Saturday, December 31, 2011

The U.S. lost the war in Iraq?

Recently, I received a message from a person who believed that the United States had lost the war in Iraq. Apparently, he believes that our losses exceeded that of our enemy and we failed in our objective of defeating our enemies in Iraq. This is my reply:

Dear Mr. X,

Be careful about accusations. They tend to tell more about the accuser than the accused.

BTW. I believe that you referred to Pyrrhic victory. (279 and 280BC) You know the victories that cost so much that it contributes to losing the war more than winning. (Actually, the Roman losses were higher in both battles. The Romans were able to replace their losses more readily than King Pyrrhus was) And if you believe that we lost in Iraq, you really can not know all that much about warfare. Of course, by our leaving, this places the position in jeopardy, but then I am certain that many people (Fox news included) don't understand the fundamental causes of the war.

I have been studying warfare for more than 40 years. Example: Do you know how heavy ammunition is? And that this is a major reason as to why in 2007 and 2008 we were in fact winning the war? If you like, I can send a complete discussion as to what the U.S. really did in Iraq. News reporting has historically been accurate about facts, like losses, but at the same time have shown a VERY low level and backwardness of analysis of warfare. About a 5th or 6th grade level, at best. (Including Fox News)

Another example: In 1971 I read a Chicago Tribune article that stated that the U.S. could NOT win in Vietnam because the enemy controlled the countryside and we only controlled the cities. (Not entirely accurate, but close enough) Yet we were losing in Iraq when the situation was reversed. (Actually, we dominated the desert far more effectively than the NVA and Viet Cong did in the countryside at any time during Vietnam.) We apparently could not win either war. WRONG.

I have studied news reporting in just about every major war since the invention of the printing press. Facts like ships sunk (Allied, not enemy) or planes shot down (enemy losses are notoriously inaccurate) and men killed and/or wounded tend to be fairly accurate. Analysis is almost ALWAYS inaccurate, inept and outright wrong.

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are far more than what is actually going on in BOTH countries. This war has not really even begun yet. Just pray that it stays contained, because wars have a VERY NASTY habit of going out of control.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Economic danger

The U.S. and indeed, the entire western world are in economic danger. The debt is almost unmanageable. The Fed will not raise interest rates, simply because they CAN’T. Just think of the U.S. debt as a large A.R.M. (Adjustable Rate Mortgage) Many people get into trouble because the interest rate can rise after the initial period of the loan. The payment goes up very rapidly if rates go up quickly. And the debt the U.S. government has issued is so large that if the interest rates go up any significant amount, the payment due will explode exponentially. The only way to pay will be to issue more currency. The risk of hyperinflation could easily become a reality. So the Fed will not raise the rates unless absolutely forced to. The big question is, how much time do we have?

It can only be a matter of time before interest rates begin to rise. It is a natural cycle and cannot be held off indefinitely. The situation could be made much better if the various governments went on large restricted spending diets. This would probably cause economic disruption and a major downturn in economic activity. However, it would be far more limited in impact and duration than if forces outside of our control triggered the downturn, particularly if hyperinflation becomes a reality.

Friday, December 23, 2011

I am the problem

I have to admit, I had not ever thought of myself as being the problem American. I have bought into the American dream hook, line and sinker. I have bought into the American value system of hard work and nobody else to blame for my problems except for myself. I believe that America was great because of the economic freedom that our country provided to its citizens. We revolted from England because we saw the injustice of the taxation that England placed upon us and we determined that as a country, we would all be best off if our government allowed us to own the methods of production. We would all benefit from not just the ownership of the means of production, but benefit from the work that we were willing to put into doing whatever we wanted with it. I believe that the history of our country has proved this to be the best economic system ever devised. And yet, we are CHANGING this system.

President Obama is only the most recent and most extreme version of the pattern of CHANGE in our economic system. It is apparent to me that he and his followers believe that our economic system was and is so badly flawed that it requires ‘fundamental CHANGE’. I admit, NO system devised by man is without flaws. But what I am seeing is a complete dismantling of our private economic system in favor of an economic system driven by government decision making. President Obama is being successful in his efforts to CHANGE America. This is where I am now the problem.

One of the current issues is the tax cut extension. The solution that I favor is to implement the tax cuts as permanent. OK, politics will not allow for this, so we settle for a year extension. President Obama and Democrats want a two-month extension to give us more time. A problem I see here is that the programming can’t really be set up all that easily and this change would require more than two months to write up, test and implement. Not to mention that this would be expensive. Setting this aside, I have another idea:

Let’s pass a law that makes the tax cuts permanent. After President Obama signs it into law, HE can figure out what it does. I would expect him to say ‘take a hike’. And I am now the problem for having the same reaction to government takeover of close to 1/5th of our economy? (Health Care) If this makes me the problem American, then YES!

The Health Care bill was passed as opposition was growing. (Similar to the opposition that defeated both Republican efforts to modernize Social Security and the first attempt at a nationalized Health Care system) The Health Care bill was passed, “So that YOU can find out what is in it.” The Health Care bill is a permanent part of our legal system now, like Social Security and Medicare. It will take dictatorial power to rid us of this law. On top of this, we really don’t even know what it will be doing until well after the 2012 elections. The Health Care bill was passed because Democrats have wanted to nationalize Health Care in this country for more than half a century and they had the majority to do it. That was their best opportunity and they took it.

I guess I really am the opposite of Michele Obama. For the first time in my life, I am NOT proud to be American. I have never felt so pessimistic about my country. We have really CHANGED. Our government no longer does what we want. Our government does what it wants to so that WE can find out what it is doing. This is not what I think of when I think of my country. This is fundamental CHANGE indeed. I want to stop this, NOW. No more putting things off for 60 days and then decide what to do. No more putting things off until after the next election so that we don’t know what we really have until it is too late to change the people who bring it to us.

I really am the problem. I don’t like the way that President Obama and the Democrats have been running our country. The election of 2010 indicated to me that Americans in general agree with me. Well, I can’t blame President Obama for not changing his views, but I still don’t want to see any more CHANGE that he wants. In fact, I would rather have NOTHING done at all until after we are rid of him. I don’t want his signature on anything. No Deals that do not provide everything that I want, so that HE can figure out what it does after he has left office. President Obama has been successful. I have ‘fundamentally CHANGED’.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Suicide weapon

We are not seeing the high profile suicide attacks recently. The suicide attacks are still occurring. With all of the unrest throughout the Middle East, I have been expecting otherwise. Maybe the needs of the populations are being met. More likely is that the suicide attackers are not needed right now. Suicide attacks have a high attrition rate, so you don’t want to use them unnecessarily. The following post is from 4/25/09 and contains many of the reasons that I believe that what we are seeing is a lull in suicide attacks.


“Today the popular belief is that the Japanese who took part in banzai charges, flew kamikaze missions, piloted kaitens and shinyo ‘bang boats’, or served as human mines, were all fanatics. Because many of the banzai charges were ordered on the spur-of-the-moment no doubt there was an element of fanatism in the army’s operations. But the kamikazes, kaiten and kairyu men were dedicated individuals whose calm acceptance of death illustrates the impact of ideological persuasion.” (A.J. Barker, Suicide Weapon, C1971, Page 157)

For the past 25 years or so, we have been seeing only the 2nd occurrence of the use of suicide as a weapon of war. The point here is that many of us believe that our enemies are only a very small minority of ‘fanatics’. Just the idea of a small number of ‘fanatics’ is incorrect. ‘Ideological persuasion’ is required to overcome the most basic instinct of all living things, survival. The suicide attacks we are seeing today are spread all over the Islamic world. They tend to be concentrated within areas of open warfare, but suicide attacks are occurring in many other parts of the Muslim world as well. Just the very size of the geographical area indicates that this ‘ideological persuasion’ is much more pervasive than a very small minority of ‘fanatics’.

Of large concern is that the suicide attackers are coming from such a large population. This population can be expected to produce far more suicide attackers if the need became obvious. It is also very unlikely that this ‘ideological persuasion’ can be altered in any significant way without some very large, traumatic event.
The first occurrence of the use of suicide as a weapon took nuclear weapons to put an end to it. (Many argue that Japan was on the verge of surrendering anyway, but no doubt the nuclear attacks sped up the Emperor’s decision to intervene and end the war.) The educational system of the culture that produced this first wave of suicide attackers was altered severely and thoroughly.

I expect that WMD will be used long before this current war of ‘ideological persuasion’ is over.

End Post

It does not seem possible to me that the issues at the core of suicide attacks have been resolved. Islam is a major part of the ideology of the suicide attackers and is showing little to no reversal of the basic teachings that inspire the attacks. Maybe I am wrong, but I just do not see democracy (As repulsive as it is to Muslims) taking root all over the Middle East. After all, much of the reason that Israel is so despised is because it IS a democracy.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Slavery and capitalsim

I am of the view that capitalism was a major driving force behind the elimination of slavery in the United States.

The fact that mechanization reduced by significant amounts the amount of hand labor required in the farming industry is long accepted. The inventions of the reaper and cotton gin reduced the amount of people required to harvest these two important crops. In the North, this resulted in more manpower being available in the cities to work other tasks. Generally, it is accepted that in many cases, these new tasks required more skillful labor. In the South, the slaves that were no longer needed to perform this work were re-allocated to other tasks. The key here is that education and improvement of skill levels of slaves is discouraged. This would only tend to make the slaves more dangerous and more likely to desire to throw off the institution that was binding them. At the same time that capitalism is creating a demand for a more skilled labor force, it is providing the time to develop the view that slavery is an outdated and immoral concept.

