Tag Archives: conservative view

Dog Bites Man And Govt. Motors Pays Itself

Those headlines would deserve  equal credit as to newsworthiness in a sane world.  But over the last 18 months or so since the current administration took the reins of power such news is heralded as the most wonderous of events.  I watched some of the “ceremony” at GM this morning as they breathlessly announced their repayment of 5.8 billion to the US and Canadian governments as though that was some stupendous achievement.  There was lots of hoopla and all that was lacking was the confetti and balloons.  All that happened in reality was that the government paid itself.  Not one darn bit different than if you wrote a check to yourself out of your checking account and then deposited it right back.

The fact of the matter is that Government, Inc. owns GM.  It is merely paying itself.  The fact that they have been able to make a profit should come as no surprise to anyone with an IQ higher than weeds.  You could take almost any major company from the Standard and Poors 500 that had lots of debt and do the same thing as occurred with GM.  I mean the “new” GM came out of the government mandated Chapter 11 with nothing but assets.  All its debts were left behind with the old GM.  Is it remarkable at all that given that scenario it has made a profit?  The surprise would have been if it made only a small profit. 

Don’t forget that in addition to the 5.8 billion in direct loans during the Chapter 11 that GM had a capital infusion of about 50 billion.  Give me a company with no debt and a fresh 50 billion to play with and I will guarantee you a profit even if I was selling buggy whips.   Also don’t forget that GMAC its partner in crime also got I believe it was over 40 billion in Government funds to continue its financing arrangement.  This was conveniently done under TARP when GMAC during the holidays of ’08 was converted into a “financial” institution with a bank charter from the Feds.  

The power brokers and czars in Washington must think we really have a short attention span or they are contemptuous of our ability to reason.   Speaking of czars, you have surely noticed that Mr. Rattner who lead the government team doing all the negotiating with creditors of GM has run into his own buzz saw of accusations recently.  Really nice to know we had such an honorable fellow carefully selected by the White House to run that show and ram through the Chapter 11 of GM.   This entire situation is another example of the danger of the too big to fail syndrome that has consumed Washington since the fall of ’08.  The financial regulations being proposed by Dodd, of Countrywide fame, does not solve this problem but only exacerbates it.  Please read it for yourself.  The fine print gives authority to bureaucrats appointed and funded by the politicians  the say to determine who is a systemic risk and what should be done.  It allows them to determine who will be paid and how.  Worst of all it allows for unlimited government backing of the credit of a failing company.  If it quacks like a bailout, walks like a bailout, it is a bailout regardless of the headline news and the disclaimers of Dodd.   Geithner defends it so you know it must be a really bad idea. 

Every time you buy a GM car or part you are supporting the gang in Washington.  It is not a private company but a captive of government and in turn the auto unions which were the real raison d’etre behind the bailout of GM in the first place.  I hate it that I can’t support them anymore.  Years ago I loved my Suburban.  Unfortunately they have become part of the problem with our economy and government and not any contribution to the solution or a better path for the country.  The Democrats got themselves even more loyal ground troops for the political wars.  They already had the overwhelming majority anyway but now they have tens of thousands of cadre to send out on the political warpath.  Even better for them every GM car sold is nothing more than a political contribution for the largest political PAC supporting Democratic candidates there ever was.

The great pyramids in Egypt are quite something to behold.  More remarkable is the preciseness of the engineering that was employed with only the most rudimentary of tools. They had no GPS or laser  controlled measuring or surveying devices.  Line of sight, plumb bobs and string and knowledge of basic geometry is what they worked with.  The Great Pyramid near Assuan was about 150 yards high and was about 250 yards wide on each side of its base.  Those blocks weighed a lot.  There were 7 yards long and hand to be man-handled to the top.  Amazingly, the engineers were so good with their limited tools that the mean error of the base line was only 6/10’s of an inch in length and 12 seconds in angle from a perfect square.  I wonder if we could do that well today.   http://www.olcranky.wordpress.com

