecticut is required to sell reformulated gasoline, in that it has an oxygen content of 2% or more. Because Connecticut gasoline is reformulated with ethanol, which must be shipped by barge train or truck from the Midwest, it can add significantly to the price per gallon. In 2004, the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) requested that federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) grant Connecticut a waiver from the oxygen content requirement. This request was denied "because the State did not submit the technical data necessary for the Agency to determine what impact the waiver would have on emissions and air quality."
David Aron says that our legislature should ensure that the DEP resubmit the waiver request to the EPA with the proper data included and that we ought to call for a reevaluation of state regulations on gasoline. By reducing the federal and state regulations, we can increase the potential gasoline supply and thereby reduce the price.

We all recognize that this and other high gas taxes stifle business and restrict the movement of our residents. Even the Governor has said so. It is time that our state government also stop their price gouging via CT taxes, and give the people some relief at the pump.

The Governor has set up toll free numbers to call to report price gouging, and perhaps we should all be calling her office as well to complain about high gas taxes which also price gouge the consumer.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Question - Who Is Going To Bail Out The US Taxpayer?

AIG just got an $85 Billion dollar loan from you and me.
In a bid to save financial markets and economy from further turmoil, the U.S. government agreed Tuesday to provide an $85 billion emergency loan to rescue the huge insurer AIG. The Federal Reserve said in a statement it determined that a disorderly failure of AIG could hurt the already delicate financial markets and the economy.

It also could "lead to substantially higher borrowing costs, reduced household wealth and materially weaker economic performance," the Fed said.

"The President supports the agreement announced this evening by the Federal Reserve," said White House spokesman Tony Fratto. "These steps are taken in the interest of promoting stability in financial markets and limiting damage to the broader economy.

The Fed said in return for the loan, the government will receive a 79.9 percent equity stake in AIG."

A letter:

Dear Uncle Sam and Mr. Paulson,

Would you please do us plebes a favor and stop spending our money to prop up businesses that have made very poor business decisions. The American people can no longer afford to bail out mismanaged business in this country. Yesterday it was Freddie and Fannie and today it is AIG. Who will it be tomorrow? The airlines? The automakers? What about us little people who will be stuck paying this bill?

You seem to think that these companies are too big to fail. Well, us guys on the bottom are too little to fail. We are swimming in your red ink, and quite frankly we are drowning. We cannot pay the enormous tax burden you are foisting upon us and our children. We cannot weather the storm of looming inflation.

Your financial house of cards is coming undone and you are ultimately making us suffer for it. We send our kids off to the Middle East for you, and now you are raiding our bank accounts and our retirement plans and mortgaging our future. We have nothing left to give. This madness must end now.

The heads of these companies that you are propping up should shoulder the cost - take from their bank accounts and their retirement funds - not ours. Make them liquidate their assets. Make them sell their corporate jets and expensive Armani suits and BMW limousines. Make them go to jail for fudging their books and doling out loans that should never have been granted in the first place. Make them responsible for what they have done to the financial market in this country and globally. Make them liquidate their bad debt, renegotiate terms and take care of their own business. Please don't further enslave us to more government debt and deficit spending. We just can't do this anymore.

We the people do not want government takeover of private business. We don't want redistribution of wealth. That is Socialism. That has no place in this country. We don't need more regulation. We don't need platitudes. We need the people who created this mess to take the responsibility to deal with it and not pass it along like another bad debt.

The bailouts must end. Otherwise, who is going to bail out the taxpayer?

We The People

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

How Will The Wall Street Crisis Affect Me?

With all the commotion on Wall Street one has to ask - Am I going to suffer from this?
Well that all depends.

If you work for Lehman Brothers or Merrill Lynch - the answer will be most definitely yes.
If you hold stock in their company the same holds true.

AIG can very well be the next domino to fall in this credit crisis.
Those big guys are not getting the same generous bail out form the government as Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae did, but the Federal Reserve is springing into action with some sort of plan (some sort of short term fix along with some words of confidence? no interest rate cut as of today.)

Jobs are at stake and investments are also going to suffer.
There have been bank failures, and markets overseas are taking a hit as well.
In the end we are going to see tighter requirements if you are looking for a loan, especially if you are looking to buy a house or a car.

But how this affects the everyday Joe's bank account - well it doesn't directly - and even if your bank fails, your money is most likely FDIC protected.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Company (FDIC) offers some pertinent information on their website about what happens when a bank fails.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation is an independent federal agency created in 1933 to promote public confidence and stability in the nation’s banking system.

Throughout its history, the FDIC has provided bank customers with prompt access to their insured deposits whenever an FDIC-insured bank or savings association has failed.

