Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Iran and Santorum, more in common then you might think.

Its 1391 in Iran, you best pass on that grass; if you want to save your ass. It is literally 1391 according to Iran’s calendar, and here I thought I was always a contrarian? Back in 76' when we were celebrating our bi-centennial the last Shah of Iran (see 1953 US led coup) flipped the calendar from 1355 to 2535... overnight! The Persians, well, they apparently take contrarianism to another level. Obviously the irony of that difference in centuries isn’t lost on me when I seen this headline in the Washington Post last night:

My first thought was “well, Iran is trying to reduce gasoline usage” but I figured that was even too drastic for this regime… but not too far off. As I read I was surprised to learn that:

1.       The executions are in public for everyone to see.
2.       About 80 percent of the executions involved drug offenses and many were minors. 
3.       Iran’s Penal Code make demonstrations, public debate and the formation of groups   deemed a threat to ‘national security’ punishable by prison or death

What jumped off the page was that drug offenses are the overwhelming majority of the executions. But that doesnt touch the ludicrous notion of sentencing minors to death, i mean wow. I would continue but I think there isn’t much else to be said. Public debate is one of the many offenses that could be cause for a stoning or hanging… writing this blog and you reading it could be two acts that were punishable by death. Does this not seem like something taken out of the dark ages?? Circa 1391??

It makes sense though. Drugs and public debate (both offenses) would open up some eyes resulting in a formation of groups (also an offense) of like minded “awoken” people and before you know it, national security would be threatened. You would have yourselves another Arab spring uprising. While I don’t agree, I can see the Iranians reasoning. Had anyone have the insight and organization it would end that theocracy resulting in public executions of the publicly “elected” leaders. Basically, its a little C.Y.O.A. 

This had me thinking about our nation and it dawned on me that some people would prefer a government that blends their faith here in the states. Take Slick Rick, Santorum actually said this week he doesn't believe in the "absolute separation of church and state". While some might rationalize this or explain it the bottom line is any type of religious beliefs should always be excluded because religion isn't exactly inclusive. Its been the basis for a few conflicts over time. You will always have people that will become disenfranchised and government cannot be in the business of playing favorites or picking winners (hahaha). 

The overwhelming majority of Muslims are peaceful souls, but there is a small percentage of them and a high percentage of them running entire nations that use pieces of the Koran to justify horrendous acts. There is also rouge groups of men that use the Koran to endorse and carry out terrorist acts. Now, superimpose that here if we didn't have the separation of church and state or if we started chipping way at that now. 

The overwhelming majority of Christians are peaceful souls but there is that 800 lb crazy book in the room like the Muslim version, but older... and with a sequel starring a pretty cool hippie with a sandals. Being Slick Rick is Christian; have you ever read Deuteronomy or Exodus? Imagine if someone started bringing those books to capital hill for show n tell? Gee, i hope they wouldn't pick out the parts concerning the murder of unbelievers (yikes).  Praise God, we have the separation of church and state.

<---- Notice where faith ranks in the order????

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Slick Rick returns

What does Rick Santorum have in common with Tony Raines; besides both having no shot to win (I couldn't find any on Pinny or 5dimes for Raines) in their respective races… both are involved with the Daytona 500 this weekend. Slick Rick has purchased a ride on the hood of Tony Raines #26 car in hopes for a little recognition. I guess when you are having trouble piecing together campaign money; a good bang for your buck strategy would be to spend a little precious cake on the hood of a car that has no shot in hell to win the race. Who the hell is his campaign manager? HR Pufnstuf? Maybe, he is hoping for a crash? Wouldn’t that be ironic? Santorums sponsored ride crashing much like his presidential hopes will be when people finally start to understand this sociopath.

This poor guy will be the butt of many jokes this week and maybe that’s a good thing for Santorum. Other then religious zealots and some backwards Tea Partiers who obviously don’t grasp the economic aspect (the only aspect) of the Tea Party, Santorum is a laughing stock. A little time away from some of the monologues each night might not be a bad thing? Slick Rick is a guy who wants to grab the wheel from Tony Raines clutches and bring our country back to the century it was invented in. So, in reality it’s actually a good move made by Santorum to side up with some fly by night driver with no chance like himself. It shows he at least has a sense of humor.

Photo taken from The Hill.com

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Dumb and Dumber: Yes im talking about Congress and the Executive branch.

Remember the movie Dumb & Dumber? When Lloyd and Harry "found" a suitcase with a few million dollars and they spent it on anything and everything and then replaced each item they bought with a piece of paper... an IOU?

Now, Harry and Lloyd have no money, they, like our government, are broke losers (I was referring to the movie actors as losers but this will play here as well). How do you suppose they pay it back? They would borrow it? But from whom? What if they borrowed from the people that now hold the IOU's, you know, the people whom they "borrowed from" initially? Lets keep this scenario for an exercise later, bare with me until then.  

With the stroke of a pen, President Obama extended the payroll tax cut this past Wednesday, putting between $20-$2000 dollars back into the pockets of working Americans each week. While I firmly believe cutting taxes is always a good measure, I have to question this particular measure, as how to pay for it; just doesn’t make sense.

It was the same logic of George Bush Jr who cut taxes, slashing revenue and dramatically expanded government. Sure, it’s more money back in peoples pocket but it’s going to be much more expensive down the road in the form of interest payments on the accumulation of budget deficits that end up making the public debt liability in the national debt.