I believe that President Obama is of the belief that capitalism was the driving force behind slavery. It is true that capitalism provided the ability to capture and export the slaves from one area of the globe to another. Profit was the motivation for the slave ships existence. Yet after slavery had been eliminated from the United States, capitalism flourished and slavery did not return. Slavery had been around since the dawn of man, and capitalism had only been thought of in the past 100 years. If you look at the world today, the areas of the world that still have slavery are controlled by autocratic governmental systems. The areas that capitalism flourished, slavery had disappeared almost immediately. The constantly expanding need for more advance skills in the labor force would prevent a return to a society that demanded a significant portion of the population remain functionally illiterate. And I will argue that capitalism provided the means to rid our country of this plague in the first place.

One of the major reasons that the U.S. Civil war was won by the North was because so much of the manpower in the South was unavailable to wage the war. At the same time, that same manpower that was unavailable to fill the ranks of the Southern armies was also limited in its ability to produce as much per hour of labor as the capitalist North. It is a well-known fact that the North was much more industrialized than the South. Slavery was a major part of the reason that the South was not as industrialized and capitalism was a major reason as to why the North was. And this is leaving out the human side of the equation.

On a psychological level, it makes sense that those living in the North desired to end the limiting factor in the growth of the country as a whole. As a person has more free time, they have the time to debate morality on a different level. Survival is not as all consuming. As wealth accumulates, people can afford to question the way that the system works and the values that they hold. Bondage of any type would become a target. For example, the right for women to vote became a target beginning in the early to mid-19th century in America. Eventually, this process resulted in the Civil Rights movement beginning in the latter part of the first half of the 20th century. The economic freedom that resulted from the success of capitalism was a major driving force behind these changes.

(This view could also be extended to the Islamic world. ‘Fundamental’ Islamic nationalists hate capitalist societies the most. Islam allows for all sorts of bondage. I am of the view that this is a major contributing reason as to why the Islamic world is so economically underdeveloped and hostile to the rest of the world, particularly the most prosperous parts of the world. The South did begin the war by attacking the North because the North was going to begin to actively prevent the growth of the bondage that the economy and society the South depended upon. The ‘nation of Islam' is constantly attempting to CHANGE the rest of the world. And Islamic nationalists are targeting the ‘West’ most in particular. I believe that much of the reason for this is because that is the most free and prosperous portion of the world. And capitalism is most if not all of the reason for this prosperity)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


Pakistan is continuing to deny NATO transit of Pakistani territory to supply troops in Afghanistan. In addition, Pakistan is establishing a working relationship with the Taliban, a relationship begun before the Taiban takeover of Afghanistan in the late 1990’s. I am unable to confirm a report that Pakistan has released 130 Taliban prisoners recently. But we are getting conflicting reports of Pakistani cooperation with the Taliban AND Pakistani willingness to talk with NATO. No matter which way Pakistan eventually wants to go, it would make sense to calm NATO down by offering to talk. And with the U.S. and NATO drawdown in Afghanistan, Pakistan could easily shift back to its old self with desires to influence and control elements within Afghanistan.

I am also hearing that the U.S. draw down in Afghanistan is not just on schedule. The U.S. is considering a more rapid withdrawal in light of the supposedly stabilizing security situation in Afghanistan. This would fit my assessment that President Obama wanted to be out of both Iraq and Afghanistan prior to the election cycle of 2012. Well, so far he will meet the requirement of being out of Iraq and although not out of Afghanistan, the drawdown of the ‘surge’ troops will be completed by the end of this year with an accelerated schedule of withdrawal for 2012. This will only lead to a shift in the war that our enemies are waging against us.

We can expect a more aggressive stance by our enemies in Afghanistan as a direct result. The way the war is going with our withdrawal from Iran, we can expect more aggression throughout the world as our enemies re-deploy and expand their capabilities. The energy, manpower and material resources that were being burned up attacking our military will now be available for other activities. It would make sense that the overall level of violence throughout Iran and Afghanistan would fall. The targets now being hit will be on a more personal level, combined with political activity to consolidate the gains. At the same time, a massive drop in attrition due to less combat against our military will enable our enemies to expand their capabilities elsewhere. I would expect a fairly quiet period with relatively few major attacks of between one and three years in duration. After that, we can expect a return to the accelerated pace of attacks that we were seeing in the late 1990’s with an increase in the effectiveness of these attacks as our enemies escalate the war. This is another of wars bad habits, the way that you win is to escalate the war until your enemy is unable to continue. This is a major reason as to why wars have a habit of going out of control.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Health Care exemption for Islam

This may be old news, but it is important. Our Health Care bill that was passed in order for US to find out what is in it contains exemptions for ‘religions’. Those who follow beliefs that are in contradiction to the mandated payments of the Health Care bill are exempted from making such payments. This has been used before.

The Amish have been exempted from mandates in the past. Conscription is the largest issue that comes to mind. I believe for good reason. The problem here is that the one size does not fit all applies again. A number of other ‘religions’ are also exempted including Islam. I really don’t have a problem with the ‘other’ exemptions, but I do with Islam. I must admit, Islam is an exceptional ‘religion’.

Unlike the Amish, (I will use the Amish as the example for comparison) Muslims are attempting to install their religious laws into our governmental systems. Also unlike the Amish, Islam is fielding an army to project its sovereignty. Nowhere do I hear about the Amish defending ‘occupied’ land. Actually, the population of the Amish is so small that they would be overrun in short order if they attempted any such thing. The followers of Islam have a population that is many times the greater of our entire country. And Islamic nationalism is just as real to them as the government of Japan, or France or the United States. In fact, even more so as the ‘religion’ of Mohammed does not recognize ANY modern national government. (Including those host governments where Islamic law is the basis for that legal system) At least the Amish recognizes the government and authority of the United States. And this is where violence is the result.

Islamic nationalism IS the root cause of the violent conflict. If you look around the world, Islamic law is causing violent confrontation in ALL areas, including those places where Islamic law is the base for the laws of the land. Islamic law is malignant. Just look at what implementation of Islamic law is doing in Europe and specifically, England. This process is not as advanced in the United States, but we are seeing the beginnings. Only one example is Judge Charles in New Jersey. He was overruled, but that very ruling has spawned numerous states to attempt to prohibit the implementation of Islamic law. And this reaction is for good reason. The Constitution is the supreme law of our land. Islamic law does not recognize our legal system. It works to overthrow it. This will start a war EVERY time. As it should.

Tolerance of ‘religious’ belief is an important concept in our legal system. We have no trouble with a ‘religion’ that requires a believer to pray 5 times a day, or to travel to its holy sites, or to fast. These are individual choices that are protected by our legal system. We DO have a conflict when that same ‘religion’ is imposing its governmental system upon others and at the same time is fielding an army to spread and protect its sovereignty. It is against Islamic law to pay insurance. That is just too bad. It is against Catholic law to have an abortion, yet that IS the law in the United States. And the Catholic Church is NOT fielding an army to impose its hostility to abortion upon our government and people. And this is the difference between Islam and all other ‘religions’. It is no coincidence that violent conflict is most prevalent in areas where Islam is contesting the authority of the government when attempting to impose Islamic law over that of the existing national government. And this is precisely what Islam is attempting to do here in the United States. Islam is at war against our government, our legal system and us. I am against the Health Care law anyway, but to allow exemption for Muslims in our legal system is aiding our enemy.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Enron and our government

I read the following article in the Chicago Tribune dated Sunday, December 4, 2011.

“Mistakes of Enron keep repeating.”

The author, Paul Rosenthal is blasting the corporate culture that created the Enron disaster. And he is seeing this same problem in other companies today. The basic accounting problem of hiding debt in order to borrow more to the point that debt caused a rapid collapse. This all sounds familiar to me.

Is not our Federal government facing the same problem? Are not our state governments also dealing with a massive debt problem? How about our city governments like Detroit who is threatened with takeover by the state of Michigan? And let’s not talk about the local governments and counties. This problem is much more widespread than our corporate executives.

Our entire society has been going this way for decades. My father told me back in the 1980’s that when he was a young man, you shook hands and your word was good. Even if the deal turned out to be a mistake, you went ahead with it unless the other party agreed. I read an article in Time magazine around the same time (Mid 1980’s) that said in the culture in American today, it was acceptable to lie if it was to your advantage. You know, about that used car you are selling with the bad brakes or transmission.

I only lend any of my property out to certain people. Others just do not take the time or effort to return what I have lent them. I myself go way out of my way to return others property, but this is not a two way street. I had an acquaintance who I approached to borrow something. He refused, but I told him that if anything happened, I would buy him a new one. He was surprised and asked me: Really? So he lent it to me (I guess he knew my word was good) I returned it intact. If anything had happened, I WOULD have replaced it with a new one. Our society is not generally like this anymore.

It makes sense that we see this in our company leadership as well as our government. After all, our leadership is only what we are. We elect others who are like us.