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History Confronts Stereotypes For Those Who Will Look and Learn

The Jewish people have a stereotype reputation for being urbane, sophisticated, intelligent and achievers.   As stereotypes go that one is probably pretty well on target.  As a group whether religious or ethnic they have a remarkable record of success wherever they have existed.  There is also a stereotype among the literati that the Jews have fared  badly in the South and that there is a long history of anti-semitism.  There is that Upper West Side notion that Jews aren’t welcome in the South and that the South is not progressive enough to foster the right atmosphere for Jews to flourish there.  Somehow they believe that the phrase Southern Jew would be an oxymoron.   Let’s take a look at that perception through some history. 

The first Jewish member of the US Senate was man from Florida.  He was David Levy Yulee in the 1840’s.  I can assure that was long before Miami became a winter time mecca for the the Jews from the Upper West Side.  You might find that hard to believe but you can verify it.  It was not a Jew from New York or any of the other northern states.  There was in fact a vibrate Jewish community in several of the Southern States–principally in Charleston, Atlanta, New Orleans and Richmond.  You do remember the movie “Driving Miss Daisy” don’t you?  That was a fairly accurate portrayal of the Jewish southern attachments although fast forwarded into the 20th century. 

The second Jewish member of the US Senate was from Lousiana.  He was Judah Benjamin.  In served in the US Senate during the 1850’s until the secession by the southern states.  During his service as a Senator he was also offered a position on the US Supreme Court.  The first offer to a Jew to serve on the Court.  He declined.  In fact he was offered that position twice by  Fillmore and Pierce and declined both offers.  He had been a plantation owner and slave owner.  He had sold out his interest years before the War Between the States began.  He however was a loyal son of the South.   When he first went to the Senate he challenged another Senator to a duel over a perceived slight.  But an apology was extended and the duel did not take place.  The offender was non other than Jefferson Davis.  Not only was the duel cancelled they became very close friends.

When the War Between the States began Benjamin served in several important positions in the Cabinet under Davis.  He was Attorney General, then served as Secretary of War and lastly was the Secretary of State for the Confederacy.  He had attended Yale law school but had not graduated and finished his study of the  law in New Orleans where he was admitted to the bar.  By all accounts he was an eloquent speaker and orator.  This was an age of oratory.   He was a bit out of his element as Secretary of War because he lacked that martial background and often quarrelled with the generals.  Failure to reinforce Roanoake led to his departure from that post but Davis was not about to let him leave; he was too valuable a mind for the South to lose and thus he became Secretary of State.  He remained in that position until the very end.  He was with Davis when they had to evacuate Richmond in April of 1865 and rode the train to Georgia.  That was a terrifying and frantic escape with the Yankees hard on their heels each step of the way.  He was in charge of the gold bullion that they were taking with them to try to fund the continuing struggle with Joe Johnston’s army until news of his surrender followed Appomattox by a couple of weeks.  The South had no son more loyal and devoted to the Cause than Judah Benjamin.  At war’s end he made his escape through Florida and then to the Carribbean islands and eventually to England.  His wife and child had been there for years.  He died in France almost 20 years after the War’s end.

He was a respected member of the Cabinet and government of the Confederacy.    Stereotypes in my humble opinion do have a grain of truth every time.   But they are not permenant markers indelibly laid down and should always be given thought before accepted.  It is hoped this account will make some pause and think anew their perceptions of people.   That perception may bear the test of reflection but if reflection shows it wanting then it is best to refine one’s opinions.  Facts and history are stubborn things to paraphrase Reagan and the truth is there for all who seek it.