When you cut taxes, it has to come from somewhere. So, anytime you cut taxes and do not make cuts in existing programs or services to pay for them its not really a tax cut, it’s a loan at interest with dollars that are becoming worthless by the day. To call it a tax cut, while already in a 1.3 Trillion projected hole without cutting a single thing from even the deficit, further expanding the budget deficit is counterintuitive if not just flat out a lie. Unlike the Bush and the Republican favored (and flawed theory) of supply side economics, coupled with increase spending, the means to pay for this tax cut comes right out of the coffers of… Social Security.

I find that interesting because when Obama was running for President he was singing a different tune and  from then senator Obama's website:

"Obama believes that the first place to look for ways to strengthen Social Security is the payroll tax system. Currently, the Social Security payroll tax applies to only the first $97,500 a worker makes. Obama supports increasing the maximum amount of earnings covered by Social Security and he will work with Congress and the American people to choose a payroll tax reform package that will keep Social Security solvent for at least the next half century" 

The reason we had a surplus in Social Security was a payroll tax raise (the opposite of what’s going on here with Obama’s tax cut) by Ronald Regan. I’m not a big fan of “the Gipper” like so many are, that call themselves a fiscal conservative (because he wasn’t one). However, he knew baby boomers where going to retire and need to collect from a diminished population numeric wise; thus a surplus was needed. He then, proceeded to raid it in 1987 as did George Bush Sr following him and lest not forget Bill Clinton. Hell, this goes back to LBJ in the sixties if you want to see who is culpable for raiding social security.

According to the Social Security Administration, as of 2010, Social Security should have had a 2.6 Trillion dollar surplus, but I find that odd? How can the federal government put into its budget each year a bill for Social Security when the FICA tax is already being removed from your paycheck to pay for Social Security? Is this not the essence of double taxation? So, where is this surplus? It’s been raided and spent and replaced with IOU’s (bonds) with things like wars in Afghanistan/Iraq and other toys that politicians want - but don’t want to pay for… like this tax cut. In other words, it's a gigantic slush fund used by politicians to keep their feet from the fire.  

(Image by MIT OpenCourseWare.)

In 2005 George W even had the chutzpah to admit it... while raiding it !!!  

“There is no trust fund, just IOUs that I saw firsthand that future generations will pay—will pay for either in higher taxes, or reduced benefits, or cuts to other critical government programs.” 

It’s rather humorous to me that this is the only measure where you will find bi-partisan support in such a partisan political scheme that is Washington these days. Its also why I write my blog, to show this type of fraudulent partisan logic, as if there was really a difference on the important issues. Why the bi-partisan support? Because its politically expedient for both parties.

The Democrats can say they are helping out Joe-six pack with more money in his pocket, while the Republicans can hold up their oath to Grover Norquist. The best part of this tax cut is it comes out of an existing program that so many people & elected leaders from both “sides” rail on for not being solvent. We have heard about the entitlement tsunami that is coming… I wonder why?

Now, both parties can appease to their constituents so that they can be reelected; totally disregarding what the cost/benefit factor is. The "rich" (anyone over 110K), who won’t collect social security anyway, can get some of their money back. Joe-six pack can break even now, to make up for the rising gas prices and other commodities and maybe even save spend a few dollars (literally a few) at Wal-Mart buying Chinese trinkets or Snuggies (never mind, they are via China as well). It’s a win-win. I guess.

But don’t tell that to Tom Harkin (D-Iowa).
“I never thought I would have to see the day when a Democratic president of the United States and a Democratic vice president would agree to put Social Security in this kind of jeopardy. Never did I ever imagine a Democratic president would be the beginning of the unraveling of Social Security.”

Now think back to the beginning with the movie exercise. We, are the person that the suitcase belongs to. Harry and Lloyd are your local congressman and President and Senator... not only do they borrow the money, but they do so at interest or whats called the coupon, through bonds (IOU's). How can we have an outlay (and subsequent budget deficit and then subsequent accumulating national debt) for social security in the budget each year with FICA coming out of our checks to pay for it?

Because of this budget deficit you will also incur a bill that will be an interest payment on the principal of the national debt, which again, is an accumulation of every budget deficit in our history. This is simply because you are spending more then you're collecting in revenue. So, unlike Harry and Lloyd, we are not just going to borrow from the suitcase owner to payback the IOU's we replaced the initial money with. No, the government takes it one step further and promises to pay back those IOU's with future obligations, ie taxes and the circular logic continues. This will go on forever if drastic measures are not taken to stop this, but without strict terms limits, I cant see that happening. After-all, intergovernmental debt doesn't have to be paid back, right? In the words of Lloyd Christmas:

Its as good as money sir, those are IOU's... go ahead and count it, every cent is accounted for. 

Friday, February 24, 2012

Kangaroo court of sanctions verdict: War

  (Image from: The Nation.com)

Add another log (or two) to the fire. India, Russia, Turkey, China, Japan, South Korea and now Pakistan and Australia are all continuing to trade with Iran despite US sanctions passed on through on December 31, 2011. A similar set of sanctions was set in place by the European Union on January 23 of this year. This resulted in a move by Tehran to stop sending crude to both Brittan and France.   