In the FDIC’s 75-year history, no customer has ever lost a single penny of insured deposits.
You should also know this:
The basic insurance amount is $100,000 per depositor, per insured bank. This includes principal and accrued interest up to a total of $100,000. The $100,000 amount applies to all depositors of an insured bank except for owners of certain retirement accounts, which are insured up to $250,000 per owner, per insured bank.

Deposits in separate branches of an insured bank are not separately insured. Deposits in one insured bank are insured separately from deposits in another insured bank.
It's indeed brutal in the financial markets.
However, this was all bound to happen as Wall Street firms' business was, and is, perched upon a huge (and I mean "ginormous") pile of debt - bad debt at that. People were given loans who should never have been given loans in the first place. This started even as far back as the Clinton administration and probably further; this did not happen just in the past 8 years alone.This credit mess has been long time in the making. When the price of energy soared, then it became a real struggle for people to pay the mortgage and the associated costs of owning a home, especially for those who got adjustable rate mortgages and bought way over-priced homes. The rating houses also screwed people by over inflating investments and really putting lipstick on a whole bunch of pigs!

Now people will have to either sell their homes or refinance if they had a debt/mortgage they can no longer carry. Selling their homes might be a problem now as credit dries up and house prices may continue to drop. Some may drop lower than what the original mortgage was for in the first place. Hopefully banks and financial institutions will liquidate their bad debt or allow refinance with low interest rates and no closing costs.

Regarding our jobs, we might be a bit more concerned about the company we work for, and how it will function in this recession - and pray that our jobs are not eliminated. Find out if your company is going to suffer in any way from the shake-out from Wall Street.

We'll also bound to see some inflation as prices rise.

The money you have in the bank is for the most part safe - but it's value is dropping. The money you have in your 401K plan may decline in the short term - depending on what your portfolio holds. This is a tragedy for those people who are living off those pension accounts now.

This for sure is a history making banking crisis - one that has far reaching global implications - and it isn't over yet.

Your best bet is to make sure you have a good handle on what your assets and liabilities are, go over how you are budgeting your income and think about what your plan will be if you lose your job. Stay informed on what is going on and read up on the issues. Don't impulse buy and for heavens sake - put that credit card away!

The only real difference between counterfeiting and inflation is who’s doing the printing. - Jim in San Marcos

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Let's Set The Record Straight - Obama Is Not The Only (or First) Black Person To Run For President Now Or Ever

Barack Obama is not the only black person running for president in 2008! Cynthia McKinney, former Democratic Congresswoman from Georgia, was chosen as the Green Party's nominee for President at that party's National Convention in Chicago on July 12, 2008. She also received the endorsement of the Workers World Party in July.

So where is Charlie Gibson? How come he isn't interviewing this black woman?

Another black man currently running for president on the American Independent ticket is Alan Keyes.

Republican Alan Keyes of Maryland, is a former assistant secretary of state and former U.N. ambassador. He ran twice for the GOP presidential nomination: once in 1996 and again in 2000. He is an announced candidate for his party's nomination this year : America's Independent Party.

They may be third party candidates, and you may not agree with their politics, but they have made history as well - and they are wholly being ignored. Shame on the media.

I guess if you are not Democrat or Republican you are invisible.
The media controls this country and your choices.

In an article, Pioneers in presidential race By BONNIE V. WINSTON - there is an interesting historical account of 13 black people who have been nominated to run for vice president or president in this country going back to 1880!

Bonnie Winston writes:
"As U.S. Sen. Barack Obama heads toward history as the man who could become the nation's first African-American president, he stands, as the adage goes, on the shoulders of others.

Indeed, the 46-year-old Democrat from Illinois with a law degree from Harvard University who is electrifying voters in party primaries and caucuses across the country, is at least the 13th African-American to run for president of the United States."
Blanche Kelso Bruce

Blanche Kelso Bruce, the U.S. senator from Mississippi who was nominated for vice president from the floor of the Republican national convention in 1880! Blanche Bruce was born a slave in Virginia in 1841 and he was the second African-American in the U.S. Senate. He advocated for civil rights for blacks, Native Americans, Chinese immigrants and former Confederates.

(Page 639 in the transcript of the proceedings of the 1880 Republican convention shows Bruce in nomination for Vice President- Chester Arthur went on to win the votes in the nomination along with James Garfield for President)

In 1872 the first African-American nominated for vice president was Frederick Douglass. Suffragist Victoria Claflin Woodhull ran as president with him on the Equal Rights Party ticket.

George Edwin Taylor, a Wisconsin newspaperman and labor champion ran for president in 1904 on the National Liberty Party.