The news is that the GM unions will receive 39% of the restructured company for its 10 billion in benefits debts; that Government, Inc. will own 50% and the bondholders will get 10% for their 27 billion in debts.  Many of those bondholders are the very banks that the Government forced to accept TARP money and now won’t let them repay.  Let’s see–one bank equals zero votes on election day.  One union equals tens of thousands of votes and organizers on election day.  Wonder how the guy in the white house came up with that formula?  I also wonder how Government, Inc. the “all everything” with multiple conflicts of interest will make those banks log that new
GM stock–as a loss?   Will Government, Inc. then pummel them even more for having a bad balance sheet?  That is only a couple of matters to ponder as you assess the current intrusion of government into our economy.   That solution is not the market at work, it is the market manipulated and contorted by government to meet political and ideological objectives.

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Filed under Culture, government, history, military history

The Printing Press and Debt

Of late we hear many politicians of both parties talking about running up debts that will be a insurmountable burden on our children and grandchildren.  This is certainly appropriate given the scope and size of the proposed budget of the new administration.  The numbers are truly staggering and almost incomprehensible due to their size.   That budget is in addition to all the extra money that has already been authorized for the current crisis which if my math is right runs to over two trillion.  I mean there is the 700 billion TARP money, the 787 billion stimulus money and then the over 800 billion of special funding from the Treasury and the Fed for asset purchases.  The largest item on the budget will be the interest on the national debt.  It will even exceed the defense budget; that is even with the extremely low interest rates prevailing at this moment in time.  Those rates will change in the near future.

Surely you have heard the rumblings from China who holds a very substantial portion of our debt.  First they argued about our stimulus Plan and the Buy American provisions, then they start talking about the value of our Treasuries and then they float out the idea of a new currency to replace the US dollar in international markets.  They are concerned with good reason about not just our existing debt but about the fact that there is nothing in place to demonstrate when or how it will ever be reduced.   The proposed budget is for a ten  year cycle.  That is a pretty long time and it makes no effort to reduce debt.  Indeed it only projects very large deficits for the entire ten year period.  That assumes that the budget is accurate as drafted which the CBO has questioned to the tune of over 2 trillion dollars–that is the deficits will increase by that much more than the administration’s budget projects. I suggest that the politicians quit worrying about our kids and start worrying about us in the here and now.  Those numbers are so huge they can’t be shoved off that long.  Those economic and fiscal chickens will come home to roost long before even the ten years have expired.  

The question that isn’t being asked is how are we going to pay for this debt?   That is the critical question and its answer or lack of one will affect our fiscal and economic well being now and over the next decade.  Everyone keeps talking about an emergency and how something must be done now.  I don’t accept that premise myself but that is of no moment since we are in the water now and we will be getting wet.   If you run up large debts and go to the bank for more they will ask you how you intend to pay it off and when.  They will want to see the numbers to justify your repayment plan.  Those international concerns and nations that lend us money are just like a banker to the US right now.  We in effect deal with a consortium of “banks” which includes China, Japan the Mid East nations and other large investors around the world.  The budget assumes we will continue to be able to borrow from those folks on a regular basis ad infinitum without ever having to explain our repayment program.  The question of dealing with the debt should be asked to the Presidend at every news conference and of all administration officials without let up until we have an answer.   I don’t think we will like the answer and that is why they don’t want to give one.

Our lenders aren’t idiots and they know there is only three ways we can  possibly begin a repayment program on this mother of all budgets–raise taxes substantially, which will deaden economic growth here and abroad; default on the debt in whole or in part, a la Argentina recently; or simply print up more money which will inflate the dollar and make them worth so much less that our creditors would not be excited about the thought of being paid in dollars worth less.  Maybe they would almost be worthless dollars.   They have a right to be concerned.  The next thing to watch for will be a slow down in the purchasing of the US Treasury bills and notes.  The sales of these items are held on a regular basis.  Those foreigners buy them on a regular basis. They are selling well now because on a comparative basis our economy is still stronger than some others.  But that is short term thinking.  As the debt builds so will the international concern.  One fine day some of those foreigners, probaby the Chinese, will not make a bid as expected for our debts.  That will immediately raise the interest rates on our Treasuries and correspondingly reduce the exposure on our debt to them.   Watch for it.  Unless we get a sensible answer to the question about our intentions on the increasing deficits and debt it will happen. The only issue is when.  That will put the kaboosh on government plans pretty quickly.  The Government will print more money but folks won’t value it as before and the spiral will have begun.  Higher interest rates which will  mean even more debt, much slower growth because credit will be unstable, and at the same damn time we will have increasing inflation.  That is your future world if this budget and others similar to it are passed in this term of the administration.   There will be some short term improvement in the economy until the investors and trading partners realize we aren’t addressing the long term debt problems.  The Chinese are clearly already sniffing around for alternatives to loaning us money.  They have tremendous room to grow their internal economy for years to come even if their exports diminish.   We don’t have the same room for internal growth because we are already developed.

