Presidents G. Washington And B. Obama, A Missing Cherry Tree And America’s Wealth

George WashingtonObama PinocchioUntil we arrived at a university, the name of our first U.S. president coming up in a conversation almost universally served as the paradigm of personal honesty. We were nearly all brought up with the legend of George Washington chopping down the cherry tree and confessing to the deed because “he could not tell a lie.”

Most of us also went to some Christian church or perhaps a synagogue and were steeped in the Ten Commandments and related  hellfire for transgressors. We learned as children that lying was shameful and wrong and socially despised. We knew that lying existed of course; we did it ourselves to escape punishments but we remember being handed punishments for some childhood transgression with  an additional punishment tacked on for lying about it. The message was clear.

One primary difference between Euro-North American society and the rest of the world, is the degree of political corruption extant. It is also notable that the degree of wealth and the related standard of living differs as well, almost exactly following the honesty of the societies. The more corrupt the society, the greater the degree of poverty. You can see it on the map.

Parenthetically, it is notable that the borders of these societal variances are also the borders of Judeo-Christianity’s historical development in the world. We believe that this is no coincidence; you are free to decide for yourself. However you decide, we are in the midst of a social change that may determine the truth of the matter; we in that society have largely abandoned the religion that characterized it; the West so called, is no longer also “Christianity.” Most seem pleased enough at that, with the feeling of having thrown off a burden.And we note that today’s school children seem unfamiliar with that chopped cherry tree.

Instead of a president extolled for being unable to tell a lie, we have arrived at one who claims that you can keep your doctor under Obamacare, knowing it to be untrue. His minions lie to Congress and to the press, which now lies to us. Government statistics are no longer accepted unquestionably. Truth itself is no longer highly regarded; we have adopted moral relativism that degrades it. Such changes have historically, never been free. They have typically accompanied decaying societies and their meaning today is fueling discussion. 

It seems to us that there is little need for discussion of one particular aspect of this. American society is heading for widespread poverty, compared to the recent past. We are returning to the same historical median of socio-political corruption as seen in the rest of the world and that will return us to that level of wealth, or rather, lack of it, as well. Add to that government policies that raise costs and lower business opportunities.

We have gone from President Washington who could not tell a lie, cheap energy and can-do Americans to President Obama who cannot tell the truth, demonized energy and you aren’t allowed to do Americans. We saw the early rsult: Unprecedented wealth; the new product is taking shape in front of us …

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Obama “Weakness” On Syria And Ukraine Is A Bad Rap …

Now It's Up To You, Mr. President ...

Now It’s Up To You, Mr. President …

We’re not Obama fans and to be honest, out of fashion as that may be, we aren’t Bush fans, either. But we noted that much of the anti-Bush spiel was hokum and it seems to us, so is much of the current attacks on our President. Both, we believe, have done or failed to do plenty to complain about; these cheap, hypocritical and specious complaints do nothing to advance the welfare of our Republic. Maybe they sell newspaper and sponsor’s products?

An especially annoying example is the fuss now over President Obama’s handling of Syria and Ukraine. The decades-in-office Syrian dictator Bashar Assad is fighting a civil war against a mix of secular rebels and Islamic fundamentalists that attacks Mr. Assad’s regime when they aren’t busy attacking each other. Mr. Assad floats on a flood of Iranian and Russian support that keeps his head above the flood … barely.

Ukraine hasn’t been a country since roughly, the 14th Century; it has passed back and forth among Poland, Russia, Austria and was even Lithuanian for a while. So when the Soviets turned it loose, there was little political tradition upon which to build a nation upon short notice. Full of the same corruption as its long time Communist master Russia, it has struggled to cohere, burdened with a Russified East and a European-aspiring West that speak different languages and live in different cultures.

Does this seem the fault of our President? Or for that matter, of his predecessor? Hardly. The world’s declining economy (that we’re not supposed to notice) roused the Syrians and Ukrainians both; we can blame both Obama and Bush for their share in that, but only for the share. Others are hip-deep in that. Russia needs to distract is folk from its economic inadequacy; rebuilding the Russo-Soviet Empire will serve and is under way in Ukraine. It started in Georgia a couple of years ago and though unremarked in the news, is going on in Moldova and elsewhere as well. No Obama/Bush fingerprints here … though perhaps Mr. Obama sees a need for some distractions, too.

So we ask: What do the folk complaining of the Presidents’ “weakness” suggest that he do? Are we to send troops to Ukraine? Attack Russia? What? We hear that we should supply weapons to Ukraine. The Ukrainian military is disorganized, with some troops favoring Russia and some not. There is no effective government. Who would end up with those weapons? And Ukraine is, like Syria, dead broke and in need of a huge financial bailout. Mr. Putin is picking up a Tar Baby that he may spend a long time regretting. The U.S. is in deficit with excessive debt, how will it finance a Ukraine involvement? Mr. Obama’s critics are silent on these points.