Iran, who is a member of both the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and International Atomic Energy Agency feel they should be able to pursue Nuclear power for domestic purposes, whether that is true or not is anyone guess and is totally irrelevant, as far as we are concerned here in the states.

As we have heard ad nauseam, the sanctions were put on Iran based on their developing nuclear weapons program going online and posing a threat to destabilize the region. Iran says it’s for peace, the US doesn’t believe them and because of that, the west led by the US, continues to escalate toothless sanctions on Iran.

Iran has taken a progressive approach to combating sanctions from the West, thus the new sanctions put in place on New Years eve 2011 come across as a either a gross miscalculation by our intelligence (where have we seen this movie before) or our State Department (again, same movie, same script… different actors) in dealing with the supposed weakness or Iran; its inability to make enough Gasoline.

Tehran has used multiple tools to soften the blow of sanctions well in advance. First, there was the 2007 Gasoline Rationing Plan put into place by President Ahmadinejad. Three years later, in 2010, came a massive reduction of subsidies on gasoline, resulting in a quadrupling of price overnight across the entire nation of Iran, prices went from 0.38 cents per gallon to $1.44.

All the while, Iran's dearth of refining capacity (that the sanctions were thought to have been targeting) and the need to import 40% of their gasoline was being addressed and dramatic changes were being implemented. Iran has spent and will continue to spend billions on modernizing their current refineries while putting into motion the building of seven new refineries. As a contrast, the  US hasn’t built a new refinery in 36 years (that plays a big role at what you pay at the pump).

Here we have Iran looking to build seven refineries in the next few years. This will not only allow them to supply their own oil, it was also give them more economic freedom as they will not have to subcontract out the refinery process of raw crude to other gulf nations. Iran went from importing 40% of its gas five years ago to now just 5% coming way of importation.

With all this development and concentration on energy independence; Iran is posed to be a net exporter of Gasoline by 2015. That is a rather dramatic turnaround in just a few years time and a testament to the Iranian’s diligence and prudence on addressing their achilles heal.

Let’s get back to that script and movie theme once again. It was the buildup in 2002 to the Iraq invasion that the US (after multiple sanctions on Iraq and refusing anything outside of the fact that Iraq had WMD’s) went to war to hold up UN sanctions despite that fact that the UN never approved of the war in the first place. Then, shortly after the invasion, the script was flipped to "giving the citizens democracy" or "freeing them from a big mean dictator". Or was it that "he supported terrorists"? I can’t remember the order for excuses as they were then, as they are now, in dealing with the new posterboy for dollar interference... totally irrelevant.

The bottom line is this. We go after them with sanctions and they ultimately don’t work. There is only one other alternative; Iran will get a taste of what both of its neighbors got. Like Iraq, this isn’t about Nuclear weapons. It is about oil. However, above all, this is about protecting the petrodollar. Iran has made all the right moves and either we are severely underestimating them or it’s just a big dog and pony show for the inevitable. Either way, regardless if its Obama or Romney or Santorum… Iran is next.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Vest wants to spend to offset spending - but dont call him a liberal

Santorum has and will always be a big government "compassionate" conservative and his record clearly shows that. He will never shrink government. Because Santorum thinks that government should be involved within every aspect of our lives. Not only the handling of our taxes and defense of our contracts and borders but he also favors ADDED government power in the business of defense and regulation of morality.

Anytime the government gets involved or makes any move its costs the tax payer. Government as we know creates nothing, all they can do is tax & spend (borrow & spend is more like it). So, with Santorum getting heat this week in an add put out by Ron Paul, in which it calls the former Pennsylvania Senator a "Fake" Conservative, he had to come out and show he wasnt fake and that he was genuine; as his clear rise in the polls would indicate.

Could there be a better time for the Vest to continue to prove his conservative credentials then the last debate of the primary season last night in Arizona? I dont think so, and CNN clearly understood what was going on as it didn't take long for John King of CNN to fire a 85mph fastball - belt high for Dr Paul. Within minutes, King asked Dr Paul why his ad this week was calling Santorum "fake"? Ron Paul simply said:

 "Because he's a fake".

The good congressman then went on a bit of a rant, on how exactly he thought the Vest was fake and then Santorum's rebuttal was bunch of fluff and rankings from all sorts of conservative organizations supposedly ranking Santorum as some type of fiscal hawk (sic).  It was a little later in the debate where Santorum outed himself. Here is the text:

SANTORUM: As Congressman Paul knows, I opposed Title X funding. I've always opposed Title X funding, but it's included in a large appropriation bill that includes a whole host of other things, including...


... the funding for the National Institutes of Health, the funding for Health and Human Services and a whole bunch of other departments. It's a multi-billion-dollar bill.

What I did, because Title X was always pushed through, I did something that no one else did. Congressman Paul didn't. I said, well, if you're going to have Title X funding, then we're going to create something called Title XX, which is going to provide funding for abstinence-based programs, so at least we'll have an opportunity to provide programs that actually work in -- in keeping children from being sexually active instead of facilitating children from being sexually active. And I pushed Title XX to -- to accomplish that goal.

So while, yes, I -- I admit I voted for large appropriation bills and there were things in there I didn't like, things in there I did, but when it came to this issue, I proactively stepped forward and said that we need to do something at least to counterbalance it, A; B, I would say that I've always been very public that, as president of the United States, I will defund Planned Parenthood; I will not sign any appropriation bill that funds Planned Parenthood.