A penny saved is a penny earned if you have the penny in the first place.   A pretend penny you think you might have in the future that you don’t spend now is not earned.  But the Feds don’t seem to get that.

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AIG and the Rule of the Mob

Remember those scenes from Frankenstein when the mobs come out with their burning torches and pitchforks to chase the “monster’?   Or if you prefer the near identical scene in any of the movies about the French Revolution and the age of Robespierre.  It sure seems to me that we are watching the same thing unfold now with regard to the bonuses paid out to some AIG executives.  

I didn’t want to write about this topic again at all.  I had planned a entry regarding the purpose of Lee’s invasion of Pa. in 1863 and its broader implications and lessons for today.  But then I get home and the news is filled with politicians ranting and fuming about these bonuses and threatening our fellow citizens with draconian measures to right what they perceive to be a wrong.  For those of you new here, I would point out again that I have had my dealings with AIG  in the courtroom in the last few years and I do not like them at all.  I found them loathsome in their business morality.  But they followed the law.  They tried to manipulate it but hell, that is what lawyers are paid to do.  Anyway, I have no personal sympathy with any of the people getting those bonuses but I do have a very high regard for our rights under the Constitution and for the equity from my government.  I don’t like anyone that tries to be a bully.  Our government is acting like the classic bully.  That sleazebag Schumer said it plain as day that the government would take back the money by taxing it 100%!

These people had contracts that were signed over a year ago from all reports and that makes sense.   The government didn’t have to bailout AIG and take on these contracts in the first place.  Did you ask the government to bail them out?  I damn sure didn’t and was opposed to it from the first.  I think those investors who made the wrong call should have lost their money just as you and I have lost our  money in the market over the last few months.  You think we could convince the politicians that collective we are “too big to fail” and our losses would cause “systemic risk” to the market?  The rights under contracts are property and the government is not allowed under the Constitution to take property without just compensation under the 5th amendment.  Of course those bullies and thugs in Congress say they aren’t “taking” anything but merely adjusting the tax code.   This is a classic example of why we need the tax code dramatically revamped.  It is used for so many purposes other than the collection of taxes for legitimate government aims.  It is being used to punish behavoir.  In this case behavoir that is perfectly legal I might add.  The right to contract is protected by our Constitution and is recognized by it and all the States are required to honor the legitimacy of contracts in other States. 

We don’t do, or at least we are not supposed to do, ex post facto laws or bills of attainder under Article One of the Constitution.  Since the “crime” committed is not treason or other high crime, some might argue that doesn’t apply but I would wager the US Supreme Court might differ.  After all  they have made up out of whole cloth “rights” that aren’t even mentioned in the Constitution and here they would only be asked to interpret a specific prohibition.  The attainder was used to take the assets or property from those convicted for crimes.  But the “conviction” didn’t mean necessarily in a regular court of law.   It could be a “kangaroo” court if you will.  Here these thieves in Congress are proposing taking property and contract rights from people as an attainder pure and simple and it certainly is ex post facto.  They are changing the rules of the game after it has been played to change the score to their liking.  That is a most unfair concept to the average American. 