In Syria, our Prez. could have much more effect at a much cheaper cost. Just supplying air support for the “rebels” would make a huge difference. But do we want a Syria sans Assad but fallen into a failed state fought over between murderous Islamicists and secular rebels unable to agree on anything but more killing? Such as Libya? What is there for America in that?

So for us, the question is, what do we want our President to do and our response is: Unfortunately, nothing. We can’t save the world from itself and we as yet, haven’t saved the U.S. from itself. That should be our priority. So let’s get off the Prez on these foreign affairs and complain about American finances; that’s something he can address … and should! His succession of huge deficits with less spending always “tomorrow” doesn’t do what is needed. Here, he shows real weakness, fearing to represent the truth to the American people. Beef up your courage, Mr. President … You find it easy enough to kill your chosen enemies with drones, why can’t you kill some deficits? That would be leadership!

Posted in Finance, Foriegn Policy, Syria, Ukraine | Tagged , , , | 12 Comments

Cosmology, Religion, Politics, Human Nature … And Reality?

Reality Sucks!There is much that we don’t understand in our cosmos. We don’t understand relativity, for instance. They say that a traveler at high speed through space would, were he to return to earth, find that decades had passed in an interval that seemed to him, much shorter. Well, if you say so … To us, that requires that a chemical reaction on the traveler’s vessel must proceed simultaneously at different rates, depending upon the location of the observer. Thus, the same molecules are behaving more than one fashion at the same time. Again, if you say so … But to us, in our ignorance, is suggests that you have made an illusion, a convenient finagle factor to balance your equations.

Another problem for us is the magnitude of the universe. It’s observably a large place, measured in terms of billions of light years. As light is said to shuffle along at some 286,000 miles in one little second, a year at that rate is an impressive distance. Billions of such years boggles our small mind. And raises the question: If the Creator thinks we’re as important as we think we are, why did He construct so much unused universe around us, universe that we can’t even visit, let alone use? We don’t seem so important afloat in all that! As said, we’re pretty ignorant.

But some things seem understandable, our own human nature being one. We have, after all, been using it and observing it for rather a long (by our standards) time. So when some of our own species attempts to exploit that nature for his, her and now we guess, its benefit, we tend to become a tad defensive since it’s all been paraded in front of us before over our recorded as well as legendary history.

Go back and read of the ancient Jews repeatedly falling away from the Lord’s righteous path, into idolatry and sinfulness as the Bible puts it. Not just once, either. Jump ahead to old Rome and read of its fall from conservative rectitude into empire and decadence. Or if you prefer, visit Constantinople (now Istanbul), or Teotihuacan. Our species seems to channel the annual flowers, blossoming into a short-lived flowering and then dying away into a political winter until another Spring permits another, greater, flowering.

We can see enough of the world coming together now with our new technology to recognize a familiar politico-economic path that we have trod so many times, a path that has led to social dissolution repeatedly in the past. We see no reason that it will lead elsewhere this time, though we are assured that is so by folks who in most cases, are invested in that belief. In any event, we shall see whether “That which I feared has come upon me!” or whether we are just as our young tend to tell us, too old to get it, anymore.

Wanna bet?

 

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History, The Spoils System, Civil Service … And Buyer’s Regrets

Civil Servicethe IRS is demanding the list of contributors to a Ron Paul group. Apparently the agency’s pursuit of non-Democrat political groups continues without Lois Lerner to head it. We note that Ms. Lerner has so far, thumbed her nose at the Republicans in Congress. One House committee sent a recommendation that she be prosecuted to Eric Holder’s Department of Justice; we can guess how far that will progress. Another committee voted that she be held in contempt of Congress and the Republican House agreed. Opera bouffe, to date. An American administration is openly using the Federal government to punish the political opposition.

Richard Nixon was criticized for this based on his then infamous “enemies list.” Compared to the Obamafolk, his was penney-ante stuff.

Hollywood is famous for its “blacklist” of conservatives in a liberal town; such folk are denied jobs and financing when discovered. In an allegedly free country, such conduct is reprehensible, but hardly illegal. The misuse of the Federal government this way is illegal. Unfortunately, it is that government’s job to enforce those as well as the rest of the laws.

In Russia, Iran or China, identification as a government opponent makes one unemployable and eventually, prosecuted for whatever is handy. Obviously, the United States is hovering over that abyss and there is nothing going on that seems likely to halt that. A prominent CEO was recently fired for his position re gay marriage; the similarly positioned CEO of Chick-Fil-A has just apologized for his views.  Visitors to a Texas IRS office saw numerous Obama buttons and stickers among the employees, a violation of the civil service concept. America seems about a half-step from Russia, China and Iran.