Bonnie Winston wrote:
"George Taylor ran on a platform of "true liberty" for all people, as outlined in the Constitution, that included universal suffrage, equal protection through anti-lynching laws, pensions for ex-slaves and political representation for citizens of the District of Columbia...

In 1968, the Rev. Channing E. Phillips of Washington, a pastor, community activist and civil rights leader, became the next nominee. The pastor of Lincoln Congregational Temple United Church of Christ led the D.C. delegation to the Democratic National Convention in Chicago. The delegation had been pledged to Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, but after the senator's assassination, it nominated Phillips as a favorite son. He received 67½ votes. Phillips was a graduate of Virginia Union University and was briefly on the staff there in 1974. His nomination at the tumultuous convention ushered in the modern era of American politics and African-American presidential nominees who are more widely remembered.

In 1972, Congresswoman Shirley B. Chisholm of New York became the first African-American woman nominated for president. She was a contender for the Democratic Party's nod, with her name appearing on primary ballots in 12 states. At the party's national convention in Miami, she received 152 votes.

In 1984, the Rev. Jesse Jackson of Chicago made his first bid for the Democratic nomination for president, with his keynote speech at the national convention in San Francisco stirring a "rainbow" of people disaffected by the policies of Republican President Ronald Reagan. The Rainbow Coalition solidified into a political organization Jackson used in 1988 to make a more formidable run for the Democratic nomination. He won 11 Democratic Party primaries and caucuses, including Virginia's, which was held on the nation's first Super Tuesday, garnering 7 million votes in the process. At the party's 1988 national convention in Atlanta, Jackson won 1,218½ votes the second highest behind party nominee Massachusetts Gov. Michael S. Dukakis.

Also running for president in 1988 was Lenora B. Fulani of New York, a psychologist and social activist, who held top slot on the New Alliance Party's ticket. She is the first African-American to get on the ballot for president in all 50 states. She ran again in 1992.

Closer to home, Virginia Gov. L. Douglas Wilder, who had made history nearly two years earlier as the nation's first elected African-American governor, flirted with a presidential bid. In September 1991, he announced that he was seeking the Democratic nomination for president but pulled out of the race just four months later, in January 1992, with an underfunded campaign and growing monetary woes back in the commonwealth.

During the crowded 2004 contest, two African-Americans were among a 10-person field seeking the Democratic presidential nomination: former U.S. Sen. Carol Moseley Braun of Illinois and the Rev. Al Sharpton of New York, a longtime political activist. Braun, a lawyer who served as ambassador to New Zealand, made history in 1992 as the first African-American woman elected to the U.S. Senate. She joined the presidential nomination race in early 2003 but dropped out just days before the Iowa caucuses in early 2004. Head of the National Action Network, Sharpton campaigned for about 14 months before withdrawing from the race and supporting the party's eventual nominee, U.S. Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts. His best showing in any of the primaries was second place in the D.C. primary, where he won 20 percent of the vote.

Other African-Americans have mounted brief presidential campaigns, but none have reached serious proportions. For example, in 1968, Eldridge Cleaver, then minister of information of the Black Panther Party, and comedian-turned-civil rights activist Dick Gregory shared the presidential nominations of the Peace & Freedom Party. Cleaver was on the ballot in at least five states and got about 10,000 votes; Gregory got almost 50,000 votes in the nine states where he was on the ballot."
It makes me wonder why the media is hiding black politics and trying to paint Barack Obama as the first or the only black man to make political history. The creators of Black History month should be outraged, as should every Black American in this country who knows anything about American history.

That's your history lesson for today - don't be fooled by the media or the Obama hype. Oh, and all of these people ran on a platform of "change" in one way, shape, or form. So that's nothing new either.

One thing is for certain, you will not find any third party candidates in any of the upcoming debates. Perhaps we should all be asking why.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Friday, September 12, 2008

Double Standard Journalism

It never ceases to amaze me how the press will practically do a colonoscopy of some candidates and just check the heartbeat of another. Others don't even get in to see the doctor. Then when candidates do speak, their words are promptly taken out of context and broadcast ad nauseum.

I saw parts of the Columbia University interviews with Obama and McCain. Yawn. Community organizer, mayor..... ugh.... can they ask something meaningful for a change?