What surprised me about the article was how he did not even mention the massive debt our local, city, state and Federal governments have. I guess the author’s focus is corporations. What is concerning is that our government debt is Enron multiplied many, many times over. And we have not hit the wall yet. And just like Enron, when we do, it will come quick and fast.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

The war agaist Islamic nationalism: An overview

So far, the war on terror is a classic guerrilla war. Irregular troops are pitted against civil authorities and the military of various countries. If you listen to what the terrorist organizations are saying, it becomes apparent that the motivations for terrorist actions are based upon Islamic doctrine and culture. The wild card here is the repeated suicide attacks. This is only the 2nd time in all of recorded history that this phenomenon has been seen. The 1st occurrence had its basis in the culture of Bushido. This prior occurrence was eventually defeated through massive violence. The entire political, educational and economic systems of the area that produced these attackers were changed completely. It is unlikely that this type of change will occur in the areas that are producing the current crop of suicide attackers.

The widespread occurrence of this phenomenon indicates that the population that is supplying these attackers is so large that it is most likely to continue into the indefinite future unless some cataclysmic event occurs. The population that is supplying these attackers is so large that it would take World War III for this event to take place. The eventual spread of weapons of mass destruction makes the likelihood of another world war almost inevitable. Warfare is a basic part of human nature. As technology increases, our ability to kill each other is enhanced. As a result, our wars are becoming more and more destructive.
How do we prevent the next BIG war?

I like to use the analogy of earthquakes. If you keep having small ones, you are probably OK. Once you notice that it has been some time since the last one, WATCH OUT. This is because the pressure is not being released, and a build up occurs. Human nature is not so precise, however it does not change. It has been more than 4 generations since the last world war. People forget what it is like. They forget how it happened, and how it could have been prevented. Although history can never repeat itself exactly, patterns do emerge. Warfare is a part of us, despite the fact that most people do not want it to occur. The issues that trigger war many times cannot be resolved except through warfare. Slavery in the United States is one obvious example. No political solution was available to end slavery. This is a common feature with most wars. The issues that are underlying the current war on terror today likewise will not be resolved without violence. Attempting to stall the resolution or preventing the violence that it triggers just may end up making the overall effect much larger than it already is. The fact that so many people are involved in these issues already can be an indicator of just how large this war can eventually become.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


It looks like Pakistan is acting up again. This is no surprise as Pakistan has been fighting Islamic nationalists for decades. I believe that Pakistan is losing and the moves to block supply of NATO forces in Afghanistan are just the latest moves.

Pakistan was behind the Taliban obtaining power in Afghanistan back in the late 1990’s. I believe that the Pakistani government began to work with the U.S., as President Musharraf was a good ally. Now that he is gone, I believe that Pakistan is beginning to swing back to its old ways. Not that it was fully in our camp, but the while the decision maker was Musharraf, the Pakistan military was helping the U.S. more than it was working against us. I believe this to be a different case today.

Remember how Turkey pulled its authorization for the U.S. to base our troops out of Turkey just 48 hours before our assault on Iraq? Even though Turkey is a different situation, Pakistan can easily turn out to be worse. It will not be known for certain for many years, but this can be a situation where our divisive President has made an uncertain ally into a definitive enemy.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

President Obama is a divider. Part II

I have never seen my country so badly divided. I am counting Vietnam. At least during that time, the political division was basically within the Democrat party. We are seeing division along numerous lines today. Political in Democrat and Republican (Worse than I have seen) Race seems to be an issue. (Herman Cain was particularly obvious) We have rich and poor with the ‘Rich’ not ‘paying their fair share’. Now I am a ‘rich’ bastard who needs to have my money ‘invested’ by our President and the ‘ruling’ party into whatever THEY feel is a good place to put national resources. The fact that what I have saved and invested and built for MY family is one of the core of my beliefs. I gave up many things growing up so that I could provide better for a family that I have wanted since high school. I remember not going skiing (In the 1970’s it cost about $50.00 to go for a day) so that I could save and invest for my future family. I feel that this makes me American more than most other things. I have had my share of luck, but I gave up a great deal in order to obtain what I have. And now this means that I am not ‘paying my fair share’? So now I am the bad guy because I want to save and hold on to what I have for my family and myself? I am now part of the problem, in more than one way.

Instead of wanting to ‘reach across the aisle’ like I desperately wanted to with President Carter and President Clinton, I want NO DEALS with President Obama. I am digging in. During the last 3 years, it is calculated that the United States government has obtained control of close to 50% of the private sector of our economy. (This is counting the effects of Health Care, the bailouts of the banks and auto industry by obtaining controlling interests in those companies.) This is decidedly NOT American in concept. Our country was founded upon principals the OPPOSITE of this. That individuals (Myself and others) and private organizations will allocate the resources of our country better and more effectively than our government. And our government is doing this so that WE can find out how well it works. President Obama is now right. I AM now a problem.

Remember what President Obama said about the police after his friend at Harvard had been hassled? “I don’t know all the facts, but the police acted stupidly.” If he did not know the facts, how could he possibly know if ANYONE acted wisely or not? This incident is unimportant when taken in the context of political events that are driving our country. However, this incident tells me about the man who was supposed to ‘work with the other side’ WITHOUT preconditions. And this is what was showing as bright as day on Monday when President Obama complained that the Republicans in Congress were not doing their jobs. This was his view as to why the “super committee” was failing to reach any kind of a deal. President Obama is once again right. I am now a problem because I don’t want ANY law with his signature that does ANYTHING except what I want it to. I want no compromise at all. I don’t care if he likes it or not. He can find out what it does AFTER it becomes law. Now we see eye to eye.

President Obama has made me into a real enemy. As an American, I have been and was still willing to suffer under Democrat Presidents and make deals so that OUR country can move forward. No longer do I feel this way. Now I am insisting that no deals be made so that MY country does not have to undo ANYTHING that he does. We can move forward AFTER he is GONE. If this is not divided, I do not know what is. Once again, President Obama is correct. I am NOW a part of why nothing can be done. In the past, I have been opposed to Democrat policy. I considered myself a Republican version of President Clinton. I would not like it, but I would work with Democrats to move forward. Today, I refuse to cooperate at all. This is real CHANGE. We are getting exactly what we voted for. Now all we can do is HOPE that his administration becomes history and we can undo the damage that has been done. This is division, not ‘reaching across the aisle’ and working together.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

President Obama is a divider

Hope and CHANGE was a driving force behind President Obama’s election. He was going to ‘reach across the aisle’ and get us working together. This concept was going to make the entire world better as he was going to ‘reach out’ to our enemies and talk with them without any pre-conditions.

I am a political conservative. So, naturally I am going to disagree with a Democrat who is President. I have a history of doing so. I barely remember President Johnston, so I won’t go into him. I do remember having serious disagreements with President Carter. (I voted for the other guy) However, he made it clear right from the beginning that he was driven by compassion. His motive was to help and I could see this whenever he made a public appearance. I may have disagreed with him on how he was going to do what he wanted to, but I could not doubt his sincerity.

President Clinton was of a different cloth. I also disagreed with him, but I could see him ‘reaching across the aisle’ on domestic issues. He made deals that I did not like, but I could see where my views were being taken into account. I did not like his foreign policy, nor did I like him. However, I had to respect that he became moderate after the elections in 1994. He moved toward the center even though I know that he did not want to.

President Obama is nothing like those two. He may be driven by compassion like President Carter, but I can’t see it. During the campaigning, he came across as if he was going to be a moderate. He spoke like one, and he kept talking about how he was going to ‘work with everyone’. He is not only not doing this, but he is blaming me for my not ‘reaching out’ to him.

It began with President Obama sending back the bust of Winston Churchill. No better example of two countries cooperation exists than between England and the U.S. in all of recorded history. Then President Obama is ticked off when he is not invited to the royal wedding some time later. OK, this is not a real important issue, although it does tell me about how England is not held as a strong ally in President Obama’s mind.

“We need to pass this bill so that you can find out what is in it.” This one really gets me. The Health Care debate was raging with all the fever that Social Security had brought out the two times major reform had been attempted. And with at least the same intensity that Health Care reform had brought out under President Clinton. And it was passed anyway. So that WE can find out what is in it. So much for consideration of OTHER points of view. At this point, I began to look for excuses to conflict with President Obama and the Democrats.

A number of other things came along, but the most recent was the talk that President Obama gave the other night. He was blaming the Republicans for not working with him on the ‘super committee’. With his track record, I had been surprised that they had even raised the debt limit with this deal. I had already decided to dig in, but our leadership decided to cut a deal. Naturally, it did not work. President Obama said the other night how Democrats were being flexible and the Republicans were not. It was Congress who was not giving in at all. Yet only a sentence or two later, he said that any bill passed by them that does not take into account raising revenue (Taxes) he was going to say ‘NO’. Where is the no preconditions President that we elected? Where is their room to make a deal? Does not negotiation begin with a statement of your position and then working it out? OK, President Obama was staking out his position. BEFORE ‘reaching across the aisle’. Not exactly what he claimed that he would be doing. And this has been his pattern since taking office. This is not making allies, nor is it working together. This makes enemies.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Iran is NOT going to stop waging war against us.

With Iran on the verge of obtaining nuclear weapons, we can expect more overt attacks upon Israel and the United States. I believe this for many reasons, but one big reason is that the government of Iran is based upon Islamic ideology.

I ran into the following comment on a site connected to Atlas Shrugs. This comment is a good indication of only one of the problems that we face when dealing with our Islamic enemy today:

"You Americans are childish, silly and histrionic. A lot like women, actually.
When my woman gets out of line, I beat her down.
Serves her right."