Here, you have someone who is self described as "the most fiscally conservative senator in the Congress in the -- in the 12 years that I was there", who was also rated "high" in ratings from both the National Taxpayers Union as well as Citizens Against Government Waste actually admitting he was in favor of creating new spending. Not only did he help pass legislation worth billions that he (allegedly) didn't like, he trumps that, with actually admitting to adding more spending for new programs to counter the spending of existing programs he doesn't like. My heads hurts just typing that. Lets try this....

Santorum doesn't like Title X (planned parenthood) but he passes it anyway as a rider on another bill worth billions he does like but because he isn't satisfied with the spending of Title X, he creates (spends) Title XX to satisfy his quest for divine mortality be offsetting Title X.

Nope, this still makes no sense and that is the point. It cant make sense because my logical fiscal conservative brain doesnt compute that as fiscally conservative. That my friends is the antithesis of a fiscal conservative. How does spending new money to offset already spent money create anything but more debt and bigger government? It doesn't. And again... that is the point. That is the very definition of a big government whore... thats what Santorum is, and the Tea Party will line up to support him?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

500 'Veterans for Ron Paul' march on White House to media blackout (from Examiner.com))

Terrific read courtesy of who writes for the Salt Lake City Independent Examiner. I posted some of the highlights, definitely worth the click.

Cox, a veteran of the Iraq War, told Examiner that one of the highlights for him was the ceremony that took place outside of the White House. The 500 troops stood in formation in front of the White House and then did an "about face" and turned their backs to the White House in a symbolic gesture that displayed their disdain for President Obama breaking his oath of office, which is the same oath all servicemen take, to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.
The veterans were told to render a salute and hold it for as many seconds as there have been active duty soldiers that have committed suicide while Obama has been in office. The salute lasted nearly 10 minutes, Cox said. They then bowed their heads in silent prayer for as many seconds as members of the military have died overseas while Obama has been Commander-in-Chief, which Cox said was almost 30 minutes. 
During the ceremony (as seen in the video to the left), a pair of soldiers held a flag with words Martin Luther King spake in opposition to the Vietnam War, warning against America's arrogance overseas. King said:

 I call on the young men of America who must make a choice today to take a stand on this issue. Tomorrow may be too late. The book may close. And don't let anybody make you think that God chose America as his divine, messianic force to be a sort of policeman of the whole world. God has a way of standing before the nations with judgment, and it seems that I can hear God saying to America, "You're too arrogant! And if you don't change your ways, I will rise up and break the backbone of your power, and I'll place it in the hands of a nation that doesn't even know my name. Be still and know that I'm God." 

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Iran, a nuclear threat? Or... Dollar threat?

(Graphic courtesy of Soahead.com)

Is Iran a threat? Are they a threat to the US? Are they are threat to her allies? Is Iran a threat to the region? The answer to these questions are all, yes, they are. However, they are a threat for different reasons to each entity. Israel has long had problems with Iran. It’s well documented and that will never cease; at least not in our lifetimes.

The Middle East region is very complicated and convoluted. With the Arab Spring now working its way into other totalitarian regimes, established dictators and theocracy’s, the region remains sensitive to any waves. Iran is the most powerful state left in the Middle East. They are predominately Shi’a Muslim’s (85%) while the rest of the region is overwhelmingly Sunni Muslim (90%). If we remember the problems with the US invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq, it was complications of various religious sects and the sectarian violence that ensued because of those divisions, was what caused the greatest problems.

Religion was also in part the basis for Iraq’s invasion of Iran in 1980 that lasted eight bloody years resulting in over 1 Million deaths. This was the same war that the US backed Saddam’s Sunni invasion supplying both weapons and intelligence to Iraq in proxy war against the Shi’a Iranians. It was during and after the Iraq invasion that Iran became more isolated the ever before and when you include they speak a different language (Persian) and have another belief system from their neighbors; it only compounded the isolation.

Recently, there was the wikileaks cable that quoted Saudi Ambassador to the US, Adel al-Jubeir recalling King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia urging the US to attack Iran’s nuclear program. To quote “cut the head off the snake (Iran)”. Last month, Saudi Oil Minister, Ali al-Naimi, said that the Kingdom will be able to make -up for any shortfall if Iran remains in a defensive posture; further indicating their approval for regime change. 

"It is because of our ongoing investment that Saudi Arabia is able to respond to shortages around the world - take issues with Libyan production last year for example. 'And it's because of our investment that any future shortages will be handled."

In fact, most Arab nations do not receive the Iranians well and do not want them to go nuclear. The Arab League has isolated Syria (Iran’s only ally) as it has halted both diplomatic and economic ties with the nation. If that wasnt enough of a statement they will lend political and material support to the Syrian opposition. It appears Syria will come to some type of regime change similar to what happened in Egypt and Libya. The Arab spring is said to be based on freedom of individuals and elections are a part of that; if and when the revolution takes power, it will not replace the leadership of Assad with a pro Iranian government.

What is happening is Iran is walking the proverbial plank. They have no allies. Everyone around them either wants their leadership removed or they simply don’t care either way. Both bordering nations of Iran have been vaporized by the United States. Its only logical that another member of the “Axis of evil” stuck smack dab in the middle of US occupations is next.