The country appears to have returned to the spoils system over the recumbent body of the Civil Service laws, that ironically were installed at the behest of Progressives. Today’s voters have not lived under a spoils system nor have public schools educated them; it will likely require decades of experience before enough citizens react to what is being lost now.

As is unfortunately common in history, that which is being lost, is likely to be appreciated only after it is too late.

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Mr. Putin, President Theodore Roosevelt And The Nuclear Age …

Theodore RooseveltAlong with most of the world economies, the Russian economy is disappointing its citizens. But for oil and gas exports, things in Russia would be worse. Since the oil and gas benefits fail to reach many Russians, Mr. Putin needs to distract them; the reacquisition of the old Russian Empire of Czarist and Soviet days seems to be the current ploy.

Mr. Putin bit off a chunk of little Georgia a couple of years ago; that went down well, so he escalated by swallowing Crimea recently. Now, he is taking over Eastern Ukraine proper, using the Russians that Stalin planted there as his excuse. Others that gained freedom from Moscow in the Soviet collapse are beginning to sweat.

There is a little-discussed piece of this that needs more attention. In 1994, Russia signed an agreement to protect then-existing Ukrainian borders in exchange for Ukraine handing over its Soviet-era nukes for disposal. Ukraine did hand them over; now Russia says that agreement doesn’t apply to its takeovers of Crimea and Eastern Ukraine. This is a huge landmark in the world’s nuclear regime, one that is receiving far too little attention.

Iran for one, is watching closely. The obvious lesson is that having nukes may protect your borders; having a treaty, won’t. History has taught the same lesson repeatedly. America’s President Theodore Roosevelt put it: “Speak softly, but carry a big stick.”

What is presently not discussed, is the nuclear regime of planet earth as the E.U. and America continue their ongoing withdrawal from dominance, the primary encouragement of Mr. Putin’s current expansion of Russia.

The previous reality of nukes in Pakistan and North Korea give the lie to most anti-proliferation rationales. The primary purpose of anti-nuclear policies is not to prevent acquisition; it is demonstrably already too late for that. It is to calm the minds of voters and businessfolk so that they will proceed normally in a no longer normal world.

Governments around the world are noticing the American withdrawal as the U.S. economy is no longer capable of supporting world wide military superiority. China is becoming bellicose against its neighbors in the China Sea. That leads Japan and South Korea to worry about American aid if China advances; a concern that could convince them to produce their own nukes. Places like South Africa, Brazil, Argentina and Saudi Arabia (afraid of Iran) must be thinking about it as well. In Europe, with a nuclear Britain and France, how long will Germany be willing to remain unarmed, next to a nuclear and aggressive Russia?

The technology is no longer secret, only expensive and complex. The U.S. has lost control of it. Anyone with the resources and a strong enough desire will acquire nukes sooner or later; we have already seen that. And given the numbers of megalomanic dictators available, we should expect to see more.

One may pity President Obama, he has inherited the mantle of the chief preventer of nuclear proliferation in a world in which he cannot prevent it. However, as he evidently lacks the courage to say that, he will have earned whatever comes his way as nukes pop up from place to place in the coming years. That is bad but already inevitable.

It gets worse when one contemplates the ability of relatively cheap submarines to deliver nukes via missiles fired from undersea…. One can see why Israel seems more nervous than does President Obama, contemplating Iran.

Perhaps we need new advice: What do you do, when everybody, even the little guys, carry big sticks?

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Gleanings From The Passing Scene … (Politically Uncorrected)

Alfred_E__NeumannThere is much tonight:

The Federal BLM is standing down; withdrawing its 200 armed agents from the Bundy ranch in Nevada and stopping its removal of Bundy cattle. Score another win for the Internet and social media publicizing government thuggery, or perhaps it was the growing light in dark places as what was called the real story appeared. We doubt that the Bundys are home free, but the frontal armed assault has apparently, failed.

A map of the countries developing armed drones suggests that we’re all going to be developing stronger neck muscles, from looking up a lot more than we’re accustomed.

A lab-grown, implantable human vagina and lab-grown, human nose cartilage are now  scientific realities. The cartilage will be a gift to surgical rebuilding of broken or otherwise unsatisfactory noses; we are afraid to consider all the possibilities of the vagina.

A developmentally disabled Pennsylvania high school student secretly recorded the relentless bullying he suffered, taking the evidence to the school principal. The principal called the police; the 16 year old boy was arrested and convicted of breaking wiretapping laws.

Another Pennsylvania student injured over 20 people on a stabbing spree in school, using two kitchen knives. We don’t know why or whether he was on meds. But as this is such a gift to those defending gun ownership, we will bet on its incredibly rapid disappearance from the news.

 

Ex President George W. Bush spoke out regarding the deplorable discrepancy between black and white kid’s achievements; he feels we should do something about that.  First, seems to us, the black kids have to want to do something about that. NOT to have something done for them about that….