I replied:

I must admit, we can be childish and VERY silly.
We do love life. Unlike Islam, who an Islamic leader says: “We love death.”
I must quote an old saying: Live by the sword, die by the sword.

The put down of women is traditional Islam. Not enough of our population appears to understand this, YET. As the rise in anti-Islamic attitudes in this country indicates, we are learning. (Too slowly for my comfort)

The attitude quoted above appears to forget that we Americans can wage war with the BEST. And this war has yet to really begin. It is not generally known that the repeated suicide attackers of today are only the 2nd occurrence in all of recorded history.

The first time was Japan in the 1940's. And the US killed 'innocent' civilians intentionally. By the millions. (By the way, my wife is Japanese.)


Maybe we are not like this today. Are you certain that you want to find out?

Iran is NOT going to stop waging warfare against us. They have not even begun.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Mossad behind death of key member of Iranian missile program?

I pulled this from rt-com/news on 11/14/11

“A key figure in Iran’s missile program has been killed in an explosion at a Revolutionary Guard base in the country. Some reports suggest that the blast which killed Brigade General Hassan Moghaddam and 16 others may have been an act of sabotage.
General Moghaddam was a senior officer involved in developing new long-range ballistic missile designs, and Tehran says many of its missile program’s successes were due to his special skill and expertise.
He and 16 others were killed on Saturday when a shipment of artillery shells detonated at a military site some 25 kilometers west of Tehran. The blast also left 16 people wounded.
US-based radical left-wing commentator Richard Silverstein, who is reputed to have contacts in the Israeli military, said in his blog that he was told the explosion was the work of Mossad. His source said Israeli intelligence had been working with an exile group, the People's Mojaheddin of Iran.”

This is possible. After all, Israel has the most to lose if Iran obtains nuclear weapons and the missile systems to deliver them. Mossad has performed this type of operation before, and this type of move would not be beyond Israeli capability. I would like to point out that this is not as if Iran does not have it coming to them.

The recent plot to assassinate the ambassador of Saudi Arabia was an act of war and although it was not directed at Israel, the implications of a successful assassination would have been detrimental to Israel. Not to mention that Iran has been and still is behind plenty of attacks upon Israeli interests. You know what they say about payback.

Saturday, November 12, 2011


I have been reading all sorts of stuff about the threat that Iran poses to the United States and Israel today. On the other hand, I am also reading all sorts of stuff about how Iran is NOT a threat to world peace today, and will be even less so if they obtain nuclear weapons. This point of view of Iran not being a threat misses the point of Iran’s history of exporting violence since the current government obtained power in 1979.

Iran began by committing an act of war against the U.S. by seizing our embassy in Tehran in the fall of that first year. Iran has been meddling in neighboring countries internal affairs since then. For decades now, Iran has been supporting armed Islamic groups throughout the region. Iran has been working closely with Syria in this same effort. Iran was and still is involved heavily in Iraq and was directly aiding our enemies there. Iran basically has been waging covert warfare against the U.S. and Israel since 1979. To believe that Iran is not a threat in anyway to United States interests in the Middle East is ridiculous. On the other hand, to believe that Iran will attack the United States with nuclear weapons after they were able to obtain them is to ignore Iran’s history of covert warfare. And Iran is no pushover.

Iraq was a piece of cake compared with a potential conventional war against Iran. Iraq is predominately desert. Desert is the most ideal terrain on earth (Except the oceans) for mechanized warfare. This is the type of war that the U.S. military excels at. The terrain of Iran is vastly different from Iraq: A rugged, mountainous rim; A high, central basin with desert and mountains; small, discontinuous plains along both coasts. Mountain terrain is the worst environment in the world for a conventional force to engage in battle. The population of Iran is more than 3 times that of Iraq. These factors would demand a great deal more troops to be used in subduing Iran than Iraq. Today, the U.S. just does not have the armed troops that would be required to do the job well. We DO have the manpower. The problem is that they are in civilian clothes.

Without massive outside assistance, the U.S. would have to begin the draft in order to obtain the troop levels required to subdue Iran. Even then, this would require time. In order to expand the army this much, we would have to withdraw many experienced officers from active units to serve as cadres for the new units being formed. A large expansion would hurt many existing units’ abilities. The experienced men would help teach the new personnel their jobs in the newly forming units. These new units would take months to form and even longer to reach the level where they are ready to be committed to combat. It can take up to a full year to form a new combat ready division from scratch. In other words, Iran is already somewhat safe from a direct invasion from the U.S. military. It can be done, but it would take far more political will than any war in recent memory. If this is the case, why does Iran need nuclear weapons?

Iran would not need to deploy any nuclear weapons once they obtain them. What Iran will be enabled to do is step up it’s overt activities against us. The recent plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the United States is a good example. Assassination of an ambassador on U.S. soil IS an overt act of war. Even if Iran had pulled it off, would it have been worth waging war over? What if Iran has nuclear weapons and the ability to deliver them? If war would be a very expensive price to pay for the assassination of an ambassador, just think about how much more expensive NUCLEAR warfare would be. In other words, Iran can become much more aggressive with any action they take with the knowledge that it is not worth waging nuclear warfare as a result of any serious reaction. Of course, Iran will have limits. For example, Iran would be foolish to launch a bunch of nuclear weapons from it’s own territory at Israel or U.S. allies. But Iran would be enabled to be much more overt about it’s activities in this war that it is already engaged in. This is where the threat index is much higher than if Iran is unable to develop or obtain nuclear weapons.

* Note: I have left out the possibility that Iran could supply some Islamic group with nuclear capability that could be deployed where Iran could deny it’s own involvement. This possibility alone raises the threat simply because it is more likely than a direct nuclear attack from Iranian territory. This is to say nothing about the potential for a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Part II: The internal threat to the United States

Part II Internal threat to the United States: Financial

With a rise in debt comes a corresponding rise in the interest that becomes due on that same debt. Once you reach a certain level, just paying the interest becomes a real problem. At that point attempting to reduce the level of debt to lower the interest becomes almost impossible without draconian measures. This has happened to countries in the past and is happening in Greece today.

One serious problem we in the United States face today is the skyrocketing costs of government programs and pensions. This problem is fixable and IF dealt with properly, would go a long way toward reducing the pressure on the need for borrowed money.

Another problem we face is the takeover of the productive areas of the economy (Private ownership) by government. The Health Care system (Including private health care insurance) is a classic example. As a larger percentage of the economy becomes government run, we can expect a less efficient allocation of national resources with a corresponding drop in standard of living for the average American. What is more important, as government takes over more of the economy, the ability to pay for government programs and pensions become weaker. This can only make the debt that much larger with a corresponding rise in interest payments. So why is this a threat to the United States?

Just look at Greece. How stable is the government of Greece today? Look at the violence and unrest that is occurring in Greece today that is a result of attempts to get the debt and spending under control. Please try
to tell me that this cannot happen here. What is far more troubling is that Greece is a relatively small economy. The economy of all of Europe is also in a similar situation, although Greece is the most vulnerable. The United States is one of the largest economies in the world. We are not as far along in debt as Greece. We do have the advantage of the fact that the U.S. economy is much, much larger. Americans are human just as much as everyone else. Given a similar situation, we would see similar reactions in this country as we are witnessing in Greece today. If we allow what is happening to Greece happen to us, we would also impact the entire world in a very negative way.

This threat is not just to the United States. I am a firm believer that many conflicts and wars are caused by conflict over scarce resources. I believe that it was no coincidence that the greatest war in mankind’s history (World War II) was immediately preceded by the greatest economic downturn in mankind’s history. (The Great Depression) If we do not get the debt and spending under control, we can become (either directly or indirectly) the cause of the next Great War. By we, I am speaking of the United States AND Europe’s economic (debt) problems.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Two major threats to the United States today

One is an external threat and the other an internal threat.

Part I External: Islamic sovereignty and nationalism.

Islamic sovereignty and nationalism is not just a threat to the United States, but to the entire world. I will deal mainly with the United States, but this applies to ALL nation states of the world.

Islam represents a real danger to the U.S. Constitution, the U.S. legal system and culture. The term “radical” or “extremist” Muslim is misleading. To our eyes, a “radical” or “extremist” is a very small percentage of our population. It is implied that this is true within Muslim countries. The problem is that what we consider to be “Radical or extremist” views are prevalent throughout the Muslim world. I am not referring to violence although violence is frequently a byproduct. I refer to Islamic rule and governance. Islam is not just a religion, nor can Islam be considered a ‘moderate’ legal system. The majority of Muslims from Islamic countries believe in the legal system and culture they come from. (As do most people) One basic problem that I have is that these common beliefs are not moderate by our standards.