They know it and they also know they only have a few cards to play. First, they must go nuclear BEFORE an attack, being that a nuclear nation has yet to be attacked by the United States. Will this deter them from being attacked by the West? Nobody can say for sure, but it will at least give them pause and possibly buy the Iranians more time. Secondly, and the Ace of Spades, is that they will divorce themselves from the dollar.

With the drumbeat of war ratcheting up from the US to heights not seen since 2002, Iran, like its neighbor Iraq once did, is poised to play chicken with the US and its European allies engaging the US in economic war. The first strike was launched by the US in new sanctions signed by President Obama back in December and there was a response by Tehran with a threat to close the Strait of Hormuz. 

Now, we have Belgium-based SWIFT - who is a lifeline to international trade, as they oversee an average of 18 million payment messages per day between banks in 210 countries prepared to cut off Iran, virtually forcing international trade with Iran to a standstill. This is a remarkable revelation and a clear indication of the clout the US still carries as the reserve currency of international trade. Never, has SWIFT removed a nation since its inception in 1973.

"Kicking Iran out of SWIFT is both unprecedented and another dangerous step toward turning a financial war into a military conflict," said Reza Marashi, National Iranian American Council's research director.

Not only does this hurt all Iranians, but more importantly it hurts Iran’s military as well. Without fuel you cannot mobilize your military and logistics become impossible. Logistical failure has been the downfall of some of them most important conflicts of the last 300 years and with Iran being economically cut off it would inevitable. While Iran maybe the 3rd largest supplier of crude in the world, it’s also relying on 40% of its petroleum and diesel consumption to come way of imports due to both refinery dysfunction /inefficiencies and just flat out a shortage of new refineries. That however is being addressed and eventually Iran will not be so dependable on importing gasoline but yet still vulnerable if those refineries were knocked offline.  

At one point, Iran was planning on getting out of the dollar as early as 2002 (if not long before) and then Iraq (who tried getting out of the dollar in 2000 after a decade of sanctions) got blitzed and Tehran went eerily silent. Then a few years later and coincidentally enough with the US bogged down in two stagnate/unpopular wars... Tehran began chatting aloud about dumping the dollar again. It was The Iranian Oil Bourse, created in 2008, that set the stage for this showdown that will officially end the petrol-dollar relationship with Iranian crude oil beginning on March 20, 2012. That is just a little over a month to go.

Now that we are facing our own debt problems, drawing down from Iraq and Afghanistan and have a President who may be perceived as weak, the Iranians threw down the gauntlet. What are we to do? All this adds up to one thing and that is why we are seeing a strong military presence in the Middle East, coupled with tough talk from talking heads here in the states. I see a major push to invoke war with the Iranians.

I've always felt and said that nuclear weapons and terrorism have always been more of a perceived threat then an actual threat concerning the Middle East. 9-11 was the exception and it wasn't state sponsored either. Are nuclear weapons that much of a threat to warrant all this attention? I have my reservations. Iran has plenty of nations around them that don't particularly care for them and are nuked up as well, and those that don’t posses nuclear capability's, I assume would be more then happy to have nukes from the US/West planted on their soil as a deterrent.

Iran maybe a nutty regime but mutual destruction is a deterrent to even the crazies, no matter how much “cooze” Allah can (sic) promise. It’s simply a self contained regional situation in spite of what the saber wavers might otherwise say, even if they did get nukes. The idea of supporting terrorist and getting nukes however is easier for people to grasp then how the Petrodollar recycling machine works and its more inline with the average person’s moral views: good vs evil is easier to understand vs then say what it really is and that is the Machiavellian battle of high vs low mach, or some might say survival of the fittest.

Hell, the majority of the country does not even believe in natural selection!? Can you really blame our government for running with the: 'scary dudes in turbans, armed with rocket launchers and hiding in caves reading Korans under camp fires - alongside a gaggle of virgins, who also want to nuke you…because they hate you, because you are free' story?  

That's where this web gets tangled. See, as Americans we like our standard of living. Is it inflated? Is it driven purely by consumption and debt? Is it made possible by a rigged game that allows us to trade pieces of paper for all types of goods and commodities that the rest of the world has to break their backs for? The answer to those questions is also - yes.  

If it was just about nuclear weapons we would have eliminated North Korea's capability's long ago. If it was about terrorism, we would have went after our own allies like Saudi Arabia or never would have clandestinely funded so many right-wing gorilla operations in Latin and South America the last 50 years. 

Anyone that threatened to flip the monopoly board over and not participate (and publicly denounce the petrodollar) in the petrodollar scheme and trade with other currencies, has already been or will be (Hugo Chavez) neutralized. From Libya - Iraq - former IMF chair Dominique Strauss-Kahn and now Iran. 

With the Petrodollar recycling process being the single - most vital element to the United States hegemony, it is imperative and absolutely essential that nations (see OPEC) continue to exchange their oil for US dollars. Or, the world as we know it here in the States will be much different... and not for the better. You can rest assured, that we will be putting a boot up the Ayatollahs ass and carpet bombing the Caucasus before our leaders (see corporations) allow us to fall into that state.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Department of Homeland Stasi or Security?