I also saw the obnoxious Charlie Gibson interview with Sarah Palin, and couldn't keep thinking how he was giving her and extra stern grilling and trying to intimidate her, and couldn't recall Joe Biden being called to task as fiercely. I'd love to see Gibson give as tough an interview with Biden. Ask Joe some questions about God's plan or energy independence and perhaps he'd be a tad uncomfortable. They don't ask him about his below average college career or his membership in the alfalfa club. They don't ask him how someone so entrenched in Washington politics could ever hope to "Change" anything there. Biden has been given a pass; a huge pass. Yet, Palin is being dissected like a biology assignment. And we all know it's because she is a woman, and a Republican woman at that.

What is it with the media? Do they think they are really doing a good job? What they have been engaged in regarding "reporting the story" has been a gross disservice to this country and to this election. They are so pre-occupied with playing "Gotcha" that they are not asking any real questions. The American people are sick of the diversions about lipstick and challenges about experience or what community service means. We want to know what these candidates are bringing to the table and how it is going to affect our pocketbooks and our sons and daughters who serve this country. We want to know if we'll be able to afford our retirement. We want to know how these candidates will keep government out of our lives and whether or not they will restore our rights and freedoms. Do the candidates support REALID? Do they want continued spying on Americans? Do they condone the continued invasion on our borders of illegal aliens? Do they think current cabinet posts are justified? Do they think government is too big and costly? What is their plan to prevent further financial crisis in this country as the airlines and car manufacturers prepare to follow the path of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac?

Where are the real questions?

And where oh where are third party candidates? Yes, we have them. They are being wholly kept out of the public view on purpose. The press would hate to give you other choices in this very close race for fear that those third party candidates will take voters away from the two main flavors. That is a shame and a true destruction of what's left of any pretense of choice in this election.

The media is so intent on destroying certain candidates and bolstering others, that they have forgotten that their real job is to give us the information and views of ALL candidates so that the public can decide for themselves in November.

Oh. pardon me I forgot ... we cannot decide for ourselves anymore. The media has made it their purpose to tell us what to think.

Everyone thinks that things will "Change" - that these candidates bring "Change". But as long as candidates have to dance around and recognize what the media can and will do to them with any comment they make, we will never get straight answers and we will never see change. We will only continue to see "doublespeak" and we will continue to see"flip flops" and we will continue to see business as usual.

The best thing that can happen would be to get rid of these cable commentators and pundits who are busy playing "Gotcha" and telling you and me what they think candidates have said or believe, and who tell you and me what we should think of these people.

On this point I agree with Barack Hussein Obama ..."Enough is enough"
The American people deserve better than this.

Can we please have some real balanced reporting and honest journalism? Don't they teach that anymore? And if not, isn't it obvious why people don't run for office? No one likes to be slimed, nor do they desire a public colonoscopy.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

We Remember

Do something kind for a neighbor today.
Call a family member and tell them how much they mean to you.
Tell your child how they have made your life worthwhile.
Give someone you love a hug.

Work to protect your rights and liberties, and remember that the Constitution did not change after 9-11. Restoring our Republic and our Constitutional Rights is the greatest tribute we can give to those who perished in this tragic attack.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Note To Joe Biden - Look And Think Before You Speak

Good grief... the human gaffe machine strikes again:
Joe Biden urges Chuck Graham, a wheel chair bound state senator from Green Meadows,Missouri, to "stand up, let 'em see ya".

Biden then says, "I'm new"
It might be helpful if he actually took a moment to observe, and think before opening his mouth.

Then he suggests that Governor Palin's vice presidency is a "step back for women".

Seeing as the Democrats don't have a woman on their ticket, and how they have smacked down the Pantsuit Princess into being a mere Obama cheerleader, I can't imagine how Palin could be a "step back for women". Oh wait - right... it's because Palin is a gun toting - God fearing - anti-infanticide - small town - non-Ivy League - Conservative. Oh, and of course the likes of Socialist House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is NOT a "step back for women". The double standard is remarkable.

I certainly do not subscribe to all of the policies of this past Republican administration - but for what it is worth they have put many women and minorities in high ranking positions - and now with a woman on their ticket they are fast garnering more support, according to the pollsters. Whether you approve of the Republicans or not, they have picked a well-spoken and assertive vice presidential candidate that many American women (and men) can identify with. The Democrats just picked a guy who has been in Congress forever and cannot seem to say anything without sticking his foot in his mouth.

Good thing Biden is so incredibly insignificant in this race.
I can't wait for Palin to clean his clock in the debates.

Speaking of debates... where oh where are the third party candidates to be seen? Will we see them at all? It's doubtful and shameful. (Blogpost on THAT will be forthcoming)

Governor Rell Says NO Taxes To Cure Projected Deficit

Let me be crystal clear: I will not allow Connecticut to tax its way out of this year’s budget deficit” - CT Governor, Jodi Rell

"We are facing a budget deficit of about $150 million and we simply cannot afford to spend money we do not have”- CT Governor, Jodi Rell

Do you think a Democrat controlled Assembly will cut spending? Will they listen?