Please note how in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia the new legal systems that are being set up will be based upon Sharia law. Sharia law is one of the most if not, THE most totalitarian system on earth. Just look at how well it works: ALL of the Middle Eastern governments (Exception: Israel) have legal systems based upon Islamic law to some degree. And just look at how much friction is resulting from contact with Israel and the countries outside the Middle East. At the same time, this Islamic ‘legal’ system is being implemented in various degrees in England, the rest of Europe and the United States. (As well as other countries) What is generally not understood about Sharia is that in addition to being a legal system, Sharia is designed to be integrated with its own foreign policy and economic policy. In other words, it is a national government in and of itself. Sharia law can be implemented in parts. However, the system is designed to expand and eventually take control of all aspects of life in a way that is more dominate and authoritarian than just about any other government the world has ever seen. And this system is hostile to all other national governments, including those who host Islamic laws in a partial state. I have written an eight part series on how Islam is the cause of open warfare. Just to sum this up I have listed the issues below:

Islam and Blasphemy
The penalty for leaving Islam is death
Islamic electoral policy of “One man (men only) one vote, once”
Kill the ‘occupiers’ of Muslim land
Tribute or ‘poll tax’ is the payments that non-Muslims make to Islamic authorities. Payment of this ‘tax’ exempts the payer from military service.
Stoning people to death
The house of war
Separation of church and state
‘Honor’ killing

And this culture is spreading through the implementation of Islamic law. Just look at Europe. England is of particular concern as Islamic courts have been set up with the idea that where Islamic law conflicts with English law, the English law is supposed to be priority. What is happening is that enclaves of Islamic areas are beginning to develop and grow. Don’t think so? Just look at parts of Minnesota. Just look at Judge Charles in New Jersey. Even though he was overruled, it took a higher court to end the B.S. Our legal system has already been penetrated to the lower level. All that needs to happen is to have this ‘legal system’ go further up to the next higher level. It can only be a mater of time before a higher court ruling will allow you to take your wife against her wishes. And this is only a beginning. If this is not a threat to our legal system, I do not know what is.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Islam and blasphemy

I pulled this definition from Wikipedia:

“Blasphemy in Islam is any irreverent behavior[1] toward holy personages, religious artifacts, customs, and beliefs that Muslims revere. The Quran and the hadith do not speak about blasphemy.[2] Jurists created the offence, and they made it part of Sharia.[2] Where Sharia pertains, the penalties for blasphemy can include fines, imprisonment, flogging, amputation, hanging, or beheading.[3][4] Muslim clerics may call for the punishment of an alleged blasphemer by issuing a fatwā.”

In other words, the death penalty is possible for this offense. And please note how Imams are the enforcement. This is one of the ways that Imams obtain power. Muqtada al-Sadr is a classic example of Imams wielding the power of a sovereign nation. He formed his own ‘army’ and is today a powerful figure in Iraq. Yet at the same time, he holds no political office.

Wikipedia goes on in its definition of Islamic blasphemy:

“The punishments for different instances of blasphemy in Islam vary by jurisdiction.[2][84][85] A convicted blasphemer may, among other penalties, lose all legal rights. The loss of rights may cause a blasphemer's marriage to be dissolved, religious acts to be rendered worthless, and claims to property—including any inheritance—to be rendered void. Repentance may restore lost rights except for marital rights; lost marital rights are regained only by remarriage. Women have blasphemed and repented to end a marriage. Women may be permitted to repent, and may receive a lesser punishment than would befall a man who committed the same offense.”

Criticism of anything Islamic can easily (And frequently is) considered blasphemy. Just look at the potential power that this represents. That women can use this to end their marriage is only a relatively minor point. Blasphemy is one of the tools that Islam uses to subvert other legal system and cultures. Just look at the example of Judge Charles in New Jersey in 2009. This is where the war and violence enters the picture. Blasphemy of Islam is one of the causes of war and violence. Enforcement of Islamic blasphemy law IS enforcement of Islamic Sovereignty and one of the roots of Islamic nationalism.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Venture capital

Once again, I would like to thank those who contribute to this site with comments. It helps to stimulate my thinking and gives me material to write about.

An Anonymous poster made the following comment on my Solyndra posting.

“Why did private equity firms put 1 Billion dollars into a loser then? The government had less that 1/3 overall in Solyndra and private venture capitalist had the rest. Why is that a failure of the government and not the private sector?

Can't have more nuclear power - looky here:
The top two are both nuclear related. By far the largest is the 8.1 Billion plant being supported by loans in the state of Georgia.

Solyndra was a mistake, but plenty of private sector firms got it wrong as well. In addition, the private sector firms doubled down about half way through the process.”

Venture capital is a risky business. This risk is acceptable to those who invest. This is their choice. Some people are willing to take much more risk than others. I do not consider myself to be one of those, but I HAVE put up venture capital on occasion. Have you? I’ll bet that President Obama has NEVER done so with his OWN money. Yet he is willing to do it with our money. I can find lots of places to invest venture capital with YOUR money. This is why it is a failure of government.

My nuclear power comment was a little misleading. Sorry. I was referring to the fact that NO new nuclear reactor permits had been issued in the United States between 1980 and 2001. This was because our government would not allow new ones to be built at all, no matter who paid for them. The situation had not improved much since 9/11 and certainly is not better since President Obama was elected. Personally, I believe that government should not be investing our money into nuclear power either. Regulation is not capital investment. Regulations inhibiting nuclear plant construction and development are so overbearing that they have the effect of crippling growth and development by raising costs to unmanageable levels that discourage all who would put up the capital investment.

Saturday, October 22, 2011


Naturally, those who favor solar power leave out the environmental implications of the used solar panels and equipment. Like the advocates of electric cars forget about the batteries that are used up. The acids are quite poisonous. And the volume needed to run a significant amount of cars would create a massive waste problem. These two ‘solutions’ can only be supplementary and temporary stopgaps.

What is important to understand is that solar power is at the end of a very long chain. The earth is literally millions of miles away from the source. The source of that power is the sun, which is a very large fusion reaction. The earth is so far away from the sun and what is collected from ALL solar panels is an infinitesimal speck of the power released. We need the technology to tap the fusion reaction itself and we would then have what to our technological level would be an unlimited power source. To do that, we would need more nuclear reactors and technology. Can't have that. So we have Solyndra.

Solyndra is a classic example as to why capitalism works and a socialistic, centrally planned economy does not. Our government poured money into an economic failure long after it was well known that it was not working. This example was prevalent throughout the Soviet Union for decades. It occurred in all sectors of their economy. We all know how well that economy worked. It was estimated that 40% of the entire economy of the old Soviet Union was the black market. This was because the system could not provide legally what the population needed. I am certain that China also suffers from this malady as well, it is just not as obvious at least partially because China has embraced some limited parts of a capitalist system.

Thursday, October 20, 2011


I have been unable to verify any of the information in my previous post. I had made the mistake of not checking into the sources prior to post time. What does concern me here is that although what is in there is most likely false, the actions of our current President have made them plausible to someone like me.

What I do know is that we have the most un-American President to ever occupy the oval office. You can’t convince me that President Obama is a capitalist. In fact, he is quite the opposite. Capitalism is the driving force as to why America has been exceptional. We are no different from anyone else, excepting our historical belief that people will make a better life for themselves and the rest of society if they are allowed to own the methods of production and benefit from any efforts that they make to improve that production.

President Obama does not believe in this most FUNDAMENTAL American concept. He believes that “Profit” is taking advantage of others. People who have become “RICH” as a result of these efforts are not to be commended, but to have their ‘fair share’ taken from them. This is not exactly an American concept. This ideology is responsible as to why America has been the source of many of the worlds’ problems today. This is why the “apology tour” has been one of his policies.

All of this does not excuse me from my skipping a basic journalist requirement: Check your sources. (I am not a journalist. However, a historian needs to be certain the facts are as accurate as can be reasonably expected)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

President Obama and the U.S. flag

I received this via e-mail recently. This is no surprise, but I do believe it to be revealing.

The following is a narrative taken from a 2008 Sunday morning televised "Meet The Press."
From Sunday's 07 Sept. 2008, 11:48:04 EST, Televised "Meet the Press" THE THEN Senator Obama was asked about his stance on the American Flag. General Bill Ginn, USAF (ret.), asked Obama to explain WHY he doesn't follow protocol when the National Anthem is played.

The General stated to Obama that according to the United States Code, Title 36, Chapter 10, Sec. 171...
During rendition of the national anthem, when the flag is displayed, all present (except those in uniform) are expected to stand at attention, facing the flag, with the right hand over the heart. Or, at the very least, "Stand and Face It".

"Senator" Obama replied:
"As I've said about the flag pin, I don't want to be perceived as taking sides...." "There are a lot of people in the world to whom the American flag is a symbol of oppression...." "The anthem itself conveys a war-like message. You know, the bombs bursting in air, and all that sort of thing."

Obama continued:, "The National Anthem should be 'swapped' for something less parochial and less bellicose. I like the song 'I'd Like To Teach the World To Sing.' If that were our anthem, then I might salute it. In my opinion, we should consider reinventing our National Anthem as well as "redesign" our Flag to better offer our enemies hope and love. It's my intention, if elected, to disarm America to the level of acceptance to our Middle East Brethren. If we, as a Nation of waring people, conduct ourselves like the nations of Islam, where peace prevails - - - perhaps a state or period of mutual accord could exist between our governments ....."

"When I become President, I will seek a pact of agreement to end hostilities between those who have been at war or in a state of enmity, and a freedom from disquieting oppressive thoughts . We as a Nation, have placed upon the nations of Islam, an unfair injustice, which is WHY my wife disrespects the Flag, and she and I have attended several flag burning ceremonies in the past."

"Of course now, I have found myself about to become the President of the United States and I have put my hatred aside. I will use my power to bring CHANGE to this Nation, and offer the people a new path. My wife and I look forward to becoming our Country's First black Family. Indeed, CHANGE is about to overwhelm the United States of America."