Lawmaker Demands DHS Cease Monitoring of Blogs, Social Media


Now this is rich. Here, we have a gigantic defense contractor getting a rather small (relativity 11 Million is small) contract to spy on ordinary Americans online activities regarding political topics on sites like Wired, Huffington Post, Drudge, Wikileaks etc etc. My first question after reading this was: if you are going to spy on us through an operation that focuses on social news media and blogs… why not someone from the NSA or some other agency where it could be hush hush? Well, according to the DHS director of office operations, Richard Chavez, General Dynamics possessed: “skilled technicians in surfing the web.”


Not only has the Federal government been dumping 50+ billion dollars of year annually into DHS since 2003, it’s also the third largest cabinet department we have. You would think, that someone would be capable of “surfing the web” inside that bureaucratic wet dream, but apparently not so. That however, doesn’t surprise me. This rag tag assembly of departments is notorious for waste. Within its first five years of existence it had 15 Billion dollars worth of failed contracts; and that was by 2008! One shutters to think what that looks like now?

It is said that this program involves the monitoring of “publicly available online forums, blogs, public websites and message boards.” The most telling piece of this article however is the revelation that General Dynamics will be sifting people’s posts or words “containing anti-American sentiment and reaction to policy proposals”. I find it jaw dropping that this isn’t covered across the front page of every newspaper in the country, but privacy isnt in vogue anymore; this is why Facebook is so huge in the first place.

And with General Dynamics focusing in on the big boys (Twitter and Facebook), it appears that if SOPA and the House didn’t get the internet under the black boots; the Executive Office would do it themselves (through a sub contractor). I guess it’s only apropos then that the DHS would hire a killing machine like General Dynamics to do it.

Between Facebook and Twitter being blamed for using users personal info to sell to third partys (or "let" it just happen to be available) or having both social network sites software being used as a tool for espionage, it’s apparent that the walls are closing in on the Internets value. That, being mainly the free passage of information but a close second is/was the freedom of anonymity.

Not to be outdone, Google announced last week it will launch Screenwise, a mining tool built inside their Chrome browser that will track your every click, your every move on the net – for a handsome price (is the precursor for the RFID mass implantation or the mark of the beast?). If you choose to take part, you can receive up to $25 in a year from Amazon.com. I would be willing to bet there is a waiting list.  

I’d sell my soul, my self esteem a dollar at a time. - MJK

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

When is close, too close?

In my week off, a great investigation from the Washington post was published surrounding all members of both the House and Senate and its findings were quite detailed and very telling of the dysfunction that lies in the heart of Washington. If there is a reason for this blog its stated in the subtitle and out of the 47 members being investigated; its only fitting that we have 22 vs 25 representing both party's almost equally (22 R vs 25 D). The most telling of this investigation however, in my opinion, is the relationships of sons and daughters to their parents who are elected representatives. This regardless of how innocent the situation appears and it very well may be; it should always be looked down upon as unethical.

Now some of these findings appear to be a big reach as far as corruption is concerned, if nothing more then totally coincidental. For example, Rick Rahall, a Democrat Congressman from West Virginia, who ear-marked 20 million for a parking garage with a bus and taxi facility in downtown Beckley WV. The rub is the construction sits a half a mile from his sons home and about a mile from one of  the congressman's personal property's. Ive been through Beckley West Virginia many times on my way to Florida and its "downtown" is small enough that downtown basically fits inside a mile or at the most a two mile radius; so its not as if the property's could avoid nestling up to one another in that postage stamp.

While some of the others tend to look like outright nepotism. Take for instance, representative Corrine Brown (D) of Florida. This was from the Washington Post investigation:

Between 2005 and 2010, Brown helped secure $21.9 million for six clients of a lobbying firm where her daughter works. The clients paid the firm more than $1 million to represent them before Congress. Brown was the sole sponsor of $1.79 million in earmarks sent to a seventh client, the Community Rehabilitation Center, while her daughter worked as a lobbyist on behalf of the center, the Florida Times-Union reported in 2010. The congresswoman declined requests for an interview. Her daughter did not respond to requests for comment.

According to Sen. Bill Nelson, also a Democrat, was a co-sponsor for the pork containing the rehabilitation center. After learning about the connection to Corrine's Daughter he bailed and rightfully so:

“We try to do our due diligence. The center had the backing of many community leaders,” Nelson spokesman Bryan Gulley told the Post. “But when we learned her daughter was involved in lobbying for the center, that raised enough concerns that we no longer supported the project.”

This wasn't the first time Rep Brown was in hot water because of her lobbyist daughter. There was the situation in 1998 where a millionaire ex-con (Foutanga Bit Babani Sissoko) who just before he was sent to prison, turned around and handed Corrine Browns daughter the keys to a brand new 50K Lexus. Then it was said Mrs Brown "led a feverish lobbying campaign" to then Attorney General Janet Reno for his pardon. I'm sure some type of vote down the road required by the Clinton Administration would be sufficient payment enough? 

According to Sissoko's lawyer however, the car was meant for Brown herself... I wonder why she didn't take it? Sissoko, being from West Africa, might not understand the ethical concerns of that - but you can be sure Brown did; hence the re-gifting of the vehicle to her daughter. The same lobbyist daughter who would join her mother on long weekends (and there were many of them) in one of Sissoko's lavish Miami property's. 