Perhaps CT's voters ought to seriously contemplate what incumbents have foisted upon this state. We have the highest taxes in the nation, the most bonded debt, and worst of all they have neglected to address many many important issues ranging from eminent domain abuse to binding arbitration reform to giving us meaningful tax relief. Our state is business unfriendly and we have an enormous exodus of young people who cannot find jobs or afford to live here.

If this legislature were doing their job in the past bunch of sessions, people wouldn't be looking to have a Constitutional Convention as a vehicle to become an Initiative and Referendum state. Of course the ultimate Initiative and Referendum is to vote the ineffective incumbent people out of office and try a bunch of fresh new faces who have new ideas. Forget the national elections, I say Change starts at home.

Anyway, back to the Governor's statement:
... The Governor called on the Appropriations and Finance, Revenue & Bonding committees to hold a public meeting to hear from her budget chief and the head of the state’s tax-collecting agency so that all legislators understand the situation.

Earlier this year, Governor Rell ordered about $140 million in budget cuts, called rescissions, for state agencies. Despite those cuts, her budget agency – the Office of Policy and Management – currently projects a General Fund deficit of $145.7 million.

“All of our surrounding states (and 32 states across the nation) are in similar peril,” Governor Rell told legislators. “ Rhode Island is $430 million in the red and has eliminated health coverage for 1,000 low-income parents. Massachusetts has a $1.2 billion hole and has increased taxes by $466 million. New York faces a deficit of nearly $5 billion, prompting tax increases of $757 million and fee increases of $254 million.

“Let me be crystal clear: I will not allow Connecticut to tax its way out of this year’s budget deficit,” the Governor said. “I will continue the hiring freeze, the out-of-state travel ban and the other cost-saving measures I have implemented. And I will order further rescissions in the coming weeks to make additional spending cuts at state agencies....

Governor Rell noted that OPM currently expects personal income tax collections to be $56.4 million below projections. Sales tax revenue is expected to be down $81.5 million. Corporation tax and real estate tax collections are likely to be down $78.9 million and $63.2 million, respectively, while revenue from the tribal casinos is projected to be $37.6 million less than originally anticipated.

The Governor wrote to the leadership of both Democrats and Republicans in both the House and Senate. Similar letters were sent to the chairs and ranking members of both the Appropriations and Finance, Revenue and Bonding committees.
So, the Governor is requesting that committee member "get schooled" by her budget chief and the head of the state’s tax-collecting agency so that all legislators understand the situation. As if the people on these committees, and supposedly representing their constituents, aren't aware of the havoc they have created with all of the spending they have been engaged in past sessions.

Reasons to vote out incumbent tax and spenders (cited from CT House Republicans):
- CT is one of only 4 states in the nation that fully taxes pensions.
- CT pays the highest federal, state, and local taxes per capita in the nation
- CT has the latest "Tax Freedom Day" - You get to start working for yourself on May 8th!
- CT has the highest gas tax in the nation
- CT has been rated by Expansion Management Magazine as the LEAST business friendly state in the nation
- CT is rated by Entrepreneur Magazine as the 3rd worst state in the nation to do business in and rated dead last in the country for business growth
- CT was rated by Milken Institute as the 5th costliest state in the nation to do business
- CT is losing population and has the fastest loss of 18-34 year olds in the country (brain drain)

We need change all right.
And we need a Governor who will truly draw a line in the sand and say "NO" to more taxes and "YES" to less spending and smaller government.

Think about it when you go to vote in November. Look at the voting records of the incumbents.
Don't vote party - vote for results.

Your local Republicans are NOT George Bush. They are NOT Barack Obama or John McCain either.

Your local State Senators and Representatives will determine how successful we will be in the coming recession. We cannot keep initiating the same tax, borrow and spend policies.

Governor Rell should be applauded for her statements, but let's see some real results.

The rest of us are all looking at our home budgets and cutting back our spending... government absolutely should be doing the same.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Freddie And Fannie - Government Takeover Of Failing Business

Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, which are reported as holding half of the nation's mortgage debt, are now in the hands of the federal government via a conservatorship agreement; federal control. One report said this:
The executives were told that, under the plan, they and their boards would be replaced and shareholders would be virtually wiped out, but that the companies would be able to continue functioning with the government generally standing behind their debt, people briefed on the discussions said.
Is this bailout a good idea?
Some say yes, because Freddie and Fannie "are too big to fail" and if they did fail it would cripple our economy.