He is certainly accomplishing his goals.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Jay Carney

Wednesday, October 12th I watched Jay Carney speaking about the plot to assassinate the Saudi Ambassador. He called it an act of terrorism. He also said that he is calling it what it was. I believe that he was referring to NOT calling it an act of war. So he as spokesman for President Obama is not going to call this plot that can be traced back to Iran, an act of war.

So an assassination of an ambassador is NOT an act of war? I must say that I define acts of war a little differently than our president. The embassies around the world are supposed to be the property and land of the owning country. So are the ambassadors. So what does it take to commit an act of war? Killing some of our soldiers? Attacking a general? Would the assassination of the head of SAC meet the qualifications? Maybe it would take a nuclear attack upon one of our cities, but that could also be an act of terrorism. And it would not be an act of war? I am making a jump here, but I do not believe it to be all that much of a leap, given the extreme views and ideology of the President of MY country. What the hell will we ever FIGHT wars for under this President’s leadership? We are sending a few hundred soldiers to Uganda to help with the situation there. What the hell is going on? Just days after an enemy has committed an act of war against us and we are reacting by sending soldiers to a different country on a different continent. Maybe President Obama sees a connection here, but I do not.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Plot to kill Saudi Ambassador

A plot was exposed yesterday that connected Iran to an assassination attempt on the Saudi Ambassador to the United States. A problem here is that we lose either way.

If this is just made up by the administration to bring pressure off of other issues, we are in big trouble because of the level of deceit required. Frankly, I can see President Obama going for something like this, but I doubt that this is it.

More likely this is true, but what does that say about our position? President Obama sure needed to go public in order to help his political position. Desperate situations call for desperate measures and President Obama’s political position IS desperate. Are we winning the war because we continue to play good defense? Or are we losing because the war is coming closer to home? Now that combat is low in Iraq and Afghanistan is winding down, we are not inflicting anywhere near the losses on our enemy’s ‘army’ as we have in the past. (I use the term ‘army’ loosely because I am referring to Islamic nationalists. This is the one unifying ideology that binds all of the Islamic terrorist groups.) Fighting a regular army is very expensive in human capital, but it also expends tremendous resources such as supply and finances. We are not draining our enemy capabilities today like we were just a few years ago.

Our frisky enemies are beginning to re-deploy. I am certain that Iraq and Afghanistan will continue a certain level of enemy activity, but we can expect more activity throughout the rest of the world. Even if not pulled off, this plot to kill the Saudi Ambassador to the U.S. is an act of war. They must be feeling pretty confident if they are willing to attempt something this bold. Iran is beginning to flex its muscles a little. I doubt our response will be anywhere near firm enough to begin to make Iran hesitant in whatever it is doing.

Saturday, October 8, 2011


Last month, a group of Health Care workers in California went on strike. In order to meet the needs of the customers, the provider brought in 500 temporary workers. Unfortunately, one of these workers gave a woman a lethal dose by accident. That worker undoubtedly will punish him/her self for as long as he/she lives. This is the greatest fear of all health care providers. (One of my sisters is a nurse) This issue is not about pay. It is not about having more vacation time. Unions are very good at issues of pay and benefits for workers. As this incident demonstrates, quality of work is not at the top of the union priority list.

This incident brings up a question. Should temps have been brought in at all? Or should the providers even be allowed to walk out on their job like that? I suppose that allowing non-essential personnel the right to walk off the job may be a compromise, but who is to say a person is non-essential?

Another question is do we really want government run health care? After all, this type of incident would become much more common. Don’t think so? OK, lets see what the fall out from this is. The Heath Care provider (A private company) is liable and the relatives can easily (And probably will) sue for compensation. As they are probably entitled. Compare this with attempting to sue the Federal government. If you have any question as to how well that would work, go to Canada or England to see how well mistakes are handled. You should not have to look all that hard.

We have teachers call in sick in Wisconsin in order to travel to Madison so that they can protest about the governors’ policies. Yet that same organization talks about how important it is for students to not skip school. I guess that getting better pay and benefits are more important than doing one of the most important jobs in the country. OK, one day is not a big deal. Schools already have a ton of days off without counting the summer. On top of this, you should hear the president of the teachers union talking about the ‘ruling class’ and how important it is to fight them. “If teacher unions want to be strong and well supported, it is essential that they not only be teacher unionists, but teachers of unionism. We need to create a generation of students who support teachers and the movement for workers rights, oppressed peoples’ rights. That’s our responsibility.” Ruling class? Oppressed people? Sounds like class warfare. And also sounds Communist or Marxist to me. Not exactly the ideas that American was founded upon.

OK, I am against unions in general anyway. This is only a couple of examples of where I feel that unions are not good. I have an idea: Let’s unionize the military. Just think about how much better off we will all be if our soldiers have the ‘right’ to not go off and fight the dumb wars that our political leaders foolishly get us into. We could save so much money that we could afford to pay them all much more than what we pay them today. Talk about stupidity.

Unions may have had their purpose in the past. My personal experience has been as negative as the examples that I have talked about here. (The two times that I have worked in unions, I did not have a choice) I don’t work in a union, I don’t want to ever work in a union again and I certainly don’t want union ideology taught to my children.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Religion IS a factor in terrorism

I pulled this from the Daily Herald dated 9/30/11. It really says it all. (Posted 10/5/11)

Yes, religion is a factor in terrorism

This is in response to a Fence Post letter by Aabeda Masra on Sept. 24 in which the writer said not to blame religion for acts of terror. The letter stated that what happened on 9/11 and for all acts of terror are “motivated by political goals and religion should not be blamed nor should it even come into the picture”. I have to strongly disagree with that.

I know that there’s the whole “being PC” about this, but the facts are that all 19 hijackers on those four planes that day were Muslim. Fifteen of the men were from Saudi Arabia, two from the United Arab Emirates, one from Egypt, and one from Lebanon. They were not going for any political goals when they plotted 9/11; they hated America, Americans, and our way of life because we don’t all follow their religion and live by their beliefs.

Yes, they were extremists and I know not all Muslims feel as these terrorists do, but don’t tell me that their religion didn’t influence them to do what they did. It was even said by their leader Osama bin Laden that it was a “holy war” against the United States and the final words each of them were shouting as they slammed the planes into our buildings were calls to praise Allah.

I don’t see how much clearer it can be that what happened on that day and all the other terrorist attacks that have happened since the 1970s have all been based on religion and how they felt they were serving their god.

Shawn Killackey

Read more:

A comment was then made that all religions have their ‘dark side’. True enough, but a significant difference emerges when you look at those in the ‘West’ who bomb abortion clinics and Islamic terrorism. The KKK does not field combat units nor does it have artillery to support it’s operations. To compare these extremes as being equally significant is to view the comparison so narrowly as to make that view extreme.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Class warfare

One of the Reasons that the Roman government and Roman civilization lasted so long was that they actively protected the property owners. In other words, they protected the revenue generating part of the population. This ensured that the government continued to receive income from the productive parts of the economy. The primary reason for the fall of the Western Empire in the middle of the 5th century was the loss of so much of the productive parts of the empire. The United States is not protecting this ‘class’ of people. For the past few generations, the United States has been doing the opposite.

A comment was made on this blog that Paul Ryan started the talk about ‘class warfare’. That discussion had actually begun long before then. An example: The capital gains tax was imposed to tax those people who owned stock but did not pay taxes on their gains when they sold. Back in the 1950’s only ‘rich’ people owned stock. The ‘talk’ may not have been about ‘class warfare’ but the actions were. President Obama is not just talking about it. He is actually DOING it. He believes that discriminating against the wealthy in this country is just and desirable. His actions demonstrate the degree of his belief in this concept. Just look at the ‘stimulus’ and taxes that he has and is proposing. This is not idle talk. The best part is that it is politically beneficial.

With the economy not doing so well and the instability in Europe that may be spreading throughout the world, President Obama needs something to talk about. He can’t run for re-election on how well the accomplishments that have been made on his watch are working out. So he needs a whipping boy. China is a great overseas target. (With plenty of justification) But internally, President Obama needs a group to pick on.

It is a natural tendency to be envious of others who have what you do not. Particularly if you are struggling as so many are in this country today. President Obama feels that we Americans have been ‘soft’ these past few decades and need to toughen up. So let’s go get those greedy ‘rich’ people who don’t have to work to make a living and just feed off the misfortune of others. Well, maybe a lot of people agree with him. I do know that this was NOT a principal that this country was founded upon, nor did it help build the greatest economy ever built. This was a country where the streets were ‘paved with gold’ because anyone who had a desire and was willing to work hard could make something of themselves. In other words, become ‘rich’. Today, this is actively discouraged. President Obama is only following a long tendency to penalize the ‘rich’ and ‘spread the wealth around’ so that everyone is the same. This is another concept that this country was not founded upon. In fact, this is quite the opposite.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Another crisis

Was it not just a little over a month ago that we had a crisis concerning the national debt? Now we have another? We are just lucky that we have President Obama to save us yet again.

This is beginning to sound as frustrating as the Incredibles. You know, Mr. Incredible stated at the beginning of the movie that he was wondering why he had to keep on saving the world. Could the world not just stay saved? At least for a little while? President Obama must be feeling the same way.

If the situation were not so serious we could all just laugh at it. In addition, we are seeing similar problems in Europe. The world markets are all showing signs of instability and no wonder. Two of the largest economic blocs in the world are going through financial crisis after crisis. Sooner or later, something big will happen.