If the issue is did we get our money’s worth for the bonuses then I have another question or two. Clearly the allegation is that we have not.  But, first, who knows yet if we have or not?  Secondly, if that is the new standard for enforcing contracts then we should demand that all 535 members of Congress be required to forfeit their salaries and all benefits including pensions because we damn sure aren’t getting our money’s worth from them.  I am ready to go to trial on that and prepared to call my first witness.

Mostly what concerns me is the mob mentality and hypocrisy of these politicians and the obvious abuse of power.  I urge you to forget whether these people at AIG “deserved” the money; they had a contractual right to the money.  They are being punished because it is politically expedient.  If this abuse and bullying can happen  to them then what makes you think you, your union, your church, your industry might not be next in their sights?  If the butcher in your neighborhood is making $100,000.00 a year  and the price of beef soars because of the drought and the fact that the government has mandated that the feed stocks (corn) has to be used for ethanol in cars rather than as a cattle feed and soon he is making $120,000.00 a year; I ask should he now be punished too?  Is that also an outrage? 

Have we reached the point that the mob will rule?  Are we now going to have 51% dominance where when that magic is reached and they (whoever makes up that 51%) can decide to punish and confiscate the property of everyone they don’t like?  Whether Democrat or Republican if you have that number then you can grab anything you want from those you don’t like for whatever the reason and under the announced thinking now without any protection at all under the Constitution.  They merely use the tax code to impoverish you and leave penniless.  You best think about that long and hard before you support this thief by Congress of that bonus money.

I don’t like it that those characters at AIG got this money but I hate even more the proposals floating about  to simply seize their assets for doing legitimate work and asking that their contracts be honored as written.  Those executives are NOT the issue, the issue is our rights as citizens.  The unworthy must be protected to protect us all.   If they are taxed on all those bonuses then a very dark cloud has descended over our nation. 

Generally speaking, women are generally speaking.  Dr. Durrett

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Grapes of Wrath Goes East

I was listening to an official from California  being interviewed about that state’s budget shortfall and the pending stimulus plan.  Of course California will receive more than any other state from this source.  The last number I heard was over 20 billion in direct grants to the state.  Of course California has been spending on lots of pet projects and programs that they apparently think are essential to the welfare and benefit of its citizens.  Unfortunately they didn’t provide for the funding to balance their books and operated at a tremendous deficit for the last several years.  You all know where they are now– furloughing state workers to save cash and obviously planning on getting that big check from Washington.  That check comes  from the citizens of the whole US.  The rest of the country is being asked to underwrite their fiscal and spending choices.  Of course some of the other states are making the same appeal and will also be receiving large sums of Federal money.   This official was going on a great lengths about how necessary all the various programs were for California and that they couldn’t and shouldn’t be cut back.  His basic attitude was that what is good for California is good for the US.  To some degree I would agree with that.  We are a country made up of our parts.  However we do have a Federal system of Government.  Or at least we are supposed to and used to. 

It is interesting to note that California has increased the size of its Government by 100% over the last decade.  That means thousands upon thousands of new hires.  I wonder if the people of California think they have gotten their money’s worth out of those new employees?  I know there are those who argue that those government employees are good for the state economy because they have jobs and pay taxes.  The same argument is often made for Federal employees.  Of course there is one really serious flaw in that logic.  Those governement employees are the ultimate zero sum accounting.  The money to pay them has to come from the real economy.  It comes from taxpayers.  So the money those employees pay in taxes is merely replacing some of the money taken in the first instance by the government from taxpayers.  The result is a significant net cost to the taxpayers.   The percentage of taxes paid by a governement worker is only a fraction of the money it took to employ him in the first place.  I recognize that there are some services we do need from government employees like teachers, etc.   But how can California justify its gargantuan increase in size in such a short period of time?   How can it justify not balancing its books?  I know the Federal governement has been doing the same thing for a long  time.  And look where that has gotten us in the last several decades.  It has been a problem for decades not just a recent mushroom that grew overnight.  I wouldn’t think they would want to emulate the Feds.  Remember California can’t simply print up new money like the Feds can.