I say no. So do others. (see here, here, and here)
I think that they should fail and that our government should stop bailing out failing enterprises. Furthermore, the federal government should not be getting itself into "quasi-public" businesses either. The federal government doesn't belong in the housing industry like this.

The people running the two mortgage giants should be nailed and jailed. They operated their business in a risky and fraudulent manner. Why should millions of responsible hard working American taxpayers pay for their mistakes and questionable tactics?? The New York Times reported that after advisers went over the companies’ books for the Treasury Department, they concluded that accounting methods had overstated what the actual capital backing behind those mortgages were. That sounds like jail time to me. Anyone recall ENRON and their antics?

They offered (and backed) mortgages that should not have been granted in the first place! Poor business practices cause business failure. The executives of those mortgage giants surely must have realized that. You can surely believe that they did.

If Freddie and Fannie fail, those holding stock in Freddie and Fannie would essentially be wiped out - but hey - that's the risk you take in investing in companies in the stock market in the first place - isn't it? With regard to the stock and this government bail out, this is what one report said:
Under a conservatorship, the common and preferred shares of Fannie and Freddie would be reduced to little or nothing, and any losses on mortgages they own or guarantee could be paid by taxpayers. Shareholders have already lost billions of dollars as the stocks have plunged more than 80 percent this year.
If these companies are allowed to fail then perhaps it might teach investors a very important lesson in being careful in who you invest in; government backed or not. It might just teach people not to do business with companies (and governments) who have less than ethical business behavior. It might also teach these company executives not to run their business like greedy and reckless morons.

If business executives of large corporations have nothing to lose and know that the company will be rescued in the end, what incentive do they have to be responsible?

Expensive lesson? You bet - but how many more times must the taxpayers in this country bail out failing business? (especially to the tunes of multi billions - even trillions of dollars) And why should government step in to control private business or even "quasi-private" or "quasi public" business? That is the hallmark of Socialism.

This housing bubble was created by the Federal Reserve and these investment houses in the first place. And now the Feds are just going to print up a whole lot more fiat money to "fix this" problem. It is outrageous and will further wreck the US dollar. Inflationary times are surely on the horizon.

As for the homeowners who hold the bad mortgages - they were sold a bill of goods and were swindled, and now they have a choice: they can either refinance or sell their homes. A federal takeover is not going to help those unfortunate people who cannot pay the mortgages they were granted. Their plight is the real tragedy in this mess, but apparently we are supposed to be more concerned with the people who hold stock in Freddie and Fannie as well as the lenders. Make no mistake, that is really who the government is trying to protect here (including foreign investors like China and those in the EU)

It's all strong medicine, but the only way for businesses to be made to act responsibly is not necessarily through regulation... but by being made to accept the consequences of their actions, and if that means failure of their business ... and well that happens everyday to the small businessman. No one is bailing them out.

You and I are being taxed more to bail out the financial institutions in this country that have operated in a less than ethical and proper manner, while government begins to control more. The Federal Reserve, a private bank, is controlling our economy. Our money is being made worth less and less every day. Congressman Ron Paul warned us about this.
For several years, followers of the Austrian school of economics have warned that unless Congress moved to end the implicit government guarantee of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and took other steps to disengage the US Government from the housing market, America would face a crisis in housing. This crisis would force Congress to chose between authorizing a taxpayer bailout of Fannie and Freddie, and other measures increasing government’s involvement in housing, or restoring a free-market in housing by ending government support for Fannie and Freddie and repealing all laws that interfere in housing. The bursting of the housing bubble, and the recent near-collapse in investor support for Fannie and Freddie has proven my fellow Austrians correct. Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, instead of ending the prior interventions in the housing market that are responsible for the current crisis, Congress is increasing the level of government intervention in the housing market. This is the equivalent of giving a drug addict another fix, which will only make the necessary withdrawal more painful.

The provision giving the Treasury Secretary a blank check to purchase Fannie and Freddie stock not only makes the implicit government guarantee of Fannie and Freddie explicit, it represents another unconstitutional delegation of Congress’ Constitutional authority to control the allocation of taxpayer dollars. While the Treasury Secretary has to file a report with Congress, the lack of any effective standards for the expenditure of funds makes it impossible for Congress to perform effective oversight on Treasury’s expenditures.
A word to the wise: You see what's going on in these financial markets...the Feds are not looking out for you - and so the best thing to do is to look at your assets and figure out how best to protect them from the further erosion of the dollar (inflation) and a downturn in this economy.

"What you do politically is bail everybody out. If you want to do good economics you let people who made mistakes fail and cleanse the system."
-- Ron Paul

Ron Paul comments to Federal Reserve Chairman, Ben Bernanke.