Intervention by President Obama saved us from falling off an economic cliff back in 2009. We have been staving off disaster after disaster since then. It is very possible that sooner or later, our governments’ responses will become ineffective. Events will then be out of control and we will see the financial disaster that President Obama so artfully avoided. Well, hopefully things will not work out this way. I still have hope. However, I do not give President Obama any credit for saving us from anything but a temporary situation. Maybe what we really need is saving from those very
policies that seem to be so temporary at best.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Capitalists are crooks

When the Soviet Union broke up, an attempt was made to make Russia a capitalist country. For the political left, this is a classic example of how entrepreneurs are crooks and bad people. The centralized economy that had existed for decades prior to this event did not allow for entrepreneurs to excel legally, so they had been underground. A very large percentage of the Soviet economy was the black market simply because so many needs could not be met by the economic system legally. They NEEDED the black market just to meet many basic needs and to survive. In many cases, these are the same economic leaders that we have in this country. So our ‘rich’ CEO’s are really just a legalized version of the mob. Naturally, the crooks that took over the Soviet economy abused the system and created a backlash that has placed Russia pretty much back in the same situation they were before.

Where I differ in opinion is that entrepreneurs are not necessarily crooks. You can drive plenty of honest people into illegal activity for many, many reasons. And our society is moving that way for plenty of reasons, many of which are the same. Most people do attempt to be honest, at least in the culture that they grew up in. I also differ in that most people will put in an honest day’s work, if the motivation exists. And it is just too bad for those who lack that motivation. A small percentage simply can’t provide enough productivity to sustain them, but this is a more easily supported minority because in most, if not all cultures, the percentage is well under 5 % of the working population. That is low enough for any population to help sustain. The point is that it was the closed economic system that was responsible for so many in the old Soviet Union being ‘crooks’.

A certain percentage of any population will do harm to others in order to benefit themselves. Having a closed economic system with only few outlets for human expression and creativity will force many more into a life of ‘crime’ than would otherwise. After a few generations, this attitude of breaking the law will become entrenched. It will take decades to overcome at the very least. Having an open economic system with many outlets for energetic activity actually allows the most positive (And negative) human attributes to express themselves. Most people will choose not to be criminals so this system allows those who are ‘on the fence’ a legal option. Because of its openness, capitalism does give more opportunity to real criminals. However, the economic history of the United States has demonstrated that the creativity unleashed by a capitalist system more than compensates for enhanced ability to do wrong. In other words, capitalism allows for human nature better than any other economic system devised so far. This is a major reason as to why capitalism is so successful.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The 'Rich'

President Obama said in a clip yesterday that a teacher or person who makes $50,000 a year should not be paying a greater percentage of income taxes than a person who makes $250,000 a year should. In theory this sounds reasonable. What I see is that using teachers is a bad example. Teachers in the United States typically get their summers off. I sure as hell would like to make that kind of money AND have all summers off! (I know a couple of teachers who play golf and have a pretty decent handicap. I wonder how they have that much time.) Teachers also get sick time and tend to have other days off (Institute days) that the rest of the working world does not have. And this is all before we speak about pensions. Then we should speak about how teachers are protected like no others. Just attempt to fire a bad one and see how difficult it can be. This goes for any government employee for that matter. Naturally, some positions are more protected than others are. The point is that the system is set up that way. This is another place where our President and I disagree.

Typically, the person who makes the kind of money that President Obama calls ‘The rich’ are much more vulnerable to being let go (Or going bankrupt) than those who do not. (An exception is government employees, but lets skip that for now.) And if let go, it is much more difficult to replace that type of position. It is not like those types of jobs grow on trees. The responsibilities that go with that type of position should be much greater than those jobs that pay far less should. The point that I am attempting to make is that it is far easier to force people to be downwardly mobile than to encourage the system to produce upwardly mobile individuals. Taxation on a capitalist system does this. Naturally, any system can sustain a certain percentage of drain without serious effect. Capitalism is stronger than any other, so that percentage is higher. Even then, the percentage is not all that high before you begin to effect the system in a negative way. (We reached that point a very long time ago.)

President Obama believes that government can allocate the wealth of the nation better, more effectively and more ‘fairly’ than private organizations or the individual can. So it makes sense that taxation is one of the tools to ‘level the playing field’. I do not just disagree. Our country’s history has demonstrated that government does NOT allocate the wealth of the nation more effectively. And ‘fair’ is a decidedly subjective concept. What is ‘fair’ to you can be entirely different than what it means to me. The same can be said about the term ‘rich’.

To a homeless person, a person who has a job at McDonalds is a ‘rich’ person. Not to mention that ‘rich’ can mean many different things, like a very ‘rich’ or ‘full’ life. You can’t measure that concept. It is entirely subjective. I find it interesting that President Obama is now talking about ‘class warfare’. This can only be the result of the idea of subjectively discriminating against a group of people as he is doing with the group of people that he calls ‘rich’.

Saturday, September 17, 2011


In February of 2010, (Just prior to the passage of the Health Care bill) I made the first political phone calls of my life. I called my Representative in the U.S. House and both of my U.S. Senators. I told them that I was in my 50’s and had never been politically active. I had never sent any political campaign any money. From what I have been reading and seeing on TV, the Health Care bill was not popular. If it is passed against what I see as the will of the American people, I will become active and I will send in money. I figure that I am not alone.

I guess they figured that this was the only chance that they would get in the foreseeable future. So they passed it anyway.

“We have to pass this bill so that YOU can find out what is in it.” Man, they must have really, really wanted this bill. This burns so badly that I am worried about the strength of the republic. The backlash from this can only be hoped to be contained somewhat. A possible situation:

In 2013, the Republicans take control of both houses of Congress with huge majorities. The White House makes it a clean sweep. So they make a bill that eliminates 50% of social security payments and place it on a better financial footing. After the bill becomes law, THEY can figure out what it does. Now republicans address other social programs in the same way. After the bills are signed, THEY can figure out what it does. The next bill proposed makes all property owners votes count as five votes. Or how about making women’s votes count as ½ a vote? You get the picture.

The backlash can become even more extreme than the act of passing Health Care. I know that these are extreme situations and are very unlikely. It is more likely that the backlash will not have sustaining power beyond the next presidential election, but that is a roll of the dice. What I do want to point out is that desperate situations call for desperate actions. If the situation or ‘crisis’ is really, really desperate, who the hell knows what can happen if our leadership uses concepts like ‘We need to pass this so that YOU can find out what we are doing to YOU.” Anything could be a ‘go’ no matter what the American public believes or says. Where will the republic be then?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Saving whose job?

In my last post, I mentioned how President Obama had emphasized that the Americans who are out of work couldn’t wait until the next election. So we need to pass this jobs bill ’right away’. This way, we can put America back to work. Economically speaking, it will take 6 months to a year for this job bill to really have an impact, if it is to work at all. Just in time for next year’s election.

Naturally, everyone believes that they do a good job. I am certain that President Obama believes this as well. And naturally, he wants to be re-elected. And if he were able to get the economy roaring again, the prospect of his re-election would be much higher, if not assured. So passing this job bill is doing two things at once: President Obama believes that it will work and create many new jobs. At the same time, it will help his re-election campaign immensely. I do not blame him for this. As a capitalist, I understand the motivation to protect and improve ones position as well as improvement of your property. In fact, I encourage it. Nobody can take care of your property better than you can. Where I differ from President Obama on this issue is that he does not believe that what his jobs bill does is actually the opposite of allowing the individual to take better care of his/her property. The Health Care bill is a case in point. This Health Care bill shows that government can run the system better than if it is privately owned and managed. And we needed to pass it so that ‘YOU can find out what is in it.’ The American jobs bill sounds like the Health Care bill and the stimulus that was passed in 2009 all wrapped up in one.

President Obama is pushing for the bill to be passed without any changes and is refusing to compromise. I do have to give him credit for being consistent. What is different in this case is that his political position is much weaker. Republicans now control the Congressional House and the public view of his effectiveness is VERY low. I believe that he called a joint session of Congress and is pushing this bill to be passed ‘right away’ in order to save his own job.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The President's speech

I have to admit. I was expecting to find lots of things to dislike about the upcoming presidential speech. I am a conservative and would naturally find lots of things to disagree about. I was not disappointed.

Our President called a joint session of Congress. Usually a President calls for this when a major issue of the national government is at hand. Such as when FDR asked a joint session of Congress to declare war against Japan. Or after 9/11 when a foreign organization implemented an overt, direct attack upon the United States. The American Jobs Act may be important. It is not on the same level.

President Obama mentioned ‘crisis’ several times. This financial ‘crisis’ must be VERY important to call a joint session of Congress. Yet I remember having been told by this administration back in early 2009 that we had been saved from ‘falling off the economic cliff’. And here we are 2 and ½ years later and this economic ‘cliff’ is back. So the first effort must not have worked all that well. And if the early ‘crisis’ was so dire, why did he not call for a joint session of Congress at that point? I agree that we have an economic problem today. I am attempting to point out how our leadership sees the ‘crisis’ differently today.