We know that only about half of us pay Federal income taxes now.  The new proposals from those with power will reduce that even further.  I would wager any amount that the percentage of actual taxpayers in California is even lower than the national average.  It is a matter of demographics and math.  How much more pressure can those who are paying for the operation of state government take?   It won’t be long before only 25% of the workers in California are paying all the taxes.  I know that everyone pays sales and property taxes but it is the income tax that is in theory supposed to close the budget gap and that tax collection is coming from a smaller and smaller group.  And sales taxes are equal for all.  You don’t spend, you don’t pay and there a loads of exempt ideas to cushion the blow for those with lower incomes. California has had net population growth over the last 20 years.  It has been great large.  But again look at the demographics and illegals.  California is now suffering a net outmigration of its productive citizens.  They are moving to more friendly economic climes.  As long as freedom exist people will “vote” with their money and their feet.  Many in California are voting now and leaving the state. 

I cherish and endorse our Federal system because it encourgaes innovation in government and social programs and certainly in economic practice and application.  Just as I think we should not be bailing out Wall Street I don’t think we should be bailing out California or others like it for their own decisions.  I think many of their decisions are bad, like the car standards.  But those are matters for California to decide.  I recognize it is not my business how they choose to live and run their state, but, but, it is NOT my obligation to pay for their mistakes.  If they wish to have a large government and many welfare programs that is fine but they need to pay for them.  I don’t like their policies and I don’t live there.   I believe I am not the only one holding these beliefs.  I offer the stats on outmigration  as evidence.  The old Okies from the Thirties are heading back east.  Many should ponder the implications of that pounding of feet hitting the highway for what they believe are greener pastures.  Why are the leaving?  

Are you surprised at all that the market was negative on Geithner and the Administration’s revised bailout plan?  He can’t figure out his own taxes but we are supposed to trust him with maybe over a trillion dollars?

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No Room At the Trough

The lobbyists and politicians sure ain’t Christ.  There wasn’t room for him at the Inn on the night of His birth and there isn’t enough room for all those lobbyists and politicians at the trough of the Bailout bonanza.   Come one, come all, we have the perfect elixir for what ails you.   All you have to do is read the paper or watch the news about the feeding frenzy that is taking place in Washington now and realize that the world has gone bonkers with the concept of “free” money.  Let’s review only a partial list of those elbowing and shoving their way to the trough of public funding in the Stimulus package. 

Well, first we have the States–notably California, New York and New Jersey leading the way to grab billions of dollars from the taxpayers of other states to fund their mismanagement of their financial affairs.   Even the residents of those States I hope will reflect on what is taking place.   The money isn’t  free in the economic sense and sure as hell isn’t free in the political sense.   The Feds will have their usual mandates and rules that have to be met with regard to spending those funds.  Those States will be told how they must spend the money.  Local control and thus local freedom to choose their own direction is sacrificed.

Next up we have the Big Three lurking.  They don’t have to shove as hard as some of the others since they already have received big dollars and the commitment has been made to pour more dollars into a losing proposition.   Of course the politicians in the Dem party will have an even more solid bloc of votes than they had before from the UAW and we in the process will get millions of cars in the future at elevated prices and with features most aren’t willing to pay for.   But, heck sales aren’t  that important to a Government enterprise–votes are.

Concrete and the tar production companies are each lobbying for their own agenda.  One wants repairs to the roads and the other wants those long term projects on new highways, bridges and waterworks.  Guess which uses tar and which uses the most concrete.  Pathetic.

The broadband folks are foaming at the bit and pushing their man to expand those internet networks across the nation.  They argue that it will produce a more educated and sophisticated population and thus aid the underserved and stir the economy.   I have no problem with that except for the idea of the money coming from the Government.  Did ABC or Columbia Broadcasting need Government funding to launch the radio system?  That was a truly remarkable achievement in the last century.   Thomas Edison and Alexander G. Bell both seemed to flourish rather well without any big Government bailouts and brought innovations that we employ to this day.  But self motivation and risk taking are not de rigeur today.  Mother Government is there, here, everywhere.