A ‘mob‘ of some 20 clearly organized teen boys and girls randomly attacked at least 6 innocent individuals one night in Boston. It seems to us, from the careful avoidance of the topic in the report, that they were probably black kids. (The police referred to the ‘knockout game’). The group robbed victims in at least some cases.

We’re told that in Louisville, black mobs are becoming too much to ignore. We hadn’t known that things could get that bad.

Scientists unconvinced of global warming tired of hearing that they don’t exist, are now putting out responses to the U.N. decrees on the subject. We note that, while the new group has more science and facts on its side, the U.N. has more money to spend.

Since 1975, the U.S. government banned export of crude oil. Republicans would like to remove that ban to help the E.U. escape Mr. Putin’s clutches. The Obamafolk don’t seem interested, at the moment.

An informative map, that shows how the middle class is vanishing from Chicago.

High U.S. prices are maintained on prescription drugs by U.S. laws preventing importing them from other countries where they are cheaper. Because imports worth less than $2,500 were not prevented, a lot of drugstores opened in Mexico close to border crossing points. Lots of U.S. seniors have been obtaining cheaper drugs there for years. Now, the compassionate Obamafolk are closing the loophole.

Congressman Jim Moran (D) complained that he is underpaid.

The roof of the villa of North Korea’s dictator Kim Jong Un, fell in. Apparently, it was built similarly to the country’s economy.

In an emergency, could you find a quick $2,000? This link shows how many of us could … and provides something to consider re the financial condition of Americans.

A nursing home was sued for bringing in strippers to entertain its elderly patients.

Los Angeles cops tinkered with the recorders in their cars to avoid monitoring on duty.

The 8 largest banks have failed Federal ‘stress’ tests; maybe it’s not a good time to keep too much money in them….

Denver public schools are hiring wetbacks for teaching positions. (Might be an improvement.)

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies shot and killed an innocent man. Likely couldn’t find a guilty one …

We’re told that more young women are choosing small dogs over motherhood. If you want to go there …

Update on cow farts: The GOP warned the Obama Administration that, if it was going to as announced, regulate cow methane bursts, the Congress was going to tax them.

And if all these don’t blow you away, you may go stand behind a cow, holding a lighted match.

 

 

 

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Palm Sunday Proves The Political Perversity Of People!

Jesus Christ Enters Jerusalem

Jesus Christ Enters Jerusalem

We are when it comes down to it, a funny sort of species. Birds and animals and fish  seem to know that they need to fly or run or swim quite well, or at least those that survive appear to understand that. We though, prefer to elect someone who promises to save us having to make our own ways. Investing in scams is a human specialty, pretty much.

There is no shortage of parasites for all species but we’re the only one we can think of, that elects them into power. And in spite of milennia of bad outcomes, continues to do so and continues to be surprised  by the continuance of the bad outcomes. Funny, that.

Come Sunday, Christians will celebrate Palm Sunday, commemorating the visit of Jesus Christ to Jerusalem, an arrival greeted by throngs lining the streets, tossing palm leaves and cheering, many of  them the same folk who would stand in Pilate’s courtyard a few days later yelling: “Crucify him! Crucify him!” We’re a bit changeable.

We suppose that Christ was doubly disappointing to the Jews. Many seemed to think he was some sort of leader who would toss out the venal incumbents and make everybody rich somehow. Those incumbents feared that; it was why they plotted his death. And the crowd was disappointed in  his advice that made them responsible for themselves. They expected to be saved, not to save themselves.

Ever  since, we have performed that pattern and are still performing today. Obamacare was promised to save millions who had no health insurance while saving money and improving care for those who did have it. Now we’re upset that we have to pay for all those newly insured in both money and reduced benefits. We will crucify some Democrats in November to celebrate.

The Founders feared and hated government, founding a Christian nation on an anti-government Constitution to protect the future. Within 40 years of the Founding, Alexis de Tocqueville wrote predicting today’s overwhelming, nanny state in his “Democracy In America.” Europe has done the same, even before America. It seems to be in our DNA.

The Jews’ society crumbled and they were dispersed and despised. American society is being rejected while the American economy is being deconstructed from within, our odd species seems to construct things and tear them down again. As we continue to debase the world financial system, we must be in a tearing-down phase right now.

Then we have the Greek Phoenix that is reborn out of its own ashes and the Christian Easter celebrating Christs’ Resurrection as archetypes and we can hope that they are prophetic of human society … But for that, we’re somehow going to have to learn how to deal better with our pesky DNA. So far, all our societies have celebrated, died, resurrected newer and better, celebrated and died again. You;d think that for a supposedly intelligent species, there’d be an easier way! But then again, that”s the thinking that got us into this, isn’t it?

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