Mrs Brown is certainty not the worst offender on this list in terms of dollar amounts but it raises some serious questions about ethics when you have a sitting member of Congress doling out billions of dollars to company's or organizations that are represented by family members of said Congressmen. The relationship between Congress and lobbying  is already too close for comfort but when you factor in family members working on K-Street it just opens up an entire new paradigm. One that only tightens the grip special interest has on our coffers.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Romney the Gambler - he just donest want you to be one.

 This past weekend we seen two major events take place, the Nevada Caucus and the Super Bowl. Ok, so the Nevada Caucus was hardly a major event, but an event nonetheless. Both of these events taking place on the same weekend however is ironic considering how much they have in common. Nevada for example is the only state where sports betting is legal, and doesn't require bets taking place between six- figure paid elected representatives exchanging food for knit hats. The NFL meanwhile has risen to the top of professional sports for many reasons and betting on its games is one of the pillars of that foundation. But, unless you live in Nevada, you're out of luck and most lawmakers want to keep it that way... although dont tell these guys.

I read this the other day on PokerNews.com about Mitt Romney's view on internet gambling. It seems Mittens is against internet gambling because of its:  

"social costs and people’s addictive gambling habits.”  

That however didn't stop him from issuing
a 10K wager in a debate a few months back
with the man from Niggerhead Ranch, Rick Perry. 

It pretty common to have a politician say he wants you to be safe and he worries about your well being and its just as common to watch that same politician turn around and do the exact same thing he wants to protect you from but just in a different light. Take the modern day prohibition of drugs and the old prohibition of a drug called alcohol for proof of that. Apparently the lawmakers know whats best for us, i guess you could  call it a case of:  do as i say not as i do. I remember hearing that... when i was a kid - from my daddy. And the nanny state lives on; patting us on our asses and heads, for we know not the dangers of the real world.

So when the NFL enables the casinos in Nevada alone to rake in over 100 Million all being legal, while you
at your computer in your own home is illegal to put your $100 on the Giants +3. Kind of odd isnt it? Politicians can bet clam chowder to strip steaks and drink their gin in tonics but if you want to bet on a game or use some drug of your choice; its illegal. They can bet, they can do what drug they like but they also make the rules. I guess daddy knows best.

Its too bad Mitt Romney doesn't apply his quote about how dangerous internet gambling is to Casino gambling, could casino gambling be that much more less addictive or that much less socially damaging? I guess the internet gambling lobby doesn't exist yet? It is also too bad he didn't use that quote to paint his picture of an economic plan as well. What about the social cost of continuing trillion dollar deficits through inflation and interest payments skyrocketing due to a rapidly expanding national debt? What about feeding the addictive habit of politicians who want to cut taxes and increase spending thus feeding those deficits (look at Mitts plan). What about those habits? Crickets. Just like what the current administration has to say on this. Nothing.

And what about that cranky 76-year old from Texas, Congressman Ron Paul?

"People should be free and they should make their own decisions and there should be no regulation of the Internet.”

Friday, February 3, 2012

Leave it to the Cleaver: Congressional Black Caucus overt double standard

Maybe it’s just my imagination or has our fine nation become that hypersensitive that we have started looking for hidden messages because those actual messages in plain English don’t exist? Seems rather self-serving, doesn’t it? It also seems self promotion through divisions, such as race, are circling the drain as pundits scramble through sentences of ideological opponents for “subliminal racist” messages.   

That’s the latest word from the chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, Emanuel Cleaver (D) of Missouri. Mr Cleaver is the super sleuth who decoded two recent Presidentialcandidates sentences that appear to be dog whistle words to the Republican red-neck base that President Obama is in fact (gasp) a black (50%) man. 

Yes, it appears that the racist voters who are on the fence of reelecting a black man need to be reminded that in fact Mr Obama is well… black, you know… in case they forgot.

I am going to go out on a limb and predict racist’s who vote based on color or would have their vote’s at least weighted in such nonsense would not need a reminding; but I’m also not equipped with the: Racist Code Detector Version 7.5 who can spot such subliminal messages.

See, to a typical person, phrases like Gingrich’s “food stamp president” and Mitt Romney’s comments on “the very poor” would think: Poor. However, if equipped with: Racist Code Detector Version 7.5 you would in fact see the real meaning: “damn the black-man and do no reelect him because he is only helping blacks”!

So, if racists will vote against whom they despise anyway without a subliminal message; why the need for the racist code detector version 7.5? The answer is simple. It’s nothing more then a power grab. First, this is the Webster definition of a Caucus:

: a closed meeting of a group of persons belonging to the same political party or faction usually to select candidates or to decide on policy; also : a group of people united to promote an agreed-upon cause

That seems to be a simple premise, is closed meeting of persons united to promote an agreed upon cause. Forty years ago the Congressional Black Caucus was founded “to positively influence the course of events pertinent to African Americans and others of similar experience and situation. So, its a closed meeting of like minded people who want to help black people. Now, this is where it gets interesting…

In a piece done in 2007, Politico’s Josephine Hearn told the story about Stephen I. Cohen, a Liberal Democrat who was rejected for membership to the caucus because he was white. Despite the fact that 60% of his constituents were black not to mention the majority of his staff was African American including his chief of staff. Seems rather confusing considering that a caucus is “a group of people united to promote an agreed-upon cause” and being its black, meaning race – Mr Cohen fits, his policies (Liberal Democrat) and his constituents fit that mission.