Other good related articles:
A History of Public Aid Druing Crisis

US Rescue Seen At Hand For 2 Mortgage Giants

(Hat Tip: Susan K.)

Saturday, September 6, 2008

The Other Palin

And Now For Something Completely Different...

Michael Palin - Monty Python

The Lumberjack Song

The Spanish Inqusition

Friday, September 5, 2008

Working Moms

You know it is pretty interesting that we still seem to be having a debate about whether or not motherhood should or should not include working outside the home. Sarah Palin's bid for Vice President seems to have stirred up the discussion once more.

For all of the millions of mothers who work outside of the home you would think that this discussion would be far from done. For many, the economy has made the family's choice, regarding work, for them. For many families, both spouses must earn an income. For many others, husbands and wives have been able to determine within their own family how it is that both spouses can enjoy a successful career and still attend to home responsibilities. Sometimes the solution is to be able to work from home. How having two working parents has affected the children involved is still up for discussion. What is pretty clear is that a necessary ingredient in successful family life includes everyone working together, and that needs to happen whether mom works outside the home or not. It's not such a tragedy if the kids have to pitch in either, in fact in my experience, it builds character.

Everyone seems to be so concerned about what Sarah Palin's choices should be as a wife and mother and elected executive official. No one seemed to mind it when she was elected Governor of Alaska - but heaven forbid a Vice Presidential nominee should have family responsibilities - as if men chosen for that position don't! The double standard coming out of the liberal media on this issue of late is quite amusing, since it was o.k. for Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, and a host of other Democrat women who also have family responsibilities to be seeking and attaining a high public office. Yet it is now not o.k. for Palin to be seeking the Vice Presidency with 5 kids and a husband. Perhaps Republican women are the ones that liberals want to have home barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen. Does anyone honestly think Palin hasn't discussed this job prospect with her family and made appropriate arrangements?

Palin may have 5 kids and challenges in her family but the point here is she has a supportive family - her parents included - that help her do what she has the opportunity to do. She very well couldn't do any of it without their love and support. She doesn't need to be the only one shouldering family and work issues that surround her life, and it is clear that she isn't. I think we are all in that situation in one way shape or form - men included. We all couldn't work and support our families without our individual family units working together within themselves to care for kids and family issues and to share the responsibilities and roles involved. What we have discovered over the years is that the work of raising kids and dealing with family issues should not fall on any one spouse, especially the woman. Men can - and do - share the responsibilities of home life these days. What they have discovered is that it doesn't make them any less of being a man in doing so, in fact it most likely creates stronger family bonds.

The roles we assume are choices we decide upon within our own homes. Another family's choices regarding work and taking care of a home may not be your choice or my choice - it is theirs alone. Unfortunately, we tend to place judgment as to whether another family's choice regarding work and caring for their kids is a good one or not, and really it is not our place to judge that. There is no one right way to create the balance needed between work and home. I know that I have written before about parents who "outsource" parenthood, but I think what I have tried to say is that it is vastly different for kids to be raised by transient strangers in daycare settings, then to be taken care of by extended family members or switching traditional parenting roles. But that is my opinion. In the end, families do what they need to and choose to do.

Women, no matter what their party affiliation or what their job, have to make their own choices and you can be certain that Sarah Palin has worked this out with her own family. The media and anyone else need not be so concerned. Let the discussions revolve around issues and how our national problems should be tackled instead of what our candidates family arrangements look like.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

This Must Be Killing Hillary

The fact that Sarah Palin has achieved a vice presidential nomination; something that Hillary Clinton could not get, must absolutely be killing Hillary (and Bill too).

I mean, just think about it - Hillary desperately tried to get the presidential nomination for her party, and could not even get herself tapped to be a vice presidential nominee in the party that claims to be the bastion of women's rights and crushers of glass ceilings. Hah! They treated Hillary like a throwaway - used her like a kleenex and tossed her to the curb, and now to add insult to injury she has to parade around and act like she adores "the anointed One" - Obama. What more humiliation could the Democrats think of for Hillary? I feel sort of bad for her and I don't even like the woman! Her husband cheated on her and her own party kicks her to the curb! She gave the best years of her life to both of them. She really must be fuming on the inside.

In comparing these two high profile political women, Palin outshines Hillary in so many ways. It isn't even because Palin can field dress a moose, or drives her own car to work, or even has more visual appeal; but rather that she gives the sense of being a more genuine person. Palin seems more likeable. Hillary always had this aura of vindictiveness and one might get the sense that she'd trample you to get to where she wanted to be. Her ambition and sense of entitlement is (and always has been) what is most unappealing to me, aside from her ardent Socialist ideology.