One major point that President Obama wished to impart is that unemployed Americans can’t wait the 14 months until the next election. They need action, NOW. So pass this bill right away. He repeated this a number of times. I have not seen nor heard much about this bill yet. So we should pass it before we know what it does? Sounds like “We must pass this bill so that YOU can find out what is in it.” And our President called a joint session of Congress for this? Hurry up and study this bill so that we can pass it and save the country? I was of the impression that he was not speaking to me, nor was he speaking to the Senate. He was addressing the House of Representatives. President Obama did not need to call for a joint session of Congress to speak to the House of Representatives.

Now I am going to become picky. President Obama is a good orator. He speaks well and sounds like a moderate, who listens and works well with others. As he wrapped up his speech, President Obama showed his dedication, enthusiasm along with firmness of belief when he described how he rejected the idea that we have to strip away collective bargaining rights in order to compete in the global economy. You could just tell that he really believes this and is very firm about it. Then his voice began to trail off as he ended his speech with ‘God bless you’. His voice then dropped much lower as he said, “And God bless the United States of America” and he turned his back at the cameras. Maybe I am putting too much into this, but it sure seemed to me that he did not really want to say that last sentence. It was like an afterthought. Let’s just get it over with. I had the distinct impression that his heart was not in it. Particularly when compared to the enthusiasm he showed earlier. What a lame ending of a speech where he called for a joint session of Congress.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Eating crow

The following is a quote from a comment about my post on how government does not respond well.

“The last time I received service like that from a public office...yesterday at the library. A women listen to my story of why my books were late, removed the fine and then assisted me in finding the books I needed. When I could not get them, she ordered them from another library and showed me how I can do that online from my home.”

Excellent! It just goes to show me two things: That the people in government are NOT out to get you. It is not the individual that is a problem. It is the system. The system is just not effective in running an economy. Please note how it was a teaching moment and it is in his best interest to learn how to do it himself. Not have someone else do it for him. Once again, the history of the United States should be adequate proof of this.

The second thing is that the best response will be at the local level. The higher up you go into any organization, the less responsive it becomes. This applies to business and non-profit organizations as well. What really cripples government (Among other things) is the inability to fire people. People like the librarian in this example are NOT the problem. It is the ones who are not working out and you can’t get rid of that are the problem. What is even more important, is that the person who should be fired in many cases will actually do better if they are forced to take a new direction that better suits their strengths. Business can (except in union shops) and frequently do this. I see it all the time where I work. And I have gone through it. It can really be a soul-searching event. I have benefited from it beyond what I expected. Government employees are just as human as the rest of us.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

War is a crime comment

I pulled this quote from dated 8/29/11. The quote is in reference to Palestinian statehood.

"In other words, willingness to sacrifice independence and stay occupied are requisites to avoid attacks and other retaliatory actions."

The argument is that statehood is not to be sought because it will expose the new nation to open attacks and ‘other retaliatory actions.’ If they want to avoid this, then don’t seek statehood. I disagree.

Israel is responding to attacks. Israel is not the one that is initiating the attacks. Statehood will add a huge dimension to this. Lets say an attack, like so many in the past, is launched from land that the new state controls. Any Israeli response into that same land will then become an invasion of a sovereign country making it a formal act of war. (The initial attack was also an act of war, but this has been going on for so long and so many times that this is virtually ignored.) The possibility of other national governments (Like Egypt or Jordan) becoming directly involved are much greater if a national governments’ sovereignty is violated rather than if the land is just ‘occupied’.

The prevention of Palestinian statehood is to be attempted because the probability of open warfare is much greater if it is implemented. Any of the current violence going on today could much more easily result in making the conflict an international one with all of the implications that implies for the entire region. This is a much larger issue and far more important than avoidance of attack or threats of retaliatory action.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Palestinian statehood

The UN is scheduled to vote on Palestinian statehood in September. The United States has the capacity to stop this by veto, but I can see President Obama not doing this. He believes that Israel is the problem. This will create a new national government to balance against Israel’s strength. Supposedly, statehood and recognition is what the Palestinians want more than anything. What we will ultimately get is open warfare between two (Or more) national governments.

Just think, HAMAS and FATAH being enabled to have their ‘soldiers’ put on uniforms, complete with all of the rights and abilities of any other national army. And to top this all off, bordering Israel. Want to start a war? This ought to do it just fine.

It may take some time. After all, the irregular ‘army’ that the Palestinians are fielding today will need to be updated and formally organized. Equipment should be and will be updated and expanded in quality and quantity. This takes time, although how much depends upon how eager they are to use it openly. Of course, they just may decide to keep covert for as long as possible, just to keep everyone guessing. Then the question becomes how long will it take them to provoke Israel into launching the next international war by attacking them. This way, Israel becomes the aggressor. This is an important consideration that may postpone the escalation of open warfare. Besides, this way, if Israel can be forced into an ‘invasion’, other governments can become involved. Any attack by Israel would then become a formal ‘invasion’ of another Islamic government. This could easily unite the Islamic world into a major confrontation against Israel. This would play right into Iran’s hand. All Iran would need then would be nuclear weapons. All of this is far more likely today than ever before, particularly if a new national state of Palestinian is established.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Money for nothing

A woman at work was saying last year how in France the medical system is free. She was going on and on about how little the French pay for medical treatment and how much they get. It must be really nice to believe this. I am afraid that I just cannot.

You know what you get for free? Not much good stuff is for free. You must pay in one way or another for quality. You can find a diamond in the rough once in a while, but to base our medical system on this is folly. And it really is not free. You pay in the much lower quality you will receive. The problem here is that this is the long-term view. If we made health care free, we would enjoy the reserve of medical professionals and resources that have been built up over generations of capital reinvestment. However, the money to maintain this excellence would slow to a trickle. It would take time, but a serious decline in innovation would immediately begin to follow. Lack of resources would become chronic as time went on. Quality would naturally suffer. All we have to do is look at England and see what we will be getting.

The riots and looting going on in England right now resemble the problems in Greece earlier this year. These countries have crippled their economies by allocating the resources of the nation through the central government. Poor investment is the norm rather than the exception. We have been seeing this within our own country now for decades. We did start the process at a later time than they did. Not to mention that our economy is much larger so it would take a longer period of time before the process reaches the point that England and Greece are at today. And make no mistake. We are heading that way. The financial crises that we have been seeing and the instability in the markets today are the warning signs. The point here is that you can’t keep getting something for nothing. Sooner or later you will pay, in one way or another.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Capitalism vrs. Socialism: Conclusion

The history of the United State has proven at least one thing to the world. That over time, capitalism is the most effective economic engine devised by man. Many people today dispute the morality of this system. However, it cannot be denied that capitalism was and is the source of America’s economic strength. The largest and most innovative economy ever built.

In order to thrive, capitalism needs resource investment. In general, the source of this capital is profit gained from economic activity. Over time, the re-investment of capital builds up an infrastructure that allows for extra resources to be diverted into longer-term research and development. The ‘miracle of compound interest’ then begins to be fully felt on a national level. The United States has been past this stage for well over a century. Many of the problems of today can be seen to be because we are tapping much of the lifeblood of our economy, capital.

Through taxation, capital that would be re-invested in the economy is diverted into other projects. Many argue that this is desirable. It also makes sense that a certain amount or percentage of capital could be ‘withdrawn’ without damaging the effectiveness of the system. (I believe that the United States passed this point a long time ago.) Once again, many argue that government can allocate the national resources better and more ‘fairly’. Despite this, it cannot be denied that the withdrawal of capital from the system makes it function less effectively. The argument goes that these resources will be allocated more effectively and ‘fairly’ than if the resources were left in the private sector. This argument has been and is becoming the dominant one today.

The reallocation of wealth by government means that people who did not earn the resources through productive economic activity get to enjoy the benefits as if they did. Who in this group would not vote for this? It is human nature. However, this does not reward someone for hard work and sacrifice. It penalizes them and rewards those who are the privileged that get to receive the benefits. It can be argued that those who receive these resources get them because of subjective measurements that override the objective measurement of individual effort. This is counter to the economic principals upon which the United States was founded. I believe that this is becoming a minority viewpoint. We are addicted to spending.

“Once a population realizes that it can vote itself entitlement, fiscal responsibility becomes impossible.” This is precisely where the United States is today. Those who recognize the financial trouble that the United States has today are many of those who believe in capitalism. Those who deny the severity of the fiscal problems we face today are generally those who believe that the government can allocate the resources of the nation better than if privately owned. The present impasse that we are seeing in our government today is a very good indication of how well this view is entrenched. The idea of a nation spending it’s way out of recession or depression has been accepted and implemented since the 1930’s. Not completely, but the debt of our nation demonstrates that it has been implemented fairly consistently for many decades. The amount of capital available for private investment (in relation to GDP) has fallen dramatically and this is really beginning to have a detrimental impact. The capitalist system must feed upon itself in order to survive. Like a starving person. Just wait until Health Care kicks in. Just under a 5th of the economy of the private sector will then begin to be managed by the government. It will take years, but the process can easily be irreversible. Government develops plans and ideas. Not ‘miracles’ of capital reinvestment. The instability of the markets today is a very real indicator of what we can expect in a worsening situation.

These ‘crises’ are real. It can only be a matter of time before one of these sets off a chain of events that cause major disruption. Economic downturns happen every so often and severe ones occur less often. It has been a long time since the last BIG one. A capitalist economy can react effectively and more quickly than a socialist economy. After all, when you have ‘skin in the game’ you will react to events more readily than if you do not. Unless the United States implements fundamental CHANGE, we can expect the situation to continue to get worse until a major event triggers events beyond anyone’s control.