It was William Clay Jr (D) from Missouri who had the courage (or audacity) to lay it out in black and white (pardon the pun) for why Mr Cohen was not allowed directly from a state from his office:

Quite simply, Rep. Cohen will have to accept what the rest of the country will have to accept—there has been an unofficial Congressional White Caucus for over 200 years, and now it's our turn to say who can join 'the club.' He does not, and cannot, meet the membership criteria, unless he can change his skin color. Primarily, we are concerned with the needs and concerns of the black population, and we will not allow white America to infringe on those objectives.

Now we have the answer. Its not about “the needs and concerns of the black population” because if it was you wouldn’t reject a man applying to your “club” who wants to do exactly what your statement above says – help blacks (you know the people who elected him). This seems like the complete opposite of representation. And let me remind you again, its not about representation, its about power – this is just one of many clear examples.

In that same article was also the story of how Al Green (D) from Texas (now a member of the Black Caucus) got elected despite running against an incumbent Chris Bell, D-Texas who was also a Democrat but white. Hearn stated that:

Although House tradition discourages members of the same party from working against each other, about a dozen black lawmakers contributed to Bell's opponent, Rep. Al Green, D-Texas, the eventual victor. Even Bell's Houston neighbor, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (Black Caucus member), D-Texas, campaigned against him. 

That is another example of those in the Black Caucus of favoring skin color over policy. It would be “subliminal” if it was a Republican but to be doing this to those in your own party? This is another example of how the two party system is nothing but a sham, a fraud used to promote division across many lines and race being one of them and one of the easiest to promote at that.  

Last but not least, we have the Chairman – Mr Cleaver, the guy with the Racist Code Detector Version 7.5. I will let his quotes on the subliminal messages paint the picture:

“In the last few days, both Gov. Romney and Speaker Gingrich have been guilty of saying things that are not helpful to a society begging for racial inclusion. Whether they are intentional or not, I’m not 100 percent certain; I do know that it doesn't matter in many cases. It’s just unfortunate and it tends to divide.”
Cleaver went on to chide Congress for being “nasty” rather than inclusive.”

Is there anything left to say? Do I have to point out the hypocrisy of the Congressional Black Caucus or do these quotes of double talk do the job? If not, let these words sink in by J.C. Watts (who is black) was elected to Congress from Oklahoma in 1994 on his views of the Congressional Black Caucus:

They said that I had sold out and (called me) Uncle Tom. But I have my thoughts. And I think they're race-hustling poverty pimps"

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Newt Gingrich In 2009: Hey, That Individual Mandate Is A Great Idea!

Newt Gingrich spent much of yesterday making his case against Mitt Romney on the grounds that Romney’s history with the Massachusetts health care reform plan would make it impossible for him to draw real distinctions between himself and President Obama on the issue of health care. As it turns out, though, Romney isn’t the only one who has that problem. Gingrich’s own support for an individual mandate during the Clinton years and even a mere year before Barack Obama was elected have already been noted. Now, though, we’ve got Gingrich on the record supporting the idea of an individual health care insurance mandate in 2009 just as Congress was beginning to debate what would eventually become the Affordable Care Care:
The real foundation, the most important part of this, is individual rights, responsibilities, and expectations of behavior. … We believe that there should be must-carry, that everybody should have health insurance, or if you’re an absolute libertarian, we would allow you to post a bond, but we would not allow people to be “free riders” failing to insure themselves and then showing up in the emergency room with no means of payment. If you have must carry, then the insurance companies have told us that we can have must-issue, and you will therefore have a system in which you don’t have to worry about cherry-picking and maneuvering. … This is the kind of general model we will be advocating.
The quoted section begins at about the 28 second mark, but the entire audio clip is relevant. At the time, Gingrich was speaking on behalf of one of his business ventures, The Center For Health Transformation, an organization that received significant amounts of money from the health care industry, including many large pharmaceutical companies. At the time, it wasn’t really shocking for Gingrich to say this because it was entirely consistent with what he’d been saying since the days of the long, hard debate over HillaryCare in 1994. It wasn’t until the right started turning on ObamaCare, as it came to be called, that Gingrich changed his position. Now, Gingrich says he was wrong for all those years. however as Morgen at Verum Serum notes, the audio clip is fairly damning when it comes to the case that Gingrich himself tries to make against Romney:
Well, here you have it: not only has Gingrich been a long-standing proponent of a federal health insurance mandate, he clearly and unequivocally called for it as part of the White House health reform initiative in May 2009. Mission accomplished then.
There is something else worth noting in this clip. Not only did Gingrich make the “conservative” argument for the mandate in dealing with the free rider problem, he also advanced a favorite argument of the left. Which is that the only way insurers could be required to offer coverage to everyone regardless of their health status (“must issue”), was to require everyone to carry insurance. This was ultimately the argument which convinced none other than Barack Obama, who remember, opposed an individual mandate during the Democrat primary campaign in 2008.
Romney is arguably even more compromised on ObamaCare than Gingrich, but it’s a much closer call in my opinion than some seem to believe. Call me an Alinskyite, but it seemed like Republican voters should probably know about this before the general election.
I bet they will after this starts showing up in SuperPAC ads in the near future.