I watched Palin's speech. It was well delivered, with poise and confidence. One thing I was really glad to see was that Sarah Palin did not come out on stage wearing a pants suit. She obviously doesn't have to "wear the pants" to let people know that she can be in charge. I enjoyed the speech she gave at the RNC Convention. I wish she were running for president! I really cannot stomach McCain. And while Palin may have made mistakes along the way, she still has accomplished much for her state and enjoys an 80% approval rating as Governor of Alaska. That's no small task.

One thing that I like about Palin is her "down to Earth-ness". She really does seem to represent the everyday person. She appears to be in touch with the working class, and families who face challenges. She shows that no family is perfect, although we strive to be. She is a stark difference from her Democrat opposition which is seemingly arrogant and snobbish and who try to adopt the trappings of an office that they haven't even been elected to.

As for Senator Biden, he WILL have a formidable opponent; one that is intelligent and won't be intimidated and certainly won't take any guff.

I am sure we'll all hear how horrible Sarah Palin is in the coming weeks as the Democrats go into "shark and piranha feeding frenzy mode" to attempt to tear Palin apart, but the fact of the matter is that she is in a place right now that the Democrats could not even bestow upon their very own Hillary Clinton. That really must be a harsh blow for Hillary to deal with, even as she waits for 2012 and beyond.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Not Going Back To School

Today, while many kids are hopping on the yellow school bus - there are still many who will not be joining them. Over 2 million children in the United States will be homeschooling and pursuing their own course of study away from the bells and crowded hallways of government schools.

For many homeschoolers, school did not even "end" in May or June. It's not that they don't "take a break", but rather that they understand that education is not a 9-5 weekday event that only occurs between September to June.

Education is part of life for most homeschoolers. They don't view learning as a thing to be accomplished within a specific time period...rather it is an inherent part of our growth and being. One does not need a brick building to learn times tables or study Chaucer, and learning about percentages can happen while shopping for sales at the mall as well as from a text book. Learning fractions can happen while baking in the kitchen as well as from a downloaded worksheet from the Internet. Many of us have seen how real life experiences and applications can make for more meaningful learning.

While snorkeling this past week in Bermuda, my daughter was fascinated by actually seeing and coming up close to the underwater creatures she had recently studied about in her Biology coursework. She pointed out to us all of the things she had learned about these creatures, some of which was also discussed by the leader of this snorkeling excursion on the boat ride over to the reef. And while one does not have to travel to such places to cement their learning, there is much to be gained by non-textbook and out of the classroom experiences. We all learned a lot during our time away; from how a ship operates, to another place's history and culture, to art of the 20th century (there were art seminars aboard our ship).

Unfortunately, the field trip (out of classroom) experiences are few and far between in government schools these days. I would even venture to say that the kids who need them most, like kids attending inner city urban schools, should definitely be exposed to more field trip (out of classroom) experiences. Homeschoolers enjoy, and regularly partake of, a steady diet of field trips to museums, parks, historical re-enactments, and so forth. Even a trip to town to run errands at the bank or the post office is a learning experience for our youngsters. But field trips aside, the point is that whether one is sitting at home studying or going out into the world, learning happens everywhere and anywhere. I might also add that one does not need a credentialed teacher to be taught anything either.

So "not back to school" doesn't mean not learning. And when you see a homeschooling family out and about, just remember that education happens everywhere, so please refrain from asking, "How come you aren't in school today?"

For homeschoolers, the world is their classroom.

Monday, September 1, 2008


Well, even bloggers have to take a break once in awhile.

My family and I were off cruising to Bermuda this past week to celebrate me and my husband's 30th wedding anniversary. No "staycation" for us after scrimping and saving for this long awaited time away.

We had a grand time, did some snorkeling, and just took in the glorious weather. We had really calm waters sailing, although some of the ocean swells did make me and the girl queasy. The pressure point wrist bands did the trick for me.

Bermuda is still a great place to visit; my husband and I honeymooned there and so when we were there this week we visited the place we stayed those many years ago - the Rosedon - and it is still lovely. We were invited to stay there for afternoon tea and sandwiches.

We did some other touring around by bus and ferry.

We also visited the Hamilton home office of the company that my husband works for in Hartford. I wouldn't mind if he were relocated there.

It was actually lovely to not read a paper or watch the news or be bothered by "issues". News blackouts are quite healthy I think.

Anyway, now that I am back I'll have some catching up to do along with restocking the refrigerator, going through my mail, and doing all the laundry that we brought home along with our Rum Swizzle glasses.