Shoe manufacturers, textile mills, and those fiber optic manufacturers are all promoting their special interests for a piece of this pie.  Do we need to even mention the financial sector and all the banks that are there with their hands out and the others like GE Capital, GMAC, etc.  The floodgates have been opened.  As always when that happens there will be severe damage down stream.  The stupidity and harm to our economy won’t be apparent in the next few months, but the damage will be there.  That money is ours.  It is debt and printing press money.   They kept talking about “kicking the can down the street” and they are doing the same thing now.  Moving the problem down the road.  Problem is it will be even worse.  How high will taxes have to be to pay for all this in a few short years?  Ponder that carefully before you sign up to support this bailout program.   That isn’t editorial comment but mere economic fact unless the Government confiscates even more of our property down the road.

The monkey in the mess is the foreign investors.  We really haven’t heard much from them yet. China, the Arabs, Japan, etc are the ones who buy a very large portion of our debt (Treasury bills, bonds and notes).  Are they on board with the program?  What kind of payback will they demand for the use of their money?   In just the last month the interest on the 10 year Treasury note has increased over 1/2 a per cent.  That is a huge move in such a short period of time.   When you add that interest rate to trillions of dollars in future debt you are talking real money.  (That is not even taking into consideration our already existing debt of 7 trillion).  And what happens if they demand even more interest in the coming year?  They may say they won’t loan us money unless they get a much higher rate of interest or even some equity in US enterprises.   After all that is what our Government is doing with the Big Three and many of the large banks right now.  Why wouldn’t they demand they same treatment? 

I think so much of this whole concept of a bailout comes from the attitude of victimhood.  We have become a nation of too many complainers and “victims”.  Everyone is a victim these days it seems.  Those who bought houses they couldn’t afford; those who stupidly invested with Madoff; those companies who mismanaged their operations; those States that overspent and lord, the list just goes on.   What happened to the concept of taking personal responsibility and having the courage to deal with the consequences of our own actions?  If you made the mess, you should clean it up.  Charity is a wonderful thing and I support charity and all the good it does for both giver and receiver, but this is not charity; it is theft and chicanery by the Government and the confiscation of private property.  All those companies being “nationalized” have shareholders.  Why can’t they be in control of the fate of their company and their asset?  A chapter 11 would do them more good in most instances than simply turning over everything to the Government.  

We are being “stimulated” into future poverty and loss of our most precious of all assets–our freedoms.   Only a few short months ago the phrase “moral hazard” was on everyone’s lips with regard to saving faililng companies and institutions like Fannie and Freddie.  Have your heard that expression lately from the media?  Funny how things change after an election.   What was villified only a couple of months ago is praised as progressive, bold and necessary now.   Classic 1984 doublespeak, what was stupid is now smart.  Amazing.

This whole idea of rejection of responsibility for our own actions reminds me of that line from the Jimmy Buffet song–“some say a woman was to blame, but I know it was my own damn fault”.   I don’t view him as a great philosopher or social commentator but there sure is a real kernel of truth in that one.  We should demand that we do accept responsibility for  our actions and that starts with ourselves and then the  Government.    Yes, I have tremendous confidence in our people, not in our politicians who pander to the worst instincts rather than call for our best.

I hope you noticed that additional scientific research reveals that the die 0ff of the Aztecs was not from dieseases brought to the New World by the Europeans but rather from home grown viruses.  The other version was always a revisionist explanation for the event.  Those mean Europeans Must have done something to kill off all those “noble savages” to steal from another famous European.   Please always be suspicious of conclusions that are based on conjecture, even if reasonable, especially if they emanate from those with a social agenda to promote.

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